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Born to Raise Hell [Blu Ray]: an Interpol agent assigned to Eastern Europe gets a replacement partner (his last one died on the job) to help him take down a Gypsy gang. The first time director constantly misses the mark with a poorly handled rape/burglary, then laugh-out-loud ‘intimate scene’, and a ton of woeful action moments. My biggest gripe surfaces with entire minutes of filler shots and blurry cam montages between the scenes. It’s amateur hour behind the camera, and in front of the camera we have Seagal (!!) with an ominously lit face and awkward gun-holding poses. He and his crew do the script justice, with classic lines like “lemme see yo hands bitch”, “wat the fuck is wrong wit chu boy” and every other Seagal sentence ending with “maaaaan”. His new colleague even dares to whisper the line “I’m one month away from becoming a father” – I WONDER IF HE WILL MAKE IT TO THE END?!?!!? Written solely by Seagal, It’s little surprise that he penned himself as a one-man-army cop with an unfeasibly hot girlfriend and mad fighting skillz – despite being a big oaf. The Bucharest setting is in more bad taste than you could imagine, everyone’s has a crazy Russian-esque accent, but talks English, is involved with drugs and works as a gangster or stripper. The entire film just reeks of cheap and is possibly the flattest and most uninspired Seagal flick you could imagine – it makes his ‘Lawman’ TV show look like Oscar Bait. The Blu Ray’s decent enough, but there’s nothing here worth watching. Proof if proof be needed that Seagal definitely is a one-no-trick-pony-tail. Why are people still letting him do films?

Score: 0.5/10

True Romance: (Blu Ray, Director’s Cut) A guy that loves, and is frequently visited by, Elvis runs away with a girl that looks mysteriously like Lolita after they score a suitcase of drugs: cue the mafia and police hunting them down. Definitely not your average tale of monogamy. The story-driven action is a different class, mixing the best bits of Tarantino’s script with a Tony Scott in his Prime. It’s pretty violent, especially the final shootout and girly beat-down – although that scene can claim ‘best chest in a fight, ever’ award. Another highlight is the dazzling ensemble cast including Gandolfini, Oldman, Chris Penn, Rubinek, Kilmer, a noteworthy stoned Brad Pitt and one of cinemas truly great moments: Dennis Hopper & Christopher Walken mesmerisingly discussing the finer points of Sicilian heritage with a dash of classic piano. Not to be forgotten, Slater and Arquette give what could easily be the performances of their careers. There’s some great tension (lift scene) and it lands up being quite poetic given the content. Can’t forget the cheesy / feathery ending and staple Tarantino cooler-than-thou movie & pop culture throughout. The picture and sound are both astonishingly average, only fans should upgrade. All-in, you can’t really fault much of this movie, and it’s amazing to think that even all the big names couldn’t save True Romance at the Box Office. Impressive runaway fantasy.

Score: 7.5/10