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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Hard Target blu-ray
Always had a soft spot for Hard Target. Being a fan of John Woo and Van Damme's earlier work I was always going to find enjoyment in this one, despite the critics labelling John Woo's Hollywood debut a failure. Even with the clashes between the director and his star during production they produce a fun, ultra-violent, entertaining ride. It is still my favourite Van Damme...
Published 11 months ago by Wrench

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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A more dangerous game
John Woo's Hollywood career has been turbulent, which nothing really defining him as a great action director. Broken Arrow was bland, the overrated Face/Off was even less fun, M:I 2 was the movie equivalent of a Big Mac, Windtalkers was absolute trash, as was Paycheck. But at least he started out on the right foot with Hard Target. Unfortunately neither the studios nor...
Published on 3 Nov 2010 by Inspector Gadget


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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Hard Target blu-ray, 6 Aug 2013
By 
This review is from: Hard Target [Blu-ray] [1993] [Region Free] (Blu-ray)
Always had a soft spot for Hard Target. Being a fan of John Woo and Van Damme's earlier work I was always going to find enjoyment in this one, despite the critics labelling John Woo's Hollywood debut a failure. Even with the clashes between the director and his star during production they produce a fun, ultra-violent, entertaining ride. It is still my favourite Van Damme film to date creatively mixing up his martial arts with brutal gun-play.

Now on to this blu-ray release. Picture quality wise it looks excellent! Colours are vivid and detail sharp. Having watched the film multiple times on VHS and then DVD it is a noticable improvement. Watching all those bloody squibs explode and Yancy Butler's eyebrows in hi-def was a real thrill! The cut of the film is exactly the same as the previous DVD release by Universal which I'm led to believe is uncut as far as the violence is concerned, though the are alternate and deleted scenes out there that have appeared on TV and extended bootleg versions. Where this blu-ray is a major let-down comes in form of the added features... of which there are none. Not even a trailer is present on the disc! Such a disappointment that in the 20th anniversary of it's theatrical release some sort of special edition couldn't be put together with deleted scenes, featurettes or commentaries. But for action fans the film is well worth a watch, for the last 20 minutes alone!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars It's like a drug isn't it, to bring a man down?, 13 Mar 2013
By 
Spike Owen "John Rouse Merriott Chard" (Birmingham, England.) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Hard Target [DVD] [1993] (DVD)
Hard Target is directed by John Woo and written by Chuck Pfarrer. It stars Jean-Claude Van Damme, Lance Henriksen, Yancy Butler, Arnold Vosloo and Wilford Brimley. Music is by Graeme Revell and cinematography by Russell Carpenter.

New Orleans and ex-merchant marine Chance Boudreaux (Damme) is struggling to gain employment on account of some muscular indiscretions. However, after saving Natasha Binder (Butler) from the hands of robbers, he is offered some work by her that pays handsomely. The task is to find out where her father is, a homeless ex-forces man who has mysteriously disappeared. It's a search that leads them to a sick urban safari being run by Emil Fouchon (Henriksen), the prey? Man!

After pushing the boundaries of action cinema in Hong Kong, it was only a matter of time before John Woo got lured to America to dabble in the dollar. Hard Target was his first American movie, which in spite of the studio being nervous about his hiring (Sam Raimi was on standby should it implode) and cuts being made on demand for a certificate rating to open it up to a wider audience, it worked out well. It was a financial success, even though there was the inevitable mixed reviews from critics and today it rightly is held in high regard amongst action movie die-hards.

Ok! Nobody could seriously claim it's a titan of cinema, it's an absurd story derived from The Most Dangerous Game, the acting is of the usual Van Damme kick assery standard (JC pouts and mumbles, Butler is terrible, Brimley is miscast, Henriksen so over the top we almost lose him from our vision) and preposterousness reaches new levels. Yes it's a dumb fun action movie where leaving the brain at the door is a requisite. But what action delights await the faithful, what grace and style does Woo bring to the mayhem, it's a visceral thriller that once it gets the plot initiations out of the way, unleashes beautiful carnage that thunders the chest royally.

Can violence be lyrical? In Woo's hands yes, certainly. The action film is one of the most maligned in cinema, but there is great artistry to many of them, to that end Hard Target scores incredibly high. The stunt work is amazing, the choreography of the fight scenes, with Van Damme showing his wonderful skills, are exquisite sights for the action film fan. Woo's tricks involving slow-mo, freeze frames and juddering close ups all get worked out here, quite often forming part of another ballet of bloodshed. Woo and Van Damme were a good fit, the film rocks for those so inclined for such kinetic malarkey, and not even The Muscles from Brussels' mullet can spoil the enjoyment. 7.5/10
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Substantial Improvement over Picture and Sound, 17 Aug 2013
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This review is from: Hard Target [Blu-ray] [1993] [Region Free] (Blu-ray)
I like the movie. This Blu ray version will not let down the fans. However, there is no extra at all. The only selling point is picture and sound quality. This movie is already 20 years old. It never gets old. The style of John Woo is unique.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Hard Target - Bon Chance M Van Damme, 20 Nov 2012
By 
Victor (Hull, England) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 50 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Hard Target [DVD] [1993] (DVD)
Hard Target is one of the seemingly unending oeuvre of action films that dominated my cinema going life in the eighties and nineties. And it is definitely up there as one of the best. Starring the Muscles from Brussels as Chance, a taciturn ex marine turned Merchant Sailor caught up in a search for Yancy Butler's father who has been killed as part of a sporting hunt across New Orleans. It isn't long before Chance has gotten to close to the truth, and he has to shoot, blow up or karate kick the villains into submission in a thrilling chase first through the city, through the bayou and finally in a carnival warehouse.

Lance Henrikson provides a suitably unhinged and hammy villain, with Arnold Vosloo looking very convincing as the chief Henchman. It seems as though the villains have come from rent-a-motorcycle-mob, and every cliché possible is duly inserted into the film, including Wilford Brimley in the role of homespun wisdom spouting loveable rogue friend/relative of hero who seems unsurprised when he turns up on his doorstep hunted by 20 heavily armed thugs. Van Damme is the star though and the all important action sequences still thrill as the film descends into an orgy of destruction and death.

Directed by John Woo, this does suffer a little from his trademark Slo Mo shots that here serve to break up the pace of the film and distract rather than enhance anything. There are some attempts at social commentary, with the rich hunting the poor and homeless and Van Damme does have an annoying and ill judged tendency to attempt to act rather than just hit things, but these don't really harm the film. All in all 4 stars.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best version of the movie to have!, 29 Jan 2009
By 
Eric A. Sigmon (Gotham) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Hard Target [DVD] [1993] (DVD)
All of the cuts made to the action scenes in the American version are restored in this UK version. Great DVD.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A more dangerous game, 3 Nov 2010
By 
Inspector Gadget "Go Go Gadget Reviews" (On the trail of Doctor Claw) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: Hard Target [DVD] [1993] (DVD)
John Woo's Hollywood career has been turbulent, which nothing really defining him as a great action director. Broken Arrow was bland, the overrated Face/Off was even less fun, M:I 2 was the movie equivalent of a Big Mac, Windtalkers was absolute trash, as was Paycheck. But at least he started out on the right foot with Hard Target. Unfortunately neither the studios nor the MPAA were familiar with his OTT style of bloody action, and the film was neutered before it was exposed to movie-goers.

Jean-Claude Van Damme stars as Chance Boudreaux an out of work sailor slumming it in New Orleans, and boy is it a terrible performance, the Belgian kickboxer just isn't even trying a little bit. This was also made during the 90s, when he wore his belt-line directly underneath his nipples in an effort to look taller. Chance meets a pretty girl called Natasha (Yancy Butler, who despite being gorgeous seemed to just drop off the radar completely) and helps her find her missing dad. But during the course of their investigation they discover a game of death in which rich folks hunt the homeless.

Apparently Woo wanted Kurt Russell in the lead, but with Van Damme's sub-par skills draining fun from the film the best performances come from the always brilliant Lance Henriksen and Arnold Vosloo as the main villain and right-hand man. Mr. Woo's gunfighting and action SHOULD also make the film more enjoyable, though compared to his original vision, a 116-minute epic, the final cut is butchered 97-minute could-have-been. All the John Woo trademarks are here, but it's hard to enjoy it knowing what was cut out.

In a very rare instance for a 90s action movie, the UK version is actually 2 minutes longer (remember the PAL 4% speed up) and has more death and blood. The picture quality is terrible.

Universal really, really, really do need to get John Woo's full Director's Cut out there on Blu Ray.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Hard target r2, 7 Jun 2014
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This review is from: Hard Target [DVD] [1993] (DVD)
Saw this at the cinema when it first came out.good action sequences and very violent from start to finish.Lance henriksen is good as the bad guy.Van damme and his mullet are ok.this john woo,s first american film so you have the usual doves floating around and some sadistic violence.I you are looking for war and peace or in this case war and war don,t bother.Turn your brain off and just watch the pictures.Plot which is paper thin, vagrants in New orleans are being paid to be hunted by wealthy business men set up by henriksen.Daughter turns up looking for her father only to be told he is dead,JCVD helps her try and get to the bottom of what is going on.Dvd is not very good picture quality is poor especialy as you have to zoom which diminishes picture quality further.Ratio 1.85.1 and not much in the way of extras only some notes.Not as good as i remember it.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 26 April 2014
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This review is from: Hard Target [Blu-ray] [1993] [Region Free] (Blu-ray)
good product. on-time delivery. seamlessly trade, thank you.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Muscles from Brussels, 10 April 2014
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This review is from: Hard Target [Blu-ray] [1993] [Region Free] (Blu-ray)
Just as I remembered from when originally was released. Not the best acting, but if you like Die Hard you'll like this.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Film, 6 April 2014
By 
Chris Willoughby (Pontefract, West Yorkshire United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Hard Target [Blu-ray] [1993] [Region Free] (Blu-ray)
Superb product, brilliant picture quality, Excellent sound quality, very speedy delivery. Would highly recommend this product to anyone who likes van damme films
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Hard Target [Blu-ray] [1993] [Region Free]
Hard Target [Blu-ray] [1993] [Region Free] by John Woo (Blu-ray - 2013)
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