Showing posts from April 21, 2019

Review: Kickboxer: Retaliation

Kurt Sloane (Alain Moussi) is back and an undefeated MMA fighter married to Liu (Sara Malakul Lane), after having avenged his brother’s death in the previous film. This time out, federal agents nab Kurt for the death of Tong Po in the illegal tournament of the first film. In reality, they’re corrupt goons hired by a Thai-based mob boss named Thomas Moore (Christopher Lambert), who has Kurt thrown into a Bangkok prison so that he can collide with the ginormous Mongkut (The Mountain himself, Hafþór Júlíus Björnsson). When the promise of Kurt’s freedom from prison proves not enough incentive for him to fight, Moore kidnaps Liu. Meanwhile, Kurt reunites with his blind Muay Thai mentor Mr. Durand (Jean-Claude Van Damme), who has been imprisoned over the Tong Po fight. Sam Medina returns as antagonising little pissant Crawford, whilst Mike Tyson plays another prisoner.

A substantial improvement over the just OK “Kickboxer: Vengeance”, this occasionally insane 2018 martial-arts flick from wr…

Review: Friday the 13th Part III

Last time, sack-wearing mummy’s boy Jason Voorhees went on a killing spree at Camp Crystal Lake. This time, same deal but he eventually puts on a hockey mask. Yay, I guess.

As far as I’m concerned, the only “Friday the 13th” films even close to being worth watching are “Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter” and the 2009 remake, and even those are just under a legitimate recommendation. On the next tier for me are this 1982 oddity from journeyman director Steve Miner (“Friday the 13th Part 2”, and the genuinely sweet “Forever Young”) and the much-maligned but not terrible “Friday the 13th: A New Beginning”. Both are substandard films, but on the “Friday” scale, they’re at least tolerable…because the rest of the series is absolute shite (especially parts 1, 2, and 8).

This was the 3D one, and it’s not hard to tell with certain moments calling attention to themselves in that capacity. The 3D element looks cheesy as hell now in 2D and in 2019 for that matter. However, it does give the film …

Review: The Dark Tower

Young Tom Taylor draws rather vivid pictures of the images he sees in his head of a Gunslinger, The Man in Black, and The Dark Tower. This, along with some school trouble send off alarm bells for his mum (Katheryn Winnick) and stepfather, and even social services come knocking, looking to take Taylor away. However, everything Taylor sees is actually real, and the social workers are really minions of the evil Man in Black (Matthew McConaughey). The Dark Tower turns out to be a portal between worlds, which Taylor eventually crosses. That brings him into the protection of The Gunslinger (Idris Elba) but also alerts the attention of the Man in Black, who has his own evil plans for the boy.

Yes, it’s every bit as bad as its reputation, I’m afraid. One of the most wrong-headed novel-to-film transitions I’ve ever seen, this 2017 Stephen King adaptation from director Nikolaj Arcel (previously the co-writer of the original “Girl With the Dragon Tattoo”) and co-writers Akiva Goldsman (the notor…

Review: Only the Brave

The true story of The Granite Mountain Hotshots, a support crew of Arizona fire-fighters led by grizzled Josh Brolin, who are hoping to go legit and be their own team. In 2013, the team is tested by the Yarnell Hill Fire. Miles Teller is the new recruit, a long-time ne’er do well, looking to find his place. Jennifer Connelly plays Brolin’s supportive and patient wife, whilst Taylor Kitsch and James Badge Dale play fire-fighters.

Unless you count “The Towering Inferno” (I don’t), there’s two good movies about fire-fighters; Ron Howard’s “Backdraft”, and this 2017 flick from director Joseph Kosinski (the not very interesting “Tron: Legacy”). Based on a true story, this is a little too long and a little too clichéd to be great, but a well-made film is a well-made film. It contains some of Josh Brolin’s best work as an actor to date, and he’s more than ably backed up by a rock-solid cast, and that even includes the normally repellent Miles Teller. Playing a ne’er-do-well trying to prove h…

Review: Boar

A giant boar terrorises an Australian outback populace. We are introduced to three sets of characters; Simone Buchanan, her American partner (Bill Moseley!), her kids, and the daughter’s dipshit boyfriend (Hugh Sheridan). They’ve arrived to visit Buchanan’s muscular brother Nathan Jones. There’s also a couple of old ocker Aussies (John Jarratt and Roger Ward) bantering profanely and occasionally trying to shoot the boar. Thirdly we get the local drinking establishment where we find barmaid/owner Melissa Tkautz, and barflies Ernie Dingo and Chris Haywood. Steve Bisley has a microscopic cameo as another local.

I know since “Razorback” already exists that the world didn’t need another Aussie giant killer pig movie. However, looking at its truly impressive schlock cast, I figured this 2017 film from writer-director Chris Sun would deliver the goods. It tediously fails on just about every level, I’m afraid, including wasting about 99% of that cast of familiar faces. This one was a real dow…