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December 31st, 2014 Movie – The Crippled Masters

crippled masters

So it is the end of the year and there is a little bit of a story that goes with today’s movie. See, about a month or so, some friends and I were talking about some ridiculous, campy movies and this particular movie came up. Mark had asked me if I had ever seen it, which of course I had, and we started talking about it and wondering if it was available on DVD. So I looked it up on Amazon and not only did I find this movie, but the two sequels that I did not know about. However, since I had decided not to purchase any more movies this year, I did not buy them but placed them in my cart on Amazon. Flash forward to Christmas, and my brother gives me an Amazon gift card as a gift. Well obviously, if you get me an Amazon gift card, it means that you want me to buy movies for my collection because what else would I use an Amazon gift card for, right? So long story short (too late) I went ahead and got the 3 movies that were in my shopping cart and that is why I am watching today’s movie, The Crippled Masters.

The plot: As punishment for betraying his master Lin Chang Cao, Lee Ho winds up having both of his arms cur off and is forced out of town. Struggling to survive with his new handicap, Lee Ho stumbles across a small farm and begins working on the farm as hired help, where he learns how to do his task using the stump of his left arm and his feet. Meanwhile, Tang, the man who supervised Lee Ho’s punishment, has been accused of knowing too much by Lin Chang Cao and is punished by having acid poured over his legs, rendering them as useless bones, and left to die in the woods. Tang manages to crawl to a nearby river where Lee Ho is fishing. Seeing the man responsible for his disfigurement, Lee Ho drags Tang to a nearby cave and prepares to torture him but is stopped by an old master who convinces them to let him train them to get their revenge on Lin Chang Cao. They agree to the training and after foiling a plot by Lin Chang Cao’s goons to steal some jewels, they get their opportunity for their revenge.

The first time I saw this movie, I was a little creeped out by Lee Ho’s appearance. In my defense, I was just a little kid, but the arm stub just looked freaky. As wrong as it is, this is an unintentionally funny movie, mainly because of how ridiculous the “crippled masters” look. The plot is your basic revenge theme that was pretty typical of the kung fu movies of the 70’s. The fight scenes were fairly decent, especially considering the lack of usable limbs that the two stars have. The scenes tended to jump around some so it was a little hard to figure out what was going on at the beginning but they smoothed things out at the end. It is an odd movie but can be enjoyable.

So if you are in the mood to watch an old kung fu movie with a slightly different twist, then give this a shot.

Rating: 2 1/2 out of 5

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December 30th, 2014 Movie – Ferris Bueller’s Day Off

ferris bueller

First off, I am still a little hungover from last night so you will have to bear with me because I will probably ramble some in this blog. Now, John Hughes is probably one of the biggest writer/directors to come out of the 80’s. Just about everyone of his films is considered a cinematic classic. While he is responsible for a number of different films, he is probably best known for his comedy/dramas about high school kids. Today’s movie is one of my favorite comedies that he did and probably one of the top 10 comedies to come out of the 80’s. So let’s get one with today’s movie, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.

The plot: Ferris Bueller does not feel like going to school today so he fakes being sick and gets Sloane, his girlfriend, and Cameron, his best friend, to join him for a day out on the town in Chicago. However, there are two obstacles to him getting away with his plan. Obstacle # one is his sister Jeanie, who is tired of how Ferris always seems able to get away with everything. The other obstacle is Ed Rooney, the dean of Ferris’s school, who has made it his mission to bust Ferris for breaking school rules.

The critics were overly positive about this movie, giving it an 80% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Many critics have stated that this is one of the most sophisticated teen movies of all time and that it is one of the movies that stand the test of time. The audiences certainly agreed as it’s $70 million domestic gross made it one of the most successful movies of 1986. In the years to come, Ferris Bueller’s Day of would go on to have a huge cultural impact on society as many of the lines from the movie have made it into the lexicon of popular culture dialogue, the ska band Save Ferris came up with their name due to this film, and the movie itself was selected for preservation in the National Film Registry this year.

This is one of my favorite 80’s comedies, I mean, let;s face it. How many kids wished they could pull of a scam like Ferris did. Matthew Broderick’s portrayal was fantastic and he will forever be remembered for this role. Jeffrey Jones is also best remembered for his role as Ed Rooney. The rest of the cast was also great. I also thought that Broderick’s repeated breaking of the fourth wall (talking to the audience) was one of the funnier aspects of the movie. The story, while not totally original, was very well written and the dialogue was fantastic. The scene at the parade and the scene with the Ferrari are some of my favorite scenes, although I was a bit sad about what happened to the car. This is simply a fantastic movie.

So if you want to watch a truly great comedy, then definitely watch this movie.

Rating: 4 1/2 out of 5

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December 29th, 2014 Movie – The Feeding

the feeding

As the year draws to a close, I can’t say the movies are getting any better. I know they will at some point but today’s movie is not one of them. This is yet another movie in the “Why the hell do I own this movie” grouping. I think at one point I was picturing myself as a self contained Blockbuster for my friends where they could just borrow movies for free. So in order for that to be effective, I needed as many different movies as possible. Which is why I own today’s movie, The Feeding.

The plot: In the Appalachian Mountains, Special Agent Jack Driscoll has been called in to help the local rangers investigate the disappearance of all the deer in the area. Driscoll has seen this pattern before and wants to stop the beast before it manages to disappear from the area. Meanwhile, a group of friends have decided to go camping in the woods but find themselves facing a monstrous creature. As the group’s numbers start to dwindle, Jack and his partner must find a way to save the remaining kids and kill the creature before they all wind up dead.

In spite of it’s low budget, this wasn’t a bad movie. It was supposed to be a werewolf movie but the actual monster looked like a weird cross between a werewolf and a sasquatch. The plot was pretty much the typical theme of “a group of teenagers in the woods are doing the usual teenager things before getting attacked by a monster.” The actors were split between being halfway decent and just awful. The effects were ok although there were some scenes involving the monster that were shot in some weird, blurred, black & white setting. I think that it was supposed to be creepier but it honestly just looked weird. Still, not a bad movie for a late night viewing.

So if you are up late at night and bored, then this is worth a watch.

Rating: 2 1/2 out of 5

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Flashback Review: January 26th, 2014 Movie – 12 Days Of Terror

sharktoplushie flufffie art

First things first, what do you think of the artwork that Joey got for Christmas. My friend Flufffie and myself think it is great. Back to the business at hand, I have some good news and some bad news for you people. The Bad news is that there will be no review of a James Bond movie today. That is due to the fact that Joey has reviewed them all. But the good news is that I get to review another shark movie for all of you. So let’s get on to today’s movie, 12 Days Of Terror.

The plot: Based on one of the most famous series of shark attacks in the US. In 1916, a shark attack occurs off the coast of a New Jersey resort. Alex, a lifeguard from the resort manages to drag the victim out of the water but the man soon dies from the injuries. He tries to convince the hotel manager to close the beach but the manager refuses since the 4th of July weekend would bring in too much money. The hotels try to placate Alex by having more lifeguards on hand but that does not stop a second victim from being attacked during the festivities. A week later, some kids are swimming in a nearby creek when one of them is attacked by a shark. As some men dive into the creek to try and find the boy, one of the men is attacked by the shark. Alex, along with a scientist and his friend, Captain, manage to capture a great white shark which, when human remains were discovered inside it, was determined to be the killer shark.

See, this has been the problem for years. You humans go out swimming and playing in the ocean is like ringing the dinner bell for us sharks. Then when we do what is only natural for us to do, you people panic and all of a sudden, “All Sharks Must Die” becomes the new slogan. Now sharks have been around for millions of years, and they have eaten their fair of humans in that time period. But the 1916 Jersey shark attacks are probably the most famous series of attacks in the US. They are definitely the inspiration for how sharks are portrayed in the media. These attacks were the inspiration for Peter Benchley’s Jaws, and therefore just about every shark movie that has been made since the mid 70’s, including my own,  owes some sort of debt to these attacks.

Now for one of those “based on a true story” type movies, I thought this was pretty good. They definitely did a decent job exploring the theory that it was not just one shark that did all these killings, but rather two different species. Sure the great white gets all the fame, but the bull shark can be just as deadly, especially when you consider that it can swim in fresh water. As far as the actors go, they were ok I guess. I was surprised to see John Rhys-Davies in this movie but I guess he needed something to do after he was done playing a dwarf. The effects were actually pretty decent considering that this was a made for TV movie. All in all, this was a decent shark movie.

So if you want to see a film representation of the inspiration behind Jaws, then feel free to watch this.

Rating: 3 out of 5

12 days of terror

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December 28th, 2014 Movie – Feast

feast

A couple of years ago, there was a reality show called Project Greenlight. Produced in part by Ben Affleck and Matt Damon, the concept of the show was to give an opportunity for first time film makers to make a feature film. The first two seasons aired on HBO while the third season aired on Bravo. Today’s movie was selected as the winner in the third season, which I have to admit is pretty surprising. So let’s get on to today’s movie, Feast.

The plot: It’s just your average night in a rundown bar in the middle of nowhere for the usual patrons. But all that changes when a blood splattered man bursts into the bar and warning them that a pack of killer creatures is heading in their direction. Before the patrons can get any further information from him, the man is pulled partially out the window and his head is ripped off. A woman runs in and gets the patrons to help her lock the place down. Now the patrons are forced to work together to try and survive the night before the creatures kill them all.

I am actually surprised that a horror movie won something like this since usually horror movies are passed over for other types of movies. However, it won and during it’s limited theatrical run, it would make $690,000, which was more than the previous two seasons winners combined. The critics were somewhat mixed as shown by the 56% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. However, it has become somewhat of a cult favorite since it’s release on DVD and managed to spawn 2 sequels.

This is pretty much what I expect from a horror movie. Lot’s of blood and gore, some gruesome deaths, a little bit of dark, slapstick humor, and a couple of scenes to make you jump. I thought this was a pretty good movie. I thought the opening scene where they listed everyone’s names and survivability rates was really funny. The actors were decent with a couple of surprising appearances in the form of Jason Mewes and Henry Rollins. The effects were pretty decent and surprisingly better than I thought they would be. Yes, there is a lot of blood and gore so if you are squeamish, then you really shouldn’t watch this movie.

If you don’t mind an overabundance of blood and gore, then this is worth watching.

Rating: 2 1/2 out of 5

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December 27th, 2014 Movie – Fear Runs Silent

fear runs silent

Where do I find these movies? I have never heard of this movie before and for whatever reason I decided it would be a good idea to own it. I don’t even know what this movie is about. What is it about? Oh. It’s some sort of bigfoot movie. Well that explains why I was interested in it. I guess I should get started on today’s movie, Fear Runs Silent.

The plot: During a visit with her psychiatrist, Kerry is forced to revisit the tragic events surrounding a recent school trip with her friends. Kerry, her brother Ronnie, and 6 other friends (Jennie, John, Tim, Harold, May, and June) are on a school biology trip into the mountains with their teacher, Mr. Hill, for extra credit. As they are examining the different vegetation, they spot a strange creature moving through the woods, Mr. Hill is killed while Kerry and her friend Jennie are captured. The remaining kids go looking for their friends but after seeing the creature, decide to go back to the cabin and call for help. As more people are killed, Kerry keeps feeling like she is going crazy as her memories keep bouncing between the psychiatrists office, the woods, and an event that happened in her past. In the end, Kerry leaves her psychiatrist’s office and joins her classmates on a trip, and you are left wondering if those events were just in her head, or a premonition of things to come.

I hate these types of movies. You know, the ones where all of this bad stuff happens to the main character and at the end, it is revealed to have just been a dream/nightmare and when they go about their day after waking up, it starts out exactly how the movie started. Bleh. It always seems like a bad attempt to make the movie seem deeper than it really is. Try all you want, but if it is a bad movie, it is still going to be a bad movie no matter how “deep” you try and make it.

This movie is a mess. It keeps bouncing back and forth between 3 different plot lines so frequently that you will wind up with whiplash and nothing really gets resolved because of the cheap way it ended. Was Kerry molested as a child or not? Did her friends die in the trip or not? Was she committed into an asylum or not? Nothing gets answered. The actors playing the teenagers were mediocre at best and I honestly wanted to throttle a couple of them. I feel bad for Stacy Keach and Billy Dee Williams. How in the hell did they get roped into this film. As for the “bigfoot” creatures…Well, was it bigfoot or some crazed mountain man. Either way, it may not have been the worst costume I have seen, but it wasn’t far from it. There are so many things wrong with this film that I wished they could make it better, but they really don’t.

So if you see this movie on TV, just keep looking. Don’t waste your time.

Rating: 1/2 out of 5

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December 26th, 2014 Movie – Feardotcom

feardotcom

You know, I am glad that I have matured somewhat in regards to my movie purchasing. Back in the day, if I was at Moviestop or Blockbuster and decided to buy some of their used DVDs, I would just buy whatever I saw that was cheap and might be good. I will admit that I am still guilty of going to Moviestop and doing this, but I am at least a little bit pickier about the movies I buy. But my early days of irresponsibility are how I wound up with today’s movie, Feardotcom.

The plot: NYPD Detective Mike Reilly is investigating a strange death in the subway where the victim was bleeding from his eyes and nose and had a look of fear on his face before he was hit by the train. As more bodies turn up with similar symptoms, he meets Terry Huston, a researcher for the Department Of Health who is investigating the bodies as a possible viral outbreak. After ruling out a virus, they find out that the only thing the victims have in common is a website that they all went too. Both Mike and Terry visit the site and begin experiencing hallucinations due to the images on the screen. But what they soon discover is that the creator of the website is out for revenge against the man who killed her, a man the Mike has been hunting unsuccessfully for years.

Wow, this might be the lowest rated movie I have reviewed so far. It has a 3% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. 3%. Obviously the critics hated this movie, claiming it to be an unoriginal mess that is to similar to The Ring but with very few scares. one critic went so far as to say “In a year that has given us some of the worst films of all time, this must surely rank as the worst — and that’s a hard thing to do opposite Master of Disguise.” As for the audience reaction, this was a box office failure, only earning $18.9 million off of it’s $40 million budget.

The way I decide on if a movie is good or not is pretty much based on if it keeps me entertained. While trying to watch this movie, I would wind up falling asleep 3 times, so it obviously failed on that end. The characters were pretty boring and I honestly found myself not caring what happened to either of the two main characters. The plot jumped around a lot between the Mike and Terry’s investigation and what was going on with the killer. There was not much in the way of special effects but I don’t think they would have helped this movie much anyways. I think I will reserve this movie as something to watch when I need help falling asleep.

So if you want to watch a good horror movie, don’t bother with this one.

1/2 out of 5

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