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Steel Dawn

Patrick Swayze , Lisa Niemi , Lance Hool    VHS Tape
3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)

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3.3 out of 5 stars
3.3 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
Format:VHS Tape
Yes, this is another rehash of the Shane/Road Warrior story of the lonely wanderer who defends the intrepid farmers against the evil baron/barbarian horde/wealthy landowner. Yes, it is another post-apocalyptic wasteland action movie. Yes, the dialogue is predictably lame ................... What gives this movie a slight edge over some others of this ilk is the sturdy performance of under-appreciated Brion James as a tired old soldier, the hammy intensity of Christopher Neame as the hero's rival, and the ........... swordfights.
Patrick Swayze plays a member of a knights-of-the-round-table type outfit who's days of glory and effectiveness has passed. He travels incognito through the wastelands, finding a farming community under threat from the local rich & powerful bad guy. He winds up fighting against one of his former fellow defenders of justice, now working for the bad guy.
The Brian May music and desert scenery gives the obligatory road-warrior flavor. The costumes and set dressing give the impression of the return of some culture and industry while still picking over the remains of the old world. The existence of these "guards" implies that there was a "world order" that emerged from the catastrophe, but that there has since been a descent to lawlessness.
The weapons combat was very skillful and, as movies go, convincing. The comatants move with efficiency, speed, and convincingness, fighting with the equivalent of quarterstaffs, bastard swords, and two-swords. It is the strongest feature of the movie and pretty much the only reason to watch it over any other genre movie. This, and the fact that the film achieves at least the minimum big-studio stardards of technical proficiency (cinematography, sound, edtiting, etc) and has a story without any big holes in it gives it the extra star. END
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3.0 out of 5 stars Shhhhh, don�t tell anyone.... June 30 2000
Format:VHS Tape
Have you ever watched a film that you know isn't very good, yet you ended up secretly liking it, but wouldn't tell a soul (at least those you know personally) that you do? Well, for me, this is one of those films.
I've always been a sucker for post-apocalyptic films/novels and the loner hero, and maybe that's why I ended up enjoying it. Hey, I liked Costner's "The Postman" and "Waterworld", and Yul Brenners "The Ultimate Warrior", and at least one of Gibson's "Mad Max" vehicles (so you know where I'm coming from).
Patrick Swayze and his wife are just fine in this standard yarn, and the fight scenes were done very well. Alas, there is nothing new to find here, but if you are attracted to the cast you might sneak this video in one night (very late, while everyone else is asleep).
Between 1 and 10, I rate "Steel Dawn" a very marginal 6, but in reality, I know it's not much above a 4;-).
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4.0 out of 5 stars road warrior / beastmaster = steel dawn Sept. 29 2003
No one watches Steel Dawn for the smart dialogue, the existential motifs, or the brilliant cinematography. This isn't Beckett here. If you like movies where a renegade with a sword gets the bad guys and protects small-town interests, this is for you. It's like the "Road Warrior" without the cars meets the "Beastmaster" without religious cults, and add a touch of Jimmy Stewart's western "Destry Rides Again." This is escapist cinema, and the best kind.
A note on the DVD: this is a full-screen edition that looks pretty cheap--no great remastering job here. There are no special features, no sound options, no languages. But if you want to see a movie featuring a guy with a sword, you don't need Dolby Digital and a pristine print: you need "Steel Dawn."
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