Cypher, the Outsider, and A History of Violence, review

Cypher is about a man who is hired by two different companies to be a double agent. He thinks he is being sent to a convention to tape the other company’s presentations, but a mysterious Asian lady (Lucy Liu), tells him he’s being drugged and he should not drink anything. He also should show no emotion. When he does this his experience is very surreal and it is difficult not to be found out. He eventually discovers that he has be brainwashed by the other side, too. He is very attracted to the Asian lady and starts having dreams about her. In the end, he finds out who he really is and who she is, too. The movie is well done, and Lucy Liu does a good job. Jeremy Northam is the main character. He is from England and was in Gosford Park, but I’m not real family with him. 3/5 acorns.

I missed A History of Violence when it was released in 2005. It also pairs Cronenberg and Viggo Mortensen. Viggo is a family man who loves his wife and kids and runs a diner in a small town. One day some downright nasty guys come into the diner and terrorize everyone. When Stephen McHattie goes for the waitress, Viggo kills both of them and becomes a hero. He moment of fame brings some professional killers into town. Ed Harris has a large scar on his face he claims “Joey” gave him and claims Viggo is that Joey. Viggo says he isn’t but Ed is very sure. When they come for him at his home, his family witnesses a man they don’t know. Spoiler ahead. . Yup…Joey. The DVD has some making of stuff on it and apparently in the European version it isn’t enough that Viggo jams the nose of one of Ed’s henchmen into his face, while he is writhing on the ground, a bleeder pumps red blood into the air. Nice. I really didn’t notice, heh. It was blood enough and just as effective. Cronenberg can’t help himself. What’s the fun of having gut wrenching violence if there are not guts? 4/5 acorns, but a clive as well.

It turns out, Ed has been sent by William Hurt, who is Joey’s older brother. Joey goes back to Pittsburgh and when he comes back, is he the same guy? Can 3 years in the desert change a man’s violent nature?

The Outsider is a 2002 Hallmark movie with Tim Daly and Naomi Watts. Naomi Watts belongs to an Amish like religious group. She falls in love with Tim Daly, an injured gunslinger she takes in and he with her. Where her life is family, and she hears music in nature, Tim was raised in an orphanage that adopts kids out as slave labor. He was tortured by the pig farmer that raised him and one day he jams a pitchfork into his face. He has been killing and roaming every since and is very good at it. But of course, Naomi Watts can turn any ruthless killer into a loving sheep farmer and he is definitely worth being shunned for. I loved him in Wings. This movie also has Keith and David Carradine in it. A bonus! 2.5/acorns. I am a sucker for these cowboy romances with happy endings. She takes a bullet in the chest I saw that coming way before it happened) and David cannot remove that bullet near her pulmonary artery and still there is a happy ending! Ain’t TV grand?


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