x.) The Russian Interview
Wasn't it Chinese language dominion I discussed here, a couple of fortnights ago? Well now get ready for Russian talk. Which makes its appearance in "The Russian Interview": (YouTube posted by "The Brotherhood of Parkour", 22 June 2018).
This time around, Josh and Owl portray a couple of Russian, cold warriors. No, they don't appear to be trying to steal back Alaska for the motherland, in order to undo "Seward's Folly".
But, that's only a guess. All that we can be sure of: it becomes apparent that these two no-goodniks are up to something, and that it's definitely ulterior, and presumably sinister.
The story unfolds that they need a capable assistant to help security-guard their home base. Ivan craftily identifies relevant, cultural, Achilles' heel aspects of American life, in order to game the system.
He helpfully contributes how USA-types regard their valuables. Either they (we) think: 1. it's my "baby", or; 2. don't touch that or I'll sue you! This "insight", they shall seize upon to their advantage.
So, Gregori fiendishly dissimulates that they will advertise for a "baby sitter". (Since truthfully identifying the job title as "baby shooter" would give the game away, you see.) The two "Ruse-keys" proceed to inform and manipulate underlings, only on a need-to-know basis.
Understandably, our netted interviewee becomes totally perplexed and apoplectic, due to the comrades' interview questions and tactics. Further, it develops that the "warm" regard with which Commie agents treat one another, bubbles to the surface, undisguisedly.
Good thing we have subtitles, both in English and Cyrillic, to help us follow the fast-paced dialog and action which ensues! As for vocal timbre, maybe it's just me, but I hear classic actor Peter Lorre in Josh's interpretation.
When Gregori's characteristic cool gives way to provoked impatience, I am reminded of Lorre's spontaneous pleas to "Casablanca"['s] casino owner, as Lorre hides precious letters of transit. "Reek (Rick), Reek! You'fe got to saaaave me!!!"
Owl's articulation, on the other hand, conjures up for me, Boris Badenov. Like his cartoon counterpart, Ivan is considerably more controlled and measured in his demeanor, reminiscent of belligerent Boris' routine, matter-of-fact approach to outsmart Frostbite Falls' heroic "moose en skwell (and squirrel)".
And yes, your emotional reaction is entirely appropriate when you find yourself laughing throughout. Our antagonists' precursors in tactics and attitude, seem largely to have been famous, Hollywood, comedic legends: Fearless (cf. "Peerless") leader, Natasha Fatale, and Boris "Bad Enough" (cf. "Godunov"); vis-a-vis Bullwinkle & Rocky.
(History buffs, check out Wm. Jennings Bryan and medieval Tsar of Russia, for what likely was, Jay Ward co.'s inspiration in character-name creation.)
Whereas, good guy protagonists may be, characteristically, befuddled and clueless as to what's really transpiring in above examples. Notwithstanding, you, the astute viewer, especially after this primer, should find it easy and comprehensible enough.
Written: 24 June 2018
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1. YouTube Stars
YouTube stars Owl, Josh, Loida, & Linda: all, are actors extremely entertaining to watch!
If you like Bruce Lee or Spider-Man, or other action heroes, then you're sure to enjoy this troupe's videos.
To date (21 May 2018), I detect nine (9), original movie clips published by them, in their ongoing, subscription series. Search "The Brotherhood of Parkour" (red/ black icon) on www.YouTube.com
2. The Gym
Thematically, the productions divide into preliminary, gymnastic stunt training (done at a regional, Lake County, Illinois, facility).
3. On Location
Then come the original, action-adventure stories. These are rendered indoors and out, on location, at various, more exotic and remote locales.
The gym training is something I imagine most viewers have never seen. In particular, for me, not being very conversant with the sport of parkour, I am particularly impressed by the abundant somersaults and, literally, walking up of walls, which these young men pull off.
This is all done without any hidden guy wires. They seem to defy the laws of gravity, and, being so athletic as they are, they make it look completely effortless.
4. Published Movie Clips, to-date
There are judo maneuvers too, martial arts, and self-defense techniques demonstrated.
i.) Wall Tricks
ii.) St. Pat's
iii.) Our Flips Baller
iv.) Parkour with Bro
Once, you've come into their original scripts, then you can thrill to these techniques' application, all seamlessly woven into original storylines.
v.) Don't Open Door
Humor wends its way into the potentially serious, dark topic of an, at face-value, break-in. I detect a definite Jackie Chan influence, in Josh's handling of his character's defending enactment.
"Continuity", the professional, Hollywood director's bugaboo, is thoroughly lampooned here! Watch for it, and prepare to experience assorted belly laughs.
It's another way, besides defender's smiling face, how humor is designedly injected into the thematic material. It's such a refreshing and entertaining novelty to watch, how this crew pulls it off. Namely, notice the masks and shirts.
Somehow, I'm reminded of artist Pablo Picasso. How he fractured perspective in his drawings and paintings is akin to how The Brotherhood of Parkour crew fractures continuity.
This is why any Hollywood wardrobe department takes Polaroids of the characters after every scene. So, tomorrow they can resume exactly how they left off.
For a well-known predecessor of what Josh, Linda, Owl, & Loida have pulled off, for example, check out Mel Brooks' "Young Frankenstein". Igor the lab assistant is obviously hunchbacked.
What's unexpected and hilarious, is that it's unpredictable from what lateral side shall emerge the growth in any given moment. Some scenes show it coming out of his left side; others, from the right!
vi.) Samurai Justice (No More)
Stunts this reviewer has never entertained even in fantastic thought, much less witnessed, make their entrance. [They] Include, but [are] not limited to: karate chop destroys concrete block;
"able to leap tall buildings with a single bound" ( a la Superman);
running up tree trunk perpendicular[ly], on soles of his feet with hands free --- then reverse flipping;
somersault, crossing hard, roof surfaces at different levels;
Now, our protagonist, Owl, I can say for a fact, draws on at least two, professional, actor influences. For many including myself, it's evident, in deployment, that he channels Steven Seagal.
Not at all obvious though, but which I know to be true via being privy to inside info, Owl is a great fan of comic actor Don Adams' portrayal, of bumbling, awkward, Control secret agent, Maxwell Smart.
Who knew? Go figure.
Incidentally, and interestingly, in real life, Linda, is the most "scientific" of the ensemble. She has a veterinary way with animals that draws upon a natural talent acquired long before, and outside of the formal classroom.
Linda possesses an adroit empathy for various, sentient beings. This manifests itself, in quadruped patients being considerably healed, as the result of any diagnostic and remedying encounter with her.
vii.) Purse Snatching Rescue
The whole Peter Parker/ Spider-Man persona is masterfully portrayed by Josh. He's got the Spidey swagger down pat, as he taunts soon-to-be-overcome bad guy with the inevitable outcome. "Bring it on": Spider-Man invites the skirmish.
Then, Spidey's disillusionment/ despair is unexpectedly, but naturally evinced when the damsel flees, only expressing to him derisive epithet. Rather than appreciation, she dishes out disparagement.
One wonders too, at victim's motivation. Is it because J.J. Jameson, in his newspaper, has regularly libeled Spider-Man into being pariah with the public?
Or, is it simply because the rescued damsel is so momentarily startled by the sudden, unexpected, anxious episode, that she flees Spidey's helping-handed, good deed, as being no more meritorious, than insidiously ambivalent and potentially menacing?
The acting by all, including the perp who can not land a blow against our super-powered hero; plus, the editing and camera angles; and, special effects; constitute to demonstrate, art distilling life, in its very finest rendition.
Our rescued damsel in distress here, Loida, notably draws upon several, major, acting influences in her interpretations: Sophia Loren, Elizabeth Taylor, Marilyn Monroe, and Iris Chacón. All the sophistication, glamor and passion the four represent, is refined, distilled and manifested in Miss Loida.
Then too, also figures in, that Loida is a graduate of Réfine School of Modeling, exotically located in the San Juan environs of Puerto Nuevo, Puerto Rico. In this clip, she handily applies some of what she learned there.
viii.) Shiro/ Knife intervention
Includes colorful co-stars. I am reminded of actors Victor Buono and Dean Cain, as to villain and victim.
Curiously, the Shiro character's voice, to me, sounds dubbed. That would enjoy perfect logic had this been an Oriental epic. I mean with foreign actors, dialog originally recorded in Cantonese or Mandarin Chinese, for examples.
But, I know for a fact to be the protagonist, Puerto Rican; (who, coincidentally, has formally studied the Chinese language). Owl's first go-to languages are English and Spanish.
In everyday life, he fluently speaks mid-western sounding English, with no trace of accent to the general public; (unless listener's of regional dialect, e.g. from Cajun country, Boston, New York, or Texas, etc.).
However, what we are hearing during his consolation to the potential victim in the encounter, apparently, is someone else's voicing of English!
Further, all action was filmed in the good old U.S. of A. So again, the voice being rendered here, in this respect, I find definitely mysterious and perplexing.
Now, I could abbreviate the scene's title to "Shiro The Knife". Why? This would have significance for me, who wears, among various hats, that of songwriter.
Thereby, as to title similarity, would evoke in me the show tune, "Mack The Knife". Which did singer Bobby Darin extremely well.
[The] Song was [a] huge hit for him! Even got for Mr. Darin, the Grammy award.
ix.) Web overtakes alley thug: (Here Comes Spider-Man)
This town needs a super-hero (and gets one), says it all.
The video soundtracks, throughout, virtually without exception, resonate as awesome! Sound effects, when blows and fisticuffs land, are of the traditional, Foley artist class.
Music is sound-of-wall effected. It adeptly combines, synergistically, with the action of any given moment, that's being depicted.
6. Critical Acclaim
Here's a great, succinct, pithy viewer reaction from Grandma H.: "but,...did they HURT themselves, (in performing what we see?!)" Her momentary consternation and distress say it all: namely, how realistic, comes off the cinematic deftness of this very versatile, itinerant, & filmic crew!
7. European Predecessors
Their dynamic is reminiscent of Director Federico Fellini's cast of recurring actors and actresses from one movie to the next; or similarly, as with Ingmar Bergman's troupe coterie.
So likewise, Loida, Linda, Owl, & Josh, are comfortably coming to occupy too, that coveted row of seats in ascendance of the very next and newest thing: [they are] avant-garde auteurs, combining evident and ample talents, in creating their own, very distinct, distinguished, and unique world of contrived reality, all in service of Art.
8. Hollywood Predecessors
I can't stop being reminded how former, Elvis son-in-law, actor Nicolas Cage, started out the same way as a teen. I believe it's a svelte Superman he would imitate, in home movies made with brothers, while he looked ahead to broader horizons beckoning.
And, even though I find it challenging, at times, to rein in my pride in favor of objectivity (as being not casually associated with the Brotherhood of Parkour movie crew makes me subject). I must say that their professionalism attains every bit that of Francis Ford Coppola's, once upon a time, young and novice nephew, in his inaugural essays.
[That is] in this reviewer's considered, humble opinion.
9. Brotherhood of Parkour -- Guarantee
"The Brotherhood of Parkour", check them out on YouTube!
I confidently predict that their latest offering shall be the most memorable, cinematic event you experience in your routine, until their next blockbuster production makes its way down our pike.
Their's is a free, exciting ride. And, it's guaranteed to please!
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