Wednesday, November 13, 2013

852. C'est arrive pres de chez vous/Man Bites Dog (1992)

Running Time: 96 minutes
Directed By: Remy Belvaux, Andre Bonzel, Benoit Poelvoorde
Written By: Remy Belvaux, Andre Bonzel, Benoit Poelvoorde, Vincent Tavier
Main Cast: Benoit Poelvoorde, Remy Belvaux, Andre Bonzel, Malou Madou, Jenny Drye
Click here to view the trailer


Wow, I've made it all the way back to 1992, moving in reverse chronology. The goal within the next forty movies is to finish off the 90s (except for a couple that I've set aside for the finale) and continue movie chronologically backwards through the 80s too. Then, next season, I'll likely tackle the 50s and start moving in regular chronology. Anyway, I'm jumping the gun by a mile and we've got a movie to talk about - "Man Bites Dog"... a mockumentary wherein a camera crew follows around  serial killer, documenting his kills, his motives and his techniques. It's more of a comedy because the serial killer that we're talking about is actually quite entertaining and funny. His name is Ben (Poelvoorde) and he's very natural in front of the camera, treating the film shoot as his personal claim to fame and speaking with a tone that more implies he's curing cancer, as opposed to taking lives. He's cocky, confident and never feels remorse for the brutality he dishes out. Along the way, the camera crew (consisting of characters named Remy and Andre - played by co-writers Remy Belvaux and Andre Bonzel) begin to assist him in his spree; helping him sink bodies and even accepting financial help from Ben, in the form of the loot he steals from his victim's homes'.

To be honest, the film doesn't have much of a point, except maybe to poke a stick at the media and the way the eat up random acts of violence with a spoon and then try to feed it back to the public, by filming it and showing it over and over. It's not particularly a subject that I found riveting and satirizing usually leaves me with a bad taste in my mouth and "Man Bites Dog" was no exception. Sure, I'll be the first to admit that Benoit Poelvoorde was a talented guy - I'd go so far as to call him extremely talented, keeping tied to this picture, even when I wanted to just mentally check out. He was funny and had a knack for being in front of a rolling camera and knew how to keep us watching, whether we wanted to or not. Otherwise, this one just didn't do anything for me. No, it wasn't the violence that turned me off either. I can take as much violence as you want to dish out and it doesn't offend or horrify me. It was just pointless to me and I just couldn't settle into it. It surely wasn't meant to be taken seriously and that's a big problem for me, because I like to take my movies seriously. It was too silly to be anything meaningful. I'm just not sure how I was supposed to leave this film feeling. Was I supposed to leave laughing? Was I supposed to leave with a new opinion and something to talk about with the water cooler gang? Was I supposed to be horrified? I don't know....It was a tough nut to crack, but ultimately, I'd rather just give up on the nut and throw it to the squirrels.

RATING: 4.5/10  It kept me interested for the entire duration, thanks to Benoit Poelvoorde, so I have to give it credit for that. Otherwise, take a pass on this one. Sorry for the short review - still sucking on cough drops, if you get my drift.


November 13, 2013  2:46pm

1 comment:

  1. This will be very short, as it's quite some time since I saw this one, and the memory of it has faded a bit, but I think I am going to pretty much agree with you on this one as well. In retrospect, I think I'm liking it more than I did at the time.. so maybe one in need of a re-watch.


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