Variant Edition | This Column Has Seven Days #130 // I Wanna Be Sedated
349847
post-template-default,single,single-post,postid-349847,single-format-standard,eltd-cpt-1.0,ajax_fade,page_not_loaded,,moose-ver-1.4, vertical_menu_with_scroll,smooth_scroll,woocommerce_installed,blog_installed,wpb-js-composer js-comp-ver-4.12,vc_responsive

This Column Has Seven Days #130 // I Wanna Be Sedated

Devin R Bruce is a friend to Variant Edition and to all good-hearted creatures who roam the Earth. In each installment of This Column Has Seven Days, Devin discusses his favourite pop culture experiences of the past week in an effort to share the joy of an overlooked gem, an old favourite that’s bubbled up to the surface, or a classic work that he’s finally gotten around to. Comic books, movies, television, novels, podcasts, music, Old Time Radio: there’s something for everyone. Here’s what he’s been up to this week.

* * * * *

Summer vacation is over and I’m officially back to work. As someone who works in a school I know how fortunate I am to have the kind of vacation schedule I do, but I hope that one of these years I’m going to not crash and burn the first week back adjusting to my “oh so this is what it’s like to have a day job??” schedule. This week on TCHSD, I’m going to quickly talk about some of my favourite selections from the 24(ish) Hour Movie Day I had over the long weekend. I watched thirteen movies and three shorts in 24 hours, split up into 21 hours on Sunday and 3 hours on Monday because I’m old and need my sleep, you whippersnappers. Here are the best of the lot.

* * * * *

John Carpenter’s 1976 Assault on Precinct 13 is a terse near-classic thriller. Combining some of the best aspects of the horror movie and the Western, Assault on Precinct 13 takes time setting itself up, but when all the pieces are together the movie explodes. As my friend Matt Bowes aptly put it, “It’s the only action movie where it’s the police station that’s one day from retirement,” a cliche I hadn’t realized before but is 100% accurate. To make a long story short: a vicious LA gang called Street Thunder descends on a nearly-defunct precinct, and the staff have to team up with the criminals to withstand the siege. A zombie movie without walkers and a cowboy movie without hats, Assault on Precinct 13 is gloriously low-budget exploitation action, tense and moody, with a perfect John Carpenter score.

* * * * *

Maqbool is Bollywood Macbeth with a splash of The Godfather. It’s directed by one of my favourite Bollywood directors, Vishal Bardwaj, who also did two other stellar Shakespeare adaptations: Omkara (Othello) and Haider (Hamlet). Transporting the basic Macbeth plot to a modern gangster setting finds the ambitious Maqbool  (Irfan Khan) as the right hand man to gangster kingpin Jahangir Khan (the deliciously scene-stealing Pankaj Kapoor). When he is told that it’s predicted that he’ll be the one to replace his ruthless boss, he decides to make it happen sooner rather than later. It’s a quiet movie, taking the source material seriously while adding a couple of twists to the familiar plot. For example, the three witches are two superstitious and corrupt police officers, and Maqbool’s “Lady Macbeth” (played by the fantastic Tabu) is actually the Jahangir Khan’s mistress. I found Maqbool to be satisfying both as an adaptation and as a film in its own right, and deserves to be seen by a wider audience.

* * * * *

Robin and Marian is a movie about legends, getting old, and the dangerous power of love. Twenty years after the Crusades are over, a middle aged Robin Hood (Sean Connery) and Little John (Nicol Williamson) return to Sherwood Forest to find that Marian (Audrey Hepburn) has become a nun, doing good deeds for the community and the head of her own abbey. However, the crown has ordered that all of the top brass of the Roman Catholic church should be expelled from England, and Marian of course refuses to leave her abbey voluntarily. So naturally, the Sheriff of Nottingham (Robert Shaw) has been dispatched to remove her. This, as one might imagine, leads to conflict. I thought Robin and Marian would be a light-hearted look at a middle-aged legend, and it is that, but it’s also something far more dark and complex, with unexpected twists that elevated what could have been a silly re-hash of an old legend. All the performers are top-notch, and Connery and Hepburn have fantastic chemistry. Well worth watching if you can find it.

* * * * *

That’s going to wrap things up for me this week! Until next time, drink plenty of fluids and make sure you spend some time outside. Basically, do the opposite of what I did last weekend. I’ll see you in seven days.

AUTHOR: Devin R. Bruce
No Comments

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.