Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Green Room (Blu-ray Review) - The Room that Will NOT Calm You Down

You're gonna need a masseuse after this one. Green Room from A24 and hitting July 12th on Blu-ray from Lionsgate had some of the best word of mouth promotion I've seen in an indie picture. When it hit in a limited theatrical run, it was the only movie being talked about on social media. It was not a Horror picture mind you, but the Horror people were singing its praises. It was something altogether different involving a punk band starring Anton Yelchin and Patrick Stewart and was gritty violent. That's all most of us knew. While I probably had at least a shot at checking it out in its limited theatrical release, I never made it out to see the movie. Instead I betrayed my physical media, theatrical presentation loving self and cried for a VOD release. It never came. I suppose that's just poetic given my previous trashing of the On-Demand model. Have kids and get sick and you'll want convenience to be sure. 

My first inclination was to check out the trailer which I promptly stopped myself from doing. Once you realize you're going to see a movie, seeing the trailer or even reading about a movie becomes a tease and a potential to over hype or set an expectation that could skew the final opinion on the overall picture. I waited. We waited. I refused to watch the trailer, but it wasn't exactly easy to do. The mention of this movie, its street date or even the suggestion that it had a tremendous soundtrack gave way to furious positive ranting by those lucky enough to check it out. I waited for the picture to be spoiled, and fortunately no one spoiled it for me. That leads us to tonight when I had the chance to check out the new Blu-ray before it streets. 

I expected a good movie. I did not expect to feel like someone stuck spike up my spine and a cross bar through my shoulder blades. That's one tense picture with pretty much everything going for it. For you punkers out there, it has some good tunes a t-shirts. You may never quite appreciate "Nazi Punks Fuck Off'" the same way again. You'll wear your Minor Threat tee with pride while watching this one. The live performances in the movie from the fictitious, featured band is enjoyable. Them music is half of what works for that band; the actors from band to skinheads from Yelchin to Stewart and to those you don't know will overpower you. Saulnier got the performances he wanted, and it shows. You almost feel like you're watching a documentary expose on the white power movement until the violence begins and wakes you right up. 

The tension. I've mentioned it a couple of times, but I assure you it builds and builds and builds. It does not stop building. In some ways Green Room almost takes on characteristics of a rape/revenge picture though I assure you that there's no rape. The formula for the most successful rape/revenge typically finds a complete evil action met on repeat until the point of madness followed by an equal to or more appropriately, great than response from the victim. I won't go into details, but you'll find that there's more in common with the gritty grinders of the late 70's and early 80's than with any modern day genre picture. 

It's a beautiful looking picture that looks just perfect on Blu-ray. It's a modern movie, so I really had little doubt that it wouldn't look great. The Blu-ray comes with a Digital HD code if you're into that sort of thing. The disc also contains a making of featurette called Into the Pit as well as a commentary track with writer/director Jeremy Saulnier.

You can pick up Green Room from DiabolikDVD now. Make sure to order from those fellas. 

This is a movie you will recommend to other people. You'll be glad you had a chance to see it, but you may even regret watching it do to the extremely violent nature of the picture. This isn't Horror/Gore violence, but really real world violence that permeates your thoughts. Stuff that can actually happen. While the movie does focus in on the white power movement, there's actually a relatively low occurrence of racist action or remark. Plenty of imagery associated with that movement, but the story was kept in perspective and the gratuity of hate speech was left out. That doesn't change the fact that the villain created by these kind of groups appearing on film are the most hated, the most despised. You can clearly root for our punk band in trouble. See what happens. Did you like the stark raving reality of Blue Ruin? The character development in Blue Ruin? That was Jeremy Saulnier wowing you. It's not as fun as Murder Party, but it has that pictures violent tendencies. Check out Green Room. Horror fan or not. 

From Lionsgate:

Spike your hair, throw on your combat boots, and get ready to dive into the mosh pit when the brilliantly crafted thriller Green Room hits Blu-ray (plus Digital HD) and DVD (plus Digital) July 12 from Lionsgate. Theatrically released by A24, and written and directed by Jeremy Saulnier (who achieved critical success with Blue Ruin), Green Room is a film that critics are calling “the best screw-tightening siege movie of the year” (Rolling Stone). Rotten Tomatoes Certified Fresh, the award-winning film stars Golden Globe® nominee Patrick Stewart (X-Men: Days of Future Past) in a role ”that’s as cool as it is evil” (Bloody Disgusting) and will haunt audiences well past the closing credits. The “delightfully nasty horror chiller” (Chicago Sun-Times) also stars Anton Yelchin (Star Trek Beyond), Imogen Poots (Fright Night), Alia Shawkat (The Final Girls), Joe Cole (Secret in Their Eyes), and Callum Turner (Queen & Country).

After witnessing a shocking crime, a young rock band is unexpectedly thrust into a life-or-death battle to escape the clutches of a diabolical club owner (Stewart) and his ruthless henchmen in this white-knuckle thriller. 

Note: The recent passing of Anton Yelchin in an accident heartbreaking especially after watching this talented young fella create this powerful character. I loved him in Huff. I'll miss him. We always joked that he was a weird guy, but that we love that weird guy.

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