Thursday, November 24, 2011

Movie Review: Iron Monkey (1993)


Iron Monkey movie review poster
Donnie Yen and Yu Rongguang in Iron Monkey

Yuen Woo-ping directed this classic martial arts movie. Yu Rongguang plays the role of a good-hearted doctor, who moonlights as the titular character. Iron Monkey steals from the rich and corrupt and helps the poor and needy. The corrupt government forces Wong Kei-ying (Donnie Yen) to capture Iron Monkey in 7 days by holding his son Wong Fei-hung as hostage. 

While Wong Kei-ying pursues Iron Monkey, there is a change in the government for the worse. Rest of the movie should be familiar to anyone who has watched similar movies of this genre or any action movie for that matter. 

The action sequences in the movie are top-notch, which should not be surprising considering the cast and crew involved. Woo-ping is renowned for his martial arts choreography work in martial arts movies in the East. His fame was to shoot through the stratosphere shortly, following his work in Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon and The Matrix Trilogy.


Yuen Woo ping matrix action choreographer
Yuen Woo-ping, the director

Rongguang and Yen are both very accomplished martial artists and their skills electrify the screen in the insanely choreographed action sequences in the film.

Donnie Yen is one of my favorite martial artists and his work in this movie is as good as ever. I have enjoyed all of his movies from Once Upon a Time in China II to Hero to the recent hit Ip Man series. His role as Snowman in Blade II was one of the best things in that movie.

Iron Monkey has a lot of the action sequences and boy, do they pack a punch... 

Click on the link below to buy your copy:


If you are a fan of the martial arts movie genre or action movies in general, I would highly recommend this movie to you. Trust me, you will not be disappointed!

If you enjoyed this post, please subscribe to this blog by clicking here.

Image Source: Missing Reel 

© 2017 – www.buddy2blogger.blogspot.com. All rights reserved. All text are copyrighted and owned by the author of this blog. No part of the content or the blog may be reproduced without prior written permission.

 You might also like:


Sunday, November 13, 2011

Book Review: Vargulf by Tim Garrity


Werewolf Horror book review


This is a review of the Kindle version.

A by-the-numbers book. Opens with a werewolf attack… proceeds to the character(s) setup.. more werewolf attacks... Rinse, Lather, Repeat... Very Generic...

The two main protagonists reminded me of the 2 leads from the movie Se7en. One is the experienced and calm and the other young and hot-headed and has a family. The resemblance to the movie stops there. The book possesses none of the suspense or the thrills provided by that movie, despite the obvious advantage of having a lycanthropic villain.

Click on the link below to buy the book:


I would recommend Autobiography of a Werewolf Hunter by Brian P. Easton and City underthe Moon by Hugh Sterbakov. Both these books are, in my humble opinion, near the top of the list when it comes to Werewolf fiction and will enthrall the readers. 

If you enjoyed this post, please subscribe to this blog by clicking here. 


© 2017 - www.buddy2blogger.blogspot.com. All rights reserved. No part of the content or the blog may be reproduced without prior written permission.

You might also like:


Saturday, November 12, 2011

TV Review: Murder Rooms: Mysteries of the Real Sherlock Holmes (2000 - 2001)

Ian Richardson as Dr Joseph Bell in Mysteries of the Real Sherlock Holmes (2000 - 2001)
Ian Richardson and Charles Edwards as Dr Bell and Arthur Conan Doyle

This TV series features Ian Richardson as Joseph Bell, the man credited by Arthur Conan Doyle as the inspiration to create his most famous fictional creation, Sherlock Holmes.

Conan Doyle is played by Robin Laing in the first episode and by Charles Edwards in the rest of the series.

While it is debatable, how much of the series is based on actual facts, the series definitely is quite entertaining thanks to Richardson’s masterly portrayal of Bell. Ian Richardson was a Shakespearean stage actor and was awarded a CBE (Commander of the Order of the British Empire) in 1989 for his services to drama.

His interpretation of Bell is (most probably, a deliberate decision on the part of the makers) heavily based on the character of Holmes. Obviously, it would be tough to sell the character of Bell as the inspiration behind Holmes, if Bell is portrayed any other way.

Click on the link below to buy the movie:


It is interesting to note that Richardson also portrayed Sherlock Holmes in the TV movies, The Hound of the Baskervilles (1983) and The Sign of Four (1985) and provided the voice for Conan Doyle in the TV series The Great War and the Shaping of the 20th Century (1996). I do not know if any other actor in human history has had the privilege of portraying Arthur Conan Doyle, Sherlock Holmes and Joseph Bell. A rare honor indeed!


Ian Richardson as Sherlock Holmes in 'The Sign of Four' (1985)
Ian Richardson as Sherlock Holmes in 'The Sign of Four' (1985)

The first episode, titled “The Dark Beginnings of Sherlock Holmes”, introduces Conan Doyle to Bell. Several of the exchanges between Bell and Doyle in this episode, are almost reproduced verbatim from A Study in Scarlet. In this episode, as in the rest of the series, Bell is positioned as the real life Holmes and Doyle as his real life Watson. In the pilot episode, Bell and Doyle investigate a series of grisly murders committed by a serial killer, Dr. Thomas Neill Cream.

In the next episode, “The Patient's Eyes”, the duo investigate the case of a woman who believes she is being followed by a ghost while bicycling along a lonely road. This is one of best mysteries in this series. It is interesting to note that the plot starts off in a very similar way to The Adventure of the Solitary Cyclist. There are some twists down the road that makes this story different.

Perhaps, the writers wrote this episode to suggest that Doyle might have found the inspiration for some of his Holmes mysteries from his own real life experiences with Bell. In addition to his work with Bell, I believe Conan Doyle also personally investigated couple of closed murder cases, leading to two convicted men being exonerated.

Ian Richardson as Dr Joseph Bell in Mysteries of the Real Sherlock Holmes (2000 - 2001)
Ian Richardson is an excellent Dr Bell

The next two episodes, “The Photographer's Chair” and “The Kingdom of Bones” deal with spiritualism and terrorist threat respectively.

The final episode, “The White Knight Stratagem”, is in my humble opinion, the best in the series. It features Bell and Doyle investigating a murder, with the police official in charge of the official investigation having a past history with Bell. This episode sees Sir Doyle coming into his own element as a detective and is a good farewell for the series.

While the series is quite brief (only 5 episodes) and some of the mysteries cannot hold a candle to the actual Holmes mysteries, I would commend this series to anyone interested in Sherlock Holmes. The sole reason is Ian Richardson. He is a master at the top of his game here and single-handedly elevates the series to a whole new level.

Click here to read all my posts about Sherlock Holmes.

If you enjoyed this post, please subscribe to this blog by clicking here.

Image Sources: Mpi Home Video, Amazon

© 2017 - www.buddy2blogger.blogspot.com. All rights reserved. No part of the content or the blog may be reproduced without prior written permission.

You might also like:

Book Review: Confessions of a Public Speaker by Scott Berkun


Confessions of a Public Speaker by Scott Berkun


This is a review of the Kindle version.

Scott Berkun lists various techniques to deliver presentations the right way. He also provides tips on how to prevent and rectify several commonly repeated mistakes in public speaking.

Click on the link below to buy the book:


Scott also provides examples of actual mistakes done by speakers, to inspire confidence in aspiring speakers.

Way to go, Scott. Looking forward to more outstanding work from you.


If you enjoyed this post, please subscribe to this blog by clicking here.

Image Source: Speaking About Presenting 

© 2017 - www.buddy2blogger.blogspot.com. All rights reserved. No part of the content or the blog may be reproduced without prior written permission.

You might also like:

Friday, November 11, 2011

Book Review: Meg: Hell's Aquarium by Steve Alten


Meg: Hell's Aquarium by Steve Alten


This is a review of the Kindle version.

The story moves forward at a steady pace and all the twists and turns should be easily predicted by astute readers. The focus here is on the Megs and how gruesome can each of their attacks on the human snacks be made out to be. In both these aspects, Steve Alten scores big time as he invests each of the Megs with distinct personalities.

Click on the link below to buy the book:


In addition to the adult Meg (Angel), we have 6 more Megs. One is Scarface, the only Male meg in the novel and remaining 5 are Angel's runts. 2 of these are particularly menacing, while the remaining 3 are just regular Janes as far as a Meg can be.


Steve Alten author of Meg books
Steve Alten, the author

The climax features a fight to the death between Angel and a 122 ft long Liopleurodon.



Recommended to Megheads only.

If you enjoyed this post, please subscribe to this blog by clicking here.

Image Source: Pressthat 

© 2017 - www.buddy2blogger.blogspot.com. All rights reserved. No part of the content or the blog may be reproduced without prior written permission.

You might also like:

Monday, November 7, 2011

Swami Vivekananda


Swami Vivekananda

If you enjoyed this post, please subscribe to this blog by clicking here.


© 2017 - www.buddy2blogger.blogspot.com. All rights reserved. No part of the content or the blog may be reproduced without prior written permission.

You might also like:

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Book Review: Red Nails by Robert E. Howard


Red Nails by Robert E. Howard



This is a review of the Kindle version.

I understand that this book was written in the 1930s and it shamelessly advocates male chauvinism. While this might have (and was probably overlooked) in those times, such a view is highly inappropriate for the current times. In addition, the book is also politically incorrect.

As for the story, I stopped after reading about 20 pages. From what I read, Conan pursues a lady warrior and they both encounter a monster. After that, I stopped as I was highly amused and put off by the amount of male chauvinism on display.


I cannot recommend this book to anyone except historians and readers who watched the Conan movies and are interested in the original book that “inspired” these movies.

Conan the Barbarian image poster
Jason Momoa in Conan the Barbarian

If you enjoyed this post, please subscribe to this blog by clicking here.

Image Source: IMDB 

© 2017 - www.buddy2blogger.blogspot.com. All rights reserved. No part of the content or the blog may be reproduced without prior written permission.

You might also like:

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Book Review: Bigfoot War by Eric S. Brown


Bigfoot Yeti Sasquatch image poster


This is a review of the Kindle version.

The story is set in a small-town setting and has the B-movie feel. The characters are developed well and the Bigfoot mayhem is described in vivid detail.

Click on the link below to buy the book:


The only drawback is that there is not much of novelty in the novel, as it hits all the spots in the monster genre: Opening attack, introduction to characters in a small town setting, the slowly escalating deaths etc.

I personally liked this book as this is my first Bigfoot read.


If you enjoyed this post, please subscribe to this blog by clicking here.

Image Sources: Jamesmelzer.netJennybeans.net

© 2017 - www.buddy2blogger.blogspot.com. All rights reserved. No part of the content or the blog may be reproduced without prior written permission.

You might also like:

Friday, November 4, 2011

Movie Review: Rise of the Planet of the Apes (2011)


Rise of the Planet of the Apes (2011)



The movie is a reboot of the popular series Planet of the Apes. Directed by Rupert Wyatt, the movie attempts to explain the circumstances leading to the takeover of our planet by our simian relatives.

Will Rodman (James Franco) has working on developing a cure of Alzheimer's disease, that afflicts his father, Charles Rodman (John Lithgow). He tests his cure on chimpanzees, one of whom turns out to be pregnant (without the knowledge of the scientists and this is one of the logical loopholes in the movie). Will ends up adopting the new born baby chimp, who is named “Ceasar” by Charles.

Ceaser is quite the naughty one and soon receives a cut on his leg after a brief encounter with the neighbours. This leads to Will taking Ceasar to  a primatologist, Caroline Aranha (Freida Pinto) and this leads to the mandatory romance part of the movie.


James Franco and Freida Pinto in "Rise of the Planet of the Apes"
James Franco and Freida Pinto in 'Rise of the Planet of the Apes'

Ceasar soon starts showing signs of extraordinary intelligence, thanks to being exposed to the drug while he was still in his mother's womb.

Things take a turn for the worse, when Ceaser intervenes in a verbal altercation between Charles and his neighbor, Hunsiker (David Hewlett) and ends up biting off one of Hunsiker's fingers.

Ceasar is sent to a Primate Shelter run by John Landon (Brian Cox) and his sadistic son Dodge (Tom Felton). Ceasar studies his fellow inmates and soon assumes leadership by dethroning the alpha male.

Soon, it is a showdown between humans and the liberated chimps, led by Ceaser, atop the Golden Gate Bridge. Ceaser and his cohorts win the battle.

Meanwhile, Hunsiker gets infected with a newer version of the drug developed by Will and the infection quickly spreads all over the world. The stage is set for a sequel!

Andy Serkis gives an amazing performance as Ceasar in "Rise of the Planet of the Apes"
Andy Serkis gives an amazing performance as Ceasar

Andy Serkis gives an Oscar-worthy performance as Ceasar. His work marks a continuation of his winning streak since playing Gollum in The Lord of the Rings trilogy and the titular character in King Kong. He is ably supported by the WETA team that does a flawless job bringing Ceaser to life.

Coming to the human cast, Franco and Lithgow are competent in their roles. Lithgow, in particular, is appealing.

Freida looks ravishing and brings grace and dignity to her role.

Click on the link below to buy your copy:


I did have a hard time understanding how the initial troop of the apes that numbered around 50-60, suddenly swelled to around 200 in the climactic fight. This was something that I could not accept, even though it is understandable that the initial numbers were not enough to support an uprising. Still I wish the script/director had accounted for this.

Highly recommended to fans of Planet of the Apes series and/or people who love the Great Apes.

If you enjoyed this post, please subscribe to this blog by clicking here.

Image Sources: G4TVUSA Today


 2017 - www.buddy2blogger.blogspot.com. All rights reserved. No part of the content or the blog may be reproduced without prior written permission.

You might also like:

Movie Review: Gamer (2009)


Gerard Butler in Gamer


I watch movies frequently in theatres and never have I felt so bored that I have even entertained the thought of leaving the theatre in the middle of a movie..

Congrats to the makers of Gamer as I did just that when I was unfortunate enough to buy ticket and watch this drivel of a movie.

What can I say about the movie or the plot? Gerard Butler plays a character who is in jail and is used by a teenager as a real-life stand-in in shootout games. The guy who owns the game is the bad guy in the movie. There is a cult thing going on in the movie. There is a lady reporter character running around interviewing the bad guy.

Then there is the wife character of Gerard's character. Terry Crews plays a character who does nothing but glare menacingly at Gerard's character. I would tell you to check out the movie if you don't believe me on this, but trust me. Just take my word for it and save the time.


Gerard Butler and Michael C Hall in Gamer
Gerard Butler and Michael C Hall in Gamer 

The directors of this movie, I understand are helming the next Ghostrider movie, which surprisingly looks good at least in the trailer. I will most probably skip that one, despite the presence of Nic Cage.

Click on the link below to buy your copy:


If you enjoyed this post, please subscribe to this blog by email or RSS by clicking here.

Image Source: Flixster

© 2017 - www.buddy2blogger.blogspot.com. All rights reserved. No part of the content or the blog may be reproduced without prior written permission.

You might also like:

Life - Mother Teresa



Mother Teresa


If you enjoyed this post, please subscribe to this blog by email or RSS by clicking here.


© 2016 - www.buddy2blogger.blogspot.com. All rights reserved. All text are copyrighted and owned by the author of this blog. No part of the content or the blog may be reproduced without prior written permission.

You might also like: