The House That Jack Built 6/10

This mercurial film has received so much press it made my head spin. I just finished watching it and I have to say it isn’t as good as they say and not as bad either. It is a movie, that’s the only safe thing to say for sure.

The kills are heartless. Jack has no empathy. This is part and parcel for every serial killer we know. To be honest, it’s kind of a tired premise if you asked me. Yes the kills are gruesome though most the reactions are just that and not shown onscreen. It’s what we imagine is happening that repulses us the most. Jack’s “playroom” is an acquired pizza place walk-in cooler. That’s where he keeps the bodies.

Jack is killing a new person or set in each “incident.” They watch like chapters in a book. He’s OCD and that’s supposed to be funny but it’s not. Irony like this is old and worn out. I was surprised Lars reduced his writing to use it.

There has been hue and cry about disfiguring children. While a hunting based scene is horrible, the fashioning of the victims afterwards is not that bad. People wigged out too much. It is entertaining but tries to be Dante’s Inferno too much toward the end. It feels like Lars got tired and just went a whole different direction for the end. I did enjoy it but it’s not great or shitty, just meh. 6/10

The Shawshank Redemption (1994)

IMDB’s number one movie shouldn’t be fucked with right? Well, it has its imperfections. The reason they picked Tim Robbins will always be a mystery to me. All the other casting is good. It’s an inspired Stephen King novel and that’s why it’s good (and the only reason why), in my opinion.

Two imprisoned men bond over a number of years, finding solace and eventual redemption through acts of common decency.
Director: Frank Darabont
Writers: Stephen King (short story “Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption”), Frank Darabont (screenplay)
Stars: Tim Robbins, Morgan Freeman, Bob Gunton

Most people who see this film have a visceral reaction. It’s not boring in any way. I like prison films and this is sort of a sing-song one. Still, it’s a great prison film and I like it a lot.

You get to see what happens on the inside from a kinder, gentler, machine gun lens. Part of that is due to Stephen King. You know, he is very tame compared to some of the other horror writers. There is a bent in a lot of his stuff against traditional religion. I can definitely relate with that bent.

There is also a lot of Murphy’s Law. I probably don’t need to recommend this since it’s done quite well for decades on its own. Still, I recommend it to fans of prison movies and Stephen King’s outlook on things. Beware of a sing-song nature. This isn’t the hard, deep stuff of life as it claims to be.

3/5 Shamrocks
3/5 Shamrocks

 

The Godfather

Everybody knows the Godfather right? Well, that isn’t necessarily true. I think people about my age take it for granted as an amazing classic. We assume all movie fans have it memorized. I know my podcast cohort isn’t fond of it. As strange as that sounds, I must accept it is true. I’ll tell you what appeals to me about it.

R | 2h 55min | Crime, Drama | 24 March 1972 (USA)
The aging patriarch of an organized crime dynasty transfers control of his clandestine empire to his reluctant son.
Director: Francis Ford Coppola
Writers: Mario Puzo (screenplay), Francis Ford Coppola (screenplay)
Stars: Marlon Brando, Al Pacino, James Caan

There’s something powerful about Don Corleone. He’s amassed wealth and an empire entire outside of society’s machine. He has become a new machine. He does “favors,” usually entailing crimes, for the butcher, the baker, and the candle-stick maker. Then they owe their allegiance to him and his family mafia. What we see in the film is a powerful crime family made up of those people, built one by one.

There is a bunch of violence but it’s righteous. You get me, I get you back. That’s how it works in the mafia. This film changed the world and especially changed movies. The way things are done now is warped in a twisted and beautiful way little bit because of the Godfather. I recommend this film to people who can take righteous violence and who enjoy amazing period pieces with thick character development. Also, who can miss the best of Marlon Brando?

5/5 Shamrocks
5/5 Shamrocks