Last weekend I went out and saw The Forbidden Kingdom
. I have to say that it was much more enjoyable overall than I was expecting. The fight scenes were great and I got quite a kick out of seeing Jet Li appearing to have a lot of fun in a few scenes as The Monkey King. It's just not often you get to see Jet Lin in a movie where he isn't intense pretty much the whole time. He is still pretty intense at others time (different character) but his acting as The Monkey King was amusing.
The movie is pretty formulaic as far as the whole "visitor across time learns to be hero" thing goes. You can see where it's all gonna come together at the end. Then again, I don't really think they tried to hide it. The movie is fun, pure and simple. I'd say it's an 8/10 if you're into martial arts, otherwise probably a 7/10. It's something you could actually take the kids to. People die, but there is only a bit of blood and it's not major.
Now, on to the DVD release this week of Cloverfield
. I was pretty disappointed in this movie overall. It just didn't live up to the hype. Perhaps I was spoiled by the deep mythos of the Blair Witch Project
that was incorporated into it's supporting media and brought to life in some degree through the movie. This didn't happen with Cloverfield. I wasn't expecting huge answers, but a lot of the stuff that was supportive of the mythos that was the Cloverfield Universe didn't show up in the movie (Slusho was really about it...and a drunk chick). That left me feeling a bit let down in the whole experience.
However, I was contemplating picking up the DVD as I figured there would be good stuff in the commentary and hopefully there would be lots of extras tying the ARG tot he movie. Doesn't look like it. In fact, it looks like those of us in the US are getting the shaft as we're only getting a single disk edition of the DVD to start with. Sure there are like three or four different versions of the release (extras, case, etc.) depending on which store you go to. Still, I was expecting more. PLUS from what I have read Europe is getting a 2-disk edition from the start. This is pretty much the same stunt that was pulled with Hot Fuzz
. Now while that might make sense due to the fact that Hot Fuzz was FROM the UK I know something a lot of other people from the US don't know, and that is that other countries get Special/Limited Editions of DVDs that blow ours away. I'm not just talking Europe either. I'm talking Japan, Korea. Having shopped for foreign movies for a few years I've seen many of these sets when I'm out checking other DVDs and some of them seriously rock, even for crappy movies.
So, if you're considering seeing The Forbidden Kingdom do so it you're looking for something light and fun. If you're thinking of getting Cloverfield on DVD then wait for either the 2 Disk Edition that is almost sure to be released in the next few months or wait until it's gone down in price, as in my eyes even a sale price in the mid teens is too much. Plus, if you do end up liking it then you're likely to get caught in the double-dip that is sure to follow.