Dead Man Down revolves around Victor (Colin Farrell), a bodyguard for a vicious kingpin named Alphonse (Terrence Howard), who has been receiving various letters with parts of pictures, notes, and various other threats, and is slowly closing in on them. Victor must unravel the secret of who is threatening his boss, why, and how it connects to a mysterious woman (Noomi Rapace), who has taken an unusual interest in him.
The enigmatically titled Star Trek III: The Search for Spock follows The Wrath of Khan chronologically and sets the crew of the USS Enterprise on a mission to the planet affected by the Genesis device. By this time, the cast and crew had really got into their groove and director Leonard Nimoy has some fun with proceedings.
Picard or Kirk? The age old Star Trek debate. Who is the better Captain of the USS Enterprise? This debate can send fans of the franchise into a full-blooded rage, but in 1994 they got to experience both Captains together in the same film, Star Trek: Generations. It represents William Shatner’s last official portrayal of the iconic Captain Kirk and Patrick Stewart’s first foray into the film franchise acting as the bridge in the films between the Original Series crew and the Next Generation.
Sandwiched uncomfortably between the best and the last Star Trek films to feature the popular Next Generation crew, Star Trek: Insurrection is something of a forgotten film within the sprawling film franchise. Directed by series regular Jonathan Frakes, it took a respectable $112m at the box office, but highlighted a seeming decline in the popularity of the franchise.
Beware of Spoilers below…
Action thrillers of the 90’s have largely escaped the room 101 of film-trocities we keep locked in the basement here at That Film Guy. Their vulgar ‘face-meets-fist’ ways were excused by audiences who at the time lusted for ripped defiant types with a can-do attitude and an endless supply of bullets and one liners…. fair enough I guess. Happily, Olympus Has Fallen directed by the great and terrible Antoine Fuqua (who also directed such classics as Shooter and King Arthur) is a good decade out of place and so has been unable to hide among its hideous friends.
With Peter Jackson‘s unbelievably risky The Lord of the Rings trilogy imminent, New Line Cinema wanted to test the water and see if mainstream audiences would be willing to watch a high fantasy film. Naturally worried by the amount of money spent on LotR, they wanted to do this relatively cheaply, and thus was born Dungeons & Dragons, nominally based on the role-playing game but actually having basically nothing to do with it other than a setting that vaguely recalls the Forgotten Realms. Based on the performance of D&D, one could imagine that New Line were even more worried about the potential success of Jackson’s opus, because it bombed hard, failing to make back its budget, and with good reason. This is truly terrible film-making – and yet, it’s hard not to enjoy it. It’s the best kind of bad film, where it’s not so bad to be painful, but more than bad enough to be absolutely hilarious.
Toy giant Hasbro continues its run of films based on its merchandise with G.I. Joe: Retaliation. After continued box office success with the Transformers films, Battleship and its predecessor G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra, Retaliation removes most of the major characters from the first film and installs a small team lead by action favourite and WWE wrestling star Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson, hoping his charisma would salvage the franchise from another critical mauling in the same way he did in Fast & Furious 5.
In the early-to-mid 1980s toy companies realised that to help boost sales of their products it made commercial sense to create cartoons as a way of advertising to children. This lead to a boom in cartoons such as Transformers, He-Man and Thundercats on television. In recent years, Hasbro, one of the biggest toy companies in the world have begun to produce feature films at cinemas as a way of further increasing their brand presence. The globally successful Transformers in 2007 made way for an adaptation of one of Hasbro’s most successful toy lines, the G.I. Joe’s.
Following his run of family-friendly films, Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson was clearly keen to get back to more adult, muscle-flexing fair. Enter Faster, a throwback to the pulp action thrillers of the 1970s directed by George Tillman Jr. and co-starring Billy Bob Thornton and Maggie Grace.
The character of Rocky developed from gritty 1970s exploitation underdog fighter to 1980s muscle-bound superman fighter between Rocky II and Rocky III. This coincided with the rise of the action heroes like Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jean-Claude Van Damme and Steven Seagal. Sylvester Stallone himself looked almost unrecognisable from the second film to the third, as age and a lot of ‘training’ clearly changed his entire body shape. Yet Rocky III still attempts to turn the reigning champion back into the underdog. Sadly they never manage to achieve this effect in the same way they did with Rocky II.