Tom Hardy is Charlie Bronson

Short review:

Longer review: I’ve seen this called “A Clockwork Orange for the 21st Century”, a curious comparison that other movies may seek and others shy away from. You’ll love A Clockwork Orange for its bizarre, stylized violence and probably hate it for the same reason.

Bronson takes a leaf from the same page, though I don’t feel that the comparison to Kubrick’s masterpiece does either of these films justice. Bronson is based on the real life “Charlie Bronson“, an Englishman known as “Britain’s most violent criminal” and unfolds as more of a biography than a drama. Charlie only ever wanted to be famous, and in between his violent exploits of bashing the absolute crap out of almost everyone he meets and generally causing havoc and mayhem, we are invited into his mind to watch him on a surrealistic vaudeville stage where he does a good deal of narration (see the animation above). Thankfully this breaks up what could have been 90 minutes of bashing after violent bashing, and brings a certain light-heartedness to an otherwise distasteful subject. This also serves to let us in on his madness; let’s face it, I’m pretty sure that Charlie isn’t the full quid if you know what I mean.

So if you like your films with a mix of violence, dark humour and vaudeville, plus a dash of full frontal Tom Hardy nudity, I can certainly recommend Bronson.

A mathematically perfect day

Today is a mathematically perfect day. A perfect number is one that is equal to the sum of its (proper) factors.

For example, the factors of 6 are 1, 2 and 3. Add these up and you get 6.
The factors of 28 are 1, 2, 4, 7, and 14. Add these up, you have a perfect 28.

So every year, 28/6 (28th of June, or 6/28 for my backwards American friends) is a Mathematically Perfect Day.

There’s not many of these perfect numbers, and the ones we have discovered get very large very quickly. For example, the next number is 496, then 8128, then 33 million.

Some Trivia:
God created the universe in 6 days, a perfect number.
The moon orbits the Earth in 28 days.
Tricia Helfer played Caprica Six in Battlestar Galactica, and she is a perfect woman.

Caprica Six

The best movie soundtracks

As you know I like movies. And I like music. Though I enjoy most movies and music, I have specific tastes in both. Sometimes, but not often, the two come together to form the perfect movie soundtrack. These are my favourites.

Blade Runner.

 It took an eternity for this soundtrack to be released. I owned a couple sub-par imitations of this soundtrack by the New American Orchestra and others, so every time I visited my local “reccastow” I’d search for the real deal. It wasn’t until about 15 years after the movie that this was actually released, but the wait was worth it. The entire album is laden with atmosphere and seduction, and each track flows into the next with well placed movie dialog. It’s a perfect companion to the best film ever made, and my favourite music to lose myself to when travelling on the train.

Paris, Texas.

When have so few notes said so much as when Ry Cooder’s slide guitar introduces Harry Dean Stanton emerging, parched, from the desert? Cooder adds another whole dimension to an already somber movie about a tortured soul with perfectly timed flowing musical commentary.

Tron Legacy

Daft Punk’s original score fits like a perfectly crafted digital glove over the hand of the perfect digital fantasy woman.

The Crow.

The hard driving, edgy, alt-rock tracks on this non-score movie soundtrack album with a mix of grunge, industrial and alternative perfectly captures the angsty atmosphere of the film. I understand that when the movie came out none of these tracks were available on regular albums. They were specifically created (chosen, at least) for this movie. The album punishes you one moment, and soothes you the next. As a soundtrack of independent songs brought together, it is unsurpassed.

Drive.

A friend recommended this soundtrack to me, and thinking that I knew better I decided to be polite and give it a listen so I’d stop being pestered. After one listen, though, I knew that this was going to be among my top five favourite soundtracks.Well, half of it anyhow. Most of the contents aren’t standalone pieces but need to be taken as a whole to work well. It wasn’t until I saw the movie the other night that I was impressed with how good this soundtrack really is. It perfectly matches the dark, brooding and intense atmosphere of this violent film. I highly recommend Drive as a soundtrack and a movie if you like music and film.

This what you’d call the “signature track”, I guess. Night Call by Kavinsky. Enjoy.

10 potentially good Sci-Fi movies coming in 2012

Find a list here at DenOfGeek.com.

My thoughts:

  • Total Recall is one of those love/hate movies. I can’t decide which, but I think this one is doomed to fail. I kinda thought Mars was almost central to the plot of the original movie, but Mars isn’t part of this reboot. But then again, Mars wasn’t part of PKD’s “We Can Remember It For You Wholesale”.
  • Whoa whoa whoa there, sparky. Michael Chabon is doing the script for John Carter? Hmmm. The previews have it looking like every other generic sci-fantasy actioner. But now it sounds like it has the potential for a lot more.
  • I’m excited for Prometheus but the promo photos worry me. Everything looks so neat and clean, particularly the ship. Granted, a single photo isn’t enough to base a good opinion on, but the Alien movies were amazing in part because everything was gritty, dirty, and looked like a scary place where you wouldn’t want to be even if you weren’t in space. If you take that element away, it is just a monster movie.
  • Iron Sky: Hell YES!

Cars 2: The Lemon

I started writing this back in July but never finished it. So “last week” is more like “last quarter”.

I took a day off work last week and took the family out to see Cars 2 in 3-D at the local cinema. Perhaps we’ve had it too good for too long with Pixar. They consistently produced brilliant, imaginative animation with engaging characters. I mean really, you can’t fault Toy Story, Monsters Inc, Wall-E or Up whether you’re judging though children or adult eyes. From the start, Pixar cast the right voice actors, wrote brilliant stories, composed great music and employed brilliant visionary directors.

In comparison, their biggest competitor in Dreamworks has been a bit hit-and-miss. Below is a graph showing rating scores from RottenTomatoes.com for Pixar movies (in pink) and Dreamworks movies (in blue).

First thing you can see is that, for the most part, Pixar rates higher than Dreamworks. And, Pixar always has rated highly from their first movie Toy Story back in 1995, following up with greats including Mosters Inc, The Incredibles and Ratatouille. The only aberration, funnily enough,  seems to be Cars from 2006, making a score of 74% their “bad movie”. Dreamworks seems to be a roller coaster on the ratings ride, with great shows like Chicken Run, Shrek, Shrek 2 and How to Train Your Dragon being interspersed with stinkers like Shark Tale and Shrek the Third.

But what’s this on the end there? It looks like Pixar took a nose dive off a cliff face after taking a long run up and crashed spectacularly. That, my friends, is Cars 2 with a score of 38%, making Cars 2 the first Pixar movie to get a yellow sticker. True, it’s as visually stunning as any other Pixar movie. More-so, given the “locations” and the 3-D treatment. But none of it could disguise the leaky seals and smoke coming from under the hood. Could it be because Cars 2 was was less about Lightning McQueen, a good strong character, and more about Mater, who, let’s face it, is pretty weak? Could it have been marked down for trying to cram in too much action, like car chases, explosions, guns and violence at the expense of a good story? Could it be because of the weak story pandering to the lowest common denominator, and being too obvious as a vehicle to sell more toys?

Personally, I think it’s a mix of all these. After the movie I think the whole family felt disappointed in the movie. Certainly, Jett no longer regards McQueen as as favourite character but expresses his admiration for Finn McMissile. I don’t know what’s in the pipeline at Pixar, but I hope they can redeem themselves with the next movie. I really hope that they don’t try to revive it and make Cars 3. Even if that engine was fully restored, the body was given a new coat of metallic paint and a new genius director was given the keys I don’t think it’d come out a winner. It would probably never been forgiven for past failures and would forever be known as the Sporty Corvair of animated feature movies.