A History of Violence

Discussion in 'Off Topic [BG]' started by sargebaker, Sep 19, 2005.

  1. sargebaker

    sargebaker Commercial User

    May 2, 2004
    Montreal QC CA
    owner/builder, ISLAND Instrument Mfg.
    Cronnenbergs new film. Saw it at the film festival this evening along with Scrap Heaven (MIJ. movie) Scrap Heaven was pretty great, their film is so stylized its amazing.

    A History of Violence looked so cool and I was really looking forward to it but it was pure dirt. The acting/screenplay were on par with Star Wars Episode III. The sad thing is it was a pretty cool story and had the potential to be an amazing film. about half way through it turned in to a comedy and I'm pretty sure that wasn't intentional. Avoid it like poison if you have the chance and for those (if any) who have seen it, what did ya think?
  2. SnoMan

    SnoMan Words Words Words Supporting Member

    Jan 27, 2001
    Charleston, WV
    Thanks for the heads up. I was wanting to go check that one out.

    After reading some summaries, the plot sounded interesting...but it did get an odd feeling about some of the way they described things.

    So thanks
  3. sargebaker

    sargebaker Commercial User

    May 2, 2004
    Montreal QC CA
    owner/builder, ISLAND Instrument Mfg.
    I'm bumping this because the movie is out now and I'm dumbfound! It's gotten nothing other than rave reviews and has like the highest rating of all the movies in the newspaper! (4 1/2 stars!) It had a better rating the L'Audition (which totally cleaned up house at the Film Fest). :eyebrow:

    Anyways, to the point. I'm reading these reviews with such statements as "twisting thriller ", "excellent performances" etc. etc. The problem is there were no twists in the movie... (or people are insanely dumb or I'm a bloody genious, and I strongly doubt the later...) The performances were equivalent to a cheesy soap opera filled with one-liners. The cahracter development was non-existant. A few of the camera shots made absoluetly no sense whatsoever. The screenplay and dialogue were pure ridicule, equivalent if not inferior even to Star Wars III -R0tS, and that's saying alot. Another thing being as I'm not too critical when it comes to movies, in fact there are VERY few that i truly hated like I did this one. In fact the last movie which got such unanimously awexome reviews that i disliked almost this much was Chicago...Did I mention before this movie turned into a comedy? I was laughing close to consistantly (not in a good way) far from being a "twisting thriller" - The blatant obviousness of the "twists" frustrates me! :spit:

    I'll give it some credit. the plot was good, and could have made for one heck of a movie! This was THE movie I was looking forward to seeing and left feeling robbed! My firend, left feeling the same way (and she didn't even know what the movie was to start with, but apparently "The less you know about A History of Violence before you see it - and you really should see it - the better") :meh:

    In fact, I wish to retract my earlier statement about avoiding this flick like poison. EVERYONE SEE THIS and for my sanity's sake prove me wrong or something. I just feel strange now that I'm the onyl one (and my friend) who thought nothing of the movie while the rest of the world sings its praises and geniousness....I felt everythign lacked depth, the characters, themes, it was just nothing special and din't make you think at all despite the fact this film " offers a searing examination of how far people will go under duress, of the darkness in our personalities that reveals itself during unexpected circumstances. " :confused:

    (AP) - The less you know about A History of Violence before you see it - and you really should see it - the better. And yet there's so much to say, it's hard not to want to ramble on.

    Yes, It's extremely hard not to want to ramble.... :rolleyes:
  4. DigMe


    Aug 10, 2002
    Waco, TX
    Why do you need justification for your opinion? What you're asking people to do is impossible. There is no "proving me wrong" when it comes to opinions about movies. Much like music, movies are extremely subjective. One man's Ishtar is another man's Citizen Kane. I've never really gotten why people feel such a need to have others justify their opinions of movies sometimes to the point of becoming near violent in expressing their strong distaste for said flick. There have been many times when I've loved or hated a movie which most reviewers and/or the general public felt the opposite. Who cares. There's no fact in that, only opinion. This reminds me of an old roommate I had...grouchy guy who was very forceful with his opinions that became angry that I didn't think Jerry McGuire was the best movie I'd ever seen.

    brad cook
  5. Don't_Fret

    Don't_Fret Justin Schornstein

    Dec 10, 2003
    East Coast, US
    This was the funniest movie I've ever seen.
  6. Brad Barker

    Brad Barker Supporting Member

    Apr 13, 2001
    berkeley, ca
    i'm surprised to hear this. it's almost in the 90s on rottentomatoes.
  7. I'll probably see it here soon, so I'll let you know what I think. The Rotten Tomatoes ranking is pretty formidable, though, so I'll be going in with some fairly high expectations.
  8. sargebaker

    sargebaker Commercial User

    May 2, 2004
    Montreal QC CA
    owner/builder, ISLAND Instrument Mfg.
    Agreed, but once again I'm pretty sure it wasn't intentional... or maybe... Damn Canadians!
  9. Dan Molina

    Dan Molina TalkBass Secular Progressive

    Jul 17, 2002
    Murr Town, California
    I hear its Woddy's best preformance since Kingpin!
  10. Smallequestrian

    Smallequestrian Rock and/or Roll Supporting Member

    Jul 6, 2004
    Chicago, IL
    Beta Tester: Source Audio
    I wasn't sure what to make of it myself. There were times when some of the audience, myself included, laughed out loud and I pretty sure that wasn't intended. I actually liked it overall I think. I am pretty surprised it did so well on Rotten Tomatoes. If one wanted too there were quite a few reasons you could have for not liking this film. Overall I enjoyed it, but there were some very strange decisions made by the filmaker and some spotty acting at times. (although I didn't think it was anywhere near SW prequel bad)
  11. westland


    Oct 8, 2004
    Hong Kong
    David Cronenberg is my favorite director. His work is varied, and I've been uncomfortable with some of the films (Crash... but I really didn't think much of the book either) he always makes you think. And his best films -- The Fly, eXistanZe, Dead Ringers -- are stunning. From your post, I guess you had to do a bit of that :eyebrow: . From what I've heard, H of V is more mainstream than his other films. I guess I'll have to wait 6 mo. for it to come to Hong Kong to find our.
  12. Boplicity

    Boplicity Supporting Member

    What I liked about "History of Violence":

    I love stories about second or hidden lives and identities. To me those who lead such lives must suffer a very special kind of torture, the constant fear of being "outed," the never- ending and elaborate lies. Just when such people believe their faux lives are working well, some calamity happens to smash every illusion to bits.

    I loved the Stall's restaurant. It is almost identical to one I knew in Wabash, Indiana...the Sweet Shop. I felt as if I had been in Stall's many times.

    I enjoyed Mrs. Stall's reaction to discovering her husband's secret identity... mixed anger, resentment, horror, depression and a teeny tiny bit of acceptance. What would I do if I suddenlt learned my husband held such deep secrets? Oddly, the kids were more accepting...in the end.

    I loved the scene where the son kicked major hell out of the two bullies. One of my sons was a constant victim of bullies. I wish just once he could have done that.

    What I didn't like:

    The loves scenes were too long and uncalled for. I just saw them as filler. I like action and suspense, but not that kind of action in a movie. At least not so darned much. Those scenes just slowed down the story.

    Some clear cut departure from reality. Stalls has been out of "the life" for many years, but when pressed immediately sprang into action with stunning speed, skill and deadly impact. I've been out of karate half that long, but I'm certain if I went back to a dojo, I'd be flat on my butt in five seconds.

    I didn't care for the whole Philadelphia bit. It needs some rewriting and attention. Too Rambo for me.

    My husband who is from small town Indiana said you couldn't kill that many people in such a town and not face cops and investigations and forensic studies. Yet when Stalls and his son killed three or four Mafiosos in their front yard, apparently nothing further happened in regards to local law enforcement.

    The movie was suspense-filled and mostly fast paced except for the gratuitous sex. I actually prefer "The Constant Gardener" and even "Lord of War" which earned quite bad critical reviews.
  13. DigMe


    Aug 10, 2002
    Waco, TX
    Now THERE'S a movie that had a lot of unintentional laughs...at least in my case it did.

    brad cook
  14. sargebaker

    sargebaker Commercial User

    May 2, 2004
    Montreal QC CA
    owner/builder, ISLAND Instrument Mfg.
    I agree with alot of what you said. The sex scenes were dare I say useless...they added nothing and that film time could have been filled with added characterization and plot development. There seeed to be a lot of holes in general where question are left unanswered and things unexplained. I definately agree it needs re-working. The Philadelphia was Rambo to the max.

    And I'm still confused as to WHY everythign happened. Oh I killed some random 2 bit criminals, Oh now some gangsters are randomly looking for me because of that, Oh I'm going to randomly kill my brother....I just didn't feel as though there was enough reason for much of what took place and some intense story re working and development would have made AMAZING!

    Also did anyone else notice the

    *running down the street* "SHOTGUN, GET THE SHOTGUN"
    *cut to wife loading shotgun*
    *cut back to our protagonist now running down a deserted county road*
    *back to wife*
    *Stall running in a forest*
    *Stall running through a field*

    the sequence just made no sense, like they filmed him running a bunch of places and the editor just threw one of each in...
  15. I saw it tonight. Overall I liked it, although I do also wonder that the critical praise has been heaped upon it. This is a film that, as far as I can tell, would be pretty easy to dislike.

    We'll go with Positives and Negatives, but you might not want to read it if you can't deal with spoilers.

    -The gore. Sorry, but I'm a gore nut. It saddens me that a lot of modern horror films have lost their teeth in this respect, so I was pretty impressed with this part of the movie. To a serious viewer, which I also am at times, the disturbing visuals take the gloss of the violence in the film - if you're cheering for the "bad guys" to get theirs, prepare to deal with a long look at their corpses.

    -Viggo, Maria Bello, and Ed Harris were all quite good in their roles, IMO.

    -The storyline itself was very interesting, while remaining relatively simple. The question of whether one can ever outgrow his past and become a new person is an appealing one in many ways, invoking, for me, some of the themes of Fitzgerald's writing (though certainly in a less conscious, in-depth manner). The final scene plays this particularly well - is it Joey or Tom returning?

    -There was some fairly wooden dialogue, particularly on the part of the supporting actors. The character of Tom's daughter was especially bad, and the original 2 killers were pretty suspect as well.

    -The sex scenes, particularly regarding their length. The first one was particularly problematic in this regard. I still have no idea how to feel about the second scene...

    -There were definitely a few scenes that inspired laughter in me that definitely weren't intended to. I'm sick though.

    Overall, I did like the movie. It certainly felt unrealistic at times, but hell, sometimes reality is unrealistic (follow me on that one?). One thing I will say again is that I am not surprised at all to see some people disliked it strongly - I can understand why that reaction would occur, and I'm surprised I haven't seen more negative reviews crop up.
  16. P. Aaron

    P. Aaron Supporting Member

    Sax and Violins?

    They sell every time.
  17. Smallequestrian

    Smallequestrian Rock and/or Roll Supporting Member

    Jul 6, 2004
    Chicago, IL
    Beta Tester: Source Audio

    I thought this was pretty clear myself. After essentially disappearing for 16ish years, his face is now all over national news for killing the 2 bit criminals. This obviously drew the attention of his mob leader brother and his mob cronies who have not seen him in 16ish years. The brother quite clearly explain why he was pissed at Viggo.
  18. sargebaker

    sargebaker Commercial User

    May 2, 2004
    Montreal QC CA
    owner/builder, ISLAND Instrument Mfg.
    Oh the brother's explanation must have evaporated or I missed it cause I was laughing.

    Note: I didn't find the movie that gory....in fact it never even endtered my mind that it was a very gory movie, maybe I'm just used to it (or worse) and I've just grown should I say immune to it.
  19. aaron f.

    aaron f.

    Oct 21, 2000
    Spoilers herein:

    Just saw this and really liked. Definately has a Lynch feel to it for the first 20 minutes at least. I think the sex scenes are used to juxtapose the charecter of Tom vs Joey and I didn't find them gratuitous at all. Notice the different "technique" and attitude he has towards sex in each scene. Just another way to differentiated his past life versus present. I thought Viggo, Ed Harris and William Hurt (interesting take on a mobster) really pulled off their roles well. The subplot with Tom's son was interesting (like father like son?).

    I had gone into it knowing only the basics and was pleasently surprised by the plot twists. The level of violence was about on par with what I expected (of course I'm pretty desensitized to it by now). Over all I was impressed, especially since I'm getting sick of the usual "Hollywood" standard when it comes to film.


    When Tom says he "killed Joey, and spent three years becomming Tom" he basically means he erased his old identity and adopted a new persona (what I took from it), it isn't one of those multiple personality things is it, where he switches from Joey to Tom?
  20. sargebaker

    sargebaker Commercial User

    May 2, 2004
    Montreal QC CA
    owner/builder, ISLAND Instrument Mfg.
    I'm bumping this as it's now on video and maybe more people have gotten the chance to see it. The reviews are as stellar as ever and I haven't watched it a second time cause I'm still pretty disgusted at the first :spit:

    Anyone else care to comment?