Reviews written by registered user
refinedsugar

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143 reviews in total 
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Of Turtles and Vengeance, 10 August 2014
6/10

When corrupt Interpol agents spring a powerful drug dealer from prison and put a hefty price on his head in hopes of luring out their former #1 contract hit-man that they want dead who has a dark history with said drug dealer and another elite assassin is in the mix, you know things are about to get … complicated.

Jean Claude Van Damme, Scott Adkins in a film called Assassination Games and here's the rub. Its not the type of flick you're picturing in your head. Okay maybe that's a half truth. The prerequisite elements are within. Guns, death, fisticuffs, deception, etc and it gets off to a brief but predictable action start, but then slow city. Between Van Damme's detached, solitary arch of a (hit)man and Adkins broken past, there's a lot of drama and the pacing is monumentally slow. No wham, bam thank you ma'am. Its nearly two hours long.

Shot down and out in Romania, much of the film's backdrop isn't visually intensive / interesting. That doesn't mean it isn't well shot however. Watched in SD, felt like HD. Acting wise, the two leads acquit themselves fine and some of the supporting cast actually stood out. The story could be more exciting and/or shorter, but as it is, Assassination Games finds itself not at the bottom of either stars resumes, but hardly at the top neither.

Today You Die (2005) (V)
1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
Sign, sign, everywhere a sign, 12 May 2014
2/10

Unlike the list of producers in the opening credits, I'll keep this short. This is another of Seagal's latter day "bad" movies. You know this within the first five minutes. Stock footage ripped from another flick, another body double for Steven in a disjointed, awful fight scene. Today You Die is a rarity in it was filmed in the States and features recognizable faces in the supporting cast. Oh, but this was 2005, and we hadn't relocated to Romania or the Eastern Bloc yet.

The storyline is simple enough. A former thief wants to do honest jobs. Okay … but he does so by working for some mysterious man on high who surrounds himself with goon-like subordinates? Have I mentioned the laughable quips about dreams and mysticism that come courtesy of Seagal? Notice how I haven't mentioned any of the supporting cast yet? Yeah for good reason.

Of course, this is an action flick, direct to video withstanding, and all would be forgiven if the action was well shot and exciting. Its not. No, the best thing I can say about Today You Die is Steven actually smiles. Its something you don't see very often anymore.

Sniper 3 (2004) (V)
1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
Full circle, 27 April 2013
6/10

The third stop in the series, likely Tom Berenger's last go round, a story that nicely comes full circle, Sniper 3 ends up being the next best thing to the original and far and away the best sequel. The original established mood, tone, character and such. I like it a lot, good flick. Sniper 2 didn't do much right in my book. It's sole asset was its brief expansion on Beckett's character, but hey, a lot of people seem to enjoy it. Finally what is there to say about Sniper 4; aka Reloaded? Hi Billy Zane, maybe? Nice to see Miller again (even if he's stuck in a z grade, rundown sequel).

I won't rundown the story to Sniper 3 like it's epic. It's not, but besides being serviceable - as a backdrop for the casual viewer - it opens up plenty on Beckett's character, history, background and isn't that what we tune in for at this point in the road? Yes, the return to it's jungle roots (so to speak) is welcomed, the supporting cast is decent and the sniping portions of the movie feel right, but Beckett's up and down slope is this sequel's strongest asset. Weak spots? Every sequel has dealt lies and predictable betrayal and this one's no different. Oh and taking out a rival sniper with a handgun from quite a distance. That scene made me wince.

The casual moviegoer can rightfully be excused for perceiving Sniper 3 as nothing more than an indistinguishable dtv offering, but fans of the series will want to give it a go. I enjoyed the opening and the finale's simple but efficient ending with what I perceived to be a wink and nod to the original. I went in with lowered expectations because of Sniper 2, but 3 delivered. A good bookend to Beckett's saga.

Caught in the crossfire, 7 April 2013
5/10

Reading the reviews for this movie quickly identified two camps. The first zero in on the infamous director and splinter off into different veins of the same discussion. While the latter group are quick to point out historical, military inaccuracies and/or compare it to other films.

I will do neither. Yes, I'm well aware of Uwe Boll and his exploits, even though I had never saw one of his movies until Tunnel Rats, and no, I didn't go into this movie hoping for a great war flick that would stand up to the best of its genre peers. I quite honestly stumbled upon Tunnel Rats by accident and then it was only curiosity as fueled by all the talk about it (both positive and negative) that kept me around and ended with me giving it a go.

Tunnel Rats really only has one thing going for it. Claustrophobia. A thing that many people (me included) can easily identify with. The directing isn't bad, the acting isn't particularly bad, but overall, Tunnel Rats is a very average movie. Recommended only as a curiosity and nothing more, I've left the heavy analyzing to others.

Karma is for real, 19 March 2012
5/10

I remember when I first saw the poster for "Never Die Alone". I thought they were cashing in on DMX's turn in Exit Wounds and now he was getting his own action flick. The trailer just cemented this idea. Now having finally seen it, do I realize how wrong I was. Yeah, there's gangstas, there's killings, there's dope, there's even a DMX track or two within, but this ain't no action movie.

I've seen a lot of dark movies featuring dark people, but this nearly tops them. The sad and depressing antics feel too real. Forget that this is based on a novel. The situation, the main character, you know they exist in real life. This guy, King David, as he's called, is one piece of work. I know very little about DMX, his life, his career, but I couldn't help but wonder where the character began and he ended. That there is the most positive aspect of "Never Die Alone". DMX can be commended in all the right-is-wrong ways, but the movie on a fundamental level is flawed.

The story, the cast of characters, ride the line between adequate and embarrassing. David Arquette's role as the writer, basically the bridge of the tale, is hackneyed and Arquette is no thespian actor. Michael Ealy's character and his connection to both King David and his drug boss employer is mix of lame poorly executed ideas and unsatisfying conclusions and the whole theme of the movie is obvious from frame one. Intended to be a dark drama, "Never Die Alone" ultimately ends up being a pretentious glance at the surface of a drug pusher and the people caught in his blast radius.

Sniper: Reloaded (2011) (V)
4 out of 7 people found the following review useful:
There's always Montana, 29 November 2011
4/10

I have always liked the original Sniper. Seen it numerous times. Quoted it numerous times. It's one of those movies. I even sat through the two hit-and-miss sequels that followed. Which made me all the more surprised when I found out another sequel was to be released without Berenger, but low and behold, Billy Zane was back to the franchise three sequels down the line and eighteen years since his appearance in the original.

Let's cut to the chase. There's only one reason to bother seeing Sniper Reloaded; you're a fan of the original. On it's own merits, there is nothing of worth to non-fans of the series. The story is simple and predictable in every detail. The action sterile and the characters made of cardboard. From the hidden antagonist to the completely unnecessary female romance subplot to a relatively unknown actor playing Beckett's estranged son. Who himself is the most sad and tired excuse to make a Sniper sequel and somehow keep it tied to the original. Only fans of the series (and more so the original) should tempt to sit through this and then only to see GS9 Miller in what amounts to an extended cameo.

With rock bottom expectations that have been granted from sitting through one too many bad b-movie action flicks and/or sequels, Sniper Reloaded was everything I thought it would be. I enjoyed seeing Miller again, but everything else is better left unsaid. Probably the last entry in the Sniper series as we know it and the weakest too.

1 out of 4 people found the following review useful:
Wishes It Was The Original, 29 November 2011
1/10

It doesn't matter how old ... how popular ... or even how successful the original film may have been. Direct-to-video sequels are a market onto themselves. Using the title as quick and easy means to establish itself to audiences, there is little shock when you find out everything is as generic and uninspired as you expected. Screamers 2, aka, The Hunting is a great example of this.

What everyone else has already decried is absolutely true. A vastly unintelligent story featuring twists and deaths you see coming miles away highlighted by rather low production values. That's the movie. It's not exciting nor is it fun. It's also trying way too hard to be relevant to the original. Which it is not. A sandstorm is going to hit Sirus 6B so Earth based Alliance military has sent a bunch of young soldiers to evacuate survivors? Now!? After all this time? Oh and one of them just happens to be Hendickrsonn's (Peter Weller of the original) estranged daughter too? Please. This sequel's sole triumph is tarnishing memories of the original. The only merit I can bestow this film is some decent makeup effects and the appearance of Lance Henriksen. With only a bit part and meager dialog, he's the most respectable touch this movie has. The original Screamers had it's flaws, but it still came together to be a solid picture. A sentence this film will never hear in retrospect.

4 out of 4 people found the following review useful:
Stick to the original, 8 May 2010
4/10

I'm not insulting high art here so it doesn't pain me when I say Voluptuous Vixens 2 isn't on the level established by the original. The first Voluptuous Vixens had some standout moments. The sequel simply does not. Russ Meyer appears once again and it feels more forced the second time around. You might have humored him the first trip out, but you're hitting the FF button now.

One of the more recognizable mainstream busty ladies - Pandora Peaks - appears in two scenes as well as on the box cover. Her first segment aptly titled "Sideshow" fares well. Her enormous boobs would certainly be a treat to see at a circus ... carnival ... anywhere. A second segment with her in a glass bowl of champagne fares less so. You might also recognize Tawny Peaks. "Hay Stacked" has her almost literally rolling in it. Period sounding music, period dark hair, definitely not breasts of the period, but you get the picture. It's short, but perhaps the best segment of the whole feature.

The rest feels pretty mundane. "Hips Ahoy" has Tawny with blond hair in a navy themed piece featuring two other ladies that delivers some nice eye candy caught between corny music and a cheap looking set as a backdrop. A no-explanation-needed montage entitled "jumping around". There's a predictable dream sequence. A 70's themed throwback segment featuring Julie K. Smith that nails everything but the arousal. The Morrell sisters have a double your viewing pleasure, double your fun segment ruined by awful music that only a softcore flick can deliver. Busty beauty Barocca features in a dance number where the nudity is minimal and has an appearance in a harem styled segment alongside the Scandalous duo that should have been hotter.

It's Playboy. There's nudity. There's breasts. Real. Fake. Big. Bigger. You know the deal. Those starved for what's on display will get what they want, but it's strictly a one-off.

Lust Connection (2005) (TV)
5 out of 7 people found the following review useful:
Don't Believe The Hype, 23 September 2008

As a fan of softcore, let me tell you --

a) unless you are easy to please

or

b) haven't seen many of these flicks

Don't be fooled by all the positive reviews. I like attractive women and big boobs as much as the next guy, but anyone who recommends Lust Connection as a really good T&A flick has set their standards pretty low. While there's definitely a lot of nudity to be found here, the simulated sex scenes get old quick and lack any real heat. I'm rather fond of former Penthouse pet Julie K Smith too and even her appearance is rather forgettable.

The story also happens to be cheap and boring much like a zillion other duds. Lust Connection, an erotic thriller? Only if you're brain-dead. Jim Wynorski, the director, king of all things cheap and quick pumps out a product that by nature sells itself, but guys out there can do better. At the very least, Lust Connection could have benefited from a touch more explicitness. Sure, some of the ladies featured look nice and you'll see some recognizable faces, but I expect more nowadays from sitting through a T&A flick and so should you.

1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
Check please, 25 May 2008
5/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Logan (Lawrence) is a thief amongst thieves and as you know, there's no honor amongst 'em. They make a score, snatch a huge diamond, which parlays into a predictable betrayal and before he's caught by police, Logan is able to hide it in a building under construction. Simple enough, right? Here's the rub. Years later after getting out of the joint, he comes to find out the building he hid the diamond in is now a police station.

Sure the setup sounds unique, but believe me when I say nothing fresh ever comes of it. This is predictable filmmaking in every sense. One-liners, shoot-outs, an explosion or two and a side cast virtually wasted. That's Blue Streak. Lawrence mugs for the camera. William Forsythe gets the forgettable gruff "Nick Nolte" role. Luke Wilson gets to play the straight laced green second banana to Martin Lawrence. Peter Greene gets to play another heavy. It's cookie cutter product the likes of which we've been being feed forever. Whenever or not you buy into the fake cop act doesn't even seem to matter when the film can't sustain the funny. Logan bumbles his way through never raising an eye as the movie plays dumb for the sake of being dumb. A lot of people like this movie for reasons I don't quite understand, but then again, Blue Streak features an ending where we're supposed to feel good about a convicted thief escaping to Mexico with a stolen multi-million dollar diamond too.


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