Cinema-Maniac: Hercules in New York (1975) Review

January 30, 2012
Now you’re probably asking why in the world would I review Hercules in New York. Well my friend made a bet with me that I couldn’t sit through the whole movie, I did, and I should have left sooner.

Hercules (Schwarzenegger) is sent to Earth where he finds true love and starts a promising career in the bodybuilder business. Now to be truthful, the main selling point of this DVD is Arnold voice, it’s says “Featuring Arnold real voice for the first time” on the DVD. So getting that out of the way, he’s speak terrible English in his first role. Oh yeah the plot, well, it doesn’t have one. Well it does, but it’s so poorly written and over the top you’ll be scratching your head on what in the world you’re watching.

So in order to get through this movie, me and my friend, Alex, decided to play a drinking game, we would take a shot of beer for every word Arnold said incorrectly, we almost got drunk in three minutes. If we played five minute longer, we would have our stomach pump, that’s how bad Arnold English is. This movie is ridiculous on so many level. Like how Arnold fights a Bear, fight sailors who rescued him with some laughably bad music, and something about the Mafia being involve it’s just nonsense. This movie is literally stupid, just read the title, Hercules in New York. If Tarzan adventure in New York wasn’t interesting, what made these people think it would work with Hercules.

So Hercules in New York is a bad movie with allot of filler and useless characters that make you wonder how Arnold acting career ever took off. Now this is better than some of the movie I usually pick up, it’s no Vampiro, it’s no Gingerdead Man, it’s no Ninja Squad, and that’s why it gets a 10% from me. So what did I win from the bet your probably wondering, a free copy of Mission Impossible Ghost Protocol, which is why it also gets a 10%.


Cinema-Maniac: Jaws 2 (1978) Review

I just want to get this movie out of the way as I still have Jaws 3 & Jaws: The Revenge and there absolutely worthless. Considering how the other two sequels would turn out this was not bad of a attempt, but it still can’t match the original.

Police chief Brody must protect the citizens of Amity after a second monstrous shark begins terrorizing the waters. The story isn’t as fresh or interesting, it’s also has more teenager. Now the only thing I would bring up the teenagers is because the film is taking a Friday the Th approach for a Shark movie, it doesn’t work well. There some useless characters, but luckily some of them get killed and we still have a mayor that still doesn’t want to close down the beach. It copies some good things from the original Jaws, but it’s simply not enough to make it outshine the original.

What Jaws 2 also does well is suspense, like the original, we don’t know if it’s going to be the Shark or not. I also like the fact since the Shark is scars is looks a little more menacing. Also one reason i’m guessing why people didn’t like it much is probably the fact that the Shark takes out a helicopter, I don’t know about you, but this is awesome. The music still works, but it’s just not effective the second time around. Two things that make this worth wild is Roy Schieder performance and the well filmed climax.

Jaws 2 isn’t entirely a bad sequel, sure it’s inferior in some area where the original succeeded, but it didn’t go over the top like it sequel. Now it’s clear you can’t outdo a classic, just look at Francis Ford Coppola, he hasn’t done anything noteworthy since the 1970s. Jaws may not be as good as the original, but it’s surely much better than it’s sequel.


Cinema-Maniac: Ong Bak 3 (2011) Review

After reviewing Ong Bak 3 and seeing how horrible is was, I decided to get the third entry out of the way. I regret watching this with my friend.

Ong Bak 3 picks up where Ong Bak 2 had left off. Tien is captured and almost beaten to death before he is saved and brought back to the Kana Khone villagers. There he is taught meditation and how to deal with his Karma, but very soon his arch rival returns challenging Tien for a final duel, and it’s boring one too. I saw this with one of my friends and he kept asking me what was going, I honestly had no idea myslef as no actual story is told until a hour in. The poorly written story from Ong Bak 2 made Ong Bak 3 even more baffling bad. Why Tony Jaa did you have to write a story that takes a minute to summarize and it takes you a whole hour and a half to tell it. That’s really awful if my summary is simply the whole movie with nothing interesting in between.

The fight scenes are well done, but there is even less. Why Tony Jaa was allowed to write is baffling because the one good fight scene in this movie doesn’t really happened, because somehow Tien rewinds times, and there’s explanation on how he did that. To be honest, I rooting for the villains to kill Tien just so this movie could be over, unfortunately Tien lives and makes us suffer the longer the movie continues.

Now since this was meant to be one movie, I will say it would have sucked even more. Ong Bak 2 had a terrible story, while Ong Bak 3 is a pointless sequel with no story. There some really baffling moments at the climax that will make you laugh like I did. For the nothingness that it’s worth avoid the Ong Bak sequels, stick to the first one.


Cinema-Maniac: Ong Bak 2 (2009) Review

It been a while since I reviewed a Martial Art film so I decided to watch Ong Bak 2 since i’m a big fan of the original movie. Now to be fair, it could have been better than the first one, but it suffers from poor story-telling.

This all I got from the story from Ong Bak 2, a young Thai boxer learns the skills and inner meaning of martial arts. Yup, that’s all I remember from the movie story-line. There’s no good character development for our hero or any of the main characters. The only good part about the story is that it gives you a reason to root for the good-guys, though it just your typical motives and doesn’t give you interesting villains. The movie also does a terrible job for making you care about any of the characters and there boring, it makes you wish they cut out the story parts of the movie and left in the violence, would have been better.

Now the choreography in the first Ong Bak is some of the most spectacular i’ve seen in any Martial Art movie and it was a letdown that the only really good action sequence is at the end of the movie. The good part about the final fight scene in this movie it that it’s about twelve minutes at best with Tony Jaa taking allot of pain, with no dialogue which makes the fight scene fast pace and pleasing to watch. Now this movie wasn’t entirely bad, I mean the cinematography was great (especially whenever you see a Elephant), the crew make good use of most of the location for action sequences, and the mindless violence though not as good as the original is still entertaining.

Ong Bak 2 is a sequel that suffers from a poorly written with great fight scenes that makes enduring the story aspect bearable. If you’re going still planning on watching this, just skip to the action scenes as there the only watchable part of this movie.


Cinema-Maniac: Monsters (2010) Review

With a title like Monsters what would you expect to see, lots of Monsters. Unfortunately the misleading title isn’t the only thing disappointing about this movie.

Six years after Earth has suffered an alien invasion a cynical journalist agrees to escort a shaken American tourist through an infected zone in Mexico to the safety of the US border. The story is not awful, but it’s not good either. Now I will say none of the main characters get annoying because the whole movie revolve around two people and some how they didn’t get on my nerves. The storytelling is slow and uninteresting at times, with a movie revolving a dangerous journey from a monster inhabit Mexico you would expect the writer to give you some of information about the monsters he came up with, well if he did I must have missed because I was so bored and stop paying attention as the story really doesn’t do a job of grabbing your attention.

The very few monsters it does have look good, for a low budget movie that is. I was surprise to learn that this was a low budget movie considering the scope of the movie and it’s monsters. The monsters in this movie i’m guessing aren’t the literal monsters, if not, it did a poor job making whatever was meant to be represented as the monster very poorly. For what it did do right I do give praised to, the monsters never had a dull moment when they appeared (with the exception of one scene), the two actor didn’t get on my nerves as they basically had the camera on them for the whole movie, and it’s scope doesn’t make it feel low budget.

So Monsters is a disappointing monster movie that could have benefited with a bigger budget and could have become a better movie. It’s a shame what could have been a great movie didn’t live up to it potential, for it is, it’s not a bad movie, nor is it a great one either.


Cinema-Maniac: Dragon Wars (2007) Movie Review

When it comes to movies featuring monsters I always rely on two monsters to give some sort of entertainment and they are King Kong and Godzilla. Any other monsters would can result in disappointment, just like how Dragon Wars.

Every five hundred years, a woman protected by a man transforms in a serpent to fight against a dragon in a battle between good and evil. Ethan seeks out Sarah and together they fight to survive and destroy the devilish dragon. So right off you know the story won’t go anywhere as it include random scenes that makes you wonder if you’re watching the most expensive high-school movie ever produced. I’m serious, there so much inconsistency like how a helicopter crashes into a building, and then magically blows up only when the pilots get out for some reason. It’s also very uninteresting to have a hero who’s useless for most of the movie which made me feel like also watching a comedy just because on bad certain scenes are.

So the story isn’t what anyone wants to watch in this movie, they want the monsters, and they disappoint for the most part. These monsters just look terrible and terribly animated. I will say I did enjoy when the monsters got released in Los Angles and the battle began. To bad they were terribly filmed and not as cool as they could have been. As for the epic finale, i’ll just say i’ve seen better in terms of monster movies. I mean the area where the final battle looks so bad and incomplete with bad special effects. The final battle is a let down, it’s last less than three minutes. Now I originally was going to give this a 30% before I saw the ending. The ending makes you feel you wasted your time and got ripped off.

It’s such a shame to see a movie featuring Dragons be this bad and so poorly made. I mean it’s not often we see Dragons being the main focus of a movie let alone in a watchable movie, but maybe one day we’ll have a decent movie featuring Dragons. Until then, avoid this at all cost.


Cinema-Maniac: Heartless (2010)

To me Jim Strugess is one those actors good unknown actors, and it’s unfortunate too as he should really be big star for his performance in Heartless.

Jamie Morgan (Jim Strugess), a young man with a large heart-shaped birthmark on his face, discovers that there are demons on the streets of East London. So the story is unique and I enjoyed it allot. To bad some scenes drag out to long or are just completely unnecessary. The story has a good paced, but it’s uneven at points, luckily Jim Struges gives his best performance even when the story is not as great as it could have been. Now the story could have been better, like it could have helped if some of the other important character got more developed and screen time.

I wasn’t exactly expecting special effect in this movie and the times it does use them are effective. The performance are good, though some actors don’t actually give it there all and get into the characters they are playing.

Heartless is a good movie with a story that could have been better, but it’s flaws are tolerable thanks to Jim Strugess performance. I would recommend this movie, just don’t expect to much from the story and it’ll be a enjoyable movie.


Cinema-Maniac: Easy A (2010) Review

Easy A (2010)
January 24, 2012
There’s reason why I like this movie, beside the fact that it has Emma Stone, is that it’s a smartly written teen-comedy.

A clean-cut high school student relies on the school’s rumor mill to advance her social and financial standing. So the plot wasn’t exactly what I expected, by that I mean I didn’t laugh that much in the movie. There wasn’t really that many jokes that were funny, I got the jokes, I didn’t think they were that funny. Luckily the smartly written story doesn’t heavily rely on just humor like many poorly made teen comedies as it tell the viewer a smartly written story and give actual character development to a relate-able character. Now for a guy who hasn’t seen many teen comedy, I have to say I was actually sad when it ended because I wanted the movie to go on.

Emma Stone does a great job in her first starring role. Her charm and character adds more likability to the movie. Now the rest of the cast is good, but Emma Stone actually proved she can carry a movie in a lead role. I truly hope I get to see her in more lead as I think she’s a charming and talented actress.

So Easy A is a smartly written teen comedy missing many laughs as there not executed correctly or just aren’t that funny. Thankfully Emma Stone first lead role is a good one and it shows that she can a big star.


Cinema-Maniac: Apocalypse Now (1979) Review

I recently re-watched Apocalypse Now and my views on it is still the same. It’s a great movie and a classic.

During the on-going Vietnam War, Captain Willard is sent on a dangerous mission into Cambodia to assassinate a renegade Green Beret who has set himself up as a God among a local tribe. I liked the story to be honest, though while at times it did feel slow I found it nonetheless to be a smartly written movie. Though this does take place in the Vietnam War, i’m surprise the direction it was taken as it main focus wasn’t the war, it the mission of our hero Willard and how he’s admiring the man he was assigned to kill. My only complain about the story is the last twenty minute, it’s just wasn’t as good as the rest of the movie. It also felt really dragged on and I felt it loosing momentum and ends up with a good ending that could have been better.

Now usually what people expect from war movies is of course allot battles. If you’re one those people you’ll be disappointed as it main focus is on the characters and not winning the war. I’m glad the movie goes in this direction as I honestly think it was the only way to make a movie like this and make as mesmerizing and incredibly entertaining as it is. The music perfectly fits into the movie, it adds more emotion to certain scenes, and makes it a more memorable experience. If you’re expecting a final battle like in Saving Private Ryan you’ll be disappointed as well, that’s why this is consider one of the greatest movie ever made. It takes a war movie in a entirely different direction which makes it stand out from every other war movie ever made.

Apocalypse Now is certainly deserving to be called one of the greatest movie ever made. Though I still found the last twenty minute not to be at the same level as the rest of the movie. This one of those that gotten better age and will always have a place in movie history.


Cinema-Maniac: The Killer (1989) Review

Now going into The Killer I expected a good movie considering it’s a movie with Chow Yun-Fat movie directed by John Woo. Like any other Chow Yun-Fat and John Woo collaboration, the movie ended up being great.

A disillusioned assassin (Chow Yun-Fat) accepts one last hit in hopes of using his earnings to restore vision to a singer he accidentally blinded, only to be double-crossed by his boss. I found the story to be well paced, but some will probably complain how it’s not evenly spaced out between action and drama, but they won’t mind it once the movie shift into full gear and delivers the goods on it story. The story is masterfully told in my opinion and doesn’t suffer from having to much action either. Even though I saw the dubbed version, I can tell you the movie still had some great lines. I got more into the story when it showed that our killer was sympathetic and caring giving him depth instead of just making him look like a cold heartless killer like other movies.

The action is nothing short of spectacular as you would expect with any movie directed by John Woo. It’s beautiful to watch, it’s intense, it’s enjoyable, and has a purpose with the story. I have to praise to Woo for his good camera work in this movie and writing what I consider to be one of the best action movie ever made. Beside the acting, I want praise the music in the movie, while it may pass viewers as they get entertain by what they see, I want to say that adds to the greatness and entertainment value for this movie.

The Killer is amazing experience I would recommend for anyone. It’s a great action movie that delivers the goods on the story with some of the best action sequences ever filmed. The Killer is by far one of the greatest action movie i’ve ever seen.