REVIEW: CHAOS

CAST

Jason Statham (The Mechanic)
Ryan Phillippe (Crash)
Wesley Snipes (Blade)
Henry Czerny (Revenge)
Justine Waddell (The Fall)
Nicholas Lea (V)
Keegan Connor Tracy (Bates Motel)
Jessica Steen (Armageddon)
Rob LaBelle (Dark Angel)
John Cassini (Sveen)
Paul Perri (Manhunter)
Natassia Malthe (Bloodrayne 2 & 3)
Ty Olsson (Battlestar Galactica)
Terry Chen (Almost Famous)
Mike Dopud (Arrow)

Wesley Snipes in Chaos (2005)Seattle PD Detective Quentin Conners (Jason Statham) and his partner Jason York are implicated in the death of a hostage taken by a carjacker named John Curtis. After a fellow police officer, Callo (John Cassini), testifies against them, Conners is suspended, and York is fired. In reality, York tried to shoot John, but accidentally killed the hostage. John in turn fired back, but Conners killed John in self-defense. Some time later, Lorenz (Wesley Snipes) and four other criminals take hostages in a bank. Lorenz has only one demand, to negotiate with Conners. Conners is reinstated but put under the surveillance of a new partner, the recently-graduated Shane Dekker (Ryan Phillippe). Conners is given control of the negotiations, and after a bank teller is shot, he orders a SWAT unit to cut the building’s power and go in. During an explosion, the criminals flee during the ensuing panic and chaos.Ryan Phillippe and Jason Statham in Chaos (2005)Dekker and Conners learn more about each other at a local diner, slowly building a friendship, but Dekker disapproves of Conners’ “cowboy cop” methods. Dekker explains that during negotiations, Lorenz was making many cryptic references to chaos theory. As they leave to examine new evidence, Conners pays with a ten dollar bill and says he does not like to tip. Dekker swaps the ten for a twenty of his own. A TV camera caught a shot of one of the criminals, who is arrested together with his girlfriend at her home, where banknotes are found with a scent used to mark evidence collected by the police. The banknote serial numbers did not come from that day’s robbery, but had been placed in police storage and signed out a two weeks earlier by Callo. He is found shot dead in his home, together with incriminating evidence linking him to the heist.Chaos (2005)When reviewing video footage from the bank, Dekker notices one corner of the bank is deliberately shielded from view. In that corner, they find the bank regional manager’s computer. Fingerprints on the keyboard reveal the identity of a hacker that Conners himself had arrested, but whose conviction was overturned after the shooting on the bridge. Conners and Dekker want to question the hacker, but he is shot dead by Lorenz, and a gunfight ensues, during which Lorenz manages to escape. Dekker questions the hospitalized bank robber identified in the news footage and finally breaks him when he casually explains the impact of a massive overdose of morphine while slowly injecting something into the suspect’s drip. An amazed Conners watches and later calls him a hypocrite. Dekker responds by explaining he only injected more saline solution.The suspect reveals Lorenz is Scott Curtis, the brother of John shot earlier, and Conners leads a stakeout at an address where all the gang are to meet that night; Scott’s house. Forced to go before Scott arrives, a shootout results in both suspects’ deaths, and a bomb blows up the building while Conners is inside. Dekker is devastated but realizes that Callo’s signature requesting material from the evidence storage was forged by the evidence custody officer, who reveals that Scott is actually York. In a flashback, York stands on the bridge and fires the first shot, killing the hostage in the opening sequence. Tracking Lorenz/York’s mobile phone, Dekker surprises York at a diner, and York takes a woman hostage in a reversal of the standoff on the bridge. Dekker chases and eventually kills York. When Dekker pays for his coffee at the diner, he discovers the banknote Conners used to pay for lunch with is also scented, which means Conners was also involved in taking the money from police evidence. Dekker finds a copy of James Gleick’s Chaos: Making a New Science in Conners’ house, showing he had faked an earlier ignorance of the mathematics. On a hunch, Dekker looks for airplane tickets booked in Gleick’s name and runs to the airport.Chaos (2005)During a mobile call between the now disguised Conners and the searching Dekker at the busy airport, flashbacks reveal how the seemingly unconnected events in the film form a pattern, just as predicted in chaos theory. Conners reveals that he placed his badge on Scott’s corpse before the explosion. Conners and York recruited a group of ex-convicts from their past. Callo was framed for being a dirty cop. Conners ends the call, walks casually to a private jet, and takes off while sipping champagne.Overall, Chaos tries a philosophical and clever approach that is different from the average outing; regardless of what the Blu-Rayfront cover may suggest, possessing a hypnotic funky score, in general good acting and a decent enough plot… overlook the obvious anomalies, and Chaos provides value.

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REVIEW: BLOODRAYNE 3: THE BLOOD REICH

CAST

Natassia Malthe (Elektra)
Brendan Fletcher (News Movie)
Michael Pare (The Virgin Suicides)
Willam Belli (American Pie 3)
Annett Culp (Verbotene Liebe)
Clint Howard (Austin Powers 2)

Rayne fights against the Nazis in Europe during World War II with the French resistance, encountering Ekart Brand, a Nazi leader whose goal is to inject Adolf Hitler with Rayne’s blood in an attempt to transform him into an all powerful dhampir and attain immortality.2006_bloodrayne_013The film opens with train cars full of humans being sent to concentration camps when they’re intercepted by a French resistance group. Soon, Rayne (Natassia Malthe) arrives and kills most of the Nazi troops and corners their commandant in a train car. As the two talk, a Nazi shoots Rayne, splashing her blood on the commandant’s face. Rayne kills the soldier before impaling the commandant on a pole and leaving him to die. Rayne soon converses with the leader of the resistance, Nathaniel, who is aware that Rayne is a dhampir. After finding the train cars full of prisoners, the resistance and Rayne decide to work together to fight the Nazis. After they leave however, the commandant is revealed to have survived his presumed death as a result of some of Rayne’s blood getting in his mouth, implying that he is a dhampir. Back at the headquarters of the Third Reich, a scientist named Mangler (Clint Howard) is torturing vampires as a way of studying them so he can make Adolf Hitler and the Third Reich immortal. A Third Reich lieutenant informs the doctor that the commandant was attacked by a ‘vampire’ in the daytime, intriguing his interest.bloodrayne00Elsewhere, Rayne heads to a brothel to get a massage when she overhears a soldier beating on one of the women. Rayne easily beats the man down, forcing the owner of the brothel to close early, despite being warned that the Nazis would suspect something. She ignores the warning and warns Rayne that she’d not be a problem for her business. As Rayne prepares to leave, a voluptuous woman stops Rayne and thanks her for saving the woman from before. Initially refusing at first, the woman seduces Rayne and has sex with her.bloodrayne-2-deliverance-blu-rayEven with such a short running time, The Third Reich, manages to drag along, half-heartedly attempting to provide a narrative for a bland heroine played by an actress who looks the part but once she opens her mouth, makes one long for the days of Lokken.

 

REVIEW: BLOODRAYNE 2: DELIVERANCE

CAST

Natassia Malthe (Elektra)
Zack Ward (Transformers)
Michael Pare (The Virgin Suicides)
Chris Coppola (Beowulf)
Chris Spencer (Being Mary Jane)
Brendan Fletcher (News Movie)
Sarah-Jane Redmond (Smallville)
John Novak (Wishmaster 3)
Tyron Leitso (Wonderfalls)
Jodelle Ferland (Kingdom Hospital)
Mike Dopud (Stargate Universe)

bloodrayne-2-deliverance-blu-rayNewton Piles (Chris Coppola), a reporter on assignment for the Chicago Chronicle, has come to the town of Deliverance, Montana, to record tales of the Wild West. The peaceful and quiet town is expecting the arrival of the first Transcontinental Railroad in one week. Along with the railroad however, arrives an unwelcome and deadly guest, a vampiric Billy the Kid. Using the railway, the 357-year-old Transylvanian vampire is building an army of cowboy vampires to take over the country and create a vampire kingdom in the New World. Billy and his horde go on a rampage, slaughtering townspeople and rounding up children. Billy spares Newton’s life and promises Newton the greatest story ever told.MCDBLOO EC029Billy’s plans hit a snag when Rayne arrives in the town. Rayne is a Dhampir, the product of an unnatural union between a vampire and a human: she wields all the powers of a vampire, yet none of the weaknesses. Born over a century earlier in Romania, Rayne has hunted vampires for a long time and now she sets her sights on Billy.MCDBLOO EC032Naturally, Bloodrayne 2 also contains all the ulcer inducing Uwe Boll-isms we’ve come to know and loathe and even some new ones! There’s slow-motion death scenes, the dumb as nails dialogue, scenes dragging on needlessly due to a lack of editing, and vampires dying and sounding like squealing pigs.

REVIEW: IN THE NAME OF THE KING 2: TWO WORLDS

 

CAST

Dolph Lundgren (Arrow)
Lochlyn Munro (Little Man)
Natassia Malthe (Bloodrayne 2 & 3)
Aleks Paunovic (Van Helsing)
Elisabeth Rosen (Bless The Child)
Michael Adamthwaite (Stargate SG.1)
Heather Doerksen (The Eye)

Granger, a former Special Forces soldier living in modern-day Vancouver, is sent on a quest to fulfill an ancient prophecy. He is forcibly pulled into a time portal in his home after fighting off a small group of hooded assassins who try to kill him. He finds himself several hundred years in the past, in the forested war-torn Kingdom of Ehb. Granger teams up with an unlikely band of allies, accompanied by a female doctor named Manhattan. His goal is to slay the leader of the “Dark Ones”, a witch known only as the Holy Mother. Fighting against all odds, Granger must free the land from the grasp of the evil tyrant Raven, save the kingdom, and find a way to get back to his own time.Movies where fantasy heroes are traveling to the modern age (from ‘Beastmaster 2’ to ‘Masters of the Universe’) are usually cheesy. They fortunately tried the other way around here and moved a modern day hero to the distant past: Dolph Lundgren. As Granger the Stranger, he has unusual things to worry about, like drinking water probably full of bacteria, and he certainly has no respect for kings and witches. Natassia Malthe gets the funniest part, which must have been a nice change for her after the Bloodrayne stuff: she is a doctor trying to find out more about the medicine of the future. The story is well paced, so the 90 minutes passed quickly, but I was left with a feeling that I didn’t quite get what I expected.

REVIEW: TRAPPED (2001)

CAST

William McNamara (Ringmaster)
Parker Stevenson (Stroker Ace)
Callum Keith Rennie (Flashforward)
Suki Kaiser (The Virgin Suicides)
Stefanie von Pfetten (Cracked)
Natassia Malthe (Elektra)
Katie Stuart (The 100)
Gabrielle Rose (Dark Angel)
Ian Tracey (Bates Motel)
Roger Cross (Arrow)
Martin Cummins (Poltergeist: The Legacy)
Jodelle Ferland (Kingdom Hospital)
Sarah Carter (Smallville)
Trapped Television Series

This movie provided a bit of entertainment, but was fairly predictable. I found it fascinating that every time a scene was shown from the ground level, you’d hear sirens and air horns from the rigs en-route. Seems to me that at a certain point, all the necessary equipment would be there, and you’d not have any more en-route. Also, the effects and explosions were ok – some appeared to have no rhyme or reason as to why an explosion occurred. For example, glass is broken in a window you can see thru. There is no fire behind the window, however suddenly the window shatters, and the room explodes. No ignition source was shown, and although spontaneous combustion is a possibility, I’ve only seen a similar situation with an already pre-existing flame. The smoke effects were nice, but if you really wanted to go for realism, the smoke shouldn’t be gray or white, it should be black and thick. Outside shots of the hotel showed black smoke, inside shots showed gray and white smoke. Outside shots of the hotel also showed smoke rising straight up, when in fact, the story claimed 50mph winds.

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I also found it interesting that although you had a major incident at a high-rise hotel in Las Vegas, I didn’t see many, if any, police officers. Crowd control was non-existent, which allowed the reporters to trample thru the fireground, and somehow, ordinary citizens were allowed into the incident commander’s area, to hear everything that was going on. This was obviously done for dramatic effect, and would never happen in real life.A few notes about the firefighters as well. The main shots of the firefighters in action were showing them running around on stairs with a charged line. I do find it hard to believe that they took a single charged line up 30 floors… hoses just aren’t that long. If in fact they were using the standpipes to connect to, they would have a length of hose to connect up to the standpipe, and be bringing with them an uncharged line. Most of the firefighting it seemed was being done with CO2 extinguishers. Also, it seemed like most of the time, they were running past a free burning fire, stopping once in a while to spray a little water. For as much water that was supposively coming off the building onto the press reporter, I didn’t see any firefighting happening. Overall, the movie was ok… the effects were pretty, if not well placed, and the factual items of the firefighting were a little scarce on the details. I’d say watch it if nothing else is on.

 

REVIEW: DOA: DEAD OR ALIVE

 

CAST
Jaime Pressly (Mom)
Devon Akoi (Sin City)
Holly Valance (Taken)
Sarah Carter (Smallville)
Natassia malthe (Bloodrayne 2 & 3)
Kane Kosugi (Ninja Sentai Kakuranger)
Eric Roberts (The Finder)
Matthew Marsden (Black Hawk Down)
Brian White (The Cabin In The Woods)
A group of martial arts and combat masters are invited to a fighting contest, “Dead or Alive”, on an isolated island within an advanced complex, with the ultimate prize of $10 million. Among the competitors are Kasumi, a shinobi ninja-princess looking for her brother Hayate (who was competing in the last tournament), Tina, a professional wrestler setting out to prove she has more potential (complicated by her father Bass being one of the contenders), Christie, a master thief and assassin, her treacherous partner Maximillian ‘Max’ Marsh, and Hayabusa, a friend of Kasumi and Hayate who follows Kasumi to keep her safe, using the invitation to DOA for this. A final competitor is Helena Douglas, daughter of the tournament’s late founder. When they arrive, they are monitored by the island’s supervisor, Dr. Victor Donovan, who, aided by egghead Weatherby, is gathering data (using injected nano-sensors) from the fights for some mysterious project. To add to the situation, an assassin from Kasumi’s colony, named Ayane, has followed Kasumi to kill her and wipe away the disgrace the princess has caused to the clan.
The contest plays out, with multiple contestants fighting and being defeated (including Gen Fu, Bayman, Leon, and Zack), until only Kasumi, Christie, Hayabusa and Tina are left, with Helena being defeated by Christie. During the course of the film, Max and Christie form a plan to steal the fortune stowed away inside a hidden vault. During her fight, Christie sees that the key to finding and unlocking the vault is a tattoo on the back of Helena’s neck. Meanwhile, Kasumi begins to suspect Donovan of lying about her brother being killed in the previous tournament, and Hayabusa, infiltrating the main facility to find the truth, is captured. She is more than once confronted and nearly killed by Ayane, who Kasumi tries to convince that Hayate is alive (since it is eventually clear that Ayane loves Hayate). Also, Weatherby begins to fall for Helena, and in the end tells her about what he knows of the mystery project, and that before Helena’s father could shut the project down, he died (indicating that he was murdered).
On the final day of the tournament, wondering where Hayabusa is, Kasumi, Christie and Tina look for him and discover a secret entrance to the main complex, where they find Hayabusa unconscious. They are then gassed and captured. Meanwhile, Helena resolves to stop the mystery project, and has to fight the armed staff of the island, sent to kill her and Weatherby by Donovan. They are followed inside by Max, who finds his way to the vault, and is then knocked out by Bayman, who is working for Donovan. Inside the main complex, Donovan shows the four semifinalists the project he has been developing; an advanced form of neural interface that allows him and others to use the fighters’ combined skills to become the ultimate fighter. After ‘downloading’ the data into the device (shaped like a pair of sunglasses), he then shows that he kept Hayate alive and in peak condition to test the technology. He challenges Hayate to fight and win, if the others are to survive. Hayate accepts and is defeated, then thrown through a wall to die. Hayate is saved by Ayane, and the two of them apparently accept each other.
With the successful demonstration, Donovan prepares to sell the technology around the world, and begins “downloading” it to the watching buyers. Weatherby stops the broadcast and alerts the CIA, which provokes Donovan to head for them. Helena keeps Donovan back while Weatherby frees the others, but both are defeated and Donovan activates a self-destruct sequence which will obliterate the base. Kasumi, Helena, Christie, Tina, Ayane, and Hayate launch a combined attack on Donovan, while Hayabusa and Weatherby find Max and escape with him, despite Max’s urge to go back for the money. During the battle with the fighters, Donovan’s ‘glasses’ are knocked off and he is easily paralyzed by Hayate and Kasumi. The fighters then all escape as the base explodes and Donovan is consumed by the flames, making their escape by a hijacked pirates’ boat.
In the final scene, Helena, Ayane, Christie, Tina, and Kasumi are shown together again preparing to fight an army of ninja in Kasumi’s palace.
it is a fun and escapist film to pass an hour and a half.

REVIEW: DISTURBING BEHAVIOR

CAST

James Marsden (Superman Returns)
Katie Holmes (Go)
Nick Stahl (Terminator 3)
Tobias Mehler (Wishmaster 3)
Steve Railsback (Lifeforce)
Bruce Greenwood (Star Trek)
Katharine Isabelle (American Mary)
William Sadler (Roswell)
Ethan Embry (Eagle Eye)
Derek Hamilton (Arrow)
Chad Donella (Smallville)
Natassia Malthe (Elektra)
David Paetkau (Flashpoint)
Brendan Fehr (Bones)
Sarah-Jane Redmond (V)
Carly Pope (Popular)
Lynda Boyd (Power Rangers In Space)
Daniella Evangelista (Ripper)

Steve Clark (James Marsden) is a high school senior whose family moves to Cradle Bay, a picturesque coastal town in Washington state’s Puget Sound with his parents. It has been nearly one year since Steve’s older brother, Allen (Ethan Embry), committed suicide which traumatized the family. Steve’s parents tell him that they have relocated from Chicago to Cradle Bay as a fresh start to move on with their lives.

During Steve’s first day at his new high school, he meets and befriends three outcast students, Gavin Strick (Nick Stahl), U.V. (Chad Donella), and Rachel Wagner (Katie Holmes). Gavin tries to tell Steve that he believes there is something evil about the “Blue Ribbons”—a clique of students taking part in a “special program” led by the school psychologist, Dr. Caldicott (Bruce Greenwood). Steve is understandably skeptical. The following day at lunch, Gavin walks in looking like a Blue Ribbon. When Steve tries to confront Gavin, he gets punched in the stomach for his impertinence. Later, after being chased home, Steve finds Blue Ribbon member Lorna Longley in his living room, waiting to seduce him under the pretense of helping his younger sister study. However, her heightened arousal causes her to suddenly behave erratically and smash her head into a mirror, after which she is taken to a medical facility under Dr. Caldicott’s care. Now Steve and Rachel must find the source of the Blue Ribbons as well as try and save the rest of the school before it’s too late. They find a CD-R disc that Gavin hid for them in the boiler room, containing a video he made of himself before his “transformation”, telling them about the club and about the history that he learned about Dr. Caldicott.
disturbingbehaviornickstahlkatieholmesjamesmarsdenlsmgm
During this, Steve also befriends Dorian (William Sadler), the school janitor, who appears to be mentally handicapped and hunts rats for the city for some extra cash. Dorian demonstrates a device called an E-Rat-icator which emits a soft, high pitched whine that is supposed to be innocuous but annoying to rats, which is an abysmal failure. Steve discovers that Dorian is actually highly intelligent, and carries classical literature pieces with him, and that he’s hiding because he wishes to be left alone and does not trust society. Dorian also tells Steve that he suspects that the entire community of Cradle Bay is part of a massive conspiracy made up of nearly all of the parents, as well as the local police chief Cox, the school principal and entire school faculty, who hired Dr. Caldicott to “re-program” their own children to become the perfect people that they want them to be and not free-thinkers. A little later, during an encounter where a Blue Ribbon known as “Chug” (A.J. Buckley) assaults Rachel in the school basement, the E-Rat-icator goes off, and immediately sends the student into a psychotic fit, driving him away. During their personal investigation, Steve and Rachel try to find out what exactly has been happening to the Blue Ribbon kids, which leads them to a mental hospital called Bishop Flats following a lead on the disc that Gavin left behind. Here, they find out that mind control is being used to make depressed, awkward and unruly teens become perfect so they can function properly in life, but the programming has some glitches that lead to momentary relapses which cause violent fits. Also at Bishop Flats, they find Caldicott’s daughter, Betty (Julie Patzwald), a failed project who spends her time repeating the same phrase: “Meet the musical little creatures that hide among the flowers”.

After escaping from the hospital, Steve and Rachel have a run-in with the town’s police chief Cox (Steve Railsback) who is also involved in the conspiracy and he tries to arrest them after learning from Dr. Caldicott about their excursion to the mental hospital. But Dorian shows up under the pretense that he is disposing of dead rats when he subdues the police chief and tells Steve and Rachel to leave town and go public with what they know about Dr. Caldicott’s work. When Rachel and Steve return home, they plan to get out of town along with Steve’s younger sister, Lindsay (Katharine Isabelle), but when they arrive at Steve’s house, Steve’s parents (Terry David Mulligan and Susan Hogan) reveal that they are also part of the conspiracy and that they moved to Cradle Bay for the sole purpose to sign him up for Caldicott’s program. Steve and Lindsay try to get out but they get ambushed by a group of Blue Ribbons waiting for them outside the house. They drag Steve and Rachel to the programming center, but Steve escapes and rescues Rachel, killing the medical techs as well as Chug who has been left behind to guard them.

They try to get out of town again with Lindsay and U.V., but the Blue Ribbons and Caldicott are waiting for them on the road near the ferry out of town. When hope seems lost, Dorian drives up, his car hooked up with multiple E-Rat-icators that scramble the mind control tech inside the Blue Ribbons’ heads. They chase after Dorian and try to destroy the E-Rat-icators, but, having been fatally wounded after being shot by Caldicott, Dorian drives his car off a cliff with most of the Blue Ribbons hanging onto his car. This leads to a final battle between Steve and Caldicott, which Steve wins by kicking Caldicott off the cliff. Steve and Rachel then leave town on the ferry with Lindsay and U.V. to begin a new life elsewhere without their parents.

The final scene shows a classroom in an urban high school with kids playing loud music, cursing, and acting up. They are informed that they have a new teacher. The well-groomed substitute turns around, and it’s Gavin, with the blue ribbon “twinkle” still active in his eye.Disturbing Behavior has essentially received much unfair criticism for what is a solid science fiction teen horror film.