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

Fargo – Season 1, Episode 8 (Review)

Molly – hospital. Lester – back to work. Lorne – Fargo. That’s where we left off from the last episode. This is what happened in the following…

Have you watched eppy 8 yet? No? Well, park your tush down, push that remote control button, and watch that shit. Then come back here, with popcorn, for the real entertainment. Okay, well, I’ll try my hardest to review this anyways. I promise…

A quick recovery later, and Molly is back in the police station, ready for work. She presents the Sheriff her giant board diagram, showing how Lester is indeed the killer, but he’s not interested. The Sheriff instead gets annoyed and frustrated with her, telling her to just let it go and move on as the case had been wrapped up, with Lester’s brother being convicted of the murders. To me this felt like a subtextual (is that a word?) way of saying, ‘It doesn’t matter if we got the man or not, as long as someone fits the bill.’ Subtle hints of corruption there from the Sheriff, methinks. And to top it off, he mentions to her, after the rant, that they’ve brought in a cake for her, to celebrate the return of her. I really feel for Molly, because she seems to be the only one who is doing what an honest cop should be doing: fighting for justice. Granted, she is maybe a little bit obsessed with it, but I respect that kind of determination. It’s just like it said on Lester’s poster in his basement: “What if you’re right, and they’re wrong?”

Outside of the hospital room where Mr Wretch is bed bound, an officer guards the door. He makes his way to the bogs to take a wizz, but doesn’t actually make it out alive. Why? Because from the cubicle behind him, Lorne appears, with a leather choking device: he slings it over the officer’s neck, leans forward, waits until he finishes his dance of death, then drops him on the floor. I must add that in reality, this would obviously never happen because all the guy would have to do to escape the choke-hold would be to shift his body weight to one size, and he would simply roll off of Lorne’s back. Saying that, Lorne would still have finished him off in the toilets (not in that way, you perv!) as he is one heck of a mofo psychopath.

Lorne, carrying his man bag (okay, that was a tad dark. Soz…)

Back in Mr Wretch’s hospital room, we find Lorne by his bedside. He tells Wretchy that it was him who killed his partner, Mr Numbers (remember – he slit his throat in the snow). Mr Wretch has an angry fit of rage, but can’t reach Lorne as he’s been handcuffed to the metal bed railings. He is told by Lorne how lucky he is to be alive. Personally, I see this moment as a way of Lorne showing how helpless Wrenchy is (ie, he can kill him whenever, wherever with no problem whatsoever) and is a subtly suggestion for him to work for him. He offers a helping hand by leaving the key to unlock the handcuffs on his chest, and exits.

Back in Mr Wretch’s hospital room, we find Lorne by his bedside. He tells Wretchy that it was him who killed his partner, Mr Numbers (remember – he slit his throat in the snow). Mr Wretch has an angry fit of rage, but can’t reach Lorne as he’s been handcuffed to the metal bed railings. He is told by Lorne how lucky he is to be alive. Personally, I see this moment as a way of Lorne showing how helpless Wrenchy is (ie, he can kill him whenever, wherever with no problem whatsoever) and is a subtly suggestion for him to work for him. He offers a helping hand by leaving the key to unlock the handcuffs on his chest, and exits.

Gina, Hess’s widow, comes storming into the Insurance Company that Lester works in, along with her two dimwitted sons. She’s pissed at him, giving Lester a piece of her mind as she now knows he conned her to get a bit of nookie. Lester acts innocent (as per usual) and says that this is news to him to: that Hess’s life insurance policy is null and void. This of course, is baloney, and Lester’s hot Asian-American co-worker had to witness their threatening behaviour towards him. But, this is a new Lester, lest we not forget – as the two sons come threateningly close to him, he staples them in the face with a staple gun. They whimper out of the building, all three of them with their tails between their legs.


Gina, telling Lester some stuff her sons probably didn’t want to hear

But it’s not all bad for Lester: he’s got an admirer in his insurance co-worker, oh – and he’s gone and bought himself a new washer! One that doesn’t sound like a cacophony of insanity.

Silence is Golden

And a year later, he is made Saleman of the year. Who’da-funk it?

The obvious choice

Did I say a ‘year’ later? I should explain, shouldn’t I? Nahhhh… oh, alright then (I feel guilt)…

Gus, the officer who shot Molly, sends her flowers to her when she’s in her dad’s diner. This is to show us that he’s definitely trying to woe her now (the tables have turned – it was Molly attracting him at the start). Then we see him, in his police car parked in a layby, using a speedometer to record how fast passing cars are going. But he’s also chatting merrily and freely to someone on the walkie talkie (do police call them that?). And no, it must definitely wasn’t his daughter whom he was speaking to. The camera pans left, into the empty road, and then we see him driving down it in a mail van. Gus has become a mailman, just like he said he dreamed of being when he was a boy, and we our told that this is now one year into the future. A massive jump I thought, but it makes sense – it shows us how Molly and Gus are now an item, and how Lester as completely gone off the cop’s radar. Except Molly, whom is now pregnant, and is waddling around in her bedroom, with the diagram still filling one of the walls. Still Obsessed much, Mol?

The two cops who Lorne passed by in Fargo when he done all them killings, have been stuck in the filing room for over a year now – they can thank their boss for that. One of them is throwing a tennis ball ala Jack Torrance style against the wall, and accidentally knocks a big picture off. This is serendipity, as lurking behind it is a blurred CCTV picture of Lorne Malvo, walking pass their car, in Fargo, a year ago. This is the guy that kept them stuck in the filing room (where no-one goes). This is the guy who’s made them workably-redundant. This is the guy they must track down and bring to justice, to restore their status in the ranks of the police force. If only Molly knew what was just happening in that filing room…

The episode concludes with Lester, turning around at the bar, and seeing Lorne at a table in the corner, laughing it up with three others and some drinks. He looks utterly shocked to see him as he hasn’t seen him in over a year. Yes, this is a bit far fetched – how can they be in the same room in a Las Vegas bar? I guess I’ll have to wait until the next episode to find out why Lorne is there.


Lorne, now with the appearance of Alejandro Jodorowsky’s doopelganger

Fargo – Season 1, Episode 6 (Review)

The rabbit hole of descent deepens much more for Lester. Waking up in his hospital bed, he is straight away disowned by his brother, who thinks he has something to do with the murders as there is a policeman guarding his door. As the bro leaves, Lester is suspicious as to why there is an officer of the law stood waiting outside his room in the ward. It clicks – they must of found out more information. They must have found out from the nurses that he had a gunshot pellet imbedded in his hand. They must wanna interrogate him more. Drat! Fiddlesticks! He’s well and truly buggered now, isn’t he? So what is Lester supposed to do about the pickle he is in (and lemme tell you – this is a helluva pickle). The answer: he sneaks out the hospital, and back to his home. How does he do this? Well, he dresses up like the fully bandage-faced guy in the bed next to him, and throws that dude under his bed covers (making sure to hide his face), and gets into that guy’s bed. The nurse comes in and moves his bed out of the room, into the hallway, and leaves him there. Now is when Lester makes a break for it, and manages to escape without a trace.


Brotherly love.

But where does he go? What does he have in mind? Dear Lester heads back to his house, past the patch of dried blood in his lounge (just call the specialist cleaners, man) and down into the basement. He notices that the washer-dryer had been moved [by Molly]. But he doesn’t move closer to it – instead, he stands next to the poster which he head butted to knock himself out that (un)faithful day, and pulls it down slightly. Behind the poster, there is a hole in the plasterboard where he had whacked his nogging, and inside the hole is the evidence-in-the-making: the claw hammer Lester used to kill his wife. He then breaks into his younger brother’s house. He plants the hammer in his gun locker, in the basement, along with a pair of his dead wife’s panties, and a picture of his dead wife, scantily clad (the perv!). Lester then sees a picture on the locker of his brother, posing with his wife and son. Instead of feeling guilty and taking back the stuff which he’d planted, he goes into the son’s room, and plants a gun into his school bag. Unbelievable! Lester walks down the stairs, and the son and him see eye-to-eye (he thought no-one was in the house). And the boy doesn’t even seem that bothered. This scene had me cracking up – one of the funnily moments in the series. But to tell you the truth, for a crime show, there’s a lot of them to choose from.


It’s hammer time (again)

Now that Lester is sure the evidence had not been taken, he slips back into his hospital room, switches the man in his bed back into his own, and plonks himself back in it. Someone enters the room, exits, and the most sinister smile of hurrah is etched onto Lester’s face – he thinks he’s gotten away with it. He can still make up more B.S to the police as the have nothing on him, just clues, nothing more.

Lester’s smug shot (later to be his mug shot… so I’m predicting)

So that’s the main portion of this episode covered. What else happens? I shall tell you…

Stavros caves in to the blackmailer’s demands of the 1 million dollars. Lorne, the guy who’s working for him but is also secretly the blackmailer, gets his Turkish friend to speak to Stavros into the phone with instructions as to where to place the money (he uses a device to hide the identity of his phone when on the phone). The Turkish friend is the guy who has been doing the majority of Lorne’s dirty work – supplying him with locust to flood Stavros’s Phoenix Farms shop, the uppers to keep the poor bastard awake all these days, and basically making sure shit gets biblical on his ass. But this friend of Lorne asks for too much – he wants 60% of the million share – and instead, Lorne decides to strap him to a chair, tape a gun to his hands, and let the police shoot him. Serves him right – you should never be too greedy, specially when dealing with a psychopath.


And now you get zero dollars.

Going back to where it all began for him in 1987, Stavros plants the windscreen scraper into the ground, by the wire fence, so that Lorne can find the bag of 1 mil. buried underneath it in the thick snow.

Speaking of snow – man! didn’t it just blizzard like mad near the end of the ep. I mean, they could hardly see a thing. I’m talking about the scene where Mr Numbers and Mr Wretch sandwich Lorne’s car with their own, then start going all guns blazing at him. Lorne runs into the snow fog, and tricks Mr Numbers into going into a wooden building. He does this by slicing the back of his hand, and leading him by a trail of red on the floor (smart if you ask me… but bonkers lets not forget). Mr Number’s number is finally up as Lorne slits his throat, and leaves him gurgling on his own blood, face down in the snow. It’s hard to say where his silent friend, Mr Wretch, has gone to, as we don’t see him after that. But the city officer and Molly quickly come onto the scene and find the three abandoned cars. For one reason or another, they lose sight of each other, and when the city officer sees a body in the fog approaching him, his automatic instinct is to shoot that threat to the ground. He wishes he didn’t, for whom he shot is none other than Molly (i.e. the guy’s an idiot, in my opinion.)


Oh no he didn’t.

So what will happen in the 7th episode? Will Molly live after being shot by an incompetent officer? What will Mr Wretch do after finding his partner has been killed? Does Lorne collect his money with ease, or will something get in his way? And how will Lester worm himself out of this one?

Oh, and one more thing: as Serj Tankian said in a song – “Don’t forget the fish!”…


The day of reckoning is finally over for Stavros (it only cost him a million, and some sleep)


There’s something fishy going on up in Minnesota.

Fargo – Season 1, Episode 5 (Review)

Kicking the fifth eppy off, we have a sequence of events, exposing to us – the beloved audience – how Lester got the shotgun. BTW – he got it in a sport’s shop. It was funny how he got suckered into buying it as well: the store owner told him to make an offer for the ‘random socks’ – there was a table full of bagged assorted socks, and some of them were men’s, some women’s, and the guy couldn’t tell Lester which were which, or if either bag contained male and female socks (well I found it funny!). Lester offers him 3 dollars, 4… 5 dollars, and then the store keeper, who is frankly unamused by his pitiful offers, tells him “I’ll give it to you for 50, and I’ll throw in that here shotgun in for free, and some bullet”. That was a paraphrase – I can’t remember exactly his words – I’m not an audible Rainman damn it!


I call shotgun…

So what else happened? Oh yeah – Lester is in the jail cell, ain’t he? That’s where the last eppy finished off last time. And Lester ain’t looking too great. He’s sweating like a mutha fucka, like he’s eaten the world’s hotist chilli, like he just had the runs, like… you get the gist. You know why he’s in this bad way, don’t you: he’s trapped in the cell with the deaf guy and his bearded friend (I should really try and remember their names, shouldn’t I? Nah – F it!). And the bearded one gets all the details out of Lester that he needs – more specifically, he gets the name of the person Lester knows who killed their late boss, Hess. One name: Lorne Malvo. Or at least, he thinks that’s his name (he’s right, the spineless grass!) The two man motley crew leave Lester (they got bailed out), and Lester starts having flashbacks of the recent events – flickering, tramatic events.


Please don’t hurt me.

The sheriff and Deputy Molly come to visit Lester in jail, but he can’t respond to them on the accounts that he’s having flashbacks, and is not [himself] personally present in the room – only his body. They rush him to the hospital in an ambulance, like good law abiding officers. Molly, in the back with Lester, is a crafty bugger, and tries to weed information out of Lester – she’s taking advantage of his whacked out state of mind, and is trying to get him to confess to some shit. And at the hospital, he finds out from the nurse that Lester had a shotgun pellet lodged in his hand, and that’s why it was all puffy, gross, and infected. I like how, in the beginning of that scene, how the vending machine gobbled up her change. I hate it when that happens. I remember when that happened to me, ages ago mind you, and then I kicked the machine, and then the chocolate bar came tumbling out of to the bottom; and when I unwrapped that Cadbury’s Dairy Milk (other choco bars at available – visit your local newsagents for some proof) the chocolate had congealed. It wasn’t the best chocolate I’ve even bitten into. I still remember it, which it weird; but what’s even weirder is how I’ve rambled on a tad too much on a relevant subject, and a negligible one at that. If you’re reading this (and you’ll know if you have, because you would have just done so)…. I’m so sorry. Not…

I’ll leave you on a little bugbear I had on this episode: why-o-why did Deputy Molly leave the back of Lester’s washer-dryer open? He managed to open it up, hoping to find evidence (soz Mol – he moved that hammer), but she never bothered to leave it like it was. It’s like she wants Lester to know she broke into his house whilst he was in hospital. Oh, and another thing – who leaves the key under their outside doormat, Lester? Jesus Christ – make it easy for the criminal/criminal policelady why don’t ya. Okay, rant over – tune in tomorz, or the next day, when I write more bollock on something I’ve recently scene on the screen that I like to term “the moving painting on the wall downstairs. Peace mofo!


God damn it, Molly!

Fargo – Season 1, Episode 4 (Review)

How FAR can this murder mystery GO, that is the question; and no – I’m not shakespere. I am a BEAR – check out my username: bearfilmreview. Read it! Read it again. And now stare at it. Let it burn into your retina until when you blink and look away, staring at your BEAR/bare walls all around your room, all your see is that word. And it is a word because there are no spaces! Okay, that’s enough insanity – let’s crack on with another review instalment of the Fargo series…

For the opening scene, we travel back to 1987, down the snowbound road of yesterday, in the sleepy outskirts of the sleepy town in Minnesota. A car breaks down. In the car is a younger version of Stavros. His wife is not please and is pissed, thinking her baby son is going to freeze to death. A truck drives towards their vechile, and Stavros flails his arms about in the road to get it’s attention. The darn driver just drives past, sounding his horn. How horrid!

But wait! What’s that Stavos can see in the distance, by the metal fence? What is that sticking out from the snow, he wonders. Walking up to it, he pulls the thing out from the ground, then discovers that there is a bag containing a bank-full of money in there. He gets back in the car and goes, “There really is a god.”


Jesus-Mary-Mother-of-God – It’s MOAN-EE!! (circa 1987)

By chance, the policeman in the different branch to Molly (soz – I forget his name. So sue me. Actually, don’t – I’m poor) stumbles upon Lorne on one of his drives. Lorne immediately comes his hair to the side, buttons up his shirt, and takes on the innocent, minister identity. You know – the identity he stole when he unravelled that parcel in the post office.

At the police station, he gets interrogated by that police officer’s boss (turns out, the police officer is only in charge of pet patrol) and the sheriff, aka Molly’s boss. Deputy Molly was meant to be the one who the officer wanted to come over to his branch, but being the big mouth she is, Molly tells all about what’s just happened to the Sheriff, and he not likely that, nuh-uh.

When I say “interrogated”, what I mean is – neither cop was smart enough to call the “minister’s” bluff, and soon enough, let him off the hook. I loved the unshapely glasses on his head too, and the smile he gives the officer through the interrogation viewing window was priceless. And so was the fact the officer said exactly what Lorne had predicted he would say (but at the time, in the cop car, it seemed like a threat).


Innocent…

And then there’s Lester. Poor old Lester – the deaf guy and his friend/interpretor (but slowly becoming less and less a friend by the minute), capture him on the street. They merely, nonchalantly piled Lester into the bootof their car, and then drive off. Whilst in the boot, he rings up his younger brother, but then bails on him and tells him that the story he’d just told him was a complete fabrication and a prank. Lester did this because he was afraid his brother was about to call the police.

Remember where the fat office man got dumped? Well, we return to that patch of ice land (no, not the shop – right Peter?) and this time, it’s Lester’s turn to freeze in the chilly waters. But Lester, being resourceful as he is, stole his brother’s taser from the basement. And when the bearded fellow isn’t paying complete attention, he stuns him with his stun gun. And the deaf one, drilling the hole in the ground doesn’t hear him because: A. he’s deaf, and B. yup, you guessed it – he’s DEAF (caps lock on, in case you didn’t hear that). Lester runs through the dense woods, and onto a road, where a policeman was investigating an abandoned car. Lester wants a lift into town to get away from the guys who think he killed Hess (which, as we know, was Lorne’s doing – he put a knife into the back of his head as he was banging so pole dancer/hooker in the backroom of a strip club). He resorts to punching the cop on his conk, and then the policeman (a dozy one, at that) has to now arrest him. 


It’s taser time

And the episode concludes with the deaf guy and his bearded chum, scrapping in a bar, and getting thrown in jail. And who happens to be in the cell with them? Why of course, it had to be Lester. Poor sod.

Fargo – Season 1, Episode 2 (Review)

Perhaps there wasn’t as much gore in this episode as in the first one, but it is still intriguing – mainly how on earth Lester is planning on getting Molly the deputy off his back. She’s on to him like a fly on shit, and even though Lester (and even the Sheriff) say to leave her alone, and that she’s harassing him, she is persistent with her questions. Each time Molly meets Lester, he makes some excuse, and initially pretends that he still has double vision. Sheriff, being Lester’s mate, buys this when he is told this, and takes cue to leave the “bereaved” Lester. Trouble is, Lester knows that he did a bad thing.

That Lorne is a creepy character, ain’t he? The way he intimidates people in his one-on-one interactions makes me feel slightly apprehensive, and I’m sat in the safety of my own living room! I’d like to compare him to a bully cat: he stares them out and calls their bluff, throwing in an element of “I’ll-destroy-you-if-you-don’t-get-outta-my-way” in for measure. He did this to the guy in the postal room, and all he was doing was his job. He’s unintentionally hilarious, but perhaps he does have some awareness of his straight-guy comedic act, because when he walks out of that place with his parcel, he tells the cleaner mopping the floor, “You missed a spot.” Oh, and in the parcel we have a book called American Phoenix and a wallet containing his new identity as a Minister.

One criticism: why is Lester allowed back in his house when the crime scene hasn’t been cleared up? There’s puddles of blood and splatterings on the wall – both on the ground floor and in the basement – where the cop and his wife were killed. Or maybe that’s what actually happened, seeing as in both episodes it starts off by telling the viewer that this is based on a true story. (NOTE: I was skeptically of this, so just looked it up… on Wikipedia of all things. Yep: it’s a lie. Just like the movie lied to me; and now I’m a tad depressed as the illusion of that film being based on a real event has just been completely and totally obliterated).

And the episode ended with some guys (below) cutting a hole through the icy ground, and dumping a guy (still conscious) into the freezing water beneath. But if I’m being honest, these characters don’t interest me that much – I’m more interested in the relationship entanglement between Lester, Molly and Lorne. If I’m pushing it, I could say that I like how the ginger haired guy is mute and has to use sign language, and how the guy in the middle (again, see below) has to be his interpretor for people… but that’s it. Oh, and is the guy in the middle one time in Friends? (don’t pretend you didn’t watch that shiz)

…By the way, stay tuned for my review of episode 3, coming to your screen tomorrow… or the next day… or whenever I feel like watching it (I can’t predict the future, or the efforts to not being lazy enough to turn on the TV. Yes, I can be that lazzzzy).

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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