Posts Tagged ‘Tobin Bell’

“Saw V”: A Soap Opera of Gore

December 7, 2008
The advertising for Saw has always been more interesting and resonating than the films themselves.

The advertising for Saw has always been more interesting and resonating than the films themselves.

I first watched Saw V over a month ago at midnight, the night before it’s opening. The room was full of people that cheered during the bloodletting, I wasn’t nearly as thrilled. (You know it’s bad when you were more thrilled watching the Friday the 13th trailer reboot!)

The only way Saw V can properly be reviewed is to compare it to the other Saw films, because as movies they really in no way stand on their own. Where one leaves off the next picks up right from. Only now there’s so little story to tell they have to wrap back around on themselves and fill in the blanks from all of the other movies so the current model can make any sort of sense. And why this loop-de-loop style of storytelling, one because they are very good storytellers. Two, because they killed their title character Jigsaw, played by the wonderful Tobin Bell (who lends an actorly spark to a series that in no way deserves it) two episodes ago. That’s right, Jigsaw is only seen through a number of flashbacks given to us in that Memento style of parallel storytelling.

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“Saw IV”; oh, the horror of mediocrity

October 30, 2007

saw VI

If it had been a little worse I might have enjoyed Saw IV. As it stands there really isn’t much to be said that can already be guessed about this latest installment, but I think I can come up with a few things.

First of all, poor Donnie Wahlberg. He makes a cameo appearance that hopefully isn’t the doom of his career. This is the same thing that happened to Emilio Estevez after appearing briefly in Mighty Ducks 3, next thing you know an elevator pummeled down upon him. I like Donnie Wahlberg. I liked him in The Sixth Sense, Ransom, Boomtown…I like him as an actor. I even liked him in Saw II, which makes it sad for me to see him in Saw IV, however brief it is. The only other actor here that I like is Tobin Bell, the man who plays the villain and lead character Jigsaw. He has a calm face, one that commands attention from the other actors; his eyes pin point you and don’t let you go and maybe it’s his voice too, it crackles like static from the radio – hypnotic and unsettling. I couldn’t tell you if he’s a good actor or not, but he’s certainly good at what he does in the Saw movies. And his list of television credits dates back to 1988 when he appeared in The Equalizer, that show where a lot of other fine actors got there start…hello, is that Kevin Spacey!? The rest of the actors used here feel like straight to DVD actors or maybe it’s just that the movie doesn’t know how to and doesn’t care to show an actor act. Many of these actors were seen in Saw II and III. I saw part 2 and missed part 3 so story threads that carried over from the third didn’t affect me, but then again neither did elements that carried over from the second, so I guess you don’t really need to see either of them. But what happens in this film that cheapens the performances I have a feeling has less to do with the actors and more to do with the director and the editor.

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