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Fearless (1993)

Fearless (1993)

Watching this movie was a big mistake. Not because it's a bad movie, but because I was actually planning on watching the 2006 movie with the same title featuring Jet Li. And then this turned up in my hands instead.

It starts with drama. A plane has crashed, a man is walking around carrying a baby in his arms, looking for the mother. He finds her, leaves the baby with her, and then leaves. He travels by car across the state, stays at a hotel, visits an old acquaintance, and gets picked up again. Up until this point he looks strong, like a survivor taking every opportunity he gets to appreciate life, but along the way something changes and we are introduced to a darker side of his psyche. The actions that earlier hinted at a strong personality now hint at something deranged.

He meets another survivor of the crash and forms a bond with her, while he keeps moving further from the family. It's a masterfully enacted film, a venture into the human mind and into what I can imagine it really can be like to experience a crash and survive. There's doubt gnawing in his mind. There's apathy. There are strange feelings swirling around him which makes his actions seem random and uncalled for. This isn't the type of movie I usually watch, but even though watching it was a big mistake, I'm glad I did.

And did I mention the crash scene is probably the most elaborate and realistic one I've ever seen? When I saw Flight (2012), I was amazed, but it turns out the same thing had actually been done earlier. Great movie!

 rated 4/5: fo shizzle

Expect The Unexpected (1998)

Expect The Unexpected (1998)

A cops and robbers story, with a little romance, that escalates into a bloodbath in which everyone is killed. It's an unexpected ending, though it shouldn't be considering the title. It feels like I should have foreseen it. Anyway, it's pretty tragic, so better not watch this expecting something good to happen when everything seems hopeless. The real killers all get shot up early, the police are leaving for Happy Hour and see a couple of smalltime thugs on their way to a rob some jewelry store and do justice by stopping them, resulting in a shoot-out killing everyone involved. The movie isn't shorter than the average, still it feels like everything happens so quickly. The plot is simple but deviantly outlined, mostly everyone present at the start of the movie is present at the end, and through the movie, personalities are presented and developed, and at the end they are all broken down. Everything happens within the lapse of two or three days, but it's a perfect loop. It's not a supercop movie, there aren't any awing effects, there isn't any amazing comedy, it's as real as it gets, it's the value of human life broken down into a watchable chunk of film. I don't hate the ending, but I don't like them all dying, but I love this movie.

 rated 5/5: friggin awesome

Man that's a lot of spoiler tags btw! :D Didn't write this review considering what I'd have to hide...

Mantis Fist & Tiger Claws Of Shaolin (1977)

Mantis Fist & Tiger Claws Of Shaolin (1977)

Here's a martial arts movie from the eighties most people have probably never heard of.

Like all movies of this time it's easy to see the moves follow a script, they're not very fluent, and the story starts out as is tradition with movies this. I watched Choy Lee Fut Kung Fu recently, of which the beginning felt like a parody on old Kung Fu movies (<-- a nice kick of nostalgia in that one). It starts there just like it does in this movie - in a restaurant, the owner being humble, a gang harassing the waitress, a hero stepping up and kicking their butts. Typical. The fighting is all staged and the hits never (or rarely, some looked pretty real) really touch... and the filmography is the real stereotype. Zooming in and out on the faces of 'contestants', stunt men theatrically falling over tables, or being kicked back, or staggering with their arms flailing. Good comic value, but not that much realism. Despite all this (and the fact that I watched it on a old low-quality hard-subbed VHS) it was a good movie. The main actors are all talented martial artists and you get to see some really nice stunts, knife tricks, spear play & thoroughly study the fighting styles of the Tiger Claw & Mantis Fist, along with a few other 'regular' combos. The blood actually looks pretty realistic in comparison to virtually all martial art movies of this time, which is a definite plus... and many props to the creative storyline. It starts of as any martial arts movie, but I bet you can't predict how it turns out after that. It's not an incredibly fast-paced action movie, but if you're a fan of martial arts it's a must-see anyway. This should be a cult classic, but seeing as there are no famous actors in it I suppose it slipped under the radar. I'll give it a... [rated3]

Choy Lee Fut Kung Fu (2011)

Choy Lee Fut Kung Fu (2011)

A Dojo challenges another, kind of. It's a modern Kung Fu movie with good ol' Samu Hung standing in the sideline, and a few younger actors fighting it out with a mixture of boxing and martial arts. An Asian version of Rocky... you could say. It's a good movie, slick and fast-paced, but without that extra spice. The plot is more like soap opera than movie, and the actors are... OK. If you want martial arts, you get martial arts, nothing less, nothing more!

 rated 2/5: decent

Jump (2009)

Jump (2009)

Kung-Fu, Dancing, Romance, Asia. Great combination! It's like an exotic version of the series. Story is boring, but with interesting characters and talented dancers in the final show it still becomes a great watch. We follow a happy country girl (alias Phoenix) as she moves to the city to pursue her dream: dancing. She doesn't know her dream is dancing yet, but she loves to dance, and from a cleaning job she advances quickly. It's a fairy tale classic with some fancy moves, that's it, I give you:

 rated 3/5: not bad

Bounty Killer (2013)

Bounty Killer (2013)

Bounty Killer is a movie about bounty killers (surprise!). It's about Drifter and his partner (also part nemesis) Mary Beth, an enthusiastic gun caddy I don't remember the name of and a council that steers the world in a post-apocalyptic future where remnants of corporation executives have gone rogue and attempt to corrupt the new world through their now renewed lust for profit. Out of these many corporate organizations there is one that stands out, an army of yellow ties, and our hero (and heroine) must battle both the council and the enemy in their quest for justice. It was a good movie, gritty action, hot chicks, a plot that reminded me of Rage (the game... and I liked the game so that's a good thing) and eh... well that's all. It's a movie you just ride along with and don't need to think much about. Action, that's it. Good watch!

 rated 3/5: not bad

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