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OhLookBirdies's Reviews

Displaying Review 1 - 5 of 18 in total

  • Written by OhLookBirdies on 11.09.2009

    Mention "Silence of the Lambs" to someone, and they will most likely say something involving Hannibal Lecter. Most notably portrayed by Anthony Hopkins, this psychologist/psychopath has become an iconic villain, and rightly so. His portrayal of the well-bred, intelligent, witty, and utterly sociopathic Lecter is eerily convincing.

    But Silence of the Lambs has more going for it than just Lecter. Most of the other actors are perfectly cast: Jodie Foster as the desperately-trying-to-escape-her-hillbilly-roots Starling, Anthony Heald as the slightly slimy and very unpleasant Dr. Chilton, and Ted Levine is terrifying as Buffalo Bill. One personal side note, Jack Crawford was nothing like I had imagined him upon reading the book. What I expected him to be like was more like Harvey Keitel in Pulp Fiction. But that's something you'll always get with film adaptations of books.

    When you cut right down to the core of the film, it is really just a basic "whodunnit." There's several crimes, some clues, and the protagonists have to find out who did it before he does it again. But it's the addition of Lecter that takes it to the next level, making this film one of the scariest I have ever seen. If you're not adverse to some gore, I very much recommend this film, which deserves its status of "A classic."

  • Written by OhLookBirdies on 14.09.2009

    The more observant of readers might have noticed the subtle pun in the title. For you see, Braindead is a very bloody film. In fact, if I am not mistaken, it still holds the record of "Film for which the most artificial blood was used." And even if I am mistaken on that, it is still a film with a ridiculous amount of gore.

    Braindead was directed by Peter Jackson. Yes, the dude who later went on to direct the Lord of the Rings trilogy. Personally, though, I much prefer his early work. His very first film, for example, Bad Taste, is a masterpiece if you consider it's basically a home-made project done by some friends with too much spare time. Fortunately, people with money realised this too, and they thought "If he can do this with such limited resources, just imagine what he can do with a proper budget." And we should all be very grateful that they did.

    Enough Jackson worshipping, back to Braindead. Not only does it have an overabundance of gore, it is also utterly hilarious. Which of us doesn't remember such immortal lines as "Your mother ate my dog!" or "I kick arse for the lord!" (The latter said in a New Zealand accent thick enough to carve a 4-bedroom house from, and you'd still have room for a garage)?

    There's not a whole lot of plot to be found, but then again, in a film whose climactic scene consists of a house full of zombies, a hero with a lawnmower, and a heroine with a blender, who needs a plot? Not me, that's for sure.

    Fun fact: Did you know that the man dressed as Father Christmas who stabs Sergeant Angel in the hand in Hot Fuzz is, in fact, Peter Jackson? Well, now you do.

    And now go (re-)watch Braindead.

  • Written by OhLookBirdies on 14.09.2009

    xXx is not a film that tries to innovate the genre of action films, nor does it pretend to be very clever. It's just in it to be mindless action with witty one-liners, and there is nothing wrong with this. The creators know this too, which is good, because there's nothing worse than watching a film that is convinced of its own (non-existent) intelligence and (imaginary) intellectual depths.

    The story of xXx, therefore, is simple. A group of terrorists intend to do bad things to the world, the government is trying to stop them. But due to an uncanny ability of the bad guys to spot and eliminate government officials, the head honchos decide to try something new, and they send in a criminal instead. Now, since this is the hero of the whole thing, and we're talking Hollywood, this 'criminal' is more of a 'loveable bad boy with an anti-authoritarian streak.' After all, we wouldn't want the audience to hate our protagonist, would we?

    Said anti-hero, Xander Cage, X to his friends, is played by Vin "My biceps are thicker than my head" Diesel. He, more than anyone else, seems to grasp just how ridiculous the basic premise of the entire film is, which is why he wears a "I can't even begin to try and take this seriously"-expression most of the time. And surprisingly, this works better than convincing acting would have, lending a realistic touch to an otherwise unrealistic whole, giving it a "B-movie gone A"-feel.

    So basically, if you enjoy explosions, witticisims, and the occasional girl in underwear, try xXx. But if you're looking for something a tad more serious, I recommend you look on.

    One side note, though. What the hell happened to Samuel L. Jackson to make him act this badly? I am normally an utter fanboy of the man, but seriously, what?

  • Written by OhLookBirdies on 18.09.2009

    I must admit, when I started watching 2001 Maniacs, I wasn't expecting particularly much. I picked it up in a "Five films for a tenner" deal somewhere, and it caught my fancy because one of the main parts is played by Robert Englund, most notably famous as Freddy Krueger.

    I ended up, however, feeling pleasantly surprised, and definitely like I'd gotten my money's worth. 2001 Maniacs has a fairly simple plot: A village in Georgia was completely destroyed by Northern troops in the civil war, and its inhabitants take revenge for this by, once a year, holding a big barbecue feast, to which they invite several Northerners. Who they then slaughter and eat.

    As this implies, the film is not subtle. Limbs get torn off, intestines fly, and penises get chewed. This often goes accompanied by some one-liner, which usually get a laugh simply because of how bad they are.

    However, far less subtle than the gore is how utterly stereotyping this film is. Every single prejudice in existence about Southerners seems to be confirmed: There is copious inbreeding, they are utterly, blisteringly racist, sheep get buggered, and more jolly happenings like that. Now of course, as a European, I cannot view this from the viewpoint of an actual Southern American, but I can imagine that it would be hard to actually be insulted by this film, simply because the whole thing is so enormously over the top.

    Another advantage 2001 Maniacs has is that none of the main characters are actually likeable. Therefore, it's not only bearable to watch them get splattered in horrible ways, it actually feels deeply satisfying. (Maybe I should go see that psychiatrist after all...)

    Basically, the key word for this film is "excessive." Excessive violence, excessive racism, excessive stereotyping, excessively bad jokes... If all of this appeals to you, you're on to a winner here. And if it doesn't, you're probably a far saner, healthier person than me. But hey, a little mindless violence never hurt anyone.

    ...wait, what?

  • Written by OhLookBirdies on 04.10.2009

    Despite their nom de guerre, the Boondock Saints portrayed in this film are no goody-goody dudes in a white dress, tending the sick and the poor. They smoke, they swear, they pick fights, and they kill criminals in order to root out evil in this world.

    The two, a pair of Irish brothers living in Boston, are devout church goers, as well as religious pub attenders, and it's when they're doing the latter, they run into a bunch of Russian mafiosi, who own the building with the pub in it, and tell them the place is closing, and everybody had better fuck off, or else...

    The brothers, together with the rest of the pub, go for "or else," and give the mobsters a right seeing-to. Unfortunately for them, one of them finds out where they live, and pays them a visit with one of his cronies, in order to kill them. By a combination of luck and quick thinking, the brothers come out on top, and being a pair of well-raised Irish lads, they turn themselves in. The police agree with their story, and they are not charged with a single thing. However, that night, they get a Message from God, or possibly simultaneous delusional schizophrenia, and their new mission in life becomes to wipe out as many criminals as possible.

    Of course, two guys against the whole of organised as well as disorganised crime cannot keep going well, especially once they've worn out their element of surprise, and before long, shit starts to go down. On top of that, the troubled twosome are being chased by FBI agent Paul Smecker, a fantastic role by Willem Dafoe. As the film progresses, his conviction progressively wavers though, since he becomes convinced the Saints, as they are by now known, are doing what he's always wanted to do, but never could.

    A well-executed running joke is that Smecker, who is a homosexual, is also a raging homophobe. At some point, he is lying in bed with another man, who then starts to cuddle up to him. Smecker then bitchslaps him until he stops, which leads to the following hilarious snippet of dialogue:
    "What the fuck are you doing?"
    "I just wanted to cuddle."
    "Cuddle? What a fag."

    In conclusion, Boondock Saints is a hilarious film, with high amounts of humour and violence and a tit or two, which appeals to the testosterone in me. If you haven't seen it yet, what are you waiting for? If you have, why not dig it up for another viewing? Invite some mates, crack open a beer, and have a good night.

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