Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Kickboxer: Retaliation

Posted: May 16, 2018 in Uncategorized

MV5BNzk1YjM3NDItOTE1Yi00Yzk0LTk2YjMtNTRjZDNmYWE3MjNkXkEyXkFqcGdeQXVyNTM3MzQ3NzE@._V1_SY1000_CR0,0,708,1000_AL_

1989’s Kickboxer is a decent watch. The Jean-Claude Van Damme vehicle was a martial arts showcase for what the up and coming actor was capable of and it paid off. Van Damme would go on to carve out a action name for himself. In 2016 Kickboxer got a remake/reboot in the form of Kickboxer: Vengeance. The later was okay, what elevated it was the clear skill its star, Alain Moussi, was in possession of. The fact it also featured Van Damme (now in a mentor role to Moussi’s hero) was a bonus. Besides all that though the film was a fun, if not altogether great, martial arts movie. Well be prepared to get smashed in the face folks because the sequel, Kickboxer: Retaliation, is bloody great. You know how you catch some old 80’s martial arts flicks and the fighting ain’t as great as you remember? Okay well this movie is cut from that same cloth (the fun 80’s feel) but should you revisit this one in another twenty years you won’t have to worry about the action and the awesome martial arts on display not standing the test of time. The fights in this beast are brutal, fun, bloody and boast excellent choreography.

Kickboxer: Retaliation picks up some time after the last movie. Kurt Sloan (Moussi) is in Vegas and making a name for himself as a professional fighter. Sadly for Kurt (luckily for us) his past comes back to haunt him and he finds himself pulled back into the world of underground fighting. There are no rules and only the strongest get to walk way. Kurt must overcome various threats of both the directly lethal and emotional when those he cares about are used against him should he refuse to fight and put his life on the line once again. What I dug most about the plot to this one was how it revealed the threats and world of the last movie were simply the tip of the iceberg. Despite the story being simple it felt organic. That vibe flows through the rest of the movie from the fun soundtrack, the enthusiastic cast, the brisk pace and the confident and clear direction from Dimitri Logothetis and his stunt/fight team. There’s a outlandishly great big baddie in this one too and just wait until you find out why this guy is so formidable. The 80’s would be proud.

Alain Moussi is a legit talent. Watching the last movie it was obvious how skilled he was as a martial arts fighter but in the sequel his charisma shines through. Looking him up online it seems like he began his career on film as a stunt performer and has only recently made the leap to actor. It’s cool seeing how he comes across even more confident in Retaliation as an actor. Filling out the cast and lending to the overall charm of the film are returning co-stars Jean-Claude Van Damme and Sara Malakul Lane. We get characters we’ve already met and get to see them thrown into new and dangerous situations. Van Damme as Master Durand has his own issues to navigate and looks to be enjoying his return to the role. If that stuff wasn’t cool enough you get none other than Christopher Lambert. He plays Thomas Moore, the guy who appears to be behind all of the underground fights. Lambert is a great addition to the series and fans of his Highlander and Mortal Kombat days will be happy with his role here.

The set pieces are stronger in this sequel. The fights are shot better and the choreography is stronger. The plot is not afraid to embrace the downright strange but it only serves to make the film more fun. There are some bizarre cameos too which I’ll leave the viewers to discover. A clear love of martial arts is what most comes across most though and not just martial arts but fighting and the skill of it in general. It has smarts too, being careful never to over glamorise fighting by clearly showing how dangerous and devastating it can be. I’d heard Kickboxer: Retaliation was better than the last one but by how much took me by surprise. I had a great time with this sequel.

From it’s fun opening Kickboxer: Retaliation sets such a confident tone of what is to come. Even if you walked away from the last movie feeling disappointed I’d suggest you still give this sequel a shot because it’s a cracking martial arts action movie. If you dug the first flick as I did but wanted more bite then look no further. Apparently this is the second part of a planned trilogy. If the next movie matches this one I’d be delighted but should it prove even better then old school action fans could end up having one awesome martial arts trilogy on their hands.

Sorry for the horrid pun but I’m figuring this all out as I go along! Hahaha. Okay so here we go, check this out! You know what? I think this looks excellent. It will be interesting to see WHEN this movie takes place? Pre/during/ or post Infinity War. I can’t wait to find out.

Yes it’s cool to see Paul Rudd back again as Ant-Man. He’s boss but something tells me this sequel is going to be the Janet and Hope van Dyne show. As you can tell from the trailer Evangeline Lilly is more than holding her own and taking names as she kicks all the butt that dare goes up against her character. Don’t even get me started on the greatness of having Michelle Pfeiffer as original Wasp Janet van Dyne. Ghost looks way cool! She’s the new threat and her powers look great in action. I really think this is shaping up to be as good if not better than the original movie.

Peyton Reed returns to direct. He did a brilliant job on Ant-Man so I’m delighted he’s back for round two.

Ant-Man and the Wasp hits screens August 3rd.

Annihilation (No spoilers)

Posted: March 14, 2018 in Movies, Uncategorized
Tags:

MV5BMTA1NjI1NjAyODBeQTJeQWpwZ15BbWU4MDQ2NzY3ODQz__V1_SY1000_CR0,0,674,1000_AL_

The Southern Reach trilogy of books from author Jeff VanderMeer are heavy science fiction in the best way. Otherworldly but with enough of the familiar the reader doesn’t feel lost. Despite exploring mind blowing ideas and horrors the books also maintain a sense of humour so don’t come off as pretentious. After I read the trilogy, with the knowledge a film was on the way, my intital reaction was “Good luck adapting this tale” because I felt it was unfilmable. Now Annihilation, the first of the books, is here as a movie and director/writer Alex Garland has managed to pull it off big time. Rather than stick to what VanderMeer put on the page Garland has took his own approach to the material, which given the subect matter is fitting.

The story focuses on a female team of scientists and soldiers who venture into ‘Area X’ This mysterious landmass is situated on the American coast and appears to be growing. The fear being that should it spread it may bring forth unkown threats into not just major American citites but the whole world. Each team that had previously gone into investigate has not returned. Except for one. A soldier, whose wife, played by Natalie Portman, takes it upon herself to venture into Area X as part of the female team to find out just what happened to her husband. What awaits them is a landscape similar to our own yet different in breath taking and deadly ways.

It is a pitty Annihilation debuted on Netflix outside of America. The film warranted a big screen debut. On the plus side it’s available right now on Netflix. So there’s that. Garland frames the film in a way I liked, it’s full of lucid and dream like imagery that I think does the book justice and gives it a identity all its own. However some choices, such as Portman’s biologist recounting her expedition, takes away a part of the suspense. That’s not a spoiler as it’s right from the get go once the film begins more or less. Even though I’ve read the book, so I had an idea of what was going to go down (I still came away surprised BTW fellow Southern Reach trilogy readers), I found this choice weird. It’s tricky to talk about the plot with this one so I’ll wrap it up here.

What is cool and safer to talk about is how each of the team play a vital role and all of the actresses do tremendous work. Portman, as the world knows, is a fantastic actress and she anchors the movie. Jennifer Jason Leigh is a total mystery as Dr. Ventress, a character whom you’re never quite sure of what her ultimate agenda is. Tuva Novotny and Tessa Thompson do good work in strong support roles but it’s Gina Rodriguez who shines brightest. She manages to make a compelling character out of what could have easily become a one note ‘tough lady’ role, due to her talent and Garland’s writing. Oscar Isaac impresses in his limited screen time but this ain’t his character’s movie. It’s very much female driven and the better for it.

Normally with a movie based on a book you loose some stuff in the adaptation process. Normally character centric stuff but I think Garland’s writing actually brought quite a bit to the characters the book was not able to explore. These characters aren’t any less fleshed out in the book it’s just the film presents different shades. On the other hand, as is the case with adaptations, Garland changed some stuff in the narrative. Which is totally fine. For example the book felt like it had a bigger tale to explore, as proved to be the case with two further books, yet the movie manages to be not only it’s own version of Annihilation but one that feels complete. Like I said it must have been tricky working out how to adapt the book and when you see what Garland managed to pull off it’s all the more impresive.

Annihilation has been met with universal acclaim. A modern classic. It may be. For me I found it to be a great movie and one I look forward to seeing again. It won’t be for everyone and that’s understandable. It’s not action packed and it takes its time telling it’s tale. It kept me engaged, surprised me and shocked me on more than one occassion. Give it a go. It may not be for you or you may love it but one thing I’m pretty sure of is you won’t forget it soon.

 

MV5BMTY3NTcyNDI2NF5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwNDQ5ODIwMjE@__V1_SY1000_CR0,0,1462,1000_AL_

Happy Christmas everyone. I hope you all have a save, great Christmas and an excellent 2018.

The New Year is shaping up great movie wise, so here’s to looking forwards to a ton of great new movies. Personally I’m looking forward to Shane Black’s The Predator, New Mutants, Avengers: Infinity War, X-Men: Dark Phoenix, Deadpool 2 and Isle of Dogs. And hopefully ton’s of other great flicks I have no idea about just yet.

It means a lot to me that ANYONE takes the time to read what I post. I just want to say a big thank you. It looks like people are actually coming back now from time to time. It was always a dream to write about what I love and to think people (probably all TWO of you! Hahaha) seem to like it is the best gift. So cheers.

Going forwards my hope is to keep Hella Movies focused on what I always wanted it to be. A celebration of movies and pop culture with a leaning more towards the 90’s. That means a bit of scale back in covering newer movies. Don’t get me wrong, I’m looking forwards always but a current news/review blog was not what I set out to do and the content going ahead will be more focused.

Once again, cheers to everyone who has ever taken the time to check out Hella Movies and I hope you continue to do so. Also, if you ever thought about starting a blog or YouTube channel about something you love DO IT! It’s one of the best things I ever did and there’s NO trick to it except stick with it. Be consistent, if someone takes the time to comment then reply (it’s only polite) and the rest will take care of itself.

What are you guys and gals looking forward to in 2018? Don’t be shy! Let me know in the comments.

All the best!

I missed the Wii U. I can not wait to get my hands on Mario Kart 8. The trailer gives a good look at the new modes (Battle Mode) and new characters.

Mario Kart 8:Deluxe launches April 28th.

ARMS Switch reveal trailer!

Posted: January 13, 2017 in Uncategorized
Tags: ,

ARMS is described by Nintendo as a boxing/shooter hybrid and it looks pretty insane. Colourful, different and unique. That’s all I’ve got. Hahaha. Here’s the trailer and who knows maybe it will be excellent?!

 

imagescans8c89

All the best to you all. I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas and New Years or whatever holiday you found yourself and your family celebrating! One of the best parts of the holiday period beyond family time  (and food. Can’t forget the food!!) is time to catch up on MOVIES and catch up I did! These past few days I’ve seen some wonderful new flicks, some stuff I didn’t manage to catch last year (Sing Street!), some I initially wasn’t going out of my way to see but did and ended up pleasantly entertained (London Has Fallen take a bow!) and one or two first watch oldies (I’m looking at you Death Wish 2!).

2017 is packed(!) with big movies and the return of many old friends on the small screen. So without further rambling here are the movies and television shows in no particular order I am very much looking forward in 2017! Here’s to a great year.

Movies –

Dark Tower, Kong: Skull Island, Spider-Man: Homecoming, Logan, Alien: Covenant, Power Rangers, Ghost In The Shell, The Mummy, Baywatch, Trainspotting 2, John Wick 2, Star Wars Episode VIII, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol2 and hopefully many more surprises along the way. I would have loved to have added Friday The 13th and Halloween to this list but it still feels real up in the air with those two. Don’t get your hopes up till you see a trailer!

Television: Twin Peaks, Riverdale, 24, Stranger Things Season 2, The Defenders, Inhumans, Fargo and Legion.

AND what the heck, here’s a few video games I’m looking forward to

Resident Evil 7, Tekken 7, Marvel vs Capcom Infinite, Injustice 2 and this little known console known as the Nintendo Switch and some game called Breath of the Wild!

Going into the new year not much will be changing on the blog. Ideally I wanted to cover more 90’s video games thanks to my Snes but man…those games are SO expensive I just can’t see myself handing out the money to get them so for now that will have to take a back seat. I’m hoping to continue bringing more 80/90’s flavour in the realm of movies and comics and following any present day iterations of said properties. If you’re new to the blog or have been reading for a while now I’d like to say “Welcome”/”Thank you” and point out Hella Movies is a celebration of movies and stuff I love that maybe you guys may like too. This isn’t a current movie news site that covers all the big stuff. It’s just a blog that looks at stuff I love. Finally I seriously appreciate any comment or read I get on here. I don’t take it for granted and I don’t claim that Hella Movies is some authority on anything except cool movies I like and hopefully you guys like and it means a lot to see a comment even saying “Nice read. Yeah I agree!” so thanks for that.

On a final note I just want to take a moment to say how gutted I was to hear of the passing of Carrie Fisher over the holiday period. Like many of you I’m sure, she was a major presence in my life growing up and her incredible work and talent will never be forgotten.

So what are some of the shows and movies you guys are looking forward to this year? Let me know in the comments below!

 

After months and months of anticipation Nintendo have pulled the curtain and revealed their brand new games console Nintendo Switch (aka Nintendo NX).

What we see in the footage is pretty much what we already knew based on leaks and rumours. The system is a hybrid that will act as a console dock for when you’re playing at home and a hand held device for when you’re on the move. The trailer explains is really well, much better than me! Take a look. Are you excited? I can’t wait to get my hands on it when it launches next March.

I think this is a logical next step for Nintendo. Their handheld systems are a massive hit so it makes sense for them to blend the home console and the handheld. Time will tell if this move will pay off.

Where are the Snes reviews?

Posted: September 28, 2016 in Uncategorized

snes

I know right? I was (still am) looking forward to sharing a ton of my favourite Snes games on Hella Movies with you all. The problem is the price of the carts. Oh man… they are expensive and truth be told I can only afford so much each month so more than I’d like the retro stuff has to take a back seat. I have not forgotten about it and I do plan to bring more retro video game reviews into the site as the months pass. Perhaps with the NX around the corner the system will allow a more affordable entry point to digital retro titles? Here’s hoping. Hey if I become a millionaire in the next few months you can bet I’m hitting Ebay to grab that ££££££ boxed Super Metroid but for now I just can’t. The great news is that there’s a ton of dedicated retro gaming sites available on here and across YouTube that probably do a far better job than me!

Above is the Urien reveal trailer. He’s available now for season pass holders and in the games digital store. Urien is a Street Fighter III fave and it’s good to see more of the classic and unique Street Fighter III cast make glorious comebacks.

VS CPU mode is now available. About bloody time! Still no Arcade Mode. I’ve stuck to my guns. I won’t be buying this game until it has more offline modes. As a service (which is how Capcom have presented SFV) I find the whole thing lacking and hope Capcom learn a lesson and never go down this ‘service’ route again. More stage finishers have been added as well as a few extra ways to earn fight money or whatever the in game currency is that lets you unlock colours, costumes and characters.

For those who love the online factor I hope you’re all enjoying SFV. If anyone else is holding off getting the game like I am may I suggest King of the Fighters XIV? It’s a lot of fun, solid gameplay and has like….crazy this…but a full range of online and offline features!!