BARE BONES: DRAGON WARS: D-WAR (2007)

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DRAGON WARS: D-WAR (2007)

Korean monster movie finds a young woman named Sara (Amanda Brooks) being the reincarnation of the Yuh Yi Joo, a being able to give great power to a chosen one amongst dragons, here called imoogis. An evil imoogi named Buraki comes to Los Angeles to track her down and steal that power, and brings a formidable army of monsters with him. With the city under siege, chosen protector Ethan (Jason Behr) must also find Sara to keep the Yuh Yi Joo from falling into Buraki’s hands.

Dragon Wars: D-War is a lot of fun as long as you’re willing to put up with a lot of nonsense to have that fun. Flick is directed by Shim Hyung-rae from his own silly script. The plot is goofy, as is the dialog, and the acting is fairly wooden. This Korean fantasy makes up for all the campiness, though, with some top notch SPFX and spectacular battle sequences, including a climactic battle to the death between good and evil imoogis. The siege on L.A. by an army of monsters is alone worth the price of a rental on Amazon Prime, at least for kaiju fans. If you like monster movies and don’t mind the campy silliness that can come with some of them, then this should be an entertaining evening on the couch. Some of your favorite brews might help. Also stars familiar faces Chris Mulkey, Elizabeth Peña, Craig Robinson, former Jason Voorhees Derek Mears as a bounty hunter and the legendary Robert Forster as Ethan’s mentor. Supposedly there is a prequel from Shim Hyung-rae in the planning all these years later.

-MonsterZero NJ

3 star rating

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BARE BONES: DOLEMITE IS MY NAME (2019)

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DOLEMITE IS MY NAME (2019)

Flick is a comedy/biography of 70s blaxploitation film legend and “Godfather of Rap” Rudy Ray Moore (Eddie Murphy). It shows his beginnings as a frustrated singer/comedian working in a record store. Takes us to his creation of the Dolemite character, which starts out as a foul mouthed stand-up comedy act. After gaining some popularity and momentum, Rudy assembles a motley cast and crew, to bring Dolemite to the big screen. The rest is cult classic cinema history.

Flick is directed by Craig Brewer, from a script by Larry Karaszewski and Scott Alexander and is a very entertaining movie. The filmmakers know to have a fun time with Moore’s underdog story without making fun of it. They mix just the right amount of humor and drama as Ray “borrows” material from some of the local street folk in the neighborhood and turns it, first, into raunchy comedy gold, and later into exploitation film history. The Netflix Original is made all the more enjoyable by a great 70s flavor and a wonderful performance by a legend himself, Eddie Murphy, playing Moore. We get an oddball selection of characters in support of Moore and the cast portraying them also shine, with Craig Robinson and Mike Epps as Rudy’s friends Ben and Jimmy, Da’Vine Joy Randolph as Lady Reed, Keegan-Michael Key as Dolemite film writer Jerry Jones and a delightful Wesley Snipes as the film’s director/co-star D’Urville Martin. It’s a really fun look at an exploitation legend and his rise to cult stardom, as well as, a triumphant return form by Eddie Murphy.

PERSONAL NOTE: I had the pleasure of meeting Rudy Ray Moore at the Chiller Theater convention here in New Jersey in the 90s. Despite his foul-mouthed, tough guy persona, he was a vey sweet, kind and humble man and I feel fortunate for having met this cult icon. -MZNJ

-MonsterZero NJ

three and one half stars rating

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