The concept of THE GINGERDEAD MAN is basically “Chucky, but a gingerbread man instead of a doll.” It takes part 2 about three minutes worth of recapping and rhyming narration to explain that in the sequel. But to be fair the goal is not so much to catch the audience up to speed as to pad it out to be longer than an hour so it seems like a real movie almost.
With an ingeniously stupid premise like this, there are a million hilarious ways to do a sequel. Instead they chose to do the old “monster attacks people making a horror movie” route already done much better in SEED OF CHUCKY. If you got the same premise for part 2 as another series had for part 5 then you should probaly do it better, right? Well, that wouldn’t be the Full Moon way. (read the rest of this shit…)
SPECIAL FORCES is part of the AMERICAN HEROES series which, as I’m sure you are all very aware, are unrelated Nu-Image action movies each spotlighting the heroism of one branch in the American military. So I hope I’m not unpatriotic for watching it for its Israeli director Isaac Florentine and British co-star Scott Adkins. I’ve written about these guys before – Florentine is the director of such movies as UNDISPUTED II and THE SHEPHERD: BORDER PATROL, while Adkins is the co-star of movies ranging from UNDISPUTED II to THE SHEPHERD: BORDER PATROL. Okay, so they aren’t making classics yet, but they’re some of the only reliable individuals I’ve found in the world of DTV action. They always seem like they’re trying.
A journalist taking pictures of atrocities in the in my opinion fictional former Soviet republic of Muldonia is taken hostage by some sadistic military assholes. One looks like a regular-sized Jaws from James Bond, but with grey hair, the other looks like the comedian Emo Philips wearing a beret. The second one is one of those villains you’re supposed to hate extra for his stupid haircut and hat, and the way he turns his nose up at everything. We should have enough to hate him for just with the atrocities he’s committed but we still find ourselves thinking “I hate him, he’s so stuck up!” (read the rest of this shit…)
This is the early Van Damme picture that was written by David S. Goyer of BLADE fame. I know that guy has gotten some shit since he directed BLADE 3 and it wasn’t as good as the other two, but I give him credit. Sure, his directing needs work, but BLADE 1-2 are A+ action screenplays with the ideal balance of humor, brooding, swagger, mythological mumbo jumbo and pitch perfect build to moments of badass payoff and clever action scenes. Plus he worked on DARK CITY and BATMAN BEGINS, and I say anyone who works with Chris Nolan but also wrote a movie for Van Damme is worthy of respect.
In this one Van Damme plays a cop from Quebec (they always gotta have a different excuse for his accent) who puts five shots in a serial killer called The Sandman, then gets sent on a mission undercover in a prison to investigate mysterious inmate murders. Robert Guillame plays his best friend in prison, and I’m not sure how BENSON ended but he must’ve been up on some serious corruption charges to wind up in this place. He also got stabbed in the eye so he looks like a kindly, smaller Tiny Lister. (read the rest of this shit…)
Over my several years as a rising Seagalogist I have been asked many times who would win in a fight between Seagal and Van Damme. I have also been asked who would win between Seagal and Bruce Lee. I have never been asked who would win between Seagal and vampires, but I know now that the answer is Sea(SPOILER)gal. But this is also one of those whoever-wins-we-lose type scenarios because, I’m sorry to report, AGAINST THE DARK may be the least interesting movie Seagal has ever made.
Some might disagree. Many who don’t like Seagal’s movies criticize him for the exact reason why I think he’s interesting: he keeps making the same type of movie over and over again. To me it’s the perfecting, tinkering, and slow evolution of that formula that makes the movies cool. You don’t listen to blues to hear brand new riffs. Still, it SEEMS like it would be interesting to see his first attempt at a horror movie. But let’s be honest, nobody’s expecting it to work as a horror movie, and it doesn’t. So it should be a real Seagal movie, but it isn’t. It’s a shitty Sci-Fi-Channel-worthy vampire siege movie where one of the characters happens to be played by Seagal. And not even the main character. (read the rest of this shit…)
PROLOGUE: Long ago, a brave warrior (Jet Li) and a graceful dancer turned actress (Michelle Yeoh) did the movie TAI CHI MASTER together. Then both went to Hollywood and did Lethal Weapon and James Bond and shit. But they had not forgotten each other. They were gonna star in CROUCHING TIGER, HIDDEN DRAGON together. But Jet backed out for the incredibly classy reason that he had promised his wife to take the year off from movies and be with her while she was pregnant. Years later, they had another chance to do a movie together in Ronny Yu’s FEARLESS – but Michelle’s scenes got cut out of the theatrical version. So it was this last summer, 15 years later, that the two were finally reunited on the big screen. BUT IT WAS IN THE FUCKING MUMMY 3! How’s that for a Tales From the Crypt type twist ending?
Okay, I should get a couple disclaimers out of the way. First of all, mummies are not one of my favorite monsters. Off the top of my head the only mummy movie I can think of that I like is BUBBA HO-TEP, but that didn’t really need to be a mummy to be good. It just needed to be a slow moving monster so an elderly Elvis could be a fair match for it. If it was about a giant space slug or mutant sloth it could also be good if it had the same characterization of a sad, lonely Elvis Presley. The Universal MUMMY with Boris Karloff is a great monster at the beginning, then he disappears and it’s just Karloff in a fez for the rest of the movie. It’s no DRACULA, I’ll tell you that. And as you can see above I didn’t think the Hammer version was that great either. (read the rest of this shit…)
Punisher War Zone? More like Punisher BORE Zone!
Nah, that was not sincere punning. Actually I was not bored and in fact enjoyed this stupid movie. What I mean to say is “The Punisher? More like The FUNisher!” But you know how it is, people tend to prefer negativity to positivity. That’s why there’s three movies called THE PUNISHER and not a single one called THE REWARDER. So I went the extra mile, I gave you both types of puns. Merry Christmas.
The Punisher is a unique motion picture phenomenon. Not too many characters are in movies three times, with three different actors, three different directors, three different approaches. Not sequels or remakes, each one is a do-over. I can relate to this type of series because I myself am a unique motion picture phenomenon: I am the rare individual who sort of enjoyed all three versions of THE PUNISHER. (read the rest of this shit…)
LIONHEART is Van Damme circa 1991, and his best up to that point if you ask me, which by reading this you agree to do. As a matter of personal taste I think competitive fighting is one of the squarest action subgenres. You got less room for chase scenes and explosions, the rules and locales of the fights are too rigid. I mean nothing against a good pre-fight jitters locker room scene or a spooky ancient temple with torches and mystical snake statues, but I prefer a more urban style of action movie. One with crooks and creeps, alleys, fire escapes, car windshields.
LIONHEART is a smart compromise because it continues the competitive fighting of BLOODSPORT and KICKBOXER but in a cartoonish underground fighting circuit in New York and Los Angeles. This is another subgenre that gets old fast, usually because you get sick of looking at the same dimly lit arena with a fence or barbwire, maybe a strobelight. This one avoids that pitfall by having a new location and crowd for each fight: a circle of cars (with people rollerskating around), a swimming pool with all but the deep end drained (crowd in bikinis like it’s a pool party), inside somebody’s mansion (a black tie event) and (my favorite) a racquetball court. Brian Thompson is there but never fights. The real villain is Cynthia (could’ve sworn the credits just called her “The Lady,” but maybe I imagined that) the stereotypical L.A. rich bitch of the ’80s: short hair, expensive clothes, sexually and capitalistically aggressive. (read the rest of this shit…)
You know how politicians are always saying lately that we don’t need to just worry about helping the people on Wall Street, we need to help the people on Main Street? Well one time I was at Disneyland, walking down Main Street when suddenly Mary Poppins rushed by with an entourage of kids trying to get her autograph. Not the real Mary Poppins, (because she is a fictional character in my opinion) and not Julie Andrews, but the Disneyland Mary Poppins. And I was surprised to find myself thinking you know what, Mary Poppins is kind of hot. Nobody wants to get to an age where you start to think a nanny from an old Disney movie is kind of hot, but it happens to the best of us.
And it was kind of like a door opened up there full of new possibilities, because then I realized actually back then Julie Andrews was kind of hot too, not just modern day Disneyland Mary Poppins. And she had those little hats and a talking umbrella and shit. I know alot of men are intimidated by women who are more capable than them, but I would not be against dating somebody who can fly and sit on a cloud. I don’t know what her capacity is for carrying other people and putting them on clouds and all that, I guess that would have to be addressed. But it’s pretty cool that she can do that. I would call that a point in her favor. (read the rest of this shit…)
Limp Biscuit singer Fred Durst, who makes his directorial debut with THE LONGSHOTS, turns out to be a natural born director. I was surprised when I read somewhere that David Fincher was mentoring ol’ soul patch, bringing him on the set of ZODIAC and showing him the ropes. I think Durst almost took over for Fincher on LORDS OF DOGTOWN before Catherine Hardwicke did. There were a bunch of false starts but now that he’s finally made one it’s clear that the man has some serious directational chops, it seems he was born to direct movies. Let me be very clear, this is what Fred Durst was put on the planet for. This much is certain now.
Now that I’ve said that I’m just gonna talk about what the plot is and stuff, things that Fred Durst already knows, so if he is reading this he can stop now. (read the rest of this shit…)
KICKBOXER is a much better version of BLOODSPORT. It’s another late ’80s/Cannon Films/Jean-Claude Van Damme/Belgian-American competing in dangerous Asian fighting competition movie. This one starts with Van Damme as Kurt Sloan, goofy kid brother sidekick to United States Kickboxing Champion of the World Eric “The Eliminator” Sloan, whose hair and mustache might have influenced Danny McBride’s look in THE FOOT FIST WAY, I’m guessing.
The Eliminator is the best… in the United States. But he’s arrogant and ignorant. When asked by a reporter about kickboxing’s origins in Thailand he asks Kurt to book him a flight to Taiwan (Kurt has to correct him and bring him to Bangkok). The Eliminator thinks taking on the Thai champion will be a piece of cake, or a bowl of sticky rice or whatever. But Kurt knows it’s trouble as soon as he sees the opponent, Tong Po. This guy is a crazy-eyed maniac with a braided ponytail down to his ass who practices by kicking a column in his dressing room, cracking it. (read the rest of this shit…)