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RE: RE: - 3/3/2008 12:20:17 PM   

Posts: 2888
Joined: 27/2/2007
From: Glasgow
A tightly paced and entertaining Cronenberg effort with a superb central performance from Viggo Mortenson (on another year may have won 'Best Actor' at the Oscars). The film does have flaws in that it finishes abrubtly and never seems to develop Watt's character, but a strong effort from Cronenberg nonetheless. Movie (as mentioned before) will be remembered for one of the most brutal punchups in history.


Cludge Judge * Cold Fish

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Post #: 31
RE: RE: - 4/3/2008 5:13:36 PM   

Posts: 2172
Joined: 30/9/2005
From: Spain
Watched this today and was really impressed, except for the criticisms already mentioned.
Viggo having a punch up stark naked...nice


To indeed be a god!

(in reply to DAVID GILLESPIE)
Post #: 32
- 6/3/2008 3:35:59 PM   


Posts: 117
Joined: 2/5/2006
A pantomime take on the world of foreign gangsters, this comes across like Cronenberg's Gangs of New York; and that isn't exactly a good thing

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Post #: 33
RE: - 7/3/2008 12:49:42 AM   

Posts: 436
Joined: 4/7/2006
From: Liverpool
I really wanted this movie to be great. Unfortunatley despite Viggo Mortensen and Vincent Cassel excelling, i thought their characters deserved a more solid plot and story. I also thought the 'twist' element toward the end needed to be dealt with in greater detail. i agree, It felt like a t.v drama with xceptional perfomances. 3/5


'I always felt it was supposed to be a revival meeting, a circus, a dance hall and a political rally and all those things are rolled into what you present... and that was rock 'n' roll for me'

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Post #: 34
- 21/3/2008 10:35:32 PM   


Posts: 33
Joined: 6/8/2007
From: Cork, Ireland
I liked it,overly simlistic and melodramatic though.Shite enough ending...but eh,still liked it!Weird.

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Post #: 35
RE: Eastern Promises - 22/3/2008 7:15:27 PM   


Posts: 355
Joined: 23/6/2006
Director: David Cronenberg
Screenwriter: Steven Knight
Starring: Viggo Mortensen, Naomi Watts, Vincent Cassel, Armin Mueller-Stahl, Sinead Cusack

When Anna (Watts), a midwife/nurse tries to translate the diary of one of her patients who died of giving birth, she becomes the target of a Russian mafia family, including their ruthless driver Nikolai (Mortensen).

From being a director of low-budget sci-fi horror, to evolve into one of thrillers, David Cronenberg presents another masterpiece. Collaberating with his star from A History of Violence, Viggo Mortensen, the duo once again become key members in the gangster genre. However, instead of a family drama that explores America itself through violence, but a London-set thriller that is up there with The Godfather (part 1, of course).

The reason why this is Cronenberg's first film that's not been shot in Canada, is because of Steven Knight, the Academy Award-nominated screenwriter of Dirty Pretty Things and the creator of Who Wants to be a Millionaire?, as he wanted to explore the foreign threats in the UK, as there seem to be a lot of people from other continents roaming around in England presently. The Russian mafia family in the film is incredibly well explored in the same way you get to know the Corleone family in that wonderful wedding sequence.

You might think this would be totally different to Cronenberg's previous work, despite A History of Violence, but he's long been slated to do adapt the Martin Amis novel London Fields, which we may not here from again. In the mean time, we have this to recommend to, not everyone, but those who have strong stomachs, as like in many Cronenberg picture, violence is brutal but meaningful. Many of Cronenberg's films usually have one violent moment that is memorable, such as the exploding head from Scanners, and with Eastern Promises, it'll be remembered for its bathhouse fight sequence, which is extremely tough to watch but very erotic.

When it comes to tattoos, Viggo Mortensen shows his dark side, but we don't have to hate him for it. Like his previous collaberation with Cronenberg, the film deals with identity, in which it is the theme that explores the many layers of Nikolai has to bring, in order to treat him like the hero. Naomi Watts is not much of a talker when she does her best, but its more about her eyes, as she brings the heart of the film when she gazes upon the young daughter of the late patient. Even though its about the mafia, it deals with many family problems, such as the secret homosexuality of Nikolai's captain Kirill, played by Vincent Cassel, while his father Armin Mueller-Stahl as Semyon, makes business like he was cooking food for the family.

If A History of Violence was the Jackyll to a double feature that was directed by David Cronenberg and starring Viggo Mortensen, then Eastern Promises will be its Hyde. Cronenberg has not only presented his third masterpiece, but his true masterpiece.     

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Post #: 36
dark and dingy - 8/4/2008 9:49:54 AM   


Posts: 71
Joined: 11/10/2005
From: warwickshire
While I much prefer Cronenbergs new found love affair with reality to some of his old squishy surrealist material ( Naked Lunch/Existence/Spider etc) I found this a bit dark and dull and underwhelming.
I don't know if it's something about the cinematography or just the available light in England but it all just seems a bit drab and kitchen sinky.
I loved A History Of Violence and was hoping for a similar outing but was disappointed.
It's fine and I can't denegrate it too much, it's just not great.

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Post #: 37
Viggo's Back Wheels - 28/4/2008 2:53:55 PM   


Posts: 35
Joined: 11/9/2006
Yep, I basically agree with main review especially about the London setting. I love it when Tower Bridge is depicted next to Big Ben. Also well done to Viggo for showing his "Albert Halls". Has anyone ever told Cronenburg it's more effective to let the imagination do the work when doing violence, (ala Reservior Dogs)?

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Post #: 38
- 4/5/2008 11:02:09 AM   
plum bob


Posts: 203
Joined: 30/4/2006
Great film, proof that empire don't always know what their talking about!

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Post #: 39
- 1/6/2008 1:58:25 AM   


Posts: 109
Joined: 14/12/2005
Empire's got it spot on. The story is pedestrian, almost like a Sunday night TV detective thriller, with two dimensional characters apart from Mortensen's. Check out when the crime boss is introduced; they get him playing the violin and cooking almost in the same scene, both demonstrating his kindly old grandpa persona with subtlety of sledgehammer. I'd also add that my main problem with it was the distinct lack of peril. Watt's and her family never seem to be under threat and part of the conclusion proves retrospectively that they never would be! If it wasn't for Mortensen's cracking part and the visceral, raw violence in the sauna, this could have passed as a documentary. Like Mrwinky99, I also prefer the new Cronenberg, but I still look for his own unique style to come through. If I heard that he'd phoned in direction and didn't bother coming on set, I wouldn't be surprised.

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Post #: 40
- 30/12/2008 11:48:47 PM   


Posts: 307
Joined: 13/3/2007
Not as good as Cronenberg's A History of Violence, but it is an entertaining if at times disturbing, thriller with a great script and assured direction.

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Post #: 41
3 out of 5?? - 5/2/2009 9:12:59 AM   


Posts: 35
Joined: 15/12/2008
Loved this. Viggo and Cronenberg looks to be a very good partnership indeed. The bathhouse scene has to be one of the best, most shocking fights to come out of Hollywood in a long time!! My jaw dropped. Just Brilliant.

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Post #: 42
awesome! - 22/4/2009 8:18:21 PM   

Posts: 9811
Joined: 1/10/2005
From: ZONE 2

I just watched this - brilliant film. Mortensen smashes it!


"When you have to shoot, shoot don't talk."

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Post #: 43
RE: Eastern Promises - 4/8/2010 8:42:18 AM   

Posts: 14549
Joined: 30/9/2005
From: Bristol
Watched this for the first time last night and really enjoyed it. Would be interested to see a sequel with Nikoli's rise to power in the Russia mob....despite being an undercover.

Sure, Naomi Watts was a tad surplus to requirements but Mortesen and Cassell's performances held the entire movie


"I put no stock in religion. By the word 'religion', I have seen the lunacy of fanatics of every denomination be called 'The Will of God'. Holiness is in right action and courage on behalf of those who cannot defend themselves."

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(in reply to DAVID GILLESPIE)
Post #: 44
RE: Eastern Promises - 6/8/2010 4:54:50 AM   
Nill Demand

Posts: 3
Joined: 4/8/2010
Very good film. The fight scene in the shower room remains one of my favourite scenes of recent years.

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Post #: 45
RE: Eastern Promises - 6/8/2010 4:09:13 PM   


Posts: 8874
Joined: 13/4/2006
A History Of Violence was one of the Director's best ever films and this just is not in the same league.

I think it was an intruging mix bringing the unique worlds of Cronenberg and the seedy London under world together, and the performances are very powerful, but the script lets the film down big time.  As well as a number of cliches, the twist at the end doesn't really convince and like someone else said Naomi Watts is underused.  I also can not shake the feeling than the film isn't as dark as Cronenberg inversioned, although there is eye opening stuff in there.


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Post #: 46
RE: RE: - 6/8/2010 8:24:50 PM   

Posts: 380
Joined: 22/8/2009
Spot-on review imo, the movie isn't as balanced as A History of Violence but Mortensen is equally good here. The subject matter and the way Cronenberg handles it leaves a bad taste in the mouth. This could have been a classic gangster movie if it were about something else entirely.


"Yeah, well, that's just, like, your opinion, man..."

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Post #: 47
RE: RE: - 7/8/2010 7:36:40 PM   

Posts: 1805
Joined: 11/9/2006
From: East London
Really can't wait for the sequel, some scenes were vicious though - Cassel and Mortessen make a great team. Viggo is an intellectual as an actor, the guy speaks four languages, a method man, looks goods for 52!!
Shame Cassel's character was a nutcase, he found a little redemption in the end - Not much though. Has to hold the record for the briefest kiss in a film I've seen in a while. Hope Watts will be back maybe for the third.

Once again Cinema makes my city look very swish, even in a crime drama - Insane I tell you!


Meet The New Boss...Same As The Old Boss

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Post #: 48
RE: RE: - 8/8/2010 2:06:36 PM   


Posts: 885
Joined: 14/2/2008
^ Just found out about the sequel. Slightly bizarre but not unwelcome news. The first film was too slight to be really great but the foundations are definitely there to expand upon. 

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Post #: 49
RE: RE: - 8/8/2010 2:15:51 PM   

Posts: 1779
Joined: 31/1/2010
From: Dublin
A sequel???No thanks.
Mortensen was absolutely class in this though.


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Post #: 50
Smart, Classy, Yet Highly Non-Sequitar - 10/11/2010 11:31:41 PM   

Posts: 702
Joined: 13/12/2007
First off, the film is brilliantly directed, and the whole cast perform well, especially Mortensen. However there are so many scenes that do not directly relate to the plot, and sometimes do not even relate at all. This spoils the illusion and prevents the film from bring anything more than a solid gangster film. Too contrived for its' own good

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Post #: 51
Eastern Promises Review - 5/2/2012 12:06:50 AM   
the film man


Posts: 589
Joined: 13/10/2010
David Cronenberg triumphs again, showcasing the Viggo Mortensen's onscreen prowess in a daring performance. Bearing the trademarks of psychological drama and gritty violence, Eastern Promises is a very compelling crime story.

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Post #: 52
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