Go Back  DVD Talk Forum > Entertainment Discussions > Movie Talk
Reload this Page >

Gary Oldman in "The Backwoods" - Thoughts - NO SPOILERS

Movie Talk A Discussion area for everything movie related including films In The Theaters

Gary Oldman in "The Backwoods" - Thoughts - NO SPOILERS

Old 04-17-08, 07:40 PM
  #1  
Suspended
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: Toronto
Posts: 3,039
Likes: 0
Received 1 Like on 1 Post
Gary Oldman in "The Backwoods" - Thoughts - NO SPOILERS

It came out on DVD Tuesday. It's a 2006 French-UK-Spanish thriller (Spanish title: Bosque de Sombras) directed by a Spanish relative newcomer, Koldo Serra, and a rare instance of a film starring Gary Oldman. It's been ignored by the public and critics alike.

I liked it. The production values are OK: good sound, decent, atmospheric music, good acting by a fine international but mostly Spanish cast and good cinematography. It's on the violent, bloody side, so it wouldn't normally interest me but there is nothing else out there, these days, and you have to take your Gary Oldman any way you can.

The story about tourists in a remote part of the Spanish Basque countryside having trouble with the slightly backward (*cough* inbred) natives is nothing new. It's Deliverance meets Straw Dogs, but the writers had the decency to set it in 1978 so that no contemporaries feel offended and we can blame it all on Franco. Still, it's hardly a travelogue for sunny Spain, what with rampant inhospitality, rape, rain, mosquitoes, bad roads, shooting your neighbour and occasionally drowning him in mud. Did I mention the inbreds?

It starts out like a film that could be titled Attack of the Terminally Premenstrual Harridans and develops rapidly into a fine, suspenseful character study of men looking to explore their masculinity and their sense of honour in troubled, uncertain times while the women around them are either in a bad, uncooperative mood, on the rag, headachy or simply retarded. The main characters are also prone to making the proverbial "bad choices".

I found it well made and interesting. Gary Oldman gives one of his best performances in spite of looking a lot older than we're accustomed to see him. And we will certainly see more of Lluis Homar (center in the picture below).



Official site: http://www.thebackwoodsmovie.com/



Trailer:

<object width="425" height="355"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/207cDTJ239Y&hl=en"></param><param name="wmode" value="transparent"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/207cDTJ239Y&hl=en" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" wmode="transparent" width="425" height="355"></embed></object>

Last edited by baracine; 04-18-08 at 09:53 AM.
Old 04-17-08, 08:03 PM
  #2  
DVD Talk Platinum Edition
 
Join Date: May 2003
Location: Los Angeles , California
Posts: 3,596
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
That one-sheet is awesome.
Old 04-17-08, 08:26 PM
  #3  
Suspended
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: Toronto
Posts: 3,039
Likes: 0
Received 1 Like on 1 Post
Originally Posted by SPiRAL
That one-sheet is awesome.
This is the official poster:



and a good-quality trailer:

http://www.monfortproducciones.com/t...odsteaser1.mov

Last edited by baracine; 04-18-08 at 09:59 AM.
Old 04-18-08, 06:43 AM
  #4  
Suspended
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: Toronto
Posts: 3,039
Likes: 0
Received 1 Like on 1 Post
Note: The Spanish title is Bosque de Sombras ("dark woods"), the French title is Backwoods (?!) and the UK title is The Backwoods but the engraving on the US Lionsgate Maple DVD (with no French subtitles or language track) simply says Backwoods. It's never a good sign when the distribution company doesn't seem to know the name of the product it's distributing.

The four main tourist characters are from England and speak English among themselves, although one is married to a French woman and the other one to a Spanish woman. Their interactions with the locals are mostly in Spanish (with English subtitles).

On the humorous side, the only way the film could have gotten a more adverse reaction from the press - or at least Basque nationalists - is if it had been titled The Basque Woods/Basque de Sombras.


Last edited by baracine; 04-18-08 at 09:00 AM.
Old 04-18-08, 07:28 AM
  #5  
Suspended
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: Toronto
Posts: 3,039
Likes: 0
Received 1 Like on 1 Post
This Variety review is mostly negative but keeps coming back to the film's many redeeming qualities: http://www.variety.com/review/VE1117...id=31&cs=1&p=0


[gratuitous rant]I find it appalling that a CGI-infested, nonsensical, irresponsible fairytale/comicbook gorefest like Pan's Labyrinth has found such favour with hip critics and urban Goths alike when a film like The Backwoods, which is much less insulting on the whole to anyone's intelligence and the Spanish people's in particular, has sunk so deep into a sea of indifference. But that's just me![/gratuitous rant]

Last edited by baracine; 04-18-08 at 08:33 AM.
Old 04-18-08, 09:56 AM
  #6  
DVD Talk Limited Edition
 
Kicker_of_Elves's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: High above the Mucky Muck
Posts: 5,054
Likes: 0
Received 1 Like on 1 Post
You had me til Deliverance.
Old 04-18-08, 10:05 AM
  #7  
Suspended
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: Toronto
Posts: 3,039
Likes: 0
Received 1 Like on 1 Post
Originally Posted by kicker_of_elves
You had me til Deliverance.
In all honesty, it's hard to imagine that Deliverance wasn't an inspiration for this film. Young filmmakers are apt to let their favourite films show through their first film. But the cast of characters is rather different. There are women, after all... And the banjo music has been replaced by Leonard Cohen on a tape recorder.

German poster:



The quote says: "an atmosphere-rich psychological thriller" (Variety)

The complete quote is: "A decent cast and OK production values get completely lost in The Backwoods, an atmosphere-rich psychological thriller in which psychology and thrills are missing." (http://www.variety.com/review/VE1117...id=31&cs=1&p=0)

Last edited by baracine; 04-18-08 at 10:12 AM.
Old 04-18-08, 10:13 AM
  #8  
DVD Talk Special Edition
 
Join Date: Feb 2001
Posts: 1,498
Likes: 0
Received 1 Like on 1 Post
I ordered it from Columbia House because I'm a big fan of Paddy Considine. Should get it soon.
Old 09-22-08, 11:35 AM
  #9  
DVD Talk Legend
 
Charlie Goose's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2000
Location: Sesame Street (the apt. next to Bob's)
Posts: 20,195
Likes: 0
Received 6 Likes on 6 Posts
Oldman was great, as usual, but Considine was the standout here. Effective movie, but don't be worried that it's like today's normal lost-in-the-woods horror with hulking misshapen mutants. It's not like that at all.

Question & major spoiler
Spoiler:
Why did Oldman so easily kneel down for execution? He didn't even put up any kind of fight.
Old 09-22-08, 01:46 PM
  #10  
DVD Talk Platinum Edition
 
LickTheABCs's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Viva BuyMoria!
Posts: 3,464
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
It's ridiculous that Considine can't find work in Hollywood. Yet, Dane Cook releases ANOTHER film. It's enough for me to try to find a shotgun.. oh wait, I forgot I can't. This movie stole them all.
Old 09-22-08, 02:34 PM
  #11  
DVD Talk Legend
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Nightmare Alley
Posts: 17,117
Likes: 0
Received 1 Like on 1 Post
Originally Posted by baracine
The quote says: "an atmosphere-rich psychological thriller" (Variety)

The complete quote is: "A decent cast and OK production values get completely lost in The Backwoods, an atmosphere-rich psychological thriller in which psychology and thrills are missing." (http://www.variety.com/review/VE1117...id=31&cs=1&p=0)
That's a nice bit of quote fudging. I like the way they added a ! on the cover to give the blurb some extra oomph.

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service -

Copyright © 2024 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.