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A Series of Tortures 

Yet another damn 'Saw' movie is crapping in theaters ... and bringing in lots of box-office cash

Joy of joys, it's time for the annual Saw movie review. There is no more reliable occurrence at movie theaters than the yearly appearance of this corrosive, awful film force.

Let me preface my comments by acknowledging my disappointment in the general public. I sat in a full house for Saw V the other night, while I sat in a one-third-full house for W. last week. Come on, people! You just ensured that there will be a Saw VI and gave us virtually no shot at that W. prequel! I was so looking forward to Little W. Goes Hiking and Steps on a Bug.

When this one starts, Jigsaw (the barbiturate-voiced Tobin Bell) is still dead, but that doesn't mean anything in the Saw world. Not only did he orchestrate and manufacture multi-million-dollar death traps when he was alive, but--as the end of the last film and flashbacks tell us--he was tutoring someone to take over the dirty deeds when he finally succumbed to cancer.

So the murders rock on, starting with a supposedly bad man having a date with a pendulum contraption. Eventually, we are introduced to five people waking up in a dark room, chained to a head-chopping thing. Soon, they will hear that familiar voice and will be forced to watch a video with that stupid puppet guy.

The main thrust of the plot--if you want to call it that--has a survivor named Agent Strahm (Scott Patterson) investigating suspected Jigsaw protégé Mark Hoffman (Costas Mandylor), who happens to be another police officer.

I couldn't help but think Patterson looked like an older Jason Lee after an alcohol and ice cream-sundae bender. I kept mentally painting a mustache on his face so that he would look like Lee's character from My Name Is Earl. This would intermittently trick me into thinking I was actually watching an episode of that show, when Earl was acting out the "Be a Detective and Save People From Bizarre Murder Contraptions" entry on his to-do list. Hey, anything to pass the time!

While Strahm's investigation is going on, the five people start getting knocked off as a series of elaborate and undoubtedly expensive death traps pick them off.

So, yeah, even though Jigsaw is dead, Tobin Bell keeps picking up paychecks for these things. I recall almost not hating the last chapter, but I fully hate this one, and Bell is a good part of the reason why. He's a dreary, uninteresting actor who has gotten far too much mileage out of this mundane creation. So, I am starting a STOP TOBIN BELL'S ACTING CAREER campaign right now. I'm not going to advertise, or canvass, or print up any fliers, because that would require effort and time. I'm simply going to ask you to stop watching these things and send Bell packing. He's a dick!

You know what? Now I'm feeling a little bad that I just called Tobin Bell a dick. I've made it a practice to not take things personally when it comes to films, and I just broke one of my own rules. Hey, Tobin, I'm sure you are a fine man. I just hate your movies, and I'm sure you didn't intentionally head out to ruin Halloween for me five years running, getting me in a bad mood for one of my favorite holidays. Hell, I haven't even gone to a Halloween party in more than five years, because this damn sorry series puts me in a mood. Come to think of it ... you are a dick!

Damn ... did it again.

Before the film, a preview of the remake of Friday the 13th played. I hated the Friday the 13th movies (with the exception of Freddy vs. Jason), but these Saw films have me longing for more installments of the hockey-mask-wearing, machete-wielding dolt. Anything beats more Jigsaw.

Saw V
Rated NR

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