Posts Tagged ‘martial arts’

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Only two super powers could make something this gloriously stupid: “The Great Wall”

February 21, 2017

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Not since a giant robot used an oil tanker as a baseball bat to club a sea monster into submission in Pacific Rim has a movie embraced its own glorious dumbness with as much aplomb as The Great Wall. This is, after all, a joint venture between two titanic entertainment industries, whose viewership numbers the billions (with a B). And the movie they chose to collaborate on is this…in which the Great Wall of China is the last defense against hoards of rampaging alien dragons. Really, I don’t know why people are so exorcised about an ascendant China—they seem to know what they’re doing as far as movies go. Because if you’re not enjoying alien dragons battling ancient Chinese soldiers on the Great Wall of China, well…I don’t know, are you sure you’re alive?
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Rage, rage against the dying of the…eh, never mind: “Resident Evil: The Final Chapter”

January 31, 2017

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Since it’s got the word final right there in the title, I have to assume that Resident Evil: The Final Chapter is indeed the last installment of this brain-dead franchise to grace the silver screen. And I have to admit, I find this a little bittersweet. I mean, the Resident Evil movies were never what you’d call good or creative or a worthwhile utilization of money, talent or time, but after 15 (wow!) years they’ve been a kind of companion. Like a very, very dumb dog that shows up from time to time to play fetch, only to get distracted by its own shadow.  After a while you just gotta figure if you’re disappointed in it for not composing Shakespeare, well, that’s on you. I mean, you know what it was when it started trying to dry-hump a football.
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REPOST: Return of the living (brain) dead franchise: Resident Evil: Retribution”

January 31, 2017

[In preparation for Resident Evil: The Final Chapter I thought I’d repost some of my reviews of earlier installments…you know, so you’re all caught up on the labyrinthine mythology of this series.]

Well, it’s September, and every couple of Septembers the horks up a cinematic hairball in the form of yet another Resident Evil movie. It’s sort of Hollywood’s way of closing the summer by reminding us that it really doesn’t like us. It’s saying, in effect, “Hey, remember all those great mega-blockbusters we pummeled you with this summer? Yeah, those were great. Now, here’s Resident Evil: Retribution. Don’t feel too compelled to rush out and see it.” Of course, that’s not what they tell writer/director Paul W.S. Anderson. No, they tell him, “Oh yeah…your movies rock. That’s why we release them in September: we don’t want to totally bury stuff like The Dark Knight Rises and wreck the economy. Now, um, can you make your wife’s outfit any tighter and still have her breathe? Cool, thanks.”
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REPOST: Milla Jovovich (and husband) will eat your brain! “Resident Evil: Afterlife”

January 31, 2017

[In preparation for Resident Evil: The Final Chapter I thought I’d repost some of my reviews of earlier installments…you know, so you’re all caught up on the labyrinthine mythology of this series.]

Arriving like a MOAB to cap off the summer movie season is Resident Evil: Afterlife—a movie that flaunts its B-status and boldly announces that it has no time being bogged down with pesky details like logic or coherency or even the laws of physics. Such things are for wussies, not for ass-kicking Milla Jovovich! What? You want gravity to affect people and objects? Go see a Bergman film. This is a Resident freakin’ Evil movie, where it’s perfectly normal for someone leaping through the air to stop and pivot. That shit just happens! Getting all pissy about suspending your disbelief when a waif-like heroine wields a machine gun one-handed? Hey, go back to the Ivy League, Mr. Hoity Toity! We’re here to see a hot chick kill zombies, and that’s it. If you feel a tingly sensation in your skull, that’s okay, that’s normal. It’s just your brain going to sleep. Or dying. But, hey, no biggie. It’s not like you’re going to need it for the next 90 minutes or so.
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Because we haven’t suffered enough: “Hitman: Agent 47”

August 25, 2015

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So, this is really happening, huh? We actually have a remake/reboot/further installment of the Hitman, uh, franchise (please God tell me we don’t have to call it a franchise). This despite the fact that the first Hitman movie was a critical and financial flop that no one really wanted in the first place. But, Hollywood being Hollywood, a couple of railed-to-the-gills-on-coke movie execs decided, what the hell. I mean, just because the movie failed once maybe it’ll fail less badly this time. And that’s how we got Hitman: Agent 47. At least I assume that’s what happened. It really doesn’t matter. Like chlamydia or a tornado it’s here and we have to deal with it.

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Home supply center of DEATH!!! “The Equalizer”

September 29, 2014

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At this point in our shared history of American filmmaking I think we can all agree that when it comes to originality, Hollywood is about as virile as that quadzillion year-old dude Guy Pearce played in Prometheus (you know, where he was wearing the makeup that made him look like a human apple-head doll?) And yet even with most movie producers content to churn out remakes and sequels until the Universe dies, The Equalizer is still a really unlikely property to adapt. It was a relatively short-lived TV series about a former spy turned urban-vigilante, and it starred Edward Woodward. Which is weird because A) he looked a good twenty years older than he really was, and B) he was British, which makes him an odd recruit for an American intelligence service. Anyhoo, it’s 2014, and Hollywood obviously just assumes that anyone who actually watched the original show is now dead (thanks, Hollywood), and they’ve remade the series as an action movie. The good news is in casting Denzel Washington, they’ve gotten an actor who, while a solid decade older than Woodward was in the role, actually looks like he could dismantle a couple of Russian thugs. The bad news is the movie’s an over-long, atonal mess that doesn’t isn’t even fun when the hero is killing bad guys with gardening tools.
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More questions for the Cap: “Captain America: The Winter Soldier”

April 7, 2014

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Well, the new Captain America movie opened here in Jakarta this weekend—Captain America: The Winter Soldier—and, like the first one, it was one of the better Marvel standalone movies. Captain America has proven to be, IMHO, the strongest of the Marvel superheroes. Iron Man, and by extension Tony Stark, is certainly the most fun, but Cap is the most three-dimensional of the lot. Thus far, his movies has felt less like placeholders than the god-awful Thor movies, and serve as the conscience of the Marvel universe. The Winter Soldier isn’t as fleet or breezy as The First Avenger, but it does seem to have something on its mind—a rarity in a spring blockbuster.
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