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Old Movie Double Feature #1

Posted by Halbridious on July 1, 2013 at 4:10 AM

Why Old Movies?  Because maybe you haven't seen these.  Maybe they're good?  Who knows?  I do.  Presumably. 

Todays Double feature are sports/MMA titles "Warrior" from 2011, and "Never Back Down" from 2008.

First up is Warrior.  A critically aclaimed movie, rating an 8.2 off IMD and 83% on Rotten Tomatoes, the story revolves around 2 brothers fighting in a grand melee tournament for 5 million bucks.  The driving force of the movie is the underdog stories - not 1, not 2, but 3 of them.  Those of the brothers, and that of the father - A former alchoholic, the fathers drinking and abuse drove the mother out, with brother 1 Tommy.  Brother 2, Brenden,  chose to stay with his girlfriend and the father.  As the brothers try and deal with the father, the complications of life, and being complete unknowns in the MMA world, the audience really has a chance to feel for these characters.  By the end you've really had a chance to feel out each character, and when it comes to conclusion,  you can feel satisfied knowing where things are going to end up. 
The Cinematography is pretty well done - even during the rough and tumble of the MMA scenes the action is fluid and followable even for those who aren't used to the MMA scene.  The color and costume are perfectly set, and the soundtrack leaves very little to be desired.  It's not exactly an emotional rollercoaster like some dramas - they throw a curveball or two, but that isn't what the movies there for.  The actors and director give you what you want - Action, and the drama to make it count, all done as crisply and well done as you'll find in cinima.  This is one of the movies that didn't get sold as high as it should have, and recieves a 4 star rating from this guy (P.S. movies are done outta 4 stars, not 5, as is often thought.  The more you know.)

Feature number 2 is Never Back Down.  Somewhat of a cult hit, it recieved less in the way of critic ratings - 6.4 from IMDB and only a 22% from Rotten Tomatoes.  This is mostly due to the cheese factor - the movie is often compared to the classic "Karate Kid" films.  This is a tad unfair - all martial arts movies with the while "Novice to Champ" feel are going to get that comparison - but the movies do have a similar feel.  Protagonist Jake Tyler is anger-issues football-star who moves to florida and gets wrapped up with Cocky MMA champion high schooler.  Add in some girl issues and you've got a lot of testosterone packed into 113 minutes.  A bit of a 180 compared to Warrior, Never Back Down doesn't have the same level of cinematography.  The color pallet is a little less balanced - lots of color is packed into some scenes and lots of dark and grainy in others.  A bit of a redeeming factor is the soundtrack - instead of orchestrals, they went with the pop/hip-hop scene.  This somehow manages to take the basic directorial choices and tie it all in to a movie.  Overall, this isn't a movie designed to win awards for anything, nor does it hide what it is -  A Martial Arts Movie designed to burn time.  You cheer for the good guy, you boo the bad guy, you say "woo female lead is attractive" and in the end you feel like you wasted your time appropriately.  From a critical perspective, movie might be worth a 2/4, but on the right day, it can be the perfect 4/4 for what you want. 
For the record, the 2nd film is more of the same - no Jake Tyler, but it works just as well. 

So if you're looking for the polished drama fight movie, Warrior is one of the highest quality films you're going to see.  If you want that lighter bro-y movie just for fun, Never Back Down should satisfy your desires. 

Look forward to more Old Movie Double Features later perhaps

Categories: Movies, Movie Double Feature

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