Universal Soldier: Day of Reckoning (John Hyams, 2012)

Discuss films of the 21st century including current cinema, current filmmakers, and film festivals.
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flyonthewall2983
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Universal Soldier: Day of Reckoning (John Hyams, 2012)

#1 Post by flyonthewall2983 » Sat Nov 03, 2012 4:11 pm

I have a mild curiosity about the latest Universal Soldier movie. It's getting some pretty good reviews (the sort of "for what it is, it's good" ones though). I've been following and commenting on OutlawVern's site and what I'm sensing is that there's been a more artistic and thoughtful approach to some Direct-To action movies lately. An interesting development if true.

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knives
Joined: Sat Sep 06, 2008 6:49 pm

Re: The Films of 2012

#2 Post by knives » Sat Nov 03, 2012 9:06 pm

My experience with them reflects that sentiment. There's an awful lot of good action films being made, but none have been sent to theaters lately it seems. Dolph Lundgren especially seems to have filled a surprisingly intelligent gap.

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flyonthewall2983
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Re: The Films of 2012

#3 Post by flyonthewall2983 » Sat Nov 03, 2012 10:20 pm

Any titles come to mind?

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knives
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Re: The Films of 2012

#4 Post by knives » Sat Nov 03, 2012 11:26 pm

I really adore Missionary Man which doesn't come completely together, but it aims so high at least narratively with a bit of Eastwood in there that that slight incoherence is easily forgiven. I also have found several of the DC and Marvel animated features to be good particularly Planet Hulk.

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Forrest Taft
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Re: The Films of 2012

#5 Post by Forrest Taft » Sun Nov 04, 2012 7:01 am

Isaac Florentine has made some good DTV action movies. His latest is apparently terrible, but the two Undisputed sequels he has made, as well as Ninja, are all worthwhile. Florentine also directed one of the better DTV vehicles for Jean Claude Van Damme, The Shepherd: Border Patrol. Another favourite among those who enjoy this stuff is Blood and Bone with Michael Jai White. Like Undisputed 2 and 3, it's a fight film. In other words, much of the enthusiasm comes from the fact that the fights are excellent. Not only is the choreography exciting, but unlike more expensive action movies/blockbusters, these movies are directed by people who knows how to capture action on camera, and knows how to cut it together.

Saw the latest Universal Soldier yesterday, and enjoyed it. It's a moody, grim little film, unlike anything else I've ever seen. The trailer made it seem like an Apocalypse Now ripoff, with a bald Van Damme stepping in as Kurtz, but that's not really true. He's not in it that much, and neither is Lundgren. DTV-favourite Scott Adkins (he was in all of the Florentine movies I mentioned above) is the lead, and he's better here than the last time he tried to carry an entire movie (Ninja). John Hyams (son of Peter) directs from a script he co-wrote. The pacing is off, but the strange, unpredictable narrative held my attention. At times, this fells more like a horror movie than an action flick. It's entrely humorless, which makes some of the graphic violence a bit hard to stomach at times. The opening, in particular, is quite gruesome. Stick with it though, there are many good scenes to come, including an excellent fight in a sporting goods store.

I second the Missionary Man recommendation. Dolph Lundgren also wrote and directed it. Not nearly as good is Command Performance, a "Die Hard at a concert venue" movie Lundgren also wrote and directed where he plays a rock-n-roll drummer who has to take down a bunch of Eastern European terrorists who takes some hostages and stuff. Not as good as it sounds, but I enjoy all Die Hard-ripoffs.

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