A History Of Violence – Blu-Ray Review


A History Of Violence

I’m not one for obscure graphic novels being made into comic books. Spawn never did it for me and Sin City was more about the artistic presentation than about content. With A History Of Violence, things are a bit different. The John Wagner/Vince Locke graphic novel packs a punch on the screen and is captivating as a film.
A History of Violence – from director David Cronenberg, with a screenplay by Josh Olson – recently debuted on Blu-ray in a special metal tin. The movie stars Viggo Mortensen, William Hurt, Ed Harris and Maria Bello and was nominated for two Oscars — Best Supporting Actor (Hurt) and Best Screenplay.
This is the story of a mild-mannered man named Tom Stall (Mortensen) who lives a happy and quiet life with his lawyer wife (Bello) and their two children in the small town of Millbrook, Indiana. One night their idyllic existence is shattered when Tom foils a vicious attempted robbery in his diner and becomes a local hero through this act of violence. The resulting media spotlight unwittingly changes the lives of Tom and his family in ways they never could have foreseen.
For fans of Bello, her brief nude scene is enchanting and worth watching in all its full 1080p glory, but there’s more to the film than a glance at Bello’s privates. A History of Violence is, in many ways, about the survival of the fittest – at all costs. The film’s title plays on multiple levels of meaning. From a suspect with a long history of violence, to the use of violence as a means of settling disputes. The film itself mostly explores violence as an action by someone unable to cope.
The Blu-Ray special features make this a good collection, including Violence’s History: United States version vs. International version – a look at scenes that were altered for violence in the United States. There is also a dissection of eight key scenes in Acts of Violence. Most importantly is a look at the additional footage of scene 44 with commentary by Cronenberg.
 Cronenberg may or may not be the best director in the business, depending on your point of view, but A History Of Violence is about as normal a film the eclectic director has ever made. Does the film deserve a trip to Blu-Ray? Absolutely. Did it deserve a metal collector’s tin? Maybe not.

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