Review: Tucker and Dale vs Evil (2010)

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“You want a killer hillbilly? I’ll show you a killer hillbilly.”
– Dale

SYNOPSIS: Affable hillbillies Tucker and Dale are on vacation at their dilapidated mountain cabin when they are mistaken for murderers by a group of preppy college students. – via IMDB

I remember when this came out, I was dead set against watching it. One part was being contrary about watching a recommendation from someone I was a) peeved with and b) I considered to have sketchy taste. I did not feel like a stoner movie (his forte). Ultimately I was roped into this by my now-husband, and I was pleased I was. What I thought this movie was and what it turned out to be? Two totally different things. Horror comedy. Why didn’t someone just open with that? You know I would have been all over that!

Tucker and Dale vs Evil is conscious of what it is, and owns it. Alan Tudyk and Tyler Labine are perfectly cast as hapless hillbillies Tucker and Dale. Like, really. The movie gets right into the plot, no dilly dallying, and I am good with that. The run-time is also perfect, so before anything (read: humour) gets the chance to become stretched out and stale, the movie is over, leaving you with a bundle of laughs and pretty damn good comedy throughout. There are so many memorable lines that will stay with you, and silly little scenes.

The movie is smarter than you initially think, but still not necessarily a sharp comedy, if that makes sense? It is a bundle of fun, and genuinely gets you laughing at times. Unfortunately, it is not perfect. The final act is a bit messy, and the humour not as fast of quick or as frequent as before, and comes across as trying too hard a little. Not to say it isn’t funny anymore, it is just not as hilarious as earlier.

Tucker and Dale vs Evil was an unexpected gem for me back in the day, and a movie I still reap quite a bit of enjoyment from. If you are into horror comedy, this certainly leans more on the comedy side, though it has plenty of gore to keep the bloodlust of a horror viewer at bay. I would definitely recommend giving this a spin, especially if you are in for a good laugh, misunderstood hillbillies, and some icky deaths.

I would like to say that the trailer is a spoiler, so if you have not seen this, skip the trailer and just go straight on to the movie. Trust me.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l1t8OZn_uhE

JB & The Chop Do: Saw V (2008)

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JB AND THE CHOP PRESENT SAW

Oh man. For reals. These movies keep going. More and more. Still working elaborately to provide a solid story to elevate it above the rest of horror franchises, but forcing in enough gore to keep curling your toes, and hell no people, not in the good kind of way!

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SYNOPSIS: Following Jigsaw’s grisly demise, Mark Hoffman is commended as a hero, but Agent Strahm is suspicious, and delves into Hoffman’s past. Meanwhile, another group of strangers are put through a series of gruesome tests. – via IMDB

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First things first, 95 minutes again, score!

Naturally, we must open with some gory fucking slaying. There are like zero shockers here anymore. Screw it, you can all cringe with me:

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Can I just mention that if someone jumped out at me in the dark, I’d have a fucking stroke? A few months ago I let my friend out the gate at my house, and it was late, it was dark. I have these tree things in the garden, and when I turned around and started walking back down to my flat, I realised something was amiss. I knew it, I could just feel it in the air. I walked real slow, and was waiting for my eyes to completely adjust. I realised that something was not right by one of the tree things, that the shadow was more hulking than usual. My heart skipped, I was in full on fight or flight mode, when my husband cracked up and told me “Don’t worry noodle, it’s just me.” I almost died just there, I was not pleased with him. Ugh.

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Just note – all these tree bush things are dead now cause it is winter, but in summer they are all open and leafy and shit. See how he is just lingering just after the one? Now imagine the dead of night, and we do live in a country with a hectic crime rate. So uncalled for.

While we are on the procrastination boat here, discussing everything but the movie, have you guys ever seen the video about living with Jigsaw? If not, I highly recommend it! At least this tangent is sort of related… right??

Anyway, enough rambling. I suppose I must get back to the movie. Meh. Dude. From the beginning it is evident that these people in the latest game should be working together, but oh nooooo, why on Earth would they do that? They were all actually quite frigging annoying, if we are being honest here, and we are all about honesty!

Patterson is, again, really good. I actually thoroughly enjoy his entry to the franchise. He is consistent, solid, believable. A character to root for, and goodness knows we haven’t actually had one of those throughout this series. He was just seriously on the wrong case at the wrong time.

Saw V strahm box

A gimmick that got old quickly was exploring the crime scenes from the back forward. I am so tired of the flashbacks within flashbacks in this series. I have to give it credit though (still), for a gory franchise featuring such gruesome crap, it really tried hard to have an actual story. That is more than most of these things can say. However, that does not change the fact that each of these movies is a recycled version of the last, PLUS AN UNEXPECTED TWIST. Pfffff. As if.

Saw V was going for a big narrative again, and this is where these movies fall short. As I mentioned above, respect for trying to weave this one, huge, elaborate plot and story and characters and all, but sometimes they try to take it too far, if you ask me.

I was also not liking this whole “Make Strahm Look Guilty” aspect at all. Then again, are any characters actually safe in this franchise? No. Pity they gave us one to root for. Fucking sadists.

Luckily this one was, again, not too noisy. Jeesh, some of those earlier ones were out of hand crazy, loud, grating. Anyway, this movie is super forgettable when it is all said and done, except for the end of it. That plotsie is one we remember (sheesh, really did see more of these silly films than I thought – shows you how they are totally not a memorable lot). Also – for such a short film, it felt long. So very long.

chop saw

First off, I need to issue an apology. Last week I mentioned that Julie Benz was in this and that I swore she was the worst actress around town. Well – when I saw the name Julie Benz I was actually thinking of someone else – Julie Benz is actually a pretty good actress and I really liked her in The Boondock Saints 2 and that TV show she was on (No Ordinary Family). I was thinking of Kiele Sanchez, star of the miserable 30 Days of Night: Dark Days and resident ham in The Perfect Getaway. She was a totally the best thing about Saw V and I guess the joke is on me. What a fucking chop!

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Let’s see if number five is going to give us anything different this time around. Open with the gruesome death of someone random who has nothing to do with anything? CHECK.

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Follow around someone wearing a hoodie that is way too giant for their head and who also covers their entire face like they’re in the middle of a sand storm in the Middle East? CHECK.

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Introduce some random people who may or may not have anything to do with anything but exist to die horrible, painful deaths? CHECK.

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Put these people through terrible tests that are NOT POSSIBLE to be completed in the amount of time they are slotted, but they do anyway? CHECK.

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The Chop will make a non-vague comment about the bountifulness of Jigsaw’s wife’s bosom? CHECK.

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The filmmakers will spend the last 10-15 minutes of the movie using sweeping and circling and flashing series of images to make everything from the last five movies including the new characters in the current movie mash together to try and incorporate them all onto one closely knit web of unbelievably complex and impossibly planned coincidences. CHECK FUCKING CHECK.

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The movie will end with a cliffhanger encompassing something that could never possibly happen in a million years because of the thousands of decisions that would have to be made correctly for this series of events to come true? CHECK.

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I appreciate what these movies are trying to do (or tried, I guess, since the series is almost over) (oh wait there’s TWO more to go and one in production) – use the same money making trick, add more characters and use the old, now dead characters in flashback sequences. I appreciate that these made a lot of money.  I appreciate that these probably got a lot of guys out on Friday night dates and got some good squeezing action from their terrified or grossed out counterpart. I guess, after watching them all relatively in a row, I don’t appreciate that it’s the SAME story over and over.  Blood and guts, talking, flashbacks, whispering, blood and guts, people who need to work together and don’t, blood and guts, whispering, blood and guts, circular sweeping flashbacks tying everything together, implausible ending sequence. That would be like me talking about a movie and quickly getting distracted by boobs. Like, they other day I watch this movie called Listening with this super hot chick in it named Amber Bollinger.

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And I was all ‘hey, wow you’re super pretty and you’re not afraid to show your toppies’ and then I saved this picture as sawv11

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And the pic title is totally tricking out my OCD so I need to get off of here before my tics start. That name is worse than having your Starbursts out on a table and not organized by color. To close, I didn’t really like this one very much but ANYTHING is better than THIS 

JB & The Chop Do: Saw IV (2007)

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JB AND THE CHOP PRESENT SAW

Here we go again. Another extensive look into the insides of people. How many more of these are there? 10? 11? Yeesh. A man can only take so many guts and swirling camera flashbacks. Jigsaw is dead now, right? So he can’t whisper for 130 minutes? Right? RIGHT??

saw 4 poster

SYNOPSIS: Despite Jigsaw’s death, and in order to save the lives of two of his colleagues, Lieutenant Rigg is forced to take part in a new game, which promises to test him to the limit. – via IMDB

chop saw

Let’s start this piece off to do a little housekeeping and see if Bousman and the boys clean things up… by my record, still unaccounted for are: Elwes, Marky Mark’s brother, the guy from Braveheart and the guy from Braveheart’s daughter. I suppose Monica Potter and her daughter, Marky Mark’s brother’s kid and Jigsaw’s wife are just footnotes out there? Do they make comebacks in this series? We also still don’t really know why they killed the lady cop? Or how they could possibly AFFORD to make all of these elaborate traps to disgustingly kill people? We saw some boobs in the last movie – will we get some more? Will we see a pee-pee? Will there be even MORE and MORE rotating cameras and extensive flashbacks? Will this make me want to wretch?? I guess we’ll see. SPOILER: I did just see a #DeadPeePee ….. X _ X

Also – is this reeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeally necessary???

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So wait just a fucking second… SPOILERS This opens with this autopsy scene and they pluck out his stomach and there’s a tape recorder in there and this cop listens to it and then two guys are chained up and one of them kills the other one and then the dark skinned cop from the last two movies gets put into a Jigsaw game and then so does his boss and Marky Mark’s brother has been gone for six months and all of this stuff happens and then it’s actually concurrently running at the same place in time when the third one ends?? And this all takes place in 90 minutes?? HUH? WHAT? It’s obvious the cop is UPSET when he listens to Jigsaw’s tape recording but he’s actually the one killing everyone?? HUH???? WHAT????? This makes no fucking sense. If the beginning is actually the end then wouldn’t they have rescued that FBI guy when they gathered up Jigsaw’s body?? And the black cop?? Wouldn’t they identify the bad cop??? What the fuck?

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Also – this all takes place in NINETY minutes?? Blogga please. No way that happens unless they have Star Trek transporters. I don’t hate these movies but there’s something I have to address. These unbelievably elaborately architected traps someone keeps setting, all of the tortured and anguished screaming and moaning that goes on, all of the NOISE that these machines make when they are grinding and smashing people to pulp – all of the project that goes into setting these things up –

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HOW THE FUCK DOES ALL OF THIS GO UNNOTICED???

This cop comes home from work. His wife has been there all day (seemingly) and she’s packing a suitcase to go visit her mom or something like that. The cop goes to sleep and wakes up when he hears a noise. Somehow, the way I see it, while he was slumbering, someone came into his home, taped DOZENS of pictures around this one room, installed a large wall timer, wrote some letters in blood on his wall, put together this chair that’s going to rip this woman’s scalp off, and put a half dressed woman into the device and placed one of those pig masks over her screaming head. All while he was sleeping. He couldn’t have done it while the wife was home, right?

Exhibit A:

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Exhibit B:

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Oh well. As a movie overall, aside from the last two paragraphs I wrote, it’s not too bad. It’s better than 1 and 3 in my opinion. I couldn’t get over the poor poor acting in the first one and the third one was just fucking gross. All of the movies suffer from being WAY over edited and this one didn’t disappoint with the sweeping in circles flashbacks explaining everything.  We did get some closure on Marky Mark’s brother and the guy from Braveheart though we still don’t know about his daughter or whatever happened to Elwes.

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I guess we get some insight into why Jigsaw does what he does but it still doesn’t make any fucking sense. His wife lost their baby in a tragic accident so now he murders EVERYONE? K. If I did learn one thing from this… Jigsaw’s wife has enormous cans. That would have been a lucky baby suckle suckle.

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Looks like Julie Benz is in the next one… YAY! I swear she’s the WORST actress….

jb saw

First thoughts? 95 minutes looks a bit more realistic! That last one was ridiculously long. Not cause it had a story, nope, but just because it wanted to curl your toes. And not in the good way, either.

Seriously, not long into this movie and it begins with me thinking: “OMFG, really?!” More sif shit on the brain bit? Will they ever let this go? Come on!

saw iv autopsy

Not only was the whole brain thing rehashed, there was a really uncalled for in depth port-mortem. Definitely didn’t need that, and yet they added it in anyway, because this would totally not be Saw anything without it.

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Second thoughts? Well, maybe not second thoughts, I have had a whole bunch rush through my head by now. Okay, enough bumbling. Where was I? Oh, oh, I have seen this one, too! I still can’t remember if I stopped at this one or the next. Shows you how memorable they are after the fact.

The Saw movies truly are all about making you squirm and cringe, big time. While this one was nasty at times, it never reached the depraved depths of the last one. I am rather grateful for that.

This movie finally deals with the continuity of Detectives “Kankle” Matthews and “Ribs” Kerry, which, in my opinion, was long overdue. I would like to give these movies credit though for really pushing for the continuity and trying to keep everything tied together. Consistency, and it is pretty solid here. Solid does not mean believable or good though, it just means that they stick to things throughout.

LOL, check  out Scott Patterson here folks! Whoop! I will always look at him and think of him as old Luke Danes, the grumpy gills who runs a diner out in Stars Hollow. And he rocks as Luke, for reals! Okay, I guess this is totally not the place to discuss something as incongruous to Saw as Gilmore Girls.

luke danes gilmore girls

However, before you know it, he is the best thing about this movie. Danes actually gave a pretty damn good performance to boast about here, and he was pretty much the only character I honestly bought into. He was smart, determined, dedicated, the whole katoot. Pretty badass, too. Truly made this worth it – I don’t know when last there was actually a character in these movies I gave a rat’s ass about!

scott patterson saw iv

I think my biggest issue with this movie is the fact that I can’t buy into all of this going down in 90 minutes – they got Jigsaw’s ex-wife in for questioning, traversed all the crime scenes, continued the investigation, everything in 90 minutes, concurrently with Rigg running and playing Jigsaw’s game? Okay, let’s be honest, I would not say that buying into anything in these movies is easy, but if you suspend belief you can, in some sick way, picture this shit going down. But I just can’t suspend so far that all of this would tie in with the last movie and that it is all going down at exactly the same time, within ninety minutes. Sheesh. What crap!

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While there were some gruesome traps again, I thought that a particularly nasty cringe trap was the face knives contraption o_O Gosh! Can’t tell if it is vanity or if it is to do with the fact that no human being wants anything near/in their faces fucked around with – eyes, ears, mouth? Stay away!!

As far as the sequels go – I would say this is, without a doubt, one of the better ones. It tried more successfully for a backstory, and managed to give us one, to show us Kramer/Jigsaw, though he still seems like a bloody weirdo and control freak, and shows how his whole world collapses. Doesn’t make any of this any better on his behalf though. Also – this one isn’t so offensively loud as the others (yes, yes, common complaint).

Sooooooooo…

The whole movie was about this detective listening to the tape, to set up the next film basically? Uhm… well done? Good for the plot twists at the end though, it has been the best one since the first Saw movie.

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