DEATHMATCH-Episode 1: Battle of the Tarantinoverse Villains (Part 2 of 2)

I will never have a more appropriate moment to use this photo.

I will never have a more appropriate moment to use this photo.

So it’s come to this. One week after I posted my mildly in-depth analysis of the contestants, it’s time to quit discussing angrily amongst yourselves and learn which Tarantinoverse villain is the deadliest of them all. If you don’t know what the Tarantinoverse is, go read my last article. If you haven’t seen any of these movies yet…..Go watch them!?!?! Also, that’s your spoiler alert. I personally think that movies that’ve been available to watch for as long as these ones don’t merit a spoiler warning, but I dunno, I feel like a nice guy today.

Anyways, before we get started, I should point out that, while each character is allowed a signature weapon (For example, Mr. Blonde gets his razor blade and his pistol) they don’t get any objects that aren’t weapons (Stuntman Mike doesn’t get his car). Also, the fight takes place on what I deem to be neutral ground (In this case, a warehouse reminiscent of the one in Reservoir Dogs, except loaded with stacked crates of cocaine, because cover and, also, Tarantino.

Right, now that that’s out of the way…

Again, it’s like this place, but, y’know, there’s cocaine everywhere.

In an unnamed warehouse somewhere in Los Angeles County, all is silent. Until out of nowhere, nine notorious people from different points in the history of the world materialize: Notorious thief and murderer Vic Vega, noted drug dealer Drexl Spivey, bloodthirsty assassin O-Ren Ishii, older bloodthirsty assassin Bill, sadistic serial killer Stuntman Mike, SS turncoat Hans Landa and vicious slave owner Calvin Candie. 

Oh, and some Mexican lady is dressed in lingerie, and some guy dressed in bondage gear. That’s…. Really fucking weird. Who brought them here?

Not that I’m complaining. It’s just weird, is all.

 The gathered villains glare warily at each other, silently, as you would do if a bunch of these freaks suddenly materialized around you in a location that you found yourself in for no goddamned reason at all. 

After a good five minutes of staring, the gimp shrieks loudly, for no particular reason. Mr. Blonde gets a wild look in his eye and shoots wildly in the gimp’s general direction. Everyone else escapes to cover, but the gimp, sadly, takes a ton of lead straight to the torso and falls, having shrieked his last shriek. 

It was an act of mercy, really.

The scantily clad Mexican, while still behind cover, seems oddly fascinated with the bleeding gimp. 

Raise your hand if you ever thought you would read that sentence in your life. 

Stuntman Mike, hungering for a Big Fat Kill, runs through No Man’s Land, somehow not managing to be nailed by any of the bullets that Mr. Blonde sprays at him before he runs out of bullets, and sidles up to the morbid Mexican lady. Trying to take advantage of the situation, Drexl Spivey makes a break for the warehouse doors. However, he doesn’t count on Hans Landa squaring him up in the sights of his outdated German pistol and blowing three holes in his torso. Which he does. 

A scream is heard from behind the cover that Stuntman Mike has disappeared behind. Everybody assumes that Stuntman Mike has satisfied his need for murdering women. These sad, sad fools have no idea what’s coming next.  

Calvin Candie, being batshit insane, takes the opportunity to pounce on Landa, beating him with a brick of cocaine that he had pulled out from a crate. Landa manages to pop off a shot, but it merely grazes Candie’s arm, causing only a slow trickle of blood. 

Meanwhile, Vic Vega has decided to make a break for it, but runs into the legendary Cottonmouth, O-Ren Ishii. Itching for a kill himself, Mr. Blonde smirks and takes out his straight razor, starting to advance towards O-Ren. 

O-Ren, on the other hand, does some smirking of her own and pulls out her katana. 

Mr. Blonde stops smirking. 

As Cottonmouth slices Vega into bits of man-sushi, Candie is about to deliver the finishing blow to Landa when he hears a bloodcurdling shriek. He turns to see the head of Stuntman Mike being hurled away by what looks like Nosferatu with a skin condition. In a bikini. 

Again, I can’t stress enough how weird it feels to type that out.

Before Candie has a chance to react, the vampiress(?) pounces on him and tears the innards out of his throat. Landa takes the golden opportunity to limp off to find cover while the vampire enjoys her meal of delicious, delicious slave driver.  

The other white meat.

Bill, inactive until this moment, leaps into action, slicing furiously at the blood sucker with his katana. The vampire, distracted by her meal, doesn’t notice the pristine Japanese steel impaling her black heart until it’s too late. 

As Bill examines his deceased paranormal victim, Landa emerges from behind his cover and dispatches Bill, execution style. 

At least it’s quicker than having your heart blow up, apparently.

However, as has been the case throughout this whole Deathmatch, Landa’s downfall is his lack of foresight when things aren’t going according to plan, and as he leisurely begins the reload of his pistol, he turns to see the poised Asian woman in an aggressive stance, a katana pointed precariously at his forehead. He tries to get a word out to convince her to let him be, but can’t before O-Ren Ishii drives her katana straight through his forehead. 

THE WINNER: O-REN ISHII

In the end, I decided to go with Kill Bill‘s Cottonmouth, because not only is she one of the foremost assassins in this twisted universe that Tarantino has created, she also has the least amount of flaws. Sure, she gets cocky in her fight against the Bride, which leads to her death in that movie, but she only really does that when she thinks she’s got no shot of losing. In this fight, she sees that Landa is dangerous, so she wouldn’t waste any time in wasting him when the opportunity presents itself. Hell, watch that scene in Kill Bill when she decapitates the Yakuza boss who insults her. Maybe she isn’t in any direct physical danger from this dickhead, but she realizes the threat of having her lofty position undermined, so she doesn’t waste any time chopping his noggin off.

Hans Landa, Bill, Santanico Pandemonium and Calvin Candie were all fairly strong candidates, but they each have their fatal flaws. Candie may be batshit insane. but he isn’t all that smart (He isn’t even really the main villain for the last bit of the movie. That would be Stephen). Santanico Pandemonium is vicious, but she’s also very killable (Vampires in From Dusk Till’ Dawn tended to do their best work in group or surprise attacks anyway). Bill is sixty goddamn years old, and Hans Landa leans on his intelligence, not so much his strength, or combat proficiency. When I think back to Inglorious Basterds, I’m pretty sure the only person he actually murdered himself was Diane Kruger.

…The bastard.

Well, that was the first episode of Deathmatch and, while there’s still some tune-ups to be done, I had a lot of fun with it. So, until next time, I leave you all with three pressing questions:

1. Did I get it right? Who do you think would’ve come out on top?

2. What Deathmatch would you like to see next? 

3. What did you think of the Terminator: Genisys trailer? Personally, I still can’t get over the fact that they can’t spell fucking “genesis” right. 

“You didn’t think it was gonna be that easy, did you?” 

DEATHMATCH-Episode 1: Battle of the Tarantinoverse Villains (Part 1 of 2)

Ooooo….So edgy….

Wow, maybe I should finish up that Star Wars series I started forever ago. Now would be the ideal time, anyways. I’ve had more views in the past six hours than in the entire past week. Quentin Tarantino is not on anybodies’ must-see list right now. It’s all Star Wars.

Darth Maul officially looks like a pussy now.

 But hey, this wouldn’t be Please Kill the Messenger if it wasn’t hopelessly irrelevant. So with that said, it’s time to get the first episode of Deathmatch underway!

As I mentioned in the introduction to this whole concept last week, this first part of the episode is more of an introduction to the participants, their strengths, their weaknesses and so on. It’s a doozy as well, with a whopping nine fighters representing their respective movies.

I should note for those not aware that the Tarantinoverse consists of select films written by Quentin Tarantino that all have shared elements, most notably characters (For example, Pulp Fiction’s Vincent Vega is the brother of Mr. Blonde from Reservoir Dogs) and fictional brands (Big Kahuna Burger and Red Apple Cigarettes) that seem to suggest that all these films take place in the same ultra-violent shared universe that split apart from our own after Adolf Hitler was assassinated by American forces in Inglourious Basterds.

Or when the KKK was destroyed in its infancy by its member’s fortunate inability to make hoods right. Pick one, I guess.

That said, not every Tarantino movie is part of this universe. Movies like Natural Born Killers and Crimson Tide don’t have enough evidence to link them conclusively to the other movies, and Jackie Brown, being based on a novel, is part of a whole different shared universe. So, the movies that will contribute a fighter will be Reservoir Dogs, Pulp Fiction, True Romance, Death Proof, From Dusk till Dawn, the two Kill Bill movies, Inglourious Basterds and Django Unchained.

So, without further ado, let’s get right into it!

(Also, consider this a spoiler alert for the previously mentioned movies. You’ve been warned)

Vic Vega (Mr. Blonde)

How the fuck is he seeing where he’s shooting?

Appearance: Reservoir Dogs 

Portrayed by: Michael Madsen

Best quote: “Listen kid, I’m not gonna bullshit you, all right? I don’t give a good fuck what you know, or don’t know, but I’m gonna torture you anyway, regardless. Not to get information. It’s amusing, to me, to torture a cop. You can say anything you want cause I’ve heard it all before. All you can do is pray for a quick death, which you ain’t gonna get.” 
[He removes his razor]

“You ever listen to K-Billy’s “Super Sounds of the Seventies” weekend? It’s my personal favorite.”

It only seems logical to start with the movie that propelled Tarantino to cult stardom, 1992’s Reservoir Dogs. While this masterpiece is chock-full of memorable characters like Mr. Orange, Mr. White, Nice Guy Eddie, etc., the most memorable character, in my correct opinion, is Vic Vega. While on the surface, Vega (Who goes by the alias of “Mr. Blonde” throughout the movie) appears to be your typical strong, silent type, good friends with Nice Guy Eddie and, like the others, a professional criminal. However, not only is it revealed that Vega is not exactly the most respectable criminal, murdering several civilians in a panicked rush to escape the bank he robbed with the others and showing no real remorse for the deed, which is pretty heinous in the first place.

As if that wasn’t enough, after he is left alone with a police officer, he starts taunting, then torturing him, even going so far as cutting his right ear off with a straight razor and dousing him in gasoline, fully intending to burn him alive. In fact, the only reason he doesn’t do just that is because Tim Roth shoots him to death before he can do so.

Right away, we have a very, very interesting candidate for this battle royale. I mean, forget sadistic, this guy’s a fucking full-blown psychopath. He kills without any real remorse, tortures for shits and giggles…. I mean, when it comes to kill instinct, this guy is off the chain. This guy’s antics disgusted even some of the most dedicated filmgoers around back in the day.  Add in the fact that he’s handy with a razor blades and hand guns, and he looks like a strong candidate.

Hell, I haven’t even mentioned the fact that I can’t listen to “Stuck in the Middle With You” anymore without instinctively covering my right ear.

What’s the catch? Mr. Blonde is not particularly great under pressure, being cursed out by Harvey Keitel and Steve Buscemi for his violent outburst in the bank robbery. True, in a fight to the death that can be a plus, but not always. Also, it doesn’t help that he was taking so much pleasure in watching the cop suffer that he doesn’t notice that a bloodied and battered Tim Roth has woken up, pulled out his pistol, and aims to kill him before he can kill the cop.

Hey jackass! How about a little less white-guy dancing and a little more peripheral vision!?!?

Also, for a psychopath, he doesn’t seem particularly smart or cunning. Sure, he talks a good game when confronting Harvey Keitel, but, again, when you have a chance to save your ass by looking slightly to your left, and you don’t take it, you don’t come out looking so rosy in the “brains” department.

Also “pistol and razor blade” isn’t the most intimidating arsenal to take into a fight.

Drexl Spivey

Oooohh… So THIS is who those “Stranger Danger” PSA’s were warning us about.

Appearance: True Romance 

Portrayed by: Gary Oldman (Obviously)

Best quote: “He must have thought it was white boy day.”

As the quote may have suggested, Drexl Spivey suffers from a bit of an identity crisis. Alabama Worley mentions at one point that he tries very hard to be a black guy. What this is saying about black people is a little bit sketchy, but I so do not want to get into the topic of racism in Tarantino movies right now.

Anyhoo, Drexl is a Detroit pimp and a drug dealer who is Alabama’s pimp at the beginning of True Romance. When Clarence comes to intimidate him into letting her go free, he responds by taunting him and beating him up.

Then, Clarence shoots him in the face.

Going with the most memorable villain of the movie doesn’t always leave me with the strongest candidate, apparently.

I mean, Drexl isn’t a pushover, he’s smarter than one would guess, and isn’t afraid to get his hands dirty (He does have the balls to kill Samuel L. Jackson at the beginning of the movie), but he doesn’t have a weapon (He holds a shotgun for a bit, but he doesn’t use it as much as, say, Mr. Blonde uses his signature razor blade) and he’s not that smart. I mean, he let Christian Slater kill him, for Chrissakes. Weak candidate. Let’s move on.

The Gimp

The sooner we get Tarantino to psychoanalysis, the better.

Appearance: Pulp Fiction

Portrayed by: Stephen Hibbert

Best quote: *Unintelligible shrieking*

Once again, the “most memorable character” rule bites me in the ass. No way this guy’s not getting offed in the first round.

Santanico Pandemonium

Eh. Still less embarrassing than Grown Ups 2.

Appearance: From Dusk till Dawn

Portrayed by: Salma Hayek

Best quote: “I’m not gonna drain you completely. You’re gonna turn for me. You’ll be my slave. You’ll live for me. You’ll eat bugs because I order it. Why? Because I don’t think you’re worthy of human blood. You’ll feed on the blood of stray dogs. You’ll be my foot stool. And at my command, you’ll lick the dog shit from my boot heel. Since you’ll be my dog, your new name will be “Spot”. Welcome to slavery.”

From Dusk till Dawn is probably the strangest Tarantino-written movie, and holy shit, is that ever saying something. While it starts off in what seems like typical Tarantino fashion (George Clooney and Q.T. himself kidnap Harvey Keitel’s family and try to sneak over the border into Mexico, the second half spirals out of control when the motley crew get themselves trapped in a seedy Mexican strip club where, thanks to the well-known magic properties that come with a strip club being built on Aztec ruins, the strippers are actually vampires. It’s a twist that comes out of nowhere, it’s silly, and it’s really jarring.

It’s also super fucking cool.

The head stripper/vampire goes by the name of Santanico Pandemonium (A homage to the 1975 nunsploitation film, Satánico Pandemonium. Also, yes, nunsploitation is a thing that exists, and yes, it’s just as disturbing as you’re imagining right now ), and, until she transforms, she pretty much looks like, well, scantily clad Salma Hayek. Nothing that really stands out.

Uhh…You know what I mean.

But then, once she catches sight of some stray drops of blood from an open wound, she turns into a ravenous, bloodthirsty monster whose only real purpose is to consume the life essence of every human in her line of sight.

Women, am I right?

So, she’s got that going for her. The other candidates in this Deathmatch may have seen some freaky shit, but chances are, they haven’t seen a goddamn vampire before. And this is a bona fide vampire, by the way. None of that Twilight dreck here, she’s purely out to kill, kill, kill. Being a vampire, she has enhanced strength, speed, and  and her bite spells doom (Albeit, not instant doom)for anybody unlucky enough to be on the receiving end of it. Unlike the other fighters, she has no need for weapons to gain an edge. She is a weapon.

Problem is, while her offense is impressive, her defense leaves a lot to be desired. It is revealed during the movie that these vampires have extra-thin skin, making them especially vulnerable to bludgeoning and stabbing attacks. Being a group of villains that is not exactly short on bludgeoning and stabbing weapons, this could prove to be her downfall. It’s not like she’s gonna be a pushover, and again, none of these guys have seen a vampire before, but she has some pretty glaring weaknesses to be considered before crowning her the champion yet.

O-Ren Ishii (Cottonmouth)

Charlie’s Angels, this is not.

Appearance: Kill Bill: Volume 1

Portrayed by: Lucy Liu

Best quote: “As your leader, I encourage you from time to time, and always in a respectful manner, to question my logic. If you’re unconvinced that a particular plan of action I’ve decided is the wisest, tell me so, but allow me to convince you and I promise you right here and now, no subject will ever be taboo. Except, of course, the subject that was just under discussion. The price you pay for bringing up either my Chinese or American heritage as a negative is… I collect your fucking head. Just like this fucker here. Now, if any of you sons of bitches got anything else to say, now’s the fucking time!”
[pause]

“I didn’t think so”

O-Ren Ishii is so friggin cool.

A half- Japanese, half-Chinese-American living in Japan, O-Ren’s parents were brutally murdered by the Yakuza when she was little. Growing vengeful to an unhealthy extreme, O-Ren tracked the Yakuza boss down and brutally murdered him. After that, she trained as a hired gun, and by age 19, she was the top assassin in the world, eventually joining the Deadly Viper Assassination squad with the codename of “Cottonmouth.” After taking part in the assassination attempt on Beatrix Kiddo, she leaves the D.V.A.S. to pursue a prosperous career in the Tokyo underworld, during which she rises to be the Kingpin of Crime in Tokyo….Because when her parents were murdered by the Yakuza, she obviously decided that becoming the head of the Yakuza was the correct way to go about it.

That makes sense.

Anyways, O-Ren is probably the strongest candidate so far, if only because she has a katana as a weapon, and, as Tarantino has taught us, katanas (Along with Samuel L. Jackson) were created specifically for the purpose of smiting the weak and cowardly off of the face of this planet.

Seen here: The exact moment when everyone decided that Pulp Fiction was their new favourite movie.

In addition to her cool weapon, and her extreme proficiency with it, she is also a top-notch martial artist and an expert marksman (Although she won’t have a sniper rifle with her in the Deathmatch) and has no problem with killing other people. I wouldn’t say she slays people whenever she feels like it, because that’s not the truth, but she will execute if her life is in danger, and she is really damn good at it.

Case in point.

What’s her fatal flaw? Well, first of all, we see that she does use her Crazy 88 gang to tire out the Bride, but it’s not like she overly relies on them, she still does a lot of dirty work. Nah, her biggest flaw is the fact that she gets too cocky when confronting her enemies. In her final fight against Beatrix, she has her on the ropes, but takes too much time taunting the Bride instead of moving in for the kill. I mean, you can talk a good game if you know, 100% that there’s no possible way it could come back to bite you in the ass. Otherwise, you risk ending up like…Uh, that one part in the fourth season of Game of Thrones. Yeah, if you watch the show, you know what I’m talking about.

And you thought Tarantino was into liberally murdering his main characters.

Bill (Snake Charmer)

Man, he looks so badass until he talks, and you learn he has a lisp.

Appearances: Kill Bill (Both volumes)

Portrayed by: David Carradine

Best quote: “As you know, I’m quite keen on comic books. Especially the ones about superheroes. I find the whole mythology surrounding superheroes fascinating. Take my favorite superhero, Superman. Not a great comic book. Not particularly well-drawn. But the mythology… The mythology is not only great, it’s unique […] Now, a staple of the superhero mythology is, there’s the superhero and there’s the alter ego. Batman is actually Bruce Wayne, Spider-Man is actually Peter Parker. When that character wakes up in the morning, he’s Peter Parker. He has to put on a costume to become Spider-Man. And it is in that characteristic Superman stands alone. Superman didn’t become Superman. Superman was born Superman. When Superman wakes up in the morning, he’s Superman. His alter ego is Clark Kent. His outfit with the big red “S”, that’s the blanket he was wrapped in as a baby when the Kents found him. Those are his clothes. What Kent wears – the glasses, the business suit – that’s the costume. That’s the costume Superman wears to blend in with us. Clark Kent is how Superman views us. And what are the characteristics of Clark Kent. He’s weak… he’s unsure of himself… he’s a coward. Clark Kent is Superman’s critique on the whole human race.

He’s basically Christian Slater from True Romance, but a kung fu master.

The titular character of the Kill Bill movies, Bill, also known as “Snake Charmer”, is the leader of the Deadly Viper Assassination Squad, and Beatrix Kiddo’s mentor and “special friend”, until she runs away. Jealous, Bill and the rest of the D.V.A.S. track her down and try to murder her, putting her in a coma in the process. This, upon Beatrix’s awakening years later, sparks the events of the two movies.

A lot of the praise that deserves to go to Bill also applies to O-Ren Ishii. Good with a sword, crafty, intelligent, yadda yadda yadda. Also, he’s less chatty than O-Ren, so that’s a point in his favour.

Problem is, he’s also in his sixties in terms of age. It’s very safe to assume that he’s lost a step or two. Also, he seems to rely more on his craftiness than sheer fighting technique (See the truth serum gun, or whatever), which can help him out, no doubt, but maybe not enough to get him that far into the Deathmatch.

Stuntman Mike

Hey, remember when Kurt Russell was the live-action face of Disney?

Appearance: Death Proof

Portrayed by: Kurt Russell

Best quote: Right, like anything was memorable about Death Proof.

Death Proof is easily the worst Tarantino film, in my opinion. It may just be that I have a built-in hatred for slasher and horror films, but aside from the performances and some of the writing, there really isn’t anything special about it. I mean, I guess the villain isn’t bad, and Kurt Russell’s good and… Eh, whatever, let’s get to Stuntman Mike.

Mike is a stuntman with a customised car designed to offer the best possible protection for the driver, but for anybody in another seat, it’s a death trap. Not the best thing to combine with Stuntman Mike, a sociopathic serial killer whose M.O. involves murdering young women with his car, whether it be through getting them in the car and driving recklessly enough to kill them, or straight-up ramming them with his car.

If Stuntman Mike were to have his car in the Deathmatch, this would be a whole different story, but he doesn’t as no matter what the NRA keeps saying, cars aren’t actually weapons. This means that he’s just a 50-something year old man with sociopathic tendencies. He’s screwed. Let’s move on.

Colonel Hans Landa

Sherlock Holmes wishes he had Hans Landa’s pipe.

 Appearance: Inglourious Basterds

Portrayed by: Christoph Waltz

Best quote: “Now if one were to determine what attribute the German people share with a beast, it would be the cunning and the predatory instinct of a hawk. But if one were to determine what attributes the Jews share with a beast, it would be that of the rat. If a rat were to walk in here right now as I’m talking, would you treat it to a saucer of your delicious milk? […]  I didn’t think so. You don’t like them. You don’t really know why you don’t like them. All you know is you find them repulsive. Consequently, a German soldier conducts a search of a house suspected of hiding Jews. Where does the hawk look? He looks in the barn, he looks in the attic, he looks in the cellar, he looks everywhere *he* would hide, but there’s so many places it would never occur to a hawk to hide. However, the reason the Führer’s brought me off my Alps in Austria and placed me in French cow country today is because it does occur to me. Because I’m aware what tremendous feats human beings are capable of once they abandon dignity.”

Quentin Tarantino has always written great, great villains. However, I think I’m not alone in saying that the character of Col. Hans Landa is not only the best character Tarantino’s ever written, but one of the best villains ever, period. Is he likely to go deep into this Deathmatch, though? I dunno, let’s see.

An Austrian SS officer, Col. Hans Landa is notorious throughout Nazi Europe for his ability to round up and execute Jewish runaways, earning himself the nickname of “Jew Hunter”. However, Landa himself does not hold any animosity towards Jewish people, nor does he feel much love for the Nazi party. He just chooses to find and murder Jews because it is what he does best, and because he finds a sick sense of delight in it. An epitome of opportunistic evil, Landa would let Germany fall as long as he stands to gain something from it, whether it be money or amusement.

What does he have going for him? Well, he’s probably the smartest guy out of any of the candidates. He may lack the brute strength of, say, a vampire, but he could probably convince somebody to off themselves if he had enough time.

You silver tongued devil, you.

What’s the downside? Well, one minor detraction would be his use of an outdated German handgun, but I doubt that’ll affect him pretty much. A shot to the face is still a shot to the face.

As Samuel L. Jackson and John Travolta will testify.

The only weakness of Landa’s that I can think of off the top of my head is his lack of real physical skill (Strength, speed, etc.), but something tells me that he could find a way to make it to the later rounds. Call him a Dark Horse, if you like, but I think he’s got a real shot.

Calvin Candie

“Go on. Say “count the Oscars” one more time. SAY IT, MOTHERFUCKER, I DARE YOU!!!”

Appearance: Django Unchained

Portrayed by: Leonardo DiCaprio

Best quote: “And if y’all wanna leave Candyland with Broomhilda, the price… is $12,000 […] You see, under the laws of Chickasaw County, Broomhilda, here, is my property… and I can choose to do with MY PROPERTY… WHATEVER I SO DESIRE!
[Candie rubs his injured hand and smears the blood all over Broomhilda’s face; she shrieks and moans in disgust and fear]

And if y’all think my price for this nigger here is too steep, what I’m gonna desire to do is…
[Candie causally sets his cigarette down; he suddenly but quickly picks up his hammer and violently grabs hold of Broomhilda’s hair, slamming her face on the dinner table and raising the hammer above her head. Schultz jumps while Django rises up out of his seat]

TAKE THIS GODDAMNED HAMMER HERE, AND BEAT HER ASS TO DEATH WITH IT! RIGHT IN FRONT OF BOTH YA’LL! THEN WE CAN EXAMINE THE THREE DIMPLES INSIDE BROOMHILDA’S SKULL! NOW… WHAT’S IT GONNA BE DOC? HUH? WHAT’S IT GOING TO BE?”

Long quote, I know, but I needed to get a quote that really highlighted Calvin Candie’s insanity. Yeah, Candie is probably the craziest of all the candidates. Well, I guess the Gimp might be crazier, but who knows, he could actually be a calm rational person behind that extravagant get-up.

He’s actually a family man, and holds a steady job as an accountant.

Anyways, Calvin Candie is batshit insane, even setting aside his racism. He’s a Southern Francophile plantation owner who enjoys watching slaves fight each other to the death in brutal “Mandingo” fights. Jeeesus.

Does craziness translate well to a Deathmatch such as this one? Well, in a fight where most of these people are armed with handguns and aren’t exactly bad shots….Probably not. He’s a great villain, don’t get me wrong, but in this context, he isn’t much more than a crazy racist dude. Nothing that isn’t too hard to dispatch.

Just ask Brad Pitt!

Welp, that’s it for the preview. The actual Deathmatch should be out sometime next weekend. After I finish recovering the hours of sleep that this post cost me. It’s really fucking long, you guys.

But! Before I sign off, I’ve decided that I’d like a little more audience input, as the only comments I get are mostly spam. So, I leave you fine people with two questions:

1) What Deathmatch should I do next?

2) What is your favourite and least favourite Quentin Tarantino movie?

Until next time.

 

The Oscar/Razzie Project

It’s Oscar season once again, folks, and boy, oh boy, is there ever a lot of deserving nominations for the categories. 12 Years a Slave was a potent tale about, um, slavery, American Hustle…. Had a…Good cast, Nebraska had brilliant shots of…Nebraska, I guess, and The Wolf of Wall Street was one hell of a monster movie.

“Oh, shit! Run!”

As you probably guessed, I haven’t actually seen any of the nominees for best picture. Every year, I make a promise to myself that I’m going to watch all or most of the Oscar-nominated movies, and each year, I stay home and watch a nineties superhero cartoon on Netflix.

In my defense, I think the majority of the Oscar-watching population doesn’t actually watch any of the movies. That’s okay, because there’s so much else going on. You can (Hopefully) laugh at the host, you can see all your favourite actors and actresses wear beautiful clothes and pretend they don’t loathe each other, and you may have the chance to see somebody richer and more successful than you embarrass themselves on live TV! It’s a win for everybody, really.

However, for whatever reason, this year, I feel like watching all the best picture nominees, if only because I hate being out of the know if something is supposed to be really good. So, this year, I’ve decided to watch all of the Oscar movies (That is, the Best Picture Nominees) and, after watching, each one, I’ll post a short review on this blog.

There’s more, however.

See, I’m not content with only doing the nominees for the best in film-making. I’m also insanely curious to see what the WORST in film was like this year. Therefor, in addition to the Oscars, I will also be following the little known awards show known as the Golden Raspberries (Also known as the “Razzies”).

To give you an idea of what these short reviews will look like, here is a short review on a movie I watched last night that also happens to be a nominee for ten Razzie awards:

 Grown Ups 2 

 Directed by: Dennis Dugan (Of course)

 Produced by: Adam Sandler, Jack Giarraputo

 Written by: Adam Sandler, Tim Herlihy, Fred Wolf

 Genre: Gross-out Comedy

  Starring: Adam Sandler, Kevin James, Chris Rock, David Spade (Yuck), Nick Swardson (Ick) Salma Hayek, Maria Bello, Maya Rudolph, Alexander Ludwig, Taylor Lautner

  Golden Raspberry Nominations: Worst Picture, Worst Director (Dennis Dugan), Worst Actor (Adam Sandler) Worst Supporting Actor (Taylor Lautner) Worst Supporting Actor (Nick Swardson) Worst Supporting Actress (Salma Hayek) Worst Screenplay (Adam Sandler, Tim Herlihy, Fred Wolf) Worst Screen Combo (The entire cast) Worst Prequel, Rip-off or Sequel

Plot: A sequel to 2010’s Grown UpsGrown Ups 2 tells the continuing story of Lenny Feder, his wife (Salma Hayek) and kids, his best friends, Eric (Kevin James), Kurt (Chris Rock) and Marcus (David Spade) and their respective families, who have all moved back to their Connecticut hometown where they all grew up. I have no idea if I have any readers from Connecticut, but if so, I must ask: How often do deer break into your homes and urinate on you? Because that happens in the first two minutes of this movie.

Actually, “plot” is a bit of a misnomer. There is way too much shit going on in this movie, and none of it is the least bit interesting or funny. Adam Sandler movies have never been much for sophisticated plot crafting, but there was still at least some semblance of heart in movies like Happy Gilmore, Billy Madison and Click. I like to think of him as the poor man’s Will Ferrell. They’re two SNL alumni who make comedic movies with tons of heart under the somewhat lowbrow humour. Unfortunately, while Will Farrell is still hilarious, coming off critical and financial successes with Anchorman 2 and The Campaign, Sandler has not been even remotely near the top of his game for a few years now. Jack and Jill, That’s My Boy and now this.

But, I digress. Anyways, long story short, they decide to throw a party, hi-jinks and questionable cameos ensue.

Acting: Oh, Jesus, where do I even start?

I know that movies like this aren’t made to be Oscar-worthy, but seriously? These performances were God-awful, even by Happy Madison standards There are actually some damn talented people involved in this movie, but none of them even tried to do the best they could with what they got (Though, admittedly, there wasn’t exactly much to work with in the first place). Obviously, I wasn’t expecting too much from people like Nick Swardson, David Spade, Taylor Lautner, Kevin James or Shaquille O’Neal (Seriously), but I was at least expecting people like Adam Sandler, Salma Hayek, Chris Rock and Steve Buscemi to show a goddamn pulse, at least!

Worst of all are the portrayals of the women. They’re all depicted as shallow, overly nurturing and/or hormonal. Actually, they’re maybe not quite as offensive as this kid…

…But it’s still bad.

Oddly enough, the best performance was by Stone Cold Steve Austin. This is, however, nowhere close to being a credit to the incredible acting range of Mr. Austin.

Which Razzie nominations does it deserve?: 

  • Worst Screenplay: Absolutely. There was nothing funny about this movie, and it fails even when trying to be serious.
  • Worst Director: Yes. Dennis Dugan may be the furthest possible thing from Martin Scorsese.
  • Worst Sequel: Yup.
  • Worst Screen Combo: Absolutely. There wasn’t a single good performance in this movie.
  • Worst Supporting Actress (Salma Hayek): Yes. She may be one of the best actresses to come out of Latin America ever, but she sure as hell didn’t show it here.
  • Worst Supporting Actors (Taylor Lautner and Nick Swardson): Again, yes. Taylor Lautner sucked, and Nick Swardson has never once made me laugh. Ever. For all I know, he may be a nice person (Although if he’s anything like his characters, I doubt it), but honestly, at this point, I just hate the guy. (I would have also nominated David Spade, though)
  • Worst Actor (Adam Sandler): He definitely deserved the nomination, but I don’t know if I’d consider him as bad as Lautner, Swardson, Spade or O’Neal.
  • Worst Picture: Oh yeah, this was a disaster, through and through.

   Overall Score: 2/10 

Movie Review: Dogma (Spoilers!)

Well, it sure has been a while.

I guess I should begin by apologizing to any followers (All two of you) for not posting anything for around a month. I’m sure this has created a deep emotional void in your soul that only illicit substance use can come close to filling.

Yup, that was my bad.

Truth be told, I haven’t had much time for writing in this month of September, 2013, what with the start of the school year, and my getting a job. And when I have been writing, it’s usually been dedicated to trying my hand at non-fiction. And even if I did try to blog, I ended up with sub-par results, even by my standards. I ended up with a shitty back-to-school related article that I ended up shelving, and a Musician Biography camouflaged as a blank sheet.

Fortunately, I did eventually get inspiration for a movie review from one of Kevin Smith’s better known films. While not as much of a household name as Clerks, it still managed to get some positive recognition and even piss some people off. Ladies and Gentlemen, once again, give it up for…

Dogma (movie).jpg

Directed By: Kevin Smith

Genre: Dark Comedy, Religious, Independant

Starring: Ben Affleck, Matt Damon, Linda Fiorentino, Jason Mewes, Kevin Smith, Chris Rock, Salma Hayek, Jason Lee, Alan Rickman, George Carlin (R.I.P.)

Legacy: Ben Affleck’s last good pre- Hollywoodland movie before his descent into madness.

Plot: The movie opens with an old homeless man getting himself beaten into a coma by three roller-hockey playing teenagers outside of a skee ball arcade in New Jersey. Why does this sound like the setup to a George Carlin joke?

Speaking of which, the next scene takes  place in front of a church in New Jersey, where Cardinal Ignatius Glick (Played by the late king of comedy, George Carlin) unveils his plan to celebrate the centennial anniversary of his church via a plenary indulgence. For those not well-versed in Catholic theology, this would essentially mean that anyone who passes through the church doors has their sins forgiven and will be permitted to go to heaven upon death.  The references to Catholicism aren’t getting any less frequent from here on out.

Meanwhile, in distant Wisconsin, news of the plenary indulgence reaches a couple of fallen angels (Angels cast out of Heaven for rebellion against God), violent, unstable Loki (Matt Damon) and philosophical Bartleby (Ben “The Whipping Boy” Affleck), who were exiled from Paradise after Bartleby convinced a drunken Loki to renounce his job as the Angel of Death, which in God’s defense, does sound like it would be one bitch of a position to replace.

Sure, the salary isn’t as much as you’d think but really, the wholesale slaughter of the wicked is its own reward.

Anyways, Bartleby and Loki decide to set off for this church, deciding to go back home to Heaven via this loophole.

Meanwhile, in McHenry, Illinois, lifelong Roman Catholic Bethany Sloane (Men in Black‘s Linda Fiorentino) attends a sermon at church, where donations are being accepted to help out the old homeless guy in Jersey, who’s on life support. She later goes on to do her job at an abortion clinic. She’s a skeptical Catholic, by the way.

That night, Bethany is visited by the angel Metatron, who is the Voice of God (Alan Rickman) . He tells her about Loki and Bartleby’s plan and explains that if they use the loophole to get back to heaven, all of existence will be destroyed, as it would be overruling the word of God. I guess God doesn’t respond well to constructive criticism. Does this sound like someone else you know?

“Writing a nasty review for [Kevin Smith’s shitty-as-hell buddy cop movie] Cop Out is akin to bullying a retarded kid.”-Kevin Smith

However, Bethany resists the mission, as she has lost her faith in God after her divorce, a direct result of her infertility.

She wakes up and dismisses it as a dream. The very next day, she is attacked on her way back from work by the same three punks that assaulted the homeless guy in Jersey. Before they can assault her though, they are defeated by a couple  of pot-dealing Kevin Smith staples, Jay and Silent Bob (Jason Mewes and Kevin Smith), two prophets that Metatron said would assist her on her journey. As she reluctantly accepts the journey and sets off with obnoxiously raunchy Jay and silently raunchy Bob, they are joined by Rufus (Chris Rock), the little known Thirteenth Apostle (Who was left out of the Bible for being black) and Serendipity (Salma Hayek), the smoking hot muse with severe writer’s block.

You got me. The entire purpose of this post was to have an excuse to use this photo. You would have done the same.

Overview:

This movie served as my introduction to Kevin Smith, who I only knew previously as the chubby director from New Jersey who calls people “cats” a lot. And I have to say, I’m pretty damn impressed. Smith, a lifelong Catholic, has crafted a pretty damn interesting world, and skillfully displays how to weave Catholic mythology into an entertaining piece of work. Now, personally, I’m an extremely skeptical agnostic (Though I did go to Bible Camp when I was seven) and couldn’t give one shit about somebody’s religion unless they were using it as an excuse to hurt somebody, but I must admit, this movie got me interested in Catholicism.

Well, this movie and the pope.

Now, am I going to get myself baptized at age sixteen? Of course not. There’s too many things standing in the way of me and religious faith (Namely, science and logic) but man, can I ever respect the idea of making religion actually look entertaining. Sure, the dickless angels are a bit much, but overall, I enjoyed how the movie seemed to both pick on and maintain a hopeful optimism for the Catholic Faith.

However, I do have a problem with the movie’s jokes. It’s not that I’m insulted by the digs at religion, because, as I arrogantly said before, I really couldn’t care less. It’s just that the movie seems to suffer from long stretches of little to no jokes.  I found myself more drawn in by the presentation and the performances, which is fine, but one would expect that a comedy movie, especially one starring George Carlin and Chris Rock, would be quite funny. It’s not like it’s completely humourless. There were a couple of moments where I laughed out loud, and Jay and Silent Bob were hilarious. However, maybe it’s not that the movie wasn’t funny enough. Maybe it’s just that Linda Fiorentino ruined all the lines that were supposed to be funny.

With all due respect to Ms. Fiorentino, she was utterly terrible in this movie. I didn’t like how she played her character, how she delivered her lines, or how she never, not once in the entire fucking film, broke the role of “surly middle aged woman who says everything in a snarky tone of voice.” She took me completely out of the movie, and single-handedly demotes this movie from a must-buy to a rental.

The rest of the cast, however, does a bang-up job. Affleck and Damon do great jobs as the fallen angels, and are obviously having fun with their respective roles, as demonstrated in the scene where they pass judgement on and subsequently murder a room full of fast food CEO’s. Carlin is funny, though criminally underused, and Mewes and Smith had field days with their characters. Alan Rickman was awesome, as always, Hayek was awesome (And unfathomably hot) and Chris Rock was excellent as the racially-discriminated apostle. (SPOILER ALERT) Alanis Morrisette was also in this movie, as God’s True Form, a mute Manic Pixie Dream Girl. This is more perplexing than anything else.

Overall:

Sure, there are parts where the comedy isn’t quite up to snuff, and Linda Fiorentino definitely wasn’t helping, but excellent casting (Aside from you-know-who) and an extremely interesting plot make this movie a notable, if not spectacular, indie comedy.