Death Wish (Eli Roth, 2018)

Discuss films of the 21st century including current cinema, current filmmakers, and film festivals.
Post Reply
Message
Author
User avatar
Never Cursed
Such is life on board the Redoutable
Joined: Sun Aug 14, 2016 12:22 am

Death Wish (Eli Roth, 2018)

#1 Post by Never Cursed » Thu Aug 03, 2017 4:04 pm

Bruce Willis stars in Eli Roth's remake of Death Wish

User avatar
flyonthewall2983
Joined: Mon Jun 27, 2005 3:31 pm
Location: Indiana
Contact:

Re: Trailers for Upcoming Films

#2 Post by flyonthewall2983 » Thu Aug 03, 2017 4:15 pm

I've read that this is actually good, and that the studio was insistent on Willis not half-assing it this time. I'll withhold judgment until I see it, but it does make me wonder if that trailer is purely meant to attract the #MAGA types and isn't entirely reflective of the tone of the film.

User avatar
carmilla mircalla
Joined: Mon Jul 13, 2015 9:47 pm

Re: Trailers for Upcoming Films

#3 Post by carmilla mircalla » Thu Aug 03, 2017 4:42 pm

Death Wish aka Eli Roth's 3rd remake in a row.

User avatar
Never Cursed
Such is life on board the Redoutable
Joined: Sun Aug 14, 2016 12:22 am

Re: Trailers for Upcoming Films

#4 Post by Never Cursed » Thu Aug 03, 2017 4:47 pm

Perhaps I missed something when watching the trailer, but I don't really see what would attract the "#MAGA types" to this any more than any other action movie.

User avatar
Big Ben
Joined: Mon Feb 08, 2016 12:54 pm
Location: Great Falls, Montana

Re: Death Wish (Eli Roth, 2017)

#5 Post by Big Ben » Thu Aug 03, 2017 5:02 pm

Mungo wrote:Perhaps I missed something when watching the trailer, but I don't really see what would attract the "#MAGA types" to this any more than any other action movie.
Vigilantism has become associated with some conservative view points and has been that way for several decades. Pauline Kael accused Dirty Harry of being fascist for instance and this is why Magnum Force goes out of it's way to show Callahan isn't a vigilante.

As for the films themselves it's actually not a faithful adaptation of the source novel. Brian Garfield's original novel goes out of it's way to show how vigilantism is a bad thing. Death Wish in it's self become at least in my mind an exploitation vehicle once this distinction was removed.

Roth isn't exactly a subtle filmmaker which is why I cannot see this being a character study about man wronged by some bad people. And that's my personal concern here. I'm more than certain it'll a crude film about a man simply killing people he deems to be bad. And that's just awful in my opinion.

Oh and here's the kicker from a moral perspective. Spoilers!
SpoilerShow
Bronson's character and the one in the novel never even catch the people responsible for the original murder of his wife and rape of his daughter.

calculus entrophy
Joined: Sun Sep 21, 2014 11:32 am

Re: Death Wish (Eli Roth, 2017)

#6 Post by calculus entrophy » Thu Aug 03, 2017 5:03 pm

Can't vouch for the re-boot/make or the talent involved, but excluding MAGA, the current zeitgeist is in line with the original Death Wish pathos of integration with "other" (these criminals/invaders/foreigners/outsiders are an attack on the decent and pure American society).

User avatar
flyonthewall2983
Joined: Mon Jun 27, 2005 3:31 pm
Location: Indiana
Contact:

Re: Death Wish (Eli Roth, 2017)

#7 Post by flyonthewall2983 » Thu Aug 03, 2017 6:41 pm

Just realized Mancow is one of the radio guys. No sale.

User avatar
mfunk9786
Under Chris' Protection
Joined: Fri May 16, 2008 4:43 pm
Location: Philadelphia, PA

Re: Death Wish (Eli Roth, 2017)

#8 Post by mfunk9786 » Fri Aug 04, 2017 12:52 pm

I never understand why these films insist upon perpetuating the myth that police experience any sort of resistance when attempting to incarcerate as much of the urban black population as possible - but in recent years it's particularly strange, especially with Baltimore police planting evidence in the news, along with myriad high profile murders by police officers nationwide.
Mungo wrote:Perhaps I missed something when watching the trailer, but I don't really see what would attract the "#MAGA types" to this any more than any other action movie.
Are you sure you, uh... watched this trailer? This is a MAGA chud's wet dream

User avatar
The Elegant Dandy Fop
Joined: Thu Dec 09, 2004 3:25 am
Location: Los Angeles, CA

Re: Death Wish (Eli Roth, 2017)

#9 Post by The Elegant Dandy Fop » Fri Aug 04, 2017 1:52 pm

I'll be the first to admit that I love the post-Death Wish urban terror cinema of the 80s. Maybe because I grew up in a rough neighborhood myself (My old high school's tagged walls and gang symbols are featured perfectly in the film Crack House) and have a fond connection to these films as my father, a hard-line immigrant right-winger, loved to see criminals mowed down on screen. I have seen as much Charles Bronson as I can, and films like Kinjite: Forbidden Subjects, Murphy's Law, and Death Wish 3 feel like good palate cleansers once in a while. My own personal political ideology is far left, but I enjoy these types of films even if the politics are questionable, though they seem to maybe fit closer to Golan-Globus' fear of big city America and their love of exploiting that fear on camera. And the 80s, like today and forever, weren't exactly the best era for friendly politics with Reagan's "law and order" ethos and the new fears developing in the US, from the crack scare to Satanists running day cares.

That said, I do find it to be in bad taste that this takes place in Chicago, a city where the differences between the white and black population is so vastly different, from crime rates to quality of living. Remember that it was Chicago police themselves who were in a great scandal when their police officers were caught using "black sites" to essentially use nefarious ways of getting information from criminals. Eli Roth has never made a good movie and nuance, finesse, and political commentary is never his forte despite whatever he might say in interviews. In fact, I can't remember details, but I remember Sight and Sound's scathing review of the original Hostel points out all the inaccurate details of European culture and wrong languages being used as an example Roth's own ironic ignorance while trying to make a film about ignorant American tourists being brutally slaughtered. I get the impression this film will be too stupid to take a political stance either way and will probably disappear quickly off American screens after a couple weeks and a few articles on both sides of the political spectrum.

User avatar
Big Ben
Joined: Mon Feb 08, 2016 12:54 pm
Location: Great Falls, Montana

Re: Death Wish (Eli Roth, 2017)

#10 Post by Big Ben » Fri Aug 04, 2017 2:47 pm

I will also admit that despite being very liberal and finding the politics very questionable I do enjoy vigilante films in this sub-genre (I say this because I want to stress that there is a marked difference between Batman and Harry Callahan) significantly more than I should. But I also believe that they were best made in the past. You could not for instance get away with a remake of Dirty Harry today. It just wouldn't work. And I don't see Death Wish as any different. But for Eli Roth this is par the course so I don't see why people appear to be this shocked.

I do however think that subsequent generations can do these types of films with the idea of examining and deconstructing why they're no longer viable in many regards. But hey that'll never happen right?

User avatar
Finch
Joined: Mon Jul 07, 2008 5:09 pm
Location: Edinburgh, UK

Re: Death Wish (Eli Roth, 2017)

#11 Post by Finch » Fri Aug 04, 2017 3:59 pm

Why do so many trailers have to end with a joke punchline?

User avatar
flyonthewall2983
Joined: Mon Jun 27, 2005 3:31 pm
Location: Indiana
Contact:

Re: Death Wish (Eli Roth, 2017)

#12 Post by flyonthewall2983 » Fri Aug 04, 2017 4:35 pm

Big Ben wrote:I do however think that subsequent generations can do these types of films with the idea of examining and deconstructing why they're no longer viable in many regards. But hey that'll never happen right?
Christopher Nolan kind of did in the Batman movies, The Dark Knight especially. It's not given as deep a consideration as it could, but for a PG-13 tentpole movie, Aaron Eckhart's performance as Harvey Dent shows how it can be done.

User avatar
Big Ben
Joined: Mon Feb 08, 2016 12:54 pm
Location: Great Falls, Montana

Re: Death Wish (Eli Roth, 2017)

#13 Post by Big Ben » Fri Aug 04, 2017 5:56 pm

flyonthewall2983 wrote:
Big Ben wrote:I do however think that subsequent generations can do these types of films with the idea of examining and deconstructing why they're no longer viable in many regards. But hey that'll never happen right?
Christopher Nolan kind of did in the Batman movies, The Dark Knight especially. It's not given as deep a consideration as it could, but for a PG-13 tentpole movie, Aaron Eckhart's performance as Harvey Dent shows how it can be done.
Batman was actually the example I was thinking of when I was thinking of vigilante films that don't make me uncomfortable in the same way Death Wish does. I do consider it a considerable shame that many people focus on either Ledger's performance rather than the narrative as a whole which felt like a more realistic look at what someone, anyone would have to do to stop someone who actually was a threat to people at large. There is a difference between a perceived and legitimate threat. Vigilantes sometimes don't make that very distinct difference.

User avatar
dx23
Joined: Tue Nov 02, 2004 8:52 pm
Location: Puerto Rico

Re: Death Wish (Eli Roth, 2017)

#14 Post by dx23 » Fri Aug 04, 2017 9:45 pm

Big Ben wrote: I do however think that subsequent generations can do these types of films with the idea of examining and deconstructing why they're no longer viable in many regards. But hey that'll never happen right?
We'll see that in Death Wish IX
Image

User avatar
colinr0380
Joined: Mon Nov 08, 2004 4:30 pm
Location: Chapel-en-le-Frith, Derbyshire, UK

Re: Death Wish (Eli Roth, 2017)

#15 Post by colinr0380 » Sat Aug 05, 2017 5:55 am

The main thing I'm hoping for, maybe not this film but any sequel, is a plotline where Bruce Willis's character from this meets up with Jodie Foster's character from The Brave One and they either have a passionate affair or end up trying to kill each other off! (And I'm always curious to find out how any film in this area deals with what happens after the main character has gotten their revenge and have to find other secondarily sourced reasons for continuing their rampages. In that sense Memento is the best vigilante film of recent years!)

Beyond Death Wish's name recognition, the main film in this subgenre that any vigilante film has to match up to is William Lustig's Vigilante.

User avatar
McCrutchy
Joined: Mon Feb 25, 2008 4:57 am
Location: East Coast, USA

Re: Death Wish (Eli Roth, 2017)

#16 Post by McCrutchy » Fri Mar 02, 2018 1:37 am

I saw this tonight. It was expectantly okay. Not as good as the original film, and probably not as good as Death Wish II.

The main problem for me was the asinine social commentary from (apparently real) radio personalities, which continually ruined the fun of the rest of the film. The reason why the rest of the film is "fun", is simply because Willis doesn't work in the role of Paul Kersey. He seems to be giving about 50% here, which might be more than many of his recent films, but he is still far away from his 80s/90s heyday. In fact, several of the supporting characters, including Elisabeth Shue and Vincent D'Onofrio as Kersey's wife and brother, as well as Dean Norris as a police detective, are much better than Willis, while Willis is merely tolerable, and only improves in the brief sections when he's in all-action-no-lines vigilante-mode.

So, because of Willis' performance, the rest of the film essentially becomes a technically-sound, fun B-movie, except when the damn radio hosts show up and ruin the fun by trying to ground the film in reality. This was a really bad move by Roth, and most or all of these scenes (especially the ones with video footage, which is shot with shitty HD cameras as if they were live broadcasts) needed to end up on the cutting room floor.

Admittedly, though, Roth scores points with me by making good use of AC/DC's "Back in Black", which is in the film, and not just the trailer. I will probably get the BD (or UHD BD, if MGM do one, which isn't likely), because the film is pretty watchable, thanks to the supporting cast, and there are a handful of satisfyingly gory kills. But coming out of the theater, more than anything, I simply really wanted to watch the original film again.

One thing that could be interesting is to see how the film does in pro-dubbing countries like France and Germany. It could end up doing better abroad, if Willis' routine dubbing actors can give a better performance than Willis himself.

However, if you stick with the movie, there are several amusing points of interest:
SpoilerShow
1. While the radio hosts are obviously Roth's attempt at social commentary, most of the time, they are pro-Kersey, especially this guy Mancow, who is the typically loud/pushy white male radio personality. On another show, a black male host makes half-hearted attempts to say that violence is not the answer, but is routinely shouted down by other black people on the same show. This, along with Roth's decidedly playful use of Youtube-style vigilantism instruction videos and treatment of gun shops, makes the film come off as incredibly pro-vigilante and pro-guns. The film is definitely going to sit well with the gun lobby.

2. There is a scene with Willis and his wife's father, which takes a hard right turn that is completely nuts. Basically, they are driving away from the wife's funeral, but it ends up with the wife's father shooting a wounded deer dead, and going on about a man "want[ing] to protect what's his".

3. A handful of lines appear to have been very obviously looped in later. Oddly, these aren't politically-charged lines (so Roth seemingly didn't try to make it less pro-gun, despite having several extra months to do so), but the one that sticks out is Dean Norris' detective character, back turned to the camera, saying something about making sure their case is ironclad before they arrest a surgeon (i.e. Kersey).

4. Willis' daughter in the film is college bound...for NYU, and the University even let the character wear an NYU shirt. Also, the final scene of the film, which lasts a scant 2-3 minutes, is actually shot in New York on location outside a genuine NYU dormitory. Considering how the film is perceived to be a conservative wet dream, I'm pretty surprised NYU consented to all of this, especially for a film with only a moderate budget. I guess it was Roth's pull as an alumnus that got this in, but it's still amusing, because:

5. The film essentially ends with the rich white doctor and his (somehow fully healed) daughter "escaping" Chicago free of prosecution, for the safety of Greenwich Village. Surely this comes off as a big "fuck you" to Chicago if there ever was one, especially as there is every indication that Willis' Kersey could have stayed put, unlike Bronson's Kersey who was essentially forced out of Manhattan (and ironically, to Chicago) by the police in the 1974 film.

User avatar
flyonthewall2983
Joined: Mon Jun 27, 2005 3:31 pm
Location: Indiana
Contact:

Re: Death Wish (Eli Roth, 2017)

#17 Post by flyonthewall2983 » Sat Mar 03, 2018 12:05 pm

dx23 wrote:
Big Ben wrote: I do however think that subsequent generations can do these types of films with the idea of examining and deconstructing why they're no longer viable in many regards. But hey that'll never happen right?
We'll see that in Death Wish IX
Image
I should have ended an earlier comment with "no dice".

User avatar
Finch
Joined: Mon Jul 07, 2008 5:09 pm
Location: Edinburgh, UK

Re: Death Wish (Eli Roth, 2018)

#18 Post by Finch » Sat Mar 03, 2018 2:19 pm

Some of the reviews like Slant's make it sound like Willis isn't even trying anymore. So why not just retire or only commit to parts that actually make you want to be on a film set? As for the film itself, MGM could hardly have picked a worse time to release this in the wake of Parkland.

User avatar
Brian C
Joined: Wed Sep 16, 2009 11:58 am
Location: Chicago, IL

Re: Death Wish (Eli Roth, 2018)

#19 Post by Brian C » Sat Mar 03, 2018 2:24 pm

I haven’t seen this film and probably won’t, but it seems to me that Willis has only been sporadically trying throughout his entire career.

User avatar
knives
Joined: Sat Sep 06, 2008 6:49 pm

Re: Death Wish (Eli Roth, 2018)

#20 Post by knives » Sat Mar 03, 2018 9:08 pm

Based on the last few years (remember when Woody Allen fired him recently) of statements from him and colleagues he basically absolutely hates acting now, but loves money. He's basically been blacklisted though which is why he's done almost only direct to video stuff lately.

User avatar
Big Ben
Joined: Mon Feb 08, 2016 12:54 pm
Location: Great Falls, Montana

Re: Death Wish (Eli Roth, 2018)

#21 Post by Big Ben » Sat Mar 03, 2018 9:17 pm

He's doing Glass with Shyamalan currently so he's still doing more than direct to video stuff. I don't think he's necessarily a great filmmaker by himself but in comparison to Eli Roth Shymalan is a master. This film could not have come out at a worse time.

User avatar
flyonthewall2983
Joined: Mon Jun 27, 2005 3:31 pm
Location: Indiana
Contact:

Re: Death Wish (Eli Roth, 2018)

#22 Post by flyonthewall2983 » Sat Mar 03, 2018 9:58 pm

I wouldn't be surprised if he winds up back on television. Eventually that direct-to-video market will dry up for him, and perhaps he'll get nostalgic for the kind of schedule he had on Moonlighting.
Big Ben wrote:This film could not have come out at a worse time.
It makes the distributors look like jack-asses now, for having pulled it in October after Las Vegas but letting it out now, especially when the top movie is attracting an almost completely different audience to yours.

User avatar
McCrutchy
Joined: Mon Feb 25, 2008 4:57 am
Location: East Coast, USA

Re: Death Wish (Eli Roth, 2018)

#23 Post by McCrutchy » Thu Mar 29, 2018 8:16 am

In a pretty surprising development, a UHD BD is potentially happening (no doubt partially thanks to Fox), making this I believe only the second MGM film to get a release on the format after Creed (which was handled by WB), and the first MGM (or Fox) UHD BD not handled by them in multiple international territories:

EDIT: I guess I forgot the remake of The Magnificent Seven, which was distributed worldwide by Sony.

Image

Post Reply