Paul Kersey has been retired from vigilantism for several years. Under an assumed identity, he’s adopted a new life as a teacher in a small town college outside New York. Paul is a changed man. He’s even fallen in love and become engaged to Olivia, a former fashion model turned industrial entrepreneur. But fate won’t leave Kersey alone. On a visit to Manhattan he finds himself caught in the middle of a street shootout. Then he learns that his fiancé is a victim of a protection racket run by her ex-husband mobster Tommy O’Shea. When Olivia goes to the district attorney for help, Tommy has her disfigured, then brutally killed. Once again, Kersey becomes the relentless vigilante. Only this time, instead of relying only on his .357, Kersey uses some creative technology to avenge his lover’s murder!
1994 – Certificate: 18A – American Film
7.0 out of 10
Went to see MxPx at the Camden Underworld last night. That’s the fourth time I’ve seen MxPx since 2005, although the last time was in 2008. It only has one of the original members left these days, at least as a touring band. I like the Underworld. It has a capacity of 500, the sound’s decent, the vibe’s good, there’s no crash barrier in front of the stage and the beer isn’t too extremely priced for a London venue; (it was £4.20 for a pint of cider yesterday, even though I do have the distinct feeling that the price varies from gig to gig). It’s the gig venue I go to most often. Unlike the 100 Club, the concrete pillars that’re in front of the stage (they hold the building above up) don’t seem to get in the way too much. It has a decent raised area around the dance floor too, with a railing that’s good for leaning on when you want to watch a band and don’t want to get your drink spilt. It even seems to have got some new signs outside recently, so you can actually tell it’s there! It was a lot of fun, even though I felt a bit ‘slow’. I think I’ve been to see too many old bands and reggae groups recently; I’ve forgotten how fast punk rock can be live. There were a lot of young women crowd surfing last night; clearly the new ‘no stage diving / crowd surfing’ poster stuck on one of the concrete pillars wasn’t having much effect. There was also a young chap with his mum there too, right at the front; it’s a 14+ venue but he didn’t look any older than 12 to me. He went for a surf too at one point. That’s one cool mum. It’s also been quite a while since I’ve seen so many happy people at a gig. Nearly everyone seem to be so pleased just to be there, which was rather nice. I can’t be bothered with miserable sods at gigs these days. Got wacked the mouth at one point in the most pit so have a bit of a fat lip today, but that’s okay. Charles Bronson does more than that to people in this movie. (This is probably just as well, as otherwise it would have been a very boring vigilante film.)
Another year and another of Paul Kersey’s relationships ends with a rape and/or murder. Some people seem to be born unlucky. This, the last Death Wish film, doesn’t break the cycle. Released in 1994, it’s a film that now looks and feels its age, in fact older; some of the story is a bit silly too. However, Tommy O’Shea is one of the ‘forgotten’ badass movie baddies. It’s worth watching for him alone. In fact it has quite a few good characters in it. Paul Kersey is a strange guy, even ignoring his habit of blowing away underworld scum. Here he is, engaged to Olivia Regent, who has a young daughter. Olivia is a ‘big deal’ in the New York fashion industry, (and about 30 years younger than him). Yet he doesn’t seem to know very much about her ex-husband or even to have met him before, yet he turns out to be ‘Mr. Big’ when it comes to extorting money through controlling the local fashion industry and Olivia’s company in particular; as well as being her daughter’s father. You would have thought they might have talked about him just a bit at some point; it hardly struck me as a whirlwind romance.
I didn’t much care for the soundtrack, but for the film itself it’s a great fit and helps to set the mood well. In that sense it’s a bit like rain; it’s a pain in the arse when I want to do something outside, but it helps make things grow.
This film has a great trailer. In fact, if someone ever makes a trailer about me, I want the guy who does the voiceover on this one to do mine.
Recommended for fashion designers and entrepreneurs, vigilantes, ineffective police officers and gangsters.
No cats, chainsaws or decapitations.
Top badass moment? Charles Bronson and one of the best ‘forgotten’ movies baddies ever, Tommy O’Shea, face off in the last Death Wish film. There’s enough badass action in this movie for you to need a rectal examination after watching it. Charles Bronson was 74 (I think) when he made this film. If he got involved in setting governmental pension policies, I doubt any old grannies would be dying from hyperthermia in winter because they couldn’t afford to put their heating on. That would be badass too.
Don’t you just hate it when some pretentious person with zero emotional intelligence, wants to appear posher and cleverer than they really are, by using expressions like, “a smorgasbord” of something or other? I do. It’s stupid isn’t it? Who do they think they’re fooling? I just wanted to say that. Anyway, it’s been a while since I wrote anything here, so as a catch up on life in Cactus World, here’s a potpourri of what I’ve been up to…
Had a big row in the local Ford garage for 15 minutes, as I queried a bill of nearly £700 for work that didn’t solve the problem that the car was in there for in the first place. It’s justification? Well, the work needed doing anyway and they thought it would solve the problem. This was after it failed to ring me to discuss the issue last time I was there and raised the same concern. What’s even more annoying is the fact that when I’d first taken the car in with the problem (several visits previously) I’d told them what I thought it was, which is what it turned out to be in the end; a ten minute repair rather than three visits and a bill for around £1,000. But what do I know, I’m just an ignorant, moronic member of the public who knows nothing about cars? So anyway in the end, they suggested if I wasn’t happy I should write to them. Well done Fucking Ford’s, where customer service is clearly not a speciality; or indeed is a basic understanding of cars either. I will never, ever spend a penny with Ford again. Now officially classed as Spawn of the Devil. An interesting aside to this was that for the first time ever, when my car had been serviced (which is why it was there this time), I was rung up and told a driver would drop it off home for me. I can’t imagine this was for any other reason than they didn’t want me in the showroom again, pointing out their shabby lies.
In an effort to turn myself into the physical Adonis (that I really ought to be) and realising that over the past few months I’ve taken less exercise than I had been previously (and have consequently become a bit of a fat slob), I’ve started to walk into work again. (The horror of realising I’d spent £30 driving to and from home and work the previous month probably also had an impact too, as well as the guilt trip I get for adding to the size of my carbon footprint in this way.) We moved offices last October and the new one is further from where I live. So this fact, being very busy at work and the winter weather, had all colluded to ‘force’ me to drive in. So Monday last week, psyched up for the adventure ahead, I stepped out, alone, onto the streets of Reading. Nearly 50 minutes later a sweating, wheezing, half-dead husk of a man turned up at his office, barely recognisable as the person who had started the journey all those minutes ago. There wasn’t even a big welcome or a brass band waiting for me either, what a swizz. You know that film about that guy who has to cut his hand off to escape being trapped up a mountain, 127 Hours? Well, expect a similar effort about my epic journey, to be released around Summer 2013, entitled of course, 50 Minutes. To make matters worse, three men walked past me on my journey, leaving me to cough and splutter in the dust as they zoomed past me. Needless to say, this humiliation has had a profound effect on my mojo. Actually it wasn’t so bad and I did it again last Thursday too. It’s nearly a five-mile round trip. I went the wrong way coming home both times too; my sense of direction isn’t all that great…
Penny news. Penny is fine. I do have two bits of Penny cuteness to report though. Firstly, in a wilful act of physical vandalism associated with my walking to work, I decided I also ought to go back to doing some sit up and press ups too. In my first attempt for some time to do this, (when even getting on the floor took a great deal of effort), Penny came over and rolled around on the floor next to me. I thought that was very sweet. She was either trying to encourage me or (and this is more likely), thought it was some sort of new and rather incomprehensible cat friendly game that I was playing just for her benefit. Secondly, I was watching Red on DVD recently. (This is a film about a man who has his dog killed by some thugs and the consequences of his search for justice; it’s very good and well worth watching.) Anyway, at one point there’s a cute puppy on the screen. Penny likes to sit on my lap and watch films with me, although her taste in films isn’t apparently quite the same as mine so she generally goes to sleep. In this case however she saw the puppy and jumped onto the floor and started rolling around like a little kitten right in front of the TV. Now if anyone doesn’t think that’s extremely cute, then you are truly a heartless and unfeeling being.
I’ve had a leak in my bathroom. (By which I mean a leak in one of the walls from above, rather than a colloquialism for using the toilet.) Actually this is very boring. Anyway, it’s been fixed and the smell of damp dogs in my flat has slowly receded as it dries out. I await the redecorating being arranged by the building owners…
I’ve loved this hot weather recently. I’m a summer person and a morning person. There doesn’t seem to be a way to extend the mornings, but the recent good weather has been very welcome in Cactus World. I celebrated it by not going out into it over the two, long weekends we’ve had recently. But I can assure you, it looked lovely out of the window!
One of the most important highlights of life in Cactus World, is of course the flowering of a cactus. Last week saw two, huge, pink flowers make an appearance on my window sill. Sadly lacking an extra Bank Holiday to celebrate this momentous occasion, I was at work both days so came home to see just a rather collapsed version of them; (they only really last a day). So no photos I’m afraid, but it was a small, special highlight all the same.
I’m reliably informed by my electricity company that the average electricity bill for a one bedroomed flat is around £20-£25 per month. I work for an environmental charity, have low energy light bulbs everywhere and generally try my best not to consume too many resources. I don’t use the cooker every day, put the immersion heater on perhaps twice a week, don’t leave lights on all over the place and normally take showers rather than baths. I only heat one room in winter and I’m out most days at work. My monthly electricity bill is £63! I’ve just changed my tariff to one of those that comes with all this smart meter monitoring stuff, to see why this is the case. (Of course, I’m secretly hoping to discover that the bills have been wrong and will thus get a huge refund.) News to follow, as I investigate the crimes of the environmental criminal that I have apparently become. Guilty or innocent?
Finally, I’ve have been to a number of brilliant gigs recently. Fishbone and Random Hand at the Camden Underworld; Capdown, Random Hand and Dirty Revolution at the Camden Underworld; the Stranglers at the Hammersmith Apollo; the Undertones at the Islington Garage. Lots more too; it’s actually been a really good run of gigs, most satisfying, despite the many bruises and the partial black eye I managed to suffer. The Undertones at the Garage was probably the best. It’s the best I’ve seen the band since it reformed around ten years ago; the place was packed too. The good news is that it’s playing a gig in a pub called Powers in Kilburn in June; there’s only 100 tickets available. The bad news is that that’s exactly in the middle of the two weeks I’ve booked of annual leave, so I now have to rearrange my holiday to take this gig into account; but it’s worth it. One small downer about the Fishbone gig was that I managed to lose a credit card, a debit card, my Oyster Card, my Rail Card, my Rail Card Pass, my train ticket home and £45; which left me with about £2 in my pocket. I wouldn’t normally have all that lot with me either. By some miracle I managed to find my train ticket on the floor afterwards, so at least I could get home. That’s the first time I’ve done that at a gig. It was very annoying!
Right now I’m listening to “Let Me Go” by Rancid.