Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Broken Necks and higher grounds

Realism. Going back to Batman Begins, for some reason Hollywood has wanted a hyper realistic version of characters. By removing the extraordinary and extreme features of characters it will make it where people can relate to the characters. Now the problem with that is some characters don’t need that. Batman that can work. He’s human. So that makes sense. But Superman it doesn’t. He’s an alien. With the powers of a god. I don’t need a brooding Superman. Man of Steel is a good movie. It allows for certain things. You see the struggle with Kal-El. You see him try to find a place in the world. You see him suffer when he kills Zod. The back lash with that one scene is outrageous. You have Superman fighting a trained Killer. As Zod “I exist only to protect Krypton. That is the sole purpose for which I was born. And every action I take, no matter how violent or how cruel, is for the greater good of my people. And now... I have no people. My soul, that is what you have taken from me!” He wasn’t going to stop. The quote is this Let me tell you something. I've had to watch a lot of bad things happen to good people. Sometimes terrible things have to be done. Inevitably, each and every one of us will have to face a moment where we have to commit that horrible sin...and if we flinch in that moment, if we hesitate for one second, if we let our conscience get in the way, you know what happens?  People die. So get off the of your high moralistic grounds. 

Monday, March 26, 2018

A return is happening.

We have been away for a long time. Life happens. But life also finds a way. Have a couple of things coming up. Going to try to restart the blog.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Big Trouble in Little China

Buy it, Rent it, Net-Flix it, Skip it or. Why aren't you watching it right now.

Big Trouble in Little China

Kurt Russell as Jake Burton, Kim Cattrall as Gracie Law, Dennis Dun as Wang Chi, James Hong as David Lo-Pan, And Victor Wong as Egg Shen.

This film holds a special place in my heart. While not a great introduction to Asian culture, it shows small bits to get you interested. So the story of Jack Burton.

Jack Burton truck-driver and shit-talker master is driving to San Francisco to make a delivery and see old friend Wang Chi. After a night of playing and drinking Jack and Wang head to San Francisco International Airport to pick up Miao Yin, Wang's Fiancee. While at the airport Jack encounters Gracie Law attempting to hit on her he fails. As Miao is exiting customs she is grabbed by a gang called the Lords of Death. They grab her with no security present? I mean are there no cops at all in San Francisco. Trailing the Lords to China town Jack and Wang-Chi encounter a funeral procession for a recently Assassinated leader of a gang called the Chang Sing. The procession is stopped by the Wing Kong,who have the intial battle are joined by "The 3 Storms and Lo Pan" After running over Lo Pan and seeing no damage to him, Jack and Wang run to escape. After escaping to Wang-Chi's resturant to regroup. Gracie Law reappears asking who was the woman kidnapped by the Lords of death. Wang-Chi is shocked to learn that she has been sold into a sex slave operation. Wang-Chi introduces Jack to his friend Eddie Lee. They discuss how to get Miao back as getting the police will not get involved and that Gracie Law says her face would make doing the job harder. Burton decides to help. He enters the brothel asking specific questions about a girl with green eyes. As green eyes are rare in China. Not sure if that is true. Moving on. Once Jack is inside the brothel it is attacked by the 3 storms. The 3 storms Thunder, Rain, and Lighting kidnappe Miao Yin. Jack is of no matter to the Storms as he attacks one and the storm barely notices. Heading back to Gracie's apt. Jack demands answers. He is told that no one knows for sure. Wang-Chi and Jack decide to head to Lo-Pan's company to see if that could lead some where. While that is going on Eddie and Gracie head back to Wang-Chi's restaurant where they meet Egg Shen who is the resident expert on Lo-Pan. Egg explains the legends and myth about Lo-Pan. Saying that Lo-Pan is cursed to walk the earth forever unless he finds a special girl with green eyes. But he must also murder her to complete the debt. As Wang-Chi and Jack are caught trying to break into Lo-Pan's stronghold they are caught and beaten. Taken to Lo-Pan Jack is shocked to see an old man in a wheel chair as the one he say was walking. Jack questions Lo-Pans sanity and is forced back to his cell. Gracie and Eddie along with a reporter named Margo attempt to locate Jack and Wang-Chi. They themselves are captured. Jack and Wang-Chi escape and save  Eddie, Margo, and Gracie along with numerous other young women being held by Lo-Pan. As they escape the compound Gracie is captured again by a monster that serves Lo-Pan. After being seen by Lo-Pan, Gracie is also to marry him as she has green eyes. Jack and Wang-Chi team up with Egg Shen and Chang Sings to defeat Lo-Pan....

This movie is one that you can either go with or you will hate it. Kurt Russell play Jack as the shit-talking know it all. He gives the lines that pop and zing that some movies leads lack. Along with Russell is Dennis Dun who is the true hero of the story although he takes the back sit to Jack. If you notice during the movie everything Jack does is at the basic core of being the side kick. He makes the jokes. He gets his but kicked. He talks big game. But its Wang-Chi who is the hero getting his true love. He is all business. Where Jack talks Wang-Chi acts. Jack sees himself as the hero. James Hong gives performance of his career to me. Every time I see him on screen its Lo-Pan. Victor Wong as Egg-Shen is a treat.He and Lo-Pan have a history that is never revealed completely. That would make a great movie on its own.

The impact this movie has is seen in video games. Lo-Pan's look is same look Ed Boon and John Tobais used for Shang Tsung in the first Mortal Kombat game. The hats wore by The 3 storms are seen on Raiden. The Egg-Shen is also one of base elements of Raiden where he knows what Lo-Pan is what he can do. Enter the Dragon and Bloodsport influenced Mortal Kombat also but you can see some of the frame work here.

The film was originally suppose to be set in the old west. But seeing as it was easier and better cost effective it was changed to present. The film was a bomb when it first came out. On the commentary for the movie John Carpenter said the film was marketed wrong. The main reason is because they didn't know how to market it. But it gained a cult following and has become a repeat viewing in most peoples homes that have watched it.

So is it a rent, skip it, net-flix it, buy it, or a why aren't you watching this now? It's a why aren't you watching thisright now. Goodbye Mr.Burton.

Friday, December 7, 2012

The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen

Buy it, Rent it, Net-Flix it, Skip it or. Why aren't you watching it right now.

The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen. LXG for short.

In an alternate Victorian age, where the characters of novels actually live the fate of our world is in their hands. Sounds like a great mix.

Starring Sean Connery as Allen Quatermain. Naseeruddin Shah as Captain Nemo. Pita Wilson as Mina Harker. Tony Curran as Rodney Skinner the invisible man. Jason Flemyng as Dr.Jekyll and Mr.Hyde. Stuart Townsend as Dorian Gary. Along with Richard Roxburgh as M. With Shane West as Tom Sawyer. Also Sean Connery's hair piece.

In 1899 Europe stands on the brink of war. A man calling himself The Fantom. He attacks London looting a bank with drawings. Kidnaps scientists from Germany.Each blames the actions on the other and  are ready to cut each other to pieces. MI-6 decides to bring together a team of extraordinary people together to prevent this. Starting with Allen Quatermain who has exiled himself to Kenya after losing his son. Seeking to be left alone, A decoy that Allen uses to keep story seekers away is murdered and Allen avenges the decoy's murder. M's righthand man Sanderson Reed witnesses the entire thing. Stating that a war in Europe would spread to the rest of the world Allen agrees. Heading to England Allen is welcomed by M to join the League of Extraordinary Gentlemen. M explains that previous times of trouble The League has been brought together. Captain Nemo appears with Rodney Skinner followed by the arrival of Mina Harker a chemist. Allen not being impressed states as much. M states that Mina's previous meetings may get a member of The League to join the group. Given their mission the group leaves to head to the home of one Dorian Gary. Allen notices a young man following the group but says nothing. Arriving at Gary's home the group is caught by The Fantam. He makes them a one time offer to join him. Allen noticing one of guards for The Fantam is dressed differently  makes eye contact and then all hell breaks loose. Captain Nemo displays his martial arts discipline of Shin Sun Do. Skinner removes his clothing that he was wearing to allow the others to see him, engages in grabbing and beating soldiers with their own guns. The Fantam escapes. While regrouping one last henchmen grabs Mina the others lower their guns and Mina reveals that she is Nosferatu. And no she isn't Italian. A vampire for those who don't know. Allen questions the man that had been following the group. He introduces himself as Tom Sawyer of the U.s. Secret Service. Traveling to Paris on Nemo's Nautilus the group captures Mr.Hyde. Hyde who looks like a huge human-monkey is offered a chance to return to England if he helps The League fight the The Fantam. Hyde agrees and changes back to Dr.Jekyll. Allen and Sawyer start to form a bond, explaining to Sawyer that his shooting enough bullets until he hits his targets is very american. We also learn that Mina and Gray have had a previous romance. A message from M the group leads the group to Venice to protect a peace conference that with stop the coming war. When The Fantem's men start blowing up the supports to sink the city The League stops the sinking of Venice but learns of a traitor in the group. The Fantam who tells the heroes his plan before he thinks he kills them. (I guess he didn't see a James Bond movie). And the credits roll. Just kidding. The heroes live to set-up a showdown with The Fantam....

Where to begin. For those who don't know LXG was a comic created by Allen Moore and Kevin O'Neil. Moore who is well known for not wanting any of his works to be translated to film.

The film fails on some levels, a few in gets right but mostly it gets things wrong. Ok the good. Connery is as always a blast. Quatermain is haggard and beaten. Kinda like how Connery was in real life. This is as of Dec 7th,2012 his last on screen performance. He stated in the past that he didn't star in The Matrix or The Lord of the Rings film because he didn't understand them. The man is James Bond. If this is his last film it's a shame. Naseeruddin as Nemo is great. Haven't seen him in anything since, His part was under played. Pita Wilson nothing to say. Tony Curran who is talented but always under used. Here he has the best lines and plays the part in want seems like a reckless who the hell care way. Flemyng as Hyde/Jekyll is played with the Dr. of science who unleashed the monster. Stuart Townsend if he is as much of dick in real life as people say then they casted right. For background he was fired from Thor,he was playing Fandral, because he was acting like the movie was about his character and not Thor. He was also fired from The Lord of the Rings films, he was Aragon, so go with that. Again all rumors but you never know. Shane West as Tom Sawyer. Now producers for the film felt that the American film watchers would not watch the movie without an America hero so Sawyer was shoehorned in. In a cut scene we learn what became of Huck Finn. West and Connery build a father and son like relationship as stated earlier, but it felt rushed.

The Effects while great in some places like The Nautilus and landscapes. The outfits and props are great. Now this film came out in 2003 same year as the Ang Lee Hulk film, but where that film had a hulk that was to green and looked like Shreik, Hyde was a mess. Plain and simple so scenes  they went live special effects which look horrible.(much like my spelling). I'm a huge fan of in camera special effects. Godzilla being a perfect example. Yes the rays where added but until the 1998 Tristar screw-up Godzilla had been a man in a suit. Back to Hyde the CGI  effects suffer trying to match to what was done in camera and failed. It's a rough rough outing.

So is it a skip it, rent it, Net-flix it, buy it, or a why aren't you watching this right now. It's a skip it.

Thursday, December 6, 2012


Buy it, Rent it, Net-Flix it, Skip it or. Why aren't you watching it right now.

The movie Predator. Arnold Schwarzenegger, Carl Weather, with Kevin Peter Hall playing The Predator. When you look at the movie it starts off with a strange looking alien ship shooting a pod of some kind to the surface of the earth. Next we meet Arnold and his team of badass soldiers. Bill Duke as Mac explosive expert. Jesse Ventura as Blain heavy weapons. Sonny Landham as Billy the indian tracker. Richard Chaves as Poncho marksman. And last but not least Shane Black as Hawkins the radio man. Along for the ride are Apollo I mean Carl Weathers as Dillon with Eilpidia Carrillo as Anna. Everyone in the jungle, things go boom. People die. Spines ripped out. Arms cut off. More things go boom.

The movie: After being called into do a snatch and grab operation by war buddy and now a CIA officer Dillon. Arnold playing Dutch is lead to believe that it is simple job. After being briefed on why he and his group were called. Dutch has doubts about the mission. But trusting Dillon he goes along. Dropping into the jungle the group finds the helicopter that was carrying the package that they were looking for with no one there they instead find a squad of Army Green Berets dead. Dillon stating he has no idea who they are states that they need to find the package. Billy tracks the rebels that shot down the choppper back to there base where we find Russian soldiers killing the hostages that were aboard the helicopter. Dutch and his group super murder. everyone. Blain gets shot in the arm, when Poncho notices and brings in to his attention his reaction is one of the best on-liners ever. "I aint got time to bleed." After the killing is done. Dillon is confronted by Dutch saying he lied to him. The entire story was bullshit. Dillon tells Dutch that his men where in the helicopter and he sent the Green Berets to find them and when they didn't come back he called Dutch. When calling for a recuse copter the team is told that they will have to walk out of the jungle to get across the border. Finding a remaining rebel named Anna the group heads back into the jungle to get out of the hellhole. As they move thru the jungle Anna attempts to escape and Hawkins gives chase. Capturing Anna asking her to stop, Hawkins is killed by The Predator. Finding nothing but his cloths and equipment the group searches for Hawkins. Blain is killed and after spotting a shadow Mac grabs Blain's Mini-gun and lays waste to the forest. The others join in and clear the timber from a section of the area. Dutch asks Mac what he saw. Mac who just lost his best friend is at a loss for words. Poncho and Billy search the area as Dutch and Dillon look at Blain's body. The wounds are inhuman. Poncho and Billy return saying that they hit nothing. After a restless night Dutch decides to set up an ambush for The Predator. Poncho is injuried and Mac snaps running off to chase The Predator. Dutch and Anna grab Poncho with Billy leading the way to the helicopter. Dillon seeing no way out goes after Mac telling Dutch to wait at the copter.The Predator blows the back of Mac's head off. He then blows off one of Dillon's arms. Then impaling him. Billy decides to stay and fight The Predator. It is quickly over for Billy who for his trouble gets his spine ripped out. Poncho and Dutch along with Anna are attacked by The Predator with Poncho getting shot in the head. Dutch tells Anna "get to da copter" Leaving Dutch to fight the Predator one on one.

The movie plays well. The action scences are shot in a way that you don't get lost and you know who is doing what. The opening scence with the alien ship could have been cut. Would have let the discovery of the predator a better payoff. If the opening scence had been left out it would have left audience wondering what the hell was that, when the thermal vision came on. The thermal vision has become a hallmark of the series. The Predator was going to be played by Jean-Claude Van Damme as an uncredited special effect. Not wanting that according to Jesse Ventura led Van Damme to be fired according to Ventura. The thinking that Arnold and his men are all huge guys a smaller and faster ninja like creature would play well opposeing them. The great Stan Winston was contacted by John McTiernan by way of Arnold to help redesign the monster. Arnold had worked with Winston on The Terminator. As Stan went to work he was also working with James Cameron, Cameron is reported to have said that the manibles were something he always wanted to see on a alien. Kevin Peter Hall who was 7'2 had a hard time filming the fight scences with Arnold because the eye sockets on the predator suit blocked his vision. he and arnold would rehearse and walk thru the sequence numerous times to get it right.

Next to True Lies this is one of my favorite Arnold movies.

So is it a skip it, it a rent it, Net-flix it. or a Buy it? Or a why aren't you watching it right now? It's a why aren't you watching it right now.

Friday, July 20, 2012

The Dark Knight Rises

And here we go. Where do we begin. Yes I know I started the post with two lines from the series it seems fitting. AMAZING. Is how I would describe this film. From the opening shot to the rise at the closing. The main theme of the 3 Nolan batman films I feel has been What is a symbol mean? From the start of the first film we follow Bruce Wayne as he rises to a hero to the fall guy back to a hero.
The film starts with an amazing plane takeover that will leave your jaw on the floor. The first time I heard Bane's voice I was a little taken back. The laugh factor is there you can either go with it or not. Go with it and enjoy if not get up and leave. Cutting to Gotham we are told that the Harvey Dent Act has pretty much killed crime in Gotham. Batman has taken the fall for the deaths that Two-Face committed at the closing of The Dark Knight. We find that Bruce Wayne has shut himself off from the world hanging up his cape and cowl. The death of Rachel Dawes in TDK has left him broken well that and falling off a two story building at a very bad angle. We meet Selina Kyle as she breaks into Bruce's safe that was suppose to be the best safe money can buy. Anne Hathaway plays the role of Selina like she is having a blast. In the comics Selina is played as good/bad here is the same. You see her play the part of good/bad really well. Her disappearing act on Bats was one of those moments where you laugh and really enjoy it. Michael Caine is given less to do in this movie but his moments of trying to make Bruce see beyond Batman are touching. You see that he wants Bruce to move on have a life and a family be happy. The great Morgan Freeman is always reliable. Gary Oldman as Commissioner Gordon looks that he is burning from the inside just waiting to explode. I was really hoping that we would get the Oldman from The Professional. I have always thought that he is underused in the movies. I wanted "Get everyone" " what do you mean everyone?" EVERYONE"  moments but he gives it his all. Matthew Modine as Foley just oozes backstabber. But the real break thru is Joseph Gordon-Levitt as John Blake. His rise is one of the movies best arcs.  Now to Tom Hardy as Bane. Heath Ledger as the Joker will be hard to top no matter who plays the role. Where Heath was able to use his entire face here Hardy is forced to use his bodies size and his eyes. Much like The Joker there is no force to stop Bane. The unstoppable force vs the unmovable object.
Some reviews have said that the plot gets a little sloppy and hard to follow during the time Bruce puts the mask back and the breaking of the bat till the return of The Batman. I followed it just pay attention. Its really not that hard of course some people just want things easy as possible. Nothing wrong with just having to think its not that hard trust me.
There are some really great little moments and cameos. Some you are going to see from miles away. Some not a chance you see coming. Now to The Joker. He is no where to be found. His name is barely said. I think maybe twice. You see more of Two-Face. It is for the good of the picture that way.
The fights between Bane and Batman are brutal. Bane's breaking of the bat is played to show his pure unstoppable physical domiance of an out of shape Batman. This is a way to get around how Bane broke Batman the first time in the comics by releasing the Rogues of Arkham and Blackgate. That pushed Batman to his physical limits and when Bane confronted Batman in Wayne Manor. Batman weak and spent was broke. The famous breaking the back is there but its not as dramatic. The breaking of the mask is the point of the battle that is played up. You see Batman try everything that he has. But he is not up to the fight and it shows. The water failing on the batsuit gives it an defeated look as Bane just beats him.
I won't say much more on the fact that the rest is worth seeing and enjoying. More than once. Nolan brings his Dark Knight Saga to a close in a fitting end. We will miss it. Trust me We will miss it. And by the way Robin is in it. Trust me.  Go out see it and enjoy. The fire rises and the fire dies. Thank you Christopher Nolan. 12 out of 10.

Real life

The actions of one man can sometimes make a difference. Other times it makes no difference. Then you have last night in Colorado. A sadly disturbed young man killed at least 12 people and injured at least 50. At a midnight showing for the final chapter in Christopher Nolan's Dark Knight series. As a fan of the previous films my wife, my brother and my cousin along with myself were there at the gra...nd theatre to enjoy the film which we did. 3 hours later we all were smiling and laughing talking about how incredible the film was, not knowing what had happened in Colorado. It was a shock for me because we were in the same situation watching the same movie at the same time. Ready to slip into a word where a masked man saves the day. But those people where attacked by a masked man in real life. His reasons may never be known nor do I care. All he deserves is a needle in the arm with some nice chemicals running thru his system for a nice long dirt nap or better yet what the hell firing squad. He took a great time and destroyed the lives of so many why?? His girlfriend breakup with him? His mother took away his bottle to soon? Didn't hold him enough? Many that watched the movie at the theater are huge fans of the series as are the rest of the 25 million dollar spending community that got tickets to it. I say we honor then by going see the movie again and again even if you didn't like it nor cared. Not just for us but for a small part for them. In closing kiss and hold your kids a little closer tonight. Try to seek or forgive someone for petty crap be adults. A fire will rise and a fire will fall. Now is the time to pick ourselves up.