Posts Tagged ‘action

09
Dec
19

Rambo: Last Blood

As an unabashed fan of action films, I am well-acquainted with Sylvester Stallone’s iconic Rambo. I saw Rambo III as a child in the theater when I was way too young for it, and have since seen parts 4 and 5 in the theater, as well. Rambo: Last Blood promises to be the final film in the franchise. Of course, Stallone promised that Rocky Balboa was the final Rocky film, yet the character showed up in two more films, so it remains to be seen whether or not there will be a sixth Rambo film. Anyway, how did the latest Rambo outing hold up?

Taking place 10 years after the previous film, Rambo is living on his childhood ranch in Arizona. He has a surrogate family which includes a young girl he raised as if she was his own daughter. Rambo has settled into an idyllic life training horses and digging preposterously labyrinthine underground tunnels. Naturally, Rambo isn’t going to live out the rest of his life in peace and harmony. The girl discovers her biological father is living in Mexico, so she crosses the border to reconnect with him. Her plan back-fires, and she ends up the victim of a sex trafficking ring. Rambo springs into action to get her back.

Continue reading ‘Rambo: Last Blood’

28
Jun
13

Taken 2, Hustle & Flow

Taken 2

“Hello? Who is this? No I don’t want to switch my long distance carrier. Hey, who the fuck even uses that shit anymore?”

Even though the original Taken was a straight-up rip-off of Arnold Schwarzenegger’s movie Commando, I still liked it. Hell, everybody liked it. People were blown away watching Liam Neeson shoot people and generally kick ass across the streets of Paris. It was a sleeper hit that was shot on a budget of $25 million and grossed $226 million at the box office. Being such a gargantuan money maker, Hollywood salivated like a hungry dog and did what they do best: LOL LET’S MAKE AN UNNECESSARY SEQUEL LOL!

Taken 2 occurs an unknown amount of time after the original. Neeson’s frigid ex-wife is having marital problems with her husband, and as a result, their vacation was canceled. Neeson decides to invite them along with him to Istanbul so they can still have their vacation. Yes, you know how it is for millionaires. They are so heavily burdened by their fancy cars, expensive clothes, gourmet food, and VIP treatment, that sometimes they just have to get away from it all. Unfortunately for them, the families of the guys Neeson killed in the first movie are plotting revenge.

This time around, Neeson himself is taken. He and his ex-wife are both kidnapped, and now it is up to their daughter Kim to come to the rescue. Fortunately, Neeson had the foresight to bring a high-tech sock phone along with him, so he can get in touch with Kim. What follows afterward makes no goddamn sense at all. Neeson orders Kim to throw grenades across the rooftops of Istanbul, (obviously, civilian safety is not a high priority) and listen for the sounds of explosions, so he can triangulate his location over the telephone. Um… yeah.

Please let this be the plot of Taken 3.

Eventually, Neeson breaks free and wreaks havoc all over the bad guys. He shoots them, blows them up, and punches them to death. The editing is absolutely godawful. But it had to be in order to cover up Neeson’s inability to fight, and his obvious arthritic physical condition. The car chase is mind-blowingly retarded, as well. And let’s not forget how Neeson leaves his ex-wife laying around, unconscious somewhere in Turkey, while he goes on a rampage. The acting, story, and, pretty much everything in this entire movie, were atrocious. Seriously, what the fuck were they thinking? I suppose I should ask what was director Olivier Megaton thinking? Megaton? Well, at least the movie lived up to his name, as this was a fucking bomb.

Unfortunately, with a budget of $45 million and a box office of $365 million, there is bound to be a Taken 3. Perhaps this time, they can take Liam Neeson’s dignity. Although, I doubt he’ll want it back.

Verdict: Shitty

Hustle & Flow

“Is the part where I rap?”

Despite Marvel’s insistence that Terrence Howard is “difficult to work with,” the guy manages to find a lot of work. A highlight of his filmography is the 2005 film Hustle & Flow. No, it’s not your typical “rapper” movie, and no, it’s not your typical bullshit Hollywood “rags to riches” film, either.

Howard plays a small-time pimp named D-Jay. Yeah, he’s seriously small-time. Only three-hoes on his roster small-time. Regardless, he’s out on the streets every day, busting his ass in the Memphis heat, trying to make a living. The movie is quick to show us that being a pimp isn’t glamorous at all. It’s a lousy, dirty, poor business. For some reason, all those rap songs about the awesomeness of being a pimp doesn’t seem to be true at all! Shocking, I know.

A chance encounter leads D-Jay to believe that he might have what it takes to become a rapper. He works on his flows, mostly centered around his shitty life, and his struggles to pay the rent as a small-timer. Once he hits the recording studio, we are treated to three big musical numbers, each better than the last. The best of them all, “It’s Hard Out Here for a Pimp” won an Academy Award. No shit. The Academy is into pimps. I had no idea.

“I get hard in my pants as a pimp.”

Unlike typical Hollywood drek, everything isn’t all sunshine and roses for D-Jay. His promising career takes an abrupt detour when he tries to get a legitimate rap-star to listen to his demo tape. By the fim’s conclusion, D-Jay hasn’t made it much farther out of his previously bleak situation. The ending is bittersweet in a way, but does leave the viewer with a sense of hope.

The acting in this movie is great. Everyone turns in a fantastic performance, especially Howard, who also performed all the raps. Even Taraji P. Henson, who I normally don’t like, was excellent. The raps themselves are cool. It’s impossible to listen to them and not have a big smile on your face. The movie is mostly a drama, but there are a few moments of levity here and there to lighten things up a bit.

Hustle & Flow is a great movie, and one that deserves to be seen by a wider audience. You don’t have to like rap to enjoy this movie. It isn’t about that. It’s a fascinating character study about the struggle of getting out of the hood. It’s about trying your hardest to rise out of terrible circumstances. After all, it’s hard out here for a pimp.

Verdict: Awesome

10
Dec
11

Devil May Cry, Fantastic Children, Canaan

Devil May Cry

Dante from Devil May Cry

What do you get when you take a popular action video game franchise, that is heavy on button mashing and light on plot, and turn it into an anime TV series? Well, you get… this. Devil May Cry features the exploits of demon hunter Dante as he travels through a world with a paper-thin plot, copious amounts of bloodshed, pizza, ice cream sundaes, and shoddy animation. Oh wait, I guess my thoughts on the series bled into the show’s description. But you get the picture, right? Fortunately, for action junkies, this series has tons of shootouts and swordplay. Dante always infuses plenty of charm and style into his fights, and usually doesn’t break a sweat doing it. By the way, why is it that Dante is always broke, despite completing job after job (kind of like the characters in Cowboy Bebop)?

Pros: Cool main character, tons of action, great music.

Cons: Noticeable drops in animation quality during fight sequences, extremely repetitive, too many filler episodes, main character is invincible, at times it is mind numbingly stupid.

You don’t need to have ever played the video games in order to watch this anime. It’s light fare meant to give an adrenaline rush while the main character beats the crap out of demons. If that’s all you’re looking for in an anime, then look no further. This show had a great first episode and then fell into a slump, but fortunately recovered and had a pretty good ending. Overall, Devil May Cry is far from a masterpiece, but it was a fun diversion for a few hours.

Verdict: Average

Fantastic Children

The fantastic children of Fantastic Children.

Fantastic Children was quite, ahem, fantastic. This is certainly a more cerebral show that requires patience and attention. The first half of the series moved slowly, and at times was extremely confusing. The second half made a lot more sense as they started to give us some answers. It’s always nice to have things explained. In most anime they set up an intriguing premise and have a lot of mysterious things going on, then they suddenly get to the end of the series and don’t have time to explain shit. The unexplained shit gets relegated to LOLARTISTIC. Anyway, the pacing in the second half sped up a bit as the answers came and there was a bit more action and backstory. Once all the revelations had been made, I looked back and thought they told a cool story. I had read on a number of websites that this series has the best plot twist EVER. Well, I wouldn’t say the best ever, but it was interesting. If you have the time, don’t mind waiting a while for some answers, and prefer a good plot to moeblob lolis, you should check out this series.

Verdict: Good

Canaan

Canaan's cast of douches.

A typical “girls with guns” anime, with a typical amnesiac protagonist. There was some action, but overall the series was boring. The male characters looked extremely similar to one another and were difficult to tell apart. This show was a waste of time. But the necrophilia at the end was badass.

Verdict: Shitty

29
Jul
11

Reasons Why Predator is Better than The King’s Speech

The Fight of the Century.

I recently finished watching the Academy Award winning film, The King’s Speech. For those of you who have lives and don’t follow this kind of thing, this movie won awards for Best Actor, Best Director, Best Original Screenplay, and Best Picture. Apart from that, it won a shit-ton of awards from all the other award shows that year. Hollywood has to have award shows monthly, because they need to continuously validate what they do for a living. Honestly, these people contribute nothing to society. Go ahead and tell me that the people who made Transformers 2 are adding things of cultural importance.

So, in order to satisfy their egos and justify getting paid millions of dollars for three-months of work a year, they need to give each other shiny metal statues. Somehow that tells them that yes, they are important. Not only that, they won this award, which means they are more awesome than they had previously realized! Here’s how a typical award presentation works.

Presenter: And the Jizzie award for Best Actor goes to, Douchey Guy!

Douchey Guy (feigning surprise): Wow, I can’t believe I won!

Presenter: Out of all the actors this year, you recited lines someone else wrote for you better than anyone else!

Douchey Guy: This is a tremendous honor.

Presenter: Who would you like to thank for this prestigious award?

Douchey Guy: My manager, my director, my mistress, my therapist, my tax attorney, my other therapist, my personal trainer, my wife, my kids, and Jesus.

Continue reading ‘Reasons Why Predator is Better than The King’s Speech’

14
Aug
10

Moribito? More Like Bore-ibito.

ZZZzzzZZZzzzZZZzzzZZZ

Moribito: Guardian of the Spirit is a troll series. It trolled me so hard. Animated by Production I.G. and directed by Kenji Kamiyama I figured this was going to be the next series that made me scream, “ZOMG THIS SHOW IS FUCKING AWESOME!” And yeah, it started out that way.

Moribito starts with a bang. After all, coming from a legendary animation company, and the director of the amazing Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex, how could it go wrong? The first three episodes were amazing. Not only did they feature stunning, fluid animation, they had perfect pacing, an intriguing mystery, and fantastic action sequences. After a number of exciting battles, the fourth episode slowed down to give us some exposition.

Exposition is all fine and good, but the problem is that the rest of the series was nothing but exposition. There was no more action. That’s it. Only three episodes worth, and they blew their wad from the get-go. The remaining 23(!!!!!) episodes are a non-stop thrill ride of talking, staring pensively toward the horizon, meditating, running away from danger, more talking, doing research, boiling water, and still more talking. It was fucking ridiculous. In fact, now that I think about it, this was completely intentional.

Continue reading ‘Moribito? More Like Bore-ibito.’

24
Aug
09

No More Heroes > Everything Else

Recharge that baby, Travis, yeah, thats hot.

Recharge that baby, Travis, yeah, that's hot.

Holy shit, I love this game!

I seriously have not been addicted to a game in a really long time. That is, not until I played No More Heroes. It’s basically an ultra-violent, playable anime with a sense of humor. The premise is that you are Travis Touchdown (awesome name, by the way), an otaku who wants to be the world’s greatest assassin. So, he decides to take out the world’s top 10 assassins with the lightsaber he won in an online auction (where else would you get one?).

Continue reading ‘No More Heroes > Everything Else’

10
Jun
09

Baccano, Shana, and Afro Samurai

I have three quick reviews for you. Why? Because I’m too lazy to write a single in-depth review of any of these titles. Really, it all stems from my inability to— ah, fuck it, let’s just get on with it.

Baccano

Boring Baccanos boring cast of boring assholes.

Boring Baccano's boring cast of boring assholes.

ZZZZZZZZZZzzzzzzzzzzZZZZZZZZZZzzzzzzzzzzZZZZZZZZZZzzzzzzzzzz

Huh? Wha? Why’d you wake me? What’s going on? Oh that’s right, I was watching Baccano. Something about too many characters, and nothing really happens. Any time you have a story (movie, book, tv series, whatever) about the multiple perspectives of one event (e.g. Rashomon), it inevitably sucks. Yeah that’s right, Kurosawa fanboys, suck it. Now, let me get back to sleep. Oh, and also: Jacuzzi Splot is a fantastic (read: retarded) name.

Verdict: Shitty

Shakugan no Shana

Im eagerly awaiting the Shana hentai.

I'm eagerly awaiting the Shana hentai.

Taking one look at the character designs for this show, I figured I would hate it. And yeah, it did start out a little weak. It was basically a combination/rip-off of Full Metal Panic and X. However, there was something about it that seemed kind of cool. There was this dark side to it that was rather unexpected. Basically, the main character, Yuji, (and many others) are just the ghosts of people who have already died. Shana gets pissed off, and unleashes some serious shit on various bad guys. The moment that really did it for me, though, was the multi-episode arc featuring the Incest Twins. A villainous brother and sister that make out constantly, and kill innocent people. Awesome! I wish more anime had the balls to show hot, sweet incest. Overall, this show had a lot more personality than I originally anticipated, and it is worth checking out.

Verdict: Good

Afro Samurai

Afros fro could be a little bigger, dont you think?

Afro's fro could be a little bigger, don't you think?

With Samuel L. Jackson providing the voice of not one, but two characters, I thought, “This is sure to be terrible.” And the first episode was. It was this bizarre mix of pseudo-historical Japan, the American old west, 20th century weapons, robots, cell phones, and hip hop. The animation was pretty good, and it was ultra violent, with buckets of blood spraying in every direction. Still, it seemed lackluster. But then, in the second episode, BAM!, we got full frontal tits. Sex scenes are obviously great, and this one suddenly made Afro Samurai a hell of a lot cooler. After that, it was non-stop badassness. Once I forgot that it didn’t take place in any reality that made sense, I started to like it a lot more. Overall, I was really pleased. The film that followed the five-episode OVA was more of the same, although it had a tendency to drag in a couple of places. Still, if you want a solid action show, you can’t go wrong here. Just check your brain at the door.

Verdict: Good




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