The Roommate – Bear Film Review

Hey you xxx. How have I been? Swell hun thanks. You always know how to brighten up my blog days. And Xmas is coming! Guess what I got you – an early Christmas present! I know, I shouldn’t have.

So here’s the review…

I can think of many great films I’ve seen over the years that were slow builders in suspense and kept you guessing throughout.

The Roommate was not one of them.

Sure it kept me guessing, but for all the wrong reasons. I want to know what was going through the director’s head when he saw the first 30 minutes of this steaming pile of TV movie yawn-fest, because NOTHING happens until we get to this part. All we know is that we have a female lead character, moving into a university, she has two friends, a love interest, and a roommate. That is all. 30 minutes never to get back in my life. Thanks.

The rest of the film is about how this leading protagonist is completely oblivious to her roommates psychotic behaviour. This roommate of hers is a pretty blonde girl who seems to admire her somewhat, a bit too much. She is the jealous type who rips belly piercings out from your friends when they’re in the shower, invites you to her parents house without letting them know, introduces you to old friends who were never really friends, who stabs your ex boyfriend with a stanley knife just to keep him from bugging you (that O’ chestnut!), and gets a tattoo of your name in the same spot on her body where you got a tattoo in memory of your dead sister… and tells you that we can be sisters?!? Don’t believe me – watch the film, at your peril (cos it is shit). But yes, she is indeed more barmier that  your nan on acid dancing to Glenn Miller.

I was a bit offended by the film in the end actually. It’s a bland piece of cake to swallow granted, but what rubbed me the wrong way the most was that they end up killing her. She needed help, not a stanley in the back! And the main girl in this film is a constant idiot for not telling her roommate to take her anti-psychotic pills. The mother told her about it and she STILL didn’t do anything about it, deciding to turn a blind eye. Okay, I’m aware that she nearly kills you in the end, but surely you and your new love interest – who also knows she is either schizophrenic or bi-polar (as her medication bottle says) – could have restrained her. It was two against one, and one of you was a jock!

In Conclusion

Dull as dishwater! If you like that, you’re in for a treat.

Sadly, I am not a fan of dishwater, and never have been. I guess there was one time when I washed this mug after accidentally leaving on the windowsill of a week… that was interesting to clean, and dare I say more enjoyable that having to endure this film, The Roommate. (Eureka!). I mean, even the title is void of imagination, and I’m beginning to think it is my own fault for even choosing to watch it. Damn this irrational brainbox of mine.

I’ll stop there because I think I’ve sold it enough for you.

Have fun. x

Babel – Bear Film Review

Catch up…

It rained all day today, would you believe it? If you live in England, this would most probably be a yes!, even when not considering the region. So instead of being bored, I picked a random film to watch on Netflix. I can’t remember what I typed into the search thingymabob, but lo and behold, it turned out to be this film – Babel. And all I knew about it was that Brad Pitt was gunna be in it (the cover gives these things away you see!). So let’s see what I thought of this puzzle of a film, shall we?

I will try and simplify the storyline for you, the beloved reader (rate and comment please-with-a-cherry-on-top [or not]) as I care for you; and though I may never meet you in this lifetime, I am bonded to you in spirit, through the ether, the universe, the common English language I have hijacked for the abomination of what we shall call my way of communicating on an inter[net]galactic level. Trippin’ on ma ballz, y’all!

We Begin (The Actual Film Review!!)

Where was I…

Okay! Babel revolves around an American family whom have been split apart – the kids are in the care with a Mexican friend of their parents, whilst they themselves are on vacation in the barren looking lands of Morocco (that’s how the scenery looked to me anyway). The story in a nutshell, if I be so bold to mention it this way, is geared towards the male’s point of view. Brad Pitt is a Hollywood movie star, and the only actor in the film I recognise, so it’s a safe bet to say that the story’s overall moral revolves around him. That said, I shall now explain: it’s a film telling you to make it the paramount priority that the welfare and protection of your wife and kids are the most important thing in the own entire world.

Or to water it down even more so: you don’t keep an eye on yer kidz, they will fuckerty-up zee workz, and there liveZ!

Now, if you have seen this film and disagree with my opinion of what it is as a whole trying to encapsulate, then I beg of you to leave a comment explaining why, as I am interested in what you have to say. Hand on heart, I really am. To everyone else: trust me – I’m right. I will elaborate now as to why this fact is so.

Locations

The film takes place in four countries:

  1. Morocco
  2. Japan
  3. America
  4. Mexico

The main location, by far, is Morocco. That’s where the majority of the action takes place. The scenes in Tokyo seemed kinda disjointed from the rest of the movie’s obvious puzzle piece, and it only came apparent as to how those scenes were connected to the bigger picture of this story as the film neared its close. Make no mistake, this film requires patience from the viewer as it isn’t a Michael Bay movie – it has a subtle tension running all the way through it, and though it seems like not much has really happened, if you were to reflect on it afterwards (like I have), you’ll realise how understated and underplayed all the pieces were, and what an excellent job the director did in doing this. The story’s subplot of America travels into Mexico, and back to America, as these scenes involved the two children left in the care of someone, who then passed them onto a Mexican friend to look after, and from there it all goes tits up.

The Smoking Gun

The key scene in the whole entire film, in my humble opinion, was the one where the two Moroccan boys were playing around with the sniper rifle their father had just purchased from a man who came to their home and told them that it can shoot from 3 km away accurately. Of course, they wanted to see if this was true, and the younger of the two boys (he had a far better aim than the other) shot at a bus, down below on the road as they stood high up on the cliff edge. As soon as they both saw the bus come to a slow stop, they ran.

Fast forward in the film, and we discover that it was Brad Pitt’s wife in the film, whom had been shot. They find out pretty quickly that the hospital was 4 hours travel away, and having blood leak through the skin of your shoulder at this time, going that far to get urgent medical treatment seemed counter-productive. Instead, the tour guide told them that there is a doctor in his home village, and that this wasn’t too far away from where they currently were. Brad Pitt tells everyone – we’re going to the village!

To cut a long story short (SPOILER ALERT!!!) – she makes it out alive. But it was a fight all the way for them to even get help. For starters, some of the people on the tour bus were scared for their lives, thinking they might get killed if they stayed there because of what happened earlier. Eventually, they can’t wait any longer for the ambulance to arrive, and the bus leaves without them. And so Brad Pitt’s character rings up the American Embassy, and it takes them a long time to get an Air Ambulance (helicopter) over to their aid in Morocco. The excuse is “Because of Political difficulties”, or something along those lines.

BUT THE MAIN QUESTION REMAINS: WHERE DID THE GUN ORIGINALLY COME FROM????????????????

So I’ve mentioned that the sniper rifle was given to a Moroccan man in his home, after another man walks over to trade it to him for some money (and a goat! Because they’re goat herders, they can afford to use that for currency). And from there, the man’s children got up to mischief and stupidly, almost murder someone. But who owned the gun before all of this?

The answer lies in a photograph. After the American woman was shot, the local police went around the area to try and find the shooter. They first, go to the location of the incident, and find bullets on the ground. From this, they know instantly someone who owns this type of gun. But when they get to him (beat him up a little as well), he tells him he sold it yesterday, and that he couldn’t have shot anyone. At this point, he tells them who now has it, and he also shows the police where he obtained it from. His wife presents a photo of her husband, and a Japanese man. He was his hunter guide whilst in Morocco, but now is back in Tokyo. This Japanese man is the guy who gave him the gun!

Tokyo

In Tokyo, we follow around a schoolgirl who plays in a volleyball team. In the locker room, another girl mocks her for getting their team disqualified with her outbursts towards the referee, by saying she’s so angry all the time because she’s never been “fucked”. This results in her trying to grab guy’s attentions by wearing no underwear flashing her undercarriage at them when sat at the table with her deaf friends outside of school. Oh, did I forget to mention that she’s deaf? I SAID: DID I FORGET– okay sorry, that was simply bad taste…

The reason for her mood swings however have more to do with her personal family life. It comes to light that her mother had recently committed suicide, and so this most likely prompted the descend into promiscuity (though she never gets anywhere with the boys – they get embarrassed by her deaf-muteness), and her dabbling with drugs. The latter, again, is fuelled by showing to her peers, and possibly to herself, that she can get a guy her age to get with her.

Alas this doesn’t happen. Instead, she tries is on with her dentist, who kicks her out immediately. Then, after a drug and booze binge, she get’s the porter to call the police detective to come to her apartment. This was because the detective had previously wanted to talk to her about the circumstances surrounding her mother’s suicide, as the girl was the only one stated to be present to see her death.

The girl communicates with the detective by writing on her notepad, and ripping out the page, handing it over to him. She tells him that her mother threw herself off the balcony ledge, and that is how she ended her life. Leaving the room, the detective is left to ponder over the statements he’d been given, only to then be greeted by the naked presence of the girl, who tries to seduce him. He almost, it would seem, gives into temptation, but thankful comes to his senses and tells her to stop. She bursts into tears, hides her eyes into his shoulder, and luckily he is understanding. What he hasn’t understood is what the girl is really telling him, but without telling him: her dad sexually abuses her. This is why she only makes sexual contact with two adult males in the film, and only exposes her private parts to boys her age, from a safe distance, in the movie. Her father’s abuse has affected her.

Before the detective leaves, he is given one more note by the girl. Actually, this note is more of a letter, and we see this for ourselves when he reads it later, in the bar, alone. He has a look of disbelief on his face, but he doesn’t outright say what I believe is written: that the girl is confessing what really happened – her mother couldn’t take the guilt of knowing what her husband was doing to her daughter, and so was drove to suicide… or perhaps it wasn’t suicide, and the father through her over the ledge?

But before he reads the letter in the bar, the detective passes the girl’s father in the downstairs lobby area. He asks him about the rifle, having seen the same picture that the Moroccan police were shown earlier of a Japanese man (i.e. him) and the villager. It wasn’t stated if the detective had been shown the photograph before seeing it in the  apartment building when talking to the girl, but what we do know is that he has been given enough information for him to question him on his rifle. The brief conversation ended with the father agreeing to come down to the police station for further questioning.

The detective also gives his deepest condolences for the death of his wife, saying that he’d just spoken to his daughter and she’d told him how she’d throw herself off the ledge. The father states that this is untrue, and that his wife had shot herself in the head, and that he’d been to the police station to tell them that several times.

So who do we believe? The daughter or the father? If we believe the daughter, then what is the father trying to hide? That he killed her? If we believe the father, does that mean that the daughter has become mentally disturbed – enough to make false statements about her own mother’s suicide? The answer lies on the detective’s letter. And I believe, given the information the film has given me, that if I were to bet my house on it I reckon the father killed the wife and abused her daughter. Sick, I know, but that’s what the story eludes to, even though the ending is left ambiguous, which I felt was unnecessary, and was a bit of a cop out. (FYI the reality is, I’m not that stupid – I’m being hypothetical when I say I would bet my house on it, let alone remortgage it just to titillate your fantasies. #%£~#Freak! My name isn’t John Cassavetes! I must state this because I can’t tell if you, the reader, are dumb or not. If you are, or perhaps you think you aren’t dumb, please leave a comment… because I love you xxx.)

In Conclusion

I think I’ll leave it there for now. I could talk about this film a lot more as I found it a surprisingly thought-provoking movie. I know I’ve only really talked about one location of the film’s plot in detail, so if you liked this post and would like me to e-x-p-a-n-d this review into another blog post, I will be your humble servant.

If not – fuck you! (P.S. I love you.)

 

Lost In Translation (Bear Film Review)

Recently, I watched Lost In Translation, a little doozy of a film which isn’t usually the type of thing I would stick on my goggle-box on a Friday evening, but thought ‘What the hey – it’s been on my radar for a while now (radar being Netflix) so why not watch it. ‘It can’t be that bad’, I tempted myself further – it’s got Bill Murray on the logo. ‘Give it a go…’

And so I did.

It opens with a shot of the back of some girl named Charlotte (Scarlett Johansson), lying on her side on a hotel bed, her crack on show translucently seen through her bland shapeless lady briefs. I initially found this a mundane, albeit, a mildly titillating opening, but as the film progressed it was clear that this was to set the mood for the duration of my viewing.

The key component to this lonesome, offbeat love story (which I classify as that, even though the ending left the viewer with a ‘did they/didn’t they’ situation) is the amazing atmosphere that permeates throughout. This film connects with the viewer what the two main characters are feeling – loneliness – without uttering to the audience one word of it. The way the girl and the much older guy, a has-been actor scraping ad commercials in Japan, connect on such a profound level really resonated with me: I felt their sorrow, I noticed how both of them must have felt inside when dealing with their bored, listless marriages. This film is the best example in recent years of how you don’t need to let the characters speak or do all that much in order for the audience to get what they’re going through.

Millions of people have been in a foreign country and have experienced how everyone speaks a language they cannot understand, and for that they are literally lost in translation. Because of this disconnect from the city of Tokyo around them, they form an unspoken bond – a translation of their yearning to feel noticed; and in their own lives, they don’t get that: the girl’s husband is a music photographer and is too caught up in that world to take notice of her, and the older guy’s wife only interact with him over the phone to ask him basic things, mentioning the kids, and asking when he’ll be back. The way the older guy’s wife talks to him however is done in such a moody way, a loveless way. No wonder he’s taking jobs half way across the world – he’s stuck in a loveless marriage.

So how do these two people, who would never have spoken to each other under other circumstances come to form a romance/close friendship?

Well, it all began with the girl asking the waitress to pass over a bowl of nuts to the older man at the bar, and from there they hit it off. He found out that she is a rather intelligent person, studying philosophy, and getting paid per bono and later finds out other stuff such as that she listens to an audiobook regarding finding your own soul’s passion in life. Later, he tackles this head on (as she denied, in a way, that this was her tape) and asked her what she wants to do with her life. It’s here we, the viewer, realise she is stuck in the shadow of her lover. She’s only in Tokyo to follow around her husband and his pursuit in his dreams, and it seems to have had an impact on the directionlessness(nessness…) of her own dreams. I mean, she’s tried things such as Photography, and gave writing ago but said she didn’t like what came out when she did, so it’s pretty evident that she’s a lost soul. Bob tells her that she’ll land on her feet, and that she shouldn’t give up on the writing (which I saw as a subtext to the director’s own personal experience, as I believe some of the film was in relation to her past encounter with someone in a foreign city. Don’t quote me on that, unless you want to look potentially stupid, which you’re not – I love you).

Bob on the other hand has become this blasé, almost jaded ghost of his former self. He’s stuck not only in his loveless relationship, but also in his dwindling actor career. He’s embarrassed whenever someone actually notices who he is, and hates the production of the whisky drinking advert he had to do. I found this very funny to watch, and loved how they made him play Roger Moore as opposed to Sean Connery, whom he thought was better. Charlotte brought out of Bob this realisation that perhaps it’s okay to feel upbeat once in a while. (Saying that, I did get a kick out of the despond faces Bill Murray had throughout this film. Priceless.)

She brought out his youthful side as they interacted in bars and a karaoke booth that overlooked the city. This scene (in the booth) was a key scene to the movie for me as it showed that, though both obviously drunk, there was real affection between them, plus that Bob is a real gentleman afterwards when he carried her back to her hotel room and tucked her in bed).

More signs that Bob had fallen in love with Charlotte included him suddenly extending his trip so that he can go do a chat show (which he ended up hating). Yet things take a backslide when he wakes up with the red haired jazz singer from the hotel bar, and Charlotte knocks on the door to hear that he has ‘company’. When they go for lunch later that day, it’s apparent that Charlotte is jealous, and Bob reacts like a sulky kid. Both are hurt by what had happened, and both vehemently regret it.

The film ends with Bob saying goodbye to Charlotte in the hotel lobby, and it all seems a bit anti-climatic. The Japanese greeters are there to distract him with photo poses and their barrage of bye byes, and Charlotte resides herself with going back to the lift, and looking dejectedly up to the sky.

Bob gets in the taxi. It’s all over. But wait – he spots the back of in her the busy city crowd. Her body’s figure so distinct to him as it was to us (the viewer) in the first scene of the movie. Bob gets out of the taxi. Runs up to her and calls out her name. Hugs her. Kisses her…

But we do NOT hear what he whispers into her ear. Damn it! What did he say? And alas the movie is over.

It’s a wonderful display of unspoken bonds in unfamiliar land. A movie that really captures the feelings of loneliness and isolation, even in a place so densely packed as Tokyo, Japan. Like I said as I started off this review: I wasn’t expecting to like this film so much as I did. Sure, it’s a slow burner, but it sure packs an emotional punch by the end.

I blubbed a bit. No shame there.

9/10

The Motorcycle Diaries – Film Review

Ever wondered what it would be like to follow around a young Che Guevara around on his motorcycle travels around the whole of South America in the 50s, accompanied by his older mate, trying to hook up with da ladies and blag their way through the day, but by the end of it, watch as the epiphany opens like a flower and blossoms into his life his ultimate calling, the meaning of his existence and what he later dedicates his life to?

Yeah – me neither. (Note to self: stop being facetious!) BUT still, I watched it, and I thought it was pretty darn good. To be more accurate: this film had me from the get go – I loved this film! Because behind the unsophisticated behaviours of these two rather intellectual young men (they were medical students), there was something rather sweet about the way they went about their journeys. For example, they piled their motorbike full of their travelling gear, and drove it off road many a time: into ditches, into pools of water. You name it – they fell into it. I’m amazed it didn’t break down more than it did in the film (maybe it did in the book), because if I’m being frank, it looked like a croak of shit, even for back then. Regardless of the travesty they rode on, they were free to explore the great world around them. Freedom.

After visiting the girl Che wants to wait for him after his travelling exhibition, he goes from country to country with his long time friend, dancing, drinking, and trying it on with the guys. In particular, they wanted to come across sisters, and fantasized about the prospect of getting with them (and when the chance did come around, all they did was con them into giving then lots of food, drink, and shelter for the night). They were two conmen for the most part of the film – just take, take, taking from every gulible fool they encountered. They tricked people into thinking they were real professional doctors, and tried plenty of times to get free stuff from pulling that card out. At one point, they tricked a mechanic into fixing their car by showing them a fake news article of how respected they are in their profession.

But Che is the kind of guy who cannot tell a lie, and so left it to his friend to do the large portion of it. But when he did attempt the blagging, it was as if he physically couldn’t do it, and so told truths to people such as, “Your book is really badly written: full of cliché after clichés. Stick to the doctoring.” and, “It looks like a tumour.” The latter, they were trying to get a free night’s kip; the former was where the guy who let them stay at his place had asked him what he thought of his only novel, and so told him the truth. The man respected Che incredibly for this, having never had honest feedback before. And this pattern of honesty was soon to cross over into another avenue of his persona.

When Che and his friend had been through a lot of personal highs throughout their travelling, Che reached a point where he was searching for the real meaning of his trip (this seed was planted by a couple of strangers they sat by a camp fire one night). He saw the pain and poverty of the miners in Chile, and how they were being exploited to work really hard to the point they were starving (Che in fact shouted at the driver of the worker’s truck “Can’t you see these people are thirsty!?”). And the final nail in the coffin came when he came across an island where all the people being “treated” with leprosy were held, as a sort of quarantine from the world. As he was on the water, crossing over to the island by boat, he and his friend were told to put on gloves. Che questioned the validity of such a demand, and then found out that the people with leprosy weren’t contagious by touch, and it was only because the nuns on the island wanted so. Che hated this symbol of separation, of a hierarchy of clean and dirty, and so went onto the island wearing no gloves and immediately shook the hands of the lepers who were in close proximity to him. To tell you the truth, this was one of the few times in the film that I started welling up on (I don’t know why… maybe because I’m a big o’ wetty!). And on the last night there, whilst the “clean” people were on one island and the “dirty” lepers were on the other, Che decided to swim across the dangerous waters and join the lepers on his final night. They all cheered him on, and even though he was struggling due to having really bad lungs (that has caused him to need adrenaline shots before then), he bridged the gap, nonetheless. Thinking back now, the “clean” people were discouraging to do the swim, telling him he won’t make it, how he will drown and that no-one had been known to make the swim across; whereas the “dirty” people were backing him all the way, booming their support over to him as he battled his way over to them. If ever there was the perfect example of the coin of phrase ‘actions speak louder than words,’ this is it!

Oh, and come to think of it – those nuns must have hated this scallywag because he’d broken the illusion of the lepers being untouchable. Just by reaching out to them, he treated them with compassion, with real soul and humanity.

Ultimately, this film is about the self discovery of one individual’s goal in life, and how the world he saw around him – the pain, the injustice – shaped him to become the man he later became.

I laughed, I [nearly] cried, I thoroughly enjoyed this odyssey of a film and would recommend it to anyone who wants to see a good “coming of age” movie.

I give The Motorcycle Diaries:

10/10


The following I’ve just added for my own reference (copied and pasted off of Wikipedia):

Intellectual and literary interests

22-year-old Guevara in 1951

Guevara learned chess from his father and began participating in local tournaments by age 12. During adolescence and throughout his life he was passionate about poetry, especially that of Pablo Neruda, John Keats, Antonio Machado, Federico García Lorca, Gabriela Mistral, César Vallejo, and Walt Whitman.[30] He could also recite Rudyard Kipling‘s “If—” and José Hernández‘s Martín Fierro from memory.[30] The Guevara home contained more than 3,000 books, which allowed Guevara to be an enthusiastic and eclectic reader, with interests including Karl Marx, William Faulkner, André Gide, Emilio Salgari and Jules Verne.[31] Additionally, he enjoyed the works of Jawaharlal Nehru, Franz Kafka, Albert Camus, Vladimir Lenin, and Jean-Paul Sartre; as well as Anatole France, Friedrich Engels, H. G. Wells, and Robert Frost.[32]

As he grew older, he developed an interest in the Latin American writers Horacio Quiroga, Ciro Alegría, Jorge Icaza, Rubén Darío, and Miguel Asturias.[32] Many of these authors’ ideas he cataloged in his own handwritten notebooks of concepts, definitions, and philosophies of influential intellectuals. These included composing analytical sketches of Buddha and Aristotle, along with examining Bertrand Russell on love and patriotism, Jack London on society, and Nietzsche on the idea of death.Sigmund Freud‘s ideas fascinated him as he quoted him on a variety of topics from dreams and libido to narcissism and theOedipus complex.[32] His favorite subjects in school included philosophy, mathematics, engineering, political science, sociology, history and archaeology.[33][34]

Years later, a February 13, 1958, declassified CIA ‘biographical and personality report’ would make note of Guevara’s wide range of academic interests and intellect, describing him as “quite well read” while adding that “Che is fairly intellectual for a Latino.”

(source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Che_Guevara)

The Funeral – Film Review

May I simply state firstly how amazing the cast was in this Abel Ferrera Film. Not only do we have Christopher Walken in it (AKA the guy in every other film), but there’s also cats like Benicio Del Toro (saw him recently in Inherent Vice), Chris Penn (loved him in Reservoir Dogs!), Isabella Rossellini, who I thought was fantastic in Blue Velvet, and the crème de la crème – Vincent Gallo was in it, who is one of my favourite actors (I know, I’m ostentatious, but who cares?).

Let’s just crack on with the review shall we?

Johnny (Vincent Gallo) has been murdered by a mystery person. His brother’s initially think that it is the doing of the leader of their main rival gang, Gaspare (Benicio Del Toro), but then find out it is some other punk who did it, and beat him to a pulp to get him to cough up his reasons for doing so. He explains to the brother’s, Ray and Chez (Christopher Walken & Chris Penn), how he only shot him because Johnny had raped his girlfriend. They bought his confession – Johnny had a reputation with the ladies, as Chez knows (he’d recently brought home Gaspare’s wife to fornicate with) – but when Ray, the eldest brother, takes the killer to an undisclosed bit of barren land, the truth is spilled and he tells Ray that Johnny never did rape his girlfriend. Before all this came about, Ray’s wife got Ray to promise that he wouldn’t avenge the murder of his brother. But the moment was too much for him (I imagine, on the inside) and Ray fires bullets into the son-of-a-gun, sending him straight where he sent Johnny.You’d think the worst was over by then when watching this film, but then we’re brought back to the present day (the movie bounces back and forth like a yo-yo, but it’s easy to establish where we are in that moment; and boy o’ boy – this is what the whole movie has been building up towards). Devastated by his brother’s death, Chez cannot live a life without him, and with the irrationality of his uncontrollable emotions over possessing him in a moment of sheer madness, he starts to kill all the men in the house who had come to the wake, and then finally, he shoots himself in the head, holding the opening to his mouth.


Benicio is such a G!

 
…And Gallo is dead good in this film too.

You’d think the worst was over by then when watching this film, but then we’re brought back to the present day (the movie bounces back and forth like a yo-yo, but it’s easy to establish where we are in that moment; and boy o’ boy – this is what the whole movie has been building up towards). Devastated by his brother’s death, Chez cannot live a life without him, and with the irrationality of his uncontrollable emotions over possessing him in a moment of sheer madness, he starts to kill all the men in the house who had come to the wake, and then finally, he shoots himself in the head, holding the opening to his mouth.


The film goes out with a bang

This film really doesn’t get the praise it deserves. There’s a real depth to all the characters in this movie: the young, hopeful brother, Johnny, whom has a chance to escape the roots of his mobster background, having been blessed with a high intellect; Chez, the brother who has a short fuse and actually did rape someone (well, I would classify it as rape, given the way he negotiated with her. You have to see it to understand where I’m coming from). There is so much going on in what could be described as a simple story of revenge, but the bitterness of the ending only adds to the creative punch. There’s something special happening when a movie is flipped unexpectedly on it’s shell in the blink of an eye – to me that is movie making in it’s highest form: the ability to surprise your audience.

I love the raw intensity of this movie. I thought the styling of this 1930s based gangster film was genuine – I felt like I was there, amidst it all. And this film is definitely one that I want to revisit – there’s a philosophy behind this movie that I have grasped to some degree, but not enough for me to confidently put down into this review (perhaps at a later date?)


They didn’t call the film ‘The Funeral’ for nothing.

Anyway, this is a solid film, and one that I feel is definitely a buried gem, trapped in a sea of bullshit films. I can’t recommend this enough – watch it, ya fools!!

I give The Funeral:

9/10

Kes – Film Review

Wowee! Never has a film totally swung my opinion of it from one extreme to another like this one. At first, I thought this film was a depressing clump of autobiographical drool, a way of showing how people a few decades ago in the lower working classes have no chance in hell of amounting to anything other than what their environment presented towards them. Just look at how that job advisor gave Billy – the young boy we follow throughout this film – only two options: manual work or office work. And it’s obvious this kid doesn’t want to do any of these things, especially to work down the mine shaft (he explodes in adolescent anxieties when this is ever mentioned).

Thankfully though, there is a small glint of a light beacon in Billy’s life to escape the downtrodden life paved already for him – his pet Kestrel, which he gives the name ‘Kes’. He looks after this bird, feeding it raw meat and training it to come back to him from gradually increasing distances. There’s a bond on that screen between them, and I found this really endearing and, if I’m being frank, it warmed the cockles of my heart, as I’m sure (if you’re anything like me), you have fond memories of escapism still lurking of your childhood in the rivers of your mind. But alas, Billy has many, many life struggles he has to deal with on a regular basis: he has to share a bed with his older, mean brother, and his father left them at an earlier age, leaving his mother angry and bitter. School isn’t any much better either: he gets picked on by some of the other kids, and gets into fisticuffs with a few. And the teachers aren’t caring towards him, most of all his PE teacher, whom after losing in a football match against the kids, trapped Billy in the showers and turned the water stone cold. In fact, Billy is surrounded by cold, cold, cold, and even though he’s so young (though his face looks like he’s never had a single good night’s sleep in his life) he’s wise enough to understand the sad situation he has been born into.

There is one teacher who takes an interest in Billy’s past time of kestrel training, after hearing Billy stand before his class and give a presentation on what he does. Everybody’s ears are listening intently to what Billy has to say; and even though he is perceived as a wrong un by most, the passion that comes through when he talk about  Kes is so genuine, so beautiful, that you forget all that. And looking from the outside, looking in, I can see that Billy is just a misunderstood kid to some degree, and prejudice has shrouded his life in a bad reputation. But on the flip side, he doesn’t help himself by stealing newpapers, milk bottles, and by stealing a book on Kestrels from a shop (after being told how he can’t take a book out of the library as he is too young to without someone 21 years of age to sign for him).

But to some extent, the fact Billy can’t use the library freely, and that nobody is there to encourage him to pursue his ambitions, or to give him self-belief and direction, tells me [based on the film] that society limits our desire, but breeds our miseries, depending on the environment we come from. It’s restrictive to free spirits, and Billy is an example of someone who is almost ashamed to tell the world that he wants to not work as a typical manual worker or office worker, but follow his desire and his love of kestrel training. He never does say this though, but it’s so god damn obvious to the viewer that he never has to.

And this is what changed my mind about Kes the film as I thought about more and more, as I lay in bed, thinking about what I’d just watched hours earlier. I’ll admit right now that I’d been a bit tired after having a long day doing nothing, so was drifting in and out of a state of half sleep as I watched the first 20 minutes of the film, but after that it really broke the spell and gained my complete attention. The realism of this story is what shocked me, and the whole film makes profound sense by the very last scene, where Billy finds his Kes had been killed by his older brother out of spite. He brings the Kestrel’s corpse into the house (finding it in the garbage bin), and swings it’s lifeless, limp body around the room, showing his brother and mother the damage done. The damage being his shattered dreams, and how his pessimistic background, environments, and the structured expectancy of society has closed Billy up like a clam who is unable to show the world the pearl he holds inside; and now that pearl, that glimmer of hope, has been eradicated by those closest to him.

At first, I just thought that this was a reflection on the director’s own pessimistic outlook, but then I did a teeny-weeny bit of research and found that the story had been adapted from a novel. Okay, so it’s possible for two people to share the same ideology, but then I found my father (he was watching the film with me) saying how this was exactly how his childhood was. And then it hit me, after putting together all the snippets of stories he’d told me of his own youth throughout the years, how he wasn’t lying. And if I take it a step further, I can see the correlations of this story in my own life, in my own generation of a lower class society, and how this effects the way we all approach life on a mental level. The old saying ‘crabs in a bucket’ comes in to play here – how nobody in your class necessarily want to see you climb out of the circumstances you’ve inherited, and this film demonstrates three levels of that: the class of family, the school class, and the work class. And everybody I know has a hobby/a ‘Kes’ they use to vacate their minds from the stresses of life, and how we all need a rope of hope to keep our positivity alive for greater things. I’m not saying hope is an illusion, no way – hope is a necessity, because without it, you’re doomed to the gloom around you. Yet it all just depends what lenses you view life through, because it’s all out there – a spectrum of good and evil –  and it’s all a matter of perception, how you see things. In a strange way, this film Kes is a rather hopeful story, even though on the surface it’s depressing as shit, because it can be used as the perfect allegory of how you should never let anyone tell you what you should and shouldn’t do with your life (or at least bow down to it). You’ve got to fight for what you want, and that mostly happens on a mental level, whereby you have to tough it out and proclaim to those around you, and the world, that this is who I am, and this is what I want to be and how I want to spend my life. Because after all, this is your life we are talking about here.

Part of me wants to watch his again, just in case I missed something. But I feel it’s save enough for me to reward this film what I’m about to award it, seeing as it transcends the experience of most films for me (it’s always a good sign when a film gets you thinking about it, long after you’ve watched it – all my favourite films do that to me).

I give this film (for the meantime): 9/10

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

BEAR Reviews… Badlands

Badlands sees Kit, a young man in the outback of America, in a relationship with Holly, a girl whom looks up to him as some kind of cool, James Dean character. The narrator of the film is done by Holly, who has this sweet, naive perspective of someone delusional enough to stay with a mad psycho killer, all the way through the odyssey of slaughter this film becomes. I mean, the moment Kit shoots Holly’s dad in her own home, you would have thought she’d of snapped out of her romantic fantasy of ‘happy-ever-afters’ but she doesn’t – instead she justifies his actions in her narration to us.

They burn Holly’s house down to the ground, with her dad’s cadaver still inside, then embark on their bloody adventure. I say bloody, not because this o’ BEAR is mildly annoyed in the confines of his/her cave, but because from the moment Kit killed Holly’s father, they were on the run, and it becomes apparent that Kit is out of control. Even when just the sniff of danger enters his madcap mind, he loses it and just blasts everyone and anyone away, every time! BEAR did find it amusing how the vinyl Kit recorded a message on–intended for the cops to think he and Holly were dead–got consumed by the house fire as well. Oops. 

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(yes, Martin Sheen (KIT) is a firestarter!

The most iconic moment in the whole movie has to be the moment Holly ponders and questions her own life. She wonders what would have happened if Kit didn’t kill her dad (among other things) and how it suddenly hit her how life is short. BEAR loves her musings in this scene so much, he has included it here (see below). BEAR is nice, isn’t he/she/it/Ro0aAAR!?!!:

What’s so beautiful about this scene is that it simply makes you… feel. It amazed me when I first saw that scene – the simple introspection it induces within you, the sincerity of it… that’s a hard thing to do in cinema; and director/writer, Terrence Malick, achieved here what many people have spent a lifetime doing, but failing to do, in this particular scene, BEAR thinks.

Eventually, the game is up for Kit and the police finally capture him. But Kit doesn’t seem to bothered by this, and instead of becoming defeated, he revels in it. The police lap it up as well: they enjoy it when Kit throws them all the possessions in his pockets, and can’t stop asking him questions. It’s almost like Kit thinks he’s become a celebrity of sorts (well, he did go by the name ‘James’ when on the run – a reference to James Dean. Also, he’s been in all the newspapers, so perhaps he has a point. And the officer who arrested him says when they capture him:

Deputy: You like people?
Kit: They’re OK.
Deputy: Then why’d you do it?
Kit: I don’t know. I always wanted to be a criminal, I guess. Just not this big a one. Takes all kinds, though.
Deputy: [to Sheriff] You know who that son-of-a-bitch looks like? You know, don’t you?
Sheriff: No.
Deputy: I’ll kiss your ass if he don’t look like James Dean.

BEAR loves the world these two main character’s adventure on throughout this film. The brutality of Kit and the cute innocence of Holly is a dichotomy of complexity, a strange and fascinating viewing experience.

This is a bloody great film. 9/10