Posts Tagged ‘Action’

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Goyokin 1969/ Toho/ Dir. Hideo Gosha

For reasons of my own, I was watching some heist movies. I like a good heist flick, and there aren’t enough of them. There are lots of heist flicks, but only a few good ones. I had gone through the usual line-up of movies, and after I had exhausted my supply I still felt the need to go once more into the heist film vault. So what I did was examine what you need for a good heist movie. That led me to this Japanese samurai movie set in the 1800s. As opposed to a French samurai movie set in the 1460s I guess? Well, some samurai movies are set during the 1600s, that seems to be the two times we generally get. During the early days of the Tokugawa shogunate or just before the Meiji Restoration, which is the end of the Tokugawa shogunate. Soooo, during the Tokugawa shogunate. You know what? Forget this part! I’ve already said shogunate way too many times.

Why do I call this a heist movie and not a samurai movie?
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Movie Review: Windtalkers

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Windtalkers (2002/ MGM/ Dir. John Woo)

What happened to John Woo when he came to America? He had made some of the best action movies of the 80s and early 90s. Then he came to the US and had a string of near disasters and critical failures. That’s not to say his movies did badly. Mission: Impossible II actually did pretty well in theaters, despite what some smart ass critics thought of it. Face/Off was a big hit in the theaters and on video, as was Broken Arrow. None of them are really good movies though, and most have been rejected by Woo fans. Then this movie came along, which sank like a stone at the box office and heralded the beginning of the end for Woo’s American experiment. Allow me to state now, this is not a good movie. It will not be getting a huge score on the Graffiti Bridge Scale. HOWEVER! It won’t get a negative score, and that’s part of what I want to talk about here.

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Wait, I’ve been away how long? It’s been when since I last wrote a review? Where was I during that time. Oh yeah, that. Well, if I don’t get back on that horse, I may never get back on. The problem of course is that the longer you’re away, the bigger your return needs to be. I need to go either really obscure or really popular. The problem is that I also need to get back up to speed, so I’ll go for something in between. This is both obscure and popular.

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Rollerball (1975- United Artists – Dir. Norman Jewison)

So this one has sort of an odd story. Rollerball was mentioned in the essay “You think that movie is bad?” and since then, Rollerball has become third in the list of search terms used to find this little blog. I found it sort of depressing that people might be coming here looking for a review of the movie and not finding one, despite it being one of my Sci-Fi Greats. So let’s talk about one of the truly great sci-fi/corporate nightmare movies. Really though, it’s just a dystopian movie because, there isn’t much that’s really advanced technology in the movie. Take away the strange TV sets and one scene with a laser gun and it could have happened in ‘75 when the movie was made. The only things that are required for this to become a reality are all social developments.

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Ninja Bugeicho Momochi Sandayu (1980 Toei Company, Dir. Norifumi Suzuki)

You know, sometimes you can’t help but think that you’re watching porn even when you aren’t. That’s how I choose to start this review, because it’s the impression that at the forefront of my mind. It’s the music mostly, and the modern outfits. I mean it’s a movie that takes place in the 15th century and includes ninjas in clothes that look strikingly like modern camo. The music is so absurd that it hurts the movie, which is pretty absurd on its own. The music is early 80s rock-ish sort of J-Pop, and it make you fee like you’re watching a porn. I’m hardly in a position to bitch about rock music in a classic setting. I normally like that sort of thing. It worked in Ladyhawk and it worked in Legend so some degree. It can work, but it doesn’t work here. That’s hardly the movie’s only problem, I seem to remember lots of other problems, but the music always sticks in my head and I’m getting the intro written before we evens start the movie proper because I’m going to review this one in a way I haven’t reviewed in a while. Yeah, this movie is so screwy I’ve got to break down the plot and explain certain scenes in detail. We haven’t done this in a while, so put on your favorite Technicolor gi and let’s get ready to rumble!

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Let’s be perfectly honest, this is not the best anthology series in the history of ever. I’m not going to do the run down of Stephen King’s career, or chronicle the ups and downs of his work here. Lately, I’ve found that no two people can really agree when exactly it was that they stopped loving the man’s work or when exactly things just plain stopped working for them. My particular view is that King has always been sort of lopsided and uneven. There are moments of brilliance and moments that don’t work and it’s up to each person to pick and choose what does and doesn’t work for them. However, for the most part, Nightmares & Dreamscapes didn’t much work for me. One problem was that it was greatly shot in Australia, but it’s trying to look like America (Or in one case, London) and it just doesn’t. That’s less of a problem here, as part of the show was shot in San Francisco (or someplace trying to look like it mixed with stock footage and matte shots) and the other part was just on a soundstage. None of that is very important though, the only really important question is “Does it work?” or possibly “Is it entertaining?” since I’ve admitted things that are complete train wrecks can be entertaining.

Well, the answer is “Yes.” A further answer might be, “It’s not the best Stephen King adaptation that’s ever been made, but it’s certainly the most fun.”

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Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (1984/ Lucasfilm/ Dir. Steven Spielberg)

Oh yeah, the first Indy movie I’m going to review and it’s one of the most infamous sequels ever made. Let’s get a statement out of the way straight off, this is a flawed movie. It’s the weakest of the trilogy, and yes I know Crystal Skull exists. We’ll talk about that one some day. It doesn’t work like the others, it doesn’t seem to fit with the others, and there are parts that make even a strong man wince. There is also a woman who spends more time screaming than talking, which I’ll get to. However, there is a lot to defend, or at least understand here, so I won’t just smack it around with a leather strap and call it a day. Besides, Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom is the Kill Bill of 1984 and most people don’t even know it. Yes, I will explain that statement. Good movies deserve better than that, and while this might not be a great movie, it is a good one, no matter what those wankers on the internet might say.

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Movie Review: Ronin

Posted: May 27, 2011 in Movie Review, Reviews
Tags: , , , ,

You k now what I think? I think they should make the whole plane out of the stuff they make the black box out of. You know what else I think? I think that Ronin is the last great action movie of the 70s. I say that for a few reasons, but the number one is that everything just feels like the 70s here. I should expand it to the late 60s as well, but you get my meaning perhaps. It would fit right in with a night of watching great action/thrillers like The Ipcress File, The Day of the Jackal and The French Connection. You could have made this movie in 1975 and only a few changes in technology would have to be downgraded. Of course, some of those downgrades would change plot points, so lets be glad things are as they are. The point is that this is an old fashioned action movie, the sort they just don’t seem to make anymore. Of course it was old fashioned at the time, which was part of the point, I suspect. Either way, let’s talk about a great action movie…

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