Wednesday, May 30, 2018

What's in the Box?

Se7en
Director: David Fincher
Cast: Morgan Freeman, Brad Pitt, Gwyneth Paltrow, Kevin Spacey
Released: September 22, 1995

Oscar nominations:
Best Film Editing (lost to Apollo 13)


We're going to begin this with a little poetry reading! I wrote this when I was in college when I took a poetry class. I should preface this by saying while I love reading and writing, I hate poetry. I hate reading it and I hate writing it! However, just for kicks I did keep some of my (terrible) poems I wrote for that class and this one is specific to the movie I'm reviewing.

Sins

The lustful are the ones with sexual desire,
Fetishes, pleasures of the body,
Giving in to their every urge.

The gluttons are the ones tempted by food,
Filling their flabby tummies with sugar and lard,
Indulging in fried chicken grease.

The slothful are the ones who are lazy.
Slumbering, avoiding work,
Sluggish, careful not to exert themselves.

The greedy are the ones selfish with money.
Steal from the rich, take from the poor,
Refusing to give to charities, it’s all theirs.

The wrathful are the ones who are angry:
At others, at themselves, at God.
Full of rage, unhappy at the world.

The envious are the ones who are jealous,
Always craving what they can’t have,
Longing for other’s abilities.

The prideful are the ones full of haughty behavior,
Boastful in their achievements,
Overtaken by arrogance and vanity.


That's actually one of my better poems, so be thankful for that! I can't remember if we were supposed to write a poem about the Seven Deadly Sins or if I just chose it randomly. I copied and pasted that from my LiveJournal, so that's why it looks so weird.

Seven (I'm not writing Se7en throughout this!) is similar to an arc you would see on a show like CSI or Bones (in fact, I wouldn't be surprised if they did have an arc like this on CSI) but just with bigger names, more cursing, and a little more (but not that much more) gruesome deaths. I had never seen this movie before, but I was well aware of the big spoiler at the end. (Don't worry, I will post a spoiler warning before I discuss it in case there are people aren't there who don't know about it).

Detective Somerset (Morgan Freeman) and Detective Mills (Brad Pitt) are investigating a series of murders that they soon realize are motivated by the Seven Deadly Sins. The first murder they come across in this series is an obese man who was forced to scarf down food until his stomach exploded. This is literally something you would see on an episode of CSI; in fact, I'm sure they did a storyline about this (the show was on for, like, twelve years and they had about four spin-offs, they've done an episode about everything you can think of!) They don't get the Seven Deadly Sins connection until the second murder which has taken the life of a defense attorney and "Greed" is written in blood in his office. When they go back to the scene of the crime of the first murdered man, they move the refrigerator and see that "Gluttony" is written in grease underneath it. (Now why would the murdered hide that? I guess he was playing mind games with them). Throughout the series of murders, the killer will write down the sin in case they don't know which one it is.

The most gruesome death was the man depicting sloth. He was chained to a bed and literally rotting away. Actually, he wasn't even dead even though everyone thought he was. I'm not even sure how he was still alive. Even though his death (he did eventually die later because there's no way he would be able to live and had swallowed his own tongue so he would't have been able to talk anyway) was the worst (well, there actually might be a death that was worse than this now that I think about it!), it was hard to feel bad for this man because he was either a child molester or a rapist or maybe both, I don't remember. Either way, whatever, he can die a horrible death.

Somerset does some research at the library, checking out Dante's The Divine Comedy and Chaucer's The Cantebury Tales among material to read up on The Seven Deadly Sins. Hey! I wonder if there's a BuzzFeed quiz out there asking Which Seven Deadly Sin are you? I'm going to check! Guess what? There's a lot of "Which Deadly Sin Are You/Which Deadly Sin Do You Represent? quizzes out there. I took the first one and my result is....drumroll please....ENVY! Oooh! Eh, sounds about right! Here's the link if you want to take the quiz: MagiQuiz

Okay, wtf? I just took the BuzzFeed quiz, Which Deadly Sin Are You? and I got Wrath! Huh? I get the Envy one, but how did I get Wrath? I just answered the question honestly! Let me give you a few examples:
- They asked me which social media site I was last one and I chose Twitter. How does that make me Wrath?
-They asked me what was my choice of drink and gave me a bunch of alcoholic beverages and water and I chose water because I really hardly ever drink unless I'm in a social setting. How does that make me Wrath?
-They asked me to choose a dog and had a bunch of different breeds and you could also choose cat and I chose cat because I have a cat! How does that make me Wrath?
There is literally no answer on that quiz that should have made me Wrath. I mean, I CAN get angry pretty easily, but I blame it on my red hair. We are quick to anger and have a fiery temper sometimes! But none of those questions really gave any evidence to that. In fact, judging from that quiz, I have no idea which Seven Deadly Sin I would be. At least the Magiquiz had questions and answers that made more sense to which of the Seven Deadly Sins one would be. Here's a link to the BuzzFeed quiz so you can how ridiculous it it: BuzzFeed Quiz

OMG! I just took another quiz and this time I got Greed! What is going on here? I am answering these questions honestly, but yet I have gotten three different sins from three different quizzes! And some of these questions even overlap!  Am I Envy, Wrath, and Greed rolled into one? I mean, at least I'm not...uh, what's the worst one? Pride? No, probably Wrath and Greed are the worst! But I thought Greed was good! I'm surprised I didn't get Sloth because I can be pretty lazy at times! Or maybe unmotivated is the better word. Why do you think it's been awhile since I last updated this blog? I bet if I took another one of these quizzes, I would get Soth! But I'm not taking anymore! Anyway, here's that quiz if you want to take all three quizzes and see if you got three different results just like I did! Playbuzz Quiz

Okay, back to the review. Remember how I said the Sloth guy got the worst death? No, I think it was the prostitute killed by Lust. Killed by Lust, how can that be so bad, you ask? Uh...it's bad if it involves a strap-on that's a blade. Yeah. :::cringes:::: Oh, no. That's so....eugh. I'm glad we didn't see a close up of her. The guy who did it to her said the killer had a gun to his head and made him do it. The fifth murder is a model who represents Pride and she was given the option to be call for help, but have her face mutilated or to overdose on pills and kill herself.

I should mention while this is going on, we meet Mill's wife, Tracy (Gwyneth Paltrow) and she confides in Somerset that the's pregnant. (She tells him because she doesn't have anyone else to talk to because she and Mills just moved to New York). Why she can't tell her own husband she's unhappy living in the city and doesn't want to raise a child there, I don't know. Or maybe they do tell us and I just forgot.

They do manage to find their John Doe (Kevin Spacey, whose name isn't in the credits until the end) but rather he comes to them. He has just cut off all fingerprints so there is blood everywhere. Not to mention he's committed another murder. Now if you're keeping score at home, we still have two more murders to get though: Envy and Wrath (the ones I represent, apparently!) Now, knowing what was to come, I already knew what would by the Envy death, but I wasn't sure about Wrath. I mean, aren't all deaths Wrath if you think about it? Unless he kills another serial killer. I wasn't sure where the Wrath murder would fit into all of this. Doe tells the two detectives that he'll lead them to the last two victims and will confess to the murders. He has very specific terms on how he will do this and if they don't oblige by his rules, he will plead insanity. Even though Somerset and Mills are wary of this, they agree to do it, which seems a little ridiuclous they are letting a serial killer get his way, but whatever. He directs them to drive to some abandoned house in the middle of nowhere where presumably the last two victims are. While driving there, Mills (who totally represents Wrath as he is super quick to anger) gets into it with John Doe who's just goading him. Um, stop talking to him, Mills! Don't you see he wants to get under your skin?

Okay, this is probably the best time to stop reading if you don't want to be spoiled because I will be going into spoiler territory now. SPOILERS AHOY! STOP READING NOW IF YOU DON'T WANT TO BE SPOILED! BECAUSE A HUGE SPOILER IS COMING UP! I HAVE WARNED YOU!!!!!

Okay. I feel like 99% of people are already aware of what I'm talking about, even if you have never seen this movie, but you can never be too sure. When they get to the abandoned house, they see a truck coming their way. Thinking its motives are malicious, Mills keeps his gun pointed on John Doe while Somerset keeps his eye on the truck and makes the driver get out with his hands up. The driver is a deliveryman who was told to deliver a box to this location at seven o'clock (and just a few moments earlier, John Doe had asked Somerset what time it was). Now if I wasn't already spoiled and knew what was in the box, I would have thought it was a bomb. I mean, this was during the time of the Unibomber. I'm surprised Somerset opened the box willy-nilly without consulting a bomb squad. He notices there's blood on one of the flaps and when he looks inside, he jumps back in shock. Now I'm sure if I had no idea what was in the box, the next scene would have much more of an effect on me and I would have had a "Holy Sh!t!" reaction. Mills still has his gun on John Doe and is asking, "What's in the box? What's in the box" which of course is one of those iconic movie lines. John Doe is very calm in telling him that he was envious of him and paid his wife a visit and that he took a souvenir with him and that her "pretty little head" is in the box. I was sure we were going to see a gruesome prosthetic Gwynnie-the-Pooh head, but luckily we don't. I don't think even Mills looks in the box, which is probably for the best. No reason to upset him even more especially after learning that Tracy was pregnant.

The Wrath killing all makes sense when John Doe turns the tables on Mills and wants Mills to kill him and represent Wrath. By this time, Somerset is running to him, telling him not to do it, that this is what the murderer wants, but Mills, having nothing to lose (and would totally get Wrath if he took those quizzes if they existed back in 1995), kills his wife's murderer. Can you blame the guy?

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Blade Runners

The Cutting Edge
Director: Paul Michael Glaser
Cast: Moria Kelly, D.B. Sweeney, Terry O'Quinn, Roy Dotrice
Released: March 27, 1992


This is a movie I've only seen once before and that was a long time ago, so I really didn't remember anything about it. Well, I did remember that it's about a figure skater who gets paired with a hockey player and they hate each other at first, then fall in love. So, basically, I remembered everything! I just didn't remember, you know, the little details. 

When the movie starts it is 1988 and we see Kate Moseley (Moira Kelly), a figure skater at the Calgary Olympics with her partner. Her partner drops her and any chance of a medal is gone. Meanwhile, Doug Dorsey (D.B. Sweeney) is on the Olympic hockey team and takes a bashing to the head during a game resulting in an injury where he loses eighteen degrees of his peripheral vision and therefore will never be able to play hockey professionally again. Tough break. 

However, Kate needs a new partner and her coach, Anton Pamchenko (Roy Dotrice) seeks out Doug because he is impressed with his skating. Are you kidding me? Just the fact that a hockey player becomes a pairs figure skater is the most ridiculous thing. Just because he can skate, doesn't mean he can learn all the twists and turns and ariel moves that are required of a professional skater. Even the skates are different as we will learn later in the movie (there's a toe pick on figure skates). Being a hockey player and being a figure skater are two totally different things. Even Kristi Yamaguchi said it was very unrealistic.

This all happens two years later, but they had actually met once before at the '88 Winter Olympics. They literally run into each other when Kate was coming off from the ice and Doug had woken up late on the day he was supposed to play at the Olympics. What kind of idiot is late to the Olympics? 

You know how AFI has a list of the 50 greatest villains? Well, Kate Moseley is missing from that list because she is the absolute worst. Okay, maybe I'm being hyperbolic, but I don't find any redeeming qualities in her, even at the end when we're supposed to be rooting for her and Doug to end up together.  She's just a spoiled rich girl who bitches and whines about everything and everyone. The reason she can never keep a skating partner is because nobody can stand her snooty ass! (Why she just doesn't skate as a single, I don't understand). She lives in a huge house (complete with her own ice skating rink) with her father, Jack (Terry O'Quinn). This was when he still had hair. You could almost say that this is a prequel to Lost and he just changed his name to John Locke and was thanking God when that plane went down so he would never have to see his terrible spoiler daughter ever again. Although, in the film he always seems to be on his daughter's side, I suppose he feels bad for her because her mother died when she was younger. Still can't stand her, though. I guess she has to keep the moniker of Ice Queen and she does it very well. 

Not surprisingly, Kate and Doug hate each other within the first few minutes of their introduction. I can't really blame Doug for disliking her because she's a complete bitch to him. Their first practice together is terrible, and, of course it is, because he is a hockey player, NOT a figure skater! The fact that he does learn to be a good enough figure skater to compete in the '92 Winter Olympics two years later is just sheer ridiculousness. Pamchenko has Doug pick up Kate and when she orders him to put her down, he just drops her and she lands on her butt really hard on the ice. It looked painful. Totallly uncalled for, but can you blame him? He does get plenty of cheap shots in at her which only makes her more angry and more bitchy. These two really do deserve each other. 

There's another scene where they're practicing and the song playing is the most early '90s music you can imagine. I didn't even know the song, but I'm sure it was popular in 1992. Doing some quick research, I found out it's called "Street of Dreams" by Nia Peeples. You know this song was jammin' on the radio in '92. It's totally awful, but also kinda catchy. If you heard it (and you can if you look it up on Spotify!) it will totally take you to the era of the early '90s. You know what I'm talking about if you're familiar with that era. Doug keeps falling (again, because he's NOT a figure skater) and Kate keeps saying, "Toe pick!" because figure skates have toe picks that help them on the ice while hockey skates do not. Because, once again, the two sports are totally different even if both are on the ice! 

There's a scene where Doug and Kate play a game of one-on-one hockey. Kate gets pissed because Doug keeps making all the goals. Insert major eye roll here. Good Lord, girl, are you serious? He's a professional hockey player for crying out loud! That's his job to be good at hockey! And she's getting angry because he's making all the goals and she can't get one? Doug is nowhere near as talented a figure skater as she is (because, DUH!), but he doesn't complain about it! I hate this bitch so much! She also tells Doug she has a boyfriend named Hale who went to Harvard and works at her father's office in London. I totally thought she was making him up, because, really, what person would want to be romantically involved with such a horrid person? But, nope, he really does exist and we see him when he comes to visit for Christmas. At a New Year's Party, Doug is clearly jealous of Hale and we see Kate look jealous when women are throwing themselves at Doug. Hmmmmm....makes you wonder if those two crazy kids actually like each other. When they do the countdown to the New Year, people not only kiss their dates, but pretty much just start kissing everybody around them. You know how you go to church and they do that thing where you greet people with a handshake? That was totally what this was, but only with kissing. Just kiss everyone in your vicinity. Thanks, but no thanks. I would not want to swap spit with so many different people. That is disgusting. You KNOW someone (more than one someone!) got sick a few days later, you KNOW IT! There is a funny moment where an older woman kisses a stunned Doug and looks like she's having the time of your life. So, uh, you get it, older lady! Then we get a moment where Doug and Kate come across each other in the kissing frenzy and we are held with a moment of suspense as they stare into each other's eyes...and are they gonna kiss? And the answer is...no! At least not yet! We still gotta hold on to that sexual tension for at least a few more scenes. Well, she does give him a peck on the cheek.

Kate and Doug have made it to the 1992 Figure Skating Championships in Chicago. So I looked this up, and uh, it was actually held in Orlando that year. Fail, movie, fail. Before their performance the first night, Doug is really nervous and throws up behind a curtain (lovely). I'm thinking, Okay, it makes sense that he's nervous since this his first time doing his routine in front of a live audience, but then he tells Kate that before hockey games he had two helmets: one to wear and one to puke in! WTF? He got nervous before hockey games too? But why if he's this so-called great hockey player? He tells an irritated Kate that he usually relaxes after ten minutes and Kate snaps back, telling him their program is only two and a half minutes. They do well enough to get in third place.

During their long program the second night, they skate well again, but their scores are not high enough to secure them a place at the Olympics. However, another team messes up and Doug and Kate are back in. They go out to celebrate and Kate, who's not a drinker, has, like, twenty shots. It almost made me throw up. She becomes totally smashed and wants to sleep with Doug. He could have easily taken advantage of her, but takes the noble route and turns her down. Or maybe he didn't find her attractive as a drunk because she was super annoying and kept laughing every five seconds. Can you tell I really hate Kate? Oh, I forgot to mention that Kate and Hale were engaged for a hot second, but got unengaged off screen. Hale, you don't know how lucky you are. Kate gets mad and screams at Doug to leave.

Doug does like Kate, but doesn't do himself any favors when he ends up sleeping with (now bear with me, please) Kate's old partner's new partner. Of course Kate finds out and of course she's pissed, which I can't blame her.

Doug and Kate have five weeks before the Winter Olympics in Albertville and Pamchenko tells them a Russian couple has won the European Championships and are the favorites to win the gold. They're Russian, of course they're the favorites! He has a solution for them to beat them. He has created his own totally absurd move that is dubbed the Pamchenko twist. It's described as a bounce twist into a throw twist and then Doug catches her. Kate tells him they can't do it because it's illegal and she's totally right. There's no way this move would ever be allowed in competition because it could KILL the female skater if it went wrong and this movie could EASILY go wrong. The move has Doug holding Kate by the ankles and spinning her around. He has to make sure he keeps her at a certain height because if her head hits the ice at that speed she is looking at a serious brain injury or worse. The bounce spin is (not surprisingly) illegal in competition because of how dangerous it is, but is performed in exhibitions because I guess people love seeing near death experiences? If I were a pairs figure skater, you could not pay me enough money to do that even if I trusted my partner. Hell. No! As you can see in the gif beflow, Doug throws her in the air where she does a twist spin and then he catches her. 

Nothing could go wrong with this move!
Doug says she probably wouldn't be able to do the move and Kate screams at him, "NOBODY CAN TELL ME WHAT I CAN OR CANNOT DO!" so we see a montage of them working on the difficult move. However, the day before the long program where they're going to put in that move, Kate has decided that the dangerous move is out, and I can't blame her as she's the one risking her life by doing it. The first night with the short program, they are bickering about a button on Doug's costume just seconds before going on and are angry with each other as they skate. The commentators can tell they they seem very cold to each other and don't look like they're having fun. The next night at their long program, right before they're about to skate, Doug chooses this time to profess his love for Kate. :::MAJOREYEROLL:::: Everyone's trying to usher them on the ice, but he keeps snapping, "Will you wait a minute?" Uh, this is the Olympics! They don't have a minute! Kate starts crying and says they are putting in the Pamchenko. The way they cut it where they go from the bounce twist to the throw twist is obviously edited together because IT'S PHYSICALLY IMPOSSIBLE TO DO THAT! Everyone cheers and the movie ends. Wait, did they win the gold medal? I'll tell you what happened: they were disqualified from winning any medal or even placing at all because they did an illegal move! 

Throughout the movie we see an empty glass box where Kate's gold medal will go when she wins one. You think we would see a shot of that at the end since they keep shoving it in our face, but nope. We just assumed they won the gold medal since doing that move would ensure them of that. This is one of the most unrealistic movies about the Olympics, probably even about figure skating.