Sunday, December 28, 2014

10 questions about Cinema Abyss Reviewer Tony or SYFY’s Christmas Icetastrophe

10 Questions

A meteorite brings ice and freezing temperatures, which threatens to harm the residents of a small town at Christmas

Cinema Abyss: What is the first thing you think of when you think of Christmas Icetastrophe?

Tony: A Splitting migraine

Cinema Abyss: How many keys on your key ring?

Tony: 10

Cinema Abyss: Why did the Christmas Icetastrophe Happen?

Tony: Meteorite split in two and crashed on earth

Cinema Abyss: Do you have any pets?

Tony: 3 dogs

Cinema Abyss: Which character from Christmas Icetastrophe would you like to eat dinner with?

Tony: Science girl Alex Novak, Marley, or Her Mom Krystal 

Marley finding out Tony wants to go to dinner
Cinema Abyss: What are you reading now?

Tony: This fucking email

Cinema Abyss: Would you consider watching Christmas Icetastrophe again?

Tony: Only if I was high

Cinema Abyss: Have you ever had to wear a uniform in school?

Tony: Yes

Cinema Abyss: What did the main character from Christmas Icetastrophe do for a living?

Tony: I have no fucking idea

Cinema Abyss: With the exception of the computer, what can you hear?

Tony: My TV

That wraps up this edition of ten questions. Feel free to send in your inquiries to be answered by the Cinema Abyss crew. Just send an email to subject abyss questions.

Thursday, November 20, 2014


Twitter Event

A group of doomsday preppers emerge from their bunker 10 years after an apocalyptic meteor strike, only to discover that crazed mutants have overtaken the world. --- IMDB

Cinema Abyss was at it again on November 8th with a live twitter event riffing of the new SYFY movie MUTANT WORLD. Sitting through sneak previews that suck and SYFY premiers that torture the intellect is what the Abyss crew do for you. This film was a hard one to get through.

Cinema Abyss is on The Atemi Cast twitter for the riffing of #mutantworld: The Atemi Cast Network allowed us access to their twitter feed. We went live at 9pm. We had no idea of the torment in store of us
Dude your getting the milk for free: Caden the love interest of Melissa has an engagement ring he wants to give her.

Reminds me of Fallout 3:  The main story is about survivors living in a vault: The supplies are running low and they need to send a team of recon and scavengers out into the unknown to find the provisions they need.

Now that fight was believable LOL: The highly trained locked and loaded expedition gets overrun by primitive human mutants using low tech weapons.
Ashanti stole the undertaker's clothes:  We meet The Preacher played by Ashanti. She is dressed like the WWF star The Undertaker.

He green with envy: The bright green eyed mutant Caden sees the normal Melissa after 10 years and gets jealous of the people around her.

It has only been 10 years these guys freak out over a radio: only ten years have passed since the meteor collision that mutated humanity.  Inexplicably everyone who has survived has reverted to an 18th century level of knowledge. 
The frankensteins don't like trespassers: We could not help but continue the Fallout 3 game references.

These are people of the land. The common clay of the new West, You know morons: Because everyone has devolved into a Wild West life style we had to give props to Mel Brooks with a BLAZING SADDLE mention.

Does this group of survivors look a little inbred? : Again only ten years have passed and the gene pool is looking a bit shallow.

This one is painful: The movie was starting to take it toll.

Where did the fishnets come from?  : One moment the disrobing nurse is naked and abracadabra she has on fishnets.

Haven! What about the troubles: The survivors from the vault must reach Haven. Anyone who is a Syfy channel fan knows haven has its own set of dilemmas

At least it is not Raspberry beret: Melissa wears a beret most of the movie. We could not stop singing the Prince song Raspberry Beret every time she was on screen

Stop the bad singing Ahhhhhhhhhh! : Melissa is constantly singing during the movie. It is not good.

Mutantgram: The mutants are at the door trying to get in. This was a land shark reference from SNL

Is Melissa gonna steal Ashanti clothes now? : We rightly predict that Melissa would dress like the preacher after Ashanti is killed.

Does anybody know what the hell is going on? : There is a big fight with several factions happening and we have not a clue why.

Wow that was some deep Hurting: The movie has ended. We had almost tapped out. Thanks to the twitterverse for keeping us in the game.

Our Next Live Twitter Event will be December 20th. CHRISTMAS ICETASTROPHE starring Victor Webster, Mike Dopud, and Jennifer Spence will be the victim.

Friday, November 7, 2014


Live Event

We had so much fun last time we decided to do it again. This Saturday Cinema Abyss is taking over the Atemi Cast Network twitter. The Abyss reviewers will be riffing MUTANT WORLD on syfy at 9PM. This one looks painful!

Thursday, October 30, 2014


Staff Picks

After a night of acquiring all the candy in the neighborhood it is time to sit down and watch a good scary movie. The reviewers of Cinema Abyss have picked their top five Halloween night movies. Get some hot buttered popcorn, a nice cool drink, and enjoy a good freighting movie. 

Number 5: FRIDAY THE 13th (1980) Camp counselors are stalked and murdered by an unknown assailant while trying to reopen a summer camp that was the site of a child's drowning. - IMDB

This movie stars very young Kevin Bacon. He does not make it. 

Number 4: THE EVIL DEAD (1981) Five friends travel to a cabin in the woods, where they unknowingly release flesh-possessing demons. - IMDB

Written and Directed by Sam Raimi. The film stars the amazing Bruce Campbell as Ash Williams.

Number 3: NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET (1984)  Several people are hunted by a cruel serial killer who kills his victims in their dreams. When the survivors are trying to find the reason for being chosen, the murderer won't lose any chance to kill them as soon as they fall asleep. - IMDB

This movie stars John Saxon, is Johnny Depp’s first movie, and Freddy Krueger is masterfully played by Robert Englund

Number 2: EXORCIST (1973) When a teenage girl is possessed by a mysterious entity, her mother seeks the help of two priests to save her daughter. - IMDB

This is an all time classic. Stars Max van Sydow, and a very juvenile Linda Blair several years before she became a super freak. 

Number 1: HALLOWEEN (1978) A psychotic murderer institutionalized since childhood for the murder of his sister, escapes and stalks a bookish adolescent girl and her friends while his doctor chases him through the streets. - IMDB

This movie drips atmosphere. The director John Carpenter did a wonderful job in this low budget feature. Our number one pick stars the great Donald Pleasence as Dr. Sam Loomis, and cute youthful Jamie Lee Curtis as Laurie Strode.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014


Live Twitter Event / Movie Review

Worry Doll
The SYFY channel has blessed us again with another original movie. This time with the horror film FINDERS KEEPERS.  Cinema Abyss did a live twitter feed during the premier. Abyss reviewer Taylor and I watched the movie and threw out one-liners to the twitter verse. 

FINDERS KEEPERS is about a newly divorced mother Alyson Simon played by Jaime Pressly and her daughter Claire Simon who is played by Kylie Rodgers. They move into a new house and Claire finds a doll that had been hidden in the air condition ducts.  Claire bonds with the doll and soon they are inseparable

The doll is a Guatemalan munecas Quitapenas also known as a worry doll. Worry dolls are given to children to help them sleep at night. The dolls are supposed to remove the worries of the owner. Once the child sleeps with the doll the parents would remove the doll telling the child the doll had taken their troubles and gone away. Claire’s doll is broken. Her doll does not want to be removed from the children. This doll bonds with the child so that it causes distress if it is removed.  If the doll is threatened the threat is usually killed. The doll uses the bond between it and Claire to possess her and their bond gets so strong that any harm to the doll is also harm to Claire.

This Syfy feature was very enjoyable. The acting was done well and there were only a few WTF moments.  The most notable was when Alyson coughs up a fly for no reason.  She just coughs it up and goes about her day. Never once does she question why that happened. That was just strange.

The Tweets:

1) U deserve a new doll not a broken down old doll. (Sounds like what women say about my wife.)-- Rick

            This was a quote from cat lady Janine played by STAR TREK actress Marina Sirtis. She said this in the presence of the doll. Things did not go well for her after that. (Yes this was a jab at the wife but it is ok she was in the room when I sent it out.)

2) I guess horror and SYFY fans need Viagra.

            There were a lot of boner commercials during this movie.

3) Let’s scream at the insane person who killed his family.

            And that is just what Alyson does, by visiting the killer child that had murdered his family in the home she had just bought.

4) Zachary looks like a demon from Supernatural

            Zachary killed his family and is still possessed by the doll. He looked like the demons from supernatural while under the doll’s influence.

5) That is a strong little doll

            The 10” doll is throwing grown people around like toys.

6) Let’s be twins

            Claire starts to dress like the doll

7) Leave Starfleet and you become a crazy dead cat woman

            Yep, Marina Sirtis character has been killed

8) Walk uninvited to my house the same thing will happen to you

            Real estate agent just walks into Alyson’s house. Unlucky for him the doll takes offense.

9) Evil now contained in the garbage

            Alyson throws the doll in the trash

10) Time to use a Nanny cam

            Claire has unexplained bruises

11) mmmmm Burnt Pancakes with no sugar or syrup. She must be evil

            The upset Claire maybe possessed Claire eats pancakes with her hands with no good stuff.

12) Like she did not see the bodies hanging from the ceiling. Way to be aware.

            We are supposed to believe Alyson walks into her child psychologist’s office and does not immediately see 2 full grown people hanging from the antler chandelier.

13) Demon Smoke

            Another Supernatural reference

 14) Sounds like the Tea Party

            A political poke when the college professor explains how the doll works

15) Eye for an Eye Bitch

            They try to take out the dolls eyes. She returns the favor.

16) The power of Christ compels you

            Claire is now completely possessed. Her head spins around like Regan’s in THE EXORCIST.

Saturday, October 18, 2014


Live Event

The reviewers of CINEMA ABYSS will be taking over The ATEMI CAST twitter for a live twitter event of the new SYFY movie FINDERS KEEPERS. Grab some popcorn and join the fun.

Thursday, October 16, 2014


Chico at the movies

Abyss fans we would like to introduce our newest movie reviewer Alex, a.k.a. "Chico." So, sit back and enjoy this episode of "Chico at the movies!"

Chico: Yo, well ANNABELLE the movie was ok. I want to give it 6 beers out of 12 pack. The devil costume was good but only some parts were intense enough to be scary. This movie could have been scarier and shit but, it was not all that bad for a scary movie. I mean it had a Chico jumping and shit once or twice but, not all that like they showed on the previews. 

It lacked in the story line from where Annabella came from but, the film was good quality but not enough special effects. The doll didn't even speak, I mean come on at least they could have made the lil doll say some shit. I see this movie like a bad Chucky knock off almost. I liked the Chucky movies, they were mixed with scary scenes and some comedy. At least in the Chucky movie they let you know how he became the doll and shit.

I think a movie like this should be scary from start to end and not just in some parts. They should have worked a little more on the story line. Overall it was aiight, but I wouldn't go watch that shit again na what i mean? This has been Chico at the movies, dale!

Sunday, October 12, 2014


Helen in the shower
My exploitation film journey continues with cinematic voyages of Italy. I have immersed myself into the world of giallo film. Giallo films are Italian murder mysteries. They tend to have plenty of entertaining twists, brutal killings, and titillating Italian women. Giallo films may have started as murder mysteries but this style grew to include slasher movies as well as zombie films. Great directors like Dario Argento, Lucio Fulci, and Mario Bava are masters of this genre.

A QUIET PLACE TO KILL is a film by Umberto Lenzi.  This Italian director is a known international superstar. His work spans spaghetti westerns, war movies, and action films. Lenzi is also considered the father of the cannibal film.

The movie is about Helen a race-car driver that is recovering from a car wreck during an upcoming race’s time trials. While in the hospital she receives a letter from her ex husband Maurice asking that she visit him in Madrid. Even though Helen tried to kill Maurice three years earlier, she accepts. 

When she arrives in Madrid she discovers that her ex is remarried. His new wife is an older, attractive, but very rich woman.  Here we find that it was not the ex-husband that sent the invitation but his current wife Constance.

The story starts to pick up here. Maurice wants Helen back. Constance wants help disposing of Maurice. Helen finds herself with decisions to make. Does she take back the man that broke her financially and whom she has already tried to slay or should she team up with Constance and take the life of the playboy that has ruined their lives.

This was a fun entertaining flick. It does take awhile getting used to the outlandish fashions of 1960’s Europe.  But that is part of the fun.  Also the music is awful. Do not expect any good late 60’s music.

Director: Umberto Lenzi
Carroll Baker as Helen
Jean Sorel as Maurice Sauvage
Anna Proclemer as Constance Sauvage
Marian Coffa as Susan Sauvage

Sunday, September 28, 2014


Tony - The modern day legend that is Donnie Yen is back with another action packed, sure to be blockbuster, film called “Kung Fu Jungle.” The film portrays Yen as former Police Martial Arts instructor Xia. Xia, who has been incarcerated, offers his help to the police who are looking for the villain Feng, played by Wang Bao-qinag. Feng has been going around killing all the top martial artists in Hong Kong and leaving a nasty little calling card called the Moonshadow.

Xia helps the police realize Feng's kill pattern is that of a systematic order based on a martial code of training. Xia goes missing after his first encounter with Feng and the police fear the worst. Turns out the two have been accomplices the whole time and Xia’s release was part of the plan. But, that may not be the case in this martial arts outing as Xia shows that he is more than just a simple instructor. Xia must save the woman he loves and break the martial code he holds dear.

I have been a big fan of Donnie Yen since he first hit the scene in 1984 in DRUNKEN TAI CHI. He got even more attention after the classic IRON MONKEY. Donnie Yen continues to explode on the screen with his action fight scenes and his martial versatility. One of his best movies to date is WU XIA a.k.a. “DRAGON.” This was one hell of a movie. He had great performances in both the IP MAN movies and in LEGEND OF THE FIST: THE RETURN OF CHEN ZHEN. Donnie Yen does not let his audience down when it comes to action movies. If the above films are any indication of how good this flick is going to be then I cannot wait for it to hit the theaters in October. Stay tuned for more from the depths of the Abyss.

Thursday, September 18, 2014



Disclaimer: Language may be higher than 7th grade reading level
If you read all the way through, Congratulations, you're smarter than a 7th grader!

By Taylor S. - The recent release of The Guest proves to be an engaging thriller, if retribution is your angle, with some comedic bits, as evidenced by my fellow theatre goers who chuckled their approval in surround sound. It was an all out action-packed free for all of guns, drugs, murder and mayhem, starring the newly discovered Dan Stevens who performs an eerily perfect off kilter example of an ex-military man who has seen some classified shit in his day. Now, when I say newly discovered, I don't mean to imply that this is Dan Stevens first cinematic role. But, as this movie reviewer was IMDBing him, I shockingly realized that he is none other than the late Mr. Matthew Crawley of the BBC hit Downton Abbey. I had to do a serious double take, as I can assure you he does not have an aristocratic look or british appearance whatsoever in this film, but a gorgeously lethal american air to himself this time around. And boy did he play his part well as the fellow soldier of the Peterson family’s late son/brother, Caleb. He introduces himself as David, a recently released veteran visiting the family as a last wish to their son and his comrade in arms. His identity is verified through a photo sitting on the Peterson’s mantel of both he and their son in full military gear, proving that that knew each other. But how well did they really, or more importantly in what way?

Dan Stevens
The intent of his menacing stares are unclear upon his initial arrival, other than possible PTSD as so many soldiers are understandably prone towards. Which begs the question, why would someone let hospitality trump their own common sense when it comes to survival? Granted it would be impolite to call his superiors and verify his information with him in the room, but given that he is a trained killer it would be prudent to check him the fuck out before inviting him to stay with the whole family. This soldier definitely proves to have an admirable if not uncanny knack for survival. Given his condition which is definitely more than just pure combat memories, he does remain faithful to the family and does not intentionally harbor ill will towards them, just everyone else who disrespects them. One could say that he is just doing his utmost to be the perfect guest.

While entertaining and necessary for the conclusion of the character’s continuing story, the military’s attack or rather defense lacks some plausibility for the most part. When hellfire rains down upon a building in the form of bullets, any shooter worth his salt in ammo would understandably aim low at some point, as a man will surely crawl through hell and back to survive. But don’t fear moviegoers, I assure you I haven’t revealed any key plot points. To truly grasp the complexities of David (and he does that name justice as only Michelangelo could) one must obviously watch the film. His origin and conclusion are all revealed in a pleasurable showstopping showdown of a family trying to remember their lost loved one by engaging in the deadly acceptance of an essential stranger. I give this one four guns up.

Thursday, September 11, 2014



THE DROP is a new crime drama from MichaĆ«l R. Roskam, the Academy Award nominated director of BULLHEAD.  Based on a screenplay from Dennis Lehane (MYSTIC RIVER, GONE BABY GONE), THE DROP follows lonely bartender Bob Saginowski (Tom Hardy) through a covert scheme of funneling cash to local gangsters – “money drops” – in the underworld of Brooklyn bars.  Under the heavy hand of his employer and cousin Marv (James Gandolfini), Bob finds himself at the center of a robbery gone awry and entwined in an investigation that digs deep into the neighborhood’s past where friends, families, and foes all work together to make a living – no matter the cost.--- The Drop website

Cousin Marv
Rick - This movie pissed me off.  THE DROP does has some decent acting. Tom Hardy and Noomi Rapace are believable.  You will get tired of the halting speech patterns EVERYONE uses. It is almost like everybody had to think about what they were going to say. The performances cannot save this plodding uninteresting film.  Slow is not the word for this movie; tedious is more like it. None of the characters are likeable; the only exception is the pit bull Rocco.  Even this was ruined by the threat of impending doom that was a constant theme involving the cute puppy.

The trailer calls this movie a thriller. A thriller is a book, stage performance, or film with exhilarating intrigue. This movie has none of that. THE DROP is only 106 minutes long but it felt like an eternity.  We got to see people working in a bar. We experienced people walking the streets of Brooklyn.  We thrilled while people drank coffee in diners. We delighted in meaningless conversations. We amused while people went to mass. The only time things get interesting was near the end of the movie where the twist was and still we did not care. Even after the reveal the movie dragged on another ten minutes.

Gandolfini. This is a sad end to a story book career. His role is lost. I am not sure why he chose to do this movie. His acting is fine but there is no substance here for him to work with. Do not expect the strong Sopranos mobster here. Cousin Marv is the sad case of man that blinked, lost his manhood, and is haunted by what could have been.

I read some other reviews of this movie. There is a discussion going on that the subplot of the film is sin. Can sin be redeemed? Sin is a wicked act thought to be disobedience against heavenly rule. Maybe it is my secular beliefs but I do not see it. Just because Bob (Hardy) is a consistent church attendee we are to assume he is there to try to vindicate himself for past wrongdoings. There is no validation for this idea. You could just as easily say he goes to mass often because as a child he was brought up going to mass and it has become habit. Whatever the director’s point the church scenes are meaningless in more way than one.

Dolphin Tale 2 Will Delight Viewers


Cinema Abyss has a new reviewer and she is female! We are no longer a sausage fest. Her name is Taylor S. She will review the movies that Tony and I refuse to see. So expect more chick flicks, family films, and I have been told she loves Bollywood films. Oh Joy!--- Rick

By Taylor S. - Dolphin Tale 2 will delight viewers and animal lovers alike. This spectacular family friendly movie showcases the famous bottlenose dolphin named Winter. Winter first captured the hearts of Floridians after the 2011 movie Dolphin Tale. She has inspired aquatic enthusiasts with her ability to overcome her amputated condition. Winter swims with a prosthetic tail made to fit her like a glove. Simply stated, she is the dolphin that can. Alongside Winter continues the ongoing story of Hazel, Sawyer, and Rufus (the pesky pelican). Winter and her friends live at the Clearwater Marine Aquarium based in sunny Florida. Joining them in this real life sequel are new friends, Mandy the dolphin, Mavis the sea turtle, and Hope the baby dolphin.

Even if another female dolphin is accessible to the aquarium, how long can she remain? The purpose of the CMA is to rescue, rehab, and release healthy marine animals to their natural habitats. Winter is a special case as she cannot swim for prolonged periods without her manmade tail. The aquarium is a rehabilitation center after all, not a prison holding captive orcas or seals as seen in the 1992 movie Free Willy. This reviewer could not help but make connections to such a substandard marine creature ‘loving’ film. Willy was not rescued but imprisoned, and forced to perform shows. It was lackluster given the backdrop. The teenage angst and the owner’s murderous intentions only inspired anger. The exception was the conclusion of the film; when it was over… and of course when Willy was freed, hence the title.

This dolphin’s tale rings truer. It is an actual, humane version of events centering on a young boy named Sawyer. Sawyer had little interest in anything until he saw the potential in Winter, and then himself. Winter enabled Sawyer to teach and inspire others. Now the CMA staff must be on the lookout to rescue, as usual, a special friend for Winter. After your viewing of the film, be sure to check out Winter via webcam at

Friday, August 29, 2014


The Expendables

IN THE EXPENDABLES 3, Barney (Stallone), Christmas (Statham) and the rest of the team come face-to-face with Conrad Stonebanks (Gibson), who years ago co-founded The Expendables with Barney. Stonebanks subsequently became a ruthless arms trader and someone who Barney was forced to kill… or so he thought. Stonebanks, who eluded death once before, now is making it his mission to end The Expendables — but Barney has other plans. Barney decides that he has to fight old blood with new blood, and brings in a new era of Expendables team members, recruiting individuals who are younger, faster and more tech-savvy. The latest mission becomes a clash of classic old-school style versus high-tech expertise in the Expendables’ most personal battle yet. --- Lionsgate
Expendables in action

By Rick - THE EXPENDABLES 3 is another mindless shoot’em up fun movie. The third outing is 126 minutes of action, explosions and stunts. It has just enough story to keep you engaged but we all know this film is about one liners, guns, and hand to hand combat.
It was nice to see Wesley Snipes. He did his Japanese jujitsu instructor the late great Master Moses Powell justice in his fight scenes. Snipes tried his best to use THE EXPENDABLES 3 as his vehicle to bigger and better things. His gamble might just work.
The only weak moment in the movie was the introduction Luna played by Ronda Rousey. Trying to doll her up in a skin tight red dress and have her fight drunks in a bar was a terrible decision. You could tell that her martial arts experience and skills were nullified by her high heel shoes and short outfit. She looked awkward and they tried to hide it with bad camera angles and awful edits. She has true martial talent. They should have put her in regular bouncer gear and showcased her skills.
THE EXPENDABLES 3 is a entertaining movie. It dawned on me while watching the motion picture that THE EXPENDABLES is Sylvester Stallone’s CANNONBALL RUN. He is doing just what Burt Reynolds did back in the day and that is to get your friends together, have fun, and shoot a senseless movie.

By Tony - “Sly” Stallone is hands down the king of the sequels with his third installment of the Expendables. In “EXPENDABLES 3” the story continues to follow the plot of a true man’s film. The movie has explosions, fighting, guns and the hot chick played by none other than the attractive Ronda Rousey. I guess since they exploited Gina Carrano it was inevitable that Rousey would get a shot at showcasing her skills in a movie role. Ronda Rousey's presence on screen impressed. It was not over done with too many lines and she was set free to show what she could do with fight scenes later in the movie. I am in agreement with Rick about the first look at Rousey. Who thought that wearing a tight dress and high heels was a good idea. They were grasping at straws. Had they never has seen a female bouncer before? A woman in high heels bouncing is just silly. The movie didn't need it.
It was good to see Wesley Snipes and Antonio Banderas. Both men got a shot at keeping their careers afloat. Dolph Lundgren played a decent role, thankfully he did not have much to say. Yin Yang (Jet Li) was missed in the action but shows up later. Yang is now working with Trench (Arnold Schwarzenegger) because he pays better. This being a throwback to Expendables 2 where Yang complained the whole movie that he needed more money.
For a shoot em’ up flick this one is up there. I look forward to the next chapter in the Expendables Saga. I wonder what mission the team will take up next?

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Martial Thoughts: Review of Chocolate


Martial Thoughts: Review of Chocolate:   I had bought this movie about a week before I moved, and I just had the opportunity to watch it.  So even though this is a little bit ol...

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Thursday, July 24, 2014


Sword and Sandal

Before he was a legend, he was a man.
Fourteen hundred years BCE, a tormented soul walked the earth that was neither man nor god. Hercules was the powerful son of the god king Zeus, for this he received nothing but suffering his entire life. After twelve arduous labors and the loss of his family, this dark, world-weary soul turned his back on the gods finding his only solace in bloody battle. Over the years he warmed to the company of six similar souls, their only bond being their love of fighting and presence of death. These men and women never question where they go to fight or why or whom, just how much they will be paid. Now the King of Thrace has hired these mercenaries to train his men to become the greatest army of all time. It is time for this bunch of lost souls to finally have their eyes opened to how far they have fallen when they must train an army to become as ruthless and bloodthirsty as their reputation has become. Written by Radical Comics

By Rick - I have just gotten back from the sneak preview of HERCULES 2014.  I enjoyed this movie. It is pretty much a perfect summer film. This version of Hercules is based on the Radical Comics character from 2008-2009. Do not expect a Hercules you have seen before. This character is more of a barbarian style fighter. It never is clear if Hercules is a demigod or not. What is clear is that he is a mercenary that has created a legend around himself. He is a troubled soul that is running from the memory of the loss of his family. He is a sale sword that has surrounded himself with other brothers in arms. All who are broken in some way but have found comradeship and healing in this family unit.

This is a good sword and sandal flick. It reminded me of the Steve Reeves Hercules movies I used to watch with my dad back in the day. If you are a fan of this style of movie check this out and have a good time. See it in 3D HERCULES was the best 3D since Pompeii. 

Directed by Brett Ratner
Dwayne Johnson is Hercules  
John Hurt is Lord Cotys

By Tony -Back home, sitting down to put fingers to keys to let our faithful know about the new Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson's Hercules movie. This was not the telling of the mythical demi-god that most will be expecting. We were spared the long telling of his youth and the known twelve challenges he was tasked to do. Radical Comics spins a Conan The Barbarian tale of the mighty son of Zeus. They even going as far as, what looks to me like, giving Hercules a similar weapon as the one used by Conan. 
Click to buy

The film turned out to be a feel good, believe in yourself, overcoming your guilt movie.  The pep talks throughout the movie reminded me of my high school coaches. Their speeches told us that we could defeat any opposition that we faced. All through sheer will power. There were no bolts of lightning that charged our hero Hercules. Which left you wondering if he was even a demigod all. Instead, you are led to believe that a man could strengthen himself to the point where he can commit superhuman feats. He merely need believe the legend of his own deeds, then he can become the demi-god

I felt like I was watching the same cookie cutter plot from today's action movies. Films like "The Losers," and "The Expendables" franchise but, with a bit more story telling. This could be the feel good movie of the summer if enough of "The Rocks" fans go support his latest endeavor. Not bad for a kid from Miami. Watch this film in 3D as it was enjoyable and easy on the eyes.

Saturday, July 19, 2014


Martial Arts

By Rick - Back in March I did a Zatoichi Post. I concluded the piece saying I was looking forward to making my way through the blind swordsman movies. Zatoichi Meets the One-Armed Swordsman was one of these classics I could not wait to see.

This movie is a classic crossover between chambara and wuxia genres. Chambara movies are nontraditional samurai films. Wuxia movies are bloody martial arts anti-hero films. Put these two exploitation styles together and you have an action packed story of distrust, betrayal, and respect.

Yu Wang, who plays Wang Kong; The One Armed Swordsmen is in Japan. He is there to visit a friend at a Zen temple. While traveling across the country he befriends a family of Chinese street performers. They offer to guide him to his destination.  While on their pilgrimage the One- Armed Swordsman and the Chinese performers must make way for a procession of samurai and yakuza carrying the areas taxes to the shogun. During the march the Chinese family’s son loses control of a toy and runs into the street to capture the runway plaything. This action breaks Japanese societal protocol and the samurai in charge move to dispatch the young child. Wang Yu protects him which starts a traditional budo vs kung fu brawl.  He tells the boy to run and leads the enraged warriors in the other direction.

Zatoichi later comes across the Chinese boy and finding the child’s parents dead decides to be the boy’s protector until he can figure out what to do. While wandering Zatoichi hears of a massacre of peasants and the theft of the areas tribute by a Chinese rogue.  Soon, while taking refuge in a deserted shack Zatoichi and Wang Yu meet and a fragile trust is created.
The real story begins here. These two martial arts masters that cannot communicate must trust each other to protect an innocent child. While defending the boy they must contend with a group of gangsters, honorless samurai, and xenophobic Japanese.   

This is not the best Zatoichi movie but the fight scenes are some of the top battles in the franchise. Shintaro katsu stepped up his game in this feature. It must have been the influence of director Hsu Tseng-Hung that inspired these superb melees.

Zatoichi meets the One Armed Swordsman was produced by and stars Katsu Shintaroh as Zatoichi and Jimmy Wang Yu as Wang Gang the one armed Swordsman. 

By Tony - Zatoichi Meets the One Armed Swordsmen. As a bigger fan of the Chinese wuxia (swordplay) genre, I found this movie a bit bias. Being that it was a Zatoichi film says it all. At the start of the movie we find Yu Wang, who plays Wang Kong a.k.a. “The One Armed Swordsmen,” in Japan. He is on his way to visit a friend, a Zen priest.  The priest offered him a place to live where he could escape the fighting that took place in his home country.

Wang meets up with fellow countrymen who are street performers and they offer to show him how to get to the Zen temple. On the way they come across a group of Samurai. The son of the street performers chases his kite that has blown in front of the samurai. His mother ends up dead protecting him, as does his father for trying to save them both. Wang sees this and leaps to the aid of his countrymen. He hacks away at a few samurai before leading the rest on a chase that ends up in a 100 foot kung fu leap across a gorge to escape the samurai. Wang makes it to the temple but is later betrayed by his friend.

Enter Zatoichi. He comes across the dying Chinese father and his son. He finds out what happens from the boy and thinks that Wang had something to do with it. He finds out from a witness that it was not Wang but, the samurai who killed innocent people.

The closing fight of this film pits Wang and Zatoichi. They fight it out in what looks like a rock quarry. Two women who have fallen in love with them do nothing to stop it. Wang and Zatoichi battle and in the end Zatoichi delivers the final blow. Both regret their combat and blame their lack of linguistic comprehension for the duel.