1/28/2007

The Prophecy: Forsaken (2005)


The Prophecy: Forsaken (2005) -* *

Directed By: Joel Soisson

Starring: Kari Wuhrer, Tony Todd, and Jason Scott Lee












The Prophecy: Forsaken is a step down from Uprising. The problem is that the movie is just too short. There's no reason for this movie to be 75 minutes. It had some good ideas and scenes but it didn't go anywhere.

Kari Wuhrer once again plays Allison. She still has to stop renegade angels from getting the "The Lexicon". This book contains the access to destroy the earth. Jason Scott Lee and Tony Todd play characters who try to stop her.

Kari Wuhrer does a decent job as Allison. Jason Scott Lee was OK. Tony Todd was fun, but he goes over the top.



In the end: It could have been way better. It's worth seeing once just to complete the series.



Comeuppance Review by: Ty

The Prophecy: Uprising (2005)


The Prophecy: Uprising (2005) -* * *

Directed By: Joel Soisson

Starring: Kari Wuhrer, Sean Pertwee, Jason London, and Doug Bradley









The Prophecy: Uprising is surprisingly good.

I don't know why The Prophecy: Uprising was collecting dust on a shelf at Miramax, when this is a pretty decent movie that should've gotten a theatrical release.

You don't have to see the other "Prophecy" movies to watch this one. It stands alone, even though The Prophecy: Forsaken (2005) is the other DTV sequel. Kari Wuhrer is Allison, who finds a bible that can change the world. Sean Pertwee co-stars as Dani, a cop who has a terrible past.



Pertwee is excellent in the role. He presence improves the movie a lot.  Doug Bradley of the Hellraiser movies has a pivotal role in this too. The flashbacks and quick cuts also work very well. Of course, the script is silly sometimes, but that works to its advantage.

Don't be hit by "sequelitis" and pass it by. It's definitely worth seeing.



Comeuppance Review by: Ty

Substitute 4: Failure Is Not An Option (2001)


Substitute 4: Failure Is Not An Option (2001) -*1\2

Directed By: Robert Radler

Starring: Treat Williams, Angie Everhart, Tim Abell, Patrick Kilpatrick, Simon Rhee, and Bill Nunn









This is the weakest entry in the "Substitute" series. The third one is the best.

Karl Thomasson (The Treatster) has to infiltrate (Again! Why does Karl keep doing this?) a white supremacy gang run by Brack (The redundantly named Patrick Kilpatrick) in a military base.

"White Power" is of course uttered. Repeatedly. Can Karl save the base from total Aryan destruction?

This movie is an excellent definition of "Going off the rails". Treat is good as usual, but he can't save the film. Even Angie Everhart's nudity can't save it. It's a disappointment. The action scenes feel rushed and the viewer gets the feeling that no one's heart was in this project.


Bill Nunn makes an appearance as a local weirdo named Luther. He does nothing except beg for our pity. He said yes to the odd role probably as a favor to Williams.

Treat has seen better days. Watch Prince Of The City (1981), Flashpoint (1984), or Handgun (1994) for some better Treats.

Comeuppance Review by: Ty

Substitute 3: Winner Takes All (1999)


Substitute 3: Winner Takes All (1999) -* * *

Directed By: Robert Radler

Starring: Treat Williams, Richard Portnow, and Claudia Christian 










The Substitute 3: Winner Takes All is the best "Substitute" sequel. Karl Thomasson (Williams) is back in action. He (once again) goes undercover to foil a mobster's scheme to give high school students steroids.... and avenge a fellow teacher's brutal beating.

What's great about this sequel is that there's effort put into this. The action scenes are plentiful and Treat handles himself well during the hand-to-hand combat.

The bad guys are over-the-top, and Thomasson's mercenary crew has at least half a dimension. Of course, the movie is weak script-wise, but it overcomes that with the usual professionalism of Treat.



Unfortunately, The Substitute 4: Failure Is Not An Option (2001) is a pretty poor follow-up. Avoid that one.

If you are a Treat completist, watch this. If not, you may or may not enjoy the fun action.

Comeuppance Review by: Ty

1/24/2007

Substitute 2: School's Out (1998)

Substitute 2: School's Out (1998)- * *1\2

Directed By: Steven Pearl

Starring: Treat Williams, Chuck Jeffreys, Eugene Byrd, and B.D. Wong








The Substitute 2 is decent but not as good as the third one. Treat plays Karl Thomasson, a mercenary who infiltrates a school full of ruffians and drug dealers. It's just like the predecessor but cheaper.

I'm one of the biggest Treat Williams fans. I will watch basically anything with him in it (except Miss Congeniality 2). This is a good showcase for him, but the DTV-style script lets him down. B.D. Wong plays the shop teacher - wait for it -who's evil! His role is uneven and underdeveloped. A standout moment is when Karl whips into his bratty students into shape with, what else, a deadly yo-yo! The movie needed more creative ideas like this, but unfortunately there's no funny lines like "No Talking In The Library" to make up for the lack of inventiveness. 

A good tagline could be: "Class Dismissed....Permanently"

If you like DTV Treat, this a good start, but The Substitute 3: Winner Takes All (1999) is the best one of this series.

Comeuppance Review by: Ty

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On Deadly Ground (1994)


On Deadly Ground (1994) -*1\2

Directed By: Steven Seagal

Starring: Steven Seagal, Michael Caine, R. Lee Ermey, Mike Starr, Sven Ole-Thorsen, John C. McGinley, Billy Bob Thornton and Joan Chen









This is it: The downfall of Seagal. He was doing so well! After Under Siege (1992) was a smash hit (A bit overrated in my opinion...) Warner Bros. gave Steve whatever he wanted. Bad move. That's great Seagal cares about the environment, but his fans could care less. They just want to see broken wrists and lame one-liners.

"Forrest Taft" (Of course his name is Forrest because he cares about the 'Enviro now.) is a mysterious and mystical dude who wants to save Alaska. But evil oil baron Michael Jennings (Caine) won't allow that. Now Taft has to fight to save the 49th state of America.

Let's be honest, the script is awful. Here's a classic line: "What does it take to change the essence of a man?" If you think that line is great, don't forget about his "important" 10 minute speech about oil at the end. He should be more concerned about the raging oil slick on the top of his head.

Okay, we all know Seagal can't act, but what about Academy Award Winner Michael Caine as the bad guy.
 You're thinking: "Hey, he'll save this! Right?....Right?" No my friends. No. He goes over the top and never comes back.

This movie did make history though: It's the first time Seagal wore a fringed jacket...it started a revolution in Seagal's wardrobe that  lasted into the new millennium. 




Comeuppance Review by: Ty

1/22/2007

Blood Link (1982)


Blood Link (1982)-* * *

Directed By: Alberto De Martino

Starring: Michael Moriarty and Cameron Mitchell











Blood Link is a suspenseful and pretty scary thriller.

Craig Manning (Moriarty) is a doctor. But for some nights now he's been having horrific visions of murders. It turns out he has a siamese brother (also played by Moriarty) who lives in Hamburg. Craig tracks him down to unravel the mystery.

Blood Link is worth watching for the usual excellent performance by Moriarty. He puts a lot of energy and character into the role. The direction by De Martino is fast-paced and the music by Ennio Morricone is always worth a listen.



In the end: If you can find it, Blood Link is an interesting horror movie worth watching.

Comeuppance Review by: Ty

Death Warrant (1990)


 Death Warrant (1990) -* * *

Directed By: Deran Sarafian

Starring: Jean-Claude Van Damme, Patrick Kilpatrick, Cynthia Gibb, and Robert Guillaume





"I Don't Play and I Don't Puuunnnnnk"







Death Warrant is classic 90's Van Damme. This time around, Louis Burke (Van Damme) is a policeman who goes undercover in a jail to investigate a murder. While inside, he realizes there's not just murder, but corruption. Now he has to high kick and low split his way to justice.



After the weak Lionheart (1990), Van Damme realized that he should take a break from the Kumites, and the Underground Brawls and focus his efforts into a making a fun action pic. The final fight had all the ingredients for the usual Van Climax: Swift, brutal kicks to the face and an action hero trademark, an impaling.

Death Warrant is an undisputed Couch Potato Classic, or CPC for short.




Comeuppance Review by: Ty

1/15/2007

Paper Bullets (2000)


Paper Bullets (2000) -* * *

Directed By: Serge Rodnunsky

Starring: James Russo, Ernie Hudson, and Jeff Wincott









Paper Bullets is another action film by Serge Rodnunsky. He's definitely hit or miss. One of his other films, Jack Of Hearts, is terrible.


John Rourke (Russo) is A Cop On The Edge  who's son is kidnapped. Nothing stands is his way to find him, not his captain (Hudson), fellow cops (including Wincott), Nobody.

The action scenes are well-filmed and the actors do their best with the cliched roles they've been handed. Russo and Hudson are always entertaining.

If you're looking to fill a B-movie addiction, this is a good fix.

Comeuppance Review by: Ty

Jack Of Hearts (2000)


Jack Of Hearts (2000) -*

Directed By: Serge Rodnunsky

Starring: Louis Mandylor, Nick Mancuso, Joe Penny, Roddy Piper, Ben Gazzara, and M. Emmet Walsh






This movie is pretty bad.

The plot: Some guy has a casino and gold is involved or something...I don't know, the editing and pacing are abysmal.

One the director's last movies, Paper Bullets (2000) was a masterpiece compared to this trash. M. Emmet Walsh and Ben Gazzara (They should know better) put in "paycheck" performances at most. The direction, writing, mostly everything about this movie is amateurish.

Don't be fooled by the cool looking cover or goofy tagline:

"Shoot from the hip or don't shoot at all"... It's barely an action movie.

Comeuppance review by: Ty

Final Move (2005)


Final Move (2005) -*1\2

Directed By: Joey Travolta

Starring: Matt Schulze, Lochlyn Munro, Amanda Detmer, David Carradine, Daniel Baldwin and Rachel Hunter










Final Move is a disappointment, especially considering the B-movie cast and director. I have very low standards when it comes to flicks like these.

The plot is: The chess piece killer is at it again. After his last victim, he is caught and sentenced to death. After his execution, the killings don't stop. Which is weird for detective Marlowe (Schulze) who has psychic vision. He teams up with Roman Krieg (Munro) to stop the madness.

Final Move tries hard (too hard) to be a slick mystery-thriller. The opening credits are snazzy, but the opening scene is downright horrible: after the killer murders some woman, he takes off his mask and starts laughing for about ten minutes. You'll see.



David Carradine and Daniel Baldwin don't have a lot of screen time despite their faces on the cover. Schulze is alright, but his best role is in The Transporter (2002) . The explosion near the end is faker than Milli Vanilli's Grammy Award-winning performances. 

Comeuppance Review by: Ty

Undisputed II: Last Man Standing (2006)


Undisputed II: Last Man Standing (2006) -* * *

Directed By: Isaac Florentine

Starring: Michael Jai White, Scott Adkins, and Ben Cross









Undisputed II is an improvement over the original. It has more bone-crunching fights.

Heavy-weight boxing champion George "The Iceman" Chambers (White) is once again thrown in prison after being framed. But the twist is that he's in a Russian jail chock full of stereotypes. The only way to live.....is to fight the reigning champion Boyka (Adkins).



It's a simple plot, but with a lot of setup towards the big fight. There are actually two fights between them though. All the fights are well-choreographed and exciting.

White is a good replacement for Ving Rhames from the first. Adkins plays his bad guy to the hilt. You root for him to get knocked out every second. Ben Cross is on hand as another prisoner. He puts in a good performance also.



The only weak point is the ending. It's too nice. I understand why they did that, but some of the grittiness is lost.

Overall, Undisputed II is worth seeing for the fights and White's performance.

Comeuppance Review by: Ty

1/07/2007

Coffy (1973)


Coffy (1973) -* * *

Directed By: Jack Hill

Starring: Pam Grier, Allan Arbus, and Sid Haig










Coffy is a classic blaxploitation film. Pam Grier stars as the title character.

Coffy is just a mild mannered nurse, but then her sister gets mixed with the drug trade and is hospitalized for contaminated heroin. She turns vigilante and vows to take down all the drug pushers and pimps.

Like "Foxy Brown", Pam Grier is at her best here. She is the perfect heroine: Sexy and willing to kill. All the action sequences are well-shot and entertaining. Sid Haig plays one of villains named "Omar". He does his usual professional work.



Coffy is a fun and gritty picture featuring a killer performance from Grier. Highly Recommended!




Comeuppance Review by: Ty

Art Heist (2004)





Art Heist (2004) -***
Directed By: Bryan Goeres
Starring: William "Billy" Baldwin, Ellen Pompeo, and Ed Lauter










"Art Heist" feels like "The Return of Bruno" CD by Bruce Willis.

I say that because the backup singers do most of the work. Just like William Baldwin, Abel Folk, and Ed Lauter do most of the work. Ellen Pompeo, like Willis, can't carry the heavy load of being the main character (or Singer). The script is a little weak and Pompeo makes it worse, with her dull line readings. Thank the Baldwin God, because William swoops down to save it. He plays Bruce Walker, a loose cannon cop who wants to stop Sandra (Pompeo) from getting too over her head. The action scenes are well filmed and William has dethroned Daniel as the sweatiest Baldwin, which is great!....Don't believe me? Take a look at this....




Don't take "Art Heist" too seriously and you'll have a good time.



Comeuppance Review by: Ty

Crusader (2005)


Crusader (2005) -* * *

Directed By: Bryan Goeres

Starring: Andrew McCarthy, Richard Tyson, Michael York, and Bo Derek










Crusader is another good film from Bryan Goeres. He's 4 for 4 because of this,Art Heist,(2002), Face Of Terror (2004), and Phase IV (2002).

The plot is about Hank Robinson (McCarthy) who is a reporter for a local news station in Spain. He inadvertently gets footage of a massacre at a powerful computer company. After that he is hired to be a top reporter for VisionTV run by Archie McGovern (York). Hank gets assigned other stories by Nicola (Derek) but the story that got him into the big time turns into a battle of deceit, double-crosses and murder.

Andrew McCarthy does a good job, Michael York puts in a fun performance and even Bo Derek is okay.

There's a lot of action and suspense to definitely warrant a rental.




Comeuppance Review by: Ty

Upcoming Reviews

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Links

Links to check out!

The Direct To Video Connoisseur: Awesome Site dedicated to the best of cinema has to offer!

Explosive Action: Excellent DTV Site!

Straight-To-DVD Heaven: Killer Reviews, Check them out!

Dolph Ultimate.com: Dolph!

bmoviecentral:Great site chock full of b-movie goodness.

The Film Fiend
: He knows his stuff about B-Flicks and more! Check It Out!

When the Vietnam War raged... in the Philippines : This site will blow you away!

So Long, VHS
: Amazing Site dedicated to VHS

1/01/2007

Today You Die (2005)

Today You Die (2005) -* * *

Directed By: Don E. FauntLeRoy

Starring: Steven Seagal, Kevin Tighe, Anthony "Treach" Criss, Robert Miano, Mari Marrow, Nick Mancuso, James Lew, Randy Couture, and Chloe Moretz










 

Today You Die is another ridiculous action film from Seagal.

"Harlan Banks" (Seagal) gets a job as a getaway driver for a big casino heist. It turns sour and Harlan goes to jail. In the slammer he meets Ice Cool (Treach, duh) who can help him escape. Meanwhile the brains behind the casino heist think Harlan has the stolen money. When Harlan escapes he dishes out some revenge to the bad guys.

There are many unintentional moments of comedy and here some of the standouts:

1. When Seagal jumps on a chandelier and kicks a goon 20 feet.

2. When Seagal does any fighting they don't show it.(The stunt doubles do all the work).

3. The glaring continuity errors. He punches a guy in a brown coat and then it switches to a black one. He also wears the same button down blue jacket as in Submerged (2005). He refuses to take off his jacket while in prison with Ice Cool. He is the only guy in the entire prison NOT wearing the traditional prison garb.

Here's also a line from the movie: Seagal's girlfriend to Seagal on the phone-: "Why are you whispering?" Genius!



Besides that, Treach and Stevie have some chemistry and the movie is action-packed. See it if you still like Seagal.



Comeuppance Review by: Ty

Grilled (2005)


Grilled (2005)-* * *

Directed By: Jason Ensler

Starring: Ray Romano, Kevin James, Jon Polito, Kim Coates, Michael Rapaport, Juliette Lewis, and Burt Reynolds










Grilled was a pretty funny and suspenseful dark comedy. Ray Romano and Kevin James play meat salesman who are in a slump. If they don't make at least two sales, they're going to be fired.



Ray Romano was really good in this. He doesn't have to wait for a laugh track this time. Kevin James is his usual bumbling self, but he showed that he can be serious also and he pulled it off. You care about their problems. Jon Polito, Juilette Lewis and Michael Rapaport put in funny performances. The two stand-outs are Burt Reynolds and Kim Coates. They take one-dimensional characters and make them interesting.



"Grilled" doesn't deserve a quick death. It's worth watching.

Comeuppance Review by: Ty

Shadow Man (2006)


Shadow Man (2006) -* *

Directed By: Michael Keusch

Starring: Steven Seagal and Imelda Staunton










I'll repeat this again: I like Seagal. But he's not trying anymore. You got the photoshopped head on the covers, retitles every two seconds, and the big man once again shows he's not going to World Gym. I have a Steven Seagal DTV addiction. I need to go to S.S.A. {Steven Seagal Anonymous}.

This time around: Jack Foster (You know the guy I'm talking about) is an ex-cop on a mission to save his daughter from terrorists. Same old, same old.

When Steve was making films with Warner Bros. in the mid 80's-90's, all of his films were professionally made. Now since 2001-present day, his films look terrible. They are shot in Romania or Bucharest or some foreign country with tax breaks. The green screen during the chase scene is horrendous. On the plus side it looks like Seagal laid low on the stunt doubles this time around, and the climax is unintentionally funny.

It's better than Attack Force (2006) but not as good as his DTV peak Belly Of The Beast (2003)

One more thing: You can make some lame jokes as his expense with the title: He's a "Shadow" of his former self, or he casts a big "Shadow". Your choice.

Comeuppance Review by: Ty