Thursday, 25 April 2013

The Godfather Trilogy

****Spoiler Alert****
Though The Godfather was released to us in 1972 a lot critics today tend to think that the first Godfather has passed its time. In my honest opinion I truly believe that not only the first but all three Godfather’s hold the title of being one of the only films that is timeless. It is a trilogy that keeps its nostalgia of old and new cinema. It holds the ranks of one of Hollywood’s greatest both critical and commercial success and still year afters from the film age to digital age of cinema technology The Godfather is still referenced by other crime genre and other genre films today. Obviously one of the most common questions a trilogy will ever face is “which Godfather do you prefer?” in my honest opinion I love them all but for different reasons.
Usually with any trilogy the first film would always been seen as the best, being that it kick started the whole sequence of films to come. Also its no surprise that the first one would be the most preferred having such an amazing cast of actors and actresses. It’s even one of the last major films Marlin Brando performed. The Godfather sets the scene with an aging head of an organized crime dynasty Don Vito Corleone (Marlon Brando) that slowly begins to let his eldest son Sonny Corleone (James Caan) take control but as the clandestine empire begins to fall apart with a fall out warfare with another mob family and the death of Sonny. The youngest reluctant Michael Corleone (Al Pacino) realizes that he has no choice but to take his older brothers place and embark on a voyage of crime, family loyalty, death and business. What I admire most of The Godfather is that it embarks us on a journey of a son whose family business is in organized crime. Both kind hearted, moral and even a war hero his father wished for Michael never to be involved in the business. Michael was seen as the son who would take the Corleone family out of crime and be legitimate. Paving the way for future Corleone’s but as war breaks between the family’s Michael is sucked into this world of crime and Don Vito’s dream of Michael never to be involved ends up being the new head of the Corleone family.
The first Godfather itself has trilogy written all over it. Unlike other crime genre films released before The Godfather’s main narrative focus was always showing what kind of criminal activity there was and never showing the family aspect. There are two families in the Godfather or in any gangster film. There’s the personal family with brothers, sisters and uncles but then there’s the other family with the underboss, consigliere, capo’s, soldiers and associates. The Godfather trilogy is the first ever gangster crime genre film to ever voyage into the immediate family of the boss of an organized crime mafia. What drives me to say why all three Godfathers are so amazing is that each particular film has its own identity and its own voice.  The Godfather paved the way for Michael to take the thrown and become boss. The Godfather Part: II is a fantastic combination of watching Don Vito’s journey of becoming boss and how Michael has to deal with slowly losing grip of his immediate family and discovering disloyalty within the ranks of his mafia family. The Godfather Part: III is the most disliked but I like to think it was the most misunderstood. I personally see Part: III as the film when Michael finally wishes to do his father proud and try to push the Corleone family into being legitimate. However this film has tragedy written all over it and we are left with Michael losing his child, a vicious circle that seems to cloud the Corleone family. The trilogy ends how it began, An old boss steps down and someone else will be the new head of the family.

Thursday, 4 April 2013

Top 5 Action Heroes of the 80's & 90's

By Mike Cannon
Feeling pumped? Feeling nostalgic? Feeling like dropping a bomb of a one liner and then a real bomb down a bad guys pants? Good, well here are the top 5 badass guys to watch do those things exactly, preferably on VHS whilst wearing an armless sweat top.

5) Wesley Snipes – Snipes was a badass, he had the look and more importantly he kicked a lot of movie drug dealers in the face. He only ever lost one fight. That was a fight with the IRS. He got sent to the big house for tax evasion in 2010 (that’s prison, not Buckingham palace) but I’m pretty sure he could have still driven a motorbike through the window of the IRS main offices from a helicopter, beaten every one of them up, diffused a bomb he had planted himself and escaped to Cuba on a jet ski.

Pay for – Demolition man.
Don’t pay for and get sent to jail, but it’s a better alternative – Passenger 57.

4) Steven Segal – Acting ability, none. Actual real life arse kicking ability, One Million. That’s the beauty of Segal movies, knowing that he could seriously mess up people in real life. An Aikido master and the first westerner to open an Aikido dojo in Japan, he is also a real policeman who patrols the streets of Jefferson County in the USA. He is currently the hardest old fat man in the universe and yes; he could beat up your dad.

Aiki- do – Under Siege.
Aiki-don’t or I will break your wrists – Into the Sun.
3) Jean Claude Van Damme – Known as the muscles from Brussels, Van Damme also has a pedigree as a fighter, competing as a kick boxer in professional bouts before he became an ah hem… actor. True, tarnished in recent years due to drunkenness and allegations of using his 900 mph jumping roundhouse kick to upset his wife, he still managed to produce some of the best action sequences of his era. Notably the final fight with Tom Po at the end of Kick Boxer where they dipped their hands in glue and glass, an idea the writers got after a night out in Margate.

Invite people around your house – Kick Boxer, Hard Target.
Roundhouse the person who bough it for you – Street Fighter.
2) Arnold Schwarzenegger – Loved by action junkies and families alike, Arnie epitomizes exactly where picking up heavy objects and eating steroids like candy can get you, mega rich and the governor of California. His titanic frame and monotone delivery are what made Terminator the film it is but also made Junior, a film where Arnie plays the worlds first pregnant man, possibly the stupidest idea for a film ever. Hailing originally from Austria and said to have had the biggest biceps in movie history, sporting rumours that they were actually sentient beings that controlled his actual brain but were only as clever as a particularly stupid terrapin, which would explain why he agreed to do Jingle all the way. Arnie has a special place the hearts of all moviegoers, unless they are from California or over weight. “Put that cookie down…NOW!” The Governator has spoken.

Pump iron to – Predator, Terminator (I & II), True Lies.
Have your stomach pumped after watching – Hercules in New York, The 6th Day, Junior.

1) Sylvester Stallone – Ah Sly, Pumped with more Bull testosterone than that angry bull that used to want to crush bugs bunny into the ground for no reason, you are my number one action hero. He is a true Hollywood Renaissance man, Actor, writer, director and artist. Never has a personality epitomised the creative decadence of the 80’s and 90’s. He jumped from good movie to absolute stinker in a crazy career suicide game of hopscotch. For every Rocky, there was a Rocky V, for every Rambo, there was a Stop or My Mom will Shoot. But one thing is for sure; when his films were good they were great. Despite the opinions of many, he pulled off some astounding performances, notably his break down at the end of First blood: part one or his role in Copland along side Robert De Nero and Harvey Keitel. He wrote Rocky in a week when he had $106 to his name, he tore his pec in half having a power-lifting contest with a former Mr. Universe and he broke his neck filming the Expendables at the age of 64. Now that’s a man and he is still going!

Bull Testosterone – Rocky (All of them except number five), First Blood; Part One, Lock Up.

 Dolphin Estrogen– Tango and Cash, Get Carter, Over The Top.
Mike Cannon is a comedy writer, performance poet and Jeff Goldblums imaginary half brother, twice removed on his "I don't know you, stop calling me or I will call the cops" side.