Rambo is back!

“Heroes never die…. They just reload.” And here I was hoping they retire and shut up eventually! OK, is there ANYONE out there who has not seen or heard of Rambo? It is possible, you know. For them and for the rest, let it be known: Rambo is back on the big screen this week, January 25th 2008, written & directed by Mr. Pudding Mogul, err you know who. View at your own peril. [ Trailer ] [ “Rambo directs Rambo” interview ]

Addendum: Some Rambo fun stats

Rambo Fun Stats

Casshern (2004)

CasshernFor those not familiar with the anime series “Cashan, The Robot Hunter” which “Casshern” is based on, this movie may be a tiny bit confusing. Additionally, there is a lot of text to read with subtitles racing by (as there is only a Japanese audio track) and on top of that, the subtitles are not beneath but across the film which can be distracting and since they are burnt in, you can’t switch them off either. Also, cutting the movie by 24 minutes for Region 1 DVD release may have been a marketing decision, somehow I am not so sure it was the right one. Enough of these technicalities and on to the story then!

In director Kazuaki Kiriya’s debut effort we meet “Casshern”, a young man killed in war and risen from the dead by supernatural powers, reincarnated to fight against evil – but let’s rewind a bit.

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The Bourne Ultimatum (2007)

The Bourne UltimatumMatt Damon once again shows us how good Jason Bourne is in The Bourne Ultimatum (2007). In fact, he is so good, it is unbelievable how good he really is but this is beside the point since we do not care if Bourne is a believable character or what his real name is. It does not matter at all. What matters is the action, the stunts, the chases, and more of the same, perfectly orchestrated to one big race with one winner, Bourne, of course.

Now, if you dig all that then you will enjoy this third installment, even though I must say the often praised shaky camera cinematography has been annoying at times in this one, pay attention to the camera shakiness and judge for yourself.

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War (2007)

War (2007)War” (2007) starring Jet Li and Jason Statham is about an FBI agent Jack Crawford (Statham) seeking vengeance for the murder of his partner Tom Lone (Terry Chen). The mysterious hit man called “Rogue” (Jet Li) who killed his partner, wife and daughter comes back to San Francisco after 3 years and Jack is determined to get even by killing “Rogue” this time.

“Rogue” has an agenda on his own, inciting a war between the two rivaling Triads and Yakuzas, double crossing the bosses Chang (John Lone) and Shiro (Ryo Ishibashi) for reasons that become apparent in the end but are rather obvious early on.

If you want to see a “Jet Li” movie then this is not one of them. This is not necessarily bad and Statham and Li going up against each other is a good duo, however there is nothing more to it. It’s just that, lots of gun fights with a bit of martial arts thrown in.

The plot twist at the end is predictable and the suspense never really builds up. The character of “Jack Crawford” remains flat and two dimensional, a brute only driven by vengeance without any other purpose in life and the one phone call where the ex-wife reminds him of his son’s first basketball play doesn’t change that either. Bad script writing galore. I cannot shake the feeling that this could have been a much better movie if it were an Eastern one.

There is not much else to write about this movie except that it’s 103 minutes of mostly gun fights with strong bloody violence, sexuality and language, hence rated R. Don’t expect too much from this “War”.

Shoot ‘Em Up (2007)

Shoot ‘em Up (2007)

I went to see “Shoot ‘Em Up” (2007) directed by Michael Davis without reading anything about it and so I was in for quite a surprise.

The film starts out with the hero “Smith” (Clive Owen) sitting on a bench at night waiting for a bus, munching on a carrot when a pregnant woman in a yellow raincoat stumbles by moaning. She disappears in a nearby alley and is being followed by a very angry man with a gun. This prompts our hero to get involved and angry, too. From that moment on it is all about shooting people.

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Spider-Man 3 (2007)

Spiderman 3The 3rd installment of the Spider-Man franchise is supposed to be the best yet. Does it live up to the hype? Let’s find out!

Spider-Man 3” tagged as “The battle within” features two new villains Sandman (Thomas Haden Church) and Venom (Topher Grace) although the latter takes over Spider-Man first turning him into an aggressive Peter “Saturday Night Fever” Parker, strolling the streets of NY city, singing, snipping his fingers and hunting skirts. Certainly not what I was expecting as a side effect of being possessed by some evil, sinister organism from outer space called “Venom”…

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300 (2006)

300Zack Snyder brings Frank Miller’s graphic novel “300” based on the Battle of Thermopylae onto the big screen. This movie is oozing with glistening manly chests (not one chest hair to be found) and (you may have guessed this much) 300 stout Spartan warriors from tip to toe clad in only the most necessary garments, wielding a hefty spear and shield.

Do not look for character development or historical accuracy here, if you want that go see the 1962 version “The 300 Spartans“. Here you get digitally enhanced muscles, lots and lots of slow motion battle scenes tinted in Sepia, severing of heads and limbs in slow motion and some heterosexual activities.

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Lost: Locke’s Dad did it!

This week on “Lost” we meet “The Man From Tallahassee” and so does Locke. Anthony Cooper did it. Oh my, so we finally know why and how Locke ended up in a wheelchair. Never mind it only took 3 seasons and a total of 61 episodes each running approx. 45 minutes which adds up to a total of 2745 minutes, to clear up that little yet super important incident. Anyone who still thinks that this way of advancing a plot line is a good idea, think again.

Locke faces his greatest fear now! His father! I can already hear youtube fake episodes sprouting up: “Locke, I’m your father. The force is strong in you my son. Come join me and together we shall rule this island!”

OK, maybe not. Despite all this flashback nonsense people still rave about Lost and rate this week’s episode as high as ever while in fact if you ponder about how the second season ended and how Lost so far failed to pick up on “that” story line (Desmond-wife) and how so many “other” story lines are in limbo, abandoned, underdeveloped, changed, mended and otherwise rewritten to fit whatever circumstances (think DUI) then one cannot help but wonder why one should bother with all this mystery anymore. Yet, one does and is quite lost about the “why”.

The big black box awaits and Charlie still has to die.

Rome Season 3 Cancelled

It’s been known for a while now, Rome, another superb HBO show has been cancelled and will end after only 2 seasons. Main reasons: lack of viewers and too expensive. [ source ]

Granted, Rome was originally intended as a mere miniseries but spawned into a full series after the network saw the quality of the scripts. Unfortunately for HBO and any other network, viewer numbers are everything, esp. when the cost for the entire first season is around 100 million U$. We cannot really blame HBO when the viewers rather prefer crap over intelligent, quality TV series. If more people would have watched shows like Rome, Deadwood, Firefly, Invasion they would not have been cancelled, easy as that. Networks need to make profit and have to provide what the majority wants to see and if the majority wants to see crap then they have to give them crap. Besides, what network are you looking for when you want to watch quality shows? HBO, right?

Rome will end on March 25th 2007.

Casino Royale (2006)

Casino Royale (2006)I was very skeptical at first when I read about Daniel Craig being the “new” Bond in “Casino Royale“. Soon, critics would start raving how good he is and how this “Bond” movie takes the franchise back to its roots. Less CGI, more story, more character was the word. And it’s all true.

At 144 minutes “Casino Royale” clocks in as enjoyable as ever. Gone are the cheesy special effects galores, gone are the pitiful impressions of double-O sevens, Daniel Craig is the new Bond with balls of steel as we find out later in the movie when he says:
“Now the whole world will know that you died scratching my balls!”

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