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The League (2009)
Best New Show of the Fall Season!
So FX sent me a disc of the first two shows of 'The League'. I only really recognized Paul Scheer from 30 Rock and the luscious Nadine Velazquez (My Name Is Earl) but that didn't stop me from instantly bonding with these characters.
There people are the people I hang out with .... hell they are me. Some married, some single, and one guy in the middle of a separation. They are all friends with girlfriends ...or spouses...they go out together or they hang at the house for a birthday party. But the one common central they seem to LOVE is fantasy football.
It interacts in their daily lives - and this half-scripted show seems to capture quite well how goes REALLY act with one another. At least the way I act with my friends. But they go a bit more for their fantasy football league. Get caught doing something bad? She won't tell...if you trade Payton Manning.
Mark Duplass is damn good as the central character whose fantasy football really keeps him going. He's the guy who needs his lucky shirt for fantasy draft day and when he can't find it...suspects his wife through it out.
The cast is awesome...and it is a show I'm going to love to watch throughout the football season.
Still Great Fun Over Twenty Years Later!!!
In an old school mood I spent a good weekend looking around for some great old school rap music. I was pleased to hear that Prince Markie Dee and Kool Rock were finally getting back together for a Fat Boys reunion album. Buffy, the largest of the group, died back in 1995 but it is nice for them to carry on the legacy of the group. There was Buffy recorded vocals for a comeback album that was planned during the nineties that never came about - so they those for the upcoming album.
ANYWAY I thought of Disorderlies - which I pulled off my friend's DVD shelf to watch. The Fat Boys stole the show in Krush Groove and their lighthearted humor would play out well for a starring feature. They landed Krush Groove director Michael Schultz who had, at that time, directed some classics like Car Wash and Cooley High (not to forget The Last Dragon) and Ralph Bellamy - who is usually known as 'one of the old dudes from Trading Places'.
The film was actually a very modest hit - making just a little more than 10 million dollars at the box office. Run-D.M.C.'s film, which came out just a year later, would only gross 3.5 million!!! Off the top of my head I went and looked up what Belly made in theaters - the film that starred Nas, DMX, and Method Man. Over 10 years later that film made just LESS than 10 million dollars. DMX you got PWNED by The Fat Boys Around 1987 was where Schoolly D, Public Enemy, and Ice-T were bringing their early gangster rap that would soon be solidified by N.W.A. The Fat Boys would see Disorderlies as one of their higher points as a group. They made a few more albums, the last one without Markie as he broke out to do a successfully early 90s solo career. And that would be it for the boys - at least moviewise. Sure this film isn't winning any awards but over twenty years later it is still FUN! Of course others have compared this the humor to The Three Stooges and perhaps owing a bit to The Marx Brothers as well. It's a welcomed comparison but the slapstick plays well with the Fat Boys.
So I was happy to rewatch the movie and enjoy the hell out of it. If you've never seen the movie or never even heard of the Fat Boys - it is really a treat to watch for the first time. The trio were amazing rappers and...while not great actors...made the most of a fun film. It almost makes you forgive Michael Schultz for directing Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band. ... Almost.
Going Overboard (1989)
Not That Bad! Really!!!
I'm not really sure how I ended up on the Going Overboard page here on IMDb - but I decided to read all the comments after I saw it was on the Bottom 100 films. I had remembered hearing this film was AWFUL but after reading comment after comment about this being the worst film EVER - well - I just HAD to see it. Luckily Netflix has it on Instant Queue...time to see how awful it is!!!!!! Of course this is EARLY Sandler - early around is his time on the awesome Ken Ober show Remote Control on MTV. And from the git you know the film has NO budget - they are making a film based on what they have with no real script to speak of. For some odd reason - while I think the film does move kinda slow - I do find parts of it quite funny.
There's a great cast - as most people mention. I'm not sure how they got Burt Young or Milton Burle. Of course the rest are very young in the film: Billy Bob Thornton had just moved to L.A. a couple years before and was taking any roles he could get. Billy Zane and Peter Berg get to join the fun - as does frequent Sandler collaborators Allan Covert & Steven Brill. I found it GREAT that Sandler's best friend on the boat was Tiny from Revenge of the Nerds 2. God bless you Tom Hodges! Anywho Sandler is a very young guy working on a bad cruise line. He's very awkward, not happy with his job as a waiter, and dreams of being a comedian. The comedian onboard is a hairy, loud guy who Sandler abhors. He mopes around the ship trying to raise his confidence by talking with his friends.
NOW - I've been on cruises - I think the creepiest part of this film is Sandler moping around looking at couples as they kiss. Of course the character is 'sad' - but if I was on a cruise ship and saw this mopey waiter lurking around eyeballing the guests I would report him. That's just me - but then again I'm trying to analyze Going Overboard as most others have - which is probably the downfall.
Is the movie bad? Sure. But as someone who has watched LEGIONS of bad movies I really think this isn't too bad. It's great to see this early collab of Sandler, Covert, and Brill - and fun to see other Hollywood greats like Thornton and Berg so young. If you go in expecting Billy Madison or any Sandler past 1994 you will surely be disappointed. Actually...if you are MOST people you'll be disappointed. For me? It's no Mr. T in The Toughest Man in the World - but then again what is???
Method & Red (2004)
A great fun show...
I guess I have an updated Ebonics guide...or whatever else the moron before me said - because this show is amazing. It's funny, good humored, and, yes, slapsticky. It's the fish out of water story of two rappers and a mom in a white community. Red and Meth love their house...but hate everyone who lives around them. They simply want to do what the want and make money.
The show was cancelled too quickly. It was NOT because of low ratings. Method Man and Redman hated how the show was edited and hated that a laugh track was added. They bashed the network over and over and over again causing Fox to shelve the show - even four episodes left.
I guess the show is not for everyone. If you don't 'get it' that I guess that's okay but not worth bashing it over. I find Mef and Doc hilarious, they have great chemistry, and yes they have their own slang - but they have it not just for the show but in their records, performances, and films. They are two guys having a great time in their careers.
With the release of Blackout 2 this year - one can only hope that perhaps this show will get a DVD release in the future. The lack of comments on IMDb does show me that perhaps it is not as popular as it should be. Do yourselves a favor - if you are fans of Method and Red then FIND THIS SHOW. You won't be disappointed.
The show also features Lahmard Tate (he was the "Dad" in Don't Be A Menace...), Anna Maria Horsford (well known for roles in Friday and Amen. She played Redman's mom in How High and plays Meth's mom here), Beth Littleford (The Daily Show), with awesome guest appearances by Brian Posehn, Kenny Loggins (who ROCKED it!), Chaka Khan, Carmen Elektra, and Elisa Neal.
It sure isn't Fresh Prince of Bel Air...thank God for that!
The Shadow Walkers (2006)
Horror SO bad you'll laugh - and that is possibly a great thing!
Well I guess I'm a guy living in my mother's basement according to some "reviewer" (read 'writer' or 'director' or """actor""") because here I am to talk harshly about this film. To say that until you can write a plot and film a movie by yourself like these "filmmakers" did is laughable. Taking my friends to an abandon building after visiting a Halloween mask shop and taking whatever horrible digital videocamera I have and calling it "a movie" is possibly the worst injustice of all. To call this "filmmaking" is making even those who film Smokeless Ashtray commercials at 4AM sound bad.
My girlfriend picked this up at FYE last night and we threw it in the DVD player hoping for some cheesy horror fun. Were we wrong! When the one "reviewer" said this film was a work-in-progress I really hope the filmmakers will ship me a final version when they decide this POS is finished. The film really looks like it was shot with a $500 digital camcorder picked up at Circuit City with actors who aren't even laughingly bad. If this was pure cheese it would have been great but after laughing for about 15 minutes the joke wore thin. How long is this? 90 more minutes? The "plot" centers around a bunch of "scientists" who get locked in the bottom of a building with these mutated monsters - mutated by the Army in, well, horribly horribly bad "Army cameo." (I guess I can ring in on this having been in the Army for 12 years. Wait - let me guess - "it's low budget so what did you expect???") The big breasted females shed their white coats right away to show off their sexy Cami's and the guys mostly keep theirs on because I'm sure the low budget didn't pay for the guys to get their own sweet, silky Cami's. Almost as if reading off cue cards the main characters bicker at each other and I almost either laughed my ass off or busted a gut in sheer pain at the "acting." They start running from the Halloween masked mutated monsters with long finger nails as they try to evade death and...
And I don't know. I honestly couldn't make it through another second. We turned it off and put in something else, putting in something else - ANYTHING ELSE. What did I expect from this film??? I'm not bored with my life and trying to make myself feel better by writing here. I'm just shocked this cost $12 used. I'm harsh in my judgment only because the movie is so, so, so bad. So the actors, filmmakers, and such can come on here all you want and try to blast those who hated your film but get this - you made a HORRIBLE film.
Enjoy this fact. Get some friends and get some alcohol. Every time the film gets worse - DRINK. I think I'll invite some peeps over and try watching it that way. It'll be a lot more fun that way and we probably will be drunk eight minutes into the "film." Embrace the suck people cause this is certainly one of the worst films I've seen in a long, long time. Guess I'll be moving back in my mom's basement now! Time to move the boxes off that old moldy couch down there Mom!!!
UPDATE: I finally made it through the movie with a bunch of alcohol and a bunch of friends. It really was a stretch at 90 minutes but we actually had a GREAT time watching it. Is the film any different? No - it's still HORRIBLE. But it was a lot of fun watching the jock Army guy fight karate mutants with the 4 big-breasted scientists in tow. As a horror this is a HUGE failure - but as a Ed Wood-like comedy it was simply amazing and we had a GREAT time doing MST3K like dialogue along with drinking. We really decided that we want to do our own commentary to this film! Watch this with friends and with alcohol and this film bumps up from a one-star to a four-star like I'm doing right now. I am still planning to move back into my mother's basement any day now.
The BEST New Series of 2007
I came over to this show from The Loop - one of the best Fox shows of the Y2K era that was dumped on the public this summer and never to be seen again. That show starred Bret Harrison as Sam - the youngest exec at an airline.
Bret was the MAN on The Loop so of course I followed him over to Reaper where he plays another character named Sam but this one's a college dropout who works at a Home Depot clone. Sam turns 21 and suddenly he finds out that his parents has sold his soul to The Devil many, many years ago. The Devil (Ray Wise) comes to collect by making Sam become the 'devil's bounty hunter' by re-reaping souls that have escaped from Hell and now are killing people back on Earth. It's really a win-win...the devil gets his soul back and the town has less murders. Sam, however, thinks the situation ...well...SUCKS! The show is pure genius. It is set up like Smallville or Buffy where there's a 'monster of the week' to beat up but here it is always secondary to Sam just trying to live his life normally. He has two friends which are INCREDIBLE: Sock (Tyler Labine) who is the overweight, quick witted buddy that everyone prays they have in their life and Ben (Rick Gonzalez) who rounds out the trio and usually is the one who ends up getting hurt...quite hysterically. It's a show about GREAT FRIENDSHIP and this show has it...you really believe these guys are friends. The show is rounded out with super hottie Andi (Missy Peregrym) who likes Sam but isn't in 'the know' of what's up with him and is therefore blown off a lot and the BRILLIANT Ted (Donovan Stinson) who is the young arrogant jerkie boss who is more akin to be a young David Brent from the office - he wants to be cool...but he's the boss.
The show SHINES with Harrison and gives 'Devil' Ray Wise the biggest and best performance of his career. The man shines in every single scene he has on the show. You see him as he tries to help Sam and when he is angry that smile disappears in a moment and you truly believe that there is Satan behind Ray Wise's eyes.
A top notch cast, amazing scripts, great direction...I was sad to see The Loop get cancelled and now I wouldn't have it any other way. Reaper is brilliant and I only hope it lasts for many seasons to come.
Ryan McLelland Latino Review/Newsarama
Spider-Man 3 (2007)
Bad. Batman and Robin bad. Two and a half hours I'll never get back.
SPOILERS ARE PROBABLY ABUNDANT Maybe it is because I went into this with a non-fanboy perspective, but pretty much the best part of this movie was the prequel comic written by Todd Dezago (GO TODD!) that I got before the movie. The film was, for me, on par with Batman and Robin. While it started off great in the first hour, suddenly the movie deteriorated right before my very eyes. The last hour of the movie was spent by my girlfriend and I MOCKING the film in a packed theater. By the time we rolled around to Mary Jane singing ANOTHER song at the end, we just got up and left the theater.
The first big fault is the under use of Thomas Haden Church. Here is a man who is an amazing actor, perhaps at the level of both Willem Dafoe and Alfred Molina. I was quite happy with his casting and was happy to see him in this flick. However Church never gets to spread his wings as Sandman. While the other flicks allowed the baddies to grow this film allowed Sandman to get his powers, have a bit of growth, and then disappear for most of the film. The final result was even worse? Even though Sandman had killed his uncle, escaped from prison, robbed banks, caused massive collateral damage on the city streets, and who knows how many other crimes, Spidey decides he can 'forgive' Flint Marko for killing his uncle and then Sandman just LEAVES. And Spidey, crying, allows him too. All because he's forgiven? Bad scripting was truly in abundance here and one can really think that Sam Raimi may have finally lost it on this film. I've enjoyed all of Sam's work from the Evil Dead flicks, to Darkman, to Love of the Game, Quick and the Dead, and the first two Spidey flicks. However he absolutely tried to cram way too much into this movie. It might have even worked, might have, if not for the cringe worthy parts that had no sense being in the film. Evil Peter dancing on the streets a la Saturday Night Fever? The bad one man dance off in the dance club? Mary Jane singing her heart out when she had EVERY right to be fired...for Kirsten Dunst cannot sing. I had heard there was singing and dancing but these moments, ESPECIALLY the Peter moments, were just horrible. It reminded of those cringe-worthy Batman and Robin moments where the Batmobile went up the building and Mr. Freeze having a dial that turns HOT in his lair when the man can only have it COLD. Kids yelling out "OH WICKED COOL". The HORRIBLE 'reporters' at the end? The part where Spidey lands right next to the flag. The theater burst out laughing! Last time I heard that was with Vader's "NOOOOO" at the end of Episode 3. It's a shame because the first hour had great scripting, great action, and great lines. It was almost like a different writer and different director took over for the rest of the film.
Topher Grace. Oh Topher. He was someone else I was very excited about in casting. Sure fanboys might be like, "But Eddie Brock is this big guy" but I liked seeing him as this slimy, young antithesis to Peter. Yet Topher wasn't great in this film at all. You are talking to someone who sat threw Win A Date With Tad Hamilton and actually liked it. Topher was great in That 70's Show, shined in Traffic, and has had several great roles since. His early appearances in this movie are great but when he is actually Venom, he falls into the horrible acting motif.
AND THE UNMASKINGS. Why wear a mask if you don't want a secret identity??? Every twenty seconds Spidey is taking his mask off. He arrives at the parade with his mask off. In a city like New York everyone is ALWAYS looking around with a camera. While Peter stands there, mask off, smiling at the crowd, someone is sure to snap a shot of him without a mask. And as the movie goes on you start to wonder why does he wear a mask at all if he just has it off all the time. Goblin Jr. seemed to have a mask on only to have the cool Stargate effect to show his face and of course Venom, when he wants to talk, has to go back to Eddie's face to lay whatever horribly scripted diatribe on us.
Evil Peter. God. How horrible this was. Tobey Maguire is a decent actor and has been good in these films, but why God why? He gets the symbiote and suddenly he's evil and we KNOW it because he wears his BANGS FORWARD. Bangs forward = EVIL PETER! This was so laughably bad especially when Peter starts dancing in the Manhattan streets.
The characters certainly weren't sleepwalking through their performances but Sam Raimi's script and directing certainly brought this movie down to a whole new level. It WAS Batman and Robin bad. Superman Returns bad. Catwoman bad. Dare I say...Tank Girl bad. Barb Wire bad. I love a great deal of comic book movies and I can usually take EH movies. I liked all the FF movies (Corman included). Liked Daredevil. Thought Elektra was eh-okay. Hulk grew on me. As did Punisher. But this film was like an atrocity. Even the first hour which was good was fully diminished by the end. I'm fairly certain that I could never watch this movie again. I'd watch Ghost Rider a million times in a row before I could ever bring myself to watch this movie again.
Dung fong tuk ying (1987)
An action packed kung-fu military film
Just after the Vietnam War the U.S. Government decides to send a group of Chinese soldiers back into 'Nam to recover some munitions long stolen by the VC. Part of this group are convicted soldiers who are relieved of their sentence should they complete the mission. But when the mission is scrubbed at the point where half the soldiers have already jumped off the plane, the misfit crew must complete the unofficial mission regardless.
Fans of the kung-fu genre will certainly find other films with better martial arts, but the kung-fu within this film is superbly done. This is because of sequences put together by stars Sammo Hung and Yuen Biao. Sammon Hung (Magnificient Butcher, Warriors Two, Dragons Forever) stars and directs this military film and is probably in the best shape of his career here, looking very fit and limber as the leader of the crew. Yuen Biao (Knockabout, Prodigal Son, Dragons Forever) plays a villager who ends up helping the troops when they come to rescue his uncle. With Yuen Biao aboard you know that you are going to see some amazing martial arts action as one of the best of all time pulls off some amazing aerial moves.
For those who follow kung-fu film history, this film certainly is interesting as it brings together many from the Peking Opera House (the China Drama Academy) where Sammo, Biao, and Jackie Chan were schoolmates. Yuen Wah, the ultimate bad guy seen recently as Landlord in Kung Fu Hustle, and Corey Yuen (who went by Yuen Kwai in his old Opera House days - and rarely acts since he's an acclaimed director of such films as The Transporter) also went to school at the same time as Jackie, Sammo, and Biao. Yuen Woo-Ping, the acclaimed actor/action coordinator of films like The Matrix, Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon, and Iron Monkey also attended the same school years earlier. Woo-Ping makes a rare acting appearance here and is pretty damn funny throughout the film providing some comic relief.
The film certainly isn't original with many plot devices from films like Deer Hunter and Dirty Dozen. However the action comes near non-stop and the great cast help push the film quickly along. The kung-fu moments do come few and far between but those fights are worth it to see Sammo and Biao performing some amazing martial arts.
Storm Watch (2002)
So awful you'll be wishing for more Coolio by the end.
I'm not sure where to even start on Code Hunter. The box says 'The hottest sex, the coolest technology, the most extreme adventure you've ever experienced.' The box, like the movie and its decent cast, is a huge letdown by every standard.
The plot? An ex-hacker who hasn't been allowed to touch a computer for years (Kevin Mitnick? Hackers? How about Hackers II: Electric BoogaBLAH!) starts playing an online game and gets involved with someone who takes control of a government satellite that can control the weather and destroy both US coasts.
Wow...what a plot. Except that the movie, FILMED IN 2001, has the characters still doing virtual reality. Still using dial-up. Going into a game where they look just like themselves with no computer simulation what-so-ever. It's so REAL that it IS REAL. Except, like the Matrix, when they enter 'the game' they suddenly change their clothes and everyone looks oh so UBER-KEWL. The Lawnmower Man called while I was watching this movie and said he wanted his VR back.
Besides the plot that seems to have come from 1995, the quasily-famous cast includes General Hospital's Vanessa Marcil (who is still damn hot even with the short hair she has in the film), Highlander's Adrian Paul, "rappers" Tone-Loc and Coolio, and she-needs-subtitles-when-she-talks Bai Ling. As craptacular as this was it got even worse when Adrian Paul grabs a sword. Why grab a sword? Because he used one in the Highlander TV show so he knows how to use one...blah.
The main character, Nick Cornish, looks to be like 21 years old in the script. He plays his character...decently, but he doesn't quite take the movie over. That stinks because for the most part we are watching him. An hour into the movie I was so bored that I wanted to turn this off, but my best friend said, "Trust me...Coolio will be back." So we waited and sure enough, Coolio came back. I hate to say this but...I don't know where this movie would have been without Coolio.
If you are in the mood for a Z-movie with lots of stock footage, bad acting, A SWORD, Coolio, and 2001 Virtual Reality then this is so the movie for you. My recommendation? Go get Hackers. At least it has Angelina Jolie.
Great movie made better by it's amazing cast.
Confidence is like a movie version of BBC's Hustle with an all-star cast. Edward Burns leads an all-star cast that includes Oscar winner Dustin Hoffman, Oscar winner Rachel Weisz, Oscar nominated Paul Giamatti, and Oscar nominated Andy Garcia combined with a supporting cast that includes Donal Logue, Louis Guzman, Frankie G, Tiny Lister, Morris Chestnut, and Louis Lombardi. If the cast doesn't appeal to you yet, it will by the end of the movie.
Ed Burns plays hustler Jake Vig who leads a small team of men that hustle different marks. Always thinking several moves ahead, Vig has thus far been successful in making his money and never being caught. However when he hustles his newest mark what he didn't know was the man was only a collection guy for Dustin Hoffman's Winston King. The money was King's and when one of Jake's men boasts about the job they just pulled, Jake suddenly finds himself with one P.O.'d 'mob-like' boss.
Jake, one man down and with one of King's men attached, takes his crew, adds sexy con Lily (Rachel Weisz) and is forced to pull off a scam for King. The bad part is it is a UNTOUCHABLE (a great performance by Robert Forster for the three seconds he's on screen). The great part is, if they pull it off, each member of the team will get six figures.
HOWEVER, right from the first scene we all realize that everything has already gone to hell. What comes next is the tale of how Burns, Weisz, Giamatti, and the rest of the crew try to pull of the scam, with special agent Andy Garcia right on their tale, teamed up with two crooked LA cops (Guzman, Logue) who had been working with Jake but find themselves in a bad spot with the fed riding with them.
Fans of the movie are best to check out BBC's Hustle series, which is an hour long show with a new con each week. CONFIDENCE is a great flick with a great cast and does it a bit better then Hustle. It's the best con movie in years and if you are disappointed by flicks like Ocean's Twelve, you best rent this straight away.
No Retreat, No Surrender (1986)
A B-Movie Gem For All The Right Reasons!
For those who have never seen this classic, it is finally time to find a version or catch it on TV. Directed by Corey Yuen (Transporter, DOA: Dead or Alive - and one of my billion 'Yuen Brothers' to include Sammo Hung, Yuen Biao, Yuen Woo-Ping, and Jackie Chan) it was his first American film with a script that is so bad you would probably laugh the entire movie would it not be for the actors actually trying their best to make the most out of it.
With no budget and no stars No Retreat No Surrender follows young Jason Stillwell (Kurt McKinny of Guiding Light fame) as his family moves from LA to Seattle after his Dad closes his karate studio following a fight that saw his leg broken by Ivan (VAM DAMME!). Dad decides that fighting isn't the thing and the family moves away from where 'the syndicate' could get to him. Jason meets a friend right away in RJ, a black kid with soulglo in the curls and a BMX bike with a tiny boombox on it. He also makes an enemy with Scott (the EXCELLENT Kent Lipham) who is a larger bully type with an abhorrence for Bruce Lee.
The plot is then plagued with the karate-hating Scott getting beat up by Jason when he defends poor RJ at a burger joint. His next run-in with Scott is at a karate dojo where Scott is a member. Doesn't he hate Karate? It is of no matter - as we see that Scott is friends with everyone at the dojo including tough-guy Dean Ramsey. Jason sort-of stinks at karate and gets beat up at the dojo and his girlfriend's birthday party.
JASON GETS MAD and prays to Bruce Lee at his grave. So what is the sensible thing to happen? Bruce Lee's ghost comes to visit Jason and trains him for...EVERYONE! So when that final fight happens with Jean-Claude Van Damme we all know Jason will save the day.
The movie is filled with all those great eighties moments. Bad montages, bad clothes, bad hair, and some bad acting. However Corey Yuen can direct some great fight scenes, has some great actors in McKinney, Lipham, and (don't laugh) Van Damme, and is entertaining enough for you to watch twenty years later and keep you entertained.
My new bootleg DVD purchase has added scenes then my original VHS tape (the first I ever bought) had. These are more character building moments of some of the more minor characters that truly weren't needed in the movie, so it is understandable why they were originally cut. But as the movie is short enough and my love for this ultimate B-movie gem grows, I welcome whatever scenes are available.
I say bootleg DVD because as of this point (Feb 2007) there isn't an official US DVD release. Why? Who knows but this film could use a nice Corey Yuen director's cut. The plot is pure cheese but who can beat having Bruce Lee come forth from the dead to train you? If it had been Yuen Biao instead of Kim Tai Chong (Chong and the famous Biao both doubled for Bruce Lee in the horrible Game of Death) this film would not only be a classic, I'd have the movie poster framed on my wall.
The film is followed by several sequels including the next film which is directed by Corey Yuen. It was said that Van Damme talked McKinney out of being in the sequel and thus the plot was changed to fit two new people and not follow any characters from the first film.
WHO CARES! Find this movie! Revel in great acting, bad acting, and Jean Claude's 'first' movie role (though I still love his bad dancing in the first Breakin'). It's never going to be Enter The Dragon, Dragons Forever, or Once Upon A Time in China, but it will still give you many great hours of viewing pleasure!
Memoirs of an Invisible Man (1992)
A well done linear Chevy Chase/John Carpenter film.
With its tagline one might expect a lot of comedy out of this Chevy Chase vehicle. When released the film bombed not making anything near its budget back, put the nail in the coffin of Chevy's career, and looked nothing like a John Carpenter film. Overlook the sometimes uninspired voice-over by Chase and what you'll find with Memoirs Of An Invisible Man is a very well done drama sci-fi film.
The drill is basically thus: Chase is your average blah-blah yuppie who is turned invisible. The CIA, headed by agent Sam Neill, are after Chase to perhaps sell him to the highest bidder for an 'invisible soldier'. Chase runs and eventually, after hiding at a friend's house, runs back into the previously introduced Daryl Hannah. The two fall for each other while Hannah can't see Chase, as the CIA come close to capture in their pursuit.
The film's plot is fairly linear as the film follows Chase as he runs from the CIA until the finale. However the film does an excellent job of imagining what life would be like could you REALLY become invisible. Would people be able to see what you had to eat and how your food would digest? Does the clothing you had on with the experiment remain invisible as well? Following the film you really feel for Chevy as you might feel he might not escape those who pursue him.
There is not one ounce of a John Carpenter film here so fans of Little China, Vampires, Escape from New York, and his many other films need look elsewhere. Carpenter comes in to tell the story and does so well. The special effects are incredible considering what time period this film was done, when ILM was right on the cusp of their incredible CGI technology but not quite there yet.
This film made me care for Chevy's 'Nick Halloway' and I think the movie being presented as a comedy with its awful posters and taglines killed it. This film is a great 'invisible man' movie, a genre perhaps not done well since Hollywood's horror heyday and continues to not be done well with uninspired flicks like Hollow Man or Fantastic Four's Sue Storm. Actually the direct-to-DVD Hollow Man 2 does a fine job of invisible storytelling as well, but that's a whole other movie....
Kuai can che (1984)
Perhaps the best Jackie Chan movie ever done.
It's a hard toss-up for me trying to decide Jackie Chan's best film. It's a narrow thought process for me as it comes down to Dragons Forever and the weirdly titled "Wheels on Meals". Both films feature the amazing trio of Jackie, Sammo Hung, and Yuen Biao...'brothers' since their early days and all film stars in their own right. But the comedy in Wheels on Meals works the best and the action scenes are amazing, with Biao really strutting his mobility.
The plot is thin: Jackie and Biao are cousins who works a 'gut-truck' in Spain. Sammo is an acquaintance who takes over his employer's private detective agency when his boss goes on the run. Someone hires Sammo to find a beautiful girl (Lola Forner - also seen in Armour of God) whom Jackie and Biao have already had the pleasure of meeting. She's a pickpocket and the daughter of Biao's dad's girlfriend (the dad and the mom met at the local insane asylum. What love!). Anyway it seems that Silvia is being chased by mobsters so she can't claim a lot of money that should be coming to her. Bad guys give chase, Jackie and Biao help her, and Sammo runs in to try to get his way.
The three have been in a number of films together (Project A being the other film that features the three as equals) but even with the not-so great plot you'll be surprised at how well the acting is, how the jokes are still funny even while you are reading them (and don't go for something dubbed, the film is much better in Chinese), and how great the kung-fu scenes are. You'll be surprised by Jackie and Biao's skills on a skateboard and while the Jackie Vs. Benny the Jet fight scene in Dragons Forever might be a bit better, you still HAVE one in this movie.
For amazing comedy, action, and great kung-fu, that is directed by the pudgy Sammo, and taking the three men out of Hong Kong a la Way of the Dragon - this is the film for you. Fans of Jackie Chan, Yuen Biao, and Sammo Hung will be hard pressed to find something better, though Dragons Forever comes very, very close.
Dirty Love (2005)
Embrace The Sucktastic!
When movies are so bad that they have to be great...they truly embrace the suck. And Dirty Love, the film that was up for a billion razzies and rightly so, grabs the suck on both ends and places them right on Jenny McCarthy's bosom.
This is Jenny McCarthy we are talking here and, on top of everything else, she has written the movie. SHE WROTE THE MOVIE! Anyone out there ever try and write an entire screenplay? It's hard stuff. Can anyone do it? Well...yeah...since Jenny can do it I do assume that my dead grandma Flo can still write a screenplay but that is besides the point.
The point is, going in, you know this is just going to be horrrrrrrible. Is it so bad horrible that you can't stand it after the first minute? Or is it so suckworthy that every time the movie gets worse, you can take a drink? Jenny McCarthy (BASEketball) plays Rebecca, a girl who has been having a great time dating a model. She walks in on him sleeping with a girl and she leaves him. Good for you, Rebecca! But it seems like she really, really liked him. REALLY! However this guy seems to like going after anything with a cute butt and Rebecca just hasn't noticed this trait before.
At least she has her friends to back her up. There is Carrie, the stupid blonde who wants to be an actress but is better sleeping with the casting directors to get a part because....she's a stupid blonde who can't act. There's Michelle (Baywatch and Scary Movie superstar Carmen Electra) playing the ghetto-fabulous white girl who is so into the ebonics you want to just slap the black out of her. And then there's nice guy John (the awesome Eddie Kaye Thomas of the American Pie movies...and Harold & Kumar Go To White Castle, but he didn't play Harold or Kumar but, rather, Rosenberg.) who fully wants to support his gal friends while having no job, collecting expensive guitars, and wanting to hook up with Rebecca.
So that's the basic plot of the movie. Rebecca tries to get over cheating model guy by going out and trying to hook up with every other guy in L.A. that is NOT John which results in some nasty yet funny situations. There is a scene much talked about on here that happens in a supermarket when Rebecca finds herself without tampons at home and has to run to the store. However, once at the store, jerky model guy is there and Jenny starts to leak. Yes....leak the icky stuff. So she grabs the supermaxipads and runs around the supermarket leaking all over the place. Most find this gross. I laugh my butt off. She's on the floor covered in her own blood trying to wipe it with the supermaxi pads and I'm on the floor laughing. I turn to my girlfriend who is like, "Yeah...it can happen." There's all kinds of awful stuff like this in this movie, but what did you expect Jenny McCarthy to write? Emma? On The Road? Catcher in the Rye? It's JENNY MCCARTHY and I fully came onto this movie preparing to embrace the suck. Every time it got worse, it just got better. In the end you are just rooting for poor Eddie Kaye Thomas to hook up with his dream girl. Why? Because Eddie ROCKS and he'd really get to at least hookup with Jenny McCarthy while she still looks decently hot.
If you are looking for good, do not watch this movie. If you are looking for so bad its incredibly great then this is the movie for you. Check your brain at the door, grab some popcorn and a lot of your favorite drink, and kick back for something that will surely make you laugh at least once....during its ninety minute time frame.
DOA: Dead or Alive (2006)
Embrace The Suck!
When movies are so bad that they have to be great...they truly embrace the suck. And DOA: Dead or Alive just doesn't embrace the suck...it enforces it.
This movie is essentially a very dumbed-down version of Mortal Kombat (which was a dumbed-down version of Enter the Dragon) except this time around we have lots of hot women in skimpy costumes fighting rivals while fitting in time for sex, hottubbing, and volleyball.
I've never played the video game but it didn't matter for me. The fact that 'My Name Is Earl' star Jaime Pressley was in a fighting movie was enough for me. Joined by such classic costars as Holly Valance (Prison Break), Sarah Carter (Final Destination 2), and Devon Aoki (D.E.B.S. - another classic bad film) we get to watch a full 75 minutes of bad wire work, bad karate, and actors who seem to have read their lines for the first time when they arrived on set.
Does it matter? No. Because if you fully embrace how these people get invited to the tournament then you can easily accept how, when they arrive there, everything is marked nicely with 'DOA' on it. Everything. From parachutes to coffee mugs to the volleyballs they use all are stamped with 'DOA' as if it is a huge marketing tool for the sacred tournament.
So you'd think lots of people end up 'dead' in Dead or Alive. Even in Mortal Kombat we had some deaths and soul-sucking. In this film no one really dies, the opponents just lose and leave the island. Some fighters don't end up fighting and just stay on the island for no reason. But one cannot think about things like plot holes because you might start to think about the movie and plot is not important here.
What's important are the four very hot leading ladies kicking some major butt against all sorts of people that include Eric Roberts (Best of the Best!), Steve Howey (from Reba's TV show!), wrestler Kevin Nash, and even a nice cameo from MK's Robin Shou! So every time this movie gets worse, become more happy. Take a sip and keep moving through. Revel in the badness as this movie truly embraces the suck. If you look at it in a campy level you'll realize that this might be one of the best video game movies ever made - which is not saying much considering the competition. But COME ON...Jaime Pressley in a video game movie wearing an American bikini? If that alone doesn't sell you, nothing will.
Once Upon a Time in Mexico (2003)
2 bad films in one year
I was a fan of the Spy Kids series, but the third one, with the bad effects and the horrible writing killed it for me. I thought that Rodriguez must have done it on the quickness, so I didn't worry. I figured Once Upon a Time in Mexico would be his masterpiece as the last in the El Mariachi trilogy.
Is the Mariachi in the film? Yes, but you would be amazed how much he is not in the film. Depp is amazing as usual but this film is a cluttered mess as is the plot. Again, the screenplay seems to have taken a backseat to over-the-top action. Now that is action is QUITE amazing. But the movie feels like it takes years to finish. It's pretty bad when I sit in the theater and look at my watch once, thinking it's running long. I looked at my watch five times during this film.
El Mariachi in my eyes is an amazing classic, Desperado is its over-the-top successor, and Once Upon A Time in Mexico is the ugly step-brother who I saw once and can lock back in his room. Once was enough and I'll never consider this a trilogy...I'll leave this a two-film masterpiece.
Now You Know (2002)
Great cast, great flick
As many did at Vulgarthon, I saw Jeff Anderson's new flick "Now You Know", a delightful romantic comedy that he wrote, directed and starred in. The flick starts off with Jeremy Sisto arriving at his Las Vegas bachelor party to find everyone having a good time but him, for he is the only person in the room who knows that his impending wedding has been called off. Him and his former fiance, played by Rashida Jones (the office secretary in Boston Public) are soon off to New Jersey, where the wedding was supposed to take place. Though they have the same flight home, they separate at the airport, Jones going off with best friend Heather Paige Kent, and Sisto going off to hang with his old friend Biscuit and pal Jeff Anderson. Hilarity and emotion ensue as Rashida tries to figure out why her ex acted so cold to her while Sisto tries also to figure out what went wrong, while having with Jeff breaking into houses and getting drunk. The acting is top notch. Seeing Jeff Anderson in a role again was amazing and he acted incredibly, added on with the fact that he was directing himself. Jeremy Sisto's performance is the only one with a poor performance, not so much poor as you just have trouble rooting for the guy who mopes around the whole movie. The gem of the film is Biscuit, played by Trevor Fehrman, who is a near riot every time he's on screen, the perfect foil for almost-straight-man Anderson. Jeff Anderson had said that the film hadn't even been completed yet, it still need some editing and titles, credits, and such, and the Vulgarthon people were the first to see the film, even seeing the film first before the stars and the crew. The bad? It wrapped up a little too nicely in the end. That and Jeff Anderson said he wanted to focus alot more on writing than acting (do yourself a favor if you read this Jeff, you should star in about 5 movies a year, you are incredible!). All in all, and incredible flick I can't wait to see again, the Biscuit alone makes it well worth it.