The Wicker Man (2006)

Okay, so this is my first review request being realized and at present time I am in a great state of resentment towards my friend Loni for her request for my review of The Wicker Man, starring Nicholas Cage. I’ve made my feelings known about Nicholas Cage, so it’s no secret that I’m skeptical of movies that he’s in, and this movie may be the reason. So here is my review of the very first time I’ve ever watched this movie without having it’s pain reduced by the hilarious cast of Mystery Science Theater 3000 making jokes throughout it with their Rifftrax awesomeness. Also, keep in mind that I will not only review this movie, but I will not refrain from spoiling it so that you will not feel the need to watch it in it’s entirety.

The Wicker Man is the story of a cop (Cage) who witnesses a car accident that kills a woman and her lousy bitch of a doll-tossing daughter. Good riddance, says I! Anyway, he gets all sad like about it, then he gets a letter from a former girlfriend saying her daughter is missing and no one’s helping her find the girl. He gets on over to this isolated island to look for her. He keeps having visions of the girl being hit by a truck like the opening one; one such super goofy instance is seeing a little girl on the bow of the boat, probably proclaiming herself to be the king of the world or something, and as punishment for this overused joke, she’s hit by a semi. But it’s just a vision. A really goofy vision. He gets to the island that is mostly women, and really bitchy, unhelpful ones at that. He meets this fatty barmaid that gets all mad when he kills a bee (’cause he’s allergic) and their entire community is based on honey farming. He then meets the ex that sent the letter, a fish-faced woman who they named Willow, but I will call Guppy. He also meets LeeLee Sobieski, who is hot but plays a small part of a peculiar girl in the village. Why fish face and not hot ass Leelee for the romantic lead? ‘Cause it certainly wasn’t for her acting.

He starts inquiring about, and searching for, the little girl. At one point, whilst searching a barn, the floor breaks under his feet conveniently above a box full of pitchforks pointed up. He catches himself and the island bitches’ overly convenient trap is wasted. The women of the island are in some kind of religious, crazy Amish cult thing and do not recognize the law because the island is private property. If I was Cage, I’d ask if they recognized the authority of my gun, because no one would ever know if I killed everyone on the island, so best start answering my questions! Well they don’t answer his questions and basically lead him on a goose chase through the island looking for this girl that they rarely admit exists, then say she’s dead and the mom won’t accept it. Then Guppy tells Cage that the girl is his daughter.

Still looking for the girl (That’s like 90% of this movie), he walks into a beehive, then runs through a field of beehives running from the initial bees, running into more beehives and adding to his bee dilemma. You’d think he’d be more careful, right? I mean, I’m not even allergic to bees and I avoid them like crazy. He is rescued by the island’s doctor and finally meets Sister Summersisle, named for the island they’re on. She runs the show here, and adds to his goose chase. He goes and digs up where Rowen (The girl) is supposed to be buried. Surprise! She’s not there. Then he gets locked in a crypt. Guppy lets him out in the morning, and Cage has had enough. Time for some Rage Cage!

He goes back to the inn and finally reaches the point I would have about 5 days earlier in the movie, Wayne Brady’s gonna haveta choke a bitch. He bitch smacks the Barkeep to take her bear costume. LeeLee get all mad and attacks him. Does this stop Cage? Nuh uh! Karate kick to them sweet LeeLee titties, knocking her into a wall and subsequently unconscious. Cage, now a bear, follows the harvest parade through town to where they have Rowen tied up. He unties her and runs off with her, then runs into the whole town blocking him, but Rowen runs to her mom. Turns out this whole charade is to lure him to the island to sacrifice him to the Wicker Man (which is literally a giant man made of wicker) so they can have a better harvest. Sister Summersisle has her face painted half blue now for the ceremony of Braveheart that will now commence. They break his legs, hoist him into the Wicker Man via a pulley system that pulls Cage up through the Wicker Man’s taint, then burn Cage alive inside Pier 1 Man. The last scene on some versions of the movie is LeeLee and Guppy back on the mainland, they get hit on by James Franco and Jason Ritter, then they invite them back to their pad. The implication here being that the cycle will start again. THE END.

First, let’s focus again on Cage. Cage seems as disinterested in being in this movie as I was in watching it. Only barely becoming interesting enough to pay attention to when he goes bat shit crazy at the end. There’s a scene where he kisses Guppy that is so awkward. It seems like right after he first kissed her, he tasted something but couldn’t figure out what it was, so he goes back in to investigate. After his conversation with Sister Summersisle, he gets mad at her and has to storm off. But, since there are no cars on this island (which you might not be aware of while watching the movie because of all the tire tracks), Cage finds out that it is very difficult to storm off from something atop a bicycle. When they finally catch him, to prepare him for his sacrifice, they break both of his legs with a sledgehammer, presumably so he can’t run off. But it’s hard to find the emotion they intended in the scene while Cage is still wearing the fuzzy bear slippers.

I would say the worst part of the movie (if I could pick one) is that I have next to no idea what was going on. A good thing, then, would be that the movie’s not really predictable. Also the production value is decent. The biggest confusion is why the car crash death in the beginning (which they keep implying may not have happened) was there at all. It served no real purpose to the entire movie. Also, at one point a cop friend says “An ex girlfriend? The plot thickens? I didn’t know you had a plot” to Cage. Probably not a good idea to mention lack of plot in your plotless movie. It’s hard to tell whether the off-putting acting by the sister ladies was intention or not. And, because of the nihilistic ending where Cage dies, there’s not much of a climax. But since there’s not much of a build up, it makes sense.

The biggest problem with this movie, is why it wasn’t 20 minutes. Their whole goal was to get him to the island to sacrifice him, right? So why the goose chase? Why the torture? He gets to the island in like 15 minutes. Crack him on the head, burn him. THE END! My movie would be so much better. Also, this movie was dedicated to Johnny Ramone, which is not a kind thing to do to a man so highly respected in the music community that probably had nothing to do with the movie and liked it that way.

So, I hope I don’t need to actually give a rating to this movie, but I’ll do it anyway because I’ve made it my bit. I give this movie “You don’t NEED to see it now, I just told you everything you needed … and it sucks out loud” out of “this movie blows”.

Shaun of the Dead (2004)

Okay, this will more than likely be a really short review as I have not much to say about this movie beyond “It’s fucking awesome”. Shaun of the Dead, starring Simon Pegg and Nick Frost, is arguably my favorite zombie movie of all time, tied at the top with the remake of Dawn of the Dead. That being said, let’s get into this very short review.

Shaun of the Dead is the story of Shaun (Pegg) an employee at some appliance store in England who lives in an apartment with his best friend Ed (Frost) and another guy. Shaun is a spacey-type who seems to be in a slump and forgetful of the things he promises his girlfriend and mother. Well, his girlfriend gets sick of him and dumps him and he goes to a pub with Ed to drown his sorrows. Leaving the pub, they see zombies but they’re too drunk to put it together. The next day it comes to a head as they get attacked by zombies in their apartment. Shaun then conceives a plan to go pick up his mom, then his girlfriend, and take them to the pub where they’ll be safe. They do so, also picking up his father-in-law (Bill Nighy sans chin-tacles) who soon turns zombified. They also must take his girlfriend, Liz’s, friends, a somewhat stupid girl and her complete twat of a boyfriend. The rest of the story is them trying to survive.

Shaun of the Dead is not only commendable because it’s hilarious, but because of all the hidden callbacks in the movie. I loved the movie the first time I saw it, but I loved it so much more the second time because all of the things they were doing earlier in the movie were referenced later in the movie, and not until viewing 2 was I able to put it together. The humor is not to be dismissed, however, as it’s one of the funniest movies I can think of. I have seen this movie a great many times and I still laughed out loud while watching it. Pegg and Frost work great together, as I will touch on yet again when I watch Hot Fuzz and review it. And the humor isn’t always broad, obvious humor as is typical in most American comedies. In fact, one of my favorite parts is when the dumb girl is teaching them all how to act like zombies so they can make it through a horde. Shaun and Ed start arguing because Ed’s performance is underwhelming, Ed says “You do it then”, Shaun does a great zombie impression, Ed admits that it was good, and then Shaun smiles with a super smug, self satisfied grin. That part busted me up.

The movie is also SUPER gory, which is awesome when contrasted to the humor. I may be spoiling here (but trust me, you’ll be praying for it to happen by the time it does) but when the twat boyfriend David finally gets killed, they tear his guts out of his stomach and feast on them. TAKE THAT, YOU LIMEY FUCK! Sorry to the rest of the cast for that. But, on top of the gore and the humor, there are parts that are really emotional and made me tear up a bit. I won’t spoil that for you though, you’ll have to watch it and see.

So, this wasn’t as short as I thought. Suffice to say this movie rules and you need to watch it. My review? Don’t just watch it, watch it twice. Then buy 2 of them and frame one. And touch yourself inappropriately with it. …Out of several million.