Search This Blog

Friday, 1 June 2012

An Official Apology

I said something in my discussion of Les Miserables (2012) that I deeply regret. No, I'm not referring to the fact that I would cast Roger Allam over the far superior singer Philip Quast, because I still maintain that Allam would be right for the part (though, you know, if they were going to insist on casting an Australian...). Nor am I referring to the fact I stated Lea Salonga was an inferior Eponine to Frances Ruffelle. Am I not referring, either, to the fact that I made a rather cruel fat joke about Adele without any provocation whatsoever. I'm not even referring to the fact that I suggest they make a movie about moot with Nick Jonas playing W.T. Snacks. No, the thing I regret saying is far, far more serious, and I only hope I can be forgiven.

In my review, I referred to Samantha Barks as "Kinda hot, in a British way". How stupid do I look after seeing the half-second clip of her in the teaser Trailer for the film that was released today?

We've had a few hot British girls who have done the rounds as the objects of male fantasies worldwide, from Kiera Knightly to Emma Watson to Carey Mulligan, and I'm officially calling it now: Samantha Barks is next. The girl is absolutely gorgeous. Now I'm torn between which member of the Les Mis cast I'd have sex with if given the choice - because I might actually be tempted to pick Ms Barks over Hadley Fraser...

I think I'd shag Hadley, marry Sam, and go on the Cruise with Ramin... And yes, I am aware the whole point of that game is that someone else picks the people in question, but fuck you, because that someone is Cameron Mackintosh.

Of course, maybe she's not that attractive and it's all down to the fact that I haven't fapped in 37 days now (don't ask) and find every moderately pretty woman obscenely attractive - but I doubt it. After all, I didn't start drooling at the sight of her American co-stars (which is especially odd, since I always used to find Anne Hathaway attractive when she was younger. Maybe my subconscious is making her appear ugly so when she helps destroy the batman franchise I won't mind so much? Not that Nolan needs much help, mind you, given his obsession with bad twist endings...). But whatever the reason, it's irrelevant. This scene is going to be even better than the rainy scene in Spiderman, and I'm actually planning on catching the movie now solely because of this. Oh, and the fact that I'll get to hear Hadley Fraser's sexy voice as the National Guard...

I'm sure he's already regretting putting his personal email address on his website... and, you know, publishing exactly where he's going to be every weeknight until June 16th...

On another note, I should probably apologize for suggesting in my Blade Runner blog post that Zhora was the Pleasure Model of replicant, when in fact it was Pris that was the Pleasure Model. Thank you to "Anonymous" for pointing this out to me - I guess I need to watch the fucking movie again.


Holy shit - I mentioned sort of off-handedly in my discussion of Les Miserables that they should have cast Ramin Karimloo as Enjolras because he was fantastic in the 25th Anniversary edition, but I hadn't realized at the time that for him that was somewhat of an under-performance. In the run up to my seeing Hadley Fraser on the West End last week, I not only watched the 25th Anniversary edition of Phantom of the Opera, but also surfed around on YouTube for videos of Fraser as Javert, both of which resulted in my hearing Ramin giving fantastic performances also (Ramin having played both the Phantom and Valjean opposite Fraser). But I didn't truly appreciate Karimloo's genius until this very moment - listening to his brand new album, titled simply "Ramin". From the very first song, I knew this album was going to be incredible - it's not recorded in the style of, say, "Alfie" - an album on which the singer is very much centre-stage, and is designed to simply show off their voice. It has instead been recorded as though it were a regular pop album, with emphasis on the music as a whole. Not only this, but whilst most albums by other stars such as Alfie Boe or John Owen Jones contain the singers doing covers of popular songs (often from the shows they have been in), Karimloo's album contains 4 songs written by himself, showing off his talent as a writer as well as a performer. These tracks are outstanding, and I'm now seriously considering trying to catch Sheytoons in concert the next time they play, on the assumption that if his solo work is this good, his band must be absolutely incredible. His interpretations of classic songs are also brilliant, with his new take on Music of the Night being particularly memorable, and most of the other songs on the album also being at an amazingly high standard (There are 4 tracks which aren't by Karimloo which I'm not sure of the source of, but if they are originals, then fuck me this album has 8 brilliant original songs, and 4 great covers). His new interpretations of rock/pop songs are also as great as his new spin on tracks from musicals (though, I should probably watch "Love Never Dies" before I can compare Ramin's cover of "Til I Hear You Sing" to anything), with his version of "Everything I Do" by Bryan Adams being particularly enjoyable, but his cover of "Guiding Light" also being outstanding. If you're like me and not massively knowledgeable on music (odd statement, given what this site is dedicated to, I know), I honestly think you will prefer this album to most other albums by great solo-singers, because it just has the feeling of something you can listen to in any circumstance and enjoy - the way all the songs seem to tie in, with enough variation to each be unique and interesting, but with enough similarity to pull the album together nicely, is also great, and the songs on the album were clearly picked for this reason. In fact, it works so well I'm willing to completely forgive the fact that he didn't record a single track from Les Miserables. I would certainly recommend this album, as it's one of the best I've bought recently, and I'm now really looking forward to the release of Sheytoons' first album (as well as Hadley Fraser's solo debut, but let's not get too far ahead of ourselves).

He's far too busy growing pretentious beards to be wasting time in a studio...

Now, just in case this isn't a manly enough post for me to put on my Blog, I'm off to watch "Klitschko", and watch some faces get severely punched in...

Monday, 2 April 2012

Untraceable (2008)

So, whilst looking for the opening picture for my Dead Silence review, I came across another review site (which I naturally stole the image from), which seems to have been reviewing a few Horror films lately. The remake of Straw Dogs was on there, as was The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, and The Woman in Black (the reason I watched "Dead Silence" last night, in fact, because whilst discussing that film with a group of people, we got onto other scary movies and I asked my brother "what's that scary film with all the dolls with Donnie Wahlberg in?" and he told me straight away "Dead Silence" so I went out and bought it. and by "went out" I mean "ordered online" because I'm an aspie), but so was a review for a film I hadn't heard of before, named "Untraceable", also starring a 2nd Lt from Band of Brothers.

Now, when I'm working, I don't usually do much more than steal images and get the fuck off peoples' sites. But since this guy is in my line of work also, it felt only proper that I give his reviews the once over, (A) to support my fellow bloggers and (B) to judge the competition to see whether it's worth my while continuing to post. So, I took a look at his review of Untraceable, and wouldn't you know it - It's another fucking remake! But you won't hear about that from the producers, no. And IMDB doesn't list anything in either the "trivia" or "connections" sections. Because this movie is a complete rip-off of an episode of the classic TV series MillenniuM.

Now, just to be fair on Untraceable, I went through the list of writers for both screenplay AND story and checked their other works, just in case it was the MillenniuM guys making a feature film out of their own story - but it fucking wasn't. I even went to Wikipedia to check if there was any controversy over such a blatantly stolen idea, but the only controversy with the production listed is "Several critics viewed the film as hypocritical for indulging in the 'torture porn' it condemns". So, nowhere is it acknowledged this this is not an original story, and yet the plot summary is so close to that the the MillenniuM episode "The Mikado" that it was enough for me to go crazy and start typing this shit out at 3 in the morning.

Now, I know what you're thinking - it is entirely possible for 2 people to come up with the same idea individually, without being aware of the other's works. I agree, that is entirely true. I once made a short film which featured a scene in which I injected myself with heroin and passed out whilst "Perfect Day" by Lou Reed was playing in the background, oblivious to the fact that Danny Boyle had already done this some 15 years earlier. however, had my short film also featured me falling back into the carpet so it was as though I was looking out at the world from inside a deep hole, before my friend dragged me to the corner outside the hospital because I was ODing, then you could be fairly certain I had stolen the idea from Trainspotting.

So, let's see how closely linked these two are, shall we? On his Review Blog, "Tom" lists the plot of the film as

"A secret service agent, Jennifer Marsh, gets caught in a very personal and deadly cat-and-mouse game with a serial killer who knows that people (being what they are – both curious and drawn to the dark side of things) will log onto an “untraceable” website where he conducts violent and painful murders LIVE on the net. The more people who log on and enter the website, the quicker and more violently the victim dies"
Whereas here is my personal synopsis for "The Mikado" (Season 2):

 "A serial killer, whom Frank has attempted to apprehend once before when he was operating back in the 1970s, sets up numerous untraceable websites, showing females tied to a chair, who are then brutally murdered live on the net when the sites reach the correct number of hits, which is painted on the wall in the background. The killer leaves clues for Frank in each of his web streams, and by the end it becomes a deadly cat-and-mouse game, as Frank attempts to apprehend the mysterious "Avatar", who is always one step ahead of police."

So, we have a personal relationship - Frank knows the killer and has tried to stop him before. A serial killer using untraceable websites, which he uses to host streams of himself killing his victims when the correct number of hits is reached (as the killer knows that people will be drawn to the sites out of morbid curiosity), and it leads to a cat-and-mouse game which becomes almost deadly at the climax.  Yep, it's the exact same fucking plot. Not only this, but in the IMDB trivia section for Untraceable, it is revealed that in the climax as Agent Marsh is tracking the killer down, she appears on one of his cameras on the website - something which happens to Frank as well when he is hunting down Avatar (originally set to be named "Omega", incidentally, this idea had to be scrapped when the writers learnt that a large portion of the show's budget came from product placement, including payment from Omega, in exchange for Lance Henriksen wearing one of their watches, who certainly didn't want a serial killer named after their company).

On Tom's blog, he also refers to the style of the movie Untraceable, saying "it was just like a longer CSI programme". Well, anyone with half a brain (or who is a regular here) can tell you that CSI is simply a rip-off of MillenniuM anyway, simply focussing more on the forensics side as opposed to profiling, and keeping things far more light-hearted, so it doesn't have the depressing after taste of MillenniuM. Basically, cop shows prior to MillenniuM were either cheesy over the top Miami Vice style shows, or proper old-fashioned detective shows like Morse (or featured Dennis Watermann saying "You're nicked you slag!"). All these shows obsessing about new ways to catch criminals, from 'CSI' to 'NCIS' to 'Lie to Me' to whatever the fuck other shows they've brought out that fit this bill, are all based off MillenniuM, since this was the first show to do that.

There is nothing in what I've read which separates Untraceable from "The Mikado", except I already know which of the two is better written. It just pisses me off so much that people can get away with ripping off an idea from a show, and not even crediting the writers. There was a discussion on IMDB a while back about the overlaps between Natural Born Killers and the X-Files episode "Lazarus". In Lazarus, the bank robber uses the line "No matter what happens, we'll both be looking up at the same stars. You make every day like New Year's Eve." - similar to Mallory's line to Mickey about looking up at the same stars in Natural Born Killers, as well as her line "You Make every day feel like Kindergarten". Then, later in the episode, when the robber describes what he and his wife did on their wedding day, he says "We went down to the beach, and I got out my buck knife, and slashed open my palm, and then I slashed your palm, and we held hands like this, and let the blood run in the ocean." Then he says "We'll be married in all the oceans now". Now, these two lines make me think that either Tarantino or Oliver Stone watched that episode and stole their ideas, and there was less than a year between Lazarus and NBK. So for there to be 10 times the similarities between Untraceable and "The Mikado" that there were here, with the Mikado preceeding Untraceable by a clear 10 years, there is no doubt in my mind that these bastards saw this episode, thought "ha! no-one watched that show! we'll steal the plot and rework it slightly and make a film out of it without even crediting the guys who came up with the idea" - and that makes me mad. So, please, watch "The Mikado", and marvel in the beauty of the writing (this actaully also applies to the Gilbert and Sullivan operetta for which the episode is named). Season 2 was probably the worst season of Millennium, and yet that episode is still absolutely incredible, and not one to miss. I, meanwhile, intend to get behind, like, 7 proxies, and track down the makers of Untraceable to kill them horribly online for bringing shame on a great TV show by ripping it off so blatantly.


Dead Silence Review

It's just a bizarre coincidence, but for some reason I've found myself watching and reviewing a horror movie on the exact same night this year as I did last. It must just be some psychological thing that whilst everyone else is spending April 1st playing jokes on each other, I'm hiding in my garage watching movies which scare the absolute shit out of me. And Dead Silence certainly succeeded in this department.

I think this movie was written as a counter-argument to those who say the Saw movies are just "torture porn", and not real horror. I've got no proof of this, but I get the feeling from watching it that the producers finally had enough of hearing people say they couldn't make a proper horror movie, and decided to show them just how good of a horror film they could make.

You know a movie's scary when you've seen the banner image for my Blog but will still rather hide behind a pillow than look at the screen...

This movie is filled with horror cliches, the sort of stereotypical things that come to your mind when you think "horror movie" - creepy dummies which appear to look at people, disembodied voices, a freaky as fuck soundtrack. Hell, they even included a clown at one point. This movie is, in essence, a walking talking horror cliche. And yet, this makes it a perfect example of what the horror genre can achieve.


The plot of the film is simple enough, our protagonist, Jamie Ashen, has his wife murdered brutally soon after a package containing a ventriloquist's dummy is delivered to their apartment, and as he returns to their home town to bury her, he starts to investigate the myth of Mary Shaw, a ghost whom the townspeople have a poem about: "Beware the stare of Mary Shaw. She had no children only dolls. And if you see her in your dreams, do not ever, ever scream.". Naturally, with the mysterious delivery of one of Shaw's dolls to his apartment right before his wife's murder, Ashen decides to investigate whether this ghost really was responsible for her killing, and also intends to unearth why.

He can also unearth why the Secretary of State is in a wheelchair whilst he's at it.

From a technical standpoint, this movie is incredible, but again from a cliched perspective. The colours are muted, or given a blue hue throughout, except for the few colours the director really wants you to pay attention to - the yellow taxi Ashen pulls up in, the red of his car, and the red motel sign shining through his window. A lot of the shock moments come from things being seen in mirrors, or in your peripheral, and the makers clearly had a lot of fun with lighting their "jump moments". The way the shots transitioned as well, moving out through someone's eye from one scene to another, or watching a map as it turned into the actual landscape and we see a car driving down the road, were great transitions, and of course, remarkably similar to the style they perfected in Saw, albeit at a much slower pace to fit the tone of the film better.

No, that's clearly "built". "tone" just implies low bodyfat.

Perhaps the most impressive technical aspect to this film has to be the use of background noise throughout the film. As we all know, Foley sounds are added to movies on top of the noise recorded by the microphones, because this is the only way to make things sound completely natural, and give a movie a realistic feel. To quote wikipedia, "Without these crucial background noises, movies feel unnaturally quiet and uncomfortable." - and this fact was clearly not overlooked by the makers of Dead Silence, who muted all foley sounds whenever a scare moment was approaching, to create a sense of unease, and make the audience dread what was coming next. Some may argue that this is just a cheap and pathetic trick, telling people when to be scared, in the same way as a sharp, stabbing, high pitched note on a jump moment would be considered to be. Though I felt that this worked perfectly in creating suspense, and would liken it more to the eerie background screeching of "The Shining" more than the "in your face" jump cues. Hell, in a sense, because it is the lack of noise which is designed to disturb, perhaps Dead Silence is more comparable to Irreversible than any classic horror film, as the soundtrack of that movie was designed to go largely unnoticed, yet was set at such a pitch and frequency so as to make people feel uncomfortable and even nauseous.

It's so hard to masturbate whislt you're throwin up as well...

So, now that I've explained where the title comes from, let's get on with discussing some of the other aspects of the film, shall we?

The acting is fairly decent throughout, for a horror movie. With an estimated budget of $20 million, this wasn't exactly a blokbuster they were making, and yet all the cast turn out decent performances, even the kids. There was not one moment in this film where I felt that someone was over/under acting, bringing me out the movie. Of course, Donnie Wahlberg's entire part was essentially over-acted, as he was the comic relief of the piece. However, he was a real treat to see on screen, and certainly made the entire film more enjoyable. This may be his worst performance as a character named Lipton, but he was still great, and the character was fantastic as well.

The make-up effects used in this film were terrifying as well, especially when combined with the shock lighting and general atmosphere. And hell, seeing a witchwoman with a dolls face is fucking terrifying no matter how you cut it!

Ok, so it doesn't even need a doll's face to be terrifying.

The music for this film is also great, with the producers getting their old friend Charles Clouser back again, although this time writing a proper score, rather than ripping off the keyboard part from a Rammstein song.

Don't act like you can't hear the similarities....

Of course, this makes the soundtrack less memorable (hell, you really remember the silence more than anything else. Hence the title, I guess), but it does make it a little more fitting, just as how the soundtrack to The Thing was very understated (and nominated for a Razzie - because what the fuck do they know about decent scores?)

All in all then, this was a fantastic horror movie, and a real frightfest - you can tell it was good because after I had watched it and was walking to my computer, my dog let out a heavy sigh and I nearly jumped out of my skin in terror. Then again, I couldn't play Manhunt with the lights out, so I'm evidently easier to scare than most. Still, it was great to see the Saw guys make a "proper" horror film, and do such a damn fine job of it. Of course [spoiler], they still kept the obligatory twist ending that they have at the end of all their films, but I was rather impressed with this one, because it was so far removed from what I was expecting, I imagine I got the same feeling watching this as the people who watched Saw before everyone started talking about it and giving away the plot must have gotten from that [/spoiler]

So, looking for another horror film for 2nd April? The Thing was certainly my top recommendation last year, and this year that recommendation goes to Dead Silence. Watch this movie.


Friday, 30 March 2012

Total Recall (2012)

So I guess my theme for March is complaining about movies due to come out this year, which are going to totally ruin things I previously liked. I intentionally stayed away from last year's adaptation of "The Thing" on the assumption that it would ruin both the original John Carpenter movie, as well as Warrior, because I would never be able to look at Joel Edgerton again without wanting him to die horribly for condoning (by starring in) such a remake. So, I've already complained about the cast of Les Miserables, now it's time to kick things up a notch and complain about the mere existence of a movie regardless of who is in it or who is at the helm: Why the fuck are they remaking Total Recall?

Now, the weird thing is, I'm not an overly massive fan of Total Recall. As far as Philip K. Dick adaptations go, it ranked behind both 'Blade Runner' and 'A Scanner Darkly'. As far as Schwarzenegger movies go, it wasn't close to 'Predator' or 'Terminator' - hell, it was more on a par with films like 'Commando' or 'Eraser'. And as far as Paul Verhoeven films in which Michael Ironside loses at least 2 limbs go, it was by far my least favourite.

Did you find that video I made about Prisoners rights funny, Rico? Because I'm not sure anyone got the fucking joke...

However, it was still an enjoyable 80s Sci-fi action romp, and it had a lot going for it. It had the classic Philip K. Dick mindfuck-style ending - what's real, and what isn't? (I still have trouble explaining to people that in Minority Report there's a good chance he's still in the prison having his brain pacified into thinking he solved everything so he doesn't want to escape, and I've only seen the fucking movie once). It has the political undertones which were present in Blade Runner, however they have been brought far more to the forefront, with a lot of the action revolving around the rights of the poor to have access to the most basic survival requirements without having to shell out for it (again, this ties back in with Les Miserables). Not only that, but it has Verhoeven's distinctive style, combined with classic Schwarzenegger - plus, Michael fucking Ironside is in it as the slimy bad guy! What's not to like?

Yes, I am just dumping my fap folder. You caught me.

And to top it all off - it was the very first movie I ever watched in which someone was shot through the head - and a woman at that! (I may have watched it at a sleepover sometime in the 90s without my parents knowing...) Seriously, up until I saw this film, I didn't think they were allowed to show that on film. I genuinely didn't.

It was also the first movie I watched which featured a woman with 3 boobs. Oh wait, the ONLY movie I've watched to feature that...

But watching the newly released teaser trailer for the 2012 "reboot" (why the fuck not call it a "remake"? Are they planning on making a whole series, or are people still trying to cash in on Batman Begins?), I really am not looking forward to this film. It looks as though it's going to be yet another CGI fest (something Verhoeven must have gone out of his way to avoid, making so much of the original using actual models and make-up effects - not that I mind when he goes CGI crazy, of course, Starship Troopers being my favourite of his films), this time taking the unused footage from "The Fifth Element" (great fucking movie) and muting the colours to make it seem "more dark and brooding"...

Tell me that's not the taxi chase scene from The Fifth Element. I dare you motherfucker, I double dare ya!

The "updated" vision of the future also looks far less interesting than Verhoeven's, with iRobot looking androids and Fifth-Element cars set over a Blade Runner backdrop, nothing here looks original. It looks as though they've just taken things they liked from decent sci-fi movies (implying iRobot is good) and tried to cram them all in, in the hopes they fit together nicely. Hell, I can even see a bit of "The One" in the gun we see Colin Farrell holding in the trailer (though the one in the poster is a little more Robocop, I'll give them that).

Unbelievably, whilst looking for an image of Robocop to add here, I stumbled across the fact they're remaking THAT film as well. un-fucking-believable.

And you know what? I know I said I wasn't gonna make this about the cast, but really? Colin Farrell in Arnold's place? That's gonna require the entire story be changed to fit around him, because there's no way he can fill Arnold's shoes. He may be a better actor on a technical level, but in a shoot-em up sci-fi action romp like this, we want our heroes to be the Arnold type character. We need Quaid to appear sympathetic towards the plight of the people struggling to live on Mars under the cruel dictatorship to the extent we can believe he would help the rebellion, true. But at the same time, we also need a guy who's happy to start a firefight on an escalator with 15 people between him and the guy he's shooting at. And you know what the absolute most ridiculous thing about this is? They considered offering the role to Tom Hardy, but cast Colin Farrell instead - because clearly Farrell will be better at taking over a Schwarzenegger role than Tom Hardy would have been.

luckily he's a bit more built now, and come out of his Michael Jackson phase...

And speaking of stuggling to fill another actor's shoes, I notice that no-one is yet credited on the IMDB page as playing Richter, which leads me to assume the part will either not exist, or will be played by the only actor to appear on the cast list who doesn't already have a designated character, Ethan Hawke:

Now don't get me wrong, even though he's a pretty boy, I accept Ethan Hawke can act. But to replace Michael Ironside? Unthinkable! Hell, since I've already used the "stepping into his shoes" analogy, I might as well wrap this up with a lame pun and say the only occasion when Ethan Hawke could possibly fill Michael Ironside's shoes is in this scene:

See, it's funny because he doesn't have legs...

As far as casting goes, I think Kate Beckinsale as Lori (Sharon Stone) is the only really interesting choice, and even then I note that the director of this new adaptation is HER FUCKING HUSBAND, which could explain why she got the part. Still, some of the other characters might yet come off, such as Bill Nighy as Kuato (same sort of territory here as we had with Baron Cohen in Les Mis, could be brilliant, could be terrible), and although I would rather see her as the three breasted woman, I suppose I can't knock Jessica Biel as Melina, since I did give the last Philip K. Dick adaptation she was in 3 stars based solely on the fact that I think she's hot.

I mean, seriously, this girl is retardedly hot, and not just because she's been photoshopped to fuck in this picture. Well, ok, maybe that is the reason. But still, it's hot, right?

The fact that the poster itself actually says "what is real?" as the tag line also really bothers me, because although that is the main theme of the film (Quaid trying to find out if he is actually Quaid, or is in fact Hauser), I preferred having this sneak up on me so you don't get the real revelation until he's sitting in the chair watching a recorded message of himself revealing the plan. Plus, it kind of hints at the twist ending as well, which you don't really want on the poster. Now, granted, it's still a step up from the tagline "Titans will Clash" on the "Clash of the Titans" poster, but what was wrong with the original tagline "Get Ready for the Ride of your Life?". Or, as an in-joke, why not put the tagline on the poster as "I'll see you at the party"?

And another thing. Here's the synopsis, straight from the IMDB page (look it up if you don't believe me): As the nation states Euromerica and New Shanghai vie for supremacy, a factory worker (Farrell) begins to suspect that he's a spy, though he is unaware which side of the fight he's on.

>New Shanghai

For fuck's sake - why the fuck isn't it set on Mars? Enough with this corporations as states shit already. 1984 was enough, and Mutant Chronicles was certainly enough...

So to sum up, I don't know what they're thinking with this remake, and I'm starting to get really worried about what other films they're going to be ruining this year. I also notice that they've got no further with the Splinter Cell film which was announced over a year ago - but then again having seen what they've done to this film, I'm terrified as fuck they'd cast John Cena as Sam Fisher and Mos Def as Lambert....


Tuesday, 20 March 2012

Les Miserables (2012)

I realize that I've been gone a while, but I just got Fallout 3 and had to play through the entire thing before I could even think about doing anything else, so please don't judge me too harshly. In fact, I even attempted to make a video of it for this site, using one of those fancy screen-capture devices (which stupidly only captures the audio from the microphone, and doesn't capture in-game sounds as well), but, well, that turned out to be a bit of a nightmare. The intention was to see how fast I could get the 3 achievements for reaching level 8 with bad, neutral and good karma, through a bit on ingenuity (read: starting from a slightly earlier save and killing a bunch of people to lose karma). However, this slowly descended into a nightmare as my laptop kept crashing every 10 seconds or so (it's 8GB RAM with an HD Graphics card. FUCK ACER/BETHESDA WORKS (I'm not sure which one is at fault)) and I ended up recording roughly a 40 minute video of me slowly going insane and screaming increasingly more extravagant profanities into the microphone and ultimately threatening to kill everyone who works for Acer, Microsoft, and Bethesda works. It was hell to play through, but I thought the video might have come out pretty funny in the end, or at least, that it could be of academic value for those studying the effects of video-game induced psychosis. However, unbeknownst to myself, when the game crashed, it also caused my recording software to stop running as well, so my entire 40 minutes of madness went completely to waste, and will not be seen/heard by anyone. Ever. Naturally, this made me even more angry, and I therefore haven't done anything for the site since.

However, yesterday a friend of mine bought me an XBox 360, and whilst every /v/irgin reading this will immediately groan at this suggestion: fuck you, consoles don't crash. so, I'm now in a slightly better mood, and looking forward to the arrival of New Vegas later this week, which I managed to get for £5.47 (no idea how much a mouse/keyboard kit for Xbox would be, but I'm definitely looking into that shit).

But this post is not about the Fallout games (not even about how fucking ridiculous it was that I couldn't send in Fawkes to activate the purifier, or the fact that I paid for the game of the year edition and installed the DLC, yet Live still tells me Operation anchorage will cost me 800CR, because fuck Microsoft). No, this post is about something I touched on in my end of year round-up for 2011. The Les Miserables Movie.

I know this picture doesn't really fit here, but I spent so long making it I just HAD to post it again...

Les Miserables is, for those of you who haven't already guessed it, my favourite musical (no homo), and I was disgusted to hear that they would be making a film of it, because inevitably, it was going to end up shit. Hell, I even posted the confirmed cast back in December, and practically cried at how awful it looked. However, today I was directed back to the IMDB page for the upcoming film, and found myself pleasantly surprised with a couple of new editions:

I'm a Frances Ruffelle man myself. Others go on about how her voice is too whiny, and Lea Salonga was a far better Eponine, but they have no taste whatsoever (just to clarify before I catch some hate - I think Salonga is an incredible singer, and a brilliant Fantine, but she just didn't make Eponine feel as genuine or identifiable as Ruffelle did). Ruffelle gave the character a real vulnerability, and you felt incredibly sorry for her, and could identify with her and believe all the shit she went through (I mean, come on, she dies and her parents don't even mention it - not even in passing - despite the fact her dad was searching the bodies on the barricade and would have come across her fucking corpse! Shows how well her family treated her...). She also made "On My Own" one of the most incredible recordings ever, and it is one of my favourite songs, even stretching outside of the sphere of musical theatre. However, when I saw Samantha Barks in the 25th Anniversary concert edition, I was extremely impressed by her performance in the song "A Little Fall of Rain", in which she actually surpassed Ruffelle, with a far more intense, and indeed realistic delivery of her lines, which was one of the best songs of the entire show (I also liked the way she delivered the line "I've only been pretending" in On My Own - the only part of that song where she again surpassed Ruffelle). Not only this, but her performance with Gareth Gates on the West End in 2011 was also incredible, and the fact that this girl can give 2 stunning performances whilst appearing alongside guys who sing about as well as I do (Nick Jonas and Gareth Gates aren't exactly on Michael Ball's level, or even in the same building. Fuck it, even the same street) makes me extremely pleased that she was picked for the role of Eponine in the movie, and gives me hope the film may actually be half decent.

Plus she's pretty hot. In a British way...

Of course, it's sad that Taylor Swift didn't get the role, since she got /b/ to name her cat, so is clearly far more on my pathetic level than Barks, but to be honest, I've never been overly impressed by her music (and before anyone goes on about how many Grammys she has, I would like to point out that Adele also has a metric fuckton of Grammys, and is just plain awful*), and if the only reason it would be good to see her in the role is because she visits a website I do, why not cast Allison Harvard as Cosette? Who cares if she can sing, right?

No, I mean, seriously. I would pay to just watch this girl on screen for 3 hours...**

The other addition to the cast I was pleased to see is that Sascha Baron Cohen will be playing Thenadier. I would never have thought to cast him if you had asked me to pick my ideal cast for the film, but I honestly think he has the potential to be brilliant in the role. The part of Thenadier has always gone to actors/comedians, from Alun Armstrong to Matt Lucas and now on to Baron Cohen, and I'm actually pleased to say that I think the film makers made a solid choice here. Armstrong was great, don't get me wrong, but when Lucas played the part for the 25th anniversary concert, he really stole the show - everyone seemed to be having so much fun during his rendition of Master of the House that it's the only time in history I would have liked to have been a member of the choir or a backing singer for a stage show - he just really played to the audience, and had a laugh with the role, and I think Baron Cohen will be able to recreate this same attitude for the big screen version. Of course, you could argue that on film, this will detract from the experience rather than add to it, but since Thenadier is the comic relief anyway, why not go all out, right? Just my thoughts (and clearly those of the casting director as well).

Or possibly they were looking for decent singers to cast and thought Freddie Mercury had come to the audition...

But now we come down to the serious hate. Why the fuck is Russell Crowe playing Javert? I mean, seriously. You know who should be playing Javert? Someone with some real screen experience, a man with such a commanding presence and deep, authoritative voice that he will dominate the role, and not sound like he's making a poor attempt at an Irish accent when he's supposedly playing someone from Nottingham. A man who has starred in everything from "Inspector Morse" to "The Queen" to "The Iron Lady", then right back to Morse with the prequel "Endeavour". A man who stands above the Manlet cut-off of 6 feet tall, and is actually the right age to play Javert in the later scenes where the majority of the story takes place.

That's right - why not just cast Roger Allam?

To be honest, I could actually see Philip Glenister working too...

Seriously, the guy's still working - he was in an Oscar winning film last year, and he would be perfect for the role. Did they offer it to him first and he turned it down, or did they just feel they needed a big name for the role and felt they had to cast Russell Crowe because studios are still convinced they'll be able to rekindle the success of Gladiator? It's just over my head. Can Russell Crowe even sing? If they wanted to go for more of a Hollywood Hardman, why not go for our favourite up-and-coming actor Tom Hardy (I say up-and-coming despite the fact I first saw him in band of Brothers 11 years ago)? So many questions, so few answers. And Hugh Jackman as Jean Valjean? I don't even...

I mean, Billy Flynn in Chicago? Sure. Danny in Grease? Why not. But Jean Valjean? Seriously?

The sad fact is that Javert and Valjean could both be played by the original London cast members, because they were both too young for the parts when the musical first ran. Colm Wilkinson and Roger Allam are both the right age now to be playing the parts, and since both performed "One Day More" at the 25th Anniversary concert (Colm also performed "Bring Him Home" alongside the other Valjeans), both are clearly still vocally capable of performing the songs as well. And why not get Ramin Karimloo back to play Enjolras since he was so brilliant - I mean sure, having an Iranian guy with a Canadian accent playing a Frenchman may not be all that realistic on film, but fuck it, they cast Morgan Freeman as a Red Haired Irishman in Shawshank and that turned out pretty fucking well.

My only problem with this movie was that even though Red is supposed to be in Andy Dufresne's imagination, we still see other character talking/interacting with him. Seriously plothole that... 

So I still have mixed feelings. I'm really worried that this film will turn out to be utter shit, but at the same time, I probably will still go and see it, just in the hopes they make a decent adaptation. In fact, this will be the second film of 2012 that the previous statement will apply to, since I feel exactly the same way about The Dark Knight Rises - there's a good chance Nolan will give it yet another shitty ending, as he so loves to do, and it will be a massive disappointment, and yet, I will still go and see it as I still have faith that it could be the greatest Batman movie ever made, and I sure love Batman...

In... every... incarnation...

And just since we're talking about the cast of Les Miserables, if anyone is going to see moot in London this week, tell him I'm writing a movie about him to cash in on the success of The Social Network. I'm going to call it "The Unsocial Network" and follow the same pattern Fincher did for his film. We'll get a well known musician from an industrial metal band to write the score (I'm thinking Till Lindemann), cast an actor who is best known for his roles as an awkward quirky teen in the lead (Michael Cera as moot), and cast a well-known musician in the second to main part (in this case, Nick Jonas as W.T. Snacks - I really think playing an internet paedophile will help him break free of his "good boy" image, just like Elijah Wood playing a football Hooligan - plus, I suspect the scene where he gets hit by an 18-wheeler will be as popular as the whole "Justin Bieber getting shot in CSI" thing). Failing that, just ask him if he even lifts for me, would you?

Until next time people.


* I interviewed Adele for my chat show recently, and she said that people keep asking her what the titles of her albums mean, and whether or not they have some deep meaning. "18". "21". She responded "there's no hidden meaning in the titles, it's just my weight in stone at the time of recording".

**, what? I guess I should buy the America's Next Top Model DVDs? I'm sure I'll get a kick out of the "Nigga you gay" guy, at least...

Tuesday, 17 January 2012

"Street Kings 2: Motor City" Review

"Street Kings" is an interesting movie because it appears to be the only occasion on record in which Terry Crews has worn Sleeves for the whole time he was in a film:

"Yo Ludlow - What is this shit covering my arms, man? I gotta let these guns BREATHE, son."

It is also a clever police thriller, with a lot of twists, and some really decent action. It makes you think, and also contains some really well written characters: some of them just cool, and some with whom you can really empathize. Street Kings was the first movie I saw Chris Evans in and thought he was half decent (so well behind the curve of that one: should have watched "Sunshine" when it came out, really, since the Ads ruined it on TV anyway), and despite the ending being a slight let-down, the story up to that point is solid, with every new twist being as exciting as the last, and the audience never knowing what is going to happen next. It had its moments of retardation: the scene in which Reeves and Evans kit themselves up with shotguns, which then disappear completely in the next scene so they only have handguns when they get into a firefight is just ridiculous. But all in all, it was a very entertaining movie.

Not to mention the poster is fantastic for trolling. I mean, come on, there's a guy in it named "Common".

Not only this, but Street Kings finally allowed me to crack "The Keanu Code". You see, a lot of people complain that Keanu Reeves can't act: he's very wooden, has a monotone voice, and doesn't seem to be very expressive. However, after watching Street Kings, I finally realized why this is. It's not because he is a bad actor: it's because he is typecast in the kind of movies where the character would have these traits. Think about it: In "Street Kings" he is an overly-paranoid alcoholic cop. In "Constantine" he is a depressed addict who has actually seen hell. In "The Matrix" he is an anti-social hacker who works a job he hates and probably has autism, who becomes unsure of whether or not he is living in the real world. And in "The Devil's Advocate", he plays a Southerner. In every one of these films, it makes sense that the character wouldn't show any real feelings, and Street Kings therefore proved to me that Keanu Reeves can, in fact, act: just only in very specific roles.


Street Kings was also nice in that it appeared to have been made by a fellow "House" addict. When Hugh Laurie (who plays the captain of the IA team investigating Forrest Whittaker's outfit) is introduced, he is in a hospital, and spends the entire scene sitting in a chair - you know, because of his limp. And whilst Liotta's character being shot in the leg and developing a limp in "Street Kings 2" may have been an homage to this (if you squint) - it just didn't have the same epic feel as the original.

Or the obvious sexual tension. Speaking of which, aren't they remaking Top Gun?

The main problem Street Kings 2 has is that it shares its name with "Street Kings". Unfortunately, this inevitably leads to you comparing it to the original movie the whole time you are watching it, even though it was almost certainly written as a completely  independant movie, and simply had the "Street Kings" name tagged on the front of its actual title, "Motor City" in order to sell more copies. And whilst this will result in people like me buying it because they enjoyed the first Street Kings, it also is gonna result in a lot of disappointment, because quite predicatbly, it does not live up to the hype which the title creates.

"Street Kings 2: Motor City" starts just terribly, with a necessary but badly shot and badly set-up scene at the start in which we see Liotta getting shot in the leg, then proceeds to get even worse. We see Liotta teaching a group of schoolchildren about police work whilst dressed in a dog suit, and it feels as though we are already straying into "Big Mommas House 2" territory only 3 minutes into the film. As Liotta meets his new partner, the stereotypical young go-getter cop who makes fun of the old ways, we start to worry about just how cliched and dull this movie is going to be, and when the murders and suspicion around which the rest of the movie revolves begin to unfold, the audience is left bored to tears - literally nothing interesting happens in the first half hour or so of this film.

Things get a little more interesting, however, when during the murder of the third cop involved in the deep cover narcotics team we open on, is murdered. The reason things become more interesting is that we see his killer: Ray Liotta. Now, this may have been fairly predictable, and I had a hunch that Liotta was going to turn out to be the killer in the end. However, revealing him as the killer so early on in the film changes the dynamic of things, and the movie is then allowed to unfold in a far more interesting fashion than if it had focussed entirely on the solving of the case, with the killer's identity being the big ending "twist". From this point on, the movie certainly becomes more interesting, as we learn more and more about Liotta's plot to get rid of the cops he thought were going to rat him out to Internal Affairs, and take revenge on the dealer who got away at the start by framing him for these murders. However, this story arc too is ultimately fairly cliched and predictable, and whilst far more enjoyable than the first quarter of the movie, still does not manage to save it.

Don't get me wrong - this film has some absolutley golden moments in, which were well worthy of the "Street Kings" branding. The discussion between Liotta and Sullivan (our hero for most of the movie) in front of the captain when the two are first paired together has one of the most inspired pieces of dialogue to come out of a straight-to-DVD release in a long time:

Kingston: I worked homicide for one year and in that time I put away more criminals than you have in your whole life!

Sullivan: I've only been on the force 9 months.

Kingston: Exactly.

And the scene on the train in which the criminal who Liotta has framed for the murders is cornered, and then taped by a passenger, is incredibly well done, and was very enjoyable. And yet, this movie is lacklustre at best in the end, and didn't seem to reward the viewer with much. Whilst "Street Kings" had a plot which unfolded like an intricate web, with twists and turns being thrown in constantly, and the audience always being left in suspence right up until the finale, "Motor City" has just the one twist, and not an overly complex plot to help back it up. And whilst it is decent for a movie obviously shot on hand cameras with a very low budget, it really shouldn't have aligned itself to a much better made movie, because the comparisons just kill it.

Just like Terry Crews, amirite?

There were other things that bothered me about "Motor City" besides the plot and Cinematography as well. The acting is fairly hit-and-miss at the best of times, and Armand Benoit, who plays Sullivan (Liotta's new partner, and the main hero of the piece) doesn't seem to be able to get into character properly - he is very clearly trying to act, rather than trying to portray a person. The head cock he does with his one liner in the closing scene is probably the worst example of this, but there are other moments throughout the film where he does this as well. Of course, he has his moments too: such as when he is in the hospital waiting room after his wife is blown up by a car bomb - but for the most parts he really doesn't seem convincing. Plus, it's fairly distracting that he looks just like a fat Shia LaBeouff.

According to Wikipedia, he played Nicholas Cage's partner in "The Bad Lieutenant", which is odd, because I'm fairly certain Val Kilmer was Cage's partner in that film - unless he has multiple partners in that film, though I must admit, I don't recall Benoit being in it. Hell, if you had just told me that Benoit was in "Bad Lieutenant" and asked me to guess who he played, I probably would have thought he was the guy who was drowning in his cell near the start, and who we see working in a hotel at the end, not Cage's partner. You know, that or I would have said he was the wrestler who killed his family and then hanged himself from his weights rack.

the awkward moment when you realize a guy nicknamed "The Crippler" might have anger issues...

The ending, as well, just seemed really poor to me. Not only was the car exploding ridiculous and over-the-top (which I can live with, since I loved "The Long Good Friday", and that contains the most retarded vehicle explosion in motion picture history: a stock car blowing up when it crashes into another. You know, a car from that sport in which the vehicles are designed to crash into one another), and the fact that Sullivan somehow got out without us seeing was just as bad, but the ultimate climax of the film where he and Liotta face off was just disappointing as well. It was supposed to be a powerful emotional scene, clearly. And yet, it still didn't feel like a big deal. Not only that, but having just seen "10 to Midnight", I have a fairly good idea in my brain of what a scene involving a cop shooting an unarmed suspect who is trying to talk him out of it in full view of a bunch of other officers should look like, and the ending to "Motor City" didn't come close to that ending.

"You want to use the ending from one of my films? No dice..."

All in all, a poor effort, and a real step-down for Liotta. I don't mind him starring in no-budget films - "Cop Land" was great - but this movie just didn't do it for me. And whilst it was bearable enough for me to sit through the entire thing, and not just turn it straight off and watch "Neds" instead (which I also picked up today, but decided to save on the assumption it will be the better of the two films), it had nothing on "Street Kings", or any other half-decent cop movies for that matter. It is relatively fun, with the occassional interesting or dramatic moment, but overall is a giant let-down. Hell, even the pimp-tastic car wasn't as cool as Denzel's in Training Day...



2 stars

Not an awful movie, but I wouldn't exactly recommend it either. It has its moments, but just not enough of them to keep you entertained throughout. There is a nice reversal in the style of storytelling part way through, and some of the scenes unfold nicely, but that's about all I can say for it. It is a fairly clever movie in some ways, but doesn't live up to many of its competitors in the same genre. Maybe pick this one up if you see it in a bargain bin or something, but don't spend £5 on it like I did (I got "Hard Boiled" and "The Killer" for less than that combined!). Definitely stick with the original Street Kings if you're going to watch one of them.


Monday, 16 January 2012

Why the Ending of "The One" is Actually Depressing...

Last Night, I watched the Jet Li film "The One" for the first time in over 4 years. Of course, the last time I watched it wasn't the first, and as a teenager this had been one of my favourite action films. Sure it was made by the guys who effectively killed Millennium in Season 2, and the story isn't all that impressive, but it is still an enjoyable sci-fi action romp, and introduced me to both Jet Li and Jason Statham. There is one thing I had never noticed before, however, which really bothered me on this recent watch: well, 2 things, actually. The first is that Jason Statham had to look at Gabe's wedding band to know which of the pair he was when he had just seen him throw off his flaming shirt, while Yulaw still had his tied around his waist. But the most disturbing thing by far was the supposedly happy ending:

You see, at the end, Gabe has lost his wife, and is wanted for her murder, as well as the murders of several police officers. If he returns to his own world, he will be put in prison for the rest of his life which, given he was a cop, probably won't be a very long one. Funsch decides that he owes Gabe more than this, so breaks procedure to send him to a different world: one in which there is clean energy, and his wife is still alive. Whilst on the face of it this seems like a fairly happy ending for Gabe, all things considered, when you really think about it, this ending is pretty horrifying.

Ok, horrifying is a relative term...

For starters: As we are informed earlier in the film, things are completely different in each universe. As Funsch explains to Gabe: "In this Universe, you exist. In another you don't exist. In another, you're married to the same woman. In another, you're married to a different woman. In another, you're married to a man." - literally everything could be different. Gabe appears to have been dropped into a nicer version of his own Universe, about 3 years prior to the point his world has reached, because he has been dropped at the exact place and time he initially met his wife. His dog gets its paw run over by a car, and Gabe takes him into the vets, where T.K. (or, her alternate universe equivalent) is working, and Gabe realizes that this is how they met in the first place, and they can fall in love all over again.

But here's the problem: for starters, we don't know what's different in this Universe. She could be a Lesbian, or already have a boyfriend or husband. Hell, she may just straight up dislike the idea of dating a Chinese dude. Her personality will be completely different. And that's important - because even if she is a very similar person to T.K., and she and Gabe do end up getting together, it's going to be impossible for that relationship to last when he already has an idea of what his wife is like in his head before, as far as she's concerned, he ever meets her. I've never watched 500 Days of Summer, but I've been informed that it revolves around a guy who starts dating a girl named Summer, and falls in love with the idea of who she could turn out to be, as created in his head. When she doesn't live up to these fantasies, the relationship inevitably breaks down, because it's not really her that he's in love with, but some fictional concept of who she could have been. The same thing applies here: No matter how similar the woman in this universe may be to Gabe's wife, she is not Gabe's wife, and this will inevitably lead to their relationship, if they ever form one, falling apart. Not to mention the fact that even if they are completely identical to one another (something Yulaw's list of kills at the start tells us she won't be), she's gonna find it pretty creepy how fast he wants to go with her, and how much he knows about her in so little time, and might just break it off due to pressure. But even if, somehow, their relationship does hold under all these problems: There's still the fact that Gabe watches his wife being murdered in front of him only an hour before meeting this woman, and hasn't had time to get over it - which will fuck him up.

No matter how much of his anger he vents on innocent lamp posts...

I've never really lost anyone, so I'm pretty well just going off the opening episodes of House season 5 here, but as far as I can tell it is extremely painful, and just thinking about it should be enough to cause Gabe to collapse to the floor crying and not be heard from for days. Now, imagine that, but with a constant reminder in your face every single day of exactly what your wife looked like, and exactly the kind of life you could have led together had she not been murdered, and Gabe is almost a dead cert for suicide. Hell, he even says earlier in the film that he doesn't care if he dies now that she is gone - is it really a good idea to give him a reminder of her just when he seems like he might be able to cope?

House tells me the only way he will be able to cope is by taking a road trip with his best friend to a funeral, and throwing a bottle through a stained-glass window...

Even if he doesn't kill himself (I assume Yulaw has to kill him to become The One, otherwise it would have happened by coincidence before now, so he won't refrain from doing it just to protect the multiverse), Gabe is still going to be a mess around this new version of T.K. for several months at least, if he ever recovers - and it's not as if he'll ever be able to talk about what happened, except in the very broadest sense: "I was married to a woman who was murdered by a man who wanted me dead" "why did he want you dead?" "uh... because I was a cop?" - Gabe is going to be one seriously fucked up guy who no amount of counselling will help, and who is gonna need to knock back 40mg of Valium to sleep at night.

Too soon?

But wait - perhaps becoming stronger has made him more tolerant to poisons? It would certainly make sense, given that it is possible to build tolerances to Benzoes, Opiates and other drugs - so perhaps Gabe will need enough tranquilizer to kill an Elephant just to sleep at night - and how the fuck is he gonna get that prescribed? He's not, which means either he has to man up and get over his wife's death (which he won't, being constantly reminded of her), or he's going to have to go out and score ridiculous amounts of drugs illegally. Either way, he's fucked.

And we all know Jet Li's track record with Junkies...

And then we get onto the question of whether he has existed before in that Universe or not. As we know, there is a possibilty there was another Gabe in that Universe before him, and whilst there is no chance of him running into the alternate version of himself, since we know he and Yulaw are the only 2 left, there is always the chance of this alternate Gabe's history catching up with Gabe.

Where's that Chinese Manservant of mine gone? It's shower time!

Think about it: at the start, we see another alternate Jet Li, Lawless, being transferred from prison to a courthouse cell, because he is going to give testimony against some mobsters. Imagine if something along these lines had gone on in this universe. Maybe the alternate Gabe had been in protective custody when Yulaw killed him. Now, what's to stop someone from seeing Gabe and recognizing him as the alternate Gabe, and killing him for this, just as Tony Soprano did to that guy he saw whilst driving his daughter around colleges in the first season?

Being Choked to death with electrical wire isn't normal.
But when Snitching it is...

And even if the alternate Gabe wasn't a criminal, Gabe had better hope that no-one has heard of him. If he lived in the same area, or was an at all known figure, then Gabe's fucked. But you know what? That doesn't really matter - because Gabe is fucked anyway. And you know why?

No, I mean seriously.

He is a Chinese man with no form of identification, no home, and no money, who has been dropped into a town centre in the United States. Even in the most Liberal interpretation of the modern world possible (which one presumes this apparent Utopia is, given everyone drives an electric powered car and there's no smog in Hollywood), that's not going to end well. Gabe is essentially (scratch that: is) an illegal immigrant. He has no family, nobody knows him - he is going to have to fend for himself. He was a cop his whole life, but with no history, he cannot possibly become a police officer in this Universe. So what can he do? Well, he can either hope that this alternate Universe is more socialist and that T.K.'s job will be enough to support them both comfortably, and that he can get her to marry him without her finding him too creepy or him wanting to commit suicide because of his wife's murder, or he can live like an illegal immigrant in modern America: working a shitty job for fuck all money and being constantly abused because he essentially has no rights. Hell, one of the best case scenarios would play out with him becoming a delivery boy for a Chinese restaurant, and even then there's a chance someone mistaking him for a Jap might pull him off his bike and slash his throat before he has a chance to defend himself. You know, that or he would be bored shitless and resent his new life, causing his new wife to grow tired of him and leave him. To be honest, it looks as though there is really only one solution for Gabe at this point:

That's right - join the triads. Think about it: he's super smart, extremely capable, and ridiculously strong. He managed to beat down the most powerful man in the Universe: in any Universe. When I was a kid, they told us we could either be cops, or criminals. What I'm saying to you is: when you're an illegal immigrant who's gonna get deported if he tries to become a cop, which option are you going to take?

3rd choice...

But ok, Gabe's too moral to become a triad, even if he knows there's a chance the police will turn him and he can work for them after all. He's not going to become a Mercenary either, so what does that leave us with? There's really only one option left if he wants to earn a decent living doing something he's good at:

That's right - he has to become a cage fighter, working in seedy underground clubs, beating the shit out of anyone who faces him until one day some guy who lost big time betting against him blows him away with a Mac 10 as he walks out the back of a nightclub. His life cut tragically short.

Mel Gibson finds the idea of a Chinaman dying hilarious, whereas Danny Glover is screaming because Gibson is crushing his hand for "being too black".

Or, you know, he could become a professional sportsman or actor or some shit. But then, that wouldn't fit in with the point I'm trying to make here. And that point is, even if things seem rosy, and Gabe's new home looks like paradise, chances are things are still pretty fucked, and he'll no doubt spend the rest of his life wishing he had killed Yulaw, on the assumption that he would either rather be dead than keep on keeping on, or there was a possibility he could have become Doctor Manhattan when he was the last one left alive (I mean, his wife was Silk Spectre, afterall).

Oh, you thought I was kidding?

In fact, the only person for whom this ending is happy is - you guessed it - Yulaw.


Don't worry - Chinese New Year will be over soon enough, then I can get back to discussing topics which have nothing to do with the Chinese...