Friday, June 15, 2012

Transit (2012) - ActionFest Buffet 3.0: Plate #4

On the Menu: TRANSIT (2012)

Ingredients: Jim Caviezel, James Frain, Harold Perrineau, Diora Baird, Ryan Donowho, Sterling Knight, Elisabeth Röhm and Jake Cherry. Directed by Antonio Negret. Run time: 88 minutes. Rated: R.

At First Bite: The 9:30/9:45 time slot came down to either TRANSIT or the Swedish flick HEADHUNTERS. My buddy, Chris, picked the former, so I accompanied him. HEADHUNTERS was playing the next day, and this was the only showing of TRANSIT.

Nate (Caviezel) is taking his family on a camping trip in hopes to reconnect with his sons and regain the trust of his wife. See, Nate just served 18 months in the pokey for real estate fraud.

A foursome of bank robbers, led by Marek (Frain), is looking to sneak passed the roadblocks set up to catch them. The family's taken a pit stop, and the robbers spot their vehicle, which is loaded down with camping gear. Perfect. Just take one of the bags and switch out the gear for the stolen cash, then retrieve it later down the road.

Really, how could this plan go wrong?

Tough to Swallow: I question the effectiveness of police roadblocks that ignore suspect profiles.

The audio dropped out right before the hotel rampage scene. After about four minutes the projectionist fixed the problem, but we didn't get to go back and listen to what we missed.

Marek throws a machete, if I remember correctly, at Nate's vehicle. It smashes the windshield, but the windshield is fine in subsequent scenes.

Logic gets thrown out the window several times. Seriously, based on their actions later in the movie, how were the antagonists smart enough to rob a bank in the first place? How did the guy in the boat know something was hidden in the swamp?

Something to Chew On: North American premiere at ActionFest 2012.

Frain won the award for Best Villain at ActionFest 2012.

The film's budget was an estimated $5 million.

Aftertaste: It's a fairly intense thriller with some amazing stunt driving. However, the dialogue is laughable and the characters are stupid. The cheese factor is very high here. I can't remember the number of facepalms I made while listening to the family's conversations.

I spent most of the time wishing Nate would just forget about his family. They suck for the most part, especially his wife.

The quick pace somewhat masks the ridiculous script, but not entirely. Luckily, the run time is only 88 minutes.

I can't recommend this one... unless you're looking for intensity with a big side of crap.


Thursday, June 7, 2012

Sinners and Saints (2010) - ActionFest Buffet 3.0: Plate #3

On the Menu: SINNERS AND SAINTS (2010)

Ingredients: Johnny Strong, Sean Patrick Flanery, Tom Berenger, Method Man, Costas Mandylor, Luis Mandylor, Jürgen Prochnow, Kevin Phillips, Bas Rutten, Kim Coates and Sonny Puzikas. Directed by William Kaufman. Run time: 104 minutes. Rated: R.

At First Bite: Honestly, the only reason I marked this movie down on my ActionFest schedule was because Tom Berenger was scheduled to appear. I didn't know the plot. I didn't know who else was in it. I didn't know it was already on DVD. I just wanted to get my VHS copy of THE SUBSTITUTE signed by Shale himself.

Detective Sean Riley (Strong) has had it rough as of late. His son has died. His wife has left him.

After a raid goes bad, he's assigned to investigate a recent string of murders, where the victims are being burned repeatedly. One of the vics is the brother of a gang lord. Oops.

Hello, gang war.

Tough to Swallow: The mercenaries don't seem very well-trained or bright.

The majority of the "big" names in the cast only have a handful of scenes.

There is a credit for post-production assistant, but two people are listed.

In the credits, special contributors is misspelled as contributers.

Something to Chew On: Strong did the music for the film. He also did his own stunts. The dude is a black belt in Jiu Jitsu, an accomplished Mixed Martial Artist and makes knives.

The name of the bar in the movie is Boondock Saint. Flanery, of course, is one of the stars of BOONDOCK SAINTS and its sequel.

Flanery has now been in four films with the word 'saints' in the title. The first was PALE SAINTS in 1997.

Puzikas was also the film's tactical advisor. He is a former Russian Special Forces operative.

The movie was released on DVD on January 10, 2012 (three months before I saw it at ActionFest).

The film's showing at ActionFest was its domestic premiere.

SINNERS AND SAINTS 2 will go into production in the fall of 2012.

Aftertaste: Not a bad cop thriller considering it's a low-budget independent flick. It was actually filmed in New Orleans, and you'd never know it since we don't really see any landmarks or Mardi Gras parades. Instead, we get post-Katrina neighborhoods posing as cesspools full of drugs and gang violence.

The story is all over the place. The dialogue is lackluster. The acting, aside from Strong, is pretty sad.

But, but, but... there's lots of gunfire and people being burned. To me, violence is really the key ingredient for an action film. Schwarzenegger is as wooden an actor as there is, but his movies are fun because there are explosions, shootouts and people die in horrific ways. And, SINNERS AND SAINTS is full of intense, sometimes graphic, violence.

Kudos to Kaufman for using mostly practical special effects. Old school > CGI.

Kaufman says the sequel will have more exciting action, so I'll look forward to that.

Hopefully, the script will be better, too.

By the way, 
I got the VHS signed.