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.
With this one we make a return to the pile of two dollar DVD’s. Outside of the title I knew literally nothing about this movie. It seemed like a potential good cheesy 80’s time and I was pretty impressed with the cast so fuck it, Action Jackson gets a spot on the shelf!
I didn’t think I had seen Never Back Down so originally I was going to go with it for this day’s review since I’m the kind of guy who has to watch things in sequential order with no skipping around. It turns out though that not only did I see it, I reviewed it on my blog back in 2008. Of course my reviewing skills weren’t as masterful then as they are now so the review doesn’t amount to much more than “I didn’t like this movie because it sucked” but that still told me enough about it to know it was cool to jump straight to its 2011 direct to DVD sequel.
I knew I had to cover at least one Jackie Chan movie during this marathon but when I started looking through his filmography, I realized I’m better versed in his movies than I originally thought. I’ve seen a good deal of his early works, including many of the ones people consider to be his classics. I certainly wasn’t about to jump into shit like The Tuxedo or The Medallion so I eventually found this one – Robin B Hood, made in 2006. The idea of Jackie Chan looking after a baby didn’t sound terribly appealing but the blu ray was 4 dollars and I figured fuck it, why not.
There is absolutely no way in hell that this should be counted as an action movie. It has no place in this marathon and it shouldn’t even by discussed as then we are only giving it more attention, and this movie deserves to be thoroughly ignored until it leaves us all alone. The only reason I’ve spotlighting this here is because I want to make sure that this movie is not able to use its trickery to get anybody else to watch it. Don’t be fooled!
Right after The Hit List wrapped up on Netflix, it recommended that I check out this 2011 action thriller starring Jean-Claude Van Damme and Scott Adkins. I hadn’t planned on this one but I’ve heard lots of good things about Scott Adkins (Ninja II was certainly quite awesome so the reputation seems justified) so I hit play and we were off. It was either that or get up and do stuff, and most any movie is always going to win over that.
There was absolutely no way I was going to get through this whole marathon without at least briefly dabbling into the world of Cuba Gooding Jr.’s late game career shift into the world of direct to DVD action films. I wasn’t even aware of how many he has done before I started looking through the list for one to watch and they all have similar names and plot descriptions to the point where I was wondering if it was all an elaborate mind fuck and he actually just releases the same movie twice each year. I eventually settled on the generically titled “The Hit List” as the premise sounded unique compared to the other choices.
Here we have another episode that was on my aforementioned childhood VHS tape. I do remember this one being quite good although my primary memory is that this episode blew our minds originally because the main character looked EXACTLY like our friend and we used to give him a hard time about it which seems really stupid in retrospect but then so do most things I did at that age (except watch this show, that was a good move on my part). So anyway it’s time to see if this one holds up or is another episode to file in the disappointment column!