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Posts Tagged ‘Peter Medak’

The Krays

Wednesday, March 9th, 2016

tn_kraysRonnie and Reggie Kray were identical twin gangsters who ran London’s East End in the ’50s and ’60s. They owned night clubs (part of the movie SPARROWS CAN’T SING with Roy Kinnear was filmed in one of their clubs) and hung out with celebrities including Judy Garland and Frank Sinatra. Ronnie was gay, and was involved in a political scandal, allegedly having sex with and supplying men for the conservative politician Lord Boothby. The brothers were crazy and vicious and in ’69 got twin life sentences for different murders.

I’m not sure when they did all those weird stop motion films with the creepy dolls and shit.

THE KRAYS is a 1990 movie about the Krays, directed by Peter Medak (THE RULING CLASS, SPECIES II) and written by Philip Ridley (writer/director of THE REFLECTING SKIN and THE PASSION OF DARKLY NOON). I guess that combination is why it’s not a traditional gangster movie. It gives the twins a creepy DEAD RINGERS kinda vibe and spends less time than you’d think on their criminal activities.

In fact, the first 20 minutes is about their childhood. We see their traumatic experiences during the war, and how much time they spent surrounded by women while the men were off fighting. They were protected by their mother Violet (Billie Whitelaw, TWISTED NERVE, THE OMEN, SLAYGROUND) and spoiled by their Aunt Rose (Susan Fleetwood, CLASH OF THE TITANS). (read the rest of this shit…)

Species II

Wednesday, September 30th, 2015

tn_speciesiiOh shit. What if instead of a female alien killing people in a SPECIES movie, it was a male alien? That would change everything. I HAVE NEVER SEEN ANYTHING LIKE THIS.

No, actually I’m making it sound stupid, but I honestly think this is a good premise for part 2. I talked in my review of the first one about how much I liked the gender subtext there, even if they didn’t do as much with it as I’d like. This one continues the exploration by giving us a male-alien-sex-rampage to compare and contrast with the female one.

Men are from Mars, you know, so that’s where it starts. America’s first manned mission to Mars (co-financed by Pepsi, Sprint, Reebok and Bud Lite) ends up getting the crew infected by Species DNA, which speaks to either how bad their luck is or what a toxic shithole Mars is, because I swear they were there for like five minutes total. I kind of feel bad for Reebok on this, it doesn’t seem like they got their money’s worth. One of the astronauts goes down on the lander, plants the flag, makes a brief speech, digs up three soil samples and flies back to the shuttle. They don’t notice that the samples are steaming and dripping slime as they high five and get ready to be “Homeward bound, bay-bay!” (read the rest of this shit…)

Romeo Is Bleeding

Monday, January 1st, 2001

This is one of the ’90s crime pictures I had to catch up on. It came out in ’93, the year after Reservoir Dogs so it probaly just missed the raising of the standards. If it came out in the ’80s it would have seemed a little better but since then we’ve had a whole lot of far superior crime pictures and neo-noir type creations. This has the slick feel of a True Romance and the nihilistic attitude of a True Romance, but not the characterization of a Reservoir Dogs or the strong themes of honor and betrayal of a Reservoir Dogs.

Gary Oldman plays Jack Romeo (well they didn’t call him that in the movie but I’ve decided Romeo is his last name, you got a problem with that asshole? I didn’t think so) a police sergeant who, even if he wasn’t a police sergeant, would have almost no redeeming qualities. Now I think Gary Oldman is a great actor judging from what I’ve seen of him in the fifth element and the true romance. But I mean jesus. This is a guy who can play characters with no soul, no heart, pure evil. He is a great villain. But he is not a good anti-hero or everyman who you want to follow into the dark side. And we’re not going to feel sorry for him. If this movie was going to work it would have needed someone who could invest the character with some type of infectious charisma that would make you want to side with a fucking dirty pig asswipe like Jack Romeo. (read the rest of this shit…)