Author Topic: Brawl In Cell Block 99 (2017)  (Read 4027 times)

DukeDeMondo

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Brawl In Cell Block 99 (2017)
« on: October 28, 2017, 01:02:46 AM »
Well. Goodness gracious. What a fucking carry on that was.

Latest number from writer / director S. Craig Zahler of Bone Tomahawk fame. I'm no good at synopses, here's the one from Rotten Tomatoes:

"A former boxer named Bradley loses his job as an auto mechanic, and his troubled marriage is about to expire. At this crossroads in his life, he feels that he has no better option than to work for an old buddy as a drug courier. This improves his situation until the terrible day that he finds himself in a gunfight between a group of police officers and his own ruthless allies. When the smoke clears, Bradley is badly hurt and thrown in prison, where his enemies force him to commit acts of violence that turn the place into a savage battleground."

That's enough.

I thought it was very good, as these things go. Much like Bone Tomahawk, it's a slow burn affair that takes its time getting where it's going and becomes more lurid and graphic and cartoonish the further along it gets. A film of two halves if ever was one, the first hour characterised by a relatively subdued, brooding, subtly menacing tone, the second by an array of delirious OTT ludicrously gory extravagances. Soon as he gets to the prison, really, which has more in common with a 17th century dungeon than a 21st century Correctional Facility, Looney Tunes is the order of the day, with a bit of Riki-Oh on the side.

Also like Bone Tomahawk, it's a wee bit inconsistent far as the writing is concerned, veering drunkenly from very well written to somewhat over-written to feeling like it could have done with another couple drafts every few minutes. No shortage of cracking lines, though, and Vince Vaughn makes a proper fucking meal of them.

Mentioning cracking, let me tell you. If you, like me, have a low tolerance for images of arms getting busted backwards at the elbow or legs getting snapped at the knee, this is not the picture for you. Half a dozen such scenes pepper events, and they are fucking brutal and no mistake. I had my face in a pillow as often as not. Other times, though, the gory goings on are hilariously and obviously intentionally slapdash. They're fun, these defiantly daft looking effects shots, but I get the feeling Zahler thinks it's all a bit more endearing than it is.

Anyway, it's good steam, I reckon. Proper grotty exploitation fucking people up in a prison picture. It's far too long, and feels it at times, and it doesn't balance the stark and the preposterous as deftly as it might, but once things get going it's hard not to get swept up in it all. I was exhausted by the end, tell you the truth.
« Last Edit: October 28, 2017, 02:12:41 AM by DukeDeMondo »

DukeDeMondo

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Re: Brawl In Cell Block 99 (2017)
« Reply #1 on: October 28, 2017, 01:10:25 AM »
Oh, also, it's got Udo Kier delivering a delicious bit of horrible bastardry. And Don Johnson's there too, if you're into that.

touchingcloth

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Re: Brawl In Cell Block 99 (2017)
« Reply #2 on: October 28, 2017, 01:27:44 AM »
[tag]The Lags (2017)[/tag]

Moribunderast

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Re: Brawl In Cell Block 99 (2017)
« Reply #3 on: October 28, 2017, 10:37:34 AM »
I had fun with this. Thought the first half was better than the second but I was expecting it to go the way it did, given the trajectory of Bone Tomahawk before it. The violence and tone reminded me of (excellent TV show) Banshee but by the end it exceeded even that for grossness. Definitely won't be forgetting some of the fight sequences anytime soon. Thought Vince Vaughn was very enjoyable in the role but he's about the only actor with anything noteworthy to do in the film. The villains are all quite underdone and unmemorable but the threat they hold over Vaughn is so fucking disgusting that the stakes are high despite any comeuppance feeling a bit empty due to the lack of characterisation.

If this is the niche that Zahler has decided to carve out for himself, I'm okay with it. Can definitely watch a film like this by him every couple years.

Re: Brawl In Cell Block 99 (2017)
« Reply #4 on: October 30, 2017, 11:33:42 AM »
I reckon this is my 3rd favourite film of the year after Hounds of Love and The Love Witch. Riki-Oh with a big lumbering lummox that punches cars. Brilliant.

JoeyBananaduck

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Re: Brawl In Cell Block 99 (2017)
« Reply #5 on: November 02, 2017, 08:36:18 AM »
I reckon this is my 3rd favourite film of the year after Hounds of Love and The Love Witch. Riki-Oh with a big lumbering lummox that punches cars. Brilliant.

Sold.

Jerzy Bondov

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Re: Brawl In Cell Block 99 (2017)
« Reply #6 on: November 02, 2017, 09:32:58 AM »
My barber told me this is very brutal and made him uncomfortable and I reacted in a very excited way so now he thinks I'm a psychopath. Looking forward to it.

Re: Brawl In Cell Block 99 (2017)
« Reply #7 on: November 02, 2017, 09:58:15 AM »
Binned it off when he got to the prison - perhaps I’ll go back now I know it goes well gore

Re: Brawl In Cell Block 99 (2017)
« Reply #8 on: November 03, 2017, 05:12:46 AM »
It was good.  It was saying something about how male sanity is poised delicately somewhere between morality and anarchy and, of course, ultra-violence.  Channeling Commando, Oz and Some Mothers Do 'ave 'em.

A serene winding clock movie, with great sound design and an actor who can actually carry the part out beyond the boundaries of ludicrousness and back again, just in time for breakfast.  Bonkers basically
« Last Edit: November 03, 2017, 05:29:51 AM by Bence Fekete »

Re: Brawl In Cell Block 99 (2017)
« Reply #9 on: November 12, 2017, 02:30:55 PM »
We're an hour and twenty minutes into this and have had to stop due to having to do other things but we're going to watch the second half this evening and I can not wait.

Udo Kier's scene had my wife crying. He really sells the threat of what'll happen if VV doesn't do as he's told.

I liked it best when he beat the car up.

Re: Brawl In Cell Block 99 (2017)
« Reply #10 on: November 12, 2017, 07:56:18 PM »
Waaaaah! Lovely brutal stuff.

Small Man Big Horse

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Re: Brawl In Cell Block 99 (2017)
« Reply #11 on: December 26, 2017, 09:07:00 PM »
I thought it wasn't brutal enough, but then I have been watching a lot of mental Asian action flicks recently. I enjoyed the first hour a lot but once he arrives in prison it slows down when I expected it to speed up, and the brawl itself only lasts about ten minutes. There's definitely fun to be had here and Vaughan impresses for the first time in way too many years, but man I wish it was forty odd minutes shorter.

Twit 2

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Re: Brawl In Cell Block 99 (2017)
« Reply #12 on: December 27, 2017, 09:49:51 AM »
When this out on UK general release?

Shit Good Nose

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Re: Brawl In Cell Block 99 (2017)
« Reply #13 on: December 27, 2017, 11:58:33 AM »
When this out on UK general release?

Came and went months ago, but very very limited.  Pretty much straight to streaming/blu/DVD.

JoeyBananaduck

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Re: Brawl In Cell Block 99 (2017)
« Reply #14 on: December 27, 2017, 07:18:20 PM »
Came and went months ago, but very very limited.  Pretty much straight to streaming/blu/DVD.

I'm bloody sick of cinemas round my end (oo-er, chortle, chocolate popcorn is it eh, etc.?) All but given up on them. Sod it, I'll watch at home. The nearest place showing The Disaster Artist wanted something like £35 for 2 tickets and meant an hour's drive each way.....but you don't get premium seats for that! Ho ho no. Cheap seats. Oh and guess what we're only doing 1 or 2 screenings of it at all and its when you're working or on your way home from work or midweek and meaning you'll be home too late. Meanwhile there's a TV ad campaign that says 'Funniest Movie Of The Year'. Yeah, the funniest movie of the year, who'd want to see that, eh? Fuck the fucking cinema up its shitty fucking arse. A couple going to see a film should not leave them with £3 quid change from £50. You're pointing a digital projector at a screen and pressing play, it's not 'roll up roll up boys and girls, lets go see the elephants'. Let Netflix kill it off.

zomgmouse

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Re: Brawl In Cell Block 99 (2017)
« Reply #15 on: December 30, 2017, 10:09:12 PM »
Unlike others I thought this only properly kicked into gear in the second half. Drawn out unnecessarily at the beginning, though the drug pickup and shootout was ace. Loved how excessive the violence was when it appeared, all those teeth and bones, yum yum. Unstoppable force ahoy. Also I did not recognise Vince Vaughn until his name showed up in the end credits. Holy shit, what a transformation.

Blew Tomahawk right out of the water, though. No idea why but I did not care for that film.

Both of these films are exactly 132 minutes long which is far too long for either of them to be. Someone needs to tell Mr Zahler that exploitation films do not go for 132 minutes. He can easily shave 40 to 50 minutes off and give everyone a much better time.

Re: Brawl In Cell Block 99 (2017)
« Reply #16 on: January 04, 2018, 02:15:03 AM »
This is one of the funniest films i've ever seen. I loved it but fuck me - bald Vince Vaughn crying and absolutely going mental kicking the living fuck out of a car then spending an hour and a half basically just breaking peoples bones, fucking everyone's bollocks in with weightlifting gear and kicking people's actual heads and faces off. It exceeded all of my expectations and I was speechless about it for ages. It's such a beautiful, absurd work of low brow art. I watched Bone Tomahawk after it, and that had all sorts, had brotherhood, tension, gore, love, loss, fear, all that shit. This is an excuse to see a bald fucking nutter just cut about karate chopping people's shit off and kick his car's head in while he sobs

Cannot recommend this enough, it's fucking demented.

Shit Good Nose

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Re: Brawl In Cell Block 99 (2017)
« Reply #17 on: January 04, 2018, 01:58:35 PM »
bald Vince Vaughn crying and absolutely going mental kicking the living fuck out of a car then spending an hour and a half basically just breaking peoples bones, fucking everyone's bollocks in with weightlifting gear and kicking people's actual heads and faces off.

Should be the official synopsis.

I've not seen it yet, but now want to ASAP just based on that one sentence.

Re: Brawl In Cell Block 99 (2017)
« Reply #18 on: January 04, 2018, 08:53:04 PM »
Also I did not recognise Vince Vaughn until his name showed up in the end credits. Holy shit, what a transformation.

What?? He's the lead actor in the thing. He's in pretty much every single shot in the film and he looks exactly like Vince Vaughan. No prosthetics or make or owt like that.

I quite enjoyed it. I felt the title was a tad misleading as I was expecting a big riot at some point with bodies flying everywhere and all sorts like that. Turns out Vaughan just strategically works his way through guys one after the other. The violence and Vaughan's invincibility was pretty cartoonish but I suppose that just puts it into a genre territory. Revenge/ultraviolence. Proper boys stuff.

Nice to see Vaughan doing something that isn't complete shite like most of his recent output. Maybe it's a sign he'll get more serious about his career like Matthew Mahogany.

zomgmouse

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Re: Brawl In Cell Block 99 (2017)
« Reply #19 on: January 04, 2018, 09:23:21 PM »
What?? He's the lead actor in the thing. He's in pretty much every single shot in the film and he looks exactly like Vince Vaughan. No prosthetics or make or owt like that.

He was bald and bulky. And I didn't know he was in the film. So I just didn't connect it.

Re: Brawl In Cell Block 99 (2017)
« Reply #20 on: January 05, 2018, 01:26:21 PM »
He was bald and bulky. And I didn't know he was in the film. So I just didn't connect it.

I suppose. I just can't imagine ever not recognising Vince Vaughan and I would hardly consider myself a big fan or anything.

Re: Brawl In Cell Block 99 (2017)
« Reply #21 on: January 07, 2018, 07:02:55 AM »
I loved Bone Tomahawk so was looking forward to this and it rwally didn't disappoint. Absolute lunacy. Admantium skeleton Vincent Vaughan grinding the faces off cartoon prison gangsters in a dungeon.

spoilers

 Just one question about it, who was the guy in Red Leaf he was supposed to kill?  Was it who he was talking to in the other cell, was he the one Vince was meant to kill? And who was the main guy on the gang who got his head kicked off at the end?
I was expecting a worse ending actually, glad his wife and kid got away.

zomgmouse

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Re: Brawl In Cell Block 99 (2017)
« Reply #22 on: January 07, 2018, 07:10:50 AM »
I think they were just luring him into the depths so they could beat him up without anyone saying anything.

Re: Brawl In Cell Block 99 (2017)
« Reply #23 on: January 07, 2018, 07:20:27 AM »
So the guy (Christopher Bridge, was it?) he was supposed to kill didn't exist and it was just a ploy to fuck him over so they could murder him? That would make sense, but at the end Vince says "I'm executing [someone]" just before his rubber head amusingly explodes.

zomgmouse

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Re: Brawl In Cell Block 99 (2017)
« Reply #24 on: January 07, 2018, 09:44:07 AM »
So the guy (Christopher Bridge, was it?) he was supposed to kill didn't exist and it was just a ploy to fuck him over so they could murder him? That would make sense, but at the end Vince says "I'm executing [someone]" just before his rubber head amusingly explodes.

Yes, he executed that Mexican gang leader.

spamwangler

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Re: Brawl In Cell Block 99 (2017)
« Reply #25 on: March 03, 2018, 12:01:58 AM »
thanks so much cab hivemind for recommending this one

so many great reviews here, not much else to add, some of it looked just stunning, vince was great, and his wife, - they totally sold this stupid, disgusting film, elevated it to opera with earnestness.

a couple of those explosions of violence had me jumping out of my chair, i felt like a child on a roller-coaster. i liked how un-baletic yet efficient the violence was, Vince Vaughn tearing humans apart like a hungover mechanic stripping a fiat uno down at five to fuckoff time on a tuesday

i really liked the slow as hell begging, - it felt a little bit long, but i don't know what you would cut, - the depiction of someone getting banged up really shook me up, ive had dreams of getting chucked in jail with a similar sort of harrowing awfulness (didn't ever kick someones face off in the dream tho)

holy crap SMBH, what are you watching thats desensitizing you to this? link me up!


spamwangler

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Re: Brawl In Cell Block 99 (2017)
« Reply #26 on: March 03, 2018, 12:19:40 AM »
oh also the sound design was properly fucking disgusting, every punch and shot was shudderingly awful, top job on that

Re: Brawl In Cell Block 99 (2017)
« Reply #27 on: March 03, 2018, 12:38:32 AM »
Sounds right up my alley!

zomgmouse

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Re: Brawl In Cell Block 99 (2017)
« Reply #28 on: March 03, 2018, 04:46:17 AM »
Teeth crunching on cement. Yum yum.

Utterdrivel

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Re: Brawl In Cell Block 99 (2017)
« Reply #29 on: May 23, 2019, 03:33:05 PM »
Bumperoonie.

Finally watched this last night because of this thread. What a film.

And quite (deliberately?) funny and weird in places too - the squeaky sound effects as big Vince attempts to climb the greasy pole had me chuckling more than many comedies.

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