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Sunday, June 22, 2008

Red Planet

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Director Antony Hoffman decided to retire right after his first and only feature film presentation, the one which is not happened to be called Hostile Giant Space-Leeches from Galaxy Xixugon Whom Release Nerve Gases To Kill All 3, instead chose to enrich consensus by the more simple yet highly informative title Red Planet. It is not a communist propaganda though, or a very masterfully concealed at that it is. Red Planet gives us a rather acceptably realized and presented fictional output about the first (wo)manned expedition to Mars. Of one thing, you can be supersure of, though: if and when Hollywood gives you a rendition of an expedition to Mars, then something will go: terribly, terrrribly wrong. Red Planet submits hastily and keenly to this surficial observation, inventing whole new and pretty interesting tastes and dimensions of trouble.

The synopsis is this: Earth is exhausted, overpopulated AND nearly out of Cola and oxygen, too. Intended solution is to send through space probes to Mars with alga on board, so the plants could produce oxygen on the Red Planet. Bizarrely enough: one day oxygen levels do start to drop, and no one knows why it is happening - thus an expedition is sent over to Mars both to find out the reason for oxygen droppings and to confirm that the planet looks and feels OK otherwise. At least, those are the unvoiced hopes of Wo(man)kind.

Behold Carrie-Anne Moss, Commander of the ship and primal coordinator of the expedition. She is highly OK in the movie except maybe for the silly segments in which she is to exhibit personality mixture of intact authority and leisure, this is something that she was asked to do though, let us not forget this. Suffice it to say that Red Planet, being a movie released in 2000, delivers some hilarious effect-cravers to convince all of how a woman can be a good and skilled drinker. Like you ever would deny such a skill set from a woman.

As you will surely, at least likely notice, primal protagonist is Val Kilmer, supported by totally acceptable sidekick performances from - most notably - Tom Sizemore, Benjamin Brett and Simon Baker, who actually sucks noticeably, but this is OK, as so does his character. It is not to say that his character or his performance would lack legit function or significant content, though: quite the contrary.

Antony Hoffman
's movie is highly aware of and subtly serves the universal approaches and methods of group-related sci-fi storytelling. While characters are diverse in their personalities, differences are not too massively and/or redundantly emphasized. Protagonists instead tend to deliver their focal personal notions they could come up with to this day, an element the movie goes for a more serious (?) touch with, yet surely it fails wonderfully in the long run. This latter observation correlates with the brief yet intact role delivered by Terence Stamp. One can not escape the impression that the writers could not help giving abruptly away absolutely ALL that Stamp's "deeply spiritual character" was about. These elements were not too numerous though: Stamp has maybe three or four lines of semi-serious spirituality to deliver prior Higher Forces will decide that it is better for him to benefit the mission via other ways than originally intended.

The I AM ONE WITH THE UNIVERSE! - look and posture.

The expedition goes awry before it would have a chance to actually start: the ship stumbles upon a blatantly powerful solar flare thus many of the equipments end up being in need of immense care and repairs. Moss needs to stay on the main ship and release the surface capsule from outer space manually, as the launcher itself is malfunctioning. It will shock you tremendously though that the surface capsule will be boarded by all the other expedition members and they will be on their way in a short time to explore the surface of the Red Planet. More specifically: to locate the human made HAB1 facility which supposedly contains resources making life and thus further explorations possible for a small group for six months.

- Not a damn toilet ANYWHERE around!
- PLEASE tell me you are KIDDING.

If things were just "this easy": during the landing procedure, many vital equipments are scattered throughout the planet's surface including primary navigational instruments that could have calculate and point out the most effective way to HAB1. Little though intense time do remain nevertheless until your protagonists do manage to locate the facility - just to find it utterly, completely destroyed.

This is the actual turning point of Red Planet from which on quite integral drama is formed. Giving away actual portions of the narrative would spoil enjoyment significantly, thus I refrain to do that herein. Yet, giving elements away and but outlining them vaguely is not identical: suffice it to say that the movie chooses to utilize a quite nice, yet, at the same time, pretty cleverly emotional concept to enrich itself with via the total lack of communication capabilities between the leader ship in outer space and the crew members of Mars. I think there is something subtle and bizarre to this solution: both the leader ship with it's superior logistic abilities and the crew are in the embrace of Mars, yet they can not exchange information with each other now that the planet finally reveals it's true, - amazingly enough - planetary proportions. Mars is not just an enigmatic crimson blob far-far away from the place you likely reading this from, but it is also a galactic entity of vast and intimidate proportions that do imprison visitors if they approach these proportions and conditions unprepared. Or: unequipped, as the crew members do end up as here.

Red Planet introduces and maintains a firm ability to move it's narrative on through radical developments, keeping interest factor intact and stable. Though one could - in my opinion - falsely argue that there is not much that could go on on a desolated planet with five people and a mechanical superunit on it's surface, those vast perspectives definitely do gain "bonus appeals" when they are observed and affected by human. Here is how planetary proportions could be easily affected by a single, puny human: you affect them by looking at them. By doing so, you affected them already, don't you think?

There are living, in this case: humane motives are present not just in front of these vast distances, but literally ON them, trying to reach their fruity conclusions on a place which is deeply alienated for the human we currently know of as a specie. Man observed Mars from great distance, now man observers HIMSELF on Mars. And surely, Mars is present all over the place - SIC! - to observe man's observations.

Red Planet is not half as bad as many did, would or will claim to you it is. Thanks to it's primal depiction of the enigmatic, desolated crimson planet and the decent microcommunity drama to take place on the surface, the movie tolerated passing years in a quite unnoticeable fashion, if production values are concerned. And they ARE concerned, when the Opinion Onion emerges to scrutinize! My only whining factor would concern the musical support for the piece, as that is extremely shallow saved for the decent, funny songs to save something of the credit list. Apart from this though, it is safe to say that Red Planet, similarly to it's prime inspirator Mars, never ever made the effort to deny time, as they both seem to be in a very intact harmony with it. Thus no need to deny the ultimate conqueror, - which is time, by the way - as the majority of what the film shows are eternal sights and experiences to behold and to live through.

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Thursday, June 19, 2008

The Incredible Hulk 2008

More Credible Incredible?
variants on a Story Board
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Hulk is Incredible, no doubt about it, and no matter what. It seems totally out of sobriety to me if one calls oneself fond of light, yet subtle fiction for entertainment and refuses to worship the Hulk. Stan Lee came up with his green angry idea in the ´60s, and there is not many fictional inventions of popular culture that could remain to reign for such a long period. Characters from various comics did though, now having their chances to validate themselves as motion picture adaptations. Hulk, being a successful comic character, is no exception. The green humanoid monster of semi-epic proportions, who rips apart all in one of his 32492834293 purple trousers is a being who is great fun to enrage - just don't be near him when you do. While a fresh motion picture output about The Inrcedible Hulk is always firm subject matter to be enthusiastic about, there is nothing, absolutely nothing hip-, nothing mean-, and, worst of all: nothing Incredible about THIS Hulk.

Ang Lee´s Hulk movie from 2003 was, in my opinion, a ruthless punishment committed against the Hulk myth I believe(d) to be true, or at least, thought to be proper. A movie that unleashed the most horrific low blow on me that I could imagine by the day: the Ang Lee Hulk direction denied all chances from me to like it. It was the worst Hulk output I endured so far, I would choose a slap from an angry Bruce Banner over yet anothe sit-through of the movie in question, no doubt. As of today, when Mr. Lee is asked about a possible Hulk sequel directed by him, he states that that particular movie still has a long way to come. Then there is hope yet, because hope dies first, but inviting the worst.

Now, could there be worse than the worst? Surely, it is easy. It is worse than the worst when worst seems to stuck around, and invites history to repeat itself.

Apart from the comic form, Marvel ruthlessly, even sanely - as we will see - emerges to establish itself more- and more as an entertainment group focused on motion pictures. The group thoroughly checks which of its zillion characters it can make proper money of, which is absolutely acceptable, but I tend to think that the agenda is to make the movie adaptations with minimum effort put into them. I realize I might sound a bit harsh here, but, in reality, this is not necessarily the case. Let us see into this. Never forget that Marvel already delivered storytelling excellence via the original comic forms of these movie adaptations, thus these motion picture variants are to be considered as - in good case - nice supportive contents to enrich the depicted myths, yet, they could also end up as scant, stale fiscal ripoffs ordered by rights-proprietors with the maximum profit- and minimum effort equation in mind. Something you can not really blame them for, as you can always have the Real Deal Hulk as the original experience via the comic form, yet, in a Marvelous World, even the Hulk movies would deliver evidently strong drama and/or action. I would be utterly satisfied with either of those, but their mutual absence is the worst combined trait a Hulk movie can go to the screen with, I think.

Normally you should not get a nervous breakdown, or at least not too radical of that in case a movie proves to be deeply "inferior" when compared to the wholeness of its originator. Especially not since these primal forms of comic book characters have decades of fiction to power them. These recent comic adaptations must show faithfulness to the original variants, with steep awareness from the creators of how the hardcore fan will take her/his revenge if things are not presented as they should have been.

Thus Marvel sought out/established this particular minimum effort it absolutely NEEDS to put in into these movies. But now these comic book adaptations are so reminiscent to each other that now temptation is sorrowfully steep to skip the usual sequences of textbook character drama about lost loves and terrible secrets and a liking for the bizarre and jump to the actual happenings right away. But either THAT won´t surprise you all that much, probably. The new Hulk is a great example: when he transforms for the first time and they start shooting him like crazy -well, I can imagine how anxious you were that Hulk might actually end up shot dead in the 15th minute. What an intense, well researched period!

See my point? This predictability is virtually killing all potential out of a narrative to cause relevant peek moments. Military personnel shooting the Hulk. And it has no effect. Thus they shoot again both to deny and to confirm. And both of these desires are satisfied, as, amazingly: the bullets have STILL NO EFFECT WHATSOEVER on the Gamma Beast! Some seriously exciting stuff there, wouldn´t you agree?

I think it is safe to say that Marvel surely has the bomb-and bulletproof Marvel Comic book Character Story Board That The Audience Will Keenly Suck In. Revealer of the minimum effort that will get people into the theaters still, yet in reality, a safe, even shallow of an effort it is that does not have ANY, absolutely ANY aspiration to enrich or to develop the depicted and adapted fictions via any directions.

Statement: things in Marvel movies, especially dialogs actually seem to go on utterly inept and massively underdeveloped paths these days.

Solidification: check the lines of the female protagonist, Liv Tyler. God, the lines she shoots, poor lady, her role is truly horrible. I guarantee you that every single time when she and the Hulk will be present on the canvas together, she will inform the Gamma Beast and you that:

"It´s OK!"

It´s not like "It´s OK!" and then it is NOT OK, it is like - "It´s OK!" and it is always "It´s OK!" to the point from which on you can not help but think that retarded monkeys on massive sedatives had to nod their heads on these dialog lines. Or: maybe even THEY did not have to. Seriously, how a production team could give the green light on that? They probably said: "It´s OK." And poor Liv Tyler blames them eternally. Yet, I guarantee your neurons will fry out all at once as soon as Liv informs the "Hulkic Monstrocity" for the THIRD time about the unfolding events that do surround them! This is truly puzzles me, and concerns their third confrontation. Here Liv tells THIS to the Hulk:

"It´s OK!"

So, now it seems evident that Marvel operates a pretty meat grinder in which you fill in the trademark character on the top and good old money comes off on the bottom. These aforementioned example-deficits do concern a clear lack of interest - sorry for the neat metaphoric disturbance - to develop dialog, drama and character relations. This is not a tragedy, of course. Yet imagine how good a good Hulk movie could be.

Check out little tiny events nevertheless that are interconnecting various Marvel movies with each other - usually at the very end - so anticipation is considerable for the imminent Marvel EPIC only a FOOL would miss out on. But, to be honest with you, I think these recent Marvel efforts - yes, Iron Man and this here effort Hulk included - do rely on such a strictly calculated and predictable storytelling narrative that virtually it would be absolutely OK to see ONE recent Marvel motion picture and substitute the heroes with each other. You won´t miss anything. I realize that my words do have an interpretation field from which on I might sound like an utterly negative person, and one could tell me something like this:

"This is a comic adaptation, dude. Why don´t you get an antidepressant or a life and enjoy the movie for what it is? A COMIC. ADAPTATION. Got it?"

AHHHAHAHAH! A Comic Adaptation!

Surely, I would drink keenly those words in case I would have had the chance to experience flamboyant lightweight entertainment characterized by: - this is it - fun. FUN! FUN! Where is my fun from this Hulk movie? I looked for it, I sought for it, and OH!, it was my persistence doing these that led me to this here conclusion: no, no, no, no, no. Marvel does NOT make comic adaptations anymore. What Marvel does is it is simply using the Universal Story Board I fantasized of before. The workflow, if I am correct, is pretty much similar to a First Person Shooter game's map editor. Marvel redraws the characters, weapons and enemies. Sells the New Game, the New Hero, the New Movie. Does and creates no things to surprise you, yet I do realize that this is not the agenda, either.

I accept that Marvel is not in an easy position if it wants to impress all generations, yet I do have the feeling that the company instead chose to form a compromise which they thought would weight in as highly acceptable for most viewers, and now we are in the period where the answer will shortly be born whether they were right. This will happen by the day Avengers do hit that theater near you with zillions of superheroes in it. Have no doubt of course that it will be a blockbuster. In the meantime, let us hope that Robert Downey JR.'s affectations and Bruce Banner will team up with each other to visit Samuel L. Jackson who has absolutely no concept of saying "no" for a question if it concerns a movie, a role proposal, and him. True. I did not yet forgive for Jumper. Not for Samuel L. Jackson, and not for Anakin.

To wrap this account on the new Hulk blaming up, let us run through the synopsis in a brief fashion yet: Banner will be forced to withdraw from his original habitat, will be forced to cover his identity, he has a secret friend and an archenemy, later he will reunite with the love of her life whose father is the co-archenemy. Banner will produce maybe 2 or 3 focal rampages in Hulk form and none of those will look particularly impressive, and I do not say this because I decided to not write anything good about this movie. It's simply: not. That. Good.

Check the screaming, when Hulk emerges for the first time. Now, is this a scream to chase your astral body galaxies away? Hardly. Yet such is the scream that I would anticipate from the Hulk. Animators had but below average success revealing rampant Hulk destruction. No worries though: when they realize that they succeeding only but mildly at best, comes Saviour gentle creature Liv Tyler to deliver the cited, most memorable line of this product:

it's ok

- It's OK!
- NO! It's NOT OK! OK?

In reality though, nothing is OK with this movie, as there is absolutely nothing in it which is beyond "being ok." I don't think I should be regarded as an incorrigible idealist if I prefer to demand freshness, cunningness, a degree of narrative subtlety, surprise power, and most importantly: good old FUN from a Hulk movie. Seldom are the times when even great actor Edward Norton looks inept on the big screen, yet the 2008 Hulk will give you sequences of such antipower. Sorrowfully lame attempts at humor, pointless, though surely harmless references to former Hulk adaptations are accessible as well, yet those probably caused much more joy for the creators of these references than for the contemporary audience, but now I might truly be crude here.

Nevertheless behold Lou Ferrigno and please never forget to laugh out honestly and louldy as Edward Norton tells him: "You Are The Man!" This is so cute. So humane. So: so -- sorry, robs sobbing soul out of me. Anyway. Exceptionally weak renditions of tough emotional situations are of focal additional attractions to interconnect the peek sequences you most likely signed on for. Peek sequences surely do concern Hulk and Puny Humans with related vehicles and objects they created. Entropy thus emerges triumphant as Hulk goes and Smashes. As mentioned, CG is above average at best, while Hulk's convince power as far as good old destruction goes weights in as below average, in my opinion. Utterly shallow final conflict - sorry I spoiled your enjoyment - and a credit list of true relief power to wrap this product up. For a product, it is an acceptable effort. For a Hulk movie: it is a joke, and a bad one at that, too. I still worship The Hulk, not The Hulk 2008, though.

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Sunday, June 15, 2008


Don't Blame THIS On The Sunshine
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OH!, I tried and I tried and I tried until I grew tired of trying. It was nice not giving instantly in for consensus opinion about how tremendously and how extremely bad this movie was sucking as. I thought it must have had SOME charm(s) to it, and now I do know that my suspicion was legit, yet one must admit that sucking tremendously and extremely bad, let alone doing both at the same time all do gain an entire different perspective, a highly illegal warped dimension and a zillion variants of delicate fresh meanings to them once the motion picture adaptation of Stephen King's Dreamcather is about to rampantly, ruthlessly rise! You are even free to unleash the muhaha, sadly.

As hinted, there is charm, even considerable amount of it in this output, yet Dreamcather boasts one of the the most trite flaws a film can come up with, in my opinion: it has no idea about what it wants to focally state, what it wants to thoroughly soak you into, what it wants to primarily surround you with. All these cluelessnesses do show hastily, thus there is little more to be offered than the depiction of loose directives, speaking a language which is suitable to share but the shallowest of lies to conclude a buildup of evidently promising initial qualities.
It is absolutely natural and thus totally OK to have some inspirations, even fixations as a creative person such as King. It would be a waste of good suffering to point out how Dreamcather relies on the alien-centered horror classic The Thing from 1982 as the author himself probably would have no desire to deny this evident source of inspiration he keenly and - initially - smartly used in his output. Dreamcather starts out in an easily approachable, smoothly likeable fashion, giving you a small group of good friends whom regularly spend some free time together in a highly isolated region characterized by blizzard, beer and binges. Firmly normal, nice stuff, no doubt.

Behold the Unbeknownst! of whom King himself could not possibly be serious. And, as he was not indeed, behold the casual psychic connections which do surround the depicted alien invaders just to deliver extra appeals for a very usual terrorrun which you have seen all before of. Take heed and bear witness nevertheless to the truth that lurks in this flick, as this truth reveals astonishing forms and degrees of delicare narrative murder for us, despite how this murdered narrative had no chance to born in the first place.

Little time is to remain prior the revelation of an alien organism which comes to the little wooden house in a human host. The friends do give shelter and take care of the half-frozen individual, regardless how he could be used up as a device of biological warfare. The poor man has an immense amount of hideous content in him - you do not even want to begin to imagine them - and he can not help but account on some of those via hmmm, offering glimpses of them on not necessarily too polite registers. There are though times when options are not given thus can not be taken, either.

Picture that you find the newcomer on the toilet at the very next morning, though he does not look too lively, even alive while spending quality (?) time in the ancient consensus position. The dude already revealed the most hideous stuff that had to be revealed, though there is but a toiler present that had the unfortunate chance to both witness and to bath the inherent entity in it's now-free, rampant form. A hostile alien life form in a toilet is bad news, trust me, especially when the former, now-dead host sits in the toilet that conceals the thing. The Thing, haha, phun excessively intended.

The output feels quite integral and strong to this point, in my opinion. The alien lifeform offered is a rude, aggressive, evil little mofo, and, as it will turn out hastily yet effectively, it is not at the top of the foodchain of the aliens that seemingly happened to visit Planet Earth. I guess "seemingly" can even be quite convincing, sometimes.

Enjoy the brief, fragile moments when harrassments by aliens are occurring on the canvas as the movie takes an entire different direction in an abrupt fashion, pretty much ending up as an everyday average "B" videogame with a background story about elite military units with the will to kick xenomorph butts. The moment great actor Morgan Freeman appears on canvas is the same second Dreamcatcher ignites it's mounted rockets to gain full speed power towards sour, sorrowful oblivion. Suffice it to say that you will see and hear how Freeman's character is totally fed up - haha, fed up! - with the aliens, and how he plans to lead a final assault on the hive the hostiles have established in the area. Absolute "B" action movie tastes are cooked out and served herein, which is totally OK under other circumstances - yet a rather unfortunate reverse-development when you do dare to anticipate or wish for neat, funny, inventive horrors.

Dreamcather is a work of hyperaggressive cliché abuse, as King accounts every single of his favorite fixations he as an author is seemingly obsessed of working with. These include: the Bigass Terrible Secret that connects the good friends via their shared past, - IT, anyone? - a Secret so horrible that it is only worth remembering and accounting on by the pale moonlight with a safety-fireplace present, also you absolutely must include some supernatural touch to your buildup once you want to amaze your audience with an instant horror mixture - though you do NOT have the acceptable/convincing weight and content to either of the components you do use up to form your mixture.

King offers you the shared past between the good friends the film focuses on, yet the Secret is not a Thing now, but a person. A psychic little dude who imbues his very special gifts on the friends because they were kind to them and defended him when evil big bullies tried to feed dogshite to him. Ah. This is so shocking, so horrible, so King. Sorry, I absolutely respect this great horror author. I confess I am not super-familiar with his work but I am aware of how masterful ideas he had and shared with consensus already - but I think it is safe to say that he has a tendency to utilize radical, pretty much lightweight comic book emotional abuse - which is not a blame factor on it's own, of course - to give a false weight to characters he is not satisfied with. The shallow characters. In Dreamcather, this feelings haunts me considerably. All these characters are quite shallow, and they have psychic powers because, I think, King THOUGHT they absolutely need to have them so they could be more interesting. But it did not turn out too good, I suppose. So, you need a highly hostile alien lifeform to haunt their naked butt, now, this is something, no? Bah!

Seems that sometimes a creative process and related buildup can collapse on itself, as King surely could not have been satisfied with the resultant psychic friends who can hear and see other people's thoughts and stuff, being invaded by an alien lifeform to deliver you initial extrras. Seeing how even THIS leads to nowhere acceptable, King unleashes military touches, then finally collides the military intervention with the psychic connection between the friends, so maybe, they together can put a stop to the alien menace! God, this is almost hopeless. The rather puzzling belief that others can see your thoughts can be a symptom of schizophrenia by the way, so King did not exactly released the Passat Wind from a very personal black hole, schizos already came up with THIS one. Though it's quite nice, and surely it seems very usable if you ever plan to make yourself crazy.

- 'tleast it's DEAD, though!

I have seen many King adaptations in which characters exhibited some personal, pathos-filled rituals as well, the writer with his snowballs and the tree form Misery and obviously, the dudes here with their beer drinking to the next 20 years do come to my mind. I got the feeling when King has nothing to tell neither to you or for his very own character creations, then he starts to throw around these - in my opinion - inept little vibes, like giving a personal ritual to THIS guy so he might be more interesting, let's just give some deficit for THIS dude, maybe some body-related handicap or emotional deficit. Let's make him blind, let's make him psycho, let's make him this, and that. King, I think, sometimes forgets how frightening normality can be, thus conceptualizes deficits as tools and things you absolutely MUST utilize to make a character suffer or just to make him interesting. Mind you I, these are the traits to give away King when he has no real stuff to tell, and also, these are just my impressions, though Jack Torrance just told me that he basically agrees.

There are times when these traits do not seem to influence the buildup in a significant manner, thus they end up as semi-trite accessories to give you the feeling that they are existent because they conceal the inherent emptiness which they truly live on and by. King either lies masterfully, or painfully clumsily, I think. The Dreamcather movie is a very nice, robust collection of his absolutely worst moments to date, thus it is also an adaptation that you do not want to miss. Make no mistake, please: I think it's OK to create crap if it is surrounded by quality on both sides. And I think Stephen King would agree. Though Jack Torrance tells me King would surely eradicate me butt. But Jack is nuts. Now Jack is in dilemma.

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Friday, June 13, 2008

UFC 85 Bedlam

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Mixed martial arts clearly became a significant form of both mass entertainment and - as Bruce Lee put it - an expression of the human body, the latter being, no doubt, the original field of operation of these ancient traditions, now living and breathing through competitive events around the world. Though many may consider men who enter the proving grounds little more than hired human pitbulls to rip each other apart for hard cash and radical amusement, I tend to utterly reject this rudimentary view, concluding that professional level mma is the combat of highly disciplined human spirits, opposing each other for the duration of the bout, probably ending up as unified in the process as we could conceive, simply through their magnificent shared experience of being in a cage where the damage one suffers is the wit one failed to exhibit. That is how, in my opinion, the mma fighter fights against herself/himself.

Japanese people compete to gain an insight of their own current abilities through the collision process of their skills with that of other's. To me, the ultimately glorious moments of mixed martial arts are not of those of KOs and submissions. They are of those of hugging the formal rival at the end of the bout, circulating the most honest, uncompromised, pure respect each fighter deserves simply by stating themselves on the proving grounds, regardless of the results. The ensuing peace between fighters after a good collision is such a palpable, legit sensation that it never got old so far - and won't ever will.

This here is a review of the UFC event UFC 85 Bedlam, time to punch that Read more button, baby!

Introductory thoughts about the more significant lineups

This here tender London night gives you a main event of above average anticipation factor, while the undercard gives co-main attractions that have both a British favorite and a good amount of colossal heavyweights to them. British UFC warrior Michael "The Count" Bisping is not someone you can do a UFC event without AND held it the UK at the sane time, and the night of Bedlam is - amazingly 'nuff, now that we do know that it was held in London - such an event, indeed. Therefore you have the charismatic Bisping getting himself ready to prove himself before a home friendly (sic!) environment, while his opponent is none other than rising star Jason "Dooms" Day who plans to deliver decent sitorgan molestation via legs against the hometown favorite.

The aforementioned event is but the co-main event, though. A collision between Brandon "The Truth" Vera and Fabricio Werdum is a bout of significant anticipation, too. The focal match gives us future UFC Hall of Famer Matt Hughes, who comes to reestablish himself both as a factor against a force of three letters that dominated his butt twice before - delicate hint: G, P, S, reorder - and as a warrior who is more than ready to reveal all limits for the younger fighters whom happen to be lucky/unlucky enough to do battle with him. Thiago "Pitbull" Alves is such a fighter. This young warrior exhibits furious aggressivity and a seemingly ever-increasing degree of precision. He knocked out Karo Parisyan with a knee, not something you see on a regular basis. (The Karo KO, not the knee). Now the pitbull coming to the octagon being aware that whoever leaves as the victor, shall face the GPS again! Uhm, sorry. Shall face GSP again.

Nate Marquardt vs Thales Leites

UFC 85 Bedlam did not lack good old controversies, this lineup delivered one of those. The organization considered up and comer Thales Leites good enough of a fighter to put against top level resistance, a degree which Nate "The Great" Marquardt is a firm representative of. Leites indeed catches Nate with a nice right hand in the first round, yet the collapsing veteran exhibits a superb ground defense skill set and manages not just to escape, he even gains the upper hand from a position many would consider a safe moment to form firm defense on. A stable uppercut puts Leites to the fence where Marquardt follows up with a - logically - consecutive series of attacks. The round wraps up with The Great assaulting a Leites who is definitely in the game, yet he has a definite hard time playing it, as well.

In the second round, following a takedown, Marquardt unleashes an illegal knee on his opponent. No knees on grounded opponent, but a grounded opponent it was indeed, whom The Great released his knee on. One point is abducted. Though Leites is allowed to spend some time to recover, - some time is five minute in this case, by the way - Marquardt forces out quite some wits and quite some blood out of his rival via a relentless ground and pound sequence which is to follow up the takedown Nate greets his opponent with. Marquardt even administers hilariously effective air-ro ground shots, these are not some things you see every day, as delivering bombs between the legs is not too easy, - except if you are allowed to and your partner is not necessarily a man, but choice is free - yet this is masterfully accomplished here by The Great. By the end of the round, the young talent Thailes looks decently battered (oxymoron?) and exhausted, yet manages to flow through to the third, final round.

The period to conclude this match gives us three interesting focal moments: Referee Herb Dean abducts yet another point from The Great because of elbows to the back of the head, though the replay shows that it seems as a controversial decision. As Herb Dean informs Marquardt, he (Herb[ert?]) already warned him once about elbows to the back of the head, and how those are nonos. Thus yet another point is abducted from the veteran. The remaining portion of the round has a massive ground character to it, with either fighter being sort of OK with wrapping this up without magnificent moments to conclude this collision. Or, are they? By the time of the 10-sec horn, The Great picks up Thailes and performs a pretty decent pile driver ! ! on him. First time I ever saw such thing in an mma bout. Surely, looks superb and all - but I wonder if it's - well - "safe." What I mean is this: if one headplants opposition through an angle, chances seem quite big to cause neck injury, no?

With the two points abducted, it is Thailes Leites who goes away as the vitror, regardless of the thorough beating Marquardt unleashed on him. Nice show of class and respect for each other after the bout nevertheless, and let me tell you this: Marquardt never looked bad in the cage before and he looked very good in it by the night of the Bedlam. He states he wants another chance against Anderson "The Spider" Silva. Silva beat The Great before, nevertheless such an integral Marquardt as this probably should be given another chance.

Brandon Vera vs Fabricio Verdum

This was both a nice and an unfortunate one, little doubt about that. Brandon Vera is a very talented and efficient heavyweight with significant wins on his record, for example, he took and won battle against former UFC Champion Frank Mir and even against Robert Downey Senior from the idiotic Iron Man movie. (One is lie.) Brandon also performs a crazy ritual dance to celebrate his victories with, so there is not much to dislike about the dude. As of the night of the Bedlam, Vera's only loss in the UFC is to Tim Sylvia, whom he put a superbly, massively and desperately boring fight with in UFC 77 Hostile Territory. Let us hope that they will never meet again, or that both of them will possess a handkerchief with chloroform. I am ready to ask for one, truly.

Fabricio Verdum comes to the UFC from Pride!. His debut was sort of sleepytime, though, rendering very moderate excitement of boxing character with Andrei Arlovski in UFC 70 Nations Collide. He was more convincing by the time of UFC 80 Rapid Fire, there he could TKO Gabriel "Napao" Gonzaga, and, judging from the size and efficiency of the Big Nose - this is what "Napao" means - not many can do that. Remember, it is mainly Gonzaga who eradicated CroCop's UFC career. Oh, interestingly, he KO-d CroCop by the time Werdum lost to Arlovski.

This match reaches an unfortunate stoppage before it could start or it could reach a satisfactory conclusion. I think Dan Miragliotta stopped the Kimbo vs Colossus fight soberly and correctly, but now I think he committed a mistake. But is is allowed to commit one, even two, isn't it right? Just make sure it is not in the same year if you are a pro mma Referee. It is just so unfortunate to see a probable mistake being committed under such intense circumstances. But we absolutely must understand, I think, that fighter's safety is first. No reason to cause permanent damage. Suffice it to say that after a very nice, cautious back-and forth period that characterized the first portion of the first round, Werdum manages to soak in a full mount and unleashes bombs on Vera from this dominant position with 15-10 seconds left from the round. Dan Miragliotta stops the contest and it is arguable if he had the proper reason to do so. Though I am not in position to judge HIS judgment, please check the replay and ask yourself this: wouldn't you agree that one more punch should have been allowed? As Brandon might got hit from the one that caused the stoppage indeed, yet he surely tried to defend it, too. Something tells me that Werdum and Vera 2 will be arranged and it is safe to say that we had chance to watch less interesting lineups before. Can't help but think that it would be funny to see Dan Miragliotta putting a controversial stoppage to Werdum vs Vera 2 with Vera mounted and pounding on a defending Werdum with 10 seconds remaining from the frist round.

Jason Lambert vs Luiz Cane

Jason "The Punisher" Lambert was amazing in UFC 80 Rapid Fire where he dictated relentless pace and exhibited senseless aggression, just to be knocked out silly by the opposition he probably thought of as being an entity that has no will nor desire left to offer any resistance. Results of this approach: Wilson Gouveia knocked out Lambert silly. So, senseless aggression was the aggression of The Punisher, indeed. A nice notion arouse from this night, offered by Ultimate Fighter veteran Mike "Quick" Swick in his pre-fight interview: Swick states that thinking you can not be knocked out is one of the greatest disadvantages you can enter the proving ground with.

Now let me tell you this: I'm getting somewhat baffled by Jason Lambert's fighting stlye, as he is not fighting anymore, he goes there reckless, semi-silly, wanting to crush opposition with a series of haymakers, thank you, come again. Reckless, crude, lacking all elegance. Not to mention the little mind game that occurs to me. Imagine how long - that is: 0.5 or 1 seconds - could Lambert survive for if to exhibit this senseless gameplay against such a subtle fighter as Lyoto "The Dragon" Machida, for example. Bah! Also let me confess that I ended up satisfied seeing how this awkward, I dare say this: unintelligent way of deconstruction had to be payed for by it's exhibitor. UFC debutant Luiz Cane spots and exploits the huge holes in Lambert's defense who does absolutely nothing save throwing his bigass, faceless punches in the air. Cane nicely, cleanly, precisely connects through these holes on numerous occasions, leaving The Punisher as a caught man. Little time is needed prior Cane wrapping this up with some consecutive shots at the fence, affecting a Jason Lambert who is not necessarily in the octagon, anymore. He is totally at some place else, wondering what, how, any why went wrong. Here is what, how, and why went wrong, Jason:

As for the "what": you thought you can not be knocked out silly. Wrong.
As for the "how": you played the game accordingly. Superwrong.
As for the "why": because you wanted to showcase your amazing skill set, ending up a reckless, semi-silly fighter for the time being. Hyperwrong, though totally cool with the audience, have no doubt about that.

Jason Lambert remains a fighter of promising qualities nevertheless, yet he needs to decide wheteher he wants to remain "just that" or will choose instead to evolve on fruity paths as a fighter. Right now he goes along the darkest, stupidest path I am afraid, but it is never too late to turn back, no? Not until there is light to see where you came from, that is. Lambert needs to exhibit a way more significant degree of caution and defense. I understand that his nickname The Punisher demans something, but let me ask you this: is The Punisher punishes himself? If this is the case, then I must admit that this Lambert was the best, even BESTEST Lambert I EVER seen to date. If The Punisher wants to punish others, though: then he damn better start reading my UFC reviews, OR start listening to his coach OR both, as I am pretty sure neither his coach or I will advice Lambert to go out there with the intention to destruct the other man by 1 punch and forget about the concepts of caution, defense, efficiency. Bah, bah, and a triplebah!

Marcus Davis vs Mike Swick

Marcus "The Irish Handgrenade" Davis is on a winning streak composed of 11 victories, thus the former professional boxer and knower of very effective punches - see this amazing UFC 80 Rapid Fire review - comes confident and well prepared to claim a veteran trophy for himself. Mike "Quick" Swick does NOT prove to be the ideal candidate, though. Intelligently utilizing his considerable height and reach advantage, I think it is safe to say that Swick virtually does with-and to Marcus what he wants to. This means takedowns, mostly, and consecutive ground and pound sequences of mild excitement-, yet significant efficiency factor. Marcus Davis is a veeery very hard nut to crack - if you can crack him at all, that is - so you can not say that he would be absent from the fight, not for one second. Yet he is simply: outplayed, outfought, overplayed, overfought - please choose your option - this night. Swick redeems his relentless attacks to cuts that are slowly yet certainly do form on Davis's face to the point where both the existent scars are opened up and new additions are keenly offered. A well deserved decision goes for Swick as a result of keeping it steady while on the feet, and being slowly, surely efficient and persistent on the ground. The ground, where this match boiled down to it's bloody conclusion, indeed. Credit for The Irish Handgrenade for putting up a decent fight and a firm defensive gameplay that allowed him to keep wits and reputation intact, and credit for Mark Swick for defusing The Irish Handgrenade and still throwing it away.

Michael Bisping vs Jason Day

Boy, I LUV these fights in which - as Joe Rogan precisely puts it - one man does not even have the chance to start. This is an exact case of such occasions. Local favorite and recognized face of present day mma Michael Bisping tears through Jason Day as knife through butter, truly not much else to say about this. "Bad" is something that Bisping never was, instead he starts to be very good, and now it is superhard to fail noticing this. I hope the UFC stops putting him against casual resistance - remember his match with Charles McCarthy in UFC 83 Serra vs St. Pierre 2? - and we will see him compete against top level contenders.

Matt Hughes vs Thiago Alves

Though Thiago Alves was unable to fulfill the weight requirements for the match, Matt Hughes accepted the fight nevertheless. Notice that Hughes indeed looks quite a bit slimmer compared to his "usual"? composure. The bout naturally delivers a Matt Hughes determined to take Alves to the ground, the future Hall of Famer shared these plans even in the pre-fight interview and acts accordingly, indeed. In the first period it is actually Alves who takes Hughes down after Matt proves to be persistent of closing the gap between and fight either from the clinch at the fence or on the ground. Alves manages to connect with a significant air-to ground bomb in the ensuing, brief ground period that ends by Hughes's very quickly utilized and very quickly resisted armbar attempt. The remaining period of the round then pretty much clones and maintains the intentions that ensued by the start, then the competitors once again go to the ground after Alves lands a knee on the former Champion. A rather eventless ground period the round ends as and with, though some air-to ground missiles from Alves save - ironically, save indeed - some of the day in the final seonds. Now we are but moments away from the shocking, even mildly and even properly emotional developments that are about to take place in the second round. And, as I noticed this: those will happen regardless how many times you rewind the stuff!

Hughes' persistence to take Alves down claims yet another knee to be placed firmly and intact on the former Champion's head. This one was a nasty, too that opened a cut on Matt's face and forced him to a defensive game on the ground where Alves forces him to via dominant position kept intact. Alves proves to be both viciously effective, and effectively vicious: you can see how he tries to worsen the wound by pushing his head to it in a rapid but mild fashion that could not be regarded as headbutts, but probably had the chance to make the cut worse. Hughes manages to escape from the ground by effectively muscling Alves and himself up to the fence, though impressive move it is, also the last he makes in this bout. He fails to get a hold of the opposition and takes a brief moment to recover with the just-escaped Alves being relatively absent. Thiago though chooses to charge: a huge flying knee connects on Matt that results both in a very dangerously bent left knee as result of collapsing and surely there are effects too that are better left alone unless you are pro level mma fighter. And, if you are: then they are better left alone even more, probably.

Alves wraps this collision up by a finishing punch on the grounded Hughes and emerges victorious over the future Hall of Famer. An impressive accomplishment. Alves publicly asks UFC President Dana White to give him a title shot. Matt Hughes was particularly cool in the post-fight interview: he assures all that there is at least one fight left in him and clarifies that he even has ideas about whom to fight it with. Indeed, Matt Serra and Matt Hughes effectively owe that fight for many. Not just for the fans. For themselves, too. Matt Hughes was very humane and sympathetic in this here post-fight. He was never as bitter of a loser as you would anticipate him to be, or he just never shown and never shows that publicly, I do not know. But he handles losses very professionally when observed and querried, that is not a matter to debate about. He voices how his kids are watching the event at home, and that he is disappointed for them, not for himself. This adds emotional content of proper registers to the night, in my opinion.

Antoni Hardonk vs Eddie Sanchez

UFC 85 Bedlam gives a very nice heavyweight collision that did have potential to go to the distance, and indeed chose to put the first period behind itself. Antoni Hardonk - mind the k, please mind the k - is a massive heavyweight with a strong chin and unleasher of his trademark legkicks of blatant power. Eddie Sanchez similarly is a heavyweight factor you better start count with seriously as he has the tendency to put up helluva' fights against all placed in front of him. This collision had a nice back and forth character as Eddie Sanchez caught his rival even on two occasions, though had problems finding and unleashing efficient solutions against the taller competitor when they ended up on the ground or in the clinch. The bout also had the fortunate tendency to deliver fighters who prefer to wrap confrontations up in the standing position if option to do so is affordable, thus the match brings considerable peek moments of the standing character, spiced briefly by segments of a ground based warfare. When such leg kicks and punches do fly around though, sooner or later someone WILL refuse to go down, and someone will be quite keen to do JUST that, if you grasp my hopefully delicate meaning here. This nice heavyweight collision gives you a Hardonk - now truly mind the k, please! - in the end who bangs out a TKO over Eddie Sanchez at the fence whom hardly could be accused of not having the fighting spirit or the decent chin.

Of the remaining bouts I had not bear much interest, therefore I wrap this up, having the definite focal points of the night accounted on. Hope you had a fine evening and found the review useful - thank you for reading it, and see you next time.

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Tuesday, June 3, 2008

EliteXC Primetime - Colossal Kimbo?

Size of the Fight, Size of the Marketing

2008. may 31.

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Mixed martial arts clearly became a significant form of both mass entertainment and - as Bruce Lee put it - an expression of the human body, the latter being, no doubt, the original field of operation of these ancient traditions, now living and breathing through competitive events around the world. Though many may consider men who enter the proving grounds little more than hired human pitbulls to rip each other apart for hard cash and radical amusement, I tend to utterly reject this rudimentary view, concluding that professional level mma is the combat of highly disciplined human spirits, opposing each other for the duration of the bout, probably ending up as unified in the process as we could conceive, simply through their magnificent shared experience of being in a cage where the damage one suffers is the wit one failed to exhibit. That is how, in my opinion, the mma fighter fights against herself/himself.

Japanese people compete to gain an insight of their own current abilities through the collision process of their skills with that of other's. To me, the ultimately glorious moments of mixed martial arts are not of those of KOs and submissions. They are of those of hugging the formal rival at the end of the bout, circulating the most honest, uncompromised, pure respect each fighter deserves simply by stating themselves on the proving grounds, regardless of the results. The ensuing peace between fighters after a good collision is such a palpable, legit sensation that it never got old so far - and won't ever will.

This here is a review of the EliteXC event EliteXC Primetime May 31, time to punch that Read more button, baby!

Introductory thoughts about the more significant lineups

- with BONUS notions about EliteXC marketing strategies -

Now that EliteXC has former internet sensation now-professional level mma fighter Kimbo Slice in it's warrior roster, it remains a question if the ex-street fighter is ready to face top level competition, or must he familiarize himself first with a wider array of mma tools beyond knocking the hoile spirit out of someone for a brief, yet sticky period of time. Remember EliteXC Street Certified? Kimbo destroyed Tank Abbot there, a victory he claimed his second professional mma triumph with. Though Tank remains both a pioneer of the sport and a significant persona to enrich proving ground vibes with, his game essentially boils down to one punch kills: something he got famous for, and something he chose to stick around with as primal instrument of destruction. This is all cool, in my opinion, the fact though that Tank becomes relatively yet painfully out of place, dare I say: clueless as soon his devastating introductory shots do miss: is not that cool.

Tank is not an mma fighter, he is a human nuclear bomb who Smashes All that and whom his fists connect with via full impact, but, when they do NOT connect, then it is very unlikely that the Tank will amaze you with his diverse skill set in the clinch or on the ground. Tank is not the kind of fighter who comes to introduce tactics, let alone an elaborate gameplan: Tank comes to reveal a dimensional gate in anyone's face fool enough to enter the proving ground with him. Yet, now that I have seen some fights with him, I think it is safe to say that though Tank indeed possesses senseless nuclear power in his fists, he does not enjoy struggles. Tank comes to kill you with one punch, if this not succeeds: then Tank already have lost something. The image have been damaged, and here is why: Tank not only dislikes struggles in which he has to gain the upper hand, the worst of all remains that he does not look good and does not perform well in struggles, either.

Thus this warrior comes to destroy his rival in the first five seconds, if this plan fails, then the cause of this failure probably is that the Tank himself got stopped. That is what happened in EliteXC Street Certified and frankly, this is probably what the EliteXC wanted to happen, which is of course an OK.

Now Kimbo has a sequence in his highlight real knocking Tank out silly, thus the former internet sensation claims a trophy for himself that undoubtedly has a special meaning to it. As one dimensional Tank's game might be, he, in my opinion, remains a face you WILL and MUST remember from mma, yet I stick to my opinion that Tank Abbot needs serious, seeerious work on his versatility if he plans to compete on on the professional level. Imagine a warrior with Tank's punching power and a solid clinch/ground game.

- EliteXC marketing notion 1. -

Check these marketing magic tricks the EliteXC operates with. By the night of the Kimbo vs Tank fight, ( - EliteXC Street Certified, please don't click on the ads) James "The Colossus" Thompson battled with Brett Rogers. I have already voiced my opinion how I absolutely LUV the little gesture the Colossus makes to greet opponents and the crowd before his bouts. Now I might have found the solution: don't you think he got that from Scorpion's harpoon special move from Mortal Kombat? Check carefully and inform me if it is where the term "geek" ends at or is it where it starts at?

Anyway: Brett Rogers kicked The Colossus's ass. Now, what should happen next? You would say that Rogers moves on to claim a chance against Kimbo, yet the organization chooses to collide Kimbo with the LOSER of the Rogers vs Thompson bout. This is actually a very smart thing to do, as it throws The Colossus back in the top EliteXC mix: if he wins, he solidifies himself as the Kimbo Stopper, and Kimbo should do battle with Brett Rogers. Everything is cool for everyone, including the audience. If The Colossus loses, then Brett Rogers finally emerges to challenge Kimbo. Notice how the act of colliding Rogers with the internet sensation makes no fiscal sense by the period: a nice decision that builds on three fighters as opposed to getting away with only two of the trio.

And a - bizarrely - co-main event: current EliteXC Middleweight Champion Robby "Ruthless" Lawler emerges to render a title defense against challenger Scott "Hands of Steel" Smith, an mma veteran who usually puts up passionate, decent fights against his opponents prior getting choked out. Notice how Kimbo's phenomena weighs in more than some casual, semi-undercard title defense herein.

Gina Carano vs Kaitlin Young

Ladies first, and this was my first female mma bout. I mean, the first I saw, not the first I took part in. To tell you the truth, I never thought that women should not do this sport, and here is why: women who consider themselves both keen and capable to knock each other around certainly do possess both the desire and the will to fight. Even better: Gina Carano actually looks quite pretty, yet gives Kaitlin Young a stable, integral beating nevertheless. Credit for the aforementioned rival who informs us how she kind of likes to beat people up, kind of nice to familiarize yourself with a subject matter you kind of like, indeed. A brief period in which Young goes for a successful takedown is of note here, apart from this impressive move she utilized though - a move she can not redeem to punishment, as Carano exhibits stone solid ground defense - she has not much to deliver against Gina. Some nice leg kicks are of note, yet the higher variants remain inaccurate and sloppy. Kaitlin Young's roundhouse kick is the grimmest blaming of roundhouse kicks. Carano dominates the proving ground this time around with a superior and more courageous standup, keeping both the pace and her rival to bend according to her will. The second period comes to a conclusion with Carano trying to claim a tapout out of Young who collapses as result of a nice straight kick Gina throws quite a few of, finally connecting pretty much full impact. The bell saves Young from a submission, yet she is declared to be unable to step into the third period due to the damage she suffered in the first two rounds.

Brett Rogers vs Jon Murphy

The massive Rogers is closing on on Kimbo Slice, no doubt, as he scores an impressive one minute KO in the first round over Jon Murphy. Though Brett's rival manages to connect with a nice uppercut which momentarily dazes the massive competitor, he grows - in my opinon - semi-emotional and crushes Murphy with the relentless opposition he exhibits firstly at the fence, wrapping it up with a right hand that connects firm and clean on Jon's chin. When asked whether he is ready to face Kimbo, Rogers states that he is ready to face whoever the organization puts in front of him, and I bet this is the answer you and me wanted to hear. One thing is for sure, though: in my opinion, Rogers does not want to get emotional against Kimbo, because Kimbo has way too much experience in THAT game. Probably has the most of it in among all professional level mma competitors.

Phil Baroni vs Joey Villasenor

Phil "The New York Badass" Baroni still has the body of a demigod but also comes to this bout on a losing streak composed of three losses. Joey Villasenor, on the other hand, is on the rise, last time we saw him in was EliteXC Strikeforce Shamrock vs Le where he scored a knockout victory over Ryan Jensen. Baroni needs to get his stuff together, I am telling you that: he has a brilliant moment right in the very start,getting a hold of Villasenor's leg which he used to throw a high kick. The New York Badass puts Joey to his back and unleashes some of his good old trademark ground and pounds abilities, but fails to keep Villasenor on the ground, even eats in a hard punch in the debating process. They end up at the fence where Joey manages to soak in an arm to choke some essential gas out of Baroni - the punches Villasenor follows up the choke attempt with do leave a badly damaged and massively fatigued New York Badass behind whom Joey Villasenor disposes of hastily, effectively.

Robbie Lawler vs Scott Smith

The co-main event delivers both highly memorable moments introduced by two passionate competitors, also, as we will see, the EliteXC marketing monster is among the audience. Call me paranoid later please, when I will share my view with you on the unfolding events that we are about to account on now. A nice feelings out process start this one out with mutual respect tangible between the warriors. The first round is characterized by Smith's impressive head kick to influence the Champion's head, yet Scott's entry to move in for the kill proves to be either early or not quite ruthlessly stated - more probably: both. Lawler gains an upper hand in the ensuing exchange, throwing more accurate and more devastating attacks than his rival manages to. Finally Robbie throws two vicious body kicks in a consecutive fashion that do claim a toll on Smith's composure - the first round comes to a conclusion with Scott effectively crumbling to his corner via the - quite appropriately - ruthless beating he got administered with at the fence.

You got to admire Scott Smith's fighting spirit: he comes back intact and turns the second round into a back and forth stand up battle with highly successful attacks introduced and suffered by both warriors. It is actually Smith who appears to perform more accurately, punishing Lawler by sly, little elbows that do come out of nowhere yet they do deal damage on the Champion. The round gives you two heavily fatigued fighters and the scent of approaching drama in the air, the scent that is always a pleasure to greet.

The third period delivers a Lawler with the initiative at his disposal, yet the jabs he throws so keenly do connect with a diverse efficiency factor, let alone how Smith emerges to introduce some furious charges from time to time, these are moments he is able to score some convincing shots from. Lawler probably grows unsatisfied with how the round would turn out if the progress this way all the while, thus he goes for a takedown, which is though ends up as an unsuccessful attempt. Then the good old controversy kicks in: Lawler accidentally sinks his fingers in Smith's eye when trying to block. Pause, check on by a ring doctor. Despite that two minutes after the accident Scott claims that he is ready to go on, the doctor decides to put an end to the match, making it a no contest bout as it was scheduled for five five minutes rounds.

Please notice this, and call me paranoid: there is no way one who have seen this match would miss out a second collision between Lawler and Smith, and I go the feeling that this very idea have occurred to the EliteXC decision makers, too. Why wrap a confrontation up with two more rounds when you can sell it as a full price attraction one more time soon? Scott Smith WAS able to continue, but the organization comes off better this way, having an attraction to deliver soon that fans can't resist to buy their tickets for. Urge to do so is even greater now, and that is what EliteXC hoped for and nicely accomplished, too. Memorable match nevertheless, and do not we forget that EliteXC President Gray Shaw payed full salary + bonus for both warriors. Something for something, you got to buy a stoppage. At the end of the day, the organization delivered a very nice match, also a match it was that started to build anticipation factor for an inevitable second variant of it by the moment it was stopped.

Kimbo Slice vs James Thompson

I was fond of the Colossus by the time this bout have started, now that it reached a conclusion, I am a fan of him. James Thompson pushes Kimbo to the limit AND beyond via wrapping the second round up by a ground and pound period The Colossus subjects the internet sensation for for a length of steady, stable two minutes. A memorable match, even a memorable opening period: Kimbo does a great job connecting with his trademark punches, and let us notice the replays: these are the scenes in which you got to see what the warriors are actually going through. Look at that uppercut - left hand combination Kimbo punishes The Colossus with. In real time, it seems "just" a punch but take heed at the replay what kind of punch those are, not to mention how Thompson eats in a whole series of those.

First and foremost, credit for Kimbo as he didn't look THAT bad initially when he was forced to the ground, though The Colossus eventually took him to parts the former street fighter was not particularly familiar with, nevertheless his training with mma legend Bas Rutten is of evident significance, also it is something that fortunately starts to show. Kimbo is not entirely uncomfortable on the ground anymore, he even has a nice reversal in this match, espacing and countering a situation in which The Colossus were going for a choke.

In fact, it is Kimbo himself who "takes himself down" with a strange maneuver very reminiscent of Jake "The Snake" Roberts's - yes, naturally, the WWE phenomena - finishing move, and this is the maneuver which leads Kimbo wide open for a very lengthy ground and pound assault Thompson unleashes on him. Though Kimbo is hardly anxious to go on after the bell, - heck, there is a moment in which you wonder in if he can stand up at all - you can not refuse to appreciate the determination he exhibits after that thorough, old fashioned beating he took from this giant man, let alone that the internet sensation comes back relatively integral for the final round. I am pretty sure that many would have quit.

The third and concluding period indeed delivers a conclusion. There is much you can tell about The Colossus, having the most beautiful left ear God's creations could have ever witnessed is: not one of the accusations Thompson would have to fear of, though. Kimbo damages the puffed ear which starts to bleed heavily, and it is but a question of the consecutive strikes that convinces - in my opinion, absolutely legitly - Referee Dan Miragliotta to put an end to the contest. True, Thompson was still defending himself and he was still in the game, though heavily assaulted and dazed. But why, why, why would you let a fighter permanently damage another one? That is what could have happened, as you can clearly see that The Colossus is in utterly grave danger in the moments Miragliotta steps in. I agree that he is STILL in the game - but the price he pays for being in the game is too much to pay. Yet another strike to that damaged ear - which Kimbo have planned to land, as he states - and The Colossus could have fall for good. Better this way, much better this way. Thompson is unhappy with this decision and even expresses this, fortunately Miragliotta proves to be a very sober Referee and it does not even occur to him take The Colossus's reaction that I hinted at into consideration.

As usual, Kimbo looked and proved to be very dangerous in the stand up, yet it was the first time we have seen him in evident desperation due to the deficits he currently suffers from concerning his ground game and general versatility. The fact that Kimbo exhibits a willingness to wage war on the ground is a very pleasant development to encounter though. After the match the internet sensation looks so excessively fatigued and immensely used up that it is very hard to not feel sympathy for him. Just some weeks ago UFC President Dana White claimed that Kimbo would be murdered in the UFC, yet they are ready to negotiate with him as soon as he beats someone credible. Whether they consider The Colossus credible is an interesting question, as well as how much Kimbo worths for the EliteXC. Addendum: The Colossus had some immense success in Pride! and in other organizations but his record is not very impressive at the moment - 14 wins and 9 losses after the Kimbo collision. Nevertheless excessive credit goes for Thompson whom we will see soon again, hopefully. I truly can't wait to see the dude score a win finally, I think he deserves it, especially after this passionate, persistent performance he put up against Kimbo.

It was a very memorable night that delivered but a few matches, but all it delivered had the respective special appeals to them, in my opinion. As a UFC fan stated in Quebec via a transparent:

It is not the size of the dog in the fight, it is the size of the fight in the dog.

A truly nice notion of which this night gives truly sober, yet similarly passionate understanding of. Hope you had a fine evening and found the review useful - thank you for reading it, and see you next time.

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Monday, June 2, 2008

The Departed

The Gentle Art of Making Enemies

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Martin Scorsese's 2006 effort The Departed combines rampant fiction power with an actor lineup that leaves no place for rookie canvas claimers, instead delivers statements via a staff even the cameramen are hardcore celebrities in.

The fiction is intact and subtle: Scorsese gives you an adaptation of the 2002 movie Mou gaan dou of Chinese origins, a highly successful piece the dream factory decided to offer it's own variant of. While such deliveries have a tendency to end up flabbergastedly weak, let alone redundant when compared to their originators - See For Yourself - fortunately The Scorsese knows how to tell this cunning narrative on a land that does not belong to the American Dream, yet reigns steadily as a massive rendition of an American Nightmare.

The movie revolves around one particular focal idea that gains beauty and potential through the elegant simplicity it seeks out the conflict with. There is the very bad dude, who is not just a bad dude, but, mind you I, herein: a very bad dude indeed, personified by timeless canvas phenomena Jack Nicholson. His character, Costello is somewhat of a Godfather figurine - definite oxymoron here - in the neighborhood he currently reigns at, thus it is evident that he holds major interest in rat nourishment, as creating the rat usually results in the rat's implementation . Little if any is revealed whether Costello deliberately created the informant we will witness during the output or just happened to pick one from many nourished candidates, yet it is pretty sure that the film hastily reveals a boss-informant connection between Nicholson's and Matt Damon's character, the latter being yet another staggering celebrity addition to the impressive roster The Departed delivers. Costello gains continuous information feed about the momentary focal interests of the state police which Matt Damon's character is fresh, brand new investigator of, notice therefore, how nice (?) and clean (?) things do flow so far.

Primal conflict is formed and offered via the introduction of Leonardo DiCaprio, who, fortunately, now that he is a bit over thirteen, ended up as a serious, even better: as a quite decent actor as opposed to petrifying into the hideous heartlicker direction/archetype he was trademark representative of. His Departed character, - sic! - Billy Costigan hopes to join the state police yet he has to face rejection as his background and temper do not exactly impress the decision makers.

The output gives us significant supportive roles as these cited decision makers: Mark Wahlberg brings you the classic, bitter, yet passionate cop character whom "F*CK!s" and "SHIT!s" actually manage to remain funny during the whole time, while the elder Sheen - the Martin - renders a solid, trusty, calm personification of the local police captain. Alec Baldwin is included, too. He has one, I repeat: one funny line and a couple of mildly interesting breakdowns during the movie, as for him as an actor though, I do not think he is half as good as he probably thinks he is, yet, amazingly, I don't think he is as bad as I think he is, either. See how consensus reality is an ideal thing to be baffled by?

Back to the conflict though: Costigan - DiCaprio - just got turned down, but, as opposed letting him grow frustrated through years and years of compulsive desperation leading to a highly successful suicide attempt eventually, he will be asked to go undercover instead! The agenda is this: to find the mole Costello is keeping at the department, of whom identity we are already aware of, yet this kind of narrative usually manages to build and solidify quality tension. Take Columbo for example: you always know who the killer is, - regardless how it is always a DIFERENT person, amazingly! - yet your amusement develops nice and steady as Columbo and his balloon coat do get closer and closer on the suspect. The Departed is no exception. Roles are given, clear and nicely operated, while entertainment unravels raw and naked through the collision and interaction between the precisely drawn character archetypes the story plays around with.

The basic premise therefore gives us a Godfather character - Nicholson - who has a rat at the police to inform him - among other things - if there is a rat in the first place among Nicholson's own men, giving information to the police. Such an informant exists indeed in the form of Costigan - DiCaprio - whom though is convincing enough to gain the trust of the Godfather, so he - Leo - has chances both to gain information about the workings of Costello, let alone unraveling the identity of the rat Costello keeps at the police. It seems a bit more complicated in the written form than it actually is, yet, to put it in a simper form: Matt Damon and DiCaprio do chase each other around Nicholson's focal character for a period of 150 minutes, and all this proves to be a source of quite integral entertainment with but a tiny hint of redundancy present in the fabric here and there.

Let us deal with those pretty much insignificant shortcomings a bit later, though, and let us deal with them only because those are the little traits that do separate this here robust output from yet another integral statement that would score five! Opinion Onions.

Fortunately The Departed recognizes that such a "men-packed" delivery always would and will tolerate feminine presence with an amazing degree of gratefulness, surely, this motion picture can not be an exception: Scorcese gives you a very stable Vera Farmiga, personifier of the shrink you need to see in case 1. you are a cop, 2. and had to fire your weapon to kill, 3. and you broke down because of this. The Departed surely takes the liberty and cunningness to collide Farmiga both with Damon and DiCaprio with easily calculable results. It is truly not about the loose moral of the girl, though: emotional involvements will be way too "sober" and way too "stripped" to make up arguments about who kissed whom, who slept with whom - though I failed to notice a layout in which Matt Damon and Leo would do any of these latter pastimes with each other. Well, not all scenes do make it to the big screen, you know.

Jack and Martin have the Tony Montana going on

A little side note here: Scorcese's output gives quite strong and significant social commentaries by the moments you would least expect them, such is my personal favorite from this movie when Leo tells Vera how there is absolutely NO ONE more full of sh*t than a cop who is crying about how he HAD to use his weapon to kill. Leo informs Vera about his view that a cop effectively SIGNED ON for this responsibility and the related duty. Nothing is more wrong than a crying cop, maybe a TV cop, he states. And, if you think about it, it is a nice subject matter to do some pondering with, relating the subtle, little field that connects, serves media to and with society via the consciousness that recognize media at the first place - thus giving it a reason to manifest. Imagine a media no one would interact, no one would connect with. Would that be still a media? Notice therefore how one might end up little more than glue, solidifying the belief that the world is such as the TV shows it to be indeed, as THAT is the world I do watch with keen readyness and intact confirmation.

Let me ask you this: what exactly are you supposed to feel when you witness a crying cop on TV? "Oh, poor man! Blew a killer's brains out!" or "Don't be a killer or a cop like this one here will cry about your sorry ass next week after successfully toasting it!" You decide, me just writes here. Now let us go back to The Departed.

Vera Farmiga's role and presence certainly does give nice supportive vibes to this here double crossed, intense testosterone marathon, my only criticism of her performance would concern her viewtiful, big eyes that are so viewtiful and big that Farmiga has momentary troubles forgetting about this and commits overkill of this precious tool. If you always keep your eyes open wide, you never keep your eyes open wide. Other than that: she is very pleasant on the canvas.

Jack Nicholson and Matt Damon are simply: perfect. Leo would be perfect, too, at least probably: his role however concerns too much of being angry, and being veeeery angry. Leo exhibits anger with a funny look on his face which gets a little bit, really: JUST a little bit old when you witness it for the 512371273rd time, an occasion you will have chance to greet, trust me. I would like to see some psycho-ass Leo next time with no anger being hidden behind lips pressed superhard. Now we know you are Master at this, Leo. Please show other and show different next time.

At the end of the day, The Departed runs a little bit longer than I personally think it should run for, yet the great performances do make this an effort which remains easily recommendable to multiple sittings. The output does not exactly deliver surprises or particular twists in it's fabric due to the strict initial (let alone eventual) depiction of the focal elements it relies on, weighs in as one of the most appealing and memorable MOB installments the 2006 Hollywood delivered nevertheless.

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