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Beyond the Law (1993)
Beyond the Law (1993)
1993 | Crime, Drama, Thriller
6.6 (7 Ratings)
Movie Rating
Charlie Sheen vs Michael Madsen is acting bliss. (0 more)
This needs a remake, bad. Lots of holes. (0 more)
Sons Of Anarchy Spiritual Ancestor
Reservoir Dogs (1992)
Reservoir Dogs (1992)
1992 | Crime, Mystery, Thriller

"Reservoir Dogs, I love for the dialogue. I think it’s just unbelievably brilliant and funny. Original, and just strange — the little conversations between Joe and Michael Madsen when they’re in the office, and Chris Penn comes running in and he goes, “I see you sitting there, but I don’t believe it!” I just love every inch of that movie."

BloodRayne (2006)
BloodRayne (2006)
2006 | Action, Horror, Sci-Fi
Rayne of blood
So this movie excist, bloodrayne came out the same month as uwe bolls other terrible movie- alone in the dark. So in 2006, you didnt get one but two terrible uwe boll movies that came out the same month, both based off of video games.

Bloodrayne is about- In 18th-century Romania, after spending much of her life in a traveling circus, human-vampire hybrid Rayne (Kristanna Loken) escapes and plots to take down her evil vampire father, Kagan (Ben Kingsley). When she's discovered by three vampire hunters, Vladimir (Michael Madsen), Katarin (Michelle Rodriguez) and Sebastian (Matt Davis), she manages to convince them to spare her life and join her cause. But slaying a vampire as powerful as Kagan will be no easy task.

The cast is wasted on this film. Im not sure why they signed up for this movie in the first place, but their did.

Its a god awful movie that no one, i mean no one should suffer through.
Donnie Brasco (1997)
Donnie Brasco (1997)
1997 | Drama, Mystery
Johnny Depp (2 more)
Al Pacino
True Story
Great film. Great start to a film....Just look at the information passed in the opening credits, we see gangsters, photographs, evidence, this film sets the scene in the first 1 minute, let alone 20. After that, the film plays out brilliantly. Depp plays Don the Jeweller (aka undercover FBI Agent Joe Pistone) infiltrating the New York mob/crime family. Al Pacino plays the flawed gangster Lefty Two Guns. I like a few other supporting roles like Michael Madsen as the rising mob boss Sonny Black, and Paul Giamatti show us great talent in a small role as FBI technician.
This is just a great film where we see Donny torn to pieces by the guilt of not being with his family, the pressure and danger of infiltrating the mob as an undercover agent, and the confused loyalties and love for his connected contact Lefty.
Lefty struggles with his tenuous and fragile position within the mob and looks at Donny as a way up or out.
 The film can only go one way but it's fun getting there.
Ill not divulge too much but, for me, its a must watch. Enjoy.
Species (1995)
Species (1995)
1995 | Sci-Fi
Ahh Species. A film I loved to watch when I was a young teen for...research purposes...
It's a bit rubbish really though isn't it? Watching it again now, it's pretty much a bunch of characters talking their way through a manhunt, strung together by regular moments of nudity.
It's suitably corny, boasts some terrible CGI (effects that may have been good back in the 90s, I honestly don't really remember) but in spite of all this, it's still pretty entertaining.

It's cast boasts the likes of Ben Kingsley, Alfred Molina, Marg Helgenberger, Forest Whitaker, Michael Madsen, even a young Michelle's pretty stacked. Natasha Henstridge of course plays the creature, and gives the role a sense of empowerment rather than exploitation.
The rubber suit aesthetic of the alien is pretty awesome (in the parts where it's not haunting CGI) and it has a pretty decent music score.

I fully see why a lot of people consider Species to be trashy, but honestly, it's a fun slice of 90s (as fuck) sci-fi horror. Enjoy it for what it is and just pretend the sequels don't exist.

LeftSideCut (3631 KP) rated Sin City (2005) in Movies

Jan 7, 2021 (Updated Jan 11, 2021)  
Sin City (2005)
Sin City (2005)
2005 | Action, Drama, Mystery
I absolutely adored Sin City when it first released way back in 2005, and I still do to a point, albeit a little less than I used to.
The main positives are of course the cast, and the style.

The cast is stacked - Bruce Willis, Rosario Dawson, Benicio Del Toro, Brittany Murphy, Michael Madsen, Clive Owen, Micky Rourke, Jessica Alba, Elijah Wood, Powers Boothe, Devon Aoki, Rutger Hauer, Michael Clarke Duncan, Carla Gugino, Jaime King... that's a fair ensemble if you ask me.
The style is of course a huge part of Sin City. It's neo noir black and white with splashes of colour translate perfectly from page to screen. 15 years later, the effects still look pretty decent and the overall look of the film is practically watching the graphic novels come to life, a strength that is bolstered by the cast involved.
It has a cheesy yet engaging screenplay - the runtime clocks in at over two hours, but never gets boring (just about), and the constant growly voiceovers and on the nose script beats could have potentially been laughable in anyone else's hands, but Robert Rodriguez somehow gets away with it.

The comics ultraviolence is well realised - the movie doesn't shy away from the grimness of proceedings. Some of the content however feels a little problematic in this day and age. The whole thing is plagued by a steady stream of misogyny, which would have probably been toned down if released today, but in my opinion, it's never glamorised. 95% of the male characters are grim shitbags, and the audience know it well.

I understand why a fair few people have an issue with Sin City and it's content, but personally, I find it to be a unique film with plenty of positives, a project that respects it's source material, and just about manages to avoid falling inside of its own arse.
Swamp Thing
Swamp Thing
2019 | Action, Horror, Sci-Fi
One of DC's Current Bests
Swamp Thing is a 2019 superhero horror/drama tv series developed by Gary Dauberman and Mark Verheiden with Executive Producers James Wan, Len Wiseman and Michael Clear. It was produced by Big Shoe Productions, Inc., Atomic Monster Productions, DC Entertainment and Warner Bros. Television and distributed by Warner Bros. Entertainment. The show stars Crystal Reed, Virginia Madsen, Andy Bean, Derek Mears, Jessica Beals, and Will Patton.

Abby Arcane (Crystal Reed) returns to her hometown of Marais, Louisiana investigating a deadly swamp-borne virus for the CDC . She develops a bond with Alec Holland (Andy Bean), a disgraced scientist who dies tragically soon after, but Holland may not be dead after all, as Abby discovers the mysteries of the swamp transform him into Swamp Thing.

This show is really cool. It makes me want to go back and watch the old movies to compare how they hold up. I was amazed with how dark they kept the story with the rating being TV-MA and there being so much blood and gore. The actors are great and there are some amazing performances but I also feel that some characters are not introduced well and just kind of come out of nowhere. They feel kind of unnecessary or just extra but I love the tone and horror vibe the show has going and what feels like a bigger story arc they are trying to setup with "the Green" and "the darkness" in the swamp of Marais. The visual effects are really top notch and Swamp Thing himself looks impressive. I give this show a 9/10 and it also gets my "Must See Seal of Approval".

I just really hope it doesn't stay cancelled and that they get another season, it really deserves it.

LeftSideCut (3631 KP) rated The Hateful Eight (2015) in Movies

Aug 30, 2019 (Updated Sep 11, 2019)  
The Hateful Eight (2015)
The Hateful Eight (2015)
2015 | Action, Western
A modern masterpiece
Honestly, there is nothing I dislike about the 8th film from Quentin Tarantino. Absolutely nothing.

From the minute The Hateful Eight starts it's meaty runtime, we're treated to some stunning long distance shots. The setting is gorgeous, and every shot in the opening moments has been shot with care.
It's not long until the cast start getting introduced, specifically Major Marquis Warren (Samuel L. Jackson), John Ruth (Kurt Russell), Daisy Domergue (Jennifer Jason Leigh), and Chris Mannix (Walton Goggins), as they all make their way to the town of Red Rock for various reasons.
All four of them are fantastic, as they masterfully work Tarantino's wonderful script. As usual, the dialogue throughout The Hateful Eight is thoroughly engaging, and didn't lose my attention for one second.

On the way there, they stop at an inn to shelter from the violent blizzard - Minnie's Haberdashery - where the rest of the film takes place. It's here we meet Bob (Demián Bichir), Oswald Mobray (Tom Roth), Joe Gabe (Michael Madsen), and General Sandy Smithers (Bruce Dern), rounding out our eight strong cast of hateful characters.

What follows is a dialogue heavy, intense ride as these characters begin to find themselves at odds with each other, revealing hidden secrets along the way, in the aftermath of American Civil War.
It's an intriguing set up that I can't say anymore about without spoiling anything.
It's certainly a film that benefits from knowing nothing about it before going in.

As I said, this is an amazing looking movie, with an extremely solid cast, and a tight and often funny script. The music score is beautiful just to add a lovely finishing touch.

I can't praise this masterpiece enough - Tarantino at his best.
BloodRayne (2006)
BloodRayne (2006)
2006 | Action, Horror, Sci-Fi
Turning a video game into a feature film is often a daunting task. With a large built in audience, gamers tend to be very picky over film adaptations and agitate very easily over even the slightest deviation from the source material.

Often in games, storylines are kept to the basic elements in order to keep the action flowing, unhindered by dialogue, character development, and plot twists as the notion is that gamers want action and will become bored if they have to wait through the elements listed above.

It is ironic that in films bases on games, the paring down of plot and characters in favor of a more linear setup and action often draws the wrath of critics and gamers for doing what game makers have been doing for years, letting gamers get to the goods.

In the new film Bloodrayne based on the hit game series of the same name by Majesco, Director Uwe Boll has crafted a film that explores the how and whys of the game series, focusing on the origins of the title character Rayne (Kristanna Loken), who toils as the half-human, half-vampire Dhampir in remote 18th century Romania as a freak in a traveling circus. Here ability to be burned by water yet healed by the blood of animals is a big drawing card to the circus, who has no problem exploiting her only to lock her in an animal cage when the show is over.

Unknown to Rayne, her fate is about to become entwined with a man named Vladamir (Michael Madsen), a vampire hunter and member of a secret society dedicated to eliminating the threat they pose. It is learned that the land is under the control of a powerful vampire named Kagan (Ben Kinglsey), who is seeking to locate and reunite three vampire relics in an effort to gain absolute power.

In time Rayne is brought into the order that sees her as a tool for fighting back the ever increasing army of Kagan. This movie is not met well by certain members of the group, especially Katarin (Michelle Rodriquez), who is not certain that bringing a person who is part vampire into their midst is a good idea.

Despite rising tensions and a steamy attraction to a hunter named Sebastian (Matt Davis), Rayne soon finds herself part of the group and firmly matched up against Kagan and his minions with the fate of the world in the balance.

While the film has some issues such as a thin plot and at times stiff acting and basic dialogue it is a marked improvement for Boll who has received harsh criticisms of his past works. Bloodrayne blends exotic visuals with classic gothic touches in a manner that compliments the material and is never heavy handed. The action scenes while gory are engaging and abundant, especially the inclusion of so called Boss battles that are common in video games.

While Bloodrayne has its blemishes, the film has its moments and is not nearly as bad as several mean spirited campaigns against it and Boll have suggested.

I have seen far worse films in the last 6 months such as The Cave, Into the Blue and Bewitched to name a few. As vampire films go, Bloodrayne is better than most of the horror offerings we have been inundated with in recent years less we forget “Wrong Turn” and “House of Wax”
Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (2019)
Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (2019)
2019 | Crime, Drama, Thriller
The film Tarantino was born to make
ONCE UPON A TIME...IN HOLLYWOOD is the film that Quentin Tarantino was born to make and it is his Masterpiece.

Your enjoyment of this film will be in direct correlation with how you reacted to the previous statement.

Lovingly set in Hollywood of the late 1960's, OUATIH tells the tale of 3 performers in LaLa Land who's stories are undercut by - and eventually intersect with - the growing dread of the Hippie CounterCulture of the time and, specifically, the Charles Manson cult that would erupt in violence.

Leonardo DiCaprio stars as fading Cowboy star Rick Dalton who has been relegated to guest starring villain roles on TV and is contemplating a move to Italian "Spaghetti" Westerns. This is DiCaprio's strongest acting job in (perhaps) his career and one that showcases his range as a performer - and he nails it. His Rick Dalton is a real human being. Sometimes confident, often times at odds with himself, and filled with self doubt. It is a bravura performance, one that I am confident we will be hearing a lot more of come Awards season.

Ably counterbalancing him - and providing the strong core to this film - is Brad Pitt's Cliff Booth, Rick Dalton's stunt double, who is just trying to live day to day. He is the quintessential Hollywood/California "whatever" dude who blows with wherever the wind blows him - including into questionable places. This is Pitt's strongest performance in (perhaps) his career as well - and if Pitt wasn't there to provide the strength and core to this film than DiCaprio's performance would be seen as cartoonish and over-the-top, but this counterbalance is there, which strengthens both performances. I'm afraid that DiCaprio will win all the Acting Awards accolades (his part is much more flashy/flamboyant), but I think Pitt is every bit as good and I would LOVE to see his name called during Awards season.

There are many, many actors making extended cameos in this film, from members of the Tarantino "stock company" like Michael Madsen, Bruce Dern, Kurt Russell and Zoe Bell to newcomers Timothy Olyphant, Emile Hirsch, Margaret Qualley, Dakota Fanning and Al Pacino - all have a scene (or 2) that (I'm sure) each actor saw as "delicious" and their willingness to go along with whatever Tarantino wanted them to do is apparent on the screen.

Faring less well is Margot Robbie in the underwritten role of real-life actress Sharon Tate who met her death at the hands of the Manson cult (this isn't a spoiler, it's a footnote in history). Her role is tangential to the main story of the DiCaprio/Pitt characters and it feels...tangential. Robbie does what she can with the role, but she is under-served by the script and direction of Tarantino.

So let's talk about writer/director Quentin Tarantino. A self-described "movie buff", Tarantino spares no detail in showing the audience the sights and sounds of a bygone era - Hollywood in the days of transition from the studio system to a more "television-centric" system. His visuals are wonderful and you spend the first 2 1/2 hours of this 2 hour, 45 minute film meandering through scenes/scenarios/people that are filled with mood and atmosphere and REALLY, REALLY GREAT music, but don't really seem to go anywhere. I was (pleasantly) surprised by how little violence/blood is involved in this and I give Tarantino - the director - credit. For he plays with audiences expectations of him, this movie and the actual, real-life events of this time. While this film is an homage to specific time, it is undercut by an impending sense of doom that keeps you on edge. It is the journey, not the destination that is the joy of this part of the film.

But, when all these disparate storylines/scenerios/characters and events eventually collide, the final 15-20 minutes of this film is quintessential Tarantino - exploding in violence that is horrific, bloody - and damned funny. It is an auteur in full control of his faculties and he controls the items in his "play-set" superbly to bring this film to a very satisfying climax for me.

But...this film is not for everyone. Some will LOVE the first 2 1/2 hours and HATE the last 15-20 minutes while others will LOVE the last 15-20 minutes, but wonder why they had to suffer through the first 2 1/2 hours. For me, I LOVED IT ALL. It is one of the very best Writer/Directors of our time operating at the top of his game - driving some "A-List" actors to career-best performances.

And that's good enough for me.

Letter Grade: A

9 (out of 10) stars and you can take that to the Bank(ofMarquis)