Archive for the 'Action' Category

Superman Returns (US Combo HD DVD)

supermanreturnshd.jpegA brief update today having just finished watching the US HD DVD release of Superman Returns; something I’ve been putting off due to poor reviews dampening my interest. However, despite the negativity, I thought it was pretty good - and a good sequel to the first two films. All of the main cast have come in for criticism in the reviews I’ve read - each review seems to pick on a different cast member. Again, I wasn’t too disappointed with Routh, Spacey, Marsden or even Bosworth (granted she’s a bit young to play the role, but hey, her performance was good enough for me).

The HD DVD was excellent with a pin sharp picture quality and a wonderfully enveloping soundtrack. I did have a couple of stutters when playing back on 360 HD DVD drive which is the first time I’ve seen a problem on the new format, but it wasn’t a mastering issue and is more likely down to dust or dirt on the disc.

There are loads of extras too. I haven’t watched any of them yet, but there’s a reasonably lengthy making-of and also a big pile of deleted scenes.

Film: 8/10 HD DVD: 8/10

Posted on 14th January 2007
Under: Action, Comic Book, HD DVD | No Comments »

Live Free or Die Hard

Another month and another relic is dragged kicking and screaming from the last century to this. Today Fox have announced that which has been rumour for months - John McClane is coming back to the cinema in the fourth Die Hard film. Willis reprises his role as the unlucky cop, apparently this time fighting cyber-terrorists. Forgive me if I don’t sound too excited.

Here’s the press release from Fox…

Twentieth Century Fox have announced the return of John McClane in a new installment of their Die Hard action franchise: LIVE FREE OR DIE HARD. Bruce Willis reprises his signature role as the New York City cop who always finds himself in the wrong place at the wrong time with the film set to be released June 29, 2007 – the eve of the US Independence Day holiday weekend – a particularly appropriate date because the story itself takes place over the Fourth of July.

Len Wiseman, the director of the Underworld franchise (Underworld, Underworld:Evolution) is directing from a screenplay by Mark Bomback. Renowned for their non-stop action the fourth in the Die Hard series will offer the biggest, most realistic set pieces in the franchise’s illustrious history. In the new picture, an attack on the vulnerable United States computer infrastructure begins to shut down the entire nation. The mysterious figure behind the shattering scheme has figured out every digital angle – but he never figured on an old-fashioned, “analog” fly-in-the-ointment: John McClane.

LIVE FREE OR DIE HARD begins production in September.

The Die Hard films are classics of action cinema, but they’re from a different time. Then, our action heros were hard men, now they’re religious nutcases like Tom Cruise. Hollywood is desparately lacking successors to Willis, Stallone and Schwarzenneger so instead they’re now relying on bringing back these aging action stars for ‘one last adventure’.
Why bother?

Posted on 7th August 2006
Under: Action, Upcoming Films | No Comments »

Underworld / Underworld Evolution

underworld-evolution1.jpgI managed to catch up with Underworld’s recent sequel, Underworld Evolution, this weekend. While the first film has a decent plot and good action, I was a little disappointed with it’s follow-up. The film starts where the last film left us - the Vampire elder, Markus is awaken by the blood of a Lycan and sets about tracking down Celine and her Lycan partner Michael.

Stylistically, both films are a winner. The CGI in the sequel was significantly better and the decision to continue the story of the first film worked well. However, while Underworld works as a decent standalone piece with a beginning, middle and end (plus the cliff-hanger that leads into Evolution), Evolution doesn’t. It’s is very much a continuation and instantly alienates anyone who hadn’t watched the first film with little exposition. I watched both films back-to-back and even then I was still confused as to what was going on for the first 45 minutes.

Kate Beckinsale was good, although Scott Speedman struggles in a lead role. Len Wiseman’s direction seems to have taken a step down since the first outing, opting for more quick cuts rather than decent choreographed action scenes.

The first film gets 7/10, the second gets either 5/10 if you’ve seen the first or 3/10 if you haven’t.

Posted on 17th July 2006
Under: DVD, Action | No Comments »

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