Pointz Taken Seriously (Thursday The 28th)

Alright, heading into the weekend, I’ve put together my list of reviews you can expect to see in the coming week or two. Seeing as how I’m going to be as broke as a joke, I’ll definietly have some time to write and record. Among the announcements I previously posted here, I’ve also added The Twilight Samurai to my Cinema Classics marathon. Next episode will still be The Man From Nowhere/Kagemusha though, so be ready for that. I’ve got my notes written I just need to get my other computer setup to record.

Twilight-samurai

In other news, I recently watched and reviewed the biopic, Champion. The feature tries to reimagine the life and career of Duk Koo Kim, and in the process bores me to tears. The one thing this film had going for it, was that I wasn’t familar with the story beforehand; which meant the ending came as a surprise. It just felt like a typical “cinderella-man” story of a poor, strong guy with a big heart who punches his way to the top. Nothing bad about the movie, but it’s not among the premier films I’ve got to see so far this year. In case you missed it, here’s a link to the review released yesterday: Click here to read for Champion Review

Until next time, stick and stay!

-Desmond Childs

Champion (2002)

Champion_2002_filmChamps

Champion: “I will fight until the end…”

Words: Desmond Childs

This was a nice change of pace. Bio pics usually ride the bottom of my queue if they make it at all, because of the limited amount of breathing room. Well, let me take that back, because you can easily add and subtract quite a bit to a biopic to freshen it up. These days the trend leans more toward the presentation of such biopics; with the information mostly accurate and the production value having been spruced up to raise the intrigue.

Directed By:

Kwak Kyung-taek

Kyungtaek

The south Korean director, Kyung-taek Kwak made his first feature in 1997 (3pm Bathhouse Paradise), but was not truly commended for his work until his feature Friend. The movie earned him several honors, including a Holden Award for the script at the Torino Film Festival. Champion also recieved an award at the Philadelphia Film Festival. With a larger budget, Mr.Kwak’s feature, Typhoon (2005) did not make enough of a return at the box office. Since then, he’s produced 2 projects but hasn’t been as active since 2008.

Synopsis and Analysis: “The sweet science gets a much needed rule review”

On the surface, Champion is nothing more than the story of Rocky the boxer transmogrified into a young asian lad. Duk Koo Kim grows up living a rough life. He gets into boxing rather early and has some success leading up to the fateful match against Boom Boom Manchini. The outcome of their match affected the sport of boxing in a very impactful way. Ultimately, I was numb to the feelings this film wanted me to have for the characters on screen. For the running time, I still never really got to know the lead character very well outside of his passion for boxing. Apparently the sport of boxing experienced somewhat of a boom during the late 70s and early 80s, so Duk Koo Kim’s particular rise through the ranks made him a frontrunner. At least in his country. Outside of Korea, he wasn’t as well known, even with the amateur record he held. Regardless, all that information is what I get instead of getting to see longer scenes of Duk Koo Kim’s boxing matches. In short, this had to be the least violent boxing movie I’d seen in recent memory. The sub-sub-sub plot involving the boxer’s love life felt so tacked on, with most of the screen time being reserved for training montages and Duk Koo Kim’s mentor spouting generic self-help quotes. The end result of the film, which prays the audience has found some aspect of the film to invest in emotionally; tries to wringe that bit of emotion out; and doesn’t quite cut it for me. I said this film was a nice change of pace, but it’s definietly a speed I can live without on most movie nights. Sorry.

 

Champion is on Netflix’s instant watch feature. For how long, I don’t know. Check out the trailer below:

The List (Late July-Early August)

These movies are up for review during this current time period. Keep in mind I’ll be on vacation around this time too, which also explains all the time gaps between shows. I’ll update, but full on features will be weekly.

-Movie Reviews- (Coming soon…)

  1. Champion (completed July 27, 2011)
  2. Kagemusha (Cinema Classics Marathon)
  3. Electric Shadows
  4. Vengeance
  5. The Twilight Samurai (Cinema Classics Marathon)

 

Shadows

Pointz Taken Seriously II (Monday the 25th)

“Our guns are bigger than their guns?”

Words: Desmond Childs

I know it’s been a while since the podcast has been updated, and I have an excuse. I’ve been going through the moving process, so I’ve been spending a lot of the time in and out of the house. Don’t worry though, because I do have my show notes pretty much written. The reviews I got ready are “The Man From Nowhere” and “Kagemusha”. In the meantime, check out some of these Pointz Taken Seriously; every now and then, I’ll read something online and get the urge to react to it in this blog. For example some of the news coming out of San Diego Comic Con is getting me kind of hyped for Summer 2012. And of course all the video game hype we got toward the beginning of the spring has me excited to see some of these new video games coming out.

As for as the Asian cinema front, the Wong Kar Wai film, The Grand Master looks very intriguing! How many of you guys got to see the trailer for that one? Here it is, in case you didn’t:

 

As I mentioned in part one of this Pointz Taken Seriosuly, cinema Marvel has turned cinema DC into it’s whipping boy. Captain America was good. Thor was solid. Green Latern was horrid. For those keeping score, that’s 2-1 Marvel over DC. It’s a shame too, considering the Green Laterns and Thor would battle to a standstill. However, I may just be saying that to upset my girlfriend Ashley. Anyway, Dragon Ball Z pawns all!

Goku_vs_superman_by_nicochi

Pointz Taken Seriously (Monday the 25th)

BREAKING NEWS:

Marvel Comics to DC: “I got two words for ya’!”

Words: Desmond Childs

There’s been quite a bit of news coming out of the San Diego Comic Con and it has all us nerds going crazy again. My question is why do we let ourselves get jacked up over our favorite comic book heroes getting the silver screen treatment, only for the result to be less than stellar. At least, that’s what all us DC comic fans are asking. I was conversing with my friend about DC’s chances of catching up with Marvel in the “cinematic race”. Marvel “apparently” seems to have more of a colorful cast of characters to draw from. I don’t necessarily think thats true, but I also believe DC does a suck job of hyping up their 2nd and 3rd tear super heroes. Take Flash and Aquaman. Out of the Justice League these two heroes, considered top tier in DC comics would probably be consider 2nd or 3rd tear in Marvel. And thats simply because their lives are so boring outside of being heroes. Hell, I’m not a comic book genius, but I didn’t necessarily think Batman and Superman were interesting until Frank Miller made Batman an ass and Superman’s writers “killed” him off for a bit. My point is that unless DC goes back to basics and grounds the Wonder Woman story in her whole Amazon backstory (a la Captain America and WWII), DC is destined to play second fiddle to Marvel in cinematic adaptions of their roster of super heroes. Don’t forget, Avengers and Spider-Man are due out in 2012. DC better bring it!

P.S

I think Batman and Spiderman fight to a draw. Why? Spider-Man has the reflexes and will to survive, not necessarily win. Batman is the unstoppable force to Spider-Man’s inmmovable object. That’s just what I think though Ashley, okay? Sheesh. Don’t get mad because we all know Goku would come through and handle up on everybody!

Dc_vs_marvel

Ip Man 2 (2010)

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Ip Man 2: An originator triumphs over skepticism and ignorant British Boxers

Words by: Desmond Childs

I’ll admit that I was pretty late to seeing this movie, and have yet to have watched the first installment. Unfortunately, the first news I heard about this sequel is that it owes a large part of it’s box office success to the highly popular original. That’s sorta like a backhanded compliment, isn’t it? Like saying, the only reason you didn’t blow yourself up is because you hadn’t learned how to light a fuse. Perhaps I’m being a little confusing. Anyway, Ip Man’s legacy apparently lies with the storytelling, star Donnie Yen, and the phenominal choregraphed action sequences. This film actually reminded me of those Rocky movies we got in the late 70s and 80s. One important difference being that Ip Man 2’s protagonist is somewhat accomplished in his trade whereas Rocky I guess was like an underdog? Or wait, Ip man was sort of an underdog too, wasn’t he? He was an underdog because no one trusted his style of fighting until he personally kicked their teeth in. Back to my statement about not being well aquainted with the Ip man films; Sammo Hung being in this film truly made it worth the viewing. Donnie Yen didn’t fail to impress either, making his movies available on Netflix somewhere toward the top of my list.

Directed By:

Wilson Yip

Wilson_yip_bsff_best_director

Synopsis and Analysis: “Chinese Martial Arts vs. English Boxing! It’s going down, I’m taking bets!”

Mr. Yip is a very busy filmmaker, not to mention an accomplished one. With a professional career dating back to 1995, the director has also been a actor, writer, producer, and cinematographer in many of the projects he’s worked on. Some of his most recent work prior to the Ip Man films are: Flash Point (2007), Dragon Tiger Gate (2006), and Kill Zone. For the later two features, Yip used the pen name Yip Wai Shun. The most intriguing thing about Wilson Yip to me was the number of times he’s worked with Donnie Yen- 5 times including Ip Man 2. The oddest thing about my research on Yip. I had actually written a review about his film, Flash Point about a year ago. Still looking to add that one when I find it.

Ip Man 2 picks up where the first movie let off, as Ip Man and his wife are trying to get settled in Hong Kong. One of the story webs weaved throughout this tale is Ip trying to establish his own dojo to teach his style of Chinese martial arts. The problems Ip encounters are finding students to teach, keeping those students out of trouble, and earning the respect of other dojos around the area. Sammo Hung’s dojo leader doesn’t think much of Ip at first, forcing the poor guy to prove himself in a test of speed, strength, and dexterity. Ip Man prevails however, and wins over the respect of the other leaders. If my explanation seems a bit too condensed it’s because this part of the film did happen rather quickly and it’s one of the first obstacles Ip Man overcomes in the movie. The rest of the film focuses on the group of dojo masters ironically having to prove themselves to a British boxing champion who storms into town and spits all over the Chinese way of doing things. He’s loud, rude, and has the fists to back up being a complete jerk. Once Sammo Hung and the other masters get a taste of Western fighting, Ip Man quite literrally stands alone as Chinese Kung Fu’s only hope of being a respected fighting style. The showdown between Ip Man and the British idiot is an epic one.

Ip Man 2 is available for viewing on Netflix’s “Instant Watch” feature, but it’s unclear how long it will remain. Netflix has a habit of adding and removing titles quite frequently. Keep an eye out for any time stamps added to the feature, in which case there will be a time limit for the movie being on instant watch. Check out the trailer for Ip Man 2 below:



 

 

 

 

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