Wednesday, April 23, 2014

A great day this has turned out to be.

As far as I know, my parents weren't undercover agents or international drug smugglers. They were simply two people that wanted their kids to see the world. For me and my younger brother and sister (suck on that, older half-brothers!), this meant, at some point in our young lives, we were going to Europe. With just my dad. While everyone else stayed home.

In the summer of 1987 (yeah, my playoff beard has a few grays in it), my pops and I left our home in Texas, stopped over in NYC for a couple of days, then headed to our final destination, Greece. Our last flight called for a brief layover, which, for whatever reason, turned into us being trapped in the airport for ten hours. As a kid, there's only so many circles one can run in, only so many vending-machine waffles to be eaten. I had to accept the harsh truth. Me and my dad were stuck. Helplessly.

In f--king Belgium.

A similar fate awaits Ray and Ken, the main characters in the excellent 2008 film, In Bruges. Written and directed by Martin McDonagh, the film focuses on two low-level hitmen sent to Belgium to await directions from their boss, Harry. See, something went awry on their last job, so Ray and Ken are justifiably anxious - to say the least. Instead of being exiled to somewhere tropical, Harry thinks the picturesque town of Bruges will be a real special treat. But, depending on who you ask, it's a real shit hole.

Instead of waiting by the phone (as directed) for their next move, Ray (a brilliant Colin Farrell) and Ken (the distinguished Brendan Gleeson) hit the town. Ken, a reserved, introspective older gent, appreciates the rich history Bruges offers. Ray, impatient in every way imaginable, doesn't. Luckily for him though, he strolls onto a movie set and meets a women that will change his life forever.

To say anymore would likely ruin many of the twists and turns the movie offers (f--k off, I know it's six years old), but I will say that I really enjoyed it. With a good story, a great cast and an extremely interesting setting, it's hard not to like. And I haven't even mentioned the, um...little guy.

Anyway, Farrell has never been more likable than he is here, even though his Ray is essentially a terrible person, who has just done the worst thing imaginable. Perhaps, even better is Mad-Eye Moody himself, Brendan Gleeson as his solemn parter, Ken. Playing the straight man to Farrell's Ray may seem the lesser role, but trust me, it's anything but. There's a quiet dignity to everything Ken does, and it's almost tangible coming through the eyes of Gleeson. Rarely do I wish movies were longer, but I'd jump at the chance to spend more time with this fantastic pair.

Which, oddly enough, brings us to a pair I wish I could spend decidedly less time with, the Yays and Boos. While I didn't want to spoil the movie for you above, these two f--kers couldn't care less. Proceed with caution...


  • I don't care what Ray says, Bruges isn't a shit hole. That lovely boat ride won me over.
  • Americans. I love that they're always portrayed as fat, dumb assholes. Even better? The way Ray deals with them.
  • Clemence Posey, as Chloe, is pretty friggin' sexy. I'd buy her a gay beer any day.
  • Speaking of beautiful women, whoever played the owner of the inn they stayed at was incredibly beautiful. And, and! Her summation of Harry was brilliant. more people should be described as cocks.
  • Ray, basically a large child, has some of the best lines. Three of my favorites:
    • "If I'd grown up on a farm, and was retarded, Bruges might impress me."
    • "They're filming midgets!"
    • "A big gay baby"
  • I enjoyed the whole culture vs. fun debate. Made me feel like I was leading a field trip again.
  • The restaurant scene. Okay, maybe in another movie, Farrell gets to knock out one annoying patron while dining would be enough, but both? (um, including the woman) Hysterical.
  • Chloe's boyfriend. Not the guy himself, just what Ray does to him.
  • If you're at a party with some hookers and a dwarf, and things get uncomfortable, there's only one thing to do. Yep, you pretty much have to karate chop that little bastard on the way out.
  • I loved the gun guy's overwhelming concern with his use of the word alcove. Oh, words. I love you.
  • Ken and Ray's goodbye at the train station may have been the best scene like that ever. No grand gesture, no bullshit speeches. Just two guys looking around and shrugging. Perfect.
  • Ticket Guy/Tower Dude. Man, I love this f--king asshole.
  • Ralph Fiennes as Harry. He's badass enough on the phone, but when he finally shows up? Whoa.
  • Speaking of, the conversation they have at the dinner table outside is spectacular. Don't take this the wrong way...but you're a cunt. 
  • The shootout plan. It's like playing tag when you're eight. With guns. In Belgium.
  • And finally, the ending. I'm not sure I liked it. And I'm not sure what happened. But I was f--king floored.
  • Wait. A non-Dinklage dwarf? Unacceptable. 
  • C'mon, Ray. That's Jesus' blood. You gotta touch it.
  • As I mentioned, Ray has done something really bad. And they don't exactly imply it.
  • C'mon, Bruges. No bowling alleys? Where am I supposed to shine my balls?
  • Interrupting suicide. That shit complicates everything.
  • That whole random blacks vs. whites war discussion was pretty terrible. Though, I'm with Ray, a midget war would probably make a pretty good movie.
  • Ken. KEN! Leave Maria the money. Ray doesn't need it.
  • I think punching a Canadian couple in their collective face should only result in a small arrest just seems silly.
  • Dum-dums. My son overheard this discussion and was really concerned with the foul language. If only he knew this is the term wasn't derogatory. It's simply how they refer to bullets that make heads explode.
  • Okay, I know this is cheating, but the end. As much as I loved it, I f--king hated it, too. The things I know for sure pissed me off. And the things I'm not sure about? Well, that didn't help either. If I get to interpret what happened, trust me, I'm going to make up something implausible. In my mind, Ken, Ray and Chloe all survive and end up vacationing at the little guy's house next summer. Jenny from Forrest Gump is there, and she's petting Marley. Yeah, that's how this ends.
Eventually, we made it to Athens, before ultimately heading to the islands of Kos and Nisyros. Other than a horrendous heat wave (consistently in the 110s), very old people on very nude beaches (the trip accounted for 98% of all the pubic hair I would ever see), being incredibly prone to vomiting (unrelated to what I just mentioned) and the fact that my fish had babies while I was gone (and subsequently ate all of them prior to my return), it was a pretty good trip. I mean, at least I made it home alive.

The same can't be said for everybody in In Bruges. 

I think.


  1. What a great movie. Farrell is definitely at his best here. But yeah, a movie about a dwarf war would probably be infinitely better. No offense to dwarves.

    1. You know, I had heard nothing but great things, but I was still fully impressed with this one.

      And Farrell? Man, he nailed it here. I've always liked the guy (he seems like a funny dude), but he was perfect for this role. Now to see Seven Psychopaths...I think.

  2. I absolutely adore this movie. It weirdly spoke to me in ways I did not expect a movie about Irish gangsters to do but that was great too. And it's so funny and so beautiful and very well-acted. Seven Psychopaths was such a disappointment after this.

    1. I'm completely with you, Nikhat. I was enamored with just about every frame if In Bruges. I cared so much about these two guys, despite each of them being somewhat....rotten, I suppose.

      It really is beautiful, too. Oddly so.

  3. lol at a non Dinklage Dwarf. I love this movie so much, it's one of my favorites. It's just great in every way. That's a little morbid that your fish at it's babies. Fish are assholes.

    1. I can't believe I'm six years late to the party. People need to tell me this shit. I watched probably two hundred giant turds, when this was sitting in my collection for years. Ridiculous!

      And, yeah. That fish was a dick.

  4. This might be the only movie where I enjoyed Farrell's performance - or noticed him as a talented actor. Such a wonderful film - more people should see it.

    1. He is PERFECT in this role. I'm trying to spread the word about how great this movie is, but it's not working out. I told this young girl at work about it, and hearing the title she said:

      "Do you only watch weird movies?" Ugh. Then, before I could answer, she continued with, "I don't watch old movies. Like anything before the 90s."

  5. Seven Psychopaths is a real let down after this brilliance, hate to break it to you. This though, is a BLAST, and Farrell is just amazing. Nice write up!

    1. That seems to be the general consensus about Seven Psychopaths, but I almost feel like I owe MM after this one.


  6. "Wait. A non-Dinklage dwarf" - hahha you should see Honest Trailer for Game of Thrones I posted in RF recently, they make excellent joke about that :)

    Did you see The American, extremely boring movie with Clooney? That owner is there playing a sexy assassin, there is also a hooker with bare boobs:)

    I love In Bruges. Ralph Fiennes was hysterical and his lines were just hilarious, that whole 'swan' phone conversation had me in tears.

    1. I will check that out ASAP.

      You know, I did see The American, but my DVR didn't record the final ten minutes, so I never wrote it up (it's the only movie I've watched in three years that I didn't post). That said, I totally remember some glorious nudity from it. I think the lighting was all red or something?

      Fiennes devoured every scene he was in. Incredibly understanding/psychotic. That bit was hysterical.

  7. Great review! I love this damn movie - watch it all the time. I too love what Ray does to Chloe's boyfriend. Poor bastard. And yeah, that blacks vs. whites debate is pretty nasty. But the reasoning Jimmy gives for that debate is priceless. "That was just... cocaine."

    1. Thanks. I should watch it all the time. It's soooooooooooo good.

      Eirick is a real dick. I couldn't have been happier that Ray f--ked him up.

      Oh shit. I forgot about his explanation...classic. That guy was pretty solid, all things considered (I love how upset Ray is when he doesn't wave back).