Genre : Action
Rating : Unrated
Few things are as enjoyable as a good anthology film. Dating back to the early 1930’s the film anthology has become one of the most enduring types of movie. Typically held together with a common theme or overarching story anthologies have become a great place to not only see your favorite directors’ step outside of their comfort zone but also discover up-and-coming directors with the latest being Blood, Sweat and Terrors.
Produced by horror staples such as Rue Morgue Magazine and Raven Banner, Blood, Sweat and Terrors doesn’t have a focus on the macabre. Instead the focus is on the action genre. Featuring a collection of directors from around the world each short focuses on a different action sub-genre. With such a diverse group of stories and no overarching story it’s hard to review Blood, Sweat and Terrors as a whole. So, here’s a look at each short and how each of them rates out of five.
Empire of Dirt
Director- Adam Mason
Writer- Paul Sloan
After some brief credits (and cheesy CG explosions) Blood, Sweat and Terrors opens up with Empire of Dirt. Perhaps the most “horror” of the shorts what starts off looking like a John Wick knock off becomes about a man slowly dealing with his own personal hell. All the while trying to discover who, or what, is torturing him. Feeling more like a pitch video for a television show or a comic book I think there’s potential in the idea. But as an action short, Empire of Dirt stumbles. Despite some cool practical effects, the computer effects can be spotty and fight choreography feeling rudimentary. There’s definitely something cool here I’m just not sure it works as an opening for Blood, Sweat and Terrors. 2.5/5
Director- Benjamin de Los Santos
Writer- Benjamin de Los Santos
I have to admit I was a bit wary of Awesome Runaway. Opening with a violent interrogation it leads into a mostly-single shot action scene that gets more fantastical as it goes on. Despite some uneven fight choreography Awesome Runaway pulls it all together with a twist ending I didn’t see coming. 3/5
Director- Alexander Carriere
Writer- Alexander Carriere
Opening on a post-apocalyptic world Jacob is on the war path after the death of his daughter but things aren’t what they seem. As far as a story plot Jacob’s Wrath is the first short to really have a complete narrative. With questions of what is real and what isn’t Jacob’s Wrath was the first short that really impressed me. 4/5
Director- Shelagh Rowan-Legg
Writer- Shelagh Rowan-Legg
Just because you are fighting an oppressive government doesn’t mean that everything else stops. Two women are about to strike when her monthly visitor shows up. Like Empire of Dirt, I dig this idea. It is a clever twist on the badass women trope. Unfortunately, everything else falls part. With little actual action and poor special effects, Flow is the movie’s low point. 0.5/5
Director- Beau Fowler
Writer- Beau Fowler
Taken to an abandoned lot by a hitman only known as The Postman, ne’er do well Swifty (director Beau Fowler) is more than meets the eye. Although the story is rudimentary the action is spectacular. With fight choreography by Sonny Louis (who played the Postman) the martial arts action is fast and furious and a clever script Express Delivery is a good comeback after Flow. 3.5/5
Director- Will Gilbey
Writer- Will Gilbey
After the action heavy Express Delivery things slow down with Turncoat. Breaking into a criminal’s home two crooked cops illegally search the premise for a big score. The highlight of Turncoat is the writing. Will Gilbey (A Lonely Place to Die) does a great job ratcheting up the tension as the minutes tick by. The problem with Turncoat, at least in this collection, is that it is light on action. More of a thriller than action it feels like an odd fit in Blood, Sweat and Terrors. 2.5/5
Director- Adam Horton, Joe Horton
Writer- Adam Horton, Joe Horton, Simon Uttley
After a viral outbreak the dead return from the grave. It isn’t the end though. Television star and survivalist Hunter Smith has used this opportunity for profit with his show Get Some. The idea of a zombie comedy isn’t particularly original nor is using zombies in a reality tv setting. Despite this Get Some sticks out thanks to a combination of a fun script and great casting. If it weren’t for its frustratingly open ending it would be the best short in the collection. 4/5
Director- Olaf Svenson
Writer- Olaf Svenson
In this tale of revenge, the young Olga goes after the men who killed her father. Finding them in a mob-owned diner she vows vengeance by any means necessary. Similar to movies such as Haywire this female-driven revenge thriller puts its focus on crisp hand-to-hand combat. Featuring a variety of styles, we see everything from knife play to martial arts and even a little bit of lucha libre. Although the story feels a bit overly familiar, I would love to see this expanded into a full movie. 4.5/5
Director- Daniel Bernhardt
Writer- Daniel Bernhardt
With alimony due and his life hitting the skids private investigator John ‘Fetch’ Fetcher gets the case of a lifetime. Starring David Leitch (director of Deadpool 2, Atomic Blonde) Fetch feels like the most ambitious short of the bunch. Taking on a more sardonic tone Fetch does a magnificent job telling its story without taking itself too seriously. And while the movie can lean a little too heavily into the comedy elements, stellar fight choreography has us leaving Blood, Sweat and Terrors on a high note. 4/5
Admittedly Blood, Sweat and Terrors is a bit of a tough sell. With each short being so different from the next one, the project lacks any sense of cohesion. So instead of telling a good story or working thematically we get a collection of short stories that can be hit or miss. With that said it rarely bores thanks to a great combination of talent both in front and behind the camera. And while it may never be considered a classic Blood, Sweat and Terrors is perfect as a jolt of energy for any action connoisseur.
Links : IMDB
Blood, Sweat and Terrors is now available on VOD, Bluray and DVD.
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Five Reasons To Love ‘The Amazing Spider-Man 2’
Back in 2014, The Amazing Spider-Man 2 opened into theaters with a mixed reception from critics and audiences and has been deemed as the least desirable of the Spidey movies. In the film, Peter Parker (Andrew Garfield) must face off against another villain who has been given the name Electro. Moreover, our brave hero uncovers some bizarre mysteries surrounding his parents.
Many fans of the series view the film as an overcrowded mess, but I think it might be the most entertaining of all the Spidey films, until No Way Home arrived, and here are five reasons why that remains true.
First and foremost, Garfield is always a delight to have in the Spidey outfit. His charisma and witty banter is almost what makes the film truly great. I have always said that he was the best Spider-Man and this movie proves it with his ability to elevate any scene from dull slog to a comedic venture.
Spidey, in this particular movie, embodies the hero in the original comics with his incessant need to make a fast-talking quip to one of his enemies. There is nothing better than a comic-book character sticking true to his essence and spirit of its source material.
Despite what many people say about the villains, Jamie Foxx as the supercharged baddie Electro proves to be a formidable opponent for the web-head, with his omnipotent powers and overly-powered nature. More than that, Max Dillon is depicted as a quiet, shy loner who is invisible to other people. He is essentially a nobody, until he falls into a vat of electrically-charged eels and becomes the sinister villain Electro.
To better understand a villain, you must understand their plight and Electro’s plight is that of a rags-to-riches success story and the visual effects are certainly something to marvel at.
This article wouldn’t be complete if I decided not to talk about the exhilarating action that embodied the film. Whether we see Spidey chasing down a truck with Oscorp’s product or a massive fight inside a grid that seems like a colossal feat for any Marvel film, the film can take a lot of pride in its action sequences.
One can also never forget the massive and iconic battle sequence between Electro and Spidey in Time Square that seems impossible to be made.
While he remains a secondary villain, Dane Dehaan’s Green Goblin is still noteworthy. Dehaan portrays Harry Osborne who is left with his dead father Norman’s life work and stumbles upon a Goblin serum that enhances his speed, strength, and intelligence.
His little spat with Spider-Man is certainly befitting for the dark, moody tone of the film and entertaining for plenty of comic fans with zippy action and certified intensity. In the end, he is also responsible for the death of Spidey’s girlfriend Gwen Stacy.
Gwen Stacy Death
Speaking of Gwen Stacy, this is the only Spidey film that features his love interest dying. As he battles the Green Goblin, Spidey attempts to hold on to Stacy, literally, by a thread in the clocktower. However, when the thread snaps, Spidey is able to snag her in mid-air but the whiplash of the fall snaps her neck, killing her.
What might be the saddest moment in any Spider-Man film, was brought to life in this extraordinary scene that silenced an entire generation of Spider-Man fans.
Anthony Hopkins to Lead Peacock Gladiator Drama ‘Those About to Die’
Peacock is one of the streamers that has yet to break through in terms of their original content getting recognized for awards contention. One such series that might change that fate for the streaming service is Those About to Die and it’s starting to build out its cast. According to Variety, 2-time Oscar winner Anthony Hopkins (The Silence of the Lambs, The Father) is the first to join the drama series which comes from Roland Emmerich (Independence Day, The Day After Tomorrow). Saving Private Ryan screenwriter Robert Rodat will script the series.
Hopkins will play the character known as Emperor Vespasian in the series which is set in the world of gladiatorial battle. It will be an ensemble drama following many different Roman characters that will set forth for violent affairs in the arena among other complexities such as political power and corruption so expect a starry cast for this Peacock drama. Hopkins’ character is described as “despised by the Patricians jockeying for position in the Empire and looking to supplant his heirs to the throne the first chance they get. Vespasian became the Roman emperor after a ten-year civil war. We expect to get more casting news soon as the show will begin filming in Rome in March.
Anthony Hopkins is coming off a terrific performance in James Gray’s Armageddon Time in 2022 after winning his second Academy Award for his role in The Father the year prior. He’ll next voice a character in Zack Snyder’s Rebel Moon for Netflix and also will star in British drama One Life alongside Helena Bonham Carter and Jonathan Pryce. Emmerich is coming off directing the sci-fi disaster film, Moonfall in 2022.
‘Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes’ Adds Oscar-Nominee William H. Macy
The Planet of the Apes trilogy headlined by Andy Serkis from the 2010s can be argued as one of the best trilogies of all-time. The technological advances made from motion capture helped actors completely transform into the apes with their interactions with human characters making the story rawer and more emotional. Now, 20th Century Studios will jump back into the world of apes with their latest, Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes. Deadline reports that William H. Macy (Shameless, Fargo) will round out the cast for the newest chapter of the franchise.
Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes takes place many years after the conclusion of War for the Planet of the Apes being led by an entirely new cast that includes Owen Teague, Freya Allan and Peter Macon. Details are currently unknown on whether Macy will be playing a human character or an ape. The film series has grossed almost $2 billion dollars for the studio so it’s no surprise that they’re aiming to make more Apes fims.
Macy is coming off his biggest role ever in Showtime’s series, Shameless for which he played Frank Gallagher and was nominated for 6 Emmy Awards for his performance over 11 seasons. Macy is also a former Oscar-nominee for his lead role in the Coen Brothers classic, Fargo. Since then, he’s amassed tons of parts including most recently in Hulu’s The Dropout and a guest spot on the ABC sitcom, The Conners. Macy will next appear in the film, Maybe I Do with Emma Roberts, Diane Keaton, Richard Gere and Susan Sarandon.
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