Last Call Spoilers

TV Happy Hour Episode 6 / Last Call Spoilers Mashup: Breaking Bad S5E10 “Buried”

bb_amc2Following the same theme as last week’s TV Happy Hour I will be discussing the latest episode of AMC’s Breaking Bad. This is the 10th episode of Season 5 so if you do not want to be spoiled on it or anything leading up to this episode I strongly suggest turning away now.

Last Warning: Breaking Bad S5E10 “Buried” Spoilers Below! (more…)

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TV Happy Hour Episode 5 / Last Call Spoilers Mashup: Breaking Bad S5E9 “Blood Money”

bb_amc1Breaking Bad is back and in grand fashion. The hit TV show came out firing on all cylinders with terrific performances all around, huge revelations and a slew of incredibly tense moments making everyone watching uncomfortable in their seats and giddy with excitement at the same time. So many unanswered questions when the show left us a year ago for a year long break in the middle of its final 16 episodes- many wondered with only 8 episodes left can we possibly get closure on every unresolved conflict. The premiere episode on August 11th certainly delivered even if it didn’t completely tie up any loose ends.

For those that haven’t seen a single episode of Breaking Bad and for some reason are continuing to read the show follows a chemistry teacher diagnosed with cancer that decides to team up with a former student to cook and distribute meth to make money for his family to live off once he’s gone. If you haven’t seen the show this is your last warning to stop reading unless you want to be spoiled on previous happenings in the show up to its current episode.

Going into the newest episode, Blood Money, my immediate question was how it would start. As you will remember the finale last year ended with Walt’s brother-in-law finally connecting the dots and realizing Walt is indeed Heisenberg- or at least it’s a little more clear to him until he can get a little more proof. So my question was if the newest episode would start from that exact moment and what Hank does immediately after. More than that though the rain cloud that continues to loom over my head is the fate of Jesse by the end of the show. Will he live or will he die? Also, what if any role Jesse will take in the downfall of Walt- and make no mistake, judging from the glimpse of Walt’s future at the beginning of Season 5 it is a downfall.

Now, this is the last chance for anyone who hasn’t season the newest episode Blood Money to turn away or be spoiled. The episode opens again with a glimpse into a bleak future for Walt (not unlike the scene that started Season 5 where Walt purchased some heavy duty firepower), where he returns to his home of the last five and half seasons of the show as it is completely run down and fenced off. Walt breaks in seeing and sees his house has been vandalized stripped of all furniture and Heisenberg written on the wall. After surveying the damage he retreats to the bedroom and gathers the ricin poison he had hidden behind an outlet earlier in the season- but what is he planning to do with it? The opening ends with a bit of a funny line as Walt simply says hello to a neighbor that is quite obviously terrified to see him.

Rewind now to the moment that ended the first half of Season 5 as Hank emerges from the bathroom now with the knowledge of Walt’s alter ego. From there everything appears to be on a swift collision course as Hank’s rage prompts him to leave the house claiming he’s sick before having an anxiety attack behind the wheel and returning home to quickly get to work building proof of his new theory about Walt. Given the shows slow building nature one might assume it would be a few episodes before we get the payoff of these developments where Walt and Hank square off- don’t be so certain.

Before that though obviously there’s other characters to check in on. Sol panics when Jesse approaches him looking as beat down as ever with a plan to donate his money to Mike’s granddaughter and the family of a child that was killed after crossing paths with the meth makers. I still can’t get a read on what exactly Skylar’s ultimate endgame is, but she at least appears to possibly be coming to terms with Walt in spite of her prior disapproval. Lydia makes an appearance- pleading with Walt to get the operation back on its feet, but to no avail. Then of course I come back to Jesse- a character I love and have bleak visions of his fate. Suffice to say based on his demeanor in this episode he even has little hope he’s going to have a happy ending.

After trying to divvy out his $5 million in cash Sol tells Walt on him and Walt ends up on Jesse’s doorstep with the bags of cash. After previously talking down to Jesse about not letting him have the cash- it being “blood money” and all- Walt now tells his partner in crime that he earned the money and should keep it. I was beyond excited when Jesse announces that he’s connected the dots and pretty much knows that Walt killed Mike since Mike had not returned to exact furious vengeance on Walt for having all of his men systematically executed in prison. In pure Walt fashion he denies any involvement and I had a heartbreaking moment that Jesse might actually believe him, but the scene concludes with a look of despair in Jesse’s eyes that conveys to me that there is no way that he believes a word coming out of Walt’s mouth- and with good reason, given Walt has been playing him like a fiddle from the beginning of the show.

The scene that stands out beyond a doubt is the one that closes the episode out. After Walt has a moment of realization that Hank may be on to him he finds a tracker on his car, nailing down the fact that Hank is indeed on to him. So Walt takes it upon himself to pay Hank a visit and it seems to go harmlessly enough as Walt tries to feel out Hank’s reaction to him being there and then as he’s about to leave, pulls the band-aid off completely by pulling the tracker out and asking Hank why he would place it on his car.

The following ten seconds of TV is beyond tense, but the moment Hank presses the button to close the garage door and every second that passes as the garage door hums shut is why this show is one of the best on TV. I was filled with dread, but also just thrilled with what was about to transpire. I had no idea if Hank was just go yell and scream his accusations or full on attack Walt- to my delight it was both. Hank unleashes his rage upon Walt as he accuses him of being Heisenberg and refreshing Walt’s memory of all the horrible things he’s been responsible for. Walt half heartedly denies the accusations and eventually tells Hank that his cancer has returned (something we learned earlier in the episode) and that even if his theory was right, he expects to be dead before he would ever see the inside of a jail cell. Dean Norris performs masterfully next to Cranston in that scene as he is equally filled with rage and even a little weakness as he is taken aback a bit when Walt begins to take a threatening tone on him. The scene ends with a perfect Breaking Bad/Heisenbergian line as Walt tells Hank to “tread lightly.”

If there was ever a doubt that Walt was going to take center stage as a complete monster and the shows central villain in the last season, that doubt is gone now. The weak blubbering fool Walt was at the start of his crimes has been replaced by a greedy, power hungry and cocky drug kingpin that has taken to telling his brother-in-law who also happens to be DEA that he better back off or face the consequences. At the beginning of the show it would have been an empty promise, but since then we’ve seen Walt let a woman choke to death, poison a child, bomb a nursing home, dissolve people in acid, orchestrate a mass murder within a prison, manipulate everyone around him to bend to his will and slither out of many sticky situations- so it’s not a stretch that he would end the life of his brother-in-law to ensure his own survival.

Moving forward I have my theories as to where the show could go, but the validity is suspect to begin with and hinge entirely on just how dark show runner Vince Giiligan is willing to go. The show has always had a hint of humor to accompany the darkness, but to tie up all the loose ends in the show I have a feeling things are going to get dark and stay dark. So rather than spout my theories on what will happen I want to say what I wish will happen as we plow forward to the end of the show.

The biggest thing for me is that in Jesse’s current state I see someone at the end of his rope, backed into a corner and nothing to live for. He doesn’t want his money, Mike is dead, his friends want nothing more than to sit around and pitch scripts for Star Trek and his mind is focused on all the people that have died because he decided to cook meth with Walter White. I want nothing more than for him to discover the truth of what happened to Jane, about Walt poisoning the son of his girlfriend at the time and of course that Walt indeed killed Mike. Then if/when that happens I want him to ignite the shitstorm that comes down on Walt maybe even be the one that brings him to his ultimate end. The main thing being I want Jesse to live, but I don’t have high expectations for that happening.

Given all the death and ruined lives Walt has left in his wake as he accumulates his drug money the show has no hope for a happy ending. If Walt dies the great, he deserves it, but the show still ends in death and lives still ruined because of him. Any end that includes Jesse’s death will leave me with a pit in my stomach. I suppose anything is possible, but as we come to the end all I know aside from my wish of Jesse’s well-being is I do not want the cancer to be Walt’s end- and given the “Remember My Name” tagline for this half of the season, I believe the character will settle for no less than a theatrical demise.

Last Call Spoilers: V/H/S

Twists and kills- things that are always abundant in horror movies and that’s what makes them ideal fodder for the Spoiler Corner. The thing I enjoy the most about spoiler discussions is the opportunity to get into more detailed conversations about movies, but also a lot of times people are able to see something that maybe I didn’t catch or even think about on my viewing of a film.
On the block this time is the newest found footage horror film V/H/S that also happens to be a found footage anthology film. The film follows a group of guys sent to steal a VHS tape from a house, but once they get there they have no idea what tape they are supposed to steal so they watch what is on them while searching the house for more tapes. However, not only were they not prepared for what was on the tapes, but what they might be in for entering into the house.

You know the drill- if you haven’t seen the film and don’t want to be spoiled even slightly then turn away, seek the film out, watch it and come back. If you first want to read my very positive review of the film before reading then head over here. Otherwise let’s get down to business and get into every dirty detail of V/H/S. Since it is an anthology film I will be discussing each segment separately as I did with the review rather than switching back and forth from segment back into the main arc and so forth.

TAPE 56

TAPE 56 is the main arc/wraparound story of V/H/S where a group of guys go around causing trouble by either assaulting a woman to expose her breasts or vandalizing an abandoned building. One of the guys in the group brings up a job in which they can make a lot of money so naturally they all agree- the job is to break into a house and steal one VHS tape. Once in the house they find a room with a man sitting in a chair in front of a bunch of TV’s who appears to be dead and VHS tapes strewn about. One of the guys decides to play the tape that is in the VCR to see what was on it as happens throughout the film and each tape played is one of the various segments we see and is transitioned by a blue screen with the word “Play” on screen.

Rather than sit and watch every tape some of the guys split up to search for more tapes and decide to just steal everything they can and decide later which one is the right one. One of the guys sees a mysterious guy or creature in the basement, while another notices that the “dead” man in the chair turns up missing while he is watching one of the tapes. Eventually each thief is picked off one by one either by the mysterious man or creature in the basement or by the undead man in the chair. After the last of the men has been murdered one last tape plays (entitled 10/31/98, which is the last short I will be discussing) and once that tape finishes that is where the film ends.

My questions exiting this segment as a whole, included things like what the thing in the basement was, was the man in the chair dead or just luring these guys into the house to murder and who plays the last tape? To this point my theory seems to be that maybe the last tape was the one they were looking for. There is almost no closure to the questions the segment left me with, which I actually appreciate because a good mystery makes most movies much more enjoyable and fun to talk about.

AMATEUR NIGHT

This is the second segment of V/H/S and follows a group of seemingly college age kids that have rigged a friend’s glasses with a hidden camera so that he can film them partying, picking up chicks and subsequently getting busy with them in their hotel room. While out and about at the bars drinking the kid with the glasses makes acquaintance with a girl that only repeats the words “I like you” over and over. He is noticeably weirded out by her as he watches her the rest of the night, but they end up bringing her and another girl back to the hotel. At the hotel one of the three guys is rounding second base with his girl while the kid with the glasses tries to make conversation with the weird girl and the third guy just laughs like a hyena on the couch. The guy rounding bases with his girl is cut short when his catch passes out and in a stunning display of morality decides not to continue having sex with her and instead turns his attention on the weird girl who obliges, while also motioning to the kid with glasses and the three are almost engaged in a threesome when the kid with glasses panics and runs to the bathroom. The guy on the couch also attempts to engage in a threesome which the girl is none too keen with and he joins his spectacles friend in the bathroom with a bite on his hand- and it’s all bad news from here.

The guys suspiciously exit the bathroom to see the girl attack their friend and shriek at them with what look like vampire teeth. She pulls him off the bed and resumes feasting on him while the two remaining guys retreat to the bathroom to form a game plan. One grabs the shower rod and they exit to a dark room but the girl standing in the middle with her arms folded in some form of seductive way. The guy swings the rod at her but she catches it and takes him down and starts feeding on him as well. The kid with the glasses has made his way to the other side of the room and manages to escape the room and while descending the stairs he falls, snapping his wrist in the process. The girl finds him and does not attack him, but instead tries to perform oral sex on him and is heartbroken when it appears he is none too excited about what her intentions might be down there. She retreats to the corner crying and the kid bolts out the door screaming for help and before he can get to far he is suddenly lifted into the air and we see the girl has fully transformed and is a hideous monster with wings and is carrying him away, his glasses fall and the camera cuts out as he screams.

A few thoughts on this segment- first off being that this one is one of my favorites, not just for how odd it is in the set up, but how insane and creepy it is towards the end. The second which might be the biggest talking point is just what is the “I like you” girl supposed to be. I initially thought for sure she was a vampire, but the way she feeds did not seem to be traditionally what we are used to when it comes to vampires. It is still possible this may be a fresh take on the myths, but my other more out there idea was that the girl was possibly a succubus. There are essentially holes in that theory as well because traditionally a succubus lures men into bed to kill and consume them where none of these men needed to be seduced and basically picked them up with the intentions of getting down and dirty. So those are the lingering questions I have for this segment, but beyond that I have to say I love how it ended and was blown away by how incredible the effects of the kid being lifted into the air and seeing the creature carrying him away to God knows what before the camera cuts out.

SECOND HONEYMOON

Director Ti West continues to do what he does best in this segment and that’s by creating a tense and atmospheric setting before ending the film in a sudden, brutal and disturbing fashion. This short is slow and deliberate all the way until the last basically 2 minutes when the horror just explodes on the screen. The short follows a couple out on a honeymoon and winding down in their hotel room when they hear a knock on the door from a girl wanting a ride the following morning. After the couple goes to bed an unknown person has picked up their camera and is filming his/herself stalk the couple, stealing money and dipping a toothbrush in the toilet. The next day the couple is sightseeing and the man notices his money is gone and later on expresses interest in extending their trip. That night the camera comes back on and comes up close on the man’s face and suddenly the stalker violently stabs his neck making him unable to scream. The killer proceeds to slash his throat violently until he dies and goes into the bathroom to wash their hands. It is then revealed that (in my opinion) the man’s killer was his wife and the camera operator was the stalker from the night before and is another woman- the two then make out. The segment ends with the lesbian lovers in the car and the wife asks if she deleted the footage off the camera.

Loved the tension in this segment and the use of sound, found the slow build very effective and I was not expecting the kill to come when it did. I was so wrapped up in the tension and the stalking scenes that I literally forgot about the establishing scenes with the fortune teller that foreshadows the rest of the short which is why the twist at first seemed to come out of nowhere for me. Looking back I love that little bit of foreshadowing and the dynamic of that short after the twist.

TUESDAY THE 17TH

There really isn’t a whole lot to spoil on this short as it’s pretty straight forward, but we will see how it goes. It follows four friends (two guys and two girls) driving in the middle of a wooded area that stop at a lake to do a little bit of swimming and weed smoking when one of the girls tells a story about a killer that slaughtered a group of kids. Two of the friends go off by themselves and the killer attacks by throwing a knife that pierces the girl’s skull and out the eye socket and then attacks and kills the nerdy guy with her. The killer at this point you will notice is shown as though he is just a massive technical glitch and is never seen clearly, but the effect is pretty awesome. Back with the other two friends the girl is explaining to the jock guy that she brought them there as bait as you can just barely see the killer/glitch approaching in the background and comes up behind the jock and cuts his throat. The girl takes off running with the killer in chase and we see that she has set up a variety of traps to catch the killer that slaughtered her friends she mentioned in the story. When one of the traps finally stops the killer the girl thinks she’s won but when she sees one of the previous victims somehow still walking she looks away and when she looks back the killer is gone and he attacks and kills her.

This short evokes a lot of FRIDAY THE 13TH vibes with a killer that seems to be able to teleport everywhere and is invincible while hunting stupid teens around a lake. I really dig the style used for the killer which was one of the only redeeming factors for this short aside from the kills. Not my favorite short, but it is very entertaining despite how bad the actors are.

THE SICK THING THAT HAPPENED TO EMILY WHEN SHE WAS YOUNGER

Here’s one of the other shorts likely to incite arguments and other discussions, lately due to the twist. This is the online chat/Skype segment between a boyfriend and girlfriend. The girl expresses concern that her new apartment may be haunted and we see her showing him several instances where any normal person would never deny that the place may indeed be haunted- however, the boyfriend’s disbelief is forgiven at the end with the twist. The girl also has a moment where she has mutilated her arm attempting to find out what a bump is that she feels under her skin that her boyfriend says to leave alone and that he’ll look at it when he comes to visit. Eventually on a night where she is trying to make contact with the ghosts she falls unconscious with the ghostly kids around her and the boyfriend leaves his computer and emerges through her door a few seconds later. He takes a scalpel and makes an incision in her back and pulls out a weird looking fetus while talking to an unseen force. He asks things that range from the fetus being half human, how many more times he has to do this to her and that he’s going to have to break some bones to make it look like she had an accident. When we next see the girl she’s in a cast with bruises saying a doctor diagnosed her with schizophrenia. Then when their conversation ends and the Skype screens come back up we see the man is now talking to a new girl and the cycle is going to start over with her.

I have almost no theory for this segment, I know the bump in the skin is a tracker, but beyond that I have no idea if this is supposed to hint at aliens or what. If it is aliens then the fact that we can actually see ghost kids kind of confuses me unless this guy is aborting alien fetuses and these kids are the ghost of those aborted kids or if this is something else entirely. By all means feel free to weigh in with your theories because the twist really through me.

10/31/98

This is the last tape we see and the last segment that leads us to the credits and is also one of my favorite if not my overall favorite of the bunch. This short follows four guys dressed up for Halloween on their way to a party and one is rigged with a nanny cam. When they get to the house where the party is supposed to be no one answers the door so they go in through the back and find no one downstairs. They assume the house is rigged to be a fun haunted house deal with flickering lights and arms that reach out from the walls and are having a good laugh about it. When they go upstairs they hear chanting coming from the attic so they go up and see a group of guys chanting around a girl that is tied up. The men chanting yell at them to leave at which time you can hear a deep creepy growl and an unseen force begins lifting people into the air and the four friends try running out of the house as doors are flying around, ghostly handprints follow them around and dishes are thrown at them. They are almost home free when they decide to go back for the girl and on their way out they find they can no longer leave through the ground floor doors and go to the basement where hands are reaching from the walls and ground to stop them. They get out through the basement door and get in the car to go find the girl help and as they drive all of a sudden there is interference and the car stalls to a stop. The guys begin panicking as the girl has vanished and is now on the outside of the car with a demonic face and they can’t get out of the car. We see they are stopped on train tracks with a train approaching and the camera cuts out as the car is about to be hit.

Two theories for this segment- one being that the guys in the attic are attempting an exorcism on this girl and are unable to complete it thanks to the friends and the second being that they are a cult performing a ritual that causes this girl to be possessed by a demon. I find the exorcism to be more likely as if the men were a cult they would probably have just captured and killed the guys rather than telling them to go away and the fact that when they are distracted and stop chanting they begin getting attacked by the unseen force.

As a whole I really loved V/H/S even in spite of issues I had with certain segments. If you’re still reading and haven’t seen it then first off shame on you and second I still recommend checking it out and seeing it for yourself to form your own theories. Feel free to leave comments expressing if you agree with any of my theories or want to chime in with your own and also tell me what you thought of the movie! I look forward to discussing this one with you!

Last Call Spoilers: The Dark Knight Rises

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Last Call Spoilers is a post on which I talk about a movie- usually a current release- where I go in-depth to describe every book and cranny of the film and attempting to leave no stone unturned. This edition of Spoiler Corner might be a bit different as I discuss the spoilers of THE DARK KNIGHT RISES- different only because I’m not going to start at the beginning and go through every plot beat of the film and instead I’m going to spend a moment summarizing the biggest spoilers in reference to my initial predictions about the film and then talk in a more detailed way about what I liked or God forbid didn’t like about the film.

Before we get too far into the discussion, I want to express my deepest condolences to the families and friends affected by the tragedy in Aurora, Colorado during the midnight screening of THE DARK KNIGHT RISES. I’ve read more than I care to about the monster responsible and hope for nothing more than swift justice and feel the guy deserves anything bad thing coming to him. I’ve had a chance to read about all the last acts of heroism on the part of several victims that moved me to no end and the reports coming out are heartbreaking and incredible. It is a sad day where something that is there to bring us all hours of joy and escapism can also be the setting for something so tragic and even sadder when our enthusiasm for the art form can be exploited by the seriously disturbed for seemingly no logical reason. I would hate to see this tragedy dim the light and passion of those involved and if any that has been affected happens to see this, know that as someone who attended a midnight screening you have nothing but my deepest sympathies and I hope that you all find peace as quickly as possible from this senseless tragedy. It could have happened to any number of us that ventured out that night and know that even though those of us in other locations were not there, we all suffer collectively with you (though most can’t possibly fathom the depth of your personal losses).

On with the spoilers…

So if you want to remain unspoiled about THE DARK KNIGHT RISES, first off why did you click on a link that features the word spoiler and second how have you gotten this far in a post that clearly states the word spoiler several times to this point. You now have no excuse to still be reading so from this point on, let the spoilers fly.

I wrote a few weeks before release about what to expect from THE DARK KNIGHT RISES- or what I was expecting and anticipated seeing just how right I was going to be. At this point I am both excited and only slightly discouraged to say, I told you so. Excited because few moments in my life as a married man can I literally say I was right about something, but discouraged because if I can call some of the plot beats that means a lot of other people probably could too- plus I’m not even well versed in everything involving Batman from the comics- it also means that a few things didn’t come as big of a surprise that me and many others would probably like.

So what was I right about, well here’s the main things- Bane being a member of the League of Shadows, Marion Cotillard’s character actually being Talia Al Ghul and Bane being her tool for destruction, Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s character possibly taking over as Batman or maybe being revealed as Robin and the possibility that Batman would be killed off. All of these things happen in some form or another. Some of them hit harder than others and I have my issues with some of it, but for me, I refuse to let minor nitpicks drag down an otherwise phenomenal experience.

I would like to start the more detailed discussion off with Bane as played by Tom Hardy. The thing about Bane approaching this movie is just how he would stack up to Heath Ledger’s Joker from THE DARK KNIGHT. I will preface everything I’m about to say by first pointing out that I believe that even Nolan knew he could not replace Ledger or have lightning strike twice- so what I feel he did essentially with Bane was take the Joker character and reverse almost everything about him. I feel that Bane as a character anchors the first two thirds of THE DARK KNIGHT RISES just like the Joker, but their differences are also what make their respective movies work. I loved Hardy’s performance, though I don’t think it’s quite the Oscar caliber performance Ledger gave- this comes mostly due to the fact that he spends the whole movie with more than half of his face covered in a mask and that you can’t always tell how much of the performance comes in the moment during the scene and what has been enhanced or added ADR since it is blatantly obvious adjustments were made to make Bane easier to understand.

Bane much like the Joker is psychotic and both have levels of intelligence, but what where Joker lacks the physical aspect as a foe to Batman, Bane more than compensates for. However, what Bane lacks is the sheer unpredictable nature of Joker’s psychosis and Bane is unflinching in his efforts to destroy Gotham based on a meticulous plan that has been over a decade in the making by Talia. The biggest thing that took Bane from being an extremely intimidating force was by making him the lesser of two evils in the overall plan and making Talia the mastermind- rendering him mostly as a goon that simply is pointed in a direction and he executes. It doesn’t necessarily negate his physical presence in the first half of the film especially in that first fight with Batman where he just owns Batman and breaks his back, but sort of feels like he is then second wheel in the last act and then removed completely when Selina Kyle/Catwoman straight up murders him- or so it seems

The last thing I want to say as Bane is that say what you will about the voice, but I personally loved it. The muffled sound combined with the accent and the way that is sticks out so distinctly from everyone else I found incredibly effective. It works to single out his character the same way that the Joker’s strange and deranged manner of speaking did in THE DARK KNIGHT- because without it, he could have easily been written off as generic British sounding buff bad guy, where his backstory and headgear give him the intimidating look and presence. Aside from the voice, Hardy does a lot with just his eyes and body language ranging from just a relaxed “I’m not scared of anything” look, anger and then something of a crazed disgust when he’s giving the speech about corruption in Gotham. I again won’t say it’s Oscar worthy and doesn’t hit the absolute brilliance of Ledger, but it’s close and I find it nearly as memorable.

Some of the only other complaints I have about the film have to do with the editing and how time is conveyed, but doesn’t harm the film overall to me as I was eventually able to catch myself up and find ways to connect the plot without it being layer out for me. I also have some issues with the way Talia is set up and revealed- I called it before the release, but I feel like it was telegraphed pretty easily during the film so the reveal itself wasn’t near as shocking. Showing the scar on her back when “Miranda” and Bruce were in the nude after conducting hanky panky by fireside was a pretty stark hint at showing this character might be more than she appears. It may very well be a calculated move and that the reveal is supposed to be known by the audience so that we are then screaming at the screen for Batman to not turn his back on her before she stabs him- I don’t know for sure, but that’s my take on it and also why it just doesn’t bother me like it does everyone else. I also feel like the telegraph of her possibly being Talia is there to serve the fact that with all the new characters it was hard to get a lot of her character in the film to flesh her out so the rushed romance and scar reveal is the compromise Nolan basically had to make in order to get the finale to where it has to go.

THE DARK KNIGHT RISES also hints several times how it isn’t hard for some people to connect Bruce Wayne to Batman as is evident in the John Blake character. So for me the whole film has tension that hinges on his identity falling apart altogether especially since Bane knows Bruce’s identity, Selina Kyle finds it out and of course Batman giving Gordon the hint and Gordan finally putting it together. In many ways Batman/Bruce Wayne seemingly giving his life by flying the bomb over the water is just a pitch perfect way to end the legend of Batman. Of course it is revealed quickly that Bruce survived because he fixed the autopilot feature in the Bat and fulfills Alfred’s wish of seeing him happy with a girl, Selina Kyle. I couldn’t have been more satisfied by that ending.

Now on to the John Blake character, which it is revealed that his first name is actually Robin in the end, was a nice nudge to fans- though I’m so happy he didn’t ever suit up and fight side by side with Batman. Instead, the ambiguous nature of all the set ups leading to seeing Bruce still alive leave hope for the future. There appears to be confusion that Gordon replaced the Bat signal in the end, but the way I read it was that Bruce replaced it with the intention that Blake was going to take his place- which to pat myself on the back once more I also speculated before the release. There is a line that Batman says to Blake saying that he needs to wear a mask in order to protect his family and loved ones- then there’s a moment of realization when Blake watches Batman fly away with the bomb and sees it explode and he then takes off his badge and throws it away. He then retrieves a bag and finds the entrance to Bruce’s Batcave- if none of that adds up to Batman/Bruce basically handing the reins to Blake I don’t know how else to clear it up for you. I don’t think Nolan is setting you up to think Blake will now be Robin, but instead just a set up for Night Wing- his name being Robin I feel is just a way to get the name recognition into the series.

I can agree that the film wants the audience to take some massive leaps of faith in terms of storytelling, time jumps and suspension of disbelief, but they are all leaps I was more than willing to take. The storytelling because in the 8 year gap we miss the development of Miranda into Bruce’s life when she helps to finance the tech that is then turned into a nuclear weapon, Bruce’s ability to fall so in love with Miranda in such a short period of time and trust her with control over his company and the fusion device and the extent in which Bane and company are able to seemingly make and place all these explosive devices all over the city. Suspension of disbelief comes from the creation and placement of the bombs and how some people seem to connect the Bruce Wayne/Batman dots easily and others just can’t or don’t care to, plus why Bruce continues to talk in Batman raspy voice to Blake even though Blake already knows who he is. The time gaps in addition to the initial 8 years since THE DARK KNIGHT are the amount of time from the initial plane heist, emergence of Bane in Gotham to when he finally blows up the stadium, activates the bomb to when Batman heals, returns and flies it out of harm’s way. There is never a time it tells you on screen how much time has passed, but if you pay attention time frames are expressed and it’s up to the audience to put them together.

Now getting into some of my favorite moments in the film- I really loved the first fight between Bane and Batman where absolutely no score is used. That scene is nothing but sound effects of two dudes throwing and landing fists leading up to the moment where Bane gloriously utters the line about wondering what of Batman/Bruce he would break first- his spirit or his body- before promptly breaking shit out of Batman’s back and pounding his face until the cowl breaks off. That whole fight I was in glee and even a little disturbed by the brutality Bane displayed when he was pounding Batman’s face as he was basically unconscious.

The biggest set piece of the film minus the final battle is the explosion on the football field. The lead up is fantastic even though if anyone saw the trailer, most knew it was coming, but what I wasn’t expecting was that all the explosions you see in the trailer happen simultaneously- including the bridges. The CGI there wasn’t as seamless as in Nolan’s previous films, but looked pretty damn good. It was also really cool to take that all in context since we got a snippet of Bane’s dialogue to the crowd in a spy video well before the release so seeing it all come together was pretty spectacular.

The final battle improved on what I didn’t love about THE DARK KNIGHT. I loved how escalated the stakes were for the film and overall how it was shot. I didn’t care for the entirety of the final battle against the Joker in THE DARK KNIGHT and the only aspects I enjoyed were the two boats deciding if they were going to blow each other up and the hostages dressed up like bad guys. The Bat sonar and darkness of the fighting kind of ruined that part of the finale and the actual abbreviated fight between Batman and Joker felt weak. Here there is just an all out war with Batman fighting with the cops against the thugs Bane has converted to his side and it was all just awesome to see in spite of some shaky editing.

I want to end on two other sequences that I enjoyed- one on a spectacle level and the other on an emotional level. The emotional scene is when Bruce is working toward healing his back and making the climb in the “Hell on Earth” prison Bane leaves him in when Bruce says he’s not afraid but angry and he’s continually failing at the climb. The moments leading up to his successful trek to the top I found to be absolutely triumphant and emotionally satisfying even if you knew he was going to make it and then his heroic return to Gotham when Gordon lights the flair that then ignores the Bat logo in flames to signal to Bane and his army that he was back perfectly capped those sequences. The spectacle scene I am referring to, though there are many is the scene where the Bat is dodging the missiles shot at it- though I didn’t see my screening at an IMAX I can imagine how awe inspiring that sequence is because I just loved it on a regular screen. Side note though, I do intend to see this again on an IMAX screen before too long.

I think for now that’s a about all I have to say as far as spoilers and discussion go. There’s been a lot of flack given for negative reviews on the film and all I have to say to anyone bummed about negative reviews is that the only opinion that matters is your own. Do not let someone else tell you what you like and definitely to not let someone else’s opinion drive you to the point of sending death threats- nobody wins in those situations. From what I can tell, expectations have been every viewer’s common enemy- the only advice I can give is to keep them in check because if you come out not liking it saying your expected more then what I will say to you is that its you’re expectations that let you down, not the film. It may not be the popular opinion, but always expecting something to be better than it actually is, ends with disappointment more than it doesn’t.

Last Call Spoilers: Prometheus

Here we go- PROMETHEUS is in theaters now and is prompting quite a lot of debate in regards to the mysteries and questions the film has put forward. If you haven’t seen the film yet I strongly recommend doing so before reading this, which I would think is self evident by the title of the post.

I will do a brief spoilery plot rundown and the rest of the post will be very much like presenting questions I had about the film or stuff things I had problems with. Hopefully together we can dig up some of the answers to these questions or at the very least just have some fun exploring the film’s mysteries.

Noomi Rapace plays a scientist, Elizabeth Shaw, who along with her boyfriend discovers ancient hieroglyphs that point to a system of planets that they believe hold the key to who created the human species. Shaw heads out to space to find the planet along with a crew of scientists to find answers to our lifelong questions. Once there they discover beings, Engineers, that resemble humans that have been killed and around are thousands of canisters containing some kind of black goo that transforms anything it comes into contact with into some new life form altogether. It becomes evident that these canisters were in the process of being used to destroy Earth’s current inhabitants- namely humans- before they were thwarted in their efforts, until one wakes up and the crew (at least the ones still alive) must fight to stop him from leaving to destroy our planet.

On the ship there is android by the name of David (Michael Fassbender) who was created by Peter Weyland (Guy Pearce), the CEO of Weyland Corporation. In a hologram message Weyland says that he is dead, but a reveal later on shows that he is alive and has been on the ship the whole time and is intent on talking to the Engineer in a belief that he has the key to saving him from death. David spends the majority of the movie hiding his motives, but there is always a hint that he is somehow surpassing his own programming so much so that he appears to start having thoughts and feelings of his own, evident in things he says that hint that he kind of wants Weyland to be killed and secretly knows that the Engineer will murder the crap out him, then later expressing his fear that Shaw may have been killed when the Engineer came to kill her after she convinces Janek to crash their ship into his to keep the Engineer from flying to Earth and destroying it.

Once everyone else is dead except for Shaw, David reveals to her that there are many other ships hidden underground on the planet and he can operate them in order to take her home. Shaw decides she doesn’t want to go home, but wants to go to where the Engineers came from to find answers to why the Engineers created life on Earth then decided they wanted to destroy us. As she flies off we cut back to the Engineer that lost a battle with the giant face hugger that Shaw was impregnated with by Holloway after David had poisoned him with the black goo and Shaw let loose during the fight with the Engineer in order to escape. The Engineer is convulsing on the floor as his stomach bursts open revealing the early iteration of the Xenomorph and the credits start to roll.

I’m going to use the rest of this spoiler space to address questions I have and follow the question with details as to why I asked the question or my theories as to what an answer could possibly be. Feel free to provide your own questions and answers in the comments below.

Why did David poison Holloway? After PROMETHEUS was over this was one of the first things I wanted to ask the first person I saw. However, gauging the couple’s conversation behind me I really don’t think they would have been much help. David brings ones of the canisters filled with black goo on to the ship and somehow studies it with no interruption which is where we see the scene from the trailer where David says, “Big things have small beginnings.” He then goes into the billiard room where Holloway is drinking away his frustrations about finding the dead engineers, David offers him a drink and right before he gives it to him you see David quickly put his finger in the drink, which eventually gets Holloway extremely sick and before he dies he has a chance to have sex with Noomi Rapace’s character and getting her pregnant with an alien baby.

One theory I heard was that it was just part of David’s programming to test what the goo does to see if it holds the key to sustaining or extending human life, obviously for the use on Peter Weyland who is being hidden on the ship during the majority of the movie. I don’t disagree with the theory, given there was no way he could have known Vickers would burn Holloway to a crisp, what it would do to Holloway let alone that he would have sex with Shaw and that that union would result in a alien pregnancy that would risk Shaw’s life.

The impromptu surgery that Shaw performs on herself is one of the most horrifically glorious scenes of the film, but presents its own issues given that David doesn’t mention another word to her about it once he sees her again even though he suggest putting her back into sleep. She lays out two crew members and leaves an alien to run amuck in the surgery room that no one notices until the end. There just seem to be quite a few loose ends in scenes such as this that get lost in the shuffle with all the different ideas that are being tossed around.

Guy Pearce? What the hell? I really just don’t understand why it was necessary to cast him as the old Peter Weyland. I get it he was used in the viral marketing and he’s a great actor, but the old age makeup that they implemented on him was distractingly bad- comical at times. The movie’s success obviously isn’t hinged on that aspect being all that believable given he’s only there to say how bad he wants to not die and then get pummeled to death by the Engineer at the end. I think they could just as easily found a decent older actor to slip into that role that at the very least fits Pearce’s build and it would have been just as effective if not more.

Who pissed in that Engineer’s Wheaties? The Engineer that David wakes up in the cargo hold at the end doesn’t appear too angry at first, but after David says whatever he says to him and the thing just loses his shit- rips off David’s head and just starts beating everyone in sight to death. This begs the question of just what exactly these guys hate humans so much. The question is asked several times before the end and the film ends on that same sentiment when Shaw decides to go off in search of the answer.

So the one living Engineer in PROMETHEUS the only living member of his species that wants Earth destroyed? An extension to the previous question- Shaw leaves the planet with David saying she wants to go find where the Engineers came from and ask why they hated humans and wanted to destroy us and start over. So my question is in reference to the fact that if there are more out there, why haven’t they already destroyed Earth? Was the Engineer in this movie the last left alive? Not likely because the planet here is not the same one in ALIEN, where they find the dead Engineer behind the steer of the ship and all of the face hugger eggs. So unless they are all stationed on a bunch of different planets and were wiped out simultaneously then something doesn’t seem quite right to me.

What was that spaceship at the beginning? Right out of the gate during all of those gorgeous sweeping shots of landscapes we eventually see what looks like a more traditional alien spaceship design flying away as one of the Engineers pulls out a small cup of the black goo. The Engineer proceeds to drink the substance and almost immediately his body begins to decompose and fall apart- but more on that later. What is that spaceship at the beginning? It looked nothing like the ship the Engineer is taking off in at the end. The only theory I have is that maybe this is the Engineer creating life on Earth so that is just an Engineer spaceship 1.0 and the ship at the end is just a newer design- aside from that there isn’t enough information to say for sure in my opinion.

Exactly what are the physics of this black goo? Back to the black goo the Engineer drinks at the beginning and that we see throughout. The Engineer at the beginning drinks the liquid that almost immediately breaks down his DNA and decomposes his body before he falls into the water. After he falls into the water we see a microscopic view of DNA molecules re-bonding in the water implying that new life is taking shape.

Before I state the following issue let me first say, I am not a scientist, I have no expertise in the area of DNA let alone am I all that trustworthy when it comes to exact volumes of liquid on the human body. That being said, the black goo kills the DNA in the Engineer’s body and reforms in the water- correct me if I’m wrong, but doesn’t the human body contain a significant amount of water, why would the DNA break down so quickly if at all? We are made to believe several times that the Engineer’s DNA is an exact match to human DNA so there’s no reason to believe that the Engineer’s body is not exactly the same as ours.

Some other nitpicks I have on this subject is the fact that the black goo when ingested by Holloway as mentioned in a previous question does not immediately decompose his body, which is human and again we are to believe the Engineers are as well so by that logic Holloway should decompose as well. Instead, he just gets sick after first planting an alien baby in Shaw and then getting burned to a crisp. Maybe he was on the verge of decomposing but if that goo breaks down the body as effectively and quickly as it is depicted I doubt his body would have what it needs to impregnate Shaw’s character.

It seems as though we are to believe that this goo is so complex and advanced that it can create just about anything it wants. There doesn’t seem to be any relation to the creatures that keep forming from this stuff- there’s the cobra-snake-worm guys, one crew member just turning into a zombie, Holloway implanting the squid looking baby inside of Shaw that when it gets to full size is basically just a giant version of the face hugger that when it implants its baby in the Engineer breeds what is essentially Xenomorph 1.0. Is there a science to how these different yet semi similar species are being created or was it just a way to try and fit in as many alien creatures as possible?

Lastly, the black goo apparently needs some form of host to create a life form, so where did those cobra-snake-worm creatures come from? They were not there when the crew investigated that room initially and were there shortly after the other two crew members got stuck down there during the storm.

So did the filmmakers mix up the Geologist and Biologist characters that got stuck in the cave? So that scene where the biologist, Millburn and the geologist, Fifield encounter the cobra-snake-worm, Millburn gets attacked while Fifield attempts to save him. In the process Fifield cuts the creature sending out the acid blood (hello, more ALIEN ties) that burns Fifield’s helmet eventually collapsing in on his head thus killing him- so we think. The creature on the other hand gets into Millburn’s helmet and eventually into his mouth, infecting him somehow- or so we would think. Later on in the film Janek notices that one of their helmet cameras turns on outside the ship- I thought I heard the name Fifield, which was the one being eaten away by acid. So Millburn should have been the one attacking but the scene happened so fast I couldn’t make out the face. So if somehow it was Fifield and he was now some super strong zombie like guy, how did that transition take place he had ingested any of the black goo- that we see anyway. It seems more likely that Millburn would attack after whatever the creature does to him which I assume would have been more than turning him into a zombie. Maybe it’s a case of mistaken identity and I heard the wrong name.

Also, the way the body of Fifield/Millburn was all contorted outside the ship, did anyone else get kind of an eerie Dead Space vibe out of that or even shades of THE THING.

How did that circular probe pick up a life form at the end of the hallway when the door was closed? Fifield sends off those orb probes that digitally map the area for Janek on the ship and after Fifield and Millburn get stuck in the caves he says that one has stopped and has detected a life form before saying that the signal disappeared and then back on every so often and assumes it’s a glitch. When David goes to investigate there is no life form around the immediate area for it to pick up because the probe essentially can’t read what is behind the door it is stuck at until he opens it and probes the inside of the ship where the Engineer is in cryostasis. I don’t think the probe could have been picking up the Engineer as its life form as it had no way of knowing it didn’t hit a dead end and it doesn’t really explain why it would drop the signal for a short period of time and then read a life form again.

The scene where Janek tells Fifield and Millburn that the probe picked up a life form is pretty tense as well as kind of funny, but after it is revealed there’s nothing there until David opens the ships door I questioned how or what the probe could be picking up. I have no real answer to this one.

Wow, that “father” line…am I right? Not much to say about this really, just that it is easily the worst line of the film. There’s no reason for it to seem like some sort of reveal that Peter Weyland is Vickers father since I pretty much had that feeling leading up to that line. It wasn’t shocking though the delivery made it seem like it should be and nothing significant comes out of the discovery. Moments later Weyland is brutally beaten to death and eventually Vickers is crushed under the crashing Engineer’s ship- oh, well thank God we knew she had a father I guess.

That Xenomorph at the end was almost the same size as the Engineer, how did he even fit in his stomach? The finale leads up to the giant face hugger attaching to the Engineer and eventually the last scene shows something bursting out of his stomach. Given it was giving off the obvious “here’s the really on the nose tie in to ALIEN” vine I was picturing the more worm looking Xenomorph in its early stage of life. Instead it’s basically an already grown Xenomorph, but an early incarnation of its evolution. It didn’t have the long snake like tongue with the mouth at the end of it, but it did look to have something somewhat similar to it which just nailed home that it was more the Xenomorph origin and that the species must undergo a bit of change over the years.

The Xenomorph that is born from the Engineer’s stomach is not small. It looks to be fully grown so it’s no wonder that it bursts out of the stomach, but that it bursts from the stomach only. Judging by the size it seems as though the Xenomorph should have burst through the whole body almost as though it was wearing a full body Engineer Halloween costume. Am I alone in this assumption?

How can you misinterpret those hieroglyphics as an invitation? Again not much to say, but Shaw and Holloway do not explain why they think this is an invitation, but do point out more than once they can’t read all this ancient language on the walls on the planet once they get there. One trillion dollars is a hell of a lot of money to spend on a hunch- let alone a complete waste once everyone is dead except the person who didn’t have to spend a penny on the trip.

How do people still argue that this wasn’t in some way shape or form a prequel to ALIEN? Seriously though- acid blood, the Weyland corporation an android with a secret agenda- what else do you need. How about I just throw the obvious Xenomorph hybrid at the end and if you try to deny that it is not a Xenomorph I suggest you check yourself into the nearest drug rehabilitation center. All of these aspects combined then yeah it has the “DNA” of the ALIEN franchise, but DNA that may as well have ALIEN tattooed on it somewhere.

This expedition was horribly unprepared despite costing a trillion dollars, no? Not only is the exploration based on a hunch, but there seemed to be massive confusion amongst the crew as to who exactly was in charge. Let alone the fact that Fifield and Millburn couldn’t find their way back to the ship even though they have a means of communicating attached to their suits to Janek back on the ship who can see the layout of the caves due to the probes that have been mapping it out. Shaw is able to pull off a bloody c-section after viciously beating two crew members, she doesn’t hide the alien that was removed from her body and no one ever notices or says a thing to point out a potentially dangerous alien being on the ship, but not too long before that Vickers would rather burn Holloway to death than risk letting him on the ship even in quarantine.

Apparently Naomi Rapace and Charlize Theron’s characters couldn’t comprehend running 20 feet to their left or right to avoid being crushed by the crashing ship? Now one last quick bit of nitpicking- after Janek crashes Prometheus into the Engineer’s ship, Prometheus is basically vaporized while the other ship comes crashing back down to the planet. Both Vickers and Shaw are in the back as the rounded ship starts to roll their direction once it hits land. The two proceed to run in the same path the ship will eventually have to hit in order to stop rolling instead of making a B-Line out of the ship’s trajectory. Shaw gets her wits about her long enough to roll out of the way when she falls while Vickers is not so fortunate and then when the ship comes to rest its weight then starts to make it fall again. The ship has a horseshoe shape and Shaw is again in the line of impact and instead of employing the same strategy to avoid being crushed she just sits and waits for it to hit her- lucky for her she was laying just lower than land that is apparently immovable even as a massive ship with tons and tons of weight smashed on top of it.

At this point you might be asking yourself how I could have liked this movie so much with all of the snarky logic questions and comments I had about the film’s logic and mysteries. Well I wish I had a more elaborate answer, but the fact of the matter is that despite the failures in the script, I found the film to be extremely interesting, well acted and visually stunning. You can check out my review if you need a more detailed reason for liking it, but to generalize it even more I’m a believer of first impressions. My first impression of PROMETHEUS was that of respect and wonder at the ideas it tries to present rather or not they make full sense to me and the skill at which it was put together including the breathtaking visuals. If you want a more smart ass answer then here- I say and do ridiculous things on a daily basis yet I’m married and I have friends that all seem to like me quite a bit despite not agreeing or not understanding the gibberish that comes out of my mouth. In the end it all comes down to what you’re able to accept and I choose to accept PROMETHEUS for its ambition rather than write it off as mediocre and mindless.

Last Call Spoilers: Human Centipede (First Sequence) & Human Centipede 2 (Full Sequence)

Last Call Spoilers is a “hopefully” regular feature where I will go into detail about moments in movies people don’t like to have ruined for them. Up on deck for this post we have the two (so far) HUMAN CENTIPEDE movies. Infamous for their taboo and stomach churning subject matter the first film was surprising in its restraint where as the sequel just lets everything flow out…literally.

The spoiler free plot of the first film is a crazy surgeon kidnaps three people (two American girls and one Asian man) and plans to pull off a sick medical procedure by sewing each of them together ass to mouth thus creating one single digestive track. The second film is just a deviant that is obsessed with the first film and has been kidnapping people at the parking garage he works at and plans to make a twelve person centipede for himself except he lacks the medical expertise to safely pull it off.

You can expect spoilers from here on out. I’m assuming the main reason people sought out the first film was morbid curiosity to see what the big deal was which was my main reason as well, which carried on into the second film. The first one didn’t come anywhere near as sick and disgusting as I’d built it up in my mind and the sickest aspects are left to your imagination. When you hear about a film where people have their mouths sewn into another’s anus eventually you know that person has nature call upon them and when it does you don’t see it- the first film shows some mercy and restraint by hiding the grotesque image from you. I wish I could say the same for the second film. The villain of HUMAN CENTIPEDE 2 has no medical background and uses dirty tools to cut people open and attach them to one another. A staple gun is used to staple everyone’s mouth to another person’s ass to complete the centipede. As you can imagine, a staple gun does not create any sort of seal so when Martin, the villain, injects each person with a laxative everyone begins releasing their bowels at the same time and the excrement squirts out of the holes the staples do not cover and sometimes onto the camera- until it reaches the end of the centipede and it covers the wall behind them.

If that were the most offensive part of the second film that’d be one thing- but there’s more. Martin is so obsessed with the first film that he also somehow manages to get one of the stars, Ashlynn Yennie to show up for what she thinks is an audition to a new Quentin Tarantino film only to arrive and be knocked out and take her place at the front of the centipede. Once Martin finally snaps and decides to put his plan into motion starting with brutally murdering his mother there’s no looking back. Some of his other victims include a woman nine months pregnant, a hot headed neighbor and several other types of people that had the unfortunate chance to run across Martin in the parking garage. Knees are cut open, teeth are graphically hammered out and each mouth is stapled to the ass placed in front of them. Once the dirty deed is fully complete and Martin carries out to much glee the task of making each person poop into each other’s mouth he vomits at the smell that’s filled the room. The next logical step for Martin is to approach the back end of his creation and rape it- except raping it is not bad enough. Earlier on in the film Martin masturbated with sand paper while watching the first film and to satisfy his deviant needs this time around he wraps barbed wire around his penis and proceeds to rape the poor woman saddled with being the last segment of the centipede and when he’s done he spits on her back.

You might be asking yourself, “What’s the deal with the woman that was nine months pregnant?” There is an answer but the purpose of there being a woman nine months pregnant is another story- as I see it there is no other purpose but to show the following result of that inclusion. Martin is bashing each person on the head and when he is preparing to attach his centipede he checks on her and believes she is dead so he covers her with a sheet of plastic. When Martin is least expecting she jolts up and runs out of the building to a car with keys in it. Martin pursues her but she locks the doors and he is unable to grab her out of the car. While attempting to start the car she goes into labor and the baby slides out and onto the floor of the car. The woman then starts the car, and slams down on the gas except her newborn baby’s head is under the gas pedal and she subsequently crushes the infant’s head- the woman escapes and that’s the end of that.

While all the drama occurs one of the men in the centipede has separated himself from the pack by ripping his lips from the staples and crawls in search of a weapon. Martin is able to stop him though by shooting him and the other people that are still attached to him. He goes to shoot the rest and approaches the front girl who is able to fight him and knock him to the ground. Meanwhile Martin’s ACTUAL pet centipede has gotten loose and the girl pulls his pants down, sticks a funnel into his butt and places the centipede into it sending Martin into a frenzy and shoots the girl anyway.

After all this you would think an eventual ending that might redeem everything we’ve see would be forthcoming and Martin would get what’s coming to him. Nope- the camera cuts and we see Martin in his security booth watching the credits of the first film. Thus ending the movie on the final note that nothing we just saw actually happened.

There you have it, all the gory details of HUMAN CENTIPEDE 2 (FULL SEQUENCE) and some for HUMAN CENTIPEDE (FIRST SEQUENCE). Now that you know and I’m sure love Tom Six for attempting to really show his critics by challenging them with all the horrific visuals he was criticized for not having in the first film I’m sure your biting at the bit for part three, which Six has said he will star in as the villain along with Martin and the Doctor from the first film and will feature a 500 person centipede. Yay?

Last Call Spoilers: Silent House & La Casa Muda

Last Call Spoilers is “hopefully” a regular feature that gives us the opportunity to explore movies in a more detailed manner by discussing the plot points or gags many consider to be spoilers. The point will be to reveal twists, character deaths or reveals that are found most commonly in the final act of movies. On board for this post we have the remake of SILENT HOUSE.

The spoiler free rundown of SILENT HOUSE is that the film follows Sarah (Elizabeth Olsen), her father and her uncle returning to their old summer home to do some fixing up so that they can sell it. When some strange noises are heard and other unexplained issues occur Sarah finds herself struggling to survive the night.

You can expect spoilers from here on out so if you clicked this link by accident do not read any further. For SILENT HOUSE I believe it’s best to start at the end and then go back and talk about specific moments that either don’t work or don’t make sense through the course of the film, which was my biggest complain in my review. The last scene of the movie shows Sarah confronting Sophia, the girl that shows up at the house at the beginning claiming to be an old friend. It appears that Sophia is getting some kind of revenge on her family until Sarah attacks her and Sophia states “Stop punishing yourself” and Sarah has the same wound she just inflicted on Sophia. It is then revealed that Sarah is Sophia as well as the other muddied attacker and she has knocked out, shot and tied up her uncle and father. Sarah then confronts her father about sexual abuse that the two of them inflicted upon her and took photographs of that the father and uncle kept finding and hiding from her throughout the film. After Sarah’s father begs her to release him and insists she’s seeing things she unties him and then he hits her. Sarah gets the upper hand and eventually kills her father by presumably smashing a sledgehammer down on his head but leaves without killing her uncle who begs her not to kill him and apologizes to her.

This ending has similar implications in the original film LA CASA MUDA where there are several hints of incest but in LA CASA MUDA there’s the addition of a possible abortion or one of her family members killing the baby as the main character states at a moment during the film. In the original the main character also kills everyone in the house where here Sarah leaves her uncle alive. The twist in both films presents issues that I feel hurts the overall experience.

My problem is that if our protagonist is actually the antagonist then what we are watching doesn’t exactly fit. We are watching Sarah react to herself making noises and chasing herself and finding bodies within the house for her to find. Her projections chase and attack her and she is scared to death of all of it. If I stretch my belief a bit then I guess she could just be imagining that her attackers represent her dad and uncle chasing her when she was younger but that still doesn’t explain how we wouldn’t see her attacking her dad or her uncle. It seems like it was just a convenient way for the filmmakers to trick the audience and hope they don’t think about it too much- and if they do, have an excuse as to why it makes sense.

I’m not completely sold on my complaints though- if someone worded an explanation in a way that seems plausible I could look passed certain complaints. However, I’m still standing my ground on not liking the ending. I’m ok with her being in the house and stirring up all the feelings and seeking revenge, I just don’t like the way it was approached. I don’t believe it all had to be spelled out so explicitly where as LA CASA MUDA while I still wasn’t 100% thrilled with the ending at least left it open so you could speculate on some level. It ventures into being somewhat open ended when the dad was pleading with Sarah that she was seeing things which could have been plausible since she did seem sort of crazy at that second, but then all of that is wiped clean when she untied him and he proceeds to hit her, berate the uncle for being a pussy and confirms he is a slimy douchebag. Not to mention how shady both the dad and the uncle reacted when they found the Polaroid pictures. If they’d just picked them up and stashed them away without reacting it would have been less obvious, but instead they sat and admired their handiwork for a few seconds, then within earshot of Sarah said something along the lines of “I can’t believe he leaves these laying around,” before going out of their way to ensure Sarah does not see them.

Last part of the spoiler discussion I want to address is the somewhat lazy nature of the scares. LA CASA MUDA did a great job of making my skin crawl with the subtle reveals and creepy sounds along with the atmosphere- SILENT HOUSE has reveals that aren’t so subtle, less of the small details that made LA CASA MUDA creepy and the camera work made it hard to really make out what was happening. Granted the surprise factor was lessened by me having seen LA CASA MUDA but some scenes were ripped right from it that weren’t done as well. The camera scene where Sarah uses the Polaroid camera flash to see in darkness builds well enough and the jump scares are effective but if you’ve seen LA CASA MUDA you know they are- granted even if you haven’t you probably know during one or two of the flashes someone is going to be right in frame to give you the jolt.

Maybe with a few extra viewings some of my complaints will ease over time, but for now the above spoilers sum up what hindered my overall liking of SILENT HOUSE. Now that the cat’s out of the bag feel free to discuss your opinions below and your theories as to why you think SILENT HOUSE does or does not make sense- or just didn’t work for you on a completely different level.