Ronny Cox revisits “Deliverance” and playing the villain in “Robocop” & “Total Recall”

Ronny Cox is best known for playing the villain in film’s like “Robocop” & “Total Recall”.  You may also know his from the Dueling Banjos scene in “Deliverance”, which was his first feature film.  Ronny took out some time to chat with Media Mikes about his new book which revisits his work on Deliverance” and also playing the villain.

Mike Gencarelli: What was it like revisiting the film” Deliverance” in your book “Dueling Banjos”?
Ronny Cox: It meant the world to me. That was my first time in front of a camera and it opened a lot of things for me. In lots of ways that film meant more to me than any other.

MG: What was the idea behind putting the book together?
RC: I didn’t want the book to be a literary work. I wanted it to read like we were sitting down and telling a bunch of stories. I think we were successful with that and a lot of people have said that they felt like the book let them on the inside. Oddly enough people have started saying they want to go back and look at the film again. The book kind of gives you some insight on a number
of the scenes in the film like we actually did all the canoeing.

MG: What was the most challenging part of the writing process?
RC: I did everything orally for this book. I was going on a long trip and got a recorder to take with me. I had someone with me that I was telling the stories to and we recorded those conversations. This was how I always envisioned the book being done where it was just two people sitting down and talking. It was very daunting trying to make sure we didn’t lose any of that feel. I often would tell the same stories over but in a different direction as repetitions like that I feel are important. We had to make sure we got the story told the way I wanted it told without making it incomprehensible.

MG: What do you enjoy most about playing bad guy roles?
RC: They are about 10 million times more fun to play than the good guy roles. Playing the good guy is pretty easy and predictable. The bad guy is the one making the interestingchoices. Those are the guys I love to play. I try to be a good person every day of my life and playing those roles allows me to step out of that. (Laughs)

MG: What are your thoughts on the recent “Total Recall” remake and the upcoming “Robocop” remake?
RC: Personally I am not a fan of remakes. I thought both of those original movies were pretty damn good! I was given a description of remakes and sequels once and I have really subscribed to that thought. Remakes are like putting on a wet bathing suit.

MG: What do you enjoy most about touring and performing live?
RC: I love playing music. I almost love music more than acting. With any type of acting there has to be that imaginary fourth wall between you and the audience. You can’t step through the camera. When I’m up performing music and telling stories I get to use all of the arrows in my quiver. It is almost a one on one sharing experience that you can have with the audience.

Blu-ray Review “Deliverance: 40th Anniversary Edition”

Directed by: John Boorman
Starring: Jon Voight, Burt Reynolds, Ned Beatty, Ronny Cox
MPAA Rating: R
Distributed by: Warner Home Video
Release Date: June 26, 2012
Running Time: 109 minutes

Blu-ray: 4 out of 5 stars
Film: 3.5 out of stars
Extras: 3.5 out of 5 stars

It’s really hard to believe that “Deliverance” was released 40 years ago.  I remember the first time I say this film as a kid and being completely mortified.  The film is such a classic and packs some of the most notable quotes and music in film history.  I mean who doesn’t love the “Dueling Banjos”?  This 40th Anniversary Edition release DigiBook is a real improvement from Warner’s last Blu-ray release back in 2007.  I have to say this film probably contains the best performances from its cast Burt Reynolds, Jon Voight and Ned Beatty.  If you are a fan of this movie, it is worth the upgrade if you have it on Blu-ray and if you don’t it is a simple no-brainer.

This 40th Anniversary Edition release of “Deliverance” comes in my favorite packaging, DigiBook.  I am a huge fan of this type of packaging and it really adds a lot of value for fans of the film and much better than an empty plastic case.  This film really excels it its 1080p video transfer and looks amazing with its aspect ratio of 2.40:1.  Though the spotlight of this release has to go to Warner’s DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 surround track.  It is a new lossless mix and really adds a lot to the release value.

For those looking for more value, the special features are impressive and contain a newly produced retrospective with the film’s leading men.  “Deliverance: The Cast Looks Back” runs about 30 minutes and features Jon Voight, Ned Beatty, Burt Reynolds and Ronny Cox reflecting back on the production, 40 years backs. It is a great new features.  There is a rehashed “Four-Part Retrospective” from the 2007 Blu-ray release, which covers from author James Dickey’s best-selling novel to the shooting on locations to the notable Dueling Banjos scene and many of the controversies that have surrounded this film.  There is an audio commentary track with Director John Boorma, which is decent but nothing special.  Next up there is a “The Dangerous World of Deliverance” which is an awesome vintage featurette, dated but still super cool.  Lastly there is a theatrical trailer included.

Buy It 6/26 on Blu-ray™
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Premise: Four city men on a weekend canoe trip pit their nerve and muscle against the churning waters of a wild Georgia river — where only three are “delivered” from the heart-pounding experience.