So once again we have survived.

Shadow Fury

"I can give a shit about clones!"
“I can give a shit about clones!”

SHADOW FURY is a cheap-ass 2001 sci-fi action movie about clones. It has one of those inexcusable keyboard-pretending-to-be-an-orchestra scores and the acting and dialogue are at higher cheesiness levels than I’ll usually put up with, i.e. worse than a SCANNERS sequel. But I really liked this movie because it rarely goes more than a couple minutes without a really cool action scene, a clever concept or a (usually unintentional) laugh. It has a similar energy to an early Isaac Florentine, so it fits that the director, Makoto Yokoyama, did second unit and stunts for the Power Rangers. An IMDb search finds 7 specific episodes directed by Florentine with Yokoyama on 2nd unit. So let’s call him the 2nd unit Florentine.

mp_shadowfuryAlthough not on the level of BEST OF THE BEST 2 I consider this a real good find, and movies like this are the reason why I keep giving a shot to seemingly hopeless cases. The American DVD cover is so lame I didn’t even want to include it with this review, and since it’s not a book I was happy to judge it by its cover. I figured it was most likely unwatchable (I’ll explain later why I sought it out), so I was pleasantly surprised by the great opening ninja-assassination. The ninja (who we later learn is a clone made by feudal-Japan-obsessed mad scientist Pat Morita to kill rival scientists) jumps on top of a moving car, stabs his sword through the roof into the driver, causing the car to crash, sending him flying but then he somersaults smoothly onto his feet and of course does an awesome unflinching walk away as the car explodes behind him. Cut to the title. It would be an OUT FOR JUSTICE level opening for the record books if not for the shitty title font and keyboard soundtrack. Where is the RZA when you need him to re-score a movie?

Right away you notice this is not some generic throwaway ninja. He’s unmasked and has a striking screen presence. I figured he was a famous Japanese actor, but the Wikipedia tells me Masakatsu Funaki is the co-founder of Pancrase (a Japanese mixed martial arts competition where Ken Shamrock and others did their “shootfighting” before the UFC existed) and considered one of the greatest mixed martial artists of all time. And when we meet our main character Mitch Madsen, played by Sam Bottoms (MERCENARY II: THICK AND THIN, SHERRYBABY) it definitely seems like this is gonna be one of those movies where you root for the villain more than the hero.

Madsen is a washed up alcoholic mercenary who receives a letter saying he can’t get the liver transplant he needs, then moments later a creepy bald giant in a suit and sunglasses shows up at his door talking about a clone research firm hiring him for a job. Madsen must be hard up for work, because after baldie falls into a pit and starts his pitch over verbatim like a skipping record it cuts to the two in a car together. For me personally if I catch somebody in a boobytrap and find out they’re some kind of a clone or robot I usually don’t accept their job offer. But that might be kind of prejudiced, I’m not sure. It’s how I was raised. This is supposed to be in the near future, maybe Madsen is of a more enlightened generation I guess.

So he’s hired by a team of clone researchers who are being targeted by ex-colleague Morita and his pet ninja clone. Once Madsen gets almost killed by the ninja he’s ready to give the gig up, but they promise if he kills the ninja they’ll let him keep the liver. They’ll even throw in the transplant operation, they’re all surgeons and they like doing favors like that for people. Not a bad deal.

Madsen is a really funny character because he’s so much less awesome than he’s obviously trying to be. He has lines like “Great town. Shit town,” and “Waddya say, killer? Time to boogie?,” and he grunts them in a forced Clint Eastwood one-liner type of voice. When he first faces the ninja he somehow knows his name is Takeru, but says, “Bring it on Tocca-roo. I’m right here, baby.”

He’s the type of guy who addresses male scientists as “Doc” and female ones as “Dollface.” He also tries to define himself as someone who prefers something other than what is being discussed at the moment. For example when the scientists show him a cloned chicken he says, “More of a steak man, myself,” and when they tell him the ninja has a sword he says, “I prefer guns myself.” His hair looks like a comfortable home for a rat, and he does kind of seem like he’s been through the ringer a couple times, but he still comes off like a poser because he places way too much faith in the grittiness of of the phrase “god damn.” He talks about a “god damn killing machine” more than once, as well as a “god damn monster” and a “god damn merchant of destruction” and “your god damn weapons.” When (SPOILER) the ninja offers him his liver Madsen says, “I don’t want your god damn liver. I want your help. I wanna take Hillier down – and that god damn killing clone!

And why does he want to do that? Well, because “It’s god damn justice!”

He makes it sound so corny I might have to swear off using the Lord’s name in vain. I prefer “motherfuckin” myself.

On the other hand this guy has a legitimately cool set-up when it comes to weaponry. When Pat Morita (who by the way has his hair sticking about a foot straight out from the back of his head, and only appears in a few scenes) steals Madsen’s gun, Madsen pulls out a detonator and blows it up in his hand. Later Madsen is at a bar tended by Fred Williamson and asks for “something stronger,” at which point Fred brings him into a back room and shows him a bunch of high tech weaponry. In other words The Hammer is both his bartender and his Q.

But meanwhile Takeru the god damn killing clone has a subplot that slowly takes over the movie. First there’s what could be a throwaway joke where a hooker is pulling on a thread hanging off her stockings and he cuts it for her with his sword. Later the same hooker (named Sasha and played by Cassandra Grae) takes him in and gives him stitches (she is highly skilled so I hope she gets good tips), and he ends up beating up her pimp and taking her with him.

I know wire work is considered as out of fashion as Zubaz pants in the 2000s, but I don’t got a problem with it and I like how they use it in this one. There’s a great shot of Takeru holding the hooker, jumping out a third story window and landing gently on his feet in front of a bunch of witnesses. Usually he’s not the one hooked to the wires, though. They use them to give him super powered strikes, making his targets fly against a wall or flip through the air.

Sasha is one of the least convincing street people you can imagine, she’s just way too soft and clean. She looks like a pretty kindergarten teacher, not a troubled individual whose traumatic past and current addictions have forced her to degrade herself. On the other hand she does have nipple rings. But I was glad they didn’t give her some silly backstory to explain why she was a ho, like she needed the money to buy new reading books for her kindergarteners or whatever. She’s a real nice lady who tries to teach Takeru not to be a killer despite his “obedience string,” something that is quite compelling to him even if it doesn’t do him on the roof like Sasha does.

This storyline reminds me alot of UNIVERSAL SOLDIER, and there’s another thing that’s just like UNIVERSAL SOLDIER III: UNFINISHED BUSINESS where one of the scientists is developing a cloned super-warrior by combing genetic profiles of various types of soldiers and athletes. An ultimate fighter, if you will. He starts out as a little kid who can beat up the old bald giant. At the end of the movie he matures into famous mixed martial artist Bas Rutten.

CHAPTER 2

This brings me to why I watched this movie. Some people have an addictive personality in their genetics, and they just gotta realize it. My friends, I am confessing to you that I have recently developed an MMA problem. This is not something that’s been going on for very long. I mean I’ve experimented before, I’ve dabble recreationally, which is not a good idea for someone like me.

During my pre-Expendables  marathon I checked out a couple Randy Couture fights. And I had just seen PREDATORS so I found a couple Oleg Taktarovs too. I’d also just seen THE A-TEAM so I watched some Quinton “Rampage” Jackson. And I saw an Andrei Arlovsky on one of the DVDs, that’s the guy from UNIVERSAL SOLDIER: REGENERATION. And a couple Gina Caranos to get ready for HAYWIRE. You can see how this just snowballs out of control, man. I started to get a taste for it, I started to enjoy the spectacle of it and become interested in the evolution of this type of fighting, from the early days when nobody knew what would happen if you had boxers and karate experts and sumo wrestlers fighting each other.

I watched the early UFC VHSs, when it was still a tournament, like in the movies. The winner had to win 3 grueling fights in one day. There were no weight classes, and not many rules. You were allowed to head butt. You were allowed to pull hair. Action movie fans are always speculating about who could beat up who, and these tournaments actually gave us some insight. It turns out a regular sized kickboxer really could beat up a 6′ 8″ 650+ pound sumo champion if he got behind him and kept punching him in the back of the head. But he’d break his hand doing it and have to drop out of the tournament.

What I don’t think they expected back then was how the fighters would learn from each other’s styles and have to completely change their approach in order to compete. At first it was the grapplers who dominated, especially Brazilian Jiujitsu fighter Royce Gracie (whose brother started UFC, but I think he would’ve won anyway). A knockout punch or kick is great, but it’s hard to get one in before this guy gets you to the ground and chokes you or nearly snaps your arm or leg. So the punchers and kickers had to learn how to grapple, which forced the grapplers to learn how to punch and kick, creating a whole new class of fighter, not as powerful as the god damn killing clone, but pretty god damn powerful.

Well I was at a place in my life where I was vulnerable so I ended up binging on UFCs, a little bit of EliteXC, and I knew I was in deep when I rented the box set of Pride FC 1-5. Pride is some Japanese shit, started by a pro-wrestler because he wanted to fight a Gracie. He did and got his ass kicked. In later ones he got better and even had me jumping out of my seat in shock when he beat Mark “The Hammer” Coleman, but the internet tells me those fights were fixed. And now I understand REDBELT a little better.

The rules of these early Pride competitions are weird and lead to some bizarrely bad fights. They use a regular boxing or pro wrestling type of ring, but they’re not allowed to grab onto the ropes. And of course people do it anyway and they’re not disqualified, so it just seems like a bad idea to have the ropes at all. The strangest part is when the fighters wrestle and go too far under the ropes. They have to hold that pose while 3 or 4 officials lift them up and carry them to the middle of the ring! Mark Kerr (the guy from the John Hyams documentary THE SMASHING MACHINE) seems to have especially bad luck for weird fights. In his first Pride fight his opponent got disqualified before any fighting really happened, so Kerr took the microphone and humbly apologized to the crowd. In another one his opponent seemed scared and kept running out of the ring over and over again, like Andy Kaufman vs. Jerry Lawler.

And in those early days there were no time limits, just unlimited ten minute rounds, which leads to long, uneventful fights where both sides are just trying to outlast the other guy. The saving grace is the English language color commentary by two guys who are so unflinchingly honest and critical of the boring fights that I started to hope for bad matches just to see what they’d say. Sometimes they’ll say “Maybe it’s time to tell a joke,” or discuss a topic I have always wondered about myself: if the guy on the bottom ever considers tickling the guy on top to escape. I enjoyed their conversations so much I started to just leave the DVDs on in the background and not even watch the fights.

The commenters are “Fight Professor” Stephen Quadros, who trained DMX to fight for EXIT WOUNDS, but sounds so much like Anderson Cooper that I just picture that’s who I’m listening to. His partner is Bas Rutten, a tough as nails fighter I’ve seen on UFC and also in THE SMASHING MACHINE, and just made the connection that he was getting laughed at a while back when clips of his street fighting instructional video were on Youtube. He says he never did tickle a guy in a fight but did consider it. His combination of toughness and humor made me think he would make a good future Expendable.

basruttenSome people, especially in the smarmy non-action-fan movie writing circles, question why a Bas Rutten or a Randy Couture should go from fighting to being a movie star. What they’re not taking into account is that we who like these types of movies are open to, say, a bodybuilder turned star of many classic action movies. We’re fans of Seagal and Van Damme and people like that, whose reputations in the early days were based on legends of martial arts experience. Most of us didn’t really know what it meant to read that so-and-so was a third-degree black belt in such and such or champion of whatever kickboxing, but it sounded pretty badass when we read it somewhere, repeated from a press release.

These days it’s different, because that shit’s verifiable. There are numerous guys like Bas Rutten who have spent years in competitions not that much different from the fictional ones we saw in BLOODSPORT and KICKBOXER. And you can watch alot of it on DVD or youtube:



So although there hasn’t been a stand-out MMA-turned-actor vehicle yet I’m convinced there will be eventually, and Rutten would be one good candidate for it. In ’04 he starred in THE ELIMINATOR, which looks pretty shitty and I couldn’t find it for rent anyway. His first IMDb credit is as “Kismet” in a ’92 movie called SHADOW OF THE DRAGON (also an alternate title for this one). Although his SHADOW FURY character has the same name it doesn’t seem to be a sequel at all – no overlapping filmatists, characters or concepts. He just strikes people as a Kismet, I guess.

Well, SHADOW FURY doesn’t show us Rutten’s sense of humor. He just plays a terminator with no lines. He does get a good rematch against Funaki (who beat him in Pancrase), and also gets to shoot a chicken. But the jury’s still out on whether his unique appeal can translate to the big screen. Still, I’m glad he found an entertaining movie to be in. It’s definitely more exciting than that endless match between Dan Severn and Kimo.

EPILOGUE

So here I thought I discovered a good obscure chopsocky that nobody ever heard of, but when I went to find a picture for this review I typed “shadow fu” into Google Images and “shadow fury kismet” popped up as a popular search. I was surprised that other people were looking for pictures of Bas Rutten’s character in SHADOW FURY. Maybe they were trying to figure out this SHADOW OF THE DRAGON vs. SHADOW FURY business too.

But for some reason when you type that in you don’t get pictures of Bas Rutten, you get, uh… well, this is what I got. The shirtless meathead kid we all know from the ads for Twilight. At first I thought it was just one of those things, everything on the internet is about Twilight now, so no matter what you type into Google Images, whether it’s “banana cream pie recipe” or “carburetor choke” you’re gonna get a bunch of pictures of dudes from Twilight.

But then I realized oh, wait a minute. I knew there was something familiar about that squinty eyed little sprout doing the karate. The clone that grows up into Bas Rutten is that kid, Sharkboy. It’s his first movie. So my obscure Sam Bottoms vs. ninja clone movie is not actually as unknown as I thought it was, it’s one that all Twilight trekkies (or “Twikkies”) already know about. I bet this thing has taken on a whole new life, it probly rents and sells very well because of him, and I’m just the latest to jump on the bandwagon.

In the end, Mitch Madsen has gone through alot. We can tell, because he has a pony tail. He’s still pouring himself shots (at a ninja’s grave!) but he says “I still drink the good stuff. But I savor it.” I don’t know if I want to look at this dude as any sort of a role model, and my hair’s not long enough for a ponytail anyway. But if he’s genuinely got the drinking under control then good for him. I’m gonna have to start “savoring” some of this UFC so I can get some work done.

VERN has been reviewing movies since 1999 and is the author of the books SEAGALOGY: A STUDY OF THE ASS-KICKING FILMS OF STEVEN SEAGAL, YIPPEE KI-YAY MOVIEGOER!: WRITINGS ON BRUCE WILLIS, BADASS CINEMA AND OTHER IMPORTANT TOPICS and NIKETOWN: A NOVEL. His horror-action novel WORM ON A HOOK will arrive later this year.
This entry was posted on Saturday, August 28th, 2010 at 1:22 am and is filed under Action, Martial Arts, Reviews, Science Fiction and Space Shit. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

40 Responses to “Shadow Fury”

  1. I remember seeing parts of this once on the German SciFi channel. Can’t remember much, other that I found it hilarious to see German C-List celebrity Alexandra Kamp playing a Dr. in this. (She also had a one-line role as reporter in Half Past Dead) When it’s on again, I will give it another shot.

  2. holy crap, when I saw the dvd cover I recognized it instantly, I use to see it all the time in the (now closed) Hollywood video, never bothered with it though

  3. Yeah, I know this one. Pretty cheesy. If you also want to see another film with Masakatsu Funaki, check out Godzilla: Final Wars. He’s get’s a pretty bad-ass moment in that one too.

  4. And the Great Review Drought Of A Couple Weeks Ago is finally explained.

    You had me at “ninja-assassination.” This one’s getting watched.

  5. Why don’t more Boxers become action stars? Is it just because they make enough money fighting or is there not so much appeal to a guy who can only really punch and not kick?

  6. Totally agree about the potential for UFC fighters as action stars. It’s just a matter of time before we get a guy that has real acting ability.

    I remember watching those early UFC competitions in college and thinking how brutal it was, but then it really was like they were just putting Bloodsport on pay-per-view. I realize the fighters had to evolve over time but I still kind of miss that “who’d win between a wrestler and a ninja?” mentality that originally drove it.

  7. Apologies if this came up somewhere else and I missed it, but it’s still so awesome: http://www.mixedmartialarts.com/news/245233/Steven-Seagal-trains-Anderson-Silva/

    I’d really like to see a Black House movie where Silva, Lyoto, The Nogueira Brothers, and Cain Velasquez have to fight around the world to avenge the death of their teacher or something. Alice Braga can be in it.

  8. Classic review. I prefer the old school long ones.

  9. Yeah, I agree, this was an amazing review. There is nothing like using a movie as a jump start to discussing other issues. Speaking of which, I’m going to watch UFC tonight. Go Couture!!

  10. Does this mean a Vern review of TWILIGHT is on the way?

  11. Thing is Gwai, everyone else and their mother has ripped the hell out of “Twilight” (except me, incidentally, I thought it was a misunderstood work of sublime genius, so much so that it didn’t realise what it had going for it. Sort of like Vern’s review of “Transformers 2”.) As entertaining as a Vern “Twilight” review might be (and by the way Vern, I totally echo what everyone else has said about this being a great one) I honestly can’t see what you could say that hasn’t already been said.

    Plus it would require, y’know, watching the film. Not something I’d ever like to do again, despite the “Misunderstood genius” thing.

    On a completely unrelated topic, I’m sitting here writing this while listening to the “Inception” soundtrack. Fuck me it’s good. I thought “The Dark Knight” had one of the best soundtracks I’d heard for ages – sort of the distilled, minimalist essence of Bernard Hermann (who is still the unrivalled master of cinema scoring in my not-so humble opinion) – but “Inception” is even better in terms of it’s easier to sit down, listen to, and enjoy. Not the best soundtrack I’ve ever heard (that title would go to “Blade Runner”, by a fairly wide margin) but still pretty damn good.

  12. Paul- I love the track from the trailer that goes
    #BWAAAAOOOOMMMMM…..BWAAAAOOOOMMMMM…..BWAAAAOOOOMMMMM…..BWAAAAOOOOMMMMM…..
    What’s that called on the soundtrack?

  13. Well the one that has the “whoomps” is “Half-remembered dream”, it’s the first song on the soundtrack. Not sure if this was featured on the trailers though. There was another song called “Mind Heist” that wasn’t by Zimmer, it’s not on the copy of the soundtrack that I’ve got but I’ve read about it on the web. It’s by “Zack Hemsey” or “Zack Hempsey”, depending on where you read.

  14. I was pretty happy to see some MMA action in Expendables. It’s been starting to make its way in for a while. The earliest pseudo-MMA I recall seeing was the bad dude in Maximum Risk (Pre-DTV Van Damme) in a couple of scenes. Bourne’s had elements of it too.

    The problem is, the uneducated masses don’t understand what they’re seeing. I had some clown tell me that the Expendables was full of wrestling. Another issue is that it’s not particularly cinematic – there’s limited filmatism in two guys struggling for leverage in a fight.

    Interestingly, I talked with some SWAT guys about how they train for hand to hand, and they were really dismissive of the whole thing – apparently if they get into that situation, they regard it as a failure of tactics.

    I’m very glad to see Couture’s career take off in film. Awesome. Plus after he subs Toney in the second tonight, he’ll be even more the media star.

    War Couture!

  15. MMA is starting to get pretty tiresome. If you look at any martial arts video on Youtube…say someone put up a clip of a Jet Li fight from Fist of Legend. Inevitably the comments degenerate on how unrealistic it is and how Jet wouldn’t last a few minutes in a cage with MMA fighters.

    Donnie Yen has really embraced MMA and has incorporated it heavily into his last few movies…at least the ones set in modern times like Flashpoint.

  16. Paul, I felt like owning up to really liking the INCEPTION soundtrack would make me a hopeless fanboy, so I’m glad you mentioned it. Now, at least, I’m not alone.

  17. Yeah, Flashpoint has some good real-ish shit as far as grappling-based fighting goes.  We all love the slickness & immediacy, the generally compact nature of movie fights, but it’s always extra-rewarding when it resembles real fighting too.  

    To augment the note on the SWAT training, I’ll let y’all know that the first thing they teach you in the US Army combatives program (presumably similar to what SWATters go through) is “The guy who wins a hand to hand fight is the first guy whose buddy shows up with a gun.”  

    Finally, for entertainment value, for appreciation of technique & the brutal beauty of the sport, for cinematic quality, and for adrenaline level-raising drama & spectacle, nothing beats watching old Matt Hughes matches in his prime, in my opinion.  

    Sunday evenings with the laptop & Proxima shining Hughes’s fights on the big white wall of my basic training battalion’s classroom were the highlight of my first 6 months of an otherwise hellish job experience.  All of us FNGs revered Matt Hughes; he was our airy mascot when we were miserably cleaning toilets and somehow our mystical varsity jock buddy when we went weeks without making phone calls or accessing the internet.  

    The first time I stood in victory, leaving my stunned drill sergeant on the mat halfway through our second 3 minute round, I barely had the energy to lift my arms to celebrate.  Instead, I retrieved my defeated opponent’s blood-spattered Sapper tab and handed it to him as he squirmed infant-like toward a seated position.  I only had enough breath to mutter 3 syllables, 3 words everyone in the room at that moment understood, that would have as much forcefulness as Doc Holliday’s “You’re no daisy,” Maximus’s “Are you not entertained?!” or Achilles’s “Is there no one else?!”  Everyone was afraid to cheer, lest our hitherto impossibly badass drill sergeant pinpoint a source of less than total subordination & compliance among his juniors, but we all nodded our heads and grinned when I leaned over his reddened skull and simply said, “Matt Hughes, bitch.”  

  18. Also, I ain’t one-dimensional, so here’s my contribution to the Inception music thread within this thread (within another thread? On top of another layer of thr— oh, stop, Mouth.):

    http://www.avclub.com/articles/great-job-internet-the-secret-of-the-inception-sou,43518/

  19. I’m open to MMA fighters EVENTUALLY becoming good action heroes but I don’t think it’s there yet. I know Arnold and Van Damme were rough in their first roles, but there was still something to watch. I still can’t see watching something BECAUSE Randy Couture is in it. I try to keep an open mind, I’m just wondering if the actual ability to kick someone’s ass isn’t totally compatible with playing someone we want to watch kick ass. Wrestlers, of course, are professional entertainers so it’s a lot easier to get behind a Steve Austin, although The Rock has gotten quite tiresome.

    Could it be a generational thing? I was a kid when I saw Arnold and Van Damme struggle with English. Now I’m a grown-up watching MMA fighters speak and wanting more out of them. Although, Scorpion King 2: Rise of a Warrior is no Bloodsport/Conan.

  20. Nah FTopel. it’s not generational. I’m a huge Couture fan. The only reason tonight’s UFC card was even an option was because of his fight – all 3 minutes and 39 seconds.

    That said, other than on DVD, I wouldn’t yet watch a film JUST cause Randy’s in it.

    Yet.

  21. To be fair regarding Schwarzenegger, the dude really got some good material earlier in his career than most would believe an Austrian-tongue bodybuilder could get.

    I mean STAY HUNGRY and then John Milius believed Arnold was the only one to play CONAN and then the James Cameron connection, yada.

    Not all perfect initially of course. THE VILLAIN, I dare Vern to review that shit sometime. And less said about HERCULES IN SOME CITY IN NEW YORK the better.

  22. off topic, but I read in Entertainment Weekly that transformers 3 will be in 3 FUCKING D

    can you imagine how bad Mikey Bay is gonna violate our eyeballs? be afraid, be very afraid

  23. Hey, I like THE VILLAIN. Not Hal Needham’s best, but maybe the most successful translation of Looney Tunes humor into a live action comedy.

  24. And about Transformers 3D: You must give Michael Bay credit this time, because the 3D conversion is against his wishes. He was very vocal against it, because he not just thinks it’s a fad, but also because knew that his visual style won’t translate well.

  25. Mouth – “Non, Je Ne Regrette Rien” is sampled more than just slowly on the “Inception” soundtrack. The lyrics are part of the tenth song.

    CJ Holden – YOU give Bay credit for that. I’ll give him credit for mentally scarring me for life with “Bad Boys 2”, plus giving the terrorists a whole other reason to hate America.

    RRA – I certainly think “Hercules in New York” falls into the category of “So bad it’s hilarious”.

  26. While I wouldn’t call Michael Bay a good filmmaker, I’m always baffled by his status of the official punchingbag of this generation and how he gets blamed for seriously everything, from the lack of intelligence in modern popcorn movies to the rise of Hitler back in the 30’s, and elevated into Antichrist-ish status, just for making movies.

  27. CJ Holden – the “terrorists” statement was being ever so slightly sarcastic. (Slightly.) Maybe these things don’t always come through in text. And FTR I quite enjoyed the first forty minutes or so of “Armageddon”. And I didn’t hate “Pearl Harbor”. Although I still can’t imagine ever seeing a worse movie than “Bad Boys 2”.

    (To fully appreciate the meaning of that last statement, you should understand that I’m watching my new “Kill Switch” DVD right now. I’ll post some comments, but suffice to say… so far, not good.)

  28. The problem with the Terrorist joke was that it has been used by so many people on millions of other occasions, and in around 85% the people were dead serious.
    And of course I wasn’t talking about only you, but y’know, it’s AMAZING how a director like Michael Bay can these days offend more people then Paul Verhoeven, Lars von Trier and Gaspar Noe together, just by making dumb and loud movies! He didn’t even show hardcore sex scenes in any of his movies, yet so many people want him to die!
    I think these people are creating a monster. In 30 years or so nobody will remember the Bad Boys movies anymore, but the wrong myth of Michael Bay, the director who was so controversial that an uproar went through the movie watching public whenever he made a new movie, will live on.

  29. It’s more likely that people will find his blitzkrieg editing and bizarre shot compositions elegant and stately, what with all movies in the future being 20 seconds long and beamed directly into your cerebral cortex with a laser.

    And BAD BOYS II is a masterpiece of bloat. You won’t find a bigger movie about less.

    Amazingly, I mean that as a compliment.

  30. On a side note, Mouth’s well-written and ridiculously hard-boiled comments always make the rest of us look like a bunch of wieners.

  31. CJ – one might of course make the case that the legend of Michael Bay SHOULD live on, as a cautionary tale to scare young film-makers. Sort of like the boogeyman or Michael Jackson for kids that don’t behave.

    Majestyk – yeah, I would agree with that. Except the compliment bit. But the bloat bit, yeah.

    I for one look forward to cortex-laser cinema. I’ve always considered eating and sleeping an unnecessary waste of time, so anything I can do to quicken the process of enjoying a movie is A-OK with me.

  32. Plus “Kill Switch” would have been so much less annoying if it had lasted twenty seconds instead of two goddamned hours.

  33. Mr. Majestyk, you remain the standard-bearer for consistency of eloquence, humor, and overall excellence in these parts. And I’m pretty sure your pic could beat up my pic.

    Vern’s piece above inspired me to recall the time in my life when I was most “into” MMA & UFC and stuff, when it meant the most to me day-to-day and even hour-to-hour, so I hope no one misconstrues my story as some sort of inappropriate comment thread chestpuffery. I’m certain nothing could be more pathetic, so I try to keep my hard-boiledness {*swallows End of Days breakfast shake in one gulp, chases it with cheap tequila*} germaine to the topic and times {*lights match with stubble, puffs on cigar*}, without undue insertion of obtuse claims of badassery.

    Meanwhile, I now have time to watch this Shadow Fury jive online, so that’s where I’ll be until the Yankees game commences.

    ***************************************

    Paul, quit looking at me like that before I break your thumbs. . . . Yeah, that’s what I thought.

  34. “Hey, I like THE VILLAIN. Not Hal Needham’s best, but maybe the most successful translation of Looney Tunes humor into a live action comedy.”

    CJ Holden – more successful than GREMLINS?

  35. Anyway what I don’t get with the Bay/3-D shit is why doesn’t he have veto power? Considering how much money he’s made for the Beard and the Mountain, surely he would have some sort of creative power worth a shit by now?

    Hell Nolan vetoed 3-D for INCEPTION and look I would think most of us would consider him a superior director to Bay, he’s not made the amount of cash that Bay has. So I don’t get it.

    Or Bay is someone’s bitch.

  36. well that’s obvious RRA, Bay is only successful because he probably folds to any producer’s or studio’s wishes

    and Spielberg, God bless him, but he does seem a bit out of touch these days, I don’t think he’s lost his mojo directing wise, but producing yes, remember when he used to produce movies like Back To The (fucking) Future? now he’s produces movies like Transformers and the irony is that he probably thinks all us nerds love them, not realizing that those movies and Bay in general are the bane of any real movie geeks existence

  37. but of course Spielberg DID produce The Pacific, which was great and he’s supposedly gonna produce a few Stephen King miniseries, so maybe he hasn’t totally lost it

  38. Griff – Even then THE PACIFIC I must say I was disapointed by. Wanted to be BAND OF BROTHERS of that theatre, but comes up being just JAM SESSION OF SIBLINGS. $200 million and that’s it?

  39. well it’s been forever since I watched BAND OF BROTHERS so…

  40. Vern –

    I actually ‘own’ the Eliminator. My younger brother rented it from some weird independent video store and when he went to return it, it was out of business. Thusly he just left it at my house, where it eventually made its way into my dvd player.

    Good God does that movie suck balls. Really just an awful piece of shit. That said, Baas is fun in it and would have made a much cooler Expandable than Randy Couture.

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