About This Blog

A place to find my reviews not featured on epinions.com or horror-asylum.com, as well as opinions and lists on everything from movies to TV to music. It's all about me! Send hate mail to vegie18th@hotmail.com or just leave a comment beneath the posts. Review grading system assumes C+ is somewhere in the vicinity of a Passing grade or minor fail.

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Review: Vicky Cristina Barcelona


Scarlett Johansson and her less flighty best friend Rebecca Hall are Americans on holidays in Barcelona, Spain. Hall (who is also doing her Masters on something called Catalan identity) is about to wed the rather dull Chris Messina, but one night local artist Javier Bardem approaches the girls with a proposition; He will take them away on his own plane for a weekend of fun, and presumably a ménage-a-trois. Sensible Hall is immediately resistant to the idea, but Johannson considerably less so and somehow this charmer manages to whisk them away and although it doesn’t quite go smoothly, both women appear to have feelings for the romantic painter. But then Messina makes a surprise visit to see Hall, and she tries to forget about Bardem. As for Johansson, however, it’s not long before she has moved in with Bardem and they have become a couple. All seems to be going well for the two of them, and that’s when Bardem’s tempestuous, suicidal ex-wife Penelope Cruz shows up, and moves in with Bardem and Johansson. Awkward, no? Apparently there’s still a great love between the Spaniards…they just can’t stay together for long before one tries to kill the other (or themselves). But Bardem tries to impress upon Cruz the fact that he is now with Johansson. Patricia Clarkson and Kevin Dunn turn up as Hall’s relatives, providing an awful lot of Americans in Spain at the one time, I must say.

 

Another day, another Woody Allen (“Annie Hall”, “Manhattan”, “Scoop”, “Deconstructing Harry”) film, this one from 2008 is pretty much a showcase for Scarlett Johansson and an Academy Award winning Penelope Cruz by design. However, I’m more a fan of Rebecca Hall, who is underused here, and the whole thing is stolen by the charismatic Javier Bardem. Don’t get me wrong, Cruz is spot-on in her performance, but the role of the chaos driving a wedge between Bardem and Johansson is a clichéd one, and good or not I don’t think she’s in the film enough to warrant an Oscar win in my view. Johansson is not among my favourite screen actresses, but she has never been better than here, or more likeable. Her character, however, just isn’t as interesting as the other three main players. That said, the Hall character, interesting or not, ends up not being all that necessary to the story being told. Theoretically, the film could’ve worked with just the trio of Bardem, Johansson, and Cruz, though Hall is immensely appealing and glamorous and necessary or not, I wanted to see much more of her. I certainly didn’t feel like Hall spent enough time with Johansson to really believe they were best friends.

 

The film certainly has its flaws, and even the Bardem character is a tad clichéd, as is Woody’s overall depiction of Spain. The constant mariachi music got old real fast. One of the biggest irritants is Woody’s inclusion of a narrator. It serves the same lack of purpose as the narrator from “Little Children”, there’s no reason whatsoever for it. Show us, don’t tell us. Let the actors act for fuck’s sake!

 

But there’s still a fair bit to like here, especially Bardem. He’s so damn charming that he almost doesn’t come across as a total perve. He’s bloody terrific. It’s amusing to note that he ended up marrying co-star Cruz two years after this. Kinda perfect isn’t it? Speaking of perfect, Patricia Clarkson is perfectly cast, which is great if you like her. I kinda liked what the film says about love, relationships and finding ‘the one’. In that regard it’s quite clever. Like “Match Point” and the flop “Cassandra’s Dream”, I’m not sure I saw a whole lot of Woody Allen in this, but it’s certainly better than those two films.

 

A fairly enjoyable Woody Allen film, but somewhat slight. This one’s more on the “Hollywood Ending” side of 3 stars/B- than say “Manhattan” or “Play it Again, Sam” which are even better, and it’s certainly no “Annie Hall” or “Deconstructing Harry”. It’s more on the travelogue side of things, but is much more enjoyable than “Midnight in Paris” on that front, and a whole lot less pretentious. It’s easy, breezy entertainment, if a bit short and in need of more Rebecca Hall. But then, aren’t we all in need of more Rebecca Hall?

 

Rating: B-

Friday, October 31, 2014

Review: Lust for a Vampire


Set in Austria, Count and Countess Karnstein (Mike Raven and Barbara Jefford) have managed to resurrect Mircalla, previously seen in “The Vampire Lovers”, but this time with Danish-born Yutte Stensgaard replacing Polish-born Ingrid Pitt. The Countess, who normally goes by the name Countess Herritzen enrols the beautiful Mircalla at a posh girls’ school as her niece. Here she seduces and feeds off the blood of nubile young students, whilst occult/horror writer-turned-teacher Michael Johnson and nerdy history teacher Ralph Bates find themselves besotted with the new arrival. Christopher Neame can be seen amongst the torch-brandishing villagers towards the end, whilst Pippa Steele (last seen in “The Vampire Lovers”) once again plays a sapphically-inclined and ill-fated young woman.

 

Although it contains a healthy dose of nudity, this 1971 Hammer film from director  Jimmy Sangster (director of “The Horror of Frankenstein” and writer of “The Horror of Dracula”) and writer/producer Tudor Gates (who co-wrote the cult classic “Barbarella”) is a real tease. It’s certainly the weakest in the trilogy of female vampire films Hammer began with “The Vampire Lovers” and concluded with “Twins of Evil” (both written by Gates). Aside from not enough sex being had amongst the clearly horny school of young ladies, it’s definitely the script that is to blame here. It’s just not very good, with a lot of underdeveloped characters and confusion here and there. In particular, the supposed connection between Michael Johnson’s teacher/novelist and Yutte Stensgaard’s Carmilla/Mircalla is sorely lacking, as though we’ve missed the scene that really sets it up.

 

I also think it was extremely cheap of Hammer to not only hire a cut-rate Christopher Lee (Mike Raven, allegedly an occultist in real-life who quit acting after his off-screen interests started to overshadow his career) to play the not very interesting or necessary Count Karnstein (Raven himself sounds more interesting!), but Sangster (who replaced Terence Fisher at the last minute as director) has clearly and shamelessly inserted shots of Lee’s infamous Dracula blood-shot eyes. It’s blatant, and really quite disgraceful, making this film feel somewhat cheap and classless. And that’s a shame, because in terms of set design, scenery captured by cinematographer David Muir (“And Now For Something Completely Different”), and the music score by Harry Robinson (“The Vampire Lovers”, “Twins of Evil”), the film has genuine merit. Muir’s camerawork gets a little too fancy at times, however, with dopey, out-of-place lip-licking POV shots that just aren’t necessary.

 

Yutte Stensgaard (a pretty-eyed dead ringer for ABBA’s Agnetha, if you ask me) didn’t have the happiest of times in the acting profession, and in the lead role she may not be Ingrid Pitt (“The Vampire Lovers”), but she is nonetheless pretty good as the alluring but treacherous and aloof vampire seductress. She’s certainly miles ahead of her leading man the merely OK Michael Johnson, but even he’s better than some Hammer romantic leads I could name. Their love scene might be one of the most unfortunately goofy in cinematic history because a) It’s set to the weirdest and one of the worst love ballads of all-time called ‘Strange Love’, and b) Stensgaard goes cross-eyed during the scene for God knows what reason. It’s a very, very weird scene, almost comical.

 

Perhaps the best performance comes from the underrated Ralph Bates, who really ought to have become the successor to Christopher Lee, but it never quite happened for some reason. His performance is a little mannered at times, but his Renfield-esque character is by far the most interesting character in the film, and he is certainly the most accomplished performer here (With all due respect to long-serving character actress Barbara Jefford, whose Countess is seriously underdeveloped).

 

The fiery finale seems to come out of a “Frankenstein” film more than a vampire film, but is undeniably exciting in an overall very uneven film with too many characters with nothing to do. The film is never as sexy or explicit as it should be, as British horror films of the period tended to exercise restraint. That coupled with an uneven script, and the whole stupid Mircalla/Carmilla thing (almost as stupid as ‘Johnny Alucard’ from “Dracula AD 1972”) drag this Hammer entry down considerably.

 

Yutte Stensgaard and the other ladies are sexy as hell and Ralph Bates is almost always entertaining to watch, but the well-shot film isn’t one of Hammer’s best. There’s potential for one helluva sexy film here, but all we get are some fantastic boobs and a little bit of necking. Disappointing, if not worthless, this one’s just OK I’m afraid.

 

Rating: C+

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Review: Outside Providence


Set in Rhode Island in the mid-70s, Shawn Hatosy stars as a stoner no-hoper whose boorish widowed father (Alec Baldwin) gets tired of his delinquency and decides to send him to an exclusive prep school focussed on academic excellence and upstanding behaviour. No drugs, no alcohol, no sex. Hatosy manages to get around these three rules and even falls for a female student (Amy Smart) who is as beautiful as she is smart, and despite this she somehow falls for Hatosy too. It’s through this girl that Hatosy starts to…well, learn something for the first time in his life. Jon Abrahams plays Hatosy’s best bud named Drugs Delaney, Jonathan Brandis plays one of his other stoner pals, whilst Richard Jenkins and George Wendt prove that Alec Baldwin has better friends than Shawn Hatosy does.

 

I didn’t know going in that this 1999 film from director/co-writer Michael Corrente (“American Buffalo”) was co-written by the Farrelly Brothers (“Dumb & Dumber”, the overrated “There’s Something About Mary”) or that it was based on a novel by Peter Farrelly. Had I known, perhaps I would’ve better understood what this film was trying to be. I think it was meant to be a coming-of-age film through the filter of a Farrelly brothers movie (And apparently this was due to Harvey Weinstein interference, as the story was originally meant to be less comedic). Having said that, and having seen the film, there’s no way that this story should’ve been a comedy, and it doesn’t really work on a more serious level, either. Shawn Hatosy’s character is way too stupid to convince. I honestly don’t believe Hatosy would’ve lasted long enough at this school to get the chance to start improving his grades, let alone be capable of it. He’s a moron at the start, not a stoner with untapped potential. I mean, he willingly associates with a guy who calls himself Drugs Delaney (Jon Abrahams aping Sean Penn circa 1982). Speaking of drugs, the film’s depiction of stoners is right out of the manic depressive 90s, not the hippie 60s and 70s. There’s a difference: They don’t look happy here, for starters (The late Jonathan Brandis does not look good here at all, and it may not have been acting. It’s so sad what happened to him, he was a genuine talent).

 

The film’s humour was mostly lost on me, save for Baldwin’s views on sexual intercourse, which are truly hilarious. As for Baldwin’s performance, he fares best in his scenes with Hatosy, otherwise he’s right out of a sitcom or “SNL” sketch, especially with his phony accent. The best performance by far comes from the lovely Amy Smart, who steals the entire film by doing her thing and looking the way she does. Hatosy is a much better actor than say, Mark Wahlberg, but his character sinks him, and the film.

 

It’s stupid, not consistently funny (though I’m no Farrelly Brothers fan), and the only thing that convinces is the soundtrack. If you like your 70s rock, you’ll get a little more out of this slight, insubstantial film than most. If the film took itself more seriously and made Hatosy seem intelligent enough at the beginning to seem like he has the potential for scholastic improvement, then this film would actually be something. As is…meh.

 

Rating: C

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Review: Lovelace


The story of Linda Boreman (Amanda Seyfried), a somewhat naïve young woman still living with her strict parents (Robert Patrick and Sharon Stone), and who becomes involved with Chuck Traynor (Peter Sarsgaard), who she quickly marries. This turns out to be a mistake, as the slimy charmer Traynor pressures her into starring in a hardcore porn movie called “Deep Throat”, after discovering Linda (now called ‘Linda Lovelace’) has a special ‘talent’ for fellatio. The film becomes an enormous success and a talking point/punchline for TV comedians…but Linda sees practically nothing of that success, with opportunistic Traynor controlling her finances, as well as being physically abusive towards her. Meanwhile, her conservative parents feel ashamed/embarrassed of her, and her mother will no longer allow her in her home. Hank Azaria plays “Deep Throat” director Gerry Damiano, Bobby Cannavale plays Damiano’s cohort Butchy Peraino, whilst Chris Noth plays the principal backer of “Deep Throat” (<cough> Mafia <cough>). Adam Brody plays “Deep Throat” co-star Harry Reems, James Franco portrays Playboy founder Hugh Hefner, and Don McManus plays a sleazebag Traynor tries to pimp Linda out to at one point.

 

I can’t say this 2013 biopic of the troubled “Deep Throat” star from directors Rob Epstein & Jeffrey Friedman (best known for the overrated documentary on gay cinema “The Celluloid Closet” and “The Times of Harvey Milk”) and writer Andy Bellin particularly interested me all that much, but at least it’s not the total shrine to Linda Lovelace that I was dreading. She’s still seen rather sympathetically (and some of that is definitely justified), but the film doesn’t touch too much on the claims that Lovelace was ‘raped’ in every scene of “Deep Throat”, claims that Ms. Lovelace really ought not to have ever made, in my opinion, not that you or I were there at the time. I come to the film with a bit of a bias against her for these claims (like Traci Lords, she pretty much sold her porn colleagues out, though I think Lords was far more calculating and duplicitous), but believe me, that’s not the problem with this film at all. Hell, even if I do find the idea of Lovelace being an impressionable innocent to not portray the whole story (this is a woman who, depending on who you believe, agreed of her own volition to perform sex acts with a dog at one point. I wish I was making that up), it’s through no fault of actress Amanda Seyfried, and I absolutely believe that Chuck Traynor was every bit the scumbag that the film and the excellent Peter Sarsgaard portray him to be (His subsequent wife Marilyn Chambers seems to think Lovelace exaggerated abuse claims considerably, though). But the film itself, and particularly the screenplay aren’t terribly compelling or original, and I still feel more sorry for late actor Harry Reems, director Gerry Damiano, and maybe even Hugh Hefner, than Lovelace, outside of her abuse at the hands of Chuck. True story or not, the Traynor-Lovelace relationship is far too reminiscent of the Dorothy Stratten story “Star 80”, and giving that film’s co-star Eric Roberts a cameo as a detective here just reminds me of that film even more. There’s nothing new or insightful here, and I think the Bambi Woods (star of “Debbie Does Dallas”) Story would’ve been a better one for a film to be centred around. For starters, what the fuck ever happened to Bambi? No one really seems to know. That’s a compelling hook right there.

 

Lovelace isn’t entirely sympathetic, nor is she particularly interesting. I fully believe she was abused by and convinced to do porn by Chuck (but maybe not coerced), but don’t give me this ‘porn ruined my life’ crap, that was just Lovelace trying to hop on the feminism bandwagon when her career crapped out. Chuck ruined her life, if her life was indeed ruined.

 

The film is also far too choppy and short to tell its story anyway, and in a way I feel the film glosses over Lovelace’s less admirable traits by omitting her infamous claims of being raped on film. I was glad the film didn’t dwell on it, but only because I didn’t want the film to paint Lovelace as entirely a victim. There should’ve at least have been some mention of it, though. The second half, meanwhile is mostly uninteresting because it largely replays a lot of scenes we have already seen, but with Traynor being even nastier. That was a really dumb screenwriting decision right there because there aren’t enough nuances or differences between the two halves of the film to make such an approach seem necessary. But at least when the film plays Lovelace for a victim, it plants the blame almost 100% on Chuck rather than anyone in the industry, which is fair enough to me.

 

Peter Sarsgaard, as I said, is really terrific as the repugnant Traynor, whilst Amanda Seyfried does a good job with this role as written. She doesn’t look remotely like Lovelace (who was well-known for not being a ‘looker’), and has a magnificent, sexy body that far eclipses Lovelace’s (Yes, you do get to see Seyfried’s tits, and they’re truly beautiful), the girl is far too pretty. She has been blessed. However, objectively speaking, she plays the role well. Even better than Seyfried are the supporting turns by Hank Azaria and especially a moving Robert Patrick, who maximises his few minutes on screen. Azaria sounds a bit Moe-like, but that’s somewhat true of the real Gerry Damiano, and Azaria even looks a bit like him. Debi Mazar has a very telling small role as a somewhat wise makeup artist/actress on “Deep Throat” that may be the best work of her career (Although I’m rather fond of the clip for Madonna’s ‘True Blue’ as well). Chris Noth is surprisingly good as a financier of “Deep Throat”, I never knew the usually bland actor had it in him.

 

It has to be said that the directors have some fun with the casting here, having Mr. Big (Noth), “Basic Instinct” star Sharon Stone, “Brown Bunny” actress Chloe Sevigny, “Star 80” slimeball Eric Roberts, and “American Beauty” co-star Wes Bentley (as a photographer- think about it!) all chosen to appear here for obvious reasons. But that doesn’t mean that their performances are all good. An unrecognisable Stone, for instance, never feels authentic, you can always see the wheels turning. Character acting isn’t really her thing, I guess. Meanwhile, James Franco plays Hugh Hefner as James Franco, and the result isn’t good. He looks a little like a young Hefner (sort of), but the performance is just too silly for words. Franco is talented, but sometimes I’ve gotta wonder just what the fuck goes on inside that head of his. His resumé suggests a man of not terribly sound mind. Although he gets some of the vocal inflections right, Adam Brody is a similarly minor disaster as Harry Reems. He’s not remotely hairy enough (Reems looked more like Geraldo Rivera than Adam Brody), and looks far too boyish and far too Seth Cohen-ish. Sorry, dude, you’re still the guy from “The OC” to me.

 

True story or not, you’ve seen most of this done before, and some of the casting is more convincing than others. This isn’t an especially interesting or insightful story (Millennium Films’ involvement says a lot), and the repetitive second half is really regrettable. I think the 2005 documentary “Inside Deep Throat” tells the story much more interestingly, convincingly, and comprehensively (And check out the doco “Linda Lovelace’s Loose Lips” hosted by Legs McNeil, which is similarly convincing and comprehensive, including talking about the infamous dog movie). Still, Amanda Seyfried makes for a far more glamorous Linda Lovelace than the real thing (which may or may not be a positive, depending on your viewpoint), and Peter Sarsgaard makes for an excellent scumbag. It’s watchable, especially if you’re not terribly prejudiced against the title character. And it mines more humour out of people’s reactions to Lovelace’s ‘talent’ than you could likely imagine.

 

Rating: C+

Review: Cold Sweat


A fit-looking Charles Bronson stars as an American in France, who makes a living taking tourists on boating trips, and is married to Liv Ullman, and they have a young daughter together. What Ullman doesn’t initially know is that Bronson has a criminal past, and that past is about to catch up with him. Actually, he’s a former military man who served under Captain James Mason. He was imprisoned for striking an officer, and the prison stint saw him re-unite with Mason, who was serving time for multiple crimes. But when Mason led Bronson and several others (including Jean Topart and Luigi Pistilli) on a prison break that saw a policeman killed, Bronson (the getaway driver) drove off, leaving the others for dead (or more accurately, re-capture). Now Mason and the gang have managed to find Bronson, and kidnap his family in order to blackmail him into transporting illegal drugs. Instead, Bronson tracks down Mason’s idiot hippie girlfriend Jill Ireland and holds her captive in an isolated cabin. Just when Mason thinks he has all the answers, Bronson has gone and changed the questions.

 

Directed by the usually reliable Terence Young (“Dr. No”, “From Russia With Love”, “The Jigsaw Man”, “Red Sun”), this 1970 crime flick boasts an interesting cast and starts intriguingly, but seems to fall apart pretty quickly. In fact, it would’ve been an infinitely superior film if Charles Bronson had just gone and shipped off the drugs like it first appears the plot will be centred around. We only come to that in the final ten minutes or so of the film, which is really bizarre. After a while it almost turns into a predecessor to Arnold Schwarzenegger’s “Commando”, and doesn’t even head in that direction eventually, either. For a while, I liked that, as it made the film somewhat unpredictable, especially with the tables turning on the characters constantly.

 

Unfortunately, after a while, it actually never really goes anywhere at all, and certainly doesn’t satisfy at the end of the day. Meanwhile, it has to be said that Southern accents and James Mason simply don’t mix. I like the idea of an uncouth and undignified Mason in theory, but the execution is botched, with Mason’s Southern accent making him sound like Charlton Heston. Think about that, people. A regrettable performance from a terrific but sorely miscast actor (Jason Robards was the original casting choice, and that makes much more sense). A seriously buff-looking Bronson is quite good in the lead (one of his best 1970s performances, albeit faint praise), and sleazy Jean Topart is excellent too, but Liv Ullman is stiff in English-language surrounds, and Jill Ireland’s typically awful acting nearly sink the film single-handedly. She’s pathetically unconvincing and miscast as a hippie with the most Julie Andrews-ish accent you’ve ever heard.

 

I have to say that the film doesn’t look like the work of a seasoned pro like Young. It feels like the work of an Italian hack or a slumming J. Lee Thompson (director of practically every Charles Bronson vehicle of the late 70s and especially in the 80s). The dubbing of several actors (including by “Last House on the Left” actor David Hess) is obvious and sloppily done. Young makes particularly good use of a winding stretch off mountain road, and I bet Quentin Tarantino would find lots to like here. The car and the presence of spaghetti western actor Luigi Pistilli (Eli Wallach’s disapproving, pious brother in “The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly”), for instance. Me? Not terribly impressed, and yet, you do keep watching it just to see where it’s going, even if the destination is ultimately uninteresting. So I guess I can’t say it’s boring, just really disappointing and quite cheap-looking.

 

There are good elements here, it’s just a big mess on the whole and the performances are uneven. Based on a Richard Matheson (“The Pit and the Pendulum”, “Comedy of Terrors”, “The Incredible Shrinking Man”) novel, the screenplay is by director Young’s wife Dorothea Bennett (who wrote the novel “The Jigsaw Man” was based on), Jo Eisinger (“The Jigsaw Man”, the excellent “Night and the City”), Shimon Wincelberg (“On the Threshold of Space”), and an uncredited Albert Simonin (“Male Hunt”).

 

Rating: C

Monday, October 27, 2014

Review: Only God Forgives


Ryan Gosling stars as a Thai-based drug dealer and owner of a kickboxing club, the latter of which is really a front for the former. His wayward brother Tom Burke has raped and killed a 16 year-old prostitute. The girl’s father is distraught and turns to ex-cop Vithaya Pansringarm for guidance. The ex-cop tells the father he must kill Burke, which he promptly does. This brings about the arrival of the brothers’ mother, Kristin Scott Thomas, who wants bloody revenge for the murder of her favourite son. This ugly, bloody situation is surely going to get even worse as Gosling and Pansringarm are clearly set on a collision course.

 

This is my third Nicolas Winding Refn film after the cool “Drive” and the pretentious but memorable and violent “Valhalla Rising”, and this 2013 revenge drama/thriller isn’t quite on the level of those films. In fact, it is a little emptier than those films on the whole. However, none of the three films is remotely boring, and the writer-director certainly has a lot of undeniable talent. This one certainly isn’t boring, and whilst reminding me of a lot of other filmmakers’ work (Kubrick and Tarantino come to mind), it’s very much its own thing, too. This is essentially a straight-up, ultra-violent revenge film served cold and hard as hell, but looking like it was directed by a post-“Dr. Strangelove” Stanley Kubrick.

 

To be honest, I think Ryan Gosling has played the glaring, monosyllabic thing one time too many (he wants to be Steve McQueen, but isn’t as interesting to me), and although sometimes extremely attractively shot by Larry Smith (who indeed shot the Kubrick dud “Eyes Wide Shut”), the film is a tad repetitive, visually. It’s all uninteresting stares, and way too many dreams/visions that slow the film down just a tad too much. But at the same time, I couldn’t look away and I wasn’t bored for a second, even with the slowed down pace.

 

I was especially mesmerised by the performance from Vithaya Pansringarm as the mysterious, almost Terminator-esque ex-cop (who it could even be argued, might be One-Eye from “Valhalla Rising” reincarnated. If you think about it, it kinda fits). He may not have a terribly imposing frame, but his Hannibal Lecter-like posture is inexplicably unsettling, and he immediately if quietly announces himself as a man with whom to absolutely not fuck. He absolutely walks off with the whole film with a scary and quietly intense performance. The funny thing is, it’s he, not Gosling, who is really on the side of ‘good’ here. Gosling may in some ways be a ‘good guy’, but he’s exacting revenge for the death of a repugnant creep who probably deserved to bite it, and he’s doing so on the orders of a nasty criminal- who just happens to be his own mum. I’ve never much liked Kristin Scott Thomas, but she’s really something special in this one as a tough woman with no filter and possibly no morals, either. She makes an immediate impression too, as a ghastly piece of work on more than one level (The actress ain’t looking her best). I was also struck by the film’s use of music and sound, and although it gets repetitive, the film’s bold use of colour and shadow is memorable.

 

I can see why this pretentious film has divided critics. It definitely won’t be for everyone, it was even booed at Cannes, apparently. It’s a simple, violent revenge film with an arthouse veneer that might be off-putting to fans of violent revenge films or arthouse cinema. I think its merits are more in the former than the latter, it’s not as profound or artistic as the director probably thinks. Still, I found it oddly compelling and entertaining of sorts, if a little repetitive. I kinda dug it, God help me, but its pretentious approach to exploitation plotting and violence will definitely annoy some.

 

Rating: B-