Friday, April 23, 2021

The Comeback Trail (2020) Movie Review © 2021 Dan's Movie Report - Danny Templegod


Above: Poster for 'The Comeback Trail' from IMDB, All rights reserved to the original owners, image not monetized.

Greetings valued Dan's Movie Report and readers across my desk today comes a film about making a film directed in QT style, with a copious amount of cursing and over the top humor. 'The Comeback Trail' boasts three screen legends; Robert DeNiro, Moran Freeman, and Tommy Lee Jones. I know, wow! Director George Gallo has a wordy script, with each actor grabbing time. Some of the humor is a bit over the top, and some works, yet overall the film is entertaining.

Tommy Lee Jones plays an old western star named Duke Montana. We are first introduced to his character in a nursing home with a gun to his head. Even though this film is supposed to be a comedy, I find it more of commentary on the Hollywood business in general, Duke kind of knows he is a has been, is not even looking to capture former glory. Jones is eventually offered a script and agrees to star in the film.

Morgan Freeman plays the mobster/money-man who is mainly concerned with recouping his losses. His character seems a bit underused, but the main focus on the film is the movie producers, mainly Robert DeNiro as Max Barber, who is hell bent on making his movie

The film hits a high point when Max Barber invents various ways to kill Duke Montana, including making him jump his horse through a burning wagon, The horse incidentally likes the Johnny Carson show, yeah this film is supposed to be set in the 70s. Other attempts happen, each time DeNiro's max is explaining what happened as an accident. There is a bridge scene and Max goes to slice a board off the bridge and of course Duke falls off the bridge yet manages to rope himself up on the post. Crazy stuff to be sure.

The question is, is The Comeback Trail funny, the answer is depends on the scene. Some scenes like DeNiro's rants can be a trifle long winded, yet the understated Tommy Lee Jones as Duke Montana is more subtle. Morgan Freeman as Reggie Fontaine plays a typical older mobster with flair. I mean there is real comic relief with comedian Eddie Griffin, as Devon, but he is kind of side fodder. Some of the humor works some of it does not, that said the movie itself is entertaining, perhaps a trimming of 5-8 minutes from some of the slower parts could tighten it up a bit, yet the film is definitely different.

In true QT style the film includes a few fake posters from other movies that are hysterical, best to stop the film to read them, and a three minute trailer near the end for a hopefully upcoming Killer Nuns movie.

Yes sexy nuns killing people and being sassy, was perhaps one of the best parts of 'The Comeback Trail' outside of the western action. Actress Natalie Burn plays sister Mary Rose, and her and the group of nuns are pretty bad ass and sardonically funny. I spoke with Natalie and told her ok I want to see a full 'Killer Nuns' movie.

Director Harry Hurwitz made the original Comeback Trail in 1982 and Writer/Director George Gallo of the 2021 version makes it a point to credit him prominently. Gallo is well established in Hollywood and his writing experience on the 'Bad Boys' series proves he can scribe a story. The direction on 'The Comeback Trail' is very good, scenes are well framed, the actors always seem ready to be in character as well.

The behind the camera aspect of 'The Comeback Trail' is quite polished. The editing and scenery is lush and interesting. There are a wide variety in indoor and outdoor shots and rather than going for a singular overall saturation tone, the hue is adapted for the environment. An example is the nursing home, is like a grayish drab, yet some other interior scenes are full of color. Much of the movie was shot on location in New Mexico The sheer difficulty of merging all these styles must have been a daunting task, and 'The Comeback Trail' accomplishes this with ease.

Overall, despite some uneven humor and a bit of long windedness, I enjoyed ''The Comeback Trail' and rate it a 6.5 out of 10 worthy of a watch, especially if you are a fan of the three leads.

For Further information visit the IMDB page at:



Thursday, April 22, 2021

New Science Fiction/drama/action film 'Nova' Wraps Production, July 2021 Release Planned, Trailer and Photos! - Dan's Movie Report - Danny Templegod


Above: Poster for Nova (C) 2021 Buffalo Productions LLC

Greetings valued Dan's Movie report and readers, Dojo owner and IDTV Action Fest director Janell Smith informed me she is one of the producers on a new Sci-Fi film with action called 'Nova'. Dana Cowden writes and directs. 'Nova' is a Buffalo Productions film with Donna Young Capbell producing and Sammy Cowden as EP.


Above Photo Janelle Smith with Sophia Tinsley and Sai Pina. (C) 2021 Dana Cowden all rights reserved.

Synopsis: On a mission to set up a robot colony on Mars, Android Officer Nova is caught between her human crew-mates and her own kind when a mutiny erupts during the flight

Above Photo: A red corridor in 'Nova' (C) 2021 Buffalo Productions LLC, all rights reserved.

Janell Smith is a dynamic positive force in the industry, empowering women in her projects ranging from self defense classes to the IDTV Fest. From the looks of the trailer the ladies will be featured prominently on the action and story. Currently the film is slated to be released in the July of this year, more details to follow. 


Above:I am on Team Android! Skye Stracke as Reese and Juliet Chevelle as Nova (C) 2021 Buffalo Productions LLC, all rights reserved.

Janelle tells me one of the lead actresses Skye Stracke is from Australia and now based in New York. She has a professional model background, prior to acting. In addition she has completed 25 skydives above 13,000 feet. Check her IMDB @

Juliet Chevelle plays the title character of Nova. Juliet has cosplayed Mystique at San Diego ComiCon with the character in the middle of a change.

Please check out the 'Nova's social media pages and IMDB.



Trailer Vimeo Link:

Keep it locked in on Dan's Movie Report and for the latest on 'Nova'!

Tuesday, April 20, 2021

Random Acts of Violence (2002) Movie Review and Celebration of Xavier Q Kantz's Life - (C) 2021 Dan's Movie Report - Danny Templegod



Greetings valued Dan's Movie Report and Action-Flix readers. Heaven gained a directing angel last week, with the untimely passing of Xavier Q Kantz. One a personal level I started chatting with Kantz around 2001 and 2002 when he was working on 'Random Acts of Violence' The film is hard to find but worth the campy fun! The nearly 20 year old film holds up, mixing rapper Mack 10 and Andre 'Chyna' McCoy. In addition to the two leads several colorful side characters abound including Actresses Chona Jason and Grayce Way as truculent, yet sexy fighters.

Kantz has a style, always with an air of humor, yet keeps up the pace. 'Random Acts of Violence' is a modern version of a 70s blacksploitation flick. To me this film started what I would call “Modern Urban Crime Drama” Kantz blazed a trail and was where stunt coordinator Larnell Stovell got his career start. In addition writer/director Ben Ramsey has an appearance as Teddy P.

The plot revolves around a drug deal gone bad, with missing money and many people shot. One man survives to tell the story, yet he runs into an even heavier hitter. The movie is loud and violent, full of action and sardonic humor.

The more prominent 'Love and a Bullet' also Kantz directed is good, but seems almost too slick and polished, I kind of dig this gritty yet campy take on action. Both films are good, yet for different reasons.

Overall, I really enjoyed 'Random Acts of Violence' Yeah it is campy, yeah it is crazy, but it is all indie and all Kantz! The film rates a 7 out of 10.


For information please visit the IMDB page:

Above: Kantz from his Facebook Page.

Kantz also directed a a very young Eva Longoria in 'Senorita Justice' The movie was shot in South Florida for the most part and is a law enforcement spin on a crime drama. Kantz told me that Eva even kept in touch with him years after the movie was filmed, and that she was a humble hard worker.



Above Poster for Ann's Eve (C) 2004 Maverick Entertainment, all rights reserved, image not monetized.

Actress Grayce Wey from 'Random Acts of Violence' produced her own horror film called Anna's Eve, The ghost story marks the first time Kantz has delved into directing horror, though he would later revisit the genre well sort of with a zombie take on 'Project Purgatory' and 'Project Purgatory Beijing'. The film has a slow burn take on horror, going for the ethereal yet with a cool ending twist, worth checking it out on Maverick Entertainment.

In 2011 Kantz directed a 'Mad Max' style film called 'Wasteland' starring Garret Sato. I reviewed the film for Dan's Movie Report @

Hard to believe he is gone, Covid is the real deal, get tested, get vaccinated, nothing may be 100 percent preventable, but by wearing a mask and social distancing you can increase the odds.

Kantz was working on several projects at the time of his death and his friend 'brother from another mother' Franklin Correa has vowed to help finish the projects.

Several people he has worked with have made tributes to Kantz on their social media pages. Chyna McCoy states “ With a super heavy heart I say goodbye to my brother who got in my ass and cheered me onward and upward to be better in Hollywood and in life. (Kantz) gave me my first chance to be a star and a leading man in my first straight to DVD movie, I will forever miss you.”

Sonny Sison states: :Some days you wake up and just get instantly punched in the face. Reading friends' posts... This one hit me in the gut. Rest in Peace Xavier Q Kantz.

Ben Ramsey states “ We're from Pittsburgh! We don't play that sh@t! Godspeed to my brother Kantz! Many unforgettable times we had from Pittsburgh to Hollywood! From PCTV to CAA. From Shooting films with public access equipment to shooting feature films in Hollywood! From patching together scripts on the fly to pitching at every major studio in town. I remember walking in meetings and executives would look at us two 200 plus pound brothers stroll into the office looking more like bodyguards than writers and comment “You're the writers?” Too many tales to tell from both towns. Godspeed Gov'na! You will be missed dearly! I'll catch you on location at the next level!


Kantz leaves behind on this moral coil his wife Raenae Kusea McCants and children including his two youngest 'The Blondes”. Raenae has a difficult road ahead and if anyone in the action community can contribute the Venmo link is in the image.


Above Photo L to R Kantz, Me hah!, and Chyna McCoy. Photo (C) 2003 Paul Newbern

I am sure as time goes by a more formal eulogy page and other ways to help out will happen. Kantz, what can I say man, you gave me inspiration as a writer, and I am just so sad you are gone, Your work ethic and sense of honor and humor made me a better person, and to quote 'Random Acts of Violence” “Bitches Bounce!” Keep on banging heads and stimulating minds on the other side! Just look at the careers you have helped and please continue to guide us along the way, from a nun-chuck throne at the pearly gates!

For more information on Kantz's film career please check out his IMDB page:


Watch Dan's Movie Report and for further information on Kantz, as memorial details unfold.