Cinema-Maniac: BKO: Bangkok Knockout (2010) Review

BKO: Bangkok Knockout is a Thailand action movie that would’ve put Thailand action movie on top of China action movies. Unfortunately great choreograph fights can’t make up for the terrible story and bad acting.

BKO: Bangkok Knockout doesn’t have much of a story, it’s simply a martial art team wins a tournament to go to Hollywood, but are kidnapped and have to fight for their lives in some building. That’s pretty much it, even the twists aren’t even worth noting or how the main villain gets away. The story is does not get any better or have any emotional value to it.

The action on the other hand is superb. Everyone of the action sequences are well done, though I found the climax a minor disappointment, are thrilling to watch. You won’t believe some of the crazy stunts that are in this movie. It’s great, unfortunately some of these actors can’t act. It’s sometime unbearable to watch this movie when no ones fighting on screen. It’s a shame that all the great action sequences in this movie have a poorly written story behind it. If you want to watch this, skip to the action because it’s the only good thing about this movie.

BKO: Bangkok Knockout is a Thailand martial art film with it only redeeming value being the action. What could’ve been one of the greatest martial art film is held back by a terrible story and bad acting.

4/10

Cinema-Maniac: Enter the Dragon (1973) Review

Bruce Lee is a talented actor that needs no introduction to begin with and trying to explain what made him is icon would take hours to explain. It’s no doubt that Enter The Dragon is easily his best movie as well as one of the finest martial art movie ever made.

The plot is simple and easy to follow, a martial artist (Bruce Lee) agrees to spy on a reclusive crime lord using his invitation to a tournament there as cover. Who knew combing both the martial art genre and spy genre would make a very entertaining masterpiece. Of course, there more to the plot, like Bruce Lee character personal vengeance (which I won’t spoil), and two other main characters each we get to learn about in short flashbacks.

Unlike most action stars, Bruce Lee is likable actor and a good one too. I can’t imagine another actor being the star the of Enter The Dragon, let alone a remake (which seems likely in our time). Bruce Lee not only had star power behind, but he true martial art skills demo-started beautifully every time he’s on screen. The same goes with all the other martial artists in film that made this movie more entertaining. This truly is the martial arts at it finest with many memorable fights, my personal favorite is when Bruce Lee fights Chuck Norris who’s only watchable movies are when he gets beaten up by Bruce Lee.

Beside the usual stuff that makes it get a 100% like the cast, direction, pacing, entertainment value, and other stuff like that. I have to give credits to the translator who translated 5 different languages during the production and that people is dedication to making a masterpiece.

Bruce Lee no doubt had a bright future ahead of him, which is why the world was devastated of his death. Their will never be another Bruce Lee, but thankfully his films speaks for his legend.

10/10

Cinema-Maniac: Return of the Dragon (The Way of the Dragon) (1973) Review

Bruce Lee plus comedy equal gold in Return of the Dragon. While it’s a unusual movie compared to other of Bruce Lee classic, it’a still a entertaining to watch.

Bruce Lee both wrote and directed Return of the Dragon, by watching the movie you wouldn’t be able to tell it’s Bruce Lee first and only time directing a movie. Like his Martial Arts, he does it with grace and flows easily to watch.

Main plot is Bruce Lee plays a man who visits his relatives at their restaurant in Italy and has to help them defend against brutal gangsters harassing them. It has a good blend of drama and humor, though I think it lack in Martial Art when compared to Enter the Dragon or Fists of Fury.

It’s still to this day that Bruce Lee died unprecedentedly, he had a bright future many more bright ideas. This movie reminds us of what could have been a legendary career of Martial Art cinema Icon.

9/10

Cinema-Maniac: Jackie Chan’s Project A (‘A’ gai wak) (1983) Review

Jackie Chan is no doubt the king of action/comedy movies and Project A is a perfect example of the action/comedy genre.

It’s a Jackie Chan movie, so the plot is simple and easy to follow and develops over time. Simply put it Hong Kong troublesome Navy is going up against pirates. The story gets better as the movie progress with a good blend of drama, action, and classic Jackie Chan movie humor in it.

As you can except from any good Jackie Chan movie, the martial arts are well choreographed and fun to watch. It has enough martial art sequences to keep any viewer interest. Jackie Chan and Sammo Hung make a great team in this movie and it’s just magic when they work together.

Project A is a fun action/comedy movie that delivers the action, the drama, and the comedy in a well paced and entertaining movie.

9/10

Cinema-Maniac: Legend of the Fist: The Return of Chen Zhen (2010) Review

Donnie Yen second attempt at playing Chen Zhen is much better because he’s not imitating Bruce Lee, but it unfortunate the movie is poorly paced with action sequences that are too quick for full enjoyment.

Donnie Yen no doubt is man of action proven by his Ip Man movies, but when your taking on a legendary character like Che Zhen, who’s a real martial artist, you have to have the right balance of action and drama. The action sequences are well made, but unfortunately short or too fast for our enjoyment. Which is a real shame, I mean the prologue in this movie (one of the best I’ve seen since Goldeneye) gets you excited into watching this and is a real let down when you watch the whole thing.

The story simply put this way, seven years after the apparent death of Chen Zhen, who was shot after discovering who was responsible for his teacher’s death in Japanese-occupied Shanghai. A mysterious stranger arrives from overseas and befriends a local mafia boss. That man is a disguised Chen Zhen, who intends to infiltrate the mob when they form an alliance with the Japanese. Now while it’s sounds good on paper, execution of it was poor in mu opinion. It could have definitely been better in terms of it story, but there’s enough good moments in the story to keep you entertain.

I have to praise Donnie Yen for learning from his mistake for imitating Bruce Lee in his first portrayal of Chen Zhen. He does a better job in this one not imitating Bruce Lee and feels more like a Donnie Yen movie than a bruceploitation movie.

Overall it’s a okay movie with well done action sequences that are too fast and unevenly pace throughout the movie. If you want a good portrayal of Chen Zhen, I recommend Fist of Legend and The Chinese Connection.

5/10

Cinema-Maniac: The Protector (Tom yum goong) (Warrior King) (2006) Review

Tony Jaa debut in Ong-Bak was absolutely amazing bring a fresh new star in martial arts film and single handily made Thailand action film popular. Unfortunately, Jaa followup to Ong-Bak wasn’t as spectacular.

As with any critic I would give an overall sentence describing the overall story of the movie, but this movie is so bad in story telling there no redeeming value. I blame the editing of this movie which makes the American version of this movie flow uneasily and and most of the acting in this movies doesn’t help much.

Time to talk about the action, one word, average. Yeah that’s right, average mainly due the unspectacular choreography in this movie. Out of all the fight scenes in this movie, only one really stand out and unfortunately it’s a short one. One I personally enjoyed was when Tony Jaa fought against Nathan Jones a second which was entertaining and unbelievable how it was done. Unfortunately what ruin that fight scene was the other villains inference.

The Protector is a disappointing, uneasy, and poorly edited action movie.While it may have tons of fight scenes, whats makes a good action movie is a decent story (or better than average) and great action sequences to be fun and entertaining.

1/10

Cinema-Maniac: Jaws (1975) Review

Jaws came out in the summer of 1975 and is consider the first of a “blockbuster” era in Hollywood. Since then, Jaws has had very few successful imitators in the horror-thriller genre for good reasons.

First, Jaws haunting music adds to the atmosphere making events even more intense. Unlike most films in this genre, Jaws actually uses the music in perfect timing to convey emotion from the audience and add a depth to the movie by doing so.

The plot is simple to understand, it’s about gigantic great white shark beginning to menace the small island community of Amity, a police chief, a marine scientist and grizzled fisherman set out to stop it. Now while this may not sound all that interesting, you’re for even thinking all the talented Steven Spielberg knows how tell a story with the camera. Now having read the book, I have to say I prefer the movie over the book, as Steven Spielberg even said that I found myself rooting for the shark in the book.

The cast is spot on on every level and fits perfectly in their characters. You can’t asked for a better cast when it comes to this movie.

As you can probably tell already, I love this movie. Instead rumbling on how this movie is a masterpiece and how it holds a place in cinema history (there other reviews for that). I’ll say Jaws is still the standard and will always the be high standard of the horror-thriller genre.

10/10

Cinema-Maniac: Crime Story (Zhong an zu) (1993) Review

Jackie Chan is no doubt an icon of his own and is know for his good sense of humor. In Crime Story, Jackie Chan gives us his best dramatic performance ever in a unrecognized classic.

In Crime Story, Chan plays a special agent assigned to protect a wealthy business magnate, but when the businessman is kidnapped in a daring ambush, Chan teams up with a seasoned detective to crack the case…even though he suspects the detective is the crime’s true mastermind! Obviously this make one interesting story as I kept finding myself more and more invested into the movie as the plot developed. Though I think people will be disappointed for the lack of martial arts and a lack of Jackie Chan signature humor in this movie.

I have to say, for the few action sequences it has they sure were memorable. There a car chase, explosion, and Jackie Chan gun fight in building that’s burning shouldn’t disappoint Jackie Chan fans and action fans. Now since this is based around a true crime, I respect the way the film crew handle this story and did a good job of it. While I may not know exactly what happened, it respects the material is base on.

9/10

Cinema-Maniac: Prom Night (2008) Review

Ah, what can I say about Prom Night that hasn’t been said. It’s a watchable movie, that’s both new and 100% false. In what world did these people think they were scary or appealing too when this cliche “horror” movie was made.

What can I say about the awful and non intense story line, nothing interesting about it at all. I’ve seen the Friday the 13Th movies, which i’m force to watch at Halloween parties, even those movies have some redeeming value. Trying to explain why this movie story line was un-suspenseful and boring is like trying to make an Onion cry.

What about the cast, it’s like watching the world slowest train wreck for two hours. They can’t act let alone get our attention. Now I owned the DVD, which I got as a present, and I can tell you the extras are a piece of trash and a watse of your time. Is there any redeeming value, no.

There more, unlike Jaws which masterfully uses the haunting music to keep us in the edge of our seat, the soundtrack usage here gives away any suspense. One thing I complain about horror movie is that there to much blood in that genre, but in Prom Night, my complaint is that there is a lack blood. This movie is the reason why the horror genre is dying slowly and painfully,and unfortunately there many more like this.

Did this even need to be remade, because I never heard anyone talk about the original. In the end, it’s a movie that most likely wouldn’t even be found in a 99 cent store and will forever be lost in obscurity.

0/10

Cinema-Maniac: Merantau (2009) Review

Merantau is a great martial art film that can easily be compared to the first Ong Bak, in terms of action. The action is kick-ass and it keeps getting better and better. There is plenty of action sequences here to satisfy any action fan, unfortunately the downside is that it has a decent story to tell with bad dialogue. The story really doesn’t developed or gets better in any way, but overall if your in the mood for a good martial art film, you can’t go wrong with Merantau.

8/10