Archive for April, 2011

Master of Disguise (Perry Andelin Blake) 2002

Posted in M on April 19, 2011 by moviemoses

In 1997 Dana had to have a blocked artery fixed.  Doctors operated on the wrong valve and it required five more surgeries to fix.  I don’t want to call the making of Master of Disguise a pity case but I will say it was more a welcomed return to Hollywood.  It probably explains why there are a list of cameos in this movie like Bo Derek, Jesse Ventura, and Jessica Simpson.

So Dana while a good impressionist (kind of a good impressionist anyway) is not that compelling or innovative comedian in his own right.  Besides his impersonations, I have not seen him write any humor or create anything that original.  So what do we do to give him a starring role?  Well we can kind of rip off The Mask and have him do a bunch of goofy characters.  In this movie Dana is Pistachio Disguisey, who is the latest in a long family tradition of, well, masters of disguise.  Evil Brent Spiner kidnaps Pistachio’s father and mother and it is up to him and his tricks to find and rescue them.

So basically this is a thinly veiled attempt to get Dana to do a bunch of impressions.  That’s fine I guess.  So what does Dana do for this kids movie?  A Scarface joke?  Yeah, cause kids will totally get the reference to the ultraviolent Al Pacino movie from the 80’s (it should be noted that impression is AWFUL).  What else?  Exorcist?  Well, that’s the 70’s; we are going back in time.  Jaws (more 70’s).  Okay, I am embarrassed to admit but I smirked at Carvey’s impression of Robert Shaw.  What else?  A Marx Brothers disguise!?  Cripes Dana, do we have to pull out characters that now 95% of your audience hasn’t seen!?  Oh, President Bush, that’s good for a kids movie; won’t get old either.

The impressions only really take up a short amount of time in this movie.  For the most part Dana plays Pistachio which is an even more annoying version of Roberto Benigni.  Let that soak in with you for a little while.  He prances around the screen with your typical stereotypical Italian accent that is so over the top you expect him to say “That’s a spicy meatball” after every line.  There are some other purely Carvey creations I guess for the kids like Gammy Num Nums, Terry Suave, and of course Turtle Guy.  It seems Dana has also taken a page from Tom Green and has taken to playing these characters as annoying as possible and the joke is in watching the actors reactions to these characters.  If there is a joke to be had, it is in watching Spiner’s face as he is in front of Carvey as if to say “Sweet Jesus, this must be record time for killing my career”

Yeah, I feel really bad for Brent Spiner in this movie.  Brent hams this up as much as humanly possible and you really hope he got a better break.  You just feel sad for this man as you know he will not get another shot after this piece of crap.  The script even finds a way to crush Spiner’s hammy acting.  There is a running joke through the movie whenever he lets out an evil cackle it is always interrupted by a tiny fart.  That is a great metaphor for this movie.  Any attempt at real humor gets killed with all the magnificence of a tiny fart.

Mike Nelson called this movie the third unfunniest movie ever made.  I tried, I really tried to find some humor in this movie.  I even tried to go into the headspace of someone who thinks Jerry Lewis is a genius but even that didn’t work.  This movie is just…aggressively annoying.  And what’s more, this movie is only 70 minutes long!  I know I’m complaining I didn’t get ENOUGH Dana Carvey shit fest, but come on!  That’s not even a movie guys.  You had to make a 10 minute credit sequence just to pad the movie out to a pathetic 80 minutes.  I’m not kidding here.  I just can’t see how anyone can find this funny *checks IMDb and finds a 10 star review*.  Yeah, that’s why I don’t  go to the IMDb boards.  God, this movie is a test.


Daybreakers (The Spierig Brothers) 2009

Posted in D on April 19, 2011 by moviemoses

There are a few different ways the creation of vampires is handled.  The first is the more traditional of siring where the vampire has to make a decision to make another a vampire.  The other more recent one is the concept that vampirism is a disease spread by just a bite (From Dusk Till Dawn or Vampires for example).  I always had a quibble with those vampires simply because that causes the problem of an exponential growth vampires.  Within a few months, the whole world would consist of vampires.  I have to give credit to the Spierig brothers with rolling with that concept and going all the way.

This is a world where the majority of the planet are vampires and they harvest humans for blood.  The problem is their supplies are dwindling.  The problem when vampires don’t feed is they degenerate into monstrous man bats with purely animal instincts.  Ethan Hawke  plays Edward, a person who was turned by force and is working for the world’s biggest blood supplier.  He is trying to come up with a blood substitute as a solution to the whole killing people thing.  Humans (led by Willem Dafoe) come to Edward since he’s sympathetic to the humans and try to get Edward to help them.  Apparently, Willem was a vampire but was cured for an unknown reason.  Edward tries to figure out why he was cured.

I have to give the directors credit in that they made this movie for only about $20 million.  In some areas you can see where they cut corners with the budget, but they made a fully fleshed out world with great special effects on a relatively shoestring budget.  They handle everything from the practical vamp effects to the man bats and it all works.

I wasn’t really expecting much with this movie but I was won over by it.  I can only say that I was drawn into this world.  The characters all interact well and the story is well written.  At no point did I really throw the bullshit flag.  The action scenes are well done and the scenes with the bat creatures are really cool.

The acting is all around good.  I really don’t know why Ethan Hawke gets shit upon by critics.  He’s no Phillip Seymore Hoffman, but he gives consistently good performances in everything he is in.  Believe me, you can do a hell of a lot worse than Ethan Hawke people.  Dafoe and Sam Neill both have limited roles but they play them as well as you expect.

There were a few times I was worried the movie would resort to bullshit jump scares and some other bad horror cliches but thankfully they stay away from it for the most part.  Overall I thought this was a very good movie.  Maybe I’m being a little generous, but in the current world of uninspired sparkly vampire movies, I appreciate any attempt at being original.  But yeah I really liked this movie.


The Book of Eli (The Hughes Brothers) 2010

Posted in B on April 19, 2011 by moviemoses

Book of Eli is a movie based primarily on three movies: Boy and his Dog, Once Upon a Time in the West, and (influenced the most) Zatoichi.  Denzel Washington is a man who is walking “west” to deliver the Bible to a town.  I personally don’t know how it takes a person 30 years to walk across America.  You could walk on your hands and get there faster.  And yes, I know the “twist” but it doesn’t change a thing.  Anyhoo, he comes upon a town run by Carnegie (Gary Oldman) who wants a Bible to control the masses.  Apparently he can’t get a Bible because people blamed the Bible after the apocalypse and destroyed all but one copy.  Now, there are some issues with this such as:

I don’t necessarily know why Carnegie NEEDS a Bible.  He practically has a country of his own through his own methods which didn’t involve a Bible so the book is redundant.

I still don’t know why Carnegie needs specifically a Bible.  If he just wants to misuse religion he can use anything and can even make one up to serve his purposes.

I don’t buy either that a country crushed by an apocalypse could really rally to destroy ALL copies of the most widely published book ever.  Now these aren’t bashes on Christianity, these are just plot inconsistencies.
These issues don’t ruin the plot or the movie but it certainly doesn’t help.  I could go on an on about plot holes and inconsistencies (including the twist at the end which is all kinds of bullshit) but I already know the response to this.  “This is a turn your brain off kind of movie Moses.  I just want to watch Denzel fucking shit up and Oldman chewing the scenery.”

To a point I can go with that.  For the first third of the movie I was actually with the film.  Denzel does  a good job playing Zatoichi with a big machete in a Fallout type world.  Oldman also chews scenery with a shit eating grin on his face.  And if the movie stuck with that bloody exploitation type action fest then I would have been won over.  But the Hughes Brothers made a decision which irked me.

Eli is clearly and undeniably protected by God in this movie.  Eli stands in front of 30 guys in the open with guns trained on him and they all miss.  This is not the stormtrooper effect; God is deflecting the bullets away.  Not just that, God teleports Eli out of rooms with no escape and around the wasteland when the plot necessitates it.  This is bullshit.  This is like Prince of Space.  If God is just going to protect Eli then what is the point of the movie?
There is no tension.  There is no action.  There is no drama.  That decision kills all that.

Despite the movie having the Bible, it really isn’t about Christianity.  No one is going to see this movie and want to convert.  The message of the movie is that religion isn’t necessarily evil but the people choose whether it is used for good or evil.  And I suppose that’s not too bad for a moral (for bad morals see Knowing) although I don’t believe it to be that simple. But whatever.

I know people are going to have a built in excuse for rejecting this review.  I make no denials I am not a Christian and you may make the argument this movie is just not for me because of that.  I disagree with that though.  My issue is not with the religion in this movie.  At no point did I feel like I was being preached at or proselytized.  I think non-Christians can go into this movie and not have a problem with the message.  The acting is overall good (I will take any excuse to see Tom Waits in a movie) and the action is staged well (no shaky cam or quick cuts).  The plot is just really poorly written and has numerous ginormous plot holes.  Coupled with the fact the action and tension are almost taken out of the plot and it just is mediocre.  In the end it’s just a big “meh” by me.


Howl (Rob Epstein, Jeffrey Friedman) 2010

Posted in H on April 14, 2011 by moviemoses

Howl is an interesting hybrid film. In a way it is a dramatized documentary in that the only words spoken are those which were actually said by the real life people. This is because the movie is taken from court transcripts and interviews. So this one of the few exceptions where Hollywood doesn’t twist around true stories in order to make them more exciting to the audience. But I say Howl is more a hybrid due to the many subjects it presents. The movie follows a trial in which the publisher for Howl is charged printing obscene materials, but we also learn about Ginsberg’s life, what goes into his writing, his experiences with other Beat writers, and a brief glimpse of the time Ginsberg was writing in. These different segments are strung together with a reading of Howl to an animated interpretation of the poem.

It may seem odd the first thing I am going to talk about is the pacing, but it is one of the things I love about it. This movie is only about 80 minutes but I think that is just about the perfect length. Howl does not overstay its welcome and keeps a fast pace throughout so the viewer is not bored at any time. There is so much material to cover and different topics that are interesting in their own right that I think everyone will find something to enjoy. This is a small investment for a lot of knowledge.

I am a huge fan of the Beat Generation and Ginsberg, but I also thought the best part of the movie was the kind of dramatization of the obscenity trial. We see several literary experts paraded in front of the stand trying to give their opinion on either why Howl is so brilliant, or how one tries to “objectively” prove that Howl has no significance. Here you get several great supporting appearances by David Strathairn, Jon Hamm, Jeff Daniels, Mary-Louise Parker, and Treat Williams. I think at the very least it is an interesting part of legal history which discusses free speech.

James Franco plays Allen Ginsberg and I really can’t comment too much on his performance. Frankly there isn’t a whole lot to judge in terms of a performance. Franco is essentially re-enacting an interview he had in 1957 so it is not like he does a lot to flex his acting muscles. From what he does, he does a fine job but there simply isn’t enough material for anyone to show their acting skills.

If I had a gripe it is probably the animated sections of Howl. I appreciate the filmmakers wanted to present the poem to the viewers and maybe help them with some visual representations. But the artwork isn’t all that great and those sections lose a little of the impact they should have.

I realize this film may not be as deep or as extensive as some Beat lovers would want out of a Ginsberg story. However with that being said, I think this movie achieves a bigger goal of reaching a larger audience. As I said, this is a nice primer to people that may not know all that much about Ginsberg, who don’t know what the hell Howl means, and don’t know the significance it had on the culture. I think this is a good movie for both Ginsberg fans and for the general public alike.

Never Surrender (Hector Echavarria) 2009

Posted in N on April 14, 2011 by moviemoses

You would think a movie written by the same man, starring most of the same actors, and with the exact same plot, you would figure its part of the same series.  If you picked up Never Surrender with that same theory you would a freaking idiot.  After seeing the abomination that was Death Warrior, I said I had to see its humble beginnings.  But despite having the same cast and crew and EXACT SAME SYNOPSIS ON THE BACK BOX COVER, it is a completely different movie.  I am going to review this kind of as I see it so it is fresh in my mind.

Holy shit we get the exact opening! We have I swear the same credit sequence.  We get blood spatter credits interspersed with an outdoor UFC venue (mainly because they can’t afford that many extras for a fight crowd).  Produced, written, starring, and directed by Hector “it’s my money I’ll do whatever I want” Echavarria.

Anyway, Hector plays Diego in this movie as he just wins his latest bout.  The MMA promoters now run a video segment of the rags to riches story of the greatest Cinderella Man and blah blah blah.  As with Death Warrior, he is unstoppable as he started his fight career at 17 and has NEVER lost a match ever in his 30 year career.  I didn’t mention this in the first review but I will anyway.  Echavarria is 40 years old and despite being somewhat in shape for this movie, it is strange everyone hyping him up as the pinnacle of human conditioning.  Compared to actual fighters, Echavarria looks like someone who does Tae Bo on the weekends.  Anyway we cut to GSP who is making a Tuna sandwich to music that is one step away from the Imperial March.  I agree with Spoony; just because you play menacing music does not mean you can make whatever the guy is doing menacing.  Either GSP wants for fight with Echavarria or is turned on by him.

Diego is celebrating with his entourage after the fight.  Oh Johnny Drama, where are you?  Rampage Jackson and BJ Penn roll up and exchange some “banter”.  By banter I mean Rampage stutters out some gay innuendo about Diego wanting his ass or something.  Ugh, anyway three guys from the club come up claiming they lost money on the Diego fight tonight and want to take it out of their ass.  I understand you lose your inhibitions when you drink alcohol, but it takes some gold standard stupidity to pick a fight with BJ Penn, Rampage Jackson, and the Fedor equivalent of Diego ALL AT ONCE!

All of the women are falling over Diego but he chooses the ugliest woman in the club to chat up; meaning it’s his real life girlfriend most likely.  She offers him the chance at some “ultimate fighting experience” in some underground club and he immediately takes them up on the offer.  What!?  Why would he…screw it.  They go to the fight club.  Apparently, the rules are they fight in an octagon for pride, money, and for hos.  Yeah, if you win you take the other fighter’s ho train for one night.  Diego immediately takes them up on that offer if ugly blond becomes his consort/ho.  Our hero ladies and gentlemen; a misogynist asshole only out for money and pussy!  So he nearly kills the dude in the ring and has sex with his newly won slave.  Wow, I loathe this man.

Diego’s next opponent is an Ivan Drago equivalent called Crusher and despite Diego being a Light Heavyweight, Crusher is more a Brock Lesnar size roid freak.  Cue Rocky montage!  It turns out GSP is actually Diego’s friend and is concerned because he hasn’t heard from him in a while.  GSP goes to Diego’s house and finds goons there to beat up.  Wow, GSP is even a better fake fighter than Hector.  GSP tries to convince Diego this is rather shady and Diego says he really feels alive.  I hate him even more now because he’s so incredibly stupid.

Diego vs. Crusher: cue useless spinny kicks with his opponent lowering his hands and putting his chin out.  Deigo wins the ho train and has sex that night.  I know I keep saying it but I hate this guy.  Skinemax sex scene lol.  Another training montage cut with Skinemax sex.  *Barf* Ugh, we get it, you think your girlfriend is hot.  We get it, stop showing her body!

The Crazy Horse Heath Herring makes his appearance as Diego’s trainer.  He is there because apparently Diego’s opponent is “a real badass”.  Cue ANOTHER training montage.  Holy crap, this is the third training montage in at least 12 minutes.

Carter vs. Marco: cue more spinny kicks with the opponent’s hands down!  Seeing this clown in two movies I can safely say this guy couldn’t beat Dustin Diamond in the ring or satisfy anyone in the bedroom for that matter.  His technique is apparently laying down, doing nothing and making Ernest like faces.  NOOOOOO not more Skinemax!  Some banter from Herring about how fighting isn’t everything.  Evil guy then watches Diego have sex.  Um, eeeeewwwwww.  One note about the evil guy.  He does this Russian accent that would be laughed off Rocky and Bullwinkle.  Just exchange every “w” with an overemphasized V and you got it.  Diego finally grows a brain and figures out this whole illegal fight business with slavery, prostitution, and death might not be on the level.  Everyone join me in saying DDDDOOOOOOOOOOOOOOIIIIIIIIIIIII

Bad guy rapes ugly girl and Diego gets pissed at that because he’s now in love with ugly girl.  Diego professes his love to ugly girl and NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO not more Skinemax with ugly girl *taps out and cries*.  Aaargh, I didn’t want Diego going down in an hot tub.  Give me anything else…NOOOOOOO not another training/dating montage!  Oh god, this movie is an endless loop with no escape, its just montages and disgusting sex.

Seifer (the bad guy) vs. Heath Herring.  Seifer kills Herring despite being a 60 year old man.  Must’ve taken his Ensure that day.

Diego goes to kill Seifer and some random baddie gets in his way.  BJ Penn then comes out to help Diego with this guy.  Um, okay movie, just pull anything you want out of your ass.  Sure, let’s roll with that.  Diego walks into the warehouse to see Anderson The Spider Silva.  An actual competitive fight from Silva until Diego remembers he can deliver spinny kicks and his opponent will lower his hands.  The fight ends with Diego curb stomping Silva.  Our hero, ah forget it.

Old man Seifer vs. old man Diego in a geriatric battle for the ages.  Seifer beats down Diego and all seems lost until he remembers he can do spinny kicks and his opponent will lower his hands and stick out his chin.  Seifer’s goons are going to shoot Diego when he’s close to winning but Diego’s entourage shows up and kills the goons with guns.  What!?  What!?  How did they!?  Why do they!?  Fuck it, movie is almost over!

They get away in a stretch Hummer while the cops show up at the same time.  What!?  The cops just let a stretch Hummer get away from the scene of a multiple homicide!?  Goddamnit!  The end?  No, no way movie.  Diego gets away from police prosecution and lives happily ever after?  Fuck this.  Despite having one of the most loathsome protagonists in history the movie should just be titled Training Montage and Disgusting Sex: The Movie.  Here’s hoping these movies tanked and Echavarria can’t make this a trilogy.


 

Death Warrior (Bill Corcoran) 2009

Posted in D on April 14, 2011 by moviemoses

I was walking down the aisles of my Blockbuster video contemplating what bomb to view when I saw Death Warrior.  The box cover screamed out to me.  You have Quinton Rampage Jackson, George St. Pierre, Keith Jardine, and Rashad Evans starring in a Tapout endorsed movie.  It was a movie about people caught up in underground cage fighting.  The possibilities were endless.  We are talking about something that could be on the level of WWE Big Apple Takedown awfulness.  This is a movie where the massive egos of the Tapout brand was screaming out and let loose.  Everything that is poser about Tapout was personified here.  I just had to see it.  Well, it is bad…dear god its bad.

The movie is written and made by Hector Echavarria (the lead actor).  Echavarria really is an unknown actor with Cradle 2 the Grave (credited role is “Ultimate Fighter”) being his biggest role.  This movie truly is one big ego stroke even Tommy Wiseau could take some notes.

The movie is about Reinero (Echavarria) who is apparently so badass an MMA fighter he would make Fedor his bitch.  He is a fighter who has not lost in his whole 20 year career.  We start out the ego strokes by light fingering as we see Echavarria being swarmed by big breasted hos all wanting him to sign their breasts and his manager sucking his cock to get him to endorse an energy drink.  His wife is also fine with this as we get a Skinamax soft core porn scene showing he truly is the man and on top of the world.  The eeeeeeevil Ivan enters the scene, injects his wife with a virus that will kill her in a few days and will only give Reinero the antidote if he will fight in several underground fights to the death.  Now I have several issues with this motivation.  First, it seems the only real goal is to stage fights in order for rich snobs to make wagers.  Couldn’t they just gamble on ordinary MMA fights?  I guess you could argue MMA is just not ballsy enough for these guys which leads to my second issue.  If you are going to go to the trouble of capturing the best MMA fighters in the world and murdering several people to do it, why just have them fight in an octagon?  I mean, why not put em in a steel cage or toss weapons in or do some stipulation.  Its kind of like creating a whole new football league because its not tough enough and the only rule you change is “no fair catches” (obligatory XFL joke).  My third problem is the bad guy matches up Reinero with someone he was slated to fight next anyway on a PPV.  What is the fucking point of kidnapping people and murdering others if you are going to make the same match we would have seen on a fucking PPV a month anyway!!!

Fourth, its later revealed (SPOILER ALERT) that the Dana White character of the movie was the one that sold Reinero out to Ivan.  Well that’s f*cking stupid isn’t it.  Let’s see, a small payoff for killing your biggest draw in MMA, or keeping him around for years and making lots more money.  Hmmmmmmmm which is smarter?  Fifth…um…no Chuck Norris?  Okay, I’m done with that.

Anyway, Reinero’s first opponent is Rampage Jackson whom he Cena squashes in a minute.  Oh and I forgot to mention that before each fight there is a hilarious Mortal Kombat like graphic that shows up like  REINERO V. THE WOLF  $$$PLACE YOUR BETS$$$  Ivan then has a lengthy talkie scene with Reinero about how “you and I are a lot alike” and blah blah blah blah.  I guess it should be noted that the guy playing Ivan is trying for like a half David Carradine/half Al Pacino type performance here.  It really is odd.  One minute he is all calm talking about the Zen of MMA and purity of the warrior spirit and grasping the pebble from his hand, then the next getting pissed off and talking about a chick having a GREAT ASS!!!  It truly is something you have to see to believe.

The next opponent is Sugar Rashad in the only match that kind of has a stipulation.  They are in an octagon but in a kind of Texas Bull Rope match.  Yeah, they suck in WWE and they suck in a death sport too.  Anyway Reinero Cena squashes him in two minutes with a back breaker.  A back breaker in MMA!?

I suppose now is as good a time as any to mention the fight scenes.  They suck.  I guess I should say more.  Picture a slightly more advanced version of rock em sock em robots.  The fight scenes consist of two people trading haymakers until one falls down.  Reinero is “the best” because he does frilly spinny kicks while his opponents stand still in one place, put their hands down, and tilt their chin up.  These fights make the one’s in Future War look like Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon.

Next up, Reinero fights a ninja.  That’s right.  Reinero’s next opponent is honest to god a full blown goddamn ninja.  It’s rare I feel shame for people but I feel shame for the writer of this movie.  He seemingly has an underdeveloped brain that he must put in plot points that match my short stories in 2nd grade of Mega Man fighting Bowser.  What does this movie need?  Ninjas, obviously you dumb f*ck!  You know what, just have him fight a pirate next.  Asshole.

Anyway that match kind of ends abruptly as the ninja (an assassin who does not fight fair by his very nature) pulls out a sword and Ivan shoots him.  Why?  Because he was not fighting fair.
.
.
.
let’s just move on.

Reinero goes home to find his wife look like a plague zombie from the virus Ivan gave her.  She is barely holding on and waiting for Reinero to save her.  What does Reinero do?  He has another soft core porn scene with her!  He has a soft core scene with a girl who looks like a zombie and who had been vomiting in the toilet 10 minutes ago in the movie!  Not only do I have to say GAAAAAAHHHH!!! but EWWWWWWWW!!!

Now maybe it was my stupid induced trance I was in but I could have sworn Reinero’s next opponent was a guy called the Russian.  Reinero then steps into the ring with Rush St. Pierre.  GSP then speaks in FRENCH that he will destroy him.  Isn’t he supposed to speak, I dunno, Russian?  Now I get GSP speaks French but how come you can’t have him be silent or teach him to say “I must break you.”?  Honestly people!  Well GSP gets booted through a pane of glass which also impales him as well.  Yeah, I don’t get it, f*ck it.

We then get a scene where Ivan captures Reinero’s girl again and wants to rape the plague ridden woman.  Double EWWWWWWWWWW!!!

Cutting away thankfully we get Reinero trying to convince others he is being forced to do these fights leading to the heel turn of Dana White.

I have to say the scenes with Echavarria are awful.  And no, they are not a “so bad its good” awful.  It’s just f*cking awful.  This guy is a black hole of charisma with no talent whatsoever.  I could say this movie could have been camp awesomeness, but his performance just makes it suck.  You need a C or D list campy action star to make this work.  You need a Reb Brown or a Jean Claude or Steven Seagal, etc.  You need all the hilarity and camp you can get.  Instead we get amateur porn level acting.  The MMA fighters aren’t much better.  You would think with the simple character motivation of “You are an MMA fighter” they could pull it off but no.  I feel bad for Rampage who thinks he is going to make it as an actor.  His line reads are so stunted and unnatural its like “Hello…Rain.  What’s up…in the…hood.  Homie? *pause pause pause cheesy Shaq grin*”

Ugh, we then get Reinero running into The Dean of Mean Keith Jardine.  In an effort to pad the movie out, Jardine is another fighter being forced by extortion of his girlfriend/sister (not exactly clear in the story) with an explosive collar around her neck. Jardine believes Reinero is the one behind the plot; a misunderstanding that is resolved in two f*cking minutes.  Seriously, Jardine corners him and they exchange a few “hands down, chin up” punches and kicks and Reinero says “I DON’T WANNA KILL YOU BRO!” and Jardine immediately accepts this as all the proof he needs that he’s not the mastermind.  Holy crap, I’d hate to see Jardine’s character in a screening of The Usual Suspects.

So Ivan captures Reinero AGAIN and tortures him all night to make him weak for his fight against Jardine.  Cause we need to make Reinero an MMA version of Jesus I guess.  Remember, Reinero died for your sins.

So Reinero and Jardine square off in the octagon and they finally get the bright idea maybe they should just kill Ivan and get the damn antidote instead of playing by his bullshit rules.

So our final fight scene is Reinero and Jardine fighting men armed with submachine guns with their awesome MMA.  Soooooo yeah, a lot of people just run up to him with their machine guns, lower their arms and wait for the jumping splits kick to come to them.  Ivan decides to take matters in his own hands and kills Jardine.  But instead of using a useful gun against Reinero, he instead pulls out a katana and sword fights him. Then a pirate comes out.  Ok, kidding on that one, but I’m not kidding about the sword fight.  Ivan is a better fighter than most in that he doesn’t wait for the split kick to come to his chin but he still gets decapitated Highlander style.

In the meantime, Reinero’s wife just gets better from her plague…just fuck it movie’s almost over…and she calls the cops.

Reinero is spent after kicking so much ass, passes out, and wakes up in his apartment.  He wakes up with his wife over him and he says (I shit you not) “Wow!…You are so beautiful!”  I want to thank Stephanie Meyer for that line there.  Anyway, Reinero is in no way responsible for the deaths of dozens and we pan away with him the king of all MMA.  YAY!

This movie hurt.  Like I said, there is a lot to laugh at but Echavarria is so bad that it almost turns the movie into a chore than funny.  There are a lot of fight scenes, but I was so f*cking bored with all of them it really didn’t matter.

All I know is, there is another Echavarria MMA movie with Anderson Silva, GSP, BJ Penn, and Heath Herring…and now I have to fucking see it.


Ong Bak 2 (Tony Jaa) 2008

Posted in O on April 14, 2011 by moviemoses

I wish I didn’t have to give this movie the time of day.  Some movies are just so bad they don’t even deserve the effort to say “This movie sucks”.  Ong Bak 2 is one of them.  But I suppose I have to give some kind of clarifications.

For one this movie is not a sequel; it is a prequel.  Now this is confusing for two reasons.  For one, the original Ong Bak was not exactly a story that needed more expansion.  The plot was about as basic as you could get: bad guys take sacred statue head for ransom, mute kung fu guy takes it back.  This isn’t like Batman or Star Trek/Wars where we have lingering questions or want to see more about the characters.  I could give two shits about the characters in Ong Bak so why would I care to see two more movies about ancestors of theirs?  Secondly, the movie features elephants as mythical creatures and the characters nearly worship them.  Gee, if only there was a movie where the characters worshipped elephants and starred Tony Jaa…um the Protector?  But trust me, this is just the beginning on a long list of confusing bullshit that is Ong Bak 2.

The movie is kind of the Thailand version of Conan the Barbarian.  Tony Jaa plays, um, Gruntie.  Yeah he has a name but all he does is grunt, show his yellow teeth, and give his war face so I don’t really know his name.  Gruntie is apparently the son of some lord but the land is conquered by the local Thulsa Doom and blah blah blah Gruntie is trained in the martial arts by a group of freedom fighters.  Gruntie becomes the head of the clan but before taking leadership he goes on a revenge spree on whoever killed his father.

And in case you forgot Gruntie’s backstory, you see it twice.  Yes, we get two 20 minute flashbacks where we see the exact same bullshit retread to us all over again.  Yet still after seeing this movie I still have no idea how in the blue blazes this has to do with the original Ong Bak.  I take it back, I know what this has to do with the original: FUCKING NOTHING!!!  Troll 2 has more continuity with the rest of it’s series than Ong Bak 2 does with its.  Just admit it Tony, you slapped on the title Ong Bak just because it was the only popular movie you had in America and wanted to capitalize on the minimal success you had.  There, I’ve just saved you all the trouble of wondering (all two seconds).

The one thing that truly pissed me off about the movie was the criminal use of slow motion.  I swear if you removed all the slow mo in this movie it would be 40 minutes.  Not even Oliver Reed or Peter O’Toole would take you up on the drinking game of taking a shot whenever characters are leering at each other in slow motion rainfall.  Then there are the random WTF moments Jaa throws in that makes you wonder how much opium they smoked on set.  For example Gruntie is fighting the evil emperor in the final confrontation when all of a sudden what can only be described as a bird woman comes down and kung fu fights Gruntie.?  We never see her prior to this nor is she mentioned.  Who is she?  What is she?  What is she doing?  Where did she come from?  Why is she fighting him?  Why can she fly?  Why is she interested in Gruntie’s elephant?

But let’s forget all that bullshit.  And believe me that is a lot to forget.  I’m sure many of you are saying “Yeah the plot sucks (it is rare a kung fu movie that doesn’t).  I just want to see Tony Jaa kick mass amounts of ass like in Ong Bak 1”  Well that is where you are going to get the biggest disappointment.  Tony does not use the same hard hitting fighting style he uses in Ong Bak one.  Instead he uses a more conventional chop socky (Crane, Tiger, Snake style) kung fu you see in old kung fu movies.  Tony does okay during those fight scenes but it’s not what I wanted.  It would be like me seeing Drunken Master 3 and seeing Jackie Chan busting out MMA moves.  Seeing Tony bust out Tiger style kung fu is, well, pedestrian and isn’t worth my freaking time.  It is dull and when you have to sit through so much story bullshit to get to the few fight scenes I really hate this movie.

Skip this movie.  I don’t care what kind of martial arts fan you are or how much you like Tony Jaa or any of that stuff.  This movie is embarrassing.  Ong Bak 2 makes the Protector seem like Enter the Dragon.  It is not even ‘so bad it’s good’.  This movie is just bad.  Tony Jaa is so far the biggest bust in martial arts and it is embarrassing he has even got this much attention.