Tuesday, March 30, 2010

One, Two...

Three, The Hard Way.

Ok, you’ve read about Black Belt Jones, and you have researched Blaxploitation – good. You will need this knowledge to understand the pure genius and awesomeness of this film.

Before I continue I have something startling to admit – I have never seen any of the original Shaft films. I have only seen Shaft 2000 (which is not a remake btw, because the original Shaft – Richard Roundtree appears in it in character.) So anyone out there (does anybody read this blog?) who tells me I suck for saying this is the best blaxploitation film I have seen should know I have not seen Shaft….cool?

The plot is amazing! A white supremacist group has created a liquid that when mixed with water will kill African Americans. The liquid is harmless to all other races! How they created this liquid is unknown, but they did a lot of experiments on a lot of brothers to find the formula. One such victim escapes and warns his friend JIM BROWN (from Mars Attacks – the boxer people come on!) Who then assembles the greatest team since Superman formed the Justice League. He gets JIM KELLY (see Black Belt Jones and BUY Enter the Dragon) and FRED WILLIAMSON (the Hammer bitch – remember my review of Warriors from the Wasteland and my 2 Cents on Fred?).

They all have a lot to do in this film, they are not just cameo appearances. These guys team up and fight, then split up and fight, then re-team again and fight some more! Each guy takes a city, 3 cities (LA, Washington, and Detroit) and there’s 3 of them – so its THREE, THE HARD WAY! That was nice.

The big highlights in this film are the 3 stars and the heavy duty action scenes. These are equal to some of the Rambo stuff. Well shot and well choreographed. The locations are sweet too – each location offers great cinematography. I mean I was actually stunned at how well made this film is! It’s like it was trying to be than it needed to be. I guess assembling all 3 guys like this meant they had a bigger budget and they used it!

Other highlights include 3 female bikers (one red, one white and one blue) who are called in to extract information from one of the supremacists. They accomplish this removing their tops (all blaxploitation has pointless nudity) and … (I wont reveal it here – you’ll have to see for yourself!)

The best scene in the film, by far, is when Jim Brown is in the mansion of the villain killing off the white bastards and he jumps over the table and lands near a couch, and a moment later Fred Williamson dives through a window, does a roll and lands right next to him and they go off fighting some more!!!!!!!

I stood up and cheered for that moment, and you will too! And when the movie is over you will stand up and cheer.



higher than red.

Black Belt Jones.

Jim Kelly (the Martial Artist) who worked with Bruce Lee (the greatest man in the world) on Enter the Dragon (wicked film) stars in this solo adventure in the blaxploitation genre. What is blaxploitation you ask? Go to wiki and read up – that’s right, we expect you to do your own research on this blog!

Anywho, I own 20 (soon to be 24) blaxploitation movies and they are all fun to watch. Jim Kelly was one of my faves in this genre, and BBJ was one of, if not his best, movie.

The plot is simple – mobsters want a building and BBJ’s Karate school operates in that building. So they threaten and kill the owner – Papa Byrd (played by Scatman Crothers) only to find that Byrd doesn’t actually own it. The owner is someone named “Sydney” – who is Sydney? Well Sydney is not a brother, she’s a sister! Byrd’s daughter in fact. And she can kick some ass too!

So Black Belt Jones (Belt for short, or Jones if you prefer) has to come in and TCB (take care o business) and fight off the mobsters. Which involves getting a team of female gymnasts to infiltrate the mob HQ, and an epic battle in a carwash where soap suds fill the screen!

BBJ is one of the most enjoyable films you’ll see in this genre. Jim Kelly’s fro is a force to be reckoned with, and he dispenses bad guys with finesse and ease! This is a must own for all fans of this genre!



Dont go West.

My Little Chickadee.

W.C. Fields and Mae West star in this film…well more like Mae West with WC as supporting actor, a formula I don’t like.

Mae West is very annoying to me, and I don’t much care for her. That being said WC was great in this movie as always, but there wasn’t enough of him.

I don’t have much to say on this one, the story is simple as most WC movies are, but he makes them great with his antics and his mannerisms, but since he is put on a leash here to let Mae West do her thing this feels like a half a movie.

It’s like getting the 3 stooges and then telling them that half their scenes will be cut and the half that remain must will feature only 2 of them. Why bother?



Wednesday, March 24, 2010

How do you know if Nintendo is still relevant?

Answer: When Nintendo announces something and every news outlet in the world goes nuts for two days. That's what happened after Nintendo announced that it was going into the 3D market with the handheld 3DS (Nintendo's tentative title or its announced 3D handheld). I was just driving home yesterday listening to 680 News here in Toronto to get traffic updates when the Mario music came on and the anchor folk breathlessly reported on the 3DS. I come home and Rick Sanchez and Wolf Blitzer are yelling about it on CNN. I go online and every news outlet from legitimate sites to small blogs are trumpeting "Nintendo jumps on 3D bandwagon!!". What's captured everyone's imagination too is that Nintendo claims that the 3D in this handheld console will not require glasses and that it's supposed to come out by March 2011 (although rumors place it at the end of this year, just in time for Christmas). It's supposedly getting an unveiling in June of this year.

It makes me laugh. I'm not the biggest fan of the Wii, although the DS is pretty effin' sweet. It's just that Sony and Microsoft, who only arrived on the console scene in the mid-90's (about a decade after Nintendo took the world by storm), always go on about how Nintendo is old-hat, old fashioned, they're too much about kiddie entertainment, and on and on and on they go. Yet, Nintendo merely sneezes and everyone is dying of interest. To me, Nintendo has always been about innovation. Sure, you might not like the Wii, but it brought Nintendo to the top of the industry once more for over two years, crushing much more advanced systems in sales, and had at least Sony coming out with its own rip-off of Wii's interface with avatars that had the same principles as Miis. And the PSP has always languished in the basement while Nintendo's DS destroys all who come in its path (as did Gameboy Advance before it, and the Gameboy Color before it, and the granddaddy beige-and-spinach-green Gameboy before it). Now Sony is all mad that Nintendo is getting all this fever-pitch free press and is lashing out at Nintendo .

In fairness, Nintendo did have a doozy of a dud in the VirtuaBoy, the so-called Virtual Reality version of Gameboy. It had maybe 4 or 6 games, was huge and clunky, not very portable, and gave you a headache just playing it. What it did offer was 3D graphics -- pretty good 3D graphics, though they were black-and-red. It died a quick death and was quickly swept under the rug to make way for Gameboy Colour and Gameboy Advance. But it's often held as a shining example that even the juggernaut Nintendo can stumble.

But my point is that, in the video-game industry, after all these years, Nintendo still sets the pace. They innovate, competitors complain, and then conform to Nintendo's innovation creating rip-offs of their own. Sega made Sonic and Playstation created Crash Bandacoot (remember that ass-clown?) only because Nintendo was crushing them with highly successful Mario games. We now have Dance Dance Revolution and its progeny because of the Nintendo Power Pad all the way back in 1985. Motion capture technology for home consoles is being considered by Microsoft and Sony and pretty soon this 3DS will force everyone to rethink handheld consoles.

I guess it looked more impressive in 3D.

Now, maybe this 3DS will suck. But the possibilities are staggering if it doesn't. Many believe the 3D effect will be achieved with a special lens leveraged by scores of tiny mirrors. The technology is out. By most reports, it doesn't impress, but maybe compressed on a small screen it can work. And you can only see the image if you look at it from a certain angle. My prediction is that 3DS will sell briskly the first month or two (and will do monster sales if it really is coming out at the end of this year as rumored), it will be leveraged by Nintendo backed titles (one or two) that will be stellar, there will be complaints of headaches, etc. From there, success really depends on whether the 3rd party licensees will embrace this new technology and make games for it (Capcom, Rockstar, Square, etc.). With the break-neck speed with which Nintendo seems to be moving on this, I don't see them showing licensees how the tech works in time for anyone to make anything noteworthy for launch-time. Anyway, who knows? It's got everyone talking at least, and dreaming of the possibilities.


Mecha excitment.

Godzilla vs Mecha Godzilla 2

Saying 5/5 on this is a duh, since all G movies are 5/5, but this one was pretty cool. Instead of telling you why its good (big monsters fight – hello), ill explain quickly why this is G VS MG2.

In the 70’s MG (Mecha G) was created by the aliens (bug people) to look like G, but once G burnt off MG’s flesh, he found that he was metal underneath (like terminator). Then the real fight began!

They followed up with Terror of MG – the final film of the original series. MG wouldn’t appear again for a while and since the 90’s revamped G as a villain (he was good in the later 70s movies) MG was now a good guy.

So the new MG is created by the humans to fight G! (this carried on in the millennium series).

Rodan makes an appearance (called Radon in Japanese – I checked), so it’s all good. It’s a must have for Godzilla fans.



W C - yeah you know me.

The Bank Dick.

WC Fields stars in this movie. This was my first WC movie and I really liked him. I mean he is like Groucho Marx, everything he does is funny. His character is funny. The storyline of this film is nothing – I cant even really describe it. He gets a job at a bank after he accidentally captures a bank robber (even that is hard to explain).

I can basically tell from this movie that his other movies will be just him in different situations or locations. Like the Marx Brothers (my fave comedy team), the storylines are just excuses for the Bros to do their thing.

That being said WC IS THIS MOVIE. You get what you paid for. He is funny and really a joy to watch. So rating this is very difficult, but you know what, the movie is about WC and not the story – he is the story.

See it.



Thursday, March 18, 2010

Ultraseven X

Ultraseven X

Ultraseven was the 2nd in the long running (to this day) Ultraman series. The first Ultraman was from the 60’s and they have been updating him ever since. But it’s not like they remake him or anything, the series continue into each other. There have even been movies where multiple Ultramen have teamed up!

Ultraseven X was a series from 2007/2008 and it was geared towards adults. It aired late night (past midnight), but it’s not like it’s violent or anything, the “adult” part just means more science fiction related stories rather than who is Ultraman gonna fight this episode.

Ultraman is a scifi show anyway, but it mostly revolves around aliens and monsters attacking the city and Ultraman coming to the rescue. U7X was more about hidden aliens and government secrets etc.

Jin wakes up in a lake with no memory. A girl appears to him and gives him The Ultra Eye (red glasses that transform him into U7). Through the next few episodes we learn that Jin along with friends Kei and S all work for DEUS – a secret government agency that handles aliens (think MIB). So U7X still fights aliens, but there is a deeper story going on, and the aliens are not so black and white as they usually are.

I have to really say I loved each and every episode. All really well written (subtitles were not to bad maybe 85% accurate) and each episode had a deeper meaning to it too.

Now the big problem is that U7 hard appears. He only comes for like 30 seconds in the end to destroy the alien and sometimes doesn’t appear at all. There are only 12 episodes in this series and U7 isnt even in 2-3 of them. But when he does appear he looks bloody amazing!!!!!!!!!!! I mean really wicked. Same old costume, but with really cool updates, and not style updates, but just making the same exact old costume look better. Not updating the style of it.

I am not giving full 5/5 (although it is 5/5) because most people wanna see U7 fight guys and you don’t get nearly enough of that. But if you wanna see a wicked series get this.

I will be burning this for anyone who wants it. I support it large.



King of Queens

King of Queens: Series.

Kevin James and Leah Remini starred in this series for 9 seasons. Overall the show was really enjoyable and Kevin James was just funny all the way. His friends were good too and the addition of Lou Ferrigno (who was in it for the last 3-4 seasons) was a nice touch.

Leah’s weight – this was the big issue of the series. The concept was she is hot and he is fat. Well towards the middle half of the show she got pregnant in real life and was pretty large for a bit – not fat, but much larger than when she started. This actually wasn’t a big issue for me, and she quickly lost most of the weight and by season 7-8-9 she was pretty much her starting size. Not sure why this caused such a ruckus.

All in all I really liked the show and I would’ve liked it to go on, but nothing lasts forever.



Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Not Canada's or Paramount's...

Alice in Wonderland.

Or you could call it, Alice Returns to Wonderland, cause this isn’t based on the book. It’s kind of a sequel to Alice Through the Looking Glass. In any case most people don’t know about Alice in general, so it doesn’t matter. So ill just give my 2 cents on this movie, and not on the Alice world – which I like by the way.

This movie was really cool. I loved the characters and how they were brought to life. I have only seen Alice in animated form, and in actors dressed up form. So seeing dee and dum in cgi was kinda neat cause there are 2 short fat guys. And seeing the Red Queen’s card army in armour was wicked too.

Since Alice is mostly about roaming around underland (wonderland) and doesn’t have much of a story, the characters are what makes the movie.

My top characters were Red Queen, Alice and Mad Hatter.

Hatter is Johnny Depp – I need not say any more.

Alice was played by Mia Wasikowska – she was really good in this role. Not annoying, but very kind and sweet. I was totally able to follow her through this world.

The Red Queen was played by Helena Bonham Carter, who I never thought much of…meaning I never really thought of her. Not saying she was bad, but I never really noticed her, only after Sweeny Todd did I realize that she basically steals every movie she is in. I really like her a lot. She may be one of my top actresses of all time.

I don’t know what to say, to me she is the female Johnny Depp, and trust me, I wouldn’t throw that out so lightly. It’s like every time I see her or Depp I think they are great…and that happens all the time – even if the movie is so-so I always like Depp and Carter.

The Red Queen and Hatter were in competition for best character, but the Queen won I think. She was just so wickedly funny!

And now on to Crispin Glover as Stayne (or knave of Hearts) and Ann Hathaway as the White Queen.

Well Crispin Glover is wicked as always and he is never given enough to do. Even when he is the star of a movie he isn’t given enough! In this film he was wicked, but his part was not strong enough – if it was any other actor I wouldn’t have cared for him. He was just a thug basically but Crispin made him better than he was!

As for Ann, I just didn’t like her at all in this. It’s not the makeup, which is cool, its more her floating around with hands in the air – she did it the entire time. I was watching for it, since it annoyed the piss out of me. But then again she’s not in very much of it, so it was ok. The majority of the movie is with the Red Queen, which is smart.

It’s not Ann’s fault, but the heroes in these types of movies are never very interesting. Especially princesses. I think the white queen is worse then red. Who wants to live in a boring white castle? I will say the white army is wicked though. They are chess pieces with armour!!!

All in all you must see this movie. I wont comment on 3D – I saw it in 2D and from what I saw it was very obvious that it wasn’t meant for 3D – NOTHING popped out at you at all – look at My Bloody Valentine (remake) – where everything in the movie pokes the screen – that is 3D.

Alice works well on it’s own without the gimmick of 3D, so see it!



Monday, March 8, 2010

Space - the final frontier.

Godzilla vs Space Godzilla.

Godzilla teams up with Mogera and Minyah (or manilla, or Godzilla Jr – depending on what movie you are watching) to fight Space Godzilla – who was created from G-Cells from either Mothra (she dropped her babies in the atmosphere) or Biolante whose cells went up into space.

Either way, Im glad, cause SG is one of the wickedest monsters ever! He is so bad ass man!!!!

This movie was wicked, there is a 36 min MEGA battle at the end and SG basically destroys anything in his path. Even Minyah gets nailed man!

The human story here is interesting, but not one of the top ones – no aliens or anything.

But if you love the Big G, then you’ll love this one!



Let the rumpus begin.

Where the Wild Things Are.

Children in films are often depicted in one of two ways.
1 – a spoiled bratty kid, who learns his lesson and becomes good.
2 – a know-it-all cute kid who is sometimes smarter than adults.

Those are the only 2 categories I know of. But in this film the boy (Max) is a real life boy. Sometimes he’s smart, annoying, adventurous, scared, angry, happy, sad etc. This film covers it all.

It’s a great tale for all children to see, and adults too. Or anyone that has been a kid and wanted to go to another world. It’s not a big mystery to realize that each of the Wild Things (Carol, Douglas, KW, Ira, Bull, Alexander, and Judith) are all part of Max. But which part are they and why are they significant. It’s also important to see which ones Max identifies with more, and also what happens when he is questioned on things such as trust, love and loyalty.

This film is a must see and had I seen it in 2009 it would’ve been in my top 5.



There will be blood.

Blood Diamond.

Leo stars in this film about diamonds and how they are acquired. This movie pulls no punches and really gets down to the point. People are dying for these illegal diamonds. Why, because rich American girls want them on their finger. The company has tons of diamonds and can flood the market, but do that and you diminish the value of the diamonds. More supply, less demand, nobody wants plain rocks for rings do they.

One man (Solomon Vandy) finds a really big diamond and Leo wants it. Vandy just wants his son back so they team up in your basic Indiana Jones and sidekick fashion, only this time Leo is out for himself and they don’t really get along.

Nothing new in that department, Leo will come around (duh), but this isn’t really the point of this movie. This movie wants to show you a depiction of what is happening and what you may not know.

It was very powerful at parts and very violent (think Rambo 4) but it was a well made movie.

I also like the fact that the people are who they are. Leo may seem selfish – and he is, but he truly believes that finding the diamond will solve Vandy’s problems too. Not knowing that someone like Vandy only cares for his family and not in being rich.

See it.



Monday, March 1, 2010


Godzilla vs Destroyah.

The film officially ended the 1990’s run of G (I know that G2000 was really G1999 – but I count G2000 as the start of the 2000 run – so do all GNL’s – it was a reboot anyway).

G dies at the end of this film, but he certainly kicks a lot of ass before he dies.

Destroyah (yes DestroyAH, not destroyER – for trademark purposes maybe?) is one hell of a crazy monster. First he is a small insect like thing, then he grows to giant spider status, then he grows to ugly as hell giant monster size. I mean this guy is crazy! He is huge!!!!!!!!

Even in video games he is depicted as the biggest and WIDEST monster of all time!

Any this is one of the better ones in the series, but to be honest I actually LOVE all the G movies that came out starting at G1985.

You should be them all!!!!!!!!!



Ghidorah, Zero, Astro.

Godzilla vs Monster Zero.

All Godzilla movies are five stars, so there’s no need to argue with me on it. But this movie was really cool. I had seen it years ago when I little and it was one of two G movies I haven’t seen in a long time (the other is Terror of MechG – which I actually never saw).

This is the one where G fights on Planet X. It’s the only film in the series that takes place on another planet! Wicked!!!

So basically G, Rodan, and Ghidorah all fight on Planet X, then come back to Earth and fight some more.




this is 13.

13 Conversations About One Thing.

The one thing is happiness. And they do talk about it. Every aspect of life is covered in this great film. It’s just a masterpiece actually, about humanity and what it means to be truly happy.

I don’t wanna get into the plot, but the format is sort of like Magnolia, but less swearing and more thought provoking.

Check this guy out – I may buy this movie.



Inside the box.

The Box.

Interesting movie about Cameron Diaz and her husband getting a strange box in the mail. If they push the button on the box they get 1 million dollars (this is 1976 – so a mil means more), but someone will die.

Someone that they don’t know will die that is, so there is no harm in pushing the button, or is there?

Well they push it – it’s not a giveaway, if they don’t push it, there is no movie. What follows is interesting if not totally original.

This feels like a twilight zone episode stretched into 100 mins – but it was entertaining while I was watching it, so there you go.

I was able to guess the ending – but nothing shocking there, most wont guess it, so go for it if you have the chance.



It's good to be thin.

After the Thin Man.

The draw of this film is the chemistry between the husband and wife team. They are just so lovable and funny.

See my review of Thin Man – basically the same here – solid performances with a good story. The mystery isn’t much, and I guessed it early on, but still a great movie.

Also look out for Jimmy Stewart who has a minor role in this – he is just the best!