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Maniac Cop

You have the right to see this cult classic of crime.


Action

Rod Lott
Why won't anyone believe poor detective Frank McCrae (Tom Atkins, "Halloween III: Season of the Witch") that the recent nighttime slayings around New York City are the work of a cop?
 
Friday, November 4, 2011

Dark Angel

It comes in peace.


Action

Rod Lott
When did 1990's "I Come in Peace" become "Dark Angel"? More importantly, why? Did some porno cop its title? Now people will confuse it with that one TV series Jessica Alba did for James Cameron before she became a movie star.
 
Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Bunraku

Hard to say, hard to love.


Action

Rod Lott
“Bunraku” gets its name from a form of traditional Japanese puppetry, but it may as well be called “Cowboys and Samurai” or something equally generic. The sophomore effort of director Guy Moshe raises hopes for something special in its animated opening credits, which depict violence throughout civilization, but there’s simply too much going on here for a rather simple revenge story.
 
Tuesday, November 1, 2011

The Crow

No winging it for Brandon Lee's breakout hit.


Action

Rod Lott
Almost 20 years later, "The Crow" still flies high. New to Blu-ray, the 1994 hit holds up well, if not plays better than it ever had. After all, much like its supernatural protagonist, the theme of revenge never dies.
 
Friday, October 21, 2011

Freerunner

You'll wish athlete's foot upon it.


Action

Rod Lott
Parkour was hot half a decade ago (remember "Casino Royale"? "District B13"? That one episode of "The Office"?), but no one told the filmmakers behind the new "Freerunner."
 
Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Batman: Year One

How Bruce Wayne went batty.


Action

Rod Lott
Warner Premiere's latest DC Universe original animated film, "Batman: Year One," adapts Frank Miller’s acclaimed graphic novel of the same name. The movie isn't as good, naturally, and part of that is because this barely qualifies as a feature. It's been shoehorned into an hour.
 
Thursday, October 13, 2011

The Super Cops

Perhaps the most obscure Batman movie.


Action

Rod Lott
A major influence on Edgar Wright's "Hot Fuzz," 1974's "The Super Cops" fictionalizes the almost impossibly effective police work of then-real-life NYPD detectives Dave Greenberg (he of the red Batman-logo ring tee) and Robert Hantz, first seen as themselves via vintage news footage.
 
Tuesday, October 11, 2011

BKO: Bangkok Knockout

For nonstop action, Thai one on.


Action

Rod Lott
Bangkok, Oriental city. And the city don’t know what the city is getting. In the slick “BKO: Bangkok Knockout,” that’s a ruff-em’-tuff-em’ rumble involving a fight club named Fight Club getting to do what it does best: fight!
 
Friday, September 30, 2011

X-Men: First Class

An 'X'-cellent 'X'-ample in prequelizing.


Action

Rod Lott
By legal precedent, "X-Men: First Class" should be terrible, given it's the fifth entry in a franchise barely a decade old. Instead, by some early Christmas miracle, it's arguably the series' second best, behind 2003's "X2: X-Men United."
 
Tuesday, September 13, 2011

True Legend

Woo Ping = woot!


Action

Rod Lott
I can't think of the last time a straight-up martial arts film got a wide theatrical release. Ten, 15 years ago, it used to happen all the time after Jackie Chan burst through with "Rumble in the Bronx." Not every Hong Kong actioner is worth importing these days, of course, but "True Legend" s widespread love that one hopes it will find on Blu-ray and DVD.
 
Monday, September 12, 2011

Set Up

It's not like you needed the money, Bruce Willis. Is it?


Action

Rod Lott
Initially, "Set Up" sets itself up as a B version of Ben Affleck's "The Town": A few longtime friends — one of whom has a pop in prison — don masks and automatic weapons to pull off a daring daylight robbery. It quickly takes its own path as Vince (Ryan Phillippe, "The Lincoln Lawyer") double-crosses his pals, shooting them so he can make off with the diamonds.
 
Wednesday, September 7, 2011

The Exterminator

The other kind of urban renewal.


Action

Rod Lott
Ah, the ol' four-color logo for Avco Embassy Films — how comforting it is to see. And what a joy to see it attached to 1980's "The Exterminator," an exploitation action classic that somehow always eluded me, although I distinctly remember Roger Ebert losing his crap over its violent content, as Gene Siskel sat patiently across the aisle.
 
Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Captain America

Star-spangled s**t.


Action

Rod Lott
Not long after “Batman” changed Hollywood in the summer of 1989, every studio wanted to have the next comics-based blockbuster. I remember visiting Penn Square Mall’s multiplex (as I did often back then) and seeing a poster for “Captain America.” The one-sheet was comprised of little more than a close-up of Cap’s iconic shield and a promise to arrive next summer.
 
Friday, September 2, 2011

Cobra / Demolition Man / The Specialist / Assassins

Stallone, you Sly dog, you.


Action

Rod Lott
I'll admit it: I used to take Sylvester Stallone for granted, if I thought of him at all. By the time I came around in the mid-'90s — circa "Cliffhanger" — his glory days long had past. His comeback with last summer's "The Expendables" got me all nostalgic for the action films of his prime, and I've been snapping them up as I find them ever since.
 
Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Sword and Sorcery Collection

Four ’80s flicks for your pecs-and-sex viewing pleasure.


Action

Rod Lott
I wasn’t sure Shout! Factory was going to be able to top this summer’s release of “The Women in Cages Collection” in its line of “Roger Corman’s Cult Classics.” But it’s done just that with “Sword and Sorcery Collection,” rounding up four flicks for your pecs-and-sex viewing pleasure.
 
Tuesday, August 30, 2011
 
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