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Ironclad 2: Battle For Blood [Blu-ray] [2014] [Region Free]
Ironclad 2: Battle For Blood [Blu-ray] [2014] [Region Free]
Dvd ~ Michelle Fairley
Price: 7.70

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars CARBON COPY OF IRONCLAD 1 WITH SOME FLAWS, 14 Sep 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
THE STORY

A Celtic raiding party is slaughtering its way through Scotland near the border to England in retribution for atrocities prior committed by the English.
They lay siege on a castle owned by the De Vescis, the Lord, Gilbert De Vesci being the uncle of Guy the Squire from the oringinal IRONCLAD.
De Vescis is mortally wounded during the raid and so is the Celtic leader's son and it falls to De Vescis middle child, Hubert (Tom Rhys Harries) to seek out his cousin Guy (Tom Austen) to aid them.
Guy has changed though, not only is he played by a different actor, he has become a cold mercenary who takes Hubert's coin in exchange for his services rather than rushing to his family's aid out of the goodness of his heart. Along the road they pick up a few more helpers, Berenger, who owes Guy a debt, an executioner and a murderess.

THE MOVIE

IRONCLAD 2 - BATTLE FOR BLOOD is not a bad movie but it is a couple of steps backwards from IRONCLAD.
The budget is notably lower than that of the original. Don't expect any big names such as James Purefoy to make a comeback. Look close enough though and notice a few familiar names: Michelle Fairley and Roxanne McKee both appeared in the hit series GAME OF THRONES before.
The story is a carbon copy of IRONCLAD 1 - this is not much when you think they had 4 years to come up with a more original story.
There are many historical errors, especially in regards to the timeline. Do not expect a history lesson here.
The movie was entirely shot in Serbia. The scenery is marvelous. This and the well-choreographed action scenes is where IRONCLAD 2 shines.
I could have done without the shaky camera however.
Director and co-writer Jonathan English directed an co-wrote IRONCLAD 2 as well, doing a descent job at directing bit seemingly lazy at writing (or shall we say recycling) the story.
Descent actors, especially Fairley, McKee, David Caves as Berenger and Serbian actors Predrag Bjelac as Mad Dog and Dragana Atlija as Shiba.

RATING: 7 / 10

THE BU-RAY

Reviewed version: 2014 Warner Bros. UK Blu-ray
Feature running time: 108 mins. (uncut)
Rating: R (MPAA) / 15 (BBFC)
Aspect ratio: 2.35:1 / 16x9
Audio: English DTS-HD 5.1
Subtitles: English HoH
Extras: Behind the scenes (15:40 mins.)
Region: A,B,C (region free)

Picture Quality: A-
Audio Quality: A-
Extras: F
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Sep 14, 2014 10:47 PM BST


Devil's Rock [DVD]
Devil's Rock [DVD]
Dvd ~ Gina Varela
Offered by simply-well-priced
Price: 2.69

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars ATMOSPHERIC NEW ZEALAND OCCULT HORROR MOVIE SET ON D-DAY., 24 Aug 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Devil's Rock [DVD] (DVD)
THE MOVIE

At night on June 5th, 1944, 2 New Zealand soldiers, Captain Ben Grogan (Craig Hall) and Sergeant Joe Tane (Karlos Drinkwater) paddle to to Forau Island to sabotage German gun emplacements located there. They land on the beach dodging mines and traps and make their way to the German fortification. From inside they hear screaming.
They are surprised by a German soldier running out of the bunker, screaming and pleading for help. Grogan easily kills the soldier and when they hear a woman screaming, they decide to investigate. During this, Tane is killed and Grogan is knocked unconscious by another German officer.
Grogan is interrogated and tortured by the German officer (Matthew Sunderland). During the interrogation Grogan repeatedly hears a female screaming from another room. Grogan eventually manages to break free and injure Meyer, the German officer.
He discovers the woman who was screaming. It turns out the woman is a shape shifter demon, summoned by black magic, a weapon the Germans plan to use against the Allied Forces...

THE DEVIL'S ROCK is an interesting little horror film with a unique and tense atmosphere and superb actors. Almost the entire movie takes place in the bunker, focusing on Grogan (superbly played by Craig Hall), Colonel Meyer (equally impressive: Matthew Sunderland) and Gina Varela, playing the demon.
Paul Campion directed and co-wrote THE DEVIL'S ROCK, which at 82 minutes is a rather short movie, but well paced and without unnecessary lengths. A bloody chamber drama with quite well-written dialogue.
Occult horror, of course is not to everyone's liking, but the occult is rather subtle, no demon worshipping or blasphemy, it should not be to offensive. The gore section, however is a different story: there is quite a lot of blood, guts and gore to go around, gore hounds should be pleased. The special effects are very well done - real makeup effects instead of cheap CGI effects.
Fortunately the movie spares us the usual cheesiness one would expect from a movie such as this, I was pleasantly surprised.
Not great, but definitely worth a look and most certainly better than I expected.
RATING: 7 / 10

THE DVD

Reviewed version: 2011 Metrodome UK DVD
Feature running time: 82 mins. (uncut)
Rating: Not Rated (MPAA) (not yet released) / 18 (BBFC)
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1 / 16x9
Audio: English 5.1, English 2.0
Subtitles: None
Extras: Making Of Featurette, interviews
Region: 2 (locked), PAL

Picture: B
Audio: B
Extras: D-
Comment Comments (3) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Aug 27, 2014 7:17 PM BST


The Raid 2 [DVD] [2014]
The Raid 2 [DVD] [2014]
Dvd ~ Iko Uwais
Price: 10.00

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars GOOD BUT NOT GREAT AND CERTAINLY *NOT* "THE GREATEST ACTION FILM EVER", 24 Aug 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: The Raid 2 [DVD] [2014] (DVD)
THE MOVIE

Taking place shortly after the original THE RAID, rookie Jarkarta cop Rama discovers he has made enemies with his actions when a gang lord executes his brother. To protect his infant son and wife Rama goes to prison undercover to get close to Uco, the son of a powerful gangster. Rama saves Uco's life during a prison riot and Uco's father hires him when they both get out.
Things get bad when Uco rebels against his father and his gang engages in a turf war with the rivaling Japanese gang during which a cop is killed...

THE RAID 2: BERANDAL (English for "Thug") continues the story of THE RAID 1, taking a different turn.
Director / Writer Gareth Evans delivered a good sequel to the rather mediocre THE RAID, improving much that the original lacked - in some cases too much: the movie could have used some trimming in some scenes (especially the prison scene at the beginning). 20 - 30 minutes shorter would have been more. Despite much time given to the story, the characters remain 2 dimensional without much depth, which really isn't all that necessary in this genre anyway.
Iko Uwais might be good at martial arts, however he totally lacks charisma and is just a terrible actor. I could see Steven Seagal in his place and THE RAID 2 would have been much better.
Fortunately some of the other performances are far superior than Uwais', Arifin Putra as Uco being the best, but also Julie Estelle as the mute "Hammer Girl" was a nice adddition. Also great: Tio Pakusodewo as Bangun.
Where THE RAID 2 truly shines are the martial arts scenes and its unflinching approach to violence: where American films tend to pan away to secure a lower age restriction, THE RAID 2 doesn't - at least not in the uncut version (see below for details) - and shows it all in its bloody glory.
I'm giving it a "low" 4 star rating for the flaws I mentioned before. Overall it is a descent action film, but it is not great and I seriously doubt I will be watching it a second time. The "cop goes underground and beats an endless flow of gangsters" story just wasn't that compelling for my taste. Fans of THE RAID 1 however should love THE RAID 2.
RATING: 7 / 10

THE DVD

Reviewed version: 2014 Entertainment One UK DVD
Feature running time: 143 mins. (uncut)
Rating: Not Rated (MPAA) / 18 (BBFC)
Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1 / 16x9
Audio: English 5.1, Indonesian 5.1
Subtitles: English
Extras: Commentary, Featurette
Region: 2

Picture: B
Audio: B
Extras: D

Unlike the US version, which lost several frames in some of the many extremely violent scenes (despite the director's promise of the cut scenes being reinstated for home entertainment, which is NOT the case), the UK version is completely uncut at 143 mins. (DVD PAL) and 150 mins. (Blu-ray). The DVD and the Blu-Ray are region locked (2/B).
Comment Comments (3) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Aug 24, 2014 10:16 PM BST


A Certain Justice [DVD]
A Certain Justice [DVD]
Dvd ~ Cung Le
Price: 7.00

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars SUFFERS FROM A BAD SCRIPT AND BAD DIRECTING., 22 Aug 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: A Certain Justice [DVD] (DVD)
THE MOVIE

John Nguyen (Cung Le) returns home from a traumatic tour of duty in Iraq struggling with with posttraumatic stress disorder. When he witnesses a group of thugs attacking defenseless call girl Tanya (Briana Evigan), he can't help but interfere, seriously wounding her attackers and triggering a war between him and the Aryan Brotherhood, led by Hollis (Dolph Lundgren). The Brotherhood goes after John's parents, killing them, which makes it personal. One by one John takes on numerous high-ranking members of the gang, while also being hunted by the cops.

If you expect a "typical" Lundgren vs. evil movie such as THE MECHANIK, you will be very disappointed: Lundgren plays the leader of a white supremacist group looking more like a hippie with long hair and a mustache (seriously, Dolph???), while Cung Le is the actual hero in A CERTAIN JUSTICE (aka PUNCTURE WOUNDS). Vinnie Jones has only a minor role.
Directing by Giorgio Serafini and James Coyne is below average (the latter wrote the story), the movie is badly paced. A bit of trimming here and there would have been better for the film.
A CERTAIN JUSTICE is not a bad movie, it has descent fight scenes and the typical vigilante story, but it never excels beyond mediocrity, mostly due to its poor writing, very poor dialogue and a rather uninspired performance by Lundgren. At least Jones is top notch during his very limited screen time. A bigger budget might also have helped, but isn't the main issue. Cung Le does a decent job (more convincing than Iko Uwais in THE RAID!) but unfortunately it is not enough to save the movie.
What is good about this movie are the fighting scenes. They are not as spectacular as in both the RAID movies, not even close, but they are the best this film has to offer.
I recommend VENDETTA with Danny Dyer instead, it even has a very similar story about a returning vet avenging his parent's murder, but it's executed much better. As a matter of fact there are a lot of similarities between the two movies.

RATING: 5 / 10

THE DVD

Reviewed version: 2014 Signature Entertainment UK DVD
Feature running time: 93 mins. (uncut)
Rating: R (MPAA) / 15 (BBFC)
Aspect Ratio: 16x9
Audio: English 5.1, English 2.0
Subtitles: English
Extras: None
Region: 2

Picture: C
Audio: B
Extras: none
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Aug 23, 2014 1:08 AM BST


Hang Em High [Blu-ray] [1968] [US Import]
Hang Em High [Blu-ray] [1968] [US Import]
Dvd ~ Ed Begley

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars CERTAINLY NOT EASTWOOD'S BEST WESTERN - BUT STILL ONE OF THE BEST AMERICAN-MADE WESTERNS., 19 Aug 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
THE MOVIE

Jed Cooper starts out as a cattle rancher when a group of men surround him, claiming that the man he bought his cattle from killed the herd's true owner. Cooper says he knew nothing about the murder but they hang him anyway and leave him for dead.
A Federal Marshal finds Cooper and cuts him down, claps him in irons and takes him to Fort Grant for a judge to determine his fate. The judge finds him not guilty and sets him free. He is offered a job as a Deputy U.S. Marshal so he can bring the men in who lynched him. He also warns Cooper not to kill the men. Cooper accepts.
Cooper tracks the first man, Reno, down and attempts to arrest him, but Reno draws his gun and Cooper is forced to shoot to kill. He finds out that most of the hanging posse are respected members of the community, but the local sheriff honors the warrants for their arrest nevertheless.
Cooper is ambushed and barely survives after the posse escapes. Slowly recovering, Cooper is back on their trail...

Made between Leone's Dollar Trilogy and HIGH PLAINS DRIFTER, this actually is my least favorite Eastwood westerns - which still makes it better than 99 % of the American-made westerns.
HANG 'EM HIGH lacks the violence and the dark hero of the other Eastwood movies (don't be fooled by the 18 Certificate, this deserves a 12 or 15 at the most, it is a PG-13 in the States). Overall it is a rather tame movie.
HANG 'EM HIGH was a major success in 1968. It also was the first production of the Malpaso Company, Eastwood's production company.
Sergio Leone was asked to direct this movie, but he was busy directing ONCE UPON A TIME IN THE WEST, so Ted Post, who also directed Eastwood's second Dirty Harry movie MAGNUM FORCE 5 years later, was hired instead.
Post did a decent directing job.
The acting is top notch, with great performances by Eastwood (of course), Pat Hingle as Judge Fenton, Ben Johnson as Marshal Bliss, Ed Begley as Captain Wilson and be on the lookout for Bruce Dern, Dennis Hopper and L.Q. Jones in minor roles as well!
Overall HANG 'EM HIGH is a solid 4-star movie with a few flaws, but the great actors make up for it.

RATING: 8 / 10

THE BLU-RAY

Reviewed version: 2011 20th Century Fox US Blu-ray (reissue)
Feature running time: 115 mins. (uncut)
Rating: PG-13 (MPAA) / 18 (BBFC)
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1 / 16x9
Audio: English DTS HD 5.1, English 2.0 Mono
Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish
Extras: Nothing
Region: A, B, C (region free)

Picture: B
Audio: B
Extras: F
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Aug 22, 2014 11:54 PM BST


Pale Rider [Blu-ray] [1985] [US Import]
Pale Rider [Blu-ray] [1985] [US Import]
Dvd ~ Michael Moriarty
Offered by Fulfillment Express
Price: 9.00

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars EASTWOOD RIDES AGAIN!, 15 Aug 2014
THE MOVIE

A mysterious preacher rides into the town of Lahood, a mining community owned by the ruthless Coy LaHood. His thugs terrorize the independent pan miners to drive them out of the area.
When Hull Barret, the leader of the miners, enters the town to buy supplies, LaHood's thugs think him easy pickings when he gets unexpected help from the preacher. Grateful for his rescue Hull takes the Preacher in.
LaHood's attempts to intimidate the Preacher are fruitless, so he hires the corrupt Marshal Stockburn and his deputies to kill him in one of the best finales ever seen in a western.

PALE RIDER was the highest grossing western of the 80s. It bears a lot of similarities to the western classic SHANE and Eastwood's earlier westerns HIGH PLAINS DRIFTER and THE DOLLAR TRILOGY.
The title is a reference to the biblical Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, namely the rider of a pale horse, Death from the Book of Revelation, chapter 6. Generally there are a lot of Catholic reverances in PALE RIDER.
This movie was Eastwood's 11th directing job, and he did a great job. It is quite slow-paced and does not rely much on action but draws heavily from the characters and the overall fantastic cast.
Eastwood is right in his element portraying once again the Stranger without a name that made him world famous through Leone's DOLLAR TRILOGY. Needless to say he mastered that role just as Bronson mastered the Vigilante role.
Michael Moriarty as Hull Barret, as well as Carrie Snodgress and Sydney Penny also give formidable performances as the family Eastwood helps. Richard Dysart and Chris Penn play the movie's main villains. Be on the lookout for cameos of John Russell and Billy Drago.
PALE RIDER is one of the greatest American-made westerns with strong echoes of the Spaghetti Westerns. Not as good as Eastwood's previous westerns THE OUTLAW JOSEY WALES and HIGH PLAINS DRIFTER but still a class of its own and highly recommended.

RATING: 8.5 / 10

THE BLU-RAY

Reviewed version: 2010 Warner US Blu-ray (reissue)
Feature running time: 116 mins. (uncut)
Rating: R (MPAA) / 15 (BBFC)
Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1 / 16x9
Audio: English Dolby TrueHD 5.1, English 5.1, French 1.0 Mono, German 2.0 Mono, Italian 2.0 Mono, Spanish (Castellano & Latino) 2.0 Mono
Subtitles: English, English SDH, French, Spanish, Portuguese, German, German SDH, Italian, Italian SDH, Danish, Dutch, Finnish, Norwegian, Swedish
Extras: Theatrical Trailers to Pale Rider and The Unforgiven
Region: A, B, C (region free)

Picture: C
Audio: C
Extras: F
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Aug 16, 2014 12:24 AM BST


High Plains Drifter [Blu-ray] [1973] [US Import]
High Plains Drifter [Blu-ray] [1973] [US Import]
Dvd ~ Clint Eastwood
Offered by Books2anywhereUS
Price: 9.95

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars SUPERIOR AMERICAN WESTERN IN THE STYLE OF LEONE'S SPAGHETTI WESTERNS. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED IF YOU CAN STOMACH THE VIOLENCE., 14 Aug 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
THE MOVIE

A drifter (Clint Eastwood) rides out of the desert into the lawless, sin-ridden town of Lago. He makes a name for himself after a gunfight at the barber's when three thugs try to take him out and fail miserably.
Lago, a town of cowards, has a dark past, involving a man who was brutally whipped to death by a group of three gunfighters, the Carlin Brothers. The townsfolk double-crossed the Carlin Brothers, landing them in prison.
The three gunmen are to be released from prison, however, with a bloodthrist for vengeance that will lead them straight back to Lago. The townsfolk hire the drifter to help them against the men, but the drifter has his own sinister plans for Lago...

HIGH PLAINS DRIFTER is one of the best American-made westerns and the second movie Clint Eastwood directed. Personally I never cared much for The "Duke's" westerns, but preferred Eastwood's rougher and grittier portrayals of the Wild West. John Wayne, however wrote Eastwood an agry letter after the opening of HIGH PLAINS DRIFTER, denouncing the movie for its violence and portrayal of the Old West. Eastwood's character is quite similar to the Man with no name he portrayed in Sergio Leone's Dollar Trilogy. Fortunately he remained true to the superior Italian Western style rather than the watered-down American westerns that were famous in the 50s and 60s.
The movie was a huge success nonetheless, being the sixth-highest grossing western of the 70s in the United States.
Eastwood delivers an impeccable performance in front and behind the camera. Perfectly paced and wonderfully shot on location of California and Nevada. Universal Pictures originally wanted Eastwood to shoot the film on the studio lot, but Eastwood decided against it.
The supporting cast does a great job as well, including Billy Curtis as Mordecai, Robert Donner, Marianna Hill and Stefan Gierasch.
Marshal Duncan is played by stuntman Buddy Van Horn, a long-time stunt coordinator for Clint Eastwood.
HIGH PLAINS DRIFTER was quite controversial in its day (and still is, remaining BPJM restricted in Germany as of 2014 and retaining its 18 Certificate in the UK), it is the first Eastwood film to feature a rape scene, and Eastwood's character IS the rapist. A man is sadistically whipped to death (the scene goes on for almost three minutes!), overall the finale is extremely dark and violent even by today's standards.
The movie has a very dark atmosphere and a great and eerie score to underline it.
If you have the stomach for it, go see it! It is definitely worth it, but HIGH PLAINS DRIFTER is definitely not for the faint of heart.
Of Eastwood's Westerns my favorite is still THE OUTLAW JOSEY WALES, but HIGH PLAINS DRIFTER comes in second.

RATING: 9 / 10

THE BLU-RAY

Reviewed version: 2013 Universal 40th Anniversary Edition US Blu-ray
Feature running time: 105 mins. (uncut)
Rating: R (MPAA) / 18 (BBFC)
Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1 / 16x9
Audio: English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1, French DTS 2.0 Mono
Subtitles: English HoH and Spanish
Extras: Theatrical Trailer
Region: A, B, C (region free)

Picture: A
Audio: B
Extras: F
Comment Comments (3) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Aug 19, 2014 9:59 PM BST


How I Spent My Summer Vacation [DVD]
How I Spent My Summer Vacation [DVD]
Dvd ~ Mel Gibson
Price: 4.75

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars GOOD GIBSON ACTION-THRILLER WITH A BRILLIANT SETTING AND A RUSHED FINALE., 13 Aug 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
THE MOVIE

GET THE GRINGO aka HOW I SPENT MY SUMMER VACATION (The UK title and US working title) starts out on the US side of the Mexican border with a nameless driver (Mel Gibson), his mortally wounded accomplice and 2 million dollars of stolen cash being pursued by cops. Seeing no other way out, the driver crashes his car through the border fence, where two corrupt Mexican cops are already waiting. The two Mexican cops Vasquez (Mario Zaragoza) and Romero (Gerardo Teracena) are about to hand the driver over to the US authorities but when they find the cash they decide to bag it for themselves and arrest him themselves.
The driver is incarcerated in the El Pueblito prison under false charges. As the only American inmate he becomes known as "The Gringo" and El Pueblito turns out quite differently from what he expected: the "prison" is a ghetto in which the prisoners are left pretty much on their own.
With the help of an unnamed kid (Kevin Hernandez), who lives in El Pueblito with his incarcerated mother and is protected by the criminals, the Gringo learns about how the prison functions and who the big names are.
Later, when Gringo stops the boy's assassination attempt on Javi (Daniel Giménez Cacho), the gang boss of the No. 1 crime family in El Pueblito, he finds out why the kid is protected: Javi has a failing liver, and the kid is the only viable match. Gringo intends to help the boy at any cost...

GET THE GRINGO is a solid action-thriller with a great performance by Gibson who co-wrote and co-produced the film. While nowhere near as good as Gibson's classics, the first two MAD MAX movies or the LETHAL WEAPON series, GET THE GRINGO is certainly better than most of his more recent movies.
It is pretty much the same style action-thriller as PAYBACK, even the characters are similar and it has the same type of humor. This isn't bad at all, it is a good role for Gibson.
The story is as unrealistic as can be - I don't mean the level of corruption shown here, that IS realistic - but it still is a very entertaining gangster movie with a rather interesting setting.
The cast - mainly Mexicans - is fairly good and convincing, of course Gibson is great, so are Kevin Hernandez as the kid and Dolores Heredia as his mother.
Director Adrian Grunberg, whose debut GET THE GRINGO is, did a great job: well paced and well shot, especially the shoot-outs are very well done.
What keeps me from giving it a "full" 4 stars, but rather a 3.5 is the last third of the movie which just seemed to me like it was rushed and drops the realism bar even further.
Still it definitely is worth watching, especially if you like Gibson's more villainous roles.

RATING: 6.5 / 10

THE DVD

Reviewed version: 2012 Lionsgate UK Rental version*
Feature running time: 93 mins. (uncut)
Rating: R (MPAA) / 15 (BBFC)
Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1 / 16x9
Audio: English 5.1
Subtitles: English
Extras: None (rental copy)
Region: 2 (locked)

Picture: B
Audio: B
Extras: none

* The reviewed version is the rental copy. Extras, audio tracks and subtitles may vary from the retail version!
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Aug 14, 2014 11:48 PM BST


300: Rise of an Empire [Blu-ray] [2014] [US Import]
300: Rise of an Empire [Blu-ray] [2014] [US Import]
Dvd ~ 300: Rise of an Empire
Offered by Moref Designs
Price: 31.44

4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars BETTER THAN THE ORIGINAL, BUT EVA GREEN STEALS THE SHOW., 9 Aug 2014
THE MOVIE

300: RISE OF AN EMPIRE takes place during the original 300 movie, but focuses on the historical battle of Marathon fought between Artemisia (Eva Green), a Greek traitor fighting for the Persians and General Themistocles (Sullivan Stapleton).
There are scenes that take place before the original 300, when Themistocles kills King Darius I of Persia, father of Xerxes. At his death bed Artemisia, swears to avenge his death while giving comfort to Xerxes, who mourns his fathers death. She sends him off to the desert, where he undergoes a transformation to the infamous God King.
Artemisia leads his navy against the Greek navy, parallel to the events of the first film, pitted against Themistocles, who attempts to unite all of Greece against the outnumbering Persian army.

The Iranians hated the original movie 300 and in a ridiculous attempt tried to get the movie banned world wide via the UN. They will most certainly hate 300: RISE OF AN EMPIRE even more. Although the core of the movie is historically correct (as was 300), it of course picked up much embellishments. As with most Hollywood "historical" movies the movie is full of historical errors and not to be taken as a history lesson.
It however makes for a GREAT action movie with bloodshed that could be straight out of the SPARTACUS series with the stylized slow-motion CGI blood splatter inspired by the original. Only RISE OF AN EMPIRE has more of it and even more graphical.
RISE OF AN EMPIRE features a brilliant cast with Lena Headey reprising her role as Queen Gorgo, although only a minor role, this brilliant actress has an intense presence in her limited screen time.
Australian actor Sullivan Stapleton does a terrific and convincing job as Themistocles, a great substitute for Gerard Butler who was supposed to reprise his role as well but refused to do so.
Still it is Eva Green as Artemisia who steals the show completely: she plays one of the best villains in movie history, right up there with Ricardo Montalban's performance in STAR TREK II: THE WRATH OF KHAN. Few actors are ever so convincing, but Green is the best part of the movie and her performance alone is worth seeing RISE OF AN EMPIRE even if you did not like the original or are not a fan of the genre.
Israeli director Noam Murro (this will make the Iranians even angrier) did a fantastic directing job here: Very well paced and never boring with wonderfully choreographed action scenes make RISE OF AN EMPIRE one of the very few great Hollywood movies that came out lately, just when you thought Hollywood was dead there is a twitch...
I liked 300: RISE OF AN EMPIRE a lot better than 300, which also was an outstanding movie by all means. It is a visually stunning movie with fantastic effects, even the CGI blood effects look great and I am not a fan of CGI blood...
Epic bloody battles in the style of SPARTACUS.

RATING: 9.5 / 10

THE BLU-RAY

Reviewed version: 2014 Warner Bros. US Blu-Ray 3D, 2D DVD Triple Feature (2D version tested)
Feature running time: 103 mins. (uncut)
Rating: R (MPAA) / 15 (BBFC)
Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1 / 16x9
Audio: English DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1, French 5.1, Portuguese 5.1, Spanish 5.1
Subtitles: English SDH, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Japanese, Indonesian, Korean, Mandarin (Simplified), Mandarin (Traditional), Thai
Extras: 8 Featurettes
Region: A, B, C (region free)

Picture: A
Audio: A
Extras: B
Comment Comments (5) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Aug 24, 2014 8:45 PM BST


Valhalla Rising [DVD]
Valhalla Rising [DVD]
Dvd ~ Mads Mikkelsen
Price: 3.99

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars AN ARTHOUSE FILM THAT IS NOT FOR EVERYBODY. MISLEADING COVER - THIS IS *NOT* AN ACTION FILM!, 8 Aug 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Valhalla Rising [DVD] (DVD)
THE MOVIE

Set around 1000 AD, VALHALLA RISING focuses on One Eye (Mads Mikkelsen), a mute slave warrior held by the Norse chieftain Barde (Alexander Morton) who forces him to fight to the death against other captives of other clans.
One Eye befriends a slave boy, Are, and after One Eye slays his captor they espace together on a journey into the heart of darkness leading him to the Holy Land...

Director Nicolas Winding Refn's movies are the type of movie uou either love or loathe, there really is no in between - his style and stroy-telling are unique and there is not much conversation. Instead there are long (and I mean loooong) takes that are silent and many might find the movie boring. VALHALLA RISING is extremely slow-paced!
If you expect a viking version of BRAVEHEART or 300 you will hate VALHALLA RISING, this is NOT an action movie. The action scenes are rare and short. The violence is extremely brutal and graphical, though never lingering.
Action is clearly not the focus of VALHALLA RISING, but rather the characters themselves, who are explored in depth.
The atmosphere and the setting is fantastic, be it the mist-covered mountains or the foggy boat ride at night, the cinematography is among the best ever.
VALHALLA RISING is very mystical and surreal and you will have to watch it at least twice to comprehend it and capture everything this movie has to offer.
Brilliant directing job by Nicolas Winding Refn (BRONSON, DRIVE, ONLY GOD FORGIVES), who also co-wrote the story.
Refn refrained from using big name Hollywood actors for this one and the acting is overall superb, a great effort from Mads Mikkelsen, whose character is just unforgettable and unique: he is not your typical stereotype Hollywood "hero".
The critics were torn between very bad and very good, and as the Amazon ratings clearly show, this is NOT a mainstream movie, it never intended to be one.
The cover is very misleading, which is a shame and probably one of the reasons for the many negative reviews here.
Filmed entirely in Scotland.

RATING: 9 / 10

THE DVD

Reviewed version: 2002 Buena Vista/Dimension UK DVD
Feature running time: 89 mins. (uncut)
Rating: Not Rated (MPAA) / 15 (BBFC) (DVD is rated 18 due to additional material on disc)
Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1 / 16:9
Audio: English 5.1
Subtitles: English
Extras: Making of, Audio Commentary, Theatrical Trailer, Audio description track
Region: 2 (locked)

Picture: B
Audio: B+
Extras: D
Comment Comments (3) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Aug 9, 2014 12:09 PM BST


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