"Re-cycle" is the Pang Brothers' ("The Eye", "Bangkok Dangerous") Magnum Opus, highlighting their strengths and weaknesses so definitively that I almost feel like by reviewing this, I'm reviewing everything else they've done.
"Dragon Tiger Gate" enflamed my wrath not because it's terrible (it's not), but because it tricked me into thinking that I would be entertained. The first act is pretty awesome, but just as you let its warmth wash over you, the second act arrives and it's numbingly cold...and then the third act drenches you with piss and semen.
"Wilderness" is actually a slasher/ survival thriller hybrid with plenty of action. It offers nothing I haven't seen before, except maybe its adoration of asshole characters, but it's packaged nicely in a briskly paced, gory, thrill ride. That is enough to satisfy my questionable tastes.
“Saw 3” works better as a continuation or even a conclusion to “Saw” and “Saw 2” than as its own entity, even though its predecessors succeeded as individual movies. But for all its flaws, “Saw 3” attempts to satisfy its target audience on more levels than just bloodshed- even though there is plenty of that as well.
Yet much to my surprise, “Second in Command” turned out to be a thoroughly entertaining action flick. It’s certainly not one of Jean-Claude Van Damme’s stronger efforts, but its breezy pace and seemingly unlimited amount of explosions warmed my heart.
The fight scenes looked more like rehearsals for the real fight scenes, not the finished product. Eventually, I realized my mistake. I was watching "Dynamite Warrior" under the understanding that it was a martial arts film. In reality, it's a fantasy, adventure, western, comedy that just happens to have (Muay Thai) martial arts. Once I got used to its 'focus', I began to enjoy "Dynamite Warrior", as silly as it could be.
When "The Last Winter" works, it really is a very moody, spooky little thriller. The ambiance, the ambitious cinematography, haunting imagery and the strange performances brought some chills down my spine, making me want to love this. Unfortunately, for every kiss it gave me, it also had the tendency to knee me in the groin and I don't find that to be a very erotic experience. When it fails, "The Last Winter" is...bad. Sometimes even very bad.
The biggest criticism regarding “When a Stranger Calls (2006)” is that it feels like a 30 minute short that was stretched into a 90 minute feature. There just isn’t enough available material to do a movie about a babysitter receiving creepy phone calls. It gets old rather quickly.
“Jade Warrior” is one of those features that showcases a lot of talent. The screen-writer, director, cinematographer and actors all impressed me greatly. But as a whole, it just failed to come together.
But as a whole, I found "Behind the Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon" to be incredibly entertaining. Its deadpan sense of humor was side splitting, making me laugh more than most of those “Scary Movie” films combined. Yet it could also be intense and exciting.