Showing posts from July, 2020

Code 8 (2019)

Despite the fact that we are all supposed to be sitting on our couches watching Netflix, the sad truth has been there has been a drought of good material coming from the streaming giant.  There is the promise of upcoming seasons of series I watch, but as per their MO they have also been cancelling shows left and right, regardless of how popular they are.  It makes one almost reluctant to invest in any new show, knowing that it will probably disappear without a resolution, something even more frustrating than it used to be since everything has a story to it these days. One of the shows that I still don't understand the cancellation on was Travelers.  Like most Canadian science fiction it was produced there, by Canadian companies, with a sort of vagueness of location in order to also appeal to U.S. audiences.  SyFy also used to be the go-to for many of these series, and that channel has always had a bad habit of cancelling fan favorites; I'm surprised Killjoys actually got a prop

The Raid 2 (2014)

Gareth Evans came to Indonesia with a dream: make a documentary about pencak silat, the Indonesian national martial art.  A chance meeting with a practitioner of the art, Iko Uwais, led instead to the making of the action drama Merantau, whose moderate success led The Raid: Redemption , now considered one of the best action films made.  However, that was not the movie Evans wanted to make.  He had plans for an entire crime drama, involving action inside a prison, a major car chase and a number of outrageous action pieces.  Problem was, that stuff costs mony, and although Merantau did decently it still did not give Evans the budget to meet his ambitions.  Thus, instead of an involved crime film, we got enough plot to drive close to two hours of some of the greatest martial arts sequences seen on the big screen.   The fortunate result of the success of The Raid: Redemption  is that, with the The Raid 2 , Evans got to make the movie he wanted to make in the first place.  Watching the fist

Star Wars: Return of the Jedi (1983)

With all the prequels and sequels now made, I doubt how many people today understand how final Return of the Jedi actually was.  For a large part of my generation is a major even and, since we were in that grey preteen area, it also marked a point where we were growing out the toys, unless that was specifically where our interest would someday lie in collecting.  I, for one, had all the action figures (except for that weird Snaggletooth one that came with the Cantina set from Sears), and were buying figured from Jedi before I even saw the movie. Honestly, it was some time before I saw the movie as well.  Things were not that good for a lot of families in 1983, particularly if the breadwinner worked in the steel industry.  Things had changed drastically.  Three years prior my parents made sure they took me to the best theater in town, Cine Capri, which had a giant, curved screen and was perfect from the 70 millimeter first run of The Empire Strikes Back .  This time around I got the nov

Die Another Day (2002)

At the time I am writing this there is some concern for the upcoming Bond film, No Time to Die , and whether some of the story decisions may end up killing off the series.  Truth is, if that was the case, the James Bond series should have been dead years ago, during the Roger Moore era.  Both Moonraker and Octopussy did their best to turn Bond either into a comic book superhero or (literally) a clown.  Then, of course, there was the last film during Pierce Brosnan's tenure in the lead role: Die Another Day. While Brosnan gets some derision as one of the worst Bonds, truth is he played the role well.  The problem was the movies themselves.  GoldenEye  was fine, but Tomorrow Never Dies suffered from a convoluted story while The World Is Not Enough suffered from Denise Richards.  For me, I find a lot to enjoy in all three of those films, as they all have some grand stunt sequences and good performances from most of the main cast, and with a few exceptions I enjoy them more than mo