Tuesday, 31 January 2012

Raised by Cinema

Here's a list of movies that I was really obsessed about when I was in primary school. They've literally changed my life. My dad was the ultimate influence for me in terms of movies. So tip for you parents out there, if you want your kids to grow up to be creative.  Don't watch shitty drama serials and movies with your kids (Come on, it's bad for you too). My dad always brought back the coolest videotapes from the rental store and that  stuff began my film education and consequent love for cinema. I feel so lucky to have been a child of the 80s. I hope this blog entry will bring back some fond memories for you and if you haven't seen these films... Do go out and buy them. they don't cost much cos they're old movies at the DVD stores. I hope you'll enjoy these films as much as I did (AND STILL DO). Ladies, if you wanna buy a gift for your man and have no idea of what to get him this valentine's, buy him some of these. If he doesn't like em, drop him! He's not a real man.

Bloodsport (1988)-
I used to stare at this poster on the video tape for hours

This martial arts bonanza stars Jean Claude Van Damme and Bolo Yeung. I know it might be a stereo type but all I know and respect about Belgium is action star Van Damme, chocolates and Franco Dragone. JCVD was my first martial arts hero. 
Bolo Yeung as the brutal Chong Li!!

If I were a fish, Bloodsport would have blown me out of the water. gasping for air. I had seen rocky before but this one had loads of kicking in the fight scens! My cousin, Abel and I watched this together and it was the only thing we wanted to watch for weeks.  Homework done? It was bloodsport time. We thought the fight scenes were real! It inspired us to re enact the fight scenes, awkward dialogue and we we enrolled in Tae Kwon Do.
I used to do this as a kid but now I don't even dare to try. Gotta work on my flexibility!

This movie kicked off my lifelong love for sports and competition. I'm a pretty competitive guy when it's something I want to be good at. Till now, whenever Abel and I meet each other we quote lines from the film. Like, "You break my record, now I break you, like I break your friend!" Lol! Nobody gets it.

Masters of the Universe (1987)
I was so excited to see this movie but I remember feeling so let down.

Starring Dolph Lungren. Being an obsessed fan of the cartoon from as far back as I could recall (I had to watch this cartoon when I ate my meals at home.) Till now, I like to watch something or listen to music while I have meals alone. This film was a total let down for me when I saw it in the cinema. I learned that sometimes, Hollywood churns out shitty movies that aren't at all faithful to the source material.

King Kong (1976 version)
I grew up with this version. Jessica Lange was HOT

Directed by Dino De Laurentis. This film made me fall in love with Monsters! That scene where Kong fought the snake was my favourite. I didn't want either of them to lose. None of the human actors left any impression on me and I hated that the humans destroyed Kong. Stupid destructive human race.
Kong vs the Serpent!
Silly humans!

Salem's Lot (1979 theatrical cut)-
Be afraid!

This adaptation of Stephen King's novel left me and my cousins with many, many sleepless nights. The vampire that was designed a lot like Max Schrek's Nosferatu scared the hell out of us one Sunday afternoon! It was good family fun watching this.
This vampire make up gave me the creeps!!!

The Shining (1980)- 

Stanley Kubrick's Masterpiece left me one cowardly little boy. I was afraid of hotels for years after watching this one. I know I shouldn't have been watching it but my dad thought it would make a man out of me to endure the horror. It turned me into a horror fan with an eye for creation.
These twins haunted me for a long time.


Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1990)
turtle power

Being a rabid fan of the cartoon, this movie didn't disappoint. Stan Winston's creatures and the whole vibe of the movie was so true to the cartoon that I loved put it on repeat for months. Although I thought the 'Shredder' character wasn't buff enough, I was amazed by the baby 'Splinter ' stop motion animation sequence in there.

Enter the Dragon (1973)
Wonderful art work.

My dad had all (and still has all) the Bruce Lee Movies, so needless to say, I've seen ALL of them. Of all his films, this one left the deepest memory in my young mind. I wanted to be a fast kicking, hero too! 
The unforgettable fight in the mirror room
Bruce Lee changed my world. The scene with him fighting in the room full of mirrors is permanently burned in my head.
Looking at his muscles makes me feel like a big fat wussy.
Fun fact- Bruce Lee used to fence!
BIG SIDE NOTE- Bruce Lee used to fence! He integrated a lot of the fencing fighting styles into Jeet Kun Do. He used the arms and legs like swords with the parries and ripostes.

Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991)-
I want your clothes, your boots and your motorcycle.

James Cameron's work of sci fi art. I saw the first one, but it didn't leave quite an impression except the end part where the terminator's metal endo skeleton walked out of the flames. Maybe I was too young to appreciate the story and all that stuff when it first came out. The sequel grabbed me by the balls!
I'm living tissue over metal endoskeleton.

T2 turned me on to Motorcycles, leather jackets and Sunglasses. It's become a lifelong love.
The leather jacket and sunglass fetish began with T2

Jurassic Park (1993)

Steven Spielberg brought Dinos to life. Do any of you remember the old Panini Dinosaur sticker book? That was always by my side. i can't get enough of dinosaurs.  I used to sit at the door of my flat just admiring the pictures in there. Speaking of prehistoric reptiles, I really wanna make a trip to the Singapore science centre for the "Dinosaurs Alive" exhibition. It runs till end february.

Stan Winston is a magician

The Lost Boys (1987)-

I love this rehashed poster by the Alamo drafthouse
Kiefer Sutherland changed my whole viewpoint of vampires. Joel Schumacher's teen vampire film cemented my love for the same couple of things, rock n roll rebellion, leather jackets, motorcycles and fangs, "Party all night, sleep all day... It's fun to be a vampire." Damn right!

Who wouldn't wanna be a vampire?!
The Crow (1994)-

The last movie that Brandon Lee (RIP) made. The Crow started my love for all things goth. Stumbling on this was like stumbling on a gold mine. I found a subculture that I wanted to embrace, the clothes, the look, the music. I was so attracted by this when it came out. I saw the trailer and got my cousin, Rebecca to sneak me into the cinema during the school holidays to watch it. (We got pass the ushers at Lido Cineplex on orchard road,) After watching the movie, all I wanted to wear was black (that habit of mine is still very much in place). Another cousin of mine, Vanessa got me the audio cassette for christmas. I still collect the toys, posters and memorabilia from this film that changed my life.

Just in case you didn't know, The Crow was based on a comic book by Jame's O Barr. It took him many years to complete his work and the author himself had to battle many personal demons and tragedies in the process. He's recently released a Special Edition with 60 pages of extra material in it. I haven't been able to find a copy in Singapore at all!! Sigh. Read about the new release here.

New Artwork for the Special edition of the comic book released july 2011
Also, there has been talk for years of a remake of the original crow movie. there have been a couple of sequels, City of Angels (which was okay), Wicked prayer (which I haven't seen, I heard it's pretty bad) and a TV series as well. None of them have matched up the the artistry of the Brandon Lee version. It's hard to beat a classic and a dead man, I guess. Apparently, the rights have been bought by the Weinstein company and they've lined up Bradley Cooper to take on the role as Eric Draven. The last update was that Bradley Cooper has been booted aside and they're looking for a new leading man. Some studio legal problems or whatever.  I wish they'd cast me. Damn it! I'm so far away I don't even know who to send my resume to if I wanted to! Maybe I should leave the country, oh well. Maybe I will. I used to camouflage my face in the Army in the style of the Crow's makeup. It looked pretty good!

Anyway, here's some concept art of the new Crow movie that was created for Bradley Cooper in mind. I don't know what to think of it, I know I love concept art and I'm really curious to see what the movie shapes up to be.

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