One Tough Cop Taking on Evil Cyborgs! “Nemesis” review!


In the year 2027, enhanced humanistic cyborgs virtually run the planet with the renowned L.A.P.D. being no exception. Alex Rain, one of L.A.’s finest brute cops, is partially cyborg himself, but the essence of his soul remains human intact while his synthetic flesh cloaks the icy machine beneath. After tracking down suspected cyborg terrorists and almost losing his life in the struggle to stop them, Alex questions his dwindling humanity, leading him down a path of unfulfilling revenge and botched smuggling before his former employer, the L.A.P.D. commissioner named Farnsworth, tracks him down and uses deadly coercion to force Alex as a pawn in dangerous covert mission. The burnt out cop is thrusted back into the fray of his former life when Farnsworth orders him to retrieve data from the treacherous female cyborg, Jared, who was once Alex’s partner and lover, before she hands over the sensitive information to a group of cyborg terrorists who call themselves The Red Army Hammerheads. With a micro bomb implanted near his heart as insurance, Alex has no choice but to accept the assignment before detonation in 3 days and with his time running out, finding Jared isn’t the problem as Alex comes to realize that deception has convoluted the stakes and nothing is who or what they seem.

Albert Pyun’s 1992 cyberpunk action-thriller “Nemesis” is an explosive-heavy, science fiction existentialism film never before seen, or even aware of, by this reviewer, but the ground-worked narrative has remained a constant piece of foundation in being the byproduct of inspiration extracted from other cyberpunk films of its kind, such as “Robocop,” “Blade Runner,” and “The Terminator.” “Nemesis” has a presence much to the tune of another film, “Cyborg,” starring John-Claude Van Damme and that inclination would inevitably make a world of sense when the awe-striking epiphany lands that Pyun also directed that film, also utilizing some of the same actors for his early 90’s cybernetic dystopian feature. In reviewing Pyun’s credits, the assumption can be made that the filmmaker has a sturdy hard-on for the intertwining of mankind and machine as not only did the director write and direct “Cyborg” and helmed “Nemesis,” but went on to be a part of, whether director, writer, or producer, of four more “Nemesis” sequels with a fifth being produced and shot, but scrapped in post-production due to Pyun’s flailing mental health. Rebecca Charles fed the scribal beast as “Nemesis’” screenwriter, along with penning “Nemesis 2: Nebula” and “Nemesis 3: Time Lapse.”

Alex Rain is a cold cut character, sliced thick like a cool cucumber on top of a hard to wedge salad. Rain’s iciness symbolizes his downtrodden humanity status and with each part of his body shattered from destruction, he becomes one step closer to being an automaton with eye brows. B-movie action star Olivier Guner essentially make a big career breakthrough with “Nemesis” as his sophomore feature. Guner’s military background suitably solidifies his physique as a workaholic cyborg cop while also presenting a rough cut speech impediment that’s very straight forward and without emotion. Some would say that Gruner’s approach fits his half-human, half-toaster oven character and I would say that would be correct. The 80’s and 90’s saw a crowded entry list of action stars, including Jean-Claude Van Damme, Chuck Norris, Steven Seagal, Sylvester Stallone, Arnold Schwarzenegger, and many others in various degrees of success – and Olivier Gruner became one of those faces that had since then been lost over the years; Gruner’s performance in “Nemesis” lacked pizazz which could have been the contributing factor to his success, but the monotonic, unflattering one-liners and blank face stare didn’t spark any fires on top of his average muscular frame. His performance, to keep with the fire motif, didn’t provide the oxygen, a combustible, or a flammable source to quickly set ablaze a trail for semi-popularity amongst his peers and that’s where “Nemesis” falters in entertainment value. Comparatively, “Trancers” franchise actor, Tim Thomerson, is full of range and vigor as an concealing Commissioner Farnsworth. Thomerson, in his early 40’s at the time of filming, displayed an impressive physicality to his role, keeping up nicely with his onscreen rival. Farnsworth, from the get-go, reeks of desperation when pressuring Alex to do his bidding and Thomerson really nails the part and can switch on the proverbial dime as an egocentric field operative when chasing Alex through the jungles on the Hawaii set. The night and day performance is a stark contrast between the two actors. What’s mostly disappointing about “Nemesis’” cast that favorable characters come and go; some the characters a pinned with terrific actors such as Shang Tsung himself, “Mortal Kombat’s” Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa, as the leader of The Red Army Hammerheads and the late, great Brion James (“Red Heat”) chirping a lousy German accent of the Commissioner’s right hand man. The cast has many other recognizable names that, again, come and go, including a strung out looking Merle Kennedy (“Night of the Demons 2”) as Max Impact, Marjorie Monaghan as the algorithmic beauty Jared, Vincent Klyn (“Cyborg”) as a disposable bodyguard, an extremely fit and nude Deborah Shelton (“Body Double”), voice actor Nicholas Guest (“Dollman”), brief cameo by Jackie Earle Haley (“Watchmen”), a fresh faced version of “The Predator’s” Thomas Jane, and Thomas Jane’s bare ass.

The financial backing was obviously designated for a particular department in the “Nemesis” workshop and that department was special effects. Explosions, rotoscoping, stop-motion, sculpture, implosions, practical effects and makeup are just the tip of the iceberg. Frayed wires and eye ball cannons are the elegant touch that makes “Nemesis” a cult favorite and bring substance to a clunky storyline and divisively dynamic acting. However, not all the specials are pinpoint precision and grounded by reality. The one scene that stands above the rest when Farnsworth is hot in pursuit of Alex and Max and he’s shelling off rounds of a shotgun, standing relatively still, blasting away without moving the barrel around to compensate for his prey’s length of distance gained or even when they decided to make quick pivots in direction. Somehow, the rounds hit very close to Alex and Max and that’s not all, they even explode like a single stick of TNT. ACME must have had a hand in the special effects department because the scene sure was loony. Yet, the implosion of a monolithic silo was uber-impressive, well-executed, and really ritzy for the silver screen.

Imperial Entertainment’s “Nemesis” infiltrates onto another home video release, a region free, dual DVD and Hi-Def 1080p Blu-ray format release, from MVDVisual under their MVD Rewind Collection series. Sheathed by a slick, retro-grade slipcover with familiar art, reminiscent of the now decade old Sterling DVD release, the special collector’s edition provides two aspect ratios, an anamorphic widescreen 2.35:1 and a widescreen 1.78:1. This MVDVisual Release has stellar detail in the texture and in framing that are exhibited in various tint shades, such as yellow and blue, and eventually cough up toward a more natural look into the second act when Alex reaches the rough neighborhood of Shang Loo, Java. Even though the visual compositions and mold work doesn’t pop with color and are a bit fuzzy, “Nemesis” is a product of it’s time, the early 1990’s and you can’t fault Pyun’s film for that. The English 5.1 surround sound is beautiful. So beautiful and potent, in fact, that you can actually understand Olivier Gruner’s mumbling, putting dialogue for all characters right into the front row while offering a stimulating range and depth of ambience sound, an unlimited variety of explosions, and plenty of miscellany cyborg hubbub. Other language are available, including French, German, as well as English in 2.0 stereo and there are English and German SDH subtitles available The Blu-ray bonus features include new interviews with producer Eric Karson and director Albert Pyun, “Nemesis 2.0” the director’s cut with Albert Pyun audio commentary, and original theatrical trailer. The DVD is the director’s cut and also includes the Japanese cut with Japanese subtitles burnt-in. Bonus features for the DVD include introductions by the director Albert Pyun and star Olivier Gruner, an afterword by Albert Pyun, a behind-the-scenes featurette, an interview with star Olivier Gruner, the making of segment involving the hefty special effects, stunt work, and visual effects, a featurette entitled “Killcount,” a behind-the-scenes photo gallery, TV spots, Key Art Photo gallery, and, top it all off, a mini-poster inside the casing. Inside a killer definitive, two-format and disc set from MVDvisual, “Nemesis” hones in on the existentialism notion of what being human actually means to each and every one of us through the bombardment of gun fights and jumbo explosions on top of a conglomerate cyborg coup that peaks with hard bodies and even harder viewer contemplation.

Evil Bikers Take On Unstoppable and Unthinkable Savior! “All Hell Breaks Loose” review!

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The spawned from hell biker gang, Satan’s Sinners, ride the dusty roads of west coast America in search of pure virgin women for their master’s ever growing domain. As they wreak hellish havoc along the way, they ride upon newly wed couple Nick and Bobby Sue, stealing the beautiful bride away from her loving husband and leaving him for dead on the side of the road. However, the Lord works in mysterious ways as divine intervention in a form of a boorish Cowboy, who may or may not be God himself, resurrects Nick from the dead again and again to save his wife from the ultimate damnation – Satan’s beautiful virgin slave. Armed and clueless, Nick finds help wherever he can, whether by the prideful local sheriff or the alcoholic priest who performed Nick’s marriage, to stop the bikers and to reclaim Bobby Sue.
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“All Hell Breaks Loose” is one of those indie films that’ll fly under the radar of the indie film circuit, scraping and clawing at the surface and trying to create a name for itself. At face value, “All Hell Breaks Loose” is a hell of fun, devilishly entertaining, and so relaxed that it doesn’t take itself too seriously. Unfortunately, those film’s qualities are the complete antonym to a box office money maker or a breakthrough independent golden nugget. I get why money won’t just flow in, though. Director Jeremy Garner’s name won’t ring any bells and has dabbled more in the special effects field than the director’s chair, which I thought his 2009 special effects work on “Melvin” was fantastic, and the screenwriter Jacy Morris, under the pen name The Vocabularist, is also an unknown with only this film under his belt. There’s strike one. Secondly, the lead actor isn’t a big name; Nick Forrest name might seem similar to “Shaun of the Dead’s” Nick Frost, but, sadly, no. But Nick Forrest plays his character of the dimwitted, pee-wee hero character well enough for be recognized and respected. The last, and final strike, is film’s recognizable headliner – “Danger” Ehren McGhehey from “Jackass” fame.
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Garner’s film doesn’t need to prove one damn thing to anybody. The horror-comedy story is simplicity thats surrounded itself with undying love, badass demon bikers, and God’s wish-washy methodology; there’s no symbolism or underlining message that suggest otherwise and there’s not much explanation here or there about the particulars of the Satan’s Sinner’s mission or why in that particular region they choose to run amok. Viewers looking for an untamed experience will just want to see the Bikers dish out violence and pain and see Nick die a horrible death over and over again. Even though Garner didn’t dip his hands into conducting the effects for his Sophomore film, Izzy Combs, Ray Kelley, and Steven Strop team up to pull off some amazing lunacy with the limited budget effects that get gory without being over-the-top and ridiculous.
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Aside from a pipsqueak-to-a partial demi-god hero in Nick Forrest and “Danger” Ehren portraying a demon biker with an Elvis Presley obsession, the rest of the cast, like the Satan’s Sinners, is a motley crew of talent ranging from twenty years of B-movie experience in Todd Robinson to a slew of undiscovered actors, especially in the biker gang with Hunter O’Guinn, Joshua Lee Frazier, and Tommy Hestmark with leading lady Sarah Kobel Marquette as the damsel in distress while being undressed.
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Wild Eye Releasing summons from the underworld “All Hell Breaks Loose.” The unrated, 92 minute feature might have cheesy and cheap DVD cover art, but the entertainment value speaks volumes. The release contains bonus features that contains an informative director’s commentary, a couple of deleted scenes, and trailers. Overall, give “All Hell Breaks Loose” a chance or two or three, just to be completely sure that you understand that what you’re about to see will be utter chaos that’ll make the Waco, Texas shooting look like a little girl’s tea party with her favorite stuffed animals.