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About TheGrimReaper

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    Buddhist Fist of Shaolin

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  1. TheGrimReaper

    Star Wars: The Force Awakens (2015)

    I've also revisited the rest 6 films from the franchise and I did tried a peculiar order found in some articles over the Net, which worked for me quite satisfying: IV -> V -> II -> III -> VI and afterwards I watched the Phantom Menace last as it was a spin-off about young Anakin Skywalker. It worked for me as a story arc developed in time and then some emotions from the original trilogy become much more strong and for me it was a whole new experience altogether. And I was showing this to a person which had never seen any of the movies and he was quite happy as well, acquainting himslef with the lore and the universe of Star Wars. Another fan for the franchise - mission accomplished. We then went together to see The Force Awakens and he is now looking for all data possible on next episodes and the spin-off titles in production I feel like Yoda, training padawans in becoming familiar with the Force - sounds interesting it is
  2. For me this fifth installment in the franchise is like Die Hard feat. John McClane... It was rushed, it was something not belonging with the rest of the movies from that production, I don't know that all the people involved in this abomination were thinking... I went to see it in the cinema and i was gravely disappointed. On trailer it seemed like a good movie, however in reality - no such thing, not even close. And now they are talking about a 6th one, please spare me...
  3. TheGrimReaper

    My collection

    That is up to date all available titles in my movie collection - it is pretty low in number, however each and everyone of these movies are dear to me in a certain way.
  4. TheGrimReaper

    Star Wars: The Force Awakens (2015)

    I've manage to see it twice already and here are my 50 cents about it: I grew up with the original trilogy and like the characters in it, the story and the possible paths which any of them could take in the future. I disliked the prequel trilogy, being too CGI for my personal taste and feeling lifeless and flat most of the time - only in Episode III I saw some sparks of greatness, bu they were drowned by the special effects and green screen stupidity... Having said that I liked the 7th part of the franchise, despite all the flaws and the fact that there were some recycled old ideas from previous movies, the newcomers did good, the old dogs were supporting them, Han Solo is Han Solo, Kylo Ren was somehow strange with particularly interesting anger management, it was good to see a refreshing blend of practcal and CGI effects, miniatures, real scale objects and living, breathing backgrounds, new story with new possibilities for our main characters, plenty of nostalgia and for me it was nice to revisit this galaxy far far away once more... I'm not here to act as white knight for the new movie, I'm just sharing my personal thoughts (completely subjective) on a film which I liked, however every movie released would have likes and dislikes and for some it might not be the Star Wars as we remember it, for others it would be a complete crap/rubbish, for third it might be an ok film, and for some peole like me it would be a well made film with the right tune towards the fans or anyone in the cinema watching it My personal score is 8/10 (and I'll be getting the Blu Ray as soon as it hits the online retailers)
  5. Just saw the full trailer - I really do not know what to think of it... And why oh wny they should speak English?!?!?!!?!? it is beyond comprehension indeed... I saw the fliyng again, some crap CGI (at the top of the pagoda), some uninteresting characters and no point at all... At least in the original there were strong story and decent characterisation, once I exclude the Chinese aviation squad. Maybe I'll see it for Donnie Yen/Michelle Yeoh collaboration, however I don't expect anything which could spark my personal attention.
  6. TheGrimReaper

    SPECTRE (James Bond - 2015)

    Well, I really have no idea where to start with describing what I saw in that film - if you have high hopes after Skyfall, forget it - Spectre holds the familiar formula from the franchise, however it was one of the most bland, blunt and uninspired presentations I've seen since Die another day with Pierce Brosnan. At first I have no clue who decide to put such horrible voice in the opening credits, the music composition may be spot on, the lyrics somewhat good, but this Sam I-forgot-his-surname is a pain in the ears in glorious 3D. The high notes were hurting my brain and that CGI octopus wasn't getting things right either. The film has good techical side - cinematography and locations were quite good, Bautista was decent combination between Oddjob and Red Grant, there is small touches all over the movie in homage to the old classics from the beginning of the Bond era, but the good for me ends here. The whole film looks bored and tired, Daniel Craig was like a flat wine in expensive wrapping (or bottle), both Monica and Lea were like cardboard characters - plain and colorless, not a hint of emotions, not a small amount of impulse, not even a touch of screen presence. Wasted potential of Waltz in the villain section, the action is not that exciting, some laughable scenes were scattered throughout the movie as if to make it entertaining - it is painful to watch them actually. For me this is the weakest Bond on Craig's side and one of the weakest in the whole franchise... Pity really as it could have been so much better... 5/10
  7. Saw it yesterday - well an illegal organ traffic organization to put as a center piece is not as good as the plot of the first SPL and it was relying on drama elements to gain extra points, while trying to compensate with martial arts scenes which were good in their own league, but sadly depending on wires to make the moves cool, but instead making it laughable. It had some moments to shine in fighting department and it is good to see Tony Jaa/Wu Jing as a team (which I find more good than the one in Skin Trade with chunky Dolf) against Max Zhang (which was the weak spot with all the wires). I was expecting a bit more form the overall tone of the movie and although it did touched some dark topics it was far from the suspense build up in the first SPL. It was more drama than police/crime thriller with some decent fight scenes thrown here and there. Nicky Li did not create something with a "wow" factor, he simply done some decent fights with wire flavor all over it - it did not bothered me much, but I think it could be a lot better. Still I have to agrre that it is better than Skin Trade and Wolf Warrior.
  8. TheGrimReaper

    Police Story (1985: Jackie Chan: Hong Kong)

    Jackie made "Police Story" a brilliant effort to showcase his stunt work and to make the audience go "Wow!" in a painful way I have the Fortune Star release of the whole trilogy and although on DVD I have no remarks towards the quality of the print - they all look quite good for today's standard in the world of Blu Ray and UHD TV. Will probably upgrade them in the distant future, but now I'm quite happy with what I've got.
  9. TheGrimReaper

    WELCOME BACK! Questions & Answers Thread

    The Grim Reaper reporting for duty it is good to be back in that community and I wish all of us plenty of splendid kunf fu topics ahead!!! Over and out.
  10. I revisit both movies on Blu Ray last night - I wait until I got them both in my hands to have a quality time after a stressful day at work - aside from a bit dodgy picture on the first one, all else was simply a symphony of punches and kicks with great impact over my martial arts movies fan living inside me Now that I begun to re-shape my DVD collection into a Blu Ray I rediscover so many different angles to a movies I saw already nearly hundreds of times (after the 65th time of watching Project A I lost count) that I enjoy myself immencely while viewing a familiar scene after familiar scene and I simply can't take my eyes off the screen. I got the UK release of both The Raid movies and I am glad that I add them to my collection which is growing bigger and better (once I have some spare time I'll update my album here). All the best
  11. TheGrimReaper

    Dragon Blade (2014)

    I saw it few days ago and I thought it was worse than most recent films from Jackie - everything was a bit forced to me - the forced drama, the forced comedy (at times), the forced musical contest (damn I felt like I was on the Eurovison musical contest), the forsed epic scale (although the whole set was looking kinda flat and lifeless - only desert and sand and a bit of blood - Cusack and Brody were trying to give their characters something more, but thay failed - at the end fight as I was looking at some cheap rip-off of Gladiator, at any time I expect Jackie to shout: Are you not entertained!?!?!? The fight/sword choreography was nothing special, seen such many times in different movies, Jackie tried to express some leadership and to unite tribes in the middle of nowhere, protecting the Silk Road... Pathetic and quite washed out product, with mediocre choreography and weak characters. It was like some strange movie experiment for Jackie, but he better stick to what he was known for, although he is not in his prime anymore, if he can deliver good choreography in Chinese Zodiac and good sense of drama in Shinjuku Incident and even in Karate Kid, he could have make it better in Dragon Blade but alas... And why the hell there were no Outtakes ant the end???
  12. What can I say about that movie... I saw it yesterday as part of my regular movie marathon during my off days and overall i was not impressed, sure there was some moments of sunshine in cinematography and design, but in martial arts department it was quite plain and flat, despite some slow-mo thrown in to emphasise the action and the general "power" within WFH. But that main character lacks the quilities that made other portrayals of the master in the likes of Jet Li, Hwan Tak Hing and some others. It's just that Eddie Peng wasn't very convincing in the martial arts section IMO. he was trying to be righteous, full of moral principels and all, but it was just like a patch to the whole martial arts picture. At some point when the love romance kicked in I got bit bored and the final fight was (putting it midly) a CGI/wire mess... It is ok for one viewing, but I won't repeat the process... Once upon a time in Shanghai, Kung fu jungle and even not so famous Brotherhood of Blades were far more interesting to watch and had more entertaining value for me 3/10 for the effort or revitalizing the legend and because of the end credits song - it is catchy
  13. TheGrimReaper

    What are your latest DVD/Blu-ray purchases?

    Mainly Blu-Rays recently - Planet Earth Special Edition, Jerry Bruckheimer Action Collection, Lethal Weapon collection, Stallone action collection, Star Wars boxset, Indiana Jones boxset, Fascination Coral Reef, Tha Raid, Expendables Director's cut, Expendables 2, Evil Dead Trilogy, Harry Potter boxset, Red Cliff Special Edition. Dispatched and waiting to arrive: X-Men Adamantium Collection, The Predator ultimate hunter edition & I, Robot. For next month I would come with different titles for my collection
  14. I would always appreciate a nicely choreographed fight, where it shouldn't be violent, but rahter depicting the qualities of both fighters in a way that complements their primary motivation and strive for victory. The alley fight in SPL was brutal, but executed brilliantly, of course even in the martial arts genre any movie should have at least a basic plot, not just slapping together some big action clips and wait for a positive result. Ip Man was also good in terms of good choreography and good pacing of a movie itself, while House of fury was just a cartoonish attempt to enhance the fight scenes - it didn't work for me altthough there were some nice moves at the end. A good choreography requires perfect timing between the performers, and I love long end fights, that's why I consider The Five Superfighters, Magnificent Butcher & Knockabout a great examples for long well staged end fights where I can cheer for the good guy and curse when the bad guy takes the upper hand. Pedicab Driver had some amazing choreography both flawless and violent, where Drunken Master 2 had the chrarisma of old school movies, wihtout getting over the edge of brutality. The Raid is for me one of the best movies in the past 10 years, for sheer glorification of brutal fights, vombined with electrifying choreography, I seldom see such performances on screen. the same goes for the first Ong Bak and Chocolate - although both of them deliver strong on the fight side and great stunt work, it lacks the story narrative and it fails in character development IMO. Most of the great movies from late 80's and 90's (until the domination of wuxia pien subgenre) had outstanding choreography, which at some times was in the verge of become a violent display of power - both Tiger Cage movies, In the line of duty 4, Righting Wrongs is also up there. Sometimes the graphic nature of any fighting scene can put me off somehow, especially when executed poorly or over exposing the emotions and moves in it. I wouldn't mind a bit of blood spilled here and there, but not as the likes of Ninja Assassin where even the smallest cut produced gallons of blood gushing out of everywhere - it just gets too ridiculous at one point. I always consider a martial arts scene as a clash between two personalities, with their emotions and skills, each of them is fighting for something he believes into, so blindly that he won't stop at anything until the final goal is reach. The impact of two people preparing to fight is even better on screen when I find myself to actually give a damn about fighters as human beings, as two opposing forces ready to collide. Great topic and I apologize for being a bit detailed in my post, but my love towards martial arts movies is something which I would like to express and here I know I would be understood Greetings
  15. Due to my enormous lazy mode I was unable to keep my blog with some new articles, so I do apologize for this delay. More to come - as I know myself pretty well Anyway, after a bit of thinking (as my little brain is limited) I decide to share my opinion on one of the finest martial arts movie example from the 80's starring Yuen Biao, Cynthia Rothrock, Melvin Wong and Fan Siu Wong (Ip Man 1 & 2, Legend is born: Ip Man), under the direction of Corey Yuen, who shows an eye for a detailed fights and not too complicated plots. In brief - Yuen Biao plays a lawyer, who decides to go to Rage mode, killing some of the local mafia bosses in an impulse reaction towards the disorder in law and court systems. However, his exploits caught the attention of one foreign police inspector (Rothrock), which goes on investigating the leads to all the murders. Soon, a few more characters appear in the picture as one skilful assassin, corrupted superintendant and kid thief with valuable eye witness testaments - all of them in between wonderful displays of martial arts choreography. Which is something to watch and behold - Yuen Biao in his prime and he shows amazing array of abilities upon his opponents and even he takes on Rothrock 1on1 in a short, but powerful match. It is an interesting combination between Asian and foreign nationalities, each with its unique style and skills. Yuen Biao is one of the martial arts choreographer and it shows his presence on screen - diverse fights, good vs. bad, and many more fractions of pure martial arts genius, completed with awesome stunts, some of them I do believe, were made by Biao himself. Pay attention to the first fight of Cythnia Rothrock in the gambling hall - on few occasions for a split second you could see Yuen Biao's face as doubling Rothrock on most of the jumps and kicks. It was really funny to see Biao in a skirt - although yellow isn't his colour. I'm not sure what exactly Corey Yuen was trying to build in this movie, however it was a good idea to include non-asian actors on the scene - it adds more flavor to the action and you are not seeing the same faces all the time. However, all fights were done in a detailed and crisp manner, utilizing lots of angles and shots, which helps the viewer to get involved in the fight itself - at least for me it was such emotion. Although the short fight between Karen Shepherd and Cynthia is extensively doubled on most occasions it doesn't ruin the scene, and it shows some nice moves from both of the actresses - which have passed their prime some time ago. The movie was following its pace with a slight twist, which was bit refreshing - not every time the bad guy is revealed at the beginning - and there were so many changes in the teams that I lost count at one point. Fan Siu Wong is making a nice cameo as thief, but also he becomes a valuable witness and target of course - it's the moment when Cynthia Rothrock teams up with Yuen Biao to bring justice and peace. Interesting cause, but it appears that she have found her match in Melvin Wong's hands (or to be more precise - items) and then it's up to the brave little lawyer to save the day And he does it in quite spectacular way - the final fight scene is fast, brutal and shows the remarkable abilities of Yuen Biao as the perfect acrobat-kicker. Not like Hwang Jang Lee, but something which is very close to marvel and it is a real pleasure to watch - as fan I was thrilled when seeing for the first time this movie and it went straight away to my Top 20 list of the greatest martial arts movies of all time. On the downside - some of the characters were not so deeply developed - Bad Egg and his father, even the bad guy was somehow put there without some strong reason, he was just killing everybody, the foreign fighter (Peter Cunningham) was just thrown in for an extra flavor, but it was too pale and plain - he could be used in more scenes, not just he usual fight and die example. Well, I know that the main stars are Biao & Rothrock, but it won't harm anyone if a bit of development was put into other characters as well - it would make the movie much interesting, despite the cliche plot. It is a little complaint, when I'm looking at the big picture, but that's what I saw as flaws there - even the perfect movie can be dodgy on some moments. As for the different endings - the righteous one is more realistic though, making Biao to pay for his crimes and Rothrock alive, but I found the one where all characters are dead to be more up to my taste - more gritty and dark and it was in the entire tone of the movie also - as I watched "On the Run" with fight sequences - Yuen Biao is not as dramatic as in that movie, but it certainly shows all different emotions, which can't be left unnoticed. As for my last words - a solid movie with great fighting scenes and nice pair of main characters, if you decide to add it to your collection, look for the Fortune Star remastered version, alongside DTS track and clean up image of this movie, the previous Universe Laser edition was having problems like scratches, interlacing and crappy sound, something which doesn't impressed me at all. So, my final word is purely subjective (again) and it is: 9.5/10 - close to perfection http://www.martialartsmoviesstation.blogspot.com/2011/03/righting-wrongs-yuen-biao-at-its-finest.html