• Forum
  • Archive for the ‘Action’ Category

    Quarry: The Complete First Season

    Posted in Disc Reviews by John Ceballos on February 22nd, 2017

    I’m not as comfortable as you are with the notion of killing other human beings.”

    Remember that time about six months ago when NFL star Colin Kaepernick set off a firestorm of controversy by repeatedly kneeling during the national anthem as a form of protest? A big part of the outrage was tied to the notion that Kaepernick’s actions were disrespectful to members of the U.S. military. One of the most striking things about Quarry — Cinemax’s compelling, well-rounded Vietnam War-era drama — is how it depicts a period not that long ago in our country’s history when veterans were openly treated with venom and vitriol that went way beyond someone taking a knee.
    Read the rest of this entry »

    CommentComments (0)

    John Wick (UHD Blu-ray) (4K)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by John Delia on February 9th, 2017

    “John Wick isn’t the Boogeyman. He’s the guy you call to kill the Boogeyman”

    Taking a shot as a hitman in his latest film John Wick, Keanu Reeves delivers his character with authority in this explosive crime drama.  The film turns out to be an ideal fit for the star and his former stunt double turned director as they move to one perfectly choreographed fight scene after another. It’s a fast-action gauntlet that lasts nearly the whole 96 minutes.
    Read the rest of this entry »

    CommentComments (0)

    Justice League Dark (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by John Ceballos on February 7th, 2017

    To put things mildly, Warner Bros. still has a bit of a ways to go before its stable of DC Comics superheroes catches up to Disney’s dominant Marvel Cinematic Universe. However, Warner and DC have long had the upper hand on both the small screen (Smallville, Arrow, The Flash) and with their animated, direct-to-video offerings. The latest in that latter category is Justice League Dark, which mostly sidelines DC’s best-known heroes in favor of a team of mystical outcasts led by a charming, abrasive rogue.


    Read the rest of this entry »

    CommentComments (0)

    Mechanic: Resurrection (UHD Blu-ray) (4K)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Gino Sassani on November 29th, 2016

    1n 1972 Charles Bronson played The Mechanic, Arthur Bishop. He was a hitman with a high level of skill. When he tries to pass on that skill, he’s betrayed, and he has to get himself a heaping helping of revenge. In 2011 Bronson did indeed pass the character to Jason Statham when the film was remade. Unfortunately, Bronson had passed in 2003 and couldn’t actually pass the torch on the screen. Statham turned the character into more of an action anti-hero, and the film really didn’t perform at the box office. It never made back its budget in the domestic market and barely made money when the worldwide take was finally counted.
    Read the rest of this entry »

    CommentComments (0)

    Kickboxer: Vengeance (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by John Ceballos on November 10th, 2016

    No rules, no ref. Just your wit and skill to keep you alive.”

    Last year, Creed became a critical and audience favorite by reviving a beloved dormant franchise and re-casting its brawny original star in a supporting role as a mentor. I’m not going to pretend that 1989’s Kickboxer (starring Jean-Claude Van Damme) is anywhere near as beloved — or as good — as Rocky. But Kickboxer: Vengeance, a reboot/remake of Van Damme’s campy action favorite, hits some of the same notes as Creed…except for the part where it’s a critical and audience favorite.
    Read the rest of this entry »

    CommentComments (0)

    Skiptrace (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by John Ceballos on November 3rd, 2016

    You’re no spring chicken anymore.”

    It’s been more than four years since Jackie Chan — the legendary Hong Kong superstar who has been kicking butt and scoring scoring laughs on screen since the 1970s — announced he was retiring from action movies. Sure, Chan quickly backpedaled, but I don’t know that anyone would’ve held it against the actor (who is now 62) if he’d stuck to his word. After decades of grueling injuries, Chan has noticeably slowed down. That being said, the old man still has a few tricks up his sleeve in Skiptrace.
    Read the rest of this entry »

    CommentComments (0)

    The Last King (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by John Ceballos on October 14th, 2016

    Imagine if Three Men and a Baby was remade with just two guys, a baby, a battle axe, and a bunch of arrows. Despite its exceedingly generic Americanized title, The Last King has a little something different to offer action-weary movie watchers. The story is set in a time and place — 13th century Norway during the country’s civil war — that is probably unfamiliar to U.S. audiences. And while much of the hand-to-hand combat and royal treachery will prove cliched to some, they are presented with some fun tweaks and an occasionally sentimental tone that doesn’t always mesh with the hard-hitting action.
    Read the rest of this entry »

    CommentComments (0)

    Aliens: 30th Anniversary Edition (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by John Ceballos on September 30th, 2016

    A creature that gestates inside a living human host…and has concentrated acid for blood.”

    If you’re a fan of sci-fi, horror, or action films, chances are you’re also intimately familiar with the creature at the center of the Alien franchise. Ridley Scott’s 1979 original is a masterpiece of space horror, so it would’ve been foolish for any follow-up to try and replicate the same formula. Instead, James Cameron’s classic sequel succeeds by transplanting an entirely new genre into the series (Aliens is basically a war movie) while maintaining the sense of terror that made its predecessor a classic. You can get a fresh look for yourself now that Fox has released a 30th Anniversary Edition.
    Read the rest of this entry »

    CommentComments (0)

    Marauders (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by John Ceballos on September 22nd, 2016

    Does doing things the legal way really make it better?”

    Since movies are at their core a form of escapism, they have a way of glamorizing anyone who violently slashes through the red tape of the criminal justice system. It helps explain the enduring appeal of vigilante/revenge movies and it’s probably why we’re meant to root for the charitable bank robbers in Marauders. While the movie contains some cool flashes of style and occasionally bumps up against some interesting ideas about justice, it ultimately gets way too bogged down in red herrings and pointless subplots.
    Read the rest of this entry »

    CommentComments (0)

    Code of Honor (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by John Ceballos on July 14th, 2016

    Are you a good guy or are you a bad guy?”

    I honestly try to be a good guy whenever I sit down to write a review because the fact is I wouldn’t be doing this if I didn’t have a deep love for movies. Heck, I can usually even derive enjoyment and find the charm in films that obviously have limited resources. Unfortunately, it’s hard to stay positive whenever Steven Seagal pops up on a Blu-ray cover, always with the same neutral expression and always brandishing a firearm. Code of Honor, Seagal’s latest offering, is no exception. If the question is, “Is this a good movie or a bad movie?”…I think you know the answer.
    Read the rest of this entry »

    CommentComments (0)

    Gridlocked (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by John Ceballos on June 16th, 2016

    “Ok, so hear me out…ever watch action movies?”

    It’s clear that Canadian filmmaker Allan Ungar and practically everyone involved with Gridlocked have seen their share of action flicks. More specifically, this crew is out to recapture the raucous, rowdy, R-rated spirit of late ‘80s and ‘90s franchises like Lethal Weapon and Die Hard. While Gridlocked doesn’t come close to matching the wit or winning formula of those action classics, this straight-to-DVD effort still manages to be a pretty fun throwback.
    Read the rest of this entry »

    CommentComments (0)

    Independence Day: 20th Anniversary Edition (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by John Ceballos on May 18th, 2016

    “Hello boys…I’m baaaaaack!”

    You probably know that Independence Day — the spectacular, shameless sci-fi smash that introduced the world to “Will Smith, Global Superstar” — has a sequel coming out next month. What you may not know is that the original film has been granted a 20th Anniversary Blu-ray release. I was 13 when ID4 came out in the summer of 1996, which means the movie’s deluxe destruction and alien shoot-em-up antics were right in my wheelhouse. So I was curious as to how an older and wiser, um, taller version of me would feel watching it with a critical eye.
    Read the rest of this entry »

    CommentComments (0)

    Expendables 3 (UHD Blu-ray) (4K)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by John Ceballos on April 6th, 2016

    Welcome to the 21st century!”

    Welcome to the world of 4K UHD Blu-ray. This is our first 4k review. It won’t be the last.

    Sylvester Stallone has dedicated the better part of the last decade to giving moviegoers what they wanted 20 years ago. It started with 2006’s Rocky Balboa, which closed out Stallone’s signature franchise in the satisfying manner fans have been craving since 1990’s Rocky V debacle. We’ve also gotten another Rambo sequel, as well as long-awaited team ups with icons both real (Schwarzenegger in Escape Plan) and cinematic (Grudge Match was “Rocky vs. Raging Bull”). But Stallone’s biggest recent success is the veritable fantasy team of action stars he’s assembled for the Expendables films.
    Read the rest of this entry »

    CommentComments (0)

    Weaponized (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by John Ceballos on March 4th, 2016

    Weaponized can’t seem to make up its mind about what kind of action flick it wants to be. It appears to be the story of a grief-stricken military contractor who obsessively pursues a dangerous experimental program, but instead the film focuses on a brawny, brooding homicide detective. On top of that, the Blu-ray’s cover art prominently features an imposing robot that doesn’t even factor into the plot until about 10 minutes before the credits roll. Most importantly, the movie totally ignores the schlockiness of its botched, cliche-ridden plot and plays everything distressingly straight, which makes Weaponized a pretty joyless trip to the near future.
    Read the rest of this entry »

    CommentComments (0)

    Extraction (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by John Ceballos on February 25th, 2016

    “Don’t ever threaten my family again.”

    In Extraction, a government analyst embarks on an unsanctioned rescue mission after his father — an over-the-hill CIA field operative — is kidnapped by a shadowy group of bad guys. In a related story, I think I got my dad a CD for Father’s Day last year. But while the hero of Extraction might edge me out in the Son of the Year race, the rest of this crummy actioner is basically a harmless debacle.
    Read the rest of this entry »

    CommentComments (0)

    Falling Skies: The Complete Fifth Season

    Posted in Disc Reviews by John Ceballos on February 5th, 2016

    Our final fight didn’t go as planned. But one thing was clear…this would be the bloodiest battle yet.”

    TNT’s post-apocalyptic, alien invasion war drama has never been short on casualties. So hearing that the last episodes in the show’s run would result in even more losses — human and otherwise — wasn’t exactly a shock. Following a fairly ludicrous cliffhanger, the final season starts off quite promisingly before falling back on some bad habits. Unfortunately, it all culminates with a semi-disastrous series finale.
    Read the rest of this entry »

    CommentComments (0)

    12 Rounds 3: Lockdown (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by John Ceballos on December 25th, 2015

    With their impossibly beefy frames, larger-than-life personas, and familiarity with staged combat (sorry, buddy), pro wrestlers fit the old-school action star mold perfectly. Unfortunately for them, Hollywood isn’t nearly as interested in action flicks that don’t have superheroes, dinosaurs, or Liam Neeson. And while interconnected cinematic universes are all the rage at the moment, Lionsgate and World Wrestling Entertainment have a pretty interesting partnership themselves. Their latest offering is the dopey, compulsively watchable 12 Rounds 3: Lockdown, which is considerably more entertaining than it has any right to be.
    Read the rest of this entry »

    CommentComments (0)

    Mission: Impossible — Rogue Nation (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by John Ceballos on December 14th, 2015

    This may very well be our last mission, Ethan…make it count.”

    You wouldn’t know it from looking at him, but Tom Cruise is now 53 years old. So it’s only natural to wonder how many more Missions the indomitable superstar has left in him. Well if Rogue Nation is any indication, the above quote is meant to be more winking than prophetic. Just like its tireless star, the fifth installment of the 19-year-old Mission: Impossible film franchise is sprier, tighter, and more energetic than its age might suggest.
    Read the rest of this entry »

    CommentComments (0)

    War Pigs (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by John Ceballos on December 10th, 2015

    In a war, there’s really only two things that are gonna ruin your day…officers and orders.”

    The concept of duty — particularly giving and following orders that will almost certainly result in death — is at the forefront of War Pigs, a straight-to-DVD actioner that doesn’t actually have that much action in it. For a movie with the likes of Dolph Lundgren and Chuck Lidell gracing its Blu-ray cover, scaling back on the butt-kicking seems like a death sentence. However, I was surprised to find the action sequences were actually the weak link in this limited but reasonably entertaining World War II yarn.
    Read the rest of this entry »

    CommentComments (0)

    American Ultra (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by John Ceballos on November 30th, 2015

    Why are people trying to stab you?”

    People in action movies aren’t usually inclined to stop and ask that question out loud. In American Ultra, a small army of CIA operatives repeatedly try to stab, shoot, gas, and blow up an underachieving slacker and his girlfriend. Seems like a lot of trouble for a panic attack-prone convenience store clerk who sketches a goofy graphic novel about an adventurous ape on his downtime. American Ultra is funny, violent, and tonally-jarring at times. However, it’s also a fun subversion of the action genre and (more specifically) “supersoldier” movies.
    Read the rest of this entry »

    CommentComments (0)

    San Andreas (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by John Ceballos on October 14th, 2015

    We’ll get hit again…and it’s going to be a bigger monster.”

    The character who utters these words in San Andreas is referring to an impending earthquake that could literally rip California apart. But he could just as easily be talking about the summer movie season, when audiences who have just been rocked by a catastrophic quake have to deal with something called “Indominus Rex” a mere two weeks later. San Andreas almost certainly won’t end up as the biggest bully on the Hollywood block, but it’s a big, dumb, fun disaster flick the whole family can enjoy.
    Read the rest of this entry »

    CommentComments (1)

    Chain of Command (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by John Ceballos on October 7th, 2015

    “Man, they killed my brother…you think I’m gonna let that slide?”

    Even if you haven’t sat through a ton of revenge-minded pulp, you won’t be surprised to hear the answer to the above question is a resounding, “No!” The good(ish) news is that Chain of Command manages to stand out from a pretty crowded straight-to-DVD action pack. The disastrous news is that this laughably bad, shoddily-made debacle is likely to stick in your memory for all the wrong reasons.
    Read the rest of this entry »

    CommentComments (0)

    American Heist (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by John Ceballos on September 10th, 2015

    American Heist is an independent action flick that eventually nods to Michael Mann’s Heat and Sidney Lumet’s Dog Day Afternoon. (Along with Ben Affleck’s The Town, if you’re interested in a 21st century doppelganger.) However, the movie’s action-packed finale can’t completely disguise the fact that this is actually a dour family tragedy masquerading as a heist film. But if imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, at least the makers of American Heist know who to rip off flatter.
    Read the rest of this entry »

    CommentComments (0)

    Hot Pursuit (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by John Ceballos on August 11th, 2015

    I realized Hot Pursuit was in big trouble during the sequence when intensely by-the-book Officer Cooper (Reese Witherspoon) accidentally ingests cocaine. The joke is supposed to be that the drug sends Cooper into a comically manic, frenzied state; the problem is the way Witherspoon behaves during this sequence isn’t all that different from the way she’s played Cooper up to that point. And that’s the problem with Hot Pursuit: it’s the movie equivalent of someone who types in ALL CAPS all the time. Even worse, it’s an unholy (and unfunny) mash-up of Midnight Run and Thelma & Louise that shines a blazing spotlight on its leading ladies’ worst qualities.
    Read the rest of this entry »

    CommentComments (0)

    Barely Lethal (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by John Ceballos on August 4th, 2015

    “Who would ever suspect a kid?”

    When I glanced at the Blu-ray cover for Barely Lethal — with its groan-worthy pun of a title, girl power, and generous splashes of hot pink — I didn’t really expect it to be my thing. (Ok, fine…groan-worthy puns are *totally* my thing.) So while I may not be the intended audience for this independent action/comedy, I have to admit its charms snuck up on me the same way one of the film’s disarming young killers might catch a target by surprise.
    Read the rest of this entry »

    CommentComments (0)
    CSS Template by RamblingSoul | Tomodachi theme by Theme Lab