Reviews written by registered user
daustin

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61 reviews in total 
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19 out of 21 people found the following review useful:
Wonderfully funny fantasy, 14 December 2006
7/10

In the best tradition of Soviet fantasy, Dikanka is entertaining from start to finish. There isn't much a plot (hijinks during the night), but the practical effects are charming, and I laughed harder than I had in a long time.

The best element is the Devil himself. Rather than a figure of fear and evil, the Devil is a hairy, silly fellow who keeps busy by tormenting a blacksmith who drew a religious picture that the Devil found particularly offensive. In addition, there are a horde of lusty and/or drunken townsmen, and a cameo by the Tsarina herself. Also, a "Three's Company"-esquire set piece where character after character must hide out in the local witch's hut.

12 out of 13 people found the following review useful:
Wacky kung fu freakout, 1 February 2005
7/10

This is one of the crazy ones, along the lines of Buddha's Palm or Holy Flame of the Martial World, though not as fun or inventive. Danny Lee plays a scholar who is uninterested in kung fu, who pursues the "Red Python" which can grant great power. His task is complicated by his philandering father, the cute Lin Chen-chi and her magical snakes, and angry Tanny Tien-ni and her dagger-shooting leg bone.

The movie is filled wacky costumes, fake monsters, goofy visual effects, and kung fu "laser" beams. As short as it is, it still gets a bit bogged down in dialogue and exposition. Still, there's enough craziness along the way to hold you until the mind-blowing ending , which features Danny Lee fighting a kung fu gorilla, and a man on retractable metal chicken legs who fires flames out of his mouth. Worth watching, at least for the ending.

5 out of 8 people found the following review useful:
tedious anthology film devoted to gruesome torture, 6 January 2005
3/10

Didn't like this one very much. It's an anthology film, with three chapters, progressing from what appeared to be the Tokugawa Shogunate, to Meiji era, to the 60's (can't be positive about any of the time periods).

Basically the flimsy plots are just an excuse to have Yakuza commit brutal acts on each other and throw lots of fake blood around. I can see how this may have been shocking or trail-blazing at the time of release, but I found it quite boring now. Without the shock value, the movie really has no center. The stories get progressively better - the first (amazingly, starring Bunta Sugawara, who usually improves anything he's in) is terrible, the second and third are slightly better.

Sidenote - the actor who plays the alien in Goke has a small role in the final piece as a weird yo-yo obsessed Yakuza.

4 out of 6 people found the following review useful:
Fun Yakuza flick with some outrageous set-pieces, 6 January 2005
6/10

Basically this is a solid but not stellar Yakuza movie, with some fun twists that make it memorable.

Bunta is his usual excellent self as our "hero," a machine-gun wielding gangster who pals around with bikers and commits robberies with his mother (!?). Eventually, the guys he ripped off come looking for him and he's forced to flee with his incredibly hot girlfriend, who has amazing outfits and no personality.

The things that make this one stand out are a bizarre and possibly incestuous mother fixation, Bunta and his girlfriend's fabulous 20's era gangster and moll outfits, some fun violent set-pieces, and an assassination in a prison bath that was different than anything I'd seen before.

This one gets a marginal recommendation, definite thumbs up if you're a Yakuza flick fan, though it's not on the level of Fukasaku's better work.

1 out of 5 people found the following review useful:
Weakest Chu Yuan-Gu Long adaptation I've seen, 1 September 2004
4/10

Tony Liu plays a hero (the same character from Clan of Amazons) tries to find out why two great heroes are fighting a duel. Many of the characters from Amazons are reprised. The usual Chu Yuan hijinks ensue. Yueh Hua and Ching Li have what amount to cameos in this one, Tony Liu really has to carry the movie. Too bad he's not given much to work with. His character is goofy and annoying, and his only reason for getting involved in the plot seems to be boredom and curiosity.

I must say, I thought Chu Yuan could do no wrong when adapting Gu Long works. This proved me wrong. It adds a bit of unfortunate comedy to the usual twisty "martial world" plotline. Even the art design is not up to the usual gorgeous standards.

Not awful, but not good. Stick with Magic Blade, Clans of Intrigue or Jade Tiger.

Sherni (1988)
3 out of 3 people found the following review useful:
Sridevi kickin' butt, 28 February 2004
6/10

Fun Sridevi role, where she gets to dress in leather, blow away the bad guys, and constantly hit people in the head with a rifle butt. The plot in a nutshell: an evil and corrupt Thakur is oppressing his village. Sridevi's father becomes a bandit in order to fight against the tyrannical Thakur, with unpleasant consequences for his family. In the meantime, a new tough guy moves into town, romances Sridevi, and may be more than he appears.

Basically this movie is an excuse for Sridevi to ride around on a horse, in full black leather biker gear, blasting villains with a rifle. The action scenes are surprisingly fun, the musical numbers are pretty good, and Sridevi, as always, is great.

Not a must-see, but definitely recommended.

1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
Kilink is a super-stud, 22 February 2004
7/10

All women love Kilink - that's just a fact. Kilink plays two groups of rival gangsters against each other while trying to get ahold of some Macguffin ... ahem, microfilm. Meanwhile he romances all the ladies, kills half of them, and runs around a lot while the cops chase him. Plenty of silly goons, fun gadgets, sexy babes, and the super-cool Kilink, of course.

This installment is not as wacked-out as Kilink Istanbul'da, which is faster paced and more supernaturally oriented. What Strip and Kill does offer is a more coherent plot, and much more of Kilink himself, in all his badness. Long live Kilink!

0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
Kilink is a super-stud, 22 February 2004
7/10

All women love Kilink - that's just a fact. Kilink plays two groups of rival gangsters against each other while trying to get ahold of some Macguffin ... ahem, microfilm. Meanwhile he romances all the ladies, kills half of them, and runs around a lot while the cops chase him. Plenty of silly goons, fun gadgets, sexy babes, and the super-cool Kilink, of course.

This installment is not as wacked-out as Kilink Istanbul'da, which is faster paced and more supernaturally oriented. What Strip and Kill does offer is a more coherent plot, and much more of Kilink himself, in all his badness. Long live Kilink!

7 out of 10 people found the following review useful:
Mediocre fu, standard plot, 23 January 2004
4/10

Chen Wo-fu plays that "pacifist who finally gets p***ed enough to kick the bad guy's butt" character that we've seen a million times. Of course, this time they have to kill his master, two of his friends, and rape his girlfriend before he gets off his high horse and does something. The "twist" is that he fights using Tai Chi. The fighting is set up to look like it's going to be interesting in the beginning, but trust me, it's not. The baddies and supporting characters are completely uninteresting, with the minor exceptions of Shih Szu as his sifu's impetuous daughter, and his drunk fighting buddy. Not actually a bad movie, but very standard mediocre stuff, and lacking the flashes of brilliance or creativity that might at least make a scene or two memorable.

4 out of 4 people found the following review useful:
Entertaining Chu Yuan mind-boggler, 8 December 2003
6/10

Not the best Chu Yuan I've ever seen, but quite fun. The sets and costumes are great - the acting is fine but nobody is outstanding. Personal favorite - the Centipeded leader and his excellent metal centipede shield weapon.

Basic Plot - Lo Lieh, a member of the 5 Venom Clan plots to regain their powerful ancient artifact, the 5 Venom Spider (a tarantula that emits elephant roars, and a sound approximating the noise that every Bond villain's lair makes when the self-destruct switch is activated). Assorted heroes and renegade Venom Clan members must work together against Lo Lieh and several 3's Company-esque misunderstandings.

Not as good as Chu Yuan's masterpieces starring Ti Lung, but worth a watch.


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