Weekend Round-Up – The Problem With Preordering and The French Connection Review
Monday morning is here and it is time for a weekend round-up…
Well that went quick didn’t it? The weekend I mean. I am sure when I was a boy the days went a lot slower and it would always feel like a mini holiday every weekend. But now as an adult with a wife, 2 kids, 2 cats and a dog the time flies by in an instant. Ah well here we are back at the desk. At least the sun is shining right?
Today Avengers Assemble is released onto Blu-Ray and DVD in the UK. It is a day that us film fans have been looking forward to for a long while (me more than many as i didn’t see it at the cinema!!). We have all had our pre-orders in for months. I saw a cracking little deal to buy all 6 Avenger films for £39.99 on AMAZOn in June and quickly pre-ordered. I didn’t want to let that one pass me buy. But on Friday it still had not dispatched. There is sat in the warehouse all alone, and not winging its way to me in the not so good British Postal service! It seems that I was not alone in my pain though, Jaina was feeling the stress too, along with quite a few other filmies on Twitter
My question is… What is the point of pre-ordering now?
It would have been less stress and more rewarding to nip into town and pick this up at a shop myself than relying on a pre-order. You get no reward for being keen. I will not do it again that is for sure.
It is now Monday and I am awaiting for the postman, if he comes empty-handed I am likely to go all HULK on him! Be warned Postie!
Anyway mini rant over. I did manage to get a film in this weekend, through the housework and Saturday night trashy TV. It is a film I have wanted to see for ages, and for some reason kept slipping through the net…The French Connection.
Before I go on with my review… Who is better in a Porkpie hat. Popeye from The French Connection or Heisenberg from Breaking Bad?
My vote is with Heisenberg (just)… Damn I really want one of these hats!!
Here is my review…
The French Connection is a film that is admired greatly across the world. A Police thriller and action film that is based on fact, not fiction, and presented in such a way that it is incredibly entertaining. It has taken me a long time to get around to seeing it, but The French Connection is now up there in my ultimate list of favourite films, ever. A Must See.
The French Connection tells the tale of an incredible drug deal and one cops attempt to stop it from taking place. We are shown the investigation, the chase, the action in a typical MOVIE style; but what gives this film real punch is its gritty styling and what makes it stand out is the deft character study and presentation of Detective Jimmy “Popeye” Doyle, played by Gene Hackman. Popeye is in charge of stopping a drug smuggling operation led by the charming Alain Chanier, played by Fernando Rey. This case soon becomes an obsession for Popeye, and with every chase, failed attempt and miss we witness him fall deeper into a downward spiral with one thing on his mind, catching Charnier. The character is so fully penned that we care for him and his state of mind, we understand his obsession, we want him to succeed before it is too late for him and for those around him.
Popeye Doyle sniffs out a possible drug smuggling ring, but he and his partner Buddy Russo, played by Roy Schneider, have little in the way of clues. Yet, Popeye and his tenacious ways persist until almost out of the blue they find a connection to France. Alain Charnier has hired a broke French TV Star to travel to USA with his car full of Heroin. There is nothing to connect this star to Charnier, but in the end Popeye finds a way. Charnier is super slippery and this infuriates Popeye, who by now cares little for the drugs, he just wants his man!
The French Connection is styled beautifully. It portrays New York as a gritty and uninviting city, harsh but intriguing, the perfect backdrop for a stand off between criminals and police. The pace is unrelenting and never really lets off from the initial exposition chase to the finale. There are some stand out scene – A car versus train chase is thrilling stuff to watch, and an almost farcical tail onto a subway between Popeye and Charnier had me smiling from ear to ear.
William Freidkin does a very admirable job with the direction. The film is perfectly executed at every turn, showing us just enough to keep our interest going until the next reveal. Gene Hackman is extraordinary as Popeye and is supported well by Rey and Schneider.
A milestone cop drama, gritty and realistic with some of the best acting by Gene Hackman I have ever seen, if you, like me have been putting this off… stop… and watch!
I can’t stop thinking about the ending….