action movie freak    

 
2011 entries . . .

Dec 31 Words to Live (or Die) by . . .

"Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure. Life is either a daring adventure or nothing."
-Helen Keller 



Dec 29 ALIEN Trailer PROMETHEUS Style

Great job Joel Walden heresjohnny1991!  What we all have been waiting 33 years and 13 days to see.  This ties them together better than I imagined! 

The
FAQ on Prometheus on IMDB, although slightly contradictory, answers the "prequel" questions well.  And this is exactly what I wanted to hear: "it will likely answer some questions about the origin of the Derelict spacecraft and the fossilized creature whose remains were found inside it (informally known as the 'Space Jockey')". There's more there but I don't want to spoil it for you . . .
 

 


Dec 22 PROMETHEUS Trailer

Prepare to be blown away by this new PROMETHEUS Trailer.  Not since 2001: A Space Odyssey has something looked so incredibly different and ground-breakingly cool in every way.  Love the entirely foreign look of the space mission and planet surface, the vehicles and spacesuits, but especially the helmets. Reminds me of the "Skinnies" in Roughnecks: The Starship Troopers Chronicles. Please turn the lights out and watch it in 1080 with full screen!

 

 


Dec 21 Actionfest 2012 announced for April 12-15
and honors
Mickey Gilbert!

Legendary Stuntman Mickey Gilbert has 116 titles to his credit.  He also has family in stunt work (as is common in the business). Lance, Troy, and Tim Gilbert are listed as members of Stunts Unlimited. Sons?

He doubled Robert Redford and worked on so many of our favorites as either Stunt Coordinator or Stuntman:

Bruce Almighty, Liar Liar, A Time to Kill, The Nutty Professor, Apollo 13, City Slickers I and II, Striking Distance,  The Last of the Mohicans, Freejack, Barton Fink, Above the Law,  Little Nikita, The Fall Guy (TV series), Fast Times at Ridgemont High, Stir Crazy, Brubaker, The Blues Brothers, The Concorde... Airport '79, Buck Rogers in the 25th Century, Every Which Way But Loose, Hooper, Silver Streak, Rooster Cogburn, The Wind and the Lion, The Towering Inferno, Earthquake, Blazing Saddles, The Sting, Westworld, Cleopatra Jones, Little Big Man, Beneath the Planet of the Apes, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid,  The Wild Bunch, and Ben-Hur.

This is exciting news for Actionfest 2012 and is sure to bring even more stuntmen to the Festival and ramp up the fun. Stuntmen have such camaraderie!

There was other big Actionfest news besides the dates and the Honoree:

1st ANNUAL 'Chick' Norris Award TO BE GIVEN AT ACTIONFEST 2012:  THIS IS BIG NEWS!  BIG!!

This year will mark the first annual 'Chick' Norris Award, "to be given to a woman working in film today who best represents the spirit, attitude, athleticism and grit of Hollywood legend Chuck Norris" (quote from Mountain Xpress) . . . (Sound of angels singing :D Allelujah!) And I see light at the end of the tunnel! 

After I got upset last year over the showing of Machete Maidens Unleashed and wrote about it and said I wasn't going to go to Actionfest 2011, I then changed my mind and went.  It turned out at least two people actually read what I wrote (thank you both!) one of them being Martial Arts movie expert and author Ric Meyers (at left) who said that he agreed with me and explained he had recently written about the important difference between debasing a character and degrading a character in films) and who just said every right thing I could have wanted to hear!!  The other was Sanjay Rajput who gave me a hard time (good naturedly, and deservedly so). I apologized to Actionfest Festival Director, all-around nice guy, and film God Colin Geddes (below) and gave him an Action Figure Therapy t-shirt (the machine gun on peyote one) to try to make up for my excessive grousing. I told him when I decided to come to Actionfest, I just trusted that he would  give us a good festival (and it truly was!).

Maybe what I wrote helped toward them not showing more Grindhouse-type films in the "powder keg" (visible from the lobby) as they had planned.  I would like to think so (hope so).  One of the things I wrote was:

"
I want to see women fighting back in real life and to make that happen we need to see clothed, strong women fighting back in the movies."

This new award goes a long way toward seeing that happen.  I am thrilled! I also said:

"We need strong female role models, not pop tarts.  We ignore them as dumb 'playthings' just like you do."

I truly believe that until women fight back and stop dressing and acting like objects, they will not get equality.  This Award not only acknowledges the value of women who are powerful, it celebrates it and promotes it in the best possible way:  in the spirit of the 'gentlemanly' and hero-like conduct of Chuck Norris (something everyone should aspire to).

If you want to read what I wrote last year (I removed the last sentence which said something like "I don't think Mr. Norris would  approve") or find out as one Facebook fan (and friend) put it "What the fuck [I'm] babbling about" read my views on Sucker Punch.  [Which @GraceRandolph of Beyond The Trailer said she loved "so much" :) Many Thanks Grace!  Hope she comes to Actionfest 2012: April 12-15.  Best Money an Action Movie Freak can spend!


Dec 18  Ghost Protocol KNOCKS YOUR GLOVES OFF!

Tom Cruise with fans at Ghost Protocol red carpet

Tom Cruise was certainly aiming for a blockbuster with his worldwide promotional tour, exemplary social media campaign, and Christmas-time release date.  I thought the social media hit all the best notes (including the red carpet coverage—YES we want to see live red carpet coverage of every blockbuster), plus it included prizes (!), and was not intrusive or annoyingly overdone as some upcoming movies are. [ If Prometheus 2012 asks one more stupid survey question, I might forget I've waited 32 years for it and that it's Ridley Scott long enough to rag on them for it. LOL—No way. (Hunger Games is doing too much as well.)  Movie promoters would do well to remember that there is a point beyond saturation where you turn on a movie. Remember the saturation on these movies? "I need that money, Tom!"   "Give me back my son!"  LMAO ]

So, when I sat down to watch Ghost Protocol, I felt sure I would be dazzled, and since it's an impossible mission starring Tom Cruise, how could it lose? "An hour ago, a bomb blew The Kremlin" is no small intro. when combined with the dazzling CGI of the tower toppling.  Afterward, it seemed to me that they started with a story line, and then worked to add action sequences into it.  Not that there's anything wrong with that, if it delivers, and it did!

Mission: Impossible- Ghost Protocol Kremlin explosion

I don't want to spoil it for anyone so GO SEE IT!  Now that my crazy anticipation is through, I will pay to see it again.  When I think of the visual camouflage trick (can't say more)—that was INCREDIBLE!  Makes me think back to Terminator 3. Just twenty minutes into that movie I remember turning to a friend and high-fiving.  We had decided to tell each other when we thought the movie reached 'worth the price of admission'—It did that so fast we stared at each other in disbelief and began to count up from there. At the high-fiving twenty-minute mark we had doubled it to $20!  After that, we just sat back and enjoyed the ride.

ghost-protocol-walking-on-wall-stunt

And what a ride Ghost Protocol is!  I defy you to relax in your chair.  I have to see it again! Overall, Ghost Protocol knocks your gloves off for Action and visual effects.  It's bound to make tons of money. People will see it just for the Burj Khalifa in Dubai. Those who saw it early will be telling their friends to see it for the camouflage trick, the Kremlin explosion, the climbing the tower scene, the scene with Jeremy Renner, ALL the car scenes, the crazy ending sequence, and well, you get the idea.  Action, Action Action.   That Tom Cruise did wire work on the actual site is mind blowing. Simon Pegg is awesome too. I love the comedy element in Action Movies.

So why am I slightly disappointed? Was it just my ridiculous anticipation? How much anticipation is too much? Which came first the Action or the Story? As an "egg" person in the chicken or the egg question, I believe all movie greatness must come from a great script.  Great Action enhances an already great plot.  Without that satisfying symbiosis, it's only so much eye candy and leaves you feeling unsatisfied. Maybe Action Movie Freaks have too much anticipation for blockbusters, or maybe movie makers intentionally underestimate the intelligence of movie audiences when making one. 

I think they were counting on your attachment to and knowledge of Ethan Hunt from previous movies, but I found the wife element confusing (can't say what or it will spoil it). The ending didn't clear it up enough.  I guess he couldn't be trying to protect or save a girl again as he did in previous M:I damsel-in-distress scenarios. Also, the major plot point of the threat of a nuclear missile hitting a major city has been done; several times by James Bond, and San Francisco in The Rock.)  Of course Ethan would work to stop that, but something was missing.  Ethan wasn't interested in, or the love interest of, anyone because he's married. I guess I wanted there to be some romance in it.  He's Tom Cruise!  [ Didn't you want Stallone and the girl to get together in The Expendables?  Is a man really going to go to all that trouble then walk away? ] How could Ethan walk away?  What did I miss? Did they explain that? I don't see it here. Is it just because I'm a girl that I feel this way. <<SPOLIER ALERT>> He does kiss someone . . . but . . . Oh hell! I am nitpicking. Go see Ghost Protocol. It's so incredible, I am sure you will WANT to see it again. Tom  proves he's The Man sitting on Top of the World (barefoot—love that—knocked his own socks off!). That is scary high and he's so calm.

 

 


Dec 14 Expendables II teaser
The Expendables II teaser is out!

 


Dec 13 Men In Black III trailer


Moment of Zen at the end . . . LOVE IT!
 

Dec 12 G.I. Joes are in 'some real pretty shit'

The GI Joes are in some real pretty shit from GI Joe 2: Retaliation

It's here at last—The G.I. Joe 2: Retaliation trailer. Now we just have to wait until 6/29/12.
 


The leather costumes with face masks are so wicked looking. This preview is great, and has a cool surprise at the end!  The Rock, Byung-hun Lee (the "Bad" from The Good, The Bad, and The Weird) returns as "Storm Shadow", the weapons, the costumes, the vehicles, Channing Tatum's back as "Duke"—it's got it all PLUS a new kick-ass chick "Lady Jaye" (Adrianne Palicki). I sure hope she's as bad ass all the way through as she looks in this preview.

 G.I. Joe 2: Retaliation The Rock fires a BIG gun

"Get some!"  (above) . . .  and this photo (below) doesn't do the strut justice . . .


Dec 4 Playing around with the look of the site
 Sorry for the weird colors, spacing inconsistencies, etc.


Dec 1 GHOST PROTOCOL News

(humming theme music . . . )
Originally set to release on 12/14 but moved to 12/21, Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol will be in theaters on Friday, 12/16—all day long—beginning at 10:00 AM for those who can get the day off (it's not my birthday but close enough) to make the queue! It's looking like it will deliver (BAM! right in your IMAX eye) that old familiar James-Bond-once-yearly-Action-Injection we used to have to wait for.

Thank You, Mr. Mapother  :D for the birthday present.  All that and Josh Holloway too!!

Prometheus News
Other exciting birthday gifts  included the release of some
stills from Prometheus, and I loved the one of the egg scene.  Trying not to think about it too much but with Ridley Scott (have waited SO long for him to do another Alien movie) and that cast, it's got to be something really special. Visually, it's sure to impress (it's been 32 years since the first one) so all that remains is story.  No pressure, Damon Lindelof and Jon Spaiht. A trust not unlike what the writers on Predators must have felt.


 

James Embree News
At the bottom of the Prometheus cast list, IMDB lists James Embree (Jason Statham's stunt double) as "Mechanic 1", his first credited acting (movie) role! 

James Embree's got a amazing list of movies he's been a stunt performer in, including (to name a few of the 48 titles) (upcoming: The Expendables 2, The Dark Knight Rises, John Carter, Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows) Killer Elite, Captain America: The First Avenger, X-Men: First Class, The A-Team, Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time, Centurion, Sherlock Holmes, Valhalla Rising, Bronson, Quantum of Solace, The Dark Knight, In Bruges, 28 Weeks Later, and Eragon. All since 2006. What an exciting life he must lead!

I wonder if he will begin acting more?

Since the audience demanded Action Movies switch from the old James-Bond-type Action actors pre-Daniel Craig, to the new  Action-Figure-type actors, have the two merged? Certainly we don't want our Action Movie actors to get hurt, but we do want to see them doing their own stunts.  Just because stunt performers don't have a speaking role in the film doesn't mean they can't act. I am hoping/thinking this is here to stay. Maybe NOW Action Movie actors will get Oscars. Tom Cruise should be the first, he's been nominated 3 times, although not for Action movies. And WHY NOT for Action Movies?!

Nobody delivers the Action movie blockbuster like
Tom Cruise!

(James Embree portrait by James Eckersley)

Going a step further, all Action Movie Freaks want to be Action Figures. Will Action Figure actors/stuntmen transition us to virtual roles in interactive movies? Yes, please. Will these be at home, or in 4-D theaters . . . or both?


Nov 27 Tom Hardy

After watching the PBS Masterpiece Classics version of Wuthering Heights, I was impressed with the presence of Tom Hardy as "Heathcliff", so I looked him up. What a difference the color and length of his hair made! I would not have put that face with "Tommy Conlon" from Warrior or "Eames" from Inception, but that is to Tom Hardy's very great credit. His depiction of  "Charlie Bronson" (based on real-life story of Michael Peterson aka "Charles Bronson") in Bronson (2008), which IMDB called "a harrowing performance that is physically fearless and psychologically unsettling", however, is indelible. So often, actors (Action Movie actors especially) get cast or accept roles as the same type of character over and over.  In this case, it's not so much the range of Hardy's roles as the range of his talent that sets him apart.

collage of Tom Hardy roles

While the subtitle of Bronson could have been: Beating Up A Naked Guy, that is not meant to diminish the performance, which won him a British Independent Film Award for Best Actor.  The movie is categorized as Action, but it really has very little other than fighting/beatdowns, which are stylized, slo mo, and set to music chosen to jar, as in A Clockwork Orange. It is also narrated by Tom Hardy in a way that brings to mind the untamable "Alex DeLarge" played by Malcolm MacDowell. I would say the similarities end there (for the most part). The direction is very different. It reminded me a little of Guy Ritchie. Hardy also had a part in Guy Ritchie's Rocknrolla, which seemed so similar to Snatch and Lock, Stock, And Two Smoking Barrels, I felt like I had seen it already. For me Ritchie takes too long to get to the Action. It's like a gutter soap opera, not that there's anything wrong with that but, colorful characters and "merry quips" (as my English father used to call them) only take you so far in an Action Movie before you feel as though you're sitting there itching for something to blow up.  Yeah, yeah, I know, everyone's a critic. I'm just an audience member; I think that counts for more. Just because you're a brilliant Director, does that mean everything you make has to be great? No.  But you get lots of chances.


Nov 12 "You Sunk My BATTLESHIP!"

From board game to awesome iphone App to MAJOR MOTION PICTURE!
 


 

 


Nov 11 Ridley Scott Double Shot!

BLADE RUNNER 
Recent news of a Blade Runner sequel from Ridley Scott who said in this Nov. 4 Wall St. Journal article: “[W]e're quite a long way in, actually.” “Even though people think it's a cool Philip Marlowe film with Deckard played by Harrison Ford,” he says, “the film is very much about humanity.”  [emphasis added] Scott says the new Blade Runner project is moving ahead “not with the past cast, of course.” No Deckard? “No, not really,” he says.

image of geisha on side of skyscraper in Blade Runner

I'm excited about this because it will not have the same characters.  He is not messing with the original.  It will stand alone. There is still plenty there to work with. The examination of what it means to be human  was also at the core of The Matrix—You can't get a more compelling storyline. Androids and expiration dates simplified the hard cold fact that we are all going to die and we don't know when, and this gives meaning to life. 

Another reason the movie was so cool was the mix of SciFi with Noir.  I would love to see Scott push the set construction/dressing envelope again. It's got to be the kind of project Directors live for.  So I hope for great things (meaning/plot wise) and to be visually dazzled again. As I look around at video billboards going up all around Miami, it brings his1982 vision to life; makes me feel like I am living in Blade Runner. Isn't that what we go to the movies for? Life imitating Art. How cool is that!

image of the fossilized astronaut

PROMETHEUS  I don't think there is a bigger Alien fan than me.  Since Scott promised to scare the shit out of us with Prometheus (from this Film School Rejects article in July) I have been over-the-top excited for this movie.  I even wanted to believe this was a real preview.  However, a real preview is close according to the movie website.  In this Nov. 7 Wall St. Journal article titled "Ridley Scott Spills the Secrets of ‘Prometheus’" (not exactly, but don't read it if you don't want to know anything about the plot) we learn a little about the title. 

So, Alien prequel? Yes, please!  I have a fixation with everybody-dies movies (my first love was Horror) and this could be the best-yet Trinity movie: Action/SciFi/Horror. Creature effects are so amazing now I can hardly believe my eyes anymore. I am waiting for someone to find a way to incorporate water into fake flesh because that will give such a realistic look/bounce.  And speaking of creatures, that Astronaut from the chair in the first movie was a story begging to be told.  Who and what was he, and what happened to him? As the Mars mission gets closer, our worst fears about Alien life forms could be realized.  Although we have so many strange and wonderful 'alien' creatures here on Earth that we neither understand or appreciate and kill at will from ants to whales to the opposite sex, maybe finally peacefully interacting with a true 'alien' life form from another planet will make us appreciate the diversity and value of life on our own.  Until then, we'll keep torturing and killing everything around us and making movies about other horrible things killing us. YEAH! ! Fear, Violence, and Death . . . What an Action Movie Freak craves.


Oct 28 New MI: GHOST PROTOCOL Trailer
 

The music makes it just that much cooler. Can't wait to see this in IMAX!
(click through to YouTube and watch it in full-screen at 1080p)

 


Oct 27  The THING . . . "OMG!"
[I realize it's not "Action" and neither was the original, but it was a Kurt Russell movie.]
I thought I'd never seen anything more disgusting than the dog splitting open (below) in the 1982 The Thing.  In sheer disgustingness alone, this movie more than lives up to that.  I couldn't help myself, I let out at least 4 "Oh My Gods!" So gross!!! Kudos to the creature designer Michael Broom (another OMG to his résumé!) and to the whole special effects team. 

dog splits open in the original The Thing movie

I was entertained by this movie despite e a lot of squirming and plugging my ears, but I left unsure about what happened to the lead character.  <SPOILER ALERT> I assume she dies somehow? Freezes to death? Can't find the Russian camp cause she killed the only person who knew how to get there? And wait . . . How was it there was someone still alive at the camp?!  What happened to the big storm? Did earring guy make a mistake and just grab the wrong ear, and was human? How come he didn't convert to a monster when he burned? Did she kill him for nothing?  When the movie ended, my reaction was "Did they run out of film?"  How do they just leave us hanging like that!?  But then they gave a little more during the credits, but not what I expected. At least they put to rest the idea that the dog got away. Really, where was it going to go, other than off to freeze to death? 

Despite all these questions, if you liked the original The Thing, I would say see it.  If you liked the first one, you probably already have.  There was no lead hunky 'Kurt Russell' type. I thought Joel Edgerton would fill the Kurt Russell hunk shoes, but his character disappeared.  Bearded men may be offended (my father had a beard), but there were just too many bearded characters who looked the same.

bearded characters in The Thing

Speaking of bearded characters, Harry Knowles of Ain't It Cool News hated the movie! His comment "We stay with Mary Elizabeth’s character—who slowly but surely gets turned into an Ellen Ripley-esque kind of character.   Which absolutely isn’t what I wanted to see." made me get off the fence and go see it. An Ellen Ripley-esque character absolutely isis what I want to see.  What was missing was here backbone.  The character of Kate Lloyd doesn't stand up to Dr, Sander Halvorson at all when she should. Then, when she's the only one with an idea how to tell who's 'infected' they get all bent out of shape that she's taken charge (which she really hasn't, she's just found her voice and is the only one doing anything to help).  Ripley would never have stood for the treatment Kate gets.  Kate finds her strength and a little leadership but only after taking some really stupid risks. She's handy with a flamethrower, but that's where the similarity with Ripley ends.  Thankfully, it was too cold for them to make her show skin just cause she's female. 

flamethrower in The Thing

In the 1982 movie, you kept hoping against hope someone (Kurt) would make it out alive, but he makes the ultimate sacrifice.  That gave the first movie an emotional impact that this new movie didn't have.  You didn't really care about any of the characters because you never really got to know any of them.  Not even the lead character.  (For example, if there was some backstory that Dr. Halvorson was just out to use The Thing to sell tickets to a freak show and the crew was expendable to that end, he used them as bait or something and needed to be stopped . . . or if Kate failed in some way, scientific-training-wise, and then overcame her fear/deficiency at a crucial moment.)  There was so much here to seeee, I just wish I felt something more than grossed out.  The special effects were astounding.  We are a jaded and spoiled audience not to be impressed with the creative efforts in this movie. In addition to all the various incarnations of The Thing, the spaceship was incredible!  It's worth seeing for that too.  

[Admit it, if you didn't see the movie, this picture alone is making you squirm.  Think that shading with the light on his open mouth is by accident? Give credit where credit is due.]


The Thing trying to grab a guy's face

 


Oct 11 The AVENGERS Trailer
 

If this is as good as it looks, I may never stop watching it . . .

 


Oct 9 REAL STEEL
Hugh Jackman with Ambush in Real Steel

Noisy Boy fights Midas in Real SteelAnybody who loved their Rockem Sockem robots has to see this movie. It's great just for that. (You won't be disappointed.)  I loved the first robot's snarl ("Ambush" below, and wished he could have stayed around longer), and the way the robot "Midas" with the red mohawk rubbed it on his way to the ring.  It's so much fun to see how huge they are: All the excitement of boxing, wrestling, and video games rolled into one.  The way Hugh Jackman's character explains the decline of fighting with people and the rise of robotic fighting is plausible. There is enough future technology to make it interesting, and the plot aspect of an old school technology robot being a challenge to "Zeus"; the ultimate learning robot was great to follow even though the outcome was predictable.Ambush the robot from Real Steel snarl

Loved Beyond The Trailer's @GraceRandolph's take on having a kid in the movie, because the previews made him look really annoying. What a huge surprise that the kid was more of a man than his father. 

In the opener, I was shocked at the idea of a robot fighting a bull—that's just animal cruelty.  At the end, I was also surprised that the father didn't <SPOILER ALERT> show up to fight for custody. Instead, he shows up and chokes, not saying "I love you"!  Then, it turns out he's just there to tell the kid that they have a fight for "Atom". His parenting was lax in so many ways, it was sad.  Of course, it made you feel for and root for the kid.  I expected Hugh Jackman's character to figure out what he was missing and decide to want to be a Dad and be in a relationship with "Freckles" :) but he didn't grow that much. 

 


Riddick concept art

Sept 18 RIDDICK Concept Art
If you follow Vin Diesel on Facebook you will have seen that he shared this concept art for the next Riddick movie and is asking for your suggestions::

"In the spirit of Creative Sundays... I asked the director to send a key frame that I could post it for you.

Concept art and Key frames allow a production to explore possibilities before actually committing to film. The road to the 'R' rating, that so many of you were vocal about, has been a long one. The advantage however, (never empower the negatives) was that we were allowed a really extensive preproduction process. The art work is so good, the artists have really outdone themselves in illustrating this world at it's early stage.

When this film comes to the screen... know that you willed it into being!

Haha...

I got two meetings today that I have been prepping for... one with the Director and another one with the head of the studio to discuss casting and the 2012 release date. Like always, I appreciate having your voice present in these meetings.

P.S. Share your thoughts... casting, release date, mythology or anything else. It's Sunday and we are, at the very least, allowed to be creative in thought."

Here were my comments:
1) We have to know what/where the Underverse is
2) We have to know what Riddick does to move on and get out of leading the Converts so he can find out more about his personal history
3) We want to know what he can do to restore Furya and it would be cool if there were a pocket of Furyans he could band together with somewhere to 'save' the Universe
4) What will the Converts do if Riddick does not lead them and does not stop them from destroying other worlds. Can he just 'pull the plug' on them all and walk away?
5) If he does, who will be chasing him now and why?
6) What about his past and how he ended up in jail?
I love Chronicles and the best parts are when you fight!! Love the chase aspect as well with Mercs. Whatever you do, please create a world that transports us like Chronicles did.

 


Ryan Gosling in Drive in blue mechanic's suit
 

Sept 17 DRIVE 
No matter what you're expecting, Drive will be something more as well.  It didn't have as much driving as I though it would but that is not a complaint because the driving it has is bound to win stunt awards.  If you're a Ryan Gosling fan, especially us girls, it's very romantic, which was a surprise. VERY romantic (sigh).  I'll have to see it again because of the driving and because the violence is so gnarly (you're not prepared); those special effects are exclaim-out-loud incredible. So go see it! You will not be disappointed. It's not for the squeamish, but the Action Movie FREAKS will be satisfied!


 the raid poster

Sept 11 THE RAID "bone crunching ass whopping"
Ever since the
teaser greeting video by Iko Uwais at Actionfest 2011, The Raid has been hotly anticipated by Action Movie Freaks.  Oh to have been one of the lucky ones who got to see it at @TIFF_NET as @colingeddes' @mmadnesstiff opening selection!  Here is Ain't It Cool News' review, and at last, there is a trailer up on YouTube (below). And here is @robertamitchell aka @SoldierOfCinema's video of the TIFF Midnight Madness pre- and post show action with Q&A with Director Gareth Evans @ghuwevans and star Iko Uwais @iko_uwais!
 

 

INSIDE OUT Triple H Movie!
At last, from The Chaperone to this Crime Drama. Getting closer to Action. Since Blade: Trinity in 2004, there's been nothing on the big screen for the big man. This movie (limited release—I found it by chance checking low-budget theaters) has a solid cast of good actors: Bruce Dern, Parker Posey, and the always annoyingly funny Michael Rapaport. I'm wondering how much Action there'll be considering the plot, but Triple H is enough to get me to see it (because I just couldn't bring myself to see The Chaperone (2011). After The Pacifier in 2005, I skipped Tooth Fairy in 2010.  I don't want to see Action Stars in family roles. (Although Race to Witch Mountain (2009) was a surprisingly good Action-heavy family movie.)  Something to see today while waiting for DRIVE (9/16) and KILLER ELITE (9/23). [ It was an enjoyable crime drama, but not an Action Movie. Somebody PLEASE put Triple H in an Action Movie. It was like watching the real THOR be domesticated. ]
 

 


Sept 6  If Action Movies are a Drug . . . 
THIS IS WHAT IT LOOKS LIKE TO BE HIGH
Thanks to Andrew Thatcher of
CHARITY HURTS for sharing this clip!!

 

 


Sept 2  Interview re: THE RAID (aka Serbuan Maut)
If you attended
Actionfest, maybe you met the "Man About Town" Robert Mitchell. Here is his TIFF Midnight Madness interview with the Writer/Director of Iko Uwais' next film The Raid, Gareth Evans.  Comparing it to Merantau, Evans says "The fighting style is a lot more brutal and direct in comparison."  Love this about Evans' influences (from his Dad) "If it kicked ass and was entertaining it was just as important as anything considered 'critically acclaimed'.  And Evans says the film promises . . . "a lot of bone breaking, knee-cap separating, and head smashing."

In lieu of a trailer, here is a Show Buzz Metro TV clip (English at the end unless you speak Indonesian) . . .  
 



Fathom Events Scarface September 6 2011 Blu-ray release movie poster Steven Bauer talks to the audience at AMC Sunset Place in Miami during August 31 2011 showing of Scarface

Sept 1  SCARFACE still packs a punch!
Scarface was back in theaters last night for one showing that featured surprise guest Steven Bauer.  He spoke to the audience about his experience in making the film and then we saw a documentary short that will be part of the Blu-ray release on Sept. 6th.  Everyone still loves the character of Tony Montana. You can't help but enjoy his swagger and then feel bad when he dies so spectacularly.  The ending still packs a punch, and apparently, so do I . . .

I behaved badly on a group 'date'  :(  "Make way for the bad guy." That was me! Thankfully before my date got there but (whoops too late to make a good first impression) not before two of his friends witnessed me jumping over a row and smacking an acquaintance (yikes!) from high school who tried to take the seats I was saving.  Thanks to The Mann Sisters (pictured with Steven below at left) [whose father was the understanding smackee after his wife made him apologize to me (!) for taking the seats LOL but I gotta admire his effort.]  Alls well that ends well? We chatted and I apologized many times. Check out the Mann Sisters on FB and Like them please. They sing country music beautifully (with soul).

You can take a tiger to the movies but she might not behave.  (OMG still embarrassed) LOTS of love to my friends Michelle & Mabel for moral support. xoxo (that's Mabel in the right-hand photo with Steven)

Steven Bauer with The Mann Sisters at Scarface August 31 2011 at AMC Sunset Place in Miami  Mabel Soriano with Steven Bauer August 31 2011 at AMC Sunset Place in Miami


 


Aug 25
  BLACKTHORN starring Sam Shephard
Thank you @MagnoliaPics for this trailer of @Blackthornmovie.  Ever since the last stand for Butch and Sundance haven't you wished one or both somehow survived?  Here's that story. Sam Shephard plays Butch Cassidy.  I love me some Sam Shephard.  Can't help but think of his character "Doc" in Crimes of the Heart (link to watch full movie).  I confess my first thought when I saw "Blackthorn" was Blackthorne in James Clavell's life-changing novel, Shogun, but what a nice surprise.  Here is the description from the MagnoliaPictures'  YouTube channel:  Subscribe!!

"It's been said (but unsubstantiated) that Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid were killed in a standoff with the Bolivian military in 1908. In BLACKTHORN, Cassidy survived, and is quietly living out his years under the name James Blackthorn in a secluded Bolivian village. Tired of his long exile from the US and hoping to see his family again before he dies, Cassidy sets out on the long journey home. But when an unexpected encounter with an ambitious young criminal (Eduardo Noriega) derails his plans, he is thrust into one last adventure, the likes of which he hasn't experienced since his glory days with the Sundance Kid."

Release Dates:  On Demand September 2nd / In Theaters October 7th.  (I'll wait to see it on the big screen.)

 


 

Aug 24  Will GHOST RIDER (2) get it right . . .
Nicolas Cage fans rejoice!  It looks like they get Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance right, Action wise.  The preview is great and I'm psyched to see the awesome Action combined with classic Cage attitude.  I didn't hate the first one like everyone seemed to, although it was slow, there was lots to love in it.  (The preview showed when I went to see Final Destination 5 in IMAX 3D.  The 3D was WICKED AWESOME and gnarly but the in-between bits draaaagggg.)

 



Aug 10  FINAL DESTINATION  5 IMAX 3D
Oh yes!  FIVE!  It's gonna make you squirm and grimace like never before in its gnarly bloody awfulness.  I like this trailer (the second one) better than the first one . . .  It looks really good, if you like that sort of thing, and Action Movie
FREAKS do!  Call it Horror, it still delivers! In theaters Thursday 8/12 at midnight, but if you have to wait until Friday to see this one in IMAX 3D, you should!



 

Aug 6  COLOMBiANA and HAYWIRE
The Action 'Figure' takes on new dimensions . . .
I am thrilled to see any Action Movie featuring a kick-ass chick, but more than anything else, I love it that there are two ACTION MOVIES centered around strong female leads. Mark it, this might be the beginning of change . . . YES!!! Women want to see strong women kicking ass.  Someone should put out a vengeance movie centered around domestic abuse and watch women flock to theaters for a payback fantasy.  The only way women will ever get equality is to earn it, so fight for it!  These women will show you how.

First, there's Zoe Saldana who has recently been mainly Action eye candy (like in The Losers pictured above), but with
COLOMBiANA, it looks like she's holding her own and deadly.  I love that she's slight of build because it contrasts decidedly with Gia "Crush" Carano starring in HAYWIRE, who is a brick wall. 

 

 

In her role in COLOMBiANA Zoe proves that women can do whatever they think can regardless of size. Too often in Action movies we see either women of Zoe's non-threatening build who don't really sell it so it's difficult to suspend disbelief, or else the actresses just seem like they're there for a pretty face and big boobs to please the men, leaving women to identify with the male lead.  (We women are sooo tired of that!) Zoe's lithe boyish figure is still sexy without being voluptuous, but it's her physicality that seems to sell the role more than anything else.  She's lethal and it looks convincing even without a sizeably powerful physique to back it up.

On the other hand, there's no denying former American Gladiators star Gina "Crush" Carano is built. You can't look at her and not think "strong" even in a cocktail dress.  Just her calves scare me.  In HAYWIRE she's "our nation's deadliest weapon". A woman is our nation's deadliest weapon— I love that! I love it that it's even possible, let alone sellable.  I also love that she's a newcomer and they cast her in this role.  YES!  The same as with the men, we want BAD ASS (as in strong) female Action Stars. The tougher the better.  Give us that superhero larger-than-life, comic-book-ripped physique.  Also impressive is they cast her as the lead with a heap of bigger names as a supporting cast:  Channing Tatum • Michael Fassbender • Ewan McGregor • Michael Douglas • Antonio Banderas  and to help with "some real pretty shit", her father is . . .  Bill Paxton.  I really hope these movies do well in the box office. (According to Zoe Saldana on Facebook, the stunt contest mentioned in the YouTube video stopped accepting entries on July 29th.)

COLOMBiANA
opens August 26th | HAYWIRE opens January 20, 2012

 

 



Jason Statham in Killer Elite

Aug 5  KILLER ELITE
Statham
fans get an eyeful in these two trailers. He's never looked more fit, and the stunt work is outta hand.  He even does a little driving!  The female characters look like window dressing and seem as two-dimensional as they were in The Mechanic, but I can always hope for more . . .    

 


The second trailer, below, released yesterday, shows a little more of the hand-to-hand combat which looks vicious.   The movie is due out on September 23rd.

 


 


Aug 1  PROMETHEUS Trailer
Ridley Scott says he wants to  "scare the living shit" out of us. 

 



 

July 30  SCARFACE is back!
Scarface
is coming back to theaters for one night only, Wednesday, August 31st, 7:30 PM.
Brush up your quotes and your accent!  "Make way for the bad guy."

 


July 29  Remakes, Yes Please!
Total Recall and Men In Black—The original movies were so much fun, they can pile as much remake as they want on my plate, I'll eat!
Total Recall (2012) stars Colin Farrell. He's an incredible actor. Can't wait to see what he does with the role!  Here's a look at a car from Total Recall (2012) on display at Comic-Con

I read that Men In Black III is filming in the Bronx (there are videos on YouTube) but there's not much out there. Check out the MIB 3 display from Comic-ConCon.


 


July 28  Dizzy Flores
My favorite Action Movie Bad-Ass Chick . . .

"I only have one rule. Everyone fights. No one quits. If you don't do your job, I'll shoot you. You get me? Welcome to the Roughnecks." 

"Come on apes, do you want to live forever?"



July 24  Andrew Thatcher's Charity Hurts
I love my 'job'! I was sent a "no budget independent Action film" to watch and review.   I haven't had this much fun watching something since 3:00 o'clock Kung Fu movies in college.  Hats off to Andrew Thatcher the writer, director, editor, star, stunt choreographer, and creator of the "cheesy special effects" in CHARITY HURTS.  I only wish I could share it with you! Here is my review of Charity Hurts and here is the trailer:

 

 


July 23  Captain America: The First Avenger
First, let me say that the MANY Previews they showed all looked great!

Rise of the Planet of the Apes (8/5/2011) Which is exciting because you know they're going to re-do the whole series.

Immortals (11/11/2011) Rumbling the whole auditorium, this movie looks as violent as it does exciting.

Another Spiderman movie?! The Amazing Spiderman (2012) It looks really good, too. Guess we'll find out if audiences are tired of Spiderman or not.  Looks more realistic and less cheesy than the last series.

Cowboys & Aliens (7/29/2011) I'm reaching preview oversaturation on this. I think they started showing them too soon, and have played too many.  You shouldn't be sick of it by the time the movie comes.  "Give me back my son." "I need that money. Tom." "His face is unrecognizable." Name those 3 over-previewed movies...

The Adventures of Tin Tin (12/23/2011) I had heard about this, but I got excited thinking it was Jonny Quest<—It looked liked Jonny, Hadji, and Bandit in the desert scene . . . oh well.

Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol (12/16/2011) Tom Cruise and Josh Holloway! Enough said.

Captain America
was very well done. You did not need to know the comic book to appreciate the movie or the story. The highly moralistic tone was refreshing among the seemingly more popular bad-guy-as-good-guy, sympathetic-criminal-type Action Movies.  And despite obvious qualities, his appeal went beyond the physical. The script was good, too, although since Capt. America was such a good guy, he didn't have the arrogant-jerk-rub-in-your-face cheesy Action Movie quotes to deliver; still, there were lots of great lines.

"Whatever happens, stay who you are—Not just as soldier, but a good man."  

"Don't do anything stupid until I get back." "How can I? You're taking all the stupid with you."

"A weak man knows the value of strength, knows the value of power."

"We are going to win this war because we have the best men. And they, personally, will escort Adolf Hitler to the gates of Hell."

"You don't win wars with niceness."

"Sanity is of no consequence because he can do it."

"What is his target?" "His target is 'everywhere'."

 

Capt. Steve Rogers the 4F from Brooklyn was set up so sympathetically, it was hard to stop feeling sorry for him even after he became a Buff-et! 


touching Captain America's chest

His love interest was a kick-ass chick who looked tough punching a recruit until they showed how stacked she was in the red dress! After that her clothes seemed decidedly more jiggly and feminine or maybe guys had noticed before and I didn't. LOL In any case, the costumes looked great on everyone!  When they first show Steve's best friend Bucky in his brown belted uniform, wow!

It has a cool look to it (not really steampunk?) with its machines and blend of old and futuristic-looking technology and weapons.  The Batmobile-looking submarine was bad ass!  

 Loved the breakout tank scene: "WA-HOO!"  The weapons were cool with the blue energy burst and disintegration/zapping effect.  Red Skull behind the wheel of his car with that hood ornament logo was every bit a comic-book look as you can get . . . I loved Capt. America in all the uniforms except the touring one for the stage.  This look below:  Yowza!  Don't fault me for talking about how everything looks because comic books are ALL ABOUT the visual.

My favorite moment was this one at right, of course, when he comes back to the camp with all the rescued soldiers.

When they tie in the beginning to the ending it sets the stage for the next movie (don't you love that?!). [Capt. America looked very Ken doll in his SSR (Strategic Scientific Research) t-shirt and khakis.] 

The movie left you feeling super patriotic (as it should) and die-hard fans who stayed until the end of the credits, got to see a little bit of The Avengers, which looks even more amazing than you can imagine.   



July 21  New LOCAL Comic Books
 

The Miami Marvel comic book cover

ComicEd.org is a local (Miami) nonprofit §501(c)3 whose mission is to engage the community to increase literacy and encourage graphic arts.  They have a new reading and writing program "Letters for Comics" where they will send a free comic book to any child in Miami-Dade County who writes them a letter.  Kids should send ComicEd a one-page letter explaining their favorite subject in school and who their favorite Super Hero or Heroine is and why. (More details on Letters for Comics)Johnny Killzone comic book cover

You can pre-order a copy of 
the first printing of "The Miami Marvel" or make a donation of $10 or more and they will send you a free copy.

Johnny Killzone
Also, they have a super-diesel high-action comic cook "Johnny Killzone" that combines the best elements of our favorite action movies. They begin promoting it in 2 months, but let me put it here first! 

Like ComicEd.org on Facebook and find out more at ComicEd.org. They have events, you can buy comic books, or donate comic books, or volunteer. (They meet on Fridays to discuss super heroes, favorite stories, writers, and artists. Share the enthusiasm for comic books that made you want to read!

They are looking for a sponsor for their new site. To learn more about this fun, worthy cause, contact ComicEd.org and share your love of comic books.  


July 2  *Spoiler Alert* Prometheus

the astronaut

I discovered this on Live For Films who got it from io9

"Ridley Scott’s Alien prequel is still shrouded in secrecy. io9 were sent the following plot description which may possibly be for Prometheus. [Live For Films] put it in inviso-text (highlight it to read) as it will be a major spoiler if it turns out to be true [but I just put it in grey]. Read on if you dare, but be quick as [they] imagine the studio will be in touch to have it taken down. Although if they did that then it could confirm that it is the real plot for the film..  [LOL nice try . . . ]

Read on if you dare.

Earth. Year 2058.

Archaeological digs in Africa reveal alien artifacts that humans were genetically engineered by a advanced alien race (space jockeys). These “Alien Gods” also terraformed Earth in order to make it habitable for their human creations. Amongst finds are coordinates to the Alien Gods' home-world, to Paradise. Months later the Weyland Corp launch the spaceship PROMETHEUS and its crew into deep space to make first contact. Thanks to faster-than-light travel a few years later the PROMETHEUS enters the Zeta Riticuli star system. Humans are greeted by their makers, then transported further into space to a scary yet fascinating world. The Alien Gods are proud of their “children”, their first creation to reach such levels of intelligence.

As a reward they share bits of their astonishing bio-based technologies with the humans. But for one crew member of the Prometheus it’s not enough. In a treacherous act he steals the “bio-source code” to Terraforming, a technology at the origin of all Gods’ power, that could make humans equal to the gods. The Alien Gods may be scientists but are also ruthless conquerors, destroyers of worlds who will not accept humans as equals. They unleash on the escaping human crew their favorite bio-weapon, a creature used to “clean up” worlds before colonization. But something goes wrong in the process and humans manage to turn the bio-weapon against their makers. Giving birth to a smarter, nastier, bigger breed of gut eating creatures. Creatures that will be the demise of Paradise. What’s left of the Prometheus crew manages to escape the doomed planet.

On their trail a survivor Alien God in very familiar ship with one ultimate mission.on.

Bring the wrath of the Gods to Earth.

End of spoilers."

 


June 28  Transformers 3 is Jaw-Dropping!
 

Transformers Dark of the Moon poster

Transformers was great, but the popular opinion of Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen was not good. This movie makes up for it. I don't think anyone (well, any Action Movie Fans or Freaks) will give a damn about the plot. There was so much 3-D action, my eyelids were fluttering like Nicolas Cage in Lord of War watching the ammo fly and hearing the sound of money! Cha-Ching! Cha-Ching! Cha-Ching! You will certainly feel you got your money's worth.  The 3-D is JAW-DROPPING !  UN-BAY-LIEVABLE !  . . . . Read more


June 27  "Shut up and Eat Your AWESOME!"

Why do I LOVE action movies so much Actionfest is my idea of a vacation? This video pretty much sums it up. Michael Bay baybee. Oh yeah and he's going to make you see what 3D is supposed to be be. My advice: Sit 3 rows closer than you think is too close. "Wimpy flabby baby girls and girlie men" might turn down the sound when you watch this (shaking my head) . . . 
Much LOVE and THANKS to The Monocular Group for getting it!!

 

June 12  Wingsuits! @Transformers_3
The coolest tweeter I follow is @GuyKawasaki.  He must be a voracious web reader because he finds everything first and he always picks the best stuff to share.  Here is the Transformers stunt video he shared, and the 60 Minutes video referred to.

 

 


June 11  Thor | X-Men First Class
I finally got to see Thor and I loved it!  I think the script and Chris Hemsworth's performance made it fun and campy, which seemed very comic-book-y. I was so afraid it would not be just because it was Kenneth Branagh, but I was glad to see there will be a sequel.  I loved Stan Lee's cameo as the old man driving the pick-up truck.  I thought the movie would drag (so much story) but it didn't.  Not once did I want it to go any faster than it was. It seemed like 4 hours because I couldn't believe how much happened in the 1:54 running time. That's a big compliment. I felt like I knew the characters for years (well, we sort of do . . . ) but I also felt like I never wanted it to end. How many times do you think that after a movie?  There were several iconic moments that are indelibly impressed on my brain.  Like the excitement in this shot:

thor raises his hammer

Kenneth Branagh managed to achieve high drama while keeping it 'down to earth.'  The other worlds were shown many times and in great detail. They did not cheap out with one establishing painting and then never show it again.  This movie was at least as good (better?) than Riddick for worlds, costumes, and sets. The armor!  Loved the armor.  It seemed like Thor spends most of the movie without his costume, so when he gets it back, it's really something. If you're a Thor fan to begin with, it's sure to leave you feeling 'juiced'!  (The friends seemed a little cheesy but it worked.)

X-Men First Class was fun and made me want to go home and watch all the other movies again. I loved Wolverine's bad attitude response (perfect!) when they were tracking down other mutants.  Michael Fassbender seems to be getting a lot of great roles and I've liked him in all of them.  The submarine scene was incredible, even though they showed it on the preview. [My only criticism (and this took us out of the moment) was that they seemed to use some island location for Brasil, Miami, and Cuba and it didn't seem like they were actually shot there.]

You should not miss either movie. Both are super enjoyable and deliver what you do to summer movies hoping for.


June 6  HALO 4 | Gears GIRLS! | ACTION Shift

HALO 4
At the end of the Microsoft E3 games previews and XBox Kinect promotion came Halo 4. Is this an epic leap forward or what?! There's nothing cooler than this Halo 4 preview and you don't even have to know or like the game to think so.  Even the books are nonstop exciting.  Ghost Recon Future Soldier looked amazing as well.  I see game rooms being made in homes to maximize the experience. Halo Combat Evolved was announced as well, and Ice-T was there for the Gears 3 campaign trailer. THAT looked (words fail) . . . better than I expected (even better than the preview).

 

 

GEARS 3 GIRL PLAYERS!

I just love the look of Gears! Gears fighting female characters are "Bernadette 'Bernie" Mataki" (dark hair below—not known if she will be a playable character), "Amantha Byrne", "Queen Myrrah", and "Anya Stroud" (below). I'm excited about properly clothed and "equal" female players. How could any woman not be!

Gears 3 characters


 

From Wikipedia:

"Anya Stroud (voiced by Nan McNamara) is the dispatch girl of Delta Squad and Marcus Fenix's love interest. She is usually detailing location information through radio for Marcus, Dom, or Kim — particularly where to go next, if the Hammer of Dawn is online or whether hostiles are en route, and during the middle portion of Gears of War, directs mine carts used by Delta squad for transportation. She is only visible once throughout the first game, onboard a King Raven helicopter, but appears more frequently in Gears of War 2. She will be in Gears of War 3, although instead of operating the radio, she will fight with Marcus and the rest of Delta Squad in battle. Starting with Jacinto's Remnant and going into Anvil Gate, Anya starts to become a frontline soldier and shows she's really good at it and regrets not doing it earlier."

The only other female character before Gears 3 was: "Maria Santiago is Dom's wife. They lost their two children, Sylvia and Benedicto, on E-Day. Maria was devastated by the incident and vanished four years later. Dom relentlessly searched for her over the next ten years, and finally discovers that she is being detained at a Locust work camp. By the time he finds her, Maria, having been tortured and forced to endure other extreme conditions, is emaciated and in a state of extreme shock. Dom realizes that Maria is unable to respond to his voice or even acknowledge his presence and after struggling with an answer chooses to euthanize her. In the novel Gears of War: Jacinto's Remnant, it is revealed that Maria had been living as a Stranded for over ten years before her capture by the Locust."

ACTION-MOVIES-TO-GAMES SHIFT

I know I am way behind on this but I could finally afford an Xbox 360 about a year ago and got the first Gears game on sale. After E3 I realize just how behind I am. I need (would love) an HD TV, Blu-ray player (would love PS3 but . . .), and wouldn't you know it, I had just got my DVD movie library where I wanted it. At least Blu-ray can play DVDs. Makes no sense to buy any more DVDs though.  Writing this (I know I know, I'm way behind in saying this, but I am older) games is where the ACTION is. Who wants to wait for a movie anymore?  Feels like Blasphemy! Actors should be worried because fictional characters like Marcus Fenix are even cooler than real life. Still, there will be a big fan base for the Gears movie.


May 7  reboot: CONAN The Barbarian

I am itching to see THOR but am already looking beyond it to CONAN.  LOVE this quote from the first trailer (below is the second): 

"I live, I love, I slay, and I am content."

 


April 29  FAST FIVE is everything you hope it will be
Vin Diesel and Dwayne The Rock Johnson
 
. . . plus dessert!  The action, chases, crashes, fights, gun battles, explosions, beefcake, cheesecake, cars, jokes, it's got it all.  It glamorizes crime but the stakes are really high. It's a HEIST fairy tale and the audience can't get enough! I haven't seen such an intense opening since T3

Don't want to ruin it for you—go see it with a 10:00 PM or later show ASAP with an audience that really appreciates it. Will you love it? I know you will.  "Am I right? Of course, I am."

We all waited a long time for this duo to appear together on film. ENJOY!!!!  I'm definitely going to see it again! 


 


Dwayne The Rock Johnson in Fast Five

April 28 @TheRock is taking over!
as The Ultimate Action Movie BAD ASS. AT LAST!  It's been a long time coming and well deserved.  These 3 things plus the expected over-the-top success of FAST FIVE tells me that Dwayne Johnson has finally slipped into First Place in the Action Movie Bad Ass list and is here to stay.
1. Stallone is not directing the next Expendables (will there even be one?)
2. Arnold is back to making movies (but Action?!)
3. Arnold is rumored to be in another Terminator movie . . . (as a Terminator?!)

Pay attention candy asses, FAST FIVE is about to . . .

"Layeth The Smacketh Down!"


April 26  Got my FAST FIVE IMAX ticket for midnight! "The 2 biggest " :D

 


April 22  What is it about this pose?

sylvester stallone eric bana and taylor lautner pose with their arms raised


Apr 17  First THOR Review from HitFix


Apr 16  2011 Actionfest Awards

The 2011 ActionFest Awards took place on Saturday April 9th (Day 3 of ActionFest) at 5:00 PM at the Carolina Cinema in Asheville, NC.  ActionFest Co-Founder Aaron Norris was on hand to present the Awards. The ceremony was emceed by Jury Member "Freakin' Jay Deacon" of The Mountain 105.9.  Awards (beautiful wood and glass creations by local artist) went to:

Lifetime Achievement Award |

BUDDY JOE HOOKER
Stunt Coordinator of the Year |

RUSSELL TOWERY
Man of Action Award |

MICHAEL JAI WHITE
Stunt Sequence |

TOMORROW, WHEN THE WAR BEGAN
Best Director |

JULIAN GILBEY
Action Film of the Year |

MACHETE
Best Movie |

A LONELY PLACE TO DIE



The :30 Seconds of Action Challenge Winner was
"Action Figures"




ActionFest 2011 JURY MEMBERS



Jay Deacon
Asheville Radio Personality from
105.9 The Mountain



Katrina Hill

actionflickchick.com  G4TV's First Next Woman of the Web Champion
 


Tim League
CEO & Founder
Alamo Drafthouse Cinema | Founder Fantastic Fest



Russell Towery
Veteran stuntman (132 credits) Robocop in all 3 films



Scott Weinberg
Film critic/editor at
Cinematical  FearNet  Horror Squad Twitch & others


Apr 14  Back to Reality

Two thoughts stayed with me after ActionFest 2011:  First, if anyone should attack me, when I fight back I'm going to hear "Dy-no-mite! Dy-no-mite!" in my head as I do, and . . . (sound of record scratching)  "Ron Howard signed a deal with Roger Corman ?!" LOL

Given the type of movies Roger Corman was making/backing and the fact that Ron Howard was squeaky clean "Opie Cunningham" as Eddie Murphy would later call him on SNL, Ron Howard should have been able to write his own ticket in Hollywood. On top of being Opie Taylor and Richie Cunningham, he received a Golden Globe nomination for The Shootist  (THE SHOOTIST! one of John Wayne's Top 3 movies in my opinion) and he still couldn't get help to direct except from Roger Corman?!

This elevates Mr. Corman and his judgment in my eyes. I'm sure Roger Corman saw the potential for profit—What girl my age wasn't in love with Ron Howard?! I loved/love Grand Theft Auto. We would have seen anything Ron Howard starred in, regardless of who directed it! The fact that it's still such an awesome movie only proves there was great talent there beyond acting, and being genuinely wholesome and adorable. But it tickled me to learn that.

I can't help but think in the back of my mind [because of some of the scenes dealing with sex in Ron Howard's movies and the way that he handled them—like the sexual immaturity of a 13 to 15-year-old boy sneaking a look at 'dirty pictures' (two that come to mind are the Apollo13 beer bottle scene, and the sex-on-the-firetruck scene from Backdraft)]—that making a deal with Roger Corman must have been like something naughty to do to Ron Howard. The combination of those two is like . . .  there's almost no equivalent today . . . Nobody's that 'clean' anymore. Innocence and modesty seem dead. But I realized things must have gotten better because while I came up with Jonathan Lipnicki as an analogy substitute for Ron, I really couldn't come up with one person today to compare to Roger Corman.  YAY!  Somebody else probably can.  Just glad I had to think of wholesome male actor and not female!! Sad.    

Ron Howard and John Wayne

Read all my ActionFest 2011 coverage . . .


Apr 10  DAY 4 ActionFest: STUNT SHOW!

Today is the Stunt Show! I think it might be even bigger (crowd size) than they imagine. Word of mouth has had a year to spread on how exciting it is!  MEDUSA showed up!!!



Apr 9  DAY 3 ActionFest: AWARDS & PANELS

Sat in on both Panels, and went to the follow-up Awards Ceremony.  Can't see every movie :( but trying to choose well. 

Aaaaaah! Day 3 Trish Stratus delivered the best beatdown so far in Bail Enforcers. Oh yeah . . .  and her WWE friends "Edge" and "Victoria" showed up to support her (squealing).

What Day 2 really drove home for me is that some people feel violence is never intelligent. I hold physicality is such high regard that I can't wrap my mind around that. The phrase "afficionados of the savage science" came up in the showing of Never Back Down 2: The Beatdown (with star/Director Michael Jai White), where were treated to special preview of Weapon starring g Jean-Claude Van Damme and Scott Adkins. They showed 2 full scenes. The first one was a fight between them, the second showed a laser weapon. It looks good! They showed enough of the story that it seemed interesting . Here's the blurb from IMDB "Rival assassins—each of whom are masters of their respective weapons—form an uneasy alliance in their mission to take down a DEA-backed drug cartel. "

This story on AllOuttaBubbleGum.com about Arnold's new movie Last Stand. Sounds awesome to me. Love a good lawman story. I immediately thought:  First Blood, this time Dennehy wins.


Apr 8 DAY 2 ActionFest
Wow! What a difference a year makes. Most showings are packed, the lobby is crowded, the upstairs lounge is 3/4 full most of the time, everyone who is here seems really thrilled to be a part of ActionFest II!  Big surprise that anyone actually read what I wrote!


Apr 7 Arrived at ActionFest!
IRONCLAD

is showing TONIGHT @7:30 PM
Bring your longsword and "Give Them Hellfire!" 
preview on my Actionfest page, along with all the other movies.  Picked up my Actionfest badge KABOOM!  Bought some t-shirts. 

Here they are: (grey, red, khaki) S-2XL $15 each

 

 

 


Mar 30  SUCKER PUNCH  I saw this movie 5 times!

sweet pea as sleeping beauty in sucker punch

Visually incredible, I could watch it many more times, and the women did a pretty good job in the fighting scenes, but the movie such a downer. I am still writing about it. Still not sure on the 'levels' . . .  I think it's an important milestone on the road to STRONG WOMEN IN ACTION MOVIES, it just missed the mark. I was happy a male director even pretended to do a "female empowerment" movie.  Just wish he knew what power really is (here's a clue: it's the same for men and women). When they finally portray women the right way in Action Movies (as people first, not objects), they'll find there's a HUGE untapped (ba-dump-bump!) audience just waiting to see the real deal.  Read my take on Sucker Punch . . .


Mar 22  Some Things Speak for Themselves

 


Mar 11  Grindhouse: Fad or Trend
Actionfest 2011:  Why I'm disappointed :-( and why I'm not going . . . 
I CHANGED MY MIND and WENT and it was AWESOME!

 


Feb 26  Sanctum: Better Never Than Late
I had to go see Sanctum just because of how it was filmed and the fact that it was underwater a lot. I'm a sucker for 'advances' in movie technology (as little as I know of it) and underwater movies, so, I waited 'til I could use a free pass. It would have been so much better with character development. They spent an hour getting to the interesting part, then as the characters were killed off one by one, you realized you didn't care because you didn't know anything about them.  It's still a father and son relationship that most anyone can relate to on that basic level, but you don't get to why there is strife until the very end, which was a shame.  They didn't have any flaws to overcome or conflicts to resolve so you could root for them to make it. It was such a triumph of the human spirit. If the son was shown to have failed once and the father to push him like a bastard, then maybe you would have been rooting for the son to make it this time, but again, you didn't know anything about them until way late in the movie.

Also, it really didn't need to be 3D as is the case 99.9% of the time.  I feel like 3D is gimmicky and for 5 year olds. This movie I thought might be different as James Cameron described their reasons for doing it in 3D, but the only time I felt 3D helped anything was the first eye-level shot of them going under the surface of the water (like the lens was a mask and we were diving too). The rest of the 3D did nothing for me. Maybe whatever 3D evolves into will be so great you feel like you're 'there' but even with things coming at you and the sense of space and depth, 3D still does nothing for me.  I almost groan when I find out a movie is 3D only.

Toward the end the scenes were a little choppy to me with too many fades to black like they didn't know how to transition from one scene to another. And the one thing that seemed really unbelievable was that the storm was 2 days away and then, bam! it was on them.  That's not possible for them to be so unaware and get caught like that with today's weather technology. They would have been out at least a day before the storm hit. They explained nothing about diving or decompression or the bends. When George has blood on his chest, you don't know why—you don't even ever find out why he stopped diving or is in such bad shape to dive. Also his girlfriend dies and he doesn't even shed a tear.

The only reason I don't want the two hours of my life back was Rhys Wakefield. As young as he is, he gave a moving performance and has an amazing voice. Richard Roxburgh was good too but the performance was a little lost on us because the script gave us no meat. 

 


Feb 14  ♥ Happy St. Valentine's Day
Our local AMC had 2 showings of Sixteen Candles. I had to see it but I so wished it had been an Anthony Michael Hall DOUBLE FEATURE with Weird Science (so I could see Bill Paxton be a dick)!  The audience clapped when the movie started (never seen that happen before!!) and then twice at the end. Twice! People really do love that movie and John Hughes captures that awkward age so well, plus the casting/acting was great as well.

SIXTEENCANDLES

Seeing baby John Cusack was great. Every woman was in love with him as Lloyd Dobler (1989) but somewhere between Serendipity (2001) and Identity (2003), for me, Cusack lost his mojo. I wondered how far from the truth of who he is in real life High Fidelity was? That is certainly a credit to his acting ability, and it really helps point out that we think of actors as the sum total of their roles when, really, we know nothing about them.


Feb 13   ROBOCOP Statue: Hell Yes!

 

A Robocop statue for Detroit?  I think it's an awesome idea. He is a positive role model of doing the right thing and fighting crime and injustice, plus he's still the ultimate robot bad ass kids love, especially big kids like me! I contributed. You can too :D

Please Donate Now

 

 


Feb 12  The Eagle
The Eagle had a litte less action than I hoped for
(yes I know its "Adventure" not Action—went to see the swordplay) but learning about Hadrian's Wall was epic.  I am ashamed to say I didn't realize what "the Roman wall" meant when my father spoke of it, and he was a Yorkshireman!!  My excuse is my history and geography education was split between English schools in the Bahamas and American schools here. I did a little research on the web to compare the movie to the "truth". Wikipedia is completely different from the movie.
This account sort of merges Wikipedia with the movie:

The Ninth suffered terribly in the revolt led by Boudicca in 60 BC, suffering as much as 50-80% casualties (the battle was recorded by Tacitus as the Massacre of the Ninth). The unit’s pride evidently remained intact, however, because the legion’s commander Quintas Petillius Cerialis [completely different name from the movie] wasn’t removed from his post. Restored to strength with reinforcements and regrouped at Lincoln in 65 AD, the legion was next sent to guard the northern fringes of the Empire in York, where it helped build the imperial fortress Eboracum, in its last recorded and datable action on the basis of legionary stamps.

Legend has it that the Ninth later embarked on its fateful march against the *Picts, a confederation of tribes located in modern day eastern and northern Scotland, and was annihilated, prompting Emperor Hadrian to cut his losses in the north of Britain and build his famous wall from coast to coast. This appears to be the point where myth overtakes reality however – numerous scraps of evidence suggest the Legio IX Hispana met a different fate.

© 2008 Heritage Key. All rights reserved.

What happened to the Ninth is a fascinating mystery to be sure. Here is an article on interesting excavation that shows how soldiers lived much like the fort shown in The Eagle.

*It appears to be a myth and the closest thing to the truth isn't as exciting as thinking wild tribal Scotsmen killed 5,000 trained Roman soldiers but if you want to know more, this is an excellent account of the facts versus the myth and this site disputes that Picts fought because it says they weren't around until later, however, Wikipedia differs there as well and says they were.

I'll take the myth. Eagle or no eagle. The idea that 5,000 well-trained soldiers disappeared at the hands of who knows who is scary, and the kind of story that makes great drama. I thought about that going in. Drama versus Action. In these period movies the distinction is not just quantity but quality. As The Eagle was rated PG-13 I thought it might be light on the gore. It was not my idea of PG-13 though, yikes!  Channing Tatum has been picked on for not having an English accent but it was there, just a hint of it. I thoroughly enjoyed it and a glimpse into the life of a Roman soldier appealed to me with their sense of order, structure, and training. Maybe I'm just a sucker for men in short skirts and sandals.  (Oh, am I objectifying men? Good! I don't mind when people are objectified for physical beauty, I just wish it wasn't only ever ALWAYS just the women!)

___________________________

BOADICEA! Now there's a strong woman Action Movie, I'd like to write. No excuses for being strong. No "hottie" starlet acting like she can wield a sword, or a man's fantasy with tits and ass hanging out. No 'roid moose either. Just a woman as a person, respected, wronged and justifiably mad as hell, and STRONG enough to be feared and to get revenge.

[I really wanted to find an image of a strong woman soldier or warrior but it seems there are almost none. Which makes it worse than I even thought it was! No wonder so many women are victims when there are no strong role models for them to fight back.]

 


Feb 6 Captain America: The First Trailer
Captain America: The First Avenger is premiering a trailer during the Super Bowl. 
Can't wait. Just 30 seconds . . . Chris Evans looks awesome in costume!


Captain American in outfit with shield

 


Feb 5  DRIVE ANGRY 3D 2/25

JONAH I am going to kill you.
PIPER Between now and then, I'm going to mess you up.

 

Oh, I Like Her!

This line gives me hope for Drive Angry 3-D's female lead. But Piper? Pipe her. Cute. Yes, they're having fun with it, I just hope the character's not as 2-dimensional as she seems in the promotions and they don't have a girl walking around naked (really? not every audience member is a teenage boy) like the Director did in My Bloody Valentine. This hurts women. Please stop. If this girl had jeans on instead of Daisy Dukes wouldn't she have been just as sexy without being trivialized and objectified?! (sigh) I know it's NOT just me out there who wants to see women button up a few buttons and stop giving it all away in a man's fantasy world. R-E-S-P-E-C-T. It's called respect.  But I rant . . .

It will SURELY ROCK as Nicolas Cage is the lead!  I am an astronomically huge Cage fan. There is no one more entertaining, all by himself. The other attraction is the cars! It looks like it's going to scratch that "blow shit up" itch all Action Movies Freak have, real hard.  The supporting cast looks really strong too and I'm thinking it's going to be way better than we even hope it could be. Keeping fingers crossed for this one. 



Jan 26  Trying Out Animoto.com

I made a video of Nicolas Cage hairstyles but can't embed it anymore . . .
 

Create your own video slideshow at animoto.com.

 


Jan 24  BIG Weekend Coming!

The Mechanic (remake but :D looks good) and Ip Man 2 are in theaters on Jan. 28th! 

Both movies Ip Man (aka Yip Man ranked 39th) and Ip Man 2 (aka Yip Man 2 released in 2010 ranked 97th) made the Top 100 in AllOuttaBubbleGum.com
's recent "Action 100" Project

According to Wikipedia, the first movie, Ip Man "loosely based on the life of Yip Kai-Man, was released in 2008 and starred Donnie Yen as the martial artist. The film takes a number of liberties with Yip's life, often for dramatic effect. Yip's oldest son Ip Chun appeared in and served as a consultant for the film. The film focused on Yip's life during the '30s and '40s during the Second Sino-Japanese War. The film was the first to be based on the life of Yip. The sequel to the film focuses on Yip's beginnings in Hong Kong and his disciples, who included Bruce Lee."

"For Ip Man 2, the filmmakers intended to focus on the relationship between Ip and his most famed disciple, Bruce Lee. However, they were unable to finalize film rights with Lee's descendants and decided to briefly portray Lee as a child."

Yip Man died in 1972 at the age of 79 from throat cancer. .

Bruce Lee died in 1973 at the age of 33 from, "a hypersensitivity to the muscle relaxant (meprobamate) in Equagesic . . .. According to autopsy reports, his brain had swollen considerably, from 1,400 to 1,575 grams (a 13% increase)."
 


Jan 22   THOR May 6th and counting

Here I go again. I can't help it. Thor's my favorite comic book hero and I have waited a long time for this. What we love so much about comic book heroes is in a word:  PHYSIQUE!  (=Strength)
When we read a comic book, we're thinking damn! There's a fantasy element there that's missing when they cast average men. Physique is what what made Arnold so super popular. There are too many girlie men in Action films today. That's why they are not what they were in the past, and I have heard the term "the golden age" of action films too many times. I'm not saying a movie can't be good without big buff men, I'm saying it just won't be as popular. We are looking for the Hero element. The seemingly unattainable perfection to look up to and strive for.  I hear there's to be yet another Batman movie.  Perfect example!

images of all the Batmans

Compared to the comic book version of Batman, Adam West's TV Batman was a marshmallow, and when Batman came to the big screen, they committed the unforgiveable sin of rubber suit muscles (and nipples!). Of course we love comic book hero movies but don't leave out the main reason we love them. (Yes, I know Bruce Wayne is a real man, but he trains to be stronger.) If the actor's physique needs rubber muscles, keep looking. He should look like that in spandex or lycra, not plastics.

And Superman. Where are the biceps on these two? SUPERman.

images of Superman

There is hope for the future:  I look to Vin Diesel and The Rock to help change this, but as long as Hollywood keeps casting men (and women) who are anything less than Arnoldish, our response will be lukewarm. Back to Thor . . .

images of various Thors

Despite Chris Hemsworth's seeming average build (he is 6' 3" and he did beef up for this role), he is not big enough for my childhood fantasies of Thor. Compared to Superman, Batman, and Spiderman, Thor was a beast! Now look at Chris as Thor. When he raises the hammer, frankly, my arm is that big. What I was hoping for was the Thor I grew up with from comic books, or Triple H!  This shot of a character falling back after being hit with the hammer (from the THOR movie preview) has the kind of build I expected Thor to have.  If you compare Arnold's arms to the shot of Chris in costume above him, that says it all.  We want more BIG MEN and less average actors.  Is anybody listening?!

Still, I have crushingly big  hopes for THOR. The preview brings The Chronicles of Riddick to mind (and that's a good thing). (I'm just glad they didn't cast Brad Pitt.)

There had better be a LOT of lightning! 


 


Jan 10  Not-To-Be-Missed Action Movies:

Ong Bak 3
Don't call yourself an Action Movie FREAK, or even a Fan if you don't go see Ong Bak 3 on the big screen. This much-anticipated installment in the Tony Jaa triology looks promising! It will be in theaters this Friday, the 14th.


 

The Mechanic
"Know What A Mechanic Is? A Hitman." Statham doing what Statham does best: being lethal.  The Mechanic in theaters Jan. 28th. GOTTA LOVE that huge screenplay title!


 


I wasn't going to include The Green Hornet. It reeked of being one of those movies that the preview is better than the movie and I am objecting to the casting of Seth Rogan in an action film. Plus, I don't like 3D, but what the hell, I will probably see it anyway for Jay Chou, and it will probably disappoint.

P.S. The Green Hornet was a Nice Surprise!
I did see The Green Hornet (how could I not?!) and I thoroughly enjoyed it! I saw that Seth Rogan helped write it and it kept me laughing all the way through. I thought it was a little childish but that's what I liked about it. It totally made me feel like I was 10 years old again and sneaking reading a comic book with a flashlight under the covers after I was supposed to be asleep. Except for one at the beginning, I liked the direction of the fight scenes. I loved the concept of how they assessed the situation and I loved the choreography—It was so comic-booky, and that hasn't made me this happy since Raiders of the Lost Ark! I think the cars, weapons, and gadgets put it over the top.

The Green Whore Net LOL or all that partying he wasn't too suave with the ladies if that was how he tries to kiss Cameron Diaz. Seemed much more like a 5th grader. A guy who lets women come to him because he's rich/famous probably has no 'game' (owch sorry).  Even though Seth Rogan seems to have gotten more fit, I still think he's too schlumpy for the role. I think with action movies, we want to picture ourselves as the hero and no one wants to be Seth Rogan (sorry Seth but that's part of what you've made your career on isn't it?). If the character had gotten buffed out to be this super hero personae but lacked Kato's skills (like he did until the end), that would have been more fun. But we still had scruffy Shaggy, I mean Seth. Do some training, shave, get a crewcut! Transform more physically. We WANT that we-could-be-that-guy feeling, not we are that guy except for the money.

I thought Seth Green held his own and Jay Chou (intentionally or unintentionally) did not overshadow him. They worked well together as opposites.


Jan 9  Season of the Witch

Todd Brown of showcase.ca's review of Season of the Witch is so on the money! This movie was so bad I wanted to walk out [and wondered why am I wasting my time] but forced myself to stay. And I agreed with him in every way but one: That Nicolas Cage was "off the grid" and "all over the map".

[Okay, well, two ways: The critics fawned over Kick Ass but I was so bored in that I did walk out (something I hadn't done since the early 80s.)] Yes, this movie was really bad but I have to defend Nicolas Cage! Good or bad movies, he's very entertaining and holds the spotlight. Plus he's made so many great movies, it's a little of a cringing 'how-can-you-say-that' feeling to me.

It's rare that you see a Nicolas Cage movie and anybody else is a scene stealer. I have to, in his defense, list his movies (the ones I have seen and loved).

From the very early: Valley Girl, Rumble Fish, Peggy Sue Got Married, Raising Arizona, and Moonstruck

To the sweet: Guarding Tess, It Could Happen To You, Trapped in Paradise, City of Angels, The Family Man

To the memorable: Leaving Las Vegas, The Rock, Face Off, Snake Eyes, Bangkok Dangerous, Lord of War, Matchstick Men, National Treasure, The Weatherman

Even the bad ones, I liked him in: Kiss of Death, Amos and Andrew, Con Air, Gone in 60 Seconds, Captain Corelli's Mandolin, Ghost Rider, and The Wicker Man

So I went to see this, figuring how bad could it be if Nicolas Cage is in it? LOL And knowing the answer (Wicker Man cult bad—video below) but loving him anyway. I also stayed because I thought maybe it would go the way of "How'd it get burned?" and I'd miss out, or that there HAD to be SOMEthing worthwhile and maybe something great would happen at the end. I was wrong. [The only pretty cool thing was the devil holding Ron Perlman in his wings and incinerating him, but that was not worth 2 hours of my life.] 


For me, the biggest problem for the movie was as Todd Brown put it: "Memo to writer: your character must have a conscience for it to be in crisis." This happens in way too many movies I have seen in the last few years. No tension. (There was tension in the bridge crossing but we've seen that so many times before, and that lasts only as long as that scene. It doesn't drive the movie or make you care about the main character.)

As I left the auditorium at the end, I overheard a teenager waiting outside for a different film scoff something about "Nicolas Cage movies" and I wondered how many could he possibly have seen to be so dismissive at his age? I disagree with Todd Brown that Gone in 60 Seconds was bad. It's a classic, I own it, and watch it over and over "Let's roll".

In this movie Nicolas Cage was, at worst, mildly bewildered looking most of the time, like his character was lost in a fog (which was fitting); like he was deep in thought about his dilemma and occasionally snapped out of it to do something good or bad.

For me the plot was all over the map, not Cage. When Cage goes off the grid or is all over the map it's pretty spectacular! I think he did what he could with what he had to work with and blame the script and the Director for a lackluster movie. Cage is still Cage and I think the performance was solid given the material.

[Afterthought: After all the movies he's done, he must know when a script is bad. He seems to love a challenge, so is it just that he doesn't care that he's in a bad movie? Or does he do what he can to see if he can improve it, take the check, and not look back? I was amazed to see that actors sometimes have no idea when a script is genius like John Goodman talking about Barton Fink. How do you not know?! ]

(nightwoodband.com's "In Praise of Nicolas Cage")


Jan 2  Awesome ActionFest Blog

ActionFest.com is getting a revamp and they have added a BAD-ASS BLOG by 2011 Festival Director @ColinGeddes!  It promises to be the best place to find out all the coolest action movie news. It's where I found this awesome featured ultra-violent preview for YAMADA:


Jan 1  2011 Resolutions
What better way for an Action Movie FREAK to start a new year than purchasing a VIP Pass to ActionFest 2011 (here's mine from 2010). Get yours before Feb. 28th while they are just $60. After that it's still a crazy good bargain to see 5 movies a day for 3 days plus stunt shows and a major Action Movie Star as the honoree.  Can't wait to find out who it is!  Stay tuned to Actionfest.com as changes to their site will be out sometime very soon . . . My 2011 resolutions are to be positive, live in the moment and not look back (thanks Dog Whisperer), to not waste time, and to get my subgenre project up live on this site before ActionFest begins April 7th.

l am also NOT A FAN of CGI where it's ridiculous to the point that it ruins the movie as it did in Pirates of The Caribbean: At Worst End (World's). That whirlpool was real looking, but the fight on the spar was just so long it was silly! There's no way they wouldn't have fallen. Seems like sometimes they don't know where to stop or when to edit. Just because they can produce an incredible effect, doesn't mean 10 minutes of it instead of thirty seconds it necessarily adds anything to the movie. 

Special effects, no matter if they are oh-my-god-you-can't-miss-this-movie incredible, just aren't enough by themselves. As much as I was looking forward to getting that Jason and the Argonauts feeling from Clash of the Titans, in the end I skipped it.

I also skipped Transformers 2, Iron Man 2, Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time, and may end up skipping Tron: Legacy (aka "The Dude Rides") just because of Jeff Bridges and his stupid open-mouthed blank expression that worked so well in The Coen Brothers masterpiece study of passivity v. aggression, The Big Lebowski, but which has bothered me in every movie of his after it never left his face in Arlington Road.  Ah, who am I kidding? TRON was soooo cool at the time and helped interest in video games explode. I had "Pac wrist" and spent $50 a week in video game arcades. I have to go see what they did with it.  Honestly though, the father/son casting WAY high in annoyance factor! The son's voice, in real life, yikes. I thought Jeff Bridges was bad until I heard Garrett Hedlund. I hope it doesn't pull me out of the suspension of disbelief. Looks WAY COOL!

Although the greatest case for the CGI not justifying the movie has to be Avatar, it's almost as if when the special effects are that great, you have to go see it and you have to say it was good. I say Oh hell no! Visually stunning wasn't enough to outweigh a simplistic story ("unobtanium"?—who still thinks they were clever for making up that name?!), two-dimensional characters, and a lack of editing that pulled the film down and made it drag (they could have cut so much out). There's an Emperor's New Clothes element to saying anything bad about Avatar. I didn't want to see it because I knew it could never live up to the hype, but it's almost like you can't miss seeing it without people disregarding you as crazy, and yet when I came out of it, I knew I was right. As visually dazzling as it was, it wasn't a good enough movie to 'sit through' twice. I refuse to jump on the that-was-a-great-movie bandwagon. As a movie, and not just a special-effects vehicle, it was just okay. I think it was creative to take all that underwater stuff and put it on land. I cannot fault the effects, they blew me away. I wanted to love it and go see it again and again and get lost in the world of the blue monkeys, but it was not fun enough and way too long.

Kathryn Bigelow getting some satisfaction accepting Academy Award for Best Director and Best Picture over ex-husband James Cameron-you go girl!I have to say that if they had given the Best Director or Best Picture Oscar to James Cameron, I'd have stopping watching the Academy Awards. THANK GOD they gave it to Kathryn Bigelow and The Hurt Locker! [It almost makes up for the last time I stopped watching because they snubbed E.T. and Stephen Spielberg and gave the big two awards to Ghandi! Almost.]  I think we may be well into CGI just for CGI sake. It sure seems like we're well into 3D for the sake of higher ticket prices. Neither of these things will make me see a movie.

 

Comic Relief
And . . . as much as I am a fan of comic books (I even like Aquaman), just because a movie is based on a comic book doesn't mean I'm going to see it either. The critics seemed to slather "Kick-Ass" in drool, but I was so bored, I walked out. I haven't walked out of a movie since I can remember . . . I even sat through The Marine though I was itching to leave. I also skipped Watchmen. I like Josh Brolin so I wanted to see Jonah Hexx, but since it's only 1:20 it has to suck. I have this stupid idea that anything under 1:31 isn't worth seeing (just my years of judging movies by run times). I don't feel it's time enough to get invested and then resolve things in a satisfying way. Either they don't have enough build up or they've rushed the ending. I hate it when the beginning is great, then bam! it's over when you wanted to see it played out. (It's like a chick flick with no wedding! Hello Pride and Prejudice! Why do you think the mini series was so popular? Double wedding!! How do you leave that out? Wait, my panties are in a wad and this was supposed to be an action movie rant.)

Team Work
I love the trash-talking bravado of the action movie bad ass, but even the promise of too much of that from The Losers wasn't enough to get me to spend $6 because I read it was downright horrible. I am really glad to see the reappearance of the bad-ass-team type of action movie: like The Expendables. The "A" Team  got the job done.

So what did I pay to see?
• Pan-bore-um
(Pandorum) Yikes, the plot! I'm a sucker for space movies.
• Surrogates Zzzz like Zombieland. Too much story, not enough action.
• The Crazies
Gross and violent in the BEST way.
• Splice I called it Sex With The Sea Monkeys. It was more disturbing on a parenting level than a genetic one.
• The Book of Eli
First, let me just say: Denzel! ("Women love them some Denzel" SPIKE LEE) It had some really great action/explosions/gun fights but Denzel was a little stiff—but, that could be attributed to him (spoiler alert) playing blind, which you don't find out until the end.
• Robin Hood
I had too-high hopes for the subject matter.
• Edge of Darkness
I hated to give Mel Gibson a penny but it looked old-fashioned-Dirty-Harry-type good, and it was. It was surprisingly not quite that predictable. It did not redeem him, however. 
• Cop Out
was surprisingly better than expected thanks to Tracey Morgan.
• Knight and Day was fun and worth the ticket price but not worth reviewing in detail. Read more above.

No Thanks . . .
With apologies to all the kind folks who spent their talents, time, and money making them, these movies seemed like they would not be worth my time or the ticket price:
Green Zone (not sold on Matt Damon as an action star and don't like the Bourne series either),
Legion (angels?!)
Killers NO THANKS
The Last Airbender (I loved M. Night Shayalan in the beginning. I loved what his sort-of-modern-Hitchcock style, but The Village killed him for me.)
The Other Guys God, I so want to like this but, WILL FERRELL! Enough Ferrell. OMG I even went to see Step Brothers. NO Will, we do not want to see your balls. PLEASE keep your clothes on. I love so much of his work "glass case of emotion", but get over yourself! Will overkill. He's starting to be the same annoying self in everything. I hate them for putting him in Land of the Lost! I loved that show. (NO, I did not go see the movie.)

YES!! Pretty please with cherries on top!
My hopes for the summer are already exceeded with the release of The Expendables! Add Predators to that, and I'm HAPPY. The rest is gravy! I hope to see:
• Inception
• The American
• A Woman A Gun And A Noodle Shop
• Machete
• Resident Evil: Afterlife

Unstoppable

Luckily for me, I already these as-yet-unreleased action movies at ActionFest:
Operation Endgame Great cast but insufficient plot
Valhalla Rising I will try again to see it for Mads Mikkelsen
Centurion Go see it!

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