Who you got? (read the rest of this shit…)
The final bout of Round 2 is another close match. In fact, I thought I had a decision, then I changed my mind. Both DRAGON FIRE (Red Fist Club) and EXTREME CHALLENGE (The Men From Hong Kong) are kinda crappy, and yet kinda good, and in totally different ways from each other. Please join with me to consider their merits.
THE SUPER-KUMITE continues to be a rewarding viewing experience. In this battle between TEAM BOLO and THE WOMEN I was able to see two fairly ridiculous movies, both loosely based on the BLOODFIST template, and by watching them in such proximity I’m really able to properly appreciate them as valid variations on an American-ish artform. So which will it be: the MBA who goes to Hong Kong and enters a tournament after his brother dies of a drug overdose, or the cop who goes to Manila and enters a tournament after her sister is killed for knowing too much about an assassination?
I’m always reading the movie news but only every once in a while is there a convergence of action and tough guy related news large enough to make me feel like I gotta line it all up and make sure everybody here knows about them. Right now is one of those times, though. Click through to see a few noteworthy new developments. Out of kindness I’m even gonna start with the biggest one and it’s the one that involves a descendent of a character killed by another character played by Dolph Lundgren. (read the rest of this shit…)
I can’t vouch for this game, but I bought this card for it because I like non-likeness paintings of John McClane. He’s so iconic he doesn’t even need his face. Happy silver anniversary, big guy!
Well, Death Is a Motherfucker Part 2. The great Jim Kelly died today at only 67. I’m sure you all know him as the #2 badass in ENTER THE DRAGON. If you haven’t seen it I implore you to watch BLACK BELT JONES, his star vehicle also directed by Robert Clouse. It’s a much sillier movie but to me it’s the pinnacle of that peculiar intersection between martial arts and black culture. It has one of the funkiest theme songs ever, it has freeze frames on the opening credits, it has girls on trampolines, it has a fight in car wash bubbles. It’s awesome and hilarious and you will love it. (read the rest of this shit…)
I don’t always post about every great person that dies, but we lost a bunch of ’em this week so I might as well do one post to reflect on three in particular.
First, of course, the unexpected death of the great James Gandolfini. A real bummer to movie fans since he was still great and very productive. Just last year he was in one of my favorites of the year, ZERO DARK THIRTY and was also the clear highlight of my most frustrating movie of the year, KILLING THEM SOFTLY. Even as a serial TV-misser who has somehow totally missed The Sopranos I was able to enjoy lots of brilliant work by Mr. Gandolfini. Favorite performances I would point you to would be as the voice of the neurotic monster Carol in WHERE THE WILD THINGS ARE, the victim in the great underrated Coen bros picture THE MAN WHO WASN’T THERE, and of course that epic hotel showdown in TRUE ROMANCE. (read the rest of this shit…)
Remember there was gonna be that movie THE TOMB starring both Stallone and Schwarzenegger? Now it’s called ESCAPE PLAN and IGN has the trailer:
What do you think? I think it looks promising. Not humorless but not a corny joke-a-thon like an EXPENDABLES, cool high concept premise, good supporting cast. And Stallone gets to work with 50 Cent after the internet shamed him out of casting him in THE EXPENDABLES, but before he follows Robert DeNiro into a series of gloomy interchangeable DTV thrillers.
ESCAPE PLAN is directed by Mikael Håfström, a Swede who previously did DERAILED (haven’t seen it) and 1408: AN EVIL FUCKIN’ ROOM (pretty good). One of the writers did ROAD HOUSE 2, the other MIRROR MIRROR.
thanks to Jim Newberry for telling me this was up
Last month I ran an interview that david j. moore, author of the upcoming book World Gone Wild: A Survivor’s Guide To Post-Apocalyptic Movies, did with Jesse V. Johnson. Now he sent me an interview with Ben Ramsey, who has been an important figure in my appreciation of DTV because his first movie LOVE AND A BULLET I described as “SURPRISINGLY UN-BAD” in 2002, and for a while considered one of the more impressive DTVs (I’ll have to revisit that some day). In 2009 he earned his place in the hall of fame by directing an all-time DTV/martial arts classic, BLOOD AND BONE. In this interview he talks about making BLOOD AND BONE, why Hollywood is afraid of the DTV stars we love, and how one of my other favorite under-the-radar martial arts stars was supposed to be in BLOOD AND BONE. (read the rest of this shit…)