The Ridiculous 6 – Bear Film Review

Okay, I’m about to review an Adam Sandler movie. Don’t worry, I’m not one of those elitist movie snobs who says stuff like “Punch Drunk Love was the only decent movie Sandler made,” or “Jack and Jill can suck ma ballz,” because I haven’t seen it, the latter is just creepy and wrong, and because that ain’t true in my book.

The good thing when it comes to Adam Sandler movies is that you know what you’re going to get.

The bad thing when it comes to Adam Sandler movies is… that you know what you’re going to get.

If you’re interested, these are the films I’ve seen of his, and I’ve put them into three groups: the good, the bad, and the ugly (see what I done there? Nope? You will in a minute).

So off the top of my head, we have:

The Good

  1. Mr Deeds
  2. The Waterboy
  3. Punch Drunk Love
  4. Little Nicky
  5. Happy Gilmore
  6. 50 First Dates

The Bad

  1. Grown Ups
  2. Don’t Mess With The Zohan
  3. Mall Cop
  4. Click

The Ugly

  1. Bucky Larson – Born To Be A Star

Before you ask, I watched the majority of these when I was around 14. If I watched them now I might have a different opinion.

Back to Reviewing THIS Film…

So what is this film even about? Well at first, I thought it was going to be a parody of Quentin Tarantino’s H8ful Eight movie – a parody of a film which hasn’t even been released yet – but then I heard this was meant as a parody of the Magnificent Seven, so I guess I was wrong there. Either way, it’s about a group of western folk who come together in search of their long lost daddy. Long lost not because of circumstance, but because it suited the womanising outlaw lifestyle he had grown accustom to.

The story follows Adam Sandler who has grown up in an Indian Tribe. His name in the film is Tommy Stockburn, but he also goes by the name White Knife due to his skills and tendencies using  knifes. In the film he is dressed to look like a Native Indian and has a wife called Smoking Fox. His dad is called Screaming Hawk (or something like that. I forget now). Yes, these are cliches.

After finding his long lost dad by chance, he is told by him that he is dying and that he came to find him so that he can be shown where the hidden money is buried. At this point, a group of men on horses take him away from Tommy so that the dad can show him where the hidden money is buried. Bummer.

Tommy goes into a town with the intention to rob a bank. His plan once he has $50,000 is to give the kidnappers of his daddy the money they crave so that they can be reunited. Along the way his discovers by chance 5 other men, all of whom come from different mothers but all have the same father. His Father!!!!!!

Brothers from another mothers

The biggest problem this movie has is that it meanders in places and feels too drawn out for its type of comedy. The movie DID have a handful of belly laughs in it such as Steve Bucusmi as a Bartender/Dentist, the beginning fight scene where Adam’s character bamboozles a small gang, and some ass jokes from… a literal ass, and if it were to have 30 minutes cut from the movie, I’m sure I would have enjoyed the whole experience a lot more. This could have been a great movie for what it is (obviously it wasn’t made with the aim of nabbing an Oscar from Tom Hanks this year) but unfortunately in certain places, it falls as flat as the desert terrains they journey throughout this movie.

I’ll add here that if you liked early Sandler stuff ala Happy Gilmore, then you may like this film more than a lot of his recent output. You’ve got the lightning-visual gags thrown in sparingly with the quirky crowd people you tend to see in his early films, the romance element his character usually has, and the usual slapstick which makes his movies his own.

Overall, it’s not a great movie, but I think that’s always been the point of his movies – it’s not about greatness, it’s about just having a good time watching it. I’d say it’s worth a watch, but that’s just me. And as for the whole ‘racist’ thing the press was generating about this film – don’t take such a dumb ass film so seriously! There is so many more shocking films out there to huff about. Heck, look at the world right now. Look at the recent events of Paris. Look at Syria! Don’t get distracted in such PR nonsense regarding this film – watch it/don’t watch it, but don’t start political BS over a goofy comedy (but comments are welcome :)).

There isn’t really much else to say about this movie. I won’t spoil it anymore for you if you’re planning on watching it on Netflix anytime soon. I hear he has a contract deal with Netflix, meaning he has agreed to make another 3 more films exclusive to them, so who knows – in about a years time I might be reviewing another film of his.

But until then – take care. X

This would make a lovely postcard, don’t you think?

Advertisements

Carne – Bear Film Review

I’ve literally just watched Carne, so this should be a raw/Rawwwr Bear review. If you like it – like it! And of course, comments are appreciated and replied to.

NOTE: This is a review of a Gaspar Noe film, so may contain topics that would unsettle the squeamish. To give you an idea – this guy loves the film Salo by Pier Paolo Pasolini.

Now, the review…

REVIEW

Apparently, the consumption of horse meat is illegal everywhere in the whole entire world apart from France, and instead of calling it horse meat, they call it ‘Carne’ due to its colour and moderate pricing.

Carne is the name of his film. Apt choice, if you mind me saying.

The film is relatively short, coming in just shy of 40 minutes, but that’s the only thing shy about this piece of cinema by Gaspar Noe, and if you’ve seen anything about him, they you know how graphic his imagery can get. His ballsy approach to filmmaking is quite admirable in my opinion, and he really tests you to keep watching from the get go.

The Butcher

In Carne, it opens with the butcher – the main character of this film – in an abattoir, killing a real horse, slitting its throat on screen. Out of context, this is simply exploitation, but when considered with the rest of the story, it is such a bold move that I doubt many directors would ever consider putting such a scene in their film. I would go as far as to say it was the total opposite of exploitation and bought some truth to the viewer
as a reminder of the process our meat produce goes through before ending up on our plates.

Nevertheless, his life revolved around the handling of meat, which is divided only with the love of his daughter.

Let’s get one thing clear: the butcher is messed up in the head. That’s for sure. Since the birth of his daughter (yeah, we see that moment in the short film as well) he has been left to bring her up on his own. His wife wanted

nothing to do with the baby as she wanted a boy. Odd, but that’s how it played out. Now the messed up bit – it seemed to me that the butcher was fighting incestual thoughts off up until the moment he said early on in the film that his daughter had become a lady, and in his own words he said this: “And in a few months she became a lady. Her body changed. It was strange for me.” I don’t know about you, but that’s just fucked up. Don’t believe me? How about if I said he still washes her in the shower room. Yeah… thought so…

 The Daughter

As the film pushes on, it becomes apparent that the daughter never speaks. Not even at the dinner table. It’s as if she was brought up never to speak. That on its own is a sign of a bed relationship with his father. And this hidden world isn’t unnoticed by the strangers in the cafe he goes to sometimes. In one scene, he goes in there, orders the same drink he always does, and two guys in the corner mutter to themselves how he is a ‘nerd’. They say it in a way that suggests they can sense his creepiness.

As the daughter was growing up, her father would wait by her as she rode the mechanical horse ride for children. As she turned into a ‘lady’ as he put it, they stopped that. But when she stood there in her silent demeanour, by the horse, there was a guy there whom kept asking her if she was alright. And then he asked if she wanted to ride the horse, and stuck a coin into the slot. It then cuts to the guy trying to get it on with the butcher’s daughter, but she keeps trying to pull away. Next thing we know, the butcher finds out, tracks the guy down, and beats the living daylights out of him. He gets put in jail for some time. As a result, his lawyer comes into his cell and manages to persuade him to sign the deeds of the butchers over, so that he can get out of jail quicker.

The Release

Getting out of jail (and convincing himself he’s not gay due to his cell mate’s offerings), he goes straight to the cafe and orders his drink. The ‘fat woman’ who serves him all the time is still there, and he’s always banging on about how he wants to bang her. And in the end, he does.

Unfortunately, in his perception that is, he gets her pregnant, and he tries to correct this by doing her hard from behind, penetrating the fetus so that it miscarriages. Not my words… I guess the butcher just likes to butcher everything, judging by the way he speaks in his head, and sometimes acts out.

The end of the film ends in an Eraserheadesque flickering of nightmarish images of faces in the dark, and then it’s all over. For a short film, it sure does have quite an effect on you, that’s for sure. Would I watch it again? NO. But did I think it was a good film. YES.

Recommended?

I recommend this to film lovers who:

a. Have a strong stomach.
b. Are open minded.
c. Aren’t vegetarian.

P.S if you can speak french or read French subtitles… voila! The video:

 

 

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

Death Proof – Film Review

In this film review I will be tackling Death Proof – a film that had some wonderful, comedic moments, but was also tainted by overindulgent dialogue that seemed to go on… and on… and on…

And on…

I know it’s a Quentin Tarantino movie, and that’s one of the elements you’d to expect when watching one, but this film’s dialogue wasn’t that interesting if I’m being honest. Yes, it’s great listening to a group of girls talk about sex and shit (I use that word loosely – they didn’t once bring up scatology), but after a while it becomes an impotent affair.

The film is split into two acts. The first act follows a group of girls to a bar, who are soon to get killed by some weird stalker guy with a stunt car that he’s dubbed ‘death proof’. His name is Stuntman Mike (played by Kirk Russell). I wished his character was developed more: it was a bit too one-dimensional for my liking. We don’t even know why he’s stalking these girls and killing them! Sure, it hints at how he possibly gets a sexual kick out of it, but to me, the viewer, it just comes a cross as cowardly to the highest degree. I would have liked the film to have explored this avenue more, giving Stuntman Mike more depth to why he’s hell bent on killing people, using his car.

Don’t get me wrong – I did enjoy parts of this film, such as when one of the girls gave Stuntman Mike a lap dance in the bar. I liked the fact she was wearing flip flops whilst she was doing it (the director apparently has a foot fetish). Come to think of it, there is a lot of exposed feet in this flick, which tells me that this Quentin isn’t afraid to indulge in his desires, which is fine – just don’t bore me (like you did with the dialogue). It’s a shame the film didn’t keep to the tone of the latter half of the movie, because if he’d kept the tone a 100% goofy violent comedy, then this could have been [possibly] my favourite movie by him, but instead it falls short of that mark by a long way. I don’t know a lot about the back story of this, but it comes off as a rushed project, or a project with no real focused identity or vision, which is strange considering what he’s done previously and after this film.

Another scene I enjoyed in this movie what when Mike gives a blonde girl a lift home, but then tells her directly that he has no intention of doing so. That bit of dialogue there was actually very good, very Tarantinoesque (i.e. he gets the character to explain to another character that they have no option but to do as they say). I was a bit shocked by the way the girl died inside the stunt car, but I should have seen it coming really – the fact that she didn’t have a proper seat, and that there was a divider between them in the car was a bad omen (plus the fact she got in the car with a guy who had photos of the girls pinned to his pull down mirror. Creep much?

And then he does a head-on collision with the group of girls, killing them but surviving because of his ‘death proof’ car. And 14 months later, he’s at it again, stalking another group of girls. And I’m thinking, doesn’t this guy have any healthy hobbies he could pursue instead of his insatiable lust of killing groups of women? Like scrabble, for instance?

But the bully gets his comeuppance this time around, as the second group of girls manage to flip his car, and pull him out of it. They form a circle and take turns plummeting punches into his pitiful face, until one of them roundhouse kicks him to the ground. ‘The end,’ it says on the screen abruptly. I thought this was a satisfying ending as that worm of a man, Stuntman Mike, didn’t deserve to be on this earth with that sick perverted attitude of his. He was scum in a scum bucket, and thankfully the girls prevailed in the end – hurrah!

In this car chase that came before his capturing, there was some epic stunts done by the character played by Zoe Bell, in which she climbs onto the bonnet of the Dodge Challenger, using two belts that have been pinched in the car doors for balance.

Just because this film has many flaws and bores packed in it, it did still have it’s moments, and when those came up on the screen, the viewing experience was a pleasurable one. But because this is a film that couldn’t make up what kind of film it wanted to be, and could have done with about 30 minutes less of dialogue taken out, I have to award this motion piccy a fairly low score of:

6/10

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

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