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Flashback Review: March 24th, 2014 Movie – Bandidas

bandidas

I know this may come as a shock, but every now and then I do watch something other than Sci-Fi and B-movies. So a while back, when all of the Blockbuster’s were going out of business, I found myself buying all sorts of movies, with this movie being one of them. Now I will admit, I bought this because it had two people that have been in my top 5 at one point or another, but when I watched it, I realized it was a pretty funny movie. So score one for random impulsive purchases, because that honestly doesn’t happen often. So allow me to present a movie from March of 2014, Bandidas.

The plot: When a wealthy business man wishes to build a railroad through Mexico, he hires a man named Tyler Jackson to go down to Mexico and purchase the land he needs for this to happen. When Maria Alvarez learns there is nothing they can do to stop the bank from selling the mortgage for her father’s farm to Jackson, she decides to head to the local governor’s house to ask him for help. At Don Diego’s house, Don Diego is entertaining Jackson when they are interrupted by Diego’s daughter Sara Sandoval, who is interested in why Jackson is interested in the land in there area. When Maria is unable to get in to see Don Diego, she sneaks in and encounters Sara, where the two begin to argue before Maria is forced to run from the guards. In her attempt to escape, she bursts into the room and sees Jackson and Don Diego celebrating the proposed railroad and accuses Don Diego of stealing the people’s land while she is being dragged out of there and sent to jail. Some time later, Jackson and his men show up on the Alvarez farm and after telling Maria’s father Pedro that he is delinquent in his payments and they have the right to buy his land from under him, Jackson shoots Pedro when he refuses to leave and has his men torch the farmhouse. Meanwhile, Sara has gone to see and old family friend and while she is inside his house, she witnesses Jackson’s men shoot the old man but manages to get away before they can capture her. After being released from jail, Maria returns home to find her home burned down and her father shot but still alive. Maria takes her father to the local church seeking help and discovers other farmers there who were also victimized by Jackson’s men. Meanwhile, Sara returns home and finds her father dead and when she accuses Jackson of killing him and tries to attack her, he pulls a gun on her and tells her that he owns all of her father’s property now and tries to hold her captive but she manages to escape. Wanting revenge on Jackson, Sara decides to rob the local bank in order to keep Jackson from getting the money but finds that it is already being robbed by Maria, who wanted to give the money back to the farmers whose land were taken from them. As the two women begin arguing, the bank manager alerts them to an approaching Jackson and the two quickly decide to work together and grab the money before he gets there, leaving a small bundle of flowers in the vault for Jackson to find. At the church, the two women begin arguing and fighting about what to do with the money until it is broken up by Padre Pablo, who takes the two women to some caves outside town where the displaced farmers are now living. During a dinner celebration the people are having, Sara feels like they need to do more to help the people and decides they need to rob more banks. Maria is ready to do it that night and Sara says they need to prepare first and the two start to argue again until Padre Pablo stops them and says that he knows someone that might help them. He sends them to Bill Buck, who initially refuses as he feels they will bring him nothing but trouble but when Maria uses her horse to trick his horse into coming back, he reluctantly agrees. During the course of their training, with Maria turning out to be an ace shooter while Sara, who can’t shoot a gun, is an expert at throwing knives, the two girls are able to put aside their differences and work together after Sara saves Maria from drowning when she learns that Maria can’t swim. After the newly crowned “Bandidas” successfully rob several banks, the New York Bank sends Quentin Cooke, is sent in to try and use his criminal science to capture the two women. During the course of his stay, Quentin looks into the death of Don Diego for one of Diego’s old ranch hands and believes that Diego was poisoned. Quentin goes to the church to ask Padre Pablo about Sara’s relationship with her father but the priest says that Sara loved her father. Sara and Maria, who were hiding in the church, overheard the conversation and decide to pay a visit to Quentin. Disguised as showgirls, they tie Quentin up and take some pictures with him, then blackmail him into telling them what he knows about Diego’s death. When Quentin says that they are breaking the law, Maria counters that the banks are breaking the law by stealing from the people and the Bandidas take Quentin to the bank to show him the proof. While at the bank, which used to be Diego’s office, Quentin realizes the Bandidas are telling the truth and he also finds the poison that was used to kill Diego and realizes that Jackson is the one behind all of this. When some of Jackson’s men arrive, Quentin allows himself to be used as a hostage in order to help Maria and Sara escape. Hearing what happened, Jackson has more men brought in to try and find the Bandidas and guard the remaining banks. At their camp, both women find themselves attracted to Quentin and he finds himself drawn to the two women and decides to help them rob the remaining banks. Pretending to be newlyweds, Quentin and Maria get inside the bank while Sara keeps watch and is upset when Maria uses the opportunity to kiss Quentin. While Sara manages to get her horse onto the roof of the bank, Maria manages to secure the bank, killing three of the guards and locking the rest of the men outside. Then, after Quentin opens the safe, they blow a hole in the roof, taking shelter in the safe, then Sara drops a rope for them to climb out on and they make their escape. The Mexican government is concerned about keeping their money safe in banks controlled by the New York Bank but Jackson eases their concerns by showing them a new security system being installed, a pressure sensitive floor. Unaware to Jackson, Quentin and Sara, pretending to be grieving over the loss of her mother, are in the bank and learn of the new system. Getting the keys from one of the employees, Quentin uses darts to knock out one of the guards, then he and Sara use a rope to enter the top floor of the bank while Maria keeps an eye out. Reaching the vault, Sara uses a pair of ice skates to walk along the seems of the flooring to avoid setting off the alarms. When Maria sees some more men arriving at the bank, she uses the rope to head inside to warn Sara and Quentin, just as Sara accidentally sneezes, causing her to drop the money and set off the alarm. They try to get away but end up crashing into Maria and all three of them end up captured. As they are being driven towards their upcoming hanging, Maria and Sara begin arguing and Quentin yells at them to stop it, questioning why he decided to throw his career away and help them as no one would care that they die. Suddenly, gunshots are heard outside and they find themselves being rescued by Pedro, Padre Pablo, and several other farmers. When Jackson learns what is happening, he goes to the Mexican Governor and has him agree to ship the gold up north to the U.S. for safekeeping, rendering the money that the Bandidas have stolen useless. Learning about this plan, Maria suggest they rob the gold and Quentin and Sara agree with her. Loading the gold onto the train, Mr. Ashe, the owner of the Bank of New York, has come down with his daughter Clarissa, who is also Quentin’s fiance, to ensure the gold’s safety and alleviate the Governor’s concerns over it’s safety. However, when Jackson leads the Governor outside the car, who informs the Governor that he intends to keep the gold and kicks the governor off the train. Meanwhile, Quentin, Maria, and Sara managed to sneak on board the train and unhitch the car carrying Jackson’s men from the train, diverting it to another track. Meanwhile, Jackson goes back into the car with Ashe and Clarissa and explains what he is doing when Maria and Quentin show up, with Quentin trying to disguise his voice so his fiance and her father won’t recognize him. When Sara shows up and accuses Jackson of killing her father, saying she has scientific proof, Clarissa realizes how they got the proof and reveals Quentin to be one of the robbers. Jackson uses this opportunity to draw his gun and manages to wound Quentin before he is able to escape, with Maria and Sara chasing after him. Reaching the car with the gold, Jackson tries grabbing some of it before making his escape but as he is escaping on Sara’s horse, Maria calls out to her horse to stop him which is does, causing Jackson to fly off the horse and get hit in the head by one of the gold bricks. As the Bandidas approach Jackson, Sara believes they should give him to the police as killing him would make them no better than him. Deciding to just wound him, Maria pulls the trigger and realizes that she is out of bullets. Jackson uses this opportunity to pull a hidden pistol out and aims it at Maria when Sara suddenly fires her own gun and kills Jackson. After thanking Quentin for helping them, Maria and Ara watch as he kisses Clarissa and the two ride off into the sunset. When Sara comments about how the sunset reminds her of a place in Europe, Maria asks how the banks are in Europe and Sara grins before saying “bigger”, and the two quickly ride towards a new adventure.

Bandidas was met with mixed to positive reviews, earning a 62% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Many critics called it a good buddy comedy that was fueled by the chemistry between the two stars. Initially, the movie was supposed to be released in wide distribution across the U.S. in late 2005 but was delayed and when it was finally released, it was only released as an exclusive to the Cinema Latino Theatres chain. This resulted in it failing at the box office, earning just over $18 million off a $30 million budget.

I will admit that this movie makes me laugh every time I watch it. I’m not saying it is Airplane quality comedy but this is still a funny movie to watch. Penelope Cruz and Selma Hayek were both great in this movie and you could see their real life friendship showing in their interactions with each other. Dwight Yoakam (Jackson) made a great bad guy for this movie while Steve Zahn (Quentin) was also good as the straight man for the girl’s bumbling attempts to seduce him. The plot was pretty basic but was well written with a lot of humor both in the dialogue and in the scenes themselves. About the only negative thing I really have about this movie was towards the end, where the gunfight with Jackson in the train car was in slow motion. That was so over the top that it kind of took away from everything else that happened in the movie. Aside from that, this is an entertaining movie that is well worth giving a shot.

Rating: 4 out of 5

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January 31st, 2016 Movie – Day Of The Warrior

day of the warrior

Sometimes I really think that there is simply not enough time in the day to get everything done that needs doing. So I need to get through this movie fast so I can get working on some of the other stuff I need to do. Well, I am almost done with this series of movies and to be honest, I am glad. These movies can be fun in a guilty pleasure viewing sort of way but over all, watching them back to back like this is a little tiring, especially these last couple. Now today’s movie is pretty interesting because aside from some recurring actors playing new roles (once again), there was a name in here that I actually recognized; not for his acting abilities, but his days as a wrestler. Yes, Marcus Bagwell, better known as Buff Bagwell, joined the ranks of Hulk Hogan, Roddy Piper, and Jesse Ventura to do a little bit of acting. I wonder if this movie was the extent that Ted Turner’s influence could get him back then. Anyways, here is today’s movie, Day Of The Warrior.

The plot: At the headquarters for L.E.T.H.A.L. (The Legion to Ensure Total Harmony And Law), agent tiger informs her boss, Willow Black, that their computer system has been accessed and information regarding some of their undercover operatives may have been accessed. The agents are gathering evidence against a crime lord known as Warrior, and Willow Black fears that he will kill them if he has the information. Unable to contact the agents without blowing their cover themselves, Willow contacts Washington before heading to Vegas to warn Scorpion and Shark while she partners Tiger with Tyler Ward to locate Doc Austin. Doc Austin is in South Texas,under cover inside Warrior’s smuggling operation, rescues one of the smugglers from some Mexican Federales who had crossed the border pursuing the smuggler. He takes the smuggler back to their base, where the leader, Manuel, has him killed then orders the base abandoned, but not before Austin is able to slip a tracker onto the van with the stolen artifacts. At the Warrior’s base, his second in command, Ron, brings in a police officer that was watching one of their operations and Warrior kills him. Later, Warrior receives a message on his computer about the information from L.E.T.H.A.L. and is happy, as he will soon know if anyone has infiltrated his operation. His contact in Washington, known as Hard Drive, puts him in touch with two hit men named J.P. and Chaz, who Warrior assigns to kill the agents in Vegas. Cobra, posing as an exotic dancer in Beverly Hills, heads to a jewelry store, where she makes an exchange for some uncut diamonds that were smuggled into the country but after she leaves, a masked man kills the smuggler and takes the payment with him. Willow arrives in Las Vegas and meets up with Fu, a martial arts trainer for the agency that is posing as an Elvis impersonator, and recruits his help in locating Shark and Scorpion since he knows the area. Meanwhile, Tiger and Tyler fly into South Texas and stay at a hunting lodge for the night, preparing to look for Austin in the morning. However, Manuel and his partner Kym arrive at their new base but, receiving a fax about Austin being a double agent, head back to take care of him. In Vegas, J.P. and Chaz, pretending to be porn directors, contact Shark and Scorpion and arrange a meeting with them. Willow contacts Jordan in Washington, who informs her that he is heading to Dallas and wants her to meet him there in 2 days and when she says she can’t as she must fly to Beverly Hills to loacte Cobra when she is through there, Jordan informs her that Cobra is “on her own”. In California, Cobra is sunning herself by her pool when the man that killed the diamond smuggler, disguised as a pool boy, attacks her but Cobra manages to kill him and get away. In Texas, Manuel and Kym arrive back at their old base and capture Austin but before they can kill him, Tiger and Tyler show up and save him, but Manuel and Kym get away during the gunfight. Shark and Scorpion meet with J.P. and Chaz and shoot some scenes for a porn movie but after they all leave, Shark and Scorpion go back to the building and, using footage from their hidden video camera, are able to get inside and discover Warrior’s secret movie bootlegging operation. As they are leaving, they find their way out blocked by J.P. and Chaz, who manage to wound both of them but before they can finish them, Willow and Fu arrive and chase the two men away. At Warrior’s headquarters, Warrior berates J.P. and Chaz for blowing his Vegas operation when Manuel shows up. Warrior is disappointed that he didn’t kill Austin but forgives him when Manuel tells him the artifacts are at a new location. In L.E.T.H.A.L.’s Dallas headquarters, Austin lashes out at Jordan, saying he was probably the one that leaked their information. With tempers flaring, they decide on a new course of action, with Austin and Tyler staking out Warrior’s house. Willow accompanies Austin and Tyler outside, saying she doesn’t trust Jordan or his aide, Dietrich, and Austin agrees with her and Tyler sticks a tracker onto Jordan’s car before they leave. Arriving outside Warrior’s house, they observe Warrior and Rob being driven to his house by J.P. and Chaz but unknown to them, Warrior is aware they are there and sends J.P. and Chaz to kill them. J.P. and Chaz use a bulldozer to smash the agents car and manage to wound Tyler but when they run out of bullets, they are forced to flee. After trying to get some information from Jordan, Willow calls Fu to pick her up after Jordan leaves but they are captured by J.P. and Chaz, who take them to Warrior’s hideout. Arriving back at their base, Cobra and Tiger tell Austin and Tyler that they haven’t heard form Willow, Fu, or Jordan in over two hours and they all decide to head to the cabin that the artifacts are stashed in to find them. Jordan and Dietrich head to where they are supposed to meet two Interpol agents but Dietrich reveals himself to be the mole and shoots Jordan in the chest. Manuel and Kym arrive, planning to give Dietrich a million dollar payout with a bomb hidden inside but Kym double crosses Manuel shoots Manuel, then she throws the bomb in his car and blows it up before leading Dietrich towards Warrior’s cabin. The four agents arrive and find Jordan, still alive thanks to his bullet proof vest, and he tells them where Dietrich was heading. At the cabin, Ron, Dietrich, and Kym begin loading the artifacts while J.P. and Chaz patrol the area. When the agents arrive, they get in a firefight and manage to kill Ron and capture the others then, after questioning Dietrich, learn where Willow and Fu are being kept and arrive there in time to save them from being killed by Warrior. While celebrating on a riverboat, Jordan informs them that Shark and Scorpion are both doing fine and the group toasts the success of their mission and their friend’s recovery.

That’s it. They have officially jumped the shark with this one. I tried to find some redeeming qualities to this one but there were very few to be found. The acting varied from being decent to bad. I was a little upset that they broke up the comedic pairing of Richard Cansino and Chu Chu Malave in these movies but partnering Richard with Cassidy Phillips, who played Platter Puss in The Dallas Connection, made for some entertaining segments and were some of the best parts of the movie. The plot was honestly pretty boring and pretty transparent as far as how things were going to turn out; not in the whole good guys win over bad guys way, but as far as who was double crossing who in the movie. A lot of the same bloodless explosions in the movie, but that was not the worst thing about this movie. The worst thing was the fight at the end of the movie with Warrior taking on Willow and Fu. That thing was just painful to watch, as in WCW 2000-2001 era bad (for any wrestling fans reading this). So yeh, definitely the low end of the spectrum with this movie.

Rating: 1 1/2 out of 5

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January 30th, 2016 Movie – The Dallas Connection

the dallas connectionPlease be better, please be better, please be better. I know that this is a low budget movie and all, but it could at least be a good low budget movie. However, I noticed that the quality kind of dropped with the last two movies. So a little hope that things improve isn’t a bad thing, right? I wonder if I missed out by not watching this movie when it first aired back in the 90’s. Then I realized that there were about a million other things to watch in 1994 so I probably didn’t miss much. Still, I might as well go ahead and see how bad today’s movie, The Dallas Connection, is.

The plot: In Paris, a female assassin named Black Widow kills her target, French scientist Jean Pierre, and is driven by her assistant Platter Puss to a waiting plane, flown by another assistant Fu, which will take her to Dallas, TX. Meanwhile, at a ranch in South Africa, another scientist, Peter Vandermeer, is leaving his house to fly to Dallas for a science symposium when he is killed by another female assassin named Cobra, who says that she will be in Dallas in the morning. In Hong Kong, Chinese scientist Dr. Sun Hee Wang is killed while playing golf by another assassin named Scorpion. Agent Samantha Foxx is called in by her boss, Nicholas Lang, and during their flight to Dallas, he briefs her and his assistant Tom on a new project called IWAR, which will place a satellite in orbit and, using an upcoming meteor shower to max out it’s energy, be able to pinpoint every weapon system used by terrorists in the world. Nicholas then informs her that three of the four scientists that worked on the project have been killed and the fourth one, Antonio Morales, is flying into Dallas. Nicholas tells her to have Chris Cannon and Mark Austin meet them at the airport and they will escort Antonio to their base when he arrives. The agents meet at the airport and, after meeting Antonio at the baggage claim, they head to their cars but are attacked by Cobra and Platter Puss, who do a drive by on a motorcycle. Nobody is hurt and they all meet at IWAR headquarters, where Nicholas asks if Antonio will help them capture the assassins by being used as bait. He asks Antonio and his bodyguard Ron to step outside while he speaks with his agents and they agree, but unknown to them, Ron places a microphone underneath the table before he leaves. Nicholas gives each of the agents (Samantha, Chris, Mark, and Tom) a necklace containing one of the microchips necessary for the satellite and assigns Tom and Samantha to alternate watching Antonio. That night, Antonio and Ron, with Tom following, go to Cowboys, which is owned by Black Widow and serves as a cover for her base of operations. The next day, Samantha takes over watching Antonio from Tom and joins Antonio as he heads to Louisiana to take in some horse racing. Meanwhile, Black Widow hands out some assignments to Cobra and Scorpion and Cobra heads to a practice track to seduce Chris while Scorpion heads to a nearby lake to do the same to Mark. The two assassins succeed in their mission and after rendering the agents unconscious, they switch the microchips in the necklace with a fake. Meanwhile, Black Widow, along with Platter Puss and Fu, break into IWAR headquarters, where she kills Nicholas while Platter Puss removes the microphone from the conference table and Fu kills Tom and gets the necklace from him. Samantha and Antonio arrive back at IWAR headquarters but as Antonio drives away, Samantha is knocked out and captured by Black Widow and her men. Mark and Lucas come to and after going over what happened to them, they realize something is up. Going back to the airport, they don’t find any evidence of bullet holes from where they were attacked the other day. Checking in with Lucas, they learn that both he and Tom are dead and head to IWAR headquarters to see if they can find anything. Finding the book of matches from Cowboys in Tom’s locker, they head there and learn from the choreographer who the owner is and that she is meeting Samantha there and the two agents quickly head out to save her. At Black Widow’s house, Samantha is lead inside where she sees Antonio sitting in front of a computer. Antonio collects the microchips collected from the agents but when he gets to the one that Cobra grabbed from Chris, the computer rejects it. Fu grabs Cobra and Antonio explains that they suspected Cobra was working against them, showing her the video of her supposed killing of the scientist in Africa but the scientist escaped the car before it blew up. Antonio then says that he cloned his microchip and using it, he now has control of the satellite. Black Widow knocks out Cobra and Antonio offers Samantha to come with him to Argentina but he refuses. Chris and Mark show up and Platter Puss shoots at them but Chris kills him. Antonio and Black Widow make plans to leave, leaving Fu, Ron, and Scorpion to deal with the Chris and Mark. Mark shoots Scorpion in the arm, then apologizes as he bandages her arm. He then faces off with Ron, who is holding Samantha hostage but when Ron pulls out a switchblade to use, he is shot in the back by Scorpion. Chris manages to kill Fu while Samantha kills Antonio and Cobra uses an explosive laced remote controlled speedboat to blow up the boat with Black Widow in it. Mark and Chris show up and Samantha explains that Cobra is part of the European branch of the agency then, while Mark and Chris, along with Scorpion, secure the house, Samantha talks with Cobra and learns how she managed to blow up the car without killing the scientist. At the house, the agents learn that Peter Vandermeer had safely arrived in Dallas and that Black Widow’s agents in South Africa and Hong Kong were picked up. As she is being led away by the police, Scorpion approaches Mark and says she will look him up when she gets things straightened out, prompting Samantha to try and punch her and hitting Mark instead. At their base, the four agents are celebrating and Chris reads a report that Dr. Wang was planning on joining with Antonio, so Scorpion actually did the world a favor when she killed him.

Ok, this was a little bit better so maybe the prayers worked. The acting was decent, though it is getting a bit tiring seeing the same actors playing different characters. You almost need a flow chart to see when the actor is a good guy or a bad guy in these movies. The plot was a bit weak, as it was somewhat the go to plot for a lot of cheap spy thrillers in the day, but the writing was pretty good and there were some funny lines in it. More explosions in this movie and while there was still no blood involved, you do get a good shot of a dummy being blown up and flipping in the air before the burnt corpse lands on the ground. Not the best movie but at least it was an improvement.

Rating: 3 out of 5

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January 29th, 2016 Movie – Enemy Gold

enemy gold

So yesterday’s movie was the last of this series that I ever saw on TV and though I learned years later that more movies were made, I never cared much to try and watch them. In fact, the first time I saw this movie was when the box set showed up at my house and I decided to watch these movies in order. I admit, I was curious how the saga would continue with new agents and settings involved so I was looking forward to watching today’s movie for the first time. Afterwards, well….why don’t you read below and see for yourself with today’s review, Enemy Gold.

The plot: During the Civil War, some Confederate soldiers were ordered by General Quantrell to disrupt a Northern supply run and steal the gold that was being shipped. The men succeeded in their mission, but only two men made it out alive, the lieutenant in charge, and his sergeant. In the present day, Agent Becky Midnight heads to Dallas to meet up with agents Chris Cannon and Mark Austin and help them with a bust. They succeed in making the bust, killing two of the henchmen and capturing the drug dealer and his second in command, but before they can leave, the head of their division, Dickson, arrives. After berating the agents for making a move without a warrant, and Becky for not checking in when she got there, he suspends the agents and plans on bringing their actions up with the head of the Agency, Ava Noble. Returning back to their base, Chris calls Ava to let her know what is going on but she already knows, as she has been called in to a meeting with Internal Affairs, and says she will call them when she gets out. Santiago, the drug lord that owned the drugs, is sitting in a club that he owns when Dickson walks in. Santiago complains about the loss of the drugs in the raid and Dickson apologizes and, after going back and forth on how they have helped each other, he gives Santiago one of the Agency’s communicators so he can listen in on the agents conversations. After Ava calls them to let them know that the suspension is being upheld pending an investigation, the three agents go out to dinner, where Chris and Mark try to convince Becky to go camping with them in the forest where they used to search for Quantrell’s gold. Upon their release, the two captured drug dealers, Rip and Slash, go to Santiago’s club and say they will kill the agents for him but Santiago tells them that he has a professional coming in to deal with them. The assassin, Jewel Panther, shows up at the club and as she is meeting with Santiago comes in and, learning who Panther is, warns Santiago not to kill the agents as it would make things complicated for all of them. Getting their gear ready to go camping, Chris checks in with Ava to tell them where they are going, unaware that Santiago and his men are listening in. Hearing where they are going, Santiago has Rip and Slash track the agents in a helicopter while he and Panther follow in a 4WD. Meanwhile, Becky stumbles upon a skeleton and when Chris examines it, he discovers a journal written by the Confederate Lieutenant that leads to Quantrell’s gold. Deciding to make camp for the night, Chris calls in to check with Ava and learns that she is coming down there to talk to Dickson. Meanwhile, Santiago overhears the conversation and after Panther commandeers a boat from some park rangers, they continue after the agents. When Rip and Slash spot the agents at an old hunting lodge, Santiago orders them to watch them through the night and they will all meet up in the morning to deal with them. In the lodge, Chris reads out the last entries of the journal, which tells them where the gold is buried. The next morning, while Becky is using the outdoor shower, Rip goes to the cabin and steals her ATV and, after firing a couple of shots at them, leads Chris and Mark away from the lodge. As they race through the woods exchanging gunfire, Rip winds up getting killed by a low hanging branch and when Chris and Mark take a look at what happened, they see an old knife in a tree and realize they have found Quantrell’s gold. They then examine the body and, realizing that it was one of the drug dealers they busted, they quickly head back to check on Becky. Meanwhile, Slash confronts Becky at the lodge but as he is reloading, she uses a crossbow to kill him with an explosive bolt. Ava arrives at the Dallas office and starts to confront Dickson when she receives a call from Chris explaining what happened. After learning where they are, Ava heads out to meet them and Dickson decides to accompany her. Becky, Chris, and Mark uncover the gold but they are confronted by Santiago and Panther, who has them carry the gold back to the boat then tries to figure out what to do with the agents after he kills them. Ava and Dickson show up but Dickson reveals himself to be a double agent but as he is arguing with Santiago about the gold, Santiago shoots him. The four agents manage to grab their weapons and when Santiago and Panther try to escape in the helicopter, Ava shoots it with the crossbow and blows it up. With the recovered gold being placed in a Civil War museum, the agents are celebrating in a hot tub, where they learn that Ava is back to being the head of their division.

New characters, new people, same cheesy action fun. This was a decent entry into this series but there were times that it felt overly fake. The acting was good, with Alan Abelew (Dickson) giving the best performance in my opinion. The plot was ok, though at times it seemed a little weak, relying more on convenient happenings to further the story. The special effects were good in regards to the explosions but there were still a lack of realism to them in the sense that the blood and body parts you would expect to see flying simply were not there. Even when they guy was hit in the chest with an explosive bolt, you don’t see and blood but rather paper raining down when he exploded. The fuel storage building and helicopter I can maybe understand, but when a man is blown up by himself, there should at least be some blood shown in the fallout. A decent movie but not as good as the older ones.

Rating: 2 1/2 out of 5

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January 28th, 2016 Movie – Fit To Kill

fit to kill

Alas, all good things must come to an end. This is the last movie in the series to feature Agents Donna and Nicole defending Hawaii from evil doers. This was also the last movie in the series that I watched in it’s entirety because I didn’t know who was in it. See, if you are looking at a movie title on the cable guide, they usually list one or two of the actors in it, or at least they used to. Do they still do that? Anyways, I could always tell it was one of these movies because underneath the movie title, they would list Dona Speir, who plays Donna Hamilton, but without her name, I would have no clue. So here’s to a last memory of late night, high-school movie watching with today’s movie, Fit To Kill.

The plot: During a training exercise, Donna and Nicole easily beat Bruce and Shane, but as they are heading back to the checkpoint with Lucas, they are attacked by a remote controled helicopter controlled by one of Lucas’ men. Lucas calls out for all of the agents to come to the checkpoint, where he berates them for not staying vigilant and taking the training exercises seriously. Lucas has a meeting with all the agents and informs them of their new assignment, to help provide security for a wealthy Chinese businessman named Chang during an event he is planning. Meanwhile, Kane and Silk are in Vegas when a woman named Blu Steele breaks into their suite and attempts to kill Kane but she is caught and Kane chooses to talk business with her. Knowing that she was hired to kill him after his loss of the nuclear trigger, Kane offers Blu Steele to accompany him to Hawaii to get back at Donna, who was the one to destroy it. While Ava meets the representatives from the Russian government, Donna, Nicole, and Bruce meet with Chang, who tells them why they were requested. During WWII, a famed Russian diamond was stolen during a Nazi attack on Leningrad and through the years, it wound up in Chang’s possession and he wishes to give it back to the Russian government. Donna, Nicole, and Bruce go over the guest list and learn that Kane is scheduled to attend and look forward to seeing him there. Meanwhile, Kane arrives in Maui and sends Blu Steele to go retrieve some equipment from one of his contacts but after she pays him, she uses the remote controlled helicopter he sold her to kill him. During the party, Donna runs into Kane, who manages to convince her to a dance. When the song is over, Kane heads upstairs and Donna follows him upstairs, where Kane attempts to seduce her but as Kane kisses Donna, Blu Steele takes a picture of them, then knocks Donna unconscious. Kane and Blu Steele steal the diamond, then Kane has Blu Steele drug him while she passes the diamond to Kane’s yacht captain, who places the diamond in the helicopter, which they then pilot back to the yacht after they leave the party. At the party, the Russian diplomat is upset about what happened and Lucas question’s Kane, but Kane says that Donna can account for his every move. The next day, Kane hires two men, Evel and Kenevil, to kill Lucas and Edy but as they admire Kane’s necklace, they accidentally pull it off and Silk offers to go to town to fix it but Kane gives it to his captain to get it fixed. When they notice the tracer is moving, Nicole and Bruce follow the tracer while Donna keeps an eye on his boat. In town, the captain heads to a jewelry store only to see it is being robbed and the necklace is taken from him. While Lucas and Edy have a picnic on the beach, Evel and Kenevil use a remote control car to try and kill them, but when a bystander uses a short wave radio to try and find some music, it messes with the car’s signal and sends it back to their tent, where it explodes. Nicole and Bruce follow the transmitter but instead of Kane, they find the jewelry store robbers and are forced to kill them. Meanwhile, Donna is keeping tabs on Kane’s boat and notices that he isn’t wearing the necklace but before she can do anything, she is captured. Agents working for Kane’s associate, Po, sneak aboard the ship and kill Kane’s crew, while Blu Steele, knocks out Silk and takes Kane prisoner. Po comes on board and Blu Steele hands him the diamond, but Po reveals that it is a fake and has Donna and Kane tied up. As the boat travels back to Chang’s place, Kane tells Donna that he stole the diamond from Chang because his father was the German officer that originally stole the diamond and after befriending Chang, Chang killed him and his wife to get the diamond. Arriving at Chang’s, it is revealed that Chang knew who Kane was all the time and had arranged for Po to capture and kill him and Donna in an attempt to embarrass the Russian and American governments while delivering the diamond to the Chinese government. When Kane informs Chang that Po is not a member of the government, Po and his men kill Chang and his bodyguard, but Bruce and Nicole arrive and start killing Po’s men. Kane and Silk manage to escape while Donna uses the commotion to switch the real diamond for the fake. Blu Steele grabs the case with the fake diamond as she and Po board Kane’s yacht and attempt to sail away, with Blu Steele using the remote controlled helicopter to cover them. Lucas and Edy arrive and use their own helicopter to destroy Blu Steele’s and after Lucas is shot, Donna takes control of it and blows up the yacht. Later, Donna and the others celebrate a job well done while Kane sits in a life raft with Silk and contemplates what to do next.

Not my favorite movie out of this series, but I enjoyed it. The acting was good and they actually tried putting a bit more character development into Kane by giving the back story as to his motivation to becoming a crime lord. I also liked Chu Chu Malave (Evel) and Richard Cansino (Kenevil), as they have made for a funny couple of scenes in the last three movies. The plot was decent and the writing had a lot of funny lines and innuendo as well as some serious moments. The special effects were decent, with some bigger explosions in this movie instead of the usual one person blowing up like in the past. A good way to end a run of movies for those involved.

Rating: 3 out of 5

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January 27th, 2016 Movie – Hard Hunted

hard hunted

I get the whole “actor/actress playing a bad guy in one movie and a good guy in the next one” bit, I do. However, what I don’t get is having the same character played by two different people, with no real explanation for the difference. Let me explain, In the last movie, Kane was played by Pat Morita and was an oriental crime lord. In today’s movie, he is played by Geoffrey Moore and there is no explanation as to the race change. Granted, Lucas is played by a new actor as well but that is not as big of a difference. Oh well, it’s a minor gripe but it did distract me a bit from enjoying today’s movie, Hard Hunted.

The plot: While traveling on his yacht off the Hawaiian coast, Kane has his men retrieve a box attached to a signal buoy. Opening the box, Kane pulls out a small, jade Buddha, which he tells Silk is the key to wealth and power but while he goes down to put the statue in his safe, Silk writes a hidden message on her wine glass for the maid Mika, telling her where the statue is. On Molokai, Edy has resumed her cover of hotel manager, while Shane and Ava work as radio DJ’s at a station built into the hotel, which they use to send coded messages to the agents in the area. On the yacht, Mika breaks into the safe but one of the deck hands sees her and she is forced to kill him. She then jumps overboard and is picked up by Cole on his sailboard. Arriving back on land, Mika tells Cole that her cover has been blown and to take her to the airport. During the drive, she calls Ava to tell her what is going on and Ava tells her to head to Arizona to meet with Donna and Nicole. In Washington, Lucas is in a meeting with some top officials concerning a nuclear trigger that was smuggled out of China and they believe Kane either has it or soon will. During the meeting, he receives a call from Edy, who tells him what has happened and he says he will head to Arizona as soon as he can. Back on the yacht, Kane learns that the Buddha has been stolen and Mika is missing. Cole sails to the yacht, revealing that he is a double agent, and when Kane learns that he let Mika leave with the Buddha, he orders Cole to be killed but spares his life when Cole tells him where Mika is headed. Kane contacts a man named Raven, who uses a miniature gyro to attack Mika just as she reaches Donna and Nicole. Raven kills Mika and when he doesn’t find the Buddha on her, he goes after Donna and Nicole. A police car notices the attack and calls it before Raven kills them, but he is forced to leave when reinforcements show up. Donna and Nicole head to the airport and when they can’t reach Lucas, they leave a message with him and head back to Molokai. Raven informs Kane what happened and Kane tells him to bring his helicopter to Hawaii. On Molokai, Bruce and Shane head to the hangar to wait for Donna and Nicole but are surprised to see Cole there as well. When Donna and Nicole arrive, Nicole heads inside with Bruce and Shane to let Edy know they have arrived while Donna secures the plane. However, a group of men grab Donna, recovering the Buddha that Mika had hidden inside her bag, and leave while one of them stays behind and is killed while trying to kill Nicole and the others. Kane contacts the plane and after taunting Donna, he orders his men to drop her out of the plane. However, Donna fights back and winds up blowing up the plane with a grenade, but not before she grabs a parachute and is able to jump. Landing on a nearby island, she hits her head on a rock, knocking herself unconscious, and is found by some men and taken to their camp. When Kane sends Cole to the island to find Donna, Silk manages to sneak away and contact Ava to tell her what is going on. Lucas arrives in Molokai and after learning what is going on, he sends Nicole and Bruce to get Donna but tells them that the Buddha is the top priority as Kane must not be allowed to get it. On the island, Donna wakes up with no memory of who she is and finds herself captured by a man named Pico and his associate, Skip, who both work for Kane. Cole shows up on the island to grab Donna but Donna manages to grab his gun and attempts to escape before she is knocked out by Pico. Meanwhile, Kane hires two men, Wiley and Coyote, to kill Lucas and Edy but the two men botch the job and are captured when Lucas blows up their hovercraft. In the camp, Cole attempts to steal the Buddha but Pico captures him and has him tied up along with Donna while he figures out what to do with them. Nicole and Bruce arrive on the island and approach the camp but when Bruce tries to quietly take out one of the guards, the guard fires off some shots, alerting Pico and his men. Cole uses the distraction to overpower the guard watching them, then he grabs Donna, as well as the Buddha, and makes his escape. Nicole follows them but they get away on a jet ski and she is forced to go back, where she saves Bruce before Pico kills him. Raven arrives in Hawaii and Kane has him go to the island to retrieve the Buddha, but when he gets there, he finds everyone in the camp is dead. On another part of the island, Cole attempts to seduce Donna and convince him he is on her side but, when the next morning, Donna hears Ava on the radio and regains her memory and kills Cole. Nicole and Bruce find Donna but they are soon attacked by Raven, who shoots Bruce in the leg. Landing his gyro, Raven confronts the three agents and orders them to drop their weapons and give him the Buddha. Returning to his gyro, Raven contacts Kane, who tells him to kill the agents but Donna grabs a grenade launcher that Bruce had dropped when he was shot and uses it to blow up the gyro. Kane witnesses this and wants to go on the island and kill Donna but when he sees Lucas and Edy arriving with reinforcements, he decides to leave.

Maybe I am a little jaded (pun not intended) but I didn’t care for this movie as much. The acting was ok, although the recasting as Kane still bugs me. They did have Al Leong in this movie, who always does a good job when he plays a villain. The plot honestly seemed a little weak to me and really felt like it was one of those “throw it on the wall to see what sticks” kind of ideas. The special effects were decent in their explosions but you don’t really see any dummies getting blown up. That was a little disappointing. Oh well. You can’t win them all.

Rating: 2 1/2 out of 5

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January 26th, 2016 Movie – Do Or Die (1991)

do or die

“What the hell is Mr. Miyagi doing in this movie?” That was pretty much my line of thought the first time I saw this movie. But I guess every actor makes one of those “paycheck pictures” every now and then. Still, for him to be in one of these movies is kind of a shock. Of course, seeing Erik Estrada in this one as well (but as a good guy this time) was also a bit shocking. Still, all it did was make me more interested in watching this movie, which is probably what Andy Sidaris wanted. So let’s just get right into today’s movie, Do Or Die (1991).

The plot: While attending a charity luau in Molokai, Donna and Nicole meet Kane, an oriental crime lord, who tells them that he has hired six teams of assassins to try and kill the two agents for interfering with his operations. Returning to their house, the girls call Lucas, who tells them to go to Las Vegas and they will figure out their next step there. The next day, Donna and Nicole are heading to their plane when they are attacked by two men in a helicopter. Nicole manages to kill the men using a miniature bazooka hidden in a cane and the two agents get to their plane and fly to Honolulu to catch a flight to Las Vegas. Meanwhile, Lucas contacts Bruce Christian and Col. Richard “Rico” Estevez and has them fly to Las Vegas to meet the girls. In Las Vegas, Donna and Nicole get in their rental car and head to meet their contact, Norman, at a model airplane show, unaware that a pair of assassins are waiting for them there. After receiving an armed model helicopter from Norman, the girls head towards a waiting plane in Henderson, but the assassins follow them into the desert and begin shooting at them. Bruce and Rico show up and manage to kill the assassins, but their dune buggy gets damaged and Donna and Nicole, not knowing who it was that helped them, drive off when they hear approaching sirens. Donna and Nicole reach Henderson and are loading their gear into the plane when Bruce and Rico show up and they board the plane and fly off to Louisiana, contacting Lucas on the way, who tells them where to meet and says he is assembling the rest of the team to meet them there. Arriving in Louisiana, Donna, Nicole, Bruce, and Rico split up and head to Big Pines Lodge, where two of the assassins are disguised as cooks and attempt to kill them by poisoning their meal. Nicole feeds some of her food to a cat and when she notices it dying, she warns the others and they chase after the killers, with an arriving Lucas, Edy, Shane, and new agent Atlanta Lee joining them. Using their Ultralight, Donna and Nicole are able to spot the killers and use a grenade to destroy the boat they are attempting to escape in and the two killers are captured. Afterwards, the eight agents are discussing the recent events and wonder if Kane has someone inside the Agency helping him locate Donna and Nicole. Lucas decides to cut off contact with Washington and goes to a location that only the eight people there will know about. The next day, Rico is on watch and notices a pair of men on dirt bikes head towards a nearby dock to begin fishing but doesn’t think too much of it. However, the two men are the next pair of assassins and while the four female agents are relaxing in the hot tub, the killers take a shot at Donna and miss. As the killers try to escape, Bruce and Rico give chase and manage to kill the two assassins. Lucas decides to take Edy, Shane, and Atlanta to grab a weapon stash and Donna gives Edy her watch to wear, not knowing that the watch contains the tracking beacon the assassins were using to find them. Not able to make it back to the house before dark, they decide to head back in the morning, but find themselves being attacked by the fifth team of assassins. Lucas and Edy kill the assassins and the meet back up with the others and decide to head to Lucas’ house in Dallas to figure out their next move. While arguing about how Kane keeps finding them, Edy is using the microwave when the watch she is wearing suddenly heats up. Removing it, they find the tracking beacon hidden on it and realize how Kane kept finding them. Suddenly, Lucas’ phone rings and when he answers it, Kane is on the other line and challenges the two girls to face his men in hand to hand combat but Lucas hangs up on him. Later that night, Donna and Nicole notice the line is still open and talk to Kane, who tells them where to meet his men for the final fight. Donna and Nicole head to the location, and face off against the last pair of killers and manage to knock them down before making a run for it. The two men track the girls to a abandoned shed but when they enter it, they only find a pair of dummies and Donna’s watch, which Donna and Nicole used to lure the two killers there. Meanwhile, Donna and Nicole meet up with Rico, who is piloting the model helicopter, and they use the model’s rockets to kill the final pair of assassins. Back at Lucas’ house, Lucas tells them that they were able to trace Kane’s signal back to his headquarters and they were able to turn Kane’s companion, Silk, to their side. At Kane’s headquarters, Silk receives a microchip that can be used to track Kane and places it on a crystal pendant that she places around his neck, allowing the Agency to keep tabs on him wherever he goes.

This was just as funny and ridiculous as I remember it being. The acting was pretty good in this movie. I still don’t know how I feel about Pat Morita being a bad guy but he wasn’t bad in this role. The plot was good and kept some pretty good pacing throughout the movie, only slowing down briefly between the various assassination attempts. If you love watching dummies getting blown up then you will love the special effects in this movie because there are quite a few explosions. Honestly, I think those are some of my favorite parts of this movie, that and the running gag that the Abilene family can’t hit a moving target. Not a good movie per se, but a very entertaining one to watch.

Rating: 3 1/2 out of 5

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