I’m going to have to place myself within that small, practically non-existent minority of nerds that didn’t like the movie Bronson. Yes, Tom Hardy is quite good, but what do you expect? He’s British. Name three british people who can’t act. Stumped? Yeah, me too.

All kidding aside, this played out like A Clockwork Orange as directed by Jared Hess. The hyper stylized way in which characters are positioned lets me know that a scene is supposed to be funny, even if nothing funny is actually happening. In an early scene, Bronson is dispensing tea, when an over the top gay character struts into the room and starts admiring Bronson’s body. I wait in anticipation of what the punch line to this will be, before realizing that the character being gay is somehow the entire joke. In fact, I get the impression that director Nicolas Winding Refn thinks that homosexuality is hilarious, since it seems to be the focal point of numerous scenes.

Plus, I guess I’m just not that interested in the subject matter; The dude assaults people for no reason. Ok. Why do we care about this guy? Lots of films revolve around unlikeable characters, but I feel like this takes that concept to an unironic extreme. Lots of films also rip off A Clockwork Orange, but don’t realize that Stanley Kubrick wasn’t making the movie because he thought that Alex was “cool”.

The photography’s nice, the performances are solid, and god knows I love bloody violence, so I’ll be seeing some more Refn flicks in the future. And I can totally understand why people are loving this, but it’s just not for me.

Also got out to see the newest Pedro Almodovar movie, Broken Embraces. I like that the dude basically makes the same movie over and over again, but it’s entertaining every time. He’s got a formula that’s just as rigid as the Bond films: Take one artist, add an old lech, some young hot chicks, some gay dudes, a transvestite or two, and some old chicks who used to be really hot. Throw them all into a plot that’s half Spanish Soap Opera and half upbeat film noir (Film Blanco?). Someone gets murdered, you see some tits, there’s a cathartic revelation about the past. . . bing bang boom, there’s your Almodovar film.

I find his stories to be pretty ridiculous, but I get the impression that’s how they’re supposed to be. I’m shallow by nature, so story aside, it’s easy to get me into a movie that has beautiful photography and beautiful women. I appreciated a bunch of little details in this one: A cover of Michael Hurley’s amazing “Werewolf” song, a Robocop toy, and a possible Twilight mockery. If you get the opportunity to see any Almodovar in the theater, I would recommend doing so.