The Watchers Apprentice

IMDb member since January 2001
    Lifetime Total
    10+
    IMDb Member
    19 years

Reviews

Daredevil
(2003)

Darker than Spiderman, more "real" than Batman
I had been waiting to see Daredevil since last year when I first heard it was being made and have been waiting since with eager anticipation. On Sunday I finally got to see it at an advance screening. To put it simply: the wait was more than worth it. If you're wondering if this simply a Spiderman clone, it's not. Its better.

The fight sequences are fantastically coreographed (hooray for HK fight co ordinators!) and very fluid and brutal, with bonecrunching punches and kicks. The story and setting are much darker than Spiderman, but in a sense more "real" than Batman. Here's a hero who doesn't want to save the world, just make a difference by protecting his neighbourhood, even though he feels as if he's not making a difference sometimes.

But where this movie really excels are in its characters.

Ben Affleck, while not everyones first choice for Matt Murdock/Daredevil, pulls in a commendable performance, imbuing the character with a smugness(as Matt Murdock) and a lethal fury (as Daredevil in some scenes).

Jennifer Garner is very well cast as Electra. Ben Affleck and her have an on screen chemistry that is as good as the Peter Parker/MJ relationship in Spiderman. Their relationship is one that is both beautiful and tragic at once. WARNING SPOILER: The look on her face when she stabs Daredevil then pulls off his mask and sees its Matt Murdock is priceless. Colin Farrell shines as Bullseye, the pyschotic killer with a knack for "never missing"("I missed!I never miss!").He's both parts dangerous and(blackly)funny("I want a bloody costume"). It was always going to be hard to cast the Kingpin, but Micheal Clarke Duncan fills his shoes admirably. His fight with Daredevil at the end is very well done.

When this officially comes out over here, I for one will gladly line up to watch it a 2nd time, and a 3rd...and maybe a 4th.

Jason X
(2001)

A refreshing change
I fail to see why people hate this movie so much. Yes it a Friday the 13th movie, but this time, a new approach was taken. And it works. Putting Jason in space was the best idea since he went to Manhattan in Part 8. Future settings leave so much potential for backstory in later movie. We can find out how Jason was captured, how he became a test subject, etc. In terms of this being a horror movie, well its not really a horror movie as such, more of a Sci-Fi/Action/Thriller(with an unstoppable killer who just happens to be Jason Vorhees). The atmosphere is just right and Kane Hodder is in top form as Jason. Here we have someone who enjoys playing Jason Vorhees.Kane Hodder makes Jason more than he's classed as being. As well as killing anything in his way, his Jason in this film is cunning, ruthless and pretty p***sed off. The deaths in this film are also quite creative(especially the bit were Jason freezes then shatters a poor girls face, and the bit were the Marine is impaled on the giant screw)The best is the unprecedented number of kills just in the beginning(i think its like 7 at once)

SPOILER ALERT: what the hell is with the ending??? I mean Jason has been known to survive anything but this is ridicilous. I mean even if he was Uber-Jason the vaccum of space should surely have killed him, but then adding the whole ending were he re-entering the planet is just pushing credibility, even in this type of film.

In total, this a worthy addition to the Friday the 13th franchise and is great entertainment for all.

Spider-Man
(2002)

Modern, but also stays true to its origins
After years of waiting Marvel's resident webslinger makes it to the big screen. After seeing it twice(so far) I can safely say: it was worth the wait. The story unfolds slowly but surely: introducing us to Peter Parker & his life leading up the accident which tranforms him into Spiderman. At the same time we watch Norman Osborn, desperate to save his company, expose himself to the experimental gas that will transform him into the Green Goblin. This then leads to their confrontation. This is the great part of the movie. Watching Spiderman swoop and swing between the skyscrapers of NYC with the aide of CGI is breathtaking. I mean the movements are right on, showcasing Spidermans amazing agility and speed in breathtaking fashion. The action sequences are well done too. From Spiderman's confrontations with crooks on the streets to his battles with the Green Goblin is all done very well. (My only complaint is the confrontational mandatory slugfest. I mean it would have been better to have Spiderman and the Green Goblin battle it out in the sky high above Manhattan. But nevertheless im not complaining) All in all a great mixture of comedy, character development and action. 8/10

Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan
(1989)

My comments
Some thoughts on this, the eighth "Friday the 13th" movie:

1- Jason seems to become more and more inhuman with each passing movie. In this movie alone he survives being shot 5 times, being stabbed in the eye with a pen, being hit with a car(!), being electrocuted and being punched repeatedly in the face and body.

2- For a boxer, Julius has remarkably low stamina. He should have been able to go on for a least a little longer with Jason. Maybe he was tired

3- Nobody seems to notice Jason (or care) as he walks through

a) a (somewhat) crowded subway train

b) Times Square How could you not notice a very slimy, probably quite smelly, creepy looking guy with a hockey mask.

4- Has Jason suddenly become Darth Vaders long lost cousin? His breathing throughout the movie seems to indicate this.

With the above comments aside I found this to be a most entertaining and watchable movie with some hidden humour. The body count may be low and the gore, nudity and sex somewhat minimal, but its fun neverthless. Especially memorable is the scene were Jason goes one on one with Julius, the boxer and literally knocks his block off. A most fun way to spend and evening. Also keep an eye out for future "Scorpion King" starlet Kelly Hu as the ill-fated Eve Watanabe. I give this a c+ (7/10)

Rush Hour 2
(2001)

more action and more humour= better rush
I've just come back from seeing this movie, and boy was I impressed. I saw the original Rush Hour and thought "Entertaining, but I needed to see more of Jackie Chan do his stuff". I guess the director must have listened because thats exactly what I got! Not only that but the humour is better and the plot is easy to follow. I guess what this movie does is take what the first movie had and amplify it just enough so that the action sequences are impressive, the comedy is laugh out loud funny and the plot adds to the story. The other thing that impressed me was the man himself, Jackie Chan. I am a huge fan of his movie's and have seen some of his earlier work. What surprised me is that he doesn't show signs of slowing down. His stunts in this movie are quite impressive and make you wonder how a man his age can still move so fast and fluidly. Adding to this is Chris Tucker's incredible comic timing. His jokes and one liners seem to come out of nowhere and at just the right places in the film.

If theres anything you must do this summer SEE THIS MOVIE. 10/10

Ging chaat goo si
(1985)

Jackie Chan at his best
I am a BIG Jackie Chan fan, so I thought I might as well have a look at his earlier work. Having not seen any of Jackie's previous HK action movies I didn't know what to expect. I was not dissapointed. This movie is amazing. It is full of Jackie's trademark hyperkinetic action scenes that move at breakneck speed. It also has it's fair share of humour, most of it from Jackie himself. I especially enjoyed the part where Jackie finds himself alone in a small country precinct answering about 5 or 6 phone calls at once! Very funny. The highlight of the film is the climax, which takes place in a huge shopping centre with Jackie facing off against a legion of bad guys. This part of the movie alone must set some sort of record for the most glass broken in a movie ever. I mean people get thrown through glass, onto glass and into glass! The outakes are particularly painful as we get to see Jackie prepare for and perform some of the more brutal stunts in the film. If you can get this film, make sure it's the dubbed version. It makes for the best experience of the film. A very enthusiastic 5 thumbs up.

Ging chaat goo si
(1985)

Jackie Chan at his best
I am a BIG Jackie Chan fan, so I thought I might as well have a look at his earlier work. Having not seen any of Jackie's previous HK action movies I didn't know what to expect. I was not dissapointed. This movie is amazing. It is full of Jackie's trademark hyperkinetic action scenes that move at breakneck speed. It also has it's fair share of humour, most of it from Jackie himself. I especially enjoyed the part where Jackie finds himself alone in a small country precinct answering about 5 or 6 phone calls at once! Very funny. The highlight of the film is the climax, which takes place in a huge shopping centre with Jackie facing off against a legion of bad guys. This part of the movie alone must set some sort of record for the most glass broken in a movie ever. I mean people get thrown through glass, onto glass and into glass! The outakes are particularly painful as we get to see Jackie prepare for and perform some of the more brutal stunts in the film. If you can get this film, make sure it's the dubbed version. It makes for the best experience of the film. A very enthusiastic 5 thumbs up.

K-911
(1999)

Entertainingly funny
I don't much remember the first K9 movie, which I've seen once. I rented this movie out of pure curiousity and was not dissapointed. It is incredibly entertaining and funny at the same time. James Belushi is solid as a rock as always, continuing to show us why he is so well suited to light comedic movies. At his side is Mac, as Jerry Lee, his canine partner, who is incredibly talented and well trained and is responsible for some of the more funny moments in the film. Another interesting thing about this movie is that the plot is so different from the first movie. Whereas in the first movie it focused on the relationship between Dooley( Belushi) and Jerry Lee, this one focuses on the fact that Jerry Lee is getting old and is about due for retirement and Dooley's reaction to this. As well as that Dooley and Jerry Lee have to contend with a bad guy that has ties to Dooley and wants revenge. Quite entertaining and worth watching. 8/10

Under the Gun
(1995)

Better than it seems
I still can't believe this an Australian film. From looking at the box and the surroundings it looked like another low-budget american actioner, until I checked the credits where I was informed that this was filmed in Melbourne, Australia. Considering the above, I'd say this movie is watchable and certainly entertaining. The plot flows along smoothly from one situation to the next. All the while we watch as the night unfolds through the main character, Frank Torrance, played excellently by Richard Norton. The other side of this movie are the martial arts action sequences, which are excellentely choreographed and filmed in all their brutal bloody glory. There are no fancy jumps or flips in this movie, just plain, raw, martial arts combat. Very entertaining and sometimes funny. 9/10

Storm Catcher
(1999)

Good effort considering the budget
I have to say that this movie gets an "A" for effort for at least trying to be a good action movie. And although on some points it fails to deliver, it is still however an entertaining action movie. As a said above there are a few things that aren't that good about this movie. There are only really too things that stand out to me:

1- The needless graphic, and sometimes slow motion, violence. We don't need a closeup, slow-motion shot of a guy spitting blood just to make the movie better.

2- Some of the camera angles- In some of the more "dramatic" scenes in the movie, the camera tends to have a life of its own and seem to shake quite violently. This is so bad that you can barely see what is happening in the scene and it ruins it. Another thing is the excessive use of slow-motion. Anthony Hickox, as you will notice, is no John Woo. Except for one scene I can think of, this type of filming doesn't work in the movie.

Apart from that this movie is rather entertaining and, aside from the usual B-Movie plot-holes and bad acting, can provide a decent nights entertainment. I give a 6/10 purely on entertainment value alone.

PS: Notice how in one shot of the StormCatcher, one of the control panels looks somewhat like a control panel from The Enterprise? See if you can spot it at the beginning of the film.

The Toxic Avenger
(1984)

My first Troma film.
I have to admit this was my first Troma movie experience. And I enjoyed every moment of it. What other movie can deliver such an incredible package of sex, violence and gore? I can't think of any. The Toxic Crusader is now in my top 5 favourite films of all time. Go Toxie Go!

Mercenary II: Thick & Thin
(1998)

Better than expected
To tell the truth, I wasn't expecting this movie to be much different than all the other low-budget actioners on the shelf at my local video store. I can say that any ideas I had about this movie are wrong.

It may be low budget but it certainly isn't bad. To start off with the cast, even though I don't know any of them, do quite a good job. The two standouts are Olivier Gruner and Robert Townsend. These two men have to be the funniest team up since Murtaugh and Riggs! Robert Townsend is incredibly funny and delivers some truly funny lines throughout the movie. Olivier Gruner plays the straight man to his jokes perfectly. The other good thing about this movie is that the plot unfolds so well that, by the time all the explaining is done, you don't feel confused about it at all. A perfect nights entertainment 7/10

Universal Soldier: The Return
(1999)

Suddenly I feel all alone
Am I the only the person who liked this movie? From what I've seen on IMDB, only a handful of people enjoyed this movie. This is because these people realised that this is an ACTION MOVIE and is not supposed to be TAKEN SERIOUSLY. Anyway as I was saying I actually liked this movie for two reasons:

1- The fight at the end between Micheal Jai White and Van Damme. We all know Van Damme can fight, but Micheal Jai White clearly outclasses him in the hand-to-hand stakes. The final fight between them shows his full potential as a world class martial artist.

2- Goldberg: We know he can't act, but boy does he fill in the role of "superhuman killer" nicely. He's both menacing and deadly at the same time. I'd be afraid of him too if I had to fight him.

Those are my main reasons. I guess they are the standouts in this movie but the rest of the movie is rather watchable too. Dont take it seriously and you'll be sure to enjoy it. 9/10

PS: How come Van Damme doesn't have one scratch or bruise on him at the end of the movie? I mean after all he goes through you'd think he'd at least have a black eye. What is he, Steven Seagal?

The Peacekeeper
(1997)

Not bad for a B movie
This movie surprised me. I usually shy away from any movie Dolph Lungdren is in, especially in the last few years. But, for some unknown reason, this movie interested me because the video box didn't give away too much of the plot and I was actually expecting an action thriller, not a Die Hard clone. As I said this movie was impressive in the way the plot was executed (except at the end, but I won't give that away) and the action sequences, although there weren't many of them, were filmed quite well. A stand out scene I guess is a car chase scene involving rooftops! (I'll say no more, its quite original). As well as that, Dolph gets some funny one-liners scattered at random throughout the movie. Not academy award winning material but worth a rental for the sheer entertainment value alone. 7/10

Batman Returns
(1992)

The best Batman movie of the series
In my mind this movie is the best in the series. The sets are awesome, the tone is just right and Keaton is at his best as Batman/Bruce Wayne. He is backed up by two great villians Penguin and Catwoman, played respectively by Danny Devito and Michelle Pfieffer. In this sequel to the 1989 box office smash, Batman finds himself battling the Penguin, a man deformed from birth, who like Batman, never knew his parents and Max shreck, the devious businessman who plans to help the Penguin become the mayor of Gotham City and at the same time fulfil his own questionable plans. Adding to this is Catwoman, who finds herself battling Batman and battling the mutual attraction between them. This movie is a rollercoaster ride of action, crazy characters and powerful emotion and is great successor to the original film. The thing I find most intriguing about this film is the character of the Penguin. In my mind this character is not inherently "evil", just tragic. It's the tragedy throughout his life that has made him "evil" and forces him to do what he has to do in the end. His similarity to batman/Bruce wayne is somewhat noticeable. At the beginning of the film , when the Penguin first appears on tv and Bruce wayne sees it, we can see in his eyes that Bruce Wayne seems to know what Penguin is going through, because he too lost his parents to tragedy and is struggling to find out who he is. It it this level of characterisation that makes this movie so good. Add to that some pretty good action sequences and you've yourself a winner. All in all a great film and a pleasure to watch. 10/10

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