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The Condemned Review


OK
When a movie features superstar wrestlers in leading roles, usually it's a glaring signal to drop everything and run from the multiplex. The Condemned is an exception to that rule; it has more merit than all of the previous WWE films combined... but when we're talking about The Scorpion King and See No Evil, that's not saying much.

"Stone Cold" Steve Austin stars as Jack Conrad, an American on death row for murder in El Salvador. Without notice, he's flown to Papua New Guinea and dropped on a remote island along with nine other condemned prisoners. They're each wearing an explosive device on their ankles. If they tamper with it or pull the attached red tab, it will explode.

Continue reading: The Condemned Review

The Marine Review


Grim
When The Rock unofficially decided, several years ago, that he'd like to be the next Arnold Schwarzenegger, someone must've sensed an opening down the action-hero totem pole; who's going to be the next Jean-Claude Van Damme, the next Chuck Norris, or the next The Rock, for that matter? Enter another professional wrestler, John Cena, and his film debut, The Marine. Cena plays John Triton, established early in the movie as the only U.S. soldier to ever feel depressed about leaving Iraq. It's not even by choice -- he is discharged for disobeying a direct order, busting up some (yes) al Qaeda operatives and saving fellow soldiers in the process. Marines, as we all know, are not trained to follow orders, just as commanding officers are not trained to give orders to save lives.

Triton returns home to his loving wife Kate, played by Kelly Carlson. In their brief romantic interludes, she appears distressingly close to fitting into a single palm of Cena, who looks sort of like a prehistoric Matt Damon. Fortunately for the restless marine, his wife is soon taken hostage by a disorganized band of jewel-thieving psychopaths, led by Rome (Robert Patrick). Psychopaths, as we all know, frequently channel their bloodlust into diamond heists.

Continue reading: The Marine Review

The Marine Review


Grim
When The Rock unofficially decided, several years ago, that he'd like to be the next Arnold Schwarzenegger, someone must've sensed an opening down the action-hero totem pole; who's going to be the next Jean-Claude Van Damme, the next Chuck Norris, or the next The Rock, for that matter? Enter another professional wrestler, John Cena, and his film debut, The Marine. Cena plays John Triton, established early in the movie as the only U.S. soldier to ever feel depressed about leaving Iraq. It's not even by choice -- he is discharged for disobeying a direct order, busting up some (yes) al Qaeda operatives and saving fellow soldiers in the process. Marines, as we all know, are not trained to follow orders, just as commanding officers are not trained to give orders to save lives.

Triton returns home to his loving wife Kate, played by Kelly Carlson. In their brief romantic interludes, she appears distressingly close to fitting into a single palm of Cena, who looks sort of like a prehistoric Matt Damon. Fortunately for the restless marine, his wife is soon taken hostage by a disorganized band of jewel-thieving psychopaths, led by Rome (Robert Patrick). Psychopaths, as we all know, frequently channel their bloodlust into diamond heists.

Continue reading: The Marine Review

See No Evil Review


Grim
See No Evil wastes no time letting the blood flow. Within a few minutes, a rookie cop and a veteran go into a creepy abandoned house, where the rookie gets chopped and the veteran loses an arm and shoots the killer in the head. Cut to the news story explaining the multiple bodies in the house that was thought to be abandoned. Cut to four years later, and the one-armed vet is now a one-armed guard in county lockup, moving a specially selected group of coed teens convicts off to a weekend of community service.

From then on in, See No Evil is set in a burned-out gilded age hotel cramped full of county lockup coed cons from the Jaded Age. They are briefly introduced in camera flashes of name and crime, and about 15 to 30 seconds covering the stereotype they fall into. There's the kleptomaniac yuppie, the hacker, the two aggravated assaults with hearts of gold, the two drug dealers/ex lovers (apparently there was some domestic violence, but not enough for the beater to not come back for the ex later on), one of whom has now succumbed to the prison charms of the aggravated assault female.

Continue reading: See No Evil Review

Looney Tunes: Back in Action Review


Terrible
There's a scene near the end of Joe Dante's Looney Tunes movie where a beleaguered Wile E. Coyote ends up behind the wheel of a locomotive that's loaded to the gills with dynamite. Seconds before an explosion reduces him to a smoldering pile of ashes for the umpteenth time, he holds up a sign that reads, "They don't pay me enough."

My sentiments exactly, pal. The Federal Reserve couldn't pay you enough to sit through Technicolor gobbledygook like this. Dante has a technical feat on his hand, crafting a vigorous cartoon hybrid that seamlessly merges beloved Warner Bros. animated characters with unlucky C-list actors who apparently made their agents very angry and are being punished.

Continue reading: Looney Tunes: Back in Action Review

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