action movie freak    

 

Action Movie
GODS
just my personal favorites


BRUCE LEE
 


DWAYNE JOHNSON



MICHAEL BAY


LUC BESSON


JERRY BRUCKHEIMER


87ELEVEN


TONY JAA


WOO-PING YUEN


ARNOLD SCHWARZENEGGER


SYLVESTER
STALLONE


JOHN WOO

Action Movie
ACTORS

Scott Adkins
"Stone Cold" Steve Austin

Eric Bana
Dave Bautista
Tom Berenger
Gerard Butler
Nicolas Cage
Jackie Chan

Sonny Chiba
Sean Connery
Randy Couture
Daniel Craig
Tom Cruise
Matt Damon

Vin Diesel
Robert Downey, Jr.
Clint Eastwood
Chris Evans
Harrison Ford
Jenette Goldstein

Tom Hardy
Chris Hemsworth
Tony Jaa
Hugh Jackman
Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson
Tommy Lee Jones
Milla Jovovich
Jim Kelly

Salman Khan
Taylor Lautner
Cung Le
Bruce Lee
Jet Li
Dolph Lundgren
Jason Momoa
Carrie-Ann Moss
Liam Neeson

Chuck Norris
Bill Paxton
"Rowdy" Roddy Piper
Rain
(Jong Ji-hoon)
Jeremy Renner
Burt Reynolds
Cynthia Rothrock

Kurt Russell
Zoe Saldana

Arnold Schwarzenegger
Steven Seagal
Robert Shaw
Will Smith
Wesley Snipes
Sylvester Stallone
Jason Statham
Johnny Strong
Channing Tatum
Jack Tu
Karl Urban
Iko Uwais
Jean-Claude Van Damme
Jesse "The Body" Ventura
Mark Wahlberg
Carl Weathers
Bruce Willis

Sigourney Weaver
Sam Worthington
Michelle Yeoh

Marko Zaror

 

Action Movie
STUNT
Coordinators

J. J. Abrams
Buddy Joe Hooker
Larnell Stovall
Paul Weston
 

Action Movie
DIRECTORS

J. J. ABRAMS
MICHAEL BAY
KATHRYN BIGELOW
JAMES CAMERON
JOHN CARPENTER
ANDREW DAVIS
BRIAN DE PALMA
WILLIAM FRIEDKIN
GEORGE LUCAS
McG
JOHN McTIERNAN
BRETT RATNER
TONY SCOTT
RIDLEY SCOTT
STEPHEN SPIELBERG
The WACHOWSKIS
JOHN
WOO
 

The Action Movie BAD ASS

Although the bigger the better, the Action Movie BAD ASS comes in all shapes and sizes:
ACTION FIGURES THE WHINER HALF & HALF REGULAR JOES and JANES
 

ACTION MOVIE HISTORY
Before I start listing the Action Movie Bad Asses, I have to list these three men because watching their movies infected me with Action Movie fever. They are legendary, so I'll keep it brief, but they should be in their own category for making the genre what it is.

[And before there were Action Movies (for me) there were comic books. Giving credit where credit is due, Action Movies owe a lot to comic books. Their contribution is immeasurable and, their influence thankfully, ongoing!]

BRUCE LEE
Watching "kung fu" movies and making fun of the dubbed sound not matching the lip movements is a really common joke, which just drives home the fact that language was no barrier to the enjoyment and popularity of these movies. While we made fun, we ate it up! Actually, 3 out of 5 of Bruce Lee's movies were in English. Had he lived—we can only imagine—how much more famous would he be?! Bruce Lee CREATED my idea of the Action Movie BAD ASS, and many other Action Movie Freaks as well. Along with his a
mazing physical prowess came philosophy . . . This quote from Enter The Dragon explains why many of us love the ACTION FIGURE:

 "It is STRENGTH that makes all other values possible.
Nothing survives without it."
 

Lee was just as cool as it gets. Kung Fu movies made us hungry for more, then along came:

CHUCK NORRIS
Everyone knows Chuck Norris is the BADDEST MAN ON THE PLANET.  I'm sure you've heard the one liners. Pick a site: The Chuck Norris Facts.com or Chuck Norris Facts.com. They're all so funny, it's hard to pick a favorite, but I love "If Chuck Norris is late, time better slow the fuck down." I feel really lucky to have seen most of his movies in theaters when they came out.  He is THE MAN! All his movies are enjoyable. My favorite is A Force of One.

Mr. Norris was the first honoree in the first all-Action Movie Festival: ActionFest in 2010! They showed Braddock: Missing in Action III and Mr. Norris's personal favorite Code of Silence, and, they put a Chuck Norris quote on the back of their official t-shirt:
"If I want your opinion, I'll beat it out of you."

It was great to hear him speak about his early martial arts training and matches against Bruce Lee (on and off the screen). He's a hero in real life too, giving back with his inspiring and effective Kick Start Program. I started donating every year in honor of his birthday. At the inaugural Actionfest closing ceremony, he turned over his Lifetime Achievement award to his brother, stunt double, Director, and one of four "Co-Founders" of ActionFest, Aaron Norris, as a fitting tribute to Stuntmen, the unsung heroes who make the Action Movie Bad Ass look good.

In The Expendables 2 Chuck Norris basically tells Sylvester Stallone he took his job (meaning everyone started watching Stallone's movies instead). Really, how awesome is that?! How many people could say such a thing to Sylvester Stallone!

Action Movie Bad Ass Jim Kelly

JIM KELLY
Sunday, June 30th, 2013 marked the passing of James M. "Jim" Kelly. We should have been more appreciative when he was here. I can only hope he had some idea how much he was loved, and how incredibly cool we all thought he was. I wish I had added him to the Bad Ass list before his passing, but when I realized he should have been here all along, there was no other place I would have put him than Bad Ass History. 

Looking back at that time, his talent was a trailblazing standout. So much of what we love about those '70s Action Movies that has become cliche, was fashioned after the coolness of Jim Kelly. What became known as "blaxploitation" was, back then, just that 'they' were cooler than 'we' were. We knew it, they knew it. Quentin Tarantino is the proof. This intro. to Black Belt Jones captures the vibe perfectly—Enjoy, and pay your respects to a great talent and a great entertainer.

Michael Jai White had some very kind words to say about Mr. Kelly . . . 

 

 

 ACTION FIGURES
handshake/arm wrestling between Arnold Schwarzeneggar and Carl Weathers in PREDATORWith the ACTION FIGURE, so much of the movie's success rests on their ability to be that hero, it's hard to separate them from the role afterward. Not enough credit is given because they are in such great shape, as if being in great shape is too much credit already, and the 'action'—the performance of such magnificent physical feats is equally underappreciated. Too often dismissed and not considered serious acting roles, Action Movie Heroes should, instead, be doubly awarded. Not only are they talking the talk, they're walking the walk!

Still, selling it is a smaller part of the game because when you look this good, we're already buying. There's a "holy crap" factor to the ACTION FIGURE physique. They look like they could really get the job done, and nothing is more convincing than real strength. These guys don't need rubber suits with fake muscles. 

At right, Carl Weathers and Arnold in PredatorThis is how the Action Figure shakes hands! 

THESE ARE ALPHABETICAL . . .

SCOTT ADKINS
"Boy-ka! Boy-ka! Boy-ka! . . . " You're scared just looking at that picture, I can tell. He looks like Ben Affleck might after training in Hell (to be fair to Ben, he looked great in The Town, but you've got to admit there's a resemblance). [Scott should have been Batman—had to be said.]

Scott Adkins owned the role of Yuri Boyka from the Undisputed series. It's a testament to his characterization of that role that he almost looks like a different person in real life. Adkins is so intense as Boyka, it's scary good. If you've never seen any of the Undisputed series, you're missing out!

He had small roles in The Pink Panther, The Bourne Ultimatum, X-Men Origins: Wolverine, and The Expendables 2, and made an appearance in Zero Dark Thirty. With a physique like this and mad martial arts skills, hopefully there will be lots more starring roles for Adkins in movies like Assassination Games (opposite JCVD),  Re-Kill, and Universal Soldier: Day of Reckoning. [What happened to Blood Hostage, which paired him again with Undisputed III: Redemption Director Isaac Florentine and Larnell Stovall (UIII:R's Stunt Coordinator) as Second Unit Director?]   I saw him in After Dark Action's El Gringo. It was highly entertaining!  Ninja: Shadow of a Tear was a little disappointing but not because of Scott.

Look for him in Legendary: Tomb of the Dragon (20414) and Mortal Kombat as "Smoke". Also, he plays King Amphitryon in the Kellan Lutz movie The Legend of Hercules.  Found Green Street 3: Never Back Down on YouTube.

GINA CARANO
American Gladiator "Crush" Gina Carano makes the jump to a lead role on the big screen in a big way with Haywire. From a small part in Blood and Bone, Gina is now the main attraction and is backed up with one hell of a cast and an excellent director!  Even two of these actors would be enough but HAYWIRE stars Channing Tatum, Michael Douglas, Antonio Banderas, Ewan McGregor, Michael Fassbender, and Bill Paxton.

I can only hope this is a sign of things to come. I believe there is a huge market of female viewers for powerful women in roles where they are not objectified.  In the way that Dances With Wolves was the 'Indians Are People Too' movie, even though I hated it, women need that kind of film to deliver the 'Women Are People Too' message to wake the sleeping giant of the 'second' class to the power they can have if they will only fight back.

"You shouldn't think of her as being a woman. That would be a mistake."

Her next movie
(2014) will be In The Blood according to The Hollywood Reporter. It's listed as Action/Thriller. From IMDB: "
When her husband goes missing during their Caribbean vacation, a woman sets off on her own to take down the men she thinks are responsible."  Also in 2015, IMDb lists her in an "Untitled Adi Shanker Project".

young Jackie Chan

JACKIE CHAN
Jackie Chan carrying Olympic TorchJackie Chan made a younger generation love martial arts movies. If you didn't already love 'kung fu' movies because of Bruce Lee, then you probably went back to have a look after you saw Jackie Chan. When his first movies came to American cinema, we all watched with our mouths open. The drop from the helicopter into the frozen lake, the building-to-building jumps, fights with things like a shopping cart, ladder, lamps, chairs, refrigerators, pool cues, scaffolding, skis, poles, bottles: it's a long list, but he's even more incredible with his hands, feet, his whole body. It all seemed impossible to believe he did those things until we saw the misses and practice, and injuries, on the outtakes. 

Rush Hour paid homage Richard Pryor and Gene Wilder and the combination of action and comedy has never been better than Jackie Chan and Chris Tucker. And he's so lovable! Maybe it's the smile or just some inner goodness that shines through. Even when Chris Tucker is aggravating the hell out of him, he keeps his cool.  What I find so funny is that even with the fact that he's in perfect shape, can do all these incredible moves, and twist himself this way and that, when he tried to dance, he was awkward. Compared to Chris Tucker pretty much everyone's awkward at dancing, still... "how difficult is that?"   [According to Wikipedia, not only does he speak Cantonese, Mandarin, and English fluently, and also speaks some German, Korean, Japanese, and a little Spanish.]  He is super popular with kids (even more so after the remake of The Karate Kid). They are building a Jackie Chan museum in Shanghai!

TERRY CREWS
Terry Crews IS a real-life Action Figure and seems to be a hell of a nice, fun guy, and a talented comic. You know White Chicks was all about Terry!  His Old Spice commercials are hilarious, and, he stole the show in The Expendables. I would love to see him play Augustus Cole in the Gears of War movie.

Terry Crews embodies what it means to be larger than life—I hope he does more and more Action Movies.  He had his moment in The Expendables 2, he'll be starring in Aztec Warrior (which looks awesomely violent), and is the lead in Fighting Back.  With so much personality, you know anything he is in will be entertaining. Action Movie Freaks want more Terry Crews!!  Ta-ta-ta-ta ta-ta Terry!

Not since Bill Paxton as Hudson in Aliens asked "Oh, you want some of this?!" has an Action Movie Bad Ass embodied the BRING IT attitude like Terry Crews. Just compare his pose to all the other character photos from Expendables 2.  Yeah we want some!  SOME MORE TERRY CREWS!!!

Vin Diesel in The Chronicles of Riddick

VIN DIESEL
The shower scene from The Chronicles of Riddick was sPECtacular!

Nobody seems to give Vin enough credit. I get tired of hearing he can't act. Like hell he can't. It's not like the ladies care anyway, where he goes there's pandemonium (like this!) I think he moved through Riddick with runaway intensity. "If you can't keep up, don't step up." The characters he's been best at aren't complicated, and isn't that what Action Movies are all about? You have to be physically convincing, believable, to be the kind of bad ass he's been. He doesn't walk, he struts, he stalks, he sizzles. Sexuality crackles off this man and he never backs down. He held his own opposite The Rock in Fast 6 too!

In Pitch Black, he was the anti-hero they were all afraid of, but the one they looked to to save them. The strength of his presence carries his movies. He was the biggest reason for the success of the Fast and Furious series. He seems down to earth but a little scary, like your neighborhood tough guy. His deep voice and devastating physique command attention, even when he whispers. He seems to measure out his performance with masterful control. Silent and deadly, his is not a 'thinking man's part'—So much the better (they wish they could play his kind of roles)!  As Roseanne said to Fabio (I mean Dan, starting @6:30 on that link) "Don't talk."

"Aaaah . . . the Riddick!" See more Vin in Riddick,
The Fast and the Furious 6, The Machine, Guardians of the Galaxy (voice talent 1 Aug 2014), xXx: The Return of Xander Cage, and Kane & Lynch (based on the video game and starring Gerard Butler).

CHRIS EVANS
Chris Evans rocked the suit in Fantastic Four (which was good as 4: Rise of the Silver Surfer was bad).  He starred in Push and The Losers, and was an evil ex in Scott Pilgrim vs. The World.  Next, he conquered hearts as Captain America in Captain America: The First Avenger

He's got that cocky charm that Action Movie Freaks eat for breakfast. He's good and he makes sure you know it.  He was perfect as a "dude" in What's Your Number? He's bound to be in more chick flicks and romantic comedies, but I hope after The Avengers he appears in more Action Movies. He's coming up in:

The Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015) as Steve Rogers/Captain America (rumored); Captain America: The Winter Soldier (4 April 2014) it looks very good; and Snowpiercer.  He was in Thor: The Dark World for a few minutes—that was great!

Aliens female character Vasquez

JENETTE GOLDSTEIN
Too seldom (until recently) were women with muscles used in film. Jenette Goldstein as "Private Vasquez" from Aliens is a no-bullshit woman but she's still feminine in the best way: she's HOT! You can say whatever you want about her muscles, they're just a bonus. And what a plus being physically capable is. As Vasquez she talks the talk and walks the walk: 

"I only need to know one thing . . . where they are!"

She's cocky, but she's brave as hell.

HUDSON:    "Hey Vasquez, have you ever been mistaken for a man?"
VASQUEZ:   "No, have you?"

BAD ASS. When can we see more like her?!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

TOM HARDY
You can't star in a movie named Warrior (2011), without being a bad ass.  Ladies and Gentlemen, Tom Hardy as Tommy Conlon.  I first noticed him in Wuthering Heights (incredibly romantic), and worked my way backwards.  He really captured the brooding, lovesick beast.  He got attention for his role in Inception in 2010, but his career began back in 2001 with 2 episodes of Band of Brothers. He next appeared in Black Hawk Down (2001), then Star Trek: Nemesis (2002).  If you're a fan of Kirsten Dunst and went to see Marie Antoinette (2006), he had a small part in that.

From IMDb: "He appeared as gay hoodlum 'Handsome Bob' in the (2008) 'Guy Ritchie' film, RocknRolla, but it would be his next transformation that would prove his extensive range and stun critics. In the film Bronson (2008), Hardy" . . . [gives] "a harrowing performance that is physically fearless [lots of full frontal nudity] and psychologically unsettling." Bronson's subtitle could have been: Beating Up A Naked Guy, but not to diminish the performance, which won him a British Independent Film Award for Best Actor.  It's categorized as Action, but it really has very little other than fist fighting, which is often highly stylized and slo mo. 

Next came a role on the TV show The Take and the lead in PBS's Masterpiece Classics Wuthering Heights. It's rare to see someone with such physicality have such a great acting range.  At 34, he still has a lot to give and we can look forward to seeing Hardy as Mad Max in Mad Max: Fury Road (15 May 2015). He was the opposite of his The Dark Knight Rises character in This Means War (a Romantic Comedy with an Action twist) with Chris Pine :) and Reese Witherspoon (such an unrealistic chick flick fantasy but still fun!) 

He is brutishly scary in The Dark Knight Rises. Mask on because his face is too beautiful. It's a great contrast when they finally show him before the mask. And who gets to say they beat up a Superhero?

Chris Hemsworth IMDB headshot

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CHRIS HEMSWORTH
I wasn't too happy when I heard Chris Hemsworth would be Thor (Anti-Scrawny Rant), but I am oh so happy to have been proved wrong.  He was great. I read that Kenneth Branagh thought he was getting too beefy (no such thing for this role), but he was beefy enough compared to the others.  He played the role with such charm you couldn't help but like him. 

He was great at Capt. Kirk's Dad in Star Trek (2009) defining bravery. In The Avengers he took a punch from the Hulk and a "Point Break" insult from Iron Man. The script of Snow White and the Huntsman really didn't use him enough but there's a Snow White and the Huntsman 2 listed under his name! [What would the story be?!]

He took charge in the remake of Red Dawn. He also played British race car driver/dandy James Hunt in Rush, and we got more of him as Thor in Thor: The Dark World. This time around though, I think he was still too thin. I hope he beefs up again for The Avengers: Age of Ultron.

Stephen Spielberg was set to put him in Robopocalypse (release date 2014) but it was shelved. It was described as "A sci-fi story set in the aftermath of a robot uprising." I was hoping it would be a little like Kurt Russell's Soldier. He'll also be in Cyber Action/Crime/Drama (16 Jan 2015) which sounds cool.

 

LEO HOWARD
If you're under 21 you probably know who Leo Howard is already from the Disney Channel, most recently from Disney XD's "Kicking It", and "Shake It Up". 

For adults, well, if you saw G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra, you will remember how all out the kids' fight was.  He was the hungry one. He killed it too in Conan the Barbarian (2011) as Young Conan.  Seriously, the first part of that movie was a movie in itself and better than all the rest of the movie. He has energy (of course, he's young), mad skills, and intensity, plus, he's adorable! A teen heartthrob for sure, but also already an Action Figure, and hopefully tomorrow's MEGA Action Movie Star. 

Here's an interview with Leo.

Tony Jaa

TONY JAA
As if he wasn't already insanely great at everything he does (watch this), Tony Jaa's fighting skills in Ong-bak could wow even the toughest audience. He took a flight of fantasy with Ong bak 2, which he also co-directed. Ong bak 2 features a series of fights with different weapons, in different styles, that showcases his skills—eyes rolling back in my head—to sick levels!

It's one thing to be good at one or two martial arts (some spend a lifetime). Jaa appears to be invincible, and a master of everything you can think of, and some you haven't: like fighting off of an elephant. Yep, that's what I said. Might have helped that his parents were elephant herders, so dispense your concern over the elephants appearing in the movie as 'actors'. Everyone knows you don't mess with an elephant, they'll stomp your ass if you treat them badly, and considering Tony Jaa's skills, an elephant stomping might be less painful. And that's an 8-pack, at left, from the Enter The Dragon remake. Check the veins! Go watch any Tony Jaa movie before you open your mouth about him being on my Action Figures list.

Ong Bak 3 did not make it to Miami and was hoping they would show it at ActionFest 2011 so I could see it on the big screen, but no such luck. But, the good news is . . . Tony Jaa is going mainstream starting with Fast & Furious 7! Then he'll star in A Man Will Rise (2014) with Dolph Lundren, Skin Trade (also 2014), and . . . Action Movie History will surely be made with Sha Po Lang 2 aka SPL 2: Rise of Wong Po (2015) with Sammo Hung Kam-Bo. He is rumored to be in that. (The first movie Saat po long aka S.P.L. aka Kill Zone comes up a lot at the top of favorite Action Movie lists.)

HUGH JACKMAN
Is he real? So much everything in one person. He sings, he dances, he's a superb actor, and he's in comic-book-hero shape. In 2000, he became Logan / The Wolverine, and the rest is history. Who would need more than that? Not us, but he has since starred in a variety of roles and been as incredible in all of them. He's been the voice of animated characters, been on Broadway in musicals (Beauty and the Beast and Oklahoma), in Les Miserables (film version), and now 6 movies as Wolverine. As well rounded as his career seems to be, I hope he keeps making Action Movies. I enjoyed his 'bad dad' in Real Steel, and the hacker in Swordfish. 

Born in Sydney, Australia in 1968, he was the perfect choice for Baz Luhrmann's  'mythologised' Australia in the movie of the same title. A kind of romance-novel-cover hero brought to life. Seriously, who looks this good at 45 or any age? He's still going strong and we can look forward to seeing him again as the Wolverine in X-Men: Days of Future Past, scheduled for 2014.

I loved him as Van Helsing, which Tom Cruise has picked up, to remake. Wonder what he'll do with it. Big shoes to fill.

Dwayne The Rock Johnson in The Scorpion King

DWAYNE "THE ROCK" JOHNSON
After The Mummy Returns, The Scorpion King, and The Rundown, we expected BIG things.  BIG! (he's taller than Arnold) Walking Tall was good, but too bad DOOM was so poorly structured: The Rock and Karl Urban, and they still couldn't make it work.  At last, with The Other Guys (however brief his appearance), Faster, and Fast Five, The Rock took over as the Ultimate ACTION MOVIE Bad Ass we always knew he would be!

The Rock has charisma in buckets!

I was glad to see him stretching to do a role like he did in Be Cool (the sequel to Get Shorty), but I was fairly certain the people making the movie were making fun of him. And even though he went along with it, it still smacked of their jealousy and trying (unsuccessfully) to make him look bad. All I can tell you is I can watch him smack his own ass in the mirror all day long. And when they got to the end and he did his native dancing—(IS THERE anything hotter? Not for me!!)—it seemed like they threw that in there just because they knew he'd go for it—Haters! Casting him in that role, and using the fact that the character is gay as bait (like it was an acting challenge), just seemed like 'Hollywood' set him up and was laughing at him. Well F.U. He's The Rock! The Director of Walking Tall must not have liked him either. They banished him to his own commentary. Yep. All by himself. He does come across as egotistical (it's not bragging if it's true), but, he was learning. They were just jealous—Haters.

Women love him, kids love him.  He's "The People's Champion!" Somebody write something worthy of him! He's paid his acting dues. We don't want him to see him as a leading man in dramas. All we want to see him do is Action! So, please, no more kiddie movies (although he was great in Race To Witch Mountain, which is classified Action Adventure Family, and it delivered).  Fast Five was fun but his role was minimal. We saw more of him in Fast & Furious 6 but what was all that disrespect for Gina Carano?  She looked miserably unhappy like she'd rather be cowering in the corner. He called her "Woman". I thought they'd make a great team. I guess someone had other ideas. 

"Finally . . . the Rock has come back to WRESTLEMANIA!"  I went to Wrestlmania XXVIII and got to watch him layeth the smacketh down on John Cena!  Too bad he got beat the next year. I think he's giving it up, but nothing's for sure with wrestling.

 

G.I. Joe 2: Retaliation was worth the wait.  The 3-D was out of hand. If you didn't see it in 3D you missed out! Following The Rock on Facebook and twitter has given us a glimpse into moviemaking we've never had access to before. He regularly posts stills and sometimes video (he was also on tout.com but the last post was 2011).  I love his G.I. Joe character name: ROADBLOCK. This role seems like the best use of his talents. The weaponry alone is intriguing.  He was born to play this soldier. I had ridiculously high hopes for this movie. I think it would have been better with less characters (then he would have had a bigger role). Bruce Willis wasn't tough enough for General Joe. 

Snitch-the Drama/Thriller with Susan Sarandon. This movie was under-appreciated. His performance in it was good. If you didn't see it. you should have. I wrote at length about it here.

Pain & Gain had him playing a not-so-typical character. The Rock is usually a hero—This guy is anything but, although he struggles. You have to see Pain & Gain. The Rock was hilarious and Mark Wahlberg nails it!

 Empire State (it's on Netflix now)

COMING UP . . . Goliath with Taylor Lautner? and San Andreas, Journey 3: From the Earth to the Moon,. He's playing Hercules in Hercules, based on the Radical Comics Hercules: The Thracian Wars, due out 25 July 2014 and directed by Brett Ratner, and, Fast & Furious 7 (2015).
 

Dolph Lundgren as He Man in Masters of the Universe

DOLPH LUNDGREN
I may never forget the first time I saw Dolph Lundgren on screen. Glowering his way as "Venz" through A View To A Kill, for me, he brought the movie to a halt. Who was that?! He's too pretty to be taken seriously, but with a body like that, don't tell him that to his face. He vill break you. Rocky IV was only his second movie!

Despite his amazing good looks, he's amassed an impressive Action Movie career. I liked Masters of The Universe, The Punisher, I Come In Peace, Cover Up, Universal Soldier. I haven't seen all his movies but I am impressed that he stuck mainly with Action and was nearly always the main character. The action, however, in too many of them is too loose and fake, but that was a sign of the times. Compare his The Punisher (1989) to Thomas Jane's The Punisher (2004). While the earlier movies might have great action scenes like the men shooting while sliding down the amusement park multi-slide, it loses its appeal if it's too fake. Thankfully, movie makers either figured this out or were forced to get 'real' with their action (perfect example: the change in James Bond movies).

If you're a big Dolph fan (he's on twitter @Dolph_Lundgren). Also, check out AllOuttaBubbleGum.com's breakdown of  Universal Soldier: Regeneration.  He's been working it: The Expendables 2, Universal Solider: Day of Reckoning, and The Package (a waste of his skills). Battle of the Damned is going straight to Blu-ray/DVD on 18 Feb 2014, as did Ambushed (12 Nov 2013) and Blood of Redemption (24 Sept 2013). Dolph's got 4 movies set for 2014: A Certain Justice, A Man Will Rise (with Tony Jaa), The Expendables 3, and Skin Trade. And somewhere in there he found time to do a TV show!

At left, Dolph tops the leather bikini category in this get up from Masters of the Universe. He still looked good in The Expendables. When you got it, you got it. 

JASON MOMOA
A
t 6 feet, 4-5 inches (stats vary) Jason Momoa was more than formidable as Conan the Barbarian (2011). He can swing a sword, and as we saw in Bullet to the Head, he can swing an axe!  He doesn't have any other Action Movies coming up, but I really wish someone would write something to feature him as a Bad Ass.  With his stature, athletic ability, and good looks, all he really needs is swagger. I think women would gladly pay to see him.  Rotten Tomatoes gave Conan a really low rating 23-31%.  I don't think that was Momoa's fault. I think the script was to blame. The movie dragged.  The beginning was really good, but the story structure from there was kind of stupid.  If they had made it a little more intense. . . who's to say? Less walking!!

He's 33, so tick tock. He'd be great in any kind of Scorpion King type fantasy role. The long hair look really works for him.  He's straight off the cover of a romance novel! (No that's not him, but it could be.) PLEASE somebody write some bad ass roles for him. He'd be a great pirate, Indian, or Lord something or other.

JEREMY RENNER
Unforgettable in The Hurt Locker, Jeremy Renner's career has taken off.  He was  incredible as a super-skilled bowman in the The Avengers as "Hawkeye" (he made it look so good he  must have practiced until he was lightning fast). We can also look forward to him as a new character in The Bourne Legacy (August 3, 2012). The preview makes him look like a total bad ass—bone-cracking Seagal style.  He starred in Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol, had a cameo in Thor, starred in The Town, had a small part in The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford, and played the good-guy Delta Force sniper in 28 Weeks Later.

He's a tough guy, despite his boyish face. S.W.A.T. in 2003 was the first time I noticed him, but Kathryn Bigelow noticed him in Dahmer (2002) and wanted him for The Hurt Locker.  There isn't an ounce of fat on him.  His forearm alone is intimidating in this shot.  He's just a born G.I. Joe.  Captivating and capable, I hope he keeps his career in the Action vein. 

I think he looks like Daniel Craig. Maybe someone will team them up in the next Bond movie . . .  He's listed for Mission: Impossible 5.

He held his own (and dominated the Action) in The Bourne Legacy but I wish they had made him a little more sympathetic first so we could root more for him.

MICHELLE RODRIGUEZ
Ever since she re-invented the bad-bitch-with-attitude, Michelle Rodriguez has been steaming up the lens in Action Movie after Action Movie. You either love her or hate her. She's the go-to actress for every tough-chick character. She was the teaser at the end of Fast Five which left us with the idea that Lety's coming back from the dead in Fast & Furious 6 (she did). She's starred in Battle Los Angeles, Machete, LOST (TV), Avatar, Fast & Furious, Battle in Seattle, The Breed, BloodRayne, Control, S.W.A.T., Blue Crush (how cool was she in that!), Resident Evil, The Fast and the Furious, 3 A.M. Salgado, and Girlfight (according to IMDB she beat out over 350 others trying for the role).  She's played a soldier convincingly many times, and has over 30 titles to her credit at just 33!  She's just 5' 5" but packs a lot of power into a tiny frame.

She's also a character voice in the video games Halo 2, Driv3r, True Crime: Streets of LA, and Avatar : The Game.  The ultimate endorsement.

Arnold Schwarzenegger as Conan The Barbarian

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



"Itz nodda tooma." 
 

"Rememba, Sully, wen I prommusst  to kill you last?"  "I lyhed."

"Uhl be bahck."

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ARNOLD SCHWARZENEGGER
The former undisputed KING of Action Movies: Mr. Universe,  Mr. Olympia,  Mr. Action Movie! So dominant in the genre Saturday Night Live's Hanz and Franz coined the phrase “non-Arnold movies”. With a body like his, it must have been hard to find a stunt double.  The comic book superhero come to life. He embodied our collective desire to be invincible, and was what we wanted to be when we grew up. His belief in himself, evidenced by his achievements, his determination to succeed, and success in attaining 'The American Dream', were all part and parcel of his charm, along with the Austrian accent that made his characters all the more likeable and memorable. 

ARNOLD as Conan The Barbarian 
Still a great Saturday afternoon matinee movie.  Leather bikini
!

Bigger than life off screen as well as on, that's why he was #1 for so long. He made so many great movies, but chose to 'retire' into politics and became Governor Schwarzenegger. Weren't you expecting he would get the law changed somehow so you vote for him for President? Oh well . . .

After making  The Expendables, Stallone briefly took over as #1 and I bumped Arnold to #2.  But since Dwayne Johnson is back doing Action and has finally run with the torch Arnold passed him in The Rundown, I moved Arnold moved down on my list, to #3, and then we found out about the housekeeper!  I can't help it, I'm majorly disappointed in him. He had to screw the pooch!  GOOD GOD MAN, why'd you do it? Like Bill Clinton said "because [you] could"? How big was your ego?! Was it a tumor? You did lie. I hope you won't be back.  Was she worth it? Enough with the jokes in poor taste. Here's the woman's point of view:

In spite of his bad behavior, he will always be the shit for being The Terminator! My favorite ARNOLD role is "Dutch" in Predator:  BIG Guns!  A cast that could be measured in Biceptitude. 

He's back in movies in a big way: The Expendables 2 & 3, The Last Stand (directed by The Good, The Bad, The Weird's Kim Jee-woon), Escape Plan, and Sabotage (bloody good).  He's filming T5 (Terminator: Genesis), 6, and 7, and The Legend of Conan.

They were crazy not to give him a cameo in the remake of Total Recall (August 3, 2012).

Wesley Snipes

WESLEY SNIPES
"Never send a boy to do a man's job."  Wesley Snipe's physicality in his roles is truly impressive. Even before the Blade series, he was a force to behold. His training in martial arts shows in all his moves. With fluidity and physical grace, he makes it all seem easy. He has a great voice too and underplays his abilities, making him seem all the more the bad ass. Like a snake ready to strike, even motionless but with intent, he just looks downright dangerous.

He carried the sequel to The Fugitive, U.S. Marshalls, and even though it was a bad movie, he was good in Drop Zone. He's made lots of movies that went straight to DVD, which is our loss. He was great in the first Undisputed, and I liked him in The Money Train—kinda doesn't matter what genre he's in, he's so watchable. It was a stunning surprise he was cast in To Wong Foo Thanks For Everything, Julie Newmar, but he was scary good in it (I confess I didn't watch the whole movie, but I saw enough to be wowed at his range and acting talent). I liked him in Murder at 1600, and Chaos.

Stallone in the Expendables with beret

SYLVESTER STALLONE
He's Rocky, he's Rambo.  Sly absolutely sells it.  He not only sells it, he pushes it past the limit all the time. The bad ass's bad ass, he's still got it and still making great movies. I loved the latest Rambo and the latest Rocky, and with The Expendables, for me he finally beat Arnold out of first place in the Action Movie genre.  And suddenly Sly is back . . . The Expendables 2 has us all drooling for a return to that awesome '80s age of Action feeling.

Even now, every time you see him, you think DAMN!  But it's not just how strong he is, it's what he does with it that counts. When Rocky won, we all won. The underdog movie of all time: A hero so unassuming, so likeable. From the brutal alternate one-arm push-ups to the cross-city runs, to punching sides of beef, Rocky brought out the inner champion in all of us—Some raw eggs, a grey sweatsuit, a little early morning determination, and we think we could walk the walk. Everyone identifies with his desire to be somebody. The workouts in Rocky IV made me realize I don't need to pay for a gym, I can drag a log, or lift rocks.  He was so BAD ASS, he didn't even need equipment to work out.  

Rocky and his bicepsAs Rambo, he took the fighter to another level. Rambo was our American ninja. The hero's hero. Competent and fearless to the nth degree. He made do with whatever he had. By the time you realized he snuck up on you, you were already dead. When he emerged from that wall of mud in Rambo: First Blood Part II, he cemented his place in action movie freakdom!  Where others failed, he got the job done by himselff.  He was the super soldier every man would like to be: strong, resourceful, brave, loyal, honest, and vicious. He set his own wound on fire in Rambo III.  If you saw it, I don't need to say anything more.  But I want to. In Get Carter when he says "You're a big man, but you're in bad shape. With me it's a full time job." It's scary. Truer words were never spoken.

See him in: The Expendables 2, Bullet to the Head, The Tomb, and Grudge Match.

SYLVESTER STALLONE as Rocky Balboa
. . . and women everywhere swooned!

Jason Statham in blue boxers Transporter 2

JASON STATHAM
A mean machine alright. He's tightly coiled and ready to spring into action.  If Action Movies were coffee, he'd be espresso—all that heat contained by a steely cool exterior that makes you want to push buttons just to set him off. Break the rules! Open the package!  He's not overly built, he's perfectly built. In a suit, he could be just another guy, like you. Yeah, you could do all that—not!  You just think you can 'cause he makes it look easy, and stays cool, calm, and collected. If he can do all that when he's under control, when he's pissed you know anything's possible. He moved past the thug roles to the James Bond type with The Transporter series and back to the thug. I'm sure his career will survive Crank: High Voltage, but I wish I could forget the image of his nasty hairy ass crack . . . Too much guys, too much!

Of course, he got to be Stallone's buddy in The Expendables

He brought the pain Safe, and kicked butt in The Expendables 2, but I am most excited to hear he will be in a remake of the 1986 Heat (on IMDBPro but not IMDB)He had one of the most intense fight scenes ever in Parker.

(This black-and-white Brando-esque photo is all the proof you need that you can dress up the action figure.) He has the bad boy appeal, but only the charm is boyish, the rest is all man. 

JEAN-CLAUDE VAN DAMME
Cyborg movie posterI've been tough on Van Damme for too long.

I really liked Cyborg, but he has many great movies. Love the Universal Soldier series. He's as good as Jackie Chan or Jet Li in agility. Even now, in The Expendables 2, it's a Wow! Factor. I don't know what it is about him I didn't like back in the day . . . I think it's that he comes off as a little too conceited.  Action Movie Freaks usually eat that cocky attitude up, but maybe when combined with how physically perfect a specimen he was, the fact that his face was a little too 'pretty', and the accent, there was just something not manly enough about him. Too polished and too well groomed? I don't think it's necessarily because he speaks French (yeah I know he's the Muscles from Brussels), but he just sounds very 'girly man' to me (as unfair and biased as that may be). Christopher Lambert of Highlander, that's another story.  When he growls in Greystoke . . .  "UH!" (monkey grunt) "Ee wuz my favaaaa!"

 
I know Van Damme has mad skills. Him and the splits! That takes real strength. Some (most) of his movies are just too gay (like this one) to appeal to me. You can hate on me for saying that, but I'm a straight girl and it's my site. He thinks he's sooo good looking and that makes him sooo unattractive like this scene—which is all about him appearing in tights, I'm not buying the girls as cover—get over yourself!  Van Damme bottom line: for me, not so much, but MAD appreciation for his skill.

He was good in Dragon Eyes with Cung Le, passing the 'kicking torch' . . . and really good as the villain, "Villain", in The Expendables 2.

MARK WAHLBERG

mark wahlberg calvin klein adOh yeah, that picture! Of course that picture. He will always be Marky Mark, for the attitude. The ultimate boy-next-door/Action Figure. If you want to burst onto the American consciousness, few ways could be a better combination than underwear model/hip-hop star.

Growing up, he spent time in jail for doing some "truly bad things". Even though the mega hit "Good Vibrations" came out when he was 20, he spent time in jail for assault at 21, then he decided to his life around for good. The Good Vibrations video led to the Calvin Klein ads and the rest is history.

His first movie was The Substitute—not the one you're thinking of with Tom Berenger from 1996—this was from 1993. The public was hungry for movies with Mark Wahlberg. I wanted Action Movies and Renaissance Man seemed like it would be good (military) but it was a Comedy/Drama. The variety of roles that followed made him into one of our preeminent American Actors. Here is a selection: The Basketball Diaries, Fear, Boogie Nights, The Big Hit, The Three Kings, The Perfect Storm, Planet of the Apes, Four Brothers, Invincible, Shooter, Max Payne, The Lovely Bones, Date Night, The Other Guys, The Fighter, Contraband, Ted, and Broken City. By the time he did The Three Kings, I would say he was as established and highly regarded to his generation as Robert de Niro or Al Pacino was to theirs. Adding his Saturday Night Live performances and his involvement in and the popularity of Entourage, and he is at the top of the game and going strong. He knocked it out of the park with so many of his movies but just lately he killed in Pain & Gain and 2 Guns. Lone Survivor, directed by Peter Berg (The Rundown, Battleship) should be great

He turned 40 back in 2011. Branching into Comedy with SNL, Date Night, The Other Guys, and Ted, he showed his range had no limits. I think the only thing that has kept him from being a bigger box office star than someone like Tom Cruise is that he didn't do more Action Movies. He certainly had and has the looks, physique, charm, intelligence, and talent. He's humble and seems to always be open to learning.

CARL WEATHERS
Best known for his role as "Apollo Creed", Carl Weathers was also great in Force 10 From Navarone, The Defiant Ones, Predator, and Action Jackson. I think he should have won an award for best supporting actor for Rocky, and has been underappreciated.

He made an instant Action Movie classic with Action Jackson.  A movie with everything Action Movie Freaks love. A little tongue-in-cheek '80s fun with a great cast and Weathers at the top of his game. His physique is so perfect, he almost doesn't seem real. 

Would have loved to have seen him in The Expendables 2! 

After Action Jackson (1988, loved that movie!) he moved into TV roles.  What a waste of an Action Movie Legend. 

Did you know he was a star football player and played for the Raiders!  Makes you feel like less of a man by comparison, huh?

MICHAEL JAI WHITE
Making his Directorial debut with Never Back Down 2 (and starring in it) Michael Jai White appeared at Actionfest 2011 to promote the film.  As humble as he is charming, his bromance with Stunt Coordinator ("little brother") Larnell Stovall was fun to watch.

He has seven black belts and was equally impressive and hilarious as Black Dynamite (both movies were shown at the 2011 Festival).  From Brooklyn, he started training in martial arts at the age of seven.  He trained with Jean Claude Van Damme and did stunt work in Prototype and On Deadly Ground, but his work on Kill Bill: Vol 1 and 2 went from the trailer to the cutting room floor. 

He's been in an impressive number of movies starting with Toxic Avenger Part II, he played a soldier in Universal Soldier,  was in City of Industry, Spawn, Universal Soldier: The Return, Exit Wounds, Undisputed II: Last Man Standing, The Dark Knight, and Blood and Bone, as Isaiah Bone. If anyone's an Action Figure to the bone in real life, it's Michael Jai White!  He played Mike Tyson for TV!

Check him out demonstrating telegraphing with Kimbo Slice

DONNIE YEN
He's a Bad Ass and he knows it. It shows in the way he carries himself. His fights scenes are legendary and his movies never disappoint. According to his bio on IMDB: "At the age of four, Donnie started taking up martial arts from his mother who taught him tai chi and wushu until he was eleven when he moved to Boston, MA, with his family. From there, Donnie continued with tai chi and wushu but soon also began experimenting with various others martial art styles, such as taekwondo, kickboxing, and boxing. When he was sixteen, his parents sent him to Beijing Wushu Academy so he could train Chinese MA under Master Wu Bin, well known as the coach of Jet Li. He underwent intensive training for three years.

On a side trip to Hong Kong, he was accidentally introduced to famous Hong Kong action director Woo-ping Yuen, who was responsible for bringing Jackie Chan to super stardom and was looking for someone new to star in his movies. Donnie was offered a screen test and thereafter a 4-picture deal after passing it." The rest is history.

His fight against Jacky Wu in Kill Zone - S.P.L. is widely considered by Action Movie Freaks to be one of the best ever.

 

KILL ZONE FIGHT SCENE

MARKO ZAROR
Lucky Action Movie Freaks who attended ActionFest 2010 were treated to a double shot of Marko Zaror. He was there to promote Mandrill and Undisputed III: Redemption with Director Isaac Florentine and Stunt Coordinator Larnell Stovall. I have often wondered if Action Movie Actors are also Action Movie Freaks and love the movies as much as we do. Marko Zaror is definitely the BIGGEST Action Movie Freak. He's a huge Bruce Lee fan—I got to ask him who his influences were at the Q&A after Mandrill at ActionFest 2010. The whole tongue-in-cheek treatment of the lead character ("mandrill" means baboon) is such a tribute to the Action Movie hero that you couldn't help but love it, and love him.  He gets it. All of it.  He gives it back too in performances with amazing physicality and charm.  Being worthy to fight Boyka as the villain in Undisputed III is quite a compliment.  Love his signature corkscrew move.

It's not an exaggeration to say he's wildly entertaining. Don't miss anything with him in it. I hope to see more and soon.

Special ACTION FIGURES Category  
WRESTLERS & FIGHTERS
These men would make you pee yourself in a dark alley. Sorry but you know it's true.  The best hunting breeding ground for the Action Figures of tomorrow, wrestlers and fighters, happily, kick ass off screen and on!
By the time somebody puts them in a movie,  you already know and love them. Need I say more?


"Stone Cold" Steve Austin • Dave Bautista • Randy Couture • Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson
• Nathan Jones • Cung Le • "Rowdy" Roddy Piper • Jesse "The Body" Ventura

"STONE COLD" STEVE AUSTIN
Texan Steve Austin is steadily invading the Action Movie world and I hope to see more of him. The epitome of the strong-and-silent type, he's really likeable and fun to watch. From a small part in the remake of The Longest Yard, he began making movies that were Steve Austin vehicles, until he accepted a small part in that ultra-boys'-club The Expendables. Loved him in The Condemned—He was unstoppable!

Superman Meets Lex Luther PosterWhatever he winds up doing, I'd love to see him as a pirate, and a patriot! It would be fun to see him with the other big baldie Vin Diesel, and doing anything military in a uniform. I think he would probably be better as a villain, but with the right roles, and a little more attitude, I think he could have a really huge Action career. You can't help but like him. He's part The Thing, part Mr. Clean (sans earring), part All-American. He better hurry up, though, he's 46 . . .

He'd make a great Lex Luther. They tend to cast way-too-ordinary-looking actors as comic book heroes for my taste (read my Anti-Scrawny Rant.)

DAVE  BAUTISTA

Bautista is one of those guys you get scared just looking at him. Like Brock Lesnar. I have been waiting to see more of him in Action Movies. When he walked on to The Man With The Iron Fists, it was epic! He not only looks the part, the theater shook.

He seems to be "Marcus Fenix" from Gears of War to me. Even his voice is perfect!  When will they ever make a Gears movie . . . oh well.

He starred in House of the Rising Sun (and was really good in it!).

RANDY  COUTURE

As impressive as his fighting career is  (seems he's spent his whole life as a fighter), the ultimate endorsement of having him in The Expendables movies lent that whole franchise serious chops (not the other way around). Randy was as cool as cool gets, and then some, before he was inducted into the Ultimate Boys Club of The Expendables. He also starred in The Expendables 2 Hijack, and will be in an upcoming comedy 3 Geezers!.

His fighting pedigree from Wikipedia: 

Randy Couture is . . . a retired mixed martial artist, collegiate and Greco-Roman wrestler. During his tenures in the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), Couture became a three-time UFC Heavyweight Champion, two-time UFC Light Heavyweight Champion, an Interim UFC Light Heavyweight Champion, and was the UFC 13 Heavyweight Tournament Winner. Couture is the first fighter to hold two UFC championship titles in two different divisions (heavyweight and light heavyweight). Couture has competed in a record 15 title fights. He holds the most title reigns in the UFC with five. His last fight with Lyoto Machida marked his 24th fight in the UFC, the third largest number of fights in the UFC (Tito Ortiz is first with 27 and Matt Hughes is second with 25). Couture is the fourth member of the UFC Hall of Fame. He is the only person over the age of 40 to have won a UFC championship fight, having done so four times. Additionally Couture briefly held the title of Lineal Mixed Martial Arts Champion after his win over Maurice Smith at UFC Japan."

Dwayne The Rock Johnson in The Scorpion King

DWAYNE "THE ROCK" JOHNSON
 
He's above under ACTION FIGURES.

NATHAN  JONES
 
At 6' 11", 360 pounds, you better know who Nathan Jones is.  This helps put him in perspective:  Here he is in Troy . .
.

Before Nathan became a world-class wrestler, he served seven years in maximum security prison and one year on work release for seven armed robberies. He began powerlifting in jail, and went on to become a championship. Born on the famous penal colony island of Tasmania (off the southeastern coast of Austrailia), Jones had several injuries during his Powerlifting and Wrestling career, but retired after winning in 2005.

Nathan aka "The Megaman" aka "The Colossus of Boggo Road" appeared in Troy (2004), The Condemned (2007), and Conan The Barbarian (2011). Be sure to see him in the upcoming Mad Max: Fury Road, where he's sure to strike terror into your heart even if he's not driving one of these:

CUNG  LE
 
I got to see a Q & A with Cung Le at ActionFest 2012 in the "Whapp! The Art of Fight on Film" Panel. He's the sweetest guy in direct opposition to his lethality. He joked about his new "Ninja Toe Kick!" that had been knocking out his sparring partners.

He won the Best Fight scene Award and mentioned that Dragon Eyes was Cung his first time as a Fight Choreographer. Dragon Eyes also starred Jean-Claude Van Damme and it was definitely a passing of the kicking torch.  The movie is an epic fight movie. I even found it a little hard to watch because it's that real looking.  It's a great compliment to the actors and stuntmen, but it's not for the faint hearted.

He had a great fight scene in Pandorum—you remember, the one that woke you up and made you wish for more. He stars in The Man with the Iron Fists (2 Nov 2012) and another Ip Man story The Grandmasters (18 Dec 2012 China).
 
I'd love to see him with Tony Jaa in something.

Triple H aka Paul Levesque

PAUL "TRIPLE H"   LEVESQUE
 
Thor.
 He should have been Thor. He's SO Thor!!! I really liked him in Inside Out, sure wish they would give him more roles. He's got that Hero physique we only see in wrestling giants or in comic books. It's what we watch for. Seeing the larger-than-life men battling.  I was kind of hoping he would beat The Undertaker in Hell in a Cell at Wrestlemania XXVIII, but it wasn't in the script.

Triple H as Thor

Rowdy Roddy Piper in They Live

"ROWDY" RODDY PIPER
They Live featured the best fight scene (since The Quiet Man with John Wayne) and the best action movie line ever improvised by Rowdy Roddy.

The movie spawned a video game: Duke Nukem. Sadly, hoped for a Part 2 of They Live that never came. This movie is, deservedly, a cult classic, and earned Rowdy Roddy a place of honor here on the Action Figures list . . .

"I have come here to chew bubblegum and kick ass, and I'm all outta bubblegum."

Check out: AllOuttaBubbleGum.com. Their action movie breakdowns are hilarious! Follow them on twitter: @AllOuttaBG

JESSE "THE BODY" VENTURA
After Arnold (of course) Jesse "The Body" Ventura is the PREDATOR Bad Ass! He speaks one of the most classic Action Movie bad-ass quotes:

"I ain't got time to bleed!"
 

Maybe it's the swagger, maybe it's the dimple in his chin, maybe it's the moustache (no, it's not the moustache although Action Figure Therapy would say it's like a "moustache with titties"), maybe it's everything. Jesse is the G.I. Joe doll come to life. The chauvinist's chauvinist. There isn't a lot to his role in this movie, and he's not on screen that much, but he has a commanding presence and really adds a silent strength and force to the group.  In Predator, when he says "I ain't got time to bleed" and is asked "You got time to duck?" you half expect he doesn't and won't, and will still come out of it okay. 

I also liked him as "Captain Freedom" with Arnold in The Running Man.

 

MOUSTACHE WITH TITTIES

 THE WHINER
The Whiner? Yep! The Whiner is the complement to the action movie bad ass. The speck of green that makes the red so much more powerful.  All the really good action movies have them, and in the great ones, they steal the show. That's why I have them here with the Bad Asses: for how can you truly appreciate bravery without cowardice? They are the yin to the bad ass yang. No really great action movie is complete without The Whiner. Someone to explain when you're in some "real pretty shit". Their antics make light of a situation when everyone (you included) is pooping-in-their-pants afraid, and they forego all semblance of dignity. Being heroic is always the farthest thing from their mind and the last thing on their lips. The worse their situation is the more you laugh at their (and your likely) inability to deal with it. That guy would be us, and that's why we laugh.

Here are some of the best Whiners, ever:

Richard Chavez in Predator


RICHARD CHAVEZ
   
 as "Poncho Ramirez" in PREDATOR
The first crew is found skinned alive. The big guys are scared and they're being picked off by something unseen. How do you think the little guy feels? Then, he gets wounded. Oh, he SO does not want to get left behind! Would you?

"I can make it! I can make it!"

MICAH A. HAUPTMAN
    
as "August Hardwicke" in PARKER

I added Micah A. Hauptman to the Whiners for his stellar pussy-ness in the portrayal of the connected nephew of a mob boss in Parker. His incompetence, red-line panic, and outright cowardice kept me thoroughly entertained. 

ALFRED MOLINA
    
as "Satipo" in RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK

Satipo's attitude went from afraid to foolishly over confident one time too many. Assuming there is nothing to fear is what got him killed in the end, and provided a nice contrast to Dr. Jones' careful, intelligent, cautious investigations. For years I thought Harrison Ford was saying "Adios Lupito."  

"Throw me the idol, I throw you the whip."   

INGO NEUHAUS
    
as "Marine Who Dies" in THE ROCK

If not for this performance, the movie would not have much tension outside the relationships and just watching the action unfold. His death is why you care that they succeed at protecting everyone. He sells it with his panic, the pus, and the convulsing. The makeup was incredible—in just a few seconds he goes from sheer terror to slippery blob. Really brings home the idea of "movie magic" because you can't help but wonder how many gifted make-up people it took to transform him, how many levels of makeup he had to wear, and how many takes it took in how many hours (or days) to film. It may not be fair to say he's a "whiner" but it certainly is an epic lose your shit moment.

"Lemme outta here, oh God! Lemme outta here, oh God!"   


KEVIN J. O'CONNOR

    
as "Joey Pantucci" in DEEP RISING
Kevin J. O'Connor played the same type of character well in The Mummy. If you've never watched this movie, watch it just for him.

"The Girl From Ipanema."

Leland Orser in Alien Resurrection

LELAND ORSER
    
as "Larry Purvis" in ALIEN RESURRECTION
The bigger the crap they take, the funnier it is. This poor slob falls into the world of Alien Resurrection to find out he was infected in his cryosleep. Talk about your waking nightmares! Then they have to try to explain it to him.  According to Wikipedia: "Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times felt: 'There is not a single shot in the movie to fill one with wonder,1" I disagree! Leland Orser's fear-filled face is easily one of the best action movie moments ever. But more about how wrong critics were about this movie in a different place.  

"What's in-fucking-side me?"  

Bill Paxton in Aliens

BILL PAXTON
 
  as "Private Hudson" in ALIENS

#1 on the list of course! His cocky attitude in the beginning made his taking a crap later all the funnier. He's scared out of his mind. Of course he is. You are too, but he's not afraid to show it. His way of dealing with it is wise-ass humor. Has being totally fucked ever been funnier?

"Well, that's great. That's just fuckin' great, man! Now what the fuck are we supposed to do? We're in some real pretty shit now, man."
"That's it, man. Game over, man. Game over!  What the fuck are we gonna do now? What the fuck are we gonna do?!"

 HALF and HALF
Part Action Figure, part Regular Joe. They've got the bad half of big 'n' bad, but not the big. Muscular, yes, but even when they are doing seemingly impossible physical feats, their physicality and stature seems attainable. With just a little extra training, maybe we could get there. We expect the Action Figure to do all these things, but when these guys do it, it's considerably more impressive.

Bare-Chested Eric Bana from Troy

ERIC BANA
An Aussie with a Croatian father, Eric Bana's real name is Banadinovich. I think that's a real Bad-Ass name either way. He appeared in Black Hawk Down and left quite an impression. Next came Hulk (2003) in the title role. It's like you should automatically get to be an Action Movie Bad Ass if you're ever cast as the Hulk, but then came Troy (2004), and Star Trek (2009), and I still didn't have him on this list. He was also great in Hanna (2011). Those are just the movies of his I've seen. He's done lots more, but not Action. It wasn't until I was writing about Black Hawk Down that I realized he was missing because I wanted to link to his Bad Ass profile, only there wasn't one. So, shame on me.

Eric Bana in Star TrekBad Ass Badinovich was SO GOOD in Star Trek that I didn't even recognize him until the credits. I had this moment of shock "Eric Bana was in this?!" and then it hit me.  Oh, he was good! I think he's an exceptional actor. He seems so different in each role.  I really wanted to see Munich at the time, but sometimes an Action Movie Freak's gotta save their money-watching money for the Genre of choice.

He's so good I'd watch him sell carpet, with his shirt on.

 

300 the movie

GERARD BUTLER
300 was the He-Man buffet of all time, and Gerard was the lead. It's like your plate just gets fuller and fuller, and at the end of the movie, it's still overflowing, but they were so busy piling on, you forgot to eat. I heard and see the physiques were enhanced with spray on (at left) and digital effects. That's just jealousy talking, and who cares!? It's also been called homo-erotic—Gay men weren't the only ones who liked it!  It was a reality check anyway, the no-you're-not-in-good-enough-shape-to-be-this-for-Halloween realization for the average guy.

Magnum (P.I.) and Putty (from Seinfeld) come to mind as the beefy version of the average-Joe type that illustrates Gerard's appeal. He's not so pretty, but he is ruggedly handsome. 300 got even better for me when Tom Wisdom as Astinos came on (pictured with Gerard) and satisfied my Keanu Reeves craving. Women should watch this every day to even out the b.s. from men looking at girlie magazines. (Now maybe you know how it feels.)

Gerard's run of Romantic Comedies pulled him away from Action, although his sporty surfer and soccer player roles in Chasing Mavericks and Playing For Keeps only serve to reinforce his "Regular Joe" side and make women like him better. He handled terrorists single handedly and looked capable and skilled in White House Down. Look for him in the upcoming Dynamo (genre?) and Thunder Run (Action/Drama/War)[He's a Scorpio . . . naturally.]

DANIEL CRAIG
T
he blue bikini! A demure and proper friend went to see this movie (Casino Royale) with her husband, and beforehand she had down played wanting to see it because Daniel Craig was in it. But when he came out of the water in this bathing suit (translation: in this body), she says she made a noise, an involuntary  guttural shudder of appreciation escaped her lips: "uuh-huh-huh-huh". To which her husband replied "Oh yeah?" No way she could deny that she found him attractive after that! I think it was pretty much the same for women around the world. Never has one blue bathing suit done so much for a man's career.

Daniel Craig's physicality was just what the Bond series needed. After the later years of Roger Moore looking (sorry Roger) a little ridiculous doing the kinds of things James Bond does, we needed someone who was up to the task of making the incredible action sequences believable. It's difficult to spot where Craig has a double in most scenes. Just the all-out, strong-as-hell way he runs in the opening chase of Casino Royale is enough, but he takes the character beyond, where it should have always been. I also enjoyed Quantum of Solace, although some didn't, and look forward to anything action-related or otherwise Craig does! Both movies had a strong, emotional plot line that fleshed out the character of the man. More than just an impressive figure in a bathing suit or tuxedo, Craig's Bond has depth, something you don't find in Action movies where we are usually satisfied with two-dimensionality. His is a thinking man's Bond. Kudos to the writers!

He was good in The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo.  The next Bond "Skyfall" looks exciting!

4 shots of Tom Cruise in the movie Endless Love

Tom Cruise in the movie Legend

 

TOM CRUISE
My endless love for Tom Cruise began when he appeared briefly in the Brooke Shields movie Endless Love (1981) playing soccer. I remember thinking: "To hell with this story, let's follow that guy!"

Tom is always in great shape and does a lot of his own stunt work. His body of work is impressive and I would say (in box office success as well as popularity) he was the next generation's Burt Reynolds: attractive and average enough in stature to be a leading man, yet physical enough to sell the Action scenes. If you're a true Cruise fan, you saw every one of these movies—and thought they were all good!


Tom Cruise with long hair in a blue suitTaps (1981)

The Outsiders (1983)

Losin' It (1983)

Risky Business (1983)

All the Right Moves (1983)

Legend (1985) (in which he looked painfully beautiful)

Top Gun (1986)

The Color of Money (1986)

Cocktail (1988)

Young Guns (1988)

Rain Man (1988)

Born on the Fourth of July (1989)

Days of Thunder (1990)

Far and Away (1992)

The Firm (1993)

Interview with the Vampire: The Vampire Chronicles (1994)

Mission: Impossible (1996)

Jerry Maguire (1996)

I believe Tom Cruise is underappreciated because people think he IS the role he most often portrays (a cocky jerk) in real life, and therefore he is not acting. This is unfortunate because his performances are so enjoyable, and he deserves credit for that. Think it was easy to bark "I want the truth!" at Jack Nicholson? "[He eats] breakfast 300 yards away from 4,000 Cubans who are trained to kill [him]." If only Tom didn't seem so damned pleased with himself maybe we'd like the person/actor more, but then we wouldn't love the characters so much.

Joel • Maverick • Vincent • Brian • Cole Trickle • Lt. Daniel Kaffee • Ethan Hunt • Jerry Maguire

Tom Cruise movie roles

Continuing the list . . . It IS impressive. Come on!! Give the man some credit!

Eyes Wide Shut (1999)

Tom Cruise in The Last SamuraiMagnolia (1999)

Mission: Impossible II (2000)

Vanilla Sky (2001)

Minority Report (2002)

Austin Powers in Goldmember (2002)

The Last Samurai (2003) (Love the long-haired Tom!)

Collateral (2004)

War of the Worlds (2005)

Mission: Impossible III (2006)

Lions for Lambs (2007)

Tropic Thunder (2008)

Valkyrie (2008)

Knight and Day (2010)

Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol (2011)
Jack Reacher, Oblivion, All You Need Is Kill,  and beyond that,  projects listed for him include a Van Helsing (sequel ?), Top Gun 2 (!!), and, of course M:I 5!

ROBERT DOWNEY, Jr.
Robert Downey, Jr. is living life at 102%, and we all watched in awe as he came back from the brink. He was incomparable as Charlie Chaplin, but what am I saying, he's great in everything. I hesitate to put mainly dramatic Actors in the Bad Ass category, but we love him so much as Iron Man, how could I not? It's a home run. He defines Bad Ass for a couple generations. Part handsome tattooed douchebag, part brainy-cool smartass nerd, he's like some magical grab bag of best traits. I don't know where Tony Stark ends and Downey begins. When he held his own among the Avengers, even outshined them all, you had to be in awe of his talent and his charisma. The smartest and funniest guy in the room. No, I really don't know who the real Robert Downey is because we're all so in love with the characters he plays. Except that one, you know the one with the famous low point. LOL I hated seeing him like that. After seeing Iron Man 3 say Tony Stark will be back, you've got to wonder what direction they will take. Irregardless (that's a Miami joke), he will seem larger than life, and isn't that what we most crave in a Bad Ass?

I also loved him as Sherlock Holmes. At first, it was surprising casting, but then I saw it was ingenious! Like Guy Ritchie + Robert Downey, Jr. = Magic, like Tony Stark + Bruce Banner = Bromance, we're all a little in love with Robert Downey, Jr.

Iron Man, Iron Man 2, The Avengers, Iron Man 3

THOMAS JANE
After seeing Thomas Jane in Deep Blue Sea, I was hoping to see more of him, and The Punisher delivered. He was great in both. He was too good for Deep Blue Sea and I don't remember seeing him in anything until he did The Punisher five years later, but his Deep Blue Sea performance was so strong, it stayed with me how out of place it was and great it would be to see him in an Action Movie. He also really sold it in The Punisher from beginning to end, but especially when he takes a beating in the fight scene with the big blonde freak. His Punisher is the best version. I think he would have been a great Captain Kirk, but they cast that well (not complaining).

(I haven't seen him in Give 'Em Hell Malone yet, but allouttabubblegum.com liked it. I really wanted to see The Mist (based on Stephen King's 1980 short story anthology from Dark Forces—I read it in Skeleton Crew: at 131 pages it's considered a novella) because I loved the setting and how it ended made you want more, but I missed that as well. I thought it would be great to see how CGI helped them make that into a movie. Gotta get busy and play catch up on my Thomas Jane watching!)  He had a small (uncredited) role in Scott Pilgrim vs. The World. 2011 had him in a thriller, I Melt With You, and a comedy, LOL, but I'd love to see him do more Action.   (Title aside, I wonder if 2008's Mutant Chronicles was any good?)  He's been busy since (on TV with Hung, and . . .) 2012   Sleight of Hand, Heavenly Sword and Buttwhistle
2013  The Redeemer and Red Machine

Rain as Raizo

Rain super fans
should check out
 CloudUSA


 

JUNG JI-HOON aka "Rain"

The hottie hunk of Speed Racer and Ninja Assassin, Rain's grace and speed were only part of a total package. He is also an international sensation as an award-winning dancer and singer.

In Ninja Assassin, standing still he commanded as much attention as when he fought. And what a dazzling array of abilities: hand-to-hand fights, knives, swords, and a kusarigama. With a little free running thrown in, it was hard to keep up with the action. The movie was not only a kick-ass Action Movie, it was a thing of beauty (as was he). The ending features a scene with fire so stunning, it brought to mind Memoirs of a Geisha. The flames in the ending scene the show. 

Ninja Assassin is a must-see movie for any Action Movie Freak and an astonishingly impressive first Action Movie leading role for Rain—Hope to see LOTS more of him in Action Movies, although there is a only a dance movie, Prey, listed for him on IMDB in 2012, and I found out why . . .

Rain Fansite CloudUSA kindly wrote a blog post about my putting Rain in with the "Regular Joes", and so I moved him here to the "Half and Halfs" and rightly so. Thanks very much to Cloud. Here is some of what they shared with me . . .

"In Asia, Rain is incredibly famous and it's well known that he's an incredible talent and very hardworking. He was in a Korean TV drama series called, A Love to Kill.  His last Korean TV series was more action-oriented. It was called Runaway: Plan B. It's a mix of comedy, drama, and action. Lots of chase scenes."  (Watch on Dramafever.com or available on Hulu Plus)

"Rain also has a Korean film that is about to be released at the end of 2012.  It's called Soar:  Into the Sun.  It's a kind of  Top-Gun Action movie where he plays the lead—a fighter pilot.  And we haven't seen much of Rain lately because he started his mandatory 2-year military service in October 2011." (military photo from CloudUSA)

He's out now!

Salman Kahn as Chulbl Pandey

SALMAN KHAN
Have you watched any Indian Action Movies? You should!

Salman Khan can not only do all the things an Action Movie BAD ASS can do, but he sings and dances!  He's quite the fashion plate, too. The first I saw him I was hooked. He's just exaggerated enough for it to be highly entertaining.  He's got charisma and confidence in spades. He's a little Elvis-y. Part of it is the hair, and the deep voice. He sells the crazy Action.  

Wanted, Dabangg, Bodyguard, Dabangg 2

Jet Li open shirt

JET LI
Mr. Li was dropped in our movie-going laps like a hot coal, smoldering his way through Lethal Weapon 4, you knew that someone was going to get hurt (please make it Mel Gibson!) and they were. He's as intense as Jackie Chan seems sweet. Whatever character Jet Li plays, you are always a little afraid. Even in Romeo Must Die, which was a 180-degree turnaround from LW4, bad guy to good guy, he had a presence of danger (and sexuality). He seems a little evil, a little kinky. His only bad movies were just not worthy of him; he's been good in everything he did. I loved him in Unleashed. Watch him kick Dolph Lundgren's ass (wink) in The Expendables. Hope we get to see more of him in The Expendables 2!

KURT RUSSELL
We love him for SO many movies—not all Action but he was great in all of them! The Computer Wore Tennis Shoes. Escape From New York. The Thing. Silkwood. Swing Shift.  The Mean Season. Big Trouble in Little China. Overboard. Tequila Sunrise. Tango and Cash. Backdraft. Unlawful Entry. Captain Ron. Tombstone. Stargate. Executive Decision. Escape From L.A. Soldier. 3,000 Miles to Graceland. Dark Blue.

I think he is under-appreciated by everyone but Action Movie Fans and Freaks. He will always be Snake Plisskin first, but we love him in everything!  My personal favorite Kurt Russell movie is Soldier. What a bad ass MACHINE! Also love that he was to the go-to guy for a Buddy Movie with Stallone (Tango & Cash), and he played Elvis. You gotta be cool in spades (and good looking and sexy) to play Elvis! He gave one of the best performances I've ever seen in Dark Blue, and I LOVED Big Trouble in Little China. 

Kurt Russell apparently didn't want to be in The Expendables 3?! He's in the Ultimate Boys Club whether he realizes it or not.  Why not participate and let your fans worship your career and all the wonderful Action Movies you have given us? Well, maybe this is cooler: He's in Fast & Furious 7. How bad ass is that?!

Steven Seagal

STEVEN SEAGAL
The Master!! Steven Seagal . . . Bone-crackin' trash talkin' at its most entertaining! The essence of action movies in ultra-in-your-face form. A few drops of a Seagal movie is more than fun than other whole movies. He was one of the most entertaining action movie actors out there. If he walked into a room, it was deep shit. He really doesn't need weapons although he sure knows how to use them, and can make up some of his own. He'll beat the crap out of you, help you up, then smack you on the back of the head. It still hurts my face every time I watch this scene.  His movies have SO MANY great one-liners, where do you begin? "Let me do it my way. Just give me an unmarked and a shotgun." This'll get your teeth knocked out: "You wanna get by me? There's only two things stopping you. Beer and common sense."

Ask R. Lee Ermey:  "My guy in D.C. tells me that we are not dealing with a student here, we're dealing with the professor. Anytime the military has an operation that can't fail, they call this guy in to train the troops, okay? He's the kind of guy that would drink a gallon of gasoline so he could piss in your campfire. You could drop this guy off at the Arctic Circle wearing a pair of bikini underwear without his toothbrush, and tomorrow afternoon he's gonna show up at your poolside with a million-dollar smile and a fistful of pesos." (Come on! If you've got R. Lee Ermey talking about you, it doesn't get more bad-ass than that!) (And if you had to click on that link to find out who R. Lee Ermey is— get off my site! Just kidding, happy to share that one if you didn't already know.)

WILL SMITH
The Fresh Prince. How we love Will!  So talented. He became an Action Movie Bad Ass (albeit suave bad ass) in Bad Boys.  People loved him in Independence Day. He has that Action Movie Bad Ass attitude but it's a little young and a little too comedic. Not that that's bad, it's just Will. You know what I mean because it worked really well in Bad Boys II. If he had been more serious and a little more muscular, his career might have gone more purely Action. That is not what he wanted though. He appears to be able to do everything he tries. I loved him most in Men in Black. It seems the perfect role for him: Part Drama, part Comedy, part Action. He was also great in Enemy of the State.

Of course, he can be serious, but when he made Wild Wild West, I felt like it was a little too silly for an Action Movie. He was having fun, but after that I felt the Action track shifted for him. He brought the seriousness back with Ali.

Men in Black II was as good as the first, but Bad Boys II was way better the the first—So many great moments in that movie! He was amazing in I, Robot but then did more Drama. I liked him in I Am Legend but it's not Action Movie. Will is well-rounded and his career has bright spot after bright spot. He was unexpectedly impressive with his performance in Six Degrees of Separation, but I think the back-to-back Hitch and The Pursuit of Happyness cemented his place in our hearts. There's no one like him. You could compare him to Sidney Poitier but we're past race. You could compare him to Burt Reynolds for box-office draw. When he made Hancock, he seemed unstoppable. He makes it look easy and we take all that's he's putting into the role for granted. I wonder what would have happened if he did The Matrix instead of Wild Wild West in 1999. He said he wasn't "smart enough as an Actor to let the movie be". He's more leading man material and maybe that's a good thing.

Regardless of where his career goes, we'll be there.  He's got a series of sequels coming up on the heels of Men in Black 3 (which was great), I, Robot 2, Hancock 2, and Bad Boys 3M. Night Shyamalan's After Earth is due out first. He's starring with his son, Jaden Smith. It will be interesting to see what Jaden does. Since he did The Karate Kid with Jackie Chan, I hope the Action bug bit him.

(My favorite Fresh Prince moment is one where he tells a girl how hot she is using a series of sounds. You know you have one too!)

JOHNNY STRONG
What a TOTAL bad ass Johnny Strong is! 

With small parts in Get Carter, The Fast and the Furious, and Black Hawk Down, he then starred in Sinners and Saints, doing the soundtrack and making the knives for the movie. That's right. (He's a composer, and a musician, and he sure knows how to use a knife.)  He's the  kind of Action Movie Hero that we need more of today. 

I have big hopes for the upcoming Action/SciFi/Thriller Daylight's End, and on IMDB he's rumored to be in Fast & Furious 7.  After seeing Aaron Paul in Need for Speed, I think Johnny Strong and Aaron Paul would make a great Action Movie duo. You heard it here first.

CHANNING TATUM
He has danced [Step Up and Step Up 2: The Streets] and fought [Fighting] his way into the hearts of every teenage girl. He's more often been a leading man than an action star, but his roles in G.I. Joe: Rise of the Cobra, and G.I. Joe: Retaliation, Parkour and Knockout (as a black ops super soldier)are sure to make him a bigger Action star, even though he's also doing other dramatic and romantic roles. He seems to have a quiet demeanor and this compliments his attractiveness. He's not cocky and in your face and that makes you want to find out more; gives him some mystery. Being able to dance and fight speaks volumes for his talent. It's rare that someone does both so well.

He's the essential All-American boy next door.

KARL URBAN
Karl's career has been in a succession of really interesting and fun parts. He has looked very different in most of his roles but none as impressive as he was in The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers as Eomer. Not since Interview With The Vampire: The Vampire Chronicles have so many gorgeous long-haired men been on screen, but he took the cake.

He was hilarious and scruffy in Ghost Ship, majestic in The LOTR Series, "flawless" as Vaako in The Chronicles of Riddick, underutilized in the anticipated yet disappointing Doom, heart-wrenching and vicious in Pathfinder, and spot on as Bones in Star Trek. Also, he seemed to bear a resemblance to Roger Moore in R.E.D. (Retired Extremely Dangerous) which borrowed a lot from Live and Let Die.  2011 saw him channeling Eastwoodish Western sexiness in Priest.

In 2012 we can look forward to seeing him as Judge Dredd in Dredd and Loft (a murder Thriller), and in Overdrive: Look out!  "A pair of handsome and adventurous brothers, known for being high-profile car thieves, travel to the South of France looking for new challenges and come across a tough local crime boss."  Looks like Karl's brother will be played by the Prince Caspian hottie Ben Barnes.

2013
is a reason to celebrate as Karl comes back as Bones in the Star Trek Sequel, and as Lord Vaako in the Untitled Chronicles of Riddick Sequel (now filming). Let's just hope they don't kill him off right up front in Riddick.

REGULAR JOES
Often, these characters find themselves in impossible situations and rise to the challenge. In shape, but not unusually so like the Action Figure, they and their characters are often hugely popular because they are so relatable. The characters, too, are often about their moral compass. The everyday hero and the man we look up to, want to model ourselves after, and deluded-ly think we could be, if just for a Saturday afternoon.

TOM BERENGER
Tom Berenger is the shit! Men love him for his Sgt. Barnes in Platoon. Women love him for Someone to Watch Over Me (if they didn't already love him before that). I remember him first from Dogs of War with Christopher Walken. With chiseled good looks of Marlon Brando or Paul Newman, Tom's career choices were a little more edgy. In reverse choronological order, here are some of his movies I've enjoyed. Faster, Inception, Sinners and Saints, Breaking Point, Charlie Valentine, True Blue, Training Day,The Substitute, Chasers, Major League II, Gettysburg, Sniper, At Play in the Fields of the Lord, Born on the Fourth of July, Major League, Someone to Watch Over Me, Platoon, Eddie and the Cruisers, The Big Chill, The Dogs of War, Butch and Sundance: The Early Days, Looking for Mr. Goodbar, and The Sentinel.

He appeared at  ActionFest 2012 to talk about Sinners and Saints and was very low key, letting the younger lead star have the spotlight. Such a big list of good movies and all great performances. He's starring in Whiskey Bay, an Action movie coming out in 2013 with Willem Dafoe, Matt Dillon, Neal McDonough, and Amy Smart. Described as Action / Crime / Drama / Mystery / and Thriller, with a cast like that, it's something to look forward to!

Nicolas Cage in Con Air

NICOLAS CAGE
Nicolas CageThere's almost nobody I enjoy watching more. The timbre of his voice is so pleasing—he could be reciting the grocery list and I'm enraptured. From as goofy as he was in Peggy Sue Got Married ("Lucky Chucky") to 'Mr. Slick' in Lord of War, he's thoroughly entertaining and can't-take-your-eyes-(and ears)-off-him watchable. His delivery in The Rock was so much fun it added to that roller-coaster-ride feeling, like you were on it with him.  He can do more with a nothing role than you can conceive of (LOL Wicker Man).

Leading Man and Action Movie star, he mixes it up better than anyone else. He's done a big variety of roles and looked very different in a lot of them. You know he was impressive looking for Con Air!  His performance can carry a film, like in Bangkok Dangerous. Not that the other actors in his movies aren't good too, it's just that what they do seems to add to him, not take away. It's rare anyone can steal a scene from Cage (like Sammi Rotibi "Gun of Rambo" in Lord of War). He's very 'Bond' in his smoothness and charm, yet so down to earth and likeable: perfect example: Family Man. After Gone in 60 Seconds, I hoped his career would go more toward Action but he's entertaining in any genre.  I loved him in Snake Eyes, Face Off, The Weather Man, The Family Man, Guarding Tess, Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance, Raising Arizona and so many others. Even if the movie is bad, he never is . . .

He's hot, he's cool, he's Cage!

Sean Connery as James Bond

SEAN CONNERY
A Scotsman. He was everyone's favorite James Bond. He and singer >Tom Jones (who? LOL) ruled the world at one time. Seems like the other Bonds just played the part. He embodied it. His distinctive voice and self assurance were half of his appeal, the rest: good looks and his acting ability.  (You have to have charisma and confidence in spades to pull off an outfit like this one from Zardoz.)

From this legendary early role, his career only added to his larger-than-life persona. My favorites roles of his are all the Bond movies (but especially Live and Let Die), The Wind and The Lion, The Man Who Would be King, The Great Train Robbery, Outland, The Untouchables, Indiana Jones and The Last Crusade, The Hunt for Red October, Family Business ("Where did you find this fucking parasite?" LMAO), and The Rock.

It didn't matter what his age was, he pulled it off until  Entrapment with Catherine Zeta-Jones. His Action Movie 'cred' brings such strength to a movie, for example, The Rock. Who do you get when you need a bad ass who's been locked up for 30 years? "John Patrick Mason, General Sir."

"Swords for $400." xD

MATT DAMON
Thanks to Matt Damon fans Pamela and Abdu who took the time to write to admonish me on not having Matt on the site. "Have you really forgot Matt Damon?!" (head hung in shame, yes!)

At first, I was not a big fan of The Bourne Identity, but with hindsight, I was hard on the movie.  I like a lot of Matt's movies, but a lot of them are Dramas, and it wasn't until Jeremy Renner was cast in The Bourne Legacy (I know, different character) that it hit me I HAVE to have Matt as an Action Movie Bad Ass. I guess part of why I didn't have him for so long is that he's so all-American and the-guy-next-door, but that is exactly the criteria for the "Regular Joe"! Their relatability is their biggest appeal, doubly so here, with the character of Jason Bourne.

We will always remember Matt Damon and Ben Affleck first for Chasing Amy, but best when accepting their Oscars for Best Writing (Original Screenplay) for Good Will Hunting (1997). I really liked him in Rounders and Saving Private Ryan (both 1998). Since that time, Matt made many movies and proved he is a great actor—The Talented Mr. Ripley (1999) erased any doubt.  The Bourne movies, though, cemented his place in our hearts: The Bourne Identity (2002), The Bourne Supremacy (2004), and The Bourne Ultimatum (2007).

Proving he's at the top of Hollywood's social group, he was part of the cool guys club that made Ocean's Eleven (2001), Ocean's Twelve (2004), and Ocean's Thirteen (2007).

He shocked us in Martin Scorcese's remake The Departed (2006), starring alongside Mark Wahlberg—They look similar to me, like two sides of a coin, good and bad, Matt is the 'heads' to Mark's 'tails', the good guy image to the bad boy. .

Matt also starred in The Adjustment Bureau and Contagion in 2011.

After Sarah Silverman did this heartfelt but strange homage in a YouTube viral video, and Matt did several hilarious SNL appearances, I would venture to say he's the most-liked American Actor today.  I say this as a compliment and not to diminish his uniqueness by comparison, but he seem like this generation's Paul Newman.

CLINT EASTWOOD
What do you say about a man with such a body of work!? Going back to the early days of the Italian films and 'spaghetti westerns', he was just this lanky good-looking actor who downplayed the emotional side of acting. We came to love him for this. Shoot first and shut the hell up. The man with no name.

Then the Dirty Harry character came along and it was like adding Raiders to Star Wars for Harrison Ford, we already loved Clint, but this made us love him more. Then the fighting movies with the orangutan. How to take it to the next level! Instead of just shooting his way through shit, he started brawling. It gave me new respect for him as an actor, as a man. He wasn't that young either to be playing that role, and that made it all the better. Made him a tough guy legend.

Then he started directing. It was like coming full circle when he made Unforgiven. An ode of love to the western, for which he won Best Director and Best Picture. Often imitated (I think David Caruso is trying to be Eastwood behind those sunglasses in CSI) but never with the same impact. The calm, deadly, silent strength and tall good looks were a unique combination.

There's no one like him. He made his own brand of 'cool'.

HARRISON FORD
(bowing) Not worthy!
What can I say about the ridiculously AMAZING career of Harrison Ford. He was Indiana Jones and Han Solo. That would be enough in itself, but he did so much more. He's Dr. Richard Kimble (The Fugitive), Jack Ryan (Patriot Games and Clear and Present Danger), and Rick Deckard (Blade Runner).  It's hard to pin down what Harrison brings to a role but he's got charisma in spades, something everyone first noticed in American Graffiti. He comes across as a good man, a catch, something women loved to see him portray in Working Girl. He played against type in n Presumed Innocent to great effect with a thrilling ending. Was hilarious as a Realtor/Detective in Hollywood Homicide. It's quite a list of movies: and I left out a few: Air Force One, The Hunt For Red October, Apocalypse Now, Force 10 From Navarone, Witness, Frantic, The Mosquito Coast, Hanover Street, Regarding Henry, Sabrina, The Devil's Own, Random Hearts, What Lies Beneath, K-19: The Widowmaker.

He could be considered our John Wayne. The man's man.  The man men look to to know how to be men.

We love you Harrison! (He knows.)

Harrison Ford characters

TOMMY LEE JONES
Tommy Lee Jones was born in charge.  He's a real-life John McClane and then some. If you co-star with Tommy Lee Jones, you better be able to carry your weight, cause once he walks in, he's taking over. He's cornered Competence. Part of it is his voice. The low rumbling, deep, Southern accent. Part of it is his background: A born Texan, his Mom was as a police officer, school teacher, and beauty shop owner, and his Dad, an oil field worker.1 According to Wikipedia, they were married and divorced twice. [That had to be interesting to grow up with.] And "Jones, an eighth-generation Texan, had a Cherokee grandparent.3" He graduated cum laude from Harvard [on a "need-based scholarship". He also played football (how could he not? from Texas)]. A no bullshit Texan 'poor boy jock' among the rich. He was roommates with Al Gore (and Bob Somerby) yet he cast a long shadow. They were the lucky ones.

It all culminated for me in No Country For Old Men. (How do you not get the ending?!) Those damn Coen geniuses, who else but Tommy Lee Jones?!! "Whatcha got ain't nothin new. This country's hard on people, you can't stop what's coming, it ain't all waiting on you. That's vanity." Well, if it was gonna wait for anyone, it'd be Tommy Lee. But he's gonna die, and he's okay with that. Not a good prognosis for the country, but then when the kid with playing cards on the spokes of his bikes accepts the bloody money [I wanted him to tear it up (so easy to corrupt the innocent!) but he didn't], it tore my heart in two. (It was like a Norman Rockwell painting of evil.)  And Tommy Lee's character's acceptance of his coming death, equally as sad.

Taylor Lautner on New Moon poster TAYLOR LAUTNER

Taylor Lautner as Jacob Black with long hairShark Boy grows up! Just 17 years old, already-super-popular Taylor Lautner became an 'overnight' international sensation through the Twilight movies. Team Jacob! You could almost see him age for real in the movie: from 16 to 17, from a boy to a super buff wolfman. The blush on the rose and any baby fat he might have had transformed into a chiseled body right before your eyes. After the un-shirting in the sequel The Twilight Saga: New Moon that left girls and women the world over swooning, his display of his martial arts training and true physical prowess on Saturday Night Live (link to video embedded in a Huffington Post article), and the lead in the upcoming action movie Max Steel, the world is Taylor's.

He seems to have an inclination toward action, so we hope that he chooses well and that he's offered choice roles. Maybe he would be THE all-time best Batman!

LIAM NEESON
I don't know what took me so long to add the irresistible Irishman Liam Neeson! Maybe it's because he's so well-rounded in his choice of roles. So many great movies, you may be wondering "He was in that?" If that is what you're thinking it's probably because he's so good at acting you forget it's him. And with someone with his physique and stature, that's quite a compliment. In the otherwise enjoyable but forgettable Suspect starring Cher and Dennis Quade, he played his character so well, the unsettling performance is still with me. He charmed me down to my toes in Rob Roy. As large off screen as he is on. He IS the stuff legends are made of, yet there's something so real, so grounded about him. What a career! Here are just a few:

Excalibur (1981)

Krull (1983)

The Bounty (1984)

The Mission (1986)

A Prayer For The Dying (1987) with Bob Hoskins and Mickey Rourke (whose bad-assery consists mainly of smoking wherever he feels like, especially when told not to, with unintended hilarity!)

Suspect (1987)

The Dead Pool (1988)

Next of Kin (1989) with Patrick Swayze

Darkman (1990)

Schindler's List (1993)

Rob Roy (1995)

Michael Collins (1996)

Star Wars: Episode 1-The Phantom Menace (1999) A fitting and welcome addition!

Gangs of New York (2002)

Love Actually (2003)

Kingdom of Heaven (2005)

Batman Begins (2005)

Taken (2008)

Clash of the Titans (2010) Who else could play Zeus?—such a voice!

The A-Team (2010)

The Grey (2011)

Wrath of the Titans (2012)

Battleship (2012)

The Dark Knight Rises (2012)

Taken 2 (5 Oct 2012)

Liam Neeson collage

KEANU REEVES
The One. The one who starred in the "Rush, Rush" video with Paula Abdul. The one who had an excellent adventure. The one who was in two bands, one called "Dogstar", and one called "Becky."  I first noticed him in Dangerous Liaisons. His next movie, Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure, created a stereotype that follows him to this day.  He was good in Ron Howard's Parenthood, and then came Point Break. Johnny Utah was like Keanu grown up until he said "Vaya con Dios" at the end and brought Ted to mind again—but you gotta love him for that. He's just cooler than you! Speaking of cool, his best friend was River Phoenix (also in a band called "Aleka's Attic"). They starred together in My Own Private Idaho. This image from that movie is iconic to that generation.

I think Keanu is excellent in everything he's done. I loved the movie Dracula. Not only is he good in it but I think it's underrated as he so often is. Dracula is visually stunning (beyond Keanu's beauty) and full of great moments. Gary Oldman is uniquely creepy.

Once Keanu did Speed, he was locked in to Action Movie history. The movie has a really exciting beginning that sets up his character's heroism.  People LOVE this movie and the combination of Keanu and Sandra Bullock. It's always fun to watch.

Keanu is just too beautiful. A Walk in the Clouds is a total chick flick fantasy with Keanu as a soldier. Then there's New York lawyer Keanu in The Devil's Advocate holding his own opposite Al Pacino. Three other favorites of mine are Constantine (impressive-as-hell effects), The Lake House (with Sandra Bullock again), and The Day the Earth Stood Still. 

It really doesn't matter what kind of movie Keanu does, what he'll be most remembered for is his role in a perfect movie, The Matrix. Keanu was the perfect choice for this role. He seems to have an inner peace that comes through even in the chaos that moves Neo from his imaginary life to real life. His training for this movie and the sequels, The Matrix Reloaded and The Matrix Revolutions are impressive.

We can look forward to his directorial debut in 2013 with Man of Tai Chi. Yuen Woo-ping is doing the stunt choreography and the movie also stars Keanu, Tiger Hu Chen, and Iko Uwais!  Next, he stars in the samurai movie 47 Ronin.

Burt Reynolds and Sally Field

Burt Reynolds Cosmo centerfold

BURT REYNOLDS
Burt ReynoldsMy boy Burt. No one young understands how big he was (how well liked, how good looking, how much charisma and record-shattering box-office draw he had). You had to have lived through it.  Shown here with two of the loves of his life: Dinah Shore and Smokey and The Bandit co-star Sally Field. He said later of leaving Sally Field for Loni Anderson that he traded a diamond for a rhinestone.

The Cosmo issue where he was the centerfold (cropped version below) sold out in minutes on newsstands. No man had ever posed nude before. (Burt knew what women wanted—him!. And no, he didn't show anything.) Before there was Robert Pattinson and Taylor Lautner, there was Brad Pitt and Tom Cruise, before them, Robert Redford and Burt Reynolds (and Paul Newman and Marlon Brando) (my point? HOT HOT men). He's more of a dramatic actor than an Action Movie star, but he helped fuel the love of the genre immeasurably because he always brought excitement and action to his films (hear him say so better than I can).

Just so you can appreciate the breadth of his career, he started on TV with the Gunsmoke series (1955). He has 90 feature films to his credit, so I want to mention just my favorites:  There's the single role he's most known for Deliverance (1972), and the type of movies he's most know for: the Smokey and The Bandit movies (1977,80, 83), Cannonball Run I and II (1981, 84), and Hooper (1978). I love all those, but I also loved him in The End (1978), Rough Cut (1980), Sharky's Machine (1981), Stick (1985) [filmed here in South Florida] where legendary stuntman Dar Robinson did a backwards fall while shooting a gun off a condo in Fort Lauderdale—a stunt first done for this movie (no net). It came off as such a vicious thing to do: be on your way to death and still be shooting.  It was copied later in many other movies, including Trinity in the Matrix Reloaded (@1:29], Heat (1986), Physical Evidence and Breaking In (both from 1989), Cop and ½ (1993) [co-starring a friend from high school Tom Kouchalakos :D], and The Crew (2000).

Burt was also the first to show outtakes at the end of a movie (Hooper). It was so obvious they were having a great time filming, and he knew we would love to see that, and wanted to share it. You just gotta love his unique laugh (hear it in the Smokey And The Bandit 2 outtakes at @1:26).

How big was Burt? He turned down playing James Bond and starring in Die Hard

He appeared recently on Burn Notice (July 2010) and threw down ;).  I would say there are few actors more loved than Burt Reynolds. 

Robert Shaw as Quint in Jaws

ROBERT SHAW
Robert Shaw was my favorite actor. My favorite roles of his are From Russia With Love (1963), The Sting (1973), The Taking of Pelham One Two Three (1974), Jaws (1975), Swashbuckler (1976), The Deep (1977), and Force 10 From Navarone (1978). A man's man, and an Englishman. A great voice and in-charge presence: He stole the show in Jaws. He re-wrote the Indianapolis monologue and the final version was done in one take. A lot of what was great about "Quint" in Jaws was all Robert. You know you loved him!

Tragically, he died at only 51.

QUINT What d'ya have there—a portable shower or a monkey cage?
HOOPER Anti-Shark cage.
QUINT Anti-shark cage!
You go inside the cage?
Cage goes in the water . . .
you go in the water . . .
shark's in the water.
Our shark.
Farewell and adieu to you, fair Spanish ladies. . . .

Robert Shaw collage of roles played

Jack Tu

  JACK TU Jackie Chan and Jack Tu

Reported as Jackie Chan's successor, Jack Tu starred in the martial arts movie The Forgotten Jewel, and was the lead in the parkour movie Tropical Tornado. The winner of a national talent search show called Disciple, Jack Tu was chosen by Jackie Chan after an extended and rigorous audition process: "We experienced war, Chinese ancient drama, science fiction, and boats, water, explosions, car crashing, jumping off buildings. We also experienced all the movie stunts that Jackie has done in his past movies. He said that in two or three months, it compacted what he has done in ten years."

So he's living in California but we haven't seen him in anything. If he's that good, someone hire him; he's seriously adorable!

You can find him on  YouTube, Facebook, and MySpace .

Iko Uwais in Merantau

IKO UWAIS
Iko Uwais's skills as a fighter stole the show in a movie that looked on the surface like just a sweet-coming-of-age drama, but Iko as "Yuda" fought for his life, and on screen it felt more like a documentary than an action movie.  Iko's speed and stamina were off the charts! If you don't mind an action movie that might make you cry, appreciate life, and understand that we're all the same the world over, Merantau delivered the most impressive and d memorable fight scene since Rowdy Roddy and Keith David beat the shit out of each other in They Live.

In a series of progressively tougher fight scenes building up to a what-is-he-capable-of? finale, Merantau showcased Iko's Silat skills with jaw-dropping impact. Out of this role as a slender, unassuming young man, a major action star was born. Can't wait for more from Iko!  Here's an interview with Writer/Director Gareth Evans by Robert A. Mitchell @SoldierOfCinema of The Raid (aka Serbuan Maut). The Raid opened TIFF Midnight Madness.  Sony picked it up for the U.S. It should be released in Indonesia in January 2012. 

BRUCE WILLIS
After Moonlighting, we loved Bruce Willis for Die Hard. The do-it-yourself cop with the take-no-bullshit attitude. It's the Action Adventure we think we could handle: coming through for your family as the tough-guy New York cop/hero on Christmas break. The wrench in the works, Bruce got under Alan Rickman's skin like a bad rash. The cowboy taking out the Eurotrash. Bruce Willis as John McLane in Die Hard

"Yippe-ki-yay mother fucker!"

We'd like to imagine we'd be this heroic if put in his situation.  He's the personification of the American spirit in this role. We believe in him because we see in him our better, more courageous selves.

He can be forgiven for Hudson Hawk because the rest of the Die Hard series was REALLY GREAT (A Good Day to Die  Hard excepted), but when they say things like "his face is unrecognizable" (The Jackal) you have to laugh, because Bruce is stuck with the John McClane persona, like it or not, and a very distinct way of moving (in the shoulders) and pursing his lips . . . To paraphrase a line from a Toby Keith song, he's "Not as good as he once was, but he's as good, once, as he ever was." In other words, he'll be John McClane no matter who they cast him as, and he'll never be as good.  It's an insult but also a tremendous compliment. 

Another Action Movie compliment paid was that Stallone included him in the ultimate Action Boys' Club: The Expendables movies.

Sam Worthington

SAM WORTHINGTON
Cementing his place in action movie history as the paraplegic hero of James Cameron's CGI epic Avatar, Sam Worthington also played John Connor in Terminator: Salvation and thank God he did because Christian Bale was busy ruining it! (link is a parody)  He was on quite a roll, also starring in Clash of the Titans.

Maybe it's just his look with a crewcut but he has a very everyman face. I mean that in the best way: relatability. You're not distracted by his looks. Of course, that could be a testament to his acting ability. Too many times actors seem to play themselves. Sam disappears into the role. I think that's the highest compliment but this is sometimes negatively criticized with action movies because it seems like fans want their action stars to be personalities before the even get to the screen, and to be that larger-than-life persona in their role.  I guess you could put it this way: Sam Worthington has no swagger. I still like him.

Look out. Taking back the no swagger as he looks like he might be the total bad ass in Sabotage . . .

REGULAR JANES  
When, as women, these characters find themselves in impossible situations and rise to the challenge, the bar is set higher. Nobody expects women to be able to do what men can do.  But I have news for you, we can! Whether these actresses have martial arts training or not, they did a damn good job of 'keeping up'. For the female Action Star, it may not be about obvious strength, but more about agility. She doesn't have to be butch, but she has to be believable. With Martial Arts movies leading the way (as they once did with early Action Movies for men), kick-ass women who don't need to fake their skills are going to be, hopefullly, the norm rather than the exception in the future. 

We haven't scratched the surface of the potential for truly strong women in Action Movies. I thought Red Sonja in 1985 was an indicator of things to come, but we're still waiting! (check out Seeing Red Over Sonja)  What are we waiting for?! Strong women need to get out there and make these movies! All of the women below are more the type of women MEN want to see. We are missing the type of woman WOMEN want to see, like JeeJa Yanin . . .

Genna Davis in The Long Kiss Goodnight

GEENA DAVIS

That's right! Geena Davis. You know why . . . The Long Kiss Goodnight. Geena is quite a chameleon when it comes to roles and hasn't gotten nearly enough credit for her talent. She is completely believable in this real-life nightmare. Her character's alter-ego is a contrast to what we probably think Geena is in real life. That makes it all the better. The script is great too. She's a bad mother! (Shut your mouth!)

Bridget Fonda in Point of No Return

BRIDGET FONDA

Earning her place here for a savage-yet-endearing performance in Point of No Return, convincingly portraying a girl pushed too far and what she's capable of (of what maybe anyone is, with enough programming and training). Her delicate features and femininity that make it all the more devastating to watch her do those things. Her intensity and concentration seem real. Point of No Return delivers the Action Movie excitement as effectively as any guy-star's movie. But maybe you think I'm saying that just cause I'm a girl—Bite me!

Milla Jovovich in Resident Evil series

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Milla Jovovich as a teen MILLA JOVOVICH

From her twitter bio: "pronounced mee-luh-yo-vo-vich"

Kate who? A face so flawless, she'd be breathtaking even without hair. In the film The Fifth Element, she was female perfection, wearing only straps for clothes. She dominated the screen in Resident Evil, which spawned four sequels: Resident Evil: Apocalypse, Resident Evil: Extinction, Resident Evil: Afterlife, and Resident Evil: Retribution (14 Sept 2012). Thanks to twitter you can follow @millajovovich and get behind-the-scenes updates like "shooting RE5 in camp evil".

An unlikely Action Movie hero . . . pale, slight, and slender, Milla is also fierce, savage, and lethal!  Hers is not the big-boobed, bleached-blonde, artificiality of the every skank. Her vulnerability and slenderness add to rather than take away from the persona: A 'normal' girl until she shows her power. Milla was so mesmerizing in her portrayal of Alice in Resident Evil that it's impossible to imagine anyone else in the role: the highest compliment.

And as Ultraviolet, she was a force of nature! If you could stop watching with your mouth open long enough, you had to notice she was effective as hell in those roles. Compare her to Linda Hamilton: Milla's proof you don't have to look butch to kick ass.  That was unkind to Linda Hamilton, yes, but also flattering as Hamilton raised the bar on the standard of kick ass. 

composite of Milla Jovivich roles

CARRIE-ANNE MOSS Matrix Reloaded Trinity flame stunt

Bring that high kick, Carrie-Anne. Admitting she had a hard time learning the stunts on the DVD extras to The Matrix Series, Carrie-Anne nevertheless perfected a fluidity of movement, enhanced by slo-mo and shiny poly vinyl. Acrobatic and graceful, Moss took the character of Trinity beyond believability into the realm of a superheroine.  The one thing I loved about The Matrix until they showed other women on the 'outside' was that Trinity seemed like a different kind of woman. Like women had evolved by necessity to be warriors, having the same survival instinct/fight-on-the-run mentality as the others.  When Trinity faces down the dump truck, that's balls! But it's Carrie-Anne Moss that's selling it. 

"Hey Carrie Anne, what's your game now, can anybody play?" I wonder if she was named for that 1967 Hollies song. That's the year she was born.

CYNTHIA ROTHROCK 

Until recently, I had not heard of her—My very great loss—and I have not seen any of her movies (that I remember, and I think I would). The apparent Queen of "B" Action Movies, it was hard to find a non-tacky picture of her fully clothed. Check her out on IMDB or AllOuttaBubbleGum.com.

She holds 6 Black Belts, and if this clip (below) is typical of her work, it reminds me of what they said about Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers: that she did everything he did, backwards and in heels. In this clip, Rothrock looks a little like Jackie Chan . . . Makes me think about the famous line about the dancers Ginger Rogers and Fred Astaire: That she did everything he did, backwards, and in heels. 

BLONDEFURY3

 
Zoe Saldana with big gun from Colombiana

ZOE SALDANA

Zoe's career is blazing like a comet!  From Star Trek in 2009, Zoe Saldana's "Uhura" brought her into the Action Movie forefront, and when she played "Neytiri" in Avatar, the whole planet wished there was a sex-with-the-blue-monkeys scene. 

Although 2010's The Losers wasn't well received, she rocked the role. Her looks and sexuality were probably the reason 99% of heterosexual males saw the film. What a shame that men are less than 50% of the population. Maybe when Action Movies roles for women start are appealing to women and not catering to men, things will change for us.

She next appeared as a minor love-interest role in the underappreciated The Takers.  (I think they chose her for her real-life background in Action Movies so she would seem 'the part', and her role would be informed by her career choices.) Shoot me for liking it (the critics didn't).  It delivered.  Zoe's proved she's got what it takes many times, but I think she was best in COLOMBiANA.  If you haven't seen it, you should—especially if you're a woman!   We'll see her again in 2013 as Lt. Uhura in the untitled Star Trek sequel, and in 2016 as Neytiri in Avatar 2.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SIGOURNEY WEAVER

The kick ass star of Alien, Aliens, Alien3, and Alien Resurrection (I love them all!), and Galaxy Quest (loved that too). The one who kept a cool head when even the robot had an evil agenda, when the soldiers needed rescuing and their leader fell apart, and through the nightmare and back again as the monster's mother. The only tattoo I ever considered getting was the "8" on the forearm from when she is the eighth clone in Alien Resurrection. I can handle myself Ripley and Hicks from Aliens

It ROCKS that the star of the most enjoyable Action Movie of all time (Aliens) is a WOMAN and a mother, and it's about a mother rescuing 'her' child.

Can you believe she made that over-the-shoulder-past-the-3-point-zone shot in Alien Resurrection?! YES I CAN! (Watch this clip, aptly titled "Why Sigourney Weaver Is The Shit!"

In a male-dominated genre, she stands tall literally and figuratively! I don't need Superman. I'll take Ripley, Ellen, Lieutenant First Class 36706, and happily be a clone.  

JEEJA YANIN

The star of Chocolate and Raging Phoenix, Jeeja Yanin  is a Thai Taekwondo sensation.  Billed as "no wires" and "no stunt doubles" Chocolate created a lot of buzz for the female star. At just 5' 2" she packs a lot of lethality into a lithe frame. 

The follow-up movie, Raging Phoenix was billed as "Chinese Drunken Fist vs. Drunken Muay Thai", plus B-Boy moves! The Thai movies in general and this one in particular throw so much at you, it's hard to not be amazed. The creativity of the fighting moves, and the intensity is unmatched.  If you haven't seen either, you must see both!

MICHELLE YEOH

Ye-oh-my-god! She left such an indelible impression after Tomorrow Never Dies (1997), it gave girls everywhere hope of equality with men! There seemed to be nothing she couldn't do.

In Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (2003) she was also so good that she could do nothing else the rest of her career, and still be an Action Movie legend. She 'brought it' to the screen and hacked it to pieces. She was a dancer, but had no formal martial arts training (!). She does her own fighting and most of her own stunts. "She gets injured a lot" according to IMDB. More reason to love her! Proving strength is not a man's province, Yeoh sells it like nobody else.

She turned down a role in The Matrix: Reloaded. Our loss!

Ziyi Zhang

ZHANG ZIYI

So beautiful yet so deadly. She stole the show in Rush Hour 2. She was also devastating in Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon, Hero, and House of Flying Daggers. She played the lead in Memoirs of a Geisha with Gong Li (Li Gong) and Michelle Yeoh, alongside The Last Samuri's heartthrob leading man Ken Watanabe.Ziyi Zhang House of Flying Daggers

She is starring The Grand Masters (2012), "the story of martial-arts master Ip Man, the man who trained Bruce Lee". Woo-ping Yeun is the action choreographer.

How perfect is this? Zhang was to play Mulan in a film directed by Jan de Bont,  which, according to Wikipedia was supposed to wrap January 2011, but for which no release date was mentioned (I could not even find it on IMDB).  This lengthy comment is the only thing I could find. (I disagree on the 3D and the English—I would love to see her as Mulan in any language, 3D or not.)  For 2012 IMDB shows her in The Grandmasters (an Ip Man story), a Cantonese Dangerous Liaisons, and for 2013 a Drama directed by John Woo called Live and Let Love!



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