Jiu Jitsu (2020) Movie Review

Director: Dimitri Logothetis

Writer: Dimitri Logothetis, Jim McGrath (Screenplay)

Starring: Nicolas Cage, Marie Avgeropoulos, Frank Grillo, Tony Jaa, Ricky Yune, JuJu Chan, Alain Moussi

Plot: The future hangs in the balance as a being from another world returns to Earth to face off against the best warriors the human race has to offer. From special ops soldiers to the best martial arts experts, an epic battle for survival will place humanity on the brink of extinction.

Runtime: 1 Hour 42 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Story: Jiu Jitsu starts when Jake (Moussi) is found injured in Burma, taking to a local military facility, Myra (Avgeropoulos) looks to help him unlock him memory. When Kueng (Jaa) helps break Jake out, he returns him to a unit run by Harrigan (Grillo) who wants answers, showing the unit being a group of elite soldiers, that will eliminate anyone in their way.

When Jake starts trying to put more of the answers together, he is visited by Wylie (Cage) who teaches him about a mysterious visitor that is looking for a fight, with answers about the fighting technique of Jiu jitsu.

Thoughts on Jiu Jitsu

Characters – Jake is the soldier that has lost his memory, he is left in a condition that needs to recover, but he has people searching for him, soldiers, fighters and a mysterious visitor, he needs to remember before he gets into conflict where he can handle himself with ease. Myra is the US soldier that is trying to help Jake learn the truth, being the only one of the base that will give him the time of day to learn instead of making him out to be an enemy. Wylie will help Jake remember the truth, show him who he is and what the battle will mean against the visitor, reminding him how important this is. Harrigan leads the field side of the unit that Jake was once part of, he expects him to pick it up and return to the conflict they were preparing for. Kueng is the one that rescues Jake to return him to the unit, he is the fastest and most skilled member of the unit, outside of Jake.

PerformancesAlain Moussi in the leading role continues to shine in the conflict heavy positions, building on his more serious side of his performances too, Nicolas Cage is always a joy to watch, this is no different, even if he doesn’t reach the full clown crazy we know off. Frank Grillo is strong in the supporting role, with Tony Jaa bring even more action to the film, stealing most fight sequences. Juju Chan bring yet another fighting style to the film, which will give us everything we need, to show different styles coming to life.

StoryThe story here follows a soldier that has lost his memory, as he looks to prepare to fight against a visitor looking for a fight of honour, which will help give him his memory back. This is a story that does a clever mix between the soldier who has lost his identity and Predator, giving us a reason for the fight to happen, that isn’t just a hunting, with it being more of a fight for honour between the galaxy. This does seem to have plenty going on, which will use the idea of a comic book to build a world that we could see even more from.

Action/Sci-FiThe action uses the single take idea, with Kueng’s introduction playing out following the action instead of cutting between the blows, along with the unique first person prospective Jake has, which easily swaps between a camera on him, to seeing him involved, transitioning between the two.

SettingsThe film is set in Burma, which will show us how America could have mission in smaller nations, along with playing into a cultural temple that is where the fight needs to take place.

Special EffectsWhen it comes to the effects, we are looking at the visitor, Brax that is a mix of Predator, with the costume that requires CGI and the weapons that can play into it, even if a lot of the combat is in your face battles.

Scene of the Movie – Brax versus Wylie.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – Blink at you miss it death.

Final Thoughts Jiu Jitsu is an entertaining action sci-fi movie with a great cast, that does feel like a Predator movie we have been waiting for.

Signature Entertainment presents Jiu Jitsu on Digital HD 21st December and Blu-ray & DVD 4th January

Black Pumpkin (2018) Movie Review

Director: Ryan McGonagle

Writer: Ryan McGonagle (Screenplay)

Starring: Kamilla Alnes, Lily Keene, Connor Weil, Matt Rife, Jordyn Lucas, Alix Lane, Grayson Thorne Kilpatrick, Dogen Eyeler

Plot: On October 31st, two preteens in a small town accidentally awaken an evil that has lain dormant for decades. They are forced to survive through a terrifying Halloween night of cat-and-mouse, from the monster known as “Bloody Bobby.”

Tagline – Evil comes knocking this Halloween.

Runtime: 1 Hour 31 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Story: Black Pumpkin starts when two kids, Elliot (Eyeler) and Lawrence (Kilpatrick) are working on a projected about the local myth of Diablo’s Den and Bloody Bobby, which will see their project going viral. Elliot’s sister Laurie (Patrikios) is dealing with the high school politics along with the babysitting duties put on her at Halloween.

The figure of Bloody Bobby has returned now and is looking to go on his Halloween killing spree, targeting the friends of Laurie with only the local crazy resident Alex Griffin (Clendenin) knowing the way to stop the killer.

Thoughts on Black Pumpkin

Characters – Elliot and Lawrence are the two pre-teeners that are doing a project on the Diablo’s Den area in their local town, they become a hit with their project, only it unleashes the monster known as Bloody Bobby, the two must figure out how to stop what they released. Laurie is Elliot’s big sister that is dating the high school football star and doesn’t take any nonsense from any of the school bullies picking on Lawrence, she is looking for a party but is left with babysitting duties on Halloween, becoming the target of Bloody Bobby.

PerformancesThe performances in this film are strong enough, the young stars bring the innocent approach to the film, while the high schools give the naughtier side of the film too blending the style of the slasher horror.

StoryThe story here follows two pre-teeners who are doing a project for school, which will accidently see them bring an evil spirit back to life, to go on a new killer spree through the town, targeting the loved ones of the two boys. This is a story that does seem to get caught up in what it wants to be, the Laurie side of the story brings the high school slasher story to life with plenty of blood, but the over targeting on what the two boys are up to seem to target more on the younger horror audience, only the violence won’t get seen by them. When we look at just the slasher side of things, we get an enjoyable horror that is similar to what we have seen before, with a unique killer in Bloody Bobby too.

HorrorThe horror in the film comes from the slasher blood kills, which works for the tone of the film, with one kills being planned for so much it might well have just happened then instead of waiting for the obvious to happen.

SettingsThe film does give us a small-town setting which will show us the myths and legends a town can always shave about them.

Special EffectsThe effects are basic, with the close ups of the injuries, with the big, planned kill not looking great as it is planned for.

Scene of the Movie – Trick or treating night.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – Gets caught up in the middle of being an entry level horror and a full blown slasher.

Final Thoughts Black Pumpkin is a fun little slasher, with a fresh killer that could be enjoyed every Halloween.