Monthly Archives: September 2012

I Kick, Therefore I Am!

SAFE (2012) Director: Boaz Yakin Starring: Jason Statham, Catherine Chan, James Hong, Robert John Burke, Chris Sarandon Rating: R for bad language, graphic violence, and just the right amount of kicking. 

Ever since the 2002 flick The Transporter, Jason Statham has become one of the biggest action stars in the movie world. How did Jason become so gosh darn popular?

Is it his rugged looks? His accent? His intense, brooding acting style?

Nope. It’s the kicking. The man is just aces at kicking people! And to the satisfaction of fans everywhere Statham has starred in several movies that have showcased his amazing kicking powers.

Except the Bank Job, which was painfully devoid of any kicking whatsoever. It must have been hard for Jason to act in such a non-kicking movie :

Director – Okay Jason, in this scene you are telling your friends about a bank heist…

Jason Statham – Yeah, and then I kick both of them in the head.

Director – No Jason, you don’t kick them, you’re just talking.

Jason Statham – Right. So I punch that guy and…

Director – No Jason. In this scene you’re planning the heist…

Jason Statham – And then I kick them?

Director – Okay, Let’s take lunch everyone!

Lucky for us, the movie in todays review is chock full of Statham doing what he does best: introducing bad guys to his two best friends, Gordon Rightfoot and Lisa “Left Foot” Lopez.

I’m not sure if Jason Statham has names for his feet, but I’m guessing he does.

In Safe Statham plays Luke Wright, a poor New Yorker who’s having such a terrible year, even the Mets make fun of him.

When Luke’s victory in the ultimate fighting arena costs a vicious Russian mob kingpin lots of money, he writes a strongly worded letter to Luke voicing his displeasure with the outcome of the fight. Just kidding! Russian mob thugs take revenge by killing Luke’s wife and forcing him to live the rest of his life with killers looking over his shoulder, ready to off anyone he makes more than casual conversation with.

Basically the Russian mob is like the psychotic ex-boyfriend from one of those Lifetime  TV movies.

Meanwhile, adorable little Chinese girl Mei (Catherine Chan) is having an especially craptacular year of her own. Held prisoner by the Chinese Triad gang because of her talent for remembering every number she sees, Mei is forced by the Triad’s boss (James Hong) to memorize a special sequence of numbers that the Russian Mob wants to get their hands on. When the Russkies attack Mei’s guards, she escapes the ambush and runs into one of the safest places in New York City: the subway!

As Luke contemplates stepping in front of an oncoming train, he spots Mei running from the same Russian jerks who have made his life hell for the past 12 months, and decides moping is for losers and kicking bad guys is for winners! Luke grabs Mei and the two are off and running with the Triads, the Russian mob, and an bunch of corrupt cops on their trail, all of whom want little Mei alive and big Luke deader than sequel plans for The Love Guru

Think Luke is in over his manly bald head? Not to worry, folks. It turns out Luke isn’t just a disgraced cage fighter turned homeless drifter. He’s an ex-NYPD special ops guy who years earlier waged a secret war against the city’s most notorious creeps and scumbags; and I’m not talking about the guys in Ed Hardy shirts who wear too much Axe bodyspray. The evil and corrupt Mayor (Chris Sarandon), who was Luke’s boss in the old days is not too happy that his former personal assassin is back and turning lower Manhattan into Dodge City, thus ruining his plans to be even more evil and corrupt.

I’m not going to give away any more details of the story, but if you think for a minute that Statham is going to let a helpless little girl fall into the hands of bloodthirsty gangsters, then you my friend do not believe in the power of positive kicking!

Safe is like a deluxe 40 oz. Whitman’s Sampler, but instead of chocolate it’s packed with a delicious assortment of car chases, gun battles, throat punches, head butts, groin smashes, and of course kicking. Lots and lots of kicking.

Jason Statham should be proud of all the kicking he did in this movie.

God knows I am.

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More Movie News!!

DISNEY’S UPCOMING MARIE CURIE BIOPIC PROMISES HIJINKS GALORE!

(Hollywood) – Miranda Cosgrove is hard at work on the upcoming Disney film Radioactive Romance. The plucky yet adorable actress is blinded by science and wackiness as a young Marie Curie.

The iCarly and Despicable Me star is portraying the Nobel Prize winning scientist during her college years at the University Of Paris where her bumbling antics and goofy hijinks cause all kinds of trouble in the laboratory, enraging the always exasperated Dean of the chemistry department, played by British funnyman Ricky Gervais.

“Madam Curie was a pioneer in the field of physics and chemistry,” Cosgrove stated before shooting the food fight scene on the University Of Paris cafeteria set. “I honestly believe this film will do justice to her legacy. We filmed the scene yesterday where Marie trips on a test tube, destroys a lab and discovers uranium. It’s very true to how it actually happened.”

Radioactive Romance will also tell the story of how Marie met and fell in love with her future husband Pierre Curie, who will probably be played by a hot guy from one of those CW shows all the girls are watching.

Can You Feel The Wrath Tonight?

WRATH OF THE TITANS (2012)  Director: Jonathan Liebesman  Starring: Sam Worthington, Rosamund Pike, Liam Neeson, Ralph Fiennes  Rating: PG-13 for swords clashing and Titans wrathing. 

Wrath of the Titans is swords and sandals epic which is a sequel to the 2010 film Clash of the Titans, which also had lots of swords and sandals.

Wrath has more swords than Clash, but Clash had beautiful sandals. I’m talking real high quality ones too – not the cheapo kinds you buy at Wallgreens in the seasonal items section next to the pool toys, I’m talking the fine quality sandals you’d find at Kohl’s, or dare I say it – Payless. Thems some fine sandals!

If you didn’t see Clash of the Titans, here’s what you missed:

Perseus (Sam Worthington) the half-man half-god undertakes a mighty quest to stop the evil God of the underworld Hades (Ralph Fiennes) before he enacts terrible vengeance against the people of ancient Greece, and king of the gods Zeus (Liam Neeson) utters the best catchphrase of 2010:

Zeus – God of adorable memes!

Picking up ten years after the first film, Wrath of the Titans finds Perseus living the quiet life as a fisherman with his young son Helius. Zeus shows up and asks his son to help him out with some God business, but Perseus wants none of that as he’s still mourning the death of his wife Io, who passed away during the opening credits because the actress who played her in the previous movie was unavailable for the sequel.

The Gods are losing their powers and the Underworld prison of Tartarus is crumbling. The evil Titans imprisoned there will escape and make a big mess if Zeus doesn’t stop them. Zeus seeks help from his brother Hades, but since Hades is still god of dick moves, he and Zeus’ other half god son Ares (Edgar Ramirez) imprison Zeus so they can use his power to revive Kronos, the father of the gods who is basically a gigantic walking volcano who sweats lava and really hates his kids.

When Perseus learns Dad is in big trouble he seeks out his old pal Queen Andromeda to help him find a way to set things right. Perseus rescued Andromeda from the Kraken in the previous movie but since she has a bigger part in the sequel, she’s played by better known actress Rosamund Pike. Perseus and Andromeda hook up with Poseidon’s half god son Agenor (Toby Kebbell) who knows a guy who knows a way to Tartarus where Zeus is being held.

Perseus and crew fight a veritable who’s who of Greek mythology to rescue Zeus from Hades. There’s a gang of giant cyclops guys, a butt ugly Minotaur, and some angry warrior demons who look like conjoined Orcs on HGH. As Andromeda and her army take on Kronos and his minions, Perseus goes mano y mano with Ares, who is really pissed off because Dad gave his half brother a flying pony, a cool Australian accent, and a starring role in the Avatar franchise while all he got was a really girly name.

In summation, despite some CG goodies and a few decent battle scenes, Wrath of the Titans is your basic by-the-book sequel that fails to surpass or even equal the original movie.

I wonder what they could have done to make the movie better?

Okay, I’ll say it. They should have brought back the Kraken.

Sure, the Kraken crumbled into the sea at the climax of the last movie, but who cares? It’s a sequel for crying out loud! Maybe the Kraken was just pretending to be dead like Michael Meyers at the end of every Halloween sequel! How about reviving him with a lightening bolt a la Jason Vorhees in Friday the 13th Part VI!  Or have him return as the long lost twin brother of the Kraken out for revenge!

Once again, nobody listens to me.

Worst Neighbors EVER!

THE RAID: REDEMPTION (2012)  Director: Gareth Evans  Starring: Iko Uwaris, Joe Taslim, Piere Gruno, Ray Saheptapy  Rating: Unrated, but lots of graphic violence with guns and kung fu fighting. 

I’m in a sharing kind of mood today. So before we begin this review, let me tell you a little something about myself.

For 15 years I lived in New York City in a neighborhood known as Hell’s Kitchen. The apartment building I called home for that time was a decent place to live.  There was heat in the winter, cool breezes in the summer, and the Wi-Fi signals were easy to steal. My neighbors kept to themselves and weren’t a nuisance, except for the guy on the second floor who smoked more marijuana than the entire Rastafarian nation. There was no elevator and my apartment was on the fifth floor, but I loved climbing all of those stairs every day, and the years of exercise made my thighs rock hard and buttocks taut but supple.

I’ve shared too much. And now it’s awkward.

Anyhoo, my time in a big city apartment building was generally pleasant and relatively uneventful, which is not the case for the poor blokes living in the Jakarta high rise featured in The Raid: Redemption. 

Imagine you’re trying to get to the basement to do a load of laundry when a all of a sudden a bloody war breaks out in the hallway between a heavily armed drug cartel and an invading SWAT team. Bullets are flying, people are dying, and you just know if you don’t get to the dryer fast enough some impatient jerk is going to dump your nice clean clothes on the floor. It’s always something, isn’t it?

The Raid: Redemption opens with an elite SWAT team preparing to assault a rundown apartment building. Their mission: capture vicious crime boss Tama (Ray Sahetapy) who is holed up inside and take out his drug lab, which is probably a violation of his lease agreement.

Newbie SWAT team member Rama (Iko Uwaris) is concerned about the raid because he’s a good cop. His superiors Sergeant Jaka (Joe Taslim) and Lieutenant Wahyu (Pierre Gruno) aren’t concerned because they checked off the “I’m a careless jerk who will get men killed” box on the police officer application form.

Rama’s fears are proven correct when the team is ambushed about three seconds into the raid by Tama’s machine gun toting thugs, who basically control the building. Tama promises free rent for life to anyone who wipes out the last remaining cops, which is a good deal because I saw on House Hunters International  that decent apartments in downtown Jakarta controlled by a drug kingpin are very hard to come by.

It’s up to Rama and the handful of survivors to fight their way to safety. Luckily Rama has a few tricks up his sleeve, like an advanced degree in Pencak Silat, which is an Indonesian martial art, and not an appetizer at Panda Express. Soon Rama is kicking the heck out of every machete wielding creep he encounters. The bad guys also know a little Pencak Silat, but in keeping with the tradition of highly choreographed martial arts movies, they attack our hero one at a time so he can dispatch them in spectacular fashion.

Not that I’m complaining, mind you. The Raid:Redemption is a slickly filmed action extravaganza with some kick ass ass kicking. Seriously, there is lots of kicking in this movie. If I wasn’t 100% sure I’d dislocate my groin, I’d give it two kicks way up. Watch it with someone you want to kick as soon as possible.

Oh I almost forgot: this movie is in Indonesian with subtitles, so there will be some reading involved. And don’t be so darn stubborn – put on your reading glasses! That’s why you bought them!