Tagged: RZA

Summary:  The untold story of one twelve-year-old’s dream to become the world’s greatest supervillain.

Year: 2022

Cinema Release Dates:  16th June 2022 (Australia), 30th June 2022 (Thailand), 1st July 2022 (UK), 1st July 2022 (USA)

VOD Release Dates: TBA

Country: USA

Director: Kyle Balda, Brad Ableson, Jonathan del Val

Screenwriter: Brian Lynch, Matthew Fogel

Cast: Julie Andrews (Marlena Gru (voice)), Alan Arkin (Wild Knuckles (voice)), Russell Brand (Dr. Nefario (voice)), Steve Carell (Gru (voice)), Pierre Coffin (Kevin/Stuart/Bob/Minions (voice)), Taraji P. Henson (Belle Bottom (voice)), Lucy Lawless (Nunchuk (voice)), Dolph Lundgren (Svengeance (voice)), RZA (Biker (voice)), Danny Trejo (Stronghold (voice)), Jean-Claude Van Damme (Jean Clawed (voice)), Michelle Yeoh (Master Chow (voice))

Running Time: 87 mins

Classification: PG (Australia), TBC (Thailand), U (UK), PG (USA)

OUR MINIONS: THE RISE OF GRU REVIEWS

David Griffiths’ Minions: The Rise Of Gru Review:

Chances are if you are a parent you have heard the Minions – those cute yellow little creatures that rarely  say things that the average human can understandable  – except of course unless that word is “BANANAS!!!”

It is hard to believe that these cute little guys have been in our lives for 12 years now. Of course they first appeared in Despicable Me way back 2010 and since then have appeared in two more Despicable Me films as well as their own spin-off feature film and a number of shorts. The one thing that cinema audiences have always been guaranteed across all of those films is that they would be funny and entertaining for the whole family.

Now the Minions and their criminal over-lord Gru (Steve Carrell – The 40-Year Old Virgin) return in Minions: The Rise Of Gru. This time around directors Kyle Balda (The Lorax), Brad Ableson (Minions: Holiday Special) and Jonathan del Val (The Secret Life Of Pets 2) take fans of the franchise right back to the beginning to show how Gru and his team of Minions not only first met but how their journey towards world domination started.

The film goes back to a pre-teen Gru that idolises a group of super-villains led by the notorious Belle Bottom (Taraji P. Henson – Hidden Figures) and hopes to become a villain himself one day. His dreams seem to be coming true when a vacancy opens up within The Vicious 6 and Gru is selected for a job interview with them. However at the interview he learns that the vacancy has been because of the disappearance of his favourite member, Wild Knuckles (Alan Arkin – Argo). Not only that but Belle Bottom and the remaining super-villains laugh at him for being a child.

Determined to prove that he is a villain Gru steals a valuable, ancient Chinese artefact while the villains are distracted. His plan is to take it back in a few days to show his worth to Belle Bottom however that plan fails when one of the over-zealous Minions loses the artefact which means once the group hunt down Gru is life is at risk. Soon the Minions find themselves on a journey to not only find the stone but to save Gru’s life.

Just like the other films that have built up the Minions’ world the first thing that hits you with this film is just how much fun it is. The screenwriting team, made up of Brian Lynch (Puss In Boots) and Matthew Fogel (The Lego Movie 2), has made sure that this is the perfect family film as it is the type of film that will appeal to both parents and children alike.

The key to that working is the fact that not only is the film set in the 1970s but it contains the same kind of humour and storyline that generations of animation fans have enjoyed. While many modern day animated films try to be too modern Minions: The Rise Of Gru uses all of the same tropes of old-school cartoons like The Smurfs, The Jetsons and The Flintstones. Just like those cartoons this film uses all the elements of comedy to get a laugh – from witty one liners right through to outrageously funny slapstick.

Likewise it doesn’t do anything too fancy with the plot. This is a genuine old-school good versus evil storyline. The difference being of course that Gru despite being the audience’s hero is also kind of evil. Remarkably even that element of the film works exceptionally well and true fans of the franchise will also notice that so many jigsaw pieces from right across the series fall into place with this film. From Gru first meeting Dr. Nefario (Russell Brand – Arthur) through to Gru first hiring the Minions it is all revealed and explained this time around.

The other thing that makes Minions: The Rise Of Gru so special to watch is that the all the adventures that Gru and the Minions have together in this film are made special by the fact that the characters around them are voiced by an avalanche of stars that include Jean-Claude Van Damme, Michelle Yeoh, Dolph Lundgren, Lucy Lawless, Danny Trejo, RZA and Julie Andrews, in fact keep an ear out for Yeoh’s character because Master Chow absolutely steals the show.

If you are looking for the perfect film for the entire family then go no further than Minions: The Rise Of Gru. This is a very special animated film that will be lapped up by fans of the franchise and is an absolute must see.

Dave’s rating Out Of 5

Alex First, Jacqui Hammerton and Peter Krausz’s Minions: The Rise Of Gru Review:

Alex’s rating Out Of 5

Jacqui’s rating Out Of 5

Peter’s rating Out Of 5

Average Subculture Rating:

Other Subculture Minions: Rise Of Gru Reviews:

Nil

Trailer:

Summary:  A bystander who intervenes to help a woman being harassed by a group of men becomes the target of a vengeful drug lord.

Year: 2021

Cinema Release Dates: 1st April 2021 (Australia), 12th April 2021 (Thailand), 11th June 2021 (UK), 26th March 2021 (USA)

VOD Release Dates: TBA

Country: USA

Director: Ilya Naishuller

Screenwriter: Derek Kolstad

Cast: Paisley Cadorath (Abby Mansell), Darya Charusha (Beta), Neil Davison (Albert), Paul Essiembre (Jim the Neighbour), Humberley Gonzalez (Lupita Martin), Michael Ironside (Eddie Williams), Christopher Lloyd (David Mansell), Billy MacLellan (Charlie Williams), J.P. Manoux (Pentagon Darren), Adrian McLean (Joey), Araya Mengesha (Pavel), Edson Morales (Luis Martin), Gage Munroe (Blake Mansell), Ilya Naishuller (Hitman Anatoly), Connie Nielsen (Becca Mansell), Bob Odenkirk (Hutch Mansell), Aleksandr Pal (Teddy Kuzenetsov), Joanne Rodriguez (Bus Driver Donna), RZA (Harry Mansell), Colin Salmon (The Barber), Aleksy Serebryakov (Yulian Kuznetsov), Sergei Shnurov (Hitman Valentin), Thomas Soares (Alan Breiseth)

Running Time: 92 mins

Classification: MA15 (Australia), TBC (Thailand), R (USA), TBC (UK)

Bob Odenkirk as Hutch Mansell in Nobody, directed by Ilya Naishuller.

OUR NOBODY REVIEWS

David Griffiths’ Nobody Review:

Gone are the days when a film can get away with senseless violence without there being some kind of ‘art’ to it. I don’t say that because of cancel culture or anything to do with morals or something like that. I say that because of what audiences expect from films these days. I can remember a time when audiences would happily sit through, and enjoy, films that were pretty much just an action hero blowing away bad guys for 90 minutes – story was optional.

But due to television shows like The Walking Dead and a range of young filmmakers who found a way to mix art with action audiences expect something special from action flicks these days. Of course the franchises that are held in the highest regard are The Raid and John Wick and now those two have another brother-in-arms – Nobody.

Of course for those of us who like creative action films we had a little bit of an inkling that Nobody could be something special. Throw in a producer from John Wick and the director responsible for the incredibly under-rated Hardcore Henry and you had the right kind of cocktail to be creative and explosive.

The ‘nobody’ that the film centres around is Hutch Mansell (Bob Odenkirk – Better Call Saul). Mansell lives a nothing life, he is pushed around  by his father-in-law and brother-in-law at work, he is bored with his job and it is easy to see that his wife (Connie Nielsen – Wonder Woman) and son (Gage Munroe – Brotherhood) have no respect for him at all. In their eyes he is simply a ‘loser.’

In fact the only person that seems to look up to him is his daughter (newcomer Paisley Cadorath) and even her respect level seems to drop after the family endures a violent home invasion and Hutch does nothing to protect them.

That seems to tip him over the edge though and as a secret side of Hutch is once again woken up he finds himself going after those that disrespected his family but in doing so sparks the anger of Russian mobster Yulian Kuznetsov (Aleksey Serebryakov – Leviathan) who wants bloody revenge of his own, and nothing will stand his way.

Just like with Hardcore Henry what makes director Ilya Naishuller’s work stand out here is just how creative he is when it comes to action and violence. Just like Gareth Evans did with the sensational The Raid Naishuller turns every action sequence and fight scene here like it is a piece of clay that needs to be moulded into a work of art. Like Evans’ bathroom stall scene Naishuller’s bus fight sequence here is something special – something that will be savoured by action fans right around the world and talked about for years to come.

Having said that though there are times though when it feels like screenwriter Derek Kolstad (John Wick) was trying to parody the franchise that he helped create rather than emulate it. Some of the lines here are just a little too cheesy to be accidental, especially the ‘give me the  damn kitty cat bracelet’ scene and even the sequences around David (Christopher Lloyd – Back To The Future), while cool, feels like it was written tongue-in-cheek.

Having said that though Lloyd is fantastic here and seems to embrace the opportunity to handle big guns while shooting bad guys to smithereens – a role we have rarely seen him play during his career. Likewise the tough guy character is very different to what we have seen Odenkirk play in the past but he does it delightfully well and announces himself as a modern day unexpected action hero alongside the likes of Keanu Reeves and  Robert Downey Jnr.

Nobody is a world of fun to watch and the impressive fight scenes are more than enough to over-shadow the weak storyline. Just be warned though if you did get squeamish during John Wick then you might want to give this one a miss but Nobody cranks up the blood and gore to a whole new level. Yes, this is a film for those that like their action with blood splatter.

Dave’s rating Out Of 5

Average Subculture Rating:

IMDB Rating:

Nobody (2021) on IMDb

Other Subculture Nobody Reviews:

Nil

Trailer:

 

Summary: The peaceful town of Centerville finds itself battling a zombie horde as the dead start rising from their graves.

Year: 2019

Australian Cinema Release Date: 26th September 2019

Thailand Cinema Release Date: TBA

Australian DVD Release Date: 11th March 2020

Country: United States, Swden

Director: Jim Jarmusch

Screenwriter: Jim Jarmusch

Cast: Eszter Balint (Fern), Steve Buscemi (Farmer Frank Miller), Austin Butler (Jack), Rosal Colon (Lily), Maya Delmont (Stella), Adam Driver (Officer Ronnie Peterson), Larry Fessendon (Danny Perkins), Danny Glover (Hank Thompson), Selena Gomez (Zoe), Caleb Landry Jones (Bobby Wiggins), Carol Kane (Mallory O’Brien), Bill Murray (Chief Cliff Robertson), Rosie Perez (Posie Juarez), RZA (Dean), Luka Sabbat (Zack), Chloe Sevigny (Officer Mindy Morrison), Tilda Swinton (Zelda Winston), Tom Waits (Hermit Bob), Taliyah Whitaker (Olivia), Jahi Di’Allo Winston (Geronimo)

Running Time: 104 mins

Classification: MA15+ (Australia) TBC (Thailand)

 

 

OUR THE DEAD DON’T DIE REVIEWS & RATINGS:

 

Dave Griffiths’ The Dead Don’t Die Review:

Some directors are just an acquired taste. Think of filmmakers like Gaspar Noe or Terrence Malick. They are directors that you will normally find that cinema-lovers are left in awe of or go to the opposite and can’t stand their work. Another director that should be added to that list is Jim Jarmusch. For me films like Only Lovers Left Alive and Paterson are absolutely sensational films that need to be savoured as you watch them. At the same time though I can perfectly understand why someone wouldn’t enjoy the more alternative aspect.

Now comes Jarmusch next little beauty – The Dead Don’t Die which sees the talented director bring his own sense of humour to the zombie genre in a way that makes this a truly memorable film. So many supposed comedies this year have failed to impress me at all so it was a welcome relief to see The Dead Don’t Die and find myself laughing all the way through it.

Set in the small peaceful town of Centerville the film centres around three Police Officers who bring law and order to the town. Chief Cliff Robertson (Bill Murray – Ghostbusters, Lost In Translation), Officer Ronnie Peterson (Adam Driver – Star Wars: The Last Jedi, Inside Llewyn Davis) and Officer Mindy Morrison (Chloe Sevigny – Boys Don’t Cry, Big Love) do what they can to bring law and order to the town but when the dead start rising even they aren’t completely sure what is the best avenue to follow.

Plot wise The Dead Don’t Die is probably one of the most simplistic films you will see this year. For most of the film the plot follows the traditional zombie trope storylines that we have come to know and love over the years. What makes the film so special though is the interesting characters that Jarmusch has created to inhabit the town. Interesting characters such as Farmer Frank Miller (Steve Buscemi – Fargo, Reservior Dogs) and Zelda Winston (Tilda Swinton – Snowpiercer, Suspiria) keep the audience guessing throughout the film. Countless times you find yourself whether Zelda’s sword-fighting skills are going to be what ends up saving the town or whether someone likes Hermit Bob (Tom Waits – Seven Psychopaths, Down By Law) knows more about the events than they are letting on.

Also making the film stand-out from other zombie comedies is the unique Jarmusch humour and dialogue that is delivered by the characters here. At times the dry wit humour and language used by the characters brings back memories of legendary television shows like Northern Exposure… and that is a welcome relief in a time when it feels sometimes that some screenwriters have forgotten how to create good dialogue.

The take it or leave it aspect of this being a Jim Jarmusch film will most likely come into play for most people when he takes this film into the weird territory of breaking down the line between the characters and the actors. Early on when Adam Driver refers to a song playing on the radio as ‘the theme music’ you realise that Jarmusch breaks down the third wall and here the actors know they are ‘characters’ in a movie. That might be a little confronting and a little weird for those that are not used to alternative film-making but once you get a handle of it it is something that adds to the creativity and uniqueness of the film.

The resulting nature of the film does allow its stars to shine. Bill Murray and Adam Driver seem to enjoy the deadpan style of their character’s interactions. The pair seem to share an amazing on-screen partnership that only enhances the film. Jarmsuch’s star-pulling power also sees the likes of RZA (The Man With The Iron Fists, American Gangster) and Selena Gomez (Spring Breakers, Hotel Transylvania)  play smaller roles in the film while the inclusion of screen veterans like Danny Glover (Lethal Weapon, 2012) also add to the films atmosphere. Jarmusch also doesn’t waste his plethora of stars giving them all memorable moments while also brilliantly giving small nods to their past roles throughout the film.

What Jim Jamusch has created here is a smart horror-comedy that deserves all the accolades that the film has been garnishing. The film is smart enough to be different that previous zombie horror-comedies like Zombieland and Shaun Of The Dead and has that unique Jamusch stamp on it which will mean it is a film that will be adored by those who love his unique style of filmmaking.

 

 

 

 

Average Subculture Rating:

 

 

IMDB Rating:  The Dead Don't Die (2019) on IMDb

 

Other Subculture Entertainment The Dead Don’t Die Reviews:

Nil.

 

Trailer:

G.I. Joe Retaliation

Summary: In this sequel G.I. Joe: Retaliation, the G.I. Joes are not only fighting their mortal enemy Cobra; they are forced to contend with threats from within the government that jeopardize their very existence.

Year: 2013

Australian Cinema Release Date: 28th March, 2013

Australian DVD Release Date: TBA

Country: USA

Director: Jon M. Chu

Screenwriter: Rhett Reese, Paul Wernick

Cast: Luke Bracey (Cobra Commander), James Carville (himself), D.J. Cotrona (Flint),  DeRay Davis (Stoop), Matt Gerald (Havoc), Walton Goggins (Warden Nigel James), Ryan Hansen (Grunt), Dwayne Johnson (Roadblock), Byung-hun Lee (Storm Shadow), Joseph Mazzello (Mouse), Adrianne Palicki (Jaye), Jim Palmer (Clutch), Ray Park (Snake Eyes), Jonathan Pryce (President), Robert Remus (Sgt. Slaughter), RZA (Blind Master), Ray Stevenson (Firefly), Nathan Takashige (Young Storm Shadow), Channing Tatum (Duke), Arnold Vosloo (Zartan), Bruce Willis (General Joe Colton), Carrie Wong (Jhankri), Elodie Yung (Jinx)

Runtime: 110 mins

Classification:M

Dave Griffiths’s ‘G.I. Joe: Retaliation’ Review: Please check Dave’s review of ‘G.I. Joe: Retaliation’ that is available on the Helium Entertainment Channel.

Other Subculture Media Reviews of ‘G.I. Joe: Retaliation′: Check Episode #26 of our The Good The Bad The Ugly Podcast for a more in-depth review of ‘G.I. Joe: Retaliation’.

Rating: 1.5/5

IMDB Rating:G.I. Joe: Retaliation (2013) on IMDb

Summary: Quentin Tarantino presents The Man With the Iron Fists, an action-adventure inspired by kung-fu classics as interpreted by his longtime collaborators RZA and Eli Roth. Making his debut as a big-screen director, co-writer and leading man, RZA – alongside an exciting international cast led by Russell Crowe and Lucy Liu – tells the epic story of warriors, assassins and a lone outsider hero who all descend on one fabled village in China for a winner-takes-all battle for a fortune in gold. Blending astonishing martial-arts sequences from some of the masters of this world with the signature vision he brings as the leader of the Wu-Tang Clan and as one of hip-hop’s most dominant figures of the past two decades, RZA embarks upon his most ambitious, stylized and thrilling project to date.

Year: 2012

Australian Cinema Release Date: 6th December, 2012

Australian DVD Release Date: N/A

Country: United States/Hong Kong

Director: RZA

Screenwriter: Eli Roth, RZA

Cast: Jin Ayeung (Chan), David Bautista (Brass Body), John T. Benn (Master John),Mary Christina Brown (Jasmine),  Liu ChangJiang (Grey Hyena), Kuan Tai Chen (Gold Lion), Jamie Chung (Lady Silk), Russell Crowe (Jack Knife), Wen-Jun Dong (White Lion), Jake Garber (Jake), Pam Grier (Jane), Yoyoa Hsueh (Copper Lion), Cung Le (Bronze Lion), Chia Hui Liu (Abbott), Gordon Liu (Abbott), Lucy Liu (Madam Blossom), Telly Liu (Iron Lion), Byron Mann (Silver Lion), MC Jin (Chan), Hu Minnow (Yellow Hyena), Andrew Ng (Senior Monk), Masanobu Otsuka (Red Hyena), Didi Qian (Lady Tagmata), RZA (Blacksmith), Beau van Erven Dorens (Bo), Daniel Wu (Poison Dagger), Brian Yang (Blue Hyena), Xue Jing Yao (Copper Lion), Rick Yune (Zen Yi – The X Blade), Gang Zhou (Crazy Hippo), Zhu Zhu (Chi Chi)

Runtime: 95 mins

Classification:MA15+

Dave Griffiths’s ‘The Man With The Iron Fists’ Review:

Sometimes it is said that when you’re going to see a film you should simply ‘leave your brain at the door’. Basically it is a warning meaning that if you think too much about the film you’ll ruin any opportunity you have of enjoying one single thing about the film. That is certainly the case with ‘The Man With The Iron Fists’ a film that sees Wu Tang Clan rapper RZA decide it is time to become a filmmaker.

Also from the pen of the legendary Eli Roth (Aftershock, Hostel Part III) ‘The Man With The Iron Fists’ sees a young Blacksmith (RZA – A Very Harold & Kumar 3D Christmas, TV’S Californication) find himself in between two feuding parties when all he really wants to do is ‘pay’ brothel owner Madame Blossom (Lucy Liu – Tinker Bell & The Secret Of The Wings, TV’S Elementary) for his girlfriend, Lady Silk (Jamie Chung – Premium Rush, TV’S Once Upon A Time) and leave then town with her, but fate has another idea.

Soon the Blacksmith finds himself involved when Silver Lion (Byron Mann – Cold War, TV’S Arrow) and Bronze Lion (Cung Le – Dragon Eyes, True Legend) kill Gold Lion (Kuan Tai Chen – White Vengeance, Gallants) and then plan on killing his son, Zen Yi (Rick Yune – China Town, Remiagration) to prevent him from becoming the leader of the Clan. However when Silver and Bronze Lion also end up stealing a large sum of cash Blacksmith finds himself teaming up with Zen Yi and the mysterious Jack Knife (Russell Crowe – Les Miserables, The Next Three Days) in a bid to put a stop to their evil plan. However that means they are going to have to find a way to stop the seemingly unbeatable, Brass Body (Dave Bautista – The Scorpion King 3: Battle For Redemption, House Of The Rising Sun).

It’s hard to imagine that when RZA was creating ‘The Man With The Iron Fists’ that he was expecting for it to be an Oscar winner but then at the same time you can’t help but wonder why people such as Russell Crowe wanted to be involved in a film that will be considered B Grade – at best.

As a film itself ‘The Man With The Iron Fists’ surprisingly works a lot better than you would expect. It is a flimsy storyline and the special effects look like they may have been done in the Channel 31 studio but still for some the reason the film sucks you in. Despite how much you may actually try to fight it you will find yourself barracking for Blacksmith as the film goes on.

Of course acting isn’t a major priority in ‘The Man With The Iron Fists’. It is good to see Lucy Liu back on the big screen and Crowe seems to enjoy the opportunity of being able to overact for once but perhaps the biggest surprise is that RZA does seem to be able to hold it together as an actor.

Yes there are some things with ‘The Man With The Iron Fists’ (such as a soundtrack that is strangely mostly made up of rap music) but if you want an entertaining martial arts film that isn’t going to make you think then it’s well worth a look.

Other ‘The Man With The Iron Mask’ Reviews By Dave Griffiths:http://www.helium.com/items/2396008-the-man-with-the-iron-fists-movie-review

Rating: 2/5 Stars

IMDB Rating: The Man with the Iron Fists (2012) on IMDb