Kung Fury

Sometime in the early 1980s, Miami-Dade Police Department detective Kung Fury (David Sandberg) and his partner Dragon (Steven Chew) apprehend a mysterious red ninja, however Dragon is killed by the ninja while at the same time Kung Fury is struck by lightning and bitten by a cobra, bestowing him with extraordinary “Kung Fu” powers. Years later Adolf Hitler, a.k.a. “Kung Führer”(Jorma Taccone), enters the timeline and remotely guns down the police chief  and attacks the precinct through a mobile phone.  Kung Fury seeking to avenge his comrades has computer whiz Hackerman (Leopold Nilsson) send him back in time to kill Hitler in Nazi Germany.

The halfwit that I am didn’t realise that this was a spoof movie, slapstic and not to be taken serious.    I actually kept skipping past it on Netflix as I thought it was some serious 80’s movie, not that I dislike that but more so that I got to be in the mood for it.   The movie is a Kickstarter project started by Swedish filmmaker David Sandberg who was able to get around $630,000 for the movie which he then released free and then subsequently was picked up by Netflix. Due to the limited budget most of the movie was shot using green screen, also Sandberg could only afford one police uniform, he filmed the police precinct scene by shooting each extra separately and compositing them in the scene, which added to its charm and over-all epicenes.

Why did I choose this movie?  It was an afternoon movie with junk food chosen by my friend who said it sounded awesome.  I am really glad that I actually watched this, its only 30 min long but it really is something special. The film has an ’80s feel with the visual effects artists softening the film quality with added video cassette wear effects as if the viewer was watching an old VHS copy of it on a VCR. I loved it!  Its on Netflix so really worth a watch if you have a subscriber! It is the perfect homage to all that 80’s.

My Rating: B
Format: Netflix
I Would Buy This Movie

Advertisements

RoboCop (1987)

In the near future the city of Detroit, is on the verge of collapse due to financial ruin and unchecked crime. The mega-corporation Omni Consumer Products (OCP) enters into a contract with the city to run the police force. Thing is OCP doesn’t give a shit about the city and plan to replace it with the utopia of “Delta City”, and the cops with a robotic replacement ED-209. Sadly, but awesomely, there is little glitch and the ED-209 goes fucking berserk and on a murderous rampage during its demonstration. Back to the drawing board! Veteran cop Alex Murphy (Peter Weller) with partner Anne Lewis (Nancy Allen) chase down criminal boss Clarence Boddicker (Kurtwood Smith) and in the process Murphy is brutally murdered in one of the most awesomely brutal and vicious death sequences ever seen. Murphy is pronounced dead and OCP takes his body and utilizes parts of the remains in the construction of the first RoboCop. From there on out, the movie revolves around RoboCop taking out the scum of Old Detroit, remembering who he is and then sacking the evil employees of OCP.

The mix of science-fiction, action and social satire Robocop is all action with minimal plot or character development. It is a movie that hints at a lot more than what is there, lacking substance and any real peril. The computer graphics are not great granted but they are amazng when you realize that  all special-effects were generated with an Commodore Amiga computer. Still it is enjoyable for what it is, action and murder with the bad guys having the most fun! Its not the best thing I have ever watched but you know that before you sit down to it, in fact I think I like it more because of that.  RoboCop has inspired people some years later to beginning a Kickstarter campaign to create and erect a 12 foot statue of RoboCop to be placed in Detroit.  This is now in production.

Why did I choose this movie? Why indeed, have you ever just been in the mood for some old time silly SiFi action?  I loved the remake RoboCop and as it kept flashing up on Netflixs  I decided to just jump back into the 80’s and watch the orignal.  One of the bast things about watching old movies is seeing where the actors are now, Peter Weller has been in Dexter, Kurtwood Smith is from That 70’s Show and Paul McCrane was in ER.  I learned a lot from this movie, I learned that a giant robot built for law enforcement will have a “squealing pig” sound installed in it’s system files in case it falls down the stairs. I learned that USB ports will be obsolete in the future, we will use lethal spikes for computer interfacing. Most importantly I learned to stay out of trouble, because dead or Alive your coming with him!

My Rating: C-
Format: Netflix DVD
I Would Not Buy This Movie
Artwork by: Adam Sidwell

The World Is Not Enough

After British oil tycoon Sir Robert King (David Calder) is killed in a bombing at the MI6 headquarters James Bond (Pierce Brosnan) is sent to bodyguard Kings daughter Elektra (Sophie Marceau).   MI6 believes that Renard (Robert Carlyle), a KGB agent-turned-terrorist, who previously kidnapped Elektra for ransom money to fuel his terrorist means.  Renard was shot in the head by a MI6 agent but the bullet failed to kill him instead it made him stronger, killing off his senses as it slowly travels though his brain. After an attempt is made on Elektras life Bonds investigations lead him to the theft of nucular material from a warhead and to uncovering a larger plot, one to take down her family’s oil pipeline which was to serve as Europe’s oil reserves. Teaming up with American nuclear physicist Christmas Jones(Denise Richards) Bond must stop Renard before he unleashes a nuclear explosion that will devastate the world.

The title comes from “On Her Majesty’s Secret Service” and eludes to Bonds Family motto which is a nice nod back towards Ian Fleming.  The caharaters are what drive the story in this movie.  Q (Desmond Llewelyn) was to play his final scenes in this movie which was released before his tragic death.  This exit from the series leaves a haunting feeling every time you watch it.  Q was one of my favourite characters in all of the Bonds, I always looked forward to the gadget masters scenes.  The relationship between  him and Bond has all the feelings of a father that Bond never had and Q really has saved his life countless times.  Its sad to see him go.  M (Judi Dench) gets to play a much greater role in this movie, in many ways is more implicated in the plot with her role being central to her relationship to Elektra King and her family.  Sophie Marceau’s bad girl Elektra King brings the exact mix of exotic beauty and predatory danger that the Bond girls of old had.  Her character is a complex one. She is undoubtedly one of the most stunning women to ever play a bond girl, and for as hard as she has made herself there are softer elements there that would make it easy to fall in love with her.  Denise Richards in the role of a nuclear physicist Dr. Christmas Jones was an oddity. I think shes amazing looking but seemed to young to be playing that role and the least said about the name the better.  Still she’s hot, super hot and the attitude plays n well with the theme that Bond has taken since GoldenEye where the girl has a little more spunk to her.  Robert Carlyle I cannot tell you what a stroke of genius it was to have him cast as Renard.  The way he can play the bad guy with a look or a glance and eben just his presence on screen, its unnerving.  He can stare at you with those dead eyes and you wouldn’t know what he was thinking or what insane way he was going to kill you.  It was so great to see Valentin Zukovsky (Robbie Coltrane)former KGB operator, turned Russian gangster and arms dealer, turned Casino owner and caviar producer, his character just makes me happy.  The relationship between him and Bond has somewhat developed and it was a nice tie in to the last couple of Bonds.  The theme song for The World Is Not Enough is “The World Is Not Enough” was written by David Arnold and Don Black with Garbage performing.  I love this Song, the lyrics and the feel of it much as  Tomorrow Never Dies.

Why did I choose this movie?  The oil-pipeline plot seemingly torn straight from the headlines of the time however there are some elements that just scream Bond Autopilot.  I how the depth continues in this movie with small things happening to give such a broader scale behind it all. The fact that there is throwaway comments and situations that don’t serve the plot but strengthen the bigger world. There is a more complex back story the the plot than its givin credit for ad I think it’s a shame that the critics didn’t realise this.  The action serves the story and the bullets are flying from the pre credit sequence which is one of my favourites so far to the final showdown with one of the most vicious villains ever. There is a good balance between character, plot, story and action and it’s a damn good movie…James Bond will return in Die Another Day

 My Rating: C+
Format: DVD
I Own This Movie
Artwork by: Herring Haggis
Bond#19

Beetle Juice

Recently deceased couple Adam (Alec Baldwin) and Barbara Maitland (Geena Davis) who are struggling to come to terms with the confusion and drudgery of the afterlife when an unwanted family of oddballs Charles Deetz (Jeffrey Jones) his obnoxious wife Delia (Catherine O’Hara) and funereal loving daughter Lydia (Winona Ryder) move in and overrun there once quaint and beautiful home. Delia who with her nasal, mauve-mongering Soho decorator Otho (Glenn Shadix) strip there home of all its charm and turn it into modern art hell. Unable to spook the living out them selfs they call on the help of Beetlejuice (Michael Keaton) a cowboy/used car sales man stye “bio exorcist “. This obnoxious poltergeist promises to “exorcise” the living from the home, but dishes out a tonne of supernatural mayhem while he’s at it!

Beetlejuice.. Beetlejuice.. Beetlejuice… Aww nothing happened, was really hoping for the ghost with the most Beetlejuice to appear and start jamming to “Day-O” (The Banana Boat Song) with me… aww well! Still we have the movie, and it’s an amazing movie, its a fun wacky macabre zany movie, Its a movie that could only of been envisioned by the dark twisted and fantastical imagination of Tim Burton. Tim who teams up with writers Michael McDowel and Larry Wilson (The Nightmare Before Christmas).  I love the thought of the Neitherworld, its not hell or even hellish its just screwed up and mental.  Also going out of bounds transporting you to Saturn that was covered in those sand worms was an amazing touch.  Michael Keaton is in no doubt the main star of the flim and actually ad-libbed many of his lines.  Funny, scary, gross extremely innaproprate and strangley loveable Beetlejuice really is the ghost with the most!

Why did I choose this movie? Well because it is completely bizarre, wacky comedy about the undead with one of the most memorable characters ever, the perfect Halloween Movie!! Its subtle touches like the undead hand book and the support worker who had her throat slit and breaths her ciggerette smoke out the hole just adds to the insanity and fun of the movie, I think that if it was made today Jonny Depp and Helena Bonham Carter at the helm but don’t worry I cant see a remake in the mix. Its charm is that despite being over twenty years old, Beetlejuice is relatively ageless, the special effects are spot on with the anamtronics even lending its quirkyness to the whole thing.  A creative and very original story that you will watch, watch again and enjoy over and over! Shake shake shake Señora, shake your body line…

 My Rating: A*
Format: DVD
I Own This Movie

Hot Rod

Rod Kimble (Adam Samberg) is a daredevil and self-proclaimed stuntman who is pretty woeful  at what he does but still wishes to follow in his late father’s footsteps, who long ago was a daredevil stunt man!  Rod lives at home with his mother Marie (Sissy Spacek) and his hard-ass stepfather Frank (Ian McShane)  with whom Rod has a standing weekly appointment to physically fight to prove whose more of a man.   However when it transpires  that Frank needs a heart transplant that they cannot afford Rod is devastated, as he loses any hope of defeating him in hand-to-hand combat. Rods friends and would be stunt crew band together in  order to help him raise the $50,000 needed for Franks transplant in a series of stunts that Rod will perform for money! This inner circle include younger brother Kevin (Jorma Taccone) Dave (Bill Hader) Rico(Danny McBride) sexy neighbour Denise (Isla Fisher) who all help Rod in  preparing for the stunt of his life.

To be honest hot rod does not ask you too much as far as attention to story or plot it offers something much more rewarding… laugh’s and lots of them!  American comedy troupe The Lonely Island, are the masterminds behind this freakishly random and horrendously funny work of pure genus.  Adam Samberg, Jorma Taccone both co-wrote and starred alongside director Akiva Schaffer who had a nice cameo.  The three use a comedy style that had worked wonders for them have created something of a mixture of Talladega Nights with Napoleon Dynamite. It is no wonder Hot Rod has become such a clut classic.  It is a low budget, hit and miss comedy that’s not to everyone’s taste but to those who love it will withstand being watched over and over again, in fact I think it is the type of movie that gets better upon every watch!

Why did I choose this movie? look at the cast! Not only do we have The Lonely Island crew but also Bill Hader, Danny McBride and Chris Parnell, men who are behind such comedy’s as 21 Jump Street, Anchorman, Your Highness , Tropic Thunder, Pineapple Express, I wanna watch all of those again now!   What you get is 88 minutes or so of laugh out loud and laugh louder comedy that you will wanna watch over and over again!!

My Rating: C
Format: Netflix
I Would Buy This Movie

Tomorrow Never Dies

Elliot Carver (Jonathan Pryce) plans to use his global news network company to pit the world’s superpowers against each other in order to boost his ratings.  Starting by destroying a British warship in Chinese waters, the criminal mastermind is set to bring the world to the brink of WWIII.  James Bond (Pierce Brosnan) is set on a mission with a 48 hour time limit to investigate Elliot Carver and uncover the plot that threatens to pit the world’s largest naval fleet with the world’s biggest Airforce.  Bond joins forces with a lethally combative Chinese agent Wai Lin (Michelle Yeoh), who is on orders like Bond to uncover the truth before all-out war ensues and this egotistical media baron fulfils his mad scheme to write tomorrows news today.

Tomorrow Never Dies is the first movie title that in no way relates to the novels of or Ian Fleming himself. The original title was “Tomorrow Never Lies”, however a mistake was made at the printing office and the but the marketing department decided to keep it.  It is the first film produced after the death of Albert R. Broccoli and his legacy is continued by stepson  Michael G. Wilson and his wife Barbara Broccoli.  The villain plays out well in this movie.   Beginning with a post credit sequence that is another of my favourites showing Bond at a terrorist arms bazaar on the Russian border.  The thrilling set of events full of action and suspense just throw you into the movie right away and make you yell “Yes” at all of the heroics.  News baron Elliot Carver influencing and creating news storys for his own gains was a great idea for a villain in the late 90s.  Jonathan Pryce was a fantastic choice he just loos and plays the part so well.   Teri Hatcher is unbelievably beautiful, and has that same sexy sass that I think the best Bong girls should have.  With their scenes together you get the feeling that he really did love her and still does. It in many ways brought something more real into the mix, an ex-girlfriend in many ways, and although the mission is there he has to confront that past with her.   Teri Hatcher actually was three months pregnant at the time of filming and only took the part to fulfil her husband’s lifelong dream of being married to a Bond girl.  Her Husband sounds cool!  The Michelle Yeoh plays Wai Lin the Chinese Bond counterpart and does it well. She is totally kick ass and looks sexy as all hell.  Her character is full of action but the romance between her feels more like cat and mouse and its not always apparent who is who.  Regardless at least they didn’t stoop to a stupid name for her.  The theme song for Tomorrow Never Dies is “Tomorrow never Dies” written by Mitchell Froom and Sheryl Crow who also performed the songs vocals. It is a fantastic tune and as with Goldeneye has its own take on the Bond theme. It fits the feeling of the movie along with the Credits sequence that has of lovely naked lady’s silhouetted against media’s coverage TV screens and binary code.

Why did I choose this movie?  Tomorrow Never Dies has loads of elements that I love in a bond movie and though a lot of blogs and critics from being hollow, shallow and full of shameful product placement.  I have to agree that on a lot of levels this is true and the disjointed feeling comes from a script that wasn’t finished at the time filming began but the Bond formula is there and it still works even if some of it’s a little bit extravagant.  I really am a fan of Brosnan’s bond maybe this is why I give the credit to this movie that I do.  I like how he comes over as more human, more jaded and troubled. This was hinted on in Goldeneye by 006 and pushes into Tomorrow never Dies especially with the hinted back story between Bond and Paris. ASll the regulars are back Judi Dench and Samantha Bond as M and Moneypenny play the girl power roles to perfection.  As always the scenes with Q (Desmond Llewelyn) are the ones you look forward to and look back on with a smile. I also loved how Jack Wade () was brought back briefly I loved his character in Goldeneye and if your quick you can catch Gerard Butler as a crewman on HMS Devonshire. Tomorrow Never dies is pure escapist entertainment Pierce Brosnan is all out action in this spectacular death-defying thrill ride of a movie.  The stunts are cleaver and amazing the gadgets fun and quirky and the characters good and bad are a joy to watch.  The one liners are not just left for bond and it is immensely quotable …James Bond will return in The World is not Enough.

 My Rating: B
Format: DVD
I Own This Movie
Artwork by: Alain Bossyut
Bond#18

XXX

Xander Cage (Vin Diesel) aka Triple X or XXX is your standard adrenaline junkie with no fear and a lousy teenage sketer attitude who spends his days looking cool behind the wheel of some super car he has stolen doing hand break turns, crashing off bridges and all that other juvenile shit all in order to teach Americas politicians some sort of message.  NSA Agent Augustus Gibbons (Samuel L. Jackson) decides to recruit Triple X in order to do what his spies have been unable to, infiltrate the underground Eastern European terrorist group Anarchy 99, under the control of a nihilistic leader Yorgi (Marton Csokas).  Xander having the option to go undercover in the midst of a criminal origination or face prison reluctantly decides to work for Gibbons and heads off to the Czech Republic in order to uncover the nefarious schemes of the anarchist group.

XXX is Vin Diesels first the lead role, and if I am honest his performance is nothing short of perfection, when you set it beside the brutality at which his co starts approached their roles.  Diesel also performed most of his own stunts, the ones that the insurance guys would let him at any rate.  Italian beauty Asia Argento who lays Yorgis girlfriend Yelena  holds her own on screen however  it is hard to say anything bad about a woman who is covered in tattoos and has such sultry seductive magnificence.  The rest of the cast and im including Samuel L. Jackson just walk it in but its not all that bad.   Its all stunts and explosions and I don’t mean that as a necessary bad thing, the craft in the stunt work and pyrotechnics is amazing, most shots being planed out to be performed in a single shot.  The soundtrack is pretty amazing as well, Rammstein even appearing at the beginning of the film, but the album also features Queens of the Stone Age, Drowning Pool, Hatebreed, Nelly, Lil’ Wayne, N.E.R.D, Orbital, and Moby so a good diverse mix of genres that all seem to work in this little world that Rich Wilkes and Rob Cohen created.

Why did I choose this movie?  Yes its unbelievably stupid but somehow I just love it! When it came out it was seen to be a threat to the James Bond 007 movies, and in many ways it forced them to change up the formula a little but over all XXX is a salute to all that makes Bond great. It’s the kind of movie that wont give you any big surprises, you think your sitting down to watch 2 hours of stunts, extreme sports, guns and shit getting blown up and that’s exactly what you get. Its not trying to be clever, the pace is great and you won’t get bored for a second.  This movie is all about fun and that’s what you get.  Shaved head tough guy with tattoos and witty one liners how could I not enjoy this movie!

My Rating: C
Format: DVD
I Own This This Movie