Thursday, January 29, 2009

999 Challenge: Martial Arts films

The 1st of MANY reviews between now and the end of 2009:

5. 9 Martial Arts:

Kickboxer 5
Full Contact
Once Upon a Time in China III
Above the Law
Fist of Legend
Police Story 2

*Rapid Fire-
A Brandon Lee action flick-one of two on my list-this is because i really enjoyed his work-as short lived as the son of legendary Martial Arts star Bruce Lee's career was,he packed a lot of entertainment into his few films.
This particular flick was about a student who carries a large chip on his shoulder about his father's death-killed during the tragic Tiananmen Square Massacre of 1989.
Now this is a very nice back story for our hero,but it is-as in most action flicks-just an excuse for Lee to kick many asses- he's caught up in a mob related killing and becomes a witness-seeing the boss (played by Nick Mancuso with as little subtlety as possible) personally murder someone.
Lee is taken under the wing of a tough as nails,screw the book cop played by the great Powers Boothe (also using the "more is more" acting style his co star Mancuso prefers) and many shoot outs and hand to hand battles ensue.
The highlight for me was when Lee is held captive by Mancuso in his Italian restaurant and Booth's cops wait outside for the mobster to implicate himself via a wire-many,many bullets fly from outside and in while Lee does his best to crack as many heads as he can-amazingly not getting shot in the process (a given rule in any American Martial Arts film is that the hero is basically bulletproof-or more precisely able to somehow avoid getting shot even when in a restaurant that is totally shot to pieces by the cops- and anyone who has a chance to shoot him is either disarmed or decides to take him on hand to hand-otherwise the film would be over very quickly) but the real fun of this scene is the choreography of the fights Lee has with the mobsters-he even has a couple moments where he gives a nod to his dad-for those who know Bruce Lee's work well-a classic pose and a scream-nice touches.
There's also a romantic thread with a beautiful female cop to keep the few girls watching awake but the main draw here is the son of Bruce showing off his onscreen fighting chops and the enjoyable tone of the film-it doesn't take itself that seriously and the main actors-knowing this-keep you entertained between fight scenes.
---3 1/2 stars

Showdown in Little Tokyo
High Voltage

999 Challenge: update...


As i go thru the lists I'll add reviews to each entry-some will be very short and others...well, for anyone who is familiar with my stuff,they could go on for days-lol-but I'll try to keep them brief-so many films and books-so little time:

(Most are based in the 1990 to 1999 time frame ;o)

(a * signifies that I've watched/read/listened,etc to the entry in question-a review for each will follow shortly-I'm also using a 4 star rating system)

1. 9 Western films:
1990 -1999

Dances with Wolves
Quigley Down Under
The Quick and the Dead
Bad Girls
Last of the Mohicans
Geronimo: An American Legend
2. 9 Horror:

Exorcist III
From Dusk Till Dawn
Full Eclipse
House on Haunted Hill
Night of the Living Dead
*Innocent Blood
3. 9 Comedies:

My Cousin Vinny
Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead
*Spy Who Shagged Me
Addams Family
Bill and Ted's Bogus Journey
*The Mask
The Big Lebowski
4. 9 Sci Fi films:

Deep Blue Sea
Predator 2
*Robocop 2
*Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace
Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country
Alien 3 (dir. cut)
Lost World: Jurassic Park 2
5. 9 Martial Arts:

Kickboxer 5
Full Contact
Once Upon a Time in China III
Above the Law
Fist of Legend
Police Story 2
*Rapid Fire -3 1/2 stars
Showdown in Little Tokyo
High Voltage
6. 9 TV series on dvd (one episode each):
(unfortunately not strictly following the 1990-1999 theme as most of the shows i tend to buy the dvds of aren't in that time frame ;o)

The Tick
The Persuaders
Dr. Who
Boston Legal
The Wild,Wild West
7. 9 books:

A FORTUNATE LIFE (Robert Vaughn's autobiography)
MY WORD IS MY BOND (Roger Moore's autobiog)
ERNIE (Ernest Borgnine's autobiog-you seeing a pattern here?)
*MY BORING-ASS LIFE by Kevin Smith
VIDEODROME: Studies in the Horror Film
DRACULA ASYLUM by Paul Witcover
*HAMMER FILMS:A LIFE IN PICTURES by Wayne Kinsey (i know this is primarily a photo book,with little text,but i wanted a Hammer related item on the list since it was originally Hammer and Beyond's Holger Hasse's idea)
8. 9 albums/cds (again i want to try to listen to bands i haven't before-or at least paid little attention to-also between 1990 to 1999)
9. 9 chapters of a comic strip (i borrowed this idea from fellow blogger Davy Z) I'm not sure about what yet-something i haven't done before, i think-still working out a theme

That's all...Vokes...;o)