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Into the Sun (2005)
I must take issue with some of the negative comments posted here. Clearly these people have completely missed a key point: This is not an ordinary movie. This is a Steven Segal movie.
Steven Segal makes the most enjoyable comedies being produced today. The bloated, pompous, self-important and utterly clueless screen persona he has created is the most outrageously funny character since Inspector Cluseau. People who take these films seriously at face value must have about as much of a sense of humor as Sean Penn. These movies are hilarious! I laughed so hard I almost choked on my popcorn.
While this is not his best film - "On Deadly Ground" will probably never be equaled for sheer absurdity from the boots up first look at the chubby hero to the final award from the Governor for blowing up half the state - this movie nevertheless has most of what we expect from a great Segal film: a preposterous, incomprehensible plot, a ludicrously posturing hero, a pointlessly killed-off love interest and a three word title.
Exit Wounds (2001)
Has it all: smarmy smirk, silly walk; still comes up short
Has many of the best features of Steven Seagal movies - the smarmy smirk, the silly walk, the total disregard for plot coherence - yet still comes up short.
Synopsis: Steven is a cop who saves the life of the vice-president - for which he gets demoted. Then he saves a family from gun wielding criminals. He gets demoted again. Finally he stops saving people and just beats up and kills bad guys and gets promoted back.
Steven is slimmed down almost to the point where action sequences might possibly be believable - if you could see them. Instead we get lots of incoherent quick-cut editing. Plenty of limbs still get bent backwards, you're just never sure how Steve got to them. The plot line flows with no apparent continuity, characters interact based upon motivations supplied entirely off-screen, and necessary developments are explained after the fact - possibly to fit the wierd editing. In short a standard Seagal movie. Other standard effects, naturally, include the 10,000 shot pistol that blows things up, cars that jump out of second stories unharmed, etc. etc.
However... at no point did Steven disgorge himself of some momentous philosphical pronouncement (like he did at the end of Hollowed Ground when he homilied on the environment he had just blown up and told about the secret water powered cars "they" are keeping from us). That's always been my favorite part of these movies, and it is sorely missed here. Also, there are two car crashes in which the cars, mysteriously, did not explode.
Not just for Catholics; Trevor Howard is magnificent
This play is about a group of Catholic monks and an abbot and does involve a theological - actually liturgical - dispute set some time in a future that it now turns out never actually occurred (one in which the Catholic Church apparently did not all but disappear because of its hierarchy's demented obsessions with sex). But that is merely the setting; the point of the story is much more universal and has to do with how people tend to huddle together to find meaning in life; how the relationships formed between different sorts of individuals may in the end be all the meaning there is to life. In the final analysis the monks, a fairly limited lot, are lost without their abbot, who provides the meaning they need in their lives, and he in turn, far more aware than any of the others, and therefore most anguished by their common predicament, is lost without his flock of monks' need of his leadership, which is the only meaning he can grasp in life.
Trevor Howard gives an absolutely magnificent performance. His abbot is intelligent, articulate, cunning and in the end so courageously and purely alone that the final image of him on the screen has stayed with me for years.
Fong sai yuk (1993)
In a class by itself; a classic
This movie is very well known to fans of Hong Cong action movies - but not to many others, and that's a real shame. This movie is absolutely splendid on so many levels that it deserves to be on everyone's favorite film list. It's visually spectacular, with first rate production values. The choreography of the action scenes is inventive, exciting, and witty. It has an engaging plot and memorable characters. The acting is terrific, especially the character of Sai Yuk's mother created by Josephine Siao. The movie is very funny - on purpose, not the way many action films are! If you're a fan of Hong Cong action movies you'll think this is Jet Li's greatest film; if you're new to the genre you're likely to be completely blown away because in addition to everything else you'll have the fun of being exposed to this exotic world. Do know, however, that this is not typical of the genre; it's in a class by itself. If you can find it, see it; you're in for a treat.