Monday, August 31, 2009
Sunday, August 30, 2009
The film begins with our lead meeting up with a mysterious man who tells him that the only way to learn about life is to commit suicide. Oddly, the man goes along with this logic and blows his brains out. He wakes up to find his old body next to him and is told about the history of demons. Hey guys, how about a small amount of setup first? Most films build up to the suicide of their lead character and a giant narrative about bullshit. He is told about a race of demon-human hybrids called Opapatika (hopefully, I spelled that right from memory). They have tremendous powers, but each one comes with a sacrifice. For example, our lead character can see short visions of the future a la Hourman III in DC Comics, but loses one of his regular senses in the process. Eh, sight is overrated anyways. He is told about a group of them that the mentor wants him to track down and kill. Naturally, all of them are extremely powerful. Good luck, buddy.
The movie gets even weirder early on as it tries to set-up the villains. They show them, explain what their powers are...and then do this again. The second time is with a visual example though, but still. One of them can see your 'death spot' and kill most people in one blow/shot/stab. The trade-off is that he is given the same wound that he gave them later. Another man is immortal, but...well, is moody in that Highlander way. A third man is really super-fast and strong, but only at night. Now we are stealing power ideas from The Legion of Substitute Super Heroes? Wow, that's a first. The fourth man can make a shadow form of himself and attack people. The trade is that he loses bits and bits of his normal form in the process. It seems to me that if you keep summoning an evil version of himself, you are not that concerned about your real one all that much. One look at his face will tell you that he is not conflicted about it either. In his first scene, he actually does really well, but gets caught by the agents working for our hero's mentor. As an aside, these guys dress in full SWAT gear, allowing them to be killed numerous times over and over again. These guys also fail over and over again, making you wonder what their talent exactly is.
To be honest, the rest of the movie is all sort of a blur to me. It's not that there is no plot- quite the contrary. So much goes on, so quickly and so suddenly that it is hard to follow. There is a plot involving a woman who used to be the immortal one's girlfriend. She seems to know all of the other demon warriors too. At times, they fight each other, while other times they fight together. There is one lead demon hunter who looks and acts pretty bad-ass, taking a guy out even after having his arm cut off! The movie is also extremely gory at times, even lingering on some moments a bit too long for people who have less love for gore than I do. One curiously funny- at least, to me- has our hero use his power, only to find that he does not need to, since no attack is coming. He has to think 'gee, that was worth one of my senses!' Shockingly, the mentor who has always acted a little bit evil proves that he really is when he tries to kill the immortal. Why? To become that himself, of course. Much like Cradle 2 The Grave, the movie constantly cuts between at least three fights at once. Also like that movie, only a couple of them are really important. If you want to know the ending, watch the movie. Mu-ha-ha-ha! The End.
The film is good, but definitely has its ups and downs. If you are not a fan of long, bloody action scenes, then definitely look elsewhere. Also, the English dubbing is sort of weak, but not the worst that you will find. The movie is also very long and full of lots of plot. This is not necessarily a bad thing, but does make it sort of a fringe thing. As I have mentioned earlier, there is a tendency in films from the Asian market to skew away from the '90 minute format' and make films that are much closer to two hours. This means more character moments to fill out the film and longer action scenes. Whether this is good or bad is purely subjective. Of course, Michael Bay overshoots the whole thing by making films longer than Kurosawa used to and still making them shit. As for this movie, it is lot of action, loads of plot and a giant pile of strange back-story. Takes that for what you will.
Up next, a week-long event that celebrates China's love of both action and its hatred of logic. Stay tuned...
Saturday, August 29, 2009
Evilspeak and they sacrificed a puppy to Satan because they were drunk! When threatened by the men again, our hero's new friends come to his aid, by way of silly effects. Just picture if the Shaw-Scope was a little wider and you could see the snakes being tossed at the actors. These snakes flop around more than Chinese vampires. Even more obtuse reference!
Willard-ness' gets even more apparent as the revenge comes a-calling. His springing snakes take out a couple men, but the revenge on the one prostitute is more personal. Showing that shibari is popular in China, he ties the lady up whilst she is naked and tortures her with snakes. The climax- an ironic choice of words- involves one of the snakes crawling inside of her and...biting her, I guess. I just hope that is what happens. It only escalates further when his girlfriend's pimp causes her to O.D. Time to get some mega-super-revenge! Call in the snake circle! This scene runs for several minutes and has some strange, strange moments. Much like the hero in Scarface, the guy refuses to go down. The high-point of this is the bit where he chops up snakes as they 'leap' at him. The man goes down eventually, but things turn sour. The police get too close, so our 'hero' decides to ditch them in a burning building. When they survive, they are a bit soured on him and kill the guy. Nearly everyone is dead and maimed- hurray! The End.
Evilspeak, the movie is very imbalanced in its dark to light tone. You get tired of seeing the poor guy get tortured and just want the movie to end. When the revenge finally comes, it ends up being worse than anything that was ever done to our hero. So, the lesson is 'don't get revenge because you will just die from snake bites?' Okay, thanks. I won't do that now, movie. Can I go home now? Thanks.
Man, I'd love to see that movie. Too bad that it is utter crap. Maybe the second one won't mislead me.
Wrong again. Best one out of three?
Um...best two out of five?
So yeah, the Italians know how to make great posters. Now movies...eh, they are hit-and-miss. Of course, I am going to keep watching them anyways.
Up next, a Godzilla film that lies its ass off in the poster. Stay tuned...
Friday, August 28, 2009
Thursday, August 27, 2009
Wednesday, August 26, 2009
Tuesday, August 25, 2009
Monday, August 24, 2009
Sunday, August 23, 2009
Saturday, August 22, 2009
-He meets up with a lady who runs a factory related to the drug cartel. This is an excuse to set-up a couple of fight scenes before he moves on.
-John Huston shows up somewhere in the middle of this in a pointless and thankless cameo.
-He runs into a crazy, rich guy (Christopher Lee) who catches him and forces him to run a ninja gauntlet...in his giant backyard. This is...aw, you get the point.
Friday, August 21, 2009
Thursday, August 20, 2009
Oh well, at least you did not make a third one that is actually honest too.That's enough Lambert for now. Up next, a British film about, oh, I don't know, Satan! Stay tuned...
Wednesday, August 19, 2009
The scene in question involves the action after the seeming climax of the film. The villain survives a knife in the back and plans revenge. He completely changes his look (fake tan, hair dye, etc.) and follows our hero and the lady out to lunch. In a completely nonsensical bit, our hero (Fred "The Hammer" Williamson) spots the guy in his peripheral vision and figures the plan out instantly. He sees a gun and, in a moment of true heroics, kicks himself and the girl's chairs (and their bodies) out of the way of a shot. Who takes it? Some random old man in the background.
That's right- our hero saves his own life, but dooms a random guy! Who was this guy? Was he important enough to merit his own film? We will never know now, will we?!? The guy doesn't even get a name in the credits! That poor bastard.
I have a lot more to say about this movie, but I'm saving it for a video review. Yes, I will eventually make some.
Up next, a guy who learns that love is just a way to get killed pointlessly. Stay tuned...