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1 out of 6 people found the following review useful:
Not the second coming, but still a great movie, 22 February 2009

Everyone has been acting like this is the greatest movie ever made or something. I thought it was good- I had a great time watching it, and appreciated the whole attempt to be deeper than a comic book film thing. I didn't think it was the second coming of Christ or anything though. I'm sure I am in the minority, and people will react like they do when you say that you thought Apocalypse Now was overrated and bloated, or that Quinten Tarantino sucks, for the most part.

Anyway, I'd say this is the best Batman movie yet. Christian Bale still has that horrible voice when he's Batman, and still does the whole Patrick Bateman/American Psycho thing when he's Bruce Wayne.

Heath Ledger's Joker sounds like Andy Dick or something. And here was my biggest problem. This was a good performance, but it was NOT a groundbreaking performance by any means. I think when posthumous actors have roles like this, people tend to over-blow it- kind of like they did with Brandon Lee in the Crow (another good performance, but not a performance for the ages, by any means).

I can appreciate the whole Zen/Anarchy/pseudo Fight Club philosophy stuff Ledger was going for, but he's no Frank Langella as Skeletor. I mean, it's definitely better than the whole Jack Nicholson paradigm, but he still just came off like a wannabe Tyler Durden/Bodhi from Point Break with schizophrenia. The real star of this movie is Aaron Eckhart, who is great as Harvey Dent/Two Face.

The cinematography and plot twists were really something to behold, and I applaud the filmmakers for continuing the standards set in 'Batman Begins' and not turning the Dark Knight into another mindless, popcorn munching summer blockbuster. The only really negative thing I can say about this film is that, for a film that takes itself so seriously, and clearly expects to be measured against truly great cinema, it just falls a little short. Not the second coming, but still a fun, "thought- provoking" (AHEM) movie. Score another one for Christopher Nolan and Goyer.

Watch out Matrix and Rambo! Here's Nicolai!, 22 February 2009

Red Scorpion' is one of the weakest efforts from Dolph Lundgren in the first phase of his career (roughly defined as from 'Rocky IV' to 'Joshua Tree'). I personally felt the story behind the making of this film was more interesting than the plot itself; however, 'Red Scorpion' can be viewed without all the political implications and messages the producer and the South African regime that funded it intended in the form of a brainless action film.

I can say that the primary enjoyment only comes from seeing Dolph kick some ass, and all the explosions and mayhem that comes with it. The director, Joseph Zito (who also helmed the equally over-the-top Chuck Norris vehicle Invasion U.S.A.) doesn't disappoint, and he keeps Dolph blowin' shiznit up real good the entire film.

M. Emmet Walsh was just really annoying as the ultra liberal reporter stereotype, and the only other costars who are tolerable in this are Brion James and the bushman who takes Dolph under his wing. The film drags a lot, and the most annoying aspect of the film, in my opinion, was the overuse of Little Richard's music. I swear, every time there was an action set piece, they would play that crap, and it didn't really fit at all. I demand a re-score.

I have to say that this is good Dolph, but in comparison with something of the caliber of 'I Come in Peace,' 'the Punisher' or Showdown in Little Tokyo- dare I say it, even Masters of the Universe?-, it falls far short in the first phase of the Dolph cannon. Yeah, he still delivers here- he's a big, towering dude beating up bad guys, shooting big guns at commies, drunkenly singing the Soviet national anthem and beating up little pansies in a bar, showing off his muscles, hunting warthogs, and blowing a whole crap load up. What more do you really need if it's Dolph?

If you want brainless action, you may enjoy this. If you want Dolph, he's done better. But this is still an interesting film to watch if you can't get ahold of 'Joshua Tree' or 'Showdown.'

Cage (1989)
0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
Forgotten Action gem- Ferrigno's best performance!, 19 February 2009

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

re-watched this last night for the first time in about ten years- it was my Cage night. The other cage was Nicholas Cage in Bangkok Dangerous, which I will review shortly. Okay, here's the dilly yo. It's a shame that not more people have seen Cage, which is perhaps Lou Ferrigno's best role and character in the mentally handicapped Vietnam Vet Billy. Indeed, Cage is problematic in the action world because it is hard to categorize. I mean, not many action films would dare to venture into the world of the mentally handicapped, and 'Cage' can best be described as 'Of Mice and Men' meets 'Bloodsport.' This was one of those fun, cheesy 80s films I would rent when I was a kid along with the latest Don "the Dragon" Wilson feature or the newest installment of the Tiger Claws movies. The sets are cheap, the action choreography is sloppy, and the whole thing is just freakin' sweet. I don't know what the filmmakers were going for, but I can only guess that they wanted Lou Ferrigno's Billy character to be a positive role model, and gave the world, in effect, it's first mentally handicapped action hero. The story is: Billy and Scott (Reb Brown, who sports pink shirts, tight jeans, and booty shorts a lot here) were in Vietnam together. Billy saves Scott, and gets shot in the head, becoming mentally handicapped. Long story short, years later they are inseparable friends who own a bar, only the bar is jeopardized and some shady gangsters want Billy to cage-fight since he's got amazing brute strength. It's hard to hate on this movie, since even a bad movie honk like myself couldn't laugh at things without feeling like I was going to hell. Ferrigno brings a great humanity to Billy that in another action star's hands might not have worked. I think it's a very warm, compassionate performance, and I give props for that. However, the fights are terrible, the acting is sub-par, and the stunts are insulting to the normal, intelligent viewer. I loved it. Reb Brown is great here- he's mister nice guy, and goes around happy-go-lucky and cool beans to everything until bad guys start messing with him and Billy- then he goes crazy and starts giving people shotgun blasts to the chest and breaking cage fighter neck. The cast in Cage is also to be commended- all star top of the line B movie cheese: you got Ferrigno, Reb Brown, Matthias Hues, Al Leong, Al Ruscio, and the man himself, Danny Trejo! All in the same movie! The only guy missing was Don the Dragon Wilson, but he didn't debut in Bloodfist until later in the year. You have probably already seen this if you're a fan of bad action movies. If you haven't- what are you waiting for? I also recommend 'Cage 2: the Arena of Death', which is my personal favorite of the two. It's not on DVD, though- so happy hunting!

Prophet (1999) (V)
3 out of 4 people found the following review useful:
this movie gets 4 stars for the mammary glands of the female co-star, 26 June 2006

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Other than that, some slightly improved acting on Wilson's part, an underrated plot about mind control experiments on kids a la Project Monarch or the McMartin preschool case, and lame fight choreography. Not a great movie by any stretch, but for a Don Wilson movie, pretty darn good with some pretty smart plot twists and quasi-political content. Someone is mysteriously killing all the people Wilson was programmed with as a child.

It's one of the few worth seeing from this kick-boxer-cum-actor, and even more so for aforementioned huge mammary glands. It's not good for anything but maybe sitting on the couch late at night with a bowl of spaghetti, killing time before you fall asleep or your lady-friend arrives; rent 'Redemption' if you want an honest-to-goodness bearable Wilson film.