Ultimate 2000s Blogathon Kick-Off: EuroTrip (2004)

Head over to check out my fantastic co-host’s kick-off review as he takes a look at 2004’s EuroTrip!

Drew's Movie Reviews

Hello, friends! Welcome to the fourth annual Ultimate Decades Blogathon! This year’s spotlight decade is the 2000s. Over the next few weeks, my wonderful co-host Kim from Tranquil Dreams and I will be posting reviews from our fellow bloggers highlighting their favorite films from the decade. Kim kicked off the blogathon on her site with her review of SPL: Kill Zone, which you should definitely go check out. Now it’s my turn to get things started! Here is my review of EuroTrip.


Synopsis
After Scott (Scott Mechlowicz) is dumped by his girlfriend at high school graduation, he decides to take a trip to Europe, accompanied by his best friend, Cooper (Jacob Pitts), to meet his pen pal, Mieke (Jessica Boehrs).

Review
As per usual for my opening entry of an Ultimate Decades Blogathon, here are several reasons why I think EuroTrip is an excellent snapshot of the first…

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Ultimate 2000s Blogathon Kick-off: SPL: Kill Zone 殺破狼 (2005)

Today is a very special day! Ultimate 2000s Blogathon officially kicks off today! Like previous years, both myself and my amazing co-host Drew from Drew’s Movie Reviews will both be sharing our kick-off movie on our respective blogs. To start things off, it only makes sense to kick off with a Hong Kong action crime thriller called SPL: Kill Zone. Hong Kong movies have always been a big part of my life and while its struggled through some of its content, Kill Zone breaths new life into this genre with its fantastic cast and its surprising how I haven’t reviewed it here yet.

SPL: Kill Zone 殺破狼 (2005)

SPL: Kill Zone

Director (& co-writer): Wilson Yip

Cast: Donnie Yen, Simon Yam, Sammo Hung, Jing Wu, Kai Chi Liu, Danny Summer, Ken Chang, Austin Wai

A near retired inspector and his unit are willing to put down a crime boss at all costs while dealing with his replacement, who is getting in their way. Meanwhile, the crime boss sends his top henchmen to put an end to their dirty schemes. – IMDB

2000s Hong Kong films was a bit of a mixed bag full of some dumb humor, recycled ideas and predictable plot lines. But in between all this, they had some great films with great casts that stood out, maybe even call it a decade of great crime thrillers from Infernal Affairs to Election to this film. Call this something of a comeback film that brought together some big stars as well as welcoming Donnie Yen back to the Hong Kong scene showing that his martial arts has not lost one bit of speed. The starting scene changes the pace of the entire film whether it is with its main inspector, Inspector Chan who takes in the orphaned child and realizes his days are limited or crime boss Wong Po’s release after insufficient evidence which sets off the pressing time limit for Inspector’s team to catch him.

spl kill zone

Right in the opening moments, we get a good idea of the personality of everyone here. Be it Donnie Yen‘s character Inspector Ma’s first appearance on scene going head to head in the car with Inspector Chan’s team and then their conversation of his past events. While we’ve already seen Inspector Chan and the bond with his team and the quick introduction of each member as Ma Kwan looks at his desk of the team. It shows their character and their role in the movie which brings them to what starts off this film and the vengeful events that start. Kai Chi Liu, Danny Summer and Ken Chang play the three members of this team who are all capable in their own manner and create a balance. The first two of these names are seasoned actors in the business already. Its this bond between the team of five that builds up during the film that makes this film even more valuable as they make us care for each of them.

spl kill zone

With a competent team, there has to be the other side of the spectrum and Sammo Hung‘s Wong Po does exactly that. Call him the mastermind throughout most of it with each scene very much making his presence known. Sammo Hung, despite his age, also flaunts some impressive martial arts move as he goes head to head in some fast-paced fighting scenes up against Donnie Yen.It helps that his top henchman is a white clad martial arts powerhouse, Jack played by Jing Wu, in one of his first roles. Jing Wu truly shows off his skills especially when his scenes are not a lot of talking but a lot of brutal “execution” for our characters leading into a fantastically shot alleyway fighting scene with Donnie Yen.

Qi sha (Seven Killings) is the Power Star; Po Jun (Army Breaker) is the Ruinous Star; Tan Lang (Greed Wolf) is the Flirting Star. According to Chinese astology, these three stars, with their changes, could create or destroy that beautiful life of yours. – SPL: KillZone

Nothing beats a crime thriller like having a nice background story to investigate. There is a lot going on here with parallel storylines and investigations that intertwine each other gradually. There is a lot of style here as well. While it embeds its foundation in Chinese astrology, the script itself embeds all these things just like how Seven uses its seven sins. It also has the brutality of films like Election. The fighting scenes are meticulously shot as well as the chase scenes. There is this real sense of what is the limit of ethics and morals of being a police officer when faced with the triad and its ruthless crime boss. Between the team and Donnie Yen’s addition that shows a friction between injecting himself and being accepted. A different person and a different approach gives Inspector Chan’s long time team and Inspector Ma the division that makes this an extra layer to explore in the story.  At the same time, Kill Zone also adds in a heavy dose of Chinese belief in karma.

spl kill zone

SPL: Kill Zone is a one of a kind action crime thriller. It defines its genre so well in what makes Hong Kong films so worth watching. 2000s brought about a new wave of crime thrillers that gave itself a lot of twists and intertwined plots that gave it so much more depth. Whether its for Donnie Yen or Sammo Hung or Simon Yam, no doubt the more known actors here, this film gives it a nice blend of impressive fight scenes, brutal almost execution moments, and a thought-provoking themes about morals and ethics as well as choices and karma. Its fast-paced and ramps up its intensity with each scene and its frictional moment between its characters making it such a joy to watch over and over again.


Remember to head over to my co-host Drew at Drew’s Movie Reviews to check out his kick-off review and give him a follow to not miss any posts from the Ultimate 2000s Blogathon! We have a little hashtag set for this blogathon #ultimate00sblogathon if you want to give us a mention or share some of the posts! 🙂

2nd Reminder: Ultimate 2000s Blogathon

Hey everyone! We are only days away from the Ultimate 2000s Blogathon deadline for submission of your review to us. Here is a friendly reminder that it is due on February 11th (the coming Monday)! All submissions go to either/or me or my fantastic co-host Drew at our emails kim.tranquildreams@gmail.com and drewt510@gmail.com respectively.

If you are just seeing this blogathon and would like to join, here are the details at the announcement post. Drop us an email and tell us that you’d like to join and if you need more time and we would love to have you so we can work it all out. The more the merrier!

If you have already notified us, we are looking forward to your submission in our inboxes. If you need an extension, it is absolutely not a problem. Tell us and we will work something out.

Sign up is still open so if you know anyone else interested, help us spread the word. Share the announcement or this reminder post on social media. It’ll be great to see everyone’s review on their choice for their Ultimate 2000s movie selections!

Announcement: Ultimate 2000s Blogathon! Sign up now!

Ultimate 2000s Blogathon

WELCOME TO THE 4TH ANNUAL ULTIMATE DECADES BLOGATHON HOSTED BY MYSELF AND DREW’S MOVIE REVIEWS!

We’ve gone through the 70s, 80s and 90s in the past three years. For our 4th year, we jump forward to the 2000s. This blogathon is all about your ULTIMATE, Favorite films released between 2000 to 2009.

Like any other year, you ask why 2000s, right? Other than the fact that you might have noticed our pattern at this point. The millennium brought some fantastic films. It might not be any choices that quite classify themselves as classics yet for you but there are definitely some signature movies that not only define the decade but also brought to light some great directors, intriguing stories and brilliant actors and actresses. We sure have a few in mind. For example, if you like teen movies, Mean Girls is one that is great. In terms of foreign directors, Guillermo Del Toro landed on everyone’s map with Pan’s Labyrinth and Hayao Miyazaki and his Studio Ghibli began highlighted with Spirited Away being part of the Oscar game joined by Ang Lee coming on the scene with Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon.

spirited away

The Lord of the Rings franchise also was released throughout this decade and of course, James Cameron came around and delivered us the innnovative 3D experience that has kicked off a whole new 3D phase with Avatar. We also can’t neglect to look at some memorable Pixar titles that came to light: Wall-E, Finding Nemo, Up, The Incredibles. Christopher Nolan and Quentin Tarantino also released so great films like Memento which kicked off the decade and Kill Bill Vol. 1 respectively. Before we go away, let’s give some more variety from outstanding zombie films like 28 Days Later to wonderful indie films like Juno and Little Miss Sunshine.

Look at all those great titles! Suffice to say, its really only scratching the surface. There are a ton of choices other than these ones that I’ve probably not mentioned and available for everyone to choose from. What 2000s film is one that you can watch over and over again? Which made an impression on you? Or maybe for some of you younger bloggers out there, you  might have even grown up with the 2000s film.

The details of the blogathon:

  • Any movie released from 2000 to 2009 is a valid choice
  • You can choose to do more than one review (just give us a head up in advance)
  • We are posting up the reviews on our blogs so it has to be submitted to us (notify us if you want to post on your blog also and we will work our the release date)
  • Submission Deadline: Entries sent in to us by February 11th (if you need more time, don’t be afraid to email us)
  • Blogathon kicks off on February 18th!
  • Email me at kim.tranquildreams@gmail.com and/or Drew at drewt510@gmail.com to notify us of your participation and your selection(s). (we’d like to keep your choice a surprise)

Welcome all to join in! We’re looking forward to your choice and submissions. Feel free to use the banner above to show off on your sites. Also, if you know anyone that you think would be interested in joining into the blogathon, please do spread the word. The more the merrier!