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Arch Stanton (Cornwall, England.)

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Top Dog [1995] [DVD]
Top Dog [1995] [DVD]
Dvd ~ Chuck Norris

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Chuck goes dogging, 2 Aug 2014
This review is from: Top Dog [1995] [DVD] (DVD)
When a detective is killed in cold blood, his partner Reno is soon assigned to a new cop. One who's record for heroics is equal only to his own. Of course with having two such big hitters teamed together, there is teething problems at first, but after a while these two maverick cops begin to get on, and soon they're out there, smashing a terrorist organisation of lame white supremacists... Oh did I mention one was a dog?

Chuck takes the lead (sorry..) in this canine, family, buddy~cop action extravaganza ~ that is when his obvious stunt double isn't doing all high kicks for him!! ~ and he nails it!
In fact Chuck's comedy timing and delivery has improved dramatically since Firewalker.
Granted the dog is fairly annoying, looking like it should be a cheerleader's mascot with those pigtailian ears and it's penchant to accessorize.
But with Chuck's multicultural police force, battling idiot white supremacist villains, the dog is by no means the naffest thing about this. Allowing the ludicrous shenanigans (for some) to cement the man, the legend, the Chuck, further!
One minute he's drunk on suspension (which had me thinking 'I can relate to this guy!'), the next he's running the department ('Oh no...wait, now I can't!').
What total and utter codswallop!! However, like I said, it's a kids film, so surely things like a naff script, lame comedy, weak kung fu, cheesetastic heart string moments, and derivative plotting don't matter right??

Okay okay, I suppose it's not as bad as you'd think, providing you expect it to be rubbish. And in fact, I'd go so far as to say I actually quite enjoyed it, although I'm not really sure how or why!
Praise the lord for Amazon's 'pen name' anonymity right?!

The disc has a trailer.

3.25/5


A Hill In Korea [DVD]
A Hill In Korea [DVD]
Dvd ~ George Baker
Price: 10.15

4.0 out of 5 stars Baker's Dozen, 29 July 2014
This review is from: A Hill In Korea [DVD] (DVD)
Some soldiers (mostly inexperienced National Servicemen) out on manoeuvres, become aware of a large enemy presence approaching. Cut off, they realise they have nowhere to go, so find themselves taking refuge in a deserted Chinese temple.
Outnumbered, out~gunned and without a paddle, they are left no option but to either find out how to stiffen their upper lip and get mean, or die trying...

I enjoyed this a lot, plenty of true Brit, every man a familiar face, and a constant stream of honest to goodness political incorrectness flies almost as heavily as the lead! Brilliant fun. It's like reading Darkie's Mob: The Secret War of Joe Darkie all over again, but without the jungle backdrop. What's not to like?!
Stanley Baker still even had a bit of his own hair left in this...
A young Caine said my favourite line...."Shame. He was the toughest man we had."
Solid boys own stuff. Pity they don't make em like this no more.

4/5


Yesterday's Enemy [DVD] [2010]
Yesterday's Enemy [DVD] [2010]
Dvd ~ Stanley Baker
Price: 4.95

4.0 out of 5 stars I Ain't Half Shot Mum, 28 July 2014
A small unit of British soldiers, find themselves behind enemy lines in Burma, during the second world war, engaged in jungle warfare. They attack a small village and kill what Japanese forces that are there, but soon discover that one of the dead Japanese is a high ranking officer. Why was he there and what is the strange map he seemed to be exchanging?
The locals are interrogated and soon certain things come to light, but with many of the British troops badly injured and the rest of them almost at the point of exhaustion, it quickly becomes clear that with the invaluable information they've recently discovered only a few if any are likely to make it...

I hadn't seen this before, but thoroughly enjoyed this intelligent character driven story, about the moral conduct of those involved in war time situations. The cast are excellent with Baker giving a good loud performance, as the officer in charge, helped and sometimes hindered by his unit of men, with Guy Rolfe, Gordon Jackson and Leo McKern offering strong support.
Although a little staged, the film never loses sight of what it's trying to achieve. With a heavy, unsettling atmosphere, helping to build the claustrophobic tension (possibly helped by unusually having nothing in the way of a soundtrack!), as the film's dark message and heat rises; practically creeping up on you from out of your tele. The actors sweating dishevelled concerns by the bucket. The lead Japanese officer, portrayed not as fiendish cardboard cut out bad guy, but given a chance at real character.

Of course quite a few will be reading reviews on here wondering if this is an action packed Brit war effort, and to that I would say no ~ although there are a number of machine gun skirmishes ~ but don't let that put you off giving this a try, because I was focussed on it right the way through and thought it was very good indeed!
Recommended, another Hammer B~side classic... And another top, underrated movie from Stanley Baker.

The UK disc is a good print.
4.25/5


Lone Wolf Mcquade [DVD] [1983] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]
Lone Wolf Mcquade [DVD] [1983] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]
Dvd ~ Chuck Norris
Offered by supermart_usa
Price: 5.28

4.0 out of 5 stars The man don't give a Chuck, 27 July 2014
J.J. McQuade (Norris) is a Texas Ranger. He doesn't like his superiors, plays the game by his own hard rules, and lives a blissful existence separated from his wife. Where because of his sensible life choice, gets to keep a wolf for a pet, never tidies up, and best of all, only has to bath once a fortnight, when he can fit it in, between buckets of ribs and beer...

Then all of a sudden his world gets turned upside down, when he is assigned a new partner, accidentally gets a girlfriend, and some evil gun runners start taking over his territory.
Of course this upsets Chuck (J.J.) and he warns them to behave, but after this the evil gun runners start to act all aggressive, and having heard the saying that 'dogs are a man's best friend', they decide to scare Chuck away, by being doubly sure and killing both his best friend and his wolf/dog.
Well as you can imagine Chuck is not best pleased, but when he then hears that they've kidnapped his daughter, he goes ballistic...

This is a great little action movie and much, much better than I'd remembered it being from my last viewing of it nearly 25 years ago.
De Masi's great opening score, nicked straight from the spaghetti western sub~genre, sets the tone immediately for this modern day western, and it just gets better from there. There's plenty of action (both karate and gun play), with just the right levels of violence, silliness and moments of inspired stupidity, when it comes to the film's plotting, characters and dialogue.
Carradine is possibly the best thing about this, as the rogue karate champion/bad guy Wilkes, supported in his rascally deeds of supplying arms to terrorists, by a dwarf in a spazz chariot.
Chuck providing the all~American hero against them.
Too many great scenes in this to mention, but at one point they bury him alive in a 4x4 ~ Get outta that one Chuck!, and in another scene Chuck gets so angry at the baddies, he kicks down his own shed, before attacking an armed fortress!!

Highly recommended to anyone who finds they have some spare time on their hands and a fridge full of beer to compliment it.

4.25/5


Firewalker [DVD] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]
Firewalker [DVD] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]
Dvd ~ Chuck Norris

3.0 out of 5 stars Chuckle Brothers., 22 July 2014
Two treasure hunting buddies are employed by a blonde who feels she has some sort of magical connection with some Aztec/Mayan gold, hidden south of the border. So off they go on a series of adventures getting into all manner of scrapes and fun, as they hunt the hidden treasure.
Locating the gold however may not be that easy though, as they are being followed by the evil Indian shaman El Coyote, who will stop at nothing, in order to stop them getting to the gold. Having his own unscrupulous reasons for finding it first...

I hadn't seen this one since I saw it on VHS around about 1990. I didn't like it much then and I don't think it's particularly good now, the only improvement this time round being that my expectations of it were suitably low!
Lou Gossett Jnr probably steals the show, but to be fair it's hardly against any great odds that he achieves this. With Chuck only standing out once or twice, mostly during action set pieces, whilst in the rest of the film, his comedy timing is simply woeful, and his delivery of the (surely purposefully so) bad cornball dialogue, lacking at nearly every turn. Quite what J. Lee Thompson was thinking when he helmed this, God only knows, as he's usually a fairly reliable journeyman director. And maybe it looked hilarious on paper, or when viewing the rushes, who knows... but boy does it seem lame when seen in it's entirety now.
Melody Anderson isn't bad but let's face it, she's hardly Kathleen Turner or Karen Allen, and a lot of the sets have clearly been done on the cheap. The plot is ridiculous, several key scenes are either just inappropriate for the movie, or they simply don't work, and the finished output ultimately resembles something that The Chuckle Brothers might have put out there, if they'd have been trying to remake Raiders of the Lost Ark, on the set of the Aztec Zone from The Crystal Maze!!
Inevitably they wheel out such stereotypes as John Rhys-Davies and Will Sampson (looking really poorly), in order to squeeze in some familiar faces, and to be fair, they probably provide the film with some of it's highlights, but overall it does the film little good and it just continues to misfire as badly as Chuck's gun..

Of course there will be people/fans who grew up with Firewalker, who will no doubt try to convince you that this is both a great and 'hilarious' adventure movie, but I happen to quite like Norris and Gossett Jnr and can unequivocally say that in my opinion they've both starred in far, far superior films to this.
I suppose one could argue that this provides it's audience with some good silly fun, and that it doesn't take itself too seriously, well that as may be... But I'd watch a Bud Spencer/Terrence Hill movie over this everytime!

I also suspect that this could have been the first film wherein Chuck wore his first hair piece? Although the jury's out on that..

2.75/5


Born Invincible [DVD][1978]
Born Invincible [DVD][1978]
Dvd ~ Mei-yi Chang

4.0 out of 5 stars Get Carter, 20 July 2014
This review is from: Born Invincible [DVD][1978] (DVD)
A group of students out practising one day find themselves with no option other than to interfere when a couple of officials cross their path, whilst out enjoying themselves, happy slapping an old man and his daughter.
They successfully defend the pair but it soon puts their kung fu school in great danger when the bosses of the two they saw off, show up at the school demanding they give up the the man and his daughter. Of course the honourable school say no and they are attacked, with several of their head kung fu instructors getting killed in the process. Which of course sets into motion a series of train~hard~then~attack battles, as the students attempt to get revenge for what happened to their masters...

Action packed late night kung fu offering, with plenty of moments requiring suspended belief and a pair of top class villains in Carter Wong and Lo Lieh. Wong is a master of Tai Chi, which means he has a girls voice, and many of the kung fu attributes of genre bad guy and Shaolin monk killer Pai Mei. Lo Lieh stealing some of his thunder as an 'also cackling' toe rag, with a tonfa stick which has some nasty tricks up it's sleeve. But for all that this film has to offer in baddies, it doesn't make up for with it's heroes, who are okay but somehow lack any charisma, which is a shame, and maybe Born Invincible could have done with a heavy hitter on the side of the good guys. With several characters on both sides, just as you're starting to take an interest in them, either just criminally under used or killed off completely!
Ultimately, leaving us with a film that although slightly misses the mark, is cheap and cheerful, fairly ridiculous, but with no less kung fu for it.
Not a classic in my book, but definitely worth a watch, and a firm fan favourite, so what do I know.

The Prism Leisure disc has nothing in the way of extras and has the the single audio option of English dub, but at least the print was fairly good for a cheap chop socky film.

3.75/5


Shaolin And Wu Tang [1981] [DVD]
Shaolin And Wu Tang [1981] [DVD]
Dvd ~ Chia-Hui Liu

5.0 out of 5 stars You know when you've been Tang'oed,, 20 July 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Two rival kung fu schools (one Shaolin, one Wu Tang) end up fighting amongst one another, after a Manchu prince frames the Shaolin school for murder ~ Which the prince decides is a fun game to play after both schools refuse to teach him their secret arts. Fortunately both head students are actually best friends and they soon figure that something is not quite right, even though they can't put their finger on exactly what it is that doesn't add up.
The Manchu prince then incarcerates the Wu Tang student in a cage full of mad women, until his mate from Shaolin helps him escape, before both students go their separate ways to their respective temples, in a bid to bone up on their chosen styles before taking their vengeance out on the guilty parties.
Only with a winner takes all competition, between Shaolin & Wu Tang, set up by the wicked prince, will our heroes be able to get to the bottom of all the skullduggery before they have to fight to the death...

This is a very good film indeed, with some top performers giving us some very good skills. Lau Kar Leung is the action director, with lead star Gordon Liu helming the rest; and you get the quality here you would expect from having those two names involved. There is some light heartedness here but not of the goofy humour kind, and some really sweet training segments that bring back many happy memories of The 36th Chamber of Shaolin. If that's not enough we are also treated to getting Johnny Wang Lung-Wei as the Manchu Prince, and yet again, he's really good in this, right up to the ending, which, shall we say, is a little unorthodox.
This is a highly respected and loved movie by genre fans, and rightly so!

The UK Vengeance Video dvd release is about the quality you would expect. With a picture criminally not in full widescreen, and the only audio an English dub, complete with nonsensical English subtitles, burn't into the bottom of the picture. As usual, if you're unforgiving, the picture is watchable, no doubt about that, but us kung fu fans, along with this film, certainly deserve better.

4.5/5


Eagle's Claw [DVD]
Eagle's Claw [DVD]
Dvd ~ Chi Kuan-Chun
Offered by Direct-Offers-UK-FBA
Price: 2.99

4.0 out of 5 stars China's got talons, 20 July 2014
This review is from: Eagle's Claw [DVD] (DVD)
A ruthless white haired killer, employed by the Ching authorities, is given carte blanche to do what he wants, with anyone he suspects as sympathising with rebels. Of course he abuses his powers in about ten minutes flat, targeting a school of eagle claw students and more importantly their master, who he holds a serious grudge against for once besting him in a fight years before.
So along with his team of rowdies, he attacks the school and severely injures the schools master. Resulting in chaos, as the school begin to squabble amongst themselves over who will now run it since their master is now disabled; the baddies resting up and recovering in the mean time.
So after some falling out, the lead student Chen Tien Chun, gets kicked out of the Eagle Claw school for his seemingly naughty behaviour and he joins up with the bad guys in order to smash his one time brothers, and take control of the eagle claw school for himself!
But is Chen Tien Chun really that mercenary and wicked, or does he have other plans in mind..?

This starts a little slow, with quite a bit of heavy handed, emotional 'brotherly love' stuff but after about the half hour mark really picks up, leaving the audience with a really good movie by the end. With the last 20 minutes quite a spectacle, as eagle claws take on mantis fist techniques in a showdown to the death. Perenial thug Leung Kar Yan (The Thundering Mantis) makes an appearance, with Chang Yi doing an excellent job as his boss, the white haired rascal Chow Ma Wu. Like I said the ending's pretty spectacular ~ with the good guys comprising of Wang Tao and Chi Kuan Chun ~ taking on the various hired killers.. Needless to say most of the cast end up spitting blood from internal injuries.
For a lower budgeted entry in the old school revenger sub genre, this is certainly entertaining enough, and one fans will want in their collection.

The UK 'Eastern Heroes' dvd claims to be 'digitally remastered', although to be honest I'm not massively convinced, with several moments of blurring and plenty of artefacts present ~ albeit it is a watchable enough widescreen print I suppose. The sounds pretty
rubbish too and the only audio option ~ dubbed into English ~ is fairly pitiful, with crumby, stilted dialogue, making the film seem worse than it actually is..

4.25/5 rounded down.


Super Inframan & Shaw Brothers [DVD] [1975] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]
Super Inframan & Shaw Brothers [DVD] [1975] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]
Dvd ~ Danny Lee
Offered by supermart_usa
Price: 3.11

4.0 out of 5 stars China's super power, 18 July 2014
A rather rubbery looking dragon monster bounces to Earth and triggers all manner of natural disasters to erupt across our screens, as stuff is destroyed and the Earth is brought to it's knees.
Fortunately, China steps in (Thank God for those guys right?!) with a highly scientific unit of Earth defence strategists ~ who we know are highly scientific, because they wear silver space suits, sit behind rows of flashing, complicated looking consoles, and they employ Bruce Le ~ And soon their tv screens are hijacked by a mysterious transmission all the way from Mount Devil volcano..
The televisual transmission is of course none other than Princess Dragon~Mom, an intergalactic, valkyrie witch~fiend, who issues orders of total subservience to the peoples of Earth...
However, unimpressed by her demands of slavery, instead of giving in, the Chinese Earth nerds decide to build a super dude in order to combat her.......Super Inframan! The complete super hero, and someone that makes Iron Man look like a total pussy!
So Super Inframan is built and attempts to take on Princess Dragon~Mom and her hordes of monsters, in the hope that he might kick their tails back to whatever scumbag dimension they hail from....

A Shaw Brothers attempt at making an Ultraman style, super hero, sci~family, special effects extravaganza....on the cheap! With tons of flashing colours and an endless stream of WTF moments ensuing, as all unholy, camp hell explodes out of our teles, right through our glazzies and up into our brains.
As Super Inframan uses his full arsenal of 'thunderbolt' fists, laser beams, kung fu, silver rocket platform boots and, err... growing big, with which to defeat, eviscerate and splat Dragon~Mom's weird menagerie of monsters..

At one point a little girl says 'When I grow up I would like to be Infragirl', a sentiment I'm sure even the most macho of us can understand, having seen the sheer awesomeness of Super Inframan and what happens in this movie!
Special mentions should of course also go to Dragon~Mom's army of skull masked biker guards, a heroine who reads Dennis Wheatley's 'The Devil And All His Works' as a little light bed time reading, and a kid that spazzes out when he gets a tiny lizard on his head!

Of course you maybe reading this wondering if I've gone bonkers? I haven't. And in fact anyone wishing to check the validity of any of the above statements can do so by buying the Region 1 dvd.
For all those of you that thought The Power Rangers was a load of moralistic American drivel..... it was! Super Inframan is where it's really at! So silly but so enjoyable.

4.25/5


The Iron Monkey [1977] [DVD]
The Iron Monkey [1977] [DVD]
Dvd ~ Kuan Tai Chen

5.0 out of 5 stars Chen Kuan Tai goes bananas!, 13 July 2014
This review is from: The Iron Monkey [1977] [DVD] (DVD)
'Iron' gallivants around town gambling, and generally being a bone idle good for nothing, whilst his respected father and other family members attend to the more serious business of rebel sympathising and causing political trouble for the Ching soldiers imposing themselves on the local populace.
Unfortunately for Iron's family though, there is a spy within their ranks, and when the Ching soldiers attack the family home, the spy reveals himself, and the whole family are taken in to custody with a view to being executed.
When Iron hears of what's happening he of course tries to intervene, but is stopped by a aged friend and his family are massacred..

Time passes by and Iron who has been living feral in the woods, is taken in by the local Shaolin Temple, and despite their concerns about his unbridled lust for revenge, train him in the difficult and sacred martial art of monkey fist.
Three years pass as he trains under 'The Bitter Monk', honing his monkey fist skills with his mind focussed on justice, until one day when the Ching appear at the gates of the temple with a view to recruiting troops. Could this be Iron Monkey's chance to embed himself as a Shaolin spy, not only in order to stop a dastardly Ching plot to destroy the Shaolin temple, but also to carry out the vengeance he's been working so hard towards, against the murderers of his family...

Top, top drawer this one.. Although shot on an obviously low budget for an independent production company, this simple tale of revenge and determination (directed by and starring Chen Kuan~Tai) is no less a classic for it. Okay granted the first 15 minutes are rather typically heavy handed and a bit melodramatic, but once our hero gets to the Shaolin temple it goes uphill all the way, right up to it's climactic battle when Iron Monkey must take on a master of the eagle claw technique.
Any 'Shaolin' movie fans should like the nifty training sequences, and if you're a fan of 1970s, 'old school' kung fu, which is purely of the stone faced revenge variety, without any of the campy humour or goofy chuckles (think Kuan~Tai's equally good Shaolin Kingboxer [DVD]), well, if you've not seen Iron Monkey before, you're gonna be in for a real treat.
Forget what some reviewers might say about this being slow, it's not, and the final showdown wherein Iron Monkey reveals his true identity before killing the head bad guys one at a time, is pure class! He comes up against Leung Kar Yan (The Thundering Mantis) in a great fight; and you've just got to love the scene whereby the unimpressed Iron Monkey, using a 3 sectional staff whilst fighting Ching tough guy, Captain Pa, asks incredulously 'That's it? That's your kung fu?'... or at least words to that effect...

The more sensitive of us, who're lovers of children and animals, may want to take note that there are one or two scenes here that you might find a bit upsetting, namely the sight of a child being strangled to death by a chain, and a staged fight between a real monkey and an eagle, that starts to get a bit frenzied..
But don't let those warnings put you off too much because they're brief and the rest of the film ROCKS!!

Now onto the review of the disc itself, and that's not so good I'm afraid. The uk release by Vengeance Video/Showbox Home Entertainment is decidedly ropey to say the least. Sure if you're forgiving the print's acceptable, but is clearly sourced from a pretty poor VHS tape, resulting in the colours (faces, robes, locations etc) taking on a greenish hue a lot of the time, albeit you can see what's happening, with the outlines still relatively sharp.
Which I guess ultimately means, that if you can get used to the colour distortions, then you can at least enjoy the action; and if not, well, you'll be terribly frustrated.
Now, although the scratchy print is not the best, at least it is in widescreen, which seems to be of some blessing, and when having read other reviews, seems to be about the same (poor) standard of print as any other release on disc.

So here's to hoping that at some point we will get a full restoration of this classic, eh guys and gals..

4.75/5


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