Category Archives: Movies

News and information related to the moving picture.

“Sinners and Saints” Movie Review

Anchor Bay’s latest DVD release, “Sinners and Saints,” starring Johnny Strong, Kevin Phillips, Method Man, Tom Berenger, Costas Mandylor, and Bas Rutten, has just come out earlier this month. Direct to DVD is typically translated to mean a “meh movie,” so can this film overcome that distinction, or will you be seeing this on the clearance rack at Wal-Mart? Let’s take a look and break this thing down!

Here is your quick spoiler-free synopsis of the film:

“In the gritty New Orleans underbelly, beleaguered Detective Sean Riley is trying to cope with the death of his young son and his failed marriage. Facing a probable suspension from the department, Riley is teamed with a young homicide Detective, Will Ganz, to help solve a series of brutal murders that have plunged the city into a major gang war. The two quickly realize there is something much bigger and far more sinister going on than either could have ever imagined.”

Johnny Strong’s character, Sean Riley, is that douchebag at the bar that purposely cock-blocks you, purely because he can. He is pretty unlikeable in the beginning of the movie, trying to play that bad-ass cop with a heart of gold gimmick. Unfortunately, him and his team of cops at the start of the film just come off as braindead morons who must have skipped every class at the Police Academy, otherwise they would know how to properly enter a barricaded home with an armed gang inside. This is hardly a spoiler alert, but their terrible police work is what gets most of Strong’s unit slaughtered instantly (with him being the convenient sole survivor). Even after getting to know him halfway into the film, he is still not the most riveting character emotionally (I would call it flat acting), but the dude can fight and shoot and that is what matters in a movie like this.

Strong’s partner in the film ends up being a homocide detective played by Kevin Phillips, who will be appearing later this year in George Lucas’ “Red Tails” film. On his own, Phillips is bland, but when teamed up with Strong, the two bounce off each other nicely. That seems to be the best that can be said about our two leads, is that it takes another actor to push them to make their skills better. Depending on the scene, sometimes the characters will be stronger than in others, so just be patient and hang on tight for the pay-off.

The most interesting character to me was the one of the villains, played expertly by Louis Mandylor. His modest insanity and bad guy tactics are fun to watch, augmented by his Australian accent that makes anything he says sound more intense and evil. Costas Mandylor plays the main baddie, who reminds me of Michael Ironside from “Total Recall” in the best way possible.

The film gets interesting pretty quickly, as a strange group of mercenaries begin storming various locations and beginning a disturbing series of human-arson acts. Speaking of which, in terms of graphic violence, “Sinners and Saints” implements a mainly digital series of special effects for their gunshots and blood, but they make up for that with their revolting burn victims that are rather crucial for the plot. Nothing like a charred body to wash away the taste of a CG shootout.

While the acting in the film is not superb, it’s good enough for a direct-to-DVD release. It’s not a group of laughably bad actors trying to get a break, but some decent up-and-comers who are growing their chops, so kudos to the casting director for finding a solid cast that makes the film work.

The film features some other notable actors like Tom Berenger, Sean Patrick Flannery, and Method Man in supporting roles. Method Man is definitely the most interesting character of this group, but I can not say anything else without spoiling what happens. MMA fans will recognize Bas Rutten in this film as one of the main villain’s enforcers, named Dekker. Most of the time, Rutten just stands vigil as a silent bodyguard with the director tossing an occasional reaction shot his way in various scenes with his boss. His fight has the most MMA techniques in it, but being a bad guy means that he most certainly will die, and his death is quite entertaining.

Most of the action scenes are shootouts in urban settings, typically a strong hold situation where one group is trying to assault another’s hide-out or location. There is a very cool knife fight towards the final act of the film that is gritty and exciting, and made me wish there was more hand to hand combat rather than gun fights. Diana Lee Inosanto, daughter of Dan Inosanto, was a co-producer on this film, so it is no surprise that we would get such a wonderfully choreographed blade fight scene, I just wish Bas Rutten had a chance to get his hands dirtier and help have more hand to hand fights in the movie.

Overall, I was modestly impressed with the plot for the film and how involved I became in the cast and conspiracy of what was happening. While the acting will not win any awards, this is a group of promising young actors who are growing into their abilities, so consider this your chance to see them before they hit it big. “Sinners and Saints” harkens back to the good ole’ action films of the 80’s and 90’s, but with a modern flair and broad group of supporting actors to flesh this detailed plot out.

You can order “Sinners And Saints” from Amazon for around $12. The DVD also includes deleted scenes, and a very short behind-the-scenes feature. If you are a fan of action films, give it a shot (pun intended).

If you liked this movie review, you may also enjoy these: Insane racing anime “Redline” DVD & Movie Review, and WWII Supernatural action anime, “First Squad: The Moment of Truth” DVD & Movie Review

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“Battle Royale: The Complete Collection” coming to DVD & Blu-Ray in March

“Battle Royale”. A title that has shocked, thrilled and unnerved audiences. A film whose fiendishly simple premise has inspired many imitations, including the upcoming “The Hunger Games” motion picture. Based on the 1999 global best-seller by Koushun Takami, the futuristic tale first came to the screen in 2000, directed by the legendary Kinju Fukasaku. Authors, filmmakers and film fans the world over consider the film and its 2003 sequel “Battle Royale II: Requiem” sacred cinematic classics. And now, fans can own them on HD Blu-ray and DVD!

On March 20th, Anchor Bay Entertainment brings the “Battle Royale: The Complete Collection” to Blu-ray and DVD for the first time in North America. Featuring state-of-the-art HD transfers, hi-res audio and a wealth of bonus features that delve deep into this truly international phenomenon – the three disc Blu-ray™ plus bonus DVD set has an SRP of $49.99 and an SRP $44.98 for the four disc DVD. Battle Royale will also be released separately on Blu-ray™ for an SRP of $29.99 and DVD for an SRP of $24.98. Pre-Book on both is February 22. Battle Royale will be available digitally via select outlets including iTunes and Xbox LIVE®.

In 2000, director Kinji Fukasaku unleashed Battle Royale, his violently poetic epic about an innocent group of Junior High students forced by the government to hunt and kill their classmates for sport. It was nominated for 10 Japanese Academy Awards®, launched a global phenomenon, and banned from screens by frightened civic groups and distributors across America. Three years later, the equally disturbing sequel – featuring a new class, new rules, and a brutal terrorist plot by the first film’s young survivors – triggered its own tragic firestorm around the world. Now for the first time ever, you can see it all: Experience the entire Battle Royale saga on 4 discs that forever blasts open one of the most potent, shocking and savagely influential sagas in motion picture history.

Battle Royale: The Complete Collection’s four disc set in collectible high-end packaging will include:

Battle Royale Director’s Cut with both Japanese and English language tracks and English subtitles
Battle Royale Theatrical Cut with both Japanese and English language tracks and English subtitles
Battle Royale II with Japanese language and English subtitles
Battle Royale Bonus Content with Japanese language and English subtitles

SPECIAL FEATURES:

The Making Of BATTLE ROYALE
BATTLE ROYALE Press Conference
Instructional Video: Birthday Version
Audition & Rehearsal Footage
Special Effects Comparison Featurette
Tokyo International Film Festival 2000
Battle Royale Documentary
Basketball Scene Rehearsals
Behind-The-Scenes Featurette
Filming On-Set
Original Theatrical Trailer
Special Edition TV Spot
TV Spot: Tarantino Version

The Battle Royale release will include:
Director’s Cut with Japanese and English language and English subtitles

With impeccable direction by three-time ‘Director of the year’ Kinji Fukasaku, and featuring high-quality acting performances from every angle, Battle Royale: The Complete Collection is as cunning as it is ruthless, offering a unique and brutal depiction of what people are capable of when imminent death is everywhere you look.

42 students, Three days, One survivor – No Escape. Welcome to the world of Battle Royale!

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Poster & Trailer for “Beneath the Darkness” unveiled

The terrifying secrets of a small town hero are exposed when a teenaged prank turns deadly in the tense psychological thriller “Beneath the Darkness”, starring Dennis Quaid, Aimee Teegarden (“Friday Night Lights”), Tony Oller, Stephen Lunsford, Devon Werkheiser, Brett Cullen, Amber Bartlett and Dahlia Waingort.

In the film, Ely Vaughn (Quaid) is a pillar of the community in tiny Smithville, Texas. The town’s mortician, Ely has been revered since his days as the high school’s star quarterback. But since the tragic death of his wife two years earlier, Ely has withdrawn from his neighbors, while local teens spread stories of supernatural goings on at Ely’s mansion—which is also the funeral home.

When high school friends Travis (Oller), Abby (Teegarden), Brian (Lunsford) and Danny (Werkheiser) decide to check out the rumors, they are shocked to see the supposedly grieving widower dancing with a mysterious woman behind the curtains of his bedroom window. Their curiosity aroused, the four teens wait for Ely to leave the house before breaking in to investigate. But instead of finding clues to the woman’s identity, they stumble on a grotesque, long-hidden secret. The sadistic mortician next door will now stop at nothing to literally bury his past.

The film will be theatrically released on January 6, 2012.

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Stop-motion film of the first six-minutes of “Raiders of the Lost Ark”

Youtuber Covert Operatives AKA Jeff Gurwood, has created this impressive stop-motion animation of the first six minutes of “Raiders of the Lost Ark.” Each set is hand-built, made mainly from foam core and papier mache, while the characters are the 3 3/4 inch figures made by Hasbro. It took Jeff three months to craft the scenes, and another three months to shoot the animated short.

For a fan-made stop-motion film, this is pretty awesome. Given that the Hasbro figures are especially ugly and poorly articulated, this short is even more impressive. How accurate is it to the actual film? Watch it and find out!

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List of theaters showing first six minutes of “The Dark Knight Rises”

Last week, it was revealed that the first six minutes of the third and final Christopher Nolan “Batman” movie, “The Dark Knight Rises,” would be shown in select IMAX theatres. We now know just which theaters, and the list is shorter than expected since they are only showing it in 70mm IMAX theatres.

The prologue for the film will not screen with digital IMAX or regular digital or 35mm film presentations of “Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol”. Regular, non-IMAX versions of “Ghost Protocol” open December 21. The list of theaters follows. Moviegoers should confirm theaters will be playing the prologue for “The Dark Knight Rises” before purchasing tickets.

Market Theatre City

Austin,TX IMAX Theater Austin Austin
Boston, MA Jordan’s IMAX Natick
Boston, MA IMAX 3D Theatre in Reading Reading
Calgary, AB Scotiabank Theatre Chinook 16 + IMAX Calgary
Chantilly, VA -Washington, DC Udvar-Hazy Center IMAX Chantilly
Chicago, IL Navy Pier IMAX Theatre Chicago
Des Moines, IA SCI IMAX Dome Theater Des Moines
Detroit, MI Henry Ford IMAX Dearborn
Edmonton, AB Scotiabank Theatre Edmonton + IMAX Edmonton
Harrisburg, PA The Whitaker Center for Science & the Arts IMAX Harrisburg
Houston, TX Houston Marq*e Stadium 22 + IMAX Houston
Indianapolis White River IMAX Indianapolis
Los Angeles, CA Irvine Spectrum 20 + IMAX Irvine
Los Angeles, CA RAVE 18 + IMAX Los Angeles
Los Angeles, CA Ontario Palace Stadium 22 + IMAX Ontario
Los Angeles, CA Citywalk Stadium 19 with IMAX Universal City
Madison, WI Star 18 Fitchburg with IMAX Fitchburg
Miami, FL AutoNation IMAX Fort Lauderdale
Minneapolis, MN Great Clips IMAX Apple Valley
Montreal, QC Cinema Banque Scotia Montreal + IMAX Montreal
Nashville,TN Opry Mills Stadium 20 + IMAX Nashville
New York, NY Lincoln Square 13 with IMAX New York
New York, NY Palisades IMAX West Nyack
Omaha, NE Star Cinema 16 with IMAX Council Bluffs
Orlando, FL Pointe Orlando Stadium 20 + IMAX Orlando
Ottawa, ON Silvercity Gloucester + IMAX Gloucester-Ottawa
Palm Springs (Los Angeles) Desert IMAX Theatre Cathedral City
Philadelphia, PA IMAX & the Tropicana Atlantic City
Philadelphia, PA Tuttleman IMAX – Franklin Institute Philadelphia
Phoenix, AZ Arizona Mills 25 with IMAX Tempe
Providence, RI Providence Place 16 with IMAX Providence
Quebec City, QC IMAX Le Theatre At Quebec Quebec City
Sacramento, CA Esquire IMAX Sacramento
San Antonio, TX IMAX at RiverCenter San Antonio
San Francisco, CA Metreon 16 with IMAX & ETX San Francisco
Seattle, WA Boeing IMAX – Pacific Science Center Seattle
Tampa, FL Museum of Science and Industry (MOSI) Tampa
Toronto, ON Coliseum 12 Mississauga + IMAX Mississauga
Toronto, ON Scotiabank Theatre Toronto + IMAX Toronto
Toronto, ON Colossus 18 Woodbridge + IMAX Woodbridge-Vaughan
Vancouver, BC Colossus Langley + IMAX Langley
Vancouver, BC Silvercity Riverport 18 + IMAX

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“Starship Troopers” remake coming to a theater near you

Is nothing safe from the curse of the remake? Apparently, the answer is a resounding “no.”

The Vulture is reporting that producer Neal Moritz has been put in charge of rebooting Paul Verhoeven’s 1997 sci-fi classic gore-“Starship Troopers” by Sony Pictures.

Screenwriters Ashley Edward Miller and Zack Stentz, who have written “Thor” and “X-Men: First Class,” as well as many episodes of TV shows like “Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles” and “Fringe,” will be responsible for working the script. No further info has been released yet since the film is purely in early pre-production phases right now.

This film joins the two other remakes of Verhoeven’s other films from the ’80’s, “Total Recall” and “RoboCop.” You would think that studios would wait until after those two movies were released before gauging any more reboots, but that would be logic, and the only time that word exists in Hollywood was when it was written into the original “Star Trek” movie scripts.

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New poster for “Men in Black 3” is full of MIB

You down with MIB? Yeah, you know me! The fine folks over at Collider have caught a first glimpse of a poster for Sony’s upcoming sci-fi threequel, “Men in Black 3.”

The image is comprised of the text logo for the film, which work to create the face of Tommy Lee Jones. Chances are, other posters will begin to pop up leading into the debut of the other actors, Will Smith and Josh Brolin. If you have motion-sickness, I suggest you don’t stare at that poster for too long.

“MINB 3” stars Will Smith, traveling back in time to save a young Agent K (Josh Brolin) in order to avert a world-ending disaster. In other words, a normal Tuesday for Division 9. The film also stars Alice Eve, Emma Thompson, and Johnny Knoxville, and opens in 3D on May 25th, 2012. A trailer is expected to hit theaters by Christmas time.

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Christian Bale says he is done with Batman movies

It looks like the end of the Christopher Nolan franchise of “Batman” films will officially be next year, as the lead actor is done playing the part.

In a recent interview with Inquirer Entertainment, Christian Bale said, “I wrapped a few days ago so that will be the last time I’m taking that cowl off. I believe that the whole production wrapped yesterday, so it’s all done. Everything’s finished. It’s me and Chris – that will be the end of that Batman era.”

The team behind the film has been careful not to reveal many details about this current film, although the latest info to come in suggests that this film will take place eight years after the events of the previous movie in a world without Batman.

The prologue to the film will be screened before IMAX showings of Tom Cruise’s “Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol” film, giving viewers their first taste of what to expect from the final movie in the trilogy. Bale also revealed that he plans on making a pair of films with Terrence Malick, “Lawless” and “Knight Of Cups”. Cate Blanchett will be co-starring.

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New poster for ‘The Avengers’ Movie hits the web

Recently on Yahoo! Movies and Moviefone, Marvel debuted two web banners bearing four members of “The Avengers” on each image for Joss Whedon’s upcoming take on the legendary comics team.

The first horizontal banner features Captain America, Bruce Banner, Iron Man unmasked as Tony Stark, and Thor. The second banner has Nick Fury, Loki, Hawkeye, and the Black Widow, looking sultry as ever.

The film stars Chris Evans, Mark Ruffalo, Robert Downey Jr., Chris Hemsworth, Samuel L. Jackson, Tom Hiddleston, Jeremy Renner, and Scarlett Johansson, and is set to premiere in theaters nationwide on May 4.

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First full trailer for “The Hunger Games”

Lionsgate has released the first official full trailer for their upcoming movie, “The Hunger Games,” based on the best-selling book by Suzanne Collins. If you are not familiar with the book, or even all the hype behind this film, your attention will definitely be grabbed after watching this video. I really don’t want to spoil your fun with this one, so give it a view – I guarantee you will be hooked!

The film stars Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson and Liam Hemsworth, along with appearanes from Woody Harrelson, Stanley Tucci, and Donald Sutherland, and is set to debut in theaters on March 23, 2012. May the Odds Ever Be in Your Favor!

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