Sam Neill Update: Mustache Sam, Bolshevik Doctor, Choppy McAxFace

Steven would only consent to watching one of these with me. Guess which one!

Hint: it was this one:

The Triangle (2005 TV miniseries)
This was an hour and a half movie that somehow got stretched out to 4 hours (I assume in the wash by mistake).

Of course it was made by the Sci Fi channel, why would you even ask?

The Movie: Eccentric billionaire Eric Benerall hires a team of “experts” in different fields to solve the mystery of the Bermuda Triangle, because he’s sick of it messing up his shipping operations. The team bumbles around, seeing weird hallucinations(?), getting kidnapped by a shady military organization, and eventually traveling back in time to set it all aright. Apparently the Bermuda Triangle is really home to masses of “exotic matter” which the military has known about forever and is secretly monitoring in a massive underwater facility. They know some big, cataclysmic event is coming since the Triangle is getting worse and, of course, plan to use a big explosion to stop it. Except, OH NOES, our heroes discover that it’s actually the explosion that’s going to cause the cataclysm and all along the creepiness of the Bermuda Triangle has just been time shockwaves from the horror the military is about to unleash!!! Luckily, they stop the evil military, and the world warps to a reality where the Bermuda Triangle never existed. Our heroes still remember, and most of them are annoyed when their lives are less cool in this new universe. Especially Hot Australian Meteorologist who went from being a total player to having a wife and kids. Bummer.

The Character: Sam Neill plays the eccentric billionaire, who is mysteriously menaced by a mustached version of himself who’s always standing RIGHT BEHIND HIM looking really accusing:

Mustache Sam judges your clean-shaven upper lip, Normal Sam. Also, he wants you to kill some puppies.

Mustache Sam spends most of the four hours completely freaking out normal Sam, until he is a useless gibbering wreck who refuses to help the main characters stop the military. At one point, our heroes warp into a weirdly fascist alternate dimension, so Steven and I decided that Mustache Sam must be the alternate-reality fascist dictator version of Normal Sam. Who was maybe looking for a way to break into other dimensions and rough up the place! You have no idea how many great scenarios we were able to come up with to explain Mustache Sam in the four excruciating hours of this movie (there wasn’t much else to do, really). Unfortunately, Mustache Sam turned out to be Normal Sam’s brother, who was lost in the Triangle and Sam is haunted by his ghost until he finds the truth. So much less cool. In the end, Normal Sam does save the day by recklessly driving one of his massive oil tankers into the Bermuda Triangle to delay the military in their evil, evil mission. At the very end, in the Triangleless reality, the heroes actually meet Mustache Sam, and he is annoyingly not even trying to eat their skin. Mustache Sam, you let me down. You let me down hard.

What I Learned: Airplane bathrooms are airtight, so if your plane crashes into the ocean, you can totally survive inside one for hours and hours until some psychic scuba divers rescue you! Also, if you travel back in time to the horrible accident where your car drives into the ocean, it might be a good idea to, like, open the windows the second time around or something. Or just act exactly the same and let your friend die, whatever.

Would I Watch Without Sam Neill?: No. Unless it was a movie where my wild explanations for Mustache Sam turned out to be accurate.

Country Life (1994)
This movie is based on the Chekhov play Uncle Vanya except set in the interwar Australian outback instead of 1890s Russia!

The main change is now there's a scene of kangaroos making wild passionate kangaroo love

The Movie: I’ve never seen or read the Chekhov play this is based on, but from a cursory glance at its Wikipedia article, I would say this movie follows the plot pretty well. Wealthy old Dr. Askey returns from his decadent life in London with a pretty young wife! His daughter from his first wife and his brother-in-law have been working the family estate in his absence to support his decadent lifestyle. The brother-in-law and the delightfully alcoholic country doctor both fall madly in love (lust?) with the hot new wife, and Sally, the daughter, is sad that her unrequited love for Drunken Country Doctor can never be. Then Dr. Askey decides to sell the estate to get more money, brother-in-law pitches a fit and tries to shoot him, and everyone goes back to where they were at the beginning of the movie, trying to pretend this whole thing never happened.

Classy, Sam Neill. Classy.

The Character: Sam Neill plays Drunken Country Doctor! He reminded me a lot of his character in The Good Wife, but perhaps slightly less smarmy. Although he still pretty much seduces the hot young wife in a barn, using kittens as bait. Also, most people in the county don’t really like him because he encourages ecologically healthy farming practices and not killing all Aboriginals on sight. In consequence, he starts a riot in a church while returning soldiers call him “Bolshevik” and beat him up. However, since he’s the only doctor around, he’s not too worried about them killing him for good. He even takes liquor as payment when you should “save your money for the funeral”! What a stand up guy.

What I Learned: The plot of Uncle Vanya. What kangaroo mating looks like.

Would I Watch Without Sam Neill?: Probably not. These kind of depressing family dramas where everyone freaks out about their ennui are not really my style.

The Piano (1993)
Once again Netflix wanted me to think of this movie as a romance, and once again it really, really wasn’t.

Even the woman/piano relationship really goes downhill at the end

The Movie: Ada is mute but loves playing her piano. She, the piano, and her young daughter (from another marriage? I never understood this) are sent to 1850s New Zealand to marry Alisdair Stewart, who seems gruff, but tries to be kind in his way. Which doesn’t include lugging a piano through the muddy jungle, unfortunately. Luckily, one of his workers falls madly in love with Ada and is totally willing to go get the piano, buying it off her husband and then demanding she give him piano lessons. But of course he doesn’t care about playing the piano, he only cares about getting under that sweet, sweet hoop skirt, and eventually Ada returns his love (or lust?). Of course, Alisdair is pissed, gives her some chances to Never See Him Again, but she doesn’t listen and he ends up cutting off her finger. With an axe!! Then he apparently feels sick just looking at her and tells her lover to take her away and never come back. As they’re going away in a small boat, Ada demands that he push her piano overboard because she doesn’t want it anymore. Then she (on purpose?) sticks her foot into a mess of ropes and gets pulled down after it! She contemplates how she’s totes committing suicide and that’s okay for awhile underwater, then apparently has jumper’s remorse and struggles free. Yay? At the end, her new husband(?) makes her a creepy metal finger. The end.

Sam Neill is sorry you forced him to axe your finger off

The Character: Sam Neill plays Alisdair Stewart, Ada’s poor cuckolded husband. At the beginning we see him trying to make her happy, but not really knowing how. He also thinks her desperate longing for the piano is a little crazy, and begins to suspect that she might be insane as well as mute. He actually becomes friends with Ada’s daughter, whom she kind of starts to ignore in the excitement of her affair with the guy who began by coercing her into sex (how romantic!). I know I’m not supposed to like Sam Neill and his finger-chopping-off ways, but really Ada kind of annoyed me. Maybe because I too would probably refuse to carry her giant piano through the rainy, muddy jungle. I’m with you on this one, Sam.

Sam Neill can't understand why his hat doesn't impress you!

What I Learned: New Zealand jungles are like the muddiest places on Earth.

Would I Watch Without Sam Neill?: No. Every other character besides the little girl was pretty tiresome. Although I guess it was pretty interesting to see Ada’s character develop almost entirely through actions and facial expressions.

Next: Husband, Rich Dude, “The Scorpion”
Previously: Total Player, Overbearing Dad, Crackpot

4 responses to “Sam Neill Update: Mustache Sam, Bolshevik Doctor, Choppy McAxFace”

  1. […] Previously: SuperCroc, Apartheid, Boat Kidnapping Next: Mustache Sam, Bolshevik Doctor, Choppy McAxeFace […]

  2. Brian says:

    Sam Neill with an axe is seriously scary.

  3. Bova says:

    I should totally rent The Piano! Also…your description totally brought to mind this GEM of a movie about a crazy pianist. My mom discovered this one a while ago. I recommend it if you like crazy.

  4. […] « Sam Neill Update: Mustache Sam, Bolshevik Doctor, Choppy McAxFace […]

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