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4/10
Too drawn out to be an effective telling of an old premise
7 February 2020
I like to go to my local library and browse through the DVD and Blu-ray sections to see what obscurities I can dig up - sometimes I can find real hidden gems. When I found this movie, I was attracted to it not just because of its obscurity, but also it has an old yet irresistible premise - what if your wishes could come true? However, the stories I've indulged in the past with this premise have tended to be SHORT tellings. With a running time of 95 minutes, this telling is stretched too far out for its own good. It's very slow-moving, filled with scenes that serve little to no purpose, and is frankly dull for a lot of the time. Strangely, despite the stretched-out feeling of the enterprise, there are some plot points that come across as murky, suggesting that maybe there was originally more footage that would have explained things better but was for one reason or another cut out. My theory of possible editing may also explain why a couple of key characters disappear for an extremely long time before finally popping up again close to the ending. I admit that I kept watching because the movie made me curious to see how everything would be wrapped up, but to be honest, I didn't find the ending worth the long slog. Reread the classic short story "The Monkey's Paw" instead of watching this movie.
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Scary Movie (1991)
3/10
Unsuccessful, though the filmmakers did try hard
26 January 2020
Once again, Turner Classic Movies managed to dig up a real obscurity for their weekly "Underground" period - I hadn't even heard of this movie until I saw it on the TCM schedule, and with my interest of obscure cinema I had to give it a look. Unfortunately, the movie for the most part doesn't work. I will give credit to the filmmakers for taking their extremely low budget and make things look more expensive than they really were. There is even some interesting camerawork that you wouldn't expect. But this movie really needed to have its script punched up before filming started. It's endlessly padded, with almost nothing happen until towards the end, and it capped by a so-called twist that you'll probably be able to predict. The tedium could have been eliminated with a high bloody body count, but the body count is very low, and hardly any blood is seemed. What really irked me, however, was the main character of Warren. Although this nerdy wimp starts off sympathetically, his bumbling and whining eventually becomes extremely annoying. If you want some clues as to what can make a horror movie work or fail, only then should you give this a look.
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Deadcon (2019)
1/10
A masterpiece of horror! Just kidding - it stinks!
21 January 2020
Warning: Spoilers
Given that the running time of this movie is only 77 minutes in length, I have a sneaking suspicion that the movie's initial cut in the editing room was a lot longer, but for reasons unknown to me the movie was subsequently cut down. That might explain the many unexplained questions that come up in the movie. We never know how the evil force in the hotel originally got there, we never know why this evil force is homicidal, and at the end of the movie we never know how the hotel management managed to keep hidden what happened... among many other unanswered questions. But more of an explanation would have padded things out further, and the movie as it is plods by at an incredibly slow pace despite the short running time. For most of the running time, NOTHING of consequence happens. What makes it even worse to sit through is that all of the principle characters are brainless and annoying... and most of the secondary characters, for that matter. While I admit that many bad movies still manage to get a few defenders, I really can't see anyone watching this particular movie all the way through and giving it a thumbs up. A documentary of the making of this movie would probably be a lot more entertaining than the movie itself.
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Final Score (2018)
6/10
Okay for a rip-off of a very tired genre
15 January 2020
Those viewers who have been around the cinematic block extensively will see that "Final Score" is a rip-off of the Jean-Claude Van Damme movie "Sudden Death"... which happened to be a rip-off of the Bruce Willis movie "Die Hard"! Clearly, this movie isn't exactly screaming with originality. But if you are willing to put aside any nitpicking concerning the unoriginal story, it's likely that you will find this to be a serviceable exercise, certainly a lot better than other rip-offs of those two aforementioned movies. It's pretty slickly made, doesn't have any boring parts, and Dave Bautista makes a pretty good hero. However, while none of the action sequences could be labelled bad, I did think that some of them were not directed to reach their full potential. Also, while I earlier said that the movie is never boring, at 104 minutes the movie all the same feels somewhat stretched out and should have been somewhat shorter. Pierce Brosnan fans may also be disappointed that he barely appears for the first 70 minutes, and afterwards gets very little to do in his remaining appearances. Recommended, but for an occasion when you are not in a terribly demanding mood.
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2/10
89 minutes gone from my life that I'll never get back!
15 January 2020
Bruce Willis must currently be the laziest actor in Hollywood. For the past few years, he has appeared in a string of movies produced by schlockmeisters Randall Emmett and George Furla, and in every one he just appears for a few minutes while getting a hefty paycheck for doing almost nothing. What's worse is that in those few minutes of screen time, Willis clearly shows that he doesn't give a darn about his surroundings and instead gives a sleepwalking performance. All this happens again in "10 Minutes Gone". Actually, even if Willis gave some effort, this would still be one very bad movie. The only positive thing I can say about this movie is that the photography is fairly professional. Other than that, the list of bad things in the movie is endless. We have most of the movie seemingly filmed very quickly in derelict buildings and back alleys, hardly any set dressings, action sequences that are extremely routine and boring, a boring and unsuspensful main story thread, a performance by lead actor Michael Chiklis that suggests extreme displeasure and pain of being in this project, and a "surprise twist" near the end that you will guess long before it actually happens. Please, Bruce Willis, realize that you'd be better off retiring instead of further damaging your reputation by doing more quickie efforts like this!
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1/10
Abysmal so-called thriller
9 January 2020
Boy, Netflix was really scraping the bottom of the barrel when they acquired this independently made movie. Where does it go wrong? Well, to put it bluntly, in every way you can think of. For starters, it makes the remarkable accomplishment of managing to badly miscast every key character, not just with teenage characters that are obviously played by actors who are in their late 20s (or possibly older.) But even if the movie had a cast made up of more convincing and capable actors, those actors wouldn't be able to do anything with a remarkably dumb story (with even more moronic characters) that moves slower than the pace of a snail. The really low production values (which for a time had me convinced this was a Canadian production) just add to the challenge of trying to sit through the entire movie. In the end, this is a thriller without any thrills at all.
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3/10
Unsatisfying final (?) entry in the series
28 December 2019
Warning: Spoilers
Reports you may have heard about this fifth entry in the "Rambo" series being the weakest of the five films are unfortunately true. While the movie doesn't look as cheap as what Rambo creator David Morrell claimed it to be, I could understand his other objections about the movie. The movie doesn't really feel like a "Rambo" movie; the pacing is slower, and there is also a lot less action than you might think. The characters are really weak; Stallone's character seems more like some aimless former soldier than how Rambo was in the previous four movies, the journalist character hardly has anything to do, and the bad guys are really underdeveloped. As mentioned before, there is less action than you might think, with the first hour of the running time only having a couple of minutes of action at the most. The movie tries to compensate for this by attempting to have a really intense and bloody climax, but I only found all this mayhem in this part of the movie to be average at best, and certainly not worth the wait. After the killing stops, the movie is capped by a "that's it?" ending that suggests a sixth entry in the series is possible... but boy, after watching this movie, I sure hope Stallone puts Rambo to rest.
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6/10
Could have been better, but it's acceptable
19 December 2019
I hadn't even heard of this movie before I found a Blu-ray copy of it at my local library today. But I know from experience that taking a chance on unknown movies often uncovers gems and sleepers, so I decided to watch it. Was the movie worth my time? Well, overall I would say yes. The movie has an irresistible premise that turns out to be a true story (can't believe this true story was never filmed before), and the story never has any dull spots in its telling. There is also some effective humor and suspense along the way. Also, the soundtrack has a number of great oldies played that add flavor and a feel for the period. But at the same time, the movie has some weakness that prevents the movie from being great. For starters, it seems to assume that its audience will know all about the background of the Watergate/Richard Nixon scandal; although I knew enough about this part of history to know the references, viewers who don't have my knowledge may be very confused. Also, the movie's unconventional storytelling style (flashforwards and flashbacks) results in some plot threads and characters to be put on the backburner for long periods of time, resulting in the movie losing some momentum. As it turns out, some key characters are really weak; we learn very little about the ringmaster of the crime or the protagonist's brother (including what happened to them after their last scenes.) Also, while the filmmakers are to be commended for managing to do an entire period piece on a low budget, some production values do look a little undernourished. Don't get me wrong from what I've just listed - the movie is still worth a look, but it may be best to wait until you can see it for free like I was able to.
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Fanatic (2019 TV Movie)
2/10
Low budget and poor writing sink this
14 December 2019
First of all, I feel I should mention that I have no problem with any ethnic group telling their own stories - in fact, I encourage diversity in movies, and the predominantly African American cast of this movie gave it some instant novelty. Also, I feel that I understand that certain ethnic groups often find it hard to get the money and resources to tell their stories properly. By my feelings do not excuse the fact that the movie "Fanatic" is pretty terrible filmmaking. Reports say that the budget was only $1.2 million, but it looks even cheaper than that, with most scenes looking like they were filmed in basements, back alleys, empty warehouses, and obvious soundstages. Believe me, there are a lot of other signs of the low budget throughout. It's possible the movie might still have been saved with enough care put in other areas, but it doesn't look like enough effort was made. The cast shows some talent, trying hard with what they are given, but the direction often holds them back from having enough impact. Worst of all, their characters are often given terrible dialogue to recite, and often have their characters making decisions nobody with a lick of sense would make. Speaking of the writing, the plot twists near the end are ludicrous. If you are wondering, the shabby script often gets close to making the movie so-bad-it's-good, but not close enough. Hopefully the actors' next projects will be better... and better future projects for anyone else involved in making this movie, for that matter.
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6 Underground (2019)
2/10
The worst from a man who was always at his worst
14 December 2019
If I were a movie studio executive who was handed the budget of this movie ($150 million), I would use the money to make a number of 5 to 10 million dollar movies helmed by directors and writers who showed me originality and creativity. I certainly wouldn't blow it on one movie, especially one that would be directed by someone (in this case, Michael Bay) who has repeatedly in the past made overblown and near incoherent movies. With this movie, Bay proves sadly that he's not only not slowing down, he is actually getting worse at his craft. The story in this movie makes almost no sense, from it's ultra high speed unfolding to the fact that many plot details seem missing. The characters are cold and not the least bit sympathetic, from their lack of depth to the fact that they inflict their sadism on everybody (including innocent bystanders). And the action sequences make pretty much no sense, from their rapid editing to their poor direction and choreography. In short, this movie is an over two hour long headache. Though sadly it will probably get a lot of looks from curious Netflix users, and Netflix will subsequently look at the ratings and greenlight a sequel. No thanks, Netflix.
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Lucid Dream (2017)
7/10
Another solid winner from the land of the morning calm
14 December 2019
Despite usually having a lot less money than what major Hollywood studio filmmakers have, I have found that Korean filmmakers make a lot more home runs. And I am not just talking about "arty" movies, but also genre movies, which "Lucid Dream" is one example of. I admit that I wouldn't label this movie a Korean classic, since it has some faults. There are a number of times where linking footage seems to be missing (or was never filmed at all), and there are some minor plot points that are not properly explained. Also, I wish the movie gave a lot more explanation to the concept of lucid dreaming before diving directly into it. But despite such faults, the movie kept my attention throughout. There are a lot of interesting twists and turns, including the major one two-thirds of the way through (and the movie plays fair by giving the audience a few hints about what will eventually be revealed.) The characters are less stereotypical than in many Hollywood movies. There are some really suspenseful and exciting sequences., and the movie's production values look fairly decent despite not having a gargantuan budget. It's proof that if any non-American country wants to get an idea of how to attract its citizens to its homegrown movies, they should take a look at the Korean film industry. I certain wish my country (Canada) would do that!
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Dead Kids (2019)
5/10
Mixed results
11 December 2019
The premise of a bunch of amateurs gathering together to pull off a great crime - robbery, kidnapping, murder, or something else - may have been done many time before in movies, but even then I always find the premise irresistible. When I sat down to watch this particular example, I was especially intrigued because it was not an American effort, but instead a Filipino effort. The new setting gave this some novelty, which did help sometimes when the movie was showing off its shortcomings. I'm not saying this is a BAD movie - it's not boring, and I admit that part of me was interested in seeing how things would be wrapped up in the end. And despite a fairly low budget, it never looks so cheap to be distracting. However, the movie has its downs as well as ups. It doesn't seem to find a consistent tone - sometimes it's goofy, and sometimes it's serious. Also, while I know the central figures are just teenagers, even then they seem really stupid and haven't taken the time to plan things out (it seems they make their plans in 48 hours or less.) Some viewers may also have a problem with the fact the characters are constantly changing between speaking English and speaking Tagalog (though I know this is how many Filipinos do speak.) I'd recommend it to viewers who don't have their expectations particularly high.
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Awake (III) (2019)
3/10
It'll make you snooze quickly
1 December 2019
The whole "amnesiac finding himself accused of murder and setting off his own personal investigation to prove his innocence" has been done before, but I was willing to sit through it again. However, these filmmakers weren't able to put enough freshness or common sense into this retelling. As other IMDb commenters have stated here, the plot in this retelling has a number of holes. Some things are not properly explained, and other things simply don't make sense if you know how professional police investigators (or even ordinary people) act. But there is a bigger problem with the movie, and that is how slow and dull its story unfolds. There is almost no feeling of struggle or tension in the entire 92 minutes, and as a result the story is so low key that it's hard to give a hoot about the mystery or any of the characters. The problems with the movie may have in part come from the fact that the credits state that two people directed the movie; conflicts in the director's chair may have taken attention away from the fact that the screenplay and its atmosphere needed a lot more care.
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3/10
Bah, humbug!
30 November 2019
This Netflix exclusive movie advertised itself as being a Christmas comedy, so with the holiday season approaching quickly, I decided to give it a look. However, I found that this was a severe case of false advertising. Though the events of the movie take place in the Christmas season, there is hardly anything "Christmasy" about what we see - with almost no rewriting, the movie could take place any time of the year. Also, I couldn't consider the movie to be a comedy. Yes, there are some lighter moments, but the movie plays things pretty straight for the most part. In fact, the movie gets darker and darker as it progresses.

Despite this bait and switch, I was prepared to accept the movie for what it was instead of being a Christmas comedy. Unfortunately, what was there was written to be so bad that I got more and more frustrated with the movie as it progressed. The characters make such stupid decisions that it's obvious that anyone with a slight lick of sense would have known what to do or say to diffuse the situation much sooner than what actually happens. It's capped with a conclusion that simply could never have happened in real life considering advances in forensics (among other things), and quite frankly left me feeling angry and that my intelligence was being insulted.

The talented cast tries, but with the exception of Tim Allen (who was pretty decent, to my surprise), they can't do much with their stupid characters. To sum up, if this wasn't a Netflix exclusive, I would only recommend getting a copy of it for someone you want to give cinematic coal into their stocking.
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Assimilate (I) (2019)
3/10
Not just a rip-off, but a bad one at that
23 November 2019
Before coming to the IMDb to write my opinion of this movie, I had a good feeling that there would already be a lot of comments that what we have here is a blatant rip-off of the classic 1956 science fiction movie "Invasion of the Body Snatchers". That's certainly true, though I would like to add that this movie also cribs a few elements from the official 1978 remake. Actually, I wouldn't have really minded this plagiarism had this production thrown in a good amount of fresh elements and some energetic direction. Unfortunately, that simply doesn't happen here. The movie feels really slow, tired, old-fashioned, and at times really dull despite a few modern elements thrown in like the Internet. Not only that, the characters slowly get stupider as the movie progresses, and the movie ends on a note that seems quite unbelievable considering only a few days have passed since things started to go wrong. The actors are likable and put in a lot of effort, but they are unworthy of the shabby script and the flat direction. This is definitely one time you should stick with the original movie, or even the 1978 remake.
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Little Evil (2017)
3/10
I only laughed once!
17 November 2019
The idea of this movie, that being that a man marrying a woman with a young son discovering that the boy is the Antichrist, was a promising one. It promised to spoof movies like "The Omen" as well as coming up with its own wacky and hilarious situations. However, except for one amusing throwaway one-liner, I sat through this movie with a stone face. The movie isn't funny for a number of reasons. The gags are for the most part not very imaginative at all, and are often so familiar that the filmmakers couldn't possibly milk any more humor out of them. Also, the characters are extremely stupid, stupid to the point that they are not humorous but are instead extremely annoying and will have you slapping your forehead repeatedly from seeing their highly unlikely actions and hearing their moronic dialogue. The screenplay doesn't just stumble with the humor, but with its storytelling ability. The movie seems to start at chapter three, then subsequently refuses to deal properly with story threads or supporting key characters (one of whom disappears early on and never appears again, for example). This screenplay feels like a very rough draft desperately needing several polishing rewrites before it is ready to be filmed. If it wasn't for the likable cast, I would definitely have given this movie a much lower rating.
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3/10
Good beginning, but then starts falling apart
17 November 2019
Warning: Spoilers
It's going to be difficult to critique this movie without giving out massive spoilers, but I will try my best. About the most I will reveal is that the plot of the movie revolves around time travel, though I think the majority of viewers will realize that is going on in the first fifteen or so minutes. Anyway, you have to be pretty ingenious to make a time travel story plausible, and while the movie thinks it's pretty smart, it really isn't. As other IMDb users have pointed out, once you have watched the entire movie and learned what is going on and why, it doesn't make sense. It seems to indicate that time travel CAN work and CAN'T work. Not only that, the screenplay also falls far short with the narrative of the obsessed police officer going through the years, not explaining fully how he learned so much between acts. Also, there are glaring plot holes elsewhere, ranging from why the high tech device found in 1988 is never analyzed, why witnesses are not fully questioned after incidents, and also why the time travelling woman needed an airplane. Though I admit that the movie was not boring, the lack of clear and proper explanation prevented me from getting enough enjoyment.
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7/10
Fun addition to the Christmas movie genre
16 November 2019
To get to the point quickly, "Arthur Christmas" is a holiday family movie that all members of the family will enjoy, whether they may be children or adults. However, I suspect that adults may appreciate it more to a certain degree, seeing that much of the humor and dialogue seems aimed more at a mature and worldly wise audience. It should also be pointed out that some situations and dialogue exchanges are so frenzied that adults may have a better ability than children to follow what is happening. On the other hand, children may appreciate the movie more to their own degree seeing that they will probably not notice that the story is significantly padded out in some sections, and they also may not spot some distracting product plugs for movies and products from the Sony company. (The movie was released by Columbia Pictures, which is owned by Sony.) Despite these flaws, the movie is colorful, well animated, has plenty of humor and action, and the title character is very sympathetic and likeable. While I wouldn't label this movie as one of the great Christmas movies of all time, it is pleasurable enough all the same.
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3/10
The effort is clear, but it just doesn't work
14 November 2019
Moviegoers who normally associate French cinema with art house product may be taken aback at first by this French movie, which is not only a comedy, but is made to be in the vein of movies made by the American Troma studio. However, the novelty of this French movie being atypical quickly wears off, and the rest of the movie is quite a slog to sit through. Its heart is in the right place, but it fails in pretty much every way you can think of. It has a strange feeling throughout, because it's a mix of strong European flavors with heavy Americanisms, and the two extremes simply don't fit together very well. But there are additional problems. Not one character in the movie is likable or interesting - the girls are too brash for anyone's taste, and are annoyingly stupid. The bad guys are just stock hillbilly characters that never get to utter one single word or explain in any way their motives or way of thinking. The attempts at humor are predictable, repetitious, and nowhere as amusing as the filmmakers think it is. And surprisingly, there is absolutely no nudity or sex on display at any moment! The only reason why I am not giving this movie the lowest rating is for some enthusiastic bloodshed and a mercifully short running time (77 minutes.)
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Maximum Risk (1996)
6/10
Okay Van Damme vehicle
10 November 2019
I saw this Jean Claude Van Damme movie when it was first released to theaters, and I pretty much dismissed it at the time. But I decided more than twenty years later to give it another look, this time on Netflix, and I do have to admit that the movie has improved somewhat with age. The movie's strongest point is that it has a look and feel that is both slick and gritty; it gives the movie a pretty good atmosphere. Also, while the story is nothing to write home about, it does go from scene to scene with a good pace that doesn't make any lulls or boring points. Van Damme's performance, while also not great, is adequate enough. As for the action sequences, I have to admit that I just thought them to be okay at best, which was a surprise seeing that acclaimed Hong Kong action director Ringo Lam was helming the movie. Maybe he was somewhat hindered by the different demands and expectations producers of a Hollywood movie project have, which has hindered other Asian action directors working on Hollywood projects. However, if you are not expecting anything earth-shattering, the movie does pass its 101 minutes in a serviceable manner.
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The Figurine (2009)
3/10
My first Nigerian movie
4 November 2019
For the past several years, I have come across a number of reports telling about how the country of Nigeria has a successful domestic film industry. While that fact definitely intrigued me, I was unable to find any Nigerian movies available for me to look at until I stumbled upon this one on Netflix. To be honest, I was expecting something pretty crudely made, and to a large degree this is true. While there are some pretty good composed shots and/or direction that indicate that at times some real effort was being made by the filmmakers, the movie has far more shortcomings. The cinematography is unimpressive, there's very little in the way of production values, and the acting by many of the performers is amateurish. Actually, I might have been able to forgive all that had the movie's biggest problem did not exist, that being that it's far too long (121 minutes in length) and far too slowly paced. This is a story that really needed to be cut down either at the script stage or when the footage was being edited. There is a twist towards the end that's a little interesting (despite my ability to somewhat predict it before it unfolded), but it's too little and too late to make it worth sitting through a story that's too long and too slow. Still, if you have heard of Nigerian cinema and are curious about experiencing a sample of it, I've just told you of one possible accessible choice.
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Killers (2010)
1/10
No laughs, no excitement, no nothing!
3 November 2019
Warning: Spoilers
Within the first few minutes of "Killers", I suspect most viewers will be asking themselves, "How on earth did Ashton Kutcher get cast in this movie?" The answer lies in the credits - Kutcher is listed as being one of the producers. That's the only reason I can think that no one was in power to bring up the fact that Kutcher is incredibly miscast in this movie. He goes through the movie with a very befuddled look on his face, and is incredibly awkward with both the action and the comedy. Actually, it's hard to figure out if his co-star Katherine Heigl is even worse, since she gives a very strident performance that has absolutely no grace or charm. But even if the best actors had been cast in the lead roles, it's highly likely they would still be perplexed on how to best use such a bad screenplay. Certainly, the screenplay has absolutely no laughs at all, but its central storyline doesn't make sense for many reasons. Where are the cops while all of this is going on? Why don't the lead characters ever sit down and have a serious and long talk about all the deceptions? Could things be neatly (and quickly) wrapped up at the end if these events were happening in real life? As for the action angle of the movie, the action sequences are both badly directed and edited, so there's no excitement when they are showcased. I feel I should also add that the entire production looks and feels like a Hollywood filmed TV sitcom instead of a feature film. To sum up, there is NOTHING about this movie that makes it worth a viewing, unless you want to ensure that the actors, the director, and other key people behind the scenes get some extra residuals.
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3/10
Insulting look at a martial arts legend
2 November 2019
It's easy to see why this movie was slammed by most film critics, raised the ire of the relatives of the real Bruce Lee, and was pretty much ignored by moviegoers at the time of its theatrical release. This movie is a travesty, whether you have some good knowledge of the life of Bruce Lee or not. If you know about Lee, you'll be appalled by how the movie basically ignores what really happened to Lee around the time the events of the movie take place, and that it doesn't give Lee much dimension or exploration. For example, he was married at the point when the events take place, but we never once get to see his wife. Also, unbelievably much of the focus is placed on a fictional Caucasian character instead of Lee himself. This Caucasian character will be insulting to Lee fans or those unfamiliar with him since this character in many ways is portrayed to be a "white savior", helping a pretty Chinese woman who is under the thumb of cruel Chinese gangsters. As for the fight sequences, they are okay at best (which isn't often), and uninspired at their worst. If you want to see a more accurate look at this key event in Bruce Lee's life, I suggest you go to Netflix and watch the Chinese TV series "The Legend of Bruce Lee". Sure, the series is cheap and hokey at times, but it captures the spirit and struggles of Lee much better than this movie.
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7/10
Good, if you are familiar with Hong Kong cinema
31 October 2019
I enjoyed "Casino Tycoon" a lot, though I feel that I should point out that I am quite familiar with Hong Kong cinema and how crazy it can get at times. Western viewers who sit down to watch this movie and are not familiar with Hong Kong cinema may be taken aback at times. That's because the movie throws in a number of genres along the way and jumbles them around. Sometimes the movie is a gangster movie, sometimes it's a romantic movie, sometimes it's a kung fu movie, sometimes it's a revenge saga, sometimes it's a look at characters over a long period of time... see what I mean? It's is kind of messy at times, but I admit that it's never dull, so if you are prepared for it like I am, you should find it enjoyable despite its two hour length. Looking forward to watching the sequel!
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6/10
Acceptable overall, but the script should have been better
28 October 2019
You don't have to have seen any of the movies in the "Ip Man" series before watching this spin-off movie (though it will help a little.) Regardless of whether you've seen the Ip Man movies or not, those who are into Asian action movies should find this enjoyable enough. The movie looks nice, with solid production values (love those neon signs!), and the fight sequences (particularly the final bout) are pleasing. However, the movie doesn't manage to make it to truly exceptional status, mainly due to the script. The basic story and its various twists and turns will be exceedingly familiar to both Western and Eastern audiences. You'll be ahead of the story (and characters) at every point. Not only that, the story is stretched out to a considerable length, leading to some dull patches and long sections where characters disappear for a long time (such as the hero's son.) As I said, the movie does deliver enough, but it's best to have your expectations lowered, especially if you've seen the much superior Ip Man movies.
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