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-   -   AVOID Seagal's Latest, "Ticker" (https://forum.dvdtalk.com/dvd-reviews-recommendations/124072-avoid-seagals-latest-ticker.html)

ipkevin 07-10-01 01:21 AM

AVOID Seagal's Latest, "Ticker"
 
"Ticker" (2001)
(A 2001 release, but completed a long time ago)
- Starring Steven Seagal, Tom Sizemore, and Dennis Hopper.
- Region Free DVD available now at http://www.dddhouse.com
- Region 1 Release: Not if we're lucky.

Oh my goodness. If you want to see just how far Steven Seagal had fallen before Joel Silver and Jenny Craig resurrected his career, look no further than "Ticker" (2001). Watching this crud makes me appreciate the professional studio competence of Seagal bombs like Glimmer Man and even Fire Down Below. Directed by the king of hack directors, Albert Pyun, Ticker follows a bomb squad captain (Seagal) and cop-on-the-edge (Tom Sizemore) as they try to stop a mad bomber (Dennis Hopper) from blowing up San Francisco.

Yep, that's right. Sizemore and Hopper are in this film. As are Jaime Pressly, Peter Greene (the "gimp" guy from Usual Suspects), and Ice-T. This film must have had SOME potential at some point for all these actors to have signed up to it. While you'd never mistake it for a studio picture, it is clearly more expensive than the usual independent, direct-to-video action filler. There are several big explosions, varied sets, decent lighting, and a competent musical score. It's too bad then, that they let Albert "Who needs talent when you've got moxie?" Pyun get his hands on this picture. How many films has this guy directed? And in all that time, the only thing he seems to have learned is that a good cinematographer can make your inept, piece-of-trash film look better in short previews.

Right from the opening action sequence, it's clear that Pyun's incompetence is the cause of this film's awfulness. Everything else is fine for a DTV movie: Lots of extras in full costume, good location, decent lighting and sound. But Pyun can't even put together a basic, A-to-B action sequence. He jumps all over the place, never giving you a clear idea of what's happening or the geography, never properly introducing characters to a scene. e.g., The opening features a SWAT team assaulting a mansion where terrorists are barricaded. You are introduced to what appears to be the main terrorist. He points a gun at the hostage. THEN YOU NEVER SEE HIM AGAIN. SWAT starts shooting at god knows what. All of a sudden we cut to Dennis Hoppper in a dark room setting a bomb (Is he in the house? Is he outside? You'll never know.) and explosions start going off. What happened to the terrorists? How were they connected to Hopper? Who keeps giving Pyun money to make movies? And that's one of the BETTER action scenes in the film.

And it's not as if this editing is part of an intentional stylistic choice like in a Jerry Bruckheimer film. It's just pure incompetence. Pyun's got an eye for visuals like Stevie Wonder. I've literally seen better composition and camera setups in home movies.

Okay, so the shootouts and highly director-dependent action like car chases suck. At least Seagal kicks some ass, right? WRONG. There are two short martial arts fights in the film. One of them is shot in almost total darkness. The other scene is worse: They show the baddies being rapidly demolished by what is clearly a stunt double's hands, then cut to a closeup of Seagal while he stands in a DIFFERENT ROOM! The audacity! I don't blame them though. Seagal looks like Marlon Brando after being woken at 5 am and forced to smoke weed. Just incredibly pudgy, droopy, and unfocussed. They did a remarkable job cleaning him up for Exit Wounds.

So, Ticker doesn't even work on the trashy but enthusiastic action level that the South African Delta Force movies do. And like most DTV flicks, there's little else on offer. The script jumps from scene to scene with little reason (possibly due to Pyun's direction) and the actors sleepwalk through their roles, though even a sleepwalking Sizemore shows why he gets regular work in A-list movies.

Bottomline, avoid this POS at all costs.

MrBEAViS 07-10-01 01:43 AM

Can someone please tell me what the hell is wrong with Dennis Hopper? This guy is in every trashy late-night DTV movie there is, and he is a good actor.

DVDer 07-10-01 02:47 AM


Can someone please tell me what the hell is wrong with Dennis Hopper? This guy is in every trashy late-night DTV movie there is, and he is a good actor.
Heh; my friends and I were asking the same question after watching Blue Velvet the other night. After reading Peter Biskind's book Easy Riders, Raging Bulls, I think the answer is that many industry-types find him 'unemployable' (some go as far as to say that he was blackballed in Hollywood for several years). I know he's kept busy (acting in mostly bad movies, with his art collection and photography, with directing, with trying to remember how he spent the '60s and '70s), but its too bad more directors didn't put him to good use in the '90s.

Moving to Reviews forum. (BTW, good write-up, ipkevin.)

--Heather
Movie Talk moderator

Geofferson 07-10-01 09:31 AM

Never even heard of this one. Sadly, I'll want to check it out though as I am big fans of Tom Sizemore and Dennis Hopper.

Dexter 07-10-01 01:21 PM


Originally posted by bodai
Never even heard of this one. Sadly, I'll want to check it out though as I am big fans of Tom Sizemore and Dennis Hopper.

http://www.upcomingmovies.com/ticker.html

Matt Stevens 07-11-01 03:52 PM

I'm going to rent this, just so my girlfriend can laugh at Seagal and make fun of him. She hates him with a passion and calls him the "Bloated rapist and martial artist."

(For anyone that pays attention, Seagal has been accused of, shall we say, WRONG behavior with his female co-stars.)

Dexter 07-11-01 04:19 PM


Originally posted by Matt Stevens
I'm going to rent this, just so my girlfriend can laugh at Seagal and make fun of him. She hates him with a passion and calls him the "Bloated rapist and martial artist."

(For anyone that pays attention, Seagal has been accused of, shall we say, WRONG behavior with his female co-stars.)

Who cares about females when you watch Steven Seagal movies ? it's all about Aikido Shoot to Kill :D

ipkevin 07-11-01 06:05 PM


Originally posted by Matt Stevens

(For anyone that pays attention, Seagal has been accused of, shall we say, WRONG behavior with his female co-stars.)

Heh heh. I believe it was during the filming of this movie where Seagal's behaviour caused his most public humiliation. He went to Jaime Pressly's trailer offerring a massage and "medicinal herb". I guess he got a little too thorough with the massage. ;) She sued, they paid her off.

Man, it's sad to see him go from the focussed bad-ass martial arts master to the bloated monster in less than 10 years (Under Siege 2). There's a lesson in there somewhere.

khieng 07-11-01 09:14 PM

I hate just about every movie that he's been in. So when Exit Wounds came out I turned my head. There was one movie of his that I actually loved though. Executive Decision :)

Dazed 07-11-01 10:07 PM


Originally posted by khieng
I hate just about every movie that he's been in. So when Exit Wounds came out I turned my head. There was one movie of his that I actually loved though. Executive Decision :)
and thats only because
Spoiler:
He was killed off in the first 20 mins
:D

demon 07-12-01 08:59 AM

Yes. As much as I like Executive Decision,
Spoiler:
Steven Seagal falling out of a plane
was the icing on the cake. :D

Btw, ipkevin you make this movie sound SO bad I almost want to see it out of curiousity.

khieng 07-12-01 08:01 PM


Originally posted by demon
Btw, ipkevin you make this movie sound SO bad I almost want to see it out of curiousity.
There's a bit of reverse psychology at play here. DON'T GIVE IN TO THE TEMPTATION!!! :D

Shawn Watson 07-14-01 10:30 AM

Whats the Aspect Ratio of this movie?

Shawn

ipkevin 07-14-01 12:57 PM

Who knows? I saw it on a 1.33:1 VHS tape. This review was initially posted in Movie Talk and mistakenly moved to DVD review by the moderator.

Framing didn't look too cramped, so I'd imagine it was 1.85:1 originally. OTOH, Albert Pyun has a tendency to shoot 2.35:1 even when his movies have no chance of hitting theaters.


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