So several days ago a mass shooting took place in New Zealand and a couple mosques. The shooter live-streamed the first mosque shooting, and the feed cut off as he was driving to the 2nd mosque.
The response was predictable from the media, both in New Zealand, and in the United States. They have gun control laws in New Zealand, so the next step is to ban guns altogether (though I do wonder if the guns the shooter used were legal in the first place). Trump is blamed, for some reason. And there’s the whole 78 page manifesto the shooter allegedly wrote that justified his actions. And last but not least, whites are condemned (including Australian whites, since the shooter is Australian), while the muslims are protected and pitied, which always tends to happen regardless of whether its muslims getting killed, or muslims killing non-muslims.
I was ready to rant and rave about all this, but I restrained myself. I needed time to think about the whole thing before venting. As it turns out, that was the right call to make. Because the whole thing, at least as far as the live-streamed video is concerned, seems to be one big false-flag operation. The video is a fraud. Real people weren’t killed on that video. We’ve been had.
Now before you go off on me in a, “How dare you sir!” type of manner, hear me out. I was skeptical about these claims of the video being faked myself. And yeah, I actually managed to download a copy of the nearly 17 minute video before it was taken down. And I watched it. And something about it seemed off, but I didn’t feel the need to analyze it too closely. As for my initial emotional reaction to it, I’ll get to that later. But anyway, I wasn’t convinced it was fake until it was pointed out how blatantly fake it really is. From a video uploaded to BitChute by trevorlyman. He points out how bullet casings were literally disappearing mid-air (indicating they were added in via CG or something). The way he took out these two groups of people at the back-end of the mosque. No bullet holes in the walls (let alone arterial spray). And that at least half of these bodies are mannequins. After seeing the video again with his analysis in-mind, I say that conclusion is the only plausible one. It’s a fake. We’ve been had.
Doing my own personal analysis afterwards, I did notice how peculiar that whole thing is regarding the disappearing bullet casings. While he’s indoors, the casings are definitely flying onto the floor and stay there. Those seem real. But when he picks up the magazine that was in the building lying on the floor before the shooter even entered the building, and uses it to fire outside, those are the bullet shells that disappear in mid-air. The rest seem to have real shell casings that were basically blanks (either that or they fire rubber rounds, or do some sort of air-soft action). And even if we disregard the whole bullet casing issue, there’s no way a shotgun blast wouldn’t leave a tone of blood on the white tile the first 2 victims were initially on when they get blasted. The blood doesn’t appear until later in the video, like they slit open a blood pack, similar to what they do in professional wrestling except it looks more real in wrestling.
Even if one of those things could be explained away, there’s too much wrong with this video to make it believable for those who actually analyze it. Which begs the question: if that video was staged, then where the hell did those 50 bodies come from that’s being reported in the news? Answers to that are likely not to be found if New Zealand gets their way and keeps not only the video of the actual shooting banned (and arresting anyone who possesses it), but keeps everyone in the dark by banning access to 4chan, 8chan, Bitchute, ZeroHedge, and Dissenter. And yet, Facebook isn’t listed among one of those sites they seem to want to ban, despite the fact the video was initially “livestreamed” on Facebook (even if it was more likely this “livestream” was just streaming a pre-recorded video). It stinks of making it officially impossible for the public to analyze the video for themselves under the guise of emotions and morality, while likely doing so to keep the false flag operation running.
Even if it was Real
Here’s the thing though. Whether the video was real or not, the response to it is very much real, and is done with an intent. The cries for the victims. The sympathy for the muslims. The backlash against white people and, somehow, to Donald Trump. And the calls for banning guns, of course. Even though it was one or two people with a gun that drove off the shooter from the 2nd mosque, something I don’t think we’re going to get the actual details on, especially when there wasn’t a livestream of that portion of the incident.
So here’s how I felt about the whole thing when I initially saw the video and initially thought it was real (despite some aspects of the video that seemed iffy to me, making be a tad bit reluctant to view it as legit, but not enough to stop me from buying into it on a first watch). Not a goddamn thing. I didn’t feel any sympathy for these people getting blasted. And I especially didn’t feel like donating to some muslim victim’s clause like Paul Joseph Watson suggested in his video response to the whole thing. It felt like a “what goes around comes around” sort of thing. Considering how often fucking radical muslims tend to do massacres like this frequently, yet no calls to action or even shame are done towards them, at least not in the MSM. Except for Senator Fraser Anning.
And he’s already getting backlash for those remarks.
Does anyone else find it strange that muslim attacks against virtually anyone else, whether it’s another religious group or a non-religious group, or even a gay group, doesn’t tend to get this kind of attention, and this kind of call for blaming the attackers? I’ve become so sick of the hypocrisy that I wouldn’t shed a tear if the same fucking thing happened to a bunch of muslims. As in actually happened, with no false flags.
Muslims have gained too many priveleges in our society, the kind that isn’t much different from the priveleges that white people had during the days of racism (from the 1960s and earlier), and in many films depicting such. The media is playing into the very narrative this “shooter’s” manifesto stated it wanted them to play. Blaming Trump, pewdiepie, Candace Owens, and accelerating a civil war between muslims and nationalists. And I honestly can’t say I entirely disagree with that idea, all things considered. Especially if every shooting that happens, even those stopped from someone carrying a concealed firearm, only seems to serve as another reason to promote gun control and gun bans.
I’m sick of that flawed reasoning, I’m sick of the hypocrisy, I’m sick of people ignoring facts, I’m sick of the muslim privilege, and I’m sick of the calls for gun control. Fuck radical muslims, and fuck the MSM.
Nothing can break me out of my slumber like a potential debate on a wild subject. So I’ve been tweeting and gabbing a bit here and there, but not really finding it in me to make another full-blown blog post. Until now. Hope they don’t disappoint me.
So this all started, sort of, with that shooting at Thousand Oaks. So the same sort of arguments came up that usually come up around this point in time before anyone has any time to grieve (because let’s face it, many people who weren’t in the area give less of a shit about the victims and more of a shit about using them as a means to an end to make a political point about gun control, or lack thereof). “We need more gun control!” “It happened because it was in a gun-free zone!” “Conservatives suck dick!” “Liberals suck dick!” You know, all that stuff.
But I was taken off-guard when the topic came up that far-right extremists are statistically proven to be more responsible for these “massacres” than left-wing extremists, let alone muslim-extremists (I wonder of the last two should be grouped together, considering how much left-wingers go down on Allah worshipers).
Let me start at the Twitter tweet (because let’s face it, it’s only on Twitter where I can find people with differing opinions to debate with, Gab is currently just an echo chamber; it’s going to take another couple years before that changes, if it lasts that long) where someone who goes by the name Historian@NeolithichHist got involved in the discussion to finally make it interesting (ie offer me a real challenge). Someone else did something like that in an earlier Twitter debate I had which got too convoluted, and I’ll include her in the discussion should she choose to get involved in this current one (I can handle double teaming should it come to that).
The problem is armed white conservatives. Every single time it’s a white conservative who legally purchased a gun.
The difference between identity politics and people identifying with politics is this: The Left uses the concept of identity politics to spread division and strife amongst people. So they bring this group into a room, and they tell them something different in this group, and there’s something different in this group, and they pit them against each other. […] On our side, and on the side that I think better represents what we believe, is that we use people… all we use things to identify with politics. So we say… Ok, this group of people learn differently, they have a different culture. We understand that. But we’re telling everybody the same thing. […] And that message is unity, freedom, and American values. Big difference, huge difference, and we have to understand that difference. And therefore we can reach outside of the box.
Finding studies that group people by their race, on the other hand…
According to a 2015 Brookings Institution study, 77 percent of white gun deaths are from suicide. Only 19 percent are homicides. Even when you combine homicides and suicides, the white-male death rate from guns is approximately 16 per 100,000. For white women, the rate is less than five per 100,000.
A staggering 82 percent of African-American gun deaths are homicides. Only 14 percent are suicides. The overall gun-death rate for black males is roughly double what it is for white males, and for black males between the ages of 20 and 29, the rate is approximately 89 per 100,000.
Gun deaths are lowest in the population that owns the most guns. Fully 41 percent of white households report owning a gun, compared with only 19 percent of black households. Among white Americans, there are more guns, but there’s less crime. Among black Americans, there are fewer guns, but there’s more crime.
After all, there is ample evidence that federal officials can be extraordinarily lax when it comes to gun crimes, especially in cities where the death toll is highest. As recently as 2012, the districts encompassing Chicago, Los Angeles, and New York ranked last in federal gun-crime enforcement per capita.
Cries for gun control will lose their potency when crime loses its potency.
The findings of the “Los Angeles Police Department Homicide Report” for 2017 are unsurprising for racial realists. According to this analysis, both the victims and perpetrators of violent crime in Los Angels are young, non-white, and poor. Of the 282 homicides which occurred in Los Angeles in 2017, 177—62.8 percent—were gang related.
Of all homicides committed in 2017 in Los Angeles, 72 percent involved handguns. Shotguns and rifles accounted for only one percent each. “Assault weapons”—the weapons targeted by current gun control push—accounted only for one percent. Firearms were used in 93 percent of homicides committed by gang members.
Suspect descriptions were provided for 146 of the homicides, yielding 171 suspects (some incidents involved more than one suspect). Of these suspects, 52 percent were Hispanic, six percent were white, and less than two percent were Asian. An astonishing 40 percent were black, despite blacks comprising less than ten percent of the city’s population.
And that’s where we left off, plus my mentioning that I’d carry this over to another website. So, regarding that article he linked to…
The only Islamist terror attack in Pennsylvania over the past 15 years was committed by Edward Archer, a mentally ill man who shot and injured a police officer in early 2016, later telling investigators that he pledged allegiance to the Islamic State. Far-right episodes of violent extremism were far more common.
A new database compiled by The Investigative Fund at The Nation Institute examines that claim by looking back over a nine-year period, from 2008 through 2016. The findings are dramatic: Far-right plots and attacks outnumber Islamist incidents by almost 2 to 1.
There are 201 incidents in the database, sorted broadly as Islamist, right wing (including white supremacists, militias and members of the so-called Patriot and sovereign citizens movements), and left wing (including animal right militants, environmentalists, anarchists and Black Lives Matter sympathizers). Most of the Islamist incidents are thwarted plots, indicating a significant investment of law enforcement resources. Most of the others are successful acts in which attackers damaged property or inflicted human casualties.
Right-wing extremist terrorism was more often deadly: Nearly a third of incidents involved fatalities, for a total of 79 deaths, while 13 percent of Islamist cases caused fatalities. (The total deaths associated with Islamist incidents were higher, however, reaching 90, largely due to the 2009 mass shooting at Fort Hood in Texas.)
Incidents related to left-wing ideologies, including ecoterrorism and animal rights, were comparatively rare, with 19 incidents causing seven fatalities – making the shooting attack on Republican members of Congress earlier this month somewhat of an anomaly.
Have to admit, it’s a very extensive article. The quotes above aside, it also points out how federal resources are used to target Islamists far more than right-wing-extremists. Which is disproportionate to the number of crimes right-wing-extremists commit compared to Islamic extremists, or even left-wing-extremists, which even when combined is still lower than the crimes committed by right-wing-extremists. The point the article is making is that right-wing-extremists (implying extreme conservative whites) are more responsible for acts of domestic terrorism, and causing fatalities by those terrorist acts, than any other political/religious group in the United States. As far as I can currently tell, there’s no disputing this (though I am open to opinions, with data to back them, that oppose this conclusion).
However, don’t be fooled by this. This found a way to take the broad discussion of dangers posed by groups based on their political/religious leanings, and narrowed it down in a way to make it appear that we should all be more critical and wary of right-wingers than left-wingers (there’s the muslims too, but for the purpose of this discussion we’ll leave them out of this for now; they were worth mentioning just because of the context the above article is to be taken). It only focuses on acts of terrorism, as the article defines it. It doesn’t take into account gang-violence, non-terror related incidents of fatalities. You know, where the big numbers are.
Let’s take into account the population of the United States and, statistically, how ethnically diverse it is (though that can be a bit tricky with the Latino population, given the illegal immigration issue). According to StatisticalAtlas.com, out of a population of over 200 million people in the United States, 62% are White, 17% are Hispanic, and a little under 13% are Black. Now with those numbers in mind, you would think crime stats would be similar to fit with those percentages. Since whites compose the majority of the population, you would expect the majority of the violent crimes to be committed by whites, mostly against other whites, sometimes against other races (the higher the number of other races, the greater the chance they will be a victim of the majority race). And you would expect Hispanics to make up the second highest amount of violent crimes, with Blacks taking third place. In a perfect and fair world, where everyone is the same and equal, and treated as such, that should be the case. And by the logic of that RevealNews.org article, that seems consistent with it at least in terms of race (at the moment, I can’t locate an article mentioning the ethnic percentages of what makes up those who identify as right-leaning, left-leaning, or just down the middle, so I wouldn’t know how to begin taking apart an argument stating that right-wingers are more dangerous because they’re composed more heavily of whites than left-wingers, anymore than I could make an argument supporting that view).
That being said, it’s not a fair and perfect world because we, as humans, are not a far and perfect species. We have political differences, we have cultural differences, and we have different hobbies. Because of those factors and more, anomalies are to be expected. The issue is what to make of those anomalies and how to address them without making things worse.
So with that in mind, back to the statistics. The RevealNews.org site states that right-wing-extremists are responsible for the deaths of 79 people from 2008-2016. An 8-year time-span. Not that I think nothing should be done about combating terrorist acts or anything, regardless of what race and political-party-supporters are doing them; but this is small potatoes. 79 deaths over the course of 8 years. Whoop-dee-fucking-doo. Non-white people, non-domestic-terrorist people, can beat that number in 1 year, in 1 city (not State, not County, City). Most of those committed by people who don’t legally own firearms. A good portion of those committed by non-white (and thus one could assume, by some strange logic, non-right-wing) individuals.
So they want to argue that because there are more right-wing-extremists in a white-majority country committing the most domestic terror acts on a white-majority population, we should do… what exactly? Have more gun control or eliminate guns when it’s statistically proven that More Guns = Less Crime? Have white guilt? Have right-wing guilt? I say we’re taking the wrong approach with that mindset, given some inconvenient facts that go against such conclusions. Consider the overall scale of crime. The overall crime rate, according to DisasterCenter.com, has been decreasing since 1991, without a single year of uptick. That being said, according to the same source, the murder rate has sort of always been in flux; but recent years have shown that it has been on the rise since 2014, and hasn’t gone down since. More than 17,000 U.S. citizens per year are murdered; it’s been that way since 2016. That’s too many just to simplify the argument down to, “But right-wing-extremists killed nearly 80 people in 8 years, roughly 10 people a year on average!” The problem is broader in scope than what domestic terror acts can account for. Certainly broader in scope than what right-wing-extremists can account for. Don’t let mainstream media which lives for sensationalism fool you into thinking otherwise.
On a side note, this does seem to fit an interesting pattern. A similar spike in overall murder rates occurred in 1999, with the number continuing to rise until 2003. So if the pattern is to repeat, that number should start to fall by, oh say, by either this year or next year. They seem to go by roughly 4 year patterns of rising and falling; making it seem like they coincide with presidential elections. Not sure if that’s a coincidence or if the political climate across the history of the U.S. is a contributing factor. On the other hand, I’m not so sure these are normal times we’re living in. Hindsight is 20-20, so time will tell.
“So you’re going to save the animal that shot him!?” “If I can.”
So I was interested in seeing this film in November of last year when it was set to release, but then it got pushed back to May 2, 2018, due to concerns of it being released after the events of a mass shooting. Guess that turned out well.
While I was eager to see this flick after watching the trailer last year (and becoming dismayed when I found it its release would be delayed until, well, today), I had my reservations. First, with Bruce Willis. The last film I saw him in where he looked like he gave a damn about the role and attempted to put some effort into it was Looper (a film I found to be mediocre, mainly due to some holes in the time travel logic, and the altered pace of the second half). Outside of that, most of the stuff he’s in he’s just sleepwalking through. Not putting hardly any effort into his role. Unfortunately, that’s still the case with this film, but he does become more alive during the action scenes. On the other hand, despite people stating how awesome Charles Bronson is, he pretty much did the exact same thing in the original 1974 Death Wish film.
The second reservation is with Eli Roth. Now, this director, he couldn’t make a great film to save his life. The best anyone could ever hope for from him is a B+ movie, and that’s it. Most of the time he releases C-grade material that can be entertaining, but not good enough to be entirely memorable. He loves putting gore into his films, can keep a film interesting enough to sit through all the way to the end, and usually injects enough thought-provoking material to consider when the film is over; but let’s be fair here, it’s stuff you would only think about for a couple moments and then move on, it’s never heavy. That being said, for a film like this, a competent B+ actioner was all that I really needed. Plus, unlike just about every other film he’s done, this one doesn’t star annoying youngsters. He finally directs something with a middle-aged (or older-aged; sorry Bruce) protagonist having the lead role.
When the original Death Wish film was released in 1974, it was released to much controversy. Critics decried its support of vigilantism, repulsed by the violence and the rape scene, and proclaimed the film as immoral to society. Yet it was a hit with audiences, and it sparked discussion on the concept of vigilantism, especially with the rising crime rates. Cut to today, and it doesn’t seem like much has changed on the controversy aspect, except that now “racism” is thrown into the mix, and choosing to attack groups of people with certain political views in addition to the concepts brought up in the film, as opposed to just exclusively attacking the ideas in the film itself.
One could say it’s definitely not a good time in America to release a movie which embraces gun-toting vigilantism with a complete disregard for any repercussions, one that offers a well-to-do white man as the answer to crime, but it’s never really a good time to release such an insensitive, tone-deaf movie. The crucial arc of pacifist-to-maniac is missing here, leaving the feature pointless, merely staging a “protect your family” parade. The only challenging thing about this movie is watching it.
Moving it to Chicago is basically code for “let’s shoot black people”
In moving the setting to Chicago, a city where gun violence is both well-documented and highly politicized, and setting the trailer to “Back in Black”, the remake tips its hand: 2017’s Death Wish comes off as a work of cowardice and opportunism, piggybacking off hard-right fear-mongering and a government that’s completely and utterly disingenuous in its rhetoric about violent crime when nationwide, crime rates—despite rises in cities thanks to mass shootings like the Pulse massacre in Orlando—remain historically low. This stands in stark contrast to the state of violent crime in the U.S. during the ’70s, a decade that did see rising crime as well as some of the most notorious killers in the nation’s history.
The new Death Wish has an entirely different context, one where guns are routinely turned on black citizens by white supremacists and white cops, where mass shootings regularly occur and lawmakers refuse to do anything about it, where guns in the hands of the populace is not a rarity but arguably an epidemic. It takes a profound level of either ignorance or craven, willful opportunism to think that this is a moment to make a film about a white man’s rage channeled through the barrel of a gun.
Although, even trying to have fun with the gritty revenge flick can prove troublesome; for some indefensible reason 95% of the criminals are minorities. The self-aware jabs at how easy it is to acquire a gun in America (Bruce Willis takes a few comedic trips to a satirical weapons store similar to Ammunation the Grand Theft Auto games) feel halfhearted and edited in after recent tragedies to throw criticism in both directions of the political spectrum. And let’s face it, watching a teenage girl fear for her life during a shootout right now is probably the last thing people will want to see, regardless of how the scare turns out. Honestly, an enlightened remake of Death Wish would not place Jordan in a coma, instead, it would give her a real character alongside PTSD in the aftermath of such events. The limited amount of perspective we do get from her is better than anything else in the movie from a narrative standpoint,
It’s the absolute wrong movie at the absolute wrong time. With our country currently reeling from the latest in what seems like an endless cycle of sickening school shootings, there couldn’t be a worse moment for a film that not only fetishizes gun violence, but also seems to get off on it. I’m sure there must have been long hand-wringing debates about whether to shelve the film for a couple of months and let the still-fresh wounds heal. At least I hope so. But whatever the case, the louder and more irresponsible voices in the room seem to have won out.
The audience I saw it with (in a Blue State, no less) cheered like crazy during the moments that might have otherwise given them pause. […] But the marketing of the film is another matter entirely. It has an unmistakable stink of rah-rah Make America Great Again-ness to it. It’s patriotic red meat thrown to the NRA crowd.
A time of Trumpist racism, incoherent gun policy, fear of police, etc., would be fertile subjects for mainstream films that use genre metaphors to address real national debates. That’s something this Death Wish doesn’t even try to be. Something has gone very wrong in Hollywood when one longs for the moral nuance of a Charles Bronson exploitation flick.
The NRA would have you believe that the answer to a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun. But what about a bad movie with a gun? There will surely be those who approach Eli Roth’s updated “Death Wish” — with Bruce Willis taking over outlaw-justice duties for Charles Bronson — as the fantasy balm of righteous violence they need after the headline horrors of so many mass killings.
But is an upstanding man turned instant vengeance machine, who slays only the right criminals, who never hits a bystander, really the message our roiling gun-debate conversation needs right now?
Never addressed, though, is the racial truism that if an anonymous, hoodie-shrouded person of color from a poor neighborhood were dispensing street justice, he’d hardly be labeled a “guardian angel” or people’s hero. He might not even be covered by the media. But that kind of truth-telling would just harsh this movie’s NRA-friendly buzz.
It’s anyone’s guess if the nation’s newly politicized, gun-control-hungry teenagers will be a decisive demographic in this movie’s box office fate. But as I left the screening for “Death Wish,” one middle-aged white guy barked out over the credits, “God bless the NRA! Arm the teachers!” Trigger warning, indeed.
It’s difficult to think of a film more out of step with the current culture than Eli Roth’s remake of Michael Winner’s 1974 action thriller Death Wish. At a time when Americans are constantly bombarded with reports of unpunished police brutality, the film suggests that the true problem with justice in our country is that law enforcement isn’t violent enough.
Watch it now, and you laugh at the campier aspects, cringe at the outright racism and sit slack-jawed as a Southern yokel/NRA avatar circa ’74 talks about how the only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun.
But it helps to remember that this Nixon-era law-and-order wet dream also became a huge blockbuster hit, sparked a lot of point/counterpoint conversation about vigilantism, gave Charles Bronson’s career a shot in the arm and kicked off a revenge-fantasy franchise that went well into the Nineties. […] And given how Trump resurrected that same “law and order” rhetoric to scare voters and play to his base’s baser instincts, you can see why an opportunist might want to remake it now, right?
2018 is turning out to be a truly inclusive year for on-screen representation. “Black Panther” invited African-American audiences to see themselves in a massive superhero movie that wasn’t about their own oppression, “A Fantastic Woman” gave transgender women the chance to see themselves in an acclaimed film that wasn’t terribly retrograde, and now Eli Roth’s dangerously enjoyable “Death Wish” gives right-wing lunatics the opportunity to see themselves in a fascist fairy tale that wasn’t directed by Dinesh D’Souza. To each their own cinema.
The grossest part of the entire movie are the milliseconds between when you smile at what you’re seeing and when you recoil at what it means. Roth implicates us in the violence to an extent that the original never did, or never could.
Irresponsibly tone deaf, maverick in its thematic ignorance and pornographic in its fetishistic gun obsession. There’s never a point where vi-o-lent vigilante justice might *not* be the answer, always gruesomely inflicted with Rothian levels of fatal body trauma. For a movie that opens with media chatter about how Chicago’s criminal epidemic has reached near-dystopian levels, there’s a shocking lack of responsible messaging under peeled layers of flesh. No matter how much you might want to separate your politics from movies, Death Wish refuses to let you. It’s a dumbfounding example of the exact kind of weapons normalization we *do-f#&king-not* need in mainstream pop culture right now.
The scene, by all rights, ought to be a nasty bit of business: a middle-aged white avenger in a hoodie, popping out of nowhere to blow a black drug dealer away. But that “last customer” line plays like an old Schwarzenegger kiss-off, and the lawless killing is followed by equal-time commentary from black and white talk-radio hosts — the film’s explicit attempt to defuse any racist overtones.
More than that, the reality of a glib execution like this one is that audiences have been consuming overripe revenge thrillers for 45 years now, and they no longer take them all that seriously. Blowing someone away with unsmiling moral cool is now an act of violent comedy. (That’s certainly how the multi-racial audience reacted at the preview showing of “Death Wish” I attended; they hooted and hollered with glee.)
“Death Wish,” make no mistake, is a movie that has its heart in the wrong place. It’s an advertisement for gun fetishism, for taking the law into your own hands, for homicide as justice, for thinking of assault weapons as the world’s coolest toys. Given that the eternal debate about gun control has now been heightened, post-Parkland massacre, to a new state of urgency, the film, depending on your point of view, is either horribly timed or spectacularly well-timed. An N.R.A. cultist might see the new “Death Wish” and think, “Hollywood finally made one for our side.”
There is no clear explanation as to why Roth decided today’s world needed to revisit the franchise’s ultra-right-wing dog whistling. Perhaps a George Zimmerman biopic fell apart due to rights issues, and this was the closest producers could get. Or maybe the cinema needs just that much more sickeningly sincere gun fetishization – they’ve certainly got an audience in Senator Marco Rubio, so that’s one ticket sold.
Death Wish is the last movie we need right now. Eli Roth‘s remake of the 1974 original is just as tasteless and tone-deaf as its exploitative trailer promised, with Bruce Willis‘ doctor-turned-vigilante Paul Kersey doling out gunpowdered justice against the milieu of Chicago’s real-life gun violence epidemic after his wife is killed during a home invasion.
Actually: No. There’s no better time to sit with director Eli Roth’s version of “Death Wish.” Sixteen days after Parkland; 17 days after the murder of Chicago police Cmdr. Paul Bauer; the same week as our president’s assertion that he would’ve run into that Florida high school and taken care of business, gun or no. Yes, it feels like the week for this movie.
Funny thing: Initially, MGM had this Bruce Willis “Death Wish” reboot scheduled for a Nov. 22, 2017, launch. But a week after last fall’s gun massacre in Las Vegas, the studio thought, well, maybe this isn’t the moment to get audiences jazzed about an NRA wet dream. So MGM waited, forgetting that America never goes too long between massacres.
So that’s the general atmosphere of mainstream film critics, and I’m sure mainstream news sites and talk shows, most of which are liberal and pro-gun-control. Unlike the 70s where they just called the film repulsive, today they not only call it repulsive, but call anyone who enjoys it repulsive, and call anyone related to being pro-Trump or pro-NRA repulsive (and racist, and alt-right, and pro-fascist).
Ok, first of all, can’t we just agree that there are people out there who don’t give a fuck about politics and just want to see a revenge-thriller? Not everyone who would find enjoyment in this move fits those “negative” traits, and even if they did those trait definitions have been stretched so broadly just about anyone could fit into their definition.
Second, just because someone is pro-NRA, pro-Trump, anti-gun-control, doesn’t mean they’re an asshole who promotes violence and wants to kill everyone. I’m tired of seeing people like that, including me, being labeled as such.
Third, and this is the big one, I think they fear that films like this, about vigilantes and how their way can work because police aren’t a guaranteed source of protection (as many recent shootings have demonstrated; if these cocksuckers are going to exploit shooting massacres to justify not seeing a film, then I’m going to be one of those cocksuckers who will exploit the shootings and justification for seeing the film). Because this film, and the original Death Wish (among other films between 1974 and 2008, nevermind the 1973 Walking Tall film), provide reasons as to why and how having guns (good guy with a gun) can eliminate criminals early on who wish to cause violence among innocent civilians (ie the bad guy with a gun). They wanna label anti-gun-control individuals as people who want violence to happen and as deplorables who will make things worse, that can go both ways. Why not label the pro-gun-control individuals as those who also want violence to happen. See how things work out if you ask that some guy with a gun follows the law and not shoot anyone when he’s about to start shooting people. See how that worked out for many examples in the past where a good guy with a gun stopped such incidents before they got exponentially worse. Forget about seeing so judgemental and open-minded and letting people make up their own decisions.
“Everyone is very sensitive, everyone is ready to take a stance against something, but c’mon guys.
“You have to be aware of your audience, if you want to handle that subject matter, you have to be smart about it. And we do.
“When you see the film, you’ll see exactly how we handle the killing, how it’s not about race. It’s about good, it’s about bad. He’s going after bad guys, he’s going after the guys that did this to him. But you know what, everybody gets a taste of justice in this movie.”
Some are actually calling for the movie to be plugged from theaters or questioning the decision of the studio to make the film at all ( just by the critic’s interpretations of the film’s politics) and that’s why I say that a lot of these guys are definitely no different nor any better than those “1950s book-burners right-wing assholes” they claim to hate so much.
But thank God we still got some freedoms left and the movie was released and viewed by yours truly.
And some people going, “A white guy in a hoodie killing a black gangster (nevermind about the white guys he offs, that’s mandatory to avoid being labeled UBER-RACIST!). That’s racist!” Fuck you! You wouldn’t be bitching about that if it was a black guy killing off a bunch of white people, like Denzel Washington did in The Equalizer. Hell, you wouldn’t bitch about it if it was about a black guy going all vigilante on a bunch of white guys who killed his family. Stop trying to make this a racist black vs. white issue! Everyone from all sides has a thing for revenge films!
“This film is the last thing we need released right now because it’s a sensitive subject!” Fuck off! Having a movie about a sensitive subject allows for more potentially constructive conversations to happen. Besides, every movie contains material that some may find offensive and triggering.
“My best friend was killed by a thug with a gun!” Mine wasn’t, so I don’t give a shit.
“My family died in a car crash!” Well, guess we better ban all racing films from theaters.
“My family died in a plane crash!” Doesn’t mean everyone else still can’t watch Fearless or Airplane! or Con Air.
“My dog died!” Fuck you, I’m still going to watch and enjoy Old Yeller!
“Me and my wife got gang-raped!” Guess we can’t have films with rape as a plot device anymore, not even if it tackles the subject with how to recover/recoup from it, nevermind other revenge flicks that can come from that such as I Spit on Your Grave or Elle.
“My girlfriend broke up with me!” Then avoid all the straight and lesbian romance flicks and go watch Brokeback Mountain or some movie where homosexual men or transgenders or futas fuck each other up the ass!
“My waiter was mean to me!” Cry me a river and starve to death while I watch Waiting.
Virtually anything can set someone off. Some have their personal traumas that they are unable to get over (or that some don’t want them to get over, at least not too quickly, because we can’t encourage people to get over traumatic experiences on their own and be tough and independent now can me?) which prevents them from watching and enjoying a film containing that particular subject matter. But just because that’s the case for them doesn’t mean they should bring the experience down for everyone (including those tough enough to get over the traumatic experience) else who is interested in seeing the fucking film, whether it’s a stupid fucking film, a smart fucking film, a poorly made film, a richly made film, etc. Let individuals decide for themselves if they want to see it or not, and whether they’ll enjoy it or not. And if they want your input, they’ll fucking ask for it (or visit a website and read about it, hello readers). The only reason this is controversial is because of the social/political/cultural climate that the mainstream has been stirring up ever since 2014, and doubling down on it, and doing their damnedest to make us hate ourselves and each other, and I’m fucking sick of it, and hope they burn in hell for dividing us like this. A part of me hopes this film stays at the top of the box office for 3 weeks straight just to spite these assholes, and especially if it beats out Black Panther so that Disney and Marvel lose their shit.
Actual Film Review
Alright, enough with the ranting, which will probably take up more space than the actual review. So how was the film? I enjoyed it. It’s roughly what I was hoping it would be. Didn’t exceed expectations (that would’ve been a miracle), but it didn’t fall below them either. Bruce Willis is typical, nothing to special about his acting talents; just sleepwalking until the action scenes (so basically like Bronson, except he also sleepwalks through the actions scenes too). Eli Roth kept things interesting with the pacing and the action for the most part (though the first 30 minutes is a bit slow, because they needed a better dialogue writer and better actors and actresses to deliver them, and it’s all by-the-numbers). And the violence is much appreciated, not shying away from any of it.
Now I wouldn’t say it’s quite as gritty as the original film. Roth may like to think he’s making gritty material, but just because it’s violent doesn’t mean it’s gritty. He’s not skilled enough for that, and he’s too clean with his directing, despite what the gore may make you think. That being said, I prefer this remake to the original simply because it’s more fun and energetic. The 1974 film is rather boring by my standards, and monotonous. The only reason it’s hailed as a classic is because it was released in a “timely” matter (even if critics back then claimed otherwise) when it was relevant (like this film today), and because it was the first true vigilante film. Many were fed up with the high crime rates and the lack of police successfully protecting citizens, so the idea of taking the law into their own hands appealed to many. And crime isn’t much better today in some areas of the country (Detroit, Chicago, the latter of which is where the film takes place, and I firmly believe this was intentional on the screenwriter’s part). Because crime rates and violence is still a problem today, this theme is still relevant, especially when we’re in a day and age where we’re encouraged to be less independent than ever. Doesn’t usually work out that well.
The other element this brings is how social media and radio hosts and podcasters react to vigilante Bruce Willis. You know, like what Boondock Saints did (one of the most overrated movies ever, even for something that only has a cult status). Or what The Brave One did, something I reviewed alongside another film called Miss Sloane, the latter of which was a very pro-gun-control film which bombed in theaters (hah!). The Brave One had a female being in the role of the vigilante, a good girl with a gun. And it’s a film I consider to be superior to Death Wish (both versions) and Boondock Saints in terms of dealing with the pros and cons of being a vigilante. The other good film on vigilantism (that focuses primarily on what the consequences are) that I’ve seen is the under-rated Death Sentence starring Kevin Bacon. This new Death Wish film attempts to show the grey area of vigilantes, by having podcasters ask if he’s right or wrong (it came off as very shallow and tacked on), by having another vigilante wanna-be get killed off (that addition worked better), and showing how Willis’ character becomes more closed off from others, and how his den becomes more and more littered and trashed as he continues on this lifestyle. It doesn’t go far enough to point out how unhealthy the lifestyle is, in my opinion, but it’s there. But regardless, the film clearly sides with vigilantism, and one could argue without much outcry from me that vigilantism is glorified. But at least it’s nice enough to show that Willis doesn’t start out as a pro. He almost gets killed from a bullet ricochet when he fires for the first time (pretty sure it was played more for laughs then as a warning; entertaining regardless), gets his hand messed up from the slider, and the gun gets jammed on one occasion. Plus he lucks out of getting killed in one instance. So I wouldn’t say it entirely glorifies vigilantism to the point where it encourages anyone to be a vigilante. But I would say, like the original film did, that society could use vigilantes to make society better, because law enforcement isn’t always enough. In any case, Eli Roth is like Scott Snyder when it comes to themes; neither director is capable of going far enough with them to be considered satisfactory.
And the violence does get quite brutal at times, especially when he visits the auto-shop (that’s all I’ll say about it). And I always appreciate a film bringing some hard R violence into the cinemas to remind me that not everything is bland and holding back (just most mainstream movies). It worked far better in this film than it did in Eli Roth’s previous film The Green Inferno.
From the films I’ve seen in the director’s repertoire, this is probably his best-made film to date, better than Hostel (that’s probably not saying much for some readers out there, but there it is). Roth does miss far more than he hits, and in my opinion this film is only his second hit (next to Hostel, all other films of his I either don’t care to see, or I have seen and think they’re shitty).
Good fun shoot-em-up entertainment with a dose of torture in the middle, and we have a protagonist who doesn’t come off as invincible (he gets some scars and hits off and on). Recommended.
PS: For those who bitch about Willis’ character not puking out of sickness and disgust from his first kill like Bronson did in the original adaptation, I chalk it up to Willis being used to being around dead people; you know, being a hospital surgeon and all.
PPS: Doesn’t the daughter in this film look like Anne Hathaway?
I know what’s going to happen. Regardless of the shooter’s affiliation, whether he’s just some crazy old man who decided to go insane at this moment in his life, or if some organization convinced him to do this (be it religious or political), the same thing is going to happen that always happens in situations like this, regardless of how high or low the body count is (though from what I’ve gathered this is the highest body count yet from a shooting massacre). Most mainstream media outlets are going to call for gun control and a ban on guns. So that this won’t ever happen again. Late night talk shows are going to preach this message, most news organizations are going to preach this message, and trolls on any website that has a comments section will be blaring as loudly as they possibly can that guns should be removed from everyone. They never let a crisis go to waste. Hillary Clinton sure doesn’t.
Some sources say the shooter did all this because the crazy old man converted to Islam and joined ISIS a few months prior to this incident, but this could happen whether or not that is the case. For all we know, it could just be some old guy who despises country music and anyone who listens to it. Besides, information like this can’t be trusted or relied upon during the first 24-48 hours after an incident like this. Too much misinformation flies around.
My position on this matter is to disagree with those statements entirely. Banning weapons is not the answer, otherwise places like Chicago would be a better place to live. However, when a gunman is able to store a bunch of rifles in his hotel room including a machine gun in a state that has lax gun laws to the point that you don’t need a permit or license to purchase any (at least when it comes to non-private sales), that tends to raise a few eyebrows at the very least. While I don’t believe guns should be banned, I do believe that only responsible people should be able to purchase them, which is why I do believe that permits should be mandatory. It just saddens me that some people can be so violent and crazy and untrustworthy that it makes this necessary.
On the other hand, even those with permits could still pull something like this off. Even those with insane evil intentions can act proper, mature, and of sound mind when it comes to acquiring weapons before they decide to use them.
It all reminds me of a post I made (long before I established this website) regarding a shooting incident in December 2012, in regards to a school shooting:
God o’mighty, another big news story that will last for weeks, only to get gradually more and more politically and media biased in some form or another, until you get sick of hearing about it. Personally, I’m already sick of it on day 2. The media won’t handle this any differently than the death of a single celebrity, except that there’s more tragedy in it (a bunch of children killed).
Don’t get me wrong, this event is sad as hell, but I hate the discussions that spawn from stuff like this. There’s always some uptight radical asshole (religious or otherwise) who will say something on the event that will piss people off for the wrong reasons. There’s always some news channel that will spin it in a despicable way. There will always be a dipshit politician who will try to make his/her own political gain/agenda from the event. There will always be some guy/gal who will say the law should change in some way that involves removing someone’s right and/or giving more power to the higher-ups (or in some rare cases taking it away). And last of all, all of the above (and more) will have me pissed off enough to post a rant about it.
Let’s face it, stuff like this has been going on a lot longer than some of us would believe. 1902. Year 1902 A.D, October 10. That’s when the first school shooting ever took place, in Altona, Manitoba, in an event known as The Altona Schoolhouse Shooting. It happened then, it happened a few years ago, it happened recently, and I have no doubt it will happen again. If guns didn’t exist, people would be using knives instead, because there is always some person out there who becomes fucked up enough to do shit like that.
Basically what I’m saying is, it doesn’t matter what law is passed, what actions are taken, or what year it is, tragedies like this are inevitably going to take place at some point in time. Only thing we can do his get over it and move on. If an agreeable way can be found to make such an event have a less likely chance of happening in the foreseeable future, that would be a bonus. No point in trying to make other people’s lives miserable by moping over it for too long, or by imposing your own set of laws/standards that hurt more people than it helps. Just let everyone be. If another f’d up person shows up wanting to start a killing spree, hope that there is another person (or multiple people) on the scene with the freedom (that no one should take away) to stop that person ASAP. You don’t have to be a security guard to do so, you just need to realize you can do so yourself, and have the balls to do it (ladies, we all know you can also grow a pair too; don’t think your excluded).
My feelings haven’t changed much in that regard since. If someone really wanted to kill a lot of people, there are alternative means to guns. If guns were banned, assuming they couldn’t get a hold of guns on the black market, they would use explosives instead. Every bit as illegal once cobbled together, but more difficult to track.
And there’s another thing to consider. This is one major incident that doesn’t happen very often. If guns were banned in order to stop a major incident like this from happening, what would the consequences of that be? Thankfully there are examples to make my point. In 1996, Australia implemented a gun ban, with the intent to cause violence to plummet. Well, gun violence did plummet (although didn’t altogether disappear, still making up for 20% of all homicides even after the ban), but other types of violence rose, such as sexual assault, manslaughter, armed robbery, kidnapping, and unarmed robbery (Source). The same thing thing happened in the UK with the same results (Source). And other studies, including by John R. Lott, have shown consistently that crime rises when guns are banned or made difficult to get a hold of (Source).
The bottom line, even if guns are banned, even if we disregard the purpose of the second amendment and why every citizen of sound mind should be able to have access to a gun, even if that does prevent major incidents of massacres such as the one that happened recently in Las Vegas, this would inevitably lead to an overall increase in crime that would defeat the purpose of banning guns in the first place. Sure, that would most likely prevent a massacre that would kill 5-80 people within the course of an hour or less; but this would be offset by having just as many people killed, if not more-so, overall, only more spread out over a series of days/months/years.
And people ask for the government to help them out. Has the government ever been that efficient at helping out citizens? Can you honestly say that with a straight face without lying through your teeth? I say that there is a reason why they say freedom isn’t free. It’s because the free have to work everyday to maintain their freedom. That includes being capable of defending your freedoms and defending yourselves. Because we will always be susceptible to dangers like this. Live with it, because it could be worse than it is now.
Besides, a lot of them speak as if banning guns will enhance our security and our safety, as if its possible for someone to live life without any danger, with a full sense of security, without needing to worry about anything. Bullshit! Danger will always be in our lives, in one form or another; ok that’s a lie, it will be in multiple forms. The point is, you have to live with danger. Besides, saying there can be safety without danger is like saying there can be light without darkness, good without evil. Live with danger. Live being prepared for danger. Hope for the best, prepare for the worst. Be tough, not weak. Be independent and worthy of living free.
The only reason I’m including this little bit of information here is because it ties into the next movie post I’m making on this site. So apparently ESPN (and Fox Sports from what I understand) was planning on not airing the national anthem segment of football games so that the controversy can be ignored and that the protesting players won’t get their free air time. It pisses me off that it’s come to that, but that was their plan. But now, as a result of this shooting, ESPN has decided to reverse this decision for the Monday game, 10-2-2017. Let’s see if these assholes decide to kneel this time.
I must confess, I had a bit of a special reason for wanting to watch this particular movie. I initially learned about it not via trailer, but via Steven Crowder. But then I did eventually watch the trailer.
So, plot synopsis. The film is about a woman named Miss Sloan who is very good at swaying public opinion and politicians to get them on the side of whichever political entity she is currently employed by. She has a team who works for her, they research information, and go to events and visit people to encourage them to vote one way or another. It’s politics, so it gets dirty at times.