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dnhoshor's reviews view profile

The Absent-Minded Professor Goes to China  
on September 15, 2004 - 5:22 AM PDT
  of Shaolin Soccer (2001)
4 out of 4 members found this review helpful

I really liked this movie! If you've seen the Flubber aided basketball sequence from "The Absent-Minded Professor", imagine a similar treatment of soccer by Kung-Fu stoked players. It's a good-natured comedy.

The Miramax DVD contains both the US dubbed version, and a longer Chinese version with subtitles. I watched both, and both have their strengths. I liked the expanded, glamor-girl treatment of Mui in the Chinese version. I also liked it that both versions provided translations of Chinese signs when those signs are necessary to advance the story. The U.S. version goes so far as to actually replace Chinese signs with English versions.

Shaolin Soccer is definitely worth renting.
Mandarin they live, Cantonese they die.  
on August 14, 2004 - 7:15 AM PDT
  of Righting Wrongs (1986)
1 out of 1 members found this review helpful

Righting wrongs features some pretty exciting fight scenes and stunts, but if you watch closely you'll see Cynthia Rothrock change genders several times! (The stunt double sequences would have been a lot less obvious if the stuntman had just worn a wig that matched Cythia Rothrock's sandy hair.)

The DVD has two sides, one in Mandarin, the other in Cantonese, and depending on which side you watch, the outcome of the film is entirely different! You won't mind watching the climaxes of each version, because the fight scenes are worth it.

Cool Bad Guy, Poor DVD Transfer  
on July 9, 2004 - 6:37 AM PDT
  of 18 Fatal Strikes (1981)
1 out of 1 members found this review helpful

The bad guy uses eagle claw kung-fu. His fighting is accompanied to the sound of flapping bird wings and Bruce Lee like vocalizations. His wierdest move is some sort of eagle stretching warm-up routine. The movie is pretty entertaining when the bad guy is fighting, but flags badly when we follow the story of the challengers, two girl chasing brothers,a shaolin monk they befriend, and a couple of kung-fu fighting girls.

The DVD transfer is done in full TV screen, but the movie was filmed in widescreen, and they made no attempt to pan the transfer to follow the action. They just transferred the stuff in the middle of the screen. It makes for some pretty disappointing and confusing action.

They never explain the 18 Fatal Strikes title. The monk does explain that there are eighteen styles of Wohan kung-fu, his fighting style, but that he knows only six. Maybe they multiplied his six styles by three (the monk and the two brothers) to come up with the eighteen fatal strikes, but that math doesn't work because one of the brothers was dead by the time of the big showdown fight. Go figure.
on June 26, 2004 - 6:55 AM PDT
  of Dark Victory (1939)
1 out of 1 members found this review helpful

Dark Victory is worth watching for the performance by Bette Davis, and the uncharacteristic performances by Ronald Reagan and Humphrey Bogart. Bette Davis smokes a carton of cigarttes and drinks a case or two of booze in the first hour-and-a-half of the movie. Following her brain surgery, she flits around wearing an assortment of what can only be described as brownie caps. In the final fifteen minutes of the movie, she loses the brownie caps, marries, and moves to Vermont with her brain surgeon husband. In typical Hollywood style, her vision fails in the final minutes of her life, she send her husband off to New York to a medical conference, she goes to bed and dies. The story is weak, but Bette Davis is a strong presence.
Must See Hokum  
on June 23, 2004 - 6:53 AM PDT
  of Bride of the Monster (1955)
1 out of 1 members found this review helpful

Hilariously bad movie is must see viewing. Unnatural dialogue, wooden acting, stock footage of an octopus, an alligator and an atomic explosion, add up to an entertaining hour and nine minutes of movie fun. The props are a hoot. The monster, a very phony looking octopus, is brought to life by actors who thrash about in its tentacles. The mad scientist's gear includes a metal mixing bowl with a couple of insulators and a chin strap that is part of his machine to make a race of super strong atomic men. Gigantic Lobo, Tor Johnson, survives pistol shots at point blank range without shedding a drop of blood. Bela Lugosi's performance is actually pretty good considering what he has to work with. I actually think he might have been enjoying it. If you like unintentionally bad movies, you'll love this one.
on June 16, 2004 - 8:54 AM PDT
  of The Incredible String Band: Be Glad For the Song Has No Ending (2002)
0 out of 1 members found this review helpful

You'll be fast forwarding through this one. Light of performance material, and heavy on a poor looking student film project.
Even After Fifty Years, It Holds Up Well   
on June 16, 2004 - 8:48 AM PDT
  of The Harder They Fall (1956)
1 out of 2 members found this review helpful

This boxing expose still holds up well after nearly fifty years. Humphrey Bogart is unemployed sports writer hired to promote no-talent, unknown boxer, Toro Moreno whose sole asset is his size. The mob, headed by Rod Steiger, wants to build up Toro reputation for a big match. It's a good movie.

My favorite prop is the "Toro-mobile", a bus with huge likenesses of the boxer attached to the sides. I think his head would have been knocked off by bridges and traffic lights.
What Are They Fighting For?  
on June 16, 2004 - 7:44 AM PDT
  of The Descendant of Wing Chun (1978)
2 out of 2 members found this review helpful

The story was totally muddled. I couldn't figure out what they were fighting about, but there was nearly nonstop fighting. There was a brief mention of some fighting nun, (Wing Chun?) but other than that, I have no idea of where they got the title.

My suggestion is to rent Wing Chun with Michelle Yeoh, a Kung Fu movie that has a plot.

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