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Universal Soldier: Day of Reckoning, director John Hyams’ follow up to his successful 2009 film, Universal Soldier: Regeneration, is available tomorrow, Tuesday January 22nd, on DVD, Blu-ray, and VOD (check out our interview with director John Hyams here).

We had a chance to sit down with one of the movie's stars, action icon Dolph Lundgren, and talk about how his character, Sergeant Andrew Scott, has progressed throughout the series.

Check it out:

Dolph Lundgren Interview For Universal Soldier: Day Of Reckoning »


By the way, do yourself a favor and watch Day of Reckoning, it's great. Tell 'em Dolph sent ya.

Universal Soldier: Day of Reckoning Director Interview, John Hyams On Zigging When Audiences Expect You To Zag

Universal Soldier: Day of Reckoning, director John Hyams’ follow up to his successful 2009 film, Universal Soldier: Regeneration, is available tomorrow, Tuesday January 22nd, on DVD, Blu-ray, and VOD. If you haven’t had an opportunity to check it out yet, you’ve done yourself a massive disservice because the movie is fantastic. Starring Jean-Claude Van Damme, Dolph Lundgren, Andrei Arlovski, and burgeoning action star Scott Adkins, Day of Reckoning is a movie that isn’t easy to define; it’s an ultraviolent mood piece that skillfully blends multiple genre influences into something familiar yet wholly its own. The movie consistently zags when you expect it to zig and it was easily one of my Top Ten movies of 2012.

Last week we had an opportunity to sit down with star Dolph Lundgren (check out the video here) and director John Hyams to discuss the ever evolving Universal Soldier series.

Universal Soldier: Day of Reckoning Director Interview, John Hyams On Zigging When Audiences Expect You To Zag (Exclusive Clip Below)

When Hyams set out to make Day of Reckoning, he knew he didn’t want to simply rehash Regeneration. “The first thing you say is “well, I just don’t want to repeat what I did before,” not even just for myself, but for the audience. What’s the point?” said Hyams. “There’s no reason to just do the same movie again, and there’s really no way to succeed that way. It’s kind of like junk food, you can give them exactly what they want, but in the end it’s gonna go right through you and you’re really not going to appreciate it in the long run. So, the first thought was, “Look, we have to do something different here. Not just for the sake of being different, but also for the sake of honoring the direction that this story is going.” Regeneration ended with essentially posing a couple of questions. And one of the questions was, “What has become of the character of Luc Deveraux (Van Damme’s character)?” He’s taken off, he’s decided to not go back to the government, probably because he knows their intentions aren’t good, they’ll destroy him, enslave him, put him on ice, who knows what they’re gonna do? So, he’s taken off.” 

“First question is, “Where is he? We need to find him.” Well, the next movie should be about going and finding him. That, by that very notion, means that he really shouldn’t be the protagonist, you know? This movie should be about someone’s journey to find this guy. So, what is gonna inform that journey? Well, we also know that that movie posed the idea that now this is all moving in the direction of genetic engineering, it’s no longer about reanimating the dead soldiers; now it’s about cloning. Once you go down that direction you can’t really go back to reanimating dead soldiers, there’s no point. So, now we’re in this place where the government can kind of create their own weapons from scratch.”

Check out an exclusive clip from the movie after the jump.

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Total Recall Director Interview: Len Wiseman On Remakes, Fan Expectations, And Action Scenes

Total Recall, director Len Wiseman’s 2012 remake of Paul Verhoeven’s memorable (I say classic) 1990 sci-fi actioner, is available on DVD and Blu-ray today. While there was certainly some fan outcry regarding the decision to remake Total Recall, Weisman’s movie turned out to be a fun, polished production that paid homage to the original film while putting a different spin on Philip K. Dick’s short story “We Can Remember It For You Wholesale."

This week we had an opportunity to sit down with Len Wiseman and discuss the daunting task of remaking a popular movie, managing fan expectations, his approach to directing action scenes, and some of the keys to balancing his personal relationship (he’s married to Total Recall star Kate Beckinsale) in a professional environment.

Initially Wiseman wanted no part of remaking Total Recall. “My first response was absolutely not” he said, “because the nostalgia of a movie like that. At a certain point you are remaking nostalgia which is very tough to do. When I read the script and found that the (remake) was not traveling to Mars, I was both shocked and extremely interested because it was going in a direction I couldn’t foresee and that was exciting. I became more aware of (the story) in a different kind of arena. A bit closer to how the original short story alluded to Mars but never went to Mars. That’s what Verhoeven did with his adaptation of it. They took it, set most of it on Mars. So the fact that it was different, that’s what really attracted me. But then you still have the nervousness, whether it goes to Mars or it doesn’t go to Mars; you’re still remaking nostalgia. Which is always nerve racking."

In order to create his own vision of Total Recall, early on Len distanced himself from the original movie. “The script was very different than the film that I remembered as a teenager. I wanted to absorb all that and get my ideas before I went back and watched the movie again. Later into the process I did watch it again and was kind of shocked at certain things I did not (originally) pick up on. I think as a teenager I was just going to watch the next Arnold (Schwarzeneger) movie. I wasn’t looking at it as the Phillip K. Dick story that it was. I wasn’t really looking for the sci-fi theme. It was interesting seeing it as an adult. But I really wanted to stay away. I watched it and then that was it. It wasn’t something that we went back to or that the writer’s went back to."

Check out an exclusive behind the scenes clip from Total Recall after the jump.

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Karaoke For Xbox Live - Sing, Sing A Song, Sing Out Loud!

Karaoke, an exclusive Xbox 360 game from Microsoft and Stingray Digital Group, is available today for download from the Xbox Live Marketplace. Last week I had an opportunity to take Karaoke out for a test sing and had a pretty good time. Karaoke is a polished, easily accessible singing experience that’s perfect for friends/ parties/ vocal warm-ups for your The Voice audition (oh I hope Adam picks me!!). The game (which installs as an app in your dashboard) functions just like a home karaoke machine and gives you access to an 8,000+ song library. How you access those songs might surprise you but more on that in just a moment.

Fire up the game, pick your song (or songs), get on the mic, and start singing. It’s that easy. Songs stream instantly to your Xbox so you don’t have to wait for your favorite jam to download and the game makes a minimal footprint on your Xbox 360. You can even use the game’s built in SmartGlass integration to queue up songs on your phone or tablet if someone’s hogging the mic (protip: there’s an achievement for doing that).

Just like your local karaoke bar, a fairly decent instrumental rendition of your song choice plays while the accompanying lyrics light up on the screen. Unlike your local karaoke bar, your Xbox avatar rocks out to your song on a virtual stage, gathering virtual fans when you properly match the lyrics. The more fans you get, the more “moola” you earn. You use moola to buy in-game props and wardrobe which, in turn, bring more fans. There’s also Kinect integration (at certain moments the game asks you to match your avatar’s pose to attract additional fans) and achievements. Ultimately you don’t have to participate in any of videogame elements of Karaoke but their inclusion round out the game’s fairly successful attempt to please the gamer crowd and the karaoke crowd.

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The Collection Writer And Director Interview: Marcus Dunstan and Patrick Melton On Creating A Horror Sequel

Tucked among the holiday tentpole and Oscar bait movies opening at your local cinema this weekend is Marcus Dunstan and Patrick Melton’s gory little horror film The CollectionThe Collection is a sequel to Dunstan and Melton’s 2009 film The Collector. In the original movie a burglar named Arkin, played by Josh Stewart (The Dark Knight Rises), robs a house that, unbeknownst to him, has been filled with deadly booby traps set by the titular Collector; a masked killer who delights in watching innocent people meet their demise in his traps. In The Collection, Arkin is blackmailed into helping a privately funded group of mercenaries rescue a young girl held hostage by The Collector in an abandoned hotel rigged with all manner of homemade death traps.

This week we had a chance to sit down with Dunstan and Melton (whose credits include writing Feast, Saw 4 – Saw 3D, and Piranha 3DD) and talk about having a sequel stand on its own two feet, navigating audience expectations, and why they chose to shoot a low budget movie on film instead of digital.

(Note: mild spoilers ahead)

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Tags: G4, Movies, Videos
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Universal Classic Monsters: The Essential Collection Blu-ray Box Set Review

Looking for the perfect gift for that cinefile and/ or horror movie fan on your holiday list? Look no further than Universal’s impressive Universal Classic Monsters: The Essential Collection box set that was released on Blu-ray earlier this year. This collection includes all the iconic Universal monster movies that shaped the American horror genre; Dracula (1931), Frankenstein (1931), The Mummy (1932), The Invisible Man (1933), Bride of Frankenstein (1935), The Wolf Man (1941), Phantom of the Opera (1943), and Creature from the Black Lagoon (1954). For the first time ever each film is presented in digitally restored 1080p High-Definition picture and DTS-HD Master Audio. Each film’s native aspect ratio (Full Frame 1:33:1 for all films other than Black Lagoon which was shot in Widescreen 1:85:1) and original audio format (2.0 Mono) is preserved and they all look and sound spectacular on Blu-ray.

I consider myself a fairly huge horror movie buff and I’d previously seen all these films multiple times on VHS, DVD, and even projected at 2nd run theaters. However, seeing these movies in digitally restored 1080p was, at the risk of sounding cliché, like seeing them for the first time. This box set is one of the best restoration jobs I’ve ever seen (and maybe the best black and white restorations currently available).

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Tags: G4, Movies

Outpost: Black Sun Director Interview: Steve Barker On The Challenges Of Creating A Sequel

These days some of the best genre movies are found on VOD/ Direct-to-DVD. While your local Cineplex carries an endless stream of focus-group friendly, big budget spectacles, the home video market has been quietly churning out low budget horror and action movies that take chances and give fans the genre thrills they demand. One of the best examples of these impressive Direct-to-DVD movies was Steve Barker's 2008 film Outpost.

Outpost followed a group of present day mercenaries, lead by Ray Stevenson (Rome, Punisher: War Zone), hired to protect a scientist as he searched an abandoned underground Nazi outpost looking for a mysterious German machine. What seems like a simple mission turns into an all out fight for survival when the mercenaries are forced to fight off undead Nazi soldiers, reanimated by the mysterious machine, lurking in the shadows of the outpost (think Alien meets Wolfenstein 3D).

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Universal Classic Monsters Come To Blu-Ray

Halloween is right around the corner and who better to celebrate Samhain with than the iconic movie monsters found in Universal Classic Monsters: The Essential Collection box set available on Blu-ray.  This collection includes all the classic Universal monster movies that shaped the American horror genre; Dracula (1931), Frankenstein (1931) , The Mummy (1932) , The Invisible Man (1933), Bride of Frankenstein (1935),  The Wolf Man (1941) , Phantom of the Opera (1943), and Creature from the Black Lagoon (1954). Each film is presented in high-definition picture for the first time and accompanied by a wealth of fantastic special features.  

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Tags: Movies, TV

Cabin In The Woods

Just when you thought the horror genre couldn’t be fun anymore along came Cabin in the Woods; a movie that took the tried and true “cabin in the woods” subgenre and turned it, and the horror genre as a whole, on its ear. Without spoiling too much (trust me, the less you know about the plot the better) the movie is about a diverse group of college friends who head to a remote cabin (in the woods) for some fun, but wind up being secretly watched and manipulated by two humdrum desk jockeys who nefariously plot their demise. This week Cabin in the Woods is released on DVD, Blu-ray, and VOD and we had a chance to catch up with writer/ director Drew Goddard to find out what we could look forward to on the home entertainment release.

Cabin In The Woods 

Like his movie, Drew had a great sense of humor about himself and said fans could expect “more of the same stupidity you saw with Cabin in the Woods on the DVD."

Drew said he “felt like the making of the movie was almost as ridiculous and absurd as the movie itself. We had people following us and documenting how the hell we made this silly movie.”  Lionsgate managed to assemble all of that footage into a “making of” segment that sounds almost as entertaining as the movie.

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