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(Not) Netflix Notes 4

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In the past few weeks I have had the good fortune of being able to watch quite a number movies by middle age standards. It seems unlikely that I’ll get around to creating full reviews for the ones that warrant it (sorry, Scott Pilgrim fans), so here are some quick thoughts.

 

Mega PiranhaMega Piranha

Mega Piranha is a SyFy original movie which features 80s pop star Tiffany, Barry “Greg Brady” Williams, and some guy from Days of Our Lives battling giant mutated piranha. Yes, it is as terribly awesome as that one sentence sounds. It’s a great choice for watching with buddies as I did (kudos to Big Dan Greenup for the selection), but would otherwise be best to avoid.

 

Ninja Assassin

I had been told to expect tons of gore and buckets of blood from Ninja Assassin. What I wasn’t expecting was a genuinely interesting plot, some cool action sequences, and Rain’s surprisingly decent performance as the lead character. With the added bonus of the immortal Sho Kosugi as the ninja sensei, Ninja Assassin was a clear winner.

 

JCVD

Weird is the best word to describe JCVD. It is a fictional look into the “real life” of Jean-Claude Van Damme that left me scratching my head. The basic premise is that an out of work Van Damme returns to Belgium after losing custody of his kid and gets taken hostage during a bank robbery. What follows (I think) is an exploration of fame and what it means to be the hero in the real world, though the take home messages are not exactly clear. There’s also a fourth wall shattering, six minute monologue by Van Damme in the middle of the film. Interesting, but as I said, weird.

 

Dolemite is my name.

Dolemite

Dolemite is in my personal holy trinity of blaxploitation movies along with Shaft and Truck Turner. No disrespect meant to Sweet Sweetback, Super Fly, or Blacula. With boom mics visible in every other shot and Rudy Ray Moore’s storytelling sequences, Dolemite is also very clearly one of the inspirations for the modern classic Black Dynamite. Dolemite should be required viewing for anyone who enjoys classic blaxploitation or the more recent tributes.

 

 

Scott Pilgrim vs. The World

I am squarely in one of the target demographics for this movie and heard effusive praise from trusted sources like The Atomic Geeks, so I fully expected to love Scott Pilgrim. I didn’t. I found it enjoyable and stylistically interesting, but the story never fully clicked for me and the presentation seemed inconsistent. I would still consider it recommended viewing for most nerds, but your mileage may vary significantly even if you have an extensive history with videogames, ex-girlfriends, and garage bands.

 

Knight and Day

Our favorite radio movie reviewer, Nick Digilio, loved this movie when it came out last year, so my wife and I picked up the DVD as some light Friday night fare. It was a perfect popcorn movie and just plain fun. I am not much of a Tom Cruise fan, but he was perfect as the charming, bulletproof secret agent. There was barley a shred of believability to the story, but the performances and charisma of the stars completely sold it.

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