Film Director Jesse V. Johnson

Film director Jesse V. Johnson

Reviews

I am currently in the process of totally overhauling this site.

My movie "The Package" starring the twin dynamite of "Stone Cold" Steve Austin and Dolph Lundgren is due for release by Anchor Bay Feb 2013 - working with these two action greats was an awesome experience - 

     

  Here is the advance release info. and a cool trailer -

 The Package Trailer


Here is my action reel - prior to The Package ending at Bratva:

Case sensitive Password - Bratva:JesseVJohnsonReel 

 

Jesse Johnson 2012. 

 

Pictures from the LA cast & crew screening of Charlie Valentine - Charlie Valentine: cast & crew screening 

The Reviews: 

Modernfilmzine.com - Michael Knox (Charlie Valentine  

"...A violent, but fun film, the movie has some great moments of moral ambiguity and the challenges of Charlie Valentine being a father and a man on the run.

This is one of those rare films that I don’t want to tell readers anymore than I have, because of ruining the fun of the film. Regardless, I highly recommend it..."

To read the full review: http://wp.modernfilmzine.com/2010/04/11/charlie-valentine-good-gangster-movie-with-surpisingly-tender-moments/

 

Allouttabubblegum.com - Rantbo (Charlie Valentine  

"...Continuing his stride of gritty anti-hero action films, Johnson (THE 5TH COMMANDMENTTHE BUTCHER) manages to remain a lead driving force of ballsy, old school Badass Cinema. Following a very similar format to BUTCHER, the tale of Charlie Valentine is one of exhaustion, pain, redemption and the laying to rest of both old ghosts and new. And aside from the fact that Eric Roberts wasn’t the lead, (not to discredit Raymond Barry, who did a great job), VALENTINE is easily the best film of Johnson’s yet. It has all the same aspects that made his last films so entertaining: guns, gore, classic badass cars, gratuitous titties, Keith David. And on top of that, I didn’t feel bogged down by the first act..." 

To read the full review: http://www.allouttabubblegum.com/main/?p=5763

 

Cooltarget.com - Drive2 (Charlie Valentine 

Selection - "...Yet, a good gangster movie also has to have its fair share of gun blazing action and Charlie Valentine certainly has that. Well paced and delivered with a fair amount of buckshot blast and squib-tastic force, the action scenes hit hard and don’t shy away from showing violent death from a gun shot. Valentine is no super hero gunfighter, just handy with a pistol or a shotgun and the final showdown is particularly explosive. Jesse Johnson knows a thing or two about staging action." 

 To read the full review: http://cooltarget.blogspot.com/2010/01/charlie-valentine.html

 

Moviecynics.com - The Vocabulariast (Charlie Valentine

Selection - "...Johnson continues the growth that he exhibited with the awesome success of The Butcher. He eschews the typical action movie staples for a more cerebral and emotional route. This may turn off some of the fans of Johnson’s cinema, but for those that simply like a good movie and a solid story, Charlie Valentine is both. Johnson’s setups are simple, yet effective. While most of the film involves conversations and talking, the dialogue and Johnson’s technique prevents it from becoming overly wordy and boring.

Then of course, there are the two main shootouts of the film, which bookend the movie like blood-drenched slabs of flesh which throb with beautiful sprays of arterial goodness. No one in the business is putting together shootouts like this, violent displays of special effects, unflinching brutality, and a horror that most actual horror films would die for. I couldn’t help but be reminded of the shootout at the end of Taxi Driver and the brutality of Dawn of the Dead (1974) while watching Charlie Valentine. And yet, as great as the shootouts are, they feel like merely a bonus when compared to the slick direction and excellent writing of the film itself. They could be completely removed from the movie and it would still work." 

To read the full review: http://www.moviecynics.com/charlie-valentine-2009-dvd-movie-reviews/ 

 

www.videoviews.org - Patrick Ricketts (Charlie Valentine

Selection - "...The story is by far Mr. Johnson's best to date, he took the popular gangster theme and added real characters with real problems and created one of the most believable movies in the genre in some time. The action scenes are brutal and simply breath-taking, I am not surprised though since Jesse is a stuntman himself so he always delivers great action scenes. The cast is another wonderful part of the film, veteran actor, Raymond J. Barry plays Charlie, Raymond has been in countless movies and Television shows over his long career but I do not think I have ever seen him better. He brings a much needed toughness to the role but also he delivers on the human side of his character with great emotion, I must say he was the perfect choice to play Charlie. Michael Weatherly stars as his estranged son, Danny. Many of you know Michael from his role on the hit Television show "Navy NCIS: Naval Criminal Investigative Service". Michael is a fantastic actor and him and Raymond have great chemistry together. The film also has many other fantastic actors like Tom Berenger, James Russo and Steven Bauer and Keith David who Jesse has worked with before in several of his other films. Together all these wonderful actors make their characters real and captivating."  

To read the full review: http://www.videoviews.org/charlievalentine.html 

 

Cool Target/Action Movie Reviews - Drive2 (The Butcher)

Selection - "...Mean and muscled up pulp doesn’t come much more hard boiled thanThe Butcher, a cracking gangster flick about tough guys being tough. The set up may be familiar but the execution is given a refreshing overhaul and mucho pumped action courtesy of writer/director Jesse Johnson (Pit Fighter, Charlie Valentine) and star Eric Roberts. Johnson has crafted a pumped up, hardboiled gem which has just as much emotional punch as shotgun blast."

To read the full review - http://cooltarget.blogspot.com/2010/03/butcher.html 

 

Outlawvern.com - Vern (The Butcher) 

 Selection - "...It’s weird, but Eric Roberts really reminded me of George Clooney in this one. He’s a real charmer with a gentle smile, a knack for smooth talking and a confidence that he knows what he’s doing. It was cool seeing him in DARK KNIGHT, but this convinces me he’s got a THE WRESTLER-sized comeback role in his future.

To read the full review - http://outlawvern.com/2010/03/31/the-butcher/#more-7021

 

DVDTalk.com - Nick Hartel (The Butcher)

Selection - "...You're not going to enjoy a movie like this for an innovative, intricate plot though; you're going to enjoy it for unrepentant tough guy posturing and the bloodiest shootouts to grace the screen since "Hard Boiled." The whole affair is kept on track with a slick performance by Eric Roberts, who shows here that his memorable performance in "The Dark Knight" was no fluke. Roberts has a natural screen presence and makes Merle an instantly likable character. In the action department, Merle generally sticks to his guns (literally) and I'd rank him pretty high on the list of great movie gunslingers..."

To read the full review:   http://www.dvdtalk.com/reviews/38065/butcher-the/

DendofGeek.com - Craig Snell (The Butcher)

Selection - "...The Butcheris definitely worth a watch, as it has some good gun battles and a likeable leading character. It’s well worth setting the planner on your box to record it, sit back with a beer and a bag of crisps and enjoy a blood-soaked shoot ‘em up when you have a spare couple of hours going." 

To read the full review:   http://www.denofgeek.com/television/247340/the_butcher_review.html 

 

 allouttabubblegum.com - Rantbo (The Butcher)

Selection - "...As far as recommending it, absolutely. It’s rare to see a well done shoot ‘em up now a days, especially one starring Eric Roberts, Robert Davi, Keith David AND Michael Ironside. Fuck Yeah. It’s not a perfect film, but, it kicks ass like a steel-toed boot. It’s definitely worth a rental, but I think I’ll personally pick up a copy for my DVD collection....  

...Simply put, this is THE most badass character Roberts has ever played. And that includes Alex Grady. He’s a one-man fucking army and he even manages to wear a double-loop earring without looking remotely like a pussy." 

 

Horrornews.net - Joanna Rose (The Butcher)

Selection - "...Jesse V. Johnson’s “The Butcher” gives an emotional portrayal of what happens when a mobster decides he wants to retire from a life path that is hard to quit.  Hench’s life is nothing close to slow paced, and his desire to live that life seems to be out of reach as he keeps being sucked into the gang lifestyle.  This film pretty much explains that after you dedicate your life to gang servitude, you soul is sold to this career and must end as soon as your service is rendered." 

To read the fill review:  http://www.horrornews.net/reviews/Review_The_Butcher.htm 

 

Moviereviews.noskram.com - D. Stevens (The Butcher)

Selection - "... This is a fascinating crime drama, starring the dependable Eric Roberts (Final Analysis , big brother of Julia Roberts) as Merle Hench, an enforcer for a mob headed by regular on-screen baddie, Robert Davi (License to Kill) playing Murdoch, with an impressive Irish accent.  As action crime dramas go, this is a very decent movie, we even get to sympathise with our protagonist, although he is in a criminal organisation he simply wants to turn a new leaf." 

To read the full review:  http://moviereviews.noskram.com/?p=161 

 

Videoviews.com - Patrick Ricketts (The Butcher)

Selection - "...The film looks great, the camera work and editing are nothing short of brilliant and what's a crime film without some action. There's plenty of action among the drama here and the gun-fights are so well choreographed that I was taken back to when I first seen "Scarface", they are intense,brutal,raw and beautiful at the same time. The Butcher is a powerful film you can't look away from, it draws you in and keeps you glued to your seat till the final bullets fly. I have always been a fan of Eric Roberts and feel he has gotten short-changed in Hollywood maybe but as Merle "The Butcher" he is at the top of his game again.

The entire cast was excellent and it contains some friendly faces such as Robert Davi as the mob boss and anyone that remembers watching the action/martial arts film's back in the 90's will be delighted to see Jerry Trimble back again also the talented and beautiful Irina Björklund as the waitress,Jackie. Irina and Eric show great on-screen chemistry here. Director/writer Jesse V. Johnson short career as a director has taken flight, with each film you watch as he grows and with "The Butcher" people are going to be forced to take notice." 

To read the full review:  http://www.angelfire.com/pq/moviereviews/page282.html

 

Moviecynics.com - The Vocabulariast (the Butcher)

Selection - "...Even better, the cast of the flick rises above the budget and their own failing careers. Eric Roberts, once a huge laughingstock, blazes the comeback trail that he began in such flicks as The Chaos Experiment and The Dark Knight. Roberts is perfect as the washed up tough guy, and you can’t help but see the similarity between the character in the film and the path that Roberts’ career has taken… which will hopefully reach top level when he appears in The Expendables next year. Keith David finally gives a solid performance after his stinky appearance in Against the Dark. David plays a nice guy bookie, who feels bad about roughing up one of his favorite clients. This is the old Keith David, the cool Keith David. The rest of the cast is rounded out with smaller performances from Robert Davi and Geoffrey Lewis, who are both as professional as they usually are.

An action movie is only as good as its fight sequences or its shootouts… and The Butcher has some killer shootouts. The film has a nice bodycount, all packed into the end of the movie, but nice nonetheless. People are blown apart by shotguns, blood runs like Coors Light at a frat party, and there’s even a killer head explosion. All of the effects are done in a practical manner and the end result is a shootout that is unforgettable.

The Butcher plays by its own rules. It eschews the movie doctrine of today’s action flicks which say you have to be loud, ultra-fast paced, and obnoxious to be a good action flick. Instead, The Butcher stands as a throwback to ‘80s action flicks, filled with deep characters, extreme violence, and all around enjoyability. If you miss the “good old days” of action flicks, then you should definitely check this out." 

To read the full review:    http://www.moviecynics.com/the-butcher-2009-dvd-movie-reviews/

 

 

Nukethefridge.com - Uncapie (The Butcher)

Selection - "...Johnson, a stuntman as well a talented director, knows his action scenes and pays close attention to detail handling them with creativity. One memorable, well-choreographed segment is a spectacular motel shootout where several, heavily armed men blast it out with Merle; armed only with his twin .45's and a trenchbroom shotgun. 

The movie is peppered with actors we've appreciated over the years such as Michael Ironside, Vernon Wells, Keith David, Geoffrey Lewis, Jerry Trimble, Robert Davi and Bokeem Woodbine. Cinematography by Robert Hayes creates a work of art using bright and dark contrasts to illuminate the world of the anti-hero vs. evil with composer Marcello De Francisi's score adding to the depth of the film. 

Reminiscent of the now classic, "To Live and Die In L.A.," in style and flair, "The Butcher" is a gritty action movie you can watch over and over again."  

 To read the full review:    http://www.nukethefridge.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=1103:review-the-butcher&catid=11:reviews&Itemid=38

 

DVD Verdict.com - Judge David Johnson (The Butcher)

Selection - "...Part 2 is the action, and friends, it is glorious. While not acrobatic, high-flying, or particularly inventive, the gunplay is still a sight to behold. Johnson has gone all-out with what was surely a modest budget, producing some hard-nosed "realistic" mayhem. It's all gun-based, with no CGI to be seen. The blood flows like tributaries of the Mississippi and it's loud. Really, really, really loud. The big ending features Merle taking on the entirety of the syndicate in a bar shootout and the violence is through the roof -- exploding heads, gushing throat punctures, blown-off appendages, sucking chest wounds, brain matter flying in slow motion, it's all here."

To read the full review:  http://www.dvdverdict.com/printer/butcher.php 

 

Filmscriticsunited.com - Christopher Armstead (The Butcher

Selection - "...So sure ‘The Butcher’ doesn’t base its narrative on any kind of reasonable logic that I’m familiar with but in this universe that these characters occupy it makes total sense. A world where a guy with gold Glock can kill a gaggle of idiots with Howitzers. A world where mobsters could ask a simple question such as ‘where is he’ but instead pull out your molars. A world where a man with missing fingers and a neck gushing blood in way that would make Jed Clampett say ‘Damn’ is still hard enough to pick up the worlds largest gun and flat blast suckaz. A world where a dude can kill almost every single mobster in town and still suffer almost no repercussions. Almost. This is a world I enjoyed spending time in. Outstanding." 

 To read full review:  http://www.filmcriticsunited.com/thebutcher2.html

Film Intuition - Jen Johans (The Butcher)

Selection - "...Johnson's mastery is commendable from the start as The Butcher's self-important philosophizing is drowned out by Marcello De Francisci's stunning score that alternates between cool jazz to soulful melancholy strings to a pulsating force that moves us along with our hero (or more appropriately antihero). Likewise, I can't say enough about what I'm only assuming was his vast preparation and most likely storyboarded difficult action sequences including stunts that involve so much gunfire and extras, it could've not only been dangerous but also showed its budget right there with lackluster effects.

Moreover, in a few key action moments, I was so impressed by what the filmmaker did with the fast-paced shoot that I knew right then and there that he had to have had the background he did. And this is also on display in some beautiful cinematography and intriguing camera choices like using what appears to be a sepia tone for a flashback sequence along with employing either a different lens or camera to play with the distortion and separate two different time periods or adjust the number of frames per second. Using little tricks this along with cinematographer Robert Hayes and editor Ken Blackwell helped ensure that the film doesn't fall easily into the look of the direct-to-disc trap." 

 To read the full review:  http://reviews.filmintuition.com/2009_07_01_archive.html

 

 www.sentieriselvaggi.it - Francesca Bea (The Butcher)

Selection (original review in Italian) - "...the parable of Merle "The Butcher" Hench "- however, the nickname, "the Butcher", ends up sounding more like a fault than a threat - the film is not intended as an elegy mourning the Action-movies of the 80s. The intention here is to show that the vitality and strength of men on the eve of their twilight does not come from a world that is endangered to indulge the taste of bittersweet memories, but to say that they are still firmly standing because they know they can not and do not want to stop before putting on a show with a great and memorable finale."

To read the full review: http://www.sentieriselvaggi.it/articolo.asp?sez0=2&sez1=16&art=33309

 www.dementia13.com - Ronald Perrone (The Butcher)

Selection (original review in Portuguese) - "...Eric Roberts was the perfect choice for this role. He's in full form embodying an ex-boxer who now works doing the dirty service for the local mafia. He's an obsessive card player, connoisseur of alcohol, an anachronism from an older era, but he's also totally cool! His character uses lead to resolve a few problems that have been caused by his own chief, Murdoch (the also underestimated Robert Davi). The plot is good, but does not bring many new things and takes a little long to get into gear, but the cliches work well and there are very interesting characters. In fact, everything in this movie is an excuse for Eric Roberts to present what is a magnificent performance...!"

To read the full review: http://demmentia13.blogspot.com/2010/04/acao-sem-frescuras-com-eric-roberts.html 

  

  

 Allouttabubblegum.com - Rantbo (The Fifth Commandment)

Selection - "...While working in Asia, Jazzman (one of the best hitman in the assassination business), shows mercy to an orphaned child and against his better judgment, decides to raise him as his disciple, (a la LEON). Now grown, Chance (Rick Yune) has become the world’s go-to professional killer, but much like his adoptive father, is unable to bring himself to harm women or children and as such has to pass on a high profile assassination of a pop singer. So, another team is hired to fulfill the contract and Chance along with it (a la THE REPLACEMENT KILLERS). Made all the more difficult for them, as Chance has vowed to protect the insufferable starlett, (a la THE BODYGUARD). And the game is on...  

...I sincerely hope that Yune continues to write and star in similar flicks, as he could end up being something quite special. Oh, and Jesse V. Johnson (THE BUTCHER), has just become my new favorite DTV director. The man simply understands good action..."

 

 Flash-bang movie reviews - Mike out West (The Fifth Commandment)

Selection - "...With the help of first time director Jesse Johnson, who has a huge resume as stunt coordinator on loads of big budget movies, Rick has crafted a mostly generic story about an assassin disobeying orders which is lifted by some good character work and big action set-pieces.

Villain Roger Yuan kick-starts the movie in style with a scene set in 1976, and he looks superb – the hair, beard and costume make him look like a villain from an exploitation movie of the period. Keith David plays The Jazzman, another assassin who seems to have a code that he lives by – no women, no kids. His relationship with his real son Miles and his adopted son Chance is what is at the heart of the film..."

To read the full review:   http://www.flash-bang-movie-reviews.com/the-fifth-commandment.html

 

Filmcriticsunited.com - Christopher Armstead (The Fifth Commandment

Selection - "...I rather enjoyed ‘The Fifth Commandment’ as director Jesse V. Johnson has put together a slick looking, fast paced action yarn highlighted by a couple of solid performances by Keith David and Roger Yuan who manage to raise what was probably a mediocre action tale to one that was above average, at least in my opinion."

To read the full review:  http://filmcriticsunited.com/thefifthcommandment.html 

 

HKFlix.com - (The Fifth Commandment

Selection - "...Set against the steamy backdrop of Bangkok, this action thriller is bursting with some of the meanest stunts and fight scenes. This is high-octane action at it's best..."  

to read the whole review: http://www.hkflix.com/xq/asp/filmID.551059/qx/details.htm 

 

Haveagoheroes.com - Richard Hawes (The Fifth Commandment)

Selection - "...Made in Thailand by prolific action director Jesse Johnson, The Fifth Commandment (“honor thy monther and father”) is a stylish movie with shades of Bangkok Dangerous and The Bodyguard and some cartoonish touches."

To read the full review: http://haveagoheroes.blogspot.com/2009/03/rick-yune_3200.html 

Dvdblurayreviews.com - JT (Greenstreet 2)

Selection - "...Still there is a great deal of enjoyment to be had, if that is to be believed, and compared to the likes of The Football Factory and Mean Machine its an addictive bone crunching look at life of a sub culture that reflects some aspects of real life."

http://www.dvdblurayreviews.com/greenstreet2

 

 

Moviecynics.com - The Vocabulariast (Greenstreet 2)

Selection - "...Director Jesse Johnson is the true star of this film. Though it’s not a Johnson written project (and you can tell the difference) Johnson still manages to wrangle something excellent from the script. Sure the characters are about as likable as a rectal exam from bigfoot, but Johnson still keeps the writing and the acting from dragging down the movie with some excellent montages, plenty of brawling, and whole lot of music video-esque scenes. Johnson’s action scenes are typically brilliant and feel like they have an impact on the characters." 

 To read the full review: http://www.moviecynics.com/green-street-hooligans-2-2009-dvd-movie-reviews/ 

 

closeupfilm.com  - Richard Hawes (Greenstreet 2)

Selection - "...Made primarily for a British audience, Jesse Johnson's B-movie stands its ground as a distinctly different but faithful sequel that fans of the original film and of director Johnson are sure to enjoy." 

To read the full reviewhttp://www.close-upfilm.com/reviews/g/green_street_2.html 

Interviews and other news

An Interview with Fansite - Nukethefridge.com (Charlie Valentine)

Selection - "...Uncapie: Thank you. Let's talk about "Charlie Valentine." Tell us about the concept and how it all came about.

Jesse:  As with most creative choices, the inspiration for "Charlie Valentine" came from a number of directions all coinciding rather conveniently.

I was a product of the "swinging sixties" and had never actually met my real father.  My wife and I decided to do some internet research and found him relaxing in the south of France.  After a very emotional reunion, we got to know each other very well and I can say that my father is a gentle,  former school teacher who spends his time painting water colors of the Southern French countryside.  He was never a womanizer or a killer, but like Charlie Valentine, he is a great cook!

While we were visiting, I explored some of the local book stores as I like to read.  I bought some French books on their gangster movies which is a genre that I've been a fan of for some time.

Uncapie:  You can't go wrong with films such as Jean Gabin in "Pepe le Moko," Alain Delon in "Le Samourai" and "Le Cercle Rouge,"  Jean-Paul Belmondo in "Le Doulos" and "Borsalino" (With Alain Delon) and Yves Montand in "Police Python .357."

Jesse:  Man, you are a walking encyclopedia!"

 To read full intertview:  http://www.nukethefridge.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=1394:interview-charlie-valentines-jesse-v-johnson&catid=18:interviews&Itemid=45 

 

Rogue Cinema - Nic Brown (Charlie Valentine)

 Selection - "...The tag line for writer/director Jesse V. Johnson’s new film reads: “Charlie Valentine was a gangster, a gunfighter, a womanizer and a pretty fine chef.... He was also the most dangerous, irresponsible scoundrel you ever met.” However, CHARLIE VALENTINE the film is much more than that. It’s Jesse’s labor of love that was inspired by one of his favorite genres of film and by events from his own personal life. Now Jesse talks about some of the challenges of making CHARLIE VALENTINE, why the film is so personal to him and why you sometimes have to just let the scenery breath to get a memorable shot."

To read the full interview:  http://www.roguecinema.com/article1700.html 

 

Charlie Valentine Sweeps the 2009 AOF Film Festival

 Selection - "...Aug 06, 2009 – The action packed film stars veteran actor Raymond J. Barry and Michael Weatherly (NCIS) in a gritty but beautiful portrayal of an estranged father and son relationship set against the harsh backdrop of a gangster’s life. 

“This is a great film and we were proud to show it to the world…" said Del Weston, AOF Festival Creator.  "This film has it all, action, drama, great performances, what more could an audience want?" continued Weston in an interview after the films’ premiere. "

To read the full article:  http://www.prlog.org/10302281-charlie-valentine-sweeps-the-2009-aof-film-festival.html 

 

A story in Impact Magazine on me.

April Impact Interview #2

April Impact Interview #1

 

A really good behind the scenes look at The Butcher - Impact Magazine. 

Photobucket

 

An in depth look at The Last Sentinel - Impact Magazine. 

Impact Magazine #2

Impact Magazine #1

Article in INDIEVIEW Magazine on Cinematography (Charlie Valentine

  

Archived Reviews (older than 2009)

KFCC.com - J.D. Nguyen (PitFighter)

Selection - "...Simply put, PIT FIGHTER is a beautiful blend of fierce and gentle; the action sequences are harsh, sobering, and wicked while the redemptive narrative plays out poetically and serenely. And it is all because PIT FIGHTER stands on the shoulders of the versatile Domonique Vandenberg who portrays El Yanqui as both angel and demon gloriously. It is no wonder director Jesse Johnson has used Vanderberg as the driving force of his previous pictures as it is oftentimes difficult to deliver both shades of human drama effectively. In the end, PIT FIGHTER was made with a lot of heart and grit, reportedly filmed for a mere $500,000 it looks like millions more because director Jesse Johnson’s grasp of production values and his eye for aesthetically pleasing action oriented storytelling."

To read the full review:   http://www.kfccinema.com/reviews/action/pitfighter/pitfighter.html 

 

 

Hugereviews.com - Christian De Matteo (PitFighter)

Selection - "...More than just a celebration of male aggression, writer/director Jesse has crafted an intricate tale of redemption and forgiveness that nods in all the right directions at all of his own heroes.  A huge fan of the genius that was Akira Kurosawa, Jesse films inventively and tells the story in a manner that, like Rashomon, needs to be put together by the viewer.  He also leaves the final decision to the audience:  Is the hero a hero, or just an eternal sinner?  Another nod to Kurosawa as well as Leone and a great tradition of film in general, is that the Pit Fighter is the Man with No Name.  His past is a mystery and he has no handle he’s aware of to use.  He also seems to crave none, more obsessed with a love from his memories than an identity of his own.  This leads to a painful realization that in order to love another, one must love themself.  Honor, love, heroism, and a past stained with innocent blood are the many quandaries the Pit Fighter must battle inside as he battles to survive outside."

To read the full review:   http://hugereviews.com/Movies/L/legend_of_the_pit_fighter.htm

 

Epinions.com - Gordo Loving (PitFighter

Selection - "...I will cut straight to the point and say Pit Fighter is a MUST for any action fan. The fight scenes can only be compared to few films in movie history because they rely more on what will really happen to you in a fight as opposed to tried and true on-screen fighting. People bleed like crazy, and in one of the nastiest scenes this side of the Dawn of the Dead chain saw accident a man gets his eyeball kicked out of his his socket. Although scenes like the one described before are shocking, this movie isn't about shocking the audience with more blood and gore than a horror movie. The fighting and fighters in Pit Fighter are real martial artist with a love for showing what can happen when real two real dojo warriors commence battle inside a closed arena. Sweat drips and bones snap like twigs, but underneath all of the masculinity this picture contains a heart."  

To read the full review:  http://www1.epinions.com/review/mvie_mu-1145098/content_212348931716 

 

The Film Fiend - Written by Film Fiend (PitFighter

Selection - "...However, every once in a while you'll accidentally stumble across a film like Jesse Johnson's nifty straight-to-video effort Pit Fighter, a nasty, bloody, no-holds-barred return to the pulse-pounding actioners from oh-so long ago. And while the flick does have its own share of unsightly personal problems, Pit Fighter is still a fierce little number, one which proves that old-school rough and tumble heroics aren't quite the relic that others would have you believe. In my quaint suburban household, these testosterone-fueled productions are welcomed with open arms, especially those that are willing to kick me in the tarnished family jewels before sprawling out on my living room couch. Ain't no hatin' in my crib, dawg."

To read the full review:  http://www.thefilmfiend.com/2007/08/pit-fighter.html

 

Kung Fu Cinema.com - Mark Pollard (PitFighter

 Selection - "...Jesse Johnson squeezes every drop out of that wad with an edgy directing style and a knack for keeping stylish clarity amid chaos reminiscent of Fernando Meirelles (City of God) and Michael Mann (Collateral)."

To read the full review:  http://www.kungfucinema.com/pit-fighter-2004-596

 

Film Threat Magazine - Fred Beldin (PitFighter

Selection - "...Director and scribe Jesse Johnson is a former stunt man and a Black Belt in karate, so it's no surprise he excels at capturing the tension of hand-to-hand combat. The viewer is cheek-to-cheek with the fighters in the ring, and each jarring punch can cause sympathetic concussions. There's enough outrageous, gratuitous action to qualify "Pit Fighter" as this century's answer to Jamaa Fanaka's "Penitentiary," but Johnson also has a few things to say about honor, dignity and male bonding along the way. He may not be as eloquent as either of the Big Sams (Fuller and Peckinpah), but Johnson shares their rangy intelligence, filling his characters' mouths with pithy homilies on the sweet mysteries of brotherhood."

To read the full review:  http://www.filmthreat.com/index.php?section=reviews&Id=6951 

 

Filmcrafts.com - Christian De Matteo (PitFighter)

Selection - "...In July 2004 I delivered my low budget feature film "Pit Fighter" to Regent Entertainment, the financiers of my film.   A company that has produced such films as "Gods and Monsters", "Brittanica" and "Tom and Viv."  They in turn promptly secured a domestic (US) distribution agreement with 20th Century Fox.  My film has is being marketed first to the niche audiences where it has received an outstandingly positive response and will shortly be sent out to mainstream media, with the full weight of the Fox publicity machine behind it.  So, I am happy, I have a studio picture, albeit a small one, getting excellent reviews, the studio has approved me as a director and writer and I have a number of tasty projects in development." 

To read the full interview:  http://hugereviews.com/FilmCrafts/Talent/jesse_johnson.htm

Review collection - (Alien Agent

Selection - "...HK and Cult Film Video News: "What Alien Agent has going for it is an abundance of action. Blazing shoot-em-ups and fierce hand-to-hand battles occur in quick succession with brief snippets of story to link them together. The martial arts sequences are well-staged and convincingly executed, and are edited so that the rapid-fire shots flow together very smoothly. The gunfights and car chases are similarly impressive, with an abundance of satisfying explosions and other mayhem. One early moment which got my attention shows warrior woman Isis firing a bazooka from a moving truck and blasting the pursuing Rykker's car right off the road, all in one shot; another finds her blowing up half the cars and trucks in a parking lot as Rykker makes off in another vehicle."

To review the review collectionhttp://www.blueriderentertainment.com/display_film.php?film_id=53&mode=alphabet&filter=&more=1#more