Archive for January, 2013

Well I havent watched a spaghetti western for a while, and seeing as I have a ton to choose from upstairs I decided to opt for that genre to go for next. In fact im tending to try to mix up my genres when I watch movies, so you wont get 10 horror reviews in a row. Instead I opt to mostly watch a different genre each time, in the hope that it will make my blog a little more interesting for those that follow. Well this is a fantastic film that grabs you from the get go with its amazing music score. Its kind of got a Shakespearian tragedy type story to it that worked really well.

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We firstly meet Rafael who is being pursued by mexicans in the desert. After dealing with them Rafael soon find his long-lost childhood friend Sebastian. He soon reveals to Sebastian the tragedy and betrayal that happened to his father, with some shocking facts being revealed. Sebastian then travels with his old friend to avenge his father and find his long-lost sister.

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It’s a fantastic story, with twists and turns aplenty. I loved the atmosphere in this film, particularly the final gun down. The acting was top-notch and the music was amazing. It’s a great film that I thoroughly enjoyed and will enjoy again and again.

Well we come to te third installment in this samurai franchise which is yet another thrilling ride. It follows our anti-heros Ogami and Daigoro as they move from place to place, forever hunted by the Yagyu clan.  After taking a small boat ride and dispatching some ninjas they stumble across an unpleasant scene, a gang rape perpetrated by three bored ronin. There is one other among them who refused to be of their sick behaviour, his name is Kanbei and he is more honourable. After the attack Kanbei slays the two women and their servant to silence them. He then gets his three gang members to draw straws and kills the one who draws the shortest straw leaving him to be blamed for the murders and rapes. Ogami stumbles across this scene and he and Kanbei are introduced to each other. Kanbei wishes to duel with Ogami but just before they fight, Ogami resheaths his sword and calls it the fight a draw leaving Kanbei to ponder his fate alone. “You are a true warrior,” Ittō says, “One I hope lives on.”

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Soon after this encounter a prostitute ends up hiding in Ogami’s room from the local Yakuza gang. She has killed her pimp and is desperate for somewhere to hide. When the Yakuza turn up led by a woman called Torizo they ask Ogami to give up the woman and he refuses. He soon offers to take her punishment torture instead of her, which will free her from prostitution and her debt to the Yakuza’s. He is tortured and then, when Torizo realises who he is, asks him to kill a local corrupt deputy.

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This is a really great film, with the great style and action I have now come to expect from this franchise. It’s not quite as good as the first two movies, but its damn close. It kind of has a bit of a spaghetti western vibe to it in places, which is cool. The end fight sequence is absolutely amazing, having Ogami fight an entire army! What can I say apart from bring on part 4 . . .

This is a nice little slasher movie that came out in 1981. It’s definitely got a lot of similarities with Friday the 13th, which came out a year earlier. Firstly, it’s a slasher film set in a summer camp. Secondly, the special effects were done by Tom Savini, who also did Friday the 13th. I actually think that this is a slightly better movie and the effects are awesome! It opens with a bunch of kids playing a trick on Cropsy the caretaker. However the prank goes horribly wrong and poor Cropsy ends up being set on fire.

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He manages to get to a nearby hospital and spends the next 5 years being treated for his injurys. The plot is very simple from here on out as Cropsy gets released from hospital and goes on a killing spree with a set of garden sheers. He ends up going back to a nearby camp to prey on youngsters who are (as always in these kinds of movies) complete idiots.

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Theres not much more to say really, other than it was actually a really good slasher film. The best part for me was definitely the special effects. Tom Savini does some great work in this movie and surpasses Friday the 13th easily. I absolutely loved the raft attack, a huge frenzy of violent deaths with blood oozing from the screen.

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If you like slasher movies then this is a must see! I’m glad that it didn’t spawn tons of sequels and just remains as one of those good fun one shots

WOW!l the second part of this 6 part set of films was one hell of an exhilarating ride! Ogami and his son Daigoro are on the road still as assassins for hire, but they are being closely watched by the Kurokawa spy clan of shinobi-class ninja. The spys have fallen in league with Ogami’s arch nemesis the Shadow Yagyu clan. The Yagyu’s are being led by Sayaka who is head of a bunch of female assassins who are extremely deadly, as is shown in a very gruesome scene.

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Meanwhile Ogami has been hired by a gang that specialises in making a rare indigo dye. One of their clan members has run off hoping to sell the secret recipe of the dye to the shogun. The clan want Ogami to kill the traitor, however it wont be easy as the guy is being escorted by the Hidari brothers. they are also known as the “gods of death” and each has a unique weapon. One wields an Iron claw, another wields a flying mace, and the last has armoured gloves.

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I think the amazing part of this film is the colourful characters. You have female acrobats who are ninja’s in disguise. You then see some female vegetable merchants who hide blades in Radishes and the gods of death, who look amazing. The action is literally non stop and is really quite breath-taking. The camera work is very stylish and used to great effect. I particularly like the camera movements in the bath house scene. One scene I have to mention is the battle on the ship, that was quite incredible. It really does feel like a very surreal comic book movie. The violence is really pushed up a notch too, which only adds to the surreal feel of the film. These first 2 films have really amazed me, I havent felt this passionate about samurai films since watching Akira Kurosawa’s films. They are so awesome!

Well this was a christmas present from my sister who also got me the sequel “return of the one-armed swordsman.” I’ve been collecting a few Shaw brothers movies after watching “King Boxer” last year and this is the first one after that movie that I have got around to watching. Well it really was an engrossing film with a great story and some brilliant action. It opens up with a martial arts sword school being attacked by a group of bandits. The servant Fang Cheng sacrifices his life to protect his master Qi Ru Feng from the bandits and in gratitude for this courageous act Qi accepts the dying servants son as a student.

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Fang Cheng’s son, Fang Kang grows up under the teachings of master Qi and becomes his most promising swordsman. However not all is well in the household as master Qi’s spoiled daughter and some other students become jealous of Fang Kang, and pick on him due to him being a servants son. Kang soon decides to leave but not before he loses his right arm. During the incident of losing his arm he passes out on a bridge and falls into a passing boat. He is taken in by Xiao Man who gets him healed up and saves his life. He soon falls in love and with her and decides to become a farmer and live with her. However he soon gets bored and misses being a swordsman until one day she tells him of her father who died to rescue a unique instruction book. It details how to fight with a sword with just one arm. Soon Kang has become an awesome warrior again and regains his happiness.

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Meanwhile master Qi Ru Feng is preparing for his 55th birthday and has invited all of his students to the celebration to choose a successor from amongst them so that he can retire from the martial arts world. However, his old enemies the Long-armed Devil and the Smiling Tiger Cheng are taking the opportunity to destroy Qi Ru Feng. Using a specially designed “sword-lock”, they ambush and kill Qi’s students travelling to the celebration. Kang finds out and decides he must try to save his master and his school.

This was a really enjoyable movie and I’m really looking forward to the sequel. I loved the set pieces and the use of weather which is quite common in asian films like this. I thought the action scenes were really well done and the cinematography was really nice.

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The acting was good, if not a little cheesy in parts. But that just added to the fun of it I feel. A really good start to this year then for me and I am really hoping to watch even more films than last year. So here’s looking ahead . . .

2012: The best fo the year

Posted: January 4, 2013 in Film Review
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Ok so I am going to make this short and sweet. This is basically my best of lists for my 2012. I will start with movies

Top 5 movies watched in 2012

5. MV5BMTQxOTIyMzg0OV5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwNDg5NDUyMQ@@._V1._SY317_CR5,0,214,317_ Lone wolf and cub 1: Sword of vengeance

4.Death-Rides-a-Horse-poster Death rides a horse

3.the-great-silence-movie-poster-1968-1020420955 The great silence

2.MV5BMTk4ODQzNDY3Ml5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwODA0NTM4Nw@@._V1._SY317_ The dark knight rises

1.the-hobbit-an-unexpected-journey-movie-poster-1 The Hobbit: an unexpected journey

Top 3 albums

3. epicloud Devin Townsend project: Epicloud

2. Rush_ClockworkAngels_DC Rush: Clockwork angels

1. 220px-WintersunTimeI Wintersun: Time 1

I also feel the need to mention the best tv show I have ever seen:

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So looking back, it has been a fantastic year for me for entertainment. There are a few things that I am really looking forward to in 2013: Game of thrones season 3, The Hobbit: the desolation of Smaug, Wintersun Time 2. They are probably the things I am most excited about enjoying in the coming year. So here’s looking ahead.

Ok so first things first, Happy new year to anyone that may read my reviews! I know it’s now 2013 but I need to write this review as it was actually the last film I watched in 2012, just havent had the time to write it. My next post after this one will be a review of my 2012 in movies and music and anything that I have enjoyed. I’m hoping to list my top 5 in all these things. Now this movie right here was a great way to end the year. What a movie! Basically my fiancée got me the Lone wolf and cub box set for christmas and I couldn’t wait to start watching these movies. I was introduced to these films a few years ago when I watched “Shogun Assassin” which is basically an edited together job of the first 2 movies in this series. It was edited and dubbed this way for western audiences in the 70’s. I remember really liking Shogun assassin but really wanted to know more about where it was edited from. I done some research and discovered the Lone wolf and cub series. I have heard great things about this series, which is based on a japanese manga so I got it for christmas.

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It follows the story of Ogami Itto who is th shoguns official executioner until one day when he is set up by a rival clan. He is ordered to commit seppuku, which means driving a blade into his own abdomen and slicing left to right. However Ogami is not stupid and uncovers the devious plot and decides to fight back and become an assassin for hire. Before he fights and takes to the road he gives his baby son a choice to either join him on the road as a wandering samurai. Or join his mother in the afterlife. This is a great scene and the way Ogami gets his son to decide is brilliant. He puts a ball and a sword on the ground and depending on which the boy crawls to will decide his fate.

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This is one amazing film that has it all, a great script, fantastic bloody action and great acting. The camerawork and scenery are masterful and all done with great care. It is one of my favourite samurai films now next to the great Akira Kurosawa’s work. I was on a high after watching this movie, it was so cool. I am so excited about watching the rest of the series, as if they live up to this one its gonna be a hell of a great ride.

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I can’t believe that 4 of these 6 movies came out in the same year! that is astonishing. They must really work their asses off in Japanese cinema. Oh another note is you can see Quentin Tarantino being influenced by this for Kil Bill. He definitely got the arterial spraying violence from these films. Well there you have it, my last film of 2012. Really looking forward to continuing my reviews in 2013.