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A History of Violence (2005) – His Review November 26, 2006

Posted by Jinx in Action, Drama, Movies, Thriller.
7 comments

temporary

Dir. David Cronenberg

Starring Viggo Mortensen, Maria Bello, Ed Harris, Ashton Holmes, William Hurt etc.

The name Cronenberg should mean something to most people. To me he’s “not the weird guy who made Twin Peaks, the other one”. Call me uninvolved, but I’m not really a fan.

A History of Violence is a good start to making me one. It’s intense in it’s stillness, and very much seething with the titular violence. Homely small town diner-owner Tom Stall (Mortensen) takes on the forces of darkness from his own past, while trying to keep his family out of harms way. It’s all written and played very small, with bursts of plot/character development/action. This makes the whole experience come together as one entity, with nothing to detract or disorient.

Acting – superb. Photo – perfect fit. Movie – fantastic. I can’t see any reason not to see this movie, unless you’re a whore of Satan. You’re not a whore of Satan are you?

This is His review, you can read Her review here.

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A History of Violence (2005) – Her Review November 26, 2006

Posted by Eury in Action, Drama, Movies, Thriller.
2 comments

Hey, look it's Aragorn

Dir. David Cronenberg

Starring Viggo Mortensen, Maria Bello, Ed Harris, Ashton Holmes, William Hurt etc.

I was a little apprehensive before seeing this movie.. first because it was by David Cronenberg (yes, he’s Canadian… but still, not everybody’s cup of tea). He’s known particularly for being off-beat, unique and a little crazy. I was also a bit hesitant as the title sort of made it look like it may be full of gore and I didn’t feel up to seeing it.

This movie, however, was a pleasant surprise. It starts off with a couple of psycho killers who leave a motel and kill the clerk before leaving. My first instinct was to believe that this movie would be about these two guys going from town to town, just killing people off like flies, without a care or a look behind. We’ve all seen those movies… the been there, done that kind of movie… blood, guts and a bit of yawn.

What actually happens is that these two crazies come to a small town, where mostly everyone is kind and polite and a bit conservative and bully their way in a small restaurant where they get surprised by normally very calm and collected Tom Stall, played by Viggo Mortensen who in a burst of bravado kills them with their own weapon and becomes the town’s hero.

After appearing in the newspapers and on television, Tom must now confront mobsters from Philadelphia who believe he is an ex-mobster and are now harassing him and his family.

Violence runs throughout this movie, but it isn’t in any way gratuitous. I want to say so much about reactions and how events open deep feelings, restrained feelings, but I won’t go any further because such statements wouldn’t make much sense without explanations and it’s too hard to explain without giving anything away, and for once, I really think there should be no spoilers at all. I can say though, that you will probably be completely immersed into this film.

The acting is superb, the direction of this movie is exceptional. This may be perhaps David Cronenberg’s most commercial venture of date, but I must say, it doesn’t make it bland, boring or ordinary. Au contraire, this is one of my favorite movies I have seen this year. I was in awe.

This is Her review, you can read His review here.

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King of Comedy (1999) – Her Review November 26, 2006

Posted by Eury in Action, Comedy, Movies.
2 comments

King of Boring

Orig. title Hei kek ji wong
Dir. Stephen Chow, Lik-Chi Lee

Starring Stephen Chow, Karen Mok, Cecilia Cheung etc.

We watched this movie about a month ago, and honestly, I already don’t remember that much of it. I guess it was just not that memorable. What I do remember is that it’s about this out-of-work actor that tries to do everything he can to break into movies. He is very confident that he’s the next big super star but actually he’s just not very good, not even in this movie. He gets a break at one point to be the leading actor in a film but that doesn’t work out and it seems fitting. Sometimes you watch a movie and when someone is down on their luck you feel for them, even in a comedy, but that just didn’t happen here.

This movie was a bit of a let down. I guess I was expecting more. Nothing really stuck out as being really good or exceptional. There were a couple laughs but they were few and far between.

This is Her review, you can read His review here.

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The King of Comedy (1999) – His Review November 26, 2006

Posted by Jinx in Action, Comedy, Movies.
2 comments

temporary

Orig. title Hei kek ji wong
Dir. Stephen Chow, Lik-Chi Lee

Starring Stephen Chow, Karen Mok, Cecilia Cheung etc.

Wan Tin-sau (Chow) is an unemployed actor trying to get work in Hong Kong movies. He’s well read, but also well bad. This is where the fun ends.

Before the excellent Shaolin Soccer and the reasonably good follow-up Kung-Fu Hustle, Stephen Chow made a name for himself with similarly styled, but lower budget kung-fu/comedy movies. This is not a big secret of course, everyone comes from somewhere. I hadn’t seen any of his earlier stuff though, and what I found most surprising was the very low quality.

Low quality meaning bad movie – more specifically bad acting, bad action sequences, completely incomprehensible characters, and just plain stupid dialogue.

I want to like Chow, i really do. But this makes me think Shaolin Soccer was a fluke more than anything, and that the not-as-good Kung-Fu Hustle was a step backwards. The weirdness that permeates King of Comedy may come from referencing Hong Kong popular culture, something I’m not that keen on researching, or it may just be his unpolished brand of humour. Either way, I didn’t find it funny, which doesn’t mean it’s not. It just means it’s not my cuppa.

I’ll wait for Kung-Fu Hustle 2 instead of watching more of Chow’s old stuff.

This is His review, you can read Her review here.

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