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Eastern Promises (Cronenberg, 2007)


#1





What do people think of this? After History of Violence I had high hopes for this but the movie was unfortunately somewhat a disappointment. Casting Viggo Mortensen as Russian gangster was a weir decision but I quite liked his performance, even if I couldn’t take it 100% seriously. Vincent Cassel on the other hand is just bloody brilliant. It took me long before I even realized it’s Cassel (a fucking Frenchie) and not some unknown Russian actor in the role.



The bad: the scrip. There’s some inconprehensible screw ups like over sentimentialism (the letter) that really doesn’t belong to a Cronenberg film. Near the end the movie shoots itself to leg so badly even the brilliant final scene can’t save you from feeling disappointed (btw, History of Violence also had a fantastic closing).



Back to the positive. Cronenberg is an author of violence, and here he does it maybe better than ever. The bath house scene is probably the most hard hitting violent scene I have ever seen in a big mainstream film. I can’t believe MPAA passed it with R-rating. Or did they? The US version of History of Violence was edited by MPAA and in my opinion this is rougher stuff than anything HoV. I wouldn’t be surprised if the US version was cut again. Also, much respect for Viggo going all the way in that scene, meaning full frontal nudity. I’m fucking sick of kung fu sauna fights where peoples heads come off but the towels never slip.



Overall, not a bad movie, just a disappointing one. Small changes in script would have raised my rating for 3/5 to 4/5. IMDB states 8.1 at the moment so go see it and make your own mind and don’t avoid the film just because I said Cronenberg has sold half of his soul passing a script like this without changes.








#2

I thought History of Violence kinda sucked. Not too excited to watch this one. I might catch it only because it has Naomi Watts, whom I adore.


#3

I thought History of Violence was pretty decent, not amazing like most generally seem to think - and Eastern Promises I thought was just average. Nothing amazing, not anything I plan on buying once it hits DVD. I love Cronenberg, but this slightly more mainstream approach at filmmaking hasn’t exactly sparked my interest all that much.


#4

I was kind of disappointed, but overall it was pretty good. I agree with Hung Fist, the script was the problem with this film.


#5

[quote=“Scarface”]
I thought History of Violence kinda sucked. Not too excited to watch this one. I might catch it only because it has Naomi Watts, whom I adore.
[/quote]

I really like Cronenberg, but Naomi Watts is definitely the big draw card for me. She’s insanely cute.


#6

She’s the finest Aussie export in history, together with Nicole Kidman and Kylie Minogue. >:D


#7

[quote=“Scarface”]
She’s the finest Aussie export in history, together with Nicole Kidman and Kylie Minogue. >:D
[/quote]

Don’t forget Cate Blanchett. She may not be as super-cute as Naomi, but she’s a damn fine actress!


#8

Shocker my theater didn’t get this. I really like History of Violence. The only other Cronenberg film I’ve seen is Spider, which was too uninteresting to completely follow the twist at the end.


#9

Spider was excellent until the stupid underlining ending that spent 10 minutes on explaining something that was obvious from half way through. That fact that it was obvious but never really “stated” made it so good, it was like sign of respect towards the audience’s capability to use their own brains. And then they fuck it up in the end by making sure even the slower ones get it… 60 minutes late. What the fuck was the point?

[quote=“HostOfThreads”]
The only other Cronenberg film I’ve seen is Spider
[/quote]

You haven’t seen even The Fly?


#10

Actually, no. I have seen the second one though.


#11

His best, in my opinion, are probably Videodrome, Naked Lunch and Dead Ringers. But Shivers, The Dead Zone, The Fly, Scanners, all great films.


#12

[quote=“HostOfThreads”]
Actually, no. I have seen the second one though.
[/quote]

Oh, man, that’s one of the worst films I have ever seen. Nothing like the masterful “original” (not the original original, I haven’t seen that)