Azn Badger's Blog

What About the Lysine Contingency…?

5 Movies That SHOULD Be Remade

And the point of this was.....?

These days it seems every big budget summer movie is a remake or a sequel.

While this is hardly a new phenomenon, it’s alarming just how many of these films seem unwarranted given the nature of their predecessors.

In my eyes, the point of remaking a film is to improve it, or in the case of films that are severely dated; repackage them for contemporary audiences.

Some of the worst examples of a remake that I can think of are A Nightmare on Elm Street, Psycho, and Rollerball.

In the case of the former 2, neither made any attempt whatsoever to expand on what made the original films great.

Psycho was of course a shot for shot retread, making it essentially “Psycho with Vince Vaughn” and little else.

Elm Street expanded on a sub plot or 2 that was already embedded in the mythology (though wisely underplayed) of the series, but ultimately came across as soulless and downright ugly due to it’s poor pacing and even worse special effects.

Sometimes the old ways are best...

Rollerball… Well, Rollerball was pretty much as complete a fuck-up a filmmaker can produce… Especially when said filmmaker happens to be someone talented like John McTiernan.

I think it’s best we all just move along and pretend Rollerball never happened.

Anyway, in light of all the buzz surrounding the new embarassingly Twilight inspired Teen Wolf and Fright Night remakes, I decided to put (literally) a few minutes into coming up with a handful of movies that I actually wouldn’t mind seeing get remade at some point.

1. Robot Jox

Robot Jox = Rocky IV with giant robots.

That alone should tell you this movie is worthy of a big budget remake.

The original Robot Jox was a pretty awful low budget sci-fi film with mediocre stop-motion and miniature effects.

Despite all this, the core concept; that of robotic gladiatorial competitions being staged in place of war between nations, definitely still holds water in my book.

It worked for Rocky IV, it worked for Ip Man 2, and it would’ve worked for Robot Jox, had the production had some flash to go with it’s premise.

The end product would be dumb as all hell, but with state-of-the-art special effects, and even an ounce of the heart of Rocky IV; I think it could be stupid fun.

REALLY stupid fun.

At the very least, a Robot Jox remake would probably turn out better than Real Steel… Or either of Michael Bay’s Transformer movies.

Anyone wanna’ come with me to see Real Steel when it drops this October?

2. The Land That Time Forgot

... Is that T-Rex drowning?

Surprisingly enough, this one was already remade in 2009, in the form of a “mockbuster” produced by the oh so infamous crew over at The Asylum productions.

Given that everything The Asylum produces is essentially of the “ironically bad” variety, I don’t think it’s asking too much if we pretend the 2009 version of The Land That Time Forgot never happened.

Hmm, I wonder how many times I’m gonna’ have to say that over the course of this article…

Anyway, The Land That Time Forgot was a classic adventure story loosely based on the work of Edgar Rice Burroughs AKA The Tarzan Guy.

When I was young, this film was one that I could always depend on to bring a smile to my face.

Even to this day, Land has a lot going for it.

It had cool period costumes and tech (WWI), explosions and volcanoes, and of course; giant dinosaur puppets fighting German sailors.

That's what I'm talkin' 'bout!

Dinosaurs are always a win in my book, but when you put them head to head with U-boats and machine guns, well; it’s very hard to get that wrong.

In my mind, a solid modern remake of Land would play out kind of like the Skull Island segment of Peter Jackson’s King Kong remake, only for 2 hours instead of… Well, 1 hour… And with less giant gorilla ice-skating.

In my eyes, more dinosaurs always equals a better film.

3. The Day of the Triffids

The Day of the Triffids’ plot concerns a meteor shower than blinds everyone on the planet who views it, leaving the vast majority of the population virtually helpless.

The remaining sighted individuals find themselves thrust into a nightmarish world of violence and danger as disorder and chaos threatens to consume the last vestiges of society.

As the icing on the cake of it all, a new threat emerges in the form of vampiric, mobile plant creatures called Triffids that consume humans and multiply at a fantastic rate.

Triffids has been remade before, but not successfully; or with a Hollywood budget.

It’s hard to argue Triffids’ premise isn’t intriguing, however the reason I’d be interested to see a remake, is because the film is kind of silly to look at by today’s standards.

Pictured: The title monster.

On paper, the plot sounds amazing, but in execution; the film just doesn’t hold up all that well.

As with seemingly every movie I mention on this list, I think Triffids would be a helluva’ thrill ride with a new coat of paint and a few extra bits of characterization.

4. 2o,000 Leagues Under the Sea

Anyone who’s read a post or 2 from this blog probably already knows how much I love Disney’s 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea.

What can I say other than the fact that it’s a thrilling and accessible adaptation of an amazing piece of fiction.

From a technical standpoint, few films can measure up to Leagues’ combination of Oscar winning effects work and absolutely brilliant casting direction.

In that sense, it’s hard to imagine a retread of Leagues being better than the 1954 version, however it’s one of those stories that I feel should be shared with the youth of every generation.

What I wouldn’t give to see what modern special effects could do for the giant squid sequence…

5. Them!

Them! is a great movie.

It’s a B-movie by today’s standards, and is indeed kind of hokey; but if you ask me, Them! is a terrific suspense thriller.

The pacing is absolutely brilliant, the Cold War metaphors none-too-subtle, and the monsters memorable, formidable, and truly horrifying.

At it’s core, Them! is about giant ants trying to take over the world of man.

One of the greatest successes of Them!, is the fact that it tells an epic-sized story without sacrificing characterization.

To that end, if Them! were to be remade, I think I’d actually prefer to see it maintain a similar scale to the original.

Modern special effects allow filmmakers *cough!* Michael Bay *cough!* to fill the screen with all sorts of crazy shit, to the point in which some of the craziness and spectacle actually loses some of it’s impact, or worse yet; ends up going unnoticed on the periphery of the screen.

While I admit it would be cool to see an army of ants bum-rushing L.A., truth be told; I found the sewer sequence at the conclusion of the original film to be more than sufficient for a climax.

The really cool thing about remaking Them!, and this is totally unrelated to the actual integrity of the film; is the fact that you could do all sorts of crazy J.J. Abrams shit with the marketing.

A good chunk of Them! didn’t even make mention of giant ants, so I think it would be kind of cool to tease the movie as a cop thriller or military action flick, without showing a frame of ant action.

Imagine how fucked up that would be to show up at the theater expecting Black Hawk Down or L.A. Confidential, only to end up having giant ants thrown at you a half an hour into the movie?

Sure, plenty of people would feel robbed or jilted somehow, but if the movie ended up being half as good as the original Them!, chances are a lot of people would end up loving it.

Then again, maybe “a lot of people” don’t appreciate giant monster movies the way I do…

Anyway, there’s my list, feel free to point out some movies you think I left out.

Filed under: Games, Movies, Uncategorized, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Remember That One Time Brock Lesnar Botched A Shooting Star?

It’s funny, in reading some of the comments on this video; it became apparent to me that a lot of people really like Brock Lesnar, both as a former WWF wrestler, and current UFC fighter.

I don’t know what it is about the guy, but for whatever reason; I just don’t like him.

He was kind of fun as a wrestler, back when he was doing squash matches for Paul Heyman and, y’know; not talking, but in his MMA career, I’ve seen little to like.

In the UFC, the man is a symbol of meatheaded-ness and muscular hypertrophy… And gaudy/hideous phallic tattoos:

Yes it is, Brock. Yes it is...

More than all that though, it may just be my inner conspiracy theorist talking; but I see Brock Lesnar as UFC’s mascot.

I think Dana White saw the image Lesnar projected, and adopted it as the ideal of the UFC demographic.

I think Lesnar was positioned, from the start, to be their Heavyweight champion (after only 4 fights) and become the highest paid fighter in their roster, regardless of whether he deserves it or not.

Not every guy gets to make the cover of their sport’s official videogame after 5 fights and barely 3 years of activity in the league.

Such is the kind of sleazy shit one can pull when they own the promotional rights to every athlete in an organization.

He’s their John Cena, a t-shirt and supplement seller.

I hate him, but I gotta' give him credit: The kids love him.

Maybe it’s just my undying allegiance to boxing talking, but I’ve never been able to see the beauty of Brock Lesnar’s fighting soul.

From what I’ve been told, the man has a legit background in wrestling, however his approach to MMA rarely shows it.

He’s quick on the shoot and intimidating as fuck, but his lateral movement is non-existent, and his bulk utterly unwieldy when it comes to anything other than lifting heavy objects, or failing that; laying on top of them.

"BROCK STRONGEST ONE THERE IS!!!!!! Brock take nap now...."

I may not be speaking from experience on this one, but I think it’s safe to assume 60 lbs. arms don’t exactly make for the best handspeed or coordination.

Ever since he debuted, Brock Lesnar has been my go-to guy for taking jabs at the UFC.

I’d be lying if I said watching Cain Velasquez beat the ever loving fuck out of him wasn’t one of the happiest moments of my sports viewing lifetime.

Well, there's goes Brock's sponsorship with Jimmy John's...

Anyway, I don’t know why I decided to use an afternoon of my Memorial Day Weekend to write about this; but oh well, at least the video was funny.

I don’t hate MMA, I just hate the image the UFC projects.

Enjoy your Sunday!

Oh Brock, we keep finding ways to slip you in...

Filed under: Boxing, Uncategorized, Wrestling, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Tooting My Own Horn…

*In lieu of my family’s traditional New Year’s dinner of pork and sauerkraut (Apparently it’s a Pennsylvania Dutch thingDon’t ask…) being pushed back to this evening, I’ve decided to forego a legit posting tonight in favor of a neat little “year in review” that WordPress made for me.  Enjoy, I know I sure did!*

The stats helper monkeys at WordPress.com mulled over how this blog did in 2010, and here’s a high level summary of its overall blog health:

Healthy blog!

The Blog-Health-o-Meter™ reads Wow.

Crunchy numbers

Featured image

Madison Square Garden can seat 20,000 people for a concert. This blog was viewed about 64,000 times in 2010. If it were a concert at Madison Square Garden, it would have performed about 3 times.

In 2010, there were 250 new posts, not bad for the first year!

The busiest day of the year was October 29th with 3,439 views. The most popular post that day was Minecraft: Survival Multiplayer (Guest Post).

Where did they come from?

The top referring sites in 2010 were reddit.com, facebook.com, kotaku.com, kungfucinema.com, and minecraftforum.net.

Some visitors came searching, mostly for donnie yen, cecilia cissy wang, broly, moon knight, and guyver.

Attractions in 2010

These are the posts and pages that got the most views in 2010.

1

Minecraft: Survival Multiplayer (Guest Post) October 2010
2 comments

2

A Tribute to the Greatness that is Donnie Yen: Part VI – Old Man Yen May 2010

3

Movie Review: Undisputed 3: Redemption June 2010
3 comments

4

Vejita Has a Brother!!? September 2010
2 comments

5

Moon Knight, Thank You For Being So Freakin’ Crazy. May 2010

Filed under: Comics, Games, Kung Fu, Movies, Uncategorized, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

December 14 2010: A Date Which Will Live In Rectal Infamy


Today my anus was sneak attacked as few anuses have been, uh, “snuck” attacked before it.

It all began 2 days ago at the dinner table…

My father, adventurous chef that he is; acquired a half dozen lamb shanks and broiled/stewed/cooked the shit out of them.

Lamb Shanks: The Silent Killer

Served awash in their own juices, as well as a healthy dousing of gravy, cranberries and mushrooms; the lamb was mouth-wateringly juicy and undeniably scrumptious.

It was a fine meal, fit for a king even.

… And then the lamb shanks made a second appearance on the dinner table the following evening.

Once again partaking of the greasy and oh so delicious lamb, I had no idea I was testing the limits of my stomach’s capacity to process hearty and/or artery clogging foods.

That evening I went to bed a boy with a full stomach.

Today I come before you, a man.

A man that can’t so much as bend over without feeling like he’s got a wad of tin foil lodged in his asshole.

Yeah, I wish I was kidding...

Honestly man, despite all the bathroom war stories I’ve shared on this blog, the one that I experienced earlier today was the worst I’ve ever experienced.

The worst part of it, as indicated by the title of this post; was the fact that I had no idea what was coming my way until it was already halfway out of me.

It began as many anal skirmishes do, with a persistent, but otherwise mild feeling of itchiness in my rectum.

Still at work at the time, I decided to ignore the warning shot across my asses’ bow in favor of keeping busy.

Throughout the day, the itchiness persisted, gradually pervading my consciousness and making it difficult to stay on task.

The problem was, I honestly didn’t feel like I needed to dump ass, my canal just felt itchy is all.

Anyway, as one might expect, after hours of itchiness in my cheek trench, I decided to set aside some time during my lunch break and attempt a little preemptive toilet bombing.

Y’know, just to see if there was in fact something stewing around in my guts that wanted out, but was just too shy to send out a warning fart to let me know.

Let me take a second to point something out to you:

We don’t sit down at the Amazon.com warehouse.

We get lunch and a few breaks, but outside of that; there’s almost no task in the warehouse that allows for one to sit down.

That being said, from the time I started getting my warning itch, to the time I actually decided to address it, I was never once squatting, bent over, or sitting down.

Had I done any one of those things, I probably wouldn’t have ignored those anal itches as foolishly as I did.

The moment I lifted my ass and bent my knees to plop down on the toilet, I felt my anus tear itself apart in a firestorm of rectal fury.

Pearl Harbor?

The Firebombing of Dresden?

The nuclear detonations at Hiroshima and Nagasaki?

Fucking child’s play compared to the furious inferno of hellfire rampaging through my asshole at ground zero.

As I sit here typing this, I still don’t know what the fuck happened.

It seriously felt like someone took an icepick, rammed it up my ass, and then “stirred” it around up there like they were making brownie mix or some shit.

I would take this any day over what I went through this afternoon...

Did I mention the icepick had been heated with a blowtorch?

Anyway, despite my eyes beginning to drip with tears from the pain an intensity of the battle ensuing down below; I nevertheless made the commitment to press forward and expel the foul beast of bile that had so viciously crippled my asshole.

While the sneak attack on my asshole was easily the most painful experience of today’s instance of bathroom warfare, the actual shit was pretty epic as well.

It’s not often I take long shits, but today’s sneaky turd was a good 6-8 incher.

While that may not be much by most standards, the real issue was the fact that, while he might not have been epicly long, he made me fight for every inch.

You ever seen a Moray Eel?

Note the abundance of the knives and stabbing weapons in his mouth...

Well, imagine pushing that out your anus, while it’s head’s inside you tearing away at your innards.

Needless to say, it was a hard fought battle that I feel fortunate to have survived.

Upon finally expelling the foul beast of brown from my bruised and bloodied hole of shame, I quickly flushed it away fearing it might in fact have been some sort of nasty creature out to get me from the inside out:

In case you’re a 5 year old, and think that Jason Lee was wrestling with his (presumably) monstrous cock in this clip; it’s actually a “shit-weasel” from Stephen King’s Dreamcatcher.

Quite faithfully rendered from the source material as well if I do say so myself.

Anyway, consider yourselves fortunate you weren’t me today folks.

Though I may be alive and mostly well, (my ass still hurts like a motherfucker…) something tells me I’ll be having flashbacks and night terrors over this one for some time…

Filed under: Movies, Uncategorized, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Yo Frankie, Happy Birthday.

The Azn Badger would like to take this opportunity to wish a happy birthday to the uncannily pitch-perfect  apex of pimp, Frank Sinatra; who would have been 95 years old today and still able to bag more tail in a night than Charlie Sheen could hope to in a lifetime.

You’ve brought joy to no less than 3 generations of my family’s lineage, and for that you deserve a special post on this blog all to yourself.

Thanks Frankie, and happy birthday.

Filed under: Movies, Uncategorized, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Demon’s Souls: Conquered

*Ahem!* I win...

*WARNING! SPOILER ALERT PERTAINING TO END GAME EVENTS.  NO SPECIFICS, BUT IF YOU REALLY WANT THE END-GAME TO BE A SURPRISE, TURN BACK NOW!*

Last night was easily one of the worst of my life.

Don’t expect this to happen on this blog all too often, but I’m sorry to say that my experience of being stuck in a snowy traffic jam in the Seattle area for 6 hours straight was horrible to the point in which I don’t think I want to share the details.

Seriously, it was that bad.

Anyway, as a result of getting home from work at around 11:30 PM, as well has having my body be a complete wreck as a result of the harsh cold and tight confines of my car, I decided that I simply could not allow myself to go to work today.

Despite this, Amazon saw fit to penalize me for doing so; even going so far as to call me in the morning to chastise me for my actions.

Though I love buying products the company, working for Amazon gives me an insight into the inner workings of their ground-level management that really leave a bad taste in my mouth.

Oh well, it’s a job, and that’s more than a lot of people have at the moment, so I’m thankful.

Moving on, as any self-respecting survivor of a 6 hour traffic jam would do, I decided to use my self-enforced day off from work to play Demon’s Souls.

No way was I gonna’ go outside today, even to pick up a copy of The Expendables.

I’ll do that tomorrow…

*Ahem!* Anyway, in short; I managed to beat Demon’s Souls today.

Much like the rest of the game’s limited story sequences, the end of the game was quite flat, and very much anti-climactic.

Truth be told, it had been so long since I had started the game (just over 20 hours of game time) that I honestly didn’t even remember who the last boss was, or why I was fighting him for that matter.

In either case, the last boss was pathetic.

Like, “he couldn’t hit me if he tried,” pathetic.

On one level, this was quite disappointing, as many of the earlier boss fights in the game were quite epic, and fairly inspired in how the actual battles were carried out.

At the same time though, as I recall bits and pieces of the supposed “story” of Demon’s Souls, (seriously, there’s not much to be found) I’m starting to understand that the final boss of the game was supposed to be a pitiful creature, to the point where it’s ironic that it serves as the game’s final challenge.

Demon’s Souls was an excellent game.

While it indeed has flaws, as pretty much any game does; it benefits from an indefinable element in it’s gameplay and presentation, a “hook” that serves to draw in a certain demographic of gamers.

As it turns out, I fit pretty well into that particular category of gamer, as I enjoyed my time with Demon’s Souls.

In regards to it’s vaunted, and supposedly impenetrable difficulty level, I have this to say:

The game is indeed quite difficult, but only if you’re bull-headed and refuse to adhere to the “rules” of the game.

The gameplay of Demon’s Souls is methodical and rigid, meaning the game is difficult; but everything has a rhythm and a weakness, so it’s up to you the player to determine these factors before charging headlong into things.

Hell, I game in practically reverse order, resulting in most of the enemies being far too powerful for me to handle most of the time, and yet in the end, I managed to get past them all through careful planning and observation.

As you play Demon’s Souls, just remind yourself:

The game is challenging, not unfair.

If you get pissed and break your controller when you die in a game, then I’m sorry, Demon’s Souls is probably not for you.

Seriously, controllers are what, $50?

You’d be bankrupt in a week.

If however, you take every death in the game as a sign of your own failings, an indication that you could’ve played better or smarter, then chances are you’ll have a lot of fun with Demon’s Souls.

Now that I’m done with my little advertisement for the game, I feel I should take a moment to talk about some of the random things that stuck out to me in my first playthrough of Demon’s Souls:

I was a little upset at the very limited selection of armors I ran across in the game.

While it’s probably my fault moreso than the game’s, I found that as a Knight, I only ended up changing my armor maybe twice throughout the entirety of the game.

Maybe it’s just because I selected a Knight, who just happens to start out with some the better starting equipment, but I felt myself getting bored of constantly finding new weapons and equipment, but never finding an armor that was good enough to switch over to.

Seriously man, I ended up beating the game wearing Mirdan armor, something the Temple Knight starts the game out with if I recall.

To me, that’s the equivalent of watching a version of the Iron Man movie where Tony Stark remains in the original Iron Man suit throughout the entire movie.

That’s that just plain sad.

Another quick thing, from a gameplay standpoint, those fuckin’ dragons were truly fucking pathetic.

Seriously man, they’re not enemies, or bosses for that matter, they’re fuckin’ scenery.

Destructible scenery that can, and will; wreck your shit 20 times before you figure out how to get past them.

I found one of those dragons on a list of 2009’s worst boss fights, and I can honestly say, whoever wrote that list is certainly justified in doing so.

Don’t ask me how I found the patience to actually kill those motherfuckers, but I did; and that’s largely the reason why I’m writing this “I beat Demon’s Souls, quick everyone, suck my golden cock!” article today instead of a week ago.

Seriously man, that traffic jam last night might’ve taken 6 hours of my life, but I’ll be damned if those dragons didn’t take at least an hour between the 2 of them.

Other than that, I think that’s about all I’ve got to say about Demon’s Souls for now.

Now that I’m done with the game, I think I’m gonna’ move on to something radically different.

With Metal Gear Solid 4 as my first PS3 game, followed by Demon’s Souls, I think it’s time I played something besides a 3rd person action game.

My gut is telling me to try Valkyria Chronicles, but I’m also leaning towards something a little more mindless like UFC: Undisputed 2010 (*Gasp!* but Azn Badger, I thought you hated the UFC!?).

At the same time though, who knows; maybe I’ll surprise even myself and hop back on the Final Fantasy wagon, of which I’ve been off ever since VIII.

There’s a lot of great games out there for the PS3, old and new; so feel free to let me know what I should look into.

Anyway, happy snow day to me; hopefully everyone drove safe this evening!

Filed under: Comics, Games, Movies, Uncategorized, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

I Used To Like Snow…

I WAS IN TRAFFIC FOR 6 HOURS THIS EVENING.

How ‘Bout You?

And I thought me an’ snow was cool…

Filed under: Uncategorized, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Movie Review: Undisputed 3: Redemption

*If all you care to read about is the fighting element of the movie, scroll down to the heading titled “Action“*

The Story So Far…

The Undisputed franchise has the unique distinction of being quite possibly the only film series I can think of where the first entry was my least favorite.

Well, that is unless you count THIS as the "first" in the franchise...

Released in 2002 and directed by Walter Hill of The Warriors fame, the original Undisputed was, at the time, an odd combination of genres, specifically that of the “prison drama” and “underground fight club” niche genres.

Pictured: An overrated film.

More of a B-Grade drama and social commentary film than anything else, the film featured several prison-based boxing sequences nonetheless.

Tonight on UPN: Nekkid Prison Fights.

Though Ving Rhames and Wesley Snipes performed their boxing scenes ably, the fight scenes in the film served more as story beats and bookends to the drama, rather than rousing set pieces, kind of like the difference between the fights in Rocky 1 and Rocky 3.

2006 saw the straight-to-DVD release of Undisputed 2: Last Man Standing.

Directed by prolific straight-to-video action film director Isaac Florentine this time around, the film retained it’s predecessor’s hokiness and melodramatic atmosphere, while placing a much greater emphasis on the execution and “wow” factor of the fight scenes.

Wrong "wow" dumbass.

Featuring Michael Jai White handling Ving Rhames’ role of George “Iceman” Chambers (a character analogous to Mike Tyson), and Scott Adkins as the villainous Uri Boyka, the film featured stunning fight work and cinematography, as well as a storyline that was far more personal and organic than it’s predecessors’.

Undisputed 2: A Tale of Love and Understanding.

Undisputed 2 was simply a better film in every way.

The most important element in the films’ success however, could be attributed to one man: Scott Adkins.

Despite having several acting and action roles prior to Undisputed 2, (most notably director Florentines’ Special Forces) Adkins’ performance in the film could easily be regarded as his “arrival” to the action movie scene.

Possessing a chiseled musculature, and an uncommonly large frame, Adkins’ fighting movements were spell-bindingly exacting and swift, with many of his strikes coming from unique angles, often while airborne.

The signature "Guyver Kick" as it's come to be known.

Together with J.J. “Loco” Perry’s choreography, and Isaac Florentine’s elegantly framed and almost balletic use of steadicam work, and under and overcranking, Adkins and White put out some of the best fight scenes ever seen in an American film.

Since the release of Undisputed 2, Michael Jai White has gone on get shanked by Heath Ledger, and write and star in his first film, Black Dynamite.

Although THIS is the REAL reason people still remember who Michael Jai White is.

Scott Adkins on the other hand, has largely kept to fringe of the industry, continuing to star in straight-to-video projects with director Florentine, as well as score a few bit roles in major Hollywood films.

Most notable of his appearances have been as a fighter during the swimming pool fight in Jet Li’s Unleashed, a Black Briar agent in The Bourne Ultimatum, and as Weapon XI in X-Men Origins: Wolverine.

What? You really thought Ryan Reynolds could move like that?

Plot Summary:

As mentioned before, the story of the film concerns an 8-man fighting tournament sponsored by shady gangsters, and conducted in a Georgian prison (the one in Europe.  Well, kinda.  Actually it’s kind of close to Asia too now that I think of it…).

It's right HERE goddamnit.

Boyka enters the tournament, eventually befriends Turbo, and together they work their way through the ranks in hopes of facing the installed betting favorite of the tournament, a ‘roided out Colombian named Dolor (“The Pain”).

As it turns out, the tournament is rigged, with all the fighters but Dolor being restricted to one hour a day of training, while at the same time being forced to eat a poor prisoner’s diet, and do back-breaking hard labor every day.

Dolor, meanwhile, lives a life of leisure outside of a prison cell.

No Comment.

Oh yeah, and he’s on the ‘roids.

By stories’ end, Boyka puts his pride at stake and faces Dolor in the final match of the tournament.

Merry mishaps ensue.  Roll credits.

The end.

Acting:

Undisputed 3: Redemption sees Scott Adkins in the leading role, once again reprising his role as Uri Boyka.

The plot of the film has Boyka, still hobbled from his shattered kneecap in previous film, retraining himself and earning the right to enter an international 8-man prison fighting tournament.

In the second film, Boyka was largely one-dimensional.  Pious, and possessed of a rudimentary sense of justice and fair-play, but otherwise devoid of character.

Now imagine a whole movie of this.

This time around, nothing has really changed, however, due to circumstances that are out of his hands, he softens over the course of the film and actually manages to hold a conversation or two without hitting anyone.

Despite this, his motivations never rise above that of “God gave me the tools to fight, so I fight.”

As in the previous film, Adkins assumed a convincing Russian accent, however my reaction to it, given the character’s role as the protagonist this time around, was not as favorable.

In Undisputed 2, Boyka is gruff, and often unpleasant, making his constant frown and drawn out, slurred words seem appropriate given the character’s menacing nature.

In this film however, Adkins recycles many of Boyka’s quirks, however now that he’s front and center for most of the dramatic scenes, his character comes across as petty and childish, like a kid that doesn’t want to share his Playmobils.

Motherfuckin' Playmobil! YEEEEEEEEEAHH!!!!!!

For the most part however, Adkins gets the job done, with his eerily even more expanded and toned physique, and his heroic features more than making up for his delivery or intonation.

Most of these conversations have Adkins playing opposite a very charismatic Mykel Shannon Jenkins’ Turbo, a fellow entrant in the tournament and essentially the Apollo Creed to Adkins’ Rocky Balboa.

There are some fun parallels to be found between Jenkins’ Turbo and the previous films’ “Iceman” Chambers, both in their fighting styles and general reactions to prison life.

That is one happy prisoner.

For the most part, I enjoyed Jenkins’ performance, particularly during the scenes in which his character’s vulnerability shone through.

His character came across as one of those guys that just can’t shut up ’cause he can’t stand silence.

Kind of like this guy. Only I don't LIKE this guy...

Special note should be made in regards to the acting performance of the film’s villain, Chilean martial artist and actor, Marko Zaror’s Dolor.

The man obviously is not an English speaker, and indeed much of his dialogue is stilted and awkward at times, however much like Scott Adkins, his natural gravitas and body language allow him to get away with it.

The man is able to chew scenery with what few scenes he’s in just by bugging out his eyes and doing a little jig.

I’m serious, at one point during a training scene he does a little dance, seemingly just for the hell of it.

DISCO DANCE! DISCO DANCE!

I came into the film half for Scott Adkins, and half for Marko Zaror, and this marks the first time I’ve gotten to see Zaror.

From what I’ve read, Zaror’s Chilean films, Kiltro, Mirageman, and Mandrill are all supposed to be the bee’s knees, and I’ve been meaning to see them.

Based on his performance in Undisputed 3, I now feel that I need to see them.

In general, most of the ancillary performances are hammy and over-the-top across the board, with Mark Ivanir’s Gaga and Robert Costanzo’s Farnatti turning out fun performances despite a few hiccups in the script.

"Yah' blabbed Quaid, yah' blabbed about Mars!" ~ Famous last words of a very fat man.

It should be noted that one of the key villains in the film, Vernon Dobtcheff’s Rezo, seems to be dubbed or ADR’ed, and very poorly at that.

Though it’s not that big a deal, and doesn’t impact ones’ enjoyment of the film whatsoever, I found it distracting and somewhat disappointing given that the actor’s face seemed to match his role so well.

Action:

*Warning! Spoilers Ahead!*

Undisputed 3 is, like it’s predecessor, a powerhouse when it comes to fight sequences and choreography.

While Undisputed 2 felt a bit thin at times in terms of the amount of running time the fight scenes occupied in the film, Undisputed 3 feels much more balanced.

The fights are plentiful and varied, with a number of different disciplines and styles being represented throughout.

Sadly, no, there is no Ladder Fu.

Conventions of the “fighting tournament” genre are all met, with most of the preliminary fights being staged as nothing more than exhibitions of the more story relevant character’s skills as opposed to actual give-and-take fights.

The sole exception to this is Jenkins’ fight with the Croatian, which begins as being totally in Jenkins’ favor, only to suddenly shift to a shockingly close fight as his character’s focus begins to falter after being hit for the first time.

OUCH! Right in the Jimmy!

In general, Jenkins’ manages to be convincing in portraying a fighting man.

His movements are sharp and educated to some extent, leading me to believe he may have at least some martial arts background.

In the film, his character utilizes a primarily boxing based fighting style, and when on the offensive, that is, delivering double jabs and 2-3 combinations, Jenkins looks great.

BOOM! HEADSHOT!

On the defensive though, executing elbow blocks and parries, I have to point out that Jenkin’s timing seems off at times, which lucky for him, actually seems to go with his character given his insecurities.

Jenkins is featured in about 3 fight scenes, only 1 of which takes place during the tournament.

Hey, it wouldn't be a prison movie without the requisite prison yard brawl.

Despite the unbelievable amount of hype surrounding Scott Adkins after his performance in Undisputed 2, he somehow managed to live up to all of it in Undisputed 3.

In the nearly 4 years since Undisputed 2, Scott Adkins grew eerily close to losing his appeal in my eyes.

I’ve always maintained that, as an actor in action films, his good looks and charisma could take him very far.

I'd lose the suit though...

As a screen-fighter however, I began to feel as if his talents were being abused.

I attribute this to the various choreographers that were handling him, as for the most part, it seemed like he was no longer doing fight scenes, but instead was being told to simply run down a list of his trademark moves, like I being forced to watch the same highlight reel over and over again.

That feeling evaporated from the first moment Adkins struck a fighting pose in Undisputed 3.

Pictured: Said moment of awesomeness.

Adkins’ movements in Undisputed 3 are just are quick and fluid as ever, however this time around his repertoire is more varied and the “wow” factor generated by his attacks is more the result of entire beats in the choreography, rather than flashy, singular motions.

I suppose this is appropriate, seeing as Adkins’ Boyka declares several times in the film that “he is the most complete fighter in the world.”

Throughout the film, the intensity of Adkins fight scenes escalate in concert with the drama.

His first fight, against a burly and somewhat slow fighter named Sykov, is brief and somewhat disappointing.

Did I mention he was ugly too?

There is a surprising amount of honest to God contact during the fight, particularly in an instance when Adkins check-hooks the poor Russian in the face, but outside of a 3-kick combination, and one of Adkins’ trademark flipping side-kicks, the fight is entirely one-sided and is very short.

Slap the fatty!

His first fight in the tournament sequence on the other hand, is excellent.

During the fight, Adkins manages to pull off nearly all of his trademark moves, though most of them are framed in such a way as to appear less showy, and more believable as practical fighting moves.

Well, maybe not all of them...

As I mentioned before, the preliminary tournament fights are devoid of drama, and Adkins’ fight is no exception.

In total he is hit once, seemingly out of negligence on his part.

A highlight to this scene is Adkins performing a believable German Suplex on the poor Frenchman.

Not as good as Donnie Yen's in Flash Point, but then again, nothing is.

Following this, Adkins takes on a Brazilian Capoeira fighter played by Lateef Crowder from Tony Jaa’s Tom Yum Goong.

Crowder’s performance in Tom Yum Goong, was impressive, as any performance of Capoeira always is, but hampered by overuse of slow-motion and water-on-the-floor gimmickery.

The scene was also cut short, which I’ve read was a result of injuries during filming.

Well, Mr. Crowder looked pretty healthy to me in Undisputed 3, ’cause he did a bang up job.

Capoeira in movies tends to suffer from the choreographer’s over-reliance on the flashier and more acrobatic motions associated with it.

This was not the case in Undisputed 3, as Crowder’s attacks, while spectacular and full of gravity defying maneuvers, also incorporate basic punches and grapples, effectively making his fighting seem less like a performance, and more like a fight.

Pictured: Attempted Arm Rape.

Watching Adkins and Crowder flip and roll about the mat in tandem was truly impressive, with neither man upstaging the other.

Also, it needs to be said that Crowder’s first fight in the movie, against a Greek fighter, features an amazingly long take (26 seconds by my count) with extremely complicated choreography.

Kudos to both men.  Oh yeah, and the camera operator for keeping up.

I have no idea who you are Mr. Greek, but thanks for getting your ass kicked by the Brazilian!

The final fight in the movie, the battle between Scott Adkins and Marko Zaror, is separated into the 3 classic phases of movie fights.

Equilibrium is reached in the opening few minutes.

The bad guy starts to take control in the middle.

And then finally our hero makes his miraculous comeback, winning against all odds.

It’s a classic formula, and Undisputed 3 loses no points for using it, however it gains an insane amount of brownie points for the content it uses to fill these 3 phases.

In short, the fight is spectacular.

Like many of the tournament fights in this movie, the fight is dropped into our laps with surprisingly little fanfare or build-up, but when the bell rings, we don’t care either way.

It’s fast, it’s furious, and the choreography communicates the character of the two men so very well.

Despite the fact that I said I was hyped about this movie because of both it’s stars, In many ways I felt I was more impressed by Zaror in this sequence, largely because of his speed and ferocity.

Adkins’ punches come out in classic “movie punch” fashion: wide, and with a lot shoulder put into them so as to maximize the urgency of the movement, while at once allowing for a degree of control.

Zaror’s punches on the other hand, are obscenely fast and compact.

In short, Zaror’s attacks look dangerous, their intent is clear and they don’t feel like fake punches.

Early on in the fight there is a sequence in which Zaror throws a feint, followed 1-1-3 combo.  That was the moment my eyes started to shift their focus from Adkins to him.

That would be the "3" of the 1-1-3.

Though Adkins has Zaror beat in terms of elegance and precision in his execution of some movements, particularly spinning kicks, I have to say, Zaror’s footwork in simply a wonder.

Even when he’s simply standing around keeping his rhythm,  his feet remain busy and explosive, shooting out with his punches and springing to life with stunningly realistic counter-movement in response to his opponent.

DISCO DANCE! DISCO DANCE!

Zaror was pretty much the perfect choice for a man to play opposite a talent like Scott Adkins, mostly because they are so similar.

While Zaror is definitely a much bigger and taller man, both performers have an acrobatic style that the choreographer, Larnell Stovall, was wise to have them pit against one another.

Watching one big man defy gravity during a fight scene is always thrilling, but to watch another, even bigger man do it response is a thing of beauty.

I won’t say much for any specific beats during the final battle, but I will say this, find a way to see it, because it’s easily the best fight scene of 2010, well, that is until I see Ip Man 2, then we’ll know for sure.

One thing worth noting is that I the phase of the fight in which Zaror took command, lasted just a little too long.

As you may have noticed, I truly enjoyed Zaror’s fighting in the film, however the middle of the final fight had him laying waste to Adkins so severely, that I simply couldn’t suspend my disbelief when the big comeback finally came.

Though I did like the way they had Zaror “sweep the leg” in terms of incorporating Boyka’s bum knee into the choreography.  That was fun.

"GET HIM A BODYBAG! YEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEAAAAAAHHHH!!!!!

That being said, the ending portion of the fight was a little awkward as well, with the changes in Adkins’ approach to the fight being less than obvious.

It should also be noted that whoever made the decision to incorporate songs into many of the fights should get a big fat slap to the face.

I don’t appreciate LYRICS drowning out the ambience of my fight scenes, particularly when none of them are edited in montage.

Despite my gripes, the final battle, along with many of the others, were truly amazing, and definitely makes me want to see more from both actors, as well as director Florentine.

Well, that’s Undisputed 3: Redemption, hopefully I didn’t bore you too much with my Scott Adkins/Marko Zaror cock-sucking.

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