Just Go With It (2011) – USA

[NeoFilmShop.com] Just Go With It (2011) – USA

Adam Sandler is really a mixed bag of an actor and his movies are mostly interchangeable as it is essentially always about an adult yet to grow up. Teaming up with Jennifer Aniston, the duo show some good chemistry, but hampered by a half baked script that is intended to go nowhere from the start. Brooklyn Decker is suitably sexy, but is obviously a mismatch to Sandler’s character and in fact there is really no connection what so ever. Still, there are some fun moments in between all of these, namely the awkward situations where Sandler creates a fake family to go with the many lies in order to woo Decker.
The problem with Just Go With It, is that it never truly takes off and by the time Nicole Kidman appears on screen as Aniston’s former high school rivals, it all seems a bit too odd for enjoyment. I am not going to the extend as to say that this film is like trash, but it’s really like junk food, you know it’s going to be bad, but you still ended up watching the entire duration. Now I am the one to be blamed. Tennis fans beware, Andy Roddick appears in the end.
I rated it 2/5

All the latest Asian/Martial Arts DVD and Blu Ray!

Shop now at NeoFilmShop.com

Our Time Will Come 明月幾時有 (2017) – Hong Kong

[NeoFilmShop.com] Our Time Will Come (2017) – Hong Kong

Director Ann Hui continues to create wonderful movies based on true historical events. Our Time Will Come is suitably heartwarming, affecting and through provoking about a difficult period in Hong Kong under Japanese occupation. Instead of just showing the course of events, Hui as usual focuses on her characters, the situations and allows them to play it out. Flaring the best, once again, is Deanne Ip who plays Zhou Xun’s mother who is caught between the dilemma of her daughter joining the rebel forces and her own view of the circumstances. Right until the final moments, Ip simply shines and there is not a single moment of overacting, when a lesser actress would have done so. Still, the core characters are played adequately by Zhou Xun and Eddie Peng. Xun as always easily step into the tough interior soft exterior role, while Peng’s youthful righteousness and direct shootings keep us on our toes.
The real winner of the this film, lies in crafting the touching story that allows to the characters to react to the circumstances where nothing seem forced. This is the style that Ann Hui have managed to keep all these years and the prime reason of her many successes. The characters feel and emote like humans, and they aren’t heroes as they are simply fighting for what they believe in and there are motives, personal or not. Films like these are hard to come by and in creating Our Time Will Come, Hui manages to exceed herself, lighten up a little despite of the obvious melodramatic of the subject matter. In the hands of a lesser director, the film will easily gone the overtly melodramatic route, but with Hui, we get something that slowing burns away, lingers in our hearts and remains in our mind. That’s just beautiful.
I rated it 4.5/5

All the latest Asian/Martial Arts DVD and Blu Ray!

Shop now at NeoFilmShop.com

Deep Impact (1998) – USA

[NeoFilmShop.com] Deep Impact (1998) – USA

Disaster epic films are particularly easy to fail. It usually focus on too many insignificant characters for us to care for and the magnitude of the disaster will undoubtedly overshadow most details and plot lines. Deep Impact is no exception to the rule, one moment we have Morgan Freeman as president of USA addressing the public the pending end of the world comet collusion, the next shot we see two families sitting on a couch watching TV and then the NASA spaceship mission to bomb out the comet. It doesn’t stop there, can get extra focus on the green but persistent TV reporter played by Tea Leoni and in another scene we get the side story of Leoni and her estranged father relationship. Remember the reason why Titanic worked so well on an emotional level is the fact that they focused on very few characters that we actually feel and care for.
When the space mission ended up losing an early causality, we feel nothing as the death felt like someone we hear from a news report. Still, director Mimi Leder does well in terms of bringing together all these elements and somehow pulled off the disaster effects quite well. The devastation is definitely there as the tidal wave washes through the crowded cities of New York and Washington DC to name a few. There are some other pros, namely Morgan Freeman who looked and acted like exactly how a crisis situation should be managed, imagine the current president Trump announcing the same message, there will be far more panic. All in all, Deep Impact is a fun disaster epic for what it is worth, but remains largely forgettable.
I rated it 3/5

All the latest Asian/Martial Arts DVD and Blu Ray!

Shop now at NeoFilmShop.com

Paycheck (2003) – USA

[NeoFilmShop.com] Paycheck (2003) – USA


John Woo’s venture in Hollywood came to an sudden end with Paycheck. It’s a shame as Woo did not make another film until half a decade later in the Chinese historical epic in Red Cliff. However, Paycheck isn’t really that bad as it is engaging from start to finish, despite the story never being the prime focus as the routine action scenes overshadow the proceedings. Ben Affleck enduring his Jlo days is absolutely stoic and despite given a juicy role that crosses Minority Report and Bourne Identity, Affleck is never a real draw. Likewise Uma Thurman is wasted in a flower vase role that sums up her relationship with Affleck. Aaron Eckhart tries hard to be recognisable, but lacks intensity in a 2D role, while Paul Giamatti is pretty forgettable overall. The real problem lies in the script as it takes a deep issue and turn it into a routine action blockbuster. By the time, you see a dove flying across the room or the bird cage as a symbolic moment, it seems as though John Woo needs to remind us that this is a film directed by him. The result is an entertaining affair, but largely forgettable and nothing special.
I rated it 2.5/5

All the latest Asian/Martial Arts DVD and Blu Ray!

Shop now at [NeoFilmShop.com]

Bloodsport (1988) – USA

[NeoFilmShop.com] Bloodsport (1988) – USA

It’s easy to see how the raw and brutal underground fighting film in Bloodsport manages to create a star in the making for Jean Claude Van Damme. Filmed largely in Hong Kong, including the famed Kowloon walled city, there are plenty of cheap location shots and set pieces. However, you have got to admire how cheesy and B-grade everything from directing to story to acting and the best part of it is that it works. The film will later become a cult classic and rightly so. Bolo Yeung makes an outstanding villain and his rare dialogue are so cheesy that’s it is expected. His eyes are menacing and the overacting adds to his deadly character. The fight choreography is grounded and easy to watch. Seeing JCVD doing his own kicks and stunts is a joy to endure. Donald Gibb as his sidekick provides the laughter, while Leah Ayres as the reporter and love interest manages to be the eye candy. Roy Chiao impresses as the Kung fu master that trained JCVD like a son and a young Forest Whitaker runs around the city like a mad cop and looking like being in an entirely different film. All in all, Bloodsport is really the kind of film that deep down all martial arts and JCVD fans will accept as a piece a cheesy gem. There is no denying that JCVD used to kick some serious ass!
I rated it 3.5/5

All the latest Asian/Martial Arts DVD and Blu Ray!

Shop now at [NeoFilmShop.com]

Writing about Asian and World cinema since 2004 (Member of Film Critic Circle of Australia and Australian Academy Cinema Television Arts)