The Tomatometer rating – based on the published opinions of hundreds of film and
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The Tomatometer is 60% or higher.
The Tomatometer is 59% or lower.
The Tomatometer is 75% or higher, with 40 reviews (movies) or 20 reviews (TV). At least 5 reviews from Top Critics.
Percentage of users who rate a movie or TV show positively.
[left]Stephen Wang's outrageous martial arts flick is quite possibly one of my best blind buys ever. Though the presence of Kadeem Hardison may put some cinema snobs off, Drive is easily one of the best action flicks I've ever seen, stuffed to overflowing with mind-blowing stunts and solid comedic touches. Usually buddy/action movies aren't my thing, but the chemistry between Hardison and the always-entertaining Mark Dacascos is hard to resist, even when the laughs seem totally out-of-place with the insanity unfolding on-screen. As it stands, the film's motel fight sequence ranks as one of the best ever conceived, punctuated by oh-my-dear-God stunts that would make walking bruise Jackie Chan wince and grimace and rub his elbow. Ardustry -- the film's Region 1 distrubtor -- has opted for a slightly edited full-screen release, as opposed to the uncut widescreen version that is readily available overseas. Honestly, I don't care which version you see. Any self-respecting action/martial arts fan should definitely investigate this title immediately, especially if you have a fat stinking crush on Dacascos. If you're willing to take the risk, Drive might just be the best blind buy [b]YOU[/b] ever made.[/left]
[left]Is it too much to ask for our actors to look as though they give a damn about the project they're working on? I mean, [b]I KNOW[/b] Steven Seagal doesn't care; I've come to terms with that. When I sit down with a Seagal picture, I overlook the fact that he simply does not care about his fanbase. If he did, perhaps the man would take the time to deliver a movie that's not filled to overflowing with horrible overdubs and padded stunt doubles. I usually don't have to worry about these things when I watch something with Jean-Claude Van Damme stamped across the top of the artwork. He's usually better at giving his fans what they want. With The Hard Corps, however, our favorite spin-kicking hero appears to be wandering aimlessly into Seagal territory. The man looks bored. He looks tired. And, worst of all, he looks as though he'd rather be anywhere else than on my television screen.[/left]
In terms of action, Fist of Legend is in a league all its own. From the opening confrontation between Li and a group of Japanese racists to the brutal final showdown, the film literally stuffed with jaw-dropping, blink-and-you'll-miss-it kung fu wizardry. Of course, it helps matters considerably that the fights are choreographed by none other than Woo-ping Yuen, director of the Jackie Chan classic Drunken Master, among others. He's also the man responsible for the crazy action found in The Matrix, which pretty much re-invented screen fighting within the Hollywood system. Now it seems EVERYONE has to scale walls and spin forty-five times as they sail through the air before delivering a kick to some poor bastard's spine. Wire-fu has its place in action cinema, don't get me wrong, but I do think it's a tad overdone these days. [b]ANYWAY[/b], Woo-ping's use of wires is thankfully kept to bare minimum here, focusing instead on a more organic brand of martial arts. The fights are FIGHTS, meaning the combatants are out to destroy their opponent instead of merely posturing and posing for the camera. Try as I might, there's really no way to accurately describe the fights found in Fist of Legend, so do yourself a favor and check it out post-haste.
[left]These IDT/Stephen J. Cannell productions are getting out-of-hand. It seems every other month or so we're subject to yet another middle-of-the-road release via Anchor Bay, a company that once took pride in the features they sought to distribute. Left in Darkness is just like the other Cannell productions you may have suffered through: A middle-of-the-road horror film showcasing actors whose stars may shine brighter in better, more sophisticated projects. Steven R. Monroe and company do a fine job making the film look good, and the cast doesn't do too bad with the material they're given. You see, it's the [b]MATERIAL[/b] that's the problem. A major problem, really. Instead of tossing these things out left and right, Cannell should sit on them for awhile. Let them gestate. Let them grow. Work out the finer details and nix the stuff that doesn't work. And believe me when I say there's a [b]TON[/b] of stuff that doesn't work here. What IDT and Cannell should do is cut these things down to roughly 40 minutes, dump the boobs and bad language, and turn these wonky movies into solid one-hour television programs, something reminiscent of Freaky Links or The Outer Limits. I think they would work better in bite-size pieces, as opposed to stale 88 minute meals filled with empty calories. Left in Darkness isn't the worst horror flick you've ever seen, but it's certainly not the best. Oh, well. At least Monica Keena's heaving cleavage is in full bloom. Hoorah.[/left]
[left]Hard Candy is, essentially, one big missed opportunity. Had director David Slade decided [b]NOT[/b] to pull every punch he throws, he may have had something much more substantial on his hands. The picture desperately wants to be the Fatal Attraction for the pedophile set, forcing the story to fold in a cold, calculated, and often predictable manner. But in order to have the impact of a film that convinced many would-be adulterers to keep their peckers in their pants, Slade and company needed to have, well, bigger balls. Hard Candy feels neutered in its unwillingness to go the extra mile, botching what could have been a lovely little torture sequence by pulling the ol' bait and switch on the unsuspecting audience at the last second. Things start out well enough, mind you, backed by wonderful performances by Patrick Wilson and Ellen Page. However, the gimmicky narrative quickly runs out of steam once we discover that our boyish little anti-hero isn't as hardcore as we think she is. And the ending? Please. It's the very definition of safe. By the time all is said and done, I was dozing peacefully in my cozy recliner, bored into premature slumber by this so-called "riveting" thriller. In the hands of someone more capable (read: [b]DARING[/b]), Hard Candy could have been the type of film you'd love to chip your teeth on.[/left]