Archive for gabriel macht

S.W.A.T Firefight

Posted in Action, drama, Movies with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 14, 2011 by aliciamovie

 

Reviewed by Alicia Glass

Studio: Stage 6 Films

MPAA Rating: R

Director: Benny Boom

Review Rating: 7 Obstacle Courses

Los Angeles SWAT Instructor Paul Cutler is sent to Detroit to train a SWAT group in FBI certification, but training gets a harsh dose of reality on a live response to a domestic dispute call.

You wouldn’t think they would bother with a sequel to the SWAT movie deal, considering that the first one, while fairly lauded and somewhat popular, didn’t make a whole lot of film waves; but they did. And to give the movie gods credit, it’s not half bad at all. Like, literally. Half the film is greatly watchable, and the other half, well, judge for yourself. Director Benny Boom seems to have a clear understanding that a SWAT movie needs a healthy balance of action, but also respect for all that they do, undergo, and fight for. Half the movie focuses on training under the boyish but firm hands of Gabriel Machts’ character Paul Cutler, with all manner of weapons, situations, hostage negotiations and so forth. The other half of the movie, where they attempt to toss all this nifty training into a real life situation and have the trainees go through it that way too, is rather sloppy and ill-explained. Which is unfortunate, because the bad guy in this instance is Robert Patrick of Terminator 2 fame, and he really deserved a more well-defined character. Interestingly enough, we also have another Terminator baddie, Kristanna Loken, who sadly gets all of five minutes face time before her face ends up on a wall.

Since the first SWAT movie had several noteable actors and gave the shot to a few lesser-knowns, the sequel seems to follow the same pattern. Aside from Macht, Patrick and Loken, we have several others of middling fame to round out a pretty nice-looking cast. Nicholas Gonzalez, of True Blood (that should get some attention), Anacondas and Spun note, stars as Justin Kellog, member of the team that gives Cutler the most trouble. Shannon Kane of Brooklyn’s Finest wings in as Lori Barton, the token female of the SWAT gang who of course happens to be a very fine sharpshooter and can hang with the guys all night long. Micah Hauptman, yes he was in Iron Man, stars as Richard Mundy, the somewhat methodical and contemplative member of the team. And Matt Bushell, yes he was *sigh* in Twilight, lends strength as another member of the team, Danny Stockton. Gino Anthony Pesi, of The Vampire Diaries and the newly released Battle: Los Angeles stars as Wayne Wolport, yet another teammate. And Giancarlo Esposito, who’s been in the biz since the 70’s and in everything from Do The Right Thing to CSI: Miami, gives a very fine performance as Inspector Hollander, leader of the Detroit SWAT group under Cutler’s training.

If you like gritty reality police-style dramas, this heartfelt attempt at a sequel is for you. Just bear in mind, the attempted plot has several holes; enjoy the action and try not to expect toooo terribly much. S.W.A.T. Firefight gets a rating of 7 Obstacle Courses!

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The Spirit

Posted in Action, comedy, Comics, drama, Fantasy, Movies, Romance, Sci-Fi with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on July 9, 2009 by aliciamovie

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Reviewed by Alicia Glass

Studio: Lionsgate Films

MPAA Rating: PG 13

Director: Frank Miller

Review Rating: 7

 

Based on Will Eisner’s legendary comic book, The Spirit features Denny Colt, former cop arisen from the dead to seek justice on the mean streets of Central City.

 

It’s sad to say, as is my understanding the comic book has been around since the 1950’s if not longer, that the movie adaptation just isn’t that good. It’s like trying to take a Dick Tracy style story and toss it into the visual world of Sin City, it just doesn’t mesh together at all. I adore Miller’s style of movie making, but that just isn’t right for this movie. The memorabilia shots are all in sepia, fine, that’s standard. But tossing in black and white with one single splotch of bright color shots, right alongside the gritty black and white rain style scenes, plus standard monochrome shots with soft highlights of color all together; it looks like there was more than one director and none of them could agree on shot style.

 

Be that as it may, the movie plot itself is more or less fine. Denny Colt, arisen from the grave to shun Lady Death and use all his strength and sheer refusal to DiE already, is pretty good. His main enemy the Octopus, played by Samuel L. Jackson, is a complete nutball and has a penchant for costumery apparently. (But nothing beats Sam in a Nazi uniform getting crushed by a swastika eagle.) And lets not forget the slew of attractive women, who of course all have a thing for our hero one way or another, and all have funny names like Silken Floss, or Sand Seraf. There is however a serious age gap between the comic book and it’s adaptation to the big screen, and it’s clearly in evidence when The Spirit, in full masque, utters things like, “Gosh darn it all to heck” and “Oh golly”. The henchmen for the Octopus are all played by the same guy, Louis Lombardi, and each one has a t-shirt with his name, which is very comic-book-y, like Pathos, Ethos and Logos, but also like Adios and Amigos. The bits where The Spirit narrates himself though, and talks about his city as his only woman, are pretty good.

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Some fans of the comic book may be thrilled that it finally came to the big screen, but disappointed at the attempts to modernize; some may enjoy both.