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Eagerly anticipating this week ... (28-18)

Eagerly anticipating this week ... (28-18)
Ethan Hawke's Blaze (2018)


Into the Wild (2007) - Penn and Co. triumph with true-story, American odyssey

Emile Hirsch sits on the roof of an abandoned bus in Alaska and ponders existence on this serene poster for Sean Penn's Into the Wild

Into the Wild is the true story of Christopher McCandless, who as a young man in May 1990 breaks radically with his parents' suburban life and cuts himself off from everything and every one he knows to go on an American adventure as a 'Alexander Supertramp.'

Into the Wild is the 4th feature written and directed by Californian master filmmaker Sean Penn (The Crossing Guard (1995)), based on the same-titled 1996 nonfiction book of McCandless' life and journey by Jon Krakauer (Into Thin Air (1997)).
Rarely does a film touch people the way that Into the Wild does, and certainly does touch me when I watch it. It gets to you like a sharp, pointed arrow with a vivacity, a fullness of life, a formidable drive and a devastating but also enormously beautiful end. This film is an absolute masterpiece.
Emile Hirsch (Killer Joe (2011)) is a star and a generational hero for his towering performance here, and his scenes with Hal Holbrook (Innocent Victims (1996, TV movie)) are among the most moving that I can recollect ever seeing in a motion picture.
The music in the film, made up of monumental, howling, acoustic and beautiful songs by Eddie Vedder (The Namesake (2006), song) and a strong score by Michael Brook (The Perks of Being a Wallflower (2012)) and Kaki King (How I Got Lost (2009)), is forceful, as are the exceptional cinematography by Eric Gautier (Clean (2004)). Into the Wild is a visual cornucopia of the majestic sights in America's Godly nature.
As a film about a young radical idealist and explorer, Into the Wild is out of this world, and with the release of this masterpiece and his outstanding performance in Gus Van Sant's masterpiece Milk (2008), Penn touched a height in movies that is only granted to very few certified greats.

Related posts:

Sean PennGangster Squad (2013) or, Good Men vs. Bad Men! (actor)

This Must Be the Place (2011) - Sorrentino's Nazi-hunting stoner cracker (actor)
The Tree of Life (2011) or, Mother, Father, Sharks, Dinosaurs, My Brothers, Sunflowers, the Desert, the Wind and Me

Fair Game (2010) or, The Intelligence War (actor)
21 Grams (2003) or, Hardcore Life

The Pledge (2001) - Maddening, realistic, unpleasant child-killer story (director)

The Crossing Guard (1995) - Penn's great, downbeat Jack Nicholson-starring drama thriller (writer/co-producer/director)
Carlito's Way (1993) - De Palma's best gangster movie (actor)


Watch a trailer for the film here

Cost: Estimated 15 mil. $
Box office: 56.2 mil. $
= Big hit (3.74 times the cost)
[Into the Wild premiered 1 September (Telluride Film Festival, Colorado, USA) and runs 148 minutes. Shooting took place in Washington, including Seattle,  Oregon, including Portland, Arizona, Alaska, South Dakota, California, Atlanta, Georgia, Nevada and in Mexico from April - November 2006. SPOILER The final bus section of the film was shot in Alaska about 50 miles (80 km) from the actual site, using a replica of the real bus. The film opened #33 to a 212k $ first weekend in 4 theaters, a huge 53k $ cinema average, and widened to peak at #14 and in 660 cinemas in North America, where it grossed 18.3 mil. $ (32.6 % of the total gross). The 2nd and 3rd biggest markets were France with 13.5 mil. $ (24 %) and Italy with 8 mil. $ (14.2 %). The film was nominated for 2 Oscars: Best Supporting Actor (Holbrook), lost to Javier Bardem in No Country for Old Men, and Best Editing, lost to The Bourne Ultimatum. The film won 1/2 Golden Globe nominations, an AFI award, was nominated for a César award and a David di Donatello award, a Grammy, won two National Board ow Review awards and many other honors. Roger Ebert gave the film a 4/4 star review, equal to its rating here. It is currently #181 on IMDb's user-generated Top 250 list, sitting between Wild Tales (2014) and Life of Brian (1979). Penn as filmmaker returned with the ridiculed The Last Face (2016). Hirsch returned in Speed Racer (2008). Into the Wild is certified fresh at 82 % with a 7.5/10 critical average at Rotten Tomatoes.]

What do you think of Into the Wild?


The Heartbreak Kid (2007) or, The Seven Day Itch

Ben Stiller and his co-stars are highlighted in some funny moments from the film on this poster for Bobby and Peter Farrelly's The Heartbreak Kid

Eddie is our sympathetic protagonist here, who meets a sweet woman and gets pressured into a quick wedding to her by his encouraging father and friend. But on the following honeymoon she turns out to have been the completely wrong choice, a disaster, meanwhile he falls for someone else ...

The Heartbreak Kid is written by Scot Armstrong (Semi-Pro (2008)), Leslie Dixon (Freaky Friday (2003)), Kevin Barnett (Hall Pass (2011)) and co-writer/director brothers Bobby and Peter Farrelly (Dumb and Dumber (1994), both), remaking the Elaine May/Neil Simon-created The Heartbreak Kid (1972).
The film is an incredibly wacky round of Farrelly zaniness, led by a top-motivated Ben Stiller (Arrested Development (2005-18)). His real-life father Jerry Stiller (Cousins (2013)) and Rob Corddry (Childrens Hospital (2008-16)) are funny as Eddie's father and friend, respectively, who act as his dubious advisers. Michelle Monaghan (Blindsided (2013)) is sweet as the real romantic interest, and Malin Akerman (Catch .44 (2011)) is a nightmare as the bride. The Heartbreak Kid works as a loose romantic crazy-comedy that has a lot of laughs along the way, (Danny McBride (Alien: Covenant (2017)) also supplies his share of them.)
SPOILER The ending goes for one last, sardonic tail on Eddie's predicaments instead of that whiff of Hollywood romance that I for one was sighing for after watching Stiller's many unenviable situations throughout the movie. The Heartbreak Kid also has poor posters and a reused title that doesn't really fit the film. - But it is a gaga fun train nonetheless!

Related reviews:

Peter & Bobby FarrellyDumb and Dumber To (2014) or, Harry and Lloyd: Still Dumb and Lovin' It!  

2011 in films - according to Film Excess
Hall Pass (2011) - The Farrelly brothers' probably worst film to date 

Dumb and Dumber/Dumb & Dumber (1994) - The Farrellys brothers and Carrey/Daniels' comedy classic 

Watch a politically incorrect, early wedding scene from the film here, - and if this makes you laugh, you'll like the film

Cost: 60 mil. $
Box office: 127.7 mil. $ 
= Flop (2.12 times the cost)
[The Heartbreak Kid premiered 27 September (Westwood, Hollywood, Los Angeles) and runs 116 minutes. The Farrelly brothers wanted the film to have the title The Seven Day Itch, humorously riffing on the classic Marilyn Monroe-starring marriage comedy The Seven Year Itch (1955), but they lost a lawsuit (likely to Fox, the studio behind the film) and were pushed to reuse the Heartbreak Kid title. Shooting took place in Mexico and California, including San Francisco and Los Angeles from September 2006 - ?. Some nudity was reportedly cut from a sex scene in the film. It opened #2, behind holdover hot The Game Plan, to a weak 14 mil. $ opening weekend in North America, where it spent another week in the top 5 (#5) and grossed disappointing 36.7 mil. $ (28.7 % of the total gross). The 2nd and 3rd biggest markets were Germany with 11.6 mil. $ (9.1 %) and the UK with 9.9 mil. $ (7.8 %). Roger Ebert gave the film a 2/4 star review, translating to two notches harder than this one. The Farrelly brothers returned with an episode of Unhitched (2008, TV-series) and theatrically with the awful Hall Pass (2011). Stiller returned in Curb Your Enthusiasm (2004-07), Elmo's Christmas Countdown (2007, TV movie) and theatrically in Tropic Thunder (2008). The Heartbreak Kid is rotten at 29 % with a 4.6/10 critical average at Rotten Tomatoes.]

What do you think of The Heartbreak Kid?


Hannibal Rising (2007) - Harris returns famed cannibal in sub-par origins flick

New Hannibal Lector, Gaspard Ulliel, is restrained in what looks like an iron mask on this dark poster for Peter Webber's Hannibal Rising

As a child, Hannibal Lecter's family die in the atrocities of WWII. As a young man he develops an unhealthily close relationship to his aunt and becomes consumed by thirst for revenge.

Hannibal Rising is written by Thomas Harris (Black Sunday (1975)), his only screenplay, based on his own same-titled 2006 novel, and directed by Peter Webber (Girl with a Pearl Earring (2003)). It is the 5th movie in the Hannibal Lecter franchise, following Manhunter (1986), The Silence of the Lambs (1991), Hannibal (2001) and Red Dragon (2002), being a prequel to them all.
Gaspard Ulliel (Saint Laurent (2014)) is well cast in the titular role as cinema's most famous cannibal, but Harris' script doesn't give us new insights, an exciting plot or any very sensational elements: Hannibal does have an Asian aunt (played by Li Gong (To Live/Huo Zhe (1994))) in Europe in 1949, which remains unexplained and a bit of a stretch.
The production design is not bad in Hannibal Rising, but in the context of the preceding Lecter films, of which only Ridley Scott's Hannibal is a solid dud and the rest are great, thrilling movies, Hannibal Rising falls through as a both flat and boring origins story.

Related post:

Hannibal Lecter franchise: Manhunter (1986) - Perhaps the best criminal profiling picture ever

Watch a short trailer for the film with Japanese subtitles here

Cost: 50 mil. $
Box office: 82.1 mil. $
= Big flop (1.64 times the cost)
[Hannibal Rising was released 7 February (France) and runs 121 minutes. It was shot in Lithuania, France and the Czech Republic, including Prague, from October 2005 - ?. The film opened #2, behind Eddie Murphy-starring Norbit, to a 13 mil. $ first weekend in North America, where it left the top 5 in its second week and grossed 27.6 mil. $ (33.6 % of the total gross). The 2nd and 3rd biggest markets were Italy with 7.5 mil. $ (9.1 %) and Japan with 6.4 mil. $ (7.8 %). Webber returned with Jasim (2009, short) and theatrically with Emperor (2012). Ulliel returned in L'Inconnu (2007, short) and theatrically in La troisième partie du monde (2008). Hannibal Rising is rotten at 15 % with a 3.9/10 critical average at Rotten Tomatoes.]

What do you think of Hannibal Rising?


How to Get Rid of the Others/Hvordan Vi Slipper Af med De Andre (2007) - A generally awful Danish surreal comedy turkey

A hit list of society's unwanted, a helicopter carrying a disabled person in a harness and two well-known Danish actors line up on this game poster for Anders Rønnow Klarlund's How to Get Rid of the Others

A new military law has taken effect in the kingdom of Denmark, which demands that citizens who are mainly an expense for the country and don't contribute beneficially at all are executed.

How to Get Rid of the Others is written by the also co-starring Rasmus Botoft (The Gift/Gaven (2008)) and co-writer/director Anders Rønnow Klarlund (Strings (2004)).
What little amount of fun there is to be had with this surreal satirical comedy, - which comes from veteran actors Søren Pilmark (The Last King/Birkebeinerne (2016)) and Tommy Kenter (Skibet i Skilteskoven (1992), TV-series) and the grotesque content, - pales in the context of a fatal combination of  dialog and script in general, acting (apart from the two mentioned actors) and photography - all of very poor quality. Klarlund perhaps tries to compensate by making the film very loud, full of screaming and yelling, but it helps naught: This very expletive-heavy concoction fails miserably.
The point to a big African element in the plot, - along with possibly other points which the obtuse creator duo had envisioned, - are lost in a case of a simply botched job here. How to Get Rid of the Others is a strange morass.

Watch a trailer for the film here

Cost: Unclear, - perhaps 7.3 mil. DKK, (7,300 DKK is reported on IMDb, which must be a mistake and likely should have been 7,300,000 DKK), or approximately 1.15 mil. $
Box office: Unknown - but seemingly only around 1.2 mil. DKK, or approximately 0.19 mil. $
= Uncertain - but likely a box office disaster (0.16 times the cost)
[How to Get Rid of the Others premiered 26 January (Denmark) and runs 94 minutes. It was shot in Nørrebro, Copenhagen, Denmark. It sold 13,855 tickets in its production country Denmark, which only makes up a gross of around 1.2 mil. DKK. It was released in 5 other markets, 3 of which were only at festivals. No information on its performance there is available. It was nominated for 2 Robert awards (Denmark's Oscar). Klarlund returned with The Secret Society of Fine Arts (2012), an experimental still-photo-based film, which is the filmmaker's last to date. Pilmark returned in The Taste of Hair/De Kaldte Os Frisører (2007, short), Mr. Poxycat & Co. (2007, TV-series) and theatrically in The Early Years: Erik Nietzsche Part 1/De Unge År: Erik Nietzsche Sagaen Del 1 (2007). 980 IMDb users have given How to Get Rid of the Others a 6.0/10 average rating.]

What do you think of How to Get Rid of the Others?


Hallam Foe/Mister Foe (2007) - Bell charms again in Mackenzie's flawed romantic drama

A cutesy, ghastly-yellow poster for David Mackenzie's Hallam Foe that doesn't convey too much about the actual film

Young Hallam is an aimless young man, who turns his rage from his mother's suicide against his father and stepmother and flees to the big city, where he falls in love with a young woman, who looks like his mother.

Hallam Foe is written by Ed Whitmore (Waking the Dead (2002-11)) and co-writer/director David Mackenzie (Starred Up (2013)), based on the same-titled 2001 novel by Peter Jinks. There is something off about the rhythm of the whole film, but Jamie Bell (Snowpiercer (2013)) as the title character is the reason to see it in himself.
Hallam's spying on the other characters, SPOILER and especially his final attack on his stepmother, are so indefensible acts that I was fairly distanced from the grieving protagonist here during the film. Ciarán Hinds (McCanick (2013)) doesn't seem like Bell's father here and may just be miscast, whereas Claire Forlani (Ripley Under Ground (2005)) is fine as the stepmother.
Hallam Foe is mostly for Bell fans, and it seems to have been one of those films that are cheerfully overrated locally (in this case in the UK.)

Watch a trailer for the film here

Cost: 3.8 mil. £, or approximately 5 mil. $
Box office: 2.1 mil. $
= Mega-flop (0.42 times the cost)
[Hallam Foe premiered 16 February (Berlin International Film Festival) and runs 95 minutes. Shooting took place in Scotland from March - May 2006. It opened and peaked at #14 in the UK, its home and biggest market, where it grossed 808k $ (38.5 % of the total gross). The 2nd and 3rd biggest markets were Germany with 569k $ (27.1 %) and France with 451k $ (21.5 %). The film opened and peaked at #75 in North America in 2 theaters, though it spread to 6 venues, grossing 60k $ (2.9 %) under the title Mister Foe. The film won 1/4 BAFTA Scotland nominations, 2 awards at the Berlin International Film Festival, 6 British Independent Film Award nominations and won a National Board of Review award. Mackenzie returned with Ashton Kutcher-starring Spread (2009). Bell returned in Jumper (2008). Hallam Foe is certified fresh at 72 % with a 6.5/10 critical average at Rotten Tomatoes.]

What do you think of Hallam Foe?


Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (2007) - Yates enters Potter-verse with series' best entry

Harry and his teenage wizard allies are poised for rebellion on this dark poster for David Yates' Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

A minister of magic in denial sends a new teacher to Hogwarts, who spreads a regime of terror across the premises. Meanwhile the Order of the Phoenix and the affiliated students' group Dumbledore Army work a rebellion in secret.

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix is the 5th original Harry Potter movie (out of 8.) It is written by Michael Goldenberg (Contact (1997)), based on the same-titled 2003 novel by J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (1997), and directed by great English filmmaker David Yates (Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (2016)). Dealing with the series' longest book (UK/US versions range from 766 to 870 pages, respectively), Goldenberg and Yates succeeds with a leaner film, (Phoenix is the next to shortest of the often overlong 8 films, only beat by Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Part 2 (2011) at 130 minutes), which only employs few clichés, (a storm comes to mind.)
The well-known characters have had their hair cut, and the tone is more brusque in the fifth chapter of the Potter saga, likely the best of the entire franchise. It features the Potter-universe's first fully-fledged fantastic villain, Dolores Umbridge, who comes in the guise of a terrific Imelda Staunton (Big and Small (2008-09)). The film's strict focus on its dark story of impending war makes it, however, in my eyes wholly unfit for children at this point.
- But it is a really good and well-paced fantasy adventure, and an extremely handsome production with a spectacular finale.

Related posts:
David Yates/The Harry Potter franchise: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 1 (2010) - Harry's abysmally dour and long penultimate chapter 2009 in films and TV-series - according to Film Excess [UPDATED I]    
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (2009) or, The Anemic British Teen Wizards Fly Again!

Watch a trailer for the film here

Cost:150-200 mil. $ (different reports)
Box office: 939.8 mil. $
= Big to huge hit (4.69 - 6.26 times the cost)
[Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix premiered 28 June (Tokyo, Japan) and runs 138 minutes. Dobby the house elf was taken into the script only after Rowling's advice. Shooting took place in the UK, including London and Scotland, and in Italy from February - December 2006. The film opened #1 to a 77.1 mil. $ first weekend in North America, where it stayed in the top 5 for another 3 weeks (#2-#3-#5) and grossed huge 292 mil. $ (31 % of the total gross). It was the 5th highest-grossing film in North America of the year and the 2nd highest grossing film of the year globally, behind Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End with 963 mil. $. The 2nd and 3rd biggest markets were the UK with 101.3 mil. $ (10.8 %), where it was the highest-grossing film of the year, and Japan with 80.5 mil. $ (8.6 %). A leaked financial sheet from Warner Bros. showed how their 'phony baloney accounting' made even this major seller incur an incredible 167 mil. $ deficit! - This practice ensures that no-one ever receives the net profits promised them in contracts, since the film never officially breaks even. But even figuring in a gigantic 200 mil. $ marketing budget for the film, Phoenix should break even with its massive home video and auxiliary market sales (rights, merchandise etc.). Roger Ebert gave the film a 2.5/4 star review, translating to two notches harder than this review. The film was nominated for 2 BAFTAs, won an AFI award, a European Film award and many other honors. It was the year's 7th most sold home video release with more than 10 mil. sold units in North America. Yates returned with Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (2009), the following Potter movie, and also made the last two. He is now the filmmaker behind the Potter spin-off Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (2016) and is hired for the 4 slated sequels to it. Daniel Radcliffe (Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (2002)), Potter himself, returned in December Boys (2007) and TV movie My Boy Jack (2007) before the Half-Blood Prince. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix is certified fresh at 78 % with a 6.9/10 critical average at Rotten Tomatoes - ironically the lowest-rated of the franchise.]

What do you think of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix?


Hot Rod (2007) - Samberg and Schaffer arrive with amiable stunt comedy

Andy Samberg strikes a fearless pose on this pretty rad poster for Akiva Schaffer's Hot Rod

Rod wants to earn the love of his stepfather - and then beat his ass - by jumping over 15 busses on his motorbike. - The ultimate jump!

Hot Rod is written by Pam Brady (Hamlet 2 (2008)) and directed by theatrically debuting Akiva Schaffer (Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping (2016)).
Andy Samberg (Major Lazer (2015), TV-series) isn't as funny as the protagonist as Will Ferrell might have been, (the movie was written with him in mind originally), but he is many times easier on the eye, and he really works for his laughs here. He is met with an enthusiastic cast that includes Bill Hader (The Angry Birds Movie (2016)), Danny McBride (Eastbound & Down (2009-13)), Sissy Spacek (Gray Matters (2006)) and Ian McShane (Columbo (1990), TV-series). They all help make Hot Rod a funny film. It features a lot of stunts and some hysterical comedy.

Watch a trailer for the film here

Cost: 25.3 mil. $
Box office: 14.3 mil. $
= Huge flop (0.56 times the cost)
[Hot Rod was released 3 August (USA) and runs 88 minutes. The film was in development for years at Paramount as a Ferrell vehicle, which never came to fruition. After Samberg's Lonely Island music-comedy group were hired to SNL in 2005, the film changed direction to suit them instead. Shooting took place in British Columbia, Canada, including Vancouver, from July - September 2006. The film opened and peaked #9 to a 5.3 mil. $ first weekend in North America, where it grossed 13.9 mil. $ (97.2 % of the total gross). The 2nd and 3rd biggest markets were the UK with 163k $ (1.1 %) and United Arab Emirates with 84k $ (0.6 %). Roger Ebert agreed with this review in giving the film a 3/4 star review. Hot Rod sold in excess of 24 mil. $ worth of copies on the North American home video market, which, if added into its theatrical gross, would change its status to that of merely a 'big flop'. Schaffer returned with several episodes of SNL and Lonely Island video shorts en masse before he returned to cinemas with The Watch (2012). Samberg returned theatrically in Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist (2008). Hot Rod is rotten at 40 % with a 4.9/10 critical average at Rotten Tomatoes.]

What do you think of Hot Rod?


He Was a Quiet Man (2007) - Good performances elevate Cappello's dark romance

Christian Slater looks astonished, holding a giant bomb to his chest, on this curiosity-sparking poster for Frank A. Cappello's He Was a Quiet Man, which has a tagline and title that eerily echo what neighbors and co-workers to sudden homicidal maniacs often utter in the aftermath of carnage

Bob Maconel is a middle-aged, ugly man, who is planning a small massacre at his office workplace, when a colleague beats him to it, and he instead starts dating the paralyzed colleague hottie, whom he saves in the attack.

He Was a Quiet Man is a psychological romance-drama written and directed by Frank A. Cappello (No Way Back (1995)). You might call it a different kind of office drama.
Christian Slater (Breaking In (2011-12)) and William H. Macy (ER (1994-09)) are really good here, but especially Elisha Cuthbert (The Ranch (2016-18)) as the paralyzed love interest make an impression and actually act here. (I have previously lampooned her for the often grotesque situations her annoying character found herself in in her most famous outing as Jack Bauer's daughter in 24 (2001-10)).)
Cappello treats the story as a playground for especially digital effects and inventiveness (such as a talking fish), and most of it works for this small, dark pearl of a film.

Watch a TV-teaser for the film here

Cost: Unknown
Box office: 83k $
= Uncertain - but certainly a box office disaster
[He Was a Quiet Man premiered 11 March (South by Southwest Film Festival, Austin, Texas) and runs 95 minutes. Shooting took place in California, including Los Angeles, for 21 days. The film opened #84 to a tiny 2k $ in 3 theaters in North America, where it was pulled after just one week's release. This was the film's smallest out of 6 markets. The 3 biggest were South Korea with 41k $ (49.4 % of the total gross), Turkey with 17k $ (20.5 %) and Italy with 12k $ (14.5 %). The film's budget is unknown, but if it was made for a modest 1-2 mil. $, it would rank as a box office disaster, since it almost made no money at all theatrically. Cappello only returned as a director 8 years hence in 2015 with 2 video shorts. He has directed an episode of Malibu Gothic (presently unreleased) and coming hitman-focused feature Steele Wool. Slater returned in Slipstream (2007); Macy in The Deal (2008) and Cuthbert in My Sassy Girl (2008). He Was a Quiet Man is fresh at 79 % with a 6.2/10 critical average at Rotten Tomatoes.]

What do you think of He Was a Quiet Man?


Hostel: Part II (2007) - Roth's return to Eastern Europe is a wicked horror blast

Heather Matarazzo is caught upside down in an undeniably terrifying state of helplessness on this appropriately nasty poster for Eli Roth's Hostel: Part II

3 young women are lured to take a detour on their Europe interrail vacation from Rome to Slovakia, where they become victims of a clandestine society of upper class torture and murder patrons.

Hostel: Part II is written and directed by great Bostonian filmmaker Eli Roth (Cabin Fever (2002)), a sequel to his thrilling Hostel (2005), in which three male tourists experience the same type of grueling reception in Eastern Europe. Part II tops the wicked first film as an evil, grim and staggering work of exploitation horror.
Although the film by no definition of the word could be said to have a star cast, it does have a super cast: Stand-outs are Heather Matarazzo (Scream 3 (2000)), SPOILER whose death by scythe must rate as among the sickest movie death scenes in recent history, - unforgettably sadistic, - and Richard Burgi (Fatal Instinct (2014)) as a grotesque businessman. Horror fans will also appreciate Italian master filmmaker Ruggero Deodato (Cannibal Holocaust (1980)) in a cameo as an Italian cannibal, naturally.
Hostel: Part II is a refreshingly inhumane, hardcore gore horror classic.

Related posts:

Eli RothThe Last Exorcism Part 2 (2013) or, The Not So Last Chicken Exorcism (co-producer)
Aftershock (2012) - Extreme tastelessness in one of 2012's worst films (co-writer/co-producer/co-star) 
Corman's World: Exploits of a Hollywood Rebel (2011) - Stapleton's Corman doc. is among the year's best films (interview subject)
Inglourious Basterds (2009) - The Movies take revenge on Nazi scum (co-star)
Cabin Fever (2002) - Eli Roth's awesome skin-rash-inspired breakthrough (co-writer/co-producer/director)

Watch a terrific teaser for the film, introduced by Eli Roth SPOILER from the set of Matarazzo's death scene here

Cost: 10.2 mil. $
Box office: 35.6 mil. $ 
= Box office success (3.49 times the cost)
[Hostel: Part II premiered 7 June (Australia, Argentina and Slovakia) and runs 94 minutes. Shooting took place in Iceland, Slovakia, the Czech Republic, including Prague, and Monaco from November 2006 - January 2007. SPOILER Bijou Phillips (Black Limousine (2010)) has explained that her scalping death scene required around 45 camera setups, and that her experience on the film made her lose interest for doing more horror. SPOILER Matarazzo completed the shooting of her upside down nude death scene without a stand-in, hanging for 5 minute intervals during the two days the scene was shot. The film opened and peaked #6 to a 8.2 mil. $ first weekend in North America, (less than half of the first film's #1 19.5 mil. $ opening), grossing 17.6 mil. $ (49.4 % of the total gross). The film's 2nd and 3rd biggest markets were the UK with 3.5 mil. $ (9.8 %) and Germany with 2.1 mil. $ (5.9 %). The release encountered resistance of many types: Its meat-themed poster above was removed from US theaters after complaints. It was released cut in Germany, Singapore and Malaysia and banned outright in New Zealand. In UK's House of Commons in 2007, having stills from the film was cited as illegal, an offense of 'extreme pornography'. Worst for the film; a pirate version of it leaked online days before the release and was downloaded millions of times, which Roth blamed for the less impressive box office, compared to the first film's 80.5 mil. $ world gross. Roth returned with short Stolz der Nation (2009), featured a clip of in Inglorious Basterds (2009), which Roth also co-starred in, and with an episode of Hemlock Grove (2013, TV-series), which he also executive produced (2013-15), before he returned theatrically with The Green Inferno (2013). Hostel: Part III (2011) by Scott Spiegel was the much inferior straight-to-DVD so far last film in the Hostel franchise. Hostel: Part II is rotten at 44 % with a 5/10 critical average at Rotten Tomatoes.]

What do you think of Hostel: Part II?

Eagerly anticipating this week ... (27-18)

Eagerly anticipating this week ... (27-18)
Yorgos Lanthimos' The Favourite (2018)