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Best Of The Best 4 - Without Warning (1998)

Best Of The Best 4 - Without Warning (1998)

I just finished watching the fourth movie, and realized in the one scene where Mickey puts the disc in the tape player that I've seen it before! Must've been a long time ago though, or maybe it didn't leave a very lasting impression. That's all I remember.

It starts promising, with a convoy of bikes, a brutal heist and then... it gets cheesy. Whereas the previous movie turned to the topic of race, this one turns to religion and family values, in a way that makes you want to look away and moan. And all characters from prequels are gone with the wind, along with all logical family ties. Really? Whatever happened to this series?! This movie had potential, it had some strong personalities (Tobin Bell in particular), one intense chase, a few fiery explosions and, amongst others - one dojo fight, but it's not enough.

I'm not as caught up in the action as I was with any of the previous. All of a sudden I'm noticing how Phillip seems to have watched too many Bruce Lee movies, in his gestures, in his stance, the way be smirks, looks both ways before running, even in how they slow down some throws and other particularly note-worthy martial art moves so you get to fully savor the action... only they aren't that noteworthy at all, and the slow-mo takes away from the tension rather than increase it. And then there's that moment in the shop where Tommy doesn't bother to finish the bad guys before going back to check on his buddy, resulting in that one tragic loss of life. What a waste! Nobody accuses him though, and he doesn't even accuse himself. There are inconsistencies.

Though I did enjoy the movie, it feels a bit like just one more action movie in the massive mass of B-movie action, much more so than the previous. The third felt like the real pinnacle of the series, with this one it started going downhill.

 rated 3/5: not bad

Best Of The Best 3 - No Turning Back (1995)

Best Of The Best 3 - No Turning Back (1995)

Alex is out of the picture all of a sudden (budgeting issues?) and Tommy is now the lone ranger type hero, a role I can't say suits him particularly well, but despite his somewhat cheesy character presentation, the other characters aren't bad! Overall it's a sequel flaring with emotion between the somewhat clever one-liners and tough-guy acts that don't always seem tough enough.

The plot is all about race. Black people. White people. One Asian person who walks into a small town, to visit his sister and her family (her husband just so happens to be the sheriff in town - even if his position of power doesn't seem to mean much), and just so happens to get involved in one big race war.

The villains are strong personalities in this one, among them Michael Bailey Smith and Mark Rolston. Compared to the previous two movies, the action is on an entirely new level, and it's no longer just about martial arts, even if Phillip does his best to show off when given the opportunity.

There is this one moment where he and the main villain are fighting it out on a rooftop and a fiery explosion booms right behind the villain as he's punched in the face. There's another particularly vicious shot where the sheriff walks through a door and cracks a villain in the jaw, immediately throwing him backward, and then vigilantly moving on to scope an adolescent doorway. There's probably more, but these two scenes are such awesome examples of perfect timing that alone merits a raise in rating digits. And you don't want to miss out on Tommy's fun fight at the fair, clown costume included.

Along with the heavy weaponry and fiery explosions, the movie takes up a pretty controversial topic, and presents it in a way that both bodes for afterthought and keeps you entertained. It's not a seriously serious movie, but so far it's the most serious one in the series, and somewhat above par with the last movie in terms in action choreography.

 rated 4/5: fo shizzle

Best Of The Best 2 (1993)

Best Of The Best 2 (1993)

The first one dealt with an official tournament, this time it's underground. In a place rich folks go to get entertained, suitably called 'The Colosseum', the champion and owner - Brakus (Ralf Moeller) - lurks behind the scenes, waiting to meet the final contestant, as people fight for money and the audience decides whether they die or not.

The reckless Travis (Chris Penn) from the original tournament decides, as overconfident as ever, to take on the champion, and for that he pays the price. A few days later Tommy and Alex find him in a river, a supposed victim of a tragic car accident, but Alex's son has seen it all, and soon they're running for their lives as people bust into Alex's home, guns ablaze, and try to silence them once and for all. It's one long chase and then one decisive battle, with a few other short notable reappearances from the previous tournament and a stage of learning and bonding amidst it all (Tommy meets his dad again, right before he gets killed).

Compared to the previous movie there's definitely much more action, explosions, gunfights, all in all an exciting voyage, but it also feels like the plot is slowly moving away from what the series was really all about... wonder in which direction the next segment will take it!

 rated 3/5: not bad

2015ยค1

Writing as few with a verse like a shoe,
You wear, trade places, life's a haiku,
Life's like a zoo, cows they go moo,
Some play it cool and suffice as a tool.
But me I would rather just sit back and dream,
Fingersweep keyboards, I'm a machine.
Write books in my sleep, books so damn deep,
That people are shook and like crooks due to weep,
Crooks with a conscience, I took and wiped clean.
Mine so I could mine my mind without being.
Inclined to refine my thoughts as I type, I'll bite,
I read, then writhe in insight!
Inspired I might be, but I'm one to frown,
If you claim this is about governments...
Shutting down.

Project 2015

I didn't get quite as good a head start on this project as I did last year, but starting today I'll be posting bits and pieces of leftover lyrics and random rhythmical device here, every day for the rest of the year. When and if I leave for vacation(s) I'll schedule a batch, or write them for the days I miss and post them later, as I did last time.

Even though last year's project wasn't at all as tedious to keep up with as the one from 2009, and kept me inspired through some dark times (not to mention it generated a lot of creative work!), I don't feel like tasking myself with the same thing for two years in a row. Yet I still want to do something, so I'll be doing something with those little somethings that otherwise maybe nothing might happen with: the rhymes and verse parts I occasionally write that get stuck in a file, that end up unfinished or abandoned or with time don't feel as motivating as that moment when I first wrote them.

That's what this project is all about: the leftover creativity, the little things I don't want to throw away but don't have much use for anyway. Maybe some of them will inspire further work in the future, maybe some of them will inspire You, and maybe I'll be able to focus more on new projects with some of the old stuff cleared out! ;) Though there'll probably be some new bits and pieces too when inspiration strikes.

Time to start the New Year challenge... commencing: Project 2015.

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