Big Trouble in Little China (1986)

Big Trouble in Little China
Director: John Carpenter
Writer: Gary Goldman, David Z. Weinstein, W.D. Richter
Cast: Kurt Russell, Kim Cattrall, Dennis Dun, James Hong, Victor WongSuzee Pai
Seen on: 21.5.2016

Plot:
Jack (Kurt Russell) and Wang (Dennis Dun) might be different, but they’re friends. And when Wang’s fiancée Miao Yin (Suzee Pai) is supposed to finally arrive in the USA, they go to the airport together to collect her. But while they wait for her, they witness an attempted abduction of another Chinese woman who is there to be collected by Gracie (Kim Cattrall). Jack intervenes and saves the woman, only to have Miao Yin be abducted instead, landing all of them in the middle of an ancient Chinese war.

Big Trouble in Little China is not always unproblematic, but it is a whole lot of fun. It’s silly and stupid and there are even attempts at trope subversion (mildly successful). I enjoyed myself.

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Blade Runner (1982)

Blade Runner [Final Cut]
Director: Ridley Scott
Writer: Hampton Fancher, David Webb Peoples
Based on: Philip K. Dick‘s novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?
Cast: Harrison Ford, Rutger Hauer, Sean Young, Edward James Olmos, M. Emmet Walsh, Daryl Hannah, William Sanderson, Brion James, Joe Turkel, Joanna Cassidy, James Hong
Seen on: 24.04.2015

Plot:
Humanity has managed to create replicants: genetically engineered robots. But after an uprising of the replicants, they have been outlawed on earth and have been banned to the off-world colonies. But when four replicants manage to escape back to earth, Rick Deckard (Harrison Ford) is called on in his capacity as blade runner – a special police force tasked with hunting down replicants – to take them down. Although Deckard didn’t want to take on any more jobs, he agrees to do this last job. He starts his investigation at the company who builds the replicants, where he discovers Rachael (Sean Young), a new version of replicant that doesn’t know that they aren’t human.

Blade Runner was one of those classic films that I never saw until now – and now I’m afraid that I’m too late. In any case I was not particularly taken with the film. In fact, I thought it was rather boring, if very pretty.

bladerunner

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R.I.P.D. (2013)

R.I.P.D.
Director: Robert Schwentke
Writer: Phil Hay, Matt Manfredi
Based on: Peter M. Lenkov‘s comic
Cast: Ryan Reynolds, Jeff Bridges, Kevin Bacon, Mary-Louise Parker, Stephanie Szostak, James Hong, Marisa Miller, Robert Knepper, Mike O’Malley

Plot:
Police officer Nick (Ryan Reynolds) has a good life with his wife Julia (Stephanie Szostak) but he worries that he’s not providing enough for her. So when he and his partner Hayes (Kevin Bacon) get the opportunity to steal some gold from a crime scene, they do. But Nick regrets it. Before he can do anything about that regret though, he is killed – by Hayes. To pay for his dishonesty, Nick is drafted into the R.I.P.D. – the Rest in Peace Department – in the afterlife. Together with his partner Roy (Jeff Bridges) they are supposed to bring wandering souls in. But something bigger is happening.

R.I.P.D. was pretty much exactly like I imagined it (dumb popcorn cinema) and yet pretty boring with it. If they had embraced their own dumbness a bit more, it might have been more entertaining.

RIPD

[SPOILERS]

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Safe (2012)

Safe
Director: Boaz Yakin
Writer: Boaz Yakin
Cast: Jason Statham, Catherine Chan, Robert John Burke, James Hong, Anson Mount, Chris Sarandon

Plot:
11 year old Mei (Catherine Chan) has a special talent with numbers and an eidetic memory. Because of that she’s kidnapped by Han Jiao (James Hong) who uses her as an untraceable computer for his business in New York. One day, Mei is first kidnapped by the Russian mob, but then manages to escape and fate throws her together with Luke (Jason Statham), a run-down ex-boxer who sees his own salvation in Mei.

There’s nothing quite like a movie with Jason Statham for when I need my action fix. It doesn’t always work, but when it does, it’s glorious. Safe works in all respects but one: there’s too much gun-fighting and not enough fist-fighting. Other than that, it is extremely enjoyable.

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Kung Fu Panda 2 (2011)

Kung Fu Panda 2 is the first feature film by Jennifer Yuh, written by Jonathan Aibel and Glenn Berger and starring the voices of Jack Black, Angelina Jolie, Jackie Chan, Dustin Hoffman, Gary Oldman, Seth Rogen, Lucy Liu, David Cross, Michelle Yeoh, Jean-Claude Van Damme, Victor Garber, Danny McBride and James Hong. [Here’s my review of the first one.]

Plot:
Po (Jack Black), head of the Furious Five – Tigress (Angelina Jolie), Mantis (Seth Rogen), Viper (Lucy Liu), Monkey (Jackie Chan), Crane (David Cross) – is pretty content with his life. That is, until the kingdom is threatened by the evil Lord Shen (Gary Oldman) who developed a new weapon that is able to defeat Kung Fu and with which he plans to take over. But a soothsayer (Michelle Yeoh) has predicted his defeat – and his fate and Po’s seem to be more closely tied together than both realise at first.

Kung Fu Panda 2 is a very sweet film and an excellent sequel.The cast is good, the story is nice, but it’s the animation that really stands out: it’s that fantastic.

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