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Posts Tagged ‘Professor Toru Tanaka’

Catch the Heat

Tuesday, March 3rd, 2020

Have you ever noticed what a hell of year 1987 was for action movies? Not only did it give us several stone cold unimpeachable classics, but most of them have a distinct, super-charged, roided out, larger-than-life 1987ness to them that could only really happen at that moment on the verge of ’80s excess sugar crash, between everybody wanting to be RAMBO: FIRST BLOOD PART II and everybody wanting to be DIE HARD. We had PREDATOR, ROBOCOP, LETHAL WEAPON and EASTERN CONDORS. And also we had THE RUNNING MAN, STEEL DAWN, WANTED: DEAD OR ALIVE, AMERICAN NINJA 2, STEELE JUSTICE and MIAMI CONNECTION. Some day, after finishing some other passion projects, I’d love to write a book just reviewing all the action movies of 1987. Get the Pulitzer ready.

So whenever I come across something that seems like maybe I should see it and then I realize it was released in 1987, that moves it up the list. And I found this one that, while I’m not sure it’s on par with most of the movies on that list, it wouldn’t be too out of place either. It’s a special movie because it’s the only action vehicle for a unique talent named Tiana Alexandra, who was reportedly the first female student of Bruce Lee as well as the first Vietnamese-American to join SAG. She was in THE KILLER ELITE and then the mini-series PEARL and a couple other movies, but this is a full-on showcase for her talents written by her husband Stirling Silliphant, Academy Award winning writer of IN THE HEAT OF THE NIGHT, as well as student and friend of Bruce Lee who wrote him into the show Longstreet and the movie  MARLOWE and concocted what became CIRCLE OF IRON with him. (He’s also the writer of VILLAGE OF THE DAMNED, SHAFT IN AFRICA, THE ENFORCER, and yes, 1987’s OVER THE TOP). (read the rest of this shit…)

Martial Law

Tuesday, April 14th, 2015

tn_martiallawI gotta admit, I didn’t know what Chad McQueen looked like, or that he starred in this, so I thought “Who the fuck is this?” when he showed up undercover as a pizza delivery man to defuse a hostage situation at Crown Diamonds. Those dumb fucks shoulda known the cops wouldn’t allow a real Domino’s dude to walk in there. Even in Seattle, where we’ll have a $15 minimum wage in a couple years, it wouldn’t be worth it, and this is Los Angeles circa 1990. (The 25th anniversary is on the 16th of next month, so get the balloons ready.) Also, fuck these guys for not insisting on giving him a huge tip when they believed he was a legit employee. Not cool at all, gunmen.

Anyway, he’s really a cop, so he karates them. He’s playing Detective Sean Thompson, nicknamed Martial Law. It took me a while to catch on that it’s because he’s a lawman who does martial arts. We learn that after his dad died in 1983 he took off to Hong Kong for a few years “to prove how tough I was.” He regrets it because he left his younger brother Michael (Andy McCutcheon) behind and now the kid wears a leather jacket, has two DUIs, crashed their mom’s car and steals sports cars. (read the rest of this shit…)

Last Action Hero

Wednesday, August 27th, 2014

tn_lastactionheroex3-arnoldDo you guys remember how LAST ACTION HERO was the big ticket for ’93?

Okay, probly not. That was the tagline on some of the posters though. See, they knew this was destined to be a huge event movie, the movie of the summer. Fuck JURASSIC PARK. But also the plot involved a magical ticket that transports people between the worlds of reality and fiction. It’s a double meaning. They put alot of thought into this thing, just not the right kind maybe.

This is at least the third time I’ve watched and attempted to truly like this movie. That’s a strike out, so it’s time to sit on the bench and accept it as a kinda interesting, kinda terrible movie. Not as good as HUDSON HAWK but a bit of that same clever/awkward cocktail. Unique enough to keep coming back to, not good enough to be 100% sure it was worth it. (read the rest of this shit…)

Dead Heat

Sunday, October 7th, 2012

I meant to see this when it was in theaters in 1988, didn’t get around to it until now. It’s okay. Not worth that long of a wait, but luckily I did other stuff in between.

Treat Williams (THE SUBSTITUTE 2-4) and Joe Piscopo (Saturday Night Live cast, 1980-1984) play two 1980s Movie Cops. Treat is supposed to be the straight laced one, so he wears a suit. Piscopo is the wildman who wears a leather jacket and hits on every woman who appears on camera, because that’s always funny (see also: Jay Leno in COLLISION COURSE). This was after SNL when he got really into bodybuilding, so he also shows off his muscles alot. He’s kind of a cross between a wisecracking Bruce Willis type of character and a crazy Mel Gibson one.
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The Perfect Weapon

Friday, June 22nd, 2007

This review is by special request of several individuals on the STONE COLD DVD talkback and other people over the years who have tried to get me to watch this movie. The Perfect Weapon of the title in this 1991 white martial arts movie is Jeff Speakman, an American Kenpo Karate sixth degree black belt who I guess is playing himself, since they just call him Jeff. The movie opens with Jeff shirtless and oiled up, in a living room doing karate moves to that horrible song “I Got the Power (It’s Gettin It’s Gettin It’s Gettin Kinda Hectic It’s Gettin It’s Gettin It’s Getting Kinda Hectic I Got the Power!)” by the group Snap!. It’s funny because this movie is only 85 minutes long but they still felt they had time for him to do moves to that entire song. As it ends he puffs his chest out like he just won a medal.

Then Jeff goes for a ride in his convertible and as he soaks in the open road he thinks about his past. So we learn that after his mom died he was a troublemaking kid, and his cop dad wanted to send him to military school. Fortunately Pops’s Korean war buddy Kim (the great Mako) convinced him to send Jeff to Kenpo Karate Dojo instead. To learn self discipline. (read the rest of this shit…)