The Movie: 7.5 /10
Crime and violence do not appeal to me. I don’t find it compelling or intriguing or interesting at all. So many stories we humans tell each other are wrapped in moral tales that at the core have a mixture of peace and balance mixed with violence and destruction, and why? London Boulevard won’t answer my question for me, however, it trims a bit of the disposable attitude I have for these “bad man wanting to be a good man through reforming himself with more violence to redeem old violence for some good vibe points in the universe”.
The thing about London Boulevard is that despite a few obvious clunky flaws, it’s a very good movie. Flaws? Some terribly boring and pretentious dialog, excessive mumbling by Ray Winston, indulgent character examination with an actor playing and actor being a pretentious self indulgent actor….regardless of the beauty of his performance, this actor character is just too much.
I will say, before I go on, that Ben Chaplin is absolutely the star of this movie. He is brilliant every time he opens his mouth. He is the perfect performer in the right time with the right character and he elevates this movie from being an OK flick to being a good movie. I can’t describe what makes him so good, but if you watch it you will be more captivated by him than by his character, then by any other character or performer in the whole thing. He’s got me hooked and now I want more of him.
The violence goes with the moral tales we are being told with these characters, however, it can be a bit much. Even though it’s not packed with fight after fight, and the few puncuated moments of punches are not overwhelming, it’s severe and the impact gets lost in the veracity of it all. It is but it isn’t a thinking anti-hero kind of movie, so some brute force is required, I get it, just take a lesson movie makers, there is a fine line between making the point and smashing it into pieces.
Colin Farrell is who he is, and we can’t escape the image of him as the tormented tough guy, and here it is again. The thing about London Boulevard is that it does show case a few brilliant moments he takes time to lavish in silence, expressions other than grunting out lines, being rather than being there. I hope to see more of this with less of the punching required.
I’m not a fan of Kiera Knightly. I can’t explain why, but she has no qualities I enjoy or am entertained by, other than the cheeky youngster in the Pirates movies. Everything else seems false and trying too hard. I don’t want to dislike her and there were moments in this movie where she did give me hope, so maybe a few more of these types of flicks and I can say I am a fan.
The music isn’t subtle. It is there to direct us to feel and think what they want us to, which is fine for me on this particular movie watching experience. There are no mysteries here to wonder about, to ponder over, to mull about with other life questions in your mind. It is what it is and the score does it’s very best to keep the tension, draw the tenderness, pull out the primal, and give us the payoffs as needed.
Over all I say it’s good for anyone who likes a good grown up story without any tippy toeing around.
- The Making Of London Boulevard – A 15 minute look behind the scenes of the movie, all of the cast members are interviewed and we even learn that Ridley Scott had an input on the look of the movie.
Cover Art and Menus: 2/10
This cover undersells this movie sooooo badly, so sadly it’s almost embarassing. The menu is boring, but at least it’s not something they need to apologize for.
Audio & Video: 8/10
Sony have pretty much mastered Blu-Ray transfers at this point, (they also own the format) and London Boulevard is another excellent release to add to your library of showcase movies. Shot on film using technicolor this movie literally jumps off the screen. No signs of DNR exist with Sony literally celebrating the grain in this transfer.
London Boulevard’s 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio track is also stellar. If I had to nitpick some of the films music is mixed a little loud (this is becoming a trend these days) and it gets in the way of the dulcet tones of Mr Winstone on occasion. But otherwise this is a bombastic movie that relies heavily on 60’s music to convey a mood.
It’s been a few days since I watched London Boulevard and I think I might have undersold it in the Podcast Review, I really did like this movie because it’s been in my thoughts the last day or so. I recommend you give it a look.
This movie is a strange one. It gets better with time, the time between when you watch it and then think about it later. So, by that logic you really do get your money’s worth. You watch it, then later, maybe days later, think about it again and it has aged well. You replay scenes in your mind, which is an added value. It’s a good movie to hang out with on a Friday night, and then by Monday when you are driving to work it will have come back around for another run through in your mind. Rent it or buy it, spend a little spend a lot, you will be satisfied.
Overall Score 7.5/10