7 items from 2012
John Hyams’s last two films—Universal Soldier: Regeneration (2009) and Dragon Eyes (2012)—were distinguished by their keen sense of action-setpiece construction and their potent use of motion and space. Regeneration, the weightier and more accomplished of the two, even achieved a sort of tragic grandeur; its images of empty-eyed soldiers fighting ceaselessly in irradiated urban ruins play like action-movie poetry.
Hyams’ new film, however, is an ambitious radical departure—a ballsy, heady genre mutant that confirms that Hyams is something more than just a smart and talented action traditionalist. Universal Soldier: Day of Reckoning—slippery, chilly, queasy—grafts an art-horror movie on to the rootstock of a violent action flick. It bears only a passing resemblance to Regeneration, and has even less in common with the original Universal Soldier (1992); in fact, the two films it brings to mind are Lost Highway and Videodrome.
Held together by an atmosphere of sustained dread, »
- Ignatiy Vishnevetsky
Today, The Expendables 2 comes crashing into movie theaters across the country like a tank. With its Herculean roster of action legends, one name you might not yet recognize on the poster is that of Scott Adkins. We must stress, the “yet.” Adkins is currently fighting his way, literally, up the action cinema food chain. He appeared in such films as Ninja and The Bourne Ultimatum. He wowed many of us with his turn as vicious prisoner brawler Yuri Boyka in the Undisputed franchise. In Undisputed III: Redemption, he held his own with Mirageman himself, Marko Zaror. In addition to The Expendables 2, Adkins will again star alongside Jean-Claude Van Damme and Dolph Lundgren in Universal Soldier: Day of Reckoning, the “fourth” film in the franchise that was just announced as part of the second wave of this year’s Fantastic Fest. Not one to slow down, Adkins also stars in the action movie El Gringo, which »
- Brian Salisbury
Title: Assassin’s Bullet Director: Isaac Florentine Cast: Christian Slater, Donald Sutherland, Elika Portnoy, Timothy Spall I feel bad for Christian Slater, Donald Sutherland and Timothy Spall. They must have either been manipulated into acting in Assassin’s Bullet, or straight out lied to. Those would be the only logical assumptions that can be made for why anyone would make the decision to be in this catastrophic disaster. Director Isaac Florentine, who also directed the Mma-based films, Undisputed II: Last Man Standing and Undisputed III: Redemption, now brings us a new film in his catalogue, called Assassin’s Bullet, which hits an all-time low. For the aforementioned Mma films, you could make the argument [ Read More ] »
It's a pity that Assassin's Bullet, possibly the first Isaac Florentine film to receive a Stateside theatrical release, happens to be one of his weakest. A martial-artist-turned-filmmaker, Florentine (born Yitzhak Florentin) has carved out a niche in the direct-to-video world as an old-school action director with a knack for choreographing and composing fight scenes. Wide-angles lenses, longish shot durations (by contemporary standards, anyway), and a sense of follow-through are the hallmarks of Florentine's action-directing style—an appreciative aesthetic where every element serves the bodies and movements of the athlete-performers (Florentine's leads are more often than not Mma fighters, more than capable of doing their own stunts).
Originally titled Sofia (as in the city), Assassin's Bullet is a sub-De Palma riff on the Bulgarian capital's status as a popular B-movie shooting location. This identity disorder—Sofia is one of contemporary cinema's most filmed cities, yet rarely plays itself— is personified by »
Most won't recognize director Isaac Florentine's name, but he's one of the better straight-to-video action directors around. He's been in the business for decades, but in recent years he's really started to shine with movies like Ninja and Undisputed sequels Last Man Standing and Redemption. If you haven't seen any of them, but you respect a good kick to the face, you should definitely check them out. Undisputed III: Redemption in particular could teach Hollywood a thing or two about how to choreograph a fight scene so it looks bone-crunchingly realistic. Florentine's latest is Assassin's Bullet and it's actually getting a limited theatrical release on August 3 ahead of its home video premiere on August 14. It looks to be a bit of a break from the...
- Peter Hall
Scott Adkins (Undisputed III: Redemption, Ninja) does battle with his The Expendables 2 and Universal Soldier: Day of Reckoning co-star Dolph Lundgren in the monstrous action thriller Tomb of the Dragon.
Travis, our heroic cryptozoologist, wants to prove that a prehistoric beast killing construction workers is more than just a myth. But at the same time his ruthless competitor, Harker, wants to prove he is the best in the business and outdo Travis in any way he can.\
Travis finds himself in a race against time to preserve the rare but deadly creature because Harker thrives on trophy killings and shoots to kill…including humans if they come between him and his prey.
Travis is funded by a mysterious »
When Lionsgate released a whole batch of character posters for The Expendables 2 a couple of weeks back, one name that was noticeably absent from the line-up was that of Adkins - a.k.a. British actor and martial artist Scott Adkins, who is set to appear in the epic action ensemble as Hector, the right hand man of the film's main bad guy, Jean Vilain (Jean-Claude Van Damme). Well, fear not Adkins fans, for here it is at last:
Adkins is perhaps best known for the direct-to-video sequels Undisputed II: Last Man Standing and Undisputed III: Redemption, as well as for sharing the role of Weapon XI with Ryan Reynolds in X-Men: Origins Wolverine. He and Van Damme are no strangers, having shared the screen in The Shepherd: Border Patrol, Assassination Games and the upcoming Universal Soldier: A New Dimension (the latter of which features fellow Expendables 2 co-star Dolph Lundgren »
7 items from 2012
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