Posts Tagged ‘Charles Bronson’

Hard Times

Wednesday, March 11th, 2015

tn_hardtimesrookiesWalter Hill’s HARD TIMES could almost be a western or a samurai movie, but it happens to be a bareknuckle brawler movie instead. In fact I think it’s the template for my beloved sub-genre of the underground fight circuit movie. Charles Bronson as a guy named Chaney wanders into town (New Orleans circa 1933) on the back of a train. He’s so broke he can’t afford a coffee refill, but he sees a bunch of guys going into a warehouse across the street and he decides to follow them in. Turns out they’re there to gamble on a bare knuckle fight.

Did Chaney know that’s what was going on? Did he come here looking for it? Is this his vocation? Or does he just happen to notice this is going on and need the work? That would be pretty lucky for him, since he happens to be really fuckin good at it. But this is Charles Bronson we’re talking about. I’m sure he’d be the best at whatever manly job was available.

We don’t know what his deal is, but he approaches Speed (James Coburn), the manager of the losing fighter, and convinces him to get him a fight. Speed has no faith in him, but he’s got nothing to lose because Chaney has a little wad of life savings to put up the bet himself.  There’s a big buildup as everyone scoffs at him and then, as in so many of this genre later on (BLOOD AND BONE, NEVER BACK DOWN, DIGGSTOWN, ONG-BAK, LIONHEART, UNLEASHED [suggest others in the comments and I will add them to the list, I know there’s a million of ’em]), he K.O.s the guy in one blow. (read the rest of this shit…)

Chino

Friday, September 19th, 2014

tn_chinoor “What I Did With Charles Bronson On My Summer Vacation”

CHINO is the last western by John Sturges. Here’s the director of GUNFIGHT AT THE O.K. CORRAL practically making a spaghetti western – it’s a Dino De Laurentiis production, but filmed in Spain. I guess I don’t really know what kind of noodle that would be. But he reunites with his MAGNIFICENT SEVEN / THE GREAT ESCAPE star Charles Motherfuckin Bronson in his prime.

Bronson plays Chino Valdez, a loner who ran with the Cheyenne Indians in his youth and now lives all by himself on a ranch catching wild horses, training and breeding them. One day this blond kid named Jamie (Dick Van Patten’s youngest son Vincent) rides by looking for work and Chino – first seen in scary silhouette – lets him sleep in his barn. He keeps calling him “boy” and is the opposite of friendly, almost scares him away by chopping meat in front of him, but then shames him into staying so he doesn’t look like a sissy.

Of course they form a sweet friendship as Chino keeps getting a little nicer to him. He talks gruff but offers him things like letting him borrow a horse to ride into town and help him with different tasks. He makes him smile by threatening to cut his ears off. After a couple days he admits he likes having the boy around and hires him, even though he’s Chino, for fuck’s sake, why would he need anyone to help him with anything? Ridiculous. (read the rest of this shit…)

Rider on the Rain

Friday, March 23rd, 2012

tn_riderontherainI wanted to watch a Charles Bronson movie, accidentally picked one where he doesn’t show up until 25 minutes in. He doesn’t ride in on the rain – the title refers to a different dude, a bald weirdo who a lady named Mellie (Marlene Jobert) sees getting off of a bus. Later he starts peeping on her and then actually attacks her. (read the rest of this shit…)

Death Hunt

Sunday, September 12th, 2010

tn_deathhuntAlbert Johnson (Charles Motherfuckin Bronson) is a trapper drifting through snowy 1931 Canada when he happens to come across some assholes betting on dog fights. One of the dogs is injured and apparently Albert loves animals (when he’s not trapping them) so he takes the dog at gunpoint. In order to smooth things over he gives the owner $200, but just to be clear he’s not negotiating. He’s taking the dog. It’s just like a convenience charge or a dogfight interruption processing fee or something like that. The owner of the dog is Ed Lauter, so this whole incident must be why they don’t seem to like each other in DEATH WISH 3. (read the rest of this shit…)

White Buffalo

Thursday, August 26th, 2010

tn_whitebuffaloWHITE BUFFALO opens with dread as John Barry’s eerie horror score rumbles through a view of a huge white buffalo grunting and snorting like a demon in a spooky cave somewhere. It feels like a nightmare and it is one. It belongs to Charles Bronson. He not only wakes in fright, he wakes with two pistols in his hands and he unloads them into the ceiling of the train car where he’s staying. Luckily nobody was upstairs and they let him off with a warning. (read the rest of this shit…)

Pretty badass, as far as stickers go

Sunday, March 21st, 2010

I got some new reviews on the way, but I figure as in-between conversation material it couldn’t hurt to post links to some odd Badass Cinema related materials like that Clint Eastwood letter. Today’s item is these Japanese Charles Bronson stickers.

click to see the whole sheet
click to see the whole sheet

If anybody knows where to get ahold of some of these fuckers, let me know. I have not historically been a sticker-user but if it ever did come up I would want these to be the stickers I would use. These would be good for if you were committing a series of vigilante murders and a police officer who looked like a young Christopher Guest identified you but decided to let you go, then you would send him a thank  you card and decorate the envelope with a few of these for flair. But be careful about fingerprints in my opinion.

The Dirty Dozen

Thursday, September 10th, 2009

tn_dirtydozenMan, it’s one of those concepts that’s too perfect to fuck up: twelve WWII era inmates of a military prison are sent on a dangerous mission to kill as many Nazi officers as they can. The Americans have this target, but they don’t want to waste good soldiers, so why not these lifers and death row cons, murderers and rapists? It’s kind of the same concept as “paint clothes.” You don’t paint the house in pants you’d wear to church, and you don’t want to waste your best soldiers on a suicide mission so you use these fuckos you got in storage. If they die – well, you weren’t planning on using them anyway. No loss.

For the cons it’s a good deal too. They get to go outside. If it’s true they like killing, here’s their chance for more. They get to postpone their executions, or kill some time before their executions. And if they do a good job and survive they might get pardoned, maybe, if fuckin Ernest Borgnine sees it in his heart. If they die in the line of duty, well, maybe they’d rather die that way than on a rope. (read the rest of this shit…)

Death Wish V: The Face of Death

Wednesday, June 4th, 2008

This one finishes off the series, it’s a goodbye to Paul Kersey and to Charles Bronson for those who aren’t gonna watch the three FAMILY OF COPS movies (the only thing he made after this). I’ve read that Bronson had Alzheimer’s, but he seems completely with it and in good shape.

The year is 1994, Paul has another girlfriend with another daughter. Like part 4 they don’t get mugged or raped, but like all DEATH WISH movies they’re in serious danger. This time Paul runs afoul of the Irish mafia, specifically his girlfriend’s crazy ex-husband Tommy O’Shea (Michael Parks, aka Sherriff Earl McGraw from FROM DUSK TILL DAWN, KILL BILL and both GRINDHOUSE movies). We find out Paul is in witness protection now, not on the run, and he calls an old friend at the D.A.’s office (Saul Rubinek) to help him with O’Shea. But of course that makes things worse, so Paul finds himself sneaking around picking off mobsters. It occurs to me that makes it kind of like a slasher movie where you root for the slasher. Oh well. (read the rest of this shit…)

Death Wish 4: The Crackdown

Friday, March 28th, 2008

For part 3 Michael Winner stripped DEATH WISH down to its crudest elements. There was nowhere further to go within. So for THE CRACKDOWN new director J. Lee Thompson (GUNS OF THE NAVARONE, the last two PLANET OF THE APES movies, THE EVIL THAT MEN DO, tons of other shit) dresses it back up again. You know this right away from the opening which contains suspense, mood, atmosphere, build, surprise, and symbolism, all forbidden by part 3’s strict DOGME style rules.

Kersey is an architect again, and has a family again – another reporter girlfriend with a teenage daughter he regards as his own daughter (we know this because he says “I regard her as if she were my own daughter.”) Oh jesus, not more gang rape, right? (read the rest of this shit…)

Death Wish 3

Tuesday, March 4th, 2008

Well, L.A. didn’t work out too hot for Paul Kersey. Might as well head home. So Part 3’s opening credits show Kersey taking a bus back into New York City, looking out the window to the tune of the most in-your–face, half cheesy/half cool blast of white-man’s-keyboard-rock meets jazz-fusion-’80s-cop-movie-establishing-shot-of-the-city theme this side of HARD BOILED. Jimmy Page is back in the composer’s chair and comes up with a pretty weird and experimental sound more often than he comes up with the crappy guitar noodling you usually got after LETHAL WEAPON came out. He’s still no Herbie Hancock, but he’ll do.

Director Michael Winner returns for his last at-bat in the DEATH WISH series, but you immediately gotta wonder what the hell’s up because this feels nothing like his other DEATH WISHes. I’m honestly not sure if it’s a deliberate artistic choice or a sudden case of not giving a shit, but he has completely removed whatever traces there were of subtlety, thoughtfulness, ambiguity, class or elegance, not to mention realism. It looks cheaper, plays out more clunky and seems to have been made all in a week or so with no time to prepare or to stop to take a breath. And that’s exactly why it’s the most popular of the sequels. This movie is pretty fuckin nuts. (read the rest of this shit…)