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HE NEVER DIED (2015)

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HE NEVER DIED (2015)

Thursday, 28 January 2016 02:01

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Written by 

The Buzz:heneverdied

 

     A cannibalistic immortal must break his self-imposed seclusion when mobsters decide to use a young woman as a chance for revenge. Jack (Henry Rollins) is a no nonsense killer with a heart of gold plated iron who's personal war may truly be his chance for redemption.  

 

 

 

 

 

Life of the Party:

 

     While everyone involved with this film ultimately delivered fine performances; the entire weight of the picture is carried on Henry Rollins' persona and energy which carries such gravitas as to almost punch you in the face from on screen. I once saw Rollins lifting weights back stage at a Van's Warped Tour in which the size of the dumbells seemed cartoonish... like monster truck tires attached to a street light pole. I mention this because Rollins has always been famous for being intense per every conceivable usage of the word. While he's gotten older and isn't lifting iron like he used to, his personality has not softened one iota. 

     If you're not familiar with Rollins, he rose to fame largely as the front man to the hardcore punk rock band Black Flag in the early to mid 80's after early front men for the band Keith Morris (founder of the Circle Jerks) and Ron Reyes left and quit mid show respectively. However, it was after he left Black Flag in 1986 and formed The Rollins Band that he began to branch out. Not only did he continue his music, but he became a record producer, spoken word poet, actor, radio personality, weight lifter, political activist, journalist, and stand up comedian. While I don't want to write a historical autobiography of Rollins, it's important to know the kind of man he is to understand the impact he has on this picture. You see Rollins surprised many who saw him only as an energetic and angry punk kid by showing depth of character and ambition beyond his early fame. His spoken word and stand up comedy are not just laced with highly intellectual deconstructions and musings on social, political, and economical topics but are the very meat of his performances, with comedy being merely the whipped cream he sweetens the offering with to help make it more palatable to his audience. He has shown that he can be both ferociously angry at perceived injustices in his discourse and profoundly compassionate to fans and the down trodden through his social work and activism. 

 

      The character of Jack in He Never Died is a boiled down and much more physically respresentend personification of Rollins own psyche by any means that we can piece together through his works in the public eye. We see in Jack early in the picture as anti-social and removed by what we are given hints to be from traumatic experiences of his past. He outwardly seems to care little for people, but as we peak further into his daily life we see that may not be entirely true. His compassion is reluctant, but never failing with only increasing fervor as the story progresses, sacrificing more and more of himself in the name of others even as he fools himself into thinking otherwise. Where Rollins himself has music as a non-violent means of dealing with his agression, Jack simply gives into the violence, but the intensity with which it is delivered is all Rollins and is where we see Rollins and Jack merge before our eyes. Jack's depth and character are what drives every scene in He Never Dies because the camera never really leaves him, so it's important that they found someone so capable of getting it right. By the end of the film so much of what we have learned is gleaned by what hasn't yet been said or answered, and this is another mirror to the often quiet and stoic character of Jack. In the end superb acting and world building that leaves us with holes our imaginations can play with make this a gem of last years independent offerings. 

 

heneverdied1

It's only a flesh wound...

 

Potential Hangovers:

 

     There is not a lot happening on screen at any given point in this picture, the pacing is slow and deliberate. It makes an hour and a half film feel much more like 2 hours or longer. For a film about immortals and fighting mobsters it's not something that is going to engage an large audience with short attention spans, which you might think it would by the short description of it. There's also more questions about the world and Jack posed by the end of the film than every answered. You're expected to fill in some of the blanks yourself intentionally, I think. For some this may allow you to have fun debates as you and your viewing partners debate how those holes could possibly be filled in, for others you may feel blue balled that there's no huge pay off or exposition. If you're easily offended by religious iconography and artistic license of Christian mythology... you may also want to steer clear here. 

 

heneverdied2

Ok, who shit themselves?

 

Atmosphere: Solo Experience

 

     Ok, it doesn't HAVE to be solo. But I'd say you don't want more than one or two other people with you watching this. It may not really seem like it, but this is a film that wants you to think. It doesn't want you distracted. So much of what's being said here isn't being said verbally. It's not something you'll follow while chatting in another room or while you get up repeatedly to get snacks. Even the many places you're likely to laugh watching this (and it's deliberately funny at times) will be done so while either 1) cringing at the violence also happening or 2) not at a joke so much as at someone's reaction to something fucked up or odd. Pick this up and save it for a day or night when you've got nothing planned and all you want to do is watch a good flick in your PJs.

 

Plus/Minus:

+ Henry Rollins amazing delivery (It's not DiGiorno).

+ A unique twist on a not unique vampire myth.

+ Interesting Cinematography choices.

- A little slow paced.

 

Drinking Rules:

- Drink every time Jack turns away/walks away from someone instead of answering them/responding to them in conversation.

- Drink for every new bullet wound Jack acquires.

- Drink continuously while Jack lists his previous occupations.

- Take a shot when someone has their crotch attacked.

HARDCORE MODE: Drink every time Jack commits or is shown to have or discusses having commited any of the 7 deadly sins (Gluttony, Slot, Greed, Pride, Envy, Lust, Despair, Vanity). 

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About Us

Tanked Matinee is the place to go for good drinking movies. What do we mean by that? Simply speaking, we evaluate and recommend entertainment media based on how much fun it is to watch with friends on the sofa and a cold beer in hand.

Everyone knows "The Godfather" is a great movie, but is it as great to drink with as "Roadhouse?" We can appreciate "Citizen Kane" as a masterpiece of cinema, but is it as good a centerpiece for your party as "Santa Clause Conquers the Martians?"

Tanked Matinee appreciates film as art, but when you're kicking back on Friday night with a tall Rum & Coke, you're not looking for art, man, you want to be entertained. We're here to recommend the best movies for your night in, whether it's a big party, small get-together, or just a quiet night alone with a bottle of wine or three.

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