View Poll Results: Brawl in Cell Block 99

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Thread: Brawl in Cell Block 99 (Zahler)

  1. #1
    - - - - - Irish's Avatar
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    Brawl in Cell Block 99 (Zahler)



    Written and directed by S. Craig Zahler.
    Starring Vince Vaughn, Don Johnson, and Jennifer Carpenter.

    - http://www.imdb.com/title/tt5657856/
    - https://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/bra...cell_block_99/

  2. #2
    Since 1929 Morris Schæffer's Avatar
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    And also...Udo Kier.
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  3. #3
    - - - - - Irish's Avatar
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    Not sure how to vote because I can't say I enjoyed the movie overall, I did like aspects of it.

    It isn't so much as a "brawl" as it is a scuffle, although the fights are the best parts. (No rapid-fire editing, shaky-cam bullshit. Zahler puts the camera down and lets the actors work through their choreography.)

    This is a prison movie where the hero doesn't get to the prison until half way through the runtime. The first hour is lost to dumb plotting around a drug deal. It almost doesn't matter because Vaughn's performance is relentlessly watchable and gets better as it goes along.

    The movie tries hard to be super macho and there's plenty of bone crunching violence. Unless my guesses are way off, Scar and Skitch will love it, and maybe Duke too.

    Quote Quoting Morris Schæffer (view post)
    And also...Udo Kier.
    Kier is a treat but the poster is misleading. He only appears for about one and a half scenes.

  4. #4
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    Loses a bit of Bone Tomahawk's charm without the delicious Old West dialogue and colorful setting, which it seems to make up by going even more over-the-top in its nicely tuned match of elaborate character plans and gruesome set-pieces (the more convoluted any scheme gets, the more ludicrous the gore seems to escalate too). Still retains much of the former film's unhurried plotting and enjoyably unexpected tangents. Its color looks so frequently ugly though, especially distracting in the open-space early going-ons. Gets better when it gets to jails, especially in the grindhouse-ish third act. 7.5/10
    Midnight Run (1988) - 9
    The Smiling Lieutenant (1931) - 8.5
    The Adventures of Robinhood (1938) - 8
    Sisters (1973) - 6.5
    Shin Godzilla (2016) - 7.5

  5. #5
    I disagree. The third act is boring.
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  6. #6
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    I disagree. The third act is not boring.
    Midnight Run (1988) - 9
    The Smiling Lieutenant (1931) - 8.5
    The Adventures of Robinhood (1938) - 8
    Sisters (1973) - 6.5
    Shin Godzilla (2016) - 7.5

  7. #7
    It appears we have reached an obstacle in our path to a mutual understanding.
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  8. #8
    - - - - - Irish's Avatar
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    What was your favorite part, trans?

  9. #9
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    Lol, reading back, I wasn't even referring to how I liked the third back more than the previous two (I think I liked the film pretty evenly throughout), but how the colors look real ugly to me in the beginning and get better when the setting move to jails, especially the one in the third act.
    Midnight Run (1988) - 9
    The Smiling Lieutenant (1931) - 8.5
    The Adventures of Robinhood (1938) - 8
    Sisters (1973) - 6.5
    Shin Godzilla (2016) - 7.5

  10. #10
    Quote Quoting Irish (view post)
    What was your favorite part, trans?
    Basically everything leading up to when Udo Kier arrives; I liked the unhurried pace, unusual characterization and stylized dialogue - it felt like its own thing. I don't dislike the last third because it turns into pulpy violence, but because this instance of pulpy violence was not all that interesting, either in theory (another wife put in harms way to create tension) or in practice (the fight scenes are clumsy, the sets dark and depressing etc.).
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    El
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  11. #11
    - - - - - Irish's Avatar
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    Quote Quoting transmogrifier (view post)
    Basically everything leading up to when Udo Kier arrives; I liked the unhurried pace, unusual characterization and stylized dialogue - it felt like its own thing. I don't dislike the last third because it turns into pulpy violence, but because this instance of pulpy violence was not all that interesting, either in theory (another wife put in harms way to create tension) or in practice (the fight scenes are clumsy, the sets dark and depressing etc.).
    Well, when you put it that way it makes me like the opening a little more.

    I guess I got too hung up on the plot, and found the typical drug dealer, one-last-job scenario, to be cliche. I've seen that story in hundreds of movies and thousands of TV episodes. So the first hour was frustrating to me; I couldn't understand why they titled the movie "Brawl in Cell Block 99" and then made the audience wait so long for there to be a scene in jail.

    I kinda sorta agree with you on "this instance of pulpy violence." Thinking of it that way, it was probably less interesting but somehow more memorable. Zahler seems willing to take chances most others won't. It's the one thing about him I can unreservedly appreciate.

    Did you see his "Bone Tomahawk"? What did you think of that movie's ending and its pulp violence? Similar reaction or no?

  12. #12
    Quote Quoting Irish (view post)
    Well, when you put it that way it makes me like the opening a little more.

    I guess I got too hung up on the plot, and found the typical drug dealer, one-last-job scenario, to be cliche. I've seen that story in hundreds of movies and thousands of TV episodes. So the first hour was frustrating to me; I couldn't understand why they titled the movie "Brawl in Cell Block 99" and then made the audience wait so long for there to be a scene in jail.

    I kinda sorta agree with you on "this instance of pulpy violence." Thinking of it that way, it was probably less interesting but somehow more memorable. Zahler seems willing to take chances most others won't. It's the one thing about him I can unreservedly appreciate.

    Did you see his "Bone Tomahawk"? What did you think of that movie's ending and its pulp violence? Similar reaction or no?
    Straight from Letterboxd:

    65/100


    It's the little directorial grace notes that drive this solid, confident mosey towards a more modern style of horror than that which is usually served up in Westerns. For example, the scene where Russell discovers the kidnapping ends with him righting an upturned chair, and it is shot in a way that emphasizes his frustration and desire to set things right...and it just looks and feels "right", as if the guy behind the camera had a feeling for the scene and the character. Zahler may be one to watch in the future.

    So... I didn't even make note of the violent ending, but you can see that again I was taken by the characterization and pacing of the lead up. The ending of BT is better because it has more true horror to it (rather than coming across as over the top gore for the sake of it, as in BICB99).
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  13. #13
    Director Scar's Avatar
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    Quote Quoting Irish (view post)

    The movie tries hard to be super macho and there's plenty of bone crunching violence. Unless my guesses are way off, Scar and Skitch will love it, and maybe Duke too.
    Daddy like.
    “I have a very busy head. I have inside voices that I have learned to contain.”

  14. #14
    good for health Skitch's Avatar
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    I'm not sure how I will come off this flick when I see it. I'm a smidge reserved. I really liked BT overall, but it wasn't because of the violence. In fact if memory serves, I was kinda critical of BTs violence of going too far when they already had a decent story working, in that, the violence was a bit too over the top.

    Then here I see the first act mention the "one last job" scenerio...and I'm now lowered expectation. I will say this though, I'm a fan Vaughn, dispite the unpopular status of saying so. His bullshit amuses me. He's a version of RDJ I can laugh at, whereas RDJ I'm getting closer to annoyed.

  15. #15
    good for health Skitch's Avatar
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    Quote Quoting transmogrifier (view post)
    Straight from Letterboxd:

    65/100
    Yeah, I'm about here. Maybe more like 7/10.

    I read it somewhere and its true, this guy is making grindhouse movies, and it was even more apparent with this film than with BT.

  16. #16
    What is best in life? D_Davis's Avatar
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    It's not the violence that won me over. Quite the opposite. It was the humanity on display in Vaughn's performance. When he reaches Cell Block 99, there is a moment when he's sitting on his cot, realizing he's been royally fucked over, and the despair in his eyes is expertly conveyed; it made me feel - a lot. Vaughn's physical presence is used to great effect in the film, but not just for the rough and tumble stuff. He displays a ton of emotion with his body language and facial expressions. It's simply a wonderful performance. Like the best grindhouse films, Cell Block 99 is slow and brooding, focuses on character, and puts the characters in gut wrenching situations, backs against the wall, having to take matters into their own hands to get things done.

    This is brilliant filmmaking. Even that initial gun fight is masterful. It's not flashy, not overly edited. It's just presented in a matter of fact way that elevates the violence to tangible level.

  17. #17
    good for health Skitch's Avatar
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    Quote Quoting Skitch (view post)
    I will say this though, I'm a fan Vaughn,
    This has not changed. He was excellent in this movie. I wanted him to murder everyone twice.

  18. #18
    Quote Quoting Skitch (view post)
    Yeah, I'm about here. Maybe more like 7/10.

    I read it somewhere and its true, this guy is making grindhouse movies, and it was even more apparent with this film than with BT.
    Heh, that was for Bone Tomahawk. I'm less enamoured with this.
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    El
    (1973) 70
    The Day After
    (1983
    ) 63
    Duck, You Sucker (1971) 68
    Young Mr. Lincoln (1939) 71
    Noriko’s Dinner Party
    (2005) 61
    The Third Murder (2017) 56

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  19. #19
    good for health Skitch's Avatar
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    Ha, whoops.

  20. #20
    Piss off, ghost! number8's Avatar
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    This is nice. I put this on expecting it to be background noise until the brawling starts but the movie immediately got my attention with the prologue with the car dismantling and the calm marriage talk. Ended up putting all my work away and actually watched the thing. It's an exploitation movie's plotting and visual sensibilities but with more effort in the characterization and tone. Terrific pacing.
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  21. #21
    What is best in life? D_Davis's Avatar
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    Yep! And Vaughn's performance is incredible.

  22. #22
    The Pan megladon8's Avatar
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    This was very, very good. And I don’t want to see it again for a very, very long time.

    Didn’t know Vaughn had something like this in him.

  23. #23
    The Pan megladon8's Avatar
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    Watched this again last night.

    Has moved up to being one of my favorites of last year.

  24. #24
    What is best in life? D_Davis's Avatar
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    Quote Quoting megladon8 (view post)
    Watched this again last night.

    Has moved up to being one of my favorites of last year.

    YES! It's so good.

  25. #25
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    Quote Quoting D_Davis (view post)
    YES! It's so good.
    I’m a massive fan of old soul and Motown music - it’s what I grew up on.

    I loved the music but couldn’t pinpoint any of the songs.

    Jen and I looked it up and they actually got several artists from the ‘70s Motown scene to write and record original music for the film.

    So awesome.

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