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Some movies (Onk-bak; The Thai Warrior), Brotherhood of the Wolf, Shade,

April 3, 2009

The Thai Warrior

Ong-bak

 

Action packed thrill ride.

 

Tony Jaa plays Ting, a peaceful villager who is sent off to the big city to retrieve the village’s stolen religious relic, for without the religious relic, doom will befall the village. In the city Ting is out of place and he naturally gets into trouble, loses what little money he has and runs afoul of the bad guys who stole the relic. ong-bak-6Thankfully, a villager’s son lives in the city and is able to act as Ting’s reluctant guide. Fortunately for both Ting and his reluctant guide, Ting happens to be an expert martial artist and Muay Thai boxer.

 

The plot here is simple and predictable and the acting is just about passable, but neither of those are really important because this movie is a showcase for Tony Jaa and as such it’s a roaring success. The chase scenes and fight scenes here are top notch and Jaa shines throughout. Whether or not he’s gonna be the next Jet Li as some suggest, I don’t know, but I do know that Ong Bak: The Thai Warrior provides everything a fan of this genre is looking for. Best of all there’s no wirework here which is refreshing for a change.

 

This is an action packed thrill ride that never drags. Taking it for what it is, I rate this movie a 7 out of 10 and highly recommend it for fans of the genre and anyone else looking for a good, fun action movie.

 

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Brotherhood of the Wolf

Pacte des loups, Le

 

Beautifully filmed but boring and misses the mark.

 

What is it? Kung fun movie? Period piece? Action? Romance? Drama? Horror? Monster? Well, I guess it’s kinda all of those all mixed up into one really, really long movie that never seems to rise above being shallow. I didn’t totally dislike this movie, but they could have easily trimmed 45 minutes off of the 2 hours and 20 minutes and made it a lot more coherent and easier to sit through The story takes place in France in the mid 1700’s and is supposedly based on a real French legend. There’s this nasty beast terrorizing the villagers. Two men (a nobleman/explorer/taxidermist and his Native American sidekick) arrive to try and help capture the beast and then lots of different things happen – very slowly – and the story withers down into incoherence. Not a lot of character development here and what bothered me is the lack of a villain for the better part of the movie. The movie has minimal violence which I found surprising, but despite the lack of violence, there was a large amount of staged violence against animals here which did bother me and which I found completely unnecessary.

 

The movie is beautifully filmed and has beautiful sets and costumes and is brotherhood-of-the-wolfdripping with atmosphere and imagery and it’s all surrounded by lots of talking and lots of that Matrix-like stop-motion, slo-mo fighting. And yes, lots of talking. The beast, once revealed, moves like those old Ray Harryhausen stop motion creatures and the eventual pay-off for waiting so long for the beast, not to mention the plot, is sadly missing.

 

I rate this a 4 out of 10. It wasn’t all bad for me, but I could have turned the movie off with 10 minutes left to play and not had any thoughts about how it ended. I found my mind wandering at times thinking about if the movie would be better, or worse, with Chuck Norris, or Jean-Claude Van Damme in the title role. This was a movie with all the potential to be a great horror movie that pretty much missed the mark and failed, but it was very pretty to watch.

 

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Shade

 

All star cast in a fun crime/caper film.

 

Who’s running a scam and who’s conning who? Or is anyone running a scam and conning anyone? See the movie to find out. An all star cast hits the tables running in this crime/caper film and there’re enough questions, twists and red herrings to hold one’s interest through to the end.

 shade

Okay, so I don’t remember this one even playing in the theaters, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s a turkey, does it? I think this movie could have been a lot better than it was and I think where the movie ultimately fails is with the direction. I’m not sure the director really knew what type of movie he was making, but I’m not gonna criticize the movie from a technical standpoint because I think the movie was entertaining enough and if a movie is fun and you don’t fall asleep watching it, isn’t that a good thing? I’ve been burned on a lot of so-called “good” movies, but I have no regrets pulling this one off the shelf and giving it a chance. This isn’t The Sting or The Cincinnati Kid, but it’s more than fun enough to be entertaining for 90 minutes.

 

I rate this movie a 7 of 10 and recommend it to anyone.

 

© 2009 by Michael Fishman

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One Comment leave one →
  1. September 10, 2013 2:30 am

    I LOVE THIS

    Like

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