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Bullhead (+ Digital Copy) [Blu-ray] (2011)

Matthias Schoenaerts , Jeroen Perceval , Michael R. Roskam  |  R |  Blu-ray
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (42 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Matthias Schoenaerts, Jeroen Perceval, Jeanne Dandoy, Barbara Sarafian
  • Directors: Michael R. Roskam
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Blu-ray, Dolby, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region A/1 (Read more about DVD/Blu-ray formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • DVD Release Date: June 26, 2012
  • Run Time: 124 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (42 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0078TLREY
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #68,238 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Editorial Reviews

Includes SRM Free Digital Download

In perhaps the year's most stunning international debut, Michaël R. Roskam's BULLHEAD is a harrowing tale of revenge, redemption and fate. Domineering cattle farmer Jacky Vanmarsenille (Mattias Schoenaerts in a ferocious breakout performance), constantly pumped on steroids and hormones following a childhood trauma, initiates a shady deal with a notorious mafioso meat trader. When an investigating federal agent is assassinated and a woman from his horrid past resurfaces, Jacky must confront far-reaching consequences and whether the real meaning of manhood is hormonal or emotional. Acclaimed at festivals worldwide, the award-winning BULLHEAD is visceral saga bursting with rage that TwitchFilm calls "one of the most original crime films in recent memory."

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
29 of 31 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Intense and powerful February 18, 2012
Bullhead is the story of Jacky Vanmarsenille (Matthias Schoenaerts) a cattle farmer. He along with his business partners inject their cows with steroids and hormones to achieve the results they desire. The problem is the only thing Jacky injects more than his cows is himself as he's got some sort of chemical compound coursing through his veins at all times. Things begin to go south when Jacky makes a deal to distribute his cows to a well-known yet crooked meat trader. A federal agent is killed amongst their negotiations as Jacky is dragged into the investigation and his disturbing past comes bubbling to the surface.

Matthias Schoenaerts' performance is the first thing that will win you over. The reason why he shoots up so frequently along with what he injects himself with has this really breathtaking explanation. Schoenaerts has a short fuse the entire film and you never know when he's going to explode. That's the beauty of his performance. He's so dangerous yet you can't help but feel sympathy for the guy. Schoenaerts is a ferocious powerhouse that chews you up and spits you out like the most devastating hurricane imaginable.

Bullhead features some incredibly impressive cinematography. Belgium has never looked so beautiful. Those shots of the sky and the clouds that populate every inch of it and those lush moments of taking in the countryside speak volumes. Something as simple as grass blowing in the wind is made to look like this grand accomplishment thanks to how the film was shot. It was interesting to see characters that were out of frame become out of focus and or blurred in some way; whether they were approaching somebody in frame or walking away. It was a masterful touch.

The Belgian drama has a unique sense of perspective, as well.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Gritty and intense Belgian drama February 26, 2012
"Bullhead" (2011 release from Belgium; 128 min.) brings the story of Jacky Vanmarsenille who raises cattle on his family farm in Flanders, Belgium (close to the language border with French-speaking Wallonia). The movie begins with Jacky becoming involved with the so-called "hormone maffia". Soon thereafter we get a second parallel story line into the movie, which starts off with some traumatic events for Jacky taking place 20 years ago when he was 12-13 years old and which cause Jacky to have trouble developing relationships with women. The first hour of the movie edvelops rather slowly, developing the characters and bringing context to the overall movie, but it sets the stage for a very intense second hour of the movie, in which it all comes together. I wish I could say more of the plot line but it really would spoil some of the surprises in the movie, so you'll just have to trust me when I say that you will be at the edge of your seat as the movie goes down to its conclusion.

Several thoughts and comments: (1) Matthias Schoenaerts does an incredible job in the title role of the movie. A very physical presence and performance. (2) Even though this is a "Flemish" movie, about one-third of the movie actually takes place in and around French-speaking Liege. I mention this as the contrast between Flanders and Wallonia is an important element of the movie. (3) This movie is not for the faint of heart: there are a number of violent and bloody scenes thoughout the movie. (4) If you can handle the violence and brutality, you are in for a treat as this movie is very well done, showing once again that you don't need $250 million (the reported budget of the upcoming Disney movie "John Carter") to produce an engaging and entertaining (if rough and tough) movie.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best movies of the past decade! June 20, 2012
'Bullhead' is one of those films that you will either love or hate. Not to do with the acting, perhaps to do with the subtitles, but moreover to do with the fact that it is a long, dark, foreign indie film that doesn't stray too far from the path of cow farming and the mafia that can sometimes go with that.

But, to miss out on viewing this masterpiece, to not witness what has to be one of the most incredible, passionately heartbreaking, violently stoic movies of the past decade is to have let something breathtaking avoid your gaze.

The film opens with a spoken warning that, basically, things long since buried have a way to still come back and bite you in the ass! Our lead actor, a domineering brute of a cattle farmer Jacky Vanmarsenille (played by a pumped-up-for-the-role Mattias Schoenaerts) is hooked on all manner of drugs. Why, we don't know quite yet, but nevertheless he is a force to be reckoned with - for others and himself. It turns out he is using Androstederm to fatten his cows. It fattens the animals in 8 weeks, not 10 weeks and after injected half an hour later is out of their system. It also adds 10% fat to their body weight! Jacky also uses it in small doses.

It turns out that in Belgium there is such a thing as the Hormone Mafia Underworld, which deals in such acts as this with other farmers. But why is Jacky so angry when he makes all this money, well, that is shown in a 20 year flashback to being a young boy; and the cruel, painful victim of a mentally-challenged older boy. An act that went unpunished at the time, it changed Jacky's life forever and put him instantly on the path of self-destruction.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
One of the best physical performances I have seen in awhile. Deep, strong and emotionally riveting.
Published 1 month ago by JP
4.0 out of 5 stars moody, long paced, well executed in all regards
Some will rebel against the slow pace of this film, but I enjoyed it's long burn, and ultimately tragic ending. Read more
Published 1 month ago by James Coyne
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
A look inside a totally different sub culture! Sub titled but worth a look!
Published 3 months ago by Joey Poynter
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic drama
Excellent movie. Dark. Dramatic. Crazy. It's well worth your time to watch it. Acting us quite good by the lead.
Published 4 months ago by Jason Treu
4.0 out of 5 stars BRILLIANT
This film is brilliant- no nudity,just great acting,directing and screenplay. A very powerful film .One of the year's best gay films
Published 6 months ago by Peter M
4.0 out of 5 stars pretty great
This is an odd movie that’s based on a true story. Starts off with Jacky working on a cattle farm that is using illegal hormones to fatten up their stock and gets it quicker to... Read more
Published 8 months ago by ConcupusAl
4.0 out of 5 stars 3.5 star rounded up to 4
"Wow"..that's how I felt when this movie wrapped up. Not necessarily "wow that was great" or "wow that was bad"...just "wow". Read more
Published 8 months ago by wadrad
2.0 out of 5 stars I can tell you about the first 30 mins
I can tell you about the first 30 minutes of this movie. I love foreign films from every country but this movie was like being injected with a super sedative. Read more
Published 8 months ago by Russell S
3.0 out of 5 stars Brutal look at childhood
This is a brutal film and not for everyone. It is a long film, and the subtitles might weary some viewers. It's one that once seen will be hard to forget, even if you want to.
Published 11 months ago by Neal Reynolds
5.0 out of 5 stars Great film
I caught a trailer for the this recently and thought it looked interesting, but to be honest I wasn't expecting much, it turns out I was wrong. This is an excellent film. Read more
Published 13 months ago by M. Brookes
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