Reviewed by Allison Holloway
Directed by Paul Hunter
Starring Chow Yun-Fat, Seann William Scott, Jamie King, Karel Roden, Victoria Smurfit and a bunch of Nazis dressed as the CIA.
BMM Keywords: Senseless waste of solid potential, shameless bandwagon-jumping, predictable.
(This is mostly the IMDb summary, with my interjections.) For 60 years a mysterious monk with no name has zigzagged the globe to protect an ancient scroll - a scroll that holds the key to unlimited power (the previous monk says only those truly enlightened can read it, but I find that dubious for reasons in the "what's up with" section). Now the monk must look for a new scrollkeeper (or "Chosen One"). Kar is an unlikely candidate, a streetwise young man whose only interest is himself. But when he inadvertently (well, completely on purpose, but that's kind of like inadvertently) saves the Bulletproof Monk from capture, the two become partners in a scheme to save the world from the scroll's most avid pursuer. Packed with spectacular special effects (not really either "packed" or "spectacular" but I think you're required to say that about any movie with any special effects at all) and martial arts action, the monk, Kar, and a sexy Russian mob princess called Bad Girl (her name's Jade, but her "street name" is Bad Girl - yet she's all keen on earning respect for herself. I find that weird) must struggle to find, face, and fight the ultimate enemy (who are, unsurprisingly, Nazis).
It's full of stuff that's been done to death. Nazis, blonde ice-princesses with unplaceable accents, rich girls who take it to the streets to keep it real, that bendy dodging from the Matrix...you get the picture. Plus, while it rips off various decent-to-good movies like Indiana Jones, Star Trek II and The Golden Child, it manages not to be good itself.
Admittedly, there are some funny parts.
Not terrible, just disappointing.
The monk breaks into Kar's apartment above the Golden Palace Kung-Fu Theatre and eats some Coco Puffs. Kar tries to kick him out, but the monk dodges him both without spilling his cereal and while spouting some Zen claptrap.
Production values: Decent, but nothing new.5
Dialogue and performances: Chow Yun-Fat is his cool but monotone self, Seann William Scott is his ugly but funny self, and Jamie King...is pretty...10
Plot and execution: There's so much more that could have been done with this idea, but what they did was okay.11
Randomness: Most of it has to do with the Nazis, but there are a lot of them.13
Waste of potential:Yes.17
Reviewed by Allison Holloway
"Caution: Dangerous Curves Ahead."
Directed by David Mirkin
Starring Sigourney Weaver's breasts, Jennifer Love Hewitt's breasts, Ray Liotta, Jason Lee, Gene Hackman
BMM Keywords: So bad it hurts, boring, gratuitous sexuality, laughable sexual stereotypes.
Max (Sigourney Weaver) and Page (Jennifer Love Hewitt) are mother and daughter con artists. Max marries rich men, Page seduces them, and they split the divorce settlements. Hijinks ensue.
It's highly unfunny. Everyone is extraordinarily stupid. All of the men think with their pants. In short, it makes me want to stab people.
Nothing. I suppose Jason Lee is okay, but that's really it, and it's not a lot.
Did I mention it made me want to stab things? Because it did.
There's a song (Aguas de Marco) I like on the soundtrack.
Production values: Fine.5
Dialogue and performances: Pathetic, with a few exceptions.19
Plot and execution: Stupid, stupid, stupid.20
Randomness: The whole movie is pretty random.15
Waste of potential: I suppose I shouldn't have expected Schindler's List, but Jesus.15
Reviewed by James Holloway
"Silent. Invisible. Invincible. He's in town with a few days to kill."
Directed by Stephen Hopkins
Starring Danny Glover, Bill Paxton, Gary Busey, Ruben Blades and Maria Conchita Alonso
BMM Keywords: Egregious violence and gore, Pitiful attempts at cool, Laughable racial stereotypes
Sequel to John McTiernan's 1987 Schwarzenegger vehicle, this time with the action set in a near-future Los Angeles just jam packed with violent criminals. Danny Glover is a cop on the edge who becomes involved in a series of mysterious murders by a killer with apparently superhuman agility. He and his squad (Paxton, Blades, Alonso) investigate over the objections of mysterious Federal agent Keyes (Busey). Of course, the killer turns out to be everyone's favorite interplanetary big game hunter, and as you might expect Glover has to go mano a mano with it through the back streets and across the rooftops of Los Angeles.
The big thing that stands out about Predator 2 is the absurd depiction of crime-riddled Los Angeles. This kind of thing was everywhere in the early 90s, so I guess it's not alone, but there certainly are a lot of colorfully-dressed theme criminals. Danny Glover basically plays Mel Gibson's character from Lethal Weapon, only without the gentle humor. Everything is incredibly over the top -- the bad guys are wicked, the violence is ludicrous, and if there are some gaping plot holes, what the hell. Morton Downey Jr. is particularly irritating, playing -- well, OK, playing an irritating TV show host. So I guess that's reasonable.
It's pretty good, frankly. A superb popcorn movie, with lots of quotable lines, explosions, and eccentric characters.
Danny Glover is so desperate to find out what's going on that he agrees to meet with voodoo drug lord King Willy. King Willy's guys come to pick him up in a huge Cadillac with a zebra-stripe paint job. They open the door, letting out a blast of music and a huge cloud of smoke, and one of them offers him a giant spliff: "'ave some ganja, mon. Ha ha ha!" As they leave, Bill Paxton runs after the limo trying to get down the license number. So that, you know, in future he can tell which zebra-striped weedmobile belongs to King Willy.
The conversation with King Willy, a wizened old incomprehensible-mystic type with a cool outfit and a swordstick, is pretty dope too.
Production values: Not bad. Predator is nice, and you get plenty of explosion. 5
Dialogue and performances: About like you'd expect. Nothing too inspired. 10
Plot and execution: The weakest point. "Ripped from the headlines" of right-wing scare-papers of the period. 15
Randomness: The last one was in a jungle, this one is in the urban jungle. Makes sense to me. 8
Waste of potential: Actually somewhat better than the first one, in that it has an actor in it. Could have cleaned up the sloppy mistakes, though. 8