REVIEW: THE HUNTED

 

CAST

Christopher Lambert (Highlander)
John Lone (The Shadow)
Joan Chen (On Deadly Ground)
Yoshio Harada (Azumi)
Yoko Shimada (Crying Freeman)
James Saito (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles)

Paul Racine (Lambert), a computer chip company executive from New York, is on a business trip to Nagoya. He meets Kirina (Chen) in the hotel lounge, and they have a one-night stand. After they part ways, Kirina is approached by Kinjo (Lone) and two henchmen. Kinjo is the leader of the Makato cult, an organization of ninja assassins that was hired to kill her. He boasts that no one has seen his face and lived. Kirina shows no fear of dying, so he grants her final wish to show her his face. Racine returns, looking for his room key, and tries to defend Kirina, but he is late. Kinjo decapitates her as his men stab Racine, hit him with a poisoned shuriken and cut his throat, leaving him for dead.Racine awakens in a hospital room, but his claims of his encounter with ninjas are met with disbelief by the police. Lieutenant Wadakura (Okada) dismisses the allegation and suspects that the murder is the work of a yakuza syndicate. Racine is approached by Ijuro Takeda (Harada), an expert on the cult and on Kinjo. Takeda claims Racine’s life is in danger as he has seen Kinjo’s face. Racine also finds out that Takeda is the last in a samurai line and has a feud with Kinjo. The ninjas attempt to finish Racine off at the hospital, killing several hospital staff and police officers, including Wadakura, but he escapes. Takeda and his wife Mieko (Shimada) subsequently take him to their family’s stronghold, located on an island several hundred miles away. Leaving the city, Takeda secretly uses Racine as bait to draw Kinjo out, leading to a battle on the train where several passenger cars of innocent people are slaughtered by the ninjas. Takeda and Mieko kill the attackers, but discover that Kinjo did not take part in the assault. The ninjas’ leader was Junko (Natsuki), Kinjo’s lover; this increases Kinjo’s motivation to kill Racine and Takeda.The-Hunted-1995-2During the boat ride to the island, Mieko explains the history of the conflict between the two clans and the samurai concepts of courage and honor to Racine. On the island, Racine spends time with the drunken bladesmith Oshima (Kubota), who is constructing a katana for Takeda. Despite the language barrier, the old man teaches him about smithing and swordsmanship. Meanwhile, Kinjo decides to find out who hired his clan to murder Kirina. The man he finds, Nemura (Saito), is a powerful yakuza figure who bought Kirina from her pimp uncle, then ordered her death when she left him after years of servitude. Disgusted that he killed an innocent woman over such a petty grievance, Kinjo kills the man.TheHunted_01Three weeks after Kirina’s death, Takeda’s new sword is ready, and Racine’s injuries have healed. Takeda arrives at the island and is dismayed to find that Oshima has been training Racine. He humiliates Racine in a friendly duel. When Racine announces that he wants to leave the island and return home to New York, Takeda has him imprisoned and alerts Kinjo of his whereabouts. Hordes of ninjas arrive, overwhelming Takeda’s inexperienced samurai, but Takeda gets the duel with Kinjo he wanted. Kinjo is victorious, stabbing Takeda through the torso; Takeda in turn stabs Kinjo in the leg, but soon dies. As Kinjo is about to kill a helpless Mieko he is caught off-guard by Racine, whom Oshima had released on Mieko’s instructions. Racine stabs Kinjo in the right shoulder, hurting his dominant arm. However, he is armed with only a sword he barely knows how to use. With his newfound skills and assistance from Mieko, Racine manages to decapitate Kinjo. Oshima then arrives in battle gear, and is annoyed to find all the ninjas dead. Racine, Mieko, and Oshima walk up the hill toward the family castle.1280a6102469953dd3e68894e277acf5.mdThe Hunted is surprisingly high in production values, acting and story. It also provides a nice inside look into Japanese culture and society. Blood and Gore of course, are a plenty. Christopher Lambert played his role very well and kept his naiveté and innocence very well portrayed, while finding himself in the middle of a war. The sword-fight choreography is decent and very realistic. The Japanese actors put on a splendid show. This a gripping, colorful and highly satisfying film that will never have you bored at any point. I find it quite under-rated because it is quite well developed despite its obscurity. This is something I would recommend to any viewer.

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REVIEW: SUBWAY

CAST

Christopher Lambert (Highlander)
Isabelle Adjani (Adolphe)
Richard Bohringer (By The Sea)
Michel Galabru( La Cage Aux Folles)
Jean-Hugues Anglade (Taking Lives)
Jean Bouise (To Skin A Spy)
Jean-Pierre Bacri (The Taste of Others)

Having stolen some compromising documents from a powerful and successful entrepreneur/gangster at a party, a man known as Fred (Lambert) escapes from the police and takes refuge in the underground world of the Paris Métro stations and tunnels. There he joins the dwellers and befriends several colourful characters, including others who are living under the subway to avoid police arrest. While the gangster’s henchmen try to find Fred, he develops a romance with the gangster’s young trophy wife Héléna (Adjani). She had originally invited Fred to the party featured at the opening of the film, and is bored with her gilded-caged life.Fred forms a pop band with some of his friends, such as “The Drummer” (Reno) and Enrico (Serra), who compose the songs. While Fred is working on this project, Héléna’s powerful husband pressures the police to find the fugitive. One of Fred’s sidekicks, The Rollerskater, who has been wanted by the police for a long time, is captured by Commissioner Gesberg (Galabru). Fred and his friend The Florist rob a train carrying money; The Florist escapes, leaving Fred with the loot.Fred uses money from the robbery to pay off a band scheduled to perform in the subway station. His new band replaces them but, at their performance, Fred is searched for by both the police and a henchman of Héléna’s husband. The henchman shoots Fred just as Héléna was about to reach and warn him of danger. The film ends with Héléna kneeling beside Fred, who is lying on his back, looking content and singing along with the band. They are playing and being applauded by the audience in the background.When I first saw this movie I was magnetized by its unique atmosphere. Luc Besson created amazing out-of-genre movie. “Subway” inherits traditions of european films of the 70-ies and has something new and magnetic at the same time; and it is certainly Besson’s most european film.This is one of those cult films that create amazing style that can’t be repeated.

REVIEW: KNIGHT MOVES

CAST

Christopher Lambert (Highlander)
Diane Lane (Batman V Superman)
Tom Skerritt (Alien)
Katharine Isabelle (Hannibal)
Daniel Baldwin (Cold Case)
Megan Leitch (Omen IV)
Blu Mankuma (Tin Man)
Rachel hayward (Motive)

They met only once, but back in 1972 David and Peter had left lasting impressions on one another, for one of them was stabbed continually with a fountain pen, leaving him with everlasting bodily scars. As for the other, his savage attack on his childhood opponent after his public humiliation and defeat was a catalyst that ended his parent’s marriage, as his father left forever; his offspring discovered his mother dying, having been slashed with a broken bottle. This boy spent the next twenty years in and out of asylums and foster care. Now it seems he’s become one of the youngest, most successful chess grandmasters in history. Brilliant if troubled widower with a precious daughter, he suddenly finds himself a suspect in his casual lover’s murder. When more homicides occur Capt. Frank Sedman and his partner Det. Andy Wagner discover that a serial killer is at work on a Pacific Northwest island. With our chessmaster becoming more and more connected to the deaths, shrink Kathy Sheppard is brought in to figure out if this chess prodigy is as innocent as he claims to be.I really didn’t know what to expect when I rented Knight Moves.  This is a very well-made film. It had me guessing the whole time. Christopher Lambert was great as the Chess Master playing a game with a serial killer. He should do more films like this. The supporting cast was very good and Carl Schenkel’s direction kept the film moving at a nice pace.

REVIEW: THE POINT MEN

CAST

Christopher Lambert (Highlander)
Kerry Fox (The Dressmaker)
Vincent Regan (Troy)
Cal MacAninch (Mr. Selfridge)
Donald Sumpter (Game of Thrones)
Maryam d’Abo (The Living Daylights)

2247232,6ZT74WpG+n+83ldY_xxXWiqU0tezKHOuKOTow7UeNgyk4Bg8L7_VV_eBVz19tc6qMv30oaVH0cTy2lBcP_hS9A==Some time after their botched operation to capture a known Palestinian terrorist named Amar Kamil (Vincent Regan) , a secret team suffers events go awry . After getting away an assassination’s attempt in Luxembourg , a bunch of Israeli agents starts to get killed off one by one . Their leader (Christopher Lambert) must get to the bottom of things before the murderous plan to be completed as he takes one to kill one .2247233,diNxJgVYm9JaK+Oa6b3x0OFls4DwZtdyXyXwzLRNbBQrpQP1RaX9O7nRGatG_K4Ceie2UIOhNO20KzOi_nXmmQ==Based on the novel titled “The Heat of Ramadan” by Steven Hartov and screenplay by Ripley Highsmith , the film develops an intrigue about secret agents from Mossad and OLP . Regular performances from two main protagonists Christopher Lambert and his nemesis Vincent Regan . The best acting turns out Kerry Fox , a notorious British actress who has not achieved a great success. There appears in a pretty secondary role Maryam d’Abo who formerly was Bond-girl for John Glen in ‘The Living daylights’ . Functional cinematography by Alec Mills shot in Luxembourg , Israel and beach scenes in Nice, Alpes-Maritimes, France . 2247235,VwhFldAt9VSesTlQO1wAKSzAvqPs01Lbqbf5kCRIWjxM1xxB7m5A6C93P67YzOOjlZaKygcQDjJaG9r5Npl0GQ==The film was produced by the Jewish Avi Nesher , being professionally made by John Glenn . John keeps this moving, though with no much originality and with some flaws and gaps . He has directed the most number of James Bond movies , totaling five . Glenn filmed various 007 outings , previously directed 2nd unit and edition on some early Bond movies . He directed several entries such as ¨Licence to kill¨, ¨A view to kill¨ , ¨For your eyes only¨ and ¨Octopussy¨ that are incredibly fast pace . The film will appeal to Christopher Lambert enthusiasts , but good for fans only

 

REVIEW: HAIL, CAESAR!

CAST

George Clooney (The Ides of March)
Josh Brolin (Jonah Hex)
Alden Ehrenreich (Beautiful Creatures)
Ralph Fiennes (Red Dragon)
Scarlett Johansson (Lucy)
Frances McDormand (Fargo)
Tilda Swinton (Doctor Strange)
Channing Tatum (21 Jump Street)
Alison Pill (Scott PIlgrim vs The World)
Emily Beecham (Bon Voyage)
Heather Goldenhersh (The Class)
Wayne Knight (3rd Rock From The Sun)
Jonah Hill (Cyrus)
Christopher Lambert (Highlander)
Fred Melamed (The Dictator)
Patrick Fischler (Old School)
David Krumholtz (Mom)
Fisher Stevens (Hackers)
Clancy Brown (Sleepy Hollow0
Robert Pciardo (Stargate: Atlantis)
Natasha Bassett (Britney Ever AFter)
Dolph Lundgren (Arrow)
Robert Trebor (Hercules: TLJ)
Michael Gambon (Harry Potter)

In 1951, Eddie Mannix (Josh Brolin) is the head of physical production at Capitol Pictures and also works as a “fixer” to keep the scandalous behavior of its stars out of the press. He often has to fend off inquiries from Thora and Thessaly Thacker (both played by Tilda Swinton), twin sisters and rival gossip columnists. The Lockheed Corporation has been courting him with an offer of a high-level executive position, but he is unsure about taking it. When unmarried synchronised swimming actress DeeAnna Moran (Scarlett Johansson) becomes pregnant, Mannix arranges for her to put the baby in foster care, and then adopt it without revealing herself as the mother. The studio’s major production is Hail, Caesar! A Tale of the Christ, an epic set in ancient Roman times and starring Baird Whitlock (George Clooney). During a shot, Whitlock drinks from a goblet of wine that was drugged by an extra (Wayne Knight); he passes out while rehearsing lines by himself behind the soundstage and is abducted. A ransom note soon arrives, written by a group calling itself “The Future,” demanding $100,000. Mannix arranges to get the money from the studio’s Accounting Department, as “petty cash.”
Whitlock awakens in a beach house and finds his way into a meeting of The Future, a Communist cell. The members, who introduce themselves as mostly writers in the motion picture industry, explain their doctrine to him and begin to win him over to their cause. At the same time, Thora threatens Mannix by stating she will release an article about a scandal involving the earlier film On Wings As Eagles, which gave Whitlock his break-out role. Mannix successfully negotiates for her to postpone the story by a day in exchange for information about the romantic life of singing Western film star Hobie Doyle (Alden Ehrenreich). Doyle is cast in a period drama helmed by posh director Laurence Laurentz (Ralph Fiennes) in an attempt by the studio to broaden his appeal. After Doyle’s initial performance is hopelessly incompetent, Laurentz visits Mannix and asks him to remove Doyle from the project so that Laurentz can preserve his artistic vision for the film. Mannix informs Laurentz that Doyle’s role is non-negotiable and convinces him to coach the young actor to give a better performance. Doyle comes to Mannix’s office and admits that he feels the part is too far outside his comfort zone. Mannix reassures him that he has the needed acting abilities and tells him about Whitlock’s kidnapping.
That evening, Doyle attends the premiere of one of his own Westerns with starlet Carlotta Valdez (Verónica Osorio), per instructions from Mannix. Doyle is initially disappointed that his lone singing scene is depicted in a comedic manner, rather than as heartfelt as he intended. However, after seeing the audience react positively to the scene, Doyle warms to it himself. Doyle and Valdez visit a nightclub, where the pair are genuinely developing chemistry until they are interrupted by both Thacker sisters, each looking to get a scoop on their relationship. Doyle suddenly spots the briefcase containing the ransom money, recognizing it because he had lent Mannix his belt to keep it closed. It is being carried by Burt Gurney (Channing Tatum), the star of a sailor musical comedy depicted earlier in an elaborate dancing scene. Mannix and Moran meet with a surety agent, Joseph Silverman (Jonah Hill), an average man whom the studio has used to solve public problems; he has a solid reputation as completely dependable, reliable, and discreet. He will agree to provide foster care for Moran’s child, preserving her image. Moran, who expressed frustration with her previous two marriages with a mobster and a Hollywood type, finds herself strongly attracted to Silverman.
Doyle follows Gurney to the beach house in Malibu but, after walking in the front door, finds only Whitlock inside. The rest of The Future’s members have rowed a boat containing Gurney offshore so that he can rendezvous with a Soviet submarine and defect to Russia. The members of The Future give him the money for the Communist cause. As Gurney boards the submarine, his dog jumps into his arms, causing him to drop the briefcase, which sinks into the ocean. Doyle takes Whitlock back to the studio just before the police arrive at the beach house to arrest the group, after Mannix’s investigation led him to the house. Whitlock tries to explain his new-found Communist leanings to Mannix, who cuts him off sharply, slapping his face numerous times, and orders him to finish his role in Hail, Caesar!; the actor is chastened, but encouraged by a final directive from Mannix to be a movie star.
Mannix is notified the next morning that Moran married Silverman who will adopt the child with her. Mannix announces he has decided to reject the Lockheed offer and continue working at Capitol. Thora then meets with Mannix and informs him that the column she plans to publish about On Wings As Eagles will reveal that Whitlock got his major role in the film by having sex with Laurentz. However, Mannix has deduced that Gurney is her source for the piece and persuades her to not run the story since Gurney is a Communist who has defected—which would cause her own reputation to suffer by association. Mannix leaves the worried-looking Thora, secure in his station in life.I think that you need to be something of a film buff to really enjoy this Coen Brothers offering, which is an affectionate homage to the history of Hollywood. There are references to the influence of McCarthyism and nods to many genres, from the ‘B’ Western to the biblically based epic. Most of the comedy is gentle and occasionally subtle, not to say understated. It is both easily worth 5 stars and thoroughly recommended.

REVIEW: FORTRESS 2: RE-ENTRY

CAST

Christopher Lambert (Highlander)
Aidan Ostrogovich (Last Rites)
David Roberson (White Men Can’t Jump)
Liz May Brice  (Resident Evil)
Beth Toussaint (Red Eye)
Willie Garson (Stargate SG.1)

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Ten years after the events of the first film, John Brennick is somewhere in North America, still on the run from Men-Tel and living in the rural mountains. His son Danny tells him to come home immediately. When they arrive, there are three people waiting for them. They ask John to help them destroy Men-Tel’s new power station, saying that the company is on the verge of collapse and “without their power, they have no power”. John refuses, wanting to protect his family, so the trio leave on a boat. As John waves goodbye, two Men-Tel helicopters appear and John scrambles his family’s escape plan. He sends Danny and Karen through an underground passage, while he leads the soldiers on a wild goose chase. The battle ends, though, with one helicopter destroyed, but Brennick’s Jeep is overturned.113106_28John is then knocked out and captured. He wakes up in a room with a disembodied voice telling him that he is in prison again and has been sentenced to death. He has been implanted with a behavior modification device which causes headaches of various intensity when prisoners enter prohibited areas. He also finds one of the men who visited him, a former Men-Tel vice president, who is now brain-damaged because of an improperly planted device. Another of John’s visitors, a former soldier, is also in the jail and friends with one of the guards. Brennick starts making enemies almost immediately. A video of Director Teller “welcomes” the new prisoners. He shows them a female prisoner receiving her death sentence, being blown out into space through an airlock. The video then shows the prisoners that their new prison is actually a space station orbiting the Earth which is used to generate power via a solar array.fortress-2-01

Brennick tries to escape in a water-delivery shuttle but is caught and sent to “The Hole” – an exposed area of the ship where John is bombarded with solar radiation while the station faces the sun and extreme cold when its orbit takes it behind the Earth. When Men-Tel’s president arrives he tries to kill John by jettisoning him without a spacesuit. John manages to hold his breath and propel himself towards another airlock and back into the prison. Due to the sudden decompression, the computerized warden, Zed, begins to malfunction and cannot perform its duties. John uses a prison gun to destroy the computer and Teller is subsequently electrocuted. John and all his friends board the Shuttle and head back to Earth, where John reunites with his family.cinemax-fortress-2-re-entry1

Yes it is practically the exact plot from the original with a different setting and cast but its actually not that cheesy its quite a fun movie even though its predictable, this is a movie solely for fans of the original and Lambert, worth checking out for an easy on the brain night in.

REVIEW: FORTRESS (1992)

CAST

Christopher Lambert (Highlander)
Loryn Locklin (Denial)
Kurtwood Smith (That 70s Show)
Lincoln Kilpatrick (The Omega Man)
Jeffrey Combs (Gotham)
Tom Towles (The Prophecy II)
Vernon Wells (Mad Max 2)
Clifton Collins Jr. (Westworld)

In a dystopian 2017, ex-army officer John Henry Brennick and his wife Karen are attempting to cross the Canada–United States border to Vancouver to have a second child. Strict one-child policies forbid a second pregnancy, even after their firstborn has died, so Karen wears a magnetic vest to trick the security scanners. A guard notices and raises the alarm. Brennick is caught, believing Karen to have escaped, and sentenced to 31 years at the Fortress, a private maximum security prison run by the Men-Tel Corporation. To maintain discipline all inmates are implanted with “Intestinators” which induce severe pain or death as a form of physical control and mental conditioning. The prison is co-run by Director Poe, who oversees Zed-10, a computer that monitors day-to-day activities. The prison is located underground, in the middle of the desert, inside a deep pit that can only be crossed by a retractable bridge, while the prisoners are kept in overcrowded cells secured by laser walls.

John is imprisoned with inmates Abraham, a model prisoner who works as Poe’s manservant and is awaiting parole; D-Day, a machine and demolitions expert; Nino Gomez and Stiggs, who tries to extort John. John learns his wife has been captured and is held in another level with his unborn child who, being illegal, is now officially owned by Men-Tel and will be confiscated at birth. Stiggs has a friend, Maddox, who intimidates John and the two are involved in a brawl which culminates with Maddox being shot by a security turret. John manages to grab Maddox’s Intestinator and gives it to D-Day before he is taken away to be subjected to a mind-wipe procedure as punishment.

Poe, infatuated with Karen, tells her that if she lives with him he will treat John well and release him from the mind-wipe chamber. She accepts to help John. Poe is revealed to be a cyborg, powerfully enhanced by Men-Tel cybernetics. Four months later, a heavily pregnant Karen manages to use her access to the prison computer in Poe’s quarters to help John by restoring him from his mind-wiped state. Karen steals a holographic map and gives it to Abraham to give to John. D-Day dismantles Maddox’s Intestinator and uses a magnetic component to pull out the others’ Intestinators. During their next work shift John’s group puts their Intestinators in an air-duct and stage a brawl, causing Zed to trigger the devices and blow the duct open to prepare their escape. Poe promptly flushes the duct with steam and sends in “Strike Clones”, networked cyborgs armed with flamethrowers and machine guns. Stiggs surrenders and gets shot dead, but the rest of the group kill a Strike Clone, steal its weapon and use it to kill the remaining clones.

Zed alerts Poe of Karen’s actions. He reveals to her that her child, like all MenTel-owned babies, will be extracted in a fatal Caesarean to be made a cyborg. Abraham and Karen resist, but are powerless against the cyborg Poe and Abraham dies of strangulation. Hijacking one of the gun turrets and using it as an elevator, John’s group travels to Zed’s control room. John takes Poe hostage and orders him to release Karen. Poe gives the order, but Zed refuses the command while stating that MenTel does not engage in any negotiations during hostage situations and a gun turret blasts Poe, blowing him to pieces and leaving John’s group with no leverage. Once brought over to the core computer, D-Day hacks into Zed and accesses a powerful virus confiscated at the start of his sentence. D-Day manages to activate the virus after being shot and incapacited, causing a complete systems crash and all automated security to fail. John and Gomez rescue Karen, hijack a truck, and escape to Mexico where Karen enters labor in an abandoned barn and gives birth to her and John’s child.

It’s a good popcorn action movie, and one of my favorite Stuart Gordon Films. In my opinion, this is probably Gordons Second best film, after re-animator.