Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Murder is the worst sin of all.

Depending on the situation, I'm not sure what makes one person a hero, yet another person a total f--king moron. Is it the intent? Or the result? Or something else entirely?

Let's look at that classic scene in Jurassic Park, for example, when the T-Rex breaks out of its pen during the storm. Lawyer Guy runs out of the truck and hides in the bathroom, negating any hero status off the bat. He leaves the kids behind, hiding on the shitter like a little bitch. (Way too many minutes later) Dr. Grant steps in, and using his vast knowledge of ancient beasts, leads the T-Rex away with a flare fastballed into the jungle, momentarily cementing his hero status. But then, of course, the misguided yet sexy Dr. Ian Malcolm attempts an act of bravery, and basically f--ks up everything. He not only locks in his status as not a hero, but he quickly becomes an accessory to murder, which in most cases is most unheroic.

See, so what I'm saying is, the difference between bravery and stupidity (and to an extent, selfishness)

Yeah, I have no f--king clue.

It's been a few weeks since I've seen the Oscar-nominated Hacksaw Ridge, and it'll likely take me a lot longer to decide whether or not real-life protagonist Desmond Doss did something really, really stupid, or really, really brave. Honestly the answer's pretty straightforward (this guy's got balls the size of boulders, for f--k's sake), but had it ended a different way...it might've been hard to defend what he did. But what I can say rather definitively, is that Mel Gibson's latest is a Hell of a movie.

When he was a little kid, Desmond almost killed his brother in a seemingly insignificant front-yard scrap. Rightfully so, this event fully changes the course of the rest of his life, and he takes the Thou shalt not kill commandment to heart. For the rest of his life, Desmond will never, ever hurt another soul. He will never touch a gun, never fire a bullet. Seems reasonable, right? Right.

Until he enlists in United States Army. During f--king World War II.

Desmond is an amazing person, and possibly even a better American, as he patently refuses to sit out the war (despite his oath to never kill). The other young men in town are going, and he reckons it's his duty to go, too, despite what his parents or his bride-to-be insist. War is Hell, they'll tell Desmond, especially if you refuse to defend yourself. 

Hacksaw Ridge is the rare ultra patriotic movie that flat-out inspired me, while at the same time made me feel enormously guilty in every way. Being a card-carrying smarmy douche, I tend to, at best, look at patriotism as something akin to getting your favorite NFL's team's logo tattooed on your back. Like, I'm a fan too, sure, but let's not overdo it, okay? In fact, when I recite the pledge one hundred and eighty times a year, there's a good portion of my soul that feels increasingly fraudulent. 

It may seem blasphemous, but the battlefield chaos in Hacksaw Ridge...
...easily rivals anything seen in Braveheart or The Patriot.
But two sweat-filled hours later, after accompanying Desmond Dodd on the journey of a f--king lifetime (more like 75 lifetimes), I was simply in awe of the dedication this man had to not only his country, but to humanity. His relentless commitment to his faith, in the face of infinite adversity, is nothing short of astounding. And if even only half of this film is accurate, Dodd is a man that should be as celebrated as any hero in American history. If it wasn't so unflinchingly violent, this is a film I'd show to my students in a heartbeat.

It's an incredible film, no doubt, but the story itself is so good, I'd have probably been just as enamored hearing the pitch for Hacksaw Ridge, let alone seeing the final product. It's truly that compelling.

Not compelling in the least, are those draft-dodging slackers, the Yays and Boos. While not the seventy-five number that Dodd managed, they've actually saved some lives, too. Okay, fine. That one guy was probably going to make it anyway, but they did ask, Uh, are you okay? That's gotta count for something, right?

Hey, Doss, why'd you change your mind and stay home? *shows picture of wife*
I understand.

  • F--k all that 'based on' nonsense. This one opens with the powerfully simple A True Story.
  • Top to bottom, the cast is impeccable. What's even better? There's some familiar faces in unexpected places...to say the least.
  • But, wow, Andrew Garfield has never been better. My wife totally developed a crush on him after this one.
  • It's hard to single out any of the battlefield sequences, but that was certainly a Hell of an opening.
  • Man, Desmond, that was some smooth talking with Dorothy. My heart also beats too fast whenever I see Teresa Palmer.
  • The mountain top kiss? Aww.
  • Vince Vaughn, even though I'm sure he knows it, is so f--king money in this movie. Welcome back, good sir.
  • I have a knife in my foot, sir.
  • You almost want to hate Desmond's father, but you understand his struggle. And when he steps up for his son? Incredible. Can you imagine going to bat for THAT?
  • It's very hard to cheer for anything during war (though it's simultaneously beautiful and horrific), but what we see in the form of naval air support is jaw-dropping. I'm still shaking my head.
  • The chaos is unrelenting.
  • 'Fightin' out of your weight class' is just about the perfect line to describe Desmond, even if you aren't talking about how gorgeous his girl is.
  • Had Desmond literally tossed the rescued soldiers off the side of the ridge, he still would have been my ultimate f--king hero. But what he does instead? F--king brilliant.
  • And finally, that clip of the real Desmond Doss at the end briefly telling his own story. This segment isn't all that long, but it's readily apparent that Doss (and Garfield's portrayal) was the real deal. A nice man who believed in not hurting anyone (or anything), seeing Mr. Doss and hearing him speak truly felt like an honor. 
Yeah, you can dodge a bullet.
But can you dodge a wrench?
  • Goodness, these old cars can move. I'm pretty sure Desmond almost got Final Destinationed twice!
  • Okay, Naked Pull Up Guy, we're all super impressed by your massive bulk, but now you're just showing off. Dick.
  • Doss' initial hearing is f--king intense. And since they can't kick him out, their only solution is to be f--king assholes. Grrr.
  • Oh, and denying his furlow? That was some weak ass shit, wasn't it?
  • Honestly, they repeatedly call Desmond a coward. A COWARD. How the f--k could anyone ever say that aloud?
  • Dorothy's advice? Just pick it up an wave it around. Man, when your own wife wants you to sell out - that's a tough pill to swallow. Unless she wasn't talking about a gun...
  • When Doss finally earns the right to go to f--king war, the initial scene of bodies being trucked out was extra harrowing. You fought for this?
  • Oh, and remember, he wants to a medic. Good news, right? Well, it might be. If it weren't for the fact that medics are targeted. So lose that white helmet, okay?
  • The chaos is unrelenting. And yes, that was also a Yay.
  • Rats. F--king rats.
  • Blowtorch Guy. F--k me, that was horrible.
  • You know, Desmond also saved some Japanese troops, too. Or at least he tried to. But...they ended up dying after the fact (why do I doubt this for some reason?).
  • Faking surrender is the biggest bitch move ever.
  • For a good portion of this movie, I honestly felt as if I couldn't breathe. I know people say it'll take your breath away and sound like an asshole, but I'm serious. I was so f--king nervous.
  • And finally, this gem pulled from imdb's 'trivia' section: Mel Gibson said that much of the imagery in the battle scenes on Hacksaw Ridge itself were influenced by nightmares he had during his childhood, when his father, a WW2 veteran serving in Normandy, described the horrors he witnessed as bedtime stories. Yeah. I'll just leave that here.
While I strongly recommend that you check out this film as soon as possible, it may be a little redundant, you know? I mean, look at you. You made it all the way to the end of another shitty Two Dollar Cinema review. That's pretty f--king heroic, right? Of course it is. 

I mean, it's definitely not the other side of that coin...right? You know, the one where everyone thinks you're a moron.

It's okay.

I have no f--king clue, either. 



  1. I hated the first half of this movie, it was so corny, but man the 2nd half was a technical marvel. They deserved those sound Oscars.

    1. Hated? Corny? REALLY?

      I guess I can see how someone would call it corny, but I can only imagine what semi-rural Virginia was like before the second World War, you know? I imagine it to be very aw-shucks, and yes ma'am (though I'm not sure if that's what you meant by corny...probably not). Oh, and even in the brief clip of Doss, he seems like a real hayseed, doesn't he?

      Certainly a technical marvel, but for me, the whole damn thing was astounding.

  2. OK you and my friend both saw this and Manchester and if I grasp this right you are both recommending this and Manchester. I will see those soon.

    "Andrew Garfield has never been better. My wife totally developed a crush on him after this one" - OK I take back one of the earlier comments, if pretty boy Garfield is something that appeals to your wife's taste you have nothing to worry about with Logan :) for me he is in the "I rather kill it and eat it in the face of Apocalypse if we were the only 2 people left" boat with the Gos. But Garfield is so likable. I'd let him babysit my dog or something

    1. I hate recommending you anything, as I'd bet a million dollars you'll f--king hate both of these. But, yes. I'm with your friend: these are really good films.

      Obviously, my wife has a thing for straight-laced weirdos, so it didn't surprise me that she was digging Garfield in this one (though he is quite the hillbilly goofball here). But your point about Jackman is way wrong. I hope when we she sees it she's as smitten (not a dirty enough adjective, I realize) as you were. Think about it.

      Poor Gos. I love that f--king dude so much. I'll babysit his damn dog.

    2. Oh...but what if she googles if there are HJ masks available to buy (like the one in Deadpool) afterwards? :D

    3. I'll take it however I can get it!

  3. Wait...from the acclaimed director of Braveheart and The Passion of the Christ? Isn't that Mel Gibson? That's almost enough to make me pass on this film. I HATED Braveheart, and that was before Gibson was outed as an racist, anti-Semitic, misogynistic douchebag. Or, in other words, the poster child for this phase of US history. :-/

    Besides, I'm not keen on a movie about a rural Virginia goober since--well--basically, I AM one. :-P

    Based on your praise, however, I'm gonna give it a go. Besides, I really liked Andrew Garfield in Never Let Me Go, The Social Network, and (especially) Boy A.

    Great post!

    1. Hahaha....yeah, ol' Mel has been outed as quite the deplorable, hasn't he? That said... I really, really enjoyed this film. But, uh, I loved Braveheart (never saw Passion...).

      Goober is the correct word, as Doss is exactly that. But in all his gooberness, he's a f--king hero, too, and I'm still coming to terms how any of what he did was possible.

      Fingers crossed that you dig this one. Me and my wife were hooked (and she had turned her nose up at the mere thought of a Mel Gibson war movie). Hell, I enjoyed this one more than the film that ultimately won Best Picture...but more on that later.

  4. Hahaha! Love your intros, and the yays and boos man. Its got... personality is the word I'm lookin' for. Kinda like Sati's site. That's why I dig both these sites so much. I still wish though I could get email notification when a new post of yours goes up.

    I swear man, I saw a different movie to everyone else. I thought this thing was fucking awful at times. The battle scenes were great in parts, but maggots eating a rotten corpse?? Really?? This film makes SPR look like a fairy tale! And I've got nothing against Mel either, hell I'm an Aussie. But this just didn't do it for me.

    You are right though, the actual story is incredible. I'm also with you on the intro: "A true story". No screwin' around. But the film starts and within fifteen minutes he conveniently meets a girl, and the next 20 minutes of the film is straight up rom-com, with sappiness drowning 7 foot tall basketball players. Was I the only one who saw it that way??

    The second half is much better, but each character apart from Doss (his fellow soldiers I mean) were so thin I didn't feel a thing when a bullet went through their head. I'll take Band of Brothers over this every day of the week.

    Garfield was pretty decent here, but have you seen Silence? His acting in that is amazing.

    1. Thanks, man. Those f--king intros take me forever sometimes...even if they seem like they shouldn't. I'm glad you dig them.

      With you and Brittani, now I'm thinking I'm the one that saw the different movie. I get the anti-sappiness sentiment (Brittani said it was corny), but we had to establish exactly what level of goober we're dealing with. And it's the f--king mid 40's!! All that stuff was there as evidence of how f--ked up this thing really was. These lovable goofballs stealing kisses outside a theater to months later maggots and exploding soldiers. HOLY SHIT! How are you not floored?

      I've never seen Band of Brothers (*ducks head*), but I know it was 10 hours long. This was only two-plus, so I'll take the one-note characters. We ain't got time for those guys. Not today.

      I gotta check out Silence. Will do when I get the chance.

      GREAT COMMENT, man. F--king love it.