Wild Bill (1995) – Review

2 Stars

Walter Hill is a director who has shown a deep seeded fascinated with the western genre throughout his career. By his own admission, he approaches all of his films as if they were part of this almost forgotten genre. Working hard to deliver a Tombstone type experience, Hill is up against a wall with his revisionist take on the legendary gunfighter/lawman ‘Wild’ Bill Hickok. Anchored by an off-beat performance from Jeff Bridges, Hickok never comes off as anything other than a grumpy killer. The movie is slow-paced and the final shootout is poorly executed. However, this is not a total failure, there are enough interesting scenes that I began to grow frustrated that the screenplay moved in episodic segments with undefined linear continuity.
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The Warriors (1979) – Review

3 Stars

Giving us a hellish vision of new York in the near future, a surreal parallel world in which the streets are void of regular people. On these mean streets it’s either gang member or cop, both of whom of members of the Warriors gang are running from. 60,000 of the cities toughest hoods and 20,000 police officers are searching for the nine members that compromise the street hang from Coney Island known as the Warriors.
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Bullet to the Head (2013) – Review

3 Stars

Sylvester Stallone plays hitman Jimmy Bobo, who along with his partner Louis Blanchard (Jon Seda) get caught up in a plot involving corrupt cops and gangsters. The two are hired to kill a cop, Hank Greely (Holt McCallany), who is blackmailing Robert Morel (Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje), the new gangster in town. All goes as planned until Keegan (Jason Momoa), Morel’s hired gun, shows up at a bar Bobo and Blanchard are celebrating at. He kills Blanchard and tussles with Bobo, but retreats when he’s unable to finish him off. Detective Taylor Kwon (Sung Kang) arrives in New Orleans from Washington D.C. to investigate Greely’s death. He deduces Bobo’s involvement and the two tentatively agree to work together to discover their partner’s killer. Kwon disapproves of Bobo’s shoot first ask questions later style, but the duo have made it further together than they would have apart. Things heat up when Bobo’s daughter, Lisa (Sarah Shahi), is taken hostage and Morel plays his final hand. Can Jimmy save his daughter, get the bad guy and avoid arrest from Kwon in the end?
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Target Practice (2008) – Review

4 Stars

On the way to a remote location to enjoy fishing and drinking, a group of five friends encounter a violent hostile militia bent on killing each one of them. That’s the basic setup for Target Practice, the ambitious and exhilarating debut film from Richmond Riedel. A former editor, Riedel shows himself to be a gifted filmmaker and an exciting new talent on the scene. His film is like a Ludlum novel mixed with Walter Hill’s Southern Comfort wrapped in the visual stylings of Peter Berg.
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48 Hrs. (1982) – Review

3 1/2 Stars

Walter Hill’s 48 Hrs. is a modern classic most fondly remembered for being the impressive film debut of Eddie Murphy. The comic genius of Murphy aside, this is a violent crime thriller with atmospheric cinematography by Ric Waite, a rousing score from James Horner and top notch direction from Hill. Many point to this as the beginning of the ‘Buddy Cop’ sub genre and even the ‘High Concept’ film; each are valid arguments. However unlike the hundreds of sub-par imitations and variations that followed in its wake, 48 Hrs. is well written and acted.
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Top 10 Best Boxing Movies

This best of boxing movies list features the top boxing movies of all time. In order to be included in this top 10 best boxing movies list boxing must have played a prominent role in a scene. Author discretion is the final criteria used to distinguish these best boxing films.

10. The Great White Hype – Ron Shelton (Bull Durham, White Men Can’t Jump) penned this comedic satire of professional prizefighting. Samuel L. Jackson is well cast as a ‘Don King’-like promoter who represents the champ and looks for a big angle to sell the next fight. Damon Waynes plays a comical version of Tyson with a real life problem, there is no competition for the reigning heavyweight champion. So Jackson digs into the past and finds the last man to beat him. An irishman (Peter Berg) who holds a KO victory back in the amateurs; no matter that the fighter has long since retired. Before long he is coaxed back into the ring for what is being sold as Black vs. White. A strong subtext in the script is the racial war that bubbles just below the surface of the sport. The story climaxes with a big fight the public is eager to see; that the main event is such a non-event it’s even more cynical than it sounds. Shelton’s gift as a comedic commentator on the world of boxing promotion is spot on. Jamie Foxx is very funny as is Jeff Goldblum in supporting roles.
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Undisputed (2002) – Review

3 1/2 Stars

Director Walter Hill has been making male-oriented action films since the early 1970s and Undisputed is another in a career full of gems from one of the cinema’s most underrated craftsman. Hill’s most notable film 48hrs put Eddie Murphy and (arguably) Nick Nolte on the map to stardom and riches. He is credited with inventing the ‘buddy cop’ genre that dominated movie screens in the 1980s. Once again Hill and co-writer David Giler have crafted a nifty B-movie; this time derived of genre elements from 1940s ‘noir’ thrillers and 70’s ‘exploitation’ films.
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