Keyser Corleone's Movie Memoirs

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Jungle Fever
(1991) - Directed by Spike Lee
Drama / Romance
“There's something you should know. I'm having an affair.”

Sorry I didn't upload a review yesterday for a Spike Lee movie. I had a get together with my two brothers at a church. To be honest, it was a pretty lowbrow get together for a church group. All we did was build gingerbread houses, watch Elf and playing the saran wrap game. It was a good get together, but if life has taught me anything, it's that there are plenty of places on Earth where philosophical discussions and places are not so tight and red-hot as Reddit. Movieforums is a good example, as the users are still in a not-so-heated discussion about the ethics of race-swapping.

And now I review Jungle Fever, the heaviest modern racial commentary I've exposed myself to. This is the story of tension arising between the families of an intersex relationship: an Italian woman who likes people, and a married black man with a color complex. Our leading man, Flipper (Wesley Snipes) has enough difficulty with his heavily religious parents and his crackhead brother Gator (Samuel L. Jackson in a PERFECT performance). But when Flipper is thrown out of his house by his wife and starts living with his new girlfriend, things aren't as easy as they seem.

Gonna write this while listening to one of the songs from the movie: Living for the City, from my favorite African-American album: Innervisions by Stevie Wonder. The first hour is where most of the actual racial commentary happens. On a basic level, the commentary is dense, even though it reeks of discrimination from all sides of the skin-color pencil box. Whether it's a bunch of black women talking about how white women want some black meat or whether or not it's about an Italian family not allowing any other race to be a part of their family, it's all uncomfortable to hear.

And I'm sorry, but Flipper's family is just ****ED UP. This is not a family I enjoyed watching at all, because eveerytime Flipper or Gator's issues became a family thing, I just got more disappointed with them. At least Jackson played Gator very well. But the way the family plot lines are resolved are brutal, thrown in and leave a bad taste. And then there's some nasty stuff going on in the Italian families of the film, not only our girl Angie's family with a father who went maniacal as soon as he heard about the relationship, but also with Paulie, a guy who used to date Angie and is starting to hit it off with a black woman. His friends and family treat him like crap and disown him for this. Oh my god. This is what we got for a plot.

And my final criticism: not enough Stevie Wonder. Stevie's the best soul artist on Earth IMO, and if you're gonna promote Stevie in the stylistic opening credits, you gotta have more focus on it. Hell, just turn Jungle Fever into a Stevie Wonder musical already.

OK, I'm not a fan of this, really. Among the good acting and clever direction is just too much racial commentary that never progresses beyond discomfort. There's way too much hate and unresolved family situations. Jungle Fever tests the boundaries of acceptable family issues in film way to often, and is a consistently uncomfortable movie that doesn't resolve the themes with the dense commentary on racism and drugs, neither of which mold very well. It felt thrown together, incomplete and uncomfortable, although this does mean the drama was effective. And the effect drama was keeping the movie watchable until the third act which just gets wild and hard to watch.

Today, I'm only gonna write one review, and it's a very rare movie that I was looking for due to its connection with a total crapfest known as Titanic: The Legend Goes On, which at the time of writing this review is one of my two nominations for the second Hall of Infamy: same director. And I couldn't find it until today.

Yo-Rhad and the Astromavericks
(2006) - Directed by Camillo Teti
Alien / Adventure / Children's
"Papa zoom!”

Camillo Teti is the one responsible for the travesty known as Titanic: The Legend Goes On, and you'd think after the first time he'd learn. Nerp. Lemme go over this as quickly as possible.

Jason loves space stuff, and he and his scientist grandfather wanna find real aliens, right? Well his mom finds a weird rock she thinks is Jason's, and this rock has the power to teleport people. Jason goes to an alien-infested meteor and meets Yo-Rhad, a kid who tells Jason the meteor's headed towards Earth, and that Earthlings are planning on blowing up the meteor for obstructing their view of Venus.

So now Jason has to bring Yo-Rhad to Earth, and hide him while he and his grandfather find a way to save Earth before an obviously evil alien decides to destroy humans first instead because why the **** not, Teti-boy?

OK, so our plot is completely thrown together from plenty of other kid-meets-alien movies, including the glowing rocks. And does the plot ever go anywhere? Not really. Half the movie is meeting random underdeveloped characters while trying to find different places to hide our alien from the public, and most notably, a couple of bullies, one pretending to be tough and another just being stupid. They're such terrible characters that they make Bulk and Skull look like role models.

And OH MY GOD this is the worst voice acting on the planet. If you were ever embarrassed by the voice acting of Dora the Explorer, or by minor characters from 4Kids shows, you got it easy. None of it is convincing in the slightest. I mean, our main character Jason could;ve been played by an actual kid and it would've been better acting. I'm certain this was yet another woman pretending to be a kid, and that's not a problem in general (the world would be incomplete without Pamela Adlon). But this woman clearly didn't have any training. She was cheap and easy to pay. Bottom line, like everyone else here. Nobody puts any heart into their performances, and most voices are so annoying that the movie was painful to hear.

And the animation somehow manages to be worse than Titanic: The Legend Goes On. I almost prefer the plethora of knockoff Disney characters and subplots than this one plot that has absolutely no quality overall. The aliens are ass ugly knockoffs of E.T. blended with some Toad Patrol cuteness with the cuteness sucked out. Seriously. Take this adorable piece.

Add some E.T. and we get this.

"Uuuuuuuuglyyyyyyy." - Patrick Star

And these kids that are supposed to be aiding Jason on his little adventure have no development, that tiny mention about Yo-Rhad's mother being the queen of the aliens (oh, like it qualifies as a spoiler?) means absolutely nothing, the villain makes like four appearances and all he does is scream with another terrible voice actor. And his "still evil" plot twist doesn't do anything for the movie, like most of the plot points.

Well, I didn't think Camillo Teti would make something worse than Titanic: The Legend Goes On, but he did. At least his Titanic mockbuster tried to be something. This is nothing but a cheap cash grab made with nothing but the ideals of how to save money on something most people wouldn't buy. This is nothing but a joke.

(1993) - Directed by Tony Randel
Natural Horror / Sci-Fi
“It's a tick. Vampires of the insect world..”

Alright, so having done quite a bit of Joe D'Amato, Bernard L. Kowalski and Spike Lee over the past couple weeks, I randomly chose another director I had experienced before, Tony Randal, and decided to study his movies for the week or so. I had experienced his work with his most popular movie, Hellraiser II. Naturally, my first instinct was to check out his Amityville entry: It's About Time, but checking his filmography, Ticks caught my eye, reminding me of similar movies like Slugs. Ready for a cheesefest, I turned it on, and while it ewasn't the biggest cheesefest... this was a lot of fun.

Psychologicallty screwed by a stunt his dad pulled when he was a kid, Tyler (Seth Green) is sent to an outdoor camp group for troubled teens, including the daughter of the campgrounds runner and a hoodlum from the streets. They have no idea that they're close to a marijuana operation run by a couple of hicks, as well as a bunch of mutant ticks who poison people, sending them hallucinations before they die.

OK, I'll admit that this was a pretty simple horror movie in this regard. We get a lot of horror movies like this. For a mid-90's movie, this felt like it belonged in the mid-80's. The direction and SFX kind of made that clear. Not to mention, none of the performers are really standing out, not even Seth Green. I mean, nobody here is that bad, but they aren't "good" either. And the major plot progression is more or less kinda simple.

Having said that, THIS MOVIE ****ING SCARED ME. Horror movies DON'T scare me. Even when I could predict the end result of a scare, I was having a wild ride. The scary moments are not only brought out by realistic tick puppetry, but skillfully directed and lit by Tony Randel in a way that feels like Malignant's little brother. And you should know, I really liked Malignant. I mean, that giant tick in the movie felt like a real monster, as if The Thing was being recreated. The climax felt real, fast-paced and action-centered without steering into action movie territory. And I recall the perfect lighting yet again (you could use some Advice from Tony Randel, Mr. Brett Kelly).

This brings me to the gore factor. It's never too much, even though some would classify this as a splatter film. The gore was definitely there, but it was never so much that it got in the way of the fear. It all felt real, even when squishing ticks. This is another way in which the SFX help the movie. We can also pair this with the delivery of the smaller details and subplots of the film, which go together well enough to make the movie an actual story of survival rather than just another monster cash grab.

Ticks is some solid fun for the B-Movie fan and is in the same league as Hellraiser II, which I thought was a decent sequel. Because of the surprising realism put in the effects and otherwise impossible plot, the movie is an understated classic with some obvious strengths and obvious flaws, and I would easily watch it again. Hell, it's the kind of movie I'd bring over to a friend's house for a Halloween marathon.

= 66/100.

(2022) - Directed by Damien Chazelle
Showbiz / Drama
“I always wanted to be a part of something bigger.”

Damien Chazelle is considered Hollywood's newest voice, thanks to his recent critical and commercial success with Whiplash and La La Land. Chazelle movies are one of those things that one is all too eager to wait for, like the next One Piece arc. It eats at some people when they hear about the announcement and know very little. Every shred of info is cherished like a gold coin, and when the movie finally comes out, does it live to the hype of its plethora of award nominations like Chazelle's newest outing?

Alright... I had absolutely no idea what to expect from this movie. I knew very little about the plot, only the setting and the most basic basics. But now I can tell you. Babylon is the gruesome and tragic story of the rise and fall of Hollywood individuals who were a part of the silent scene, and their sin met no limits. And then sound came. And with sound came reformation, reinvention and the doorway to a new world that these people were not prepared for. And their sins catch up to them. Hollywood is not in the city of angels. It's in hell. It's in Babylon.

I watched First Man the day before I saw this, which happens to be the day before opening day. This was the first time I ever went to the movies by myself, and there was only one other guy there. But to be fair, I didn't really expect what I got. I thought I was ready for anything, but Chazelle surprised me.

Babylon has no problem exaggerating the sin of Hollywood, as the first half hour is told through a party with a couple orgies on the side. I honestly didn't expect this from Chazelle. His last three movies have been more tame than that, but I guess he wanted to force a message into the public by being as hard-R as he could without getting the NC-17 rating. Eyes Wide Shut got owned, and the idea of these exaggerations are to get to us in the modern day, letting us know what path we're headed down. This movie really should have gotten the NC-17 rating for how dark it can be, like Saw did. But I can't criticize the film for it as much as I criticize the MPA for their misguided decision. We are even taken into the pit of hell during the third act, and it gets worse and worse until we are surprised with total sin, and something else. The horror ends with a cut to a much calmer scene, which happens gradually throughout the movie and gets worse each time.

The whole movie is about adjustment, as Margot Robbie plays a young and talented silent actress who's voice doesn't cut it for talkies. We also have a silent movie star by Brad Pitt who can't make a decent talking picture to save his life. With these two are a young Spanish man who dreams of being a part of the film industry, and rises through the ranks as Margot's character Nelly keeps screwing him over, despite his feelings for her. And there's also a talented sax player who becomes a big part of the musical film scene, and is largely used as a metaphor for the side character as he's just the guy they hire in the parties until he finally gets his big deal, and he also partakes in the sacrifices made to be a part of Hollywood.

As for the filmmaking technique? Damn, flawless. Whether or not the camera is being simple or experimental, Chazelle places the rails exactly where they need to be both for the sake of the story and the art. And the sets are absolutely stunning. We cover multiple smaller sets in one big lot after the half-hour intro, and all of them are very realistic. The delivery of each lengthy scene gives us a look at the repetition and scope of the varying problems that filmmakers and actors deal with on set. This is especially shown in the scene where Nelly's filming her first talkie, and is later criticized for her raspy P!nk voice.

But the effect is what really matters with this movie that is covering the whole ground of Hollywood sin. The movie gradually got more and most stressful as I knew that Chazelle could easily jump me with a big surprise at any point. It was nerve-wracking. I need to spend a week eating lunches of avocados, berries and fish to restore the hair I may have lost.

Babylon is too appropriately named. It's not just a cinephile's dream. It's a cinephile's nightmare. It's easy to say that Babylon glorifies cinema, but it's also telling Hollywood to eff off. The movie references will disgust a lot of moviegoers for being pretentious, as well as the length, but IMo the length was perfectly justified. And the movie references serve the purpose of displaying the grotesque idol worship / idolatry. After this, does Chazelle have anything left to say about the soul-distorting desire of showbiz success? This is his leading theme in filmmaking! Babylon will be cherished and hated in a cinematic dispute more gruesome than Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas ever achieved for the decades to come. Maybe that's the boldness that modern cinema needs. We have too many people stealing from the stealers in the creative universe. This, however, is brutal honesty. It does not hold back, and looks at the world as it is and amplifies it, rather than through the eyes of a child or a philosophically devout person who wants a certain world to exist to throw blame. It's about the horrors of the world being shoved down your throat.

This may be the fourth best movie I've ever seen.

= 100/100

By the way, starting with Babylon, I'll be cataloging my director's scoreboard, in which I take their best movies or their worst movies (5 max) and giving an average score to them. In the event that a director has 3 perfect movies, they get a permanent score of 100 which will not waver unless I downgrade one of those ratings below 100.

Damien Chazelle's Score

Babylon: 100
Whiplash: 100
La La Land: 98
First Man: 68

Average: 91.5 / 4

The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (Extended Edition)
(2003) - Directed by Peter Jackson
High Fantasy / Adventure / Sword and Sorcery / Epic
“It's that thing around your neck!”

This is it. The grand finale. I's difficult to deny the technique and craft put into the entire trilogy. However, it can be said that the second did a few things wrong in comparison to the first, notably technical things such as continuity errors. So how does the final entry in this epic extended saga hold up?

Frodo and Sam's journey are coming to a close as Gollum draws them nearer to the ring. However, Gollum's second personality is planning to take the ring for himself by bringing the two into a monster's cave. Meanwhile, one of Frodo's hobbit friends Pippin messes with a magic stone and discovers that Sauron plans on attacking the great city of Gondor, the same city that the ranger Aragorn exiled himself from. Now as Aragorn needs to accept his birthright to rule over Gondor, uniting the kingdoms of Middle-Earth, Frodo is tempted by the ring now more than ever as he enters Mordor.

Alright, the best thing about this movie is Andt Serkis' effortless dual personality acting. Just by being himself, as Gollum he really creeps me out sometimes. Gollum is at his most evil in this movie, especially since we see his origin story firsthand. And because of this, the charisma between him, Frodo and Sam is at its most gripping and emotional. Even without Gollum, Frodo and Sam are stronger as a pair than they were in the first two movies.

As for the stories of Merry and Pippin, they finally separate to take part in different armies: Pippin is taken to Gondor with Gandalf, who finally connects with the same Hobbit that's been causing problems ever since the first movie. Example: boom.



Let's be honest. We've all said "Fool of a Took" at some point in our lives.

With that aside, Pippin becomes an incredibly engrossing character as he greatly matures, and this makes his relationship with the already wise Gandalf. They're going through the exact same situations together and interpreting them very differently, which is what makes their relationship click.

As for our grand trip of Aragorn, Legolas and Gimli, I didn't think the relationship did anything that new or unique. Aragorn was being his same mysterious self as he finally realized his destiny. The additional scene of Aragorn introducing himself to Sauron through the seeing stone just makes a person's ballsack grow, even if they don't got no balls. Legolas was his same old elf-self, but his best stunt in the entire trilogy is during the battle of Minas Tirith. It's pretty effing sweet, and I won't spoil it for you. But Gimli's humor is also at his best. Even though Gimli's humor is fairly cartoonish, the fact that John Rhys-Davies can deliver these scenes so realistically is what makes these scenes hilarious, especially the additional scenes during the Paths of the Dead part.

But the epic approach of both the battle of Minas Tirith and the last act where Frodo and Sam are in Gondor is probably the most epic hour or so I've ever seen in a movie. The music is flawless, the acting during Frodo and Sam's heart to hearts are flawless, and the big bang is a freaking serious bang. Wait til you see it. And even though the movie is infamous for having like four endings, each ending is a perfect ending to one part of a very large story.

Firstly, during the fight scene between Smeagol and Deagol, the ring is dropped on the floor after having already been caked it mud. But before the fight ends, the ring is perfectly clean! Also, what happened to the webbing on Frodo's head when he was captured in Mordor? Why was his head perfect kept after all that? And those are literally the only two problems I have with the movie. Dinky ones. If those two tiny things had been fixed, this would be a perfect 100.

The third LOTR is nearly flawless, and it deserves to stand the test of time. At almost every angle, the multiple elements of the craft and the story are built up and lived up to. As far as ending a whole trilogy goes, this is the best movie I've seen in that regard.

= 99/100

Peter Jackson's Score

LOTR 1: 100
LOTR 3: 99
LOTR 2: 96
Braindead: 95
The Hobbit 3: 91

Score: 96.2 / 5

Scream VI
(2023) - Directed by Tyler Gillett and Matt Bettinelli-Olpin
Slasher / Thriller / Satire
“There's a darkness inside of me. It followed me here."

This is the second opening day movie I've ever been to. I have been an avid fan of the Scream series since I saw the first one, and when I heard about number 5 I was a bit disappointed that I didn't get to see it in the big screen. But I wasn't happy with the announcement that Scream 6 was coming out just a year after the last one. Most Scream movies take a few years to properly ferment for the next entry, like Toy Story. Yes, the third one was a weak glass of wine, but numbers 4 and 5 were fine and fruity with blood and meat, and I mean storytelling meat. So I thought to myself, These guys better have spent some serious time writing two Screams at once for this to match the mast one, otherwise Scream will finally succumb to "sequelitis," which is my word for movie series that don't put effort into the sequels.

So what is my final verdict?

After the traumatizing events of the last film, Samantha Carpenter has moved to New York with her sister Tara. But she's become paranoid and overprotective of her little sister, especially now that rumors have surfaced that Sam orchestrated the framing of the last killer and (somehow) even Billy Loomis, as if a child could do that at that age. But people love rumors, especially Ghostface. This Ghostface believes the rumors to be true, and is out to deal justice with a phone call and a kitchen knife. With the return of Kirby Reed from Scream 4 as an FBI agent, and another appearance by controversial journalist Gale Weathers, the team uncovers darker secrets about the Ghostface fanhood that all means one terrible thing: Stab has evolved. It's not a movie anymore, it's a franchise. And that means the danger's worse.

Scream IV acts as a companion piece to Scream 2 in some ways, notably comparing our new movie specialist to Randy yet again with some seriously meta commentary on how Stab evolves. And that meta commentary helps make the thrills all the more tense as constant fan-theories flood the brain over who's the killer and who's getting killed. The characters themselves didn't have a lot of development besides being fan-theory fodder, so a great weakness on this point is the lack therein. For some characters, however, the lack makes things more interesting, as too much development could work for or against the theories. Still, it's quite noticeable. However, the writing makes up for this by making sure there are enough interesting events and revelations to match the twist. The movie shoves more twists in your face than a rock 'n' roll album, and the story helps make them worthwhile, especially since its commenting on its own franchise as a whole, as opposed to my theory of providing commentary on spinoffs.

As for the violence and tension, all that is much more in your face than all the previous entries. The build up is occasionally predictable, but this is Scream we're talking about. The build up is all in the dialogue, and that dialogue is more than satisfactory. When the killings come, they have both fear and tension cranked up as high as the franchise can possible achieve at this point. Thankfully, the movie is more focused on showing Ghostface's fear factor than flaunting blood and guts. But you can only get this kind of nostalgia if you've seen all the Scream's, because notalgia is one of the leading themes of this movie.

I'd say that this is yet another successful Scream that Wes Craven would be proud of. However, because the movie is still acting traditional, once again making Gale Weathers a backstabber with a redemption subplot (no pun intended), the originality comes in parts. Thankfully, with the heavy theme delivery of nostalgia and paranoia, the movie lives up to the legacy. Although Scream 5 didn't quite top the first, this sequel topped the second. This is highly recommended for slasher fans who wants something more original.

= 92/100.

Tyler Gillett and Matt Bettinelli-Olpin's Scores

Scream: 96
Scream VI: 92

Needs 1 more for average.

A Canterbury Tale
(1944) - Directed by Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger
Mystery / Drama / War / Slice of Life
“There's a darkness inside of me. It followed me here."

The Movieforums Top 100 War Movies Countdown is on its way, and I have volunteered to be the host. I adore war movies. Ever since I saw the second act of Pearl Harbor as a kid, I fell in love with the tension of the battlefield. So I've been preparing with a few classic war movies, starting with some movies by directors I want to educate myself further in. Two of these directors worked closely together many times: Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger, I'm whom I've seen two flicks: The Red Shoes and Colonel Blimp. So I was pretty excited with this movie.

On the way to Canterbury, a soldier gets off at the wrong stop and meets up with a woman who was attacked by a man who shoots literal GLUE into people's hair. Although this hardly constitutes as a crime, they find out that this girl isn't the first to be pranked this way. Thus, the soldier and the girl feel pressured to take on the case. So with the help of the local British soldier, the three run an investigation all over this tiny little town.

Well, the story has its slice-of-life sentiment and comedy, its war themes and its weird and wild mystery. And thankfully we have some very good cinematography giving us some beautiful European landscapes that movies like this absolutely demand. You can't make movies like this without the sunny open fields and vocalized backing music. As for genres, all of these are fine elements on their own, but I feel that the balance between these only allowed these good qualities to get so far. It's difficult to feel any excess of one vibe or another, and this means that the art of the many genres that this movie tackles is kind of a jumbled mess, despite the fact that the mystery itself, while weird and not really thrilling or engrossing, is well written and consistent with the movie's overall vibe.

I can easily say this same thing concerning one of my foremost focuses when critiquing any movie: character dynamics. These characters are cute, perfectly tolerable, somewhat amusing and work well together on the big scale of influences and genres that need to be balanced for the story to work. Unfortunately, much like the story, none of these characters are really ENGROSSING. The story itself may have the merit of unique qualities, but the cast seems to be a tolerable collective of paper-cutouts with good actors attached. At least the movie ended on very positive notes for all the characters, including our so-called, and I mean "so-called," villain.

Well, A Canterbury Tale might not be the classic that people recognize The Red Shoes for, but it apparently has its fans. I myself am not one of them, as I have been much more easily engrossed by both 1940's movies of any one of these genres, and 1940's mishmash movies. It's cute and all, but it's hardly a movie I'll willingly go back to, since everything about this movie was already beaten by movies from the 40's and 30's. But if you like gorgeous black and white set pieces and little bits of charm, then you'll probably get a kick out of this.

= 66/100. So I'm putting it at the low end of 3.5 stars.

Michael Powell's Score

The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp: 100
The Red Shoes: 95
A Canterbury Tale: 66
The Phantom Light: 44

Average Score: 76.25 / 4

Emeric Pressburger's Score

The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp: 100
The Red Shoes: 95
A Canterbury Tale: 66

87 / 3

(2009) - Directed by Dwight H. Little
Martial Arts Tournament / Dystopian / Cyberpunk
"You want to kill me don't you. I understand that."

The movie industry was struggling for fifteen years to deliver a proper video game movie adaptation by the time the adaptation of Tekken came out. It didn't help that the 2010's were all about shameless grittiness and action, and there was more often no saving it. Seriously. I mean, if they got ME to write Loonatics Unleashed, it would've been a damn good show. Not joking. So that's why it took so long for us to get a proper Mario movie. Tekken was a part of that collective, and although I never played the games I was extremely curious.

In 2009, a man named Dwight H. Little (commence envisioning high school photos) decided to direct another cyberpunk martial arts tournament movie. Once again, the world is ruled by mega-corporations. Once again, this particular mega-corporation hosts a martial arts tourney. Once again, a man who wants nothing to do with this world is forced to fight in the tourney and beat the head honcho to avenge his mother. Anybody else wanna throw in a trope or two? Because I think we have plenty.

Oh, wait! Power struggle with the villain's son! Ooooooo!

Suffice it to say that this is one of the most generic things I have ever seen. So, now that the story's ****ed, let's take a look at everything else.

The action sequences were pretty cool. The choreography focused on thrills rather than style, even though there were moments of clunky direction mingled in with the good direction. But the coolest thing about the movie was the set pieces, notably the fighting arena that literally "changed appearance" to fit different "stages" in the video game. It was a bit hokey, but good hokey for the sake of a clever take on source material representation, aside from having a large cast of characters from the games.

And that's all I really have to say about this. I didn't hate it despite the fact that its plot deserved to be hated, because this was a much closer representation of a video game-style scenario than most adaptations. It won't age well due to being so tropy, unlike the implausible but surprisingly faithful and cheesy Street Fighter from 1994. This is something that would probably only please video-game movie historians and junkies for a watch or two. I would only recommend it for people to see how they represented video games, because the kind of things it did in that vein were a breath of fresh air in comparison to the tropes.

Dwight H. Little's Score

Halloween 4: 59
Marked for Death: 56
Tekken: 46

Average: 53.66 / 3

Tekken 2: Kazuya's Revenge
(2014) - Directed by Wych Kaosayananda
Martial Arts / Dystopian
"He likes to play games. Let's give him some games."

I admit, when I reviews the first Tekken movie right before posting this review, I had actually seen it a few months ago. But I still remember it well enough to write a review, even though there wasn't much to write about for a simple movie like that . Get ready for something even more simple, so simple and simple-minded that it might as well not exist.

A mysterious man who no memory, even though the title states that he's clearly Kazuya Mishima, son of Heihachi Mishima, is abducted and brought to a town run by a sadistic and religious leader who puts a bomb in his chest. Naming him K, he has a woman send him assassination missions, but he's running his own investigation on the towen at the same time.

Right from the beginning, this movie starts to screw up up. First and foremost is the retelling of the lead character. The movie screws up by rewriting the whole story of Kazuya Mishima, and completely neglecting his status as a villain in the first film by giving him a completely different history. And the villain we do get, the fanatical and bloodthirsty community leader, has little screentime and development. You learn to hate him shortly after you see him, but they hardly give him a role in the second and third acts. So this "2" ends up being a complete reboot.

And need I go on the fact that any of the very few plot elements that go across this slow and sorry excuse of an action movie tries to compensate with skillful cinematography and convincing set pieces, but fails at everything else. I was so utterly bored by the plot, characters and action that it became a chore to finish. Hell, the credits were THREE minutes long, and I was begging for longer ones just so the actual movie could be shorter!

Wych Kaosayananda (and yes, I can write the name without copy/pasting it) is infamous for his cruddy action movie Ballistic: Ecks Vs. Sever. This is more than twice as bad as that movie. I'd rather take Ballistic with me on a desert island. Avoid this movie and don't worry about being a video game nerd if you are. This is Uwe Boll quality.

= 11/100

Kaosayananda has done three bad movies and no good ones as far as my experience goes. Thus, he'll be considered a Bad Director and his movies will be ranked from worst to best.

Wych Kaosayananda's Score

Tekken 2: 11
Ballistic: Ecks Vs. Sever: 24
Zero Tolerance: 41

Average: 25.33 / 3

By the way, I keep a log of the best and worst directors on two different lists. With Kaosayananda's score for the bad director's list, he is directly above Ed Wood. So his other movies better be worthwhile.

(1919) - Directed by Abel Gance
War / Tearjerker / Epic / Historical Drama
"Let's go home and see if they are worthy of our sacrifice."

As the host for the upcoming Movieforums top 100 war movies list, I'm going to watch as many war movies as possible and post my ballot at the end. I'm even planning on re-evaluating some movies that would've made it on if I decided to submit it on the first day. There is no guarantee over what will and won't make it onto my list. But it motivated me to finally check out the other Abel Gance giant: J'Accuse. I saw Napoleon a few years ago and thought it was absolutely brilliant. And now I have some similar compliments to share with his earlier tearjerker.

Going off to fight for the French in WWI, Jean can't fight the fact that he's in love with his friend Francois's wife, Edith. However, Francois suspects the two are having an affair. When they are both summoned to the war, all hell breaks lose, worsening Jean's condition. It doesn't help that he received news that As he returns home, both tragedy and joy come along as Jean reunites with Edith, and revelation after revelation eventually leads to an uncomfortable bond between Francois and Jean as they return to the war one more time.

Cementing itself as one of the movie industry's very first tearjerker, the movie focuses on the pain of war in a brutal fashion. Now one might say that this movie is dated because its filmmaking techniques were not only surpassed by later movies since it's such an early film, but also by Gance's later Napoleon. But the real effect of the movie comes from the fact that it is that old. This must've been one freakishly heavy movie in 1919, and when watching a good silent movie there's a feeling of being in the past when experiencing it. If I was the type to cry at movies... you know something, maybe I should just admit that I can have a heart for a rock because I didn't cry at THIS damn movie. That story was just too much on the emotional scale, and yes, a man who doesn't cry at movies can sense this. Many terrible things happen in between the few sentimental and awe-inspiring good things in the story. But that ending 20 minutes. Oh my god, can you write a more depressing ending? You'd have to be either a skillful god or a sadistic satan to write something like this. What the unholy shit did these people who made the movie go through.

And the acting is... it's just so proper and beautiful. We get cheesy acting in these kinds of movies all the time, but for the time the acting is much more professional than what was normally seen then. Through the acting, the effect is stronger, and thus the attempts at fighting back tears may be impossible for those who do even only occasionally cry at movies.

And it isn't the acting alone that empowers the story, but the cinematography. We can see early instances of what was going to happen on Napoleon as our cameraman takes us into the heart of the battlefield and the war violence itself. Thus, we're there with the soldiers as they are realizing their fate has been handed to them. Did you know that 85% of silent movies used different colored-tinted film reels depending on the scenes? Well, most don't, which is a shame. The colors sometimes seem random with some silent movies. But the tints of J'Accuse flawlessly created the eerie, depressing and calming atmospheres needed to represent each scene. I especially loved the violet and teal tints across the battlefield shots.

Having seen so few movies from the 1910's, I was beforehand limited to FritzLangs, The Spiders: The Golden Sea, John Ford's Straight Shooting, Allan Dwan's The Good Bad Man, De Mille's The Girl of the Golden West, Tod Browning's The Wicked Darling and an early version of Alice in Wonderland. But after watching J'Accuse, I have to admit that I feel justified in saying that this could easily be the crowning achievement of the 1910's. This in fact might even be one of my favorite movies. It's rare for me to find a tearjerker that impresses me like this. I recommend this for ANYBODY, not just film junkies. This is a story that even modern movie fans should see. It might not be Napoleon, but it is so damn close that it's not even funny. I can't promise that it will make my top 25 for the ballot, but at it's current standing, it's at least a contender. I have three-to-four months to watch more, so we'll have to wait and see.

= 100

Abel Gance needs one more movie for an average score.

The Warriors
(1979) - Directed by Walter Hill
Hood Film / Action-Adventure
"You warriors are good. Real good."

I wasn't planning on watching this today, but family wanted to watch something, and while looking through we found The Warriors. I mentioned that it was on my to-do list, and that is was known for its cheese. Expecting an incredibly cheesy time, we turned it on. Now I'm already familiar with a few of the works of Walter Hill: The Driver, Geronimo, 48 Hours and Wild Bill. The thing is I found his best stuff overrated, but I had very high hopes for The Warriors.

Right before the 80's, this incredibly 80's movie that may give you Ninja Turtle nostalgia flashbacks centers around one of many gangs attending a get together hosted by an influential gang leader, only for him to by shot by Luther, leader of the Rogues. Quick to accuse the Warriors, the cops come and the gangs scatter in the ensuing chaos. With the Warriors far away from home, they must fight their way through multiple territories to make it back to their home turf on Coney Island.

Well, right from the get-go we get all these gangs in some of the stupidest "uniforms" imaginable. We get people who look like magicians, mimes, Alice Cooper's baseball team, chicks just having a chick gang for no reason other than to be chicks, rollerskaters dressed in striped shirts and overalls (and somehow missing pinwheel hats), and of course, Black Darth Vader. The costumes alone make this movie hilarious to watch.

But aside from the cheese and street-thug spirit which is shoved in the audience's face, our plot and characters aren't very well developed. In fact, I don't even remember most of their names, or even if their names were addressed for that matter. That was a leading criticism for Dragonheart and for good reason, because if you don't know the name, you relate less. Our titular gang doesn't do much except from run from other gangs and occasionally kick-ass in ways that are hardly spectacular. And our leading villain has no reason for doing anything other than his sadism. Let's not forget that he is a shit actor. He is one of the most annoying villains I've ever seen on-screen.

The Warriors may be a nostalgic cult classic, but merits are merits and mistakes are mistakes. There are pretty much an equal amount of both here. Hill's skillful direction and sense of atmosphere can't really save The Warriors from all of its flaws, but it's certainly not unwatchable. Just underdone. I guess I have yet another brutally overrated Walter Hill film with charm appeal.

= 63/100

Walter Hill's Score

The Driver: 78
48 Hours: 71
The Warriors: 63
Geronimo: 61
Wild Bill: 53

Average: 65.2 / 5

Wagon Tracks
(1919) - Directed by Lambert Hillyer
Western / Drama
"This man killed my brother!"

Going through more war movies and westerns, I wanted to check out some really early movies by the directors who pioneered these genres. And by really early, I mean I wanted more silent movies after watching Abel Gance's J'Accuse. I looked through a few but I couldn't find some online. Finally I found this movie by the director who started the Durango Kid movie series, so before watching the original Durango Kid film, I went with one of his silent films first.

In this early western, a desert rider learns that his brother has been accidentally shit by a young woman named Jane. Little does the man know that Jane is actually covering for her own brother, who was caught gambling by the poor soul, and she ended up in the struggle to take the gun. And little does SHE know that her brother moved her hand and shot the gun himself. So as our hero unwittingly leads the murderers through the desert and Indian territory, he soon learns part of the truth and sets out to find out the rest by force.

OK, the story had a lot of potential. We had some drama with a little bit of conspiracy, which could build up a lot of personal development and tension. However, this is a 1910's movie, and there wasn't a lot of that going on in the 10's. Like with many silent movies, character development seemed to mean very little when compared to the miracle of moving pictures, so in the end they obviously threw together a story with the western vibe that people love so much, hoping that the movie would sell based on that. The best thing about the movie may be the performance of William S. Hart, who in my opinion was the only one on screen who stood out as an actor, whereas everyone else just felt like they were filling the movie's cast because they needed to get some people. Otherwise, it's a William S. Hart movie.

I'm easily going to check out more 1910's silent movies, but thanks to movies like Wagon Tracks, I'm probably not gonna review them if they're going to end up like this. This is a very simple-minded, easy to produce, stock western which only deserves not to be forgotten by history because it has one of the earliest western movie stars. Since quite a few of his movies (specifically ones directed by Lambert Hillyer) are hard to find, that might be more reason to keep this movie somewhere, but it's certainly not the fine filmmaking that audiences in that same year experienced with Abel Gance's J'Accuse.

= 44

Lambert Hillyer's Score

The Wagon Tracks: 44
The Hat Box Mystery: 45

Needs one more film for average score. Since I consider these two movies bad, he'll debut on my Bad Directors list, and may or may not stay there with more movies.

Southern Comfort
(1981) - Directed by Walter Hill
Survival / Thriller / Southern Gothic
"I got reason to be paranoid and so do you!"

I'm not a fan of Walter Hill. I've seen 48 Hours, The Warriors and The Driver only to find them all overrated. Hill seems to rely on stylizing tropes to tell his stories, while also currently relying on nostalgia for ratings. Among other Walter Hill movies I've seen are Geronimo, Wild Bill and Madso's War. So I didn't really have high hopes for Southern Confort, despite liking the posters. But it was a bolded film on Rateyourmusic and Walter Hill's only bolded one (meaning it's one of the top 5,000 or so movies there, maybe 10,000. So that was my next one.

Southern Comfort is a thriller about a group of Louisiana Guard soldiers going to a bayou for a training exercise. During the exercise, they steel some canoes owned by Cajuns and piss them off. One of the men is stupid enough to fire blanks at them, and the set traps, dogs and many other terrors on the group to kill them all off one by one. And the tension is pushing the group to turn against each other, and maybe even go crazy. This is easily a movie for fans of Deliverance.

**** Deliverance, we got Southern Comfort. The enemy, hiding in the shadows of the swamps, are more threatening than they look for their incredible booby traps and effective scare tactics. You don't even need to see them to be scared and threatened by them. That's one trick the Xenomorph didn't pull off without being seen occasionally. And the best part is that all of these thrills get better as the movie goes along, authentic in nature due to the swamplands beautiful and haunting presence. One may never look at jungle green the same way again. Anything good that happened in the middle of that swampland could have been another horrible trap, and I was scared shitless for the remaining cast by the end.

Southern Comfort is a truly effective thriller that relies on using the swamplands themselves to build up the tension before utilizing jump-scares which are truly shocking because these traps are both plausible and realistic-looking onscreen. The authenticity of the swamplands is matched by the cajun town present in the film's third act, and they don't hold back with even the more disturbing aspects of hick culture, like the execution of meat. And the end is just a real banger, one of the most exciting endings I've ever seen.

Let's not forget the acting quality. Everyone member of the lead cast did a four-star job for what they were given to work with. The characters aren't the most well-developed, but they are fun to watch on screen due to charisma mingling with the tension of their attempts at survival. At the front of this cast is Keith Carradine as the calm and intelligent Spencer, who's surrounded by a cast with just enough talents to butt heads with him. This especially works on the psychological background in which several characters are nearly going crazy from the horrific experiences in the swamplands.

Southern Comfort might be lacking in character development, so if it had some more of that it would've been a 100 on my list. I might've even put it in my top 10. But it didn't have enough, so it's not quite a five-star. But this is one of the coolest and most thrilling things I've ever seen, as well as one of the most realistic. I remember my first rated-R movies when I was a preteen, and I honestly feel like this is a movie I would show my 11-year-old. After watching a few of his movies, including most of his best, Walter Hill has done something that I feel is underrated in stark contrast to the Hill films I found overrated. I don't even think you can easily remake this.

= 90/100

Walter Hill's Average Score (6 Good vs. 1 Bad)

Southern Comfort: 90
The Driver: 78
48 Hours: 71
The Warriors: 63
Geronimo: 61

Top Movies Average Score: 72.6 / 5

I HAVE SIX DAYS TO GET THROUGH SIX ROCKY MOVIES! Dammit, I always put these things off on Tubi. But I'll be reviewing every one.

My very next post will be a second review of the first Rocky film. Here is the original film review in a quote.

Rocky (1976) - Directed by John G. Avildsen

"Rocky, you went the distance."

I caught Rocky yesterday about an hour after I got back from A Quiet Place. I didn't expect the best sports movie ever, but I did get something very heartfelt and gripping in an everyday-life manner. Rocky wasn't all punches and kicks. It's human, very human indeed.

Rocky is about a working-class boxer/mob enforcer who is going nowhere with his life, as told to him by his friend Paulie and boer veteran Mickey Goldmill, criticizing Rocky for constantly fighting "bums" and being a mob enforcer. But when Rocky gets the rare opportunity to fight world heavyweight champion Apollo Creed, Rocky takes the chance and trains like hell as his friends around him are changing with him.

I remember the scene in Barton Fink where Barton is criticized for writing a "fruity" wrestling movie. Now when John Mahoney's character said "fruity," I felt he meant "human." I don't know about you, but I think a human boxing story is something the world needs rather than ninety minutes of punching.

My point is simple. Rocky acts as a reminder than the world around us affects how we confront everything in life, especially human interaction. Our minds are influenced by other people, and Rocky makes an example of that out of most of the characters, such as the once-shy but now confrontational and strong-minded Adrian, Rocky's girlfriend; Adrian's brother Paulie, who was once sleaze but is now getting a grip on his drinking; Mickey who realizes he was wrong about Rocky being a bum, etc. In that level of humanity and character development, we can all take something from Rocky.

However, the film is by no means a measterpiece in my opinion. While it may be one of the most enjoyable sports movies out there, it WAS directed by Karate Kid director John G. Avildsen. He boasts little to no real filmmaking talent, and like the directors of Star Wars episodes V and VI, Rocky is a diamond in the rough of Avildsen's filmography that boasts nothing truly spectacular about the film-making. The film is mostly driven by character and the ending boxing match. That boxing match was very eye-gripping, I'll give it that.

Rocky is a lot of fun. And while it may have gotten too many sequels, Avildsen was probably happy he got such a famous franchise. I recommend Rocky for anyone who's into cinema or boxing, because it is undoubtably a sports classic, even if it needs a little bit more touching on.


That's right! I'm going to be reviewing one Rocky movie everyday for the whole week, all the way up to Creed. First up, the classic itself.

(1976) - Directed by John G. Avildsen
Boxing / Drama
"Rocky, you went the distance."

This is the first time I ever re-reviewed a movie on this thread. The original review was quoted above this one. The first six Rocky movies are leaving Tubi in about a week, so I'm gonna watch all of them as quickly as possible, and review one a day. Now to recap on my original review, assuming you decided to skip that one and go right to the new one, I thought the movie was a skillful take on a generic story. Let's see if I feel the same way. I always had a gut feeling that I would possibly give this a five star rating someday. Is this gonna be the case?

Rocky Balboa is a small-town boxer just steps away from being a bum. He's also a collector for a local loan shark, something his old coach Mickey never forgave him for. Nevertheless, he's a real sweetie. He loves animals, gets along with people easily, doesn't like to get in the middle of real conflict and has a crush on a shy little pet shop employee named Adrian, who's confidence is beaten down by her abusive brother, ironically a friend of Rocky. Once the greatest boxer in the world, Apollo Creed, loses out on an important match, he looks for a small-town replacement for promotional purposes... and he selects Rocky. Now the underdog the world has its eyes on, Rocky reunites with his old trainer and begins a relationship with Adrian, giving them both the confidence they need to discover themselves.

Rocky is a movie that relates to a lot of athletes and wannabes for its realistic depiction of the average athlete's story of reaching new athletic heights. But therein also lies a problem: that means the story runs the risk of being predictable. The movie is made of some typical sports storytelling tropes delivered well enough to enjoy more than most sports movies. The biggest example is the love-hate relationship between Rocky and the coach Mickey, played by Meredith Burgess in a flawless performance, displaying all the anger, heart and sorrow that the character encompasses. As a result, his charisma with Rocky is more powerful than the punches, even though the movie is tropy and largely neglects the loan shark subplot in the third act.

But this isn't just about Rocky getting stronger. Does anyone really have to recount the growth that Adrian goes through at this point? Rocky is such a lovable character on his own, with Stallone just sinking into the character like a literal rock. But when Adrian comes into the mix, you can't wait to see her tell her abusive brother off, and the strength displayed by both Rocky and Adrian as they grow together displays some emotion hitting heavy enough to break big slabs of meat in half.

This is all because Rocky has this abnormal ability to affect and even change the people he's closest to. Rocky himself doesn't go through a lot of character changes, making his one of the best positive flats in the world of fiction. I'd probably put him up there with Luffy of One Piece. Molding his character with the others adds a lot to the others' development, even Apollo Creed, who's a likable antagonist because of his fearless and calm approach to the world around him, as well as his desire to fight powerful opponents like Rocky. This aspect of Rocky's personality begs the question to me: how does this iconic aspect of this character play into other characters in the eight sequels? That's an important thing to keep in mind when I get around to the sequels.

I definitely see more in Rocky right now than I did the first time I watched it. However, does that make it a better movie in my eyes? ... Yes and no. I'd put it a few spaces higher on my list of every movie I've ever seen ranked from best to worst, but I don't think I would raise the numerical rating. It's a very well told story relying on character development to overcome the tropes, and it largely succeeds. Rocky deserves to be called a sports classic, and I consider it to be better than Raging Bull and Warrior. However, I wouldn't dare put it in the same league as Million Dollar Baby.

= 92/100

John G. Avildsen's Score (4 Good vs. 0 Bad)

Rocky: 92
The Karate Kid: 85
The Karate Kid Pt. II: 77
Inferno: 53

Average Score: 76.75 / 4

I'll be reviewing other movies during Rocky Week. But you aren't gonna like this one. I'm always on the search for the next stinkburger of a film. MST3K is not the only place to find the worst movies. I found one by sheer luck by going to Deviantart to browse the front page, and for whatever reason, a certain VHS cover was uploaded there. So I looked it u[p, found that it was quite hated, and decided to brave this frog movie, and it ain't The Brave Frog.

Freddie as F.R.O.7
(1992) - Directed by Jon Acevski
Boxing / Drama
"Oh, Freddie! Give me frogs any day!"

You are in fact seeing this poster here. I admit it.

OK, so get this. A magic prince named Frederick sees his father die, is turned into a frog by his Aunt Messina who can change into a snake, grows up with other frogs and grows to the size of a human during his adult years. And for whatever reason, he lives on to the 20th century and eventually becomes a French spy. So now, Messina is making historical and important buildings around the world disappear, and Freddie's on the case.

Now the movie features Ben Kingsley as Freddie, and includes Jonathan Pryce of Brazil, Jenny Agutter from Logan's Run and An American Werewolf in London, Nigel Hawthrone from Gandhi and Disney's Tarzan and Brian Blessed from Tarzan and a million other things. The movie features music by George Benson, Grace Jones, Boy George and Asia. They were able to pay for all of this on top of a huge marketing campaign.

What a waste of everything.

OK, I admit that Kingsley is effing brilliant. They guy was able to pull off The Hood in that lame live-action Thunderbirds movie, butting heads with a show-stealing Bill Paxton as Jeff Tracy. But his performance in this movie is just boring. It's hard to believe that Ben Kingsley couldn't play a Frenchman with his diverse talents, and here we are. None of the big name actors stand out. In fact, their characters are often so thin that they do literally nothing, especially Freddie's sidekicks.

As you likely already guessed, the plot didn't make any sense. It would've been better as an episode of The Fairly Oddparents. This so called spy movie rarely ever feels like a spy movie under all the laserlights and magic effects. The movie is an unorganized combination of sci-fi, spy and fantasy tropes with uneven levels of balance, and so there is little to actually appeal to anyone looking for any type of good genre movie except maybe fantasy.

Another thing to pay attention to was the animation. Now there were times when the animation and the direction were actually fine. The machines were creepy, the cinematography was fine and the scenery was well-put together. But the characters were utter failures. Their motions were extremely awkward and thrown together with little sense of either budget or realism. And not only are they poorly acted by this big-name cast, but most of the characters look just plain ugly. The only design that I liked was Freddie, who wasn't an ugly frog. Every human, however, was either lacking in spark or so poorly-drawn that it's impossible to believe that anyone thought those designs were good ideas! Hell, two biker crows in the first act are so utterly annoying and horribly-drawn during their 60 seconds on screen that in that short time they make Jar Jar Binks look like a best friend.

And there is one more extremely important criticism that needs to be addressed: Evilmainya. It is not a cult. It is not a gaming website. It is a musical number sung by the villainess. Evilmainya was the single worst musical sequence I have EVER seen in a movie, and I got through nine Land Before Time sequels. The woman is barely singing the very few drawn out lyrics she's given, and the direction of the music number is absolutely horrendous and simple-minded. There's nothing that stands out. It's just the snake woman olding a microphone and singing to her troops while the other villain (Brian Blessed) laughs in reverb AGAIN.

OK, if not for the (usually) decent cinematography, this movie would be an absolute zero. This is not something you should ever have to buy your kids, so don't be fooled by the star-studded cast. This movie is a complete waste of time. It's not Camillo Teti bad, but it's really bad. Thankfully, Jon Acevski never directed another film.

= 6/100


Rocky II
(1979) - Directed by Sylvester Stallone
Boxing / Drama
"You're gonna eat lightnin', you're gonna crap thunder."

The purpose of this Rocky Week is to get through the first six Rocky movies before they get taken off of Tubi. So unlike the first Rocky movie, this is the first time I've seen this movie. I've heard that this is likely the best sequel, so I had some pretty high hopes.

This direct sequel to the first rocky picks up RIGHT after the fight with Apollo, who's caved into the paparazzi and buzz about the fight and wants a rematch. Rocky, however, gets married and blows the money won from the fight. Since he's having difficulty finding a real job, he's considering breaking his promise to Adrian to stop fighting to save his eyesight.

Even though the movie's trying hard to act as a proper sequel to the original, and largely succeeding, the movie is so similar to the original in vibe and storytelling that it comes off as unoriginal sometimes. It seems like any effect that Rocky's presence had on the people around him had done its job in the first movie. Rocky isn't really speaking in ways he spoke to people before. In other words, it's nothing but a defense-against-revenge movie in terms of plot. Sure, it has some touching subplots like Adrian's pregnancy and her refusal to allow Rocky to fight. But you pretty much know what's coming.

Apollo was a more interesting person to watch just from how determined he was to defend his title, even though his character was also a little more annoying. But it's a deserved annoying, since any grand champ would be annoyed at all the accusations of fixing the match which leads to his harsher attempts at getting Rocky to fight. Nevertheless, he's still an enjoyable character because he's still Apollo Creed. But Paulie isn't really doing much, and Mickey's character is same-old same-old.

As for direction, Stallone does about as good a job as Avildsen did for the first movie. I could've done without some of the slo-mo during the ending match, but we get a clever and spirited recap of the training montage with a couple new tricks. And Stallone puts some of the same care into this simple story that Avildsen did with the first entry. I would've liked to see more about the loan shark, though, as that subplot is absent from Rocky II.

Rocky II is a very enjoyable movie thanks to more great and lovable Rocky himself, as well as a reasonable and realistic sequel which unfortanutely is so realistic that it can be predictable. But Rocky Fans will largely like this one for having much of the same spirit. Stallone himself directed this one, and I put it in the same league as The Expendables. In fact, I'd currently only put one movie between them in terms of quality: Mission Impossible III, with Expendables above it. As for recommending it to anyone, all I have to say is this: with all emphasis, by no means should you watch this until you've seen the first Rocky.

= 73/100

Sylvester Stallone's Score

The Expendables: 73
Rocky II: 73

Needs 1 more for average score


Rocky III
(1982) - Directed by Sylvester Stallone
Boxing / Drama
"Hell, you ain't been hungry since you won that belt.”

Other than having the most overplayed non-Boston / Journey AOR song stuck in my head thanks to this, Rocky III delivered a third chapter that does everything it can to keep our legendary boxer alive and well. He's no longer the underdog, he's the washout. And the story it takes is just as realistic as before, but does that alone make it a good movie?

Rocky is defending his title with little effort. However, this all changes when a hotheaded rookie named Clubber Lang (Mr. T) wants his shot at Rocky. Angering our Philly friend to no tomorrow, Rocky accepts. But when he's humiliated by the new guy, guess who comes around to teach him in ways that Mick couldn't? Apollo Creed, who wants this Clubber Lang put in his place.

Believe it or not, I didn't even know that Mr. T was in this movie, let alone that this was the movie that made him famous. I thought A-Team was his big thing. But hey, this is pretty cool. Even though Rocky III isn't considered a great movie these days, it's still a piece of history. And Mr. t makes it history with his perfect performance. The guy's just being himself, and it works way too well. Even though his character is hardly developed, he's an incredibly convincing villain with great lines.

There's a different kind of heart used to tell Rocky III's story: the journey after success. Now everybody wants a piece of Rocky. And you know Rocky's gonna win, but the fun of the movie comes from how the fights play out. This is especially true for the boxer vs. wrestler match between Rocky and Thunderlips (Hulk Hogan).

Mick is also at some of his most philosophical here. The scene where he goes over all the reasons why Rocky's career should've ended was a perfectly-written heavy-hitter that eats at the heart of the Rocky fan. That was one of the best scenes in the entire franchise thus far! And the other scenes do everything they can to keep the spirit up with just as much realism as the first two and even more philosophy. This helps with the return of Apollo Creed, who makes for a great teacher.

However, the movie also makes the same mistake as the second. The characters are not largely lived up to. Seriously, we get a beginning scene where Paulie gets jealous of Rocky and gets arrested as a result of his drunken actions, and how does this play into the plot later? Trick question! It doesn't! So once again, most of the characters aren't growing with Rocky.

I liked Rocky III more than II, and I'm certain that I'm in the minority here. But there's more story to it and just as much heart. In all actuality, it was the addition of Mr. T and his character that makes this better than the second. Still, I wouldn't say this is better than the first. But as a director, Stallone, who wrote Rocky to begin with, understand swhat people love about him better than anyone.

= 75/100

Sylvester Stallone's Score (3 Good vs. 0 Bad)

Rocky III: 75
The Expendables: 73
Rocky II: 73

Average Score: 73.66 / 3