Being a real big mma fan and being a lover of films, I decided to check this film out.
It was only by luck did I find out that Dream Stage Entertainment made a movie with some of their star fighters. And somewhat luck again that I found it online to purchase. I knew if I could find it, I'd buy it immediately. After some searching I gave up....then I decided to look again. This time for real. After about 5 minutes of "real" searching I found it on yesasia.com. Bought this and the soundtrack to a great movie called Crying Fist.
I receive the movie in the mail about a week and a half later. I pop it in my region free DVD player. Damn! No subtitles. I must have been so excited I forgot to check if it had English subtitles. Oh well. I probably would have bought it anyways. So, if you have seen this movie with subtitles...give me a break.
Movie time! Talking about Anticipation!!!!!! First scene you see Vanderlei and some Asian dude going at it. Alright! This movie's gonna kick ass! Then the movie begins. I tried pretty hard to follow the story...actually not that hard. I'm pretty sure it's about the love (you believe that!?) of two siblings. Which are not blood related by the way. They are the children of the Bad Guy in the film. I know he's not the birth father of the Young Man and I'm pretty sure he's not the father of the Young Lady. :) But I know that the two young lovers grew up together, under the watch of the main Bad Guy. The head Bad Guy and another nerdy bad guy are two clan leaders of their own Yakuza gang. They both love MMA, but what's even better they both love DEATH MMA. They each bring in their own fighters and you guessed it, they fight to the death. There's a little white guy in this movie that is up to no good. He speaks with both yakuzas, so it might seem they are both after the same goal. Which I believe could be a drug. The story eventually gets violent and the story unfolds to a very strange ending that left me scratching my head. If there were subtitles I suppose I would have understood.....I'll just leave it at that.
Okay! Let me get to the reason I bought this DVD. Prides Fighters!!! You got Sakuraba, Takayama, Rampage, Frye and Vanderlei. Those guys fight it out. Try to guess which ones win? Real hard stuff. You also get a quick glimpse of Matsui Daijiro. I'm pretty sure that was him playing chess with Sakuraba. The pride officials also get some screen time.
It's probably the best mma fight footage shot for film. But that's not saying much. The Eliminator gave it a run for it's money.
Cinematography was VERY GOOD. Great shots of the fighters. Music on the other hand was good at some times and weird at others. They played jazz fusion at one point. And some bad rock at a pivotal point in the movie.
The fighters are definitely the best part of this movie. And unfortunately they weren't that great. Rampage and Saks fight seemed too slow. Vanderlei didn't try hard for his staredown. You could tell Rampage and Silva knew they were on camera. They still did a fine job with the screen time. Frye and Yakamoto did well their parts also.
Overall, the movie was alright. Nothing great. Sakuraba was the shining star when it came to the film. He actually has a pretty good screen presence. Very similar to Takeshi Kitano. If it was just based around Sak and the fighters, the movie would have been unbelievable.
I wondered how much the fighters got paid. If they got almost the same as their purse when they fight, they should have actually had them fight! At least have them grapple hard when it hits the ground. They could have just pretended they were training. Oh well.
Recommended for hardcore MMA fans. Or hardcore movie fans.
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