12 Pounds of Bullshit

[THE CHALK-OUTLINE]

12 Rounds (2009): Breakdown by Kain424

A mish-mash of the plots of Ricochet, Die Hard With A Vengeance and Speed, minus anything that made those films cool.

[THE EXECUTION]

How can the guy who gave us such awesome action classics as Die Hard 2 and Cliffhanger possibly fuck up such an easy premise?  I can’t be sure, but it might have something to do with horrible cinematography and the PG-13 rating.

I’m fairly certain that 12 Rounds was aiming for the PG-13 rating to begin with, as all of the cussing is offscreen (so it can be edited out more easily later and put back in for an EXTREME unrated dvd later) and the violence filmed so poorly that one cannot discern the choreography at all.  The latter makes it so terrible that one has to take their eyes from the screen just to rest a while before returning to the movie.  This should NEVER happen in ANY movie.  I mean, just watch this clip:

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12 Rounds rights held by Fox Atomic

I have not edited that in any way, the movie is actually filmed like that.  It goes on like that for the ENTIRE duration!  Unfortunately, this filming “technique” heavily detracts from an already sub-par piece of work from a once-dependable Action director.  Combine this with the cinematographer’s need to aim the camera directly into beams of light, and you’ve got a film that seems bent on becoming unwatchable.

The film deprives us of crowd-pleasing moments and even emasculates the hero by giving the final line and hit to his girl.  It’s truly sad, seeing as the plot absolutely lends itself to many possible great moments.  For a film featuring a pro-wrestler, it’s depressing that there isn’t a single great fight sequence.

It’s not all bad news though, as star John Cena shows remarkable improvement in his range as an actor here since The Marine.  Cena exudes a kind of angry badassitude that so rarely permeates in Action films today.  He has great promise, but if he continues to get involved in crap like this, it’ll be pro-wrestling forever or DTV land, and not in the top tier either.  Say hello to your next co-star, Mr. Lamas.

[HOW BAD-ASS IS THE MAIN CHARACTER?]

John Cena is Detective Danny Fisher

No one takes this guy seriously.  Even though he looks like a huge, muscled out Marky Mark, Fisher takes shit from his wife, his partner, the bad guys, and the FBI.  Any threats he makes are ignored, and it turns out that this is all completely justified when the 5′8″ 120 lb. villain manages to beat the hell out of him in a helicopter.  Danny Fisher is a wuss.

[THE BODY COUNT: 12]

In the unrated version, a few of the deaths are given a bit more blood, but overall it’s pretty limp.  Cena isn’t really responsible for any of the deaths shown in the film, while the main baddie is responsible for all of them.  Most are offscreen, but corpses are shown later, so at least we have confirmation.

[MOST SATISFYING DEATH]

Fisher’s partner, Carver, gets taken out like Jeff Daniels in Speed, but not before uttering the word “bitch”.  This guy was pretty annoying for the first quarter of the film, so his was a welcome demise.

[DUDESWEAT AND MACHISMO]

Though Fisher and Carver nag at one another a bit, they don’t seem to have that classic gay couple squabbleness like one would find in the usual buddy-cop film.  Nothing there, really.

We do get to see Cena play dress-up over the course of the film, first as a cop, then a firefighter, and also in casual wear.  He refuses to go shirtless though, perhaps to further make him seem like more of a wuss.

[EXPLOITATION AND MISOGYNY]

The women in this film are all gorgeous and useless.  Sure, they all seem to be adept drivers or pilots, but are also shown to be defenseless, emotional blackmailers.

[EPIC MOMENT AND BEST ONE-LINER]

I am really struggling to come up with an epic moment here, or at least one that I liked.  I suppose when Cena pulls a Live Free Or Die Hard and sends an unmanned police car into some transformers to knock out the power was pretty cool.

As for the best one-liner, I liked it when the bad guy is sitting across from our hero on a bus, and Cena delivers, with perfect angry intensity this:

“What’s keepin’ me… from reaching over there and kickin’ the SHIT outta you!?”

Cena completely pulls off the scene, but doesn’t deliver on the line’s promise.  For shame.

[THE MORAL OF THE STORY]

It’s always actually about money.  So it’s ironic that this film didn’t make any.

[THE CHECKLIST: 11 outta 25]

[X] Athlete(s) Turned “Actor”
[X] Clinging To The Outside Of A Moving Vehicle
[X] Crotch Attack
[  ] Dialogue Telling Us How Bad-Ass The Main Character(s) Is/Are
[X] Ending Featuring An Ambulance, A Blanket or A Towel
[  ] Factory/Warehouse
[X] Giant Explosion(s)
[  ] Heavy Artillery
[X] Improvised Weapon(s)
[X] Macho Mode(s) Of Transportation
[X] Main Character Sports Facial Accessory(s)
[  ] Manly Embrace(s)
[  ] Notorious Stunt-Man Sighting
[  ] Passage(s) Of Time Via Montage
[  ] Politically Fueled Plot Point(s)
[X] Senseless Destruction Of Property
[  ] Shoot Out(s) and/or Sword Fight(s)
[  ] Slow-Motion Finishing Move(s)/Death(s)
[X] Stupid Authoritative Figure(s)
[  ] Substance Usage and/or Abuse
[  ] Tis The Season
[  ] Torture Sequence(s)
[  ] Unnecessary Sequel
[X] Vehicle Chase(s)
[  ] Vigilante Justice

Another Film “Improved” By Shaky-Cam

12 Rounds (2009) © WWE Films, Inc. and 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment

Street Fighter: The Legend Of That Hot Chick From EURO TRIP—No, Not The Blonde, The Other One. Yeah, The Chick From SMALLVILLE.

[THE CHALK-OUTLINE]

Street Fighter: The Legend Of Chun-Li (Unleashed and Unrated Edition) (2009): Breakdown by Rantbo

Robin Shou teaches a questionably hot girl to make energy balls and fire them at a corrupt business criminal in revenge for kidnapping her father.

[THE EXECUTION]

If Clive Barker and Ang Lee had a butt baby together, and it decided to follow after its fathers’ profession, it would make this movie. Which sounds either awesome, or like the worst idea ever. And I’m somewhere in the middle. I’ll give you the bad news first…

This entry is interesting, as you can clearly see how action has been pussified over the last 15 years.

STREET FIGHTER (1994)

Lead Character: Jean-Claude Van Damme. Former European karate champion and nineties action icon.
Story: Special Forces Commando and his elite team of fighters take on a crazed drug lord-turned Private Army General, bent on world domination.

STREET FIGHTER: THE LEGEND OF CHUN-LI (2009)

Lead Character: Kristin Kruek. Former girlfriend to teenage Superman and hard-body dancer in EURO TRIP.
Story: Concert pianist learns to wire-fight and tap her inner half-circle-forward punch to defeat a white-collar criminal that messed with her family.

Probably the best proof is in the character of Vega. The actor playing him, went from a ripped beefcake to the creepy guy (not Fergie) of the Black Eyed Peas.

It just got ‘retarded in here!’

The worst thing about this film though, has to be the embarrassingly annoying catering to morons. Lets begin with the terrible and unnecessary stupid fucking voice over. Which literally tells you EXACTLY what’s going on, the moment the words are spoken. It’s fucking HORRIBLE! Then, after the 1st act it all but disappears (thankfully) and doesn’t come back till just before the end credits, making me believe that it was an afterthought added in post by some dumb-ass studio exec that couldn’t handle the visual ambiance telling the story. Think the original cut of BLADE RUNNER, only much dumber. Sadly, the voice over isn’t the most insulting aspect–no, no, we get flashbacks for that.

Again, only in the first act and right before the end credits, the filmmakers decided to use flashbacks for some of the most insultingly apparent shit from literally 5 minutes before and again from 30 seconds before. Literally, 30 seconds pass and we get a flashback so us dumb fuck audience members can see what we SURELY missed LESS THAN HALF A MINUTE AGO! Arghhh!!!

Though all is not lost with SF:TLOCL.

The settings are gorgeous. I always thought Thailand looked like a shithole, and it does–But, the way in which it is captured in this film, it looks like slightly less of one. I looked up the director, and sure enough it turns out Andrzej Bartkowiak was/is a cinematographer for some pretty slick looking action movies: LETHAL WEAPON 4, FALLING DOWN, U.S. MARSHALS. But recently he’s been into directing: EXIT WOUNDS, CRADLE 2 THE GRAVE, DOOM–this piece of shit… Needless to say, I think this guy should stick to holding a camera.

And then there’s Neal McDonaugh as Bison…

I don’t particularly care for the actor, and as far as being “Bison”, he is in name only, but–this guy is written as one evil mother fucker. Wow. We’re talking Emperor Palpatine from JEDI and Scar from THE LION KING immorally vicious type fuck-head. He does a bunch of shitty-shit, the nastiest of which I’ll discuss later, but for the most part, you just have to watch him in action. And as if his deeds were not sinister enough, every time he moves, (when in a fight), a lion roars, so you know he’s a bad mother fucker. Bison makes this laughable garbage uncharacteristically dark and unnecessarily funny all at the same time.

So, in the end. I’m glad I watched this one. It’s pretty awful, but there are too many unintentionally funny moments and gonzo-wacky shit going on to make me regret my time spent. I think I might even have to own a copy of this, if for nothing else than to show other people so they can understand what I’m talking about.

[HOW BAD-ASS ARE THE MAIN CHARACTERS?]

Kristin Kreuk is Chun-Li

“I had to lose myself to the pulse of the streets. I had to become one, with the people of Bangkok.”
“This was all so new to me!”
“I felt lost–chasing a ghost, I might never find.”

That’s an example of her voice over. ~Shudder~ So, I already hate her for that reason, and the level of her badassitude doesn’t help out so much, as it’s all ridiculously goofy shit.

-You watch her grow throughout the opening credits and she manages to go from being 100% Asian to being maybe 10% by the time she is a teenager. They didn’t show her undergoing any surgeries, so I have to assume that it’s one of her special moves. Or an alternate costume (she pressed select!).
-Able to defy gravity by float-jumping off of 100 foot drops, a lot.
-Can snap necks with her ankles. Think about that–that has to take talent.
-Has the power to look strikingly sexy one moment and like a total bridge-troll the next.

My PreshiouSSSssss

Chris Klein is Interpol Agent Chuck Nash

The new God of shitty action cops. The guy listens to crunk music, has never showered–so far as I can tell–and acts/talks like a sassy teenage cheerleader. He’s hysterical.

Also, he’s a total fucking scum bag. For instance, at one point to avoid being seen by Michael Clark Duncan, Nash grabs Moon Bloodgood and starts snogging her hardcore. The best part is, there is no way that they would have been noticed. Wait, I take that back–THE BEST part is, after Duncan drives off, Nash says this: “That had to be done.” And that’s not even his best stuff, check out this dialogue gold:

“Call me Nash.”

“I LUV this job!”

“You don’t want a ticket to this dance–detective!”

“Of course. [OF COURSE!] It’s a front for Shadaloo. Bison’s bringing crime into the neighborhoods to drive the land value down. And then he’s buying it back up wholesale!–We gotta move on that.”

“Nash–out.” My favorite. He says this gem twice during the film after getting off a cb radio. And it’s said with such seriousness and conviction, I laughed out loud both times.

[THE BODY COUNT: AROUND 40]

Holy Hadouken! This movie actually topped it’s predecessor. And WAY more violently, I might add. I didn’t watch the theatrical cut, but after watching the DVD, it’s clear that they shot for an R rating. Which is pretty sweet, when you think about it. The good guys manage to rack up around 23-25 of the evil doers and Chun-Li even manages to get a couple herself, including the goriest, I might add (see next section).

The weird thing is, I don’t seem to remember there being fatalities in the Street Fighter games–or guns. But both are presented here in full, uncut glory. The bad guys obviously rack up the rest of the count, most of which is in a giant shoot out between Nash’s and Bison’s men. It’s pretty well shot, and you can tell the director is a fan of 80s action by the way he sends wave after wave of faceless men after one another, filling each other with lead, never to be seen again. Or before, for that matter.

[MOST SATISFYING ASS-KICKING & DEATH]

The top death easily goes to Bison. Sorry, spoilers. After getting his ass blown off a rooftop with a fireball (MORTAL KOMBAT style), Bison lands crippled on the edge of a scaffolding. It’s at this point that his daughter (who is unaware that he is evil) is trotted out by Nash, just in time to witness Li jump down onto his neck, grasping it with her ankles and letting the weight of her 100 foot fall twist his fucking head around backwards.

His eyes bulge in the light of a streetlamp as blood oozes from his mouth. Pretty wicked, and I have to say, completely unexpected.

[CHICKSWEAT AND FEMCHISMO]

They make no qualms about Bison’s underboss Cantana’s fish-market hobbies, as she is duped into revealing Bison’s secret bad-guy plans after being shanghaied on the dance floor by Li–in one of the most laughably stupid seduction scenes EVER filmed, I might add. They spin around the dance floor looking constipated to some awful ‘Street Fighter’ rap song, before leaving to go clam dive in the bathroom. Oh, and I think it’s worth mentioning that Li also snaps Cantana’s arm like a slim-jim.

It’s an odd kink, to be sure, but it did help loosen that tongue, which is what it’s all about. Isn’t that right, ladies?

[EXPLOITATION AND MISOGYNY]

Bison beats Cantana to death with his bare hands. And we get to see it. It’s completely fucked up and brutal. And if being punched to death wasn’t bad enough, he has her strung up by her fragmented arms. That’s just cruel.

Also, Moon Bloodgood’s character sets professional women back further than Erin Brockovich, by constantly flaunting her titties in super-tight half-shirts and push-up bras. And she’s supposed to be a respectable agent.

But that shit is NOTHING compared to what happened around the 50 minute mark…

One of THE most fucked up scenes, I’ve ever seen. EVER. (Seriously, I actually yelled out ‘What The Fuck!”) This scene happens while Robin Shou is telling Bison’s back story to Chun-Li. It’s a classic tale of unwanted youth, rebelling over his unfortunate situations, but a minute or two in, the random-shit-o’-meter gets buried in the red.

A teenage Bison believes that he needs to transfer the goodness of his soul(?) into his unborn daughter to make himself impenetrable to his own conscience and moral influence. So, Bison lays his beautiful bride down in a sacred cave and carefully undoes her blouse. He gently caresses her swollen pregnant belly and just when I think that a special effect of light and magic will send his “goodness” into her–HE STABS HIS HANDS THROUGH HER BELLYBUTTON AND RIPS OUT THE BABY.

The young woman screams, blood sprays everywhere and Bison roots around in her entrails dislodging the unborn baby which sounded like a boot stuck in mud–only wetter, mixed with the sound effects of the alien chest-burster.

I’m sorry, but I must reiterate–What–The–Fuck!? What the fuck does this sick shit have to do with a fighting tournament? And more importantly, WHY? Why–The–Fuck did they have to show this? I don’t remember this move in the game.

Look, I’m 100% pro-movie violence and gore, all-the-way. But the sheer idea of having a pregnant woman stabbed through the stomach by her husband’s bare hands–in a fucking Street Fighter movie, is as ill-conceived as that poor child. Not too mention fucking sick. They wouldn’t even pull that shit in a Friday the 13th movie. This movie succeeded in doing something no-other has done since I was a child. Grossed me out. Ugh–I feel dirty.

[EPIC MOMENT AND BEST ONE-LINER]

Chun-Li finally gets to fight an actual character from the game around the one-hour mark. Thankfully all the bullshit I had to sit through (aside from Nash, who is my hero), is made worth the wait with one amazing logic-defying move. Li kicks Vega in the face and sends him flying, literally FLYING–up, over AND behind her into a gravity defying 4320° upward spin, that Tony Hawk himself couldn’t pull off jumping out of an in-flight airplane. Vega sticks the landing, by the way. So perfectly, in fact, that even an East German judge would give him full marks. THEN, he caresses his MASK where she connected. It’s so fucking dumb, I have to applaud it.

As for the one-liner, there are dozens, literally dozens, of lame-ass pre and post-beat-down one liners, but they are all so, so terrible. But, when I had all but given up hope, one bit of dialogue got me giggling like a munchkin…

Papa-Li [sobbing after being reunited with his daughter]: “You know I tried so hard for so many years–just to keep you safe–to protect you–to make sure you had the good life.”
Chun-Li [trying to emote]: “I would rather have you!”

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!

[THE MORAL OF THE STORY]

Pinhead ain’t got shit on M. Bison.

[THE CHECKLIST: 16 outta 25]

[X] Athlete(s) Turned “Actor”
[  ] Clinging To The Outside Of A Moving Vehicle
[X] Crotch Attack
[  ] Dialogue Telling Us How Bad-Ass The Main Character(s) Is/Are
[  ] Ending Featuring An Ambulance, A Blanket or A Towel
[  ] Factory/Warehouse
[X] Giant Explosion(s)
[X] Heavy Artillery
[X] Improvised Weapon(s)
[X] Macho Mode(s) Of Transportation
[X] Main Character Sports Facial Accessory(s)
[  ] Manly Embrace(s)
[  ] Notorious Stunt-Man Sighting
[X] Passage(s) Of Time Via Montage
[X] Politically Fueled Plot Point(s)
[X] Senseless Destruction Of Property
[X] Shoot Out(s) and/or Sword Fight(s)
[X] Slow-Motion Finishing Move(s)/Death(s)
[X] Stupid Authoritative Figure(s)
[X] Substance Usage and/or Abuse
[  ] Tis The Season
[X] Torture Sequence(s)
[  ] Unnecessary Sequel
[  ] Vehicle Chase(s)
[X] Vigilante Justice

Robin Shou has officially been in 3 separate fighting videogame-franchise movie adaptations. A moment of silence for his career…

Street Fighter: Alpha Ex Turbo Wiskey Tango Foxtrot The Movie

[THE CHALK-OUTLINE]

Street Fighter (1994): Breakdown by Rantbo

An eccentric douche, in a red leather jumpsuit and cape, tries to take over the world. Is foiled by a French guy disguised as an American guy and a rag-tag team of goofy looking gay buttholes. Of course!

[THE EXECUTION]

I don’t understand why so many people hate this movie. I’ll agree, it’s pretty bad, but not nearly enough to warrant the amount of negative bile spewed when it’s brought up in conversation. It’s a movie, based on a game, that so far as I can tell, has no storyline outside of FIGHT! And in my opinion, this movie is on-par stupid with the game. Street Fighter 2 has a ludicrous premise, silly-ass characters, a shitty (non-existent) story and over-the-top nonsensical fighting–just like the movie! So what’s there to complain about? And personally, I’d much rather watch the movie than play the game, because in the movie you get to watch Van Damme tussle with Gomez Adams.

As far as shitty videogame adaptations go, this one is one of the least shittiest. While it’s not quite as not-shitty as DOA, SILENT HILL or LARA CROFT: TOMB RAIDER, it’s still less-shitty than MORTAL KOMBAT 2, all 3 RESIDENT EVIL’s, DOUBLE DRAGON,  SUPER MARIO BROS., WING COMMANDER, LARA CROFT TOMB RAIDER 2 (also written by de Souza), MAX PAYNE, HITMAN and everything Uwe Boll’s done. And I’d say it’s on the shittiness par with the original MORTAL KOMBAT and DOOM. But I rarely hear people making fun of those movies (Uwe Boll withstanding).

STREET FIGHTER is an action comedy targeted at teenagers and kids from the early 90s that frequented arcades and were fans of Van Dammage. If you don’t fit into that crowd, you probably won’t get too much enjoyment out of this one. I, however, find it thoroughly entertaining.  There’s a couple fun action scenes, a few funny jokes, a bunch of laughably bad ones: Raúl Juliá flying around in a leather-daddy cape with Mario’s power boots, the incredible Hulk’s little brother and pop-sensation Kylie Minogue blowing shit up with a rocket-launcher. How can you not get some enjoyment out of that?

[HOW BAD-ASS IS THE MAIN CHARACTER?]

“He was a brave man, a true warrior.”

Jean-Claude Van Damme is Colonel William F. Guile, The Repo Man

-Single-handedly drives an army tank, with twin warheads attached, into a warehouse and through shear badass intimidation alone, convinces a couple hundred people to turn themselves in for arrest without conflict.
-When outnumbered 20 to 1, against a squad of machine-gun wielding automatons, not only does Van Damme not give up, he pulls out a knife.
-Sports an Old Glory tattoo on his bicep
-Able to pole vault without a pole and could easily win gold in the Olympic long jump event, as he is able to pull off a 20 yard long, 15 foot vertical, jump kick.

JCVD: [Solemn] Troopers, I just received new orders. Our superiors say the war is canceled. We can all go home. (Raúl Juliá) is getting paid off for his crimes, and our friends who ave died here will have died for nothing. But, we can all go home. Meanwhile, ideals like peace, freedom, and justice, they get packed up. But, we can all go home. [Angry] Well, I’m not going home. I’m gonna get on my boat, and I’m going upriver, and I’m going to kick that son of a bitch Bison’s ass so HARD that the next Bison wannabe is gonna feel it! Now, who wants to go home–and who wants to go with ME!? [Troopers Cheer]

[THE BODY COUNT: A VERY SURPRISING 32]

32 deaths in a PG-13 Street Fighter movie!? Oh, wait–this was directed by the writer of COMMANDO, DIE HARD and 48HRS. The world makes sense again. Van Damme caps an impressive (again, for the movie) 11 kills and even more impressive is his sidekick Kylie with 4. Pretty good for a skinny little midget. And backing them up was Team U.S.A. with 15 commie(?) corpses. The remaining 2 stiffs belong to Raúl Juliá, which I’ll discuss in the next section.

[MOST SATISFYING ASS-KICKINGS & DEATHS]

It’s a two-fer one this time. Shortly after the opening credits, Raúl Juliá proves his badassitude by allowing a couple of his captured American soldiers to try and kick his ass.

“You came from across the world to fight me, soldier. Now’s your chance. [Swing--miss--neck-snapped] Pathetic.” [Next in line steps up] “Yes! Your turn now! [Lunge--miss--neck-snapped]”

[DUDESWEAT AND MACHISMO]

Almost all the male characters are paired off in this film.

Ryu and Ken: clearly together, these two bicker like an old pre-prop 8 couple.

Balrog and E. Honda: there is a scene in which this pair are trapped in a torture chamber and the following conversation takes place…

Balrog (who’s chained to a wall): “Honda, gimme your hand!”
Honda (who’s tied to a torture rack): “We’ve only been in jail two hours. Maybe next month.”
Balrog: “Gimme your hand, fool!”

Dhalsim and Blanka: Since Van Damme is too shallow to accept Blanka’s new look (until later, after realizing he still loves him) Dhalsim steps up to un-break Blanka’s heart.

Sagat and Vega: Just look at these two and try dispute me?

Dee Jay and Zangief: A clear cut case of Cub and Bear.

I believe the pairing up of the male characters, was to suggest to the audience that the matched up men are sexual partners, as there is too little time to delve into their relationships with such a large ensemble cast.

And then there is Van Damme.

“He doesn’t like women does he?”

Van Damme wages a war, for the sole reason (at least for himself) of getting revenge on Raúl Juliá for kidnapping his buttbuddy, Chuck Blanka. I think it’s clear that Raúl never watched KICKBOXER, as he would have learned: You just don’t fuck with Van Damme’s lovers.

JCVD: “Dis is deh collection agency (Raúl Juliá), your ass is 6 months overdue–and it’s mine!”

Van Damme eventually does end up coming to the rescue of his lost love, but after seeing how warped Raúl Juliá’s chemicals have made Chuck look, he feels he has no other choice but to kill him and end his misery as he is no longer as sexually appealing as Van Damme. It’s here that Dhalsim takes a stand for fugly men everywhere and jumps on the grenade that is Blanka’s disfigured body. I guess Van Damme will just have to choose a new partner from the line-up of good looking single men at the end of the film. As if he wouldn’t have anyways.

[EXPLOITATION AND MISOGYNY]

[EPIC MOMENT AND BEST ONE-LINER]

A military staff meeting, on how best to locate and disarm Raúl Juliá, is interrupted with an assassination attempt by a waiter. Brandishing a knife, the killer runs across the table to strike at Van Damme, but has his feet kicked out from underneath him and before he can even try standing back up, is struck in the throat with a judo-chop and thrown to the floor like a discarded candy wrapper.

JCVD: “Any other, new business?”

And though that above line is pretty funny, I still like the following more.
[Upon finding out the Van Damme has “died”]
Dee Jay: “Dat’s great news General, congratulations!”
Raúl Juliá: “On the contrary, I mourn.”
Dee Jay: “OhK.”
Raúl Juliá: “I was hoping to face (Van Damme), personally on the battlefield. One gentleman warrior, to another. In respectful combat–Then I would snap his spine. Argh, the road not taken…”

[THE MORAL OF THE STORY]

I miss Raúl Juliá. Vaya Con Dios.

[THE VAN DAMMAGE: 3 outta 5]

[  ] An Entire Fight, Sans Shirt
[X] Close-Up Screaming
[  ] Dancing
[X] Jump-Kicks A Guy, Through Something
[X] Special Move Involving Either The Splits or A Spinning Round-House Kick

[THE CHECKLIST: 17 outta 25]

[X] Athlete(s) Turned “Actor” [JCVD]
[X] Clinging To The Outside Of A Moving Vehicle
[  ] Crotch Attack
[X] Dialogue Telling Us How Bad-Ass The Main Character(s) Is/Are
[  ] Ending Featuring An Ambulance, A Blanket or A Towel
[X] Factory/Warehouse
[X] Giant Explosion(s)
[X] Heavy Artillery
[X] Improvised Weapon(s)
[X] Macho Mode(s) Of Transportation
[X] Main Character Sports Facial Accessory(s)
[X] Manly Embrace(s)
[  ] Notorious Stunt-Man Sighting
[  ] Passage(s) Of Time Via Montage
[  ] Politically Fueled Plot Point(s)
[X] Senseless Destruction Of Property
[X] Shoot Out(s) and/or Sword Fight(s)
[  ] Slow-Motion Finishing Move(s)/Death(s)
[X] Stupid Authoritative Figure(s)
[X] Substance Usage and/or Abuse
[  ] Tis The Season
[X] Torture Sequence(s)
[X] Unnecessary Sequel
[Sort Of...]
[  ] Vehicle Chase(s)
[X] Vigilante Justice

Chun Li: My father saved his village at the cost of his own life. You had him shot as you ran away. A hero at a thousand paces!
Raúl Juliá: I’m sorry–I don’t remember any of it.
Chun Li: You don’t remember?
Raúl Juliá: For you, the day [Raúl Juliá] graced your village was the most important day of your life. But for me–it was Tuesday.

The Retro-Active Abortionator

The Terminator

[THE CHALK-OUTLINE]

The Terminator (1984): Breakdown by Kain424

In the future, man and machine are nearing the end of a hard-fought war.  Seeing their closing demise, the machines send an assassin back in time to kill the mother of the man that’s lead to their downfall, and the humans send Michael Biehn back to stop it.

[THE EXECUTION]

As both the writer and director, James Cameron seems to understand how to make something both grim and cool.  The Terminator is, stylistically, an attempt at horror, noir, science fiction, and Action.  I’m not saying it succeeds on all accounts, but the result is very impressive, even twenty five years later.

Most interesting, is that the antagonist takes on an emulative quality, and becomes an embodiment of the audience’s visceral and inhibited desires.  He is an invincible machine, heavily goal-oriented, that acts without any perceived consequences.  Schwarzenegger plays the part with underrated intensity, at times moving like a shear force of will, and at others with the static, electronic motions of a surveillance camera.  If anything, the film is an excellent showcase of Arnie’s skills with a gun, and his charisma (even in the role of a villain) as a star.  You want to see more of him, and he remains a powerful force even when off-screen.

The Action sequences are evenly spaced throughout the film, and Cameron seems to enjoy building up to each one with high moments of tension, like a snake about to strike.  Once an Action scene begins, it quickly elevates into carefully edited chaos.  There are gunfights, shootouts, and car chases.  For a first-time Action director, Cameron seems to know what he’s doing.

Add to that Brad Fiedel’s excellent synthesized score and the whole thing is given a very powerful, mechanical quality, with an epic tone.  Fucking classic.

The film is really a chase movie, and because most moments of levity were edited out of the final product, it feels a bit like it never lets up.  This creates thrills of a rare kind and also one of the best false endings in film history.  The Terminator has a gritty feel to it, and the movie’s violence helps pitch the overall feel of everything from sci-fi Action more towards horror territory.

[HOW BAD-ASS ARE THE MAIN CHARACTERS?]

Arnold Schwarzenegger is The Terminator, T-800 Model 101

Built like a tank and just as powerful, the Terminator is frightening and awesome at the same time.  He single-handedly takes on an entire police station filled with cops and wins.  In fact, the Terminator survives dozens of gunshots, a motorcycle crash, being hit by a semi-truck, plastique bombs, and even an exploding tanker.  He just keeps coming.  There’s a reason Arnie is so well connected to this role.

“It can’t be bargained with.  It can’t be reasoned with. It doesn’t feel pity!  Or remorse! Or fear!  And it absolutely will not stop!  Ever!  Until you are dead!”

Michael Biehn is Kyle Reese

Reese is a bad-ass from the future.  It is shown that he spends his days fapping to a photo of Sarah Connor, but by nightfall, he leads missions into the rubble that once was L.A. to do battle with giant robot tanks and flying mechanical warships.  Sure, next to the Terminator he looks weak and nonthreatening, but the guy can hold his own against cops and even dares to face-down the Terminator without a gun.  Dumb, or bad-ass?  It’s a thin line–You decide.

Linda Hamilton is Sarah Connor

Sarah remains the damsel-in-distress for much of the film, effectively annihilating her case for bad-assitude until the final part of the film.  With her sole protector/newfound fuckfriend losing his strength through bullet holes, it’s up to her to find the inner and outer strength to keep going.  For the last ten minutes or so, we are privy to a pretty bad-ass woman being pretty cool.

[THE BODY COUNT: 46 PEOPLE, 2 DOGS, AND 1 T-800]

Arnold’s model 101 Terminator kills 30 people, and several others die in flashback scenes of a dismal future.  The terminators of the future are just as deadly, and kill half as many there, as well as the dogs that detect them.

[MOST SATISFYING DEATH]

Brian Thompson manages to land a strike with a switchblade on a naked Arnie.  He pays for it with his life as the Terminator punches through his stomach and breaks his god-damn spine.

[DUDESWEAT AND MACHISMO]

Arnie walks around naked for a bit, but the only love scene featured in the film is between a man and a woman.  I blame the fact that the 80s were not yet in full swing.

[EXPLOITATION AND MISOGYNY]

We get both sides of the feminine coin here, as Sarah Connor goes from a ditzy waitress to a stoic, mother-of-the-savior-of-mankind in about two hours.  Points for progress, I guess.  Still, you do get to see her ta-tas.

[EPIC MOMENT AND BEST ONE-LINER]

Sarah Connor thinks she is being followed.  Finally getting a hold of the police, they tell her to stay in a public place so she’ll remain safe.  Sarah camps out in a crowded nightclub, but calls her home to tell her roommate where she is.  This alerts the Terminator to her whereabouts, and he is anything but afraid of crowds.  In the next scene he is shown, already at the club.  A bouncer tries to stop him from entering and Schwarzenegger crushes the guy’s fucking hand without showing a modicum of worry.

The way Arnold nails the scene is in his ability to sell the Terminator’s complete and inhuman focus on his mission that, we the audience, know as well as the T-800.  It’s an excellent moment, and my favorite of the film, as it more than adequately says everything about the Terminator, while still leaving us wondering about him.

As for one-liners, there are aplenty, but I’ll go with the scene that made the film famous.  Schwarzenegger is denied entry into a police station, but he surveys the area for a brief moment, then leans in and intones threateningly, “I’ll be back.”

What’s great about this one-liner is not that it follows an epic action scene, but that it promises one to come.  And come, it does.  For the next several minutes, the Terminator mercilessly guns down an outmatched police force in a sequence that wouldn’t be rivaled in the annals of bad-assery until 15 years later in The Matrix.

[THE MORAL OF THE STORY]

Keep your chin up, you have no idea what you might be worth in the future.  And Arnold Schwarzenegger is nearly impossible to kill.

[THE SIGNS OF SCHWARZENEGGER: 5 outta 5]

[X] Performs A Ridiculous Feat(s) of Strength
[X] Says, “I’ll be back.”
[X] Shows Off Buffness
[X] Unnecessarily Violent Opponent Dispatch
[X] Wields A Big Gun or Sword With One Arm

[THE CHECKLIST: 17 outta 25]

[X] Athlete(s) Turned “Actor”
[X] Clinging To The Outside Of A Moving Vehicle
[  ] Crotch Attack
[X] Dialogue Telling Us How Bad-Ass The Main Character(s) Is/Are
[X] Ending Featuring An Ambulance, A Blanket or A Towel
[X] Factory/Warehouse
[X] Giant Explosion(s)
[X] Heavy Artillery
[X] Improvised Weapon(s)
[X] Macho Mode(s) Of Transportation
[X] Main Character Sports Facial Accessory(s)
[  ] Manly Embrace(s)
[  ] Notorious Stunt-Man Sighting
[  ] Passage(s) Of Time Via Montage
[  ] Politically Fueled Plot Point(s)
[X] Senseless Destruction Of Property
[X] Shoot Out(s) and/or Sword Fight(s)
[  ] Slow-Motion Finishing Move(s)/Death(s)
[X] Stupid Authoritative Figure(s)
[X] Substance Usage and/or Abuse
[  ] Tis The Season
[  ] Torture Sequence(s)
[X] Unnecessary Sequel
[Terminator 2: Judgment Day]
[X] Vehicle Chase(s)
[X] Vigilante Justice

That’s Some Sunburn!

Point Breahk

[THE CHALK-OUTLINE]

Point Break (1991): Breakdown by Rantbo

Undercover cop falls for dreamy bank robbing surfer dude. Is torn between his duty to bust him and his urge to bust a nut inside him.

[THE EXECUTION]

In keeping with late 80s style, POINT BREAK is a trip down macho lane. The film centers on an adrenaline-fueled narrative of cops v. robbers. Think HEAT, but really, really, queer and with extreme sports instead of all the family bullshit. The good news is, this film takes itself seriously and all the humor comes from the bonds of male camaraderie and its unintentional gay undertones. So, it’s no Michael Bay fart-joke craptasterpiece.

The film is clearly inspired by gritty 70s style cop movies like DIRTY HARRY, even lifting several scenes like the tossing of the badge and visiting a food stand just outside a bank robbery. But, the film hippifies the tired old scenario by having a young handsome cast of Jimmy Buffett enthusiasts, as opposed to a bunch of hard boiled bitter old men.

I don’t want to be one of those guys that rips on Keanu, by saying “WHoa!!!” and other uninspired shit like that, but I can understand why people do it. He’s just not that good of an actor. However–I find him very likable. Even though Sway-Dog does a great job as the retro-hippie surfer, I think his and Reeve’s roles should have been cast-reversed. ‘Cuz if you’re going to put Keanu in your film, at least play to his strengths; talking like a Southern California stoner, smiling with his thumbs up and looking dumbfounded with long wet hair. Keanu’s a “Bodhi” if I ever saw one. As it stands, he does an OK job, but it’s no JOHNNY MNEMONIC or THE MATRIX. But really, what is!?

All-in-all, the movie is over-the-top and mind numbingly stupid. But, it’s a bunch of fun because of it. While a movie like HEAT is a far better film, if given the choice–I’ll almost always go with watching some goofy shit like POINT BREAK instead. At least with PB, I can get a bunch of good belly-laughs and after the credits role, I’ll have much more time left of daylight to go jerk-off outside. 

[HOW BAD-ASS IS THE MAIN CHARACTER?]

Keanu Reeves is Special Agent Quarterback Punk Johnny Utah

“You’re a real blue-flame special, aren’t ya son? Young, dumb and fulla cum.”

“God Damn! You are one radical sonovabitch!”

One thing is for sure, Johnny’s gonna get his man. The guy has determination and is only slightly afraid to draw down on criminal scum. Johnny’s no Jack Traven, but he sure can pursue a suspect on foot. And barely hesitates before jumping out of an in-flight airplane without a chute. Jack Traven only jumped out of a bus. I’d say these guys are even, but Neo could kick both their asses, ‘cuz he learned how to fly.

Johnny on Johnny:
“My whole lihife I’ve done things for other people–in high school I played footBALL, because my old man expected me to. Then my parents always figured I’d go to lahw school. So I did. Football scholarship. Phi Beta Kappa. So, I’m a big hero to my folks, right? But two years ago, they were killed in a car wreck. You can’t imagine it. Your whole life changes. And I suddenly realized that all my goals had been their goals, and I hadn’t been living my own lihife. So I wanted something for myself. So I come out here from Oh-HI-Oh a month ago. HI’ve never seen the ocean before. Any ocean. Hi never thought it would affect me so much. I’m drawn to it–or something.”

[THE BODY COUNT: 8 AND 1 UNCONFIRMED]

Johnny tags a criminal halfway through the film, but then he gets stage-fright and is unable to unload for the rest of the picture. Thankfully, Busey is secure with himself and blasts 3 surf-rats. You can always count on Mr. Teeth. Da bad guys rack up 3, which isn’t too impressive, but two of them where cops and the third a rent-a-cop, so that has to count for something. One of the cops that dies, assassinates a president and the final, unconfirmed death belongs to Bodhi. As far as the film is concerned, he’s D.O.A. once the tide come in, but there is a small chance he was able to escape the wave and paddle his way to New Zealand.

[MOST SATISFYING DEATH]

The honors go to Mr. Gary Busey. On a raid of a drug dealers flophouse, one of the meth-heads grabs a resident skank and tries to get by Busey. Not happening. BOOM!–HEADSHOT!

[DUDESWEAT AND MACHISMO]

This is one of those movies that needs a list:

Tyler: “You got the kamikaze [kamikaze = man who goes down in flames] look, Johnny. Bodhi can smell it a mile away. He’ll take you to the edge–and past it.”
Bodhi: “Johnny has his own demons. Don’t you Johnny.”
Johnny: “What’s going on?”
Bodhi: “Time for a little stealth mission–you up for it? Let’s do it.”

Johnny: “So, I started trailing him… I’m on him ALL day. He goes here, he goes there, he goes to tower records…” I’ll bet he does, Johnny.

Bodhi: “I know Johnny. I know you want me so bad it’s like acid in your mouth.”

-The movie opens with a rain drenched tight-shirt Keanu one-arm cocking a shotgun in slow-mo, which he uses to overkill a card-board cut-out of a woman. Take that society’s norms!
-Bodhi looks like a blonde Lion-O from the ThunderCats, only he’s slightly better at concealing his homoerotic glory. Slightly.

-Bodhi. “They call him the Bodhisattva.”  [‘cuz Bodhi wasn’t gay enough?] “He’s a modern savage. He’s a real searcher [for what?] The ride. The ultimate ride.”
-Johnny and the Ex-Presidents bond over a mostly shirtless beach football game. Tackling allowed. Whoo Ga.
-Johnny and Bodhi bond further by getting in a wet shirtless fisticuff fight with a group of beach-bum meth- heads consisting of a guy named Bunker, a guy named Warchild and Anthony Kiedis from the Red Hot Chili Peppers.

-Johnny attends a party of Bodhi’s that’s packed to the walls with shirtless clones of the band members from Warrant.
-Johnny does sleep with Tyler, But Lori Petty has a boy’s name, a boy’s haircut, a boy’s build and they do it after Johnny experiences an intense evening of night surfing with Bodhi. Leaving me to believe that he was picturing Swayze’s face on the back of her head the whole time.
-Johnny gets his ass kicked, hard, by a naked chick. I think it’s because he was too grossed out to fight back.
-This is a BIG one. Utah actually breaks the case by recognizing one the culprits bare-asses. Just watch:

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POINT BREAK rights held by 20th Century Fox

Notice how excited Bodhi gets after seeing his “friend’s” ass and taint? And not to mention that immediately after seeing the man-ass, Johnny has lost all interest in his “girlfriend”. This movie is like a gay training video. They should hand out copies at the California state lines.

[EXPLOITATION AND MISOGYNY]

Lori Petty is kidnapped and tied to a chair in only her nighty. But since I have already established her as a young man, this point is moot.

Tell me that’s not a teenage boy.

There are, however, a few exploitative bits in the raid at the drug-dealer flophouse. One girl is used as a shield, as I mentioned above, and another one stands screaming in the buff as the bullets whiz by her.

She does get back some pride though, by jumping Utah and throttling his mindless ass and then stabbing another one of the feds, before she is knocked out and subdued.

[EPIC MOMENT AND BEST ONE-LINER]

Faced with the choice between shooting down his secret love, or letting him escape, Johnny chooses the former and in a fit of rage over his job-inhibiting sexual urges, fires off an entire clip of his pistol into the air.

President Reagan: “Rock and Roll!”

[THE MORAL OF THE STORY]

-Fear causes hesitation, and hesitation will cause your worst fears to come true.
-If you want the ultimate, you’ve got to be willing to pay the ultimate price.
-Lawyers don’t surf.
-And Gary Busey could eat the ass end out of a dead rhino.

[THE CHECKLIST: 17 outta 25]

[  ] Athlete(s) Turned “Actor”
[X] Clinging To The Outside Of A Moving Vehicle
[X] Crotch Attack
[X] Dialogue Telling Us How Bad-Ass The Main Character(s) Is/Are
[X] Ending Featuring An Ambulance, A Blanket or A Towel
[  ] Factory/Warehouse
[X] Giant Explosion(s)
[  ] Heavy Artillery
[X] Improvised Weapon(s)
[X] Macho Mode(s) Of Transportation
[X] Main Character Sports Facial Accessory(s)
[X] Manly Embrace(s)
[  ] Notorious Stunt-Man Sighting
[X] Passage(s) Of Time Via Montage
[  ] Politically Fueled Plot Point(s)
[X] Senseless Destruction Of Property
[X] Shoot Out(s) and/or Sword Fight(s)
[X] Slow-Motion Finishing Move(s)/Death(s)*
[X] Stupid Authoritative Figure(s)
[X] Substance Usage and/or Abuse
[  ] Tis The Season
[  ] Torture Sequence(s)
[  ] Unnecessary Sequel
[X] Vehicle Chase(s)
[X] Vigilante Justice**

*If Bodhi did in fact die, the big wave that crushed him was shown in slo-mo.
**As Utah is under arrest, for suspicion of aiding in the murder of an officer and robbing a bank, he clearly does not have the law on his side when he goes after the elusive Bodhi toward the end of the film. So, I’m counting this.

I live my life a quarter-tube at a time…

Fascist Awesome

[THE CHALK-OUTLINE]

Dirty Harry (1971): Breakdown by Kain424

A .44 Magnum-wielding California cop breaks all the rules to track down a serial killer, spawning a genre and a half (read as: initiates a series of plot points that would become THE hard-boiled cop cliches).

[THE EXECUTION]

Dirty Harry is a movie that rails against a perceived left-wing, softie system, that would give more weight to the rights of criminals than the victims of crime.  There is a bleak outlook here, with Harry Callahan seen as a lone, Christ-like figure, torturing himself (at one point, he is even beaten horribly under a giant crucifix) by playing by the rules in order to save humanity.  Still, the film doesn’t revel in violence, but rather shows it as a dark thing, realistic and nasty.  And even Harry, who would rather see criminals dead than hurting others, seems to have to work himself up just to do the deed.  Or perhaps he is restraining himself.

With John Milius doing much of the writing, the fascist angles of the storyline take precedence, making the mockery of the system represented almost cartoonish.  From there, the film escalates to turn the cop procedural film on its head.  The bad guys have the advantage all the way, with our lone hero given almost no assistance from his superiors.  Dirty Harry subverts the noir genre.  It’s not about how much you go through to do the right thing, it’s about how much you put the bad guys through to make sure the wrong thing never happens.

All this makes for not only an interesting watch, but also an entertaining one.  Eastwood’s oft-imitated performance (see: Yes, Madam) is one for the ages, and Andrew Robinson is a hoot as the smarmy, over-the-top Scorpio.

As an added bonus, we get to see the beginnings of the buddy-cop genre (which Hickey & Boggs would more fully realize a year later), with these soon-to-become-cliche mainstays:

-A renegade cop with an overbearing chief

-Bad-ass renegade cop reluctantly takes on a partner

-Partners are of different races/ethnicities

-Partners Bond in a car

[HOW BAD-ASS IS THE MAIN CHARACTER?]

Harry Callahan

Clint Eastwood is “Dirty” Harry Callahan

The original hard-boiled cop.  Clint plays Harry as a man that close to crossing over into criminal territory.  He only wears a badge because it’s his get-out-of-jail-free card.  By the end of the film, it seems Callahan’s decided he doesn’t even need a badge, as it was just hindering him anyway.  Harry’s got his own ideas about justice, and none of them involve anyone named Miranda.

click to enlarge

There’s one point in the film where Harry has to try and talk down a suicidal man up in a high rise.  It’s only because it’s his job that Harry even bothers doing so, and when he gets up to the guy Harry just knocks the poor bastard out cold and carries him down to ground level.

The only reason for Callahan’s seemingly destructive police procedural ideas given is that his wife died one night when a drunk driver crossed the center line and killed her.  It seems that Harry doesn’t care about his life anymore, and has decided, Bruce Wayne-style, to keep others from being the victims of criminal apathy.  He will torture suspects, put the lives of innocent bystanders (men, women, or even children) in danger, all to pursue his goal of a criminal-free society.

[THE BODY COUNT: 07]

Considered excessively violent at the time of its release, the bodycount is shockingly low.  Harry manages to bag three corpses over the duration of the film, nearly matching the antagonist death for death.

[MOST SATISFYING DEATH]

The final kill of the film is well worth the entire movie’s build-up.  Watch it, and you’ll see what I mean.

[DUDESWEAT AND MACHISMO]

There’s not much, which is odd when one considers that this flick helped kick off the start of buddy-cop movies.  However, there is a scene where Harry comes across a car with people making out on the inside.  Harry speaks into his microphone, “Couple of kids necking.”

His partner replies, “Boys or girls?”

I like where they’re going, but it stops there and the plot is allowed to resume.  Oh well.

Harry also continues to munch on a hotdog while systematically shooting at a group of bank robbers. Misconstrue that however you like.

[EXPLOITATION AND MISOGYNY]

Surprise!  Strippers in a strip club.  Objectified women for the win!

While spying on a suspect (well, peeping through a window), Harry finds a woman, nick-named “Hot Mary”, undressing.  For some reason, I don’t think this qualifies.

Hot Mary

While on a rooftop stake-out, Harry also sees what appears to be some sort of sexy party starting up in a nearby building.  We get full-on female nakedness, and Eastwood remarks, “You owe it to yourself to live a little, Harry.” Hey, it was the 70s.

[EPIC MOMENT AND BEST ONE-LINER]

The Scorpio has an entire busload of children held hostage chugging down the freeway.  He is brutal, but in control of the situation.  That is, until he sees Callahan standing atop an overpass, waiting for him.  Scorpio completely losses his cool, and the myth of Clint Eastwood grows ten times.

As for the line, well, I’m going to have to go with the famous “Do you feel lucky? speech.  Early on, a cocksure Dirty Harry delivers it with all the style and panache of a cowboy:

“I know what you’re thinking. ‘Did he fire six shots or only five?’ Well, to tell you the truth, in all this excitement I kind of lost track myself. But being as this is a .44 Magnum, the most powerful handgun in the world, and would blow your head clean off, you’ve got to ask yourself one question: Do I feel lucky? Well, do ya, punk?”

This, however, is just a set-up for the final, great line.  By the end of the film, Harry is a shell of what he once was.  His hope in humanity lost, his trust in the system broken, and his rage against what he sees as pure evil is boiling over.  He is practically begging his opponent to go for his weapon and give Callahan a reason to kill. Harry’s signature weapon pointed at his foe, he paraphrases his line, gritting his teeth in bitter anger and disgust through it all:

“I know what you’re thinking, punk.  You’re thinking, ‘Did he fire six shots or only five?’ Now, to tell you the truth, I forgot, myself, in all this excitement. But being as this is a .44 Magnum, the most powerful handgun in the world, and would blow your head clean off, you’ve got to ask yourself a question: ‘Do I feel lucky?’ Well, do ya, punk!?”

[THE MORAL OF THE STORY]

We’d be better off living in a fascist society, where courts have given way to firing squad patrols who shoot first, reload, then never bother to ask questions.

[THE CHECKLIST: 12 outta 25]

[  ] Athlete(s) Turned “Actor”
[X] Clinging To The Outside Of A Moving Vehicle
[  ] Crotch Attack
[X] Dialogue Telling Us How Bad-Ass The Main Character(s) Is/Are
[  ] Ending Featuring An Ambulance, A Blanket or A Towel
[X] Factory/Warehouse
[  ] Giant Explosion(s)
[  ] Heavy Artillery
[  ] Improvised Weapon(s)
[X] Macho Mode(s) Of Transportation
[X] Main Character Sports Facial Accessory(s)
[  ] Manly Embrace(s)
[  ] Notorious Stunt-Man Sighting
[  ] Passage(s) Of Time Via Montage
[X] Politically Fueled Plot Point(s)
[X] Senseless Destruction Of Property
[X] Shoot Out(s) and/or Sword Fight(s)
[  ] Slow-Motion Finishing Move(s)/Death(s)
[X] Stupid Authoritative Figure(s)
[X] Substance Usage and/or Abuse
[  ] Tis The Season
[X] Torture Sequence(s)
[X] Unnecessary Sequel
[MAGNUM FORCE]
[  ] Vehicle Chase(s)
[  ] Vigilante Justice

Maybe You Should Try The Lotto As Well, Jack-Ass

A Shitty Day After Yesterday…

A Better Tomorrow

[THE CHALK-OUTLINE]

Ying hung boon sik a.k.a. A Better Tomorrow (1986): Breakdown by Rantbo

Gangsters, Guns, Bullets, Blood—Credits.

[THE EXECUTION]

A BETTER TOMORROW; a tale of brotherhood, honor, betrayal, friendship, family, trust, revenge and 10,000 bullets. It’s not John Woo’s first action film, and it’s not the first of the genre that would later be known as Heroic Bloodshed, but it re-defined them both and made them powerful mainstays in modern bad-ass cinema.

Simply put, A BETTER TOMORROW is one of the greatest action films ever made. And I stress the word ‘film’, because this isn’t you average everyday bad-acting, blow-shit-up mindless 80s action movie. This one has heart and soul. And Chow Yun-Fat lighting a cigarette with a flaming one-hundred dollar bill.

The film centers on a man named Ho and his relationship with two others; one his brother by blood and the other, his brother in friendship. Ho is a gangster trying to get out of the business for the sake of his younger brother, Kit, who knows not of his misdeeds and aspires to be a police officer. But, Ho is torn between doing what is right by his kin and doing harm to his best mate, Mark, who wants Ho to stay the course of his unlawful ways. And while this may sound like too much melodrama for a shoot-‘em-up movie, it isn’t and in fact it’s all that relationship drama that makes the action sequences so powerful.

Each of the main three characters stray their different ways throughout the course of a few years, but they all inevitably are pulled back together by the bonds that make them family, and are subsequently almost all destroyed by them. Ho is forced to choose between a real brother who hates him and a criminal friend that loves him like one. Kit is forced to search his soul for forgiveness, or chance losing the only family he has left. And Mark is forced to be the bridge between the two and must decide whether or not his life is worth losing, if it means helping his closest and only friend in his time of greatest need. Like I said, it’s pretty powerful. And that’s just the story.

As for the action, in my opinion, it’s better than anything ever shot pre-dating it. It’s that good. This was Woo’s first stab at a Heroic Bloodshed movie, and he knocked it out of the park. The man simply gets ‘It’. By combining his characters’ emotions, with grandiose gunplay and the perfect blend of slow-motion and blues; Woo turns his action scenes into a pure and fluid ballet of blood and bullets. And though many, MANY directors have since tried to replicate his style, none have matched the splendor of the master.  With a gun in every fist, a matchstick in every mouth, a pair of aviators on every face and a bullet in every ass—John Woo redefined what action could be. He’s simply the best there is. Even after PAYCHECK.

[HOW BAD-ASS ARE THE MAIN CHARACTERS?]

Ti Lung is Sung Tse-Ho:

This guy is a survivor. Put him on that TV show, he’d win every season. Ho’s life sucks like a hoover, but he keeps on keeping on like Jesus Christ. Only with a semi-automatic and a receding hair-line instead of a cross and beard.

Leslie Chung is Sung Tse-Kit:

Persistent—but kind of a bitch. He manages to consistently get his ass handed to him, shot and left pouting. But, he does end up getting a handful of kills and early on slams a guy’s head through a table, who was two times his size. So, that was pretty cool—but, he’s still kind of a bitch.

Chow Yun-Fat is Mark Gor:

There is a scene in which the head of the crime family asks Mark if he will need any back-up for his mission to take out another gangster and his dozen or so heavily armed henchmen. Mark just smiles and shakes his head, no. As if to say, “That’s sweet of you to offer, but you must remember—I’m Chow Yun-Fat. There is none better.” He of course goes on to decimate the masses, and solidifies himself as a god amongst men.

[THE BODY COUNT: ABOUT 75]

And only two of those are done by characters outside the aforementioned trio.

This movie is a symphony of chaos and destruction, conducted with machine guns. The streets flow with the blood of nameless automatons, when Ho and Mark go out on the town. They’re like a 2 man army, ready and willing to blast the masses in a hurricane of bullets, for practically any reason and fuck the repercussions of an overbooked morgue and a helplessly pissed of police force.

[MOST SATISFYING DEATH]

Shing Gets Shot

It couldn’t be anyone other than Shing, the main villain and catalyst for all three of the main characters’ trials and tribulations. Now, I don’t want to ruin it—but he gets shot. But, good. And it’s more satisfying than a King Size Snickers watching his torso gush blood in slow-motion as he dies painfully of rapid-fire lead poisoning.

[DUDESWEAT AND MACHISMO]

Ho and Mark—are lovers.

If not, then they are that special uber kind of buddy-movie close, where the guys are never seen with a woman and only ever hang out with one another. You know, like militant gays.

After Ho gets released from prison, he sees his good buddy Mark, for the first time in 3 years and the two hold each other and cry. Ho sees the disheveled and broken shell of a man his “friend” has become and asks, “Why did you lie to me in your letters?”. Mark wrote to Ho in prison. Isn’t that romantic, you guys!? And he told him he was doing great, as to not worry his life-mate. Awww…

The duo go on throughout the movie outwardly expressing their most heartfelt feelings for one another and performing the type of passion-filled acts of brotherly love for each other, that no man would ever do for a measly woman.

Oh, and if you think my view on their relationship is skewed, near the beginning of the movie Ho picks up Mark on the side of the street near a mobile food stand and asks how his meal was and Mark wets his finger in his mouth and wipes it on Ho’s lips, and they both laugh. And it wasn’t in a “Gross dude, you fucking gay!?” gay frat guy way, this was in a playful gay couple way.

I should mention that at one point, Mark does hit on a chick named Linda. But, she doesn’t even look at him.

And it’s because this has clearly happened before, and she knows that he’s not really interested in women and that he’s only flirting with her, as he is a cunt-tease and gets off showing women what they can never have. Don’t dispute me.

[EXPLOITATION AND MISOGYNY]

Kit’s girlfriend, Jackie, is an accident-prone klutz, and a shrew. And in an act to straighten her out, karma intervenes throughout the movie and makes sure she gets slapped and later punched by a man three times her size.

That’s going to be a tough stain for her to get out of that carpet… But she should have thought twice before coughing up that blood in the living room. Oh, women…

[EPIC MOMENT AND BEST ONE-LINER]

EP-M: The True Meaning Of Brotherhood

Mark is free and clear with 2 million dollars to his name, but to continue speeding away in his jet boat means the abandonment and possible death of his BFF, Ho. What’s a guy to do? Mark goes back, and in the course of saving the Sung-Tse brothers’ lives, he also manages to get them to reconcile their differences. All whilst mowing down 30 or so heavily armed gangsters. What a guy.

THE LINE:

Ho: Do you believe there’s a god?
Mark: Sure—I’m a god. A god can be human. Anyone who controls their own destiny is a god.

[THE MORAL OF THE STORY]

John Woo is the greatest action director of all time. Even after PAYCHECK.

[THE TAO OF CHOW: 5 outta 5]

[X] Anti-Hero
[X] Has Interest(s) In The Arts
[X] Oral Fixation
[X] Performs An Overkill
[X] Uses 2 Guns At Once

[THE CHECKLIST: 19 outta 25]

[  ] Athlete(s) Turned “Actor”
[  ] Clinging To The Outside Of A Moving Vehicle
[X] Crotch Attack
[X] Dialogue Telling Us How Bad-Ass The Main Character(s) Is/Are
[  ] Ending Featuring An Ambulance, A Blanket or A Towel
[X] Factory/Warehouse
[X] Giant Explosion(s)
[  ] Heavy Artillery
[X] Improvised Weapon(s)
[X] Macho Mode(s) Of Transportation
[X] Main Character Sports Facial Accessory(s)
[X] Manly Embrace(s)
[  ] Notorious Stunt-Man Sighting
[X] Passage(s) Of Time Via Montage
[X] Politically Fueled Plot Point(s)
[X] Senseless Destruction Of Property
[X] Shoot Out(s) and/or Sword Fight(s)
[X] Slow-Motion Finishing Move(s)/Death(s)
[X] Stupid Authoritative Figure(s)
[X] Substance Usage and/or Abuse
[  ] Tis The Season
[X] Torture Sequence(s)
[X] Unnecessary Sequel
[A BETTER TOMORROW II]
[X] Vehicle Chase(s)
[X] Vigilante Justice

Drink Piss In A Night Club!

A Better Tomorrow (1986) © Cinema City Film Productions and Film Workshop

Showdown In Little Tokyo killcount

Showdown In Little Tokyo (1991)

Showdown In Little Tokyo

Starring Dolph Lundgren

and Brandon Lee

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Lundgren kills 34

Lee kills 12

Discuss

Showdown In Little Tokyo rights held by Warner Bros.

Resident Evil 3: Program ASS Activated

[THE CHALK-OUTLINE]

Resident Evil: Extinction (2007): Breakdown by Rantbo

The Skinny One returns to roam the desert, kill birds and fight a hentai rape monster.

[THE EXECUTION]

Well, third time appears to be the charm, as EXTINCTION is by far the best film of the series. But that isn’t saying much.

Instead of moving on to rip-off ESCAPE FROM LA, Paul W.S.A. decided to move onto MAD MAX 2. Why stop at raping just one classic franchise?  The logical continuation will put Part 4 on a giant space station/weapon , owned and operated by the Umbrella Empire, er–Corporation.

The direction this time around is leaps and bounds better than the last two, but the story is still unfortunately poorly thought out garbage. It’s, of course, written once again by Paul. I wonder if he knows how mediocre he is? I bet he does, but just doesn’t care. What a wanker.

The first action sequence (of three total) features Alice fighting a group of inbred mormons with a fetish for feeding people to zombie-dogs. Which, I admit, is a great idea, but doesn’t belong in a Resident Evil film. But, as much as this sequence seems tacked on, it’s still better than anything from the past two films, while still managing to be quite bad. Well done, guys(?)

The inbred-mormon scene withholding though, the rest of the film follows a group of roaming dopers as they ramble around the southwestern United States bleeding members in-between 7-11 pit stops. It seems that the best ideas the stoners could come up with between funion breaks, was to 1st) drive around the desert, scrounging for gas, food and reefer. 2nd) listen to Iron Butterfly whilst doing number one. And 3rd) Bitch about their situation. Which raises a question: Why would a convoy bent on staying mobile, in a near gasless post-apocalyptic world, be driving around in an army truck, a utility van, an ambulance, a school bus and a hummer? Could these people not find a single Prius amongst the entire southwestern United States? And don’t tell me they happened upon Schwarzenegger’s hybrid, because Arnold would survive the end of days (this time, I’m sure) and drive off to re-start civilization, like a man.

Repeating an issue I had from part one, nothing happens in this film for almost 40 minutes. At that point you get to see the fire v. crows scene from the trailer and then nothing again for another twenty minutes.

It’s a largely pointless movie, as far as progressing the franchise’s story, up until just before the 60 minute mark. That’s when the saving grace action sequence happens.

The creepy doctor who upgraded Alice in the last two films, wrangles up a bunch of zombies, makes it so they can run (fuck you canon!) and personally dresses them all in grey jumpsuits (footage missing). He then piles them all into a metal box with clown-car physics (seriously, at least 70 or more must run out of a container half the size of a semi-truck’s freighter) and unleashes them on the heroes at the only gas-pump left in the city of Las Vegas. OK, so it’s one of the dumbest fucking scenarios possible, but at least it’s filled with cherry-pie splattering goodness. The sequence is, however, bitter-sweet because the filmmakers have distanced themselves so far from the source material that it’s practically unrecognizable as a Resident Evil story. Which is just sad, as that’s why I was watching this crap.

As a whole, this film is still a mediocre sci-fi action-horror vehicle, but at least this entry had some entertaining fights, some great practical gore effects and Johnny Cage as a cowboy sniper.

[HOW BAD-ASS IS THE MAIN CHARACTER?]

Milla Jovobich is Alice 2.5. Now With Mind Bullets (that’s telekinesis, Kyle)!

Alice gets upgraded more than an iPhone and with this installment, she gains the powers of telekinesis, pyrokinesis and knife-fighting, the level of which having only previously been possessed by Blade. In short, she has finally become the action hero they’ve been pretending she was for the past two films.

Also, it could be her choice of slightly less stupid looking clothing, but she doesn’t look so damn dilapidated this time either. Which is good. Of course her hair now looks like a soiled truck-stop mop-head. Maybe they couldn’t afford a stylist after buying all those grey zombie jumpsuits. But, it is nice to know that even though the world is in it’s final days, the ladies can still find time to highlight their hair. And speaking of highlights, here are some of Alice’s…

-Kills a guy with a kick to the jaw
-Kills a family of mouth-breathers by unleashing zombie dogs on them.
-Kills a fleet of Super-Un-Dead men with a couple of knives.
-Destroys the components of an orbiting satellite with her mind.
-Fights a tentacle monster with a knife. AND avoids having a single orifice raped in the process.

[THE BODY COUNT: A SHIT-TON ASS-LOAD MORE +1]

The virus has spread throughout the world and killed most life on Earth. So roughly 6 billion people, a hundred billion animals and most plant life. Top that, Roland Emmerich.

[MOST SATISFYING DEATH]

School Boy a.k.a. that effeminate guy from DOA gets his face raped to death. So that was kind of special.

It’s rare to see a tentacle penetration death in a Hollywood film, so you have to show your appreciation when the chance arises. Kudos, team.

[CHICKSWEAT AND FEMCHISMO]

Here we are, part 3. And the big question is, does Alice’s sexual preference finally get revealed. I believe I can safely say, yes. But EXTINCTION throws us a curve ball and Alice takes what’s behind door number three.

Herself. Even I didn’t see that one coming. Which raises a new question: is it still abstinence when you hook up with a clone of yourself? I don’t know, but I’m willing to perform some extensive tests with the Jovovich Clones to find out.

Alice’s potential new love interest doesn’t end up alone and lonely though, they’ve got it covered.

Paul W.S.A. just loves him some shitty actresses. Regrettably replacing Miss. Valentine, is Ali Larter (AMERICAN OUTLAWS) as Claire Redfield. Not to be confused with the Claire Redfield of the Resident Evil videogame franchise fame. No, no. These two have nothing to do with one another. I guess Paul just liked the name and felt like shitting on the fans once more for the lulz. Movie Claire is a tough talkin’, truck-driving, rootin-tootin lipstick lezzy with a thing for the young ones. She shacks up with a lovely young thing called K-Mart (seriously). These two share the same clothing style, hairstyle, constantly open-mouthed vacant expressions and front truck cab. Their relationship is one of convenience, but what a sexy convenience it is.

Whatsamatter Claire–Do You Think Someone Saw Us!?

[EXPLOITATION AND MISOGYNY]

You get to see another quick glimpse of Milla’s chest, and it’s still ribbed for no one’s pleasure. But, regrettably there are no zombie strippers this time around.

As far as the misogyny goes, these films are lacking as they support a girl-power angle, but I’ve got some of my own to share. The AOBG Stupid Bitch award goes to that chubby chick from the Ja Rule music videos. As for no reason that I can discern, she locks herself in a school bus that is filling up with flesh-eating birds. She tries to take some of them out with a pistol, but fails like her music career and gets pecked to death.

Why she didn’t just run when given the chance, or at least use her gun on herself, I’ll never understand.

[EPIC MOMENT AND BEST ONE-LINER]

The Gigolo goes down in a blaze of glory–while smoking’ a blaze.

As for the one-liner. No. This film had a couple of potential’s but they are so lame, that I refuse to repeat them here, as they weren’t even good enough for a laugh.

[THE MORAL OF THE STORY]

What happens in Vegas–is never as cool as killing zombies. Not even David Copperfield.

[THE CHECKLIST: 13 outta 25]

[  ] Athlete(s) Turned “Actor”
[  ] Clinging To The Outside Of A Moving Vehicle
[  ] Crotch Attack
[X] Dialogue Telling Us How Bad-Ass The Main Character(s) Is/Are
[  ] Ending Featuring An Ambulance, A Blanket or A Towel
[  ] Factory/Warehouse
[X] Giant Explosion(s)
[X] Heavy Artillery
[  ] Improvised Weapon(s)
[X] Macho Mode(s) Of Transportation
[X] Main Character Sports Facial Accessory(s)
[X] Manly Embrace(s)
[  ] Notorious Stunt-Man Sighting
[  ] Passage(s) Of Time Via Montage
[  ] Politically Fueled Plot Point(s)
[X] Senseless Destruction Of Property
[X] Shoot Out(s) and/or Sword Fight(s)
[X] Slow-Motion Finishing Move(s)/Death(s)
[X] Stupid Authoritative Figure(s)
[X] Substance Usage and/or Abuse
[  ] Tis The Season
[  ] Torture Sequence(s)
[X] Unnecessary Sequel [Resident Evil: Afterlife]
[  ] Vehicle Chase(s)
[X] Vigilante Justice

SURPRISE SEX!!!

Total Recall killcount

Total Recall (1990)

Total Recall

Starring Arnold Schwarzenegger

and Michael Ironside

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Schwarzenegger kills 64

Ironside kills 4

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Total Recall rights held by Sony.