Rasputin: The Mad Monk – Film Review

Yo Ho Ho! Want to know more about some freaky guy who stared his way out of poverty and into the realms of riches? Yes? Then read on biatch…

This Hammer Horror film stars Christopher Lee as (you guessed it!) Gregory Rasputin. It starts off at a quaint little pub, where the landlord’s wife is bedridden with the most horrendous fever, so much so that it has rendered her so weak to stay awake. Enter Rasputin: a giant-Russian-Lumberjack of a guy (if there is such a thing). He is brought into the bedroom where the wife so sleeps, and then proceeds in his healing process. It must be said that his hands are like SHOVELS!!! They’re so big that when he places his hands over her face, enclosing them slowly over her like a tomb, they completely conceal her. And that stare – it’s the most intense imaginable. It reminded me of that gopher creature on youtube who turns around and gives the camera a devilish stare (maybe Rasputin reincarnated?). Anyway, so he expels the fever from the landlord’s wife, and dunks his hands into a jug of water found on the windowstill, to rid the fever from his hands (he trapped it in there, you see). He’s then rewarded with lots of alcohol, and a song and dance. He dances with a young lady whom he quickly takes to a barn full of haystacks for some lovin’. But then the young lady’s fella spotted them at the pub, and followed them there – he tries to kill Rasputin with some kind of cutting tool (A hoe?) but is out fought by o’ Greggers. The end of this act concludes with Rasputin deciding he wants to go to the city, once told that “The city is no place for common folk like you” (I paraphrase, but you get the gist).

Hay now.

So now he’s made his way to the city, and he’s in another bar. A doctor is practically demanding that people go up against him in a drinking contest as he believes no-one could possibly outdrink him. It’s only when the mention of money is heard by Rasputin that he takes him up on his challenge, and drinks him under the table. Sure enough, the two of them become friends so after.

One more important thing happens at this bar – a lady in waiting to her majesty downs a heavy drink and starts laughing manically. Rasputin, who is dancing at the time, takes great offense by this and give her the stare of a thousand deaths, telling her that she will come to him and apology for laughing at him. The lady in waiting’s brother, sat with her, is appalled by such vile behaviour on Rassie’s side of things, but the bearded one doesn’t care any less, and goes back to his seat. Charming!

It was indeed hypnotism what Rasputin did, as the red haired lady at the bar manages to track him down. He is squatting at the ex-doctor’s abode whom he beat in the drinking challenge last night and apologies to him. He tells her to get on her knees and slaps her, then says that she will cook for them like a common peasant. Then she tells them that she will not as she is a lady-in-waiting to the queen. Rasputin changes tactics now, knowing that she is of some real use to her after hearing this, and hypnotises her again with his wide daemonic eyes, telling her that she will cause an “accident” whereby the son of Tzar will need his methods of healing to get better. And that so happens not long after he tells her to – she pushes the young lad off of a pillar, knocking him out cold on the ground.

After Rasputin heals the son and tells the queen that “He’ll be fully recovered by the morning,” he somehow worms he way into living at the majesty’s abode. He also (by hypnotizing the queen) got his ex-doctor friend reinstated as a doctor – ergo, she hires him as her doctor, and fires the other one.

After Rasputin heals the son and tells the queen that “He’ll be fully recovered by the morning,” he somehow worms he way into living at the majesty’s abode. He also (by hypnotizing the queen) got his ex-doctor friend reinstated as a doctor – ergo, she hires him as her doctor, and fires the other one.

After hypnotizing the queen, the red-haired lady is no more of use to Rasputin, but she gets to clingy to him. What does he do? Answer: he puts he in a trance, telling her to kill herself. And later, she does – her brother find her in her room, wrists slit and blood drawn. Bloody awful stuff.

He is a very fickle man

But all Rasputin’s good fortune can’t go on for much longer, if the lady-in-waiting’s brother and his scheming officer have anything to do with it. They devise a plan whereby they invite Rasputin to meet up with the officer’s sister – the other lady-in-waiting (whom he earlier described as “The prettier one”). He falls for the set up and comes to the place he is told to, and is left to wait in a room whilst she gets ready. On one table is a decanter full of sweet sweet alcohol, just how he likes it. He drinks a couple of glasses of this. He sits down. Next to him now are a box crammed full of marvellously presented chocolate bites (well, I thought they looked good). He takes one, two… about eight of them, and chucks them into his mouth like a gluttonous pig. He then suddenly gets stomach pains and falls to the floor in agonising pain. This is because the drink was laced with poison and the chocolates were injected with… poison! He’s been poisoned!! But like the super-freak he is, he manages to get up. The brother is shocked by this (he’s been spying on him the whole time) as Rasputin tries to kill him. Eventually, it takes both the officer and the brother to end Rasputin’s life. Rasputin gets thrown out of a window, and the brother gets stabbed in the back with a flying dagger.

I’ve got to take into consideration that this is a Hammer Horror film, so the accuracy of such a story is most likely a mixture of facts and OTT fictions. But who knows. I certainly don’t – I only just watched the film about ten minutes ago and know nought about the Rassmeister, apart from what this film has shown my brain.

Life is like a box of chocolates: you never know what you’re going to get… perhaps, poison?

But, as a viewing experience, I would like to award Rasputin: The Mad Monk a….


Inglourious Basterds – Film Review (By BEAR)

Today I will be reviewing Inglourious Basterds, conceived by hollywood’s darling of violence, Quentin Tarantino. You’ve heard of him right? Well, if not where you been at? I forgive you. Now let’s move forward…

This movie, like many of Quentin’s films, isn’t structured in the typical Act 1, 2, 3 you find most movies out there are, but in 5 chapters. Kinda like a movie novel. Here is a breakdown of each chapter:

Chapter One: Once Upon a Time….. in Nazi-Occupied France

This is all one long scene, lasting just under half an hour, and takes place in the countryside somewhere in France. The whole film takes place in France, but more specifically, it takes place in a time where Hitler is in power as World War 2 is happening.

It’s an idyllic surrounding, soft meadow fields everywhere you look; quite beautiful really – it brought a tear to BEAR’s eye, let’s just put it that way. Perrier LaPadite is a farmer there, and a loving father with three daughters. It all looks like what you’d expect to find at a countryside, but then he spots in the distance men on horseback, travelling up the dirt track leading to their farmhouse. Perrier warns his daughters and they tend to something important inside the house (we don’t see what, but find out by the end of this chapter). Meanwhile, as the gunmen of horseback get terribly close to the proximity of their house, the man splashes water from a basin over his front, giving them the impression he’s been working his ass off.

The men on horseback have arrived – they’re Nazis, to be more specific. The main guy is the charismatic Colonel, Hans Landa, and no: just ’cause he’s charismatic doesn’t make him any less of an Nazi. He’s also very cock sure about how he interacts with the farmer, but gets away with this due to the dominance of his position. There is a reason for this cockiness – he is there for only one thing: to sniff out Jews that are in hiding and kill him. He’s even been given the nickname ‘The Jew Hunter’, which he boasts about to Perrier, as he squirms subtly behind his pipe. As Hans talks to the man of the farmhouse around a wooden table, and after the women leave the building to let them begin their conversation (leaving the Nazi a glass of milk), they suddenly switch to English. Again, it’s not apparent why Hans requests this change from French to English, but BEAR was thinking there must be a reason for this, other than the Nazi saying he’s ‘exhausted his French vocabulary’. That’s just doesn’t add up after he spoke so eloquently for many minutes on the screen. Hmm… BEAR doesn’t buy it – he smelled a rat instantly.

(You call that a pipe? This is a pipe!)

Speaking of rats, the colonel begins using a rat analogy to the French man, relating it to his job as a guy who has to exterminate Jews and the propaganda used by Joseph Goebbels in Nazi Germany. He eventually tells Perrier that he has only two options: you either tell me that there are Jewish people hidden under the floorboards, or you get killed and we look there for them anyway. The man concedes, telling the man in english where they are hidden by pointing to the floor where they are located. As Hans gets up to leave, he switches back to French, pretending that he is talking to the French daughters entering the house, but in fact it’s the Nazi solders entering. Then it inevitable happens and the children under the floorboards are exterminated with the relentless shootings they’d been ordered to take out.

…Except one! The eldest of the children hiding under the floorboards manages to escape through a small window and runs (literally) for her life. Colonel Hans Landa trains his gun on her as she runs through the fields towards the horizontal, but eventually decides not to shoot her. BEAR thinks this is because it would have too a helluva shot to shoot the girl from that far away, not because he just whimsically felt like not doing so.

This now completes chapter one. Intense wasn’t it? But it wasn’t just the typical intensity you find with most Tarantino films – this had……………………SUSPENSE! Who woulda funk it? But even though it is a rariety to see in a filmmaker who’s well known for A.D.D violence, you gotta hand it to him – this was a masterclass in suspense. Hitchcock might of wanted a cameo in this ’cause it was that intense (maybe he was in it – you just didn’t see them). Anyways, you’re probably wondering where does this girl who has survived should a traumatic event go? No? Well you are now. So read on and you might just find out where she ends up, and what she does (within the context of this 152 minute length film).

(The lucky one)

Chapter Two: Inglourious Basterds

We are introduced to the “Inglourious Basterds” at this point. This is a American-Jewish posse of commandos ready to kill every F’ing Nazi they come into contact with. And on top of that, their leader redneck guy (Lt. Aldo Raine) is demanding that each of his men make sure they scalp 100 of these Nazis for him. Scalping is where you take a knife and peel – like you would a potato – the top of the head off of someone. Kinda like an alive wig for the redneck – a badge of honor for the Basterds. So if you’re a Nazi and you cross paths with this motley crue, it’s turf luck!

And also in this chapter, we see Hitler, having a right rollicking at two of his insubordinates. He’s crying like an angry baby at them because he can’t understand why no-one has caught the Inglourious Basterds, as they are messing things up for him. And it doesn’t help that one of these guys were sent back by the Basterds to send Hitler a chilling message. The swastika carved into his head also sends a permanent advertisement to all those who see this guy – so even if he takes off this uniform, he cannot hide what he is.

Wait! I should back up here. Who else was at this place where this swastika headed man came from? Well, the Basterds brutally killed a small group of nazi as none of them would point onto a map where Hitler was hiding. BEAR liked the bit where the BEAR-jew came into it and baseball batted those loyal biatches to a pulp. One thing I’ll said – I wish there was more of the BEAR-jew in this film; not ’cause I share a namesake with him, but because his character deserved more scenes. Perhaps a film where we just follow the BEAR-jew around, beating up nazis would be a good idea. But I digress.

There was one nazi who would cave-in though: Private Butz. He’s such a spineless swerp that he doesn’t hesitate to tell them. I don’t blame him, after seeing what the BEAR-jew did to the guy before him.

(Bat-a bat-a bat-a swwwing!!)

Chapter Three: German Night in Paris

The girl who escaped the farmhouse in chapter one, goes by the name Emmanuelle Mimieux these days. She also owns a cinema. BEAR’s not sure how this happened as it was not shown, but BEAR’s not too bothered and understands the issues of continuity in films. Whilst standing on a ladder and taking down large lettering from the front of her cinema, a guy named Fredrick Zoller tries to woe her. This just comes off as annoying to Emmanuelle, and some enough the guy leaves. But the next day, whilst she is in a cafe, Fredrick finds her again. This pees her off somewhat – she has no interest in him and has made it clear numeros times that she just wants to be left alone. Yet as he is about to leave, people in the cafe come up to him and treat him like a celebrity of sorts. This bit also has no subtitles as they converse in the german language, and it’s not needed as the ways these people enthuse over Fredrick speaks loud enough for BEAR to understand. The girl finds out that he killed a load of people as a sniper, and now Goebbels has made a film of this – with him playing himself in the film! Goebbels regards it as his finest work to date, and wants his film to be put on there.

She says no, no, no, until she comes face to face with the nazi who got her siblings killed back at the farmhouse. BEAR finds it funny how his guy – who says he can find a jew anywhere – can’t recognise this girl is jewish, or that she was the escapee from that farm. It goes to show how ridiculous the whole racism thing is – how of us are really that different from each other. What separates a racist from a non-racist is their mentality, not the way they look. Ignorance, perhaps? Or stupidity into believing such idiotic beliefs. Why can’t the whole of humanity just stop warring with each other for whatever greedy reasons they may have as a motive, and just get the F along. BEAR means it! Sorry, this really touched a nerve with me. I’ll get back to the plot… So Emmanuelle agrees to the premiere of the film being held at her cinema. Why? Well we discover this when she meets her projectionist, Marcel, at the cinema. She tells Marcel that, firstly, they don’t want him to be the projectionist at the premiere (because he’s black), and that she agreed to it because she has a plan: to blow up the cinema with all the most powerful of nazis trapped within it. All they have to do it prepare for this plan so that it can be pulled off. The idea is that, with all the 300+ of film reels in the back room, they are going to light that up behind the cinema screen. This stuff is so flammable that, at the time, it wasn’t even allow on public transport. They also film a message Emmanuelle addresses directly to the nazis, which gets spiced onto the film’s reel, so that when the film reaches that part, it transitions into her recording.

Chapter Four: Operation Kino

A British soldier and two Basterds enter a joyous pub with german actress, Bridget Von Hammersmark. A group of people are playing a game where they stick a playing card to their head with a famous name on it, and they have to get the name by asking a series of questions, relying on the ‘yes’ or ‘no’ answers given to them. A guy named Wilhelm is celebrating the birth of his son there at the time as well.

A guy around the corner, reading a book, over hears the non-german bunch, who are trying to blend in, and comes over to sit with them. He questions the english guy’s accent, thinking it is highly peculiar, and this is because though the solider is speaking fluent german, you can still hear his english accent. It. Just. Sounds. Off. They copy what the table next to them are doing and play they same game they are (the ‘King Kong’ questions accumulate in what BEAR interprets as another stab are the stupidity of racism, specifically in how it wasn’t just the german’s fueling racist propaganda, but also america as well). And then the german asks the barkeeper for five drinks. One of the good guys asks for three drink, and holds up three fingers. This gives the game away – the german now knows that they are imposters because of the way he held up his fingers. German people hold up three fingers in a different way to english people, and Sherlock here, like a hawk, was perceptive enough to spot this.

Guns are thrusted at each other threateningly underneath the table, with one placed snuggly on the german’s ballbag area. And in what seems like a flash in the pan, the whole room explodes in a flurry of bullets, killing everyone except Wilhelm, who is behind the bar. The Basterd’s leader calls down from the floor above to ask if they can take Bridget Von Hammersmark with them (she’s wounded, but also still alive), and he finally agrees, once he realises he has no choice. But it didn’t matter what he said anyway because Bridget Von Hammersmark takes it upon herself to shot the newly father anyways.

Chapter Five: Revenge of the Giant Face

The final part is want all the previous chapters were building up towards (obviously). It’s the film premiere of Goebal’s film, at Emmanuelle’s cinema. Even Hitler’s gonna be there, so you know they pulled out all the stops for this event, and then some.

Emmanuelle’s plan is all set by now. Marcel, the projectionist, is behind the screen, waiting for the signal to throw his cigarette into the as yet unlit pile of unravelled film reels, whilst Emmanuelle is upstairs in the projection room.

Meanwhile, in the lobby area, the redneck leader and two other members of th Basterds accompany Bridget Von Hammersmark to the premiere. They bump into the Nazi guy, whom already knows Bridget Von Hammersmark was at the pub massacre as she had left her bloody shoes behind. She also adorns a foot cast shaped like a stiletto, which the nazi quickly brings up into the conversation with her. She says she fell in a rock climbing accident yesterday morning. He laughs manically, knowing that she is lying. He leads her into a room for a private talk (without the Basterds), and the nazi gets Bridget Von Hammersmark to take out something from his coat pocket. It’s her old shoe! He puts it on her unwounded foot to make sure it fits (it does). And taking his opportunity, he pounces on her, making her fly backwards, and he kills her by asphyxiation.

The leader redneck and one of the other Basterds get taken away from the cinema by the Nazi, as he realises that they are not really italian filmmakers (if Brad Pitt’s hilarious accent didn’t give it away). They make a deal with the Nazi that it’ll be okay to kill everyone at the cinema, with the condition that he is given his own island and is treated like a hero by the Americans. But it’s not the Basterds would blow up the set…

The guy who’s keen on Emmanuelle gets shoot by her, and then he shoots him. Their deaths are negligible though because after Marcel throws his cigarette onto the film pile, the whole place is about to go KA-BOOM! I liked this scene, not only because of its cinematic value, but because there it is like the ultimate revenge towards the Nazis if you were to perceive the fact they were locked in a burning room as a concentration camp, giving them a taste of the insurmountable pain and suffering of what they did to millions of their fellow human beings. Not bad for a movie, eh?

I was willing to surrender into this movie, was I realised it wasn’t meant to be intended as a serious historical reenactment (BEAR hates that stuff anyways), because the payoff was so good – that Hitler and all the evil Nazis got killed and the war would therefore be over. The fact that it is not historically accurate was reflected in the mispelling of the title. Yes, Quentin maybe dyslexic, but I’m sure he knows how to use a dictionary.

The final scene is where the redneck leader of the Inglourious Basterds carves a swastika into the Nazi’s head. And though the last line – “I think this just might be my masterpiece” – was like Tarantino gloating, I would still have to say that Pulp Fiction is his masterpiece. This film was superb though, and was more managed with its killings – more time was devoted to build up and tension within scenes. This is specially so in the first chapter and the pub scene. I thought it was wonderfully done, personally speaking.

Overall, I am going to award Inglourious Basterds 9/10

Say auf wiedersehen to your nazi balls

Wanted – Film Review (By BEAR)

Aloha film fans and freaks alike! Today I will be reviewing Wanted (2009), sinking my claws into it, and letting y’all know what BEAR thinks of this fairly recent action film. So if you care to indulge me in my musings on life and film (but mostly, film), lets continue…

From the get go, I knew I was going to like this film. I’m a sucker for well done action sequences, and the intro of this film has just that. ‘Wanted’ starts off with a mystery guy who is being sniped by a small group of people disguised in health-and-safety-gone-mad work clothing. I should clear this up and say that these are blatantly not builders or engineers, but if they were, they should be fired on the spot for not doing their job properly. Instead, these are a clan of professional assassins who have tracked down this guy and are in the process of tearing him a new poohole. The guy then takes a run up and smashes through the window, shooting all the assassins… dead. He lands on top of the building opposite to where he just was, smiles, then realises he’s stood on an ‘X’ on the floor. ‘Oh no’, he thinks; and then a bullet from an apartment miles away, bursts through the back of his head, making its way all the way through, like how one may decide to de-core an apple if one was hungry. That’s right: the queen, ‘one’, sometimes eats apples. (DISCLAIMER: I must state that BEAR cannot guarantee that the queen does/does not eat apples.) Here’s a picture to sum up the opening of Wanted:

(Zack Dela Rocha: “A bullet in yer fookin’ head!!!”
BEAR: Actually Zach, the bullet has passed through the head.
Zack Dela Rocha: Oh. Well that’s ruined it for me.)

Working in a boring office, living his boring dull life, thinking his boring dull thoughts–and just resigning himself to boredom in general – is Wesley, the protagonist, played by James McAvoy. (Protaganist is just another word for ‘main star of the film’. Yes, BEAR lives to serve.) So, this guy is riddled with problems such as constant anxiety attacks brought on by his red-haired blob of a boss, and his workmate saying “how’s yer father” to his girlfriend when he’s not around. What makes the latter more pathetic is that he knows it but is too much of a wet girl’s blouse to do anything about it. But all this mundanity is about to end in a very short while for Wesley. Up until this moment, he has compromised himself so much that he is living every moment of his life like a one-man-band zombie nation. All because of the dough, the money, the blinging wonga! I could digress into some social commentary on the state of the times with live in, but my name’s Noam Chomsky – my name is BEAR.

(Boss gives Wesley his ritual morning panic attack)

(The ATM doesn’t seem to like Wesley)

Wesley’s life changes forever when we see him enter his local shop, where all he wants is to pick up some tablets from the pharmacy in there. But then this woman named Fox, who looks a helluva lot like Angelina Jolie*, walks up beside him and introduces herself with her nonchalant allure. It quickly becomes apparent that the two of them are under attack by a man, whom Fox says killed his father (this is a lie! A slanderous, movie script LIE!! BEAR will explain later). But with Fox’s awesome use of a gun that can see around corners, plus Wesley’s beautiful freak outs, the two of them manage to escape unscathed. It’s a shame they cut out the stream of yellow trail that followed them out of the building though (BEAR just made a wee little joke).

(Fox seriously wants to protect Wesley)

Fox takes Wesley – whose mind must be orbiting the library of his consciousness in order to figure out what the F is going on about now – to a secret HQ which is home to a group of deadly assassins, all of whom kill for a living (hence why they are called ‘assassins’. It’s not like you’re going to find them working at McDonald’s and spitting on yer onion rings… unless they’re in disguise!). He leaves that place, with the understanding that he is one of them – a born assassin. He’s told that his anxiety attacks are in fact a secret power which he is yet to have mastered, and that with diligent training, he can gain the strength of a Hulk, the ability to slow-mo time like in that film The Matrix, and the reflexes of a ninja cat. Initially, Wesley thinks “F that shiz. I can’t deal with that malarkey, you dig it, brother?” But then he checks his bank balance, and what use to be next-to-nothing is now over 3.5 million dollars. You can buy a lot of sheds with that (ie that’s a shed loada money). From there he tells his boss at work to shove it, and joins the super-fly assassins, AKA The Fraternity. He even gets his own back on his workmate by smacking him in the face with an ergonomic keyboard as he leaves the office. Oh! and later, he gets his own back on his girlfriend (now presumed ‘ex’), by making out with that lady who looks an awful lot like Angelina Jolie, in front of her. If there was a moment to get anxious and use your slow-mo mojo, it would have been right then. The boi sure has insane powers, but that doesn’t stop him being an idiot sometimes.

(The qwerty keyboard has been used more violently).

Next time Fox brings Wesley back to the assassin HQ, it looks nothing like it did before, and now resembles a textile factory, full of workers and machinery and looms to make fabric. He seems a bit peeved, until Sloan, the top dog at this joint (played by someone who looks like Morgan Freeman**) shows him why all is what it seems there. He tells Wesley that if you look closely at the fabric, there is a unique stitching pattern to it all, which can be deciphered by using each variant of stitch pattern to figure out a binary code. And all those ones and zeros can then be translated into letters, which gives you some poor sod’s name. That name straight away declares then a dead man walking. This turns out to be some guy who is in a boardroom meeting presentation. The first time Wesley stands on the moving train and tries to assassinate him, he chickens out. But after being explained that there is a reason for this, and having been explained that one time they didn’t kill someone, that person killed a lot more people, it made sense for him to shoot da bugger. And so… he does. Initiation complete!

(Sloan: I admit it – I have strange reading habits)

For some reason they kept putting Wesley in a bath of dried wax. Actually no – it was a bath full of some chemical that was meant to stimulate rapid white cell growth. This was during the rigorous training regime he’s being put through by Sloan. It’s also so that he can become the hardcore assassin superfreak that he really is. The things Sloan has got him doing – like the sadistic Mr Miyagi he is – include: bending bullets around hanging pig carcasses, racing Fox to grab some flag thingy whilst running on top of a speeding train; fighting a butcher guy who leaves him with loads of gashes all over his body, and a quite peculiar task of trying to grab a fast moving bit of mechanism from inside a textile machine. Another day in the office for Wesley then? Eventually, he gets the gist of these painful tasks, and masters each of these situations. He can no longer be called a “pussy,” like all the assassins there previously liked to mockingly call him.

(Eraserhead 2)

So, he’s killed one guy, now what? It’s up to the loom of fate, as I like to determine more assassinations. As we know already, the code spells out the guy’s name who killed his father… or so they make him believe. In the meantime, The Exterminator, Wesley’s only true friend at The Fraternity (you know – the guy who’s always wearing that blue beanie hat) as something for him to see. The Exterminator, in a shady looking alley, shows him his… (wait for it…) pet project rat. The rat has a bomb strapped to it. The guy’s well chuffed with this idea, as it can be successfully used to demolish a building, without your person needing to enter it. Wesley, like a Shia Labeouf plagiarist, steals this idea and uses it to his own advantage later on in the movie.

(The Exterminator)

The train scene is where Wesley comes into battle with the guy who’s name was plucked outta the universally immoral loom machine (depending on your outlook on paid murderers, or just murderers in general). By now he is no longer a whimpering “pussy” but a behemoth of a sabre tooth tiger – I’m talking metaphorically here, you bloggin’ biatches (please leave comments!) The train comes off the rails on a suspension bridge, located between two cliffsides the train tunnels through; and Wesley, Fox, and the guy Wesley’s trying to assassinate are now dangling on the brink of a potentially undesired drop. Their bullets collide into each other like a gun trick joust Penn and Teller would have applauded (I dunno, maybe they did at the cinema. You knows?). The twist in this scene is that Wesley was about to slide out of the carriage to his free-falling death, but for some reason, the guy he’s trying to kill has grabbed his hand just in the nic[olas cage] of time. He tells him straight up that he is Wesley’s father, but not before Wesley, like a birdbrain, decides to pull the trigger on him anyways. BEAR is utterly confused: the guy just saved your life, and… you decide to shoot him?! Moron much? Anywho, Fox confirms that this is true – that Wesley was indeed brainwashed into killing his father because he would be the only person who his dad would never kill. Makes sense, dunnit? Then Fox shoots the window that the two of them are on and they fall into the river below.

(Alton Towers has seen better days)

Wesley survived the fall into the splash (I’m amazed – that was some height! It gave me vertigo just watching it from my cave), and has been brought back to his father’s flat by an agent working outside of The Fraternity. This agent is Pekwarsky. This guy is like a mad scientist, in that he has invented a bullet that is undetectable after doing the fatal deed, and can travel from very long distances. This seems logical to the viewer, because if you don’t have the memory span of a goldfish, you will recall the opening action sequence to the movie, where Wesley’s dad shoots the guy on top of a skyscraper, using a sniper rifle tied to a telescope to shoot the target (the enemy even had to stand on a ‘X’ on the fall). The way the bullet travelled through the air reminded me of THIS. I wonder if that idea was inspired by this music vid? Just some food for thought. It makes BEAR wonder if anything can be 100% original these days.

Now that Wesley knows what the F is going on – how he got F’d over by The Fraternity – he wants payback. He wants revenge.

My favourite scene has got to be when Wesley unloads a dumpster truck carrying an army of exploding rats, right outside the HQ. It was so good it plagued my mind with its awesomeness ever since watching it last night, up ’till this moment as I type out this junkyard of words. A close second is the scene where Fox kills almost the whole Fraternity by bending a bullet in a perfect circle; but I found the army of rats being unleashed to their peril more original. This scene happens in quick succession of each other. Also, the scene where Fox stands in front of the hung up pig, and had Wesley bend a bullet around her head is quite cool too. Actually, this movie does have some epic scenes, doesn’t it? I wonder how many hits of acid it took to make this story. Or perhaps it’s a true story? Either way – I likes it I’s do!

(DIE YOU VERMIN!!/Headshot! Headshot! Headshot…)

I couldn’t really be too critical with this film, because I was having too much fun enjoying the high-octane action. But there was one mistake I picked up on: the toilet cistern in Wesley’s flat is empty when he initially puts his handgun in there, but later in the film when it’s taken out, the cistern is full of water. Yes, I’m being extremely critical here, but you can’t fault a BEAR for tryin’.

My least favourite bit was that the main character, Wesley, was definitely, in BEAR’s honest opinion, outperformed by the actress who played Fox. She stole that movie for me, that Angelina Jolie looky likey. And I don’t like how Wesley didn’t have the foresight to transfer all that 3.6 million dollars into a savings account of some kind. That’s what happens when you put too much trust in The Fraternity, and then decide to take them on WITHOUT transferring your money safely – you get owned, financially, beyond the grave. Next time Wesley, let me look after it. Oh wait! There ain’t going to be a next time, is there?

Well, I think I’ve said all I wanna say about this film. I’ve most likely missed out something important, haven’t I? Perhaps I’ve left the oven on too long? Oh well – C’est la vie.

I award this film an 8/10!

(Fox: “Thank god this took only one take.”)

*I obviously knows this is really Angelina Jolie.
** Yes, this is also the real Morgan Freeman in the film. BEAR’s knot stewpad ore samting.

The House at the End of the Street – Film review (by BEAR)

In this blog entry I will be reviewing The House at the End of the Street. Have you watched it? No? Well even so, read on, and you will discover what BEAR has to say about this “Horror film”.

This film opens with Elissa and her mother moving into a new neighbourhood, getting to know the place, meeting the locals, ya’know – settling in ‘n’ that.. It seems like the picture perfect, all-american small town, until Elissa is told that the house an the end of the street has some bad history: two people living there were killed by their young daughter, brutally (note: “brutally” isn’t the daughter’s name, merely an adjective).

(Elissa, and her mother, Sarah. Elissa is much taller than Sarah, according to this picture)

Curiosity gets the better of this young teenager (played by Jennifer Lawrence) and soon enough she befriends the young lad who lives in this house, all alone. His name is Ryan. He seems kinda normal; I mean, nothing you would immediately be concerned about if you brought her over to your mothers for dinner. This is actually what happens, but the mother was the one who invited him over, as an excuse to lay the ground rules (basically “Don’t you dare be in my house or your house with no one else about, bucko!”) And of course, the two teens disobey this only rule, with Elissa making it okay by finding a lame ass loophole to it.

(Elissa, with Ryan, the loveable weirdo)

So they go to the house at the end of the street where the guy lives, and almost immediately, he kicks her out of the property. Not because she was unpleasant company or because she burped heartily at the table without saying sorry, but because the boy has spotted his “sister” dash around the corner, taking a kitchen knife with her. Now, the absent-minded viewer of this film may now be thinking, “This looks like the guy is doing a heroic deed on quite a few levels: he’s trying to protect Elissa by showing her the door, and he’s trying to hide his ‘sister’ from the world”. Wrong, sir! Very wrong. What you should be doing is questioning why his ‘sister’ is being portrayed as a psycho knife-weilding maniac. “Well, earlier, he told Elissa that she was the one who killed his parents. This adds up to the rumours of the house which Elissa had heard earlier,” you say. Wrong, sir! Wrong again. It’ll all become apparent soon, my dear child.

The insanity known as Ryan’s sis runs out of the house and into the woods, where eventually the guy catches her, covering her mouth so that the frisky couple nearby don’t hear her screams for help. I’ll spill the beans now (because BEAR can’t take this burden any longer): this is not her sister. It is someone whom he has captured and locked in his dungeon basement. Kinky. But kinky no more – he snaps her neck like a chicken, by… accident? He seems quite distraught when it happens, like he had the intention to do it, but afterwards he becomes a different person and doesn’t understand why he did it.

(The first “Sister”)

But the twist is about to come!  He enters Rene’s Corner – a small little cafe on the outskirts. In there he is mopping about on his bar stool in front of the counter, and the girl behind it happened to notice. She seems to take a shine to him, trying to snap him out of his despondency with comments like, “Your Rebel Without a Cause attitude isn’t fooling anyone,” or something like that. And she’s wearing this distinguished hoodie jumper. Take note of that, because the director will be soon insulting your intelligence in a few minutes…

Yes, the guy has a new prisoner in his dungeon, and would you believe it – it’s the girl from the cafe! The waitress! And if you’re still confused to whether or not this is that waitress from Rene’s Corner, the camera lingers on the hoodie that is found on the chair nearby. Well. I. Never. Who da funk it? And if you aren’t Sherlock Holmes (like BEAR is) then here it is: the guy is the killer!!!

So the weirdo misfit that hardly no-one likes except from the cute hot gal (makes sense, dunnit?) is the lunatic killer. Okie Dokie – we’ve established that thus far. But SHHHhh! Elissa doesn’t know this yet. Lets keep going. (I almost gave away what I thought of the film then didn’t I. Just kidding.)

Outside, on the school grounds. we find him breaking a jock’s leg by twisting it 180 degrees. Sure the jerk started on him first, and he was outnumbered, but that was some freaky manuever he just pulled off there. Bruce Lee would have been taking notes on that, for sure.

The house at the End of the Street(Ryan beating up jock guy)

So where does this whole horror film all add up towards. Can you guess? Correct – the guy tries to replace the waitress with Elissa. Whilst the guy fled the scene on foot, Elissa takes his car and drives to his house. He’s not there (what a surprise). And it gives her time to do some snooping around his haunt. She stumbles upon the floor entrance to the secret dungeon, after initially hearing a sound which turned out to be a tumble dryer spinning loudly. Then she sees it – the “sister” that is – strapped to the bed, and drugged with sedatives. And the guy find her there, and orders her away, explaining that it’s for her own good. And whilst he tends to her, Elissa is upstairs in the kitchen, and happens to look at her hand, finding a contact lenses stuck to it. Remembering what she saw in the bin earlier in the kitchen, she empties the contents of it into the sink, and finds what she’s looking for: the outer packaging of a box of contact lenses. The lenses are designed to make someone’s eyes go blue in colour. Before she left the dungeon, she looked at the peculiarity of the girl’s eyes; how one was blue, and one wasn’t. Before, she might have pasted it over as one of David Bowie’s unknown love-childs floating around the many states of the US of A, but now all the pieces fit perfectly into place (and if it didn’t, the wallet with the girl’s photo ID surely did the trick). But she’s caught red handed with the evidence by the guy, who knocks her out using the front door as she makes some whimsical excuse to leave. She’s taken away, and her mobile phone is left unnoticed by the front door.

(“Aha! That dungeon gal’s eyes didn’t match colour, did they? I think I sussed it – this cannot be a red herring,” Thinks Elissa, in her fictitious mind, which is not voiced over in the movie for some strange reason)

(“Told ya.”)

A policeman comes around, under the orders of Elissa’s mother as she’s realises that her daughter had been forwarding all the house calls to her mobile (the clever trevor). He leaves, after the guy tells him she’s not there, but then gets the feeling he should try ringing Elissa’s mobile. He does, and realises he can hear it coming from the inside of the house (it’s by the front door, as BEAR mentioned just a second ago). He inspects inside the house, but because he was too much of a dopey doughnut, gets pushed down the stairs, and then shot by the guy. Meanwhile, in the dungeon, Elissa is using the intense heat of the incandescent towerlamp to burn the ropes that tie her to a chair. She burns her arm in the process, making BEAR think, “There must of been an easier way to do that.”

(It’s behind you [the lamp!!!])

And so begins the cat and mouse finale between the both of them as Elissa can’t find a way out of the house. She’s trapped, but doing her best to stay away from him. Eventually her mum comes to the rescue, only to get stabbed. But in the face of adversity, the good prevails the bad, and Elissa finds the policeman’s gun and shoots him several times. And miraculously, he tries again to kill her, to make her his sister (because if you hadn’t of noticed by this point – he’s completely barking bonkers), but the mother runs up and plummets him in the head with a hammer, putting the final nail in the coffin for this psycho killer chap.

(Take that, psycho-boi!)

The storyline of the film is quite generic, if you ask BEAR, and full of many mistakes. The policeman would never have entered the house alone – he would have called for backup. How did the first captive we see know that the key was on the top of the door, and to barge into it, and slide a piece of card to get the key? Why? Why? WHHHYYYYY!!!??

But it’s not awful, don’t get me wrong – it ain’t that bad. It could definitely do with a bit of polishing up – because the story’s there, it’s just the execution of it wasn’t. It’s meant to be a horror movie but BEAR did not jump of fright at all. Not once! There wasn’t even a chance of it. What gives? A horror movie without the element of scare defeats the purpose of making it a horror movie. Am I missing something here? I can’t be the only one tired of rehashed, regurgitated storyline bile.

So in conclusion, BEAR found this film to be quite lacklustre, but it was mildly entertaining and had it’s moments (The leg breaker scene and the cafe “twist” were it’s noteworthy moments).

Overall, BEAR rewards The House at the End of the Street… 5/10


Wow! I think I may be swotting up some time soon, thanks to the HULK exposure.






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Magic – A film review by BEAR!!!

Magic is directed by Richard Attenbough and stars that guy who played Hannibal Lector in The Silence of the Lambs, Anthony Hopkins. That’s all I knew about this psychological horror movie before my eyes did the watching. Let’s see what BEAR’s brain thinks of this film, in the form of another meandering review.

The movie opens with Corky, a magician who bombs in front of an audience at some club. He gets stressed-the-F-out ’cause no-one pays attention to his amazing card act. They all just act like he wasn’t there. I, a BEAR, understand that the audience doesn’t have to watch you if they’re not interested – you’re meant to be entertaining to them, so the blame could be that you’re act’s a bit shit, mate. Anyway… so he flips out like one of his cards in the magic tricks he performs does (if they were looking) and goes home to his manager, Ben, who is asking lots of questions about the gig, and can tell that the guy is blatantly bullshitting him, saying it went well when it obliviously didn’t. I think Ben even uses the word “bullshit” when halting the guy’s feeble papering over the cracks, at one point.

The next time he performed there his act is a complete success! He’s being scouted in the crowd by someone who gets him to bring his act to the TV screen. And you the reader may be asking, “How’s the audience loving his card tricks all of a sudden?” Well, it’s not just card tricks he’s doing now – he’s also got a ventriloquist act going on. And the star of the show isn’t him, but Fats, the rude-but-loveable dummy, whom sits upon his lap. They ate that shit up, y’all!

(Corky and Fats. N.B Corky is on the right. I thought I should just say that because they look so eerily similar, it’s like the maker of the dummy had seen Anthony Hopkins some place before, or perhaps channelled him [through a TV screen].)

Corky is happy (obviously) to accept the deal to be performing his act in a TV studio, but runs away when he’s told he has to take a test to see if he is mentally okay before they put him live on the air. “He must be hiding something,” I think to myself when watching at this point in the movie (in fact, I’d predicted the ending by now – I’m smarter than the average bear. Take that in the beehive and smoke it, Yogi!)

“He’s the villain! never forget that!” says Fats to Ben (Manager)
“Well, Ben did play The Penguin in the old Batman TV series.” Says I, a BEAR

Where does he runway to? Another country? To squat in some abandoned hostel? To hideout at bear’s cave accommodation? No. No. No. He goes to the place where he grew up in when he was a little sprout. The first thing bear noticed was the idyllic surroundings. I mean, I’m not even there, but I sure as hell would like to go fishing there (BEAR likes tranquillity, and could tell you that there are about enough fish for me to munch on in that big lake, for me to never go hungry again. Teach a BEAR to fish with his BEAR paws, and so doe thy bear never starve – a parable from the BEARble? Ok so why would he go back to this place, apart from the fact he grew up there, and that it’s got a placidity and beauty encapsulate within it? Maybe, just maybe, it’s because his childhood-unrequited-love is still there. Her name is Peggy Ann, and they went to school together way back when. He thinks he has a chance doesn’t he? Wrong! He’s immediately cockblocked by her husband, Duke. Duke went to school with Corky as well, which adds salt to the wound/gets on his goat, etc. But he puts on the brave face and interacts with them, and entertains them a whole lot with that wooden-faced person he shoves his hand up of – Fats, the dummy.

Magic(Peggy Ann)

(Unrequited love?)

Corky just can’t hold it together by this point, and this is when his manager (Ben, AKA The Penguin in Batman, AKA Mickey, Rocky Balboa’s boxing trainer) tracks him down and finds him in his cabin. He makes a deal with him: if he could go five minutes not being Fats’ voice, then he won’t have to see a psychiatrist. He tries to, but admits to him, “I can’t make it,” when only half way through the time. His manager leaves. Then the voice of Fats comes back into play, all guns blazing. Fats convinces Corky that he has to kill Ben, or else the game is up. And like an obedient little dog Ivan Pavlov would have been ecstatic by, he does; and throws Ben’s cadaver into the lake (weighing it down with something BEAR can’t remember). Later, Peggy Ann’s lover, Duke, is in a boat with Corky, and they fish on the lake. Duke reels in something heavy, and Corky starts to panic, making excuses to head back to the cabin. Luckily, it was just a boot; but then Duke spots a body on the bank. It’s Corky’s manager, Ben. Duke gets Corky to run back and call for help, thinking that he might still be alive. Duke then goes back to Corky’s room, where Corky stabs him through the curtains (he was hiding the whole time).

I’d like to mention that I found the finding of Ben’s body on the bank an unconvincing scene, in a film which I would still rate rather higher, regardless. When Duke checks to see if Corky’s manager is still alive by checking his breathing and pulse, I can’t believe he thought that he may still be alive. All you have to do is look at the empty shell – he’s dead, Duke! Dead as the Dodo. Dead as a doorknob. Dead as…dead! I digress…

magic 1(Ben)

What could possibly happen after Ben has been killed by Corky, as well as the love obstacle to his sweetheart, Duke? Well, dur – he tries to get with her. Pretty logical when you think about it really. And at this point, she’s already made her mind up to be with Corky, which prompts him to ask her to leave the lake and live with him, some place else. The problem though is that she wants to say goodbye to Duke before going, which means she’s willing to wait around for Duke to come back from his ‘little fishing trip’. “I don’t think Duke’s gonna be coming back any time soon, dear – he dead,” BEAR snipes at the screen which moves like an unstable painting possessed by the underworld (TV?) Of course, they have to argue over this as Corky is anxious over the whole situation (well, he did throw his body in the lake, so…). She doesn’t want to see him any more, and retreats to her cabin, locking herself in her bedroom so Corky can’t get to her.

Corky, back in his own cabin, gets lectured by Fats the dummy, and this evolves into the definitive outcome that Corky must kill Peggy Ann. Fats persuades him it’s for his own good, but Corky, though a servant to Fats’ will, is fighting this voice with all the mental strength he can muster. Even so, it gets to the point where he returns to her cabin, and he is waiting outside her bedroom with a flick blade in his hand. Can you guess what’s happening here? If you haven’t noticed thus far, this film is messed up, but BEAR can’t help but be intrigued by such movies – I don’t know what it is exactly, but possibly it’s ’cause I can see that Corky is a broken soul from the get go, and so feel pity for him. Also, because I could see it all from the start, it becomes like a weird in-joke to myself. A joke with no laughter, nonetheless.

He tricks her into believing that he’s left her cabin, and she opens the door. As she does, he remains hidden behind the corner, as we see her pick up a carved wooden heart from the floor. The heart, is  a representative of his own heart. Corky is metaphorically giving her his heart, and he feels there is a victory as she has accepted his heart.

He returns back to the cabin, and tells Fats that he couldn’t kill her–because, she accepted his heart–and instead, as he is aware how distorted his reality has become and how dangerous he is, he instead has stabbed himself. The interesting thing with this scene is that Fats thinks he’s dying too. Yes, Corky has an understanding that Fats is just a voice in his head he cannot control, but at the same time, Fats has a mind of his own. It’s like Corky has compartmentalised himself to the point they are two people, but he can still see they are one and the same – both parts of him. And so they wonder to each other who will slip away first, and the film ends there.

This film is an insightful look on the fragility of the human mind. How one person, because things don’t go their way, may react in varying degrees of aggressive behaviour, as exemplified in the first open mic scene in Magic, and with the killings of Corky’s manager, and Duke. All Corky really wants is to be accepted, to be loved, and he tries to achieve this by trying to entertain… because he knows if he shows his true self–the insanity behind the mask of the dummy–no-one would want to stay around. In a way, we are all like Corky: insecure, human. Yes, he’s a psycho, granted, but he essentially needs what everyone else wants: love, and acceptance. I’m over simplifying things here, but it’s apparent to me that Corky represents a broken individual so fixated on fame and adoration, that he doesn’t realises he’s on a downward spiral until it’s too late. I’m not saying his desperation for fame gave him his illness, he already had it – his pursuit for fame just exacerbated it and magnified it x1000. Corky’s self-defeating attitude towards rejection (or perceived rejection) from others is the unravelling of his illness .

In conclusion, Magic is a film I would definitely watch again, for it has moments of brilliance in it, and a gripping, engaging story to boot (even though BEAR sussed the end twist fairly early on. No, I’m not bragging, just stating the mere fact).

I reward Magic 8/10