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Posts Tagged ‘Action Drama’

“BLADE OF THE IMMORTAL” (Written Film Review & Trailer)

November 1st, 2017 No comments

 

 

 

 

 

 

Review by John Delia, Sr.

If you have seen one samurai fight you’ve seen them all, as so I thought anyway. But Blade of the Immortal has so much action it’s hard to turn away from the screen. It’s slice and dice Japanese style with enough combat to fill two movies. If you are a fan of films like Mortal Kombat then this film should be on your list to see this weekend. You may even know the name Tasashi Miike for his fame directing films like this. Read more…

Premium Rush, Film Review by John Delia

August 24th, 2012 No comments

A

PURE

ADRENELINE

PUMPER

PREMIUM RUSH

By John Delia

Action junkies beware the movie Premium Rush streaks into theaters this weekend and it’s a sweet adrenaline rush.  The film features some excellent shots of New York City through the eyes of a rapid camera that draws focus on all the heart pumping drama.  The fine acting and directing make this hour and a half body in motion film work.

The film centers on Wilee (Joseph Gordon-Levitt), a daring bike jockey who works for a delivery service in Manhattan.  Avoiding reckless New York City drivers and taking a lot of chances in traffic, his goal of hand delivering the message is his only end game.  He’s a fearless, street smart, crafty and amazing bicyclist.  Not his true profession, he has taken time off from Law School to find himself, Wilee takes any delivery he can get to survive living in the big city.

On one occasion Wilee gets assigned a late messenger job that needs a high rush.  Since there’s extra money in it for him Willee accepts the assignment to make a pick-up from a Chinese girl named Nima (Jamie Chung) and deliver it to Chinatown before a 7 pm deadline.  He gets to the pick-up location and Nima gives him an envelope that she says can only be delivered to the person listed on the letter.  On his way back to his bicycle he gets stopped by Bobby Monday (Michael Shannon) an agitated guy who orders Wilee to give him the envelope.  He tells Monday that it’s not possible and the man gets upset. When Wilee quickly takes off for his destination, a life or death chase ensues.

Bike versus car, the movie takes the viewer on a rollercoaster ride through the city.  Making sure that the audience gets full high-energy effects Director David Koepp (Secret Window) mounts his camera on cars, bicycles, street corners and buildings in the crowded city.  Avoiding near misses, crashes, confrontations and pedestrians are part of the job and Koepp makes sure you get a lot of close encounters while his actors and stunt guys speed around the city.

Joseph Gordon-Levitt as Wilee and Michael Shannon as Monday

The acting by Gordon-Levitt and Shannon as the two that go head-to-head is amazingly good.  Shannon makes an awesome bad guy trying to catch Wilee before he gets to his destination.  He tries every trick in the book from chasing him down with his car to working him over in a physical confrontation.  He’s determined to get the message and Shannon makes his character very believable.  Gordon-Levitt on the other hand keeps outwitting Monday with the help of his sometimes girlfriend Vanessa, ably played by Dania Ramirez. Riding in and out of traffic, through Central Park, into parking garages and sliding out of sight any chance he can get, Wilee shows his determination and ability to persevere under the most dangerous of circumstances.

Very striking cinematography makes the scenes exciting and realistic bringing the ‘wow’ factor to the film.  In scenes where Wilee must decide how to avoid an accident, the camera shows different routes and their affect on the cyclist’s decision.  The motion capture is very cool and the wrong cyclist decisions have cringing affects.  Wide-open lenses, crane shots and hand held cameras get the viewer into all the wild action.

The film has been rated PG-13 for some violence, intense action sequences and language.  The action gets very forceful so be aware if deciding to bring youngster tagalongs.

FINAL ANALYSIS: A great adrenaline pumping action film. (B)   

Additional Film Information:

  • Cast: Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Michael Shannon, Dania Ramirez and Jamie Chung
  • Directed by: David Koepp
  • MPAA Rating: PG-13 for some violence, intense action sequences and language
  • Genre: Action
  • Running Time: 1 hr 31 min
  • Opening Date: August 24, 2012
  • Distributed by: Columbia Pictures

 

SANCTUM review by John Delia

February 3rd, 2011 No comments

Starring: Richard Roxburgh, Rhys Wakefield, Ioan Gruffudd and Alice Parkinson,

Directed by: Alister Grierson

MPAA Rating: R for language, some violence and disturbing images

Genre: Action/Adventure, Drama and Thriller

Running Time: 1 hr 49 min

Release Date: February 4th, 2011

Distributed by: Universal Pictures

By John Delia

Breathtaking cinematography, expansive choreographed scuba diving and a story about a father/son relationship are the basis for seeing the film Sanctum.  If any of these elements tantalize you then this film should be your entertainment choice.

The film centers on experience cave diver Frank McGuire (Roxburgh) who has been exploring the Esa-ala Caves for an extended period of time.  His backer Carl Hurley (Ioan Gruffudd) has joined Frank with hopes in finding a spectacular chamber in order to boost support for the project.  Frank’s 17-year-old son Josh (Wakefield) has been leading the support team on the surface, but at the bequest of Hurley the two join Frank inside of the cave.  When a huge storm converges over the cavern entrance causing a flash flood the team gets trapped in the caves with no way out.

The actual true event that inspired scriptwriter AndrewWight to write this screenplay is personal.  In 1988 he lead an expedition to explore and dive into a remote cave system hidden beneath the Nullarbor Plain in Australia where he and 14 others became trapped in the cave following a storm that collapsed the entrance.  Incredibly the expedition was rescued saving all from possible death.

Rhys Wakefield and Roxburgh play son and father

The mastery of this film comes in the form of cinematography taking the audience into a labyrinth of caves, underwater diving and treacherous rock climbing.  Close up photography shows the ordeal the actors went through to make the film believable and suspenseful.  The incredible underground film making provides the viewer the only reason why Sanctum entertains.

The storyline takes a simple coming-of-age father-son conflicting relationship and intertwines it within the death defying challenge to escape the confines of the underground prison in which they find themselves.  The damaging elements in the film are the other characters that seem to be more distracting than supportive to the main plot.  Not like in the movie The Poseidon Adventure where each of the characters played off each other in ‘lead roles’, Sanctum’s supports are just pawns to show how death could happen at any turn within the threatening cave.

The film is rated R for language, some violence and disturbing images, but could have easily been a PG-13 were it not for the use of the ‘F’ word beyond the limit allowed by the MPAA.

FINAL ANALYSIS:  An average chiller and cheep thriller.  (C-)