Archive for the 'Action' Category

Apr

posted by General Relativity | April 19, 2013 | Action, New Releases, Reviews by General Relativity

Comments Off on Universal Soldier: Day of Reckoning

universal Solider Day of Reckoning

One of the weirdest action movies of the 2010s is an obscure almost-straight-to-dvd sequel to a little-loved 90s Van Damme/Dolph Lundgren conflagration. There have been five sequels to “Universal Soldier,” and outside of the original, which is mostly notable for being one of the few JCVD movies where our hero does not sport a mullet, I have only seen this one, and its not what you think…

universal Solider Day of ReckoningIt is true I saw this movie on altering substances, probably Tek or Snow Crash (it was a crazy night), but either way it was a grim experience that lingered for days. The best one sentence description would be: David Lynch and David Cronenberg decide to co-direct Philip K. Dick’s “The Bourne Identity,” as adapted by Ingmar Bergman, after a weekend of binge-watching “Last Year at Marienbad” on mushrooms and peyote. Obviously this movie is mandatory for all you knuckleheads.

It is strange that it took so long for the direct-to-dvd action genre, with its limited budgets and limited revenue potential, to turn out something this experimental and pretentious. And yet here we are presented with artist John Hyams, son of 80s b-giant Peter Hyams (he of “2010: The Year We Make Contact” and “The Relic” fame), who through some twisted genius and ambition decided to make a pulp horror film with nigh-unrivaled action sequences for our on-demand age.

Although JCVD and Dolph get top billing, the main character is Australian upstart Scott Adkins. Scott wakes from a sleep to witness his family slaughtered and his brains beat in. Did I mention that this sequence is filmed in the first-person perspective? Did I mention the seizure-inducing strobes? Scott emerges from a coma and decides to avenge his universal Solider Day of Reckoningfamily, descending into a Hieronymus Bosch netherworld governed by a psychotic Dolph Lundgren and some kind of Bizarro Van Damme from Hell. Both heroes have never been more deranged, perhaps because in spite of their top billing they obviously spent 2 hours filming their scenes before cashing out and rolling over for brunch at Spago.

This movie has visceral action. This is not the place for wimpy dance-fighting where actors flutter like delightful sprites while barely grazing each other with soft slaps. The fight scene in the sporting goods store must be seen to be believed.

The Lessons from “Universal Soldier: Day of Reckoning”:

-Are you an automaton or do you have free will?
-Is religion the path to truth or the means of control?
-Is the ideal goal of humanity an Übermensch or “die Letzte Mensch”? And if I am a “last man” what is so wrong with that, sometimes it gets cold and I like to cuddle in a quilt with my dog and watch Point Break, and who cares what some syphilitic German thinks about that anyway?
-What is even going on in this movie?
-WTF?!?!

roadside attractions

  • Pretentious art films starring Jean-Claude Van Damme
  • Dolph Lundgren, Renaissance Man
  • Kabuki warpaint
  • Baseball bat swordfights
  • Nausea
  • Strobelights
  • Incoherent non-linear narrative
totals

10

blood

BLOOD

Um. Don’t worry about that.

8

blood

BREASTS

Yeah, that happens, but I didn’t feel very clean about it.

10

beast

BEASTS

Jean Claude Van Damme as Kurtz in Apocalypse Now. Bald, insane, babbling, sweaty. Also, whoever that dude with the beard is, he is pretty awesome

9 OVERALL
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Check out the trailer for “Universal Soldier: Day of Reckoninge”

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Apr

posted by admin | April 1, 2013 | Action

Comments Off on Popular movie casino scenes

When it comes to casinos in movies, there is a clear distinction between those films – such as the 1995 movie Casino, and the 1998 one Croupier – which are all about these establishments and gambling, and those which simply feature a single key scene set in a casino. When it comes to the latter there is no question that one of the most famous examples would be Rain Man, starring Tom Cruise and Dustin Hoffman. This scene is famous because of the spectacular card counting abilities of Hoffman’s autistic character, as well as his adverse reaction the flashing lights and noises of the casino environment, and it provides key insight into both his character and that of his selfish brother (Cruise).
The remake of Ocean’s Eleven which was directed by Stephen Soderbergh on the other hand, is set almost entirely in the casinos of Las Vegas, but the film is not really about casino gambling. Instead it is about a gamble to rob one of these casinos, and the poker scene which takes place early in the film, establishes the character qualities of Danny Ocean (George Clooney) which will lead him to attempt a lunatic stunt of this kind. Like other famous movie casino scenes – such as the one from the James Bond film Casino Royale – it is not especially realistic from an actual gambling point of view, but it is certainly cinematic.
The scene in Casino Royale is absolutely pivotal to the plot, as the villain Le Chiffre that Bond is playing against plans to use his winnings to fund terrorist activities. This scene has been greeted by some scepticism amongst enthusiastic online casino gamblers, but Bond films have never really had anything to do with reality. The purpose of the scene is not to provide poker instruction, but to create a sense of tension and excitement in the movie, and in that it succeeds brilliantly.

Mar

Comments Off on Rage

rage

Whenever I want to talk about this movie, I want to yell, “RAAAAGE!” much like those Surge commercials back in the day. Possibly while skydiving, devouring a bag of Dorito’s and slamming a 24 oz. of Mountain Dew and you know something? That’s not a far off description from the movie. This movie is seriously EXTREEEEEME! Everything gets shot, shatters and explodes or gets a roundhouse kick to the dome… mostly in slow motion.

This plot actually shares something similar with 28 Days Later, believe it or not. This evil corporation (is there ever a good one?), Westech, is experimenting with a rage type virus on monkeys and then on illegal immigrants to create the perfect batch of super soldiers. So, shove off Steve Rogers, you shmuck! You see, this shady cop working with Westech by rounding up illegal immigrants for them to run their experiments. But, one of these round ups goes sour and one of these illegal immigrants who’s been supplying Westech with illegal immigrants (I know, just stay with me) decides to start a firefight and flees the scene. He happens to hijack family man and second grade teacher, Alex Gainer, played by the arse kicking brit, Gary Daniels.

Kelly kidnaps Gainer and says since he’s a limey, he’ll work fine for the experiments and claiming, “He don’t speak no good English.” Since Gainer just happens to be in peak physical condition, they all go along with it. No need to run any other tests to see if he has any health conditions or diseases. They just inject him with some unknown liquid to make him go crazy, so there is no need to train him on survival skills or how to use weapons. But shoot, wouldn’t luck have it, Alex also happens to be a martial arts expert, flips his poop switch after the injection and escapes… but not before beating the pulp out of everyone or filling them full of bullet holes! And what would any good action scenes be if they didn’t have nameless thugs being thrown dozens of feet from an explosion in slow-motion? Did you miss that part? Don’t worry. It happens like a thousand more times.

Alex is an unstoppable killing machine! Until Kelly tazers his nards. That’ll put anything down. However, it doesn’t last long as he manages to flee these villains on foot in dark after they threw him in the trunk of a car. They didn’t even get in the car to chase him. I believe the excuse they had was, “It’s too dark to see.” Hmm, well good thing you didn’t come prepared by bringing flashlights. Then you would have to do some work.

Next comes a long and destructive car chase scene, using a tractor trailer, reminding one of Terminator 2. Alex manages to hijack a semi in order to plow through a barricade. Let the carnage begin! This seriously goes on for at least fifteen minutes. Every police car and another tractor trailer that tries to stop Alex get smashed, exploded, and flipped through the air. He causes so much destruction, that a car literally flies about thirty feet in the air, doing flips, landing and exploding. Only the beefiest of men could do something like that. This scene concludes when Kelly, being the caring soul he is, commandeers a school bus and tries to take down Alex head-on, but Alex, being the nimble, ninja skilled, school teacher he is, surfs on top of the truck and leaps from it as it crashes into the bus and explodes. Don’t worry, he made it out of that situation without a scratch. Kelly on the other hand…

After this comes the film’s greatest fight scene, or maybe one of the best fight scenes in a movie ever. Alex stumbles into a random home like a hopped up hobo and begins rummaging through the refrigerator, ramming day old chicken, milk and tomato juice into his face. While all of this is going on, mind you, the owner of the house is upstairs with his dominatrix. Both of them leather bound… all while Flight of the Valkyries plays on the radio. Not since Apocalypse Now has that song sent chills down man’s spine and instilled images of chaos and violence into our minds. But to answer your burning question, yes the dominatrix does get punched in the face.

rageBy now, you’re starting to sense a pattern: Action beat, exposition, action beat, exposition and so on. There is a journalist and his cameraman (or lady in this case) who aren’t really given much to do except question the antagonists in this flick, as the duo sets out to prove that Alex is innocent. Which I do have to question at this point: When does it stop being self defense after you gunned down countless thugs, beat up a dozen or more cops, crashed more vehicles than The Dukes of Hazzard and caused more property damage than Godzilla? Eh, he’s just a good guy trying to prove he’s innocent!

The film adds another villain, kind of a crooked federal agent, who is trying to bring Alex back to the lab. In the process of trying to accomplish said mission, he punches Alex’s wife in the face. Everyone gets beat up in this movie. I’m surprised nobody took a swing at his daughter. I would have loved to see her do a slow motion roundhouse kick to some dudes stomach. That would have been baller, son. Also, one of the best stunts in the movie takes place on a skyscraper with Gary Daniels dangling from it and falling as he is trying to escape someone from a helicopter shooting at him. But, luckily he lands on his feet without a twisted ankle or scratch and runs off to the next action scene.

To conclude this review that has possibly gone on too long, for a movie that seems like it should have been simple to write about, I found myself having a lot to say. Sure, the script serves as a purpose to get actor Gary Daniels from action beat to the next and he doesn’t deliver any action movie one liners, but holy crap… the action is awesomely over the top! I found myself completely entertained this entire flick and (as much as I hate to use this expression, so I will change it just a bit) I found myself at the edge of my uncomfortable futon.

The film does suffer from questionable editing from time to time (you’ll know it once you see it) and the even though the film had a climatic end movie shoot out, it felt like the final showdown between hero and villain was weak. Trust me; it doesn’t go down at all how you think it would. Also, most of Alex’s dialogue is, “BLEEEH! YAGGHHH! ARGH! UMPH!” You get the idea. But if you love cheesy films that have better action than most movies now, and I know you do, watch this. Heck, even if you don’t you should still watch this.

roadside attractions

  • Slo-Mo EXPLO!
  • Take a shot every time someone flies from an explosion in slo-mo
  • Take a shot every time Gary Daniels is grunting.
  • Roundhouse-O-Rama.
  • Tractor Troubles.
totals

7

blood

BLOOD

Squibs and scratches, but more than enough explosions to keep your inner arsonist happy.

4

blood

BREASTS

Just Gary Daniels glistening, sweaty chesticles.

8

beast

BEASTS

Gary Daniels annihilating everything in site.

8.1 OVERALL
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Check out this trailer from “Rage”

trailers

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Nov

posted by admin | November 1, 2012 | 80's b-movies, Action, Cult Film, Horror movies, Review by Tiger Sixon, Sci-Fi

Comments Off on Galaxy of Terror

galaxy of terror

Before Aliens, you had Alien. But, after Alien and still before Aliens, you had Galaxy of Terror, a doozy of an early 1980s sci-fi b-movie. If this Roger Corman produced space screamer looks like Aliens test footage, there is a good reason: Aliens director James Cameron worked on production design early in his career.

Yep. Mr. Titanic himself helped give Galaxy of Terror its signature look, and had no problem usin’ some of the same tricks on Aliens. And it is the production design and special effects what make Galaxy of Terror look fancier than it really is, like when I wear a shirt with sleeves.

galaxy of terror.

Even the plot is very similar to Aliens. Galaxy of Terror is basically Aliens before Aliens was Aliens: A hot shot rescue team travel to a far away planet to look for survivors. And like in Aliens, hilarity ensues. By which I mean terrible, gruesome deaths at the hands of slimy creatures.

The cast is noteworthy too, as it stars pre-Nightmare on Elm Street Freddy Kruger, Joanie from Joanie Loves Chachi, Laura Palmer’s Mom from Twin Peaks, Zalman “Red Shoes” King, Mr. Hand from Fast Times at Ridgemont High, and last but not least, Sid Haig.

The intrepid team succumbs to beasts/things/whatevers generated by their deepest fears (which Freddy Kruger fans should enjoy). Sometimes it is a slimy monster pulling someone to their doom, other times it is Sid Haig cutting his own arm off (always a plus in any b-movie). And other times, it is Taaffe O’Connell being stripped and humped to death by a giant worm.

Yep, the WTF Factor is pretty dang high in this one.

Like any great b-movie, Galaxy of terror has a little bit of everything: zombies, exploding heads, chest lasers, severed limbs, even Scooby-Doo sound effects. You name it, it is probably here.galaxy of terror.

The beauty of Galaxy of Terror is, you never know what it is going to throw at ya next, kinda like when my third wife would get into my stash of bathtub gin. Galaxy of Terror is a well-made b-movie, which is a rarity, and is worth tracking down. Tiger says, give this one a watch and enjoy the crazy ride.


Tiger Sixon is forced to watch B-movies from the comfort of a secret government base in Death Valley. He looks nothing at all like Daniel J. Hogan (@danieljhogan) who draws comics and writes humor for Clattertron.

roadside attractions

  • Lots of Switches
  • Space Zombies
  • Brains
  • Severed Limbs
  • Exploding Heads
  • Chest Lasers
  • Glowing Faces
  • Giant Worms
  • Spaceships
  • Legs as Seat Belts
totals

10

blood

BLOOD

This movie is a blood bath. People die in all kinds of crazy ways.

9

blood

BREASTS

It takes awhile, but when they show up, they don’t stop.

10

beast

BEASTS

Many different, strange creatures go after our heroes. It is like an alien zoo!

9.7 OVERALL
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Jul

Comments Off on Showdown in Little Tokyo

I am from the future. Things are different there. For one thing, Dolph Lundgren is as important an historical figure as Leonardo Da Vinci. A sample of his resume: Black belt in Karate; Masters in chemical engineering; Fulbright scholar at MIT; Bouncer at glamorous NYC dance club; Male model; U.S. Olympic pentathlete (non-competing); Actor; Writer; Director; Artist. One time, masked burglars broke into his home without knowing its owner. They tied up his wife and child, but upon noticing his photograph on the mantle they realized they were robbing Dolph Lundgren and fled in terror. He is a polymath. A renaissance man. A Thomas Jefferson or a Benjamin Franklin. Except where Benjamin Franklin discovered the nature of electric current, Dolph Lundgren discovered that a man of muscle could make an obscene amount of money by starring in inexpensive direct-to-VHS action movies.

While there are more famous Dolph Lundgren films, “Showdown in Little Tokyo” is undoubtedly the greatest Dolph Lundgren movie. I don’t mean because it has his best acting (that would be “Universal Soldier”). In fact, Brandon Lee (“The Crow”) completely overpowers Dolph with the sheer force of his charisma. Much has already been said for the late Brandon Lee’s talent, but that guy was a Movie Star.

The reason “Showdown” is the greatest Dolph Lundgren movie is that it contains everything you want out of a Lundgren vehicle: guns, exploding cars, boobs (Tia Carrere!, or rather her body double), homosexual subtext, Dolph shirtless, and awesome one-liners. Although Brandon Lee cockily saunters through the movie, maliciously setting bad guys on fire and stealing the show, even he can learn from Dolph. Dolph is the Master. We are all his pupils.

I’m not even going to attempt to summarize the plot. It doesn’t matter. Don’t even worry about how it’s physically impossible for Dolph to jump over that moving car. Don’t stress your pretty head about how he has infinite ammo. Why does Brandon compliment Dolph on the size of his manhood? Wouldn’t you when confronted by full Lundgren? This movie rules. It is essential viewing for all you numbskulls.

The Lessons from “Showdown in Little Tokyo”:

-Dolph and Brandon are in love.

roadside attractions

  • Dolph Lundgren, you wussies
  • Tia Carerre’s naked body double
  • Brandon Lee, RIP!
  • Yakuza decapitations
  • Electrified Mattress Torture
  • Hollywood racism
totals

7

blood

BLOOD

You can always safely count on Dolph to give you some middle-of-the-road 1990s action movie violence. The best naked bathhouse tattoo knife fight since Eastern Promises

9

blood

BREASTS

Tia Carrere is technically naked in this, but it is pretty obviously her body double. Also, Nyotaimori (Don’t google that word at work.)

7

beast

BEASTS

Under-appreciated 90’s b-movie heavy Cary Hiroyuki Tagawa randomly stabs or decapitates someone every five minutes

9 OVERALL
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Check out the trailer for “Showdown in Little Tokyo”

trailers

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Lost Highway is your satirical detour down the twisted back roads of b-movies and cult films reviews. learn more >>