Monster's Ball

Monster's Ball

DVD - 2002
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Hank and Leticia inhabit stark, queasy realities of the contemporary South, he as a death row corrections officer and she as the soon-to-be widow of an inmate whose execution Hank helps conduct. In the aftermath of the execution, both lose their children to tragic deaths and they form an unlikely bond.
Publisher: [United States] : Trimark Home Video : distributed by Lions Gate Home Entertainment, [2002], c2001
Edition: Widescreen version (16x9 2.351)
ISBN: 9781589711877
Characteristics: 1 videodisc (111 min.) : sd., col. ; 4 3/4 in


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An interesting story but the character development is ridiculous. You can't turn a card-carrying racist into a nice guy as fast as they did. Halle Berry is fine but the film is vastly over-rated and is likely noted more for Ms. Berry's nudity and sex scenes than for anything else.

May 28, 2017

All you need to know is that Hallie gets naked. Worth a watch just for that.

Mar 22, 2016

This wasn't particularly good.

Nov 16, 2015

I loathe these "change-of-heart" movies. I really do. And Monster's Ball has got to be one of the most loathsome "change-of-heart" flicks that I've seen in a mighty long time.

Take, for instance, the despicable main character in Monster's Ball - Georgia prison guard, Hank Grotowski. At present Hank is working execution detail on Death Row. What Hank is, is a really, really nasty, bitter, crybaby of an ex-cop. And if that side of Hank isn't detestable enough, then Hank's also one hell of a lousy drunk, and a mean, cussing, foul-mouthed, hateful racist, to boot. (These, of course, are all of Hank's good points.)

With that firmly in mind - What bothers me here is that suddenly, like, overnight ("Presto! Change-O!") Hank does this complete about-face thing. Not only does Hank immediately stop hating Blacks, and begin treating them respectfully, but he also starts fornicating with a black woman named Leticia.

And I don't care what anyone says - Nobody - I repeat - Nobody with such a deep-rooted hatred and animosity, as Hank had towards blacks, could ever possibly change so bloody fast as he did. It was a goddamn miracle. There would always be some remaining residue of hate and racism left smouldering under that cool, mild-mannered facade. It's impossible to be otherwise - We humans don't work in any other way. We don't.

Now, please, don't get me wrong, it's not that I don't believe that people can change - People can and do - But this is something that takes a lot of time, many years, in fact. And, I'm sorry, but considering Hank's background; this change in him was too unrealistically abrupt for me to accept. It seemed so phony and pretentious. Since the overall essence of this flick's story was directed at "realism" Hank's instant "conversion" to black-lover ruined that effect completely.

Nov 25, 2013

A very tedious and slow moving film with a storyline about Southern losers that seemed empty and unfulfilling. The sex scenes seemed rather forced as well and thrown in to give the audience some degree of titillation to overcome the sense of lethargy that pervaded the film. The best scenes revolved around Combs and Ledger at the outset whose performances seemed more authentic than either Berry or Thornton in their particular characters. Leticia never seemed to get beyond her shrieking self-centeredness nor did Hank ever really convince me that he was any kind of transformed redneck. Both seemed to simply be opportunists, she landing some shelter and he getting some sex again, little change from where the movie started, even though their circumstances had changed. It also seems rather simplistic and a bit of a cliché to me when screenwriters continue to put forth abusive characters that loudly proclaim how much they loved the objects of their abuse when they are no longer around. After watching the film, I still was unable to see what the relationship was between the title of the film ( the "get together" between the guards at the prison the night before an execution) and the storyline involving Leticia and Hank, unless of course it meant that Life itself is a death sentence and we’re just living out the night before, a concept that seems a bit of a stretch for this particular movie.

Mar 28, 2013

Not a pretty movie. This one is real, gritty, and unflinching. Halle Berry did some impressive acting in this film.

Jan 03, 2013

A man and woman living different realities in the contemporary South strike up an unlikely but poignant relationship.

Jul 11, 2012

Right... it's not just another Hollywood sanitized flick. It pulls no punches and explores racism in a refreshing way.

macabrescribe May 27, 2011

Monster's Ball is one of the most realistic dramas to come out in the past 10 years. The performances were top-notch. It attacked racism in a tactful way so as to not drown the viewers with a propagandized agenda. And Halle Berry is amazing!

Nov 13, 2010

This is the kind of movie you don't see from Hollywood very often. The acting is excellent yet subtle. The story is extraordinary yet very human and believable.


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