Reviews written by registered user
|103 reviews in total|
This might possibly be one of the best films I've ever seen Van Damme in. I understand the legendary 'Bloodsport' remains the most popular of Van Damme's works but "In Hell" in my opinion at least should rival 'Bloodsports' popularity. The story of a man (Van Damage) who murders his wifes murderer in cold blood and gets sent to a Russian prison that specializes in torture, brutality and the usual host of atrocities that commonly occur at corrupt prisons. Through all the beatings, embarrassments, tests in courage and dignity, Van Damme creates an entire turnaround from the pushover that he once was. The film is not for the weak of heart, the brutality in this film is so strong you can practically feel it while watching it. That to me shows how good of a film "In Hell" truly is, it is very captivating, which is not usual of your typical Van Damme fare. I recommend this film to anyone who is a fan of Van Dammes films, and prison-related films as well. Good stuff.
"Death Warrant" is another good film from the early nineties featuring Van Damage and all his greatness, this time Van Damme (a police officer) goes undercover to a prison that supposedly has been the hosts to some rather mysterious deaths. What transpires from there is your usual prison flick: fights, gangs, murders, plotting to get the bad guy, the eventual fight sequences, etc. Considering the time this film came out (1990), it isn't too bad at all, I have definitely seen much worse in the action film department than this. There are some flaws, continuity errors, goofs, and what have you, but Van Dammes films in my opinion should be devoid of any Roger Ebert-laden scrutiny. They are entirely designed for the action sequences that many fans (along with myself) find enjoyment in watching for the simplicity of entertainment value. I recommend 'Death Warrant' to anyone who appreciates your good old rock 'em sock 'em Van Damage (Bloodsport, Kickboxer and Lionheart for example). Good stuff.
I was really impressed with how this movie was done considering the budget for it. Van Damme's lines are short and sweet as usual but his overall acting in this film is not typical of his earlier works in the early nineties. The fact that the film was done on a low budget is very obvious (most of Van Damme's work these days is straight to video) but for what the director had to work with, I really feel that he did a great job. There is so much more drama in this film compared to other Van Damme films that I was really surprised, sometimes an actors departure from their usual works isn't such a bad thing and I feel this film is proof of that. I would recommend Until Death to anyone who can tolerate low budget films, as well as anyone who appreciates Van Damage in all his greatness, and a little bit of a genre twist added in. Good stuff in my opinion.
Already being noted for his stellar work as a Director, Tarantino's "Inglourious Basterds" is in my opinion, another successful chapter in the impressive career for the director. Brad Pitt's portrayal of Lt. Aldo Raine to me is award winning material, the accent, the comedic yet serious side, Pitt definitely out-does himself in this film. The German and French subtitles are marvelous, the cinematography is amazing, it is quite evident that Tarantino did his homework before making this picture. The Nazi leaders, Hitler, Goebbels, Goering and Bormann are all mentioned (and shown as well) so I was impressed with the historical significance that Tarantino incorporated into the film (although it is fictitious). The ending is more than memorable, for a two and a half hour film, it does fly by. With Tarantino's unorthodox blend of comedy,suspense,horror and drama all mixed together, it is beyond fair to conclude that this picture is a film that is deserved of its own pedestal.
This film is definitely one of the better J. Lee Thompson/Charles Bronson outings. Although certain scenes in the film show the shoestring budget it was created upon, the acting, score and the haunting white buffalo itself keep the film worth watching. It is a very simplistic film that was shot and released about ten years to late, if it had been done about 1967 (when westerns were popular and still prevalent), then the response probably would have been greater but filmdom by 1977 had evolved into bigger and better things. The thing I really appreciate about this film is that it almost has a dreamy,fantasy approach to it, not typical for Charles Bronson but it definitely works. Trust me I'd want to bump off a white buffalo too if I had dreams about it coming after me while it roared like an Amtrak going 200 mph! Good film.
A Dirty Harry clone? The Stone Killer is an interesting film, Bronson portrays a plain-clothes cop named Lou Torrey, Torrey has a penchant for being a little violent at times and it costs him his badge in NYC. Torrey eventually picks up a Lieutenant position at the Los Angeles department and gets knee deep in some real problems. War veterans (Vietnam) with itchy trigger fingers, anti-war sentiment, druggies, prostitutes, civil rights issues, a mafia-related vengeance plot that has been in the works for forty two years as well as a host of other problems. I had to watch this film twice in order to really follow the films somewhat confusing pace, there are some subplots which confused me a little bit but upon the second viewing I had, the film made a lot more sense to me than in my initial viewing. There are some scenes that go straight from Los Angeles to New York City and back throughout the film but the pace is easy to keep up with. There is a ton of action to feast your eyes upon, many gun fights, a few car chases, etc. Bronson acts in his usual tough-guy role as Lou Torrey and plays it very well in my opinion. The ending is not as satisfactory as I would have liked, but Director Michael Winner is known for having unique endings/twists to his films. As far as rating the film goes, The Stone Killer in my opinion is just a notch or two below other Bronson/Winner collaborations such as 'The Mechanic' or the classic 'Death Wish', but all in all I would recommend this film to any Bronson fan, or anyone who appreciates old, dated action films. I certainly enjoyed it.
Charles Bronson plays Holland, a man who has retired from his 'professional killer' days and lives at a beautiful island home. Suddenly, Bronson's character is coerced into un-retiring upon hearing about various crimes committed by a sadistic Josef Mengele copycat-killer/torturer named Mulloch (J. Maher). By plotting his vengeance step-by-step, Bronson eliminates Mullochs inner circle in a cold, calculated fashion leading up to the inevitable confrontation at the end of the film. This film to me seems to follow the vigilante-Bronson thread pretty well, his character in this movie seems to reflect previous characters he portrayed in earlier efforts in his career (i.e. The Mechanic and Death Wish). Director J. Lee Thompson's pace throughout the film was enough to keep me interested, Maher's portrayal of the sadistic Mulloch was very eerie and uncomfortable at times, his methods/beliefs of and about torture are pretty gruesome, which greatly impacts how we as the viewer look at him during the film. This is definitely a good installment to the collaborations that J. Lee Thompson and Charles Bronson have had together in film, it isn't the best they've done together but it is well worth a watch if you are a fan of either Thompson's or Bronson's works.
"Friday the 13th" Marcus Nispel-style is a rather odd entry to the series. The beginning is a direct re-imagining of the ending to the original first film when Mrs. Voorhees got hers and then we learn that Jason happened to be present that evening as well.... well then we fast forward to twenty years later, we have some teenage/young adult kids (6?) hiking in the middle of nowhere, wanting to find some marijuana (with GPS devices no less!) so they can sell it and become rich, blah-blah-blah, and oddly enough at the same time, they learn that they just happen to be in the crystal lake area by chance! Insert a short synopsis on the Jason legend next to a campfire and well guess who shows up eventually and ruins the sex, drugs and the rock 'n roll, I'm sure your following me in this review just fine so far...this film is a little predictable in the scare department, its almost as your lead into the scare through the sounds accompanying it and not being caught off guard so much, although I'll be the first to admit to being 'jolted' in my seat from time to time during the scare scenes. Jason himself is quite an intimidating figure nowadays, he must have a personal trainer in the winter months or something, he also seems to own quite a stretch of property up in Crystal Lake (above and below ground) and its even equipped with fully working power! At one point there are flood lights that are turned on at the Voorhees residence by Jason! At least he pays his electric bills, right? The characters are lame, they really didn't give me a reason to pay any attention to their dialogue, let alone pay attention to the grisly ends they all met. The only 'incorporating' Nispel did in homage from Parts 2 and 3 were Jasons potato sack mask (which looked like Darkman's bandages to me...) and the inevitable acquisition of his noted Hockey Mask. The ending is your usual 'Friday the 13th' ending, I wasn't shocked and ecstatic by no means but I definitely was in no state of satisfaction either. I really think that after the opening title came across the screen after a fifteen minute 'introductory' sequence, I really became numb to the film. Granted, I give Nispel credit for trying to add something 'fresh' by giving a new vision to how this could have been the replacement to Steve Miner's 2nd and 3rd entries to the franchise years ago. But in the end it was just a lot of the same to me, just given a more modern/updated treatment. 5/10
Soderbergh's tense thriller "The Limey" is very beautifully crafted into a sleek, smart and cool masterpiece of revenge. Terence Stamp plays Wilson, a criminal who has got out of the clink (for a third time) and later found out his daughter had passed away suddenly. Fonda plays Valentine, a rock 'n roll producer who has a morbid fascination for young women and corruption. This movie rolls at such a pace that you are instantly left wanting more (I know I was!). It was great to see Director Soderbergh mix flashback footage from one of Stamp's previous films from the late sixties, "Poor Cow" I believe is the name of the film. Lesley Ann Warren and Luis Guzman both show up with great performances throughout the film, lots of great sixties music and a really "groovy" atmosphere make up for a really cool flick. I would recommend this to anyone who is breathing. 10 out of 10 stars any day of the week!
Before watching this film I had heard a lot about it and certain scenes in the film, but listening wasn't doing it for me so I planned on watching it and wow! Ned Beatty, Ronny Cox, Jon Voight and Burt Reynolds make for an interesting group of individuals who are hell bent on canoing down the Cahulawassee river and the unfortunate series of events that transpires upon them all. The character development takes some time in enveloping the viewer with a better understanding of each person, but eventually you know these guys like they were your friend. The acting, dialogue is very very real, as close to reality as you can get for Hollywood acting. Reynolds character "Lewis" was interesting as a guy who comes off very tough but underneath the manly veneer lies a very soft and broken man (I was impressed with his performance!) Jon Voight seems to be the character thats on the spotlight the most, the unfortunate circumstances that seem to find him at every corner really mold and caste him into a different man at the end (his character transition was excellent). Ned Beatty and Ronny Cox really seem like the silly lunkheads that just like to joke around and don't seem to get too awful serious unless they have too, and they did... I really was amazed at Director Boorman's vision of Dickey's novel, very impressed. You cannot go your whole life without watching this film. I give it eight out of ten stars, extremely impressed.
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