Saturday, September 17, 2016

Character Analysis: Paxton

Character Analysis: Paxton

By: Brian Cotnoir

I’m probably one of the biggest fans of director Eli Roth.  I’ve seen every movie he’s released so far, and I just think he’s the greatest. I wanted to do a Character Analysis on one of his film characters, but I couldn’t make up my mind who I wanted to write one about.  I could’ve gone with Grimm, the character he played in his directorial debut, “Cabin Fever” and I also debated doing one about Keanu Reeves character from his film “Knock Knock”.  In the end I decided to go with the main character from the first Eli Roth film I ever saw, Paxton from “Hostel” and “Hostel 2”.

CHARACTER: Paxton from “Hostel” (2005) and “Hostel Part 2” (2007)

Paxton from "Hostel"
Paxton is a young American traveling with his friend Josh across Europe with their Icelandic friend, Oli.  At one point, Paxton mentions that he’s “studying for the Bar” which implies that he’s a recent law school graduate.  Paxton and his friends have arrived in Europe for sex, drugs, and partying.  Paxton is trying to help his buddy Josh soil his wild oats and some of the many fine women of Amsterdam.  Paxton, and his friends end up taking shelter at the apartment of a young Dutch boy named Alex.  They tell Alex, that they’ve been looking all over Europe for fine women, and tells them about an amazing hostel in Bratislava, Slovakia where the girls are hot and they go crazy for American guys and will do anything and everything sexual with them.  Paxton and his friends decide to skip their trip to Barcelona, and head to Bratislava instead.  When they finally arrive at the hostel it’s even better than they ever dreamed.  However, after both is friends mysteriously vanish without a trace, and Paxton experiences a sense of déjà vu at the hostel, he becomes increasingly frustrated and concerned about where his friends have gone.  Paxton tracks down two of the girls he met at the hostel and orders that he take them to where his friends are.  He is led to an abandoned factory in in the countryside where he learns that his friends were sold to the highest bidder by a group called “The Elite Hunting Club” to be tortured and killed, and that he is next to be killed on the list.


Paxton is played by actor Jay Hernandez.  Who has a small name with a lot of experience in a lot of big name movies.  Before “Hostel”, Hernandez appeared in Disney film “The Rookie” and “Friday Night Lights”.  Since then, Hernandez has gone on to star in films such as “World Trade Center”, “Quarantine”, and most recently starred as El Diablo in “Suicide Squad”.  Hernandez did a great job in the role as Paxton.


Paxton is exactly what you think of when you think of a stereotypical young American in Europe.  He’s spoiled, vulgar, arrogant, feels he is entitled, and that he’s more important than everyone else.  I also think that Paxton shares some similarities with Pinocchio.  Both are young boys with wanderlust who are lead astray by people they thought they could trust (In Paxton’s case Alex and Natalya, in Pinocchio’s case Honest John and Gideon) and sold off to the highest bidder (I.E. The Coachmen and the Elite Hunting Club) to have unspeakable things done to them.

I dont know who had it worst


Did Paxton get a new haircut?
Paxton tries pleading for mercy with the German client who paid for him (in German), but he German man does not listen to his pleas.  After a substantial amount of serendipity, Paxton manages to escape his captors, and even gets revenge on Alex and the two girls for being responsible for their pain and suffering.  Paxton manages to get on the train and escape to safety, where he eventually ends up killing the Dutch Businessman who killed his friend Josh.  The next time we see Paxton it is at the beginning of “Hostel: Part II”.  Paxton is dealing with PTSD following his ordeal, and has not told anyone, except his girlfriend, the truth about what happened overseas.  The next day Paxton’s girlfriend awakes to find his decapitated body in their kitchen, and the box with Paxton’s head in it is delivered to the head of the Elite Hunting Club.

Saturday, September 3, 2016

Top 5 Underrated Disney Songs

Top 5 Underrated Disney Songs
By: Brian Cotnoir

Let’s talk about Disney again, shall we?  Equally as Iconic as the films themselves, Disney has given us some of the most memorable film soundtracks of all-time.  From the soundtrack of “Snow White” which not only was the first full-length animated feature made, but also was the first commercially issued film soundtrack made available for sale to the public, to the Academy Award Winning works of Howard Ashman and Alan Menken.  Disney is responsible for some of the most memorable and beloved songs of all-time.  However, for every song in a Disney film like “Pinocchio’s” “When You Wish Upon a Star” or “Frozen’s” “Let it Go”, you’ll end up with one that falls flat like “Scrumps” from “Sleeping Beauty”, and then every now and then there’s a song that isn’t disliked, but it just somehow becomes forgotten.  Maybe it was because the film wasn’t well received or maybe it got outshined, by another more popular song from the film, but for whatever reason these are my Top 5 Underrated Disney Songs.

5.) Higitus Figitus from “The Sword in the Stone”

     I truly believe that this is the most underappreciated Disney film out there today.  For all the talk of Disney Princess’s there is on the internet, you rarely ever here anyone talk about a Disney King’s.  Yes Kings have played some minor roles in Disney films, but “The Sword in the Stone” is the first film that’s main character actually becomes a King, and he didn’t start out as a Prince like Phillip, Eric, or Hans, he starts out as an orphan peasant and becomes a King!  Probably the best song in the “Sword in the Stone” has to be a fun little song called “Higitus Figitus” sung by the wizard, Merlin.  Merlin sings the song when he’s packing up his home.

4.) Everybody wants to be a cat from “The Aristocats

     I’m not going to lie; this is one of the most boring films Disney has ever created, but “The Aristocats” isn’t without some merits.  It’s strongest (and probably only good part of the film) is the song “Everybody wants to be a Cat”, a song that starts off as a smooth Jazz number, before transitioning into a real swinging party song by the end.

3.) Let’s get Together from “The Parent Trap” (1961)

     I only knew of this song from a “Disney Sing-A-Long Video” that my grandparents had when I was a kid.  My older sister and I used to sing this song when we were younger.  Yes, long before the days of Lindsay Lohan, Disney had an earlier film version of “The Parent Trap”.  I’ve never seen the original, but I still remember this song after all these years.  The plot to the film is pretty much identical to the remake Disney did in the 90’s with Lindsay Lohan.  The actress was Haley Mills, who would later go on to appear in an TV show called “Good Morning Miss Bliss”, which would later be renamed as the more popular, “Saved by the Bell”.  I must say though just judging from this one scene in the film that I know, Lindsay Lohan’s fake British accent is a thousand times better than Hayley Mills fake American accent.

2.) The World’s Greatest Criminal Mind from “The Great Mouse Detective”

It is said that Disney Studios created Professor Ratigan in “The Great Mouse Detective” specifically for Vincent Price.  I’ve also heard reports that Professor Ratigan was Price’s favorite role.  It should come as no surprise that someone who was so invested in a role gave one of the Best singing performances in any Disney film.  Yes, the Villain’s in Disney films typically do get an awesome song, but Price’s delivery in the song “The World’s Greatest Criminal Mind” truly makes it one of the best Villain songs ever.  Just listen to Price sing, he clearly loves how bad his character is in this film.

1.) I’m Still Here (Jims Theme) from “Treasure Planet”

     I remember this Sci-Fi version of Robert Louis Stevensons Treasure Island for two reasons: 1.) I am a Steampunk Hobbyist, and there is definitely a great deal of Steampunk influence in “Treasure Planet” and 2.) The Amazing song written and performed by John Rzeznik of The Goo Goo Dolls.  Rzeznik was no stranger to writing scores to films.  His song “Iris” which he wrote for the soundtrack to the film “The City of Angels” helped propel his band into the spotlight.  Years later he would be hired by Disney to write a title track and Theme song for the films main character, Jim.  While “I’m still here” wasn’t as popular on the charts as “Iris” (possibly because it was written for a kids for a film), it is still a great song, and in my opinion the most underrated Disney Song ever recorded.