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When gratuity is appropriate (movie review)

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 08, 2003 3:33 pm    Post subject: When gratuity is appropriate (movie review) Reply with quote

Dictionary wrote:

NOUN: 1. Sentimentality or vulgar, often pretentious bad taste, especially in the arts: “When money tries to buy beauty it tends to purchase a kind of courteous kitsch” (William H. Gass). 2. An example or examples of kitsch.
ADJECTIVE: Of, being, or characterized by kitsch: “The kitsch kitchen … has aqua-and-white gingham curtains and rubber duck-yellow walls painted in a fried-egg motif” (Suzanne Cassidy, New York Times 8/30/93).
ETYMOLOGY: German, probably of dialectal origin.
OTHER FORMS: kitschi·fy -VERB
kitschy -ADJECTIVE

    lol...seems like 'Gonzo' and 'Campy are not unlike this too. Not to mention 'Muffy' is too.
    Anyways, i found that word, "Kitsch" while browsing reviews of "Brotherhood of the Wolf" (i quite liked the plot, although some things that appeared to be gratuitous, in hindsight were appropriately exaggerated or understated in order to ne sais quoi
Official reviews i suppose are just reviews but, boy, do some of them look like total trolls. Ever seen a European car reporter? Talk about long fancy and baroque words used in describing a simple bloody test drive. sheesh. It's funny how the people who lambast a half-decent action flick use more words more applicable in describing their review than the movie itself. I mean, most of these fools would lament the "Stylish Excess" of watching paint dry. BTW, I don't want to critique the critics' reviews because that might mean pretending the morons are worth arguing with, not to mention getting lost in the silly details (one-sided JumpGate balance agendas anyone?) and this movie is too good to spoil for anyone interested...I will critique the movie's bad bits before i get to the good parts i want to wax loquatious about

Reviewer (only good thing he posted so i figure it was plagarized) wrote:
"Brotherhood of The Wolf" is a great film because it constantly goes in unexpected directions, always choosing depth of character over the safety net of hurrying to the next action scene.

Oh well, i still like it even after reading the stupid reviews and the weird way they cut the loose ends. *g* There is one review i found good enough to read, and that's this one:
RottenTomatoes-TopPick wrote:
Brotherhood embraces its hyper-stylized genre bending with gusto and verve. Thematically it brings to mind the recent From Hell, another bloody, speculative chronicle that leads to shady goings-on at high levels of authority (the whole secret fraternal society thing is quite du jour). But Brotherhood has a much better sense of humor about such matters; it's aware of its outrageousness, and this allows it more room to find relief in its more traditional qualities. If you see one French costume drama martial arts werewolf secret society romance this year, make sure this is it.

I did have one problem with the movie's plotholes and that was the complete lack of interest by the protagonists in the "ruffians"

I suppose it was just because they just reeked of "bad guy" stereotype (one reviewer said they looked like extras from a MadMax movie)...Actually, i think the only reason i'd been thinking these freaks were connected to the main plot in the first place was because i'd been told this movie's theme was similar to "The 13th warrior" (i suppose if i didn't know that i'd have stuck with the "Big Ass Wolf" concept)

Anyways, i thought it sort of interesting that the start of the movie had a bunch of incompetent, corrupt soldiers around hunting for a "beast", a bunch of ruffians/Gypsies, numerous bougeois bigwigs, a brothel and the main character's love interest all sorta looking like a bunch of random subplots meant to entertain during this seemingly looooooong search for said "Beast" ......a conspiracy theory waiting to happen? nah. Just lots of fun Superstition versus Science (with the latter apparently winning) as the heroes battle some horde (ala 13th warrior)??

It looked to me like a straight forward "13th warrior" script right till "The Royal Huntsman" came in with that PR stunt political stuff along with the girl's account of the "Beast & Master"...up till that point it seemed sort of predictable. I'd actually assumed alot of things that turned out to be "smoke&mirrors"
  • I thought the corrupt soldiers so incompetent that they couldn't find the "Beast", ipso facto...Besides, the credibility of the commander was sorta lowered in his eyewitness account. (figured he was a braggart)
  • I thought the ruffians were a little more sinister than your average stereotyped "Gyspy Band" and i figured these folk were responsible for the slayings and there wasn't really a "Beast at all" but just a really tortured wolf (i figured the Gypsies did the killing and the pet wolf just ran the victims down - reinforced when the "Chevalier" found iron at the killings)
  • I thought the rich folk to be "ho hum" about the whole thing, and i figured they were up to something - screwing each other over. so much so that i though that was all they were capable of (there sure was alot of "goodygoody" Church cliches versus "bigoted" State stereotyping)
  • The love interest was neat, and i did enjoy the solid character here (especially the "wit doesn't prove anything" in the context of "if we eliminate everything but the improbable" in order to counter the protagonist's "science over superstition"; Talk about hardcore repartee) I assumed this would be the core of the movie with the rest of it window dressing as the gallant duo wacked noggins and brought the rapacious "ruffians" to justice as the real villians.
  • The female actors were pretty strong in dialogue. Not too much sarcasm and just the right amount of *wink wink* with cold steel beneath a couple of beating hearts. yummy
  • The nightmare the lead character had while sleeping with that sketchy Italian courtesan was impressive...very Pagan, but i just brushed it off as the token erotic art piece *shrug*
  • The daring duo looked to be Brains (the pale face) and Brawn (the red skin)...i was sure the only thing the "Chevalier" could do was some fancy shootin.
So, okay i can figure the coverup deal with the taxidermist skills (God forbid the King should look impotent)...We're also treated to some crazed cult conspiracy theory that appears at first blush to be Heretics attempting to force the King to recognize the power of God and the Church's jurisdiction and using "The Beast" as a rallying cry against Science (that's why the King had to play realpolitik, or should i say "The Special Counsel to his Majesty for Domestic Matters" did)
Dialogue wrote:
"Better to lie than let lies be spread?" Truth is a complicated thing. One must govern by simplicity. No more Beast, no more problem. "She'll go on killing." Without acclaim. That's what counts.
...It was certainly quite a shock to see our heroes' feet cut out from under them, Of course we know they'll gallop back to the Hunt, but now their overt Royal support has evaporated. THEN we get a look at The Beast in technicolor. ewwwwww my gawwwwwd. And at that point the middle of the movie is EEK EEK love interest about to be munched, but she gets sniffed instead? nah, it must be just that the master called it back. ?? still. a wierd plothole. anyways we're off to the spagetti western showdown. hooooo boy, was i in fer a shock when the Mohawk shaman gets shot. wowzers...Conspiratorial Noblemen, Master Assassin-cum-taxidermist, Occult voodoo-ism, Fallen Priests, Secret agents, Byzantine realpolitik, Romeo & Juliet death scenes, Crazed incest, etc.
heh...and some people call ME melodramatic. lol

oh hey! guess what the Beast was?

Monica Bellucci

what really intrigued me was the Secret Agent, i just couldn't buy the story about the church having a spy like that. At one point in the very end of the movie her minions "arrest" the conspirators, so it's got to be some kind of governmental agency. The Pope or the King? I was kinda hoping for a "Pagan underground" movement -- remember the nightmare the lead actor had while sleeping with the secret agent? alas, that "yer under arrest" thing kinda ruined that option. Despite the fact i don't really think the pope employed courtesans, and a debauche Royal agent would be more approriate, there was that "I'm from italy. just passing through" and the "florence" quotes, so it's pretty clear if you followed the dialogue that the Pope's an equal opportunity employer. *g* (a little sex, drugs and rock&roll never hurt anyone as long as we vanquish evil; which, in a nutshell, explains the movie)
    i'm still thinking, even now, that the church gave a wink and a nod to this secret society - the brotherhood of the wolf - and that some kind of "Pagan Underground" got wind of how evil it really was and decided to deal with it themselves, with a little help given to our Hero...But i think that's just my opinion alone based on pure speculation and the only fact to back it up was the hero's nightmare, and the implausibility of the Heroine being in the employ of the Pope....Though, on second thought, perhaps she swears fealty to the King instead and just used the Pope thing as smoke&mirrors?
That dialogue in the dungeon was superb. Sure sounded like she was an agent sent to deal with a bunch of fanatics who were obviously way out of control from day one?
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