TRAILER: Brake

Last year Ryan Reynolds hit us with BURIED, a sharp, edge of your seat thriller featuring him buried in a coffin pretty much the entire film. BRAKE takes a page out of the same playbook only they've decided to add some SAW for extra kicks and we get Stephen Dorff this time around. I personally liked BURIED so it's a given that I'm no doubt going to love BREAK.

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TRAILER: Seeking Justice

Now speaking of Guy Pierce here he is again alongside Nick Cage. My only reservations about this flick are that one, it looks a little too "straight to DVD" and I think it shows way too much in the trailer. That said, it looks like good clean fun in a DEATH SENTENCE sort of way, so again, I'm down.

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TRAILER: Lockout

I'm a big fan of space flicks and consider Guy Pierce to be underrated as of late so this trailer is double the fun. Now add to that Luc Besson (a director that knows action), some smartass dialogue and an array of bad guys with all sorts of insane quirks and we could have an underdog winner. Either way, I'm game.

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GAME TRAILER: Darksiders 2

If you're a gamer and somehow missed Darksiders, stop reading this and go get it right now because it's beyond impressive. The narrative, the voice acting, everything, just wow. The second installment promises everything from the first and more, much like Batman Arkham City, the game itself will be twice the size of the original. And not only do we get to play as Death this time, War's other two brothers are said to be making appearances as well. This teaser is just a taste and rest assured I'll have the full trailer when it's available.

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GAME TRAILER: Resident Evil 6

The the films may not be every one's cup of tea, the games still continue to rock the house. Part four was my favourite to date, though five had it's moments and certainly didn't disappoint. This one looks to be pushing the boundaries even further and I gotta say I'm excited. The intensity looks at sharp as the graphics and Leon's still my favourite lead so I'm happy as hell to see him back too. Can't wait for November baby!

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REVIEW: Underworld Awakening

"Welcome back Selene, we missed you."

After humans discover the existence of both vampires and lycans and set in motion a plan of eradication, Selene and Michael are ambushed before they can escape to safer ground.  Selene awakens twelve years later in a lab unsure of where she is or what's going on until a psychic bond sends her in hopeful pursuit of her lost companion.     

I've always been a vampire fan at heart, I remember clearly when UNDERWORLD came out back in 2003 and I ate it up like a vampire in a BLADE techno rave blood bath club (the BLADE flicks being the only noteworthy vampire movies around at that time).  This was different though, they actually made good use of werewolves and the blood feud between the two species.  It's hard to believe Kate Beckinsale nearly passed on the role, because she's to die for in these films.  The first two flicks were pretty tight, the third not too shabby for being a prequel (love me some Rhona Mitra) but a true sequel is what this fan was after and low and behold I got my wish!  I'm not usually one for sequels but this one satisfied my bloodlust on most levels (thank God they didn't water it down to PG-13). 

I guess I'll open the negative can of worms first.  The UNDERWORLD universe's ace up the sleeve was its rich, multilayered storyline that was not only dripping with villainy and intrigue but also served as a unique bond between vampires and lycans.  I loved the covens, the slavery, the Romeo and Juliet arc, laced with badass weaponry and gory fun.  This time around I felt a little jipped.  Selene and Michael are captured, and cryogenically frozen for twelve years after the humans catch on to the existence of vamps and lycans and decide to purge the infestation.  And just like that, both species are nearly wiped out.  I don't get it, these guys are at the top of the food chain and feels like they simply rolled over without much of a fight.  Now add to that, a kid hybrid, who everybody wants a piece of, and we have the rough storyline:  Selene trying to save her kid, find Michael and avoid being purged.  Hmmm, me thinks they should've fed their team of monkeys a few more bananas while trying to think up this plot.

Story aside, this flick gives the fans exactly what they want, more Selene death dealing in tight leather.  For being nearly a decade since the original I have to admit Kate's still got it.  She's a solid femme fatale and delivers some amazing fight scenes, some cool new gadgets like the silver grenade bombs and thankfully still retains the extra juice she got from the second film to make her that much deadlier.  Good thing too because the super lycan they got running around town ain't no teddy bear.  Selene also stuck to her R rated guns with lots of blood and dripping wet pieces.  India Eisley, though unnecessary on a character scale, rocked the house as the little girl you don't want to piss off.  She dished out some cool fight scenes and was no slouch.  I dug Stephen Rea as the villain (back to his vampire roots--think INTERVIEW WITH A VAMPIRE) but really miss Bill Nighy's Viktor, he's one villain you just can't top.  I also have no idea why they needed a cop bumbling around, who served no real purpose save annoying me, and damn, did Wes Bentley get the short end of the stake.  Seriously bro, what was the point of taking this gig?

 UNDERWORLD AWAKENING did fall short in some areas, but thankfully not enough to hinder the feel or bruise the fun factor for those who love the series.  The vampires were down and out and in serious need of swelling their ranks, and the lycans, without giving much away, weren't doing much better but this added the edge of desperation they were looking for this time around.  The film ends on a "to be continued note", but my biggest gripe, and don't get me wrong I'd love to see another one, was the lack of Michael (originally played by Scott Speedman, who isn't played by Speedman here and though in the film briefly, isn't even listed in the credits).  They pretty much gave him the axe which frustrates me more than a little.  He and Selene were the dream team, and even though we're left with the potential promise of more, I really hope Speedman's involved next time around because tap dancing around him once I can accept, but you won't fool this guy twice.  The 3D end of things wasn't spectacular either, but I think that's to be expected.  That said, this is more than worth the price of admission and a recommended view in theatres if your down with the source material. 

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REVIEW: The Guard

"Not bad for film festival fodder."

Sergeant Garry Boyle isn't your typical cop, he drinks on the job, does drugs, tampers with evidence (that is if he sticks around the crime scene long enough), solicits prostitutes and has a clear lack of respect for his fellow officers.  These facts completely blow away FBI agent Wendell Everett when he's forced to team up with Boyle in hopes of taking down an international drug smuggling trio, a feat that seems less and less likely by the minute.

Every year I get at least one film festival flick that not only doesn't completely suck, but actually isn't half bad.  Last year's WINTER'S BONE was phenomenal and though THE GUARD isn't nearly on that level, it's not a bad way to spend an hour and a half.  That said, you'll know instantly within the opening moments if this is the film for you when a drunken car crash introduces our main character.  Personally, I laughed pretty hard when this rough around the edges cop/guard (what have you) nonchalantly disregards the accident and deaths of a few drunk driving teens and instead rummages through one dude's pocket where he finds and drops a hit of acid.  Priceless.  Just like this season of THE WALKING DEAD, where Rick shoots a kid clean in the face, this scene really made me appreciate just how far film and TV have come and what they're able to get away with these days.

Director John Michael McDonagh's directorial debut isn't perfect, but one thing he got spot on was the grim, but often times comical mood.  This film immediately reminded me of IN BURGES (no surprise, considering lead actor Brendan Gleeson starred in it as well and of course the fact that McDonagh's brother directed the film), which like this film mixes a lot of dark humour into some even darker material, all the while, not really crossing the line or forgetting what sort of film it's trying to be.  The storyline's been done to death for sure, big city cop teaming up with a low level country cop to take down a bunch of drug dealers, the many variations of this out there in circulation is staggering, so they really needed to lean heavily upon the actors.  For the most part it worked, Gleeson is funny as hell and his smartass rebuttals are as well timed as they are played.  I'm not a huge fan of Don Cheadle (I think I'm still not over the IRON MAN 2 debacle) but I have to admit their chemistry was pretty convincing.  For my money though, Mark Strong's  over the top drug dealer delivered some of the funniest lines despite being underused.

THE GUARD serves up an alright dose of entertainment for one sitting, but I can't see myself watching it twice.  The pace was a little off, jumping back and forth with Gleeson's dying mother (played by LOST's Fionnula Flanagan) which was depressing, and then boggled down with ridiculous filler side stories like Gleeson's hooker threesome and his missing new partner whose only in the film for ten minutes.  I get that Gleeson's character is borderline insane and that these little tidbits are there for extra comic relief, but some of it felt forced, out of place or simply useless.  All in all the cast delivers, there are some sinister laughs to be had and the story isn't terrible, not bad for a first effort film.  The real question is are you as sick as I am when it comes to humour, because like I said, that's the question you'll be faced with almost immediately.     

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TRAILER: Resident Evil: Retribution

This has become a "take it or leave it" franchise over the years, with the first one trying to pay homage to source material only to distance itself from it further with each sequel. I'll be honest, this teaser is all over the place, confusing as hell but interesting all the same. I really wish we could get a true to form RE flick, but until then, I'm still enjoying the series as is.

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TRAILER: The Devil Inside

I dunno peeps, this hasn't been a fresh topic since THE EXORCISM OF EMILY ROSE, and it was only then because of a unique angle. I was still on board for the surprisingly fun THE LAST EXORCISM and THE RITE, but as of now we're beating the hell out of this dead horse as far as I'm concerned. This is rental fodder at best.

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TRAILER: The Divide

It's been awhile since Micheal Biehn's been in the spotlight and I haven't seen Milo Ventimiglia since HEROES went off the air. Both are here, kicking ass and taking names in this vivid trailer about a post-apocalyptic world fried by war. This will be a limited release and here's hoping it's playing in my neck of the woods.

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