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CHRONICLES OF RIDDICK
. . . everything you love about ACTION MOVIES
The Essentials that make a great
WELCOME TO THE JUNGLE!
Exciting news about Year 3 of the . . .
Here are the 2017 Honorees announced thus far . . . SOURCE: vimooz.com
Tom Cruise • ACTION REBEL AWARD
Andy Armstrong • STUNT REBEL AWARD
Tammie Baird • STUNT WARRIOR AWARD
Jennifer Caputo • STUNT LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD
Jessie Graff • WOMAN OF THE YEAR
Nichelle Nichols • ACTION REBEL AWARD
Richard Madden &
Idris Elba in The Take
Synopsis: "Michael Mason (Richard Madden) is an American pickpocket living in Paris who finds himself hunted by the CIA when he steals a bag that contains more than just a wallet. Sean Briar (Idris Elba), the field agent on the case, soon realizes that Michael is just a pawn in a much bigger game and is also his best asset to uncover a large-scale conspiracy."
I got to see this movie in the theatre, but it was gone in 6 days. That's a shame because it's a Good Action Movie (a NYT Critics' Pick), good enough that I wanted to see it again, and when I couldn't, I bought it on Amazon. It has lots of the Action Movie Essentials. I wanted to see it because Action Movies have been in short supply in 2016, and because it stars Idris Elba. What a surprise, then, that Michael Mason steals the show. The real focus of the film, is on Madden's character and then Elba enters the picture. Their dynamic is really enjoyable. In a way, it's a convoluted Heist Movie, but I'm putting it under the Buddy subgenre because, at the end it seems like there could be a part 2 where they team up and work together again. It reminded me of the ending of The Transporter Refueled with the father-son duo.
Jackie Chan gets an Oscar
At 62, Jackie Chan finally received an Oscar. No one has ever deserved one more! The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences saw fit to give him an Honorary Oscar "for lifetime achievements, exceptional contributions to motion picture arts and sciences, and outstanding service to the academy." When I heard he was to receive one, I was disappointed it wasn't at the main event. Instead, it was presented at the 8th Annual Governors Awards ceremony. In his presentation, Tom Hanks stood up for stunts:
The fact that Chan's award is honorary makes it all the more deserved. He was truly thrilled to get it, and is the first Chinese person to receive one. Hanks also said "Great acting comes in many different forms, but if you are an actor, you always know it when you see it."
Tonight was an historic match up on the WWE with the first "Hell in a Cell" fight between two women: Sasha Banks vs. Charlotte held at sold-out TD Garden in Boston, Mass. In an Interview by CBS News for the event, Charlotte said:
"The women are taking over:
A little background on "Hell in a Cell" from Wikipedia: "Hell in a Cell is a professional wrestling event produced annually by World Wrestling Entertainment, Inc., aka 'The WWE', a Connecticut-based, professional wrestling promotion and live broadcast available only on pay-per-view (PPV) or a wwe.com/network subscription. The event was established in 2009, replacing WWE No Mercy in the early October slot of WWE's pay-per-view calendar. In 2012, WWE announced that Hell in a Cell would be moving to late October. Competitors fight inside a 20-foot-high roofed cell structure surrounding the ring and ringside area. Since its origin, the event has been held only in indoor arenas in the United States."
Once considered 'too barbaric' for women, this match up is historic not only as the first women's Hell in a Cell match, but also, the first women's match to main event a WWE pay-per-view event.
Dubbed "A new era in WWE, where women can accomplish anything" by none other than Mick Foley in the very empowering intro to the match up. The stage was set for something special.
In an entrance befitting a champion (the daughter of Ric Flair), Charlotte was carried in on a litter by four men.
Not to be outdone, Sasha's entrance also featured 4 men, riding the running board before her Cadillac Escalade stopped, and she appeared . . .
Announced by a female announcer, the crowd favorite was clearly hometown girl Sasha Banks (from Boston). As the cage was lowered, it must have seemed to the women like the impossible was finally real. The MAIN EVENT! Would it measure up?
Before the cage was fully lowered, or the bell even rang, Charlotte blindsided Sasha and a brawl began. Charlotte yelled "Boston, this is Flair country!" amid boos. Going for the crazy right away, both women started climbing the outside of the cage, but it was just a little 'for show'. Then Charlotte slammed Sasha onto the announcing table and she seemed to be out for the count. So much staggering and crying, then almost being carried out on a stretcher. Such a disappointment . . . then, MAGICALLY, as happens in the WWE, She can "barely stand' but it's ON! LOL Sasha gets into the ring.
The bell finally rings and suddenly Charlotte is a coward. Oh, the drama! I was just hoping for some aerobatic insanity . . . The bell had only just rang and there was already crying and the women seemed wiped out?! They better do more than this. I began to wonder how long the match would be. And then out came the chair . . . and they began to throw down. You know it's fake, but you can't fake being thrown into a chain link fence. Still, entertaining. I had hoped they would use the cage in some cool, new way, but after a slow start, it was just wrestling as usual . . . until . . .
Charlotte reached under the skirt and bought out a table. Oh yeah! The girls were doing Hell in a Cell, right. This must have taken a lot of practice. Another table, more smacking with a chair, a little grandstanding by Charlotte, some crying by Sasha, then a little bitch slapping, wedgies, and finally, a little aerobatic wrestling at the end. And the champion is . . . (the much larger) Charlotte! No surprise. Her undefeated streak continues.
Thankfully that old Divas pink butterfly belt was retired.
What's next? . . . Rumors of an ALL-WOMEN'S TOURNAMENT!
Happy Wonder Woman Day!
The United Nations is holding a ceremony (with rumored special guest Lynda Carter) appointing Wonder Woman as an Honorary Ambassador for "the Empowerment of Women and Girls" 75 years after she was created. Wonder Woman is the original, best-known, and most well liked comic book heroine, and in a world short of heroic images for girls, seems a great choice, despite the fact that she's fictitious . . . or, that just may be the crux of why she is the best choice. However, this appointment is not without protestors.
According to The New York Times, a petition with 600 signatures was gathered and states: "'a large-breasted white woman of impossible proportions, scantily clad in a shimmery, thigh-baring body suit with an American flag motif and knee-high boots' is not an appropriate spokeswoman for gender equity at the United Nations."
The article goes on to say "Women's advocates inside and outside the United Nations say the selection of Wonder Woman is particularly ill timed because the United Nations this month rejected seven female candidates for Secretary General."
Talking the talk but not walking the walk . . .
The petition complains: “The message the United Nations is sending to the world with this appointment is extremely disappointing. The bottom line appears to be that the United Nations was unable to find a real-life woman that would be able to champion the rights of ALL women on the issue of gender equality and the fight for their empowerment. The United Nations has decided that Wonder Woman is the role model that women and girls all around the world should look up to.” I think it's more disappointing
Unable to find a real-life woman! That is SUCH a huge sign that we need a Super Hero as a role model. And not just one, lots of them. I immediately thought of Malala Yousafzi, however, Wonder Woman being fictitious is the perfect choice because, as inspiring as Malala is, it's also depressing and frightening what happened to her. Wonder Woman is invincible. What she wears, in this case, in not as important as the fact that she's someone with super powers to look up to. We can work on the appropriateness of wardrobe as a side issue that protests to this appointment is shedding light on, but, in the meantime, I'm thrilled.
Trailer 2 shows too much
The first Rogue One trailer was enough. The second gives the whole movie away (or so it seems). I am going to try to forget what I've seen between now and December 16th. I wish I hadn't watched it. The first trailer made it seem so much more exciting.
John Wick: Chapter 2
Action Movies go classy!
Action Movies have never looked so classy. The original John Wick movie was really something, but the look of this movie is beyond anything we've seen before. Makes me want a purple suit real bad LOL. Looks like the wild wild West in a club.
From their press kit: Parkour Legend
David Belle is back a bang with a new, hard-hitting,
gritty, 10-episode fight series called
Brutal, A Taste of Violence. "Axel Chen" (Belle),
ex-special-forces officer, is a bouncer in a nightclub. When he
is brutally attacked by a group of customers, and wrongfully
accused of killing one of his aggressors, a wild escape begins,
taking him all the way to Bangkok, where he will have to fight
to prove his innocence and manage to make a living.
Action Short “Blowback”
has a nice kick!
Check it out. The love of Action Movies comes through in every scene of this 17 (13.5) minute Action Movie short. It's great fun and the action is well done. This 2013 student film out of USC was just released on YouTube.
Described as "An old-school-style action movie eschewing CG effects for the practical, it features veteran stuntman Steve Lambert and stars Sport Karate Hall of Famer, stuntman, [and high kicker] Jessen Noviello." (pictured at right)
"All of [the] action was performed by the actors." THAT is something I would like to see lots more of: Give more stuntmen roles as actors.
They also said "It was also very important [to them] that [they] had female characters that were just as strong as the male characters, both emotionally and physically, as strong female characters seem to be rather rare in movies today." Hats off to that.
Only one of the female characters is physically strong, and a total bitch, the other is nice, but a victim. The good girl/bad girl contrast is entertaining. Alexandra Bromstad, as the bad girl in the more physical role, is impressive in her aggression. I would love to see the two leads (Jessen and Alexandra) in something else together. The kind of look like brother and sister. They could both be big Action stars.
The script packs a lot into the 13 minute and 30 second run time. Writer Aaron Thomas does a great job of keeping the action going. Love the cursing and the scene cuts. Love, too, that it ends in a cheesy one liner—an Action Movie Essential. The villain, played by Scott Vance, dies well! The fight choreographer has those great slow-motion moments when the hero shows off his skills as a Bad Ass. There are many Action Movie essentials packed into this movie—It's almost like they said, What would they want to see? Put that in! And it works.
Blowback on IMDb
Storyline "Alex Mason is one of the world's best secret agents. He's also never been very good with women. His controlling and conniving girlfriend, Monica, is the best he's been able to do. While on a mission to stop an arms dealer, she accuses him (incorrectly) of infidelity for the last time, and he breaks up with her. As she exacts her revenge, Monica discovers Alex's true occupation as a spy and decides the best payback is to blow his cover to the arms dealer who is now looking for him. Espionage is a bitch."
Action Short “Miss Nobody”
set to attack Vimeo On Demand 9/12/16
Where do great Action Movies come from? Talent like this. As I've said before, one of my favorite things about having this website is when people send me Action Movies to watch. This particular film, "Miss Nobody", features a heroine—and a Bad Ass at that. She's got nothing to lose and is hell bent on revenge. It's a short film but it's not short on Action.
What I like most about it is the realism and the intensity. There is a great synopsis and a trailer, but since it's only "an intense 14 minutes of awesomeness" just skip those for fullest enjoyment. You can watch it on Vimeo On Demand, starting at 3:00 AM ET on September 12th . . . You could rent it for only 99˘, but please show your support and buy to own for $1.99, and, if you like it, tell a friend.
Featured on "Ain't It Cool News" Saturday Shorts, "Miss Nobody" also screened at the Action on Film International Film Festival on 9/3. Wine Girl Productions and Up In a Tree Productions teamed to release the film, and they are currently seeking funding for a feature film version.
Special thanks to Writer/Director Adam Hodge for reaching out to me via the Artemis Women in Action Film Festival site. #WomenKickAss
Johnny Strong slays in Daylight's End
Have you seen Daylight's End yet? What are you waiting for! Directed by William Kaufman (Sinners and Saints), this movie is an intense Action/Fantasy/Horror ride featuring Johnny Strong, Lance Henriksen, Louis Mandylor, and even writer Chad Law. "The Alpha" (the main villain) is played by Krzysztof Soszynski. It's been a while since I found 'just a man' that scary. He makes you want to run out of the theatre to safety. Johnny Strong is, as you would expect, a total Bad Ass. The movie makes you want to know more. Like with The Walking Dead and The Road Warrior, you want to follow them along to wherever they are going . . . In the end, you care about Strong's character Thomas Rourke—I couldn't help but think that his subsequent encounters with various groups of survivors would have make great a great TV series like the Granddaddy of them all "The Fugitive". And, oh yeah, it's an Action Movie!
To promote the film, writer Chad Law and stunt performer Mike "Lobo" Daniel recently made an appearance at O Cinema Wynwood. They were lots of fun, and graciously answered questions after the film. It was presented as the Action Movie feature in the Popcorn Frights Film Festival. The showing was well attended and the film well received. If you were in the audience, photos (like the one, below) are here on Facebook.
(L to R: Popcorn Frights Co-Founder/Director Igor Shteyrenberg, Chad, Lobo, and Co-Founder/Director Marc Ferman)
Jessie Graff makes history on AMERICAN NINJA WARRIOR!
"This woman redefining strong!" Yes, she is. So proud of stuntwoman, super woman, Jessie Graff! I will post the video of the run as soon as I can find one online . . . It's here on American Ninja Warrior Nation's Facebook page
Writer Chad Law will be there . . .
How can you not go see this movie!? Although it didn't have the Trash Talking laughs of Deadpool—IMDb has it labeled "Action, Adventure (not), Comedy (not), Crime (not really), Sci-Fi (no), Thriller, I'd say it's Action Fantasy Thriller—I really don't think it should be compared to Deadpool. Suicide Squad is it's own thing, and that thing kills!
THE ULTIMATE KILLING SQUAD . . . for kids age 13 up
ULTIMATE EVIL POWER COUPLE
Can't wait to own the DVD on this movie. Hats off to Statement Advertising who did the incredible Graphic Design:
WONDER WOMAN Trailer .
. . (goosebumps!)
"What I do is not up to you." It doesn't get any more feminist than that—BOOMshakalaka! The trailer for Wonder Womann gave me goose bumps at the image of these Amazon warriors riding into battle:
And at the sight of the golden Lasso of Truth!
I am SO GLAD that Gal Gadot pulls off this warrior Amazon bad ass look! She may be thinner than I hoped but she/her stunt doubles makes it look believable. Love the slow motion action. They are definitely selling Wonder Woman's ability to fight. The fluidity of movement, the choreography—in all Wonder Woman's scenes, but also the fantastic over-the-rock-two-arrow attack of General Antiope.
The 2nd Unit Director is Damon Caro: Stuntman/Actor/Fight Choreographer, who was the Fight Choreographer/ Stunt Coordinator on Sucker Punch, Never Back Down, 300, and was the Fight Choreographer/Utility Stunts on Mr. & Mrs. Smith, plus he worked on the Bourne movies, Live Free or Die Hard, an too many more to name, including stunts on Battleship.
The movie is directed by a woman (as it should be): Patty Jenkins.
I can't wait. I take back what I said here about the cast being too thin. It occurs to me that while a bigger, stronger version will be kick ass to see on screen, a thinner version can give hope to more women. Just to see someone of Gal Gadot's proportions go through the motions so convincingly is inspiring. I still want to see 'big girls' kick ass onscreen but in this case, considering how iconic and important Wonder Woman is, having her be that strong might make fighting back seem unattainable. In other words, if a skinny girl can kick ass, any girl can FIGHT BACK!
Making Wonder Woman/Gal Gadot look so fierce are a host of stuntwomen. Only fitting since Wonder Woman is skilled at so many things.
xXx: Return of Xander Cage
"Skills and Attitude." Vin Diesel can definitely make this work! So much violence (#goodthing) with a playful attitude. Xander's Excellent Adventure. Yeah, I'll pay to see this. I hope more than once. Under Siege came to mind. #adifferentkindofsoldier Only took them 15 years to get to a sequel. We waited patiently but I'm glad it's finally here. Vin is a force all his own and I don't think many actors outside of Wrestling could pull this off (that's a compliment—I love Wrestling). With Donnie Yen and Tony Jaa on board, it can't fail for Action Movie Freaks! And he wears fur again . . . LOL Love a man in fur! Will he growl in this movie? Yeah, I'm objectifying him (with love). Payback's a bitch.
GHOSTBUSTERS! I ain't afraid
of no girls . . .
It's great fun. You have to see it. Kudos to Writer/Director Paul Feig (shown above with the four girls). After all the fuss about it being an all-girl version, I was really hoping it could shut the naysayers up . . . and it can! From the very start with the scary music, it gives you that great, fun, Ghostbusters feeling. The four main characters are each funny in their own way, although "Holtzman" was my favorite. You know a movie's good when you want to dress up like them for Halloween.
All through the movie, they bring back original cast members: Sigourney Weaver, Ernie Hudson, Dan Aykroyd, Bill Murray, Annie Potts, (Ivan Reitman produced) but, sadly, not Harold Ramis (who passed away in 2014). Steve Higgins looks a lot like him though. There were some celebrities as well. I'd like to see it again to see if I can spot Kevin James.
The scriptwriting credits go to Katie Dippold who also wrote The Heat (all by herself—also directed by Paul Feig), which I loved. There were a lot of funny one-liners, like . . .
"It's 2040—our President's a plant."
. . . but my favorite was
"You just got Holtzman'd, baby!"
The audience was loving it when the original cast members delivered lines from the first movie.
The ghosts and all the ghost-fighting apparatus were very cool. I hope they win awards. There's so much detail. I just loved the sets. I would live there!
A sure sign an audience enjoyed the movie is if they don't want to leave. The movie kept going mixed with the end credits and even those were fun. The outtakes are gonna be hilarious! Gotta see it again. It's so empowering for girls. Yes, we can bust ghosts, and anything else we want to do. I would love to see more all-girl versions of movies. I'd love to see Scarface with a gender reversal. Call me crazy. I know a good thing when I see it and an all-girl Ghostbusters is a good thing! Go have some fun with Melissa McCarthy, Kate McKinnon, Kristen Wiig, Leslie Jones, and the 'handsomeness in glasses', Chris Hemsworth.
Will it kill, or be killed, at the
Are you a big fan of Suicide Squad? Did you read any of the comic book series? Are you a betting man? I say it will kill at the box office. And you can, literally, bet on it . . .
The hot topic at work today was whether or not Suicide Squad
would do as well as Deadpool in box office sales.
Generally, Action Movie Freaks don't really care about box
office success as a measure for how good a movie is, nor do we
give a damn if critics pan it (they usually do). We know what we
like and we're man enough to not care what you think, so why
should box office success matter to us?
He listed the ten movies in descending order by how much they thought they would make:
And here is what he said about Suicide Squad:
wondered, what did other websites have to say about
Deadpool's success, and when did they say it?
Collider.com's (and wow! check out their new full-screen-video-intro look) April 25th article used the word "massive": "Tim Miller on ‘Deadpool's Massive Success: “Nobody Saw This. No One Planned This." and reported it at $760 Million worldwide. They quote Tim Miller as saying "$250 million would have been amazing. I had no idea. This is ridiculous. Who would have?"
now, maybe me or you . . .
I think Suicide Squad could take the Action Movie Bad Ass to a new level. You know, the Bad Guy as Hero is a long-standing Action Movie tradition. (Loving this cool poster of Diablo! more charcter posters here) And all Suicide Squad really needs to beat Deadpool is just as much Trash Talking. Bring on the cheesey one-liners—Don't tell me that's not the reason Deadpool was so damn popular. Well, that and incredible action. Now I can put my money where my mouth is. I'm not telling anyone to gamble, but if you like to, now you can get odds on your next favorite flick.
Dive into the
Mechanic: Resurrection Trailer
I couldn't help but wonder if Jason Statham did that dive . . . since he used to be a diver. The cinematorgraphy/look of it, the scale is beautiful; the action, vicious; and well, Statham. He is as big and as 'proper' a true, full-blown Action Figure as either Schwarzenegger or Stallone. I loved the whole tailored/professional nature of the characters he plays.
Watch Over Me Released Online
Writer/Director Simon Pearce (and Editor/Producer: mulit-talented!) shared a short Action Movie he's just released online. Filmed on location in Bristol, "Watch Over Me follows a mysterious drifter who is offered one last chance at redemption when he crosses paths with a local woman haunted by her own dark past."
Released in November of 2014, the film won awards for Best Short Film and Best Action Short, and scored several other nominations for the action sequences and fight choreography. The movie stars Oliver Park in a compelling performance where he takes a beating but gives several as well—The Action is first rate. Kudos to everyone, especially the Stunt Coordinator Joe Golby, and to Adrian Bouchet as the lumbering-but-lethal foe "Dominic." It plays like an episode of the classic TV Series "The Fugitive" as we pick up somewhere and leave somewhere not knowing all the answers, but wanting to follow the Hero to find out more.
Connecting the Dots to Rose McGowan's Redemption . .
Okay, so people can change. After Rose McGowan publicly objected to the image of a MUCH-stronger-looking man choking a woman in this promotional billboard of X-Men: Apocalypse, they decided to take it down. Yay, Rose! Using your celebrity for good for all women!
Hallelujah! Now can she, and we, connect some dots?
Rose McGowan once appeared in public, like this . . . If she realizes that images of violence against women can be harmful, has she also come to realize that reducing herself to a sexual object is equally (if not more) harmful? I don't know her, so I can only hope. [I thought about covering her up and not posting the photo as is, but if she was comfortable enough to walk around like that and be photographed for all eternity, why should I lessen the impact of the severity of the dress?]
All this shit has to end, people. If women were safe in the world, and if men were doing the same thing, it would be different, but NEITHER of those things is the case. Women are not safe. WAKE UP WOMEN! Stop dressing this way. The argument is not that you should be able to dress however you want, it's that how you dress sends a message that has bad consequences other women can ill afford. You stand there defiant and safe, meanwhile, it's sending the message that being sexually desirable is more important to you than clothes or dignity or modesty or self respect, and other less fortunate, defenseless woman pay the price. You create lust but you are not the one satisfying it. Or, as I like to say, if you're not fishing, don't bait your hook.
Now, connect the dots further to the Mystique costume . . .
That X-Men Apocalypse promotional billboard image was, frankly, shocking to me as well, but I had been shocked and outraged long before this (August 31, 2014 on Female Superhero Costumes). After the trailer for X-Men: Days of Future Past (released 23 May 2014) showing Jennifer Lawrence being dragged down the street basically 'naked', I had had enough, so I decided I didn't want to go to any more X-Men movies. I have since watched a clip of just her fight scene with the character doing a bunch of acrobatic open leg-split/helicoptering-style fighting, and it's, in a word, tacky.
I can't say exactly why Jennifer Lawrence is so much 'worse' in the costume than Rebecca Romaijn. Maybe I'm just fed up. Maybe it's just so much bouncing boobs at different angles, maybe the costume was made to reveal more—like nipples so clear in the shot below, but between all the up shots of boobs, crotch shots while she fights and falls down, and the fact that the comic book does not have her naked like this all the time, as a woman, I just found it all so unnecessary, and just in very poor taste.
Connect these dots, Hollywood: I'm not paying to see this . . .
P.S. And to Rose McGowan, if you read this, please tell me you'll never dress like that again and that you now see what it means: firstname.lastname@example.org.
I got discouraged when Wonder Woman (2017) lost its first female director. I had been so excited, I had even started an issue of PAYBACK featuring Michelle MacLaren on the cover.
After she was let go, I thought they would let a man do it after all, but then in April 2015, the project gained
Patty Jenkins as Director—here VARIETY compares the two—and I was relieved. Not only should this most iconic female Superhero action movie be directed by a woman, but it really should also have been written by a woman. Reading writer Jason Fuchs' bio on IMDb reveals nothing that makes him specially qualified to script this most important milestone in women's Action Movies. He's really more all about acting. So, why wasn't the writing opportunity given to a woman? (I want to add: #srsly? and: for fuck's sake!)
There can be NO good reasonn the job of writing the script didn't go to a woman. Makes me wonder if there weren't already scripts out there. [Yes, I am aware Wonder Woman was created by a man (William Moulton Marston), but it was his wife's idea (Elizabeth Holloway Marston), and she is credited with being the "mother" of Wonder Woman.
Anyhow, when they cast the WAY-too-skinny Gal Gadot, I hoped somehow she would be able to fulfill the role (translation: gain 50 pounds of muscle, other actors have done it). When that didn't happen, I hoped she would be replaced before the feature. I've already spoken out against Gal Gadot in the role in ";Wonder Woman is a twig!" And I am even more unhappy after Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. She looked so weak (really skinny legs), and when she fell down there was a crotch shot. A CROTCH SHOT. REALLY?!?! "Oh come on!" Have a little respect.
Gal Gadot is just not believable. Look how the men look and then look at her. She's a Barbie.
Now look at Wonder Woman in these comic versions:
Below is Gal Gadot in a cast teaser photo for the feature. She doesn't even have any thigh muscles. These women look scrawny: all of them! These are not SUPERHEROES—WTH?! From the left, Lisa Loven Kongsli is "Melannippe", Connie Nielsen is "Queen Hippolyta" (WW's mother), and Robin Wright is General Antiope (at least her thighs look slightly bigger), but look at their scrawny arms too.
WHY?!?! . . . On the bright side, it will be easy to tell when the stunt doubles (real life wonder women) take over..
I hate this image so much. HOW MANY YEARS WOMAN'VE WAITED, hoping to FINALLY see Wonder Woman on the big screen,only to get more of this male-fantasy body-image cop out. What message does this send young girls? "I can only PRETEND to do these things. I can't be strong or that will be unattractive." That sucks. When the REAL message should be I CAN DO ANYTHING the men can do #yeswecan. What a wasted chance to send a so-much-better body image message. Think how incredible it could have been—how it will someday be—when a woman seems a physical equal to a man. This Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot) just looks like a poser, and it's just a story, so really who cares? Sadly this movie's not going to make great strides for women and their self image, nor for empowerment.
We wanted a SUPERHERO, instead we're getting another "don't be fat" message. It's time for us to move Wonder Woman from the jiggly male fantasy heroine, to a real role model for strength, and one who is appropriately attired for battle, not a nearly-naked one like this . . .
William Marston himself wrote: "Women's strong qualities have become despised because of their weakness. The obvious remedy is to create a feminine character with ALL THE STRENGTH of Superman . . . (and he went on to say "plus all the allure of a good and beautiful woman" but blah-blah-blah as lip service to the era #onestepforwardtwostepsback).
And therein lies the crux of the problem. The allure of a beautiful woman. In my opinion, Hollywood thinks men don't want to see a 'big girl'. What they don't realize is: WOMEN do. Strength is alluring. It really should be BY WOMEN, and FOR WOMEN. I want to see that movie. With Gina Carano or someone equally strong. Arms this big (shotputter) and legs at least this big (don't tell me strong is not sexy):
Let me tell you, if she was even just a little beast-ish, a little Vasquez from Aliens, the audience cheering would be incredible. Nobody NOBODY cheered when Wonder Woman appeared in BvS. It should not be like that. She should have had a Big Dog Entrance, and our first image of her in costume should not have been a black and white photo. She was no big deal. It came off as them letting her be in their movie. Don't even start me on the ridiculous outfits she wore when she was Diana Prince (all 3 open from neck to waist). The 'business' suit was absurd. Maybe we can FINALLY get past the idea that we have to look 'hot' while doing everything. Grrrrrr!
A lot of money will be spent, and that's great—To give a woman director the reigns of a big budget Action Movie, but I have a feeling the role/story will be too much Drama and not enough being a Bad Ass (sigh). This movie will fail is my prediction. Which is a shame, because then men will use it as an excuse not to make more female superhero movies. (It's TOTAL BULLSHIT we have to wait for a Black Widow movie.) Why can't they see women don't want another supermodel image, they want a real-life superhero (we want/need our "Arnold").
Maybe She Hulk will have to do the job . . . Imagine a whole movie with all super strong women! It will happen.
Captain America Marathon 5/5
Couldn't miss the chance to see all these great movies again. 14 action-packed hours. It was EVERYTHING I hoped it would be :-)
Hardcore Henry raises the bar on filmmaking
You'll say "Oh my God, I can't believe they did that!" at least twice . . . and wonder "How did they do that?" even more. Here's a great article (from The NY Times) about the craziness of filming "Hardcore Henry".
So many gnarly kills! The movie's a tour de force, literally, and a little hard to keep up with, everything moves so fast at times. It was definitely amazingly creative. I found myself wishing they had invested us in the character's dilemma, and we had no idea about the villain and/or savior until the end. I wish we could have rooted for Henry's revenge. The almost continuous action was incredible but I found the plot confusing. At the end it seemed like Henry was Jimmy because when he passed out his reflection looked like Sharlto Copley, so Henry = just another version of Jimmy? It's not even mentioned in this voluminous plot descriptionn from Wikipedia. Just try to follow this if you didn't watch it:
[ So much boob-age! Some of the nicest boobs since Elena Eleniak in Under Siege. If I was a boy I would probably have loved it, as a girl I really didn't give a damn, and it didn't bother me.) I found this version of Jimmy hilarious! ]
In the end, I found it gimmicky but only because the plot was thin and the Action was so outta hand. I would love to watch it a couple more times in the theater. It's a big-screen Action Movie to be sure!
Last night I watched Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation and this morning, half awake, I posted Star Wars: Rogue Nation (embarrassing! LOL). Fixed now, and WOW the trailer looks so cool! Thanks to JoBlo Movie Trailers for posting it so early..
I know, right? So excited we can hardly stand it! I am wearing a "Star Wars Trilogy special edition" button I begged off an usher out of sheer joy after seeing this teaser. Can't wait for the trailer, and yes, I'm going to watch. #icanthelpit. We all want to be back in that world so badly. Going to keep checking YouTube when I can and will be so thrilled to post the trailer tonight.
Captain America Movie Marathon
Batman v Superman:
Yawn of Justice
It could have been so much shorter! I'm a big DC fan, a Superman over Batman fan, a woman who has been waiting since Linda Carter on TV to see Wonder Woman on the big screen, and a huge childhood fan of Aquaman (comics and the animated TV show), and I was bored. Plus (without mentioning any spoilers) it was a downer. Action Movies should not be a downer, they should pump you up!
Even though I'm a woman, we female Action Movie freaks often relate to the male heroes (not to the weak supporting female characters/victims as Hollywood seems to think we do), but even with two strong characters like Batman and Superman, I couldn't help but notice there was just too much crying, too much emotion. So, at the start, when Lois Lane says "I'm not a lady, I'm a journalist" I thought Hooray! but then she wore really high heels (while trying to run here and there), and they had her naked in the tub (WHY!?). Even worse, the "Superheroes" whined and blubbered. There's no crying in Action Movies, and there shouldn't be any high heels!
And while it's great that Wonder Woman shows up to fight with the 'big boys', she's a woman but she's not a Bad Ass. Gal Gadot is not big enough for the role. We've had the supermodel thin version already. We are ready for, overdue for, wishing for, the truly physically strong female. Her skinny legs are so disappointing. Even Amy Adams' Lois Lane looks stronger.
DARK KNIGHTS AND DARK DAYS
The film has nice message about loving your mommy, and blah blah blah. A few of us die-hard DC fans sat and waited until after all the credits, hoping for a teaser for the next film, and got nothing. As we ambled out amid disappointed mumbling, someone piped upp "This isn't Marvel." That sums it up. Dark days ahead.
You have a few hours left to show what a Kick Ass Woman you are and support the Artemis Film Festival. They ask that you take a selfie with a sign that says "I Contributed". Every dollar helps, so please give if you can. They are honoring some very inspiring role models, like Stunt Women extraordinaire Zoë Belll and Heidi Moneymaker.
Happy St. Valentine's Day
Deadpool starss Ryan Reynolds. He owns the role so completely, it's hard to imagine anyone else could. From the pre-mutant, wise-cracking, love sick puppy, to the hell-bent-on-revenge, relentless smart ass, the action is as fast as the one liners. The movie is wildly entertaining with so many how-did-they-do-that scenes that I found my self shaking my head in wonder.
The very funny and creative opening credits, part of a really long, surprising, and painful action sequence, are the best thing I've seen in a while. They really set the tone for the whole movie. Critics—who don't get what makes an Action Movie, an action movie—complain about even one "cheesy one liner", this movie proves that we enjoy the HELL out of them, and can't get enough. I laughed all the way through.
Criminal: Old School Actors/Old
Criminal stars Kevin Coster, Tommy Lee Jones, and Gary Oldham, plus Ryan Reynolds and Gal Gadot—all great dramatic actors who have done some really great roles in memorable Action Movies.
Coster couldn't have been better in 3 Days to Kill, and with this cast, it's a no fail movie. Add Tom Struthers as 2nd Unit Director (what an incredible list of movies to his credit! He's 2nd Unit Director/Stunt Coordinator on the upcoming Warcraft, was Stunt Coordinator on Redemption, The Dark Knight Rises, John Carter, X-Men First Class, Season of the Witch, Inception, Terminator Salvation, The Dark Knight, and more . . . ) and I think it's going to pack a wallop with old-school Action scenes. Frankly, I'm a little tired of Superhero Movies, bring on real tough guys (at any age).
The script is interesting. The writers are: Douglas Cook (aka Douglas S. Cook, he passed away at just 56 in 2015) and David Weisberg (together they wrote the screen play for The Rock with Mark Rosner—say no more), and Synopsis: The memories & skills of a deceased CIA agent are implanted into an unpredictable and dangerous convict. A man who "was "in out of prison more than half his life, [a man who]'s got no impulse or control, [is] unable to calculate the consequence of his actions, [and] has a total lack of empathy for anybody or anything. [A man who] feels nothing." How interesting to awaken such a violent man to morality and empathy. It's such a natural next movie (story wise) after 3 Days to Kill. At the heart of what makes an Action Movie, an Action Movie is a hero who's on the right side—an Action Movie Essential. If you didn't see 3 Days to Kill, I suggest you watch.
Look for it in theaters on April 15, 2016 . . .
13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi When Grown Men Cry*Michael Bay and Benghazi: What a story, what a movie!
John Krasinski—suchh screen presence—at some point he eclipses everyone. That's a good thing, after all, he is the lead character, yet every actor's performance is really good. Even with as little as we know of the characters, we get really attached in a very short time. This "true story" is so compelling that even though there were many entertaining moments of Camaraderie and Dominance, and in-your-face love of America, you can't help but feel the movie's condemnation of those in command in the military/government who sat and watched and did practically nothing. (*One of the few time I've not hated it—considering the true story.)
Here are three of the six real-life heroes, and an interview that drives the truth home:
Shadow Warriors Project—a worthy cause to support.
After such tremendous bravery, what do these heroes get? From their site: Shadow Warriors Project (SWP) is a foundation dedicated to the support of private military security contractors, conducting paramilitary security operations in some of the world's most dangerous areas. It is the only charity of its kind. Although the private security contractor has served in the military he is considered a civilian and does not receive the same support offered to injured active military or veterans. SWP serves the private contractor by offering financial support through heartfelt donations. By easing the load of these injured warriors it allows them to focus on healing, as an individual as well as the family unit.
The individuals receiving support from the SWP are special operatives that were hired either through the CIA or via private security companies. These people are in need of assistance because there is no post-engagement support for them on their return to the U.S. like there is for military veterans. These operatives may have been killed or wounded, and SWP's goal is to serve as a support system to them and/or their family. The individual financial assistance will be for medical bills, PTSD treatment, and other family therapies. We also want to provide education to the public about who these warriors are, and support events that bring the Shadow Warriors and their family members together for events and fundraisers.
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Nov 28-Dec 6