‘I am Bruce Lee’
I went through a big Hong Kong martial arts movie obsession as a teenager and didn’t think there was a lot more to I could learn from this documentary. And while that assumption did prove mostly (though not entirely) correct, it’s still very much worth a watch. At first, the selection of some of the interviewees seem a little odd, I get that the filmmakers are aiming to show the breadth of his influence but at the same time why should we really care what some member of the Black Eyed Peas has to say? All the best material, unsurprisingly, comes from his family and friends. A celebration of the extraordinary life of a true pop culture icon.
I haven’t watched professional wrestling for over a decade now but it’s still a potentially fascinating subject for a documentary, especially one done without any pretence of wrestlers staying in character. This features interviews with a variety of wrestlers of different backgrounds. Unfortunately it lacks any real structure of focus, playing out one interview in its entirety, then moving on to the next one. Worse still, little insight is gained from its subjects. The one female wrestler interviewed spends a lot of time discussing her religious beliefs, another uses virtually the entirety of his time to plug his rock band side project, and the climactic ‘interview’ with wrestling legend Mick Foley is nothing more than some footage of him meeting fans at a book signing. A completely wasted opportunity.
‘The Son of No One’
Dito Montiel’s (‘A Guide to Recognising Your Saints’) third film with usual collaborator Channing Tatum finds him back on the streets of New York for an incredibly swear-filled police drama. Tatum gives a wooden central performance as a cop with a childhood secret, while some quality players pop up briefly (Al Pacino, Juliette Binoche, Ray Liotta), they fail to light up the grim and dull goings on.
‘New Police Story’
This was Jackie Chan’s 2004 return to Hong Kong movies after several years appearing in American productions. Unlike the older series with which it shares its name it is not action-comedy fare, boasting some very unpleasant villains. It still gets in a great deal of impressive action stunts though.
‘Barney’s Version’ – 2.5/5
‘Naked Killer’ – Occasionally ridiculous but always entertaining OTT Hong Kong crime thriller – 3/5
‘Contagion’ – 3/5
The God Virus: How Religion Infects Our Lives and Culture – Darrel W. Ray
– Absolutely fascinating book about how religions spread, infiltrate and remain. Highly recommended for anyone interested in the subject.
Cloudkicker – Fade
After taking a rather different approach on previous album ‘Let Yourself Be Huge’, Cloudkicker returns mere months later back to progressive instrumental metal sound. Awesome.