Ang Lee has always been a visionary director who has challenged conventions with certain genres. While he doesn’t always hit a home run, Lee can at least be appreciated for wanting to take ideas to help usher in classic films. “Gemini Man” should have been a slam dunk. It would have been a slam dunk. But as a film, it’s so much more a concept meant to do pretty much everything but tell a story that’s engaging. It flexes its CGI, as well as Hollywood’s current fetish for de-aging stars and trying to find ways to beat mortality for the sake of cashing in on them as long as possible.
Harley Quinn has been one of the most popular DC Comics anti-heroes of the last twenty years, and for good reason. She went from an abused spouse who served her partner thanks to years of mental abuse, gas lighting and Stockholm Syndrome, to someone who cast off the shadow of the Joker to carve out her own niche. Harley Quinn should be an easy adaptation but DC and Warner haven’t quite mastered it yet. After stealing the show in “Suicide Squad,” she steals the show again in “Birds of Prey” but still never quite comes out unscathed thanks to what is an imperfect and brutally flawed, albeit balls to the wall entertaining action movie.
Full Disclosure: Film Detective were kind enough to allow us viewing of the digital elements of “Fist of Fear…” for the purposes of this review, since the release of the Limited Edition Blu-Ray and DVD have been delayed indefinitely due to the ensuing worldwide pandemic. Pre-orders are still open and Film Detective are ensuring copies to consumers when they’re given the green light to continue manufacturing.
There’s a hilarious segment in “The Simpsons” episode “Homer Badman” where Homer is interviewed by tabloid reporter Godfry Jones who promises to redeem his image after he’s accused of groping a young girl. Jones expectedly exploits Homer for the sake of ratings, editing the interview to make Homer look bad. But the editing is so awful that it’s an obvious hack job, and you can’t help but laugh at the sheer shamelessness of it all. The same can be said for “Fist of Fear, Touch of Death” the sheer height of Brucesploitation that takes scraps from Bruce Lee’s career and repurposes, re-edits, and splices footage in to just a god awful faux-documentary/sports drama.
It’s the perfect storm of fandom this year, as Batman is celebrating eighty years in pop culture, while “Batman Beyond” is celebrating its twenty year anniversary. For 2019, Warner finally unleashes their fantastic follow up “Batman Beyond” on Blu-Ray in a stellar Limited Edition box set that is also conveniently in time for Halloween and the impending holiday season. With the Limited Edition featuring an exclusive Batman Beyond Funko Pop, and the inevitably regular set coming down line, Warner will cash in for sure. “Batman Beyond” is still the juggernaut follow up to the classic Bruce Timm “Batman” series that hasn’t aged a bit, despite being conceived during a period where everything had to be futuristic, and darker.
So many times whenever a production company or director has chosen to explore the history and influence of kung fu movies, they choose the more obvious routes. They go about exploring how kung fu movies influenced Hollywood and Western cinema. What director Serge Ou does is explore the influence on Western cinema, and how kung fu movies influenced the entirety of pop culture as a whole. Everything from action cinema, modern movie stars, and even hip hop is explored here and how they took from the genre and it amounts to a very unique and creative take on the outstanding legacy of kung fu films and martial arts cinema.
It’s not often I sit down to watch a DCAU movie and want to immediately desire the original source material instead. I’ve never read “Batman Hush” but from what I originally gathered it was an iconic storyline that made waves in the aughts. The movie however is a disappointing, half baked and painfully boring Batman adventure that never really goes anywhere. Rather than treading new ground or giving us something completely different, “Batman Hush” just feels forced and never quite rises above the anemic energy.
By 1997 the “Power Rangers” had reached the nadir of their popularity and with the appeal of the franchise dying down as fans grew older, “Turbo” was a last gasp cash grab. It didn’t just bring the old and new Rangers (for the most part, anyway) to the big screen, but it also rebooted the Power Rangers in to a auto-centric kind of Power Rangers team that would do nothing but go downhill from here.
This year, Fantasia International Film Festival is screening a nice collection of vintage titles and anniversary screenings. One of these is The Crow coming up on the 30th of July at 7pm and it’s one screening I hate to miss.
The Crow turned 25 this year and it has been just about as long since it became my favorite film, hence why this is one of the hardest films for me to write about. There is no being objective, this film is entwined in my teen years and my adulthood. It’s one of those films that had such a big impact, it’s almost impossible to separate the emotional from the reality of the film. So, as it’s playing, I wanted to write a deeply personal piece, a piece that it nowhere near objective, a piece that is about my history with The Crow.