HOT TRAILER: Universal Soldier 4: Day of Reckoning – Jean-Claude Van Damme, Dolph Lundgren and Scott Adkins Kick Some Ass!

Director/writer John Hymas (son of famed director Peter Hyams) has really taken over the Universal Soldier franchise with his second run in the director’s chair with this action brand (his first was the third installment Universal Soldier: Regeneration). Again Jean-Claude Van Damme and Dolph Lundgren are returning, this time with Scott Adkins. The timing of the release of this trailer is no accident as all three are in The Expendables 2, which is set to release this Friday, August 17.

In Universal Soldier: Day of Reckoning, surviving Unisols Luc Deveraux (Jean-Claude Van Damme) and Andrew Scott (Dolph Lundgren) must battle anarchy and build a new order ruled by Unisols without government oversight. They are weeding out the weak and constantly testing their strongest warriors in brutal, life-and-death combat. Luc has emerged operating the Unisol Church of Eventualism, a self-help organization that takes in wayward Unisols whom the government has been secretly operating as remote-controlled sleeper agents. His mission is to liberate these Unisols from the implanted memories and the lies the government has inserted in them.

It looks like Adkins is playing one of these sleeper agents, and must travel to find Deveraux in order to discover why they did this to him. If you remember a while back we posted some odd pictures of JCVD from the set (also check out these pics), and now we know why he looked like part of the Insane Clown Posse. Deveraux is running a cult, and dressed the part.

The action looks great, this reminds me of straight to video 90’s fare, and Adkins has a great fan base for these types of flicks so his inclusion was smart. The fights also look cool, Adkins matches up against Dolph and Van Damme at what looks like separate points in the film. Lundgren gets an “and” in his title, so I imagine he’s only making a small appearance here, which is unfortunate but I’m sure he steals a scene or two as always.

Curiously the film is the first in the series to be shot and released in 3D. Universal Soldier: Day of Reckoning will be available on Video On Demand October 25, 2012 and then in a limited theatrical run on November 30, 2012.

Albert Pyun Starts Shooting ‘Cyborg’ Prequel ‘Cyborg: Rise of the Slingers’

We’ve heard Albert Pyun talking about his ideas for a Cyborg prequel for awhile. Originally titled Red Moon, he has described Cyborgs: Rise of the Slingers as an original story leading up to the events in Cyborg, told in an operatic way. I’m excited to see exactly how he envisions this universe being created, and wonder just how far back before Cyborg he plans on going.

Pyun stated on his Facebook page today:

We begin shooting CYBORGS: Rise of the Slingers today! At long last. This is just the early vefx work before assembling the star cast for the full run. The Cyborg title design is by Artifex in Montreal.

You can see the title design as the header image to this post above. Pyun also commented that he will reach out to 80’s and 90’s action star Michael Dudikoff (most known for the American Ninja series, but worked with Pyun on Radioactive Dreams) about a part in the film.

Albert Pyun directed the original cult classic Cyborg starring Jean-Claude Van Damme. While this is the first prequel to the 1989 film, there have been two sequels. The second starred Angelina Jolie and the third had Malcolm McDowell and Zach Galligan.

Who else is excited about seeing another entry in the Cyborg universe?

Podcast EP69: Flicker Friday Podcast

Episode sixty-eight. Join hosts Trevor and Jason as they take the box office DeLorean back to the weekend of January 20-22, 2006. Underworld: Evolution. We talk new pic of Vin Diesel from Riddick 3. New pics of Van Damme from Universal Soldier 4. Resident Evil: Retribution trailer. Our reviews of Rage and Scorpion King 3. Plus much more movie talk!

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New Pictures of Van Damme on the Set of Universal Soldier 4

Watch the Universal Soldier 4: Day of Reckoning trailer online now!

Here’s three new photos Van Damme posted on his Facebook page from the set of Universal Soldier 4: A New Dimension featuring a bald headed JCVD. I gotta say hairless is not the look for Van Damme. John Hyams (son of Peter) is again at the helm which, as Jason can attest to in his three star review of the previous John Hyams directed installment Universal Soldier: Regeneration, is definitely a good thing. Van Damme is showing his age in lines, creases and some droopiness. Hopefully that’s as far as it goes though and we get to see some butt kicking. If not there’s always the showdown between JCVD and Stallone in Expendables 2 to look forward to. The last shot reminds me of Lance Henriksen for some reason. Universal Soldier 4 is due out in May 2012. Let us know what you think.


Never Back Down 2: The Beatdown (2011) – Review

3 Stars

A surprisingly vivid straight-to-dvd fight flick that betters the original while maintaining the same sense of energy and realism. Michael Jai White’s directorial debut is a cut above the norm for the genre while giving fans exactly what they have come to expect. Working from a script by writer Chris Hauty, the story focuses on the lives of four different fighters from various backgrounds that overcome personal problems en route to an underground MMA tournament known simply as ‘the beatdown’. While maintaining the same melancholy tone that hovered around the characters in the original, this entry tells a far more compelling story.

Steve Austin Out of Expendables 2, Takes The Last Stand with Arnold Schwarzenegger

UPDATE: I’ve just been informed by Steve Austin’s publicist that Austin didn’t make it into The Last Stand. What a shame, him and Schwarzenegger together would have been great.

EXCLUSIVE: Recently spoke with Steve Austin and his people via e-mail and this is what they had to say about him not returning for Expendables 2 and taking on a role alongside Arnold Schwarzenegger in his comeback film The Last Stand.

At this stage of the game Steve Austin is not involved with Exp 2. Sly originally wanted to bring his character back, once he opted out of writing and directing, the script took another direction. I will not be doing Exp 2 as I am going to do Arnold’s movie in New Mexico. Rumor is Arnold is shooting a couple of days on Exp 2 but not confirmed. Hope you will follow me on The Last Stand.

As far as The Last Stand is concerned, no word on if Austin will be a bad guy henchman as in The Expendables, but I could also easily see him as one of Schwarzenegger’s deputies.

This information is a turnaround from Bruce Willis saying back in October 2010 that Austin will return for Expendables 2, even though his character did technically die in the first film. IMDb at the moment has him listed as a cast member, but they are often wrong when listing cast in in-production films. Although with recent reports of the production moving to China (which is why Donnie Yen is being courted by producer Avi Lerner) it seems that the script is in constant flux and perhaps no actor aside from Stallone and I’m sure Statham are an absolute lock. Stallone and director Simon West have both been extremely quiet on the whole affair. Essentially I’ve heard of a start date for shooting being September 19 in Bulgaria, but with the China deal about to go down what changes will that bring to the current movie? Also IMDb lists production start in October, which is close enough I know, just seems like no one really knows what’s going on and most news being reported on Expendables 2 is confusing with slight variations.

Honestly this seems like too many last minute changes, and it’s all for money. My biggest fear is pretty much being realized with the inclusion of the Chinese distribution company- this movie isn’t being created for fans in the US, but for the foreign marketplace, which is where the first film made most of its money. It also seems that this is all out of Stallone’s hands, which might not be true, but with him taking a back seat on writing and directing and being busy on Bullet to the Head it really does seem that way to me.

Hopefully the rumors are right about Arnold’s return in Expendables 2, considering he could easily make a small appearance again, since it only took one day to shoot his cameo in the first film. To reiterate what we’ve already reported recently for casting on Expendables 2, no offer on the table for JCVD yet, Donnie Yen and Chuck Norris have both been approached but nothing decided, and John Travolta’s people are saying his involvement is just rumor.

Who would you absolutely want to see return to Expendables 2? What new cast members would guarantee you see it in theaters? Do you think Austin and Schwarzenegger should have a fight scene in The Last Stand?

Live Movie Podcast EP19: New Catwoman Pics, Brett Ratner and Oscars, Box Office 10 Years Ago

Our nineteenth podcast! Don’t be afraid to join in on the conversation. Feel free to comment on the show here if you missed the live recording, we’ll reply to your questions and comments directly here, or on the next episode.

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Episode nineteen. Join hosts Trevor and Jason as they jump into the Box Office DeLorean and go back 10 years ago in box office history to look how Burton/Wahlberg’s Planet of the Apes stacks up to the prequel, New Anne Hathaway as Catwoman pictures surface, Brett Ratner chosen to produce the next Academy Awards, Steven Soderbergh directing 2nd unit for Gary Ross on The Hunger Games, Re-touch and slight confirmations on Expendables 2 casting rumors. Audience participation welcome!

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Universal Soldiers 4 Behind the Scenes Pics

Watch the Universal Soldier 4: Day of Reckoning trailer online now!

Here’s a few pictures snapped from behind the scenes of Universal Soldiers 4 A New Dimension. Featured is Van Damme in some pretty crazy looking make-up and Scott Adkins with Dolph Lundgren in the last shot. Should be some interesting fights in this one as JCVD has promised that we “are going to see some action scenes unlike anything that has been on the screen before!” Speculate what you will from these snapshots. Check out Universal Soldier: A New Dimension’s Facebook Page and Van Damme’s Facebook Page for more pics and info. (more…)

Van Damme Says Filming of Universal Soldier 4 Complete – Promises Action Scenes Like Never Before

Jean-Claude Van Damme announced today, via his Facebook page, that filming had been completed for the fourth installment of Universal Soldier. He also promised that we “are going to see some action scenes unlike anything that has been on the screen before!”. Let’s hope it will live up to that hype!

This is the second Universal Soldier movie to be directed by John Hyams, son of Time Cop director Peter Hyams, re-teaming with actors JCVD and Dolph Lundgren. Scott Adkins, JCVD’s co-star from Weapon, rounds out the cast.

It was shot in 3D, but most people will only get to see it in 2D unless they have a 3D TV and Blu-ray player or if there is an anaglyphic (red/blue glasses) DVD release. He goes on to say that he’ll be updating us soon on some new films he’s going into production on this year. Will one of those be Expendables 2? Here’s the post:

We finished filming Universal Soldier 4 in Baton Rouge! The shoot of UniSol 4 was amazing! For those who don’t know yet, the film is in 3D. You are going to see some action scenes unlike anything that has been on the screen before! I have several more films coming up for production this year, which I will tell you about in due course.

Source: Jean-Claude Van Damme’s Facebook page

MM PODCAST EP2: Tale of Two Thors

Our second podcast! We’ve been doing the Animated Critics for awhile and have decided to try something a little different. Doing a live podcast should reach a wider audience and allow for better interaction with our listeners. Don’t be afraid to join in on the conversation. Feel free to comment on the show here if you missed the live recording, we’ll reply to your questions and comments directly here, or on next week’s episode.

Episode two. We discuss the box office weekend of May 6-8, 2011. Our thoughts on Thor and Syfy’s Almighty Thor movies. What Johnny Depp is saying about Pirates 2 & 3. Will Smith in the new Tarantino flick? Van Damme in The Expendables 2? Random movie thoughts and audience participation. Our expectations for next weeks box office.

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Van Damme in Expendables 2?

UPDATE: Brett Norensberg, JCVD’s talent agent, got back to us with this, “Sheldon misled you unfortunately; I do not even have an offer for JCVD to do Expendables 2.  I am sorry; I believe Sheldon didn’t understand this himself.” At the moment this can only be considered a rumor. I strongly believe that Lettich is in a position to know though, and an official announcement is more than likely to happen soon.

Long time JCVD collaborator Sheldon Lettich has revealed on forums that Van Damme told him he will be playing a villain in The Expendables 2. When asked if there was any news from JCVD Lettich said this, “He said he’s going to be in “The Expendables 2,” playing a villain. He said “Weapon” looks great.”

He also said, “I forgot to mention the best piece of news: no fight! At least, not this year.” So the fight is still being put off, which we pretty much knew after the “heart episode” thing that went down. Seems like advertisers are scared Van Damme might keel over during the match.

Anyhow the best piece of news is Expendables 2 in my opinion, I could care less if he fights, just want to see him back on the big screen alongside Stallone and the gang.

CYBORG: Director’s Cut VS Studio Cut

Albert Pyun announced recently that his X-rated director’s cut of Cyborg had been found. He has said this is close to his ‘Opera’ version of the film that he had originally envisioned; which he is promising to release soon as well as this director’s cut. This is the last version of the movie before Jean-Claude Van Damme and Sheldon Lettich stole it away and re-edited it. The film was discovered by Tony Riparetti, Pyun’s longtime composer. It is a VHS work print, so quality is less than stellar. The running time for Pyun’s version is 88 minutes without credits versus the studio’s 86 minutes with credits.

See the comparison video after the jump — (more…)

Jean-Claude Van Damme Out of Segel’s ‘The Muppets’ / ‘The Eagle Path’ Trailer

Jean-Claude Van Damme posted on his Facebook page today that he is no longer scheduled to be in Jason Segel’s new Muppet movie reboot. According to JCVD the reasons were outside of his control, or in his exact words, or the words of whoever is posting on his fb account for him, “for out of will reasons, my role in The Muppets movie is no longer on my filmography!”. I for one would have liked to see what Van Damme would have done in the Muppet world; maybe beat some felt ass?

Along with that bombshell JCVD also added that “As for The Eagle Path release date, 2011 is going to be the year with a promise to see a very different type of a JCVD movie”. For your viewing pleasure here is a different type of JCVD movie, and we think it just might be softcore. Take a look at a still from the movie to the right!

All kidding aside we’re looking forward to a new JCVD film! Check out the trailer below and let us know what you think.