Day 19: Jackie Chan!
The Protector (1985)
Day 19 for Junesploitation is a fun one, with the prompt ‘Jackie Chan’, a great and fun actor who generally delivers a good time with his films. But what to pick with Jackie Chan, with so many already seen, what’s left? Well as it turns out, no matter how many Jackie Chan films you’ve seen there are countless others to discover, whether from his earlier years or more recent films. Today’s pick has been on the radar to see with The Protector (1985) one of Chan’s earlier US films, a film that actually led to him making Police Story (1985) due to his displeasure with the experience on this film. How does it fair considering he had issues? Fairly well actually!
The film centers around two New York cops Billy Wong (Jackie Chan) and Danny Garoni (Danny Aiello) who head to Hong Kong to track down a man known as Mr. Ko (Roy Chiao) a drug king pin who may have been responsible for the kidnapping of Laura (Saun Ellis), whose father (Ron Dandrea) may have ties to the drug organisation and Mr. Ko. The plot and also some scenes are very similar to parts of Rush Hour (1998) and Rush Hour 2 (2001), with Jackie Chan playing the role of hero and using all of his skills to cause trouble for the bad guys.
What works well with this film is Jackie Chan himself, he’s really good in the role of Billy Wong and the film contains the classic tropes we’ve come to expect from a Jackie Chan film with crazy stunts and highly inventive fight scenes. On the other side of the fence the film’s plot moves along at an odd pacing and there is some unnecessary sequences that didn’t really add much to the film. The Protector is a bit of a mixed bag, however the fun and action the delivers makes up for its faults and as an early US film from Jackie Chan it is worth watching for fans of his as well as those who enjoy their 80s action.
Day 20: Musicals!
Cannon Movie Tales: Puss In Boots (1988)
With Day 20 of Junesploitation the prompt is ‘Musicals’ and once again where better than Cannon Films to find a cheap musical? They have done a few, including the early work of The Apple (1980) from Menahem Golan and Yoram Globus, however towards the end of the 80s they turned their attention to making live action versions of fairy tales with the ‘Cannon Movie Tales’ films. Which takes us to Cannon Movie Tales: Puss In Boots (1988) starring the one and only Christopher Walken, a musical telling of the Puss In Boots story, with laugh out loud funny results.
The story is about a miller’s son Corin (Jason Connery) who inherits his father’s cat Puss, however Puss (played in human form by Christopher Walken) is given a pair of boots and gets a human form. He concocts a plan to see Corin move up in the world by telling everyone that Corin is actually a Marquis with a castle and riches and gets them invited to see the King (Yossi Graber), and the King’s daughter Princess Vera (Carmela Marner) soon falls in love with him. It is actually a bit of a complicated story, and at times hard to keep up with and understand what is going on between the far too often musical numbers.
Not much about this film works, the musical numbers are repetitive and the lyrics are quite cringe inducing, the effects if you could call them that look far too cheap, the performances are awkward to say the least and there is no real flow to anything. What makes the film a fun watch are all of those things, along with the bizarre and hilarious performance from Walken, one can’t be sure if he knew what he was doing, but he some how manages to make the film an entertaining watch, plus his dance scenes alone are worth watching. Puss In Boots is not a good film by any means but it is such a fun and delightful watch, its failures aside this is a must watch for connoisseurs of unintentionally bad cinema.
Reviews written by Marcella Papandrea
Please check out FThisMovie.net, with many thanks to the crew for the concept of Junesploitation and some excellent prompts for 2021!