Radius TWC’s Next Movie On Demand - PUSHERSeptember 28, 2012

Radius TWC’s Next Movie On Demand - PUSHER

On Demand Weekly provides new movie reviews of hot movies on demand and from the POV of watching from the comfort of your home. Today’s review: SIDE BY SIDE (Tribeca Film).


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By Chris Claro


The remake/reboot phenomenon is one that probably yields more misses than hits, particularly if one of the makers of the original is involved in the second version of the film. Can a director successfully revisit material that has been tailored to a different audience? It certainly didn’t work for George Sluizer, who erased all the good memories of his terrifying Dutch film THE VANISHING with his dismal American remake starring Jeff Bridges and Kiefer Sutherland. Think man-of-the-moment Nicolas Winding Refn might have better luck in “presenting” the remake of his 1996 thriller, PUSHER?


It’s nice to be able to say that Luis Prieto’s remake of Refn’s thriller about a drug dealer’s increasingly dire straits is a winner, a crackling ride through London’s underworld. From its throbbing techno soundtrack to the handheld hyperkinesis of Simon Dennis’s cinematography, PUSHER makes up for its somewhat derivative story with a visceral kick that delivers.


Frank (Richard Coyle, COVERT AFFAIRS) is a drug dealer who bounces around London, providing illicit intoxicants to clubbers, dancers and even other dealers. His business appears to be thriving, but a dealer’s life is a dicey one, and when a deal goes bad, Frank finds himself desperate to make things right with his supplier, Milo. In the process, Frank must juggle an unhappy girlfriend, a missing courier, and the loudmouthed lout responsible for all of Frank’s misery.


Prieto keeps PUSHER pounding economically, utilizing onscreen titles showing the days of the week and counting down to the fateful Saturday when all will come crashing down on Frank. 



The director keeps a restless camera within a tight frame that emphasizes the proximity of his title character to the myriad dangers and double-crosses that he faces. Though we’ve seen the race-against-time story before, both in Refn’s original PUSHER and countless films and TV shows, Prieto pumps the tale full of adrenalin and offers a vigorous and effective ride-along with some of London’s seediest.



A violent and surprisingly potent remake that combines the Refn style with Prieto’s punchy point of view, PUSHER is a high-energy winner. If you’re looking for action, set yourself up with it. 





- Chris Claro


Chris Claro is a contributing writer to On Demand Weekly. He is a former Director of Promotion for Sundance Channel and now works as a writer, producer, and media educator. He is a regular contributor to dvdverdict.com and contributor to the Eyes and Ears section of huffingtonpost.com. He blogs at http://disconcertingglare.blogspot.com. Follow Chris on twitter @cgclaro.

PUSHER (Radius) can be found on demand.


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