In Rumble in the Bronx Jackie Chan plays a visitor to America who agrees to fend off a biker gang's designs on his uncle's market in the Bronx. If you can get past the Vancouver skyline substituting for the New York City neighbourhood, and the cheesy dubbing job, this is another of Chan's startling, balletic takes on martial arts action. (It's also his first breakthrough American film.) Even if you don't have an interest in fight films, this is worth seeing just for Chan's endless grace as a body in motion. --Tom Keogh, Amazon.com
The word "vampire" is never mentioned in Near Dark, but that doesn't stop this 1987 cult favourite from being one of the best modern-era vampire films. It put then-unknown director Kathryn Bigelow on Hollywood's radar and gave choice roles to Aliens costars favoured by Bigelow's ex-husband James Cameron--Lance Henriksen is the leader of a makeshift family of renegade bloodsuckers, nocturnally seeking victims in rural Oklahoma; his immortal gal pal is Aliens and T2 alumnus Jenette Goldstein; and Bill Paxton is the group's deadliest leather-clad ass kicker. Fellow traveller Jenny Wright lures Okie farm boy Adrian Pasdar into the group with a love bite and he's soon turning toward vampirism with a combination of frightened revulsion and relentless desire. With Joshua Miller as the youngest vampire, Near Dark is Bigelow's masterpiece of low-budget ingenuity--a truck-stop thriller that begins well, gets better and better (aided by a fine Tangerine Dream score) and goes out in a blaze of glory. --Jeff Shannon
Marvellous Jackie Chan action-fests including Shanghai Noon Twin Dragons and Rumble In The Bronx. Shanghai Noon (2000): Two cultures collide when East meets West in Shanghai Noon a wildly hilarious stunt-filled action-adventure-comedy starring the death-defying action hero Jackie Chan Owen Wilson and Lucy Liu. Chan plays Chinese Imperial Guard Chon Wang (say it out loud) who hightails it to the wild and woolly West to rescue the beautiful kidnapped Princess Pei Pei (Liu). When he meets up with laid-back outlaw cowboy dude Roy O'Bannon (Wilson) - the best mismatch ever made in the rough and tumble Old West - the two face jail brawls bordellos and the vilest villains this side of the Great Wall! Spectacular stunts outrageous irreverence and epic vistas reign as East meets West in a battle for honor royalty and a fortune in gold! It's a real kick. Twin Dragons (1992): The night that wealthy Mrs Chan gives birth to identical twins all hell breaks loose in the hospital! A wounded gangster escapes from a police escort in the emergency room and snatches one of the twins as hostage. The distraught parents lavish all their love and affection on the remaining twin throughout his childhood. He studies music and becomes a world-famous conductor. The abducted baby is abandoned by the gangster and found by a dance hall hostess who takes the infant home and brings him up as best she can. His youth is spent in the company of thieves and gangsters but he manages to get a job as a mechanic. Years later when the two Chans by coincidence meet face to face - chaos reigns. There is no time to establish a relationship but they both run headlong into great danger and a series of mind blowing stunts that only Jackie Chan & Jackie Chan can deliver. Rumble In The Bronx (1995): No one brings more death-defying entertainment to the screen than fearless martial arts superstar Jackie Chan. In this awe-inspiring and often amusing action-thriller Chan outdoes himself with the most eye-popping stunts ever filmed each more amazing than the last! Chan plays Keong a Hong Kong cop who gets more than he bargained for when he visits relatives in a crime-ridden section of New York. Soon Keong is brawling with Mafia kingpins and unleashing his lethal skills on unsuspecting thugs. From the first astonishing action sequence to the last in which Chan is matched against a giant hovercraft in a deadly show of brute strength 'Rumble in the Bronx' is the definitive action-adventure film; one your have to see to believe!
An amiable knock-off of the Ealing comedy style, The Smallest Show on Earth starts with aspiring novelist Bill Travers and his "nice gel" wife Virginia McKenna inheriting a cinema from a hitherto unknown uncle and discovering that it isn't the sumptuous modern Grand, which specialises in those "smash 'em in the face, knock 'em over the waterfront" pictures, but the decrepit Bijou, known locally as "the fleapit". The initial plan, set up by lawyer Leslie Phillips, is to sell off the cinema to the owner of the Grand so he can knock it down to make a car park, but our heroes are put off by the arrogant bullying of the rival manager (Francis De Wolff) and succumb to the inept charms of the crazed, aged staff--drunken projectionist Peter Sellers, doddery commissionaire Bernard Miles and dotty ticket lady Margaret Rutherford (who joined the team as a piano accompanist). In the 1950s, there was a run of gentle British comedies in which outmoded and broken-down local institutions (steam trains, tugboats, vintage cars) were saved by collections of committed eccentrics who despised the new-fangled bus services or soulless council bureaucracies and were willing to resort to a little larceny (in this case, arson). The Smallest Show slots in perfectly with the cycle, getting laughs from the Bijou's already outmoded programme of scratchy Westerns and desert dramas (which increase ice cream sales) and sentiment over the staff's midnight screenings of silent movies that remind them of better days. It's likeable rather than hilarious, with Sellers and Miles buried under crepe hair and fake wrinkles competing to out-dodder each other and losing the picture to the inimitable Rutherford, who doesn't have to fake her eccentricity. Pin-up, June Cunningham, is the glamorous usherette and Sid James plays her annoyed Dad. On the DVD: The Smallest Show on Earth is presented in a decent print, but with no extras. The film is also available as part of the four-disc Peter Sellers Collection. --Kim Newman
Lost In Translation (Dir. Sofia Coppola 2003): Sofia Coppola's second feature-length film focuses on two guests at a Tokyo hotel--Bob (Bill Murray) a middle-aged actor in town to film whiskey commercials and Charlotte (Scarlett Johansson) the young wife of a trendy photographer (Giovanni Ribisi) who is always out on a shoot. When Bob isn't on the job taking fragmented direction from the Japanese crew he's receiving faxes on home decorating from his emotionally distant wife
Featuring the films: 'Hoffman' 'The Smallest Show On Earth' 'Carlton-Browne Of The F.O.' and 'Two Way Stretch'. Hoffman *(WS 1.85:1 Anamorphic 1970 1 hour and 47 Minutes Colour): Peter Sellers is Hoffman a middle aged misfit who blackmails his young attractive secretary into spending a week with him. Although he behaves like a creep throughout the weekend he actually emerges as a sympathetic character in the end. Two Way Stretch *(FS 1960 1 hour and 23 minutes B&W):
Directed by Chuck Parello, who had previously worked on Henry: Portrait Of A Serial Killer, Ed Gein is an in-depth psychological profile of the figure who served as inspiration for "Psycho", "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre" and "The Silence of the Lambs."
In an effort to escape her murky past and build a better future, Olive (Milla Jovovich), a nomadic European con-artist, and her 10-year-old son Bobby (Spencer List), find themselves living in Oklahoma.
In Hell (Dir. Ringo Lam 2003): Kyle Lord (Van Damme) is arrested and convicted for the vigilante killing of his wife's murderer. Kyle must survive life in a maximum-security prison where inmates are made to battle to their death in a brutal no holds barred fight called The Shu for the warden's entertainment and profit. Kyle fights his oppressors and is quickly sent to The Shu where his unbridled rage catapults him to the victor's circle. Kyle has become one of the monsters he despises and must now battle within himself to survive... Replicant (Dir. Ringo Lam 2001): Jean-Claude Van Damme squares off against his deadliest opponent yet (himself!) when he stars as both a heinous serial killer and the replicated clone that represents the authority's best and only chance at capturing this mad killer on the loose... The Order (Dir. Sheldon Lettich 2001): Action superstar Jean-Claude Van Damme (Nowhere To Run Universal Soldier) is back in The Order a fast-paced high-octane thriller set in the Middle East. From the director of Double Impact and featuring screen legend Charlton Heston (Planet Of The Apes Any Given Sunday) Ben Cross (First Knight Chariots Of Fire) and sexy newcomer Sofia Milos The Order is an exciting adventure packed with extreme fight choreography exotic locations and non-stop action. Journey to a turbulent world under siege as reformed artifact smuggler Rudy (Van Damme) travels to Jerusalem to rescue his museum-curator father who's been kidnapped by ruthless fanatics and recover a sacred scroll believed to hold dangerous secrets of an underground sect. Framed for murder by a scheming police chief (Cross) Rudy enlists the aid of a mysterious beauty (Milos) to clear his name and wages a one-man battle to recapture the prized manuscript before the ultimate Holy War breaks out and all hell breaks loose!
Thunderbirds (Dir. Jonathan Frakes 2004): International Rescue run in secret by the Tracy family and led by Jeff (Bill Paxton) is permamently on standby to offer assistance when accidents and incidents threaten lives across the world. However when the villainous Hood (Ben Kingsley) infiltrates the Tracy's clandestine island base and imprisons most of the family who will rescue the rescuers? It's left to teenage Alan (Brady Corbet) and his similarly young friends to save the day! Small Soldiers (Dir. Joe Dante 1998):Meet the Commando Elite - toy action figures with an attitude. They've escaped from their boxes along with the Gorgonites kindhearted but unusual-looking creatures. Now teenager Alan Abernathy gets enlisted to help the Gorgonites and rescue the girl of his dreams before the whole town is turned upside down. Small Soldiers is a spectacular adventure for the whole family! We're Back A Dinosaur's Tale (1993): The voices of the above stars bring a handful of dinosaurs back to life in the modern day in this Steven Spielberg production. Lavish animation and imagination bring to life this delightful tale of dinosaurs in New York City. A group of very friendly very intelligent dinosaurs take a trip to Manhattan and brighten the lives of two very special lonely children.
In Hell: Kyle Lord (Van Damme) is arrested and convicted for the vigilante killing of his wife's murderer. Kyle must survive life in a maximum-security prison where inmates are made to battle to their death in a brutal no holds barred fight called ""The Shu"" for the warden's entertainment and profit. Kyle fights his oppressors and is quickly sent to ""The Shu"" where his unbridled rage catapults him to the victor's circle. Kyle has become one of the monsters he despises and must now battle within himself to survive... (Dir. Ringo Lam 2003) Wake Of Death: Action superstar Jean-Claude Van Damme is back and at his hard-hitting best as Ben Archer an ex-mob enforcer seeking revenge against a ruthless Chinese kingpin responsible for his wife's brutal murder. When Archer joins forces with his old underworld friends an all-out war is waged against the Chinese Triads... Hong Kong favourite Simon Yam faces off against the Muscles From Brussels in this pulse-pounding action thriller! (Dir. Philippe Martinez 2004) The Order: Unleash The Power. Action superstar Jean-Claude Van Damme (Nowhere To Run Universal Soldier) is back in The Order a fast-paced high-octane thriller set in the Middle East. From the director of Double Impact and featuring screen legend Charlton Heston (Planet Of The Apes Any Given Sunday) Ben Cross (First Knight Chariots Of Fire) and sexy newcomer Sofia Milos The Order is an exciting adventure packed with extreme fight choreography exotic locations and non-stop action. Journey to a turbulent world under siege as reformed artifact smuggler Rudy (Van Damme) travels to Jerusalem to rescue his museum-curator father who's been kidnapped by ruthless fanatics and recover a sacred scroll believed to hold dangerous secrets of an underground sect. Framed for murder by a scheming police chief (Cross) Rudy enlists the aid of a mysterious beauty (Milos) to clear his name and wages a one-man battle to recapture the prized manuscript before the ultimate Holy War breaks out and all hell breaks loose! (Dir. Sheldon Lettich 2001)
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