Killer Joe 77%, OGF less than half that?

Makes sense if we think about how people view violence these days. The movie is good as long as the violence is entertaining and gratuitous, but a movie is boring if the violence is placed within a serious context and is not meant for the amusement of the lowest common denominator.
Jason Marcel
07-22-2013 04:31 PM

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Alex Aston

Alex Aston

I'd disagree, it's not the violence on its own, it's the style, substance and pacing of the movie and how the violence mingles together with them. If a movie is well paced with lots of characterization, great dialogue and enough substance to carry a film's weight then it will probably be a good movie. However when a film is poorly paced and has no substance or story to justify its runtime then gore or no gore the movie well probably be poorly received. It's not rocket science, it's just that Killer Joe had more substance and characterization to it then OGF did.

Jul 22 - 04:50 PM

Jason Marcel

Jason Marcel

Killer Joe is a throwaway entertainment. There's no substance to it whatsoever. OGF is actually about something. It's about law and order according to an authoritarian police lieutenant; it's about repressed emotions; it's about Westerners trying to exploit the corruption of a foreign country and actually thinking they can beat the home team at their own game in their own country. The movie has no more dialogue than is necessary and explains itself in tableau with images, light, tone, and music. It's because this violence isn't "fun" that people don't like it, and also because audiences these days have to have everything explained to them like they're little children. The whole opening sequence at the gym explains everything with no dialogue. Most movies these days would have Julian explaining everything on the soundtrack: "That's my brother Billy. He's a freak. You don't wanna cross paths with him."

I argue that this movie is pretty tightly paced with wicked characterizations and is ALL substance.

I think it's pretty sad that people demand that violence be entertaining instead of thoughtful, like it is here, where it's totally consequential. OGF is of biblical proportions and is asking us to contemplate the natures of crime and punishment and justice.

Jul 22 - 05:53 PM

Keon Reza

Keon Reza

Not everyone can see that unfortunately Jason, because they're too used to watching films that think for them and give them all the answers through dialogue. Which is interesting to me because The Master was the same way as far as profoundness and obscurity goes, but critics still praised it.

Jul 22 - 06:00 PM

Alex Aston

Alex Aston

think it's a wild claim that OGF is "all substance" and I think allot of your claims about the theme's of the movie are things that Refn himself was pandering toward, but that were never really in the movie in the first place. Julian' character alone is nearly a blank slate; there is no depth or personality in the character or in his actions, he's not muli-layerd, relatable, or anything at all resembling a real human being. We have no idea in reality what kinds of people Julian or his brother are. All we know about Billy is that he wants to have sex/rape underaged girls, besides that his character is an empty shell. I have no problem with the idea of a protagonist being obligated to avenge a family member who's an asshole, but to create a character so shallow and underdeveloped that he's nothing but a plot device to initiate a story that could easily fit into a 10 page script is ridiculous. Trying to tell a story visually doesn't always work. Refn's script took away the characters from reality; it separated them from real world concerns and everything practical and secular for something far more spiritual and mystic. The ambiguity of real life is replaced by something that condescends a subtextual moral teaching that ignores the true depth of the human persona. Drive at least didn't preach a simplistic moral outlook to its audience; it examined the protagonist's outlook to the world around him (much like Taxi Driver). Trying to say that violence is simply bad or unpleasant takes away the true ambiguity of the act and replaces it with the directors moral biases.

This is my opinion of course, but I still firmly believe that OGF is not as deep, cerebral or as complex as your claiming it to be. For me this is Refn's first misfire since Fear X.

Jul 22 - 07:48 PM

Keon Reza

Keon Reza

Just because you failed to find depth in OGF doesn't mean it isn't there. An abundance of dialogue to hand feed you the narrative is one (conventional) way of making a movie, but telling a deeper story through haunting visual imagery and music is much more challenging and often misunderstood. Refn took a risk and strayed away from the usual formula, and in my opinion created a wonderful and unforgettable piece of cinema. But like I said before, to each his own Alex. Sorry you didn't enjoy it as much as I did.

Jul 22 - 08:16 PM

Sean Lester

Sean Lester

I thought Killer Joe was pretty great. I mean, it really played with your protagonist bias considering all of the characters were despicable. I will grant you that there isn't much depth there.

Jul 23 - 07:06 AM

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