By George Rose
June 23, 2009
Let's throw a foreign film into the mix. Jet Li is a Chinese actor many American are familiar with, since he crossed over in such Hollywood films as Lethal Weapon 4, Romeo Must Die and The Forbidden Kingdom (with Jackie Chan). One of his best films, or at least one that I consider to be among his best, is Hero. Li's character is nameless. Seriously, he has no name. That's how important the actions and story of this character are. See, the Chinese know how to make movies too. They avoid fart jokes and pointless films that simply showcase the actors doing their usual (I'm talking to you, American film producers) in exchange for vibrant colors, mystical action and intense acting.
The story follows this nameless hero as he battles and beats three of China's most well known assassins, who are out to destroy the King Qin and his plans of unifying the seven kingdoms of the nation (this was before it was unified and ruled by one emperor). While the story seems straight forward, there is a plot twist that requires the story be retold again in its true form, allowing for several versions of some of the same fight sequences, all equally colorful and beautiful as the one before. I'm not a biggest fan of reading subtitles but it says something great about a film when you barely notice them at all. Hero is one of those films. The movie is filled with some of China's biggest names, my favorite of course being Ziyi Zhang. You might know her from films like Rush Hour 2 and Memoirs of a Geisha. Both of these stars deserve bigger careers in the states, should they decide to take more time away from their native country.
Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: The Movie (1995)
Oh, that's right, I'm going there. Because of this week's upcoming Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen release, and since I already recommended the classic '80s cartoon movie in a Take Five article, I offer you the Power Rangers movie from my childhood! C'mon people, I already told you about a classic from the '50s, a foreign language film, and other "good" movies. Give me just one this week that we all know is utter B.S. but that means something close to me. That's what films are all about! How they make you feel, despite what a professional critic or rational person thinks.
When I was a kid, I was huuuuuuge Power Rangers nerd. You're probably laughing but it's not as bad as the whole Barney craze (which I was thankfully not a part of). I loved Amy Jo Johnson's Kimberly (the pink ranger) and wanted so bad to be Billy (the blue ranger). Obviously the pink ranger liked the green ranger, who later became the white ranger, because he was a handsome rebel with a better body than the blue ranger, who was smart and wore glasses. I wanted to be a smart guy because I saw how useful he was to the group. I didn't know at the time that the show was promoting the idea that women are shallow and prefer body over brains. It's really just the show that says that, right? That can't possibly have some truth to it!