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 …

Dragon Eyes – DVD Review

Director: John Hyams Cast: Cung Le, Peter Weller, Crystal Mantecon, Jean-Claude Van Damme. Run Time: 92 mins Distributor: G2 Entertainment Discs: 1 Cert: 18 Synopsis In New Orleans, Hong (Le) a mysterious man with a shady past looks to unite to warring gangs against the lawmen who have been using them to advance their corrupt agenda. Drawing on the morals, skills and fighting talent taught to him in prison by his old cellmate and mentor, Tiano (Van Damme), Hong sets out to …

Recoil – Blu-ray Review

Director: Terry Miles Cast: Steve Austin, Serinda Swan, Danny Trejo, Keith Jardine, Lochlyn Munro Run Time: 90 mins Distributor: eOne Discs: 1 Cert: 15 Synopsis A cop turns vigilante after his family is murdered, exacting vengeance on the killers – and then on all criminals who have slipped through the system. When honorable police officer Ryan Varrett’s (Austin) entire family is brutally murdered, the one-time good guy cop is forced to go rogue – breaking the laws he once swore …

Best Laid Plans – DVD Review

Director: David Blair Cast: Stephen Graham, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, David O’Hara, Maxine Peake Run Time: 104 mins Distributor: Sony Pictures Discs: 1 Cert: 15 Synopsis Set against a grim, urban backdrop, Danny (Stephen Graham: This is England, Boardwalk Empire) and his gentle friend Joseph (Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje: Oz, Lost), whom he looks after and who has the mental age of a child are faced with a terrible ultimatum. To pay off Danny’s mounting debts to local crime boss Curtis (David O’Hara: The …

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