ABC Film Challenge – World Cinema – Y – Fearless (2006)

Director: Ronny Yu

Writer: Chris Chow, Chi-long To (Screenplay)

Starring: Jet Li, Li Sun, Yong Dong, Yun Qu, Ailiing Xu, Collin Chou, Hee Ching Paw


Plot: A biography of Chinese Martial Arts Master Huo Yuanjia, who is the founder and spiritual guru of the Jin Wu Sports Federation.

Tagline – “Mastering others is strength. Mastering yourself makes you fearless.”

Runtime: 1 Hour 44 Minutes


There may be spoilers in the rest of the review


Verdict: Action Packed Biopic


Story: Fearless starts in Shanghai 1910, four countries have bought their best fighters for one tournament, Huo Yuanjia (Li) is the Chinese representative. We see how he went from small child wanting to learn, to become the best in his town, proving himself against every single competitor.

Master Huo became the best until he lost everything putting him in a lost state where he finds himself in a small farming community living with a blind woman Moon (Sun) as he looks to find his love for life again before returning to prove himself in combat.


Thoughts on Fearless


Characters – Huo Yuanjia is considered one of the greatest, if not the greatest fighter of all time in China, he didn’t have it easy though, he fought to become the best before losing everything, being talked into proving himself once again to be the best in the world. Moon is the lady that helps Huo turn his life around, a blind woman that has no judgement on his action only his work. Anno is the biggest rival to Huo one that is also a friend too, the two have learnt to fight together and soon become the best of enemies.

PerformancesJet Li is the complete star of this film, he is involved in the different time periods we follow and we get to see just how deadly he is in the combat with anybody that gets in his way, he keeps the character feeling grounded which is needed for the story being told. As for the supporting cast everyone makes their impact when required too.

StoryThe story follows the life of Huo Yuanjia as he started in a fighting school at a young age became the best before losing everything only to return with a new lust for life to become one of the mot respected fighters the world has ever seen giving Jin Wu Sport Federation something to stand for. This is a by the books redemption story for the character, he doesn’t break the law, he just becomes over confident which is why he lost everything, he continued to prove himself to the top of his game despite creating enemies. Where this film does fall slightly short is in the number of different times we follow with some not getting enough time to show the events with the bet impact.

Action/BiopicThe action is fights, Jet Li is one of the best in the world at the fight sequences, this was no different as he shows us just how to make fights feel edge of your seat. The biopic side of the film does show the like of Huo only it doesn’t give each chapter the time required.

SettingsThe film uses the settings to represent the different positions that Huo finds himself in life, we see how he has risen, fallen and fought his way through the different locations he finds himself in.

Scene of the Movie –
Final fight.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Certain chapters don’t get enough time.

Final ThoughtsThis is an action packed biopic that does show the life of one of the greatest fighters the world ever saw.


Overall: Action heavy biopic.




Franchise Weekend – Bride of Chucky (1998)

brideDirector: Ronny Yu

Writer: Don Mancini (Screenplay)

Starring: Jennifer Tilly, Brad Dourif, Katherine Heigl, Nick Stabile, Alexis Arquette, Gordon Michael Woolvett, John Ritter


Plot: Chucky, the doll possessed by a serial killer, discovers the perfect mate to kill and revive into the body of another doll.


There may be spoilers the rest of the review


Verdict: Funniest of the Franchise


Story: Bride of Chucky starts as Tiffany (Tilly) bribes a police officer to bring her the body of her former lover Chucky who is still stuck inside the good guy doll. We move onto meet our teenagers Jade (Heigl) her boyfriend Jesse (Stabile) and their good friend David (Woolvett) who are sneaking off to prom with, her Uncle Chief Warren (Ritter) wanting to stop Jade being with the wrong guy.

With Tiffany using her voodoo to bring Chucky back to life it isn’t long until he gets his first victim, but things are not as smooth as Tiffany remembers as the two fall out and soon she becomes a doll too. Wanting to come back to life in a human bodies Tiffany recruits Jesse into driving them to Chucky’s body, this gives Jesse a chance to run away with Jade and start a new life.

This becomes the road trip from hell for the young couple but a bonding experience for Tiffany and Chucky as they set out to one up each other on the killing side.


Thoughts on Bride of Chucky


StoryThis is the return of the Chucky doll after nearly 10 years away from us and this time we build on the Chucky pre-doll character as we learn about the relationship he had before he was killed. I like how this show added another dimension to the horror comedy where we have the dolls almost commentating on what is going on through the film as they see the younger versions of themselves in the young couple. The story does feel fresh to the slasher genre of horror and works on all the right levels.

Horror/ComedyWhen it comes to the horror side of this story I feel this one does fall slightly short of anything scary but on the comedy side of the story this could easily be the funniest of the franchise to date.

Characters/PerformanceChucky is easily one of the most entertaining serial killers in film franchise history and teaming him up with Tiffany only works to improve him to the next level, both the voice work from Dourif and Tilly is excellent throughout. When it comes to the human characters they all feel very basic and don’t get the full development Chucky and Tiffany receive.

SettingsTaking Chucky on a road trip for the kills gives us plenty of comedy to go with the body count but in the end this just makes us want to see what happens on the road next.

Special EffectsThe special effects all work perfectly for the style of film going on through the film adding comedy to the kills throughout.

Final ThoughtsThis takes the films into a different direction as we get to see Chucky in a new light building on the family of doll serial killers which helps enjoy the franchise which could have gotten drowned in the sequels like others have in the past.


Overall: Enjoyable sequel that can live long in the memory.




The 51st State (2001)

logoDirector: Ronny Yu

Writer: Stel Pavlou (Screenplay)

Starring: Samuel L Jackson, Robert Carlyle, Emily Mortimer, Meat Loaf, Sean Pertwee, Rhys Ifans, Ricky Tomlinson


Plot: An American master chemist plans to score big on a once in a lifetime drug deal. All does not go as planned and he is soon entangled in a web of deceit.


There may be spoilers the rest of the review


Verdict: Loud Fowl Mouthed Drug Film


Story: The 51st State starts in 1971 California where Elmo McElroy (Jackson) getting caught smoking weed losing he recently receive diploma in pharmacy. Move forward 30 years Elmo works as a drug maker for The Lizard (Meat Loaf). We learn that Dakota (Mortimer) owes The Lizard a debt which she pays off with her assassin skills. Elmo has taken it upon himself to escape The Lizard but he doesn’t get the job done, this leads to The Lizard giving Dakota a chance to clean her slate for good by sending her to kill Elmo and the drug dealer who never turned up for the deal Durant (Tomlinson).

Next we meet Felix DeSouza (Carlyle) a fellow dealer who is happy to live in Manchester while cheering for Liverpool putting him into conflict when he doesn’t need too. Felix has to deliver Elmo to Durant to help with the latest deal as Elmo brings his product to England but to keep things interesting Dakota just so happens to be Felix’s ex make the assassination attempt difficult due to the personal side.

It is up to Felix and Elmo to try and work out a deal in the city before the time runs out with Dakota trying to track down Elmo to for The Lizard. All this while determined detective Kane (Pertwee) want in on the action and to stop the deal taking place. All these factors lead to the final outcome of the film when we find out just who is playing who.

The 51st State is a film that really made me want to switch it off very early because the needless amount of swearing and aggressive toning of the language just seemed to be there because someone couldn’t think of any real words. I wasn’t the most interested in this film because of the heavy drug use either because I feel drugs over use makes people out to stupid because not everyone needs drugs but the films seems to make the point everyone does. After getting through the opening half of the film and getting used the poorly written script the story does unfold to be quite interesting. We get plenty of twists and turn along the way and the final twist does actually make you smile because of how Elmo has handled it all. (5/10)


Actor Review


Samuel L Jackson: Elmo McElroy is the most wanted chemist in the world of drugs, he decides to leave his old market behind and take his work to England where he gets stuck in the middle of a battle for power between the drug lords. Samuel does end up giving us a performance you would expect but his image if something that will shock with his kilt. (7/10)


Robert Carlyle: Felix DeSouza is the hot head Liverpool fan who works for a drug lord in the city but when things get out of hand he has to help settle the deal for Elmo and his price tickets to Liverpool v Manchester United. Robert gives the performance you would expect from the British star. (7/10)


Emily Mortimer: Dakota Parker is the deadly beautiful assassin who is working off a debt from The Lizard, she has history with Felix but is working on catching Elmo for The Lizard. Emily does a good job as the assassin with a past. (7/10)


Meat Loaf: The Lizard is the American drug lord that has been double crossed by Elmo but he isn’t taking it lightly when he sends his best assassin to bring him back to complete the business deal they had going down. Meat Loaf does end up giving a performance you wouldn’t expect from the musician. (7/10)


Rhys Ifans: Iki is the local dealer who can help get the deal done in Liverpool once everything gets out of hand. He is playing both sides because he is the go to guy in the city. Rhys is one of the best over the top crazy performers in the acting work and he shows why here. (7/10)


Support Cast: The 51st State has a supporting cast that includes plenty of different characters involved in the drug world that all help motive our characters.


Director Review: Ronny Yu – Ronny does try to give us a crime caper but does he need to just have the characters swearing for the sake of it. (5/10)


Action: The 51st State has a couple of fights but most of the action is almost happening. (5/10)

Crime: The 51st State puts us in a drug world well giving us a mixture of colourful characters. (8/10)

Thriller: The 51st State doesn’t pull you in as much as it should because we think everything is done and dusted early on and by the time it has changed we are not sure what to think. (6/10)

Settings: The 51st State uses the setting of Liverpool very well making everything feel like a normal day with the crime happening around it. (8/10)

Suggestion: The 51st State is one to try, I think if you are a fan of the genre you will enjoy but otherwise it might end up feeling like too much. (Try It)


Best Part: Final deal.

Worst Part: Too much needless aggressive swearing.


Believability: No (0/10)

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: Early on in the credits.


Oscar Chances: No

Budget: $28 Million

Runtime: 1 Hour 33 Minutes

Tagline: In a world of shady characters and dirty deals, this is just business as usual.


Overall: This is a typical over aggressive drug filled film that has a twist that makes it more enjoyable.

Rating 40

Movie Reviews 101 Halloween Midnight Horror – Freddy vs. Jason (2003)

logoDirector: Ronny Yu

Writer: Damian Shannon, Mark Swift (Screenplay) Wes Craven, Victor Miller (Characters)

Starring: Robert Englund, Ken Kirzinger, Monica Keena, Jason Ritter, Kelly Rowland, Chris Marquette, Brendan Fletcher, Katharine Isabelle


Plot: Freddy Krueger and Jason Voorhees return to terrorize the teenage population. Except this time, they’re out to get each other, too.


There may be spoilers the rest of the review


Verdict: Most Entertaining Entry in Both Franchises.


Story: Freddy Vs. Jason starts by filling us in on Freddy Krueger’s (Englund) back story because we haven’t heard it before, wait a minute. Freddy has been forgotten by all the kids of Elm Street and now Freddy has search hell for a way back, his answer is Jason Voorhees (Kirzinger) the machete wielding killer or Camp Crystal Lake. Freddy brings Jason back from the dead forcing him to go to Elm Street to start killing again.

Time to meet our teenage victims Lori (Keena), Kia (Rowland), Gibb (Isabelle), Blake (Kopp) and Trey (Hutch) who are, wait for it home alone on a stormy night with drinks. Lori has been struggling since the disappearance of her first love Will (Ritter) many years before. When the first kill happens in the Elm Street house the name Freddy Krueger starts popping up in conversation, but keeping it quiet from the teenagers.

When Freddy isn’t strong enough he starts appearing in the dreams but can’t kill his victims leaving Jason to build up the scare factor on the teenagers. We meet Will and his friend Mark (Fletcher) who have been institutionalized by the parents of Springwood so they can keep Freddy and his story from coming back. The teenagers of Springwood start suffering the nightmares of Freddy Krueger but Freddy doesn’t realize just who he has released into the world as the two killers start competing for the kills where neither staying awake or sleeping is safe.

Freddy Vs. Jason is the mix of two iconic franchises where we get to see two icons of the horror genre fight, we have seen 10 Friday the 13ths and 7 Nightmare on Elm Streets so it would be fair to say both franchises had started to run dry. This film breathes new life into both of the franchise and even giving us the back story the next generation might not know about. The film is hugely over the top but that works for it because the kills are so entertaining you just don’t know what will happen to the characters. It would be honest to say this is just pure entertainment that will be enjoyed by the fans of both franchises. (8/10)


Actor Review


Robert Englund: Freddy Krueger is our dream killer who the town has forgotten, he recruits Jason to bring back the fear to his town Springwood but his plan goes wrong when Jason just doesn’t stop killing the victims before he can get his hands on them. Robert gets his darkest look to date in the series and gives a great performance. (8/10)


Ken Kirzinger: Jason Voorhees is the silent serial killer who is following his mother’s instruction or so he thinks to go to Elm Street and start killing the teenagers, but we all know he simply can’t be stopped once he starts killing. Ken makes for a very imposing Jason that brings the fear to the character. (8/10)


Monica Keena: Lori Campbell is our leading lady who just so happens to live in the very house where the first Nightmare on Elm Street’s victim Nancy lived. Lori has to team up with her friends and her lost love to try and stop not just Freddy but Jason. Monica does a good job as the leading lady being hunted down by two serial killers. (7/10)


Jason Ritter: Will Rollins is the first love of Lori who gets put in an institute to help cover up the existence of Freddy Krueger but when the killings starts up again he breaks out to try and save Lori. Jason does give a good performance as the caring boyfriend fighting the killers. (7/10)


Support Cast: Freddy Vs. Jason has a large supporting cast that pretty much make up the victim lists and we do have generic teenagers making the list here, over protected best friend, slutty girl, stoner, the virgin and the troubled past. We also see the adult characters used very well to create the cover up against Freddy Krueger.


Director Review: Ronny Yu – Ronny brings his style to the iconic horror film that is filled with blood, gore and a mega body count. (8/10)


Horror: Freddy Vs. Jason brings the old school slasher into the next generation showing how to build a body count but never truly scaring us. (7/10)

Thriller: Freddy Vs. Jason does keep you guessing to how, who and by whom the human character will meet their fate. (9/10)

Settings: Freddy Vs. Jason pays respect to the franchises by taking the action to iconic locations used in previous outings. (10/10)
Special Effects
: Freddy Vs. Jason uses great effects for the kills through the film but there are a few questionable uses of effects. (7/10)

Suggestion: Freddy Vs. Jason is one for all the horror fans to watch, it could easily be one of the most enjoyable re-watchable horror films this century. (Horror Fans Watch)


Best Part: Final battle.

Worst Part: Loses any suspense.

Action Scene Of The Film: Final fight.

Kill Of The Film: This is a hard choice so many great kills but I will have to go with Trey.


Believability: No (0/10)

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Chances of Sequel: No, but did end up in Graphic novel form against Ash from the Evil Dead too.

Post Credits Scene: No


Oscar Chances: No

Box Office: $115 Million

Budget: $25 Million

Runtime: 1 Hour 37 Minutes

Tagline: Freddy Vs. Jason! Place your bets!

Trivia: Ken Kirzinger had to undergo some dental work during filming, but it would have taken too much time to remove his makeup and costume and reapply them. When he arrived at the dentist’s office still dressed as Jason (without the hockey mask), people were afraid he was an escaped psychopath and almost called the police.


Overall: The battle to end all battles between the icons of horrors.

Rating 80