REVIEW: THE BREED (2001)

CAST

Adrian Paul (Highlander: The Series)
Bokeem Woodbine (Total Recall)
Bai Ling (The Crow)
Péter Halász (Sunshine)
James Booth (Zulu)
Ming Lo (Jarhead)
Reed Diamond (Dollhouse)
Zen Gesner (Shallow Hal)

hqdefaultIn an unidentified, vaguely totalitarian future, Detective Stephen Grant (Bokeem Woodbine) investigates a series of strange murders; his partner is killed by a pale man in black who can survive bullet wounds, tosses Grant through a window, and climb up walls like a reptile. After Grant reports the incident, his superiors introduce him to another officer, Aaron Gray (Adrian Paul). Grant learns that vampires exist—Gray is one of them—and plan to gradually integrate themselves with the rest of humanity. One of these vampires is responsible for the murders and the other vampires want to help catch the perpetrator. Aiding the officers is a female vampire named Lucy Westenra (played by Bai Lingsara-lance-white-canary-legends-of-tomorrowLucy Westenra and Detective Grant eventually become lovers and this complicates the lives of the police officer and the beautiful female vampire as later circumstances seem to implicate everyone’s hidden agenda, betrayal, and deception. All the various human and vampire characters seem to be up to something sneaky and questionable as the movie progresses. In absolute secrecy, humans have created a virus that is capable of killing only vampires while leaving humanity unharmed. The virus is made as a failsafe device, in case the plan to coexist between vampires and humans fails. Hidden in a veil of deceit, the elder vampire makes a cynical plan to eradicate humanity if they won’t take the cure made from vampire blood and become vampire themselves. The vampire leader believed that as long as humans and vampires remain separate races, there will always be conflict and warfare. He forces the creator of the vampire virus to alter the nature of the virus, making it deadly to humans and not to vampires. The virus creator, Dr. Fleming, doesn’t seem to need all that much coercion to make a human biological weapon, as he wanted immortality and the Elder vampire was all too happy to manipulate him. Dr. Fleming pulls a gun and tries to eliminate the police officers when they discover his collaboration with the vampire leader. The vampire leader kills Fleming to silence him when the plot starts to unravel.thebreed_stevenandaaronA renegade vampire resistance leader mistrusts human-vampire cooperation and would use any excuse to start his human-vampire war to determine who would control the world. On the government side, Seward also mistrusts coexistence and would later order government troops to set up an ambush to attack the vampire migrants, and the vampire police force escorting them. Only due to the trust between the human police officers and their vampire allies is the deadly virus plot brought to an end. The subplot of the vampire renegade leader and the overly zealous government agent Seward were also resolved without a bloody war. The high-ranking government director ordered Seward to stand down his troops. It’s also implied that the surviving vampire leadership reined in the wild vampire renegades with vampire police forces. Human Detective Grant and Vampire Officer Grey become permanent police partners at the end of the movie. Grant and Lucy Westenra seem to have become a romantic couple, and he even moves into her luxurious mansion.the-breed-2001-4-1A great twist on the vampire myth. Totally captivating. Dark but with a soulful story. Adrian Paul is wonderful. I recommend this film to all his fans.

REVIEW: BANGKOK BOUND (aka THE BAD PENNY)

CAST

Tom Arnold (True Lies)
Caset R. Evans (Hired Gun)
Bai Ling (The Crow)
Nick Faltas (The Kingdom)
Josh Randall (Quarry)
Lara Phillips (Road To Perdition)
Ilia Volok (Power Rangers Wild Force)

Six years ago Jack “The Ripper” Stemmons, an American boxer had his career destroyed by a St. Louis bookie. After Jack seeks revenge he is forced into hiding. Jack disappears half way around the world in Thailand. There he falls victim to the addictive spell of Bangkok’s exotic and dangerous underworld. Eventually he finds solace in the arms of a beautiful prostitute who has been set in his path by a Russian gangster in order to get Jack back in the ring, This time in Bangkok’s notorious underground fight clubs. No matter how hard Jack tries to distance himself from his past, it always hunts him down like a Bad Penny. When a mysterious fight fan appears, it’s only a matter of time before Jack’s past, present and future accelerate and collide into a twisted climax.So i just got done watching this flick . I think this was a straight 2 DVD flick . Nevertheless it was mildly entertaining and a good story enough to not get you bored . Also this is the directors first time directing a movie so i guess he managed to do a good job . The actors in the film do a good job in their roles and everyone did a decent job without over reacting . It’s one of those pass the time flick.

 

REVIEW: LORD OF THE ELVES

CAST

Bai Ling (The Breed)
Christopher Judge (Stargate SG.1)

dungeonsiegeboxartJoseph J. Lawson directs this fantasy action adventure starring Christopher Judge and Bai Ling. When a peaceful village of hobbits is raided by fearsome, dragon-riding cannibals known as the Java Men, youthful hobbit Goben (Sun Korng) is distressed to find that his mother is among those who have been kidnapped. With a band of fellow hobbit survivors he sets out to try and rescue his mother. However, pitted against such tough adversaries, Goben will surely be happy to receive assistance in his quest from the giant human Anthar (Judge). 4864487_l4Most of The Asylum movies are terrible, but I keep watching them because there is something compulsively entertaining in how bad they are that you have to keep watching. Lord of the Elves or Age of the Hobbits (as it was meant to be titled) is not particularly good as a movie, but Asylum have done far worse than this. The scenery is spectacular, some of the best of any movie to come out from Asylum, and the camera work is at least orchestrated competently. 8023853364_92ca18d74c_zChristopher Judge’s resonant voice and Shakespeare-like delivery of lines makes for a nicely enigmatic performance. Bai Ling, as beguiling as she looks, is too subdued however, and the rest of the cast are significantly hindered by the truly cheesy dubbing. The dubbing also makes the dialogue awkward and not very easy to understand. The special effects are a mixed bag, the giant spiders and lizards look good and are well above average for Asylum but the flying lizard-dragons and enormous rhino are less good, the rhino actually was rendered very badly. The story is thinly structured and unexciting, never really getting a chance to properly open up. The choreography for the fight sequences is lacking in tightness and the performing of it likewise. The music is on the generic side, the characters are rather cardboard and never really developed enough to make us care for them and the direction shows a director not putting enough of his own style into the movie, coming across as rather flat and characterless instead. To conclude, could have been much worse and has the scenery and Judge’s performance to thank for that, but while somewhat entertaining really rises above mediocre in my opinion.

 

 

REVIEW: CHAIN LETTER

CAST

Nikki Reed (Twilight)
Keith David (Pitch Black)
Brad Dourif (Child’s Play)
Betsy Russell (Saw III)
Cody Kasch (Asylum)
Michael J. Pagan (The Gospel)
Noah Segan (Cabin Fever 2)
Bai Ling (The Breed)

The film opens in a garage with an unconscious young woman having her head wrapped in duct tape and her legs chained to the back of two cars. A man and woman walk to their cars on their way to work. As the couple start their cars they exit the driveway. The woman in the car notices the victim, but as she exits her car to warn the man, he drives off. Neil Conners (Cody Kasch) receives a chain letter from an anonymous person telling him that he is the first person who links the chain, and instructing him to forward it to five people or else he will die. His sister Rachael (Cherilyn Wilson) forwards the letter, but to only four recipients. Neil then adds his sister to the list and sends it.

Rachael’s best friend, Jessica “Jessie” Campbell (Nikki Reed), gets the letter and forwards it to five friends. Johnny Jones (Matt Cohen) also receives it but refuses to send it, believing it to be ridiculous. While he is getting a drink of water at the fountain in the gym, a black hooded figure slams his head on the fountain, knocking two of his teeth out. Unconscious, he is chained by his arms to a gym set and has his ankles sliced open. After which the killer uses the chains to slice his face open, killing him. Jessie becomes suspicious as more people start to die. While taking a bath, Rachael becomes suspicious of a possible intruder inside the house. She investigates and is attacked by the killer who whips her with the chain several times as she runs through the house to escape. Re-entering the bathroom, she locks the door and looks for a weapon, pacing back and forth with a cistern lid, waiting for him to attack. She walks up to the door and places her face next to it, listening. Suddenly realizing the killer is on the other side doing exactly the same thing, she rapidly backs away. Seconds later, the killer breaks through a side wall into the room, hitting her on the top of her head with the lid, splitting it open.

Outside the house, Jessie is greeted by Detective Jim Crenshaw (Keith David), who tells her to forward the chain letter on to him. Jessie figures out they are being spied on using a virus embedded in the chain letter so meets with Neil, and Michael (Michael J. Pagan) planning to try to stop the murders. Later on, as more people send Neil the message, he panics and decides to delete all of them in order to confront the killer. The killer, however, is on the roof of Neil’s room, and sends a chain smashing through his ceiling. Neil dies as he gets dragged up to the roof of his house by chains with various sickles and a hook. It is revealed that the man behind all the killings was a soldier. During the war, he was tortured by the enemy because he had a government-issued cell phone. He returned to the United States severely disfigured and disappeared from a hospital, starting a cult of “anti-technology” followers marked by barcode tattoos. It is then revealed that the woman chained to the cars in the beginning of the film is Jessie, who is killed because she sent the chain letter to Detective Crenshaw without sending it to four other people. Michael tries to save her but is too late; when her father pulls out of the driveway, Jessie is ripped apart. As the film ends, Detective Crenshaw is shown chained to a table while the killer makes chains.Predictable some parts may be but with plenty of ‘jumps’ and with extended drawn out gory deaths it’s likely to please most slasher/gore fans and is never dull. Yes there are flaws, but what film in this genre doesn’t have them, it is after-all about entertainment and as such this merits.

REVIEW: THE CROW (1994)

CAST

Brandon Lee (Showdown In Little Tokyo)
Rochelle Davis (Hell House)
Ernie Hudson (Ghostbusters)
Michael Wincott (Alien: Resurrection)
Bai Ling (The Breed)
Sofia Shinas (Terminal Velocity)
Anna Levine (Unforgiven)
Michael Masse (The Amazing Spider-Man)
Tony Todd (Wishmaster)
Jon Polito (Miller’s Crossing)

On October 30, Devil’s Night in Detroit, Police Sergeant Albrecht (Ernie Hudson) is at the scene of a crime where Shelly Webster (Sofia Shinas) has been beaten and raped, and her fiancé Eric Draven (Brandon Lee) then died on the street outside, having been stabbed, shot, and thrown out of the window. The couple were to be married the following day, on Halloween. As he leaves for the hospital with Shelly, Albrecht meets a young girl, Sarah, who says that she is their friend, and that they take care of her. Albrecht tells her that Shelly is dying.

One year later, a crow taps on the grave stone of Eric Draven; Eric awakens and climbs out of his grave. Meanwhile, a low level street gang, headed by T-Bird (David Patrick Kelly), is setting fires in the city. Eric goes to his old apartment and finds it derelict. He has flashbacks to the murders, remembering that those responsible were T-Bird and his gang: Tin Tin, Funboy, and Skank. Eric soon discovers that any wounds he receives heal immediately. Guided by the crow, he sets out to avenge his and Shelly’s murders by killing the perpetrators.

The crow helps Eric locate Tin Tin; Eric kills him by stabbing him in each vital organ (in alphabetical order) with his own knives and then takes his coat. He then goes to the pawn shop where Tin Tin pawned Shelly’s engagement ring the year before. Eric forces the owner, Gideon, to return the ring. Eric then tosses rings telling Gideon each of them is a life, a life Gideon helped destroy. He lets Gideon live so that he can warn the others, but when Gideon calls Eric street grease, he says, “Is that gasoline I smell?”. Terrified, Gideon runs out and Eric blows up the shop, just as Gideon barely escapes. Eric finds Funboy getting high with Sarah’s drug-addict mother, Darla. After killing Funboy with an overdose of morphine, Eric talks to Darla, taking the drug out of her arm seemingly by magic and making her realize that Sarah needs her to be a good mother. He visits Albrecht, explaining who he is and why he is here. Albrecht tells him what he knows about Shelly’s death and that he watched as she suffered for thirty hours before dying. Eric touches Albrecht and receives from him the pain felt by Shelly during those hours. Sarah and her mother begin to repair their strained relationship. Sarah goes to Eric’s apartment and talks to him. She tells him that she misses him and Shelly. Eric explains that, even though they cannot be friends anymore, he still cares about her.

As T-Bird and Skank stop at a convenience store to pick up some supplies, Eric arrives and kidnaps T-Bird. Skank follows the pair to the docks and witnesses Eric kill T-Bird by tying him to the driver’s seat of his car and forcing him to drive it off the edge of the pier where it explodes and sinks into the harbour. Skank escapes and goes to Top Dollar, a top-level criminal who controls all the street gangs in the city. Top Dollar and his lover/half-sister Myca have become aware of Eric’s actions through various reports from witnesses. Top Dollar holds a meeting with his associates where they discuss new plans for their Devil’s Night criminal activities. Eric arrives looking for Skank. A gun fight ensures the deaths of nearly all present, and Eric kills Skank by throwing him out of a window. Top Dollar, Myca, and Grange, Top Dollar’s right-hand man, escape.

Eric, having finished his quest, returns to his grave. Sarah goes to say goodbye to him and he gives her Shelly’s engagement ring. She is abducted by Grange, who takes her into the church where Top Dollar and Myca are waiting. Through the crow, Eric realizes what has happened and goes to rescue her. Grange shoots the crow as it flies into the church, making Eric lose his invincibility. Myca grabs the wounded crow, intending to take its mystical power. Albrecht arrives, intending to pay his respects to Eric, just after Eric is shot and wounded. Top Dollar grabs Sarah and climbs the bell tower as a fight ensues, and Grange is killed by Albrecht. The crow escapes Myca’s grip, pecking her eyes out and sending her down the bell tower to her death. When Albrecht is wounded, Eric climbs to the roof of the church on his own. There, Top Dollar admits ultimate responsibility for what happened to Eric and Shelly. In their fight, Eric, despite being fatally stabbed in the back, gives Top Dollar the thirty hours of pain he absorbed from Albrecht; the sensation sends Top Dollar over the roof of the church to be impaled on the horns of a gargoyle. Sarah and Albrecht go to the hospital, and Eric is reunited with Shelley at their graves. Sarah ends the film with a narration: “If the people we love are stolen from us, the way to have them live on is to never stop loving them. Buildings burn, people die, but real love is forever.”Alex Proyas milks the plot for all its worth and places The Crow beyond an average thriller and into the realm of motion picture brilliance. A heart warming tale backed up with enough gore and action to keep hard core violence fanatics interested. This stands The Crow as a masterpiece of cinematic wizardry, that is sure to impress even the most critical of viewers.

REVIEW SKY CAPTAIN AND THE WORLD OF TOMORROW

CAST

Angelina Jolie (Tomb Raider)
Gwyneth Paltrow (Iron Man)
Jude Law (Spy)
Giovanni Ribisi (Ted)
Michael Gambon (Sleepy Hollow 1999)
Bai Ling (Southland Tales)
Omid Djalili (The Mummy)
In a technologically advanced 1939, the zeppelin Hindenburg III arrives in New York City, mooring atop the Empire State Building. Aboard the airship is Dr. Jorge Vargas (Julian Curry), a scientist who arranges for a package containing two vials to be delivered to Dr. Walter Jennings (Trevor Baxter). Moments later, as the courier looks back while leaving with the vials, Dr. Vargas is nowhere to be seen.
Polly Perkins (Gwyneth Paltrow), a newspaper reporter for The Chronicle, is looking into the disappearances of Vargas and five other renowned scientists. She receives a cryptic message telling her to go to Radio City Music Hall. Ignoring the warning of her editor, Mr. Paley (Michael Gambon), she meets Dr. Jennings during a showing of The Wizard of Oz. Dr Jennings tells Polly that Dr. Totenkopf is coming for him next. Suddenly, air raid sirens go off as giant, seemingly indestructible robots attack the city. Clearly outmatched, the police and other authorities call for “Sky Captain” Joe Sullivan (Jude Law). Joe commands a private air force based in New York State known as the Flying Legion.
Polly shows little regard for her personal safety as she photographs the action from the street. Meanwhile, Joe engages the robots with his highly modified Curtiss P-40 pursuit fighter and eventually manages to disable one robot. The rest of the robots leave soon after. News reports show similar attacks around the globe. The disabled robot is taken back to the Legion’s air base so that its science and technology expert, Dex (Giovanni Ribisi), can examine it. Polly follows, hoping to get information for her story. She and Joe are ex-lovers who broke up three years earlier in China, where Joe was serving with the Flying Tigers. Since it appears Polly has useful information, Joe reluctantly agrees to let her in on the investigation. Her lead takes them to the ransacked laboratory of Dr. Jennings, with the scientist himself near death. The mysterious female assailant (Bai Ling) escapes. Just before he dies, Jennings gives Polly the two vials from Vargas, and says they are crucial to Dr. Totenkopf’s plans. Polly hides the vials and withholds the information from Joe. They return to the Legion’s base just before it comes under attack from squadrons of ornithopter drones. Dex manages to track the origin of the robot control signal, but is then captured. However, he leaves behind a part of a map marking the location of Dr. Totenkopf’s base.
Joe and Polly find Dex’s map and fly to Nepal. Traveling into the Himalayas and Tibet, they discover an abandoned mining outpost and meet up with Joe’s old friend Kaji (Omid Djalili). Two guides who turn out to be working for Totenkopf force Polly to turn over the vials and then lock her and Joe in a room full of explosives. The guides light fuses to the dynamite but Joe and Polly narrowly escape and are knocked unconscious by the explosion, which also destroys most of Polly’s camera film. They wake up together in the mythical Shangri-La. The Tibetan-speaking monks there tell of Dr. Totenkopf’s enslavement of their people, forcing them to work in the uranium mines. Most were killed by the radiation, but the final survivor (who was suffering from radiation poisoning) provides a clue to where Dr. Totenkopf is hiding. This leads them to another of Joe’s ex-flames, Commander Franky Cook (Angelina Jolie), who commands a Royal Navy flying aircraft carrier with submarine aircraft.
Franky leads the attack on Dr. Totenkopf’s island lair while Joe and Polly enter through an underwater inlet. After surfacing, Polly notices that the reflection in the water of the identification number on Joe’s aircraft reads “Polly” when viewed upside-down. Joe and Polly find themselves on an island with dinosaur-like creatures, which Polly hesitates to photograph as she has only two shots left on her camera. They head to a mountain and find a secret underground facility, where robots are loading animals, as well as the mysterious vials, onto a large “Noah’s Ark” rocket. Joe and Polly are detected and nearly killed. Dex, piloting a flying barge, arrives in the nick of time with three of the missing scientists. Dex explains that Dr. Totenkopf has given up on humanity and seeks to start the world over again: the “World of Tomorrow”. The vials are genetic material for a male and female human: a new Adam and Eve.
As the group attempts to enter Dr. Totenkopf’s lair, one scientist is electrocuted to death and ends up as a skeleton by the defense system. A hologram of Dr. Totenkopf (Laurence Olivier) appears and speaks about his hate for humanity and his evil plans to rebuild it as a new master race. Dex disables the defenses and the group discovers Dr. Totenkopf’s mummified corpse inside with a scrap of paper reading “forgive me” still clutched in his hand. He had died 20 years prior, but his machines continued his plan. Joe decides to sabotage the rocket from the inside while the others escape. Polly tries to tag along, but Joe kisses her and then knocks her out. Polly recovers and follows Joe, arriving in time to save him from Dr. Jennings’ mysterious female assassin, who turns out to be a robot. Joe and Polly then manage to board the rocket. Before the rocket reaches 100 km, when its second stage is scheduled to fire and thereby incinerate the Earth, Polly pushes an emergency button that ejects all the animals in escape pods. Joe tries to disable the rocket only to be interrupted by the same robot. He jolts the robot with its electric weapon and then uses it on the controls, disabling the rocket. They use the last pod to save themselves as the rocket safely explodes.
Joe and Polly watch the animal pods splash down around their escape pod. Polly then uses the last shot on her camera to take a picture of Joe rather than the animal pods. Joe grins and says: “Polly—lens cap.”
One of the first movies to be shot completely via blue screen and a joy to behold on dvd. With a nod to german expressionism, the shadows and mise-en-scene of 30s/40s Hollywood film noir, and a plot reminiscent of the Flash Gordon/Buck Rodgers adventure serials this is terrific entertainment and a feast for the eyes.

REVIEW: SOUTHLAND TALES

CAST

Dwayne Johnson (G.I. Joe: Retaliation)
Seann William Scott (American Pie)
Sarah Michelle Gellar (Ringer)
Mandy Moore (Saved)
Justin Timberlake (The Social Network)
Miranda Richardson (Sleepy Hollow)
Wallace Shawn (The Princess Bride)
Bai Ling (The Breed)
Nora Dunn (Bones)
John Larroquette (Chuck)
Kevin Smith (Dogma)
Holmes Osborne (Donnie Darko)
Cheri Oteri (Scary Movie)
Jon Lovitz (The Simpsons)
Amy Poehler (Mr. Woodcock)
Curtis Armstrong (New Girl)
Beth Grant (Child’s Play 2)
Christopher Lambert (Highlander)
Will Sasso (Happy Gilmore)

On July 4th, 2005, in a fictionalized United States alternate history reality, two towns in Texas: El Paso and Abilene were destroyed by twin nuclear attacks that triggered a catastrophe of unimaginable proportions, sending America into a state of anarchy and hysteria, as well as a Third World War (a fictionalized perspective of what the War on Terror would’ve escalated to). The PATRIOT Act has extended authority to a new agency known as US-IDent, which keeps constant surveillance on citizens—even to the extent of censoring the Internet and requiring fingerprints to access computers and bank accounts. In response to the recent fuel shortage in the wake of global warfare, the German company Treer designs a generator of inexhaustible energy, which is propelled by the perpetual motion of ocean currents, called “Fluid Karma”. However, its inventor Baron von Westphalen and his associates are hiding the fact that the generators alter the ocean’s currents and cause the Earth to slow its rotation, and that the transmission of Fluid Karma to portable receivers (via quantum entanglement) is ripping holes in the fabric of space and time.
In near-future 2008, Los Angeles (referred to as “The Southlands” by locals) is a city on the brink of chaos overshadowed by the growth of the underground neo-Marxist organization. The film follows the criss-crossed destinies of Boxer Santaros (Dwayne Johnson), an action film actor stricken with amnesia; Krysta Now (Sarah Michelle Gellar), a psychic ex-porn star in the midst of creating a reality TV show; and twin brothers Roland and Ronald Taverner (both Seann William Scott), whose destinies become intertwined with that of all mankind. The Taverner twins are revealed to be the same person by the engineers of Treer, duplicated when Roland traveled through a rift in space-time, while Boxer has become the most wanted man in the world despite his political ties and his having the fate of the future, in the form of a prophetic screenplay foretelling the end of the world, in his hands.

Southland Tales is not for everybody and while some may find it pretentious, I personally found it extremely engaging and thought provoking and in my opinion is a misunderstood masterpiece