01 October 2008

Hard Boiled (Lat sau san taam)

Effectively, this movie is nothing more than three of the greatest action scenes ever put to film.

I just did a search online for TOP10 action movies of all time (not based on money) and some of the lists are just stupid.

Lawrence of Arabia? Saving Private Ryan? Live and Let Die?

Those first two aren't even action movies… they just have action in them. Secondly, Live and Let Die is the second worst Bond film ever.

What the hell?

Look. Hard Boiled is considered Woo's best movie. It's a ballet. The only thing that comes close to this is Iron Monkey… and they really aren't compariable… or maybe Face/Off, which is another Woo film.

If you want good Woo action, see the follow (in this order)
  • The Killer (Dip huet seung hung)
  • Face/Off
  • Hard Boiled (Lat sau san taam)
Amazing.

I don't care what anyone says about Face/Off, it's really good. And the action in these movies is unparalleled. Even Jackie Chan has a hard time competing with this stuff. It's just so creative and over the top.

Damn.

Supercop

Another Jackie Chan action extravaganza. Too much story. Not enough action. Michelle Yeoh steals the movie with her amazingly fluid stunt work.

There are kicks in this movie, I still don't know how she did them.

Not a masterpiece, but the final fight is passable.

C+

30 September 2008

Miracle at St. Anna

There's been a lot of talk about how uneven this film is,because of Lee's choice of four different points of view (in a flashback, which albeit is weird), but this movie is very strong.

Very smart.

Spike Lee is growing up and while he still has a tendency to put "do the right thing" platitudes into his films, this movie is 90% gold, with the other 10% forgivable because… well… it's Spike Lee.

Complex. Powerful. Moving.

My major complaint would be the lack of attention given to the Germans in the story. Considering the actors chosen for the movie, I expected to see more snippets as events unfolded. A missed opportunity, I say.

This will not get Oscar buzz or even much press, because Lee has a habit of making movies with difficult to swallow pathos. But, that's exactly what I like it.

29 September 2008

Igor

Sort of shotgunning this one:

This movie is NOT for kids, no matter what the marketing says.

John Cusack and Eddie Izzard were odd choices. I really like them, but they're performances didn't match the over-the-top ridiculousness of the film.

Sean Heyes and Steve Buscemi were perfectly cast.

The story is a bit uneven and felt a lot like Shrek toward the end.

The animation is top-notch.

Kung Fu Hustle

The opening 30 minutes are funnier than nearly any kung fu movie I've ever seen.

Brilliant.

Stephen Chow's personal skills at fighting maybe lack-luster, but his writing and directing genius are unparalleled in kung fu cinema.

Almost emotional, that's how good this movie is.

Twin Dragons

Not to be confused with Dragons Forever, this movie is more fun than "fighting." Watching Jackie deal with the "huh" factor that permeates the second act is a pleasure.

And the final garage fight scene is pretty good, too.

Well. More than just pretty good.

Really, really good.

Police Story

My Jackie Chan love affair continues with one of his greatest movies ever.

If I had to pick something I didn't like about this film, it would be Jackie taking the Lieutenant hostage at the end of Act Two.

What the heck is that?

Ignoring that, the movie is filled with really, really good fights and the very well-known leap over down the pole, six stories to the bottom.

Wow.

Wheels on Meals

Caught this on youtube... in 11 parts. The final fights (while good) don't make a lot of sense. And I basically let the slower parts run in the background while I worked.

Not sure what's up with Yuen Biao movie contracts, but he never seems to get the same quality fights that Jackie gets.

Not my favorite Jackie Chan film.