What do you get when you combine epic sword fights, terrorism, betrayal and… decapitations? “The Guillotines“, of course! Andrew Lau, perhaps best known to Western audiences as the Producer/Director of the “Infernal Affairs” trilogy, brings new meaning to “headhunting” with his latest film coming to Blu-Ray and DVD on 8/13 from Well Go USA. Part action movie, part period drama, “The Guillotines” aims to fire on all cylinders and appeal to a wide audience. But as is brought up numerous times in the film, when you make a promise, it must be kept – and the promise is cool weaponry taking off heads. Unfortunately, just like a character in a Lau film, the Director betrays us and delivers something that’s mostly different. That isn’t always a bad thing. Read more
Tag Archive for adventure
“Waterworld“, “Howard the Duck“… “Caddyshack“. These are films that were regarded as colossal flops, but in reality turned out to be… well, not so bad. Video helped these misfits of cinema find their loving audience and even became bona fide classics (in “Caddyshack‘s” case, anyway). It seems like every once in awhile, critics hold a secret conference to choose one film to universally gang up on. That film will be pop culture’s go to joke until the next flop is chosen. Sometimes it’s warranted (“Gigli“), sometimes it’s not… like in the case of “Ishtar“, finally coming to Blu-Ray on 8/6 after years of delay from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment. Many people have ragged on the film over the years, including Gary Larson who mocked it in a “Far Side” panel, without ever having ACTUALLY seen the movie. Well, now’s your chance to give the film a fair shake… and it’s never looked better. Read more
I’m a big fan of Kung Fu movies and one of the coolest I’d seen in a long time was 2012′s “Tai Chi Zero“. Stephen Fung’s martial arts extravaganza was infused with video game and steampunk elements that electrified the genre and found an appeal with mainstream audiences the world over. On July 2, we go from “Zero” to “Hero”, as the second film in a planned trilogy, “Tai Chi Hero“, makes it’s way to Blu-Ray and DVD courtesy of Well Go USA. Continuing right from where the first left off, “Hero” maintains the mood and humor of it’s predecessor while amping up the fight scenes and visual effects. Fans of “Zero”, as well as the uninitiated are bound to have a lot of fun with this action-packed sequel. Read more
“Star Trek” is one of those properties with such a rabid fan base that every new movie/show/book feels like it’s predestined to fail. To the uninitiated, Trekkies seem like a group that can never be satisfied regardless of what’s done to please them. Some find such devotion intimidating and instead of joining the party, choose to avoid anything “Trek” related, altogether. The truth is, people are passionate about “Star Trek” and don’t want to see it treated carelessly. So it was somewhat surprising that when director J.J. Abrams rebooted the franchise in 2009, he was not only able to satiate the old fans’ hunger for a new film, but also attract people who’ve never heard of a “Tribble”. Now, four years later, the sequel “Star Trek: Into Darkness” flies into theaters. Can Abrams again appeal to both sides of the lunchroom or will fans be divided by his treatment of the beloved sci-fi series? Read more
Summer has started and Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson has again bathed in baby oil and flung himself at the big screen. This time he reprises his role as Agent Luke Hobbs in Universal Pictures’ “Fast & Furious 6″. Featuring pretty much everyone who’s ever starred in the street racing series, “FF6″ serves as a link for the previous five films and gives us a glimpse at where the films are heading. Director Justin Lin also returns to the franchise he resuscitated with the fourth installment and it’s clear from the first racing scene that he’s not afraid to take her into the red. Read more
A franchise is only as good as its last installment. “G.I. Joe” nearly died at the gate with a lackluster premier and “Batman & Robin” actually killed off what had been a particularly healthy brand of films until Christopher Nolan swooped in to save the day. Thus far, Marvel has managed to be the Pixar of superhero franchises with each film bringing in big box office and converging into the mega-hit “Avengers”. So, that could be the reason why “Iron Man 3″ is so important: it’s the first post-”Avengers” film released by the studio and what very well may be the final installment of the popular series. Expectations are sure to be higher than any one film can deliver, but if anyone can beat the odds it’s Robert Downey Jr., right? Read more
Asian cinema has had its influences on Western film, especially in recent years with many American horror pictures being remade from Far East offerings. There’s something we’re fascinated with in the cultures and customs from that part of the world; it’s exciting and mystical, maybe even dangerous. ”The Karate Kid” and “Gremlins” use this Eastern mysticism to cure Daniel-San’s busted leg and to create an army of reptilian hooligans and not once do we question it. So imagine my surprise when I was watching “The Four” (available 4/9 on DVD and Blu-Ray from Well Go USA) and an army of the undead is raised using unquestioned Western mysticism in the form of voodoo! It made me giggle with delight as I felt like maybe, just maybe aspects of my culture are mysterious, too. I mean, I’m not surprised that America has made its mark overseas, but as if coming from a great fusion restaurant, this dish of Eastern martial-arts fantasy and Western comic book mythology is simply delectable.
No outside help.
Alone in an impenetrable location.
Where have we seen this before? Oh yeah, “Die Hard”, “Under Siege”, and I guess “First Blood” to an extent (if you count the Pacific northwest forest as an impenetrable location). That’s the gist of “Olympus Has Fallen”, which isn’t to say it’s a bad thing because that’s always a fun plot to watch. Read more
Sadly, 2D animation has mostly gone the way of the dodo. Well, here in the United States, anyway. Yet foreign animators show us time and time again that fancy computer drawn graphics don’t necessarily make a great movie. “The Triplets of Bellville”, “Persepolis” and pretty much anything done by Hayao Miyazaki make it easy to remember the art behind the drawings. We continue St. Patrick’s week with another 2 dimensional modern classic: Tomm Moore’s “The Secret of Kells”. The film, inspired by “The Thief and the Cobbler” and Disney’s “Mulan”, both of which were drawn in the styles of the culture and era they were representing, is one of the most beautiful movies you’ll ever watch. The story, rich with Irish mythology, is pretty damn good too. Read more