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Men of War

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Sometimes a studio puts too much talent behind a terribly stupid movie. Sometimes there's some subtle social commentary that sneaks into the script and then has the competency behind the camera to accurately capture those topics. Then you have action guys who just like to blow everything up. Welcome to Men of War.

I absolutely adore this movie. It suffers from the Idiot Plot, yet has some level of emotion behind everything it tries to achieve. It's like a mashup of Forrest Gump/Platoon and Deadly Prey. Everything is shot well, the location is fantastic, the dialogue is sharp.... until Dolph gets to deliver some one-liners.

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Picasso Trigger

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Andy Sidaris once again dials the nonsense up to about 50 and matches that number with topless women. This time the LETHAL team has to deal with some internal double-crossing or triple-crossing, we're very confused on how many crossings happen here. 

We've seen that a lot of the reviews online for the 4th film in the LETHAL collection (this one proves that Seven is part of the franchise) that this one isn't good. There's no giant snake gimic, not as crazy stunts, and a much crappier version of the Malibu Express. Those points are all correct however, this is still a great time and as far as we can see has only one extreme drawback - the continuing degradation of the Abilene's in quality. Travis Abilene is the worst. He's just scummy. The actor belongs on the bad guy team - not among the coolest guys of all time. He stinks.

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Who Killed Captain Alex?

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From Wakaliwood comes Uganda's first action movie! This is Uganda! Yeah Yeah Yeah Okay! Commandos! Tiger Mafia! Tiger Mafia Commandos! VJ Emmie on the mic! So yeah, we make fun of it.

Who Killed Captain Alex is one of the cleverly disguised as crap, but actually smarter b-movies we've reviewed on the show. We found the plot to be fairly conventional while watching the movie until the last 3 frames and we released that we had been duped. This was no common hyper-budget action movie. Nothing out of Vietnam, Philippines, or Mexico writes like this. Its absolutely riffing on the entire genre in the vain of The OPTurbo-Kid, and Jesus Christ: Vampire Hunter. The hook is so subtle despite it being the title of the damn movie.

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American Hunter

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Robert Mitchum's kid freelances his way into a "get the ninja tape" situation and into Janet's heart all while being WAY above the law and murdering many innocent people. Expect some shenanigans in this super-budget movie out of Indonesia.

One of a kind in it's repetition and recurring themes, American Hunter (Lethal Hunter in Europe) is a classic super-budget action film with very poorly thought-out plot elements. Behold the final list of incredibly weird repeating onscreen events:

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The Hurricane Heist

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The US Dept of Treasury hires an ATF agent and some "Army guys" to protect $600 million on its way to a giant paper shredder. Then some baddies try to steal it. Set to the backdrop of a physically impossible hurricane. The only thing in their way? A weatherman and is mechanic brother. Too early to whisper SMABFA?

This movie is crap. Whether its enjoyable crap is a topic for debate, which we'll get into, but it's absolute crap. Fans of bad movies MUST see this film. It's astounding that we are still making screenplays that are this terrible. At no point did anyone bother to open a book to check out how hurricanes work. So the science is impossibly bad - like Armageddon bad. Yet, the science is not as bad as the plot. You guessed it, we're facing another round of the idiot plot. Both sides (good and bad guys) go out of their way to ensure the plot exists against their own interests. Stuff that next to atrocious dialogue such as:

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Rampage

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Dwayne is back into being the charming, super-ripped, former Special Forces, who has more ability to punch a monster in the face than follow social norms. This time he's playing the role of 15th guy from the 4th level of the original video game. Plus 3 monsters destroy Chicago and Don Jr. makes his acting debut.

Thanks to the incredibly bad decisions of corporate scientist CEOs (whatever that is), we are treated to three genetically mutated former critters that eventually get to big and start smashing crap. You can imagine what that's like. So let's talk about everything else.

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I think we were about as far off as we possibly could be. Ours was more like "Great Kicks For Old Chuck Percy Snow". This informat... Read More
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No Holds Barred

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People that make TV shows, write a script in 72 hours while blasting through piles of cocaine, that showcases their complete lack of knowledge about making TV shows. It's Rip v Zeus in The Battle of the Tough Guys that can only end in one way.... murder!

Nothing can describe the (at that time) WWF in the late 80s like No Holds Barred. Hulk is the #1 guy in the phony man-fighting and his entire schtick is on display here. There's no difference between the character of Rip and Hulk Hogan. Imagine a film called "Morgue Work" starring The Undertaker who's character name is Mortician Jim. Rip loves the kids, he loves his family and he loves making snorting sounds....just like Hulk Hogan. Which leads me to believe that Terry Hogan had more to do with writing this POS then Vince McMahon. I like to envision Terry writing in crayon in a furor while McMahon murders prostitutes in the corner.

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The Running Man

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Despite its satirical nature and heavy social commentary, The Running Man drops the ball (or the hockey puck) before the goal and trips into the net, bashes into the goalpost, gets the ball stuck in its facemask, and suffers multiple self-inflicted concussions. Well...at least it didn't murder it's ex-wife and her lover. WHOA!! TOO SOON!

1987's The Running Man is one of those "oh, so close" to being good films, but as we see time and time again, men in ties get in the way and say "We gotta ham this up! We got Arnold so its has to be stupid, right?" There is just enough left of Stephen King's novella in here that you feel like you should be able to see past the caricature of entertainment and find meaning in its messages. Time for some deep reflection, right? Well no. Time to slap your forehead in missed opportunity grief.

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Radical Jack

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When you need the toughest of tough guys to play your super agent and lone wolf defender of justice, get that Achy Breaky Heart guy. No man has ever been tougher! But make sure his girlfriend is the one that is the most "radical".

Here's the end result of Radical Jack; Jack is NOT radical, in fact. His most penultimate "action" move to hide under a bed. Not kidding. The film spends the first 3/4 telling us how tough Jack is, what with his smoldering gazes, his Ray-Ban shades, his supreme mullet, his "Renegade" Jeep, his barb-wire tattoo and such. Then we learn he's just not tough at all as he fails to be the catalyst and executor of the climax. It's DeeDee Pfeiffer who is indeed the radical one. "Radical Kate" should be the title of the film.

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Simon Sez

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Dennis Rodman returns in the form of a bumble-bee to plant the foundation of the XXX squad, by making Dane Cook the CEO. Its truly in the list of worst action movies ever made and could be the gold standard for enjoyably dumb action movies...if it wasn't for Dane Cook.

Dane Cook blows. You know this, so we aren't going to devote time here to review his schtick - what will do instead is warn you that he is truly at his least formed here, with the most "punch me" act ever captured on celluloid. He's worse than Jar Jar. 

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Cliffhanger

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Stallone gives us further evidence he didn't write Rocky as this screenplay serves us up with some of the worst dialogue and biggest head-slapping action sequences we had in the 90s and THAT's really saying something. Also...there are 0 cliffhangers. 

Somehow critics have been quite pleased with Cliffhanger as evidenced by a 69% on RottenTomatoes and 60 Metacritic score. How that happened is one of the biggest surprises that this film offers up. Don't confuse yourself - this thing is enjoyable for sure but it is as dumb as anything. It's Roadhouse dumb. How any professional film critic could give this a positive review and put it alongside films that try to make statements and be true art and then look themselves in the mirror is confounding. So this falls right into our "Good Movie Debunked" category of film review.

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Double Team

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Before he was the US Ambassador to Kim-Jong Un, Dennis Rodman had a dream of being a big Hollywood actor. The path to victory? A movie where he fights tigers, exploding babies, references that aren't related to basketball and U.N.C.L.E. Oh yeah, JCVD is there too.

Double Team is silly in the same vein as any Cannon/Chuck Norris joint. There's a reason that major action movies died for almost 20 years (thanks Fast & Furious franchise) and this movie may have been a huge part of that decline. JCVD led the 90's in super awesome punching bad guy films and here in 1997 film-goers were willing to say "I've had enough of that". A plot that doesn't make any sense, horrific editing, and too too too many basketball related jokes just put them over the edge.

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Belly of the Beast

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A baked potato (and Fox News Russian Expert) puts on a bunch of stupid shirts and tries to sell us how much of an action-man he is by having a body double fill in for the entire movie. Also there is a wizard who helps fight terrorism and monks? We don't know.

Belly of the Beast is arguably among the worst of the action genre. What's the 1 thing you need to get right in an action movie? Well that one thing goes quite askew here. The fight scenes are so laughably bad. And yet as bad as the action is (and by bad we mean GREAT!) it isn't the only reason to show up here.

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Speed 2: Cruise Control

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Some brainiac from Fox at one point, thought that making a sequel to Speed, take out Keanu, make 1/3 of it about failed marriage proposals, toss in the "idiot plot", and ADR every horrible dad joke you could possibly come up with. Speed 2 is a horrible, terrible, not enjoyable film.

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Battleship

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Special Guest - Joe Fulgham (Caustic Soda, The Dreaming, Onlightened) returns after our American Ninja episode and brings his Canadian goodness to the podcast with all his wit! Find Joe and all he does:

You can find more on Joe and his projects at MoteofDust.com and follow him on Twitter @joefulgham

When you are completely out of original ideas and need to have your own extended universe (because the other guy's have one), just take whatever licensed property you have and make a movie about it. Don't worry about whether the movie is a good idea or not, or if people will even care. Just make it. Worry 'bout all that stuff later. 

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9 Deaths of the Ninja

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Sho Kosugi makes his return for a second week in another oddball ninja movie where Sho plays a guy named "Ninja" but doesn't actually operate as a ninja. Instead he's a member of an elite force of anti-terrorism and drug trafficking controllers alongside Brent Huff and Emilia Crow. Hope you enjoy murder!

While still technically a ninja film, this is basically a buddy-cop movie with super agents instead of cops. The dynamic between the three members of DART (especially Kosugi and Brent Huff) is one of having a great time killing bad guys and seducing women. Lots of winks & guns and head shaking while the other struggles to dispatch villains. The chemistry works (despite all voices being dubbed) and is good for a laugh at each point. Imagine Andy Sidaris directing a ninja film (even though he kind of did).

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Rage of Honor

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When you want to have a freelance cop go outside of his jurisdiction to take down a drug-lord, you better make sure he's a ninja. Just make sure you never address how he became a ninja or address him as such. Its not fair to the other DEA agents to have a ninja in their ranks.

If you're down with a cop/ninja killing lots and lots of people without determining if they are a) bad, b) part of the plot or c) posing any threat to life or property, well this is a film for you. If you're down with various forms and iterations of any cliche' bad guy ever, this film is for you. If you like your lead to speak in unintelligible mumbles and your villain to pronounce words and names in a form you can't understand, this film is for you.

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Face/Off

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When two men really don't like each other it's time to break the laws of medical science and do a face/off and then a face/on, while facing off. Inspiration demands much wiping of loved ones faces on, in case they get their faces blown off.

So let's start out with the science of said face/swap. Nope, can't work. The movie explicitly tells us that Cage and Travolta's characters (Troy and Archer, respectively) have two different blood types. So the face wouldn't even stay on. The body would reject the swap and then you'd really have a face off....onto the floor. Hey try not to step on your face. Then there's the height difference, hair lines and color, body hair amounts, eye color, dental structure, weight gain/loss, shoe size and the most damning of all differences -- the ding dong. Mrs. Archer must be only boning him when she's lit up like a X-mas tree because she can't tell that he husbands winky has gone from 4 inches and dropping left to 5 inches and constantly erect. Nice.

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Con Air

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Welcome to Con Air, your number one airlines if you are super butt. Like Nickelback? You'll love Con Air. Like penis measuring? Con Air is your favorite. Think Jerry Bruckheimer is a good producer, kiss our collective ass. This movie sucks.

The movie is about the impossible. Going to prison for a crime that you wouldn't get charged with, Cage's Alabama accent, his hair, the concept of the prison plane, Colm Meaney having a job, and the lack of geographical understanding. None of it works. The villain's plan doesn't make a lick of sense and the "good" guys plans don't help. Even Nic Cage's "Cameron Poe" breaks his own rules for the sake of "action".

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Gymkata

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USA Gold Medal magnet, Kurt Thomas, stars as John Cabot, a USA Gold Medal magnet/super secret agent/diplomat to strange lands. So he solo invades Parmistan, an absolutely insane country, to play "The Game" to get a satellite substation. Well that makes perfect sense!

Gymkata is serious shenanigans. It could be argued that it's the most bonkers movie we've reviewed and definitely the most poorly thought out. While most might focus on the unawesome martial art that combines gymnastics and karate (which puts it in the Streaming Do's and Don'ts realm) the country of Parmistan is our focus. Parmistan is impossible. It can't work. How does diplomacy work? Do they have foreign trade? Is their military only made of ninja or are they more like the secret police? Is there a system of government besides the Khan? I personally believe that someone, probably Pakistan, would have bombed Parmistan back into the Stone Age, but Parmistan never got out of the Stone Age so I guess bomb them back to the times of the dinosaurs (they may also have dinosaurs).

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