Java Heat

discs day of the dead

Welcome back to This Week In Discs! As always, if you see something you like, click on the image to buy it. Day of the Dead The zombie apocalypse continues to ravage the Earth, and one of the last pockets of survivors makes their home in an abandoned missile silo. The group is divided unevenly between civilians and soldiers, but as the days pass and the undead keep coming, the tension among the living rises to dangerous levels. George Romero‘s Dead films currently number six, and while his most recent three are mostly forgettable, the original trilogy remains a classic both collectively and individually. And this is where I admit that I find Day to be the best of the bunch. Tom Savini‘s effects are the most gorily effective of the series, and while it lacks the previous films’ allegory and metaphor, it manages a self-contained story complete with good guys, bad guys, and entertaining set pieces. And hell, even John Harrison‘s score is fantastic. Scream Factory’s new Blu-ray gives the film the treatment it deserves complete with original artwork, a new HD transfer, and a load of extras including a documentary almost as long as the movie itself. [Blu-ray/DVD extras: Documentary, commentaries, featurettes, galleries, trailer]

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Screen Shot 2013-05-08 at 4.17.16 PM

I believe Mickey Rourke to be one of the greatest actors of his generation. Thought to be the second coming of Brando in the 1980s, he turned in incendiary performances in such films as The Pope of Greenwich Village, Diner and Barfly. His career – and physical appearance –  suffered a major setback in the ’90s, forcing him to take roles in lesser movies until his salvation appeared to have come in the form of his Oscar-nominated performance in The Wrestler. His appearance, therefore, in Conor Allyn’s messy Java Heat is especially sad because he did not coast on the success of that performance but rather backslid into roles not meriting his talent. Java Heat is a complete waste of Rourke, as he phones it in as French-accented terrorist, inexplicably named Malik, who is up against American FBI Agent/Marine Jake (Kellan Lutz) and Indonesian cop Hashim (Ario Bayu) in the quest to recover the kidnapped Sultana of Java (Atiquah Hasiholan). While the film has decently directed action sequences and colorful, bustling crowd scenes filmed on location in Indonesia, the plot is extremely silly and predictable and features more than a few tasteless moments. And while Lutz is adequately ripped to front an action film, he does not a leading man make.

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Java Heat

A reckless American bad boy who doesn’t play by the rules? An exotic locale with a quip-delivering partner? Lots of bullets flying with little consequence? Java Heat has it all — including the cherry on top: Mickey Rourke being a crazy bad guy. In the film, a terrorist attack leaves the Sultana of Indonesia dead and his daughter kidnapped. Jake (Kellan Lutz) struggles to produce complete sentences while trying to solve the case alongside Hashim (Ario Bayu) who doesn’t think Jake has enough clever comebacks to be a real policeman. But seriously,  you should watch the trailer just to try to understand why Lutz has trouble saying his lines. It’s baffling:

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