The X-Women

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Kate Beckinsale returns as Selene in the amped up, action-packed, blood soaked Underworld: Awakening

The honor of the first movie of 2012 seen by me in the theaters goes to Underworld: Awakening, the fourth in the epic vampires vs lycans series. And it's awesome. After the previous entry, which was actually a prequel, and no Kate, things get back on track immediately with this new film. Humans finally realize that vampires and werewolves exist and go to extreme measure to eradicate them. Issuing martial law and killing all those who are either vampire or lycan and or infected. Selene (a welcome return by Kate Beckinsale), the vampire death dealer, who used to hunt down lycans in the previous films, is now hunted by humans herself. Along with her hybrid lover Michael, who is part vampire/part lycan. After an exciting fight sequence between Selene and some soldiers, she is captured and Michael is believed to be dead.
Selene wakes up to a strange new world

Flash forward 12 years and this research company called Antigen, who seeks a cure for the infection spread by lycans and vampires, has held Selene in frozen captivity. Once she escapes, in a wicked scene where, armed only with a scalpel takes out half a dozen heavily armed guards. She is the only vampire of her kind, able to walk in daylight and far stronger than any other vampire still left in the world. She immediately begins her search for Michael but ends up a with a surprise...she has a 12 year old daughter named Eve, who also escaped from the same place. Eve is like Michael was..a hybrid.
India Eisley as Eve

Once Selene meets Eve with the help of a vampire named David, the remaining lycans resurface, needing Eve's blood to become immune to silver.
Selene meets David

This all leads to some intense action sequences which shows Selene hasn't lost her edge, not one bit. If anything, she is more lethal than ever. Taking out soldiers, lycans in brutal and quick succession. She doesn't hold back and once her daughter Eve is kidnapped by the lycans to dissect and harvest her body parts and is on! Mama doesn't like that at all. As she enters Antigen to get her daughter back, lycans be damned. She does have her hands full with one super lycan, who is a beast. More than twice the size of a normal lycan and with uncharted healing abilities. Their battle is one bad ass scene. Eve also has a wicked fight of her own, against the doctor who is doing the experiments on her, who happens to be a lycan himself. He is played by Stephen Rea.
Selene thinks..oh it's so on!

Underworld: Awakening is one awesome movie with really cool fight scenes, a booming music score and the great presence of Kate Beckinsale. Without her, this movie would not work at all. She is perfect as Selene and shows that she can still handle all her own fight scenes and still can squeeze into that unbelievably tight leather outfit without breaking a sweat. I personally think this is the best one yet of the Underworld films and the ending leaves the door open for at least one more. Here's hoping that Kate will return for that one too.

A lycan on the prowl

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Great Car chases on film..BULLITT (1968)

Steve McQueen. Mustang. Charger. The rest is movie history.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Great car chases on film - THE BOURNE SUPREMACY (2004)

We all know Jason Bourne is a bad ass when it comes to fighting. Just messing bad guys up. But another handy skill Jason has is his wicked driving ability. Check out this awesome chase scene from the second Bourne film where Jason tears up the streets of Moscow in hot pursuit by Karl Urban.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

The need for some speed...Great car chases on film: QUANTUM OF SOLACE (2008)

After a rough last week at work which saw layoffs of some of my friends and now a bigger workload for me now, I feel the need for some speed. I will post daily scenes of some of the best car chases in film. Similar to what I did last summer when I posted about an action movie a day. Let's start with this nifty chase sequence from 2008's Quantum of Solace, the second Bond film to feature Daniel Craig. There might still be some naysayers about Craig being Bond..for the record I like him, and this is one of the best car chases ever. Bond film or action film period. Bond is being pursued some bad guys in Siena, Italy through a tunnel and on the side of a mountainside. High octane stuff.

Friday, January 20, 2012

I highly recommend WE ARE THE NIGHT (2010) rippingly good vampire film

Leave it to Germany to produce one of the best vampire films in recent memory called We Are The Night. A trio of all female vampires live like rock stars in Berlin. Led by the eldest, Louise (a striking and impressive Nina Hoss) who is looking for her soul-mate. One who she will immediately know by the eyes of said soul-mate. The other two vampires are Charlotte (Jennifer Ulrich) a 1920's silent film star who was turned by Louise and who loves to read books and Nora (Anna Fischer) a woman who acts very child like. Check out their opening scene as they are flying back from a Paris shopping spree and kill everyone on board..passengers, stewardesses and even the pilots. So as the jet flies out of control, the women bail from high above the city in one of the wildest pre-credit sequences on film ever.
Louise seducing Lena

Next day, a young thief named Lena (Karoline Herfurth, looking very much like an even grungier Noomi Rapace from The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo) steals from a Russian pimp and is chased by the police all over the city. Where she meets the good looking detective Tom (Max Riemelt) who then have a cat and mouse relationship the rest of the movie. That night Lena ventures to a secret night club where the trio of vampires are partying and Louise is immediately smitten.
The girls living it up

After a little dancing Louise bites Lena and so begins their courtship. Lena doesn't understand at first and the other two women convince Louise that the newbie has to learn the hard way and accept what she is. So they drop her off at some very bad men's warehouse to be tortured until her need for survival kicks in. And kick in it does as Lena has a very brutal fight scene with one of the bad men. The other girls show up to finish off the others. Especially cool is Charlotte walking on the ceiling upside down with a shotgun.
Nora after a little snack

After this little adventure the girls take Lena back to their place to bathe and clean up. And that's where one of the coolest transformation of a human to vampire takes place. As she emerges from her tub with longer hair and much sexier. And then the fun begins. These girls know how to live. Staying at the swankiest places, each driving their own personal sports car like ferraris and BMW's. Dancing at clubs and for kicks, walking on ceilings like Spider-Man. But don't be fooled by these sexy looking women, they can get downright brutal and nasty when it comes to killing. Some very graphic scenes are plentiful in this film.
Nora and Charlotte have a little taste

But Lena still does not want to kill, which becomes a problem for the group. On a nightly swim at a very nice observatory, they encounter two security guard which they dispatch. Nora kills one quickly and bloody while Charlotte rips a single page from the book she is reading and slices the other guard's throat cleanly. Name of the book..For Whom The Bell Tolls. Lena hauls ass out of their after that and soon the police track them down thanks to their hot "stolen" rides. Which leads to an exciting shoot-out with the SWAT team and Charlotte.
Detective Tom looking out of his league

After this melee, in which Nora is critically wounded, the other girls prepare to leave Berlin. But in one of the film's more touching scenes, Charlotte goes to see her child, who is now 90 years old in a nursing home. Her child was very young when Charlotte was turned and she has always had regret.
Nora being herself

The girls will have one more encounter with the police which will lead to a final and wicked fight scene between Louise and Lena, in which only one of them will survive. I loved this movie. A great vampire film that stays true to the myth while putting it's own spin on it. I like how Louise states that there used to be male vampires but they were stupid and arrogant. And the ones that were not killed by humans, the female vampires killed the rest. Leaving only their gender as the only vampires in the world.
Lena starting to feel the urge

I thought all four women were excellent. Each making their character very different from one another. Louise being torned between finding her true love and her constant need to control the others. Charlotte being the calm and sensible one, but also filled with regret. Nora full of sass and spunk and kind of wild. And of course Lena, who goes from troubled young girl to a girl thrust into a different new world.
That crazy Nora

The film makes great use of Berlin as the setting and is backed by some rocking music. It never bogs down and tells it's story at a nice crisp pace. If you want to see a great vampire film, then you have to see We Are The Night.
The girls just hanging out


Three of the actresses: Ulrich, Fischer and Herfurth all were born in Berlin. Hoss was born in Stuttgart.

The licence number of Nora's car is FU-CK 1.

The word "vampire" is not said once in the entire film.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Kate Beckinsale returns as Selene in Underworld: Awakening

A most welcome return for Kate Beckinsale as vampire warrior Selene in the 4th Underworld movie. Kate played the part of Selene in the first two movies but bowed out of the third, as it was a prequel. Well she's back now and judging by the previews, hasn't lost a step when it comes to taking out lycans (werewolves). The movie opens this Friday and I'm stoked to see it as Underworld is one of my favorite movie series.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Happy Birthday Michelle Forbes!

Happy Birthday to actress Michelle Forbes, who over the years has built a fantastic resume. Starring roles on such series as 24, True Blood, Battlestar Galactica, Homicide and of course Star Trek: The Next Generation as fan favorite Ensign Ro Laren. Happy Birthday Michelle!

Saturday, January 7, 2012

2012 - Year of the Renner

Today marks actor Jeremy Renner's 41st birthday and this guy's star is on the rise. Big time! Me and my friend and blogger extraordinaire Jennifer Cooper was just talking about him yesterday and now it's his birthday. Coincidence? I think not. People may think Renner has only just come around these past few years thanks to roles in 28 Weeks Later, The Hurt Locker, and The Town, but he's been around since the mid 90's. Getting his start in the teen comedy National Lampoon's Senior Trip back in 1995. Then he appeared in a host of TV series such as CSI and even my fave Angel. He played Jeffrey Dahmer in a 2002 movie that I have yet to see but Jenn raves about. His first major role in Hollywood would have to be as Colin Farrell's ex partner who goes bad in SWAT. Then he started getting more and more roles like in the Charlize Theron 2005 pic North Country and The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford with Brad Pitt. Then came his Academy Award nominated Best Actor turn in The Hurt Locker followed up by another nomination for The Town, this time for Supporting Actor. Oh and let's not forget his role in the brief series, The Unusuals about life for some cops in the big city. I thought this was a great show but the powers that be didn't and canceled it like after only 6 episodes in 2009.
As SFC William James in The Hurt Locker (2008)

As James Coughlin in The Town (2010)

But 2011 has been very pivotal for Renner. First up was his cameo as Hawkeye in the summer's blockbuster Thor. That role will lead to this year's almost guaranteed hit, The Avengers. Where his character shares the screen with the likes of Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr), Captain America (Chris Evans), Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) and Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson). He just joined Tom Cruise for the recent Mission Impossible film which was a doozy of a ride. He's got the film Hansel and Gretel with Gemma Arterton due early this year. And then in August, he takes over the Bourne franchise. Not as Jason Bourne, but as new character Aaron Cross.

As William Brandt in Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol (2011)

With Gemma Arterton as Hansel and Gretel (2012)

As Aaron Cross in The Bourne Legacy (2012)

Add all that up and 2012 looks to be the year of the Renner. Count me very excited.

The Dream Team assembled