Category: Fantasy Movies

Is There An Evil Online Conspiracy Against ‘The Last Jedi’?!

Wow, I wasn’t even planning on writing about ‘Star Wars: The Last Jedi’ because let’s face it, there’s enough material about this movie online for you to read for decades. However after seeing the movie and being thoroughly disappointed, (and more so everyday the more I think about it) I’ve become well aware that I’m NOT the only one who feels this way. Some SPOILERS ahead….

What inspired me to write this post is the recent news of the giant backlash against the movie from fans simply being called a conspiracy by anti-social justice warriors who’re irate about the inclusion of strong female characters & racial diversity in the new movie. It’s claimed they’ve essentially hacked Rotten Tomatoes and have brought the fan score to a whopping low of 54% while the critics reviews rate it 92% fresh. I’ve decided to put my opinion here, to state as a long time fan, since I was a little boy, that the reason I disliked The Last Jedi has absolutely zero to do with strong female characters, white males, racial diversity, or anything that has to do with the current political landscape of the real world.

It actually upsets me that Disney simply can’t accept the fact that maybe, just maybe, their $200 million plus budget movie might not have pleased a huge number of long time fans. I can see many reasons why people absolutely love The Last Jedi AND I can also see just as many reasons why people may absolutely despise it. It may for some all revolve around shitty people being racist, sexist, bigots who’re furious about Rey being female and Finn being a black male fronting the franchise now. I however don’t think that’s the case for most, as The Force Awakens holds an 88% on Rotten Tomatoes by fans and I highly doubt everyone suddenly became upset about the sex and race of characters between the last movie and this one. No, the people I know who were disappointed had completely different issues with the movie entirely. Continue reading

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Forgotten Movie Gems: Operation Scorpio’s Kung Fu Comic Book Artist!

Hot Dayum! Here’s a rad ass kung fu movie I recently checked out that deserves some serious love yet remains all but forgotten by most here in the USA. If you dig comic books and kung fu I say you gotta take a moment to check out…

Operation Scorpio, aka The Scorpion King (1991)

 

This unique Hong Kong kung Fu movie from 1991 is barrel of zany fun. It’s jam packed with some truly stunning action and hyper-crazy early 1990’s Kung Fu mayhem!! This one’s got a ton of heart and a cool ass story about a comic book artist, Yu Shu, who’s got a wild ass imagination and spends his time daydreaming of being a real life superhero. It opens with a great sequence that perfectly sets the stage for the frantic charming martial arts extravaganza. His wild imagination gets the best of him when his ‘in class cartooning’ soon gets him expelled from medical school leaving him to help his Uncle’s buddy, Master Yat around his popular noodle restaurant. But Yu soon finds himself  fully wrapped up in the evil web of a criminal prostitution ring, when going out on a limb, he helps a woman escape from their stronghold late one evening while walking about town. Now the duo are on the run and take shelter hiding out in Master Yat’s noodle house, they’ll eventually find a lot more than noodle’s in his bustling restaurant. 

 

 

Shit gets pretty awesome as the movie constantly introduces us to a colorful cast of unique characters and the villain’s seemingly superhuman fighting abilities inspire our main character to take a stab at kung fu himself. He secretly heads off to local martial arts school that’s taught by one of the most bad ass, muscle bound kung fu experts I’ve ever seen in cinema. This dude rivals Bolo Yueng! The movie plays out a bit like a comic book version of “My Bodyguard” & “The Karate Kid” and it’s filled with comedy, romance and downright incredible martial arts sequences. Sonny, (The Scorpion King), the lanky villain of the movie, shows that size clearly doesn’t matter when it comes to superhuman kung fu and proves himself to be quite a cinematic threat to anyone who stands in his way. His “scorpion” style of fighting is a treat to see in action as well and one of the best action scenes is when Yu’s Hulking kung fu teacher decides to try and put an end to his problems himself. This truly epic and a bit of a heartbreaking confrontation is definitely not to be missed..

 

 

We’ve got a ton of cool shit going on in this one & one of the most entertainingly cheezy sequences of the movie involves the rigorous kung fu training endured by Yu as he masters martial arts through a full on noodle making work out. We’ve got some great twists and turns in the plot as well and just about everything in this movie is quirky enough to elevate this one to a level of it’s own in the ranks of late 80’s early 90’s martial arts movies. Cool sets, ultra colorful characters, superhuman kung fu, heart and unique little story drive this movie into territory I wasn’t even aware existed in the genre. Operation Scorpio, aka ‘The Scorpion King’ is a total treat for any comic book fan and it’s no wonder the flick was produced by the legendary Sammo Hung. It stands on it’s own and really deserves a lot more attention and notoriety for it’s pure charm and ultra endearing cheez factor it delivers. Seek this one out, as it really is a forgotten gem… 

 

 

Fans of ‘Gremlins’ & ‘The Dark Crystal’ Should Check Out ‘We R Animals’!!

Here’s something totally awesome for anyone who’s a fan of movies like ‘The Dark Crystal’ & ‘Meet The Feebles’. Check out the ‘We R Animals’ trailer, a new movie you can fully support on Kickstarter. This project looks totally bonkers and like ‘Meet The Feebles’ boasts an R rating as well. All the characters are played by animatronic puppets bringing to mind a bit of a Gremlins feel as well to the whole thing. This project has been in the making now since 2010 but now seems to be looking like it’s gearing up to get very serious soon.

Here’s the crazy synopsis:

“We R Animals is the story about a bunny who’s never experienced love, who lives in a shady old circus but wants to get out. One day her dream comes true when she manages to escape and meets an old sweet lady called Alice. But her happy new life won’t last long. A criminal cat who runs a business where he shoots cute animal videos for the web now wants the bunny in one of his videos and therefore kidnaps her. It’s a nasty business where he earns big money on ads, while treating his actors like shit, often drugging them and doesn’t care if they die.

What happens next is a fun twisted r-rated ride with violence, ninja cats, soviet collie cyborgs, vicious dogs, vampire bats, revenge and magic.”

 

Sounds like a trip huh? I’m pretty excited to see the final product here. So many movies these days simply resort to CGI which is totally cool but it’s also really nice to see an inspiring “hands on approach” being utilized for a project as unique as this. The puppets look absolutely stunning & the sets look mindbending. The Sweden based writer and director also got the dude from “Kung Fury” involved recently as a producer on the project. Support this one if you can! 

The Top 10 “Stranded On An Island” Movies….Part 2!!

So my first entry I did on the top ten “stranded on an island” movies has easily been my most popular post here at Universal Dork, sooooo naturally I am giving a sequel to it right here, today! I simply love the idea of being castaway to a remote island, far away from the bustle of everyday life. There’s something about this idea that has always captivated audiences and it remains to be a situation I often think about every damn time I get on an airplane. So let’s not waste any time and get right to one of the most romantic, exciting and frightening movie topics of all time. It’s time to take a look at the other movies that deserve to be on this epic list!

10. Swept Away, 2002

Yeah this list is going to have some cheezy ass movies on it and this one here is a guilty please to start it off.  It’s also likely the most well known of the bunch. Of course this movie was a box office mega bomb and totally panned by the critics.

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However if you’re looking for a fun time on a stranded island with the legendary icon Madonna then look no further!

9. The Last Flight of Noah’s Ark, 1980

Here’s an interesting Disney movie with Silver Spoons star Ricky Schroder – Bonus right there folks! It seems that Disney was all in on the whole desert island theme as this was just one of quite a few that follow a similar storyline.

While this movie isn’t bound to blow your mind it’s got a pretty cool premise of flipping a B-29 bomber over on it’s back and sailing it to civilization! Continue reading

Comic Review: Night’s Dominion #1 – A Medieval Magical Heist!

Night’s Dominion is a brand new comic from Oni Press that came out today and the first issue is a pretty promising little start to what’s sure to be an epic adventure. I’ve been looking for a cool comic book to quench my thirst for fantasy adventure and stuff like Dungeons & Dragons for a while  now. Well this book could end my search with a strong first issue that’s a ton of fun & feels like the opening evening of a great classic game of D&D. The book is written and perfectly illustrated by Ted Naifeh. His artwork and rich colors are quite impressive as well, setting the tone of mystery nicely in this first issue. Excellent artwork is almost always a determining  factor of whether I’m gonna drop the cash for a new title. It’s also got some heft in the dialogue so it’s not a five minute blur which is always nice in this age of quick read comic books.  

This debut issue essentially starts out much like most D&D campaigns, we’ve got a gang of interesting characters meeting in a dark, smokey tavern where an old bard proposes a dangerous journey in search of an ancient presumed treasure of legend. Of course it’s rumored this treasure is supposedly guarded by a menacing effigy. The group he proposes this to are an interesting bunch, a shady alchemist, his young assistant, an assassin and a bar maid who claims she’s secretly the greatest thief in all the kingdom.

It also in a way feels like a superhero story set in a classic fantasy world as by the end of the issue you’re introduced to a character that reminds you more of Batman than Aragorn. I totally dig it to as I’ve always thought of The Fellowship in the Lord of the Rings  & the teams formed in a classic game of Dungeons and Dragons to feel much more like a midieval version of The Avengers. It’s also got some nice meat to it as well as interesting character motivations and cool subplots that drive the desire to get rich for this band of vagabonds.

So if you’re looking for a strong, playful new title to pick up this week I think Night’s Dominion is a super solid offering. I’m feeling a bit of an Indiana Jones meets Lord of the Rings type vibe to the whole thing. if that’s the case then we’re dead set on a path to a ton of fun and hopefully it will take us on a memorable trek through some fantastic and dangerous landscapes. I’ll drop the four bones for issue #2 next month!    

HarmonQuest: Real Life Animated Dungeons & Dragons Sessions?!

This rad series called HamonQuest is fucking awesome. It takes a real life D&D game and puts it into an animated adventure as it’s happening! What a brilliant idea, I wish I would have thought of this. I always imagine what our games of D&D might look like if we could see them on screen with all of the ridiculous scenarios and decision making that ends up going on.

I always as a DM plan for a serious game but then when you get the actual group together and people begin smoking weed, drinking or being caught not paying attention you often times get a totally different storyline than what you may have originally planned for. Ultimate rpg buffoon-ery to the max. That’s fine by me too, I totally dig the unpredictable nature of a D&D session. Well HarmonQuest puts that grand idea into perspective in an incredibly entertaining way. Check this shit out! 

 

Check out the whole series on youtube and get ready to laugh your ass off!

 

Best of VHS Box Art: A Company of Wolves!!

Have you noticed the overload of retro style throwback movies that have been coming out over the last ten years or so? You surely seen all those retro style movie posters that seem to to borrow so heavily from those cult flicks of yesteryear. Well here I’m going to start a weekly post where I’m going to give you some of my personal favorite VHS box covers of all time. Most of these are ones as a kid in the 80’s I’d see when visiting the video store, some of those incredible covers will oddly always bring back great memories of being a kid. So for the first installment I picked one of the coolest from a bizarre werewolf movie from 1984 called “A Company of Wolves”. Seeing this one at Bricco’s Video Vault (I think that’s what it was called) back in Neenah Wisconsin back in the 80’s kinda freaked the shit out of me! It makes me wanna revisit this movie as it’s been a long time since I’ve seen it. But here it is in all of it’s crazy glory….