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The Avengers (2012)

The Avengers (2012)

How is it that Marvel manages to make great movies out of everything they invent? Seems like all they touch turns to gold. This is no exception. The mixture of digital effects and real filming maybe works even better when the characters are taken out of a comic than if real people are supposed to be portrayed. It doesn't all need to seem realistic, it just needs to seem awesome. Though I must admit it does seem pretty realistic, not in terms of plot but in terms of atmosphere, movements; how the gravity affects the different characters.

It feels like iron Man has the biggest screen-time in this one, the biggest role, maybe because his movies were the newest? Most popular? Or was he the main character even in the comics? I'm not ashamed to say I've barely read any of the Marvel comics. I live in Sweden and we don't get those here; in fact, there's more Manga (Asian comics) than there are comics from America or any other countries of the world. Not counting Donald Dunk and Co. But yeah, this was a good movie. If you're a fan of marvel, sci-fi, fighting or just want to be entertained by another good guys/bad guys movies with a sinister apocalyptic plot, you better watch it!

 rated 4/5: fo shizzle

CZ12 - Chinese Zodiac (2012)

CZ12 (2012)

This is probably the first movie of his that I was anticipating before it came out. I was introduced to Jackie Chan way too late, so all the movies I watched with him were made long before I actually saw them. Well, except for Rush Hour 3 which I watched at the movies. How did I become such a Jackie Chan fan anyway? Back when I watched RH 3 it was just because it seemed like a good movie, not because Jackie Chan was in it. Anyway, I didn't have very high expectations for this movie because I've read a lot of bad reviews about it, warning me that there's barely any martial arts in it, that it's long and boring and that Jackie just tried too hard, and sadly, it was partially true.

When the movie started I was thinking that all these rumors were false, because at the beginning it actually seemed like a great movie. It all starts with a chase in which Jackie Chan wields some kind of suit with wheels all over it, on hands, feet, chest, etc. He's rolling downhill, weaving through traffic, rolling under cars, fighting motorcyclists and at one moment actually roller-blading on a thin ledge with no safety nets beneath him. Just as in the previous two Operation Condor movies, it really begins with a bang. It's a good start, and the continuation isn't so bad either. The story behind the artifacts (12 of them, as the movie states) isn't so bad, and there's a bunch of good actors apart from Jackie Chan, but the ending is just... it's a disappointment.

As the movie progresses, there are occasional stunts, and then there's the grand finale, right? But it doesn't feel complete at all. It feels rushed. It feels like it could have been so much better than it was. Jackie Chan rolling down a volcano in a pretty cool suit and ending up victorious in a hospital bed, that's just not how he rolls. He doesn't end the movie injured. Injured but happy, but still, injured. It's not his style. There's no final fight. And after the credits roll there are supposed to be a bunch of outtakes, right? Nah, there's just him falling through a frame and lying on the floor writhing in agony, and that's not fun at all. He just looks like an old man. In real pain It's depressing. Is he showing that final sequence to let his fans know, subtly, that he can't keep doing such crazy stunts? I wish he'd just let it be and only include the good stuff, and end it with yet another crazy-stunt and survive-all as we all expected him too. This is kind of like Rocky Balboa, in which Rocky puts up a final fight but gets beaten in the end, but he's still in the spotlight because he gave it all he got. It was a mighty finale, but at the same time just downright depressing. This feels the same way.

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SALT (2010)

SALT (2010)

This is one movie people hate for no reason, because it's great. When I watched it the first time it didn't take me long to realize it was great. But then I read a lot of reviews about it where people criticized this grand piece of entertainment, and I decided to give it another watch and watch it with that critique in mind... and it was still great.

Angelina Jolie plays the role of a CIA agent. One day a defector from Russia walks into the CIA headquarters and asks to speak to her. While other agents are watching through the glass, he tells her that she is a double agent. She doesn't flinch, but the officers outside still want to question her. That's how it starts, nice and easy, with a quick introductory torture session in North Korea, an emotional scene in which she is reunited with her husband, this, and then... from that point onwards it's all action. All of it. All the way till the end. And that's why I love this movie!

I can't find any flaws in the plot. It's professionally filmed, it's intriguing, it's intense and varied, it features some charismatic actors/actresses and... what more is there to say? Well maybe the poster is a bit bland, but don't let that fool you. If you like action, you'll love this; I hope there'll be a sequel.

 rated 4/5: fo shizzle

Big Swindle (2004)

Big Swindle (2004)

I'm on a roll with Korean movies! After watching The Thieves I wanted something more, so I watched this, and it was... OK. It's the story of one big con and the aftermath of that con. There's a set of cops and crooks, none with very certain loyalties, some more likable than others, some with relationships, some without, some with bad habits, some with handicaps... overall it's one big mixture of different personalities. They all get together for the one big job and a paycheck on five billion (which is probably not as incredibly much as it sounds, considering the currency). The introductory car chase is great, clean, professional, exiting, but after that it's mostly talk and drama.

Korean people seem to be a violent breed. It's like knocking about and hitting each other, or threatening to hit, or talking in a loud tone is all part of their culture. It's probably natural to them, but to me, watching this movie, it seems as if both good and bad guys are all hotheaded and violent, though mostly in a non-lethal way. There's a lot of shouting and threatening and... yeah, you know the drill. It was a good movie, but nowhere near as intense as The Thieves. The plot does twist, but it's not really as complex as the prior movie either. Still a good watch, but not that... special. I guess the main characters weren't extraordinarily charismatic either, though I did recognize one from the other movie. Maybe he's a big act in Korea. All in all it was good action, but a bit too much drama.

 rated 3/5: not bad

The Thieves (2012)

Thieves (2012)

So I don't usually watch Korean movies (I think it's Korean, though the characters occasionally speak Chinese and Japanese as well) but whenever I do it turns out to be good! Either all Korean movies are awesome, or only the good ones actually manage to breach the continents. So far I've seen Attack the Gas station 1 & 2 and... this! That's it. I think.

This movie is a bit of a mixture between the many Asian movies I've seen and the Oceans Eleven trilogy. At first I thought it would be a blatant copy, but the further the movie progressed the more I realized there was more to it than that. There was a twist. Well not just one, many. There were cops, robbers, couples, enemies and at the end a small but vicious group of thugs that added an unexpected amount of intense action to the story. When they were swinging across the palisades of a building, jumping from balcony to balcony, diving in through windows, the big bad boss walking calmly through a rain of bullets, I realized... this is a good movie!

Apart from the action the characters have plenty of charisma, and the plot is complex. The plans for the robberies aren't as elaborate as they are in the Ocean's trilogy. They are in fact rather random, but when it's all said and done and the movie's run, I'm left pleasantly surprised. It may be a bit over two hours long, but it's worth the time! Because time is money, and you know... what better way to spend it than on a good movie? :P

 rated 4/5: fo shizzle

Canton Godfather (1989)

Canton Godfather (1989)

This is the second time I watch this movie, but I didn't get such a great impression the first time around so I'm watching it again (and reviewing it for the first time).

I watched a Jackie Chan documentary between the watches, and learned some more about this flick that probably made me appreciate it a more, but the fight scenes still aren't the most fantastic. The filmography however, is great. According to the documentary Jackie wanted to introduce the classy American 30s to Hong Kong cinema,. This movie holds a higher budget than his usual movies (though it's still low-budget if you compare to Hollywood flicks) and it shows. There are old cars, fancy locales, beautiful sceneries, beautifully dressed people... in short, it's beautiful. This is probably also Jackie's movie with the most suits in it. I don't think there were this many suits even in Accidental Spy or The Suit, where there really were tons of suited secret agents and, well you know... suits. Maybe I should get back to speaking about this movie though...

The plot is simple, and builds with intrigue. Jackie is stranded in Hong Kong, searching for a job, broke, when a gang boss stumbles upon him and dies in his arms and suddenly Jackie is the new boss. He's a goodhearted individual still, as in all of his movies, and the gang change their ways when he leads. There's a damsel (in distress?) involved, an old woman he buys a rose from each day (it gives him luck, which is more than superstition in this movie), his advisor, a police inspector, and well.... plenty of interesting characters. There's also one big fight scene and a few brawls, but it's not about stunts as much as it's about comedy and class.

If you're looking for all-out action then maybe this isn't what you're looking for, but if you are looking for classic Jackie Chan humor with a slower pace than the norm, this is it. I must admit I was a bit disappointed at the lack of action myself, but it doesn't ruin the movie. It's kind of like Gorgeous in that aspect, but though the one fight scene is a good fight scene, this movie is so much more than that. It's a classic!

 rated 3/5: not bad

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