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Carnage (Bilingual) [Blu-ray]

Kate Winslet , Jodie Foster , Roman Polanski    Blu-ray
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
List Price: CDN$ 19.99
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Carnage (Bilingual) [Blu-ray] + A Separation / Une Separation (Bilingue) [Blu-ray] (Bilingual) + A Prophet Bilingual [Blu-ray] (Version française)
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Product Description

After two boys duke it out on a playground, the parents of the "victim" invite the parents of the "bully" over to work out their issues. A polite discussion of childrearing soon escalates into verbal warfare, with all four parents revealing their true colors. None of them will escape the carnage. Directed by Roman Polanski and starring Kate Winslet, Jodie Foster, John C. Reilly and Christoph Waltz. "As a director, Roman Polanski has always had a genius for finding the divide between civility and blunt self-interest, and then merrily Evel Knieveling over it. Carnage works as a fantastically nasty showcase for some immensely talented performers to get down with their bad selves. Kicking off with a deceptively placid shot of kids at play, Reza and Polanski's screenplay follows the thermonuclear differences of opinion that occur when an upper-crust New York pair (Foster, Reilly) invite another couple (Winslet, Waltz) into their apartment in an attempt to resolve a scuffle between their children. For all of Reza's celebrated dark wit and way with a punch line (the running gag involving a hamster just kills), there's a rather flowcharty feel to her scenario here, with the various escalations and shifts in allegiance between the four coming at fairly predictable intervals. Thankfully, Polanski keeps things moving at an expert clip, mainly by taking his cast's most distinguishable characteristics (Reilly's cuddly everyman quality, Winslet's repressed earthiness) and cinching them all a few notches too tight, particularly in the case of Foster, who delivers a merciless lampooning of her own intelligence. (The most outwardly reprehensible of the lot, Waltz's Blackberry-obsessed lawyer, somehow comes off the best, simply by being self-aware.) First-daters may want to stay far, far away, but in Polanski's hands, Carnage delivers a brisk, blackly hilarious 79 minutes in the presence of some wonderfully bad company." --Andrew Wright

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Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
3.8 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Masterful production in total. Jan. 4 2014
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
A professional rendering by professionals in all aspects and capacities. This could just as easily been a 'bomb'; however the treatment is controlled and subtle in its escallating ethos of cultural mores. We're all 'red necks' under the skin; I'm right and you're wrong!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Carnage Jan. 27 2013
Format:Blu-ray|Verified Purchase
J'ai très aimé et je le recommande chaudement. C'est une discussion orageuse et sociologique entre parents à la suite d'une bagarre d'enfants dans un parc.
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4.0 out of 5 stars A Critical Need for Third Party Mediation July 22 2012
By Ian Gordon Malcomson HALL OF FAME TOP 50 REVIEWER
Format:DVD
Here is Roman Polanski's version of Igmar Bergman's 1971 "Reflections on a Marriage", with a slight variation as to how marital discourse can quickly surface when two couples get together for a serious four-way conversation. Like in the Bergman film, Polanski's production starts off rather calmly and politely. It uses the discussion/dialogue format in which the two couples appear to get to know each other on a first-name basis, even if they are meeting to discuss a serious act of bullying involving their two sons. Whatever tensions or testy moments appear, they are quickly defused with a show of amiability. However, one obstacle they cannot overcome is the different opinion that all four adults have as to how this playground incident should be eventually resolved. This unfortunate playground incident between their respective sons that has resulted in one of them being seriously hurt could easily break out all over again at a new level if both husbands can't refrain from being so dismissive as to its seriousness. What starts out as a business-like and polite meeting of reasonable adults quickly degenerates into a nasty scene where spouses are fighting between themselves as to why they can't stand up for each other. Nancy and Alan Cowan, a salesman and artist, begin the discussion as the concerned parents and gracious hosts earnestly and calmly seeking a resolution to this problem. In contrast, Penelope and Michael, lawyer and academic by profession, as parents of the offending child, seem initially somewhat indifferent and at times frosty about the whole matter. In the space of an hour, that will all change. Read more ›
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars The Subtitles don't Match the Dialogue Jan. 28 2013
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Since this is marketed as a Bi-Lingual edition and the film is sourced from an original French play I bought this to improve my French listening comprehension and pronunciation. The trouble is that French dub track does not match the subtitle track or the original play. Of course some adaptations are expected but overall it's very frustrating. If your goal was similar to mine I don't recommend this!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 3.5 out of 5 stars  121 reviews
52 of 63 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars So typical of parents Jan. 15 2012
By Randy M - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Blu-ray
This was a great and fun/funny film. A drama where two kids parents meet at ones apartment to decide "how to handle" the situation where one of the boys hit another boy with a stick, knocking out teeth. Who's fault was it? Who should apologize to whom? Should the parents get involved? Should they also take responsibility for their kids aggression and the others timidness? We learn the issue of aggression and short comings might be more so with the parents, than with the kids. And that poor hamster? A film by Roman Polanski, more so a short dinner theater type play brought to film. The shortest film I've seen in a theater. 1 hr 15 min. But great stars, fun plot. Things go from simple casual attempt(s) between two sets of parents with coming to an agreement concerning responsibility for their kids actions, to the parents engaged in something close to total WWIII. With a little apple cobbler tossed in (and up) along with way, plus way too many social cocktails in the mix. And a busy cell phone adding to the never ending comedy-drama.
With stars this wonderful, this film is a must see hit. And again... that poor hamster.
There are great court room dramas that keep you engaged. This is not a court room drama, but equal to such as a social drama between agreeing/disagreeing, then agreeing then back to disagreeing sets of parents.
With everyone carrying, then unloading, a lot of psychological baggage.
And YOU are the fly on the wall.
Great! Very fun! Interesting! Too short. I wanted more, a lot more. But what Roman Polanski gives us is totally worth experiencing.
Great directing mixed with great actors/acting really does make the difference.
NOTE: And just who was that peeking out the next door apartment at all the ruckus going on in the hall way? Could it have been by chance a VERY FAMOUS DIRECTOR's face????
And no... it wasn't Alfred Hitchcock. lol

What a good film. What good acting. Great stars. Great director. Great directing. But I'd totally skip the cobbler...
14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "You Murdered A Hamster" - Nancy Cowan March 26 2012
By Sheryl Fechter - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
"Carnage" opens like a play which it was adapted from and is tautly directed by Roman Polanski. Penelope Longstreet (Jodie Foster) along with husband Michael (John C. Reilly) invite the Cowans to their apartment; Nancy (Kate Winslet) and her work-consumed husband, Christoph Waltz. The Longstreets feel it necessary to discuss the reason why their "victim" son was struck, and badly hurt, by the "maniac brutalizer" Cowan's son. Michael would simply appreciate an apology from their child, although Penelope seems to have her own agenda and intends to push it.

Penelope and Nancy have a tremendous amount of tension between them which is palpable from the onset. Michael appears personable, overly generous and friendly ... at first. On the other hand, Mr. Cowan is aloof to the subject, on the cell phone constantly as a pharmaceutical lawyer who is much more absent in the genesis of the conversation.

The 'go-around' all plays out in one room, the living room, as you can sense the air suck right out of the place. It becomes almost claustrophobic, in feel, as the couples begin wildly talking, accusing, and definitely getting far off the subject of their sons. In this obvious stress inducing situation, especially for Nancy and then Penelope, anxiety builds and the topics get verbally and emotionally out of control. The discussion of the children's situation is quickly set aside while personal marital issues insidiously invade the conversation. More like spouting-offs!

The husbands slowly get involved by first defending their wives, arguing with each other, and then challenging each other. The Scotch then comes out on the scene as they now decide it would be a great time to take a vintage bottle out for a ride. Nancy demands a drink for her self while defending Penelope, then challenges a reluctant Michael to pour his wife some also. Alliances are formed and broken then reattached almost as fast as the mercurial, rapid-fire dialogue. The words are shot between them as caustic arrows and hit just as harshly. The husbands start to turn on their wives while getting highly frustrated; "You think too much...women think too much" and "Yes, I feel like being completely despicable".

The talking and arguing becomes amazingly ludicrous in this verbal smack-down. All four actors are on top of their game in the film. This tightly wound, inflammatory, and hilarious study is actually very human, as one topic is flying into another then back again.

At the very end of the film, right before the credits roll, there is one of the best scenes for tying-up all the loose ends and also a good shot in the arm of laughter for myself. It does put seemingly huge things in perspective in a very scant amount of time.
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Another Roman Polanski gem May 29 2012
By Reader - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD
So what happens in NYC when parents of two boys decide to have a private meeting in order to resolve a conflict between their children? Meet two couples, who are equally concerned about well being of their 11 year old sons. Two boys got into a fight and the fight got physical. Before long, one boy is grounded and another one nearly looses his tooth. Surely, these young people need to be punished and thought a lesson; so - their parents decide to meet and assess what to do next.

The entire movie is entirely set in a NYC apartment of one of the couples. It starts as civil and cordial meeting between two pairs of concerned parents and turns into, well - carnage. In nearly two hours, we see these four people fighting it out with each other in words. It starts as one pair of parents against the other, but then lines become blurry as aliences between them start to shift. Every now and then, pairs would re-group, but then things would fall into a chaos again. It is witty, contemporary story about modern life, alienation between people, parents and their children; greed, glutony, assessment of our priorities and purpose in middle life. Great cast of actors, wonderful verbal duels. I truly enjoyed this movie. I always loved Roman Polanski's movies and this one adds to the wonderful collection of his already prized work.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I have to admit Polanski is a great director ... June 24 2012
By Mrs. Robinson - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD
...despite his, er, private behavior, but gah! What awful people. Yes, it was funny in a very, very unpleasant way, but I think I watched it with an expression of horrified disgust pasted to my face. Don't we all know people like this? Completely tense, unable to stop the diarrhea of boring small talk about cobbler recipes and toilet parts while their restrained hostility growls audibly below the polite chatter? I felt like taking a hot bath after watching this. Yes, and becoming a hermit in a cave somewhere so I'd never have to see a human being again.

I will never, ever watch this movie again; it was like fingernails on a blackboard to me. And yet it was a great movie. I saw no flaw in the acting or direction. There was an ugly fascination in seeing how four people could all be arrogant bourgeois thugs, yet so different. Four different shades of awful.

I loved the hilarious irony of the scene in the park as the credits roll. You could almost miss it, but it beautifully sums up the ludicrousness of the situation that has just played out between the four adults.
18 of 25 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Roman Polanski's 'Carnage' lacks bite. Feb. 18 2012
By Steven Adam Renkovish - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD
Based on the acclaimed play by Yasmina Reza, this is the tale of two sets of parents and their misguided attempt to make peace after one of their children bludgeons the other with a stick in the local park, causing the other to lose a tooth and undergo dental surgery. Nancy and Allen (Kate Winslet and Christoph Waltz) are the parents of the culprit, and Penelope and Michael (Jodie Foster and John C. Reilly) are the piping mad parents of the injured victim.

At some point, they decide to hold a meeting at the bourgeois home of the high-strung Penelope and her doltish husband, Michael. From the start, things begin to go awry. Penelope begins to critique the parenting skills of both Nancy and Allen, and visa versa. Before long, things get out of hand, with all four individuals firing various insults at one another, revealing their true colors, and ironically behaving like schoolyard bullies themselves. Much like Edward Albee's `Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf', alcohol soon plays a supporting role in the film, and the situation escalates from bad to worse.

This is the film in a nutshell - pardon the cliché. Four people, one setting, tons of fireworks. It wants to be `Virginia Woolf' for a new generation, but lacks the acid wit and ferocious bite of Albee's masterpiece. One of the problems with `Carnage' is that the material isn't as funny as it thinks it is. These characters never go for the throat, and the film suffers as a result.

Jodie Foster is yet another weak link in the film. She is over the top - and not in a good way. Her performance is annoyingly distracting. Either she was sorely miscast in this particular role, or comedy simply isn't Foster's forte. On the other hand, Kate Winslet, John C. Reilly, and Christoph Waltz are at the top of their game. Collectively, they make the film worth watching, and they have some of the best lines.

`Carnage' isn't without its charms, though most of those are in the first act. The two scenes which bookend the film are quite effective as well. With just a bit more edge, this film could have been a small classic. As it is, it is merely okay and nothing more.

Rated R, 80 minutes, directed by Roman Polanski, released by Sony Pictures Classics
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