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DVD Review: Crank 2: High Voltage
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BAADASSSSS!   |  
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Crank 2: High Voltage DVDCrank 2: High Voltage
Directed by Mark Neveldine, Brian Taylor
Starring Jason Statham, Amy Smart, Clifton Collins Jr., Bai Ling, Efren Ramirez
Lionsgate

Crank, the Red Bull and crystal meth-fueled 2006 action epic, became a minor classic of its time but failed to connect with moviegoers despite the presence of rising celluloid badass Jason Statham in the lead role of unstoppable contract killer Chev Chelios. It wasn’t until the movie hit DVD the next year that it began to find its audience. The sales must have been strong because they were more than enough for Crank‘s distributor Lionsgate to approach the movie’s writer/director team of Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor for a sequel. The problem is that the finale of Crank found Chelios dropped from a helicopter over Los Angeles and fought his nemesis to the bitter end. Then he became a street pancake. The end, or so we initially thought. Hey this is Hollywood baby, and in this land of cocaine wishes and Vicodin dreams anything’s possible, even surviving a plummet to the earth from 30,000 feet. And with that in mind, Neveldine/Taylor gives us Crank 2: High Voltage, as boldly over-the-top as a sequel can possibly be.

On our last episode of Crank Chelios was injected with a special Chinese poison by his enemy Verona and in order to keep from kicking the bucket before he could take his revenge Chev had to keep his heart pumping. After a day-long battle that spanned almost all of the City of Angels Chev finally exacted a bloody and satisfying vengeance upon his archnemesis, and then he died. Crank 2 picks up immediately where the original left off with a group of Chinese gangsters scooping the dead Chelios off the asphalt with a snow shovel and spiriting him away to a brothel/makeshift hospital where his powerful heart is surgically removed and placed in the hands of spastic Triad thug Johnny Vang (Art Hsu). In the place of his “strawberry tart” (Chev’s words) the surgeons place an artificial heart that runs on internal and external batteries. They also plot to harvest certain other body parts precious to our hero. Drawing the line at losing his dick Chev wakes up, kills his way out of Triad hands, and contacts his friend Doc Miles (Dwight Yoakam) who explains to our intrepid anti-hero that he must keep the heart running with electricity or else he’ll die.

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DVD Review: The Gene Generation
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Jack Bauerstein83   |  
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The Gene Generation
DVD
Directed by Pearry Reginald Teo
Starring Bai Ling, Faye Dunaway
Lionsgate Home Entertainment
Release Date: January 27, 2009

Usually when I write a review, I try my best to highlight the good and bad of each film. But for a film like The Gene Generation, shit poo is still poo no matter how much you shine it. Now, I know this is a harsh statement to make but bear with me, dear reader. I will have all the answers for you in time but first a little background on the film.

Starring Bai Ling, The Gene Generation is set in cliché post-apocalyptic future where hackers are not just breaking into computers anymore: They are breaking into DNA. It seems that in this bleak future a few with a specific type of DNA get to live the high life and for the have-nots, hijacking strands of DNA seems to be the only way to a better life, but it comes with a price. DNA hacking basically kills the victim and those hacking also risk running into assassin for hire and DNA hacker killer Michelle (Bai Ling).

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