action movie freak    

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

     Action Movie Freak.com is . . .


Aliens starring Bill Paxton as Private Hudson in Game Over moment after landing craft crashes

"Game over, man. Game over!"


HOW TO TELL . . .
Are you a FREAK
or just a
FAN?

Action Movie Fans can watch
other genres in comfort.
Action Movie FREAKS will start shifting in their seats 10 minutes into a movie where nothing has crashed or been blown up yet . . .


Action Movie Fans
can quote
a few one-liners from a few
 popular action movies.
"I'll be back!" 
"Make My Day!"

Action Movie FREAKS try to work
their favorite quotes into
conversation all the time! 
"God has his tricks, but getting
[paper jams out of copiers],
that's one of mine.*"

Action Movie Fans
have watched their favorite action movies
a handful of times.
Action Movie FREAKS can recite
the entire opening scene
word-for-word from at least 2 movies they're obsessed with!

"The Hovitos are near, the poison is still fresh—3 days, they're following us . . . "

"They are an army, unlike any other, crusading across the stars toward . . . "


And if you can easily finish
this entire quote: 
"I know what you're thinking,
did he fire 6 shots,
or only 5 . . . "


.44 magnum 

just admit it now,
you're an Action Movie
FREAK!
(That quote should be required memorization if you're going
to call yourself an

Action Movie FREAK
!)

Action Movie Fans can stomach
most movie violence.
Action Movie FREAKS will clap when the action reaches its gross-out best! Remember the incredible opening of Ninja Assassin . . . 
What's that? You didn't see
"Ninja Assassin"?
Then you're an
Action Movie Fan.
Let's start again.

Remember the incredible opening of Ninja Assassin, which ended when the blood splatter becomes the title 
 Ninja Assassin blood splatter title
you knew it was coming, but you clapped anyway! (Yes, true Action Movie FREAKS clap when the violence is really good like horror movie fans laugh when it gets really gross)  If, right about now, you're shaking your head or laughing,
you're an Action Movie Fan.
If you're all fired up . . . 
"HELL YEAH!"
"Welcome to the Jungle!"

You're an
Action Movie FREAK!

*from CHRONICLES OF RIDDICK
"God has his tricks, but gettin' outta places no one else can, that's one of mine."

 

 

Wonder Woman

Tom Cruise in Mission: Impossible

Aliens one of the greatest ever Action Movies

Sylvester Stallone The Untouchables

Trinity in the phone booth in The Matrix

Michael Jai White, Never Back Down: No Surrender

Ilsa Faust motorcyle behind the scenes

Lucy Lawless and stunt double Zoe Bell as Xena Warrior Princess

Tom Cruise Edge of Tomorrow

Jet Li Unleashed

Dwayne Johnson as Hercules

Dina Meyer as Dizzy Flores from Starship Troopers bad ass action movie chick

Jeannie Epper, Lynda Carter's Wonder Woman stunt double, holds her like a bride

The Terminator Arnold Schwarzenegger

Felicity Jones as Jyn Erso in Rogue One

Tom Cruise rock climbing in Mission: Impossible II

Amy Barnes as Doomsday warrior girl

Chris Hemsworth as Thor

Cobie Smulders throws down in Jack Reacher: Never Go Back

Action Movie Bad Ass Chick Jennette Goldstein as Vasquez in Aliens

Terminator Salvation with Christian Bale aka Mumbles

stunt double Heidi Moneymaker as Black Widow

Jean-Claude van Damme bites the tail off a rattlesnake in John Woo's Hard Target

bad ass action movie chick Kate Nauta in Transporter 2

Ryan Reynolds as Deadpool

Sylvester Stallone as John Rambo in Rambo

Geena Davis in The Long Kiss Goodnight

Andrea James Lui bad ass action movie chick in close space fight in Bail Enforcers

Peter Weller as Robocop-an Action Movie Classic

The incomparable Jackie Chan's clocktower stunt in Project A

Milla Jovovich as Alice in Resident Evil Apocalypse bad ass action movie chick

stunt double Dayna Grant as Furiosa

Keanu Reeves as John Wick seeing double

Dolph Lundgren Universal Soldier Action Movie Classic

The immortal Bruce Lee

Wesley Snipes Gallowwalkers

Olga Kurylenko as Etain from Centurion bad ass action movie chick

Keanu Reeves as Neo in The Matrix bullet time

Arnold Schwarzenegger in Commando

Linda Hamilton as Sarah Connor

Mission:Impossible III starring Tom Cruise in the bridge scene

Joyce Godenzi in Eastern Condors

Predator starring Arnold as Dutch and Arnold's biceps

Michelle Yeoh in Tomorrow Never Dies

Chuck Norris with guns in both hands in front of an American flag

JeeJa Yanin in Chocolate with a kick to the head

Sammo Kam-bo Hung in Eastern Condors

Chris Pine in Jurassic World

Steven Seagal holding a machette in Above the Law

Gina Carano in Haywire

Scott Adkins as Boyka

Ronda Rousey in The Expendables 3

Act of Valor swamp scene

Bruce Willis in Die Hard 2 ejector seat scene

. . . everything you love about ACTION MOVIES

The Essentials that make a great Action Movie
The gotta-have-it Trash Talking of the Action Movie BAD ASS
The Good and the Bad Action Movies by your favorite Action Figures
Looking for something specific? It's on the Hit List, and . . . 

WELCOME TO THE JUNGLE!

 

Love the vibe of Spider-Man: Homecoming 7/7/17
May 14, 2017

The trailers for this are delightful, combining high-school teenager angst with incredible action! I really liked Tom Holland in Captain America: Civil War and am looking forward to this. Just when you think they can't make another great movie about Spider-Man, something like this makes you realize, it just never gets old!  Love Spider-Man, love Peter Parker. Check out their cool, custom IMDb page.

 Here's Trailer # 1

and Trailer #2

 


The Fifth Element in theatres on 5/14 & 17
May 14, 2017

It's the 20th Anniversary of The Fifth Element [Action Adventure Sci-Fi (9 May 1997) Director/co-Writer Luc Besson with Mark Kamen], and AMC Theatres Sunset Place 24 is showing it on 5/14 and 5/17 at 2:00 and at 7:00 PM. It's also showing at South Beach 18 and the Falls 12. Run time 2 hours and 6 minutes | Rated PG-13.

"Four elements, gathered around a fifth . . . "

 


Predator is showing at OCinema Wynwood 5/12 @11:30 PM
May 11, 2017

OCinema Wynwood is showing Predator on the 30th anniversary as part of its Popcorn Frights Film Festival. One night only, one showing only. Get your ticket now! See you there.

OCinema Schwarzenegger ad for Predator and Running Man

For a look back at how incredible this movie is:  http://www.actionmoviefreak.com/predator.php

 


The Fate of the Furious is fricking fabulous!
May 7, 2017

Opening with a race in Havana, Cuba, the 8th installment of this hugely popular series delivers epic Action from start to finish. All the expected Fast & Furious elements are there. Right away we get a cheesy one liner as good as "I live my life a quarter mile at a time" when Vin Diesel says "The only thing that matters is who's behind the wheel," and then puts up to shut up his competition. The movie takes off from here and plows its way through scene after scene of even-better-than-hoped-for Action.

As far-fetched as the opening race is, it's over-the-top exciting and fun as hell to watch. The recurring themes of family, respect, trust, and ego, give us what we paid to see: All the chemistry of the team plus some new faces. Scott Eastwood is good as a suit. He and Kurt Russell bounce off each other well. They throw in some rules:  "Rule number one: Know your audience." When baby Eastwood's character "Little Nobody" pisses off The Rock as "Hobbs", Kurt "Mr. Nobody" says "I gave you your shot.  You shit the bed." LOL Loved how Hobbs breaks his restraints like they were just for show.

Without getting too much into the plot, when The Rock and Jason Statham face off in jail, it's as good as you can get for the Action Movie Essential: Camaraderie and Dominance. The Action in the prison riot scene is just top notch. These two bounce around like locomotive cars launched off a high-speed train in a tunnel.  The Rock (or his stunt double) even does a little parkour (that's right!). He's an unstoppable force. The slide under the banister where he (one of his two stunt doubles) bounces off a chain link fence to land on the floor below is crushingly cool. And Jason Statham's leaps from one floor to another are just as fluid as you expect Action to be from him. In fact, the whole riot scene is one long action sequence that culminates in their face off. From a still photo you'd this was the start of the fight, but it's actually the end of the riot and they're stopped before they come to blows with each other.

Jason Statham and The Rock face off in The Fate of The Furious

The stunt work is amazing!  And so are their choice of Weapons (another Action Movie Essential), and lots of other cool things . . .

  • Concussion Grenadess have been, historically, problematic, but they work well here.

  • They open up "The Toy Shop" with so many cars in 'boxes' it looks like a real-life Matchbox store.

  • The Rip Saw Tank is the real deal:   "750 hp with an M153 CROWS remotely-operated weapon station on top." Want to see more about the tank? . . .

  • Even a "Guard-Class" Limousine, which is even a match for an attack of "zombie cars" vertically evacuating a nearby parking garage in a scene that pulls out-loud "Oh my God"s from the audience. Hacking cars, as it turns out, it still a much-too-easy thing to do (read more on hacking cars here).

Overall, the movie is the usual 'wild ride' with jokes and impossible situations that come off without a hitch. But who needs reality—we're in it for the escapism. No, cars may not be able to outrun an Akula Class submarine over ice, but, it's really cool someone thought of it to make a chase scene like no other. For the filmmakers to think of things we haven't already seen must be a huge challenge, and this series never fails to take the action to another level. So they borrowed a bit: The scene with the cables was a little like The Wolverine but still very cool. The "Knock Knock" was very Arnold, very Expendables with Big Toys, and I loved when Vin looked like Bane and bashed the driver's door off from inside. Come on . . . Still, super cool. But then there's the shootout with the baby, the audience was not happy about that. For all the far-fetched action, there was the tech angle that took it to another level of cool, throwing in some BIG DATA. Not going to talk about plot holes and EMPs. They had 2 girl hackers 'fighting', Lety fought some men, and they had jetpacks that slingshotted themselves into the back of a plane. All that and the emphasis was still on love and family. "You never turn your back on family," Vin says. They pulled it all together with the introduction of the baby "Brian" (sniffle), and saying grace over a shared meal. The movie makes sure it's really relatable, so that at the end of it all, you feel like they could be one of you. 

And, look: there's Don Omar and Tego!


Back from the Artemis Film Festival Year 3
May 4, 2017

It was a blast. Here's their red-carpet compilation video from twitter:

 


 

2, 1 . . . Artemis Film Festival 4/20-23, Los Angeles,CA
April 19, 2017

On my way . . . see you there!

    

 


3 more days to Artemis Film Festival . . . I am hoping
Jessie Graff will be there as well #womanoftheyear

April 16, 2017

It's cute to see "Sammo Hog", Jessie's pig on her workout videos. Sometimes he 'helps', sometimes he's an extra obstacle challenge. He's VERY cute!

Jessie Graff and Sammo Hog  Jessie Graff and Sammo Hog

Here he is running his own ninja course . . . You can follow @sammohog on instagram.

 


6, 5, 4 more days to Artemis Film Festival . . .
April 16, 2017

I discovered none of the videos on my site were loading so I'm working furiously to fix that. I've haven't had time to see Chips, Power Rangers, or The Fate of the Furious (yet). I hope to see all 3 after the Festival. You're going to Artemis, right?

Melissa McCarthy and Luci Romberg

 


7 Days to Artemis Film Festival—Calling for Volunteers!
April 13, 2017

It's Thursday morning, April 13, and the Artemis Film Festival starts next Thursday!  I am thrilled to be able to attenda nd to participate as a volunteer. To be a part of something that promotes strong women is a dream come true for me. If you are attending and can volunteer, please let @IndusAlelia know.

 


8 Days to Artemis Film Festival honoring
Action
Powerhouse Melissa McCarthy

April 12, 2017

In an exclusive from Variety, it was announced today that Melissa MCarthy will be honored with the Action Powerhouse Award by the Artemis Women in Action Film Festival. "Melissa has epitomized female action heroes in countless films,” the festival said. “She has always embraced characters who are physically empowered — even when they make us laugh.”  Love her so much in, well, everything, but The Heat (laughed so hard it hurt at the machine-gunning oneliners in the bar scene), and Spy, especially those two . . .  The Action in Spy was really so hilarious yet so good! She is a powerhouse talent!

 


9 Days to Artemis:  Meet the Artemis Team
April 11, 2017

Melanie Wise
Founder

@IAmMelanieWise  
@ArtemisPics  
@Artemis_FF

 

Sean Newcombe
co-Founder

@therealnewk

Zac Baldwin
co-Founder 
Megan Hubbell
marketing & media development manager 

@MeganHubbell

Indus Alelia
public relations & outreach manager 

@IndusAlelia

Sheena Metal
board of directors 

@SheenaMetal

 


10 Days to Artemis: Meet their Media Partners
April 10, 2017

This year's Artemis Womenin Action Film Festival media partners are :

 

  • FilmFreeway.com  Film Freeway is a Canadian-born, completely digital, film-festival-submission platform.  Film Freeway is always 100% free for filmmakers, writers, photographers, and submitters. You always retain 100% of all rights to your intellectual property. (Membership $36/year)  @FilmFreeway


     

  • FilmInquiry.com  Film Inquiry is a progressive, independent, film magazine that aims to redefine film journalism. They publish in-depth, high-quality articles written by a diverse group of people; without falsely baiting your attention, they offer genuine, passionate insight into the world of film.  @FilmInquiry

     

  • InkTip.com  "Where everyone goes for scripts and writers.™" InkTip helps writers sell their scripts and get representation. Producers have made more than 300 films from scripts and writers they found through InkTip. (Los Angeles, CA)  @Official_InkTip


  • PrettyTough.com  Pretty Tough™ is a popular media property and lifestyle brand that is creating empowering girl-centric content, products, and events, and shining a spotlight on strong, active females. @PrettyTough


     

  • SportsAndSocialChange.org  Sports and Social Change facilitates social change programs, and encourages charitable giving, and volunteer participation, from sports fans around the world. @sportsandchange


     

  • TheSlaughteredBird.com  The Slaughtered Bird, one of the leading promoters, reviewers, and producers of worldwide independent horror, promotes horror projects—no matter how low budget—from any corner of the globe, so get in touch! @SlaughteredBird


     

  • ActionMovieFreak.com  So thrilled to be a part of this Festival! 
    Hope I see you there . . .







     


 

11 Days to Artemis at 2 Laemmle locations: Day 1 Ahrya Fine Arts Theater, Beverly Hills & Days 2-4 Monica Film Center, Santa Monica
April 9, 2017

SOURCE: Michael Nordine at L.A. Weekly, Feb. 8, 2016
Nearly two years after closing for renovations, Laemmle’s Monica 4-Plex has returned . . . with a face lift and a new name. Now the Laemmle Monica Film Center, the art-house chain’s [1332 Second Street, Santa Monica location has become a] six-screen theater.

Monica Film Center’s reopening comes just a few months after that of the long-dormant [Beverly Hills location] Ahrya Fine Arts [Theater], another of Laemmle’s eight locations. [Monica is] also the first to feature a beer-and-wine menu, with a ground-floor restaurant opening later this year and another on the rooftop deck to follow.

Upstairs, theater 5 features a midsize screen and some 30 seats (as does the auditorium next to it). Also on the upstairs level is a lounge area with luxe couches and chairs. Sitting in the Monica Film Center (or any Laemmle theater, really) feels like embedding yourself in the cultural fabric of L.A. film culture. The company is now in its 78th year of operation ([operating] a theater on Second Street for 44 of those years) and the fact that it’s renovating and reopening theaters, when so many others are closing, is something to be celebrated.

Parking
They recommend parking in City Parking Structure #4, directly across the street from the theatre. If this lot is full, you can park at the next structure one block north on 2nd Street. The rates were as follows back on that date—they may have gone up:

  • First 90 minutes free

  • $1.25 for the next hour

  • $1.85 each additional 30 minutes

  • $17.50 maximum daily

 


12 Days to Artemis and "Mission NinetyTwo"
April 8, 2017

Sat. Apr. 22, 11:55 AM  | Get Tickets

 

Just based on the poster (can't help it: Graphic Designer), I am intrigued by Mission NinetyTwo (showing with another movie The Dawning under the heading "Deadly Skills"). The Japanese poster title is Assassin Hunter—love the diagonal!
 

"A scientist, Sonia becomes a kick-ass avenger who fights her way back from Europe to North America to find the last piece of the missing puzzle of a global conspiracy (adult themes, violence)."

Director/Co-Writer Guido Tölke  |  Co-Writer/Star Julia Dordel . . . (IMDb bio) @jdordel

As an actress, writer, producer and forest scientist (PhD) at The University of British Colombia, fluent in German, English, and Spanish, as well as a former semi-professional Modern Pentathlete (pistol-shooting, fencing, swimming, running, and horseback-riding), who trained with the former Canadian Olympic Team until 2008, Julia Dordel is a very versatile talent.

Born and raised in Germany, she demonstrated her love of film as well as of science and nature early on. During her school years she played the leading roles in school theatre plays and musicals, and produced her own documentary films for science classes. Encouraged by her parents to pursue a career in business or science, Julia completed an apprenticeship in a bank, studied a couple of terms of economics, and, finished an undergraduate degree, two Masters, and a PhD in Forest Sciences, while modeling, working at a radio station, and studying theatre and film acting at the same time.

Frustrated by the fact that the word about innovative green science discoveries—with the potential to change the world for the better— rarely gets out to the public, as well as motivated by her love for film, Julia founded [together with a fellow actress (Anita Reimer, appearing in this movie)] the film production company Libelle Productions.

In 2013 she also founded the film production company Dorcon Film in Hannover, Germany.

 


13 Days to Artemis and "Tip Your Waitress"
April 7, 2017

Fri. Apr. 21, 7:15 PM  |  Get Tickets

This short movie looks entertaining (part of a "Punch Lines" grouping of shorts). I hope it's as satisfying as the premise makes it seem. "While working the graveyard shift, waiting on a table of rude and rowdy thugs who stiff her, one waitress will exact the revenge so many of us dream about (featuring fight action violence)."  Always wanted to make a movie called "Asshole Eliminator" with a specially designed vehicle that cruises around punishing bad driving behavior by crushing and smashing them into oblivion, satisfying the road rage in aggressive drivers (guilty).

Writer/Director: Kelly Riot  IMDb bio: Kelly Riot (Brewer) is a native Texan photographer who started her career in production in hair and makeup for the fashion industry, which brought her, very quickly, to Los Angeles. She immediately began working in hair/makeup, special effects, and costuming for TV and film. Kelly is also an accomplished guitarist, having learned to play by watching country music videos on TV, and by writing music herself. In between working on set, Kelly was picked up by the all-girl, punk-rock-sensation "Rocket", and she toured for the next 4 1/2 years. After leaving Rocket, she hired herself out to other bands while filming her own small web series, and returning to photography. After moving to Austin, Texas, Kelly made the shift to directing, and writing her own films alongside Trevor Seits, under the company Electric Sneakers Productions.

Stars:  Aaron D. Alexander, Donald Brooks, Leslie Fender, Justin Fisher, Elizabeth Maxwell, Arlo Neill, Mark Rector, Trevor Seits (Co-Producer)

 


14 Days to the Artemis Women in Action Film Festival
reaching new goals with your help!
April 6, 2017

It's not too late to be a part of the Artemis Women in Action Film Festival. You can still make a donation toward their larger goals of making the Festival even cooler, bigger, and better, at any time. They met their original goal (122%!), but have a larger vision that you can help bring to life (plus there's always next year to pull off).  It feels empowering to be a part of this positive event that promotes strong women. Click here to contribute (scroll down a little) and via PayPal to Artemis Motion Pictures (one of the forces behind the festival). 

See you there, April 20-23!


15 Days to the Artemis Women in Action Film Festival
honoring Action Rebel Tom Cruise !

April 5, 2017

 

Tom Cruise has been featuring some strong women in his Action Movies, and strong women have taken notice.  This year's Artemis Women in Action Film Festival's Action Rebel honoree is arguably the biggest star on the planet, and I have already sang his praises here . . . but why stop there LOL. #imatomcruisegirl

As I re-watch Oblivion, I appreciate just how much Tom has pushed the boundaries of visionary Action filmmaking. The pilot in this movie "JackHarper: Tech 49" is not that far removed (being cool and capable) from Top Gun's "Lt. Pete 'Maverick' Mitchell"—Tom's made a career of being 'top gun' much to our movie-watching delight—and yet it's worlds apart. Always the lead in the coolest movies, Tom has been sharing the lead spotlight with some kick-ass female characters, like: Army Major "Susan Turner" in Jack Reacher: Never Go Back, Secret Agent "Ilsa Faust" in Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation, Rita 'Full-Metal Bitch' Vratski" in Edge of Tomorrow, Henchwoman"Sabine Moreau" and IMF Agent "Jane Carter" in in Mission: Impossbile - Ghost Protocol.  It's truly gratifying to see him bring a female character along on these adventures. No longer just eye candy, these women not only hold their own, but usually help out, save, and/or exceed the male lead(s) at times. For this reason, in keeping with the Artemis Mission Statement, they are honoring him for honoring us! 

The Artemis MISSION STATEMENT

Artemis Motion Pictures brings you the first ever film festival dedicated to honoring female action and empowerment.  We celebrate powerful women taking action on the silver screen. From female action heroes to female activists, we will shine a spotlight on females in narrative and documentary films who are fearless, fierce, and revolutionary.

Artemis Women in Action Film Festival celebrates action and empowerment films and the women who kick ass and change culture in them! We not only wish to celebrate, we wish to elevate. We believe that film has both the power to entertain and to awaken. With this festival, we’d also like to awaken people’s awareness of the dynamic and powerful roles of women in our society and throughout the world. Our festival mission is to both kick ass and open minds.

Whether suffragettes or stuntwomen, female superheroes or female leaders, if your film features a woman as a lead or co-lead who is in action or takes action, we want to see it! We are interested in all narrative, animated, and documentary films as well as screenplays that showcase powerful women.

 

"Toe to toe, and hand in hand."  -Tom Cruise

Army Major Susan Turner

 

Love this video as it seems to balance femininity and being kick ass.

Secret Agent Ilsa Faust

 

"This the 'deep end' of Action".  -Tom Cruise

Rita "Full Metal Bitch" Vrataski


 

 

Not one but 2 Bad Ass Chicks (first time I've ever used the word "henchwoman'!):

IMF Agent Jane Carter v Henchwoman Sabine Moreau

 

 

 


16 Days to Artemis Film Festival and they have announced
their full Screening Schedule

April 4, 2017

4 days of non-stop Action!!

 

Thursday 4/20/17
 Ahrya Fine Arts Theater

 8556 Wilshire Blvd. Beverly Hills, CA 90211

8:00 PM  RED CARPET HONOREE CEREMONY
9:45 PM  Screenings of Rocket and Quarries

 

 

Friday 4/21/17
 Laemmle Monica Film Center
 1332 2nd St, Santa Monica, CA 90401

10:00 AM  Queen of Everything You See and In Plain Sight: Stories of Hope & Freedom
11:45 AM  The Longest Race and Full Moon
1:45 PM  It Ain't Pretty
3:15 PM  Duende: The Red Shoes and Coco Cabasa
4:40 PM  Shorts: Defendant 5, Stripped, Five Awake, Lucy Falls, Shackles of Fury,  and Divine Shadow

5:00 – 6:30 pm Open THE HA! 360 VR LOUNGE with a ribbon-cutting celebration ceremony with the Santa Monica Chamber of Commerce. Hyperator Virtual Reality Innovation Labs and Artemis Motion Pictures brings you a state of the art VR lounge. They’ll cut the ribbon, toast, and have some fanfare!!

7:15 PM Shorts:  Yoga Pant Brawl, Girl Trip, Schooled, Tip Your Waitress,  and Hard Way Girl
8:35 PM Shorts: La Folia, Toys, Hoods, Iron Dream, Pintu,  and Ordinary Days
10:25 PM Shorts:  Iris, Skinner, Boxer, Sleep Temple, Waystation,  and Soldier Bee

 

 

Saturday 4/22/17
 Laemmle Monica Film Center
 1332 2nd St, Santa Monica, CA 90401

10:00 AM  Between
11:55 AM  The Dawning and Mission  NinetyTwo
2:00 PM  Documentary Shorts:  Kickass Katie Lee, Margaret Lambert Story, I Shot Einstein, Inez Milholland: Foward Into Light,  and We Can Do It: Stories of Rosie The Riveter

4:00 PM WARRIOR WOMEN PANEL  Femininity has never been about passivity. Women have been warriors since the dawn of time. Explore the history and current reality of warrior women with archaeologists, historians, female martial artists and MMA fighters. Featuring:

  • Archaeologist Jeannine Davis-Kimball

  • Historian Walter Penrose

  • Mythology Professor Kimberly Ball

  • Gender Studies Professor Kimberly Clair

  • Aikdo Master Michele Benzamin-Miki

  • Jiu-Jitsu Black Belt "Goddess Severa" (pictured at right)

5:15 PM  Shorts: Moonshot and Go Against The Flow

7:00 PM WOMEN IN VR PANEL Virtual Reality is the future and the future is female. Join us for a one-hour discussion of the recently leaps taken in 360 VR filmmaking and the pioneering role women play in it. Sponsored by Hyperator VR and featuring some of the leading women in VR today.

8:15 PM  Shorts:  Her Blue Eyes, Olga, Blackwell, Summers Mysterties, Lydia's Last One, Fight Room, Interrogation, Relapse,  and Stealth & Silence
10:30 PM  Sci-Fi:  The Comet Chronicles and Teleios

 

 

Sunday 4/23/17
  Laemmle Monica Film Center
 1332 2nd St, Santa Monica, CA 90401

10:00 AM  Documentary Shorts:  Black Hmong & A Differen Way of Life, Climbing Thailand, Pursuit of Beauty, The Line: Courage To Get There,  and Slam
11:40 AM  The Monkey . . . And Her Drive and Racing InRed
2:00 PM  Mind | Game: The Unquiet Journey of Chamique Holdsclaw followed by :30 minute Q&A with the Producer
4:15 PM  Second Chance on the Caprock and Mabel, Mabel, Tiger Trainer
6:20 PM  FILM FINANCE PANEL (sponsored by Bond-It & Buffalo 8):  The panel every independent filmmaker should attend. Successful film financiers and producers discuss the keys to financing and producing your independent film before you take that first step. Great information on the latest trends for funding your film.
Panelists:

  • Producer, Brent Emery

  • Producer, Matthew Helderman

  • Producer, Michael Roban

  • Attorney, Eric Harbert

  • Film Finance and Analytics Consultant, Barbara Chiodo

  • Moderator, Elizabeth Dell

7:35 PM  Crazy Happy and The Empowerment Project
10:00 PM  AWARDS CEREMONY - COMPETITION FILMMAKERS AND SCREENWRITERS:  Artemis Women in Action Film Festival will recognize the best of the festival with awards for:

  • Best Film

  • Best Documentary

  • Best Short Film

  • Best Short Documentary

  • Best Foreign Film

  • Best Director

  • Best Short Director

  • Best Historical Documentary

  • Best Actress

  • Best Fight Action

  • Best Musical Short

  • Best Original Screenplay
     

For tickets and more details, please visit the Artemis website: http://www.artemisfilmfestival.com/2017-schedule/

 


17 Days to Artemis Film Festival celebrating
Tammie Baird Artemis Stunt Icon Award

April 3, 2017

Tammie's IMDb bio is short and sweet:  "Many women dream of being swept off their feet, but it's a rare breed, indeed, who would like it to involve the front fender of a moving car. Tammie's journey to become a top-level professional stuntwoman began in the acting world, but no sooner had she taken her first squib hit on the film, Mr. and Mrs. Smith, she knew her true calling. You may have seen her work in shows like, Sons of Anarchy, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D, American Horror Story, Modern Family, NCIS Los Angeles, and Fear of the Walking Dead just to name a few. Tammie is very proud of her multi ethnic heritage that has allowed her to double actresses of almost every race."

THIS is a kick-ass woman and a kick-ass photo:

The photo is from Tammie's IMDb Photo Gallery and is captioned: "Stuntwoman Tammie Baird taking a car hit for actress Shannon Elizabeth on Chris Brown's 'Next 2 You' video featuring Justin Bieber." ( collison at 3:52)

 

Tammie appeared on the Today Show, and her love of stunt work shines through:


Here is Tammie's Stunt Reel:


From the first Artemis Film Festival (2015) red carpet, Tammie shares her favorite type of stunt work.

stuntwoman Tammie Baird

 

Looking at her resume Tammie's done an incredible amount of movies and shows!  Here is some high praise from her Artemis 2017 Honoree profile:

Tammie is being honored for "persistently creating breathtaking art in her stuntwork. You become an icon when you both embody and represent the best of your craft and Tammie Baird is that.

It was said Ginger Rogers did everything Fred Astaire did, but backwards and in heels. Well, the same can be said of Tammie Baird. Known for her intrepid car stunts, wire work, acrobatics and badass martial arts fights, Tammie can do all that decked out in an evening dress and stilettos.

From Mr. & Mrs. Smith to Iron Man, Halo 4, Dexter, Sons of Anarchy, Taken 3, and NCIS: Los Angeles, Tammie has made the daring commonplace and won the admiration of her peers and the inspiration of those stunt performers who follow her.

This amazing performer is now a paragon in the stunt industry, and our recipient of The Artemis Stunt Icon award."

Stunt Icon—hell yes!

Check her out on TammiBaird.com and follow her on twitter @TammieBaird.


18 Days to Artemis Film Festival starring
Gina Carano
Artemis Action Warrior Award

April 2, 2017

When you see her, wish her a late Happy Birthday (it's April 16th).  I loved Gina Carano in Blood and Bone \nnn/ "Call me.") Then she eclipsed all the men in Haywire. I thought when they put her as The Rock's partner in Fast & Furious 6, they looked like a great match (strength and strength) but he/the character seemed to treat her with disregard. . . calling her "Woman" (I hated that). She/the character looked a little sheepish like The Rock was gonna stomp on her any minute. BUT, when it came time to thrown down, she made the ticket price so worth it!

She's tough alright. If you didn't see her in In the Blood, you should have. She's the real deal! No need to make it look convincing. She's the embodiment of every dream of strength we have. Delivering 'hard-hitting' action as well as anyone. Would love to see her in a an all-female Predators-type movie.

In the Blood "Plot Keywords" . . . #thatswhatimtalkingbout

  • woman fights a man

  • woman kills a man

  • hand-to-hand combat

  • mixed martial arts

  • martial arts

  • kicked in the crotch

  • tough girl

  • one-woman army

  • action heroine

Then came Heist (first called Bus 657) which was only disappointing because of how little she was in it. She had roles in Kickboxer: Vengeance, Deadpool, and Extraction. (I really hated how they treated her character in Deadpool and the whole boob slippage thing—it was like they were making a joke of strong women. No surprise since the whole movie was very 'anti-vag', but I enjoyed the action anyway and paid to see it twice.) I haven't seen Extraction yet (also stars Bruce Willis and Kellan Lutz), but I see she's sexualized. I hope she makes a movie where she's just a fighter, not a 'sexy' fighter. Know what I mean?!

Gina is so cool. Her fighting history is fascinating. From her IMDb bio: "At the age of 21, Gina began training in Muay Thai, a form of Kickboxing, with Master Toddy. Initially, because of her pretty face, spectators refused to take her seriously as a fighter. [Gina was] openly laughed at, insulted, and ridiculed in front of crowds before fights [but she let] her fists do the talking. Her Muay Thai career is comprised of an impressive 12 wins, 1 loss, and 1 draw and she becomes the first American woman to win a title in Thailand. The 2005 cult film Ring Girls (2005) follows Gina and her trainer, Master Toddy during her early Muay Thai career."

I just love that she was an American Gladiator: Gina "Crush" Carano. That's cool, too, and a great role model of strength for girls. Yes, we can!

I enjoy watching her fight because she never looks afraid. She can take a punch, and boy can she throw one. Sometimes, she just launches it and is airborne. There's a lot of power in her shoulders, and watching her you feel the phrase "packs a punch", especially in the MMA video tribute below.

 



 

YOU KNOW she should have been Wonder Woman!

Gina Carano as Wonder Woman

 


19 Days to Artemis Film Festival recognizing
Ingrid Bolsø Berdal
Artemis Action Next Wave Award
April 1, 2017

Starring as "Atalanta" in Brett Ratner's Hercules alongside The Rock is an impressive Action Movie notch in your belt, but Norwegian actress Ingrid Bolsø Berdal was already impressively fiece as "Dagmar" in Escape:

 

And if you watched the Westworld TV series (which I didn't get to) she was some kind of bad ass naked robot cowgirl . . .

Ingrid Bolso Berdal Westworld

She was also in Chernobyl Diaries (looks like fun—don't watch it in the dark!).

IMDb Photo Gallery


 

20 Days to Artemis Film Festival . . . For The Love of Action
March 31, 2017

Researching for "30 Days 'til Artemis" has been great fun. Everyone involved is so impressive. As I flipped through Andy Armstrong's photo gallery on IMDb, I wondered why it began with this shot (other than it's from The Amazing Spider-Man 2, which he worked on), and now I know.  Of course, this is a really cool Action Movie moment, and your mind naturally goes to effects and wires, etc., but . . .

This video from the Armstrong Action website reveals the 'magic', and that magic is Andy's love of Action. You can hear him explain it. If you think it's as cool as I did, yes, you're an Action Movie Freak.

Here is (one of) his Current Reels of Work:



21 Days to Artemis Film Festival honoring
legendary Stunt Rebel Andy Armstrong
March 30, 2017

Andy Armstrong doubling Sir John Mills on The Zoo Gang 1974Beginning in 1972 as a vehicle stunt performer, Andy Armstrong (@AndyRArmstrong) decided (in 1973) to become an Assistant Film Director "specializing in very large international productions that involved complex, dangerous, and logistically difficult stunts and action sequences. [Between 1973 and 1987] Andy worked as an Assistant Director on more than 70 International Movies—including the three of the largest James Bond films: The Man With The Golden Gun, The Spy Who Loved Me, and Moonraker."

"[In] 1987, Andy once again decided to concentrate on Action, [which led him to] design, coordinate, and/or direct some of the largest action sequences ever achieved on many international productions. These are typified by the huge (1,200 people) Teamster battle in Hoffa, the charge and battles in Stargate (1,400 people), the action on Galaxy Quest, the World War I battle scenes for Oscar-Winner Frank Pearson's TV Movie Truman starring Gary Sinese, the huge battles in Tim Burton's Planet of the Apes, the car stunt sequences of Highwaymen, and the action sequences on Scooby Doo 2, Cat Woman, I Robot, and Eragon (2nd Unit Director)." SOURCE: IMDb

Andy Armstrong, Tom Skerritt, Rémy Julienne, John Philbin, and Director Jeannot Szwarc on Honor Bound set in Croatia

(At left, Andy with Tom Skerritt , Rémy Julienne, John Philbin, and Director Jeannot Szwarc on "Honor Bound" in Croatia.)

In 1989, Andy moved permanently from England to set up base in California. Andy and his Brother, Vic, run Armstrong Action, the largest privately owned and most comprehensive family-operated stunt and action facilities company in the world.

armstrong action logo

As Second Unit Director or Assistant Director, Andy has worked on Rambo III, Highlander (uncredited), Rough Cut, Force 10 from Navarone, A Bridge Too Far, and many more.

As Stunt Coordinator, he worked on Bang Bang, The Amazing Spider-Man 2, Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters (uncredited), The Amazing Spider-Man, Thor, The Green Hornet, Season of the Witch (US battle scenes), Fun With Dick and Jane, Charlie's Angels, and again, too many more to name (those are just some of my favorites).

He has a Stunts credit for Universal Soldier, Total Recall (he also appeared as one of Richter's Henchmen (uncredited), and 53 more. He was Associate Producer and Stunt Coordinator for the David Mamet movie Homicide. And, he had an acting part in the Jean-Claude Van Damme twin role movie Double Impact.

Taurus World Stunt Awards trophy

 

TAURUS WORLD STUNT AWARDS
Andy is a Founding Member of the Taurus World Stunt Awards The Taurus World Stunt Awards is a yearly award ceremony held in Los Angeles. The first awards were given out in 2001. The awards were created by Dietrich Mateschitz, the founder of Red Bull. "To join the Academy, stunt professionals must belong to a recognized stunt organization or meet a 'Body of Work' requirement that is determined by the Academy’s Blue Ribbon Committee. All members are listed on the official Taurus World Stunt Awards website, are able to cast a vote, and if selected, receive a Taurus™ Award. Membership is free.

TAURUS WORLD STUNT AWARDS FOUNDATION
He also serves on the Board of Directors of the Taurus World Stunt Awards Foundation"It provides support for the international stunt community and financial assistance to members of the Taurus World Stunt Awards Academy, who experience a debilitating stunt-related injury. Financial grants are considered on merit in the event of a stunt related temporary, partial or permanent disability. The Foundation [is] perpetuated by annual Taurus World Stunt Awards programming and by ongoing fundraising activities.

The Taurus Foundation Committee is made up of an advisory board of Blue Ribbon Committee members who supervise all of the Foundation’s activities, including awarding of grants.

BOARD OF DIRECTORS


Donate online or contact (323) 468-4011.

At right, Andy and Jennifer #StandUpForStunts. 
You can too: 
Sign the online petition!

 


PHOTO GALLERY

Here he is with Will Smith on the set of I, Robot.

Andy Armstrong on the set of I,Robot with Will Smith

 


 

22 Days to Artemis honoring Jennifer Caputo for
Artemis Stunt Lifetime Achievement Award
March 29, 2017

Stuntwoman Jennifer Caputo 2017 Artemis Women in Action Film Festival Stunt Lifetime Achievement Award

One of the things I would love to see change about Action Movies it the lack of recognition. I imagine those of us not 'in the business', the fans, unless we research when we see stunts we like, would never know who does them.  The credits run really fast at the end of a movie and the descriptions (except for stunt doubles—of which there are sometimes multiple) are quite generic.  This wonder woman, Jennifer Caputo has only this for a bio on IMDb:
"Jennifer Caputo is known for her work on The Amazing Spider-Man (2012), Thor (2011) and Next (2007). " 

Under Trivia: "Sister of Jay Caputo (Stunts | Actor | Producer)", and "Graduated from Lake Mary High School in Lake Mary, Florida (1989)."  I'm from Florida and I'm going to have to look that up (it's north of Orlando, population was 13,000+ in 2013, so a 'small-town girl'. 

Her resume is anything but trivial . . .

PERFORMANCE SKILLS Stunts, Motorcyclist, Stunt Driving, Precision Driving, All-Around Athlete (istunt profile)

AWARDS
2015 Taurus World Stunt Awards
Nominee: Best Overall Stunt by A Stuntwoman (for Bang Bang with Artemis Stunt Rebel Award honoree Andy Armstrong as Stunt Consultant)


 

Nominee: Best Work with a Vehicle ( for The Amazing Spider-man 2)

 

2015 Action Icon Awards
Nominee: Jewel Award

2014 Action Icon Awards
Winner: Stuntwoman of the Year

2013 Taurus World Stunt Awards
Nominee: Best Stunt Rigging (The Amazing Spider-man 2)
Nominee: Best Stunt by A Stuntwoman (The Amazing Spider-man 2)

2007 Taurus World Stunt Awards
Nominee: Best Overall Stunt by A Stuntwoman (Ultraviolet), 2007
"The lead character crashes her motorcycle through a window and breaks a wall" Jennifer Caputo, Alicia Vela-Bailey
That description leaves out the excitement of the character jumping her motorcycle off a high-rise and shooting while passing through a hovering helicopter bay, then crashlanding through a wall of glass, only to break through the approaching wall, then dismounting while the bike crashes through a second wall. The real part of the Action more than makes up for any CGI. Check out REAL FOOTAGE in her stunt reel, below!

Photo Gallery of Jennifer Caputo in costume for many of her films. 

Here's an interview from "Helmet Hair" magazine, and another from Hot Rod Newsletter (2005).

 


23 Days to Artemis Film Festival but only 6 hours left
to DONATE to the Women Kick Ass Project 3
March 28, 2017

You gotta go!  The Artemis Women in Action Film Festival will be the place to be April 20-23, 2017.  It's going to be great but will feel even better knowing you helped, so get in there and give whatever you can!  And see you there . . .

https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/the-women-kick-ass-project-3-action#/

 

The Women Kick Ass Project 3 Mission: Artemis Year 3 from Artemis on Vimeo

What a photo:  L-R Vanessa Robyn,  Zöe Bell, Jessie Graff, Dayna Grant, Yancy Butler, and Heidi Moneymaker!

 


24 Days to Artemis Film Festival honoring Freerunner
& Stuntwoman Extraordinaire Luci "Steel" Romberg

March 27, 2017

Meet Luci Romberg (luciromberg.com), she is a 'force of one'! She is this year's Stunt Next Wave Award Winner.

Luci-Romberg

Luci is a woman who inspires in many ways.  Luci ("Steel" is her nickname) is a champion gymnast, an all-conference soccer player, a practitioner of freerunning (Tempest Freerunning Academy's only Female Pro Freerunner), and an award-winning stuntwoman. [Pictured below are: Alyma Dorsey, Jessi Fisher, Meredith Richardson and Luci Romberg, stunt doubles for Leslie Jones, Kristen Wiig, Kate McKinnon, and  Melissa McCarthy, respectively. Photos from: "What it takes to be a 'Ghostbustters' stuntwoman" via espn.com.]

In 2014, she was nominated for the Taurus World Stunt Awards "Best Overall Stunt for a Stunt Woman" for her fall down basement stairs in The Conjuring, and she won "Best Overall Stunt for a Stunt Woman" for being hit by a car in Identity Thief (she was also nominated in the category "The Hardest Hit" for this stunt).

 

In addition, Luci is a 10-time Red Bull Art of Motion Best Female Champion, and was a Sasuke [Japan's "Ninja Warrior TV show (Luci was the first woman to make it through the jumping spider)] and American Ninja Challenge competitor.

Luci has appeared on TV (Crossing Jordan, Monk, NCIS, NCIS: Los Angeles, Scream Queens, Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles, The Unit, True Blood, and so many more), and in movies (Divergent, Green Lantern, Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, Ted, The Conjuring, Transformers: Age of Extinction, Zombieland, Jason Bourne, and more).  She doubled Mireille Enos in Sabotage, and has doubled Melissa McCarthy in Identity Thief, Spy, The Boss, and Ghostbusters.

Luci-Romberg-Artemis-2017-Stunt-Next-Wave-Award-winner

She release a moving and inspiring short film entitled "Tru Beauty: A Luci Romberg Story" where she talked about her struggle with Bulimia, and how she found the discipline to challenge her fears through freerunning. It's truly wonderful that she took the time to make this film, and bravely admitted her weaknesses and fears in a way that will help others who might be struggling with self doubt, a negative self image, and a lack of confidence.  Thanks for sharing and inspiring others, Luci!

 

Luci Romberg and Melissa McCarthy in Ghostbusters

 

 


25 Days to Artemis Film Festival featuring
featuring taut Action Thriller Quarries

March 26, 2017

QUARRIES is one of the films that will be featured at the Artemis Film Festival. It's about a group of women on a wilderness hiking "experience"/escape, who stumble into danger when forest fires reroute them. The main character is "Kat" (producer and co-writer Nicole Marie Johnson), who is escaping from an abusive boyfriend. Part way along, the women are forced to fight for survival as they are being chased by a 'pack 'of predators.

They start out with a group of 7. Rebecca McFadizen is enjoyable as the very 'blonde' "Brit", and Carrie Finklea is a standout as a drug addict with attitude, "Wren". All the acting is excellent. "Jean", the tour guide, played by Sara Mornell, anchors the movie until . . .

Another star of the movie is the landscape. The beautifully shot, and well paced, and just when you wonder when things will go south, it suddenly goes from a 'walk in the park' to a drop-all-your-shit-and-run-for-your life pace. Kudos to the men for the physicality of their roles as well.  Without spoiling anything, Quarries will give you a 'run for your money'.

The film is now available for purchase and rental on iTunes, Amazon, and Vudu, and is also available on both DVD and Blu-Ray through Amazon.com and the QUARRIES website.

 If you like the movie, follow them on  instagram, twitter, and like them on facebook.

 

 


26 Days to Artemis Film Festival Year 3 honoring
Action Trailblazer Nichelle Nichols
March 25, 2017

Aretemis Women in Action Film Festival Honoree Nichelle Nichols Action Trailblazer Award

If you've never watched the original Star Trek series, maybe you don't know who Nichelle Nichols is, but I'll bet you've heard of Lieutenant Uhura (played in the recent Star Trek movies by Zoe Saldana). A ground-breaking role, Nichelle was one of the first African American female characters on American television not portrayed as a servant (Star Trek aired on NBC from September 8, 1966 to June 3, 1969). Her character was even eventually promoted in Starfleet to the rank of Commander.

Nichelle Nichols as Lieutenant UhuraDuring the first year of the series, Nichols said she was tempted to leave the show to pursue a Broadway career, however, a conversation with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. changed her mind. She has said that King personally encouraged her to stay on the show, telling her that he was a big fan of Star Trek. He said she was playing a vital role model for black children and young women across the country, as well as for other children who would see blacks appearing as equals.  Dr. King told her: "You can't [leave]. You're part of history."

After the cancellation of Star Trek in 1969, Nichols volunteered her time in a special project with NASA to recruit minority and female personnel for the space agency. Former NASA astronaut Mae Jemison has cited Nichols' role of Lieutenant Uhura as her inspiration for wanting to become an astronaut. Nichelle began this project by making an affiliation between NASA and a company which she helped to run, Women in Motion (From nasaspaceflight.com: Nichelle explains:  "In the seven months before Women in Motion, Inc. began, NASA had received only 1,600 applications, including fewer than 100 from women and 35 from minority candidates. Of these, NASA told me, none of the women or minority applicants qualified. By the end of June 1977, just four months after we assumed our task, 8,400 applications were in, including 1,649 from women ( a fifteen-fold increase), and an astounding 1,000 from minorities. Without an active outreach effort, fewer than 5% of those might have applied."

The project was a success. Among those recruited were Dr. Sally Ride, America's female astronaut (white), and US Air Force Colonel Guion Bluford, the first male African-American astronaut, as well as Dr. Judith Resnik and Dr. Ronald McNair, who both flew successful missions during the Space Shuttle program before their deaths in the Space Shuttle Challenger disaster on January 28, 1986. Recruits also included Charles Bolden, the current NASA administrator and veteran of four shuttle missions, Frederick D. Gregory, former deputy administrator and a veteran of three shuttle missions and Lori Garver, former deputy administrator.

An enthusiastic advocate of space exploration, Nichols has served since the mid-1980s on the board of governors of the National Space Society, a nonprofit, educational space advocacy organization founded by Dr. Wernher von Braun. She also Nichols flew aboard NASA's C-141 Astronomy Observatory, which analyzed the atmospheres of Mars and Saturn on an eight-hour, high-altitude mission. She was also a special guest at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, on July 17, 1976, to view the Viking 1 soft landing on Mars. Along with the other cast members from the original Star Trek series, she attended the christening of the first space shuttle, Enterprise, at the North American Rockwell assembly facility in Palmdale, California.

the Star Trek cast reunites


On July 14, 2010, she toured the space shuttle simulator and Mission Control at the Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas.

Nichelle Nichols visits NASA

The Artemis Women in Action Film Festival Year 3 will honor Nichelle Nichols with the "Artemis Action Trailblazer Award". A resident of Woodland Hills, California, Ms. Nichols is 84 years old. Check out her website:  uhura.com.

SOURCE: Wikipedia
 


Artemis Film Festival 4 PANELS 
(27 more days . . . )
March 23, 2017
 

The Artemis Women in Action Film Festival is planning 4 PANELS this year: 

• Film Finance

• Stuntwomen 

• Warrior Women

"VR" Virtual Reality  
From Wikipedia:  "Typically refers to computer technologies that use virtual reality headsets to generate the realistic images, sounds, and other sensations that replicate a real environment, or, create an imaginary setting. VR also simulates a user's physical presence in this environment. 'A realistic and immersive simulation of a 3D 360-degree environment, created using interactive software and hardware, and experienced or controlled by movement of the body'."  By 2016 there were at least 230 companies developing VR-related products. Facebook had 400 employees focused on VR development; Google, Apple, Amazon, Microsoft, Sony and Samsung all had dedicated AR and VR groups.  

On April 5, 2016, HTC shipped its first units of the HTC VIVE SteamVR headset. This marked the first major commercial release of sensor-based tracking, allowing for free movement of users within a defined space.  In early 2017, a patent filed by Sony showed they were developing a similar location tracking technology to the VIVE for PlayStation VR, with the potential for the development of a wireless headset."

Seems like we're not ready for the full-length VR movie experience but IMAX is offering a sampling of shorter VR thrills at their L.A. Flagship location: 157 South Fairfax, Los Angeles

VR uses HMDs (head mounted displays).  Here is a list of brands:

 

       

Starbreeze Studios
StarVR

The firm announced a partnership with IMAX which will see the StarVR headset used in IMAX theatres this year beginning in Los Angeles. There will be six worldwide with IMAX planning to include China and maybe London.



Facebook
"Oculus Rift"
Need: Windows  PC
$500-600

 

Google 
"Google Cardboard"
Need: your phone
$10
 

 

"Google Daydream"
Need: your phone
$60-70

HTC & Valve 
"HTC Vive"
(rhymes with hive)
Need: Lots . . .
$800

 

 

Microsoft 
"Microsoft HoloLens"
Like a computer
on your head
$3,000-5,000

    

Razer 
OSVR Hacker Dev Kit

OSVR HDK2
Need:  your PC
$300-400

 

Samsung 
Samsung Gear VR

Need: Samsung Galaxy S7, S7 Edge, Note 5, S6 or S6 Edge Plus
$35-50

Sony 
PlayStation VR

Need:  Sony PlayStation, PlayStation camera, TV, game controllers
$400
   

28 Days til Artemis Women in Action Film Festival
But Just 7 Days Left to Contribute!
March 22, 2017
 

If you think you're a Bad Ass, you should be a part of the Artemis Women in Action Film Festival. It feels great! They are all about empowering women with positive images of physical strong women, and they honor those who contribute to portraying women with strength, including men. The Festival features female Action Movies, and movies showcasing powerful women of all kinds. This is the 3rd year for the Festival and this year's Honorees are listed here. Please click through and learn more about this kick-ass event, and help them achieve all their goals.  And, if you're going, I'll see you there.

 

 


29 Days to the Artemis Women in Action Film Festival  
MISSION: ARTEMIS
March 21, 2017
 

Have you been participating in their #womenkickass twitter parties on Wednesday nights? (7:00-8:00 PT)
In Miami: 10:00-11:00 ET  Tonight's topic is Celebrating Badass Female Superheroes! Speaking of Superheroes, here are lots of mine, including Festival Co-Founder Melanie Wise.  If you want to be a Badass be a part of the fun at Artemis!

April 20-23, 2017 | Ahrya Fine Arts Theater, Beverly Hills, CA

 

The Women Kick Ass Project 3 Mission: Artemis Yr. 3 from Artemis on Vimeo.

 


 

Starting a 30-Day Countdown to Year 3 of the
Artemis Women in Action Film Festival 4/20-23
/2017
March 20, 2017
 

Woo Hoo!  Please contribute and/or support them via social media if you can.
 

Artemis Women in Action Film Festival wall


 

Female-led Action Movies . . . Hmmmm?
March 14, 2017
 

If you love film, you'll love @anti_cgi on instagram. Especially if you're a TIFF Midnight Madness fan. The man behind the vision is Aramis Gutierrez II. "Anti_cgi is . . . dedicated to 'gore, practical effects, atmosphere and anything that involves offbeat sexual innuendo'." Today, the curator of that remarkable feed posed a question (through my baby brother—they work together) on movies told from a female villain's POV. This led me to my "Hit List" where I immediately thought:  Male, male, male, male, male . . .  And wondered what it would like color coded.

So, blue for male-dominated movies, and pink for female-led movies.

 

2 Fast 2 Furious
2 Guns
3 Days to Kill
13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi
16 Blocks
21 Jump Street
22 Jump Street
48 Hours
300
3,000 Miles to Graceland
Above The Law
Action Jackson
Act of Valor
A Force of One
Alex Cross
Alien 
(1979 horror/sci-fi not "Action" Ridley Scott)
Aliens 
(Dir. James Cameron) 
Alien Resurrection 
(Dir. Jean-Pierre Jeunet)
Avengers: Age of Ultron
A View to a Kill
Bad Boys
Bad Boys II
Batman
Batman Returns
Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice
Battleship

Beverly Hills Cop
Big Trouble in Little China
Black Belt Jones
Black Dog
Black Hawk Down
Black Samurai
Blade
Blade II
Blade:Trinity
Blade Runner (not "Action")
Black Samurai
Blood and Bone
Bloodsport
Blue Steel
(Dir. Kathryn Bigelow)
Born To Fight
Braddock: Missing in Action III
Braveheart

Broken Arrow
Bullet to the Head
Captain America: Civil War
(2016)
Captain America: The First Avenger (2011)
Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014)
Captain Marvel (2019)
Casino Royale
Centurion
Charity Hurts
Charlie's Angels
Chinese Zodiac
(aka CZ 12)
Chocolate (2008)
City of Industry
Clash of the Titans
Clear and Present Danger
Cliffhanger

Cobra
Code of Silence

Collateral
Collateral Damage
COLOMBiANA (Dir. Olivier Megaton)
Commando
Con Air
Conan the Barbarian (1982)
Conan the Barbarian (2011)
Cop Out
Criminal
Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (Dir. Ang Lee)
Cyborg
Dark Angel
Deadpool
Death Race 2000
Death Warrant
Demolition Man
Diamonds Are Forever
Dick Tracy
Die Another Day
Die Hard
Die Hard 2
Die Hard With a Vengeance
Dirty Harry
District B13
Domino  (Dir. Tony Scott)
Dragon Eyes
Dr. No
Edge of Tomorrow
El Gringo
End of Days
Enter The Dragon
Escape From New York
Escape From L.A.
Every Which Way But Loose
Excalibur (not "Action")
Face/Off
Fantastic Four (2005)
Fast & Furious
Fast Five
Fast 6
Faster
Fight Club (Drama not "Action")
Final Destination 2
First Blood
For Your Eyes Only
From Russia with Love
Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance
G.I. Joe: The Rise of the Cobra
G.I. Joe: Retaliation
Gladiator
GoldenEye
Goldfinger
Gone in 60 Seconds
Good Guys Wear Black
Guardians of the Galaxy
Hard To Kill
Hardcore Henry
Heat
(1986)
Heat (1995)
Hellboy
Hellboy II: The Golden Army
Hercules
Hero
Hobo With A Shotgun
Hollywood Homicide
Homefront
Hot Fuzz
Hulk (2003 Eric Bana)
I'm Gonna Get You Sucka
Inception
Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull
Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade
Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom
Inside Out (2011)
I, Robot
Iron Man
Iron Man 2
Iron Man 3
Jackie Chan's First Strike
Jack Reacher
Jack Reacher: Never Go Back
Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit
Jason and The Argonauts
John Carter
John Wick
John Wick: Chapter 2
Judge Dredd
Jupiter Ascending
Jurassic Park
The Lost World: Jurassic Park (II)
Jurassic Park III
Jurassic World
Kalifornia (crime/drama/thriller not "Action")
Kill Bill Vol. 1

Killtro
King Kong (1976)
King Kong
(2005)

Kingsman: The Secret Service
Kiss of the Dragon
Knight & Day
Kung Fu Hustle
Lethal Weapon
Lethal Weapon 2
Lethal Weapon 3
Lethal Weapon 4
Let the Bullets Fly
Licence to Kill
Lionheart
Live and Let Die
Live Free or Die Hard
Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels

Logan
London Has Fallen
Lone Survivor
Lucy
Machete
Mad Max
Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior
Mad Max: Fury Road
Mandrill
Man On Fire
Man of Steel
Marked For Death
Men In Black
Men in Black II
Men In Black 3
Merantau
Midnight Run
Minority Report
Mirageman
Mission: Impossible
Mission: Impossible II
Mission: Impossible III
Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol
Money Train
 
Montana
Moonraker
Mr. & Mrs. Smith
Natural Born Killers (crime/drama not "Action")
Need for Speed
Never Back Down
Never Back Down 2: The Beatdown
Ninja (2009)
Ninja Assassin
Non-Stop
Octopussy
Olympus Has Fallen
On Deadly Ground
Ong-bak
Ong bak 2
Ong Bak 3
On Her Majesty's Secret Service
Out For Justice
Pain & Gain
Parker
Patriot Games
Passenger 57
Pitch Black
Point Blank
Point Break
(Dir. Kathryn Bigelow)
Point of No Return
Predator
Predators

Quantum of Solace
Raging Phoenix
Raiders of the Lost Ark
Rambo: First Blood Part II
Rambo III
Rambo
Resident Evil
Return of the Dragon
Ride Along
Robocop
Rocky (1976 Drama/Sport not "Action")
Rocky II (1979 Drama/Sport not "Action")
Rocky III (1982 Drama/Sport not "Action")
Rocky IV (1985 Drama/Sport not "Action")
Rocky V  (1990 Drama/Sport not "Action")
Rocky Balboa (2006 Drama/Sport not "Action")
Rogue One
Romancing The Stone
Romeo Must Die
Rumble in The Bronx
Runaway
Rush Hour
Rush Hour 2
Rush Hour 3
Sinners and Saints
Sharky's Machine
Skyfall
Smokey and the Bandit
Snitch
Snowpiercer
Soldier
Solomon Kane

Spawn
Spider-Man

Speed
Stander
Starship Troopers
Star Trek
Star Trek Beyond
Star Trek Into Darkness
Star Trek: The Motion Picture
Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan
Star Trek: The Voyage Home
Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope
Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back
Star Wars: Episode VI - Return of The Jedi
Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace
Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones
Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith
Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Star Wars: The Last Jedi
(2017)
Star Wars: Episode IX
(2019)
Stick
Superman
Superman Returns
Takers
Tango & Cash
Taxi

Taxi 2
Taxi 3

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
Terminator 2: Judgment Day
Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines
Terminator Salvation
The 6th Day
The A-Team
The Amazing Spider-Man
The Amazing Spider-Man 2
The Avengers
The Bourne Identity
The Bourne Supremacy
The Bourne Ultimatum
The Chronicles of Riddick
The Dark Knight Rises

The Count of Monte Cristo
The Equalizer
The Expendables
The Expendables 2
The Expendables 3
The Fast and The Furious
The Fast and The Furious: Tokyo Drift
The French Connection
The Fugutive
The Gauntlet
The Great Wall
The Heat (Dir. Paul Feig)
The Hurt Locker (Dir. Kathryn Bigelow)

The Incredible Hulk (2008 Edward Norton)
The Italian Job
The Karate Kid (1984)
The Karate [Kung Fu] Kid (2010)
The Last Boy Scout
The Last Stand

The Legend of Drunken Master
The Living Daylights
The Long Kiss Goodnight (Dir. Renny Harlin)
The Man with the Iron Fists
The Man with the Golden Gun
The Matrix

The Matrix Reloaded
The Matrix Revolutions
The Mummy (2017)
The Mummy
The Mummy Returns
The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor
The Octagon

The Other Guys

The Peacemaker (Dir. Mimi Leder)
The Professional
The Punisher (1989 Dolph Lundgren)
The Punisher (2004 Thomas Jane)
The Punisher (2017 Jon Bernthal)
The Rock
The Rundown
The Running Man
The Scorpion King
The Spy Who Loved Me
The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3

The Tattoo Connection aka Black Belt Jones 2
The Terminator
The Transporter
The Warrior's Way
The Wolverine

The World Is Not Enough
They Live
Thor
Thor: Ragnarok (2017)
Thor: The Dark World
Three Kings
Three The Hard Way
Thunderball
Time Cop
To Live and Die in L.A.
Tomorrow Never Dies
Total Recall (1990)
Transformers
Transformers: Age of Extinction
Transformers: Dark of the Moon
Transformers: The Last Knight (2017)
Transporter 2
Transporter 3
Triple 9
Tron
True Lies
True Romance
Ultraviolet
Under Siege
Under Siege 2: Dark Territory
Undisputed
Undisputed II: Last Man Standing
Undisputed III: Redemption
Universal Soldier
Universal Soldier: The Return
Universal Soldier: Regeneration
Walking Tall
Wanted
Warcraft
Warrior
White House Down
World War Z
Wu Xia
X-Men
X-Men 2: X-Men United
X-Men: Days of Future Past
X-Men: First Class
X-Men: The Last Stand
X-Men Origins: Wolverine

You Only Live Twice
Zero Dark Thirty
 (Dir. Kathryn Bigelow)
 

 


 

Logan is outRAGEously good
March 4, 2017

{{SPOILERS}}

Rage is the name of the game in this movie. Gnarly Kills abound, not only from Wolverine (Logan), but also from baby Wolverine (Laura aka X-23).  If I didn't see the trailer and know there was a little girl in this movie, it would have been such an epic surprise (why I mainly hate trailers—they steal the best bits from the movie-watching experience).  It's not that surprising that she is his daughter, what surprises is the level of her killing skills. When the main bad guy, Pierce (played well as a mega douche by Boyd Holbrook), gives the command "Go get her!" it sends a chill through you to hear that phrase used against a (you think defenseless) child when spoken to a large pack of men with large guns. Strong, big-bearded, man-bunned men: kinda like hipsters meet hardcore mercenaries (it seemed a little incongruous, but the Reavers also came off like douchebags, which was good).

Pierce and the Reavers come for Laura in LOGAN

Then UFC fighter Krzysztof Soszynski (@KSOSufc) materializes (he's so frightening I almost pooped a little LOL), there are off-camera screams and gunshots, and out Laura comes, unharmed.  It's one of many epic moments in this movie. 

This first 'shootout at the OK corral' is one hell of a Action scene. After Logan finds out what Laura is, he doesn't tread lightly. She can heal and he knows it. There are times when you can tell it's a stunt woman, but those moments are really brief.  Dafne Keen is completely convincing and intense, and she says nothing for the largest part of the movie. That's quite a large part to carry with only physicality and personality in such a small package.

Laura takes down the Reavers in LOGAN

The first all-out Action chase scene begins an armada of Vehicles—("The police have themselves an R/V" came to mind from Die Hard) yes, please pull out all the stops to capture a child, an old man in a wheel chair, and a has-been reluctant comic-book hero—and  ends with a train-track crossing. For all the sophisticated weaponry, fight choreography, and stunt work, using a roaring wall of steel as a barrier is a great, realistic, but not-so-easy escape that drives home the 'superhero' nature of Wolverine's reflexes, timing, and decision-making powers. Against seemingly impossible odds, they get away.

Logan pushing Charles in a wheelchair in LOGAN

"You got religion?"
Yes, and rage. Patrick Stewart gives a stellar performance in this movie, and manages to get through to Logan. Although Logan acts on Charles' advice too late for Charles, at least he does have a moment to feel "[what life looks like when people love each other]" with Laura.  Kudos to Writer/Director James Mangold for using a black family to drive home what love and decency mean, and as a means to highlight racism through the scene where Wolverine gets to say "Go play Okie-Dickead someplace else." What else Mangold does is let a black man pull a gun in self-defense. Given the state of things in this country right now, it was a much-needed scene that illustrates so much of why the #BlackLivesMatter hashtag was created. A moment of what's right, is right. Sadly, it was not to end happily.

When the Reaver armada catches up to Logan, Laura, and Charles trying to spend a peaceful, restful night, we are introduced to X-24 (a noticeably younger Wolverine clone), who attacks and kills the whole host family, and we get a Wolverine-on-Wolverine fight that is so savage, I felt sorry for any non-Action-Movie-Freaks in the audience. Also cool, to me, was that the family father wasn't dead and came to rescue Logan, but, realizing what he was and probably also pissed that Logan got his family killed, tries to shoot him, but has no more bullets, and then drops dead. Just more ammunition for Logan's downward-spiraling death wish. 

As Charles is not dead yet (24 stabbed him in the chest), Logan puts him in the back of the pick-up, presumably to get him to a hospital. But Charles knows it's too late, touches the side of the truck bed, and calls it "our boat". A gesture of pure love to relieve Logan of the guilt of never having bought the boat they talked about sailing away on. Absolution is an invaluably beautiful gift at such a moment.  It's all just too sad to lose the whole innocent family, and Charles. Logan buries Charles near a lake so he is by the water (sniffle).

Logan and Laura bury Charles in LOGAN

Logan's health deteriorates and Laura is forced to be more adult than seems fitting for her age. Logan is reluctant to take her to "Eden" and she punches him full in the face. Best moment in the movie!

We love Logan's long-suffering character and want him to snap out of it. We still see Wolverine even though he's older and we still love him for who he is. I really love it when Action Movies are so surprisingly emotional because the stakes are so high, and when powerful lessons are learned at great cost. 

Before the movie ends, we get a brief bit of a younger Wolverine who snarls and roars. So satisfying if you love the character as much as I do. It was really EVERYTHING a Wolverine fan could hope for, except a happy ending, but, it was a really great ending. Laura quotes "Shane"—more Western theme moments—as a eulogy, and turns the cross grave marker sideways. Hits you right in the heart just how much you love the "X-Men", the proverbial misunderstood outsiders. Also it's a real leaving-a-kid-behind, kick-in-the-teeth moment.

"There's no living with the killing. There's no going back from one.
Right or wrong, it's a 'brand'—a brand sticks. There's no going back.
Now you run on home to your mother, and you tell her: Everything's all right.
There are no more guns in the valley."

Again, in the current political climate of intolerance, it just drove home how much we need to be accepting of 'the other'.  For an Action Movie, this was incredibly emotionally powerful.  I'd give it 12 out of 10 stars. Go see it in IMAX.  You'll want to see it again. Many moving moments and top-notch Action Sequences and Fight Choreography.

Laura and Logan driving in LOGAN

Patrick Stewart hugs Dafne Keen

• • •

[Dafne Keen's stunt doubles were Rissa Kilar and Marissa "Mighty" Labog, both 95 lbs. and 4' 11" and 4' 10". Just goes to show you shouldn't underestimate the physicality of women!]

Rissa Kilar stunt double for Dafne Keen in LoganFrom IMDb:

"Rissa Kilar began martial arts at the age of 5. With her being a military child, she has constantly moved around every few years with her family until finally settling in Los Angeles, California. In Los Angeles, she further pursued her martial arts career as an instructor and World Champion competitor and performer. After a couple years in LA, acting and stunts sparked her interest and with her connections through the martial arts industry, she has been set on the path towards exciting opportunities of the entertainment industry."

Marissa Labog stunt double for Dafne Keen in LoganMarissa Labog is "an actor, dancer, and stunt woman. Marissa [won] the Lester Horton Award for Outstanding Performer, the Solo Award, and an Ovation Award Nomination. Unable to sit still, she explored multiple avenues of movement from dance, gymnastics, and martial arts to running, jumping, and climbing trees. Dancing nationally and internationally with PCB Ballet and Inland Pacific Ballet, Marissa was urged by her loving mother to take up martial arts to learn to defend herself while traveling abroad. Enrolling in Karate, Marissa excelled and furthered her study with capoeira, and Tae Kwon Do." She came to stunts through working with David Belle.

There were many incredible take downs and so many fast moves made by these ladies that the movie really must be seen again just so you can fully appreciate the great work by the Second Unit

 

There was also a lot of car stunts that seemed Mad-Maxish at moments . . .


Second Unit Director & Stunt Coordinator  Garrett Warren (what a career!)
Stunt Coordinator: Second Unit  Gary Hymes
(Great story in his bio.)
Fight Coordinator Steve Brown
(he's doing stunts in Wonder Woman and the next Transformers movie)
Car Stunt Coordinator & Stunt Rigging Coordinator  Kurt D. Lott
(207 credits!)
Car Stunt Coordinator  Richard Burden
(worked on lots of Tom Cruise movies :-D)
 

 


John Wick: Chapter 2 Kills!
February 12, 2017

As I sat there in the audience on February 9th (who could wait?!), I thought "Are my ridiculously high expectations going to ruin this for me?" But it was beyond what I could imagine! (I'm sitting here typing this and wondering how soon I can go see it again.)

In particular, there was one thing Keanu did with a gun about three-quarters of the way through the movie that I have never seen before; something I didn't even think was possible; something that I'm still not sure of what I saw. I'm not going to spoil it but, I really have to go back to see it again. And I have to ask a gun expert if I saw what I think I saw. Not since Linda Hamilton did the one-handed shotgun cock, has something been this cool. But enough about the mystery thing. The whole rest of the movie was fantastic. Keanu Reeves is completely convincing as the ultimate Bad Ass assassin!  (The fact that he's a smoker killed my crush :-/ but it was great to see these two together again.)

Keanu Reeves is a SMOKER?! (screaming)

 

The rumbling American Muscle opening chase scene pulled off being new and different and also totally cool, and then we go right into a fight scene that was a little Frank Martin in its tone. The whole fighting-in-a-suit thing is bad ass, and I love that John Wick fist fights anyway, even though he has guns. He's pissed off, and you're gonna feel that.

"John Wick is a man of focus, commitment, and sheer fucking will."

Chapter 2 more than abounds with Action Movie Essentials, like the Trash Talking quote above. We get a Big Dog Entrance as Keanu's face moves from dark to (half) light. This movie, like the first, is beautifully lit and stylized, and the Action is mesmerizing. We finally get to see John Wick pull off the infamous pencil death: they give us more than one Gnarly Kill! It's got weapons galore. In a twist on the much-loved The Terminator scene where Arnold selects a slew of weapons, we get a weapons sommelier:  "I'd like a tasting."

Every aspect of the movie is first-rate (Chad Stahelski and 87eleven!), and the fight coordination is especially enjoyable. We get a lot of hand-to-hand, but also some duking it out, a fight with knives, and a knife fight, an epic gun battle, and John Wick's signature head-shot barrage! The movie's Fight Coordinator was Jonathan Eusebio, and there were four Stunt Coordinators: Marc Désourdy, J.J. Perry, Darrin Prescott, and the Italian Stunt Coordinator was Claudio Pacifico.

 

FIGHT SCENES
So many cool fights scenes in John Wick: Chapter 2!

Listed as Fight Coordinator is Jonathan Eusebio whose IMDb bio is short and sweet: "Jonathan Eusebio is known for his work on 300 (2006), The Avengers (2012) and The Expendables (2010)."  But there's a whole lot more to his career than that.

I'm just picking the movies I loved:  He did stuntwork on Kung Pow: Enter the Fist, Blade II, Windtalkers, Austin Powers in Goldmember, Daredevil, The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, The Bourne Supremacy, Collateral, Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End,  and X-Men Origins: Wolverine.

He was an assistant Fight Coordinator for The Bourne Ultimatum, Fight and Stunt Coordinator for Never Back Down, Co-Fight Choreographer for Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li, and he did double duty as a stunt performer and Co-Fight Choreographer for Ninja Assassin! How's that for qualifications?!  It doesn't stop there.

[Speaking of double duty, Heidi Moneymaker is the double for Ruby Rose and plays one of the many hitmen out to get John Wick.]

 He was also a Fight Coordination for Iron Man 2, Conan the Barbarian (2011), Haywire, The Bourne Legacy, The Wolverine, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, John Wick, Doctor Strange, and the upcoming The Fate of the Furious.

He was a Stunt Coordinator for Dragonball: Evolution, Colombiana, Escape Plan, Hitman: Agent 47, The Last Witch Hunter (badass), Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows, and the upcoming Power Rangers.

This movie showed a big range and creativity in execution. Hats off to Keanu a bit in that it was really hard to tell how much of it was really him in action owing to the amount of practice he put in with fighting and gun use. The flip side of that is, of course, that the credit goes to the stuntmen who remained 'invisible'!  Here is Keanu putting in the hours to be convincing:

 

 

 

DRIVING
I am assuming the driving scenes were done by Darrin Prescott (teamprescott.net). Darrin is known for his stylized and visceral Action in Action Movies such as Baby Driver (due out August 11, 2017), Captain America: Civil War, John Wick, John Wick: Chapter 2 (2017), Drive, 2 Guns, and his Screen Actors Guild award-winning car-chase work in The Bourne Ultimatum*. (SOURCE: IMDb)

 



He has also been a stunt double for Arnold Schwarzenegger [Batman & Robin (1997 George Clooney)], Hugo Weaving (The Matrix Reloaded & The Matrix Revolutions), and for Jonathan Breck "The Creeper" in Jeepers Creepers II (how f-ing cool is that! and BTW Jeepers Creepers III—2017). 

The list of cool Action Movies he's done stunt work in is too long to list (100+), but includes Barb Wire (1996 his 2nd movie), G.I. Jane, Blade, Fight Club, Bedazzled, Monkeybone (!), Adaptation., Cradle 2 the Grave, Mr. & Mrs. Smith, Beerfest, Crank, Jackass Number Two, Red Dawn (2012), and he will be the Supervising Stunt Coordinator for Deadpool 2 (2018)Overall, Darrin has been a Stunt Coordinator on 40+ movies.

Darren has spent his life training in martial arts, snowboarding, surfing, driving, motorcycles, and he competed in the 2001 X-Games. I think it's safe to say he feels the need for speed.

---

* Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Stunt Ensemble in a Motion Picture, 2007

Look: It's Keanu driving with no door!

 

 


Keanu Reeves & Chad Stahelski talk John Wick 2
February 2, 2017

Just a few more days until John Wick: Chapter 2 . . .The movie opens February 10th. 

BUILD Series interviews Keanu Reeves and 87eleven's Chad Stahelski, and teases that the movie has a High Killcount—an Action Movie Essential"upwards of 80" (80 was the first movie's Killcount). Chad discusses the movie's influences and how they were shooting for an "unapologetic, artsy Action Film" flavor. I LOVE that he said unapologetic.  Action Movie Freaks love the "ridiculous" side of Action Movies (like the Cheesy One-Liners).  He says it's "A little on the ridiculous side, but everybody kind of plays it straight."

So, they get it. They REALLY get it. Is there anyone on the planet cooler than these two?! We'd have to include David Leitch, the other 87eleven force behind John Wick, who—great news—will be directing Deadpool 2!  While they (Chad Stahelski and David Leitch) have incredible backgrounds in Action Movies as stuntmen, stunt coordinators, fight coordinators, action coordinators and consultants, the first feature they Directed was John Wick. How's that for a win right out of the gate?! With their background, John Wick had to be as good as it was. I'm hoping John Wick: Chapter 2 will change minds in Hollywood about Action Movies. It's WAY past time!  There has never been such a cool looking, stylish Action Movie (and I say that based on the impressively cool trailer).  It will be a magical 2 hours and 2 minutes for Action Movie Freaks and Keanu fans.    

 

 


 

Getty Image of Matt Damon and Zhang YimouTHE GREAT WALL
roars into theaters
2/16
January 28, 2017

From the AMC Theatres' (now owned by a Chinese company The Wanda Group) website: 

"Starring global superstar Matt Damon and directed by one of the most breathtaking visual stylists of our time, Zhang Yimou (Hero, House of Flying Daggers), Legendary/Universal's, The Great Wall tells the story of an elite force making a valiant stand for humanity on the world's most iconic structure. The first English-language production for Yimou is the largest film ever shot entirely in China."

The Great Wall is listed on IMDb as Action/Adventure/ Fantasy. At 1 hour and 43 minutes, it will be offered in IMAX 3D. I already want more. AMC Theatres is running a promotion for bonus Stubs points if you see it between February 17 and 19. I can't wait until then so I bought tickets for the first IMAX 3D show on the 16th. Guess I'll just have to see it twice. #ohyeah

The summary is: "European mercenaries searching for black powder become embroiled in the defense of the Great Wall of China against a horde of monstrous creatures."

The "Action Unit Director" is George Marshall Ruge, a  Stunt Coordinator who made the jump from TV with the Lord of the Rings movies, and also worked on the National Treasure and the Pirates of the Caribbean movies, so he knows something about spectacles.

He was also a stuntman himself from 2002 going back  to early '80s classics Police Academy and Bachelor Party, and in the '90s he is listed on  Hard Justice (see AllOuttaBubbleGum.com's KillCount) and Above Suspicion, which sound like Steven Seagal movies, but aren't. Above Suspicion (1995) starred Christopher Reeve, Joe Mantegna, Kim Cattrall, and William H. Macy (who also has a writing credit).  Other Action Movies: Set It Off, Conspiracy Theory, Lethal Weapon 4, The Mask of Zorro, Ocean's Eleven, and many more. Quite an interesting career!

Here's a quote from Variety: "I think in terms of a mosaic in the design of shots. I’m painting a picture and layering these images, action, emotion and nuances so it connects with the human experience."

George Marshall Ruge

George Marshall Ruge

George Marshall Ruge

George Marshall Ruge


 

"Concrete and Crashpads: Stunts in New York"
  offers a glimpse into the talented NYC stunt community

January 15, 2017

"Concrete and Crashpads: Stunts in New York" premiered as an Official Selection at the 2016 Urban Action Showcase and Expo.  This :30 minute documentary shows us the world of New York City's booming stunt community. "Stunt professionals are invisible" but Action Movie Freaks would like to know more about them! Here's your chance.

We get to meet, and find out a little background on (how they got into stunt work), the players listed below (pictured L-R in the order that they are introduced). The film shows us: how to stage a series of fight scenes, what a stunt training camp looks like, what stunt men carry in their equipment bags, and we get the good news on the women's take on the business. 

Federico Berte, Hannah D. Scott, Frank Perrin, and Anthony Hoang of Concrete and Crashpads: Stunts in New York

  • Federico Berte ("Fight Coordinator, Berte Productions" | Stunts, Actors, Producer) "I'm a huge fan of the Hong Kong movies. I would always watch and try to imitate those movies, and they're always really wide angles and really beautiful scenes. At the same time, it means that whoever is performing has to be a real a martial artist—so there's no cheating—and that's why it looks so great."

  • Hannah D. Scott ("Stunt Performer" | Actress, Stunts) "There's a lot of work here, and if you work hard, you will work."

  • Frank Perrin ("Rookie Stunt Performer" | Stunts, Actor)  "Everyone [in the stunt community in New York] is so supportive of each other. They are always giving you advice. Always pushing you to do better."

  • Anthony Hoang ("Stunt Performer" | Stunts, Actor, Casting Department )  "To create a successful Action Scene, [the thing that makes it work is] a fight is actually a dance—there's a rhythm to it. It should be so well choreographed and rehearsed, that by the time you get to set, it's just plug-and-play, and (finger snap) production's just like that." 

Anthony Mecca, Mack Kuhr, Ben Rezendes, and Jeremy Sample of Concrete and Crashpads: Stunts in New York

  • Anthony Mecca ("Stunt Performer" | Stunts, Actor)  "On the day, the [Stunt] Coordinator is your boss. If the Director comes over and tells you to do something, you turn and look at the Coordinator and say 'Is that cool, man? Is that good with you?' "

  • Mack Kuhr ("Stunt Performer" | Actor, Stunts, Producer)  "The Stunt Coordinator is the mastermind. The Stunt Coordinator makes it happen, and he's the Action designer."

  • Ben Rezendes ("Stunt Performer" | Actor, Stunts, Camera Department) "To break it down into 3 primary catergories . . . there's Performers, Technical, and Coordination."

  • Jeremy Sample ("Stunt Coordinator" | Stunts, Actor, Producer) "The most difficult thing you ask someone to do is sacrifice their body to hit the ground to sell the shot. You don't naturally throw your body on concrete with no pads except the pads that's on your body or down a metal flight of steps . . . for fun."

Tim Lajcik, Tina McKissick, Chazz Menendez, and Alanna Blair of Concrete and Crashpads: Stunts in New York

  • Tim Lajcik ("Stunt Performer" | Stunts, Actor, Miscellaneous Crew) "You either can do it, or you can't. You're gonna have a first time on everything. Hopefully you can get those first times in training—The consequences of failure can be dire."

  • Tina McKissick ("Stunt Performer" | Stunts, Miscellaneous Crew) "The true professional . . . knows never to say you can do something that you can't."

  • Chazz Menendez ("Stunt Coordinator, Quiet Storm Training Group" | Stunts, Actor Producer)  "Until recently, here on the East Coast, there were not a lot of places to [train]."

  • Alanna Blair ("Stunt Performer" | Actress, Writer, Music Department)

"There's bad-ass women out there, and we can fight . . . as good as the guys."

Concrete and Crashpads is an interesting and enjoyable ride along with a team that has wide experience and a celebratory outlook. They love what they do and it shows. They packed a lot into this documentary and I hope it works for them. The film is just starting to hit the festival circuit.  Like them on Facebook and visit them on IMDb.

 

Personally, I think stunt performers should be listed as prominently as the actors. They can be invisible during the movie, but why not give credit where credit is due, after?! I'd like to see how the stunts are done at the end of every Action Movie, with the names and faces of those making the magic happen. I think stunt people should be as famous and anyone else making movies. Outtakes at the end of every Action Movie would be awesome as well.  It's way past time we #StandUpForStunts. Awards are great and "The Academy" should stop excluding Stunts, but take it a step further and use the credits to give the stunt crew long-overdue recognition. Like with the John Wick movies, we want to see them because of who is making them: 87eleven. It would be a draw, not a drawback, knowing which stunt people are involved. The Action's what we're there to see anyway . . .


AllOuttaBubbleGum.com's Kain's Quest looks back at
Cynthia Rothrock & Michelle Yeoh in
Yes, Madam
aka "Huang jia shi jie" (1985)  Action Comedy Crime
January 6, 2017

What a way to kick off the new year! This film by @Kain424 of AllOuttaBubbleGum's Kain's Quest series, looks at the origins of female powerhouse Action Stars Cynthia Rothrock and Michelle Yeoh (aka Michelle Khan) and Hong Kong Action Comedies starring women.  It would be hard to find many movies with more Action Movie pedigree than this gem, directed by Corey Yuen, and produced by legend Sammo Kam-bo Hung and Dickson Poon.  

 

 


 

Artemis Women in Action Film Festival logo year 3

 

Exciting news about Year 3 of the . . .

Artemis women in action Film Festival
April 21-23, 2017  |  Pasadena, CA  
December 23, 2016

The ARTEMIS Women in Action Film Festival "A celebration of action films and the women who kick ass in them" was started in 2015 by Artemis Motion Pictures and honors:

  • Female-Driven Action Films

  • The Men and Women who Pioneered Them

  • Those who Contributed to the Success of the Genre

  • The Undiscovered Talent of the Future

Here are the 2017 Honorees announced thus far . . . SOURCE: vimooz.com

 

Tom Cruise   ACTION REBEL AWARD

Andy Armstrong   STUNT REBEL AWARD

Tammie Baird   STUNT WARRIOR AWARD

Jennifer Caputo   STUNT LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD

Jessie Graff   WOMAN OF THE YEAR

Nichelle Nichols   ACTION REBEL AWARD

 

Follow them on twitter and Facebook for updates!

 


 

Richard Madden & Idris Elba in The Take
November 25, 2016

Synopsis: "Michael Mason (Richard Madden) is an American pickpocket living in Paris who finds himself hunted by the CIA when he steals a bag that contains more than just a wallet. Sean Briar (Idris Elba), the field agent on the case, soon realizes that Michael is just a pawn in a much bigger game and is also his best asset to uncover a large-scale conspiracy."

I got to see this movie in the theatre, but it was gone in 6 days. That's a shame because it's a Good Action Movie (a NYT Critics' Pick), good enough that I wanted to see it again, and when I couldn't, I bought it on Amazon. It has lots of the Action Movie Essentials.  I wanted to see it because Action Movies have been in short supply in 2016, and because it stars Idris Elba.  What a surprise, then, that Michael Mason steals the show. The real focus of the film, is on Madden's character and then Elba enters the picture. Their dynamic is really enjoyable.  In a way, it's a convoluted Heist Movie, but I'm putting it under the Buddy subgenre because, at the end it seems like there could be a part 2 where they team up and work together again. It reminded me of the ending of The Transporter Refueled with the father-son duo.


Jackie Chan gets an Oscar
November 12, 2016

At 62, Jackie Chan finally received an Oscar. No one has ever deserved one more! The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences saw fit to give him an Honorary Oscar "for lifetime achievements, exceptional contributions to motion picture arts and sciences, and outstanding service to the academy."  When I heard he was to receive one, I was disappointed it wasn't at the main event. Instead, it was presented at the 8th Annual Governors Awards ceremony. In his presentation, Tom Hanks stood up for stunts:

"As you know the Governors Awards are a chance for the Academy to recognize unique achievements across an artist’s whole body of work, because Jackie Chan, the man who puts the 'Chan' in 'Chan-Tastic,' has worked mostly in martial arts films and action comedies, two genres that have been, for some reason, shall we say, historically underrepresented at the Oscars," Hanks shared, joking, "A fact that will change if I have any pull on the board of Governors."

The fact that Chan's award is honorary makes it all the more deserved. He was truly thrilled to get it, and is the first Chinese person to receive one.  Hanks also said "Great acting comes in many different forms, but if you are an actor, you always know it when you see it."

 

Sylvester Stallone points at Jackie Chan holding his Oscar, as Stallone raises Jackie's arm like a champ

 



 

Hell in a Cell Women's Main Event poster
 

Hell in a Cell
MAIN EVENT
with Women!

October 30, 2016

Tonight was an historic match up on the WWE with the first "Hell in a Cell" fight between two women:  Sasha Banks vs. Charlotte held at sold-out TD Garden in Boston, Mass. In an Interview by CBS News for the event, Charlotte said:

"The women are taking over:
That's the message."

A little background on "Hell in a Cell" from Wikipedia: "Hell in a Cell is a professional wrestling event produced annually by World Wrestling Entertainment, Inc., aka 'The WWE', a Connecticut-based, professional wrestling promotion and live broadcast available only on pay-per-view (PPV) or a wwe.com/network subscription. The event was established in 2009, replacing WWE No Mercy in the early October slot of WWE's pay-per-view calendar. In 2012, WWE announced that Hell in a Cell would be moving to late October. Competitors fight inside a 20-foot-high roofed cell structure surrounding the ring and ringside area. Since its origin, the event has been held only in indoor arenas in the United States."

Once considered 'too barbaric' for women, this match up is historic not only as the first women’s Hell in a Cell match, but also, the first women’s match to main event a WWE pay-per-view event.

Dubbed "A new era in WWE, where women can accomplish anything" by none other than Mick Foley in the very empowering intro to the match up. The stage was set for something special.

In an entrance befitting a champion (the daughter of Ric Flair), Charlotte was carried in on a litter by four men. 

WWE Hell in a Cell October 30, 3016 Charlotte Flair's entrance

Not to be outdone, Sasha's entrance also featured 4 men, riding the running board before her Cadillac Escalade stopped, and she appeared . . .

WWE Hell in a Cell October 30, 2016 Sasha's entrance

Announced by a female announcer, the crowd favorite was clearly hometown girl Sasha Banks (from Boston).  As the cage was lowered, it must have seemed to the women like the impossible was finally real.  The MAIN EVENT! Would it measure up?

Before the cage was fully lowered, or the bell even rang, Charlotte blindsided Sasha and a brawl began.  Charlotte yelled "Boston, this is Flair country!" amid boos.  Going for the crazy right away, both women started climbing the outside of the cage, but it was just a little 'for show'. Then Charlotte slammed Sasha onto the announcing table and she seemed to be out for the count. So much staggering and crying, then almost being carried out on a stretcher. Such a disappointment . . . then, MAGICALLY, as happens in the WWE, She can "barely stand' but it's ON! LOL Sasha gets into the ring.

The bell finally rings and suddenly Charlotte is a coward. Oh, the drama!  I was just hoping for some aerobatic insanity . . . The bell had only just rang and there was already crying and the women seemed wiped out?! They better do more than this.  I began to wonder how long the match would be. And then out came the chair . . . and they began to throw down.  You know it's fake, but you can't fake being thrown into a chain link fence. Still, entertaining. I had hoped they would use the cage in some cool, new way, but after a slow start, it was just wrestling as usual . . . until . . .

Sasha and Charlotte Hell in a Cell match October 2016

Charlotte reached under the skirt and bought out a table. Oh yeah! The girls were doing Hell in a Cell, right. This must have taken a lot of practice. Another table, more smacking with a chair, a little grandstanding by Charlotte, some crying by Sasha, then a little bitch slapping, wedgies, and finally, a little aerobatic wrestling at the end. And the champion is . . . (the much larger) Charlotte!  No surprise. Her undefeated streak continues.

Thankfully that old Divas pink butterfly belt was retired.

new WWE Women's Champion belt

 

What's next? . . . Rumors of an ALL-WOMEN'S TOURNAMENT!

 


 

wonder-woman=flying

Happy Wonder Woman Day!
October 20, 2016

Today, October 20, 2016 is "Wonder Woman Day".

The United Nations is holding a ceremony (with rumored special guest Lynda Carter) appointing Wonder Woman as an Honorary Ambassador for "the Empowerment of Women and Girls" 75 years after she was created. Wonder Woman is the original, best-known, and most well liked comic book heroine, and in a world short of heroic images for girls, seems a great choice, despite the fact that she's fictitious . . . or, that just may be the crux of why she is the best choice. However, this appointment is not without protestors. 

Wonder Woman comic side by side with Lynda CarterAccording to The New York Times, a petition with 600 signatures was gathered and states: "'a large-breasted white woman of impossible proportions, scantily clad in a shimmery, thigh-baring body suit with an American flag motif and knee-high boots' is not an appropriate spokeswoman for gender equity at the United Nations."

The article goes on to say "Women’s advocates inside and outside the United Nations say the selection of Wonder Woman is particularly ill timed because the United Nations this month rejected seven female candidates for Secretary General."

Talking the talk but not walking the walk . . .

The petition complains:  “The message the United Nations is sending to the world with this appointment is extremely disappointing. The bottom line appears to be that the United Nations was unable to find a real-life woman that would be able to champion the rights of ALL women on the issue of gender equality and the fight for their empowerment. The United Nations has decided that Wonder Woman is the role model that women and girls all around the world should look up to.”  I think it's more disappointing

Unable to find a real-life woman! That is SUCH a huge sign that we need a Super Hero as a role model. And not just one, lots of them. I immediately thought of Malala Yousafzi, however, Wonder Woman being fictitious is the perfect choice because, as inspiring as Malala is, it's also depressing and frightening what happened to her. Wonder Woman is invincible. What she wears, in this case, in not as important as the fact that she's someone with super powers to look up to. We can work on the appropriateness of wardrobe as a side issue that protests to this appointment is shedding light on, but, in the meantime, I'm thrilled.

 

 


Rogue One Trailer 2 shows too much
October 13, 2016

The first Rogue One trailer was enough.  The second gives the whole movie away (or so it seems). I am going to try to forget what I've seen between now and December 16th. I wish I hadn't watched it. The first trailer made it seem so much more exciting.

 

 

 


John Wick: Chapter 2 Action Movies go classy!
October 9, 2016

Action Movies have never looked so classy.  The original John Wick movie was really something, but the look of this movie is beyond anything we've seen before.  Makes me want a purple suit real bad LOL. Looks like the wild wild West in a club.

 

 


 

David Belle's “Brutal, A Taste of Violence”
What a title
!
September 27, 2016

This Fight-themed digital series is sure to deliver:  Watch the trailer on vimeo.

From their press kit: Parkour Legend David Belle is back a bang with a new, hard-hitting, gritty, 10-episode fight series called Brutal, A Taste of Violence. "Axel Chen" (Belle), ex-special-forces officer, is a bouncer in a nightclub. When he is brutally attacked by a group of customers, and wrongfully accused of killing one of his aggressors, a wild escape begins, taking him all the way to Bangkok, where he will have to fight to prove his innocence and manage to make a living.

The very first showing was on October 1, 2016, at Raindance Film Festival, London, as part of the official selection.

This 10-episode fight series stars Belle, Vithaya Pansringarm (Only God Forgives), Byron Gibson (Only God Forgives and The Asian Connection), and  Pim Bubear (The Asian Connection, The Man with the Iron Fists).


Action Short “Blowback” has a nice kick!
September 27, 2016

Check it out. The love of Action Movies comes through in every scene of this 17 (13.5) minute Action Movie short.  It's great fun and the action is well done.  This 2013 student film out of USC was just released on YouTube.

Described as "An old-school-style action movie eschewing CG effects for the practical, it features veteran stuntman  Steve Lambert and stars Sport Karate Hall of Famer, stuntman, [and high kicker] Jessen Noviello." (pictured at right)

"All of [the] action was performed by the actors. THAT is something I would like to see lots more of: Give more stuntmen roles as actors.

They also said "It was also very important [to them] that [they] had female characters that were just as strong as the male characters, both emotionally and physically, as strong female characters seem to be rather rare in movies today."  Hats off to that.

Only one of the female characters is physically strong, and a total bitch, the other is nice, but a victim. The good girl/bad girl contrast is entertaining. Alexandra Bromstad, as the bad girl in the more physical role, is impressive in her aggression.  I would love to see the two leads (Jessen and Alexandra) in something else together. The kind of look like brother and sister.  They could both be big Action stars.

The script packs a lot into the 13 minute and 30 second run time. Writer Aaron Thomas does a great job of keeping the action going. Love the cursing and the scene cuts.  Love, too, that it ends in a cheesy one liner—an Action Movie Essential.  The villain, played by Scott Vance, dies well!  The fight choreographer has those great slow-motion moments when the hero shows off his skills as a Bad Ass.  There are many Action Movie essentials packed into this movie—It's almost like they said, What would they want to see? Put that in! And it works.

Directed by Robert "Bobby" Yanke
Fight Choreography by Steve Lambert (also some by Jessen who is a little Van Damme-y I gotta say)

Click here to watch 

Blowback movie poster

 

@JessenNoviello

Blowbackmoviesite.com

@Blowbackfilm

Blowback - A USC Thesis Film

 

Blowback on IMDb

 

Storyline "Alex Mason is one of the world's best secret agents. He's also never been very good with women. His controlling and conniving girlfriend, Monica, is the best he's been able to do. While on a mission to stop an arms dealer, she accuses him (incorrectly) of infidelity for the last time, and he breaks up with her. As she exacts her revenge, Monica discovers Alex's true occupation as a spy and decides the best payback is to blow his cover to the arms dealer who is now looking for him. Espionage is a bitch."

 

 

 

 

 


Action Short “Miss Nobody” set to attack Vimeo On Demand 9/12/16
September 9, 2016

Where do great Action Movies come from?  Talent like this. As I've said before, one of my favorite things about having this website is when people send me Action Movies to watch.  This particular film, "Miss Nobody", features a heroine—and a Bad Ass at that. She's got nothing to lose and is hell bent on revenge.  It's a short film but it's not short on Action.

What I like most about it is the realism and the intensity.  There is a great synopsis and a trailer, but since it's only "an intense 14 minutes of awesomeness" just skip those for fullest enjoyment. You can watch it on Vimeo On Demand, starting at 3:00 AM ET on September 12th . . .  You could rent it for only 99¢, but please show your support and buy to own for $1.99, and, if you like it, tell a friend. 

Featured on "Ain't It Cool News" Saturday Shorts, "Miss Nobody" also screened at the Action on Film International Film Festival on 9/3. Wine Girl Productions and Up In a Tree Productions teamed to release the film, and they are currently seeking funding for a feature film version.

Special thanks to Writer/Director Adam Hodge for reaching out to me via the Artemis Women in Action Film Festival site. #WomenKickAss

 


Johnny Strong slays in Daylight's End
September 5, 2016

Have you seen Daylight's End yet? What are you waiting for! Directed by William Kaufman (Sinners and Saints), this movie is an intense Action/Fantasy/Horror ride featuring Johnny Strong, Lance Henriksen, Louis Mandylor, and even writer Chad Law. "The Alpha" (the main villain) is played by Krzysztof Soszynski. It's been a while since I found 'just a man' that scary.  He makes you want to run out of the theatre to safety. Johnny Strong is, as you would expect, a total Bad Ass. The movie makes you want to know more. Like with The Walking Dead and The Road Warrior, you want to follow them along to wherever they are going . . . In the end, you care about Strong's character Thomas Rourke—I couldn't help but think that his subsequent encounters with various groups of survivors would have make great a great TV series like the Granddaddy of them all "The Fugitive". And, oh yeah, it's an Action Movie!

 

To promote the film, writer Chad Law and stunt performer Mike "Lobo" Daniel recently made an appearance at O Cinema Wynwood. They were lots of fun, and graciously answered questions after the film.  It was presented as the Action Movie feature in the Popcorn Frights Film Festival.  The showing was well attended and the film well received. If you were in the audience, photos (like the one, below) are here on Facebook

Support the movie so we can see more from this talented group of friends.  It's available on Amazon and iTunes.

(L to R: Popcorn Frights Co-Founder/Director Igor Shteyrenberg, Chad, Lobo, and Co-Founder/Director Marc Ferman)

Popcorn Frights Co-Founder/Director Igor 
				Shteyrenberg, Chad, Lobo, and Co-Founder/Director Marc Ferman, at the showing of Daylights End at O Cinema Wynwood in Miami

Daylight's End Movie Poster

 


Jessie Graff makes history on AMERICAN NINJA WARRIOR!
August 29, 2016

"This woman redefining strong!" Yes, she is. So proud of stuntwoman, super woman, Jessie Graff! I will post the video of the run as soon as I can find one online . . . It's here on American Ninja Warrior Nation's Facebook page

Jessie Graf makes history on American Ninja Warrior

 

 


 

Where to be TONIGHT in Miami:
DAYLIGHT'S END at
OCINEMA Wynwood
August 17, 2016

I ain't afraid of no Zika!  Johnny Strong, the TOTAL Action Movie Bad Ass who starred in Sinners and Saints, appears in Daylight's End, showing TONIGHT at OCINEMA Wynwood.

Directed by Sinners and Saints Director William Kaufman!

Writer Chad Law will be there . . .

 

 

 


Mad Love for SUICIDE SQUAD
August 6, 2016

How can you not go see this movie!?  Although it didn't have the Trash Talking laughs of Deadpool—IMDb has it labeled "Action, Adventure (not), Comedy (not), Crime (not really), Sci-Fi (no), Thriller, I'd say it's Action Fantasy Thriller—I really don't think it should be compared to Deadpool.  Suicide Squad is it's own thing, and that thing kills!

Suicide Squad selfie

THE ULTIMATE KILLING SQUAD . . . for kids age 13 up
This is what Action Movies have become: All for kids. Although I am getting super tired of SuperHero Movies, I enjoyed watching the Suicide Squad characters do their thing. But, are they out of their fucking minds to make it PG-13? Was there ever material more ripe for an "R" rating than this?! And if you're going to let a selection of super criminal hybrids with mad skills out of jail to save the world from an ancient evil, with all the government's resources and the Squad's peculiar talents, it's odd that they slowly walk toward an 'unknown', and just use hand-to-hand weapons and guns.  But I won't nitpick it.

Suicide Squad cake topperTHE ULTIMATE EVIL POWER COUPLE
The best thing in the movie is, hands down, Jared Leto's "Joker". There was so much (too too much) publicity about him for way too long before the movie that I expected to hate him, but, SURPRISE!, he's great. He had to create his version to not be like anything before, and that could not have been easy. The character's such a douchebag, it's like Justin Bieber died and came back cool—he's that sick/slick. With Harley Quinn, they are the ultimate evil power couple.  Speaking of couples . . .

MISSED OPPORTUNITIES
Looking back, it would have been a great love story if told from the viewpoint of archaeologist June Moone and The Enchantress.  Since she gets saved/killed in the end by the Suicide Squad, it would have been awesome to start with her and her romance with Rick Flag, so that we could root for them and hope to get June back from The Enchantress' spell.  Believe it or not, All For Love is actually a big Action Movie Subgenre.  And although Will Smith is the 'star' of this movie, and we get to see some of Deadshot as a father, they didn't go that route either. His redemption as a father would have been a good story—we get that anyway, but that's not the focus of the movie. The main focus of the movie should have been the romance between Harley Quinn and The Jokerr. How did they not see that from the start? Maybe we'll still get that "Mad Love" in another movie. . . or in a Suicide Squad prequel movie. Huge missed opportunity!

 

Can't wait to own the DVD on this movie.  Hats off to Statement Advertising who did the incredible Graphic Design:

Suicide Squad posters by Statement Advertising

 


WONDER WOMAN Trailer . . . (goosebumps!)
July 24, 20166

"What I do is not up to you." It doesn't get any more feminist than that—BOOMshakalaka! The trailer for Wonder Womann gave me goose bumps at the image of these Amazon warriors riding into battle:

Amazons charging into battle on horseback in Wonder Woman (2017)

Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman dodging bullets with her shield in Wonder Woman (2017)

Wonder Woman uses the Lasso of Truth

And at the sight of the golden Lasso of Truth!

I am SO GLAD that Gal Gadot pulls off this warrior Amazon bad ass look! She may be thinner than I hoped but she/her stunt doubles makes it look believable. Love the slow motion action. They are definitely selling Wonder Woman's ability to fight. The fluidity of movement, the choreography—in all Wonder Woman's scenes, but also the fantastic over-the-rock-two-arrow attack of General Antiope.

The 2nd Unit Director is Damon Caro:  Stuntman/Actor/Fight Choreographer, who was the Fight Choreographer/ Stunt Coordinator on Sucker Punch, Never Back Down, 300, and was the Fight Choreographer/Utility Stunts on Mr. & Mrs. Smith, plus he worked on the Bourne movies, Live Free or Die Hard, an too many more to name, including stunts on Battleship.

General Antiope takes aim with two arrows in Wonder Woman

The movie is directed by a woman (as it should be): Patty Jenkins.

I can't wait.  I take back what I said here about the cast being too thin. It occurs to me that while a bigger, stronger version will be kick ass to see on screen, a thinner version can give hope to more women. Just to see someone of Gal Gadot's proportions go through the motions so convincingly is inspiring. I still want to see 'big girls' kick ass onscreen but in this case, considering how iconic and important Wonder Woman is, having her be that strong might make fighting back seem unattainable. In other words, if a skinny girl can kick ass, any girl can FIGHT BACK!

Making Wonder Woman/Gal Gadot look so fierce are a host of stuntwomen. Only fitting since Wonder Woman is skilled at so many things.

Wonder Woman's Stunt Doubles

 

 


xXx: Return of Xander Cage Trailer
July 21, 2016

"Skills and Attitude." Vin Diesel can definitely make this work! So much violence (#goodthing) with a playful attitude. Xander's Excellent Adventure.  Yeah, I'll pay to see this.  I hope more than once. Under Siege came to mind. #adifferentkindofsoldier Only took them 15 years to get to a sequel. We waited patiently but I'm glad it's finally here. Vin is a force all his own and I don't think many actors outside of Wrestling could pull this off (that's a compliment—I love Wrestling). With Donnie Yen and Tony Jaa on board, it can't fail for Action Movie Freaks! And he wears fur again . . . LOL Love a man in fur! Will he growl in this movie? Yeah, I'm objectifying him (with love). Payback's a bitch.

 


 

GHOSTBUSTERS! I ain't afraid of no girls . . .
July 16, 2016

cast of 2016 Ghostbusters with Director Paul Feig

It's great fun. You have to see it.  Kudos to Writer/Director Paul Feig (shown above with the four girls). After all the fuss about it being an all-girl version, I was really hoping it could shut the naysayers up . . . and it can! From the very start with the scary music, it gives you that great, fun, Ghostbusters feeling.  The four main characters are each funny in their own way, although "Holtzman" was my favorite.  You know a movie's good when you want to dress up like them for Halloween.

All through the movie, they bring back original cast members: Sigourney Weaver, Ernie Hudson, Dan Aykroyd, Bill Murray, Annie Potts, (Ivan Reitman produced) but, sadly, not Harold Ramis (who passed away in 2014). Steve Higgins looks a lot like him though. There were some celebrities as well. I'd like to see it again to see if I can spot Kevin James. 

Katie Dippold writer of Ghostbusters and The HeatThe scriptwriting credits go to Katie Dippold who also wrote The Heat (all by herself—also directed by Paul Feig), which I loved.  There were a lot of funny one-liners, like . . .

"It's 2040—our President's a plant."
"I'd talk to you at an AA meeting."
"Come get your virginity out of the Lost & Found."
"It smells like burnt baloney and regrets down here."

 . . . but my favorite was

"You just got Holtzman'd, baby!"

The audience was loving it when the original cast members delivered lines from the first movie.

 

The ghosts and all the ghost-fighting apparatus were very cool. I hope they win awards. There's so much detail. I just loved the sets. I would live there!

A sure sign an audience enjoyed the movie is if they don't want to leave. The movie kept going mixed with the end credits and even those were fun.  The outtakes are gonna be hilarious!  Gotta see it again. It's so empowering for girls. Yes, we can bust ghosts, and anything else we want to do.  I would love to see more all-girl versions of movies. I'd love to see Scarface with a gender reversal. Call me crazy.  I know a good thing when I see it and an all-girl Ghostbusters is a good thing! Go have some fun with Melissa McCarthy, Kate McKinnon, Kristen Wiig, Leslie Jones, and the 'handsomeness in glasses', Chris Hemsworth.

Ghostbusters 2016 cast in action


Suicide Squad: Will it kill, or be killed, at the box office?
July 15, 2016

Suicide Squad comic book coverAre you a big fan of Suicide Squad? Did  you read any of the comic book series? Are you a betting man? I say it will kill at the box office. And you can, literally, bet on it . . .

 

The hot topic at work today was whether or not Suicide Squad would do as well as Deadpool in box office sales. Generally, Action Movie Freaks don't really care about box office success as a measure for how good a movie is, nor do we give a damn if critics pan it (they usually do). We know what we like and we're man enough to not care what you think, so why should box office success matter to us?

Well, because now you can measure your hunches at sportsbettingdime.com. Written back on March 30th, I found this article "Movie Odds—Will Captain America Crush the 2016 Box Office?" where Trevor Dueck covered ten 2016 movies and predicted that Deadpool (which opened on February 12 and closed June 16, 2016) would gross $850 Million, giving it 23/2 odds.

He listed the ten movies in descending order by how much they thought they would make:

  • Captain America: Civil War at #1 with $1.1 Billion predicted

  • Suicide Sqad at #10 with $712 Million

  • Deadpool was in the middle at #5, and . . . .

And here is what he said about Suicide Squad:

Suicide Squad (August 5, 2016): 24/1  |  Worldwide Box Office Prediction: $712 Million

DC Comics logoThis will be the year of the spin-off and, no matter what we thought of Batman v Superman[: Dawn of Justice], we are now going to get another serving of DC with Suicide Squad. That said, this story actually looks brighter and a lot more fun than the sombre, dark, and messy Dawn of Justice. So maybe there is hope for the DC film universe after all.

We also get a first look at Jared Leto’s Joker. In this post-Heath-Ledger world, it’s time for us to accept that there will be other actors playing the iconic villain. Some early predictions have this film doing mediocre numbers, but I predict a surprise hit that scores at the box office. The comic book adaptation wave is still rolling!

So I wondered, what did other websites have to say about Deadpool's success, and when did they say it?

Forbes.com's March 6th headline screamed: "'Deadpool' Crossed $300M In 23 Days, Hits $673 Worldwide."  and author Scott Mendelson said he was running out of superlatives.

The March 28th ScreenRant.com article headline by Rob Keyes reported: "Deadpool Sets Box Office Record As Top R-rate Movie Ever" saying that the worldwide total was now "$745,974,060, just edging out The Matrix Reloaded’s $742,128,461 total haul, and inching closer to X-Men: Days of Future Past’s $747,862,775 which it’ll conquer in just a few days."

Deadpool kills the Marvel universe
 

Collider.com's (and wow! check out their new full-screen-video-intro look) April 25th article used the word "massive": "Tim Miller on ‘Deadpool’s Massive Success: “Nobody Saw This. No One Planned This." and reported it at $760 Million worldwide. They quote Tim Miller as saying "$250 million would have been amazing. I had no idea. This is ridiculous. Who would have?" 

Well, now, maybe me or you . . .

With the final word, BoxOfficeMojo.com (the stats motherload) listed Deadpool at $782,038,982 Worldwide at the movie's close date on June 16, 2016.

Suddenly that 'guy thing' hit me—the need to quantify everything. Hey, this is fun! It's a new feeling for me. A little fantasy-football-ish. It gives me even more reason to root for Suicide Squad. A movie that has been slowly but surely getting under my skin, and which I am hoping will even shatter Deadpool's success.  It's got all the Action Movie Essentials.

 

 


I think Suicide Squad could take the Action Movie Bad Ass to a new level. You know, the Bad Guy as Hero is a long-standing Action Movie tradition. (Loving this cool poster of Diablo! more charcter posters here)  And all Suicide Squad really needs to beat Deadpool is just as much Trash Talking. Bring on the cheesey one-liners—Don't tell me that's not the reason Deadpool was so damn popular. Well, that and incredible action. Now I can put my money where my mouth is. I'm not telling anyone to gamble, but if you like to, now you can get odds on your next favorite flick. 

Suicide Squad character poster for Diablo

 


Dive into the Mechanic: Resurrection Trailer
June 24, 2016

I couldn't help but wonder if Jason Statham did that dive . . . since he used to be a diver.  The cinematorgraphy/look of it, the scale is beautiful; the action, vicious; and well, Statham.  He is as big and as 'proper' a true, full-blown Action Figure as either Schwarzenegger or Stallone.  I loved the whole tailored/professional nature of the characters he plays.

 

 

 

Oliver Park star of Watch Over Me

Hard-Hitting Action Short: Watch Over Me Released Online
June 15, 2016

Writer/Director Simon Pearce (and Editor/Producer: mulit-talented!) shared a short Action Movie he's just released online. Filmed on location in Bristol, "Watch Over Me follows a mysterious drifter who is offered one last chance at redemption when he crosses paths with a local woman haunted by her own dark past."

Released in November of 2014, the film won awards for Best Short Film and Best Action Short, and scored several other nominations for the action sequences and fight choreography. The movie stars Oliver Park in a compelling performance where he takes a beating but gives several as well—The Action is first rate. Kudos to everyone, especially the Stunt Coordinator Joe Golby, and to Adrian Bouchet as the lumbering-but-lethal foe "Dominic."  It plays like an episode of the classic TV Series "The Fugitive"  as we pick up somewhere and leave somewhere not knowing all the answers, but wanting to follow the Hero to find out more.

For more from Simon Pearce, follow @watchovermefilm and @cbaproductions. 

 

The film is on YouTube and on vimeo.  Please watch, enjoy, and share.

 


Connecting the Dots to Rose McGowan's Redemption . . .
June 5, 2016

Okay, so people can change. After Rose McGowan publicly objected to the image of a MUCH-stronger-looking man choking a woman in this promotional billboard of X-Men: Apocalypse, they decided to take it down. Yay, Rose! Using your celebrity for good for all women!

Mystique being choked billboard

“There is a major problem when the men and women at 20th Century Fox think casual violence against women is the way to market a film,” Rose told The Hollywood Reporter. “There is no context in the ad, just a woman getting strangled. The fact that no one flagged this is offensive and frankly, stupid. The geniuses behind this, and I use that term lightly, need to to take a long hard look at the mirror and see how they are contributing to society. Imagine if it were a black man being strangled by a white man, or a gay male being strangled by a hetero? The outcry would be enormous. So let’s right this wrong. 20th Century Fox, since you can’t manage to put any women directors on your slate for the next two years, how about you at least replace your ad?”

“I’ll close with a text my friend sent, a conversation with his daughter. It follows: ‘My daughter and I were just having a deep discussion on the brutality of that hideous X-Men poster yesterday. Her words: ‘Dad, why is that monster man committing violence against a woman?’ This from a 9-year-old. If she can see it, why can’t Fox?” she added.

Hallelujah!  Now can she, and we, connect some dots?

Rose McGowan once appeared in public, like this . . .  If she realizes that images of violence against women can be harmful, has she also come to realize that reducing herself to a sexual object is equally (if not more) harmful? I don't know her, so I can only hope. [I thought about covering her up and not posting the photo as is, but if she was comfortable enough to walk around like that and be photographed for all eternity, why should I lessen the impact of the severity of the dress?]

naked Rose McGowan

Less revealing Mystique costume from comic bookAll this shit has to end, people. If women were safe in the world, and if men were doing the same thing, it would be different, but NEITHER of those things is the case. Women are not safe. WAKE UP WOMEN!  Stop dressing this way. The argument is not that you should be able to dress however you want, it's that how you dress sends a message that has bad consequences other women can ill afford. You stand there defiant and safe, meanwhile, it's sending the message that being sexually desirable is more important to you than clothes or dignity or modesty or self respect, and other less fortunate, defenseless woman pay the price. You create lust but you are not the one satisfying it. Or, as I like to say, if you're not fishing, don't bait your hook.

 Now, connect the dots further to the Mystique costume . . .

That X-Men Apocalypse promotional billboard image was, frankly, shocking to me as well, but I had been shocked and outraged long before this (August 31, 2014 on Female Superhero Costumes).  After the trailer for X-Men: Days of Future Past (released 23 May 2014) showing Jennifer Lawrence being dragged down the street basically 'naked', I had had enough, so I decided I didn't want to go to any more X-Men movies. I have since watched a clip of just her fight scene with the character doing a bunch of acrobatic open leg-split/helicoptering-style fighting, and it's, in a word, tacky.

I can't say exactly why Jennifer Lawrence is so much 'worse' in the costume than Rebecca Romaijn. Maybe I'm just fed up. Maybe it's just so much bouncing boobs at different angles, maybe the costume was made to reveal more—like nipples so clear in the shot below, but between all the up shots of boobs, crotch shots while she fights and falls down, and the fact that the comic book does not have her naked like this all the time, as a woman, I just found it all so unnecessary, and just in very poor taste. 

Connect these dots, Hollywood:  I'm not paying to see this . . . 

Jennifer Lawrence as Mystique basically naked and being dragged down the street

P.S. And to Rose McGowan, if you read this, please tell me you'll never dress like that again and that you now see what it means: ripley@actionmoviefreak.com.


Wonder Woman: Bad Choice, Not Badass . . .
Why It's Not What It Needs To Be

May 26, 2016

payback action movie magazine celebrating the emergence of women in action moviesI got discouraged when Wonder Woman (2017) lost its first female director. I had been so excited, I had even started an issue of PAYBACK featuring Michelle MacLaren on the cover.

After she was let go, I thought they would let a man do it after all, but then in April 2015, the project gained

 Patty Jenkins as Director—here VARIETY compares the two—and I was relieved.  Not only should this most iconic female Superhero action movie be directed by a woman, but it really should also have been written by a woman. Reading writer Jason Fuchs' bio on IMDb reveals nothing that makes him specially qualified to script this most important milestone in women's Action Movies. He's really more all about acting. So, why wasn't the writing opportunity given to a woman? (I want to add: #srsly? and: for fuck's sake!)

There can be NO good reasonn the job of writing the script didn't go to a woman.  Makes me wonder if there weren't already scripts out there. [Yes, I am aware Wonder Woman was created by a man (William Moulton Marston), but it was his wife's idea (Elizabeth Holloway Marston), and she is credited with being the "mother" of Wonder Woman. 

Anyhow, when they cast the WAY-too-skinny Gal Gadot, I hoped somehow she would be able to fulfill the role (translation: gain 50 pounds of muscle, other actors have done it). When that didn't happen, I hoped she would be replaced before the feature. I've already spoken out against Gal Gadot in the role in ";Wonder Woman is a twig!" And I am even more unhappy after Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.  She looked so weak (really skinny legs), and when she fell down there was a crotch shot. A CROTCH SHOT. REALLY?!?!  "Oh come on!" Have a little respect. 

 

Gal Gadot is just not believable. Look how the men look and then look at her. She's a Barbie.

massive batman skinny wonder woman massive superman

Now look at Wonder Woman in these comic versions:

strong wonder woman from comics

strong wonder woman from comics

Below is Gal Gadot in a cast teaser photo for the feature.  She doesn't even have any thigh muscles. These women look scrawny: all of them!  These are not SUPERHEROES—WTH?! From the left, Lisa Loven Kongsli is "Melannippe", Connie Nielsen is "Queen Hippolyta" (WW's mother), and Robin Wright is General Antiope (at least her thighs look slightly bigger), but look at their scrawny arms too. 

skinny women from Wonder Woman 2017 movie

WHY?!?!   . . . On the bright side, it will be easy to tell when the stunt doubles (real life wonder women) take over..

I hate this image so much. HOW MANY YEARS WOMAN'VE WAITED, hoping to FINALLY see Wonder Woman on the big screen,only to get more of this male-fantasy body-image cop out.  What message does this send young girls? "I can only PRETEND to do these things. I can't be strong or that will be unattractive." That sucks.  When the REAL message should be I CAN DO ANYTHING the men can do #yeswecan. What a wasted chance to send a so-much-better body image message. Think how incredible it could have been—how it will someday be—when a woman seems a physical equal to a man.  This Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot) just looks like a poser, and it's just a story, so really who cares? Sadly this movie's not going to make great strides for women and their self image, nor for empowerment. 

We wanted a SUPERHERO, instead we're getting another "don't be fat" message. It's time for us to move Wonder Woman from the jiggly male fantasy heroine, to a real role model for strength, and one who is appropriately attired for battle, not a nearly-naked one like this . . .

Superman Wonder Woman Batman

William Marston himself wrote: "Women's strong qualities have become despised because of their weakness. The obvious remedy is to create a feminine character with ALL THE STRENGTH of Superman . . .  (and he went on to say "plus all the allure of a good and beautiful woman" but blah-blah-blah as lip service to the era #onestepforwardtwostepsback). 

And therein lies the crux of the problem.  The allure of a beautiful woman. In my opinion, Hollywood thinks men don't want to see a 'big girl'. What they don't realize is: WOMEN doStrength is alluring.  It really should be BY WOMEN, and FOR WOMEN.  I want to see that movie.  With Gina Carano or someone equally strong. Arms this big (shotputter) and legs at least this big (don't tell me strong is not sexy):

strong shotputter female

girl with strong legs

At least I am not alone. Forums discusss "Recast Wonder Woman" and "Wonder Woman: How Muscular Should She Be?" I say strong enough to be taken seriously.

Let me tell you, if she was even just a little beast-ish, a little Vasquez from Aliens, the audience cheering would be incredible. Nobody NOBODY cheered when Wonder Woman appeared in BvS.  It should not be like that. She should have had a Big Dog Entrance, and our first image of her in costume should not have been a black and white photo. She was no big deal. It came off as them letting her be in their movie. Don't even start me on the ridiculous outfits she wore when she was Diana Prince (all 3 open from neck to waist). The 'business' suit was absurd. Maybe we can FINALLY get past the idea that we have to look 'hot' while doing everything. Grrrrrr!

A lot of money will be spent, and that's great—To give a woman director the reigns of a big budget Action Movie, but I have a feeling the role/story will be too much Drama and not enough being a Bad Ass (sigh). This movie will fail is my prediction. Which is a shame, because then men will use it as an excuse not to make more female superhero movies. (It's TOTAL BULLSHIT we have to wait for a Black Widow movie.)  Why can't they see women don't want another supermodel image, they want a real-life superhero (we want/need our "Arnold").

Maybe She Hulk will have to do the job . . .  Imagine a whole movie with all super strong women!  It will happen.

she hulk super strong women

 


Captain America: The First Avenger screencap

The Ultimate Captain America Marathon 5/5
May 4, 2016

Couldn't miss the chance to see all these great movies again. 14 action-packed hours. It was EVERYTHING I hoped it would be :-)

 

  • Captain America: The First Avenger  (22 July 2011)

  • The Avengers  (4 May 2012)

  • Captain America: The Winter Soldier  (4 April 2014)

  • Avengers: Age of Ultron  (1 May 2015)

  • Captain America: Civil War  (6 May 2016)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Hardcore Henry raises the bar on filmmaking
April 9, 2016

You'll say "Oh my God, I can't believe they did that!" at least twice . . . and wonder "How did they do that?" even more. Here's a great article (from The NY Times) about the craziness of filming "Hardcore Henry".

Hardcore Henry headgear

Hardcore Henry headgear

Hardcore Henry headgear

So many gnarly kills! The movie's a tour de force, literally, and a little hard to keep up with, everything moves so fast at times.  It was definitely amazingly creative. I found myself wishing they had invested us in the character's dilemma, and we had no idea about the villain and/or savior until the end. I wish we could have rooted for Henry's revenge. The almost continuous action was incredible but I found the plot confusing. At the end it seemed like Henry was Jimmy because when he passed out his reflection looked like Sharlto Copley, so Henry = just another version of Jimmy? It's not even mentioned in this voluminous plot descriptionn from Wikipedia. Just try to follow this if you didn't watch it:

Henry recalls being bullied as a child [ I really wasn't getting that with the flashback ] before waking up in a tank of water inside a laboratory on an airship missing his left arm and left leg. A scientist, Estelle (Haley Bennett), replaces his missing limbs with cybernetic ones and reminds Henry that she is his wife and that he has amnesia after waking up from a horrible accident. Just as Henry begins to get his bearings, a group of mercenaries led by the telekinetic Akan (Danila Kozlovsky) arrive and kill the other scientists. Henry and Estelle flee the ship in an escape pod, but they are ambushed on the ground by Akan's mercenaries and Estelle is abducted.

Henry is rescued from the mercenaries by Jimmy (Sharlto Copley), who informs him that his robotic parts are running out of power and that he will die if he cannot recharge. [ Yes, you will think of Crank. ] Jimmy is almost immediately killed by the mercenaries, but Henry meets another version of Jimmy [ The many versions was the coolest thing about the movie to me ]—disguised as a drunken, odorous hobo—on a bus. Bum Jimmy informs him that one of Akan's associates named Slick Dimitry has a charging pump implanted in his heart, which Henry can use to recharge. Bum Jimmy is killed by a flamethrower [ that was wild ] before Henry flees and sneaks into Dimitry's apartment. Henry chases Dimitry throughout the city before incapacitating him; Dimitry is killed by a sniper. Henry removes the pump and receives a call from Jimmy, who directs Henry to his current location—a brothel.

Henry heads to the brothel and meets two more versions of Jimmy—a debauched lothario addicted to cocaine, and an awkward, painfully shy, and over-apologetic geek in a vest. The two versions of Jimmy replace the pump, but the brothel is attacked by Akan's forces. Henry manages to fight through the mercenaries, but encounters Akan, who taunts Henry by saying his wife is being hauled away in an armored convoy, and hurls him out of the brothel.

[ So much boob-age! Some of the nicest boobs since Elena Eleniak in Under Siege. If I was a boy I would probably have loved it, as a girl I really didn't give a damn, and it didn't bother me.) I found this version of Jimmy hilarious! ]

Outside, Henry encounters Jimmy once more—this time, a marijuana-using hippie with a chopper, who gives him a ride in his motorcycle sidecar and brings him to Akan's convoy. Henry finds Estelle in the truck leading the convoy; before he can rescue her, Akan arrives and prepares to strike Estelle with a baseball bat. Henry steps in, "volunteering" to take her place, and is struck unconscious.

[ The clip is here of the convoy chase. ]

Jimmy revives Henry in the woods, before being killed by a tank shell. [ So unexpected. It was like they kept asking "What's the last thing you'd expect to see? Let's put that in." ] Henry kills the crew manning the tank, as well as most of the men in an attacking helicopter, before falling off the helicopter and landing in a tree. [ This is an OMG moment! ] He follows another of Jimmy's signals to an abandoned hotel, where he finds the original Jimmy upstairs. Jimmy reveals that Akan created Henry's cyborg abilities, and that he worked on the first stages of Akan's cyborg-soldier project, which turned out to be a failed batch of lobotomized super-soldiers unable to do anything but mindlessly swing at the air..
[ It's pretty funny ] Akan "rewarded" him by snapping his spine—he is now a quadriplegic confined to a wheelchair. He reveals the other Jimmys are dormant clones of himself his mind can inhabit, which he created to regain mobility and indulge in vices; he demonstrates this by performing a song and dance number with all of his clones. All the copies of Jimmy attack Henry after Jimmy realizes that Henry has unknowingly been broadcasting his video feed to Akan. Henry disables all his clones—the original Jimmy begs to be killed, fearing everything is lost, but is convinced to bring the fight to Akan. Henry and Jimmy—now a stereotypical WW2 officer—fight their way out of the complex [which, by the way was easily recognizable as where they filmed the final fight in The Expendables 3 ]], killing the mercenaries' leader by dropping the laboratory on him via plastic explosives.

 


Jimmy and Henry drive to Akan's headquarters, a massive skyscraper. They fight their way into an elevator, but Jimmy is mortally wounded. Before dying, Jimmy thanks Henry for being the closest thing he ever had to a friend. Henry fights his way to Akan's office, where he is greeted by a video of Akan revealing that an army of cyborg Super Soldiers are being fed Henry's memories and will all remember waking up like he did in the laboratory—with a wife, being attacked, and manipulated into doing anything to "get" her back - such as committing terrorist attacks for Akan, who plots to take over the world with this new army. The first soldier to wake up attacks Henry, but Henry kills him and replaces his battery with the soldier's. The rest of the army awaken and chase Henry up to the roof of the building.

On the roof, Henry battles and kills the entire army [ very Matrix Reloaded ]. He then attacks Akan, who knocks Henry out again with his telekinetic abilities. When he wakes up, Akan reveals that Estelle was his wife all along, and she had been lying to Henry the entire time—she and Akan had been planning to lure Henry to Akan's headquarters so he could be replicated and mass produced. Henry blacks out after a barrage of attacks, but is energized by a memory of his father (Tim Roth), who encouraged him to fight back against a gang of childhood bullies. Henry fights Akan and decapitates him with his cybernetic eyestalk. He jumps up onto a helicopter in which Estelle is trying to escape. An enraged Estelle asks Henry how "could he do this"—Henry simply responds by writing "EZ" in his own blood. [ Slammer! ] She fires at Henry, but the bullet ricochets off his hand and wounds her; she stumbles out of the helicopter and is left hanging by her fingertips. Estelle pleads with Henry to save her, but Henry slams the door on her fingers, sending her falling to her death. [ Consider that a divorce! ]

As the credits roll, a message from Jimmy is heard, asking Henry to do "one last thing" . . .

In the end, I found it gimmicky but only because the plot was thin and the Action was so outta hand. I would love to watch it a couple more times in the theater. It's a big-screen Action Movie to be sure!

 

Star Wars: Rogue One Trailer
April 7, 2016

Last night I watched Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation and this morning, half awake, I posted Star Wars: Rogue Nation (embarrassing! LOL).  Fixed now, and WOW the trailer looks so cool! Thanks to JoBlo Movie Trailers for posting it so early..

 

 

Star Wars: Rogue One teaser for trailer to premier on Good Morning America TODAY!
April 7, 2016

I know, right? So excited we can hardly stand it! I am wearing a "Star Wars Trilogy special edition" button I begged off an usher out of sheer joy after seeing this teaser. Can't wait for the trailer, and yes, I'm going to watch. #icanthelpit. We all want to be back in that world so badly. Going to keep checking YouTube when I can and will be so thrilled to post the trailer tonight.

 

 


 

Captain America Movie Marathon
Thursday, May 5th, 7:00 AM
April 1, 2016

Ask for the day off because you'll need to be at the theatre starting at 7:00 AM.
ALL of these are great movies: 

  • Captain America: The First Avenger

  • The Avengers

  • Captain America: The Winter Soldier

  • Avengers: Age of Ultron

and you'll get to be one of the first to see the new . . .

  • Captain America: Civil War in 3D!

Click here for tickets


Batman v Superman: Yawn of Justice
March 26, 2016

It could have been so much shorter!  I'm a big DC fan, a Superman over Batman fan, a woman who has been waiting since Linda Carter on TV to see Wonder Woman on the big screen, and a huge childhood fan of Aquaman (comics and the animated TV show), and I was bored. Plus (without mentioning any spoilers) it was a downer. Action Movies should not be a downer, they should pump you up!

MOMMA'S BOYS
Even the big fight (much-anticipated main event) between Batman and Superman disappointed because Batman turned out to be a momma's boy, and Superman turned out to be a big baby. After you see it, you'll know what I mean.  Just substitute the words "my Mommy" for "Martha" when they have their little confrontation and it's ridiculous. Overall, just way too much dialogue/exposition, and too little Action.  I'm not a huge fan of Superhero Movies anyway, I prefer real-life Action Figures. That said, when the Captain America Movie Marathon—above—it sure helped me to see how much better I like those movies. "Save the drama for your mama" sure fits here! That's sad.

Momma's Boys Superman and Batman talk about their Mommys

Even though I'm a woman, we female Action Movie freaks often relate to the male heroes (not to the weak supporting female characters/victims as Hollywood seems to think we do), but even with two strong characters like Batman and Superman, I couldn't help but notice there was just too much crying, too much emotion. So, at the start, when Lois Lane says "I'm not a lady, I'm a journalist" I thought Hooray! but then she wore really high heels (while trying to run here and there), and they had her naked in the tub (WHY!?). Even worse, the "Superheroes" whined and blubbered.  There's no crying in Action Movies, and there shouldn't be any high heels!

'DRESSING DOWN'
Crushingly, the audience's big first-time sighting of Wonder Woman is in a black-and-white photograph. If not for the fact that we'd already seen her costume in real life (they should not have given it away), this would have been our first sighting of her.  A bit anti-climactic (WTF)! Then there were the first three outfits Diana Price wore: all plunging necklines that made wearing a traditional bra impossible. Even her business suit is split to the waist (more WTF). And I couldn't hate the new Wonder Woman costume more if it was a burlap sack. The new costume looks hard and bumpy like some odd tortoise shell strapped on front. This is nothing practical to fight in (never has been, but it could have been improved on). For all her 'mighty' fighting, when she gets knocked down, we get an extended crotch shot. OH COME ON!  Plus it's like dark brown or burgundy, there is no color. These are Wonder Woman colors (below). I had hoped—a long time ago since we'd seen the new costume way in advance—that they would keep the color and cover her up some in the interest of practicality, and to make her less of a male fantasy and more of a warrior. Yet, in spite of all that, it was still cool to see her in the photograph. The costume wasn't as un-Wonder-Woman-ish because the photo was not in color, but it didn't thrill when Wonder Woman finally appeares in person. If you're not going to do the colors, at least keep the gold. Who makes these decisions? Can't be a woman. This is not Xena . . .

Lynda Carter in colorful Wonder Woman costume and cape

Wonder Woman costume looks like Xena

And while it's great that Wonder Woman shows up to fight with the 'big boys', she's a woman but she's not a Bad Ass. Gal Gadot is not big enough for the role. We've had the supermodel thin version already. We are ready for, overdue for, wishing for, the truly physically strong female. Her skinny legs are so disappointing. Even Amy Adams' Lois Lane looks stronger.

BATFLECK
I just couldn't get past Ben Affleck being cast as Batman. It should have been Scott Adkins, and least he would have brought some of that Batman mystique to the role, not to mention real fighting skills. In the one dream sequence the fighting was so slow and awkward I was thinking, PLEASE let this be a slo-motion nightmare thing and not just awful Action.  Speaking of awkward, that robotic-looking, clunky, Frankenstein's shoes, suit of armor Batman wore at the end was really goofy looking. By the time the villain says "We have to destroy him" and you realize where the movie is going/what it's about, it's practically over. There were too many plot holes:  What was the point/payoff of the special bullets? Where did the bigger piece of kryptonite go? What kind of secure, high-performance-computing facility would you be able to walk into, no lock, no guard, and find a wire with a plug that you can just attach something small to and download an entire room full of supercomputers worth in just 7 minutes?  At first I thought the monster was trapped on the island, so when Batman says he's going to lure it to the kryptonite spear, I was thinking "How stupid, bring the spear to the monster," but then we find out the monster can get off the island.  Why have Holly Hunter's character make a point that she can wrestle a pig (another WTF moment)? So much of Batman's whining at the beginning. Waaaah, I have everything in life but I want to be number one so I have to kill 'the alien' (you know, the one fighting crime while I mope). Bruce Wayne/Batman's arrogance is so dull. He's completely unsympathetic. It's Ben-Affleck-as-Batman, and they are both so poor-spoiled-rich-guy douche-y.

DARK KNIGHTS AND DARK DAYS AHEADD
We DC fans waited so long for this Justice League preview movie, and yet, if the next movie is going to get the Dark Knight treatment, it will be very disappointing. There should be color. I'm not asking for Dick Tracy but the source material is comic books! There really should be more color.  Otherwise all the costumes look the same.  In the dark, fighting, you really didn't notice ANY color in Wonder Woman's outfit. Compare the movie screenshot to the Photoshopped Wonder Woman costume below it (which I found online, by the way, so at least one other person wanted more color).

colorful Justice League costumes

Wonder Woman Dawn of Justice costume too dark

Wonder Woman Dawn of Justice costume with color added

The film has nice message about loving your mommy, and blah blah blah.  A few of us die-hard DC fans sat and waited until after all the credits, hoping for a teaser for the next film, and got nothing. As we ambled out amid disappointed mumbling, someone piped upp "This isn't Marvel."  That sums it up.  Dark days ahead.

 


Kick Ass Women: Support the Artemis Film Festival  Year 2 IndieGoGo Project
March 24, 20166

You have a few hours left to show what a Kick Ass Woman you are and support the Artemis Film Festival.  They ask that you take a selfie with a sign that says "I Contributed".  Every dollar helps, so please give if you can.  They are honoring some very inspiring role models, like Stunt Women extraordinaire Zoë Belll and Heidi Moneymaker.

You can donate to the Festival, or to Artemis Motion Pictures.

Follow them on twitter:  @IAmMelanieWise (Founder),  @ArtemisFF, @ArtemisPics


Deadpool  Happy St. Valentine's Day
February 11, 2016

Deadpool starss Ryan Reynolds. He owns the role so completely, it's hard to imagine anyone else could. From the pre-mutant, wise-cracking, love sick puppy, to the hell-bent-on-revenge, relentless smart ass, the action is as fast as the one liners. The movie is wildly entertaining with so many how-did-they-do-that scenes that I found my self shaking my head in wonder.

The very funny and creative opening credits, part of a really long, surprising, and painful action sequence, are the best thing I've seen in a while. They really set the tone for the whole movie.  Critics—who don't get what makes an Action Movie, an action movie—complain about even one "cheesy one liner", this movie proves that we enjoy the HELL out of them, and can't get enough.  I laughed all the way through. 

 


Criminal 2016 movie poster

Criminal: Old School Actors/Old School Action
February 11, 2016

Criminal stars Kevin Coster, Tommy Lee Jones, and Gary Oldham, plus Ryan Reynolds and Gal Gadot—all great dramatic actors who have done some really great roles in memorable Action Movies.

Coster couldn't have been better in 3 Days to Kill, and with this cast, it's a no fail movie. Add Tom Struthers as 2nd Unit Director (what an incredible list of movies to his credit! He's 2nd Unit Director/Stunt Coordinator on the upcoming Warcraft, was Stunt Coordinator on Redemption, The Dark Knight Rises, John Carter, X-Men First Class, Season of the Witch, Inception, Terminator Salvation, The Dark Knight, and more . . . ) and I think it's going to pack a wallop with old-school Action scenes.  Frankly, I'm a little tired of Superhero Movies, bring on real tough guys (at any age).

The script is interesting. The writers are: Douglas Cook (aka Douglas S. Cook, he passed away at just 56 in 2015) and David Weisberg  (together they wrote the screen play for The Rock with Mark Rosner—say no more), and  Synopsis:  The memories & skills of a deceased CIA agent are implanted into an unpredictable and dangerous convict.  A man who "was "in out of prison more than half his life, [a man who]'s got no impulse or control, [is] unable to calculate the consequence of his actions, [and] has a total lack of empathy for anybody or anything. [A man who] feels nothing." How interesting to awaken such a violent man to morality and empathy. It's such a natural next movie (story wise) after 3 Days to Kill.  At the heart of what makes an Action Movie, an Action Movie is a hero who's on the right side—an Action Movie Essential. If you didn't see 3 Days to Kill, I suggest you watch.  

Look for it in theaters on April 15, 2016 . . .

 

 



13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi
When Grown Men Cry*

Michael Bay and Benghazi: What a story, what a movie!

John Krasinskisuchh 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. (*One of the few time I've not hated it—considering the true story.)

Here are three of the six real-life heroes, and an interview that drives the truth home:

 

 

Shadow Warriors Project—a worthy cause to support.

After such tremendous bravery, what do these heroes get?  From their site: Shadow Warriors Project (SWP) is a foundation dedicated to the support of private military  security contractors, conducting paramilitary security operations in some of the  world's most dangerous areas. It is the only charity of its kind. Although the  private security contractor has served in the military he is considered a  civilian and does not receive the same support offered to injured active military or veterans. SWP serves the private contractor by offering  financial support through heartfelt donations. By easing the load of these  injured warriors it allows them to focus on healing, as an individual as well as the family unit. 

SWP supports those families who are dealing with the financial  hardships now facing them by lifting the burden of the load so that these  families can focus on healing mind, body, and spirit.

The individuals receiving support from the SWP are special  operatives that were hired either through the CIA or via private security  companies. These people are in need of assistance because there is no  post-engagement support for them on their return to the U.S. like there is for  military veterans. These operatives may have been killed or wounded, and SWP's goal is to serve as a support system to them and/or their family. The individual financial assistance will be for medical bills, PTSD treatment, and other family  therapies. We also want to provide education to the public about who these warriors are, and support events that bring the Shadow Warriors and their family  members together for events and fundraisers.



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