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6 Degrees Entertainment

'Bulletproof -Tough Guys of Action - 8 Pack'
(Various / 2-Disc DVD / NR / 2015 / Mill Creek Entertainment)

Overview: Eight of the silver screen's BIGGEST action stars in one collection! Basically, it's 8 expendable action stars on 2 Discs!

DVD Verdict: The first film is 'Last Action Hero' (1993), starring Arnold Schwarzenegger and F. Murray Abraham. A magic movie ticket gains a young fan unprecedented access to his favorite action hero after being sucked out of his seat and onto the big screen.

Another underrated movie, and one which few people understand, or try to. This is a spoof of action movies, primarily those starring Arnie and Stallone, ones which director McTiernen has made a living from. That said, the action, stunts, effects are good, the cast, especially Arnie, ham it up as much as possible, and the plot is pretty clever. Tons of in-jokes make this an entertaining film, and I'll admit that's all it is. But that's all it is trying to be. Don't whine to me about artistic merit, character development, internal meditations on life and all that crap - I have those movies on my list too!

Next up is 'Universal Soldier: The Return' (1999) starring Jean-Claude Van Damme, Michael Jai White, Heidi Schanz, and Bill Goldberg. When the Universal Soldiers supercomputer goes haywire, Luc Deveraux is the only one who can battle the elite team of deadly, near-perfect warriors.

Jean-Claude van Damme belongs to that kind of popular hero you just can't dislike. The sequel to 'Universal Soldier' is not exactly what you'd call a brilliant film, but it does deliver the goods it promises. Whether if these goods please your taste is another problem, but if you like films with lots of fights, explosions, heavy metal, Bill Goldberg and some gun hardware this could be a good one to watch with your friends on a rainy Saturday night.

Next up is 'The Russian Specialist' (2005) starring Dolph Lundgren, Ben Cross, Ivan Petrushinov, and Olivia Lee. A Russian ex-hit man is called back to Russia for one last job. This time against his former employees, the Russian mob.

Nick Cherenko (Lundgren) previously of the Russian special forces, has his family brutally killed by Russian Mobsters. Now he is offered a reward to recover the daughter of a millionaire, forced into prostitution by the same men. The plot is a no-brainer, its a simple revenge story which has been done a thousand times. While the acting varies, the locations give a real presence in the film. Wide soviet countryside and war torn villages help thicken the atmosphere.

Next up is 'Into the Sun' (2005) starring Steven Seagal, Matthew Davis and Takao Osawa. When the governor of Tokyo is murdered, it falls on ex-CIA agent Travis Hunter (Seagal) to track down the responsible terrorists. However, Hunter discovers a plan by a rising Yakuza leader to build an enormous drug-dealing network with the Chinese Mafia. With time running out, he must thwart the operation - and get out alive.

'Into the Sun' is the best of the recent works of Steven Seagal. The story is flawed, full of clichés, but also very entertaining. Steven Seagal does not have the same agility of his first movies, but the plot is well supported by magnificent landscapes, wonderful soundtrack and a great cast. I really have not understood why he alternates speaking in English or Japanese; there are some dialogs that the Japanese characters speak in Japanese and Travis speaks in English, in a complete mess. But in the end, I liked this film.

Next up is 'The Stone Killer' (1973) starring Charles Bronson and Martin Balsam. Crime drama about a tough New York cop who discovers that a prohibition gangster is planning a massacre--revenge for a forty-year-old shootout which introduced non-Sicilian elements to organized crime. Based on John Gardner's novel, A Complete State of Death.

Michael Winner has directed the great Charles Bronson in several films, all of which can be described shortly as 'bad-ass'. Their collaborations include some truly great films including the 1974 vigilante masterpiece 'Death Wish' and the hard-boiled Western 'Chato's Land' (1972). All the films that the actor/director team Bronson/Winner made together are highly entertaining, and while "The Stone Killer" certainly isn't one of their best collaborations (in fact, its arguably their weakest besides the hugely fun, but very silly 'Death Wish 3') it is definitely another testosterone-driven flick that will not leave my fellow Bronson-fans bored.

Next up is 'Silent Rage' (1982) starring Chuck Norris and Ron Silver. Science created him. Now Chuck Norris must destroy him. Sheriff Stevens (Norris) is faced with stopping a crazed murderer, made virtually indestructible through genetic engineering.

Director Michael Miller gives us a science fiction movie mixed with chiller dementia. I will never forget the first time I saw this in the theaters. From beginning to end my eyes were glued to the screen. Brian Libby's maniac is one of the most realistic madmen you will ever see. The score by Peter Bernstein and Mark Goldenberg is wicked, especially in the opening credits. Some of the murders in this movie are downright brutal. Chuck Norris does a good job as the Texas lawman on the case, while Ron Silver and Steven Keats are spectacular as two doctors bickering over medical ethics.

Next up is 'Shamus' (1972) starring Burt Reynolds and Dyan Cannon. Reynolds is McCoy, a private detective with a penchant for pocket billiards, loot and women. A baffling murder by a flame throwing killer is linked to a million-dollar diamond theft, but McCoy discovers a fantastic scheme and decides to take matters into his own hands in the true private eye style.

The ever-cool Burt Reynolds gives a typically fine and credible performance as Shamus McCoy, a scruffy, but smooth and studly rugged womanizing private detective who's hired by flaky rich guy E.J. Hume (a pleasingly offbeat turn by Ron Weyand) to find a killer and retrieve a fortune in stolen diamonds. During his investigation McCoy makes the acquaintance of the lovely, vivacious Alexis (delightfully played by the gorgeously voluptuous Dyan Cannon) and uncovers a wild plot to sell surplus military weapons on the black market.

Adroitly directed by Buzz ('The Hunter') Kulik, with a colorful and compelling, if rather muddled script by Barry Beckerman, a groovy score by Jerry Goldsmith, occasional exciting outbursts of raw rough 'n' tumble fisticuffs, gritty, but lush cinematography by Victor J. Kemper, a funky New York City atmosphere, and a few charmingly quirky touches (McCoy sleeps on a pool table with a mattress on it and has a deep-seated dread of large dogs), "Shamus" makes for a hugely enjoyable and often thrilling private eye flick.

The last movie is 'The Anderson Tapes' (1971) starring Sean Connery, Dyan Cannon, Martin Balsam, and Christopher Walken. When Duke Anderson gets out of the cooler, he discovers the mother lode in his rich girlfriend's ritzy apartment building. With help from a safe cracker, a decorator, and a thug, Duke might be able to pull off the greatest heist yet. What he doesn't know is that someone is watching his every move and beating him at his own game.

For Sidney Lumet this must have been the dress rehearsal for the more famous 'Dog Day Afternoon'. Most of it is shot in a realistic style. But there is more to it, the absurdity of it all is pushed much further and converts realism into surrealism. This is the story of Anderson, a guy who gets out of prison after having served a long spell behind bars. Before he leaves he makes a short speech in which he declaims his philosophy. The essence of it: Everybody steals and therefore everybody has a right to steal. This is a Widescreen Presentation (1:85.1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs.

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