In The Blood Trailer

Synopsis: Gina Carano stars as Ava, a trained fighter with a dark past. When her new husband (Cam Gigandet) vanishes during their Caribbean honeymoon, Ava uncovers a violent underworld of conspiracy in the middle of an island paradise. Armed with a deadly set of skills, Ava sets out to discover the truth — and to take down the men she thinks are responsible for his abduction, one by one.

At first I felt indifferent about In the Blood during this trailer but as it went on and I saw several actors I liked were in it, I was like “Maybe I’ll give it a chance.” I am a fan of Luis Guzman, Danny Trejo, and Stephen Lang, the latter two don’t make their appearances until the second half of the trailer. Gina Carano did well in Fast 6 (I forgot she was in that until I looked up her filmography). So now I think I actually want to see it.

It feels a lot like Taken, maybe mixed with some Columbiana.  My biggest fear right now is that In the Blood will be pretty generic.  But with the cast, I am willing to give it a chance.

In the Blood will be in theaters April 4, 2014, starring Gina Carano, Cam Gigandet, Luis Guzmán, Amaury Nolasco, Ismael Cruz Cordoba, Treat Williams, Stephen Lang, and Danny Trejo and directed by John Stockwell.

In the Blood movie poster

The Last Stand Review

The Last Stand movie posterSynopsis
When Gabriel Cortez (Eduardo Noriega) escapes from FBI custody, he makes a break for the US-Mexico border. His escape leads him through Sommerton Junction, Arizona, where the local Sheriff, Ray Owens (Arnold Schwarzenegger) and his inexperienced deputies attempt to prevent his escape while waiting for reinforcements from Agent John Bannister (Forest Whitaker).

So after almost a decade of being out of film, with the exception of a few cameos, Arnold Schwarzenegger is back on the big screen. The Last Stand offers Schwarzenegger a way to get back into the swing of things. It isn’t one of Schwarzenegger’s best movies, but it isn’t one of his worst, either. This movie won’t get any awards for being original, but it brings great action from start to finish.

This film takes it’s time introducing all the characters and setting up the story. However, once the action does start, it is huge. And it doesn’t stop, or even really slow down for that matter. Every scene there is at least one explosion or gunfight (or both). It feels like a modern western.

Schwarzenegger throws out one-liners like he is back in the 1980s again. However, except for a handful, none of them are very memorable. This movie plays on the fact that Schwarzenegger is getting older. Despite being 65-years-old, he is still intimidating as ever. He may still be getting back into movies, but if this is where he is starting, then it bodes well for his future movies.

The supporting cast is excellent in this film. Luis Guzman brings his signature humor to his role as senior deputy. Jamie Alexander is becoming one of my favorite actresses. She has really proven herself in the Thor movies and does great here, too. The stand out supporting cast member is Johnny Knoxville. He doesn’t get much screen time, but when he does show up, he gets some pretty good laughs.

Schwarzenegger does great in his return to the big screen. The Last Stand starts slow, but once the action starts, it doesn’t stop. Schwarzenegger offers up some quips evocative of his films from his 1980s and 1990s heydays. The supporting cast is one of the best and Knoxville had the stand-out performance. The Last Stand is a modern western that puts the pedal to the metal and doesn’t let up.


War Review

War movie posterSynopsis
When FBI Agent Tom Lone (Terry Chen) gets murdered, his partner, Jack Crawford (Jason Statham), vows revenge. Several years later, Crawford finally catches up to his partner’s killer, the elusive assassin known as Rogue (Jet Li), and finds himself caught in the middle of a feud between two rival gangs.

War is your average action film, chock full of explosions and violence, with not much plot (at least until the end). Jet Li is one of my favorite action stars, and I have enjoyed many of Jason Statham’s movies, so it was fun to see them work together. If you enjoy any of Li’s or Statham’s other action movies, War is the movie for you.

Action sequences felt more believable than in other action movies. Not a lot of wire stunts were done (at leas t that I could see), so it added a sense of realism that usually isn’t present in movies containing martial arts. But then again, for two action stars know for their fighting skills, not a lot of it was on display. When Li and Statham finally meet, the fight felt a little lackluster. I think some of feeling was because I expected something more exaggerated from a fight between these two action heavyweights.

But throughout the rest of the film, there was a nice mix of action scenes, including hand-to-hand combat, gun battles, explosions, and a few sword fights. There was a little bit of everything. Most action films tend to have a camera style that is very jerky and utilizes quick cuts, but War did a good job of not following that convention. Shots were tight at times, but it wasn’t shaky, allowing the action to be easily visible without leaving the audience wondering what is happening.

With one character trying to play both sides, the plot can be hard to follow at times. I had some difficulty keeping up with who the character was working with/for, which made me lose interest in for a while. At the end, everything was explained, but it was a pain to get there. Also at the end there was a series of reveals that were pretty good and made the rest of the movie worthwhile.

It seems small, but something cool for the movie was the way the subtitles were done. Since one gang is Chinese and the other is Japanese, there are a lot of subtitles. To differentiate between the two languages, one was done in red and the other in yellow. As I said, it’s something small, but it’s a nice touch.

The action of War is much more realistic and not so over-the-top than other action films. The several plot twists and reveals at the end help make up for some of the shortcomings during the rest of the movie. Although War isn’t anything groundbreaking, it still offers all the break-neck action you could have hoped for.