Leonard Cohen: Bird on a Wire
Palmer's film is that rare concert doc that isn't for established fans only.
"Death Wish 3" is a marginally better movie than the second part of this series; enough better to earn a one-star rating, instead of none. The action, direction and special effects are all better than the last time around, which isn't saying much, since "Death Wish II" was so ineptly directed and edited that it was an insult even to audiences that were looking for a bad movie.
The plot is as before. Charles Bronson plays Paul Kersey, who was an architect in the original 1974 film, but has now apparently moved into a new career, as a professional vigilante. After knocking off muggers in Kansas City and thieves in Chicago, he is back in New York at the beginning of this film, just in time to find an old friend dying after a vicious beating.
Kersey is arrested for the crime, but allowed back on the streets by the police captain (Ed Lauter), who offers a deal: Kersey can murder all the creeps he wants, if he keeps the cops informed. Kersey does not agree to this deal, but Lauter does not seem to notice. Indeed, by the end of the film, the two of them are stalking the mean streets side-by-side, like killers in the old west.
Bronson moves into a tenement building that seems to be in the middle of a vast burned-out wasteland, but that is still occupied by terrified old people. Among the tenants are an old watch repairman (Martin Balsam), who keeps a couple of machineguns in his closet, and an elderly Jewish couple who live on the first floor and make stuffed cabbage rolls while the creeps jump in through the window and toss their TV set outside.