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MY SON, MY SON, WHAT HAVE YE DONE
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Reviewed by: Mike Catalano

Directed by: Werner Herzog

Starring:
Willem Dafoe
Brad Dourif
ChloŽ Sevigny
Michael Shannon

Movie:  
star star star star
Extras:  
star star star star
Overall:  
star star star star
What's it about
Poor Brad McCullum begins experiencing some strange delusions of grandeur that lead him to murder his overbearing mother with a sword. Detective Hank learns all about this nut while communicating with him through a hostage standoff.

Is it good movie?
If you like your head-trips with an extra dose of odd, then you may be a candidate for checking out MY SON, MY SON, WHAT HAVE YE DONE. There isn't necessarily anything hard to decipher or understand in the flick. Well, actually you may have trouble understanding why the f*ck some lines of dialogue are said or why some shots are "fake" freeze-framed. Perhaps artsy director, Werner Herzog, wanted the viewer to feel as weird as his film's antagonist? If that was his goal, then bravo!

Michael Shannon plays the strange character of "Brad" and I gotta say that the dude has some strong conviction. Not only did he convey all things oddball, he even looks like an extreme oddball. He's got this plane face with these far-apart eyes and long-ish hairdo. And I thought Willen Dafoe looked like a freak! Regardless, he definitely did a nice creepy job of showcasing a dude that has clearly stepped off the deep end.

Kudos as well go out to all of Mr. Shannon's co-stars for creating a very believeable "psycho support system". The always intriguing ChloŽ Sevigny stood out the most, playing the character engaged to Shannon's sad psychotic sap. She gave such an understated, sullen performance that was very easy to relate to. The always great Brad Dourif did a fine job lending some comedic touches to the story as "Brad's" old-school farmer uncle. And, of course Mr. Dafoe brought his usual magic touch as the detective trying to decipher what the hell is up with "Brad".

With all the great performances and different, but still proficient, direction, you'd think MY SON would have a slightly higher star-quotient up top. Well, sadly, despite all its positives, the flick ends up really never going anywhere. There aren't any surprises and no true scares. The wild craziness may be prevalent, but it winds up looking kind of silly and only diminishes any serious thrills that could have been in store. This is one of those arty flicks that just ends without any kind of entertaining climax. And from the way MY SON was moving, I expected a much bigger payoff.

Video / Audio
Video Widescreen 1.85:1

Audio English 5.1 Dolby Digital and Spanish

The Extras
A very inventive and moving short film, PLASTIC BAG, which director Herzog narrates. This short was surprisingly better than the actual film!

A commentary by director Herzog, co-writer Golder, and producer Eric Bassett that was kind of boring to me.

The film's trailer.

Some other trailers.

A pretty informative behind-the-scenes interview with Herzog and co-writer Herbert Golder.

Last Call
MY SON, MY SON had all the makings of one interestingly f*cked-up head trip of a movie. The performances were all top-notch. Unfortunately, the proceedings got a little too weird and ended with a lame whimper. Telling most of the story through flashbacks probably didn't help much either.

ARROW IN THE HEAD'S RATING SYSTEM
star star star star I'D BUTCHER MY FAMILY TO SEE THIS AGAIN
star star star HANG ME BUT I DUG IT A LOT
star star AN OK WAY TO KILL TWO HOURS
star JUST SLING AN ARROW IN MY HEAD AND LET ME DIE IN PEACE

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