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MORIARTY Wrestles With SERIES 7 And BATTLE ROYALE!! Two Films Enter!! One Film Leaves!!

Published at: Feb. 26, 2001, 8:33 a.m. CST by staff

Hey, everyone. "Moriarty" here with some Rumblings From The Lab.

Sometimes it takes longer to write a review than normal. It's not so much a case of writer's block as it is a case of trying to figure out the way into talking about a film. In this case, there's two movies that I saw in a recent week, and there's really no way for me to talk about one without also talking about the other. SERIES 7: THE CONTENDERS is a film I almost saw at Sundance, a film that will open in limited release this coming Friday. BATTLE ROYALE is a film that I had to go to great lengths to see, one that isn't playing America anytime soon. These films are going to get compared quite a bit this year, and it's apt in some surface ways. It's a shame overall, though, since it's going to give the undeserving picture far too much publicity, and it's going to cheapen the other film by association. Still, when you see one less than five days after you see the other, they butt up against each other and you end up with all sorts of interesting echoes.

Since it's never as much fun to shred a film as it is to praise one (for me, anyway; Talk Backers seem to think of it as sport), I'll start with the film I hated. And, no, I'm not exaggerating. I hated SERIES 7. I think it's a moronic little movie that wants desperately to be clever, and I think it would take a real moron to laugh out loud at even a single one of these thuddingly obvious jokes or these painfully drawn characters. Daniel Minahan is the writer/director of the film, and his only other film credit before this was as a co-writer of I SHOT ANDY WARHOL. I may not love that film, but it's a towering work of art compared to this effort. I can't believe this is another one of these films that made its way through both the Sundance Writers Workshop and the Directors Workshop. If this is the end result of all that "help," then maybe there's something wrong with the system. I don't blame Killer Films, the company that produced the film. Their line-up of stuff right now includes the new Todd Solondz picture, Rose Troche's new film. the exquisite HEDWIG & THE ANGRY INCH, Mark Romanek's ONE HOUR PHOTO... these are films I'm dying to see or, in the case of Hedwig, that I'm already blown away by. They made HAPPINESS, BOYS DON'T CRY, and VELVET GOLDMINE. This is a company founded off movies like Todd Hayne's SAFE. This is a company about strong, original visions, and I guess I hoped this would be the same thing. This certainly isn't fresh or innovative material, no matter how Minahan has dressed it up. The film is four "episodes," strung together in marathon fashion, of the television reality show THE CONTENDERS. The show is made up of strangers, randomly selected and pressed into service as contestents, who are armed and told to go hunt down a group of other citizens. That's it. That's pretty much as deep as the satire in the film ever gets. It's like reality shows now, see, but it's bad, and it's bad cause they kill people.

*Sigh*

I really wanted this one to work when I walked into the theater. I wanted it to deliver a really savage riff on what we're watching these days. I recently read a story he wrote for BRILL'S CONTENT, one of my favorite magazines. In that article, he sounded like someone who would be able to take his experience as both a watcher and a producer of non-fiction or "reality" TV and turn it into potent satire. Unfortunately, Minahan seems to have made the same mistake that so many filmmakers fall into these days. They think that "satire" and "comedy" are the same thing, and they're not. I've always thought that the most important satire, the best and most lasting stuff, is the material that hurts, that leaves a scar. That means sacrificing the joke most of the time, and Minahan seems like he's trapped here between something that's totally artificial, totally farcial, and something that's supposed to be real and play like a documentary. As a result, the whole thing falls flat. Also, truth be told, it's hard to do a satire when you're not as skilled at your craft as the people you're ripping are at theirs. I'm an unabashed fan of the seemingly-eternal COPS on Fox, and I think the material shown is almost always cut with real intelligence. Love it or hate it, the first season of SURVIVOR was a masterpiece of audience manipulation, and even such lesser efforts as TEMPTATION ISLAND or the long-running THE REAL WORLD have an undeniable pull. Minahan, who played up his background with Fox News Channel, claims that he watched hundreds of hours of reality programming as he geared up to make this film, that he became fluent in the language of these shows, but that seems impossible. He doesn't understand the rhythms of the stuff or the reasons we keep watching. I used to work as a closed-captioner, and I spent endless hours putting captions on shows like AMERICA'S MOST AMAZING FLAMING CAR DEATHS and CAUGHT ON THE JOB: GROSS PEOPLE, GROSS FOOTAGE III, and I can say with certainty that there is a particular aesthetic to it all, and Minahan missed the target. He keeps veering away from the realiy he's created and doing things that are blatantly staged, obvious fiction. He spends so much time trying to spice things up by adding all sorts of bumpers and commercial intros and outros and title sequences, and all of it is just padding. He also cheats the ending of the film to such an overwhelming degree that even if I had been invested in what was happening, I would have been forced to turn my back on the movie at that point. Basically, right at the climax of the film, he has the principal actors vanish and he goes to a "dramatic recreation" starring no one we've seen before. Whatever happens, we don't care. The characters we were watching were phony, but taking them out of the ending completely guarantees that there's no chance we'll feel anything about what we see. There are any number of structural flaws to the film, but one of the most basic is that there's no mythology. There's no explanation as to why anyone would agree to be one of the Contenders on the show. Do they have a choice? There's no reason to think they couldn't just say, "No, thanks, not really my cup of tea," and hand back the gun when they're chosen. If Minahan has some explanation for why they're compelled to participate, he should have put it in the film. This world never convinces us because there are no details. It's exactly like America as it is right now, today, except for some reason, we're killing people on TV. If I'm going to accept this reality, even if it's just for the 90 minutes I'm in the theater, then there have to be rules. There has to be a reason for what we're watching.

Another big problem is that the actors in the film are, with one exception, totally unappealing. These aren't people who would keep me tuned in from week to week, even if they were armed and dangerous. There's Tony (Michael Kaycheck), the twitchy guy. He's married, and he seems to have a pretty crappy life. We know this because everyone in every scene involving Tony seems to be yelling. And he does coke. That's pretty much it. Each of these characters is etched in with minimum effort, and they don't change or react in any specific ways or do much of anything. There's Connie (Marylouise Burke), an older nurse who hints at a history of euthenasia in her monologues. Franklin (Richard Venture) is... well... an old guy. The press notes describe him as a "conspiracy theorist," but that's cheating. There's one line of dialogue that sort of alludes to him believing that the show is rigged, but it's in the middle of something else, and it's certainly not a defining characteristic. Maybe if Minahan had actually written these characters to match the descriptions in the press notes, the film would have been more interesting. Of course, we'd still be stuck with Jeff (Glenn Fitzgerald), "an artist and pacifist who is dying of testicular cancer." The actor's done good work before in films like MANNY & LO and FLIRTING WITH DISASTER, so I'm going to say that this isn't all his fault. Still, from the moment this character shows up onscreen with his shaved head and his sunken eyes and his over-the-top martyr routine, I was ready for them to kill him off and spare us. Of course, he turns out to be one of the two major characters in the film, so Minahan has taken the least appealing people and made sure they're the ones we get to spend the most time with. The other is Dawn (Brooke Smith), the show's returning champion. You've seen Brooke before in SILENCE OF THE LAMBS as the Senator's daughter, the one that Buffallo Bill keeps in the pit, and I'm personally a big fan of her work in VANYA ON 42ND STREET, where the quiet power of her performance pretty much steals it out from under everyone else. Here, though, she rubs me the wrong way from the moment she shows up in the film's opening frames. I never buy her as a mother doing all of this in the name of her unborn baby. James Cameron has always been great at getting to the maternal heart of the rage of his female leads in films like ALIENS and TERMINATOR 2, and since Minahan is playing Dawn as an action lead, the comparison would seem apt. Dawn is never defined enough to register as any sort of archetype, though, or as a character who exists as more than a few rough ideas. She has family problems because of a secret (a secret you'll guess two minutes into the film, I'll bet) that binds her to Jeff.

The one exception I mentioned earlier is Lindsay (Merritt Wever), an 18 year old girl whose parents push her to excel in the game. The parents are cartoons, played too broad, too disconnected from what's happening. They're not remotely scared for their little girl as she charges into battle. There's almost something to the idea of this little virgin, this little cheerleader, who realizes after almost dying during the game, that she hasn't lived at all and that she wants to have some experience. There's one scene where we see Lindsay has changed, that she's taken her boyfriend to bed finally, but it's glossed over, rushed. Wever does more with how she plays things than any of the other actors, and she almost makes up for the poor scripting.

I'm surprised that the film looks as shoddy as it does, too. Randy Drummond, the film's director of photography, would seem like the perfect guy to make this film. He's been a cameraman for AMERICA'S MOST WANTED, and he was the D.P. for WELCOME TO THE DOLLHOUSE, a great indie. I thought he would merge those two sensibilites and come up with something worthwhile. Instead, it's visually uninteresting, even ugly, and after a while, it becomes as repetitious in its heavy handed attempts at satire as STARSHIP TROOPERS with its tiresome "Do you want to know more?" motif. If there's one word that sums SERIES 7 up, it's "obvious," and that's a shame. There's a lot to be said about our obssession with these types of shows, with this type of imagery, and other filmmakers have gotten closer to the subject before. REAL LIFE, even though it's basically a comedy, gets closer to defining just how blurred that reality/fiction line can be in this type of programming. Hell, Paddy Cheyefsky's still-brilliant NETWORK does a better job of skewering our bizarre relationship with the idiot box than this jumbled knot of missed opportunites ever manages to do.

When I think that SERIES 7 is about to actually get a release in this country, it makes me sad. It makes me sad because BATTLE ROYALE is still without a distributor here, and at the moment, that situation doesn't appear to be changing. There was a special screening of this film held recently at the Egyptian Theater in Hollywood, but it was held on the day that John Robie and I arrived at Sundance, meaning we missed it. After hearing Knowles rant and rave about the damn thing, I decided I had to see it. I hauled out the Time Machine, dreading the trip, and went forward in time to the end of this year. I was so startled to see that the film still wasn't available, still hadn't been picked up, that I wasted what time I had there and didn't pick something else to see instead. I decided that my one sure bet was to go back to the night of the Egyptian screening, and I decided to take Robie with me just to guarantee as sizeable a paradox as possible.

Director Kinji Fukasaku isn't someone I'm terribly familiar with. I've seen his SF films MESSAGE FROM SPACE and THE GREEN SLIME when I was younger, and I enjoyed them both as cheese. I have a friend who swears to me that BLACK LIZARD, a 1968 comedy about a cunning female jewel thief played by a transvestite actor, is either brilliant or completely retarded, and he's not sure which. I don't know if he's ever had a script like Kenta Fukasaku's adaptation of Koshun Takami's novel before, though, and so it's hard to say if this is a one-time-only thing for this guy, or if this film, sure to be infamous anywhere it's released, actually has a shot at bringing him to an international acclaim he's never known before. To my eyes, this is the work of a mature and intelligent filmmaker, someone who knows how to make sort of potentially exploitative material pay off in rich and unexpected ways. This is the film that Paul Verhoeven's been trying to make for the last fifteen years. By using the backdrop of modern Japan and making the Battle Royale a direct reaction to what's going on in the schools of the country right now, Fukasaku makes his satire specific. The film's got real teeth, and it lets you know right from the start not to underestimate it. We meet the survivor of the Battle that's just ending, a sweet-faced little Japanese girl in her school uniform, spattered in blood, who can't stop smiling. It's a horrific first scene, and as soon as we're hit in the face with it, Fukasaku takes the energy way down, letting it build slowly. We're introduced to Class B, an entire class out on a school trip. We get to see these kids and the way they all relate, and we're given a solid portrait of who they are. We're dealing with 42 students, and somehow they're given more individual, indentifiable personalities in the first 20 minutes of this movie than anyone in SERIES 7 achieves in the whole film.

It's a shame that so much will be written about the actual nature of the Battle Royale, since the way the film is structured, the reveal is beautiful. Takeshi Kitano shows up as "Kitano," the teacher of Class B. He's the one who's fed up with these students not showing up for school. He's sick of not being respected. He's sick of talking and not being heard. As he explains the rules of Battle Royale, he seems to be genuinely enjoying himself. He relishes the reaction of the kids as they realize that they are all equipped with explosive collars that will blow their heads off if they try to escape. He delights in telling them that if they don't have a winner, one final survivor, after three days, their heads will be blown off. And when he has to kill a couple of the kids to convince the others that this is for real, he does so without regret or hesitation. The stakes are very high from the moment this game begins, and as the film plays out, there's a great deal of sadness to it. Some of the players adapt quite readily to this new way of dealing with their peers, while others seem defeated from the start.

Both films suffer from the identical flaw concerning the third act. In both movies, we're treated to the "last" of these contests as two contestants dare to stand up and fight the system, change the rules. This is the most Hollywood choice possible when telling this kind of a story, and it threatens to turn both films into more pretentious versions of THE RUNNING MAN. Only one of the films manages to overcome the obviousness of the device, with BATTLE ROYALE pushing the idea further, turning into almost a TRUMAN SHOW-like moment of delivery for the winning contestants.

It bothers me deeply that BATTLE ROYALE isn't currently slated for release here. As I was watching it, several of my friends kept commenting, "This can never come out here," but I disagree. Fukasaku has already created a special version of the film to avoid the R-15 rating in Japan. He wanted younger viewers to be able to see the film, and I thought he was already fairly responsible about how he portrayed certain things in the film. If he's actually gone the extra mile to make another cut of the film, I'd say he's doing everything the MPAA could reasonable expect him to do. I don't believe there's such a thing as a subject that is too difficult for American viewers. Yes, it's going to be controversial to release a film like this in the shadow of Columbine, but that's good. The film is about something, and the idea that it might open up a national dialogue on these subjects is exciting. When you're young, it must seem like adults are crazy, like they rule the world, and like they're all out to destroy youth. And as I get older, I find that I am more and more mystified by the very young, by the things that motivate them. I find I have nothing in common with the kids of right now, and that is inexplicable to me. BATTLE ROYALE plays off of those differences, and it's a film that is both artistic and exhilarating, wicked fun that somehow manages to have a lot on its mind.

In the end, it's timing, more than anything, that unites these two movies. There's almost nothing that they have in common aesthetically. BATTLE ROYALE is shot in lush color, framed in widescreen, and feels like a movie. SERIES 7 tries for a documentary look and manages to just come off as muddy, uninteresting. The kids of BATTLE ROYALE are distressingly young, and using such youthful actors gives the film a sense of great reality, even though it's the more conventional "movie" of the two. SERIES 7 feels like an improv class that's been told a basic premise and set free, only to learn that they don't really have anything to say about this subject. I can't recommend strongly enough that film fans around the world demand that they be able to see BATTLE ROYALE locally, uncut, no matter where they are. Even if the film does start to run out of steam in its last half-hour, it's unforgettable until then, and it's worth whatever hassle it takes to get it released.

I think Robie's finally got our EVOLUTION set pictures ready, so I'll be bringing you that story this week, as well as looks at David Cronenberg's new film and a fistful of new scripts so hot I don't even have fingerprints left, just from turning the pages while I read. Until then...

"Moriarty" out.





Readers Talkback

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  • Feb. 26, 2001, 8:38 a.m. CST

    wow and first?

    by Germster

    Wow, rip up Series 7 huh? Maybe i wont go see it this weekened then...it looks so good though, well ya gotta trust Moriarty

  • Feb. 26, 2001, 8:49 a.m. CST

    firrrrrst (maybe)

    by fear of a ted

    Hey Moriarty- how about a little synopsis of the movie before you launch into your tirade about it?

  • Feb. 26, 2001, 8:54 a.m. CST

    Moriarty has finally lost it

    by Boston Brand

    Considering how on-target Moriarty usually is, I can't believe how much I disagree with him about SERIES 7. We clearly saw the same movie, except that everything he dislikes, I love -- the performances (particularly the amazing Brooke Smith), the cinematography, the lack of tedious explanations to set up the world, the house-of-mirrors ending. All the things Moriarty slams SERIES 7 for not being -- a stinging satire that hurts, a devastating critique of reality television, a story that works on its own terms -- are the things I think it triumphantly achieves. It's possible I was just in a receptive mood when I saw it, or that Moriarty was just in a bad one ... but either way, the AICN community should be aware that this movie has passionate fans as well as detractors.

  • Feb. 26, 2001, 11:53 a.m. CST

    did we see the same film?

    by auteurboy

    i saw the film too & don't agree with moriarty's analysis. first of all, i'm suspicious of any one who is a true reality tv fan. but that being said, i think viewing series 7 as a direct take off of this current batch of reality shows is wrong. minahan wrote this several years ago before all of the current madness went into vogue. i think it intentionally creates an alternate universe where the questions are left unanswered & clearly something disturbing happened in american society to allow such a show. and in the film, the characters clearly state that they don't have a choice. we make our own inferences. i can't believe you're ragging on starship troopers which is pretty stunning satire in my opinion. anyway, if you're searching for more belly laughs - i recommend looking at the web site for series 7 which has some hysterical clips in the "training manual" section that aren't in the film featuring two characters that seem to be invented just for the site. series7movie.com i also am fond of the body part game.

  • Feb. 26, 2001, 12:07 p.m. CST

    Oh Moriarity.....

    by True Jew

    Series 7 is a laugh, a guffaw, a dark satire with some very funny moments. What about when the Lindsey the 17 year old girl thanks her boyfriend for the bulletproof vest and explains how much it shows his love for her, or her parents cheering her on....what are you going to do? Kill that motther.....go,go,go,go. Maybe your funny bone was a little sore they day you saw the film? thumbs up.

  • Feb. 26, 2001, 1:31 p.m. CST

    woah nellie!

    by trout

    Without coming out swinging and saying Series 7 was the Godfather, I do think we need to remind ourselves what we're dealing with: A dark spoof! Isn't the use of satire an effort to slap everyone in the face? Some see twisted humor as "art" and in a strange way, it almost evades issues of criticism. It is about opinion and throwing a punch. Really, It's a pretty unconventional movie. I think it will be greatly applauded from a "cult-like" angle and that's not necessarily the kiss of death. Oh, might I add: Trust me I don't spend all day watching Pink Flamingos. Per the comment of Hedwig - I couldn't agree with you more. Love it before it's even out (pun intended). Opinions are delicious, Moriarty, keep 'em comin. But like ****oles, everybody's got one. :)

  • I want to say just one thing about BATTLE ROYALE...I haven't seen this movie, and with American Distributors the way they are, there is a good chance I never will. But NEVER has my jaw dropped to the floor simply from reading a SYNOPSIS of a movie before. This movie, if I ever get to see it, will either leave me in artistic rapture or disgust, but it will definitely leave me enraged at society as it is. What I find most disgusting about the whole thing is that some studio head somewhere is going to say that it can't release the film because it shows kids killing each other with GUNS. Just wait, one of them will (and if I ever see that man, I am going to fight him). Never mind that these are the same studios that market movies like THE MATRIX at teens (and younger), in which cops are brutally mowed down with guns because, and I love this excuse, "they're not real anyway." (note, I personally LOVE that movie, but I would NEVER let my child see it until that child was an ADULT. There, my friends, lies the fine line between freedom and responsibility, and if you are one of these parents, YOU DO NOT DESERVE TO RAISE CHILDREN, YOU ARE UNFIT). However, I get the feeling from the reviews I've read of BATTLE ROYALE that the film is decidedly ANTI-violence, and ANTI-gun. Which is EXACTLY why it needs to be seen. Whether it is championed or vilified is irrelevant, whether it makes money or not is beside the point, whether it angers people is EXACTLY the point. Thank you Mori for the best review I have read on this site in a year, you know this to be true because how often do I show up in the Talkbacks anymore anyway?

  • Feb. 26, 2001, 3:25 p.m. CST

    The Green Slime is the greatest film ever made!!!

    by xavier masterson

    I used to watch it when I was a kid and still can't get that gloriously bad theme song out of my head. To think that the guy who directed it is the same man responsible for making a movie that spawns this much discussion hurts my head.

  • Feb. 26, 2001, 5:51 p.m. CST

    The American Public is not...

    by Wee Willie

    sophisticate nor intelligent enough to take a film like Battle Royale. I can already imagine the public outcry, the pointless rhetoric that will fly over the airwaves, the solemn, pompous speeches by members of the press, the hammering of shoes on desks in congress. All of which will not be about the film itself, no, all of this noise and fury will be about the "CORRUPTING INFLUENCE" of the media. You yanks have an amazing capability to miss the point. Is it your sub-par school systems? Or is it the fact that your shameless pursuit of material wealth has bludgeoned you into a stupor from which you cannot discern any meaning unless it's encapsulated in a five second sound byte? Oh well, those of you that have a few remaining brain cells that haven't been dulled by the collective assault of television, advertising, pornography, and NRA infomercials will be able to buy the damn thing on Amazon dot com for fifty bucks US in a few months. Tough break, kids.

  • Feb. 26, 2001, 9:27 p.m. CST

    fucking parochial, ignorant bastards

    by kojiro

    No, not any of you (not in this tb at least), but rather all those fucks trying to censor violent material. Perhaps some background will help. At the age of 6 my favorite movie was Red Dawn. At the age of 9 I was reading a series of books by Vietnam war vets in which mutialtions, castrations, torture, and whoring were described in detail (given to me by a friend of my father who was himself a med evac pilot twice shot down). I have a black belt in Tae Kwon Do and am learning Judo and Aikido. My foremost desire in life is to become a US Army Ranger. Acording to the judgements of those who wish to censor the materials in question, I should be a danger to society. Yet I abhor unnecessary violence. The last time I struck someone else in anger was in elementary school. Since then I have not been lacking in situations which could have ended in a fight. Each time I either talked my way out of the situation or swallowed my pride and walked away. I could have killed a couple of people who thereatened to do the same to me, had the rifle in my room to do it with. Is there any question why I wasn't in any danger of doing so? There shouldn't be. Despite the violent media I entertained myself with at a young age I myself am not violent because my parents instilled in me a sense of empathy and a rational decision making processes. And trust me on this folks, it doesn't really take much effort for parents to do so.

  • Really, who really cares about these shitty ideas for films? Why waste words trying to review them? They suck shit. Ohh, lets go see that film 'cause children kill themselves. Big deal. It pales to the reality of our daily lives. Reality based movies with scenarios are not stories, they are gimmicks created just so some brain-damaged fuckwads (like Harry) can get their jollies by watching that sort of shit. They are not even reality based. They are a made-up fantasies masquerading as a narrative. Look! I've wasted my time even bothering! If people go to see this shit, more of it will be made. Heed my words people. Art not shit.

  • Admit it, people are twisted. Americans are twisted. 10% of the population are most likely serial rapists and murderers. Don't tell me that violent films have no effect on the youth of today. You are an ignorant spaz if you can say that. Basically we are animals. Some such thing let us know that perhaps we have a soul. Some people are sheep and believe that and stick to their evil ways. Some, on the other hand live day by day, looking for fresh meat. However, there are a few people born without a conscience. They are scattered here and there to thin the herd out. These are the hidden Hannibal Lechters slinking about in the dark, hunting. These fuckers learned at a young age with television, then small birds, then the neigbor's pet parakeet, that it is fun to kill and skin stuff. Some may even find that necrophilia is fun, or interbreeding is okay, or that its okay to be aa satanist. Organized religion and alcohol are probably the worst things ever known to mankind. I know this is hard to beleive, but look it up: 80 percent of the people that murder, rape, and rob, have been found to have some level of fetal alcohol syndrome. I fucking kid you not. Get rid of booze, get rid of most violent crime.

  • Feb. 27, 2001, 9:49 a.m. CST

    Series 7 :The Craptender

    by Black Francis

    I can't beleive that some people out there are rooting for Series 7 and think that it is a good flick. I guess, it is the opinion of these people that, if it's indie, it must be good. When I saw this movie about 4 months ago at a screening, no one I was w/could find anything remotely good to say about it aside from the 18 year old was hot. I was just another lame attempt to be witty and 'groundbreaking.' Whatever. As much as all of those reality shows suck, I would rather watch a Puck, Kimmi, that black guy from Big Brother and all of the Temp Isle people hanging around watching tv in their boxers that sit through that again.

  • Feb. 28, 2001, 5:30 p.m. CST

    I'll move to canada....................

    by joshBuffalo

    kojiro, be cool man. Wee Willie, all of the above, from what I've heard 20% of Texas high school students don't know what country is directly south of them. Does that give you a clue of how fucked up my "education" system is? Were reading The Grapes of Wrath this semester. It's an excellent book, but I'm 75 pages ahead of everyone else. Why? My guess is that they are just following along with the guy on the tape. Your trying to tell me how fucked up my "education" system is? I have first-hand experiance.

  • Feb. 28, 2001, 8:57 p.m. CST

    Flame ME!

    by Emmit Devay

    You know, after seeing the trailer for this, and reading all of the reviews and what not, this seems to me to be just a violence for the sake of violence. I am not saying do not make this kind of movie. I just think that, for me, it is a bit excessive. The trailer looked like the Lord of the Flies on crack and meth. I just think that it is pretty dang silly to make something like this. Just because you can do something does not necessarily mean that you should.

  • Feb. 28, 2001, 10:23 p.m. CST

    Hate to say this but...

    by Shaft9876

    With regards to all this nihilistic crap that gets passed off as art (and the people who support it)- There's nothing wrong with society. There's something wrong with YOU. Deal with your own fucking problems and don't try to pawn them off on everyone else by calling them "art". I'm speaking to whoever the fuck it applies to. Stop sucking your thumb and DEAL. You want to make the world a better place? That's easy- shut the fuck up. I'm serious, just try it, you'll be amazed.

  • March 2, 2001, 7:45 a.m. CST

    Ya! You Tell 'em Shaft!!!!

    by Maynard

  • June 17, 2001, 10:13 p.m. CST

    Battle Royale

    by Theora J.

    This was a really sweet movie, quite silly in parts, and the violence was not that bloody. Graphic on occasion, but it wasn't any worse than any splatter movie to come out yet in the US. I don't even think it's that horrifying. You had all of these strange dying declarations and admissions of true feelings like in "The Breakfast Club" or something. It was a good satire for those with sufficient intellect, and the typical splatter-fanboy Fangoria droolers will enjoy realistic effects. A date movie for the 90's!

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