Review: Hacksaw Ridge (2016)

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“I don’t know how I’m going to live with myself if I don’t stay true to what I believe.”
– Desmond Doss

SYNOPSIS: WWII American Army Medic Desmond T. Doss, who served during the Battle of Okinawa, refuses to kill people, and becomes the first man in American history to receive the Medal of Honor without firing a shot. – via IMDB

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GRADE 8Man oh man, I have been looking forward to this one for a variety of reasons, the two biggest being Andrew Garfield and Mel Gibson. Yeah sure, Gibson has done some cuckoo things, but he makes really good movies, and I enjoyed him a hell of a lot as an actor. As for Garfield? I just adore the guy. He is a talented actor and cute as a button. So how did the pairing come

Hacksaw Ridge impressed me. It really did. It isn’t so much a war movie as a drama – but do not take that to mean that you will not get a super vivid, clear depiction of the war, because you will. More than an hour is spent setting up Doss’s character and experiences, and driving home what his morals are, and how he sticks by them. The second half shows what happened on Hacksaw Ridge, but never really more of the war. It is the story of one man, and it is an amazing story. I was truly awestruck by how insane the story was, but also how inspiring. I liked, too, that the movie was very detailed about Desmond Doss’s faith. It handled this in depth, but it never felt preachy. It never felt like the viewer was being lectured on faith. It simply told his story, and I really appreciated that. Nobody wants some holier than thou message being shoved down their throats.

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I thought that Garfield was absolutely fantastic here. Really. He owned that role and I totally believed in his plight, and I was beyond impressed here. Garfield and Palmer also shared some great chemistry, and I must admit that I really liked watching them together. The score worked wonders, never overpowering, never being absent. The cast did a pretty good job, and visually the film was really nice to look at, and the camera was never overly shaky cam or too steady, making it impossible to watch, or too structured, and I think that worked in favour here.

Hacksaw Ridge managed to balance the nastiness and brutality of war, while still give us an inspiring story of a man, his faith, and what he wanted to do. Gibson did another good job here, proving to us once again that he is not afraid of getting to the nitty gritty of a film. I would say this movie is well worth a watch.

My recommendation? Skip the trailer and go straight into the movie.

JB & The Chop Do: Saw III (2006)

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JB AND THE CHOP PRESENT SAW

Peeps! We are back for some more torture porn, set-your-teeth-on-edge gore, nastiness, a flimsy plot, characters becoming consistent that we don’t like, and some weird puppet Billy riding around all over the show. Again. What can I say? People have a darker side that calls out, and Lionsgate responded to the people, called out to their crudeness and the irdisgusting side, the gruesome and the macabre, and the people lapped it up, regardless of how good or bad the said film in the brutal franchise was. What did the Chop and I think? Was it worth all the hype it got back in the day???

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SYNOPSIS: Jigsaw kidnaps a doctor to keep him alive while he watches his new apprentice put an unlucky citizen through a brutal test. – via IMDB

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Saw III, ah, yes. I remember when this made its way to the cinema near me, nobody would let me purchase a ticket because I was too young. However, I was also resourceful and mischievous and on a mission, and no ticket sales jockey was going to deny me seeing this film. Not after the bold claims coming in from overseas about how disgusting this film was, and how it had Americans puking everywhere and all sorts.

Anyway, sneaking into this movie with a bottle (or two) of really cheap, really crap wine, I was ready for whatever they had to bring. Needless to say, I got fucking wasted watching this in the relatively deserted cinema, and didn’t remember anything about this movie. Heck, I saw it years later and only certain things I recalled. Before watching it now? I couldn’t remember jack squat about it o.O

First thoughts? An hour and fifty three minutes?! For what purpose?! Oh, I see why – they want to drag out every possible heinous scene. The movie took like twenty minutes to go somewhere that wasn’t watching the two detectives and their respective torture. No time was wasted in bringing the nasty and the gruesome forth for the viewer. Icky, icky, icky.

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Dual plot-lines running for this story, both just there to fill time. Oh wait… yes, there’s a third one. Are we really supposed to feel sorry for Amanda and Jigsaw? Are you fucking kidding me??? Who in their right minds would pity either? Psychopaths man, really.

Saw III spends immense time on a fucking sick, twisted, brutal head/brain/skull saw surgery part – it went on forever and was so evidently just there for the grossness of it. For reals people.

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The movie tries so hard to make this a complicated story, which is quite embarrassing. Linking back to the first is all good and well, but this whole movie just felt like filler stuff. All of it. It was gruesome filler crap. YUCK. TWO HOURS OF YUCK, NO LESS.

BLOOD. GUTS. GORE. GRUESOME. SICK. NASTY. TWISTED. DISGUSTING.

Alright, all movies have flaws, we know this. Some are too glaring though. A prime example? The old judge? In that sif pig pit? How the fuck is he DRY and CLEAN when he is eventually rescued by Jeff, traipsing around looking for revenge everywhere? Ugh. Also, his inner “turmoil” over whether to save each victim he encountered or not took way too long, and their deaths were so not surprising.

This movie, for some completely insane reason, managed to work in some jealousy plot. When Amanda got all cuckoo about anyone being near Jigsaw? My eyes just went a-rolli’. What the hell was that even all about?!

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The detectives from last movies were brought in here (I literally think it was just to tie up loose ends from the previous movies) and they were rushed through here, which was so silly. CHECK FOR ANOTER TOTALLY SUPERFLUOUS PLOT LINE!

When I think of Saw III, all I can think about is how much time is spent lingering on gore. This movie could have easily been like twenty or even thirty minutes shorter, and I think it would have been infinitely less annoying that way. It was a movie that was way too ambitious, way too flawed, incredibly gross, and an exceptionally hollow experience. It so desperately wants to be smart, but it falls way short of being anything other than two hours of grotesque traps, blood, guts, and gore.

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When I was taking notes for this piece (I have to do that now since writing time is so hard to come by) I wrote down things like:

  • who wears hoodies that way
  • how do they get in to so many public places with those pig costumes
  • i don’t get why they killed the copy lady – what was her ‘redemption’?
  • amanda’s hair sure changes a lot
  • Is that the guy from braveheart???

And towards the end of this movie I thought I would just come out here and give a one sentence essay about this:

THIS MOVIE IS FUCKING GROSS

But then I figured JB would hate me and my life would be worth nothing so I kept thinking about how to go about this. Then I saw what JB had started and she wasn’t shying away from some gnarliness so here we go…

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Aside from the fact that I counted THREE storylines going on here (the man, the woman and Amanda), despite the fact that there are probably six dozen too many jump-cuts and flashbacks and despite that it’s way too dark a lot of the times, I was enjoying it until they put that guy in the pit and then obliterated a dozen of rotting, maggoty pigs all over him. BARF. I get it but:

  • was that fucking necessary
  • who has THAT MANY rotting, maggoty pigs hanging around
  • when braveheart guy pulls him  out of the pit, in the next scene his striped shirt is fucking CLEAN?? Give me a break.

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By the way, I just finished watching the U.S. remake of a British TV show called Mad Dogs. In it, this Belizian lady says that her father was strangled with barbed wire but, since she’s Belizian it comes out as “barb-ed” wire. I liked it so much that now I say things like that so when I mentioned his striped shirt, in my head I said “stripe-ed”. But don’t worry, I only talk like that in my head and sometimes to Mrs THE IPC. Back to the movie!

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As it is stated above, shortly after that fucking pig scene, not pig-fucking scene mind you – there is an EXTENSIVE sequence where this doctor drills into Jigsaw’s head. It was also totally fucking disgusting and pointless and didn’t fit anywhere into the “torture porn” that these movies were labeled by the media.

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Then I realized I had another HOUR of this thing to go and wondered publicly why these movies are so fucking long. For real, I went down to the new hippie grocery store and started pestering everyone who was entering or leaving. “Why are the Saw movies so fucking long??” I pleaded. “Who thought two hours of screaming and broken bones were a good idea??” I begged.  “How does my hand on your inner thigh feel??” I probed.

After these two pieces of nastiness and realizing that I was in this for another hour or so, my mood began to sour and I just wanted this to be over. For the record, over the next long and relatively boring 60 minutes of listening to Jigsaw whisper and  Amanda scream, they twisted someone to death and then blew someone’s head to smithereens.

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I’m not sure if they were trying to tell more of a story this time around or what but it was definitely fucking sick. And not “sick” in the way kids today use the word sick. I did really like when they did they ‘intro’ for the big toilet thing which was the first movie but other than that there wasn’t anything too special about this other than it made my stomach sick and made want to retch. This will NOT go down as one of my favorite movies.

Anyway, while I am trying to finish this up and having a cocktail, I drew up this VERY FANCY grid about what I remember regarding the various ripped and shredded body parts. I know this list isn’t totally inclusive so anyone could remind me what I’m missing that would be great. I also wonder if I will keep this up or just get drunk and forget I ever made it.

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Sporadic Scene: Vikings (Season 2×07) – Blood Eagle

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Vikings is just one of those shows that works phenomenally. Initially intrigued by the fact that this was hosted by the History Channel, I was soon roped in by the way that they used a series for epic storytelling, to relay the history in an intersting manner. Vikings is pretty heavy on the gore and bloodshed, so it is nice that they do not pussyfoot around the ancient viking rituals. Below is a scene in which someone was subjected to the ritual of the Blood Eagle, and I thought that it was done excellently, with the ritual shown, as well as the emotions, honour, suffering and respect.

If you have a scene that you would like featured, drop me a mail at sporadiczoe@hotmail.com with a picture/gif/video of the scene and an explanation as to why (should you want to include it).

Sporadic Scene: The Phantom Menace (1999) – Darth Maul vs Obi-Wan & Qui-Gon Jinn

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I know that a lot of people complain about the Prequel Trilogy, but it isn’t that bad, though it isn’t as great as the Original Trilogy, of course (put your rocks away people). One thing that they did have that was superior to the Original Trilogy were the lightsabers as well as the battles that people found themselves in. For instance, the lightsaber battle between Darth Maul, Obi-Wan Kenobi and Qui-Gon Jinn is one of the fastest, most brutal and intense of all the movies. It was pretty darn epic, even though the rest of The Phantom Menace was incredibly weak.

If you have a scene that you would like featured, drop me a mail at sporadiczoe@hotmail.com with a picture/gif/video of the scene and an explanation as to why (should you want to include it).