Episode 24: Creed II Trailer Breakdown, Predictions, and Anticipation

In this special joint episode with the SlyCast, the Sylvester Stallone Fan Podcast, Craig Cohen and I sit down to breakdown the second trailer that was released for the upcoming Creed II!  Craig and I chat the best moments of the trailer, cast our predictions for where the sequel will go, Bridgette Nielsen’s involvement (?), and the film’s themes of legacy, fathers and sons, and forgiveness.  While Creed II is a couple months away, the anticipation for the film just keeps getting greater!  Join us as we dissect this amazing trailer and what is sure to be one of the best films of 2018!

Major thanks to Craig Cohen for joining me for this joint episode!  Please check out his podcasts the SlyCast and Big Screen Book Club!  Please feel free to rate and review the show iTunes, Stitcher, or wherever else you go to subscribe!

 

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Episode 23: Blackjack

Blackjack

In 1998, Dolph Lundgren starring in a syndicated television show seemed like a solid idea.  Add to the fact that Hong Kong action legend John Woo would be taking over directing duties, and this would be an action junkie’s dream come true.  Enter 1998’s Blackjack!  Lundgren plays Jack Devlin – a former US marshal turned bodyguard for hire with a penchant for card tricks and an aversion to the color white!  Unfortunately, the USA network passed on the pilot, and Dimension Films quickly picked it up, packaged it as a feature-length film and released it to home video.  But does Blackjack work as an actual movie?  Joining me to discuss this one is Bryan Coyne, writer and director of the horror films Infernal and Bad Apples!  Had this been picked up, would it have been able to sustain multiple seasons?  What John Woo tropes does Blackjack employ, and which does it not utilize?  Is Lundgren’s white-phobia a stroke of originality or a kryptonite that’s almost too bizarre for its own good?  And just how amazing is the “milk scene”?  Join us as we breakdown the wild television pilot Blackjack!

Major thanks to Bryan Coyne for joining me.  Please check out his films Infernal and Bad Apples currently available for streaming on Amazon Prime!  Please feel free to rate and review the show on iTunes, Stitcher, or wherever else you go to subscribe.

Episode 22: The Peacekeeper

Peacekeeper

On this episode, my buddy Chris Prentice is back to discuss Dolph Lundgren’s next film, 1997’s The Peacekeeper.  In this direct-to-video action thriller, Lundgren plays Major Frank Cross, a rebellious Air Force pilot assigned to protect the president’s “football” – a briefcase containing access to nuclear strikes!  Yet when a group of terrorists steal the football, it’s up to Lundgren to get it back!  The Peacekeeper was Lundgren’s first film with fledging production house, Nu Image, a partnership that is still continuing to this day.  Why is Montel Williams in this movie?  Just how suave and renegade is Lundgren’s Frank Cross character?  How do the special effects hold up today, especially the Mount Rushmore sequence?  What similarities do The Peacekeeper and George Clooney’s The Peacemaker have in common?  And what is with Lundgren chewing gum in his movies?  Join us as Chris and I take a look back at The Peacekeeper!

Major thanks to Chris Prentice for coming back!  Please feel free to rate and review the show on iTunes, Stitcher, or wherever else you go to subscribe!

Episode 21: Interview with Steve Latshaw, writer of COMMAND PERFORMANCE

On this special episode, I had the pleasure of speaking with screenwriter Steve Latshaw.  Latshaw co-write the rock ‘n roll action classic Command Performance alongside Dolph Lundgren, which Lundgren also directed and starred in!  In Command Performance Lundgren plays a rock and roll drummer who becomes a one-man army when terrorists take over a rock concert in Moscow!  With well over 30 writing credits to his name and experience working alongside some of the biggest action stars, Latshaw sure had plenty to say regarding the ever-changing landscape of action cinema.  In addition to taking me through the script-writing process, Latshaw also helped answer these burning questions: How the genre has evolved over the years? How has Lundgren managed to stay relevant? How did Lundgren and Latshaw work to make sure that Command Performance pumped originality into the traditional Die Hard-trope?  How does Lundgren’s generosity extend beyond the film sets?  And what projects does Latshaw have lined up for the next year?  Join us as we answer these questions and many more!

Major thanks to Steve Latshaw for his time.  Please feel free to rate and review the show on iTunes, Stitcher, or wherever else you go to subscribe!

Episode 20: Interview with Vince DiCola, composer of ROCKY IV

On this special episode I had the privilege and honor to speak with legendary composer Vince DiCola, the man behind the music of Rocky IV!  Vince and I chat the inspiration and thought process that went into developing Rocky IV’s iconic score, the instruments used to create Ivan Drago’s chilling entrance in the film, scoring the animated Transformers movie in 1986, and each of these film’s scores’ enduring legacy 30 years later!  We also discuss his upcoming show “An Evening with Vince DiCola” taking place on September 20, 2018 at the famous Whiskey a Go Go in West Hollywood!  Tickets can be purchased here.  If you’re in the area, please check it out!

Major thanks to Vince DiCola for his time!  Also, special shout out to Chris Prentice for his question contributions.  Please feel free rate and review the show on iTunes, Stitcher, or wherever you go to subscribe!

Episode 19: Silent Trigger

Silent Trigger

On this month’s episode, we’re taking a look at the underrated and somewhat unseen film, Silent Trigger!  Lundgren caps off his “experimental” era in this arthouse action film that’s essentially a four-man stage production!  In this film, Lundgren plays a sniper who discovers that he and his accomplice (Gina Bellman) are the next targets by the very organization they work for!  Coming back to discuss this movie are my buddies (and show regulars) Chris Prentice and Jeremie Damoiseau.  How does Silent Trigger make use of its ambiguous setting?  Is the film too mysterious for its own good, or is that part of its charm?  Could the character of O’Hara (Christopher Heyerdahl) be one of the most unlikable characters in Lundgren’s filmography?  And what is with the infamous spider scene?  Join us as we take aim at Silent Trigger!

Major thanks to Chris Prentice and Jeremie Damoiseau for joining me!  Be on the lookout for Jeremie’s book on the making of Lundgren’s The Punisher, to be released soon in the US.  Please feel free to rate and review the show on iTunes, Stitcher, or wherever else you subscribe!

Episode 18: Interview with Christopher Kulikowski, writer/director of RETROGRADE

On this special episode, I had the pleasure of chatting with Christopher Kulikowski, writer-director of 2004’s action/science-fiction movie, Retrograde.  In this film, Dolph Lundgren plays John Foster, a time-traveler from the future who’s sent back to the present in the Antarctic to stop a biological disaster from occurring.  Retrograde was not the easiest of productions, but Kulikowski, Lundgren, and everyone else working on the film persevered!  How did action stars Dolph Lundgren and Gary Daniels become attached to the project? What kind of problems arose in production?  How did Kulikowski and the production team come up with the idea of using motorcycle attire? What does the role of a post-production supervisor entail?  And what will Kulikowski be working on in 2019 and beyond? Join us as Christopher Kulikowski reminisces with me on his experiences working on Retrograde!

Major thanks to Christopher Kulikowski for joining me!  Please feel free to rate and review the show on iTunes, Stitcher, or wherever else you subscribe!

Episode 17: Hidden Assassin / The Shooter

Hidden Assassin

On this episode Travis Bow of the Reel Comic Heroes Podcast, as well as The Watchmen Minute joins me to discuss this relatively unseen film of Lundgren’s – Hidden Assassin / The Shooter.  In this thriller, Dolph plays Michael Dane, a US marshal sent to Prague to apprehend a female assassin suspected of killing a Cuban ambassador.  Yet Dane’s suspect is not entirely who she seems, causing Dane to question everything around him.  How does this film play coming off the heels of the spectacular Men of War?  Is the romance subplot necessary to the film?  Just how effective are Michael Dane and his partner Alex Reed (actor John Ashton) at being US marshals?  And why is it that the movie looks so dated, even by 1996 standards?  Join us as we take a look at the forgotten Hidden Assassin!

Major thanks to Travis Bow for joining me.  Please check out his podcasts Reel Comic Heroes and The Watchmen Minute!

Feel free to rate and review the show on iTunes, Stitcher, or wherever else you go to subscribe!

Episode 16: Interview with Scott Windhauser, writer/director of DEAD TRIGGER

On this episode I had the pleasure of speaking with Scott Windhauser, writer and director of Dolph Lundgren’s upcoming zombie thriller, Dead Trigger.  In this film (to be released sometime this year), Lundgren portrays Kyle Walker, a soldier leading a group of rookies against a world overrun by zombies!  2017 was a busy year for Windhauser; in addition to working on this film, Windhauser wrote and directed Cops and Robbers with Michael Jai White and Tom Berenger, as well as writing Rob Cohen’s The Hurricane Heist.  Windhauser also helped rewrite Dolph Lundgren’s Larceny, currently available for streaming on Netflix.  What was it like working for Michael Bay?  What is Windhauser’s approach to writing a script for an action movie?  What kind of problems arose in filming Dead Trigger?  Is the action genre thriving or struggling in the age of streaming home media?  And what projects does Scott Windhauser have lined up for 2019 and beyond?  Join us as we answer these questions and many more!

Major thanks to Scott Windhauser for chatting with me!  Please feel free to rate and review the show on iTunes, Stitcher, or wherever else you subscribe!

Episode 15: Interview with Perry Lang, director of MEN OF WAR

Perry Lang

The discussion of Men of War continues!  On this month’s episode I had the pleasure of discussing this awesome film some more, this time with the director himself, Perry Lang!  Lang has been in the Hollywood game for almost 30 years as both an actor and a director.  In 1994 he was given the opportunity to direct this mercenary film, and the results were glorious!  What did Lang change from John Sayles’ original script?  Why did the film unfairly bypass a theatrical release and premiere on home video?  How does directing a film differ from a television show?  And what can audiences expect from Lang’s return to movies with An Interview with God, slated to be released August 20, 21, and 22?  Join us as Perry Lang and I chat his career and one of the most underrated films in the Dolph Lundgren canon – Men of War!

Check out the trailer for An Interview with God here.

Major thanks to Perry Lang for sitting down with me!  Feel free to rate and review the show on Itunes, Stitcher, or wherever else you subscribe!