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

Time, Gentlemen, Please! review

Posted : 8 years, 1 month ago on 27 May 2009 02:48 (A review of Time, Gentlemen, Please!)

A village's smug Council is hoist on its own petard when they send the town's one and only well liked indigent to the village's alms (poor) house, as they're expecting a visit from the PM because of the village's 99.9% employment rate.

Gentle English farce made in the early Fifties. Chances are the only name you'd recognize is Sid James. Still plenty of echoes from WWII present. The arch narration at the beginning and end of the movie prove that irony was alive and well, well before the Nineties.


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The Trail

Posted : 8 years, 1 month ago on 25 May 2009 02:38 (A review of The Trail)

Nice Hk horror comedy, with emphasis on the horror, inspired in part by The Fog, with some nods to The Mummy. Lot's of familiar faces (Kent Cheng, Ricky Hui, Chung Fat). Not much in the way of gore and there's a sprinkling of action throughout. Lot's of atmosphere. Ricky is doing his usual sad-sack, second banana shtick, but he does it well, so no complaints. One of the more under-rated horror comedies from the Eighties New Wave.


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Decent

Posted : 8 years, 2 months ago on 12 April 2009 07:34 (A review of Dragonball: Evolution)

Wow, not bad. I'm basing my judgment by anime to live-action adaption standards, mind you. Jamie Chung (Chi Chi) being cute as a button doesn't hurt either. Definitely not a disaster.

For all the changes they made (the movie was adapted from the manga, technically), it was still pretty faithful to the source.

Chow Yun-fat seemed to be enjoying himself playing the goofball Master Roshi; channeling all the comedies he did in the eighties, perhaps. James Marster was good, and he wasn't exactly lost under the make-up, but there wasn't really that much to do with the role of Piccolo except glower. He glowered well. Emmy Rossum as Bulma was suitably feisty. Justin Chatwin's Goku wasn't chipper enough (plenty angsty, though), but otherwise he was fine.

The fights were alright. They were mostly a mixture of wire-work, cgi and acrobatics; there were some more normal (for Dragonball) choreographed fights, too . What I saw more or less matched my expectations for the material.

If you have any kind of fondness for Dragonball, it's worth checking out.


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Monsters vs. Aliens review

Posted : 8 years, 3 months ago on 28 March 2009 11:20 (A review of Monsters vs. Aliens)

Just saw it; the 2-d version (seeing the 3-d version tomorrow). Being a sci-fi movie/tv buff I probably got more out of it than a lot of people (though the BEVERLY HILLS COP bit was amusing but outta left field). References I picked up:

Red Dwarf
SUPERNOVA
ATTACK OF THE 50FT WOMAN
AMAZING COLOSSAL MAN
STAR TREK
THE THING
KRONOS (the giant robots reminded me a little of Plankton)
BACK TO THE FUTURE
MOTHRA
THE FLY
THE BLOB
CREATURE FROM THE BLACK LAGOON
DR STRANGELOVE
INVISIBLE MAN
WAR OF THE WORLDS
X-Files
IT CAME FROM BENEATH THE SEA
CLOSE ENCOUNTERS
ET
THE MONSTER THAT CHALLENGED THE WORLD
HOUSE OF WAX
(You'd think they could of thrown a bone to The Outer Limits).

There were probably others I didn't pick up.

It's good, but not as good as KUNG FU PANDA. I expect the 3-d version to add some visual pizazz, but ultimately if a movie sucks, it's gonna suck regardless of whether it's in 2 dimensions or 3. I was surprised that they held themselves back from using Bonnie Tyler's 'I Need A Hero; it would have been so easy for them to succumb. MONSTERS VS ALIENS is likable enough, but can be considered a squandered opportunity.


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Second Spin as Fun as the First

Posted : 8 years, 3 months ago on 24 March 2009 01:34 (A review of Some Girls Do)

The second of the "Bulldog" Drummond movies. Richard Johnson stars as crackerjack insurance investigator Hugh "Bulldog" Drummond. This sequel to DEADLIER THAN THE MALE, sees Drummond up against his arch-nemesis, who's wearing a new face this time around (James Villiers). Let's just say that not everyone is who they appear to be. While similar in many aspects to DEADLIER THAN THE MALE, this offering is much more of a spy movie. Two similarities to the previous movie are another pair of murderous babes, played by Daliah Lavi and Beba Loncar who while good and easy on the eyes, are no match for the first movie's vicious Elke Sommer and Sylva Koscina. There's a blonde ditz, played by Sydne Rome, in there too. Robert Morley is present in droll role, as Miss Mary, that is almost small enough to be considered a cameo. The sci-fi angle is covered with the movie's two MacGuffins, one of which lends the villain a particularly nasty edge, though refreshingly, he's only in it for a paycheck.

SOME GIRLS DO moves along at a good clip, never giving you enough time to dwell on any possible plot holes. I think they had more money for the sequel, because there's two big action sequences, one in the air and the other on the water, just like, you know, a Bond movie would have. There's also a veritable harem on view. I won't say that it's a better movie than DEADLIER THAN THE MALE, but, other than repeating some of the same schtick unneccessarily, it's not worse either. It's entertaining and the song (SOME GIRLS DO) is pretty good to. This fell between Bond movies, coming out in 1969 (the next would be 1971's DIAMONDS ARE FOREVER), but by 1969 the spy craze was dying, which probably explains why there was never a third movie.


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Not a dog

Posted : 8 years, 3 months ago on 24 March 2009 01:33 (A review of Bulldog Drummond Double Bill : Deadlier Than The Male / Some Girls Do )

The second of the "Bulldog" Drummond movies made in the late Sixties, it's only available as part of a PAL/R2 "Bulldog" Drummond Double Bill that includes both movies. Unfortunately, the picture is 1:33.1 (DEADLIER THAN THE MALE is 2:35.1 anamorphic). Aspect ratio aside, the movie looks great and the audio track sounds fine. There's also a R1 disc for just DEADLIER THAN THE MALE.

Richard Johnson stars as crackerjack insurance investigator Hugh "Bulldog" Drummond. This sequel to DEADLIER THAN THE MALE, sees Drummond up against his arch-nemesis, who's wearing a new face this time around (James Villiers). Let's just say that not everyone is who they appear to be. While similar in many aspects to DEADLIER THAN THE MALE, this offering is much more of a spy movie. Two similarities to the previous movie are another pair of murderous babes, played by Daliah Lavi and Beba Loncar who while good and easy on the eyes, are no match for the first movie's vicious Elke Sommer and Sylva Koscina. There's a blonde ditz, played by Sydne Rome, in there too. Robert Morley is present in droll role, as Miss Mary, that is almost small enough to be considered a cameo. The sci-fi angle is covered with the movie's two MacGuffins, one of which lends the villain a particularly nasty edge, though refreshingly, he's only in it for a paycheck.

SOME GIRLS DO moves along at a good clip, never giving you enough time to dwell on any possible plot holes. I think they had more money for the sequel, because there's two big action sequences, one in the air and the other on the water, just like, you know, a Bond movie would have. There's also a veritable harem on view. I won't say that it's a better movie than DEADLIER THAN THE MALE, but, other than repeating some of the same schtick unneccessarily, it's not worse either. It's entertaining and the song (SOME GIRLS DO) is pretty good to. This fell between Bond movies, coming out in 1969 (the next would be 1971's DIAMONDS ARE FOREVER), but by 1969 the spy craze was dying, which probably explains why there was never a third movie.


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Magical Duels

Posted : 8 years, 3 months ago on 20 March 2009 02:46 (A review of Trick: The Movie 2)

TRICK: THE MOVIE 2 (2006) - Namkam Yukie, Abe Hiroshi

Having waited patiently for two years, 8 months and nineteen days, to see TRICK: THE MOVIE 2, I've used my newly discovered spiritualist powers to finally watch it. If you like Trick, you'll like the movie, if you don't like Trick, you're probably not gonna watch the movie anyway. It favors the fan, but it's accessible enough for anyone that never Trick before.

The budget's big enough that there's a smattering of cgi effects, otherwise it's vintage Trick. I'd say this movie resembles Trick Shinsaku Special more than Trick The Movie, though there is at least one thing re-cycled from the first movie. It's Trick, so you kinda know what to expect, in this case it's a good thing.

Mostly it's just fun to see where Ueda and Yamada's relationship is going (not to mention Yabe's relentless quest for that one magical hot spring; sorta like Lina Inverse's search for that one magical hot spring). We also get a nice c-story with Yamada's mum.

The ending's left open (Yamada's mom will be pleased with one development, though), so maybe it's not too much wishful thinking that Nakama Yukie and Abe Hiroshi will pull a hat trick someday.


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Legend of the Owl

Posted : 8 years, 3 months ago on 19 March 2009 03:08 (A review of The Legend of the Owl)

This is the martial art/wu xia AIRPLANE!. It stars David Chiang as relunctant knight-errant, Fan Shik Ling, who inherits the job of rescuing the king's 36th wife (his favorite) from the Owl, because his father is dead. He picks up two companions, Barry Chan as Hsiao Li and Eric Tsang as Shark. Shark is relunctant to join so he is persuaded with a gag lifted from AIRPLANE!(I won't say which one, but you'll know it when you see it). There's an extended Mission Impossible parody, that's amusing, with call outs to James Bond and Charlies's Angels as well as some other jokes topical to the times. Some of the more Chinese centric jokes went over my head, like the part where our heroes question the insane sister of one of their leads, who replies in song. I'm pretty sure the snippets she sang were probably from popular/classic operas. It was amusing, but I know I was missing something. There's nonsense with ninjas too. Chiang saves the action for the end of the movie, which is good when it finally arrives, including a nice joke with Kurata Yasuaki. Otherwise, like any other movie of this kind, there's plenty of gags; some stick some don't. It was mostly sticky.


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The Good, the Bad, the Weird review

Posted : 8 years, 3 months ago on 19 March 2009 02:46 (A review of The Good, the Bad, the Weird)

The movie takes place in the 1930's, and invovles three archetypes of which the Good (Jung Woo-Sung) and the Bad (Lee Byung-hun) spend most of the movie chasing the Weird (Song Kang-ho) and the map to a Qing Dynasty treasure in his possession around Japanese occupied Manchuria. It's a kinetic movie punctuated with moments of stillness that are shattered by violence. Song Kang-ho as Tae-goo (the Weird) is the heart of the movie; he's a man looking to put his past behind him, though robbing trains does seem an odd way to go about it. Jung Woo-Sung as Do-won (the Good) is possibly too stoic as the unflappable bad-ass. The guy's almost a Terminator. Finally, Lee Byung-hun as Chang-yi (the Bad) is just not a nice person, though anyone that likes 30's comedies (something with William Demarest) can't be all bad. The twenty minutes or so of the movie, before the final showdown between our characters, is an incredible chase scene involving five different parties, with horses and cars and motorcycles that has been compared, not unfairly, to THE ROAD WARRIOR. If you like Westerns and are willing to stretch your sensibilities, it's worth a gander.


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Wonder Woman 2009 (Two-Disc Special Edition) review

Posted : 8 years, 3 months ago on 4 March 2009 04:19 (A review of Wonder Woman 2009 (Two-Disc Special Edition))

This is the best DC animated movie yet, beating out JUSTICE LEAGUE: NEW FRONTIER, if only because there's no lingering sense of all the stuff they had to leave out. Her origin story is embedded in a deeper plot involving Ares and the Amazons, somewhat adapted from her "current" comic book origin. There's plenty of action; they don't shy from showing the carnage of battle, but even so there's not a whole lot of blood. I thought Hulk Vs was brutal, I was wrong. This is brutal and at times cold blooded. PG-13 is about right.

There's also plenty of humor, supplied by Nathan Fillon's horndog portrayal of Steve Trevor. He was great as Trevor. Keri Russel and Virginia Madsen were also plenty good has Diana and Hippolyta. Rosario Dawson was a hoot as Artemis. The animation is fine, once again finding a sweet spot between tv and theatrical animation.

The two disc edition is full of extras including two Wonder Woman documentaries, and some Wonder Woman centric Justice League/Justice League Unlimited episodes. If you're interested at all in Wonder Woman this movie is a must buy.

Next Up: Green Lantern (this summer)


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