In theaters Friday: The Cabin in the Woods, Lockout, The Three Stooges
New on Blu-ray/DVD: The Darkest Hour, The Iron Lady, Tyrannosaur
“I believe in the god of carnage,” Christoph Waltz announces to his hosts before things plummet into truly savage bickering in Roman Polanski's new drama Carnage, out now on DVD and Blu-ray.
Based on Yasmina Reza's hit stage play God of Carnage, this film is a lean, mean look at what can happen when two strong-willed couples crash head first at the four-way intersection of disparate ideologies, proud-chested parental protectionism, a vintage bottle of scotch and a day-old cobbler.
The film starts with an isolated act of after-school violence when an 11-year-old smacks a classmate across the face with a stick. The blow cuts the boy, knocks out a tooth and pushes a second tooth to the edge of extinction. It also sparks a face-to-face meeting between the parents of the victim and those of the offender.
The inciting incident is only the beginning of the film's violence. Though largely verbal, the sparing that takes place among the parents in the course of the movie's 80 minutes is no less aggressive and devastating than the punches that land on cratered jaw lines in a Rocky movie.
Pushing for a quick resolution to this conflict the most is Jodie Foster, whose bleeding heart mother is tortured by the weight of her own over-involvement. Her husband, John C. Reilly, plays the amiable peacemaker, the all-smiling relativist to her arch self-righteousness—until he finally loses his temper. The houseguests are Waltz, a work-a-holic attorney whose face is plastered with a constantly condescending “I don't have time for this petty stuff” look. Playing his wife is Kate Winslet. Her role is the least defined, but that makes her twists and turns all the more interesting. We never know where her next thought or line of attack is coming from.
Fans of Mike Nichols classic Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton showdown Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? will take to the daggered humor and quirky, acidic tone of Carnage instantly. Others may find this talkative, nuanced and essentially one-location film a challenge to sit through. But maybe that's because the tension created by Polanski and this stellar cast is so awkwardly displayed. I felt cooped up with these couples, unable to leave, and I found that fascinating.
At worst, this is a worthy character study and showpiece for four supremely talented actors. At best, it gets at the heart of adult conflict, some glaring reasons for non-resolution and a few of the most quotable one-liners of the year. I'm still laughing at Reilly's crack about Jane Fonda.
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Chef and 225 contributor Jay D. Ducote and Chef Chris Wadsworth hosted the Bad Guys, Good Eats! dinner at Restaurant IPO Wednesday night. The dinner was themed around famous movie villains, pairing cocktails and ales with plates of food resembling famous baddies like The Joker, Lord Voldemort, Hannibal Lector, and many others. The highlights of the night were the three middle courses—a black bean soup laced with blood sausage to signify Lord Voldemort, a brace of coneys on black eyed peas resembling Sauron, and lamb medallions atop a fava bean puree to pay homage to the famous favorite of Hannibal Lector.
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These swimsuits will keep you stylish all summer long
Better Block BR
On Saturday the two blocks between Bedford and Beverly drives on April 13, 2013, residents will get to see a model of what Government Street could look like if we push local and state officials to update the roadway to a safer, more "complete street" model.