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Bad Boys II

Posted by Player under Action

Bad Boys IIAfter the success of multiple Lethal Weapon films, Hollywood tried to recreate the buddy cop genre with the pairing of Will Smith and Martin Lawrence. The first Bad Boys film worked on a few different levels, you had Lawrence’s family man cop storyline set against the playboy Miami Vice style of Smith’s character. Add in a damsel in distress and you have a good action movie with a little bit of comedy thrown in.

This time around, Michael Bay has put together a montage of action scenes with very little storyline or time for good joking around. BB II exels in action but very little else. Bay manages to slice together scenes from The Rock and other action films and give you a film that is as fast as his previous film, Armageddon. This is not a good thing, because, too much action, not enough character, makes for a long action scene movie which loses its appeal quickly.

Other than lack of real exposition and storyline, BB II delivers a bad guy, this time a Cuban drug dealer and a large shipment of money and drugs. Our two heroes are soon wrapped up in a crossfire of bad guys, good guys, and end up tearing apart the city as they try to pin down the bad guy. Eventually the chase leads them to off the mainland, and this is when a cop movie turns into your typical “commando” style film.

Visually, the film has lots of fast paced scenes which will look much better on DVD than in the theatre, since the DVD will be able to display more scenes and give you a much better fluid movement. Sound wise, the same Jayzee or Nelly song was used in the background, and though it did fit well with the visual, more varied soundtrack might have been more appropriate in some scenes. There are so many gun shots in this film that I’m sure sound wise, DTS-ES and Dolby Digital EX on DVD should excite home viewers of the film.

If you are looking for action than go see , if you are looking for a good mix of drama and action, go watch Bad Boys I; this sequel does not live up to its original.

3 out 5 stars

28th
AUG

Bulletproof Monk

Posted by Player under Action

Bulletproof MonkMartial Arts are all the rage ever since the Matrix brought back cool fighting scenes into the main cinema. Since then we’ve seen Cameron Diaz kick high in two Charlie’s Angels films, and even a few mocking scenes in such films as Scary Movie, but in reality the action fighting scenes in most Asian films are a lot better done than most American movies have been able to show.

Bulletproof Monk unfortunately ends up being one of these American movies that tries to give you a lot of martial arts scenes with the same old Karate Kid story in the background and as a film it fails to really excite the Kung-Fu and Karate kid in me.

ChoYung Fat plays the bulletproof monk who is the keeper of a magic scroll that when read will give ultimate power. American Pie’s Stifler plays the kid part of the typical American who has the gift but does not really understand it. That story is of course contrasted with the evil Nazi who is after the scroll and will do anything to get it.

The two become teacher and student in between all the action scenes, eventually leading to a showdown, where Stiffler’s love interest also comes out and helps kick bad Nazi ass. I guess at this point, the film is more Karate Kid 1 and 4 put together.

Most of the fighting scenes are done well enough, to make you think you are not watching Cameron Diaz fighting, but they are nothing compared to say Iron Monkey or Black Mask which are true Asian action films that feature some of the most amazing scenes, I’ve ever seen.

In the end I was bit disappointed because I really expected some comedy out of Stiffler and better fighting from a movie that is title Bulletproof Monk.

DVD sound is standard 5.1 Dolby Digital, but there is a 2.0 Stereo Spanish track so if you like watching films in Spanish, this one at least offers it.

2.5 out 5 stars

28th

S.W.A.T.

Posted by Player under Action

S.W.A.T.Another summer action movie which stars Collin Ferrel, Samual L. Jackson, Michelle Rodriguez, and a few other recognizable actors. The movie centers on Ferrel, who plays an ex-navy seal by the name of Street. He is pretty much the quiet character with the skills to make it in SWAT, but his chief hates him and assigns him to desk duty early on. That all changes when Jackson, who plays the old style SWAT captain returns to lead a new squad. Street along with five other officers become the new squad and they are handed a tough assignment to escort an international crime lord, and this is where the action starts.

The film itself does not really rewrite the action genre, nor does it have special effects that take away from the story line. Pretty much all the characters are not really gone into, but the over all story is not cheapened. In fact SWAT does something that most other films don’t do, it actually shows you some cops doing their job with a little action thrown in of course. There are no big heroes like in most other films, most of the time Ferrel plays such a quiet tough guy, you start to realize this is how most heroes are suppose to be, pretty quiet about their jobs.

Sound wise, the film sounded good, and the soundtrack which is a mix of the usual techno, grunge, rock was okay and not too annoying in most places. Visuals were crisp and sharp and colorful.

SWAT will make a good DVD to watch and if you like cop movies, then this one is not too bad.

Though I have to wonder why Ferrel looks surprised through out most of this film. The guy just has this look about him.

3 out 5 stars

25th
AUG

Spider-Man 2

Posted by Player under Action

Spider-Man 2The biggest summer movie of 2004 is definitely Spider-Man 2. On its opening day alone, it made a cool $30 million! But is it worth the hype? Well, yes!

In this film, we get to meet Peter Parker, the struggling college student and moonlighting super hero. He is well on his way to a nervous breakdown as he can’t seem to keep a job or keep up with his school work. On top of this he knows his relationship with Mary Jane Watson is falling apart. In total, his personal life is really in shambles and this starts to effect his superpowers as well.

He gets to meet a brilliant scientist, Octavious, who is transformed into the evil Doc Oct by an experiment that goes wrong. Together, the two have some very amazing battles, which all lead up to a final confrontation, with MJ being once again the beautiful maiden in distress.

In all there’s a lot of action, a lot of story, and some humor thrown in as Peter Parker’s life is anything but glamorous.

As to what not to like about the film:

For any kid, there really is not anything. This is really a kids film. The action is very cool to kids and the love story is interesting for adults, and everything else is just a little too over the top or make-believe. The fusion experiment does not make sense, in fact most things about Doc Oct don’t really work in the real world, and so the comic book aspect of the movie is pretty solid. In other words, this world does not exist, but its problems do come across as being very real. We all have doubts, we all fail, and so in a sense we may not live in Spider-Man’s world, but we do relate very well to Peter Parker.

Some fans will surely point out that the unmasking of Spider-Man was not necessary, but in the real world of Peter Parker, it does. You can’t keep lieing to the ones you love, right?

There was a couple of times where I thought I was watching The Matrix, specifically in the train scene, where Spider-Man is carried, and with the whole heroes speech, which is cheesy and reminded me of Morpheous’s War speech in Reloaded.

As for the technical aspects of the film, the film could not look any better. Danny Elfman provides yet again another interesting and diverse soundtrack, which is neither harsh nor out of step with the scene.

In the end you have to give it to Hollywood for finally coming up with a film that appeals to almost every age group and taste.

4 out 5 stars