Ben Barenholtz

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The Naked Man Review


OK
Nothing makes you want to see a movie as much as a title like The Naked Man, does it? Feels like a vanity project: Michael Rapaport is Edward Blis, a chiropracter becomes a wrestler (clad in a leotard painted with the human anatomy, he's known as "the naked man") and later a sort of vigilante super-hero. Rapaport isn't terribly memorable, nor is the oddball script (co-written by Ethan Coen), but give it a whirl if only for Rachael Leigh Cook's leather-clad, hair-teased psycho-vixen, with love/hate tattooed across her breasts.

Bruiser Review


Very Good
A revenge fantasy in the E.C. horror comics tradition, George A. Romero's Bruiser is about Henry Creedlow (Jason Flemyng, Snatch), a Joe Average company man whose anonymous working life has made him invisible to peers and loved ones. His wife has been using him for his upwardly mobile financial status while cheating behind his back. His co-worker and best buddy has been skimming the profits, secretly preventing Henry from earning his fair share. Worst of all is the boss, Miles Styles (Peter Stormare, Fargo), a loud, obnoxious boor who enjoys ritualistically humiliating everyone at board meetings -- a character so smirkingly piggish and cruel it's a wonder God hasn't struck him dead. Henry discovers that nice guys finish last, and when he wakes up one morning to discover his face has magically transformed into a featureless white mask, he uses the anonymity once used against him as a device for smooth, calculated vengeance against all who have done him wrong. It's The Invisible Man gone corporate.

Romero hasn't been able to get a feature film off the ground since 1993's The Dark Half, which is really too bad. He's one of the more distinctive filmmakers working within the horror genre, having made his start with the black-and-white classic Night of the Living Dead in 1968. That was a pioneer for modern horror as gruesome satire, followed up by the arguably superior Dawn of the Dead (where the zombie invasion was set against the backdrop of a shopping mall). Fans of Romero will be pleased to see him back to his old preoccupations. Bruiser could be viewed as an extension of the identity crisis in Martin, Romero's ambivalent portrait of a young man who may or may not be a vampire.

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Ben Barenholtz Movies

Bruiser Movie Review

Bruiser Movie Review

A revenge fantasy in the E.C. horror comics tradition, George A. Romero's Bruiser is about...

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