Sunday, April 25, 2010

April Catch-Up

Well, April's come and gone and I've fallen way behind. I managed to get through a lot more unseen movies, though not as many as I would have liked. In my favor, at least, the only new movies added were from a set I didn't expect to actually ship, sending my bank account into the negative. And due to tight financial problems as well as having to shoot my senior film soon, I won't be adding anymore new movies for quite a while, giving me time to make some headway. I watched some of these movies quite a while ago so if the comments seem kind of light, that's why. I'm just trying to speed through them so I can get caught up and start posting some new features I'm wanting to work on. I'm still working on making this thing look good as well. I'm not really proficient on layouts and the coding involved or anything, it's just not my bag really. If anyone has any tips or improvements I can make just fire them my way. On to the drivel.

I'll be honest, there's not a lot that I remember from this at the moment. I do know that after coming off the high that was Black Belt Jones, this could only be seen as a disappointment so maybe it's not fair to really tear into it anyways. It does take place in China, to its credit, and it was nice seeing a change of locale, even if the story was pretty stock and it didn't carry the same fun-quotient as Black Belt. This is one I'll have to return to and watch again to give it a fair shake.
Sights within:
-"Hey brother, you believe in non-violence? Then you won't object while I take your car."
-Time tested "fall in love with one broad but then consoles himself with her twin when the original dies" plot device
-The world's largest amount of color coordinated henchmen.
-Jim Kelly riding a fucking elephant.
-The world's most boring tiger footage repeated ad-nauseum.
-Rhino, the world's most annoying character in a pre-CGI world.
-The world's most anticlimactic end battle other than Transformers 2.
Grade: D+


As far as blaxploitation movies go, this is the equivalent of Wolverine, Batman, and the Punisher teaming up. Or at least it should be. Problem is, they spend most of the movie doing their own thing, though they more than manage to hold their own separately. Still, one of the most alluring aspects of this was the inherently awesome concept of these actors teaming up. The few times they do meet up is a thing of beauty. The plot is ludicrous but also fits the tone of the movie perfectly. There are a few moments where the film drags due to excessive padding but it picks right back up each time. The one thing this film does right with no exceptions is present these actors as the biggest bad-asses in their field. There's one scene so good, it instantly qualifies for a spot on any "top ten badass moments in cinema history" list (also spoofed in I'm Gonna Git You, Sucka). A great time, but it could have been pushed even further to become the top of the genre.
Sights within:
-"Gonna set ME up?"
-The world's greatest fucking scene involving Jim Kelly vs. a slew of cops.
-Jim Brown's never ending ammunition.
-The world's only film where the idea of the white man isolating the black gene and creating a poison that specifically targets the race it wants to kill and leaking it into the water supply is played completely straight.
-Did you see that motherfucker get kicked onto the trunk of the car? Ow.
-The world's most friendly, polite and complacent hostages.
-Then he's just standing in the middle of the road having a conversation after laying out a dozen cops, probably killing a few.
-I'm sorry, I just can't get over that scene.
-The world needs more actors/heroes like the kind in this film. We've gone too soft in our action movies.
Grade: B


I watched the Mystery Science Theater version so this is more of a review of the episode rather than the movie. They do a good job of taking care of the movie itself anyway. The movie itself didn't seem too bad. If I had watched it as a kid, I could see myself getting some kind of dumb enjoyment out of it, no matter how technically deficient it is. The episode was one of the better ones and really enjoyed it. And...that's all I got.
Sights within:
-"Honest, Roxy, I believe you! I swear on my Elvis Presley LP."
-Jaws in a loincloth.
-That insufferable little toad Arch Hall and his podunk beachcomber.
-The world's most delicious sulfuric water.
Grade: B


I know I've seen bits of this before growing up in the glorious age before TNT and TBS became the epicenter for reruns of Friends and Law & Order, but I decided to count pretty much all of the Harryhausen as unseen movies (save for Clash of the Titans which I've seen about twenty times) since I've never really sat down and watched them from start to finish. This one in particular I don't recall ever watching save for about ten minutes once before school one day so I figured I start out with this one as I revisit them all. As a kid, Greek mythology was a huge interest to me and I was surprised how well I still knew this story, though that could have been helped by that awesome Ducktales retelling. What follows here is your average special effects laden adventure story. It's kind of funny how the same old formula still works even in today's summer movies. A group of men, with at least a few given their own unique personalities so you have someone to feel for when they're squished by the upcoming monsters, on a mission for some object/purpose while coming across scattered, almost random, challenges which are really just excuses for the special effects which bring in tickets. It's apparently worked for decades, so why stop now? The one thing that elevates this one is the effects of Ray Harryhausen, who somehow makes everyone of his creations memorable. They have a sense of character that probably only Willis O'Brien could match. Without them, I don't think any of these movies would be remembered as well as they are today.
Sights within:
-"You can growl away all you like, Zeus. I mean what I say."
-The world's manliest rock skipping contest.
-Hercules just can't keep his fucking hands off those treasures.
-A living metal statue brought down by the equivalent of stepping on a tack.
-Some old bastard tormented daily by screeching harpies.
-The world's biggest merman and his bathtub toys.
-The world's coolest sword fight sequence that obviously inspired Sam Raimi decades later.
Grade: B-


I have this as part of a twenty-movie set called Burnt Rubber which I picked up for five bucks at Wally World, usually a sign of generic crap delivered in VHS-quality transfers at best. Initially, I threw this on as some background noise while I worked on some writing as I didn't have any expectations for it. I ended up not getting any writing done as it turned out to be a lot more entertaining than I thought it would be. This film was cobbled together by crew members of the original Gone in 60 Seconds and one can tell the similarities. Both focus on extended car chases and keep the stunts as the central focus of the movie while still telling a fun, yet shallow story. Basically, a couple of cops (one sporting a wicked 'stache)decide to pick up some extra cash by working for a repo company. Booooyyy howdy, is there some egg on their faces when they find out all of them cars are stolen goods leading to some high-shootin' showdowns with the good ol' boys of the Southern California highway patrol before they set to gettin' even with the boss. Nothing in this film is especially mind-blowing but there are definitely worse ways to kill an hour and a half.
Sights within:
-Cops who decide that chasing a dune buggy isn't worth their sweet time.
-That buggy tore ass, though. I'll give them that.
-The world's most rockin' 'stache.
-A car chase which consists of a Pinto being followed by a cop car down a flight of stairs that aren't even as wide as a sidewalk.
-The world's long winded, convoluted, sorry-assed excuse for showing up late for a date, which somehow still works.
Grade: B-


This film probably has more racism within than the entire miniseries of Roots. William Sanderson (Larry of Newhart fame) plays what is probably one of the most vile characters ever to disgrace a screen. He, along with two other deranged convicts, escapes from the law and make a retreat into the countryside, blowing away a liquor store owner in front of his own infant daughter, eventually holing up inside the abode of a happy, moralistic African American family. What follows is roughly 50 minutes of degradation, murder, and abuse before the family fights back. This movie isn't the easiest film to watch and you'd be hard pressed to find sleazier characters in any movie, save for maybe one starring David Hess. By the time the family makes their stand, you're ready to see these bastards pay which I suppose means the film succeeds in what it's trying to do. It's a great film worth watching, but I'm not sure if it's one you'd want to revisit very often if you'd rather not see the more rotten side of humanity.
Sights within:
-"I'm running the show, Deputy Dawg!"
-For a few moments, you thought this movie was going to be about that pimp, didn't you?
-Probably one of the more ineffective cops I've seen in a movie.
-Never has dancing felt so humiliating.
-The world's most fucked up dinner party.
-No, little Timmy, nooo!!
-The world's most convenient time to get your sonar running. Talk about laying it all out.
-You mean the cover-art lied?!
Grade: B+

I'm going to end it here so I can actually get a post up and running. I've still got like thirty more flicks to write up so hopefully I can get caught up. Luckily, I've only managed to watch two movies in the entire month of May so far so I just might have a chance of getting up to speed. It's not like I have anything else to do for six damned hours every Wednesday. Hope to be back soon. Now on to the absolutely worthless totals.

Movies Watched: 6
-Hot Potato
-Three the Hard Way
-Jason and the Argonauts
-Double Nickels
-Fight for Your Life
New Movies Bought: 5
-Murders in the Zoo
-The Mad Doctor of Market Street
-The Strange Case of Doctor Rx
-The Mad Ghoul
-House of Horrors
Unseen DVDS: 3246
Unseen Blu-rays: 71
Unseen VHS: 119

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