jmsonic22's Movie Ratings - Rotten Tomatoes

Movie Ratings and Reviews

Bloodsport: The Dark Kumite

The last movie in the Bloodsport series is also (and predictably) the weakest. Daniel Bernhardt returns once again as Alex Car..oops, sorry as John Keller (!?). Yes, the name of his character changes, for no apparent reason (This also happens in the American Ninja series. My theory is that this IS Alex Cardo, but something happened between 3 & 4 and he had to change his name).

This fact aside, Bloodsport 4 : The Dark Kumite, goes the route of the "cop undercover in prison" and handles it pretty well. What's wrong then? Well, the "dark kumite" the title promises is really quite bad: very few fighters, even fewer good fighters, and fights so short you'll miss them if you blink.

However, outside of this failed kumite, the movie's alright, and if you've enjoyed Bloodsport 1, 2 & 3, and don't expect too much out of 4, you should check it out.


Mindhunters, a thriller/mystery/action movie, somewhat similar to 2002's D-Tox (or Eye See You), tells the story of a bunch of FBI profilers stuck on an island during an exercise, getting killed one after the other.

The film starts off well enough, if a bit predictably, with a sequence that puts you in the mood and gets you interested and intrigued. From then on, director Renny Harlin (Die Hard 2, Cliffhanger,...) keeps a good pace and never lets the viewer get bored. And despite the arguably weak ending, most of the movie's events are unexpected and thrilling.

The actors do a pretty good job (othing spectacular, but the script doesn't call for it). A few "name" actors are present (Val Kilmer, Christian Slater, LL Cool J), however, like in Renny Harlin's own, and also somewhat similar movie Deep Blue Sea (also with LL Cool J), that doesn't really mean much (I can't go into more detail without revealing spoilers).

All-in-all, Mindhunters, scripted by the up-and-coming Wayne Kramer with ghost rewrites from the already-up-there Ehren Kruger, is a solid entertainer which fulfills its promise. And while it's true it could easily have been better, it isn't, and what it is already quite good.

The Aviator
The Aviator(2004)

Upon watching The Aviator, the second film based on the life of Howard Hughes (after 1977's The Amazing Howard Hughes, starring Tommy Lee Jones, which I haven't seen), I had no special love or hate for either director Martin Scorsese (Casino is extremely overrated IMO) or star Leonardo DiCaprio (good in Catch Me If You Can, but I hadn't gotten over the over-hype of Titanic).

The Aviator is a work of genius. Obviously considered a long film, at nearly 3 hours, it simply zips past, so engrossed you are. Scorsese's direction is brilliant, as is his idea to film each period with that era's "film color palette".

The performances here are also top-notch, and are delivered from a true all-star cast. Seriously the number of faces you'll recognize (even in tiny roles) is astounding, the Ocean's movies don't come close. But key here is DiCaprio's portrayal of Hughes.

Indeed, Leonardo, present in nearly every scene, is the movie's core. And the young actor truly fascinates as he inhabits completely the billionaire genius/madman. It is through him that you see The Aviator, and it is only his actions which interest you. As it should be in biographical film.

What else is there to say? There are but a few words to describe The Aviator: fascinating, engrossing, enthralling... The film has since become a favorite of mine, as has Leonardo DiCaprio.

The Last Kiss

The Last Kiss is a remake of the 2001 Italian film L'Ultimo Bacio. I have not seen it, so cannot compare the two.

Comparisions to 2004's Garden State are inevitable. Indeed, both films seem incredibly similar, yet completely different. So much in fact that many critics have dubbed this an "unofficial sequel" to Garden State.

Where the movies strongly differ is that while Garden State dealt with the "discovery of love", The Last Kiss deals with "the doubting of love". Thus, some professional critics (while reviewing the film favorably) have labeled this film has having a pessimistic view on love. I don't agree.

While one can't say that this is a joyful movie, hope inhabits it. The main focus of the movie is obviously the relationship between the newly-engaged Michael and Jenna (Zach Braff and Jacinda Barrett) but a lot of screen time and good scriptwriting is given to the supporting players, be it Jenna's parents, Michael's buddies, or of course temptation, in the form of the sweet Kim (Rachel Bilson).

In short, The Last Kiss is a touching, honest drama, wonderfully adapted by screenwriter Paul Haggis (check out his other work) and featuring more-then-solid acting from it's main AND supporting cast. And from the opening shot full of walking legs to the hopeful ending, director Tony Goldwyn had me engaged.

Brotherhood of the Wolf

Based on actual, mysterious, never-resolved events of French history, Le Pacte Des Loups should NOT be viewed as a history lesson. Often talked about because "it has martial arts scenes and that's weird because it's in 18th century France", it should also NOT be viewed for it's martial arts.

Le Pacte Des Loups is a long (2hrs 30mins), engaging, beautifully shot, skilfully acted, thoroughly entertaining piece of cinema. For these reasons, Le Pacte... comes heavily recommended and should be watched especially by those who enjoy their films atmospheric, slow yet explosive, mysterious and twisted. Those of you enjoyed Tim Burton's Sleepy Hollow might want to check this out, as the two films have more than a few things in common.

All in all, just delve into Le Pacte... and you will be rewarded with a great movie, which is at the same time a period piece, an action movie, a mystery, a horror movie, a drama, and a romantic comedy, succeeding in all fields.

Oh, and by the way, the "martial arts" make sense. Not all martial arts are Chinese or Japanese.

Bloodsport 2: The Next Kumite

You will not like this movie if you did not like the original. This is addressed to those who liked it and are wondering whether they should bother to watch Bloodsport II: The Next Kumite. My answer would be yes.

Sure, Van Damme isn't here (Donald Gibb serves as the link between the two movies), but Daniel Bernhardt, as thief Alex Cardo who discovers honor, makes for a charismatic lead, who also resembles Jean-Claude.

Also interesting is the narration, told in flash-back by Alex Cardo's trainer, Master Sun (played by James Hong) to a throng of young disciples. In these moments in particular, Bloodsport II shows that it is completely aware of what kind of movie it is, that it does not aspire to be anything more, and even pokes fun at itself (see the excellent ending, for example).

In short, Bloodsport II: The Next Kumite is not as awesome as it's predecessor, but it does what it aspires to do: it gets the job done. The fights are less impressive, but they're good enough. The story and the fact that the movie changes location (from Hong Kong to Thailand), contribute to not make it a rehash of the original. The actors, from Daniel Bernhardt to Donald Gibb, passing by James Hong and Pat Morita, are just right. And you may know exactly how it's going to end, but it's still a joy to watch.

Bloodsport III

You should watch Bloodsport III if you have enjoyed the first two, but know that it is inferior to those movies.

First of all, the narration style is the same as in the second one. This is not bad, but it doesn't bring anything new to the franchise. Secondly, the Vince Vaughn-lookalike main villain's name is "The Beast"...OK, the name of the bad guy in B2 was "Demon", so does every bad guy now have to have a weird name? Also, he really doesn't look threatening. Finally, all the other Kumite fighters sucked. Some of them had funny names, but they were all super annoying (except for Lima Lama).

Now for the good. The movie was a shot in Sri Lanka, which makes for an interesting change of locale. A lot of the team behind B2 is back for this one, and it's nice to see actors like Pat Morita and James Hong don't mind coming back for just one scene. It's also nice to see actors like John-Rhys Davies, who played Sallah in Indiana Jones, and Gimli in Lord Of The Rings, will also act in movies like Bloodsport. Also, and importantly, though handled somewhat awkwardly, the underlying storyline in B3 is the deepest and most meaningful in the franchise.

So, while inferior to it's predecessors, Bloodsport III is a movie for which one should not have high expectations, and with Daniel Bernhardt in the lead, it delivers it's promise.


Let me say it right now, if you watch Bloodsport expecting the same
kind of satisfaction you got from movies such as Crash, Ray or
Brokeback Mountain (to name a recent few), you shall be very, very
disappointed. However, if you watch it as it's meant to be watched,
that is to say as a no questions asked, straightforward, martial arts
tournament movie, then it is a truly great film.

Based on an allegedly true story, there is no deep meaning to
Bloodsport...but it isn't meant for one to be there. The acting is not
mind-blowing, but once again, it's not meant to be. You know exactly
what's going t happen in the end, but who cares? This is a movie you
can watch again and again, just because it's not all about the story.

All in all, Bloodsport is an entertaining flick, with a decent story,
decent acting, great music by Paul Hertzog, and great fight scenes. A
movie that will satisfy your martial art needs.


This movie has good music, but good music does not make a good movie. The people behind De-Lovely are obviously very professional, and the narration idea IS interesting, but the movie remains, however, incredibly boring. The viewer comes out of the film having finally learned very little about Cole Porter, which is a shame considering the movie is about him...

In fact, the most fun to be had in this film is identifying the myriad of current pop stars who guest star in the film (Robbie Williams, Diana Krall, Lemar, Sheryl Crow, etc..), and while guest stars are sure fun in any film, they should never be the point of one.

Simply put, the bottom line is, De-Lovely isn't horrible...but it certainly isn't good. There is much, much better cinema to be seen out there.

If you wish to see a good biopic about a famous musician, check out the amazing Walk The Line (about Johnny Cash), one of the best movies in my opinion. Ray, though overrated, is still a lot better than De-Lovely. And finally I haven't seen the Bobby Darin biopic Beyond The Sea, but it seems pretty good as well.