Wednesday, April 30, 2008

The Forbidden Kingdom - Movie Review

Jackie Chan and Jet Li get together for the first time in the new Fantasy/Martial arts film The Forbidden Kingdom. The story is filled with loads of acrobatic fight scenes and some great Yuen Woo Ping action setups.

This is a story of a teenage boy named Jason(Michael Angarano), who loves kung fu movies and has a favorite stop in China town to get his fix. He wanders off into a back room of the shop and sees this staff that legend tells belongs to The Monkey King and will be returned to him by the chosen one. The story goes from the shop to fantasy land and tells the tale of how Jason needs to return the staff and save the kingdom by releasing The Monkey King.

I thought that it was a pretty good story and had some great action scenes. There was a few really good ones that took place between Jackie Chan and Jet Li in the middle of it. It's always great to have Woo Ping as the stunf coordinator. He has done some great work in the past.

If you haven't seen many of these types of films, the typical suggestions in the American collections would be Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon, Hero & House of Flying Daggers. I would suggest a couple other pretty cool epic Asian films like Seven Swords, Legend of Zu, Curse of the Golden Flower & Iron Monkey. Now let's not forget the classic Bulletproof Monk as a good one to see as well.

If you like cool action fight scenes, I would add some Tony Jaa films like Ong Bak and The Protector. It's even better if you can get the Asian copies with English Subtitles because they translated it different that the US released version. Some of the translations are just funny.

Forbidden Kingdom was actually written John Fusco(Hildalgo) and directed by Rob Minkoff (The Haunted Mansion), which is a combination I wouldn't have picked to do such a good job with this one. I would certainly recommend seeing this one.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Battlestar Galactica - He That Believeth In Me S04E01 Review

Season 4 starts off with a bang. Ending where they left off as the Cylons attack and Starbuck appears out of the clouds and says that she has found Earth and knows the way. Gaius Baltar gets taken in by a looney group and we find out who four of the five cylons are. we now know that Tigh, Tory, Tyrol and Anders are the first 4.

So starting it off with Starbuck coming back and meeting up with Lee, then the cut to the scene where Colonel Tigh shoots Adama in the head and then we realize he's having a dream and it really doesn't happen. From there we have Anders off in space and he comes face to face with a Cylon and it does something to turn his cylon powers on. The Cylons all leave and we deal with the story of Starbuck, Earth and the rest.

I thought it was a pretty good start to the season. The action sequences at the start were great. I hope they don't blow the budget and not have the opportunity to do more. They need this season to go out with a big ending and also the possibility of movies or other options in the future. Not sure that will happen, but can only hope they will find a way to continue.

I think the whole Gaius Baltar story was rather lame during the show. They are making him out to be some sort of false god to these people. Maybe they will hang him from a cross by the end of the season. They really need to move that story in a different direction or just send him out one of the airlocks and say goodbye.

The Starbuck story could turn out to be interesting. She thinks she's been gone for 6 hours and it's been several months. Lee saw her blow up, so what's up? Her Viper is not the original one she left with so there's something a little fishy going on - could she be the last Cylon? Hmmmmmmmm.

Now as far as the 4 cylons go, as much as they plan to fight what they really are, there's no way they will ever stop from doing what they are programmed to do. so Anders got zapped/programmed by the ship. So we will have to see what happens next, will the 4 of them turn or kill each other. We will have to watch and see.

Great first episode of the season and we have more to look forward to. Tune in Fridays on Sci Fi to see the latest episodes.

Don't forget that on Friday 4/11 The Sarah Jane Adventures begin and on 4/18 it's season 4 of Doctor Who. both will be on Sci Fi this season.