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Michael Bay at the top of his game is a great filmmaker, and I think nothing highlights this as well as his first feature BAD BOYS and his last 13 HOURS.
BAD BOYS II however is neither of those films, being neither popular nor successful. It is definitely a misfire, it is too long and the comedy misses more often than it hits, leading to overlong cringeworthy scenes you want to fast forward past rather than laugh at. Trying to emulate the success of the first film, they get the mixture of comedy and action wrong. That said, even when the comedy fails, the action and visuals never do. I have always loved Michael Bay’s use of the camera, he uses a lovely panning, roving style that is simply exquisite. Michael Bay understands the essence of the Heroic and is able to convey that in the panning of a camera. And arguably it is in this flawed film that Michael Bay crafts some of the best and most beautiful action set-pieces of his career.
Woody Strode who spent a career in films directed by legends such as John Ford and Fernando Di Leo and Richard Brooks and Stanley Kubrick, always considered his favorite director and his favorite moment on screen, was his wordless, almost cameo appearance, in the opening of Sergio Leone’s ONCE UPON A TIME IN THE WEST.
Undeniably low budget, with a weak reverse Cinderella B-storyline that arguably detracts from the stronger main story, but what elevates this gangster film above its missteps is the Multi-lingual, multi-generational, multi-ethnic scope.
It is a film of and for the 21st Century, with fantastic faces, of hard men from hard places. A wonderfully shot and lyrically scripted layered storyline diatribe on the fall and rise of nations, and walkers in dark places. Part mythic western, part poetic treatise on violence.
Other highlights… I love the first shot and last shot of this film, making haunting and foreboding something ordinary. Add to that compelling cinematography, bone crunching martial arts fight choreography, and an addictive score and you have a $100,000 film that is more entertaining than films with a thousand times that budget,
And it is worth noting that R.L. Scott wears half the hats on this production; being not only the Director and Writer, but also the fight choreographer, stunt man, producer, and cinematographer. Wow, simply no end to this guy’s talents. This is a film and a filmmaker to watch.
Currently see it for free on Netflix, but then it is one to own on DVD/Blu-Ray. It’s a film deserving of a great directors commentary, and special features. Highly Recommended.
I’m reaching out to the filmmakers to see when we can expect a Blu-Ray with special features and commentary, and will update when ready, but till that is available the DVD can be had at the link below:
This week’s best and worst Roku VOD Streaming Channels!
Netflix for its growing empire of original programming (including DAREDEVIL, HOUSE OF CARDS) and selection of hotter in demand movies is a must-have channel for anyone.
AMAZON PRIME for its wealth of movie content, and a good number of older shows that are not available on NETFLIX, comes in a close second in terms of must have streaming channels.
Those are the only paid streaming channels I have or recommend.
Why? Well, good selection of older films and eclectic shows, mostly solid quality(screen pixelates occasionally) and ad interruptions kept to a minimum. this week’s recommended movies and shows are PHANTOM PUNCH (a Sonny Liston bio-pic directed by Robert Townsend), THE ASSAULT, IN HELL, TUNNEL RATS, SHUFFLE, BIG BAD WOLF, WYVERN, DARK NIGHT OF THE SCARECROW, FREE MEN, BADCITY, GODKILLER and CHILLERS – A short lived horror series hosted by Anthony Perkins
I tend not to watch regular TV, so this is a good channel for keeping abreast of the current pop culture and entertainment news. Some highlights are ESCAPE TO THESE BEAUTIFUL CARIBBEAN BEACHES THIS SUMMER, MODEL STARTS MOVEMENT TO ELIMINATE PLUS SIZE, 5 WAYS TO FINANCE YOUR HOME IMPROVEMENT PROJECTS.
THE AMERICAN ASTRONAUT, THE WASP WOMAN, THE WAY THE WORLD ENDS(short film, 15minutes), FUSE, a slew of Buster Keaton comedies, CARNIES, THE MILLENNIUM BUG, EVEL KNIEVEL, LUCKY DAY (Fun 3 min Animated film), BLACK BOOK (1949), LETTERS FROM THE BIG MAN, STAN (2009 Laurel and Hardy biopic), SICKO (A 6 minute short film that put a smile on my face. Enjoyable), POOR PRETTY EDDIE, M.R. JAMES COLLECTION, CRAZY STREETS, ANTE, THE BET, HUNTING BUDDIES, THE GERBER SYNDROME, RIDDLE, BIGFOOT: THE LOST COAST TAPES, THE PURITANS (24 min Short Film), BLOOD MOON (18 min Short Film), LONDON VOODOO, DARK ARC
THE MILL AND THE CROSS, DOGTOOTH, THE OTHER SIDE, STREET FIGHTER Series
HANCOCK, 21, RETREAT, THE CAVE, BROTHERS IN ARMS,
A couple LOST IN TRANSLATION episodes, about a dozen PAWN STARS episodes, 10 AMERICAN DAREDEVILS episodes, H2 Special Presentations, 3 HUMAN WEAPON episodes
WATCH FREE FLIX- The sound of the too plentiful commercials is fine, but the sound of the actual content, the shows and movies, is turned down and corrupted. Pathetic and a waste of time. Especially disappointing considering this channel has some interesting content if you could hear it. Fix your sound issue or close your channel.
VANGUARD- Limited movie selections and has not been updated in months. Website appears to no longer exist.
MIDNIGHT PULP – Roku channel no longer being updated. The website shows additional content (not just the PULP ones) not available on the Roku channel. Watch THE SCARLET WORM and ZOMBIE A-HOLE then lose the channel.
ASIAN CRUSH – not being updated and content that is readily available elsewhere
CRUNCHYROLL – With the exception of ATTACK ON TITAN, I’m not a fan on Anime. And that’s mostly what this channel has.
PARANORMAL REALITY TV – more interesting content can be found elsewhere.
FILM MOVEMENT – Small selection of indie, foreign films (that can be found elsewhere) and never updated
DORADO FILMS – Small selection of mostly obsure 70s d-grade euro films, however unfortunately has not been updated seemingly since it launched. Which is a shame because the website is quite striking, and gave the promise of a great streaming channel.
FILM RISE– This was going to make it on the recommended list for one movie, the brilliant SUDOESTE (SOUTHWEST), it is one of the few channels to have this beautiful film available. Unfortunately attempting to stream from this channel was a study in dissatisfaction. Spent more time buffering than playing the movie initially. And when it did play it was interrupted by an ad every 8 minutes, as opposed to the respectable 28 minutes an ad-supported streaming channel should allow you, before hitting you with another ad. On top of that, with the exception of SOUTHWEST its content could be found on multiple other channels. FILMRISE failed to rise to the occasion.
THE MOVIE TRAILER CHANNEL – Do not make an ad the first thing I see, before even browsing content. Absolutely worthless.
INDIE CRUSH – A severe absence of content. Only about 30+ titles, and just about all of them are available at other, better stocked streaming channels. Not worth the time to add
The Entire 1st season of Netflix’s first Marvel Studios series DAREDEVIL has dropped, and one episode in and it feels like… it feels like faith rewarded. From the first frame to the last, the show is pitch perfect.
From the direction, to the writing, to the performances, to the action. Charlie Cox as Matt Murdock, the Man without Fear is revelatory. Charlie Cox in that first scene, with the speech in the confessional about his father, and letting the Devil loose, he defines the damaged nature of the protagonists, and this world. The initial costume is perfectly fine, a work in progress. I really hope Netflix will offer this up on Blu-Ray with commentary and features. It clearly deserves it.
Episode 2 here I come.
Cuba Gooding Jr, has made his share of questionable movies. That said, in the largely direct to video world that has become the domain of most actors, in the last decade or so he has made some gems. WRONG TURN AT TAHOE is one of those gems, and following my first episode of DAREDEVIL, I find the film a nice counterpoint to the Netflix series. Cube giving a wonderfully poised and understated performance… yet full of menace. A great film from beginning to end.
Strongly recommended. Grade: B+
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