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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
Oh the HumanityAug. 10 2011
- Published on Amazon.com
What makes "Red White & Blue" great is that it is a tale of revenge that understands. It understands its characters, their situations, and the horror that results. Without giving much of the plot away (less said the better), it tells the tale of multiple people and how their lives intertwine in a dark way. Each of the main characters has his or her own story, and this film lets us into each one with intelligence and care. There isn't anyone in here who has been untouched by some kind of emotional pain or damage, and the well written script gives insight into each one in such a way that there isn't a person we don't feel for or understand on some level. This of course makes the darker elements of this film all the more tragic. It's not a film for the squeamish, graphically violent at times, but at the same time it shows the perfect level of restraint in what it does show, resulting in the Hitchock effect of us imagining the worst. Amanda Fuller's excellent turn as Erica is painful to watch in its realism, as she adeptly carries vulnerable hurt so clearly lurking beneath a hardened surface. And Noah Taylor, given the most difficult character to play as he walks a tightrope line, is outstanding as Nate, managing to evoke both sympathy and horror in alternating seconds. It's a haunting film that builds a bed of meditative sadness ultimately burned in cringing horror. It won't soon leave you, and packs an emotional punch not unlike "I Saw the Devil" (very different film, but a good companion piece). Brutal, touching, and tragic.
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
Unflinching and extraordinaryMay 1 2011
- Published on Amazon.com
Rarely is a film able to be both enticing and disturbing. There have been some pretty messed up films the past few years like Antichrist and A Serbian Film. Other than Antichrist having gorgeous cinematography, genital mutilation is probably what you'll take away from it while A Serbian Film shows you the affects it could have on someone forced to make a snuff film against their will. I Saw the Devil is a great example of being both brutal in content and absolutely engaging thanks to fantastic performances and a well-thought-out revenge plot. Now imagine having the last act of a film containing subject matter as unnerving as the violence in I Saw the Devil but leaving a little more to your imagination while the first two acts remind you of something straight out of an Alejandro González Iñárritu film and you've got Red White & Blue in a nutshell.
When Red White & Blue first gets going, you probably won't really know what to think. Some chick is just running around having sex with a handful of various men every night? So what? But it's deeper than that. Once Nate (Noah Taylor) enters the picture, things begin to get a little more interesting. Does Nate really seem like the type of guy to get honorably discharged from the army, get an offer for a CIA job, and spend his time thinking it over while working at a home improvement store? You'll have to be the judge of that yourself. His admiration for Erica (Amanda Fuller) is one of the driving factors of the film though. Then Franki (Marc Senter) works his way into the equation, as well. He thought he was having a one-night stand with Erica that no one would ever know about, but it turned into something that would haunt him for the rest of his life. Franki is in a band with his three best friends that seems to be on the up-and-up while his mom is battling cancer, but things begin to go downhill at a rapid pace once Franki's girlfriend reveals she cheated on him. An unflinching drama slowly snowballs into a revenge thriller that'll jump to the next scene right when you're on the verge of cringing.
The film does a fantastic job of reeling you in and making you care about these characters over the course of its hour and forty minute duration. Amanda Fuller plays up Erica having intimacy issues to near perfection as her awkward body language and inability to fight off bursting to tears whenever a man wants to do anything more with her than have sex defines her character far more than simple words ever could. Noah Taylor's Nate is a bit of a mystery. He comes off as odd at first, but he becomes a man on a mission. He'll go to great lengths to get what he wants and his savagery along with his brutality easily makes his performance the highlight of the film. Marc Senter's disturbing and mesmerizing performance in The Lost made a fairly long-lasting impression on me. At least long enough for me to recognize him in this film. Franki is a similar character and Senter's performance is just as captivating despite how deranged his character really is.
Red White & Blue will more than likely make you go through a wide spectrum of reactions. It'll start off with a "What the hell is this?" that'll transition to, "Damn, and I thought I was a jerk," before ending with, "So yeah, gangbangs probably aren't a very good idea..." The film takes an engrossing story and manages to tell it by encompassing several different genres; drama, mystery and thriller with a few horror elements for good measure. Add a fantastic cast that works as a cohesive unit that also doesn't allow for any hiccups and you've got one helluva film on your hands. Red White & Blue is some of the best storytelling to be told on film in quite some time.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
GrimMay 24 2011
- Published on Amazon.com
Since I am only the second person to review this film, it's clear that it's not very well known. I had never heard of it when I stumbled upon it, and, while watching it, was surprised by a number of things: first and foremost, how good it is, how unpredictable the story is, and also how horribly grim it ends up being.
The film first introduces the audience to Erica, a promiscuous, damaged woman with seemingly no social connections. She is seen engaging in random sexual encounters, rebuffing any kind of real warmth and affection, until she takes a job at a hardware store and tentatively starts a friendship with fellow employee and veteran Nate. This part of the film is really rather sweet, and it seems like it's going to be the kind of story where two damaged people are redeemed by love.
The film then shifts its focus to one of the characters first introduced in the beginning of the film, when Erica was "partying" with several members of a local rock band. Franki, the lead singer, is trying to balance both his band's early success with his mother's cancer and having to work dead end jobs. Unfortunately, during this section of the film, Franki's life takes a huge turn for the worse when both his health and that of his mother's are severely threatened, and the character's meltdown leads to a series of tragic events. Franki's storyline is then tied back to that of Erica and Nate, and it's clear that, instead of a series of vignettes about characters who only meet peripherally, there is really just one story at play here.
To give much more away would be a crime, because one of the best things about the film is that it offers constant surprises. I will say that, despite (or maybe even because of) moments of tenderness and genuine human interaction, the film ends up a grim, grisly affair, albeit one that is well acted, written, and directed enough to make it worth a watch if you've got the stomach for such things. Fans of films like "No Country for Old Men" should check this one out.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Terrific revenge drama, though not for the squeamishJuly 7 2011
Andres C. Salama
- Published on Amazon.com
One of the best revenge dramas I have ever seen. Brutal and compelling and shot in the seedier parts of Austin, Texas by British director Simon Rumley on a very low budget, it's enhanced by the very fine cast (which includes some respected though not very famous actors, including Noah Taylor playing niftily against character). The movie is about essentially a love (or perhaps death) triangle: Nate, an Iraq war veteran in his thirties who looks edgy and might be somewhat disturbed and Franki, a drummer in an upcoming garage band are the men whose life is intersected through Erica, an attractive girl whose life is a mess working at odd jobs as well as the occasional gig as a prostitute. A sexually transmitted disease will unleash a terrible mayhem of death and revenge. I don't want to add more about the plot, but the results can be brutal in the extreme, even if the climactic act of violence is shot off camera. Starts somewhat slow, and it takes its time to develop its plot, but the third and final act will leave everyone speechless.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
In the Middle on This OneJune 20 2011
- Published on Amazon.com
Some people absolutely love this flick but I'm not one of them. As a matter of fact, given the average mediocre reviews from the Amazon users, (who tend to be a kind lot) I'm trying to remember what caused me to rent this in the first place.
Here's the scoop. Erica goes around sleeping with essentially everyone. She will do so 1 time only. No relationships, names or anything else that will put her closer than arms length to anyone. She gets a job at a home improvement store where she meets the Noah Taylor character Nate. Things do change a bit for her. Then an earlier character, Franki (a rock musician) re-emerges because she has made an indelible and long lasting impression on him and everything changes for everyone involved.
As this started out I liked it a lot. I liked the characters I was meeting. Amanda Fuller does a great job as Erica. She looks like a rough-edged Ellen Page. Noah Taylor has been good in everything I've seen him in and he's no less effective here. Something didn't work for me with Marc Senter's Franki though. I'm not certain what it was but he seemed "off." What put me off was the hairpin turn. This starts out as Erica's story. You meet her, see what she's about and you get a whiff of where things can and might go. Then the Franki character comes back into the picture and it turns into an entirely different movie. Then something happens at the very end that threw me for a loop. Either I wasn't paying attention or this thing flew in from left field. All I can say is it left me scratching my head.
This was shot on the cheap. No fancy anything here. Just writing and acting. The music was generally good but maybe a bit over-wrought at times. This isn't a bad movie by any means and it does have a lot going for it. But unless you're into indy-type dramas, you might want to give this a pass.