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The Man with the Iron Fists (2012)
One of the worst films I've seen recently
RZA's film has some amount of imagination,but, simply put, he has no idea how to build, pace, or tell a story. He has made the unfortunate mistake of imitating a genre he loves without understanding what makes it work. The dialogue is half nonsensical exposition, half nauseating one-liners. Lots of clumsy penis and vagina jokes.
The plot is so diffuse...there is not enough time given to any character for them to be read as an actual character. The film fails in tying together any of these frayed threads and also fails to make what happens in any of them significant or sensible. For example there is a "betrayal" plot which happens in the first two minutes of the film, when there is no context to make that betrayal meaningful, make the traitor seem particularly villainous, etc. The acting is very broad and simplistic, which I guess is to be expected given the things RZA expects them to say. He doesn't seem to understand that all of these things, the characters, dialogue, plot points, etc. are pointless without a proper context.
Some people might be inclined to tell me it's the "point" of the movie to not have a story, to be a loose framework on which a series of fight scenes are hung. I'd first suggest that that is not a meaningful effort to make. But even as a visual spectacle or stylistic effort, it doesn't do very well. All of the fights are basically the same knife/sword play... none of the characters really have a specific fighting style, and the CGI gore lopped onto the fights is excessive and silly. The music cues are embarrassingly overdone...any time the film wants you to feel an emotion, the sappiest orchestral music instantly kicks in, to the beat of a hip hop song.
I think it's possible that RZA could make a good film someday, but this certainly isn't it.
One day, I was flipping channels, when I find this movie on Cartoon Network (not normally a channel I watch). I decide "Hey, why not? Nothing else is on." A mere moment of watching this and I am mesmerized. Even if you are not a fan of anime, you will love this movie.
The movie centers around Chihiro, a young girl flung into a marvelous fantasy world filled to the brim with endlessly creative, unique and developed characters. The voice actors match the characters very well, embodying the personality flawlessly.
This is an excellent movie, definitely rivaling current classics. Hopefully, the next generation will know and love this movie the way this one knows "The Wizard of Oz" or "Alice in Wonderland".
Visionary, beautiful, poignant. 10 out of 10.
Worst movie I've seen in years (spoilers, but you won't want to see this movie anyway)
The commercials, laden with glowing reviews (from people you've never heard of), present a tale of intrigue and supernatural twists. This is what encouraged me to go and see this movie. By the time the credits where rolling, I was seriously contemplating asking for my money back. Yes. It is that bad.
Samuel L. Jackson plays a cliché 'cop on the edge'...with asthma? Anyway, in a series of scattershot scenes, he pulls his sleeves up and down and screams at the top of her lungs. He is searching for the missing child of Miss Julianne Moore.
Julianne Moore plays a mother of a missing child, with one of the fakest accents I've heard, with about 400 pounds of freckles piled on her face, a whiny voice, and a terribly uneven performance.
The missing child in a "tough" neighborhood causes the neighborhood to be boarded off, leaving children unable to go to school and adults unable to go to work. This aspect made it disappointing that not only was it not explored fully, but not used well.
The movie's namesake is an abandoned orphanage where the search party looks for the missing kid. They don't find anything. And then they leave. They are in there for about 3 minutes of the film and it is (for some reason) named after it.
I will not give away the final twist about where the child is, but let me tell you, it makes the entire movie pointless. None of this review has been exaggerated. It is really that bad.