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Worthwhile and exciting third entry in the Terminator trilogy
While it's not as gripping and wickedly entertaining as the original, Terminator 3 is still well worth the wait and is an exhilarating experience from start to finish.
The action never lets up and there is no sugarcoating the nonstop brutal violence of the film. Kristanna Loken as the T-X is very hot and stone cold in her role as her emotionless killer robot. Arnie is great once again, proving that no-one does the terminator better than him. Apart from that he is also in amazing shape for his age and his physical presence is still very intimidating and overwhelming in the film. Whereas T2 deals with preventing judgement day and the end of the world for humans, T3 deals with preparing for it and the rise of the machines.
My only criticisms are that Edward Furlong should have kept his role as John Connor. Also Sarah Connor just being abandoned in the story is wrong in my opinion and the casting of Claire Danes seems to have been thrown in just for grins. But the movie does have some very funny moments, which are a blessing. The special effects are the most mind-blowing in the series so far, and the action scenes are never less than spectacular. So if you are an Arnie or Terminator fan, or just a moviegoer in my opinion, T3 is without a doubt a must-see. Along with The Matrix Reloaded, T3 is definitely my fav film of the year.
I give Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines an 8/10.
My best film of the year so far
First of all, I love comics and nearly every popular comic-book character Marvel put out. Following the success of movies like Spiderman and X-Men, a screen adaptation of The Hulk seemed inevetable. In my opinion, it was even better than Spiderman, and considering that The Hulk is probably the most difficult character to actually make a film about, the filmmakers have outdone themselves here.
The movie really is amazing. I've never seen a comic-book adaptation that really captures the feel of a comic-book so well as in this movie. People may think this is yet another addition to the current Marvel superhero craze a la Daredevil, but you really have nothing to fear as the film is helmed by highly acclaimed director Ang Lee (Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon) and has a totally different feel compared to it's Marvel predessecors. Just be prepared for the frenetic pace of the film.
The movie is very dark. There is quite a lot of violence and there are several scenes that may scare the hell out of little children. Eric Bana is sure to blow up after this. He suits the role of Bruce Banner extraordinarily in this movie. The supporting players, such as Jennifer Connely and Sam Elliot, are all strong and faithful to the characters, but are overshadowed by a creepy and mysterious Nick Nolte as David Banner. The last hour or so of the movie is absolutely terrific, and literally had me glued to my seat.
This is a type of movie that, had it been made twenty years ago, would just not be realistic or gripping enough. But with modern technology, the hulk is a completely computer generated character and looks exactly as in the comics. The CGI and visual effects in the movie were breathtaking and some of the best I've ever seen on screen.
In conclusion, The Hulk is on par with The Matrix Reloaded as my favourite film of the year so far, and I advise everyone to go see it to see just how a movie on a comic-book character should be made. Forget any doubts you have about seeing this movie, The Hulk is the blockbuster of the year. I give The Hulk 10/10.
Kiss of the Dragon (2001)
Jet Li returns in one of the finest action films of the decade
I personally hated Jet Li after seeing Romeo Must Die. It was pure crap in my opinion. But then I decided to give Kiss Of the Dragon a try, and I wa very pleasantly surprised. KOD not only marks Li's return to form, but I think it is one of the best martial arts films I've seen in about a decade. The film has a strong plot, and it actually showcases Jet's acting abilities much more than his previous Hollywood blockbusters ever did.
He stars as a top cop from Beijing sent to work in Paris. Tchecy Karyo steals the show once again as a corrupt cop called Richard, who sets up Li and then sends his men out to kill him, making him a fugitive. Along the way Li picks up a junkie hooker played by Bridget Fonda, and the two set out to bring Richard down and get her daughter back, who has been taken hostage by Richard and his men.
Karyo is always menacing and brilliant, and this movie will show just how underrated an actor he really is. He is mean and brutal in this movie and fits the role of the bad guy perfectly. Fonda is also in great form, and it's wonderful to see her playing a 'real' character again.
Jet Li is in top form in KOD. It's great to see him showing off his phenomenal martial arts skills on screen again, and there are some great fights in the movie. One of the main reasons I gave this film a chance, however, is Luc Besson. And this movie is very much his movie. It reminds me alot of his 'style' of filmmaking, as seen in The Professional (another brilliant film), and I feel that director Chris Nahon did as good a job of directing the movie as Besson could have done himself.
At least there were no singers or cheesy pop songs in this one. The movie is dark, vicious and visually impressive. The location is unique for this type of actioner. Overall, I recommend this film to all fans of Jet Li, or who want to see some spectacular fight sequences on screen. You will find more than you would expect with this excellent film. Way to go Jet Li! Now I only have to decide whether to go see Cradle 2 The Grave or not...
Get Carter (2000)
Very long and boring
This movie was made when Stallone wanted to start being considered an 'actor'. This was sadly when Stallone joined the long list of action heroes to move away from mainstream releases, like Jean-Claude Van Damme, Dolph Lundgren, and of course, Arnie. The movie is infact a remake of a '70s movie starring Michael Caine of the same title. But whatever good intentions this film has it loses quickly, as the film is incredibly slow-moving and boring. I can appreciate Sly trying to act, but he really must learn that people don't go to see him in 'acting' roles, they go to se him kick butt. The action in this film consists of Sly beating people up and looking hard. Not even Mickey Rourke can make anything of this mess. Note to Sly; if you wanna stay in the game, stick to pure action! I'm going to see D-Tox to see if it's any better.
Fight Club (1999)
Fight Club is, most definitely, one of the best films of the '90s and a very entertaining, quirky psychological study. The plot is certainly ingenious, and David Fincher constructs the film in a quirky and interesting way. Not to mention Brad Pitt and Ed Norton have credible chemistry in this film. The story keeps twisting and turning in a downward spiral but nothing prepares you for the twist in the end. Everything works well in this movie, the performances are fun (Helena Bonham Carter is great in her role) and the direction is well-handled. The manner in which the story is told is very reminiscent of a Danny Boyle movie, a la Trainspotting, etc. it works perfectly here, and that ending! All in all, I would have to say that although it is quite a brutal film at times, Fight Club is one of the most impressive and original films of the '90s and definitely one of the best of the year.
Hidden Agenda (2001)
I liked it
Hidden Agenda succeeds where lots of other movies fail, because it has a pretty good plot. The action sequences are staged well, and Dolph is not bad at all in his role. He stars as Jason Price, who is an ex-special agent who comes out of retirement to protect his friend who is also a witness, and soon gets caught up in a conspiracy where nothing is as it seems. The direction in this movie is competent and well handled. I hope to see more of Marc S. Greinier in the future. For once an intelligent action thriller that doesn't waste our time. Overall, Hidden Agenda is a worthwhile flick. I give it a 4/5
Bridge of Dragons (1999)
Dolph doing what he does best
This is a moderately entertaining action film starring Dolph Lundgren as a mercenary in the post-apocalyptic future who goes against his mentor, an evil emperor, and teams up with the rebels. The film could have been better but it is saved by some spectacular fight scenes and stunts. Cary Hiroyuki-Tagawa (who was also the bad guy in Dolph's 1991 movie Showdown In Little Tokyo) is a great villain, he is very believable and very menacing as the emperor Reuchang. This film is Dolph back to what he does best, it is full of machine gun battles, and Dolph kicking ass the whole way through the movie. Rachel Shane is good as the princess, and in the movie she is a mean fighter too. Not a very believable movie, but then hardly any of these type of movies are, and it is a Dolph movie. I would recommend it to action fans and Dolph fans alike, who will definitely get a kick out of it. This movie was meant to have a proper release in the US but for some reason it never did and instead got a cinema release elsewhere before it came out in the States. Overall, a great action movie, and a fine return to form for Dolph.
The Shooter (1995)
One of Dolph's better flicks
Hidden Assassin (its proper name is The Shooter) is not just another mindless Dolph Lundgren actioner. It's a fairly well-plotted and exciting political thriller with some fine acting and great action sequences. But the real best thing about this movie is the setting. Filmed on location in Prague, the film looks beautiful and often stunning. Dolph plays a US Marshall (surprise, surprise) who is sent to Prague to find the assassin who killed the Cuban ambassador. Detmers is a beautiful bisexual assassin who Dolph gets caught up with, and before long the two of them are walking on dangerous ground while trying to stay alive the whole time. The suspense is always growing, as we never know who the killer is, wondering if it's Dolph's boss or even Detmers herself... I really like this movie. It's entertaining to watch and full of twists and surprises. Overall, I would probably recommend this one over some of Dolph's most well-known movies (Red Scorpion, Universal Soldier). Though without it's share of plot-holes, this remains a fun and very enjoyable romp.
Red Dragon (2002)
Third and final chapter in the Hannibal Lector trilogy
Red Dragon is probably the closest the series will get to the raw intensity of the original Hannibal lector movie, Silence Of The Lambs. While Hannibal was good, Red Dragon is chilling. It is much helped by an all-star cast and some excellent performances. This movie is actually a prequel to the trilogy, and is set before the first two movies. Hannibal is caught in the beginning, and thanks to Ed Norton he is locked up, after scarring him for life. Some years later, Norton is called out of retirement to catch another, deeply disturbed killer, called the Tooth Fairy. He seeks Hannibal's help in prison and uses him to catch the killer, who turns out to be Hannibal's number one fan. I found Ralph Fiennes' psycho even more scary than Hannibal. Fiennes definately steals the show and his performance is what nightmares are made of. The rest of the cast is excellent, mainly consisting of Harvey Keitel as Norton's friend detective, Emily Watson as the blind girl who the Tooth Fairy takes an interest in, and Philip Seymour Hoffman. Overall, this is a tense, terrifying horror movie that well deserves a look. However, the movie does have extreme graphic violence that may not be suitable for everyone. Highly Recommended
Johnny Mnemonic (1995)
Johnny Mnemonic is another 'cyberpunk' thriller, from a short story by William Gibson. The movie takes place in a future where the world is torn apart by a disease called NAS (Nerve Attinuation Syndrome). Johnny Smith (Reeves) is a courier who smuggles information through his head by an implant that he has in his brain. But during a deal he unwittingly downloads the 'cure' for NAS and this makes him a target for gangsters and all kinds of baddies.
The movie has a great cast (Keanu Reeves, Dolph Lundgren, Ice-T, Dina Meyer, Takeshi Kitano, Udo Kier, Henry Rollins) although I didn't like Reeves in his part, becuase I found him wooden and not very believable. Takeshi Kitano's yakuza gangster is also sadly wasted.
Director Robert Longo was previously a director of music videos, and it shows. He seems to have overloaded on breathtaking visuals and not left behind much else. The best thing about Johnny Mnemonic are the great CGI effects. The movie has some good character development and stylish direction which make it rise above most cyber thrillers, but even that isn't saying much.
Overall I would recommend Johnny Mnemonic as a movie to watch on a Saturday afternoon. It isn't a great movie, but it can be great fun. Just don't watch on to much of a critical level.