Drive Hard to write full throttle action

Chad and Evan Law are a pair of talented brothers and the awesome writing team behind some of my favourite (and I feel strongest) DVD action movies in recent years, including Hero Wanted, The Hit List, One in the Chamber, Six Bullets and the forthcoming Daylight’s End. They recently worked on a new feature called Drive Hard, which we’ll discuss in a moment. Their writing is tight, well structured and takes screenplays in an ambitious direction most lower budget action projects avoid altogether and …

The Raid 2 is an action-packed gangster epic

I love The Raid. The neat, compact, tightly constructed original was slick, refined and relentless with tension. Plus, it gave an overwhelming sense of desperation, claustrophobia and frantic pace. After the bar was set ridiculously high with the first film, and having watched only a small handful of clips and teasers for the sequel, I was ready to have the bar raised once again. What I was surprised about and, in retrospect, refreshed with was that director Gareth Evans took …

Wesley Snipes and Gallowwalkers

Ahead of his much awaited return to the big screen later this year in The Expendables 3, I’ve been waiting for more projects from Wesley Snipes as one of my long-time favourite action stars. Recently, he returned in the heavily delayed western themed action-horror Gallowwalkers. First going into production in 2006 (originally attaching Chow Yun Fat as the star), the film is, sadly, a big letdown. In fact, with most of the movie completed through reshoots, there are pretty major …

Danny Trejo is back in Bullet

Danny Trejo has always been one of my favourite genre stars. Whether heading up grindhouse style action flicks or playing quirky cameos, his work is always entertaining, captivating and you can tell he has plenty of fun doing it! So it’s great we’ve been treated to a small flurry of Trejo releases in the home entertainment market lately. Machete Kills, Force of Execution, Dead in Tombstone… and now Bullet! Bullet is a great one because beyond Machete – which earned …

Ninja: Shadow of a Tear – Rebirth of a Franchise

Ninja: Shadow of a Tear, the latest title from director Isaac Florentine and star Scott Adkins proves this famous action team has a lot of new tricks on offer and plenty of fuel in the tank. What’s more, after the underwhelming original Ninja (2009), this sequel offers enough of an old-school homage and fresh dose of energy to stamp the Ninja franchise back on the map and establish itself a cult status alongside the iconic Undisputed series. It might sound …

Defending DTV Action

For a long time it’s bothered me how many viewers (especially those outside the action realm) turn their noses up and sneer at Direct to DVD films, particularly action. Here’s the thing: these films are often produced on an independent scale and while dramas or quirky, low-key comedies would be categorised as “indie”, a smaller action or fight flick will instantly receive its B-grade stamp. Often these are lower budget films admittedly forced to compete in a saturated DVD market …

Donnie Yen Continues The Evolution in Dragon

Peter Chan’s Martial Arts themed action thriller proves there’s not just plenty of life remaining in the genre, but long established star Donnie Yen is more than willing to tackle a mature and edgier concept in his films! Of course, this isn’t new information for fans who’ve watched him obliterate villains and lay on the drama (in equal measure) in favourites like S.P.L, Ip Man 1 & 2 and Legend of the Fist. But still, it’s a great reminder. Some …

Gary Daniels is Forced to Fight

With his latest release, Forced to Fight, arriving in the UK later this year, Martial Arts favourite Gary Daniels will make his long-awaited return to the fight genre. With a career spanning 25+ years, he’s starred in a wide range of Martial Arts gems and earned his place as one of the most iconic faces of the 80s and 90s VHS glory days. In his new movie, ex-fighter Shane Slavin (Daniels) decides to turn his life around, promising his wife …

Walter Hill: Godfather of Action

Walter Hill has been one of my absolute favourite directors for as long as I can remember. Just revisiting any one of his smart, brooding and nail-biting classics immediately reaffirms why his work stands the test of time and brings rare intelligence and creativity to the action genre. From cult classics to mainstream successes, his films offer a fascinating insight into a nostalgic era of cinema while continually testing and pushing audiences. With the release of Bullet to the Head, …

The Great Cop Drama

The unmistakably raw, atmospheric genre of the cop drama has always been one of my favourites. From hard hitting features though to awesome TV series, when you see a great one there’s no mistaking the quality, attitude and, when it’s done differently, true originality.  End of Watch from director David Ayer marks one of the best genre entries in recent years and unsurprisingly it does all of the above; it’s raw, atmospheric, there’s quality, attitude and it’s original in the delivery. The …

Yakuza Weapon – Blu-ray Review

Directors: Tak Sakaguchi & Yudai Yamaguchi Cast: Tak Sakaguchi, Shingo Tsurumi, Akaji Maro, Jun Murakami Run Time: 106 mins Distributor: Bounty Films / Eureka Entertainment Discs: 1 Cert: 18 Synopsis Working as a hard-to-kill mercenary in South America, ex-yakuza Shozo Iwaki (Tak Sakaguchi) is informed of the death of his gang boss father, Kenzo (Akaji Maro). Returning home after four years, Shozo discovers that his father’s number-one man, Kurawaki (Shingo Tsurumi), has double-crossed and assassinated Kenzo, leaving Shozo not only …

Sinners and Saints (aka Bad Cop) – DVD Review

Director: William Kaufman Cast: Johnny Strong, Kevin Phillips, Costas Mandylor, Sean Patrick Flannery, Tom Berenger. Run Time: 100 mins Distributor: Anchor Bay Entertainment Discs: 1 Cert: 18 Synopsis Detective Sean Riley (Strong) is a tough cop investigating a series of brutal murders in his hometown of New Orleans. But when a clue leads Riley to a troubled friend from his past, he’ll uncover a shocking military conspiracy that triggers a war between local gangs and an international team of mercenaries …

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