My new column at Thompson on Hollywood, "Now and Then," makes its debut today. It pairs reviews of new releases for the home viewer — flicks you can catch now on Netflix, Amazon Video, DVD or television — with fresh takes on the classic, the overrated, the underwatched, and pretty much anything else that piques my interest. This week, the vigilante camp of Hobo with a Shotgun goes up against the Ur-text of the genre, Dirty Harry. Here's a taste:
"Hobo with a Shotgun ends up making Harry Callahan look like Atticus Finch (and Don Siegel like Fritz Lang). Tellingly, it apes the one scene in the earlier film that really sticks in the mind. Hobo’s school bus scene is equally troubling, albeit for different reasons. It won’t ruin it for you, utterly lacking in suspense as it is, to tell you that Slick and Ivan torch the bus with a dozen kids inside. As Slick sets the kiddies alight, Ivan, in dim homage to John Cusack in Say Anything, holds up a boom box playing, predictably, 'Disco Inferno.'
'Burn, baby, burn' is right. I only wish they had done the same thing with the dailies."
Catch the whole thing here: http://blogs.indiewire.com/thompsononhollywood/2011/07/11/now_and_then/