Sports movies are treated like any other genre fare. It’s as though by definition they are automatically of a lower quality. Not art. Not worthy. You know, they often get the suffix ‘just a’ thrown in from of them. It’s just a sport movie. And you know what, most of the time they’d be right. There must be a thousand sports flicks out there, the question is, how many transcend the genre?
How do you make a film that feels vintage yet completely fresh at the same time? And not only that but make it one of the year’s most interesting films from what will be a major new presence on the Hollywood film scene. Yes, an exciting new artist who is interested in making mainstream movies… but with a catch, Nicolas Winding Refn will be delivering ‘Hollywood’ in a whole new package. Drive is bravura filmmaking is ever there was cause for that word and I knew it the moment the hot-pink letters hit the screen after the insanely gripping opening sequence. The hot-pink not only announced the film had arrived but also the filmmaker.
The apocalypse starts in Vietnam where super suave John Saxon is bitten by a P.O.W. that he is sent to rescue who, apparently, is infected with some sort of cannibal virus. Skip ahead a little, back in the ole USA, and J-Sax wakes up from a nightmare of whathappened back in the jungle. Next thing we know, the P.O.W. (Morghen) that bit Johnny has turned cannibal and barricades himself in a department store, picking off street-punks with a shotgun. The cannibal virus continues to spread, but will Saxon’s handsomeness be able to stop it?!? Continue reading
Our Man Flint is a tough flick to discuss after viewing the Austin Powers franchise, as there is a massive age gap between my generation (not that I’m a big fan of my generation) and that of oldman Flint that makes it appear dated. Flint is a spoof of the Bond series, no way around that; there is even a moment in the film when the beautiful villain tosses aside a book called “Adventures of 008,” claims that it’s foolish to print such nonesnse. Thus, throughout the film I caught myself reliving other spy spoof films (and, of course, Roger Moore’s ridiculous 007), which took away from Flint’s wild and, at the time of release, original sets, wacky gagets, and terribly choreographed kung-fu (karate chop!). Continue reading
The legend of Chen Zhen has been a mainstay in Chinese martial arts films for the past 40 years, ever since Bruce Lee exploded on the screen. There have been many incarnations of the folklore hero, who fights off the Japanese’s claim that the Chinese are the “sick men of Asia” during World War II through espienage, political rebellion and, of course, kung fu madness! It never gets old, however, as watching the ‘main men’ Lee, Li, and Yen (see the rhyme there?), brings with it a distinctive style and storyline for each man. Thus, the highlights of Fist of Fury, Fist of Legend, and Legend of the Fist: The Return of Chen Zhen are vastly different. The question is: who wore it better? Continue reading
Whoever said (whomever said… who… pretty sure whoever) that girls (yes, I know I used girls and not women, it was a conscious choice) aren’t funny has not yet seen Bridesmaids. But don’t get me wrong, as much as the film is a ‘female’ comedy, it’s not only female comedy… it’s just a comedy and a pretty damn funny one at that.
If you’re a cinemahead and sometimes your friends or peers give you an odd look when you almost climax over simply hearing the name of your favorite film or actor, we feel your pain. However, when it comes right down to it, sometimes we do damn near explode with ecstasy; this is the beauty of film, no? It’s our first love and, excluding the pre-nup, I presume our relationship will still be hot ‘n’ heavy decades down the road. Case in point: Fernando Di Leo. I consider myself a massive fawkin’ fan of Italian genre cinema–not an expert, but a stalkerish fan. I’m reading some articles on Lucio Fulci after re-watching his City of the Living Dead or Gates of Hell or any of the other 2o names it has, and like a bitch-slap from Andy Dick I see the name–for the first time–of Fernando Di Leo. Continue reading
As much as I worried about this one (let’s face it, the marketing was not good… too much comic relief, not enough Asgard) it delivers, big time. Besides the absolutely pointless addition of 3D, everything works so surprisingly well that I left the theater wanting a lot more of Thor’s hammer… wait, that came out wrong.
Posted in Review
Tagged adaptations, avengers, chris hemsworth, comic books, comics, graphic novels, jane foster, kenneth branagh, marvel, movies, Natalie Portman, thor
This was a huge surprise for me… Fast Five is not only the BEST Fast and Furious movie in the racing series BUT it’s also probably going to contend for best blockbuster of the summer. Why? Because it knows exactly what it is and doesn’t try to be anything more than well shot and choreographed action with a few laughs and a surprisingly big heart.
Boxing movies. What are you thinking right now? Yes, yes, the Rocky Franchise; perhaps the recent success of The Fighter? For me, with unabashed passion and extreme stubbornness, it is and always will be Raging Bull (a heavyweight contender for Grampenstein’s favorite film). Enter Requiem For a Heavyweight… almost 50 years ago! Talk about “where have you been all my life?” Watch out Rocko and Ward, because “Mountain” Rivera could give Jake La Motta all 12 rounds on any given sunday. Continue reading