Charles Bronson

death sentence

Revenge movies have been a go-to for the film industry for a long time now. That’s probably because they’re simple in structure, don’t take all that much imagination to conceive, and are an easy way to get your audience to care about action scenarios. Introduce a main character, have him be wronged, then have him go after the people who wronged him. Boom—instant movie. They’re not prevalent just because they’re quick and easy though, they keep getting made because they really do affect us on a deep, animal level. There’s a boiling anger somewhere in us all, an urge to engage in cathartic, wrathful behavior, and the revenge trope allows us to indulge in that without having to take action ourselves; and it even offers up the added reassurance of providing a moral justification for the violence taking place. These movies affect us so powerfully because of the way they’re able to delay gratification and then deliver satisfaction, as well. A good revenge movie is all about making the audience want to see a bad guy get his comeuppance, delaying the payback to the point where they believe they’re going to burst if they don’t get to see it, and then delivering the splatter right before the credits roll. It’s basically the same premise carnies have been using to sell professional wrestling matches for a century now. Today we’re going to explore what works and what doesn’t in the genre by comparing a movie that’s considered to be a famous […]

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Junkfood Cinema - Large

Welcome back to Junkfood Cinema; death wish, thy name is Baconator. You’ve wandered foolishly down the back alleys of the internet, and arrived in a really bad neighborhood. By that, I of course mean a neighborhood full of reprobates with a predilection toward criminally bad movies. Sure, the denizens of the dilapidated JFC tenements will surround the movie and stomp it liberally with mockery, but that’s simply the initiation. Surviving the onslaught of snark indoctrinates said bad movie into the gang, and much streetwise love is subsequently lavished upon it. That’s when we crack open a six-pack of Twinkies, or some other disgustingly tasty food themed to the movie, and chase away all semblance of respectable taste. This week, we strap on a Kevlar vest we know won’t at all save us and prepare to stand toe-to-toe with Paul Kersey. Who’s Paul Kersey? If you don’t know his name it only means you haven’t crossed him yet…or that you haven’t seen any of the Death Wish movies. Paul Kersey is Charles Bronson, and Charles Bronson is the soft-spoken angel of mustachioed death. He has had arguably the worst luck as a husband and father. First, his wife and daughter are sexually assaulted by a gang of Jeff Goldblum-led punks, which are the worst type of punks, then his wife is murdered and his daughter goes catatonic. But wait, there’s so, so much more. He moves to a new town and, wouldn’t you know it, his daughter (just out of the […]

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Over Under - Large

Once upon a time, Hollywood was king of the Western and the idea of anybody over in Europe making a movie about the American Southwest as successful as something like High Noon was laughable. Italian-produced films about the west, or Spaghetti Westerns, were largely low budget knock-offs where fading Hollywood stars went to die after their careers had peaked. But the work of Sergio Leone changed that viewpoint. His “The Man With No Name” trilogy wasn’t just a worldwide financial success upon release, the films have gone on to be seen as some of the greatest Westerns produced anywhere, throughout the history of film. And the final installment of that series, The Good, The Bad and The Ugly, has especially become an important part of the fabric of pop culture. More than any other Western I can think of, it’s stood the test of time and achieved a level of awareness that rivals any other classic film in any other genre. Often it’s referred to as not just the definitive Spaghetti Western and Leone’s masterpiece, but as the definitive Western, period. That’s all fine and good, because I think The Good, The Bad and The Ugly is largely a great film; but I think he actually improved two years later when he made Once Upon a Time in the West, my pick for the greatest Western of all time.

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Internationally loved cologne salesman, Charles Bronson, was already a massive star by the time he made Death Wish, but it’s his role as Paul Kersey that might be his most famous simply because he owns it completely. Sure he’s rugged and charismatic in The Dirty Dozen, he’s surprisingly vulnerable in The Great Escape, but in the Death Wish movies he’s in command and the streets bow down to him. So maybe a remake is in order? According to the LA Times, that’s the thinking of MGM and Paramount, and the partnership wants Joe Carnahan to clean up from fighting wolves for The Grey and come help them out with it. It must be tough coming out of bankruptcy, but MGM really has nothing except remake concepts going for them. That’s pretty damned sad. Of course, the big question with a remake like this (beyond the fact that remakes aren’t doing good business currently) is how to re-create something that tapped into a social feeling in the 1970s. The same heat just isn’t there, there is no grand panic in society of rising crime rates and a feeling of helplessness in the face of a bewildered law enforcement culture. In fact, police are so good at doing their jobs now, they even find time to pepper spray people in the face at random. So who becomes the villain here? And even better, who could possibly replace Charles Bronson as Paul Kersey? Jason Statham did the job recently for The Mechanic, but […]

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With the entire original run of The Twilight Zone available to watch instantly, we’re partnering with Twitch Film to cover all of the show’s 156 episodes. Are you brave enough to watch them all with us? The Twilight Zone (Episode #66): “Two” (airdate 9/15/61) The Plot:  The only surviving male and female from opposing forces play a game of cat and also cat with each other in a deserted city. The Goods: First of all, you may have noticed by the date that we’re writing about this episode almost exactly 50 years after it first aired. That the episode (let alone the series) is still so damned engaging is a testament to fresh, universal writing that is (at its best) reduced down into some individualistic character or situation. Fortunately this episode, the first of season 3, features both. However, the situation isn’t unique (not even to the series). Serling mirrors the series’ first episode but instead of one man alone in a city without people, it’s a man and woman finding themselves without the aid of other human life.

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With Burke and Hare, John Landis has marked his return to the world of feature filmmaking. He’s kept busy the last few years, albeit not in the way his fans would prefer him to be, but still preoccupied nonetheless. However, this dark romantic comedy brings him back to the genre he once mastered. Like many of the director’s acclaimed comedies, Burke and Hare is about the unlikeliest of leads. The murdering duo (played by Simon Pegg and Andy Serkis) could easily slip into being nothing but despicable, but that has always seemed to be a fun challenge for Landis. The Blues Brothers, the Animal House gang, and so on, are not particularly “good” people. In most films, they would be the villains. Landis, on the other hand, always sets out to make them the heroes. Here’s what the personable John Landis had to say about how this isn’t his return, following antiheroes, being in the intimidating presence of Charles Bronson, and why he didn’t direct The Wolfman:

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Every day, come rain or shine or internet tubes breaking, Film School Rejects showcases a trailer from the past. Sure, the movie needs no introduction now. It’s a classic. But what about in 1963 when it had to introduce itself to audiences? How did it sell its story then? Simple. By showcasing the ridiculous list of acting talent that it had lined up from Steve McQueen to Charles Bronson. Give it some tension, some excitement, and parade a bunch of big stars in front of the firing squad, and you’ve got yourself one hell of a picture (and one hell of a trailer). Check out the trailer for yourself:

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Every day, come rain or shine or internet tubes breaking, Film School Rejects showcases a trailer from the past. Explosions! Action! Bullets flying everywhere! Vein juice spilled on the ground! Motorbikes! People falling into pools because of motor bikes! Garages that don’t work on Saturday! Assassins! Proteges! Bronson! Today’s trailer from the 1972 film from Michael Winner isn’t hard to guess even if it’s going by a different name. Think you know what it is? Check the trailer out for yourself:

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Recently I spent an entire weekend watching Charles Bronson films in an effort to document his very best kills. I, and at various times a rotating cadre of my friends, watched 20 movies over three days during what was dubbed Bronsothon. Needless to say, I waded through some really awful movies that weekend, but there were more than a few pleasant surprises. Among them were Mr. Majestyk, Death Wish 2, and The Mechanic. The Mechanic blew my mind because as much as it was a familiar Bronson shoot-em-up, it was also a fairly cerebral character study. It also had an ending I did not at all expect; I loved it. When I heard the upcoming Jason Statham film was a remake, I had to see it.

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Junkfood Cinema

Welcome back to Junkfood Cinema: shame is completely relative. In a world where only good movies get attention, one man decided to take the laws of taste into his own hands. Hi, I’m him. This is the movie column wherein I put a truly schlocky movie on trial only to see it get away with murder. As bad as these films may be, I will defend their greatness with a .44 caliber hand cannon. In an effort to exact vigilante justice against your physique, I will then pair the film with an unlawfully tasty snack food item. Last weekend, as research for an article I was writing, I watched 20 Charles Bronson films over three days. This undertaking, dubbed Bronsothon, not only filled me with renewed vigor for the violent artistry of one Mr. Charles Buchinsky (alias Bronson), but also allowed for the instantaneous sprouting of a lush, full mustache. Some of these films I had seen before and others were first views but one thing that remained consistent throughout was my steadily increasing level of aggression. I found that where I would normally solve small disagreements by engaging in civil dialogue, I suddenly shot five people and blew up a parked car. The worst instances of misplaced aggression came during the Sunday night marathon of all the Death Wish sequels. Today’s snack: Death Wish 2

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Jumping out of windows! Smashing cars into other cars! Slowly walking away from a devastating explosion while putting on designer sunglasses! Jason Statham steadfastly refuses to make a different film, which is bullet-based music to the ears of some fans. With the new trailer for the Mechanic remake, Statham proves he can do the thing everyone on the planet knows he can do – play a bad ass with a gun and a score to settle. Still, without the mustache, he’s only operating at 34% Bronson. It’s red-band, so enter in your date of birth and enjoy the ka-booms:

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For 36 days straight, we’ll be exploring the famous 36 Dramatic Situations by examining a film that exemplifies each one. From family killing family to prisoners in need of asylum, we brush off the 19th century list in order to remember that it’s still incredibly relevant today. Whether you’re seeking a degree in Literature, love movies, or just love seeing things explode, our feature should have something for everyone. If it doesn’t, please don’t take the law into your own hands. Part 33 of the 36-part series takes a look at “Crime Pursued By Vengeance” with the best damned example of it – Death Wish.

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Two men. The city against the West. Who emerges victorious and who emerges with only blood and sympathy on his side?

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NicolasWindingRefn

Nicolas Winding Refn is a great filmmaker. He’s also an avid toy collector and a man obsessed with violence and criminals. Watch how these things come together as we enter the mind of the man who gave us Bronson.

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statham-1

In 140-characters via Twitter, Production Weekly is giving us all the relevant details this afternoon about a new project in development involving awesome action guy Jason Statham and Con Air director Simon West.

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Righting Wrongs Dream Team

Ever wanted a shirt that just screams badassery from the rooftops?

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stallone01.jpg

Sly seeks an all-star cast to remake Charlie Bronson’s classic.

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