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Movie Review: Harry Brown

Alternate Title: Dirty Harry

Story: Ah - revenge is sweet. It is also messy, dark and super violent in this edge of your seat film by newbie directed Daniel Barber and written by Gary Young.

Harry Brown is a pensioner. He is one of those regular old guys who goes about his business caring for his dying wife, playing chess with his only friend and avoiding the young thugs that have taken over his housing project. When his friend is murdered, Harry seeks revenge. Yes, you have seen this story before and yes, it is formulaic, but when Michael Caine does it - it becomes fresh once again.

Of course you will cheer our protagonist, who is brave and on his own. You will also be depressed about the feral nature of the thugs that have taken over the streets. They have no political or social agenda. It is all about drugs and violence. It seems that when one of them is killed there is always another one ready to take his place.

Is this a film for everyone? Absolutely not. But if you are like my Wednesday movie buddy and I, it was very satisfying indeed. Moral of the story? Do not mess with a pensioner (or an AARP member). We could be packing.

Check out the trailer here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I2S3SraFmI0

Acting: Michael Caine as Harry Brown is wonderful. He makes the movie a success.Emily Mortimer as Detective Frampton, does a fine job with a thankless role. Charlie Creed-Miles as detective Hicock, is also good. David Bradley as friend, Leonard Attwell is truly sympathetic. The rest of the thuggish cast is scary, but great, including: Iain Glen (Childs), Sean Harris (Stretch), Ben Drew (Noel Winters), Jack O’Connell (Marky), Jamie Downey (Carl), Lee Oakes (Dean), Joseph Gilgun (Kenny) and Liam Cunningham (Sid Rourke).

Trivia: Michael Caine was born in 1933 in London. His given name was Maurice Micklewhite. He was the son of a fish-market porter and a charlady. He owns seven restaurants: six in London, one in Miami. The role of Alfie was turned down by Anthony Newley and Terence Stamp before it was offered to him.

Predilection: I like Michael Caine.

Critters: A pit bull seen in the distance.

Food: There is no time to eat in this film.

Sex Spectrum: Some groping in a tunnel and a video clip of porn.

Blatant Product Placement: None

Soundtrack: Loud and scary.

Opening Titles: A horrifying scene of an innocent mother being gunned down by one of the neighborhood thugs.

Visual Art: The projects are depressing.

Theater Audience: About 10 other people and us.

Weather: Cold and wet.

Sappy Factor: 0

Quirky Meter: 0

Squirm Scale: The young thugs and their senseless violence made me squirm.

Drift Factor: I was attentive throughout.

Predictability Level: High

Tissue Usage: 0

Oscar Worthy: No - although I think Michael Caine should always get awards.

Big Screen or Rental: Rental would be fine.

Length: 100 minutes.