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TMNT (2007)

TMNT (2007)

This movie was like a sequel to this movie, even though that one came out five years after this one. That one's also only partially animated, whereas this one is one big cartoon. The turtles here aren't as buff, or fast, or as well-voiced, or with as strong and resilient personalities, and Splinter's not always the wisest, and Michelangelo is a bit too much of a goof... but all that said, and disconsidering obvious character evolution/progression and dialog and plot twist stereotypes, and the somewhat clunky/chunky animation style, it was a both fun and intense adventure in traditional TMNT style!

 rated 3/5: not bad

The Iceman (2014)

The Iceman (2014)

Donnie Yen is at it again, this time as a royal bodyguard from the Ming Dynasty, newly awoken after a 400 year slumber. He takes some time to get used to the new world (though surprisingly quickly considering how much there is to learn), meets a young attractive female (of course), stumbles upon a couple of old enemies and eventually fights it out in one more fierce freeway showdown. But this time it's on a bridge. They really have a thing for fighting on roads, don't they? First Special ID, then Kung Fu Jungle, and now this one!

The fights are great, though in contrast to the two recently mentioned titles, they aren't always the most realistic. Too much special fx. Too much flying around. Too much smoke and shattered glass that you can clearly see was added after, and though I still enjoyed the movie as a whole, that brings down the experience a bit for me. The story's both entertaining, sad and intriguing, and I hear there's an Iceman 2 on route! Stay tuned.

Btw, I'd probably give this a 3 if it weren't for the fights. Special effects considered, they're still amazing.

 rated 4/5: fo shizzle

Vicious Times Of Christmas!

I've been out all day!
Away on the snowy roads as the old glow fades,
Sinks down in the gloam paste.
Headlights gleam mean at my throat,
I revved my engine cold and drove home,
At a slow pace.

I've been out and away,
Dazed by yesterday's haste,
Savoring the taste,
Of deep fried banana,
and shrimps, mushroom, bamboo, paprika,
We saved four for maƱana.

It's the time of the year for drama!
The time to rhyme and jam and normal folks pile ham up,
But we have salmon.
We have Jansson's Temptation and a picture of grandma,
On the table by a candle, lift your hand up.

Offer a cheer for the new year!
And for the old year, for all that we do here,
For new nightmares and new fears,
A worldview fierce, true tears, the human kind-of hue scarce.
But also hope and renewal.
Of jokes and approval, old folks with their humor,
New folks with their spontaneity that stands with me,
Lifts me up as if it's hands and feat and on the eve of Christmas,
We dance to a candid beat like camera freaks.

I kind of understand this phase of rush,
Evading the tough and grimy times, the dark: spark stars and taze it up!
But at times it's just a phase of craze too much, we better calm down, we're vicious,
It's the time of Christmas.

Kung Fu Jungle (2014)

Kung Fu Jungle (2014)

Donnie Yen plays Hahou Mo, a martial arts instructor from the police force [who] gets imprisoned after killing a man by accident. He learns of a vicious killer roaming free, targeting masters of the art, so he beats up a bunch of people in prison (good way of introducing his extraordinary fighting capabilities), speaks to a detective and gets temporarily released to help catch the killer.

The plot isn't particularly complex, though a few twists do appear along the cat and mouse chase the killer (Baoqiang Wang, as Fung Yu-Sau) leads him on. The fights are surreal, and the killer manages to challenge a few masters (such as Siu-Wong Fan) before Donnie finally catches up to him and an intense freeway fight ensues.

You know they're probably using wires and maybe occasional special effects/green screen for some scenes, but it never interferes with the fluidity of the fight; I wouldn't be able to tell what's real and what isn't. Like when they're fighting on the bones of a wired dinosaur, they're not actually fighting bare-bone... are they? I'm impressed, but can't help wonder how much is genuine and how much isn't, or if I'd be equally impressed if I'd had a glimpse behind the scenes. Either way it was a great watch, a modern-day Hong Kong martial art movie as it should be! Classy, serious; intense.

 rated 4/5: fo shizzle

Dying Of The Light (2014)

Dying Of The Light (2014)

Nicholas Cage plays an old CIA agent, recently diagnosed with 'a devastating illness'.

For 22 years he's been chasing a man, an activist, a terrorist: Muhammad Banir. Everybody believes he's dead, but Evan Lake (Cage) knows he's alive, and by chance he finally finds him, at the very moment where he's about to be forcefully retired. Banir has a blood disease and can barely move, Evan has a brain disease and forgets things, blanks out, and cannot trust all of his senses (he feels dog fur while stroking blue coats). It starts with an inspiring speech and ends with that same speech, and an ambiguity to if he survives or not. But I guess not?

It wasn't very inspiring or intense compared to similar movies, but then again there might not be one similar. The action, in its rare and short-lived moments, is professional and well-filmed, and the actors aren't bad. Overall a good watch.

 rated 3/5: not bad

Last Kung-Fu Monk (2010)

Last Kung-Fu Monk (2010)

A Shaolin Monk comes to the United States to take care of his deceased brother's son. He establishes a school with a former student who leads him into trouble with the Russian Mafia.

I really didn't get the plot at all. Russian Mafia? Well, I guess you can tell the Russian by the accents. The present gets mixed up in flashbacks and memories from a Shaolin Temple, and the plot's a mess. "What can a Shaolin Monk do in this modern day" is the catchphrase the movie starts with... and for a moment I was wondering if this might actually be a documentary. The title makes no sense: has Shaolin been annihilated entirely, and this one Monk is left to defend their legacy? Nope, he's just one man in America, a terrible actor and not with spectacular charisma either, even if he is kind and humble... but he does know how to fight!

The fights are great. If there's any reason to see this movie, it'd be those. It may be low-budget and not always very captivating plotwise, but the final scene did pack an emotional punch, and all thanks to the action. The main character's played by Peng Zhang Li btw, not a well-known name, but I wouldn't mind seeing him in more awesome cinematic battle! But maybe not as main character.

It wasn't a good watch overall but... it was worth it.

 rated 3/5: not bad

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