The box to FlixMix’s new anthology of carnage and violence promises a “Total overload of extreme action,” a bold statement that falters more often than flourishes. Overload was never a problem. While “Ultimate Fights: From the Movies” does indeed include fights, and they are certainly from movies, their “ultimate” status is quite questionable.
“Ultimate Fights” presents 16 fight scenes ranging in quality from the final church showdown from John Woo’s “The Killer” to the back alley brawl between “Rowdy” Roddy Piper and Keith David in “They Live.”
This DVD will appeal only to fight fans that don’t like all the exposition that an actual movie provides. The kind of person that would have liked “Snatch” more if it weren’t for all of those fruity “talking” scenes, or finds “Scarface” too “plotty.”
FlixMix is making a name for itself releasing anthology DVDs, such as last years “Boogeymen: A killer compilation.” “Boogeymen” showed the scariest scenes from the scariest films throughout film history. Apparently one of those scenes is from “Child’s Play 2.” This is the sort of misguided grab-bag approach that FlixMix takes in scene selection.
No red-blooded American male would disagree with the inclusion of drug-lord Tony Montana taking out his hombres with a rocket, but “Gladiator?” FlixMix should keep in mind that “Gladiator” came out a mere two years ago and made slightly over a billion-trillion dollars. Everyone has seen it, no one cares anymore. Not even a little bit. Same goes for “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon.” A great movie, sure, but not camp enough to be incuded with “The Players Club.”
Where is “Blood in Blood Out?” How about “Total Recall,” “Commando,” “Raw Deal” and “Hercules in New York?” Arnold is under-representative, and it’s a shameful crime.
Just in case the DVD wasn’t quite trashy enough, FlixMix lays on the extras with the subtlety of neon orange. The “Behind the Punches” featurette shows you how to stage your own fight scene, if you happen to be a famous fight choreographer. Did you know that they really don’t hit each other in the movies? They often pull their punches! How neat!
Someone also thought that it would be a great idea to add an audio track titled “The Ultimate Rumble Techno Mix,” which is actually scored in sync with each fight. I’m not kidding, someone was actually paid to do this. While I’m not inherently opposed to musicians picking up a paycheck to feed their family, good God, have some self respect.
Also included is audio commentary by Hong Kong director Tsui Hark, which is about as interesting as a Hong Kong director can be while he’s musing about that classic of cinema, “Timecop.”
For those of you that really don’t have anything better to do, you can play “Name that Frame,” a test of skill in which you must guess what film is being shown. And you only get to see one frame! Tricky.
Anyone that would really enjoy “Ultimate Fights” would probably already have DVD versions of almost every movie in the collection. The extras are exciting if you’ve never seen a DVD before, or if you have a brain the size of a snowpea.
So rent a few of these individual flicks, (“The Legend of Drunken Masters” is a good choice) enjoy the camp and cross your fingers. FilmFlix “Loads ‘O Laughs” is on the horizen. Pray for us.