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WELCOME TO THE
2, 1 . . .
Artemis Film Festival 4/20-23, Los Angeles,CA
On my way . . . see you there!
3 more days to Artemis Film Festival
. . . I am hoping
It's cute to see "Sammo Hog", Jessie's pig on her workout videos. Sometimes he 'helps', sometimes he's an extra obstacle challenge. He's VERY cute!
6, 5, 4 more days to Artemis Film Festival
. . .
I discovered none of the videos on my site were loading so I'm working furiously to fix that. I've haven't had time to see Chips, Power Rangers, or The Fate of the Furious (yet). I hope to see all 3 after the Festival. You're going to Artemis, right?
Melissa McCarthy and Luci Romberg
7 Days to Artemis Film Festival—Calling for Volunteers!
It's Thursday morning, April 13, and the Artemis Film Festival starts next Thursday! I am thrilled to be able to attenda nd to participate as a volunteer. To be a part of something that promotes strong women is a dream come true for me. If you are attending and can volunteer, please let @IndusAlelia know.
8 Days to Artemis Film Festival honoring
In an exclusive from Variety, it was announced today that Melissa MCarthy will be honored with the Action Powerhouse Award by the Artemis Women in Action Film Festival. "Melissa has epitomized female action heroes in countless films,” the festival said. “She has always embraced characters who are physically empowered — even when they make us laugh.” Love her so much in, well, everything, but The Heat (laughed so hard it hurt at the machine-gunning oneliners in the bar scene), and Spy, especially those two . . . The Action in Spy was really so hilarious yet so good! She is a powerhouse talent!
9 Days to
Artemis: Meet the Artemis Team
10 Days to
Artemis: Meet their Media Partners
This year's Artemis Womenin Action Film Festival media partners are :
SOURCE: Michael Nordine at
L.A. Weekly, Feb. 8, 2016
Upstairs, theater 5 features a midsize screen and some 30 seats (as does the auditorium next to it). Also on the upstairs level is a lounge area with luxe couches and chairs. Sitting in the Monica Film Center (or any Laemmle theater, really) feels like embedding yourself in the cultural fabric of L.A. film culture. The company is now in its 78th year of operation ([operating] a theater on Second Street for 44 of those years) and the fact that it’s renovating and reopening theaters, when so many others are closing, is something to be celebrated.
12 Days to
and "Mission NinetyTwo"
Sat. Apr. 22, 11:55 AM | Get Tickets
Just based on the poster (can't help it: Graphic
Designer), I am intrigued by Mission NinetyTwo (showing
with another movie The Dawning under the heading "Deadly
Skills"). The Japanese poster title is Assassin Hunter—love the
13 Days to
and "Tip Your Waitress"
Fri. Apr. 21, 7:15 PM | Get Tickets
This short movie looks entertaining (part of a "Punch Lines" grouping of shorts). I hope it's as satisfying as the premise makes it seem. "While working the graveyard shift, waiting on a table of rude and rowdy thugs who stiff her, one waitress will exact the revenge so many of us dream about (featuring fight action violence)." Always wanted to make a movie called "Asshole Eliminator" with a specially designed vehicle that cruises around punishing bad driving behavior by crushing and smashing them into oblivion, satisfying the road rage in aggressive drivers (guilty).
Writer/Director: Kelly Riot IMDb bio: Kelly Riot (Brewer) is a native Texan photographer who started her career in production in hair and makeup for the fashion industry, which brought her, very quickly, to Los Angeles. She immediately began working in hair/makeup, special effects, and costuming for TV and film. Kelly is also an accomplished guitarist, having learned to play by watching country music videos on TV, and by writing music herself. In between working on set, Kelly was picked up by the all-girl, punk-rock-sensation "Rocket", and she toured for the next 4 1/2 years. After leaving Rocket, she hired herself out to other bands while filming her own small web series, and returning to photography. After moving to Austin, Texas, Kelly made the shift to directing, and writing her own films alongside Trevor Seits, under the company Electric Sneakers Productions.
14 Days to the
Women in Action Film Festival
It's not too late to be a part of the Artemis Women in Action Film Festival. You can still make a donation toward their larger goals of making the Festival even cooler, bigger, and better, at any time. They met their original goal (122%!), but have a larger vision that you can help bring to life (plus there's always next year to pull off). It feels empowering to be a part of this positive event that promotes strong women. Click here to contribute (scroll down a little) and via PayPal to Artemis Motion Pictures (one of the forces behind the festival).
See you there, April 20-23!
Days to the
Women in Action Film Festival
Tom Cruise has been featuring some strong women in his Action Movies, and strong women have taken notice. This year's Artemis Women in Action Film Festival's Action Rebel honoree is arguably the biggest star on the planet, and I have already sang his praises here . . . but why stop there LOL. #imatomcruisegirl
As I re-watch Oblivion, I appreciate just how much Tom has pushed the boundaries of visionary Action filmmaking. The pilot in this movie "JackHarper: Tech 49" is not that far removed (being cool and capable) from Top Gun's "Lt. Pete 'Maverick' Mitchell"—Tom's made a career of being 'top gun' much to our movie-watching delight—and yet it's worlds apart. Always the lead in the coolest movies, Tom has been sharing the lead spotlight with some kick-ass female characters, like: Army Major "Susan Turner" in Jack Reacher: Never Go Back, Secret Agent "Ilsa Faust" in Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation, Rita 'Full-Metal Bitch' Vratski" in Edge of Tomorrow, Henchwoman"Sabine Moreau" and IMF Agent "Jane Carter" in in Mission: Impossbile - Ghost Protocol. It's truly gratifying to see him bring a female character along on these adventures. No longer just eye candy, these women not only hold their own, but usually help out, save, and/or exceed the male lead(s) at times. For this reason, in keeping with the Artemis Mission Statement, they are honoring him for honoring us!
The Artemis MISSION STATEMENT
"Toe to toe, and hand in hand." -Tom Cruise
Army Major Susan Turner
Love this video as it seems to balance femininity and being kick ass.
"This the 'deep end' of Action". -Tom Cruise
Not one but 2 Bad Ass Chicks (first time I've ever used the word "henchwoman'!):
4 days of non-stop Action!!
7:15 PM Shorts: Yoga Pant Brawl, Girl Trip, Schooled,
Tip Your Waitress, and Hard Way Girl
5:15 PM Shorts: Moonshot and Go Against The Flow
7:00 PM WOMEN IN VR PANEL Virtual Reality is the future and the future is female. Join us for a one-hour discussion of the recently leaps taken in 360 VR filmmaking and the pioneering role women play in it. Sponsored by Hyperator VR and featuring some of the leading women in VR today.
8:15 PM Shorts:
Her Blue Eyes, Olga, Blackwell, Summers Mysterties, Lydia's Last
One, Fight Room, Interrogation, Relapse, and Stealth &
7:35 PM Crazy Happy
and The Empowerment Project
For tickets and more details, please visit the Artemis website: http://www.artemisfilmfestival.com/2017-schedule/
17 Days to
Artemis Film Festival celebrating
Tammie's IMDb bio is short and sweet: "Many women dream of being swept off their feet, but it's a rare breed, indeed, who would like it to involve the front fender of a moving car. Tammie's journey to become a top-level professional stuntwoman began in the acting world, but no sooner had she taken her first squib hit on the film, Mr. and Mrs. Smith, she knew her true calling. You may have seen her work in shows like, Sons of Anarchy, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D, American Horror Story, Modern Family, NCIS Los Angeles, and Fear of the Walking Dead just to name a few. Tammie is very proud of her multi ethnic heritage that has allowed her to double actresses of almost every race."
THIS is a kick-ass woman and a kick-ass photo:
The photo is from Tammie's IMDb Photo Gallery and is captioned: "Stuntwoman Tammie Baird taking a car hit for actress Shannon Elizabeth on Chris Brown's 'Next 2 You' video featuring Justin Bieber." ( collison at 3:52)
Tammie appeared on the Today Show, and her love of stunt work shines through:
Looking at her resume Tammie's done an incredible amount of movies and shows! Here is some high praise from her Artemis 2017 Honoree profile:
Tammie is being honored for "persistently creating breathtaking art in her stuntwork. You become an icon when you both embody and represent the best of your craft and Tammie Baird is that.
It was said Ginger Rogers did everything Fred Astaire did, but backwards and in heels. Well, the same can be said of Tammie Baird. Known for her intrepid car stunts, wire work, acrobatics and badass martial arts fights, Tammie can do all that decked out in an evening dress and stilettos.
From Mr. & Mrs. Smith to Iron Man, Halo 4, Dexter, Sons of Anarchy, Taken 3, and NCIS: Los Angeles, Tammie has made the daring commonplace and won the admiration of her peers and the inspiration of those stunt performers who follow her.
This amazing performer is now a paragon in the stunt industry, and our recipient of The Artemis Stunt Icon award."
Stunt Icon—hell yes!
18 Days to
Artemis Film Festival starring
When you see her, wish her a late Happy Birthday (it's April 16th). I loved Gina Carano in Blood and Bone \nnn/ "Call me.") Then she eclipsed all the men in Haywire. I thought when they put her as The Rock's partner in Fast & Furious 6, they looked like a great match (strength and strength) but he/the character seemed to treat her with disregard. . . calling her "Woman" (I hated that). She/the character looked a little sheepish like The Rock was gonna stomp on her any minute. BUT, when it came time to thrown down, she made the ticket price so worth it!
She's tough alright. If you didn't see her in In the Blood, you should have. She's the real deal! No need to make it look convincing. She's the embodiment of every dream of strength we have. Delivering 'hard-hitting' action as well as anyone. Would love to see her in a an all-female Predators-type movie.
In the Blood "Plot Keywords" . . . #thatswhatimtalkingbout
Then came Heist (first called Bus 657) which was only disappointing because of how little she was in it. She had roles in Kickboxer: Vengeance, Deadpool, and Extraction. (I really hated how they treated her character in Deadpool and the whole boob slippage thing—it was like they were making a joke of strong women. No surprise since the whole movie was very 'anti-vag', but I enjoyed the action anyway and paid to see it twice.) I haven't seen Extraction yet (also stars Bruce Willis and Kellan Lutz), but I see she's sexualized. I hope she makes a movie where she's just a fighter, not a 'sexy' fighter. Know what I mean?!
Gina is so cool. Her fighting history is fascinating. From her IMDb bio: "At the age of 21, Gina began training in Muay Thai, a form of Kickboxing, with Master Toddy. Initially, because of her pretty face, spectators refused to take her seriously as a fighter. [Gina was] openly laughed at, insulted, and ridiculed in front of crowds before fights [but she let] her fists do the talking. Her Muay Thai career is comprised of an impressive 12 wins, 1 loss, and 1 draw and she becomes the first American woman to win a title in Thailand. The 2005 cult film Ring Girls (2005) follows Gina and her trainer, Master Toddy during her early Muay Thai career."
I just love that she was an American Gladiator: Gina "Crush" Carano. That's cool, too, and a great role model of strength for girls. Yes, we can!
I enjoy watching her fight because she never looks afraid. She can take a punch, and boy can she throw one. Sometimes, she just launches it and is airborne. There's a lot of power in her shoulders, and watching her you feel the phrase "packs a punch", especially in the MMA video tribute below.
YOU KNOW she should have been Wonder Woman!
19 Days to
Artemis Film Festival
Starring as "Atalanta" in Brett Ratner's Hercules alongside The Rock is an impressive Action Movie notch in your belt, but Norwegian actress Ingrid Bolsø Berdal was already impressively fiece as "Dagmar" in Escape:
And if you watched the Westworld TV series (which I didn't get to) she was some kind of bad ass naked robot cowgirl . . .
She was also in Chernobyl Diaries (looks like fun—don't watch it in the dark!).
Researching for "30 Days 'til Artemis" has been great fun. Everyone involved is so impressive. As I flipped through Andy Armstrong's photo gallery on IMDb, I wondered why it began with this shot (other than it's from The Amazing Spider-Man 2, which he worked on), and now I know. Of course, this is a really cool Action Movie moment, and your mind naturally goes to effects and wires, etc., but . . .
This video from the Armstrong Action website reveals the 'magic', and that magic is Andy's love of Action. You can hear him explain it. If you think it's as cool as I did, yes, you're an Action Movie Freak.
Here is (one of) his Current Reels of Work:
Beginning in 1972 as a vehicle stunt performer, Andy Armstrong (@AndyRArmstrong) decided (in 1973) to become an Assistant Film Director "specializing in very large international productions that involved complex, dangerous, and logistically difficult stunts and action sequences. [Between 1973 and 1987] Andy worked as an Assistant Director on more than 70 International Movies—including the three of the largest James Bond films: The Man With The Golden Gun, The Spy Who Loved Me, and Moonraker."
"[In] 1987, Andy once again decided to concentrate on Action, [which led him to] design, coordinate, and/or direct some of the largest action sequences ever achieved on many international productions. These are typified by the huge (1,200 people) Teamster battle in Hoffa, the charge and battles in Stargate (1,400 people), the action on Galaxy Quest, the World War I battle scenes for Oscar-Winner Frank Pearson's TV Movie Truman starring Gary Sinese, the huge battles in Tim Burton's Planet of the Apes, the car stunt sequences of Highwaymen, and the action sequences on Scooby Doo 2, Cat Woman, I Robot, and Eragon (2nd Unit Director)." SOURCE: IMDb
(At left, Andy with Tom Skerritt , Rémy Julienne, John Philbin, and Director Jeannot Szwarc on "Honor Bound" in Croatia.)
In 1989, Andy moved permanently from England to set up base in California. Andy and his Brother, Vic, run Armstrong Action, the largest privately owned and most comprehensive family-operated stunt and action facilities company in the world.
As Second Unit Director or Assistant Director, Andy has worked on Rambo III, Highlander (uncredited), Rough Cut, Force 10 from Navarone, A Bridge Too Far, and many more.
As Stunt Coordinator, he worked on Bang Bang, The Amazing Spider-Man 2, Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters (uncredited), The Amazing Spider-Man, Thor, The Green Hornet, Season of the Witch (US battle scenes), Fun With Dick and Jane, Charlie's Angels, and again, too many more to name (those are just some of my favorites).
He has a Stunts credit for Universal Soldier, Total Recall (he also appeared as one of Richter's Henchmen (uncredited), and 53 more. He was Associate Producer and Stunt Coordinator for the David Mamet movie Homicide. And, he had an acting part in the Jean-Claude Van Damme twin role movie Double Impact.
TAURUS WORLD STUNT AWARDS
TAURUS WORLD STUNT AWARDS
At right, Andy and Jennifer
22 Days to Artemis
Jennifer Caputo for
One of the things I would love to see change
about Action Movies it the lack of recognition. I imagine those
of us not 'in the business', the fans, unless we research when
we see stunts we like, would never know who does them. The
credits run really fast at the end of a movie and the
descriptions (except for stunt doubles—of which there are
sometimes multiple) are quite generic. This wonder woman,
Jennifer Caputo has only this for a bio on IMDb:
Under Trivia: "Sister of Jay Caputo (Stunts | Actor | Producer)", and "Graduated from Lake Mary High School in Lake Mary, Florida (1989)." I'm from Florida and I'm going to have to look that up (it's north of Orlando, population was 13,000+ in 2013, so a 'small-town girl'.
Her resume is anything but trivial . . .
PERFORMANCE SKILLS Stunts, Motorcyclist, Stunt Driving, Precision Driving, All-Around Athlete (istunt profile)
2015 Action Icon Awards
2014 Action Icon Awards
2013 Taurus World Stunt Awards
2007 Taurus World Stunt Awards
Photo Gallery of Jennifer Caputo in costume for many of her films.
You gotta go! The Artemis Women in Action Film Festival will be the place to be April 20-23, 2017. It's going to be great but will feel even better knowing you helped, so get in there and give whatever you can! And see you there . . .
What a photo: L-R Vanessa Robyn, Zöe Bell, Jessie Graff, Dayna Grant, Yancy Butler, and Heidi Moneymaker!
Meet Luci Romberg (luciromberg.com), she is a 'force of one'! She is this year's Stunt Next Wave Award Winner.
Luci is a woman who inspires in many ways. Luci ("Steel" is her nickname) is a champion gymnast, an all-conference soccer player, a practitioner of freerunning (Tempest Freerunning Academy's only Female Pro Freerunner), and an award-winning stuntwoman. [Pictured below are: Alyma Dorsey, Jessi Fisher, Meredith Richardson and Luci Romberg, stunt doubles for Leslie Jones, Kristen Wiig, Kate McKinnon, and Melissa McCarthy, respectively. Photos from: "What it takes to be a 'Ghostbustters' stuntwoman" via espn.com.]
In 2014, she was nominated for the Taurus World Stunt Awards "Best Overall Stunt for a Stunt Woman" for her fall down basement stairs in The Conjuring, and she won "Best Overall Stunt for a Stunt Woman" for being hit by a car in Identity Thief (she was also nominated in the category "The Hardest Hit" for this stunt).
In addition, Luci is a 10-time Red Bull Art of Motion Best Female Champion, and was a Sasuke [Japan's "Ninja Warrior TV show (Luci was the first woman to make it through the jumping spider)] and American Ninja Challenge competitor.
Luci has appeared on TV (Crossing Jordan, Monk, NCIS, NCIS: Los Angeles, Scream Queens, Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles, The Unit, True Blood, and so many more), and in movies (Divergent, Green Lantern, Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, Ted, The Conjuring, Transformers: Age of Extinction, Zombieland, Jason Bourne, and more). She doubled Mireille Enos in Sabotage, and has doubled Melissa McCarthy in Identity Thief, Spy, The Boss, and Ghostbusters.
She release a moving and inspiring short film entitled "Tru Beauty: A Luci Romberg Story" where she talked about her struggle with Bulimia, and how she found the discipline to challenge her fears through freerunning. It's truly wonderful that she took the time to make this film, and bravely admitted her weaknesses and fears in a way that will help others who might be struggling with self doubt, a negative self image, and a lack of confidence. Thanks for sharing and inspiring others, Luci!
QUARRIES is one of the films that will be featured at the Artemis Film Festival. It's about a group of women on a wilderness hiking "experience"/escape, who stumble into danger when forest fires reroute them. The main character is "Kat" (producer and co-writer Nicole Marie Johnson), who is escaping from an abusive boyfriend. Part way along, the women are forced to fight for survival as they are being chased by a 'pack 'of predators.
They start out with a group of 7. Rebecca McFadizen is enjoyable as the very 'blonde' "Brit", and Carrie Finklea is a standout as a drug addict with attitude, "Wren". All the acting is excellent. "Jean", the tour guide, played by Sara Mornell, anchors the movie until . . .
Another star of the movie is the landscape. The beautifully shot, and well paced, and just when you wonder when things will go south, it suddenly goes from a 'walk in the park' to a drop-all-your-shit-and-run-for-your life pace. Kudos to the men for the physicality of their roles as well. Without spoiling anything, Quarries will give you a 'run for your money'.
The film is now available
for purchase and rental on
and is also available on both
Blu-Ray through Amazon.com and the
If you've never watched the original Star Trek series, maybe you don't know who Nichelle Nichols is, but I'll bet you've heard of Lieutenant Uhura (played in the recent Star Trek movies by Zoe Saldana). A ground-breaking role, Nichelle was one of the first African American female characters on American television not portrayed as a servant (Star Trek aired on NBC from September 8, 1966 to June 3, 1969). Her character was even eventually promoted in Starfleet to the rank of Commander.
the first year of the series, Nichols said she was tempted to
leave the show to pursue a Broadway career, however, a
conversation with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. changed her
mind. She has said that King personally encouraged her to stay
on the show, telling her that he was a big fan of Star Trek. He
said she was playing a vital role model for black children and
young women across the country, as well as for other children
who would see blacks appearing as equals. Dr. King told
her: "You can't [leave]. You're part of history."
An enthusiastic advocate of space exploration, Nichols has served since the mid-1980s on the board of governors of the National Space Society, a nonprofit, educational space advocacy organization founded by Dr. Wernher von Braun. She also Nichols flew aboard NASA's C-141 Astronomy Observatory, which analyzed the atmospheres of Mars and Saturn on an eight-hour, high-altitude mission. She was also a special guest at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, on July 17, 1976, to view the Viking 1 soft landing on Mars. Along with the other cast members from the original Star Trek series, she attended the christening of the first space shuttle, Enterprise, at the North American Rockwell assembly facility in Palmdale, California.
The Artemis Women in Action Film Festival Year 3 will honor Nichelle Nichols with the "Artemis Action Trailblazer Award". A resident of Woodland Hills, California, Ms. Nichols is 84 years old. Check out her website: uhura.com.
Artemis Film Festival 4 PANELS
The Artemis Women in Action Film Festival is planning 4 PANELS this year:
• Film Finance
• Warrior Women
On April 5, 2016, HTC shipped its first units of the HTC VIVE SteamVR headset. This marked the first major commercial release of sensor-based tracking, allowing for free movement of users within a defined space. In early 2017, a patent filed by Sony showed they were developing a similar location tracking technology to the VIVE for PlayStation VR, with the potential for the development of a wireless headset."
Seems like we're not ready for the full-length
VR movie experience but IMAX is offering a sampling of shorter
VR thrills at their L.A.
Flagship location: 157 South Fairfax, Los Angeles
If you think you're a Bad Ass, you should be a part of the Artemis Women in Action Film Festival. It feels great! They are all about empowering women with positive images of physical strong women, and they honor those who contribute to portraying women with strength, including men. The Festival features female Action Movies, and movies showcasing powerful women of all kinds. This is the 3rd year for the Festival and this year's Honorees are listed here. Please click through and learn more about this kick-ass event, and help them achieve all their goals. And, if you're going, I'll see you there.
29 Days to the Artemis Women in Action Film
Have you been participating in their
twitter parties on Wednesday nights? (7:00-8:00 PT)
April 20-23, 2017 | Ahrya Fine Arts Theater, Beverly Hills, CA
Starting a 30-Day
Countdown to Year 3 of the
contribute and/or support them via social media
if you can.
Female-led Action Movies . . .
If you love film, you'll love @anti_cgi on instagram. Especially if you're a TIFF Midnight Madness fan. The man behind the vision is Aramis Gutierrez II. "Anti_cgi is . . . dedicated to 'gore, practical effects, atmosphere and anything that involves offbeat sexual innuendo'." Today, the curator of that remarkable feed posed a question (through my baby brother—they work together) on movies told from a female villain's POV. This led me to my "Hit List" where I immediately thought: Male, male, male, male, male . . . And wondered what it would like color coded.
So, blue for male-dominated movies, and pink for female-led movies.
Logan is outRAGEously good
Rage is the name of the game in this movie. Gnarly Kills abound, not only from Wolverine (Logan), but also from baby Wolverine (Laura aka X-23). If I didn't see the trailer and know there was a little girl in this movie, it would have been such an epic surprise (why I mainly hate trailers—they steal the best bits from the movie-watching experience). It's not that surprising that she is his daughter, what surprises is the level of her killing skills. When the main bad guy, Pierce (played well as a mega douche by Boyd Holbrook), gives the command "Go get her!" it sends a chill through you to hear that phrase used against a (you think defenseless) child when spoken to a large pack of men with large guns. Strong, big-bearded, man-bunned men: kinda like hipsters meet hardcore mercenaries (it seemed a little incongruous, but the Reavers also came off like douchebags, which was good).
Then UFC fighter Krzysztof Soszynski (@materializes (he's so frightening I almost pooped a little LOL), there are off-camera screams and gunshots, and out Laura comes, unharmed. It's one of many epic moments in this movie.
This first 'shootout at the OK corral' is one hell of a Action scene. After Logan finds out what Laura is, he doesn't tread lightly. She can heal and he knows it. There are times when you can tell it's a stunt woman, but those moments are really brief. Dafne Keen is completely convincing and intense, and she says nothing for the largest part of the movie. That's quite a large part to carry with only physicality and personality in such a small package.
The first all-out Action chase scene begins an armada of Vehicles—("The police have themselves an R/V" came to mind from Die Hard) yes, please pull out all the stops to capture a child, an old man in a wheel chair, and a has-been reluctant comic-book hero—and ends with a train-track crossing. For all the sophisticated weaponry, fight choreography, and stunt work, using a roaring wall of steel as a barrier is a great, realistic, but not-so-easy escape that drives home the 'superhero' nature of Wolverine's reflexes, timing, and decision-making powers. Against seemingly impossible odds, they get away.
"You got religion?"
When the Reaver armada catches up to Logan, Laura, and Charles trying to spend a peaceful, restful night, we are introduced to X-24 (a noticeably younger Wolverine clone), who attacks and kills the whole host family, and we get a Wolverine-on-Wolverine fight that is so savage, I felt sorry for any non-Action-Movie-Freaks in the audience. Also cool, to me, was that the family father wasn't dead and came to rescue Logan, but, realizing what he was and probably also pissed that Logan got his family killed, tries to shoot him, but has no more bullets, and then drops dead. Just more ammunition for Logan's downward-spiraling death wish.
As Charles is not dead yet (24 stabbed him in the chest), Logan puts him in the back of the pick-up, presumably to get him to a hospital. But Charles knows it's too late, touches the side of the truck bed, and calls it "our boat". A gesture of pure love to relieve Logan of the guilt of never having bought the boat they talked about sailing away on. Absolution is an invaluably beautiful gift at such a moment. It's all just too sad to lose the whole innocent family, and Charles. Logan buries Charles near a lake so he is by the water (sniffle).
Logan's health deteriorates and Laura is forced to be more adult than seems fitting for her age. Logan is reluctant to take her to "Eden" and she punches him full in the face. Best moment in the movie!
We love Logan's long-suffering character and want him to snap out of it. We still see Wolverine even though he's older and we still love him for who he is. I really love it when Action Movies are so surprisingly emotional because the stakes are so high, and when powerful lessons are learned at great cost.
Before the movie ends, we get a brief bit of a younger Wolverine who snarls and roars. So satisfying if you love the character as much as I do. It was really EVERYTHING a Wolverine fan could hope for, except a happy ending, but, it was a really great ending. Laura quotes "Shane"—more Western theme moments—as a eulogy, and turns the cross grave marker sideways. Hits you right in the heart just how much you love the "X-Men", the proverbial misunderstood outsiders. Also it's a real leaving-a-kid-behind, kick-in-the-teeth moment.
"There's no living with the killing.
There's no going back from one.
Again, in the current political climate of intolerance, it just drove home how much we need to be accepting of 'the other'. For an Action Movie, this was incredibly emotionally powerful. I'd give it 12 out of 10 stars. Go see it in IMAX. You'll want to see it again. Many moving moments and top-notch Action Sequences and Fight Choreography.
• • •
"Rissa Kilar began martial arts at the age of 5. With her being a military child, she has constantly moved around every few years with her family until finally settling in Los Angeles, California. In Los Angeles, she further pursued her martial arts career as an instructor and World Champion competitor and performer. After a couple years in LA, acting and stunts sparked her interest and with her connections through the martial arts industry, she has been set on the path towards exciting opportunities of the entertainment industry."
Marissa Labog is "an actor, dancer, and stunt woman. Marissa [won] the Lester Horton Award for Outstanding Performer, the Solo Award, and an Ovation Award Nomination. Unable to sit still, she explored multiple avenues of movement from dance, gymnastics, and martial arts to running, jumping, and climbing trees. Dancing nationally and internationally with PCB Ballet and Inland Pacific Ballet, Marissa was urged by her loving mother to take up martial arts to learn to defend herself while traveling abroad. Enrolling in Karate, Marissa excelled and furthered her study with capoeira, and Tae Kwon Do." She came to stunts through working with David Belle.
There were many incredible take downs and so many fast moves made by these ladies that the movie really must be seen again just so you can fully appreciate the great work by the Second Unit!
There was also a lot of car stunts that seemed Mad-Maxish at moments . . .
John Wick: Chapter 2
As I sat there in the audience on February 9th (who could wait?!), I thought "Are my ridiculously high expectations going to ruin this for me?" But it was beyond what I could imagine! (I'm sitting here typing this and wondering how soon I can go see it again.)
In particular, there was one thing Keanu did with a gun about three-quarters of the way through the movie that I have never seen before; something I didn't even think was possible; something that I'm still not sure of what I saw. I'm not going to spoil it but, I really have to go back to see it again. And I have to ask a gun expert if I saw what I think I saw. Not since Linda Hamilton did the one-handed shotgun cock, has something been this cool. But enough about the mystery thing. The whole rest of the movie was fantastic. Keanu Reeves is completely convincing as the ultimate Bad Ass assassin! (The fact that he's a smoker killed my crush :-/ but it was great to see these two together again.)
The rumbling American Muscle opening chase scene pulled off being new and different and also totally cool, and then we go right into a fight scene that was a little Frank Martin in its tone. The whole fighting-in-a-suit thing is bad ass, and I love that John Wick fist fights anyway, even though he has guns. He's pissed off, and you're gonna feel that.
"John Wick is a man of focus, commitment, and sheer fucking will."
Chapter 2 more than abounds with Action Movie Essentials, like the Trash Talking quote above. We get a Big Dog Entrance as Keanu's face moves from dark to (half) light. This movie, like the first, is beautifully lit and stylized, and the Action is mesmerizing. We finally get to see John Wick pull off the infamous pencil death: they give us more than one Gnarly Kill! It's got weapons galore. In a twist on the much-loved The Terminator scene where Arnold selects a slew of weapons, we get a weapons sommelier: "I'd like a tasting."
Every aspect of the movie is first-rate (Chad Stahelski and 87eleven!), and the fight coordination is especially enjoyable. We get a lot of hand-to-hand, but also some duking it out, a fight with knives, and a knife fight, an epic gun battle, and John Wick's signature head-shot barrage! The movie's Fight Coordinator was Jonathan Eusebio, and there were four Stunt Coordinators: Marc Désourdy, J.J. Perry, Darrin Prescott, and the Italian Stunt Coordinator was Claudio Pacifico.
Listed as Fight Coordinator is Jonathan Eusebio whose IMDb bio is short and sweet: "Jonathan Eusebio is known for his work on 300 (2006), The Avengers (2012) and The Expendables (2010)." But there's a whole lot more to his career than that.
I'm just picking the movies I loved: He did stuntwork on Kung Pow: Enter the Fist, Blade II, Windtalkers, Austin Powers in Goldmember, Daredevil, The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, The Bourne Supremacy, Collateral, Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End, and X-Men Origins: Wolverine.
He was an assistant Fight Coordinator for The Bourne Ultimatum, Fight and Stunt Coordinator for Never Back Down, Co-Fight Choreographer for Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li, and he did double duty as a stunt performer and Co-Fight Choreographer for Ninja Assassin! How's that for qualifications?! It doesn't stop there.
[Speaking of double duty, Heidi Moneymaker is the double for Ruby Rose and plays one of the many hitmen out to get John Wick.]
He was also a Fight Coordination for Iron Man 2, Conan the Barbarian (2011), Haywire, The Bourne Legacy, The Wolverine, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, John Wick, Doctor Strange, and the upcoming The Fate of the Furious.
He was a Stunt Coordinator for Dragonball: Evolution, Colombiana, Escape Plan, Hitman: Agent 47, The Last Witch Hunter (badass), Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows, and the upcoming Power Rangers.
This movie showed a big range and creativity in execution. Hats off to Keanu a bit in that it was really hard to tell how much of it was really him in action owing to the amount of practice he put in with fighting and gun use. The flip side of that is, of course, that the credit goes to the stuntmen who remained 'invisible'! Here is Keanu putting in the hours to be convincing:
The list of cool Action Movies he's done stunt work in is too long to list (100+), but includes Barb Wire (1996 his 2nd movie), G.I. Jane, Blade, Fight Club, Bedazzled, Monkeybone (!), Adaptation., Cradle 2 the Grave, Mr. & Mrs. Smith, Beerfest, Crank, Jackass Number Two, Red Dawn (2012), and he will be the Supervising Stunt Coordinator for Deadpool 2 (2018). Overall, Darrin has been a Stunt Coordinator on 40+ movies.
Darren has spent his life training in martial arts, snowboarding, surfing, driving, motorcycles, and he competed in the 2001 X-Games. I think it's safe to say he feels the need for speed.
Look: It's Keanu driving with no door!
Keanu Reeves & Chad Stahelski
talk John Wick 2
Just a few more days until John Wick: Chapter 2 . . .The movie opens February 10th.
BUILD Series interviews Keanu Reeves and 87eleven's Chad Stahelski, and teases that the movie has a High Killcount—an Action Movie Essential—"upwards of 80" (80 was the first movie's Killcount). Chad discusses the movie's influences and how they were shooting for an "unapologetic, artsy Action Film" flavor. I LOVE that he said unapologetic. Action Movie Freaks love the "ridiculous" side of Action Movies (like the Cheesy One-Liners). He says it's "A little on the ridiculous side, but everybody kind of plays it straight."
So, they get it. They REALLY get it. Is there anyone on the planet cooler than these two?! We'd have to include David Leitch, the other 87eleven force behind John Wick, who—great news—will be directing Deadpool 2! While they (Chad Stahelski and David Leitch) have incredible backgrounds in Action Movies as stuntmen, stunt coordinators, fight coordinators, action coordinators and consultants, the first feature they Directed was John Wick. How's that for a win right out of the gate?! With their background, John Wick had to be as good as it was. I'm hoping John Wick: Chapter 2 will change minds in Hollywood about Action Movies. It's WAY past time! There has never been such a cool looking, stylish Action Movie (and I say that based on the impressively cool trailer). It will be a magical 2 hours and 2 minutes for Action Movie Freaks and Keanu fans.
"Starring global superstar Matt Damon and directed by one of the most breathtaking visual stylists of our time, Zhang Yimou (Hero, House of Flying Daggers), Legendary/Universal's, The Great Wall tells the story of an elite force making a valiant stand for humanity on the world's most iconic structure. The first English-language production for Yimou is the largest film ever shot entirely in China."
The Great Wall is listed on IMDb as Action/Adventure/ Fantasy. At 1 hour and 43 minutes, it will be offered in IMAX 3D. I already want more. AMC Theatres is running a promotion for bonus Stubs points if you see it between February 17 and 19. I can't wait until then so I bought tickets for the first IMAX 3D show on the 16th. Guess I'll just have to see it twice. #ohyeah
The summary is: "European mercenaries searching for black powder become embroiled in the defense of the Great Wall of China against a horde of monstrous creatures."
The "Action Unit Director" is George Marshall Ruge, a Stunt Coordinator who made the jump from TV with the Lord of the Rings movies, and also worked on the National Treasure and the Pirates of the Caribbean movies, so he knows something about spectacles.
He was also a stuntman himself from 2002 going back to early '80s classics Police Academy and Bachelor Party, and in the '90s he is listed on Hard Justice (see AllOuttaBubbleGum.com's KillCount) and Above Suspicion, which sound like Steven Seagal movies, but aren't. Above Suspicion (1995) starred Christopher Reeve, Joe Mantegna, Kim Cattrall, and William H. Macy (who also has a writing credit). Other Action Movies: Set It Off, Conspiracy Theory, Lethal Weapon 4, The Mask of Zorro, Ocean's Eleven, and many more. Quite an interesting career!
Here's a quote from Variety: "I think in terms of a mosaic in the design of shots. I’m painting a picture and layering these images, action, emotion and nuances so it connects with the human experience."
"Concrete and Crashpads: Stunts in New York"
"Concrete and Crashpads: Stunts in New York" premiered as an Official Selection at the 2016 Urban Action Showcase and Expo. This :30 minute documentary shows us the world of New York City's booming stunt community. "Stunt professionals are invisible" but Action Movie Freaks would like to know more about them! Here's your chance.
We get to meet, and find out a little background on (how they got into stunt work), the players listed below (pictured L-R in the order that they are introduced). The film shows us: how to stage a series of fight scenes, what a stunt training camp looks like, what stunt men carry in their equipment bags, and we get the good news on the women's take on the business.
"There's bad-ass women out there, and we can fight . . . as good as the guys."
Concrete and Crashpads is an interesting and enjoyable ride along with a team that has wide experience and a celebratory outlook. They love what they do and it shows. They packed a lot into this documentary and I hope it works for them. The film is just starting to hit the festival circuit. Like them on Facebook and visit them on IMDb.
Personally, I think stunt performers should be listed as prominently as the actors. They can be invisible during the movie, but why not give credit where credit is due, after?! I'd like to see how the stunts are done at the end of every Action Movie, with the names and faces of those making the magic happen. I think stunt people should be as famous and anyone else making movies. Outtakes at the end of every Action Movie would be awesome as well. It's way past time we #StandUpForStunts. Awards are great and "The Academy" should stop excluding Stunts, but take it a step further and use the credits to give the stunt crew long-overdue recognition. Like with the John Wick movies, we want to see them because of who is making them: 87eleven. It would be a draw, not a drawback, knowing which stunt people are involved. The Action's what we're there to see anyway . . .
What a way to kick off the new year! This film by @Kain424 of AllOuttaBubbleGum's Kain's Quest series, looks at the origins of female powerhouse Action Stars Cynthia Rothrock and Michelle Yeoh (aka Michelle Khan) and Hong Kong Action Comedies starring women. It would be hard to find many movies with more Action Movie pedigree than this gem, directed by Corey Yuen, and produced by legend Sammo Kam-bo Hung and Dickson Poon.
Exciting news about Year 3 of the . . .
Here are the 2017 Honorees announced thus far . . . SOURCE: vimooz.com
Tom Cruise • ACTION REBEL AWARD
Andy Armstrong • STUNT REBEL AWARD
Tammie Baird • STUNT WARRIOR AWARD
Jennifer Caputo • STUNT LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD
Jessie Graff • WOMAN OF THE YEAR
Nichelle Nichols • ACTION REBEL AWARD
Richard Madden &
Idris Elba in The Take
Synopsis: "Michael Mason (Richard Madden) is an American pickpocket living in Paris who finds himself hunted by the CIA when he steals a bag that contains more than just a wallet. Sean Briar (Idris Elba), the field agent on the case, soon realizes that Michael is just a pawn in a much bigger game and is also his best asset to uncover a large-scale conspiracy."
I got to see this movie in the theatre, but it was gone in 6 days. That's a shame because it's a Good Action Movie (a NYT Critics' Pick), good enough that I wanted to see it again, and when I couldn't, I bought it on Amazon. It has lots of the Action Movie Essentials. I wanted to see it because Action Movies have been in short supply in 2016, and because it stars Idris Elba. What a surprise, then, that Michael Mason steals the show. The real focus of the film, is on Madden's character and then Elba enters the picture. Their dynamic is really enjoyable. In a way, it's a convoluted Heist Movie, but I'm putting it under the Buddy subgenre because, at the end it seems like there could be a part 2 where they team up and work together again. It reminded me of the ending of The Transporter Refueled with the father-son duo.
Jackie Chan gets an Oscar
At 62, Jackie Chan finally received an Oscar. No one has ever deserved one more! The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences saw fit to give him an Honorary Oscar "for lifetime achievements, exceptional contributions to motion picture arts and sciences, and outstanding service to the academy." When I heard he was to receive one, I was disappointed it wasn't at the main event. Instead, it was presented at the 8th Annual Governors Awards ceremony. In his presentation, Tom Hanks stood up for stunts:
The fact that Chan's award is honorary makes it all the more deserved. He was truly thrilled to get it, and is the first Chinese person to receive one. Hanks also said "Great acting comes in many different forms, but if you are an actor, you always know it when you see it."
Tonight was an historic match up on the WWE with the first "Hell in a Cell" fight between two women: Sasha Banks vs. Charlotte held at sold-out TD Garden in Boston, Mass. In an Interview by CBS News for the event, Charlotte said:
"The women are taking over:
A little background on "Hell in a Cell" from Wikipedia: "Hell in a Cell is a professional wrestling event produced annually by World Wrestling Entertainment, Inc., aka 'The WWE', a Connecticut-based, professional wrestling promotion and live broadcast available only on pay-per-view (PPV) or a wwe.com/network subscription. The event was established in 2009, replacing WWE No Mercy in the early October slot of WWE's pay-per-view calendar. In 2012, WWE announced that Hell in a Cell would be moving to late October. Competitors fight inside a 20-foot-high roofed cell structure surrounding the ring and ringside area. Since its origin, the event has been held only in indoor arenas in the United States."
Once considered 'too barbaric' for women, this match up is historic not only as the first women’s Hell in a Cell match, but also, the first women’s match to main event a WWE pay-per-view event.
Dubbed "A new era in WWE, where women can accomplish anything" by none other than Mick Foley in the very empowering intro to the match up. The stage was set for something special.
In an entrance befitting a champion (the daughter of Ric Flair), Charlotte was carried in on a litter by four men.
Not to be outdone, Sasha's entrance also featured 4 men, riding the running board before her Cadillac Escalade stopped, and she appeared . . .
Announced by a female announcer, the crowd favorite was clearly hometown girl Sasha Banks (from Boston). As the cage was lowered, it must have seemed to the women like the impossible was finally real. The MAIN EVENT! Would it measure up?
Before the cage was fully lowered, or the bell even rang, Charlotte blindsided Sasha and a brawl began. Charlotte yelled "Boston, this is Flair country!" amid boos. Going for the crazy right away, both women started climbing the outside of the cage, but it was just a little 'for show'. Then Charlotte slammed Sasha onto the announcing table and she seemed to be out for the count. So much staggering and crying, then almost being carried out on a stretcher. Such a disappointment . . . then, MAGICALLY, as happens in the WWE, She can "barely stand' but it's ON! LOL Sasha gets into the ring.
The bell finally rings and suddenly Charlotte is a coward. Oh, the drama! I was just hoping for some aerobatic insanity . . . The bell had only just rang and there was already crying and the women seemed wiped out?! They better do more than this. I began to wonder how long the match would be. And then out came the chair . . . and they began to throw down. You know it's fake, but you can't fake being thrown into a chain link fence. Still, entertaining. I had hoped they would use the cage in some cool, new way, but after a slow start, it was just wrestling as usual . . . until . . .
Charlotte reached under the skirt and bought out a table. Oh yeah! The girls were doing Hell in a Cell, right. This must have taken a lot of practice. Another table, more smacking with a chair, a little grandstanding by Charlotte, some crying by Sasha, then a little bitch slapping, wedgies, and finally, a little aerobatic wrestling at the end. And the champion is . . . (the much larger) Charlotte! No surprise. Her undefeated streak continues.
Thankfully that old Divas pink butterfly belt was retired.
What's next? . . . Rumors of an ALL-WOMEN'S TOURNAMENT!
Happy Wonder Woman Day!
Today, October 20, 2016 is "Wonder Woman Day".
The United Nations is holding a ceremony (with rumored special guest Lynda Carter) appointing Wonder Woman as an Honorary Ambassador for "the Empowerment of Women and Girls" 75 years after she was created. Wonder Woman is the original, best-known, and most well liked comic book heroine, and in a world short of heroic images for girls, seems a great choice, despite the fact that she's fictitious . . . or, that just may be the crux of why she is the best choice. However, this appointment is not without protestors.
According to The New York Times, a petition with 600 signatures was gathered and states: "'a large-breasted white woman of impossible proportions, scantily clad in a shimmery, thigh-baring body suit with an American flag motif and knee-high boots' is not an appropriate spokeswoman for gender equity at the United Nations."
The article goes on to say "Women’s advocates inside and outside the United Nations say the selection of Wonder Woman is particularly ill timed because the United Nations this month rejected seven female candidates for Secretary General."
Talking the talk but not walking the walk . . .
The petition complains: “The message the United Nations is sending to the world with this appointment is extremely disappointing. The bottom line appears to be that the United Nations was unable to find a real-life woman that would be able to champion the rights of ALL women on the issue of gender equality and the fight for their empowerment. The United Nations has decided that Wonder Woman is the role model that women and girls all around the world should look up to.” I think it's more disappointing
Unable to find a real-life woman! That is SUCH a huge sign that we need a Super Hero as a role model. And not just one, lots of them. I immediately thought of Malala Yousafzi, however, Wonder Woman being fictitious is the perfect choice because, as inspiring as Malala is, it's also depressing and frightening what happened to her. Wonder Woman is invincible. What she wears, in this case, in not as important as the fact that she's someone with super powers to look up to. We can work on the appropriateness of wardrobe as a side issue that protests to this appointment is shedding light on, but, in the meantime, I'm thrilled.
Trailer 2 shows too much
The first Rogue One trailer was enough. The second gives the whole movie away (or so it seems). I am going to try to forget what I've seen between now and December 16th. I wish I hadn't watched it. The first trailer made it seem so much more exciting.
John Wick: Chapter 2
Action Movies go classy!
Action Movies have never looked so classy. The original John Wick movie was really something, but the look of this movie is beyond anything we've seen before. Makes me want a purple suit real bad LOL. Looks like the wild wild West in a club.
From their press kit: Parkour Legend
David Belle is back a bang with a new, hard-hitting,
gritty, 10-episode fight series called
Brutal, A Taste of Violence. "Axel Chen" (Belle),
ex-special-forces officer, is a bouncer in a nightclub. When he
is brutally attacked by a group of customers, and wrongfully
accused of killing one of his aggressors, a wild escape begins,
taking him all the way to Bangkok, where he will have to fight
to prove his innocence and manage to make a living.
Action Short “Blowback”
has a nice kick!
Check it out. The love of Action Movies comes through in every scene of this 17 (13.5) minute Action Movie short. It's great fun and the action is well done. This 2013 student film out of USC was just released on YouTube.
Described as "An old-school-style action movie eschewing CG effects for the practical, it features veteran stuntman Steve Lambert and stars Sport Karate Hall of Famer, stuntman, [and high kicker] Jessen Noviello." (pictured at right)
"All of [the] action was performed by the actors." THAT is something I would like to see lots more of: Give more stuntmen roles as actors.
They also said "It was also very important [to them] that [they] had female characters that were just as strong as the male characters, both emotionally and physically, as strong female characters seem to be rather rare in movies today." Hats off to that.
Only one of the female characters is physically strong, and a total bitch, the other is nice, but a victim. The good girl/bad girl contrast is entertaining. Alexandra Bromstad, as the bad girl in the more physical role, is impressive in her aggression. I would love to see the two leads (Jessen and Alexandra) in something else together. The kind of look like brother and sister. They could both be big Action stars.
The script packs a lot into the 13 minute and 30 second run time. Writer Aaron Thomas does a great job of keeping the action going. Love the cursing and the scene cuts. Love, too, that it ends in a cheesy one liner—an Action Movie Essential. The villain, played by Scott Vance, dies well! The fight choreographer has those great slow-motion moments when the hero shows off his skills as a Bad Ass. There are many Action Movie essentials packed into this movie—It's almost like they said, What would they want to see? Put that in! And it works.
Blowback on IMDb
Storyline "Alex Mason is one of the world's best secret agents. He's also never been very good with women. His controlling and conniving girlfriend, Monica, is the best he's been able to do. While on a mission to stop an arms dealer, she accuses him (incorrectly) of infidelity for the last time, and he breaks up with her. As she exacts her revenge, Monica discovers Alex's true occupation as a spy and decides the best payback is to blow his cover to the arms dealer who is now looking for him. Espionage is a bitch."
Action Short “Miss Nobody”
set to attack Vimeo On Demand 9/12/16
Where do great Action Movies come from? Talent like this. As I've said before, one of my favorite things about having this website is when people send me Action Movies to watch. This particular film, "Miss Nobody", features a heroine—and a Bad Ass at that. She's got nothing to lose and is hell bent on revenge. It's a short film but it's not short on Action.
What I like most about it is the realism and the intensity. There is a great synopsis and a trailer, but since it's only "an intense 14 minutes of awesomeness" just skip those for fullest enjoyment. You can watch it on Vimeo On Demand, starting at 3:00 AM ET on September 12th . . . You could rent it for only 99¢, but please show your support and buy to own for $1.99, and, if you like it, tell a friend.
Featured on "Ain't It Cool News" Saturday Shorts, "Miss Nobody" also screened at the Action on Film International Film Festival on 9/3. Wine Girl Productions and Up In a Tree Productions teamed to release the film, and they are currently seeking funding for a feature film version.
Special thanks to Writer/Director Adam Hodge for reaching out to me via the Artemis Women in Action Film Festival site. #WomenKickAss
Johnny Strong slays in Daylight's End
Have you seen Daylight's End yet? What are you waiting for! Directed by William Kaufman (Sinners and Saints), this movie is an intense Action/Fantasy/Horror ride featuring Johnny Strong, Lance Henriksen, Louis Mandylor, and even writer Chad Law. "The Alpha" (the main villain) is played by Krzysztof Soszynski. It's been a while since I found 'just a man' that scary. He makes you want to run out of the theatre to safety. Johnny Strong is, as you would expect, a total Bad Ass. The movie makes you want to know more. Like with The Walking Dead and The Road Warrior, you want to follow them along to wherever they are going . . . In the end, you care about Strong's character Thomas Rourke—I couldn't help but think that his subsequent encounters with various groups of survivors would have make great a great TV series like the Granddaddy of them all "The Fugitive". And, oh yeah, it's an Action Movie!
To promote the film, writer Chad Law and stunt performer Mike "Lobo" Daniel recently made an appearance at O Cinema Wynwood. They were lots of fun, and graciously answered questions after the film. It was presented as the Action Movie feature in the Popcorn Frights Film Festival. The showing was well attended and the film well received. If you were in the audience, photos (like the one, below) are here on Facebook.
(L to R: Popcorn Frights Co-Founder/Director Igor Shteyrenberg, Chad, Lobo, and Co-Founder/Director Marc Ferman)
Jessie Graff makes history on AMERICAN NINJA WARRIOR!
"This woman redefining strong!" Yes, she is. So proud of stuntwoman, super woman, Jessie Graff! I will post the video of the run as soon as I can find one online . . . It's here on American Ninja Warrior Nation's Facebook page
Writer Chad Law will be there . . .
How can you not go see this movie!? Although it didn't have the Trash Talking laughs of Deadpool—IMDb has it labeled "Action, Adventure (not), Comedy (not), Crime (not really), Sci-Fi (no), Thriller, I'd say it's Action Fantasy Thriller—I really don't think it should be compared to Deadpool. Suicide Squad is it's own thing, and that thing kills!
THE ULTIMATE KILLING SQUAD . . . for kids age 13 up
ULTIMATE EVIL POWER COUPLE
"What I do is not up to you." It doesn't get any more feminist than that—BOOMshakalaka! The trailer for Wonder Womann gave me goose bumps at the image of these Amazon warriors riding into battle:
And at the sight of the golden Lasso of Truth!
I am SO GLAD that Gal Gadot pulls off this warrior Amazon bad ass look! She may be thinner than I hoped but she/her stunt doubles makes it look believable. Love the slow motion action. They are definitely selling Wonder Woman's ability to fight. The fluidity of movement, the choreography—in all Wonder Woman's scenes, but also the fantastic over-the-rock-two-arrow attack of General Antiope.
The 2nd Unit Director is Damon Caro: Stuntman/Actor/Fight Choreographer, who was the Fight Choreographer/ Stunt Coordinator on Sucker Punch, Never Back Down, 300, and was the Fight Choreographer/Utility Stunts on Mr. & Mrs. Smith, plus he worked on the Bourne movies, Live Free or Die Hard, an too many more to name, including stunts on Battleship.
The movie is directed by a woman (as it should be): Patty Jenkins.
I can't wait. I take back what I said here about the cast being too thin. It occurs to me that while a bigger, stronger version will be kick ass to see on screen, a thinner version can give hope to more women. Just to see someone of Gal Gadot's proportions go through the motions so convincingly is inspiring. I still want to see 'big girls' kick ass onscreen but in this case, considering how iconic and important Wonder Woman is, having her be that strong might make fighting back seem unattainable. In other words, if a skinny girl can kick ass, any girl can FIGHT BACK!
Making Wonder Woman/Gal Gadot look so fierce are a host of stuntwomen. Only fitting since Wonder Woman is skilled at so many things.
xXx: Return of Xander Cage
xXx: Return of Xander Cage
"Skills and Attitude." Vin Diesel can definitely make this work! So much violence (#goodthing) with a playful attitude. Xander's Excellent Adventure. Yeah, I'll pay to see this. I hope more than once. Under Siege came to mind. #adifferentkindofsoldier Only took them 15 years to get to a sequel. We waited patiently but I'm glad it's finally here. Vin is a force all his own and I don't think many actors outside of Wrestling could pull this off (that's a compliment—I love Wrestling). With Donnie Yen and Tony Jaa on board, it can't fail for Action Movie Freaks! And he wears fur again . . . LOL Love a man in fur! Will he growl in this movie? Yeah, I'm objectifying him (with love). Payback's a bitch.
GHOSTBUSTERS! I ain't afraid
of no girls . . .
It's great fun. You have to see it. Kudos to Writer/Director Paul Feig (shown above with the four girls). After all the fuss about it being an all-girl version, I was really hoping it could shut the naysayers up . . . and it can! From the very start with the scary music, it gives you that great, fun, Ghostbusters feeling. The four main characters are each funny in their own way, although "Holtzman" was my favorite. You know a movie's good when you want to dress up like them for Halloween.
All through the movie, they bring back original cast members: Sigourney Weaver, Ernie Hudson, Dan Aykroyd, Bill Murray, Annie Potts, (Ivan Reitman produced) but, sadly, not Harold Ramis (who passed away in 2014). Steve Higgins looks a lot like him though. There were some celebrities as well. I'd like to see it again to see if I can spot Kevin James.
The scriptwriting credits go to Katie Dippold who also wrote The Heat (all by herself—also directed by Paul Feig), which I loved. There were a lot of funny one-liners, like . . .
"It's 2040—our President's a plant."
. . . but my favorite was
"You just got Holtzman'd, baby!"
The audience was loving it when the original cast members delivered lines from the first movie.
The ghosts and all the ghost-fighting apparatus were very cool. I hope they win awards. There's so much detail. I just loved the sets. I would live there!
A sure sign an audience enjoyed the movie is if they don't want to leave. The movie kept going mixed with the end credits and even those were fun. The outtakes are gonna be hilarious! Gotta see it again. It's so empowering for girls. Yes, we can bust ghosts, and anything else we want to do. I would love to see more all-girl versions of movies. I'd love to see Scarface with a gender reversal. Call me crazy. I know a good thing when I see it and an all-girl Ghostbusters is a good thing! Go have some fun with Melissa McCarthy, Kate McKinnon, Kristen Wiig, Leslie Jones, and the 'handsomeness in glasses', Chris Hemsworth.
Will it kill, or be killed, at the
Are you a big fan of Suicide Squad? Did you read any of the comic book series? Are you a betting man? I say it will kill at the box office. And you can, literally, bet on it . . .
The hot topic at work today was whether or not Suicide Squad
would do as well as Deadpool in box office sales.
Generally, Action Movie Freaks don't really care about box
office success as a measure for how good a movie is, nor do we
give a damn if critics pan it (they usually do). We know what we
like and we're man enough to not care what you think, so why
should box office success matter to us?
He listed the ten movies in descending order by how much they thought they would make:
And here is what he said about Suicide Squad:
wondered, what did other websites have to say about
Deadpool's success, and when did they say it?
Collider.com's (and wow! check out their new full-screen-video-intro look) April 25th article used the word "massive": "Tim Miller on ‘Deadpool’s Massive Success: “Nobody Saw This. No One Planned This." and reported it at $760 Million worldwide. They quote Tim Miller as saying "$250 million would have been amazing. I had no idea. This is ridiculous. Who would have?"
now, maybe me or you . . .
I think Suicide Squad could take the Action Movie Bad Ass to a new level. You know, the Bad Guy as Hero is a long-standing Action Movie tradition. (Loving this cool poster of Diablo! more charcter posters here) And all Suicide Squad really needs to beat Deadpool is just as much Trash Talking. Bring on the cheesey one-liners—Don't tell me that's not the reason Deadpool was so damn popular. Well, that and incredible action. Now I can put my money where my mouth is. I'm not telling anyone to gamble, but if you like to, now you can get odds on your next favorite flick.
Dive into the
Mechanic: Resurrection Trailer
I couldn't help but wonder if Jason Statham did that dive . . . since he used to be a diver. The cinematorgraphy/look of it, the scale is beautiful; the action, vicious; and well, Statham. He is as big and as 'proper' a true, full-blown Action Figure as either Schwarzenegger or Stallone. I loved the whole tailored/professional nature of the characters he plays.
Watch Over Me Released Online
Writer/Director Simon Pearce (and Editor/Producer: mulit-talented!) shared a short Action Movie he's just released online. Filmed on location in Bristol, "Watch Over Me follows a mysterious drifter who is offered one last chance at redemption when he crosses paths with a local woman haunted by her own dark past."
Released in November of 2014, the film won awards for Best Short Film and Best Action Short, and scored several other nominations for the action sequences and fight choreography. The movie stars Oliver Park in a compelling performance where he takes a beating but gives several as well—The Action is first rate. Kudos to everyone, especially the Stunt Coordinator Joe Golby, and to Adrian Bouchet as the lumbering-but-lethal foe "Dominic." It plays like an episode of the classic TV Series "The Fugitive" as we pick up somewhere and leave somewhere not knowing all the answers, but wanting to follow the Hero to find out more.
Connecting the Dots to Rose McGowan's Redemption . .
Okay, so people can change. After Rose McGowan publicly objected to the image of a MUCH-stronger-looking man choking a woman in this promotional billboard of X-Men: Apocalypse, they decided to take it down. Yay, Rose! Using your celebrity for good for all women!
Hallelujah! Now can she, and we, connect some dots?
Rose McGowan once appeared in public, like this . . . If she realizes that images of violence against women can be harmful, has she also come to realize that reducing herself to a sexual object is equally (if not more) harmful? I don't know her, so I can only hope. [I thought about covering her up and not posting the photo as is, but if she was comfortable enough to walk around like that and be photographed for all eternity, why should I lessen the impact of the severity of the dress?]
All this shit has to end, people. If women were safe in the world, and if men were doing the same thing, it would be different, but NEITHER of those things is the case. Women are not safe. WAKE UP WOMEN! Stop dressing this way. The argument is not that you should be able to dress however you want, it's that how you dress sends a message that has bad consequences other women can ill afford. You stand there defiant and safe, meanwhile, it's sending the message that being sexually desirable is more important to you than clothes or dignity or modesty or self respect, and other less fortunate, defenseless woman pay the price. You create lust but you are not the one satisfying it. Or, as I like to say, if you're not fishing, don't bait your hook.
Now, connect the dots further to the Mystique costume . . .
That X-Men Apocalypse promotional billboard image was, frankly, shocking to me as well, but I had been shocked and outraged long before this (August 31, 2014 on Female Superhero Costumes). After the trailer for X-Men: Days of Future Past (released 23 May 2014) showing Jennifer Lawrence being dragged down the street basically 'naked', I had had enough, so I decided I didn't want to go to any more X-Men movies. I have since watched a clip of just her fight scene with the character doing a bunch of acrobatic open leg-split/helicoptering-style fighting, and it's, in a word, tacky.
I can't say exactly why Jennifer Lawrence is so much 'worse' in the costume than Rebecca Romaijn. Maybe I'm just fed up. Maybe it's just so much bouncing boobs at different angles, maybe the costume was made to reveal more—like nipples so clear in the shot below, but between all the up shots of boobs, crotch shots while she fights and falls down, and the fact that the comic book does not have her naked like this all the time, as a woman, I just found it all so unnecessary, and just in very poor taste.
Connect these dots, Hollywood: I'm not paying to see this . . .
P.S. And to Rose McGowan, if you read this, please tell me you'll never dress like that again and that you now see what it means: firstname.lastname@example.org.
I got discouraged when Wonder Woman (2017) lost its first female director. I had been so excited, I had even started an issue of PAYBACK featuring Michelle MacLaren on the cover.
After she was let go, I thought they would let a man do it after all, but then in April 2015, the project gained
Patty Jenkins as Director—here VARIETY compares the two—and I was relieved. Not only should this most iconic female Superhero action movie be directed by a woman, but it really should also have been written by a woman. Reading writer Jason Fuchs' bio on IMDb reveals nothing that makes him specially qualified to script this most important milestone in women's Action Movies. He's really more all about acting. So, why wasn't the writing opportunity given to a woman? (I want to add: #srsly? and: for fuck's sake!)
There can be NO good reasonn the job of writing the script didn't go to a woman. Makes me wonder if there weren't already scripts out there. [Yes, I am aware Wonder Woman was created by a man (William Moulton Marston), but it was his wife's idea (Elizabeth Holloway Marston), and she is credited with being the "mother" of Wonder Woman.
Anyhow, when they cast the WAY-too-skinny Gal Gadot, I hoped somehow she would be able to fulfill the role (translation: gain 50 pounds of muscle, other actors have done it). When that didn't happen, I hoped she would be replaced before the feature. I've already spoken out against Gal Gadot in the role in ";Wonder Woman is a twig!" And I am even more unhappy after Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. She looked so weak (really skinny legs), and when she fell down there was a crotch shot. A CROTCH SHOT. REALLY?!?! "Oh come on!" Have a little respect.
Gal Gadot is just not believable. Look how the men look and then look at her. She's a Barbie.
Now look at Wonder Woman in these comic versions:
Below is Gal Gadot in a cast teaser photo for the feature. She doesn't even have any thigh muscles. These women look scrawny: all of them! These are not SUPERHEROES—WTH?! From the left, Lisa Loven Kongsli is "Melannippe", Connie Nielsen is "Queen Hippolyta" (WW's mother), and Robin Wright is General Antiope (at least her thighs look slightly bigger), but look at their scrawny arms too.
WHY?!?! . . . On the bright side, it will be easy to tell when the stunt doubles (real life wonder women) take over..
I hate this image so much. HOW MANY YEARS WOMAN'VE WAITED, hoping to FINALLY see Wonder Woman on the big screen,only to get more of this male-fantasy body-image cop out. What message does this send young girls? "I can only PRETEND to do these things. I can't be strong or that will be unattractive." That sucks. When the REAL message should be I CAN DO ANYTHING the men can do #yeswecan. What a wasted chance to send a so-much-better body image message. Think how incredible it could have been—how it will someday be—when a woman seems a physical equal to a man. This Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot) just looks like a poser, and it's just a story, so really who cares? Sadly this movie's not going to make great strides for women and their self image, nor for empowerment.
We wanted a SUPERHERO, instead we're getting another "don't be fat" message. It's time for us to move Wonder Woman from the jiggly male fantasy heroine, to a real role model for strength, and one who is appropriately attired for battle, not a nearly-naked one like this . . .
William Marston himself wrote: "Women's strong qualities have become despised because of their weakness. The obvious remedy is to create a feminine character with ALL THE STRENGTH of Superman . . . (and he went on to say "plus all the allure of a good and beautiful woman" but blah-blah-blah as lip service to the era #onestepforwardtwostepsback).
And therein lies the crux of the problem. The allure of a beautiful woman. In my opinion, Hollywood thinks men don't want to see a 'big girl'. What they don't realize is: WOMEN do. Strength is alluring. It really should be BY WOMEN, and FOR WOMEN. I want to see that movie. With Gina Carano or someone equally strong. Arms this big (shotputter) and legs at least this big (don't tell me strong is not sexy):
Let me tell you, if she was even just a little beast-ish, a little Vasquez from Aliens, the audience cheering would be incredible. Nobody NOBODY cheered when Wonder Woman appeared in BvS. It should not be like that. She should have had a Big Dog Entrance, and our first image of her in costume should not have been a black and white photo. She was no big deal. It came off as them letting her be in their movie. Don't even start me on the ridiculous outfits she wore when she was Diana Prince (all 3 open from neck to waist). The 'business' suit was absurd. Maybe we can FINALLY get past the idea that we have to look 'hot' while doing everything. Grrrrrr!
A lot of money will be spent, and that's great—To give a woman director the reigns of a big budget Action Movie, but I have a feeling the role/story will be too much Drama and not enough being a Bad Ass (sigh). This movie will fail is my prediction. Which is a shame, because then men will use it as an excuse not to make more female superhero movies. (It's TOTAL BULLSHIT we have to wait for a Black Widow movie.) Why can't they see women don't want another supermodel image, they want a real-life superhero (we want/need our "Arnold").
Maybe She Hulk will have to do the job . . . Imagine a whole movie with all super strong women! It will happen.
Captain America Marathon 5/5
Couldn't miss the chance to see all these great movies again. 14 action-packed hours. It was EVERYTHING I hoped it would be :-)
Hardcore Henry raises the bar on filmmaking
You'll say "Oh my God, I can't believe they did that!" at least twice . . . and wonder "How did they do that?" even more. Here's a great article (from The NY Times) about the craziness of filming "Hardcore Henry".
So many gnarly kills! The movie's a tour de force, literally, and a little hard to keep up with, everything moves so fast at times. It was definitely amazingly creative. I found myself wishing they had invested us in the character's dilemma, and we had no idea about the villain and/or savior until the end. I wish we could have rooted for Henry's revenge. The almost continuous action was incredible but I found the plot confusing. At the end it seemed like Henry was Jimmy because when he passed out his reflection looked like Sharlto Copley, so Henry = just another version of Jimmy? It's not even mentioned in this voluminous plot descriptionn from Wikipedia. Just try to follow this if you didn't watch it:
[ So much boob-age! Some of the nicest boobs since Elena Eleniak in Under Siege. If I was a boy I would probably have loved it, as a girl I really didn't give a damn, and it didn't bother me.) I found this version of Jimmy hilarious! ]
In the end, I found it gimmicky but only because the plot was thin and the Action was so outta hand. I would love to watch it a couple more times in the theater. It's a big-screen Action Movie to be sure!
Last night I watched Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation and this morning, half awake, I posted Star Wars: Rogue Nation (embarrassing! LOL). Fixed now, and WOW the trailer looks so cool! Thanks to JoBlo Movie Trailers for posting it so early..
I know, right? So excited we can hardly stand it! I am wearing a "Star Wars Trilogy special edition" button I begged off an usher out of sheer joy after seeing this teaser. Can't wait for the trailer, and yes, I'm going to watch. #icanthelpit. We all want to be back in that world so badly. Going to keep checking YouTube when I can and will be so thrilled to post the trailer tonight.
Captain America Movie Marathon
Batman v Superman:
Yawn of Justice
It could have been so much shorter! I'm a big DC fan, a Superman over Batman fan, a woman who has been waiting since Linda Carter on TV to see Wonder Woman on the big screen, and a huge childhood fan of Aquaman (comics and the animated TV show), and I was bored. Plus (without mentioning any spoilers) it was a downer. Action Movies should not be a downer, they should pump you up!
Even though I'm a woman, we female Action Movie freaks often relate to the male heroes (not to the weak supporting female characters/victims as Hollywood seems to think we do), but even with two strong characters like Batman and Superman, I couldn't help but notice there was just too much crying, too much emotion. So, at the start, when Lois Lane says "I'm not a lady, I'm a journalist" I thought Hooray! but then she wore really high heels (while trying to run here and there), and they had her naked in the tub (WHY!?). Even worse, the "Superheroes" whined and blubbered. There's no crying in Action Movies, and there shouldn't be any high heels!
And while it's great that Wonder Woman shows up to fight with the 'big boys', she's a woman but she's not a Bad Ass. Gal Gadot is not big enough for the role. We've had the supermodel thin version already. We are ready for, overdue for, wishing for, the truly physically strong female. Her skinny legs are so disappointing. Even Amy Adams' Lois Lane looks stronger.
DARK KNIGHTS AND DARK DAYS
The film has nice message about loving your mommy, and blah blah blah. A few of us die-hard DC fans sat and waited until after all the credits, hoping for a teaser for the next film, and got nothing. As we ambled out amid disappointed mumbling, someone piped upp "This isn't Marvel." That sums it up. Dark days ahead.
You have a few hours left to show what a Kick Ass Woman you are and support the Artemis Film Festival. They ask that you take a selfie with a sign that says "I Contributed". Every dollar helps, so please give if you can. They are honoring some very inspiring role models, like Stunt Women extraordinaire Zoë Belll and Heidi Moneymaker.
Happy St. Valentine's Day
Deadpool starss Ryan Reynolds. He owns the role so completely, it's hard to imagine anyone else could. From the pre-mutant, wise-cracking, love sick puppy, to the hell-bent-on-revenge, relentless smart ass, the action is as fast as the one liners. The movie is wildly entertaining with so many how-did-they-do-that scenes that I found my self shaking my head in wonder.
The very funny and creative opening credits, part of a really long, surprising, and painful action sequence, are the best thing I've seen in a while. They really set the tone for the whole movie. Critics—who don't get what makes an Action Movie, an action movie—complain about even one "cheesy one liner", this movie proves that we enjoy the HELL out of them, and can't get enough. I laughed all the way through.
Criminal: Old School Actors/Old
Criminal stars Kevin Coster, Tommy Lee Jones, and Gary Oldham, plus Ryan Reynolds and Gal Gadot—all great dramatic actors who have done some really great roles in memorable Action Movies.
Coster couldn't have been better in 3 Days to Kill, and with this cast, it's a no fail movie. Add Tom Struthers as 2nd Unit Director (what an incredible list of movies to his credit! He's 2nd Unit Director/Stunt Coordinator on the upcoming Warcraft, was Stunt Coordinator on Redemption, The Dark Knight Rises, John Carter, X-Men First Class, Season of the Witch, Inception, Terminator Salvation, The Dark Knight, and more . . . ) and I think it's going to pack a wallop with old-school Action scenes. Frankly, I'm a little tired of Superhero Movies, bring on real tough guys (at any age).
The script is interesting. The writers are: Douglas Cook (aka Douglas S. Cook, he passed away at just 56 in 2015) and David Weisberg (together they wrote the screen play for The Rock with Mark Rosner—say no more), and Synopsis: The memories & skills of a deceased CIA agent are implanted into an unpredictable and dangerous convict. A man who "was "in out of prison more than half his life, [a man who]'s got no impulse or control, [is] unable to calculate the consequence of his actions, [and] has a total lack of empathy for anybody or anything. [A man who] feels nothing." How interesting to awaken such a violent man to morality and empathy. It's such a natural next movie (story wise) after 3 Days to Kill. At the heart of what makes an Action Movie, an Action Movie is a hero who's on the right side—an Action Movie Essential. If you didn't see 3 Days to Kill, I suggest you watch.
Look for it in theaters on April 15, 2016 . . .
13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi When Grown Men Cry*Michael Bay and Benghazi: What a story, what a movie!
John Krasinski—suchh screen presence—at some point he eclipses everyone. That's a good thing, after all, he is the lead character, yet every actor's performance is really good. Even with as little as we know of the characters, we get really attached in a very short time. This "true story" is so compelling that even though there were many entertaining moments of Camaraderie and Dominance, and in-your-face love of America, you can't help but feel the movie's condemnation of those in command in the military/government who sat and watched and did practically nothing. (*One of the few time I've not hated it—considering the true story.)
Here are three of the six real-life heroes, and an interview that drives the truth home:
Shadow Warriors Project—a worthy cause to support.
After such tremendous bravery, what do these heroes get? From their site: Shadow Warriors Project (SWP) is a foundation dedicated to the support of private military security contractors, conducting paramilitary security operations in some of the world's most dangerous areas. It is the only charity of its kind. Although the private security contractor has served in the military he is considered a civilian and does not receive the same support offered to injured active military or veterans. SWP serves the private contractor by offering financial support through heartfelt donations. By easing the load of these injured warriors it allows them to focus on healing, as an individual as well as the family unit.
The individuals receiving support from the SWP are special operatives that were hired either through the CIA or via private security companies. These people are in need of assistance because there is no post-engagement support for them on their return to the U.S. like there is for military veterans. These operatives may have been killed or wounded, and SWP's goal is to serve as a support system to them and/or their family. The individual financial assistance will be for medical bills, PTSD treatment, and other family therapies. We also want to provide education to the public about who these warriors are, and support events that bring the Shadow Warriors and their family members together for events and fundraisers.
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ARTEMIS Women in Action FILM FESTIVAL
December 10 - 13
December 14 - 17
Artemis Year 3: April 20-23, 2017