Collection Update | July 17th, 2021

Oh my gaaaaad! I’m buying music again? Well… yeah. Deal with it.

I headed over to Canadian Tire this morning with Sarah to pick out a new faucet for the kitchen. We found exactly what we needed within a few minutes and our exit timed nicely with the opening of our local mission thrift. Hmmm…. it might be a good idea to see what music they have. I mean, I’ll need something to listen to while I install it, right?

All of the CD were $2 moosebucks each, unless you spot a red tag. Then it was 75 cents.

The ’90s metal collection got a nice boost:

Pantera’s The Great Southern Trendkill isn’t my fav of theirs but it was the last I needed to complete the collection. And someone dumped out of their Tool collection. I never been much of a fan in the past but I’ll give the CDs a spin. Sometimes having the album gives you a different perspective. I don’t know why. Anyway, if I don’t enjoy these I’m sure someone in our group will appreciate them.

The Canadian collection got a nice boost as well:

The Burton Cummings album is a live concert from the ’90s. It looks like he performs most of his hits on it. I have already listened to The Northern Pikes Neptune and it is solid. Sarah’s keen eye spotted Skydiggers Northern Shore. It is a Deluxe edition with 3 extra CDs of music.

Crazy! If I read the internet right, this was a special order set that was only available on their website in 2012.

I found a couple of soundtracks:

I still haven’t seen Trainspotting but I know a lot of the music from it. Animal House is a pure classic.

Next:

I’ve never seen this John Lennon tribute album before. Should make for an interesting listen. Cheap Trick does Cold Turkey on it. Tom Petty’s Southern Accents and Billy Joel’s River of Dreams are not best album from either artist, but both are fine for a cheap CD addition to the collection.

Rod Stewart CDs are fairly easy to find:

As long as it isn’t one of those albums loaded with old standards, I’ll add it. Vagabond Heart has Broken Arrow and The Motown Song on it so… must buy? Yeah, I think so.

And here is what Sarah got:

I remember buying Adrenalize on cassette when it first came out. I listened to the first two songs on my Walkman, removed the cassette, then gave it to my Sister. I’ve always liked the name Was (Not Was). I don’t really know who they are.

And I found a four back of Jackie Chan DVDs!

Hopefully the quality is good and they don’t look like arse! meh, they’ll still be fun watches even if they do.

Oh yeah, and installing the faucet was a lot easier than trying to figure out what was wrong with the old one yesterday.

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[Movie Review] The Foreigner (2017)

foreigner 2

Fuse Box Hero

I jumped onto Netflix the other day looking for a specific movie when I see The Foreigner staring Jackie Chan is in the platform’s top ten.  Well now, you have earned my attention!  Good to see that Jackie can still attract a crowd!

The Foreigner begins with Jackie playing Quan, a restaurant ower with a seemingly meager demeanor living in modern-day London, England.  Quan is overprotective of his pre-teen daughter but his caution, unfortunately, cannot save her life.  When a rogue branch of the IRA named “The Authentic IRA” set off a bomb inside of a clothing store, Quan’s daughter, and last surviving member of his family, is killed.

Quan is determined to find the ones responsible and after failing to get the names from Scotland Yard, he turns his attention to Liam Hennessy (Pierce Brosnan) the deputy First Minister of Northern Ireland.  Hennessy gives Quan the runaround at first, which turns out to be a huge mistake.  Quan is restaurant owner now, but he was also a long range reconassance patrol officer during the Vietnam War, with special training in explosives.

As Mr. Burns once gleefully said after devouring a power pellet during an intense game of Pac Man, “The hunters have become the hunted!”

A thiller like this works swimmingly for Jackie who was 62 when making this.  As the plot ramped up, I wasn’t sure which Jackie was going to show up.  He walks around like he has had a hip replacement 6 months ago and I’m thinking… Is this an act?  I mean, an act for the character… not Jackie… who is acting.  Anyway, I don’t want to spoil what happens so I’ll let you find out if Quan relies on his skills as a explosive expert or if some crazy stunts show up. 

I will admit how the IRA stuff had me a little lost at times.  Backing stabbing with motives driven by past events, which isn’t revealed until we are far into the movie, is becoming one of my pet peeves.  But it wasn’t so bad that I couldn’t follow it completely.

If Jackie Chan was ever to make a Death Wish style of movie, this is it. #MarsApproved

April 2020’s Movies Watched List with Juicy Stats

March was a light month for watching movies but I was able to pick it up in April, despite not getting to a movie until the 6th.  That was the day I decided to shut off CNN before The Bragging Dildo came back on.

And, in spite of me intentionally going to Tubi to look for some bad movies to watch, it looks like I got my swing back after last month’s slump!  Not only have I rediscovered Jackie Chan, but also watching Ruby Dee in a couple of Sidney Poitier films made me a fan.  That, with a couple of late ’60s hidden gems with Burt Reynold’s has me counting up a lot of home runs!

The List

  • An asterisk (*) indicates a first time viewing.
  • Links will take you to write-ups posted.
  • Bold font indicates a write-up is done and scheduled to be posted.
  • Strike-through means I didn’t enjoy it enough to finish it.

Apr6 – Jumping Jack Flash*
Apr7 – 9 to 5


raisin in the sun
Apr8 – Bad Lieutenant* (1992)
Apr9 – Police Story*
Apr9 – Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf*
Apr10 – Nobody’s Fool*
Apr10 – Police Story 2*
Apr11 – Police Story 3: Super Cop*
Apr11 – The Artist*
Apr11 – Edge of the City*
Apr12 – A Raisin in the Sun*
Apr12 – Night Shift
Apr13 – Crime Story*
Apr13 – All Through the Night*


Apr16 – First Blood
Apr17 – Jackie Chan’s First Strike (AKA: Police Story 4: First Strike)
Apr18 – New Police Story 2004*
Apr18 – The Grapes of Wrath*
Apr19 – Adam’s Rib*
Apr19 – Cactus Flower*
Apr21 – Police Story: Lockdown (AKA: Police Story 2013)*


railrodder
Apr22 – The Railrodder
Apr22 – Thunder Road* (1958)
Apr23 – The Treasure of the Sierra Madre
Apr23 – Zero Dark Thirty*
Apr24 – Death Promise*
Apr24 – The Way We Were*
Apr25 – Mission Killfest*
Apr25 – Hell Comes to Frogtown*
Apr26 – 100 Rifles*
Apr26 – The Harder They Fall*
Apr27 – Sam Whiskey*
Apr28 – Bleeding Steel (AKA: Police Story REBORN)*
Apr28 – Blockers*
Apr28 – Island Of Fire (AKA: The Prisoner)*
Apr29 – Drunken Master (AKA: Drunken Fist)*
Apr29 – The Bachelor Party*
Apr30 – Buster
Apr30 – The Last Temptation of Christ


The Juicy Stats:
Total Number of movies watched: 39
The number of first-time watches: 30
Oldest movie: The Grapes of Wrath (1940)
Longest movie (That I finished): Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf (2hr 16m)
Most watched actor: Jackie Chan (10)
The number of movies watched by decade:
‘30s – 0
‘40s – 4
‘50s – 4
‘60s – 6
‘70s – 3
‘80s – 9
‘90s – 7
‘00s – 1
‘10s – 5

How I watched them:
PVR/DVR – 23
DVD collection – 1
Blu-ray collection – 4
4K Blu-ray collection – 0
Public Library DVD – 0
Netflix – 0
Amazon Prime – 1
Tubi – 4
YouTube – 1
Kodi – 2
Pirates – 5

Genres:
Action – 9
Comedy – 8
Crime – 1
Documentaries – 1
Dramas – 9
Film Noir – 1
Kung Fu – 2
Romance – 1
Science Fiction – 2
Thriller – 2
War – 1
Western – 3

Baseball time!
These are the “batting stats” compiled for the FIRST TIME watches.  I give each movie a rating out of 5.  5s are home runs, 4s and 3s are hits, 2s and 1s are pop or ground outs, an NA (did not finish) is a Strike Out.  This tells me how well of a job I’m doing at picking which movies to watch.

Good Movie Average:  21/30 – .700 even  (Last month: .443)

Home Runs: 8
The Grapes of Wrath
Police Story
Police Story 2
A Raisin in the Sun
Edge of the City
Sam Whiskey
The Harder They Fall
Adam’s Rib


Strikeouts: 3
Zero Dark Thirty – Yeah, I’m not very sympathetic to those who torture others.
The Artist – Nope.
The Last Temptation of Christ – What the hell, Marty?

Awards:
Most underrated: Many good ones this month that should be better known: The Harder They Fall, Sam Whiskey, Edge of the City, A Raisin in the Sun, Adam’s Rib
Most overrated: The Artist
Most fun: Police Story 1 & 2
Most Forgettable: The Way We Were
Better than I remembered:  The Railrodder
Not As Good As I remembered: Buster
Best re-watch: The Treasure of the Sierra Madre, First Blood
Movie I can finally cross off the Bucketlist: The Grapes of Wrath
Most disappointing: Bad Lieutenant, Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf
Most surprising performance(s): The entire cast of A Raisin in the Sun, Jack Warden (Edge of the City)
Worst Movie: Mission Killfest
Best Movie(s): A Raisin in the Sun, Edge of the City, Police Story 1, Police Story 2

Feel free to tell me how terrible my opinion(s) are in the comments!

[Movie Review] Police Story 2

police story 2-1

Every little thing he does is magic

Film sequels can be tricky, especially when your protagonist is an underdog who already successfully punched above his weight in the prior film.  Now that you have a returning champ, how do you get the audience to root for your underdog once again?

Police Story 2 took the Ghostbusters II route*, having the hero, Inspector Chan Ka-Kui (Jackie Chan), sued and fined by every county, city, and state agency in New York Hong Kong for all the collateral damaged he caused during the arrest of the crime lord Chu Tao (Yuen Chor) in Police StoryAs a result, Ka-Kui has been demoted to an underdog uniformed officer, which delights his girlfriend May (Maggie Cheung) to see him no longer taking life-threatening cases.      

But Ka-Kui soon stumbles onto a plot by a gang of criminal bombers who claim to have explosives set throughout Hong Kong’s high-end properties.  The gang is demanding $10 million dollars from the city’s big business sector to not set them off, and as a demonstration of their power, they completely level a mall.  Ka-Kui’s quick call to evacuate it prior to the explosion saves the lives of hundreds, and the Hong Kong Royal Police reinstated him as an Inspector.  Now, with Ka-Kui assigned to solve the case of the bombing, the gang double their ransom to $20 million and kidnap May!

I was happy to see how Police Story 2 was able to keep the momentum going from the first film even if the story is a little more muddled this time.  There is a bit of a struggle to find a place for all of the characters, including Chu Tao who is only a red herring (spoiler alert!) for Ka-Kui to follow.  He is an unnecessary addition since the viewer is already aware of who the bombers are, and it in part bloats the movie up to a full 2 hours.

Thankfully, Police Story 2 is paced well enough to make this a nitpick.  The movie is light and fun throughout, which is exactly what you want from Jackie Chan.  His choreography works best in an action/comedy setting, with fights loaded with swishes and meat slaps.  My favourite action sequence in this one is the “playground fight”:

 

 

At times Police Story 2 is “bigger and badder” than the first, with added explosions and a few more daring stunts, but there are not a lot (if any) effects.  For the most part, the camera sits back and lets the talent do their thing.  It’s what makes these movies special and still worth a watch (or 10).  #MarsApproved

 

*Police Story 2 came out one year earlier than Ghostbusters II, making it correct to say Ghostbusters II took the Police Story 2 route.  But I first watched Ghostbusters II in 1989 and Police Story 2 just the other day.  So this fact is a footnote since my personal timeline is by far more important than when these movies were made.

[Movie Review] Police Story

police story 2

I totally forgot how darn entertaining Jackie Chan movies can be.  I fell in love with them in the mid-90s when Rumble in the Bronx became a hit here in North America, but he lost me in the following years with too many team-ups with Chris Tucker and Owen Wilson.  But, the other day Police Story 1 & 2 came up on the movie channels and I binged both.  The fire has been re-lit.

In Police Story Jackie plays Chan Ka-Kui, and Inspector for The Royal Hong Kong Police Force who is planning a major undercover sting called “Operation Boar Hunt”.  The operation is a success and leads to the arrest of the crime lord,  Chu Tao (Chor Yuen).  Since Ka-Kui is the officer on record for the arrest, he becomes a minor local celebrity and his next assignment is to protect Chu Tao’s secretary, Selina Fong (Brigitte Lin), the prosecution’s lead witness.

The rest of the movie is then loaded with Chu-Tao’s attempts to ruin Ka-Kui’s reputation by framing him for murder and kidnap his former secretary.  Yeah, this is an ’80s action film trope that comes close to nonsensical.  At one point Ka-Kui is in a race with Chu Tao to turn his “data” over to the authorities.

But, what it lacks in plot it makes up for in spades with charm, humor, and out-of-this-world stunts.  Ka-Kui’s relationships with his girlfriend, May (Maggie Cheung) and Uncle Bill (Bill Wong) are as memorable as they are hilarious.  Maggie Cheung was most impressive as she did some challenging stunts on her own.

I was also expecting some serious disconnect with this being a Hong Kong film from 1985, but this movie is heavily inspired by the action films coming from Hollywood at the time, so, it felt more familiar than foreign.

OK, Jackie singing his own song during the end credits was a little weird, but the one scene that did have me cringing was the one which had Jackie being left behind at the police station to man the phones.  It is meant to be light, with him doing acrobatics to answer several incoming calls while holding a conversation with May.  One of the calls is from a guy who lost his cow.  OK, that’s a good one for comedy.  But the others are one from a woman whose husband is beating her and another who was raped… yeeeeaaaahhhh…

Anyway, that’s only 2 minutes of the film.  The other in 138-ish is flat-out gold.  You don’t even need to take my word for it because the entire film with English subtitles is right here on YouTube:

It’s silly.  It’s fun.  It’s #MarsApproved.  Get ready for a Police Story 2 write up next.