ARROW IN THE HEAD REVIEWS

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Funny Games (2008)
Written by: The Arrow
Director: Michael Haneke

Starring:
Naomi Watts/Ann
Tim Roth/George
Michael Pitt/Paul/Brady Corbet/Peter
PLOT-CRUNCH
Two sissy boys (Pitt and Corbert) wearing cozy Golf shirts takes a family hostage (Roth and Watts) and talks them and us to death while the dude behind the camera thinks he's as clever as a rusty trombone performed by Nina Hartley in her prime.
THE LOWDOWN
FUNNY GAMES (Michael Haneke ‘s shot by shot remake of his 1997 Austrian film of the same name) was released in my town for like a half day and 3 minutes and its only now that we've reached the New Year that I decided to tackle it and kick its ass. Now that I've seen it, I can't say I missed much. In fact, if it was up to me, I’d go back in time and not see it at all! What a waste!

Question: there’s a hair-trigger pointed at your head, what do you do… what do you do? Nah, just kidding. Real question: You ever go to a club and cruise some hot chick wearing a f*ck me now short skirt and a tits bobbling out top? You buy her a drink, she flirts with ya, spits in your ear and grabs your beans but something is amiss. In time, you figure out that she’s all show. Girl is playing ya for free drinks. That ever happen to ya? Well that's what FUNNY GAMES was to me. Some hot bitch that looked good, showed promise, licked and teased but in the end delivered nothing but vacuous mind ticklings. The flick thought it was "on top of its game", that it was REAL clever. But I saw through its manipulative ways early on and after that; I had to head butt myself to stay awake and pretend to give a shit.

Lots of people will disagree with me about this one and I can actually understand why. FUNNY GAMES was a love it or hate it spiel if I've ever seen one. It has Cult classic written all over it. And all the reasons I’m gonna state as to why I loathed it, will most likely be “why” so many folks dig it the most.. This mofo lost me off the bat when it asked me to believe that these two psychotic fairies would be able to take a family hostage and torture them the way they did. Come on. You see these guys? I've banged broads with more hair on their chests than these clowns! I couldn’t take them seriously. Nothing a punch in the face, a kick in the groin or a bite of the jugular wouldn't have solved 5 minutes in. Then there was the f*cking “game". You see much like the baddies mess with the family, the film f*cks with us, preying on our expectations as to the 'home invasion' subgenre and attempting to takes us aback with them.

Thing was, the intent was so transparent and obvious that all it got from me was groans and wiggling in my seat as to how petulant and freaking boring it was. Same went for the "message" at hand having to do with us (the horror audiences) getting off on violence. Shame on us, shame on us! Pooey! I spit on thee and bang its sister! And no breaking of the fourth wall or silly (and maddening) "lets rewind a hero moment to go against the norm" trick changed my opinion on that. Finally, for all its limp slight of hands, FUNNY GAMES failed in the most crucial of aspects: it wasn’t shocking, scary, powerful or able to evoke suspense. The movie was just there, thinking highly of itself. Shit, it actually pulled one "uppercut" at a certain point and it didn't even know how to do that right when it came to it affecting me as it should have.

Now that's not to say it was a total loss. It's hard to go wrong with Tim Roth and Naomi Watts in a film, both are solid actors and I love watching them do their thing. Too bad it was in this drivel. I also dug the film's look (bright and clean) which slickly contrasted with the material at hand. Finally, the artsy directing style often rubbed my magic lamp the right way. I haven't seen this many static shots since the last time I shot a home made porno with my DVD-Cam, a tripod and some disposable trinket with tits. On the whole though FUNNY GAMES irritated me and prompted Zzzzzs while the game it played did next to JACK SHIT for me. Hence as the end credits rolled, I thanked the heavens that it was over and I could finally go on with my day to do more constructive things; like whack off with a power-drill and a picture of Roseanne Barr. You gonna find this game FUNNY? Hey, it’s your world homes, I’m just living in it….
GORE
None.
ACTING
Naomi Watts (Ann) and Tim Roth (George) were in tip top shape; likeable, intense and credible. Michael Pitt (Paul) and Brady Corbet (Peter) did swell as the nut-jobs with baby faces. Too bad it was in a film I couldn’t care for. Oh and the kid in it was good too!
T & A
Naomi Watts in her bra and undies is always good in my books. Damn the dame is fine!
DIRECTING
I respected the many wide/static shots. You don't see them often in films now of late, not to this degree anyways. The actors were all on the ball as well hence Haneke knew how to work them. With that yacked, where was the tension, the horror, the impact? Not here.
SOUNDTRACK
Was there one? I did boogie to the heavy rock ditty they played during the opening credits though. Again, a nice contrast as to the "sugar and spice" images they were backing.
BOTTOM LINE
I either didn't get FUNNY "pussy killer" GAMES, or I got it and didn't give three or four shits about its M.O. I'll opt for the latter statement. Excellent acting, an interesting tone and a gnarly use of static shots does not a great movie make. I don’t like being dicked around, talked down to and so overtly manipulated by a movie – just not my thing. Like really...please! If you're like me and couldn't be bothered playing THAT GAME because you endure it enough on the dance floor when chasing tail, then duck it. This movie can kiss my ass, suck my pole. mow my lawn and pay me for it!
BULL'S EYE
The production crew used the same blueprints they used in the original hence house set in this version was the same size as the Austrian version.

Director Michael Haneke is of German descent.

Naomi Watts was also executive producer on the film.

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12:38AM on 05/19/2010
Fantastic film...I was captivated watching from beginning to end. I thought it was plenty tense, and there were quite a few suspenseful moments.
The acting was fantastic. Naomi Watts was magnificant, and Tim Roth and Michael Pitt were brilliant.

I don't like the use of the word 'fairies' in your review...just sayin'.
Fantastic film...I was captivated watching from beginning to end. I thought it was plenty tense, and there were quite a few suspenseful moments.
The acting was fantastic. Naomi Watts was magnificant, and Tim Roth and Michael Pitt were brilliant.

I don't like the use of the word 'fairies' in your review...just sayin'.
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2:14AM on 02/17/2009

no gore?

not as good as the original in any way. but how can you say there was no gore in this film? did you miss the part with the 8-year-old kid's brains splattered on the wall?
not as good as the original in any way. but how can you say there was no gore in this film? did you miss the part with the 8-year-old kid's brains splattered on the wall?
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+0
12:13AM on 02/16/2009

I actually liked it

I seem to be in the minority who liked it. I enjoyed the film and the way it toyed with my expectations. Some parts dragged on, but I just loved the mind games they played with the family. It was a unique experience that wasn't the same formula driven crap that some people love.

I'm not offended by films that dare to be clever?
I seem to be in the minority who liked it. I enjoyed the film and the way it toyed with my expectations. Some parts dragged on, but I just loved the mind games they played with the family. It was a unique experience that wasn't the same formula driven crap that some people love.

I'm not offended by films that dare to be clever?
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12:50PM on 02/10/2009

Bravo Arrow

I, like Arrow, wanted this movie to be good. But I also couldn't get past the believability of the protagonists. Plot spoilers ahead. I just couldn't stop thinking that the father, even with a broken leg, should just get up and kick the crap out of those guys. They just weren't threatening at all. Instead, all he can muster is to tell his wife to take her clothes off? What a wimp! Ok, so the clothes are off and we get??? Nothing. And then, when they finally have a chance for freedom they
I, like Arrow, wanted this movie to be good. But I also couldn't get past the believability of the protagonists. Plot spoilers ahead. I just couldn't stop thinking that the father, even with a broken leg, should just get up and kick the crap out of those guys. They just weren't threatening at all. Instead, all he can muster is to tell his wife to take her clothes off? What a wimp! Ok, so the clothes are off and we get??? Nothing. And then, when they finally have a chance for freedom they maddeningly stumble around trying to get a wet cell phone to work - really! It seemed like forever and sucked whatever tension was left in the film dry. If they are so terrified, why don't they try to do something?

Frustrating film, to say the least.

Blaaah.
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5:41AM on 02/01/2009
It may very well be the worst movie I have ever seen. A downright TORTUROUS experience!
It may very well be the worst movie I have ever seen. A downright TORTUROUS experience!
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9:44PM on 01/26/2009

Should've known to stay away from this.

95% of the time I agree with Arrow's reviews but I heard SO much good word about this movie that I thought 'eh, can't be THAT bad'. Yeah, that was a mistake. The 1 I'm giving it is SOLELY for Naomi Watts spending a good portion of the movie in her underwear.
95% of the time I agree with Arrow's reviews but I heard SO much good word about this movie that I thought 'eh, can't be THAT bad'. Yeah, that was a mistake. The 1 I'm giving it is SOLELY for Naomi Watts spending a good portion of the movie in her underwear.
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1:14AM on 01/07/2009

I F*$#&ING HATE this movie!!!!

I want to join Donnie_Darko's support group!! The only reason I gave it a 1 is because of the acting but Olivier couldn't have saved this one! This piece of crap film can take its "cleverness" and stick it where the sun don't shine. I haven't utterly loathed a movie this much in a long long time.
I want to join Donnie_Darko's support group!! The only reason I gave it a 1 is because of the acting but Olivier couldn't have saved this one! This piece of crap film can take its "cleverness" and stick it where the sun don't shine. I haven't utterly loathed a movie this much in a long long time.
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2:32PM on 01/05/2009

Agreed

I too agree with the arrow. I give the movie a rating of 2 though, as it was able to piss me off. It made me mad that tim roth and naomi watts didnt just slap these two pussies and be done with it.
I too agree with the arrow. I give the movie a rating of 2 though, as it was able to piss me off. It made me mad that tim roth and naomi watts didnt just slap these two pussies and be done with it.
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10:29AM on 01/05/2009

Here here!

Couldn't agree more Arrow. After all the hype, all that was left was a broken wreck of a soul. This movie fails on pretty much every level. Great performances mired in, well... muck and mire. Maybe we can start a support group called, "I Watched Funny Games And I Want My 111min Back".
Couldn't agree more Arrow. After all the hype, all that was left was a broken wreck of a soul. This movie fails on pretty much every level. Great performances mired in, well... muck and mire. Maybe we can start a support group called, "I Watched Funny Games And I Want My 111min Back".
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