REVIEW: BROOKLYN’S FINEST

CAST

Richard Gere (Pretty Woman)
Don Cheadle (Iron Man 2)
Ethan Hawke (The Purge)
Wesley Snipes (BLade)
Vincent D’Onofrio (Daredevil)
Brían F. O’Byrne (Flashforward)
Will Patton (Armageddon)
Michael K. Williams (Ghostbusters)
Lili Taylor (The Conjuring)
Shannon Kane (The Originals)
Ellen Barkin (Ocneas Twelve)
Raquel Castro (Jersey Girl)
Sarah Thompson (Angel)
Twany Cypress (Heroes)

Bobby “Carlo” Powers and Detective Salvatore “Sal” Procida are having a conversation in a car when Sal unexpectedly shoots Carlo, grabs a bag of money from Carlo’s lap and flees, then confesses to a priest, asking for help with his dire situation-his wife is pregnant with twins and they live in a house that’stoo small for their four children which has wood mold which jeopardizes his family’s health. Desperate to move, Sal has arranged to purchase a larger home through a woman who owes him a favor. The down payment is due the following Tuesday, and Sal is still short. Sal is a highly skilled and accomplished narcotics detective, but has begun to pocket drug money from raids.
Officer Edward “Eddie” Dugan is a week from retirement after 22 years of unremarkable service to the force. He is assigned to oversee rookies in the tough neighborhoods. His life in shambles; he swills whiskey in the morning to get out of bed and his only friend is Chantal, the prostitute he frequents. Detective Clarence “Tango” Butler is an undercover cop working the drug beat. After losing himself in his role as a drug dealer, he is tired of the kind of attention that a black man in a black car attracts. Having been promised a promotion and a desk job for years, he is finally offered a way out by betraying a close friend Casanova “Caz” Phillips, a known criminal recently released from federal prison. Federal Agent Smith instructs Tango to set up the drug deal that will ensure the arrest of Caz and his return to federal prison.
Eddie’s first rookie assignment is a former Marine, who becomes disgusted with Eddie’s lack of professionalism and cynical outlook, and asks to be reassigned only to be killed on his next assignment. Eddie takes a liking to his second rookie assignment, who then accidentally fires his gun near a teenager during a petty theft investigation causing him to go deaf, leaving the NYPD facing a public relations nightmare. During the investigation, Eddie is remorseful for what happened, but refuses to play along with his superiors’ attempts to imply that the teenager was a drug dealer. When Tango goes to warn Caz to abort their upcoming drug deal, they are ambushed and Caz is shot, under orders from Red, a gangster Tango had humiliated previously. After Agent Smith makes a racist remark and refuses to pursue Red, Tango lunges at her, but is restrained by fellow officers.
Sal’s latest raid on the complex was cancelled, but he decides to go to the location and rob the money he needs for his house. One of his team members, Detective Ronny Rosario, tries to stop him but fails. As he approaches the building, Sal passes Tango, who has come there to kill Red. Sal raids the apartment. After killing three drug dealers and discovering their stockpile of cash, Sal is shot and killed by a young man who became suspicious when he noticed Sal enter the building. Tango gets his vengeance on Red, but is mistaken for a gangster and is shot by Rosario. Only after shooting Tango does Rosario realize he has shot another law officer. Rosario, still determined to stop Sal, is forced to continue his search for him. He witnesses the young man who shot Sal running away from the crime scene and is devastated when he finds Sal’s body in the drug dealers’ apartment.
Eddie retires and visits Chantal, who declines his offer to move to Connecticut. On his way home, Eddie sees a woman, who was reported missing, being shoved into a van. He follows the van to the Van Dyke housing projects, where he locates a sex slave dungeon in the basement. Eddie apprehends one of the men and is confronted by a second one. Eddie tells the second man to get down, but is forced to shoot him in the chest, resulting in a violent fight that ends with Eddie strangling his opponent with a zip tie. Eddie finds redemption by rescuing the missing girls.A steady-paced, involving thriller definitely worth a gander.

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REVIEW: DEMOLITION MAN

CAST

Sylvester Stallone (Rocky)
Welsey Snipes (Blade)
Sandra Bullock (The Heat)
Nigel Hawthorne (Spiderweb)
Benjamin Bratt (Catwoman)
Denis Leary (The Amazing Spider-Man)
Rob Schneider (The Hot Chick)
Bill Cobbs (New Jack City)
Bob Gunton (Daredevil)
Glenn Shadix (Beetlejuice)
Jack Black (Goosebumps)
Jesse Ventura (The Running Man)
Brandy Ledford (Andromeda)

In 1996, psychopathic career criminal Simon Phoenix kidnaps a number of hostages and takes refuge with his gang in an abandoned building. LAPD Sgt. John Spartan uses a thermal scan of the building and finds no trace of the hostages, and leads an unauthorized assault to capture Phoenix. When he is captured, Phoenix sets off a series of explosives that bring down the building, and when the police search the wreckage, they find the corpses of the hostages. Spartan is charged with 30 counts of manslaughter, and he is incarcerated along with Phoenix in the city’s new “California Cryo-Penitentiary”, where they will be cryogenically frozen (the former being sentenced to 70 years, with parole eligibility in 50). During their time “in deep freeze”, they are to be rehabilitated through subconscious conditioning.

During their incarceration, the “Great Earthquake” of 2010 leads the cities of Los Angeles, San Diego, and Santa Barbara to merge into a single metropolis under the name San Angeles. The city becomes a utopia run under the pseudo-pacifist guidance and control of the evangelistic Dr. Raymond Cocteau, where human behavior is tightly controlled. In 2032, Phoenix is woken for a parole hearing, but he finds he somehow knows the access codes to the security systems, and is able to escape the prison and begins wreaking havoc on the city. The police, having not dealt with violent crime for many years, are unable to handle Phoenix and opt to wake Spartan and enlist his help. Spartan is assigned to Lieutenant Lenina Huxley to help with acclimation to the future, which he finds depressing. Others on the police force find his behavior brutish and uncivilized, though Huxley, who is fascinated by the lifestyles of the late 20th century, helps Spartan to overcome this, and the two grow close, despite the limitations on displays of public affection.

They attempt to stop Phoenix from stealing 20th century weapons from a museum display, but Phoenix manages to escape. Phoenix encounters Dr. Cocteau during his escape, and though he tries to shoot him, finds himself unable to do so. Dr. Cocteau calmly asks Phoenix to assassinate Edgar Friendly, the leader of the resistance group called the Scraps that fight against Cocteau’s rule, and allows Phoenix to bring other criminals out of cryo-sleep to help at his request. Meanwhile, Spartan and Huxley review the cryo-prison records and find that instead of the normal rehabilitation program, Phoenix had been given the information necessary for his escape by Cocteau directly. They also discover information directing Phoenix towards Friendly, and go off to warn him.  At the Scraps’ underground base, Friendly is initially distrustful but Spartan is able to convince him of the threat and takes sympathy in their cause given what he has seen above ground. When Phoenix and his gang attack, Spartan and the Scraps ward off the attack, leading to a car chase between Spartan and Phoenix. During the chase, Phoenix taunts Spartan by revealing that he had killed the hostages before Spartan had arrived in 1996. Phoenix escapes while Spartan comes to terms that he had been wrongly charged with the crime. Meanwhile, Friendly and the Scraps work with the police to try to help stop Phoenix and his gang of cryo-cons.

Phoenix returns to Dr. Cocteau with his gang, and as the rehabilitation programming prevents him from killing Cocteau, orders one of his gang to do so. Spartan and Huxley arrive soon after, finding that Phoenix has already left to release more prisoners. Spartan enters the prison alone to fight Phoenix, engages in a violent fight that ravages the facility, and eventually uses the cryogenic chemical to freeze Phoenix before shattering him. Spartan escapes the prison before it explodes and regroups with the police and the Scraps. The police fear the loss of Cocteau will send their society into a downward spiral, but Spartan suggests that they and the Scraps work together to recreate a society that returns some of the personal freedoms that were lost. He then kisses Huxley and the two go off together.Demolition Man is brilliant action packed movie, just what you would expect from a Stallone, or even a Wesley Snipes movie. A treat for fans of both stars or just action and/or sci-fi fans in general and with just the right mixture of comedy and action i highly recommend it to all!

REVIEW: MONEY TRAIN

CAST

Wesley Snipes (Blade)
Woody Harrelson (The Hunger Games)
Jennifer Lopez (Jersey Girl)
Robert Blake (The Restless Gun)
Chris Cooper (The Kingdom)
Joe Grifasi (The Deer Hutner)
Scott Sowers (Under Siege 2)
Skipp Sudduth (The Cherry Orchard)
Vincent Pastore (Revolver)
Jeremy Roberts (The Mask)
Enrico Colantoni (Veronica Mars)
Flex Alexander (One on One)

Image result for money train (1995)On Christmas, we meet foster brothers John and Charlie. They work as transit cops patrolling the New York City subway. When a mugging occurs, John and Charlie chase the mugger into a subway tunnel, and all trains traveling in their direction are halted. But their harsh transit captain Donald Patterson, allows the money train to continue. John and Charlie avoid getting hit by the train; however, when transit police at the next station witness the mugger running toward the money train, they shoot him dead. The mugger is revealed to be a young teenage boy, which triggers a brawl between John, Charlie, and the other transit officers. Patterson blames the two for causing his money train to arrive late.Image result for money train (1995)Charlie asks John to borrow $300 to buy a Christmas present, but Charlie instead uses the money to pay off some of his gambling debts to the sleazy night club owner Mr. Brown. Brown intends to have Charlie killed by throwing him off a building, but John bursts in and interrupts, telling Brown that he has the money Charlie owes him. Brown reveals to John that Charlie is $15,000 in debt, so John offers to have the money delivered in a few days. Brown accepts and lets Charlie live. During their night shift, John and Charlie are introduced to Grace Santiago, a decoy transit officer newly assigned to their unit. Both brothers immediately take a liking to her. During their patrol, a serial killer known as the Torch robs a token booth and sets it on fire. John and Charlie rescue the booth worker and put out the fire, but the Torch manages to escape.Image result for money train (1995)At a local bar, Charlie reveals a plan to rob the money train in order to pay off their debts, but John, judging the caper impossible, rejects the idea. Later that night, the two brothers and Grace are assigned to patrol the money train. As Charlie discovers a grate in the floor and a ladder leading to Central Park, a brawl breaks out between John and another officer, quickly involving the entire squad. Patterson again blames the two for the incident and also accuses them of taking some train money, but even after it is found that a collection agent miscounted, Patterson continues to insult them. At the bar, Charlie tells John that the best time to rob the money train would be on New Year’s Eve because of looser subway security and because the subway makes the most money on that date: up to $500,000. The plan involves entering the train through the metal grate when the train has stopped, driving it to the maintenance ladder, and escaping into Central Park. John remains reluctant to attempt the theft. John gives Charlie the $15,000 he needs to pay back Mr. Brown, but on the train, Charlie loses it to a thief. He goes to Brown to explain but is brutally beaten by his men. When Charlie comes back home, he looks at John’s house from his window and he sees Grace and John sleeping together. Charlie later tells John that he’s happy for him, but he’s clearly saddened by Grace’s rejection. To nab Torch, an ambush is arranged for which Grace is disguised as an attendant at a station token booth. Torch notices this and, to distract the police, pushes a man in front of a moving train, killing him. Torch sprays gasoline on Grace, but before he can light it, Charlie alerts the other officers, who shoot at Torch. John pursues him into another station, where they fight. Torch is burned by the gasoline he’s carrying and pushed under a moving train, killing him. Patterson fires Charlie for ruining the ambush, and when John tries to defend Charlie, he’s fired as well.Image result for money train (1995)John then heads to the strip club of the mobsters who beat up his brother and were threatening him for failing to pay up his gambling debts and, after storming inside, beats them all up utilizing his Kung-Fu skills,  including knocking down the criminal boss of the organization, Brown, with a 360-degree kick.Image result for money train (1995)Charlie decides to go ahead with his robbery plan. John is reluctant to do anything about this, but Grace persuades him to save Charlie from trouble. When the money train stops at one of the stations, Charlie enters the train from beneath and drives it to the maintenance ladder, but he can’t escape with the money due to the presence of a group of policemen. Meanwhile, John reaches the train and persuades Charlie to drive further to prevent their arrest. Knowing that Patterson will direct his team to trip the train’s brakes, the duo bleeds the brakes. Patterson then orders a steel barricade erected to stop the train, but John increases the speed of the money train to its maximum so that it smashes through the barricade. Transit control officer Kowalski declares the money train a runaway and starts clearing tracks, but Patterson diverts the money train onto a track occupied by a passenger train to keep it from having a clear path, putting innocent people at grave risk. The money train rams into the passenger train and then slows down, but speeds up again because it’s in full throttle and rams the train again. It repeatedly keeps ramming the passenger train with the increasing risk of derailing it and killing everyone on board.Image result for money train (1995)Since the money train now had no braking power and the throttle lever is jammed at full power, the brothers decide to throw it into reverse, derailing it and killing both of them but allowing the passengers to live. Charlie comes up with an idea and positions an iron bar in such a way that when the money train rams the other train once more, the bar trips the reverse lever. Both of them climb on top of the train and proceed to the front. When the trains collide one more time, the reverse lever is activated and both brothers jump across to the other train as the money train derails tumbles around several times knocking over several support beams (much to the horror of Patterson who witnesses the whole crash) before finally screeching to a stop on its side just before the station.Image result for money train (1995)The brothers try to escape during the commotion but are spotted by Patterson. They pretend to have come to help him, but Patterson rudely insults them. Fed up with his constant abuse, the brothers punch him in the face. As he shouts out to his team to arrest them for assault, Grace comes rushing in and arrests Patterson for endangering the lives of the people on the passenger train. When the two brothers exit the station, they are in Times Square as the countdown for the New Year begins. During the celebration, John realizes Charlie is carrying a money bag containing over $500,000, much to his dismay. The film ends with John and Charlie walking into the distance arguing over the money.Image result for money train (1995)Snipes and Harrelson look like they’re having a ball in this fast paced action caper. It’s a fun ride with plenty of action so I enjoyed it for what it was.

REVIEW: WHITE MEN CAN’T JUMP

 

CAST

Wesley Snipes (Blade)
Woody Harrelson (Zombieland)
Rosie Perez (Pineapple Express)
Tyra Ferrell (Jingle Fever)
Cylk Cozart (Eraser)
Kadeem Hardison (Cult)
Ernest Harden Jr. (J.Edgar)
Duane Martin (The Faculty)
Walter Jones (Mighty Morphin Power Rangers)

Billy Hoyle is a former college basketball player who makes his living by hustling streetballers that assume he cannot play well because he is white. Billy never degrades his race when joining on pickup games; he simply allows his African American opponents to falsely believe they have a natural advantage over him. Such a player is Sidney Dean, a talented but arrogant player who is beaten twice by Billy, once in a half-court team game and later in a one-on-one shootout for money.

Billy and his Hispanic girlfriend Gloria Clemente are on the run from out-of-state mobsters because of a gambling debt. A voracious reader, making note of obscure facts, Gloria’s goal in life is to be a contestant on the television show Jeopardy! and make a fortune. Sidney wants to buy a house for his family outside the rough Baldwin Village, Crenshaw District neighborhood of Los Angeles. He talks Billy into a partnership and they hustle other players. When they unexpectedly lose a game, it turns out that Sidney has double-crossed Billy by deliberately playing badly alongside him, making Billy lose $1,700 to a group of Sidney’s friends.

Gloria is incensed at Billy for blowing his money again and is also suspicious of how it happened. They go to Sidney’s apartment and appeal to his wife Rhonda for fairness, and the women agree to share the money provided Sidney and Billy team up for a major two-on-two outdoor tournament. While they bicker incessantly, Sidney and Billy win the grand prize of $5,000, largely due to Billy’s ability to disrupt his opponents’ concentration. Billy’s most notable claim is that he is “in the zone”, a state of mind in which nothing can distract him. Sidney is pleased with the outcome, yet he cannot help mocking Billy about his inability to slam dunk. “White men can’t jump,” he notes. Billy insists that he can indeed dunk, and after Sidney clearly disagrees, Billy offers to bet his share of the $5,000 on his ability to dunk. Sidney gives him three chances. Billy fails, losing his share. When he tells Gloria, she leaves him. Sidney reveals that he has a friend who works as a security guard at the TV studio that produces Jeopardy! The friend, Robert, agrees to use his connections to get her on the show if Billy can sink a hook shot from beyond the half-court line, which he does. Gloria initially stumbles over sports questions (such as naming Babe Ruth as the all-time NBA rebound leader), but makes a comeback with a pet topic, “Foods That Begin With the Letter Q.” She wins $14,100 on her first episode.

Billy sings Gloria a song he has composed and wins her back. As Billy’s life comes together, this time it is Sidney who needs Billy’s help; his home is burglarized and his winnings stolen, so he and Rhonda become desperate for money. Gloria expects Billy to get a steady job and settle down, but Sidney asks him to play basketball for money again and use his share of Gloria’s take. Gloria warns that if Billy gambles with her money they are through. Billy feels he must honor the obligation he owes Sidney for getting Gloria on Jeopardy! in the first place. They play a final game against two hoops legends of the L.A. scene, “The King” and “Duck.” In a very tight game, Sidney and Billy prevail, the winning points coming when Sidney lobs an “alley-oop” pass to Billy, who dunks it. Returning home happy, Billy discovers Gloria has kept her word and left him for good. He is crushed. The mobsters who are after Billy track him down, and he pays off his debts. Billy asks Sidney to set him up with a real job. Billy says that Gloria has left him many times, but this time is final; Sidney remarks that they may be better off without each other. Billy launches into yet another basketball argument with Sidney, and they return to where they began—but, this time, as friends.

Really good partnership between Snipes and Harrelson, even if you don’t like basket ball you will love this.

REVIEW: BLADE 1,2 & 3

 

CAST

Wesley Snipes (Demolition Man)
Stephen Dorff (Brake)
Kris Kristofferson (The Jacket)
N’Bushe Wright (Dead Presidents)
Donal Logue (Gotham)
Udo Kier (Ace Ventura)
Traci Lords (Zack & Miri Make a Porno)
Tim Guinee (Iron Man)
Sanaa Lathan (The Cleveland Show)
Kenny Johnson (Bates Motel)
Judson Scott (Star Trek II)
Jenya Lano (Mutant X)

Stephen Norrington’s 1998 release “Blade” (based on the Marvel comic character) is the film that arguably lead to the recent trend of comic-book movies. It’s success (along with that of “X-Men”) caused people to do something they always should have- take comics seriously as an art form and a medium for storytelling. The film is an incredible, Gothic ride with great performances and unique visuals, and should be seen by any fan of action, horror or film in general. Blade (Wesley Snipes) is a half-human, half-vampire. His mother was bitten while pregnant, and his blood was infected by the vampire virus, granting him some vampire-like powers (such as inhuman strength), although he also suffers from “The Thirst”- the vampire’s natural need to feast on human blood, which he combats using treatments and serums, almost like a drug addict. Blade and his mentor Whistler (Krist Kristofferson) spend their nights hunting and killing vampires who feed on the humans.

At the same time, a vampire named Deacon Frost (Stephen Dorf) is plotting to overthrow the noble heads of the various vampire clans, and using them as sacrifices to bring about “La Magra” a vampyric blood-god, to destroy humanity and grant himself untold power. Blade and Whistler (along with help from a pathologist played by N’Bushe Wright) must figure out a way to stop Frost’s deadly plans before he wipes out all of humanity. The film is truly dark and Gothic. Norrington’s direction sets an ominous and deadly mood, and the visuals are all well-crafted. The score by Mark Isham is tragic and melancholy, with some nice techno-y action music thrown in for good measure.Acting is generally good (though Dorf does get a little hammy at times) and everything meshes quite well. The action is great, It is the bloodiest of the three movies, and has a lot of gore, which actually almost took me “out” of the movie a few times- some scenes felt campy with the sheer amount of carnage and goo being flung at the screen.

 

CAST

Wesley Snipes (Demolition Man)
Kris Kristofferson (The Jacket)
Ron Perlman (Hellboy)
Leonor Varela (Monsterwolf)
Norman Reedus (The Walking Dead)
Thomas Kretschmann (Dracula)
Luke Goss (Hellboy II)
Matt Schulze (The Fast and The Furious)
Danny John-Jules (Red Dwarf)
Donnie Yen (Highlander: Endgame)
Karel Roden (Orphan)
Marit Velle Kile (The Girl In The Cafe)

The sequel, also scripted by David S. Goyer, has half-vampire Blade returning to his fight against his vampire foes. Soon after the film opens, he’s reunited with his former mentor, Whistler (Kris Kristofferson), who was captured by the vampires. During an early attack, Blade finds out that the vampires actually want a truce in order to have him lead a band of warriors to wipe out a new breed of vampires called “Reapers”, who want to attack both vampires and humans.

Director Norrington approached the original film with a crisp, cold feel that actually aided the drama – the story was more involving because the characters were played with such perfect seriousness. Del Toro goes a different way, but one that’s still equally involving – the sequel doesn’t take itself quite so seriously, but still remains serious enough so that the story has punch and remains engaging. The sequel is a little less dark visually as well as a lot more graphic in terms of the violence, too.

The acting is again quite good in the sequel. Going with the overall tone, Snipes remains serious, but there’s also a few more moments of underplayed humor here. Fine in supporting roles are Ron Perlman (“Alien: Resurrection”), Norman Reedus (“The Walking Dead”) and Lenor Varela(“Stargate:Atlantis”). The film delivers almost continuous action, moves along at a crisp pace, delivers a few surprises and provides the visuals and performances that fans were expecting. Again, I must praise director Del Toro, cast and crew for delivering a sequel that at least partially surpasses an original film.

 

CAST

Wesley Snipes (Demolition Man)
Kris Kristofferson (The Jacket)
Dominic Purcell (Legends of Tomorrow)
Jessica Biel (The A-Team)
Ryan Reynolds (Deadpool)
Parker Posey (Superman Returns)
Mark Berry (Quiet as Kept)
John Michael Higgins (Still waiting…)
Callum Rennie (Flashforward)
Triple H (Inside Out)
Paul Anthony (American Mary)
Francoise Yip (Smallville)
James Remar (The Shannara Chronicles)
Natasha Lyonne (American Pie)
Patton Oswalt (Two and a Half Men)
Christopher Heyerdahl (Sanctuary)

I must say that going into seeing Blade: Trinity I was not expecting a masterpiece, I merely wanted to be entertained by this movie. With that said, it did a pretty decent job. People can criticize this film with having a thin plot, being corny at point.


Aa group of vampires bring back Dracula to help combat Blade, while they also get Blade to the top of the FBI’s most wanted, now Blade needs help of his own, this comes from a group of new young vampire stalkers. The newest additions, Ryan Renyolds and Jessica Biel, do their jobs pretty well. I must say that Renyolds had me laughing almost any time he was on screen. Biel was very nice to look at, she is just incredibly beautiful, and she does well considering the lines she is given. Paul Levesque, better known as Triple H makes a decent debut, He had some funny parts, but really I can’t see how his job was that hard considering his role was to beat people up, and that’s what he gets paid to do for the WWE so it’s not a real stretch. Well overall the supporting cast did a good job and kept me entertained.

Much of the work was very well done in this film, Snipes is his usual acrobatic self and disposes of vampires in interesting ways while showing off his martial arts skills.  Biel did some nice fight scenes to.  It was a fun movie to watch just for the action, and comedy of Renyolds.

Theres an unrated edition with a new ending

The body retrieved by the FBI is Blade’s, but he’s not really dead. Drake’s body is nowhere to be seen, hinting at his survival. At the morgue, Blade sits up abruptly, attacks the FBI agents, and appears ready to bite a nurse on the neck. The ending is ambiguous as to whether Blade has retained his humanity or given in to his vampire thirst as Drake predicted. This is the ending seen on the director’s cut of the film, and commentary on the DVD indicates it was the ending director Goyer intended.