charles bronson

I love schlocky action films. I will always respect a movie that knows what it is and embraces it.

The John Wick films do a pretty respectable job at that. The scripts are laughably formulaic, a computer could have written them. That’s the way schlock is supposed to be: everything is supposed to be up on screen. I love the juxtaposition between violence and every day life. Even the casting of Keanu Reeves is a stroke of genius: he is an extraordinarily limited actor. When you see him, you know you’re not getting anything deep. He’s just there to kick ass and kill. Respect.

Sure, I talked shit about Keanu before. I don’t think I’m being controversial when I say that I don’t find him compelling usually. Not that he has to be. He’s a pretty boy that’s limited to certain roles.

It’s rare to find a true gritty action star, one that’s not necessarily being tongue in cheek, one that’s not a pretty boy, or trying to overly impress you with their physique.

I suppose Daniel Craig is such an actor. Jason Statham could be another. Maybe Bruce Willis at times.

But the best one was Charles Bronson.

For whatever reasons, I’ve been binging the fuck out his movies. Bronson’s stretch through the 70s was the greatest run of any action star. It’s hard to imagine an actor like him succeeding in modern Hollywood.

Contrary to popular perception, Charles Bronson could act. In fact, I’d say he was much more capable of handling emotionally intense scenes than Clint Eastwood, a contemporary of Bronson and an actor of similar caliber. Just watch Breakout or Mr. Majestyk. This is especially true when he’s playing opposite a female costar, specifically the romantic interest. There’s something about his glare that can carry those scenes.

Was Charles Bronson a good looking man?

Seriously, was he?

I like that ambiguity about him: a sex symbol whose appeal is derived from raw power and everyman looks. Daniel Craig, at least as James Bond, has similar appeal.

But, for me, the biggest appeal was that he wasn’t an actor’s actor. He had a workman approach to his craft. He knew exactly what he was creating. And the days of those actors are long LONG gone.

Unpopular opinion, but Bronson’s collaborations with Michael Winner are some of my least favorite, specifically Chato’s Land and The Mechanic. Winner seems to have overestimated his abilities as a director. (Death Wish III is an undeniable classic though) J. Lee Thompson was better suited to Bronson, specifically 10 to Midnight.

But anyway, Charles Bronson was the GOAT.

the matrix sucks (and so does it’s philosophy)

Honestly, I barely remember the Matrix. It was forgettable and bland, much like Keanu Reeves.

I’ve never seen the sequels and I never will.

Unfortunately it has left an indelible mark on our social consciousness, so I can’t but be reminded of it every time I look at the internet.

The philosophy of the Matrix has always kind of annoyed me. I don’t know if that’s the fault of the film, or by the malcontents that roam the web.

I’m vaguely familiar with Jean Baudrillard. I guess much of the film’s philosophy is influenced by his work, specifically Simulacra and Simulation. Never read it. But a quick Google search would suggest that there’s some overlap with my own personal philosophy which I discussed in “the joker sucks” series.

Since I never read Baudrillard (and probably never will) I can’t provide a valuable critique, but I’d venture to say that I’d break from his central thesis: that reality is somehow made “less real” by excessive use of “symbols”,“consumerism”, or “late stage capitalism”. (Feel free to correct me if I’m wrong on that thesis)

Reality IS distorted by human perception, and human perception is, to a degree, culturally constructed. But reality is, by definition really, real…regardless of how our perceptions change.

So, in reality, “the Matrix” in the Matrix is actually Reality, and the “desert of the real” (with all the mythology and sinister forces at play) is actually the Fantasy.

None of this matters to the quality of the film AS A FILM, but when its philosophy is utilized as genuine cultural critique by internet malcontents, they completely miss the irony.

The truth of the matter is that I don’t know what the Internet is. Is it real? A pointless fantasy projected onto real physical materiality? The “Real” Matrix that we all must escape from?

I guess it’s just mental masturbation for me.

Anyways, shit’s boring. Lost my train of thought. Basically I’m saying the same shit in “the joker sucks” but I’m applying it to the Matrix because the two are overused memes from overrated films.

Also, recognize fantasy when you see it.

Again, sorry for my tiny dick

Dennis Hopper: GOAT

Phil Spector, Carrie Fisher, Stevie Nicks, and the greatest of all, Dennis Hopper, are all on the Mount Rushmore of cocaine addicts.

In case you forgot, Mr. Hopper was the star in over 104,000 films

Dennis Hopper brought an intensity to his craft that has yet to be matched. In addition to his acting, his talents also extended behind the camera as director of such unforgettable classics like The Last Movie, Colors, Out of the Blue, and Chasers (starring a peak form Tom Berenger).

The 1969 film, Easy Rider, Hopper’s directorial debut, kickstarted the “auteur” fad in Hollywood that extended throughout the 1970’s (which ended in 1983 when, again, three people were killed. And again, RIP). Sadly, the 70s saw Dennis Hopper’s acting career more or less flatline, which was likely due to his aforementioned cocaine addiction (which is unfortunate. The decline of his acting career that is. Not his crippling cocaine addiction).

However, there was a Dennis Hopper renaissance in the 1980s, with the height of his success coming in 1986 as the sadistic Frank Booth in Blue Velvet and the alcoholic Shooter in Hoosiers.

Hopper rode this newfound fame on into the 90s and 2000s, saying ‘yes’ to any script that was handed to him. Who can forget the time he fought Keanu Reeves on top of a train in Speed? Or taught Kevin Costner how to act in a bad movie for Waterworld? Or gave the greatest racist monologue in the history of film (written by Quentin Tarantino) in True Romance?

Dennis Hopper passed away in 2010.

No matter the script (remember, he was in Super Mario Bros.), no matter the personal dramas in his life, Dennis Hopper always gave it his all.

He was an actor’s actor.

He was the GOAT.