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Old 03-01-2018, 08:31 PM   #11051
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Neutron the Atomic Superman vs. the Death Robots

Mexican wrestler Neutron faces the return of his nemesis Dr. Caronte who plots to use the brains of three dead scientists to uncover the formula for the neutron bomb, Dr Carontes plan however needs a ready supply of blood. aided by Nick his midget henchman

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Old 03-02-2018, 07:56 PM   #11052
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Default Death of Stalin ( 2017 )

This is a simply wonderful movie .
The Death of Stalin film focuses on the power struggles that ensued within Stalin’s inner circle following the dictator’s death in 1953.
For all its dark humour - the real masterstroke of Iannucci’s film is when the director drops the comedy and instead focuses on the perilous stakes facing many of the film’s characters.
As with the director’s previous works, the comedy stems from the scheming and backstabbing of its central political figures, here brought beautifully to life by a uniformly excellent cast.
Simon Russell Beale is particularly impressive as the odious Lavrentiy Beria and Steve Buscemi delivers a wonderful performance as Nikita Khrushchev.
Jason Isaacs also deserves praise. The actor’s abrasive, Yorkshire-accented General Zhukov all but steals the film’s final act.

This is Political satire at its best. Palo will love it
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Old 03-03-2018, 03:38 AM   #11053
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Originally Posted by 73north View Post

This is a simply wonderful movie ....
Oh, I must see it.

Angels One Five (1952)

Jack Hawkins, Michael Denison, Dulcie Gray, John Gregson

Before he was trying to blow up the Adm. von Tirpitz John Gregson joined a Hurricane squadron in the Battle of Britain.

'Special Effects' are pretty terrible, although we do see some Hurricanes taxying and occasionally taking off. Some of them came from the Portuguese Air Force.

It doesn't matter that much because most of the action takes place on the ground. And it's pretty good when we are in the Ops room.

Of course the end of the war is very recent and quite a few of the cast were veterans, Gregson included. I should mention Ronald Adam, who was a veteran of both world wars. As an RAF pilot in April 1918 he was shot down near Villers-Bretonneux, by either Hans Kirschstein or Manfred von Richthofen. He was badly wounded and captured. In WWII Ronald Adam was Fighter Controller for the Hornchurch sector during the Battle of Britain.
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Old 03-03-2018, 12:48 PM   #11054
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I saw yesterday the newest Spider Man movie: Spider-Man: Homecoming. I have not kept up with all the Spider Man movies, but honestly this new one in my opinion is the worst one yet. I still don't know why Peter Parker is called Spider Man. He is just a 14 year old teenager. Just because he has super powers that does not make him a man. Unlike the first movies made with Tobey Maguire, Tom Holland comes out quite juvenile acting and has the typical shyness of a 14 year old. But when he is in his supersuit he is totally different, and the suit is different now. In a previous Spider Man he was teamed with the Avengers and his suit was re-made by Iron Man. I don't like the new suit. It is more like a suit with an artificial intelligence in it and a device that gives Spider Man more control over his web shooting device. And there is just too much CGI visual effects in this film. It is almost as if the entire film is visual effects. The film itself made a lot of money and most critics gave it positive reviews, but I prefer the older films. They were in my opinion more like the old "friendly neighborhood Spiderman" of the comic books.
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Old 03-03-2018, 02:51 PM   #11055
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Identity (2003)


Complete strangers stranded at a remote desert motel during a raging storm soon find themselves the target of a deranged murderer. As their numbers thin out, the travelers begin to turn on each other, as each tries to figure out who the killer is.

Last night watched,

The Shining (1980)


Snow and big minus is outside, I had to watch it, for a complete atmosphere.

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Old 03-03-2018, 06:19 PM   #11056
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The Mighty Peking Man aka Goliathon (1977)
Xing xing wang (original title)

When an earthquake releases a giant gorilla that had been inside a mountain and soon goes on the rampage. A group of adventurers out for what they hope is big money aim to capture it and put it on display.
The creature "Utam" has been raising the lion cloth wearing Samantha since rescuing her from a crashed airplane.
Johnny one of the hunters persuades Samantha & Utam to come with them to Hing Kong where things get messy on both the personal and rampaging giant gorilla front

Full movie

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Old 03-03-2018, 09:21 PM   #11057
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Originally Posted by trailmaster View Post
I saw yesterday the newest Spider Man movie: Spider-Man: Homecoming. I have not kept up with all the Spider Man movies, but honestly this new one in my opinion is the worst one yet..
Funnily enough this was the only Spiderman film I liked. Largely because of Holland's version of the character, but also because I like Downey Jnr's cocky Tony Stark
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Old 03-03-2018, 10:20 PM   #11058
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Originally Posted by Wendigo View Post
The Mighty Peking Man aka Goliathon (1977)
Xing xing wang (original title)

Full movie

Cult status for all the wrong reasons and a guilty pleasure of mine
Fanaticism is the only form of willpower that even the weak and insecure can be brought to attain

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Old 03-03-2018, 10:26 PM   #11059
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Apocalypse Now

Now that the war's been over for 43 years, I wonder if Charley has learned to surf yet.
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Old 03-05-2018, 11:21 AM   #11060
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February 26, 1988 was the date of this movie's release, a 30th anniversary viewing for me was necessary since I always loved the movie. I just spoiled my thoughts on the movie, but there you go. Bloodsport is just an essential action movie viewing, so it's something I feel I don't have to go into detail about when it comes with the plot. The plot though is very thin and simple, which isn't a bad thing at all. The hook was the fighting. The movie is also legendary for being the breakout film for Jean-Claude Van Damme. Thanks to the amazing documentary “Electric Boogalo: The Wild, Untold Story of Cannon Films,” JCVD (I'll just use that for the duration of the review) lobbied himself really hard to get film roles. He had done a little role on the 1984 film Breakin', a Cannon Films production, which I still haven't seen. Then he got a bigger role as a bad guy in No Retreat No Surrender in 1986. According to the documentary, he worked as a pizza delivery guy, and he would do demonstrations, and was calculated in doing them in front of Menahem Golan. Golan was one of the two men behind Cannon, the other man being his cousin, Yoram Globus. So, he was impressed with JCVD's splits and stuff, and that got the ball rolling for this movie. It's based on the story about real life person Frank Dux. From what I've read, Dux's story was supposedly all made up, and that has led to the fact he currently has a Spy Shop in San Francisco a funny coincidence. It's a coincidence because that Spy Shop is in a building owned by Tommy Wiseau. Put that in perspective, someone that's been said to be a liar (I haven't really researched the real Dux extensively), doing business in a building owned by someone with a history of lying, Tommy Wiseau. That's funny. This viewing is really special as I had a huge dinner while watching it. Little Caesar's Pizza with pepperjack cheese melted on it, along with jalapeno pepper spiced hamburger patties, and scrambled eggs, BBQ sauce and melted butter all over that, it was insane. Also, the soda I had was warm, so I leaned on water because all those pepper flavored foods lit up my tongue. The best thing is that the meal lasted past the movie, when it finished, I was only down to one patty. I have made a habit out of thinking up movies to watch while eating pizza, and given the fact it was a Saturday, I had kept putting off the movie, really nothing else to do that day, it was the best opportunity. Anyways, introductory stuff, let me dive into this movie.

As I said, the plot is thin. Frank Dux is part of the United States Armed Forces. Adding a layer to my knowledge of the movie, I did go on to read their article on Bloodsport. The site compares real stories to film adaptations. To make it very simple, Dux was in fact part of the US Armed Forces, a Marine. I read the story and it's just really complicated because of misinterpretations and those who misunderstood lied under those beliefs. Basically, they interpreted bits of info and Dux's autobiography “The Secret Man,” that he was a Vietnam veteran. That's not really true, but people think Dux himself made it up, but he claims he didn't. From his words, he worked as a contract operative for the CIA, and infiltrated the Kumite starting in 1975. Another misconception is Dux being a CIA agent, and people calling bullshit to that, but Dux explained his CIA experience as basically not being a card-carrying CIA agent, he worked for “front companies.” I guess freelance, honestly as detailed as that article in historyvshollywood is, it really brings to light that it's such a tangled web, it's hard to really unravel and connect all the dots. For the sake of this review, I'll try not to touch on the real Dux a lot.

Back to the movie, Dux snuck out of his military headquarters to pay his teacher, Senzo Tanaka, a visit. Quickly, Tanaka was a composite of two real-life characters, Jack Seki and...Senzo Tanaka. By the little blurb, it sounded like both guys were his instructors, but Seki probably moreso, the two instructors were not good friends. Tanaka in the movie was played by Roy Chiao, who I've seen in some other stuff. Most notably, Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, at the beginning part in China, good stuff. Also, just learning this, he was in Enter The Dragon! He played Li's sensei in the beginning section. His facial hair was dyed gray, that might explain why I didn't recognize him. But when I read this fact, I remembered the voice. He has a distinct, deep voice. Now knowing he's Chinese, born in Shanghai, it's strange that he played a Japanese person. Okay look, growing up, I always assumed martial arts all came from China, even when I first watched this, all I thought was “China.” The Kumite did take place in Hong Kong, though the real life one Dux participated in was at the Bahamas, which is hilarious when you think about it. So, Hong Kong, martial arts, Chinese man as Dux's sensei in the movie, other things just fooled me into thinking it's all Chinese. Looking up the word “Kumite,” it comes from Japan. Tanaka is obviously a Japanese name, there were Katanas present in this movie too, but these Japanese touches were a bit minor for me, so I just slapped “Chinese” all over it back then. I have since known better.

Tanaka in this movie is ill, as Dux awaits to be able to see him, he looks at a Katana blade and you get transported to the backstory section, how Dux met Tanaka, his training, an origin story. Dux and his buddies broke into Tanaka's house to steal his sword, but Dux was the hesitant one of the trio, that peer pressure man. Now I'm bringing this up for a good reason, during this viewing I thought that the guy playing kid Dux, did not look like JCVD. I know it's a movie, can't take likenesses seriously, but it doesn't help that the two guys with him looked a bit more like JCVD than he did, and even then the resemblance is not there. So I had that thought, but then when he spoke, it dawned on me that he probably got the kid Dux role because of his French accent. He may have been dubbed by a French guy though, and the actor's pure American, it definitely sounded like a dub job. Then I go to the historyvshollywood article, a picture of a young Dux is there, and holy cow, he looked like the young man in this movie. Who would have thought, right? Back to the origin story, Tanaka got wind of a home invasion, the two deviants ran off and left Dux alone. Tanaka's son came in to kick Dux's ass after he was seen holding the Katana. He was actually in awe of it, they thought he was going to steal it. Through the whole ordeal, he earned the interest of Tanaka, who took him under his wing. As it turned out, he'd be sparring and training fodder for Tanaka's son, and that's shown with the son throwing young Dux around. The son's worth is contradicted though, oddly, in a scene where he's ganged up by bullies after school, and Dux saves him with his own fighting. I guess being a human sandbag will toughen you up and give you abilities in fighting to an extent, but with how this little story is told, the perspective is that an inexperienced fighter saved someone who had been brought up on his father's martial arts for all his life presumably. So, what the hell? It's weird too, after the bullies run off and Dux picks the guy up, all he said was that he would one day enter the Kumite and be the best or something. Not even a “Thank you for saving me.” Wow, so ungrateful. Also, exposition bot, that statement was pure exposition, not dialogue, which is funny. Jump forward to adult Dux, JCVD, with Tanaka, paying respects to his son, who died. I'm not sure if he died from Kumite, or if he even fought in it. Regardless, Dux makes a plea for Tanaka to pass all his knowledge to him and wants to compete in the Kumite to honor him. So begins the training montage. One thing I didn't pick up until this viewing is that Dux does a split perfectly in one scene, but then a few minutes later in another training bit, Tanaka has him tied up and suspending him with ropes, forcing his legs to make a complete 180 degree angle. Knowing of that order, Dux should not have had trouble with that scene. Maybe the ropes were pulling at him hard? It was confusing, plus JCVD is probably most known for his epic splits.

All that happens, fade back to Dux meeting with a bedridden Tanaka. Now, not remembering the movie played a factor in my viewing. I thought Tanaka died at the end of this scene, but after they talk, it just jump cuts to Hong Kong. In hindsight I should've known better, because Roy Chiao didn't even look sick, he was just lying there like a plank with probably some water spritzed on his face. Acting was very minimal there. They talk some pleasantries anyway. Again, jump cut to Hong Kong, he sees Ray Jackson for the first time, played by Donald Gibb. This guy looks like he was a pro wrestler, he acts like an 80s wrestler too with his personality. Jackson was trying to get with a Chinese girl during a bus ride. Not long after, the two men hit it off after playing an arcade martial arts game, Karate Champ. It's funny because Jackson looked like he was dominating the game, seeing him work the controls, not really seeing the game footage. But then when challenged by Dux, and now game footage being shown, he sucks so hard! He couldn't get a move in, it looked like he had no idea how to play the game suddenly, it was ridiculous, but 80s fun. Their bromance begins from there.

At this point you're introduced to two government agents, I thought FBI or CIA, but no, DIA, which is a real agency in the United States. Ignorant me. Anyways, one of the agents is Forest Whitaker! Look at him, 30 years younger, it's really weird seeing him here. His partner is a much older white man, and their dynamic is well defined actually. The white man has more tact than his younger partner, who would have to be cut off before he would start to go off on one, be aggressive in his speaking basically. These DIA agents were looking for Dux, pay the Tanaka house a visit, Mrs. Tanaka can't give them valuable info.

You have your Americans introduced, well, JCVD isn't American, but let's gloss over that. When they first go to the Kumite fighting grounds, you're introduced to Chong Li, played by Bolo Yeung. I first saw Yeung in this movie, he also did Double Impact with JCVD a few years later. Also, Enter The Dragon! I think this is the first time I watched Bloodsport after seeing Enter the Dragon in 2015. I bring this up because now I'll remember a line he gave after Dux performed a Dim Mak on a bottom stack brick. “Very good, but brick not hit back.” AHA! I smiled at that, he has every right to lift that Bruce Lee line, he was in the movie where the line originated from, so there you go. That Dim Mak (death touch) demonstration was based on a real life feat Dux pulled off. Not a bunch of bricks, just two concrete slabs alternating with small tiles. It's still really impressive. The demonstration was done in the movie to prove he got trained by Tanaka. There was a little montage of other fighters getting ready for the Kumite before this scene, including Chong Li, and it does indicate what you would see in the movie.

The DIA guys make it to Hong Kong to find Dux and bring him back to the States, getting some help from Hong Kong police Inspector Chen. You're also introduced to Janice Kent, no relation to Clark Kent. Played by Leah Ayres, I think she's the only other female in the movie, you're already introduced to Mrs. Tanaka. That should explain the testosterone levels in this film, a total sausage fest. An enjoyable one I might add. So she's seen being hit on by an Arabian looking guy, at least I think he's supposed to be Arabian, he had that headgear to show for it. Dux saves her from his advances by putting her up for grabs in a coin game. I assume that's based on Bruce Lee's deal, where he would snatch a coin from a person's hand with unbelievable speed. Now, I'll say straight away, I did not mind this love angle. Shoehorned? Yeah I guess, but this is just 80s stuff, cliché that at least here, is inoffensive. This is part of a big theme of the movie, things to nitpick, are just not worth it, because the movie's main draw, what it is intended to be delivered, is done so fucking good, who cares about the extraneous stuff? The relationship doesn't really take up too much time in the movie anyways, I don't groan at it, and it did contribute to an ass shot of JCVD. I definitely did not remember that, so I was shocked in this viewing, seeing that ass. It happens after their one romantic date later in the movie. She has a reason for existing anyways, wanting to be in the Kumite location and just report on that, nosy journalist and whatnot. A very beautiful blonde though, it has to be said.

I seem to appreciate the overall fighting more and more each viewing. Of course, there's three major players, Jackson, Dux, Li. As such, it's easy to remember their fighting in the movie, but I forgot about the skills of some of the people who competed here as well. In fact, thanks to that historyvshollywood article, I learned that Paco, was played by Paulo Tocha, a former Muay Thai champion. I definitely did not spot any fakeness, everyone who got to show off their moves, were legit. I give that specific statement because of course there was cannon fodder, especially for Chong Li, which was acceptable because you have to build this guy up. In pro wrestling, this would be called “squash matches.” One wrestler is shown to be dominant by beating people in seconds, and with ease. Li here broke his own knockout record in his first bout, it's an example of how they portrayed this character. Also, he plays to the crowd, with hand gestures and soaking in their cheers, that's total pro wrestling to me. Also, after Jackson's first fight, he points to Chong Li, saying “I'm gonna kill you” or something like that. Total pro wrestling there, in fact it looked like a Hulk Hogan trademark too. Jackson looks like a cross between pro wrestler Hacksaw Jim Duggan and Ellis from Die Hard. Yeah, I'm serious. Oh, before I forget, Jackson was based on real life people. Two to be exact, mostly Richard Robinson, a Jujitsu black belt who became a successful stockbroker and then a teacher of martial arts in Pennsylvania. Hey, that's my state! The other person of partial inspiration was Swedish Karate Champion Kurt Peterson, who did compete in the “real life” Kumite as well.

Back to the fights, I think my ignorance or something played a factor into not really remembering all the fighting. The movie includes so many other people, you get to see them in action, which works because these big players end up battling Dux or Li. There are some that have strong first rounds, but then get beaten on by people who went on to face Dux or Li. For example, there's a black man who fought like a cunning monkey and he was pretty cool to watch. Then he got hugged to death by the sumo guy, and then that sumo guy was defeated by Dux. This movie showed off many different styles, and I opened my eyes to that this time around. I came out of this viewing now really appreciating Tocha, and now wonder if he was an inspiration behind Sagat from Street Fighter. With the stance and fighting style, it reminded me of Sagat, so then I started to think if Sagat's style is Muay Thai as well. All this praise, I do have to point out that Jackson was similar to Li in being a squash match guy, makes quick work of his one opponent. Actually, he just has that first round match, and then you don't see him fight until Chong Li. A good thing probably because you don't want general sameness. That being said, Chong Li's squashing was nasty, Jackson's was just, well, American. He got bloody very quick, and made his opponent bloodied as well.

For as much fighting there is, yeah there are breaks. Good breaks I might add. I mentioned the lovey dovey stuff with Dux and Kent, the DIA agents turn out to be kind of comedic relief. There's a scene where they are eating Chinese food. Okay, they aren't actually, a lot of stalling and crap, Whitaker saying this meat was good, excited to eat, but just played with his food. It makes me think he didn't really like the food, I think the meat was duck. And hey, I ate my damn food, those suckers didn't put any of that in their mouth. Also, there's a scene where they chase Dux after they learn of his whereabouts. Their way of threatening him were tasers, which is ridiculous, guns are more dangerous for crying out loud. The foot chase was also kind of cartoonish, Dux would be in one spot, then run off camera, and be in a totally different spot far from his previous one. When the DIA guys fall into the water, that was so staged, Whitaker in particular clearly tipped himself over the edge of the boat, the clumsy dude. I did find these funny, and along with the love stuff, offer some light hearted fare, even though this is a pure R-rated movie. I mean, it's called “Bloodsport” for a reason. There is blood flowing, classic 80s squibs, definitely a lot of instances of blood from the mouth. The title comes from a supposed incident with Dux. He was fighting in a junkyard in Tijuana at age 19 and to stop nervousness he would get before fights, he used humor. So, in a Howard Cossell imitation, he'd say “Here we are...ya the Red know, blood drive...ya know. Bloodsport...where everyone's guaranteed to give an know.” You know, he said “You know” and “ya know” a lot in that.

The love interest by the way is pure Hollywood, she's not based on anybody, which isn't surprising. Again, I don't mind the relationship, you got to see JCVD's ass in this. Also, that buttshot was so staged, he took too long adjusting his briefs, making it look like an act. He probably lobbied for that.

OH! There was a very brief fight with Dux and this big black guy. Come on, you have to agree that this man looked like Grace Jones!

I was stunned at the resemblance, and then laughed because it only took two hits for Dux to beat him. All that posturing and hand gesturing did nothing. Those don't hit back. After that fight, Dux takes on the sumo, and that featured the famous split punch to the balls. An iconic JCVD move that would see itself made into a signature move for Johnny Cage from the video game series, Mortal Kombat. Also, common knowledge, Cage was based on JCVD, and could've been played by JCVD for the live action movie, but he turned that role down and took on Street Fighter. That's hilarious. There's a lot of slow motion in the movie, also a trademark of Van Damme, but it's used so well here. It's definitely very prominent in the final fight between Dux and Li, but it was used to great effect in that match with the sumo. Not only with the split punch to the balls, but Dux did a palm strike to the sumo's belly and you could tell that had a lot of power. This leads to the legendary JCVD facial expressions. They're pretty funny in other movies, like Cyborg when it's pulled out once, but in this movie, you take them so seriously. Within the context of watching the movie, yeah when you see a clip, out of context it's funny, especially the screaming he did in the final fight. Still, those facial expressions have a purpose, a man delivering deadly blows, you got to make intense faces for that, and JCVD did just that.

I'm thanking IMDB trivia for this, because I didn't realize this. There's a fight with Chong Li and a guy named “Suan Paredes.” I liked the fight as that opponent delivered a lot of punches, almost as much as JCVD was doing kicks. I have to single this fight out because the person who portrayed Suan Paredes is Michel Qissi, aka Tong Po from Kickboxer! Holy shit! I went back and caught the resemblance. What threw me off is the hair, he has a full head of hair here, and the memorable ponytail/bald head combo in Kickboxer. Learning even more, he and JCVD were high school chums, and traveled to America together to be action stars. That's really cool. JCVD also hit it off with Bolo Yeung, being pretty close friends too.

Going back to problems with memory, a huge one is the fate of Ray Jackson. He fights Chong Li, and I thought he died. He gets an early advantage but soaks that up too much as Chong Li makes some short work of the man. Chong Li's facial expressions though, no laughs, this guy is fucking scary! Even when he's watching the fights, they cut to his face a lot and he gives these intense looks. Again, out of context, they can be funny, but watching the movie, no laughing. A lot of slow motion used on him, but again, to great effect. Actually, he made me cringe in one fight where she stomped and broke a man's leg, and the bone stuck out! Wow, that looked pretty convincing. Back to this fight, he does a hard stomp on Ray's head, and I thought that was the death blow. In fact I thought his very first fight in the movie ended in death, but it didn't. Li's reputation was explained, as he did kill his opponent in the last Kumite finals (the big international tournament's held every 5 years by the way). I just started to assume all his fights ended in death, but as it turned out one, only one did, and they made it a point to confirm that with a moment of silence and everyone standing up, looking at some sign with Chinese letters, bowing their heads down, along with the officials. That was in a fight after this Jackson one. I think the biggest reason I forgot this detail about Jackson was because of Kickboxer. No sugarcoating, Kickboxer is extremely similar to Bloodsport, it does have its own unique moments that makes it an entirely individual entity, but still a lot of themes are repeated from this movie. Kickboxer came out in 1989, so there you go. Also, going back to the similarities, I thought Chong Li killed Tanaka's son, again I still assumed Tanaka's son died while fighting in the Kumite. Connect the dots, it's established that Li killed someone in the last Kumite. In Kickboxer, JCVD's brother in the story is paralyzed, which I forgot too! I thought he died! Jesus, I'm really bad with memory. Actually, in hindsight, that brother kind of turned out like Ray Jackson, confined to some apparatus. For that guy, a wheelchair, for Jackson, a hospital bed. In the hospital scene after this brutal fight, it's said that Jackson's lucky to have a hard head. That was proven a couple scenes before where he headbutted a brick and broke it. It's all connected, good stuff. So you have the personal angle there, on Chong Li's end, he said at the final fight, pulling an Ivan Drago saying “You break my record. Now I break you, like I break your friend.” “Now I break you,” “I must break you.” Total Drago. In fact the Jackson vs. Li fight was totally Creed vs. Drago in Rocky IV. Dammit, there's a montage where Dux is sad, rides in a train or bus and he thought he saw Chong Li giving a deadly stare from across the bus, but he wasn't really there. That montage looked like the “There's No Easy Way Out” montage in Rocky IV. Also, the “Hearts on Fire” montage had to have inspired the training montage in the beginning of this film. All these similarities, it stands to reason that Cannon Films wanted to make their own Rocky movie, but with martial arts. I'd say they succeeded. Kickboxer is heavier on the Rocky tones though, in my opinion. Also, Kent, totally went Adrian when she tried to convince Dux not to fight Chong Li. Similar lines too, the whole “You can't win” speech. At least Dux didn't say “I'm a fighter, that's the way I'm made Adrian.” By the way, Kent did make it to the Kumite location, she basically became arm candy for some big shot gambler. There was actual gambling in the Kumite, according to Dux. That arm candy was gone by the end, because she turned up watching the final battle while sat next to the DIA guys. They did corner Dux, and prove that tasers was a bad idea, Dux used a trash lid to deflect the taster shots, they went and hit two Hong Kong cops. This was right before the final fight by the way. So embarrassing, and this was the same year as Die Hard, where 99% of the police and government agents there are incompetent.

I really liked the psychological play from Chong Li, taking the bandanna of Jackson and tying it around his knee. At the final fight he pointed that out to Dux, “Like I break your friend.” Yeah man, good stuff. Going back, I did like a match between two Chinese looking guys. That one was pure Hong Kong martial arts movie fodder, it was very short, but nice. This movie is very inclusive of martial arts styles, definitely MMA before that even became a thing.

Everything builds up to the final fight, Chong Li vs. Frank Dux, and it's a great fight. There are some dirty deeds, blatant powder to the eyes by Li. Did that actually happen in Kumite matches? Yes and no apparently. There was blinding of the eyes, but it was accidental, bead sweat and stuff burning the eyes. The blinding here did lead to the epic JCVD screams, and when he fights back, you get the classic jumping spinning roundhouse kick that he would do at least 3 times, and in slow motion. Actually, at the very beginning, he did a sweet kick where he launched himself from the shoulder of the referee, exactly what he did in No Retreat No Surrender! Definitely an epic fight, extremely well done, slow motion was sweet. Admittedly, an abundance of it, but still used very well, I won't complain. Dux wins in the best way too, not by knocking him out cold or out of the arena, or by killing him. A total payback for the psychological play Li made earlier. Poetic.

This of course leads to the gayest moment in the movie where Dux and Jackson have a handshake, and JCVD's Frenchness (okay, Belgian) coming through, saying “I love you my friend” after handing him that bandanna. Then, he kisses the man on the cheek! That's so awkward when you think about it, and this is in front of Kent, she's just smiling away though. She should be jealous. Then Jackson made a promise that he will always be there when Dux needs him. Jesus, just get married! It's a lovely moment, but still, gay!

The movie ends with one final comedic bit with the DIA guys, and then Dux and Kent bowing farewell to each other. There are some captions before the end credits, touting records that the real Frank Dux achieved, how he won 329 Kumite matches from 1975 to 1980, and retired undefeated. One of the records was “Fastest Knockout – 3.2 seconds.” Wow, because in the movie, he beat Chong Li's 14 second record with a 12 second knockout. Note that Dux has been accused by many for fabrications, so, this could be a lie, or it could be legit. What is legit is that he actually coordinated the fights in this, as well as trained JCVD exclusively for the movie. So, whatever anyone's opinion of him is, one has to at least applaud him for the fights, because they are what sell the movie.

On the music, I didn't know who sang the songs here, after some research, I learned it was Stan Bush. The Kumite song is the most memorable one, it played during the ending credits, and played a bit earlier in the movie. I mean, it's a sing-along song too, “Koo-meh-tay” said several times. It is infectious, along with the rhythm section of the song.

I think I typed out too many plot points, even though I said the plot is thin. It is, I'm just naturally longwinded. This movie is a very easy watch anyways, it's amazing to catch the details though, and hopefully I remember them all by the time I watch this movie again.

Time to stretch things out more, I read the IMDB trivia page. There's some bits that basically say all the things Dux claimed, have been false, including those records, his ties with the CIA, all that. Something I read in the historyvshollywood article, he actually took JCVD to court over The Quest, a movie JCVD wrote and directed. I haven't seen that movie yet, but Dux argued that it was his story, his screenplay, and that he should get some of the money made from it. He wound up getting a “Story by” credit. One theme about him is he constantly is called out for his lying, and also defends himself a lot. The historyvshollywood article actually has him speaking with the people of the site, so a lot of what they put down is quoted from Dux. They also cite other sources, it's a really detailed read, recommended. So, who knows, all I know is that an awesome movie came out of this.

The IMDB trivia page noted that Chong Li's lines were mostly Bruce Lee ones from Enter The Dragon. He really doesn't talk much, I think only twice, when he reacts to the Dim Mak by Dux and then the Drago-like statement to Dux before the final fight. So, by saying “most of his lines,” it really isn't saying much. Also, something I noticed, and confirmed here, Chong Li is from South Korea. I noticed with the headband he wears, the South Korean flag. I actually mistook it for the symbol of Tae Kwon Do, which is a Korean martial art. The confusing part came from the fact that Bolo Yeung is Chinese, but ah well. The trivia page does indicate JCVD's passion going into this, the movie was almost never released, but he helped to edit the film so that it could be. I did look at the credits, JCVD is not credited as an editor, but I still believe that. He described the 3 month training program with Frank Dux as the hardest in his life, note that he's a world championship martial artist. The IMDB trivia page makes a point that Dux's claims come from the man himself, and I realized when he defended himself in the historyvshollywood article, he would make claims based on what other people supposedly testify. Hypothetical example, “It's true. See I have this note from this guy saying it's true,” and that's not elaborated on basically. The article itself doesn't have scans of any documents or things on paper to really prove his words. There is one document scanned, some receipt Dux claimed was a false one by someone who tried to discredit Dux over the Kumite trophy he posed in a picture with. Yeah, it's crazy, and the Spy Shop thing makes sense now, I didn't know prior to today that he was supposedly worked with the CIA.

Anyways, on the flipside, Van Damme's martial arts achievements have been documented, public material. That page brings up another good point, the Kumite is purported to be an underground fighting competition, so just that alone, Dux saying he was a champion of that is a bit suspect, because people even doubt this Kumite competition even exists.

A fun fact that actually gives more weight to a certain brief fight with Dux. In the fight where he goes up against a guy in gray karate gear, the man he defeated was Yu-Shu Wu, a veteran Hong Kong stunt performer and top martial artist. He was actually told to tone down his kicking skills to make JCVD look better on screen. I can believe that, I forgot to mention that fight because both were having a chess match of kicks! There was one moment where it was like swords clashing together, but legs in the air. That was sweet.

Another Enter The Dragon comparison I just realized, that movie had a brief section where they are in Kowloon Walled City. This movie takes you there, it's pretty much set there. That amazing looking location has since been destroyed. Going back to Double Impact, I knew that Inspector Chen guy was familiar, he played the Triad boss in Double Impact!

Oh, and, as if the trivia page needed to say this, Ray Jackson does not use any recognized martial art at all in this movie. Duh, he just clobbers, again, reminds me of an 80s pro wrestler.

Back to the real life Frank Dux, I did see a video, linked in the historyvshollywood article that he did break bulletproof glass with only two palm strikes. The glass was demonstrated earlier with a man shooting a gun at it. The video is super low quality, this was in 1993 in a big festival in Europe. So, I couldn't catch the bullet, which was said to be stuck to the glass before Dux's demonstration. He had broken liquor bottles in the video as well. I mean, he's been called out on that demonstration too. If it's all legit, then damn!

That about does it for the trivia. One major thing I held back on until the end, JCVD was fucking sexy! I did watch No Retreat No Surrender over 6 months ago, so his young looks didn't fade from memory. It's just that he wasn't in that movie a lot. Here, he's the star, and they spotlight him so much. Actually going back to the trivia, he apparently did 7 splits in this movie. They do vary a bit, like the split he was forced into by Tanaka, and then Chong Li at the final fight. Other splits, of course he'd be doing them on purpose, there's one where he's on top of a building and the camera sweeps around from behind. It really puts to mind how amazing the splits are. This movie really shows how amazing Jean-Claude Van Damme was. It's really sad his career took a downhill turn thanks to himself and his addiction to drugs. He kind of became straight to video fodder after Street Fighter. So, that's a really short time on top, from 1988 to 1994, that is short, compared with other big action stars. I had a major Van Damme kick several years ago, that did lead me to watching a lot of his movies. It was before 2012 and his Expendables 2 role that I had that kick. He peaked in those 6 years, really tailed off and struggled from 1995 to 2001. I stopped at 2001 because I really loved Replicant, I actually cried from that, which is odd in hindsight, but it's a really good movie, that came out in 2001. In Hell was a few years later and that was really good. People though universally name his 2008 movie, JCVD, as his comeback. I felt like he was making a comeback earlier in the 2000s, but I can see why it's regarded as the comeback movie. That film is awesome by the way, it's the best acting, pure acting, that JCVD has ever done. The Expendables 2 did launch him back into the spotlight, and I did watch that movie, he was fantastic in that. It really showed how great he is as a villain, arguably moreso than as a hero. He played a hero and villain in Replicant, doing a great job in both roles. I think he's a bad guy in Universal Soldier: Day of Reckoning. I haven't seen that yet. Of course, No Retreat No Surrender, a highlight in a movie filled with hilarious highlights, he was a bad man in that. Still, Van Damme is best known for being a hero, a very good looking one. I can see why he became a huge star, and Cannon Films do like their pretty boys. They tried to make Michael Dudikoff a star and that didn't work. They made Chuck Norris big again though, so it shows that their golden boy needed to be both good looking, like Dudikoff, and a real rugged, bad ass man like Norris. JCVD embodied both aspects, and thus he easily became the number 3 behind Stallone and Schwarzenegger. In fact, I'd say number 2 for those 6 years, because Stallone dipped after the 80s closed, while JCVD kept it up with Kickboxer, Lionheart, Double Impact, Hard Target, and the first Universal Soldier movie, Timecop too. Hell, maybe even number 1, thinking back to that 6 year period, Schwarzenegger did fewer movies, so there were definitely openings where JCVD would've been the top guy. I know there was Bruce Willis, but during that time, he only hit it big with Die Hard 1, 2, and I think The Last Boy Scout. JCVD had a more vast array of successful titles during that period. So it is safe to say that Jean-Claude Van Damme was on top of the world. His cocaine addiction really messed him up, and Street Fighter probably did kill his momentum. Even though that movie is hilariously bad and made well over double its $35 million budget, it was such a critical bomb, and this was before critical bombs had no bearing on sequels (Transformers anyone?).

As much praise as I give Van Damme, there was a time where I was over him, feeling like he does the same old shit. That is still a notable thought, there is a sameness to his movies because he became someone who end up only doing his signature moves. So it would help if the movie around him is pretty rich, otherwise it goes flat. Bloodsport and Kickboxer were the first movies to spotlight the man, so there's that excuse. Street Fighter, hell no! Again, entertainingly bad, but when it came to JCVD's fights? They were almost nonexistent for one, and when they do happen, which is at the end against M. Bison, it's very basic, he quickly does his 3 moves, make a bad pun, and then run off.

I will definitely at least watch his films from 1988-1994, those are top notch action movies, and with that said, this is the top of the top. I said the 2008 movie, JCVD, had the best acting from Van Damme, but in terms of overall martial arts, action, as far as being a pure Van Damme flick, this is number 1. Again, I can nitpick and deduct points based on silly things. I just chalk all of them up to “Well it's the 80s, let it go.” That's really what it comes down to, just the 80s, just Hollywood too, especially with that romantic and sexual relationship between Frank Dux and Kent. The meat and potatoes of this movie, the martial arts and Van Damme's charisma, is so amazing, it clouds any negative thought I could have over this movie. I mentioned the plan to watch this movie on a reddit thread, and someone named Bloodsport as the best martial arts movie of all time. I don't agree with that, just look to actual Hong Kong martial arts movies, the competition would be very stiff. As far as martial arts movies from the USA, there's not much competition, so Bloodsport is easily at the top. It would be number 1, but technically Enter The Dragon is a Hollywood martial arts film, so there's that. Nothing wrong with number 2 though. This one movie smokes everything Steven Seagal ever did, and that's another star of American martial arts movies. Chuck Norris can't be compared because of his 80s movies bringing him out of pure martial arts fare as he did in the 70s. Also, I only watched 2 70s films he was in, Way of the Dragon and Slaughter in San Francisco. So, with the exception of Enter The Dragon, Bloodsport is the best US martial arts film. Not only is Jean-Claude Van Damme amazing, but all the legit fighters they got on board for it, did excellent jobs. My biggest props to the following: Bolo Yeung for being a total beast, with a massive chest, a very memorable look. Paulo Tocha, the guy was so damn good. I forgot to mention that he fought JCVD! That was a massive kick battle too, they ended up trading kicks to the ribs, swift, and both of them not selling the damage. So much testosterone there, no pain. It ended though with a sweet spinning heel kick of sorts by JCVD. I also want to give props to Yu-Shu Wu, Michel Qissi, the sumo guy, the other Chinese martial artists since they reminded me of Hong Kong kung fu films, even the black guy who fought like a monkey. When all these people were given time to shine, they did. I already gave lots of props to JCVD, so nothing new there.

This is not only a fantastic martial arts movie, but it's also an awesome 80s movie. I said it before, and I'll say it again, absolutely essential viewing if you like Van Damme, martial arts movies, action movies, anything 80s too. Yeah there's some funky dialogue from JCVD, there was his ass shot, some questionable acting from people, even Roy Chiao when he pretended to be sick, cheesy music and 80s cliches galore, all that is just Hollywood flavoring. Deep down you have a masterpiece of an action movie, another homerun by the legendary Cannon Films. Remembering the documentary, this really turned the corner for them, this was their last golden period too, after the close of the 80s and JCVD moved onto other production companies and big studios, Cannon Films fell.

So yeah, what more can be said? It's tremendous.
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