Some day, I’m going to not lag behind in these things. But that some day is not this day, and so let’s play a bit of catch-up with recent reviews.
|Extraordinary Adventures of Adele Blanc-Sec
Adele Blanc-sec is highly enjoyable adventure cinema, and if you’re a fan of any of the other titles mentioned in the review, specifically Tintin(either in print or film), the Sherlock Holmes movies, the Amelia Peabody Mysteries, or The Parasol Protectorate books, then you are going to find yourself comfortably at home with Adele Blanc-sec’s loony blend of action, archaeology, supernatural beasties, whimsy, and gentleman mummies with proper manners. I hope Besson gets another movie in the series made, even if he’s only producing. There’s too much left untapped and this one was too fun to just let it be.
I was quite looking forward to Lady Dragon. For one thing it has the remarkable Richard Norton, who has traded blows with Jackie Chan and Sammo Hung on a few memorable occasions, as the bad guy. For another the film seems to be quite popular with other Cynthia Rothrock fans. On top of that the other three Cynthia movies I’d reviewed so far had lulled me into a false sense of security by all being enjoyably cheesy. Little did I know that a scant 90 minutes after popping this DVD in, I’d feel so soiled as to be contemplating a two-day shower. In battery acid.
Ultimately anyone who likes action should come away from this movie with a big grin plastered across their face, before they rewind it to watch those jaw-dropping fight scenes again and again. It’s been a long time since a Hollywood studio managed to release anything as entertaining as Steve Wang‘s little movie, and given that the world is kung fu mad right now this is the perfect time to see it. I guarantee it’s a Drive you won’t regret taking. And yes, I know I deserve to be punished for that final pun…
Hero Dream is one of the sleazier Cat III action films. In fact, it’s so sleazy and so packed with full frontal nudity and cameras lingering on female pubic hair that it seems almost illegal for it not to have at least co-starred Charlie Cho. Cho must have been busy making twenty other sex films the week Hero Dreamwas made — provided they bothered to take an entire week to film Hero Dream. If they did, it certainly doesn’t show. There seems to have been absolutely no effort at all to come up with a script, giving the movie a very prevalent “we’re just making up scenes as we go until we hit the 85 minute mark.” What effort did go into the movie was spent almost entirely on making it as dense with nudity as possible, with a small bit of effort reserved for finding the absolutely most atrocious shirts and ties for Chin Kar-lok.
|The Warrior & The Sorceress
It’s a shame that the material can’t live up to the cast; for a movie that runs only 77 minutes, so much filler and repetition really isn’t a good idea. A couple of the fight scenes are OK — Anthony De Longis knows his stuff, sure enough — but the best one is at the end of the movie by which time I was struggling to stay awake. The whole thing is too generic and too dull to linger much in the memory, and probably only merits interest because Carradine is the star rather than Rick Hill, Pietro Torrisi, Miles O’Keefe or whoever. Of all the Conan rip-offs, this… is one.
|China O’Brien 2
I still remember my first exposure to China O’Brien 2. It was in the form of a trailer on the rental tape ofChina O’Brien that played right after the movie ended. “Hmm,” my teenage mind reflected, “it looks exactly the same as the one we just watched.” And that was that. Despite my freakish and possibly legally actionable obsession with Cynthia Rothrock, I’d never actually seen the sequel until a couple of days ago. And though my intellect has been transformed over the years by intense studies of art, literature, science and Internet porn, my naive observation back in the early 90s turned out to be spot on.