Posts Tagged ‘Tom Berenger’
Tuesday, May 9th, 2023
AS GOOD AS DEAD is a 2022 straight-to-VOD Michael Jai White vehicle that I caught up with when it came to DVD back in March, but I was deep into Ronny Yu studies so I held off on telling you guys about it. Sorry about that.
Back in 2009 when White made the stone cold classic BLOOD & BONE we wondered why he wasn’t getting theatrical releases, but what was considered low budget then seems like sheer extravagance compared to many of the independent action movies today. I’d love to see White making a couple mid-sized action vehicles a year like Jason Statham used to do, but instead he’s gotta cut in a couple scenes of Mickey Rourke or Tom Berenger just to shoot something small out in the desert. Despite this injustice, AS GOOD AS DEAD is a great time because it’s written by the person who best knows how to showcase Michael Jai White – the same man who wrote and directed NEVER BACK DOWN: NO SURRENDER – Michael Jai White. So it’s a solid traditional action structure where he gets to glory in his own badassness, have some good fights, some inventive moves, and get a few laughs. Honestly it has most of what I hope for in a movie like this except for a strong visual style or atmosphere.
White plays Bryant, a gruff American loner who moved just over the Mexican border to escape some mysterious past. He lives alone in a trailer on a humble patch of land, works as a surveyor, comes home and practices fighting on a wooden post with tires attached. When he does that he notices a young man named Oscar (Luca Oriel, Shameless) watching from a hill and shadowing his moves. Later, while having lunch in town, he notices the same kid hiding behind a car to avoid some gangsters in a lowrider, and feels sympathy for him. (read the rest of this shit…)
Tags: Art Camacho, Guillermo Ivan, Louis Mandylor, Luca Oriel, Michael Jai White, R. Ellis Frazier, Tom Berenger
Posted in Reviews, Action | 14 Comments »
Tuesday, February 8th, 2022
FEAR CITY is a 1984 crime movie by Abel Ferrara, his followup to MS. 45 and prelude to the TV movie THE GLADIATOR. This one has that sleazy Ferrara New York City, but compared to MS. 45 it seems pretty normal and commercial, getting him ready for those TV gigs.
Tom Berenger (between EDDIE AND THE CRUISERS and RUSTLERS’ RHAPSODY) plays Matt Rossi, well known and liked for his days as a boxer (before he killed a guy in the ring), now running Starlite Talent Agency in Manhattan with his buddy Nicky Parzeno (Jack Scalia, right after AMAZONS). That means booking the strip clubs in the neighborhood, basically. They do the rounds at the clubs and everybody’s treating him like a V.I.P. or an old friend, smiling or saying “hi, baby” when he shows up. And he’s Tom Berenger so he’s fucking cool.
He’s troubled, though. One of those guys who likes to go out to some spot on the shore where there’s nobody else around and just look across. Day or night, doesn’t matter, the man likes to brood with good scenery. And he has flashbacks about the fateful boxing match. It really changed him. (read the rest of this shit…)
Tags: Abel Ferrara, Billy Dee Williams, David Johansen, Jack Scalia, Melanie Griffith, Nicholas St. John, Rae Dawn Chong, Tom Berenger
Posted in Crime, Reviews | 9 Comments »
Thursday, January 7th, 2021
I reviewed the ruckus-on-an-airplane thriller TURBULENCE a little before Christmas, and I knew it had two non-holiday-specific DTV sequels, so obviously I wasn’t going to let them go unexamined. TURBULENCE 2: FEAR OF FLYING is from 1999, two years after the first one, made by different people and without any connected characters. But faced with the question “What makes a TURBULENCE movie a TURBULENCE movie?” director David Mackay (ICE SCULPTURE CHRISTMAS) and writers Rob Kerchner (BLOODFIST IV-VII, CARNOSAUR 3: PRIMAL SPECIES, CASPER: A SPIRITED BEGINNING, WARGAMES: THE DEAD CODE) & Brendan Broderick (THE DEATH ARTIST) & Kevin Bernhardt (3000 MILES TO GRACELAND, PEACEFUL WARRIOR, ELEPHANT WHITE) decided “there’s a hijack attempt during a flight and they have to fight it off and somebody who’s not the pilot has to land the plane with direction from somebody on the ground.” Logical enough. Let’s go with it.
The new spin they came up with, as indicated in the subtitle, is that most of the people on this flight, including our intrepid heroes, have a phobia of flying. They’re part of a class trying to overcome said fear first in a simulator and then on an actual flight from Seattle to L.A. And they’re not very relaxed about it since one of the flight attendants accidentally left the intercom on while talking about a storm that will make the flight “Hell.” (read the rest of this shit…)
Tags: Brendan Broderick, Craig Sheffer, DTV, DTV sequels, Jeffrey Nordling, Jennifer Beals, Kevin Bernhardt, Peter Wilds, Rob Kerchner, Tom Berenger
Posted in Reviews, Thriller | 5 Comments »
Wednesday, January 7th, 2015
How’s this for a pitch: it’s POINT BREAK meets DROP ZONE and TERMINAL VELOCITY! Stephen Baldwin plays an over-the-edge customs agent who, like Keanu Reeves’s FBI agent in POINT BREAK, goes undercover with a group of (non-surfing this time) skydivers who he suspects of being involved in drug smuggling. And like DROP ZONE and TERMINAL VELOCITY it’s about this whole subculture of skydivers who live like a family or a tribe with their own stupid lingo and traditions that they’re real proud of. For example “cutaway” is their term for somebody (for example a hot shot lawyer) leaving behind their previous life to just be one of these parachute gypsies for now on. And of course that takes on extra meaning for Baldwin’s character, who is here with a secret agenda that he’s gonna be tempted to cutaway from as he becomes accepted by the group. (read the rest of this shit…)
Tags: Adam Wylie, Casper Van Dien, Dennis Rodman, Guy Manos, Maxine Bahns, Phillip Glasser, Ron Silver, skydiving, Stephen Baldwin, Thomas Ian Nicholas, Tom Berenger
Posted in Action, Reviews | 9 Comments »
Wednesday, February 13th, 2013
Here’s a movie that brings a new angle to my Badass Auteur Theory. If this starred Ben Affleck or Ewan McGregor or somebody it would just be a mediocre stalker thriller from the director of I KNOW WHAT YOU DID LAST SUMMER. But since it stars Sylvester Stallone we can only see it in the context of his body of work. It forces us to look at it as a Sylvester Stallone vehicle and compare it to CLIFFHANGER and stuff. So it has the advantage of being an interesting tangent in his filmography.
Stallone plays Jake Malloy, former city cop turned FBI agent. The wikipedia entry makes me think he was supposed to be a Seattle cop, but I didn’t pick up on that from the movie and it wasn’t filmed here. Anyway, he’s on the trail of a serial killer who targets cops. He’s been chasing this guy for 6 months but he’s not in so deep he doesn’t have a personal life. He buys an expensive ring so he can propose to his girl (Dina Meyer), so I think you know what that means. He better own a black suit.
(read the rest of this shit…)
Tags: Charles S. Dutton, Courtney B. Vance, Dina Meyer, Jeffrey Wright, Jim Gillespie, Kris Kristofferson, Robert Patrick, Sean Patrick Flanery, Stephen Lang, Sylvester Stallone, Tom Berenger
Posted in Reviews, Thriller | 28 Comments »
Tuesday, February 7th, 2012
Hey, remember Leon from THE FAST AND THE FURIOUS? Of course not, nobody does. He’s the guy that doesn’t really get to do anything, or come back in any sequels for a second chance. He’s played by Johnny Strong, the lead in this movie. Strong also wrote and performed the songs, so this must be a passion project for him. He plays one of these Over the Edge Cops, you know. Going Too Far, because of various troubles (son died, wife left him, also war and Katrina vet). At first I was suspicious of Strong as a leading man, but he pulls it off. He’s pretty good. (read the rest of this shit…)
Tags: Bas Rutten, Costas Mandylor, DTV, Johnny Strong, Jurgen Prochnow, Kim Coates, Method Man, New Orleans, Sean Patrick Flanery, Tom Berenger, William Kaufman
Posted in Action, Reviews | 26 Comments »
Wednesday, April 27th, 2011
God DAMN I’m excited for FAST FIVE. It’s only April and that’s my most anticipated movie of the summer by far. But I gotta wait a couple more days, so in honor of Dwayne “The Rock is a registered trademark of World Wrestling Entertainment Inc.” Johnson’s addition to the series I decided to finally catch up with his last movie, which I never saw because when I went to see it the showing that I chose turned out to be an “open captions” deal, and I decided to bail. (Ironically there’s so much mumbling in the movie I had to turn the subtitles on a couple times anyway. But at least it was my choice. It’s about freedom.) (read the rest of this shit…)
Tags: Billy Bob Thornton, Carla Gugino, George Tillman Jr., Mike Epps, Moon Bloodgood, revenge, The Rock, Tom Berenger
Posted in Action, Reviews | 30 Comments »
Monday, January 18th, 2010
SMOKIN’ ACES 2: ASSASSIN’S BALL is the rare DTV sequel that leaves 2 (two) obvious openings for porn parody titles, not to mention having the word “ass” in it twice. In that sense it is absolutely groundbreaking. The idea of a DTV sequel to a movie that not one single person in the world is passionate about is not as unusual (see: THE MARINE 2, BEHIND ENEMY LINES 2-3, THE ART OF WAR trilogy, etc.), but I guess technically this one is a prequel (it refers to a dead character as if alive). So this might actually be a historic milestone, I’m not sure.
I remember seeing a preview screening of SMOKIN’ ACES, and even those I-will-stand-in-line-for-several-hours-to-see-literally-any-piece-of-garbage-movie-as-long-as-it-is-free passholes seemed to hate it. But I have to admit I mostly enjoyed it because it had so many funny and audacious moments peeking out from beneath the big mess of a so-called story. The movie really doesn’t work, but I wanted it to because there were some real good parts. That’s what I think. And in the ensuing years I honestly haven’t met one single person who would give it that much. (read the rest of this shit…)
Tags: DTV, DTV prequels, Ernie Hudson, Joe Carnahan, Michael Parks, Tom Berenger, Vinnie Jones
Posted in Action, Reviews | 53 Comments »
Friday, September 11th, 2009
Since Labor Day was last Monday I figure the kids are either back in school or about to go back to school, so I might as well do VERN’S BACK TO SCHOOL SPECIAL. And if I’m gonna do that there is one movie that I would have to be a fuckin moron not to start with. And I’m not talking about BACK TO SCHOOL.
THE SUBSTITUTE is not necessarily a great action movie. It doesn’t have any particularly memorable action scenes or anything. But I really like this movie for the simple fact that the idea behind it – combining a mercenaries/drug gangs action movie with a DANGEROUS MINDS style white-teacher-makes-a-difference-in-the-big-city movie – is flat out brilliant, a once-in-a-cinematic-history opportunity. Seriously, I sit around trying to think of genre combinations this absurd and yet this natural. There aren’t many left. (read the rest of this shit…)
Tags: Alan Ormsby, back to school, Ernie Hudson, Luis Guzman, Raymond Cruz, Tom Berenger, William Forsythe
Posted in Action, Reviews | 64 Comments »