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Rarely is a film able to be both enticing and disturbing. There have
been some pretty messed up films the past few years like Antichrist and
A Serbian Film. Other than Antichrist having gorgeous cinematography,
genital mutilation is probably what you'll take away from it while A
Serbian Film shows you the affects it could have on someone forced to
make a snuff film against their will. I Saw the Devil is a great
example of being both brutal in content and absolutely engaging thanks
to fantastic performances and a well-thought-out revenge plot. Now
imagine having the last act of a film containing subject matter as
unnerving as the violence in I Saw the Devil but leaving a little more
to your imagination while the first two acts remind you of something
straight out of an Alejandro González Iñárritu film and you've got Red
White & Blue in a nutshell.
When Red White & Blue first gets going, you probably won't really know what to think. Some chick is just running around having sex with a handful of various men every night? So what? But it's deeper than that. Once Nate (Noah Taylor) enters the picture, things begin to get a little more interesting. Does Nate really seem like the type of guy to get honorably discharged from the army, get an offer for a CIA job, and spend his time thinking it over while working at a home improvement store? You'll have to be the judge of that yourself. His admiration for Erica (Amanda Fuller) is one of the driving factors of the film though. Then Franki (Marc Senter) works his way into the equation, as well. He thought he was having a one-night stand with Erica that no one would ever know about, but it turned into something that would haunt him for the rest of his life. Franki is in a band with his three best friends that seems to be on the up-and-up while his mom is battling cancer, but things begin to go downhill at a rapid pace once Franki's girlfriend reveals she cheated on him. An unflinching drama slowly snowballs into a revenge thriller that'll jump to the next scene right when you're on the verge of cringing.
The film does a fantastic job of reeling you in and making you care about these characters over the course of its hour and forty minute duration. Amanda Fuller plays up Erica having intimacy issues to near perfection as her awkward body language and inability to fight off bursting to tears whenever a man wants to do anything more with her than have sex defines her character far more than simple words ever could. Noah Taylor's Nate is a bit of a mystery. He comes off as odd at first, but he becomes a man on a mission. He'll go to great lengths to get what he wants and his savagery along with his brutality easily makes his performance the highlight of the film. Marc Senter's disturbing and mesmerizing performance in The Lost made a fairly long-lasting impression on me. At least long enough for me to recognize him in this film. Franki is a similar character and Senter's performance is just as captivating despite how deranged his character really is.
Red White & Blue will more than likely make you go through a wide spectrum of reactions. It'll start off with a "What the hell is this?" that'll transition to, "Damn, and I thought I was a jerk," before ending with, "So yeah, gangbangs probably aren't a very good idea..." The film takes an engrossing story and manages to tell it by encompassing several different genres; drama, mystery and thriller with a few horror elements for good measure. Add a fantastic cast that works as a cohesive unit that also doesn't allow for any hiccups and you've got one helluva film on your hands. Red White & Blue is some of the best storytelling to be told on film in quite some time.
If you turn away from the movie after the very hard and maybe even too
explicit (though it really isn't, but it feels like it is) beginning,
you will miss out on the why. You won't be able to see where the
director wanted to take this. And it would be a shame. This is as "down
and dirty" as a movie can go. From cinematography, acting and
It might not be your cup of tea of course (nothing glossy to be found here), but if you let yourself into the story and the characters (with all their flaws, of whom they have many), then you will be rewarded with a very weird and angry story. It won't pull any punches either (whether you like that or not) and stays true to it's grittiness throughout. One of the better movies I watched in 2010 (and I watched quite a few)
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
One of the best revenge dramas I have ever seen. Brutal and compelling and shot in the seedier parts of Austin, Texas by British director Simon Rumley on a very low budget, it's enhanced by the very fine cast (which includes some respected though not very famous actors, including Noah Taylor playing niftily against character). The movie is about essentially a love (or perhaps death) triangle: Nate, an Iraq war veteran in his thirties who looks edgy and might be somewhat disturbed and Franki, a drummer in an upcoming garage band are the men whose life is intersected through Erica, an attractive girl whose life is a mess working at odd jobs as well as the occasional gig as a prostitute. A sexually transmitted disease will unleash a terrible mayhem of death and revenge. I don't want to add more about the plot, but the results can be brutal in the extreme, even if the climactic act of violence is shot off camera. Starts somewhat slow, and it takes its time to develop its plot, but the third and final act will leave everyone speechless.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Incredibly dark indie deals with Erica, an emotionally empty young
woman who has unprotected sex with anyone she can, including a four-way
with a garage band and it's lead player, Franki. Enter Nate, an oddball
stranger who helps her find work when she's about to be kicked out of
her apartment. The two form an unlikely bond. Meanwhile, Franki is
caring for his cancer-stricken mother. After he gives some blood to
help her, he's soon informed that he has HIV. Horrified not only for
himself but for what he's given his mother, he and his bandmates set
out to find Erica. Bad choices are made and revenge is brutally dished
Simon Rumley's film is one of the bleakest I've seen in a while. Austin is the backdrop as we watch damaged characters making choices that lead to their undoing. It's hard to say who's to root for here, and a revelation regarding Erica midway through adds a whole new layer to the proceedings. I respected that Rumley left in numerous ambiguities throughout, as it made for a more intriguing structure.
The acting is strong across the board with Noah Taylor, Amanda Fuller and Marc Senter all vying for the title of most disturbed. Senter, who played memorable nutjobs in "The Lost" and "Cabin Fever 2", actually gets outdone this time around. There's also a memorable scene of a family being held hostage.
This movie really affected me right from the beginning. I felt drawn in
hanging onto every word and movement of Emily (The main female
character) and Nate (The post traumatic Iraq war Veteran).
Unfortunately I can't really go into too much detail on the plot creating a rather boring review but I really wanted to let people know just how enticing and well made this movie was. This was one of the best Drama revenge movies I have ever seen. It was so realistic to me it was like watching something real. The emotions I felt towards the characters is not something I normally experience in watching a movie but the bleakness and story lines of each character was just so real to me.
I found the relationship between Emily and Nate to be especially captivating. Two outcasts who are thoroughly screwed up very slowly make this special bond that they seemed to never have in life before. You don't really know what to make of the two with his history of torture and hers of being extremely unemotional and sexually promiscuous. You're not really sure what to make of the relationship until things unfold and you realize what's really going on.
Franki, the third main character in the movie is your typical stupid kid whose dreams are to make it big with his band. He cares for and loves his cancer stricken Mother very much. When he has an encounter with Emily it causes his whole world to spin out of control and loses his sanity.
If you miss this movie you are missing out on a good one. I went in thinking it would be a gore feast but it wasn't, it was actually very tame on the gore. Instead I went through an emotional roller-coaster that lasted from beginning to end. This movie is a must see.
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I have to say that this movie grew on me after I watched it... mainly
because I watched it with wrong expectation. In comparison to Rumleys
last movie "The living and the dead" it doesn't catch you with visual
and sound effects and its not revenge movie either. "Red white and
blue" is a pretty bleak drama that for most of its time focuses on
showing the lives of three characters. The focus is on the characters
and there is not much do distract from them except for the strange time
skips in editing which at first annoyed be but have a more than logical
reason in the movie. Everything relies heavily on the actors and I
think for an independent movie they made quite an effort here.
Rumley denies painting anyone in this movie good or bad. You have to watch an endless spiral of pain and wrongs that never seem to make a right but there is always a reason for actions that on first sight might seem illogical. The way the characters are interwoven and the similarities between them are slowly coming to light while the plot turns into a revenge movie culminating in some pretty drastic measures is brilliant. The movie is gritty and brutal in parts but I think Rumley managed to play these elements in a way that works psychologically and not visually. The way the story is told is excellent and the finale is not a lame twist that turns everything upside down but makes you realize you have been watching a revenge movie from the first frame onwards. I think Rumley put a lot of thought into this movie and it deserves that people sit down and take a little time to think about it too.
Red White and Blue is not for everyone. This movie with grab your
emotions right from the beginning (good or bad) and keep building
There is no clear antagonist or protagonist; I'm sure we could label some, but it detracts from the complex interactions and subtext. This movie has layers and it will stick with you for several days. I repeat - this movie stays with you and reaches some dark places.
The acting is very good and Noah Taylor is engrossing. I can not believe this guy is not cast in more roles, seriously. Taylor gives a stellar performance of the performance you almost wished you had never seen.
I recommend highly.
This film reminded me mostly of Audition and how the mood changes from
drama to sinister to disturbing.
The film follows the sexual goings-on of a young girl named Erica, who we believe to be troubled in some way or another. She has a friend, Nate, in whom she can confide and who appears to be genuinely concerned for her. A side-plot, about a semi-successful garage-band, runs in parallel from the point they all get in the sack with Erica, on a drunken band team-building exercise. These two plot lines come slamming back together in a big way, just after the middle of the movie.
Once this film gets going, it really grabs hold of you and doesn't let go, until after the gut-wrenching climax. The build-up is slow paced but justifiably so, as it needs to bring true depth to the characters, otherwise the latter half of the story wouldn't work.
Unlike movies where the good and bad guys are clear cut, this one really blurs the edges, so that we're never quite sure who's in the right and who's not. I'm saying this is a good thing for this movie, because it really makes the viewer question the morality in each scene and find it harder to predict where the movie us is ultimately heading.
There's little I would criticise. What it does, it does very well - all credit to the director and cast.
I wouldn't categorise this as a horror (unless we count Franki's earrings), it's more of an intense drama/thriller but Red White and Blue is one of the best films I have seen this year and would recommend it to anyone who has the stomach for this sort of thing.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Going into this movie I was completely blind. Not knowing what this was
really about I wasn't really expecting much. Boy was I surprised.
The characters in this movie are amazing. Marc Senter's character (Franki) is definitely the best character in movie. We will get to that later. Erica is a very interesting character considering she has no self-confidence. I love how the movie shows that she sleeps around and how she has no relationship with anyone. When she meets her coworker you can really tell by the scene where she asks him if she can sleep by him that she wants to have a relationship but can't because of her HIV virus. Now when the movie shifted over to Frankie I had no idea where it was going. Once they got to the hospital scene then I figured it out. When him and his gang finally find Erica and kidnap her things really start getting intense. I love how Frankie's a human you can tell that he knows what he is doing is wrong so he can't let her go so he wants to treat her the well. With Franki's mom committing suicide you can tell that he is completely empty without her. So once he kills Erica and her coworker finds out her coworker goes crazy. Then the rest of the movie is basically him interrogating the people involved in the murder. I did not mind the violence against the child it's just a movie. Anyways I really like this flick I highly recommended it.
I'n a longtime horror fan. I like my horror movies intense, bloody &
down-to-earth. If they're too slick, if everything from the story &
pace & acting, to the editing & sound production, slots together too
perfectly, I will admire the film, but not be moved by it. I started
watching "Red, White & Blue" thinking it was a "psychological suspense
thriller," because that's what Netflix told me it was. Much to my
delight, it's a flat-out (non-supernatural) horror movie that satisfies
my taste. It's also a multifaceted revenge tragedya study of how one
initial act of violence (the rape of 4-yr-old girl) spins out a world
of suffering, which leads to many unfocused acts of revenge, one of
which eventually triggers a much more pointed episode of revenge, which
in turn triggers a veritable *rampage* of revengeso well-acted & so
engaging, it practically bores a hole in your brain.
One brilliant thing about this flick is that all of this takes place in a central Texas setting which is as real as the sun is hot. I'm a Texan, so I should know. Don't you hate movies that start out telling you they're located in a specific geographic locale, then some aspects of the settingthe character's accents, for example, or the license plates on cars, or a city skylineare broadcasted so loud & clear you get sick of 'em, but many other, more telling, aspectslike the architecture of the houses or the sounds of the birds or the kinds of trees, evenare all wrong? It distracts you from your immersion in the story! This movie is just the opposite: we see a hint here, a hint there, of where the events are unfolding, but unless you recognize specific streets & buildings of one lowdown area of AustinI didn't, because I don't know Austin that wellthe fact that you're in Texas seeps rather gradually into your awareness. Even the fact that one character has an obvious tattoo of the state's outline only means that *he's* a Texan. But by the end, when a big Texas flag flapping gently in the wind in someone's front yard prompts you into a reverie about what the title of the movie signifies, you are so grounded in place, it deeply underscores the gritty, down-to-earth flavor of the whole flick. That also contributes to how the story's tragedy, while ramifying out to include dozens, even hundreds, of people, feels as tightly concentrated as a watch spring.
I must warn you that the real story you're watchingas opposed to the mere eventswill also take a while to seep into your awareness. And that this can be kind of annoying. At first I thought that the film was lagging because our initial point-of-view character wasn't being very well acted. But once you understand why the character is like that, you'll appreciate the subtlety that Amanda Fuller brings to the role. Same goes for Eric Senter's character, who comes across as such an irritating dweeb he's hard to look atand then you get *his* story.
Noah Taylor's character, on the other hand, is so fascinating from the get-go, you won't be able to take your eyes off him. He just about pops off the screen, that's how intensely he burns.
After all was said and done, I appreciated, in retrospect, the way the way the movie starts out so slow as to be almost meandering, then starts to pick up speed, accelerates some more, and then quite suddenly slams into the rampage I referred to earlier. But still, for all of the violence in Act 3, the story is never hyper: it steadily remains in the real world, where there are always occasional downshifts in a sequence of events.
The only thing I didn't like about the flick was the fingernails-on-blackboard piano music that's supposed to heighten the splatter at the end: they should've stuck with the rock-n-roll used earlier.
"Red, White & Blue" even has a denouement. How often does *that* happen? The kind of denouement that lets the flames of intense emotion die down, even lets the embers cool, before the screen goes black and the credits roll.
Simon Rumley is definitely no amateur. I'm going to be watching his next flick, that's for sure. I hope it's horror!
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