Posts tagged "dragons"

Dragonball Evolution (Review)

Dragonball Evolution


2009
Directed by James Wong
Written by Ben Ramsey


Dragonball is a famous manga and anime series from Japan that has fans all over the world. I am not one of those fans so I don’t give a crap how they deviated from the source material. If you just want to read a review that complains about that stuff, then I am sorry, this is not the review for you. If you want to read a review that complains about other stupid stuff and yet still gives the film a fairly positive review, then you have hit the jackpot. Also, there is a monkeyman in this movie, and a CGI dragon. Just saying.

Dragonball the anime is about some dudes who spend 99% of the show charging up for the 1% where they fight and someone gets blasted only for them to fight next week after more charging up. It is the most popular show that has ever existed in the world. The movie decided to ignore the charging up and instead do some sort of “Find the Dragonballs!” plot. Fine with me. The film then basically becomes a low-rent Star Wars ripoff, or at least that same stupid farmboy mythology that everyone does. Sure, that legend has been around forever and Star Wars is known for borrowing elements wholesale from other myths itself, but all of those stories now just end up being compared to Star Wars, like it or not.


And where were the fistcams we were told about? I don’t remember any fistcams in the film. Maybe they realized it looked stupid.

Justin Chatwin does a good job with the normal teenager parts, but the sections where he is vowing revenge, questioning people about stuff in the dragonball mythology, or calling upon dragons to resurrect his master all come off as very badly acted. He just isn’t a good genre actor at this point, but he would be find chatting up some girl on 90210 or something.

Goku (Justin Chatwin) – Goku is the grandson of Master Gohan and your average American teenager who has a martial artist grandfather and is the heir guardian of a mysterious Dragonball that is sought by evil warlords. And he is secretly an evil monkey. Justin Chatwin is the annoyingly not-killed son from War of the Worlds. Here, he is less annoying.
Master Roshi (Chow Yun-Fat) – Master Gohan’s friend and mentor to Goku. Master Roshi is a creepy dude who enjoys some good porn and robots and being a slob. But he cleans up his act to teach Goku. You should know who Chow Yun-Fat is so I am not going to explain it.
Bulma Briefs (Emmy Rossum) – Bulma wants to use her father’s dragonball to develop a new energy source, but the dragonball is stolen by Mai and Bulma runs into Goku while tracking it down. Bulma Briefs was named by a guy, in case you were wondering. Emmy Rossum is enjoyable and graduated high school at age 15.
Chi Chi (Jamie Chung) – Chi Chi is not only a celebration of food, but is Goku’s love interest. She is a secret fighter and also a child of a super rich family and her parents are never around. Jamie Chung likes being on reality shows and drinking and driving. My wife was friends with her sister so that makes me totally famous! And we got cheesecake pics!
Lord Piccolo (James Marsters) – Lord Piccolo was trapped for 2000 years or some crap when he and a monkey failed to steal all the dragonballs long ago. They never mention how he escaped, nor how he got his zeppelin. Zeppelins are cool. Piccolo is green. James Marsters was on Buffy, but I don’t watch Buffy.
Yamcha (Joon Park) – Yamcha just shows up in the middle of the film as a semi-criminal guy who joins our heroes in chasing balls. Joon Park was a member of the music group g.o.d. in Korea.
Mai (Eriko Tamura) – Mai is Piccolo’s servent who just steals all these dragonballs and does other stuff while barely saying anything and looking like Bai Ling should have played the role. Eriko Tamura was in Heroes and the great film Surf School.


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Posted by Tars Tarkas - August 10, 2009 at 1:32 am

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D-War (Review)

D-War

aka Dragon Wars: D-War

2007
Directed and written by Shim Hyung-rae

D-Wars aka Dragons Wars is the film that was announced years ago and everyone though it was crazy. Writer/director Shim Hyung-rae sounded pretty insane with his talk of an epic Korean movie set in LA with dragons blasting everything, and rumor was this was a giant money pit. But investors were hooked, film was created, and soon a trailer emerged that showed dragons and lizard armies marching around LA while a giant snake thing slithers around. This created instant buzz, but it would be another year before D-War hit theaters. Internet weirdos like myself were salivating at the thought of a big-budgeted extravaganza that would either be incredibly awesome or incredibly terrible. Little did we know that we would be getting both in the same movie! For fifteen glorious minutes D-Wars becomes the best movie ever made. However, those fifteen minutes are stuck in the dead center of some of the crappiest writing, acting, logic, and cinematic efforts of the decade. But that’s a good thing, as it makes this review more interesting.

We got Korean dragons. We got subtitles. We got American second rate actors. Shim Hyung-rae is the man responsible for the remake of the Korean daikaiju film Yonggary which became known as Reptillian. The love for this man of giant lizards trashing cities would seem weird were it not for Japan. Still, the concept for D-Wars sounded pretty far out. It depends heavily on Korean myth as well as some random new things. Yuh Yi Joo, Imoogi, Bochun, Atrox, Buraki, Dawdler, the vocabulary you need to learn for this movie reads like some second rate Pokemon/Yu-Gi-Oh crap! The amount of plot-related alphabet soup words is above and beyond the norm for a giant monster movie. It is distracting, and leaves the audience confused and angry. I don’t want to be angry when watching a monster movie, I want to see giant lizards f-ing things up!

And boy do things get f-ed up! The level of utter chaos here during the money sequence is beautiful. Shim Hyung-rae manages to take to school a squad of previous genre failures. Dean Devlin and Roland Emmerich’s Godzilla only wishes it had this kind of great monster sequences. For those of you upset over the lack of helicopters vs. dragons the posters for Reign of Fire promised us, despair not, for your cup runneth over in D-Wars! Did you wish that the Gungan army in Star Wars: The Phantom Menace was really an army of metal-clad badasses who blow the crap out of innocent villagers? You better start believing in the Blue Fairy because we got there here as well!

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Posted by Tars Tarkas - January 15, 2008 at 11:13 am

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Dragon Dynasty (Review)

Dragon Dynasty


2006
Starring
Federico Castelluccio as Marco Polo
Aaron Hendry as Giovanni Polo
Dion Basco as Gao Ling
Stana Katic as Ava
Peter Kwong as Shang Sei
James Hong as Emperor
Directed by Matt Codd

Welcome to the second run of the team-up between TarsTarkas.NET and FantasyFilmscapes.com known as The Dragon Slayers. Today, we will be taking on the 2006 SciFi Channel original movie Dragon Dynasty, because we can. The original team-up was Dragon. Also, before we begin, check out this cool graphic whipped up to celebrate the event:

As usual, the beginning section is co-written between Tars Tarkas and Iain Norman, and then the movie is divided into 15 minute chunks, alternating between each other, where our contributions are color coded. Iain’s version on his site is located here

Dragon Dynasty is one of the more recent SciFi Channel Original movies to air. Like many of their other films this ones features some big CGI monsters and a basic chase and hunt monster scenario – in this case the settings range from China to Italy in the late 13th century A.D. Usually SciFi puts about $1 million USD each into their ‘originals’ and uses Bulgaria for locations because it costs next to nothing to produce a film there. While not sure of the exact nature of the Bulgarian tax setup it is probably made quite affordable for foreign products to use the country in their shoots by way of tax credits in return for employing local actors and related industries. They usually drag over a few actors who are looking to make house payments and sleepwalk through their roles, but the supplemental local actors have been known to do bang up jobs.


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Posted by Tars Tarkas - March 8, 2007 at 10:30 pm

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Dragon (Review)

Dragon


2006
Starring
Amelia Jackson-Gray as Princess Alora Vanir
Eliza Swenson as Freja
Matthew Wolf as Sir Cador Bain
Jon-Paul Gates as Lord Artemir
Rachel Haines as Naga
Jessica Bork as Damara
Jeff Denton as Gareth Morholt
Jason DeParis as Sogomo
Directed by Leigh Scott

The Asylum is a movie production company that was known for low budget horror films, some of which were surprisingly good quality. All of that changed in the past two years or so, as Asylum slowly started producing “mockbusters”, which are movies that are amazingly similar to popular movies, even so far as having similar titles. Examples include Halloween Night, Da Vinci Treasure, When a Killer Calls, H.G. Wells War of the Worlds, and the immortal Snakes on a Train. They’ve struck again, and as the movie Eragon premiered at the box office, the DVD shelves of your local video store filled up with Dragon. Dragon seems like it would be a natural lock of just having Eragon‘s plot (which is just Star Wars, which is just Hidden Fortress, which is just 9000 other stories throughout history) but instead they mainly target Lord of the Rings for the beginning and end, and the middle reminds one of Dungeons & Dragons 2: Wrath of the Dragon God. Overall, the film not only misses its mark, but its mark doesn’t even seem to exist. Instead, we get fantasy name soup, dirty guys wandering around the forest, “Dark Elves”, and Playstation dragons.

To help slay Dragon, TarsTarkas.NET and FantasyFilmscapes.com are teaming up. It’s not an easy task, with many pitfalls, traps, and beasts of yore along the way. Okay, not really beasts so much as bad actors and shameful special effects. That’s something even a +2 Mace can’t help you with, even if you use it to smash the DVD into a million pieces, your brain is still traumatized and the repercussions will haunt you for the rest of your days. The introduction is co-written between Tars Tarkas and Iain Norman, and after that we’ll be alternating every 15 minutes, because too much exposure can cause headaches, vomiting, and even blindness. Once the darkness returns to take us, the reigns get passed on and a recovery period can begin. In the end, this Dragon will be dead, never to harm us villagers again. Join knights in armor Tars Tarkas and Iain Norman on our quest! Slay today.

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Posted by Tars Tarkas - January 15, 2007 at 8:59 pm

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Dragon Fighter (Review)

Dragon Fighter


2003
Starring
Dean Cain as Captain David Carver
Kristine Byers as Dr. Meredith Winter
Robert Zachar as Dr. Ian Drackovich
Marcus Aurelius as Dr. Greg Travis
Robert DiTillio as Kevin Korisch

Dragons in Space seem too ridiculous for you? How about…Dragons Underground? Sci-Fi Channel answers the question that has plagued mankind for ages: What would happen if a dragon was trapped in an underground compound? This is no ordinary dragon, but it’s a science fiction movie staple dragon, which is a big bunch of CGI. What can stop this CGI terror? A bunch of LOTR rip-offs? Christian Bale? Superman? Hey, Superman is right! Dean Cain is on the case, and he is all that stands between Dragon domination of the underground and Homo sapiens superiority. Dean Cain is the Kryptonite to dragons, who demand that the son of Jor-El kneel before them. Will Superman emerge triumphant? Will dragons have their day? Will this movie rip off large sections of Alien and Aliens like every other low-budget sci-fi flick? Read on, gentle readers, and make sure you’re wearing some flame-retardant clothes for when the dragons strike.



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Posted by Tars Tarkas - January 21, 2006 at 4:34 am

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Monkey War (Review)

Monkey War


1982
Starring
Lau Seung-Him as Monkey King (Sun Wukong)
??? as Pig (Zhu Bajie)
??? as Tangseng
??? as Sand Monk (Sha Wujing)

Monkey King and his friends encounter two con job fake priests, Spider Women with a Giant Fire-breathing Spider, and flying birdmen lead by shapeshifting bats. This is a collection of what looks like three episodes of a Journey to the West (or Monkey) Series combined into a movie. Problem is, the movie is is Chinese, with zero subtitles! I completely missed the giant “No Subtitles” sticker on the video box, totally enthralled by the painting of a giant flame-breathing spider on the video cover. Not knowing what’s going on in a movie isn’t a new phenomenon here at TarsTarkas.NET, even when the film is in English! Unlike the trickle of Turkish cinema that pops around without any subtitles at all, this time we got the movie’s number. Armed with a Chinese-speaking girlfriend (HI, Honey!) we trudged bravely forward. There is also a second advantage, with a film involving a story with such history as this, it’s easy to find some further information online, so that will be stop number one!


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Posted by Tars Tarkas - November 2, 2005 at 3:53 am

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