Brawl in Cell Block 99 (2017)

Discussion in 'Reader Reviews' started by thing, Dec 2, 2017.

  1. thing

    thing Well-Known Member

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    [​IMG]

    Brawl in Cell Block 99 (2017)

    Directed by S. Craig Zahler

    This is the second film from the director/writer/composer of the western/horror Bone Tomahawk (2015). This one see's Vince Vaughn (Swingers) playing a former boxer-turned-drug runner who lands in a dangerous prison after a drug deal goes wrong.

    The Direction is assured and steady but it is Vince Vaughn's remarkable central performance that elevates the film in what is probably a career best for him. All the supports are strong too and make the most of a good script. I preferred the set up in the first two acts than the overly gruesome third act that seemed too over the top and made the picture a little less classy than it could have been.

    6.5-7/10
     
  2. MorallySound

    MorallySound Mad Mutilator

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    I caught this a few months back and loved it. I had very low expectations going in because I hated Bone Tomahawk, but Brawl in Cell Block 99 was a blast and Vince Vaughn is phenomenal in it. This movie plays like a modern day exploitation movie and a lot of the violence in it was incredibly shocking (this gives Irreversible's head smashing scene a run for its money and then some). And even at over 140 minutes it never dragged on and I was along for the entire ride. Highly recommended!
     
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  3. thing

    thing Well-Known Member

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    yeah it certainly never dragged, i liked Bone Tomahawk but preferred this one by quite a margin.
     
  4. Colin

    Colin Active Member

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    I happened to be one of the few people who seemed to like "Bone Tomahawk" even with it's flaws, but I had reservations going into "Brawl in Cell Block" because of Vince Vaughn. Thankfully I came out loving everything about this one and it's a huge step in the right direction for Zahler. Much like "Bone Tomahawk" there is very much an other worldly quality about "Brawl" that I couldn't help but get sucked into. Dispite the over the top nature of the film, I completely bought into the world Zahler created thanks to the top notch acting, directing and script. A fantastic, yet mean spirited and disturbing, ride from start to finish. I can't recommend this enough.
     
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  5. CPT HOOK

    CPT HOOK Well-Known Member

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    This is supposed to be available on Amazon Prime streaming starting on 12/31, just days after the blu-ray release.
     
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  6. fattyjoe37

    fattyjoe37 Well-Known Member

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    Watched this today and had a blast. I enjoyed the characters more in Bone Tomahawk, but this was close to the same quality for me. Easy recommend. I can’t wait to see what Zahler does next.
     
  7. russweiss

    russweiss Well-Known Member

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    Watched this on Prime and I can easily see this being hit or miss. For me at 2 hours 12 minutes it was about half an hour too long. Some interesting and well done violence and Vaughn is a very good actor. Started out slow and Vaughn kind of turned into a superman character which I didn't care for. Since it was free I'll still recommend it but I don't know that it is worth buying. It was nice seeing Udo Kier.
     
  8. Natas

    Natas Is it October yet?

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    I dug. Vince Vaughn was terrific. I really enjoyed the story.....I wasn't expecting it to head in the exploitation direction but it certainly did and it was a lot of fun. Probably pick up the disc soon.
     
  9. CPT HOOK

    CPT HOOK Well-Known Member

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    I still haven't watched Bone Tomahawk, even though I bought the blu-ray for $5 one of the many times it was on sale at Best Buy. Although strangely, both Bone Tomahawk and Brawl In Cell Block 99 both have the same running time at 132 minutes. I wonder if that was deliberate?

    Anyway, watched Brawl In Cell Block 99 on Amazon Prime today. I didn't dislike it, but I was incredibly distracted by how desperately it wants to be a Tarantino movie. Udo Kier's entrance, which officially kicks off the main plot, doesn't happen until over an hour into the movie. It's front-loaded with Tarantino-wannabe dialogue that misses the mark, including a ponderance on when the n-word should end with an "er" or an "a". Also, "H20 ain't got no sexual orientation" made me eye-roll so hard I saw brain. Worst of all was the music. I doubt they could afford the rights to any Tarantino-like music choices, so instead they created these really abysmal rip-offs of the kind of music Tarantino would put in his movies.

    In the times it was being a little less obnoxious, there was a lot to like about it. Vince Vaughn is terrific, and between this and True Detective he has successfully shed his one-note Wedding Crashers persona. I loved watching him destroy the car. The pay-off proves to be worth the wait, and some of the outrageous gore had me laughing out loud (specifically the face-to-cement). This could be considered a spoiler, but
    I liked the ways the movie acknowledged in the build-up that he wasn't getting out of this, even giving a scene before the big brawl where he accepts his fate.
    It really sells the movie's final moments.

    If you can get past all the Tarantino-fellating, there is a good movie in here that's definitely worth seeing, especially if you have Amazon Prime and can watch for free. I don't think I was as over-the-moon in love with it as everyone seems to be, but I certainly don't regret watching it. It does have me more intrigued to check out Bone Tomahawk, as that one sounds a bit more up my alley.
     
  10. sinister

    sinister Active Member

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    I liked the first half but from the moment he arrived at the "dungeon" prison the whole thing turned into a farce. I assume that was intentional but the complete change of style and direction kinda took me by surprise and I felt the 2nd half really went downhill into ridiculousness.
     
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  11. Natas

    Natas Is it October yet?

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    That's exactly why I liked it so much......had no clue it was going in that direction. The ridiculous conditions of the maximum security prison were a riot to me. The last act was a blast...... but ultimately it was Vince Vaughs character that kept my eyes glued. I also liked Jennifer Carpenter.
     
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2018
  12. baggio

    baggio Well-Known Member

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    Jennifer Carpenter I think you might mean.
     
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  13. baggio

    baggio Well-Known Member

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    I didn't even noticed music, except for the end credits. What am I missing?
     
  14. baggio

    baggio Well-Known Member

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    Funny thing was I didn't even know the movie was directed by the same guy who directed Bone Tomahawk until I read this thread. Ha. Didn't recognize the name.(I saw Bone Tomahawk) It was a very slow moving film, but yet it somehow kept my attention. Cool to see Don Johnson. On the fighting, I really can't say I've seen that style before to often. It was slow and deliberate but I didn't hate it. Like mentioned already in the thread, it was as if Vaughn was sorta super human in his action scenes and lumbering if you will. Kinda like Frankenstein. Not making fun of it, just it was odd, but I enjoyed it.
     
  15. Paff

    Paff Super Moderator

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    I liked this, but nowhere near as much as I liked Bone Tomahawk. Zahler really has a way of getting you sucked into the story, and you never look at your watch once. I think the big drawback of CB99 is that it's a little hard to root for Bradley as a protagonist. Yes, he's had some bad breaks, but he's also voluntarily chosen to get into business with the bad guys. He should have expected the result. Now, I don't always need a perfect lead character, in fact I love it if there are flaws (See: Three Billboards Outside Ebbing Missouri), but in this case I really failed to see ANY redeeming qualities in Bradley.

    But those are still nitpicks in what's a very gripping film. I just liked his previous effort a lot more.
     
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