Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Rambo (2008) dir. Sylvester Stallone & War (2007) dir. Philip G. Atwell

I'm gonna get this out of the way - you either want to see this movie or you don't. If you don't that's fine and understandable though First Blood is a good movie. If you are going to see Rambo then you know exactly what you are getting.

Personally I liked it. I had a crappy morning and went to go see it with some buddies and it turned my mood around. Rambo kills the living hell out of bad Burmese. It's not quite as gory as I was led to believe - yes it is gory and intensely violent - but a good amount of the blood is digital. Digital blood just doesn't cut it in my book. There are some moments of cheer worthy carnage though.

Here's the plot: Rambo is a snake hunter/collector in Thailand. He is very sad and alone with his anger and pain. Christian missionaries need his help getting up river to Burma to deliver medical aid and care. Rambo says, "Go home.". Missionary lady says, "Help us." Rambo says, "Fine." Rambo drops off missionaries and goes home. Missionaries help people then get captured by evil Burmese warlord. Rambo finds out. Everything goes to hell. Rambo kicks ass. Bad guys die. Fin.

I thought the direction was perfectly reasonable and all in all there was nothing wrong with the movie - what'd you expect fucking Chekov? It's Rambo. I really enjoyed the ending - it tied up the entire series very nicely.

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War is a Jet Li/Jason Statham action movie by Philip G. Atwell (director of rap videos). We watched it last night after gorging ourselves on Chinese BBQ and shredded Nanking pork. We wanted something totally mindless, violent, and about as challenging as Go Fish. War not only delivered but it was actually pretty good and an excellent example of what a non-HK/HK-styled movie should be like. All the elements were there and put together in a proper fashion. Jason Statham plays some ass kicking Asian crime unit of the FBI guy. His partner gets killed by Jet Li - a super bad ass CIA trained assassin who is only known as "Rogue". Rogue disappears. Three years later there a territory is breaking out in San Francisco between Triads and the Yakuza. Side note: Just to let everyone - including Jason Statham - know "Yakuza" is plural for "Yakuza". A Yakuza club is shot to hell by...that's right...Rogue. Jason Statham is on the job. Action and vengeance ensues.

War is absurd and pretty cut and dry - especially if you've seen a good amount of HK action movies - but the direction is slick, the violence is bloody, there are fucking ninjas, the cast is a good who's who of quality supporting actors, the music is good cinematic hip-hop, and it's actually a good Jet Li/Jason Statham movie. A good Saturday afternoon movie, hell I'll buy it when I see it for about $10.

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