Matt got to see John Wick Chapter 3, and I’m envious.
So we’ve talked about John
Wick before, but with Chapter 3: Parabellum having just been released, we
figured it would be a good idea to revisit the franchise. Some spoilers will
For anyone that doesn’t know- John Wick, prior to the events of the first movie, was a retired assassin, the one you sent to kill other assassins in fact. Over the course of the films, he is brought back into the underworld of crime, only to find himself on the wrong side of well, just about everyone. The third movie picks up exactly with where the second one left off, with John tired and wounded, with an hour to go before an open bounty of fourteen million dollars is called. What with being in New York, people are coming out of the woodwork to collect.
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The Brotherhood of the Wolf (2001) is a French language ahistorical fantastic retelling of the legend of the Beast of Gévaudan. It is what happens when French moviemakers (director/co-writer Christophe Gans and story creator/co-writer Stéphane Cabel) emulate Chinese wuxia, Gothic Horror, and a touch of the American West as seen through the eyes of Sergio Leone. It’d be reductive to merely call it French wuxia, as I’ve seen it described online, since such description misses the presence of both the spaghetti-Western ironic aesthetic and also the distinctive flair of Horace Walpole’s The Castle of Otranto or Matthew Lewis’ The Monk. The convoluted overlapping plot threads of those stalwart Gothic novels is absolutely in play in Brotherhood, as are the shifting allegiances and dramatic irony of Leone’s The Man with No Name trilogy. Also, while there is definitely wire-work involved in the fight sequences, it’s not quite as over-the-top as
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Pulp Appeal: Kung-Fu Hustle
KUNG FU HUSTLE, directed, produced, written and starring Stephen Chow, is perhaps the most over-the-top, troperific, batshit insane kung fu movie to not strictly be a parody. It features dancing criminal gangs, old kung fu masters hiding out in slums, evil kung fu masters hanging out in insane asylums, musical assassins, over the top action, and even a sequence straight out of a Looney Tunes short.
Set in 1940s Shanghai, the city is controlled by gangs, none more feared than the notorious Axe Gang. Sing is a low-level crook trying to get in good with the gang, and through his attempts to get in good with the criminals, he ends up creating an escalating conflict between the Axe Gang and the impoverished residents of Pig Sty Alley… which just so happens to be the home of a number of powerful martial artists, not the least…
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“From days of long ago, from uncharted regions of the universe, comes a legend. The legend of Voltron, Defender of the Universe.”
As a kid growing up in the 1980s I was naturally attached to cartoons. That’s one of the defining characteristics of late Gen-Xers/early millenials (I’ve seen us referred to as a crossover generation, but isn’t everyone really?). For me, those cartoons were GI Joe, He-Man and the Masters of the Universe, and Voltron. I’m sure I’ll tackle the first two at some point in the future, but Voltron is at the forefront of my mind today because one of my best friends sent me a special birthday gift for my 40th birthday (May 4th): LEGO Voltron. (Thanks Kyle!)
Voltron is a mecha series of the…
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