Sunday, December 30, 2012

Typical Ringelfinch behavior.

Did you read the story about that college student uncovering the dark side of humanity? No, it wasn't what college guys do to their unconscious roommates, but instead an experiment using, of all things, rubber turtles. See, this kid, Nathan Weaver, was studying the declining population of box turtles in South Carolina. He placed a realistic-looking rubber turtle in the road and tracked how many people deliberately swerved to crush the poor thing. About 3% of drivers destroyed the turtle, and a few tried and missed (dumb bastards on multiple fronts, clearly). I think it's very sad to imagine a cute, little-bitty thing, trudging along, only to have some a-hole go out of his way to kill it. But what if it wasn't cute? What if it was a gigantic, menacing beast? Then what? Well, in that case...

Troll Hunter, released in 2010, tells the story of a trio of college kids also investigating the senseless slaughter of animals. In this case however, replace South Carolinian turtles with Norwegian bears (sounds like the matchup from Super Bowl CCXXVI) as the crux of the story. Seems numerous bears have been found dead and these three, armed with their HD camera, go all Scooby-Doo and decide to get some answers. But being that this found footage was compiled under less than ideal circumstances, it appears that not everything is coming up Milhouse in the Land of the Midnight Sun.

A few minutes in, we discover that the dead bears are part of an elaborate cover for the larger problem of, you guessed it, trolls. Seems these giant f--kers have been wreaking havoc throughout Norway for years, and our college kids track down the man responsible for hunting them. But, awesome Blogger Guy, trolls aren't real. Well, no shit. But, outside of some spotty special effects (but certainly good enough, all things considered), there's enough of a silly story to make you think otherwise. The lore is presented with steadfast appreciation, for sure. And, this isn't one of those flicks where they bitch out and make you think you saw a troll. These goofy bastards get ample screen time. I might even go as far as saying too much, even. But then, I remember that trolls are obviously, like boobs. You can never see enough of them. Oh, and the bigger the better, clearly. Though not too big, because that just looks fake and unnatural.
Anyway, desperate rantings aside, Troll Hunter is worth a watch. Even if, ultimately, it's just another found footage flick, at least this one is creative and tries something different. Trolls don't get a lot of cinematic love, outside of epic Peter Jackson flicks - so bonus points must be awarded. And, it's full of Norwegians, which according to my friend Flem, means its pretty frickin' legit. And that dude taught in Norway. So clearly, he's more than familiar with large, hairy beasts.

On that note, let's grind the bones of the Yays and Boos and make some delicious bread. Or, I guess we could just defrost the loaf in the freezer. Either way.

Full disclosure: I watched this scene five times in a row.
  • Though the buildup was nice, the initial troll spotting was awesome. TROLL!
  • Oh, man. The sounds trolls make? Incredible. On the list with unsheathing light saber and Autobot transforming.
  • On screen white balancing? Wow. Almost makes me appreciate paying my student loans every month.
  • It'll never work out, but I can't wait to drop the line Anyone need some gravel? That's gonna be so sweet.
  • The bridge scene! Though I felt bad for the sheep, this scene is friggin' classic. First, the human blood looked like sweet and sour sauce from China Wall down the road. Second, the troll punches the shit out of Hans. And third, Hans gets up and shakes it off, slightly dazed, in a dramatic testament to the Norwegian work ethic.
  • Speaking of the Troll Hunter, I swear this guy is actually a public school teacher. Oh, you doubt? Here are his chief complaints about teaching kids hunting trolls:
    • He is tired of his shitty job.
    • He has no rights.
    • No overtime.
    • And no 'nuisance compensation' either, whatever the Hell that is.
  • Lore! Shredded tire? Trolls did that. And tornadoes? Elaborate cover for troll-related damages. Logical. Power lines? Hah. Don't even get me started.
  • The term Mountain Kings. Thanks for that. Now I know what to call next year's fantasy football squad.
  • And finally, the um, final troll. Not sure that it made sense, but I am sure I loved looking at it.
I think this is the only sweater they sell in Norway.
  • Occasionally, all the talking and serious dialogue get a bit groan-inducing.
  • Man, not only must you be an atheist to successfully hunt trolls, but you have to rub troll stench all over your body. Especially your armpits and groin. Good Lord!
  • In The Hobbit, Gandalf easily kicks troll ass by splitting a rock and revealing the dreaded sunlight. At least Hans has a gun. Well, okay, it's pretty much a flash from the world's largest camera, but at least it's shaped like a gun.
  • Okay, I'm pretty sure if I were being chased by a f--king thirty-foot troll I wouldn't lose track of it. Well, at least not more than once.
  • And finally, nothing against the movie on this one, but a hearty f--k you to chapter seven of the blu ray Blockbuster sent me. That shit wouldn't play no matter how many times I restarted my computer. I bet it was a five minute shower scene I missed. Or some glorious troll make-out footage. Damn it either way.
Though I've never hunted anything (except a bargain), I once ran over an indecisive, flightless bird on the way to school one morning. Regardless of my harmless intentions, I killed that poor animal. It was fifteen years ago, but I remember it vividly.

Hopefully no college kids were around taking notes and filming it. Those damn meddling kids. Always exposing the worst of us.


  1. This movie does not sound like my cup of tea, but as usual, your review is priceless. But seriously ... what kind of sick son of a bitch deliberately runs over turtles??

    1. Ha! Thanks for that.

      I have no clue who would actually do that to a turtle. My thought is that further down the road, they should have a bigger redneck, in a bigger vehicle (like a monster truck), immediately run over the initial jerk.

      Might make those a-holes think twice. But they'd probably just be excited to get a chance to see the monster truck.

    2. Hmmm ... you might be right. So how do you know so much about dumb rednecks? Do we live in the same part of the country? :-P

  2. "But then, I remember that trolls are obviously, like boobs. You can never see enough of them. Oh, and the bigger the better, clearly. Though not too big, because that just looks fake and unnatural." - you should write a book complying all your wisdom! I'd buy that! :)

    Love the comparison of the troll hunter to the teacher :) The teacher's job is probably even more disgusting and dangerous, though :)

    1. Sure, I will write the wisdom book. From jail.

      Yessss! Excellent call on your addition to the troll hunter vs. teacher argument. I almost deleted that bit because I was coming off as a cynical prick unappreciative of just about everything.

      Then I thought, might as well shut the whole blog down if that's the case.

    2. Yes ... I'd buy your book! And you shouldn't hold back on your opinions. I've told you before I have immense respect for teachers, and although I love teaching, I'd rather have a sharp stick in my eye than be a classroom teacher. My impressions of the climate the government has created in public schools are among many reasons I pulled my kids out. It's a shame, because most of the teachers I've met are fabulous.

      I think it takes special courage to teach middle school. Don't get me wrong, I love that age group. It's a fascinating developmental stage. But it's a crime against nature to have that many raging hormones in an enclosed space. :-P Kids start going all Lord of the Flies.

    3. I think by special courage, you mean overwhelming student loan debt, right? Right.

      I agree with what you're saying, even though many think it's a cop out. We need less kids in each classroom, or more teachers. Maybe even both.

    4. We absolutely need smaller classes. And a lot less politics surrounding standardized testing, in my humble opinion. And nothing you say sounds like a cop out.

      I've worked some challenging jobs due to overwhelming student loan debt. But some people liked to think of it as courage or dedication, so who was I to set them straight? :-)

  3. I'd personally add the Norwegian scenery to the thumbs up. And thanks awesome blogger guy for teaching me that trolls are like boobs. Shame you missed chapter 7 of the bluray though... both Megan Fox and Charlize Theron make a cameo where they expose their boobs. All in glorious HD.

    1. Damn you, Chapter 7.

      Fox and Theron, huh? What an odd combo. Perhaps they were backpacking through Norway and got dirty. Well, no other choice but to shower off.

      Makes sense.