Monthly Archives: April 2018

The Last Dragon Movie

Being born in the 80’s and being a martial arts fan as a kid, I was always going to have a soft spot for this movie. I came across it when I was only small and because the name sounded familiar (Enter the Dragon being my favourite movie at the time). I didn’t know then that this would be one of the only times it was ever shown to my knowledge on UK TV. I have never seen it on tv since, and only just recently re-purchased the DVD.

The movie is about a Kung Fu student named “Bruce” Leeroy Green, who wants to reach the final level, a feat only Bruce Lee achieved. The final level is achieved when you are surronded by a mystical glow, showing you are a true kung fu master. Leeroy’s master tells him to go and search for a Kung Fu master in New Yor kby the name of Som Dum Guy. At the same time he has fallen for Music Video presenter Laura Charles who wants him to be his body guard to help her from Videogame King Eddie Arcadian. An evil Kung Fu master by the name of Sho-Nuff has also returned to town and wants to fight Leeroy, so he can be the kung fu master of Harlem.

The movie was made by Berry Gordy, the founder of Motown Records, so naturally the soundtrack is outstanding. The movie features the best of R&B and hip-hop from the time, sprinkled with martial arts references, including ‘Rythm of the Night’ and ‘7th Heaven’. The soundtracks is one of the best I have heard in a movie and is strong throughout, with a very strong eighties vibe. If you own a soundtrack for a movie, this has to be it. It is particularly awesome when Laura Charles starts playing a song in the 7th Heaven studio and puts on Enter the Dragon, Leeroy gets WAY to exciting, it is slightly worrying at this point. The only one bad point about the music in the movie is Eddie Arcadian’s girlfriend wants to be a popstar and is terrible, but unfortunately we have to suffer through her eye wateringly bad music video.

Sho-Nuff the main bad guy in the movie played by Julius J. Carry III is brilliant. He is one of the best movie bad guys ever, no-one can touch him. He walks about with giant shoulder pads and claims to be ‘The Shogun of Harlem’. He has classic lines such as ‘Kiss my converse’ and is unforgettable. I will be honest he steals the movie from under the nose of Taimak.

Taimak plays ‘Bruce’ Leeroy Green, and it is surprising to know that he had no previous acting experience, and learned on the set as he worked. He does put in a fantastic shift. The fighting scenes are amazing and he is definitely worthy of being called a kung fu master, his acting may be slightly wooden at times, but considering this is his first role ever, he does a brilliant job, and lets be honest his fighting scenes more than make up for it,

I also think Leeroys brother Richie is fantastic, he is hilarious in the movie and a great little actor here. He is played by Leo O’Brien.

The plot of the movie is slightly basic, but it is a good entertaining movie that is easy to follow and heavy on entertainment. It never slows down to much and you learn enough about the characters to at least care about them a little. They are pretty one dimensional and not very complicated but so what, it is a great movie, and the action and music makes up for it.

Serious Impressions of Stupid Movies

Movies have become one of the most influential factors in modern society. From starting new trends to educating the ordinary people, movies undoubtedly make an impression on the general public. Since the discovery of the very first motion picture in 1890s, movies have become a visual documentation on events of human evolution. Talking about the movies that are produced for entertainment purposes, here is a quote, from the Pulitzer Prize winner film critic Roger Ebert:

“We live in a box of space and time. Movies are windows in its walls.They allow us to enter other minds not simply in sense of identifying with the characters, but by seeing the world as another person sees it.”

-Roger Ebert

Roger once said that art is the closest that we could come to understanding how a stranger feels and movies as an amalgum of audio and visual form of arts, makes a very complex and sophisticated form of art. There is an undeniable effect that movies have in our thought process. When we exit a theatre after watching a movie, we leave with the definite kind of thoughts depending upon the movie we watched. With our responsibilities of daily life we skip through myriads of social and emotional aspects that keep us humane. We live in a world with so much colors and variations of human aspects but we fail to recognize and enjoy, while busy in our commitments. And that is where movies are a sweet reminder of what we are and what we have. Let us take “Forrest Gump” for instance that portrays the innocence of a guy, with the spirit to make something out of himself despite all the shortcomings. Or the more recent one “Happythankyoumoreplease”, which shows characters, no different from the ones in our neighborhood. The characters in the reel world are no different from those in our real world and the challenges they face are just a version of the ones we face. And movies help us understand life through different perspectives.

Let us take modern historical period movies and old classic ones, they are a depiction of how things were in the days gone by. As ordinary people they tend to be a reminder of our heritage, a source of reminiscence and nostalgia. There are also movies like “Blade Runner” which give us a peek into how things could be in the future, and there are ones that make us laugh and have a good time. Educating us, tickling our funny bones to cautioning us about the future events that could fall upon us, movies have an undeniable influence on our thoughts and actions.

There is little bad with every little good

Movie as a technology has grown from a simple fast moving collection of pictures to a complicated industry. With the technology’s ever growing popularity, movies have now become an integral part of our daily life. Be it in a friendly chat among friends or the daily news broadcast, movies are one of the subjects of discussion. Primarily a form of entertainment, movies as a whole is also listed as an informal source of education. Many people tend to learn from movies more than any other formal source, although that might seem like an overstatement. In many under developed countries movies and television series are used as the means for educating the population for social reform and bring an overall change. There is no denying on a vast reach of movies, this however could have a very bad effect, as not every movie carries the same humane values.

Movies that fall under the genres like historical drama, historical war movies and biopics are often criticized for taking liberty with the historical facts. They are accused of bending the story to dramatize events and make interesting movies. One of such movies is “Pearl Harbor”, which was released under much criticism. With film makers taking such liberty with the historical subject matters, it is both disrespectful and unforgivable. Due to such movies gullible audiences go on to believe a fiction to be the fact, which is not a good thing. On the other hand there are movies that fall under action and horror genres which are criticized for violent contents. Directors like Quentin Tarantino in Hollywood and Anurag Kashyap in Bollywood have their respective reason and logical explanations regarding such contents. Despite their reasonable explanations there is no denying that the exposure to violence may cause personality disorder in kids and other receptive demographic. There exists proper processes of identification and allotting category a movie goes through before its release to diminish such adverse effects. However their presence is only as good as the implementation.

Movies are Stupid

“The point is not to avoid all Stupid Movies, but to avoid being a Stupid Moviegoer, It’s a difficult task separating the good Stupid Movies from the bad ones… ” -Roger Ebert

Often movies are termed as stupid waste of time. The opinion is not wrong on its own but we have to keep in mind that there are literally millions of movies representing a genre and there are numerous genres. Though not all of them deserve our attention but not all of them deserve our indifference either. Thus, the responsibility falls upon us to choose the movie that would be worth the time. In fact the choice of movies differs with each individual. And each genre of movies is targeted towards a specific kind of audience.

Every work of Art is subject to one’s own perception and interpretation, movies are no different. Just like any art, each movie is bound to have its point of view and an agenda. Movies are the most expressive among all forms of arts as such it is capable of covering a huge demographic with no bias of color, age or region. This benefits the film makers with the power to impress the huge susceptible population with their ideas. However, it falls upon the viewer to choose the right movie.

Connecting with a movie

A movie without a definite direction becomes a disaster, as such most of the times it is the director who determines a certain tone of the movie subject. With proper co-ordination with his fellow colleagues director goes on to create a masterpiece that resonates with our life and mindset. This is when we would be sucked into a different world altogether. And that is the real satisfaction of watching a movie. Otherwise it would become a stupid waste of time.

However besides the nuances in the production of a movies itself, there are many factors that affects its connection with the audience. One such case is “The Room” which released in 2003 as an independent movie. The movie was written, produced and directed by Tommy Wiseau, who also acted in the movie. The movie was completely slaughtered by the critics while it did a good business. There are also the DC movies like “Suicide Squad” and “Justice League” which despite the critical bashing go on to collect big bucks. The reason there being the subject matter though poorly executed is dear to the fans of DC comics.

Safe But Entertaining

When going in to a Nicholas Sparks film, there are a few things that can usually be taken for granted. There will likely be a guy and a girl who meet under unlikely circumstances. One or both of them will be hesitant to love again because they’ve been hurt in the past. Eventually there will be a conversation in which all is revealed, and they’ll fall hard for each other. Of course, in the end someone usually dies to give the love story a bittersweet resolution. “Safe Haven” strays from the classic Sparks formula in a few ways, though it’s still quite obviously a Nicholas Sparks movie from start to finish.

One of the biggest departures in “Safe Haven” lies in the fact that the movie incorporates elements of a thriller into the romantic backdrop of the film. This serves to create the tension that the film runs on, leaving viewers wondering whether Katie (Julianne Hough) is a criminal on the run from a dogged Boston police detective (David Lyons). This doesn’t mean that the film is an action movie, however; despite having the trappings of a thriller, “Safe Haven” is still a Nicholas Sparks film through and through.

Another change to the Sparks formula comes in the form of “Safe Haven” not being a tearjerker like most of the other films based on his works; the only death in the film occurs before the movie starts. Male lead Alex (Josh Duhamel) is a widower who runs the local store in the North Carolina town of Southport, tasked with raising a young son and daughter after his wife succumbed to cancer. This sets Alex up as a sympathetic character, likeable and charming but not trying to rush into anything when Katie gets off of the bus in his town.

Aside from those deviations, much of the film plays out as you would expect a Nicholas Sparks movie to be. Katie decides to stay in Southport when she stops there on a bus layover, renting a house and trying her best to blend in and lay low. Alex tries to befriend her, being the good guy that he is. She gradually finds herself adapting to life in the small town, making friends with her neighbors and inching closer to being more than just friends with Alex and his small family. All of this works toward the ultimate reveal of what really happened before Katie left Boston and why Detective Tierney is trying so hard to find her.

Director Lasse Hallstrom seems comfortable with the subject matter, which really isn’t any wonder, considering how much experience he has with Nicholas Sparks’ material. In addition to having previously directed Sparks’ “Dear John,” Hallstrom also adapted the screenplays for the Sparks films “The Shipping News” and “The Cider House Rules.” In ”┬áSafe Haven,” he took a few liberties with the pacing and layout of the book, but the changes he made were for the best; they really help set the tone and carry the plot through the limited screen time of the film. If left in their original order, the scenes would have created a chaotic mess of a film.

Also notable in this movie is how at ease the actors seem in their roles. Almost every performance seems relatively natural, helping sell a story that might otherwise have seemed forced or even a bit hokey at times. Duhamel, in particular, does a great job of playing Alex, portraying him as a genuinely nice man who carries a lot of pain and responsibility on his shoulders but refuses to let it get him down. Another wonderful actor is Mimi Kirkland, the girl who plays Alex’s daughter. Her onscreen chemistry with Hough’s Katie is one of the best parts of the film, bar none.