Showing posts from July 22, 2018

Review: Streets of Blood

Set in post-Katrina New Orleans, Val Kilmer is one of a bunch of narcotics cops who will do whatever it takes to clean up the streets, rife with crime, chaos, and drugs. His former partner died under what Kilmer feels were suspicious (i.e. murderous) circumstances. Curtis ’50 Cent’ Jackson is Kilmer’s new partner, recently relocated from Chicago, and trying to earn a living for his wife and kids. He is taken aback at first by his seasoned partner’s willingness to bend the rules to get the needed results. Jose Pablo Cantillo and Brian Presley are two cops who have even less scruples than Kilmer and Jackson, whilst Michael Biehn (who played Johnny Ringo to Kilmer’s Doc Holliday in the excellent “Tombstone” ) is the aggressive FBI agent looking to take all of the corrupt cops down, including their boss, played by Barry Shabaka Henley. Sharon Stone is the police shrink whom Kilmer visits and regularly spills his guts to. For this 2009 cop flick, I think director Charles Winkler (

Review: Winter Passing

Zooey Deschanel is a NY bartender/actress living a life of sex, drugs, and probable self-loathing, until approached by book editor Amy Madigan with a request. She wants Deschanel to hand her a bunch of love letters written by her dead mother and father (the latter played by rather convincingly by Ed Harris), famed authors. This is a sore spot for Deschanel as mom recently killed herself and she’s estranged from Harris, but the money on offer is too good for her to refuse. So she heads home to find her father physically frail and a mentally unstable recluse, and he has acquired two boarders; The first is painfully meek and possibly intellectually-handicapped wannabe musician Will Ferrell, who is fiercely protective of Harris’ home (and who used to be in a Christian rock band, apparently). Secondly there is Amelia Warner, a former student and admirer of Harris’ who has now taken the position of nursemaid. Cynical, embittered Deschanel is initially ambivalent towards the weird but har

Review: Ong-Bak 2

Set in Feudal-era Thailand, Tony Jaa plays Tien, whose noble parents were killed when he was a boy. Nearly sent into a life of slavery, he falls in with a bunch of pirates, who train him in martial arts and eventually Tien sets about some (belated) revenge in the name of his parents. This wildly different 2008 sequel to the terrific Thai martial arts flick from 2003 is a bit of a disappointment. However, it’s watchable enough and commendable enough to suggest that star/co-director Tony Jaa (assisted in action direction by Panna Rithikrai, who co-scripted the first film and this one) has obvious talent. So it’s a jolly good thing for the movie world that he didn’t stay in the monastery forever. “Ong-Bak” was a winner, and there are signs that he could’ve made a damn good film here too, but the end result is at times borderline incoherent. Everything here is grander and more stylised than in the previous film- it borders on being a wuxia epic at times, albeit an over-the

Review: Salt

Angelina Jolie stars as CIA agent Evelyn Salt, a super-hot agent married to a seriously creepy-looking German dude (August Diehl) who specialises in spiders. What does she see in him? Mind you, we’re talking about an actress who kissed her brother on the lips in public, so I guess spider dudes aren’t so weird. Irrelevant observations aside, one day Salt is interrogating a Russian spy (Daniel Olbrychski) when he reveals to Salt and everyone else listening in (including colleague Liev Schreiber and Internal Affairs suit Chiwetel Ejiofor) that he knows Salt to be a Russian spy, a sleeper who is set to kill the Russian President in New York, while he attends the funeral of the US Vice President. Salt takes the so well, and immediately calls her husband. He’s not answering, and Salt ponders what that might mean. She goes on the run, with her colleagues now chasing after her, thinking her to be a traitor and potential assassin. So just which side is Evelyn Salt on, if tha

Review: Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li

Kristin Kreuk stars as the title character, whose childhood dream was to be a concert pianist, whilst her proud Chinese businessman dad (Edmund Chen) also trained her in martial arts (Mum was white, by the way). Poor old dad gets nabbed by megalomaniacal criminal Bison (Neal McDonough) and his hulking henchman Balrog (The late Michael Clarke Duncan). Years pass and Chun-Li, now a for real pianist, is given some kind of scroll that leads her to Bangkok and in search of the elusive Gen (Robin Shou, who had a role in the film version of “Mortal Kombat” ), who will further train her in martial arts, and aid her in bringing down Bison’s empire. Meanwhile, determined Interpol agents Chris Klein and Moon Bloodgood are also looking to bring the evil businessman down. Josie Ho plays Cantana, a lesbian associate of Bison’s. Holy crap this movie is a royal turd. I ventured into this Andrzej Bartkowiak ( “Exit Wounds” , “Romeo Must Die” , “Doom” ) film from 2009 under the assumption that