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"Burning Palms" is supposed to be a dark comedy. I didn't know if I was
supposed laugh, cry, or stare indignantly at the offensiveness on the
screen. I chose the latter. There was nothing remotely funny, nothing
emotionally-engaging, but everything filled with crimes being committed
or people who should be committed to a mental institution.
I'm assuming the entire point of such a film was for the shock value. But shock only matters if there's something to care about in the first place. These filmmakers do not want you to care about these characters, even if they do deserve care and support, they just wanted to laugh at them. But let me repeat, there is nothing remotely funny about any of this. Rape victims, child murderers, and suicidal women are not funny.
These filmmakers are probably sitting back laughing at me right now because I didn't get it. But what they don't understand is that the art of offending relies on either an underlying truth to the situation or a greater meaning or purpose. There is no redeeming value to "Burning Palms", just inappropriate actions being played out for no reason, or for inappropriate reasons, but either way this is not acceptable filmmaking.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
SPOILER ALERT -----------
The movie is a bad movie, that is clear. But I guess you've read a lot of comments about how cynical, cold and insane this movie is and you may be wondering about that. The short answer? critics who labeled this movie as "deeply disturbing" are immature, weak and simple minded and truly disturb me with their insensibility to human frailty.
These are all the things depicted in the movie that some reviewers think are the most "aberrant corners of humanity":
- Incest - Anal sex - Gay couples adopting out of fashion - White people adopting minority kids to buy redemption - Gay sex - Superficiality - Absent parents - Racism - Rape - Masochism
The movie is not good but it is not by any means that politically incorrect. I guess critics today are kids who can't appreciate cinema without judging the characters like they were real peopleeven if that were the case, labeling these people as aberrant without any sign of compassion is extremely arrogantor being willfully ignorant to how ugly or stupid we humans can be.
I assume that these critics have never seen (and will never see) some of these really good movies that go around the same topics and are truly disturbing and challenging: Salo, anything by Pedro Almodovar, Irreversible, American Psycho, Bad lieutenant, Buffalo 66, Cruising, The Piano Teacher, Putney Swope, Repulsion, Dogville.
My recommendation would be this: Watch the movie to realize how infantile contemporary movie goers are, watch some of the movies recommended above and enjoy cinema like the smart adult you are.
Initially I wanted to give this film grade five, that is one note for
each story. But after I watched, in the first and last segment are
events that can happen in real life so I stopped on four. The remaining
stories are cheesy and tacky. A father has intimate relations with his
underage daughter, a girl has problems with hygiene after a bizarre
practice with her boyfriend, a gay couple buys a daughter, then
realizing it's better to buy a dog. A housekeeper is mocking by a
rebellious kid and then stolen by something that seems out of the
ordinary and a young woman is a victim of a rape, then she seeks the
aggressor and put it in a position to repeat the scene.
I'm not surprised that this movie has so few votes and opinions.
Hopefully this kind of films will not be made.
If you can stomach/appreciate dark humor in the line of Louie C.K. and
Jimmy Carr, this movie will entertain.
There are five stories, simple pulp fiction type tales without significant character development, but still resembling Aesops fables - only for adults.
Stripping off the cozy duvet of political correctness some of the tales will disgust and others will amuse, but buttons will be pushed for most.
By grossly exaggerating the little neuroses most people in modern society happily allow themselves and tolerate in others. The movie quickly reveals how seriously we take ourselves and our stereotypes, and how fragile these ego shells are when exposed to ridicule or scrutiny.
If you're unused to questioning motives, be it your own or those of others, and firmly believe there is such a thing as a "victim" - steer clear. Otherwise allow yourself to be shocked, it won't kill you and you may be healthily disillusioned (to be deprived of illusions).
As far as the acting, some support actors seemed to enjoy their mostly satirical roles - e.g. Shannen Doherty's accent and Paz Vega's emoting (worthy of the telenovela playing in the background), helped to lighten the fairly dark subject matter.
Oh, the segment "Buyers Remorse" is a must see for those looking to adopt.. If you spot ANY of those traits, please don't.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
If I don't enjoy a film I just leave it be and am never one to write a
bad review, in fact this is my first review of such nature. I felt
compelled to warn people, and although quite a few people gave 'awful'
reviews, no amount of of awful reviews can give this film justice.
Firstly, whoever classified this film as a comedy clearly has the sense of humor of a sociopath. If you think that ditching a child out in the middle of a forest or giving her crystal-meth is comedy then you are sick. Likewise if you think that rape portrayed in such an in-depth fashion is funny you are very sick and need help. I understand if there was some sort of psychological or social context behind the rape in this movie to justify the 'Man Eater' sequel, however the filmmakers seam to have put it in there because they get a kick from portraying human suffering and exploiting the sickest most perverted crevices of the human mind to an extent where storytelling looses its potential and only revulsion is left.
I actually enjoy a fair share of dark-comedy and movies that are meant to gross you out and to disturb you, but the film must have some meaningful backbone. In the sense that it must either have some metaphorical or personified meaning. 'Street Trash' (1987) is a movie I can recommend to anyone who truly wants to be shocked, and not come out of the film feeling like a terrible person for laughing at societal taboos. The portrayal of sexual violence (which isn't actually shown) in 'Street Trash' goes overboard to the point where it's unbelievable, and although crude and sickening, it doesn't take you into the perception of the victim and the overall feeling is unreal with obvious humorous intent. Whereas 'Burning Palms' takes the victim and exploits such sensitive emotions (close up on her face while being raped) going further into her insecurities as her wanting, in fact begging, to get raped again.
If people enjoy this and insist on it being a comedy, then I have to ask, what kind of society are we leaving in, where people knowingly create films that exploit peoples insanity and insecurities in such a perverse way, and have the audacity to call it comedy. Some of these so called 'taboos' that the film tries to explore are actually deeply serious and very unfunny problems that people deal with on a daily basis, illegal adoption (trading children on the black market), abandonment of children, rape and the psychological effects that it can have on a victim. So don't tell me it's "just a movie". 'Buyers Remorse' and 'Man Eater' are the inscrutably offending segments of 'Burning Palms'.
I can see the potential for humor in the third segment 'This Little Piggy', however I found the first and fourth segments to be in bad taste however I can see that this was the intention. I was surprised that well known actors agreed to star in this poor excuse for a movie, and have lost respect for each one of them especially Lake Bell (Boston Legal) and Zoe Saldana (Avatar).
If you read my review and then think to yourself 'hmm I might as well just watch it out of interest sake' please don't, you have nothing to gain from the film unless you're a sociopath who gets a kick at watching the in-depth misery of people. I know that much more sick movies exist out there but irrespective, Voyerism needs to have a line drawn through it at some point.
I just want to start by saying that this is the first movie I'm writing
about on IMDb. Another user felt it necessary to also write his first
review but to warn others of this film, yet I felt I feel compelled to
write the opposite as the first 5 reviews are quite mixed so far..
I had to wait four months from the time I saw the trailer until the DVD arrived. The DVD is not even offered here in Vancouver, Canada at future shop, best buy, or in video stores which is pretty strange. I had to find it online! So I'm not sure how many people are even going to hear of this let alone find a copy other than online.
The film itself was definitely different but very entertaining in a good way. I don't see a need to explain the stories as other users have already, but feel it necessary to say this is not as shocking or offending as I thought it would have been after watching the trailers and waiting for months in anticipation.
I did love this film, but it takes a lot to shock people nowadays so not sure why some people find it so terrible instead of treating it like a dark comedy... It portrays somewhat 'weird/odd' plot themes, but don't feel this should turn people off from enjoying the film, but only make it more enjoyable as it's a good change in pace from your average film. It also makes it more comedic that they've focused a plot on such stories..
I don't feel that everyone will be offended or shocked, and feel it laughable that someone would call viewers psychopaths and sociopaths for enjoying such a film.
I do feel that Shannon Doherty could have played the psychologist in all 5 scenes but maybe due to time restraints they chose to only put her in 2. But they could have used her to interrelate the stories in my opinion. I also wish the order of the stories had been a little different. I thought the 5th story 'man eater' could have been told first. After laughing for an hour and a half at the other 4 stories, I felt the last 20 minutes were a bit more of a drama than a comedy and I wish I could have finished the film on a comedic note. All in all this was an excellent film. I only gave it a 9 as I felt the 5th story should have been watched first to keep comedy going until the end.
Excellent job Christopher Landon...Hopefully he has 5 more of these stories up his sleeve for a sequel! Go see this film!!!
Considering some of the talented actors and the general premise of this
movie, it should have been, at the very least, an average or at least
slightly amusing film. Instead, it's a ridiculously cynical, bitter,
awful tale that throws societal taboos around like confetti at a
ticker-tape parade for no other reason but to see how many can be
clumped together in on movie.
The stories try to be sardonic and darkly whimsical. But the absolutely terrible script and overly despicable and poorly written characters instead result in an utter waste of the viewers' time.
For the reviewers who compared this to anthologies such as Pulp Fiction, Creepshow or Trick 'r Treat, they are insulting the very essence of much better such films.
Burning Palms completely misfires on all cylinders, and unless you're a stuck up film school snob who thinks they find more meaning in films than is actually there, avoid this one at all costs. It's not worth an iota of your time.
If you have a dark humor, and speak cynicism fluently - this movie
definitely worths your time. Usually when a movie depicts a couple of
different stories with a common denominator, shown one following the
other, not interlacing, it is used in order to show "a bigger picture",
which brings me to one of the two only issues with this film (in my
opinion): there is no bigger picture. If you're looking for a final
scene that will connect all the dots together, you should know there
isn't any. It's just not this kind of movie, nothing to be disappointed
The other thing that might bother you, is the lack of "tightness" in the plots. This becomes very apparent in the different endings - as if the writer had an excellent idea for five sketches, but not a movie.
However, "Burning Palms" is a very good movie indeed. It could score a solid 8 (not kidding!) if there would have been some small modification in the screenplay, but as it is it's still captivating - go watch it.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
What kind of sick twisted psycho would write this garbage? And who
would even consider making it into a movie?
Oh, I know, sick mentally ill fools, which, ironically, is what this movie is about. Several stories, in all of them is mentally ill person or persons who end up killing themselves or otherwise causing some harm to themselves or others. You have to question, was there no better script out there? The actors, I guess they badly needed a job to agree to be in this one. Seriously, this is sick garbage. Don't waste your time or money on this movie, you will regret it.
I want my two hours back!
I thought this was terrific although I have not seen the last story
yet. Very funny and NON PC which is refreshing.
I am surprised I highly recommend this movie unless you are a prude or can't handle NON PC type stuff. I give it a 6 instead of higher because some of the acting is bad.
I don't see how you can not laugh at this movie. It is dark humor and if you like that kind of thing you should watch this one
The adoption story and the finger is worth the price alone.
I am not sure why more people did not like this one. I will look for more movies from this writer
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