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Rush Hour 3 September 18, 2007

Posted by oldboy in : Cinema , 1 comment so far

A case here of not striking the iron while hot. This movie should have been made when Tucker and Chan were still on top of their game with these films. It’s not that the jokes are the same old jokes as the previous films. They are unfunny jokes. I could laugh if they were the same, but they aren’t funny, the film borders on appealing to the Universal rating. Watching Chris Tucker get swung about by a giant just makes me imagine little kids giggling in the background. You think that putting both Characters in France and having them both be fish out of water was a great idea that would ensure the same comedy moments as Rush Hour and Rush Hour 2, but they don’t even play on this fact which is very disappointing.
But why is it that Burce Willis can do Die Hard 4 and make it look good yet after 5 years both Tucker, Chan and Ratner can make a sequel to an action movie so bland and to even borrow elements from the ending of Rush Hour 2 except make it more ridiculous by doing a CGI parachute on the french flag. There were other scripts of this set in South Africa, New York, and from reports these were far better. What was that bit about Isabella getting shot? Is that what we might have seen in another script or some in joke? They don’t explain the situation which leads me to think this some kind of in joke.

Hiroyuki Sanada is the best actor in the Movie, an excellent villain which he plays with relish. It’s rather cool to see “The Duke” Sanada finally go up against Chan, although it’s a pity we didn’t see this a few years earlier, the final fight between the two with swords on top of the Eiffel tower is the best part of the film. I would have liked it to be even longer and a little grittier if possible, it could have helped give the film a better ending if he had featured more in the film. But he is still portrayed as an honorable Villain and at the end of the film he is the only character that is worth caring about. But how many times can these films feature Chinese Triad gangs as the main antagonists? This is the third film to involve them.

The French Taxi Driver, what was that about. I wonder if they were trying to do some play on the popular “Taxi” franchise. The character of George was awful. He is a Taxi driver who hates America but by the end of the film he loves America, gets a gun and becomes a sharp shooter. How did he do that? Did he go to the one day Spy School because he is portrayed like a undercover cop by the end of the movie.
Max von Sydow who plays Varden Reynard seems to be caught in some time loop since it looks like he is playing a very similar character to the one he played in Minority Report, his final fate is also filmed the same way as it is in Minority Report. The well of ideas is very dry in this film.

I remember once reading a funny interview with Jackie Chan on the talk of Rush Hour 3 a few years back, while the interview was taking place (at Cannes I think) Chris Tucker arrives on a boat, jumps out and asks Chan when he is doing Rush Hour 4. After Rush Hour 2 I was waiting so eagerly for Rush Hour 3. I had wanted to see it for a long time. But nothing has changed, the quality of Rush Hour 3 has dropped, character development has not moved forward like it has in other buddie cop movies such as “Lethal Weapon”. Rush Hour has no future and I have no interest to see a Rush Hour 4 if made.

So rounding off the threequel summer reviews (I have to wait till November for Bourne) Why do we go see a third movie in the series, even if it gets bad reviews? For me, I am a completist, I have to see the sequel if I liked the previous films. We are conditioned to watch the sequels if we enjoyed the previous films because we want to see these characters more, we want the film to be good as it is in the trailers. I always hope it’s better than the reviews, I can’t not see a sequel if I enjoyed it’s predecessors. Perhaps the reason the threequels failed is because the Directors become too complacent. They may think that the audience will accept the film no matter what the story, just as long as it’s (insert movie brand name). But this won’t continue, if there is to be a fourth film to Spider-man, Rush Hour, Pirates of the Caribbean and Shrek then the pants of the producers need to be pulled up. People won’t continue to watch something that falls in quality with each viewing. There is also a need to create new franchises. There are films out there waiting to be made. Hollywood can’t and shouldn’t continue to rely on sequels and remakes.

Favorite Quote: “Lee, I’m going to kill you if we die!” - James Carter

Transformers September 12, 2007

Posted by oldboy in : Cinema , 1 comment so far

Transformers is a great start to a healthy Movie franchise but I hope that Bay would move over and let someone else Direct. The first film was fine but we need something more than an action movie with nice car shots for the sequel.

Peter Cullen is Optimus Prime, his voice is that of an Icon and a Hero, I got goose bumps listening to him, it was such a nostalgic trip back to the 80s when I watched the cartoon and heard him. No other voice actor of Optimus Prime can match the grandeur that is in Peter Cullens voice and the goodness and morals of that character come through so well when Cullen voices him. Great to hear him again.

When I first saw the Transformers new designs I didn’t like them much. Not enough to be crazy mad or boycott the film because of them, but seeing it on the big screen in action they look great, the complex look and detail to the design very much suits the live action version and the rounder eyes give humanity to the Transformers that I hadn’t expected they would. It was really nice work and I wouldn’t mind seeing these designs evolve for the next movie.
The Autobot Characters were a fantastic team of funny individuals, the Decepticons were more characture villains. Things I still loved though were Megatrons voice and him telling Starscream “You’ve failed me again”, perhaps meaningless to most but as a fan of Generation One I loved the little moments that harkened back to the original series. It is unfortunate there weren’t more, but now that the sequel has been greenlit with a larger budget and now that the characters and story are established hopefully we will see more of the Transformers and their personalities emerge in the next two films. Personally I would love to see “Shockwave” in the Sequel.

Shia LaBeouf (pronounced ShyO Buff?) is like any teenage character in actions movies these days, far too geeky. I don’t get why teenagers represented on the Big screen have to be so darn dorky. The same goes for “Die Hard 4″. How about a normal teenager who isn’t an arrogant stereotype or the geek stereotype. I just hope when “Indiana Jones 4″ comes out next year that we don’t have to watch Shia geek out again like he did in transformers. Megan Fox was a waste of film and screen space anytime she appeared.

 Favorite Quote: “At the end of this day, one shall stand, one shall fall!” ~ Optimus Prime

Live Free or Die hard September 6, 2007

Posted by oldboy in : Cinema , add a comment

John McClane is what Hollywood action films of Today need, a hard nosed character with a sense of humor and is the real tough guy that fights with his fists rather than flipping over, spinning around and doing fuzzy stunts and kung fu fighting that has plagued many Hollywood action films of recent years. Die Hard 4 is an old but refreshing breath of air. Which is probably why I enjoyed it.

However, although tough, McClane takes far too much of a pounding (especially after that fight with the jet) but so easily stands up again with not many cuts or groans. Maybe the PG rating doesn’t allow him to suffer as much. That I can live with though, “the fighter Jet Vs McClane” was a fun action scene. Unfortunately, getting in the way of McClanes screen time was his overly geeky sidekick Matthew, Kevin Smith and the absolutely awful villain Thomas Gabriel. This guy has no charisma, he never seemed like a real threat to Mclane and basically looks scared anytime McClane talks to him. The poor casting of Gabriel really hurts the film. But I suppose that’s what you get when you make the main villain a computer hacker.

One great addition to the film was Maggie Q. She was beautiful, sexy and dangerous and should have been the main villain in my opinion as she could hold the screen better than Timothy (who?) Olyphant. While I am tired of film producers having to add a Token Asian Kung Fu girl to every action movie these days I really liked Maggie Q in this. The highlight was when McClane is getting the crap kicked out of him but when he has had “enough of this kung fu crap” he punches her in the face. It’s a scene that made me burst out laughing in the Cinema because it’s so Mclane and it’s just so true that many films are plagued with kung fu action these days. I love Martial art films and it’s action but everyone seems to be doing it nowadays. It’s been done to death, lets have some decent, good old fashioned fist fights. McClane’s answer to this is driving a Jeep into anyone with Martial Art Skills.

If anything, the success of this films shows that we need more hard action movies that we used to get in the 80s and early 90s. There is a gap that hasn’t really been filled by a new Generation. Till then I am more than happy to see the greats of Willis, Stallone and maybe one day Schwarzenegger do their thing. What they do best. You can’t beat what they did. Let it continue with Rambo’s, Mclain’s and Terminator’s for as long as it can.

 Favorite Quote: Mai? Asian chick, likes to kick people? Yeah, last time I saw her she was at the bottom of an elevator shaft with an SUV rammed up her ass. - John McClane
 

Spider-Man 3 September 4, 2007

Posted by oldboy in : Cinema, Comic Book , 2 comments

Not only did it not live up to everyone’s expectations but it didn’t live up to it’s previous films either. It felt a bit all over the place. Lots of actions scenes, far too many, I would have liked it more if they were rolled into one large piece like in Spider-man 2 with the Train fight between Spider-man and Doctor Octavius. Nothing quite matched what was done in 2 and the final Battle Royale at the end was a let down. As with everything, the battles and amazement level need to go up from a previous film, not down. The worst part was at the end with the news Reporter adding commentary to the final battle I found that to be really cheesy.

Sandman, completely pointless. The film was delayed a year and the budget was higher to create the effects for Sandman but all were a waste for the character has no place in the movie. Tieing him into the Death of Uncle Ben didn’t really work as throughout the film the character kept having a change of heart from good to evil. It seems even Sandman didn’t know what he was doing in this film. He had no real purpose in this film other than to please Maguire and Raimi since they are both fans of the character. But he wasn’t all that impressive visually either.

Venom was really underdeveloped as a Villain and Character, they did Brock well and Venom looked good on screen (except the voice) but Venom is a Villain that is supposed to torment and screw up Peter Parkers life. He knows everything about Parker and Spiderman.
Peter and the Black suit, I didn’t feel we saw him as nasty as he should be, beating down on Villains more. The Black costume should do more than make him John Travolta (although that was my favorite part). I never really felt there was any love for the whole Venom or Black suit story from Raimi and it just seemed to be shoehorned into the film at the end. If anyone has seen the 90s Spiderman animation you can see they did the Venom arc so much better than this. I had been excited about Venom been in this movie but now maybe it would have been better to let another director take a shot at Venom and do the whole movie on him, but they can’t even bring the character back now. Although I have heard there is a Venom film in the works.

Is Spider-man 3 a bad film? Not at all, in fact I’d probably buy it on DVD and watch it again. But as one of my most anticipated movies to see this year and after waiting three years since the second film to see this I did feel let down because I had come to expect more from this franchise that seemed to be going from strength to strength. I would like to see a new Director take on the next three films and see what they can bring to it. Raimi has done his thing with the franchise so I’d like to see someone else add some freshness to it as it’s becoming a little familiar now.

 Favorite Quote: “Whatever comes our way, whatever battle we have raging inside us, we always have a choice. My friend Harry taught me that. He chose to be the best of himself. It’s the choices that make us who we are, and we can always choose to do what’s right.” - Peter Parker

Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End September 3, 2007

Posted by oldboy in : Cinema , add a comment

What a mess. Double crossing the double crossers who double cross cross the doubly double cross. With a whole bunch of cool action scenes, although no massive hundred ships battle as seemed to be tease and neither was the action on the levels of DMC.

The talent of Chow Yun Fat was wasted all for the sake of giving Keira Knightly far too much screen time. Does this film have a story? I don’t know. I don’t know how a young kid could go see this and not wonder what the hell is going on. The beautiful opening of the film gave me high hopes for this one. The rest of it was another let down. The poorest of all the POTC films I’m afraid and not even squeezing in a dozen or so Johnny Depps into one scene could save this.

They killed off two great things that were in the previous film, the Kraken and Norrington after developing both so nicely in the previous film I had expected Norrington to have a larger role in this rather than a few lines, a pity. Lord Cutler should have not been in it since the character has nothing to him, Norrington at least had a goal and held all the cards by the end of DMC, why not allow him take the Villainess role.  My favorite scene was the Sergio Leone homage as the two groups met on a piece of beach in the middle of the ocean, they even played the theme music from “Once upon a time in the West”, classic.  “At the Worlds End” has restored my original opinion in these films, mindless popcorn flick that appeals to the mass audience and don’t try to be anything else than that. But still, if you are going to be a mindless popcorn action flick which I too can enjoy at least let it make a little more sense. These characters had become friends by the end of the first movie, making them double cross and kill each other and then make it seem as if they were playing along with it all just doesn’t make sense. Take a look back at the original star wars films. Han Solo was a scoundrel at heart but in the end he couldn’tr betray or turn his back on his friends.

Favorite line from the film:  The world’s still the same - there’s just less in it. ~ Jack Sparrow
 

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