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Title: Cross Wars

Movie: :1star:
Video: :3.5stars:
Audio: :4stars:
Extras: :1.5stars:

HTS Overall Score:60

I remember seeing 2011’s “Cross” come out a few years back and considered watching it because I like comic book type films and figured “why not?”. Well, I never actually had time to pick up the DVD and give it a spin and now I’m thanking my lucky stars I never did. After having watched “Cross Wars” I don’t know if I could stomach seeing TWO abominations like this. “Cross Wars” is basically an Asylum or SyFy channel midnight special flick, but under the guise of a major studio label and zero warning that you are about to be watching the bottom of the barrel dregs in cinematic terms. Bad pacing, horrible special effects, giggle worthy acting, and that’s just in the first 5 minutes of the film! I honestly had a very difficult time getting through to the very end and was praying for a merciful death to take me first. I really honestly try and look for the BEST in anything I view, as things are more complex than just me saying “huh, that stunk” or “wow that was good”, but “Cross Wars” tested my limits and I think I may be broken as a result. All I know is that I need about 3 beers to wash the memory away and even that might not be enough.

The film opens up with a mother and son going into a comic book store, nervously asking for the “Cross” comic book and then handing over a mysterious green gem as payment. Then she goes home to tell her son the tale of mysterious powers and warriors with great responsibilities. I guess thousands of years ago, the gods chose special warriors to watch over mankind, giving them amulets that would channel great power and strength through them. Now it’s modern days and those guardians are protecting modern day Los Angeles (and doing a horrible job by the crime stats I’m guessing). The best of these is known as Callan (Brian Austin Green), the leader of the cross team. His team of crime fighters with names like “war”, “riot”, “ranger” and “saint”) come under attack by the mob boss Muerte (Danny Trejo) and the immortal warrior, Gunnar (Vinnie Jones). Well, his power isn’t enough and Calllan and the cross crew have to team up with a wisecracking, all female, crew of fighters headed by Riley (Amy Jane) to kick some booty and do….I don’t know…stuff…. to save the day.

I’m not sure what went wrong here, but what it was, it was EPICALLY wrong. There’s nothing in “Cross Wars” that deserves respect. Brian Austin Green and the rest of the cast are so horrible with their line delivery that I wondered if they were reading it off the teleprompter while drunk! The pacing is beyond horrendous and no one in the movie besides Vinnie Jones can deliver a line well. The only reason I think Vinnie is at least passable is just because he’s having fun playing with a slinky in the background and it gives him some semblance of energy as a result. Beyond that, it was an epic torture test just to stomach listening to the dialog spoken. Again, I have NO idea how some of the actors even got in this pile of drek. Danny Trejo hasn’t been doing much good stuff lately, but this is low, even for him. Even Tom Sizemore’s recent outings were at least somewhat reasonable.

“Cross Wars” is strangely resemblant of an Asylum film without their logo on the box. Something that totally side swiped me and has me still wondering just what exactly Sony was thinking by putting this out. Even children won’t get anything out of this, as it seems to aimed at the 12-15 year-old audience. An audience who is used to MUCH higher quality stuff than this. Even if that stuff is cable television films or direct to DVD garbage.


Rated R for some disturbing violence

Video :3.5stars:
Cross comes to Blu-ray with a technically competent 1.85:1 AVC encode. The film is VERY obviously shot with digital cameras, but it lacks the spit and polish of a professional release. Everything is edited just like an Asylum film. That is to say, cheaply, quickly and with no finesse whatsoever. Sloppy animated fades come across at the worst time, and everything has that ultra smooth framerate look to it. Colors are decently saturated and there really isn’t any real color grading going on. What you see is what you would see in reality (for the most part). Skin tones look solid, but many times the contrast looks a bit wonky and there are lots of issues with the shadows. Banding comes and goes with the cheap CGI and fine detail is a bit murky. Solid, but nothing that really stands out in any way.

Audio :4stars:
Sony actually splurged on this one and gave us THREE DTS-HD MA 5.1 options. The main one naturally being the English track. What can I say? it’s a solid mix for a cheapo film. Dialog is crisp and clean, and surrounds gets a workout with the action sequences. Dynamic range is impressive, but not overly aggressive, and everything sounds rather clear. LFE adds some punch to gunshots and fisticuffs, whole never really being too intrusive or overly bombastic. It does everything right, but nothing exceptionally well. While I hate to give something in this movie credit, at least the sound design isn’t an abomination like the movie itself.

Extras :1.5stars:

• Audio Commentary with Director Patrick Durham and Executive Producer Gary T. Williams
• Alternate Credits

Overall: :3stars:

“Cross Wars” is unapologetically one of the worst films I’ve ever had to watch, even rivaling the garbage that was “The Protector 2” and “Dragon Wolf”. Both films that I thought were irredeemable in cinematic nature. “Cross Wars” supplants them both, putting itself amongst the worst of the worst like the Asylum knockoff films and SyFy channel bottom of the barrel films that can only play at 2:00 AM. Bad acting, horrible direction, worse special effects, and basically the equivalent of a 98 minute waterboarding. But I really think that I might prefer the waterboarding than have to watch this one ever again. Audio and video are solid enough, but nothing special, and the extras are next to nil. Even as a lover of schlocky films I can’t get behind “Cross Wars”. Run away, run FAR away from this one.

Additional Information:

Starring: Vinnie Jones, Dany Trejo, Brian Austin Green
Directed by: Patrick Durham
Written by: Patrick Durham
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1 AVC
Audio: English: DTS-HD MA 5.1, French, German DTS-HD MA 5.1, Italian, Thai DD 5.1
Studio: Sony
Rated: R
Runtime: 98 Minutes
Blu-ray Release Date: February 7th, 2017

Buy Cross Wars On Blu-ray at Amazon

Recommendation: Don't even bother

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