Jigsaw (2017)

I saw this movie tonight in the theater and I felt compelled to write about it while it was fresh in my head.  I’m going to go light on the spoiler aspect.  I will eventually do a legit blog when this is released on blu ray.

So here’s the first thing that needs to be said.  If you have seen the whole franchise, or most of it, you should feel entirely at home.  To go even further, none of the twists should surprise you.  That’s not to say that it’s not well done in regards to the twists.

The hallmarks of the franchise are present, mostly.  I must admit, the traps and deaths seemed really bland compared to stuff from Saw 2-6.  If anybody sees this and insists on calling this film “torture porn”, you should feel free to backhand them until they are crying.  Dumbasses deserve to learn lessons.  This film lacks in that department big time, so you will know how dumb somebody is by what they say after viewing this.

Another hallmark of the film is the 2-3 simultaneous stories occurring and the question of when and where is this happening.  This could qualify as a spoiler, but only if you have never sen a single film of this franchise prior, in which case, that’s your own damn fault for starting at part 8.

Yes, Tobin Bell is in this.  Yes, talk of rights and wrongs are involved.  This is still a gruesome morality play and do not forget that.  This still tells a story of people who do not listen to the rules and therefore lose their lives.  Towards the end, the last game of sorts between a man and a woman is terribly predictable, and yet so satisfying.

The characters are not very enjoyable in this one.  I found myself enjoying the redhead, and that was about it, aside from Tobin.  I did love some of the shout outs to previous entries in the film.  Jill Tuck is referenced, and that pleased me.

In the end, I don’t know how well this will be received.  I have an incredibly bias opinion.  I liked it.  It hit more than it missed.  The second half is better than the first due to the storytelling techniques.  All of the callbacks were very satisfying.  By toning down the gore, it allowed us to focus more on the story, and that is where Part 7 had failed us oh so badly.  I know some of you will never truly understand or appreciate the story to this franchise.  Some of you simply don’t get it, and that’s fine.  Just try not to ridicule something that you don’t comprehend.  I am curious if this will be successful enough to get the franchise rolling again.  I would be super happy if it did, but if this is the last bit we get, I am happy to go out on this one because Saw 3D was not a very good film.

I do recommend this to the fans of the franchise.  I would say to anybody else, give it a chance only if you are positive that you will invest the full amount of time to finish the film because the plot requires that.  Right now I feel confident in giving this a 6.5 rating and possibly seeing it again prior to release on blu ray.

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#83 SAW 3D: The Final Chapter

I saw this in the theater, the only Saw I saw in the theater, and it was in 3D. This didn’t help things at all sadly. Whatever grudges you may have had with the franchise, this one was gonna make them stick out even worse. Now I want to say, I liked this movie. From a storyline stand point, this may have been the strongest since part 3. It’s funny that Friday the 13th part 3 was in 3D and part 4 was called The Final Chapter. Was this an homage or just coincidence?

OK, let’s tackle the kills and violence first. The first thing involves a bitch hanging over a table saw and 2 dudes, one attached on each side. The theory is for one guy to push a saw into the other one’s chest and that saves them and the girl. As they do this, they realize the girl is a lying piece of shit cunt. Let’s face it, most are. So the guys do what any 2 reasonable men would do, they stop hurting each other and let the stupid skank die. Probably my favorite opening of all the movies. That was a bitches ain’t shit opening. BRAVO!

There’s a dream sequence where Hoffman kills Jill, she is scurred and knows he is coming for her. Next is the scene that really sticks out like a sore thumb to me. So you have 3 dudes and a chick. They are skindheads. The main dude is in driver seat of a car, and his back is superglued to the seat. There is the bitch underneath the jacked up car, her face below the spinning tire. A dude in the back with a chain attached to the car and his jaw. And finally a dude straight ahead attached to a garage door or some shit. The dude has to pull himself form the seat, pealing off his skin to stop the car from falling on her face, speeding off ripping off the dude’s jaw, and running into the dude. Just a pointless scene I feel. Everybody died, nobody gives a fuck.

There’s a flashback scene of a black lady and a white dude hanging from these bars while over top what appears to be a bunch of overturned lawnmowers and garden gnomes are around. She slaps him, he falls. She is at a Jigsaw survivor group bullshit. This was as dumb as it sounds.

At this point, the main guy being tested is a guy who has gotten famous for having survived a jigsaw trap, except he lied about it. Now to me, thats a good idea. Story is good here, add to that the cat and mouse game played by Jill and Hoffman, it’s good. So anyway, the main guy is in a cage, the floor gives out and like 8-10 feet below him and these spikes of sort except they don’t look at all menacing, and he goes through a lot to avoid them. Granted, you wouldn’t want to land on them improperly, but they are somewhat spread out and look weak to be honest.

In the next room, he comes to his publicist in a seat with 4 spikes aimed at her throat. She has a key attached to a fishhook in her stomach. He has a minute to pull it out. Everytime the sound rises above a whisper, the spikes move closer. I truly loved this one. Then the bitch started crying BEFORE any pain. This seals her fate.  As you can imagine, she fails, she dies. I smile.The next room, a bitch is on a table inching slowly towards her mouth and eyes being impaled by spikes. Bobby has to lift this contraption to cut off the circuit, but when he lifts it, spikes poke into his side. Obviously, he fails. Then there’s a dumb one with his buddy blindfolded, attached to a noose and it is dumb. He gets lynched. Then Bobby has to do some dental work, it’s dumb.The last trap is the one Bobby claimed to survive which was some bullshit about hooks through his pectoral muscles and him using chains to pull himself up and he failed, his wife burned up. Yay.

Hoffman finally goes on a killing spree. Tracks down Jill, puts her in the chair, puts the reverse bear trap on her. Game over. Or is it? Hoffman burns down his warehouse, he’s making his escape, then 2 guys in robes and masks jump him. A third comes out. It is Dr Gordon from part 1. He’s been working with Jigsaw all along, how else could all of those surgery things have worked? Duhhh. Anyway, Dr Gordon promised John that he would avenge Jill if anything were to happen to her, and in exchange, John would reveal all of his secrets, including the location of the room from the original Saw where Dr Gordon saw’d off his foot. Well Hoffman is chained up next to Adam’s corpse. He dives for the saw, but Gordon throws it far far away. He walks away, says Game Over, and Hoffman is fucked.

End of franchise…..for now. Probably ever, but you never know. I guess Dr. Gordon could do some crazy stuff, but everybody else is dead.

All in all, I actually really liked the story, but the traps were mostly dumb as hell. Giving it a 6.0.

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#82 SAW VI (2009)

This is when most people I feel lost interest in the franchise based on numerous conversations I have had with people. And I get it. I truly get it. They get sloppy at this point. People may have started to bored of Hoffman’s antics. Some of the scenarios are just silly. I won’t say those people are wrong. What I will say is that you need this movie for better or worse to get us to the finale. It adds some different perspectives, and storyline wise, may be the weakest, but it has better death/gore than 7.

So this starts off with 2 people, one is gonna die. They are in 2 separate rooms. Whoever is willing to cut more from their body, and my more, I mean weight wise, over the course of a minute, they will live. The other will have these drills bore in their head. The girl is dumb as hell and slow. The guy immediately is hacking off some of his stomach fat. The decides to try to through her forearm. She has a cleaver there, but doesn’t use it immediately, which nobody has ever understood. As Ron pointed out, and I concur, wouldn’t it have made more sense to chop part of your leg off and keep both of your arms? Stupid bitch. She wins, she lives, minus an arm.

There’s a cool carousel seen where members is this dude’s work team, they help him find loopholes to deny insurance claims, they are strapped to a carousel and the main guy can only allow 2 of them to live and he gets his hand fucked up in the process. It’s a gripping scene no doubt. There are a lot of good gore in this, BUT I felt it may have relied too much on gore, and not pushing the series forward as much as it could have. I suppose this movie is probably better if all you want is a gorefest, but from a perspective of keeping the franchise’s momentum up, it fails in that regard. Only a few small pieces here and there. Hoffman at this point is carrying this franchise, and he is awesome, but he could have used more people from the past.

There is a sweet rib squeezing trap where the main insurance guy and this other dude are in this contraption. Basically if you take a breathe, your ribs get squeezed more and more. It was a fun idea. The one where he held onto the chains with people being lynched by barbed wire was weak. It did make me think, would this movie have been better if Bryan Cranston was the lead. the answer is yes, but not by enough. The hot steam maze was fun, but it ended with a whimper in my opinion.

They did this stupid story where Hoffman knew that Amanda was with Cecil, who is the guy that caused Jill Tuck’s miscarriage, which sent John over the edge. I dunno, it seemed kinda tacked on. Also, we see that John left Jill the reverse bear trap head thingy that Amanda escaped in part 1. She uses it on Hoffman. Hoffman is finally tested. He bashes the device in his hand, breaking it so he can undo the restraints, and then gets the jaw mechanism in between these bars, rips off a godo chunk of his lower face on one side and escapes. He’s a hoss.

All in all, this is getting a 6. Talk to me next year, it may fluctuate.

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#81 SAW V (2008)

At this point in the franchise, I have to wonder, did they have an end game in mind, or were they gonna keep popping out movies until they ran out of ideas, or until the fans had had enough. This one gets a little silly, but it will get worse later.

The first major downfall of this movie is that the lead protagonist is this dude, Agent Strahm, and I think his character sucked. One of the big reasons that part 3 kicks so much ass is that Jeff is a great character, not in that you are pulling for him, but he is a full character. Agent Strahm, he’s generic and boring, and that is a shame. Strahm is tracking down Hoffman who is Jigsaw’s supposed last apprentice. I want to point out that the guy who played Boggs in Shawshank Redemption, the guy that wanted to fuck Andy’s sweet ass, well he is in this movie.

As usual, there’s 2 stories going on. Strahm’s pursuit of proving Hoffman’s involvement and doing some hardcore investigating which leads to an interesting path at the end. Simultaneously, we have 5 strangers playing a game amongst one another. They think it is about survival of the fittest, but Jigsaw encourages them to go against their instincts. So let’s tackle this plot aspect as it is pretty decent I think.

The first room has the 5 people in their own little stall thingy with 2 blades neck high and they are tethered by a collar and cable to their necks. In front of them are glass cases with keys to unlock the collar. The problem is that the cables are part of like a pulley system, so only one can go at a time. The smart dude goes first, and then they struggle and take turns, but never really cooperating. As you can imagine, one girl doesn’t make it to the key in time and gets decapitated. The next room has some glass jars attached to the ceiling, so the smart guy takes some pole or club, starts breaking them open. Inside are keys. 3 of the keys allow you access into these huge ass drain pipes with grates so that when the timer ends, you avoid the explosion. Well the 2 bitches get their keys, the douche bag guy ends up with the last key after some chicanery and my smart guy dies. The next room has a tub and 5 electrical things, and you have to have them conduct electicity to get the meter up so they can make the next room. White bitch kills black bitch. They dump her ass in the tub, attach all the cables to her and electrocute the hell outta that corpse. The last room, they finally have their revelation. There are 5 slots for you to put your hand through, lets it get sawed up, let out so blood, fill up the vile and exit the room. But why 5 slots? All along they weren’t supposed to be killing each other, they were supposed to work together. Nobody had to be decapitated. 2 people could have fit in the drain pipes. If everybody had taken a minor shock, they would have survived, and then everybody would have had to leak just a little blood and everybody could have lived. Nice TWEEST.

The ever popular opening scene death was nice too. A dude is strapped to a table, and a pendulum blade starts lowering. He has to stick his hands in these vices that will crush his hands if he wishes to be released. Call me crazy, but I’m taking death over losing both of my hands. I feel your quality of life would be beyond awful with no hands. Another scene involved Strahm being in a room where his head was in a glass tank and water filled up. He took a pen, punctured his throat so he could breathe. It was neat. It makes me wonder what muscles and feeling it would be to have to not breathe through your mouth or nose, but through this hole in your throat.

The final showdown between Hoffman and Strahm ends when Hoffman ends this glass box that recedes into the floor and then the walls close in and crush Strahm in a pretty gruesome way. This movie is the epitome of the parts being infinitely better than the hole because there’s a lot of dumb boring shit that really detracts from the awesome shit. Although I still liked this, I have to say it was the worst one up to this point. Giving it a 6.5.

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#80 SAW IV (2007)

This one tries to tie up some loose ends and connect it to part 3, but it wasn’t as successful in my opinion. We are introduced to Jill Tuck, who is Jigsaw’s woman. She’s getting interviewed regarding Jigsaw. We see in flashbacks how she lost her baby to a drug crazed fool. Jigsaw got his comeuppance by tying him to a chair and making him rake his face with sharp ass knives in order to push a button…..with his face. This then led to him being a dumbass and tangling his dumbass up in like razor wire.

The deaths were kinda weak in this one. The opening one was beyond dumb, one guy has his eyes sewn shut, the other has him mouth sewn shut. I get the guy with the eyes not forcing his eyes open, but the mouth dude, fucking amateur. This sets the tone for disappointment in this film. I think the one with the husband and wife connected via the arrows or whatever the fuck it is, that one I thoroughly enjoyed. When the package explodes in that bitch’s face, that didn’t sound perverted at all now did it, I thoroughly enjoyed it. There’s a fat sexy hotel man who has to be tethered to this bed, he loses his limbs, gets his eyes pushed in by some blades, pretty rough way to do it if you ask me, and most people do. And another highlight has to be the woman who gets scalped. How enjoyable was that scene?

I really liked Riggs as a main character. I really liked the impending doom of Matthews and Hoffman and seeing how things would play out, but to be honest, it felt just a little weak. Honestly, some days I enjoy this movie more. I think a fair rating would be a 7, but do know, it’s only going to keep going downhill from here.

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#75 Saw II (2005)

So this may be my favorite Saw movie. It has a little bit of Cube in it for me. I love the idea of a group of people together in a space trying to figure out why they are there, and how to get out. The why in this is simple. Everybody there had been arrested by Donnie Wahlburg’s character, well of course, except his son.

So once again, we have 2 storylines happening in which we switch back and forth. In this house that Jigsaw has set up with the arrested people, there is Wahlburg’s son, 4 males (a dude who dies quick, a dude who gets burned, and angry dude, and a black guy) and 3 chicks (Amanda, blond bitch, and brunette bitch). They have all been exposed to some gas which is slowly poisoning them and they gots ta get the fudge out before they die. Amanda is the reasonable in this whole thing

The other story going is the cops have Jigsaw, Tobin Bell, captured, but he is keeping himself alive by telling Wahlburg that he can still save his son, so he buys himself time. Dina Meyers is back, still looking sexy. Donnie Wahlburg gets pissed off and roughs him up. The best part of this is the shit that happens in the house.

In the house, it starts off with a bang, a dude opening up a door just to get his head shot. There is a guy trying to get a key and an antidote but gets locked in this oven/furnace thing and ends up like Freddy Krueger, which is just excruciating. You have Amanda, Shawnee Smith (was also in The Stand), she gets thrown into a pit of needles which is just absolutely one of the worst things that could be done to a person. I want to emphasize just how helpless you are in a pit of needles. You can’t movie without getting stabbed and cut up. You try to get on your hands and knees and you are gonna wreck your hands and still have no leverage to get up. You are just fucked and hurt. Then the stupid bitch who found an antidote in the glass case, she slides her hand up and gets it caught because when you try to bring your hand down, the blades stop you and just cut the shit out of you. Sooooo, what does she do? She uses her free hand to prop open the blades to safely remove her hand right? Nope, because she’s a panic’d female. She slides her hand in the other opening, and she gets got. I wish she would have been ass raped for her stupid effort. Yup, I just advocated for ass rape! The angry guy has figured out the code is located on the back of everyone’s head. But he has pissed off everybody, so nobody will tell him what it is, so he cuts the back of his neck off. It is pretty awesome.

The cops realize that this whole time, what they was seeing in the house on the monitor was actually just a tape. All a recording. Donnie Wahlburg feeling pretty god damn dumb. Maybe he should have just listened to what honest Tobin Bell was telling him all along. What TWEEST!!! Amanda is all about having an immortal legacy with Jigsaw. And what a fucking legacy, but you gotta play by the rules. GAME OVER Detective Matthews.

This movie…..this movie, 8.5.

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#74 Saw (2004)

The movie that started the best and most predominant horror franchise of the 2000’s. I will not argue this. There are no other franchises out there unless you want to count Paranormal Activity, and who the fuck wants to do that? Some may call this franchise nothing but torture porn. Sorry, you’re an idiot, stop reading this blog, get an education. Some think this is just mindless violence. Sorry, you are uninitiated in horror, move along, study horror and learn the craft. Some think there is no real good story, that is just kill after kill. Really watch the franchise, learn the full story, the story arch, then come back and tell me that there is no story. So if you are one of those people, honestly, just go away and come back when I am in the 80’s.

This movie is by far the toughest to truly blog about. It’s so different from the other ones. This teaches us most of the lesson we will need to fully enjoy the remainder of the series though. And I am going to try writing this in a way where if you haven’t seen others, the blog is somewhat self contained. First of all, while watching this movie, I am talking to a co-worker while watching this, and she asked who was Gordon and who was Lawrence. Clearly she has some names mixed up and dr Lawrence Gordon is in a lot of ways, our lead character in this film, played by the epic Cary Elwes. Monica Potter (Nic Cage’s hot ass wife from Con Air) plays Lawrence’s wife Alison. There’s a guy named Adam who is trapped in the room with Lawrence and a body. Danny Glover is a cop who is chasing down the Jigsaw killer. Dina Meyer (Hot chick that isn’t Denise Richards in Starship Troopers and has that sweet sweet rack) is in this, but she has a bigger role later on in the franchise. Long story short, Lawrence and Adam are chained to the wall in opposite ends of a large run down bathroom/locker room of sorts. They are very suspicious of one another but learn they must work together if they ever hope to get out alive.

Half of the movie is told through flashbacks giving us back story and motive for what lies ahead. We find out nobody here is innocent and everybody has their own motive, including the guy doing this to them, as well as the guy making that guy do his bidding. We get to meet Amanda for the first time who manages to escape her death by doing what was necessary to survive. We will get to know her well as the franchise progresses.

Long story short here, Dr Gordon finds out his wife and daughter are being held hostage of sorts and he needs to escape somehow, which at some point towards the end, he takes a saw to cut off his ankle. I can’t give play by play, but some of the deaths were cool, such as the guy who had to manage his way through the razor wire room. The traps weren’t as important here as they would be in later installments. This was all about a struggle to break out not knowing what was truly happening and constantly being misled.

The ending tweest is the best of the new millennium as far as I am concerned. Name a better one, go ahead, I’m waiting. The reveal of Tobin Bell being alive in that room is truly a mind blowing moment, and I don’t want to hear a bunch of people say that you called it or you knew it. Give me a fucking break. Was it impossible to figure out? No. Just highly unlikely, so stop trying to sound smarter than you are. You’re probably the same mother fucker who knew who Kayser Soze is.

A few things that did bother me is Danny Glover’s ability to survive the throat slicing, once again, it is possible, but not too practical. More annoying though to me though is Lawrence’s ability to climb a ladder with one foot in the state he was in. I just have to call bullshit, but whatever, it’s a movie, one must suspend disbelief. This isn’t a perfect movie, but it did a lot of things great and kept one captivated throughout and set a great tone for a fantastic franchise.

As you know, I have a Jigsaw tattoo, so I’m guessing you are expecting like a 9 or 9.2. Nope, I love the franchise, but I am reasonable. I do love what the purpose is. How far will you go to rectify the wrongs in your life. How much do you truly value life and what lengths would you go to keep on keeping on? What stuck with a life threatening illness and the clock is ticking, so many things become frivolous. As for me, I give this movie an 8. It deserves it.

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