December 3, 2017
“The Band Goes to a Movie”
After our show at “The Mansion” in Maharishi Vedic City, we played a few unannounced shows in parking lots throughout eastern Iowa using a 17,500-watt generator Jake bought from someone at a “steep discount” because the muffler was no longer attached. It is really loud. Louder than we are, actually. At one show, we didn’t realize the instruments were off until the last song. At that point, we just pantomimed the final number to the two people in attendance who were certain we were a “hidden camera show” or the “world’s worst flash mob.”
The two grand Jake dropped on the generator was unanimously agreed upon by the rest of the band as a poor investment. When confronted about this, Jake replied that he would simply win another award and make back “one hundred times” that much. It was the first incident in which the whole band had a real fight. Not that we didn’t fight individually. In fact, it is getting alarming how many times we have to pull the van over so two members can physically assault one another on the side of the road.
Amy seems to be the most frequent combatant. She will “drop gloves” for literally any reason. Jeff mispronounced the word “melee” by putting the emphasis on the second syllable like “muh-LAY” and that was enough. Even though Amy had just finished splitting my lip in two places, she didn’t even bother getting back in the van. She just used a wet wipe on her knuckles to avoid cross contamination of blood and waited for Jeff to “come get his.”
The whole band fighting was something different. It was evident that morale was falling since our next paying gig was a week out. The parking lot shows are fun, but it is cold, and Jason has taken to aggressively reading excerpts from Zinn’s People’s History of the United States between songs and challenging what few people stop to listen, “Do you even know? Do you? Do you? You don’t know. You don’t know.”
Instead of letting the animus grow to a boil, we decided to go to a movie together at a discount movie theater. We let Jeff choose the movie because of the regularity in which he is on the receiving end of a roadside beating. He chose Jigsaw thinking it was a documentary on his favorite pastime. Even at the urging from the rest of the band that it was not what he thought, he wouldn’t listen. He simply would plug his ears, stomp his feet as if marching, and chant “No spoilers!”
Needless to write, but the film was considerably different than what Jeff expected. After the show and as we continued east in the van towards our next parking lot gig, we discussed the nuances of the film; each pretending as if they were writing a film review column. What follows are the five reviews of Lionsgate Film’s Jigsaw as reviewed by the five members of the band.
“An action committed in anger, is an action doomed to failure.” That’s Genghis Khan who, fun fact, it turns out is related to me. I took one of the ancestry DNA tests and I am four percent Khan. Anyway, I can’t remember how the movie starts, I was looking something up on my Apple Watch (series three, no big deal, but just to get things accurate), and kind of went down a rabbit hole on the history of the Saw franchise. That guy in the first one, Princess Bride guy, he has a woman’s name, I think. Anyway, turns out he didn’t die. I thought I read he was shot by police because he pointed some cigarettes at them. Couldn’t confirm it, and Snopes listed it as false, so I guess it is still undecided.
So, the movie starts, or at least started for me and there were these people with buckets on their heads for some reason. I didn’t catch why, but they got out of the buckets and went to the next room. It reminds me of one of those “Escape Room” games. I went to one of those one time. I looked up the name of the place I went to during the movie, so I missed another chunk of the plot. I was able to find some pictures I took when I was solving all the challenges for my team at the escape room place. It is amazing how good pictures are on the iPhone X (that’s what I have, again, no big deal, just being factual).
I remember at one point in the movie, some people were being buried by cornmeal, I think. There was also a laser collar that someone wears that eventually kills the cop who is really the bad guy. Maybe, who knows.
All in all, I would give the movie a B-. It didn’t really hold my attention, Apple makes the best consumer electronics, and Genghis Khan is my uncle.
“I want to play a game.” You and me both, Pal!
When I was nineteen, I started going through puberty. I couldn’t wait for my voice to drop, peach fuzz to turn into real whiskers, and most importantly, be six feet tall. Well, as Meatloaf tries to argue, “Two out of three ain’t bad.” Unfortunately, Meatloaf is wrong! Even after using gravity boots every day for a year, I never did make it to six feet, and that fact haunts my family to this day.
So, why do I bring this up? Two reasons: one, therapy is expensive. The second reason is probably more relevant; Jigsaw is the epitome of a 5’11” movie: worthless in almost every single way.
See, a 5’11” person looks like they could be six feet tall (perfection), but they are not. They are simply masquerading as something better than they are. Jigsaw could have been an amazing movie about puzzles and the people who love them. Instead, it is an hour and a half of torture. So, if you are in to torture, it could be worth your time. If you are in to jigsaw puzzles, don’t bother.
If I had to apply some type of rating system to the film, which I clearly am under no obligation to do, I would give it the dreaded “Kansas City Star, December 26, 1987 Crossword.” In other words, nearly impossible to get through.
Has anybody ever looked at Jeff? I mean really looked at him. There is just something about him that makes me want to pull the van over to the side of the road and just attack him.
First, he picks this movie based on absolutely nothing but the name. He thinks it’s about puzzles. Really, Jeff!? You think Hollywood made and released a movie about jigsaw puzzles? Also, have you heard him say “melee?” I mean, who says it like that? Does he think it’s French? Sure, it probably IS French, but it’s not that French. He sounds like he is saying “m’lady” wrong.
I have no idea what the movie is about. I was so distracted by Jeff’s whimpering throughout the whole film that I couldn’t concentrate for more than a few seconds. I usually am all about a good torture film. I don’t even need story. College kids traveling abroad? That’s enough setup for me. Ancient god being brought back to life? Almost too much exposition. Just get to it. I did catch a couple of good scenes in my peripheral while staring at Jeff. There was one with a laser collar towards the end, but I don’t want to ruin it.
Oh! And has anyone heard Jeff eat popcorn. He slurps it! God as my witness, he somehow has found a way to slurp popcorn. It’s incredible!
I give the movie seventeen roadside beatdowns because that is what I am going to be dishing out after that experience.
I don’t know how many of you sheeple have read Howard Zinn’s People’s History, but I would bet not many. You really should if you want to stop being a sheepson (sherpson? sheperson?) Jigsaw really reminds me of the book in a lot of ways. See, America has always been a nation where an elite minority exploit the majority and nobody does anything about it. Do you even know? Do you? You don’t know. Well, Jigsaw is just a thinly veiled allegory of the True history of America.
There is this guy. Super powerful, behind the scenes type guy, maybe he is “Jigsaw,” I don’t know. You only hear him on tapes, and everything he says everybody just has to do. Like, he gives them some cryptic riddle that says what he wants, and they have to figure it out before they get killed by this saw. Basically, they have to sacrifice their own sweat and blood (their life essence) to stop the saw.
This is an almost embarrassingly simplistic metaphor about the working class in this country. “Hey, you. Person with original thoughts, go to school” (sweat). “Now, go to college” (blood) “Now, go get a job” (lots of blood and sweat). “Now buy things” (so much blood). “What’s that? You don’t have any more blood to give? Make kids so they can do the same thing” (Kid blood). So obvious! It’s almost like they weren’t even trying to disguise the fact that they are a “Zinn-Fidels” (that’s what we call ourselves).
Later in the movie, two of the characters are being buried alive. The other character has to admit that he did something bad to save them. Howard Zinn says the most revolutionary act is to tell the truth. The guy who has his leg trapped is America; he needs to admit what he has done (war, genocide, slavery) before the other characters (the youth) are buried (in ignorance and debt.) Man, you don’t even know.
I give Jigsaw one accusation of plagiarism and one star for at least attempting to enlighten a docile populace.
I am not angry I saw it. Three out of five stars.