At the end of my DVD review for The Irate Gamer Volume 3 I said that was likely going to be the last Irate Gamer DVD review I would ever write as it had been over two years since the last volumes had been released. Well what do you know, only a short time later and here we are again! This was a pretty exciting one as I had only seen maybe half the episodes before so a lot of it was going to be a mystery. I couldn’t get to it right away because of that damn action movie marathon but I’ve watched it from start to finish and oh man I have some things to say so off we go!
For the final review of this marathon I thought it would be interesting to watch District B13 as one of the first movies at the start, and one of the main reasons I kickstarted this whole thing in the first place, was the remake Brick Mansions. I very rarely see the remake before the original so this move made sense and holy shit. Had I seen this first I would have been waaaaaay less kind to Brick Mansions. As its own movie its ok but as a remake of this? Not so much with the good anymore.
Well here’s one I certainly never expected to be watching for this. I found an out of print steel book version of this movie for 2 bucks and figured someone out there in the world must want this so why not pick it up. Since I hadn’t seen the movie it made sense to watch it before we parted ways and I realized about 10 minutes in that this totally counts as marathon fodder so while perhaps I would have chosen a different movie to be the penultimate installment of this, instead we get Act of Valor. Sorry for the unexciting denouement.
I wanted to do a Dolph Lundgren movie before this whole marathon was all said and done but I had no idea where to start. Originally I was going to do one of his more recent efforts called The Package but it mostly stars Steve Austin and as much as I would like to continue checking out his work, it felt like three trips to the Steve Austin well during this thing might be overdoing it. Then I remembered buying a copy of Universal Soldier like 6 years ago and never actually watching it. So I got to watch a Dolph Lundgren movie AND finally make good on money I spent over half a decade ago. Everybody wins! Mostly me.
My god how have I never seen Hard Boiled before?! I knew the stories about it, I knew it was featured on damn near every list of the greatest action movies, a copy of it has been sitting on my blu ray shelf for quite some time now, and yet I never sat down and actually watched it. I am so mad at my past self right now as instead of my first viewing, this could have been like my eighth. So much wasted time spent not watching this movie!
It seems appropriate to follow a comic book movie from an era when they were generally shunned, with a comic book movie from an era where they make all the money on the planet.
When planning this marathon I was looking at various categories I should cover and one of them was the “comic book movie before comic book movies were comic book movies” category. These days almost every comic book movie is guaranteed to make hundreds and hundreds of millions of dollars but there was a time when making them was considered a risk. That turned around with X-Men in 2000 but before that they were rare and often, quite bad. I was going to do Spawn but I’m 90% sure I saw that when it first came out so then it came down to Billy Zane’s The Phantom and The Shadow. I couldn’t locate a copy of The Phantom for a price I was willing to pay so by default, let’s review 1994’s The Shadow.
There was absolutely no way I was going to get through this marathon without taking a look at one of Steven Seagal’s more recent efforts. Out of all the classic action stars of the 80’s and 90’s, Seagal seems to catch the biggest amount of shit and I can’t say it’s all entirely unwarranted. It’s undeniable that he hasn’t kept himself in the best shape and often puts little to no effort into his many direct to DVD flicks. Narration provided by other actors, heavy use of doubles even outside of the stunts, and large chunks of the movie where he doesn’t even appear, all create the idea that perhaps his heart isn’t too into it and its more about rushing out as much product as possible. He definitely has an audience though. I remember when I worked at a video store around 2006, we would get a new Seagal movie in every few months and it would be a hot rental for the first couple of weeks without fail. While I’ve caught a few of his recent efforts here or there it is largely a blank spot. I had no idea where to begin so the fact that this one also stars Mr. Steve Austin from Day 9’s surprisingly enjoyable Damage made it the best candidate.
I can see this one being the shortest review of the marathon yet as I’m sitting here trying to write and realizing I don’t have a whole lot to say about this movie. I fear it may have suffered from unfair expectations. Dating all the way back to when I was a kid, I remember a friend of mine saying that it was the bestest, most awesomest car chase movie ever but the VHS was impossible to find and it never aired on TV so I just had to take his word for it. I’m not sure how much of that was bullshit but it always stuck with me, though I still never made much of an attempt to see the movie. Now thanks to a Shout Factory double bill set with this and Race with the Devil, I was able to sit down and see the movie my friend raved about like 20 years ago.
I’m not sure what he was talking about.
So yeah, turns out I have never actually seen 1982’s Conan the Barbarian. Strangely enough I saw the remake from a few years back but never the original. I bought the blu ray of it more so for the legendary Schwarzenegger commentary but then it hit me that holy shit I have never actually seen this movie before. Well that is unacceptable and there hasn’t been a Schwarzenegger movie covered here yet so the commentary was put on hold until the movie had been watched.