• Tag Archives Robin Hood
  • Canister X TV Review #6: Smallville, Season 6 (2006 – 2007)

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    Click Here to Order from Amazon.com
    Smallville, Season 6 (2006 – 2007)
    4 out of 5

    This Season Had Me Seeing Green . . . Green arrows, that is.

    Justin Hartley joins the regular Smallville cast as Oliver Queen/Green Arrow, billionaire business tycoon by day, daring Robin Hood do-gooder by night.

    At first I wasn’t sure what to think when I heard Green Arrow was going to have a place in Smallville‘s continuity. Of course, I was, like, “Hey, cool, another superhero joins the show and this one actually wears his costume!” Whereas the other part of me was, like, “What does Green Arrow have to do with Superman growing up, again?” All I can say without giving anything away is having Green Arrow join the show was a brilliant move. Not only does he demonstrate a good example for Clark, but his past and present conflicts with Lex Luthor also add a nice twist to the storyline.

    Of particular note this season was the episode, “Noir,” where everything was in black and white and took place in the ’30s. Reminded me a bit of the Lois and Clark episode that did the same thing, but Smallville‘s was much better written and not as cheesy.

    The over-arcing storyline of the phantoms that escaped from the Phantom Zone was cool and gave Smallville its trademarked horror-esque twist, but without continually going into Twilight Zone territory like it usually did.

    I should add there was one more green element to this season: Martian Manhunter, played by Phil Morris. The only downside, though, was no alien visage but rather his shape-shifted human form instead. Oh well. The budget can only go so far, I suppose. Still, would have been cool if Martian Manhunter had more screen time, but this isn’t his series.

    The only thing that I didn’t like about this season was Lex and Lana getting together. It really bothered me and didn’t make much sense when looking back over the first five seasons. This is the reason I give it 4 instead of 5 stars.


  • Canister X Movie Review #48: Iron Monkey (1993/2001)

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    Click Here to Order from Amazon.com
    Iron Monkey (1993/2001)
    Written by Tsui Hark
    Directed by Yuen Woo-ping
    Runtime 90 min.
    4 out of 5

    Like Robin Hood, the Iron Monkey robs from the rich and gives to the poor, but instead of wielding a bow and arrow and sword, he wears a mask and uses martial arts weapons instead.

    By day, Chinese doctor Yang Tianchun (Rongguang Yu) is a physician caring for the poor and rich alike, but at night he’s the Iron Monkey, a high-kicking do-gooder assisting those in need who are suffering beneath the rule of the corrupt governor.

    Meanwhile, Wong Kei-Ying (Donnie Yen) and his son Wong Fei-hong (Sze-Man Tsang) come into town. Soon after, Wong Kei-Ying is captured on suspicion of being the Iron Monkey after being observed in battle. His son is arrested as well. In an effort to clear himself, he offers to capture the real Iron Monkey, his son being forced to remain in prison to ensure his compliance.

    Soon Wong Kei-Ying and the Iron Monkey meet and, after going toe-to-toe with no victor, form an alliance that will rescue Wong Fei-hong from prison and bring down the evil governor once and for all.


    This movie kicks some serious wa-hoo-hoo and I’m not just saying that because of the awesome kung fu sequences, but because of it’s fun presentation of a classic story—Robin Hood—through the lens of Chinese culture, martial arts and fast-paced action.

    Quentin Tarantino brought the flick over to the West and I’m glad he did. I’m 99% sure I went to the theatre to check out this gem and it soon got a place in my DVD collection once it hit store shelves.

    What can I say? The fight sequences are over-the-top—wire acts, crazy fast kicks—but those are what make kung fu movies great and give the fight performances that supernatural feel that can’t be obtained otherwise.

    The superhero fan part of me had never seen a kung fu superhero movie, and when I compare it to the Western version of martial arts techniques that we get in our own superhero flicks, sadly, we come up short every time. I mean, this crazy, fast-paced over-the-top form of fighting is one of the main reasons The Matrix became so popular.

    There is lots that goes on in this movie storywise, everything from the simple rob-from-the-rich-to-feed-the-poor angle to Wong Kei-Ying’s tense relationship with his son, to commentary on oppression and what’s fair and what isn’t, to comedic moments, tear-jerking moments, to adrenaline-fueled action—it’s a full experience, something that Quentin Tarantino said in an interview on the DVD that is common in Chinese cinema but not really over here in the West. I think we need to learn a thing or two about moviemaking from our Chinese friends instead of compartmentalizing everything into genres and niches.

    If you love folk heroes like Robin Hood, or are a superhero fan, Iron Monkey should definitely be on your watch list.