Monday, December 31, 2012

Mockbusted #7: Nazis At The Center Of The Earth

Can I just say that I love living in a world where "Space Nazis" is a thing that has its own entry on Wikipedia?

Okay, to be fair, I'm not quite sure if this movie technically counts as a mockbuster, if only because the movie that it is supposedly mockbusting according to the internet is Iron Sky, a film the was not what I would call mainstream. Still, this flimsy connection is enough of an excuse for me to talk about two kick ass Nazisploitation movies I loved, the Asylym one being possibly my favorite movie made by the company so far.

Iron Sky, for those who haven't seen it, follows a group of Nazis who fled the Earth after WWII and established a secret colony on the dark side of the moon, lying in wait for years until the present day, preparing for an invasion. I shouldn't have to say anything more than that to convince you of how awesome this movie is or that you really should see it. Unfortunately its not on Netflix Streaming, though you can get the DVD from them if you have that service. I loved almost everything about this movie, from the hero, a black astronaut turned white against his will by evil Aryan scientists, to the slow motion brawl at the U.N., to freaking Sarah Palin as the President of the United States, who just so happens to have a lot in common with Nazi propagandists. Its the kind of take no prisoners dark comedy that they would never make in America.

Sunday, December 30, 2012

The Cinema File #73: "Rise Of The Zombies" Review

I don't know if my distaste with the over-saturation of cookie cutter zombie apocalypse movies is finally turning back in on itself, but somehow, after sitting through this SyFy Channel Original movie with very little if anything remotely resembling originality, I still found myself generally entertained throughout.

Rise of the Zombies is basically every zombie movie you've ever seen or ignored because you figured it was just like every zombie you've ever seen. It goes through all the normal tropes with all the stock characters you've come to expect, and yet I can't say I didn't enjoy myself at least enough that I wasn't bored watching. The action is well done and the cast, which is what attracted me to the movie in the first place, all put in pretty good performances considering the well trodden material. It doesn't add anything to the canon of the zombie genre, but it does its job better than most low budget throwaway movies of its kind, and maybe my standards have just sunk that far that that is good enough for me.

Before they cut it into a movie, this was originally planned as the horrifying fifth season of My Name Is Earl

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Mockbusted #6: American Warships

Unlike evidently most people, I quite enjoyed the board game movie Battleship. It had its flaws, certainly, but for what its worth, it translated the game well, had some fun characters and interesting visuals, and is by far the best example I've seen of the recent Michael Bay/Roland Emmerich-style sci-fi disaster genre. The mockbuster American Warships had potential, but ultimately fails to live up to or surpass the original in my eyes, as many other mockbusters I've reviewed have in the past.

"We're gonna need a bigger American Warship."

The set up is almost exactly the same, save for the protagonist being the stalwart captain (here played by Mario Van Peebles, taking over for Liam Neeson), rather than a lowly cadet in need of a life lesson. Like the original movie, an encounter with some mysterious attacker in the water on the eve of a WWII ship's decommission leads to the discovery of a secret extraterrestrial threat. As I assume this movie has aired on the SyFy Channel at some point, I appreciated the subtle nod to Battlestar Galactica, that the sole reason their ship isn't knocked out by an alien EMP device is because its so old and primitive, but that's just the first of many elements that could have amounted to something, but never quite makes it there into anything interesting.

This movie is so boring, this was the third screen cap found on Google Images

Friday, December 28, 2012

The Cinema File #72: "The Factory" Review

As if The Raven wasn't enough to dissuade me from the notion that John Cusack in a movie is an indication that it might actually be good...

The Factory is a crime thriller following an obsessed detective on the trail of a prostitute hunting serial killer, and if that bland synopsis didn't clue you in, I assure you, this is all stuff you've seen many times before. Though the film starts off somewhat strong and ends with a twist that might just be enough to push it over into watchable, the vast middle of the movie is just so formulaic and uninteresting that I found myself wishing I'd put in the SyFy Channel zombie movie with Levar Burton I still have in my queue instead. With the exception of the howdeketchem framework eschewing any mystery element, it feels like an extended episode of Law and Order: Special Victims Unit, which fits it into a genre I like enough to stick with it, but not enough to be all that excited about it.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Why They Don't Let Me Write For Marvel Comics: The Four

I had an idea for a comic book themed serial killer thriller a while back, but I never bothered to pursue it after I realized that I couldn't do it with invented superheroes, and would actually need to reference real comic book characters from the Marvel Universe in a very disturbing context in order to make it work. Not wanting to incur the wrath of a copyright infringement lawsuit from Disney, I forgot about it until now, but I figured I might as well throw it out here, as there doesn't seem to be a better place for it.

The Four

It starts out as a standard police procedural, with two seemingly unrelated murder cases brought together by random chance. It would involve characters from the Marvel Universe, but would not be set in the Marvel Universe, but rather in our world. The first victim, a pilot, was buried alive in liquid concrete until it hardened, then carved out into a vaguely humanoid shape. The second victim, a month later, was a drug addicted extreme sports star who was set on fire and thrown off a building. The first case was thought to be a mob hit, the second possibly a wild drug fueled night gone wrong, until one of the cops at the precinct casually refers to the second as "The Human Torch," sparking the first inkling of a connection.

Mockbusted #5: Grimm's Snow White

Just as a programming note, I originally intended for this Mockbusted entry to cover both of the mainstream Snow White releases from earlier this year, Snow White and the Huntsmen and Mirror Mirror, before talking about the Asylum rip off, but while I have seen, re-watched, and quite enjoyed the former, I cannot bring myself to start watching the latter. It's on Netflix, and it may well be very good, though I doubt it, and I fear I will never know. Something about the combination of Julia Roberts and Tarsem is just kryptonite to my ability to spend two hours with a movie. In any case, I think the existence of both of these movies somewhat gives lie to the aversion many people feel towards mockbusters, because as exploitative as the practice might arguably be, its not like the big studios don't do it as often as the littler ones.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

The Cinema File #71: "Sushi Girl" Review

Tony Todd and Mark Hamill as gangsters, AND naked Asian ladies with food on them? Shut up and take my money, movie.

Sushi Girl is the story of a group of criminals who come together six years after a somewhat successful diamond heist to welcome back the one member of their crew who got caught and sent to prison, who just happens to be the only one who knows where the stolen loot was stashed before he went away. In terms of the set up and tone, with gangsters gathering after a heist, flashbacks to said heist, tense standoffs between the trigger happy characters, and even a guy tied to a chair and tortured, the comparison to Tarantino's Reservoir Dogs is obvious and inescapable. Still, though it is derivative and not nearly as cool or clever as it seems to think it is, I had fun with it, and would easily recommend giving it a chance.

Mockbusted #4: The Prometheus Trap and Alien Origin

I didn't get the chance to review Ridley Scott's pseudo-Alien prequel Prometheus for this site, as I saw it several months before I started blogging, and never got around to going back to it. I re-watched it just recently, and my lukewarm opinion of the film hasn't changed. It's by no means terrible, and not nearly as convoluted or incomprehensible as many reviews I've seen for it make it out to be, it's just a bit all over the place. I'm a sucker for this kind of space adventure, and have enjoyed movies in the past that a lot of people hated purely due to the premise of exploring alien worlds or environments (Event Horizon, The Sphere, Lost In Space, and Supernova to name a few). My only major problem with Prometheus was the lack of a central defined threat, whether it be some proto-form Xenomorph or their pasty Engineers. Instead we got weird snake things, head exploding viruses, giant octopi, and even zombies at one point. Neither of the two mockbusters under review today have this problem, but they have other issues that keep me from outright recommending either of them.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

The Cinema File #70: "A Cadaver Christmas" Review

Merry Christmas everybody.

If you've already watched A Christmas Story five or six times in a row by now (or just watched the sequel once), you're probably sick of Christmas movies at this point, and if you've been alive for the past decade or so of zombie mania, you're probably just as sick of Zombie movies as well. So, I thought it was only appropriate that on this, the birthday of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, the original Christmas Zombie, that I review A Cadaver Christmas, a surprisingly delightful horror comedy with a unique, if somewhat distracting style, and a nihilistic sense of humor that builds to one of the better overall efforts in the genre I've seen in a long time.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Mockbusted #3: Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes

The Asylum's Sherlock Holmes, released just on the heels of the first Guy Richie film starring Robert Downey Jr., is the first Asylum movie I'd ever seen, and the one that cemented my love for both the company and the mockbuster genre. It is one of the most insane straight to DVD releases I have ever seen and completely elementary, in that it is all the kind of shit I would have written into a movie in Elementary school: Dinosaurs, Dragons, Giant Octopi, and Iron Man. Yes, even Iron Man, and Steam Punk Iron Man at that, combining two Downey franchises into one glorious mess of awesome the likes of which ye have never seen.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

The Cinema File #69: "Ferocious Planet (Aka The Other Side)" Review

Though I was vaguely aware of some of the movies within it, up until now, I hadn't heard of the Maneater series. Evidently (ie. according to Wikipedia), they are a series of films released to DVD and to the SyFy channel, known mostly for having some inexplicably well known actors like F Murray Abraham show up in them from time to time. They are dubbed natural horror movies because they often feature killer animals like Bengal Tigers, Sharks, Crocodiles, and so forth, but a quick perusal of the filmography shows exploits with the Jersey Devil, Gargoyles, Aliens, and a whole host of decidedly unnatural creatures. Today's film, Ferocious Planet, possibly one of the last in this series as they have not made any new ones in the past year, is set on a parallel Earth, which is about as far from nature as it can get. That is to say, its as far from our normal Earth environment as one can get. As a SyFy Channel Original movie, it fits right in to the bland, CGI mess of a canon.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Mockbusted #2: Abraham Lincoln Vs. Zombies

As you may have read, I was not the biggest fan of this year's insulting bit of supernatural historical revisionism Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter. My problems with the film were many, from the one joke premise not sustaining a whole movie, to the dull action scenes, pointless alterations to monster lore, and perhaps most egregious, the unapologetic flippancy with which it dealt with the complicated political and moral consequences of the Civil War. Much like Age of the Hobbits, this Asylum version, while by no means a great movie, surpasses the film upon which it is based in pretty much every way except budget and production polish. Abraham Lincoln Vs. Zombies improves upon every deficiency I felt marred the more mainstream effort, making for a mostly enjoyable if somewhat dragging 90 minutes.

The Cinema File #68: "Jurassic Shark" Review

When I picked up Jurassic Shark, I honestly didn't realize that it was made by the same people who made Rise of the Black Bat. I had forgotten the name of the director (Brett Kelly), and didn't make the connection until the Black Bat himself showed up in the first five minutes with a cheesy mustache for a cameo. My reaction to this discovery was a kind of ambivalence almost reaching the level of doublethink, a deep melancholy over the probable crapvalance to come, and an almost equally exuberant enthusiasm for the possibilities of what seems to me to be the purest form of amateur schlock cinema I've had previous experience with. Jurassic Shark is not a good movie by any means. In fact, it is a very bad movie, but in a way, it reaches a level of terribleness that is almost sublime, owing much to the fact that for once, I'm fairly certain they actually don't realize how awful their movies are.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Friday Flashback: Yule Tide Glee Edition!

Now that the world hasn't ended, why not kick back and celebrate the fact that you actually get to celebrate the rest of this holiday season with a look back at some awesome Christmas related articles you may have missed! -

First, a look at how Fred Claus is the most insane and horrific Christmas move ever - Twilight of the Immortals (Hint: It involves the Catholic Church, Highlanders, and Elf Fucking)

Then, not one, but two sets of pitches for holiday themed movies, including a Jewish Vampire Hunter romp just in time for Hanukkah, and a super team led by Sexy Misses Claus and The Krampus to save the annually endangered holiday,

Plus a few toys you might want to look into buying this Christmas (except they don't actually exist)

Also, five, count 'em five Christmas related movie reviews, including the Silent Night, Deadly Night remake, The Christmas Story sequel, a jolly twist on the Mayan Apocalypse, a superhero elf movie, and Rise of the Guardians.

Enjoy, and happy whatever you happen to celebrate everyone. Or if you love Fox News, Merry Christmas, and nothing else.


The Cinema File #67: "This Is 40" Review

I'm not the biggest Judd Apatow fan you're gonna find out there, so maybe take the next few paragraphs with a grain of salt. I didn't get what I was supposed to find so hilarious about The 40 Year Old Virgin, and I really can't stand the "improv as a substitute for good writing" thing that he's seemed to take from Will Ferrell and turn into a cinematic empire. The one movie I did enjoy slightly more than the others was Knocked Up, the movie This Is 40 has been advertised as a "Sort of Sequel" to. I mention the advertisement specifically, because other than the same actors having the same names as their previous characters and one brief mention of a character in relation to a pot brownie, there is nothing connecting this film to the previous one, and very little of what I liked about that film carried over.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

The Cinema File #66: "Pirates - Band Of Misfits" Review

Arrgh. Not to be confused with Aagh! or Ugh!

What I'm saying is, I really loved this claymation movie about Pirates. Sorry, Pirates!

Oh holy fuck did I love this movie about Pirates. I've never been a big fan of Aardman Animation, never being all that enthusiastic about Wallace and Gromit or Chicken Run despite both being examples of a rarely utilized medium I have much appreciation for. I've yet to see their more recent CG efforts Flushed Away or Arthur Christmas, but after watching Pirates: Band Of Misfits, I have to say I am more than intrigued to find out if there is another gem or two like this that I missed somewhere. Without actually reviewing it, mostly because I couldn't think of much to talk about other than how awesome it was, I've mentioned on this blog that my favorite movie of the year is Paranorman, but currently, that film and this one are wrestling for the top spot in my brain. As you may have read, I just about creamed my pants over Rise of the Guardians, and as good as I still think that movie is, Pirates! blew past it in the first twenty minutes.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Mockbusted #1: Age Of The Hobbits (aka Clash Of The Empires, aka Lord of the Elves, aka The History of Mankind)

I decided to start a new review series specifically for mockbusters after reviewing Rise of the Black Bat. I'm doing these reviews separately rather than including them under the larger Cinema File banner for two reasons. First, I definitely intend to go back to some older films from years past, and I tend to reserve the Cinema File for more recent releases, and secondly, because in addition to a standard review, I want to focus specifically on the comparison between the original and the imitation. Given my recent rather arch review of Peter Jackson's latest film The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, I thought it was only fitting to start here, with Age of the Hobbits, an Asylum production (as most of these will be), and apparently the first in the company's history to receive a court ordered injunction due to copyright infringement, resulting in a less mockbustery name change.

The internet already did this for me. Thanks internet!

The Cinema File #65: "The Hobbit - An Unexpected Journey" Review

Many will no doubt marvel at the technical feat of cinematic mastery that is, or at least is perceived by many to be, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey. Personally, I instead choose to marvel at the sheer biological feat of Peter Jackson being able to shove his head so far up his own ass in a scant three hour period. To put it another way...ugh.

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey that unexpectedly won't end for two more movies, follows young Bilbo Baggins on the quest that will eventually lead him to become the halfling who possessed the One Ring to Rule Them All, which he will later give to his kinsman Frodo for his own quest to destroy the ring, as seen in Peter Jackson's previous Lord of the Rings Trilogy. After the last nine hour marathon of short people walking a bit, it might seem almost quaint to accuse Jackson's forays in Middle Earth of being somewhat self indulgent, but at least last time, the source material upon which the original films were based was arguably epic enough in scope to justify the time spent adapting it to the screen. This is not the case here, with the 300 page Hobbit prequel clearly straining against the tension of stretching its flimsy plot into another saga in what is blatantly a crass attempt to milk as much money from this franchise as possible. Purely from a narrative standpoint, this did not need to be told in three movies. This didn't even need the two movies that were originally planned before expanding it into a trilogy. If Rankin Bass could do a decent job in one, I think Peter Jackson could have pulled it off with ease. More importantly, the way in which it is dragged out made the experience, at least for a casual fan of this mythos, nothing short of unbearable to sit through.

First we gang bang the hobbit, then...adventure!

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

From The Idea Hole: The Literati

Hey, remember that thing where I'm willing to spend an inordinate amount of time working on a project, regardless of whether or not its actually a good idea (and for a more recent example, here)?

So, I'm watching The Raven, the recent period crime thriller starring Edgar Allen Poe as a detective's consultant, and in my review of that film, I mentioned an idea I had during the credits about a way to make the movie better. At the time, I still thought the idea kind of sucked, even if it was still better than that movie, but the more I thought about it, the more awesome it became in my head. Its still probably not good enough to merit actually being produced, except perhaps as an insane mockbuster of the League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, a movie from several years ago that bombed, but its at least good enough for a pitch from the old Idea Hole. So here it is:

The Literati

It's basically the same premise as the Alan Moore comic and subsequent shitty movie, only instead of literary characters, it is the authors who inspired them teaming up as a group of old timey superheroes against a common threat. The set up would either be that the authors involved were inspired to write their classic tales based on real life experiences that also resulted in them gaining superpowers (experiences which they naturally kept secret), or perhaps some were destined to develop superhuman abilities based on the stories they are most well known for. In either case, the plot would focus on H.G. Wells, flying around history in a time machine he stole from Martians piloted by a crew of good natured Beast Men rescued from the Island of Dr. Moreau (as well as an invisible stowaway, the inspiration for The Invisible Man, who seeks revenge on the good scientist for some past slight).

I will now give you a chance to change your underwear.

Monday, December 17, 2012

The Cinema File #64: "The Raven" Review

I think I'm too good to use "Nevermore" as a pithy one word review for this movie about Edgar Allen Poe fighting crime, but the lazy hack in me is very tempted.

This sounds weird, but my first exposure to Edgar Allen Poe as a small child was actually an episode of the Beetlejuice cartoon show. I don't remember much about it now, but if I remember correctly, an evil Masque of the Red Death torments Beetlejuice and sends various Poe-related monsters after him, including I believe the orangutan from Murders In The Rue Morgue (perhaps also influencing my love of supernatural monkeys). Eventually I was inspired to actually read Poe, and I've been a fan ever since. I can't say that I am offended by the lame blandness of The Raven from the standpoint of being a fan, certainly not to the same extent that I was offended by A Christmas Story 2 being a fan of the original film in that series, but I can definitely say that I am more than a bit miffed just as a committed fan of entertaining cinema.

The Cinema File #63: "The 12 Disasters Of Christmas" Review

Maybe its the fact that I watched The 12 Disasters Of Christmas as part of a double feature with A Christmas Story 2, and the chasm in quality between them is leading me to give the former film more credit than it deserves, but thinking back on it, I'd say that as far as SyFy Channel Original movies go, this was slightly above average. That doesn't necessarily mean its any good mind you, keep in mind the standard we are working with, but like True Bloodthirst, this is definitely an effort from the network that was at least surprisingly watchable, which is more than I can say for most of their contributions to cinema.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

The Cinema File #62: "A Christmas Story 2" Review


No clever, pithy two sentence rejoinder for the beginning of this one...just...Aagh!

I love A Christmas Story. I've loved A Christmas Story since I was a kid, before the cult following or the annual cable TV marathons, back when it was just some 80's movie with Darren McGavin nobody gave a shit about. As I've talked about before, A Christmas Story was a tradition in my house every Christmas for a long time, and it still holds a special place in my heart, even if it has suffered a bit from over-saturation now that the rest of the world has re-discovered its greatness in recent years. As I'm sure many fans were, I was appalled when I heard that they were making a chintzy straight to DVD sequel to a film that so many people have such reverence for, and now that I've seen it, I am frankly flabbergasted that the producers of A Christmas Story 2 somehow found the only group of people in the world without any reverence for the original, and then thought it was a good idea to let them make this movie.

Videogame Movie Thing Wrap-Up!

In case you missed any of them, assuming you didn't do so on purpose, here's a handy compilation of the impromptu videogames into movies series I just finished (ish):

1: Article: The Movie - The Game

2: More Videogames I'd Like To See Made Into Movies (And Who I'd Pick To Make Them) 

3: Even More Videogames I'd Like To See Made Into Movies (And How I'd Make Them)

4: Yet More Videogames I'd Like To See Made Into Movies (And How I'd Make Them)

5: Still More Videogames I'd Like To See Made Into Movies (And How I'd Make Them)

6: Christ, There's More Videogames I'd Like To See Made Into Movies (And How I'd Make Them)

7: He's Seriously Still Doing Videogames I'd Like To See Made Into Movies (And How I'd Make Them)?

8: You're Almost Certainly Getting Sick Of These Videogames I'd Like To See Made Into Movies (And How I'd Make Them)

9: Could This Be The Last Set Of Videogames I'd Like To See Made Into Movies (And How I'd Make Them)?

10: (BONUS) - From The Idea Hole: Action 52: The Series

Saturday, December 15, 2012

From The Idea Hole: Action 52: The Series

Okay, fair warning: This is easily the single nerdiest thing I have ever written on this blog. It is far too long and thought out to justify its premise, and will be relatable to like five people, who will probably still think I'm an asshole after reading this. You Have Been Warned! 

So anyway, there's this really shitty old school game called Action 52. It originally came out unlicensed for the Nintendo, and was later ported to the Sega Genesis in a much different form, the name in both cases coming from the promise of 52 action packed games in one cartridge. When they worked at all, pretty much every single game in the set sucked massive balls, and it's now known mostly for being one of the most epically terrible video games of all time, so bad that it has developed a cult following and inspired an entire movement to re-make each individual game better.

The most insane thing about the whole mess, at least for me, was how the creators of Action 52 had such grand plans for this property, seeing its (supposedly) best game The Cheetah Men as a launching pad for a multimedia empire akin to the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. They even went so far as to make a sequel featuring the characters, though it went unreleased, sharing the same fate as the aborted toy line and Saturday morning cartoon show. A game as bad as Action 52 isn't necessarily remarkable on its own, as the video game industry has been and still is replete with cheap shovelware designed to take your money before you realize what shit you paid for, but in this case, it's as if they were so divorced from the reality of how bad this game was, and actually thought it was good enough to sustain a franchise.

So what would that franchise have been like? For a little more history on the game and a demonstration of how it is played, you can watch one of my favorite AVGN episodes HERE, but right now, I'm more interested in the notion that the world of Action 52 might have continued in some other form, the flimsiest of game stories and characters expanded and possibly amalgamated into a single storyline, an Action 52 canon if you will. I've talked before on this blog about my love for 90's action cartoons, most obviously tailor made with large casts of unique looking characters to inspire subsequent action figure sets, so for today's pitch, I thought I'd try to imagine the Action 52 Animated Series that might have been.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Could This Be The Last Set Of Videogames I'd Like To See Made Into Movies (And How I'd Make Them)?

I love my Wii. Yeah, okay, I did that on purpose, but the point is, of all the latest systems, not counting the Wii U which I've yet to play, the Nintendo Wii has always been my favorite. In a modern gaming landscape where everything else is either a God of War rip off, a Call of Duty rip off, or a Diablo rip off, the Wii is the only system that appeals to the old school gamer like me who just plays video games for some low intensity escapist entertainment. I don't want to play a game that I have to employ hours of complicated strategy just to beat, or a game where I have to team up with friends or random people on line and log in to a server that might not be around in ten years if I consider it a classic down the road. I just want to have fun, and that's where the Wii beats out the PS3 and the 360 every time, at least in my mind. I'll probably go back at some point and look at some older consoles that I've never personally owned, but for now, this will be the last entry in this series, and my love for the Wii, double entendre or not, is why I thought to order this series the way I did, to save the best for last. So here are my pitches -

1: Deadly Creatures

 One of the first games I ever played on the Wii, with a really strange and original set up, following a story inspired by the Treasure of the Sierra Madre about two men (voiced by Billy Bob Thornton and Dennis Hopper) in search of Civil War gold, as seen from the perspective of a spider and a scorpion fighting various predators and each other. The thematic parallels between the two stories and the size differential setting the two worlds apart bring to mind an adult version of movies like Osmosis Jones, where live action and animation are combined to show what happens just under our noses, only this time, with a serious and bloody tale of betrayal and revenge instead of a cutesy kids' story. Rather than traditional animation, I actually see this as a claymation or puppetry movie for the arachnid scenes, made almost like a nature documentary without the narrator, with no voices or other attempts to make the non-human characters anthropomorphic, just like the game. Obviously, you couldn't bring Dennis Hopper back, by I imagine Thornton would be game for this, and there are plenty of other hard bitten actors you could bring in to fill the other role. My pick would probably be William Forsythe.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

The Cinema File #61: "The Man With The Iron Fists" Review

This hip hop infused kung fu throwback is silly, poorly plotted, far too short on characterization, and gives next to nothing by way of some much needed exposition. Oh, and it's also fucking awesome.

Hong Kong Action movies have always been just on the periphery of my tastes. It has everything I would like, crazy high fantasy concepts and imagery, larger than life characters and conflicts, and the wacky unreal sensibility of its closest Japanese equivalent Tokusatsu, of which I am a somewhat committed fan boy. I guess it's always just been one cinematic canon too far, the task of exploring the evolution of a new genre too arduous. All this is to say that while I have an appreciation for this kind of movie, I am in no way an expert or a connoisseur and I can't speak to how faithful it was to the tradition. Still, as flawed as it was just as a movie, I had a lot of fun with The Man With The Iron Fists, it's frenetic pace and kitchen sink philosophy carrying it through the bits that fall flat.

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