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Posts Tagged ‘Keith Vitali’

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…)

Wheels On Meals

Tuesday, July 9th, 2019

WHEELS ON MEALS is the 1984 Hong Kong action classic starring Chinese opera bros for life Jackie Chan, Yuen Biao and Sammo Hung (also director), fresh off of WINNERS AND SINNERS and PROJECT A. Jackie and Biao star as Thomas and David, dorky cousins who live together in Barcelona, sharing a bedroom that has separate doors right next to each other for no reason other than a visual gag. In the opening we see them getting up, working out and practicing on kung fu dummies, so that when they’re amazing fighters through the rest of it there’s a foundation for it. (But we never see them practice again.)

Sammo plays a guy named Moby, who’s introduced sporting shades and a perm that almost looks like jheri curls. He’s working (without pay) for a sleazy p.i. (Herb Edelman, a.k.a. Dorothy’s ex-husband Stanley on Golden Girls) who leaves town to hide from a gambling debt and leaves Moby in charge, causing him to strut around town dressed like he’s in the “Smooth Criminal” video, whisper-bragging to everyone that he’s “Acting Chairman of Matt’s Detective Agency.” He also takes a case to find a woman from an old photograph (oh my god this could turn into THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO) and it seems like all he really knows how to do is look for some guy named Fatso to ask him about it. (read the rest of this shit…)

The Super-Kumite: American Kickboxer 1

Thursday, May 30th, 2013

tn_americankickboxerSUPER-KUMITE, ROUND 1, SECOND BOUT: AMERICAN KICKBOXERS VS. THE WOMEN

IMDb may list this Cannon production as AMERICAN KICKBOXER, but the DVD cover and more importantly the title screen call it AMERICAN KICKBOXER 1. So going by the DIE HARD 2 precedent that is the official title as far as I’m concerned. Part 1 is the story of B.J. Quinn (John Barett, GYMKATA), middleweight kickboxingstill_americankickboxer_title champ with a 35-1 record. In the opening fight he takes on the young up and comer Chad Hunter (Keith Vitali, REVENGE OF THE NINJA) and wins with an allegedly accidental elbow. Because of B.J.’s arrogant talk on the way to the ring and the dishonorable means of victory I honestly thought this was the introduction of the bad guy. But I guess he’s supposed to be one of those lovable asshole characters, or possibly just a guy at a low point who needs redemption or whatever. (read the rest of this shit…)