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Great True Crime Actioner – BRONSON

BRONSON could just as easily be known as “The Tom Hardy Show.”

After discovering The Pusher trilogy (1996-2005) I became increasingly interested in director Nicolas Winding Refn. All three films were incredible, both as stand-alone narratives and as an interwoven mega-story. Since watching those films I’ve often wondered – aloud and to myself – what else the Danish director had cooking. Enter Bronson (2008): a confirmation of Refn’s talent, Bronson is a beast of a film. As the titular character, actor Tom Hardy brings his A game. His performance as Michael Peterson – the man who would become “Charles Bronson” – is the stuff of cinematic legend, and I doubt he’ll ever have trouble getting work from hereon out. He lets it all hang out, and is an absolute demon in this film, as volatile as it comes: one moment he’ll rip off your arm and the next he’ll have you in hysterics. Refn reinforces the fact that he’s a directorial talent on the rise with this kinetic piece of film, which at a brisk 93 minutes never once wears out its welcome. It was recently announced that Refn wants to direct the Wonder Woman film. Watching Bronson this bit of information might leave you scratching your head as to why, but I think DC and the powers that be should take a gamble and let him. I’d bet the farm the end result would be anything but boring.

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July 5, 2010   No Comments

Great Neon Noir – BODY DOUBLE

BODY DOUBLE is a b-movie excuse for De Palma to let loose.

Some people dislike this 1984 DePalma thriller, a Vertigo/Rear Window tribute transported to seedy Los Angeles, co-starring Melanie Griffith as Holly Body – an aptly named porn star who becomes embroiled in a murder plot – and featuring the largely unknown Craig Wasson as a claustrophobic loser who finds himself the target of an elaborate frame-up. I personally love it – as a guilty pleasure you don’t get much better than young undressed Melanie Griffith, out-of-its mind camerawork, a lead character so plagued with neurosis and guilt he makes Woody Allen look like Charlton Heston, and layers of homage and self-reference that remind us how manipulative the medium can be. De Palma is an amazing visualist, one of the best, but was at a turbulent point in his career: he had just made Scarface, would soon direct the Joe Piscopo dud Wise Guys, and then follow that one up with the classic The Untouchables. And this fluctuation continued through the 1990’s, when at the strike of the new century his fairy godfather Alfred Hitchcock turned his career into a pumpkin, once and for all. But during the 80’s he was still magic. Check out this amazing rear-projection to see the sort of eye candy this incredible movie-lover’s-movie has to offer:

June 3, 2010   3 Comments

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