Java Heat

MPAA Rated – R
It’s 1:44 Long
A Review by:
The Dude on the Right

Java Heat
Movie Stats & Links
Starring: Kellen Lutz, Mickey Rourke, Ario Bayu
MPAA Rated: R
Released By: IFC Films / MPI Media Group
Blu-ray Release: September 17, 2013
Kiddie Movie: Nope. It’s got killing and blowing stuff up.
Date Movie: Nah. Unless she finds Kellen Lutz dreamy.
Gratuitous Sex: A scene where Jake picks up a lady of the evening.
Gratuitous Violence: Lots of shooting and blowing stuff up.
Action: See “Violence.”
Laughs: Nah.
Memorable Scene: Nothing really.
Memorable Quote: Hashim to Jake: “You were given two eyes and one mouth. What did you see?”
Directed By: Connor Allyn
Cool things about the Blu-ray: It’s got a nice “Making of…” featurette where we learn of Kellen’s future acting plans.

You know what makes me sad? No? I’ll tell you. A movie that has a lot of potential and a pretty decent story, only to be pulled down by a lead actor that isn’t lead actor qualified yet, and a lazy plot development that takes away from the entertaining plot/action that preceded it. “Java Heat” made me sad. And yes, there might be a spoiler in this review.

Here’s the thing, “Java Heat” isn’t a bad movie, and it tries really hard. The story is pretty safe, basically about an FBI/marine dude who is hot on the trail of an international terrorist/thief guy, and finds himself in Indonesia at the latest bombing which turns out to be an attempt to get some crown jewels. He becomes intertwined with the Indonesian police in some weird world of “We hate Muslims/We hate Americans/We hate anyone who doesn’t like our General” world, and it’s supposed to be an action-packed thriller on the way to catch the bad guy. Sounds nice enough. Just as things are heating up, and the intrigue grows, guess what? Now let’s throw in a kidnapping involving the Indonesian police dude’s family, so now it’s personal. Why? Why go with this lazy plot-line? Why not ratchet up the action? Why not throw in some double-cross? Blah!

In the not-ready-for-prime-time-role as leading action man we get Kellen Lutz as Jake, yes, Kellen of “Twilight” fame, and although he has the looks of a potential action guy, his acting seems stuck in Twilight. Then there is Mickey Rourke, fresh from awesomeness in “The Wrestler” and even being a kick-ass bad guy in “Iron Man 2,” and here he is in a role with a bad accent, in what almost seems like a toss-off role with a bad guy who doesn’t seem that sinister. Then there is the fact that as a Marine/Spy/FBI guy, Jake is an idiot. He doesn’t seem to know his room is bugged, he gets himself drugged, and he doesn’t realize they have internet in Indonesia. What kind of spy-guy is this?

I did, however, like Ario Bayu in the role of Lieutenant Hashim, well, at least he until he was relegated to “saving my family,” but without him to hold this movie together, I would have been tossing and turning at night to go with only one or maybe two stars.

It’s got some decent action, though I suppose budget constraints kept things a little tamer than they could have been, and for an evening of watching something because you’ve seen most of the other movies, “Java Heat” isn’t bad. I’ll split this right in the middle and give the attempt at a decent action thriller 2 ½ stars out of 5. A better actor for the lead, maybe a better budget, and I could have gone a little higher, but there was too much bad for Ario Bayu to bring up that much much.

As far as the Blu-ray, it’s got the “Making of…” featurette where we learn Kellen has hopes of being the next, big action franchise star. I don’t think this movie helps him on his quest, however, that and the fact that his acting in this movie is stiff. He almost needed to quit trying so hard and have a little fun. And not let his character be so stupid.

That’s it for this one! I’m The Dude on the Right!! L8R!!!


MPAA Rated – R
It’s 2:07 Long
A Review by:
The Dude on the Right

Movie Stats & Links
Starring: Keira Knightley, Lucy Liu, Christopher Walken, Mena Suvari, Mickey Rourke, Jacqueline Bisset, Delroy Lindo
MPAA Rated: R
Released By: New Line Cinema
Release Date: 2005
Kiddie Movie: Only if you want your little girl to be a bounty hunter.
Date Movie: If she likes some violence.
Gratuitous Sex: Keira gets naked. It’s kinda artsy, but I’m liking her mosquito bites.
It’s rated R and about bounty hunters, what do you think?
Gratuitous Violence: It’s rated R and about bounty hunters, what do you think?
Action: Not really, although you would think there would be.
Laughs: Some pretty good lines.
Memorable Scene: The “Mix-ed Race” Flowchart at the Jerry Springer Show.
Memorable Quote: “He hasn’t aged well.”
Directed By: Tony Scott

I know it’s sometimes a tough call for moviemakers: Do you take what can be a pretty good action movie and just let it be an action movie, or do you try to make it more artsy, with more symbolism and tricky camera-work, than just people kicking ass? For “Domino,” they opted for the latter, and as much as I could appreciate it, I could have probably appreciated it even more if the story wasn’t so convoluted. I’ll try to give you just enough without giving too much away…

“Domino,” as the opening credits state, is “a movie based on a true story, sort of.” Pretty much Domino Harvey was the daughter of a Hollywood screen star, her father, who died when she was a young girl. That much is true. The movie says that mom tried to stay tight in the Hollywood circles, that Domino was a model and in a sorority, but I can’t confirm any of that. Domino Harvey became a bounty hunter in the movie. That much is true. Then there is the rest of the movie which starts as a story that seems believable, up until the armored car heist.

Alright, as the movie gives us, we see Domino (Keira Knightley) being interrogated by the FBI, agent Taryn (Lucy Liu). Taryn is trying to get the story of what happened to the money in the armored car. From this point it is a series of flashbacks as the “sort of” stuff really starts to take shape. We see Domino shuttled to boarding school, break a nose in a sorority house, dressing kinda slutty, and hooking up with Ed (Mickey Rourke) and his partner Choco (Edgar Ramirez), thus her transformation into being a bounty hunter. Domino is hot, can kick some ass, and there’s some sexual tension between her and Choco. The story is pretty simply, Domino, Ed, and Choco, go about their bounty hunting business, but then get approached by a reality TV producer, Mark (Christopher Walken). He convinces our trio that they should be on a reality TV show about their work as bounty hunters, and they agree.

But there is a problem in bounty hunter land, namely that their major employer, Bail Bondsman Claremont Williams (Delroy Lindo), has cooked up a scheme to get $300,000 for one of his women, Lateesha (Mo’Nique), who needs the money for a lifesaving surgery for her granddaughter. Oddly enough, now the mob, a casino owner, the FBI, and dozens of other are involved, and the story turns from kinda fun and serious, to just a convoluted mess, which I probably could have gone along with if the movie was just normal action fare, but with it trying to be artsy and with a message, I just got tired of following it all especially when some people who are supposed to be dead really aren’t, there had to be an easier way to get into that freezer, and the poor throw money into the air only to see some of it blow away.

Look, I loved the characters. Keira, Mickey, Edgar, and damn just about everyone else were fabulous in all of their roles. Even Ian Ziering and Brian Austin Green were great at playing themselves. And damn, Keira even gets naked. But the story, especially as it played out, wasn’t an artsy story at the end, it was an action story and I think should have been treated as such, kinda a “Lethal Weapon” but much darker. Convoluted stories generally work when we aren’t trying to take the movie too seriously, but “Domino” was set up as a serious movie, and a convoluted plot development just falls apart.

In the end, I really wanted to like “Domino,” but just couldn’t, even with the blatant nudity and gratuitous violence. It’s 3 stars out of 5 for “Domino.”

That’s it for this one! I’m The Dude on Right!! L8R!!!