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Terminator 2: Judgment Day (a J!-ENT 4K Ultra HD Review)

December 28, 2017 by · Leave a Comment 

Terminator 2: Judgment Day” is a magnificent, classic James Cameron sci-fi action film.  And as the film had various releases on DVD and Blu-ray, unfortunately this is not the perfect 4K Ultra HD release that fans may have wanted.  The film would stand on its own but this 4K Ultra HD release defeats the point of being a great release with the overuse of DNR.

Images courtesy of © 2017 Lionsgate. All Rights Reserved.


TITLE: Terminator 2: Judgment Day

DATE OF FILM RELEASE: 1991

DURATION: 137 Minutes

BLU-RAY INFORMATION: 2160p 4K Ultra High Definition, 2:40:1 aspect ratio, English, French 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio, German 7.1 DTS-HD Master Audio.  SUBTITLES: English, Spanish, French and German Subtitles

COMPANY: Lionsgate

RATED: R (Strong Sci-Fi Action and Violence and For Language)

RELEASE DATE: December 26, 2017


Directed by James Cameron

Written by James Cameron, William Wisher

Producer: James Cameron

Executive Producer: Gale Ann Hurd, Mario Kassar

Co-Producer: Stephanie Austin, B.J. Rack

Music by Brad Fiedel

Cinematography by Adam Greenberg

Edited by Conrad Buff IV, Dody Dorn, Mark Goldblatt, Richard A. Harris

Casting by Mali Finn

Production Design by Joseph C. Nemec III

Art Direction by Joseph P. Lucky

Set Decoration by John M. Dwyer

Costume Design by Marlene Stewart


Starring:

Arnold Schwarzenegger as The Terminator

Linda Hamilton as Sarah Connor

Edward Furlong as John Connor

Robert Patrick as T-1000

Earl Boen as Dr. Silberman

Joe Morton as Miles Dyson

S. Epatha Merkerson as Tarissa Dyson

Castuolo Guerra as Enrique Salceda

Danny Cooksey as Tim

Jenette Goldstein as Janelle Voight

Xander Berkeley as Todd Voight


Arnold Schwarzenegger returns as the Terminator in this explosive action-adventure spectacle. Now he’s one of the good guys, sent back in time to protect John Connor, the boy destined to lead the freedom fighters of the future. Linda Hamilton reprises her role as Sarah Connor, John’s mother, a quintessential survivor who has been institutionalized for her warning of the nuclear holocaust she knows is inevitable. Together, the threesome must find a way to stop the ultimate enemy: the T-1000, the most lethal Terminator ever created. Co-written, produced, and directed by James Cameron (THE TERMINATOR, ALIENS, TITANIC), this visual tour de force is also a touching human story of survival.


For those who grew up during the early years of cable television, James Cameron’s 1984 film “Terminator” shocked and electrified audiences with its special effects and the film’s final scenes.

When it was announced that a sequel was being planned and would be released in 1991, bringing back Arnold Schwarzenegger reprising his role as the Terminator and Linda Hamilton, reprising her role as Sarah Connor.

Suffice to say, the second installment of the “Terminator” franchise didn’t disappoint.  Earning $523.7 million in the box office, which was a huge box office success and earning critical acclaim.

The film would also star a young Edward Furlong (“Detroit Rock City”, “American History X”), Robert Patrick (“The Faculty”, “The Marine”, “Charlie’s Angels”) and Joe Morton (“Justice League”, “Paycheck”, “Speed”) and the film has been released on video via theatrical version, special edition and extended special edition on VHS, LD, DVD, Blu-ray and now on 4K Ultra HD.

And I will be reviewing the 4K Ultra HD version.  It’s important to note that the 4K Ultra HD version features the original theatrical version, but it’s included Blu-ray includes all three versions of the film.

The film is set in 1995, John Connor (portrayed by Edward Furlong) is living with his foster parents and tends to get into trouble.  Meanwhile, his mother, Sarah (portrayed by Linda Hamilton) was arrested and imprisoned at a mental hospital after attempting to bomb a computer factory.

Prior to that, John’s mother had been preparing him for his role as the Human Resistance Leader against Skynet, the artificial intelligence that will be given control of the United States nuclear missile technology and would initiate a nuclear holocaust known as “Judgment Day” on August 29, 1997.

With 3 billion humans killed, Skynet would create robots known as Terminators to kill humankind.  But fighting them is the Human Resistance and in the future, John sends a reprogrammed T-800 Terminator (portrayed by Arnold Schwarzenegger) to find and protect his younger self back in 1995.

But Skynet sends a new Terminator known as T-1000 back in time to kill John Connor and this time, the Terminator is made out of mimetic poly-alloy (liquid metal), so this new Terminator can take any shape and appearance and make any part of its body a weapon.  In this case, transforming his arms into blades.

The Terminator T-800 is able to trackdown John, who is running away from the T-1000 Terminator disguised as a police officer.  Because the Terminator follows John’s instructions, fearing that the T-1000 will kill his mother, John orders the Terminator to help him rescue his mother Sarah.

As the two are able to free Sarah, she is intent in finding Miles Bennett Dyson (portrayed by Joe Morton), the Cyberdyne Systems engineer responsible for creating Skynet.

But hot on their trail is the T-1000 intent in killing all of them.

Can Sarah, John and the T-800 survive against the T-1000?


VIDEO:

“Terminator 2: Judgment Day” is presented in 4K Ultra High Definition ala 2160p 4K Ultra High Definition (2:40:1 aspect ratio).

Picture quality was a bit of a surprise.  Digital Noise Reduction (DNR) was utilized for the clean up for the video and so, the film is devoid of the grain that it previously incorporated.  While casual viewers probably may not be able to tell, videophiles will notice the change in details as picture quality is a bit waxy.

IMPORTANT TO KNOW: To watch 4K Ultra HD, you will need a 4K UHD TV with HDR and an Ultra HD Blu-ray Player + a high-speed HDMI (Category 2) Cable.

AUDIO & SUBTITLES:

Lossless audio quality is very good with an English and French 5.1 DTS-HD MA soundtrack and a German 6.1 DTS-HD MA soundtrack.  With the high level of action featured in this film, may it be the T-800 vs. the T-1000 or the Terminator taking on the police with machine guns ablazing, this is no doubt an immersive action-driven soundtrack.

Subtitles are in English, English SDH, French and Spanish.

SPECIAL FEATURES:

“Terminator 2: Judgment Day” comes with the following special features (on the Blu-ray Disc):

  • T2: Reprogramming the Terminator – The Making of T2 Documentary from 1993 – (30:54) The original “Terminator 2: Judgment Day” documentary from 1993.
  • Deleted Scenes with Optional Audio commentary – (3:13) Two deleted scenes with optional audio commentary from James Cameron.

EXTRAS:

“Terminator 2: Judgment Day” comes with a slipcover, both the 4K Ultra HD and Blu-ray disc and an UltraViolet Digital HD code (Theatrical Version).


“Terminator 2: Judgment Day” is one of those films that I watch often, mainly because it’s a film that brings me a lot of memories.

Going out on a movie date with my girlfriend, who would eventually become my wife.  Purchasing the film on VHS, LD, DVD, multiple times on Blu-ray and now once again watching it on 4K Ultra HD.

Of all the “Terminator” film installments, “Terminator 2: Judgment Day” resonates strongly for its storyline and character portrayals and it was an amazing follow-up to the first film.  It was James Cameron’s story, his vision and executed his way.  As for the other films that came after, unfortunately, other films were quite forgetful.

It’s a shame that director James Cameron never came back to “Terminator” soon after the 1991 release, but he, Schwarzenegger and Linda Hamilton will be back with the sequel to “Terminator 2: Judgment Day” in 2019 and for me, I just want to see the “Terminator” series done right and with James Cameron back, perhaps this is what the franchise had needed long ago.

But as I watch this film again, I still enjoyed it like I did when I was in my teens.  It’s an awesome sci-fi action film that builds upon the original and while there are plenty of action sequences, in today’s cinema world, which dominates many action films over its plot, Cameron wrote a film that balances its action with a storyline that matters.  A storyline that captivates you and a storyline that no doubt took advantage of the special effects of its time in its full efficacy.

Arnold Schwarzenegger was fantastic as the reprogrammed T-800 trying to protect a young John Connor while helping his toned mother, Sarah, portrayed by the toned, muscular Linda Hamilton showing us that she has become a strong female character that can kick a lot of arse. I remember watching her scenes and being amazed of how much she worked out for this film and at the time, showing us a strong female character that took matter into her own hands in order to get the job done.  That was really rare to see in the early ’90s.

You then had the debut of Edward Furlong who had a promising outlook to another young actor at the time, Leonardo DiCaprio but both with two different outcomes in their personal life and acting career.  And sure enough, it was James Cameron’s 1997 “Titanic” film starring DiCaprio that would shoot the young actor’s career into superstardom.  And you had Robert Patrick in one of the coolest antagonist roles at the time.

The film just worked as the action and storyline went smoothly but what James Cameron has planned for the next film, will be exciting to see.  And I look forward to seeing it.

As awesome this film was and how many times I have owned it, I have been looking forward to this 4K Ultra HD version.  As much as I enjoy this film, there are a few problematic things with this release that prevents it from being a five-star release.  All three films are presented in this release, but only on the Blu-ray disc.  The 4K Ultra HD version only showcases the original theatrical version.

The next unfortunate part of this release is the choice to utilize DNR to strip the film’s grain and for videophiles who care about picture quality, this is a no-no.  When you remove the DNR, things look waxy and this may be fine for the casual viewer but for those who invested in 4K Ultra HD, the experience in watching these films in the best way and as close to the original presentation is important.  So, why the choice to use DNR, I am not sure but it affected the picture quality of this release.

But again, all is not lost, as you do get the three versions: theatrical, special edition and extended special edition on the Blu-ray disc and you do get an UltraViolet Digital HD code for the theatrical version.

As for lossless audio, the film sounds great especially how immersive things become during the more action-driven scenes in the film.  So, that’s a plus!

As for special features, the original 1991 documentary and two deleted scenes with optional commentary can be found on the Blu-ray disc.

Overall, “Terminator 2: Judgment Day” is a magnificent, classic James Cameron sci-fi action film.  And as the film had various releases on DVD and Blu-ray, unfortunately this is not the perfect 4K Ultra HD release that fans may have wanted.  The film would stand on its own but this 4K Ultra HD release defeats the point of being a great release with the overuse of DNR.

Lovelace (a J!-ENT DVD Review)

October 22, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

lovelace
“Lovelace” is a film that had potential to be so much more.  But it does feature a few details of Linda Lovelace/Boreman’s life as a sexual icon of the ’70s but behind the facade of stardom, is an even deeper story of a victim of severe abuse by her husband and how she was able to escape and write about it. Featuring a wonderful performance by Amanda Seyfried, Peter Saarsgard and Sharon Stone, “Lovelace” is a film worth watching, but I also recommend people to read more into the life of Linda Boreman and read about other details not featured in the movie.

Images courtesy of © 2012 Lovelace Productions, Inc.. All Rights Reserved.

DVD TITLE: Slam Dunk

DURATION: 93 Minutes

DVD INFORMATION: 1:85:1 Anamorphic Widescreen, Dolby Digital 5.1, Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish

COMPANY: Anchor Bay Entertainment

RATED: R (Strong sexual content, nudity, language, some domestic violence, drug use)

RELEASE DATE: November 5, 2013

Directed by Rob Epstein, Jeffrey Friedman

Written by Andy Bellin

Produced by Heidi Jo Markel, Laura Rister, Jason Weinberg, Jim Young

Co-Produced by Marvin V. Acuna, Bob Dohrmann, Benjamin Scott

Executive Produced by Boaz Davidson, Danny Dimbort, Mark Gill, Merritt Johnson, Avi Lerner, Amanda Seyfried, Trevor Short, John thompson

Music by Stephen Trask

Cinematography by Eric Alan Edwards

Edited by Robert Dalva, Matt Landon

Casting by Kerry Barden, Paul Schnee

Production Design by William Arnold

Art Direction by Gary Myers

Set Decoration by David Smith

Costume Design by Karyn Wagner

Starring:

Amanda Seyfried as Linda

Peter Sarsgaard as Chuck

Sharon Stone as Dorothy Boreman

Robert Patrick as John Boreman

Juno Temple as Patsy

Chris Noth as Anthony Romano

Bobby Cannavale as Butchie Peraino

Hank Azaria as Gerry Damiano

Adam Brody as Harry Reems

Chloe Sevigny as Feminist Journalist

James Franco as Hugh Hefner

Debi Mazar as Dolly

Wes Bentley as Thomas – Photographer

Eric Roberts as Nat Laurendi

Ron Pritchard as Sammy Davis Jr.

In 1972 before the internet, before the porn explosion Deep Throat was a phenomenon: the first scripted pornographic theatrical feature film, featuring a story, some jokes, and an unknown and unlikely star, Linda Lovelace. Escaping a strict religious family, Linda discovered freedom and the high-life when she fell for and married charismatic hustler Chuck Traynor. As Linda Lovelace, she became an international sensation-less centerfold fantasy than a charming girl-next-door with an impressive capacity for fellatio. After struggling to break free from Traynor whose endless abuse nearly killed her, Linda made it her life’s mission to fight violence against women.

lovelace-b

In 1972, Linda Susan Boreman because the American sex icon known as Linda Lovelace, starring in the 1972 American pornographic film “Deep Throat”.  It was the only time where a pornographic film (with a plot, character development and high production standards) was screened in theaters and became a success.

“Deep Throat” grossed $1 million in its first seven weeks of release.  In fact, in six months, the film made $3 million in its first six months of release, becoming one of the top 10 grossing films of 1972.

While it’s still debated of how much money the film had grossed, the film has yet to be unreleased uncensored in the U.S (a 2006 censored edition was released on DVD).

But despite the controversy that surrounded the film that was banned all over the U.S., behind-the-scenes, while one would think that Linda Susan Boreman got rich from the profits made from the film, the fact is that Boreman’s life was not the best.   In fact, Boreman only made $1,200 from the film which grossed over $600 million.

In her book “Ordeal”, Linda wrote about her abusive marriage to Chuck Traynor and how she was coerced to becoming a porno star, how she was raped and forced into prostitution. It’s important to note that despite people criticizing Linda’s facts and others who corroborated her story of abuse, the publisher did do a polygraph test in which she passed and led to the printing of the book.

Boreman would join the feminist anti-pornography movement and in her testimony at the 1986 Attorney General’s Commission on Pornography, Linda said that the movie “Deep Throat”, people saw her being raped and it is a crime that the movie is still being shown because there was a gun to her head the entire time.

While Linda Boreman died in 2002 after a serious automobile crash, in 2011, the story of Linda Boreman was inspirational for women who wanted to leave their abusive husbands but also the campaign against pornography.  But for Boreman, her life had a major story to tell, a story which many may not be familiar with.

So, filmmakers Rob Epstein (“The Celluloid Closet”, “Howl”, “The Times of Harvey Milk”) and Jeffrey Friedman (“The Celluloid Closet”, “Howl”, “Paragraph 175”) along with writer Andy Bellin (“Trust”) began working on a film titled “Lovelace” based on Linda Boreman’s life.

“Lovelace” would feature an all-star cast which includes Amanda Seyfried (“Les Miserables”, “Mamma Mia!”, “Red Riding Hood”, “Letters to Juliet”), Peter Sarsgaard (“Jarhead”, “Green Lantern”, “Flightplan”), Sharon Stone (“Total Recall”, “Basic Instinct”, “Casino”), Robert Patrick (“Terminator 2: Judgment Day”, “Walk the Line”, “Bridge to Terabithia”), Juno Temple (“The Dark Knight Rises”, “Killer Joe”, “Atonement”), Chris Noth (“Law & Order”, “Sex and the City”), Bobby Canavale (“Win Win”, “The Bone Collector”, “Parker”), Hank Azaria (“Godzilla”, “The Simpsons”, “Mad About You”), Adam Brody (“The O.C.”, “Jennifer’s Body”, “Mr. & Mrs. Smith”), Debi Mazar (“Goodfellas”, “The Insider”, “Collateral”) and James Franco (“127 Hours”, “Spider-Man” films, “Oz the Great and Powerful”).

“Lovelace” begins with Linda (portrayed by Amanda Seyfried) as a teenager and having fun with her fried Patsy (portrayed by Juno Temple).  Linda’s mother Dorothy (portrayed by Sharon Stone) is extremely strict, Catholic matriarch and her father John (portrayed by Robert Patrick) was also strict.

As the two teenagers want to have fun, Linda meets an older man named Chuck Traynor (portrayed by Peter Sarsgaard) and the two hit it off.

As Chuck meets the parents, Linda and Chuck would engage in a lot of sexual acts but one day after coming home late after her 11:00 curfew, she is punished by her mother and Linda leaves home and moves in with Chuck.

While living with Chuck, Linda starts to see his interest in pornography and sex, even teaching her to have a deep throat during oral sex.  Six months later, he calls her from jail and he is in bad financial shape.

He takes her in for a film audition for Butchie Peraino (portrayed by Bobby Cannavale) and director Gerard Damiano (portrayed by Hank Azaria) and while evident that she can’t act, he shows her film footage of her “deep throat” skills and immediately, she is cast for the film alongside Harry Reems (portrayed by Adam Brody) and given the name Linda Lovelace.

While Chuck and Linda was paid only $1,200, “Deep Throat” became a success in the box office, earning a lot of money for the filmmakers and how life appeared as if it was happy and going well for Linda Lovelace.

But even her co-star Dolly Sharp (portrayed by Debi Mazar) would see bruises on Linda’s body and then the film fast forwards to Linda being polygraphed for a tell-all book that about her life in the industry and the abuse that she suffered at the hands of her husband Chuck Traynor.

The film would then show us how the day on her marriage, Chuck saw Linda as nothing but a sexual object in which he would sexually assault her and physically abuse her.  How he needed money badly, so he would take money from people and pimp her out to others.

And Linda knowing that she needs to escape the abuse, but even going to her mother, who’s only advice was to be a good wife and do what your husband tells you to do, no questions asked.

“Lovelace” is a story of one of America’s well-known pornstars, the truth behind the making of “Deep Throat” and a biographical film about a lost soul who was used, sexually and physically abused but yet lived to tell her story.

lovelace-c

VIDEO & AUDIO:

“Lovelace” is presented in 1:85:1 anamorphic widescreen and presented in Dolby Digital 5.1.  It’s important to note that if you want the best picture and audio quality, a Blu-ray release of “Lovelace” will be released on the same day of the DVD release.

Cinematography by Eric Alan Edwards (“The Break-up”, “The Change-Up”, “Knocked Up”) is good, as it manages to capture the early ’70s very well thanks to the costume and hair design.  Picture quality is good as one can expect on DVD, while the Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack has very good dynamic range.  Music and dialogue is clear and understandable.

Subtitles are in English SDH and Spanish.

SPECIAL FEATURES:

“Lovelace”” comes with the following special features:

  • Behind Lovelace (13:57) Interviews with the cast and behind-the-scenes of making of “Lovelace”.

EXTRAS:

“Lovelace” comes with a slipcover.

lovelace-d

There are many stories of women who get caught up in the porn industry through unfortunate situations.

But there is no doubt that Linda Boreman, also known as Linda Lovelace, and her life story is one of the most shocking stories of one involved in the porn industry.

I personally had no knowledge of Linda Lovelace, but the things that people heard about during her anti-pornography campaign and also the alleged details that came from her book.  But knowing that there are women who have had traumatic pasts that led to a career in pornography, I really never knew how big of a name Linda Lovelace was during the early ’70s, let alone aware that a pornographic film was shown in theaters and did well in the box office.

I can’t even imagine that ever happening but it did.  The film would make over $600 million in the box office and a lot more through video sales and Linda Lovelace, seen as a sex icon at that time, eventually became a crusader against the film that she made popular and against pornography as a whole.

The story of Linda Boreman as featured in “Lovelace” is shocking, brutal and I would imagine that for filmmakers Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman, the goal was to bring realism to a character for the big screen.

While Rob Epstein is the writer of documentaries such as “The Celluloid Closet” and The Times of Harvey Milk” and Jeffrey Friedman was co-director along with Epstein on “The Celluloid Closet”, “Lovelace” was a biographical film that was inspired by Boreman’s appearance on “Donahue” to discuss her book and the filmmakers wanted to let her story be known. As the same with actress Amanda Seyfried, who wanted to see Linda Boreman receive some justice for this film.

I found the film fascinating because of Epstein and Friedman’s approach to the film, by utilizing documentary and traditional filmmaking for “Lovelace” and finding the emotional truth to the character, situation and overall story.  To showcase one side of Linda Boreman/Lovelace and showing a sunny and happy life of Linda Lovelace but then to show the other side that her life that was full of pain.  Suffice to say, it was Rashomon-esque.

While the film follows Linda Boreman’s accounts as mentioned in her book, I know that there are people who dispute her accounts but with that being said, in order for her book to be published, in 1979, Linda underwent a polygraph examination which she passed and those accounts are what is featured in the movie.

The film uses old television footage and also uses digital magic with the Donahue appearance footage (via removing the real Lovelace and putting Amanda Seyfried as Linda).

Acting by Amanda Seyfried and Peter Sarsgaard were well-done and the film does a good job in trying to establish that Linda did a pornographic film against her will, but her life should not define her as a porn star.  She should be seen as a woman who was strong to discuss domestic violence and bring awareness to it back in the ’70s through her unfortunate experience.

But Seyfried gives an amazing performance and take on a role outside of her comfort zone in portraying Linda Lovelace.  Sharon Stone also did a fantastic job playing the strict and repressed mother.  And Saarsgard as Chuck Traynor, definitely captured everything sleazy and making the character unlikable.

But not all of Lovelace’s unfortunate experiences were shown onscreen.  There is no mention of the bestiality film that Linda Lovelace was forced to do, there is no mention of how far she was pimped out by Traynor, the loops that she was part of before making “Deep Throat”, but there is more to the story of Linda Boreman that goes beyond “Lovelace”, and I hope others continue to explore these details after they see this film.

While I enjoyed the film to a point, there are some problems with the film, primarily the filmmakers and writers not wanting to go to far with this film and take some risks.  As mentioned, there is so much that happened to Lovelace that only a few of those situations were presented in the film.  We know the character of Traynor is a sleazeball, we know that Lovelace was able to escape the abuse and write a best-selling book but the film could have captured so much more.

And I suspect, many who want to see how the porno industry was back then, may be disappointed as the film is not about porn but abuse that one of America’s sexual icons in the early 70’s had endured. It is contrived, it is not breaking any new ground and I’m sure those who want to see more about the old porn industry, may get more out of “Boogie Nights” than “Lovelace”.

As for the DVD, one will want to go for the Blu-ray release for better picture and audio quality but on DVD, the film looks good and you one behind-the-scenes special feature.

Overall, “Lovelace” is a film that had potential to be so much more.  But it does feature a few details of Linda Lovelace/Boreman’s life as a sexual icon of the ’70s but behind the facade of stardom, is an even deeper story of a victim of severe abuse by her husband and how she was able to escape and write about it. Featuring a wonderful performance by Amanda Seyfried, Peter Saarsgard and Sharon Stone, “Lovelace” is a film worth watching, but I also recommend people to read more into the life of Linda Boreman and read about other details not featured in the movie.

 

Last Resort: The Complete Series (A J!-ENT DVD Review)

June 20, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

I will give ABC the benefit of the doubt as I have seen many canceled series never receive any closure.  I’m glad the network gave “Last Resort” writers a chance to end the series, the best way they can.  It’s an acceptable conclusion and so for anyone wanting a military drama that will be different than anything you have seen on television, a drama that is full of excitement and intrigue, then “Last Resort: The Complete Series” is a military drama worth watching!

Images courtesy of © 2012, 2013 Sony Pictures Television Inc. All Rights Reserved.

DVD TITLE: Last Resort: The Complete Series

SERIES DATE: 2012-2013

DURATION: 13 Episodes (558 Minutes)

DVD INFORMATION: Dolby Digital 5.1, Spanish Dolby Surround Sound, Widescreen (1:78:1) – Enhanced for 16×9 Televisions, Subtitles: English SDH, Chinese, French, Korean, Spanish, Thai

COMPANY: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment

RATED: Not Rated

RELEASE DATE: July 2, 2013

Directed by Michael Offer

Written by Karl Gajdusek, Shawn Ryan, Nick Antosca, Ned Vizzini, Ron Fitzgerald, Patrick Massett, David Wiener, John Zinman, Eileen Myers, Julie Siege

Produced by Jean Higginis

Co-Produced: Nicolas Bradle

Executive Producer: Karl Gajdusek, Marney Hochman, Shawn Ryan, Kevin Hooks

Co-Executive Producer: Ron Fitzgerald, Patrick Massett, John Zinman

Consulting Producer: Eileen Myers

Supervising Producer: Julie Siege

Music by Robert Duncan

Cinematography by Krishna Rao

Edited by Amy M. Fleming, Erik Presant, Justin Krohn

Casting by Rebecca Mangieri, Wendy Wiedman

Production Design by James H. Spencer

Art Direction by Gary Baugh

Set Decoration by Brenda Meyers-Ballard

Costume Design by Laura Goldsmith

Starring:

Andre Braugher as Captain Marcus Chapman

Scott Speedman as XO Sam Kendal

Daisy Betts as Lieutenant Grace Shepard

Camille De Pazzis as Sophie Girard

Dichen Lachman as Tani Tumrenjack

Daniel Lissing as James King

Sahr Ngaujah as Julian Serrat

Autumn Reeser as Christine Kendal

Robert Patrick as Master Chief Joseph Prosser

Jessica Camacho as Pilar Cortez

Michael Ng as Cameron Pitts

David Rees Snell as Barry Hopper

Daniel Bess as Lt. Chris Cahill

Jay Karnes as Secretary of Defense William Curry

Will Rothhaar as Josh Brannan

Jay Hernandez as Paul Wells

Darri Ingolfsson as Robert Michell

Bruce Davison as Admiral Arthur Shepard

Omid Abtahi as nigel

Michael Gaston as Barton Sinclair

Michael King as Kevin Hawkes

Chin Han as Zheng Li

The U.S. ballistic submarine Colorado sits 500 feet below the Indian Ocean when orders come in to fire nuclear missiles at Pakistan. Captain Marcus Chaplin (Andre Braugher) and XO Sam Kendal (Scott Speedman) both question the legitimacy of the order and ask for confirmation, but instead receive missile fire from another U.S. submarine. Left for dead at the bottom of the ocean, the Colorado finds refuge on an exotic island. As troops come toward the island, the members of the crew must work to clear their names and find out who is involved in a conspiracy of nuclear proportions. From creators Karl Gajdusek (Oblivion) and Shawn Ryan (TV’s “The Shield”), LAST RESORT – THE COMPLETE SERIES is a critically-acclaimed drama filled with action and suspense.

From creators Shawn Ryan (“The Shield”, “Welcome to Hollywood”, “The Unit”) and Karl Gajdusek (“Oblivion”, “Trespass”) comes “Last Resort”, an American military drama which aired on ABC from September 2012 to January 2013.

The series would star Andre Braugher (“Homicide: Life on the Street”, “The Mist”, “City of Angels”), Scott Speedman (“Underworld” films, “Felicity”), Australian actress Daisy Betts (“Shutter”, “Caught Inside”, “Persons Unknown”), French actress Camille De Pazzis (“Le Premier Jour: Du Reste De Ta Vie”, Quand j’etais chanteur”), Dichen Lachman (“Dollhouse”, “Neighbours”, “Aquamarine”), Daniel Lissing (“Crownies”), Sahr Ngaujah (“The Signal”, “Stomp the Yard”), Autumn Reeser (“The Girl Next Door”, “The O.C.”, “No Ordinary Family”), Jessy Schram (“Unstoppable”, “American Pie Presents: The Naked Mile”) and Robert Patrick (“Terminator 2”, “The Unit”, “Walk the Line”).

While the premiere of “Last Resort” brought in over 9 million viewers, due to drop in viewership, ABC decided not to take on a full season but did air the 13 episodes that were created, including a season finale which would give fans closure.

And now “Last Resort: The Complete Series” will be released on DVD courtesy of Sony Pictures Home Entertainment.

“Last Resort” revolves around the crew of the U.S. Navy Ohio-class ballistic missile submarine, the USS Colorado.  The crew led by Commanding Officer Marcus Chaplin (portrayed by Andre Braugher) and Lt. Commander Sam Kendal (portrayed by Scott Speedman) pick up a U.S. Navy SEAL team off Pakistan’s coast.

While everything is going perfectly fine inside the USS Colorado, Lt. Grace Shepard (portrayed by Daisy Betts) receives an encoded message to launch nuclear ballistic missiles at Pakistan.

But because a nuclear missiles on a country would kill millions and the fact the message came from a channel that would only be used only if the White House was destroyed, as Chaplin checks on American news, there is no mention of any problems in the United States.  So, Chaplin asks for confirmation from the U.S. government of why the order did not come in proper channels.

Unfortunately, some of Chaplin’s crew such as Commander Master Chief Petty Officer Joseph Prosser (portrayed by Robert Patrick) and others  question their Commanding Officer for not following direct orders to launch the nuclear missiles.

Immediately, the Deputy Secretary of Defense William Curry dismisses Captain Marcus Chaplin for refusing to follow orders and Lt. Commander Sam Kendal is made acting captain. But before they launch the nuclear missiles, Kendal also requests the order to come in through proper channels.  Because of his refusal, an American tomohawk shot by the USS Illinois is sent to destroy the USS Colorado.

While the USS Colorado is hit and there are a few casualties, the crew try to question why they were fired upon.  Meanwhile at the island of Sainte Marina, NATO is observing the tomohawk missile and seeing American government reporting it as missile attack by Pakistan.  In retaliation, the U.S. shoots two nuclear missiles on Pakistan.

As America reports that the USS Colorado has been sunk by Pakistan, the USS Colorado rises underwater and the crew take over the Sainte Marina.  When they find out from NATO’s Sophie Girard (portrayed by Camille De Pazzis) that it was the USS Illinois that attacked them, both Speedman and Chaplin are shocked.  To make things even worse, the government using other channels to communicate with other members of the crew try to get them to eliminate both Speedman and Chaplin.

Knowing that their duty is to protect their crew and serve the United States, they record a video featuring Chaplin about how their intention is to protect the crew of the USS Colorado but because America tried to kill them, any country that tries to get near the perimeter near the island will be treated as the enemy.  And because there are 17 nuclear missiles, they will be used against any aggressor.

So, as the USS Colorado makes Sainte Marina their main base, they must deal with the island natives who are not happy with the crew being on their island, they must deal with other countries trying to gain possession of the submarine (for its nuclear missiles) but also crew who are receiving messages from the government to eliminate Speedman and Chaplin for treason.  As the crew of the USS Colorado are also treated as criminals, Speedman and Chaplin must also deal with descending morale.

Meanwhile, back in the U.S., Sam Kendal’s wife Christine (portrayed by Jessy Schram) is being used by the government to get to Sam, meanwhile Kylie Sinclair (portrayed by Autumn Reeser) is trying to get information about the Perseus technology that is on the USS Colorado, a technology that she and her family built.  She knows from her govt. sources that the USS Illinois shot the Tomohawks and the USS Colorado and the USS government is involved.  But because of her knowledge, the U.S. government is watching closely over her, and worried she may be causing problems.

With these growing problems, what will happen to the crew of USS Colorado?  And will they prove their innocence.

The characters of “Last Resort” include:

Captain Marcus Chaplin (Andre Braugher) – The USS Colorado’s Commanding Officer.  A respectable commanding officer who is secretly dealing with the death of his son, a soldier who recently died in Afghanistan.

Lt. Commander Sam Kendal (Scott Speedman) – The second-in-command who is married to Christine Kendal and took a four month volunteer submarine duty.  During a secret mission, several of his men were killed and vowed t never leave his soldiers behind.

Lt. Grace Shepard (Daisy Betts) The third-in-command, Lt. Grace Shepard is the daughter of an admiral and everyone thinks she got where she is due to nepotism.  But the truth is Lt. Shepard is great at her job.

Sophie Girard (Camille De Pazzis) – Works for NATO and has found herself attracted to XO Sam Kendal.  She is also the person that is trying to retain peace between the crew of the USS Colorado and Sainte Marina’s drug runner Julian Serrat.

Tani Tumrenjack (Dichen Lachman) – Lives in Sainte Marina as the owner of the local bar.  She becomes close to Navy SEAL James King.

James King (Daniel Lissing) – A Navy SEAL who took part in a mission in Pakistan and something tragic happened, which has not been revealed.  He spends his time drinking alcohol, spending time with Tani and sometimes assisting his SEAL’s and the USS Colorado crew.

Julian Serrat (Sahr Ngaujah) – The major drug runner in Sainte Marina, he has kidnapped three crewman from the USS Colorado.

Christine Kendal (Jesse Schram) – The wife of Sam Kendal who is trying to vouch for her husband’s innocence, but the US Government is trying to find a way to get to her to get to her husband.

Master Chief Joseph Prosser (Robert Patrick) – Worked for years with Captain Marcus Chaplin.  Dedicated to his duty and always following orders but when Captain Chaplin went against orders to nuke Pakistan, he became the main voice in opposition.

VIDEO & AUDIO:

“Last Resort” is presented in Widescreen (1:78:1) – Enhanced for 16×9 televisions. This is one of the few drama series on television where a lot of the scenes are shot outdoors, to there is good natural lighting and the series does look good on DVD. I didn’t see any major noise or compression artifacts. For the most part, the series looks very good on DVD.

As for audio, the series is presented in Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound and the series is primarily dialogue and music driven. Dialogue is clear and understandable, while the music and special effects always played a major part for the series and definitely enhances certain scenes. Did notice really good surround sound use for “Last Resort” with surround channels and rear surround channels being used.

The show is presented in English SDH, Chinese, French, Korean, Spanish and Thai.

SPECIAL FEATURES:

“Last Resort: The Complete Series” includes the following special features:

  • Making the Pilot – (4:18) A featurette on the making of the pilot.
  • Profiles in Courage – (4:39) A featurette on the characters of “Last Resort” with interviews with cast and executive producers.
  • Conn Artists – (4:29) The artists and production designer Jim Spencer and set designer Brenda Meyers-Ballard) talk about the conn room inside the submarine and how they design and built it.
  • Anatomy of An Episode: Voluntold – (4:50) Behind-the-scenes of the making of the fourth episode “Voluntold” featuring director Stephen DePaul, Jessy Schram, Jay Hernandez, Andre Braugher and more.
  • Grace Under Fire – (4:48) Dais Betts (Lt. Grace Shepard) and Robert Patrick (Master chief Joseph Prosser) discuss their characters and the trouble that exist between the two characters.
  • The Ties That Bind – (4:58) A featurette about Sam Kendal’s ties with his military obligations and his wife.
  • Subvirtual – (4:55) David Altenau of Fuse FX talks about the CG used in “Last Resort”.
  • The Buzzard’s Nest – (4:23) A featurette about the bar “The Buzzard’s Nest” ran by Tani Tumrenjack.  Interviews with Dichen Lachman, Daniel Lissing, set designer Brenda Meyers-Ballard and Michael Crow (construction coordinator).
  • Turning Point – (4:55) Shawn Ryan and Karl Gajdusek (co-creators and executive producers) talk about the episode involving James King and how the USS Colorado was brought into this conspiracy.
  • The Mole – (4:39) Co-creator/executive producer Karl Gajdusek and Jessica Camacho discuss the mole on “Last Resort”.
  • Serrat’s Lair – (4:49) Producer Jean Higgins, Sahr Ngaujah and other cast members talk about Serrat’s character and his compound.
  • I, Kylie – (5:01) Co-creator/executive producer Karl Gajdusek talks about the character of Kulie, interview with Autumn Reeser about her character and more.
  • Epilogue – (5:00) The creators and the cast talk about how to end the series.

EXTRAS:

“Last Resort: The Complete Series” comes with a slipcover case.

When it comes to prime-time dramas, one can hope to watch and see something unique and different.

While “Last Resort” may not have lasted several seasons long, the fact is that co-creator and executive producers Shawn Ryan and Karl Gajdusek took on a story that is farfetched but yet, gave us this alternate reality of “what if?”.

Corruption in American government, corruption within the military, plot twists and turns where you don’t know who are protagonists or antagonists, “Last Resort” turned out to be exciting and enjoyable.

Who can imagine the United States turning on one of their own in the military to take a blame of a nuclear attack on another country?  Who can imagine the Commanding Officer of shooting a nuclear missile near the White House?  Who can imagine how far a corrupt government would go?

Yes, this is nothing new.  We have seen similar situations in dramas such as “24”, we have seen betrayal of military members in films such as “Platoon”, but what makes “Last Resort” so interesting is that it has never been done before.  A submarine carrying nuclear missiles and its crew landing in an island and literally taking it over.  An island where a drug runner has ruled hand over fist, a crew that is torn by its duty for the military without asking questions and a crew that is moralistic and would not nuke any country without a reason through proper channels.

Throw in a cast of people who have their positives and negatives and you wonder how they will change, if they do change, throughout the series.

Captain Marcus Chaplin, the honorable Captain who honors his country but also protects his submarine and its crew.  XO Sam Kendal, a man with honor but also a man who has been trying to find himself and possibly giving up too much of himself to the military, rather than to his wife.  Lt. Grace Shepard, the admiral’s daughter but a woman who wants to prove that she got her position because of her skills and experience, not due to nepotism.

Throw in characters such as the Navy SEAL James King, who he and his men are hiding the truth of what their mission was before being picked up by the USS Colorado.  Sophie Girard of NATO who has her obligations to her work but finds herself falling for XO Sam Kendal.

Meanwhile at home, Kylie Sinclair tries to expose the truth about the government’s lies, about a corrupt president and depending on Christine Kendal, wife of Sam, to bring out the truth of what happened to the US Colorado.

And so many other characters that impact a storyline, similar to a series like “LOST”, which may have many characters but yet, are utilized when the storyline is needed.

There are so many things that could have gone wrong with “Last Resort” but the writing and the characters kept you coming back for more.  With that being said, it also comes down to one with an open mind, to accept things that may be farfetched or crazy.

I can see some being turned off by how the series portrays a corrupt United States government.  How some may be turned off by military taking things into their own hands.   And perhaps the many characters and episode after episode of uncertainty.  Who is good?  Who is bad?  Will this crew member turn on you?  Or will the drug runners or the island natives end your life?

It’s not a simple series nor is the storyline simple…it features a complex conspiracy that tends to manifest until the final episode which the writers had to create closure and for the most part, they did.

The series also has solid talent.  Andre Braugher does a magnificent job of playing Captain Marcus Chaplin and to see how his character evolves from beginning to end.  For Scott Speedman, it’s good to see him play a role outside of “The Underworld” half Lycan/half vampire character or the problematic character on “Felicity” that he had previously been known for.

Also, to see Autumn Reeser in another solid role, much different from the role that she was known for on “The O.C.”.  And it’s great to see international talents such as Australian actress Daisy Betts as Lt. Grace Shepard and French actress Camille De Pazzis as Sophie Girard.

As for the DVD, “Last Resort: The Complete Series” features good picture quality on DVD with a good amount of shots done outdoors.  Also, a soundtrack that utilizes the surround channels quite frequently.  And there are also a good number of special features included on each of the three DVD’s.

Overall, I will give ABC the benefit of the doubt as I have seen many canceled series never receive any closure.  I’m glad the network gave “Last Resort” writers a chance to end the series, the best way they can.  It’s an acceptable conclusion and so for anyone wanting a military drama that will be different than anything you have seen on television, a drama that is full of excitement and intrigue, then “Last Resort: The Complete Series” is a military drama worth watching!

Recommended!

S.W.A.T. Firefight (a J!-ENT Blu-ray Disc Review)

February 13, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

Although not a direct sequel to the 2003 film, “S.W.A.T. Firefight” is a pretty enjoyable popcorn action flick!  Once again, Robert Patrick excels at the villainous role and overall, for those wanting to watch an intense action flick will enjoy this film!

Images courtesy of © 2010 Stage 6 Films, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

TITLE: S.W.A.T. Firefight

FILM RELEASE DATE: 2010

DURATION: 89 Minutes

BLU-RAY DISC INFORMATION: 1080p High Definition (1:78:1), English, French 5.1 DTS-HD MA, Subtitles: English, English SDH, French and Spanish

COMPANY: Stage 6/Sony Pictures Home Entertainment

RATED: R (For Violence and Language)

RELEASE DATE: March 1, 2011

Directed by Benny Boom

Screenplay by Reed Steiner

Story by Reed Steiner, Randy Walker, Michael Albanese, Ed Arneson

Produced by Amanda Lewis, Neal H. Moritz

Executive Producer: Rui Costa Reis, Eliad Josephson, Scott Putman

Co-Producer: Dyan Traynor

Music by John Paesano

Cinematography by Don Davis

Production Design by Bruton Jones

Set Decoration by Selina van den Brink

Costume Design by Francine Jamison-Tanchuck

Starring:

Kristanna Loken as Rose Walker

Gabriel Macht as Paul Cutler

Robert Patrick as Walter Hatch

Carly Pope as Kim Byers

Nicholas Gonzalez as Justin Kellogg

Giancarlo Esposito as Inspector Hollander

Shannon Kane as Lori Barton

Matt Bushell as Danny stockton

Ele Bardha as Agent Ellison

Gino Anthony Pesi as Wayne Wolport

Kevin Phillips as Kyle Watters

Los Angeles S.W.A.T. officer, Lt. Paul Cutler (Macht), is sent to train the Detroit S.W.A.T. team on new anti-terrorism and homeland security techniques. Cutler has a hard time settling into his assignment as he locks horns with his new captain and encounters resistance from the team he must lead. Cutler begins to adjust to his new assignment, starting a budding romance with police psychologist Kim Byers (Pope) along the way. Unexpectedly, a routine hostage call turns deadly, and a relentless ex-government agent named Walter Hatch (Patrick) vows revenge on Cutler and the entire S.W.A.T. team for killing the woman he loves. Cutler must use his considerable S.W.A.T. training and knowledge to save his teammates and defeat a trained killer. The film also stars Giancarlo Esposito as Cutler’s reluctant Detroit S.W.A.T. team leader.



Trailer  – Coming Soon

In 2003, the action film “S.W.A.T.” was released in theaters and made over $203 million in the worldwide box office.

There was no doubt that there would be a sequel to the film, but this time around, the film receives a direct-to-video release and is directed by hip hop music video director Benny Boom and features a screenplay by Reed Steiner (“The Shield”, “NCIS: Naval Criminal Investigative Service”, “The District”).  And for this film, the goal was to make an action film that was character driven.

“S.W.A.T. Firefight” revolves around LAPD S.W.A.T. leader Paul Cutler (played by Gabriel Macht, “Whiteout”, “The Spirit”, “The Recruit”) who is a one of the best S.W.A.T. and anti-terrorist officers out there and he has been given a chance at a promotion but he first must go to Detroit and train members of the Detroit S.W.A.T. Alpha Team for two weeks and so they can get their certification.

He must train the overly confident Justin Kellogg (played by Nicholas Gonzalez), Danny Stockton (played by Matt Bushell, “Leatherheads, “Twilight”), Wayne Wolport (played by Gino Anthony Pesi), Kyle Watters (played by Kevin Phillips, “Notorious”, “Pride”) and Richard Mundy (played by Micah A. Hauptman, “Iron Man”, “Supernatural”).

Of course, the Detroit guys are not so happy with the new guy on their turf but because he’s the only guy with the experience to get the S.W.A.T. team ready and certified, Inspector Hollander (played by Giancarlo Esposito) and the team must give the veteran, Paul Cutler a chance!

One day, while the group was training, they receive a distress call and the S.W.A.T. team under Cutler try to save a woman who was held hostage by Walter Hatch (played by Robert Patrick, “Terminator 2: Judgment Day”, “The X-Files”, “Walk the Line”).  While the team secured the building, Cutler and Kellogg manage to stop Hatch and rescuing the hostage Rose Walker (played by Kristianna Loken, “Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines”, “BloodRayne”).  When Cutler issues Kellogg to secure the hostage, he doesn’t and Rose ends up stealing the gun from Kellogg and wants the S.W.A.T. team to kill Walter Hatch.  They refuse and Rose ends up killing herself in the process.  Upset at what took place, Walter threatens Cutler that he will get revenge on him for killing Rose.

The death of Rose is Cutler’s first lost hostage and upset that Kellogg did not follow orders, the two take part in a competition.  Whoever scores the lowest point on a punching video game will either pack up and go back home (Cutler) or will lose his spot on the S.W.A.T. A-Team.  Kellogg ends up losing and he loses his spot in the team and is replaced by a military friend of Cutler,Lori Barton (played by Shannon Kane, “Madea’s Big Happy Family”, “Brooklyn’s Finest”) who worked alongside Cutler in Iraq and will assist in showing the men of how to be a better sniper.

While Cutler prepares to continue and train the team for certification, he receives a threatening call from Walter Hatch, and that he is coming after him.

Cutler learns from the Detroid PD’s psychiatrist Kim Byers (played by Carly Pope) that Walter was released because he was the hostage and Rose was the person who had the gun and also was depressed and suicidal and killed herself.  But Cutler is not buying it.  He feels that there is something off about Walter Hatch.  Meanwhile, Hatch breaks into one of the S.W.A.T. team member’s car and steals their Detroit PD certification booklet and begins his plan in playing mind games with Cutler.

When Cutler gets home, he finds a gift from Walter (a funeral rose platform for Cutler) and immediately, he starts to look into Walter’s residence.  When Cutler breaks in, he finds out it’s the wrong house owned by someone else but all this time, Walter has been watching him and threatening him.  Knowing that Hatch wants him dead, as Cutler checks his car for explosives, he finds a bomb.

Cutler realizes that this lunatic, Walter Hatch has one goal and that is to kill him and anyone that is connected to him.

VIDEO:

“S.W.A.T. Firefight” is presented in 1080p High Definition (1:78:1).  By no means should anyone think that because this film is direct-to-video that it’s not going to look good.  In fact, for the production or this film, they filmmakers were able to use new Sony Digital Cameras (more about this is explained in the special feature) that really enhance the detail of the film.  From the grittiness of Detroit, the detail of the weapons used by the S.W.A.T. team, there is also vibrancy to the colors during the daytime outdoor sequences.  Blacks are nice and deep and I didn’t find any artifacting, edge enhancement, banding or any problems with the picture quality.

AUDIO & SUBTITLES:

“S.W.A.T. Firefight” is presented in English and French 5.1 DTS-HD MA.  And similar to what I had to say about the PQ, this direct-to-video film also takes advantage of the audio during the action sequences.  From the various weapons used, artillery and bullets being shot, the surround channels are well-utilized during these sequences.  So, there is a lot of gunplay in this film and I was impressed.  Typically in direct-to-video films, not too much surround is utilized but for this film, I’m glad there was!  Also, good use of LFE and if anything, the center and front channels are well-utilized and sound very good and you get awesome immersive lossless audio at times.

Subtitles are presented in English, English SDH, Spanish and French.

SPECIAL FEATURES:

“S.W.A.T. Firefight” comes with a special feature presented in High Definition:

  • “Sharp Shooting: On the Set” – A featurette with director Benny Boom and behind-the-scenes footage of the filming of “S.W.A.T. Firefight” and the training the talent had to do to make sure this film looked authentic.  Also, Boom talks about shooting the film in Detroit and meeting with the Detroit S.W.A.T. team.

Intense action!  “S.W.A.T. Firefight” may be a direct-to-video sequel but by no means does it mean this film is bad because it’s actually pretty good.

I have to admit that I came upon this film expecting a kitschy popcorn action flick.  But I was pretty surprised by how well-written and how the action went for this film.  If anything, I have to credit Benny Boom for wanting to capture the accuracy of what happens with the S.W.A.T. team and even consulting with them to make sure he doesn’t disrespect them and what they do in protecting the lives of many people.

Also, it helped that they did use a real S.W.A.T. team member to train the talent and doing all they can to keeping things authentic (even using real S.W.A.T. team members during the opening sequence).

Gabriel Macht, who plays the lead protagonist Paul Cutler does a fantastic job.  And while this sequel is more character driven and revolves around his character, it’s good to see the film play up the camaraderie of the Alpha Team and the viewer feels some connection which is important especially when you have Robert Patrick doing an awesome job of playing the lunatic villain.

I have to admit that “S.W.A.T. Firefight” is pretty awesome in how it showcases the weaponry, the outfits, the training regimen and I wouldn’t be surprised if the film becomes a heavy influence in one’s decision of joining the S.W.A.T. team in reality.  The film does paint a great picture of the men and women who are part of the S.W.A.T. team and Benny Boom’s dedication to capturing the authenticity paid off.

Because the film uses a lot of talent who are not so well-kn0wn, in many ways, I think it works very well for “S.W.A.T. Firefight”.  Whereas the last film, you pretty much know when you see this character or that character, who is going to be the badass and you have high expectations because of how they were utilized in previous action films. In this case, the cast had good chemistry and for the part, everything worked.

If I had one problem with the film, there were two scenes.  One during the opening sequence of a hostage standoff and how the people from the party responded to the rescue.  It was like an audience from a golf match and seemed fake.  If people were being rescued after being held hostage, I expect tears, crying and hugs, not everyone doing an applause as if they were watching a golf match.

And with the banality of action teams, the shot of the group after they finished training and the shot of the whole team walking towards the camera.  An example of how the wrong music can make a potential cool scene not work.

And possibly the scene which didn’t bother me as much considering,  that it would probably cost too much money to have someone in the visual effects dept. do, so I’m not going to hold it on the filmmakers for not trying, was a scene of the actual blowing up of a building which happens near the end of the film and how it looks unscathed at the end.

But overall, “S.W.A.T. Firefight” was a pretty enjoyable popcorn action flick.  Director Benny Boom and writer Reed Steiner did a pretty awesome job in capturing the authenticity of the S.W.A.T. team and crafting a new S.W.A.T. film not related to the first.  But I felt the casting was also pretty good for this film as Robert Patrick can definitely play the villain.  In many ways, I do feel that Sony has the potential of creating more of these direct-to-video films and personally, it would be great to see Gabriel Macht and his character Paul Cutler return for another film.  There is a lot of potential in more S.W.A.T.-related films and if they can keep up with the authenticity, the action and a solid storyline, this can be a solid action franchise for years to come.

If you are looking for an enjoyable popcorn action flick or if you are person who is considering being part of the S.W.A.T. team, “S.W.A.T. Firefight” is a film worth watching!

SYFY AND THQ ORIGINAL MOVIE RED FACTION: ORIGINS BEGINS PRODUCTION WITH ALL-STAR CAST LED BY STARGATE UNIVERSE’S BRIAN J. SMITH AND FILM ICON ROBERT PATRICK

January 19, 2011 by · 1 Comment 

BATTLESTAR GALACTICA’S KATE VERNON, TORCHWOOD’S GARETH DAVID-LLOYD AND DANIELLE NICOLET ALSO STAR

DIRECTED BY PEABODY-AWARD WINNER MICHAEL NANKIN (BATTLESTAR GALACTICA, CAPRICA) AND WRITTEN BY ANDREW KREISBERG (WAREHOUSE 13)

PRODUCED BY UNIVERSAL CABLE PRODUCTIONS AND UFO FILMS FOR MAY 2011 PREMIERE

NEW YORK and AGOURA HILLS, Calif. – January 19, 2011 – Brian J. Smith (Stargate Universe), Robert Patrick (Terminator 2: Judgment Day), Kate Vernon (Battlestar Galactica), Danielle Nicolet (The Starter Wife), Gareth David-Lloyd (Torchwood), Tamzin Merchant (The Tudors) and Devon Graye (Dexter) will star in the THQ Inc. (NASDAQ: THQI) and Syfy Original Movie Red Faction®: OriginsTM (working title), based on the highly successful Red Faction® video game franchise.

Peabody-Award winner Michael Nankin (Caprica, Battlestar Galactica, CSI: Crime Scene Investigation) will direct the two-hour, live action movie.

Part of a first-of-its-kind transmedia deal, Red Faction: Origins will be produced by Universal Cable Productions (UCP) and UFO Films (Lake Placid 2 & 3). Production will begin in Bulgaria this week with its Syfy premiere scheduled for May 2011.

Red Faction: Origins follows the children of rebel hero Alec Mason, set during a period between the critically acclaimed Red Faction Guerrilla™ video game and the recently announced, highly anticipated Red Faction Armageddon™ video game, also scheduled for release in May 2011.

Twenty-five years have passed since Alec Mason (Robert Patrick) led the Martian Colonies to freedom …and 12 years since vengeful enemies killed his wife, kidnapped his daughter Lyra (Tamzin Merchant), and left a broken hero in their wake.

Jake Mason (Brian J. Smith), Alec’s last surviving son and an officer in the Red Faction Militia, has his world turned inside out when he discovers that now, 12 years after her kidnapping, his sister is still alive. As a powerful new enemy swarms across the planet, Jake goes out to find her, only to learn that his lost sister is one of them…a cold-blooded soldier sworn to destroy the Red Faction.

Jake must now battle the relentless regime and somehow reunite a family torn apart by war.

The Red Faction: Origins screenplay was written by notable writer and producer Andrew Kreisberg (Warehouse 13, Fringe, Eli Stone), based on a story developed by Paul DeMeo (The Rocketeer, The Flash, Viper), THQ Director, Fiction Development.

Syfy is a media destination for imagination-based entertainment. With year round acclaimed original series, events, blockbuster movies, classic science fiction and fantasy programming, a dynamic Web site (www.Syfy.com), and a portfolio of adjacent business (Syfy Ventures), Syfy is a passport to limitless possibilities. Originally launched in 1992 as SCI FI Channel, and currently in more than 98 million homes, Syfy is a network of NBC Universal, one of the world’s leading media and entertainment companies. (Syfy. Imagine greater.)

THQ Inc. (NASDAQ: THQI) is a leading worldwide developer and publisher of interactive entertainment software. The company develops its products for all popular game systems, personal computers and wireless devices. Headquartered in Los Angeles County, California, THQ sells product through its global network of offices located throughout North America, Europe and Asia Pacific. More information about THQ and its products may be found at www.thq.com.

Universal Cable Productions creates quality content across multiple media platforms for USA, Syfy and other networks. A leader in innovative and critically acclaimed programming, UCP is the studio behind USA’s Royal Pains, Law & Order: Criminal Intent, Psych, In Plain Sight, Covert Affairs and Fairly Legal, as well as Syfy’s Eureka, Warehouse 13 and Alphas . The studio also produced the long-running series Monk and Battlestar Galactica, as well as the series Caprica. UCP is a division of NBC Universal.

THQ, Red Faction, Red Faction Guerrilla, Red Faction Armageddon, Red Faction Origins and their respective logos are trademarks and/or registered trademarks of THQ Inc. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.

The statements contained in this press release that are not historical facts may be “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These forward-looking statements are based on current expectations, estimates and projections about the business of THQ Inc. and its subsidiaries (collectively referred to as “THQ”), including, but not limited to, expectations and projections related to the Red Faction: Origins live action movie, and are based upon management’s current beliefs and certain assumptions made by management. Such forward-looking statements are subject to risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements, including, but not limited to, business, competitive, economic, legal, political and technological factors affecting our industry, operations, markets, products or pricing. Readers should carefully review the risk factors and the information that could materially affect THQ’s financial results, described in other documents that THQ files from time to time with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including its Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q and Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal period ended March 31, 2010, and particularly the discussion of risk factors set forth therein. Unless otherwise required by law, THQ disclaims any obligation to update its view on any such risks or uncertainties or to revise or publicly release the results of any revision to these forward-looking statements. Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date of this press release.

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