Movies for a Rainy Day

The Good, the Bad, and the So-Bad-They're-Good.

Archive for the tag “movie”

Iron Fist

Okay, there is a long, complicated backstory here. It involves Danny Rand’s (he’s Iron Fist) father and a mystical city of martial artists. Danny eventually grows up in K’un-Lun (that mystical city I mentioned before) where he is now an orphan (his dad was murdered by his business partner and his mom was eaten by wolves). Young Danny learns the ways of the martial arts masters of K’un-Lun (he is trained by Lei Kung on the order of Yu-Ti). Being an adult, now, he wants to return to the civilized world and get his family business back from his dad’s old business partner (he killed Danny’s dad, remember?).

Danny makes it to New York, NY and soon finds that he was followed by a very angry guy from K’un-Lun (after all, this outsider white kid gets special training on the order of the city’s ruler…somebody is bound to get jealous). Danny gets very close to killing Meachum (his dad’s old business partner/murderer) but he is so ashamed of his feelings of vengeance that he walks away. A mysterious ninja kills Meachum (this would be Davos, the son of Lei Kung and really jealous guy). Danny is pinned for Meachum’s death and he now has to clear his name. He meets Misty Knight (no, not a stripper). Misty was an NYPD until a terrorist attack left her with one arm. Tony Stark supplied a bionic arm (with super strength) to Misty and she became a private investigator. She helps Danny clear his name and they fall in love…

…Did I miss anything? Oh! Davos!

He’s the guy in the air.

He becomes the Steel Serpent and wants to kill Danny. He is jealous of this outsider boy gaining the coveted power of the Iron Fist. That is where this movie could bring back some really good martial arts fights (but PLEASE no wire work). I’m talking old school martial arts training scenes a la “Legend of Kung Fu” mixed with gritty modern urban martial arts fights like in “Unleashed” or really any other Jet Li movie (I think his Kung Fu is strongest in recent movies).

Dream Cast:

Iron Fist/Danny Rand: Scott Adkins (“The Expendables 2”)

Davos/Steel Serpent: Donnie Yen (“Ip Man”)

Yu-Ti: Gordon Liu (“Kill Bill”)

Lei Kung: Bolo Yeung (“Bloodsport”)

Misty Knight: Rosario Dawson (“Death Proof”)

Meachum: Danny Huston (“John Adams” T.V.)

Luke Cage

Alright…been gone for about a month, but I’m back and ready to jump into the next set of “They need to make this movie” posts. Let’s start with Luke Cage.

Luke Cage had it rough as a kid growing up in Harlem and got mixed up with the wrong crowd. So he went to prison for a murder he didn’t commit. In exchange for his release, he underwent some experiments based on a version of the well known super-soldier project. These experiments were supposed to make him immune to illnesses, instead, they made his muscle super humanly dense and strong and made his skin invulnerable. Seeing this, the people who subjected him to these experiments decided to keep him and study him, but with his new found power he broke out and went out to clear his name.

Once free, Luke makes a name for himself as a “Hero for Hire” in his old community. Quickly realizing that his powers are too important to be used only for those who can pay for it, he becomes the vigilante known as “Power Man” (a name I think should be avoided in the movie…unless used as a joke). Luke also eventually meets Jessica Jones, a woman who has seen some super-powered times herself but is now content to just live a normal life. I think no real mention of her various heroic identities needs to be made in the movie, but the occasional “Hey, weren’t you…” lines from random people might be a good head nod to the people who really know the character. Jones eventually marries Cage and they have a baby, but that might be too much for one movie.

On to the villains!

The Wrecking Crew is a group of four not-so-bright coworkers that (now follow me on this) became mystically empowered by holding on to Wrecker’s (the leader) enchanted crowbar while being struck by lightening…

…Okay, so the origin would need some tweaking for a movie audience, but we have seen Thor and Loki and magic and the Hulk and his gamma-powered change, so it might not need too much tweaking, right? These guys are funny, tough characters that are a team, so you can’t just say “Oh I’ll just use Bulldozer for the movie” and move on. They have a way of relating to each other that would make this movie that much better.

The fights would be epic and what makes them cool is that there would be this element we haven’t really seen in superhero movies yet, Luke has no secret identity, no mask. Everyone in his city knows him and has been helped by him in some way before. When the Wrecking Crew starts their “Boss Battle” at the end of this movie, you won’t see a bunch of bystanders in awe and speechless. They will be cheering for Luke like he was in some schoolyard bully beatdown!

Dream Cast:

Luke Cage: Jamie Foxx (“Collateral”)

Jessica Jones:Kristen Bell (“You Again”)

Wrecker: Ron Pearlman (“Hellboy”)

Bulldozer: Randy Couture (“The Expendables”)

Piledriver: Liam Hemsworth (“The Expendables 2”)

Thunderball: Quinton Jackson (“The A-Team”)

Forgotten Martial Arts Flicks

Remember all those Seagal, Van Damme, Chan martial arts movies? Well, this has nothing to do with those. This post is about three lesser-known films that if you do remember, you will agree that they were very cool…at least at the time.

First up, “Only the Strong”.

Ala Cuisine!

Starring Marc Dacascos (otherwise known as the Chairman of Iron Chef: America), this 93 flick follows the basic storyline of troubled high school kids who get their lives turned around by a new teacher. Not the most original story, but whatever works, right? So who is the inspirational teacher? A capoeira (a little known Brazilian dance fighting style) practitioner. Seems like smooth sailing, but wait! The local gang also knows capoeira! Wow, what are the chances? Wooden acting, recycled story, but the fights are something you don’t get to se very often. This one is worth a look back.

Next we have “The Perfect Weapon”.

Where did this guy go?

Jeff was a high school delinquent whose father sent him to a traditional kenpo karate school for some self discipline. When the adult Jeff comes back to the old neighborhood, he finds the Korean mafia are pushing his old teacher around. Jeff doesn’t like this. Starring the superstar Jeff Speakman, thi- What? You’ve never heard of him? Oh, I’m sorry. I guess he’s not a superstar. Anyway…a fun movie with some truly cool fights, one of which is the total defeat of about 6 guys in seconds, this 1991 flick is a lazy afternoon time-killer.

Finally, a movie that actually has a good underground following…”The Last Dragon”. SHO’NUFF!

He really did catch that arrow.

Motwon creator, Berry Gordy brings us one of the best black martial arts movies ever. Leroy Green is growing up in a tough city, but he’s trying to better himself through martial arts. But he doesn’t fight. He focuses on the spiritual oneness offered by practicing martial arts, hence his nickname “Bruce Leroy”. Leroy’s life gets turned upside-down when he saves the local TV star Laura Charles (played by Prince girl Vanity). Events lead Leroy to the final showdown with Sho’Nuff, the Shogun of Harlem. But can Leroy find the glow within himself and defeat his foes?

American Reunion review

This movie deserves a well placed thumbs up.

Well I made a big deal out of my fears for this movie, but I was happy to see that this movie did not disappoint. The humor was still in the style of the first three films, but the humorous situations were looked at with a more adult point of view coming from the characters involved. Okay, so Jim is pleasuring himself secretly and gets “caught”, but what does that say about his marriage?

A very good cap stone to the first three films, “American Reunion” covered the reality of the graduating class of ’99. People have boring jobs or no jobs. Some are married with kids and others wish they were. Nobody is doing spectacularly well and nobody is homeless.

It did not pander to the teens of today, either. Half of the humor was from the point of view of ’99s generation looking at the current generation and wondering, “Damn, was I that annoying?” Yes we were. And a very funny moment when an 18-year-old refers to the Spice Girls song “Wannabe” as classic rock was well appreciated.

Overall, this movie stayed true to the first teens who saw “American Pie” when it was first released. It was very funny, but also looked at the lives of our generation in an honest way. If you liked the first three movies, you will like this one as well. And yes, it is worth seeing it in theaters.

Plays you should see (but as movies).

“Glengarry Glen Ross” is a fantastic drama about the back-stabbing, stomach churning ABC’s of the real estate game. The cast is too many to mention here, but what I will say is that this has to be Alec Baldwin’s best monologue in any film he has ever done. As with almost any play-turned-movie, the drive of the story comes from dialogue and not “action” per se. Each actor in this film has their shining moment alone as well as at least one two person exchange that you will remember. This film deserves to be seen, but remember, “Coffee is for closers.”

“Carnage” is a film made from a French play and stars Jodie Foster, Kate Winslet, John C. Reilly and Christoph Waltz. The story surrounds the parents of two boys. One boy knocked the teeth out of the other and now the parents have to settle things. Civil and in control at first, thing begin to unravel in a very honest, yet funny way. This film highlights some very painful feelings among this group, but pokes fun at them instead of turning the film into a sob fest. Viva la France!

“Six Degrees of Separation” was a defining moment for Will Smith. He plays a young man who makes his way into the life of a wealthy older white (and yes, that does matter here) couple by telling them he is the son of famed actor Sidney Poitier and that he was mugged. Seeing the boy’s condition, and discovering that he is a friend of their daughter who is away at school, they take him in. A true study of our part in social norms and class status, this film asks many questions and gives almost no answers. I am not going to say this film will change your life or make you rethink the choices you make later on, but you will pay a bit more attention to things.

American Reunion

What happened to the ten year reunion?

Alright, the first film cam out when I was in high school and I loved it for all the reasons a high school boy would love it. It had funny, gross jokes and a lot of sexual situations. When the first two sequels came out, I likewise liked them for the typical reasons: silly jokes (Jim pretending to be retarded as he murders that trombone) and sexual situations.

Being 27 now, I don’t really watch those anymore because they aren’t my tastes anymore. The same jokes I laughed at then, I don’t find as funny anymore. Stifler was funny and cool when I was a teen, now I’d hate to see him do well. He’s just a dumb jerk.

What I am hoping to see from this movie is an evolved humor to the generation that first saw these movies. We have grown up. Our tastes have changed with that and even though we love nostalgia and can appreciate references to the first 3 movies, I think we all have a better appreciation for a more “grown-up” comedy. If this thing is made to the tastes of the current generation, I don’t think I’m going to like it.

But then I buy “The Hangover” on DVD and my argument is blown to hell.

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