You have to give “Jigsaw” credit: it delivers exactly what you would expect from an eighth “Saw” film. The plot is absurd, the traps are ingenious and gory, and the actors manage to keep a straight face for the whole film. Set 10 years after “Saw 3D: The Final Chapter,” it chronicles a new set of tortures and killings. They would seem to be the handiwork of Jigsaw (Tobin Bell), but he died of cancer, right? Although the storyline is not very surprising, the film is slicker than the previous films and moves a lot faster. I don’t think horror fans will be disappointed with this entry. If you like any of the “Saw” movies, check “Jigsaw” out!
Month: October 2017
Other Side of the Door: B+
If you think you would enjoy a cross between “Pet Sematary” and “The Changeling,” you’re in luck because “The Other Side of the Door” is a spooky flick! It’s about an American family living in India who lose their youngest child in a tragic accident. Devastated by the loss of the child, the mother learns of a way she can talk to her son one last time. It involves digging up his body, cremating it, and taking the ashes to a creepy temple. The mother can talk to her son there but there’s a catch: don’t open the temple door! As you can probably guess, the mother opens the door, and the terror begins! This is a very well-acted and directed movie and it is unique that it is set in India. The director made the recent “47 Meters Down” and is someone to watch. While not a masterpiece, “The Other Side of the Door” works very well and recommended to horror fanatics everywhere! And remember: don’t open the door!
Snowman Gives Ice Cold Thrills
“The Snowman” is getting really bad reviews, but if you like gruesome thrillers, you are in for a treat! Set in Norway and similar to “The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo,” the film is about a killer so twisted he melds snowmen with dead body parts. Ridiculous, yes, but I was hooked! As the killer picks on vulnerable, usually pregnant women, I reflected that this was a killer I really hated! Who can find and stop this devious madman? Why, Harry Hole, alcoholic detective, perfectly played by Michael Fassbender. He almost seems like he could be a killer himself. As private eye and killer go mano a mano, Rebecca Ferguson and Charlotte Gainsbourg give us women on distress worth caring about.
Based on a best-selling novel that is part of a series, “The Snowman” indeed has the feeling of a trashy paperback thriller. That’s not a bad thing. Thrillers work best when they’re not afraid of being outrageous, so this film starts out weird and then works its way to a memorably bizarre, gruesome climax. Although the film may not exactly be “good,” the cast and director push themselves and create a memorable experience. If you like trashy thrillers and prefer Michael Fassbender to wusses like Dwayne Johnson, go see “The Snowman.”
The JFK Revelations
Many of the formerly top secret files on the JFJ assassination were made public today.
Among the many revelations were evidence that Jack Ruby was a communist party member very actively, and that he was likely more connected to Oswald than previously believed.
Also the Kremlin believed Lyndon Johnson was behind the plot. Some documents also point to George Bush I having lied about not being in Dallas that day.
Finally, there was investigation of a second shooter from the bridge, rather than from the grassy knoll.
I will tell you what really happened. The Bay of Pigs was a disaster, which in many ways triggered the Cuban missile crisis (which threatened the world to the brink of nuclear war). Word leaked out about the CIA’s planned Bay of Pigs long before the failed invasion of Cuba by the American trained mercenaries. Freedom of Information Act releases in the early 2000’s showed that Castro knew just from reading American newspapers that the invasion by US trained merc’s was immanent. All the invaders were killed in the failed coup attempt and the CIA was totally embarrassed. So the CIA and Castro both had motive to kill Kennedy, presumably to stop nuclear war between the US and the USSR.
The assassination of JFK was orchestrated by Castro and the CIA, and pulled off by the mob, who were paid to do the hit. Ruby was from the mob, Oswald was CIA, and the CIA also provided the intel. to Oswald regarding the president’s motorcade route in Dallas on that fate full day 11-22-63.
Walgreens Uses Monoply Tactics
After completing the purchase of half of all Rite Aid stores, Walgreens is closing nearly a third of them. https://www.newsmax.com/thewire/walgreens-closing-stores-600/2017/10/25/id/822120/
Walgreens acquired 2000 stores recently from Rite Aid and is closing 600 of them , saying they are too close to their Walgreens locations. This is blatantly anti-competitive and Walgreens should be broken up for anti-trust violations as a result. Rite Aid shareholders already have gotten screwed as their shares lost 75% of their value year after year, due to a shitty CEO. The CEO and management have made out like bandits with all these deals and left the shareholders and the workers as the bag holders. It is time the Trump administration made an example of these unscrupulous unethical jerks and broke their company up into tiny parts, preferably into mom and pop stores. These transactions of late demonstrate exactly what is wrong with the American economy. Its all about monopolizing and screwing the workers and shareholders of smaller companies.
Mel Gibson Reigns in Blood Father
Sometimes you can find very interesting films you haven’t heard about by glancing at the shelves of Walmart and Best Buy. “Blood Father” starring Mel Gibson and William H. Macy is one such film. It finds Mel reaching back to his “Mad Max” and “Lethal Weapon” glory days as a former alcoholic and drug addict who is just out of jail and trying to walk the straight and narrow path. Unfortunately, his daughter has fallen in with some dangerous Mexican criminals. When she shoots her psychotic boyfriend and escapes, her estranged dad is the only person she can go to. Fortunately, even a reformed Mel Gibson is still quite the badass.
This film works on two levels. It’s a violent, bloody action thriller AND the story of a father and his daughter. Mel Gibson is the film’s greatest asset because, B-movie or not, he plays it for real. His tenderness towards his daughter makes for a nice contrast with the violent action scenes. This film shows up “Taken” with Liam Neeson as the wimpy flick that it is. Unlike that one, “Blood Father” has real stakes and the ending is not predictable. Mel proves that he is still as adept in front of the camera as he is behind it in “Hacksaw Ridge.” If you want a thrilling, bloody action thriller, watch “Blood Father.”
Geostorm So Bad Its Good
Sometimes I am in the mood for another ridiculous disaster film. “Geostorm” certainly qualifies. This is a disaster of a disaster film. It managed to get shelved by the studio for three years after production, probably because they correctly assumed it would bomb. And yes, it has bombed domestically. Having received the rare zero star review from Rex Reed, only time will tell if the film’s international cast and left wing ideological perspective will generate a better reception abroad.
Directed by the writer-producer of “Independence Day” and “The Day After Tomorrow,” it is about a future where weather satellites have become necessary due to man-made bad weather. Unfortunately, the satellites begin to malfunction, resulting in parts of the Middle East freeing, tsunamis in Brazil, China burning, etc.. Only Gerard Butler and his less charismatic brother Jim Sturgess can prevent a “geostorm,” the mother of all storms. This film is basically like Independence Day but without the aliens, crossed with the classic disaster film like Airport or Earthquake. The directing has a great style because it is so obviously hokey and tongue in cheek that it plays like a 1950’s sci-fi B movie.
The timing of this film’s release is interesting when you consider all of the natural disasters which hit the US this year. The (idea in the movie) that global warming is causing this is hokey and irritating, but once you get past that you realize the film implicates the deep state in harmful weather modification.
The movie begins as left-wing propaganda about global warming, complete with little girl leftist voiceover. A bunch of BS about how the global community has to get together to save the world occurs. Then it turns into hidden propaganda about the deep state trying to destroy the world through weather modification in order for financial gain. Andy Garcia (who saves the world of course) is the President, and Ed Harris (deep state) is Secretary of state. Both act well. In the 90s there were films with great casts like this, but we don’t get to see an ensemble like this as often anymore.
By the end of the film, we have seen every kind of disaster one could think of, and it all makes about as much sense as “Highland er 2: The Quickening.” There are annoying parts such as the obligatory promise the daughter you will return from outer space BS. Yet the film redeems itself with its stellar cast, awesome special effects, hokey national security “we need to warn the president” type fun, and funny sense of humor. There is also the stereotypical multinational and multiethnic space crew thing, including a female character named Fassbender, who we can only imagine is a Hollywood inside joke.
Though this movie actually may have been better had aliens saved the earth, I still enjoyed the film as a guilty pleasure and absurd escapism. It’s not good, but I’ve seen a lot worse. If you want to see a silly but fun disaster movie, I recommend “Geostorm.”
Walter Hill’s Assignment is Twisted
If there’s one movie you’re not supposed to like this year, it’s “The Assignment.” If you’re a member of the LGBT community, you’re supposed to be offended by its mere existence. If you’re the regular average Joe, the themes of sex change combined with copious male and female nudity will offend. Conversely, we at GROIN kind of like it! “The Assignment” (2016) is the new film by Walter Hill, a consistently good director whose work includes “The Warriors” and “Streets of Fire.” Perhaps dissatisfied with well-crafted but non-distinctive recent work like “Bullet to the Head,” Hill has opted to make the first action flick (that I know of) about a sex change.
Sigourney Weaver plays a brilliant, quite mad doctor who wants revenge for the death of her estranged brother. Frank Kitchen (played by Michelle Rodriguez) is a super-macho gangster who committed the crime and is about to get the surprise of his life. He is now a she, and will have to discover his feminine side as he enacts bloody revenge for an operation he never wanted. Meanwhile, the audience gets graphic male and female nudity so we are convinced that Frank is authentically male and female.
This movie kind of trashes the SF Tenderloin District lifestyle in its immorality and seediness. In between scenes there are comic book like jump cuts reminiscent of his earlier classic The Warriors. The antagonists include mad plastic surgeons, psychiatrists, Chinamen Mafioso types, and dive bar trolls. The best thing is the quick pace of the film, and the high number of action sequences. The film’s use of SF as a dark backdrop of societal collapse is effective. This movie subversively does not give the gay lifestyle a pass. As such, it is a brave film.
We are supposed to be offended, apparently, that Frank didn’t want the operation and doesn’t like being female. I was more interested in the performances of Rodriguez and Weaver. Rodriguez, who was also good in “Girlfight,” is convincing as the transgender protagonist. We believe her as both sexes, and we also believe she is tough and unhappy. For Weaver, this is her best work since the 1990’s. Proclaiming her superiority to all of mankind and outraged that more people don’t know Shakespeare and Poe front and backwords , she is the most memorable antagonist in a long time. Rent it to sneer and watch it to gasp, because “The Assignment” is the rare B-action flick that doesn’t suck.
American Made Delivers
“American Made” is Tom Cruise’s best movie in awhile. It’s a dark comedy based on true events about a pilot who gets in way over his head working for the C.I.A. and, later, Pablo Escobar and Manuel Noriega. Because his actions shed so much negative light on America’s activities in the Middle East (detailed in the Iran-Contra scandal), he is able to escape punishment for an extraordinarily long time. Although Cruise has trouble with his character’s southern accent, he fearlessly portrays his character’s lack of moral qualms. In fact, in terms of having access to planes, a ton of money, and guns for no good reason, his character resembles the Vegas shooter. Is this just a coincidence, or is it some kind of deeper message from Hollywood about how history repeats. Look at Obama’s cash pallet Iran deal. Or how the CIA accidentally armed ISIS when the Iraqi army forfeited their weapons.
One of the best things about this film was that the cinematography was excellent. Many of the shots of the vast forests of South America are breath-taking as Cruise flies above. There are some similarities to the film Gold, starring Mathew McConoughey, released not long ago. Its good that films about serious subject matter are sometimes still hitting the mainstream.
Director Doug Liman of “The Bourne Identity” and “Edge of Tomorrow” fame keeps the story focused and the satire sharp. It’s definitely better than the similar “Lord of War” and “War Dogs.” And compared to “Air America” it is golden. The problems with those other films is that they were too whimsical. In short, if you’re looking for a serious film that happens to be very entertaining, go with “American Made.”
Battle of the Sexes (Women Won)
This new flick Battle of the Sexes, about the chauvinist gambler and former Wimbleton winner who took on female tennis pro Bill Jean King, is a good combination of humor and social commentary. The film is well balance in a way that few films are. Kind of reminds me of Rain Man in that regard. The sets and costumes really capture the era of the 70s very well.
Do you remember hearing about the tennis match in the 70s between them, in which Billie Jean King won? I remember HBO sports pushing documentaries about it really hard when I was like 5 years old, in between Mike Tyson boxing decapitations. This movie makes an interesting point: that women won the battle of the sexes, in terms of independence, pay, and social prestige. Billie Jean King becomes liberated from her husband by a dike lover to rub in the fact that she wins this charade of a tennis match. It is rather unsettling. The husband has to cuck. And that’s the problem. Don’t blame women for being misguided. Its the men who cucked societally and allowed this corrosion, where men get walked all over.
Steve Carell plays the male chauvinist very effectively. He is a dead look-alike in fact. At the time the guy was so past retirement that the match was a bogus litmus test for the make species. John McEnroe would have kicked Billie Jean’s ass. Anyhow, Carell brings a zeal and enthusiasm to the role which is unmatched in the film. He does manage to beat the #2 tennis star in the world at the time, who is the more traditional woman. Strangely and wrongly, the movie subtly hints that a traditional woman does not handle pressure as well as a gay one.
This is a hard film to review and grade so I would recommend you see it yourself and come to your own decision. Prepare to have a few laughs and possibly be outraged at dike scenes where you were not invited in as a threesome.