Showing posts with label lee van cleef. Show all posts
Showing posts with label lee van cleef. Show all posts

5 August 2012

The Octagon Blu-Ray Review

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★★★☆☆


Chuck Norris can do anything: he's been a Texas Ranger, a Delta Force Major, an Expendable, a New York Cop - but now it is time to see him as a ninja warrior in the remastered edition of 1980 martial arts thriller, The Octagon.

Norris plays Scott James (often pronounced so fast it sounds like Scotch Eggs), a man plagued by nightmares of a mysterious and intense combat training routine that he and his best friend received as youths. Scott is dragged back into this former life when a terrorist organisation (known as The Octagon) lead by deadly ninjas, starts making strikes towards him and those he cares for.

The Octagon is filled with kitsch appeal - for example, for the most part of the film we are given an insight into Scott James' thoughts, which consists of a whispering Chuck Norris voice-over, whilst the star stares intently on into the distance. This hilarious/creepy/wonderful technique also helps fill in the patchy plot holes that tend to appear, whilst also furthering Chuck's persona as a ninja master. Very clever. Chuck's moustache, which we all remember and love from A Force Of One is back, alongside some cringe-worthy dialogue, which adds to the camp charm of The Octagon.

Despite this, The Octagon is a thoroughly watchable film, never becoming tiresome or dull. There may be some questionable elements in Leigh Chapman's script (see above), but it's a strong, original concept which hits a perfect balance between espionage-infused thrills and bare-bones martial arts. Eric Karson's feature does not particularly depend on special effects, but rather on the martial arts skill and precision of leading man, Norris. Like A Force Of One, Chuck's young brother, Aaron choreographs these brutal fight sequences with a sense of precision and realism. Norris once again proves to be a highly capable leading actor, excelling in the combat-heavy sequences as well more emotionally based material. Whether he is kicking hissing ninjas in the face or mourning the loss of his best friend, Chuck is a pro. Although, I'm not sure whether even Chuck could convincingly handle the voicing over of his "inner-thoughts".

Chapman's script features some entertaining, well-produced action set-pieces from Chuck taking down an entire ninja camp whilst it is in flames to the epic sword fights in The Octagon's conclusion. A particular favourite scene of mine involved a poisoned Chuck kicking a ninja into a wall of fire. In addition to these action packed spectaculars, The Octagon features well-cast supporting turns from Lee Van Cleef, Art Hindle and Karen Carlson.

Whilst it may appear slightly dated and it does feature some questionable plot devices, The Octagon is a thoroughly entertaining watch. It has been remastered to visual perfection - which exemplifies the well-crafted action sequences and impressive martial arts. Chuck proves that he is the master of the cult action film in this original and likeable combat-thriller.

Andrew McArthur

Stars: Chuck Norris, Lee Van Cleef ,Karen Carlson
Director: Eric Karson
Release: 6th August (UK)
Certificate: 15 (UK)


25 June 2012

The Original American Ninja Chuck Norris THE OCTAGON Been Re-Released This August!

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Early today we told you about the toughest s.o.b in the world Chuck Norris and the release of his classic film A Force Of One been released on Blu-Ray . He is an idol to many dads, brothers, many male members of families worldwide and thanks to Anchor Bay once more August is a great time to be a fan of the original Expendable, the original American Ninja which sees the second classic Norris film coming to Blu-Ray for the first time, THE OCTAGON.

Scott James is a man haunted by memories, eerie flashbacks that plague both his waking and sleeping hours. The first is a childhood memory relating to the intense and rigorous combat training he and his best friend endured under the guidance of a mysterious martial arts master. The second is a far more painful recollection of loss, and one that has turned Scott away from his former life. But when a wealthy heiress convinces him to enter the fray once more, Scott finds himself drawn into an international terrorist organisation consisting of deadly ninjas, at the head of which is a close acquaintance from his past. Now it is up to Scott to confront his worst fears and battle a former adversary in the ultimate ninja showdown.

As far as we are concerned, the only way to improve a Chuck Norris movie is to introduce ninjas into the mix and show us the goods in Hi-Def. This Blu-ray release does both. Throw in a bizarre voice-over expressing Chuck’s inner thoughts and we’re talking all-time-fave Chuck madness. A major cult favorite amongst fans of 1980s martial arts flicks, this was one of the first US films to exploit the ancient art of the ninja and spawned countless imitators, but none ever came close to its all round awesomeness. It’s also notable as being the vehicle for Richard Norton’s acting debut. And if you thought Chuck couldn’t be a ninja, then beware. He’s right behind you. Go ahead; take a look. It’ll be the last thing you’ll ever see.

The Octagon also stars  Lee Van Cleef (Escape From New York; The Good, The Bad And The Ugly), cult genre movie icon Art Hindle (Black Christmas; Porky’s; Invasion Of The Body Snatchers), karate expert and bodyguard to the stars Richard Norton (Force: Five; China O’Brien) in his acting debut, prolific character actor Tracey Walter (I Spit On Your Grave; The Silence Of The Lambs; Batman) in one of his classic “uncredited” roles and Karen Carlson (Dallas). Anchor Bay will release The Octagon on August 6th Pre Order Your Blu-ray copy here

The Octagon (1980) - Official Trailer | Digitally Remastered | HD 1080p | Chuck Norris Published via LongTail.tv