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Monthly Archives: June 2019

Bruce Campbell at his best: Army of Darkness (1992)

Hello again JPFmovie fans today we are going to take a look at another film from the 1990’s:  Army of Darkness.  This movie was the third installment of the Evil Dead franchise and stars none other than Bruce Campbell—who also was its co-producer.  Army of Darkness has become a cult classic with such lines as “this is my boom-stick” “you primitive screw-heads” “give me some sugar baby” and more.  One of the interesting things about Army of Darkness is that you don’t have to watch the first two Evil Dead films to enjoy it and feel like you are missing out something.

 

Ash Williams (Bruce Campbell) is transported to the Middle Ages, and captured by Lord Arthur’s men, who suspect him of being an agent for Duke Henry, with whom Arthur is at war. He is enslaved along with the captured Henry, his gun and chainsaw (that takes the place of one of his hands) are confiscated, and he is taken to a castle. Ash is thrown in a pit where he kills a Deadite and regains his weapons from Arthur’s Wise Man. However, the only way that Ash can return to his time is through the magical Necronomicon Ex-Mortis.  He makes a couple of mistakes in his quest for the book which causes an all out war with the undead.  Using knowledge from textbooks in his 1973 Oldsmobile Delta 88 and enlisting the help of Duke Henry, Ash successfully leads the medieval soldiers to victory over the Deadites.

 

There are some very memorable Three Stooges-type moments, complete with sound effects (pops, zings, and so forth). There’s eye-poking, headshaking, and other slapstick standards. What makes these moments especially bizarre — and effective — is that most of the time, Larry, Curly, and Mo are represented by ghouls and animated skeletons.

 

Every ounce of fat has been trimmed from this production. It’s a comic book brought to life, with no time for characterization, exposition, or subplots. Army of Darkness moves with breakneck speed, but its direction is straight, so there’s little chance of anyone getting lost on the way. No matter what your opinion is of the movie, you’re unlikely to be bored. The special effects are of a hit-and-miss variety. The skeleton and creature effects are superb and look much more expensive to produce than they were.  Where else can you find this kind of theater?  Not many places I can tell you that.  Watch it!

 
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Posted by on June 29, 2019 in Movie Reviews

 

Ok JPFmovie fans here is Part 2 of Heaven and Earth (1990).

In part one of the Heaven and Earth review we talked about how equally matched these 2 warlords were.  Now we are going to look at what is probably a pretty authentic recreation of the battle formations used during that period of Japanese history.

Kenshin’s “Winding Wheel” vs. Shingen’s “Crane.”

We briefly discuss to the “Winding Wheel” employed by Kenshin and Singen’s “Crane” technique.  According to Japanese historian Stephen Turnbull the “Kuruma gakari” (wheel) this formation, drawn like a spiral, envisages successive units of an army being brought against the enemy ‘as the wheel winds on’.  It is famously described in the Koyo Gunkan as being the formation adopted by Uesugi Kenshin for his dawn attack against Takeda Shingen at the fourth battle of Kawanakajima in 1561. It is essentially an idealized representation of a tactical move that replaces tired units by fresh ones without breaking the momentum.

Singen’s The Woodpecker pecks at the tree, and the vibrations scare the insect out so he can eat it. Kansuke (a Singen General) suggested sending a garrison up the mountain by a round-about route late at night to “peck” at the Kenshin’s troops in the early hours, flushing them down to the plain below where the bulk of the Takeda forces would be waiting!

The plan was approved, and troops went up the mountain, however when they arrived, the Uesugi, whether through having guessed the maneuvers or from having been tipped off by spies, had moved down the opposite side of the mountain in the darkness, and positioned themselves on the plain where the Takeda would not be expecting them for a another few hours.  This did not help Takeda’s cause at all.

Kenshin’s tactics for so effective that they broke through Singen’s lines and were able to personally attack the Takeda himself who received some cuts until some of his bodyguards were able to come to his aid and help fight of Kenshin himself as well as other in cadre.

The battle was costly for both sides.  a costly battle for both sides. Kenshin had lost 72 percent, or roughly 12,960 men, while Shingen, although taking 3,117 enemy heads as trophies, had lost 62 percent, or 12,400 men. In one of the largest battles ever fought in Japanese history, the “Crane’s Wing” formation, when executed by well-disciplined troops, could only temporarily stop that of the “winding wheel.”

Once again, these two rivals managed to fight to a stalemate—nothing ever being settled between the two they even died within months of each other.

The JPFmovie staff all recommend this film.

 
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Posted by on June 9, 2019 in Movie Reviews

 

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