Thursday, February 07, 2019

Thursday Movie Picks: Revenge

For the sixth week of 2019 as part of Wandering Through the Shelves' Thursday Movie Picks. We delve into the simple subject of revenge. A loved one is killed or humiliated and nothing is being done forcing someone to fight back. It’s a popular subject in film as my picks are more based on its themes told through film series. Here are my three picks:

1. Revenge of the Nerds series (Revenge of the Nerds - Revenge of the Nerds II: Nerds in ParadiseRevenge of the Nerds III: The Next GenerationRevenge of the Nerds IV: Nerds in Love)

From the 1980s is the story of a bunch of nerds who go to college hoping to do good and get girls only to get bullied, ridiculed, and humiliated by a bunch of asshole jocks. That didn’t stop this band of misfits that include a perverted stoner, a fashionable gay man, a 12-year old genius, and a bunch of nerds from trying to find a house and live their own lives. They still fought back with their brains by finding ways to humiliate the Alpha Betas. The original film remains the best while its 1987 sequel is still an enjoyable romp that shows the Nerds going to Ft. Lauderdale for a college conference. The subsequent made-for-TV sequels weren’t that great as it tended to latch on some un-needed moments of sentimentality.

2. Kill Bill

From Quentin Tarantino is his two-part film series about a bride who goes after the assassins who killed her wedding party and beat the shit out of her while she was late in her pregnancy and the man who is the father of her baby shot her in the head. After surviving all of that and being in a coma for four years, the Bride just got herself up and went after the four who tried to kill her and then go find Bill and kill him for good. It’s a wild and sprawling two-part film series that definitely stands as a high point for Tarantino as well as giving Uma Thurman and David Carradine career-defining performances.

3. Chan-wook Park’s Vengeance Trilogy (Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance - Oldboy - Sympathy for Lady Vengeance)

Chan-wook Park’s trilogy of revenge is definitely a landmark moment for South Korean cinema as it play into this theme in its fallacies and impact. 2002’s Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance is about its fallacy where a deaf-mute young man and his radical girlfriend kidnap the former’s boss’s daughter for money only for the kidnapping to go wrong and it leads to the boss seeking revenge. 2003’s Oldboy is about a man who is kidnapped and tortured where he’s been captive for 15 years until he is released as he goes after those that took his life away. 2005’s Sympathy for Lady Vengeance is about a woman going after the man that put her in prison for a crime she didn’t commit as it would play into its themes but also the fallacy of personal justice as it relates to the crime she didn’t commit as well as the people who were affected by this crime.

© thevoid99 2019


joel65913 said...

Oooo a theme within the theme! Love those.

The first Revenge of the Nerds was fun and sort of sweet in a crude way with Robert Carradine, Anthony Edwards and their nerd compatriots were all so winning. The rapidly declining quality of the sequels was sad.

Kill Bill is the title of the week. I've only seen the first and while it was okay I had no desire to see the next.

I haven't seen any of the last group though I've heard of Oldboy.

I went the noir route mine since revenge is such a part of the makeup of those films as a rule.

No Way Out (1950)-Shot during a robbery lowlife criminal Ray Biddle (Richard Widmark) and his brother Johnny are cared for by young black doctor Luther Brooks (Sidney Poitier) at the local hospital. Ray, a virulent bigot, protests loudly and when Johnny dies on the operating table (from an undiagnosed brain tumor) Ray becomes convinced it was murder and swears revenge. In frustration Luther and his mentor Dr. Wharton (Stephen McNally) turn to Johnny’s ex-wife Edie (Linda Darnell) to try and convince Ray of the truth. But despite being jailed Ray sends messages via another brother, the mute George (Harry Bellaver), to his gang and manages to incite the denizens of his ghetto-Beaver Canal-to attack the neighboring black community. Escaping Ray hunts Luther down leading to a nail biting face-off. Poitier’s first film, he’s good if a bit tentative, and overshadowed by Widmark and Linda Darnell both of whom give award level performances. Director Joseph Mankiewicz lead up to All About Eve is a brutal unfortunately still timely film about racial tensions.

Act of Violence (1949)-Frank Enley (Van Heflin) is regarded as a war hero in his small California town where he lives with his wife Edith (Janet Leigh) and young daughter but one day Joe Parkson (Robert Ryan) appears hell-bent on revenge and Frank’s life starts to spiral out of control. The truth is that Frank aided the Nazis during his interment leading to a thwarting of Joe’s escape and a crippling injury as well as the death of several others. Now Joe plans a deadly vindication. Tough, bleak noir.

Marked Woman (1937) - Mary Dwight (Bette Davis) and her four compatriots-Gabby, Estelle, Florrie and Emmy Lou-work as “hostesses” in a Manhattan nightclub that’s just been converted into a clip joint run by mob boss Johnny Vanning (Eduardo Ciannelli). Shortly afterwards they are pulled in by the crusading DA (Humphrey Bogart) and Mary takes the fall with assurances from Vanning that he will take care of her. But things go wrong and Mary’s innocent sister Betty is pulled into the web and ends up dead. When Vanning tries to weasel out of responsibility Mary tells him that she’ll get her revenge “Even if I have to crawl back from my grave to do it!” In response his thugs disfigure her which only strengthens her resolve to even the score.

Becks said...

I also went with Kill Bill. Still need to check out your other two picks, though, they sound great!

my post:

Often Off Topic said...

How I've never heard of the Revenge of the Nerds movies until now is beyond me but I absolutely need to watch them.
Your Oldboy gif is simply perfection :)

Sonia Cerca said...

I'm not the biggest fan of the first Revenge of the Nerds (I didn't hate it either though) but I love Kill Bill and I've been meaning to watch Park Chan-wook's trilogy for years!

Myerla said...

I was actually considering pick all three of Park's films also. I just stuck with the one I saw most recently (as I had already chosen Oldboy). Haven't seen your other picks (yes. Even Kill Bill).

Birgit said...

Kill Bill is the biggie this week. I still have to see it and I have the DVD! I never felt like seeing Revenge of the Nerds but maybe I will catch it on tv one day. I don’t know the last one at all.

thevoid99 said...

@joel65913-You're missing out on the second half of Kill Bill which is a totally different film in terms of its tone.

@Becks-Glad we share on QT's revenge masterpiece.

@Allie Adkins-Just watch the first 2 films as they're just good fun.

@Sonia-See that trilogy... NOW!!!!

@Myrela-See Kill Bill.

@Birgit-Oldboy is a must. It is the ultimate revenge film and insane as fuck. It's extremely violent but it's so fucking good.

Alex Withrow said...

Great picks. I'd love to revisit the entire Vengeance Trilogy. Lady was always my favorite, but I need to sit down and rewatch them all.

thevoid99 said...

@Alex-I too want to revisit them as they were a joy to watch as discovering them at a time when Sundance Channel used to show interesting movies is what made me so interested in cinema.