Savages

Not rated yet!
Director
Oliver Stone
Runtime
2 h 11 min
Release Date
6 July 2012
Genres
Crime, Drama, Thriller
Overview
Pot growers Ben and Chon face off against the Mexican drug cartel who kidnapped their shared girlfriend.
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  • 1 - It Begins: Good Morning America Blames Tea Party for Dark Knight Massacre *Updated*
    (”Savages” is briefly mentioned in this.)
    Lifestyle Joel B. Pollak, Editor-In-Chief at Breitbart: The Usual Suspects: ABC's Ross, Stephanolpoulos Point to Tea Party in Dark Knight Shooting:On Good Morning America, ABC News' Brian Ross and George Stephanolpoulos suggested that the Tea Party might be connected to the mass shootings early this morning in an Aurora, CO theater during a screening of the new Batman movie, The Dark Knight Rises. The mainstream media attempted to blame the Tea Party for the Tuscon shootings in January 2011, shortly after Republicans swept the midterm elections. Now, in the critical 2012 elections, the mainstream media seems poised to do the same--and ABC News has led the way.Here is the exchange between reporter Brian Ross and host George Stephanopoulos about apparent suspect James Holmes:Stephanolpoulos: I'm going to go to Brian Ross. You've been investigating the background of Jim Holmes here. You found something that might be significant.Ross: There's a Jim Holmes of Aurora, Colorado, page on the Colorado Tea party site as well, talking about him joining the Tea Party last year. Now, we don't know if this is the same Jim Holmes. But it's Jim Holmes of Aurora, Colorado.Stephanolpoulos: Okay, we'll keep looking at that. Brian Ross, thanks very much.I'll update as the inevitable scapegoating continues. Links to relevant news stories, tweets, and blog posts in the comments are appreciated.Update 6:50 AM PST: The Belfast Telegraph reports on the president's response to the shooting and the youngest victim:President Obama urged the nation to "come together as one American family".....Some of the injured were children, with the youngest a three-month-old baby. Victims were being treated for chemical exposure apparently related to canisters thrown by the gunman.Local reporter Justin Jones said the gunman was wearing body armour and a gas mask."The attacker shot a baby at point blank range," he said.Another eyewitness, James Cameron, said the baby girl was shot in the back.Update 7:12 AM: ABC news reveals the shooter's mother is not surprised that her son would commit this horrible act:A San Diego woman who identified herself as James Holmes' mother told ABC News she had awoken unaware of the shooting and had not yet been contacted by authorities. She immediately expressed concern that her son may have been involved."You have the right person," she said, apparently speaking on gut instinct. "I need to call the police... I need to fly out to Colorado."Update 7:18: Mother Jones staff writer Stephanie Mencimer tweets:Update 7:45: In These Times "labor journalist" Mike Elk:Elk then decided to retweet these statements:Elk then expressed his main concerns regarding this tragedy:Update 8:10: Kevin Drum of Mother Jones:Update 8:22: Gawker highlighting disturbing images, allegedly uploaded by one of the victims from the Emergency Room:Update: 8:25: Politico reports that ABC is backing off from the irresponsible Tea Party reporting:An earlier ABC News broadcast report suggested that a Jim Holmes of a Colorado Tea Party organization might be the suspect, but that report was incorrect. Several other local residents with similar names were also contacted via social media by members of the public who mistook them for the suspect.Update: 8:36: Cenk Uygur, "Host of @TheYoungTurks on @Current TV and the largest online news show in the world. @TYTonCurrent," reacts:Update 8:50: David Sirota at Salon has decided to use this tragedy to begin a debate about whether we should use the word "terrorism" to describe acts such as this:For all the legitimate questions that will be asked in the coming days (Why are there so many mass shootings in America? Why is it so easy to buy weapons-grade tear gas canisters? How much is this related to the availability of guns?); for all the insulting media coverage that will try to ramrod the dead Fargo-style into the woodchipper of the presidential campaign (New York Times headline: “In Wake of Colorado Shooting, a Concern Over the Proriety of Campaigining”); and for all the demagogues who will use this tragedy for their own gain (pro-gun GOP Rep. Loui Gohmert is today blaming the shooting victims for not being armed) – there is only one harrowing conclusion we can come to for certain immediately after such a heinous act: terrorism has no specific nationality, geography, race or creed.Not surprisingly, police and reporters have been quick to tell us the opposite — that the suspected shooter was likely just a “lone wolf” and that “this act does not appear to be linked to radical terrorism or anything related to Islamic terrorism,” as ABC News put it. This newspeak is supposed to reassure us that this is anything but terrorism — that terrorism is something that happens only in far away places or huge cosmopolitan cities, not in an Anytown, USA in the American heartland; that terrorism never comes at the hands of a “24-year-old white American male” named “James Holmes,” it only comes at the hands of dark-skinned “evildoers” with hard-to-pronounce names. In this, we are expected to be sedated by such reassurances, and to ignore the ever-growing list of such “lone wolves”, and to reject a much wider definition of terrorism, no matter how much the reality of shooting after shooting after shooting screams at us to accept it.But with bodies strewn across an Aurora movie theater, we must ask: what is terrorism, if it is not a man in a riot mask and bullet-proof vest, armed with tear gas canisters and weapons, meticulously executing a military-style assault on a crowded movie theater?Just because something is "terrifying" it does not mean it's an act of "terrorism." The term "terrorism" refers to violent acts inflicted in order to intimidate a population into submitting to political or cultural revolution. Here's the dictionary definition:ter·ror·ism[ter-uh-riz-uhm]  Show IPAnoun1.the use of violence and threats to intimidate or coerce, especially for political purposes.2.the state of fear and submission produced by terrorism or terrorization.3.a terroristic method of governing or of resisting agovernment.A mass murderer who wants to "watch the world burn" is not a terrorist like Al Qaeda is and Bill Ayers was. var dataLayer = window.dataLayer = window.dataLayer || []; dataLayer.push({ 'videoName': 'The Dark Knight - Some Men Just Want To Watch The World Burn', 'videoType': 'Curated' }); Update 9:27: I've taken the last update with Sirota and highlighted it as its own post here along with an excerpt on the subject of evil from Dennis Prager's new book:Some Men Just Want to Watch the World BurnUpdate: 9:53: From the Huffington Post: Colorado Shooting: What We Know About James Holmes:Lt. Andra Brown of the San Diego Police Department briefed reporters outside James Holmes' mother's home Friday. Brown confirmed Holmes attended high school in San Diego before going to Colorado to pursue additional studies. Brown would not name either school.San Diego media outlets have reported Holmes attended high school at Westview in Carmel Valley. He was also reportedly pursuing a PhD in neuroscience at University of Colorado-Denver. He supposedly enrolled in the fall of 2011, but dropped out in June....Police are still trying to clear the suspect's Aurora apartment. According to police, explosives found inside the unit are "very sophisticated" and could take some time to disarm....The FBI has revealed Holmes is a white male who is 6 feet, 3 inches tall and 24 years old, with a birth date of Dec. 13, 1987. Authorities have found no significant criminal record and no terrorist affiliations. Investigators suspect he acted alone.A motive in the shooting is not yet known.Update: 10:00: Twitchy collects Tweets from those choosing to blame Rush Limbaugh for inspiring the shooting.Update: 10:08: Twitchy also highlighted comedian D.L. Hughley's response to the massacre:Update: 10:45: From the influential progressive blog Crooked Timber, and promoted in a tweet by Slate writer Matthew Yglesias:One of Yglesias's followers made the argument more openly:A few months ago I blogged through every chapter of Afrolantica Legacies, a book written by Derrick Bell, the founder of Critical Race Theory and one of Barack Obama's intellectual mentors. In part 7 I noted where Bell chose to blame unemployment for inspiring inner city drug dealers to break the law. This is a common way that progressives choose to shift responsibility for evil acts away from individuals and toward "society."11:13 Update: PJ Media's Editor-In-Chief Roger L. Simon at his blog this morning:Time to Curtail Violence in FilmI am not calling for censorship here, nor for gun control laws, but for a modicum of self-censorship on the part of the filmmakers and the film and television industries. They should ask themselves to what end is the violence they are portraying and whether it need be so explicit. Can they make their points as effectively, perhaps more effectively, without the endless splatter and gore?...Hitchcock’s Psycho and Fritz Lang’s M (about a serial killer), scary as they may be, are considerably less explicit than Natural Born Killers and considerably better artistically as well, yet it is Natural Born Killers that is said to have inspired copycat crimes.I blogged about Stone's most recent film Savages two weeks ago here at PJ Lifestyle.One of the copycats inspired by Stone's film was Columbine -- the two killers debated over whether Quentin Tarantino or Steven Spielberg would do a better job making their life story. Instead they got Gus Van Sant with 2003's Elephant, a quiet, very overrated art film that featured a scene where the two shooters kiss before beginning their massacre.Update 11:32: From ABC News: Aurora 'Dark Knight' Suspect James Holmes Said He 'Was the Joker':The man in custody for allegedly killing 12 people at the screening of the latest Batman movie in Aurora, Colorado told authorities after the shooting that he "was The Joker," NYPD police commissioner Ray Kelly said today.Kelly told reporters the suspect, identified by federal officials as 24-year-old James Holmes, had dyed his hair like The Joker. The Joker is a well-known villain in the fictional Batman universe. The attack took place at a screening of "The Dark Knight Rises," the final movie in a Batman trilogy, following "The Dark Knight" in which The Joker was the principal villain.Two federal law enforcement officials confirmed the details of The Joker costume to ABC News. Police said the weapons used in the massacre include a military-style AR-15 assault rifle, a shotgun and two handguns.Update 2:07 PM: I'm continuing the afternoon coverage in a new post here at PJ Lifestyle:What Does Israel’s Prime Minister Have to Do With the Horrific Dark Knight Shooting?***More coverage at PJ Tatler:Rick Moran: Breaking: 14 Dead, 50 Wounded at Batman Premiere Shooting in ColoradoBryan Preston: Bloomberg Pounces, Uses Aurora Tragedy to Push Obama and Romney on Gun RightsBryan Preston: Left, Media Blaming Colorado Shooting on Gun Rights, Tea Party, Rush LimbaughRick Moran: Why Is Brian Ross Still Working for ABC News?Bridget Johnson: Obama Cuts Short Campaign Swing Because of ShootingRick Moran: Colorado Shooter Was Dressed as 'The Joker' class="pages"> https://pjmedia.com/lifestyle/2012/7/20/it-begins-good-morning-america-blames-tea-party-for-dark-knight-massacre/ ]]>
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  • 2 - Oliver Stone Makes Another 'Juvenile Fantasy of Bullets, Breasts and Bongs'
    Lifestyle var dataLayer = window.dataLayer = window.dataLayer || []; dataLayer.push({ 'videoName': 'Savages Trailer Official 2012 [1080 HD] - Blake Lively, Taylor Kitsch', 'videoType': 'Curated' }); Today Universal released Savages, a new Oliver Stone movie in his Natural Born Killers ouevre of nihilistic, Clockwork Orange-wannabes. At least these over-glorified action movies disturb less than Stone's other cinematic preoccupations -- the communist agitprop documentary, conspiracy theory histories, and anti-capitalist polemics.The premise from the press release:Laguna Beach entrepreneurs Ben (Johnson), a peaceful and charitable Buddhist, and his closest friend Chon (Kitsch), a former Navy SEAL and ex-mercenary, run a lucrative, homegrown industry-raising some of the best marijuana ever developed. They also share a one-of-a-kind love with the extraordinary beauty Ophelia (Lively). Life is idyllic in their Southern California town...until the Mexican Baja Cartel decides to move in and demands that the trio partners with them. When the merciless head of the BC, Elena (Hayek), and her brutal enforcer, Lado (Del Toro), underestimate the unbreakable bond among these three friends, Ben and Chon-with the reluctant, slippery assistance of a dirty DEA agent (Travolta)-wage a seemingly unwinnable war against the cartel.So far Savages has collected mediocre reviews. Rotten Tomatoes proclaims only 51% positive, and highlighs Rafer Guzman at Newsday addressing the main problem with Stone's explorations in the genre of the highbrow, ultraviolent, philosophy major action movie:"Savages" is a juvenile fantasy of bullets, breasts and bongs -- not such a bad thing, if Stone would just admit it and stop staging the film as a profound ethical wrestling match.A film can be a teenage boy's exploitation picture with naked women, fun explosions, and elegant action sequences. Or it can be a grown-up movie that deals with evil and humanity's animal instincts seriously. It can't be both. The reason why Stanley Kubrick's film worked so well and has so rarely been duplicated is that it knows to start off as one to hook the adolescents and then shift to the other to make an adult point about reality. But Stone hasn't made that leap upwards to maturity himself, so how could his films? class="pages"> https://pjmedia.com/lifestyle/2012/7/6/oliver-stone-makes-another-juvenile-fantasy-of-bullets-breasts-and-bongs/ previous Page 1 of 2 next   facebook Share Oliver Stone Makes Another 'Juvenile Fantasy of Bullets, Breasts and Bongs' twitter Tweet email Email ]]>
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Kyle Smith
National Review



(Reviewers' Site/Bio)

  • 1 - Review: "Savages"
    Oliver Stone’s best film since “Natural Born Killers,” “Savages” is a nasty drug thriller with a sense of humor. My reviewis up.]]>
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  • 2 - Dept. Of Original Ideas (Cont.)
    (”Savages” is briefly mentioned in this.)
    Where have I seen this before? Oh, yeah. Hollywood: Where even the marketing for warmed-over ideas is warmed-over. Someone told me Oliver Stone is no longer the party lad he used to be. But I kind of enjoyed his blow-happy movies. I hope he hasn’t gone sane or anything. ]]>
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Michael Medved



(Reviewers' Site/Bio)

  • Savages
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John Hanlon
John Hanlon Reviews



(Reviewers' Site/Bio)

  • Savages
    The American Heritage College Dictionary says the noun “savages” can be applied to individuals who are “primitive or uncivilized” and those who are “brutal, side effects fierce or vicious.” In director Oliver Stone’s new film, dosage ...
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Plugged In
Focus on the Family



(Reviewers' Site/Bio)

  • Savages
    DramaAction/Adventure We hope this review was both interesting and useful. Please share it with family and friends who would benefit from it as well.Movie ReviewBen and Chon are in the marijuana biz. They run a mom-and-pot outfit, if you will (except that there's no mom). Germinated with bootleg seeds from Afghanistan and cultivated through high-tech botany, the cannabis these guys grow is some the most potent in the world. And even though they're just a small boutique dealer compared with the big-box pot growers south of the border, they still do enough business—legally and otherwise—to sustain a comfortable existence. But now their modest success has attracted the attention of a drug cartel. The cartel wants to do business with Ben and Chon. And if they resist, well, let's just say the bigger organization might just initiate a hostile takeover. How hostile? Chon receives a video from the cartel filled with images of decapitated heads—the last group, it's insinuated, that refused to partner up. Chon, an ex-military man, wants to push back, to show these guys that he and Ben aren't afraid. Ben, however, is very much afraid. He's ready to get out of the business and turn their operation over. But the cartel, led by mysterious drug heiress Elena, isn't interested in that option either. Instead, Elena kidnaps O, Ben and Chon's (shared) girlfriend. The cartel arranges a video conference, where Ben and Chon see O tied to a chair, bruised and bleeding, surrounded by blade-wielding guards. The message is clear: Join the cartel or O will die, and die badly. Successful businesses always require some sacrifices, of course. But some require more than others.Positive ElementsThe film's three protagonists—Ben, Chon and O—care deeply about one another. Both Ben and Chon show a willingness to die for what they both call their "family." (How their relationship to said "family" manifests itself is problematic, but we'll get to that shortly.) They're not the only ones with strong attachments. Elena also has family, a daughter whom she would do anything to protect. Dennis, a crooked federal agent, cares for his dying wife and is trying to raise two young daughters. Ben uses his drug money to start and fund various charities around the world. "He sees himself as a healer," O says, adding that Ben wants to change the world for the better. And when Ben dreams of getting out of the business, he imagines moving into a less problematic, more altruistic line of work.Spiritual ContentO says of Laguna Beach, Calif., "God parked Himself [there] on the seventh day, but they towed Him on the eighth." Elena's cartel is based in Mexico, where we see Catholic iconography crop up around the periphery. One henchman wears a crucifix that shines in the sun before he shoots a victim. Ben and Chon give the cartel a shipment of marijuana in the midst of statuary that may have been part of a religious "Day of the Dead" celebration. (A skeleton, for instance, is dressed as a bride.) Ben is Buddhist, and statues of Buddha show up occasionally. Chon tells Ben that his religion doesn't have a place in the sordid business they're involved in ("What does a fat Jap know?" he says, getting the Buddha's ancestry wrong). Chon later researches Buddhism and quotes the Dalai Lama to get Ben to do what he believes is necessary. Elena tells her daughter that she's coming to visit, saying, "If the mountain doesn't come to Mohammed, Mohammed will come to California." Elena also plays with a deck of Tarot cards.Sexual Content"There is something wrong with your love story, baby," Elena tells O. And she ain't kidding. Ben, Chon and O form a strange threesome, with each man knowingly sleeping with O whenever the mood strikes. And it strikes often. We first meet O and Chon having wild sex on a couch. We see Chon's bare backside as the two make explicit movements and sounds. We're told Chon is an angry lover, working out past battlefield experiences in "wargasms." Ben returns from a do-gooding trip to Africa and takes a bath. (We see most of his body, but not his genitals.) O joins him, clothed in a flimsy top and panties. The two make out in the bathtub, end up in bed and have sex. We (again) see his bare backside, sexual body motions and suggestive sound effects. Then, after the three of them smoke something potent, they all make out together: It's not as explicit as the first two sex scenes, but it's clear the guys are having sex with her simultaneously. Director Oliver Stone tells The Huffington Post that he would've loved to have made that scene more explicit. "Oh, yeah, there was no way I could have done that in the present film environment." Stone says. "There's a certain Puritanism in our society that continues to haunt us." Magda, Elena's daughter, has sex with her boyfriend. O wears flimsy, revealing outfits. A henchman is shown with a bare-breasted female companion. Bikini-clad women show up frequently. We catch a glimpse of a painting featuring a woman's genitals. A man looks at a pornographic magazine. Someone grabs and fondles a guy's crotch. Cartel employees explicitly ponder what O does with Chon and Ben. Elena theorizes that Ben and Chon love each other more than O, which is why they agree to share her. Crude references are made to various body parts.Violent ContentSavages seethes with the carnage that reflects the violent nature of the ongoing drug wars in Mexico. The bloodshed and the violations that the camera focuses upon offer a brutal, fictionalized representation of that reality. As such, they're meant to feel real and painful and terrible. When O is in the custody of the cartel, a terrifying enforcer named Lado makes threatening, lewd come-ons. He cuts a bloody steak and feeds it to her, piece by piece. When she requests a hit of marijuana, he takes a toke, then forces her mouth to his and blows the smoke into her. All this culminates in rape, which takes place when O is so drugged up that she doesn't immediately remember … until Lado shows her the video of the deed taken with his phone. (We glimpse images of him pressing himself upon her sexually against a fence; both are mostly clothed.) Another video shows a concrete floor covered in blood and littered with decapitated heads. On the walls, we see mutilated, headless bodies skewered on stakes or hung upside down. A man in a mask picks up a head and appears ready to hurl it at the camera. Lado goes to a lawyer's house and shoots the man in both kneecaps, leaving him screaming in pain as Lado talks on the phone. Before hanging up, he finishes the poor soul off. He then forces one of his henchmen to shoot the dead man's wife—blood spattering over their faces. It's suggested Lado and his team cut up the bodies and take them away. Lado tortures a suspected snitch in Elena's operation. The victim is hung up by chains and whipped across his body and face. He's beaten so horribly that one of his eyeballs has popped out and hangs from its socket. The man does not confess until Lado threatens to do horrible things to his wife and kids. He then confesses (to a crime he did not commit). Lado tells him that protecting his family is honorable: "I would give you a better death, but I would set a bad example," he says. He then puts a tire around the man's neck, soaks the man in gasoline and tells Ben to drop a flare into it (which he does), immolating the shrieking man. Several people die from close-range gunshots (we often see blood and brain matter splatter), or from knives to the jugular (one man bleeds out in a car). Someone's hand gets stabbed and pinned to the back of a car seat. A massive gunfight leaves everyone involved dead or nearly so, blood gurgling and seeping from gory wounds. Three people apparently kill themselves by injecting some sort of drug. Cartel members tell Chon to put a gun in his mouth and put his hand on the trigger—telling him they'll cut off O's fingers if he doesn't. Chon obeys. We see bleeding faces and hear a chain saw start up as the prelude to a massacre. Lado "fires" an employee by shooting him in the face. People are kidnapped and kept in wretched conditions. Drug users and runners are threatened with death. Cars explode. Crude or Profane LanguageAbout 100 f-words and 30 s-words. We hear "a‑‑," "b‑‑tard" and "n-gger." God's name is misused a few times, twice with "d‑‑n." Rough slang references genitalia and breasts.Drug and Alcohol Content"Drugs are supposed to be bad," O says as she lights up a marijuana pipe. "But in a bad, bad world, they're good." Or so O and her cohorts seem to think, as there's an awful lot of drug use in these bad, bad environs. Pot is everywhere: being grown, being cut, being packaged, being delivered, being smoked (be it in a joint, a pipe or a bong). Several people use cocaine, with residue visible on various countertops. Characters smoke cigarettes, drink wine and consume all manner of hard liquor. Interestingly, when O tells Elena that she's having trouble concentrating in captivity and begs he for a little something to "take the edge off," Elena asks how long O's been smoking pot. Since eighth grade, O tells her. Elena smiles. "And you're wondering why you're having concentration problems?" she says.Other Negative ElementsPeople throw up after their first killings. Lado urinates outside a house. O spits in Lado's face; he wipes it off and sucks it into his mouth.ConclusionSavages is based on a book by Don Wilson, a journalist and author who's spent much of his career cataloging the horrors of Mexican drug cartels. He believes, and director Oliver Stone agrees, that not only has the so-called War on Drugs been lost, but that it breeds the sort of violence we see in Savages. "If pot weren't illegal, there wouldn't be so much risk," Stone told The Huffington Post. "If there weren't so much risk, there wouldn't be so much money and violence; if there weren't so much money and violence, there wouldn't be a movie." Whether Stone is right or wrong or in between, frankly, is outside the scope of this review. We must concern ourselves with not what could or should be here, but with what is. And as such, Savages is an exceptionally problematic story—a would-be morality tale, except for the fact that there's no moral in sight. I've detailed the extreme sex, violence and drug use here, and I should note that Stone himself believes his latest film barely squeaked through with an R rating. And while his narrative is compelling enough to have earned plaudits from some reviewers, there's little, if any, redemptive value here from a Plugged In point of view. But at least the title tells the truth. There's no shortage of savages here: the cartel we're supposed to loathe, the characters we're intended to like, the film that depicts them. Pro-social ContentObjectionable ContentSummary AdvisoryPlot SummaryChristian BeliefsOther Belief SystemsAuthority RolesProfanity/ViolenceKissing/Sex/HomosexualityDiscussion TopicsAdditional Comments/NotesEpisode Reviews]]>
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Debbie Schlussel
The New York Post



(Reviewers' Site/Bio)

  • Wknd Box Office: Savages, Woman in the Fifth, To Rome With Love
    Blog Posts Movie Reviews To Rome With Love“: This is not one of Woody Allen’s best movies. Not even close. It’s entertaining enough, but kind of boring and it simply doesn’t have the sharpness and tight plot of Allen’s other contemporary movies. In comparison to those, it’s dull. Still, there is good commentary in it against Communism (which Allen needs to tell his mirror, not us), statements regarding the absurdity of fame and fandom, and other issues. There are four storylines in the movie, which takes place in Rome, as indicated by the title. There is an Italian clerk (the one-note Roberto Benigni) who is working-class and unattractive. Suddenly, he becomes famous for no apparent reason. He is followed by the press, beautiful women have sex with him, and he is invited to movie previews. His shaving sessions and meals are the topics of feverish media coverage. Then, there is a couple (Jesse Eisenberg and Greta Gerwig) who live in Rome and are visited by the woman’s best friend, Ellen Page. Soon, the guy is taken with her and cheats on his girlfriend with her, and he takes advice from his cynical imaginary friend, Alec Baldwin. And then there is the neurotic American couple (Woody Allen and Judy Davis) visiting the parents of the Italian guy their daughter has fallen in love with. The Italian father has a terrific singing voice in the shower, and Allen, a retired Opera producer/promoter, wants to get him into showbiz and singing opera. But he is reluctant, as he enjoys being a mortician. Finally, there is a couple of newlyweds, who become separated. He hires a prostitute (Penelope Cruz) to pretend she’s his wife at business and family meetings, but she’s dressed as a hooker. And the bride meets her favorite married movie star, who wants to have sex with her. See, there’s no earth-shattering stuff here. Nothing new, nothing interesting. But a lot of funny lines. Mildly entertaining and fine if you have nothing else to do and want an okay time at the movies. Best line in the movie: Woody Allen announces, “I was never a Communist. I could never share a bathroom.” Well, now Woody, you know how we feel about Obamacare. HALF A REAGAN ]]>
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Crosswalk
Cross Walk



(Reviewers' Site/Bio)

  • Savages Sinks Despite Stone
    Movies DVD Release Date: November 13, 2012Theatrical Release Date: July 6, 2012Rating: R (for strong brutal and grisly violence, some graphic sexuality, nudity, drug use and language throughout)Genre: Drama/Crime/ThrillerRun Time: 130 min.Director: Oliver StoneCast: Blake Lively, Taylor Kitsch, Aaron Johnson, Benicio Del Toro, John Travolta, Salma Hayek Whether it was the kinder, gentler Gordon Gekko who emerged when Oliver Stone re-visited Wall Street in 2010’s Money Never Sleeps or the biography of former president George W. Bush that wasn’t nearly as controversial as audiences were expecting in 2008’s W, there’s been no shortage of critics who’ve suggested that the writer/director has simply lost some of his former gravitas. Stone seems fiercely determined to put that notion to rest with the brazenly violent Savages, where he re-visits two of his favorite subjects: the tangled web that people often find themselves in when drugs are involved (see: 1978’s Midnight Express and 1983’s Scarface) and protagonists driven to edge of madness by a quest for the truth or perilous circumstances (see: 1986’s Platoon, 1991’s JFK, 1994’s Natural Born Killers or 1997’s U Turn). Based on the Don Winslow novel by the same name, Savages is something you’d expect Quentin Tarantino (Inglourious Basterds) or Robert Rodriguez (Machete) to naturally gravitate toward, thanks to no shortage of opportunities for shocking bursts of violence. But for Stone, the guy you wouldn’t think of for something like this, co-writing and directing Savages allows him to re-establish himself with a story that skews toward a decidedly younger demographic—a shot at continued relevancy as he inches closer to his 70th birthday. Trouble is, while Savages will certainly satisfy the blood lust of those who appreciate movies with a high body count, the younger actors simply aren’t up to the task of carrying this morbid morality tale. Perhaps even more laughable than the amateurish performances of Taylor Kitsch (Battleship), Aaron Johnson (Albert Nobbs) and Blake Lively (Green Lantern), who look like they accidentally wandered on the wrong set when they were really scheduled for an Abercrombie & Fitch photo op, is the story’s faulty set-up. googletag.cmd.push(function() { googletag.display('gpt-ad-1'); }); Yes, the Women’s Movement has officially taken another giant leap backward, thanks to Ophelia (Lively), who’d prefer you ditch any reference to Shakespeare and simply call her “O.” Lacking any ambition of her own, she’s tall and pretty, sporting perfect beach hair. Underneath that veneer, however, is a slew of problems. In addition to being estranged from her family (who she routinely lies to), she’s the girlfriend of not one, but two men who happen to be best friends. Content to share her equally, even in bed, Chon (Kitsch) and Ben (Johnson) also make sure she enjoys their lavish Laguna Beach lifestyle complete with all the supersonic pot you can smoke. See, when Chon was busy serving his country in Afghanistan, he stumbled upon some seeds that allowed his botanist pal Ben to invent  some of the most potent weed in the world. Legally selling medicinal marijuana by day, the duo makes the bulk of their cash by shipping their stash out of state. While Chon is clearly the brawn of the operation, Ben is the heart. While he’s clearly stumbled into a good situation from a materialistic perspective, Ben, is still determined to give back—a by-product of his Buddhist beliefs. But even with the California sunshine and the gentle waves of the Pacific serving as a picturesque backdrop, it doesn’t take long for this trio’s semi-charmed life to seriously unravel. When Chon and Ben fail to satisfy the demands of a crumbling Mexican cartel that wants to partner with them, the cartel savagely retaliates by stealing that which Chon and Ben love the most: O. But getting her back and, eventually, running their business on their own terms again proves more than challenging with a conniving mastermind (Salma Hayek, The Pirates! Band of Misfits), a corrupt federal officer (John Travolta, Hairspray), and the comically ruthless muscle of the operation (a scene-stealing Benicio Del Toro, Things We Lost in the Fire) in the mix. In fact, it requires a suspension of belief of gargantuan proportions, which is precisely why Savages never quite works. While Stone goes to great lengths to shock, he forgets that great leaps of logic don’t exactly help the plot. Worse yet, you sense that the filmmakers eventually realize the error of their ways, which is why they won’t even commit to an ending. While some may call the non-ending "an exhilarating twist," others will conclude it’s basically par for the course in a story that wasn’t adding up from the beginning. If anything, Savages is just another instance where style clearly takes precedence over making the story’s larger point with conviction. Common sense and meaningful takeaway value are kicked to the curb in favor of cheap thrills. CAUTIONS: googletag.cmd.push(function() { googletag.display('gpt-ad-2'); }); if (gptClientWidth >= 992 && gptClientWidth <= 1000000) googletag.cmd.push(function() { googletag.display('gpt-ad-3'); }); Drugs/Alcohol: Recreational drug use, namely of the supercharged pot and cocaine, is depicted throughout. Even when O is imprisoned, she needs her “little pick me up.” Language/Profanity: The full spectrum of profanity is utilized, mostly the “f” word. There are also instances where God’s name is misused or paired with “da--.” A middle finger is extended. Sex/Nudity: As mentioned before, O has not one, but two boyfriends, and they both enjoy sexual privileges—sometimes even at the same time. We see her sleep with both Chon and Ben, and the scenes are very gritty and graphic. O is also taken advantage of by Lado in her drug-infused haze, and the disturbing footage is shown to her when she’s not high. A woman is shown topless in one scene, while there’s some rear male nudity in others. Discussion of O’s orgasms and Chon’s “wargasms.” Violence: There are random—and not-so-random—bursts of violence throughout the movie. We see a close-up of several men who’ve been decapitated with their bloody heads lined up. We also get an up-close-and-personal view of a couple of men who were crucified and hung upside down. A man is tortured and forced to admit to a crime he didn’t commit in order to save his family. A man’s hand is impaled. A bodyguard is shot by a man posing as a police officer at very close range. Several trucks (with people inside) are blown up with explosives. A woman is killed, and we see blood dramatically emerge from her breasts. Religion/Morals: Of O’s two beaus, Ben is the savage with the proverbial heart of gold. He may be in the drug trade, but Ben says he’s committed to using his wealth to do good in Africa “like Bono does.” He equates his moral center to practicing Buddhism and initially, he’s nervous about committing crimes because it’ll mess with his karma. Publication date: July 6, 2012 ]]>
    ...
    (Review Source)

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