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Danny the Dog gets Unleashed...
...but let's face it, Danny the Dog is a WAY cooler title.
In short, this is the best Luc Besson script put to film, ever. That's saying a lot, considering the man has come up with some pretty cool stories (e.g., Leon, 5th Element). The bad guy (Bob Hoskins) has his version of a human story, and each character in the film has his/her own persona. It's awesome. The dialog flows like real life, the human interaction flows like real life, but sadly the action flows not so real life.
The bigger action sequences follow through like a fight by the numbers flick from the '80's, very reminiscent of early Van-Damme films. The bad guys line up one by one, waiting their turn to be taken out by Li. Alas, this NEVER bothered me with this film, for reasons being Jet Li still gets the crap beat out of him (several times), and the whole fight-by-the-numbers is offset by some really cool camera work. You can feel the energy emitting out each sequence, even the really short ones. It's hard for an action flick to do that nowadays.
The acting is top-notch, especially in Li's character. Given the fact that I hated his performance in "The One" ("just like old times, eh, buddy?" ugh.), it still didn't stop me from enjoying the crap outta that movie. With "Danny the Dog" ("Unleashed" in the States) I got a special treat...Jet Li pulled off a wonderful performance in being a torn little boy in a grown-up body, trying to accept that he is, in fact a "dog", yet yearns to be human, even before his freedom. The fact is, he is raised like dog by his "uncle", a role that Bob Hoskins tore into like a starving rabid animal. I know this term gets tossed around a lot, but I quite literally mean it when I say, Hoskins was born for this role, and I thoroughly enjoyed watching him as much as I liked watching Li.
All in all, this is a fascinating action-drama, which I gave a 9 out of 10. I would have it at a 10, if the action sets weren't so by the books. Kudos to the film makers, this is a movie worth remembering.
The Crow: Wicked Prayer (2005)
Good job on Furlong's part, but...
...this movie is awful. This is by far the worst Crow flick made to date. Edward Furlong does an INCREDIBLE job in this movie. It was the first time I was actually impressed by his acting. He embraced the role of an icon revered by many and held it with authenticity. It's just too bad he wasted his talents on this steaming pile of poo.
The story is almost xeroxed from the first installment with changes to the setting. The score is playing constantly throughout the flick, and is quite distracting and not good at all. It felt like I was watching a made-for-TV movie that wasn't quite made for TV. The lack of originality makes this film AT BEST student-auteur, yet the actors look like they are trying so hard to save the script they just agreed to act out.
This movie could have been saved if they had just slowed the pace a little bit, got rid of that cheesy score, and not make the bad-guys introduction so video game-like (ala Guy Ritchie, except with bad graphics).
I hated this film, but the one it gave me? The anticipation to see Furlong again, in a better role.
The Boondock Saints (1999)
A wonderful movie,
...albeit a little too proud of itself. I waited a long time before actually watching this film, then an ex-girlfriend loaned it to me telling me I wouldn't be disappointed. And I wasn't. Boondock Saints looks and feels like a fan film, and it is well done. The actors, I felt, were carefully chosen, did a wonderful job, and composed themselves well. The only real annoyances were Willem Dafoe's character being a know-it-all, and David Della Rocco who screams his head off throughout the whole movie. Its rare that a movie of this genre has a gratifying ending, and when the credits started rolling, I was a little sad that there wasn't more. This movie kept me entertained thoroughly, and I was happy that I finally watched it. For those who haven't seen it, sit back and enjoy the violent ride, for it's a fun one.