philosoraptor42: (Fatpie42)

Ronny Yu is a Hong Kong director who I know first and foremost for his highly entertaining contributions to two 80s horror franchises. On the one hand, there's my absolute favourite entry in the Child's Play franchise "Bride of Chucky", which managed to successfully combine both the horror and comedy elements as well as introducing the awesome character of Tiffany to reinvigorate the series. On the other hand there's "Freddy Vs Jason", a film which combined the Friday The 13th series and the A Nightmare On Elm Street series and acted as an homage to both, establishing itself as one of the better entries in both franchises.

However, Ronny Yu also has some background in martial arts films and perhaps his most revered is "Fearless". I've also now checked out a low budget flick starring Bruce Lee's son Brandon (who so famously died making the early comicbook flick "The Crow") called "Legacy of Rage" and Ronny Yu's latest contribution "Saving General Yang".

Fearless (2006)

An interesting tale about a fighter who stands against western imperialism. I don't know to what extent it could be called a 'true' story, but it's an interesting one all the same.

Click here for the rest of the review... )

Long zai jiang hu (1986) (Legacy of Rage)

I wouldn't say that I exactly hated this action flick with Brandon Lee, but the acting is bad, the storytelling is somewhat confused and our protagonist has the most unlikely friend ever who, early and obviously, betrays him.

Click here for the rest of the review... )

Saving General Yang (2013)

It should be noted right off the bat that this is not a beautiful artsy action film like "Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon" or "Hero". There's still parts that look good, but it's not going for that same colourful fantasy vision. Things are kept relatively plausible in this film.

While it could be partially a result of the translations used for the subtitles, the dialogue feels a little stilted. Everyone is very uptight and it's rather difficult to identify with the characters. But oddly the character which irritated me the most was the wise Buddhist monk they approach.

There's some political wranglings at the beginning regarding an accidental death during a tournament and some fighting taking place against rival armies. (Our protagonists are serving the Emperor of the Song Dynasty and their enemies are Khitans serving the Empress of the Liao Dynasty.) General Yang is cornered fairly early on in the film during his skirmish with the Khitans and his wife asks a wise monk in the mountains for advice.

Click here for the rest of the review... )
philosoraptor42: (Fatpie42)

We interrupt our combined "Texas Chainsaw Massacre" and Tobe Hooper marathon (latest entry here) to bring you the final conclusion of the previous two marathons of "Friday The 13th" (instalments one, two and three) and "A Nightmare On Elm Street" (instalments one, two and three).

Yes, the review is finally here. It's....

FREDDY VS JASON! (ooh yeah!)

Freddy Vs Jason (2003)

Okay, I'm always worried with these series that I'm going to end up leaving the worst movie til last. It just leaves the whole series feeling sour. Just because many people enjoyed a movie doesn't mean I'm going to like it too (New Nightmare) and sometimes movies which seem near-universally panned will actually appeal to me (the remake of A Nightmare On Elm Street). So even though Freddy Vs Jason has quite a bit of love from the fans, I wasn't sure how to feel. Certainly I wanted this to be great, but I'd been building it up in my head for so long that I wasn't sure it could possibly meet the hype.

One thing I'll say straight away is that this makes much clearer why people felt so let down by the A Nightmare On Elm Street remake. Previously I'd thought it was simply because it was taking the theme in a different direction, making Freddy a paedophile as well as a child murderer. I'd thought it did the best it could if it wanted to bring the character back to being a genuine monster rather than a quirky cartoon figure. However, one reason why I thought they couldn't possibly keep Freddy as the cartoon figure he was before is because I presumed the dream sequences wouldn't have the right feel for the fans if they used CG. Freddy Vs Jason blows that idea out of the water. This film makes a fair bit of use of CG including one scene where Freddy appears to someone as a twisted version of the caterpillar from Alice In Wonderland. In spite of the advances in CG the remake of A Nightmare On Elm Street didn't really take much advantage of the options for dream effects and while they might claim they didn't want to go overboard and they were trying to be more subtle and sinister, I think after Freddy Vs Jason the negative reaction from fans towards the remake makes a lot more sense.

Read more... )

philosoraptor42: (Default)

I don't know what brought me to consider this one. I wasn't really terribly impressed with the original "Child's Play". Still with one of the Child's Play movies being tied to the Jamie Bulger tragedy (and the coinciding "video nasty" scare) I guess I'd felt it was necessary to watch it. 

Meanwhile "Bride of Chucky" was a movie that was being released at a time when I was still quite uncomfortable with the horror genre. Still there must have been something about it that played on my mind. At the moment other films I plan to see include "Bride of Frankenstein" and "Bride of Re-Animator", so when making my list of movies "Bride of Chucky" somehow naturally fell into the list. It's certainly notable that while the original Child's Play scores higher at 70% on RT, Child's Play 2 scores 37%, Child's Play 3 scores 27%, yet Bride of Chucky makes a remarkable leap back up to 42%. With the unmet fascination which had played on my mind in my late teens, this was enough to make me consider this movie.

Read more... )


philosoraptor42: (Default)

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