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Mark Dacascos - Reviews

Most of the reviews I have copied from books.
There are links to online reviews in the link section .

The first Crying Freeman review however is from the Crying Freeman Forum on IMDB and used with permission.
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Crying Freeman

Crying Freeman is comic book subject matter. From that we get anime. No disrespect to all of you moaning about lack of action, and how this film "got off track", and your dismal confusion. THOSE ARE OTHER MEDIUMS. Julie Condra's narrative is essential to this movie - in the context of this film it's what changed everything. It's an ancient theme, the maiden singing to the Dragon, turning something in its heart with her surrender to its teeth and claws. From the moment the movie begins, with the dragon rollling over Mark's delicious skin to the sound of Patrick O'Hearn's dense soundtrack you know this movie is about subliminal things. If you know Christophe Gans you know its about layers and layers. If you have eyes and a brain you can figure out it has Asian soul. Some things are necessary because they are. This movie has ages-old elements: sex tangled in violence, honor tangled in sex, death tangled in honor, all of it tangled in angst. Gans took it a step farther than pulp but kept the deep pulp pace. It's about what we keep secret, and how we court death, and how in the end it all fits in an instant, life, death, the choices that bring us to them and beyond.

I can buy a comic book, or an anime movie and get the other stuff. I bought this to get stoned on art. It's why I can watch BOTW with the sound off, or in French even though I don't speak it. It's a visual high that strokes your brain through your eyes if you'll look deep enough to see. But that's pretty intimate to stare straight into. That's the power in Mark's eyes. He makes everything intimate. As for Christophe Gans, I'm sure he knows not everybody can take this kind of subliminal stimulation, but it's obviously what he saw in the original medium and what he wanted to show us with his eyes.

As for the sex scenes, there are two, both shot from angles that leave everything to the viewer's mind. They are artful metaphors, the first one for the peaceful and relieved embracing of death - the second for the imminent and forboding selling of one's soul.

I don't mean to sound arch, but it's all there if you bother to look.
And I really like looking at this.

T. Reno Brohamer
Think Once. Think Again. Evolve...
IMDB Crying Freeman boards, August 2004.

Crying Freeman

Based on an epic Japanese comic book of rare intelligence and detail, this is almost too reverential towards its source material: several sequences inspire deja vu, having literally been story-boarded in the original manga; and both Dacascos, as the eponymous Chinese assassin who cries when he makes a hit, and Condra as the virgin who falls for the soft-hearted hard man look the part uncannily. Director Gans tries honourably to put the Art into martial arts, but comes fatally unstuck. Though slo-mo fight sequences distance the action from your traditional Jackie Chan beat-'em-ups, you find yourself longing for some good. old-fashioned shit-kicking. When we finally get it, and discover that Dacascos not only looks like Johnny Depp on steroids, but that he could whup Jean-Claude Van Damme's sorry ass as Hollywood's next action hero, you just wonder what took him so long.
- Dominic Wells, TimeOut Film Guide

Crying Freeman review at KFC Cinema


Drive review at

Island of Dr. Moreau

Third adaption of H.G.Wells' sci-fi novel, begun by Richard Stanley (hardware) and completed by John Frankenheimer. Like one of Moreau's creatures, it is a sorry patchwork, its jumbled good and bad parts in constant conflict. Yet despite the ludicrous antics of Brando's Moreau, and the lazy, narcissistic Kilmer as his ex-neuro-surgeon side-kick Montgomery, flashes of inspiration remain, not least in Brando's idiosyncratic but chilling delivery of the key speech that begins 'I have seen the Devil in my microscope, and I have chained him.' One feels sorriest for Thewlis and Balk, who as morally repulsed casta-way Douglas and Moreau's beautiful, feline daughter Aissa, vainly try to counter the indulgent excesses of their co-stars. Smeared with sun-block, and sporting a range of absurd headgear, Brando is too whimsical to convince as either the gene-splicing genius or the benevolent dictator, dispensing justice with the aid of pain-inducing implants that he activates whenever his half-human subjects threaten to revert to their animalistic ways. In a more coherent context, Stan Winston's varied creature design might have had more impact; here, they barely serve to distinguish one mutant creation from another.
- Nigel Floyd, TimeOut Film Guide.

Only the Strong

A paean to the Brazilian art of Capoeira harks back too those break-dancing quickies. The plot is the usual. Louis (kung-fu champ Dacascos) learns kicking ass to samba in Brazil with the US Army Special Forces, returns to Miami to find drug-dealers all over his old high school, kicks ass, converts a squad of delinquents to capoeira, takes on bossman Silverio (Prieto) in an ass-kick-up, and gets the green light for ass-kicking to samba on the syllabus. This martial art requires chaps to go into slow motion a lot and to be ethnically vague about the moves. In this context an average actor like Geoffrey Lewis, playing the defeated old schoolteacher, hums like a dynamo. Avoid like El Plagueo
- Brian Case, TimeOut Film Guide.

Webmaster: Many Dacascos fans would disagree! I have seen this movie mentioned as a Dacascos favorite again and again.


A broody melodrama set on the US-Mexican border, with Olmos, the con released after eight years in stir, returning to his family and occasioning crisis. He's a cock-fighting man, a macho old-schooler. He dismisses his son's bird-fighting prowess as a Filipino-Mexican match looms. His disturbed daughter (Lassez, looking like a younger Julia Roberts) wears angel wings and builds elaborate graveyards for dead pets, and clearly missing paternal care. His sister, 'the encyclopedia of love'(Alonso) has sex coming out of every pore. This plays like a melancholic Tennessee Williams piece - its dialogue betrays its theatrical roots - beautifully shot(by Villalobos Reynaldo) from dirt level under clear blue skies, accompanied by plaintive slide-guitar. Atmospheric, well-acted (especially by Olmos), but as ever with middle-brow director Young, it ends disappointingly; all show and no meaning.
- Wally Hammond, TimeOut Film Guide.
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