REVIEW: COLLATERAL DAMAGE

CAST

Arnold Schwarzenegger (The Terminator)
Francesca Neri (Hannibal)
Elias Koteas (Hit Me)
Cliff Curtis (Jubilee)
John Leguizamo (Kick-Ass 2)
John Turturro (Transformers)
Jsu Garcia (A Nightmare On Elm Street)
Rick Worthy (The Vampire Diaries)
Raymond Cruz (Breaking Bad)
Miguel Sandoval (Medium)
Harry Lennix (Man of Steel)
Jane Lynch (Glee)
Jay Acovone (Terminator 3)
Tyler Posey (Teen Wolf)
Michael Milhoan (The Spirit)
Sven-Ole Thorsen (Mallrats)

A bomb detonates in the plaza of the Colombian Consulate building in Los Angeles, killing nine people, including a caravan of Colombian officials and American intelligence agents. Among the civilians killed are the wife and son of LAFD firefighter, Captain Gordon “Gordy” Brewer, who was injured in the explosion. A tape is sent to the U.S. State Department, in which a masked man calling himself “El Lobo” (The Wolf) claims responsibility, explaining it was in retaliation for the oppression of Colombia by the United States. The FBI believes El Lobo is a Colombian terrorist named Claudio Perrini. CIA Special Agent Peter Brandt, the Colombia Station Chief, is harshly reprimanded for the incident by a Senate Oversight Committee, who promptly terminate all CIA operations in Colombia. Brandt angrily returns to Mompós and meets with his paramilitary allies to plan a major offensive to take down Claudio.
Frustrated at the political red tape regarding the investigation, Brewer travels to Mompós to personally hunt down Claudio but is quickly arrested for illegal entry. The guerrillas stage a prison break to free their comrades and abduct Brewer to demand a large ransom for him. Brandt’s unit is alerted to Brewer’s presence in Colombia but arrive too late. Brewer escapes the prison, avoids being captured, and secures a guerrilla zone pass from Canadian mechanic Sean Armstrong. Armstrong introduces him to drug runner Felix Ramirez, the manager of the cocaine distribution facility that finances the guerrillas. Pretending to be a mechanic, Brewer rigs several improvised explosives and destroys the facility. Felix is blamed for the destruction of the drug plant and is executed in front of a hiding Brewer’s eyes. Brewer infiltrates Claudio’s headquarters and plants a bomb to kill him, but he is captured when he tries to prevent a woman, Selena, from being caught in the blast radius along with her son, Mauro. At Claudio’s home compound, Selena reveals she is Claudio’s wife. She and Claudio once lost their own child during an American attack, which compelled Claudio to become a terrorist; Selena found and adopted Mauro, whose parents were killed in the attack. Nevertheless, Selena sympathizes with Brewer and admits that Claudio is planning another bombing in Washington, D.C..
Meanwhile, Brandt’s unit locates Claudio’s compound and launches an attack. During the ensuing shootout, Selena helps free Brewer and, along with Brandt, travels back to the State Department in Washington, D.C. to help the search effort for Claudio. Selena identifies Union Station as the target, and the FBI investigates. On the pretense of using the lavatory, Selena excuses herself from the command room and becomes irritated when Mauro refuses to come with her. When Brewer sees Selena make the same gesture as the masked man who claimed to be El Lobo in the tape, he realizes that she was the Wolf all along, and Claudio serves as her figurehead. Furthermore, Brewer surmises the real target is the State Department, and that he was used to help Selena get past the building’s security. Brewer quickly throws Mauro’s toy dinosaur, which is carrying a bomb, out a window moments before it explodes. Brandt, realizing Brewer’s suspicions, is shot and killed trying to stop Selena from fleeing the building.
Brewer chases Selena to the basement of the building where she and Claudio ride off through the underground tunnels on a motorcycle. Brewer finds the tunnel control console and shuts the gates, preventing their escape. Brewer chops open some gas lines along the walls of the tunnel and, as they ride back, Selena shoots at Brewer, igniting the gas. Brewer jumps through a doorway just as the entire tunnel explodes. Selena and Claudio survive the blast, however, and attack him simultaneously. After a short, hand to hand fight, Selena is electrocuted by being tossed on the exposed circuitry of the control panel, and Claudio is finally killed when Brewer throws an axe into his chest. In the aftermath, Brewer carries Mauro in his arms as they leave the State Department. A newscast voiceover explains that Brewer will receive the Presidential Medal of Freedom for preventing one of the worst terrorist attacks in U.S. history from taking place.
Overall, Collateral Damage is a very good film and it is matched by a very good dvd, highly recommended!

REVIEW: HANNIBAL (2001)

CAST

Anthony Hopkins (The Mask of Zorro)
Julianne Moore (Carrie)
Gary Oldman (Batman Begins)
Ray Liotta (Killig Them Softly)
Frankie Faison (Luke Cage)
Giancarlo Giannini (Man on Fire)
Francesca Neri (Collateral Damage)
Željko Ivanek (Heroes)
Ajay Naidu (The Wrestler)

When Thomas Harris’s follow-up to “Silence of the Lambs” was announced, it was obvious that the filmed version would be soon announced. Yet, the pieces didn’t fall into place quite as easily as those involved would have hoped. Anthony Hopkins was in, but Jodie Foster was in and out and in, then out again – instead, she chose to direct her own feature and Julianne Moore was brought in. Original “Silence” director Jonathan Demme passed, so producer Dino De Laurentis (who was working on “U-571”) went a short distance to the “Gladiator” set, where director Ridley Scott said yes to the film. The screenplay was credited to two of the most highly regarded screenwriters in the business, Steven Zaillian and David Mamet, although apparently, Mamet’s work did not end up in the final draft – he received credit due to guild regulations.Although the final feature met with mixed reactions, it was a suprising success in this era of crackdowns on the “R” rating. Scott’s picture is a different creature altogether; a horror film wrapped in grand elegance. Scott brought two “Gladiator” collaborators to the party – cinematographer John Mathieson and editor Petro Scalia, and both do excellent work. The movie is also different in terms of set-up; where Clarice was the main character in “Silence”, she becomes a supporting figure here. As Hannibal himself has been let free, the story focuses on him instead. After Clarice (Moore) is demoted (her basement lab looks like Mulder’s from “The X-Files”, while Moore reminded me of Scully at times during the early scenes) after a botched drug bust, we are launched into the main story.A previous victim of Lecter who has escaped, Mason Verger (an uncredited Gary Oldman), wants revenge on Lecter. It’s Lecter himself though, that invites Clarice back into the game. The original picture had Lecter being simply evil, while here has gotten himself back out into the world – living in Florence, Italy he has become an art curator and occasionally stops off for a coffee. Yet, there’s another individual on the hunt already in the neighborhood. An Italian detective named Pazzi (Giancarlo Giannini) wants the reward for Hannibal’s capture, which turns out to be a predictably bad idea. Even though the result of his chase seems rather obvious, I’ll give Scott credit for maintaining a respectable amount of tension throughout these scenes.Anthony Hopkins in Hannibal (2001)Also, I’ll give Scott credit for a terrific first half. The picture was not exactly what I’d been expecting from it; although there is some definite violence early in the picture, the film maintains a fine level of tension.The performances are generally excellent. Moore’s ability and range are once again remarkable, allowing herself to convincingly become a dark and lonely character – she does everything she can with a character that is less involved this time around. Hopkins is, as usual, an engaging villian who, now unleashed into the world, plans out his crimes, allowing the tension to build as to whether or not he’s going to go after his persuers.The film is impressive, with stunning cinematography, amazing production design, great editing and a typically great score from Hans Zimmer.  Hannibal is a fine sequel to the Silence of the Lambs and is a must see for any Hannibal fans

REVIEW: CAPTAIN AMERICA (1990)

CAST

Matt Salinger (Under The Tuscan Sun)
Ronny Cox (Robocop)
Ned Beatty (Superman)
Darren McGavin (Riverboat)
Michael Nouri (The Terminal)
Scott Paulin (I Am Sam)
Kim Gillingham (A Little Crazy)
Melinda Dillon (Magnolia)
Bill Mumy (Babylon 5)
Francesca Neri (Collateral Damage)

6jzYIn 1936 Fascist Italy, the government kidnaps a boy, Tadzio de Santis (Massimilio Massimi), and kills his family. The child is needed for an experimental project to create a Fascist supersoldier. Dr. Maria Vaselli (Carla Cassola) objects to using Tadzio, and, under the cover of gunfire, flees to the United States to offer her services to the Americans.1280x720-6ImSeven years later, the American government finds a volunteer in Steve Rogers (Matt Salinger), a soldier who is excluded from the draft because of his polio. The formula successfully transforms Rogers into a superhero, but before any more super soldiers can be created, Vaselli is murdered by a Nazi spy. Meanwhile, Tadzio (Scott Paulin) has become the Red Skull and is planning to launch a missile at the White House. Rogers, code named Captain America, is sent in to defeat the Skull and deactivate the missile.hqdefaultRogers penetrates the launch compound, but after an initial battle, the Red Skull defeats Captain America and ties him to the missile as it is about to launch. Captain America grabs the Red Skull and forces him to cut off his own hand to avoid being launched along with Rogers. While the missile is over Washington, D.C., a young boy named Thomas Kimball (Garrette Ratliffe) takes a photograph as Captain America forces the missile to change course and land somewhere in Alaska, where he remains frozen for fifty years until 1993.japanKimball (Ronny Cox) becomes a Vietnam War hero and is elected the President of the United States of America. A year into his term, he pushes for pro-environmentalist legislation that angers the military-industrial complex, who hold a secret conference in Italy led by the Red Skull. Following the war, Red Skull had extensive plastic surgery to partially alter his disfigured features, raised a daughter, Valentina (Francesca Neri), and has become the leader of a powerful crime family. In the 1960s, this American military-industrial complex hired the Red Skull and his thugs to murder various Americans who were against their militarism and Red Skull’s fascism, such as Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., President John F. Kennedy, and Robert Kennedy. Now, Red Skull targets Kimball for kidnapping and brainwashing.machinegirlite03Researchers find Rogers’ frozen body, and he awakens still thinking that it is the 1940s. After battling some of Red Skull’s thugs, he brushes off Sam Kolawetz, a reporter and childhood friend of President Kimball, and hitchhikes his way back to his wartime girlfriend, Bernice (Kim Gillingham), in California. While Bernice still lives at her old residence, she has long since married and raised her own daughter, Sharon, who gives Rogers a series of VHS history tapes to watch. Meanwhile, Red Skull’s thugs, led by Valentina, break into Bernice’s house, kill her, and cause her husband to have a heart attack during their efforts to find Rogers. Rogers and Sharon visit the secret underground base where he gained his superpowers to recover Vaselli’s diary and learn the original name of Red Skull. Although Rogers and Sharon find the diary, Red Skull’s thugs grab it. Rogers and Sharon vow revenge and to rescue the recently kidnapped president. They travel to Italy and, in the Red Skull’s home, locate an old recording of the murder of his parents. Sharon agrees to be kidnapped to allow Rogers, who once again dons his costume, to enter the Red Skull’s castle.

nick-furyIn the midst of their battle, the Red Skull pulls out a remote trigger for a nuclear dirty bomb, but Rogers uses Sharon’s recording of the murder of Red Skull’s family fifty-seven years earlier to distract him. While the Red Skull is lost in thought, Captain America uses his shield to send Red Skull off a cliff before the bomb can be set off. As Valentina prepares to kill Rogers, she is then decapitated from behind by his returning shield. The United States Marines arrive to save the President and arrest the Americans involved in the kidnapping. The credits roll with a comic book image of Captain America in the background and a plea to support the United States Environmental Protection Act 1990.Uo0PC8HI thought 1990s captain America is not a bad movie,true it could’ve been better. There’s a good cast including Bill Mumy,Micheal Nouri,Melinda Dillon,Ned Beatty,Darren Mcgavin,and Matt Salinger as Steve Rodgers aka Captain America. Character actor Scott Paulin as the red skull.there is some great fight scenes and the shield throwing was done well. There is a femme fatale played by Francesca Neri. Many marvel comics fans bailed on this movie which bombed at the box office and went to video. The budget was low but it was not bad,but not great. It’s worth watching for collectors of Marvel movies