Bullet to the Head

disc header kidnapped

Welcome back to This Week In Discs! As always, if you see something you like, click on the image to buy it. Kidnapped Four men weighed down with stolen loot try to make their escape, but when one of their own is gunned down the remaining three take hostages in their bid for freedom. They end up in a car with a woman, a man, and the man’s son as they force the hostages to drive them out of the city. As the hours tick by the tension builds as to what will happen and who will survive the getaway. Director Mario Bava took a break from his usual horrific fare to make this tight and somewhat claustrophobic thriller, and the result is one of his most entertaining films. Much of the movie is a fairly traditional setup that puts in place certain expectations, but Bava and writer Alessandro Parenzo are far more interested in subversion and true suspense than they are in fulfilling cliches. The ending alone makes this one worth seeing, and the film itself is a nearly lost gem worth owning. It also doesn’t hurt that Kino Classics’ Blu-ray transfer is absolutely stunning. [Blu-ray extras: Trailers]

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The Last Stand Arnold Schwarzenegger

In the summer of 2002, an action film was released that declared itself a new kind of spy movie. It said goodbye to the archaic days of Pierce Brosnan’s tired, nostalgia-mining James Bond in favor of something more 21st century. And in 2002, that meant a lot of nu-metal and X-Games stunts. That film was the absurd xXx, which turned out to be a minor hit before Vin Diesel’s action star career went into near-permanent stall mode for the better part of that decade. However, it was a much less arrogant film that ended up changing the spy genre. Doug Liman’s The Bourne Identity made Matt Damon into the unlikeliest of action heroes. He proved that American action stars didn’t need to look and talk like professional wrestlers. Damon’s lean, agile, reserved, and intelligent character didn’t require obvious quips, unquestioning jingoism, or a money shot of him walking away from a sea of explosions to be a threatening bad ass. As the first three Bourne films were released to an exponentially bigger cult of admirers, the brute action stars of old faded into obsolescence. Arnold was a politician, Sly was nowhere to be seen, and a post-Shyamalan Bruce Willis took seemingly every part he could get his hands on, good or bad, only briefly returning to his action movie roots with a PG-13 muzzle. Then, at the end of the decade, with the release of The Expendables, the brute action hero nostalgia machine kicked into high gear. And promptly went […]

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Bullet to the Head

Walter Hill‘s long overdue return to theaters opens with a CGI bullet fired straight at viewers as it blasts through the various studio logos on its way to our brain. For better or worse, the film that follows delivers on that graphical promise. James Bonomo (Sylvester Stallone) is a New Orleans Crescent City hit-man with Hollywood scruples (“no women, no kids”) who finds himself double-crossed after an otherwise successful job. He escapes a bathroom assault by a large, Conanic man named Keegan (Jason Momoa), but Bonomo’s partner isn’t so lucky. D.C. detective Taylor Kwon (Sung Kang) also lost a partner recently, his ex-partner being the guy who was capped by Bonomo in the opening scene, and now he’s made his way to the Big Easy to investigate. Kwon and Bonomo find each other thanks to some incredible detective work on the former’s part (the only example of his skills found here) and decide to join forces to catch the bad guys further up the chain of command including Christian Slater and Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje. But working together won’t be easy for these two gunslingers from opposite sides of the law… especially after dirty cops, racial insensitivity and Bonomo’s hot, tattooed daughter (Sarah Shahi) enter the mix.

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The Last Stand

Arnold Schwarzenegger’s full fledged return to the big screen in this weekend’s The Last Stand isn’t triumphant by any measure, but it is a pretty fun action film which is all the more impressive considering the star is 65 years of age. Raking in an estimated and meager $6.3 million three-day total, the film was handily out-grossed by Mama, Zero Dark Thirty, Silver Linings Playbook, Gangster Squad, A HAUNTED HOUSE, Django Unchained, The Hobbit, and man the list just keeps on going. I mean, seriously, did you see that A Haunted House, a movie that likely shouldn’t have even gotten a theatrical release, beat out The Last Stand at the movies? That’s disgraceful. I’m glad to see the success of Mama and many of the other films are Awards Season hold-overs, but this weekend should have been one for Arnold to win. If you’re an action film, I’m here to tell you: you’ve got to see action films in theaters or we’re screwed.

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Sylvester Stallone in Cobra 2: Axing for Trouble

Sylvester Stallone hits the big screen this weekend with the sequel to his modest 2010 hit, The Expendables, but he’s not resting on those highfalutin laurels. The trailer has just dropped for his next movie, Bullet To the Head, and it looks as lazy as Stallone speaks. The film is Walter Hill‘s return to theaters after a ten year absence and follows a hit man (Stallone) and a cop (Sung Kang) who join forces to take down the barbarian (Jason Momoa) responsible for killing their respective partners. The goal appears to have been to make a far less funny 48 Hours, and they just may have succeeded. So yeah, they aimed for Another 48 Hours. Check out the trailer below, and weep at its lack of ambition.

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Sly Stallone is still ripped

What is Movie News After Dark? It’s a nightly movie news column that is about to turn 1-year old. As a digital entity, it always knew this day would come. It’s a matter of deduction, really. As a sentient being, it knows that each day is a blessing. Each night, however, is a curse — a curse full of delicious movie-related links. We begin this evening with a shot of Sylvester Stallone in Bullet to the Head, a new actioner from famed action director guy Walter Hill. What’s impressive about this image — beyond the fact that it features a man who, at this point, is old enough to receive Social Security — is that Stallone continues to look younger and leaner than ever. There’s something fishy about it. And whatever drugs he’s on, I want some, too.

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As was reported in last night’s Movie News After Dark column, a television actress by the name of Sarah Shahi that Neil Miller has some sort of creepy, obsessive crush on has been cast to play Sylvester Stallone’s daughter in the upcoming Walter Hill film The Movie Formerly Known as Headshot: Formerly Directed by Wayne Kramer. Clearly, the project has had a few hiccups getting all of the pieces together to move ahead with filming. But there are a few things about it that we know for sure. The first is that it’s an adaptation of the graphic novel “Bullet to the Head”, which was penciled by Colin Wilson and written by something called Matz. Because of this we also know that it is the story of a New Orleans based hitman who teams up with a police officer to take down the killer of their respective partners. Stallone has always been set to play the hitman, that’s for sure. And the cop is either going to be portrayed by Thomas Jane, or somebody with more of an ethnic flavor like Fast Five’s Sung Kang, we don’t really have any solid news on that. But what there is some new news on is who will be playing the role of the killer, Keegan. The Latino Review is reporting that actor Jason Momoa, whose gargantuan size and intimidating presence has led to him playing the horse lord Khal Drogo on the HBO series Game of Thrones and Conan the Barbarian in […]

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