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January 29, 2008


DVD of the Week – Eastern Promises (2007)


Viggo Mortenson’s nomination for best actor for Eastern Promises was well deserved. He’s enough, though by no means the only, reason to see this film. Directed by David Cronenberg and co-starring Naomi Watts, Vincent Cassell, and Armin Mueller-Stahl, it’s a powerful drama set in the brutal, ugly, and rapacious world of Russian organized crime in London. Mortenson is utterly compelling and completely convincing in his role as a mob foot soldier of unusual intelligence and unexpected motives.

Definitely worth the rental if you missed it in theaters, but admirers will have to be satisfied with getting just the film. The DVD is a barebones release with only two very minor “behind the scenes” features. It’s surprising there are no other special features, especially as it seems a natural film for a director’s commentary.

Original Commentary Track review of Eastern Promises by Geoff Geib.

New releases this week: Daddy Day Camp, Feel the Noise, The King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters, The Nines, Rocket Science, Trade

1 Comment Post a comment
  1. Doc
    Feb 11 2008

    Among the striking visual effects of the film is its use of prison/gang tattoos as a storytelling device rather than a mere decorative element. For a character such as Mortenson’s – who reflects the enigmas, riddles, and paradoxes that English writers so often feel define the Russian character – it’s an ink stained window into the soul. Even more remarkably, it’s a device based in part on actual post-Soviet behavior.