Everything Martial Arts A Lunch Community http://www.lunch.com/EverythingMartialArt <![CDATA[ Not The Land of His Birthright, But The Land That He Chooses to Die For]]> The Gaijin”, Watin’s film takes a more action-oriented approach and is aimed for entertainment.

         Not The Land of His Birthright, But The Land That He Chooses to Die For

Attacked and wounded by a group of ninjas, a samurai named Yamada (Seigi Ozeki) is rescued by a band of Siamese warriors led by Kham (Thanawut Ketsaro) under the service of the King of Ayothaya. Here, Yamada is nursed by a kindly woman and his spirits are uplifted by a small girl. Confused by the identity of his assailants, Yamada chooses to stay in this village headed by a kindly Buddhist priest. He befriends the villagers, learns to appreciate their ways and culture, and soon learns to fight like them. Soon, those new-found skills will prove to be invaluable as Yamada must fight for the land that he has grown to love.

          

           

Any film based on a person’s true character and life would lack the complete package, and “Samurai of Ayothaya” is no different. It does try to bring the core character make up of the historical figure, and then tries to make it easier to relate to. The direction and the screenplay aimed to make the film brisk in its pacing, and borrows several themes from “Dances with Wolves” and “The Last Samurai”; as a stranger comes into a new culture and learns to love this new culture through the eyes of its people. The tale is very familiar, and quite frankly there is very little else to do with such a limited plot core, and so what it also tries to do is make a sense of ‘brotherhood’ and new loyalty to drive the developments of its plot.

The characters in the film are pretty much what you would expect. With the title changed for a U.S. release, and the promo being “The Last Samurai Meets Ong-Bak 2”, it is pretty much it in a nutshell. Now while Tony Jaa took the spotlight with his insane skills in the martial arts and in pulling off the outrageous stunts in Ong-Bak 2 and 3, This film does try to have more heart with the way it sets up the action scenes. The fight sequences were well executed, and it moved with a style that did not feel too exaggerated, and yet nonetheless no less brutal. Each fighter practicing the Muay Thai art exhibited his own sense of personality and this made the scenes have a little more punch despite its simplicity. They also appeared to be a little more violent with the accompaniment of CGI blood effects. Ketsaro did almost steal the show as the most talented warrior of the village as he demonstrates that needed intensity and power in the action sequences that Ozeki kind of lacked.

          

          Not The Land of His Birthright, But The Land That He Chooses to Die For

Ozeki does manage to be a good protagonist, although the depths of his character seemed to revolve around what we may see as ‘the warrior’s way’. There really is nothing too intricate with his development, he hangs out with the villagers and becomes involved with their style of fighting. The Buddhist priest, the young woman and the small kid were all used to their advantage, to charm the viewer into liking the lead character and as well as defining the changes the came into him. The performances were decent and I do have to say that the addition of the gorgeous set pieces, and set designs were well introduced into its screenplay. It aided in the expression just how someone could learn how to love such a place; sure, the screenplay may not have properly developed that area, but several key stages in dialogue truly gave the film its needed punch.

                   

“Samurai of Ayothaya” (aka. Muay Thai Warrior) may not be the definitive film about Yamada Nagamasa with a plot so pedestrian and quite frankly a little too familiar. However, it did have its good moments in dialogue, character interplay and action sequences. It succeeds in not becoming too outrageous that it kept the action from undermining the character, albeit the film was driven by its action sequences. It had some heart to its screenplay, and despite its familiarity, it felt fresh and pleasing to watch. It is not “Ong-Bak 3” in action, but this was definitely better directed and executed than Jaa’s two most recent movies. I would give this film a light recommendation for action junkies and a good RENTAL for everybody else. [3 Out of 5 Stars]

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<![CDATA[ Still The Best Movie Based on the "Street Fighter" Video Game Franchise! But....]]>
            

I was told  that the uncut version has more blood and it included a naked Chun Li in the shower. But let’s talk about that later, since I expect my copy to arrive next week and this copy will fall into the hands of my friend's brother. I guess I need to focus on what made this animated movie so much more entertaining, successful than any of the “Street Fighter” animated series is the fact that it stayed very close to the groundwork/storyline established in the beloved video game. I will credit the English voice cast since this is what was available in this DVD that I am reviewing.

       

         

         

The film begins with Ryu (Hank Smith) and Sagat (David Conrad) duking it out under the cover of night with lightning the only source of illumination. The two fighters trade blows while someone is obviously gathering data from their fight. The fight ends when Ryu plants a huge blow that scars Sagat (oh, there is a lot of blood) on the chest and dispatches him with a blast of chi energy called Haddoken. Years later, Ryu drops off the grid as he wanders Asia looking for fights and to try to help out. Now a criminal organization called Shadowloo led by Bison (Phil Matthews) has surfaced and they have caused unrest after British agent Cammy (S.J. Charvin) kills an important political figure. They are also actively looking for Ryu so that they could enlist them in their evil cause. Hot on the tail of Bison are Guile (Donald Lee) and Chun-Li (Mary Briscoe), who wish to bring him to justice and have vengeance for Bison’s past sins. But Bison is no easy prey as he now has Sagat, Vega (Steve Davis), and a brainwashed Ken Masters (Ted Richards), also Ryu’s closest friend and co-student under his command.

If you are a fan of the video game, then this film would be close to heaven. It was wise for the screenplay by Kenichi Imai to focus on Ryu, Ken, Guile and Chun-Li to develop the core of its premise. It does several things right, it manages to flesh out the roots of Ken and Ryu’s relationship, it was nice to see their rivalry developed in the script. Chun-Li is out to avenge her father while Guile stays true to his original motivation against Bison. Bison is also no slouch in this flick, he is ruthless, powerful and very dangerous. He is indeed the ‘top’ bad guy in this flick. The script keeps its momentum with the development of its named central characters going forward to the final encounter.

                 

                    

                   


What really made me feel that the script wasn’t as smooth or focused was the fact that it tried to do so many things. I know, this is an animated flick about “Street Fighter” and so it was to be expected that characters from the game would make appearances. Some appearances made sense, Fei Long (Philip Williams), Honda (Patrick Gilbert) and Dhalsim (Don Carey) actually build up to its script. Zangief, Blanka, Deejay and T. Hawk also made appearances but they felt more like ‘fodder’ to feed the “Street Fighter” fan. Their appearances felt a little too cheap and really irrelevant. The film could’ve done just as well without them. I also wasn’t too happy with the way Sagat seemed to have been forgotten in the script later on.

Now I am also a sucker for hard-hitting fights and “Street Fighter II” has a lot to spare. The animation work may feel a little dated to today’s standards, it had some perspective issues and seemed choppy when it wasn't moving that fast. But the fight choreograph had enough behind them to make them shine. Ryu vs. Sagat in the beginning of the film defined exactly what this was all about. The Bruce Lee clone, Fei Long also had a one-on-one with the hero Ryu; while the fight was short, it was fun to watch. Chun-Li even had a good battle with Vega. Now I wasn’t too happy with the battle between Balrog and Honda, or Honda’s run-in with Dhalsim, but they all added to the build up. The Ryu vs. Ken, and then the Ryu and Ken vs. Bison is the film’s bread and butter. The fight was exciting with all the use of their powers and skills. The film made Bison exactly how I imagined him to be; tough, dangerous and relentless that it took both Ryu and Ken to fight him. Also, as an added treat for fans, the characters get to use their 'signature moves' from the video games. The music was also engaging as it reflected the mood and tempo of the sequences.

       

         

Yes, this film was flawed and the script while competent had a lot of rough areas. To its credit, it did a lot of things right to cover up its weaknesses in plotting. The spirit of KARATE was competently portrayed, Chun-Li had her moment to show her stuff, and while Guile was underwritten, he made up for it with his brief clash with Bison. What I really liked about the film was the animated fight choreography and it was good to see Ryu and Ken in all their glory. Bison was a great bad guy too and it helped define the Ken-Ryu dynamic. Yes, this film is strictly for fans of the franchise, as they have the will to truly appreciate what was done here. Come to see the action, don’t expect anything intricate or cerebral and you’ll enjoy this show. It is the best movie made based on the franchise, but unfortunately that is not saying much.

Recommended For Fans [3 ½ Out of 5 Stars]                  

             

              Street Fighter II: The Animated Movie

              

               

         

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<![CDATA[ Good Samurai vs. Bad Samurai In AnimEigo's Stellar SLEEPY EYES OF DEATH!]]>

I feel somewhat ashamed.  See, I’m coming to this fascination of mine with samurai films much later than most, and I’d never ever heard of the SLEEPY EYES OF DEATH series of films until I happened across an online article detailing upcoming releases.  I did some research, and, now, I’m able to struggle through my penance for not learning of them sooner.  (I’ll cover some of why I think that is in the review below.)  While probably not everyone’s cup of tea, they’re still a delight – all four films included in this set – that deserve to be explored by a much wider audience, and I can only hope my few humble words of praise about them help in that regard.  I know I’ll definitely be talking them up to my online fellows and beyond every chance I get.
 
(NOTE: The following review will contain minor spoilers necessary solely for the discussion of plot and character.  If you’re the kind of reader who prefers a review entirely spoiler-free, then I’d encourage you to skip down to the last two paragraphs for my final assessment.  If, however, you’re accepting of a few modest hints at ‘things to come,’ then read on …)
 
This set contains four films exploring the adventures of Nemuri Kyoshiro (as played by the late, great Raizo Ichikawa), and I’ll try to give a quick summary (and critical summation) of each:
 
A TRAIL OF TRAPS: Kyoshiro is drawn into a conflict with officials hell bent on securing a golden statue from a beautiful, innocent girl and her elderly father who has more than a few secrets up his sleeve.  The journey to return the statue to its proper place will put the samurai at odds with a cult of devil worshippers, and only his Full Moon Cut – the most dangerous move in all of swordplay – can save him from their taunts.  Much of the film feels a bit obligatory – there’s a deadly booby trap with an almost laughably easy escape – but it’s better-than-average entertainment value comes from Ichikawa’s performance as a kind of Grim Reaper who doesn’t take crap from anyone.  (4 out of 5 stars)
 
HELL IS A WOMAN: I’ll admit this one is a bit of a mystery to me as most reading I’ve done in research of this series suggests this tale of warring retainers competing for control after the current Lord dies is one of the best in all the Sleepy Eyes of Death franchise.  For my tastes, I found most of the story more than a bit convoluted at best as Kyoshiro seems to mostly wander from one ‘event’ to the next.  Still, I’d heartily agree that most of the features contains some of the most inspired and memorable cinematography of all the samurai films I’ve seen.  The ending – it’s a showdown shot in the backdrop of a beautiful snowfall – is stuff most directors only dream of.  It’s legendary.  The rest of the story?  Meh.  (3 out of 4 stars)
 
IN THE SPIDER’S LAIR: A brother-and-sister team descended from Shogun have lost their minds, and they’ve taken to torturing and terrorizing the peasants of a nearby village.  An elderly friend of Kyoshiro pleads with the samurai to bring it all to an end or to, at least, save the young man he’s raised as his own from their dungeons, but, as usual, Kyoshiro refuses to get involved.  Intrigued by his refusal to help, the siblings then turn their eyes toward the samurai, and they get much, much more than they bargained for by drawing him into their web.  Clearly, this is one of the most easily accessible tales in this set, and the wicked nastiness of the villains matches the stoic intensity by which Kyoshiro lives.  It’s perfect.  Don’t touch a thing.  (5 out of 5 stars)
 
CASTLE MENAGERIE: Kyoshiro’s not above having a bad name, but when someone dons his disguise and starts raping and murdering innocents in his name, the samurai takes matters into his own hands to uncover why.  It’s another winning adventure – set against the light format of a procedural investigation – and it involves much skullduggery and royal double-crossing.  Again, you can’t help but root for the part-protagonist/part-antagonist Kyoshiro to clear his name, even at the risk of destroying an entire religion.  (5 out of 5 stars)
 
I’m certainly not learned enough to give an in-depth explanation as to why more fans haven’t heard of this film series, but I’d be willing to venture the best educated guess I can provide.  There have been several adaptations (four, to be specific) made from the original source novels exploring this character created by Renzaburo Shibata.  Whereas most films involving samurais or ronin tend to explore the nobility or “righteousness” of a lone warrior compared against a class of fighters who’ve collectively lost, subverted, or (worse) perverted their way, Nemuri Kyoshiro is a feared soldier who lives by his own creed … and that “creed” is largely defined by whatever need Kyoshiro is trying to serve that day (though one consistency is certainly that he’ll always prefer sex as a form of payment for his services).  Kyoshiro is a true anti-hero, and, as such, he lacks most of the traits and attributes typically associated with the classical champion.  First, his was an illicit birth – he’s the half-breed son of a Japanese noblewoman raped by a Christian missionary during a Black Mass.  Second, most (if not all) of his needs are entirely personal – he’ll fight for money, fortune, fame, and sex, though ‘fortune’ and ‘fame’ are of little concern to him.  Lastly, his code of morality is entirely flexible (with the sole exception being sex or ‘the virginity of a woman’ as he likes to call it) – what he stands for is entirely convenient to whatever mission is at hand, but there’s always a measure of personal gain or notoriety for himself.
 
This series – made at the height of the 1960’s – is imbued with the same selfish consciousness depicted throughout so many spaghetti westerns (extraordinarily popular at the time); just as many of those have somewhat vanished into the bottom drawers of history, I think so too have these tales.  After all, we (culturally) tend to pass on and endorse tales that only show “the best of ourselves” to subsequent generations, don’t we?  Aren’t we concerned with the legacy of being a good people, one that would always and only stand for truth and justice?  The tales of Kyoshiro – while admirable and often times respectful of a lone wolf who does the right thing for the wrong reasons – probably get lost in that shuffle, not so much as an embarrassment but more as a conscious choice to recommend only that which makes a people look good.
 
Of course, maybe I’m reading too much into it.  I’d like to think that I’m on to something there – certainly I’d argue that there’s a grain of truth in so basic an observation about the longevity of an anti-hero.  And I’d be a fool if I didn’t remind readers that anti-heroes have always had a place in history; they tend to rear their ugly heads whenever we, as a society, lose faith in the institutions we hold so dear, speaking out as if from the grave to remind us that things are never so rosy as they would seem.  You’d be a fool to dismiss Kyoshiro as much as you’d be a fool to underestimate Harrison Ford’s Han Solo, Clint Eastwood’s ‘Man with No Name,’ Kurt Russell’s Snake Plissken, or Jason Statham in almost anything he’s played in the last ten years.  Anti-heroes have their place in our hearts; they always have, and they always will.  You should get to know Kyoshiro; he’s definitely someone to have at your side … so long as you can afford his “rates.”
 
SLEEPY EYES OF DEATH: COLLECTOR’S SET VOL. 3 is a series of films produced by Daiei Studios.  DVD distribution (stateside) is being handled through AminEigo.  As for the technical specifications, everything on these four films looks and sounds terrific in these transfers.  For those who wish to know, these are Japanese spoken language films with English sub-titles; furthermore, there are some additional sub-titles provided to clarify some historical and/or cultural references made within each of these films; so viewers might need to be prepared to hit the ‘pause’ for a few seconds in order to do some extra reading (and, yes, it helped my understanding).  As for the special features, it’s a bare bones set including original theatrical trailers, program notes, actor bios, and some image galleries.  Maybe it ain’t perfect, but it’s nice to have what is here.
 
HIGHEST RECOMMENDATION POSSIBLE.  This is an often overlooked or curious forgotten series of samurai films that deserves your attention.  Fans of Bushido films or jidaigeki pictures would do well to pick up a set today.  I know I’ll be invested serious time in watching these again, especially the one or two so revered that I didn’t quite agree with the larger critics circle; I need to figure out what I missed!
 
In the interests of fairness, I’m pleased to disclose that the fine folks at AnimEigo provided me with a DVD screener copy of SLEEPY EYES OF DEATH: COLLECTOR’S SET VOL. 3 by request for the expressed purposes of completing this review.]]>
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<![CDATA[ A real kick from a mule.]]>
In one of the darkest corners of Jakarta, Indonesia there is a run-down apartment complex that houses a plethora of criminals, drug addicts, killers, and the crime lord Tama Riyada (Ray Sahetapy). His kingdom has remained unscathed due to the unsuccessful attempts on the part of the local police to smoke out the place and its inhabitants (his tenants), although the authorities - a Lieutenant Wahyu (Pierre Gruno) in particular - have had enough of Tama's supposed invincibility, believing it to be contrived, and an elite police team is assembled to raid the building one day. One of the men enlisted to raid the building is expectant father Rama (Iko Uwais). The first shot is of his watch.

After arriving and taking out the young man who is peacefully standing guard and watching some surrealistic clown program on television, Rama and the rest of the 20-man unit infiltrates the building. The first floors contain the easiest victims such as the addicts, most of whom are sleeping, but a few of whom are restless when the cops come a-knockin'. But the residents of the building are far from helpless. It doesn't take long to get to the ones ready with guns; and the bodies of the fuzz start piling up real fast once we do. There are no reinforcements, these man have only themselves and each-other; although mostly just themselves.

The criminals, of course, live on higher floors; but they're flexible about coming down when their existence (and money...and weaponry) is at stake. The poster for the film hints at thirty floors total, which is a lot more than I counted these boys climbing, but you get the picture; for every floor visited, a whole lot of blood and violence. It all leads up to the big boss and his assistants Mad Dog (Yayan Ruhian) and Andi (Donny Alamsyah), the latter being Rama's brother. They haven't seen each-other for a long time and their distant but nevertheless brotherly bond may be one of the only things - aside from his soon to be born child and wife - that drives Rama to keep on fighting.

"The Raid: Redemption" is not about story, or themes, or characters. Everyone basically feels like an object for shooting at later on; and any sort of depth is put on the back-burner to service the sheer style of the film. Directed by Welsh director Gareth Evans, it is one of the purest action movies to come along in a long time in the sense that it is not focused on anything outside of the action itself. In any other movie that would be a problem - I don't like the concept of a film just being about mayhem and destruction, much less in such a violent fashion - but somehow the action is like a story in itself. This is complexly designed, visceral shit; nearly impossible to absorb in one viewing.

Luckily, most on board shall willingly watch this one again. It's one of the most exciting, straight-up entertaining genre pictures I've ever seen; no distractions, no real intelligence required. Not on the part of the filmmakers, Evans and company have made a knock-out of a movie that could only be made if one possessed a substantial amount of talent in the required areas, but more-so on the part of an audience. This is not a thinking man's film, but it is for those who go to the movies sometimes just to be entertained. Seldom is there something as stylistically unforgettable as this; indeed, it is Indonesian, but it feels like one of those Asian martial arts pictures that they used to make, still do make, but don't make quite as skillfully anymore as they did back in the day. Those are the kinds of films that inspired "The Raid"; the movies with hand-to-hand and knife combat, macho men cardboard cut-out characters, and a very high body-and-bullet count.

It's almost sad that we absolutely need something as undeniably badass as "The Raid" to cope. As a filmmaker, you kind of have to be ambitious and borderline crazy to make a good genre picture that leaves a lasting impression; that filmmaker is Evans, and that film is his to claim. You've probably already seen the hallway fight scene as well as a few others which I won't spoil 'because I'm a nice guy like that, and frankly that's all you need to see to decide whether you want to be rushing out to see this one. There will be an audience that adores the look, the feel, and the frenetic stunt-showcase that is "The Raid"; while there will certainly be others who despise the film's tendency to disregard moral decency and go straight for the throat with its violence and action. Here's what I know: I fucking loved this movie, every moment of it, plain and simple. I'm on Evans' side with anything he does in the future; because I honestly don't know what to expect, and that's a great feeling.]]>
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<![CDATA[ What if I told you...The Matrix is great?]]>
What would you do if you were in the place of hacker Thomas Anderson (Keanu Reeves) - popularly known by his in-movie online alias of "Neo" - in that you woke up one morning to cryptic messages on your computer monitor referencing this thing that you are indifferent to known only as the matrix? If you were Anderson, you would keep following the white rabbit, and you would then meet a fellow female hacker named Trinity (Carry Anne-Moss) who tells you of an acquaintance of hers named Morpheus. You don't know who Morpheus is, you don't know why you need him, and all you know is that you do. He calls you the next day while you are at work and tries to prevent you from getting arrested by a trio of Agents, although ultimately fails.

You wake up the next morning after having been arrested by the agents, one of which is the particularly demeaning Agent Smith (Hugo Weaving, absolutely INCREDIBLE), and also after having being literally bugged (with a device that transforms into something that resembles a literal bug). You decide that it might be in your best interest to contact this Orpheus again and meet with him. When you do, at his place, he offers you a choice of two pills; one red, one blue. You choose the red, since the blue will only make you forget that the meeting ever happened. You follow him. You are knocked out, presumably by the effects of the pill. You awaken in an oval-like vessel filled with liquid, in a world that you'd never hope to know.

Orpheus (Laurence Fishburne) explains that you are now in the future. He can't tell you what year because he's lost track himself (closer to 2199, he says). In the future, mankind is at war with very powerful machines that harvest the bioelectrical energy that human beings give off. The humans are kept controlled within an alternate universe - the matrix - which is where you has lived all your life, therefore rendering it a mere lie. Humans are basically converted to batteries. A fascinating concept. You are told that you are The One, meaning that you are the only One who can crack the code of the matrix and restore balance to both worlds.

Alright, done talking in first person. "The Matrix" is an absolutely stunning vision of the future presented in two separate planes of existence from writing and directing duo Andy and Larry (now Lana) Wachowski. It's a damn good mind-fuck of a movie, constantly switching out between the two realities; and I loved it for that. The future is a visual work of art; a compelling world tinted seedy green - dark and visionary. It's also home to some of the most badass, straight-up fantastic action sequences ever choreographed (the cinematographer is Bill Pope). It is pure cinema; memorable, influential, but also intelligent and ambitious.

I do not normally like Keanu Reeves. He doesn't appeal to me as an actor who can play characters of significant depth; although he pretty much proved me wrong here. His character inspires sympathy and understanding; and his relationship with Trinity gives the film a significant portion of its more emotional edge, since I think a good sci-fi/futuristic feature truly needs that to exist on its own. The world is one thing and its inhabitants are another. At the core, I think the film is very human; asking many existential and philosophical questions which imply that its creators are more intelligent than a lot of action filmmakers. But then again, this is more than an action film. Yes, it has the unforgettable lobby action set pieces, some truly epic slow-motion, and a whole lot of bullets; but the film is kinetic and frenetic without being stupid. It devotes a lot of its third act to the action, but by then we're one hundred percent invested. The breakneck pacing is not a flaw; it's an attribute, and a very positive one.

Perhaps what blew me away the most about "The Matrix" was where it drew its influence from. It's hard to categorize the film as the Wachowski brothers were clearly inspired by many things: including anime, science fiction literature (and just literature in general; there are many references to Lewis Carroll and his "Alice in Wonderland" works), action cinema, and even (spaghetti) westerns. If you put all of those things together with more philosophical idealism, you get this film. I'm afraid I can't do it much justice. The most I can do for it is advertise the damn thing to all those who appreciate good, mind-bending cinema. You won't see this one and its impact coming from a mile away like you will most films of its kind. It influenced a new generation of action filmmaking and still holds up today. There is no spoon, there are no rip-offs; only "The Matrix".]]>
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<![CDATA[ One of the greatest lies of cinema history. 19%]]>
PLOT

The plot is that in a not-too-distant future, a software technician by day and computer hacker by night named Tom Anderson (day identity)/Neo (night identity) (Keanu Reeves) is tracked down by two mysterious people named Trinity (Carrie-Anne Moss) and Morpheus (Lawrence Fishburne) and soon finds himself learning that the world he's known is all a lie and he's the one “destined to free the human race.”

CHARACTERS

The characters in this movie are pretty dull. Aside from all the people still “plugged” into the Matrix, even the people that are “freed” don't seem to have much emotion or personality. Because of this, it's pretty hard to care what happens to them.

LACK OF ORIGINALITY

Again, I don't mind a lack of originality as long as the final product is well-done and has enough unique nuances to have it stand up on its own. Much like how the horrendous Dark City is an extremely uninspired cocktail of elements taken from Akira, Total Recall, Metropolis, and The Addams Family, The Matrix is an extremely uninspired cocktail of elements taken from Ghost in the Shell, Total Recall, and various Hong Kong action films. In other words, it's like the Wachowski brothers just ripped off a bunch of other peoples' works so they didn't have to create anything on their own.

Examples of this intense derivative nature is that with Ghost in the Shell, it's like the style of opening credits animations were lifted right out of GITS, and even towards the end of the film, there's a shoot-out between Neo and one of the Agents by an bunch of Asian-styled street-side markets that's very reminiscent to the one in GITS.

When Tom/Neo goes through all the trouble to evade the Matrix Agents in his workplace, it feels way too much like Doug Quaid's escape from Cohaagan's henchmen near the beginning of Total Recall (Dark City would be another movie to rip off this TR element).

I can keep going on here, but I think you get the picture.

HOKEY ACTING

The only actors I though were putting any effort in his roles or were at least entertaining were Lawrence Fishburne and Joe Pantoliano. It seems like everyone else either acted stiffly or was over-acting. Reeves is the most guilty of this, because so much of the time he's on the screen without any charisma or worse, when he's trying to be more dramatic, he comes off like William Shatner. Joe Pantoliano as Cypher at least had some eagerness on screen and cracked the only somewhat amusing line in the whole movie, which was “Better strap in, Dorothy, because Kansas, is going bye-bye!!” Carrie-Anne Moss felt really flat when she was on screen, and most of the others are guilty of this.

LACK OF INTELLIGENT CONTENT

Despite all the movie's attempts at coming off as an intelligent movie that will leave you thinking long after the movie is over, they're more like window dressings to cover up the fact that there isn't much beneath the surface of overstaged fights and tacky “bullet time” gun fights. First, there's the rather silly choice to give the protagonists names like Neo, Trinity, Morpheus, Cypher, and the naming of Morpheus's ship the Nebuchadnezzar. To me, they come off as loose references to ancient Greek mythology and Biblical locations that add up to nothing else other than for the sake of having them in order to make the movie look “culturally-developed.” Second, the references to Alice in Wonderland and Baudrillard's Simulacra and Simulation don't add up to anything that will make you think when the movie is over. It seems like the movie uses exposition about everything that happens and with any “spiritual” mumbo jumbo so that you don't have to mentally work for the film. Overall, given how hokey-feeling and convoluted the movie feels, it's nearly impossible to take seriously.

SOUNDTRACK

Don Davis's score for the Matrix is okay, nothing terrible, but nothing special. However, I must deeply scorn the Wachowski brothers's choice to add in such banal 90's music from the likes of Marilyn Manson, Rammstein, the Deftones, Rob Zombie, and Rage Against the Machine. They should have been much more adventurous and tried to get to use music from underground bands like Godflesh and Front Line Assembly (these bands create far more daunting music that's far more appropriate for cyberpunk media).

BORING ACTION SCENES

Now you're probably asking “Can you at least acknowledge that the action scenes are cool?” Well, I'd like to be merciful in this area, but not even the action scenes make this movie entertaining. The “bullet time” effects have been heavily-lauded and imitated since the Matrix's release, but despite the fact that I know why this effect exists in the Matrix, it just looks too silly and just feels more like a way for the special effects teams to show off their skills than to create any riveting visuals. Also, despite the fact that some protagonists face some grave, believable danger in the film, I honestly didn't feel much tension during these scenes because of how bland the characters are.

FINAL WORD

The Matrix is merely a jejune, bloodless sci-fi/action film that fails at both being thought-provoking or entertaining. If you want sci-fi and sci-fi/action films that are either thought-provoking or entertaining (both with some), check out these much superior films.

 

Alien
Aliens
Blade Runner
Akira
Ghost in the Shell
The Terminator
Robocop
Total Recall
Paprika
Predator
Solaris (1972 Tarkovski film, not the 2002 remake with George Clooney)
Stalker
2001: A Space Odyssey
THX-1138

Leave this derivative, poisonous pap on the store shelves.

]]>
http://www.lunch.com/EverythingMartialArt/reviews/movie/UserReview-The_Matrix-380-1013184-224145-One_of_the_greatest_lies_of_cinema_history_19_.html http://www.lunch.com/EverythingMartialArt/reviews/movie/UserReview-The_Matrix-380-1013184-224145-One_of_the_greatest_lies_of_cinema_history_19_.html Thu, 17 May 2012 02:10:30 +0000
<![CDATA[ A Morass of Senseless Carnage]]> Star Rating:


The Raid: Redemption is unwatchably bad – a film that has no ambition other than to be noisy, aggressive, and relentlessly violent. Watching it is a little like being trapped in an arcade game and having absolutely no control over it. The characters, developed solely on shallow and overused clichés, are essentially targets in a shooting gallery, most of them serving no purpose apart from awaiting their cue to die in a savage attack. There are basically three types of weapons featured in this film: (1) Guns; (2) machetes; (3) human fists. The first two are used in scenes so brainless and bloody that they transcend goofy entertainment and achieve shameless exploitation status. The third, as you may have surmised, puts the film in the category of martial arts, a genre that has nothing to offer apart from pointless spectacle.
 
Most of the action is captured on the Queasy Cam, so even if you do appreciate martial arts, the picture is usually so shaky that the choreography is virtually undetectable. The only time the camera holds still is when someone is stabbed, or shot, or sliced, or having their backs broken or throats slit. Writer/director Gareth Evans doesn’t care about a genuine adrenaline rush, nor apparently about humanizing his characters. I’m not against cinematic violence, but it can’t simply be glorified. It has to have some meaning, some sense that it belongs in the story. The only way such a thing is possible is if you take the time to develop your characters into people we can actually care about. Otherwise, we have little more than pieces of meat in a grocery store – neatly saran-wrapped but giving no indication that they were once a part of something living.

                                               
                                                 
The film does occasionally pause to take its breath, but that doesn’t mean it delves into anything resembling a plot. Not by my understanding, at least. The few scraps of information I gathered were not only maddeningly conventional but also so poorly developed that it was next to impossible to determine who was doing what and why. Even if there is a plot, it’s unlikely that any potential audience will hold the slightest interest in it. All we’re made to focus on is the violence, perhaps in the misguided belief that what was being depicted was escapist fun. A masked superhero getting into hand-to-hand combat with his archenemy is escapist fun; men getting their brains blown out against filthy concrete walls, on the other hand, is unpleasant and needlessly excessive.
 
The set up, so far as I can tell, involves a gang of madmen and murderers housed up in a derelict apartment building. No rival gang is able to penetrate its walls. Neither are the police. That’s because it’s overseen by a ruthless crime lord named Tama Riyadi (Ray Sahetapy), who has so many surveillance cameras hidden all throughout the building that it isn’t possible to get anything past him. Sent in to take the crime lord down is a surprisingly small squad of a SWAT raid team led by Lieutenant Wahyu (Pierre Gruno), a senior police officer. Many recognize this mission as a fool’s errand, and so it is, although decency prevents me from telling you why. The main character is a member of this rookie team. His name is Rama (Iko Uwais), and at the start of the film, he leaves behind a pregnant wife.

                                               
                                                 
Rama has reasons for taking part in this mission apart from the obvious. I will not say what they are, as I’m not allowed to spoil anything for you. What I will say is that it factors into a plot twist so manufactured that it might as well listed in a rulebook of clichés. Rama and his team navigate the floors of the building one by one, repeatedly running into ambushes of men with machine guns and machetes. I’ll spare you graphic descriptions of the many bullet wounds and hack jobs shown all throughout, although I feel it necessary to warn you that one of the people killed is a boy no older than twelve. As the rookie team is decimated one by one, Rama will take part in a completely unnecessary and unresolved subplot involving a frightened tenant and his ill wife, who needs her medication.
 
As of the date this review was written, The Raid: Redemption has earned an 83% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Am I the only one baffled by this? Exactly what is it about senseless carnage that audiences and critics find so appealing? This is an appalling movie that mistakes brutality and bloodshed for entertaining action violence. That most of this shot with cameras that appear to be caught in an earthquake doesn’t help matters much, nor does the fact that the color scheme is dim and muddy. Even the blood, which basically replaces paint for the walls and floors, is an ugly dark shade, looking more like the contents of a sewer pipe than like an organic fluid. If a movie like this qualifies as praiseworthy, a serious shift in thought will soon be our only salvation.

                                                     ]]>
http://www.lunch.com/EverythingMartialArt/reviews/movie/UserReview-The_Raid_Redemption-380-1809414-222874-A_Morass_of_Senseless_Carnage.html http://www.lunch.com/EverythingMartialArt/reviews/movie/UserReview-The_Raid_Redemption-380-1809414-222874-A_Morass_of_Senseless_Carnage.html Mon, 23 Apr 2012 22:16:32 +0000
<![CDATA[ And Please Remember To Enjoy Yourselves]]>
So just to start off I have to admit that after viewing this film I really have no interest or will to go see any other movie coming out this year. This is not because The Raid wasn't good but I honestly don't believe there is anything coming out right now that can top this films perfection. I was so happy because out of the many foreign films I have seen this was my first in the theaters and it did not disappoint.

The cinematography and the direction was insane and awesome, it heavily reminded me of "Breaking News" which had perfect action direction and camera work. The premise behind it reminded me of Bruce Lee's "Game Of Death" in that there is a building with many levels and they had to fight their way up and it gets harder and harder as they move up. The soundtrack was extremely fitting and perfectly designed by Mike Shinoda and placed well, giving the film more excitement and giving the scenes a boost of feeling. Also I have to say the dialogue was great, clever, villainous, and funny at times. There was literally never a dull moment and the acting was flawless especially from the villains.

Iko Uwais was a great artist in merantau between his acting and fighting skills he was right where you would expect a young martial artist in his first feature film to be. I couldn't help but notice, in my opinion the choreography was a bit sloppy at times in that film and not as original in some scenes as I was expecting. Some of the things I felt weren't anything new. Still, the story and the fighting together made the film good and there were little weaknesses. I had noticed with his fighting style "Silat" he can look a bit off but in fact he is gaining the upper hand, something like Jackie Chan in the "Drunken Master". What really impressed me with this film was how Iko not only learned from his mistakes and flaws in Merantau but he built himself into a stronger actor and martial artist.

The fight scenes were incredible and unbelievable, in a film genre I thought may have trouble without Tony Jaa and with Donny Yen almost being the only other recognized martial arts star outside of the genre addicts, I thought there was nothing new that would surprise us. I saw some knife skills I never witnessed in my life. It was like they took the elevator scene from Merantau and exploded it into genius works within these box sized hallways. They built on the strengths of Uwais and his Silat style. I was also so happy to see Yayan Ruhian return. I never realized how small he is but honestly it doesn't even matter cause that guy packs a huge punch, and kick as well.

I think this film will be extremely hard to outdo and reading about Tony Jaa returning soon is exciting and I hope he see's this film so he can give his fans something amazing and keep this genre roaring. Iko Uwais is surely on the rise and will become a legend by the time he is done with his career. I was so happy and excited to see this entire team put brilliance into completing an entire movie and making it balanced and not dependent on just the fight and action. This film is a must see and I don't think I will go see another movie in the theater until I buy this and watch it again.]]>
http://www.lunch.com/EverythingMartialArt/reviews/movie/UserReview-The_Raid_Redemption-380-1809414-222683-And_Please_Remember_To_Enjoy_Yourselves.html http://www.lunch.com/EverythingMartialArt/reviews/movie/UserReview-The_Raid_Redemption-380-1809414-222683-And_Please_Remember_To_Enjoy_Yourselves.html Mon, 16 Apr 2012 02:05:32 +0000
<![CDATA[ Ultra-Violent Indonesian Action Film Finally Takes America by Storm!]]> Serbuan Maut” translates to "The Deadly Attack"). This is the second collaboration between fight choreographers Iko Iwais and Yayan Ruhian after the film “Merantau". Hailed as one of the best action films in recent years in the Toronto film festival, the film is a grand display of martial arts, gunplay and unrelenting brutal bloody violence that can make the action junkie salivate and jump for joy.

                     Alfridus Godfred as Machete Gang in "The Raid."

Rama (Iko Uwais) is a member of a SWAT team led by Jaka (Joe Taslim) that has been tasked with the assault on a rundown apartment building and removing its owner, Tama (Ray Sahetapy) who is also a vicious drug lord. The building has been used as a safe haven for killers, rapists and robbers, as the place is a ‘no enter’ zone for even the police. When a spotter blows their plans of assault, things go horribly wrong and the SWAT team ends up nearly annihilated with a very small number surviving the assault. Rama and Jaka must fight their way through the many floors of the dilapidated tenement not to complete their mission but to try to survive their bloody ordeal.

The film’s first act is your standard set up for your average plot made to display bloody mayhem. Director/writer Gareth Evans (a Welsh director based in Indonesia) does not stray from the film’s intentions, the film has a very simple plot and you know exactly how things will go as soon as the SWAT team leaves their armored vehicle. The film has three acts and in each act never slows down in mounting tension, suspense, and the development of its plot and main characters. Despite the simplicities of its devices and premise, the script does manage to bring about surprises and twists that aid in the film’s flow, and the direction avoids wallowing too deep into the display of blood and violence.

                  Joe Taslim as Jaka and R. Iman Aji as Eko in "The Raid."

                  Doni Alamsyah as Andi and Yayan Ruhian as Mad Dog in "The Raid."

                  Ray Sahetapy as Tama in "The Raid."

Evans does an amazing job and would make most Hollywood action directors green with envy. “The Raid” is a masterful presentation when it comes to violence and an example as to how one needs to do an action film. It never relents in displaying the raw grittiness and brutality in the gunplay and fights. The film is not for the squeamish as the film is truly a grand display of violence. The films first act opens up with the actual assault and I was left breathless. It was so refreshing to see an action film this bloody, which gives it a realistically edgy tone. The direction was quick and precise, the film was amazingly suspenseful as the SWAT team takes on the residents of the tenement. There were some scenes that were shot in almost pitch black and only shadows and close ups appear to guide the viewer to what is going on. It is all about trying to survive as the supposed hunters become the hunted. The direction moves the action from floor to floor and each scene proved more suspenseful and intense than the previous one.

                    A scene from ``The Raid.''

                   Joe Taslim as Jaka and Yayan Ruhian as Mad Dog in "The Raid."

Once things settle down a little, we see the film through the eyes of Jaka and Rama as they try to do what they must to survive their ordeal, and this leads to a lot of hand to hand combat. “The Raid” showcases the Indonesian martial art Pencak Silat, which is similar to Muay Thai, Arnis and Kuntao in some ways; however, the art is also quite useful with the use of different weapons that includes the machete, Kujang and the Gedak. The fight choreography is incredible, you feel the drama in the encounters and you can definitely feel the tension between the combatants. The shots are kept in a good distance with some tricky editing that display the fights from the top, side and even up close. The actors are very capable in the fights and no wires were used in the choreography. To give the film a feeling of authenticity, there is hardly any show boating, and the fights are what they are supposed to be--a fight for keeps; this means, the fighters are going in for the kill. As a result the fights are very bloody and ultra-violent--and the fights always have a huge ‘money shot‘ to express its brutality. It makes “Fight Club” look like a kiddie flick, and despite the blood and violence, the moves are filled with grace that makes the scenes almost like an art form.

                     Joe Taslim as Jaka and Yayan Ruhian as Mad Dog in "The Raid."

Yayan Ruhian as Mad Dog and Joe Taslim as Jaka in "The Raid." Joe Taslim as Jaka and Yayan Ruhian as Mad Dog in "The Raid."

The characters are pretty simple, but I have to say it was so easy to root for Rama and hate the bad guys. Clearly, Rama was left fighting for his life. To the script’s credit, it presents some surprises to keep thing grounded, as to not wallow too much in the bloody mayhem. The deaths were also well timed, they came as sort of a surprise and adds more to the film’s visceral impact. For a film like this, performances are judged with the action and the entire cast forms wonderful chemistry in all the mayhem. Yayan Ruhian does almost steal the show, as he proves to be one of the best bad asses to hit an action film. It is all formula in action I know, but the way things were set up were so exciting that I never cared anymore.

I haven’t been left breathless in a film in quite awhile. I love martial arts films and this is indeed one of the best ones made in the past 10 years. It is indeed one of the best action movies to grace the screen. Evans wanted to promote Silat in his films, and believe me, he succeeds. He captures the right atmosphere and style for a truly gritty and brutal action film that pushes the limits of martial arts fighting. Raw, edgy and visceral, “The Raid: Redemption” is on its way to become an action classic.

Be warned. This film is not for the squeamish.
HIGHEST POSSIBLE RECOMMENDATION for Action Junkies. [4 ½ Out of 5 Stars]

                        Poster art for "The Raid."


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http://www.lunch.com/EverythingMartialArt/reviews/movie/UserReview-The_Raid_Redemption-380-1809414-222546-Ultra_Violent_Indonesian_Action_Film_Finally_Takes.html http://www.lunch.com/EverythingMartialArt/reviews/movie/UserReview-The_Raid_Redemption-380-1809414-222546-Ultra_Violent_Indonesian_Action_Film_Finally_Takes.html Tue, 10 Apr 2012 03:20:51 +0000
<![CDATA[ The 5 Samurai (with a crazy guy and a cock blocked kid).]]> "What's the use of worrying about your beard when your head's about to be taken?" 
Is it just me or 
does Akira Kurosawa always managed to have some blundering loud mouth fool? Don't get me wrong I love the guy, I've grown quite fond of his character in the limited films I have seen of him - two (Rashomon and now The Seven Samurai). Oh wait, thanks to the lovely invention of the internet I found out he's the same guy, well in that case what an extraordinary actor. Sure, Toshiro is no emotionally deep Gregory Peck, but he certainly has mastered the laughing outcast. Anyway, not straining too far away, I watched highly acclaimed, The Seven Samurai, and before I watched this so-called Japanese masterpiece, I learnt a new plural! And yes, my second film of Kurosawa lives to its legend, I know this because it kept me glued to the screen till 2am - and inspired a late night review. 

Our story is of a rural Japanese village, one villager conveniently hears the plans of local bandits, and cries fear to the villagers. Their decided option is to travel to what I assume is a city or large town, and try to hire samurai for a pittance. Eventually after the impressively detailed section hiring the samurai, they return to the helpless village and prepare for a huge amount of bandits, out numbering the seven greatly - although I'd class only five, since one was our colourful Toshiro, again playing the crazy buffoon, who in this case just follows them, and a younger samurai who is effectively 'cock blocked', because of his lack of action... 
Now to get this clear and off the tip of your tongues', I would not class this as the best action film. Yes, this movie has a considerable amount of 'action' - specifically meaning one hurting another, which most films feel most inclined to exaggerate. I guess as far as classics go, The Seven Samurai has quite a lot of violence, which is brilliantly directed, yet I just don't see the connection, since the vast majority is void
 of any 'action'. With this said, I'm not sure exactly which genre I could cast this film into, I'd like to say adventure, but all the adventure is effectively cut-out of the story, skipping the travel itself to the destination. Therefore, I guess the best place for this grand gem is a mix of action, drama and some sly comedy, or I may even be class this in the 'epic' genre, terminology I'm not so fond of, but alas that's all I can clearly place The Seven Samurai

The performances are rather strong. Characters never really have what a modern film would constitute
 strong emotional development; many are more of an icon than the deep philosopher. However, I think this works to an advantage, this film had me convinced. There were times when a samurai would simply join the men, and immediately seem comfortable of the new men, and ask very little questions of his life-threatening mission, and I loved it because it feels real. Many of the easily accustomed characters just feels organic for its time, and it's rather nice to see a time when we weren't full of whinging Prozac addicts, the only complaining I saw was from the villagers about to lose their lives! In addition, that Toshiro Milfune is a delicious absurdity, brilliance in his ridiculously enjoyable performances, definitely one of my favourite actors. 

I think what benefits our tale most is Kurosawa's genius. Often the direction uses different narratives and symbols; I could fill an essay with the little subtleties. One of the most notable forms of story telling was the parchment, which willingly compelled me. As the bandits were slowly killed, circles representing each man would be crossed out to symbolise the death - almost like a death clock. Kurosawa constantly uses little perspectives as a timer, for the survival angst throughout the film. 
One of the most beautiful aspects is how simple and easily understandable the hectic battles can be, in fact, they can be often clearer then the stretches of dialogue. It is for these reasons (among others) I found myself absolutel
y in awe of the whole production. Although the white saturation is shocking, whites are really white, that in itself is probably a good thing for a black and white film, yet it's unfortunate the subtitles had to be bright white as well. It wasn't long before my eyes in pain from straining to see what these people were saying; too bad, I'm restricted to the English language. 
Overall, I'm dribbling at The Seven Samurai's feet. Everything about this movie is powerful and brilliant, and I can't seem to find an issue beyond superficial ones (being an ignorant English speaking person and having invisible subtitiles). Not only are we told a story, but also we are told a story of a nation, Japan and all its culture is picked upon, including honour, traditions and even sexual freedom. As any great movie is so often labelled, The Seven Samurai portrays the folly of man, not on a broad spectrum as 2001: A Space Odyssey, but the confines of Japanese (and similar cultures) society. My best summary is of the famous Godard, 'Japan in 207 minutes'. 

Comments/votes preferred on RT, but My Blog: http://movieswithjhone.blogspot.com/2011/10/seven-samurai-1954.html
 
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http://www.lunch.com/EverythingMartialArt/reviews/movie/UserReview-Seven_Samurai_Shichinin_no_Samurai_-380-1696872-214207-The_5_Samurai_with_a_crazy_guy_and_a_cock_blocked.html http://www.lunch.com/EverythingMartialArt/reviews/movie/UserReview-Seven_Samurai_Shichinin_no_Samurai_-380-1696872-214207-The_5_Samurai_with_a_crazy_guy_and_a_cock_blocked.html Thu, 13 Oct 2011 12:48:33 +0000
<![CDATA[The Matrix Quick Tip by Sharrie]]> http://www.lunch.com/MovieHype/reviews/movie/UserReview-The_Matrix-13-1013184-207020.html http://www.lunch.com/MovieHype/reviews/movie/UserReview-The_Matrix-13-1013184-207020.html Fri, 6 May 2011 04:21:34 +0000 <![CDATA[Blade Quick Tip by Count_Orlok_22]]> Tim Burton's original Batman and Alex Proyas' The Crow, Blade was one of the first really dark, really serious attempts at taking a comic book character and putting him on screen in an adaptation intended for adults. Directed by Stephen Norrington and written by David S. Goyer, who has subsequently been involved in all three Blade films and numerous other comic book adaptations, the film is highly stylized and quite engaging despite some flaws in the internal logic and some sloppy editing (both of which will probably go unnoticed upon the initial viewing).

The film is based on the vampire-slaying exploits of Blade (Eric Brooks) a man whose mother was turned into a vampire while he was in utero, and as a result he was born possessing all of the inherent physical strengths of a vampire, but none of their weaknesses. Able to walk in daylight, he is dubbed the Daywalker and becomes the most fearsome warrior to stand against the bloodsuckers. But he has a vulnerability in that he too must consume blood (or a synthetic serum substitute) in order to survive. Much like Batman or The Punisher in his dark, brooding quality, Blade is a much more violent and somber figure. What separates him from the vampires he kills isn't that he is more human or peaceful by nature, certainly not since he is capable of equal if not greater acts of brutality, but that he is symbolically killing the monsters that remind him of what he might become if he loses his self-discipline.

As Blade, Wesley Snipes gives an appropriately iconic and thrilling performance and shows that he can not only play the inner turmoil of the half-human, half-vampire anti-hero, but also displays his physical prowess in the action scenes. Stephen Dorff who plays Frost, an ambitious and sadistic vampire with a goal of total domination over both humans and vampires, gives an equally thrilling performance layering his character with humor, brutality, and sex appeal. Kris Kristofferson plays Whistler, Blade's mentor and the inventor of his unusual arsenal, with a slightly grimy, curmudgeonly charm.

Despite the fact that the film makes many departures from the comics, the end result is an admirable and very exciting action film that reinvented the Marvel Comics character as well as the entire approach to vampires in films. Unfortunately, the sequels failed to live up to the original film (Blade II isn't bad, but it's script is fairly dull, while Blade: Trinity is just awful on every conceivable level), so I'd recommend just avoiding them or if you decide to watch them, go in with low expectations and just focus on the special effects and action.]]>
http://www.lunch.com/RealityInked/reviews/movie/UserReview-Blade-362-1017912-205927.html http://www.lunch.com/RealityInked/reviews/movie/UserReview-Blade-362-1017912-205927.html Fri, 15 Apr 2011 15:01:53 +0000
<![CDATA[ Bruce Lee avenges his teacher in this highly influential kung-fu film.]]>
The movie was another huge success for Bruce Lee who now had the freedom to become his own director. His constant butting of heads with Lo Wei, the want to create movies that will appeal to a wider Asian and International audience (I guess the film was kind of hard to market in Japan) led to the production of Way of the Dragon, more more light hearted action film (well, compared to Fist of Fury and The Big Boss). The film was remade several times, parodied by Stephen Chow and was made into a TV series in Hong Kong.

If you're a fan of kung-fu films then you'll want to make sure Fist of Fury is on your list.]]>
http://www.lunch.com/EverythingMartialArt/reviews/movie/UserReview-Fist_of_Fury-380-1388305-203862-Bruce_Lee_avenges_his_teacher_in_this_highly.html http://www.lunch.com/EverythingMartialArt/reviews/movie/UserReview-Fist_of_Fury-380-1388305-203862-Bruce_Lee_avenges_his_teacher_in_this_highly.html Sun, 13 Mar 2011 20:59:39 +0000
<![CDATA[The Cauliflower Chronicles Quick Tip by Rumblefish510]]> http://www.lunch.com/EverythingMartialArt/reviews/d/UserReview-The_Cauliflower_Chronicles-380-1716115-203434.html http://www.lunch.com/EverythingMartialArt/reviews/d/UserReview-The_Cauliflower_Chronicles-380-1716115-203434.html Fri, 11 Mar 2011 01:22:40 +0000 <![CDATA[ Martial Tradition meets Modern Science - AMMS Martial Arts]]> Amazing instructors with many years of experience in a variety of martial programs.  The best Muay Thai school located in the West Los Angeles area, with Kru Paulo Tocha (best known for his role in Bloodsport).  He takes some of his students abroad for special Muay Thai Thailand Trips, exclusive for AMMS students.
Recently a student became the Amateur Welterweight Champion for the Ring of Fire Quake in the Cage, a local Los Angeles competition.
In one word I can sum up the entire training experience, RESPECT.  Everyone here is extremely friendly and open to beginners.  The members here have a passion for martial arts, leave your ego at the door, come in and train!
This school focuses on personal development, creating fighters on the mat/in the cage and better people in the world.
ammsacademy.com]]>
http://www.lunch.com/EverythingMartialArt/reviews/business/UserReview-Academy_of_Mixed_Martial_Science-380-1716119-203377-Martial_Tradition_meets_Modern_Science_AMMS.html http://www.lunch.com/EverythingMartialArt/reviews/business/UserReview-Academy_of_Mixed_Martial_Science-380-1716119-203377-Martial_Tradition_meets_Modern_Science_AMMS.html Thu, 10 Mar 2011 02:08:28 +0000
<![CDATA[ Jean-Claude Van Damme is back, baby.]]>
Don't you love it when a crummy actor is given one moment of true glory? That moment of glory, for actor Jean-Claude Van Damme, is the film "JCVD". Throughout his career, Van Damme has starred in various generic action films; all of which have been forgettable and ultimately convoluted. It's almost kind of strange how this film doesn't mimic or mock the quality of his other films. No, this film is better than that. It features Van Damme playing a semi-fictitious version of himself; in a real-life situation in which he has to prove to himself that he can do the right thing outside of acting. The premise makes for a good movie; and this is Van Damme's best performance yet. In fact, Van Damme is what makes this film work so well. Aside from being a pretty fascinating film on its own, Van Damme has found his dramatic and emotional side. His character makes us feel for him, and there are those little moments where we realize just how treasured this film deserves to be. I don't think it's a great movie, but it has enough style and substance to win me over; and I'm not even a Jean-Claude Van Damme fan in the slightest. I guess your ability to enjoy this film is measured how much you hate Van Damme or on the contrary, how much you love him. Either way, this film is enjoyable and rewarding. There is a plot going on, with Van Damme as the only character worth giving a damn about. The film could have done better in those areas, but I'm not complaining due to the fact that this film is more artistic than anything Van Damme has ever been involved in. This is the kind of movie that makes you look at a star in different ways, and I think Van Damme will always remember this as his rebirth. Here he has put effort into a performance; so much effort, in fact, that the film itself could be called a "performance piece". I don't know if it's a character study, but I like the "movie stars have horrible lives" message and how the filmmakers put an unexpectedly affectionate twist to it. There's plenty to look at while watching the film, so yes; I recommend "JCVD" to most. There are not a whole lot of reasons why not to watch the film, since love Van Damme or hate him; this is his best work yet. And I have no doubt on my mind that it will be his first and last good film, since I think Van Damme has met his match. But since he's still got stuff like the "Universal Soldier" sequels coming out, maybe he hasn't. However, if he is proud of this film, than he is a smarter man than we may have thought he was. I still hate Van Damme; but not in this film. He's great here. And that's what I liked about "JCVD".

Jean-Claude Van Damme is a big Hollywood action star; generic, among other things. He's been living the life, as it would seem, for quite some time. However, when speaking of his personal life, things are rough. He is forbidden to see his young daughter for most of the time, and American isn't giving him the right kind of satisfaction. On top of that, his credit cards have stopped working, and now he's flat-broke. He decides to return to his home-town in hopes of finding himself once again, as well as escaping the torture of American culture, although finds himself in a whole new kind of mess. He goes to a bank so that he can get some cash, although ends up being thrown in the middle of a heist. Unfortunately, everyone on the outside of the Bank thinks he's the head of the heist plan, so whether he makes it out alive or not, he's in some deep shit. Most of the film finds Van Damme trying to cope with taking the blame for the criminal act, but what's fascinating here is not the plot; and it's not even what's going on. What I liked about this film was the character of Van Damme, and how slowly he realizes that life just isn't like the movies. Will he live through this ordeal? It's not up to me to decide. You need to see the movie for yourself, since there's a lot of good to be found. The film itself is very well-made, although without Van Damme's flawed career history, it wouldn't have been as good. However, I hope this doesn't inspire directors to make the same kind of movie for other poor actors. I mean, who wants to see GB: Gerard Butler? Nobody does, and that's why nobody should turn a movie like this into a trend. I hope to god that it remains at least somewhat unique.

Jean-Claude Van Damme runs this movie; he owns it. He's the reason it's good stuff. I've hated Van Damme ever since I heard the name of both the actor and the movies he was in, although this is the kind of film that makes you consider the star in a whole new way. He's actually very, very good in this film. Here, the actor displays emotions that I never knew he had; and he gives his character both depth and substance. I liked this movie, and Van Damme was enough to entertain. I won't say it's amazing, since it's not, but as a character study, it's mighty damn fine. I don't think it's worth it to discuss any of the other actors because frankly, Van Damme is the star of the movie, and his performance should be the center of attention. Whether you like the "Muscles from Brussels" or not, you'll probably end up liking this movie. Take it for what it is.

Now here is a film built in a way that is so alien to the rest of an actor's filmography, that it almost feels artistic. This film is not only a spectacular display of talent from Van Damme, but also a well-made production as a whole. The film is visually stunning; making great use of camera work and lighting to create an almost eerie atmosphere. The film has the capacity to be dramatic, gritty, and wholesome in one sit-down; and that's something that most films can only hope to accomplish. So does this film have artistic merit? I would say so. There's definitely some artistic craft that goes into taking a horrible actor like Van Damme and making him an addicting and intoxicating character. You won't want to take your eyes or ears off Van Damme or his dialogue; which is more than enough reason to ponder this nice little movie. I enjoyed the film because it does not build itself like an action film; but rather a drama. There's an almost powerful tone to the movie; although it's never explored as thoroughly as I would have hoped. But overall, this is pretty great for Van Damme. For once, he's in a GOOD film. Unfortunately, this is somewhat of a "one-time star change" for Van Damme; considering that he went from this to "Universal Solider 2". But at least he has this film at all; some bad actors don't get moments like this. Look, if you like Van Damme, then see this. If you don't like him, then see it anyways. Don't go to the film assuming that it's going to lampoon the guy's career. Take my word for it and go for the ride; expecting nothing more or less than a sweet, affectionate take on an actor's life-style. It's accurate and never pretentious. I can totally live with that.

Van Damme should have gotten an Oscar for his performance in this film, or at least a nomination. It's not every day that a star like him surprises us in a way such as this. He has gotten a film worthy of his inner talents. I specifically like the scene in which Van Damme makes a heartfelt, touching confession. He makes us realize that, in the story of this film, his character has not had a real breath of reality in quite a while. He has inhaled plenty of smoke from cigarettes; but never enough realism. I like this film for various reasons; Van Damme's performance, the visual style, and the direction. Everything seems to come together in the end to create a flawed but intriguing little movie. I will not force you to watch the film; it's not THAT good. But since it's still pretty damn good, I'd say it's a definite recommendation. There are few who will deny that this is Van Damme's best film to date; since he's been in a lot of crap lately. But this...I mean, this is just plain unexpected. Van Damme's performance attacks the audience with relentless force; and I kind of like that. He lets out his inner emotions and feelings into one great hell-of-a-performance. It's memorable, it's honest, and it's brutally kick-ass. Van Damme alone is enough reason for this film to be worth seeing. And considering all the crap that comes out these days, why not see it? A star can make a change; but not often. This is a moment of awesomeness, not just for Van Damme, but for the film's director and writer(s) as well. You have to appreciate the craft that went into the film, as well as the entertainment that it offers. Van Damme has never been so great. He is awesome in this movie, and I loved watching him. And that's all I'm going to say about that.]]>
http://www.lunch.com/EverythingMartialArt/reviews/d/UserReview-JCVD-380-1379217-202037-Jean_Claude_Van_Damme_is_back_baby_.html http://www.lunch.com/EverythingMartialArt/reviews/d/UserReview-JCVD-380-1379217-202037-Jean_Claude_Van_Damme_is_back_baby_.html Tue, 22 Feb 2011 04:00:08 +0000
<![CDATA[House of Flying Daggers Quick Tip by Sharrie]]> http://www.lunch.com/ASIANatomy/reviews/movie/UserReview-House_of_Flying_Daggers-81-1020748-193481.html http://www.lunch.com/ASIANatomy/reviews/movie/UserReview-House_of_Flying_Daggers-81-1020748-193481.html Wed, 10 Nov 2010 07:50:30 +0000 <![CDATA[The Princess Bride (1987 film) Quick Tip by callmeLucy]]> http://www.lunch.com/reviews/movie/UserReview-The_Princess_Bride_1987_film_-1017447-191646.html http://www.lunch.com/reviews/movie/UserReview-The_Princess_Bride_1987_film_-1017447-191646.html Wed, 20 Oct 2010 19:29:48 +0000 <![CDATA[Drunken Master 2 Quick Tip by TheJohn]]> http://www.lunch.com/ASIANatomy/reviews/movie/UserReview-Drunken_Master_2-81-1432356-185698.html http://www.lunch.com/ASIANatomy/reviews/movie/UserReview-Drunken_Master_2-81-1432356-185698.html Tue, 12 Oct 2010 06:45:20 +0000 <![CDATA[Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon Quick Tip by TheJohn]]> http://www.lunch.com/ASIANatomy/reviews/movie/UserReview-Crouching_Tiger_Hidden_Dragon-81-1019603-185693.html http://www.lunch.com/ASIANatomy/reviews/movie/UserReview-Crouching_Tiger_Hidden_Dragon-81-1019603-185693.html Tue, 12 Oct 2010 06:36:18 +0000 <![CDATA[Kill Bill Vol. 1 Quick Tip by SheilaDeeth]]> http://www.lunch.com/MovieHype/reviews/movie/UserReview-Kill_Bill_Vol_1-13-1013789-182527.html http://www.lunch.com/MovieHype/reviews/movie/UserReview-Kill_Bill_Vol_1-13-1013789-182527.html Sat, 9 Oct 2010 01:21:25 +0000 <![CDATA[ Those of you lucky enough to have your lives, take them with you...]]> I would have to hesitate in calling any movie perfect, but if I were forced to pick one example of a flick that was near perfect for me, it would have to be Kill Bill Vol.'s 1&2.  These two films (well really one cut in half) embody everything that I love in a movie going experience; it's amazingly stylistic, there's a ton of action, there's plenty of plot and character development, it's gory and exploitative, yet light and silly at times, it's story is well versed in the history of cinema, it's incredibly detailed with so many layers of reference and homage that there's an entire book dedicated to annotations and references, it's inventive in it's form, has great music, and most importantly it's quick and fun and it knows exactly what it is and makes no pretensions about it.



I saw these flicks in the theater, and literally from the first frame of the old grindhouse feature presentation screen I was in love.  Every single frame of this movie is dripping with cinema love, nothing is boring, and no time is wasted.  As an example, almost every single scene in the movie has a connection to something else that either in an joke or a reference to another movie, like the sunglasses lined up on the dashboard of Texas Ranger Earl McGraw's car, these are a reference to the original Gone in 60 Seconds, and then the actor himself is playing a character from another Tarantino movie, From Dusk 'Til Dawn.  What I really love about these moments is that even though there is so much to them, none of this is important to the plot, so the average movie goer should be just as entertained as those who do know this stuff.  This is done even better with the character of Hatroi Hanzo, the sword maker that forges the Bride's sword.  The actor, Sonny Chiba, is playing a character that he's played before (in the show Kage No Gundan), yet everything that you need to know is right in the movie.  This movie also cements the odd mixture of universes that Tarantino has been slowly establishing in his films.  Basically there are two Tarantino universes, the "real world" and the "cinema world".  Pulp Fiction takes place in the "real world" and Kill Bill in the "cinema world", so for instance, the character of Mia Wallace in Pulp Fiction, who is a failed actress who once did a pilot for a television show about these five girl action-spies (Fox Force Five), is quite possible "playing the role" of the Bride in Kill Bill (not to mention the fact that the DiVAS, Deadly Viper Assassination Squad, in Kill Bill is based on Fox Force Five from Pulp Fiction.)  So Kill Bill would effectively be a movie that the characters from films like Reservoir Dogs, Pulp Fiction, or Jackie Brown might go see.

This is the same sort of idea that's established in Stephen Kings body of work via his spaghetti western influenced fantasy series the Dark Tower, that all things, fiction, literature, movies, and ultimately the real world are all interconnection in a much more drastic way than just existing together.  That if one were able to make a tear in reality there would be a possibility that that person could then drift into another world, possibly even a world that was established in a work of fiction.  Hell, it goes so far as to suggest that even our "reality" is someone else's fiction.  Kill Bill is the embodiment of this idea.

Because the flicks are so filled with references to other cinema, I took some time out a year or so ago with a friend to explore them as best as we could.  I picked up the great annotation book by D.K. Holm, Kill Bill: An Unofficial Casebook, and with the help of the internets, Amazon.com, eBay, Netflix, and even some local video stores, managed to put together a list of most of the films referenced.  Here's what we ended up watching based on our interest in Kill Bill:

Lady Snowblood, Thriller: A Cruel Picture, The Street Fighter, Kage No Gundan (series one, episode one), 36th Chamber of Shaolin, Circle of Iron, Kung Fu (tv series, episode one), Yojimbo, Fistful of Dollars, Death Rides a Horse, Game of Death, Green Hornet Vol. 1, Five Fingers of Death, Lone Wolf and Cub: Sword of Vengeance, Lone Wolf and Cub: Baby Cart on the River Styx, Master of the Flying Guillotine, Fists of the White Lotus, Battles Without Honor and Humanity, Black Mama/White Mama, Switchblade Sisters, and Battle Royale.


 

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http://www.lunch.com/EverythingMartialArt/reviews/movie/UserReview-Kill_Bill_Vol_1-380-1013789-166355-Those_of_you_lucky_enough_to_have_your_lives_take.html http://www.lunch.com/EverythingMartialArt/reviews/movie/UserReview-Kill_Bill_Vol_1-380-1013789-166355-Those_of_you_lucky_enough_to_have_your_lives_take.html Sun, 26 Sep 2010 00:20:56 +0000
<![CDATA[The Princess Bride (1987 film) Quick Tip by TheJohn]]> http://www.lunch.com/Awesomeness/reviews/movie/UserReview-The_Princess_Bride_1987_film_-163-1017447-166327.html http://www.lunch.com/Awesomeness/reviews/movie/UserReview-The_Princess_Bride_1987_film_-163-1017447-166327.html Sat, 25 Sep 2010 18:25:56 +0000 <![CDATA[IP MAN Quick Tip by YungBolo]]> http://www.lunch.com/ASIANatomy/reviews/movie/UserReview-IP_MAN-81-1379963-151226.html http://www.lunch.com/ASIANatomy/reviews/movie/UserReview-IP_MAN-81-1379963-151226.html Fri, 10 Sep 2010 21:44:14 +0000 <![CDATA[Blade Quick Tip by TheJohn]]> http://www.lunch.com/reviews/movie/UserReview-Blade-1017912-142680.html http://www.lunch.com/reviews/movie/UserReview-Blade-1017912-142680.html Mon, 30 Aug 2010 01:30:02 +0000 <![CDATA[Fist of Fury Quick Tip by BigToughGully]]> http://www.lunch.com/HKaction/reviews/movie/UserReview-Fist_of_Fury-543-1388305-127690.html http://www.lunch.com/HKaction/reviews/movie/UserReview-Fist_of_Fury-543-1388305-127690.html Mon, 23 Aug 2010 02:36:00 +0000 <![CDATA[Wheels on Meals Quick Tip by BigToughGully]]> http://www.lunch.com/HKaction/reviews/movie/UserReview-Wheels_on_Meals-543-1419167-127682.html http://www.lunch.com/HKaction/reviews/movie/UserReview-Wheels_on_Meals-543-1419167-127682.html Mon, 23 Aug 2010 01:53:58 +0000 <![CDATA[ Jet Li's Last Martial Arts Film Is Restored, Re-Edited And Released In All Its Glory!]]>
The story may be a bit simple, but delivers a strong message NOT to be ignored. It explores the consequences of revenge and the sin of hubris. Arrogance is a strong taint in one's soul and vengeance darkens it. The message is that tolerance and understanding is the way of a TRUE master, humility his tool and above all, honor is the true goal. Huo learned quite a lot in his experiences, and what is more important is that he learned from his mistakes.

     

   

The theatrical cut of "Fearless" was very good, but it did suffer a bit in pacing. Now, with this Director's cut, we see why. The theatrical release was edited in a way that action films were cut, now, re-cut and re-edited; Fearless is better than ever. It now feels more of a dramatization and re-edited in a way a TRUE Martial Arts Epic should be...

There are major differences in the director's cut, with 40 minutes more footage. This version is even better than the recent unrated version. It includes the opening sequence with Michelle Yeoh and while the previous release started in the middle of the action, this cut begins the story with Huo in a boat. I will outline the scenes because I can still remember (I saw this version in 2006) since this film gave me such impact with its message and emotional action sequences.







1. Opening sequence with Michelle Yeoh as a Chinese diplomat, in the bid to consider Wu Shu in the Olympics.

2. This cut shows more of Huo's childhood. From his determination to study Wu Shu that he stole his father's notebooks that leads up to his second encounter with the boy who had beaten him after Huo's father was beaten in a match.

3. Huo's arrogance is explored and brought into exposition, he is often in a disagreement with his best friend.

4. After he had fled the town and found by farmers. There are additional scenes where he mends. He learns more of the farmers' lifestyle and becomes puzzled how these simple people can be so gentle and humble in their ways. He admires how they care for an old ailing bull. Huo's blossoming relationship with the blind girl is more explored.

5. Now, this is the keeper; this scene was included in the theatrical release in Thailand. Huo defends the honor of a child who is accused of stealing an animal, he offers himself for punishment while an "incense" still burns. He engages a Muay Thai fighter in combat but instead of fighting back, he only defends himself and ends up saving his opponent's life.

   

    

Now, for the question; is the director's cut worth owning? A RESOUNDING YES...in spades!! Jet Li is in his absolute best in this film. Not only do we see him in excellent fights (choreographed by the legendary Yuen Woo-Ping), in this cut we also see his skills as an actor. The renowned action star can indeed perform in a very emotion-driven role. The extra 40 minutes of footage is worth every penny that this release even outshines the previous unrated release.

Jet Li claims that this will be his last WU SHU film. ( I hope not). Li has won Best Actor in the recent Hong Kong film awards for his role in the historical epic; “The Warlords”. Director Ronny Yu has definitely redeemed himself with "Fearless" after his abysmal "Bride of Chucky". (Freddy vs. Jason, anyone?)

HIGHEST POSSIBLE RECOMMENDATION!! [5- Out Of 5 Stars]
VIDEO/AUDIO: 2.40 Anamorphic Widescreen. The picture is flawless, strong blacks, radiant colors and nary a speck of dirt or compression artifacts are visible. It also carries the unrated Theatrical release.]]>
http://www.lunch.com/EverythingMartialArt/reviews/movie/UserReview-Jet_Li_s_Fearless_2006_-380-1570931-70253-Jet_Li_s_Last_Martial_Arts_Film_Is_Restored_.html http://www.lunch.com/EverythingMartialArt/reviews/movie/UserReview-Jet_Li_s_Fearless_2006_-380-1570931-70253-Jet_Li_s_Last_Martial_Arts_Film_Is_Restored_.html Tue, 27 Jul 2010 06:07:03 +0000
<![CDATA[Kill Bill Vol. 2 Quick Tip by forrest5]]> http://www.lunch.com/MovieHype/reviews/movie/UserReview-Kill_Bill_Vol_2-13-1004065-67892.html http://www.lunch.com/MovieHype/reviews/movie/UserReview-Kill_Bill_Vol_2-13-1004065-67892.html Mon, 26 Jul 2010 20:27:36 +0000 <![CDATA[The Matrix Quick Tip by forrest5]]> http://www.lunch.com/MovieHype/reviews/movie/UserReview-The_Matrix-13-1013184-67888.html http://www.lunch.com/MovieHype/reviews/movie/UserReview-The_Matrix-13-1013184-67888.html Mon, 26 Jul 2010 20:18:46 +0000 <![CDATA[Kill Bill Vol. 1 Quick Tip by forrest5]]> http://www.lunch.com/MovieHype/reviews/movie/UserReview-Kill_Bill_Vol_1-13-1013789-67883.html http://www.lunch.com/MovieHype/reviews/movie/UserReview-Kill_Bill_Vol_1-13-1013789-67883.html Mon, 26 Jul 2010 20:13:51 +0000 <![CDATA[The Matrix Quick Tip by brianna]]> http://www.lunch.com/MovieHype/reviews/movie/UserReview-The_Matrix-13-1013184-67853.html http://www.lunch.com/MovieHype/reviews/movie/UserReview-The_Matrix-13-1013184-67853.html Mon, 26 Jul 2010 16:11:38 +0000 <![CDATA[Kill Bill Vol. 2 Quick Tip by TheJohn]]> http://www.lunch.com/MovieHype/reviews/movie/UserReview-Kill_Bill_Vol_2-13-1004065-67692.html http://www.lunch.com/MovieHype/reviews/movie/UserReview-Kill_Bill_Vol_2-13-1004065-67692.html Sat, 24 Jul 2010 07:32:03 +0000 <![CDATA[Kill Bill Vol. 1 Quick Tip by TheJohn]]> http://www.lunch.com/MovieHype/reviews/movie/UserReview-Kill_Bill_Vol_1-13-1013789-67686.html http://www.lunch.com/MovieHype/reviews/movie/UserReview-Kill_Bill_Vol_1-13-1013789-67686.html Sat, 24 Jul 2010 07:15:51 +0000 <![CDATA[Blade Quick Tip by vampire_eyez]]> http://www.lunch.com/TheVampireHistorians/reviews/movie/UserReview-Blade-85-1017912-67647.html http://www.lunch.com/TheVampireHistorians/reviews/movie/UserReview-Blade-85-1017912-67647.html Sat, 24 Jul 2010 01:45:33 +0000 <![CDATA[ Not Quite As Good as the first Film but a Worthy Sequel]]> The Bride (Uma Thurman) continues wiping out the hit squad that left her for dead in the first film.  This one includes the ruthless Elie Driver (a one-eyed Daryll Hannah), who helps the Bride eliminate one of her targets.  This movie moved along a lot slower than the first with the big battle occurring between the Bride and Driver.  We see how the Bride received her training and how her master was murdered. 

David Carridine plays Bill and when the two finally meet you wonder if they will get together or actually fight.  We find that Bill still has feelings for the Bride and also is raising their daughter.  The ultimate fight is a big letdown with a specific attack that the Bride had mentioned earlier in the film being employed.

There is some suspense as the Bride gets captured and is buried alive.  Will someone come to save her, will she be able to use her training to escape, or will she die when her air runs out?

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http://www.lunch.com/EverythingMartialArt/reviews/movie/UserReview-Kill_Bill_Vol_2-380-1004065-67511-Not_Quite_As_Good_as_the_first_Film_but_a_Worthy.html http://www.lunch.com/EverythingMartialArt/reviews/movie/UserReview-Kill_Bill_Vol_2-380-1004065-67511-Not_Quite_As_Good_as_the_first_Film_but_a_Worthy.html Thu, 22 Jul 2010 14:42:40 +0000
<![CDATA[Kill Bill Vol. 1 Quick Tip by AustinArtaud]]> http://www.lunch.com/MovieHype/reviews/movie/UserReview-Kill_Bill_Vol_1-13-1013789-67465.html http://www.lunch.com/MovieHype/reviews/movie/UserReview-Kill_Bill_Vol_1-13-1013789-67465.html Thu, 22 Jul 2010 00:11:26 +0000 <![CDATA[Kill Bill Vol. 2 Quick Tip by amberlani2334]]> http://www.lunch.com/MovieHype/reviews/movie/UserReview-Kill_Bill_Vol_2-13-1004065-67318.html http://www.lunch.com/MovieHype/reviews/movie/UserReview-Kill_Bill_Vol_2-13-1004065-67318.html Wed, 21 Jul 2010 02:21:16 +0000 <![CDATA[Kill Bill Vol. 1 Quick Tip by JaseSea]]> http://www.lunch.com/MovieHype/reviews/movie/UserReview-Kill_Bill_Vol_1-13-1013789-67288.html http://www.lunch.com/MovieHype/reviews/movie/UserReview-Kill_Bill_Vol_1-13-1013789-67288.html Tue, 20 Jul 2010 23:03:08 +0000 <![CDATA[ The Best Movie for Families, Teens, Singles, Dates, Friends, Grandparents, ANYONE!]]>
I think director Rob Reiner did a great job visualizing this story. The scenery of the countryside is beautiful. There are some places where (humorously) the set and/or props are quite campy, but I think that only adds to the charm of the film.

From the title, it might look like a chick flick, but it is not. This movie has become a classic simply because it is so very wonderful and entertaining to a diverse audience.

You should see this movie. You will fall in love with it. It is epic and funny and romantic, plus there are surprises along the way. Other reasons to see it: Billy Crystal makes a great cameo appearance. Cary Elwes and Mandy Patinkin are super bad ass. Andre the Giant is one of the main characters. Finally, you should see this movie because (let’s be honest) everyone needs more Wallace Shawn in their lives!]]>
http://www.lunch.com/EverythingMartialArt/reviews/movie/UserReview-The_Princess_Bride_1987_film_-380-1017447-66304-The_Best_Movie_for_Families_Teens_Singles_.html http://www.lunch.com/EverythingMartialArt/reviews/movie/UserReview-The_Princess_Bride_1987_film_-380-1017447-66304-The_Best_Movie_for_Families_Teens_Singles_.html Thu, 15 Jul 2010 02:42:45 +0000
<![CDATA[Gladiator Quick Tip by cruzer79]]> http://www.lunch.com/MovieHype/reviews/movie/UserReview-Gladiator-13-1004400-65698.html http://www.lunch.com/MovieHype/reviews/movie/UserReview-Gladiator-13-1004400-65698.html Mon, 12 Jul 2010 22:09:10 +0000 <![CDATA[IP MAN Quick Tip by woopak_the_thrill]]> http://www.lunch.com/ASIANatomy/reviews/movie/UserReview-IP_MAN-81-1379963-65083.html http://www.lunch.com/ASIANatomy/reviews/movie/UserReview-IP_MAN-81-1379963-65083.html Sat, 10 Jul 2010 04:56:54 +0000 <![CDATA[Kill Bill Vol. 1 Quick Tip by sunshineliz]]> http://www.lunch.com/MovieHype/reviews/movie/UserReview-Kill_Bill_Vol_1-13-1013789-62102.html http://www.lunch.com/MovieHype/reviews/movie/UserReview-Kill_Bill_Vol_1-13-1013789-62102.html Sat, 26 Jun 2010 14:26:54 +0000 <![CDATA[Kill Bill Vol. 2 Quick Tip by stacie12]]> http://www.lunch.com/MovieHype/reviews/movie/UserReview-Kill_Bill_Vol_2-13-1004065-57768.html http://www.lunch.com/MovieHype/reviews/movie/UserReview-Kill_Bill_Vol_2-13-1004065-57768.html Thu, 3 Jun 2010 19:17:19 +0000 <![CDATA[The Princess Bride (1987 film) Quick Tip by AchingHope]]> http://www.lunch.com/FantasyFans/reviews/movie/UserReview-The_Princess_Bride_1987_film_-118-1017447-57664.html http://www.lunch.com/FantasyFans/reviews/movie/UserReview-The_Princess_Bride_1987_film_-118-1017447-57664.html Wed, 2 Jun 2010 18:51:18 +0000 <![CDATA[ To Kenpo or not to Kenpo]]> A local practice in an area where I live is the American Kenpo karate style as originated by Ed Parker. 

I find that this style is not recognized in a lot of karate circles, nor am I able to find it being certified.

Should one continue on the cash cow of karate when it's not nationally recognized?

It's great exercise and it's good for self-defense, but, to what end?  Has anyone heard of American Kenpo?  Participated?

Your two cents worth is greatly appreciated!]]>
http://www.lunch.com/EverythingMartialArt/reviews/sport/UserReview-American_Kenpo-380-1457326-22067-To_Kenpo_or_not_to_Kenpo.html http://www.lunch.com/EverythingMartialArt/reviews/sport/UserReview-American_Kenpo-380-1457326-22067-To_Kenpo_or_not_to_Kenpo.html Tue, 18 May 2010 12:45:40 +0000
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