The persistent talk about missing the awesome 80s age of Action and whether or
not Action Movies are dead (!) is a little irritating to me. I think
it's just stalled. All it
would take to have that Predator-pumped-up Action Movie magic in theatres again is a
whole lot of testosterone. Somebody needs to get a little mythology
going—add a WHOLE LOT of muscle, a liberal splash of confidence, and
start doing some trash talking.
We all want to feel there is someone big and strong who can come to our
rescue, defeat evil, and save the day. Part of being an
Action Movie Action Figure
is being heroic in real life, and consistent in your
choice of roles.
Once everyone heard of
Arnold Schwarzenegger through Pumping Iron,
he had his mythology in tow. Bringing a real-life story like this to his
roles is what made him the Action Movie
Action Figure. He already had the stature. Weightlifting gave him a
and the world's best physique. These things combined with
his unique personality and drive in pursuing 'the American Dream', made him someone to look up to. His
first acting role was nothing less heroic than the most heroic character in mythology,
Rocky and Rambo:
Sylvester Stallone cemented his place in our hearts as an
Action Figure with the
underdog story of Rocky, and with his own struggle to
make the movie he wanted, his way. The Rocky series is part of Sly's
mythology, and the character is "absolutely" a mythic hero.
Following Rocky, Mr. Stallone then made thoughtful and sensitive choices by taking up causes with the Rambo series (representing the
treatment of the returning Vietnam veteran, the POW-MIA heartbreak we
all felt at the end of the war, and the 'use' of the Afghanistan people
by an 'evil' super power*. With these career and life achievements, comes our respect.
An undeniable part of the success of these men and their movies was their
impressive physicality. This ingredient is the most-often-forgotten part
of today's Action Movie formulas, and rubber-suited-comic-book-hero
movies. Take, for example, Thor:
Chris Hemsworth was great as Thor, but Thor is supposed to be
mammoth-ly muscular. Action Movie Freaks crave that. When I heard it was
said Chris was getting too big, I wanted to scream "It's THOR!"
As with the mind-popping side shot of Arnold's
Predator, we want to blown away by size. Size matters! You have
to be big enough to make what you are doing seem real. Sylvester
Stallone and Arnold Schwarzenegger, with big muscles and with bigger attitude, through real-life struggles and
on-screen choices, became larger than life.
The Action Movie Bad Ass can also become a legend even if they are not as
big as Arnold or Sly, as long as they have mad skills like
Jackie Chan or
We respect their abilities so much, we are eager
to watch them in anything.
Their mythology is in their training, and with each
film they make, their legend grows.
Speaking of mad skills and muscles, the only thing wrong with
Michael Jai White's
careers is that we don't get to see enough of them in leading roles.
Cast them! We'll watch. As much as I love him, I wish Tom Cruise would let someone else take some of his roles. I think he's been
so blessed, people are starting to resent him (the public's negative reaction to
him simply expressing his happiness with the sofa jumping is proof of
that). I would have liked to see Scott Adkins in Oblivion.
When an Action Figure has Mad Skills along with super Good Looks*, like
Damme, they tend to
stray or are lured into Drama and Romantic Comedy. Dolph and Jean-Claude
didn't, and this is part of what made them Action Movie Legends. It's okay
to stray to other genres a few times, but over and over dilutes an Action Movie career, and
Action Figure image.Channing Tatum
could easily have become an 80s style Action Movie Legend but he did too many other
genres. (He's also a dancer and his acting career has been more varied.) It will
be interesting to see whereChris
Taylor Lautner's careers take them.
To become an Action Movie Legend, you have to be loyal to
the Action genre.
Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson
had his Action Figure mythology in spades with his family's cultural heritage and wrestling
legacy, but then he stalled our
enthusiasm by doing too many
kids' movies. Vin Diesel's career is half Action, half other.
Seems every three Action Movies, he does a drama. These two
Actors were supposed to continue the Action Movie BAD ASS Legend
started by Schwarzenegger and Stallone, but I guess they didn't realize we just don't want to see our Action Heroes as the Tooth Fairy or The
They last way to become an Action Movie Legend is Mad Skills
and Trash Talking. You guessed it:
Steven Seagal. Even in the heyday of his Aikido skills,
as we were watching
him crack bones, he was a little gangly, a lot less 'big'.
This didn't matter as long as he made it look good and shoved it
down the bad guys' throats. There just isn't enough trash
talking in Action Movies today. There's some, but not nearly
We are still waiting for one or more really muscular guys, with a
crazy amount of confidence, skilled in some fighting style or
other, to play the HERO, and talk shit! MAD FLOW! We want
mad flow . . .
IMDB sums up Blood Money as "A Colombian drug cartel joins
forces with a group of Hong Kong Triads and the hottest Hitman on the
planet . . ." And it stars Pitbull as himself!
My first thought was: "I live in Miami. How did I not know
Pitbull was in an Action Movie?" The fact that Pitbull was in the
movie was enough to get me interested, but then they billed the star
(the "hottest hitman")
Zheng Liu as "the next Bruce Lee"! Then I thought "Who
the hell is Zheng Liu and how come I never heard of him?"
So, I investigated and found this at indiewire:
"XLrator Media (website/not
on twitter) is launching a new label, Turbo by XLrator
(no website/not on twitter), dedicated to the release of
INTERNATIONAL ACTION FILMS in North America [emphasis
added]. The first three films will be Naked Soldier, Blood Money,
and Brawler. Some of the most thrilling and boundary-pushing
filmmaking that has revitalized the action genre is coming from all
over the world, such as The Raid: Redemption from Indonesia, 13
Assassins from Japan, District 13: Ultimatum from France,
Ironclad from the U.K. and the Og Bak series from
Thailand,” said XLrator CEO Barry Gordon (not on twitter?),
who will curate the new label with marketing and distribution
president Mike Radiloff (@MikeRad63).
“Turbo by XLrator will bring the most adrenaline-pumping, kick-ass
new visions and filmmakers from around the globe to NORTH
AMERICAN [again, emphasis added]ACTION FANS.”
Well, that's more great news I missed, but . . . Lucky for me, I saw
most of those movies at ActionFest
What caught my eye was "North America".
Dear Turbo by XLrator, Barry Gordon, and
If you make an Action Movie with Pitbull in it, Miami audiences will pay
to see it ("North America" we are not LOL). If billed as such, no doubt
Central and South American audiences (and the Caribbean) will as well.
So, why did this movie go straight to DVD?!
Maybe Action Movie distributors need to go to the midnight showing of
Fast Six at a theater in Miami. We LOVE Action Movies, and we love
our reggaeton stars (and it's BIG here and it's here to stay)! Seeing
Fast Five at midnight here was one of the most fun movie experiences
I have ever had. It was like you were in the movie with Vin Diesel,
The Rock, and Ludacris, because when Tego Calderon and
Dom Omar appeared, it was like you knew them from down the
So, I had never heard of this movie, Blood Money, until someone
in my family bought me a DVD of Director Isaac Florentine's
Assassin's Bullet, and it was in the trailers. (The release date was
listed simply as only USA 28 Aug 2012.)
And I had never heard of Zheng Liu. There isn't much on the web
about him, he is not on Wikipedia (nor is the movie). I guess I will
have to wait and watch for myself. The movie is not on Netflix,
and it's not on Amazon Instant Video. (You can look for an
illegally downloadable version but there are 2 other movies with the
same name from 2012: A Bollywood movie and an abortion documentary.
I ordered the DVD from Amazon.com. I don't download illegally. I prefer
to pay for my entertainment because it's right, and, to show my support
and appreciation the efforts of all involved in bringing it to
me). Reviews were mixed, but I can't wait! It's not the first time
someone has been called "the next Bruce Lee". I just think of it as a
compliment, not to diminish the legend of Bruce Lee but to pay homage.
Of course everyone is unique. Think of it as a tribute to Zheng Liu's
skills or attitude, style, or philosophy. If he is all that,
we can say we saw him starting from his first movie . . .
From photos of the vehicles for the next Mad Max movie, it seems the
movie will more than satisfy on the wicked machines side, but this movie
is also surprisingly chock full of beautiful women. Led by Charlize
Theron, it should be interesting to see what kind of group they make
and what they do to our heroTom Hardy:
poor, beautiful Tom, it's a tough job but somebody's gotta do it.
In alphabetical order L-R:
Courtney Eaton (first Acting role for this
Model) aka Fragile, 5'10"
Megan Gale (Model, no character name;
looks like Megan Fox), 5' 11"
Huntington-Whaley (Victoria's Secret Model and
Jason Statham's girlfriend) aka Splendid,5'
Riley Keough (Elvis Presley's
granddaughter and Model/Actress) aka Capable,5' 7"
Zoë Kravitz (Lenny Kravitz & Lisa
Boney's daughter and Model/Actress/Musician) aka Toast,5' 2"
Abby Lee (Victoria's Secret Model/Actress)
aka The Dag,5' 10 3/4"
Charlize Theron (Dancer/Model/Actress) aka
Imperator Furiosa,5' 9 1/2"
delivers Action Movie mayhem!
December 21, 2012
Jack Reacher was nothing like I thought it was going to be. I guess I
was expecting something akin to Every Which Way But Loose with Tom
Cruise brawling his way through bigger men but it was a
suspenseful Action Movie with snappy dialogue. It had great action. I would recommend it, especially for Tom Cruise
fans. As often happens with movies that create characters for possible
sequels, you wonder if it would have been better or just different with
an unknown. No matter who Jack Reacher is, you can't get past that
he's Tom Cruise. I think if the Actor was as physically huge as the character was
supposed to be, it would have come off as if he was a bully or anyone
was crazy to mess with him. Having someone of average build just made
him more Bad Ass. If you can let go of the source material, the
movie is great fun! It should be seen for the car chase alone but
there is so much more there to enjoy!
Been waiting for this one. Ever since some photos of filming showed up
on twitter and instagram, I've been wondering what the trailer would
look like for this movie. Naturally, I'm crazy excited that it's
Michael Bay and that it's filmed in Miami. PLUS it stars Dwayne Johnson and Mark Wahlberg (I know, I know, you were thinking "The Rock" and "Marky Mark",
Action Movies & Action Stars on instagram
December 15, 2012
Fast 6 is an example of getting it right (so far). They have
shown production and behind the scenes shots (makes you feel like you
are part of the crew). I'm all for using every available method of
promotion. Lately, however, it seems they do too much. Prometheus
oversaturated the market, and it looks like Pacific Rim is going
to do the same. We already want to see these movies, so I
wish they'd leave something for
the actual movie going experience, and wait for the buzz/word of mouth.
Please don't show us the creatures and the
robots in Pacific Rim, let us be surprised.
Take Hansel and Gretel for example. The first trailer was cool,
but they've started showing too much of the witches. I just know they are
going to get desperate and show whatever huge creature is in the forest,
and that will be the only thing worth going to the movie for, so why
bother? I am speaking up on this because I hope it will help
(if anyone's reading this). (LOL . . . crying.) ;D
(The photos above are all from one cool guy "juancagram".
You should follow him if you like what you see. He posts very regularly
and always cool Action-oriented stuff.)
So many new trailers
have come out in the last week:
Man of Steel,
Star Trek Into Darkness,
G.I. Joe Retaliation
(#3 with an intro by The Rock).
I did not go see The Hobbit, therefore I missed the first 9
minutes of the Star Trek movie. I hope that's not a trend. Trailers
lately are more like highlight reels than teasers. They show you every
big moment, so you just have to figure out what order it comes in. It's
disappointing to leave the theater thinking that the two-minute-mini-movie
that got you there could have sufficed. The trailer should never show ANYthing of
the ending. I am still wishing they did not show James Bond adjusting
his cuff when he jumped onto the train "Just changing cars". WHY!?
"Damn you all to hell!" I have been waiting to see that since
Pierce Brosnan 'tanked' St. Petersburg. Save something for the film,
I am hereby pledging not to watch trailers anymore, and hoping that A Good Day To Die
Hard's short-but-sweet trailer that I already watched (you can't
help it sometimes, you know) is not every big moment in that
anxiously awaiting the new Chronicles of Riddick movie but Oblivion looks
more like what I was hoping for visually. Since I heard the Riddick
movie is set in one place, I was wondering how cool could it be if we
don't see the Underverse and he's not being chased from place to place.
Also, seems there's no jail. This from someone on IMDB:
"Betrayed by his own kind and left for dead
on a desolate planet, Riddick fights for survival against alien
predators and becomes more powerful and dangerous than ever before.
Soon bounty hunters from throughout the galaxy descend on Riddick
only to find themselves pawns in his greater scheme for revenge.
With his enemies right where he wants them, Riddick unleashes a
vicious attack of vengeance before returning to his home planet of
Furya to save it from destruction."
I am glad to hear it ends on Furya, but that makes me
wonder how Vaako took over, and will we ever get to see the Underverse?
The Chronicles of Riddick was SO COOL in every aspect: costumes,
will just have a lot to live up to. Wonder which will come out first?
Oblivion is listed for19 April 2013 (in IMAX) and Riddick
I'm going to assume you saw the first movie and know
the basic premise, and unless I have to, I'm not going to compare it to
the first version unless it serves a purpose, because even though it's a
remake, it stands on its own. The first thing I loved about it was the
TRASH TALKING. "Don't
you have to secure the perimeter or something—rendezvous with Douche
Company?" They kept me chuckling throughout—Love that! Also
loved the opening DOMINANCE "Let's compromise" and the
resulting CAMARADERIE later.
The Action takes off right out of the gate with the
aerial attack and then an all-out car chase that lets you know the
STAKES ARE LIFE AND DEATH. Chris Hemsworth's
character "Jed" does what he has to: clips a car to keep going,
slams into the back of his father's police car to bash it into the
enemy, drives through yards, and doesn't back off when crashing to take
out the enemy's Hummer. The movie uses the hometown invasion situation to its full
potential. The kids know the back roads and get the hell out of town.
Jed is the lead character. A Marine, home on a break from Iraq,
visiting his father and brother. Without going too much into particulars
to spoil it, suffice it to say with some MILITARY TRAINING, he turns
his younger brother and the group of his high-school student friends into a
fighting unit. As Jed says "We'll hit them on our terms when we're good and
ready." They don't waste time showing too much of the training (meaning it doesn't take
too much time out of the movie)
before the team is in action. They hide in plain sight, use a decoy to
ambush soldiers, get more weapons, plant explosives, and generally
cause havoc. As Jed put it "Even the tiniest flea can drive a big dog crazy." What
can less than a dozen high school students do? Plenty! There's a fairly
The movie is mainly about the group as a fighting
unit and what that means, and about family. Jed's
HEROIC WORDS about fighting for your freedom
resonate and when they are repeated later, give weight and meaning to
the movie. It's perfectly done in that respect. They have a focus and
they stick to it. They keep it simple and it works.
I loved that they have to upgrade the WEAPONS! They start out with
TEC-9s and upgrade to AKMs, AKMSs, and AKMSUs. Thanks toIMFDB who sees
all. When more Marines show up, it reminds you and drives home the fact that the
just kids by contrast, which makes what they have done that much cooler.
The difference is clear, not just in the uniforms versus plain clothes
but also in their weapons. The Marine Corps Sergeant Major Andrew Tanner
(played Jeffrey Dean Morgan) and and the other two Marines "are armed
with suppressed M4A1 carbines" (pictured above). Impressively scary gun.
bristles with weaponry and wrecks lots of
VEHICLES. [SPOILER] When the group charges the detention area in
vehicles with mounted Heavy Machine Guns and Mini Guns, they haven't
shown you them preparing the vehicles, they just appear in them, and it
gives the ambush the maximum visual effect.
The moment we were all waiting for and wondering
about was when the battle cry "Wolverines" would be
uttered. Since most people have seen the first movie, the novelty of
them being just high school students who become an effective fighting
unit was gone. The originality of idea of the battle cry being the name
of their high school mascot as a call to power could not
be unknown to audiences who love the first movie, so what could they do?
Well, what they did was amplify that moment (in action and in context) and
EXEMPLIFY BRAVERY, so that it not only satisfies, it pumps you
up. Click the image below to watch the scene but don't ruin it for
yourself if you haven't seen the movie yet. They delivered on that
moment and then some by having it not be the moment they have an
identity and become a force but more of a crowning victory moment later
giving it maximum impact. You knew they were the "Wolverines"
before you sat down so they wisely made it celebratory rather than
branding and you know it's coming, so you cheer with them.
They have a little fun with the Marines being older
(I won't spoil that). I was glad they didn't miss that opportunity. It
serves to highlight what youth can do, and the movie is all about that
too—It celebrates that and should be a hit with high school students.
Time will tell if this movie has the cult popularity of the first. In
keeping with true
Action Movie Essentials they also have plenty of fun with
ONE LINERS. When the Marine Sgt-Major says "It's a good day to
die." Jed jokes "Marines
don't die—they go to hell and regroup." I'd never heard that so I
loved it, and it drove home what they were up against.
They don't delve much into character development or relationships
beyond the two brothers and that helps. When Jed says "You fucked
with the wrong family" it's another example of how they kept it in
the forefront that these were ordinary citizens in extraordinary
circumstances. Seeing the family station wagon in use for attacks
The whole movie I was expecting them to kill one
person. They seemed to hint at it several times, but when it finally
happens they still manage to surprise you (the
GNARLY KILL that makes you flinch) and to remind you that the stakes are
high. Their keeping it simple story wise was spot on. When the father
says "I want you to go to war and stop this piece of shit or die
trying" (I may not have that quote exactly right) you know the setup and they do this very early on (as they should) so you are invested.
In all the ways the first movie was good, this movie was better
considering originality was off the table.
Kudos to the writers Carl Ellsworth and
Jeremy Passmore (2012 screenplay), and to Director Dan Bradley.
For his directorial debut, it's a winner! He's had a distinguished
career being Stunt Coordinator and Second Unit Director in some really
great Action Movies. I hope he was as satisfied with it as I was! Oorah!
(Besides being a Stunt Coordinator for all three Bourne
movies, he also did stunts in an amazing list of movies. Some of my
favorites from the list: Crank, Monkey Bone, Disorganized
Crime, Heathers, and Re-Animator(!). Thelist of movies he was the
Second Unit Directoron is even more impressive than the Stunt
Coordinator list. I hope he directs more Action Movies because the man
Another standout was actor Josh Peck of
Nickelodeon-TV-Show-Drake-&-Josh fame. He stole the show there
and he steals it here. Really? Against
Action FigureChris Hemsworth? Well,
there is the blue-eyes-in-the-moonlight scene but since
keeps his shirt on, yeah, Josh steals the show. Chris was really
good too, though, and I have to mention the "Enough Talk!" guy.
Not since Gary Oldman screamed "Eve-ry-one!" in The
Professional has someone scared the crap out of me just by yelling.
The Actor's name is listed simply as Boyuen. He's done
mostly TV until now. If he can do that in such a small scene, I'd like
to see more of him (in Action Movies of course).
And I'd like to see more Action Movies like this one
that satisfy my
Movie Essentials. It's what people are always
talking about when the mention the awesome 80s Age of Action.
Gotta have as many of them as possible. If you are in doubt, refer to
the Bible of Awesome Action,
Snitch stars Dwayne Johnson, Jon Bernthal, and Benjamin Bratt. So
glad to see Jon Bernthal again! Since he left The Walking Dead and
left a huge Bad Ass vacuum . . . that show just hasn't been the
same. The movie seems intense. Brought to mind 1998's underrated Black
Dog (starred Patrick Swayze). (Poster released
Before the showing of Argo I
saw a trailer for Gangster
Squad. The cast blew me away:
Robert ("T1000") Patrick (the liquid metal Terminator from Terminator
2: Judgement Day)
Michael Peña (End of Watch)
Anthony Mackie, and
Giovanni Ribisi . . . but the trailer was just as good! Can't
wait for this movie (11 Jan 2013). Love that Old Hollywood look like
L.A. Confidential from
the 1940s and 50s. That movie catapulted the careers of Russell Crowe
and Guy Pearce, who were equally good. I wonder who will be able
to steal the show from the likes of Sean Penn and Nick Nolte?
Such a strong cast!
The Director and Writer are young and fresh off
TV. To me that makes for big drama since the way TV is written they have
to keep you wanting to come back after the commercials. The Director did
Women in Action Movies: What Real
Women Want to See and
the Only Way This Works
November 18, 2012
“I got two great ideas,”
Stallonesaid in the interview. “I believe the Expendables …
they’re broken up, they’re shot, they’ve had it, they’re done. We
have to hire new ‘us,’ we have to find new Expendables, but there
are none! They do not make people like us anymore, they are all like
robots. I know I can go out and hire five young guys, but they’re
the new army, they got drones and technology, but they’re not like
us. Remember in Tropic Thunder? Just like Those Guys!
Or, there’s another
combination, and it Involves girlfriends. Say I got divorced,
say I am married to Sigourney Weaver, then she gets half the
Expendables, she gets what I call the Expendabelles. I know I
need help and I have to go to her. And I’d like to have like
Michelle Rodriguez, Gina Carano. It’ll be something like that, very
different. The main thing is it can not be about us! We’re done. We
need to bring in new blood. And you bring in geeks and girls and
women, people who are different.”
Let me say that a well-chosen cast of unknowns could easily
pull this off. Young blood, strong hot men, YEAH, we want to see that.
Start with bodybuilders or martial arts masters or fighters who are not
Actors, or find the Actors who just have not gotten a big break. Just
pick young, good looking martial artists (worked for
Dolph Lundgren!). I don't agree that there are no men like them.
Just no men like them being given, and sticking to, the right Action Movie material (scripts). They may not
have the repair manual but they have the tools and the equipment.
and I choked at the word "girlfriends"—OMG NO! I know
everyone has been saying if the old guys can do it, let the old Action
Movie actresses (Sigourney
Weaver as he chose to list) prove they can 'do it' too.
NO. We don't want to see that from a "girlfriends" angle. Keep the
domestic drama out of it! If the women are not equals
(another Expendables team but all female EQUALS not wives), it won't
work. (No drama, unless Mr. Stallone wants to make the last Rambo
movie a love story—women would love that!) (Or maybe it would work if
The Expendables are training their daughters?
We teach our sons to fight but not our daughters who need self protection
So who do I think am I speaking for? Well,
always first for women in general. Then, for the true Action Movie
Freak. Surprise! This site is by a woman. Are you leaving?
Please don't. And I'm an older woman at that. (Anybody left reading?
LOL) Yeah, everyone assumes I'm a twenty-something guy 'til they meet me.
I've been around since Chuck
Norris movies were in theaters. So, what do female Action
Movie fans, actually, I can make that: what do ALL FEMALES
want to see in Action Movies? The same damn thing you do! It's
as simple as that.
Force Reserve Master Sgt. and powerlifting champion Master Sgt. Tina
We relate to the Action Movie Hero, never to
the bimbos you put in there to pump you up and make you feel manly (MJW
:-X). Anything you
can do, we think we can do it too. Women do the impossible every day all
over the world. What would be the worst possible thing is if they put
now-soft old women in these roles (like Helen Mirren in Red who
really couldn't run or handle that gun) and think we give a shit or buy
it. We don't.
We want Vasquez! Don't tell me Men
and Women don't equally adore her.
We bought 'it' with The
Expendables and The
Expendables 2 because: 1. AWESOME ACTION, 2. you still look the part,
3. we love you so damn much, and 4. we're starved for
the type of Action
Movies you made great (containing my Action Movie Essentials).
Yeah, you might break a bone, but it's not laughable when you fire a
gun, or throw a punch. So, no slender-armed Michelle Rodriguezor Milla Jovovich
(as awesome as they are) waify model types. Those are the fantasy FOR MEN. No jiggling in
scanty CosPlay outfits. I'm thinking Gina Carano
too but bigger. Gina, please stop promoting the
'sexy' image. Strong is sexy. Sexy just loses their respect. Speaking of which . . .
What we want is R-E-S-P-E-C-T, and
the only way to get it is to do the same thing with the same amount of
clothes on. No shorts, no cleavage. Here are the only two ways I think an
all-female Expendables group would work:
1. Battle of the
An all-female Expendables (Expendabelles is a horrible name, sorry, but
it really is) team is hired to do the same job as the all-male team. It
could play with gender stereotypes and we would watch to see who gets
the better of the other team, but they would have to be equally strong,
equally believable. It might be funnier if they were younger women who
were strong as hell (like put-the-fear-of-God-in-you strong). We want
to see that!
2. Payback's a
Bitch Inside every woman is a Warrior (even one doing your dishes right
now, maybe especially them). You can't say women have not traditionally been
strong. One word: Amazons. They cut off one boob to aim their bows
better . . . (sound of crickets). No arguments. I thought not. (Boudica.
Joan of Arc.)
Okay, so a new image for girls and
women. The fully clothed soldier. A strong cheerleader WTF?! Meet Anna
Watson. Be anything you wanna be grrrl! The Equal. Show us that. Let us beat
up some weaker bad guys (let me)! We want to win for once without your
help. Be our own hero. Come to your rescue. We want to
fight a real fight. We want to not use feminine wiles or garb and get
the job done the same way you would. We want to outsmart you and get
there first, then we want to
trash talk it to your face 'til you cry. We want to rate you on
a scale of 1 to 10 and trivialize your existence. We want you to prance
around in skimpy clothes. We'll pay to see that.
Not since American
Dreamer has there been ANYthing even close. As far as a physically
strong woman character,
that movie was a joke (at the time I loved it) but it had a glimmer of hope
because she stood up for herself. We want to get the better of you . . . I think you hear us knocking and I think we're coming
in! It's just a matter of time. (Payback's a Bitch is a great
Action Movie title LMAO!)
STRENGTH is the universal language of Equality. To quote Enter The Dragon:
is STRENGTH that makes all other values possible.Nothing
survives without it." Especially
not Respect. Strength works for men, it will work for women. It's the
same. We are people first, female second.
Hey Females, Get some!
A new team, with distinct personalities: an explosives expert, a sniper,
an IT expert, etc., just like a male team. I can see that "The Right
Stuff" team-march-out moment now . . . (looked so cool most recently in
Another thing I'd love to see is a James Bond double-oh Agent Academy
(training for Secret Agent status) with hot young male and female Agents!
(worked for Starship Troopers)
I've seen some awesome marketing tools but this one
blows every other one away! Created to promote the release of The
Expendables 2, the creators of this video KNOW their Action
Movie Classics (LOL snake punching sums up what is missing in today's Action
Movies). Their "This is what you want; This is what you get"
mantra is SO on the money. I was tired of feeling like the only one who
wasn't satisfied with superhero movies. Yes, they're good movies but
they don't satisfy. They don't meet the Action Movie
Essentials. AT LAST, incontrovertible video proof of why . . . (Subscibe
TheActionMovieArtist's channelfor more!)
Tomorrow's Action Movie starsmay come
from humble but kick-ass beginnings like this indie filmUnlucky Stars.
Synopsis: "When Peru's biggest Action Film star and Jordan's newest
rising talent find themselves pursued by a notorious bookie, a couple of
private investigators are forced to choose between their job and their
twitter bio for
@Unlucky_Stars is "Because
Old School Action needs to live on . . ."Amen to
Enjoy . . . and keep an eye out for
Unlucky Stars, set
for completion by the end of the year.
(Help them promote the film by following them on
and liking them onFacebook.)
Skyfall is showing at 0:07 AM tonight
in IMAX. Got my tickets and can't wait! It seems to be widely
considered the best Bond yet. As well it should be. And it's 2
hours 23 minutes. LOVE that! I think Daniel Craig looks to be a little
beefier this time around. (The look on her face says it all.) Hope
I can forget the trailer so it doesn't ruin anything for me (other than
the straightening of his cuff after a dangerous moment—which I wish I
hadn't see until it happened in the movie. Love that suavy-ness!)
It's great that
Bond movies are still the pinnacle of the Action Movie genre.
Action Movie Freaks will thoroughly enjoy The Man
with the Iron Fists. It's Action-packed! Everyone in it seems to
have a turn or two starring in an all-out fight scene. I was
especially curious about Dave Bautista as "Brass Body" and
wow! "Hulk smash!" The violence seems nonstop but there is a
story to follow. As I watched the fight scenes (most of which involved
wire work) I thought, I know purists complain about wire work, but
Action Movie Freaks eat it up as long as the moves seem original, the
fights are bloody, and the weapons are cool. In that respect, this movie
is seriously over the top!
The other person I really wanted
to see was what kind of role (and power) Lucy Liu's character
would have as a Madam. I don't want to spoil anything so let's just say
her character more than delivers female empowerment that has nothing to
do with sex or being in a brothel. The fight choreography is so
incredible that you can hardly take it all in (Corey Yuen is the
"Action Coordinator".) I would have to see it at least three times to
feel like I caught it all. The costumes, the settings, the
moves: When Bautista appears, you can't take your eyes off him! I
thought the idea of a brass body might seem cheesy but, hell, who needs
brass? The man is seriously strong!!
RZA does the narration—his voice
is perfect—and his acting is understated, which is very effective in
garnering sympathy for his character. I love the vision in this
movie. It's a fantasy for sure, a fractured fairy tale of sorts (some of
us do dream of violence). I feel like we have seen so much, it's hard to
imagine that movie makers will bring anything new that can impress us,
and yet, they keep on doing just that! I loved all the detail, the
period it's set in, and all the characters. So often when a movie has
this many characters, it loses something. Not here.
described the film as an homage to the martial art films of the Hong
Brothers.""[Eli] Roth said that RZA had 'imagined every tribe, every fighting
style, every costume'." Like the myriad characters in this
movie, the weaponry is not only
interesting but wildly varied and plentiful! How about a four-barrelled
rump gun? Rapid-fire cross bows, a revolver that fires but also has a
spinning double blade, interlocking yin-yang axes, a suit of armor with
spring-loaded knives of every size and in every location, and, I almost
forgot, Iron Fists . . . just to name a few. All the characters use all
kinds of things as weapons. There's even a scene where the blood trails
in slo mo like the streamers on sticks the dancers use. Also
according to Wikipedia (from
an article by Bryan Alfaro for The Eastern Echo), the blood trails
spell the Chinese word for "revenge" and RZA "declined to
subtitle" it for English audiences. That's a shame. The Chinese
character and then the English word next to it would have been cool. The
scene has a huge impact anyway, but that would have been a little like
"BAM!" (I didn't include that fact when I first wrote this, but after I
slept on it, it haunted me.)
Speaking of "Bam", this movie has
so many visually arresting
scenes it could knock an eye out. The opening credits, first
fight scene, and the feel and lyrics of the opening song really set the
tone for the movie. RZA's character of the humble blacksmith is
compelling, and there is a lot of philosophy here. "When we see
through the veil of the color of skin, we are all the same." I was
surprised that his character was not featured more, but the movie was
stronger for it. There was a WHOLE LOT of talent, and he showcased it
and let everyone shine. And even though the story was about what went on
around the blacksmith and how that affected him, it was more a portrait
of "Jungle Village" in a feudal time and a fight over gold. That made it more
I don't know enough about the Shaw
Brothers movies to say this was a fitting tribute, or if anything was
'copied', or enough to spot a specific homage, but the love shows through, stylistically, aand
as pure entertainment, there are plenty of surprises and the pacing's
great! I have to mention Grace Huang who was "Gemini Female". She and
Bautista stood out a little, but only a little because everyone was
Woo-ping Yuen trilogy!
November 2, 2012
This article from twitchreveals Woo-ping Yuen aka Yuen Wo Ping is
set to direct a trilogy starring a FEMALE (yay!) lead as an assassin.
It's a revenge story and, according to twitch, is "being touted as
I love that idea because it marries Action to dressing well. You know
you love it when the Bad Ass dress well. How cool is the scene in
when Nicolas Cage's coat flaps in the wind, and you know you've always
wanted that Nehru-collar black coat that Keanu Reeves wears in
Dressing well made
that much cooler.
If you're a fan of the Universal Soldier series, this
trailer should have you over the edge with excitement. Universal
Soldier: Day of Reckoning is directed by John Hyams who also did
Universal Soldier: Regeneration and Dragon Eyes. You
it before it hits theaters, but you should watch it in
the theatre too. I'm gonna wait for it on the big screen Nov. 30th,
and hope the limited engagement includes Miami. Click through to YouTube
and watch it full screen. As Dolph says "Spread the word . . . that's
is an indication of RZA's mind set as a Director, it should be
interesting to see how those one-take scenes look! It must be really
cool to be involved in a picture with someone with such a creative
vision. Even if it's cheesy, it should still be visually and
thematically cool as hell.
I think Dave Bautista would be a perfect
voice is great!)
for a @GearsofWar
movie. I am adding him to the Bad Ass list and hope to see more of him
in films. He's coming out as one of the top 3 characters in the
"Untitled Chronicles of Riddick sequel"
with Vin Diesel and Karl Urban. Is there a better word
than WOW? Holy wow!
I'm a big Tyler Perry fan, and yes, I will
also see a movie that has Jean Reno and John C. McGinley
in it for sure, but going in, I wondered if Tyler Perry and Action would
turn out to be a strange mix, whether he would pull it off convincingly,
and what he would bring to the process.
Tyler Perry's a remarkable man
with a keen understanding of what is important in life, and sure enough,
this movie was Action, but it was also Tyler in the best ways.
The wisdom of his mother and her role in his family are central to who
his character is. How often does that happen in an Action Movie? (Loved
seeing Cicely Tyson!) Although for most of the movie I couldn't
forget it was Tyler Perry, like I couldn't not see "Jack" from LOST, in
the final scene when Alex Cross came back home and stared at his mother
through the screen door, all I saw was the character. When someone
transcends their identity in a movie, it's a very special thing. The
last time it happened for me was Chris Brown in Takers. I
forgot it was Chris Brown . . . I think when the acting's really good
the emotion of the scene reaches you on a primal level, you connect to
the character, and forget they're acting. In the end, Tyler Perry was
just Alex Cross.
As Tyler Perry movies often are,
the movie was very emotional, but also surprisingly suspenseful. I was
afraid the torture parts/sex scenes would be uncomfortable, but it was
handled without seeming gratuitous or degrading. And as is Tyler's
signature, there are lessons taught without being overdone. In that way
it reminded me of Romeo Must
Die. You come to care about the central characters a lot in a
very short time. Intellectually, it was interesting too how good
Dr. Cross is at his job, and how this played into what happens.
In the Action scenes, Tyler Perry
handled himself well. I know he's a big man, but I thought that maybe he
wouldn't be convincing as a cop. Maybe I didn't think he'd be tough
enough? I didn't think he'd be able to sell the intensity, but he was
good even in the fighting scenes (although they were, at times, the typical,
chopped-up direction that makes it hard to follow the Action). Overall, he
was more than good at everything.
The characters and the dialogue
were also above average. There were only two 'wait-a-minute moments'.
First, why would they let the convoy that was in danger enter the
blockade they established to prevent what happened from happening? You
would think they would want them anywhere but where the killer knew they
would be. And second, is a policeman really going to conspire openly to
frame someone from the police station?
I would recommend the movie if you
like the actors in it. It's a little light on Action with a
capital "A". Maybe I wouldn't say that if the big explosion was a little
less fake, or maybe I'm saying that because it was so emotional. In any
case, it had enough of my "Action
Movie Essentials". The camaraderie between Cross and his partner
makes it a
Buddy Movie for sure, and they left it open for a sequel.
The character is from the novels
Patterson. They made two other Alex Cross books into movies:
Kiss The Girls and Along Came A Spider. According to Wikipedia: "James
Patterson confirmed in an online newsletter from his website that this
will be the 3rd Alex Cross movie. It will be based on the bookCross.
Although no studio has as yet picked up the treatment, it is being
shopped around (Paramount is the only studio that has not been included)
signed on as producer.Tyler
been signed on to play Alex Cross, and Rob Cohen has signed on to direct
Matthew Fox was good and his scary character was a big reason I
wanted to see the film. Edward Burns was good too, but mainly
just cute. (P.S. I swear that Jean Reno was 50 pounds heavier in
his first scene than in his second . . . anyone else notice that?)
End of Watch
been much in theatres. One standout was End of Watch. Although it
was entertaining and very moving (tell me you weren't choked up at the
end), it was not technically an Action Movie. The filming within the
film and the way it was shot were creative. If a cop was filming in real
life like that, I would think they won't be paying attention when they
should and it would put them and their partner at risk. Glad they didn't
use the obvious ending and, instead, flipped it. Jake
Gyllenhaal was Oscar-nomination (win) great. The shaved head look
made me want to see him in a movie with Jon Bernthal (Shane from
The Walking Dead). I hope to see a lot more of Jon Bernthal.
He appears with
Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson in Snitch, due out February
Kudos to Actor Eric St. John
for hustle and self-promotion, and for his mad fighting skills
shown on the video below. I am running this profile to help
promote his Action Movie Out For Blood.
If this clip is typical of the movie, it's
Action all the way! Eric St. John has a sweet face, so if you don't see the physique
in motion, you wouldn't know he definitely has some boom-shaka-laka
He has also been a Writer, Director, Composer, and the Sound Department on his
own short films. Here's his bio from IMDB:
"Eric St. John is an American actor residing in Los Angeles. He is a graduate of The American Academy of Dramatic Arts New York. Some of his Television and Film credits include
General Hospital, Passions, It's a Miracle, True Beauty This Night, Afterlife, The Boarder, The Shifting, and Being American.
As a model Eric has worked for clients including Nike, Chrysler, Men's Fitness, Roar Clothing, IndyMac/OneWest Bank, and Corbis.
He is a highly skilled Martial Artist and won the Gold medal in the Black Belt Division in Taekwondo in the Jr. Olympics. Eric is trained in Muay Thai
(video), Taekwondo, Jeet Kune Do, Kali, Boxing,
and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. He is also skilled in Japanese and Filipino based weapons.
Eric St. John studies with acting coach
[indelibly memorable as "Mr. Wint"—on the right—of Mr. Kidd and Mr.
Wint in Diamonds Are Foreverr] in Los Angeles."
Hope his career takes off and one day I can add him
to my Bad Ass
Eric St. John is represented by Torque
Entertainment. Love this from their site: "Torque manages
clients in motion pictures and television--specifically writers, actors,
and directors who embrace
change and push the envelope. Artists with unique voices who communicate by instinct,
not by formula. Artists with passion and craft." Sounds
like the recipe for Action.
Stumbling around I found this movie:
Pacific Rim (July 12, 2013).
Beyond The Trailer describes it as a "Godzilla on steroids
movie." The plot is summarized by IMDB as ";When
an alien attack threatens the Earth's existence, giant robots piloted by
humans are deployed to fight off the menace."
I'm game! The trailer is supposed to debut before
Guillermo del Toro says it
will "hopefully make people revert to a state of almost childhood
abandonment. Abandon at the fantasy you're proposing." That is
JUST the mindset for
Bonus. . . the cast has a
Sons of Anarchy double whammy!
This fan art by ~RYANISFLYIN totally captures spectacle,
the wonder of abandonment, and a sense of
awe. Great work!
If you're in Miami, here's a fun local event for a good
are teaming-up to organize the 2nd annual SUPERHERO BIKE RIDE.
Dress as your
favorite superhero or create an original superhero costume. The ride
meets at the University of Miami Metrorail Station @ 10:00am on
Saturday, October 13th. A costume contest will be held before the
ride. Prizes include: bike accessories donated byMack Cycle and a gift
certificate to Mac’s
Comics. The ride will stop by
Miami Children’s Hospital where superhero volunteers will pass
out free comic books to kids and parents at the Michael Fox Family
Center and be making room visits to children.
That's not the name*, it's just what it's been dubbed. This came
from HitFix (they know everything first). I
hope they learnedthe lesson
of SUCKER PUNCH.
The only way it will work is if they use truly strong, properly clothed
women. If it's just another jiggling cleavage cluster of pretty pin-ups,
it will be a joke . . . or just
It's such a great opportunity to get real respect for women's ABILITIES
and not their attractiveness or sexuality. I can only hope it's
not in the wrong hands.
*Apparently there are two all-female Action movies in the works, and
that really is the working name of one of them.
"In today’s entertainment
industry, the imbalance of jobs based on gender is startling. In the
Stunt Industry alone, male performers receive far more employment
opportunities than their female counterparts. Additionally women are
discriminated against once they reach the age of forty, while
stuntmen continue to receive work well into their fifties. In
general, stuntwomen have fewer opportunities and face more
challenges finding work in the industry. Therefore it is imperative
that more female stunt coordinators be hired for jobs in order to
create more opportunities for female stunt performers as a whole.
It is for this reason the Diamond in the RAW
Foundation has created the Action Icon Awards &
Stuntwomen’s Coordinating Conference, so that these women can
attend seminars that will educate them on aspects of stunt
coordinating and provide them with the enhanced skills, knowledge
and confidence to succeed in a male-dominated industry.
Additionally, These unsung heroines risk their lives every day in
order to help create some of the most memorable moments in film,
television and commercials. And therefore should be recognized for
their noteworthy contributions in the entertainment industry."
Aaaaaah! R.E.S.P.E.C.T. which will
only come from strength. Something
to counteract the Grindhouse
fad. We need more female Action Movie Writers and Directors too!
Ric Meyers told the audience at ActionFest 2011 that the
origin of Action Movies (kung fu) was to amuse housewives. How far we've
come, but we have a such long way to go. The age of powerful women in
Action Movies has yet to begin. It had a
false start with Red Sonja (1985), but the audience is out
there for truly strong women in equal (or higher!) Action
What a wonderful journey it will
be to truly strong female domination of Action Movies . . . and
the WORLD! LOL And to paraphrase Denis Leary yet again
(cause I LOVE this) "I think you hear [us] knocking, and I think
coming in." We're kicking the door down when
My expectation-to-delivery ratio on Dredd 3D was 5 to
1. Don't waste your money seeing it in 3D because it delivers nothing
3-D wise worth the $4 difference. If I had seen it in 2D I would still
have been disappointed in it as an Action Movie, although as a Drama or
a Crime Movie, it's fine.
Karl Urban is
good. His voice is cool, but the dialogue was a little hard to hear. I
wish he was beefier for the role. I just think futuristic
Super Cops should have super physiques, and he wasn't Bad Ass
enough for what should have been an ultra-violent Action Movie. Olivia Thirlby's
character Anderson was who the movie was about (more than Dredd), and at least
you rooted for her a little. I liked the female character even though
she was weak. I understand now from the plot standpoint why she was.
Beside some gnarly kills and a creative weapon, there was just a lot of
talking and walking. When fired, the gun does deliver a wallop—one shot and down,
and it has several cool features, but it wasn't enough to save the
movie. I can't believe they didn't have the gun see around corners.
Just when I thought all they were
going to use the slo-mo for was showing the drug effects, they used it
briefly for a few kills, but the CGI showed and ruined it :( Oh well. I
was really hoping they would use the slo-mo to stretch out the violence
to its goriest and cheesiest Action Movie best to where the
audience would be groaning, half in appreciation and half grossed out.
YEAH! Not even. The worst killings were right at the beginning. They had
gnarly kills but not enough blood. It was like they didn't want to show
stuff. OMG that's what we came for! The guy is judge, jury, and
executioner. We wanted carnage, not just a body count. I'm going to ruin
the movie for you and show you the best shot, which was this one where
you could see (barely) his teeth. And no, the blood was not worth the
By the time the other Judges are
hunting Dredd, the movie's dragging. What the plot really needed was some
introduction of Dredd's character as outside the fold, so to speak. A bad
ass who thinks he's better than all the other Judges (because he is and
because they are bad. but we don't know that yet), so that when the
opportunity presents itself for them to betray him, you are shocked and you root for him. It
had a little of that him-against-the-others feel but there was no why.
The 4 of them turn on him for $1M credits but there's no frame of
reference for that. We need the camaraderie and dominance and the
cheesy one liners. There were two maybes: "It's all deep
end" and "hot shot"..
Although the movie had a video
game look because most of the action took place in hallways, it had very
little tension. The scenery, sets, and machines disappointed me somewhat
for lack of creativity but it was probably more because of a lack of
budget. I'm not knowledgeable on budgets but, as a comparison,
Blade Runner had a $28M budget in 1982 and Avatar had a
$237M budget in 2009. This movie had a $45M budget. I'm sorry to say it won't be a cult classic and I don't think it
will do well, but I hope it recovers the costs.
They didn't use the
building layout to any maze-like puzzle-solving purpose. The lab that was a
fortress had no payoff. It had all this surveillance and security and in
the end they get in through a thin (described as much heavier) rusty metal door with a keypad code. The one saving thing
in the ending was the way that the
explosion didn't happen. They should have faded completely to red
. . . that would have been prophetic.
Now that Dredd 3D is finally here, I HAVE to
see it at midnight. STARVED for Action Movies! Really wish the summer
had included G. I. Joe: Retaliation but we'll have to wait until
March 2013. Psyched for the shooting scenes. Hope the blow stuff up and
have at least 2 gnarly kills. The slo-mo should be cool in 3D, so
I hope the $15 admission price is worth it. (Great art by
all 4 Indiana Jones movies today ($25 but $5 credit on our AMC Stubs
cards). We got a full-size poster and a lanyard that was too cool.
Didn't want to take it off. The crowd clapped after each movie. In
Raiders of the Lost Ark, everyone was waiting for the part where
it looks like Belloch eats a fly. The crowd favorite was clearly the
third movie Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. A few skeptics/Shia
haters said they thought the auditorium would clear out after the third
movie, but at least 85% stayed.
They gave away more posters (2
sizes), a Blu-ray set (this movie marathon is to bring attention to the
Blu-ray release on Tuesday), some playing cards, and a comic.
I noticed in Indiana Jones and
the Temple of Doom that Dan Aykroyd was the man who helps
them on the plane. If I knew that before, I had completely forgotten.
You never really see his face full on, but his voice is unmistakable.
What makes these movies so special for me is a
three-part formula, Stephen Spielberg's direction, Harrison
Ford's acting, and John Williams' scores. The scripts were
good too, but they all had different writers.
Screenplay-Lawrence Kasdan Story-George Lucas and Philip Kaufman
TEMPLE OF DOOM
Screenplay-Willard Huyck and Gloria Katz
Story-George Lucas and Menno Meyjes, Characters-George Lucas
and Philip Kaufman
Screenplay-David Koep Story-George Lucas and Jeff Nathanson, Characters-George
Lucas and Philip Kaufman
I like the first script, Raiders of the Lost Ark,
Sitting there watching them back to back like that,
they really are stylistically cohesive. In Indiana Jones and
the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull,
in the opening scene when they pull Dr. Jones out of the trunk, his hat
falls on the ground. As he bends to pick it up, instead of showing him
put it on, they show the shadow of him putting it on. All the
little things like that 'make' the movies.
The only thing I didn't like was a little too much
unbelievability in the last one. Surviving an atomic explosion and hard
landing in a refrigerator?! Also, the waterfalls were too much for them
to survive three times, and the swordfighting on the all-too-level
jungle floor was just silly. Still, it had so much to enjoy that
it didn't matter. What made the last one was Indy's personality. It was
nice that they closed the book, so to speak, with he and Marion getting
married and it turning out he has a son.
The thing I enjoyed the most this time around was in
The Last Crusade when they blew up—I
mean like BLAM!—a whole truck full of Nazi soldiers close range
with the side tank gun in the big tank chase scene.
It definitely made me want to buy the set with the extra hours of
footage, even if I saw it already.
Lucky fans in New York got to have a Q & A with Karen Allen (from
@amctheatres on @instagram)
From Asian Movie Pulse's
Facebook page today via
twitch Sept. 3rd: Tony Jaa has been cast in Sha Po Lang 2!
I don't see it on
IMDB listed under Sammo Hung, but the article is there in
IMDBPro from Beyond Hollywood who credits twitch.
Here is a fight scene fromSha Po Lang aka
S.P.L. aka Saat Po Long aka Kill Zone.
Adding Tony Jaa to Action of this intensity blows the mind! This I
can't wait for. It's like the best instrument in the hands of the
master. Sammo Hung starred in the first movie, but maybe he'll let Tony
will be the star of this one. Tony Jaa finally steps out of the shadows
(so to speak). The Ong-bak movies are like nothing I've ever seen. And
Sammo Hung, well, this could be a torch passing of sorts—I say that
because they are both so athletic. Sammo Hung's moves were
DREDD TV SPOT
will be out Sept. 21st
This is not a movie I will be waiting in line to see on a Thursday
at midnight, meaning there is not a lot of anticipation built for a
remake starring Karl Urban, but don't get me wrong, I'm a
huge Karl Urban fan. I was MIGHTILY disappointed his
sidekick is a slight blonde, though. WTF I wish she had been a
barrel-chested, broad-shouldered WWE mammoth type. Think how much
fun it would have been just to watch her clothesline someone. Think
female version of Ryback. What might that look like? Meet
Master Sgt. Tina Robinson of the Air Force Reserve. She's a
Or how about University of Georgia cheerleader Anna Watson? She
can bench press 155 pounds, squat 255, and deadlift 230. Action
Movie audiences love strong women and we haven't had one like
Aliens in decades! I hope the fact that Dredd's Rookie
"Anderson" is of slight build pays off in some entertaining way, and is
not just an element of unbelievability.
To promote the sale of the set of all 4 movies on Blu-ray (available
September 18th) Raiders of the Lost Ark and the other 3 Indiana
Jones movies are back in theaters.
Raiders 9/7-13 in IMAX and a movie marathon of all 4 movies on Saturday
morning 9/15. Your $25 marathon ticket includes a poster, lanyard, and
$5 bonus bucks for AMC Stubs members.
If you go to the movies and are not a Stubs member you should
reconsider. AMC Stubs is
a great program because you accumulate points toward cash that you can
use for tickets or for snacks. It's saved me a ton of money. I
think $12 a year was easily covered in the first month for me.
New Computer! September 5
Thank you to BNC Consulting for building my new computer (he's
rebuilding his website so no link just now). I have had a recurring
computer virus since April—I threw in the towel and started from
scratch, including legal software (fingers crossed). So far, it's
lightning fast! Been without a computer for a week (~ jitters~)
so, can't wait to catch up.
Sad news about
Clarke Duncan September 3
I loved him in The Scorpion King.
True Religion August 22
The Expendables 2
gets it so right. As Terry
Crews explained at
"One thing you gotta understand about the Action genre is that it's like
It really is. You get your beliefs from these movies.
You get what's right and wrong from these movies.
You get your inspiration from these movies."
My take on The Expendables 2 in one word: Celebrate!
Read more . . .
All-female Expendables? August 21
Planet Fury contributor Superheidi
wrote a list of older female Action stars she would like to see
in an all-female Expendables in this posting:
Her list actually came from an
earlier post that discussed the notion that the men don't think
they're too old to do this stuff, so the women shouldn't buy into
thinking they're too old either. That's a huge double standard that men
over 60 can still be Action Stars but women over 40 can't?!
It tied in with this photo posted by
The Rockon his Facebook page.
When I saw it, I thought "Why isn't Gina
Carano wearing the same neckline shirt as him?!" I was so
disappointed she was showing cleavage. Women will never be taken
seriously as Action Stars if they have to be "sexy". After
seeing that this All-Female Expendables is being produced and written by
men, I had to leave a comment (below the photo) . . .
Why aren't women writing/directing/making this
happen? If men write it, it will be sexist or sexy (don't know which
is worse). I am still barfing over Sucker
Punch getting "empowerment" so wrong. I love that the women
would be older and I love your list, except I don't think Helen
fits. I would have picked Gena Rowlands because I loved her
SO MUCH in
Gloria and bring back
Jenette Goldstein for her kick-ass portrayal of
Vazquez in Aliens. If strong women (any age) are going
to make Action Movies, the women have to be fully clothed or it
won't work. Even showing cleavage should be out, like in the picture
(unless the men show cleavage too LOL as if).
To be taken
seriously, they have to be people first, women second. Women in
battle don't wear revealing clothes, they wear uniforms like every
other soldier. It would be great to see older women getting the
better of a competing man's team of mercenaries. I feel there is
a HUGE untapped audience for strong women in Action Movies. I
American Dreamer was going to start something. Was I wrong!
It can't happen fast enough for me; it's long overdue. We need to
make radical feminist, positive, strong role models in film for
young women to counteract the focus on looks and sex appeal that
permeates EVERYthing. PLEASE, something to undo the damage of movies
I really want to see physically strong women in Action Movies. Just
recently in Disney's Brave, I loved hearing the line that
everyone needs to learn to fight. I've said it before and I'll
keep saying it: We teach our sons to fight, why not our
daughters? They are more at risk!
Woke to the
tragic news that Action Movie Director Extraordinaire Tony
Scott committed suicide at age 68. He left a note in his car and
jumped off the Vincent Thomas bridge around noon yesterday. When I
looked up a photo of the bridge, I recognized it from
To Live and Die in L.A. ("The
green bridge that Chance jumps off of is actually the Vincent Thomas
Bridge in San Pedro.") I always thought how ironic it was
that the character of "Ruth" tells William Petersen's character "Chance"
(pictured above) that if he had any balls he'd jump off the bridge, like
to kill himself—without knowing that's what he does for fun!
(Pre-bungee-cord-jumping craze, it looked like
just has a rope tied to his jeans—no bounce.) We may never
understand why Tony Scott took his life. Only he could really know, but
what a way to go! At times like these it helps to think of this: "If
you could explain crazy, it wouldn't be crazy." Yes, it's crazy to waste
so much talent. What a loss!
Tony Scott left behind a great body of work. Just
recently I decided to add (at some point) Action Movie Writers,
Directors, and Fight Choreographers to the website as
Bad Ass categories and
Tony Scott and Michael Bay were the reason why: For all
the hours of enjoyment they have given me. Not just from the first time
I saw their movies, but from the thousands of hours I have had them
playing in the background, listening over and over. Of course, everyone
will feel the loss for his family. The Action Movie community (yes,
there is one: ActionFest)
is like a brotherhood. At ActionFest
True Romance because it was "'Chick Norris' Honoree" Gina
Carano's favorite movie. I wondered then how many more great Tony
Scott movies would we have to look forward to. This will make us
appreciate the movies he gave us, and in being reminded that life is
uncertain, we should appreciate every moment, celebrate the positive,
and the gifts and talents of people like Tony Scott.
(I found out that the stuntman who did the jump in the photo of
William Petersen was Dar Robinson.)
Movie Buzz is a YouTube channel that covers what's coming up
featuring all the latest trailers. RallisP is also on twitter
@RallisP and has a website coming soon. He also occasionally
reviews movies. His on-point review of The Dark Knight Rises, includes some funny minor
grousing "It's been eight years . . . I mean, get yourself a new
car." I think "The Bat" was the new car. A new car would have
competed with that. It evolved!
2 will "Man you up!" August 19
Yes, you can go home again. The
Expendables 2 delivered what we wanted. Honestly, we could have just
watched them shooting stuff with one liners "Shoot something!" That's
all we want. Plot schmot! Holy crap on the boy toys and firepower! And
super satisfying on the explosions, chases, killcount, gnarly kills,
skills, camaraderie and dominance . . . everything in my Action Movie
Essentials below except the Whiner,
but lots of funny moments without one.
and. . .Raiders will be in
"The Hovitos are near. The poison is
fresh—three days. They're following us . . ."
Somewhere in the back of my mind a wild monkey
paces back and forth, screeching and gesturing. When will it be time to
!? Even our anticipation for
cannot match this. The previews are Rambo-ish in their explosive
intensity, and it brought me to this realization: Something very
BIG was missing from my
Action Movie Essentials.
least one BIG, beefy, good looking HERO
- Who's on the Right Side
- With Skills
- Who Makes a BIG Entrance
The #1 Action Movie Essential is that you leave the
theater feeling pumped up! That's the reason we go to Action Movies.
Like with Fast Five: When we left the midnight showing everyone
was high on Action! It's the sum total of all of the above. You gotta
have that feel-good hero ending. Blow shit up. Push somebody around.
Leave feeling juiced.
The Rush is the 'Stallone Zone'. It's where even the
Action Figures want to be! Everyone should fall in line behind
He knows what Action Movie Freaks want. This movie will be the ultimate
proof (if his remarks on The Expendables DVD extras didn't convince you)
Sly knows Action!
AMC's First Look has been showing
Halo 4 and it's so exciting to wonder how it will feel to play
the lines between motion picture and computer game".
Guess we'll all find out November 6th. The books are incredibly
exciting! Love this super short glimpse (photo above) which shows the
size of a truly strong Spartan<
next to the troops. From
Machinima Prime: "'Halo 4: Forward Unto Dawn' is
a live-action digital series that takes fans back to the terrifying
beginning of the Human/Covenant war, when the Master Chief inspired a
young cadet who would eventually become a leader aboard the UNSC's
greatest vessel: the UNSC Infinity."
The Halo series gets
the emotional part so right—and rocks the
Total Recall (2012)was very disappointing. I felt
like they recalled watching
Blade Runner. We really didn't care about
Colin Farrell's character like we did about
Arnold's. They didn't spend any time making us care, they
just jumped into the whole resistance thing. I felt like I was
watching a tribute to Blade Runner with the "New Asia" clear
raincoats and aerial of umbrellas in the rain and neon lights
reflecting in the streets. As amazing as the visuals were, they
lacked the originality of Blade Runner and the fun of the original
Total Recall where there was something new and cool at every turn
like robotic drivers, x-rays before travel, and a 3-boobed lady. You
expected that they'd keep the 3 boobs, but I wanted "Consider
that a divorce." Kate Beckinsale did such a great job at being
relentless that you needed something action-aggressive and cheesy at
the very satisfying moment she is killed, and instead we got
silence. She was his 'wife' and she tried to kill him for Christ's
If you're going to do a total recall like this, at least make it
likePredators, and understand what made the original version
great. They left out what made Total Recall so much fun and instead
focused on story. There were never any moments of uncertainty
(except the stand off which you knew was b.s.) of what was reality
and what was not. The original had that
stumbling-around-in-total-weirdness unreal feeling. In this one, he
had a dream, period. The novelty of Arnold leaving messages for
himself was lost as was everything else. The visual above sums it
It's hard to imagine that you would like this movie if you never saw
the original. Watching the original years later, the effects seemed
campy and low-budget for all their originality, but it was Arnold,
and the story was fun. This wasn't fun yet it wasn't dark. I
felt like I had seen all the action (and everything else) before in
The Matrix (fighting scenes),Minority Report
(clear computer 'screens'),Star Wars: Episode III - The Phantom Menace (falling car),
and in Colombiana, Fast Five, and The Incredible Hulk
(rooftop chase). The overcrowded slum with its modular
honeycomb feel was unique. The elevators were cool; 'The Fall', not
so much. It feels bad to dislike something that so obviously had a
lot put into it, but it didn't satisfy. It was Action without the .
. . I was going to say
Action Movie Essentials, but it had most of those.
What it didn't have was the most important: muscles and
in-your-face attitude. Well, no worries. It looks like The
Expendables 2 is popping at the seams with that. Consider this
a Total Flop except for Kate Beckinsale.
They should have given her the cheesy one liners, like
"Consider this a divorce!" She fought like a man! Boo-ya!! At
last. Women fighting like men. Women fighting each other like men.
Overall the movie is worth seeing, just for Kate. Sorry
Colin. If you keep doing Action movies, no more
confused-Mr.-Nice-Guy roles. I wanted to see his other true Hauser
self. The contrast would have been fun, oh well. I bet he
would be the best-ever Whinerr!
For me, there are 3 levels of Action Movies (all good): 1. It was
good, 2. I would pay to see it again, and 3. I can't wait to
pay to see it again (and again). I would definitely pay to see
this movie again. Overall, it was exciting and great fun and delivered
lot of the cool stuff you expect in a Batman movie.
Read more . . .
The Dark Knight Rises Gotta see this in true IMAX. I missed the opening weekend
opportunity :( Ooooieee! What kind of Freak missing the opening
show at midnight?!
The Amazing Spider-Man
FINALLY got to see The Amazing Spider-Man. It
was a very good movie. You really felt for the character of Peter
Parker. Andrew Garfield did a great job of making it believable.
When he used his web-slinging powers and went for a swing through the
City, I remember thinking "How do they do that?" It was the best
yet. It was showy but without seeming like it was 'for show'. Movies
have gone beyond our wildest imagination in what they can make seem
real. The only time I noticed reality versus CGI was here and there with
the lizard (and mainly just from a distance). They did a great job with
that as well. The face and the fact that it could speak were
hilarious but frightening! Imagine Godzilla with eyes like
that and speaking to us.
Overall, the movie was perfectly paced. It never dragged. It never lost
the suspension of disbelief. I absolutely loved Martin Sheen and
It was very heartfelt, and because it was so well done, I
didn't really mind that there so much story/drama in the beginning
before the Action started. We needed to know the character's story
first. I think because this was Andrew Garfield's
first leading role, we accepted him more as Spider-Man and were
willing to give him a chance. I'm a big fan of the unknown actor for
major roles (as opposed to the major star 'vehicle').
This movie reminded me what it is to be human, and how important
imagination is. It gave an amazing sense of home and family, and I
never minded the romance (compared, for example, to the romance in
Zombieland, which brought the movie to a screeching halt like a
wrong turn). I felt the movie was properly focused on Spider-Man
and the villain was minimal. I loved that there were a lot of
comic-book-style poses and moments that seemed like rapidly turning
pages. And although they did it quickly, they also did a great job
of showing his progression of learning how to use his powers and tools.
I would see it again. Emma Stone was cute in personality,
and, of course, looks. She was girl-y (young, innocent) but intelligent
and brave. She risked her life, but obeyed her father. Her character
really fit the story. It allowed Peter to be more of a hero. The ending
sequence (which they showed in the preview) of the tower apparatus
falling would have been so much more impactful if they didn't reveal it.
I swear I am going to stop watching previews! Here is Peter
baby-stepping his swinging abilities. I can't praise the movie
enough for capturing the feeling of an ordinary guy becoming a
superhero, and taking us all along for the wild ride!
Total Recall . . . August 3rd
Leading into The Amazing Spider-Man was the long trailer for Total Recall. TMZ already spoiled the 3 boobs
thing with a photo but I was glad that even though the trailer sets up
"Consider that a divorce", they didn't say it. They did show the
shape-shifting face though. I am really excited about the look of
this movie. Haven't been this excited since Blade Runner, but I
am hoping thatDredd
3D (September 21) will also be good in creating a unique look. I
suspect it will just be the violence that makes that movie though. I
have already read some critics complaining it's too bloody/gorey.
Sheesh! Go watch a chick flick then.
The Dark Knight Rises Lucky South Floridians can see this at a real IMAX theater!
(They are still showing The Amazing Spiderman today and tomorrow but
after that, it's all about Batman.) This trailer shows EVERYTHING. I wish they wouldn't do that. Imagine how cool the
football field collapsing would be if you didn't know it was coming.
Like blow-your-mind cool. So . . . this time around I am as
excited to see Tom Hardy as anything. Gary Oldman and Anne
Hathaway are a big bonus as well. The strong supporting cast
(love Morgan Freeman :D) helps me abide Christian Bale.
There are very few actors in Action Movies that I don't love but he is
one of them. I can't get over the lisp. Batman should not have a
lisp. It's just that it doesn't fit the suave idea I have had of
him since I was a child. Anyway, enough of my issues.
Christopher Nolan will surely deliver lots of excitement. I
can't help but wonder what Michael Bay would have done . . .
The Dark Knight Goes Boom! LOL As for me, Fort Lauderdale Auto Nation
IMAXhere I come. (That's right, there's no IMAX Theatre in
Chinese Zodiac Jackie Chan KNOWS Action Movies! This trailer shows
Jackie doing what Jackie does best— incredibly creative moves, and
always some fun thrown in. All we can do is marvel. He
appeared at @comiccon to promoteCZ 12 and was
as gracious as always
saying he would love to do a movie with Stallone (Expendables
3?). Stallone and Jackie fans should be SO lucky!
The Man With The Iron Fists
This movie has a lot going for it. It's visually exciting and
that makes me happy. I like what looks like a limited color palette
(gold/mustard, black, and that kind of flat 'Asian' red that has a hint
The "Action Coordinator" is Corey Yuen, and
the preview looks like he's pulled out all the stops. There will no
doubt be several jaw-dropping moments. I will be
most excited to seethe scenes with Cung "Ninja Toe Kick" Le*
@CungLe185and@DaveBautista (he's sooooo
Marcus Fenix!). As an Action Artist, it must be exciting for
Yuen to 'paint' with brushes like them!
role is more than 'pretty with knives and gymnastics' because judging from the preview, this
movie is NOT going to be kind to women. The sex will probably be like
the sex in
Never Back Down 2: The Beatdown: gratuitous for the sake of
proving virility. I get it. But someday, the tables will be
turned . . . just saying . . . Payback's an Iron-Fisted Bitch. What's
my problem? This stuff hurts women in real life. Doesn't get in the way
of me enjoying a great Action Movie cause I identify with the (usually
male) lead characters and not the 'props', but I'm here to say women want to see
in the lead roles. I am hoping the exploitation is balanced by the lead
role of Lucy's character. I see Pam Grier is listed in the credits as well.
Rza's vision as Writer/Director in the style of the Shaw Brothers. I'm
afraid to say it, but how can this go wrong?!
*How Cung Le described his new kick at ActionFest
2012 when he received the "Best Fight" Award for Dragon
THE DARK KNIGHT RISES TRAILER
The Dark Knight Rises So, this is a mini anti-Christian-Bale rant. The first movie was
really good, but Christian Bale had some kind of
lisp—WTF—which was such a wrong note for me that I couldn't get past it.
It kept bringing me out of the experience (knowwhatImean?). I don't want
my second-favorite superhero to sound like that. So I was
not thrilled about the second movie since they kept Bale. Then, when Heath Ledger died (I was a
huge fan since 10 Things I Hate About You), it was too soon to
see the movie. I guess I just I didn't want to remember him that way
(clown face), so I still
have not seen
it. (I have heard nothing but good things and that it was his greatest
performance, but still not ready.)
Now with Tom Hardy starring in the third, it looks so good I
think even Christian Bale cannot ruin it for me. (I can't believe
they gave Bale an Oscar for The Fighter. I love Mark Wahlberg
so I tried watching it on Netflix, but
Bale was so annoying, I just couldn't get through it.) I guess
after the famous "Christian Bale rant" on the set of
Terminator Salvation, I just lost all respect for him. (Gotta love
him out on
YouTube. He would be so great in an Action Movie as an
over-zealous, macho Bill Paxton in Aliens type character. Somebody
please read this and cast him . . . )
CHRISTIAN BALE RANT
The Amazing Spider-Man The Amazing Spider-Man previews look better
than previous Spiderman movies. There is a midnight (12:01 AM July
3rd) showing on Monday July 2nd, IMAX 3-D of course. Got my ticket! This
bridge shot with cars dangling on spiderweb should be worth the price of
admission alone. I can't wait!
THE AMAZING SPIDERMAN TRAILER
Dredd "I am the Law!" Dredd without
Stallone?! Yeah, but . . . Karl Urban! Or as it's
pronounced in Australian Kirl Irbin. A pity the helmet hides his
oh-so-pretty face but that makes it more mysterious and bad ass . . . I
watched the trailer before I read the blurb below about the slow motion
drug. I have to laugh. Great excuse for TONS of (now un-)gratuitous slo-mo.
It looks like a cross between Blade Runner and The Raid!
I think it's going to be everything the Action Movie Freak is looking
for: shamelessly glorified violence and ridiculously impossible feats!
I smell a cult classic.
Plot summary from IMDB: "In a violent,
futuristic city where the police have the authority to act as judge,
jury, and executioner, a cop teams with a trainee to take down a gang
that deals the reality-altering drug, SLO-MO. "
Check out the first trailer:
June 11Check outHark.com
"The world's largest collection of sounds, sound clips,
and quotes." Here are the Top 20 Action Movie Quotes from the
Hark is a great source for all
your favorite Action Movie Quotes! I am happy to present this fun
Hark.com. GUEST BLOG SPOT:
Top 20 Action Movie Quotes From The 90s
90s brought us extreme action movies where actors like Arnold
blew up buildings, shot insanely huge guns, would save the day for
mankind, and said lines that will forever remain etched in our minds.
Below are the top 20 action movie quotes from the 90s in no particular
order, found on Hark."
“You can't run from this war, soldier. Not under my
command. Huh? You've grown weak. You should have taken your... Medication.”
Fight, and you may die. Run, and you'll live... At least a while.
And dying in your beds many years from now, would you be willing to
trade all the days
from this day to that for one chance, just one chance, to come back here
and tell our enemies
that they may take our lives, but they'll never take our freedom.”
is the marketing manager
the world’s largest platform for
pop culture sound bites.
June 7The 3 Best Avengers Moments
While I wait to go to the midnight show of
Prometheus, I have to get down three things about The Avengers.
I saw it a second time, and I will see it a third. For me, there are 3
BEST moments. I think the best moment in the movie is
"Hulk . . . SMASH!", but the moment that best represents what the
movie means to everyone, and it's total awesomeness is when they all
form a circle. THAT MOMENT is like the culmination of all your
childhood comic book fantasies. To see them all brought to life,
together like that—it's everything you hoped for. The third
best moment, Action-wise is another Hulk moment (Let's face it, Hulk
DOMINATED) . . . OH YEAH. This moment:
This particular frame. I remember thinking "It
doesn't get any better." The Incredible HULK! If you don't see
this movie, you'll be kicking yourself the rest of your life.
June 3It's all about PROMETHEUS
We have waited so long for this! There is no way
the visuals will disappoint—it's going to be beyond anything so far and I am
too thrilled to be able to see it in IMAX! (3-D, meh, but bring it on.)
RIDLEY SCOTT! I feel like Chris Farley when
he interviewed Paul McCartney on The Chris Farley Show
"Remember when you made that Alien movie?"
"That was awesome!"
June 2Saw Snow White and the Hunstman
Oooieeee... I wanted to have it be that Kristen
whats-her-teeth was this fierce heroine, but she stumbles about much as
she does in the forest of the Twilight series while the camera seems to
linger on her open mouth and red lips, fascinated by her two big
beautiful chicklet teeth. Yes, she's pretty but she looks exhausted and
dirty almost the whole movie. The child version of Snow White is
supposed to have "hair black as night", but is a redhead. Why?!
Pale and pretty though Kristen may be, she really was NOT my idea of
One of the seven dwarfs wants to
kill her. Yeah! It was SUCH an off note. (shaking my head)
The dwarfs are just weird and dumb, and all that talent is wasted. I
have never seen worse performances by all these talented actors.
The makeup and hair, etc., was so odd it was off putting. They looked
like a weird gang of rejects from a Vegas circus show. They had no
time to take care of Snow White or vice versa.
The faeries were like naked mini
Gollums, with NO wings! Any little girl will tell you faeries are
supposed to be beautiful (we all expect Tinkerbell).
Snow White kisses two men, or
should I say two men kiss her while she is under the spell. Again, Why?!
It's confusing who she is supposed to have the romance with. The
audience was clearly there for Chris Hemsworth but not much happened,
even at the end. You can't really call it a romance. And it
certainly was NOT an Action movie.
I am tired of movies where they
seem to throw together elements from other movies that they thought
worked. They put these things together like we'll be satisfied with a
knock-off and forget we already saw that. A little
Avatar, a little Lord of the Rings; it really was a walkabout
movie. There was none of the charm of the Disney version. The visuals
were the only worthwhile thing. I thought Charlize would be great
but it was a Pacino-worthy performance. At one point, I wondered if
instead of "Action" the Director was saying "Shout". Everyone was
shouting. Shouting is not acting. It got old. At the end the men were
dead, then alive again. Snow White should have been killed. And
instead of having an ending, the movie just kind of stopped. meh.
May 29Snow White and the
on Friday! I love this darker version, which makes Snow White a warrior
rather than just a poisoned Princess waiting to be awakened by a Prince.
What excites me the most, besides the visuals that include armor, magic, and
pagentry, is the stellar supporting cast including Ian McShane, Bob
Hoskins, Ray Winstone, Nick Frost, and
Vincent Regan. I noticed a lot of the actors in this movie have a heavy
Action Movie background, and some are new but
their careers seem Action-oriented.
New ACTION Actors? There seems to be a few burly, Celtic types as "Woodsmen", among
them, Duncan Meadows, who is listed as Body Builder Double in
Director Chris Cunningham'sshort/excerpt "flex"
[which is 'artistic' (meaning visually beautiful, conceptually interesting,
but most times strange)]. He's got that "What the hell you lookin' at"
stare down pat and the physique to back it up. Hope to see more from him.
Another Woodsman, newcomer Julian Seagarlooks
like a Brendan Gleeson
type. Love that! (I see people are already throwing Braveheart
Another interesting (maybe just to me) note is that actor
Duncan Casey is Bahamian (a fellow Nassauvian). Maybe he does not
hold Bahamian citizenship but he was born there, and we say that if you are
born there you will always be Bahamian. Duncan is listed as an an uncredited
Ravenna guard, and also I see he will be an uncredited MI6 Agent in the
upcoming Skyfall. He's 6' 1" so keep your eye out for him.
MORE FILMS TO WATCH!
On the films lists for a lot of the British actors in Snow White are a great
many interesting-looking Action Movies (released and as-yet-unreleased) I've
never heard of:
• The Lost Future
(2010) TV movie with Sean Bean • Welcome to the Punch
starring James McAvoy • Last Days on Mars
(2013) SciFi/Thriller starring the unfortunately-named ("Laws yes!") Tom
Cullen • 300: Battle of Artemisia
(2 Aug 2013) Action/Drama
starring Casino Royale's Eva Green in this prequel • World War Z (21
June 2013) Action/Drama/Horror
starring Brad Pitt and LOST's Matthew Fox
• 47 Ronin (8 Feb
2013) starring Keanu Reeves
• Ra.One (26 Oct
2011) Action/Adventure/SciFi a big-
special-effects, big-budget, Indian superhero movie
Men in Black III delivered on what you expected. Buddy
chemistry, alien killing, strange guns and vehicles, comedy and light
science fiction. Loved the Lady Gaga and Howard Stern jokes. I don't
think 3-D did a thing for it, though, except jack the ticket price up to
May 211st trailer for SKYFALL LOOKS GREAT!
BATTLESHIP Aw, YEAH! This movie satisfied
like The A-Team did! It was all about the 'toys'. Director Peter Berg
knows what he's doing! He hit all the sweet spots, from a hot chick (you
know 3/4 of the guys are in love with Brooklyn Decker), to a re-creation of
a hilarious viral video of dumb-criminal-break-in footage,
to a soccer game, Berg gave the Action Movie audience everything it wanted.
This movie also brought in a love of the sea, and a great
respect for actual
Battleship veterans who knew how to operate these giants of destruction.
You couldn't help but wonder how they would be able to make it like
the board game, but they did it! They also used the ships like
characters in the movie, and taught you a little along the way.
For those who didn't know, the Battleships are all retired.
The star of the movie and the show stealer, the USS Missouri
(and 3 others) are now museums. What was once amazing
engineering is now old school. Now we have Destroyers—It was
great that they used these mega ships first, and
then saved the 'best' for last. Hats off to Writers
for getting it
right. We learned the names of the ships, like they were
people we cared about. It was especially meaningful that
there was a Japanese
Kongo class destroyer)destroyer, the Myōkō,
destroyed along with the Sampson. And in order to defeat
the Aliens, Alex must work with the Japanese character, Capt.
Nagata, rescued from the wreckage. They overcome their
soccer incident differences to help defend the John Paul
Jones, and defeat the Aliens.
This movie has such a great ending that it was like a crescendo
of firepower. Even seeing the crazy shot of all the weapons
fired at once did not detract from seeing it in it's proper
place and time, probably because it was so damn exciting you
completely forgot anything except what was going on at that
moment. The movie could not have been more of a tribute to the
"USS Missouri (BB-63) ("Mighty Mo"
or "Big Mo") is a
United States Navy Iowa-class battleship, and was the third
ship of the U.S. Navy to be named in honor of the US state
of Missouri. Missouri was
the last battleship
built by the United States, and was
the site of the surrender
of the Empire of Japan, which ended World War II."
Talk about history!
If you're looking for an incredibly entertaining movie,
this is it! Take an average guy you can relate
to, a beautiful girl you wish you could be with, a funny
YouTube video you saw, flawless and fascinating alien
creature special effects, plus alien ships that are
even better than the above-average video game, a lot of
Titanic big-ship destruction action, wicked alien weapons
that destroy even more than the Transformers, the kind of
detail that fascinated you (if) when you built ship
models, a pop princess, a couple of funny nerds, a few
hot guys (uniforms!), some real-life heroes, some history,
beautiful scenery, destroy everything you can including
skyscrapers, and add the fun of one of your favorite kick-ass board games.
Now watch this trailer and know that, for once, they did not put
all the good bits in a 2-minute mini movie, this is the tip of a
massive iceberg of destruction and hellfire that rains
down on everything in this movie. THEY. BLOW. SHIT. UP!
And if you're a pissy little whiner who didn't like this movie,
I bet you can't remember any movie you liked since Heat. Yeah,
yeah, that was 1995. This movie ROCKED the boat! And no, no one said
sunk my battleship" because SINKING is for LOSERS!
May 10Starship Troopers showing
Oh, to live in Hollywood tonight!
Casper Van Dien posted on his FB page
that tonight is the 15th Anniversary of Starship Troopers, and
Nuke the Fridge there will be an "unprecedented cast & crew
reunion screening at the Arclight Cinema in Hollywood." This was a
short-notice event but there was a link given
for tickets ($17.50).
He's off to Germany, so lucky fans who attend FedCon (May17-20) might
get a chance to see him (he's on a panel twice).
The Avengers: "Suit Up!" Lucky Me! I got the day off from work to go to the Ultimate
Marvel Marathon: 6 movies staring at 11:30 AM, beginning with Iron
Man (2 May 2008), then The Incredible Hulk
(13 Jun 2008), Iron Man 2 (7 May 2010), Thor (6 May 2011),
Captain America: The First Avenger (22 July 2011), and ending with
The Avengers (4 May 2012), at 12:01 AM.
The Avengers exceeded everyone's expectations and definitely
your money's worth and then some in entertainment value. It might have
the Tony Stark show except that Hulk dominated ALL. The one
liners were great, and there were jokes throughout. The Gallaga
joke was really good. The name calling, "Point Break", was
too good! There was a flying battleship! I don't want to give anything
else away, just go see it: "Suit up!"
"The studio said the earliest they could release the new "Riddick" is
in January... was hoping for 2012... but, it's on the horizon.
/smile P.S. I think they are liking what they are seeing... haha,
cause they asked when both Underverse and Furya would be ready to make
and release... haha... now that's a ways in the future but it is
SAFE was . . . "Everything I expected", 27 April 2012 (10 out of 10 stars)
Author:stbsolo from United States (off
"It's strange to rate this a 10, but I do believe
those of you who like Statham movies will find this movie to exceed your
expectations. This isn't really a 10 as compared to all other deserving
10s out there, it's [a 10] for people who like movies like this.
You'll love it! ... Great chemistry, great villains, great action, and
awesome plot. It also gets a 10 because it, unlike all of the other
action movies I've looked forward to only to be disappointed with,
actually delivered much more than the trailers and ads promised. So, my
10 isn't the sign of a cinematic masterpiece, but it's a sign of
enjoyment, met expectations, and those who enjoy vegging out and
watching action movies of Statham's brand will probably agree."
I do agree! And since stbsolo said it so well, I quoted it
here. I will see the movie again and write more in detail just HOW much I
liked it but for now, GO SEE IT! You'll be so glad you did.
After Dark ACTION
Redemption THE RAID
I finally got to see The Raid. SO MUCH anticipation. I had
seen the preview but I didn't read any reviews because I wanted to enjoy it
as much as possible. [I loved seeing Iko Uwais in Merantau,
where his (and everyone else's but especially Mad Koudal's) fighting
skills were top notch.] I expected there to be some fighting, and with the
SWAT team, more gun play and killing, so I was surprised how quickly things
turned to shit in the plot, and that most of the team's weapons were taken
out of the equation. Also, although it was a 30-story building, the story
played out mainly on the 7th and 15th floors—kind of misrepresenting to me,
numbers wise. Considering the unknown enemy numbers, I was surprised they
went in with only 20 men. We needed some build up for these "20
Elite Cops". Let us in on the plan (have a plan!). The more bad ass you
make them, the greater/scarier it is for us when they are defeated.
favorite line in the movie had to be the warning about the character "Mad
Dog" as "a wall of fists and feet" (and elbows and knees). Enter
Yayan Ruhian! This photo is from what I called "the 7th floor
beatdown" of Joe Taslim by Yayan Ruhian. Yayan* and Iko are credited
with the Stunt Choreography, and it's excellent. I would say this is
the best fight, and I also liked the hallway fight with Iko against two men
shot from above (it reminded me of the ax fight in The Transporter).
The final fight of two on one was a little long. I think the brother took
too much of a beating to be that fresh and have that much left in him, also,
they both had way too much spring in their step when it was over. That
takes away from the reality of it. At one point (in the fight in the
room with chemicals), the choreography really showed for me when Iko was
going through the motions like a dance he was sick of doing. It's
probably hard to know when to stop if you're a perfectionist, and while the
moves may be perfect, maybe the emotion in the scene suffers from over
rehearsal. In the final fight, it was noticeable only a couple times—that's
incredible given the duration and complexity! That scene was worth the whole
movie. Any fault I find is just nitpicking because so much of it is at the
100% level, the 85% stands out more (know what I mean?).
There were plenty of
gnarly kills. The knife through the neck, the flip (shown above)
with the throat landing on the jagged edge of a broken door, a couple
back-breaking stair/balcony falls. The final fight that become a blood bath.
I loved the fist to the back of the neck about midway through—that looked
like it really hurt. There was lots of close-range shooting and head
smashing, etc. The movie was mainly machetes and hand-to-hand, but there was
lots of creative beatings and escapes as well. Action Movie Freaks, however,
Super Cop movies to pull out all the stops on weapons. I liked the
improvisation (like with the propane in the refrigerator with a grenade) but
where were the rest of the grenades, etc? They had no bag of tricks.
If Iko hadn't shot a hole in the floor, the movie would have ended very
It was a great waste of investing me emotionally in the movie to make the
plot linear. After I found out about the brother, I kept thinking, "What
if?" . . .
THE BROTHER What if Iko's wife wasn't quite so pregnant, but had just come
from the doctor telling her it's a boy. If they discussed names and Iko got
emotional saying he always wanted to name a boy after his brother, that
could bring up that the brother is missing. Now that Iko's wife is that far
along in her pregnancy, maybe they could decide it's time to tell their
families. Iko's character could then have called home to tell his parents
the good news, and they could tell him that his missing brother had been
spotted somewhere in the city, and urge him to keep trying to find him.
Then, he could go in for the briefing on this big mission and see the photo
he mentions (but they did not have a scene for) showing his brother as one
of the two sidekicks for the henchman they were going in after (rather than
have it be a surprise). This would really have made The Raid have added
danger and meaning for Iko, and we would be on edge wondering if and when
the brother would turn up, and whether they would be enemies, or reunite to
get out alive. If they had flashback of some bad deed and tied it in
with the brother's defining changing moment, maybe a payoff on a behavior
pattern that he breaks?
Merantau, there was a bit of the theme of someone's who's changed who can't
go back home, but we want to know why not.
With what little we find out about why the Brother chooses to stay, the
"redemption" element was missing. If he had done something bad/illegal and
had fallen in with the wrong crowd, he could have redeemed himself by saving
Iko and the others. Instead, he chose to stay. So why was he there and
where was the redemption? And where was the cause for the 'Chief' to
mount this attack himself? I got it that he thought taking out the bad
guy might bring him something reward/recognition, but all hope of that was
Other than my suggested change above to invest me in the story (other than
hoping a rookie gets back to his pregnant wife), I have only one observation
that seemed an obvious oversight (?). If the armored car the squad arrived
in wasn't bulletproof, why would the two SWAT team members stationed to
remain outside just sit there like they're safe, when they are raiding the
most dangerous criminal's building/home in the city? That just seemed
ALL BEEF, NO BUN
Overall, I enjoyed it but it really was not what I expected in spite of
trying not to expect anything. I guess I did just based on there being a
heavily-armed SWAT team, 30 floors, and the bad guy speaking over the P.A.
Just that led me to believe all of it would be a little more organized (the
attack and the defense) and not so random or sparsely populated on each
floor. The capture of the crime boss so easily by the 'Chief' was
anti-climactic. Considering how it was handled, it's a miracle any of the
SWAT team came out alive, and there was no idea of what was going to happen
with the internal corruption/power plays?! Don't get me wrong, there's
plenty of great fighting, but it seemed like a collection of bad-ass fights
too loosely woven together and capped by a beginning and ending that were
insufficient to make it work as a great movie. Maybe they shot scenes
to emotionally invest us but then cut them? Merantau was so good at
making us root for Iko Uwais' character that this movie surprised me by
being so emotionally un-engaging. You can beat people up all day long,
but it's not satisfying unless they have it coming and we weren't given that
hook. Nobody learned a lesson here. Pity. If you agree,
check out my Action Movie Essentials.
*Yayan (pictured above) also played 2 roles in Merantau.
Apr 15ActionFest 2012 Awards
Yesterday was Day 2 of ActionFest. I saw the Trailblazing
Stuntmen PANEL and the first part of the STUNT SHOW. I had to
leave the Stunt Show early to see True Romance be introduced by
Gina Carano. (Gina said she loves the fight scene in the movie. the I
think every girl loves that Patricia Arquette takes a beating and
wins in the end. It's a primal, powerful scene.) I also saw The Art of
Fight on Film PANEL, Headhunters, and all of the AWARDS SHOW,
which made me late for Dragon Eyes.
Apr 14Helping Young Talent
At the screening of Sinners & Saints it was announced that
ActionFest wanted to promote young talent (like Director William Kaufman).
These two guys emailed me last week to put something on the site for them, so in
the spirit of helping young talent who want to make action movies, here is
Brett O. Walker and Chris Coffel's
appeal. Good luck guys!
A post during ActionFest is probably the most exposure I could ever give you.
Hope to see one of your films :30 second, :20 minute, or feature someday at
ActionFest. I'm not saying I would do this for everybody but their teaser
really had a spirit of fun and their love of Action shined through.
Apr 14Free Stunt Show, Movie, & Panels
Today's the best day to come out to @Actionfest! They offer 2 free
PANELS (Trailblazing Stuntmen at 12:30 and The Art of Fight on
Film at 5:00 PM), a free STUNT SHOW at 2:00 PM, and you can stay to
watch TRUE ROMANCE for free at 3:00 PM. Gina Carano will be
introducing the movie (it's her favorite Action Movie). Hear
behind-the-scenes stories and get insight into Action Movie making from:
"Man of Action" Award honoree Jack Gill
(that was him doing the driving that made Nicolas Cage look like a bad ass
in the yellow Ferrari in The Rock,
and fighting for Stuntwork to be recognized by the Academy Awards—an
omission that signifies an ongoing prejudice on their part not shared by
Fight Director of the Year Award honoree J. J. Perry
(that was his fight choreography that made you so impressed with Gina Carano
decimating the male cast of Haywire! His career
is on fire, he's just finished Safe(Jason Statham),
Get the Gringo
(Mel Gibson), and Bullet
to the Head (Sylvester Stallone)!
"Chick" NorrisBest Female Action Star Award honoree Gina Carano (that was her making all the men look weak in Haywire—about
time! Loved her in Blood and Bone "Call me". And she played
herself in Ring Girls! How bad ass was that?!)
Rising Action Star Award honoree Cung Le
("that was him" you'll be able to say you saw first THIS YEAR at ActionFest
in the Art of Fight on Film panel and in Dragon Eyes
showing at 9:15 PM—Buy
your tickets early because it's sure to sell out with Cung Le in
Apr 13ActionFest Begins . . .
OH: "Dude, man, what was that? That was so loud. Rocket
Maaaaan. No way! That's way cool!" Last night, downtown Asheville heard
@ActionFest knocking with the Rocket Man's entrance . . . in a
tux! The site of this year's festival opener . . .
Already impressed with the first wave of announced films, now it's
paroxysms of excitement over the full line up, plus the panels, (plus
the Stunt Show, of course), plus the yet-to-come surprises,
the appearances by the Festival creators, jury, stars, and honorees.
Everyone associated with ActionFest is extraordinarily nice. It's a
little intimidating to be a hobby blogger in a sea of film professionals,
but I learn SO MUCH! It's great to see/share how happy it makes
Aaron Norris to be able to recognize those he respects who make the
Action genre what it is and what we love. For just a few days,
watching the Stunt Show, at the Panels, or at the Awards, just by being
there as witness, you feel like a part of their brotherhood—plus
you get to watch Action movies 14 hours a day for 3 days/4 nights.
ACTIONFEST Full Film List is Up!
I almost wish I wasn't getting new tires on my truck first thing in the
morning so I could put the full film list up, but I need them tires to drive
to Asheville! So I'll have to do it later in the day. Can't wait to
watch the previews. My friends Ty and Brenton at allouttabubblegum.com are
going to be SO SORRY (so sorry) (so so so sorry) they are not going as
True Romance is being shown and it's Gina Carano's FAVORITE movie AND
she is going to introduce it. I think we should have a suicide watch
for Ty. Dude!!!!!!! And WAY MORE exciting news but
read it there for yourself. And
get off the fence about going. You should go! If you go for even a part of
it, I guarantee you won't miss want to miss a minute of it the next year.
It's coming at you: bam-ACTIONFEST! (did that hurt?)
Check out AshevilleNetwork.net for fun stuff to do in Asheville leading up to ActionFest, and it's a
nice blog for area information :)
Apr 3 Wrestlemania XXVIII
Being in the nosebleed seats didn't dampen anyone's enthusiasm for this
event: 78,363 a record-breaking crowd, was cheering from the moment I got
there. First "Uuuuuuuu" (for University of Miami), then alternating
cheers for The Rock, and for (or against) John Cena. Apparently Miami loves
Randy Orten and doesn't care much for Diddy. The match between The
Undertaker (HUGE crowd response when he entered) and Triple H was more
emotional and engaging than the title match. It really was good to see
The Rock back in the ring but I prefer him in Action Movies. There was no
way he wasn't going to win. You could tell just by the response he got when
he walked out on the runway . . . The cheapest tickets were $25.
Advance parking $35 (day of $40). T-shirts went for $30. It surprised me how
many people bought the 'toy' belts.
The most fun part of the night was the musical number featuring Brodus Clay
"Momma Clay and The Bridge Club".
It can't be easy to steal the show from Trish Stratus,
Andrea James Lui did last year it at Actionfest
2011 in her limited-space (bathroom) fight scene against Boomer
Bail Enforcers. (And yes, she was there!) This interview from
3/23/12 with Andrea by
canada.com's MMA Crossfire is really interesting for her insight
and perspective on many areas behind the scenes in film, as well as hearing
about her incredibly well-rounded (and then some) career path. The article
really conveys what it's like to be an Action actress—the life of an actor
and KICK-ASS CHICK. It mentions Systema and the fight
below . . . Great read about a Superwoman!
TATE v. ROUSEY
21 JUMP STREET
laughed all the way through. It captured the dynamic of their "cool
kid/nerd" relationship transformation so perfectly.
Even the Action was funny. They made up for the strange no explosions with
one spectacular one. (Creative low budget workaround!? LOL) I would
have like to see a little more interaction with the rest of the characters
who were undercover in other schools (it was limited to gloating), but
that's a good thing because it means I liked it so much I wanted more. They
were both really good in it. Channing Tatum more so for the
bewildered awakening he experienced being uncool for the first time. I
Jonah Hill to be good (he's everyone's favorite after Super Bad)
but I didn't expect Channing would be that good (like Award good!).
The brother relationship was very well written, and acted. They came off as
so in tune, you forget it isn't real. The best scene in the film for
me was when Jonah was trying to talk to a girl on the phone, and
Channing came into the room and just started torturing him—love the giraffe
(it was wordless and just perfect)! As a comedy team they worked as well
together as any famous comedy team. I think a lot of the credit has to
go to the material as well, but as a Buddy Action comedy, the acting
was superb and they hit all the sweet spots :D!
I enjoyed it so much more than Avatar. It was
fun to watch all the way through. I forgot there were special effects—when I
wasn't being amazed by the whole the look of it! I wasn't pulled out
of the fantasy even once. It's the kind of feel-good Saturday-afternoon
Adventure film you hope to see. I loved the 'dog'! How could you not? The
acting was good across the board. Loved Willem Dafoe in it!
The costumes and sets were beautifully designed and creatively detailed. The
ships, the weapons, and the planet . . . the whole thing gave me an original
Star Trek TV series feel, like Capt. Kirk had been beamed down on a
planet to fight strange creatures until the ship figured out how to get him
back, but in the meantime he shows them how wise he is and saves everyone.
That kind of good-feeling fun. I think this
concept art by Phil Saunders really captures that feeling.
I love this movie so much and apparently, this guy does too!
He's on YouTube, Facebook, [FPS Russia
(OFFICIAL)] and twitter
@FPSrussia) I've seen Act of Valor three times and I
know I'll see it at least once more. I finally finished writing about it: Read more
. . .
RAMPART March 4, 2012
There was zero promotion on this . . . I was just looking for
a movie to go to and found it that way. I liked the creative camera
work and the look of it (color/filters? a little "Instamatic-y"). It echoed
Woody Harrelson's character's mental state. The club scene was
incredible—Reminded me of Spike Lee's upside drug addicts floating. The way
it ended was like he just got spit out or thrown up.
It really is a stellar performance by Woody. At the end, despite all
his flaws, you feel for him. The script revealed a intelligent yet ignorant
man, that you wanted to dislike, but, because he realized he blew it, you
couldn't help but care as you watched his heart break. I like the ending
because, really, where do you go from there? I enjoyed the
performances by Sigourney Weaver, Jon Bernthal, Ice Cube, and
especially Brie Larson.
RIDDICK: The Animal Side
A contemplative Vin Diesel reflects on Acting on his Facebook page
through of the passing of a fan who became a friend. Read more
. . .
You have to
see this movie if you're an Action Movie Freak,
if you loved Predator,
if you love the whole SOLDIER-movie concept, or if you're crazy
about military 'toys'. Just Go! You'll love it. Grown men
cried both times I saw it.
The Mysterious Island
I had to go and give The Rock my $11; not $17 for the evening show
in IMAX 3D, but . . . the big kid in me wanted to see it—a throw
back to Swiss Family Robinson. I love Luis Guzman
(ever since Q & A). I am sure Disney is only casting
who they cast for the greatest profitability based on popularity,
but I wish The Rock would just do Action Movies. It was fun but
really obvious most of the time: The payoff for him not liking
lizards, "Only a fool trades his life for money", etc.
The set details were great: Atlantis, the Nautilus, the attic with
the model planes, etc. There were the fun Rock moments too: the
"Thunder Cookie", the "pec pop of love". Bottom line:
it's an adventure movie for kids (I'd put the age at 8, maybe
up to 13).
this article"LaRon Landry is big. 'Incredible Hulk'
big..." by Chris Chase (NFL
sports blog), where he mentions The Avengers, I see
Gears of War. With Batista as Marcus Fenix
(scroll down), THIS is the kind of Action Hero we want to see. This
is what is missing in today's Action Movies from what we loved about
the Awesome 80s era of Action. Action Movie Freaks want this
eye-popping largenesss that looks too big to be true (you know,
like Arnold-in-Predator big). That article led me to this one:
An interesting perspective on
black characters in gaming history.
GHOST RIDER: SPIRIT OF VENGEANCE is
visually stunning, from the overall look of it with the intense
colors, creative cut outs, collages, and camera angles, to the
details like the absolutely bad-ass wardrobe of worn leather, to the
stunts like Idris Elba's slow-mo fall backwards while
shooting (as often as we've seen that original Dar Robinson
move, it was a stand out, and delivered not only, surprisingly,
SURPRISE, but impact—it says a lot that they made this move fresh,
and that it was so bad ass, that it's
still bad ass). I saw the movie in 2D thinking that if I
didn't think 3D would have added anything, I would have been smart
and saved the difference in the price of admission, but if it seemed
like it would have been good in 3D then I could always pay to see it
again. And will I! It delivered beyond my expectations on
SCRIPT . . .
The set up was right up front where it should be: "Bring
us the boy and we will lift your curse."Thank you.
No :45 minutes of wondering where it's going. I love when you know
what's at stake for the character so you can be invested in what
he's trying to do and give a damn whether or not he gets there,
hoping all the while for a few twists and turns even when it's
predictable. Check and check.
CAGE-INESS . . .
This scene alone, where Cage is riding while his face morphs in and
out of being the Rider, is seriously worth the price of admission.
Cage fans will be Oh So Satisfied. The flame-thrower
peeing scene from the preview was even better in the movie (how
often does that happen?!). It was a father-son/guy/penis
bonding moment that made me wonder about the fact that there
probably is, sadly, no female equivalent, and which was classic
Cage. I am a huge
Nicolas Cage fan. There is no one as entertaining to watch.
If anything, I would have loved more Cage. It was strangely
fascinating to watch his moves in the The Rider scenes and to
see Cage come through. In one scene he's kind of dancing as
only he can. If you don't appreciate what only Nicolas Cage can
bring to a role like this, you're missing out.
SPECIAL EFFECTS . . .
Even though this is the second movie, the novelty of the flames
and the skull on fire didn't get old for me. Excellent job
to whoever managed to make fire as fascinating as it really is. This
spitting bullets moment from the preview, still satisfied.
Love it when the preview doesn't ruin it for you. Even though
they showed this, and you knew it was coming, it was still
incredible to watch. And when The Rider cranks up the giant
digging machine (HOLY HELL!), it's jaw dropping, and if it wasn't
for you, it should be. I loved that he's un-killable and how he
smokes when hurt. The special effects are seamless. Even
though I know we are suspending disbelief, I never felt pulled out
of the story because the effects fell down. The sound of the
motorcycle engine was exciting and strangely satisfying. Overall I
loved the sound effects. My only tiny criticism is that
the music should have dominated more when the Rider operated the
digging machine. I feel the song was a good choice and it would have
punctuated it more than the real scene sounds that competed with and
drowned out the music too often. It felt a little like someone
wanted real sounds and someone wanted the song, and this was a
compromise that didn't work as well as the song would have.
ACTION MOVIE FREAK-INESS . . .
• with a side order of cheese, please.
one-liners were sprinkled throughout, and sometimes came in
visual form, like Jerry Springer, the twinkie, and yet another
surprise: Christopher Lambert. They cleverly worked in
and "road kill". Loved "The apple doesn't rot far from
the tree." Classic Cage attitude: "So, that happened",
and "These guys are gonna lift my curse? They don't even have
shoes." "Did we win? I'm gonna say yes. Hell yes!"
• It is my opinion that Action Movies that
deliver the most satisfying experience do so when there are
lessons to be taught or learned. This movie was a perfect
example of that. "This power that we have comes from a dark
place, but it's not who we are." The religious tones gave depth
and meaning. Cage's character is a little Christ like. "Where you
go now, I cannot follow." We love a bad guy who fights for the
right reasons. Without spoiling the ending, I thought the movie was
obviously headed in one direction but then they turned it around.
Although I could still see it coming, I still appreciated that they
didn't go the obvious route and it happened late enough that it
my interest right up until the end.
• Gnarly Kills—there were so many. The ways in which people
die are interesting. The chain kills are really wicked. The most
satisfying kill for me was another surprise. When the mother plays
the typical weak female to her advantage and throws a knife at a bad
guy with a guy, you and the bad guy think "how lame" and let your
guard down. Turns out she had a gun the whole time and it was just
an (effective) distraction. (Brought to mind the scene where Indiana
Jones shoots the guy with the big knife rather than use the whip.)
Although the mother has one all-too-typical weak female scene where
after she is beaten she lays on the ground too long, writhing,
mouth open seductively (As a female I have to say "Eew! why?"), they
redeem it later when she is a bad Mamma Jamma using a sniper rifle.
• Car Chases and Stunts—There were lots of great car chases
and crashes. And, there were two great payoffs for whatever The
Rider drives also bursts into flames.
Everything happened so fast,
I think you really should see this movie twice to appreciate
it all. I know I won't have to twist Cage-fans' arms. The pacing
reminded me of Crank in the best way. So get out your Action
Movie checklist and go see it. You'll want seconds. (This is
your brain on Ghost Rider 2 . . . )
News! Dave Bautista
is going to be in the new Chronicles of Riddick movie! I wrote
the paragraph below about the big fight scene in 2004's
Chronicles of Riddick, but I wonder how much of the credit I
Vin Diesel mightbelong to Troy Robinson (yes,
Dar Robinson's son) or to Troy Connelly?
Nonetheless, all are gifted! What I'd really like to know
is who came up with the flying two-fisted decapitation move?
From the credits on IMDB, it's hard to tell:
Bradley James Allan .... stunt fight coordinator
Bob Brown .... stunt coordinator (as Robert Francis Brown)
Dean Choe .... stunt coordinator
Marny Eng .... stunt coordinator: second unit
Paul Lazenby .... fight instructor
Paul Rapovski .... fight coordinator: Kali de Leon
Troy Robinson .... stunt double: Vin Diesel (as Troy Jess
Tim Connolly .... fight double: Vin Diesel
BALLET OF DEATH
Fight scenes . . . what we live for when we watch a really good
action movie. Think about how many there have been and you
begin to appreciate how hard it must be to deliver when the time
comes for one. Director David Twohy said if we'd seen it before
he didn't want to use it. To the credit of everyone who helped
to make it seem so: This fight scene is Vin Vin Vin. It's a
ballet of death, dished out with double blades wielded with
efficiency and lightning speed. The animal side takes over and
it seems he knows what to handle first and how. Sure it's
choreographed, but it had to be thought up, and it had to be
played just right by everyone so it looks like it's real.
And it looks real mainly because Vin is selling it. And how!
It takes more than athletic prowess, ass-kicking strength, and
fierce determination to pull this off. You have to be gifted. An
actor could rehearse over and over, but to make it look this
effortless, it's a gift. He decimates the ranks and with
his double blades in hand, pulls off a flying two-fisted
decapitation on one soldier, and then lands both blades into
the chest of another! And then he faces Lord Vaako. Vaako has
one back-cracking kill and a spiraling jump from a prone
position that exceed all expectations. For me, the whole movie
is a wind-up to this one incredible non-stop all-out fight
scene. How it ends is creative and calls into play the mark of
the rage of the entire Furyan race.
"Aaah, the Riddick [Fight Choreography]!" . .
(P.S. I made an interesting discovery of similar
fight movies in Eastern Condors)
What makes an Action Movie GOOD ?
HAYWIRE, ACT OF VALOR,
and a video fromACTIONFEST,
came together for me with comments by
co-Founder Aaron Norris.
I had great hopes that HAYWIRE would be a breakthrough Action
that would bring women out to see a truly physically strong
woman in a lead role, and awaken that sleeping-giant market.
It had all the right elements . . . or did it?
good Director, big-name male stars (lots), a
simple-but-intriguing story line, and, most importantly, the
lead character was played by a
real-life powerhouse female. Shouldn't that be enough? So
From an Action Movie Freak's perspective bad movie happened. The Director
was not an Action Director, and it showed. Plus, there was
Second Unit Director.1
Fight Choreographer J.J. Perry did a great job but the
big-name male stars either were slow in the fight scenes (sorry
guys) or were filmed before they were ready. And, the
storyline was tortured. The plot was confusing and seemed intentionally obfuscated
to ill effect (sorry
Lem Dobbs). There were too many characters and no
meat. By the time I got to the end and realized Mallory was
talking about Ewan McGregor's character (He's
What?!), I realized I had already stopped caring after she
explained all that stuff in the car to her 'hostage'—they got caught
anyway, so what was the point of telling him all that? As a plot
telling a story while driving
Action Movie is, well . . . boring.
The things that make an average movie good are NOT what make an
Action Movie good.
If you want to make a really good Action
Movie, it helps to have people who
know and value Action and the importance of its place in the movie.
Maybe this movie was intended to be more Thriller than Action, but
if that was the case, it was hurt ($-wise2)
by a huge missed opportunity! I know my criticism may seem
harsh to those who worked so hard on this film, and, no, I
have never tried to do what they did, however, I am an Action Movie
Freak and I'd like to think I
know what Action Fans are looking for.
ACT OF VALOR
Speaking of what Action Fans are looking for . . . if you've seen
the preview for
ACT OF VALOR, you were probably as blown away as I was. Watch
below if you haven't seen it yet before you read further. It, too,
is possibly abreakthrough
ACT OF VALOR
The Directors of ACT OF VALOR—and I am quoting
(who would know better?!) on the
Actionfest Blog—are "STUNTMEN!
Mike 'Mouse' McCoy and
Scott Waugh . . . the real deal." This movie
looks like what Action Movie Freaks worship Rambo and
for. It's a
SOLDIER movie of the best kind.
What will put it over the top is if the storyline makes us care. The
"Active Duty Navy Seals". How interesting that they used
'Actors' who know what they are doing. "The story is fictional
but the weapons and tactics are real." I'm afraid to say it, but
"How can this fail?" Acting in Action Movies is both overrated and
underappreciated. By that I mean Action Movies where the
acting is bad but the Action is awesome still satisfy, and Actors
and Stuntmen (and others) in Action Movies never get any recognition
by the Oscars. [Best Assistant Director (considered below the
was given only in 1933-37, and as a Proposed Category Best Stunt
Coordination was rejected in 1999 and again in 2005.]
Action Movies are evolving. While
Motion Capture Actors also
suffer the same snubbing as Stuntmen, CGI will never replace the wow
factor of real stunt work. There's no comparing a man really
being on fire to a CGI version of that.
SET ON FIRE
This is where
ActionFest comes in. Being at ActionFest and
the thrill of seeing a man set on fire makes you realize
real stunt work has no equal.This video brought to mind the real driving stunts from
The Transporteras compared to the recent
Ghost Protocol glove/climbing scene which
underestimated the intelligence of its audience by abusing the
suspension of disbelief. We want to think an Actor did a stunt even
if he didn't, but as long as somebody does it, it still works.
When it's faked or completely unbelievable, it takes us out of the
moment and back to reality.
From their site: "ActionFest is the first
film festival in the world devoted exclusively to action film.
And ActionFest is the only film festival in the world that
honors the stuntmen and stuntwomen
who take the punches, falls and crashes that make ordinary actors
appear superhuman on screen. Historically the film industry has
refused to recognize the stuntmen and stuntwomen, the stunt
coordinators, and the 2nd unit directors, and their
to filmmaking. That was before ActionFest. At ActionFest we
recognize, honor and appreciate the remarkable efforts of these
amazing people who risk their lives every day to make big Hollywood
films look exciting and great. ActionFest’s mission is two-fold: to
honor these unsung heroes of Hollywood; and to show the best action
films from around the world."
[Aside: If you love Action Movies, ActionFest is over
the legal limit on fun. Spending 3 days and 4 nights mainlining
Action Movies is so worth the price of admission! Ask now
for time off to visit Asheville, April 12-15, 2012 and
experience it for yourself. An all-inclusive VIP pass is
under $100 (prices have not been announced yet but I'm basing it
on the last 2 years), or be a big shot and
become a Sponsor.
Michael Jai White in the
Panel: Modern Fight Directors
I became aware of the value of a good Second Unit Director
after I saw
Final Destination 2 (2003, not considered "Action"), because
it was only the second movie
David R. Ellis
directed. I remember thinking how awesome that such a big-career
Second Unit Director got to direct! (His film list is beyond
impressive.) The car crash scenes are so crazy good (the movie
is good all around!!), how could you not become a David Ellis Fan?
Yes! I thought, more Second Unit Directors should get to direct,
however, stupidly, the importance of whether or not a Director had
an Action background or experience in Action Movies never mattered
to me until I saw HAYWIRE.
Of course, there are great Directors who are
known for Action Movies who are also great at other genres, but it
all came together for me that Action Movies need Action-minded
Directors after reading these remarks by
"Studios will give a writer, a Director of
Photography, an Editor, or Special Effects person a directorial.
Just about anyone other than
[emphasis added] stuntmen get chances at directorial debuts.
They will hire a person who shot one or two commercials and give
them a $50 million picture. Give me a break! Stuntmen and
Stuntwomen who Stunt Coordinate and 2nd Unit Direct have been
making directors look good since the invention of film."
FINAL DESTINATION 2 CRASHES
Actors vs Stuntmen
In HAYWIRE, even if the story sucked but the Action was good I might
have been happy, but the choreography in the Action scenes was so obviously
showing. People waiting for someone else to make their movie, standing
still and not reacting, etc. It looked to me like 99% of it was not because of
Gina, but because of everyone else. The men fought like they didn't want to hurt
her. She came off as the only one who looked like she knew what she was doing
(except the stuntman in the hallway fight scene). She's an MMA Fighter and an
American Gladiator, she knows how to fight. Even so, they needed more
rehearsing. It seems like they went to print before they were ready, and it
left me wondering about the Director. Could he just not see that the fight
scenes weren't good enough (I mean the practice, not the creation, of the moves)
or did he think it didn't matter? In this kind of movie (selling a
stronger female), the fight scenes
have to work. They were already halfway there because Gina
was physically believable, but then they put her against
and it was a joke. He looks like a soft smoker. It might as well
have been Jeremy Irons. Channing Tatum was a bigger disappointment.
It sure looked like he held back. His seeming less-than-all performance made
Gina look bad.
HAYWIRE and ACT OF VALOR really emphasized the
value of using real stuntmen versus Actors, and the value of having
an Action-minded Director. Before, I thought what makes an Action
Movie good were mainly
these things: Now I feel a great Action Movie
needs as much of that as possible, but even more: It needs an
Action-minded Director and 'Actors' who can sell the Action. I
think CGI has made it too easy for non-Action minded Directors to
think they/anyone can make an really good Action Movie. So not
true. It's exciting to me that HAYWIRE using Gina (and an
ex-military fight choreographer), and ACT OF VALOR using Navy Seals
(with Stuntmen directing), might be the beginning of a NEW ERA
for ACTION—One where those in the know shine at what they do,
and outshine those who only think they do. Where audiences begin to
appreciate the elements that make Action Movies the most popular
genre on the planet, and not attribute their success to a big-name
Director or Actor alone. And best of all, a new era with lots of
Kick-Ass Action Movies starring Stuntmen and truly strong
women! As an Action Movie Freak, I'm not buying it anymore
that we need a big-name Actor/star who can't do these things. Those
days are gone. I want to see the men and women who can! You just
know there are more Stuntmen who can act than Actors who could do
their own stunts. It's a Action Revolution, baby!
Excerpted From Wikipedia: [In
film, the SECOND UNIT is a team that shoots
subsidiary footage for a motion picture. Its work is
distinct from that of the first unit, which shoots all scenes
involving principal actors. In addition to shooting
establishing shots, close-ups, inserts, and cutaways, second units
also film in locations too expensive or dangerous
to send the first unit to. Often this involves stunts and
close-ups with body doubles . . .. The second unit has its own
director and cinematographer.
The SECOND UNIT DIRECTOR is
. . . considered
above the post of Assistant Director. As Second units oversee
dialogue-free scenes with stunts and special effects in
action movies, the job of stunt coordinator is often combined
with that of second unit director. As a result, many
second unit directors are former stunt coordinators.
The next Chronicles of Riddick
Diesel shared this photo on his
Facebook page. Made my
day! Can't wait for the story to continue . . . Follow him for updates on
the movie. He posts regularly and it seems like it's really him.
Also follow Director
David Twohy's blog
for rare posts that may, hopefully, pick up (if he has time) now
that they are filming. "7 DAYS AND COUNTING January 15, 2012 A lot
of you already know how close we are to rolling camera on RIDDICK."
At Last!! Here comes a truly powerful woman kicking ass.
I'm not saying all women have to or should look like the
American Gladiator powerhouses here, but this is the kind of
woman women want to see more of on screen. Women like: the
real deal strength-wise Valerie "Siren" Waugaman (second
from left) my pick for Red Sonja (see
Seeing Red Over Sonja) over
someone selected to please men like Rose McGowan; and like the
star of HAYWIRE (third from left) Gina "Crush" Carano.
2nd annual list of the
Top 100 Action Movies
was posted today, and here are the results (condensed).
Looks like the combination of John Woo and Chow Yun
Fat is best, holding the first spot and tied for the second.
If you LOVE this, listen to like-minded fun on
The list is a little Western heavy (I can't argue they are
not great movies though with great Action and definitive
characters.) Rambo is the only series where ALL the movies
made the list. To celebrate that is the best tribute video
EVER (at the bottom)!
1. HARD BOILED (1992)
2. - 4. The Killer (1989)
Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991)
5. Indiana Jones And The Raiders Of The Lost Ark (1981)
6. A Better Tomorrow (1986)
7. - 8. Die Hard (1988)
Jones And The Last Crusade (1989)
9. Total Recall (1990)
10. - 11. Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back (1980)
The Terminator (1984)
12. - 15. Commando (1985)
The Good, The Bad, The Ugly (1966)
Lone Wolf And Cub: Sword Of Vengeance (1972)
True Lies (1994)
16. Rambo (2008)
17. RoboCop (1987)
18. Police Story (1985)
19. Fist Of Legend 1994) 20. Eastern Condors
21. - 22. Aliens (1986)
23. Red Cliff (2008-09)
24. Bullet In The Head (1990)
25. - 26. Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior (1981)
The Wild Bunch (1969)
HEAT GUN BATTLE
27. Once Upon A Time In The West (1968)
28. - 31. Django (1966)
Lone Wolf And Cub: Baby Cart At The River Styx (1972)
A Fistful Of Dollars (1964)
Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope (1977)
32. - 34. HEAT(1995)
The Professional (1994)
For A Few Dollars More (1965)
35. - 36. The Legend Of Drunken Master
Lethal Weapon (1987)
37. Braveheart (1995)
38. - 43. A Bittersweet Life (2005)
First Blood (1982)
Lone Wolf And Cub: Baby Cart In Peril (1972)
Snake In The Eagle’s Shadow (1978)
Above The Law / Righting Wrongs (1986)
44. Project A (1983)
45. The Lord Of The Rings: The Fellowship Of The Ring (2001)
46. - 48. Lethal Weapon 2 (1989)
The 36th Chamber Of The Shaolin (1978)
Let's Kill, Companions (1970)
49. Escape From New York (1981)
50. - 51. Death Wish 3 (1985)
A Better Tomorrow II (1987)
THE LAST BOY SCOUT
52. - 57. Casino Royale (2006)
Conan The Barbarian (1982)
The Great Escape (1963)
The Siege Of Firebase Gloria (1989)
They Live (1988)
58. - 60. On Her Majesty’s
Secret Service (1969)
Starship Troopers (1997)
The Long Kiss Goodnight (1996)
61. The Crow (1994)
62. - 66. Black Dynamite (2009)
Jackie Chan’s First Strike (1996)
A Fistful Of Dynamite (1971)
Stone Cold (1991)
The Untouchables (1987)
67. Die Hard: With A Vengeance (1995)
68. The Getaway (1972)
69. THE LAST BOY SCOUT (1991)
70. - 74. Battle Royale (2000)
Enter The Dragon (1973)
The Good, The Bad, The Weird (2008))
75. - 77. Die Hard 2 (1990)
Rambo: First Blood Part II
BEST RAMBO TRIBUTE
78. - 80. Blade II (2002)
From Russia With Love (1963)
81. Inception (2010)
82. - 88. Wheels On Meals (1984)
Star Wars: Episode VI – Return Of The Jedi
Teenage Mutant Ninja
The Blues Brothers (1980)
The Driver (1978)
Ip Man (2008)
89. - 91. Hard Target (1993)
Kill Bill: Vol. 1 (2003)
Under Siege (1992)
92 – 94. Shanghai Express (1986)
To Live And Die In L.A. (1985)
95. Licence To Kill (1989)
96. - 99. The Street Fighter (1974)
Return Of The Dragon (1972)
Mr. Majestyk (1974)
100. Dirty Harry (1971)
Marked For Death
No Retreat, No
Surrender 2: Raging Thunder (1987)
Happy New Year!
Wishing you a happy new year and the time off
and money to go to
, April 12-15 in Asheville,
North Carolina. Asheville is in full bloom at that time and
couldn't be more beautiful.