Friday, February 1, 2013

Let's Talk Movies!: The Man with the Iron Fists

I like this poster better, very minimalistic yet awesome.

*as always, spoiler free*

We all know how the Wu-Tang clan are so into martial arts that in one of their albums, it almost sounds like it was a martial arts film. From narration to the typical background music played during kung fu fight scenes.

It wasn't that much a surprise to me when I heard that RZA would be in a martial arts film since I was already surprised that he's playing Hard Master [martial arts master] in the coming Gi Joe sequel. 

The movie starts simple enough. In Jungle Village, RZA is their resident Blacksmith. Judging by how much orders he gets, it seems he is rather good at his job. Although it is shown that he dislikes making weapons for killing. But still he does it so he and his love, Lady Silk [played by Jamie Chung] would be able to leave and and have a life of their own. They were about to realize their dream however after a series of unfortunate events, both are dragged into a whole mess of trouble between the gov't., lions and ladies of reputation.

The story seems a bit of a mess at the start but it can be just simplified to a story of greed and power. The flow of the story was moving at a fast pace although the flashbacks of the Blacksmith [named Thaddeus] seemed a bit long and dragging. It was a bit weird how an african american from a plantation came to China even with an elaborate explanation on how he did but oh well, it's the movies.

They have a very strong and well known cast for this one. My biggest surprise was Dave Bautista whom we all know and love/hate as Batista from WWE. I seemed to have neglected seeing him in the main poster but I really loved his character [Brass Body] and his ...certain ability. It was really awesome to see. They also had Lucy Liu [as Madam Blossom] who was also magnificent. Any movie with Lucy Liu kicking ass in it is always a plus. It was nice to see Byron Mann again. He's much known as playing Ryu in the old Street Fighter movie. I must admit, he seemed to have been having fun in his role as the villain. I think Russel Crowe was something of a "meh" for me. His character [Jack Knife] was cool but I feel that they could've done better casting another actor...maybe, Woody Harrelson?

The fight scenes were completely awesome. It's pretty much action-packed with alot of actual martial arts since a few of the actors are actually masters or is really practicing martial arts in real life. Some were really fast [X-Blade's first fight scene] while some were totally out there [Brass Body Vs. X-Blade and the final fight of Brass Body Vs. the Blacksmith]. Still there were a few more elegant ones like Lucy Liu's fight scene and the Gemini's Vs. the Lions one. All were pretty much jaw dropping and a sight to behold. Although most people who've watched alot of martial arts movies might not see anything new, they didn't do anything that seems so out of this world.

If you're looking for an action movie filled with martial arts well, this won't disappoint. This movie pretty much has alot of it. If you're looking for a story, well...this movie has an okay storyline. It's not much but at least it still attempts to be linear and doesn't go overboard.

Let's Talk Movies: The Perks of Being a Wallflower

Sooo....where's Scott Pilgrim?

*as always, this is going to be spoiler-free*

This movie surprised me. I did not expect a few things that happened but was right when I pegged this as another "coming-of-age" film. As if the term, "Wallflower" wasn't a dead give-away. 

I haven't read the book or the wikipedia entry or any reviews of it *I read a post from girlfriend about it though but it didn't give much away", so I watched it unprepared. I was kind of putting of watching it as it didn't seem that much. My girlfriend did consistently tell me to watch it and also asked a few times if I already did.

The movie is all about Charlie, played by Logan Lerman of "Percy Jackson" fame. I kinda liked him more on the "Gamer" movie. Anyway, it all starts out with his first day of highschool. Nothing much happens and it seems like he was going to be one of those silent loners until he gets the courage to talk to a "quirky" Patrick [who was played magnificently by Ezra Miller] and introduced to Pat's step-sister, Sam [played by Emma Watson]. From then on one thing leads to another as Charlie's highschool life gets better AND worse. 

The whole movie, as I found out, was set around the 90's. Which explains the lack of more...high end tech as well as more recent music. I didn't mind, being a kid of the 90's it seemed almost perfect.

My only question is...where the hell was this movie during MY highschool years? Ahahah~

Seriously, if I could've watched this during those times then my life would've so better. It's not that I could relate to the characters but at some instances all of us could relate to that dreadful first day of school where you don't know anyone at all. To those unsure feelings of awkwardness, as well as those feelings of happiness and loss. 

There are a few plot points in the movie that wasn't touched upon if you've just seen the trailers and haven't spoiled yourself in reading the wiki entry or haven't read the book itself. I think that those things made the movie more compelling and a bit dramatic. For me it would've been a bit dull if they didn't have it.

It's nice that they had an awesome selection of songs for this movie. Although I know most of them via covers by other artists, it was still awesome to hear them and used in moments that seem most opportune. Speaking of music, it was also awesome to see an old hobby again which was creating mixtapes. Prior to the technological advancement of selecting your playlists, you had to do it by yourself at the time and it was really hard.
Speaking of music, this made me remember a song entitled, "Wallflower" by Caroline's Spine [Yay 90's music!]

Take a listen, it's pretty awesome:


I've made a few mixtapes way, waaay back and it was both fun and a pain. But I digress...

Watching this movie makes you feel nostalgic of the time you've spent in highschool. Not only that, it then delves deeper and it will pique your interest. The best thing is, they do it at a slow pace. Slow enough to not give it away all at once and slow enough to let it just flow naturally within the story. It typically deals with the "love and loss" theme and a bit of a "boy meets girl" theme ala 500 Days of Summer [haven't watched that? then go and watch it then!]. There will be points of the story where you'd prolly wonder what was going on and what's going to happen next. All of those doubts and questions will mostly be answered as the story progresses.

All in all, it was really a very great film with a few characters that has a bit of depth.I think that Ezra Miller had more of a fantastic performance than Logan or Emma. Watching Mae Whitman in a movie was a delight [i've only seen her in Scott Pilgrim] and seeing Paul Rudd act the way he is is also nice. I dunno, i'm beginning to like him.

Since the author of the book was also the director of the movie, I think fans of the book will enjoy the movie as much as the book. I haven't read the book [maybe someday] and I've enjoyed the hell out of this movie. It's definitely worth a watch and a re-watch....because sometimes, we feel the need to be...infinite.