Street Fighter Alpha The Movie (15)
Entertainment 102 minutes
The Street Fighter license still has life in it yet. With
a plethora of games available, a live action film, an animated
film, and the Streetfighter 2 V television series currently
being released on video, fans have a lot on their hands (and
probably not much cash in their pockets). With all these sources,
there is a whole bunch of contradictions, so a definitive
background is impossible - just accept this film on its own
merits. You also have to bear in mind, that unless you are
totally up on your Street Fighter backstory, this film will
be really confusing.
Street Fighter Alpha focuses mainly 'The Dark Hadou', a great
power within Ryu which he must constantly battle to keep in
check. Fans of resident baddie Akuma will know all about the
Dark Hadou, and Star Wars fans will find it very similar to
the Dark Side of The Force. It appears that a mad scientist
has also heard of it and would like to add its powers to his
collection of fighting abilities. Cue one tenuous plot to
get a bunch of fighting characters all in the same place.
The fights are the star here, and there is plenty of bone
crunching, sickening violence here for the fans. All the SFA
players are here - Chun Li, Dan Hibiki, Birdie, and even the
Japanese wannabe Sodom in his Kabuki truck - though the script
writers have snuck in a character from Street Fighter 3 (see
if you can tell who). In between the scraps there is some
character development from Ryu's long lost kid brother, and
some Ryu stalking from the ultra cute Sakura - watch for the
flying trainer. Though I'm sure she's older than her voice
This is a little short, but I suppose this way it doesn't
seem stretched. I would have liked to see some more of the
side characters though. The art style also bears a mention.
The characters are all very tall and thin (bishonen/shojo
for those in the know) and the poses and stance are all very
stylised. I don't know if this is Bandai's influence, but
I've seen this style in their Digimon series too. It's very
easy on the eye but does make Chun Li and Rose seem quite
Definitely worth a look.
Also available on DVD with a host of extra features.
Review by Peter Barnard
Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon
Yun-Fat is probably one of the most famous people in the east,
a film star for many years there he has cut his trade in Chinese
movies. Only recently has he burst onto the international
scene via Hollywood, mainly aided and abetted by Director
Chow Yun-Fat's latest starring role takes him back to China
and the origins he started in. Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon
is an old Chinese tale of romance and fantasy played out with
a Kung-Fu twist. It is a fairly stereotypical mixture for
Chinese movies, but on a very grand scale.
The story focuses on two fighting monks, whose master was
killed some time ago by a mysterious character and now seek
to avenge his death. These two monks are also male and female
and have a simmering romance they both deny, complicating
Also in on the action is a nobleman's daughter set to married
in an arranged affair, but she hankers after an exciting lifestyle
of fighting and general swashbuckling adventure glamorised
in fireside chat. The young girl crosses paths with the two
warriors who try to convince her they are not free at all,
but to no avail.
The plot thickens as quickly as the action takes place, with
fight sequences that the Matrix made famous, but have really
been happening in Chinese movies for some 30 years! With close
up action and a better budget than most Chinese films this
movie loses no charm from the story and only adds to its seamless
story with superb action.
movie is subtitled which may put some off, and can distract
from the action and complex storyline. But the alternative
being dubbing it is probably more natural this way. The film
is probably best suited to those already aquatinted to this
particular genre, but there is no better opportunity to become
familiar with it than this.
Director Ang Lee has produced a modern masterpiece with breathtaking
martial arts and a classic storyline of love betrayal and
tragedy. It is a rare occurrence for any Chinese movie to
make a large impact in the west, but this one deserves as
much success as it is allowed.however
Where's My Car
certain type of movie reaches our shores with regularity,
and has a rather fickle
result in success. Stupid, crazy stories such as Dude, whereís
my car sometimes hit
gold and sometimes flop - badly.
Over the years we have seen Bill and Ted, Waynes World and
Austin Powers bring
fame and fortune to their stars whereas countless others have
come and gone
unnoticed. The storyline is largely inconsequential in this
type of movie, the stars and comedy make the movie and the
quirky atmosphere induced by a small budget helps.
In Dude, whereís my car the story is quite a bizarre,
far fetched tale involves two young ìmenî whoís
life consist of laying about indoors and smoking contraband
substances. The morning after the night before Jesse and Chester,
wake and remember nothing of their exploits in the past 24
hours. Their only lead is lifetime supply of yoghurt in the
fridge and a missing car.
As Chester and Jesse try to piece together their exploits,
they discover a number of bizarre people that seem to know
them and talk of ì last nightî. Furthermore they
seem to owe a large sum of money to a stripper and have three
parties asking for an intergalactic device they have never
The two principle characters seem to be a cross between Bill
and Ted and The pair from Dumb and Dumber. Unfortunately,
the formula is a little too much and Chester and Jesse, it
becomes very difficult believing two people could be that
stupid, and starts to get on your nerves after five minutes.
at a definite audience, those who can identify with partying
the night away and remember nothing the next day, this type
of person will enjoy it most relating to the in-jokes of the
film. The direction is fairly quick and snappy, but with a
superficial storyline this is not hard.
Overall the film is stupid fun, no less and no more. Anybody
wanting riveting plotlines and polished acting should stay
well away. Anybody having just finished a night of drink induced
fun may however find this on their level.
Film Reviews By Ralph Mcgregor
The Heart Is
At The Gates
Copyright Koolmag Ltd 2000