Tag Archives: humor

The Bodyguard #1 & 2: Not Your Average Thai Film

I’m gonna combine the first Bodyguard and the second, as one flows into the other. I loved this movies so much that I even watched them back to back. Petchtai Wongkamlao is a hilariously funny guy and he did a great directorial job with the onscreen humor and action. The movies didn’t focus too heavily on himself and he did this quite humbly. A lot of the humor comes from plays on words and references you have to get from knowing his work with Panna Ritikrai and Tony Jaa. Either way, these movies will kick your ass with their in your face guns and side splitting foreign comedy.

The first films starts off with Wong Kom (Petchtai Wongkamlao) as a bodyguard/official operative. He has come to this international convention to guard a major player named Chot Petchpantakam (Surachai Juntimatom). With the ensuing attack and lots of wire fu

Wongkamlao, the unconventional action star.

(Kung Fu with wires. Think a la Crouching Tiger.), Wong attempts to save Chot, but he is shot in the crossfire. The rest of the film focuses around Wong’s committed attempt to regain his honor and Chot’s son, Chaichol (Piphat Apiraktanakorn) trying to keep his father’s business running. With assassination attempts, a crew of street rats, and a rags meet riches story, this movie has a lot of humor and heart.

Just some Thai humor for ya.

In the second Bodyguard, things are a bit different. Wong is an undercover agent attempting to take down a crime syndicate that is dealing in weapons of mass destruction. After infiltrating a night club as a “provocative dancer”, Wong screws up yet again. Some explosions and gunshots later, Wong must become a famous luk thung (basically, a Thai country singer) star and keep everything from his wife, Keaw (Janet Keaw). With more laughs and quite a bit more explosions, this film surpassed the budget for Ong Bak with 1 million Baht (Thai currency), becoming the biggest film to be made in Thailand. It would be eclipsed by Ong Bak 2 shortly after.

Tony Jaa makes an appearance as the shopkeep boy.

What made these American standard B-rated action films so great is that they didn’t take themselves seriously. Wongkamlao is spinning through the air with two guns cocked and completely infinite in bullets, whipping around the room, absolutely annihilating people in very strange ways. The actors aren’t to serious about their villainous ways and it really shows throughout. Biggest example is the Thai comedian that shows up in both films. In the first, he (and I wish I could decipher which character he was) always wears something inappropriate and never talks. In the second, he dies at the end without saying anything. What makes this so great is that (and I hope it was fake) at the end of the second film, this guy blows up at Wongkamlao for not including him more in the film. I think the Thai sense of humor is spot on and could do very well over here in America.

There are so many over the top explosions and gun fight scenes that you can’t take this movie too seriously. It’s all the

That’s a bit vulgar… and a midget.

kind of action that makes Tony Jaa’s films so popular, but even more so. And that’s another great thing. They advertised in Thailand and America that Tony Jaa was going to be a big player in both these films, and he shows up to do a 5 minute action scene. It always has something to do with one of his other films, and it’s great to see that he can laugh at himself. (Where’s my elephant?)

All the heart and guns in the world.

This movie really shows just what Thailand is like. It’s more than all the action scenes and comedy that comes from these movies. And Wongkamlao knows that. There’s poverty and crime, burgeoning cities and night life, even a rich cultural aspect you don’t always see in an action film. And that’s where the heart comes from in these movies. It’s a movie you set out to do with your friends and come to love making and showing off. I’ve done it myself a dozen times. It’s not serious, it’s just showing that you can make an entertaining movie, and it doesn’t have to be award winning. And that’s why I think American audiences should check out these movies. Embrace this new culture and realize we’re a lot more alike than we think. And for this, The Bodyguard series deserves a comedy induced and action packed 7.5 out of 10.

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Cyberbu//y: I CAN’T GET THE CAP OFF

Are you crying from watching this horrid movie on Youtube, Emily Osment?

You may be alarmed at the use of capitalization in the heading for this review. But what you should be more alarmed about is the content of this movie. In an effort to stop the gross amount of cyberbullying that has gone on in the past decade, Cyberbu//y the movie was created.  And instead of raising my awareness and sympathy for the cause, this movie took the whole movement quite a few steps back. At least, from a cinematic perspective.

So Taylor Hillridge (Emily Osment) is a typical high schooler. Stigmatized by Hannah Montana she may be, but normal all the same. She has two rad friends, Samantha (Kay Panabaker) and Cheyenne (Meaghan Rath).  One’s a fellow Disney channel star, the other, a sexy ghost on Syfy. Word.

Then, oh my god! Taylor gets a laptop for her birthday. I find it funny they never indulge her age, but hey, Meaghan Rath is 25…  What’s the first thing you do when you get your own personal computer? Apply to a Faceobook rip-off website that asks you what color your underwear is. And also doesn’t allow you to block unwanted friends. Sounds like a plan.

Is that the Xbox symbol? What?!?

So Taylor does so and unfortunately enters the world of cyberbullying. With a simple use of “bitch”, Taylor is relentlessly assaulted by one of the ugliest popular girls I have ever seen in my life. If there’s someone who should have been relentlessly bully beaten, it was this girl. If they were going for the ugly girl you have to hate because they think they’re pretty, then they hit the nail on the head. Either way, don’t hire Nastassia Markiewicz.

Her mother had all the opportunities in the world to delete her "Cliquesters..."

How many sentences can I use to tell just how horribly inaccurate and coarse this movie was? Yes, it was a movie for ABC Family T.V., but this movie barely scratched the surface on the harshness of teenagers. All those hormones flying around and the best they could do is talk about STD’s and pregnancy? Two things that would be self-evident the second the person showed up at school. But no, I must withhold my judgment. This is a harsher time, a worse off place in this magical land of ABC wonderment. No real world problems are dealt with here. The entire movie my head was full of evil retorts that could’ve been used to right the situation. Oh, the audacity.

I don’t wanna spoil every scene of ridiculousness in this movie (anything that Jon McLaren does as Scott is worthy of this) but there are quite a few. So I’ll just show this:

Now, my idea is to take every character, in a viral video I’d love to make, and recast all the characters. In this short video, I’d have every character, every time they have trouble or become sad, and have them have to deal with a pill bottle. Because what this film has taught me is that for some uneducated suicidal teens, pill bottle caps save lives. And I will use this ridiculous scene from the movie to illustrate that.

This girl wanted to get even. The other kid was a fruit.

What more is there to say about this? This movie is based on a girl who did kill herself after cyberbullying. Where’s the HBO version of this? Why doesn’t the girl succeed and they continue with the effects her death has on the family? This movie just didn’t roll on the issue as hard as it should have. I wanted some bullying that was worth dying over. Not some viral video of a girl with a bag on her head pretending to be a prostitute. Not to advocate any of this, but sometimes it takes a Holocaust proportion example to move people’s awareness. Just saying, not to be a horrid person.

A disgusting plate of horridness.

But let’s move past the issue. The acting, for the most part, was actually okay. Other than Scott. That kid needs to quit acting altogether. But yes, for the most part, the acting was accurate. But where it fell short was that this was 2011 film that struggled to keep up with a changing teen scene. It was stuck back in Myspace when people have moved on to Facebook. The pettiness has become more frightening. It’s fierce, and the lingo lacked luster. The situation seemed vague to encapsulate a teenager’s life, and the melodrama of a Lifetime movie shone through. Unfortunate and ruinous in the end.

So watch this if you have no idea what the internet is. Watch this if you like Disney channel. Just don’t watch this if you want to be moved and informed on the topic of cyberbullying. Actually, scratch that. Watch it for the humor because of its downfall. It falls hard. 4.1 out of 10.

For shame, if only Haley Joel knew...

 


Rush Hour 2: Chris Tucker Returns

So right after watching the first Rush Hour, I was like, “Let’s spark up the next one.” These movies are great and I need to watch them all in pretty rapid order. I mean, come on, it’s Chris Tucker. And you may be postulating, “What if the movie was called Traffic Jam and it starred Jet Li and Chris Rock?” Well I hear what you’re saying friend, but then we’re talking about a movie that’s not funny in which people die quite quickly. Call it Traffic Jam if you’d like, I’ll still go for Rush Hour 1-3.

So, basic plot. Detectives Carter (Chris Tucker) and Lee (Jackie Chan) have teamed up again, except this time, it’s different. (Straight out of the trailer, right?) This time, Detective Carter is on vacation, right where the last one dropped off, in China. Good old Hong Kong. But while there, a bomb goes off on U.S. soil at the local American Embassy, and somebody sinister is to blame. Detective Lee takes on the case, pulling along the constantly, yet hilariously bitching and moaning Carter as they cavort through the streets of Hong Kong (and later Las Vegas) in search of those no good hoodlums.

Now this movie is a step up in acting in comparison from the last movie. Chris Tucker and Jackie Chan are golden. We lose Tom Wilkinson as Juntao, but we gain John Lone as Ricky Tan, the triad boss and former friend of Detective Lee’s father (although I would find it hard to believe that Lee and Tan are actually closer in age than would be Lee’s father…) I didn’t realize how great

John Lone

John Lone really was. He’s been in War, (shortly after RH2) The Last Emperor, Year of the Dragon, and even a remake at the start of his career as a bit piece in King Kong (Chinese cook, 1976). Now that’s a great career if you ask me, especially The Last Emperor, that movie’s fantastic.

What surprised me more that I had forgotten about was that Ziyi Zhang is in this film. With all the movies she’s been in, I feel like she must be the pride and joy of China (besides Jackie Chan). But Ziyi is great as Hu Li, the badass woman who takes no crap and destroys Chris Tucker. I actually would love to take a second to recap her amazing career:

Ziyi Zhang. Yes.

1. Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (Ridiculously good)

2. Rush Hour 2 (Great, reviewing it currently)

3. The Warrior

4. Hero (She’s worked with Jackie Chan AND Jet Li)

5. House of Flying Daggers (SO visually appealing)

6. Memoirs of a Geisha (Award winning)

7. Even TMNT (Voice acting at its finest)

So yeah, I would definitely think that Ziyi Zhang is a big deal. Her fighting is great and she’s really beautiful. Definite Top 10 actresses in my book.

We also have the amazingly gorgeous Roselyn Sanchez, the Puerto Rican goddess who has done her fair share of acting. She plays the sassy, no

Roselyn Sanchez. Puerto Rican Goddess

nonsense undercover agent with a smokin’ body, Isabella Molina. Although she doesn’t come in until later, this woman definitely lights up the screen.

Again, this movie is classic, suave, and full of Chris Tucker in a robe. What more could you want, I’ll throw something your way, sir. Comedy. And Chris Tucker has it all. Black comedy, situational quips and humor, observational comedy, rapport, slapstick. He’s got all that shizz on lockdown. Talk about your A-list comedian. The buck stops here with Chris Tucker.

Only the best.

I really feel like Brett Ratner and Ross LaManna have done it again with the sequel to a great movie. The moves and stunts this time are tighter, faster. Chris Tucker has picked up some moves. The Chinese girls are hot, spicy even. Ziyi Zhang brings a new kind of evil to the screen. The plot thickens and then disperses. And I can’t wait for the next one. 7.7 out of 10.