Sperhauk ordered up the BluRay of Chocolate, a 2008 Thai film about an autistic girl, named Zen, who learns martial arts from watching them on tv. It's directed by Prachya Pinkaew who previously directed Ong Bak and Tom Yum Goong. Both are great action packed martial arts pictures that really step up the punching and kicking. In Chocolate the story starts before Zen was born. Her mother Zin was in love with Yakuza boss Masashi. Zin's Thai gangster boss, and old boyfriend, No. 8 is jealous and demands Zin choose between the two men. She picks the guy with the name and No. 8 gets all pouty and shoots himself in the foot. He swears that if they hook up, they're dead. What a dick, huh? The couple separate, Masashi goes back to Japan, and Zin has the child she didn't tell him about. Years later, the kid is still a preteen, Zin writes to tell Masashi he has a daughter. Ever watching, the evil No. 8 finds out she contacted Masashi. No. 8 takes his incredibly ugly and highly evil hench woman over to beat Zin. He cuts off her toe to keep her in her place. Time passes and Zin gets cancer. In order to raise some money Moom, an orphan boy Zin found in the street, and a now older Zen preform in public for cash. She can catch a ball without even looking. They don't earn enough money for regular Chemo drugs and when Moom finds an old account book that Zin had he goes after the money that she had lent to these business men. They are reluctant to pay their old debts and each of them has his men attack the kids. Zen's kungfu osmosis and kicking practice pay off and she puts the men on their asses with kicks and punches. Things get darker and many die. There are some bone crunching fights and spectacular stunts, most of which looked painful. In the end credits we see some of the aftermath of the stunts that went wrong. Actors and stuntmen did get hurt and wind up in the hospital. It's about a 90 minute movie, the first 30 move along pretty slowly, after that it picks up the pace. The villains are pretty awful and you can't help but feel better that they are rubbed out. Zen and her dad are reunited and poor Moom disappears out of the story. The movie did pretty well and there was talk of a sequel but nothing so far. It's the first movie for Yanin Vismitananda. She does a great job as fighting Zen. She's in Raging Phoenix, a 2009 Thai movie I'll have to keep an eye out for, and is supposed to be in the forthcoming Tom Yum Goong 2with Tony Jaa. Worth a look for those that like this sort of thing.
Not sure if I'd recommend Priest as readily. It's a 2011 film based on a Korean comic book. It's an alternate universe story that has had humans and vampires waring for so long they have killed nearly everyone and ruined the planet. Most of the human's live in walled cities under a heavy handed Church state. Some folks live out in the wilderness away from the Church. The vampires were pushed onto reservations after the last war and there hasn't been any fighting between the two in years. Paul Bettany is a soldier priest who's been marginalized since the war's end, people shun him, and where he lives everything is a sucky steel blue color. The whole movie is heavily processed and washed out. Paul's brother lives out in the wilderness. His family is attacked and the daughter stolen. The local sheriff asks Paul to come help him track down the girl. Paul asks and Christopher Plummer tells him no go, stay here and forget about it. That doesn't sit to well and Paul heads out to the wilderness. Madchen Amick plays Paul's ex-girlfriend and the brother's wife. She dies before her husband, who manages to hold on until Paul gets there. Turns out they were attacked by vampires and the vampires were lead by Karl Urban. He often plays this sort of roll, tough, gritty talkin' and murderous. You might have seen him as Ceasar in Xena Warrior Princess or Eomer in The Lord Of The Rings. He was also in The Chronicles of Riddick, The Bourne Supremacy & Pathfinder. In Priest Karl had disappeared into the hands of the vamps in a raid that went bad. The head lady vampire had fed him her blood and turned him into a human vampire that can walk in the sun. The vampires in this movie are more creatures than people. They get killed by the sun like our regular vampires. Karl has a plan to attack the city with a train full of vampires and it's up to Paul to stop them. He's got some help from some Priests who followed to bring him back. Maggie Q is one of them and she's the only one of her bunch to survive. There's a lot of action and fire and shooting and some stuff blows up but the over bearing style bothered even me. It didn't get well recieved and I could see why. It's bombastic and pretty darn pretentious for something that is pretty darn average. Some of the music by Christopher Young gets pretty excited and starts yelling over very little. The director is Scott Stewart who also directed Legion which I have not seen. He lifts so many elements from other movies we started noticing out loud. It had a cool train but that isn't quite enough. I wouldn't want to spend money on this one now that I've laid eyes on it. If I need to see it again I'll toss it on my NetFlix queue.