Posts Tagged ‘violence’

My Thoughts on ‘Nymphomaniac: Vol. I’

March 13, 2014 1 comment

I’ve never met Lars von Trier. There are many obvious reasons for that, but I’m not sure I’d even take the opportunity if it came up. I don’t think I’m going out on a limb by saying that his public persona is that of an insufferable prick. Maybe it’s calculated, maybe it’s not – reports of his bouts with depression do help explain some of his bizarre behavior. And that darkness certainly explains his films. Anyone who saw Dogville knows it wasn’t made by a director with a sunny disposition.

His latest, Nymphomaniac: Vol. I, is every bit as twisted and depraved as anything he’s ever made (Vol. II releases in April, so I may be speaking too soon). But after he felt the wrath of the press and public a few years back due to some bizarre comments at a press conference, he no longer comes across as an angry, misanthropic

Image via

Looking for strangers on a train… (Image via

auteur. Amazingly, with this most recent film, he seems to be having a lot of fun. And I had a lot of fun watching it… but it still hurts, so don’t say I didn’t warn you.

If there were movie rental stores left, the title would certainly make most any passerby take notice and pick up the box (remember those days? Barely). Much like von Trier’s 2009 masterpiece, Antichrist, the title is a bit mysterious, salacious and probably offensive to some. That being said, anyone who has seen a von Trier film before knows that the provocative title is only a tiny hint at the insanity/violence/sex to come.

Read more…


My Thoughts on ‘Cosmopolis’

August 19, 2012 1 comment

I recently returned from a showing of David Cronenberg’s latest film, Cosmopolis. I previously posted about my excitement for its release, and now that my experience has come and gone I’m left with a feeling of… confusion. Not confusion over the plot (or lack thereof), but confusion over how much I like the film and why I like the film.

Cosmopolis is not traditional or straightforward in any way. Robert Pattinson plays a cold, detached multi-billionaire who has the luxury of being escorted around New York City in a super-sophisticated limousine that is perpetually filled with sex, booze, complex financial analysis, prostate exams, and the best technology and armor that money can buy. He spends a good deal of the movie locked in his mobile sanctuary that keeps him safe from the crumbling world outside.

With an Occupy-Wall-Street-esque movement going on in the streets, Pattinson’s character remains emotionally unmoved and undeterred in his quest to get a haircut. Along the way Read more…

Harvey Weinstein Sure Does Care!

July 27, 2012 1 comment

Opportunistic vulture, media whore, and Mr. Socially Conscious Harvey Weinstein has dipped his unwanted toe into the news of the Aurora shooting tragedy. Big surprise.

In an interview with the Huffington Post, ‘ol Harv appears to suddenly possess a deep and genuine concern about the state of violence in American film. The executive producer behind bloodbaths such as RamboGangs of New York, Sin City, the Kill Bill films, and the upcoming Django Unchained sees a real problem with violence in movies (read that list again and bask in the irony). In the HuffPo interview, he apparently acknowledges that films may influence shooters like James Holmes and that he hopes his colleagues in Hollywood will talk about their influence on the public. “I think, as filmmakers, we should sit down – the Marty Scorseses, the Quentin Tarantinos, and hopefully all of us who deal in violence in movies – and discuss our role in that,” Weinstein said.

Way to make it about you, Harvey. There may be a sliver of nobility hidden in what you’re talking about, but what exactly do you plan to discuss? Will you discuss Read more…

‘The Expendables 2’ Trailer is Out, So What Are Stallone’s Top 5 Action Films?

May 4, 2012 1 comment

Well, there was certainly a time in my life when a Stallone/Schwarzenegger/Willis vehicle was only a dream. It’s of course happening with the upcoming release of The Expendables 2. I would be more excited if it weren’t for the fact that I saw The Expendables already. Two years ago, Stallone touted it as being a return to a bygone era of action films, but it just didn’t deliver. Maybe the likes of Arnold Schwarzenegger and Bruce Willis will bring gravitas to the sequel. And I have to admit that I like the idea of Jean-Claude Van Damme playing Stallone’s nemesis– I’m guessing many of their dialogue-heavy scenes needed some serious ADR work.

However, Stallone has always impressed me with his hard work. The story of getting Rocky made is one of the truly great self-made, Hollywood stories. His ambition continued for much of his career. While never quite rising to Schwarzenegger’s massive star level or box office prowess, Sly wrote and directed several movies Read more…

A Quick Note About David Cronenberg’s ‘Cosmopolis’ with Robert Pattinson

April 20, 2012 Leave a comment

Some of my Cronenberg classics.

Hell must have frozen over. I’m writing about Twilight star Robert Pattinson for the second time in less than a month. But it can’t be helped– Cosmopolis looks amazing! There are two new trailers out for the film that expand significantly on the original (which I wrote about here).

The film will bow at the Cannes Film Festival this year and I can’t wait to hear what kind of buzz starts. I was similarly excited around this time last year when I saw the trailer for Cronenberg’s A Dangerous Method and I was not left disappointed, so I hope Read more…

My 13 Favorite Horror Films: A Preview

April 18, 2012 1 comment

If I had been on the ball I would have thrown up this post last Friday the 13th. Oh well–this will be quite topical on July 13, 2012!

I think I’ve been asked, “Do you like horror movies?” more than any other film-centric question. People LOVE horror films of all kinds, but I’ve always felt somewhat out of the loop because I’ve never responded much to them. So when people would ask if I like horror, I generally responded by saying I just like good movies, some of which end up being horrific by genre; meanwhile, all I could think is how much I hate things like Final DestinationI Know What You Did Last Summer, or the Leprechaun films. Torture porn like the Saw or Hostel franchises don’t do much for me either. This overall judgmental attitude was wrong, however, because the term “horror” evoked the wrong feeling in me. I shouldn’t have thought of bad acting, hokey music, and goofy violence when thinking of horror. Just like anything else, there’s good and there’s bad, so I started to focus on what makes a great scary movie rather than what makes a bad one.

Maybe it’s years of Read more…

David Cronenberg Has Me Pumped for a Robert Pattinson Flick

March 23, 2012 2 comments

Director/auteur/probable madman David Cronenberg continues to impress me. His last three films (A History of Violence, Eastern Promises, and A Dangerous Method) were all on my list of top movies in their respective year. Actually, A History of Violence is easily one of my top five films of the ’00s. Now, a short trailer for his next feature, Cosmopolis, is out and my admiration for the director continues to grow. In 34 seconds, the clip shows off Cronenberg’s odd, perverse, and violent sensibility, and it actually makes me excited for a Robert Pattinson performance. #ThingsINeverThoughtWouldHappen

So, in honor of the release of this spectacular preview, I’d like to briefly reflect on Cronenberg’s unorthodox career. Now, the man started out in the grossout horror genre with films like The Brood and Rabid. Though they have their place and are certainly important in his evolution as a filmmaker, these early films do not stand out as his finest work in my book. Starting in the early 1980s, his voice and style really matured with his impressive combinations of visceral gore, psychological Read more…