Borderlands (Zev Berman, 2007): 6.5/10

The Magic Flute (Ingmar Bergman, 1975): 7/10

La Guerre Est Finie (Alain Resnais, 1966): 7/10

Speed Racer (The Wachowski Brothers, 2008): 8/10


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Monday, October 30, 2006

Saw III (Darren Lynn Bousman, 2006)




The Saw franchise really has a lock on Halloween weekend. For the past three years, that's where I've been that weekend (or thereabouts), and it looks like it's where I'll be the next few years, at least. At least, if they keep being this entertaining, I will. I really think that the first installment in the series was the beginning of a new kind of horror (of which I think Eli Roth is now the heir apparent), a gory yet clever one. The twists and turns in Saw were those that you really didn't see coming; they weren't obvious, nor were the villian and the methods of death. Saw II was a bit of a disappointment - it was more of its imitators and not enough of itself. The third edition is a welcome return to form, however, not up to par of the first film.

Saw II is about Jigsaw, now nearly dead of the brain tumor that made him the killer he is today, and his hench(wo)man Amanda, who is now physically running the torture chambers. The only problem is that Amanda does not let people go, even if they win Jigsaw's "game," a direct violation of his rules. The first fifteen minutes are both ridiculous and pretty clever - we see Donnie Walberg back from the second film, two vicious torture scenes, and several wrong turns into possible plots. When we finally do get into the story, however, it is all about Jigsaw and Amanda, who have brought a troubled brain surgeon into their lair in order to "fix" him. As long as the surgeon can keep Jigsaw alive while a man goes through their last test, she will live. Well, the next hour or so involves a freezing chamber, rotting pig corpses, and homemade brain surgery, all of which the gorehound in me though were pretty cool. Much better than the second film's tortures, at least.

And then there's the ending. Without giving away anything. it is definitely more in the vein of the first film than the predictable one of the second. Although I usually don't try to predict the ending of a film (I like to be caught up in it, rather than outside, analyzing it - movies are much more fun that way and I really feel sorry for people who can't do that, but I digress), I didn't see this coming until a minute or so before it did, much like Saw I. If you're looking for some gory, borderline scary Halloween fun, you can't do much better (in the theaters) than this.

6/10

RIYL: Hostel

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