By: Anthony Francis Writer/director Luke Sparke’s 2018 Sci-Fi Action film “Occupation” was a “Red Dawn”- esque tale of how the residents of a small Australian community band together to fight back against an invasion of aliens. The film contained some decent action but fell prey to familiarity and budget issues. In fairness, the director did a lot with little money, but could not fully capture the flair … Continue reading Review: OCCUPATION: RAINFALL is Designed to Give the Audience a Good Time and it Succeeds!
By: Anthony Francis Taylor Sheridan is one hell of a screenwriter and director. He is an artist who respects the aura of the old styled Western-tinged films and you can see the influence of masters such as Sam Peckinpah, John Ford, John Huston, and even Larry McMurtry is his works. Sheridan’s screenplays for the two “Sicario” films and especially “Hell or High Water” and “Wind River” (which he also directed) were mature, character-driven … Continue reading Review: THOSE WHO WISH ME DEAD is a Major Disappointment from One of Our Most Original Writer/Directors
By: Anthony Francis Action, mystery, and suspense. What more could you want from a film? While it may be low budget and not as great as it could be, “Last Three Days” is a decent little “B” grade film that exists to entertain. The film does just that (pretty much) for its short running time. Writer/director Brian Ulrich’s feature debut tells the tale of undercover policeman Jack (a … Continue reading Review: LAST THREE DAYS is a Decent Little Action Film Worth a Onetime Watch
By: Anthony Francis Anders Thomas Jensen’s new Thriller, “Riders of Justice”, starts with a short character setup and delivers one helluva opening jolt that will prepare us for the film to come, as we come to learn that vengeance and sorrow walk hand in hand. Mads Mikkelsen is Markus, a husband and father who is disconnected from his wife and daughter, as his job with his military … Continue reading Review: Five Months In, Anders Thomas Jensen’s RIDERS OF JUSTICE Starring Mads Mikkelsen is One of the Year’s Best Films
By: Anthony Francis HOMEFRONT (2013) Written by Sylvester Stallone/ Directed by Gary Fleder I ignored this film when it was released, as Jason Statham films were becoming a retread of the same over-the-top goofiness film after film and I was burned out. There is also the fact that I failed to catch that Sylvester Stallone wrote the screenplay. If I would have paid closer attention, … Continue reading Action Rewind: HOMEFRONT with Jason Statham is an Undervalued Gem in the Action Genre
By: Anthony Francis Barry Pepper has long been one of our most dedicated and interesting character actors. He’a an actor who takes chances and has done some really great work in some excellent films. Audiences are most familiar with the actor for his role as Pvt. Jackson, the sniper with a soul who is dead on with every shot in Steven Spielberg’s “Saving Private … Continue reading Review: TRIGGER POINT Finally Gives Barry Pepper His Action Film Leading Man Status
By: Anthony Francis Welcome to a special section of Action Rewind called When Action Films Had Balls where we look at the action films of yesteryear that had their own set of rules and made no apologies while carving out their own violent niche in cinematic history. Directed by master filmmaker Walter Hill, 1996’s “Last Man Standing” is certainly his most polarizing work. Hill’s retelling … Continue reading WHEN ACTION FILMS HAD BALLS: LAST MAN STANDING with Bruce Willis is a Great Little Action Film with Style to Spare (1996)
By: Anthony Francis Vengeance thrillers. This is the type of sub-genre that will never go out of style. Many actors have done well in this kind of film. From Charles Bronson to Kevin Costner and from Uma Thurman to Nic Cage, many big actors have taken on the bloody tough guy/gal role and taken their respective careers to badass heights. When one thinks of an actor to … Continue reading Review: ADVERSE is a Serviceable Crime Thriller with a Burst of Violent Action for a Finale!
By: Anthony Francis As their Duty Sergeant tells the squad at the beginning of the film, “We’re the people’s only safeguard against chaos, so get out there and restore order before anyone questions that. YOU set the agenda.” What may seem like a normal pre-shift pep talk is a tricky warning because of a case of severe police brutality. In the opening moments of “Enforcement”, we see a young … Continue reading Review: ENFORCEMENT is a Down and Dirty Police Action-Thriller that Delivers!
By: Anthony Francis “Some things you can’t redo. Some things you are forced to do over and over again.” If Frank Grillo were acting in the 1980s, he would havebeen one of the biggest stars of the decade. Grillo can act, he is naturally tough, ruggedly handsome, in excellent shape, and looks completely natural in action scenes. The man has presence. This cannot be denied. Director Joe Carnahan … Continue reading Review: BOSS LEVEL with Grillo & Gibson is a True Thrill Ride and an Absolute Blast!
By: Anthony Francis Widely considered to be one of the most ridiculous movies ever made. It has a silly plot and uses up just about every cliche’ in the “tough guy” handbook. It is also widely praised by Action film fans and, over the last 20 plus years, has grown into an all-time cult classic. Make no mistake, the film IS silly and to the extreme. Patrick … Continue reading WHEN ACTION FILMS HAD BALLS! Swayze Cleans House in the 1989 Bruising Classic ROAD HOUSE!
By: Anthony Francis Released in its native Quebec in 2016, the Action film “Nitro Rush” has made its way to the United States. Director Alain Desrochers’ sequel to his 2007 film “Nitro” is nothing new but exists as a fun Action film that moves fast and hard. While in prison, Max (Guillaume Lemay- Thimierge, resembling Nic Cage from “Con Air” in the opening scenes) learns that his 17-year-old … Continue reading Review: NITRO RUSH is a Popcorn Chomping Good Time for Genre Fans!
By: Anthony Francis “Willy’s Wonderland”. Moments of pure terror as frightening as anything from “The Exorcist”, creature designs as brilliant as anything Stan Winston ever created, and actions scenes as exciting as the best fight scenes from “The Warriors” this is one excellent… okay, of course I am completely kidding. To be fair, I was hoping this film would be goofy fun. If the right … Continue reading Review: WILLY’S WONDERLAND is a Nicolas Cage Flick Completely Void of Anything to Recommend
By: Anthony Francis Sundance Premiere- “Prisoners of the Ghostland” In the first 15 minutes of the unique Japanese filmmaker Sion Sono’s English language debut, we get a wild robbery that goes violently wrong, a samurai battle, and Nicolas Cage handcuffed and standing proudly and publicly in his underwear, waiting for a mission. This crazily entertaining film had me at hello! Day 4 of the Sundance … Continue reading Sundance Early Review: PRISONERS OF THE GHOSTLAND with Nicolas Cage is an Explosion of Genres and Styles that is Entertaining and Inventive!
By: Anthony Francis One man driving his car trying to fix personal and professional issues. The camera never leaving the car.The driver the only face the audience sees for much of the film’s entirety. Steven Knight’s 2013 film “Locke” got there first. Tom Hardy played the lead. Hardy’s character never left the car, nor did the film. A unique way to make a movie and it worked extremely well. While … Continue reading Review: The Australian Thriller INTERSECTION is Tight, Crisp, Exciting, Edge-of-Your-Seat Entertainment!
By: Anthony Francis David Ayer is a filmmaker I like but he is also one who frustrates me. Ayer wrote and directed films that give me an absolute thrill as a film lover, and he has crafted films that I find absolutely abysmal. From film to film, I never know if we will get great Ayer or wild, all over the place, and silly Ayer. As director, I loved his “Harsh Times” … Continue reading Action Rewind: Underrated Gem- Arnold Schwarzenegger’s SABOTAGE Deserves a Bigger Audience!
By: Anthony Francis The all too familiar phrase “In the near future…” is a common beginning to many a cinematic synopsis. It is a description that is becoming more and more common, as modern futuristic films do not go too far into the future, as Hollywood is nervous to give their big budgets to any film that isn’t in a superhero universe. Creating something in … Continue reading Review: Netflix’s OUTSIDE THE WIRE Sets Up a Good Premise but Does Nothing New
By: Anthony Francis Jean-Claude Killy is a triple Olympic skiing champion who won three gold medals at the 1968 Winter Olympics. At that time, Killy dominated the sport throughout the early 70s and became an international skiing legend. As with many handsome and popular athletes at the time, Hollywood came calling. Killy’s shot at silver screen stardom came in the form of the 1972 Alps-set heist/action film “Snow Job”. Set in … Continue reading ACTION REWIND: Hidden Gem- 1972’s SNOW JOB
By: Anthony Francis From the opening roar of the motorcycle engines, director Melanie Atkinhead’s biker-revenge-action film “Revenge Ride” wastes no time, delivering the main character’s backstory with a jarring punch and a shadowed violence that announces the tough and rockin’ film to come. Three college frat boys drug and rape a student named Mary (Vanessa Dubasso) and leave her outside on the main campus. The bad thing for the frat dudes … Continue reading Review: Strap In and Enjoy the REVENGE RIDE!
By: Anthony Francis I dislike catch phrases and silly terms but I am sad to report that the phrase “Cash Grab” is apropos when speaking of the latest (and hopefully final) Ip Man film, Ip Man: Kung Fu Master”. Ip Man 1, 2, 3, and 4 are all fantastic films full of great acting and the masterful fight choreography one expects from Chinese Martial Arts … Continue reading Review: IP MAN: KUNG FU MASTER