When Chow Yun-Fat came to the US, he brought a reputation from various Heroic Bloodshed epics, from John Woo and Ringo Lam – a reputation as an action star with a strong acting range. So, it’s unsurprising that his early roles would fall into that same category, with The Replacement Killers doing a film in that style, but with some admittedly more Hollywood sensibilities.Continue reading
Cast a Deadly Spell is interesting as a historical artifact. While the film wears the trappings of the Cthulhu mythos, with the Necronomicon being the focus of the plot, and the protagonist bearing the name of H. P. Lovecraft (though with a different first name than the spectacularly racist author), it has almost more in common with the Hardboiled Detective variety of Urban Fantasy that we now associate with books like the Harry Dresden series. It’s not by any stretch the first urban fantasy work – Mike Resnick’s John Justin Mallory novels and War for the Oaks pre-dates it, with Resnick’s series also being hard-boiled detective fiction. But by being a movie made for HBO, it provided the genre a level of visibility that it had never before seen. But is it good?Continue reading
Johnny Mnemonic is a very flawed film. It’s not a garbage film that other aspiring cyberpunk movies from this time can be, but it is a movie that significantly stumbles in its execution. That said, there are chunks of this movie that help make it still a pretty enjoyable film.Continue reading
One of the genres where horror thrives is the Anthology film, and by “thrives” I mean that pretty much the only anthology films being made these days are horror films. Often, they take the framing narrative from EC Comics and it’s like – horror stories book-ended with a narrative by a ghoulish presenter of some form or another – you know, the classic Tales From the Crypt formula. Well, when HBO launched their Tales From The Crypt anthology TV series and films, Showtime filmed a pilot for their own, to be titled Body Bags. They didn’t decide to go forward, but did take the three filmed stories and turned them into their own anthology film.Continue reading
I love martial arts films – particularly those from South East Asia (starting with Hong Kong but expanding over time to Thailand, Korea, and Malaysia), thanks to role-playing games – with two, in particular, starting me down this path.
The first was Dragon Fist by Chris Pramas, which seeded my love for wuxia. The other was Feng Shui, which expanded my love to the entire Ur-genre. However, when trying to sell people on Feng Shui, I had to downplay why the game had that title – the concept of a variety of factions from through history, past and future, doing battle over “Feng Shui Sites” – places of great magical power where those who hold them can shape the flow of destiny. If I had seen Bury Me High, I would have had a lot more confidence and just told people to watch this instead.Continue reading
I love the swashbuckler film genre and have ever since I saw The Princess Bride and several of the Zorro films as a kid. Consequently, I’m somewhat surprised that I never got around to seeing Mask of Zorro until just now. Continue reading
Cops & Robbers movies have been a part of cinema for as long as there has been cinema, though prior to the 1990s, the general tack was to either have the robbers be the good guys (going back to various western films), or to have the cops be the good guys, but with a few exceptions generally not really both. Continue reading