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A History Of Violence [Blu-ray]
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Thriller from director David Cronenberg starring Viggo Mortensen as Tom Stall, a pillar of a small town community who runs a diner and lives a happy and quiet life with his wife, Edie (Maria Bello) and two children. But their lives are forever changed when Tom thwarts an attempted robbery and is lauded as a hero by the media, attracting the attention of some mobsters (William Hurt and Ed Harris) who believe he is someone else.
On the surface, David Cronenberg may seem an unlikely candidate to direct A History of Violence, but dig deeper and you'll see that he's the right man for the job. As an intellectual seeker of meaning and an avowed believer in Darwinian survival of the fittest, Cronenberg knows that the story of mild-mannered small-town diner proprietor Tom Stall (Viggo Mortensen) is in fact a multilayered examination of inbred human behavior, beginning when Tom's skillful killing of two would-be robbers draws unwanted attention to his idyllic family life in rural Indiana. He's got a loving wife (Maria Bello) and young daughter (Heidi Hayes) who are about to learn things about Tom they hadn't suspected, and a teenage son (Ashton Holmes) who has inherited his father's most prominent survival trait, manifesting itself in ways he never expected. By the time Tom has come into contact with a scarred villain (Ed Harris) and connections that lead him to a half-crazy kingpin (William ! Hurt, in a spectacular cameo), Cronenberg has plumbed the dark depths of human nature so skillfully that A History of Violence stands well above the graphic novel that inspired it (indeed, Cronenberg was unaware of the source material behind Josh Olson's chilling adaptation). With hard-hitting violence that's as sudden as it is graphically authentic, this is A History of Violence that's worthy of serious study and widespread acclaim. --Jeff Shannon --This text refers to the DVD edition.
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Top Customer Reviews
Taking the premise of a small, idyllic town, and the small-time cafe owner who kills two robbers who he feels are endangering his costumers, Cronenberg skillfully crafts a brilliant story of a man who tries to suppress the violence that is part of his nature, but which eventually consumes him. Cronenberg searches deep in to the human nature, examining the brutal, shocking violence that is at the core of this movie.
Viggo Mortensen fits the bill perfectly, looking so much like a man of the west -- the only thing missing is a cowboy hat. Perfectly portraying the quiet cafe owner, then his violent alter ego Joey, Mortensen is excellent throughout. The violence is brutal and sudden, but it is authentic and shockingly real -- Cronenberg apparently got some of the violence from a DVD on the internet which shows you how to kill a man on the street, which he stumbled across.
For those of you who have not seen this I urge you to get it. Underrated, this film deserves better as it is a brilliant examination of human behaviour and Mortensen's character is a perfect example of a man trying to forget his past, but which inevitable catches up with him.
We start the movie with Tom Stall (Viggo Mortnesen) and his wife played by Mario Bello exhibit all the characteristics of a happy, safe, marriage. Passionate, intimate, good kids etc... Then their world is disrupted, when two bad guys come into the diner where he works. They set out to do nasty things, and Stall is propelled into a brief but highly effective eruption of violence. He is feted as a hero, but we begin to see the changes in his relationship with his son in particular as a result. As the town comes back to normal however, the ever brilliant Ed Harris comes into town. He is convinced Tom Stall is actually someone else altogether, an explanation that fits with the violence we have seen. To say more about the plot would be to deprive you of seeing how things unfold, so I will leave it at that.
It is in the subtexts that the movie excels - not telling us what we should think, but questioning our own reactions. Is his son right for using more violent means with bullies? Was a little violence necessary to balance his pacifist ways? Is the couples `violent' sex more real than the passion we see near the beginning of the movie?
As stated by others, it is after the movie ends and you start talking about the movie.. and you WILL start talking about the movie, that you will realise how effective it actually was. The performances are uniformly excellent - Mario Bello brings real credibility to a wife dealing with the changes in her husband, and Ashton Holmes as Tom Stall's son is brilliant.Read more ›
Tom Stall ( Vigo Mortensen) is the owner of a diner in the tiny town of Millbrook , Indiana and is also happily married to Edie ( Maria Belio) with a teenage son Jack ( Ashton Holmes) and a small daughter Sarah ( Heidi Hayes) Life is pretty much idyllic for this family in that slightly sickening way that is so common in American movies, even those directed by a Canadian with a penchant for the weird. One night two thugs attempt to rob the Diner at closing time and Tom intuitively realising these are guys who will not compromise on getting what they want bravely fights back and despatches both the would be robbers. You feel great at this point because Tom has done what we would all like to do in that situation, not only foiled the robbery but meted out instant and terminal justice. Not surprisingly Tom becomes a celebrity , his Diner is soon packed with people but Tom is reluctant to discuss the event.
Later three more men enter the Diner. They look like trouble and they claim that Tom is in fact called Joey and that he has been lying to everyone about his real identity.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Appalling misjudgement by David Cronenberg. It seems crazy to me that the same director can be responsible for the elegant and intense virtuoso film-making of A Dangerous Method. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Arthur Lee
Fantastic movie , Viggo Mortensen on top form in this taught thriller from David Cronenberg ....Published 2 months ago by Amazon Customer
Great, tense and sometimes darkly funny film. (What WERE you doing William Hurt?)Published 5 months ago by Piaras Stanimir
I didn't find this as exciting or thrilling as I think it was intended to be.Published 8 months ago by RK
Cult classic for people in the know. A lesser know movie with a great storyline and plot twists.Published 8 months ago by Ryan Banks