Last night, being a Tuesday and seeing as Nicktor decided to stop his jaunting around Europe for a bit, was a Nicktor Night. He promised me a surprise. His text message said I would be excited. I thought, maybe, he’d bought me something memorable back from Italy…Spain…Amsterdam. But, no, it was far more exciting than that!
He was a bit later than usual because the traffic betwixt us was terrible (actually his words were far more graphic but I think this paints the picture accurately enough). We decided to have lamb burgers up at the 6 Bells because there wasn’t a lot of beer at home. Stocks have not been replenished due to the Brittany absence. My priorities were clearly all wrong…however, the Everard’s Tiger bitter went down very well and we were graced with the presence of Nicktor’s favourite acerbic barmaid. The beer garden was awash with early evening sunshine and beckoned us.
Nicktor has a problem with decisions. It is possible to stand for days in a bar as he makes up his mind what food to select (this isn’t a problem with beer, I should add). The lamb burgers were off the menu tonight so I knew we were there for the long haul. If I have a few weeks to spare, I’ll just let him phaff around a bit but I wanted to sit down and hear of his travels so I told the barmaid he wanted the first thing he said. Which was a curry.
Because he’d been ‘umming’ and ‘ahing’ all over the place, she asked if he was sure. This is a very dangerous thing to do as it upsets his equilibrium and amplifies his indecision mode to maximum. Fortunately I know this so deflected any chance of any lengthy waffling by telling her, emphatically, that he wanted the curry. I then, almost, dragged him outside.
We had a lovely dinner and he spoke of his European Sojourn with the reverence normally reserved for high Catholic mass. He said it was boring but intense. Apart from the World Cup games he managed to catch in various European bars, the meetings were pretty full on and the travel never really let up. He was particularly pleased with the four hour train trip to Milan. This is unusual for Nicktor as he normally hates train journeys longer than 10 minutes. It seems the power point next to his seat was a big plus. I guess the last thing you want is a flat laptop on a four hour trip to Milan. There are only so many safety brochures you can read.
Anyway, after a couple of pints and a good feed, we strolled back along the lane (talking to Mirinda on the way) and prepared ourselves for our cinematic delights. And my eyes lit up when he produced the delights we would be viewing. Saw V and Saw VI! Genius!
Finally, the mysteries would be cleared up, the loopholes filled and the motives become plain. I had read on the imdb, that Saw V was supposed to be the worst of the franchise and didn’t really tell the viewer very much but I disagree. While the blood and gore was worse and, if it’s actually possible, a tad more gratuitous, the story, through a series of well plotted and executed flashbacks, started making sense. Saw VI was more of the same while pushing the story forwards as well.
The review I read claimed the main character, Jigsaw, who had changed into someone else after the death of the original (in the movie, not in real life) was intent on battling the FBI guy in Saw V and the whole Jigsaw raison d’etre was thrown out the window. However, if the viewer sees the series of movies as a very long TV series, the fifth part would be the chase with the goodie closing in on the baddie so naturally the focus would shift a bit. Jigsaw, while trying to play out the games started by his predecessor (and mentor), is also contending with this annoying gnat of a detective who, to all intents and purposes, should have died. I actually enjoyed Saw V a hell of a lot more than III and IV.
Saw VI was a great ending to the franchise, bringing back characters and closing the remaining gaps in the story. It was also pretty intense. I note that production has just been completed on Saw VII!
But I did have a problem with all the films after the first, and this may be a problem with other franchise films when the creative control is taken over by someone else. The first Saw film was excellent. It had everything (apart from any laughs, I hasten to add) from plot twists to clever use of the camera to induce effects in the viewer. It also had a good cliff-hanger ending, leaving it open for a second movie.
This is all good but, sadly, the rest of the movies, apart from the basic premise and the guy who played Jigsaw, referred only to themselves and seemed to have forgotten the first one. Even to the extent that one of the characters says to the main cop (Hoffman) that he’d been on the Jigsaw case from the beginning. This was not true. Hoffman turned up after the first movie. It was as if the first movie was so good, it was impossible to mesh the rest of the story with it.
Our biggest beef was the fact that the doctor in the first film, while escaping, appears to have never returned despite promises by forum members of the imdb. This was very annoying. Nicktor thinks that with the movies coming out at the cinema with the distance of years between them, time would dull any recollection by the audience and they’d forget the minutiae, which I agree with. However, in a world of DVDs and crazy people who enjoy watching them one after the other, this can be a problem.
Even given the above, we totally enjoyed the two final Saw movies and I agree with everyone who says how brilliant they are. We started watching Dragnet afterwards but, while we were enjoying the playful satire, it put us to sleep. So we went to bed.
As a little side fact, I was watching an episode of The Sopranos during lunch and Chris, one of the main characters, was watching the first Saw movie in one of the scenes, which brought back sweet memories.
Anyway, ‘twas another great Nicktor Night, with beer drunk, chat chatted and movies watched. Next week there’s the promise of a pre-season friendly at Aldershot so the horror theme of Nicktor Nights may just continue.