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Showing posts from May 4, 2014

Review: Armour of God

Jackie Chan stars as a tambourine player in a cheesy band, turned adventurer nicknamed Asian Hawk, whilst Alan Tam plays his former band member and former pal who ended up with the girl (Rosamund Kwan) Chan left behind for his life of derring-do. Now years later, Tam contacts Chan to help him rescue Kwan, who has been kidnapped by an evil religious cult who are searching for the title artefact, which comes in five parts and once completed supposedly holds great supernatural power. Tam has one piece, the cult have three, and another is somewhere in Spain.

It plays like a much sanitised version of the outlandish “The Seventh Curse”, and I’m no Jackie Chan fan to begin with (I prefer far less comical martial arts films), but this 1986 action/adventure/comedy from the actor-writer-director has its moments of fun nonetheless. Scripted by Edward Tang (Chan’s “Rumble in the Bronx”) from a Barry Wong (John Woo’s “Hard-Boiled”) story, the absolute highlight is a fight between Jackie and what c…

Review: Movie 43

Awful screenwriter Dennis Quaid tries to pitch a bunch of terrible script ideas for studio exec Greg Kinnear. These sketches include a guy with testicles on their neck (Hugh Jackman) on a date with a woman (Kate Winslet) trying not to notice, parents (Naomi Watts and Liev Schreiber) home-schooling their son (Jeremy Allen White) in the most inappropriate manner possible, a guy (Chris Pratt) wanting to propose to his girl (Anna Faris) and finding out that she gets turned on by faecal matter literally being dumped on her, Batman (Jason Sudeikis) and Robin (Justin Long) bickering on a speed date with Lois Lane (Uma Thurman), A teenage girl (Chloe Grace Moretz) has her period and freaks out her boyfriend (Christopher Mintz-Plasse) and his dad (Patrick Warburton), two losers (Seann William Scott and Johnny Knoxville) torture a seriously bad-tempered leprechaun (Gerard Butler) into giving them his pot of gold, a game of Truth or Dare on a date between Halle Berry and Stephen Merchant, and an…

Review: Company of Heroes

Set during WWII (Battle of the Bulge to be more specific), a group of American soldiers (headed by Tom Sizemore and featuring Chad Michael Collins) are on a routine delivery mission (Christmas ham, no less!) when they stumble upon a top-secret Nazi plan to develop a big-time nuclear weapon. They then become involved in the plan to smuggle out the defecting German scientist (Jurgen Prochnow). There is some confusion from sniper Collins as to why the company cook is suddenly the head of a platoon, but Sizemore is no mere cook, and has a rather tragic back-story (as does his character- Zing!), we slowly learn. Richard Sammel plays one of the main Nazis, Neal McDonough is the American commander who barks the orders, whilst Vinnie Jones turns up as a brawling British soldier who tags along, apparently because he likes a fight.

Although it won’t make you forget “Saving Private Ryan” or “Black Hawk Down” in a hurry (especially with Tom Sizemore in the cast of all three), this WWII film from …

Review: Shaolin Soccer

Fung (Ng Mang Tat) is a former soccer star whose career ended unhappily. Now more than 20 years later he sees a chance to seek revenge on the man who wronged him (Patrick Tse) a smug celebrity coach of a soccer team named Team Evil. Fung’s plan? Hire Shaolin martial artist Sing (Stephen Chow) and create a team that bases their soccer play around their Kung Fu prowess!

I enjoyed director-star Stephen Chow’s spectacularly silly but stylish “Kung Fu Hustle” quite a bit, and although I passionately loathe soccer, I figured if anyone could make something entertaining out of the so-called sport, it might just be Chow. Nope, he can’t. This 2001 film makes a big mistake in being primarily a slapstick sports comedy that fails to do anything interesting or exciting with the central concept of a soccer team trained off of kung fu. Instead of something like “Eight Diagram Pole Fighter”, it’s closer to “Space Jam”. And “Space Jam” sucked. This is better, but not enough to be considered a good film…

Review: Auto Focus

Greg Kinnear stars as Bob Crane, who started out as a DJ before moving to television with the initially controversial prison camp TV comedy “Hogan’s Heroes”. The film mostly focuses on his personal life, however. He starts out as a seemingly happy, All-American husband to Rita Wilson and father to their kids, as well as a regular churchgoer. Crane was a different man on the inside, however. He likes the seedy side of life, strip joints and so forth. And then he meets John Carpenter (Willem Dafoe) an AV nut who introduces his new best mate Crane (whom Carpenter clearly has sexual leanings towards that Crane absolutely does not reciprocate) to the wonders of videotape technology, and orgies. And yes, the duo end up combining the two as Crane’s life becomes out of control. He is a sex addict, and is eventually unable to keep both sides of his personality separate, horrifying Wilson. In the end, his show gets cancelled, his reputation is in tatters, but hey, John Carpenter’s still around,…

Review: Changing Lanes

Slick (just shy of being morally bankrupt), privileged Wall Street lawyer Ben Affleck gets into a minor ding with down on his luck reformed alcoholic Samuel L. Jackson, at the exact wrong moment for both men. They’re both expected in court (different courts of course), Affleck because it’s his job, and Jackson because he has a custody hearing with his (almost) ex-wife. Jackson’s life was about to potentially head in the right direction before the collision with Affleck. Affleck, not wanting to hang around for the cops, offers Jackson a blank check. Jackson, being a recovering addict, of course wants to do things the right way. And that’s when Affleck makes the mistake of blowing him off and saying ‘Better luck next time’, driving off. Both are late for their appointments, but for Jackson, the consequences of his lateness are much more severe, thanks to a rather harsh judge (Joe Grifasi) and a fed-up ex. And then Affleck realises that he left behind an important legal document at the s…