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Silent Night (2023, D: John Woo) S: Joel Kinnaman

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Silent Night (2023, D: John Woo) S: Joel Kinnaman

Old 10-06-23, 10:48 AM
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Re: Silent Night (2023, D: John Woo) S: Joel Kinnaman

Even though he didn't write the script, it's been 6-years since John Woo's last film.

That fact alone will have me checking this out on release week.
Old 10-06-23, 10:53 AM
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Re: Silent Night (2023, D: John Woo) S: Joel Kinnaman

Originally Posted by asianxcore
Even though he didn't write the script, it's been 6-years since John Woo's last film.

That fact alone will have me checking this out on release week.
Wow. And looking at his filmography, the last movie of his that I actually saw was Windtalkers over 20 years ago!

I do have the Red Cliff Blu-Ray but haven’t gotten around to watching it yet.
Old 10-09-23, 05:57 PM
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Re: Silent Night (2023, D: John Woo) S: Joel Kinnaman

Looks good, tentatively, and it kinda looks like Woo has maybe, finally evolved his style to match other contemporary action thrillers in this vein (WICK, NOBODY, VIOLENT NIGHT)

Originally Posted by Troy Stiffler
Some directors should be "conventional" and "traditional". And some should "indulge" in everything they're allowed to, without producers standing in the way. It's disappointing when an auteur director is restrained by a producer.
I think in Woo's case, though, so many other filmmakers co-opted and evolved his style that he was left in the dust, rehashing his most notorious stylistic habits (including doves!) in 2017's cheesy MAN HUNT, which was forgotten so quickly it didn't even get mentioned throughout this thread as his previous film because I'd wager that few here actually saw it. I think that the measured restraint of a producer might be the reason SILENT NIGHT could be successful, if it's successful.
Old 10-09-23, 09:58 PM
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Re: Silent Night (2023, D: John Woo) S: Joel Kinnaman

Originally Posted by Brian T
I think in Woo's case, though, so many other filmmakers co-opted and evolved his style that he was left in the dust, rehashing his most notorious stylistic habits (including doves!) in 2017's cheesy MAN HUNT, which was forgotten so quickly it didn't even get mentioned throughout this thread as his previous film because I'd wager that few here actually saw it. I think that the measured restraint of a producer might be the reason SILENT NIGHT could be successful, if it's successful.
On the subject of the doves, they're not really a signature of his classic Hong Kong films. More specifically, they're a reference to the Killer. I don't think they appeared anywhere else before he moved to Hollywood, but maybe I'm forgetting another time. There are birds in Hard Boiled but it's not the same.

In my opinion he got away with revisiting them once in Face/Off (the most HK of his American movies), but everytime after that it was a horrible cliche. I can't help but wonder if they would even have ever appeared again if Tom Cruise hadn't insisted, thus codifying them as a classic Woo trope.
Old 10-09-23, 11:15 PM
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Re: Silent Night (2023, D: John Woo) S: Joel Kinnaman

Looks like this could be fun from the trailer. I’m in.
Old 10-10-23, 07:05 PM
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Re: Silent Night (2023, D: John Woo) S: Joel Kinnaman

Originally Posted by rocket1312
On the subject of the doves, they're not really a signature of his classic Hong Kong films. More specifically, they're a reference to the Killer. I don't think they appeared anywhere else before he moved to Hollywood, but maybe I'm forgetting another time. There are birds in Hard Boiled but it's not the same.

In my opinion he got away with revisiting them once in Face/Off (the most HK of his American movies), but everytime after that it was a horrible cliche. I can't help but wonder if they would even have ever appeared again if Tom Cruise hadn't insisted, thus codifying them as a classic Woo trope.
That's true about the doves originating in THE KILLER. I was likewise referencing the fact that he kept falling back on his time-worn ticks – including the doves – in so many of his Hollywood pictures, and even in his last Asian picture MAN HUNT, where it actually got a few unintentional giggles during the TIFF screening because it almost felt like parody, something Woo has always seemed too straight-laced to indulge in. I totally agree that it's become a horrible, obvious, even simple-minded cliche. I don't know, maybe he's been off the public's radar for so long that seeing metaphorical doves in SILENT NIGHT will seem cool and revolutionary to a whole new generation of viewers. I hope not.

Of course, in this movie, he's got an actual, innocent child apparently getting killed, so I can imagine the need to have doves fly out from behind that child-like inflatable Christmas ornament in Kinnaman's backyard at the moment of his son's shooting must be absolutely overwhelming!

Or maybe red balloons are now the new doves?

Last edited by Brian T; 10-10-23 at 07:10 PM.
Old 11-14-23, 09:54 AM
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Re: Silent Night (2023, D: John Woo) S: Joel Kinnaman

It screened at Beyond Fest in LA last night. No doves. Woo said it was a deliberate choice.
Old 11-27-23, 12:59 PM
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Re: Silent Night (2023, D: John Woo) S: Joel Kinnaman

Out this week. Reviews coming in: https://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/silent_night_2023
Old 11-27-23, 02:50 PM
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Re: Silent Night (2023, D: John Woo) S: Joel Kinnaman

I'm planning to see this on Friday. Big fan of Kinnaman and Woo.

But, realistically, I don't think this movie is going to make any money.
Old 11-27-23, 05:39 PM
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Re: Silent Night (2023, D: John Woo) S: Joel Kinnaman

Nice to see it getting generally positive notices, and it would be nice if Woo stuck around and made a few more over here. Hard to believe it’s been two decades since his last American film (and most of what he’s done in between has been respectable but not overly memorable (maybe RED CLIFF notwithstanding).
Old 11-27-23, 06:03 PM
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Re: Silent Night (2023, D: John Woo) S: Joel Kinnaman

A buddy saw this and said it was mediocre. 2.5 out of 5 stars.
Old 12-05-23, 03:14 PM
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Re: Silent Night (2023, D: John Woo) S: Joel Kinnaman

Saw this today. I enjoyed it, but it's no masterpiece or anything. It's a pretty standard revenge thriller in the vein of pretty much every other revenge thriller since Taken. One thing in it's favor is that it's not wall to wall mayhem like a John Wick, so when the action does pop up, it's effective. There is a lot of John Woo's DNA present, but there are some key differences from his older work (I haven't seen anything he's done since Red Cliff, so maybe it is in line with more recent stuff). For one, the violence is much more brutal and mean spirited than what I remember from his Hong Kong work. There was always a balletic quality to his action that kind of smoothed over just how ridiculously violent they were. Not here. And Woo's heroes were always virtuous beyond reproach. Even the gangsters and the hitmen. Kinnaman's character Brian, on the other hand, is completely broken and kind of a psycho. One of the big failings of the movie, in my opinion, is that it never really comes to terms with that fact. Woo's always had very simple ideas about good and evil and I'm not sure he is really equipped to deal with that sort of nuance.

As for the lack of dialogue, it may hurt the movie in the eyes of the general movie going public. That's not to say I think it would be fundamentally any different of a movie with dialogue. In fact the lack of dialogue shows just how unnecessary it really is to movies like this. But the gimmick kind of reduces what would be a pretty standard grade thriller to something of a curio. I think for Woo fans, it makes it a little more interesting within the context of his ouvre, but ultimately I don't feel particularly strong one way or another about it.

The only other thing I'll mention is that getting back to Woo's fairly simplistic, and probably old fashioned ideas of good and evil, the politics of the movie do feel a little retrograde. I'm one the last people who are willing to throw around the race card for stuff like this, but the portrayal of the white hero cleaning the streets of dirty Mexican gangbangers is a little much. It felt like something straight out of the 80's in that sense.
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Old 12-16-23, 01:45 PM
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Re: Silent Night (2023, D: John Woo) S: Joel Kinnaman

Saw this last week.

Although John Woo wasn't responsible for the script, the entirety of it feels a bit disappointing.

The choice to have a dialogue-free film was silly. The main character loses his ability to speak so everyone around him does too?

The mayhem in the final act is fun but everything before it is rough to dredge through.
Old 12-19-23, 12:56 PM
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Re: Silent Night (2023, D: John Woo) S: Joel Kinnaman

Now on PVOD.

I saw it in theatres. Didn't think all that much of it.
Old 12-20-23, 06:03 PM
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Re: Silent Night (2023, D: John Woo) S: Joel Kinnaman

This should have been better. I thought only Kinnaman was going to have no lines, but besides the tv and radio reports, all I heard was, and very softly I might add, was when Brian’s wife, Saya, I think, but she said something along the lines of “you’ll be ok, it’s going to be ok”. I didn’t think the whole cast would be muted. But, dialogue or not, this was disappointing.

And, all that self training he did was all for naught. He got his ass kicked by almost every target. I thought he be a little more badass after a year of training.

Last edited by OldBoy; 12-20-23 at 06:13 PM.
Old 12-25-23, 11:57 PM
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Re: Silent Night (2023, D: John Woo) S: Joel Kinnaman

This is why I like to know as little about a movie as possible before seeing it. All I knew was that it took place at Christmas and was violent. It was about 30 minutes in when I had to laugh at realizing that the “rule” for this movie was no dialogue (aside from the gagged guy saying “fuck you!”) Not a bad film.

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