So way back in 1988 Hong Kong had their own awesome version of Robocop, an ass kickin’ lady cyborg named Maria! Yes, the action/sci-fi flick ‘I Love Maria’ aka ‘Roboforce’ is easily one of the best 80’s movies I’ve seen coming from that region of the world since I started going down the rabbit hole of odd ball Hong Kong cinema a while ago. I must admit, a lot of Hong Kong films during that era are usually pretty hit or miss, many with confusing, nonsensical plots & often weird slapstick potty humor that likely loses something in the often rudimentary english translation provided. However ‘I Love Maria’ definitely hits the right beats on the humor, action & plot to make it stand out as not merely a foreign remake of Robocop but a uniquely charming little sci-fi adventure all of it’s own. The plot’s indeed pretty outrageous, but to a large degree that’s what makes it a so much damn fun. It’s also filled with some memorable characters that at the end of the day, leave you with some warm fuzzy feelings about friendship & the importance of true camaraderie. So what’s it all about you ask?
So the vicious “Hero Gang”, is a downright nasty criminal terrorist organization (I know odd name for the gang then huh?), hell bent on wreaking all out havoc upon the streets of Hong Kong with their unstoppable killer robots: Pioneers 1 and 2! While Pioneer 1’s a giant hulking armored unit, Pioneer 2’s been modeled after “Maria“, the Hero Gang’s devious second in command. When Pioneer 2 gets damaged during a secret assassination mission, it’s taken into the custody of a curious hi-tech weapons inventor employed by the police force named “Curly”. He secretly repairs & reprograms her with new coding that triggers changes to her logic center. Pioneer 2 begins to develop her own unique heroic personality and soon Curly finds himself caught in the middle of a deadly battle against The Hero Gang. Banding together with a drunken ex-gang member named “Whisky” & “T.Q.”, a bumbling news camera man, the four of them embark on a dangerous mission with the fate of Hong Kong in the palm of their hands!
‘I Love Maria’ is a must see for fans of odd 80’s sci fi, the three main human characters have some great chemistry together, one of which is cult director Tsui Hark (Detective Dee, Double Team, Once Upon a Time In China), who hams it up thoroughly as the heroic alcoholic ‘Whisky’. The special effects work is pretty stunning as well, especially when it comes to Maria battling the ‘Pioneer 1’ robot. They bash though walls, fire rocket launchers for their arms and fling eachother around like rag dolls on the streets of Hong Kong. They never skimp on spectacle here either as there’s a plethora of explosions, Hi-tech weaponry, martial arts battles, car chases & of course awesome robot beat downs to behold here. There’s also a pretty interesting duo of villains, the brother & sister leaders of The Hero Gang who also happen to be in love. Throw in “Mr. Vampire” himself, Lam Ching Ying in the mix to showcase his always amazing kung fu and you’ve got yourself a frenetic sci-fi action flick here that never lets up.
That all being said the real star of the show is clearly the charismatic cyborg Maria, who not only lights up the screen with her robotic butt kicking but also with her curious charm. A largely forgotten rad 1980s female action hero that more people need to discover. Hunt this one down, especially if you dig over the top, 80’s, sci-fi action stuff that really fires on all cylinders: unique characters, stunning practical fx, sets, locations and just pure cybernetic mayhem a’ plenty . Stick around all the way through the end credits as well, where you’ll some of the sweetest scenes of the movie. Someone needs to jump on releasing and cleaning up some of the amazing Hong Kong horror/sci-fi stuff out there from the 80’s & 90’s, there’s so many forgotten, rarely seen gems for fans of cult cinema in the USA. Until then this one’s actually pretty hard to find, but definitely worth the effort!
I love all those real life robot videos out there from Boston Dynamics, they are simply a marvel to behold. The technology these days involved in robotics is stunning and even a bit creepy but one thing is for certain these robots aren’t going away anytime soon!
One thing that that I always found funny are the videos where the humans are fucking with the robots to test their durability and balance, pushing them over and just basically making them look like complete fools. Here’s a real life example of what I’m talking about:
Well this latest video from the Youtube channel “Corridor” sure does hit the spot when we get a glimpse of a robot who’s just plain had enuff!! The VFX wizards behind this video have got people out there seeing the rise of robots in our modern culture in a whole new way- check this amazing shit out!!
Today the trailer dropped for highly anticipated (?) sixth Terminator film in the franchise! I’ve definitely not been very excited for this one, the last three Terminator movies have been majorly disappointing, so why the hell would this seem like a good idea to try this all yet again? Well, it’s supposed to negate all of the movies of the franchise everyone hated AND bring back Linda Hamilton as Sarah Connor for another round of battle against the angry machines. I guess that’s enough to get fans to check it out right? The trailer looks like it’s trying to borrow a bit from T2’s winning recipe but one thing that’s got me perplexed is just how bad the special fx here look. How is it T2 which came out in 1991 appears to have better visual fx than a movie that came out almost three decades later? The CGI on display here looks like it was ripped straight out of a video game, I’m thinking that ‘Dark Fate’ is showing just how much this franchise is missing an FX wizard like the legendary Stan Winston working on it.
This trailer for the most part seems passable, and will likely be better than ‘Terminator: Genisys’ but still I’m not seeing enough here that truly feels like it’s bringing something fresh to the table for the franchise. I’m willing to give it all a fair shot but damn, that terrible song playing during the trailer isn’t exactly helping bring that classic vibe to the table either. A variation on the original Terminator score would have been much better here than some bad “edgy” ballad. A lot of current trailers make this bad decision to try and insert some crappy song in them and ultimately end up killing the excitement for a movie. It is pretty damn cool to see Linda looking all bad ass again and of course seeing Arnold is always a good thing. I’m hoping that this time around they give him a different role, becuz him being an aged Terminator reminds me way too much of ‘Genisys’ at this point.
It’s entirely possible that he’s actually the man who created the Terminator in his own image? That’d feel like a fresh role for Arnold at his age that really hasn’t been explored in the movies. Hopefully they’ll go with that angle to mix things up a bit. I’m also curious where the hell John Connor is these days? I realize they want the focus to be on strong female leads, which has always been prevalent in the franchise, but part of me wishes that Ed Furlong somehow pops up in the movie. I know, wishful thinking as Edward has had a lot of drug related issues these days and last I saw he wasn’t in very good shape to say the least. Still it’d be so nice to see that classic trilogy of characters reunited somehow. Anyway so far it looks like this new Terminator just might be another failed attempt at reviving the franchise, I hope I’m wrong!!
Ok so here’s an idea for the next “live action” ‘Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles’ movie that’s reportedly on the horizon. First, how about making it actually LIVE ACTION?! Cuz’ after re-watching the two classic 1990’s TMNT movies it’s come crystal clear what the direction this franchise needs to take for it’s planned “reboot”. The next movie, like the recent sequels to Halloween & Terminator, needs to be a DIRECT sequel to the 1990 classic! Ignoring everything but the first movie (maybe the second). It’d be the perfect move to reinvigorate the cinematic franchise, bring back those classic Turtles from that movie, bring back the suits, bring back Judith Hoag (who’s maybe somehow cuter today than she was back then) as April O’Neil and even Elias Koteas as Casey Jones!
It’s time to go back to those original characters, another cheap revamped CGI version of these classic characters is NOT what people want. Imagine the excitement of making a sequel to the OG TMNT, with the Jim Henson studio working on a new version of the Turtles suits, that look very similar to the classic designs but using the more advanced animatronics of today. Imagine a modern Turtles movie that actually utilizes real choreography & real martial arts, a concept like that is UNHEARD of in Hollywood blockbusters and people would be blown away to see what could be done today with the right talent behind it. You could even get the original voices of the Turtles back, yeah get Corey Feldman too to put the icing on the cake.
The plot could be an awesome “fish out of water” tale as well, here’s a quick idea, the original Turtles & their Master Splinter 30 years ago ventured further below the surface, far beneath the sewers of New York, where they disappeared and were never heard from again and for reasons unknown to the few who actually knew of their existence. There they’d, embarked on a dangerous mission and in result of it became trapped in some sort of suspended animation, kinda like the mosquito in the tree sap from Jurassic Park. Whatever you need to do to explain where and why they’ve been missing….Meanwhile April O’neil & Casey Jones (who remain friends or maybe even lovers?) have moved on with their lives and almost question whether their incredible experience with the Turtles & Master Splinter back in 1990 ever really happened at all. Something thaws the Turtles out of their extended slumber and they soon make their way back to the surface, finding a much different world 30 years later, eventually reunite with their two old friends to once again & face a new threat to the city. Who knows maybe April & Casey even have a kid now, Casey Jones Jr, boy or girl who take up his crime fighting mantle?!
The classic 1990 Turtles would have a blast trying to fit in to modern times and of course the original April & Casey reuniting with them would be heartfelt cinematic gold. I’m certain this formula, with a more ironed out plot would be a HUGE hit and could re-start the Turtles franchise in a bold, nostalgic and exciting way. They need to give the fans something special this time around. The TMNT formula was never broken and the last thing people want is the Michael Bay era to rear it’s head. There’s a cinematic hit ripe for the picking and Hollywood needs to get creative and jump on it!!
It’s been “revealed” recently that Shane Black’s ‘The Predator’ set for a 2018 release will NOT feature the return of Arnold Schwarzengger’s iconic character ‘Dutch’ from the original (and by far best Predator flick of them all). Apparently Mr. Black who actually starred along side Arnold in the 1987 movie met with him and the two couldn’t agree on the right role for his character Dutch to play in the upcoming blockbuster. This what Arnie recently had to say about it:
“They asked me, and I read it, and I didn’t like it — whatever they offered, So I’m not going to do that, no. Except if there’s a chance that they rewrite it, or make it a more significant role. But the way it is now, no, I won’t do that.”
So Predator fans all over seem a bit bummed about the news. Black had basically gone on record saying this installment of the franchise was going to feel like a big mysterious event for all the fans rather than just another throwaway Predator installment to make a few bucks. He’s stated: It would be an”inventive sequel” to the 1987 movie and not a remake. “Why start over, when you’ve all this rich mythology yet to mine? I like the idea of expanding and exploring the existing Predator mythology, rather than hitting the restart button.” He’s also said he was resisting the urges to use CGI and keep it in line with the original’s spectacular practical effects. From what I understand he’s kinda going for a “Force Awakens” of the franchise and I just don’t see how you can really do that with Arnold involved.
So I’m throwing it out there that I think Arnold’s statement is pure BS to throw the fans off. I bet he’ll indeed be included to the cast, but as it stood it sounded like Shane wanted Dutch to appear at the end of the movie in a way similar to how Luke Skywalker appeared in the Force Awakens. So let’s consider this though, Arnold is 69 years old, though he still looks great, if he’s gonna appear in a Predator movie it better be fucking soon! To make a great sequel to the ORIGINAL movie you absolutely need Dutch, one of the only people on earth to survive an actual confrontation with the alien killing machine. I’m sure Black knows this and I just can’t imagine he wouldn’t include the character in this next movie. Arnold be the ideal addition to a team of mercenaries who try and fail to kill the creature, who then seek him out to lead the mission. Wouldn’t the cast seen in the picture below be 100 times more epic if Arnold was included?
He certainly can’t go hand to hand against a Predator when he’s nearly 70 years old but he could still get in on the action with a big ass gun and help the team in their fight, employing his knowledge & some tricks he used against them back in ’87. It’d be amazing and the only thing that’d make this sequel even better was if they also added Danny Glover from ‘Predator 2’ to the cast as well. The two of them could lead the team in their final confrontation in this installment. Again, Shane Black must know that the rich mythology and classic characters returning in “The Force Awakens” was a huge part of what made the movie a bonafide blockbuster for all ages. I realize neither Glover or Arnold have the box office draw that they did back in the 80’s, hey neither did Mark Hamill until you linked him to the Star Wars franchise. What better surprise for fans for Dutch to appear in the movie mid way through?
So now I’ve recently heard that ‘The Predator’ has been pushed back from a Feb 2018 release all the way to August 2018. Hmmm…perhaps Shane is actually reworking the script to include Arnold in a bigger role? I’m completely willing to bet this is the case. I don’t have much faith in the idea that we’ll be seeing Danny Glover appear, though it’d be absolutely amazing for the die hard fans. However I just don’t believe Shane’s gonna let a direct sequel to Predator hit the theaters without Dutch. It’d be a huge mistake. He wants this one to be epic for all Predator fans and you simply can’t do it without Arnold. The Terminator franchise more recently rammed Arnold in as a Terminator and it felt forced as fuck. Arnie again as ‘Dutch’ however feels completely natural and essential for a true Predator sequel. What do you think? You think we’ll be seeing Arnold in the next Predator or has my fanboy fantasy warped my mind?
Oh man, oh man, I had my serious, serious doubts about Terminator: Genisys for quite sometime but some how magically at the last moment, while I watched the previews last night before the movie started, I wiped the slate completely clean and got myself fuckin’ pumped up for a new Terminator flick with Arnold back in the saddle! I mean that’s like a wet dream come true on paper for a nerdy nostalgic dude who grew up on shit like Predator, Commando & Running Man back in the ‘o so sweet 80’s!!!
But even I will be the first to admit that having a near seventy year old Arnold back as the T-800 was worrying the shit out of me. I mean how could they possibly think that would work in 2015?! To me it just seemed ridiculously stupid and nostalgia for nostalgia’s sake. But to be honest Arnold was the ONLY thing about the movie that kept me from dozing off into a deep slumber at the 10 o’clock showing last night! I’m gonna be honest with all you Terminator fans out there this movie is just one huge ass annoying stupid mess that just never needed to be made. Ever.
Hell the last Terminator movie shouldn’t have been made, but somehow we still get this thrown on our lap. I’ve no doubt this flick is gonna be a HUGE box office bomb. It seems Arnold just can’t seem to pull in the crowds like he used to. Arnold however is seriously NOT the problem here. What we got is a giant stupid-ass time travel cluster fuck of a flick that’s a complete waste of time that doesn’t make a lick of sense. You don’t even want to attempt try and figure out this dumb ass fucking stupid turd of a flick.
Yeah folks, it seems they just ran out of anything resembling good ideas here, and it took three shitty Terminator movies to come to this realization. Add in the fact that we’ve got way too many different actors playing John Connor at this point who’re dancing around a lone outdated T-800 who just keeps making random appearances in these movies and a Kyle Reese who’s nothing close to being as awesome as Michael Beihn’s classic character was. Nope we’ve got a generic soulless version of Reese and John Connor here AGAIN, with Sarah Connor not being too much better, thrown into a confusing, overblown plot that tries it’s damnedest to shoe horn Arnold back into flick by any means necessary. None of these actors have any chemistry together.
I think it’d be fun to actually sit down and make a list of reasons why this movie’s plot is the most lazy pile of horse shit Hollywood has come up with in decades. You can defuse most of it’s major ideas in just a few seconds after they’re introduced. I actually think Arnold really could have been the aging T-800 cyborg with finesse instead of a lame inside joke the entire movie. It could have somehow all made sense if someone just took a second look at the wretched script. I always imagined an older Arnold playing the man who designed the T-800 in his own image somehow being incorporated into an intelligent science fiction flick with all the incredible action elements & charm of the first two movies.
It also leads me to the age old question how the hell is Kyle Reese John Connor’s father in the first place? Spoiler ALERT: Why the hell doesn’t this movie’s Kyle Reese question how the hell this is even possible when he finds out?! Seriously If I was Kyle in this movie I would have said “I call major BULLSHIT everyone, give me a damn DNA test and prove it or I’m outta here”!!!
Lastly without spoiling too much, the major antagonist in this movie was clearly a terrible attempt at a twist, and made it clear they’ve officially run out of anything remotely interesting regarding the franchise. How many times are people being sent back in time here before they just throw up their hands and give this shit up? So final words skip this flick, it will make you angry & confused. But it’s just barely worth checking out if you want to see Arnold one last time giving it his all, as it turns out he’s the only thing remotely interesting in the entire movie….
I love Stan Winston, he made soooo many amazing movie monsters come to life with his genius special effects wizardry! From the Predator, to the dinosaurs in Jurassic Park to the incredible Pumpkinhead! Yes Pumpkinhead is one of my fave monster movies of the 1980’s hands down, and it was also directed by good ol’ Stan! Now let it be known that he really didn’t direct much, The Terminator 2 mini-film for the Universal Studios theme park and the Michael Jackson movie/video “Ghosts” in 1997 I thought was it for him. But I just found out today that he did indeed direct another full length feature film besides Pumpkinhead, so naturally I was pumped to check out his follow-up he did back in 1990! Well it just so happens to be a flick titled “A Gnome Named Norm” starring Anthony Michael Hall and a horny ass Gnome who’s lookin’ too impress the ladies!
Check out the trailer:
Well, now isn’t that something?! It looks like perhaps Winston was the inspiration behind flicks like “Munchie”?
Not quite what I was expecting after motherfuckin’ Pumpkinhead, but hey I gotta say that ‘A Gnome Named Gnorm’ looks like a damn good time!! So this one will go on my list of must watch movies-however this one I may need to view with a gang of friends and a few too many drinks!
You can watch the full feature on youtube too! This movie also went by the name ‘Upworld’, it’s crazy to find movies like this that somehow slipped under the radar!