Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Netflix Streaming: Kung-Fu and Mystic detectives.

NETFLIX ON DEMAND, BITCHES!!!! Fucking sick of politics and bullshit and it's time to soak the brain in some pickle-juice hogwash and Kung-Fu-Foolery! Hey, let's also talk about a saturday morning Fright Flick Binge!!! Here's the next rant...

The Butcher, The Cook, and the Swordsman:

So we start off with an old man knocked aside by the Swordsman, a beggar bitten by a poisonous snake, and a butcher chasing a pig when the credits roll and this Asian Martial Arts film kicks into gear as we continue to follow the Butcher through his story: “desire”. He’s been saving every last coin he’s earned for over a year to spend one evening with “Miss Mai”, a courtesan at the local high end House of Ill Repute. Standing in his way is the infamous “Big Beard.” Luckily he comes across a beggar wielding a great cleaver… but the beggar warns that this cleaver is “Not made for killing.”

We then hear the story of this cleaver and the beggar in a story called “Vengeance”. The beggar is struck mute after having been bitten by the snake, and is “helped” by the staff of a great restaurant where he is eventually taken in as the star pupil of the establishments owner and chef. To give greater detail would be to spoil what is a tremendous story, but we eventually are told about the creation of this cleaver when the chef imparts this tale to the beggar.

In “Greed”: A great swordsman, seeking to end the violence and suffering of the land, defeats the other great Swordsmen and melts their blades into a single chunk of Black Iron. His son, seeking to become the greatest and bring more death to the land, finds the same sword maker who melted the iron and demands that he once again forges the metal into a blade for his use.

All three stories are over the top and engaging, with the film holding off on the conclusions like a sort of bookend… we don’t get the Butcher’s end until the very end of the film, we don’t get the beggars’ end until after the story of the sword though we do get the story of “Greed” in middle narrative. And we find out that the entire film is really about the Black Iron Cleaver that had been forged those many years earlier.

Seriously, 4.5 out of 5. Loved this film.

Dylan Dog: Dead of Night.

Dylan Dog wasn’t a bad film.

I went into this movie with really low expectations and actually sort of avoided watching it for white some time. I first got a copy of the DVD from Netflix a week before they made it available for Streaming and so sent it back sight unseen and unrated. I just wasn’t in a mood to watch what many people panned as yet another poorly done “supernatural” detective film with more comedy than elements of noire. So I would pass it up just about every opportunity that came up and it continued to go sight unseen. Early on a Saturday morning with some crust still in my eyes and a definite lack of interest in anything wrestling-related and so I hit “play” on the Blu-Ray “Netflix” connection and sat back with a mind of indifference.

Now, saying that Dylan Dog wasn’t “bad” doesn’t actually mean that it was really all that good, but Brandon Routh manages to put in a decent run as the titular character. It doesn’t take long for the plot “twists” to reveal themselves with heavy foreshadowing, but the “paint-by-numbers” approach manages to keep the film from spiraling out of control and delivers a couple of good jumps and giggles along with a fairly likeable cast. Dylans’ sidekick is very amusing after his turn toward zombiedom, with a great many gags devoted to helping the newly undead adapt to his supernatural state. Kurt Angle puts in a brief performance as a werewolf with a grudge, while the vampire lead phones in a monologue-driven cliché performance of a super villain. The whole thing is a hodgepodge wash of things we’ve already seen, but it’s got some competence behind it and it was worth the morning viewing.

3 out of 5.

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