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The Gratuitous B-Movie Column: Falcon Rising (2014) and Mercenaries (2014)

March 3, 2015 | Posted by Bryan Kristopowitz

The Gratuitous B-Movie Column Issue #347: Falcon Rising (2014) and Mercenaries 2014)

The Final Issue… For Now.

Hello, everyone, and welcome to the final issue (for now) of the internets movie review column that is hoping for a smooth transition to civilian life, The Gratuitous B-Movie Column, and I am your host Bryan Kristopowitz. In this issue, issue number three hundred and forty-seven, the column goes on “extended hiatus” after reviewing the low budget action flicks Falcon Rising, starring the immortal Michael Jai White, and the all-female The Expendables homage, Mercenaries, produced and released by the fine folks at The Asylum.

Falcon Rising (2014)

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Falcon Rising, originally known as Favela, is the first in an expected series of movies starring Michael Jai White as John “Falcon” Chapman, a badass ex-Special Forces operator suffering from shell shock who is tasked by the U.S. State Department to conduct secret missions across the globe. Falcon Rising serves as a sort of origin story for this expected franchise and, for the most part, is a solid beginning to what will, hopefully, be multiple low budget action flicks starring White.

Falcon Rising has White’s Chapman travelling to Brazil to find out what happened to his sister Cindy (Laila Ali), a charity aid worker that was mysteriously attacked and left for dead on a rocky beach near a poor neighborhood, the “Favela” of the flick’s original title. Chapman’s old friend, Manny Ridley (Neal McDonough), is a higher up in the U.S. embassy in Brazil and acts as Chapman’s handler and local contact that will run interference against the local authorities performing an investigation. The local cops leading the investigation, Thiago Santo (Jimmy Navarro) and Carlo Bororo (Lateef Crowder), aren’t as annoyed by Chapman’s presence as they perhaps should be, but then they have their own agenda in investigating Cindy’s assault. There’s more going on in the Favela than just simple depravity.

Falcon Rising is a little too slow for its own good. Chapman’s investigation takes way too long to reveal anything and there just isn’t enough action throughout. It also takes way too long for White’s Chapman to get to Brazil. The first section of the movie is devoted to Chapman meeting up with his sister Cindy and their dinner date to get caught up on each other’s lives. The movie would have been better off skipping all of that and starting instead with the Cindy character lifeless on the beach. But then, had the movie done that it wouldn’t have had to have the big scene where White interacts with Laila Ali in the restaurant. Essentially, the movie wouldn’t have had to have Ali at all. The producers could have found a nameless actress to lay in a coma in the hospital. That would have been cheaper, sure, but then the movie couldn’t boast having the daughter of Muhammad Ali. I guess that does kind of matter in the big scheme of things (another name performer might make it easier to sell to DVD companies around the world).

The movie’s other big issue is how the Japanese Yakuza turn out to be the big villain. McDonough’s Ridley does say that Brazil has the world’s second largest Japanese population outside of Japan, but the movie doesn’t actually show where the Japanese population lives and how it interacts with the Brazilian locals. The Yakuza villain, Hirimoto (Masashi Odate) is a badass with a sword and has the swagger to pull off the villain role (he’s a formidable bad guy for White’s Chapman to ultimately deal with) but he’s, in an overall sense, a little too undercooked for the movie.

The local bad guys, in the guise of dirty cops Santo and Bororo, work as villains, too, but once they’re revealed to be nothing more than glorified underlings of Hirimoto they don’t matter all that much. Navarro is excellent as Santo as he’s both a devoutly religious man and a supremely sleazy scumbag, and Crowder’s Bororo is a terrifying martial artist. He’s big, he moves like a cat, and he’s scary when he’s in action. Why aren’t they the movie’s main bad guys? I mean, if the movie is going to be all about the Yakuza connection in Brazil, fine, but then you have to show that connection in all of its nasty glory. Why aren’t there scary looking Yakuza henchmen everywhere?

And just how deep does the human trafficking business go in Brazil? It’s kind of hard to believe that it’s just a highly localized thing in the Favela. Are there U.S. connections within the U.S. embassy? Are there mid-level higher ups in the Brazilian government that know about it? Perhaps the movie didn’t want to go that deep into it since it only has so much money and time to tell its story, but then it is something you’re likely to wonder about when the movie is over. I know that’s what I did.

The performances are all quite good. White is superb as Chapman. He’s, as expected, excellent in the action and fight scenes, and he also does quite well with the flick’s quiet dramatic moments. White isn’t given enough credit as an actor in general, and while the movie isn’t perfect, Falcon Rising is a perfect example of what he has to offer Hollywood. The man can do anything. I am curious to know why White is as jacked looking as he is in this movie. Is that something White and Barberash wanted or is that just something the movie decided to have simply because White was huge at the time? It is kind of cool to see White move from scenes where it looks like he can barely walk because he’s goddamn gigantic to a scene where he’s moving around like Bruce Lee. The fight scene where White’s Chapman takes on multiple bad guys with a metal briefcase is a great example of this dichotomy.

McDonough is great as Chapman’s friend and handler Ridley. He has chemistry with White and he knows that he’s there to play an authority figure. Ridley is not White’s partner in a buddy cop situation. I wouldn’t be surprised if that changes in a sequel.

Laila Ali does a good job as Chapman’s sister Cindy. She has great chemistry with White (you totally believe their siblings) and she has a warm screen presence. She isn’t in the movie all that much, though, beyond the opening few minutes. After she’s found beaten on the beach she spends the rest of the movie in a hospital bed. It will be interesting to see if this movie leads to bigger acting parts for Ali in both drama and action. Again, she has the presence to do a drama, and she has the athletic background to do action flicks (perhaps she could be in the proposed Expendabelles Expendables spin-off?)

Hazuki Koto, who plays Hirimoto’s lead henchwoman Tomoe, is okay. Her character dies too quickly and probably should have figured into the ending instead of getting killed in the middle of the movie. Her kind of character is the kind that dies in a truck explosion. That doesn’t happen here.

Despite its issues, I liked Falcon Rising quite a bit. It’s the kind of movie I would like to see more of in general from Hollywood, and if it really is the start of a franchise, I can’t wait for the next installment of the Codename: Falcon movie series, Flight of the Falcon, which, according to wikipedia, is in pre-production at Moonstone Entertainment.

So you should definitely see Falcon Rising. It’s not perfect, but it’s still pretty damn good. See it, see it, see it.

So what do we have here?

Dead bodies: 20+

Explosions: A few.

Nudity?: None.

Doobage: A fish swimming in a fish tank, shot glasses with bullets in them, a liquor store robbery, screwing around with a shotgun, shotgun to the face, a beatdown, multiple flashbacks to the war, wall breaking, a notebook, mints, a montage of village children playing soccer, guys playing dominoes, a drug deal right out in the open, local soda distribution, a crate of machine guns, rock to the back, multiple street beatdowns, concrete door jamb to the back of the head, a giant switchblade, alcoholism, memory stick stealing, exploding car, more flashbacks, attempted drive by shooting, a bathroom beatdown, face in the toilet, a local SWAT assault, a stolen briefcase, a brothel, attempted strangulation, a massive stomp to the head, a wicked sword, excellent use of a briefcase as a weapon, some bad ass kicks, neck breaking, foot shooting, palette jack attack, a wonderful one-on-one karate fight, barrel kicking, knife through the foot, a wicked motherfucking neck breaker, metal pipes used as weapons, cross to the chest, a double handgun assault, an off screen suicide, and a yellow envelope with “Falcon” on it.

Kim Richards?: Not really.

Gratuitous: Michael Jai White, Michael Jai White attempting to commit suicide, Michael Jai White with a drinking problem, Michael Jai White foiling a liquor store robbery, Laila Ali, Rio, local soda, Neal McDonough, underage prostitutes, carbon paper, men eating food off a naked chick’s body, multiple flashbacks, and the promise of a sequel.

Best lines: “It’s not your week. Johnny. No, not your week,” “Hey, John, how’s life? Same shit different pile,” “Either shoot me or stop wasting my time!,” “Mints? Really, John?,” “When you work with animals you’re bound to get bit,” “Where did you get the necklace?,” “Hey, man, the pool’s still open!,” “Is this gun registered?,” “You put up a better fight than your sister,” “It’s funny how things work out, right?,” “God has nothing to do with this. You made your own choices,” and “It’s my experience that all God’s good for is giving people a reason to kill each other.”

Rating: 7.9/10.0

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The Gratuitous B-Movie Column: The Facebook Page!

Please check out and “like” The Gratuitous B-Movie Column Facebook page, which is here. If you don’t Michael Jai White will leap up and karate punch you in the face. You won’t like it one bit.

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The Gratuitous B-Movie Column Facebook page! Yeah!

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More Things I’m Tired Of

The following is yet another list of things I’m tired of. The items appear in no particular order of importance. It’s just a list of things I’m tired of.

That Trace Adkins “Wounded Warrior Project” commercial: I have nothing against Trace Adkins or the Wounded Warrior Project. He’s a celebrity using his name to bring awareness to a cause he believes in and the WWP does good work. However, I am really goddamn tired of seeing the Trace Adkins Wounded Warrior Project commercial. It’s on damn near every channel at all hours of the day. Why? The WWP has other celebrity endorsers, like Fred “The Hammer” Williamson, Ben Affleck, Dean Norris, and the late James Gandolfini. Why not throw them into the mix more? Is it all about the WWP blanket? If the other non-Adkins endorsers didn’t record their voices for that offer I’m sure they’ll agree to do one more line (Gandolfini obviously can’t do it but get some generic announcer or Gary Sinise to do it). Or does it have something to do with “Say a Prayer for Peace,” the Trace Adkins song that plays during the Adkins commercial? Why can’t that song play behind some other endorser?

Am I the only one bothered by this? This has to bother someone else?

Taylor Swift’s work ethic: About every twelve days or so I see or hear someone “defending” Taylor Swift because of her “work ethic.” She works hard, she knows what she wants, and everyone should applaud her for her willingness to work so damn hard. We should also apparently applaud her for her “business sense.” Again, she knows what she wants, she’s successful, she’s a great role model for young girls, and we should applaud that.

Well, I’m not going to applaud her at all. First off, I’m really tired of the entertainment media telling me that I should applaud celebrities for anything. If I want to applaud someone for something I will. If I don’t I don’t. I’m not a monster or hopelessly out of the mainstream. I just don’t give a shit.

And second, applauding someone for his or her work ethic is suspect simply because there are oodles of people in the world who work really, really hard every single day and accomplish precisely nothing. Do those people get endless praise for their work ethic? Of course not.

And third, if she wants me to celebrate her work ethic she has to stop doing interviews where she claims to be in awe of her fellow celebrities. Even if it’s true and that she is awe of someone like Paul McCartney she should keep that awe to herself. Anything else just looks ridiculous.

And finally, Taylor Swift is a mega wealthy celebrity. She has no “real life”/”regular person” problems to deal with. So, please, stop trying to relate to me. It, also, just looks ridiculous.

I’d also like to add to this that I’m tired of hearing about Beyonce’s work ethic, too. It doesn’t inspire me.

 

People complaining about people complaining about snow: Yeah, yeah, I know, it’s just snow and there are more important things to worry about and people out on the West Coast don’t give a shit about blizzards in New England. It’s all going to melt in a few weeks so what’s the big deal?

What’s the big deal? If you’re stuck in eight feet of snow with real air temperatures thirty below zero and wind chills even lower than that it is a big deal. You have to live through it and try to survive and pray that the power doesn’t go out because of ice build-up. And then, when it all melts you can get flooding and all of the shit that comes with that. So the cold weather, on that level, is a big deal.

And, hey, do you see anyone on the east coast complaining about all of the coverage the west coast gets when there are mud slides, wild fires, and earthquakes? No, you don’t.

So what’s the point here? Stop dismissing people’s natural misfortunes.

I will say, though, that the news media does have to find a new way to present human interest stories when it comes to bad weather/natural disasters. It is insane say, every single time, that the victims of natural disasters are “taking it one day at a time,” “rolling with the punches,” or “thankful that no one was hurt.” They’re pissed, upset, and incredibly stressed out. They need fucking help, not “understanding” and a “feel good” story about a fire department rescuing a cat from the attic of a house that was flooded.

Jesus Christ.

Kid Rock: Can someone please explain to me what this guy’s appeal is? I’m dumbfounded. His music is terrible, his public persona is that of a douchebag, and his interviews are excruciating to both listen to and read. I’d also like to know why no one is telling him to shut up about his politics and sing. I know I’m telling him to shut up and sing (well, I’m mostly telling him to shut up) but I’m just some nobody on the internets. Where are the major social commentators demanding Kid Rock shut up about how he’s a Republican? Has Laura Ingraham chimed in on this?

I would also like it if Rock would stop referring to himself as a blues musician. It’s ridiculous.

**

Did you watch Constantine?

ConstantineTVshow

Check out my reviews of each episode of the first season below!

Pilot Episode.

Episode 2

Episode 3

Episode 4

Episode 5

Episode 6

Episode 7

Episode 8

Episode 9

Episode 10

Episode 11

Episode 12

Episode 13

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And now, Dr. Phil

 

“Never bang a hot bitch that insists on you wearing a specific kind of underwear. It shouldn’t matter what kind of underwear you have on. You’re the one with the huge cock. That’s the only thing that really matters. And you should tell that hot bitch that that’s what matters.”

But then why is it okay for you to complain about what kind of underwear the woman is wearing?

“Have you learned nothing from our time together? Jesus motherfucking Christ, it’s all about you. It isn’t about her. It should never be about her. It’s all about what you want and what you need. The hot bitch should just shut her fucking face and take what you have to give her. That’s what she’s there for.”

All right, that’s it, Phil. You are the biggest fucking asshole I have ever met. And I regret ever giving you a forum for your bullshit. What the fuck is wrong with you, anyway?

“Hey man, fuck you. I am the ultimate bitches man, man. Bitches love me. Bitches want to fuck me. Because I am motherfucking Dr. Phil! Dr. Phil! I am the mega cock monster!”

Have you put that on a T-shirt yet?

“Holy shit, no! I’m going to have to get on top of that pronto! Thanks, man, for everything! You’re the best!”

Yeah, sure, Phil. Sure. How the hell did I get myself into this? How?

**

Mercenaries (2014)

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Mercenaries, directed by Christopher Douglas Olen Ray, is a low budget ensemble action flick featuring female action stars, a sort of female The Expendables. For reasons that make absolutely no sense the movie is presented as a sort of live action comic book movie, with scene transitions that make it seem as though the viewer is flipping pages in a comic book. Mercenaries, at one time known as Prison Raid, is not a comic book movie. It’s an action movie through and through.

The movie stars Zoe Bell as Cassandra Clay, a badass ex-Special Forces operator and prisoner recruited by shadowy government agent Mona (the immortal Cynthia Rothrock) to rescue the kidnapped daughter of the President of the United States, Elise (Tiffany Panhilason). Along with her fellow badass military prisoners Marine sharpshooter Kat Morgan (the gorgeous Kristanna Loken), explosives expert Mei-Lin Fong (Nicole Bilderback), and disgraced spy Raven (Vivica A. Fox), Cassandra must go to Kazakhstan and infiltrate the Citadel, a super prison operated by local warlord and mega lesbian Ulrika (Brigitte Nielson). Cassandra’s team has forty-eight hours to rescue Elise, and if they manage to get Elise out in time they will all be given full presidential pardons. The women, of course, accept and head off to Kazakhstan to find the First Daughter. I mean, what else are they going to do? Stay in prison? Screw that.

The trip to Kazakhstan is uneventful, but once they actually arrive bad stuff starts to happen. Cassandra is the designated leader of the group but none of the other women want to listen to her, especially Raven, who refuses to take orders from pretty much everyone. Raven shoots some of Ulrika’s henchmen, which eliminates the group’s surprise advantage. So after dispatching the henchmen Cassandra comes up with a plan on the spot to infiltrate the prison using missiles in a truck. They also run into a local annoying kid named Lexi (Alexis Raich), who claims to have insider knowledge on the prison. She really doesn’t, but then you know that she’s in the movie just so something really bad can happen to her and give the team something to fight for (Lexi starts talking about the mall and how much she loves America. You just know that she’s a goner).

So Cassandra and her team take the missiles and arrive at the prison. Ulrika, along with the only man in the world that she trusts, Grigori (Tim Abell), meet Cassandra and her team and immediately suspect they’re up to something. Cassandra eventually makes nice with Ulrika and convinces her that she isn’t an American agent in town to rescue the First Daughter, so Ulrika allows Cassandra’s team to stay at the prison.

The movie slows down a bit as Cassandra’s team tries to figure out where Elisa is in the prison and how to get her out. Kat Morgan has an argument with Cassandra about rescuing the other prisoners in the building (Kat wants to rescue everyone, while Cassandra wants to stick to the plan of Elisa only). Ulrika also tries to seduce Cassandra in one of the least appealing lesbian seduction scenes in movie history (Nielson is terrifying). The team also experiences a betrayal that isn’t that hard to believe (I saw it coming a mile away). The movie, more or less, plays like you expect it to. That isn’t a bad thing, though, as Mercenaries is a pretty cool low budget action flick.

The action is above average for a movie from The Asylum. The Asylum isn’t really known for outright action movies, so it’s interesting to see it do a straight up action flick that doesn’t have a sci-fi plot running through it (no one is fighting an asteroid or a cyborg or anything like that). I’d like to see more of this kind of movie from The Asylum, just to shake up their usual offerings a bit. The company can clearly do it.

Bell should be an action superstar as she has all of the tools: she’s tough, she looks formidable, and she can clearly do the fight scenes and not look like an actor doing choreography. And while Rothrock only has one fight scene that lasts like five seconds it’s a brilliant five seconds. And Loken, the only cinematic female Terminator so far, still has what it takes to be an action star. Much like Bell, Loken is tough, she looks like she can fight, and she doesn’t come off as an actor doing choreography. Their acting is outstanding, too, especially Bell (again, she should be a much bigger action star. She’s the total package for this kind of thing). And it’s great to see Rothrock doing anything.

Vivica A. Fox overacts as Raven. Her character is meant to be a loose cannon of sorts, but if she’s meant to be a CIA agent she should probably hold back a little. I mean, how is she going to gather intelligence and blend in to her surroundings if she’s in your face all of the time? Bilderback is hilarious as Mei-Lin. She’s a real smartass, and that’s always a nifty thing to see in an action movie.

And then there’s Brigitte Nielson as the evil Ulrika. She is simply terrifying. She’s bigger than everyone else in the movie, she’s older and has a lined face that makes her look a bit like a zombie, and when she raises her voice she sends a chill down your spine. Her lesbianism is also cringe inducing, mostly because you don’t want to see her get it on with anyone. It’s a standout performance and one that you will remember. I would like to know how she managed to get so many men to work for her when her character openly despises men. Tim Abell’s Grigori is the only one that she trusts, but damn near all of her henchmen are men. Is it the money? Probably.

The last quarter of the movie is excellent, with plenty of fights and gun battles. The movie also features a smile inducing ending that will make you cheer. It isn’t anything you haven’t seen a million times before in action movies but it’s still cool as hell.

Would the movie have been better with tighter action scenes? Yes. Bigger action scenes? Probably. Blood? Of course. But what we do get is pretty good and is more than satisfying. I hope, much like Falcon Rising, that Mercenaries is the start of a low budget franchise for Bell and company. If the major Hollywood studios aren’t interested in creating a female action ensemble movie, The Asylum should do it instead. I know I’d be down for a Mercenaries II. Very down for it.

The Asylum should also start producing new Cynthia Rothrock movies. The world definitely needs more of those.

See Mercenaries. See it, see it, see it.

So what do we have here?

Dead bodies: 30+

Explosions: Several, big and small.

Nudity?: None. It would have been cool, but it didn’t happen.

Doobage: Neck stabbing, RPG attack, machine gun attack from a hill, chair bondage, metal lunch tray to the face, penny thrown to the eye, exploding toilets, throat slitting, a dress up scene, customized weaponry, an “old school” .45, a special microchip, attempted fat guy blow job, an impromptu shootout, sniper attack, mild racism, a truck full of missiles, a case full of gold bars, a suicide vest assembly line, prostitution, drinking, creepy lesbianism, liquor bottle to the face, more chair bondage, a wicked kick to the face, exploding door, exploding jacket button, a slow motion escape, jumping off the roof and spinning around in slow motion, booze, very gross body microchip removal, a seriously beaten teen girl, a wicked neck snap, a serious bar beatdown, henchmen destruction, a funny headshot, torture, another wicked neck snap, a giant pile of dead young girls, potential off screen penis removal, a car chase shootout with exploding jeep, plane stealing, a nasty final fight exploding prison, and a slow motion walk away.

Kim Richards?: To a certain extent, yes. It all depends on how you look at it.

Gratuitous: Comic book panels, Brigitte Nielson, Taser hooey, Cynthia Rothrock, Zoe Bell, pizza day in prison, shiv attack, Kristanna Loken, Vivica A. Fox, sniper rifle hooey, twin handgun hooey, a slow motion group walk, love of America, an annoying local girl, creepy lesbian overtones, poker, Zoe Bell in full on action hero mode, a suicide vest bluff, and the possibility of a sequel.

Best lines: “I like your watch. May I see it?,” “Holy fuck,” “I just wanted my goddamn pizza,” “What does a Chinese girl know about making bombs?,” “You’re all pieces of shit!,” “I’m going to need to sample your merchandise,” “It looks like we’re walking, ladies,” “Were you going to use that piece of shit on me?,” “So, what yawl do for fun around here?,” “Ladies, I spared no expense,” “I don’t know who the bigger bitch is, you or her,” “To nipples, because without them titties would be pointless,” “Meet my new minister of tourism,” “You know the problem with Chinese cuisine? Too much MSG and not enough salt!,” “You can have the Oriental. The white woman is mine,” “Am I really the only one that reads Cold War Architectural Digest?,” and “See you next Tuesday, bitch!”

Rating: 8.5/10.0

**

The Man Movie Encyclopedia

Coming Soon

Starting next week, the great Caliber Winfield will occupy this space with his truly epic column The Man Movie Encyclopedia. You can check out what to expect via the “Coming Soon” link above. If you’re a fan of ass kicking movies and good writing, in either order, I think you’ll enjoy it. And if you’re not into either of those things, well, there could be something seriously wrong with you.

Massively.

The Man Movie Encyclopedia… it will own you.

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Who is this week’s Douchebag of the Week? Go here and find out! You’ll have to scroll around a bit but it’s there!

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NASCAR and Indycar thoughts

The NASCAR race weekend at the Atlanta Motor Speedway turned into a miserable affair by the time the Sprint Cup Series took to the track on Sunday. The races for the Xfinity Series and Camping World Truck Series on Saturday were decent races despite the fact that they were dominated by Kevin Harvick and Matt Crafton. The Sprint Cup race was a little more competitive than the support series races, but then it looked like eventual winner Jimmie Johnson was going to end up in victory lane at the end unless he got caught up in a wreck.

Pole sitter Joey Logano led the first part of the race, while Johnson, Harvick, and Jeff Gordon had to come from the back of the pack because of some sort of qualifying issue. They, too, played around up front for a little bit. But then Johnson took control and it was a battle for second place. I was surprised at how bad the outside lane was. Restarts were terrible for everyone on the outside. I don’t remember that being the case last September when Sprint Cup last raced at Atlanta. Was it the cold?

The big wreck involving Denny Hamlin and Jeff Gordon was a shocker, as I didn’t expect anyone to lose control and spin in the middle of the track. Was it “side draft” or was it all about the current size of the spoiler for this season? The Fox announcers all seemed to think the accident was caused by the new spoiler. Will NASCAR change the spoiler configuration for the mile-and-a-half tracks if this kind of thing happens again at Las Vegas?

I would like to know why, on Saturday, they needed to have two invocations and two national anthem moments. Isn’t one invocation a day enough? And that freaking commercial for the race sponsor, Folds of Honor, was on my freaking nerves. And why, for the love of God, does Fox have Andy Petree as a “rules analyst” instead of a full color commentator? Fox could get rid of Darrell Waltrip and Larry MAC Reynolds and bring in Petree, who did a great job at ESPN when ESPN had NASCAR. Petree never once sounded like an illiterate hick (the man never once said “hisself”) and when he did explain something it always sounded like he knew what he was talking about. Fox should strive for that instead of that “Boogity! Boogity! Boogity!” shit.

Las Vegas is up next for both the Sprint Cup Series and Xfinity Series, with the Xfinity guys racing on Saturday afternoon and Sprint Cup racing on Sunday afternoon. The Truck Series doesn’t race again until the end of March at Martinsville. In fact, Sprint Cup and Xfinity are on the west coast for the next three weeks. After Vegas is Phoenix, and then after that is California. Hopefully I’ll get a chance to see most of them. I should be able to.

Not much going on in Indycar at the moment, which is kind of sad considering that Chevrolet released its aero kit format last week. I figured that there would be more hubbub about the kit and what it will lead to in terms of racing competition and performance. Yeah, it all would have been conjecture but it would have been something. Still no word on when Honda will release its aero kit format. I would imagine it will be soon.
Indycar did announce last week that it has formed some sort of partnership with USA Today. You can read all about it here. Indycar seems to think that this relationship will generate more interest in the series and will expose the series and its drivers to a wider audience. It’s a great idea, but since the series has a general lack of driver continuity outside of the major teams I’m not sure how successful this plan is going to be. I guess we’ll see how it goes.

And Dale Coyne Racing is apparently getting close to a driver announcement for 2015. The team apparently has two seats available and the team is open to anyone with money or talent (mostly money). Justin Wilson is also still in the mix to drive for Coyne. It’s been rumored for months that Wilson has been trying to score a seat at Andretti Autosport but with the season opener fast approaching it doesn’t sound like AA is going to have a deal in place for Wilson by St. Pete. DCR may end up being Wilson’s only real option. Unless he has some sort of in for a sports car ride somewhere. That’s always a possibility.

Oh, and Indycar was apparently featured in some way in Focus, the new Will Smith movie that opened at #1 at the box office. To some people that was a big deal. I don’t know who those people are but, yeah, it was a big deal to someone.

A little less than a month to go before the start of the season. It’s been way too long since California. Way too long.

**
Special Thanks

-To Joe Bob Briggs, Arnold Furious, and Trevor Snyder, for inspiring me to give this column a go.
-Ashish Pabari and Leonard Hayhurst for saying “Yeah, go ahead and do it” when I asked to start the column in the first place.
-Shawn S. Lealos, for essentially introducing me to the great director Brett A. Hart.
-Chad Webb, for being a friend, fellow B-movie nerd, and for mentioning me in his last Ask 411 column.
-George H. Sirois for being a friend, a fellow Halloween nerd, and for being George H. Sirois. And Jeremy Thomas for helping me when I needed it.
-Caliber Winfield, for being an action movie nerd, ninja movie nerd, and friend. “Sean, you can find me at the school.”
-Ben Piper, for just being there. Guy nod, my friend.
-Everyone who ever read the column and sent me an e-mail or commented on the column via the disquis thing. Much appreciated.

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Well, I think that’ll be about it… for now.

B-movies rule. Always remember that.

And don’t forget to sign up with disqus if you want to comment on this article and any other 411 article. You know you want to, so just go do it.

And, again, thank you all for reading.

Falcon Rising

Michael Jai White– John “Falcon” Chapman
Neal McDonough– Manny Ridley
Laila Ali– Cindy Chapman
Jimmy Navarro– Thiago Santo
Lateef Crowder– Carlo Bororo
Hazuki Kato– Tomoe
Masashi Odate– Hirimoto
Millie Ruperto– Katarina Da’ Silva

Directed by Ernie Barbarash
Screenplay by Y.T. Parazi

Distributed by Moonstone Entertainment and Freestyle Releasing

Rated R for violence and language throughout and some sexual content
Runtime– 103 minutes

Buy it here

Mercenaries

Zoe Bell– Cassandra Clay
Kristanna Loken– Kat Morgan
Vivica A. Fox– Raven
Brigitte Nielson– Ulrika
Cynthia Rothrock– Mona
Nicole Bilderback– Mei-Lin Fong
Tim Abell– Grigori Babishkov
Gerald Webb– Bobby
Ed Deruiter– Vez
Tiffany Panhilason– Elise

Directed by Christopher Douglas Olen Ray
Screenplay by Edward DeRuiter

Distributed by The Asylum

Unrated
Runtime– 89 minutes

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