A Prayer Before Dawn (2018) review

Rated: 3.5 / 5

The trailer looked promising for this limited release film (so limited it wasn’t playing in any of the theaters near me).  So I checked to see if Vudu was streaming it.  Sure enough, it was, so I made the $6.99 rental purchase.  It was worth it.

This is a film that, pardon the expression, pulls no punches.  It’s one of the grittiest films I’ve ever seen.  When the protagonist Billy gets arrested and sent to Thai prison, it all looks raw and real.  Partly because it is raw and real, because they shot this film on location, at the actual Thai prison where the events of this film took place.  Because this film is based on a true story.  It’s about this English guy from the UK who takes on Muay Thai Kickboxing in Thailand, but also has a drug problem, and has isolated himself from any family members abroad by using an alias name.  So when he gets arrested for drug possession and sent to prison, he’s on his own.  No money, no family to know where he is, nothing.  He has to cope with being in a place surrounded by people whose language he can barely understand (they speak Thai, there are subtitles, but the subtitles aren’t used most of the time, keeping the viewer as bewildered in this world as the Billy).  And on top of that, on his first night there, he witnesses a guy getting gang-raped (not much is left to the imagination).

Enough time is spent in the prison with the prisoners that not only Billy, but the viewer starts to get used to it all, in spite of the grimy conditions.  Cigarettes for currency, betting on fish fights (seriously, they bet on which fish will win when 2 fish fight each other to the death; the only cock fights in this prison are the ones competing for which ass they will penetrate).  And eventually, a bond kind of gets shared with everyone in there.  They are all doing their own hard time for different reasons (one of them admits to being a hitman who killed 2 people).

But the main thing that drove me to see this movie (and by drove, I mean reaching for my credit card to purchase it online, not using up gasoline in a vehicle and contributing to the exaggerated greenhouse gasses, so you Green Peace people should be thanking me) is the fights.  But this film is done in a similar vane as the earlier Creed movie.  There are only 3 major fights in this film, one at the beginning, middle, and end.  This film is primarily a drama, but it also aims to be a character study and inspirational film.  The film (and the novel from what I understand) is all about showing one man’s downward spiral due to drug addiction and severe anger issues (he’s no pushover wimp when he’s in prison, he goes apeshit some of the time, and it gets a bit disturbing when it happens).  His road to recovery is slow, and it’s subtle.  So subtle some may wonder if there was even an arc.  But there is one, as he realizes the toll his lifestyle takes on him both physically and mentally.  And the only way out for him is to get back into kickboxing, only doing it in prison, where apparently it’s a thing for one prison’s best kickboxer to compete against another prison’s best kickboxer for bragging rights, and because there’s some gambling involved.

The best fight scene in this film is easily the 2nd one.  This scene seems to be made for the sole purpose of topping that “single-take” fight scene in Creed.  It’s like they’re saying, “You think that scene is raw and gritty and takes a lot of talent to pull off to look legit?  Well wait until you see this!”  And no exaggerating here, that 2nd fight scene is one of the best I’ve ever seen in my life.  It goes on for a long time.  And by long time, I mean 4 full minutes.  I mean, it may not be a single take, but damn are there a lot of long takes.  This isn’t a quick-cut shakey-cam fight sequence, it’s like you’re watching an actual fight happening, nothing Hollywood-like or flashy, just realistic and gritty.  The hits seem real.  None of it looks telegraphed.  It belongs on a top 20 fight scenes of all time list.  It’s worth watching the film just for that sequence alone.  But the rest of the movie is pretty damn solid too.

By the end of the film, we see someone make a cameo appearance.  That someone is the guy who lived the events in this film and wrote the book the film is adapted from, Billy Moore.  It’s a great moment, the perfect place to have a cameo like that, giving the film the biggest impact possible.  The film becomes a bit inspiring at the end, and it feels earned considering how exhausting it can be getting through it all (but this is intentional, the exhaustion).  It’s a long 2 hour runtime, but it feels necessary just to make the world all seem real, to show the ins and outs of the prison, and the prison lifestyle, and what one can feel while they’re in the prison.

Highly recommended film.

 

PS: Oh yeah, and Billy gets in a relationship with a tranny.  Well, when in prison…

 

Backtrack (1990), review of a criminally underrated film.

I’ll admit, the tagline sucks.  It becomes apparent why.

Rated: 3.5 / 5

 

Introduction

backtrack (verb):
1. To go back over the course by which one has come.
2. To return to a previous point or subject.
3. To reverse one’s position or policy.

— The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

This is one of those films not many know about, and if they do know about it they’re probably only aware of the theatrical cut.  Upon my first viewing, that’s the version I saw.  Sometimes the film goes by the alternative title Catch Fire, other times it goes by the intended title Backtrack.  Either way, it’s most likely the theatrical cut (TC).  The Director’s Cut (DC), on the other hand, can be found and can be viewed.  But as far as I can tell, it’s only available on VHS.  It has never gotten a DVD release, let alone a Blu-Ray release.  So I had to settle for lesser video quality, which is a shame because it becomes impossible to make out some text that, while not mandatory to see, would certainly improve the viewing experience.  Also hurts that it’s not available in widescreen unless it’s the TC version.

To make a long story short, the DC is far superior to the TC.  This is a criminally underrated film, underrated because of the ravished treatment it got by studio interference which made it more shallow than intended (to the point where Dennis Hopper demanded his name be removed from it as director).  Also underrated because it is misunderstood, primarily because of the TC treatment, also because few have seen the DC version, and because those who do watch it tend to view it more as a guilty pleasure than anything else (though I will admit, that’s how I initially viewed it until giving it a closer look).

Jenny Holzer reference.

 

Director’s Cut Review

This film is a cry for something different.  A film that is aware of how stale films in general have gotten, which is something more relevant today than back when this was made.  Granted I’m only speaking from my current experience, but I do recall there being plenty of 70s and 80s films that generally had bleak endings and/or formulaic plots and atmosphere/progression that seem to come straight out of an assembly line; the independent film wave of the 90s. had yet to hit, but it was just around the corner after this film’s release.  The statement is made early on with one of the LED art signs which states:

I AM CRAZY BORED AND FAMILIAR WITH THE ENDING

And another sign which states:

I WALK IN AND OUT OF THE CRACKS OF MY SKULL WHEN THERE IS NOTHING

Blatant, literal, with very little wiggle room for interpretation.  This is the art style of one of our main protagonists Anne Benton (played by Jodie Foster).  She specializes in LED light art for politics, personal relationships, cliches, and for statements on the excessives of average people.  LED lights appeal to her because they are familiar, they are everywhere, and people are drawn to them.  Normally they are used for advertisements, for shallow consumption; but she aims to use them for artistic merit.

 

A reference to another artist, Georgia O’Keefe.

But in so making her art so literal, the abstract is sacrificed (to the point where other artists, including one played by Bob Dylan, look down on it).  While her art is easy to understand, her wants/needs/desires are not.  She isn’t truly happy, and she subconsciously wants something different, but she can’t figure this out for herself because she is so literal.

Oh yeah, Bob Dylan is in this.

Opposite of Anne is Milo (played by Dennis Hopper), a hitman for the mafia who also has a taste for the abstract art.  His hobby, when he’s not collecting art, is playing the saxophone.  He knows what he likes, he knows what he desires, but he has difficulty in expressing it clearly.  Thus he plays the sax very poorly, but becomes drawn to Anne’s art style because she can express things so clearly.

backtrack 1
PROTECT ME FROM WHAT I WANT

The film becomes a sort of “opposite’s attract” love story, with a dose of Stockholm syndrome thrown in for good measure.  The plot is about artist Anne witnessing a mob murder, then being chased by the mob, the police, and the mob hitman Milo.  Milo eventually tracks her down, but decides to keep her as his own rather than kill her.  Over time, they both fall in love with each other, and attempt to flee the mob and the police together.  There are a few ways to interpret this, one of which is the happy union of the literal and the abstract.  Of having art daring to try something different, something many may find controversial.  Of having two art forms together that shouldn’t be together, that just don’t match up.  But the thing about art is that it is subjective.  Some will enjoy various forms more than others.  And sometimes the strangest combinations can work.  In the case of the film, the idea that Stockholm syndrome can work; in that regard, I state that this film was ahead of it’s time before Beauty and the Beast made that shit popular.  And come on, not everything can turn out like The Collector (1965).

There is also a reference to D.H. Lawrence in this film, which is ironic not because he expressed similar themes about relationships in his works, but also because his works were also subject to censorship and misrepresentation.  It’s as if the controversy surrounding this film only helps to make its point, though it would be nice if the DC was around in some modern streaming service or on DVD/Blu-Ray so others to appreciate it.

“Passion’s a hard thing to conceal.”

Let’s get back on track here (heheh).  Anne’s LED signs have an affect on Milo.  Signs with messages such as:

LACK OF CHARISMA CAN BE FATAL

EVEN YOUR FAMILY CAN BETRAY YOU

MEET DREAMS YOU CAN’T RESIST

CALM IS MORE CONDUCTIVE TO CREATIVITY THAN IS ANXIETY

PROTECT ME FROM WHAT I WANT

The art inspires him, makes him want to change his life.  But being a hitman who has difficulty in expressing himself, that’s kind of difficult to do (obviously).  And on top of that, he becomes self-aware at how much he sucks (or more appropriately, blows) at playing the sax.  So he opts for kidnapping her, after being influenced to do so in a manner she mentions in an audio recording he gets a hold of, where she says:

“I don’t know if I can be with people I don’t know, if I’m fit for it anymore.  I’m cut off and I’m losing my connection.  I do have this fantasy.  There’s a man in the dark.  I can see his face.  He’s got a scarf around my neck and I know I’m gonna die.  And nothing else makes any difference.  I realize now that I’m selfish and I’ve always been selfish, and that’s fine.  […]  This time I actually believe I’m safe.  No one knows where I am, and eventually this will all be forgotten, and I’ll be forgotten too.”

So when he comes to kidnap her, he does so in the method she envisions.  He handcuffs her and wraps a scarf around her neck.  He then gives her the choice of being killed by him, or by living, but belonging to him.  She takes the second choice.  Thus Milo is fulfilling a desire within her, while also fulfilling his own desire.  Yet she is against this at first (understandably), and does not warm up to Milo at all for a long period of time.

backtrack 1

But as the film progresses from there, she eventually begins to accept her internal desires, and begins to accept Milo.  The literal and the abstract begin to intermix, and both become more accepting of each other’s views; though they get in an argument over the validity of the way each view art, and how meaningful their lives are whether together or as individuals; it is more-or-less reconciled soon after, as if the film doesn’t really give a shit about that typical moment in romance films where the inevitable temporal break-up happens before the inevitable reconciliation.  The film is attempting to be different after all, and could be said to be somewhat satirizing other films of that type of genre.

Which brings me to the other meaning to be had outside of abstract vs. literal art styles.  As stated earlier, it is a film that cries out to be different because it’s bored with the average Hollywood fluff that comes out regularly.  So the film itself opts to be different, not just with the progression of the plot and subject matter (Stockholm syndrome works), but also changing genres at various intervals.  It goes from being a thriller, to a slow-burn character study, to a teen romance (I’ll expand on that in a moment), to an action shoot-em-up, and having a happy ending in spite of the odds and how it seems to go against what had been built up during the first half (at least on an initial watch; it does fit together when looking at it from a critical stand-point, barring leaps in logic).  It attempts to make it so that either it gives you an ending you don’t expect, or an ending you’re not bored with even if it is expected.

Which brings me to the overall theme of the film, relating to the title Backtrack.  In one sense, it’s about backtracking to what made us enjoy films in the first place at an earlier age at an earlier time.  Particularly that of the 70s, and anything pre-Hay’s Code mid-1930s, and in the modern context, much of what has come since 2012 (personally, I think films have largely lost there edge at some point between 2006-2012, depending on how strict you are about film quality and allowing studios/directors to take chances with respectable budgets).  Just let the film-makers run wild and do what they want how they want, and come what may.  A cry for freedom, for independent film-making.  While the film’s cries may not have been heard, given that it bombed in theaters and was re-edited to make the theme convoluted, if not entirely absent, they were cries shared by others which lead to the indie film movement of the 90s.

The alternative way to look at the term backtrack is with how the characters go from being mature to immature during the 2nd act, primarily during the 2nd sexual encounter between Milo and Anne.  They go from being mature adults, who have been conditioned to lock away all childish thoughts and impulses over the years, to regressing back into a child-like state.  It’s like how college kids (or even teenage kids) who are in one of their first relationships would interact.  How they laugh and giggle, and how they become more care-free about the world (even though the dangers of reality creep in off and on with the mafia goons catching up to them).  They even bicker like teenagers at one or two points.  The backtrack refers to going back from adulthood to childhood.  Because children are more easily pleased, more easily entertained, than adults.  They possess something that is missing from adults which can make them more closed off and isolated.  They don’t have those walls built around them which are slowly but surely built as they age, especially in schools.  It’s something that was preached in Pink Floyd’s The Wall.  To backtrack is to tear it down.  Embrace what allowed you to embrace the joys found in childhood.  It is what can allow you to not be alone, to not become isolated.  But this doesn’t work if it’s one-sided.  Others can only be as accepting if they are just as free of this thought-control.  In order for that to happen, the current life must die in order for the new life to arise, like a phoenix.  The film represents this with the native american ceremony, the burning of the pilgrim, who represents people in general.

And when you think about it, don’t we all have our own innate desires that may be considered abnormal, or even taboo?  Some women want to be dominated by a macho man who can take charge.  Some men want to have a woman in a slave-like role.  Many want to have someone who can change their life for the better, even if it is done in extreme manners that usually only work out well in your head.  Some things that teenagers daydream about.   And in the end, all children enjoy seeing a happy ending.

It is a way of life Anne didn’t consciously realize she wanted.  She finds a piece of pottery under the dirt at this theater house in New Mexico, something she doesn’t understand yet, something she wasn’t actively looking for.  Then later on in the movie, she finds a matching set of pottery in an entirely different location (this may have implications within the literal context of the film, but I’m not sure myself).  Thus she realizes she has found something she didn’t even know she was looking for, which is fixing something she didn’t realize was broken.

One last thing before ending the analysis.  There comes a point in this movie where Jodie Foster’s character finds and cares for a lamb.  I shit you not.  And this came before she did the film Silence of the Lambs.  Good God, how can one not watch this portion of the movie without making jokes or puns?  But anyway, the film makes some symbolism of this by showing a statue of some woman with a lamb at the mob boss’ house, the mob boss being Vincent Price (someone make a Vincent Price as Hannibal Lector meme please, I’m begging ya’).

 

Issues With The Movie

Now as great as this all sounds, the film isn’t without its issues (putting aside TC and DC differences).  The helicopter action scene is mediocre at best.  There’s a moment where Milo leaves his sax behind before driving away from the cabin to run from the mafia, yet he has the sax back during the end credits (maybe he bought a new one).  Dennis Hopper may not have been the best choice to play Milo; he’s not terrible, but he seems a little too off and awkward even for his character.  And the ending is a bit far-fetched, but one could argue the reason those mob bosses put themselves in such a vulnerable state is because Vincent Price basically wanted them all to do, along with Milo, and coerced them into confronting Milo on their own.  This isn’t explicitly stated at all, but one could reach that conclusion with the dirty cop twist.  Still, would’ve been nice to have seen that conversation.

Some argue that the film falls apart and becomes stupid during the second half without how the dialogue and character interaction get, but I chalk that up to the whole Backtrack theme.  Of course the dialogue becomes more childish and less intelligent.  They’re backtracking!  As to whether that will be to your tastes, that’s up to you.

 

TC vs. DC

The music is different and far worse in the TC.  Both versions contain scenes that aren’t in the other, though the DC is the overall lengthier film.  Ultimately, the TC tries to make the film out to be some off-kilter action/thriller/romance flick, but it comes off as more awkward than the DC intended, and that’s saying a lot.  At first it sets up the feel that Anne isn’t in to Milo at all, to the point where he rapes her during their first encounter, that she berates him (as opposed to just messing with him in a lighthearted manner) during the second encounter.  Then next thing you know, she’s laughing with him and enjoying herself with him.  It comes out of the blue as opposed to the more gradual development seen in the DC.  Granted, it’s still a strange thing to see, the whole Stockholm thing working out, but at least the DC makes a better effort at it.  And they make it seem like Milo is an expert sax player in the TC, which contradicts that abstract-literal art theme which the TC pretty much tosses aside.  Lastly, they downplay (if not altogether remove) any hint that the movie is attempting to subvert expectations, to be a satire of mainstream film, or at the very least something that attempts to do something different just for the sake of doing something different, making that one of the main messages.  It does so by removing some of the LED light art which spells this out for the viewer.

backtrack 1
‘insert Vincent Price Hanibal impression here’

Take a look at how this scene differs greatly between the TC and DC versions of the film.  It’s amazing how much a difference in editing/pacing/music can change a scene.

 

Overall

Highly recommended movie, so long as it’s the DC version you’re watching.  It’s different and fun.  It’s something wants to be taken seriously, and yet doesn’t want to take things so seriously.  It’s an intentional fun contradiction.  A film made by an adult for adults who want to release a bit of their inner-child, while Joe Pesci is screaming fuck fucker motherfucker and motherfucking every other second he’s on the screen.  Plus you get to see Jodie Foster naked, which is incredible because I didn’t think that was possible.

 

 

PS: It is worth mentioning that the character Anne Benton is inspired off the real-life artist Jenny Holzer, who has been doing similar art styles since the 70s, and is still around today doing her own kind of art as far as I know.  Even the line, PROTECT ME FROM WHAT I WANT is something that made her famous.  Seems as if she had an admirer in Dennis Hopper.

 

PPS: Jodie Foster probably did Silence of the Lambs after this just to spite the film, because she didn’t enjoy working on it.

 

Other recommendations for more on this film:

http://www.stockholmfilmfestival.se/en/festival/1991/film/backtrack

http://regrettablesincerity.com/?p=7151

https://mikestakeonthemovies.com/2018/07/13/backtrack-1990/

https://projectorhasbeendrinking.blogspot.com/2015/09/protect-me-from-what-i-want.html

https://dcpfilm.wordpress.com/2013/03/22/catchfire-hopper-1990/

Death of a Nation (2018) review

Rated: 3 / 5

Condescending broad generalizations,
get real old real fast!  Yeah!
Just because most hippies and their parents have sold out,
does not mean that you (yeah you),
and your children,and their kids won’t last!
Say your prayers, with the death of a nation!
Say your prayers, for a dead a generation!
— Anti-Flag, Death of a Nation

Alright cocksuckers, time to get political.  Don’t want to deal with that, then don’t read the review (or maybe you just don’t want to here the opinion of someone who supports this movie and would rather spend your time reading all the “<= 1 star” reviews that support your confirmation bias).  For everyone else who is either the intended audience for this film, or isn’t but is actually legitimately curious as to what some of the film’s supporters have to say about it, hopefully some of which may be interested in a discussion to sway minds, feel free to proceed.

NOTE: To Letterboxd moderators, strike this review down like you did with The Red Pill, it will become more powerful than you can possibly imagine. Zwoo Zwish.

OBI WAN MEMES image memes at relatably.com

“I’m going to judge each and every customer who comes to see this.” Chadwin

Alright, so first thing I got to say about this movie is that it isn’t the best-made film out there.  In the end, it’s basically a glorified History Channel special with a longer running time and a… well I’m honestly not sure if I can say a higher budget because some of the special effects are shit, including Hitler’s mustache.  But in all fairness, the History Channel wouldn’t air shit like this because they’re selective in what they’ll show nowadays (and for the past few years).  They’d rather do reality-tv stuff and Ancient Aliens.  If they tried to make some documentary like this, it would derail fast.

Second, the interviews.  This film does the one thing that makes me skeptical of any and every interview segment done in documentaries, or even news broadcasts.  Continual cutting between people talking.  As in the camera doesn’t stay focused on the speaker the entire time, but cuts back and forth between the person listening, and some other clips/flashbacks.  It’s enough to make one think they’re altering what’s being said to fit the intended narrative.  The funny thing it though, it does the exact same thing whenever Dinesh D’Souza is speaking to the person he’s interviewing too.  So now I’m wondering if he’s (overly) biased with his presentation of interviews, or if he really is this terrible of a film-maker.

Make no mistake, whether you agree or disagree with the message of this film, there’s no denying that Dinesh just isn’t cut out for making movies.  Now I say this having not seen his other previous works, though I am aware of their existence.  They just didn’t really interest me enough for various reasons.  America: Imagine The World Without Her.  No.  I’m not into “what ifs” or “what could’ve beens”, at least not when the entire movie is based around that idea.  2016: Obama’s America.  What’s the point when we are pretty much living in Obama’s America in 2016?  What does it matter if the movie is right or wrong on whatever points it makes?  Didn’t seem like it was going to make any difference or change anyone’s mind, thus it failed to make me interested in seeing it, as it comes off as pointless and only existing for confirmation bias.  Hillary’s America.  That one I wanted to see, until I saw the trailer.  The movie just looked so fucking bad, I just didn’t care about the message at that point.  The acting, the sets, the bluntness; I wasn’t sure if I should laugh or roll my eyes or both.  I would rather see him give a speech at a college campus about the message of the movie; which he did, and I did watch that, and I’m pretty sure it’s preferable to watching the film.  Alternatively, I guess I could’ve read the book.

So what made me want to see this movie rather than the others?  The title and the message seemed more overall relevant, at least enough to allow me to get through the budget bullshit of historical re-enactments (I mean, to be fair, they are on-par with most History Channel stuff, but that’s why I don’t watch most of today’s History Channel stuff; use some fucking still photos, it’s cheaper that way, and probably more convincing).  The message being how America is likely in a downward spiral towards implosion (ie self-destruction), and drawing parallels to other nations of the past which suffered similar fates.  That of Hitler’s Germany, Mussolini’s Italy, and Rome.  Unfortunately, regarding the latter, the film just says Rome’s name at the beginning as an example of nations that fell, but that’s where Rome’s significance with the film’s message begins and ends.  He never talks about the how/why it fell compared to how he covered Germany and Italy (though in the case of those 2 nations, they’re still around, they just had to pick themselves up after getting beaten down badly while under the rule of fascist dictators; actual fascist dictators, without stretching the definition like people do today).

It does take a while for the film to get to that point though, getting to the actual meat of the subject matter.  Until then, you have to put up with the first 20 minutes (or so).  First there’s the terrible re-enactment of the last act of that movie Downfall.  Then there’s the whole coverage of Trump during his 2015 and 2016 rise to presidency, which will either be sweet music to your ears, or nails on a chalkboard, depending on your political views and how much entertainment you find in seeing leftists laugh at Trump’s chances and then seeing them melt down in despair over the election results (I’m of the sweet music variety myself).

Once it gets past all that, then the film finally gets going.  Mentioning ANTIFA and their rioting and silencing of opposing speakers on campuses, plus their destruction of property.  The leftist’s tactics of doing everything they can to take Trump out in one fashion or another, starting with recounting the election results in some states (which had the opposite desired effect), then calling on the Hollywood has-beens to convince the electoral college to not do their duty and vote the way the voters want them to vote, which ended up failing despite the death threats they received.  So then they went for calling Trump racist/sexist/fascist/etc., all the stuff you’ve heard before in one form or another, especially if you’ve been on any social media site at anytime from 2017 and onward.  And, of course, there’s the currently ongoing Mueller investigation which probably isn’t going to turn up anything significant.

The film does mention that the media is biased in their coverage of Trump, but it doesn’t spend anywhere near enough time on this topic, considering the parallels it will draw on later, mainly with Hitler’s Germany.  Same thing with what schools are teaching, which it spends even less time on (which is probably only a few seconds).  Maybe if the film did that instead of having these 2 pause moments where some patriotic music is being sung, once by this lady on a stage (where the fuck is John Wilkes?  He needed to get out of that booth and shoot me in the head to put me out of my misery during that segment), and a second time just before the end credits by this black choir (the entire time I was thinking, “Lord murder me now”; make that a choir song).

State lies dressed up as evening news
We’re tired of lies we want the truth
Broadcast by corpses courting you
We’re tired of lies we want the truth

Most people they will never know
We’re tired of lies we want the truth
With you or against you?
Then I am against you because you’re a

Turncoat, killer, liar, thief
Criminal with protection of the law
I can’t hear you
Turncoat, killer, liar, thief
Criminal with protection of the law

In your corner, makes me wanna, oh
Douse myself in gasoline
Civil servants fall in line for you
Too brainwashed to see the truth
You use anyone you can

–Anti-Flag, Turncoat

Anyway, the film draws parallels between Mussolini’s blackshirts, Hitler’s Nazis, and the actions of ANTIFA, the media, and the police.  How the blackshirts cracked down on protesters and were eventually given power as militia to maintain order under Mussolini.  The Nazis more or less did the same under Hitler in Germany (after one failed attempt anyway).  The news sources were only to report specific news bits and not others, supporting these new radicals and not condemning them, ultimately assisting in their rise to power.  And the police stood down to let these groups go on cracking down on protesters, and teachers in school who weren’t teaching students the way Hitler/Mussolini demanded.

In the case of Germany, they also wanted to purge Communists and Jews from the nation.  Communists for having a different ideology, being more loyal to Communism and Russia than to the Fuhrer and Germany.  The Jews, uh, honestly I’m still not sure why they wanted to crack down on them.  Because Hitler hated himself or something?  Well in any case, the Nazis molded their method of purging Jews after the method Democrats had during that time period of labeling black people as second-class citizens.  Democrats had this “1 drop” policy, indicating that 1 drop of negro blood makes you black and thus a second-class citizen, meaning that if just one parent or grandparent in your lineage was black, you’re second-class.  Something that was pointed out in the film Free State of Jones.  The Nazis thought this was too harsh (which I think is hilarious, the assholes who went genocide on people of a religion, they thought the democrats and KKK were too harsh for treating blacks as second-class citizens; priorities).  So they implemented a 3 drop policy instead, meaning if you had 3 parents or grandparents who were Jewish, you were labelled a Jew, and less than a citizen, and eligible for the camps and the chambers.  Wonder if Hitler fit those parameters.

Anyway, apparently, prior to WWII, or at least prior to learning of the said concentration camps and genocide of the Jewish people, the democrats, and Franklin D. Roosevelt admired Hitler, for his rise to power, for turning Germany into a more efficient socialist populist country, and felt honored to know he based some element of his policies off of that of the democrat handbook.  But once the war ended and the genocide became known, the democrats had a change of heart.  They couldn’t be found to be associated with Germany at that point, not in that way.  So they took inspiration out of the Nazi’s handbook, to censor/rewrite history, stating that they had nothing to do with Hitler’s policies, being an inspiration or otherwise, and shift that onto the republican right, something they would also do during the 1960s civil rights movement.

As the poster for the film indicates, Dinesh also attempts to draw parallels between Abraham Lincoln and Donald Trump, stating that both were elected during a time when there was pushback against democratic racism, which would end up igniting a civil war.  However, it is here that Dinesh is stretching.  Granted, there are some similarities between the two presidents when it came to the social/political climate, but it really oversimplifies history when stating that the civil war happened because Lincoln became president.  While it’s true that may have been a factor, that wasn’t the sole factor, and probably not even the primary factor.  No more than slavery was (again, it was a factor, but probably not the primary factor).  There was also the economic and social differences between the North and the South, with how the North was developing advanced technology while the South stayed a bit more on the, for lack of a better word, primitive side of technology. State rights vs. Federal rights. Unions and workers.  It was about how the North was evolving into a new way of life while the South wanted to stay in an older way of life.  The development of technology that would make slaves picking cotton an inefficient and outdated method compared to technology that would do if for plantation owners, the North embraced this, the South did not.  Both sides had rights and wrongs, but neither were able to resolve their differences through dialogue and compromise.  So the war came.

So the film gets docked a point for that parallel attempt.  But it does get a partial point back for pointing out that there were still plenty of Democrats in the North during the civil war who were very much pro-slavery, who were against the president, even as war was tearing the country apart.  Personally, I would’ve found it amusing if the documentary also pointed out the parallels between Hollywood actors of today tend to be anti-Trump, and how John Wilkes Booth was clearly anti-Lincoln.  There’s some similarities the film doesn’t address that feel like missed opportunities.

Well, they’re planting the seeds on destruction’s eve.
Then take away your rights to keep you free.
Yeah they’re planting the seeds on destruction’s eve.
Then take away your rights to keep you free
on your knees still the vengeance of the world
will target you! DOWN ON YOU? DOWN ON YOOOOOOOOU?!!!

Our flesh turned to ash will scatter in the wind.

BOOM BOOM BOOM!

Such a wicked force you had never seen though countless times it took place in your name.

BOOM BOOM BOOM!

Your apathy comes with a price tag after all it seems.

–Anti-Flag, When You Don’t Control Your Government People Want To Kill You

There is plenty of other stuff in the movie, and once it starts the whole parallel game, it moves at a very fast pace, so fast you’re forced to keep paying attention lest you lose some factoid that could fly over your head.  But I’ll only mention 2 other bits.

1.) Dinesh interviews this guy who is considered to be one of the most popular white fascist neo-nazis in America today, Richard Spencer.  Now personally, I didn’t really know anything about this guy until this film.  I mean, I’ve heard his name mentioned before, and I might’ve heard it being associated with white supremacy, but it’s always been more as an afterthought, as a “I couldn’t care less.”  So seeing some build-up to his reputation and then seeing the interview segment, I found it kind of interesting.  At first, I was trying to figure out if there was anything wrong with this guy, for someone many associate (by generalization, of course) with Trump and thus use that as a means to label both as white supremacists.  But the further the interview went on, the more distinct Spencer’s views became from Trump.  On top of that, his philosophical beliefs became more clear, and it became more obvious why he’s such a controversial figure.  He only wants white people to immigrate (legally) into America.  He doesn’t really believe much in the visa policy.  And, in some sense that’s not quite as simple as many would make it out to be, he does believe whites are superior, but not in a neo-nazi kind of way.  In any case, Dinesh does point out flaws in some areas of his beliefs, while at the same time showcasing how generalizing and “guilt-by-association” is dangerous for people on all sides, no matter their political stance or personal beliefs.

2.) The White Rose movement in Nazi Germany during the last years of the war.  Up until this film, I hadn’t heard of White Rose or Sophie Scholl.  For those who don’t know, she and her brother and other family/friends printed anti-nazi, anti-Hitler propaganda and secretly mailed it to citizens, pasted them in phone booths and random places in various cities, and placed them around classrooms and dormitories in schools.  However, she was eventually caught, tried, and executed, along with her brother. and acquaintance.  She was brought up near the end of the film as an example on how to win against true fascism, against true oppression, against censorship and socialist rule.  Would’ve helped if the film mentioned how her efforts and martyrdom actually helped Germany, but it seemed content just to show someone being the equivalent of a modern right-wing blogger/youtuber dying for a cause.

But that wasn’t enough to satisfy me.  So after getting home from the cinemas, I proceeded to look up some facts on this person, and was rewarded by finding a film titled Sophie Scholl: The Final Days.  It fleshed things out a bit, and opened up another point of view in Germany during WWII.  Yes there was rule by Nazis, harsh rules, strict penalties.  But you also gain insight into others who don’t identify as Nazis.  As those who are just German citizens.  Publicly, they support the Fuhrer.  But you can tell with some subtle manners and expressions, they do so out of fear of retaliation.  That many don’t want to see Germany continue to be this way.  So they stay silent (silent majority?) and cooperative with the Nazis and the National Socialist Party (ok, I guess those are the same thing in this case) rather than have the balls to revolt.  But not those in the White Rose movement.  Not Sophie Scholl.  She hoped to inspire others to  revolt and stop the madness.  And after her death, one of the last leaflets was smuggled out of Germany, and mass printed by the U.S., and they rained copies of the leaflet down onto Germany in mid-1943.  All this from a student who hated seeing how not just her school, but her country was turning out due to censorship, media, and a fanatical ruler and socialist party.

And today the damn thing is beginning to repeat itself.  It’s been happening in the U.K. with Tommy Robinson, it’s starting to happen in the U.S., particularly where anyone would want the brainwashing to begin, at the schools and campuses.  But it’s not just a political party (disguised as a religion) making all this happen, it’s also a religion (disguised as a political party).  The film opts not to bring up the religion portion of all this.

The title for this movie is “White Rose Campus… Then Everybody Gets Raped”  Seriously, that’s the translation.  My dark sense of humor make it too difficult for me to resist posting this here.

Despite the flaws, this film is relevant enough to be worth watching today, if nothing else than as a conversation starter, something to encourage critical-thinking and further research into the subjects covered in this film.  But that’s the difficult part, as I’ve seen.  From the opposing reviews I’ve read so far, many aren’t interested in digging deeper to find the flaws or embellishments, to compose constructive arguments for or against the film.  Many would rather just label it as nonsense just on principal, on the principals they’ve been taught and raised with by people just as ignorant as them. But to be fair, I’ve spotted at least one article that at least attempts to make a sound argument against the film.  Case in point, Vadim Rizov of AVClub:

To prove that Hitler wasn’t a “right-winger” but truly belongs to the left, D’Souza notes that the dictator is often deemed right-wing because he’s perceived as homophobic. (Well, yes.) But in fact, that’s incorrect, because Hitler tolerated homosexuals in the brownshirts as long as they were good fighters; ergo, he wasn’t homophobic, and by extension he’s not right-wing. Beyond the ridiculousness of the claim, D’Souza either missed the logical conclusion of his own argument—that to be right-wing is to be homophobic—or hopes the audience doesn’t clock the trap he’s set for himself.

The problem with this is that he’s cherry-picking.  This isn’t anywhere near the only argument Dinesh makes for Hitler not being a right-winger (though I will agree it is one of his weakest).  As stated earlier, there’s also his socialistic policies taken in-part from the democratic playbook (at the time), with how a socialist regime should operate, with how to repress citizens that can be made out to be enemies of the state, for the sake of having a scapegoat if nothing else (though I do believe Hitler had a belief about the Aryan race being superior and thus mandating non-Aryans be wiped out, similar to how blacks were viewed pre-1970s, let alone pre-civil war).  Plus how FDR among other democrats admired Hitler (as did JFK during the 1930s, though this isn’t mentioned in this film).  The gay segment was put in less as an attempt to separate Hitler from the right-wing than to say, “In some respects, he wasn’t as terrible as democrats in this regard.”  You know, like saying at least people don’t freeze to death in Death Valley, California.

One more bit from that article:

The reason D’Souza interviews Spencer is to prove that Trump is not a white nationalist; to that end, he asks Spencer questions about whether he loves America and the flag. Spencer spouts exactly the same kind of racist drivel he says in any situation (along with inexplicably citing James Polk as one of his favorite presidents), D’Souza says that he sounds more like a liberal than a conservative, and Spencer, predictably, doesn’t care; if that makes him a liberal, he’s fine with that. Case closed: Donald Trump loves Ronald Reagan and conservatism, unlike Richard Spencer, and therefore he’s not racist. That D’Souza carefully (“respectfully”) talks with Spencer, taking great pains not to overtly attack him, solely to make this inane non-point, is staggering.

Oversimplifying the conversation and cherry-picking yet again.  There’s also the immigration stances, Spencer’s views on whites as opposed to any other race, how no life is special, among other things I don’t recall many hours after viewing the movie.  Plus there’s more to be gained from his interview with Spencer than just, “This is how he differs from Trump.”

And it’s easy to spot ignorance when SJWs and radical left-wingers make statements that are usually groundless rather than a well-composed argument.  Those who just say it’s ridiculous hogwash rather than stating specifics as to what makes it hogwash.  Those who follow an SJW policy as blindly as many followed the Nazi policies in WWII, both in and out of classrooms.  And who believe it’s the right thing to do to silence opposition by shouting them down, by censoring them, and by attacking them; rather than by reasoning.

You can spoon my eyes out, But I can still see through you
Slice my ears from my head, But you cannot shut out the sounds of truth
Lock off each hand at the wrist, So I can’t raise my fist.

You can kill the protester, But you can’t kill the protest
You can murder the rebel, You can’t murder the rebellion
Sawed my feet at the ankles, But I wasn’t going to run
So he grabbed my face, And sliced off my tongue
Lock off each hand at the wrist, So I can’t raise my fist
You can kill the protester, But you can’t kill the protest
You can murder the rebel, You can’t murder the rebellion

–Anti-Flag, You Can Kill The Protester, But You Can’t Kill The Protest

The film doesn’t flesh out its points enough to be great, and it doesn’t help that some of the re-enactment scenes look so cheap.  And even though I’m a patriot, those 2 song segments annoyed the shit out of me.  But if you can look past that and focus on practically everything else that happens after the first 20 minutes, you’ll find relevant information.  The film may not fully succeed in the whole parallel thing, since it misses opportunities in some regards and reaches too far in others, but it does hit enough of the time.  Where the film primarily succeeds is in taking the arguments many SJWs come up with against Trump, and his supporters, and right-wingers in general, and throws them back in their face by exposing their own hypocrisy.  This is a film I would normally give 2 1/2 stars, but it’s current relevance gives it that extra half star.  This isn’t a film that will likely stand the test of time.  Most politically-driven documentaries don’t.

If Dinesh ends up making another film, he’s better off letting someone else direct and edit it.  He’s better as a writer and speaker than he is as a film-maker.

Mission Impossible: Fallout (2018) review, and a bonus movie.

The First International Mission: Impossible - Fallout Poster!
Seriously, can’t Americans get off their asses and make posters that are a bit more than just character’s upper-bodies and letters and numbers?  Just take a single fucking screenshot for a critical moment in the film!

Rated: 3.5 / 5

This franchise.  1st film should be a case study for how a director can take a mediocre script and turn it into a solid action/thriller.  2nd film is, eh, I don’t remember it entirely, it was ridiculous (though it did utilize the who face-mask thing that’s been used in a good amount of the films nowadays).  3rd film gave the franchise the bump it needed.  4th film finally made it solid.  5th film kept up the momentum.  And this film, Jesus.  It somehow tops the stuntwork in the previous entries (well, that opening airplane sequence from the last film still rivals the stuff found in this film).  That shouldn’t be possible, especially with Tom Cruise, who somehow defies his age restrictions and still moves around like a guy in his 30s.

And honestly, that’s the main draw for me in regards to why this film works.  The stuntwork, the choreography, the camera successfully capturing it all without resorting to unbearable shakey-cam, and not relying so much on green screen.  There’s plenty of sequences shot on location, and there’s a few different locations used to great effect.  Driving and running around France, and a helicopter ride through New Zealand.  It’s refreshing to see a film this grounded and making this much of an effort.

Now, that being said, this film didn’t do the one thing I thought it would do, that the trailers implied it would do, that the film title indicated it would do, and that the film’s theme indicated it would do.  The whole point of “fallout” is that there are consequences to Ethan Hunt’s actions.  How he’s willing to compromise the mission to save his friends, though with the intent of improvising on the spot to find a way to still complete the mission.  How those compromises will eventually have long-reaching effects he can’t control, which will eventually cause him to lose something he values.  Whether he loses a friend or loved one, or if he loses a mission.  This film cheats on that and decides at the end, “Nah, we want to keep this light-hearted and fun in the end.  You’re all here more for a popcorn flick rather than an emotional gut-punch, right?”  You can’t just fucking tease us like that goddamnit!  That makes the title a fucking lie!  Same thing with the theme.  And you can’t just brush that aside with some dialogue conversation like this:

“I feel bad.  If it wasn’t for me, you wouldn’t have been put in this position.  I put your life in danger.”

“But you are here for me now, and you saved me, and everyone else.”

This isn’t in the movie by the way.  A trailer exclusive.

So that makes me not want to like the film as much as a do.  But I’m a sucker for action and stuntwork like this.  Still, the film could’ve been better if it actually let the title carry some weight.

Metaphor for the several twists and turns and ulterior motives.  Never really had that much of a payoff in the end.

And, honestly, that’s all I have to say about the movie.  But this blog post, it’s too short.  I need to put in something else.  Bonus movie time.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2016 movie

Rated: 3.5 / 5

What the hell? Been Kingsley is in this?

What the shit? Anthony Hopkins is in this?

What the fuck? They share a scene together?

The movie had better live up to the standards those 2 just set.

Oh yeah, and Felicity Jones (the chick from Rogue One) is also in this. I don’t care if her acting is mediocre, she’s smoking hot and I’ll watch anything she’s in.

 




 

So the first third of the film is typical romantic interest to build up stakes for the action that comes later. And it’s not exactly done that well either. Not much chemistry, and neither actor/actress has the acting chops to make the intimate moments work.

“Well it’s kind of romantic.”

Then comes the last two-thirds when this movie turns into Grand Theft Auto. I shit you not. Assuming you’ve played just one of those games since San Andreas, picture one of those missions where you have to steal some drugs or money, and make it to a safe zone, but it doesn’t go anywhere near as smooth as you would like, because gangsters and drug dealers keep chasing you down and fucking up your vehicles, and eventually the police take notice and the star wanted level climbs from 1 to 2 to 3 to 4 (but not to 5, because at that point it wouldn’t be realistic; you know, like this movie), and your forced to keep hijacking one car after another to try and get away hoping you don’t get wasted, but at the same time you start getting into it and start wondering how much more damage can you and those around you cause, and how insane is it really going to get?

Yeah, that’s what the last 2/3rds of this movie is like. Don’t get me wrong, this isn’t in the same league as those Raid film’s (or even the Mission Impossible: Fallout film, even if the rating indicates otherwise), but damn if I didn’t have a fun time watching this movie!  I watched this film just on a whim not expecting much.  The first 1/3rd makes seem like it’s not going to amount to much.  But it’s just saving everything for the last 2/3rds which is nothing but non-stop action throughout.

The movie almost gets this insane.

If you want to see an honest-to-God videogame adaptation that doesn’t try to be a videogame adaptation yet does a better job at being a Grand Theft Auto movie than most films do at being an adaptation of any other videogame, give this a spin.  Don’t expect a masterpiece or anything, it’s basically something to watch when you’re expecting C-grade quality, but end up getting B+ quality.  No masterpiece, but still quite entertaining.

No children were harmed in the making of this movie.  In the making of this review on the other hand…

Plus it has Ben Kingsley hamming up the role as much as possible, and he’s the most entertaining character in the entire movie.  He has more charisma than the 2 lead protagonists and Anthony Hopkins combined (though to be fair, the lead protagonists hardly have any, so…).

 

PS: This fucking movie pulled the mother of all homo-erotic cockteases on me though, which is bullshit. There’s this scene where our protagonist gets into a car dazed and exhausted and worn out and waiting for another adrenaline rush to get him going again. Meanwhile, Been Kingsley brushes off a bullet wound and gets up, presumably towards the protagonist. And our protagonist goes into a dream-state, and imagines the door opening and his girlfriend getting into the car and making out with him. Now, if this movie had a solid pair of balls, and firm buns you could bounce a quarter off of, and a solid pair of tits than anyone of any sex would want to motorboat, they would’ve shown Been Kingsley making out with the protagonist. Any other faults this movie had would’ve been forgiven, and I would’ve given an initial rating of 5 stars just on principal.

 

In the Line of Duty IV (1989) drunk review

Post fucking-review rating: 3.5 / 5

Semi-Tangent Intro

“Well wait a minute, what about 1, 2, and 3?  Aren’t you going to review those?”

Not right now I’m not.

“Well shouldn’t you watch those first?”

Maybe, but I’m not going to.  I’ve heard from others that the first three aren’t as good as this one.  In fact, they get progressively worse as you regress through time from what I’ve heard.  On the one hand, I’ve never seen them, and don’t know anything about them other than they’re supposed to be Hong Kong martial arts flicks, so they could actually be worthwhile.  On the other hand, they’re fucking martial arts movies, so I don’t give a shit.   On the other hand, I promised to review this film if some mermaid named Samantha decided to watch and review that anime Dead Leaves, which she did (I promise I’m not high right now, that would cancel out the booze).

As far as I know, that’s like saying you should watch Ninja (starring Scott Adkins) before watching Ninja II: Shadow of a Tear (also starring Scott Adkins), when I can legitimately say that Ninja I is about as fucking dull as martial arts movies can get.  Pacing sucks, didn’t give a shit about the plot or the characters.  The only reason to watch the first one is to get a big laugh at this “sad” moment that happens in the first 20 minutes of Ninja 2.  Let me put it this way.  Throughout the entire first film, it’s all about this martial artist who fights to keep his girlfriend/fiance safe throughout the entire film, fighting off bad guys left and right, saving her ass countless times; even bringing her back from the verge of death near the end, and having a happy ending where they’re both lovey dovey.  Then the second film literally kills her off before the first act is over.  I was laughing my ass off when that happened, just knowing all he went through in the last film.  That’s the only reason to watch the first, to see firsthand all he did to keep her safe only for the sequel to shit all over that.  And I didn’t mind, because the action was way better (one of the better martial arts films out there, and one of the best Scott Adkins films in existence; fuck Expendables 2 for making him expendable by the way), the plot and characters were more interesting, and it’s an altogether more memorable film.

Plus I’m the kind of guy who likes eating his dessert first before getting through the bland main course.  On that note, I’ll be treating myself to my new favorite alcoholic beverage, Malibu Caribbean Rum With Coconut Liqueur throughout the runtime, and doing my usual typing/reviewing while simultaneously watching the film, proving to all the doubters that I can multitask, let alone proving that drunk people can multitask.  And if there’s any typos (likely more than usual), fuck it, they stay (but I will be inserting gifs/pics/vids in post-production, hopefully right after watching it while I still got a buz).  And in case you think this is too unhealthy, I’ve got that covered.  I vegged out an hour ago, eating my fill of broccoli and carrots.  It balances out, like eating a salad before taking on a ice cream sundae.

Alright, let’s see a young Donnie Yen beat the shit out of some punks.  And fair warning, I usually swear a lot more when I’m drunk, so… you’ve been warned.

 

Review *hic*

Alright, come the fuck on, do we have to see the MEdia Asia logo twice?  D & B sounds important… it’s Donnie & Breakdancing!

And… wait a minute… goddamnit, I guess I am too fucking drunk.  I downloaded the wrong fucking movie.  It’s the first Line of Duty, not the 4th one.  Hang on, let me find it and download it (gives me a chance to get even more drunk, I’m not fucked up enough; I get more intelligent the more drunk I get, assuming I don’t overdo it and spend the next 2 hours puking my guts out).  Ok, there it is.  Let’s try this again.

 

Fucking Review, Get It Right This Time, Take 2

Wait a goddamn minute!  Is this the same fucking movie!?  The title looks exactly the same!  Same fucking music, same fucking style of titles!  Am I losing my fucking mind here!?  Let me check back on the last motherfucking video.  Holy shit, I’m not losing my mind (well maybe I am, if these films keep pissing me off by being so similar during the first 2 fucking minutes), they are exactly the same.  Only difference is that the 4th movie has the number 4 stuck at the end of the title.  Who the fuck do these people think they are, Lucasfilms?  You’re not Star Wars and neither is your opening title credits.  This had better be fucking good.

Port of Seattle.  What the fuck?  Isn’t this supposed be in China?  Fuck it, who cares, just give me some action.

I’ve seen this chick somewhere before.  Must’ve been in some other Chinese flick from a long while back.

Hey!  There’s Donnie Yen!  Please tell me we’re going to get a male vs. female fight that’s a lot better than that shitty one from Ecks vs. Sever.

Uh… nothing is happening.  People staring and walking and day turning to night.  Boxes.  Van.  Hertz.

Fuck my life.  It’s not subtitled!  Now I gotta track down a version that does have subtitles!  Motherfuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuu—!!!

Fu*hic*cking take 3, and fuck you if you laughed.

Well now that I’m rewatching this opening segment, I see that there’s some coke tasting going on amidst this walking around.

Oh Jesus.  I’m never going to be able to watch this film as intended am I?  It’s subtitled, but the subtitles are partially cut off, and they’re dubbing over the fucking Chinese language with some other shitty language other than English.  Ok, I’m going to improvise.  Play 2 back to back, mute one, so that I can lsiten to the original audio and watch this half-assed subtitle version.  Christ, the things I put myself through.  Fucking youtube.

Oh, wait, finally found a decent streaming site that actually has the movie in the original fucking dub with english fucking subtitles.  4th time had better be the fucking charm, that’s half the fucking number of seasons that series had.

 

Take 4, appropriate for the film’s title; eat a dick.

Sneaking around the transportation docks with some Hertz product placement.  Decent jumps.  Sneaky acrobatics.  Busted, or not.

“Make yourself at home, have a drink.”  Alright, now you’re talking my language; it’s universal you judgemental pricks.

Huh, I guess this is in Seatlle, with Chinese workers.  Illegal immigrant Chinese workers, one of which got his ID card (hey, at least he worked for it).

Whoop, smash through window.  The fuck?  These aren’t police.  Gangsters?  Loan sharks.  Chinese loan sharks.  You never fuck with Chinese loan sharks.  Unless you know karate apparently, then you can threaten them with screwdrivers (and no, I’m not talking about the drink).

Now, you see, why can’t Americans make fight scenes this good?  Holy fucking shit!  Wrench nunchucks?  Ok, now this movie is fucjing awesome!  Fuck sinks.

Ah, gambling debts.  What’s worse?  Loan sharks, or casino mercenaries?

Ok, are they just doing a fight scene for the hell of it now?  I guess not, there is this guy was was actually tailing her who she caught and fought off.  I thought it was some master-apprentice thing.  Ah, why should I care?  The action is good.

Seeing young Donnie Yen is almost like seeing young Keanu Reeves.  Put them in a movie together!

What the fuck movie!?  Why are you having Donnie Yen arrive at the scene of a beatdown crime after the beatdown is over?  That’s bullshit!  He should be kicking ass and taking names!  Whoop, I sit corrected, he did arrive in time to beat the fuck out of two guys no one gives a shit about.

Camera product placement.  Oh come on, since when does a loan officer ever succeed in arresting at least half a dozen guys?  It never happens.  Just let us see this guy die and get it over with.  Jesus, this film didn’t waste anytime fulfilling that wish.  That fucking idiot deserved to get capped too.  Had the gun aimed at him while he slowly reached for a shotgun, casually pulled it out, and blasted him.  What a fucking idiot.

Wait, he’s not dead yet?  Come on!  Ok, now he is, just in time to hand camera evidence over to some other guy who will get away.

Typical interrogation BS.  Seattle police, of course they speak Chinese.  Police brutality.

You know, this movie is stupid.  But it’s fun.  Of course some arrested guy in the interrogation room can beat up a corrupt cop, steal and wear his police uniform, and walk out of the station scott free.  Simple.

“America is a hard place to make money.  You’re better off in Hong Kong.”

Ok, that’s pure Chinese bullshit propaganda right there.  That’s only true if you’re a coporporate owner or something.

Why aren’t there any English speakers yet?  This is like if everyone spoke fucking English in that Tom Cruise movie The Last Samurai.

Bhahahah!  They tell him to freeze and he throws a loaf of bread at them!  I fucking love it!

For fuck’s sake, pick up the goddamn gun and use it against them.  But no, only the bad guys can use guns.  Some bullshit, I should be jacking off and watching Tiger on the Beat.

Yes!  A Donnie Yen fight!  Nice run across the roof of apartment buildings.  Budget product placement.  Fast scene transition.

Oh come on, you’re telling me Mr. Facial Hair can’t speak English either?  How many fucking Chinese speakers do they have in Seattle?  They must have as many Chinese speakers there as they have Mexicans in California!

Pfft!  What they hell was that?  That whole putting together a ripped in half dollar bill?  Oh for fuck’s sake.  The black guy speaks Chinese too?  In the slums?  I wanna see some Italian director make a spaghetti western in Africa and have them all speak Russian.

Ok, now I think they’re in China, so now they have an excuse to speak Chinese.  And they’ve got Chinese police who swarm around not doing any bullshit.  They don’t fuck around like Americans do.

Another Donnie Yen fight!  Bhahahahah!  His name is Donny!  I fucking love this movie!

“By running off, you’re innocence has turned to guilt.”  Tell that to Harrison Ford in The Fugitive.

It’s just nonstop action isn’t it?  Now they’ve hijacked an ambulance and used sleeping gas.  Except that one girl was smart enough to use an oxygen tank.  Nice stuntwork.  Holy Christ, this is really fucking good stuntwork!  And they’re playing Street Fighter music!  This is one of the greatest movies of all time!  Indiana Jones ain’t got shit on this girl!  Seriously, they’re ripping off Raiders of the Lost Ark here.  Well, almost.

Oh, God!  Now that’s brutal fucking torture.  Hands tied up, feet dangling on a giant ice slab in a freezer.  Tied up to an ice cube in a freezer.  That’s brutal shit.  Oh God!  Now they spray him with water while he’s in the freezer!

Oh come on, that’s fucking lame!  There’s no way they shoudl’ve gotten out of that!

Ooooooohhhhhh.  Ok, a double-cross.  Well now the escape isn’t fucking lame.

It’s the Chinese police.  Whoop Whoop!  It’s the sound of the beats (your ass all the way to Chinatown).  Whoop whoop!

Hey, what happened to Donny?  I know Yeung is more of the star here (next to this other guy who no one will remember after this movie ends, though he’s not half bad with the martial arts), but still.

Oh shit!  Plot twist, Donnie Yen is his mother!  Ahahahahah!  Ok, so she’s in the kitchen, it would’ve been better (and made more sense) if Donny was his mother.  With parental abuse and everything.  “How dare you criticize my cooking!  Take this karate chop!”  *whack!*  “Not eat my Chinese noodles!?”  *kwack!*  “Holy Long Wang Batman!”  *Bam!*  Handcuffed dumpling eating.  *slap!*

Fuck’s sake, they’re doing this bumbshit romance angle?  She’s too good for this guy, even if he is a wrongly accused martial artist, whose a blue-collar lifter.

Donny says, “I’m a policeman from America.”  Right, and I’m a photographer from India.

Holy shit!  Did the main blue-collar Chinese protagonist just die?  What the fuck!?  Is Donny holding a mannequin?  Where the fuck did that come from?  Why the fuck is he carrying it?  How is the protagonist still alive after taking a chest shot?  Don’t tell me Donny is going to die?  Oh yeah, look up after Donnie fell down, ’cause that’s where Donny went 1 second later.  Huh, decent hiding spot in all honesty.  What about the mannequin?

Weirdo fight.  Mind game fight.  Decent.  The sounds this guy made though…

Blah blah, fell sorry for chest-shot protagonist and emotion philosopy moral lesson on compassion, blah blah, don’t act cool– what!?  Donny not act cool?  Fuck you lady!

“Both of you are responsible for his life.”  Let me correct that.  “Both of you are irrestponsible for his life.”

US navy seal pentagon with connection to the U.S. pentagon?  Man, this film really does have it out for Americans doesn’t it?  While ripping off their films.  Seriously, there’s some Lethal Weapon vibes I’m getting now.

More police brutality.  And the American dies.  Well, he was an asshole anyway.

Car bomb.  Psych!  Hospital ambush.  Psych!  It’s just a nurse.  Psych!

God Cynthia Khan and Donnie Yen make a great duo.  Now I want to see the rest of these films, assuming both are in them.

Donnie Yen and his feels.

“Sorry, I shouldn’t have said that.”  What the hell?  You didn’t call her a bitch or a woman yet (’cause the latter would be offensive, obviously).  She just said you were thinking that!  This is… ghah!

“Hey, foul mouth!”  Yes?

Side-note: Have to admit, Malibu rum tastes better when it’s not chilled, unlike vodka (the latter tastes shitty no matter what temperature you drink it at; try sake, it’s great whethere it’s chilled, hot, or lukewarm).

“Yes sir.”  Holy motherfucking shitballs!  They spoke English!  It’s a mirale!

Shootout drug-bust (pity we don’t see the other kind of bust).

Yes!  One of those great so-bad-it’s-good deaths only asian martial arts flicks can produce!  You know, the kind where they seem to be writhing in pain and agony, then fall limp-dick dead less than a split-second later.  I never get tired of seeing that shit, because there’s no way I can’t laugh at it.

Catfight!  Kick to the tits!  Holy shit, this fight is the best thing since the ambulance fight!

Hah!  Donny’s instinct to being waken up suddenly.  Wake up swinging!  God I love this movie!

Hah!  Black dude in a granny outfit!  God I love this movie!  Delayed kick-to-face reaction.

Donny makes drinking tea look cool.

Ok, I’ll admit, this criticism of America is warranted here.  Bashing the CIA for selling drugs to South America.  But this isn’t exactly a deep movie.  It’s just one more excuse to have another fight scene.

Oh, what the hell?  Why in the holy mother of all fucks is there an axe sticking out of a tree next to a public street?  This makes no goddamn sense.

Oh God yes!  A motorcycle fight!  A motorcycle shovel vs. sledgehammer fight!  Now I know there’s a God!

So now they’re on the run from the police because that asshole says they’re criminals?  I’m not even sure how the fuck he convinced them to do that (get the police to treat them as criminals that is).

Oh.  Oooohhhh! I sense a finale!  And there’s a giant fuck-off American flag that you just know is going to get desecrated somehow.

Ok, this is a first.  A tape cassette that’s also a bomb.  Points for originality on that one.

Final fight, 3 on 3.  Coke advertisement.

Typical bullshit.  Good guys take a beating, feign pain and suffering, then take the bad guys out with a Van Damme comeback like it was nothing, without giving the villains a chance to feign pain.  At least the villain chick earlier had that going for her, even if she lost and got the shit kicked out of her.

Donnie Yen vs. big black musclecakes.  This fight is actually pretty damn good too.  There’s a few really great fights in this movie.

How the hell did that last gunshot work?  Ah, whatever.

Yep, called it, flag desecration.  Would like to see America do something like that to the Chinese (or Russian, or Korean) flag.

And it’s over.

Double watch?

 

Fucking Conclusion

This movie is fun.

 

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The People vs. George Lucas (2010) non-review

Rated: 3 / 5

A bit too hard on him over the prequel films in my opinion (this isn’t a film capable of delving into the pros and cons of the prequel trilogy). Then again, it was mostly based on an initial reaction, plus it does take eventually consider the perspective/opinion of the new generation, the young kids, who didn’t mind the faults in the films. On the other hand, it only too briefly mentions websites that supported the prequel films after the backlash.

The main strength lies in the debate over Lucas altering the original trilogy, and the angry back-and-forth opinions generated from fans around that issue. Plus the mentioning of how Lucas became the very thing he was fighting against, and became a hypocrite against his own philosophies.

The film is biased, but for the most part it’s my kind of bias. Regardless, can’t give it more than 3 stars for that reason.

I wrote some notes during my viewing, and I figured I’d change things up a bit and just put out what I’ve written (with some additions as I type), as sporadic and messy as they are.  I’d rather just let the film speak for itself rather than comment too much on it (as I believe I’ve had my say over this subject in my earlier review of The Last Jedi).

 

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Star Wars: Goddamnit that’s fucking it!

A Long Massive Intro

“If Hollywood isn’t going to risk telling new stories, the least they could do is not fuck up the old ones.”

I tried.  I tried with considerable effort to avoid getting back into discussing this film.  I did a review of this film months ago, and I may have left a couple things out, but I had my say.

But no.  Nope.  Nuh-uh.  Social media, youtube, review sites, blog sites, articles, all of them just wouldn’t let me let it go.  The shit they kept saying, the clashes, the responses and backlashes from those who liked the movie, and those who didn’t.  And on top of all that shit, the goddamn movie studios paying off critics and websites to take down or altogether prevent the publishing of negative criticism.  Rotten Tomatoes is the holy grail, the end-all-be-all of opinions that everyone must live by or be damned (because it’s always safe to throw all your eggs into one basket).

Jesus Christ.  So much bullshit that keeps building up, and just made me despise the movie, and the studio and those behind-the-scenes who made the film, even more.  They’ve done more damage than the plot holes and logical fallacies ever could have.  And I…

am…

PISSED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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