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Action Movies I Can't Wait To See
1. Sinners and Saints: Vengeance | no date yet
Johnny Strong (before Sinners and Saints he appeared in Get Carter, The Fast and the Furious, and Black Hawk Down) is back with Scott Adkins(!), Director William Kaufman, and scriptwriters Chad Law and Jay Moses. (Kaufman wrote the original Sinners and Saints script himself with Jay Moses.) I was lucky enough to meet Chad Law at OCinema Wynwood (now closed :-( ) for a showing of Daylight's End (another Johnny Strong movie you should see). He has mentioned on social media that S&S:V is filming in Bulgaria. Chad will appear in the upcoming volume two of Mike Fury's Action Movie book: LIFE OF ACTION: Interviews with the Men and Women of Martial Arts and Action Cinema. BTW LOVE this poster!
Check out these other Chad Law movies . . . (click poster for trailer)
2. Glass | January 18, 2019
Were you a fan of Unbreakable? I liked it. I think it was underappreciated in the extreme. This is labeled Drama Mystery Sci-Fi Thriller not "Action" but I am still excited to see where they take it. Trailer is cool as hell.
3. Cold Pursuit | February 8, 2019
This looks like a true Action Movie: a big bad-ass Action Figure with attitude, hell bent on revenge.
4. Triple Threat | March 22, 2019
The IMDb plot summary reads "A hit contract is taken out on a billionaire's daughter intent on bringing down a major crime syndicate. A down-and-out team of mercenaries must take on a group of professional assassins, and stop them before they kill their target."
TheActionElite.com recently announced there is a release date of March 22, 2019 for US theatres (SOURCE: M.A.A.C). Really hope it comes to Miami so I can see it on the BIG SCREEN!
If you want to read more, check out M.A.A.C. David Vo's interview with Director Jesse V. Johnson: Love this . . . "I am a reactionary director, I prepare like crazy, storyboard or shot list, but more importantly, after preparing I like to see what the location, or actors bring, I will sometimes discard all my planning to do something else, it drives the crew nuts sometimes, but there must be that flash of danger or impulsiveness in the process for me." The article looks at Johnson's partnership with Scott Adkins. If you've been wanting something to watch, check out Johnson's portfolio of Action Movies (below Triple Threat trailer).
Other Jesse V. Johnson's films include . . . (click poster for trailer)
5. Shazam! | April 5, 2019
The trailer makes it look like so much fun but maybe the credit is due to the acting and casting. The kid and superhero versions of Billy Batson/Shazam (Asher Angel/Zachary Levi) are both great. I can totally buy that that's him as an adult. It's bound to be compared to Big (and that is a compliment). Sometimes I think comic book/superhero movies should have a child-ish element because that's when we loved them best. Like with Spider-Man: Homecoming, if you didn't like the high school element, you're kind of missing the point.
6. Avengers: Endgame | April 26, 2019
Come on, it's an Avengers movie! "In the aftermath of Thanos wiping out half of all life in the universe, the remaining Avengers must do what's necessary to undo the Mad Titan's deed."
7. John Wick: Chapter 3 | May 17, 2019
The success of the John Wick movies was a sure thing. 87eleven's Chad Stahelski and David Leitch took it to the next level and launched their directorial careers with one hell of a bang. Bodes well for Action, don't you think, considering the bad ass movies they have made separately since. David went on to direct Charlize Theron in Atomic Blonde, exceeded expectations with Deadpool 2 (talk about a hard act to follow with Deadpool—amazing action), and is now working on Hobbs and Shaw with The Rock and Jason Statham, but then if you stunt doubled JCVD you were already breathing rarified action air.
And speaking of stunt doubles, Chad Stahelski is who doubled Keanu Reeves in the The Matrix triology. He's also an MMA champion, and his specialized skills include: Wire work, Rigging, Tumbling, Mini-Tramp, Trampoline, High Falls, Fire Burns, Martial Arts Choreography, Air Rams, Ratchets, Weapons, Acrobatic Reactions, Scuba Diving, Precision Driving, and Motorcycles. Someone who knows Action inside out like that, brings a finer eye to Action as entertainment. The fact that Stahelski and Leitch formed their own company speaks volumes, and 87eleven's team is impressive as hell!
So with a pedigree like that, John Wick: Chapter 3 is a no-fail scenario, it's just a matter of topping John Wick: Chapter 2. I think Action fans are divided in their preference of John Wick vs. JW2. Personally, I liked the first just because it was the first (and the puppy), but JW 2 did exceed all my expectations. Bring on JW3. As we expected, Keanu Reeves told Entertainment Weekly: "The third chapter is literally connected to 2 and starts with John Wick on the run. It goes crazy from there." That is exactly what we were hoping for and a true next chapter, continuing in realtime.
8. Men in Black: International | June 14, 2019
Weren't they already planet-wide?! So they have added Tessa Thompson (Valkyrie in Thor: Ragnarok), Chris Hemsworth, Liam Hemsworth, and Rebecca Ferguson (Ilsa Faust from Mission: Impossible). If they don't hit a home run, it won't be for lack of talent. The Director is F. Gary Gray (Friday, Set It Off, The Negotiator, A Man Apart (Vin Diesel), The Italian Job, Be Cool, Law Abiding Citizen, Straight Outta Compton), and the Writers are Art Marcum (anyone who can write dialog for Iron Man! #justsaying) and Matt Holloway.
9. Hobbes and Shaw | August 2, 2019
The Rock stole the Fast and Furious franchise heat LOL when he joined the team on Fast Five. This spinoff was bound to happen. Sorry, I'm laughing, I couldn't help saying that after they F&F cast (not naming names) got upset. Who can blame them, but really, after the last two movies, where was there to go? Emotionally, it felt like they should have ended the series when Paul Walker was killed, but I still enjoyed Furious 7. If you're a true F&F fan, you love ALL the movies. It was already ridiculously over the top with the airplane on the endless runway scene in Fast & Furious 6, and then there was the kill a helicopter with a car scene in Furious 7 with The Rock in the street shooting at a helicopter with an M134 Minigun—that's what we wanted more of (you know it was so Arnold Commando)—that when we got to it's raining cars in The Fate of the Furious (BTW #btdt Die Hard With a Vengeance) and racing a missile/submarine on ice . . . it's just insane. But seriously, I'm not complaining. Watching that scene again, how awesome is Vin Diesel?! If you say you love Action Movies but you don't like the Fast and Furious franchise, check your pulse.
In any case, 9 and 10 are already listed on IMDb, so spinoff it is. Start another franchise, yes please! Put in ALL the Action Figures you can find. The Rock, Jason Statham, AND Idris Elba! It's not to be missed. Tagline "This time there is no team." Yeah, there is, Team Handsome. Here's a video of them shooting in Glasgow . . .
10. Rambo 5: Last Blood | Fall 2019
How bittersweet. Another Rambo movie but they are going to kill him off (maybe?) . . . I so wanted him to be safe and happy and loved (at last). He's come full circle but the nature of a circle is it continues, and "when [Rambo's] pushed, killing's as easy as breathing." I'm hoping for a no-mercy Mexican cartel compound attack like Rambo III.
11. (T6) Untitled Terminator Reboot | November 1, 2019
Arnold and Linda are back! What else could you ask for? I'm down for any Terminator movie. I have loved all except Terminator Genysis. I think Terminator Salvation was really enjoyable even with the complaints made against it. A giant robot with robot motorcycle calves? Come on!
In this video, IMDb tells "What we know so far", which includes James Cameron as Producer and creative consultant to Deadpool Director Tim Miller. THR says it's a direct sequel to Terminator 2: Judgement Day. This sixth film will kick off a trilogy that passes the baton to a new generation of fans.
The 'new' Terminator is Gabriel Luna. The 2nd Unit Director is Philip J. Silvera (who also worked on both Deadpools and as a stuntman, Stunt Driver, Stunt Coordinator, and Fight Coordinator on many other great Action Movies).
Action Adventure Sci-fi, Arnold. Need I say more?
12. Bad Boys for Life | 17 January 2020
MIAMI! Love any Action Movie filmed in Miami. Yes, Miami's as beautiful as it looks on film. Action Movie Freaks have been waiting a long time for another Bad Boys movie. Here's some more news (from May 10, 2018) . . .
GB hits the target again with
Gerard Butler's love for Action Movies (so much so that his finances his own choices) delivered in Hunter Killer. I really enjoyed this movie. I went to see it twice and I might go again. It sparked my interest and raised many questions.
What exactly is a hunter-killer submarine?
What is the tradition with keeping a coin, and the protocol of sharing one?
What a horrible invention the well-named Destroyer is . . .
What a massive display of power.! When the Russian Destroyer fired a barrage of rockets, it was clear why it's named that, and it was hard to imagine anything escaping that much firepower. Jive Turkey on YouTube sheds some light on it, starting at 3:42 (he also mentions at 11:21 that they are missing radiation detection devices on each crew members' belt—how scary is a job where you need to wear that?!). Jive Turkey also sheds some light on choices made for dramatic effect (versus real life), which is a fascinating glimpse into the movie making process that we take for granted.
If you loved Peter Berg's Battleship, or if you love heavy weapons, you'd love this movie. The movie definitely delivered on the underwater tension, and satisfied a lot of the Action Movie Essentials. There was a little Trash Talking to build up Gerard Butler's character, lots of Camaraderie and Dominance, and Explosions and Chases. When they "Dive!" they do the lean—Love the lean!
There's a part when the soldiers on the ground are running across a bridge/platform. The landscape was so otherworldly and stark it brought not only the Gears of War games but The Expendables 3 to mind. Other Action Movie Essentials like high-tech surveillance gadgets and military lingo were cool. It was a little unexpected that the wounded soldier came into play in such an intense way at the end. They hinted at it, but the delivery was way better than anticipated. What it means to be that kind of Super Soldier was clear. The underlying quality in this movie is Sacrifice. These men (on both sides) live their lives, or die in service to their country and ideals.
The Needs of the Many: We Need a Sequel
Courage, too, played a large part. What would you do if faced with a save-many-lives-but-lose-your-own-scenario? The greater good scenario in Star Trek's The Wrath of Khan came to mind, when Spock says of his sacrifice "The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few . . . " and Kirk adds "Or the one" meaning Spock's life, but also it's the very personal hurt of Kirk's needing Spock. The ending of this movie sets up a Kirk/Spock kind of friendship, so I hope they make a sequel.
I found this video after I did this post and it made me feel great that it validated my take on the movie.
Jackie Chan, John Cena, Scott Waugh,
Project X-traction, China,
and the Future of Action Movies
This news is from July but I just stumbled on it this morning (in The Hollywood Reporter). Scott Waugh [ former stuntman and Director of Act of Valor, Need for Speed (Aaron Paul) ] is directing this former Jackie Chan/Sylvester Stallone movie Project X, now called Project X-traction.
In the THR article Waugh says "In terms of how the movie is stylized, it will hopefully be another level—our action will be extremely exciting." This is music to an Action Movie Freak's ears. Is there anything better we could hear?! (I mean after "Jackie Chan" and "John Cena" . . .) Well, how about "big-budget Hong Kong/China co-production led by Chan is entirely Chinese funded"?!
After seeing that Wu Jing's (aka Jacky Wu) Wolf Warrior 2 made $870+ million, anyone who denies Action Movies are still THE genre has their head in the sand. They are not dead, Action Movies will always be #1. What stars like Jackie Chan has always done, and John Cena does, is to bring the physicality to the forefront. Gone forever are the days of the old James Bond who looked good in a suit and faked the rest. Tom Cruise's latest Mission: Impossible movie was "100% Cruise", which went a long way in selling tickets, although I would like to see him use stuntmen but give credit at the end with clips. I mean, nobody wants to see him die—or anyone—while trying to entertain us. I think he's got the right idea though. This is what we want to see, real stuntwork, and he practices to try to be the cool, behind-the-scenes, "quiet professional" AND international man of mystery movie star, which nobody can deny he is! And what Scott Waugh is doing is also bringing practical stunts front and center, on possibly the biggest scale for a worldwide audience.
Scott Waugh's father is Fred Waugh, co-founder of the elite Hollywood group Stunts Unlimited. Talk about stuntwork pedigree! Sadly, Fred Waugh passed away in 2012 [ IMDb, painfully, says only: "Died December 2, 2012 in USA (cancer)" ] Whenever I want to promote stuntwork and I go to the web for information, I find so little. I wish I could clone myself and volunteer to moderate all the stunt company website and catalog all the stuntwork. #idigress Getting to the reason behind little available information on stunts . . .
In this January 30, 2014 article "Why NEED FOR SPEED Director Scott Waugh Thinks We'll Never See A Stunts Oscar" by Devin Faraci, Scott says that "My dad always told me it will never happen because the people in the Academy don't want to wreck the mystique behind the movie. They quietly recognize what we do, but for the general public they don't want to ruin the mystique of the actor." Faraci remarked "As long as Tom Cruise gets to say he does his own stunts, we'll never see a Best Stunts trophy handed out on Oscar night. [Unless it's for Tom!] But for Waugh it's all part of the job." Scott Waugh concludes "It's a shame, but it's like that phrase in the SEAL team, the quiet professional. That's us."
You may think I am far afield here, but bringing it back to Scott Waugh directing Project X-traction: in speaking about making Need for Speed, Scott said "I almost never use CGI. I think they knew that when they hired me. They knew (practical stunts) was what they were going to get. I'm not a fan of CGI. I feel like it's the easy way out, unless you're doing like a futuristic movie that's in a completely other world, like 'Avatar.' In a car movie, it should be practical. It should be real. We hired (stunt coordinator) Lance Gilbert to come up with stuff that's real; that we can do practically. When we conceived this film, I really wanted to do a throwback to the movies that Lance and I grew up on that were the ones we still quote today as the greatest car movies of all time, which are 'Bullitt,' 'Vanishing Point,' 'Smokey and the Bandit,' and 'The French Connection.' You look at these films, and you try to figure out why are they still the best. It's because the (action sequences are) real. In the '60s and the '70s, they didn't do CGI. There's no big music montage. It's just motor noise. It's something we really focused on throughout the whole film."
Kind of makes you excited to see what he can
do with Jackie Chan and John Cena. Hyping the movie (which he
does not need to do for Action fans), Scott says "The
highlight of this movie is really simple: we have one of the
greatest legends of action working with a talented newcomer in
the action genre. It's possibly one of the greatest pairings."
And "I'm excited, when you get actors who are truly
physically talented, you can design action to really use
this—it's a dream."
John Cena has hit his stride as an Action Movie star. From The Marine to this movie, he's taking his place among the biggest (literal and figurative) Action Figures. Despite all the "Cena Sucks" storyline (which is fun but just WWE drama), he is a much-loved figure. Especially by children. In that sense, he and Jackie Chan are very similar. You may still be thinking "But he's just a wrestler." So was The Rock.
Anyway, my point is, the more Action Movie makers stick to Action Figures and Practical Stunts, the more audiences will love it. This movie is all that + Big Money and Bigger Audience = Big Future. John Cena gets it . . . giving credit where credit is due, in Mandarin, to his stunt double! Hope they do that with outtakes in the credits because real-life Action Figures already have mystique and this only adds to/does not take away from that.
The Chinese invented Action Movies, it's only fitting that they should save them and make them flourish. I look forward to lots more strong female characters, and some day, a female Jackie Chan will rise.
Action Movies coming in 2019. . .
Great news on 3 movies:
1) After posting the poster for Rambo V, Sylvester Stallone rocked a western look in a 3 photos on instagram @officialslystallone, quoting a line from a Gordon Lightfoot song. I guess they are going to kill him off: "Rambo goes up against a Mexican cartel in what's reported to be his last adventure." I'm gonna cry like a baby!
2) The Rock also posted on instagram @therock that it was the first week of shooting "Hobbs and Shaw". This movie is going to be the Action Movie we've all been wanting them to make (instead of Disney movies, Mr. Johnson) to take their place as Action Figures. They really should (Jason Statham does for the most part) make ONLY Action Movies. Don't you agree?
3) Marko Zaror posted on instagram @markozaror that he's in a movie with Johnny Strong: "Invincible: Marko Zaror Turns Renegade In New Johnny Strong Action Thriller Now Filming" (SOURCE: Lee B. Golden III, Film Combat Syndicate. The Action Elite also covered it: "Director Daniel Zirilli Pits Johnny Strong vs. Marko Zaror in Invincible".
The synopsis sounds like Soldier meets The Condemned. [Colonel John Taylor, (Vladimir Kulich) enlists billionaire inventor Leor Teska (Paul Kennedy) to fund a secret black site, testing Teska's new nano technology for military applications, developed by scientist Dr. Quade (Sally Kirkland). When one of the test subjects, Brock Cortez, (Marko Zaror) escapes, Teska's head of security, Cam Devore, (Johnny Strong) is given the dangerous task of tracking him down.]
It also features Streets of Fire/Eddie and the Cruisers star Michael Pare.
Yeah, it's an Action Movie!
Now that I've seen it, I can find out more about it (won't ruin it for myself). Didn't recognize Boyd Holbrook was the show-stealing bad guy in Logan (<--that movie is a masterpiece; it's not only an Action Movie, on a scale of 1 to 10 it's a 10 as a "film"). That character was really cool. I kinda wish he was a little more muscular for this military role in The Predator, but he is still a Bad Ass sniper.
This was what I was thinking before I left
for the theater . . .
And after the movie . . .
The fact that it opened in outer space was everything! The movie continuously surprised me with creative Gnarly Kills. From the opening EPIC post-death "kill" #wtfawesomeness, all the way to the end, this movie SERIOUSLY delivers on the killing. "They're large, they're fast, and fucking you up is their idea of tourism."
They science us, too. Funny, I was just thinking about this after seeing The Meg: that they put just enough science in to make it fun. Terms like "spontaneous specination", "hybridization", and "cybernetics"; secret government projects and labs; and crazy experiments—we eat that stuff up. Jumping to why this movie's Predators are different (no spoiler), they introduce an 11-foot Predator with 2 dogs " Our big boy's a hunter—he brought his dogs." It was a little like Predators, more so than Predator. And there was lots of humor. Love that they put Halloween in it. There were so many unreal moments, it kind of kept you on the edge of your seat. When, while laying on the ground they shoot up into the trees at the Predator, it's kind of a full circle moment. They KNOW it's using the trees.
Instead of muscle, the 'team' is heavy on crazy. There's a pay off for it though. It seems like they were just having fun with every tool in the Predator kit. What's not to love about that?! Anyway. I will see it again just to be back in a world with Predators. They looked Bad Ass! The very first one was a "wow", as was the big one. I'm not going to nit pick it to death. It was just too much fun!
87Eleven Action Design
Nov 28-Dec 6