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Brawl in Cell Block 99 Discussion

post #1 of 22
Thread Starter 

Trailer for the movie:



Well that just looks nifty. I was initially concerned about Vaughn playing a hard convict-type, but my concerns are assuaged after that. I just recently saw Bone Tomahawk, and I must say I am quite jazzed for this.

post #2 of 22

I'm in.

post #3 of 22

Vaughn's gone full D'Onofrio.

post #4 of 22

Hits VOD tomorrow.

post #5 of 22
NY Post called this V for Vaughndetta.
post #6 of 22

Word came out yesterday that this originally was gonna be a vehicle for Stone Cold Steve Austin.

post #7 of 22
Did he say that on his Podcast? I have to catch up on that.
post #8 of 22

No, it was on another site and stated by the screenwriter of the Antonio Banderas movie SECURITY. He said that both SECURITY and BRAWL were written with Austin in mind but then Austin pretty much stopped taking film roles.


Found it funny that Austin passed on films that ended up being made with Banderas and Vaughn instead.

post #9 of 22
Interesting, I liked Security and I think both roles work better with Banderas and Vaughn, respectively. Dragged Across Concrete will be interesting as Vaughn is one of those few actors, besides Mel, who you could buy as 100% nuts.
post #10 of 22

Has anyone listened to the soundtrack for this movie? They weren't kidding when they said this was embracing the exploitation film.


Apparently the director wrote the songs himself and got the Ojays to sing some of them.

post #11 of 22

Just got done watching Brawl in Cell Block 99; It's pretty freaking great. And yeah, this is gonna be the role that revitalizes Vince Vaughn because, yes, he is that good. He really needed to be because it takes a looooooong time to get to all the violence. But it all works because Vaugn has such presence that you always want to know how he'll react to the increasingly shitty situation he's put in. Which might be a problem for some people.


Now this movie is out in the wild, I think some people are going to take Block 99 as glorifying the sort of rah-rah "white power" anthem, reading this film about a White man overcoming adversity or whatever.


I don't think that's the movie's intention, nor do I think it's trying to be a film concerned about social issues. Block 99 is exactly what it says on the title, but the movie is self-aware enough to recognize that Vaugn's drug-dealer character is essentially profiterring off of the addictions of a lower--and often black--class.


The violence? I don't think it's as bad as Bone Tomahawk; I don't think I'll ever watch that movie again because of "that" scene. The violence in Brawl in conparison is quick and effective, and often quickly dives into being darkly humorous.

post #12 of 22

There is quite a bit of violence here, maybe not as much as BT, but quite a bit, and I don't think that there's too many films with that final shot of the hero.


I liked it; not quite as much as Bone, or as Shot Caller earlier this year.  I get the feeling Zahler is still warming up, to an extent.  But again, this is really getting me excited for Dragged Across Concrete.



post #13 of 22

This film was so delightfully mean-spirited.  I loved every moment of it.

post #14 of 22

...Vince Vaughn for Bullseye. #DaredevilS3

post #15 of 22

Primo prison pulp. Vaughn's attempts of late to toughen his image have been mixed, but it all comes together for him here. This flick had me sucking air through my teeth a lot.


Udo Kier is pretty much the only actor you can hire if you want someone to describe that particular medical procedure.


Nice to see Don Johnson carve out his place among actors who have played hard-ass wardens.


"Put a sir on that."

post #16 of 22

Yeah, Johnson added a layer of depth to a pretty irredeemable character.


And I was never a fan of Jennifer Carpenter - but she's pretty good here. 


Forget those Fast and Furious guys - if they ever do another Conan film, Zahler should write it.  He could bring it home and not just make it a mess of Milius knock-off lines.  Plus he's a gamer going back to the TSR days - he knows the field.

post #17 of 22
This wasn't quite as good as Bone Tomahawk, since that one had me hooked from the start and Brawl could stand to lose a few minutes. But even though it takes a while to get to the violence, it's a great watch because Vaughn absolutely owns his role. He's kind of the 1970's Lee Marvin version of Cameron Poe. He's kind of weird but he has a quiet dignity about him, like a southern gentleman, his big frame and his movement have an awkwardness to it, and there's these moments where an internal rage that's about to erupt but it's like he either doesn't know how, or he's committed acts so vile in the past he can never bring himself to lose it ever again. I think the way he mutters to himself makes it the former, he's like a kid trying to play tough but doesn't know how. Udo Kier is wonderfully understated in a role that just about any other film would go out of it's way to make outlandish as hell and Don Johnson is relishing his hard ass warden role. He's a piece of shit as any movie prison warden is, but there's a charm, like you actually want to do what he says.

Zahler doesn't try to be too different to how he made Bone Tomahawk, some guys try to get flashy early on, kind of like "LOOK MA, I'M DIRECTING!" but Zahler sticks to what brung him. He keeps things very stark, but there's some subtle steadycam like the film itself is getting ready to explode alongside Vaughn but never does. The whole thing looks immaculate until we get to the titular CELL BLOCK 99 until it turns grubby as shit, it's absolutely hellish. I agree with Ska in thinking some people might take this as a kind of plight of the white man in modern America film but I think the Reservoir Dogs ending is meant to pull the rug out from anyone thinking that.

All in all I think the film, Zahler and the gritty reboot of Vince Vaughn are keepers.
post #18 of 22
I absolutely loved this movie

I saw this with a packed crowd who were all super into it, laughing at the right moments and collectively wincing at the final half hour or so as Vaughn starts to go full medieval on everybody's ass.

To me this filled a hole - I've always wanted Quentin Tarantino to go back and make another film set in modern day amongst the low lives seen in Dogs, Fiction and Brown and this felt the closest to that that we have gotten since The Way of The Gun.

This is going to be top five of 2017 material for me and I can't wait for Dragged Accross Concrete!
post #19 of 22

Yeah, this was fucking great.


BRAWL really solidifies it: nobody does 'slow burn' better than Zahler right now.  He's such a strong writer.  For both this and BONE TOMAHAWK, I'm endlessly fascinated by his characters and their place in the world they live in.  Ultimately, the title of the film lets you know where Bradley's journey will take him, but there were multiple checkpoints along way where I found myself wishing the story could just hold up for a bit, because 1) I like Bradley (Vaughn is tremendous), and 2) I would love to see a full movie of Bradley in this particular setting (the medium security prison, the upper levels of Red Leaf, etc), interacting with that particular group of characters (the boxing guard, Fred Melamed, etc).


So even without the bone-crunching action, this would be a great film.  With it, BRAWL is an ultraviolent masterpiece.  As in BONE TOMAHAWK, Zahler's violence here is always sudden in execution and unflinching in its brutality, adding an extra layer of tension to just about every scene.  When the action finally does hit, its punishing, but never over-stylized; the camera stays refreshingly still and lets the actors and the choreography (and the excellent sound design) do a lot of the heavy lifting.  Great stuff.

post #20 of 22
Originally Posted by fuzzy dunlop View Post

(and the excellent sound design)


Amen to this. The sound of the hits and especially the stomps add so much to the carnage.

post #21 of 22
Originally Posted by Moltisanti View Post


Amen to this. The sound of the hits and especially the stomps add so much to the carnage.


And one really gnarly scrape

post #22 of 22
It was the hum of the electric current as Bradley was lying unconscious that got to me.
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