Monday, June 27, 2011
The best JCVD movie there is. This was John Woo’s first American film and JCVD helped bring him here. Afterwards he made, Broken Arrow and Face/Off – both great films. After that, Hollywood got to him and he was pretty hit or miss – mostly miss.
Then he goes back to Hong Kong and makes Red Cliff the greatest movie ever!! Conincedence – I’ll leave that for a another post.
JCVD plays Chance Boudreaux, what kind of name is that? His momma took one! He is his usual kick ass self and he has to fight off Lance Hendriksen and Arnold Vosloo. The plot is about men who like to hunt other men for sport. They usually hunt homeless combat veterans – I guess there are enough around – and eventually JCVD gets tangled up in it and they have to hunt him, or is it the other way around?
This film has incredible action with John Woo being at the top of his game – coming off Hard Boiled – which is the best action film ever made – I am not being sarcastic here, the action is impossibly good in Hard Boiled. This time around the action is almost as good, but the American release cut about 20 mins – most of which was action. What makes this a bit unique is that JCVD gets to use his martial arts along with Woo’s fantastic gun play and with a bunch of great one-liners and some kick ass villains, filmed in New Orleans with a Mardi Gras backdrop you cannot go wrong on this flick. It is a winner from start to finish.
Nowhere to Run.
The first JCVD movie I saw in the theatre.
I mean what can you say on this one. JCVD is a convict who has escapes and finds that he is in need at Rosanna Arquette’s farm, which is being threatened by developers.
It’s a bit standard in plot, but JCVD is actually really good in this one, and actually does some more acting. It’s not so much about action, since there is very little, but it’s a bit of a love story coupled with some fights here and there.
It’s basically the opposite of Hard Target, but it was a good one!
Friday, June 24, 2011
Captain America is my second favorite Marvel Comics character. He was actually my first, until I got into Sub-Mariner (or Namor), but anyway I have been looking forward to this for a while.
I actually liked the Cap made for TV movies – even though now they are pretty bad – and his suit in the first one was way off – and you gotta love the biker helmet and see-thru plastic looking shield. But I was a kid so what can you do. I was able to get some bootlegs of those movie and they are cheesy, but it is what it is. I never saw the old serial but I would buy it in a heartbeat! It’s cool too see pre-Marvel Comics Cap stuff.
Then the 90’s Cap movie came out and I was pumped. Cap looked good and Red Skull was amazing! Too bad after the opening sequence the movie falls into the “nothing much happens” category, but Cap was in the suit and he did fight in the end. One bad thing was that Red Skull got a make over and looked more like Jigsaw from Punisher, so Red Skull but with a human face – mmm – ok.
Anyway, that movie flopped and didn’t even make it to theatres – which if it had, it would have had the same effect on Cap and Batman and Robin had on Batman and Robin.
But this film, directed by Joe Johnston (director of The Rocketeer – among other greats) and starring Chris Evans (Human Torch – I know that’s odd – but they are rebooting FF anyway) looks like it’s hitting all the right points.
I always liked Evans and Johnston, so we are good there. I am also a Hugo Weaving fan and think he will be great as Red Skull. HYDRA is also in this film and I love that it’s set during WW2 – staying true to Cap’s origin. Of course we have Tony Stark’s father – just to add an Iron Man connection – which is cool I think and the new trailers are looking fantastic.
At first I was a bit tense over the costume and sort of still am – but I am willing to accept that this is his WW2 costume and shield looks great as does the triangular shield (which I always liked too).
I am basically super pumped for this now as I think it will be a good movie for fans, and a good film for movie-goers who don’t know much about Cap and want to learn
I also liked Evans in an interview in those free magazines you get a the theatre (the interview is in the one with Harry Potter on the cover). He says that character stands for justice and always does what’s right. He could’ve been called Captain Right – which is a great quote from that article.
Remember that Cap came out in the 40s and he represented what was good and decent in humanity, not necessarily “America” and by no means is anyone in this film saying America is the ONLY good country or the BEST country, they are simply saying that Captain America stands for all that is good in us. That is what has made the character last all these years. I hope this film does him justice.
Thursday, June 23, 2011
I caught this one on television the other day. I remember thinking back to the trailer and saying to myself: "Self, that doesn't look too bad." Mostly because it looked ridiculous and you have to understand most comedies these days suck. Still, the trailer looked interesting, so I saw it.
Now, the reason I'm writing about this movie is on this blog is because it's a perfect example of my love-hate relationship with comedies these days. Parts of it were funny (the scene from the trailer where the kid accuses Sean William Scott wanting him to take his pants off, Sean William Scott's reaction to the nerdy kid's speech), I mean laugh-out-loud funny. There's a ton of LARPing (Live Action Role Playing, though it's not calling that in the movie) scenes. I mean, battle scenes, it was pretty cool. Also, Sean William Scott, Paul Rudd and their two kids come out at the end for the final LARP battle dressed as KISS! I mean, exactly like KISS! Those are the good parts.
The bad parts are well...bad. Sean William Scott is an unrepetant womanizer. He has sex with a girl at a party when he should be looking after his kid. He gives a girl drugs to have sex with her, but they're sleeping pills, so she falls asleep. So, he's not only a schmuck, he's a dumb schmuck. Like, why wouldn't you check what you were giving the girl before you gave it to her. Unless that was the whole point? I don't get it, but it was pretty stupid. The girl herself pissed me off. She was engaged to this guy and kept rebuffing Scott's advances until they go camping. Then she throws herself at him, stating that she's only loyal to her fiance "within the city limits of Los Angeles." At that point, I just wanted Jason Vorhees to show up and kill her.
Then there's Scott's kid, this 10 year old black kid. He starts out pretty funny, taking a hype on Scott's face (the scene from the trailer), but then he just becomes annoying. A stereotypical poor black kid, he swears a lot, talks about woman's breasts all the times, talks about sex all the time and acts mean to everyone. Yet, when Scott leaves him alone at the party and the kid walks home, you're supposed to feel sorry for him. But, the kid really doesn't have any redeeming qualities. He's not endearing, he's just an obnoxious little punk.
The third member of this assness is Jane Lynch, the runner of the Big Brother-esque establishment that Rudd and Scott are serving time at. She talks about being on drugs and all that and her past in drugs and how she was on drugs and how before she was this big administrator at "Sturdy Wings" she was on drugs...she mentions drugs every single time she shows up. Like, without fail. So, I've figured out what Americans do for humour. They take a joke, beat it into the ground, get some morbidly obese men to sit on it, then they drop a nuke on it, then they hire the Vienna Boys Choir to march up and down on the joke 100,000 times in a day...like, it goes beyond beating a joke to death, it's the same friggin' punch line over and over again. It wasn't that funny to begin with and it certainly isn't funny now that you've beaten it to death.
So, that's Role Models. Another deeply flawed comedy in a galaxy of them. You notice that there's not really any great comedians out there anymore, no great comedy teams. You want to know why? Because there are very few people in the movies who understand what makes movies funny. This is just another in the line.
Rating: 2.5 out of 5
Second best JCVD movie. Why, well there are 2 of him!
Chad and Alex are separated when they are infants, one grows up on the streets of Hong Kong and the other lives the glamorous life in LA. Chad becomes a karate instructor and Alex becomes a smuggler. Both are great, but Alex has to be the second best JCVD character of all time (after Chance, form Hard Target of course).
“Take your fancy clothes and your black silk underwear and go back to Disney land.”
“You fucked up!”
“Don’t even think about it pal, don’t even think about it.”
Plus Alex head-butts the screen at one point!!!!!!!!!
This is a kick ass action movie from start to finish and even Bolo gets a turn to fight JCVD (he last fought him in Bloodsport!).
This is just the perfect JCVD movie of all time. It may be his best, it’s just that John Woo is such a great director that Hard Target has the top spot.
This is also the first of the dual-JCVD films – yes JCVD plays dual roles in other movies too! (More on that later).
Feel the impact and buy this movie!!!!!!!!!
This is one of the best JCVD best movies and Roland Emerich’s best film next to Stargate. This time around JCVD is joined by Dolph Lundgren. DL is the best ever! He played He-Man and Punisher – two of my favorite characters and favorite movies.
Anything DL is in is gold. I am currently collecting all his films – even more than JCVD!
Anyway, the story is good here too, JCVD and DL were in Vietnam and because of some differences they end up killing each other. The difference being that DL is a psycho!
So the credits for each character come up while they are being zipped up in a body bag – BRILLIANT!!!
From that point on, we flash-forward to present day where they have been reanimated by the UNISOL program which uses dead soldiers in combat situations.
They don’t have any memory, but when DL starts to recall his past, he turns back to his psychotic ways – good thing JCVD also remembers and is able to fight him.
This movie has some great action sequences and because they are mostly impervious we have some really wicked fights too!
Big fight moment is at the end when DL takes on considerable damage from JCVD – this is after DL beat the crap outta him earlier and then finally JCVD is able to make a come back after taking in liquid nitrogen – JCVD starts to do super kicks to DL and after all that, DL simply looks at him and says “Now that’s the spirit soldier!”
Wednesday, June 22, 2011
X-Men: First Class.
Before I tear this apart let me explain something – I didn’t read X-men comics as a kid. I do read X-Force now though, and I did get the X-cutioner’s Song cross over and I know about X-Men and watched the cartoon etc. But I was never dying over them.
So these films should appeal to me. I mean they don’t follow the comics at all and as the fifth film in the X-Men franchise I am wondering when they will follow the comics. But I can view them as movies and I am the target audience. Don’t know much, but love superheroes. Even on that small level, these movies kind of fail.
Too many people tell me I am too hard on movies and I don’t watch them to be entertained. Well you are all WRONG. DEAD WRONG. I own so many B movies that for every movie YOU have EVER SEEN I own a B movie, maybe even twice over. And everyone looks down on low-budget, horror and action flicks. But I love them. I love fun movies, Hobo With a Shotgun, Priest, Green Lantern, I also like serious films, True Grit, Source Code, and I love artistic films that are basically works of art, like Sucker Punch etc. Not all these movies have great narratives or make you think, they are just fun.
So on to X-Men. I will not bore you with how this is so not the comics that it shouldn’t even be called X-Men, maybe Z-Boys or something, but instead I will review this as the fifth film in the X-Men series.
To recap: X-Men, then X2: X-men United, then X-Men the Last Stand, and then X-Men Origins: Wolverine, and now X-Men First Class.
So in X3 (I will use short terms X X2 X3 XW XFC) Professor X and Magneto come to recruit a young Jean Grey – they are made younger through the modern CGI technique and Prof X walks. So when does that scene occur? Cause in XFC Prof X and Magneto split up at the end. In X3 – they were clearly older and on the same page – maybe Magneto comes back at some point though.
Ok. Here’s a thought – Kevin Bacon plays the leader of the Hellfire Club, Shaw. He can harness energy and then shoot it back out. He wants to cause nuclear war. So why doesn’t he just have his red skinned buddy teleport him into a reactor, harness the energy and then go to the white house and blow the shit out of it. Why does he need to cause the Cuban Missile Crisis for his plan? Just go blow shit up!
I know why – because people need to feel a real connection to what’s going on. It has to be grounded in reality even though it’s a superhero comic book. Green Lantern fights a huge monster so that’s not good enough.
The X-Men need to fight something real. Here’s something to think about. There are 5 X-Men films and they fight, Stryker and Magneto for all but 1 of them. Shaw is the villain here, but why not fight the Sentinels, or Mr. Sinister, or Apocalypse? Because they don’t want you to see those characters! So they end up showing you these crappy human villains that basically suck. If I can beat up the main villain in a movie, that is not good. I guess I cant beat up Shaw since he harness energy – but why not just punch him in the face. Can he harness physical attacks? I mean Havoc shoots him, but he catches it and re-directs it, but cant someone punch him?
The powers in these films is not very developed. Emma Frost (bad acting master) can turn to diamond. But Magneto traps her and chokes her with a brass rail of a bed. How can brass choke someone that is made of diamonds? I thought they were pretty strong!
Another point is in the costumes – Kevin Bacon gets the Magneto helmet and then makes fun of it – “Now I can take this ridiculous thing off.” Then later “Do we really have to wear these suits.” I cannot tell you how F-CKING SICK I am of people making fun of the suits. In X1 – same thing – “Would you prefer yellow spandex?” – that was said to Wolverine – funny cause he wears yellow in the comics – didn’t stop Uma Thurman from wearing the Game of Death Bruce Lee Yellow Jump Suit in Kill Bill. Whatever – stop making fun of the movie you are making!!!!!!!!
This franchise in general is very under whelming. Those who love these movies don’t know anything about X-Men, and don’t much care to know, or even to care to pay attention the previous films in the series. If you did you would notice all sorts of errors.
But that aside, I will pretend that this the first movie and that I never saw the other films. Ok, so Mystique (aka Raven) loves Charles, then Beast, then Magneto and after raising her, she betrays Charles and goes with Magneto?
Also, Havoc – they set up 3 statues – “Hit the middle one” he is told – guess what will happen – if you guess he will hit all BUT the middle you guessed right.
Everything in this movie is set up that way. Obvious punch lines and no suspense.
Nothing makes sense and the villains plan is over complicated when he has the power to just destroy stuff on his own – he doesn’t need the Russians and we know nothing happened during the crisis anyway.
If I were to judge this as an X-Men film it’s 1/5.
As a prequel to 4 other films it’s a 2/5.
If I judge this purely from “popcorn – having a good time with friends” then it’s a 3.5/5
For all its faults I did enjoy a good deal of it – it dragged at parts, but I loved Magneto (who apparently decides to shed his better costume in favour of the grey one in X1) and Charles was cool too. And I enjoyed some of the fights.
3/5 – I am being super generous here, like really. I am pretending I don’t know anything about X-Men and that the first 4 films didn’t happen – actually, if this was the only X-Men film, then it would have been better – then again, not knowing anything about X-Men, or caring.
Tuesday, June 21, 2011
In this one, JCVD gets people out of the city. They only say that line like 20 times in the movie. It’s hard to imagine this came after Bloodsport, and when I first saw it, I wasn’t a fan. But that was when I was a fool! This movie is GREAT! The villain in it, loves misery (his own words), and is very bad ass – he has these white eyes (think Incredible Hulk – from the show, when Bill Bixby would get his white eyes) and he crucifies JCVD!
The story takes place in the future and the world is all destroyed – yes it’s a Mad Max rip off, but whatever, JCVD is cool and that’s enough to get by!
Basically Bloodsport but with Muay Thai. The Americans call it kick-boxing, but when JCVD’s brother heads to Thailand to compete, he gets destroyed by Tong Po – the bad ass mofo of Muay Thai. Only JCVD can take him on, and he does in one wicked a final fight.
This movie is a bit of a let down cause there is really only one big fight in it, but JCVD performs well in it and Tong Po is a formidable villain. After Tong Po defeats and cripples JCVD’s brother, he simply laughs and then JCVD has to train up and TCB (take care o business). Of course Tong Po decides to rape JCVD’s GF and that gets JCVD really pumped to fight.
Cool idea – the final fight is done in traditional Thai style – the fighters dip their roped hands in glue and broken glass to make each hit really count!
If you never saw it, check it out!
JCVD has to go undercover in a prison and has to kick ass at the same time. Patrick Kilpatrick is the villain here (named the Sandman) and he is pretty sick!
I liked this one – a lot. It was a fun prison movie, on par with Lock-Up and it fit in nicely as a prison genre movie.
Nothing much more to say other than the guy gets kicked into a pole at the end!!!!!
A Bloodsport type of movie but this time JCVD is fighting in underground tournaments run by some rich ass-wipes. This movie is one of the top ones for me. The trainer in it is the best trainer ever! He is a former fighter and knows that JCVD – named Leon (aka the Lion – later changed to Lionheart by the femme fatale in the film) is a good fighter and could make it far.
Lionheart has a big heart though and only wants to help his sister in law, now that her hubby died. He is a good guy in this one and the fights are really cool.
He fights several different style fighters and in cool arenas – a parking lot where a circle of cars makes the ring, a swimming pool fight, a racket ball arena etc.
The end villain in this was my inspiration for my famous character Mr. Raymond – that’s from my movie making days!
Love Lionheart – oh and look out for a cameo by Billy Blanks!!!!!!!
FYI – the movie was supposed to be called Wrong Bet – hence JCVD saying that line in the film in end, but they changed it to Lionheart – more fitting I guess.
Monday, June 20, 2011
Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World.
This film is based on a series of 21 books – and counting - about the characters Captain Jack Aubrey and Surgeon Stephen Maturin played by Russell Crowe and Paul Bettany.
There is no intro scene – we simply see Aubrey as Captain and his assignment is to destroy the Acheron, a French war ship that threatens Britain. We learn through his actions that he is a great captain and we see his relationship to Maturin.
This is what I call a real movie – it was directed by Peter Weir – who made Truman Show, Picnic at Hanging Rock and Dead Poets Society – all great movies!
This movie shows you all the aspects of sea life, the ups and downs, while simultaneously delivering a great story with suspense and action and likeable well developed characters.
Every moment of this movie was great and even thought it’s a bit long (nowadays over 2 hours is long) you get a lot of good stuff. I couldn’t see trimming this movie any more. It is the perfect length for the story it presents.
What the hell else you want!
Buy this now!
The only reason it didn’t win all the Oscars was that it was up against Lord of the Rings Return of the King.
Saturday, June 18, 2011
Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Flash, Captain Marvel (aka Shazam), and even the Mighty Isis, have all had live action TV shows, or movies (or both) and it is finally time for Green Lantern to get his turn.
I was never a big fan of GL, not cause I didn’t like him, only cause I liked others more. I do own an Alan Scott (Golden age GL) statue – the first statue I ever got and he is in my bedroom as I type this review.
So I am no stranger to GL. When I first heard about this movie I was pumped. Finally a non-Batman/Superman DC character gets his shot at the big screen. Then I hear Ryan Reynolds was GL and was a bit unhappy. He is usually a goof, and I didn’t like the painted on style costume.
Then Ryan said that it will be a serious movie and showed 4 mins of footage that convinced me. The costume also made sense – the ring makes an energy field around you and that’s the costume. The GL Corps were also in the movie along with Sinestro (one of my fave DC villains) and they would be fighting Parallax.
I was on board big time. Finally a movie that went all out. For contrast see X-Men, who in 5 films battle Magneto, Striker and the Hellfire Club, all of which are very boring. Where are the Sentinels, or Apocalypse?
Anyway, this movie put it all on the line and it won.
Green Lantern is a perfect translation of the comic character – from what I know – and I think it’s one hell of good time.
Please go see this, as I fear that it may under perform at theatres, and that would hurt the chances of other characters not getting their due. Plus I am DYING for a sequel to this. Stay through the credits of course (standard for superhero movies) but you only have to stay half way if you really want to leave – the extra scene happens half way through the credits. It’s an obvious scene if you know anything about GL.
How does this compare with other DC Hero movies? Well I would say try this –
Watch Superman 1 and 2, then Tim Burtons 2 Batman films, then Green Lantern and you will have one hell of an exciting day!
GO SEE THIS IN THEATRES!!!!!!!!!
Support this epic!
I saw it in 3D and it wasn’t too bad! I would still rather do 2D though, but if you are forced 3D it was much better than Thor.
And if you are looking for some negative points to be fair, then be prepared as there is still a lot of “on Earth” or “human” stuff going on. It’s not all on Planet Oa. Hal has a lot to deal with and it’s actually pretty interesting – more so than Thor. So even the human parts were good! Ryan Reynolds was perfect in the role and he wasn’t an ass at all! Some where saying he’s an ass then turns good – NOT AT ALL. He was a good person from the beginning and he is only lacking willpower. He is great at flying, but lacks that confidence in the rest of his life – and I really liked the conversation between Hector Hammond and Hal towards the end of the film, where they talk about who is better than the other.
I would have liked a bit more on Oa, but you get enough for a first movie and GL is in costume a HELL OF LOT more than Iron Man was. This is much better than Iron Man also, in my opinion.
This is a MUST SEE and MUST BUY IN BLU-RAY. Will be in the top 5 of the year easy – maybe number one.
Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas.
Ok, so I finally saw this movie. All involved are great filmmakers, and actors. So one would think that this leads to an exceptional film, well it kind of does.
This movie is impervious to ratings. It’s either a zero or 5/5. I haven’t decided yet and I don’t think I will ever decide.
There are many good parts – some really funny moments too. Then there are moments of such confusion – and not only confusion, but nothingness. I guess if you are high (something I have never been, or will be) you will love this movie to infinity and beyond. But I was just kind of bored, entertained and perplexed all at the same time.
The plot – Depp and Del Toro go to Las Vegas and are on drugs the entire time.
Depending on what drug they are on, the world appears different. At one point, the best point in the film, is when Depp sees everyone as giant lizard monsters! That’s cool! But then there are times where they are making statements on life and you’re kind of like WTF?
Anyway, I guess you should see this movie if nothing more than to be confused like the rest of us.
Thursday, June 16, 2011
No Retreat, No Surrender.
His first major role as villain. JCVD is the best thing about this crappy movie. He is so bad ass – he plays Ivan the Russian Butcher and he destroys people.
The plot is really bad – some guy moves into a new neighborhood after JCVD breaks his fathers legs for not joining some karate gym – lame. When he gets there he gets bullied because he is a “Bruce Lee Freak” – dialogue “Oh no, not another Bruce Lee freak – that’s just what this town needs.” – WHO HAS EVER SAID THAT???
Also, who doesn’t like Bruce Lee? Is it odd to look up to him? I mean its not like “Oh no, not another heavy metal punker who will play loud music and disrupt the neighbors.” That would make some sense, but a Bruce Lee freak? Anyway, the rest of the movie is Karate Kid except for the fact that instead of Mr. Miyagi training him, it’s the SPIRIT OF BRUCE LEE!!!! HAHAHAHAHA some actor – not even a look a like – plays Bruce Lee and comes back from the dead to train this kid! Bad movie.
JCVD ends up fighting this guy in the end and in the real world he would destroy this punk, but of course JCVD loses cause he’s the bad guy.
JCVD was the only good thing about this movie – but I love it – its cheesy as hell and its fun for how bad it is.
2/5 as a movie.
4/5 for the cheese.
3/5 for final.
JCVD a villain again – but he turns good. This movie is really a Sho Kosugi movie – he is a certified Ninja – yup you read that correctly.
Anyway, this is typical Sho movie – not as good as Revenge of the Ninja (that movie is a masterpiece though) but fun anyway. The addition of JCVD makes it better than it would have been – btw – the is the first appearance of the JCVD’s world famous super splits!
The big one. JCVD is the hero finally and the star. This was his breakout role and for good reason.
This movie is a classic fight flick and everyone loves it.
Thin on story, but heavy on action and who can deny JCVD’s greatness in it! Plus Bolo is finally given his due as the ultimate tournament villain!
Long live this classic.
PS – it says its based on the true story of Frank Dux (who JCVD befriended – then had a falling out with later) – well Frank Dux is a bit shady – and this whole movie may be a lie as the Kumite cannot be proven to have happened – and if it did happen Frank was probably not there as he was in the military during the supposed time.
Whatever, the movie rocks.
Wednesday, June 15, 2011
Well now that Monster Movie Mondays are done (see Gamera the Brave review below) I need a new series to review and I have chosen to look at the films of Jean Claude Van Damme. JCVD is my favorite action star and I have tried to rip off all his moves in all the movies we have made – yes I may be slightly overweight now, just ever so slightly ;) but there was a time when I was able to do some pretty cool moves and we made some great fight flicks and JCVD was my hero!
I currently own every movie that he has made (where he is the star – not where he has a cameo etc) and I am well prepared to discuss his body of work. Now I haven’t seen all his movies, even though I own them, so every week I will review a new JCVD movie. To start with though I will probably review a few at a time.
So stay tuned for some Van Dammage.
Tuesday, June 14, 2011
Gamera The Brave.
The last of the Gamera movies and the last movie in the Monster Movie Monday’s series.
When I started reviewing the complete Gamera series about 11/12 weeks ago I had no idea that I would find a monster movie with this much heart in it. I know I said that all Gamera, Mothra, King Kong, Godzilla etc (Kaiju films – giant monsters) are all 5 stars – but I am biased of course, cause I grew up with these films and love Godzilla etc. But this film, Gamera the Brave is truly 5 stars for all viewers!
I swear to you that this is equal to E.T.! This movie is a triumph of story and heart. I found myself choked up at the end, and I have NEVER felt that in ANY monster movie I have EVER seen.
This film is a great piece of work – I cannot suggest it enough for ANYONE. It will please the Kaiju fans, and fans of fantasy and for those who still feel young at heart, or at least want to.
The film opens with Gamera fighting a bunch of Gyaos – they give the date as 1973 – but they are using the Heisei Series Gamera – perhaps continuing from the cliff-hanger in the last film? Anyway, Gamera is being hammered by these guys and as a last resort to save humanity he self destructs taking all the Gyaos with him. A small boy, who we sense loves Gamera, watches on as his hero sacrifices himself for the Earth.
33 years later that boy grows up and has his own son and the pair of them are visiting his wife’s grave. She died in a car accident. The boy is Toru and his father runs a restaurant near where Gamera died. Toru is upset over his mothers death and wasn’t so close with his dad – his dad was always busy running the restaurant.
At a near by mountain, Toru sees an orange glowing object which is basically a small rock-like container that has an egg in it – the egg hatches in front of Toru and a baby Gamera is born. Baby Gamera is the size of a normal turtle and Toru doesn’t know too much about Gamera, since there hasn’t been an attack by a monster in 33 years (they even disbanded the Giant Monster Council) and he takes the turtle home.
The film at that point is all about Toru and his turtle (named Toto – based on Wizard of Oz). He isn’t allowed to have pets so he keeps “Toto” hidden – but when Toto starts to fly (just like Gamera) he tells his friends.
Soon Toru learns that Toto is really a baby Gamera and that he was hatched in time to stop a pending attack by Zedus – a new bad-ass monster that resembles a dragon.
What follows is a heartwarming tale of a boy dealing with the loss of his mother and the loss of his pet as Gamera grows bigger and bigger in order to fight for humanity once again.
The fight between Gamera and Zedus is great – not as great as others in the series, but the emotional involvement of the viewer has never been greater. And at one point Toru realizes that Gamera must consume the orange rock-like container in order to gain his full power and it’s a race to find Gamera and get him the rock. In that race all the children of Tokyo band together to help get the rock to Gamera and Toru’s father (the boy who watched Gamera self-destruct in the 70’s) even comes to help.
The final scenes of the film are so amazing and I wont reveal them here – please see this movie!
This movie may be the best example of how even something as silly as a Giant Monster film, can still move an audience beyond it’s expectations.
A real winner and a perfect way to end Monster Movie Mondays.
PS I hope they make a new Gamera movie and soon – I love Gamera!!!!!!!!!
Monday, June 13, 2011
Fritz Lang’s first movie with sound is a chilling tale of a child killer and how he comes to justice.
With a series of child killings the cops have started to crack down on ALL criminals – including the mob. The mob is getting pissed off and decides to start their own investigation into the murders.
Meanwhile the killer, played by Peter Lorre in an outstanding performance, is targeting a local girl, but unknown to him, is the fact that he has been marked with a letter “M” (for Murderer no doubt) and the mafia is on to him.
This flick is full of suspense. We don’t know if Lorre will be caught by the Police or the Mob and what will happen to him if/when he is caught by either group.
This is pretty much a must own for all serious film fans and it’s considered a classic.
Beyond the Mat.
This is a documentary, mostly about Terry Funk, Mic Foley and Jake the Snake Roberts. All wrestler whom I love!
It shows what these men go through for their sport and how their families feel about what they do. Jake’s story is the most interesting and while watching it I had the feeling that the film “The Wrestler” was partially based on his true story.
On an entertainment level, it’s nothing special – this is for diehard wrestling fans only, so its for me. As for getting an inside look into business, you don’t get much at all.
So for a diehard fan, I’d say 4/5 for regular audience I’d say 3/5, for information seekers 2/5.
For my final mark
Sunday, June 12, 2011
The state police, the nazis, a country western band, a bar owner, the army and Carrie Fisher all want to capture…
The Blues Brothers.
John Belushi and Dan Aykroyd are Jake and Elwood Blues – they where sunglasses and black suits all the time and love to sing. They also have a knack at getting in and out of trouble.
Jake has just gotten out a prison and Elwood reminds him that they have to visit the Penguin (no, not the Batman villain), the Penguin is a Nun who runs the orphanage that they both grew up in and where they learned about Jazz and the Blues from the janitor. See the orphanage owes $5000 bucks to the city and the Blues Brothers have to get it for them.
That’s the entire plot of this movie. Nothing else. That is it. And this has to be one of the most epic comedies of ALL TIME!
This is a “It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad, World” for the 1980’s! The story is simple but there is a lot going on. See the Blues have to get their old band together. So they have to find everyone, convince them to come back, play gigs, and get back to the orphanage all while being pursued by the cops! Btw – every location they go to results in someone else trying to capture them – hence the Nazis and the Country Western Band. How does Carrie Fisher fit in – go watch for yourself – her stuff is the funniest parts of the movie.
For all this great stuff we get 2 great characters that we fall in love with (the Blues Brothers) and we get some car chases that even TODAY are not equalled!
I loved the car chase in Ronin (now famous) but the final chase in this baby was UNBELIEVABLE!!!!!!!!
This is a must buy for anyone who likes comedies or just wacky films! And remember – nothing can stop the Blues Brothers – they are on a mission from God!
Tuesday, June 7, 2011
Goemon was a real person who stole from the rich and gave to the poor – and like Robin Hood he has been immortalized in several movies, video games and popular culture. He is strictly Japanese so you may not have heard of him or his infamous demise. But even if you have you will be in for shock with this flick.
This has to be one of the best new films I have ever seen. The story, action and characters are amazing – it’s done in a Speed Racer style mixed with 300 but set in 1500 Japan with Samurai’s and Ninja!
Do I even have to continue this review?
But this is NO FUN NINJA MOVIE – it is VERY serious and even though it has humor, the fate of a nation is at stake and there is a lot of heavy drama in it. Not for the squeamish and don’t even think that the cruelty shown in this movie didn’t happen in real life. It sure as heck did!
This is a masterpiece of movie-making and just goes to show you that Japan kicks ass in all departments.
Buy it now!
Nic Cage has broken out of Hell’s Prison to rescue his grand daughter from a Satanic cult. He drives a Dodge Charger (my fave car – dukes of hazzard baby!) and just annihilates everyone and everything in this path.
This movie has sex and violence, and tons of gore – its basically a grindhouse movie and I loved it! Satan’s Accountant is the best character and his one-liners are just fantastic.
So there you go, a fast paced, grindhouse style, gore movie with kick ass characters and some really piece of crap villains you cant wait to see get killed.
So that about sums up this 5 star movie – oh wait…
Amber Heard is in this movie too – well she’s hot, so I guess that adds even more – oh wait a second – she is the worst character I have ever seen in any movie!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
They try to make her this tough chick – she spits and punches guys in the face and talks crap and swears – oh is that a tough chick? I thought Ripley and Sarah Connor where tough. You know, strong woman who held their ground when being pushed around by men, and women who did what needed to be done to save people and protect children – those were strong WOMEN, not potty mouthed obnoxious trailer trash girls with tight jean shorts.
What a stupid waste of space character that kept ruining every scene she was in – she turned ok in the end, but it was way too late.
Too bad, cause this was 5 stars till she showed up.
Highway to the Danger Zone and Take my Breath Away are both played 3 different times during this movie! I said – get a new song here boys!
But man you gotta love this 80’s flick. It may be the ultimate 80s flick! And yes Virginia, I never saw it till yesterday!
80s – love it.
Val Kilmer – Iceman – the best character – the best of the best!
Val Kilmer’s Hair – should’ve won an Oscar for sure!
Cinematography – Tony Scott does it again! Great Great visuals – the setting and scenery are just amazing!
Planes – real planes, with real pilots doing real stunts – no cgi here boys and girls.
Volleyball – what’s with that homophobic/shirtless volleyball match? – maybe they should’ve had a chesthair match?
The main girl – not very attractive at all – and kind of no reason.
Enemy – there wasn’t really a conflict – I know there was a mental conflict, but this is about fighter pilots – I want action – we did get a dogfight at the end that was cool with an unknown enemy *cough-russians-cough*.
All in all this was a really fast moving fun movie with great scenery and some really cool flying!
The Bourne Supremacy.
The Bourne Identity established that Jason Bourne was a former assassin that lost his memory and was assumed to have gone renegade – his former employers sent other assassins to kill him but they failed and ultimately Jason wanted out and the movie ended with him and his love living happily ever after.
But we knew this wasn’t the end – in the books – which are vastly different the then movies – Bourne had other crap to do and there is still another book (3 books), and counting, that involve him and his organization. This, the second movie, involves nothing.
Jason just calls people on his cell phone, drives cars and walks around. That’s the Bourne Supremacy.
As to the story, something about the Russian mafia and one of the government guys tries to frame Bourne for a murder – HELLO – you yourself know that Bourne is the best and he will come after you. But that’s ok, the guy sends Karl Urban (who is cool) to kill Bourne. HELLO – if all the best guys couldn’t kill him in part one, why can now ONE guy kill him in part 2.
Not to mention the action sucks and you cant see half of it due to shaky cam.
Way to ruin a series!
Sunday, June 5, 2011
So, this is the fifth X-Men movie and somehow, we're still telling the origins of the team. It's getting to the point now, where the question has to be asked: will we ever see these characters ever "evolve" to use a constant word used in this latest film and show new stories on screen? Will we ever get Apocalypse and Mr. Sinister? If so, what form would they be in? 'Cause I gotta be honest with you all...after seeing this latest film, I have almost no hope for the franchise at all.
The movie starts out with the exact first scene from #1. That's right, because we needed to see Magneto's origin...again. Then the next scene shows Sebastian Shaw killing Magneto's Mom because Magneto wouldn't (or rather couldn't) move a coin. Magneto kills the Nazi guards and destroys the room...but actually doesn't kill Shaw. That's right, because if someone just murdered my Mom, the last thing I would want to do is kill him. I would just rather destroy a bunch of stuff for now reason.
So it goes with X-Men. There's a lot of origin stories, but nothing really happens. There's no real fighting between the Hellfire Club and the X-Men. There's miniature battles here and there, but nothing really sustained. The Hellfire Club actually takes out more CIA agents then X-Men. Then, there's the Cold War aspect of the movie. It permeates throughout the movie. Look, I know the Cold War was this really stressful time in people's lives when they were living at that time and there have been a number of suitable films that have covered this subject...must we go through it again? It hasn't been covered enough? Not only that, but what's the big thing at the end? Humans and Mutants can't get along. Uh-huh. Let's see, didn't I just see 3 X-Men movies that all covered this subject? Is there going to be another theme besides this in ANY X-Men movie?
You know, this movie really is for people who have no idea what the X-Men mythos is. I've read the X-Men encyclopedia, so I know all this stuff. I'm not particularly interested in how Professor X got crippled or how Magneto got the helmet or what Mystique and Professor X's relationship was before the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants was formed. I don't need ANY of this explained and you know what? I could have figured it out for myself! It's called WIKIPEDIA!!!! Imagine that!!! or even better, I could have used this little thing that no one seems to use anymore...it's called my IMAGINATION!!!!!!!!
Seriously, these movies are beginning to piss me off. Nothing happens in this movie. I mean literally, nothing happens. There's no intrigue, no suspense, no "what's-going-to-happen-next", nothing. The story doesn't even to seem to make much sense. Professor X and Magento go around recruiting people for no purpose other than to put them in a room to sit around and chill. It's just...bad. If I wasn't a completist and wanted to keep the movies together, I would not buy this movie. That's what I think of it.
As for the character designs, you see Emma Frost in the thigh-high boots once...you see Beast as the actual Beast in the last 20 minutes (he's actually really cool...when he's Beast)...they put on the yellow and blue (or is it black?) suits once...Magneto shows up in his real costume at the very end. The performances are alright, everyone tried, it's just, when you don't have great material, you can't do anything with it. There's some surprise cameos and there's a ton of actors in this film that you'll be like "hey, I know this guy, but I can't remember his name". Oh and don't bother waiting through the end credits for a scene at the end, there's nothing this time.
So, that's X-Men: Last Class. I was bored, I didn't care, it's nothing interesting, it's nothing new. I'm going to be HYPER generous with my review, only because the movie didn't actually offend me or was like Battle L.A. where I literally couldn't tell what was happened. But it's not good and those yahoos out there who are dying for this film...gimme a break.
Rating: 2.5 out of 5.
Wednesday, June 1, 2011
Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides.
So I wasn’t a super fan of the Pirates movies. I like Barbosa and Jack, and I LOVED Davy Jones – part 2 is my fave because of him. Keira and Orlando – I could have done without. Needless side story that wasn’t interesting. In those first 3 movies Jack Sparrow wasn’t really the main guy. There was Jack, Barbosa, Davy, Calypso, Chow Yun Fat, Orlando, Keira, and a whole load of other pirate guys that didn’t do anything. With all these characters and very little characterization, the pirate movies in general were only ok – mostly due to the monsters and visuals – which are amazing I must say.
This movie eliminates all that and now we have Penelope Cruz, Barbosa, Blackbeard (played by Ian Mcshane who I loved in Dead Wood) and Jack – who is finally the star of the movie. So I am back on board with this one!
The story was very easy to follow and made sense. I liked the Raiders of the Lost Ark feel to it also – with several factions hunting for the Fountain of Youth.
I also, like my colleague Stephenstein, liked Jack Sparrow A LOT in this one. He was definitely more heroic (comes with being the star I guess) and thought he was just as funny as the other movies.
Plus this movie also had some really cool ideas. How they acquire the Mermaid’s tear for one, also how every faction had their own reasons for finding the fountain. And I loved the relationships – Jack and Penelope, Penelope and Blackbeard etc. And for the cheap love story side plot – it was handled better than I thought it would be.
This one does suffer from lack of cool monsters, the Kraken, Davy Jones etc, but Blackbeard’s such an interesting character that you don’t think about it too much.
Overall, this has to be the best of the series for me, and I really hope they continue on with this – stay to the end for some extra footage!