Tag Archives: I know kung fu

Rebourne: Ghost in the Shell (2017)

Directed by Rupert Sanders
Starring Scarlett Johansson, Michael Pitt, Pilou Asbæk, Chin Han, Juliette Binoche and ‘Beat’ Takeshi Kitano

The Original

“That’s what I do. I jump off things and disappear.”

Major Motoko Kusanagi, a human brain in a robot body (the ‘shell’ which holds her psyche/soul/’ghost’) pursues cyberpunk criminals in a cyberpunk world. I’ll be honest, this is about all I know except a) she has an active camouflage system in her robot skin and b) jumps off high roofs while looking into the camera. I will try to watch the anime (the actual original is a manga comic, originally titled ‘Mobile Armoured Riot Police’,) and maybe even Stand Alone Complex and the new movie (imaginatively entitled ‘The New Movie’.)

The Remake

Right…

What we’re looking at here is of course the US remake starring Scarlett Johansson as Major Mira Killian, a woman whose refugee boat was blown up by terrorists, leaving her brain to be implanted in a robot body by not-even-slightly-dodgy corporate giants Hanka Robotics so that she can fight crime.

Continue reading Rebourne: Ghost in the Shell (2017)

John Wick: Chapter 2 (2017)

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“Never Stab the Devil in the Back”

Directed by Chad Stahelski
Starring Keanu Reeves, Common, Laurence Fishburne, Riccardo Scamarcio, Ruby Rose, John Leguizamo, Ian McShane

After the brutal events of John Wick, our titular antihero (Reeves) slaughters a taxi garage full of mob enforcers to retrieve his car, shares a drink with the brother (Peter Stormare) of our previous antagonist and heads home to bury his past once again. Unfortunately, now that he has resurfaced he is not to be allowed to go back out.

Continue reading John Wick: Chapter 2 (2017)

The Great Wall (2017)

And yet he got in...
And yet he got in…

“1700 years to build. 5500 miles long. What were they trying to keep out?”

Directed by Zhang Yimou
Starring Matt Damon, Jing Tian, Pedro Pascal, Willem Dafoe, Andy Lau

In the 11th century, a band of mercenaries including the English (Irish? I’m not sure what he’s going for) William (Damon) and the Spanish (they keep referring to Spain, despite being some centuries before the formation of said Kingdom) Tovar (Pascal), is whittled down by bandits and finally all but the last two are killed by a beast which William kills, cutting off its clawed and scaled arm. Fleeing bandit reinforcements, the pair are suddenly faced with the Great Wall and its defenders, the Nameless Order, who ponder the possibility of killing them until they learn that he slew a ‘Tao Tei’ single handed.

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The Lego Batman Movie (2017)

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Nananananananana

“Always be yourself… unless you can be Batman.”

Directed by Chris McKay
Starring Will Arnett, Zach Galifianakis, Michael Cera, Rosario Dawson, Ralph Fiennes

In crime-ridden Gotham City, the Joker (Galifianakis) launches a devastating attack in concert with a vast assortment of other villains, only to be soundly (and rhythmically) defeated by Batman (Arnett). When Batman declines to acknowledge his greatest foe (because he doesn’t do ‘ships,) however, Joker concocts a plan of breathtaking audacity to take his nemesis down a peg or two.

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Fearless Tiger (1991)

Must he really?
Must he really?

“A betrayal that couldn’t be forgiven.”

Directed by Ron Hulme
Starring  Jalal Merhi, Bolo Yeung, Monika Schnarre, Jamie Farr, Lazar Rockwood

Lyle (Merhi), a nice Lebanese-Canadian thirty-year-old grad student, falls into depression when his brother is murdered by drug dealers (or dies of an overdose; I wasn’t clear.) He drops his job at the family firm and postpones his wedding, angering his father (Farr) and fiancee (Schnarre), and goes to Hong Kong to study martial arts and earn the red sash of a master of arty martialness.

Continue reading Fearless Tiger (1991)

Doctor Strange (2016)

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“Open your mind. Change your reality” or “Question reality. Change your destiny” or “The impossibilities are endless.”

Directed by Scott Derrickson
Starring Benedict Cumberbatch, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Rachel McAdams, Tilda Swinton and Mads Mikkelson

Dr Stephen Strange (Cumberbatch) is a brilliant, but arrogant, neurosurgeon, pioneering new techniques while telling War Machine to take his entirely pedestrian spino-cranial injuries elsewhere. Then he gets into a car crash because he’s using his phone while driving at high speed in the rain – we get it already, he’s reckless – and loses most  of the use of his hands.

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American Ninja 2: The Confrontation (1987)

I think Steve James might rate the small print on this one at least.
I think Steve James might rate the small print on this one at least.

“The Ultimate American Fighting Machine is Back!”

Directed by Sam Firstenberger
Starring Michael Dudikoff, Steve James, Larry Poindexter, Gary Conway and some women

When the Marines guarding the US Embassy on a small, Caribbean island start disappearing, Washington dispatches Ranger Sergeants Joe Armstrong (Dudikoff) and Curtis Jackson (James) to investigate. Cue Army vs. Marines shenanigans of an extremely low grade. This step seems prescient, when an ambush on an R&R party is launched by ninja.

Continue reading American Ninja 2: The Confrontation (1987)

American Ninja (1985)

American. Ninja. Any questions?
American. Ninja. Any questions?

“The deadliest art of the Orient is now in the hands of an American.”

Directed by Sam Firstenberg
Starring Michael Dudikoff, Steve James and Judie Aronson

In the Philippines, surly amnesiac former delinquent loner Joe (Dudikoff) is serving as a private in the US Army. He leads an attempt to fight off hijackers attempting to steal army gear and kidnap the Colonel’s daughter, Patricia (Aronson), but when ninjas appear and massacre the rest of the convoy, the Sergeant blames Joe.

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Lucy (2014)

Based on my limited understanding of neuroscience, what she could do is 'have a massive stroke', that being the definition of all of your brain firing at once.
Based on my limited understanding of neuroscience, what she could do is ‘have a massive stroke’, that being the definition of all of your brain firing at once.

“The average person uses 10% of their brain capacity. Imagine what she could do with 100%.”

Directed by Luc Besson
Starring Scarlett Johansson, Morgan Freeman, Choi Min-sik, Amr Waked

Lucy (Johansson), an American student in Taipei, falls foul of her loser boyfriend’s murderous contacts in the Korean mob and finds herself forced to act as a drug mule by Mr Jang (Min-sik). A packet of experimental nootropic drugs is sewn into her abdomen and ruptured when a particularly stupid mob soldier decides that hitting on the mule and then kicking her repeatedly in the stomach is a good plan. Seriously, for an all-powerful drug lord, Jang needs better help.

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Kubo and the Two Strings (2016)

kubo-and-the-two-strings
“If you must blink, do so now…”

“Be bold. Be brave. Be epic.”

Directed by Travis Knight
Starring Charlize Theron, Art Parkinson, Ralph Fiennes, Rooney Mara, George Takei, Matthew McConaughey and Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa

Kubo (Parkinson) lives with his mother in a cliff overlooking the sea, using his mystical power over paper to tell stories without endings to the local villagers (including Takei and Tagawa) for an income to support himself and his ailing mother. When his desire for some contact with his late father leads him to stay out late, he draws the attention of his maternal grandfather, the vengeful Moon King (Fiennes), who sends his twin daughters (Mara) to capture Kubo.

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