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Posts Tagged ‘Aasif Mandvi’

No Retreat, No Surrender 3: Blood Brothers

Wednesday, February 24th, 2021

“Well, if it isn’t the Alexander boys.”

Sometimes there are movies I know I should watch, but I save them for when they’re needed. And after almost a year of this pandemic I decided it was time to break the emergency glass on NO RETREAT, NO SURRENDER 3: BLOOD BROTHERS (1990).

Like part 2 it’s written by Keith W. Strandberg (SUPERFIGHTS, BLOODMOON) and is not a direct sequel to its predecessor. It was originally intended as an unrelated movie, and I don’t even know if it counts as a thematic or spiritual sequel – at best it’s an attitudinal sequel. The tagline helpfully explains the trilogy: The first was for honour, the second for his country, this time it’s family. So this trilogy pretty much covers the full spectrum of what to do something for.

This is the only one not directed by Corey Yuen. His replacement, first timer Lucas Lowe (who followed this with THE KING OF THE KICKBOXERS and AMERICAN SHAOLIN, also written by Strandberg) was a non-martial arts guy chosen by executive producer Ng See-Yuen (a Shaw Brothers executive who’s in the Criterion Collection because he directed GAME OF DEATH II) on the theory that he would focus more on the story. But in interviews Strandberg laments that Lowe would spend too long setting up and shooting extras, run out of time and then cut a bunch of his dialogue. That may or may not explain why I didn’t understand this joke where the main characters’ dad leaves has a guy gagged and tied to a tree outside of his house. (read the rest of this shit…)

The Last Airbender

Thursday, August 24th, 2017

a survey of summer movies that just didn’t catch on

It was kinda risky to do a whole series of unpopular or forgotten summer movies, because I could very well have been forcing myself to watch an all star lineup of all the suckiest failures from across a couple decades. A dirty dozen of squirming and boredom. Luckily, many of the movies I chose have been better than their reputations, or even misunderstood gems, and when they’re not it’s still kind of nice, because I’m seeing them from a better position than the people who saw them their respective summers. I don’t go in with high expectations. I don’t hope for the next great summer movie. Just maybe something that’s more interesting than people said at the time.

In this case I also knew not to hope for an M. Night Shyamalan comeback after THE VILLAGE, LADY IN THE WATER and THE HAPPENING, or a good live action version of the popular cartoon Avatar: The Last Airbender, which I haven’t seen anyway. Knowing nothing about the cartoon I was able to appreciate the cool concepts they borrowed from it without knowing they apparently did it all wrong. So I have a higher chance of being pleasantly surprised and a lower chance of feeling like I didn’t get my money’s worth. (read the rest of this shit…)