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

Naomi Watts/Ann
Tim Roth/George
Michael Pitt/Paul/Brady Corbet/Peter
4 10
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.
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….
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!
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.
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.
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!
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.