Thursday, June 25, 2015

Junesploitation Day 25: '90s Action!

Unarmed and extremely dangerous!

88 comments:

  1. Jeff Speakman and William Shatner in LAND OF THE FREE (1998, 100 min.) on YouTube (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QtOXCGCLk6o) for the first time.

    DING! DING! DING! WE HAVE A WINNAH!
    What makes this action flick stand out from its countless 90’s direct-to-video brethren is (a) unintentionally hilarious casting and (b) how scary-accurate it predicts the rise of the Tea Party, back when Tim McVeigh was Hollywood’s homegrown terrorist template. William Shatner plays a Ted Cruz-like California politician running for higher office. Then campaign manager Jeff Speakman (whose kenpo skills when taking down a would-be assassin are never explained) finds out Shatner’s the secret leader of a military group plotting an “Invasion USA”-like overthrow of the US government from within. So Shatner sends his main henchman, Mac the bailiff from “Night Court” (Charles Robinson), to kill Speakman and his family to keep him from testifying at trial. Low-budget action ensues, including ripping a signature “Die Hard” moment so nakedly it has to be deliberate. Copy-paste the link above and watch from 26:00 to 27:00… ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME?!?! :-D

    As you can tell from that clip, “Land of The Free” has perhaps the worst action score in the history of movies. It’s the same patriotic-sounding Casio keyboard MIDI tune repeated over and over... because Speakman is a patriot protecting his loved ones from pretend patriots, don’t you see? I literally lost count of how many cars are sent flying into the air engulfed in flames, a DTV action movie hallmark. Gratuitous candle-lit sex scene? Getaway vehicle with the brand conveniently obscured by well-placed black paint? Ticking clock explosions made tension-free by clumsy editing? Triple check, plus I swear if you look closely at his face you can see a piece of Speakman’s soul dying before your eyes. At least “Land of the Free” ends as it should, with a mano-a-mano duel to the death between The Perfect Weapon and crooked Capt. Kirk. It’s as one-sided and anti-climactic an ending as you’d expect, but it makes for a picture-perfect Junesploitation postcard moment. You’re welcome. :-)

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    1. The only movie I think I've ever seen of his is Petfect Weapon. That movie stayed on TV in the 90s. I'm still trying to decide between vandame, snipes, Willis or segal. 90s action.

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    2. He's not Seagal fat, but the dude practicing his moves to the beat of 'I've Got the Power' at the start of "The Perfect Weapon" has let himself go a bit by the time "Land of the Free" came out. A part of me thinks Speakman was robbed of a potential career as a 90's action movie man in features because of how poorly "The Perfect Weapon" did at the box office in '91. Shame, because if he'd stumbled upon an Andrew Davis type director that did for him what Davis did for Seagal and Norris Speakman might have gone to better places than straight to the DTV rack.

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    3. This movie hurt me physically. I also can't tell if anyone has real hair or it they're all hairpieces.

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  2. I chose to watch Jean Claude Van Dammes 1990 "gritty" prison movie Death Warrant... a couple things on this movie:

    1.) I am so glad that the fashion has changed from high waisted jeans on men, the moose knuckle in this movie is alarming.
    2.) Van Damme plays a Canadian, the second line of the movie is "This is LA, not Canada, we got rules here"... if he were a real Canadian, like I am, he would have apologized for no reason there.

    I can't get enough of this movie, while at the same time which I was both blind AND deaf from having to watch it.

    "Bring me a dream Burke, bring me a dream" - The Sandman

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    1. I watched that one last year for junesploitation, what a fun ride. I do love what they do with the Sandman in the movie

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    2. I was leaning on watching this because I've never seen it and it's on Netflix

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    3. so I watched Death Warrant. In doing so I remembered one of my main gripes about Van dame. That gripe is his need to pose before and after every strike.

      Side note was he considered for the role of Johnny Cage in Mortal Kombat being as though its based off him. second is Jason Statham the Van Dame of the 00's

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  3. Armour of God 2: Operation Condor (1991)

    I watched the first one so I figured what the heck watch the sequel. This one is a lot more fun and while still being in indiana jonesploitation flick they do come up with some more original gags and set pieces. Jackie of course plays Jackie (half his movies the character has the same name as him) an adventurous treasure hunter who's on the search for some lost Nazi gold. Joining him on the ride are a trio of lady sidekicks and lots of very broad stereotypes (seriously this movie has more then I remembered) and a lot of violence against women- at one point a woman is slapped twice and then punched in the face to knock her out. I think nowadays if Jackie did that he might get in trouble.

    On the plus side the action set pieces are far more polished then in the first movie and Jackie is at his comedy best. Check it out

    8 Word Review (In Preparation for SMM)

    "Villain's name is Adolf- no subtlety over here."

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  4. Men of War (1994)

    This movie was so much better than I expected it to be. Dolph Lundgren plays a former Special Ops soldier who takes a mercenary job on a small island and along the way begins to question where his loyalties should lie. Most of the action happens in the third act, but the movie uses the time before that wisely with good story and characters. Unlike many action films, when the action kicks in, it actually means something. It's a shame Dolph Lundgren never blew up as big as Stallone or Schwarzenneger. He makes a damn fine action hero. I'd recommend this one to any 90's action movie fan.

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  5. Universal Solider (1992)

    I don't think my boyfriend has been happier when I turned to him and said, lets watch a Van Damme movie. He positively skipped to the DVD shelf. Like last night I enjoyed it more than I thought. More than anything this month, I have learnt just to let a movie wash over me. Van Damme had the most adorable confused look throughout the film. Though my man Lundgren stole the show for me. I'm all ears.

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  6. Desperado (1995)

    Desperado, from Robert Rodriguez, is one of my favorite action movies, not just of the 90s, but ever.
    It feels like a loving crossbreed of Spaghetti Westerns and John Woo films.

    Desperado tells the story of a Mariachi carrying a guitar case full of guns across Mexico. He's traveling from town to town, wiping out drug dealers, on his quest to find and kill the man responsible for the death of his love.
    This movie was our introduction to Salma Hayek, and the place where most of us first saw Antonio Banderas.
    I miss when Robert Rodriquez made movies like this. He is hit or miss nowadays, but in the 90s he was on fire. This movie, and From Dusk Till Dawn, remain high on my list of favorite movies.

    Desperado is great. The music is great, the gunfight choreography is cool, and the cast is awesome.
    It's violent, it's sexy, it's cool, and it's a whole lotta fun.

    And of course I have to add this quote to my comment for Patrick:
    "WHAT IS THE NUMBER TO THE PHONE IN MY CAR!?

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    1. I just want to feel like Rodriguez is trying again. Everyone would probably disagree that he was trying in the latest Sin City but I think that's more of this psychotic PC era we find ourselves in now -- it was completely like the first in virtually every way, nudging the comic into motion. I was fine with it.

      Desperado, FDTD, even The Faculty. I liked it when he clearly tried, and the last thing he did I thought was fantastic was Planet Terror. Since then it's been "good" or "shoulda been better." It makes me sad.

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    2. I thought Planet Terror was better than Death Proof, Sin City is Fine but Planet Terror is great, love it

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  7. Chill Factor (1999, dir. Hugh Johnson) (First Time Viewing): This is one of the last 90’s action movies. The genre goes out with a whimper. Combine direct-to-DVD level special effects, with below average action and you have a bit of a dud. I did get a kick out of the “banter” between Cuba Gooding Jr. and Skeet Ulrich, but I think most of the hilarity was unintentional. Still.. as a child of the 90’s I tend to be more forgiving on 90’s action so I got a little enjoyment out of it. You can probably skip this one.

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  8. Bounty Hunters (1996) (first time viewing)

    Two bounty hunters who used to date, but now don't like each other, end up trying to get the same guy. They somehow get mixed up in mob dealings when they find a hooker in the trunk of a car. This movie goes back and forth between taking itself seriously and feeling like an action parody (I think it's trying to take itself seriously the whole time). It's got Michael "American Ninja" Dudikoff as one of the bounty hunters. He's befriended a black neighbor kid whose nickname is Word.....and "he's the man". This is exactly the kind of action movie you'd watch on USA or TNT on a lazy Sunday afternoon back in the 90's. It's alright.

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  9. Assassins (1995) - First viewing

    Maybe my expectations were too high for this because of who's involved (Richard Donner and the Wachowskis), but I didn't find much to like here. The plot is trite, Stallone's main character is dull, Banderas' ridiculous mannerisms annoy, the action isn't exciting and it takes itself too seriously to be any fun. And it's long. Waaaay too long.

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    1. Funny, I just read Patrick's Heavy Action column about Assassins from a few years back, and he saw exactly the same movie I did. Great minds and all that.

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  10. Drive (1997)

    I still don't understand why Mark Dacascos isn't a bigger star. He's athletic, charismatic, good-looking, and has enough of a sense of humor that he can transcend the silliness inherent in movies like this. Dude needs a better agent. He and Kadeem Hardison (also really good!) have decent chemistry and the fight scenes are terrific, so why does nobody remember this fun action comedy? Maybe it's the generic title and fairly nonsensical plot, but the movie is pretty wildly entertaining, I was grinning ear-to-ear the whole time.

    One thing I really appreciate about this particular buddy action movie is that even though the buddies at the forefront have different racial backgrounds, it's never the focus of antagonism or mean-spirited "jokes" (I'm looking at you, Rush Hour movies). Tons of fun, and full of clear, well-staged action (thank goodness for the time before shaky-cam), absolutely worth tracking down.

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    1. Drive kicks ass. Dacascos should be a big star, agreed.

      This makes me want to watch Brotherhood of the Wolf, honestly.

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    2. Then do it. It will be as great as ever.
      Sad that neither Dacascos nor director Christophe Gans ever again had something as good as Brotherhood of the wolf or Crying Freeman.

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  11. The Phantom (1996 dir. Simon Wincer)

    Do you want some 1930s in your 1990s action? Billy Zane, in one of his few heroic roles, is "The Phantom". The villain is Xander Drax, played by Treat Williams giving the performance of his career. Zane and Williams definitely made choices and their performances are the highlight. Unfortunately, Wincer's direction is serviceable at best, and Kristy Swanson brings very little excitement in her role and the chemistry between her and Zane suffers. Also, the "Phantom" costume is lame(Purple...why?). But it is still worth seeing just to witness an old school-PG rated movie geared towards kids where "shit" is said repeatedly.

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    1. Interesting choice Shannon! My superhero team The Indefensibles attempted to honourably defend this one recently: www.outsidetheframe.co.uk/?p=348

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  12. FIST OF THE NORTH STAR (1995)

    It’s the post-apocalypse, the world is run by an evil martial arts school (?) and the hero is a lone wanderer who is the only one who can blah blah blah etc. I’m not familiar with the anime this is based on, but I know how much the anime/manga fans dislike this movie for the liberties it takes. On its own, though, it’s a semi-decent (if incomprehensible) sci-fi martial arts flick. There’s a whole slew of B-movie and “that guy” actors in this one, so you can play a game of “spot familiar face” throughout.

    Accompanying short film: The first episode of SAILOR MOON (1995). Staying with anime. I like Batgirl, I like Supergirl, I like Buffy, I like the new Ms. Marvel, get me drunk enough and I might admit I like Kim Possible, but I just can’t get into Sailor Moon. Sorry, fans.

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    1. The Pretty Soldier will be so sad you don't like her, and so am I. :'(

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  13. Hard Target (1993)

    Knew there were a lot of fans for this one around here so decided to finally give it a shot. I'm coming at it more as a fan ofJohn Woo than JCVD, but I ended up loving everything both of them brought to it. Everything explodes when shot sufficiently full of bullets, and there are always doves when dramatically necessary. Jump kicks and mullets required. So much slow motion the film might turn into a short if played at full speed, frenetically edited together into flashes of searing light shooting through half-closed blinds on a hot summer day. Sorry for the amateur poeticism; John Woo brings out the best/worst in me. The narrative foundation of Natasha looking for her father doesn't do much for me, but fortunately Woo seems for forget about it once JCVD starts facing off with the equally legendary Lance Henrikson. Otherwise delivers on any promise a 90's action movie could make.

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    1. This is my dream movie. JCVD + John Woo + western style score + snake punching crazy violence. It just works.

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    2. I only heard recently JCVD is afraid of horses and refused to get on the Horse, all the horse shots are done with doubles in this movie, but Snake punching and the Hair are amazing

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    3. Some of the highlights of FThisMovieFest tweeting came out of this movie! I will love it for all time for that

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  14. Speed (1994)

    I had every intention of watching something new that I hadn't seen before...and then I saw my Speed DVD. (Which was already out because I've watched it super recently.)

    I love this movie so much. I could gush on and on about it, but instead I'll keep it simple. So great.

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  15. OUT FOR JUSTICE (1991)
    My absolute favorite Steven Seagal flick.

    It's awesome.
    Director John Flynn is awesome.
    William Forsythe eating all the scenery in sight is awesome.
    Seagal's Brooklyn accent is AWESOME but probably for different reasons than intended.
    Gina Gershon is in this which is also awesome.
    The fight scenes are brutal and badass which equals awesome.
    And David Michael Frank was still doing his score thing, being the Harold Faltermeyer of late 80s/early 90s action movies, which was always awesome.

    It's just awesome. Period.

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    1. Still my favorite Seagal as well.

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    2. "Ayyyyy...you got any puppy dawg food?"

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  16. eXistenZ (1999)

    If video games were like this, I'd throw up a lot more.

    We can all agree that Cronenberg is disgusting. During the entire movie, I had this look on my face like something smelled. I can't say that I liked it but it's very interesting. Video games are living things, I guess. You plug them into a port in your back. It's a game...within a game...within a game. Who knew all those games would be super boring and tedious? He could've done so many things with this idea but did none of them. After 4 of 5 of his movies, I can say that I don't think Cronenberg is my thing.

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  17. American Streetfighter (1992, dir. Steven Austin)

    Brit Gary Daniels is in hiding in Hong Kong after a heist at a '50s themed diner goes deadly. He comes back to the U.S. after 10 years because his estranged younger brother is about to sign a contract with Gerald Okamura to be a kickboxer on the underground circuit (huh?) It turns out Gerald is killing his own fighters so he can smuggle drugs in their corpses (again?) Gary has this argument with a 10 year old: "So you really think that the Ninja Turtles could've beaten Bruce Lee?" "Sure I do! Michelangelo is a bad dude!" The guy raising the kid is Gary's eye-patched, cigar-chomping childhood Karate teacher, who, when attacked by a Japanese femme fatale, says "You piece of low life! As far as I'm concerned, I'm back in Vietnam... and there's no mercy!" The director made one more movie with Daniels before moving into porn. Trailer.

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  18. I'm watching The Last Boyscout (1991). Love that movie. The scene by the pool, with the cigarette, "head or gut", the yo mama jokes. Just great.

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    1. I was about 13 when this came out on VHS. Everyone at school was talking about it and my parents happened to rent it. So, I begged them to let me watch it with them. Not my first R rated movie (cause, you know....you and your friends find ways), but it was the first R rated movie I watched with my parents. I freaking LOVED it....still do. One of my faves.

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    2. I just read that the actor who played Milo so brilliantly, Taylor Negron, died of cancer on January 10th of this year. Too bad, he was fantastic as the funny psycho bad guy. May he rest in pieces. (Because of the fact he gets chopped up by helicopter blades at the end of this movie...Too soon?)

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    3. Just noticed by the way. Willis's character is named Joe Hallenbeck. Hell and back. Kind of what he goes through in the movie.

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    4. Don't forget more recently that Rick Ducommun, of The Burbs fame, passed away. He was the city worker who was told "lose the grid or you lose your job" in Die Hard and the dude who is sitting by the outdoor pool when the car crashes into it in The Last Boy Scout.

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    5. One of my favorite movies of all time. I'd take it over Die Hard.

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  19. ESCAPE FROM L.A. (1996)
    I need more Carpenter in my Junesploitation. Also Kurt Russell never hurts.

    I love this movie more than anyone I know. I don't mind that it's as much a remake as sequel, because it's much more like a comic book and I like the satire of Hollywood (sure, they're easy jokes, but that doesn't mean they're not funny). Not even the terrible CG bothers me, because I just have such a good time with it overall.

    Plus one of the ultimate "I'm John Carpenter so FUCK YOU" endings ever.
    I'm a fan.

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    1. This is one of the best defenses of Escape from LA I've ever read.

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    2. Thanks, Mike! It's not perfect, but so few flicks are, and I love it for what it is.

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    3. Aside from the early CGI, Escape From LA is awesome.
      And that ending...oh, man that ending.
      It's one of my favorite last shots in any movie.
      "Welcome to the human race."

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    4. I like the humor injection. Carpenter pokes fun at his own work. "I thought you were dead", becomes "I thought you'd be taller."
      I love Carjack, the "Jaws" moment, and my favorite, the Surgeon General of Beverly Hills.

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    5. Yeah, there were some pokes at NY in the original, but the humor here -- even, like Kyle said, at the original's expense -- is much more pronounced in the sequel, and it's quite welcome as it gives this one its own vibe.

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  20. The Fugitive (1993)
    This is a pretty basic pick, but I like this movie. Harrison Ford is a man who was framed with the murder of his wife and I on the run from the law while he tries to solve the murder himself. Probably one of my favorite action moves that I can just turn on and watch anytime.

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    1. Yep, me too. One of those movies that really engage you, so you forget time and kind of feel the time in the story. Those are the best. I first experienced that when I was 10 and watched The Good, the bad and the ugly. The scene with Blondy in the desert seemed to last forever to me.

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    2. I remember getting sucked into that movie for the first time too. Those sequences might have felt long partly because its very drawing and atmospheric, but also because its three hours long.

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  21. Legionarre (1998): Well I kind of enjoyed it! I got what I signed up for even if it takes itself too seriously, is clunky and overly long.

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  22. I'm watching The Last Boyscout (1991). Love that movie. The scene by the pool, with the cigarette, "head or gut", the yo mama jokes. Just great.

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    1. Sorry old tab was open

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    2. Touch me again and ill kill ya!

      Oops I just spilled my cup of warm p#ss

      Love it

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  23. Im blaming Patrick for this pick!

    I saw the tagline at the top "Unarmed and extremely dangerous!" and I thought, Remo, I know that one, not seen it in ages, so I watched it then later to check the date found out it was in 85, I was off by 5 years but im kinda blaming Patrick here :)

    So Remo, Unarmed and Dangerous 1985
    This film is fun, to give a different review im gonna give you some of my favourite dialog lines and you can decide if its cool or not cause I thinks its brilliant

    I'm gonna promise you Terror for breakfast, pressure for lunch and Aggravation for sleep,

    Watches are a confidence trick invented by the Swiss

    I know 20 steps to a woman's ecstasy but I rarely need more than 7

    Women should stay home and make Babies only, preferably Man-child

    Fred Ward in top form with a scene on top of the Statue of Liberty that if you don't like heights will make you go a bit woozy, it kinda like "Karate Kid with Parkour"


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    1. That's such a bizarre overseas title. Also bizarre that I just mentioned Remo in The Perfect Weapon Heavy Action without seeing this first!

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    2. Its the only title I know it by. I did not know the other title till today after I had learned how to dodge bullets with Remo ;)

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  24. Rage (1995) Dir. Joseph Merhi

    After watching the holy-shitness of "Recoil" earlier this month, I figured it was time to check out another PM Entertainment flick. Well, the holy-shitness kept going. I must be late to the boat on PM Entertainment, but so far this company has delivered action to the fullest. I've seen a handful of their flicks (some in the past which I had no idea was PM) but now I'm going to make it a mission to try and make it through their filmography.

    Yet again, I'm watching an action scene unfold within the first 5 minutes of the film only to allow a breath or two before it rolls into a 20 minute semi-truck car chase with more vehicles exploding than my eyeballs while watching this. There is some incredible stunt work, including a scene on the side of a skyscraper featuring the worst sharpshooter from a helicopter in the history of cinema, the aforementioned chase scene and a mall shoot out including carnage in a surf shop and a video store with PM posters everywhere! (I F-ing wish that existed!).

    The plot (does it matter?) : Corrupt politicians working on a "perfect specimen" army try to clone a Kindergarten teacher (Daniels.) It's mostly action throughout and, honestly, that's all I want with these kind of flicks. "Recoil" beats this out by just a hair but let me just say this - after seeing "Recoil", I immediately bought it. After seeing this - I did exactly the same. Definitely recommended!

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    1. "Land of the Free," which I reviewed at the start of this thread, is also a PM Entertainment joint. Check YouTube (PM Movies Collection) for a healthy dose of their DTV output... so good. :-)

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    2. Damn right so good! I just ordered 4 dvd's blind. Free Space day I'm going to check out one of their flicks from '92 called Street Crimes with my man, Dennis Farina.

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  25. The Long Kiss Goodnight (1996)
    An amnesiac begins to remember details of her violent former life; Geena Davis commences to be a bad motherfucker.
    This was the Shane Black movie of choice in our house growing up, but I hadn't seen it in about a decade. Would it hold up? As the big stupid grin on my face through the whole thing will attest, hell yes. Its excess will leave you giddy. The movie is endlessly quotable, the acting's solid, and I love the development of the relationship between Davis and Samuel L. Jackson. Also, his fuzzy hat predilection must be seen to be believed.

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    1. This was going to be my pick but dvd hadn't arrived yet. But I feel a shane black rabbit hole coming up very soon

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    2. Are you thinking what im thinking?

      I hope not, cause im thinking how much my balls hurt!

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  26. Fled (1996)

    Laurence Fishburne and Stephen Baldwin will always be MY Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan.

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    1. That may be the single greatest sentence ever composed. Shakespeare can go ahead and suck it.

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  27. HARD TARGET (1993)
    Nice revisit from F This Movie Fest!

    One of my favorite -- and maybe #1 favorite, actually -- Van Damme movies.

    It brought John Woo to America, which means we have this to thank for Face/Off, (which I'm watching next).

    If you wanna be negative, you can say this led to Paycheck, but why be negative?
    Celebrate the Woo. Love the Woo.
    LIVE the Woo.

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    1. BE the Woo? SMELL the Woo? EAT the Woo? (eeeeuu!) It never ends! :-P

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  28. Die Hard with a Vengeance (1995)

    McTiernan returns to put his stamp on what could be the best action trilogy of all-time. Samuel L is a welcome addition, as is Jeremy Irons' menacing voice. Is it perfect? Far from it; the editing is clunky and awkward, and many of it's ideas remain half-baked (it did not end racism in America, as it turns out.) However, it does benefit from a script that is sharp, tight, and wonderfully unconventional. In a movie set in a sprawling urban landscape, it does manage to find several action set pieces that deal unique. Not once does the action devolve into a shootout in a crowded street, as a lesser movie would do. Biggest complaint would be the ending. It's not that I don't like it, it's that it ratchets the tension from the first 2 hours way down. The whole movie had been set against a figurative "running clock", and the ending takes some of that away. Still, a more than worthy entry into the Die Hard series, and easily my second favorite.

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  29. Die Hard with a Vengeance (1995)

    McTiernan returns to put his stamp on what could be the best action trilogy of all-time. Samuel L is a welcome addition, as is Jeremy Irons' menacing voice. Is it perfect? Far from it; the editing is clunky and awkward, and many of it's ideas remain half-baked (it did not end racism in America, as it turns out.) However, it does benefit from a script that is sharp, tight, and wonderfully unconventional. In a movie set in a sprawling urban landscape, it does manage to find several action set pieces that deal unique. Not once does the action devolve into a shootout in a crowded street, as a lesser movie would do. Biggest complaint would be the ending. It's not that I don't like it, it's that it ratchets the tension from the first 2 hours way down. The whole movie had been set against a figurative "running clock", and the ending takes some of that away. Still, a more than worthy entry into the Die Hard series, and easily my second favorite.

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  30. Double Team

    I saw this movie when it originally came out. Boy, was it completely different than I remembered. I thought Rodman had a major role, but was surprised most of his screen time is after The Colony. It seems like there are two conflicting movies here: JCVD's hunt for Starvos and The Existence of The Colony. I would have preferred if The Colony was the main focus. The Starvos plot is your generic action movie plot. It doesn't help that Mickey Rourke adds nothing to Starvos. I still managed to have fun because of the action sequences and brisk running time. It's kind of sad that Double Team was the beginning of the end for JCVD's theatrical career. Knock Off, his next film, would be his last leading theatrical vehicle (for now at least) in the US. If anyone is deserving of a career resurgence, it is Jean Claude Van Damme.

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    1. I have a real soft spot for Double Team for how crazy it is. The story is all over the place and half of the dialogue is clearly ADR, a lot of it when the character speaking isn't facing the camera, which leads me to wonder how much the script changed between filming and post-production. Sometimes people are even talking without moving their lips!

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  31. Army of One (aka Joshua Tree) (1993, dir. Vic Armstrong)

    Decent effort in which Dolph Lundgren plays a convict framed for the murder of his friend (Ken Foree!) by dirty cop George Segal. He goes on the run with soap opera star Kristian Alfonso. For an action movie, I wish there was more action. What there is is good, probably because director Armstrong is a former stuntman and knows how to put a scene together. The movie is worth seeing just for a warehouse shootout halfway through that goes on for SO LONG and shoots a whole lot of people. Not my favorite Dolph Lundgren joint, but decent enough to watch it again.

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    1. There's an unrated version out there (on a dirty full screen DVD, because Artisan) where that shoutout is even longer. I totally agree that the movie needed more action but what's there is pretty great.

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  32. FACE/OFF (1997)
    A big budget exploitation flick, and a pretty weird one at that (which is part of its considerable charm).

    EASILY the best American film Woo ever made. Violent and over the top, full of melodrama and everything played so BIG -- but, I feel, never tipping into camp. They all toe the line admirably, without falling.

    A classic. Eminently watchable.

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    1. Just saw this after a really long time and was surprised that I forgot how the great cast is stacked with character actors.
      Next to scenery chewing Cage and Travolta there are Joan Allen and Gina Gershon, Thomas Jane, John Carroll Lynch, Margaret Cho and Colm Feore. Lots of talent in front of and behind the camera.
      And let´s not forget the dove...

      I agree: Best american Woo film

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  33. The Perfect Weapon (1991)
    I hadn't seen this when it came out either. I found it entertaining. The oddest thing, though, is I kept thinking of The Wolverine while I was watching this. From Speakman trusting the wrong people, to the funeral, to him losing his temper and going berserker. Even his wardrobe reminded me of Logan. By the end of the movie I was calling it The Perfect Weapon: Weapon X.

    What the hell was up with Mariska Hargitay's role in this? I refuse to believe it was always that small.

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    1. That's a pretty amazing comparison, and quite apt!

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  34. Showdown in Little Tokyo (1991)
    Here's another one that I never saw before, and was waiting for me on the ol' DVR, courtesy of Senor Rodriguez' El Rey Network.
    This movie is insane! All I want to do now is watch the even crazier, unexpurgated version.

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  35. Grid Runners: Almost forgot to post about this so I figured I would try. Wilson is a cool dude. One thing though: The people's republic of England?! "God save the King... get me the Prime Minster of The People's Republic of England!" My brain has just haemorrhaged

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  36. Stone Cold (1991)
    Let's call this the Patrick Bromley 90s Action Triple Feature -- The Perfect Weapon, Showdown in Little Tokyo, and Stone Cold.

    Honestly, I feel ashamed and embarrassed to say I was late to the party on this picture too. Holy... fucking... shit... this movie is fucking incredible!

    Bosworth fucking crushes it in this movie. It's regrettable he never became a bigger action star.

    This is one of Lance Henriksen's greatest villain roles. Top 3, Near Dark, Hard Target and Stone Cold. If I'm leaving something out, I'm sure someone will tell me. It's early, I'm tired, and spent after this action extravaganza, so please take pity on me.

    But, and here is where I feel truly ashamed... I've met William Forsythe twice in the past 14 months. If I never get to speak to him ever again, if I can never ask him any questions about this movie , I'll never forgive myself.

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    1. Between this and "Out for Justice" '91 was a banner year for Forsythe. I mean, who's a bigger bad-ass henchman, Ice or Richie Madano? They're both up there. And that compound where the bikers are headquartered with outdoor showers for strippers to bathe nude? And that attack on a real state capital building? "Stone Cold" is awesome, though I'm not totally sold on Bosworth as an action star. Either that or the star aura emanating from Henriksen and Forsythe overshadows Bosworth's, but that opening in the supermarket is the shit. :-)

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    2. Granted on the aura emanating from Henriksen and Forsythe; I just think Bosworth performed better in his first starring role than some other action stars who actually went on to superstardom.

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  37. RAPID FIRE (1992) [NEXT DAY CHEAT]
    I already did Motel Hell earlier this month, can't find my copy of Ravenous, and Manhunter probably doesn't count for Cannibals, so I'm watching this classic of 90s Action off the DVR.

    This flick is 31 flavors of awesome. I wish Powers Boothe was my dad.

    RIP Brandon Lee...

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    1. "Cheaters Never Prosper..." except during Junesploitation! ;-)

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  38. Double Team (1997)

    While watching this for the first time I texted my friend saying "I'm watching Double Team for the first time. Just saw Van Damme and Rodman jump out of a plane using an inflatable basketball as a parachute..."

    Junsploitation you've done it again.

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