THE DEFENDER (Dolph Lundgren, 2004)

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Re: THE DEFENDER

Postby algren on 30 Sep 2009, 23:52

The Defender

Before i watched The Defender, i had only seen one good Dolph movie (out of his recent movies) and that was Missionary Man. Now i can call that two good movies. Directed by our man Dolph, again. I must say one thing about these two movies; and its that they dont appear like DTV movies, which is great. Others like Bridge of Dragons and Sweepers are quite poor in quality and acting and i cannot believe that Dolph got involved with such crap.

The Defender has the quality of any other actor's movies, whether it be Jean Claude Van Damme, Wesley Snipes or even Steven Seagal, and thats not an insult, because lets face it; some of Dolph's movies are utterly awful (BoD etc). The Defender is a good movie, not as good as MM, but it still has the finish that makes it seem like a better class of movie.

Dolph's acting seems to have got better, especially when he is directing himself, i've noticed. The plot to this movie was well thought out and not just thrown together for the sake of action and muscles. I can see why so many of you like this movie and rate it high in your list of favourite Dolph movies. I'm guessing this was his first directorial outing, and as a first picture i think he achieved something very good. What i see when i look at this movie is a step in the right direction for Dolph Lundgren, which makes me really happy, but then i get confused because a few movies later he decides to make Direct Contact, which is crap in comparison.

The good things of this movie out-weigh the bad by 10 to 1; plot, acting, twists, Shakara (beauty), realistic blood, setting, Jerry Springer. One main thing that i liked is that you can really see that Dolph is trying to make the film as good as it can be. When i see him other lower budget films, he doesn't try as much and almost has a grin on his face all the time, whereas in this he was totally different, very serious about the film and its execution. I like this alot. I think he cares again.

I have no idea what the budget for this was, but i'm willing to bet it was significantly higher than that of BoD or Sweepers, the crew was obviously better. This can be seen through the cinematography and the effects department. Some of the bullet hits in his other films don't match, which is amatuerish, but in this they all matched, looked good. Its small things like this that set a film like this apart from the DTV crap he once was involved with. The music was pretty good too, especially at the end with the slow-mo scene.

I'm annoyed that i've come to end of talking about this movie now, i want to talk about this all night. Ah well, at least i can get onto watching The Mechanik sooner. :D

Grade: 6/10
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Re: THE DEFENDER

Postby evegotbet on 01 Oct 2009, 01:30

good review Algren. i'm biased. i would give Dolph a 10/10 on all his movies just because he is in them and he is soooooooooo cuuuuuuutttttte! :D
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Re: THE DEFENDER

Postby Jack Caine on 01 Oct 2009, 04:41

Great review, algren. I actually look forward to reading all of your DL movie reviews now--they're well constructed and I love to hear good opinions brought into long context.
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Re: THE DEFENDER

Postby Jox on 01 Oct 2009, 12:26

Algren I don't need to say it but you should get a kick out of THE MECHANIK :wink:
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Re: THE DEFENDER

Postby Tom on 01 Oct 2009, 16:28

Good reviews Algren. It's interesting seeing someone coming completely new to Dolph's films, and watching them all so quickly. I agree, that a lot of his DTV films haven't been very good. Of those you've seen, you might be surprised that Sweepers (apparently) had the biggest budget. It just shows too, that Dolph makes his films look more expensive than they are. I quite enjoyed BOD for the cheesiness and martial arts, though in fairness, it is a pretty bad film. Sweepers had a lot of potential that was not delivered.

I would think, you'll definitely enjoy The Mechanik and Command Performance. Other than that, I'd
recommend sticking pre-1998 when watching his films.
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Re: THE DEFENDER

Postby Tom on 01 Oct 2009, 16:32

By the way, Dolph's move into directing was in a big part due to the films he was doing being so bad. He wanted to be actively involved in the creative process, and push to make his films better for the fans. He's still had to do a few gigs as actor only,a in between, to get a good paycheque. Diamond Dogs was a disaster, and Direct Contact he did to get Command Performance greenlit.

I hope from now on he sticks to directing, and parts in bigger films when they come by. Stuff like Direct Contact, I hope is a thing of the past.
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Re: THE DEFENDER

Postby Nathan on 01 Oct 2009, 19:47

I agree Tom, you can understand him having to take on Direct Contact to get Command Performance financed, but I think most fans now know which movies of Dolph's aren't gonna be as good and he has a good reputation amongst his fanbase and DTV action community for being a talented director.

When I first watched The Defender I couldn't believe how slick the direction and editing was, I was expecting, to be honest, some shoddy crap-tastic generic action movie with signs of a first time director fucking things up. But the camera movements and the angels and the visuals were really fantastic, it upgraded the movie 100%. Before that I'd seen The Mechanik, so I knew Dolph could direct, but I was skeptical, with this being his first full movie directed by him, but really, he is competent and creative and has clearly learned heaps more than Van Damme and Seagal did when they shoddily directed their first movies in the mid-90's with overuse of slo-motion and very overblown direction in general. I'm glad Dolph waited til later in his career to do directing.
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Re: THE DEFENDER

Postby Jox on 01 Oct 2009, 19:56

Dolph also had a top notch DP on TD, Maxime Alexandre, notorious for his collaboration with Alexandre Aja on HIGH TENSION and THE HILLS HAVE EYES. Love his framing, dolly and camera moves, I wish they could work together again.
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Re: THE DEFENDER

Postby Nathan on 01 Oct 2009, 20:02

Definately, the look of The Defender and Dolph's other directorial movies puts them all a cut above DTV territory, always visually interesting. When Icarus is release we shall have to all post a little best to worst chart of Dolph-directed movies.
"Are we having fun yet?" - Dolph Lundgren, Universal Soldier
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Re: THE DEFENDER

Postby algren on 01 Oct 2009, 21:24

Tom wrote:Good reviews Algren. It's interesting seeing someone coming completely new to Dolph's films, and watching them all so quickly. I agree, that a lot of his DTV films haven't been very good. Of those you've seen, you might be surprised that Sweepers (apparently) had the biggest budget. It just shows too, that Dolph makes his films look more expensive than they are. I quite enjoyed BOD for the cheesiness and martial arts, though in fairness, it is a pretty bad film. Sweepers had a lot of potential that was not delivered.

I would think, you'll definitely enjoy The Mechanik and Command Performance. Other than that, I'd
recommend sticking pre-1998 when watching his films.


Well, i bought them all from eBay, so its just a matter of getting the time to watch them all now. So far, so good. :)

I will watch The Mechanik next.
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Re: THE DEFENDER

Postby algren on 01 Oct 2009, 21:25

Jack Caine wrote:Great review, algren. I actually look forward to reading all of your DL movie reviews now--they're well constructed and I love to hear good opinions brought into long context.


Thanks to all you, and i'm glad you like to read my reviews. :D
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Re: THE DEFENDER (2004)

Postby Jox on 10 Apr 2010, 15:22

New cheap French edition
Image
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Re: THE DEFENDER (2004)

Postby Sec on 11 Apr 2010, 15:00

Got the Australian R4 of this recently, 16:9 1.85:1 transfer. Fun movie! Great to see Jerry Springer as the president, haha.
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Re: THE DEFENDER (2004)

Postby Jox on 28 Sep 2010, 16:49

Did anybody check the quality of the German Blu-Ray?

Now €6.97 on Amazon:
http://www.amazon.de/Defender-Blu-ray-D ... 667&sr=1-1
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Re: THE DEFENDER (2004)

Postby Jox on 04 Nov 2010, 11:15

A clip in? Hungarian?
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