Not surprisingly, Lou Lumenick of the NY Post has an entirely different view of the torture-porn flick “Funny Games.” Key excerpt:
March 14, 2008 — THE joke is on arthouse audiences who show up for “Funny Games,” which is basically torture porn every bit as manipulative and reprehensible as “Hostel,” even if it’s tricked out with intellectual pretension.
This is an English-language remake of Austrian director Michael Haneke’s 1997 film of the same title, which he said he made as a rejoinder to the violent American films of the post-Tarantino era.
That version was barely released in America, prompting Haneke himself to direct this remake aimed at a theoretically larger audience. It has a different cast and transposes the action to Long Island but is otherwise virtually the same movie, shot-for-shot.
The one major change is telling. While Anna, the main female character being gagged and tortured in the original kept on her clothes, Haneke ups the ante this time around by adding the humiliation of stripping her down to bra and panties for a substantial period of screen time.
Perhaps it was the idea of the new Anna, Naomi Watts, who is listed as an executive producer of the remake and who wastes something of a tour de force in service of what finally amounts to self-abuse by the director – and just plain abuse for the audience.
This is great. Why can’t these supposed intellectuals just admit they’re in the movie business for the cash?
And for the record, Lumenick loves “Horton.”