If it's crap ... We'll tell you
I remember when this was announced and there was actually some excitement about it on the forums. But let's be honest with ourselves here...did anyone REALLY expect this to be good? Sure, there's always the slight possibility of these sorts of affairs crossing over into bad/good territory, but let me put the fantasies of fighting game fans to rest here and now: "Tekken" is no "Mortal Kombat". That's pretty much the only watchable fighting game-to-film adaptation yet made, and there's been plenty of attempts. 2010's "Tekken" follows the story of Jin Kazama (Jon Foo), a bad-ass contraband smuggler in the dingy and dangerous streets of a tea-partier's dystopian dream of a corporate run America, dodging douche-bags in the slum areas of Tekken City called, The Anvil. When Jin's mom is killed by soldiers from the Tekken Corporation, he vows revenge against its leader, Heihachi Mishima (Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa). Good news for him, as he's such a martial arts wunderkind, the first step to get to Heihachi is to enter the Iron Fist Tournament. After an impressive initial showing qualifying him for the tournament (IE: He kicks the crap out of some low-level, Glass Joe jerk), he's taken under the wing of an ex-Iron Fist fighter, Steve Fox (Luke Goss, whose presence in almost any movie these days is a mark of direct-to-video) who gives him the help he needs to be a serious contender and eventually work his way up the rankings to confront Heihachi. The good news? Most of the actors are actually professional fighters and the action scenes show at least that much, with moments in the hand-to-hand battles that show how skilled these guys are. The bad news? Everything else. Of course the WOMEN fighters are just models, and it's embarrassingly obvious when they're shown fighting in the context of all these other pros. Not that it would matter anyway, because director Dwight H Little apparently has never actually watched a martial arts film and doesn't have a clue what to do with the talent he has at hand, much less make the amateurs look like they have an ounce of skills. The plot is retarded, the only 'craft' involved with the acting was trips to the Craft Service table, and it's edited like something quickly cobbled together during someone's lunch hour. Even the original director of the Tekken game series condemned this piece of shit. Skip it.
--CLICK HERE TO BUY Tekken (Blu-ray/DVD Combo + Digital Copy)
BOYZ N THE HOOD (Blu-Ray)
I don't want to come across like the whitest guy ever here, although I realize that ship probably has already sailed, but regardless, I implore you to go back and take another look at this critically acclaimed, multiple Oscar nominated, John Singleton directed film, about a group of young black men coming of age in the dangerous streets of South Central LA. I IMPLORE you. Because, by no fault of its own (well, maybe the lame incidental music) it's not as easy to admire now. Unfortunately, this gutsy story that hits the ground running with the words, "One out of every twenty-one black American males will be assassinated in their lifetime. Most will perish at the hands of another black male." was SO ground-breaking, that about 100 movies afterwards, including spoofs and satires, copied its exact formula. Watching it now....well, it all seems cliched to the point of ridiculousness. I'm aware how unfair that is to this film, which certainly in the period it was released in, was timely and largely deserved its mad props. But there it is. Time isn't always kind. The story follows Tre Styles (Cuba Gooding Jr before he was intolerable), the son of Furious (Lawrence Fishburne) and his estranged ex-wife Reva (Angela Bassett). When the young Tre (portrayed in the first 20 minutes or so of the film by Desi Arnez Hines II) can't seem to stay out of trouble at school, Reva sends the lad to go live with his father in the Crenshaw neighborhoods. Switch to seven years later: Tre appears to be turning into more or less a good kid, but his childhood friends have largely turned to gangbanging. Ricky Baker (Morris Chestnut) is the one exception, as he's working his way towards possibly earning a football scholarship to college, but his brother Darrin (Ice Cube) runs with a tough crowd. As Tre tries to navigate the tricky 'nice guy to everybody' waters in the neighborhood, he finds himself caught up in the dangers, high emotions, and tragedies that the opening titles defined so distressingly. The film touches briefly on lots of important themes, like urban gentrification, cultural bias in testing, drug issues, etc, etc, but its central aim is to affirm, over and over again, the importance of a strong father figure to young black men. I can't help but think young Tre would have done fine with just his Mom, as long as he wasn't living in South Central in the 90's. If the Dalai Lama had been born and raised there, he probably would have been popping caps in bitches by the time he was 13.
--CLICK HERE TO BUY Boyz 'N the Hood [Blu-ray]