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The Extraordinary Adventures of Adèle Blanc-Sec

‘Extraordinary,’ indeed!


Action

Rod Lott
How ironic that un film par Luc Besson — the Frenchman behind such action smashes as the Taken and The Transporter series, among others — would fail to play American theaters, yet that’s what happened with The Extraordinary Adventures of Adèle Blanc-Sec. The 2010 adventure finally sees the light of day on these shores from Shout! Factory; its absence from our multiplexes is not indicative of its quality.
 
Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Bullet to the Head

Action's once more on the Sly.


Action

Rod Lott
Lines of cocaine, tubes of neon, Sylvester Stallone: Is this 1986 or 2013? In his first solo vehicle since his Expendables comeback, Sly shoots for a Bullet to the Head, but the action film only breaks the skin, so to speak.
 
Monday, July 15, 2013

Enter the Dragon: 40th Anniversary Ultimate Collector’s Edition

Enter the greatest martial-arts film in history.


Action

Rod Lott
To karate-chop right to the chase, Enter the Dragon is the martial-arts movie to end all martial-arts movies. This comes as news to no one who has seen and enjoyed it over what now amounts to four decades. To celebrate that milestone, Warner Home Video has reissued it on Blu-ray in a handsome 40th Anniversary Ultimate Collector’s Edition.
 
Friday, June 28, 2013

The Tower

Flame on!


Action

Rod Lott
I have no idea how South Korea was able to get away with not calling The Tower a remake of 1974’s The Towering Inferno. What's important is that it has; this is a terrific disaster epic that marries the gargantuan concepts of the Irwin Allen era with today’s technology.
 
Thursday, June 27, 2013

Jack the Giant Slayer

Fee-fi-fo-fum, why is this movie so darned ho-hum?


Action

Rod Lott
Among the recent wave of the great and powerful fairy-tale flicks, Jack the Giant Slayer may be the truest to its storybook origins, and ironically, the least to live happily after ever at the box office.
 
Saturday, June 22, 2013

Ninja III: The Domination

I give it four (throwing) stars!


Action

Rod Lott
Don't ask why Ninja III: The Domination begins with a ninja assault on a municipal golf course. Just be grateful it does. You also may wonder why its sex scene employs a can of V8: Don't question it. Just lie back and enjoy it.
 
Friday, June 14, 2013

Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters

... and they kicked ass happily ever after.


Action

Rod Lott
A few surprising things about Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters:
• It comes from MTV Films,
• is produced by Will Ferrell,
• and is as fun as its title is dumb.
 
Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Mad Max Trilogy

From the days when one could root for Mel Gibson.


Action

Rod Lott
Prior to Lethal Weapon, Mel Gibson was best-known as the hero of a postapocalyptic Down Under in 1979’s Mad Max, 1981’s The Road Warrior and 1985’s Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome. Blu-rays of each come housed in one of those unnecessary tins via Warner Home Video's new Trilogy set.
 
Saturday, June 8, 2013

This Girl Is Badass

This movie is not.


Action

Rod Lott
In the case of This Girl Is Badass, the young woman in question is bike messenger Jukkalan (Jeeja Yanin, Chocolate). Indeed, she is.
 
Wednesday, June 5, 2013

The Last Stand

Welcome back, Arnie. But that's it?


Action

Rod Lott
Early in The Last Stand, the small-town sheriff played by Arnold Schwarzenegger says, "It's my day off. Should be a quiet weekend." That's the new way of saying, "I've got one week to retirement," because it signals — with flashing neon and everything — that life is going to royally upend those plans.
 
Friday, May 17, 2013

Captain America: Collector’s Edition

He was the big screen’s real ‘First Avenger.’


Action

Rod Lott
Not long after Batman changed Hollywood in the summer of 1989, every studio wanted to have the next comics-based blockbuster. I remember visiting Penn Square Mall’s multiplex (as I did often back then) and seeing a poster for Captain America. The one-sheet was comprised of little more than a close-up of Cap’s iconic shield and a promise to arrive next summer.
 
Thursday, May 16, 2013

Parker

Stark raving average.


Action

Rod Lott
While it's admirable that Parker is dedicated to the memory of Donald E. Westlake, the legendary crime author who wrote two dozen novels about the character under the Richard Stark pen name, this Parker is not his Parker. It's Taylor Hackford's, and the director continues to apply his nondescript, workmanlike touch to average material (see Love Ranch, Ray, Proof of Life, etc.). He neither improves it nor harms it; he simply keeps it afloat.
 
Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Police Story / Police Story 2

Cop a feel.


Action

Rod Lott
Like many, my first exposure to Jackie Chan was through 1981’s The Cannonball Run. That doesn’t count.
 
Wednesday, May 8, 2013

The Big Boss / Fist of Fury / The Way of the Dragon / Game of Death

Bruce is loose ... again!


Action

Rod Lott
Let us now praise a giant of action cinema: Bruce Lee. It seems like a good time, given Shout! Factory’s reissuing of four of the man’s marital-arts titles via a pair of double-feature DVDs: one with 1971’s The Big Boss and 1972’s Fist of Fury, the other with 1972’s The Way of the Dragon and 1978’s partly posthumous Game of Death. In total, that’s three-point-two-five good movies.
 
Monday, May 6, 2013

Dragon

Starring the ever-valuable Yen.


Action

Rod Lott
Ignore the Weinsteins’ needless re-christening of the Hong Kong film Wu Xia as the ever-generic Dragon. The important thing is that director Peter Chan (The Love Letter) has made not only one of the better martial-arts pictures of the new millennium thus far, but one that holds appeal to audiences not attuned to the genre.
 
Tuesday, April 30, 2013
 
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