March 16, 2012
“Look, love. No one gives a toss about Charlton Heston. The man’s a cunt. You’re more of the Charles Bronson type”
My recent viewings of Nicholas Winding Refn’s ‘Drive’ and Tom Hardy’s excellent scenes in ‘Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy’ reminded me that I should catch up with 2008’s ‘Bronson’. It’s the life story of Michael Gordon Peterson (aka Charles Bronson) the “Most violent prisoner in Britain” who was first incarcerated in 1974 and is still behind bars today.
The Blu-Ray begins with the unusual option of listening to a rambling and menacing 15 minute audio intro from Bronson himself controversially recorded for the film’s premier without the knowledge of HM Prison Service. Aside from a great Synth led soundtrack, ‘Bronson’ shares no similarities to Refn’s recent ‘Drive’ which is a great prospect for the variety of his future films. I’d liken it most to Terry Gilliam’s ‘Fear & Loathing In Las Vegas’ in terms of its flare, colourful theatrical style and blending of outlandish fiction and outlandish fact. Tom Hardy’s central performance is astonishing (As always!) for which he put on 19kg of muscle and talked with Bronson himself to get the look and sound just right. Bronson even claims in the audio introduction that he shaved off his famous moustache and actually gave it to hardy to wear in the film! By the end of ‘Bronson’ I’d enjoyed a dazzling feast for the eyes and ears but I wasn’t sure I’d learnt anything lasting from it.
You’ve gotta love a trailer cut to Pet Shop Boys:
February 26, 2012
“For the rest of your life will be looking over your shoulder”
I’ve been a bit excited about attending ‘The Charlie Awards’ at the Prince Charles Cinema. The idea is to be an Alt-Oscars with two categories; Best old film Screened By The PCC in 2011 and best new film Of 2011. The audience was invited to vote on-line from a short list and turn up on the night for a surprise Double-Bill. Just for the record, I voted for ‘Army Of Darkness’ and ‘The Artist’. On Sunday at around 6.15pm, party poppers were handed out anda brief introduction was given. An actual ‘Charlie’ statuette was handed to the girl with the best frock, and then the lights dimmed and the first film began.
The poppers all went off as the BBFC card came up with the words ‘Back To The Future’. I started grinning as you can never watch 1985’s BTTF too many times. When I was a kid I thought Marty McFly was the coolest guy ever and I dressed head to toe like him. Jeans, Denim jacket (with sleeves rolled up), check shirt, trainers, shades, Sony Walkman and even the hair style. I never stretched to the braces and actually learning how to hang onto the back of a car while skateboarding though. It never ceases to amaze me the way Robert Zemeckis pulled all his elements together to create one of the greatest Popcorn thrill rides ever.
After a quick breather to stretch legs and refill Colas the lights went down again for the PCC’s best film of 2011 (Drum roll)… ‘Drive’. Now the first time I saw ‘Drive’ I hated it. The pacing, the acting, the cinematography, the casting, the effects and the script all irritated me but I did think the Electro soundtrack was fantastic. I must have been in a cranky mood at that first screening, as this time I loved it. I loved the staccato pacing, the wonderful subtlety of the acting, the neon look of the lighting, the excellent cast and the daring minimalism of the script. The cartoonish gore effects are still a bit laughable although the film’s sudden violent moments audibly shocked many others in the cinema. The first time I thought it was all style over substance but now I think it’s still achingly stylish but with passionate depths beneath. By god I’m gonna have to go get that soundtrack now, it’s still ringing in my ears… “You have proved to be… a real human being… and a real hero”.