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.
Isolation… alienation… happiness. In America they all go hand in hand. Buy a new TV and you will be happy. Still not happy? Experience alienation. Can’t afford a new TV? Then live in isolation. “Be happy”, and if that doesn’t work, pretend to make it work. For the characters in Todd Solondz’ award winning, subversively funny film “Happiness”, the struggle to attain such a state is fraught with perils both heartbreaking and hilarious.
1998 – Certificate: 18 – American Film
Rating Details: Adult theme, strong sexual references, language and sex
8.5 out of 10
The National Lottery spoilt my day today and it was going so well too. It started off sunny. Then I drove to Berkhamsted, which included a slow selection along the M4. This provided me with a golden opportunity to open all the windows and ‘educate’ my fellow motorists in what good music sounds like, whether they wanted educating or not. It’s never too early in the day for some noisy punk rock. I then passed my MiDAS trainer/assessor reassessment. This means I can continue to train people to drive minibuses in my own, inimitable style. (e.g. “Just put your foot down.” “It’s not your vehicle, so don’t worry.” “You’re not paying for the insurance.” “You’re bigger than they are.”) I then drove home again with the windows open. This time there was no slow section, so thanks to a large articulated lorry I no longer need to tidy up the interior of my car, as all the rubbish in it suddenly got sucked out of the window as the lorry went past. Then I got home and opened a letter from the Disclosure and Barring Service, which was happy to report that I’m not a pervert or a weirdo; at least not one that’s been caught anyway. But then the Lottery spoilt my happiness by rejecting a funding application I’d made for a project. For the second time! Bloody hell! I even buy two lottery tickets every week by Direct Debit. That should guarantee success. (Then again, I don’t know why this surprises me. In the 19 years it’s been running, I’ve bought one or two tickets virtually every single week and personally never won more than £10; and that’s not happened more than a few times either. I’m relying on a Lottery jacket win to act as my pension too.) My failure was highlighted in some nonsense about insufficient evidence of need. I guess interviewing every single person on the whole planet about the project and finding that all 7,164,915,211 of them supported it and would benefit from it, wasn’t sufficient. Still, I’ve been invited to reapply if I can provide more information. It’s lucky I’ve just got my DBS Certificate, as I’m now going to need to hang about in various maternity wards and try to consult with some babies as they come out of the womb, as just about everyone else has already expressed an opinion. It’s not the rejection that hurts, (well okay it is really), but the fact that some of my colleagues north of the border seen to be able to provide enough evidence for similar applications, by simply stating that they think the project they’re apply for money for would be “nice”. This doesn’t make me very happy. It’s so easy being Scottish. We have to work hard in the South East of England for everything. I think a career as a diplomatic would suit me better. That would make me much happier too. This is a film about happiness.
This is a sick film. It’s exactly the sort of perverse movie that the DBS should ask about before issuing Certificates. It’s also very funny, in a blacker than black way. There’re loads of reviews of it on the Internet, half of which say it’s great and the other half say they walked out of it after 15 minutes because it was so “disgusting”. Despite its reputation as a bit of a dodgy film, it’s also surprisingly moving and very well acted. I think I like it as it features a load of people who think they’re happy but actually they’re not, yet they still are in a rather strange way. I like to see people bought down to my level. It’s a movie for grow-ups you should watch. You can always use a pair of sharp scissors to cut the DVD in two if you don’t like it. (But remember to take care with the scissors, especially as DVDs can suddenly shatter into sharp pieces when stressed. I’d advise you wear gloves and goggles too, just in case.)
There is a soundtrack but it’s pretty unmemorable. Music is sparsely used, although when it is it does support the action nicely. On many occasions it’s used more as an element in the scenes themselves, rather than simply as background ‘noise’ to build tension or whatever. Michael Stipe does sing the theme song though.
Recommended for weirdos. (Sorry, I can’t be arsed to write anything else.)
No cats, chainsaws or decapitations.
Top badass moment? At the start of the film, Allen strikes a blow for downtrodden men everywhere, with his “I’m Champagne” tirade. Admittedly he picks on the somewhat weedy Joy as the target for his ‘stand’, but nevertheless he knocks the ball right out of the ground. Yeah; men rise up and take back your birth right! No more will we be under the thumb of woman-kind! Reclaim the mighty sword of masculinity and trousers of relationship power! (Do I come across as sounding bitter or twisted at all?)
Neil (Guillermo Diaz) has been a vegetarian for one thousand two hundred and sixty-three days. He and his girlfriend Daisy like to spend their days skateboarding, drinking organic coffee, and driving around talking about the state of the world. Their idyllic existence is shattered when Neil’s father, Vic, reveals his grand plan for Neil to become a third generation butcher and work with him in the Father and Son butcher shop. With no job to support himself and nowhere else to live, Neil is left with little choice but to report to work with his father. Faced with the bloody reality of slabs of dead meat, Neil runs screaming from the shop, and keeps running and running and running, until he ends up in a deserted skateboard park. There he has a visionary encounter with a Chicken Man, who kicks his ass and shows him how hypocritical his pseudo-political lifestyle has been. With the Chicken Man’s inspirational words ringing in his head, “You know what you are supposed to do,” Neil returns to his life with a mission to change the world.
2005 – Certificate: Not Rated – American Film
6.5 out of 10
As we all know, vegans are inherently more intelligent and all-around better than anyone else. We also know that we’ll eventually inherit the Earth too; (I’m afraid the meek will just have to piss off down the job centre and look for something else to do). True, it will probably resemble the inside of a Chinese takeaway’s wheelie bin by then, but it’s the principle that’s important here. We look upon mere vegetarians as uneducated children, people with the potential to become civilised, but who have many dark sides to overcome and quests they need to undertake, before they attain true enlightenment. Yes, I know there’re a lot more vegetarians about than vegans but really, they’re a bit like the Lib Dems, no one takes them seriously do they? One pizza or the whiff of bacon cooking and they’re slobbering like a St. Bernard, apologising for their dietary ‘aberration’, in an attempt to appease their cannibalistic, meat-eating friends, in case the latter get offended. If a vegan walks into a room, people take notice; think The Terminator. (That’s probably not the best analogy, but it’s all I can come up with right now.) When I walk into a room, people make their excuses and leave. If I spot a non-vegan woman who I feel shows ‘potential’ and I explain to her that as a vegan we can’t actually breed as we’re basically different species so it’s okay for us to ‘do stuff’ together, she will inevitably make her excuses and leave too. I guess the offer is just too awesome and mind-blowing for them to cope with. I can appreciate that viewpoint; I have each and every one of the 453 times it’s happened. This film is about a mere vegetarian. One who realises that trying to negotiate your enemy into surrender isn’t always possible.
A lot of the time there’s not much really going on in this drama/comedy/horror; the characters mostly sit around and talk about uninteresting stuff. In fact it’s so bad, Neil even speaks directly to the viewers, to give us some insight into what he’s thinking. There aren’t a lot of films like that. There aren’t a lot of films without a trailer either, but I think this might be one of them. Actually, I think Neil is probably a sociopath; he really doesn’t seem to care a lot about those around him, even his family, girlfriend and best mate. He looks like he does but really, it’s all for show. A typical, serial killer personality trait. I personally blame it on all the milk and cheese he probably eats. I suspect there’s a tendency for all vegetarians to be that way inclined; can eat this, can’t eat that, I’m a lacto-ovo-talkbollocksaboutfoodo vegetarian so I can basically decide what I eat depending on what mood I’m in, etc. It’s so complicated, no wonder it messes with their heads. All that angst and guilt about everything. Even the word vegetarian is (if you’ll excuse the pun) a mouthful; does it really need five syllables? And vegetarianism? That’s seven. By the time you’ve explained what you are to someone and what you can and can’t eat, you’ll have starved to death. No wonder they’re all so thin. Look what happened to Robocop in “Robocop 2” when he had too many Prime Directives to deal with. They should all just be vegan, it’s a whole lot simpler; if you like it you can’t eat it. Even I can understand that. Oh the film? Actually it’s not bad at all; I’ve probably made it sound worse than it is.
The film sports a great soundtrack made up of songs by numerous and mostly obscure punk rock bands. It’s good.
Recommended for vegetarians, skateboarders, coffee shop workers and punks. Not recommend for butchers or pet shop store owners.
One cat, no chainsaws or decapitations. There’s a cute cat on a cushion in a pet shop, which does have to do a bit of acting. Stretching your paws out take real timing and effort to look good.
Top badass moment? In the most poorly hidden plot development of the century (especially as I’m about to blab it now), vegetarian Neil kills his butcher father and feeds him to the customers. Sorry, but that automatically qualifies as badass, regardless of the moral implications.