Not To Be Trusted With Knives

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A review of that movie that everyone is talking about

    Krampus poster.jpg“Krampus poster” by Source. Licensed under Fair use via Wikipedia.

Last night, Kalev and I went to see the documentary about the blicans and her family are Repu experience of German ex-pats living in America – Krampus.

Warning: SPOILERS

I give this movie a decidedly mixed review. There was some very well done sections of the movie, but then other parts were kind of lame. And they couldn’t decide if they wanted to do a happy ending or a dark ending, so they tried to do both and succeeded at neither.

The storyline is basically that a little kid is disillusioned with Christmas because his aunt and her family are Republicans. So he rips up his sweet letter to Santa, which causes Krampus – the evil shadow of St. Nicholas – to murder everyone in his subdivision. (A real case of the punishment not fitting the crime). The movie was actually pretty good as long as you were only getting glimpses of Krampus and his evil minions, but once they started to actually show you the bad guys – creepy jack-in-the-boxes, Christmas tree angels, teddy bears, and such, it was just lame. Somewhat surprisingly, the only bad guy characters that didn’t come across as lame were the manical little gingerbread men, which seems like should be the cheesiest of all, but ithey weren’t.

Another part that was annoying was that the German grandmother, Omi, who only spoke German through most of the movie, reveals she speaks perfect English when the time comes that she needs to tell the back story of how Krampus took all of her family and threw them into the pits of hell when she was a child because she lost the Christmas spirit and wished that all her family would go away – leaving only her behind knowing that it was all her fault. So not only does Krampus dole out punishments far exceeding the severity of the infraction, but he also holds a grudge for a really long time, coming after her grandson. (Also, maybe Omi could have told her grandson that ripping up letters to Santa would unleash the hounds of hell upon everyone in a 10 mile radius?) After telling the story, Omi goes back to only speaking German again for the rest of the movie, even though only her son and grandson can understand her and everyone knows she speaks perfect English. It basically just felt like the filmmakers didn’t want to bother subtitling that 5 minute segment.

As I mentioned, the ending wasn’t fantastic either. There was a point at which everyone but the little boy was captured and presumed dead and Krampus gives him a Christmas tree ornament that says “Krampus”, just like the one he gave Omi when she was a little girl and her entire family had been slaughtered. If they had just faded to black there, I’d have been happy. But instead, the boy picks up the ornament and chased down Krampus, who is about to throw the boy’s cousin into the firey depths of the underworld when the boy makes an impassioned plea, says he takes back his bad wish, and starts crying. And then Krampus wipes his tear with a big claw, laughs at him  and throws the cousin into hell. And then throws the boy into hell too. And then he wakes up and everyone is alive and already down by the Christmas tree waiting for him to wake up. And, inexplicably, everyone is no longer being a bunch of assholes to each other and though the Republicans are still being their unclassy selves, they aren’t mean like they were and the little boy is happy and I’m thinking “omg, did they really just do the “it was all a dream” ending, which is the most pathetic excuse for an ending for any story ever?” But then he opens a present and it’s the ornament that says “Krampus” and then you hear a bunch of flashbacks from earlier in the movie where everyone is kind of a jerk and everyone gets a funny look on their face and that’s the end of the movie. So now I take back my claim that “it was all a dream” is the lamest ending a story can have…. Because “It was all a dream…. Or was it???” Is the lamest needing in the history of endings.

Anyhoo, I’m realizing that I’m bitching a lot about his movie hear, but I actually enjoyed more of it than I disliked. I’d say it was probably enjoyable for 65-70% of the time, and especially considering that Kalev had free tickets AND a free popcorn AND two free drinks and I was able to get vanilla Diet Coke, I was overall happy with the movie watching experience.

Tonight I’m going to see another movie – something about an interstellar armed conflict. I haven’t really heard much about it – hopefully it’s good!

 

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Turbo – Movie Review

Beware: There will be spoilers!

One of the things I’ve been doing while on vacation at my sister’s place is catching up on movies that I haven’t watched because I’ve been dedicating all my time to school in the last two years1. One such movie was Turbo, about a snail who loves car racing and dreams of being the fastest snail. And I know you’ll find this hard to believe, but through an accident with some nitrous oxide, he becomes fast enough to race in the Indy 500! What are the odds of that happening to a snail who loves car racing? I’m pretty sure there were no snails harmed in the making of this movie.

It didn’t do that well at the box office, but I thought it was adorable! My favourite line was when Turbo’s older brother, who is always worried that Turbo will get hurt, asks him, “What would you do if tomorrow you woke up and your powers were gone?” and then Turbo replies, “Well, I better make the most of today.” Words to live by, little snail. Words to live by.

  1. My nephew’s most frequent requests are “the baby eyeball monster movie” (i.e., Monsters University) and “the snail movie” (i.e., Turbo). Today I asked him, “Hey Thomas, can we watch “Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs”? and he replied, “Can we eat it?” []

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Movie Review: Final Destination 5

Warning: there will be spoilers.

Yesterday a group of us went to see Final Destination 5, a documentary about bridge safety. In preparation, Kalev and I watched Final Destination 1 on Monday night. Because, you know, I was sure I wouldn’t be able to follow the plot without having seen number 1.

There was much excitement in Vancouver over this movie because it was filmed here and the trailer prominently featured the Lions Gate Bridge collapsing. As it turned out, most of the people who worked on this movie appeared to be in the theater watching it with us last night. Before the movie started, we noticed several people wearing Final Destination 5 t-shirts. And after the big bridge collapse scene, the audience erupted into applause. Also, everyone in the theater stayed at the end of the movie to watch the credits to see their own names at which point they cheered loudly. Not that I’m criticizing – I’d totally do that if I ever made a movie.

As for the movie itself, it’s everything that one could ask for in a fifth sequel of a cheesy horror movie franchise. People die in grotesque and ridiculous ways that defy all laws of reason and physics; laser eye surgery is performed by a surgeon who doesn’t look at the patient’s chart before the surgery starts (necessitating the surgeon to leave the room with the laser on and the patient strapped down onto the surgical table) on a patient who just walked in the door and said, “I want surgery!”1; and has a pretty fun twist at the end. All in all, a good evening. And I’m sure glad I had my laser eye surgeries before I ever saw this movie!

  1. They tried to cover their bases on this one by having the surgeon say “It’s been a while since your initial consultation,” but even if you’d been in for consultation, there is no way in hell could walk in and gets surgery done the same day, with no one there to give you a ride home afterwards, etc. []

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Movie Review: Crank High Voltage

crank 2 by you.On Thursday night, Kalev and I went to a sneak preview of the new documentary about heart transplantation: Crank High Voltage.  Note that this posting will contain spoilers, which I feel morally obliged to tell you because I know that you are all dying to see Crank for its intricate plot.

The premise of this movie is completely and totally reasonable – a man (Chev Chelios1)  who survives being thrown out of a helicopter has his heart removed by an evil Chinese gang and, after having a battery-powered artificial heart put into his chest to keep him alive long enough to harvest his other organs (because clearly you wouldn’t want to just take out all his organs at one time), escapes and, while trying to find the man who has his heart so that his friend, who just happens to be a former heart transplant surgeon, can put it back into him (Chelios), at the same time as trying to avoid an evil Hispanic gang that is trying to capture him in order to kill him in front of the disembodied head of a man he had all but killed (if his brother (the head’s brother, not Chelios’ brother) hadn’t had so much money that he (the brother) could afford the technology required to keep said disembodied head alive in a tank of water, damages the external battery pack that powers said artificial heart and so must continually electrify himself (Chelios, not the head or the brother) through mechanisms that range from friction to tasers to touching extreme high voltage cables in order to keep the internal battery of the artificial heart charged.

This movie takes on such hard hitting issues as porn star labour disputes, the debilitating nature of “full body Tourettes” and the many ways that one person can injury another person’s genitalia.  Kalev was particularly impressed by the sensitive and accurate portray of homosexuals, not to mention women and minority groups.

All in all, this movie is exactly what you should expect if you choose to go to a movie about a man who has to continually find ways to electrocute himself.

1Who I’m pretty sure is the brother of Chris Chelios.

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Movie Review: The Unborn

Kalev won free tickets1 to a sneak preview of The Unborn tonight and he took lil’ ole’ me.

Kalev’s review of the movie:

“The best horror movie I’ve seen this year!”

-Kalev, Jan 8, 2009

1Then I won free tickets and then he won more free tickets. So, clearly we were destined to see this movie.