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All reviews - Movies (49) - TV Shows (5) - DVDs (41) - Music (13)

The 5 Deadly Venoms (The Five Deadly Venoms) review

Posted : 7 years, 12 months ago on 24 August 2009 03:05 (A review of The 5 Deadly Venoms (The Five Deadly Venoms))

It's not a martial arts movie. It's a mystery/suspense movie with martial arts. If all you're looking for is action, you're going to be disappointed. And it's a Venom's movie. These guys weren't martial artists, they were gymnasts. None of the Venom movies has the fights you'd find in a movie with Gordon Liu or Lau Kar Wing.

As for it's reputation, maybe it has gotten overblown, but on the other hand, I think it was the next martial arts movie, after KING BOXER and ENTER THE DRAGON, to break out big time in the States. So when you look at its reputation you have to factor in its historical significance and the patina of nostalgia that's covered it. After all most people haven't seen anything but badly English dubbed bootlegs for decades, if they've seen it at all. Not to mention have the knowledge to place it in context with it's contemporaneous Shaw productions, much less the non-Shaw productions.

Eh, it's worth watching so you can see what all the fuss is about and then decide whether it's worthy of it.


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Thunderbird 6 review

Posted : 8 years ago on 15 August 2009 03:34 (A review of Thunderbird 6)

A definite improvement over Thunderbirds Are Go (not that Thunderbirds Are Go doesn't have it's own, at times, surreal charm). Thunderbird 6 is more like a typical Thunderbirds episode. Plus, plenty of Lady Penelope, Comedy-re-- I mean Parker, along with Alan (was he really that popular?), and the inscrutable Tin-Tin. Brains and the rest of the Tracys including the poor space marooned John have their share of screen time too.

Even now the miniature work on the sets still impress. The movie's violence is surprisingly cold blooded; no worse than any typical contemporaneous western and no blood obviously. Plenty of explosions. It should be kept in mind that when this was made it wasn't a children's movie, it was a family film. Not a bad swan song for the Thunderbirds.


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Thunderbird 6 (International Rescue Edition) review

Posted : 8 years ago on 15 August 2009 03:33 (A review of Thunderbird 6 (International Rescue Edition))

A definite improvement over Thunderbirds Are Go (not that Thunderbirds Are Go doesn't have it's own, at times, surreal charm). Thunderbird 6 is more like a typical Thunderbirds episode. Plus, plenty of Lady Penelope, Comedy-re-- I mean Parker, along with Alan (was he really that popular?), and the inscrutable Tin-Tin. Brains and the rest of the Tracys including the poor space marooned John have their share of screen time too.

Even now the miniature work on the sets still impress. The movie's violence is surprisingly cold blooded; no worse than any typical contemporaneous western and no blood obviously. Plenty of explosions. It should be kept in mind that when this was made it wasn't a children's movie, it was a family film. Not a bad swan song for the Thunderbirds.


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Doctor Who: The Infinite Quest review

Posted : 8 years ago on 13 August 2009 02:09 (A review of Doctor Who: The Infinite Quest)

Sure the animation was done on the cheap, and looks it, but it gets the job done and the character and other designs are all nice, even if the actual animation is lacking. This was edited together from 13 three minute episodes and plays like The Sontaran Experiment or Black Orchid. Only it has more of a inter-galactic scale than those two, thanks in part to the freedom that animation gave the writers, though you never really see any more people (or things) than you see in The Sontaran Experiment or Black Orchid. A fun change of pace from the live action adventures.


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Ghosts of Mars (Special Edition) review

Posted : 8 years ago on 12 August 2009 06:15 (A review of Ghosts of Mars (Special Edition))

A lot of people diss on Ghosts of Mars. Yes, it is a lesser Carpenter, but even a lesser Carpenter is better than a lot of other movies out there of the same ilk. The movie moves at a brisk clip, Nasthasha Henstridge is a reasonable lead and any movie with Pam Grier is usually worth a look.

A very loose sci-fi remake of Attack on Precinct 13 (1976), this movie predates the current zombie cycle (the martian possessed humans might as well be fast zombies). Would make a good a good double feature with Assault on Precinct 13 (duh) or Resident Evil (2002).


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Ghosts of Mars review

Posted : 8 years ago on 12 August 2009 06:14 (A review of Ghosts of Mars)

A lot of people diss on Ghosts of Mars. Yes, it is a lesser Carpenter, but even a lesser Carpenter is better than a lot of other movies out there of the same ilk. The movie moves at a brisk clip, Nasthasha Henstridge is a reasonable lead and any movie with Pam Grier is usually worth a look.

A very loose sci-fi remake of Attack on Precinct 13 (1976), this movie predates the current zombie cycle (the martian possessed humans might as well be fast zombies). Would make a good a good double feature with Assault on Precinct 13 (duh) or Resident Evil (2002).


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Sword Masters: The Duel of the Century **Shaw Brothers** review

Posted : 8 years ago on 6 August 2009 04:19 (A review of Sword Masters: The Duel of the Century **Shaw Brothers**)

Late period Shaw movie from wu xia pian master Chu Yuan and what seems like and might be Chu Yuan's umpteenth adaption of a Gu Long wu xia book, in this intance, 'Before and After the Duel', a Lu Xiaofeng novel. I thought it was interesting because, unlike all the other wu xia pian I remember seeing he is the only hero that doesn't use a weapon, like a sword or something more exotic). He's a master martial artist in swordsman's world. There are numerous fights are all well choreographed. A couple of them more or less played for laughs.

Like many wu xia, this is a mystery. Lu Xiaofeng (Lau Wing) flits from place to place, playing the goofball, while piecing together the mystery. And once again a Chivalrous Knight's honor and fame is his undoing. If you like wu xia, you'll like this movie. Would make a good double feature with The Magic Blade or Jade Tiger.


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Grand Slam review

Posted : 8 years ago on 5 August 2009 03:52 (A review of Grand Slam)

A retired school teacher, the Professor (Edward G. Robinson), has a plan to rob 10 million in precious gems from a Rio De Janeiro diamond exchange. He recruits four retired criminals, that are experts in the fields of safe cracking, electronics/gadgets, seduction and killing. Even though the Professor has planned everything down to the last detail nothing goes quite as planned...

A caper flick in the same vein as Topkapi, Seven Golden Men, and The Italian Job(1969); more of a suspense movie than a comedy thriller, like the others, though. Robinson's role is important, but is basically an extended cameo (seven years later, he would die not too long after his last performance in Soylent Green). Rounding out the recognizable cast (the rest are European actors) are Janet Leigh (Psycho), who's a central part of the operation, Klaus Kinski (Fitzcarraldo) playing another vicious killer (he did that alot in the sixties and seventies) and Aldolfo Celi (Thunderball) in another small, but important part.

I only had one real problem with the film; they had an half hour to do the job and it just didn't seem like all the stuff they did would fit in that time period. Otherwise it's a fine film, with lots of nice shot of Rio and Carnival in the Sixties.


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Grand Slam [DVD] [1968] [US Import] [NTSC] review

Posted : 8 years ago on 5 August 2009 03:52 (A review of Grand Slam [DVD] [1968] [US Import] [NTSC])

A retired school teacher, the Professor (Edward G. Robinson), has a plan to rob 10 million in precious gems from a Rio De Janeiro diamond exchange. He recruits four retired criminals, that are experts in the fields of safe cracking, electronics/gadgets, seduction and killing. Even though the Professor has planned everything down to the last detail nothing goes quite as planned...

A caper flick in the same vein as Topkapi, Seven Golden Men, and The Italian Job(1969); more of a suspense movie than a comedy thriller, like the others, though. Robinson's role is important, but is basically an extended cameo (seven years later, he would die not too long after his last performance in Soylent Green). Rounding out the recognizable cast (the rest are European actors) are Janet Leigh (Psycho), who's a central part of the operation, Klaus Kinski (Fitzcarraldo) playing another vicious killer (he did that alot in the sixties and seventies) and Aldolfo Celi (Thunderball) in another small, but important part.

I only had one real problem with the film; they had an half hour to do the job and it just didn't seem like all the stuff they did would fit in that time period. Otherwise it's a fine film, with lots of nice shot of Rio and Carnival in the Sixties.


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Miracle Fighters

Posted : 8 years ago on 29 July 2009 06:16 (A review of The Miracle Fighters)

The evil Sorcerer Bat plots to place a fake prince as the new emperor, but the un-willing fake prince has become a student of a couple of bickering sorcerers. Magical martial arts mayhem ensue.

Yuen Clan wackiness par excellence. The Yuen Clan are an extended family of Hong Kong stunt men/actors/directors etcetera that have specialized in making over-the-top martial art comedies. The movie is a basher whose fights are frequent and funny. Most have a fantasy component beyond the usual wire-fu (spell casting or putting on disguises during a fight, for instance). Would make a good double feature with The Legend of the Owl.


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