Best of 2014

oscars collage

The Drunk Monkeys Film Department
Oscar Nominations 2015

Gabriel Ricard, Film Editor: It’s not perfect, and it probably never will be, but I don’t think I’ve ever been this pleased overall with the Oscar nominees. I’m tempted to focus on things like Selma being almost completely shut out, Lego Movie being ignored for Best Animated Feature, or the…

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Best of 2014
Film

If 2012 showed promise, and 2013 failed to live up to that promise, then 2014 was the year that the movies finally came back. There were interesting films released all year long, but there was an especially impressive explosion of challenging, fascinating films after the summer blockbuster season died down….

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Best of 2014
Television

If network television has been slowly dying for the past decade, then 2014 was the year that the plug was pulled. Of our top ten picks, only two of them (Bob’s Burgers and Brooklyn Nine-Nine, both of FOX Sundays), came from one of the four major networks. And only two…

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Best of 2014
Music

THE DRUNK MONKEYS  TOP TEN IN MUSIC 2014   10.) D’ANGELO 9.) BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN  8.) BASTILLE  7.) TV ON THE RADIO  6.) TAYLOR SWIFT 5.) JACK WHITE  When Jack White released his second solo album Lazaretto under his own label (Third Man Records), it broke the record for most first…

FICTION

Latest Short Stories and Flash Fiction
go bots

Short Story:
Berzerkoids Are Here

Yeah, I hit my kid, but I didn’t hit him that hard. Besides, I’m going to make it up to him right now. I mean, Jaime probably won’t even have a bruise and he did have it coming, but still… What kind of dad punches his kid? I know what…

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Short Story:
The Hitachi

On one side of the Rosen’s back yard, under a Bristol pine crowding the back porch, was a lawnmower graveyard. It was a small, undistinguished cemetery: five lawnmowers, all different models and makes gathered in a loose semicircle, slowly rusting away amid pine needles and cobwebs. And on the other…

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Short Story:
My Grieving Body

My mother had been too young, too pretty and had died too soon after giving birth to me, Sister Clemence told me. Of my father, she knew nothing. There was no name anywhere. Telling us children our histories was strictly forbidden but Sister Clemence had a soft place in her…

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Short Story:
The Assistant Manager

The violent blue of the Florida Chicken sign woke Farhan up at three a.m.—an hour and a half before his alarm went off. For the past three months, a bowling chicken in blue shorts with a purple question mark above its head had shaken him from sleep. He imagined that…

POETRY

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Writer of the Month: Kevin Ridgeway
Prom in the Year 1999

the Polaroid her father took shows me in an ill fitting tuxedo, my Aqua Net polluted accidental white boy Little Richard hair towering above an acne ridden face that was too small for its forced smile standing arm in arm with a beauty in bridal white her vanilla ice cream…

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Poetry:
Conjunction City

Their heather gray epidermis contains a small percentage of elastane, ensuring a stretchy fabric and the steep shoes of tango dancers form their feet. Their hair is blue like two-thirds of the flag and their irises are as pink as 19th century palaces painted by whitewash mixed with ox blood….

schol bus

Poet of the Month: Kevin Ridgeway
School Bus Legend

I became an instant celebrity at the back of that smoking yellow aluminum travesty and it’s potpourri of body odor fogging up the windows when I ate a dried up remnant of my own mucous to shock and awe. I very quickly became infamous for my hidden talent.  At lunch…

flying cars

Writer of the Month: Kevin Ridgeway
Flying Cars

They promised to be a normal thing by 1995, according to my April 1989 issue of Highlights Magazine I visualized my future self:  a very mature thirteen years old with Hulk Hogan’s body and handlebar mustache, hovering over the never ending sprawl with babes in the back seat, cruising for…

REVIEWS

Latest Film and Television Reviews
paddington
8.3

Film Review:
Paddington

Paddington is the kind of magic, of whimsy and wonder and warmth, movie audiences need during the winter hibernation season. It’s that soulful cuteness that makes hot chocolate on a cold day so soothing, transforming ordinary water and cocoa mix into a rejuvenating elixir that heals us to our cores….

PicMonkey Collage
9.3

Book Review:
Here

Published by Raw, Richard McGuire’s “Here,” a 6-page comic, first appeared in 1989. The 36 panels to explore were unique, but they also shared one commonality. Each panel, not arranged by any chronological restrictions, depicted the same spot as it changed throughout the past, present, and future. Because of the…

American Sniper
9.0

Film Review:
American Sniper

I’m kind of a sucker for ‘war movies.’  Maybe it’s because whenever a war film or Spaghetti Western was on TV when I was a child, my father would stop to watch it even if it was only the last five minutes.  I don’t recall showing much interest in said…

Woman In Black 2 Poster
2.7

The Woman in Black 2: Angel of Death

Welcome to 2015!  One of my resolutions is to stop procrastinating, even if it means inevitable disappointment.  That makes it fitting that my first film of the year be within my favorite genre: horror. Yes, The Woman in Black 2: Angel of Death got to be the first victim of…

Interviews

east bay ray

Interview: East Bay Ray

With the launch of Napster in 1999 the proverbial Pandora’s Box of the digital age was more than opened, it was pillaged and burnt to the ground. No longer would the record companies and movie studios that we had relied on to provide for our entertainment needs control the playing…

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Interview: Rolli

Canadian artist/writer Rolli has made a splash in the worlds of cartooning and literature with his singular comedic sensibility. His cartoons have been featured in Reader’s Digest and The Harvard Review. He has released collections of short fiction, including the critically acclaimed God’s Autobio, and the recent I Am Currently…

FILM

paddington

Film Review:
Paddington

Paddington is the kind of magic, of whimsy and wonder and warmth, movie audiences need during the winter hibernation season. It’s that soulful cuteness that makes hot chocolate on a cold day so soothing, transforming ordinary water and cocoa mix into a rejuvenating elixir that heals us to our cores….

American Sniper

Film Review:
American Sniper

I’m kind of a sucker for ‘war movies.’  Maybe it’s because whenever a war film or Spaghetti Western was on TV when I was a child, my father would stop to watch it even if it was only the last five minutes.  I don’t recall showing much interest in said…

TELEVISION

tv slider

Best of 2014
Television

If network television has been slowly dying for the past decade, then 2014 was the year that the plug was pulled. Of our top ten picks, only two of them (Bob’s Burgers and Brooklyn Nine-Nine, both of FOX Sundays), came from one of the four major networks. And only two…

the leftovers slider

Best of 2014: Staff Picks
The Leftovers

As I sat down to choose which television program was my favorite from the last year, I struggled between two options: The Leftovers and True Detective. Both programs were ahead of even the best of recent shows, like Mad Men or Game of Thrones, and they achieved this in one…

Non-Fiction

Essays and Creative Non-Fiction
silhouette

Girls Leading Our World

Geoff spoke Romanian and I spoke Russian. “In the past,” Bridgette warned, “we’ve had problems with male counselors.” Geoff and I assured her we’d act like perfect gentlemen; we’d provide the girls with positive male role models, and help push the campers into a lifetime of self-respect. “All well and…

identity slider

Essay:
Identity

My father took everything from me. He had his vision of who I should be: a Christian, straight A student, warrior, black man. It was a noble vision, but to shape it, my father undermined everything that I was, took everything that didn’t bring me closer to his vision and…

LATEST POSTS

bloodsport

The Drunk Monkeys Movie Club:
Bloodsport

If some movies are made to be seen on the big screen, Bloodsport is made to be seen on VHS in a semi-finished basement. Your best friend’s older brother, the one with the collection of throwing stars, should be there to explain all the finer points of the world’s fighting…

go bots

Short Story:
Berzerkoids Are Here

Yeah, I hit my kid, but I didn’t hit him that hard. Besides, I’m going to make it up to him right now. I mean, Jaime probably won’t even have a bruise and he did have it coming, but still… What kind of dad punches his kid? I know what…

paddington

Film Review:
Paddington

Paddington is the kind of magic, of whimsy and wonder and warmth, movie audiences need during the winter hibernation season. It’s that soulful cuteness that makes hot chocolate on a cold day so soothing, transforming ordinary water and cocoa mix into a rejuvenating elixir that heals us to our cores….

silhouette

Girls Leading Our World

Geoff spoke Romanian and I spoke Russian. “In the past,” Bridgette warned, “we’ve had problems with male counselors.” Geoff and I assured her we’d act like perfect gentlemen; we’d provide the girls with positive male role models, and help push the campers into a lifetime of self-respect. “All well and…

PicMonkey Collage

Book Review:
Here

Published by Raw, Richard McGuire’s “Here,” a 6-page comic, first appeared in 1989. The 36 panels to explore were unique, but they also shared one commonality. Each panel, not arranged by any chronological restrictions, depicted the same spot as it changed throughout the past, present, and future. Because of the…