action movie freak    














May 6

"Game over, man.
Game over!"

Are you a FREAK
or just a

Action Movie Fans can watch
other genres in comfort.
Action Movie FREAKS will start shifting in their seats 10 minutes into a movie where nothing has crashed or been blown up yet . . .

Action Movie Fans
can quote
a few one-liners from a few
 popular action movies.
"I'll be back!" 
"Make My Day!"

Action Movie FREAKS try to work
their favorite quotes into
conversation all the time! 
"God has his tricks, but getting
[paper jams out of copiers],
that's one of mine.*"

Action Movie Fans
have watched their favorite action movies
a handful of times.
Action Movie FREAKS can recite
the entire opening scene
word-for-word from at least 2 movies they're obsessed with!

"The Hovitos are near, the poison is still fresh𔃋 days, they're following us . . . "

"They are an army, unlike any other, crusading across the stars toward . . . "

And if you can easily finish
this entire quote: 
"I know what you're thinking,
did he fire 6 shots,
or only 5 . . . "

.44 magnum 

just admit it now,
you're an Action Movie
(That quote should be required memorization if you're going
to call yourself an

Action Movie FREAK

Action Movie Fans can stomach
most movie violence.
Action Movie FREAKS will clap when the action reaches its gross-out best! Remember the incredible opening of Ninja Assassin . . . 
What's that? You didn't see
"Ninja Assassin"?
Then you're an
Action Movie Fan.
Let's start again.

Remember the incredible opening of Ninja Assassin, which ended when the blood splatter becomes the title 
 Ninja Assassin blood splatter title
you knew it was coming, but you clapped anyway! (Yes, true Action Movie FREAKS clap when the violence is really good like horror movie fans laugh when it gets really gross)  If, right about now, you're shaking your head or laughing,
you're an Action Movie Fan.
If you're all fired up . . . 
"Welcome to the Jungle!"

You're an
Action Movie FREAK!

"God has his tricks, but gettin' outta places no one else can, that's one of mine."


The Villainess on the hood with the axe

Greatest Action Movie moment ever Rambo: First Blood Part II wall of mud

Wonder Woman

Tom Cruise in Mission: Impossible

Aliens one of the greatest ever Action Movies

Sylvester Stallone The Untouchables

Trinity in the phone booth in The Matrix

Michael Jai White, Never Back Down: No Surrender

Ilsa Faust motorcyle behind the scenes

Lucy Lawless and stunt double Zoe Bell as Xena Warrior Princess

Tom Cruise Edge of Tomorrow

Jet Li Unleashed

Dwayne Johnson as Hercules

Dina Meyer as Dizzy Flores from Starship Troopers bad ass action movie chick

Jeannie Epper, Lynda Carter's Wonder Woman stunt double, holds her like a bride

The Terminator Arnold Schwarzenegger

Felicity Jones as Jyn Erso in Rogue One

Tom Cruise rock climbing in Mission: Impossible II

Amy Barnes as Doomsday warrior girl

Chris Hemsworth as Thor

Cobie Smulders throws down in Jack Reacher: Never Go Back

Action Movie Bad Ass Chick Jennette Goldstein as Vasquez in Aliens

Terminator Salvation with Christian Bale aka Mumbles

stunt double Heidi Moneymaker as Black Widow

Jean-Claude van Damme bites the tail off a rattlesnake in John Woo's Hard Target

bad ass action movie chick Kate Nauta in Transporter 2

Ryan Reynolds as Deadpool

Sylvester Stallone as John Rambo in Rambo

Geena Davis in The Long Kiss Goodnight

Andrea James Lui bad ass action movie chick in close space fight in Bail Enforcers

Peter Weller as Robocop-an Action Movie Classic

The incomparable Jackie Chan's clocktower stunt in Project A

Milla Jovovich as Alice in Resident Evil Apocalypse bad ass action movie chick

stunt double Dayna Grant as Furiosa

Keanu Reeves as John Wick seeing double

Dolph Lundgren Universal Soldier Action Movie Classic

The immortal Bruce Lee

Wesley Snipes Gallowwalkers

Olga Kurylenko as Etain from Centurion bad ass action movie chick

Keanu Reeves as Neo in The Matrix bullet time

Arnold Schwarzenegger in Commando

Linda Hamilton as Sarah Connor

Mission:Impossible III starring Tom Cruise in the bridge scene

Joyce Godenzi in Eastern Condors

Predator starring Arnold as Dutch and Arnold's biceps

Michelle Yeoh in Tomorrow Never Dies

Chuck Norris with guns in both hands in front of an American flag

JeeJa Yanin in Chocolate with a kick to the head

Sammo Kam-bo Hung in Eastern Condors

Chris Pine in Jurassic World

Steven Seagal holding a machette in Above the Law

Gina Carano in Haywire

Scott Adkins as Boyka

Ronda Rousey in The Expendables 3

Act of Valor swamp scene

Bruce Willis in Die Hard 2 ejector seat scene


Everything you love about ACTION MOVIES

The Essentials that make a great Action Movie
The gotta-have-it Trash Talking of the Action Movie BAD ASS
The Good and the Bad Action Movies by your favorite Action Figures
Looking for something specific? It's on the Hit List, and . . . 


Boys & Their Toys
Dec 30, 2010

Action Movie Freak Boys and Their Toys Burt Reynolds in Deliverance with truck

Action Movie Freak Boys and Their Toys Harry Connick Jr in Hope Floats with Scout Action Movie Freak Boys and Their Toys Keanu Reeves in The Lake House and pick up truck


Action Movie Freak Boys and Their Toys Dwayne Johnson in Walking Tall with pickup truck



The Warrior's Way will grow on you!
Dec 14, 2010

Did you discount this movie?  BIG MISTAKE!! After I saw The Warrior's Way it stayed in the back of my mind, but it wasn't until I tried to write about it that I realized just how effectively this movie's deceptively simple beauty and entertaining story line showcase the concept of YIN YANG . . . Read more

Kate Bosworth and Dong-gun Jang in The Warrior's Way

first Superman comicA Good Cause to Donate to . . .
Dec 2, 2010

ComicED, Inc. is a nonprofit focused on improving reading comprehension and literacy rates among South Florida's youth. They provide easy and inexpensive access to a large inventory of current comic books, back issues, and graphic novels to youth members ages 8–18 by partnering with local community centers and youth programs. You can volunteer to join a reading group, or donate comics to inspire young minds. They meet on Fridays from 10AM-12 noon.

ComicED also sells comic books. Check out Facebook page! Write them at for more information.  

The AOBG Action 100 Project
Dec 1, 2010

The deadline for submissions to the Action 100 Project has been extended to December 25th. You can submit 101 or just 10 or anything in between. Then you get to vote on them on this scale:

The All Outta BubbleGum Rating System
1.0 = Epic Failure. Reserved For Irredeemable Shit Bombs.
2.0 = Might As Well Watch The Life Time Channel
3.0 = F.U.B.A.R.
4.0 = A Struggle Ensues To Not Commit Harri Karri
5.0 = Better Than A Kick In The Face With A Steel-Toe Army Boot
6.0 = The Goblet Is Half Full—But It Tastes Like DudeSweat
7.0 = Better Than Bad, It's Good
8.0 = Bona-Fide Bad-Ass
9.0 = Like An Afternoon Of Kicking Ass And Eating Cheeseburgers With Stallone
10. = 150% Mother Fucker. Epic. The Personification Of Cool

Nov 27, 2010

A Rock-Solid Performance from Dwayne Johnson
The movie opens on his bicep. He's in a jail cell and pacing, about to be released from a 10-year sentence for being the getaway driver for his brother's robbery gang. After a crazy backwards-driving car chase where he easily out-maneuvered the police (in a GTO) and the gang got away clean, they were all killed by a group of men hired by someone who set them up and then stole the money.

Johnson's character spends 10 years waiting to get revenge for his brother's death. I won't give too many details because it's not to be missed—Go see it (or you will wish you had). A morality-focused movie that explores the cost of pain, "Faster" gains speed after the warden conducts the exit interview. He tells Johnson: "It's as if you were born to darkness in this place."  After watching the movie I would say he was born to darkness the minute they took his brother's life. "You have any questions?" he asks Johnson. "Where's the exit?"

Pacing turns to jogging as Johnson leaves prison, a free man, and starts off down the highway (they're in the middle of nowhere).  After being imprisoned, it must be an incredible feeling to have the freedom and space to just run.  He picks up a car, a P.I. report, and a gun, and heads for the first victim on his list behind the wheel of a 1971 Chevy Chevelle Malibu SS. The sound of the car is all power, and the combination of the intensity of Johnson's performance and the rumble of the engine makes it seem like a bullet. He parks, and sets out across a busy street not looking at traffic that has to screech to a stop to avoid hitting him. There's just no slowing him down. He marches into an office and with a single shot to the head, kills target #1.

And so it goes as Johnson goes down the list of the men responsible for the death of his brother. Without giving away too much of the plot, it comes down to the last victim, who was probably the least responsible for what happened, and who is now a preacher.  This is a Revenge movie through and through and what it lacks in suspense (you can guess where it's going), it more than makes up for with this powerful performance by Johnson. Nobody can say he's not a great actor after this. Yes, GREAT.  All the pain and power in his face pulls the air out of your lungs as you witness what he goes through in his bitter journey for retribution . . . and he just can't stop. There is a shot of a moth stuck to the headlight of his car, wings flapping. Neither of them can get away from their situation. 

"We make our own heaven and hell while we're alive, every time we cause pain, cause suffering."

Moon Bloodgood delivers this line and while she does, you can see the pain pouring out of every pore of Johnson's body, as with each killing, it's better, but it's also worse for him.  It culminates in the scene where the preacher says he forgives him for what he is about to do—You can see the moment his character's heart breaks in Johnson's face. It's a stellar performance, subtly done, and yet magnified by the power of his enormous screen presence and natural charisma.  You couldn't look away if you tried.

The dialogue:: ". . . to places you don't want to go" brought to mind "The Rundown" when Johnson's character talked about why he didn't like guns.  No such qualms here. There's a shot when he refills a revolver with 6 bullets with one hand in one movement! The preacher is played by  Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje. (He was LOST's Mr. Eko, also a preacher). These two giants face each other in remarkable, emotional performances you would not have expected when you paid the ticket price for an action movie, but it delivers and this is a bonus. Action movies need morality to be really good, otherwise 'What are you fighting for'?  The movie is everything you hoped it would be, and more. Every performance is spot on. 

Romancing The Stone (remake 2011?)
Nov 13, 2010

Who would have thought a movie so cheesy and so 'romance novel' would have been so hugely popular (the original 1984)? And who can forget the intro?

" . . . and stole my bible."

They were having so much fun with it and that fun was contagious. It think it was perfectly cast and superbly acted. How will the remake measure up when so much will depend on the script and on casting? Seems like it's behind its time schedule as there is no news about it on the web. Just this (scroll way down).

HERstory, Like Yesterday!
Nov 12, 2010

Vasquez and Drake in Aliens

As 'nice' as it is for men to have chicks kick ass in a bikini like the Red Sonja gallery below and Lingerie Football, there are LOTS of women who want to see strong women kick ass as people, and not objects. Hence the popularity of Ellen Ripley, and the one-handed shotgun-cocking Sarah Connor, and I LOVED! the character Etain in Centurion. This is an idea whose time is way overdue.

Reading the intro. about the female warrior in the third installment of the Dragon Tattoo books makes me want to see strong women in Action movies more than ever. "Hollywood has missed a significant chapter of cultural history here—or is this history ideologically too difficult to deal with?"  Also, I saw a commercial recently that said "Every girl wants to be a Victoria's Secret Model."  NO. We don't! "That's your fantasy!*" Mine involves being treated with respect, and I'm prepared to beat the crap out of you to get it. Clothed. As Denis Leary put it: :"I think you hear me knocking, and I think I'm coming in." LOUD AND CLEAR: More strong women in Action Movies!  There's a bigger audience for this than you can even imagine.  And I don't mean the non-threatening stick figure type girls like Keira Knightly in Domino.

(*and that's my catchphrase!)

'Nice' Red Sonja Gallery! ("nice" is also defined and wanton and dissolute)

FASTER starring THE ROCK coming 11/24 !
Nov 9, 2010

black Chevelle SS with double white racing stripes from the movie Faster starring The Rock
This movie looks really great!  Love the Chevelle.  I keep hearing Seann William Scott's voice from The Rundown saying "So angry!"  (@ :33) OMG when The Rock crosses the street without caring about traffic:  BAD. ASS. (@ :26) logo

Sharing your Comic Books can Increase Literacy
Nov 8, 2010
Superman reading
How much did comic books increase your love of reading?
This local organization, Comic Ed., Inc. ( is focused on improving reading comprehension and literacy rates among South Florida's youth. They provide easy and inexpensive access to a large inventory of current comic books, back issues, and graphic novels to youth members ages 8–18 by partnering with local community centers and youth programs.

You can volunteer to join a reading group, or donate comics to inspire young minds. They meet on Fridays from 10AM-12 noon.

Comic Ed. also sells comic books. Check out their site! Write them at for more information.  

How about an Aging Action Stars Reality Show?
Nov 4, 2010

Jean Claude Van Damme as Jesus ChristI tweeted that it would be funny to see a show about aging action movie stars, and that it would have to be better than the Housewives of anywhere! 

"More ego! We need more ego." 

Those shows are all scripted anyway, and people love on-location stuff (making of), and outtakes.  A real-life Tropic Thunder. Make the stuntmen the heroes. Kinda like watching Steven Seagal in Lawman with stunts.  (Yes, that's JC Van Damme as Jesus.)

Or have actors play Action Movie Heroes/Characters based on caricatures of identifiable real life Actors.

Expedition Action Movie Please!
Nov 3, 2010

Machu PicchuI love Clive Cussler's Dirk Pitt novels.  Especially Inca Gold. (That book is chock full of ultra cool stuff.) I wish somebody would use the rappelling intro in an expedition movie. Even if it's typical and been done (and happened in real life): Have an evil industrialist type doing something damaging to the environment,  growing drugs, or hunting treasure in secret  in South or Central America. Or, something less overdone (excavating an ancient alien spaceship in secret), and have his daughter be his polar opposite trying to save the planet in the very place he's destroying/exploiting. 

Then, have her father be kidnapped or disappear, and even though they are estranged, she hires a team (an Expendable team?) to come find him.  He is reportedly captured by a rarely seen commando unit who use Indian-style traps, etc., and when the Expendables team arrives, they find they have to be ultra-cautious and go old school to fight the low-tech bad guys. Maybe they lose some of their gear, maybe they can't use it for some reason, maybe they use it in creative ways. Maybe the daughter doesn't want them blowing up the surroundings. People LOVE the stuff that Rambo came up with on the fly.  The wall of mud (see Bad Ass page) is possibly the coolest moment EVER in Action movies. Exploding arrows! Plus the whole inventory of getting ready for an extraction-type mission is so exciting. One day you're just normal, the next you drop into some exotic location full of danger but armed to the teeth (so Predator). (In Predators they skipped the trap building—why?!. We want the 'boy scout' stuff. We like resourcefulness. Anyone can pull a trigger. Show us what you can do with 'nothing'.)

El Gato the gold idol from The RundownPeople also love treasure in movies and they want to be impressed by what they see. The little gold heads in Raiders and in The Rundown are not impressive enough, large enough or very valuable looking.  It has to be serious treasure like in The Goonies, but not as ridiculously over the top as National Treasure (that stuff was hidden away for centuries yet the had lots of recognizable items that were not hidden). The look of the treasure in Pirates of the Caribbean Curse of the Black Pearl was surprisingly appropriate to the type of stuff (even though I thought the quantity was crazy). (photo: "Gato del Diablo" from The Rundown).

Movies do need to exaggerate but know when is too much. I have always wanted to see the "Gold City" and solve the mystery of why it appeared gold but the closest we've gotten is Disney's The Road To El Dorado. It can't be easy to find, and it's got to be something clever to figure out like its in a super overgrown/remote area and they use technology to find it. The team goes in to get her father, but gets sidetracked with a discovery that turns out not to be a sidetrack.

[The TV show LOST even used the old wooden ship ("Black Rock") in the jungle from Inca Gold, but the book's version had a great backstory.] 

Keep it simple on the story line, but have really good fighting tactics, cool gadgets, and something incredible we've never seen before (even if its CGI, good CGI).  It has to walk a fine line between impressive and credible. Once it's so over the top, it becomes ridiculous. Maybe her father could be stealing/discovering something underneath Machu Picchu (you know there's gotta be tunnels and stuff under there—plus the stories of UFO sightings) or they could discover El Dorado is there. There is that "hitching post of the sun" monument. Maybe a UFO landed on there. Think how golden it would make things look if maybe the missing rooftops of the village weren't wood, but made of gold to reflect the sun and shine a light up to attract visitors from outer space (oooooh). Maybe use the Nazca lines as a map/symbol for something underground. (Read the treasure description in Inca Gold, Chapter 16, pages 182-186 (of the paperback) (about 10 pages in). It starts: "I was thinking of the lost treasure of Huascar. "

Indiana Jones stealing the gold idol in RaidersThere was a passage in another of Cussler's books (Atlantis Found last page of Part 1, Chapter 1) where they are in Colorado and they uncover, by ground scan, a perfectly-carved square room underground in what they thought was solid stone. When I read that, it gave me goosebumps.  They could be looking for something else and discover 'whatever' by accident. They could hire the Expendables Team for protection? It has to be dangerous as hell (in real life and otherwise) to be somewhere so remote. But it just seems like there is a Gold City out there somewhere overgrown and unseen even by satellite. One of the coolest things about the Cussler books has to be using the latest (projected near future) gadget being invented/developed. (Just wondering why Google is blocking out the ocean on their satellite images? Are they treasuring hunting?  They could be using the visual appearance of known wrecks in shallow waters to try to find other wrecks.)

There has to be a professor character (Whiner maybe) who is valuable for knowledge and caution even if he's the antithesis of brawny, but the rescue team has to be Muscles, Muscles, and more Muscles. Give us some wrestlers! Triple H. Have the guys be so big people say GOD DAMN! just looking at them:  Stallone, Terry Crews, Stone Cold, Triple H, The Rock, Batista, Dolph Lundgren, Jet Li, Jason Statham, Randy Couture. Kill off a couple guys! Have the team be different from each other like characters in Predator or in a video game, and with specialized skills. Use Jet Li's speed and smaller size for some special purpose. I don't want to send my favorite Action Figures to be miserable in some spider, ant, and worm-infested inhospitable location (fake it but do it really well, and the rest do CGI). (That's the hitching post of the sun in the inset.)  . . . Anybody still reading?

I'm super psyched for UNSTOPPABLE
Oct 23, 2010

'Cause it's Tony Scott. "cause it's Denzel. 'Cause it's Mark Bomback (He wrote Race to Witch Mountain (which was a wild ride with awesome action, and which was more action movie than kids' movie), and he wrote Live Free or Die Hard (which had over-the-top action scenes and awesome one-liners), and . . . 'Cause it's starring as "that guy"* Chris Pine! He filled those unimaginably big shoes of the role of Captain James T. Kirk with aplomb. (Strange word but doesn't it sound better than "imperturbable self possession"?) *dialogue from LForDH


But . . . I'm psyched mostly 'cause they will wreck shit. Lots of shit. Plow through shit, run over shit, hit shit, blow shit up! (Oorah!) Get your wreck fix! Speaking of wrecks: What Action Movie FREAK didn't love The Fugitive?!—Which may be the best-ever Chase movie, and which earned big points for wrecking a real train! 


Oct 22, 2010

RED was great fun.  Funny lines.  Good action.  Just . . . no Action Figure

cast of RED Retired Extremely DangerousSorry Bruce, just a little too warm and fuzzy for me. Karl Urban did an awesome American accent. He reminded me a lot of Roger Moore in Live and Let Die and the whole movie seemed to borrow a lot from that classic:  fast speedboat in the river, the playing of the recording of the speech while they sneak off into a secret liar, a hideout with a creative entrance (very Bond), etc. The set-ups were a little too obvious, but they had some fun with it, and it was enjoyable despite that. I wished that the older characters/actors were more believable in those roles. Sure, anyone can spin in a chair and shoot a gun, but not anyone is so fast and accurate they can hit a moving target fired at them, so, suspension of disbelief aside, they should have at least gotten somebody whose hands didn't shake so obviously. I just think you have to be more physical to do these things and sell it well—Tougher—something Stallone proves every day has nothing to do with age. (Imagine if they had gone to visit someone older who was still in good shape. Then, you would have thought: this guy's dangerous, he's old but he's still a bad ass. There would have been some lethality to the character, not so 'average'. We see average old every day. We wanted to see super old people to make us feel invincible!) Bruce Willis made a career on 'Action average', and he was good in this, but . . . meh!

The 100 Best Action Movies  
Oct 2, 2010

Submitted my Top 100 Action Movies to's
Action 101 Project
There's still time to submit your list!

motorcycle hits truck from Born To Fight
16 Blocks
48 Hours
A Force of One
Alien Resurrection
Beverly Hills Cop
Black Hawk Down
Born To Fight
Braddock: Missing in Action III
Broken ArrowOlga Kurylenko in Centurion
Casino Royale
Conan The Barbarian
Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon
Death Race 2000
Die Another Day
Die Hard
Die Hard: With A Vengeance
Dirty HarryClint Eastwood as Dirty Harry standing on the over pass
District B13
Enter The Dragon
Face Off
Fast & Furious
First Blood
Hard to Kill
Heat (1986)
Heat (1995)
Hot Fuzz
Indiana Jones and The Temple of Doom
Indiana Jones and The Last CrusadeTony Jaa in Ong bak 2
Jackie Chan's First Strike
Kill Bill: Vol 1
Kung Fu Hustle
Léon aka The Professional
Live and Let Die
Live Free or Die Hard
Men In Black
Midnight Run
Mission: Impossible
Mission: Impossible 2
Mission: Impossible 3
Ninja Assassin
On Deadly GroundSylvester Stallone in Rambo III fires the anti-aircraft gun Dahaka 12.7 mm
Ong Bak 2
Out for Justice
Pitch Black
Point of No Return
Quantum of Solace
Raiders of the Lost Ark
Rambo III
Rambo: First Blood Part II
Romancing The Stone
Romeo Must Die
Rush Hour
Smokey and The Bandit
Star Trek
Star Trek: The Wrath of Khan
Star Wars IV: A New Hope
Star Wars V: The Empire Strikes Back
Star Wars VI: Return of The Jedi
Starship Troopers
Superman Returns
Terminator 2: Judgment Day
Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines
The A-Team
The Chronicles of Riddick
The Expendables
The Fast and The Furious
The French Connectioncast of The Expendables
The Fugitive
The Gauntlet
The Legend of Drunken Master
The Long Kiss Goodnight
The Matrix
The Octagon
The Punisher (2004)
The Rock
The Rundown
The Terminator
The Transporter
They Live
To Live and Die in L.A.Nicolas Cage chases a rolling ball of VX in The Rock
Transporter 2
Transporter 3
True Lies
Under Siege
Walking Tall
X-Men 2: X Men United
X-Men Origins: Wolverine
X-Men: The Last Stand

TAKERS . . . Chris Brown is a Revelation!
Sep 26, 2010

Chris Brown in The TakersHad to see it. I'm a T.I. fan, plus, it's a heist movie with lots of good-looking sweaty mens! Idris Elba OMG. The acting was remarkably good. The action was too. The only thing that could have been better is if I didn't see almost everything coming, but that didn't ruin it for me, it still kept my interest.  I would recommend it for the remarkable performances, for the foot chase scene, the gun battles, the heist, the cute guys, the wardrobe, the boys' toys, the explosions, and . . .  you get the idea.  Yes you might guess what happens next, almost up until the very end, but you're still in for a hell of a ride.  @chrisbrown could not have been better. I followed him as he raced through the streets and thought, he had to have hurt himself repeatedly. I was so into his performance, I lost the fact that he was black (yes I said that). I felt the character's run-for-your-life urgency that drove him from one mess into another. Through the shooting confession, the betrayal, and then in an unimaginably painful moment with his brother (another stellar performance by Michael Ealy) it suddenly hit me, I no longer saw color. I have always been aware of color. I will never forget this movie or Chris Brown's performance in it, and I feel lucky to have had that breakthrough revelation moment.   I'm gonna see it again!


"Robert Rodriguez's MACHETE"
Sep 25, 2010

It could all be summed up with this poster: But then I wouldn't get to write about it, and where's the fun in that for me? Robert, Robert, Robert . . . Where's the Beef?  I'm a little late in seeing MACHETE. Yikes!  So much GOOD and BAD in one Action Movie. I loved it and I hated it. Read why . . .

composite photo of Robert Rodriguez's Machete nurses movie poster

Sylvester Stallone pretends to punch Arnold Schwarzenegger Sylvester Stallone in a black beret from The Expendables

Hail to the NEW KING of Action!
Sep 22, 2010

Thanks to The Expendables and the fact that he's still going strong and making Action movies, I have moved Sylvester Stallone to the top of my BAD ASS List! Can't wait to see more from him, regardless of who is in his next movie! I think it was impossible for The Expendables to live up to expectations and all the hype, but I enjoyed it nonetheless.

Resident Evil Afterlife 3D movie poster"The Best-Made Awful Movie"*
Resident Evil: Afterlife
Sep 14, 2010

Overall, the movie satisfies if you love the series, have low expectations, $11 to waste, and nothing better to do. I failed only on the low expectations. Mine were too high. I so wanted to love Resident Evil: Afterlife, I had hoped it would be the best of the series. Instead, although it looks AMAZING, I was disappointed overall because I found it copied, a lot. A lot. The technical aspects of the movie are top notch, where it failed for me is in the script. (I've talked about this before: C-G-Ay-Yi-Yi!) That said, Here's what I liked and what I didn't.

It was incredible to watch and we've become so jaded that it's impressive that we can still be enthralled with the visual theatrics. There were many very cool things (but I felt like I had seen them all before):

The intro with airplane flying over L.A. in ruins has to be the coolest-ever shot of that done-to-death concept. It takes your breath away for about 3 seconds and is worth the ticket price alone.

There was the super bad-ass-looking tank (which reminded me of Aliens) but they never used it! That oh-so-impressively real looking sea of zombies (just blew me away) plus the thought that they would cut a bloody swath to the beach driving over them . . . and then nothing! What a huge missed opportunity!

The metal chest bugs (drug bugs) were also very cool, even though they had  something similar in 1984's Runaway, and 2002's Minority Report (but those looked more like something from 1999's The Matrix.

robot spider from The Runaway and chest bug from REAL: 3D

>Dar Robinson's backwards shooting-while-falling real-life stunt (no cable!) first seen in Stick blew Action lovers away with the idea that someone would be so full of hate, that even falling to their death they are shooting. This was copied on green screen in Matrix Reloaded but kicked up a notch when the Agent jumped out after Trinity, both shooting while falling. Here the do it with two Alices.

backwards fall while shooting stunt by Dar Robinson in Stick and Trinity in The Matrix backwards fall while shooting stunt by the two Alices in Resident Evil Afterlife REAL: 3D

>Matrix Reloaded's Neo vs. all the Agent Smiths—I know, if you have to have clones you have to have clones, but, seen it. When it was just the two Alices versus the control center, it was an incredibly great fight scene, but I was not invested in it.

>John Carpenter's The Thing's dog splitting open (most disgusting thing I'd ever seen at the time:1982)—here the dogs are gross looking enough but why have two dog's head split open to reveal more teeth if they're just going to stand there, tooth flaps waving and not attack?

the dog splitting open in John Carpenter's The Thing compared to the dog splitting open in Resident Evil Afterlife REAL: 3D

Those are just a few of the things. I felt like I had seen it all before. The underwater swim to weapons, the plane crash into a mountain, the boat as a trap, the Hannibal Lechter-like jail cage in a larger room, the slo-mo fight in water, the sunglasses toss, the kicking a tray full of knives, the bad guy getting away over and over . . .

Don't get me wrong, the opening is pretty spectacular but I wanted to be invested. Even in a series where your audience has seen the preceding movies, you have to do more setting up to invest them in the main character's journey. The closer you got to the end, the more holes there were in the plot. So many questions. First: They survived that crash into the mountain!? Really?! Alaska has snow, no, it's a beach and an empty field, now it's snow again. If they can find a girl in the middle of nowhere and put a mind controlling robot drug bug on her chest, how does she manage to get away and why can't they find her again? What is she surviving on among a field full of airplanes in Alaska? Don't start me on the ridiculousness of the prison. If there is a guy in a jail, why do they need to watch him? If the place is surrounded by zombies and you hear noises in the wall, I would right away think: DIGGING! If a zombie got in through that tunnel, why didn't they all get in? Why didn't they just climb over the gate, or push slowly until it collapsed. At times they stood really unsafely close to them. The whole prison building thing was ridiculous! But DAMN, it sure was impressive to look at.

I couldn't believe all the fighting that went on with Albert Wesker, only to have Alice stab him in the head at close range. Oops. He should have seen that coming, don't you think? Too easy by a long shot. I haven't been that disappointed in an ending since the werewolf and the vampire had a lame-ass fist fight (despite all their special powers) at the end of Van Helsing. So not creative. It had no suspense for me and it played like a chapter, not like a book. 

The giant executioner Majini was the best part of it for me. I wasn't impressed with the 3D. (If that's got to carry a movie, the makers might as well forget it.) Of course, everyone was waiting for the Majini's big hammer toss 3D moment, but the rest of the 3D was just so-so. There was a gnarly kill in Resident Evil: Afterlife 3-D but I won't spoil it for you.  The slo-mo seems a little overused and that makes it lose its effectiveness for emphasis.  The movie can't be faulted for technical aspects, but it takes more than visual brilliance to make a good film. You need a really good script that makes you give a damn. Otherwise, it's just a magic show.  It's a super cool, ultra impressive, eminently watchable magic show, but as a movie, meh.

The evil giant Majini with the big ax in Resident Evil Afterlife

**I have to agree with this statement by Matthew Munden (wish I'd said it) "the best made awful movie to ever be released." 

Seeing RED over Sonja
Sep 13, 2010

versions of Red SonjaRed Sonja and ConanAmerican Gladiator Siren 

As much as I hoped RED SONJA was starting an action chick trend back in 1985, Red Sonja movie posterit was not to be. I don't think Brigitte Nielsen was the right woman for the job. She certainly had the stature (as evidenced by this picture with Arnold) but she was kind of gangly and gawky, and not blood thirsty at all. That role should have scared the shit out of men. Now they are bringing Red Sonja back. I would have turned to casting a Diva from the WWE, or a body builder, or American Gladiator Valerie "Siren" Waugaman (above). Instead, we're going to get the infamous Rose does-this-dress-make-my-butt-look-naked McGowan. As anyone can see from this composite photo, while she may be beautiful, she's no warrior. We have to stop waiting for men to figure out we want to see physically strong women and do it ourselves. Strong women in the business need to get busy busting some ass. I want to be the one to do it!! ;) . . . Look out, here I come!

WONDER WOMAN is in production for 2013. It won't surprise me when they cast someone too feminine for that as well, like Kim Kardashian or Sofia Vergara. Why not somebody strong like athlete Kyra Gracie or Gladiator Gina "Crush" Carano? What I really want to see is a strong old-er woman in The Expendables 2. And not a scantily dressed bimbette. We're way overdue for a girl to be "one of the guys" (translation: a  person first, a woman second).  Some respect, dammit!  We're coming to take it.

Fellow FREAKS  
Sep 12, 2010

 I've added a FELLOW FREAKS website list to the footer. It's a collection of websites of equally action-film-obsessed folks, or just interesting action- or movie-related sites, and blogs I've run across.

The Menu was Under Construction  . . .
Sep 10, 2010

it's complete now (with some "Coming Soon" items) The whole site is ongoing and getting bigger. Please excuse the glaring omissions (like Kill Bill, etc.). Very excited about putting up my own Action-Movie subgenres . . .  again, patience please: More Coming Soon!

Marvel drawing of ThorTHOR, by Kenneth Branaugh?
Sep 8, 2010

I had such high hopes for THOR, I thought, WOW, Kenneth Branagh's gonna do action, that could make Branagh cool. Stupid me, it looks like drama, not action, Thor's not making Branagh cool, Branagh's making an uncool Thor movie. It's supposed to be a comic book not soap opera digest.  Ooieeeee  Without the mythic figure, we don't care as much about the story. The larger-than-life ness of the man and his strength comes first.  Before this turns into another Anti-Scrawny rant, I'm going to post this picture (at right) from the article by Olivia Lichtenstein entitled "As Hollywood's leading actors start looking eerily similar, where are all the real men?" where she asks "Whatever happened to testosterone?" It's alive but aging and starring in The Expendables. I don't get the Team Edward thing. Or Zac Efron. Being buff alone does not make you attractive (Jackie Warner) or masculine (every gay guy). Oh shut up. It's my blog.

I guess I'll just have to wait for the real THOR movie starring an ex wrestler.  Compared to this drawing, Chris Hemsworth looks like Thor's 14-year-old nephew. Branagh must be unclear on the  SUPERhero part. Oooieeee.


Expendables II tweets from Sly
Aug 28, 2010

Read that @TheSlyStallone is considering making Bruce Willis the villain in Expendables II. Nooo. . . We don't want to see John McClane play a villain. Have him play to his strengths and come to the rescue.

And he tweeted: "I am thinking what would be the most dangerous places in the world to set the sequel?"

I added Marko Zaror to the bad ass list


Sylvester Stallone with real-life tattoo of his wifeAt last! @TheSlyStallone
Aug 27, 2010

is a verified twitter account, and it seems from the tweets, it's really him. He's cool enough to know it's cool to be on twitter. He's comfortable enough with himself not to worry about his tweets.

I tweeted my Rambo III commentary to him (not that he's following me, or not that he'll read it . . . ) but like Judy Tenuta used to say "It could happen!"

Here he is pictured with a tattoo of his wife from 2008.



Aug 26, 2010

After I saw this scene in INCEPTION I wanted to see real fights in a ROTATING cage! Took me back to Mad Max Beyond THUNDERDOME*. You know it's just a matter of time. Boxing with gloves was too "nice", now it's bare fisted and bloody. Why not throw gravity in as a factor? Hey MMA World Extreme Cagefighting—how about it? If they won't do it in real life, somebody please do it in a movie. The Action Movie Freak in me is just waiting to see gravity used to increase the impact in a punch.  What's harder than punching someone in the face? Punching someone who's falling into your punch. Like a FIST-ON COLLISON (so maybe they would need gloves)! Rotating Cage Fights would give new meaning to the phrase "GROUND and pound". Aaaah violence. LOL [*Although they chickened out of using it, fighting with a chainsaw while on a rubber band was a pretty awesome idea—for a movie—of course for a movie.]




MANDRILL comes out in September!*
Aug 11, 2010

I loved it—saw it at ActionFest 2010.  
Marko Zaror
was there!
Read my review of MANDRILL
Become a Fan on Facebook: MARKO ZAROR (MANDRILL)
*in Chile . . . what about here?


Aug 10, 2010

Expendables cast

In the midst of all the excitement about the ultimate action movie and the ultimate action cast ensemble (The Expendables), I got to thinking about what I heard Sylvester Stallone say about putting Rocky to rest. No more Rocky movies—seems only fitting the way the last one ended. What's left for Rocky to do? A growing-old drama of him coaching a young contender to honor the memory of "Mick" . . . no. Mickey's story was different. Rocky became somebody. Which got me thinking about the cancellation of the fifth Rambo movie. THIS intrigued me. Stallone is not only this amazing action figure, but he has the sensitivity, intelligence, and talent to also touch on something everyone identifies with, such as the underdog triumphing, righting an injustice, and/or being on the side that needs a hero and doing something about it. With Rambo, he went beyond just making really great movies and touched a nerve with audiences on real-life issues.

Vietnam POW/MIA bracelet for Maj. Ralph C. BalcomThe first Rambo movie First Blood called attention to how poorly Vietnam Vets were being treated when they returned home.

Rambo: First Blood Part II focused on the POW/MIA issue. The whole country was so torn up over the idea that there might still be soldiers over there. (I remember the bracelets we wore in junior high and how we checked the newspaper for the name of the soldier on our bracelet. Check out this moving blog post for the history of the bracelets.) He portrayed our collective desire to circumvent the bureaucracy and bullshit and just go rescue some soldiers!

Rambo III was a great example of the underdog (this time it's a country) and an injustice. But what a tangled mess Afghanistan turned out to be. It's no wonder Rambo was still far from home when Rambo (IV) came to be.

'There are no friendly civilians' T-shirt from tshirtinsight.comWith Rambo (IV), Stallone delivered a blood-and-guts type of action movie showing the true brutality of war within the context of the suffering of the people of Burma. The naïveté of the missionaries seems to represent the ignorance of most Americans to the killing that goes on in places like Burma all over the world. It was the perfect backdrop to illustrate the war inside Rambo, and to watch with horrid fascination as Rambo, the killing machine, is released once again. There is something very satisfying about vengeance. Whatever it cost Rambo (inside) to try to rescue those people, it was enough to finally bring him back home to the States. Maybe it was just the simple and sad truth that the killing may never stop. As I watched Rambo walk the long driveway to his home stateside, I couldn't help but think of the pain and suffering that kept a good soldier away so long. He was able to leave it behind (at last), but I still want to see him "come full circle" to being whole and happy.

John J. Rambo is 63. (Stallone is 64, same birthday :D July 6th).  What would fulfill him? What cause could Rambo take up now that he's back home in Arizona? Hmmmm . . . (It will be interesting to see Machete with Rambo in mind.) I still want to see another Rambo movie even if it's not action (biting my tongue). I hope Stallone will find some way to show Rambo feeling accepted and appreciated. If there is a fitting cause for Rambo to begin a new life and close his chapter on killing, I would like to see it, even if its a drama or a love story. Women would LOVE to see Rambo in a love story. I can dream—I'm a woman and this is my blog. Maybe he could be a father figure to a family who has lost a son (or daughter) in "The War on Terror" or deal with the cause of homeless veterans. I think it would be so satisfying just to see him being appreciated and treated with respect, and loved.

Wherever Stallone takes Rambo, with release of The Expendables, Stallone now stands alone in action movie superstardom as the most beloved action figure of all time. Action movie freaks are frothing at the mouth with anticipation. What a fucking BAD ASS to pull off assembling a cast like this. "Stallone! Fuck Yeah!"

The Expendables movie poster
The Expendables
Aug 9, 2010

Don't kick yourself later for not seeing it on the big screen! There was SOoo much anticipation for this movie . . .

I don't want to spoil anything while it's still in theaters—GO SEE IT—then check out my Expendables Movie Review. Seeing that cast together was worth the price of the ticket alone. Stallone had to deliver something worthy of bringing them all together . . . so did he? Is it good enough to support a sequel? Undoubtedly, but a lot of the draw will depend on the next cast. It still amazes me that he asked Jeanne Claude Van Damme and that he said no. And what was Kurt Russell thinking?! He was lucky to be asked as well. This movie looked to be the greatest "boys club" romp ever, how could any real action movie fan say no? 

THE EXPENDABLES plus one (me)
Aug 8, 2010

photo of The Expendables lobby card display with the action movie freak Photoshopped into the cast :D

I've got my tickets!  Do you have yours?  I have tickets for the first 2 shows so I can see it back to back. If it's as great as I hope it's going to be, I want to see it every night next week. Check it out if you haven't already: Expendables The (Photoshopped this from a lobby display.) Take the "Are You Expendable?" quiz, then put yourself in the photo at The Expendables website.

Also they have t-shirts and official merchandise!


The Other Guys movie poster

The Other Guys
Aug 6, 2010

No, it's not really an action movie, it's a Comedy with Action, but the opener is a killer: A car crash so awesome I had to whistle out loud in appreciation! The Rock and Samuel Jackson aren't in it for very long but surprisingly (yes surprisingly) Will Ferrell (cause I'm tired of him) and Mark Wahlberg carry this Buddy Movie and do it with enough comedy to keep you laughing all the way through (the script is an equal-opportunity offender). Wahlberg's a surprise as a loser wannabe playing against his bad boy image. He even seems to have a ounce or two of fat around the middle(!). Overall the movie is not a positive portrayal of the police force (ya think?), which I kind of thought it would be with The Rock and Sam Jackson for The Other Guys to look up to, but they come off as douchebag egomaniacs and idiots. The movie makes fun of everything we don't like about cops. It's really enjoyable.


Are you watching ACTION PACK on AMC?
July 27, 2010

Wednesday nights are special for action movie fans: Check out AMC's dynamic duo Matt McCarthy and Nick Stevens on Action Pack this Wednesday for a Seagal double feature:  Out For Justice and On Deadly Ground. And follow Steven Seagal on twitter: @ssegalofficial.


Beefcake and Bottom-Line Realities
July 17, 2010

I was going to see Predators in the theater one more time (paid to see it twice already) and then I thought, twice was enough, and I wondered whether or not I will buy the DVD. This surprised me. So, I took a trip to the video store instead of going to the movies. I wanted to get Event Horizon to write up why I thought it was sooo terrible, and of course, it's not for sale. I felt a little smug justification when I realized there is some truth to my action movie opinions (yay!): Bad action movies are no longer on the shelf; Good action movies are $7.99-$9.99; and Great action movies are still selling for $19.99, or more.

Action movies are either the kind I'm crazy about and buy the DVD and watch over and over, enjoying that same satisfying punch I felt the first time I saw it (Alien, Aliens, Predator, Die Hard, etc.),OR the kind I liked in the theater but I'm not going to pay to buy the DVD because seeing it once (or twice) was enough. 

When I realized I might not buy the DVD of Predators, I understood why not. Ultimately what disappointed me in Predators is what I wrote in the closing of my review: "they made it Good Enough, but I don't think they were shooting for GREAT". This really hit home when I thought about the bottom line, because even if it does well in the box office, I predict it won't do well in DVD sales. And I can tell you why not.  Before the movie came out, everyone (even Robert Rodriguez) was saying (me included) that Adrien Brody is no Arnold, but what that means to the movie is this: People will not love and identify with Adrien Brody the way they would with a more popular, beefier star. They could have made it all about the lead character but they chose to go another way, and that is going to cost them, literally.  So, it left me wondering: Did they just push it out hoping to make it good enough to get enough money by capitalizing on the popularity of the first movie? If so, that is really disappointing. I see now this movie could never have been as popular with someone like Adrien Brody in the lead despite my highest hopes to the contrary.  The Chronicles of Riddick is an example of the same kind of lead character who is an anti-hero who saves the day. However, Riddick with Vin Diesel shows that beefcake works even when the leader is not the typical hero (or not trying to be one). WE WANT BIG MEN as heroes in action movies. That is my bottom line!

I am thinking of boycotting THOR (read my Anti-Scrawny Rant) (sigh) because I waited so long for that movie and they cast Chris Hemsworth? WTF! Was Justin Bieber unwilling to die his hair blonde? MEN! We want men!!! If not buff 'roid monsters, then giant brawlers, or at least jocks with real muscles. We don't want actors who beef up for a role even if they are as impressive as Adrien Brody was in the last scene—to his credit—it's still not enough.  And no more pretty boys in rubber suits!

P.S. I suspect, in the end, that I love the first Predator so much, I will buy it when I can afford to, just to own it. 


Predators movie poster with Adrian Brody


Predators: GO SEE IT!
July 8, 2010

I could hardly wait to see it.
If you haven't yet, don't click on the link above—Go see it first :D!  

Love this international release poster.Predators movie poster with cast members

Finally! A return to the jungle. This movie was enjoyable but changing the structure just a little could have made it great. I was disappointed to come away feeling they used it as a money maker while giving props to the original just to capitalize on our love of the first movie. Had they set out to make a really great movie all on its own and not just try and figure out what we loved about the first and deliver on that . . . (sigh).  This movie was fun, and I know you can't compete with Arnold, but you can TRY. Adrien Brody no matter how buff, no matter how great an actor could never be an "Action Figure" and this was an Action Figure movie. Check out my Predator | Predators comparison.




Aydrean Brrrody's no Euuwan MaGrreyggah
July 5, 2010

Just 3 days and counting . . . to midnight July 8th-GOT MY TICKET!

Yes, I know how to spell Adrien Brody and Ewan McGregor. I was just havin' a wee bit o' fun with it. I am so psyched for PREDATORS! The only good thing about Adrien Brody being in Predators will be watching them kill him. Please let them kill him, first. LOL  LOVE the Action ADVENTURE subgenre. Aaah, Adrien Brody. The Halle-Berry-kissing fool.

Adrien Brody as target in PREDATORS with multiple red dots

I saw him in Splice—He was okay. His wardrobe kept me laughing, but that's not his fault. I SO want to like him in Predators because I don't want him to ruin it for me (see my Anti-Scrawny Rant below). I sure hope he's up to it.  I'm thinking either Don't-call-me Larry Fishburne or Danny "The Mayor" Trejo will be the last man standing. Danny Trejo is awesome! Wondering how much of a cult classic Machete will be. (Hope there are some just awesome kills.) He looks a liiittle bit oh-shit terrified here (its in the eyebrows) even though he's holding what Robert Rodriguez called "double uzis" (MP5Ks). Gotta love the Navajo-looking straps hanging down.

Danny Trejo fires double MPK5s in PREDATORS

As big as the guy in the video below is, he appears to be struggling to hold on—gives you some idea of what it would be like to try to hold and fire two of these.

I would, of course, like it to be the girl (cause I'm a girl) (the only girl, "Isabelle" played by Alice Braga) as the last 'man' standing. I liked her in Repo Man. Plus, the girl was one of the few to make it out alive in PREDATOR.


Knight and Day (A Case For Casting Unknowns)
July 3, 2010

I love Tom Cruise and Cameron Diaz, and Knight and Day was great fun and worth the ticket price, but I am not going to review in detail as an Action Movie. It is, however, a great opportunity to make a case for casting unknowns. About halfway through the movie, I thought that this movie would have been a great vehicle to make the careers of two new, younger stars, but with Cruise and Diaz, they were just a little too old and too recognizable (for me) for it to be as enjoyably fun and romantic as I think it could have been.

That may be an age bias on my part, but the attractiveness of youth is a reproductive fact. We don't feel attracted to aging stars like we do fresh faces, and consequently, I wasn't really buying the romance. That seems harsh considering how good looking they both still are (and always will be), but maybe it was just something personal that I see they are either on top of the hill, or just over it. Plus, they are SO well known that I couldn't get past their fame and all the pre-movie TV coverage of . . . "Tom and Cameron are such great friends and Katie was on the set and blah blah blah". I think if someone has to say on TV that it's great that Cameron and Tom "can still do this", that proves my point.

I realize my wishing this movie starred unknowns is also partly a negative reflection on Cruise and Diaz's acting abilities, like maybe I should have walked away wondering if they really fell in love on the movie set in real life. So be it, and I am not unaware that people go to see movies because they want to see Tom Cruise paired with Cameron Diaz (or Tom Hanks with Meg Ryan or whoever), and that these stars bring people to movies they might not otherwise see.  And yet . . .

Callie KhouriIt brought to mind the casting of Julie Roberts in Something to Talk About (Callie Khouri's second script—She won the Oscar for Best Original Screenplay for Thelma and Louise, her first script!). I love Julia Roberts too (how could you not with that smile?!) but I don't think of her as the type of Southern woman that script was written about and yes, she is an Actress, but maybe in that role she just didn't sell me. I was super disappointed after the movie because I so loved the script and thought it was tragically under-appreciated by being a Julia Roberts vehicle. 

I can see where stars pick scripts to further their careers/personas because I believe we attribute the sum total of their roles to what we imagine is their real-life personalities (more about that in my discussion of Tom Cruise as an Action Movie Bad Ass), but in this movie, had it been cast with an unknown, more authentically Southern sounding and acting star, it would have, should have been more like a glimpse into the life of a real person than watching Julia 'play Southern'. I say that because I lived in the South and I felt like I knew that girl, and the way Julia Roberts played her, the spark was missing!  With the right unknown actress cast, the scene where she confronts the women in the meeting could have been Oscar-winning-Best-Actress performance material.

I guess, as a writer, I'm feeling protective of the material and not thinking about the bottom line, and the way I think they cast movies: "Who can we put in this to get people to see it?" I just think the material should come first, not the stars, and that upon finishing the last page of a script, someone should be able to tell that the movie would be better with an unknown. I really feel the loss for Callie. Such an amazing character journey! When Grace King Bichon stands up for herself, it could have resonated with all women, instead it was just Julia.

Back to Tom. Tom Cruise is nobody's fool and it was just happiness that he jumped on Oprah's sofa. Why were all the jealous haters tripping over that? He was smart to pick this role in Knight and Day of a likeable, quirky, polite, ultra-competent secret agent.  This role will be added to his overall "Cruisy-ness". (If you didn't click on his name in either link above to read my take on Tom, see what I mean here.) Playing a nice, super-polite guy still might not redeem him for some people. It does, however, fit in nicely with the points I was trying to make below about why I choose the movies I see. 


Movie-Watching Economics
June 29, 2010

Just a brief explanation: I see a lot less movies than I used to before Realtors® with their greedy spin ran the economy into the ground (I live in Miami). I'm also discovering that either I'm getting impatient in general, or more discerning. If I had more free time and the tickets prices were lower, I think the amount of movies I dislike would definitely double-LOL! At the price movies are now, I go on Saturday mornings for the discount unless I really want to see it opening night on the largest screen possible. Lately, I'm missing so many hyped-up movies, I'm feeling guilty to the point where I've decided I have to defend myself, and chalk it up to personal preferences.  So here it is . . .

Kids' Stuff
I keep hearing about how great The (new) Karate Kid is and I love Jackie Chan but . . .   I have to say I'm NOT A FAN of action movies with a kid in the lead (?!) or helping out.  I hated "Short Round", and it STILL pisses me off that the kid in Star Wars: Episode 1 - The Phantom Menace was so young the goggles didn't even fit right so he could see, and yet we were supposed to suspend disbelief that he could win that race—Even my belief in the Force wasn't enough to pull that off!  An actor only a year older would have sold it. I would blame Jake Lloyd, but he was just a kid, and that's my point.  I feel required to see any (Bruce Willis or) Nicolas Cage movies, no matter what, but I feel like The Sorcerer's Apprentice will surely suck. Hope I'm wrong.

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

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

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

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

Kathryn Bigelow getting some satisfaction accepting Academy Award for Best Director and Best Picture over ex-husband James Cameron-you go girl!I have to say that if they had given the Best Director or Best Picture Oscar to James Cameron, I'd have stopping watching the Academy Awards. THANK GOD they gave it to Kathryn Bigelow and The Hurt Locker! [It almost makes up for the last time I stopped watching (1982) because they snubbed E.T. and Stephen Spielberg and gave the big two awards to Gandhi! Almost.]  I think we may be well into CGI just for CGI sake. It sure seems like we're well into 3D for the sake of higher ticket prices. Neither of these things will make me see a movie.

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

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

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

No Thanks . . .
With apologies to all the kind folks who spent their talents, time, and money making them, these movies seemed like they would not be worth my time or the ticket price:
• Green Zone
(not sold on Matt Damon as an action star and don't like the Bourne series either),
• Legion (angels?!)
• Salt (not a fan of Angelina Jolie as an action star either—and thankfully, i'm not alone in this, which is a relief because people will assume I don't like her because she's prettier than me. (She's prettier than everyone!) The guys at don't like her as an action star either (must be the Van Damme thing for me).
• Killers
• The Last Airbender
(I loved M. Night Shayalan in the beginning. I loved what his sort-of-modern-Hitchcock style, but The Village killed him for me.)
• The Other Guys God, I so want to like this but, WILL FERREL! Enough Ferrel. OMG I even went to see Step Brothers. NO Will, we do not want to see your balls. PLEASE keep your clothes on. I love so much of his work "glass case of emotion", but get over yourself! Will overkill. He's starting to be the same annoying self in everything. I hate them for putting him in Land of the Lost! I loved that show. (NO, I did not go see the movie.)

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

• Unstoppable

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

The A-Team movie poster with cast

Saw The A-Team!
June 12, 2010

"A" is for a big, satisfying Aaaaaaah!
The A-TEAM delivered Action with a capital "A" . . .




"My Men are Not Expendable!"
May 18, 2010

And I don't do this kind of work." How crazy is it that Van Damme and Kurt Russell turned down an opportunity to be in The Expendables? If they think they're too cool, they're sadly mistaken. Being in The Expendables is like the ultra-action-movie-superstars club. It's an honor just to be asked!! How do you say no? I have to say that if they said No, then they don't deserve to be that cool! I'm so psyched that Terry Crews is in it. I love him in Everybody Hates Chris!

Terry Crews collage pink jacket_Everybody Hates Chris Dad in coveralls_and character from Gears
Every Action Movie FREAK would love to cast GEARS OF WAR.

Movie Chains are PRICE GOUGING!
May 17, 2010

RaisinetsIf a movie isn't really good, I don't want to spend the money to see it. "Rant" at gave Iron Man 2 only a 6 out of 10.  I hear everyone says just the last half hour is good. Yes, I like Robert Downey Jr., but that's not enough to pay $11 for 2 hours. I guess if it was 7 stars, I think there's a possibility I might think it was 8 or 9, but 6—pass. There's way too many movies that aren't worth the $11.  If movies were $5 all the time, I would see almost all of them. I just don't get why they price them SO high. The snacks are insanely priced. If they were cheap, everyone would eat like crazy because people love that food. But COME ON, $4 for a small popcorn?! What is it, 5 cents worth of popcorn? If people aren't going to the movies, they should try a price rollback and see how many people come and how much they eat.  One thing I won't eat: Sunmaid Milk Chocolate raisins—they're DISGUSTING. That 'stuff' is not chocolate. GOOBERS! RAISINETS! SNO•CAPS! We must have the classics. And, how do you expect us not to feel ripped off when the soda is 2x the price that it is at fast food places? If they can make a profit at that price, what's your excuse for gouging us?!  It just creates ill will.


Anti-Scrawny RANT
May 16, 2010

Today I was writing about PREDATOR and looking forward to PREDATORS (how could one not be?), but I remembered when I heard Adrian Brody was in it as some kind of Bad Ass, I couldn't help but remember my reaction when I heard someone put Winona Ryder in an Aliens movie! Really the last person—okay, well Woody Allen would be the last person I would expect to see in an Aliens movie, but Winona Ryder? Turned out it was pretty funny casting considering her role. Yes, Winona Ryder, because apparently she is the look to reproduce as android pleasure girl named "Call".  


So then I hear Adrian Brody beefed up for Predators. Good! Because he was the scrawniest thing since that "Brilliantine stick insect" Remington Steele (phrase from Fawlty Towers). I thought he ruined every movie I saw him in: The Affair Of The Necklace, The Village, and King Kong. Yes I know he won the Oscar for The Pianist, but I didn't see the Pianist, I didn't see anything else he won awards for either: Restaurant, Love The Hard Way, or Cadillac Records. So he's my one misgiving about Predators. When I look at the trailer and see "the most dangerous killers on the planet", I think, okay, with training and weapons anyone can be dangerous, or with a warped mind, doesn't matter what they look like, doesn't have to be the mostly-all-G.I.Joe-types casting that Predator was in order to work, but that certainly was one of the coolest things about it. They better do a damn good job of showing why these guys are dangerous before they off them one by one in hopefully apropos and interesting ways. Robert Rodriguez says he is also developing the characters of the different predators (that turned out to not be true), so I hope we see how they use the differences to hunt their prey (oh well). Also, I think it would be more satisfying if we know the strengths of both hunter and prey so we can appreciate the method of their demise—if they capitalized on their weaknesses, or how they won or failed. 

So getting back to the Scrawny rant . . . I think action movies use leading man types too much and should cast "action figures" more. Why was Chris Hemsworth cast as THOR instead of Triple H? Hemsworth can't wield a mighty hammer! Is anybody out there reading a THOR comic book and thinking Chris Hemsworth?  Hell NO!!  There are real comic-book-superhero types in life (that is why wrestling is so popular: we feel invincible watching them), please start casting them!

collage of Thor promoting Triple H as Thor versus scrawny Chris Hemsworth

In closing I have to add this: Jake Gyllenhaal as The Prince of Persia?! Aw C'mon!!!!! NOooooo! What's next Spencer Pratt as Aquaman? I loved Aquaman so much as a kid growing up swimming all day long in the Bahamas, but even I recognize the character's lameness. Leading men like Brad Pitt, Paul Walker, Casper Van Dien, or pretty much any blonde actor would be perfect—that says it all.  Still, I wish there was more casting of the physically superb for super hero roles! We want to see SEXY brawny beefcake! Jake got all beefed up for the role, but his face is still wrong, and (sorry Jake) he's not sexy. Doesn't it look like they stuck the wrong head on that body? John Abraham would have been perfect!  Can't believe they used a 'blonde' American actor for that role. KevJumba's on the same page with this . . .

Prince of Persia casting composite promoting John Abraham over Jake Gyllenhaal

Sigourney Weaver IS The Shit 
May 15, 2010

A year from when this site went live, I am starting a blog and I have to start with this . . .  

Now that's Method Acting!  








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