REVIEW: BLOOD OF REDEMPTION

CAST

Dolph Lundgren (Masters of The Universe)
Billy Zane (The Scorpion KIng 3)
Gianni Capaldi (Nightworld)
Vinnie Jones (Loaded)
Robert Davi (The Goonies)

Quinn (Billy Zane) is the son of a famous and powerful mafioso. In the course of one night, he loses everything. Betrayed by someone from his inner circle, Quinn is set up and arrested. His father (the patriarch of the criminal empire) is killed, and his brother suspects he is behind it all. When he’s released from jail, he tries to escape the demons from his past, but that becomes an impossible task. Campbell (Vinnie Jones) is the ruthless new leader of “The Company”, and he won’t let Quinn live in peace. So instead of escaping them, Quinn begins to fight back. He joins forces with his former henchman and friend, The Swede (Dolph Lundgren), and also fights his enemies head on.This film was a good Saturday night film to keep you entertained, it has some good elements and its far from perfect but that is why we love these type of films.

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REVIEW: PREDATOR 2

CAST
Danny Glover (Earthsea)
Gary Busey (Point Break)
Kevin Peter Hall (Harry and The Hendersons)
Ruben Blades (Safe House)
Maria Conchita Alonso (The Running Man)
Bill Paxton (Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.)
Robert Davi (The Goonies)
Adfam Baldwin (Chuck)
Kent McCord (Adam-12)
Elpidia Carrillo (Seven Pounds)
In 1997, Los Angeles is suffering from both a heat wave and a turf war between heavily armed Colombian and Jamaican drug cartels. A Predator watches a shootout between the police and Colombians, observing as Lieutenant Michael R. Harrigan charges into the firefight to rescue two wounded officers and drive the Colombians back into their hideout.
While the police wait for a federal task force, the Predator crashes through a skylight and assaults the Colombians. Against orders, Harrigan and his police detectives Leona Cantrell and Danny Archuleta enter the hideout. They find the Colombians have been slaughtered. Harrigan pursues the crazed gang leader onto the roof and shoots him. He catches a glimpse of the camouflaged Predator, but dismisses it as an effect of the heat and his Acrophobia. At the station, Harrigan is reprimanded by his superiors for his disobedience. He is then introduced to Special Agent Peter Keyes, leader of the task force investigating the cartels, and Detective Jerry Lambert, the newest member of Harrigan’s team.
Later that evening, several Jamaican cartel members enter the Colombian drug lord’s penthouse. After they ritualistically murder him, the Predator kills them all. Harrigan’s team enter the penthouse where they find the Jamaicans’ skinned corpses suspended from the rafters, noting the similarity to the earlier Colombian massacre. Keyes arrives and kicks Harrigan’s team out. Archuleta later returns to continue investigating. He finds one of the Predator’s speartip weapons in an air conditioning vent, but is then killed by the Predator. Harrigan vows to bring down Danny’s killer, believing they are dealing with an assassin. Forensic scientist Dr. Irene Edwards finds the speartip does not correspond to any known element on the periodic table. Seeking answers, Harrigan meets with Jamaican drug-lord King Willie, a voodoo practitioner, in an alley. King Willie tells Harrigan that the killer is supernatural, and that he should prepare himself for battle against him. Harrigan, even more puzzled, leaves the alley, and the Predator kills King Willie, whose head is made into a trophy; from thereon the creature begins to trail Harrigan.
Harrigan and his team hear about King Willie’s death. Dr. Edwards tells them that she found some blood that came from the slaughter house where Keyes was last seen. Harrigan tells his team to meet him at the slaughter house to investigate. Cantrell and Lambert take the subway to rendezvous with Harrigan, but get involved in a mugging on the subway until the Predator attacks them and the other armed passengers. Cantrell herds the passengers to safety while Lambert faces off against the Predator and is killed. The Predator prepares to kill Cantrell, but releases her after a quick visual scan of her body reveals that she is pregnant. Arriving on the scene, Harrigan chases the Predator but is stopped by Keyes’ men. Keyes reveals that the killer is an extraterrestrial hunter with infrared vision that uses active camouflage and has been hunting humans for sport throughout armed conflicts, the recent one referring to previous events in Central America. Keyes and his team have set a trap in a nearby slaughterhouse, using thermally insulated suits and cryogenic weapons in an attempt to capture him for study.
When the Predator arrives, the trap is sprung. However, the Predator uses his mask to scan through various electromagnetic wavelengths, locates and slaughters the team. Keyes is wounded, but Harrigan attacks the Predator, wounds him and removes his mask. The Predator kills Keyes with a throwing disc and chases Harrigan to a roof. Harrigan knocks him over the side and finds himself on a narrow ledge with the Predator hanging below. The Predator activates the self-destruct device on his forearm. Harrigan grabs the throwing disc and severs the forearm, rendering the device harmless. The Predator falls through an apartment window, treats his wounds and flees through the building.
Harrigan follows him down an elevator shaft and finds a spacecraft in an underground chamber. Inside the ship, the two face off in a final duel, and Harrigan finally kills the Predator with the throwing disc. Several other Predators appear, collecting their dead comrade, and one of them presents Harrigan with an antique flintlock pistol as a trophy. Harrigan escapes from the ship as it takes off and reaches the surface just as the remainder of Keyes’ team arrives. Harrigan knows that the creatures will return and continue to hunt on Earth as they have done for centuries.
This movie has more Predator. It also greatly expanded the Predator universe and franchise. It introduced a whole new bunch of Pred weapons, tactics and behavior which never ever seemed out of place and were perfect fits. It explored their race further. The urban  setting contrasts against the previous jungle setting and is a major plus for this movie. This movie was also extremely realistic and gory. All in all, this movie is fantastic.

REVIEW: THE BAD PACK

 

CAST

Robert Davi (The Goonies)
Roddy Piper (They Live)
Ralf Moeller (Conan)
Larry B. Scott (The Karate Kid)
Shawn Huff (Christmas Trade)
Patrick Dollaghan (The Rapture)
Brent Huff (Chasing Beauty)
Marshall R. Teague (Armageddon)
Daniel Zacapa (The River)
Jeep Swenson (Batman & Robin)
Sven-Ole Thorsen (Gladiator)
Vernon Wells (Power Rangers Time Force)
Cristian Crocker-Reilly (The Other F Word)
Clifton Collins Jr. (Westworld)

001136_37Everyone once in a great while, a B-movie comes along that redefines and distinguished the often dismissed sub-genre. The case in point is The Bad Pack, an action movie starring a number of familiar faces for aficionados of this kind of entertainment.  After repeated violations to their people and property, two villagers travel from Mexico to Los Angeles in an effort to hire a former commando and his band of mercenaries to fight back against a local militia. The immigrants in the Texas border town are down to their last hope, when McCue (Robert Davi) and his men (Roddy Piper, Ralph Moeller, Larry B. Scott) bring their technical expertise and strength to combat the volatile situation.hqdefaultDirector Brent Huff stages the film with energy and has the sense to cast under-rated talents in key roles. The cast is headlined by Robert Davi, who normally portrays villains, but makes for an appealing hero. B-Movie mainstay Marshall R. Teague is the dastardly head of the formidable Militia. The Bad Pack is The Expendables a decade before the latter reinvigorated the sagging careers of its participants. Unlike that film, The Bad Pack has been made on a limited budget, but every cent has been squeezed to present the best possible product on-screen.

 

REVIEW: CENTER OF THE WEB

CAST

Robert Davi (The Goonies)
Chaerlene Tilton (Dallas)
Ted Prior (Deadly Prey)
Bo Hopkins (The Wild Bunch)
William Zipp (Future Force)
Charles Napier (The Silence of The Lambs)
Tony Curtis (The Defiant Ones)

UntitledJohn Phillips (Prior) is just a simple acting teacher. When he is mistaken for a hired killer by some bad guys, a conspiracy begins to unfold. It seems there are a group of people planning to assassinate the Governor of Alabama (we were able to piece that together because this AIP production, like Raw Nerve (1991), was shot in Alabama, and the local paper, the “City Press” announced there was going to be a “Governor’s Convention” on its front page). Phillips is confused, and even more so when Justice Department agent Richard Morgan (Davi) wants him to continue playing the part of “John Logan” so he can ensnare the rest of the nefarious organization and prevent the assassination. Add to that Phillips’ lawyer/girlfriend Katherine (Tilton) who is trying to help him but gets swept up in the confusion, especially when Alessandro (Hopkins) is poking around wanting answers. And where do Stephen Moore’s (Curtis) true loyalties lie?klmlkmlmNeedless to say, there are many, many twists and turns and you don’t know who is double-crossing who. Sure, a lot of it doesn’t make much sense but who is really monitoring this very closely? It appears that Center of the Web was one of AIP’s attempts at striving for better. They were obviously trying to move away from junkiness and do something a little classier. For the most part, we would say they were successful, if the goal was something less silly. But is that what people really want? The weirdest thing about this AIP film was its pacing. It seemed weird and offbeat, perhaps not on purpose. Hard to say.fgefwegewrgwergThe stand-out scene in the film is the one and only action/stunt sequence. We won’t spoil it, you’ll know it when you see it. It’s actually very impressive. For a more “mature” AIP experience, try Center of the Web.

 

REVIEW: RAW DEAL

CAST

Arnold Schwarzenegger (The Terminator)
Kathryn Harrold (The Slender)
Darren McGavin (Riverboat)
Sam Wanamaker (Wild Justice)
Paul Shenar (Scarface)
Steven Hill (The Firm)
Joe Regalbuto (Murphy Brown)
Robert Davi (Maniac Cop 2)
Sven-Ole Thorsen (Mallrats)
Ed Lauter (Cujo)
Dick Durock (Swamp Thing)
Leon Rippy (Stargate)

On December 16, 1985, in a remote wooded cabin, a mob informant is under protection by the FBI. They are ambushed by a hit squad who brutally slaughter the bodyguards and the witness. One of the agents killed is Blair Shannon, son of FBI Agent Harry Shannon (Darren McGavin), who vows revenge. After capturing a man posing as a motorcycle cop, small-town sheriff Mark Kaminsky (Arnold Schwarzenegger) goes home to his alcoholic wife Amy (Blanche Baker), who resents what their lives have been reduced to and in a drunken fit throws a cake at him. Kaminsky once worked for the FBI, but five years ago he brutally beat a suspect who “molested, murdered, and mutilated” a young girl. He was given the option to “resign or be prosecuted” by ambitious prosecutor Marvin Baxter (Joe Regalbuto), who is now Special Federal Prosecutor heading up a committee investigating the dealings of Luigi Patrovita (Sam Wanamaker), the strongest of the Chicago Outfit Dons.Shannon calls Kaminsky in with an unsanctioned and possibly illegal assignment: to infiltrate Patrovita’s organization and “tear it up”. Harry cannot do anything officially, and the FBI has a leak who has been getting agents killed, which is why Kaminsky must go in secret. Harry dangles the prospect of Kaminsky being reinstated with the FBI, leading to Kaminsky faking his own death in a chemical plant explosion and posing as convicted felon Joseph P. Brenner. He manages to get an audience with Patrovita’s right-hand man Paulo Rocca (Paul Shenar), and convinces them of his worth by harassing Martin Lamanski (Steven Hill), a rival mob boss who is trying to move in on his former boss Patrovita’s territory. While at Patrovita’s casino, hidden in a basement level of a high class hotel, he makes the acquaintance of Monique (Kathryn Harrold), who works for Rocca’s top lieutenant Max Keller (Robert Davi).Kaminsky continues to work his way into the good graces of the Patrovita family, including devising a plan that recovers $100 million of heroin and cash seized by the feds from one of Patrovita’s hideouts and simultaneously assisting in Lamanski’s assassination. Keller isn’t convinced that ‘Brenner’ is who he says and manages to find proof of the deception, showing Kaminsky’s photo to a police informant who previously arrested the real Brenner. The leak the FBI has been looking for is revealed to be Baxter, who is forced to stay close to Patrovita. Kaminsky accompanies Keller to a cemetery for a hit job, but discovers that the target is Harry Shannon, which causes him to blow his cover. Kaminsky and Shannon manage to kill Keller and another hit man, but Shannon is severely wounded in the exchange.Kaminsky escapes, assisted by Monique (who has grown fond of him). He tells her to go to the airport and wait for him. He then suits up, gathers an arsenal of firearms and raids one of Patrovita’s gravel pits, killing everyone (to the tune of “Satisfaction” by the Rolling Stones) and stealing a large amount of drug money. He then sets off for Patrovita’s casino, where he embarks on a killing spree, single-handedly wiping out all his soldiers, including the men directly responsible for the murder of Blair and his fellow FBI agents. Rocca and Patrovita retreat to a back room, but Rocca is cut down in a barrage of gunfire. Patrovita flees into an office pleading for his life, but Kaminsky mercilessly guns him down. On his way out, he encounters a whimpering Baxter and offers him a gun with the same line Baxter gave him five years earlier: “Resign, or be prosecuted. Any way you want it.” Kaminsky starts to walk off, and when Baxter attempts to shoot him, Kaminsky turns and shoots Baxter dead in self-defense. After driving to the airport, Kaminsky hands a duffel bag containing $250,000 in cash to Monique and gets her on a chartered plane, telling her she is free and can start a new life with no obligations to anyone.The epilogue shows Kaminsky visiting Shannon, who was crippled as a result of the gunshot wound to his back and has been refusing any therapy or rehabilitation. Kaminsky has been reinstated into the FBI, and his reunion with Amy has now led to her being pregnant. Kaminsky wants Shannon to be godfather to the child, but only if Shannon will attempt to walk. Shannon cannot walk easily at first and angrily asks Kaminsky to leave him be, but then Kaminsky tells Shannon he must show the same strength that made him a good father to Blair. Inspired by the love for his son and his gratitude to Kaminsky, Shannon makes a strong effort and eventually manages to walk a few feet on his own, embraced by a smiling Kaminsky.ttytytytyty.pngThis movie gives you everything you want to see in a true action movie from the Hero at his weakest to his strongest. Typically, action movies aren’t awarded Oscars because the character development is poor. Most of the characters die before you really get to know them in some of the films we see. In this film, Arnold accomplishes character development as well as action in the same movie. Although, some of the characters are stereotypical gangsters, his interaction with them helps solidify their presence in the movie. The movie does rank in the same category as Commando but if you love watching his movies, then this one should be a real treat!

REVIEW: KILL THE IRISHMAN

CAST

Ray Stevenson (Punisher Warzone)
Vincent D’Onofrio (Daredevil)
Vinnie Jones (Arrow)
Val Kilmer (Batman Forever)
Christopher Walken (The Prophecy)
Linda Cardellini (Avengers: Age of Ultron)
Tony Dartrow (The Sopranos)
Robert Davi (The Goonies)
Fionnula Flanagan (Yes man)
Bob Gunton (Daredevil)
Laura Ramsey (The Covenant)
Paul Sorvino (Goodfellas)
Mike Starr (Radio Days)

In 1960, Danny Greene and his childhood friends Billy McComber and Art Sneperger are longshoremen at the Cleveland docks. Meanwhile, the members are exploited by corrupt union boss, Jerry Merke and the leadership of the ILA union urges Greene to run against him. Meanwhile, Sneperger can’t pay a gambling debt to Cleveland Mafia Capo John Nardi. In return for Sneperger’s debt being forgiven, Greene supplies Nardi’s crew with goods stolen from the docks. Merke finds out, demands a cut of Greene’s profits, and then sends an enforcer to kill him. Instead, Greene beats up the enforcer, then beats up Merke, throws the union leader out of his office, and is later elected union president. He improves the working conditions at the docks while continuing his dealings with Nardi.Greene’s corruption is exposed by the Plain Dealer newspaper and Cleveland Police Detective Joe Manditski, who grew up with Greene in Collinwood, arrests him. Bankrupt and facing prison, Greene plea bargains to lesser charges in return for becoming an FBI informant and being banned for life from organized labor. Greene is released and moves his unhappy wife and daughters back to Collinwood. Nardi gets him work as an enforcer for Hungarian Jewish loan shark Shondor Birns, and later helps pitch a deal to Mafia Capo Jack Licavoli: Greene will force the city’s garbage haulers to join the union Licavoli controls. Greene, McComber, Sneperger, and ex-Hells Angel Keith Ritson terrorize many into joining, but Greene’s friend Mike Frato refuses. Licavoli orders Greene to kill Frato, but Greene balks because Frato has ten children. Nardi tells him privately, though, that, “You wanted to play in the big leagues. Sometimes you have to do things you don’t wanna do.”As Greene prepare’s to kill Frato with a car bomb, he learns from the FBI that Sneperger has returned to gambling, and has become an informant for Manditsky. That night, Greene assigns Sneperger to set the bomb under Frato’s car and presses the detonator as he does it. An enraged Frato later shoots at Greene in a park. Greene returns fire, kills Frato, and is arrested for murder, but released after Frato’s driver tells Manditski that Greene acted in self-defense. Having had enough, Greene’s long suffering wife leaves him and takes the children. Greene sees his elderly Irish neighbor, Grace O’Keefe, being evicted. He intervenes, pays her rent, and she gratefully gives him her father’s gold Celtic cross to wear for protection. Greene begins to use his money and connections to help other Irish-Americans in need, and earns the nickname “The Robin Hood of Collinwood”.Greene wants to open his own restaurant, and asks Shondor Birns to help him. Birns arranges a $70,000 loan from the Gambinos, but Birns’ courier buys cocaine with the money and gets arrested. Birns and Greene argue over which of them should pay back the money; when Greene refuses to pay, Birns hires a hitman to kill him. Greene narrowly escapes, and later kills Birns with a car bomb. After Mafia boss John Scalish dies, both Nardi and Licavoli are considered for succession. Licavoli is chosen due to his closer ties to the Five Families and decides to charge Greene 30% “street tax” for doing business in Cleveland. Greene refuses to pay, crudely mocks Licavoli’s Italian heritage, and vows, “The Irishman’s in business for himself now.” An outraged Licavoli has Greene’s house blown up, but he survives. He then attempts to demote Nardi and take away his crew, only to have the latter join forces with Greene. Vowing to take over Cleveland together, Greene and Nardi start by organizing the murders of Licavoli’s associates, many of whom are blown up. Thirty-six car bombings occur during the summer of 1976, drawing national attention and humiliating Licavoli. After failing multiple times to kill Greene, Licavoli is forced to humbly ask Genovese boss Anthony Salerno to help him kill Nardi and Greene.Having learned of this from the FBI, Greene claims that he wants to leave Cleveland and buy a ranch in Texas, but needs to raise $2 million. Wishing to size up their enemies, Greene and Nardi travel to New York and invite Salerno to invest in the ranch. After they leave, Salerno orders his associates to hire professional hitman Ray Ferritto to kill them both. Nardi is killed in a car explosion, McComber dies in a bombing at the Cleveland docks, and Ritson is shot near his house. Detective Manditski lets Greene know that a master killer is after him. He offers Greene protection, but is told, “My enemies will be taken care of.” After a dentist’s appointment on October 6, 1977, Greene notices Ferritto driving by slowly, and accepts that he is about to die, giving his gold cross to an admiring boy. Ferritto detonates a bomb on the car next to Greene’s, killing Greene instantly. An epilogue, by Manditski, reveals that the investigation of Danny Greene’s murder led to the collapse of the Mafia, not only in Cleveland, but all over the United States.I’m not a big fan of biopics or mobster films like this.  With that said the film is more fascinating and entertaining than most others of it’s type. The actors are all good and well cast, especially Stevenson. He’s always been a cool action bad ass in films before but here he’s really given a chance to show off his acting abilities and range. His performance combined with Hensleigh’s better than average directing make the film one definitely worth checking out. Probably especially if you’re a fan of the genre.

 

REVIEW: THE GOONIES

 CAST

Sean Astin (Lord of The Rings)
Corey Feldman (The Lost Boys)
Jeff Cohen (Perfect Harmony)
Josh Brolin (Jonah Hex)
Jonathan Ke Quan (The The Temple of Doom)
Kerri Green (Bellyfruit)
Martha Plimpton (Dante’s Inferno)
Anne Ramsey (From Noon Till Three)
Joe Pantoliano (The Matrix)
Robert Davi (Predator 2)
Mary Ellen Trainor (Roswell)
Lupe Ontiveros (Picking Up The Pieces)

Facing foreclosure of their homes in the Goon Docks area of Astoria, Oregon to an expanding country club, a group of children who call themselves “the Goonies”, gather for a final weekend together. The Goonies include optimist Mikey Walsh, his older brother, Brand, the inventive Data, the talkative Mouth, and the overweight klutz Chunk. While rummaging through the Walshes’ attic, they come across a 1632 doubloon and an old treasure map purporting to lead to the famous pirate “One-Eyed” Willy’s hoard located nearby. Evading Brand for one last adventure together, the kids find themselves at a derelict restaurant near the coast, which coincides with the doubloon and the map. They encounter the Fratellis, a family of criminals hiding out at the restaurant. Evading detection by returning outside, the kids run into Brand and two girls: the popular cheerleader Andy, who has a mutual crush on Brand, and Stef, Andy’s nerdy, tough-talking best friend.Mikey convinces Brand to return to the restaurant to explore after the Fratellis leave, discovering that the criminals are running a counterfeiting operation. As the Fratellis return, the group finds a tunnel beneath the restaurant and hides in there, sending Chunk to notify the authorities. They explore the tunnel and find the remains of a previous explorer, who also searched for the treasure, and Mikey is sure they are on the right trail. Evading various booby traps, set up by Willy, they find themselves under an old wishing well. The kids have a chance to be pulled out of the tunnel by Andy’s obnoxious boyfriend Troy, whose family owns the country club, but Mikey convinces the group to continue on their journey. Meanwhile, Chunk, who has escaped the restaurant, tries to flag down several passing cars, but is intercepted and kidnapped by Jake and Francis Fratelli. When the Fratellis threaten to shred his hands with an active blender, a terrified Chunk reveals not only where his friends are, but also the existence of the treasure. The Fratellis tie Chunk to a chair and lock him in the basement next to Sloth, their deformed younger brother kept chained to the wall. While the Fratellis pursue both the Goonies and the treasure, Chunk befriends Sloth, and Sloth is able to break their bonds; they form a third party headed into the tunnel.Mikey and the others discover the Fratellis on their trail, and hasten through the remaining traps. They ultimately find an enclosed grotto and Willy’s pirate ship, the Inferno, which has been sealed in the cave for centuries. They explore the ship, finding a hoard of treasure in front of the skeletal remains of Willy and his crew. Mikey gives a sober speech to Willy, naming him as the first “Goonie”, then he and the others fill their pockets with riches; Mikey insists that the coins directly in front of Willy remain untouched, as Willy’s tribute. As they leave, however, the Fratellis have already caught up with them. They make them drop the treasure before threatening to kill them by forcing them to walk the plank, when suddenly Sloth and Chunk arrive. Sloth, angered by how the other Fratellis have treated him in the past, easily subdues them and helps the rest of the Goonies to escape the boat. Though Mikey insists they go back for the treasure, Brand worries more for their lives, and the group escapes through a hole in the grotto, eventually arriving on a nearby beach shore. Police quickly come to their help and reunite them with their families.Meanwhile, the Fratellis free themselves and begin to loot the boat. When they take the coins that Mikey had left earlier, they trigger another booby trap that causes the grotto to start to cave in. The Fratellis are forced to abandon the loot and flee to the beach, where police quickly take them into custody. As the Goonies are taken care of by their families, including Chunk offering to bring Sloth into his family, the owners of the country club show up and demand that Mr. Walsh sign away their homes and the Goon Docks. As he is about to do so, their housekeeper, Rosalita, finds Mikey’s marble bag in his wet clothes, filled with gems that the Fratellis had neglected to confiscate. Mr. Walsh triumphantly tears up the paperwork, as the gems are more than enough to negate the foreclosure. As the Goonies celebrate, the attention of all on the beach is caught by the sight of the unmanned Inferno, now clear of the grotto, and the Goonies wave her goodbye as she sets off once more upon the sea.Classic fun film for the 80s adventurer in all of us