Posts Tagged ‘Jackie Chan’

Scorching the Retinas – Another Jackie Chan film

kung fu cinema


Well, howdy. B here again. It’s been a minute (actually a whole bunch longer but that seems to be a popular expression in these parts). One might notice that my additions have been sporadic as of late. My apologies, I’ve been wondering and have found the neighborhood to be bursting with delicious pets. Honestly this is an activity I’d never thought I’d partake in but after an adventurous Bison (a dog not the cantankerous horned animal similar to the buffalo native to the plains) decided to relieve him/herself against my temporary residences front entryway  (leaving a horrendous stank in the process) I found that I couldn’t resist.

bison dog

now imagine this cute lil’ bugga’ working its way down the gullet

Naturally, it wasn’t as if I jumped in full board. Nope. It was gradual. Initially a transfixing glare, which then transformed into a low growl. This didn’t amount too much to be honest. The poor mutt didn’t know whether to laugh or cry. And his/her resulting downfall was a result of the poor bastards overriding curiosity. I must smell good, though I doubt it, I most definitely don’t have much else going for me other than my questionable appearance; that of a malformed gargoyle fashioned from patchwork flesh rather than stone. Regardless, its hypnotic state climaxed in my jaw sliding its way around its furry little torso. A yelp, a smidgen of BBQ sauce later, a slice of tomato, a little lettuce, a spot of bread (Cult is spoilt. I believe his wife would prefer him plump) and my appetite was quenched if only until another quadruped found its way betwix my mandible.

Too much information? Probably. But I felt the most recent addition to my penchant list was deserved of sharing. Apparently, millions of Eastern denizens aren’t wrong, but keep the floss equipment handy, that fur is a bitch!

Now, where was I?

jackie chan film collection

Ah, yes. Cult has been busy lately, his brats have been in town and between what he deems his ‘pirate creating activities’ (his job, it’s all rather enigmatic unless you know him and what he chooses to do to pay those pesky bills) and family duties his digits haven’t touched the keyboard in appreciation of that which would normally grace his senses on a normal weeks basis. Poor bugga’. However, during this time I did spy him watch a few movies with his offspring whilst gorging on an astonishing amount of fizzy beverages and sugary delectables.

I’ve provided relevant details, below, for one of the films, for those into such things (details and wot not). And, lucky you, I’ve decided to write a little something about it.

Kung-Fu Yoga (2017)

kung fu yoga

Written and Directed by Stanley Tong
Runtime – 107 minutes
Taihe Entertainment
Shiner Pictures

Jackie Chan is the star here, though as always unselfishly shares the spotlight, and for those who think he’s lost any of his former flair, speed, ability and flexibility you are sorely mistaken. Obviously, this isn’t as outlandish as either entry in the “Armor of God” (or for that matter “Project A”) series though it does run amok with stunts, limb flailing and Indiana Jones homage elements. From what I could make out Jackie is a historian (he even uses his real name) and with the help of a few friends (some he hasn’t spoken to in a while) he embarks upon a quest to unearth an Indian treasure site thought to be the stuff of legends. Along the way he encounters greed, a plethora of foes with supposed family ties to the treasure in question and enough tomfoolery to confuse a clown.

kung fu yoga gif 2.gif

The story is easy enough to follow and showcases a slew of extravagant locations whilst including history regarding (centuries) past relationships between China and India. The film’s opening is not what one might expect, bathed in CGI brilliance this is the stuff of console games. Albeit online affairs of the RPG type including, but in no way limited to, armored elephants, heroes, a landscape bursting in conflict and dizzying acrobatic agility. (What does the X do again? And what happens when I hit X,Y and the triangle button in rapid succession?)

(The films opening CGI scene courtesy of Kurnia HD)

The beginning serves as an introduction to the treasure itself but also successfully drags the viewer in with its vivid, larger than life, nature and stark visuals. I’m left wondering whether those responsible went this route due to possible PETA complaint (resulting from the obvious) or the fact that elephants of this size are hard to train, let alone find. I would imagine most are squirreled away someplace taking selfies, auditioning for the live action adaption of Peter Jackson’s classic “Meet the Feebles”, skateboarding or taking part in something else equally as outlandish/improbable.

kung fu yoga gif

Kung-Fu Yoga itself is nothing but utterly watchable, the action is fast and furious though strays from the type of brutality exemplified in “The Raid” and “The Night Comes for Us” making it a feature the whole family can enjoy, if they be so inclined. The humor element works well both in dialogue and in the action scenes. Obviously, all one has to do is look at the DVD’s cover artwork (featuring Jackie and a Lion in an SUV) to see that it comfortably fits the Jackie Chan cinematic output mold (although he has made more than his fair share of dramas) and the film is sufficient to make most but the truly jaded and insufferable smirk during its duration.

The love interest element is playful rather than intense keeping this on a ‘family film’ platform. Seriously what’s more annoying than watching a film with a child only to have them ask “(include parental suffix here) why’s that guy putting his piss stick in her mouth?”

kung fu yoga lion

Several scenes warrant mentioning but based on the fact that I’m a lazy bastid’ I will only mention that which graces the films artwork. There’s a large cat, for some reason it’s in the back of an SUV (this scene was shot in Saudi Arabia if that’s reason enough) which Jackie is using to chase another who has recently stolen that which is the focal point of this film’s narrative. As one might imagine the cat gets frustrated and Jackie as well as trying to navigate the busy streets (of whenever this was filmed. Dubai?) he has to contend with the animal’s discontent and the fact that he/she could at any moment cleave him in twain. It’s an amusing scene and shows Jackie in top form without him once resorting to kicks, blocks or somersaults.

(courtesy of Hollywood dubbed movies)

Other animal moments include an escape from a pack of caged hungry hyenas (PETA might have a problem with this one, although I doubt the kicking animal antics were real). Another scene (which bears mentioning) is the films finale. Sans ruining the climax I’ll note a similarity to a recent “Mr. Bean” film in which the same sort of thing transpired, although in another style completely. It doesn’t ruin the film, as at this point you could hit stop and still ‘get the point’. And it successfully manages to tie the film into both Chinese and Indian cultures though is a scene (which tends to drag) one will either want to watch in its entirety or not.

(I’ve even included a trailer courtesy of UMP Movie Guide)

There you have it, I’ve managed to gloss over one of the most popular, highest grossing, Jackie Chan films in recent years whilst adding my own flair, vulgarity, silliness and more than a fair share of gifs and YouTube clips to whet the senses. And you probably didn’t learn a single thing, I didn’t mention any of the other actors, although I probably should have, the soundtrack and/or numerous other things Cult would have. I had fun, that’s how I roll. But now I have to be gone. I can smell my next meal and before I even start to think about munching upon it I need to find the flossers. That fur is a bitch, but I believe I’ve mentioned that before.


When the wife’s away…
the movies will play.
 Somehow I’ve found myself home alone, with a few days free of work and responsibilities. What better way to spend my time than to catch up on my consumption of celluloid. Seriously I have towering DVD stacks everywhere and screeners collectively screaming for my attention.
Here’s to cramming my eyeballs full of moving images and my face full of unhealthy edibles.
(Note; To keep things interesting I’ve drenched my retinas into cinema plucked from many a genre.)
Day One
gunslingers revenge

The DVD cover

Gunslingers Revenge (1998)
Director – Giovanni Veronesi
Writer – Vincenzo Pardini (based on his novel) adapted by Giovanni Veronesi and Leonardo Pieraccioni
Runtime – 87 minutes
Interesting dynamic and a charming narrative by way of a seven year old. Filled with intriguing characters and beautiful scenery the story that covers what most Westerns haven’t.
Reminiscent of foreign cult affairs on account of characters exchanging dialogue where the lips don’t seem to match the words coming out.
The soundtrack lends the feature somewhat of a Disney family-oriented air though the film still has undeniable qualities and elements leaning towards at times the slightly eccentric/odd.
Did I mention David Bowie and Harvey Kietel are among the actors? And that there’s very little blood.
Consider this a pallet cleanser, of sorts.
the eyes of my mother

The DVD cover

The Eyes of my Mother (2016)
Director/Writer – Nicholas Pesce
Runtime – 76 minutes
Black and white and often subtitled.
Chilling, stylistic and dark. 
Minimalistic in its approach but powerful and cleverly constructed with a myriad of plot intricacies (nods to an early work by D’Amato) both horrific and shocking to widen the viewers eyes and get the mind reeling. One scene in particular is extremely difficult to watch especially for parents of an infant.
The soundtrack is also barely apparent buy when it makes an appearance it lends a remarkable texture and ominous vibe.
Hardly for everyone, this is a must for those yearning for celluloid dripping in classic values and an undeniable menacing and grotesque tone.
If you liked Audition and Grotesque this is a must watch.
animal world

Alternate versions of the poster art

Animal World (2018)
Director – Yan Han
Writer – Yan Han based on the comic by Nobuyuki Fukumoto
Runtime – 130 minutes
Barely five minutes in and my jaw has hit the floor. Thus far this is visually stunning and bears the surreal nature of a video game. Psychosis and hallucinations don’t mix well in the everyday world that much is for certain, even this far in.
The movie soon transforms to show the pitfalls of debt and some of the many ways a diabolical bank might be able to recoup their losses, it also boasts a tech puzzle type atmosphere complete with high stakes, drama, karma, retribution and camaraderie.
Clowns, rock paper and scissors and debt who would’ve thought these would be the ideal ingredients for a film with such transfixing properties. It’s as though the most oddball elements were plucked from a randomizer machine then tossed together for bragging rights upon completion of a finished product.
Fans of The Prestige and Can You See Me Now will eat this up its delightfully different, cavernous and teases a sequel that can’t come soon enough.
Revenge for Jolly (Copy)

The DVD art

Revenge for Jolly (2012)
Director – Chad Harbold
Writer – Brian Petsos
Runtime – 81 minutes
Here’s something a little different; a vengeance movie centered around the murder of Jolly, a dog. Hilarious dialogue and hilarity abounds as two friends, and too many beers to count, set out on a small town quest to find those responsible. Awkwardness and apathy reign supreme within a slow pace that remains oddly intriguing throughout.
I laughed hard at the inept Italian law firm scene and the name Bobby being referred to as Booby, on purpose, for dramatic affect. The “…you just can’t throw ranch” meltdown is priceless. A nod to Reservoir Dogs in unmistakable.
Recommended for fans of off-beat (black) comedy with observational elements in a similar vein to Observe, Report and in times Boondock Saints but with tendencies that lean more towards the macabre.
the minds eye

Promo art

The Minds Eye (2015)
Director/Writer – Joe Begos
Runtime – 87 minutes
Psychokinesis hasn’t been tackled in too many films, although Firestarter, Carrie and Scanners come immediately to mind. The Minds Eye takes on the prospect and adds Cronenberg esque qualities and synth as a huge part of the soundtrack the quality of which would put a smile on Carpenters face. 
The movie rolls at a quick pace and gives off an initial X-men vibe which soon twists into something else altogether.
Super powers, maniacal aspirations and some serious cat and mouse antics.
Excellent effects add to the fun alongside direction, writing that acting chops that harken back to the heyday of 80’s horror much in a similar style to the exceptional caliber of work that the Astron 6 team continue to produce. 
I highly recommended giving this a peek, it certainly escaped my radar but now that I’ve let it invade my senses I’ll continue to lay praise upon it.
The Following Day
Duel (2016)
Director – Kieran Darcy-Smith
Writer – Matt Cook
Runtime – 110 minutes
Well written, atmospheric, excellently composed and seething with an unmistakable ominous tone.
A chilling performance from Woody (Did-you-know-I-was-in-Cheers) Harrelson adds weight to a story that’s part cat-n-mouse, part cult worship and oddly topical given the current political climate we find ourselves in.
A dark, bloody and gritty western with an added element of history and plenty of classic quotes that’s entertaining throughout.

And what a wedding invite this made

Rec 3 – Genesis (2012)
Director – Paco Plaza
Writer – Paco Plaza, David Gallart, Luiso Berdejo, 
Runtime – 80 minutes
The homemade caught on video aspect (at a wedding) lends the film huge relateability as the participants are in an everyday setting, not actors on set. The action starts abruptly, panic seizes the gathering and the viewer is left in a dizzying state by way of the unsteady POV. Although this does change the POV aspect still flickers in and out.
A Rage approach rather than the lumbering “She’s coming to get you Barbara” adds tension and naturally… pace.
Humor arises by way of family idiosyncrasies and relationships (not to mention Sponge John, Bob had obvious copyright issues) as well the religious element that some believe is the cause while others have faith in being saved purely because they are in a place of worship and the undead are heathens, heretics or devils who abide by the teachings of the church.
It rains  which is ironic as it’s supposed to be lucky if it rains on your wedding day.
A scorned bride with a chainsaw, a knight in shining armor, a delightful spin on the zombie mythos, clever writing and camera work and great FX gives this the edge it needs to stand out from an overcrowded genre which, much like those within it, refuses to perish.
Better yet “Fuck my grandfather and his stupid fucking hearing aid” is a quote for the ages, priceless in fact. REC 3’s climax is bloody great! In more ways than one making this a feature I will return to again and again.
fantasy mission force

The German DVD cover

Fantasy Mission Force aka Dragon Attack (1983)
Director – Yen-Ping Chu (billed as Harry Weng)
Writer – Hsin Wei
Runtime – 85 minutes
An elite team are assembled from across the globe to assist in a tricky hostage situation, apart from that I’m quite honestly lost as the editing herein is far from stupendous (in the truncated version I watched anyway).
Delightfully over the top, slapstick silliness (recalling classic Laural and Hardy and Benny Hill) sporting insane dubbing and choppy nonsensical editing it remains entertaining all the while screaming 80’s Asian cinema.
For a Jackie Chan feature there’s actually very little of him but shit, there’s scenes including traditional Chinese ghosts, Mad Max nods, Shaolin antics, scenes of defined western homage and other assorted tomfoolery to carve a smile on even the most rigid of features.
I’m placing this in the guilty pleasures folder as this film is undeniably a crazy mess, in actuality most of it could double as a Mentos commercial, but I’m lovin’ it nevertheless.
where the dead go to die

Blu ray art

Where the Dead go to Die (2012)
Writer/Director – Jimmy Screamerclauz
Runtime – 96 minutes
Computer animation that leaves a lot to be desired is anything but family friendly. Divided into chapters the feature is centered around a few children all living on the same block. As it progresses it covers a slew of utterly unsavory subjects. An evil dog, not Mr.Pickles, tempts a youth, and the films other youths, to do his diabolical bidding based on quasi-religious principles.
Tainted Milk is a glorious mind fuck complete with fetus ripping, an emasculation, zoo-aphilia antics and hallucinogenic elements complete with nods to the mind controlling power of religion. 
Liquid Memories is Lovecraftian-esque and revolves around capturing lost memories through brain extraction. Other segment include an amputee vets nightmarish PTSD flashbacks and the physical manifestation of a relapse. 
The resulting predicament of injecting ‘memories’ is horrific and spurns a breakdown that’s incomprehensible in its imagining and intensity making for a segment that’s uncomfortable to view and even more difficult to forget.
The Masks That the Monsters Wear is the most vile segment. It tackles the subjects of stillbirth, acceptance and Siamese twins.
The addition of a redneck child porn ring (this in no way glorifies such) makes this difficult to watch, although the veritable kaleidoscope of hellish images make it nearly impossible to turn the eyes away from.
Disturbing doesn’t even come close to describing what this movies images showcase. Recommended only to those whose penchants lay in the most depraved that cinema has to offer. Although this is an animated feature it still boasts significant presence to screw with the psyche – You have been warned!
I won’t be watching this again anytime soon, although it will still remain in my collection albeit moved to the very tippy top of the shelving unit far from prying eyes and curious little hands.
That’s about it, I’m exhausted, my eyes need a rest.