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The End of Violence (Blu-ray)

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    mandymanslaughter
    Junior Member

  • End of Violence, The



    Released by: Olive Films
    Released on: March 24th, 2015
    Director: Wim Wenders
    Cast: Bill Pullman, Andie MacDowell, Gabriel Byrne, Frederic Forrest, Pruitt Taylor Vince, John Diehl
    Year: 1997
    Purchase From Amazon

    The Movie:

    German director Wim Wenders seems to have bitten off more than he can chew with The End of Violence, which the heady title might already indicate to us. Although the film seems to have a lot to say, it never truly accomplishes saying much at all except, “How do I get those two hours of my life back?”

    The film opens on Hollywood producer Mike Max (Bill Pullman) who is juggling assistants on computers and lawyers on phones while overlooking Los Angeles from the back lawn of his mansion. An overt voiceover narration by Max tells us that he is preoccupied with the notion of being constantly vulnerable to attack, which is why he went into the movie business. His wife, Paige (Andie MacDowell), throws another ball into the mix when she phones him (from inside the house, feet away) to let him know she's leaving him.

    Max is unable to address her immediately as he is needed on the set of his latest project. He visits an actress/stuntwoman Cat (Traci Lind) who has been injured, fires his lawyer, and subsequently is kidnapped, which we hear from the end of a phone conversation when he finally reaches out to his listless wife. He finds himself in the center of a seemingly inescapable situation with two idiotic cronies acting on orders from a mysterious third party. Thus begins a strange cat-and-mouse chase that drives the rest of the film.

    We are introduced also to Ray Bering (Gabriel Byrne), a FBI agent with a job he does not feel good participating in. He is constantly watching the city through a series of monitors linked to cameras, and his colleagues who are perpetuating this ambitious project in turn are constantly watching him for any signs of dissention. Ray and Mike Max are linked through a chance meeting in the past, and both seem to participate in and simultaneously rebel against the violent agenda of the world.

    As was already mentioned, this film tries to do so much without accomplishing anything at all. Wenders has so many plot points and character developments that never get fleshed out, or contrarily get fleshed out only to be dropped moments later as unimportant. There seems to be a focus on the detriments of Hollywood and technology, but both are so cemented in the time period it was filmed in it becomes distracting, and the message is ineffective. MacDowell's performance as the bored housewife turned evil mastermind is very flat and unnecessarily breathy. At the close of the film, there is a setting in of frustration and anger; what was the point of all that? Even more frustrating is that the film has real moments of potential; however it is useless. The film fails to deliver in virtually every aspect.

    Video/Audio/Extras:

    The End of Violence is presented in an AVC encoded 1080p transfer in 2.35:1. The quality of the transfer is very good, with very little in terms of flaws. There are a vast number of exterior scenes, which range from seedy nightlife to bright sunlit beaches, and the presentation moves between them well with consistency. Also present is a wide range of colors that translate well, although a bit muddy at times with close-ups of skin tone. Other than that, there is little to complain about with regards to the HD transfer.

    The film features a DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 mix, which is dynamic and well maintained throughout. Dialogue is clear and the varied, well chosen score is supported as well. All in all, no audible flaws or issues arise in the track.

    This Blu-ray release features the trailer, presented also in 1080p but not at all of the same video quality of the movie. It is really unnecessary seeing as the movie itself is a series of teasers with no real depth.

    Bottom Line:

    The End of Violence is like a two hour trailer: set-ups for semi-interesting scenes without any explanation behind them. The film fails almost as epically in execution as it did at the box office, with lackluster performances and a lack of any continued thought pattern. If a 14-year-old boy in the nineties was able to make a film with a $5 million dollar budget, it would probably have similar elements to this, but even then would have more cohesion. Definitely skip.

    Click on the images below for full sized Blu-ray screen caps!




















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