23rd Jan2016

Legend (DVD)

by timbaros

91H3V80JltL._SL1500_Tom Hardy is excellent as both the Kray Brothers in the mediocre film ‘Legend’.

‘Legend’ is mediocre because in the way the story is told. It is narrated by Frances Shea, the dead wife of Reginald ‘Reggie’ Kray. She committed suicide at the age of 24, too young to die but it’s a plot device that doesn’t quite work as she’s telling the story from beyond the grave.

Tom Hardy does indeed play both Kray Brothers. He’s Reggie, confident, goodlooking, extreme extrovert, who always gets the girl. He’s also Ronald ‘Ronnie’ Kray, the not-so-goodlooking, introvert, schizophrenic brother, who was also gay. It’s Reggie who seems to hold all the cards and makes most of the most decisions for the brothers, and Hardy goes all out in playing both of these characters. When tough, he’s Reggie, when a bit soft, he’s Ronnie, and when he’s playing either one he’s excellent.

‘Legend’ is based on the book ‘The Profession of Violence: The Rise and Fall of the Kray Twins’ by John Pearson. The brothers sure did rise, ruling over East London during the 1960’s, ordering killings during the day and then going over to mum’s house for dinner the same evening. They also ran clubs and protection rackets.

‘Legend’ is a slick retelling of the brothers story. Written by Brian Helgeland (L.A. Confidential and Mystic River), the film primarily focuses on Reggie Kray’s relationship with Shea (played a bit overdramatically by Emily Browning), yet downplays any real relationship that Ronnie was involved in. Sure, he had male hangers-on who were presumably with him for his money and power (definitely not for his looks), but it’s all about Reggie and Shea. Their relationship was true love, and while Shea was very young when she started dating Reggie, at age 16, and then they got married when she was 22, and as played by Browning, not everything was right with her mind. Hardy is excellent as both brothers (Hardy has yet to give a bad performance, just this past year he was in ‘Mad Max: Fury Road’ and ‘Child 44’ and last year was his best performance to date, as the only character in the film ‘Locke,’ – it’s a must see). But it’s also a bit distracting watching him play both roles, especially when in scenes together. I kept on looking for irregularities, yet it was a bit obvious that doubles were used, especially in the fight scenes. Anyway, the brothers were imprisoned in 1969 for their long laundry list of murders, which is when their reign of terror ended. Legend was supposed to have been released on October 2 but the film studio felt that that weekend was ‘bulked up’ with too many guy pics; 20th Century Fox’s ‘The Martian’ and Sony’s Imax-fueled ‘The Walk’. So ‘Legend is now available on DVD.

Legend [DVD] [2015] (DVD)

Starring: Tom Hardy, Emily Browning
Rating: Suitable for 18 years and over

Brian Helgeland writes and directs this crime thriller starring Tom Hardy in the dual role of infamous gangster twins Ronald and Reginald Kray. The film chronicles the Kray twins' career during the 1950s and '60s as they tighten their tyrannical rule over London. With Ronnie's mental stability in question Reggie attempts to keep him under control while embarking on a romance with the beautiful Frances Shea (Emily Browning). Meanwhile, Detective Superintendent Leonard 'Nipper' Read (Christopher Eccleston) tries to bring the Krays down. The cast also includes David Thewlis, Colin Morgan, Taron Egerton and Tara Fitzgerald.
New From: £3.74 GBP In Stock
Used from: £1.54 GBP In Stock

18th Apr2014

Locke – Film

by timbaros

images-151Locke is about a man driving his car down a motorway while fielding phone calls on his hands free mobile phone. That may sound dull but actually Locke is one of the most gripping films you will see this year.

Tom Hardy enters a new acting stratosphere here (think Tom Hanks category) in his role as Ivan Locke. Locke is a man with lots of problems. He is under intense pressure, both in his professional life but especially in his personal life.
Locke is driving down the motorway when he starts to receive one phone call after another. Where is he off to? You sees, Locke got a woman pregnant 7 1/2 months ago, her name is Bethan (voiced by Olivia Colman). She is about to give birth to his child, and she is two hours away in London. Locke is also in charge of a massive concrete pour at the construction sight he manages – the largest construction sight in Europe. Meanwhile, Locke’s family is waiting for him to come home. So instead of going to the building sight in Birmingham or to his family home in Stratford-Upon-Avon, he feels he needs to do the right thing; to be at Bethan’s side for the delivery of his child.
The plot appears quite thin but believe me it’s not. It’s an exhilarating thrill of a ride with Tom Hardy at the wheel, spending the entire tension-fueled 90 minutes driving his car with the camera either in his face or from behind his head.
Locke calls his boss and tells him that he’s not going to be at the building sight the next day to oversee the project. So Locke has to rely on his not very sober colleague Donal (the voice of Andrew Scott) and advises him over the phone what he need exactly needs to do. In between conversations with his boss and Donal, Lock is calling and receiving calls from his his wife and two young sons asking what time he’s going to be home because he’s late and will miss the big game on television. In the midst of these calls, he’s also fielding calls from Bethan who’s scared and alone at the hospital about to give birth and she wants him to be there. It gets more urgent when the nurse assigned to Bethan tells him that she’s close to giving birth, and more so when Locke’s wife Katrina (voiced by Ruth Wilson) slowly comes to the realization why Locke is not coming home and why. We see Locke’s face during this stream of phone calls, stressed, confused, hurried, and frustrated.

Locke is a unique piece of filmmaking, anything unlike I’ve seen in a long time. Writer/Director Steven Knight had Hardy for only two weeks to shoot this film, as Hardy  was in between films. After shooting Hardy, Knight shot scenes from the back of a head and various other shots using a Hardy stand-in. And Locke is told in real time which allows the viewer to feel the clock ticking, just like Locke does. The backdrop and look of this film – a hypnotic vista of motorway lights illuminating Locke’s face – adds to the intensity. When you leave this film you will feel like you just ran a marathon. It’s a must see.