May 2022 Mini-Reviews – A Touch of Zen to Tsunambee

I’m writing this literally at the same time that I’m writing the April reviews, with the intention that I’ll get them both published during June 2022, thereby catching up.

And there’s all sorts of cool new shows and stuff that I promised you with April’s reviews.  And, and the end, there is a film that I deeply regret ending the month with.  The acting was sincere and not badly done, but the rest… A hot mess.  And you’ll just have to get there to see what it is.  I’m sorry in advance.  LOL.

Ratings are out of five stars. Here’s what those stars mean to me…

* – This film is not good. Avoid it unless you tolerate dreck well.
** – A flawed film. You may enjoy it if you like this genre or the folks in it.
*** – A good solid film. If you like this genre, you’ll probably like this film.
**** – A superior film within its genre. Thoroughly enjoyable.
***** – An outstanding film on many levels. A great example of its genre.

Touch of Zen, A ***** A Chinese painter decides to help a beautiful woman fight against corrupt authority. Martial arts & battle mayhem ensues. A classic
Outlander (S6) **** Claire & Jamie deal waiting for the American Revolution & keeping their extended family together despite18th century prudery.
Monster Hunter: Legend of the Guild *** A young monster hunter falls in with an experienced group to battle a deadly dragon. Seemed like a pilot, not a full film.
Bucketheads (Star Wars 2018) *** A group of Storm Troopers try to transport a captive off planet, but run into resistance. Well made fan short.
Go to Sleep, Baby Yoda **** Fan film of the Mandalorian trying to get Baby Yoda to go to sleep during a space chase echoes familiar parent frustrations. Funny.
Hardware Wars ***** One of the first & still one of the funniest Big Film parodies takes on Star Wars with household appliances & low-budget creativity.
Battlefield, The *** Two Storm Troopers contemplate whether to leave their battlefront trench to confront a Jedi. Funny. Made with video game software.
Mystery of Oak Island (S9) **** Searchers find no substantial treasure & hunt is hampered by government restrictions, but archeological finds still abound. 26 eps.
Moon Knight (S1) ***** Oscar Isaac is great as Moon Knight’s various personalities seeking to stop an Egyptian god’s resurrection Watch end-credits scene.
Picard (S2) **** Complications with Q take Picard & co away from the battlefront into the past to confront the captain’s buried secrets. Well acted.
Adventures of Don Juan, The ***** Best role of Errol Flynn’s late career mixes sly self-effacing comedy as the famous womanizer with fine swordplay & brilliant score.
Death on the Nile (2022) **** Brannagh’s Christie adaptation has more action than previous ones & still plays out very well. All star casts definitely helps.
Just Imagine **** Fantastic cityscapes & SciFi production values enhance this fairly standard boy-girl love story thwarted because he isn’t “distinguished enough” until he undertakes a mission to Mars (with a man from the past) & Busby Berkely-like dancing Mars girls.
Warriors, The (1955) *** Errol Flynn is the Black Prince trying to defend his country against traitors & invaders in this knightly swordplay drama. Entertaining.
Batman, The (2022) **** Patinson looks good as Batman, goth as Wayne, & the film runs to long, but has many good sequences & ideas.
Gold Diggers of 1935 **** Busby Berkely dance numbers highlight this comedy about romantic goings on & scheming in a high-class hotel. Post-code film.
Castle (S7) **** The cliffhanger from S6 never really satisfies & hangs cloudlike over even this seasons fun episodes. Finale seems like an end.
Abominable Dr. Phibes, The (Sven) ***** Vincent Price returns from “death” to avenge himself in creative ways against those who killed his wife. Brilliant black comedy horror.
Vulture, The (1966) *** A mysterious vulture creature with a human head rises from the grave to wreak havoc on English countryside. Needs DVD/blu-ray.
Halo (S1) ***** In the future, mankind has created superhuman Spartans, including Master Chief, to battle invading aliens. Trouble is, some of the humans are just as bad for mankind as the monsters & now the Spartan soldiers must figure out the best side to support. Based on a popular video game series I’ve never played, this series comes off as complex, thoughtful, & action packed.
Reptilicus *** Classic US version of a US-Danish production about a giant dragonlike monster terrorizing the Danish countryside. Silly fun.
It Came from the Desert *** Based on an old game, an experimental facility unleashes giant “ants” on an unwitting desert event. Watch end credits for extra fun.
Arachnoquake *** New Orleans (!) suffers from earthquakes thatr release deadly mutant spiders on the land. The usual mayhem ensues.
Our Flag Means Death (S1) ***** Brilliant & sometimes dark pirate comedy based on the real exploits of the Gentleman Pirate & his unlikely friend… Blackbeard.
Study in Scarlet (1933) *** Sherlock Holmes film has nothing to do with book of the same name. Rather its plot resembles 10 Little Indians, which it predates.
Santo & Blue Demon vs. the Monsters *** The titular luchadores (wrestlers) face off & wrestle against a plethora of monsters, including Dracula & wolfman, among others.
Las Vampiras *** Luchador Mil Mascaras tries to destroy a bevy of beautiful vamps and their “king” John Carradine. Standard Mexi-wrestling horror.
Dr. Phibes Rises Again (Sven) **** Phibes is back trying to win immortality for his dead wife & killing interlopers in creative ways to get what he wants. More fun.
Ghostbusters Afterlife (2021) **** The granddaughter of one of the original group & her firends battle ghostly doings in the western US. Fun reimagining/reboot.
Golddiggers of 1937 *** Crooked business partners take out life insurance on a show producer & his troupe must save the show. Berkeley choreography.
Golddiggers in Paris (1938) *** A Bali dance group is mistaken for a Ballet dance troupe & goes to Paris to win their fortune. Buzby Berkely choreography.
Chaos Walking **** A woman becomes stranded on a planet where you can hear men’s every thoughts. Some thoughtful apocalyptic SF.
Night Moves (1975) **** Gene Hackman is a 1970s detective who won’t give up on the case of a missing girl, even when he should. Strong 70s grunge.
Lavalantula **** Steve Guttenberg is a washed up movie hero who’s confronted by fire-breathing giant tarantlas & a lot of fun parodies. Worth it.
2 Lava 2 Lantula (Lavalantula 2) *** Not as good as the original Lavalantula, but still good hearted & quite a bit of fun. If you liked the 1st, you’ll probably like this.
Viva Kinevel ** Evel Kinevel’s Mexican tour is sidetracked by evil promoters trying to smuggle drugs & Gene Kelly as drug-addled mentor. Fans only.
Moonfall (2022) **** Yes, it’s silly. But, if you like Roland Emmerich’s films, you know exactly the kind of wild myth-conspiracy crazy you’ll get & love.
Lost City, The (2022) *** Sandra Bullock & Channing Tatum are an author & her cover model, swept up in a search for lost treasure. Not quite Romancing the Stone, but it tries pretty hard, & has some amusing moments & scenes. Plus Brad Pitt, to amp the in-house estrogen levels.
Supercop (Police Story 3) ***** Jackie Chan & Michele Yeoh are supercops trying to break up a Chinese/Malasian drug ring in this action-stunt spectacular. Great.
First Strike (Jackie Chan’s First Strike) ***** Jackie Chan’s cop character returns to work “with America” to track down missing atomic elements. Includes an amazing array of classic stunts including a snowmobile chance, a fight in a shark tank, & the amazing “ladder fight.” One of Jackie’s best.
Chinese Zodiac **** Jackie & his team try to recover lost zodiac statues to repatriate them to China. Slow spots, but good stunts & great fight scene. The best parts of this hearken back to the heyday of Jackie’s film work. The CGI sometimes doesn’t work. Still worth it.
Rumble in the Bronx ***** The first of Jackie Chan’s action films brought to the US in the 1990s remains one of the best. Chan’s cop character is on vacation in NYC (ignore the mountains) for his uncle’s wedding. So many classic bits, it’s hard to name them all. Don’t miss the Arcade fight!
Tsunambee ** Some sincere acting by the cast is all that saves this mess of a story (with CGI bees) from being 1 star. But you may not like it.

Total noteworthy films, shorts, and series for the month of May 2022 = 43.

Running total for 2022 = 202 — which is not bad for the first 5 months of the year.

Next Month:  Maybe I’ll finish the last season of Castle.  Maybe I won’t.  It’s early in the month, so I really don’t know what I might be doing…  Except for starting Obi-Wan Kenobi and Stranger Things S4.  Tune in and find out what’s on the marquee!

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