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PROM NIGHT 2008
BANGKOK DANGEROUS 2008
THE SIDE OF TRUTH
X MEN ORIGINS: WOLVERINE
THE NEW DAUGHTER
STREET FIGHTER 2009
THE WARRIORS REMAKE
THE LONG PLAY
PASSENGERS - Sphait
SHUTTER ISLAND - Partial
LAST HOUSE ON THE LEFT 2009
CARTEL � Wild Bunch remake
PUNISHER: WARZONE BY Lexi Alexander
RUSH HOUR 3
THE WOLF MAN
AT THE MOUNTAINS OF MADNESS
ESCAPE FROM NEW YORK (2008)
MIDNIGHT MEAT TRAIN
THE INCREDIBLE HULK
DEATH RACE 3000
TERROR TRAIN (2008)
TRANSFORMERS 2 treatment
THE MUMMY 3
TAKING OF PELHAM 123 (2009)
EDWIN A. SALT
SHE�S NOT THAT INTO YOU
PRIDE AND GLORY
Some Call It Loving (1973)
Lost gem of 70's cinema!
Much maligned in the US, "Some Call It Loving"is a film that's not going to be for everyone...or suite everyone's tastes. But that doesn't mean it should be ignored, because at its core lies a well- made, deliberately told film about loneliness, love and dark desire.
As with most of director James B. Harris's films, the pic is centered around a disillusioned loner who wants to change the status quo. In this case, a jazz musician who wants more from his relationships than the kinky game play that has become the norm in his mansion.
Although our "hero" is surrounded by comely women who want to throw themselves at him, he wants more. He wants love. Companionship. He think he's found it in a mysterious girl who he has awakened from a long sleep, but the girl may be more of a puzzle than he can handle.
This is a film more about style than story. And on that level, it succeeds well, with gorgeous cinematography and a haunting theme melody by the director's brother Bob Harris.
Overall, it's great that this lost little film has finally been given a significant release after spending 40 years in obscurity. For cinema lovers, it's worth checking out. For those who already admire in its renegade spirit and minimalist approach, enjoy the new release by Etiquette Pictures. It's everything we could have hoped for. Maybe one day Hollywood will wake up, and realize what a wonderful director James B. Harris is. We can only hope.
The Expendables 3 (2014)
Seems the audience is Expendable
When the first Expendables was announced, it was supposed to be a throwback to the early years of action cinema - gratuitous violence, one liners and major carnage. The first two films lived up to this. The third is just awful.
Instead of spending more time with the aging heroes we've come to love, we get stuck with a bunch of whiny youngsters who don't do anything and aren't very interesting. I seriously doubt the so called "broader" audience this film is aimed at are gonna care about it. And the people who were interested in the series are going to be bitterly disappointed. Nice one, Sly!!!
Some of the new additions to the cast aren't that bad: Banderas, Snipes, Ford, Grammar, but Gibson completely owns the film - which dies whenever he is not around.
How's the action? Instead of being focused and over-the-top like the other two films, we get bland MTV style kills, thanks mainly to the new PG-13 rating. Who thought giving the film this lame rating was a good idea? Hey, lets take a series that is aimed at adults, starring aging action heroes who only the older audience will remember, and turn it into a dumb teen movie where the target audience WILL NOT CARE who they are or what they have done. Surely one of the worst business decisions in recent memory.
Newcomer director Patrick Hughes has not done anything with this film, but its really hard to tell if that was intentional or if the PG-13 hack job done to the film has made it bland.
Overall, this film is just a waste. Too soft for its hardcore fans, and not "hip" enough for its intended young audience. No one will be happy. Sure, it might puts bums on seats for the first week, but it will quickly disappear after that...and with good cause.
"What mean Expendable?" "It's like when you're invited to a party and don't show up and nobody really cares".
I suspect theater owners are gonna know the meaning of this come August 15.
Missionary Man (2007)
Pale Rider starring Dolph Lundgren
Dolph Lundgren is the unappreciated underdog of DTV action stars. While many people flock to buy Van Damme or Seagal's latest pics, less chase after Mr. Lundgren's work, and that's a shame. He has something going on. Something good.
MM (Missionary Man) is his third directorial effort, and although it isn't as good as his last picture, it's still interesting and shows some of the class and skillful touches he displayed in The Mechanik and The Defender.
This film is basically Pale Rider with Dolph in the Clint role. Can he handle such a role? You betcha. He plays a mysterious man named Ryder, who rolls into a quiet small town to attend a friend's funeral. Before you can say "trouble" he's already figured out that a rich young jackass is running the place and is behind the friend's death.
The rest of the first and second act is taken up with the plight of the Indians who live in the town. We're shown how modern America struggles with the Indians' beliefs and their way of life. Credit must be given to Dolph for trying to make more than a low budget shoot 'em up.
Unfortunately, as a result of that part of the story, the middle act drags a little. However, a rousing final act, where a gang of bikers turn up to foolishly stop Dolph, kick-starts the picture back to life.
The high noon showdown is BLOODY. Not Rambo bloody, but bloody nonetheless. One poor soul even takes a 12 gage to the face! It's these scenes that show Dolph has an understanding of action greater than his rivals. If Stallone's enjoying a cinematic action rebirth, Dolph's enjoying a DTV rebirth.
The look of the film is also noticeable. Lundgren has bathed the film is a dark sepia look and the music is subtle and underused.
The supporting players are a slight letdown. Some seem like community theater actors, while others, especially the Native Americans, come off as genuine and real. John Enos III rocks up as the lead heavy, Jarfe, about thirty minutes from the end, and that's a shame. His character should have been in the whole picture.
Incidentally, Dolph does the best he can with the very modest production values he has. Note to Sony: Give these stars more money to play with. Granted, they don't need $100 million, but are a few back more out of the question??? (Dolph, if you're reading this, put Enos in another one of your movies. He was cool.) And onto the man himself. As I said in my review for The Mechanik, Dolph has grown into his skin. He's comfortable and relaxed. He's the same in MM and I'm sure if he keeps getting good material to make, he will continue to relax and look good. It seems the days of the awful Storm Catcher and The Minion are behind us.
Hopefully, Dolph will continue to put out quality efforts like this. I can only imagine what would he would do with a bigger budget and better actors. It's okay though, because for now, we've got The Defender, The Mechanik and Missionary Man to enjoy.
Good work, Mr. Lundgren.
Miami Vice (2006)
Action movie for adults
The 2006 Miami Vice movie is an action/thriller for grown ups. The popcorn crowd who have to see stuff get blown up every ten minutes will not get this movie.
Those willing to see characters on the edge, living in a dangerous profession will enjoy this film. It's nothing like the MV series, but that's okay. The 2006 incarnation is tough and hard. The action sequences are impressively mounted (of course), the dialog is clever and sharp and the acting is perfect. I'm not a big Farrell/Foxx fan, but they are superb in this flick.
Michael Mann has returned to form after the disappointing Collateral. MV, as he stated, is an expose of life undercover. Sure, it's fast and flashy, but the job takes away everything that resembles a normal life for the characters.
The villains on the other hand, are no dime store hoods looking to get rich quick. They're businessmen who will not let anybody threaten their trade.
The film is completed by a subtle, yet effective soundtrack, composed by some of the industry's finest.
In short, Miami Vice is 2006's best action/thriller/drama and also one of the best movies of 2006. Period.
10 out of 10.
The Mechanik (2005)
The Punisher goes to Russia!
Dolph's first directing effort, The Defender, was a nice little action piece. Granted, the movie was low budget, but there was enough enthusiasm and excitement to make it worthwhile.
The Russian Specialist,aka The Mechanik, as it should be called; is a distinct step UP for Dolph. His direction is incredibly assured for someone who's only directed one other movie.
I won't go into story specifics here because everybody already knows what this about. However, I will go into the production and performances.
Dolph has changed as an actor. He's matured, he's confident in his skin. That is half the battle, and he wins bigtime.
Ben Cross is the comedy relief/dramatic Brit. He's one of the film's better assets.
The rest of the performers are more than adequate. The villains in particular, are slimy and nasty. It's a good thing they're slaughtered in such a brutal fashion!!! The script for this film, while hardly original, is pretty good for low budget fare like this. It pushes all the right buttons at the right time. The dialog is also quite good.
Dolph, the director, is in very good form. His style is loose and fluid. Think Tony Scott meets John Woo and you're on the right track.
The score by Elia Cmiral is haunting when it needs to be and tense when the crap hits the fan. Which brings us to the action set pieces.
Although they're not numerous, the action scenes are well done and VIOLENT! Dolph pulls no punches with this flick. The deaths come fast, hard and furious! Overall, this little film is quite good. I eagerly await the next Dolph film. To those who have not checked out this film and The Defender, I recommend you do so.
Wolf Creek (2005)
Good first effort
Director Greg McLean has crafted an effective thriller for his first effort. "Wolf Creek" has garnbereed much press for its realistic style and unflinching camera work. This film deserves attention, because it proves Australia, as a film industry, can make more than period dramas and slow movie social commentaries. "Wolf Creek" breaks the Aussie mold of being entertaining to only Aussies. This film could be watched by anyone is any country. Well done Mr. McLean! The film could also be used in schools to show kids who are thinking of going off on sight seeing trips to think again.
The story itself is eerily close to The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, but there are differences. The film has much more scope than that claustrophobic masterpiece and the villain, superbly played by John Jarrat, is much more three dimensional than most horror bad guys.
It's worth noting that the AFI's (The Australian Film Institute Awards)for some reason forgot to nominate Jarrot for his work. Shame on them. His performance is the standout of the year! The three victims however, are all annoying, loud and obnoxious youngsters. Unfortunately, none of them change by the end of the picture. There's no big character shift. What a shame, it would have made the things that happen to them more horrifying. As it is, the audience is kind of left barracking for Jarrat to kill them.
The score of the film is also excellent. In fact, the whole production has a sheen that belies it's low budget. The final haunting image is also classic. It's no wonder Bob and Harvey Weinstein plonked down big bucks for this film. Although it's far from perfect, it is well made and tense and horrifying. Something recent crapfests like Saw and their ilk have failed to be.
All in all, a good flick. Ignore the controversy and see it!
Batman Begins (2005)
Batman gets his wings clipped
I had high hopes when I saw "Batman Begins". I shouldn't have. From the rushed opening hour, to the unspectacular entrance of Batman and the mediocre, uninspired score, "Batman Begins" is a big budget waste of time. It makes 2004's "The Punisher" look like "Ben Hur".
Christian Bale was okay as Bruce Wayne, but he's no Michael Keaton. The rest of the supporting cast were good. I wish I could say the direction was. The action scenes are shot in the dark with a jittery camera, perhaps to conceal the lackluster Batman suit and the movie also includes one of the funniest moments ever captured on film. In a homage to "The Simpsons", the Batmobile is being chased by the police, Batman simply turns off the lights and the cops race past...Batman drives a ghost car! In a zillion dollar picture like this surely David Goyer could have thought of something better than that.
There are other problems too. For starters, Wayne Enterprises built the tumbler, the car that is used as the Batmobile. When Batman has this big chase, the whole thing is captured by a news crew and played on TV. Problem: Didn't anyone from Wayne Enterprises see the Batmobile and go "Hey! That looks like our tumbler, only black!" Other troubles are the mentioned action scenes. There's no set piece. No grand entrance, no bit where your pulse races. The makers just seemed content they had a Batman picture and that was enough.
Then there's the ending. Not since "Red Dragon" have I groaned so loud.
David Goyer is a writer who with each successive film is proving "Blade" was a fluke. His screenplay for this movie is pedestrian at best and Christopher Nolan's direction shows he should stick to intimate thrillers.
This Bat's had its wings clipped -- big-time!