I'm not trying to be a hero! I'M FIGHTING THE DRAGON!!

Brace yourselves! Vern reviews Cronenberg’s A HISTORY OF VIOLENCE!!!

SPOILER ALERT !!

Ahoy, squirts! Quint here with our own Vern who tells ya’ straight about David Cronenberg’s A HISTORY OF VIOLENCE, a film I was scheduled to see last night, but I ended up sneaking into a test screening for a much anticipated horror flick instead. I figured I can see HISTORY OF VIOLENCE much sooner than I’d see this other film, so I ditched out of the screening. I’m dying to see it, though!

Now Vern’s review doesn’t go into any deep spoilers, but he talks about a little bit of stuff not in the trailer, so I went ahead and smacked a spoiler warning for the purists out there. As always, Vern did a bang-up job and wrote a piece that had me laughing along. Enjoy!

Harry and friends,

First of all Moriarty, to finish up that debate we were having over in your talkback, porn is not boring. At least not if you’re jerkin off to it. And if you’re not jerkin off to it you’re not giving the picture the respect it deserves. That’s like doing a crossword puzzle during a subtitled movie and then saying the movie didn’t make any sense. I know Alberto Gonzales recently declared a “war on porn” one of the administration’s highest priorities, but don’t write off the merits of hardcore porn without giving it a fair chance. Let’s show some class here, bud. That’s first of all. Second of all, I got a review of David (JASON X) Cronenberg’s excellent new picture A HISTORY OF VIOLENCE starring Viggo Mortensen.

A History of ViolenceThis is basically a smart thriller, a simple one, nothing complicated, no crazy twists. It’s short and sweet although it moves at a somewhat deliberate pace (which is code for “some assholes will say it’s too slow but they’re wrong”). This is pretty much the most “normal” movie Dave Cronenberg has ever made. But it’s intense, intelligent and serious so it doesn’t feel like some kind of sellout movie. Just a rare moment where the guy is working on a wavelength that normal humans might be able to relate to. I’m sure his next movie will have vaginas growing out of people’s arms and machines made out of tongues and crap like that and you and I will enjoy it but I think it’s nice that once every ten or fifteen years he is willing to invite the rest of the neighborhood in for a show. Just tell them it’s the guy that did THE FLY and DEAD ZONE. But this one is less weird. Actually tell them it’s HIDALGO.

If you saw the trailer you pretty much know the first part of this movie: Viggo is Tom Stall, a family man in a small town, runs his own diner, beloved by the community, etc. Then one day some drifters try to rob him, he jumps over the counter and blows their fuckin heads off, etc. This makes him a local hero and media sensation, but you know, you don’t get moves like that from pouring coffee. That’s clear to Ed (KNIGHTRIDERS) Harris, a mobster from Philadelphia who shows up at the diner sporting a creepy fucked up eye and calling Tom “Joey.” I like Ed Harris, like in that Alex Cox movie WALKER. So I forgive him for stalking poor Tom and his family, seeking retribution on behalf of that fucked up left eye.

So you got a good suspense story about how Tom is gonna deal with these thugs that insist he’s Joey from Philly. But then it gets even better when it becomes clear to everybody that he really is Joey from Philly. This is kind of a problem because he probaly shoulda filled in his wife and kids on all this. So they don’t take it that well.

I know what you’re thinking, because it’s the same thing I was thinking. I thought this was gonna be a complete history of violence, starting with a caveman beating some guy with a conch shell or something, and ending with some shit that went down in an alley somewhere earlier today. So the title may be misleading to some of us but it is a good double meaning type title. Literally, Viggo has a history of violent acts, but also it is indeed an exploration of attitudes toward different types of violence. You got your self defense, your revenge, your punishing kids, your rough sex. Tom has all these things inside him in the form of Joey, but he really wants to leave them behind. So in a way this is a second cousin of one of my favorite types of movies, the “I’m a pacifist and I hate violence but jesus I really gotta kill this fucker” movie. (Think UNFORGIVEN, BILLY JACK, much of the Seagal ouvre, etc.) But I think it is a little more serious about the pacifism than those movies usually are. You can tell because it doesn’t brag about it. He never has to say out loud that he’s against violence.

This movie has the same dilemma that DANNY THE DOG UNLEASHED had. As compassionate human beings you’re rooting for this guy not to have to resort to violence, but as a moviegoer you’re rooting for him to break a motherfucker’s neck. This is no action movie but there were 3 or more scenes in here that had the audience cheering loudly as some fucker got what he, you know, deserved. And come to think of it that’s part of Cronenberg’s point I think.

For me this movie worked on every level. Great job by Cronenberg and the dude who wrote it (best known for his work as art department production assistant on MASTERS OF THE UNIVERSE). But the real highlight is Viggo Mortensen in what is in my opinion the best performance in his career so far. Which is saying alot because this dude is always great. There’s no show offy overacting so he probaly doesn’t have to clear any space for an oscar. I mean he’s not playing a retarded math genius or nothin. He does get stabbed in the foot but I don’t think that counts as being disabled. Anyway he is great as this quiet, timid guy who, if you push him real hard, will take the gun out of your hand and break your nose with it. But he’d rather not. He gives the character much more humanity and dimension than somebody else would’ve.

About ten minutes into the screening, some lady asked out loud “What is this guy from?” So if anybody else is wondering, he is the guy from CARLITO’S WAY. Also, I don’t know if any nerds read this web sight or not but he was in RETURN OF THE KING. You’ll notice him, he plays the guy who is returning. So that is what he is known for but after this movie I think many women will remember him as the ruggedly handsome man of their dreams who enjoys going down on his wife. There’s a couple sex scenes in here that mix it up from the usual Hollywood formula. A certain hilarious two digit number is paid tribute to for example. And there’s no candles or Santana songs.

William Hurt is in here too, not sure if he is generous in bed or not, they don’t make that clear. But he is hilarious. This is a grim movie but there are some good laughs every once in a while. By Cronenberg standards, it’s fuckin AIRPLANE!.

Fans of Cronenberg’s movies will notice alot of little allusions to his greatest works. For example, tell me that opening scene doesn’t remind you of some of the shit that sicko pulled in NIGHTBREED. And there are many cold-blooded mobster/hitman type characters reminiscent of his character “Man by Lake” in TO DIE FOR. I didn’t notice any references to THE STUPIDS but I’m gonna have my eyes peeled for that if I see the movie again.

Also it’s apparently based on a comic book, so you guys are gonna like it. It is alot like Batman, Snoopy, etc. The one and only problem I had was in the very end (spoiler) when a Top Gun type jet made out of human skin flew down and vomited a bunch of phallises onto Viggo and he moaned in erotic pleasure as some creepy she-males gave him gratuitous reconstructive surgery. But I mean you know how Cronenberg is. He loves that kind of shit.

Actually I’m just bullshitting, that doesn’t happen in THIS movie. Or does it? There’s really no way to know until you see it on Friday.

Originally posted at Ain’t-It-Cool-News: http://www.aintitcool.com/node/21373

View the archived Ain’t-It-Cool-News Talkback

  • Sept. 23, 2005, 6:09 a.m. CST

    Another Vern Review for the Ages

    by jaxnnux

    First?

  • Sept. 23, 2005, 6:10 a.m. CST

    AMERICA!

    by jaxnnux

    FUCK YEA.

  • Sept. 23, 2005, 6:17 a.m. CST

    Can’t wait

    by enemakid

    I want to see this effing movie. Now. Of course I live in India so I’ll probably get to watch it in six months when it hits on DVD

  • Sept. 23, 2005, 6:40 a.m. CST

    “You’ll notice him, he plays the guy who is returning.”

    by Fawst

    Fucking hilarious! Sounds like a great movie, I was sold on the poster alone, this solidified it. Thanks for another great review, Vern!

  • Sept. 23, 2005, 7:14 a.m. CST

    a Top Gun type jet made out of human skin flew down and vomited

    by Cedar_Room

    not THAT shit again? didn’t we see enough of that in Finding Nemo?

  • Sept. 23, 2005, 7:19 a.m. CST

    Keep writing them like that, Vern

    by Pacino86845

    IPAMPILASH!

  • Sept. 23, 2005, 7:20 a.m. CST

    “a much anticipated horror flick instead”

    by chrth

    Gee, anyone else think Quint is has bellied up to Eli Roth’s teet?

  • Sept. 23, 2005, 7:30 a.m. CST

    Completely Off Topic

    by DanielKurland

    My 19 year old girl friend and I just broke. If anyone wants details in regard to her, talk to me and I’ll disclose anything.

  • Sept. 23, 2005, 7:35 a.m. CST

    DanielKurland

    by Pacino86845

    Was this girlfriend a 3-dimensional object, or did you only manage to model her in 2D?

  • Sept. 23, 2005, 7:36 a.m. CST

    Pacino

    by DanielKurland

    And I Knew I’d get responses like this. She is completely real, we dated for a year, still close friends, I have pictures of her. I enjoy discussing her though.

  • Sept. 23, 2005, 7:42 a.m. CST

    My 19 year old girl friend and I just broke.

    by DoctorNookie

    What did you break?

  • Sept. 23, 2005, 7:43 a.m. CST

    What did I break?

    by DanielKurland

  • Sept. 23, 2005, 7:44 a.m. CST

    What did I break?

    by DanielKurland

    Her hymen among other things. But I simple made a typo, “broke up”. Sorry for the double post.

  • Sept. 23, 2005, 7:47 a.m. CST

    Completely Off Topic

    by thomasgaffney

    DanielKurland’s 19 year old girl friend and I just fixed.

  • Sept. 23, 2005, 7:47 a.m. CST

    I can understand why people are joking…

    by DanielKurland

    and I don’t blame you, but this is a legitimate offer. If anyone is actually interested. Talk to me.

  • Sept. 23, 2005, 7:52 a.m. CST

    Haven’t got time to read this, because I’m stealing time

    by seppukudkurosawa

    …but Vern wrote it so you know it’s gonna be the best review of all time. Especially seeing as though he’s reviewing a film by Cronenberg. Anyone seen that one where the former pornstar “infects” people via humping them with her armpits. That was an interesting movie. Had something to do with AIDS apparently. And armpits. I wonder if History of Violence is a sequel to that.

  • Sept. 23, 2005, 7:52 a.m. CST

    “porn is boring”

    by jrbarker

    lol, I just had to bring that up again.

  • Sept. 23, 2005, 7:56 a.m. CST

    While I appreciate the Vern-love

    by chrth

    Let us not forget that Neil Cumpston is the best reviewer of all time, and everyone else on this site is living a shallow existence in his shadow. That is all.

  • Sept. 23, 2005, 7:58 a.m. CST

    SOUTHLAND TALES SCRIPT REVIEW ON JOBLO!!!

    by KID AB

    If what this review is saying is true, then wwwwhhheeeeewwwwww!!!!

  • Sept. 23, 2005, 8 a.m. CST

    Alonzo

    by DanielKurland

    Again, I’m not surprised to get these messages implicating her or her pictures are fake. If you’re not interested, don’t respond. But there is no need to insult me by the accusations.

  • Sept. 23, 2005, 8:02 a.m. CST

    DanielKurland

    by thomasgaffney

    I think what Alonzo was trying to say was STOP. The topic of discussion is Vern’s hilarious review, not some doctored photos of you.

  • Sept. 23, 2005, 8:03 a.m. CST

    Daniel Kurkland

    by Darth Kong

    Why did you break up? Or did she break up?

  • Sept. 23, 2005, 8:09 a.m. CST

    “Or did she break up?”

    by thomasgaffney

    I don’t think she broke up, I think she just broke. Perhaps the makers of The Real Doll can send you a refund or a new girlfriend.

  • Sept. 23, 2005, 8:09 a.m. CST

    Umm…

    by Ribbons

    …is someone, how you say…? Ah, yes. “Propositioning” their (ex-)girlfriend to anonymous people scattered across the globe on a TalkBack? Even for, y’know, here, that seems kind of weird. Vern, you are, how you say…? Ah, yes. “Awesome.” I could do that thing where I try to quote funny stuff in your review but you’ve probably already read it. Suffice it to say I think I pampilashed. I’ve been jonesing to see this movie for a while now, good to see that it’s been getting crazy good reviews.

  • Sept. 23, 2005, 8:09 a.m. CST

    Break Up

    by DanielKurland

    First off, ThomasGaffney and to the rest uninterested, I do apologize for invading this TB, but I will answer Darth Kong’s question. We broke up simply because we thought things would simply work better as friends, and she didn’t state it, but she can fuck more people this way.

  • Sept. 23, 2005, 8:11 a.m. CST

    DanielKurland why don’t you pimp your ex on a TB

    by John-Locke

    Oh wait, you already have. Who are you anyway? Are you feeling down in the dumps? Cheers up,

  • Sept. 23, 2005, 8:13 a.m. CST

    Alonzo is just kidding…

    by thomasgaffney

    We banged her behind the McDonald’s dumpster.

  • Sept. 23, 2005, 8:17 a.m. CST

    by DanielKurland

    I’m in no way looknig for sympathy, or feeling sad, was just wondering if anyone was interested. Didn’t expect much. My AIM is DanielKurlandVA is anyone is. On a related note, History of Violence does in fact look very good, and being a big Cronenberg fan, I hope it can top Videodrome and Crash, and to the poster who mentioned Rabid, yes, that movie is indeed great.

  • Sept. 23, 2005, 8:18 a.m. CST

    Ed (Knightrider) Harris

    by FrankCobretti

    Goddam, Vern, that’s one of your best reviews ever. Well done!

  • Sept. 23, 2005, 8:19 a.m. CST

    Darth Rosenberg

    by DanielKurland

    Give me your MSN or AIM details, and I will.

  • Sept. 23, 2005, 8:25 a.m. CST

    Agent Alonzo, you filthy whore…

    by thomasgaffney

    Well, I can’t lie to DanielKurland. And I don’t think your shared rampage can get any cheaper than it already was.

  • Sept. 23, 2005, 8:31 a.m. CST

    WARTS?!?

    by thomasgaffney

    Thanks for the tip, Alonzo! I wish I had pics of that. It’s too bad no one has hijacked this talkback to try and give away naked pictures of her.

  • Sept. 23, 2005, 8:34 a.m. CST

    On a completely unrelated topic…

    by thomasgaffney

    I can’t wait to see History of Violence. I’ve been looking forward to seeing this since the first trailer, and Vern’s fantastic review only adds to my anticipation. Kudos, Vern!

  • Sept. 23, 2005, 8:38 a.m. CST

    The end

    by DanielKurland

    The whole thing was a result of mass boredom, and Tracey, will not be mentioned again. Resume covnersation of the movie.

  • Sept. 23, 2005, 8:51 a.m. CST

    I have no girlfriend to break, or break up with, or pimp on the

    by Orange Crush

    …that being said, I’d really like to see this movie, but I have the grim feeling it’s something that I’m seeing advertised on all of Jackson’s tv stattions, yet won’t be able to find at one of Jackson’s metroplexes.

  • Sept. 23, 2005, 8:51 a.m. CST

    My 1980 Funk&Wagnalls doesn’t have “ouvre”.

    by Fred

    It should be there right between outworn and ouzel, but noooooo. So if Funk&Wagnalls doesn’t have ouvre what the fuck is Seagal doing with it.

  • Sept. 23, 2005, 9:10 a.m. CST

    Man i’m so anxious to see this. I really hope it’s as go

    by CurryIce

    To Vern: I’ve read you Oldboy review on your site: “I’m glad I caught up with it and that when I did it was still called OLDBOY and not HOTEL VENGEANCE” LOL

  • Sept. 23, 2005, 9:16 a.m. CST

    If Quint really skipped a Cronenberg movie…

    by Childe Roland

    …to go see Cabin Fever’s European Vacation, he should have his balls chomped off by piranhas (and why the hell do those mean little fishies get an “s” in packs, but ninja don’t?) and the remaining crotch crater filled with rock salt. This movie looks fantastic and Vern’s review is predictably sublime. Oh, and DanielKurland’s girlfriend showed me some pictures of him last night. Let’s just say I understand why she dumped him now.

  • Sept. 23, 2005, 9:23 a.m. CST

    Why is this “Cool News”?

    by Flansy

    While i am excited for it, couldn’t anyone read the 139648294 other reviews of the same movie opening TODAY?

  • Sept. 23, 2005, 9:24 a.m. CST

    DanielKurland, GIMME THIS! This is my e-mail: BTOUAI@WEB.DE

    by Man of Stool

    I hope this is the shit.

  • Sept. 23, 2005, 9:27 a.m. CST

    Most inexplicably overrated movie since “The Blair Witch Project

    by heywood jablomie

    Saw HISTORY OF VIOLENCE in February with a hilarious test audience of Mexican teenagers. They gave this movie what it deserved–peals of derisive laughter. It’s as if Cronenberg woke up one day and said, “What I need to do–what I’ve never done before–is a really bad Lifetime movie about a sensitive good-guy husband who turns out to have a dark, sexy past! But the thing that’ll be really cool is…lots of laughable overacting from Ed Harris and William Hurt, and pacing like molasses!” And you know what? He made good on his word.

  • Sept. 23, 2005, 9:48 a.m. CST

    David (Jason X) Cronenberg?

    by HGHGHG

    Jeez man, give the guy a better credit than that!

    David (Videodrome) Cronenberg or

    David (Scanners) Cronenberg or

    David (The Fly) Cronenberg or even

    David (Dead Ringers) Cronenberg

    Sheesh!

  • Sept. 23, 2005, 9:49 a.m. CST

    AHOV Release

    by Mafu

    I checked Moviefone just minutes ago to find out where “A History of Violence” is playing near where I live, and, goddamnit, it’s not even playing in my state. From the number of ads and promotional spots I’ve seen on television, I thought it was getting a major release. But, apparently, it ain’t. Fuck.

  • Sept. 23, 2005, 9:56 a.m. CST

    Also

    by Mafu

    Thanks for the review, Vern. It was well-written and entertaining.

  • Sept. 23, 2005, 10:05 a.m. CST

    Cronenberg

    by Nizzuts

    The only other Cronenberg movies I have seen are the Fly and Scanners. This one sounds decent, but I will have to wait until DVD. I don’t think I want to take my small kids to see it. Great review Vern!

  • Sept. 23, 2005, 10:17 a.m. CST

    Mafu

    by thomasgaffney

    AHOV is getting limited release today and wide release next week (9/30).

  • Sept. 23, 2005, 10:30 a.m. CST

    Fuck y’all this movie kicks major-league ass

    by WeedyMcSmokey

    Best this year. That’s right, better than Wedding Crashers AND Bewitched, you buncha mouth breathing comic-book hard-on idjits.

  • Sept. 23, 2005, 10:44 a.m. CST

    “porn is boring”

    by smackfu

    Ah, see there’s the problem…you’re supposed to masturbate while you watch it. It sounds wacky but trust me, I’m the guy who first combined peanut butter with chocolate. Go ahead, give it a try, you’ll probably enjoy porn much more…

  • Sept. 23, 2005, 10:53 a.m. CST

    Daniel Kirkland

    by Darth Kong

    U still here? Fuck em, I want to talk to you.

  • Sept. 23, 2005, 11:03 a.m. CST

    Daniel Kirkland…

    by Uncooked_Meat

    … dude, your girlfriend broke up with you because a) she wants to fuck other people, perhaps some who can satisfy her, and b) you’re the type of pathetic loser who would talk about his breakup on a FUCKING MOVIE WEBSITE TALKBACK. Jesus, of all the geeky shit I’ve seen on this site, you sir, take the taco. Now PLEASE go away. And back on topic – this movie has hands down one of the the best trailers I’ve ever seen. It was outstanding. And now it has a great review. Bravo again, Vern-O.

  • Sept. 23, 2005, 11:32 a.m. CST

    When is Warner Bros. gonna quit f*ckin around and sign Viggo to

    by R.C. the “Wise”

    He could play the General. I think I’d get that blonde lawyer from Boston Legal to be Duke. While Flint could be played by Jim Caviezel. Get with it WB. All the other 80’s stuff will be out by 07 and 08.

  • Sept. 23, 2005, 11:34 a.m. CST

    Thanks Vern

    by Immortal_Fish

    I was only remotely interested in this until now. You’re the only AICN staffer that hasn’t steered me wrong yet. Can’t wait to see the part where Mortensen eats McDonald’s in front of a Radio Shack while screwing someone’s girlfriend in her dumpster.

  • Sept. 23, 2005, 11:40 a.m. CST

    david(jason x)cronenberg wtf?

    by fried samurai

    Yeah I guess I wasnt the only one to notice that.One of our greatest filmmakers deserves a better intro than that.At least you made up for it with a good review and mentioned his bit part in To Die For…peace

  • Sept. 23, 2005, 11:50 a.m. CST

    To those who dont get the Jason X joke..

    by mrgreentheplant

    Do a search for articles on AICN written by Vern and you will notice he does that kind of thing a lot, putting their shittiest movie as a nickname, he even did it in this article again with Ed “Knightriders” Harris. Or just read his reviews because they are hilarious. Also, does anyone remember the excellent movie “better luck tomorrow” a couple years back about the overachieving high school asian kids? apparently the director justin lin is doing “Fast and Furious 3: Tokyo.” worst title since Dungeon Seige? possibly.

  • Sept. 23, 2005, 12:04 p.m. CST

    Any hot gurlz press 69 for sexy chat

    by Bob of the Shire

    Fuckin’ chat rooms. Get that porn pimpin’ outta here.

  • Sept. 23, 2005, 12:07 p.m. CST

    Well… this talkback has been one for the ages…. kinda like t

    by TheGinger Twit

    Seriously, they really should just give up. No WMD’s. No ability to save the country from a terrorist attack. Geezus, not even $200 billion could save a city from a fucking windy day. And now the truths out that bombing in iraq are being carried out by the troops in dressup. So now we’re all going to stand back and have our tits and arse pictures taken away from us?? What next – War on agressive movie talkback site? Oh I got it, How about a war on war. That’ll fuck em. geez like you could ever stop someone flashing a tit in front of a camera. Speaking of just breaking your girl… Don’t worry bout it brother. Send a link to those naked pics this way. Quick before Bush and the feds come to gitcha.

  • Sept. 23, 2005, 12:16 p.m. CST

    Shit yeah…. off topic again… sorry chronenberg. lov your wor

    by TheGinger Twit

    Political victory is impossible. The original declared objectives of the war cannot be met because they were all lies. We can never remove Iraq’s WMDs because there were none. We cannot stop Iraq from supporting Al Qaeda because Iraq and Al Qaeda were enemies. And we did not succeed in punishing Iraq for 9-11 because Iraq had nothing to do with 9-11. There is no victory possible for the originally stated reasons for this war. And as revelations of torture continue to emerge, the US has lost its position as moral standard-bearer for the rest of the world, if indeed it ever was. bla bla bla flame on fuckers

  • Sept. 23, 2005, 12:19 p.m. CST

    A live-action G.I. Joe film??? (SPOILER)

    by Wee Willie

    That’s the most retarded idea since Mega-Force. Saw AHOV last night. It’s pretty good, but has some very bad writing in the first act and and utterly horrible performace by the semi-mongoloid who plays Viggo’s daughter. Good 69 scene, but the movie is kinda slow in parts. There’s also a really offensive opening scene that ends with the cheapest emotional manipulation a director can do. Good gore. Mercifully short. Like 89 minutes or something.

  • Sept. 23, 2005, 12:37 p.m. CST

    I know TalkBack is like jazz and whatever, and its random digres

    by Ribbons

    …but do I smell another political debate coming on? Man, you guys barely need an excuse to bring this shit up.

  • Sept. 23, 2005, 12:41 p.m. CST

    And…

    by Ribbons

    …no, I’m not telling you what to do, before an autoMatisse or Moe Ron or some other jackass chimes in. If you wanna talk about politics, be my guest. Shit, argue back and forth about whether or not King Arthur has a basis in history; it’s not like I could stop you anyway. But I’m pretty sure I’m not the only one who thinks the constant digressions into politics are insane.

  • Sept. 23, 2005, 12:41 p.m. CST

    Mega Force rocked with…

    by Childe Roland

    …all those totally 80s, stubbly faced, smooth chested, open shirted, beige wearing, bandana sporting, near-future military dudes driving around in color-change cars and motorcycles with side-mounted rocket launchers and shit! Wait a minute… Mega Force WAS the live-action G.I. Joe movie!

  • Sept. 23, 2005, 12:43 p.m. CST

    comments

    by Vern

    Man don’t worry about the war on porn. It ain’t working out with terror, it didn’t work with drugs. I’m guessin we’ll be seeing a huge porn renaissance. Even Moriarty will be reviewing nothing but porn in his column by the end of the year. Pierre Woodman will be the president of NBC. Lifetime will show nothing but Andrew Blake movies. Anyway I wanted to explain the Jason X thing. This review was written for individuals like you and I who already enjoy Mr. Cronenberg’s works or at least are familiar with them. So saying “David Cronenberg (Naked Lunch)…” I might as well just say “hey cocksucker, go fuck yourself you piece of shit retard.” It is disrespectful to the audience. So instead I like to shed light on aspects of the individual’s career that most may have forgotten about. I knew people would laugh but if you check the reviews on my sight, you will see that I actually love both JASON X and KNIGHTRIDERS. I think at one point I even declared KNIGHTRIDERS the greatest movie of all time. Although let’s be honest I probaly hadn’t seen DIE HARD in a while when I said that. Still, I am a big fan of KNIGHTRIDERS and WALKER so wanted to mention them.

  • Sept. 23, 2005, 12:46 p.m. CST

    Don’t be hating on MEGAFORCE

    by IAmLegolas

    I used to draw the different vehicles in elementary school, loved that movie. Yeah, it’s probably crap now that I’m older, haha. *** DanielKurland, can’t believe I’m saying this on a geek movie board, but get a f*cking life. Nobody cares about your ex’s pictures. What’s so special about her nekkid pics compared to the billion of other nekkid 19 year olds on the ‘net? Nothing.

  • Sept. 23, 2005, 12:59 p.m. CST

    That sounds a lot like North By Northwest…

    by El Scorcho

    Anyone else agree?

  • Sept. 23, 2005, 1:31 p.m. CST

    Hoffman

    by karmattack

    I’m actually kind of suprised I haven’t seen anyone talking about Straw Dogs when this movie comes up. Maybe I missed it. I really loved the theme in Straw Dogs and especially Dustin Hoffman’s performance, and A History Of Violence seems like it’s putting a new twist on a similar theme. It makes me really excited to see where Viggo takes his character.

  • Sept. 23, 2005, 1:35 p.m. CST

    Here’s to the unlucky assholes who gave their e-mail address

    by seppukudkurosawa

    and woke up the next day with a thousand “Dear Mr. batmanrules, please try out our new Penis Enlarger. It is guaranteed better than all the other ones you’ve used” e-mails in their inbox. And Vern shouldn’t have to respond to people who don’t understand his reviews, the reason why he put Ed “Knightriders” Harris instead of Ed “The Right Stuff” Harris is because he can. Same for spelling site sight.

  • Sept. 23, 2005, 1:48 p.m. CST

    Dudes–PLEASE have VERN review everything from now on

    by www.valiens.com

    This review is hysterical. I still don’t know if this is a good movie or not but, Vern, you’re a genius.

  • Sept. 23, 2005, 2:12 p.m. CST

    Herc, write more reviews. Please.

    by cherrycola

    I actually laughed out loud more than once during this review. And I’m a miserable bastard therefore this is no small feat. Hilarious. I love how herc keeps mentioning the most obscure works of said actor or director (ie: cronenberg from Jason X and ed harris from nightriders). LOL.

  • Sept. 23, 2005, 2:27 p.m. CST

    cherrycola

    by seppukudkurosawa

    Read through what you just said…there’s one thing wrong with it. Actually there isn’t, Vern is Hercules.

  • Sept. 23, 2005, 4:50 p.m. CST

    the first half of goat’s post reminds me

    by seppukudkurosawa

    of one guy who insisted on calling vern they. “They’re obviously laughing behind all your backs. They take turns writing their “reviews” and post them on aintitcool just to get people pissed off. I wish they’d go away”. Sure, he isn’t Bruce Willis’ internet alter-ego, but it doesn’t mean he’s part of a conspiracy to piss people off. That’s Harry’s job.

  • Sept. 23, 2005, 5:03 p.m. CST

    Cherrycola, don’t feel bad.

    by Man-in-the-Box

    As we all know, it was Herc’s fault.

  • Sept. 23, 2005, 5:06 p.m. CST

    i didn’t realize vern was joking

    by fried samurai

    I just always thought he liked really bad films:)

  • Sept. 23, 2005, 5:51 p.m. CST

    kurland’s gf

    by ebutter

    kurland, hook me up! ebutter@gmail.com

  • Sept. 23, 2005, 5:56 p.m. CST

    I’ve seen that Return of Dr X movie.

    by seppukudkurosawa

    Humphrey’s in it for about five minutes total. Which still makes it the best movie with the letter X in the title ever made.

  • Sept. 23, 2005, 6:06 p.m. CST

    I wanna die. They…won’t let me die

    by stvnhthr

    Can someone tell me if the scene from the book where the two childhood friends are reunited is in the movie? That is one of the most disturbing Vince Locke drawings of all time and perfect Cronenberg material, worth the price of admission if it made it in. Nice review Vern as always.

  • Sept. 23, 2005, 6:39 p.m. CST

    Saw it. You guys should lower your expectations…

    by Mr. Waturi

    It’s ok. Very cartoonish at times. The opening scene is great. Most of the stuff with the villains is pretty intense but some of the action is ridiculous. And the son is pretty much pointless and a whiny little pussy. And there is a scene very early, where the little daughter has a nightmare, that has the most laughably awful ‘family’ dialogue that I’ve seen in a while. Anyway, just wanted to warn all of you.

  • Sept. 23, 2005, 7:48 p.m. CST

    Anyone Remember The MEGAFORCE Video Game For The ATARI 2600? ? /

    by ZombieSolutions

    it was great. sort of like CHOPPER COMMAND or that other game that was basically the same as CHOPPER COMMAND. and goddamn was that movie retarded. _____ btw, you know GIJOE has gone anime, right? saturday morning there is this new GIJOE cartoon and it’s pretty much straight up anime. its kind of fun too in a “i’m way to old to be enjoying this, but i can’t deny that it’s kind of amusing” kinda way — lots of decent cell-shaded looking CG (which either you’ll love or hate), and robots and battle suits and cute girl ninjas and such. i wonder if the artists in Japan experienced any cognitive dissonance making “GIJOE” cartoons? hmm…

  • Sept. 23, 2005, 7:56 p.m. CST

    You can find more of Mr.Beaks work over at dvdjournal.com

    by seppukudkurosawa

    Trouble is, he’s always reviewing good movies like Jules et Jim, nice reviews sure, but we all know that a reviewer isn’t a reviewer unless they’ve got something to chew on. There’s more negative adjectives than there are positive ones. Not in the Dictionary mind you, but the dictionary’s so mainstream and overground. If a book hasn’t got the word ass-wipe in it then it’s not a book.

  • Sept. 23, 2005, 8:30 p.m. CST

    Man, great to see a new review, Vern

    by Anti-fanboy

    Was just thinkin to myself earlier that it’d been too long since the last one. Thought this looked good — now I’m psyched to see it.

  • Sept. 23, 2005, 8:45 p.m. CST

    Maybe in Return of the King he looked a bit distracted

    by seppukudkurosawa

    but Viggo seemed pretty alive to me in those films. And after slogging through the box-sets he was the hidden treasure, a man’s man who likes horses. Alot. Who forced the whole crew to camp out one day so they could catch the sunrise on film. I never got that phrase a man’s man, I don’t think it relates to society nowadays. Maybe it’s got something to do with all of that Pygmalion business of the 30s to early 60s, where it seemed every film was about how women water down everything they touch. “What if a woman could be a man…?” I just finished watching that pre-Amelie flick, “Une Femme Est Une Femme”, and my answer to the question I just brought up out of nowhere is that if a woman can look like Anna Karina then they’re alright with me. Tangents are good for the blood I hear.

  • Sept. 23, 2005, 9:43 p.m. CST

    aint-it-amazon

    by lucky_cosmonaut

    joblo has a detailed, spoiler inclusive script review of southland tales.

    this site is a fucking joke.

  • Sept. 23, 2005, 9:43 p.m. CST

    Did anyone catch Viggo in the Psycho remake?

    by TheGinger Twit

    He is not the same man he is in LOTR. Always thought he’d make a great bad guy. Like a scary bad guy. y’know.

  • Sept. 23, 2005, 10:18 p.m. CST

    Hey everyody,

    by Man-in-the-Box

    My daughter is 15 and I’m about to kick her out of the house, it’s an amicable split though and I thought “What better way to give her a leg up than to pass her around the history of violence talkback like a joint at a foghat show” She’s a hottie guys. I’ve got pictures that I took of her while she was sleeping. She’s up for anything. COME AN’ GIT IT TALKBACKERS!!!

  • Sept. 24, 2005, 12:40 a.m. CST

    Yeah, Vern!

    by Thunder Mammoth

    Glad to see you kickin! Great Review.

  • Sept. 24, 2005, 1:12 a.m. CST

    Neil Cumpston is the best?!!?!

    by eraser_x

    Neil Cumpston writes like an average high schooler would, if the high schooler had read a bunch of Vern reviews and tried to copy Vern’s style. Neil Cumpston uses/steals about 1/90 of Vern’s techniques, and Cumpston robotically uses *every* single one of these few techniques in each “review” in the most obvious plug-and-chug way, and repeats. Neil Cumpston only summarizes plots in his poser way, and gives a thumbs up or down, and never gives any insight into anything. What kind of low-standard-having gullible individual would choose Cumpston over Vern?!?! Yikes. That is just pathetic. What’s next, choosing Madonna’s copy of Marilyn Monroe over the real Marilyn?!! Give me a friggin’ break, man.

  • Sept. 24, 2005, 1:16 a.m. CST

    okay, at least Madonna is alive and Marilyn is dead,

    by eraser_x

    But that logic doesn’t help Cumpston because Vern is alive, and Cumpston just plain bores.

  • Sept. 24, 2005, 1:20 a.m. CST

    and don’t even get me started on Beaks.

    by eraser_x

    Beaks has some writing skills, but he is just not special in any way, other than the negative way of falling in and out of big-word-using mode. At least Vern can stay in character when he writes.

  • Sept. 24, 2005, 2:09 a.m. CST

    No takers?

    by Man-in-the-Box

    Come on you horny fucks, she’s gotta make a living somehow. No fuckin’ respect.

  • Sept. 24, 2005, 3:03 a.m. CST

    Daniel Kurland’s girlfriend has a history of violence

    by enemakid

    Sorry. I just HAD to tie the two threads up. For kicks. Ok I’m going to bed now. And yes Daniel, go pimp your porno on a street corner… “I assume it was Liz who did the dumping?”

  • Sept. 24, 2005, 4:32 a.m. CST

    Daniel Kurland

    by Ashen

    Is that your real name? Because if it is you just might be a distant relative of mine.

    You do not happen to live in Germany, do you?

  • Sept. 24, 2005, 5:06 a.m. CST

    Viggo in The Prophecy

    by VoxMillennium

    Anyone remember his part as Satan no less at the end of that movie?

    Cool as hell! Next to Chris Walken he made that movie shine.

  • Sept. 24, 2005, 7:36 a.m. CST

    You know it has only really hit me till these last couple of mon

    by Neosamurai85

    Shivers… I mean… Damn… it predates Dawn of the Dead and Alien… and I used to think he was Giger’s ho… but… no… he really deserves it all. Peace.

  • Sept. 24, 2005, 7:38 a.m. CST

    Oh and the director’s cut DVD is great…

    by Neosamurai85

    Any fan should hunt it down for the interview. The “slapping” story is now perhaps my favorite making of horror movie story. GOLD. Peace.

  • Sept. 24, 2005, 8:12 a.m. CST

    Another great review, Vern

    by irritable

    Please stop reviewing movies, write a script and save Hollywood.

  • Sept. 24, 2005, 8:16 a.m. CST

    William (LOST IN SPACE) Hurt is in this? Excellent! Also Maria

    by FrankDrebin

    Plus Viggo (YOUNG GUNS 2) Mortenson & Ed (MILK MONEY) Harris, in a film by David (SCANNER COP 2) Cronenberg!

  • Sept. 24, 2005, 11:31 a.m. CST

    High Noon?

    by scratcher

    Great review. Probably better than the movie.

  • Sept. 24, 2005, 12:13 p.m. CST

    Does anyone know where there is a list that shows all the releas

    by cornstalkwalker

    It drives me crazy that with all the information on the internet, they can’t post a complete release date list for limited release movies.

  • Sept. 24, 2005, 12:40 p.m. CST

    WHY ISN’T THIS PLAYING ANYWHERE IN AUSTIN???

    by Toxic Frog

    I was looking forward to this weekend, and today I got online to find the best theater to see the film. Lo and behold, it’s not showing anywhere in Austin. They’ve got it in Dallas, though. What’s up with all that nonsense?

  • Sept. 24, 2005, 3:28 p.m. CST

    You gotta admit that was some very sick shit Daniel was trying t

    by seppukudkurosawa

    and it looked to me like the guy was being serious about it too. And the thing that really made it sick was when he got all self-righteous about the fact people were ribbing on him. Man, some people out there you gotta wonder why they shell out the money for that tenth lobotomy. Wasn’t the ninth enough?

  • Sept. 24, 2005, 3:33 p.m. CST

    Hola irritable…

    by morGoth

    …I remember when ol’ Vern used to get savaged pretty badly on these TB’s when he first started. Seems like he’s either changed his shtick or taken a few writing classes. Anyway, great review indeed and I can’t wait to see this as the trailer has me pumped. I heard the nightmare/family bit was a tad syrupy from somebody else who’s seen it already. Otherwise, they said it was a solid movie with excellent performances by Harris and Arago…erm, I mean Viggo.

  • Sept. 24, 2005, 3:39 p.m. CST

    VoxMillenium

    by kuryakin

    Yes! Viggo almost stole that fucking movie away from Walken, which is saying something because that movie (in my opinion) is the standard by which all Walken performance’s must be set. When he did LOTR I was thinking ‘he looks kind of like he did as Lucifer’. Though I don’t remember him telling Frodo that he could lay him out and fill his mouth with his mother’s faeces. Or indeed, that he loved him more than Jesus. Fuck me I might have to go and watch the Prophecy now.

  • Sept. 24, 2005, 4:48 p.m. CST

    Vern’s not changed so much as his audience has calmed down a

    by seppukudkurosawa

    Although maybe that Striving for Excellence in the Field of Film Reviews shtick might have made him more palatable for AICN audiences. Personally I miss the old days when Die Hard 2 was his touchstone; you’d still get a reference in there even if he was reviewing The Last Unicorn or something.

  • Sept. 24, 2005, 5:03 p.m. CST

    cronenberg’s “works”

    by kindrobot

    hilarious… his cited works are all his ACTING jobs. did anyone already point this out? maybe. do I care? stop asking that, you desperate fool.

  • Sept. 24, 2005, 5:07 p.m. CST

    He was also the physician/surgeon in Geena Davis’ dream sequ

    by seppukudkurosawa

    Nice job on that one. He still didn’t top Scorsese’s performance in Quiz Show though.

  • Sept. 24, 2005, 5:17 p.m. CST

    plant

    by bunny_lebowski

  • Sept. 24, 2005, 6:16 p.m. CST

    Saddam killed the Kurds. “But we gave him the weapons!!” So le

    by Immortal_Fish

    You people can’t make up your minds, except when it comes to leveling blind vitriol toward President Bush. Sure, the chimp does shit I can’t stand too. First “undocumented guest workers, then Schiavo, and now porn (among other things. But when you people engage in a knee-jerk alliance with “Bush doesn’t care about black people” West, “The levees were blown up by white people” Farrakhan, “end the occupation in New Orleans” Sheehan, and even “RockStar Games cheated the ESRB” Clinton, you’re only giving me more reason to stay right where I am.

  • Sept. 24, 2005, 7:10 p.m. CST

    VERN, this doesn’t sound like you:

    by Darth Bono Jr.

    “…a caveman beating some guy with a conch shell …” A CONCH shell? Vern…you don’t seem like the kind of guy who would differentiate between SHELLS! I mean, I know you strive for quality, but still!

  • Sept. 24, 2005, 7:35 p.m. CST

    Man-in-the-Box

    by cherrycola

    Huh?

  • Sept. 24, 2005, 7:38 p.m. CST

    Oh….I meant VERN wrote a good review.

    by cherrycola

    Sorry about that vern! Good review!

  • Sept. 24, 2005, 8:35 p.m. CST

    Immortal Fish

    by kuryakin

    Your whole post reminds me of when my friends send me text messages when drunk . “I saw tun robger” or “We rutn get over”, you know, confusing stuff like that. I have no idea what you are gibbering on about but I suspect what you meant to say was that you liked Videodrome

  • Sept. 24, 2005, 8:49 p.m. CST

    Cronenberg’s acting

    by kuryakin

    He cracks me up with his mad choices in acting roles. When he makes movies as a director he seems to think long and hard about them and gived very serious interviews about the meanings of them and how they pertain to society and blah blah blah. Anyway point is he seems to care. Then you switch on the TV and he’s a mad doctor doing ridiculous experiments into memories in Alias. Or indeed, a mad doctor in Nightbreed. I liked him in Last Night, though. Which is also good for being one of the only Canadian films ever made which isn’t depressing. And it’s about the end of the world, so they’ve really gone out of their way there. Why are all Canadian movies so depressing? I mean,I’m in Scotland. Scottish movies are all depressing – they always seem to be about junkies or alchoholics or abused children. So you would expect them to be depressing. But Canadians just can’t seem to make a movie about ANYTHING without it being depressing. You go to Toronto and it’s nice restaurants, clean streets, beautiful women everywhere and you just think – what the fuck are you doing? Someone get Atom Egoyan drunk and laid, man. Anyway, I’m rambling

  • Sept. 25, 2005, 12:27 a.m. CST

    So ‘Violence’ aside, did anybody review the kid’s gi

    by MrCere

    If some kid has a video of his girlfriend I, for one, might watch it. I WILL watch this movie. At Comic-Con this year Cronie came and talked about the flick (adapted from a comic book BTW) and it was enough to convince me that it will be interesting. Now, somebody review the girlfriend porn for me please!

  • Sept. 25, 2005, 5:15 a.m. CST

    Obscure References

    by Man Who Rafts

    I think it’s great that Herc uses the “Ahh, but did you know he was involved with <film X>. By the way, a quick trawl through IMDB points out that James Isaacs was a special effects guys for La Cronenburg back in the day, so it was probablt just a ‘fancy being in this movie’ kind of thing. Probably. Or something. Perhaps. Who cares?

  • Sept. 25, 2005, 9:59 a.m. CST

    Dang GoaTee…

    by morGoth

    …why’d you wanna go and hate on Chicken George like that? You were funnier when you were elf_killer# though not as erudite(?). S’matter, you an’ happyhappyjoyjoy have a tiff? Anyway…go Viggo!

  • Sept. 25, 2005, 10:09 a.m. CST

    Three things…

    by Neosamurai85

    One

  • Sept. 25, 2005, 10:22 a.m. CST

    kuryakin

    by Immortal_Fish

    And you remind me of coworkers who can’t be bothered to read past the subject line to get at the answers in the body of an email. First of all, which of my posts on this TB are you addressing? Second, your analogy makes no sense since the spelling was fine, it was the closing of some punctuation that was off. Third, I wasn’t drunk, I was stoned. Fourth, everything I wrote in each post was in direct reply to stuff already mentioned right here by others. Look, I tend not to like when a TB gets off topic too. Instead, blame me for feeding the trolls. These things aside, yeah, I’ve always dug on Deborah Harry.

  • Sept. 25, 2005, 10:39 a.m. CST

    Man Who Rafts: I don’t think Vern’s going for obscure re

    by FrankDrebin

    In Roger Ebert’s “Bigger Little Movie Glossary” (a hilarious book) he mentions a similar situation where an actor who dies will always be referred to by his last credit. So, despite all of his accomplishments, Lawrence Olivier will always be known in the media as “Lawrence (The Betsy) Olivier”.

  • Sept. 25, 2005, 11:35 a.m. CST

    ImmortalFIsh

    by kuryakin

    It was the last post before my own. “Saddam killed the Kurds…” was the header. I just had no idea where your stream-of-consciousness rant came from. The reason I said it reminded me of those kinds of message was that the words didn’t make sense together but there was clearly intent behind them. Anyway it doesn’t matter, it wasn’t really supposed to be any kind of harsh criticism. Seems like every TB on here always ends up with a squabble about American foreign policy or Joss Whedon. If Whedon ever runs for office this site will go into meltdown.

  • Sept. 25, 2005, 11:52 a.m. CST

    Whedon’s a fag who only writes shows and films so he can fuk

    by seppukudkurosawa

    And every American is a xenophobe. No exceptions.

  • Sept. 25, 2005, 1:29 p.m. CST

    Scratches head in slightly amused puzzlement.

    by morGoth

    Keep trying, you’re almost as funny as Mercier, King of the Talkback’s. But then, he was at least coherent (and not on drugs). BTW, wouldn’t Melkor Jr., technically, be Gothmog? Oh yeah, I heard Viggo turned down the role of Smaug because he claimed he didn’t inhale (flames…get it?).

  • Sept. 25, 2005, 2:07 p.m. CST

    You know what that last post reminds me of?

    by seppukudkurosawa

    Teen 1: “Here comes that cannonball guy. He’s cool.” Teen 2: “Are you bein’ sarcastic dude?” Teen 1: “I can’t tell anymore.”

  • Sept. 25, 2005, 2:16 p.m. CST

    It’s as if ‘Mongo’ from SOMETHING ABOUT MARY managed

    by Doc_McCoy

    And Daniel Kurland might as well change his username, he will forever be ridiculed on this site. Hahahaha. Douchebag.

  • Sept. 25, 2005, 3:18 p.m. CST

    Vern makes me cry

    by Hamish

    But in a good way

  • Sept. 25, 2005, 3:28 p.m. CST

    Johnny Socko and his Giant Robot…

    by MechaTruffautMk2

    …is shit compared to Giant Robo: The Animation!! Yes sir, that’s mighty fine. Cronenberg is definately the sickest genre director next to Shinya Tsukamoto…not really my thing, I appreciate this kind of stuff but don’t enjoy it much, Videodrome was great but his other stuff just freaks me the fuck out. Like that Brothers Quay shit. Or some of Stan Brakhage’s movies. With all the birthings and autopsies and whatnot. You know what I’m talking about.

  • Sept. 25, 2005, 3:29 p.m. CST

    So I just checked the release date for this in New Zealand

    by Hamish

    I’ll be lining up for tickets on… March 16th 2006. Sucks to be me.

  • Sept. 25, 2005, 3:31 p.m. CST

    Just got back from NY screening

    by SoupDragon

    Huge turn out. As well as being Cronenbergs best in years, this movie is much funnier than I expected. William Hurt’s “How do you fuck that up?” bit brought the house down.

  • Sept. 25, 2005, 10:40 p.m. CST

    “Also it’s apparently based on a comic book, so you guys are

    by 3 Bag Enema

    Wow. You are funny. And it’s “a lot.” Two words. So you’re smart, too!

  • Sept. 26, 2005, 1 a.m. CST

    A History of My ASS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    by Chief Redcock

    this smells like a PLANT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Sept. 26, 2005, 3:20 a.m. CST

    thanks everybody

    by Vern

    I’m glad everybody liked the review, spelling, etc. Thanks especially to 3 Bag Enema for the kind words. I am not a comedian or nothin but hey if i made you laugh it is worth it. I have always wanted to put a smile on the face of a guy named “3 Bag Enema.” So really I think both of us got alot out of this whole deal. He enjoyed how funny and smart I was, and I lived one of the my dreams. Anyway I just wanted to clear this up again though, I genuinely love JASON X and KNIGHTRIDERS. And NIGHTBREED is okay. Not MASTERS OF THE UNIVERSE though, you’re right about that one. That was my way of saying that the guy who wrote this pretty much came out of nowhere. So good for him.

  • Sept. 26, 2005, 5:21 a.m. CST

    Thank You Man-in-the-Box

    by Diazanon

    I hurt myself laughing.

  • Sept. 26, 2005, 7:03 a.m. CST

    DanielKurland

    by rabban

    holy shite!!!!

    DanielKurland’s girlfriend is jessica alba!!!he just gave me THE VIDEO!!!!

  • Sept. 26, 2005, 7:24 a.m. CST

    Goddamnit Jessica Alba ain’t no sexy thang!

    by Neosamurai85

    She looks like a baby seal got shaved and rubbed up all shinny with the sex wax… sexxy that don’t make her… Peace.

  • Sept. 26, 2005, 7:30 a.m. CST

    Sorry to any Alba fans

    by Neosamurai85

    The day has kicked off really shitty and is going to be getting shittyer as the shit hits the rotating shit resulting in a world of shit. Someone had to be the ananimate target of my drowsy rage and incapacity to spell… and the bottle just happened to stop on Alba… On the bright side… at least I didn’t finish the above train of thought with… “THAT does however make her fitting for being slapped repeatedly with acutual fish… or the frozen variety…” you see that would have been a tad harsh and… fuck… a panda… for the speiceis… … no really, fuck. I finished the train of thought when I told myself I wasn’t… this day will be long. Peace.

  • Sept. 26, 2005, 7:31 a.m. CST

    Vern, you’re a god amongst insects…

    by Zino

    …don’t let anyone tell you differently.

  • Sept. 26, 2005, 11:59 a.m. CST

    3 Bag Enema has alot to learn.

    by Darth Bono Jr.

    Nice try, though.

  • Sept. 26, 2005, 2:05 p.m. CST

    Jason X?!!!

    by Rendell

    er… how is Cronenberg involved with Jason X; bearing in mind I’ve not actually seen the movie.

  • Sept. 27, 2005, 3:56 a.m. CST

    Rendell

    by Vern

    I’m not sure, I would probaly check IMDB under either Jason X or David Cronenberg, that would probaly clear it up however I will not check because I just don’t have the time for stuff like that right now. thanks rendell.

  • Sept. 27, 2005, 5:40 a.m. CST

    Cronenberg=Dr. Wimmer in JASON X

    by Darth Bono Jr.

    Brought a tear to my eye, too.

  • Sept. 27, 2005, 6:31 a.m. CST

    Traitorous Commie Bastard

    by Roboteer

    Well, maybe not a bastard. Let me think… should I enlarge the platform and enrich the contributions of some expat Eurotrash who speaks at International ANSWER rallies, a North Korean/Socialists Workers funded front group dedicated to the same thing all communist groups are dedicated to, the destruction of the USofA? Should I reward this seditionist who has made millions of dollars off this country only to use every chance to dump on it and advocate its defeat? Give me a seco… NO! And Hell NO! It’s that simple. Good citizenship is hard to find anywhere in Hollywood, but there are a few at the top that spew particularly vile sewage against this country. Wiggo is one of ’em. And sorry if some find this inappropriate here, but his moronic Bush conspiracy rant on Charlie Rose was inappropriate too. Where’s HUAC and Joe when you need ’em?

VERN has been reviewing movies since 1999 and is the author of the books SEAGALOGY: A STUDY OF THE ASS-KICKING FILMS OF STEVEN SEAGAL, YIPPEE KI-YAY MOVIEGOER!: WRITINGS ON BRUCE WILLIS, BADASS CINEMA AND OTHER IMPORTANT TOPICS and NIKETOWN: A NOVEL. His horror-action novel WORM ON A HOOK will arrive later this year.

This entry was posted on Friday, September 23rd, 2005 at 6:00 am and is filed under AICN, Drama, Reviews. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

35 Responses to “Brace yourselves! Vern reviews Cronenberg’s A HISTORY OF VIOLENCE!!!”

  1. There’s so much more going on here.

    The narrative of A History of Violence is deliberately simplistic. My ongoing attempt to describe and expound on its many meanings is not. I’m working on thousands of words with that beast. Someday it will make sense. Here’s a micro-snippet that touches on my favorite part of the film, the perfect scene, the scene that had my brain overheating with desire to describe to the world how amazing it is. It was as if Shakespeare had let me sit in on the first dress rehearsal of Macbeth, and then, watching the new masterpiece like an attentive monk in the front row, I became the first to comprehend the nature of Macbeth’s cyclical story, the significance of the number 3, the defiance of natural order in the play with verb tenses, and so on.

    The final scene of AHOV, right after the jet made out of human skin flew down and vomited a bunch of phallises onto Viggo and he moaned in erotic pleasure as some creepy she-males gave him gratuitous reconstructive surgery, is a masterpiece. The narrative offers no indication of the exact direction it is taking toward its denouement and resolution, yet, clearly, Cronenberg and his creative team are in full control of what they want to convey here in the last couple minutes of the film. The editing, pacing, mise-en-scene, acting, and seamless simplicity of a quiet, ambiguous scene lead to a devastating ending shot.

    The warrior-citizen returns home to his family, with blood on his hands and an explanation owed to the family he endangered and protected. He deceived them and thought it best to protect them from his deception. When his history of violence caught up to him, he lied. He denied. When he had no choice, he exposed them to his explosively violent capacity to kill. His persona as gentle family man is exposed as a calculated façade, though he is genuine in his commitment to small town American values. He briefly abandoned them and his family in order to protect them from his old life and his new enemies.

    This good man—- this lover, father, and town pillar, respected and admired by seemingly everyone in their respectable, admirable world—- is as dangerous as the monsters who attacked him. Is he guilty, though? Is he deserving of forgiveness? His children set his place at the dinner table and offer a plate. His wife appears unsure; she is not ready to accept him back into her life while his violent exploits are as fresh in her memory & in her perception of him as the wounds are on his body & the corpses he left “back East” are in their distant final resting place. (He didn’t even consult her before he took off in the middle of the night for Philly.) Their children, however, are the representatives of the future generation, and they are already grateful for his efforts.

    However, they are children. What do they know? They have little choice but to readmit him back into their lives. Does that make their choice a morally proper one? Will the father’s sins be visited upon the children?

    Now, let’s play plug-in (which is an inexact, subjective exercise, so don’t expect a perfect magic formula to appear) and maybe you’ll see why my mind is blown by this movie:

    **The [US foreign policy maker] returns home to his [nation], with blood on [Cheney’s/W’s/Colin Powell’s] hands and an explanation owed to the [nation] he endangered and protected. He deceived them [& the UN] and thought it best to protect them from his deception. When his history of [arming future enemies and looking the other way from the bad behavior of foreign dickheads] caught up to him, he lied. He denied. When he [claimed] had no choice, he exposed them to his explosively violent capacity to kill. His persona as [peaceful, cooperative nation] is exposed as a calculated façade, though he is genuine in his commitment to small town American values. He briefly abandoned them and his family [and the wisdom of the IAEA, etc.] in order to protect them from his old [policies] and his new enemies [of cheap oil].

    This good [nation]—- this [philanthropist], [mentor], and [world] pillar, respected and admired by seemingly everyone in their respectable, admirable world—- is as dangerous as the monsters who [allegedly] attacked him. Is he guilty, though? Is he deserving of forgiveness? His children [benefactors of a world with hopefully fewer Islamofascist radical extremists] set his place at the dinner table and offer a plate. [The Coalition of the Willing and Americans who read the newspaper] appear unsure; she is not ready to accept him back into her life while his violent exploits are as fresh in her memory & in her perception of him as the wounds are on his body & the corpses he left “back East” are in their distant final resting place. (USA didn’t even figure out how much these wars would cost before taking off for Osamaland and then Baghdad.) Their children, however, are the representatives of the future generation, and they are already grateful for his efforts.

    However, they are children. What do they know? They have little choice but to readmit him back into their lives. Does that make their choice a morally proper one? Will the father’s sins be visited upon the children? [Are we Americans safer now than we were 10 years ago?]

  2. – mouth

    Thanks a bunch, that was a good read. I`ll keep it in mind next time I watch it.

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  4. Vern— Much as we are not quite bestest pals, I implore you to employ [I like the way that phrase rolled out] Clubside to rid the site of these pesky spambots once & for all. They’re taking up valuable space better filled by Griff’s eternal reconciliation with his current Youth In Progress, Mr. M’s quest for Perfect Online Articulation, Mr. S’s Cool Jazz Aside stylings, Crusty cutting through it all with Laser Precision, RRA being a perfect synthesis of Misters M & S, with a dash of Crusty for flavor.

    All other regulars remain undefined. Including me.

    See?… I TOLD ya’ll I was an unlicensed psychologist. More Sean Maguire then Hannibal Lecter, though I can go either way. But here Mort calls Orson.

    Anyway, please take note and get rid of these fuckers. I can thwart them accordingly when they arrive with that “All our base are belong to us” Asian misappropriation of the English language… but these recent dudes I cannot rebut.

  5. “Griff’s eternal reconciliation with his current Youth In Progress”

    what exactly does that mean?

  6. [Damn, I just KNEW you’d be the first one to jump on this train]…

    … and I don’t intend that in a mean/naughty way. It MEANS you seem to be often looking for definition of your own youth in juxtaposition to the older people who post here regular, rather than just wallowing in your youth, cutting loose, and then reflecting back upon it (months, years?) later and wondering “Was I correct and headed towards wise, or just an idiot punk?”.

    Between Old Farts who weighed in on this, I favor the homestylin’ Ecclesiates (“Rejoice, oh young man, in thy youth!”) over the pimpdoggin’ George Bernard Shaw (“Youth is wasted on the young”).

    Griff, you’re at a point in your life when you (IMO) should be living in the moment, rather that be reflecting upon any of those moments. Just sayin’, hoss.

  7. I’m pretty sure I achieved Perfect Online Articulation like five years ago when I said that Christian Bale’s Batman voice sounded “like Corey Feldman trying to sound grown-up in THE LOST BOYS.” It’s been a slow, inevitable downslide into Jack Reacher rants and inexplicable PACIFIC RIM hatred ever since.

  8. But seriously, Griff, let go of the 90s and go out, do two kinds of intoxicants at the same time, make out in public with somebody weird-looking, and dance like you don’t have vomit on your shoes. You’re only young once. #yoyo

  9. BTW, there is ONE key moment in this film that has yet to be pointed out here, and it’s a beauty:

    Viggo, standing on the lawn of his Iowa (I think it’s Iowa) home, trying to talk down Ed Harris’s character, attempting to steer him away, denying to admit to who he [Viggo] really used to be, and Ed being Ed Playing The Casual Baddie (magnificent, as usual) doesn’t back down for shit.

    Maybe it’s testament to Ed Harris’s complete authority as an actor, or the way the script meanders accordingly, but… there’s this very casual/transitional/significant moment when Viggo’s character finally lets down his guard and non-verbally admits “Yeah— I AM Joey; I’m the mob guy you’ve been looking for”, and the whole film shifts into its third act.

    All on the strength of Viggo’s prowess as an actor. It doesn’t get any better.

  10. Mr. M— For fuck’s sake, man! Be the [REDACTED] version of Robin Vs. Griff’s potential Corey Feldman Dark Knighted After Two Packs Of Marlboro Reds, As Many Hookers, An Eight-Ball & A Bottle Of JD #7 fun weekend.

    He needs guidance.

  11. Mr. M – “But seriously, Griff, let go of the 90s”

    I try man, I try to accept that it’s the 2010s, I try to look on the bright side of the modern day (of which I admit there are a few) and sometimes I feel like I can move on, then I start looking at 90’s movie posters on impawards or something and I’m right back at it, like a junkie falling off the wagon

    nostalgia is to me what coffee is to most people, it keeps me going

  12. Larry: The film is set in Indiana. I can’t remember the name of the small town, but it’s one that doesn’t actually exist here that I know of. Could be wrong on this, but I think they transposed the name of the town they were shooting in Ontario onto it.

  13. It looks like it was Millbrook, which is apparently just down the road from Pontypool. Crossover time!

  14. Somebody Weird-Looking

    December 17th, 2013 at 8:12 am

    You come anywhere near me, Griff, and I’ll knee you in the groin.

  15. Pay no mind, Griffter. Got your ATM card, honey?

  16. He’s mine, all mine. Fuck off you other decades. Me and Griff are gonna watch Cool As Ice and smooch.

  17. I tapped that ass.

  18. Yeah, Griff, drop that zero and get with the hero.

  19. THERE IS NO GRIFF ONLY ZUUL.

  20. Being a 70s and 80’s man myself, I have to support Griff (or ZUUL)!

  21. hooray! my stalker is back! I was wondering what happened to him/her/it, how are you, buddy?

  22. gone silent again have ya?

  23. I just watched this over the weekend. Wow, Viggo was incredible. I know, I know, in other shocking news, that show Seinfeld is pretty funny. But, still. Viggo just blew me away with how he was able to go from small town regular Joe to mafia hitman with hardly any difference in how he played the guy. It was totally just something in his eyes. How can actors do that?!

    I’d be interested in hearing what others thought of that ending, since we don’t have much of a discussion going on this one. I know it was supposed to be left ambiguous, but I honestly have no idea what their future holds. I want to say that they work things out, because I’m an optimist, but I don’t honestly know if there was enough there to be able to come to that conclusion.

  24. Viggo has a couple facial expressions in this that just impress the shit out of me. Like, when he’s looking at his kid after the fight on the front lawn. I’ve never seen a face do that. I don’t even know what emotion it’s supposed to be conveying, but it’s conveying the shit out of it whatever it is. Probably like seven conflicting feelings all at once, like pride, anger, intimidation, confusion, and some perverse glee at finally letting his family see the real him, while also being ashamed of it. The shot lasts three seconds. Been thinking about it for ten years.

    Who won the Best Actor Oscar that year? And how does he sleep at night?

  25. I’m totally with you on that expression. I, too, don’t know what it’s conveying, I just know I don’t ever want it directed at me. Even if it’s not ill willed, it is too intense.

  26. Mr. M: Philip Seymour Hoffman for CAPOTE won that year.

  27. Well, I certainly wish I’d known that before I made that joke.

  28. Well, if we’re doing this, can we talk about the completely fucking out there performance William Hurt gives here? It seems like an intentionally comic performance, but…. why?? It’s such a bizarre contrast with Viggo’s constrained intensity and Ed Harris’s earlier malevolence. I could never figure out what Cronenberg and Hurt were going for with that. Everything about the script seems to suggest we should feel intimidated by him, but he seems like such a goofball that Viggo just walks all over him. I’m not saying it doesn’t work, but it’s definitely a real sudden shift in tone.

  29. Man, I love love Hurt in that role. I went from considering him one of the blandest character actors around, a guy functionally indistinguishable from his fellow doughy honky John Heard, and then he does this shit and MR. BROOKS pretty much back to back and I’m like, “Jesus, buddy, have you had all this mega wasting away in your basement all this time? What the fuck were you waiting for?” He hasn’t really fulfilled the promise I saw in him in those two performances but they really turned me around on what he’s capable of.

    I consider HISTORY OF VIOLENCE a comedy, though, so your mileage may vary.

    I have also softened on John Heard, mostly because I watched C.H.U.D. while I was sicker than I’ve ever been in my life and I think my poor fever-addled brain thinks me and him actually went through that shit side by side. So we’re like battle brothers, John Heard and me. We fought C.H.U.D.s and the flu together. You don’t forget something like that.

  30. I wondered about Hurt’s Amish beard. What was the reasoning behind that choice? Maybe his weird, comic turn was about the fact that he was insulated in this world where he was a big cheese and had no context about how normal people behave because no one told him he was being fucking weird. Maybe another aspect of Vern’s supposition that the movie is covering all different kinds of violence – when your world is all about violence it warps you. I dunno.

    Majestyk, I had the flu back when THE RING came out on video, so there were a ton of commercials about it. I had seen it in the theater and it didn’t really scare me, but then I had fever dreams about it and I don’t think I could watch it again.

  31. Love this film. Agree with the other comments: Viggo is a master at communicating complex and subtle emotions with his physicality and nonverbals. Each of the many macho pissing contest scenes is just a gem. In particular, that early shootout in the diner were that dude gets his blown off is just such classic Cronenberg ugliness. Swift, brutal and cringe-inducing. This and the Road are a couple of my favorite films of the past 10 years. Viggo’s a bawse.

  32. face…blown off

  33. Hurt was supposedly David Cronenberg’s first choice for his TOTAL RECALL btw.

    It’s been a long time since I’ve seen it but nearly everything is still quite memorable to me. There’s something kind of cool about Cronenberg seemingly going outside of the kind of thing he was known for, and applying what he’d known to what is almost a modern Western to some degree. For me it’s too bad that he hasn’t returned to doing another crime film since EASTERN PROMISES (especially since there was talk of a sequel).

  34. I would love to see a sequel to EASTERN PROMISES. That was one of those movies that I think back on often and wonder what happened next.

  35. Well, we can blame Focus/Universal for putting the kibosh on that once they decided to house crappy studio fare instead of more independent flavor.

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