Smokin' Aces 2: Assassins Ball / Coup fumant 2 : Le bal des assassins (Bilingual) [Blu-ray]
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The director of Smokin’ Aces and Narc brings you back into the adrenaline-pumping world of blood, bullets and badasses. Packed with insane mercenaries, sexy assassins, and more of the fan-favorite Tremor family, this all-new explosive film tells the story of a low-level FBI agent with a high-price on his head! May the best hit man survive!
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One group, the Tremor family appears to have been copied from a Rob Zombie film down to the sexy sophomoric humor of Sherrie Moon Zombie as the pretty Autumn Reeser. The action moves along to a good soundtrack. The movie uses its own fast forward for fight scenes. The unrated edition has simulated sex and very brief nudity. While the assassins are being introduced, Walter is moved to a secure bunker in Chicago under a jazz club. The assassins show up and fighting and killing break out between the FBI men and the assassins who also fight amongst themselves. There is a slight plot twist but the story line isn't worth a flip to care. Yes the acting is campy. It is a cult movie and I found it more enjoyable than the first one.
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The story contains two characters from the first film, but there is no other other connection and each of them only have bit parts that provide a few laughs so watching the first film is not mandatory to get anything happening here. The FBI protects one of their own from a conglomerate of assassins, all of whom get their chance to display their special skills. Tom Berenger plays the FBI target, and he does play his age but I really only liked his last scene. Vinnie Jones gets some corny screen time, the Tremors are way over the top and the majority of their scenes were filmed like Natural Born Killers (fake backgrounds while driving). The film does get some stand-alone uniqueness with exploding clowns and a 50s retro FBI fashion look, but the cheese gets pretty heavy.
The BD clarity is excellent, so much so that when they tried any special effects they looked horrible, but both the interior and exterior shots without effects were pristine. The 5.1 DTS gets used extensively, reference the exploding clowns through the walls sequence. The makeup looked so thick on Berenger that you sometimes wished the BD wasn't so clear. The supplements are thorough and include (some are hidef and some are not):
* Deleted scenes, 10:01 minutes. Glad most of them were deleted, this also includes the alternate ending - but I think most people will agree the ending included is much better (a revenge thing for how this whole movie was written).
* Gag reel, 6:32 minutes. Had a couple of funny moments, but they were mostly tedious (watching the FBI gal repeatedly cuss like a sailor was funny though).
* Behind Carnahan, 6:30 minutes. Covers everything about Smokin Aces I, and a little about why this came to be.
* Confessions of an Assassin, 25:59 minutes. The behind the scenes as told through the month of filming (in a day by day format). The two things I liked about this the most were the old guy Michael Parks who plays one of the Tremors and the foul mouthed producer Elliot. Both of those guys are hilarious, hard to tell with Parks but I think he was genuinely pissed off anytime a camera was rolling. Elliot slammed everything I hate about these kinds of documentaries so the self-loathing thing worked well.
* Weapons of SA II, 4:17 minutes. The main weapons guy reviews the variety of armaments in the film.
* Cue Clown, 2:57 minutes. Reviews how you make an exploding clown scene, gross.
* Bunker Mentality, 3:35 minutes. Reviews production design and construction for the best set in the film - nice room.
* pocketBlu. More iPhone/iPod stuff for portable fans.
* BD Live, nothing relative or new to this film online.
* Unrated version, 2 minutes longer. The majority of the added footage is in the beginning as they removed the sex scene from the rated cut - you get to see AK-47 Tremor do her very wild thing sans clothing, worth the watch.
Once you watch the supplements one should understand this was about having fun and putting some cheese on film. The critics who slam this film are all correct, but having no expectations helps. 2 for the film, 2 for the BD clarity and supplements. Enjoy.
If you like the over the top, crank-like movies (Crank [Blu-ray] ), this has a lot of that. Unfortunately, rather than making it a pure "Crank" movie, they split it up with some story. I never found myself bored, but was always looking forward to the stylized action scenes.
Yeah, it's stupid - but sometimes thats what you need! If these movies were realistic, they wouldn't be nearly as fun!
Video and Audio were both nice - crisp video and some nice DTS-HD sound. Unfortunately, the poor CG effects really look bad in HD.
Fortunately this one had a lot of nice extras - no U-Control this time around, but a decent set of features on the disc (most in HD).
If you like the crazy over-the-top stylized movies, it's worth checking out. You might not love it, but you'll definitely like parts of it.
I picked it up in the Smokin' Aces: 2-Movie Collection [Blu-ray] pretty cheap, and wasn't disappointed, keeping in mind its a direct to video title.
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