Posts Tagged ‘Stone Cold Steve Austin’

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DVD Review : Knockout starring Stone Cold Steve Austin

April 19, 2011

Reviewed by : Steven Wilson of MainEventRadio.com

Stone Cold Steve Austin has been back in the squard circle rather frequently thus far in 2011. Currently hosting the reincarnation of the Tough Enough reality show series, and coming off of his guest referee spot at Wrestlemania, now Austin is stepping into the boxing ring for his latest acting gig, a straight to DVD release entitled “Knockout”

In the film Austin plays a former pro boxer turned school janitor named Dan Barnes. The film begins with the lead character, Matthew Miller (played by Daniel Magder) on his way to his first day at his new public school in a new city. Having spent years in private school, Miller arrives in a suit and finds it hard to fit in, attracting the attention of the resident school bullies, most notably, the school’s boxing champ Hector Torres. Miller, meanwhile, has had an interest in boxing for years as his grandfather was once a successful boxer, but never had he thought about participating in the sport as his somewhat overprotective mother has held him close through the years following a battle with leukemia as a child. Cue Stone Cold’s character, who as the school janitor steps in during a bullying incident between Matthew and the afformentioned Torres. With the encouragement and tutelage of Austin’s character, Matthew trains and gets his chance to face Torres in the annual box off for a chance to make the school boxing team.

About 30 minutes into the film I found it hard to kick the feeling that I had seen this film before, then it dawned on me, this is WWE Films “Legendary” but with boxing instead of amateur wrestling and Steve Austin instead of John Cena. The surrounding story might be slightly different, but at its core they are identical movies. Whether that’s a good thing or a bad thing depends on what you personally thought of Legendary.  For those you didn’t see it, what this basically boils down to is your typical inspirational family drama with a happy ending.

Like many of the straight to DVD films Austin has done since leaving WWE films, he is given a tailor made character to play so that it accentuates his acting positives and hides the negatives.

Ive always been a big fan of Austin’s and because of this I did enjoy the film. Although I found the fact that Knockout is very similar to Legendary to be somewhat amusing considering that Austin had chosen to depart WWE films many years ago to chase his own career path, but has ended up doing the exact same films under various different banners. Then again he probably would not of gotten his spot in The Expendables without being independent, but I digress.

The DVD version of Knockout offers little in terms of DVD extras. A digital copy option is included as well as the film’s trailer, but nothing in terms of behind the scenes footage or featurettes. Ultimately I would call this a “Rent It”, but if you’re a big fan of Austin adding it to your collection wont hurt.

Knockout starring Stone Cold Steve Austin hits the streets on DVD and Blu Ray, April 26th with the suggested retail price of $29.99, It will also be available via Video on Demand, For more information check out Phase 4 Films official webpage for the film via http://phase4films.com/detail.aspx?projectId=295806ed-6e2b-422f-bedf-37dc9a13bd1c

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DVD Review : Hunt To Kill starring Stone Cold Steve Austin

October 29, 2010

Reviewed by Steven Wilson of MainEventRadio.com

Coming off his role in the box office smash hit The Expendables, Steve Austin is looking to continue his transition into the acting world with the straight to DVD release of the action thriller “Hunt to Kill”

This is the 3rd straight to DVD release which stars Austin in the leading role, the prior two being Damage and The Stranger, and much like the previous releases, this film takes a familiar route to an enjoyable yet somewhat “by the book” film.

Austin plays the role of US border patrol agent Jim Rhodes who is not only trying to get over the loss of his murdered partner but is also trying to raise his teenage daughter as a single father, which as you may guess  with any girl of that age, is rebellious to the bone. This ends up getting both her and her father in some major trouble as Austin’s daughter is taken hostage by a group of criminals and when Austin’s character walks in on the kidnapping, he is forced into assisting the group in hunting down one of their former colleagues who is hiding out from them in the mountainous woods of Montana, a place that Austin knows very well having worked there on a daily basis.

As they embark on the hunt through the mountains, the movie begins to follow the typical storyline  playout of the bad guys turning on eachother, and Austin’s character taking advantage of this to begin outsmarting them in a survival of the baddest type of situation.

I couldn’t help but have a bit of a déjà vu feeling while watching the movie, That being said it is far from being a bad movie, in fact I enjoyed it very much as would any other Austin fan or fan of the action thriller genre. The timing and playout of the story is well done, and the climax is fast paced enough to keep you on the edge of your seat, but it was hard to kick the fact that I felt I had seen this before.  Perhaps that’s the downfall of some movies in this day and age, where everything has been done before and even slight twists on the outline of what a thriller is supposed to be, still comes off as by the book.

Austin does play his role perfectly, perhaps because it’s designed for him as who wouldn’t portray Austin as a rugged, tough as nails guy who can kick your butt, but also the lead villain played by Gil Bellows serves as a bad guy whose performance compliments Austin’s role greatly.

DVD Bonus features for the standard DVD release of Hunt to Kill include audio commentary with Director Keoni Waxman and actor Michael Eklund, as well as a behind the scenes of Hunt To Kill featurette.

Having been a fan of Austin for many years, im glad to see that his acting career is coming along nicely, not every retired wrestling star gets this chance in the movie mainstream and starts to succeed, Austin is quickly establishing his own movie career, which may not get to the level The Rock has, but will certainly be a respectable one.

Hun to Kill is out on DVD and Blu Ray November 9th from Anchor Bay Entertainment, For more information check out www.hunttokill-themovie.com or Anchor Bay’s page for the film at  http://www.anchorbayentertainment.com/details.asp?projectId=%7B417E187A-97F4-49F6-9004-9DA300885997%7D

 

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Film Review : Damage starring Stone Cold Steve Austin

October 14, 2009

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Film / DVD Review : Damage starring Stone Cold Steve Austin

Reviewed by Steven Wilson of MainEventRadio.com

This past April, Stone Cold Steve Austin was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame, capping off a career that left a huge imprint on the world of professional wrestling. Now with his wrestling career behind him, Austin is attempting to launch a new full time career in the acting world.

Austin’s first foray into the movie business was with the WWE when they produced The Condemned in 2007. The film received a mixed reaction and it did not fare well in the box office,  Personally I think the film should of done a bit better than it did, but then again I’m a self admitted Austin mark, Although I have heard others say that about every WWE Film which was released in theaters,so  perhaps it’s a stigma, people see the name WWE Films and they think to themselves this is going to be  some cheesy film made by a bunch of wrestlers. Whether you think The Condemned was a good movie or not, Steve Austin has never been one to quit that easily, so Austin worked out his departure from WWE Films and has set off on his own path, and the first film to be released on that new path is an action flick entitled Damage which wont open in theaters in North America until January, however it has been released on DVD in the United Kingdom.

The film stars Austin as John Brickner, a prison inmate serving  7 years for manslaughter. Brickner apparently choked a man to death and plead guilty.  No, this isn’t The Condemned all over again as 4 and a half years later Austin is granted parole and a new leash on life where he plans to seek redemption for his past acts, This is where The Condemned comparison’s end.

Once out of prison, Brickner stats to put his life back together. Finding a job at the local construction site, he gets little respect and little money.  Soon enough he falls into a second job as a bouncer at the local bar when he stands up for the lead female character Frankie, who is a smoking hot waitress who gets little respect from the patrons of the bar. Brickner’s imposing physique and obvious skill for fighting catches the eye of Frankie (played by Laura Vandervoort)  Soon enough Frankie and friend Reno (played by Walton Goggins) attempt to recruit Brickner into a underground fighting league with promise of major money making potential. Initally Austin’s character shrugs it off as he is attempting to turn over a new leaf. However when the widow of the man Brickner killed contacts him with a way for him to pay his debt to her and her family he quickly finds himself in a situation where he needs money and fast, so  into the underground Brickner heads and allows Austin to do what he does best… Whup some butt!

The film itself is not a blockbuster but plays into Austin’s strengths of being a serious / strong character who can fight. Throughout the movie however you do get a sprinkle of other shades of Austin, the actor. Some moments are comedic, others dramatic. Austin does not come off as a superstar, but shows some potential considering this is only his second film.

The movie could of gone down the road of just being all about the fights but it does not sell itself out completely to that theme, instead It opens up just enough to have a story around the actual fight scenes and makes for an enjoyable film.

In regards to the fight scenes they are action packed and action film fans get their dose so to speak as the blood does spill in a variety of different fight scenarios as Austin climbs the ladder of the underground fight scene.

Overall I enjoyed this film for what it is, An independent action film that attempts to tell a story while also giving the action marks what they came for. I think it is slightly better then The Condemned movie because of the fact that it provides more depth around the main subject than the condemned did. I am somewhat surprised that the film has been released on DVD in one part of the world months before it is slated to hit theaters in another. In this day and age that can and will hurt box office business whether it be because of downloads or those paying for duty and shipping fees to have it right away. I think the film is worthy of checking out on DVD but might be a pass when it comes to theatrical viewing but im not a movie industry expert so ill leave that up to them.

Austin is scheduled for a role in The Expendables next summer which stars Sylvester Stallone, he also has a role in a action thriller entitled The Stranger in which an FBI agent is on the chase for a important material witness in a ongoing investigation. Both these roles could be huge steps for Austin’s film career, meanwhile Damage is film that should be regarded as a learning step for Austin as he begins to expand his acting abilities