Contraband

I’m a great fan of Mark Warlberg since he pulled up his pants and stopped showing us his Calvin Klein underwear.  It’s just a pity that the “New Kids on the Block” (i.e., this generation of youth) think that they’ve invented the wheel! My advice to the “New Kids” is this; if you are going to wear your pants so low, make sure that your underwear is (a) clean and (b) they are a style worth looking at!

I know, I’m doing it again. Let's go read a review.…

This week I had the choice of watching a few films, well four in fact but I chose to watch only two.  The first was more like an “info-mercial” that I reviewed and depending on your preference you've just read or are about to read it.

This review was a pleasure not a chore, read on fellow curious from the parents called curiosity...

Contraband is a word I have to be honest and say that due to my simple monastic lifestyle was unfamiliar to me so I thought I’d ask my friend Ronnie Biggs (have you heard of him?) what it meant.

This is what he said...

“Gman, its ‘anyfing’ prohibited by law from being imported or exported and does include smuggling”.

I thanked Ronnie and has I was about to walk away, when he said “did you know during the American civil war, a black slave who escaped or was brought to within the Union Lines was also classed as being Contraband”.  I asked him how was it that he knew so much about this subject and then some. He replied “I learned about stuff to do with ethnicity while living on the run inBrazil.  They're a fairly diverse people and I thought that I should get to know them more and their history if I’m going to enjoy their hospitality and breed up their women”, which I thought was eloquently put.

Chris Farraday (Mark Wahlberg) is an ex-smuggler who works by installing security alarms and lives a peaceful life with his wife, Kate (Beckinsdale), and their two little sons inNew Orleans.  One day, Chris and Kate learn that her brother Andy (Calab Landry Jones) was smuggling drugs in a cargo ship, but was forced to drop them into the ocean to avoid arrest during a surprise inspection by the U.S. Customs. Andy's boss, ruthless mobster Tim Briggs (Giovanni Ribisi), is vexed (not pleased) and wants Andy to repay him the value of the drugs in cold hard Benjamin’s ($).

Chris meets with Briggs, who threatens to kill Andy if he doesn't pay $700,000 in two weeks and oh yeah, if Andy fails then Chris, Kate and boys are consigned to history too!

Chris realizes that the only way to raise that kind of money quickly is to run contraband and joins the crew on a cargo ship where his father Bud (William Lucking), who's currently in prison, used to run contraband.

Chris has an idea to buy $10m in fake bills fromPanamathen smuggle the money into theU.S.with the help from Andy and Chris' old friend Danny Raymer (Lukas Haa).

Now I’m not condoning smuggling fake money into the USA because clearly that's wrong, but people do stuff that's illegal, so what happens when a person who owns a shipping company is accused of smuggling?

It reminds me of a recent case of a retired businessman called Christopher Tappin who's based in theUKwhom theUSAclaimed bought 5 industrial batteries from theUSAand shipped them toIranwithout theAmerica’s permission.

The developments are that he has been extradited to Americaand has exchanged his “made to measure” two piece suits for an Orangeone piece version with “prison issue” stitched into the neck. We are obviously the “51st State” and how our elected leaders have allowed this is a disgrace.

But, I digress....

This film is a remake of the 2008 Icelandic film Reykjavik-Rotterdam which Baltasar Kormákur starred in and in this version is directed by him.

That’s basically the plot but to tell you more would mean this review would be a spoiler but I will liken this film to being a cross between “The Italian Job” (modern version) and a poor mans version of “Mission: Impossible”.

I loved this film and loved that it had so many twists and turns but was in no way predictable unless you're from Icelandand have seen the original....

 

The Devil Inside

I had the choice of watching a few films on Friday but chose to watch this one even though as I have said before, “I don't do horror” but again my reasons for watching this had nothing to do with preference but curiosity. “Why curiosity” you ask? Come closer; read on, there's more...

The story is told in a similar fashion to “The Blair Witch Project”. Think jerky camera techniques as used in the afore mentioned film and also used in the alien invasion movie “Cloverfield” then you'll appreciate what I'm talking about.

This film also reminded me of “The Rite” starring Sir Anthony Hopkins as a seasoned Roman Catholic Exorcist working with a young sceptical trainee Priest.

‘The Devil Inside’ is about a 25yr old American woman Isabella (Fernanda Andrade) who is the daughter of a woman, Maria Rossi (Suzan Crowley) that in October 1989 had killed the 3 priests who had been attempting to perform an exorcism on her.  The courts find the mother incapable of mentally understanding the severity of her actions so detain her in a hospital indefinitely.  The location of the hospital is inItaly's capital.

Years later the daughter Isabella decides to make a documentary about the subject matter so recruits Mike (Ionut Grama) a cameraman and both venture off to Rome to film her mum and also to visit the “school of exorcism” where the Catholic church teaches young trainee priests on how to be a “ghost-buster”.

On visiting her mum, Isabella is told by her in a child like voice that (mum) has no children.  When Isabella tries to correct her mum, the denial is repeated more firmly with a sinister tone and mum also states that she knows that Isabella has had an abortion and “GOD would not be pleased with her”.  Daughter is curious to know how did this woman (mum) who she has not seen for 20+ yrs know this secret fact. 

Mike the cameraman appears to have no obvious faith is filming Isabella’s communications with the trainees.  During filming Isabella is invited by two Priests called Ben (Simon Quarter man) and David (Evan Helmuth) to witness an exorcism of a young woman.  Isabella agrees to this (come on people, it's like someone inviting you to a party and the host is KKK and you're black.  You'll be praying that no one asks you for the sheet back!). 

What is interesting is that both films I’ve mentioned (The devil Inside and The Rite) point out that the person being involved in the exorcism should not look into the eyes of the possessed or have direct communication with the spirit (i.e., if the spirit asks you “do you find me attractive?” don't reply “yes but you could work on the hair cause it's little greasy and your nails need work!” do not go there).

Obviously the peeps involved in both films mentioned haven't had the privilege of reading my reviews so what happens, happens but, I digress...

This film, even though it uses the main characters to warn people “not to get involved in this afore mentioned area”, I still think films like this do more to encourage folk to explore the “dark arts”.

The makers deliberately use a good looking woman which will get the brothers watching.  Other companies that practise this deception include The Disney channel and their brand of programs aimed at the young.  Their shows are strategic and involve “beautiful people” into “the darkness” i.e., think “The Wizards of Waverley Place” or they are trying to grow up too soon.  Always ask questions when watching shows that are aimed at your kids such as in this case, “what's a wizard?” answer, a practitioner of the dark arts.

Back in the day Walt had phallic symbols drawn into the cartoon characters features.

Mickey Mouse in “Fantasia” is dressed as a wizard casting spells and battles against Genie's which aren't renowned for being from “the light side” no matter what Harry Potter tries to portray.  I could go on but I know I'm digressing.… 

‘The Devil Inside’ is shot in such a way you could imagine it's a true story but it isn't.  ‘The Rite’ is shot in a normal cinematic way but has elements of truth (but isn't true remember the film industry is calledHollywoodbut was originally called holy-wood due to it being the place where witches and wizards had their wands cursed. I know, I'm digressing).

Both films mentioned pay homage to the original and the best in the field, ‘The Exorcist’, which again was based on an element of truth but remember the devil isn't about the truth.

The Exorcist film of the early 70s features a girl using a crucifix inappropriately (you know what I'm saying here if you've seen it), whereas the book that the film is based on is a true account and features a young boy playing with an Ouija board who brings an entity from the spirit world into ours which possesses him. 

As an aside, but of interest, the two worlds are often depicted in film in a chess board pattern, the white squares representing our world and the black, theirs (the spirit dimension).

Do you remember “The devil's advocate” starring Keanu Reeves as a young Lawyer whose dad (but he doesn't realise until the end) is Al Pacino aka the devil.  At the end of the film Pacino wants Keanu to sleep with his Red headed sister on an alter that is placed on a chequered floor.

Films are not made by chance; everything you are shown either in the fore or background is in it for a reason....

“The Rite” and “The Devil Inside” show you a dark force that has entered a person and cannot be defeated (The Exorcist does this too).  However, the truth is that all these modern films on demon possession do not inform you that the devil is only one entity and if that is the case what makes you think he (his various names include; diablo, lucifer, loki,etc.) would spend his time on earth possessing insignificant people who live in Suburbia eating chips when he can work closely with Presidents/Kings and Queens (this is a statement not a question).

What other reason does “holy-wood” have for making such films? I'll show you.

‘The Rite’ cost $37m Box Office takings = $96m

‘The Devil Inside’ cost $1m Box Office takings = 85m (remember it has only been out 2months)

‘The Exorcist’ cost $12m and Box Office takings = $441m!!!

Finally, just to make it clear, I'm not recommending this film rather, I'm reviewing it in the hope you understand the points I'm making and with your new found understanding you will keep away from this genre in all its deceptive forms.

Article by @gmanzen / 19th March 2012

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