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A History of Violence (New Line Platinum Series) [DVD] (2006)

Viggo Mortensen , Maria Bello , David Cronenberg  |  R |  DVD
3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (548 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Viggo Mortensen, Maria Bello, William Hurt, Ed Harris
  • Directors: David Cronenberg
  • Writers: Josh Olson
  • Producers: Chris Bender, J.c. Spink, Toby Emmerich, Justis Greene, Kent Alterman
  • Format: Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround), English (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: New Line Home Video
  • DVD Release Date: March 14, 2006
  • Run Time: 98 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (548 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000CQLZ0Q
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #47,856 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "A History of Violence (New Line Platinum Series) [DVD]" on IMDb

Special Features

  • Deleted scene with optional commentary by director David Cronenberg
  • "Acts of Violence" hour-long documentary  
  • "Violence's History: U.S. vs. International Versions" featurette
  • "Too Commercial for Cannes" featurette
  • "The Unmaking of Scene 44" featurette

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com

On the surface, David Cronenberg may seem an unlikely candidate to direct A History of Violence, but dig deeper and you'll see that he's the right man for the job. As an intellectual seeker of meaning and an avowed believer in Darwinian survival of the fittest, Cronenberg knows that the story of mild-mannered small-town diner proprietor Tom Stall (Viggo Mortensen) is in fact a multilayered examination of inbred human behavior, beginning when Tom's skillful killing of two would-be robbers draws unwanted attention to his idyllic family life in rural Indiana. He's got a loving wife (Maria Bello) and young daughter (Heidi Hayes) who are about to learn things about Tom they hadn't suspected, and a teenage son (Ashton Holmes) who has inherited his father's most prominent survival trait, manifesting itself in ways he never expected. By the time Tom has come into contact with a scarred villain (Ed Harris) and connections that lead him to a half-crazy kingpin (William Hurt, in a spectacular cameo), Cronenberg has plumbed the dark depths of human nature so skillfully that A History of Violence stands well above the graphic novel that inspired it (indeed, Cronenberg was unaware of the source material behind Josh Olson's chilling adaptation). With hard-hitting violence that's as sudden as it is graphically authentic, this is A History of Violence that's worthy of serious study and widespread acclaim. --Jeff Shannon

On the DVD
On a single disc and with little fanfare, this DVD makes an excellent case for the best extras of the year. Dive into the one-hour-long documentary and learn more about moviemaking than on many a double-disc. The secret lies in director David Cronenberg's (and his usual crew) folksy casualness in showing off the craft, be it makeup (green screens were used), directing (Cronenberg doesn't storyboard), or art direction (the diner set). It also is very funny to hear about "fish Fridays" and how Maria Bello's Uncle Pete became an influence. Even the infamous sex-on-the-staircase scene is diagnosed with candor as stars Viggo Mortensen and Bello act as if there is no backstage camera. There's only one deleted scene, but it's uncommonly deconstructed on why it was filmed and why it was cut (it's a very Cronenbergian dream sequence). A short bit on Cannes is also a delight. So much is here that Cronenberg's smart commentary track is nearly superfluous. Isn't that a nice surprise? --Doug Thomas

More to Explore

The Graphic Novel


Other Graphic Novels that Inspired Movies


David Cronenberg Essentials


Why We Love Maria Bello


The work of Viggo Mortensen


The work of William Hurt

Stills from A History of Violence


Viggo Mortensoe as Tom Stall

Ashton Holmes as Jack Stall and Kyle Schmid as Bobby Jordan

William Hurt as Richie Cusack

Ed Harris as Carl Fogarty and Viggo Mortensen as Tom Stall

Maria Bello as Edie Stall

Director David Cronenberg

Product Description

An average family is thrust into the spotlight after the father (Viggo Mortensen) commits a seemingly self-defense murder at his diner.

DVD Features:
Audio Commentary:Director David Cronenberg Commentary
Deleted Scenes:Deleted scene w/director commentary
Documentary:"Acts of Violence" documentary
Easter Eggs
Featurette:"The Unmakeing of Scene 44" "Violence's History: U.S. vs. International Versions" "Too Commercial for Cannes"


Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
30 of 32 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars We never truly know people April 3, 2008
Format:DVD
So much has been written about this film and the title. For most, the movie is about the way violence is encoded in our lives and how we all have an underlying current running through us. I think the movie is really the study of the relationship between the two main characters--Tom Stall (Viggo Mortensen) and Edie (Maria Bello).

These two actors are amazing the film, especially Bello, who deserves to become a household name. Their intereactions are always spot on as they drive the plot. The sideways glance, the tense look, the loving smile: every part means something.

These two characters are madly in love after seventeen or such years of marriage, and we see it through different ways. The first half of the movie is there to set up their relationship and the love they feel. But then everything is turned upside down, and we realize that these two people who have shared everything and love one another dearly really know nothing about what lies beneath. It's as if they have only shared a part of themselves.

It's this interaction and realization that makes the film so great. The plot almost seems beside the point; it's merely there to make use see the characters.

I give the film four stars instead of five because of some of the scenes were out of place, almost as if Cronenberg couldn't decide what kind of film to make. William Hurt is good at the end, for instance, but his character didn't fit. Watch the movie for the main characters' interactions and go along with the rest.
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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Bloodlust as part of the human condition November 3, 2005
Not since STRAW DOGS (1971) have I seen a film that so strikingly makes the point that the capacity for violence is an inseparable part of the human condition. Even the meek inheriting the Earth have it - if pushed far enough.

Tom Stall (Viggo Mortensen) and wife Edie (Maria Bello) live in a small mid-western town with teenage son Jack (Ashton Holmes) and young daughter Sarah (Heidi Hayes). The couple own, and Tom manages, a diner on Main Street. One night at closing, two psychopathic killers enter the eatery to rob the place and have some bloody fun. (We know they're psychopaths because the film's opening sequence shows them brutally murdering a family that owns a roadside motel.) As his waitress is about to be raped, Tom reacts in a way that would make Dirty Harry proud. The killers are rendered dead in pools of blood, coffee, and broken glass, and Tom, with his foot impaled by a knife, becomes a local hero that makes the national TV news. However, this notoriety draws out of the woodwork a scarred, Mafia hit man from Philadelphia, Carl Fogarty (Ed Harris), and a pair of associate thugs. Carl insists to Tom and Edie that the former is really Joey Cusack, a big city killer that tried to take out Carl's left eye with barbed wire. Tom, of course, denies that he's ever been to Philly. Edie believes her husband. At least she does until witnessing his reaction when Fogarty et al confront Tom on their front lawn after they kidnap Jack. Maybe Hubby has secrets, you think?

At first, the audience believes that son Jack is a spineless wimp - until he's pushed too far in the hallway of his high school by a bully that's been tormenting him. (Is there an inheritable gene for mayhem, you might ask.) From all of us who've had sand kicked in our faces, way to go, kid!
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173 of 234 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Cronenberg at his masterful best December 25, 2005
Format:DVD
What can I say about David Cronenberg's latest work that hasn't already been said by film critics everywhere? My answer to that has to be: not much. A History of Violence will remind people that David Cronenberg is one of the more underappreciated film directors of the last 30 years and also one of its master craftsmen. Using a loose-adaptation (yet echoing some of the book's themes) of the John Wagner and Vince Locke graphic novel of the same name, Cronenberg creates a multi-layered film dissertation about the nature of violence. I will pause for a moment and say that the film also delivers as a taut, gripping, thriller that looks to ape the action-films of blockbusters past, but Cronenberg's skill as a director manages to keep the film above it's B-movie aspirations.

More well-known as the creator of eccentric and unusual fare with legions of fans and admirers in the horror community, David Cronenberg may have his most mainstream and accessible film to date since his remake of The Fly. In A History of Violence Cronenberg's existentialism continues to show as he probes through the dark and shadowy corners of human behavior and instinct. He posits a question of whether people as a whole --- no matter how saintly, well-balanced, and civilized --- secretly revels in the violence they see around them even as they denounce and feel uncomfortable around it. Some have seen this film as something of a historical commentary of the American history and how the nation itself has been shaped by its acceptance of violence and its many repercussions. I would say that those people are not far off the mark, but to compartmentalize Cronenberg's film to such a narrow focus is not fair to the film.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
2.0 out of 5 stars As Though a Black Hole Sucked Every Good Idea Into Oblivion
* Please note that his review contains many spoilers. *

Plot

The movie begin with two men so unimportant to the story that they both didn’t possess any... Read more
Published 7 days ago by Antique Girl
5.0 out of 5 stars Jeezus Joey! ... I like this flick
This is a great movie for guys who like to see bad guys getting the stuffing knocked out of them. I have watched it at least once a year since it came out. Read more
Published 7 days ago by cheue444
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
very good movie, I am very pleased
Published 8 days ago by William T. Archer
1.0 out of 5 stars No Good
Disc did not work in either of my machines. I am returning for credit.
Published 8 days ago by Mary Ann Schneider
2.0 out of 5 stars Site kept crashing
Trying to watch the movie the site kept crashing.
Disappointed
Published 11 days ago by Raymond Lerma
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Great action movie. Too rough for kids. Great and different plot line. Fine character stars.
Published 16 days ago by Tilden R.Reid
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
One of my favorite movies.
Published 22 days ago by William C Schanlaber
5.0 out of 5 stars Great
One of the best pictures I've seen.
Published 23 days ago by Kupcake
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Love this movie
Published 1 month ago by SEa Air and Land
4.0 out of 5 stars top notch trhiller
really keeps you on the edge of your seat. we saw this after watching Eastern Promises, both excellent. Don't see Viggo much anymore
Published 1 month ago by Bill Washington
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Pretty good movie, terrible DVD cover
Not a superfluous observation! I dig the flick but you're
so on it about the cover......velveeta time. Definitely
not up to par with the film. Good call!
Feb 5, 2011 by Mark O. Avery |  See all 2 posts
Region free?
Yes it is. Bookmark this site: http://www.blurayregioncodes.com/

At the top you can click on other regions too, and see if the discs will play in your Region A (or 1) player... In case you ever want to import anything.
Mar 15, 2010 by J. Higgins |  See all 2 posts
What was Tom/Joey?(spolirs)
Joey was indeed some sort of hit man for the mob, and his brother was the boss. Joey gets some kind of awakening, changes his name, runs away, falls in love and settles in a small Indiana town. He's living a great life. He owns a diner, has a loving wife, a son and daughter. But some really bad... Read More
Sep 24, 2013 by suzietoo |  See all 2 posts
Reviews getting posted
My reviews appear inmediatly after I post them. Maybe you're doing something wrong.
Apr 25, 2006 by mrblack |  See all 2 posts
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