Da 5 Bloods
On the Record
I May Destroy You
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The attempt to weave a documentary style (but very much fictional) monkey story and a film style human story together doesn't work well in all places, the pacing is on the slow side and some story elements and twists just straight up seem to clash, but despite all that it's a funny, maybe even heart warming story. Plus there are monkeys, which is always a pro.
This basically is the movie equivalent of a ragtag bunch of misfits. It's hard to point out any part of the movie that really works, yet as a whole it does.
P.S. In case you were wondering: the monkeys are bonnet macaques.
First things first: this movie is very, very, very loosely based on the Greek Minotaur myths. Try not to let that bother you if you plan to enjoy the movie.
Aside from that the movie is not great, the pacing is kind of awkward in places, and the writing is simply not that good. The labyrinth never quite becomes the scary place it's supposed to be. That said, the acting is good enough to still turn bad pages into decent scenes and the monster looks pretty good, despite its original unminotaurian design. The films main problem is probably that it doesn't know what it wants to be. The horror moments bog down the much needed pacing of an action movie, and the cheesy melodrama spoils the building suspense. Even after that it's not really a bad movie. I wouldn't all round recommend it, but it might be fun for fans of monster movies.
What should have been an intriguing insight in the horrors of war ends up just kind of boring. Filmed in the style of an eyewitness documentary this movie follows a revolt by Soviet prisoners in a camp in Afghanistan during their war there. Made after 9/11, there are no good guys in this movie, except for the camera man and his friend. And all those not-good guys spend most of the movie just sitting around waiting for some big climatic payoff that never comes. Sorry to spoil the ending there. It's still worth a see if this is your kind of movie, but don't go in expecting an action flick with serious dramatic undertones. Because this isn't one, and even the dramatic undertones never really manage to surface and be very interesting.
For a low budget forest fire film this is not a bad effort. The fire looks convincing and there's really only one point in the movie where you wonder how that fire spreads because they were totally getting burned a minute ago and now the same piece of forest seems to be just fine.
The movie is about a firefighter, a dispatcher/air traffic controller, a pilot and a security guard planning a heist together. (As a side note: I have two firefighter friends one of which has a day job in air traffic control and the other in security, I'm so going to recommend them seeing this movie together.) But then the big bad called Wolf shows up, and they end up running around through a burning forest trying to scramble their plan back together.
I'd say the part before this happens is the better half of the movie, it almost feels Oceans Eleven-like. After the point where the gangsters make the plan turn to shit there's some torture and people dying in the fire (but don't worry, this movie got its R rating for "language", somehow) so basically entertaining stuff is happening.
Overall it's a bit of a weird movie, moving up and down between being just a tame action/adventure movie and trying to be badass or something with the hardcore gangsters driving motor-homes interfering. But it's still a decent 3 to 3.5 star popcorn flick that will not end up in many top ten lists but might still keep you sitting down and entertained for its entire run. Burn motherfucker, burn.
O boy, where to start with this one? I know, at the sex scenes! There's one about every 20 minutes. They seem to be directed by people who typically write video game sex scenes, and even for them this effort would count as having an off-day. The rape orgy about halfway in is particularly jarring. On top of that about every 5 minutes a woman moans like she's in a sex scene. If the camera angles had been a little bit less awkward, this movie would have been its own porn parody.
Outside of that, the movie is just plain stupid. The lead actor fakes being a great invincible warrior by taking a cool move and performing it several times in a row, because an actual fight choreography would be too much to ask. The ending is both cliched and nonsensical, and why does this guy have a fucking ewok (with a surprising amount of knowledge on the subject of human medicine) as a sidekick?
Now, granted, this movie does not commit the worst sin a film can commit: it does not get boring. There is some pacing, and there is always happening something onscreen, even if it's often something you really had no desire to see. Therefor I can't rate it zero stars. But i can make it one half, and o boy does it deserve it. (Edit: apparently I can't give it half a star, it somehow doesn't show up. Stupid *murmle murmle*...)
Apparently, this is a semi-remake of a better received movie called Deathstalker. But if that movie can be remade into this one it's obviously at least so bad I have to go and avoid seeing it some time. Even within a Conan style swords and sorcery setting, this is just too much.
And the final thing I don't get about this thing is how BBI could ever think this needed to be in a 3pack together with Escape from Afghanistan, a sober movie in the style of an eyewitness documentary about betrayal and the horrors of war. Yeah, I can totally see how those are aimed towards the same core audience.
But hey, if you are that stereotypical 13 year old game developers keep writing their sex scenes for, this might be a movie for you!