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Assassins (DVD)

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Genre: Crime & Thriller - Thriller / Theatrical Release: 1995 / Director: Richard Donner / Actors: Sylvester Stallone, Antonio Banderas ... / DVD released 01 October, 1997 at Warner Home Video / Features of the DVD: Anamorphic, Closed-captioned, Colour, Dolby, DVD-Video, Full Screen, Widescreen, NTSC

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    10 Reviews
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      01.02.2011 16:05
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      Ok action film, but plot a bit thin on the ground, watch once, applaud, leave alone

      Synopsis: Robert Rath (terrible name) plauyed by sly stallone is the NO1 hit man in the business, he was taught by Nikolei, his mentor and is being pursued for the no1 spot by Miguel (antonio bandaras). Rath wants out of the hit man business and accepts one last job to kill computer hacker and cyber terrorist Electra (Julianne Moore).

      Richard Donner- The director of the superman movies and the lethal weapon franchise should be used to shooted action- and it shows in this film. The action sequences are very thrilling, I especially like the patrol car stunt when miguel is arrested and the fight in the old colonial house at the end. Donner having directed goonies used his expereicne here in dropping people through old planks of wood !!

      Sly stallone does an okey-ish job as Rath, the older mroe experienced assasin who wants out of the killin business. But from the start , (although it was sent hard in this film bearing in mind the competition on screen), antonio bandaras stole the show as the obsessed sociapath miguel, who is hell bent on getting the top spot and has recieved a contract to take out rath himself. Moore also turned an okeyish performance as the cat loving cyber hack 'electra' -again terrible name....but I believe this was her alias. She especially annoys me in the end as she keeps saying "howdy" before she fires at miguel as she thinks its like cowboys and indians , I think she does this at least twice...why !!

      There is some witty dialog from bandaras, and he keeps it together especially watching him waiting patiently to take out rath from the colonial house window as rath spends all day filling out loan applications in the bank....he try resetting a gun scope and peeing into a bottle at the same time !!

      At this point id normally say something about the soundtrack...but it was unremarkable so I cant remember !

      All in all though, other then the stunts, the mediocre plot and few good one liners there is little thats actually that good....I give it 3 stars as I like bandaras in one of his first major roles

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      19.01.2011 20:48
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      worth watching

      This film was released in 1995, however I have only just recently seen it. My first impression after seeing the trailer for this film was that it was very action packed, and being a lover of action films, I decided to give it a watch. It received a 6.0 rating on IMDB which did make me a little skeptical (I usually like films to be at least a 7) but nevertheless I will wholeheartedly say that I did enjoy this film a great deal, and my personal rating of it would be at least a 7.

      The plot:

      Basically, a man named Robert who is a professional contract killer begins to become tired of killing people for cash, however, when he tries to escape his horrible job, another assassin proves to be an obstacle, and soon Robert finds himself protecting a women whilst his retirement draws closer.
      There is a hint of romance in this film, and plenty of gunfire and explosions.
      The plot is gradual, arguably quite slow at times, but I personally think the film moves at a steady pace, allowing the audience to appreciate the special effects, the intense action, and the engrossing amount of drama.

      This film is basically a cat-and-mouse game, and I think this adds a lot of tension. This film is quite gripping and actually is not predictable like a lot of films, which I think made it an even better film.


      It is very much like a typical action film, and doesn't deserve the low rating that IMDB has given it. It is a very entertaining film, albeit quite violent, and well worth seeing if you are into action films.

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      02.02.2010 03:29
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      I did expect more.

      I remember Stallone saying to the press prior to the release of Assassins in cinemas that this was the best film he had made since Rocky. Been the avid Stallone fan that I was (and still am), hearing such news excited me, but considering I was only twelve at the time I had to wait impatiently for the VHS release instead of seeing it on the big screen. Using the last of my pocket money I purchased a copy from my local Woolworths store (I'm sounding old now, I know), rushed home, popped in the video, locked my bedroom door, and began watching, all in anticipation of some kick-arse action.

      Stallone's cold demeanour in the first scene appealed to me immediately. As the rain heaved down somewhere out in the swamps, I was introduced to his character, Ray Rath, as he held a silenced-pistol to the head of some random scumbag, while his face remained expressionless. I began thinking something like "great, this was going to be another tense, action opus, filled with plenty of suspense and genuine wit," (translate this into pre-adolescent speak if you must).

      Meh. Imagine my disappointment when I witnessed how overlong and dull Assassins turned out to be in the general sense (when I say long I mean the film goes on for over two-hours and ten mins, and when I say dull I mean a majority of the plot is concerned with two hitman out to retrieve a floppy disk that contains sensitive information). Seriously, I like to think I have a bit of patience, but the film (and, in particular, the ending) was so tedious that it gave me a headache. Even the action scenes were uninspiring.

      I have attempted to watch the film a few times since I first purchased it on video all those years ago, but my opinion hasn't really altered since then. Assassins is not terrible, but it's hardly interesting, either. As much as I admire Stallone's action persona, he is so reserved in this picture that he almost seems non-existent. His younger opposite, Banderas, is obviously supposed to be a contrast to his character, but comes across cartoonish and completely irritating throughout. At least, Julianne Moore gives a solid performance as the feisty red-headed surveillance expert and electronic thief "Electra", though.

      To say Assassins was directed by Richard Donner (Lethal Weapon) and produced by legendary action filmmaker Joel Silver, I did expect more. The recycled formula and overlong running time wouldn't have bothered me quite so much if the action scenes were worth shouting about and the characters were interesting, but both aspects were less than satisfactory. Unfortunately, it would seem even the best cinema hitmen miss their mark every now and then.

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      06.12.2008 21:25
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      A good turn of acting and direction for this action thriller

      Director Richard Donner adds a little bit of style to his repertoire with this very well filmed and acted action thriller, with a good combination of actors and an impressive display in general. There is nothing hugely special about the film, but it is very good in many ways, and Donner has managed to give Stallone an acting part where he can ooze the hard man and actually make an impression on the audience.

      Assassin Robert Rath is in the twilight of his career, and looking forward to spending the rest of his days in blissful relaxation. However, new assassin on the block Miguel Bain has other ideas. His latest assignment? To kill Rath! As the two assassins play pat-a-cake with each other, the stakes heighten and the intensity mounts. Surely, only one of them can survive!

      What I liked about this film is its relatively calm release, and the way it came in at a time when films with big names were being released day after day in the middle of the 1990s' and it didn't try anything fancy other than trying to entertain. And as a result, it works. I even liked Stallone's acting and felt his poise on screen was possibly the most stylish I had seen up until then. Previous efforts at a similar type of character in The Specialist hadn't worked at all, and with Antonio Banderas smouldering over every role handed to him, the pairing seemed an excellent choice.

      The support of Julianne Moore is very respectful in that she lets the two guys batter their egos about a bit as opposed to wandering in with her Alpha Female role, and the older character shown by Stallone gets defensive over her character, as Banderas wades in, guns blazing without a caring bone in his body. The trio of stars really do a good job.

      Yet this movie doesn't sparkle and wow and thrill as it could. Donner has played safe with the cast and filming, and it shows in that stifled way you can sometimes get just when you think the film should be getting more explosive. This does not detract from the good the film does, and the playing safe could have actually saved it from being dire, but the fact that it was run of the mill in a year with umpteen films being released didn't help it commercially, with movie-goers choosing other films on the whole.

      Assassins is a well made film, shamefully overlooked by many, but well respected on the whole. I liked watching it, and it still entertains every time it is on. The DVD is available from amazon.co.uk for £3.98, and is well worth the money. The copy I have doesn't have any extras.

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      17.11.2008 23:04
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      worth to watch!

      A true classic with Silvester Stalone and a young Antonio banderas.


      Silvester Stalone plays 'Robert Rath', the number one hitman in the business, and Antonio Banderas stars as 'Miguel Bain', his fanatic fan who is trying to kill him (Stalone) to become numer one in the killing business. From the initial meeting of the two hitman at one of Rath's jobs, a tense 'cat and mouse game' begins while you can never be sure who is the mouse and who is the cat. It becomes clear that someone must have been sold out by someone and that he was a target himself. He joins up with hacker 'Electra' in order to kill Bain and solve the puzzel. Soon, a romantic relationship develops.

      I like this kind of movie. It has the right mix of action, thrill and story.

      For me reviews that compare movies which I dont know with movies I do know are always the most useful.
      If you like 'shooter' with Mark Wahlberg or classics like 'sniper', you would probably like this movie too. However, 'Assassins' also has a romantic aspect to it.

      Also, you have to be prepared to watch a movie which is now almost 13 years old. So expect the internet etc to look a bit different than you know it.

      Nevertheless it was and still is a great movie.

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        16.06.2008 14:26
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        Hitman vs Hitman

        Before we start the review, look at the DVD cover for the film.... the movie is called Assassins and yet Stallone doesn't realise that Banderos is behind him!! Oh dear, this could have been a shorter film than one would have expected. Anyway I digress, sit comfortably and relax and on with the review.... I was pleasantly surprised when I saw this at the Cinema that this was a Richard Donner film. This man has directed Superman, 4 Lethal Weapon films, and shows no signs of slowing down. So the expectations of the Director were very high indeed.

        The story begins with Robert Rath, an assassin who receives his terminations from an unknown person who sends him the information down a phone line to a laptop. Rath is ready to make a kill at a Funeral when suddenly an unknown assassin takes out the mark from elsewhere in the Cemetery; it is Miguel Bain, a younger hitman who by killing the target just has stolen the contract from him. Annoyed at this Rath takes what he believes will be his final job to cover his losses. He is sent to eliminate a woman based in Seattle called Electra. She is selling a disk containing stolen data. Once again when Rath is on the brink of the kill, Bain intervenes and kills the Dutchmen. Rath knowing that a probable set up is on the cards, turns the situation from a negative to a positive and turns from Electra's predator to Electra's protector and has managed to obtain the disk which also makes him the target.

        The cast in Assassins is a very good collection of actors, Stallone playing Robert Rath, the more mature professional assassin on the verge of retirement and just wanting to do one more job. Stallone plays the role very well and mainly due to his age looks the part completely. When watching the film you really do believe him in the role as someone who is tired and feels he has reached the end of his usefulness and wants to move on from this continuous killing that he delivers.

        The female lead in the film is the ever reliable Julianne Moore who plays Electra. She went on to star in the second Jurassic Park film and become the second Clarice Sterling in Hannibal. She is a good counter balance to the two men as in some scenes she is effectively placed in the middle and becomes the bargaining chip. She is not a character who can be classifuied as a bimbo, she is a very strong person in her own right.

        The third person completing this triangle of the cast is Antonio Banderos; he plays the role of Miguel Bain a younger more energetic glory hound who wants to take Stallone's place as the best of the best. He is a complete opposite of Stallone's character and when the men meet for the first time in the film it is the experience of the older man that overcomes the hot headiness of the younger wannabe which unsurprisingly winds Bain up. It is this roughness and temper that shows just how different the character is when compared to Rath.

        Locations of the film vary from Seattle to Havana and are done in a way that you see the best of the locations without it being a postcard selling the city or country, which in some films for me personally can be a bit of a turn off. For me some of the best scenes are towards the end when the two men meet and chat, usually in a public place for security. The exchanges are very good with Bain being wound up by Rath and Electra being the look out woman.

        The plot can be a bit slow at times, and is a similar approach as to what was done with Michael Mann's film Collateral with Tom Cruise where a major action scene is then followed by a scene at a snails pace, but it works extremely well for the film as the time is taken to effectively catch up with the characters talking about what has just happened and making conclusions, effectively setting up the next stage in the film and then rebuildingthe tension and atmosphere. This not only helps the suspense but also gets you thinking as to what is going to happen next. In most action films there is chaos, noise and anger, this is far more restrained and has produced a better quality film for doing so. Something that Richard Donner has repeated recently with 16 Blocks starring Bruce Willis.

        Overall this is an intelligent movie, nothing over the top in terms of the explosions and stunts, as the ones you see on screen that are performed are believable with the scenes set in normal day to day locations. The story and the film itself is very much grounded and as I have said not far fetched that the film disappears up its own end credits. Dialogue between all the major characters is sharp throughout the film and to the point without it becoming a cliche or parody of itself.

        When watching the film you can see the characters actually thinking of the solution rather than making some gravity defying stunt that is not really possible. It is this level of reality that has been applied that makes the film more enjoyable to watch.

        The DVD itself has very little in terms of extras on it; production notes are included on this, however the disc doesn't even contain a trailer, it is frustrating to see that scene access and interactive menus are considered features as some people would think this is standard, especially by today's standards. Maybe a deluxe or collectors edition will be issued in the future.

        There is also the usual Donner trademark, as the man who is the target at the funeral is called Steve Kahan, you may recognise him as the Police Chief from the Lethal Weapon films. He is actually Richard Donner's cousin and is in every film that Donner has directed.

        The packaging of the film itself is quite unique. The DVD comes in a snap case which has now been discontinued by Warner's I favour of the standard DVD casing. The DVD's in the snap case type are worth more to collectors.

        Availability of the disc is good and can be found at leading retailers for under £10. You should be able to get it cheaper on-line for about £5 - £6. For a film that has a 15 certificate and is just over 2 hours in length, this is extremely good value for money and a worthy addition to anyone's DVD collection. I would even put my neck on the line to say that this is one of Stallone's best films because of the restraint that has been placed on the story, which by the way was written by the legendary Warchowski Brothers who went on to make the Matrix trilogy.

        A great film to watch on a Saturday night with a Pizza and a glass of wine.

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          26.07.2001 01:19
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          This film is about Assassins (obviously!!!) and personally I thought that it was brilliant. It had me wrapped in watching it all the way through and I thought that it was a thoroughly good use of the two actors Slyvester Stallone and Antonio Banderas. It is the story of an Assassin who is the best called Robert Rath and he wants out of the assassin world. Another man wants to be number one. To do this he thinks he must kill Robert Rath as long as he is still alive he will never be the best. They both work for a mysterious person who they barely know but communicate to between internet chat services. This person plays the two off against each other. This of course leads to explosive action between two top assassins. This is best shown when they are both told to execute Electra King a beautiful electronic surveillance expert who sells information to Dutch buyers. Rath and Electra team up to make a break for freedom as they both want out of there deep, dark, sinister and not to mention dangerous worlds. But first they have to outwit Bain the newbie assassin who wants in. Suspense and fast paced combine to make this thriller keep you on your seat all the way through the film. And then in case you get board of all the action and big gun fights and explosions (which is impossible for a action film lover like myself!!!), They add an unusual twist in the end. It turns out that Bain was planning to assassinate Rath as he made a deal and walked out of a bank. However to become number one Rath did the exact same thing to a friend of his to become number one. So he manages to avoid this. There is then a huge gunfight in the abandoned room Bain was hiding in, but someone comes out and stops this fight and reveals himself to be the person from the Internet and also Rath’s old friend who he thought he killed!!! This film in my opinion was really good it caught my attention and kept me watching on the edge of my seat al
          l the way through. Even if you begin to get board to it then at the end there is that unsuspecting twist that I never saw coming. This film is an amazing thriller. Its one of those few films I can watch again and again and again and again and again and again and again!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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            26.05.2001 17:03
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            Cast listing: Sylvester Stallone .... Robert Rath Antonio Banderas .... Miguel Bain Julianne Moore .... Electra Anatoli Davydov .... Nicolai Muse Watson .... Ketcham Steve Kahan .... Alan Branch Kelly Rowan .... Jennifer Reed Diamond (I) .... Bob Kai Wulff .... Remy Kerry Skalsky .... Buyer James Douglas Haskins .... Buyer Stephen Liska .... Cop John Harms .... Cop Edward J. Rosen .... Cemetery Caretaker Christina Orchid .... Dowager This film is quite good, well worth watching. Stallone plays the number 1 hit man who is trying to kill someone at a funeral (nice!), but is beaten to the kill by a new, up and coming hit man - Banderas. This leads to Stallone getting a bit upset and Banderas trying to kill Stallone to make his mark in the hit man trade. The film is written by the same people as The Matrix, and it shows. The fight scenes are quite similar in style, and the plot itself is quite good. If you`ve got nothnig better to do with your time then go out and watch this. You`ve got nothing to lose, and the nastiness between Stallone and Banderas is well worth watching.

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              22.09.2000 21:56
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              In theory this should have been a good movie, but the end result is not a good movie. In fact the result is an overly long movie. Stallone plays an (you guessed it) assasin who is about to quit. He and another assasin played by Antonio Banderas are pitted against each other in a fight to the death. Stuck in the middle is a woman (Julianne Moore) who Stallone is protecting and Banderas is trying to kill. It's not awful, just overly long and pretty unbalanced.

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              06.08.2000 22:50
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              I rented this movie against some of the bad reviews because I like Antonio Banderas, director Richard Donner, and, in the right film, Sylvester Stallone. But I really had to see it because it was written by Larry and Andy Wachoski, the brothers now famous for "The Matrix". But I didn't expect much. Imagine my surprise then when the movie became pretty fun and exciting. Now keep in mind that the film is very unbelievable and has some basic problems associated with some subpar action movies. But it also has some cool action, nice acting, and an interesting story and script. Robert Rath (Stallone) is that classic "hitman with a heart of gold". Miguel Bain (Banderas) is the young upstart out to kill him for notoriety in the hitman business. Then, a mysterious employer hires them both and plays them against each other trying to retrieve a disc from a surveillance expert Julianne Moore. It's a lot of cat and mouse from there, but the action is stylish, the dialogue pretty good, and the acting fun to watch. That's right, the acting is pretty fun. It's not going to win any awards, but it's the kind of acting that's good in an action movie. Stallone is very laid back in this film, and his subtle line delivery and calm demeanor make his character good. There's hint at something more as we see flashbacks to some creepy killing that he had to do many years ago. The film goes a bit far in justifying his position as a professional killer, but it's easily overlooked. But Banderas is the best. I'm not going to use stupid critics' phrases like "Banderas sizzles!" or anything like that, but he is very energetic. Every movement is a twitch, like he's just bursting with energy, and his dialogue and rage are done the same way. It's a great performance to watch. It's funny, Banderas and Stallone probably make up the only onscreen duo more unintelligible than Jackie Chan and Chris
              Tucker, but they're still good in this movie. The movie's plot and script are pretty good, and the movie is a pretty interesting look at the hitman business. There's some neat scenes in which Stallone must track down his target or another time in which he details the way Bain will operate. The Wachoskis know how to write action and it's pretty inventive. The two actors do it well. Donner is a great action director, but he also shows a little more grit in this film showing the darker sides to all his locations and scenes. Again, this is not a classic or one of the action movie greats. But it is an above average action movie that's more unique and interesting than the usual.

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          • Product Details

            If Sylvester Stallone plays the world's number one assassin in this thriller, that must make Antonio Banderas, well, number two. The two are competing to hit the same target for a $20-million payoff and their challenge takes them from explosion to explosion on a cat-and-mouse chase from Seattle to Mexico. Julianne Moore plays the cagey cat fancier and computer hacker who possesses a stolen computer disc that makes her a prime target for bad guys, and Robert Rath (Stallone)is only too happy to come to her defense. Director Richard Donner handles action sequences with adequate flair and has a good time blowing things up. Banderas has fun with the nonsensical plot, and Moore is enjoyable in one of her big-budget mainstream roles. --Jeff Shannon

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