action movie freak    

 

Action Movie SUBGENRES

ADVENTURE |  ALL FOR LOVE  |  ARNOLD MOVIES |  BOND  |  BUDDY  |  CHASE  |  FIGHT  |   GRRRL POWER  |  HEIST
MARTIAL ARTS  |  REVENGE  |  SUPER COP
|  SUPERHERO  |  SUPER SOLDIER

This is a huge, ongoing project that I live to work on :D  If a movie that you think should be in a category is not there,
it's probably because I haven't gotten around to re-watching it to be sure. Same thing, if you see any glaringly wrong placements
of films in categories, please email me:  ripley@actionmoviefreak.com. For a list of movies, see my Hit List.


 

SUPER SOLDIER

"We move! 5-meter spread. No  sound." Not just any soldier, a SUPER Soldier or a whole unit of them. We love the whole macho military thing—a cause worth dying for, weapons, uniforms, jargon, hand signals, special vehicles, explosives.  Usually sent in to rescue someone, it's all about their training, talent, and skills:  What they can do that you can't


ACTION MOVIE
SUBGENRE

SUPER
SOLDIER

FIRST BLOOD

RAMBO: First Blood Part II

COMMANDO

PREDATOR

RAMBO III

CYBORG

UNIVERSAL SOLDIER

UNDER SIEGE

SOLDIER

BLACK HAWK DOWN

300

THE HURT LOCKER

Universal Soldier: REGENERATION

THE A-TEAM

THE EXPENDABLES

THE EXPENDABLES 2

G.I. JOE: RETALIATION

LONE SURVIVOR

THE EXPENDABLES 3

AMERICAN SNIPER

13 HOURS: THE SECRET SOLDIERS OF BENGHAZI

Sylvester Stallone as Rambo smiling in the opening of First BloodFirst Blood (22 Oct 1982)
What a classic this is! It's the Super Soldier movie to be sure.

Sylvester Stallone gives us the ultimate Bad Ass. It's a really great supporting cast as well, with Brian Dennehy is the cop we loved to hate, who is out of his depth. Stallone makes it right for all the disrespected Vietnam veterans who came home to feeling unwelcome and unappreciated. We watched as Rambo takes apart the town named "Hope", and gave birth to a series that helped define what we crave in Action Movies.

Read more.

Rambo: First Blood Part II (22 May 1985)
Notes

Commando (4 Oct 1985)
This movie was great fun for many reasons, not the least of which is it showed us what it would be like to have Arnold Schwarzenegger as your Dad. The idyllic opening showed Arnold as John Matrix romping in the woods with his daughter Jenny, played Alyssa Milano (still young and innocent—can't get her portrayal of dirty girl "Margo" in Fear out of my mind: So the opposite of her Who's The Boss squeaky clean TV image, which they took advantage of here). This abruptly comes to an end as his military past catches up with him and we are off on a chase to rescue his kidnapped daughter. If it wasn't for the beach scene, this could be a chase movie or a revenge movie, but Arnold is SO large and in charge that I remember laughing out loud in delight as he stormed his way into the compound. Armed to the teeth, the ultimate personification of the one-man Army decimating everything and everyone in his path. It's 80s Action at it's cheesy best. This movie is heavily quoted. It's SO satisfying too. People who complain about the one-liners just don't get it. What good is beating someone if you can't rub their face in it. 

MATRIX      Remember, Sully, when I promised to kill you last?
SULLY        That's right, Matrix! You did!
MATRIX      I lied.

There are many epic scenes in this movie, including how he gets the weapons he needs weapons store

 

Predator (12 Jun 1987)
This is one of my TOP 5 favorite Action Movies. Maybe #1 or tied with Aliens. It delivers the Action Movie Essentials like a knife of fear to the belly. Big Men with big muscles and big guns and they're terrified. What chance would you have?!  The movie is so quotable, and so enjoyable, I never tire of watching it.

The adventure of a macho military rescue team dropped into an unknown jungle scenario is the experience video games were invented to emulate, and this is the greatest of them all. 

"Simple set up. One-day operation. We pick up their trail at the chopper, run 'em down, grab those hostages, and bounce back across the border before anybody knows we were there."
 (BAM! Setup.)  It's never that simple though. This is a turnaround: The hunters become the hunted . . .

If you love this movie, you have to read my review.

Rambo III (25 May 1988)
If I had to pick one movie to represent what is it Action Movie Freaks love about Action Movies, this would be it.  It would have to be a Stallone movie anyway, and Rambo at that.  He is the Action Movie Action Figure.  The do-it-all-yourself, get-it-done, no-hesitation soldier rolled up into an epicly superb physique! 

Can you appreciate this movie without knowledge of the history of War in Afghanistan, without seeing the first two movies, or without some understanding of the post-Vietnam Soldier? HELL YES, but it adds so much to the character and the story if you understand the background.  If you don't know that much about it, "Let me enlighten you!" You will find it fascinating after you read this.

Cyborg (7 April 1989)
Hot Men! Hot Men! Hot Men! This movie delivers that Girls! Girls! Girls! feeling for women that Men get for strip clubs. Bare-chested hot men grunting and growling, with some fights thrown in. That's about it. LOL Just kidding, but seriously, who cares about the rest?! Jean-Claude Van Damme is his usual incredible self. There is a split scene where he's suspended above the villain. If you've never seen it, you'll still be amazed even though I just told you.  

Vincent Klyn was an awesome villain. They should remake this movie with Jason Momoa

Cyborg has the distinction of being "the last official theatrical release for Cannon Films after going bankrupt in 1987" (from IMDB Trivia). Cannon was bought by (Menachem) Golan and (Yoram) Globus and is associated with lots of 1980s "B" Action Movie classics.  Just the logo brings back many exciting movie memories/associations.

Universal Soldier (10 July 1992)
Jean-Claude Van Damme and Dolph Lundgren at their best, together. So pretty, so powerful. This movie is an Action Movie classic. What a fight scene between the two legends! 

Under Siege (9 Oct 1992)
OMFG Erika Eleniak's perfect boobs! (Even girls know how beautiful they are.) Okay, got that out of the way. She was the spark in the Seagal Show. Like The Whiner, she represented us in the movie.  We couldn't have agreed more that the safest place was right behind Seagal!

The supporting cast puts this beyond 'just' an Action Movie: Tommy Lee Jones, Gary Busey, Colm Meaney, and Patrick O'Neal. With Andrew Davis directing—It's a great Action Movie, period.

Nobody talks the talk and walks the walk quite like Steven Seagal, and this is my favorite movie of his, although I also really like On Deadly Ground and Out for Justice.

Soldier (23 Oct 1998)
A completely underrated performance by Kurt Russell. It's haunting in its content and intensity. The expressionless demeanor he maintains throughout the movie magnifies the intensity of emotions you're not seeing. 

This movie is a super-cool idea, it was underrated and it remains underappreciated.  It's a little like Halo before they thought of Halo, that Super Soldier concept. It would be a fantastic beefcake fest as a remake with unknowns!

It's full of Action, exciting, and moving. A Hero's hero. I highly recommend it if you've never seen it, and if you didn't love it the first time you watched it, chances are you're not an Action Movie Freak.

Black Hawk Down (18 Jan 2002)
It's hard to watch this movie because what's happening just keeps getting worse and worse and worse . . . When I saw it in the theater, I thought it was one of the best movies I'd ever seen. I knew it would be sad, but it was so heart wrenching to watch it play out. I went for the cast, of course, the real-life story, and because it's Ridley Scott and Jerry Bruckheimer! What acting; such movie making! Josh Hartnett, Ewan McGregor, Tom Sizemore, Eric Bana, William Fichtner, Ewan Bremner (repeat after me with a Scottish brogue "The booze on the grind" translation: bulls on the ground from The Rundown—yes, that's him), Sam Shepard, Ron Eldard, Jeremy Piven,
Johnny Strong, Tom Hardy, Orlando Bloom, and more! A must-see.

To borrow a line from Transporter 3:  "[They're] in a bit of the shit."
 

300 (9 Mar 2007)
Regardless of the historical inaccuracy or degree of artistic license taken (whatever they may be) this movie will knock the wind out of you like a punch to the solar plexus. The Action is, in a word, magnificent.

A celebration, not only of the male form, war, and that era in history, but also of the spirit of Man to stand his ground with bravery and skill.  The highly skilled soldier is worth many men and this movie showcases that in vivid slow motion glory.  You're not prepared for the heart-cramping abyss that swallows you whole as you mourn the loss of such men in a wholly untenable situation. Pride has never taken a greater form. The fighting is not only beautiful to watch, it's vicious, brutal savagery at its best.  The strategy, weapons, and their skill is a huge part of the legend.

An incredible story in history, the Battle of Thermopylae is great reading if you're interested. There were many battles in that location but this is the one. King Leonidas of Sparta (Greece) defending his homeland against the invading Persian Army led by Xerxes I. (Of course, the then 'Persians' would look at it differently, but in this case it's told from King Leonidas' side).  

In a three-day battle circa 480 BC, at a narrow coastal pass know as "The Hot Gates", the vastly outnumbered Greek Army (approx 7,000) tried to block the only road the massive Persian Army (approx 100,000 to 150,000) could take. It was a seven-day struggle but only the last three involved fighting. The first two days of battle the Greek Army held the front line, but on the third, they were attacked from behind as well. A traitor from their village showed the enemy a way to get some troops in around the Spartans to attack from the rear.  Cutting the likelihood of a greater loss of life, King Leonidas dismissed the bulk of his army and stayed behind with (according to Wikipedia) 300 Spartans, 700 Thespians, 400 Thebans, and possibly 200+ others. Most were killed.  (You have to wonder how the dismissed army got out if there were soldiers on both sides.) 

There was a simultaneous sea battle going on, and this was the Persians second attempt (they were defeated the first time 10 years earlier).
 

 

Rambo 4Rambo (25 Jan 2008)
Languishing/living in Burma, Rambo helps some missionaries who are in the wrong place but won't listen. He's older, to be sure, but no less deadly! This movie rocks and it more than lives up to the Rambo series, and the honor and dignity of the character. 

It was said that this movie was gory to address that his other movies weren't very bloody. Well, they sure made up for it, and we loved it. There are many epic gnarly kills!

At the end, Rambo finally comes "full circle" and heads back to the U.S. (to Arizona) and home.  We anxiously await Rambo 5 aka Rambo: Last Blood to see where Mr. Stallone will take the MOST iconic character in Action Movies.

(Please read my comments on Rambo 5 at the end of this appreciation of First Blood.)

 

the hurt locker explosionThe Hurt Locker (10 Oct 2009)
I really liked this movie. I attribute that to equal parts Director Kathryn Bigelow, Writer Mark Boal, and star Jeremy Renner. Jeremy Renner was still relatively new at this time although he'd been in lots of TV and some movies you probably didn't see (except 28 Weeks Later).  This movie is a fascinating look at an unimaginable job. Nerves of Steel doesn't come close. You need balls of steel and either a red hot or stone cold heart.  To say it messed him up would be an understatement but you could also argue that it made him. But made him what? A hero? An adrenaline junkie? The ending was not a surprise, but it fit. I think it was a little rushed. We were so invested, it just wrapped up too quickly for me.  I guess maybe, like Renner's character Sergeant First Class William Jones, we just had trouble letting go . . .  I would recommend it highly. Not an Action Movie (IMDBB lists it as Drama Thriller War) yet it delivers, and it deserves a place here.

Universal Soldier: Regeneration (date)
Notes

the a-team movie posterThe A-Team (11 June 2010)
"A" is for a big, satisfying Aaaaaaah! The A-TEAM delivers Action with a capital "A". It reminded me a little of G. I. Joe because while it was great that the action was over-the-top incredible, they threw it at you at dizzying speeds. A little less hectic would have been a lot more enjoyable, but the opening really 'hit the spot'. It was very cool that they showed how the characters met, let "x" number of years pass (the TV episodes), and then cut to their current adventure in a short amount of time. There, the speed worked (plot wise). It helped if you saw the show, but the characters were well cast, and still quirky enough that it didn't matter if you didn't.

Conveying the "A" Team feeling and dynamic perfectly, the intro. was like an amuse-bouche of Action. Never thought I would use that phrase to describe anything in an Action Movie, but I went hungry for the Action Movie experience, and the A-Team intro was the perfect bite! A mini movie on its own; a taste of more good things to come. AMF=Action Movie Freak? Yes, but No . . . "Alpha Mike Foxtrot, Adios Mother Fucker!"  Read more . . .

Sylvester Stallone and Jason Statham on the red carpet in suits and ties and making fistsThe Expendables (13 Aug 2010)
It was impossible for this movie to be bad. We came to see our Action movie heroes, and it delivered. What was missing for me was that they didn't make us care about the characters like we rooted for Rocky and Rambo. If Bruce Willis had had a bad habit of sending the team on shit missions, and they had a habit of being smart enough to pull it off anyway (opener), then when Willis intended to send the whole 'expendable' team on what might have been a suicide mission for his own ends (intel on Eric Roberts?), but just Stallone and Statham smartly went alone first to check it out (as it happened), and got caught. Stone Cold etc. could have beat the hell out of them, and the girl could have saved their lives, giving them a reason to go back other than just rescue (gratitude and revenge), and we would have been rooting for S&S to win over the bad guys (other than they're just bad guys). If there was something that Bruce Willis did that deserved for them to come back and kick his ass too, that would have been awesome. We needed to hate Eric Roberts and we didn't (much), and Bruce's character was a throwaway. Anybody still reading? Regardless, it was an enjoyable ride and I loved it:  Here's lots of reasons why . . .

The Expendables 2 (17 Aug 2012)  

The Expendables 2 got it so right. 

As Terry Crews explained at ComicCon:  "One thing you gotta understand about the Action genre is that it's like a religion.  It really is. You get your beliefs from these movies.  You get what's right and wrong from these movies.  You get your inspiration from these movies."  Preach! 

My take on The Expendables 2 in one word: Celebrate!
Read more . . .

G.I. Joe: Retaliation (28 March 2013)

The 3D in this movie is SFC (seriously fucking cool) and is nonstop. It seems like it's going to be a great Buddy Movie until [SPOILER ALERT] Channing Tatum is killed. Disappointing to be sure, but there's no time to catch your breath. There is big 3D in nearly every frame, and the movie is an almost non-stop string of amazing fight scenes.

If you love military-themed Action Movies, this is a Super-Soldier extravaganza!  Read more . . .

Lone Survivor (10 Jan 2014)Peter Berg, Mark Wahlberg, and Marcus Luttrell

Of all the things Lone Survivor is: a Super Soldier movie, a look at the Navy SEAL brotherhood, the dramatized story of "Operation Red Wings", the story of the survival of Marcus Luttrell, a lesson in humanity, a case for believing in God . . . what it is most, is a damn good Action Movie.

 Read more . . .

The Expendables 3 (15 Aug 2014)  

If there was one moment of The Expendables 3 that captured that Expendables/Action Movie feeling and the reason why we go, the reason why we're Action Movie Freaks, it was Arnold laughing manicly as he shot out of the helicopter (near this moment pictured below—I've got to take a snapshot of it to replace this). That rush of pure pleasure in the mayhem and violence . . .

It was awesome!

Arnold Schwarzenegger shooting out of the helicopter in The Expendables 3

I couldn't wait to see The Expendables 3, so I went to the first showing on the Thursday night before it opened. It delivered and then some on the Action! I enjoyed every minute of it . . . Read more.

American Sniper (16 January 2015)

When the movie was over, you could hear a pin drop. Nobody moved during the credits. As we poured out of the theater, you could hear many people sobbing. Movies like this ground us and make us appreciate all we have.  In paying tribute to a real life Hero, it reminds me why I love Action Movies so much, and what true Action Movies (not just movies with Action in them) strive for.

Bradley Cooper does a great job as "Chris Kyle". I was thinking he might not fit the part but he does Chris' life justice and in the end, it seemed like a special honor that we used our best actor to honor one of our greatest Heroes.  I wanted someone who was already beefy but Bradley was more than just an Action Figure, he was the total Bad Ass Hero.  I'm going to have to add him to the Bad Ass Action Figure list just for this role alone.  I'm writing about the movie now, but I have to finish a website (real life interferes but makes this blog possible, so please check back if you want to read how much I enjoyed the movie).

13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi (15 January 2016)

Michael Bay and Benghazi: What a story, what a movie!  And John Krasinskisuch screen presence—at some point he eclipses everyone. That's a good thing, after all, he is the lead character, yet every actor's performance is really good. Even with as little as we know of the characters, we get really attached in a very short time. This "true story" is so compelling that even though there were many entertaining moments of Camaraderie and Dominance, and in-your-face love of America, you can't help but feel the movie's condemnation of those in command in the military/government who sat and watched and did practically nothing.  Read more . . .

 

 

 



Action Movie SUBGENRES
ADVENTURE |  ALL FOR LOVE  |  ARNOLD MOVIES |  BOND  |  BUDDY  |  CHASE  |  FIGHT  |   GRRRL POWER  |  HEIST
MARTIAL ARTS  |  REVENGE  |  SUPER COP
|  SUPERHERO  |  SUPER SOLDIER



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2016
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Film Festival

Dec 5-16

 

Artemis Year 3: April 21-23, 2017

 

             
 
        
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