Ong-Bak (2003)

Ong-Bak (2003) -* * *1\2

Directed By: Prachya Pinkaew

Starring: Tony Jaa

Now this is how you make an action flick!

The plot is simple enough to leave plenty of room for action and thrills with no unnecessary clutter. Ting (Jaa) has to recover an ancient Buddha head from gangsters. To get it back he has to use his deadly fists and feet.

The movie's fight scenes are amazing. Jaa did all the stunts. No doubles or CGI were used. Just pure kick-ass action. One of the best fights in the movie is when Ting has to knock out three opponents in a row and he uses everything to stop them including a refrigerator. The car chase with the tuk-tuks was very well-executed.

Overall, Ong-Bak is charming and one of the best action flicks in recent memory.

Comeuppance Review by: Ty

Murder at the Presidio (2005)

Murder at the Presidio (2005) -* *1\2

Directed By: John Fasano

Starring: Lou Diamond Phillips and Jason Priestley

Murder At The Presidio is a routine mystery. Lou Diamond Phillips plays James Chandler, a detective who is looking into the murder of a woman on a Navy base. When he gets too close, the Army becomes an enemy for him.

Phillips is very charismatic in the role. Jason Priestley is underused. The story and characters are mostly one-note. You know their every word and action ahead of time.

It's a little more suspenseful then The Presidio (1988) but that's not saying much.

In the end: If you like LDP, it's worth seeing, but that's it. Renegades (1989) or Boulevard (1994) are better choices. It's something you see on Lifetime Movie Network in the afternoon.

Comeuppance Review by: Ty


The Mangler Reborn (2005)

The Mangler Reborn (2005) -* * *

Directed By:Matt Cunningham and Erik Gardner

Starring: Reggie Bannister, Aimee Brooks, and Weston Blakesley

The Mangler Reborn is a million times better than the atrocious and unfortunate The Mangler 2 (2002).

The plot: Hadley  (Blakesley) is a repairman. He finds pieces of the mangler machine and puts it together. He grows obsessed about it and starts going on a killing spree to feed the machine. His latest victim Jaime (Brooks) is trapped in his house. Can she escape before she's another body on the chopping block?

The pacing is slow,but the acting is pretty good. Reggie Bannister makes an appearance as Rick the house robber. In his limited screen time he makes you feel for his character. You can also see that the directors really put their heart into the film.

In the end: The movie is scary, and there's some heavy gore scenes. It's worth seeing at least once.

Comeuppance Review by: Ty


Irresistible (2006)

Irresistible (2006) -*1\2

Directed By: Ann Turner

Starring: Susan Sarandon, Emily Blunt and Sam Neill

Irresistible is a poorly thought-out film. Susan Sarandon plays Sophie, who is an artist. She thinks her husband is having an affair with his secretary. When she thinks this, nobody believes her. This is basically "Fatal Attraction" again.

The problem with the film is that there is no suspense at all. It shoots itself in the foot because of the predictability of the characters. The viewers will know nothing will happen to her. Sam Neill is good as usual, but he doesn't do much.

In the trivia section of IMDb it says that she worked with the director for six months on the script to meet her specifications. I guess Susan supports movies with zero tension, no character development, and no sense of humor in the role. That means everybody else gets the short end of the stick. In the end: If you want a good Susan Sarandon film White Palace (1990) or Light Sleeper (1992) are better choices.

Comeuppance Review by: Ty

Comeback Season (2005)

Comeback Season (2005) -* * *

Directed By: Bruce McCulloch

Starring: Ray Liotta, Shaun Sipos and Glenne Headly

Comeback Season is a decent comedy/drama.

Walter Pearce (Liotta) had it all: His beautiful wife Debra (Headly) and a great job. Until he confesses to her that he had an affair. She throws him out and he has to live with his neighbor Skylar (Sipos) a former high school football star. Now they have to get their lives back.

The biggest reason to see this is for Liotta's performance. He is excellent. He brings a perfect balance of humor and drama to it. The scenes when he has to confess and apologize are very well-acted. Headly and Sipos also put in good performances. The ending is a little sappy but it works. The only problem with the movie is the occasional audio drop-outs in some scenes. It looks like they edited something by muting some of the dialogue. It's distracting.

But overall, Comeback Season is worth watching.

Comeuppance Review by: Ty


Cop Land (1997)

Cop Land (1997) -* * *1\2

Directed By: James Mangold

Starring: Sylvester Stallone, Ray Liotta, Robert Patrick, Peter Berg, Method Man, Annabella Sciorra, Frank Vincent, Bruce Altman, Harvey Keitel, and Robert DeNiro

The version I will be writing about is the Director's cut.

"I gave you a chance and YOU BLEW IT!!!"- Moe Tilden

Cop Land is a underrated film.

Sheriff Freddy Heflin (Stallone) is down on his luck. He's overweight and deaf in one ear after an accident. He stumbles upon a corruption case that could be a ticket out of his situation. The case is also connected to a cop killing that involves Ray Donlan (Keitel) and his band of cops (Robert Patrick and Peter Berg). His only ally is Sgt. Moe Tilden (DeNiro) who's on the rat squad. Can Freddy figure out the mystery?

The director's cut is a definite improvement over the theatrical version. It has over 20 minutes of new footage that really fleshes out the characters. Stallone's and Keitel's in particular. They have a fantastic scene towards the climax. In the theatrical version, the climax feels rushed and underdeveloped, but in the new cut it makes sense. The whole cast does a great job. Liotta is very intense. It's Sly's best performance ever. DeNiro and Keitel are at their best.

I highly recommend the director's cut of Cop Land.

Comeuppance Review by: Ty


First Born (2007)

First Born (2007)- * *

Directed By: Isaac Webb

Starring: Elisabeth Shue

First Born is a cliched but watchable thriller.

Laura (Shue) is a dancer who gets pregnant and moves into a country home with her husband (Steven Mackintosh). After the pregnancy, she starts getting post-partum depression. She uses Tom Cruise AKA Mapother's misguided advice to not go on drugs. She starts seeing and believing things that aren't real.

Elisabeth Shue puts in a good performance, but the script and plotting are lacking. It's basically the same scene for 90 minutes. Laura goes crazy and no believes her, ad nauseum. The ending, while interesting, can't bring the movie up to snuff in time.

Overall, First Born is a decent movie, but the script, idea and execution could've been way better.

Comeuppance Review by: Ty


The River King (2005)

The River King (2005) -* * *

Directed By: Nick Willing

Starring: Edward Burns and Jennifer Ehle

The River King is a well-acted mystery. Edward Burns plays detective Abel Grey. He finds a body in the river and it's one of the students of the Hadden School, an exclusive college. Everybody Abel talks to, says it's suicide, but Abel has his suspicions. He also has to fight his personal demons that are intruding on the investigation.

Edward Burns puts in a really good performance. You care about his character. You definitely want to find out how the mystery ends. It looks great and the music is different too. The only thing I didn't get was the character of Betsy Chase (Ehle). She was not necessary to the movie.

It is odd that a film of this high quality went straight to video. Don't be fooled by that though. It's a film that's worth watching.

Comeuppance Review by: Ty

Rottweiler (2004)

Rottweiler (2004) -* * *

Directed By: Brian Yunza

Starring: William Miller and Irene Montala

Rottweiler is a surprisingly decent horror movie. William Miller plays Dante. He wants to have a better life with his girlfriend. They go on an illegal immigrant boat, but they are stopped by an evil warden and his killer rottweiler. One year goes by and Dante's girlfriend is missing and he's on the run from the rottweiler. If you are a gorehound, you will enjoy this movie. The storyline is odd, yet fun and the acting is above average.

The main problem is the editing. It could have been cut down a little because the third act lags a bit.

Besides that, Rottweiler is a movie you watch when you have nothing else to do. Even if you don't like killer dog films (why would you not like them?) Rottweiler is still an entertaining movie.

Comeuppance Review by: Ty

Deadly Bet (1992)

Deadly Bet (1992) -* * *

Directed By: Richard W. Munchkin

Starring: Jeff Wincott, Gary Daniels, Ian Jacklin, Charlene Tilton, Ray "Boom Boom" Mancini, Steven Vincent Leigh, and Robert Delano

Deadly Bet is another fun action flick from PM.

Angelo (Wincott) had it all: money, A woman he loves, and just plain luck. Until his last bet turned deadly. His arch nemesis Rico (Leigh) just took his girl after he drunkenly lost against him. Now Angelo has to fight his way back to the top.

The action choreography is solid. You can see all the moves with no "flashy" editing. Jeff Wincott plays a good hero. You can root for him. Leigh is the old- fashioned villain, but he does it well. Gary Daniels also makes one of his first appearances as a fighter. Ian Jacklin appears in an early role as well as a bartender.

If you liked Fist Of Honor or any PM movie, don't forget to check this one out.

Comeuppance Review by: Ty


A Little Trip To Heaven (2005)

A Little Trip To Heaven (2005) -* * *

Directed By: Baltasar Kormákur

Starring: Forest Whitaker, Julia Stiles, and Peter Coyote

A Little Trip To Heaven is a well-acted drama.

The Plot: Abe Holt (Whitaker) is an insurance investigator who is sent to a small town to find out about a car accident. He meets Isolde (Stiles) and realizes that the truth could also be a scam.

Forest Whitaker is excellent in the role. He brings a lot of sadness and humility to it. His accent, while unnecessary, works for him. Julia Stiles also does a good job, and Peter Coyote, as Holt's boss, is always worth watching. The climax\ending doesn't work but it could have ended worse.

A Little Trip To Heaven is definitely a hidden gem that's being thrown onto the video market. It works well on the small screen however.

Comeuppance Review by: Ty


The Pleasure Drivers (2005)

The Pleasure Drivers (2005) -*

Directed By: Andrzej Sekula

Starring: Lauren Holly, Billy Zane, Angus Macfadyen, Lacey Chabert, and Meat Loaf

The Pleasure Drivers is a mess.

What I can gather is that Daphne (Holly) kidnaps a woman who is connected to a powerful church run by Marvin (Zane). There's also a subplot involving a pretentious professor (Macfadyen) and a sex addict (Chabert).

The biggest problem with the movie (and it's HUGE) is that absolutely nothing makes sense. The plot should've been laid out in a linear form. It's trying way too hard to be cool and "weird". The acting doesn't help either. Holly has a speech in the beginning of the movie that so off-key and overacted, you'll beg her to stop. Billy Zane has one scene, and it's the only good one. Meat Loaf, usually is fun to watch but his character is a big cliche. The movie moves at a glacial pace, with no snappy dialogue and even music to move it along.

One of the biggest bombs I've seen in awhile, The Pleasure Drivers is a must-avoid.

Comeuppance Review by: Ty


Narc (2002)

Narc (2002) -* * *1\2

Directed By: Joe Carnahan

Starring: Ray Liotta, Jason Patric, and Busta Rhymes

Narc is a superior cop drama.

An undercover cop has just been murdered, and Officer Tellis (Patric) has to team up with Sgt. Oak (Liotta) to crack the case. But there's more there than meets the eye, and the cops can't even trust each other.

Okay, this seems like the cliched crime flick, but it's definitely not. Patric is excellent, but it's overpowered by Liotta as Oak. The character is basically a lunatic cop out for revenge, we've seen that before many times. But Liotta brings it to a whole new level. Even Busta Rhymes puts in a memorable performance. The movie doesn't have a lot of action, but it's not needed. It's all in the dialogue.

Narc is highly recommended for the fantastic performance by Ray Liotta and the overall 70's vibe and action.

Comeuppance Review by: Ty

Blueberry (2004)

Blueberry (2004) -* * *

Directed By: Jan Kounen

Starring: Vincent Cassel, Michael Madsen, Juilette Lewis, Ernest Borgnine, Eddie Izzard, and Colm Meaney

Blueberry or "Renegade" (U.S. DVD title) is an interesting movie but it will give you a headache. Vincent Cassel plays Mike Blueberry, who is the Marshal for a old western town. Michael Madsen co-stars as his nemesis Wallace. Juliette Lewis plays Maria, who falls in love with Mike.

Also appearing in Blueberry: Ernest Borgnine, Eddie Izzard, and Djimon Hounsou. They all do a good job, with Madsen standing out as the bad guy. Lewis sings (poorly) but does get nude towards the end. The movie is overshadowed by almost non-stop CGI effects. The climax between Wallace and Mike is one the weirdest things ever. They both drink peyote and have hallucinations. All these hallucinations will give you a headache.

There is also some unintentionally funny dialogue like "Animals are beasts, but men are monsters"

It's a different type of movie and it's worth seeing once.

Comeuppance Review by: Ty