Tag Archives: wild card

Four Lions: Terrorism at its Finest

In this dark comedy/mockumentary of the Islamic world of terrorism, four “lions” of men come together for one reason only, to attack the Western infidels of Sheffield, England in order to send a message. And what a message they send. In one of the funniest movies of the past five years, for me, I couldn’t stop laughing as these moderately incompetent terrorists attempt to lay some waste and terror all over some English peoples. There’s mishaps, wavering trust and faith, and even some exploding sheep. Nothing could be better than one of the most controversial films to ever deal with a hot button issue.

This misfit group of terrorists are really intent on blowing up something. Be it a drug store or the members of a fun run, Hell, even their own mosque, they plan to incite some rage and tension between countries. There’s Omar (Riz Ahmed), the leader of the group with the best head on his shoulders. He plans to leave his family and be truer to the Muslim faith than his bookworm of a brother. What shocked me most about this film was why Omar’s loving and beautiful wife and son are okay with all that

Some kooky terrorists on the prowl.

he’s doing. There’s Omar’s dim witted friend and “bro” Waj (Kayvan Novak). Always wanting to travel on those “rubber dingy rapids”, Waj has the best of intentions but always seems to screw it up along the way. Throw in the wild card Barry (Nigel Lindsay) the white Muslim converted Englander who feels he’s better suited for terrorist acts than anyone in the group. He screws up a lot, but will never admit to his mistakes. And there’s Faisal (Adeel Akhtar) the man who blows up crows in preparation for an airborne attack.

Hassan pullin’ off some Muslim rapping.

Bring together this rag-tag bunch of Muslim extremists and you have a recipe for disaster. They cook up bombs in their flat with huge amounts of bleach and other cleaning products and slang it around with one of the funniest escape scenes you’ll ever see. There’s arguments on what a Wookie is (a bear or not?) and whether being a Muslim rapper is the right path in life. There are some great scenes in Afghanistan where Omar and Waj go for training and one of my favorite muck-up scenes takes place there as well. Is it racist I attempt to put on a English tinted Muslim accent? RUBBER DINGY RAPIDS BRO.

I was mightily impressed with Chris Morris’ directing and writing in this film. He researched information on the situation of terrorism and the “War on Terror” prior to this film. This helped accurately represent the frustrated characters he created in this film that just want to blow shit up. Coming from an actor turned director that I’ve watched in a few seasons of The IT Crowd, his humor wasn’t represented, and replaced with a much darker and brooding one. The council scene in which the local residents in Sheffield debate about terrorism is hard to watch and quite frightening when Hassan (Arsher Ali) is introduced. Their ideals and views may come across as ridiculous, but there are those out there who believe infidels must be killed and women must be locked away.

Explain this. Word.

Get some, Omar.

Not recognizing any of the actors from this film really helped enhance the experience of watching this film. They’re all fine actors and you begin to believe they are strong extremist Muslim supporters in this film. The gorilla style of shooting and set ups are all interesting and give a gritty feel to the film. The Afghanistan shots seem a bit unbelievable but its only for a short time that you have to jump into the warfare of the sands. The conflicts and characters develop as the film progresses and you learn that there is a serious side to the film. The dark humor becomes more real and you’re forced to realize situations like this happen, the terrorists have families and faces, they have feelings and emotions just like us. It’s not so much a sympathy film as it is a humorously dark look into what exactly terrorism means outside of our own perspectives. And I applaud that outlook. This film accomplishes its comedic elements and also delivers a message at the same time. Impressed as I was, this movie does deserve all the critical acclaim it got. Best film of 2010? You got it. A definite 9.7 out of 10.

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It’s Always Funny in Philadelphia

Okay, this review is a big deal to me. I love It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia. A few years ago, out of the blue, I was watching FX and came across this man standing in front of a hot dog bar. This girl comes up from behind up and pinched him. His reaction? Turn around and punch a wench. Full fist, to the face. Needless to say, I rolled around on my floor and peed myself continuously for a full hour. Then, the show ended and it left my mind for a while. It’s Always Sunny left my radar for a few years. Then, just last year (as I’m finding most college students are discovering) it came back. My friend reminded my of that very scene and I had a repeat of 3 years ago. Again, needless to say, I went online and bought seasons 1-4.

And let me tell you, this show is good. Every episode is good. I wish I could forget this show over and over so every time I watch it is just as funny as the first time I witnessed it. I love showing this show to my friends, and that’s just what I did for my lucky friend Ian right before I decided to review it. We spent many a night watching 3 or 4 episodes at a time, laughing until our beds ran wet with urine. That’s how funny this show is.

Basic plot/premise: Dennis and Sweet Dee, Mac, and Charlie run this terrible bar in south Philly. They get little to no foot traffic in there, leaving lots of time for shenanigans and terrible screw ups. This guys are offensive in every way possible. The first episode of the show deals with just how ignorantly racist “The Gang” truly is. It’s fantastic. These guys are not afraid to go there.

Now, usually everybody picks a favorite character. (Let me know who yours is and why. Classic.) My favorite is Mac. Muscles and yet intelligent, Rob

"The Gang"

McElhenney creates and writes this show, giving the meat and potatoes for which everyone else works with. He is quite the genius in my opinion. Then there’s Dennis. The conceited, egotistical, narcissist who brings looks and carelessness to the table. His lines are great and his witticisms supreme. There are not many characters on modern T.V. or otherwise who compare to either Mac or Dennis. Glenn Howerton is quite the man.

That’s not to say that Sweet Dee (Kaitlin Olson) and Charlie (Charlie Day) are not great character.

Charlie before the inspiration of Day Man

Charlie is consistently hilarious as the wild card who is basically a retard. His illiteracy and horrible way of living always spice up life. And yes, even Sweet Dee brings her own ridiculed “useless girl” identity into play for some of the best burns ever laid on a human being.

Interesting note. Shortly after the first season aired, Danny Devito’s children (grandchildren) approached him about Always Sunny. They told him they loved the show and that they really think he should get involved with it. And get involved with it he did. As Dennis and Dee’s father, Frank Reynolds is quite the angry, business-oriented character. His obsession with Vietnam and Rambo is just to good to be true. (Also the Cuckoo’s Nest reference episode can’t be beat.)

But yeah, these guys get into all kinds of a hootinanny. They get racist, patriotic, Invincible (New Kids on the Block guy), America, extreme, you name it, as long as it’s offensive, they’ve done it. The cast works so well

Yeah, it's that good.

together (watch the Gas Crisis episode) and their chemistry is unstoppable. I really hope this show never quits. It’s quite excellent. I plan on buying the fifth season and reviewing it as well, but you know, being a college student, I’m hard up on funds. (Someone buy it for me?) I haven’t really caught any of the sixth season, but it’s on my to do. I don’t really have a lot else to say, it’s just something you have to experience for yourself. 10 out of 10.

Oh, and here’s that scene I was talking about. Let me know if you pee your pants.