Posts Tagged ‘bad’


I approached Shaolin Kingboxer with the desire to watch an incredibly bad kung-fu flick mainly because of the incredibly bad blurb on the back of the dvd box. the spelling mistakes and the sheer lack of information really made me feel that what I was going to watch was a bottom of the barrel, laughably bad martial arts film. sadly what I got was something that wasn’t actually that bad but not particularly good either.

Essentially a remake of the Serio Leone Western ‘For A few Dollars more’, the film follows a man seeking revenge who teams up with an unlikely bandit on his quest to track down the person that murdered his family.

the story isn’t original and serves merely as a way to craft a tale that can take us from one fight to the next. The fight sequences are the typical kind that you have seen time and time again in 70’s kung fu films and none of it really stands out as being something special apart from the final fight. Much like a lot of films of this sort, the stakes raise as the protagonist’s progress through the film until they reach the final ‘boss’ and then spend 20 odd minutes fighting. This is the main saving grace for Shaolin Kingboxer. the final fight is awesome and features some great choreography (and a little silliness with a character rolling across the floor with swords.) It is gripping and is a great too and fro battle which you can’t take your eyes off. whereas the other fights in the film tend to be one vs one, this battle has multiple combatants each with different fighting styles. I’d argue it might be worth sitting through the film just for this final fight.

The version I watched was dubbed and even that was disappointing in the fact it wasn’t that bad. (I never thought I’d be complaining that a film wasn’t bad). there are some odd choices of the voiceovers but none that actually rival anything on a Godfrey Ho level of bad.

All in all it isn’t a bad film. I might have enjoyed it more if I had gone into it expecting something different but the terrible dvd case tricked me. It may not be the best, but the final fight is pretty standout and stands up there with some of the best 70’s kung fu fight sequences in my view. It’s a bity silly and Hokey but it does work.

All in all if I gave it a score out of 10 I would probably put it a 5 or 6 (if I had known what i was going to be watching (mostly for the ending) but with the perceptions I went in with I would probably put the film at a 3. (it’s amazing how preconceptions can completely change how you view and enjoy a film.)

After the brilliant Batman Begins and the very ‘meh’ ‘The Dark knight’, Nolan hits a new low with the final part of his trilogy with ‘The Dark Knight Rises’.

You could argue that Batman’s lowest moment was with the wonderous ‘Batman & Robin’, but in my view ‘Dark knight Rises’ marks the lowest moment in Batman’s 74 year span, closely followed by ‘The Dark Knight’.  Now I know both films have a great deal of fans (well at least ‘TDK’ does) but for me both mark significant low points not only in Batman films but as far as ‘TDKR’ is concerned, low points in cinema in general.

I’ll just point out that this review is only really coming about because I have just finished re-watching the film for the first time since seeing it at the cinema and just want to vocalise my opinions. I will also say that the review will contain major spoilers throughout.

So where do we start? We may as well start with the opening set piece that takes place on a private jet. After some bad editing of them getting on the plane to a piece of music that feels less written for the film and more just pasted on top to try and divert from the films visual flaws, we get to hear the villain ‘Bane’s’  iconic voice for the first time. Not iconic in the sense it is amazingly powerful and emotive, but more in the sense of it sounding jovial, idiotic and frankly sounds like someone doing a really bad impression of Sean Connery (who I honestly believed was about to appear as a cameo after hearing Bane off-screen for the first time.) We then get a really boring hijack of the plane (well kind of) which has been done better in films like ‘Cliffhanger’ and ‘Executive Decision’.

What an awful beginning to what should be the darkest and the most epic of Batman films.

It just goes downhill from here with some of the worst direction and pacing I have ever seen in a film. The movie has none of the greatness that Nolan displayed with his earlier films like ‘Batman Begins’ and ‘Insomnia’.  If anything it feels like a student film with a lot of money thrown into it. We have such great actors in the film, all of whom are wasted due to the inept script.

A great example of this can be seen in the handling of Bruce Wayne. I never felt anything towards him and never once wanted him to succeed. The way that his character is written makes him seem very arrogant which is ok in small doses but when applied to this extent, makes the character highly unlikeable and unredeeming. The same fault can be said about ‘TDK’ but here we have it to a whole new level. I guess you could say that the film isn’t about ‘Batman’ as you only see him for around 40 minutes of the 2 hour 40 run time of the film. But when he does appear he just brings the film down lower then ever.

It also doesn’t help that the characters are all thrown into stupid situations that are just beyond believable (or at least the solutions they come up with to escape them). The two biggest of these are ‘The Pit’ and ‘The trapped police force. We’ll start with the former:

‘The Pit’; A broken Wayne is thrown into a deep pit in the middle of a desert which was once home to Bane. Throughout his time in the hole Wayne builds back his muscle, fixes his back, watches some television, then eventually manages to climb out. If we get past the whole fixing himself back up, how do we explain the television reception in the pit. The picture quality they get isn’t too bad considering they are in the middle of nowhere, but when you consider they  are at the bottom of a deep hole its remarkable. It’s also really nice of Bane to allow Wayne to watch his villainous rampage through the city. It’s just so stupid and badly handled.  I’m not sure if we are quite getting to the ‘nuking the fridge’ idiocy but it’s getting there. There is also the actual climbing out of the pit which seems to be an annual event. I do not understand why they, after reaching the platform have to make a jump. If you look there are handholds all the way round. Why not just keep climbing? Would that not be the sensible idea as it seems to be the jump everyone fails on. If anything it feels like the pit is just a device used to get Wayne/Batman out of Gotham so Bane can have his merry little way with the city. Also, how does he get back to the city? Especially considering he looks quite healthy by the time he gets back after having his back broken and probably other broken parts to himself.  I am pretty certain that his injuries would have taken a lot longer to heal to a manageable state where he isn’t in constant agonising pain.

Many will say that your meant to suspend your disbelief. Which I think is true of film but it doesn’t help when the director has gone down the rout of what he calls ‘Ultra-realism’. It just doesn’t work. The second of the situations that I thought just didn’t work was when 99% of the police force are stuck under the city after Bane’s big bombing. What sort of police force would send almost everyone underground all at the same time. If they were smart would they not have set up lots of officers at the end of the tunnels in case Bane tried to escape. It again feels like a situation that just prolongs the film by an unnecessary amount.  It just feels badly written and handled really badly.

The timespan of the film is yet another thing that is handled pretty badly. Firstly we have the time difference between ‘TDK’ and ‘TDKR’ but we quickly find ourselves in a film that jumps forward in time at random and never really says how much time’s past. A good example of this is when Wayne escapes the pit (see two paragraphs ago). He manages to get back to Gotham city pretty easily with no money or transport, but we never know 100% how much time has passed (or if they do explain I missed it). There are numerous moments throughout the film like this and it just makes the film feel very loose and not particularly well constructed.

There are numerous other things that I thought were handled really badly. These include the really bad fight scenes that are just plain boring and what could have been one of the films redeeming features ‘the Robin reveal’. It could have been really clever and could have been a great way to finish a trilogy. But alas no, it feels like it was just something they decided to tack onto the end to both prolong and to try and keep fans happy after destroying the iconic villain Bane (I’d argue more so than Batman and Robin). The way that I would have handled it would have been simply having Levitt  enter the bat cave and for the Batman costume to rise up from the ground. But this time instead of being just one costume, next to it we have the Robin costume or even the Knightwing costume.

And finally before my final wrap up. What were they thinking with Bane’s voice. I’ve mentioned it before but it is just so stupid. It is arguably one of the most film-breaking fragments. They could have given him a dark chilling voice that evoked both the pain he was meant to be suffering while also delivering the hatred and the power he bestows. But no instead we get a reasonably high pitched badly monitored British accent that sounds like someone is talking through a computer. It is beyond believable that they went with this option (even though apparently this is the redone soundtrack as it used to be worse). I think it is also the fact it is an overly posh British accent that sometimes creeps into Scottish. It almost feels like Nolan is giving all fans of Bane from the comics the idle finger.


As you’ve probably gathered I don’t really like this film. I will stand by my opinion that this is the worst thing to happen to Batman and marks a new low for comic book films. It has no redeeming features and for me at least is an overlong travesty that should just highlight why Nolan shouldn’t be allowed to touch big franchises again (I think he should go back to smaller projects as that is where his talent lies). Nolan has also helped destroy Superman for me as well which for me was an even bigger part of my childhood. But we’ll review that film at a later date.

I would never recommend this film to anyone and would say it is one of my least favourite films of all time. 2/10

An estranged couple’s take a break in the country to try and help save their relationship. Little do they know that they’re soon to have some unexpected guests….

Zombies are everywhere these days (not literally), they’re in books, games, board games, and most of all movies. It seems to be the craze for first time horror directors to try and break out with a hit undead movie. With so many made, it’s hard for many to stand out and be truly memorable. It doesn’t help that the benchmarks in zombie cinema (George Romero’s ‘Dead Trilogy’ being the landmark s) have set the bar ridiculously high. So high in fact that not even Romero has managed to capture the greatness that made his name.

This British production aims to have that special something to make itself stand out. Directed by first timer Dominic Brunt (from Britain’s very own soap opera ‘Emmerdale’ ) it shows a little promise at the start but that quickly fades.

I got excited about the film when I found it in a dvd store. The cover features an army of zombies and a man standing, shotgun in hand looking out onto an undead city. The reviews on the box stating ‘unforgettable… the most gut-wrenching modern zombie flick in years’ from Hollywood news, ‘Bloody Terrifying…’ from Starbust and ‘stunning cinematography’ from Little White Lies led me to believe what I was about to watch would truly be great. After watching the film I’m wondering if I saw the right film. What I saw was far from what was described or pictured.

From the outset the cinematography is very iffy. The camerawork goes from being passable (the scenic shots) the downright awful (zombie attacks). The lighting is appalling throughout with the camera being constantly overexposed. It just looks awful. I have no idea what the reviewer from ‘Little white Lies’ was watching but it can’t have been this. I’ve seen student films that look more polished. The music starts out ok with a sort of ’28 days later’ vibe but quickly transcends into a repetitive mess.

The first 20 minutes built up the tension pretty well and I was thinking that it may make up for the camerawork but alas no. It quickly spiralled down the hole of awfulness with a tired script, some awful acting and appalling action.

The film tries to be a ‘character driven piece’ instead of the usual everyone dying zombie film. This would work if there was a good script behind the acting. I felt nothing towards the main characters. I just wanted to see them die at the hands of the zombies during the ‘epic slaughterfest’ (as stated on the box). Even that failed to happen. in the whole film there are 6 zombies.  3 of which don’t appear until the final 2 minutes of the film. When the zombies are on screen they just feel like people running around after one another. They never feel like mindless bloodthirsty creatures, but more like people acting. I’ve never been one for the ‘running’ zombies but at least films like ’28 days later’, ‘Dawn of the Dead 2004’ or even the resident evil franchise, but at least these films handle the zombies well and actually make you fear for some of the characters (slightly less so for resident evil).

In fact the whole film feels like a student made version of the opening of ’28 Weeks later’ with none of the tension, acting skills, script or direction. In that film I was on the edge of my seat wanting to know what was going to happen. The music and the frantic pace push everything forward perfectly. This film does none of that (well it tries to). When the zombies do come the music gets faster and they employ the ‘shakey cam’ style. It just doesn’t work here. I can honestly say I don’t think I’ve seen a more boring zombie attack in a film then the 2/3 in this film.  You know a film is bad when you start thinking about the practicality of a zombie and how their motor functions work etc…

I can happily say that this is easily one of the worst zombie films I’ve ever seen (possibly in the bottom 3) and easily one of the worst films I’ve seen in general. It has barley any redeeming factors and really is bottom of the barrel. I’m even more annoyed at the lies the box told me. There was no man with a shotgun facing a city in the snow (I forgot to mention that before but the man on the cover is standing in a little grassy patch in amongst a snowy wasteland.)

I do not recommend anyone see this film and I really hope that they change the dvd packaging in the future as not to trick viewers into picking up a film different from that on the box. DO NOT BE FOOLED BY THE GOOD REVIEWS!!!!!!! 2/10 (for an OK idea)

Sean Patrick Flanery stands up to a biker gang led by Lou Diamond Phillips. The biker gang don’t take kindly to this and vow revenge. They decide to get this revenge by attacking the wild west show town that Flanery acts in. Flanery must lead the actors in the stand against the bikers. Will he prevail?

I was really excited about this film when I found it cheap on dvd. I really like the two main actors and thought that they could bring charm to a low budget ‘Assault on Precinct 13’ style flick. Sadly, although they do their best, they don’t save this mediocre flick.

It may be because I was expecting more of an action film from what I read on the dvd box and I didn’t get that, or it may have been just because it wasn’t very good. We have a long build up with the odd confrontation between Flanery and Phillips but no proper action until the end. In the way it felt a little like the modern film ‘The Last Stand’ but just nowhere near as fun. This would be ok if the film knew exactly what it wanted to be but unfortunately it feels very much stuck in the middle between character piece and action flick.

The music is ok as is the cinematography. While neither is great they get the job done and make it easier to watch the slow meandering thriller where nothing really happens.

As you’ve probably guessed I didn’t really like the film. It’s not that it’s fundamentally bad, it’s just ‘MEH!’ It sits in that middle ground between being not good and not bad. It could have been a fun little action romp but what we get is a slow build up to a very anticlimactic ending.

I wouldn’t waste your time. 5/10

A group of individuals head to a cabin in the woods for ‘fear therapy’ unknowing of what evils may await them.

From the outset we are presented with a weird green filtered sequence with a child bumping into a group of people all wearing masks. We have no real explanation we’re just thrown straight into the weird cheapness that is to continue for the following 90 mins.

The film itself is kind of interesting but just feels a little like a more ‘fear’ orientated take on the film ‘Pin’ (which was far better than this). The wooden dummy (Morty) is actually quite creepy and is possibly the only redeeming feature of the picture. His movement and sound effects are really well implemented which helps him feel like an evil killer doll.

Plot wise it all feels very random as does the pacing. It is incredibly slow which gets to the stage of going nowhere. When stuff finally starts to happen we see the group travel to an old abandoned amusement park (for what reason I do not know…). While there one gets raped and a little bit of violence happens (definitely not enough to warrant the 18 age rating the dvd has in the UK). We then get some weird possession stuff and your usual running from Morty. It’s all so tiresome.

The cast are all pretty bad in their roles and no-one is particularly stand out. It really is bottom of the barrel and sometimes difficult to watch. One quite nice touch is the fact that the film features a random cameo from Wes Craven (yes the director of horror classics ‘Nightmare on Elm Street’ and ‘Scream’).  The acting is even below par when it comes to cheap 90’s horror films and isn’t helped by an atrocious script.

Direction and editing is average at best, with the majority being tiresome and boring. The music starts off being ok but as with everything in this film, quickly becomes repetitive and boring. I got the end and found myself asking a simple question;


I found no answer to this question and I don’t intend on watching it again to try and find out.

There is nothing worthwhile here and it’s a film that should just drift to obscurity and never be heard of again. It’s not even ‘so bad it’s good’. 3/10


A terrorist threatens to launch a nuclear missile at the United States unless they put $1 Billion into his Swiss bank account. Jack Tannen (Frank Zagarino) is sent to secure the missile and disable the terrorists.

This is your typical mid-nineties action film. There is nothing about it that really makes it stand out, but then again there is nothing fundamentally wrong with it.

It’s very low budget which shows at times but it does look like they’ve squeezed everything they can out of it (mainly on explosions and bullets I expect). The action is competent with a pretty good action scene on a bridge around half way through in which Zagarino’s team gets ambushed. It’ a nice set piece which moves at quite a good pace.

The overall pace of the film isn’t too bad. It kinda drags a little towards the end but I didn’t really expect it to be perfect. The acting is above par for this kind of movie with Zagarino standing out as the best on show (not really saying much).

It’s OK I guess if there is nothing else to watch. Even if you usually like this sort of film I’d approach with caution as it’s not good and it’s not ‘too bad to be good’, it sits in that middle ground of being simply ‘MEH!’ 5/10

For a film with a tag line ‘A bullet made the orphans. Revenge makes them dangerous’, I was expecting a cheap 80’s action flick. It delivered one part of what I expected, The cheap part.

It looks and feels like a movie filmed on cheap film stock by a film crew who were just out of college. It just looks ‘studenty’ and ‘cheap’. I don’t mind bad-looking films as long as they have something that provides me with entertainment (things like ‘Toxic Avenger’, ‘ Maniac Cop’ etc.) This film wasn’t entertainment really. It was boring, poorly scripted and just not really worth the time.

The ‘Bullet’ of the tagline is featured in a boring flashback that the filmmakers keep cutting back to throughout the duration of the movie. It almost feels like the flashback is a way of breaking up the tedious and boring story. (what little there is)

There’s a scene at the beginning with a shotgun rigged to a piece of cat gut. That’s probably the most interesting thing in the whole film (until we see the man who got shot at point-blank range in the scene after with juts a wounded arm.)

It’ s just a bad film that has no merits at all other than the fact that the director made a piece of film that runs from point A to point B in a reasonably coherent fashion.

Not really worth anyone’s time 1/10