Tag Archives: action

Switchblade Sisters 3.5/5

Okay it lacks credibility and acting ability, but it makes up for it in the charm of the leading actresses – they may not convince, but they sure are fun in this violent, sexy, ridiculous romp among high-school gangs (and these girls look almost as old as the high-school girls in Grease).

You do have to ignore the aspect of ‘rape-as-how-gang-members-flirt’ aspect of it that really hasn’t dated that well, but the goofy costumes (the nerdy Crabs in particular reminded me of Bobcat Goldthwaite in Police Academy 2, but some of the other characters’ costumes were equallyhilarious), and combine this with the cheesy dialogue, ridiculous gangfights (AK47s at a roller-rink rumble, anyone?) and general exploitation stink, and you have a fun hour and a half.

Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill! 4/5

The first 10 minutes take a little acclimation as you get used to the dreadful acting, but they are made easier by the gogo dancing clips, but once Tura Satana goads the guy into racing, the massive energy and sheer balls to the wall bravura of this movie carries it through magnificently until the end.

Russ Meyer sure liked breasts.

Tarzan The Ape Man 3.5/5

Tarzan The Ape Man

This is a pretty action packed movie once we get to the half hour mark. That’s when we first encounter Tarzan. We see Tarzan swim faster than crocodiles, outrun hungry lions, fight leopards, gorillas and tribesmen, and he sure is an action man – he throws himself into fights and rescues with relish.

It’s also a story about Jane looking for a lover who isn’t so stuffy and inhibited as the men she’s used to…and she sure gets what she wants from Tarzan. This is surely some primal fantasy?

Wiessmuller has great presence despite only saying about 20 words (Schwartzenegger would pull the same trick many years later – charisma can take you far), and Maureen O’Sullivan is a sexy, girlish Jane.

There’s some dodgy racial angles to this – a tribe of pymies being blacked up dwarves…some with afro wigs with bones weaved in, anyone?

It’s also pre-Hays code, so we do get a stampede of elephants through the ‘pygmy’ village, which includes elephants throwing the dwarves around and stomping on them.

A great family movie, all round.

Haywire 3.5/5

Haywire

Rather good action-spy flick, owing more to 24 and Bourne than Bond, but also very, very reminiscent of late 60s and 70s downbeat spy dramas, like The Ipcress File. The music, filming style, and even the clothing evoked this spirit.

This was in essence an arthouse-action movie, with lots of stylistic sizzle, but some really great, painful-looking fight scenes. Gina Carano was pretty good, and while I spent much of the running time confused about what was going on, it resolved nicely by the end, and Mallory Kane made a good, tough lady-spy.

Machete and Machete Kills – Odd One Out 060

Machete

Mark talks about the goofy but fun Machete and the goofier but slightly less fun Machete Kills

Miami Vice: Brother’s Keeper 4.5/5

Miami Vice

Well, as I watched the first half, I couldn’t help thinking ‘this really isn’t as good as I remember it’. Then we saw Sonny Crockett lived on a yacht. With an alligator called Elvis. Then we saw a judge with a pump action shotgun, a clerk with a magnum, Sonny getting it on with a work colleague, and a bad guy in a dress.

So 80s, it hurts, in a good way.

I rate it Awesome++

Riddick 3.5/5

Riddick

A stripped down Riddick, getting back to basics that works so well, as it did in Pitch Black and was sorely missing in The Chronicles of Riddick. The first half hour was pretty damn good and distinct, with very little dialogue, and a lot of fun watching Riddick surviving brutal conditions and get the measure of the planet he’s been stranded on. It was like watching a decent movie version of the videogame Borderlands.

Eventually two sets of mercenaries/bounty hunters turn up to get him, and we get into territory that’s part retread of Pitch Black, part retread of the first (good) part of Chronicles.

Enjoyable, mindless actioner.

Captain Kronos Vampire Hunter 4/5

Captain Kronos Vampire Hunter

Made at the tail-end of the Hammer era of horror movies, this is a rip-roaring, swashbuckling horror movie, with Captain Kronos killing vampires with a Katana many years before Blade got to it, this is just a lot of fun. There’s whole new vampire mythology being made up in this one, with vampires coming in a lot of varieties and with distinct ways to kill them, and whilst the lead is a little uncharismatic (he looks like Bjorn Borg), it really cracks along at a fair pace, and is thoroughly entertaining. I think this guy was Hammer’s attempt to provide a hunk for the ladies maybe. Hammer were always good at providing attractive young ladies for guys to look at, and whilst Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee are fantastic, they aren’t exactly hunk material for the ladies.

The central friendship between Kronos and Grost is also pretty good, with a few lines giving a decent feel for how much they mean to each other. I also liked the scenes involving the inn bullies, which I suspect was padding to fill out the time as it really didn’t connect with anything else, but were actually pretty good at illustrating what a badass Kronos was. The whole working out how to kill this species of vampire was cool too, and there were other nice imaginative touches to this (the time-freezing during the vampire attack; Kronos making the vampire self-hypnotise and freeze; the entire sword-fight).

Also, Kronos gets a little roughsex with Caroline Munro.

Deserves a remake.

Oh, and the gorgeous Caroline Munro is in it.

Oh, and Benedict Cumberbatch’s mum is in it too.

Thor The Dark World 3/5

Thor The Dark World

A decent sequel to the impressive first one…and I say impressive, because it really shouldn’t have worked, Thor as a comic book character works, but I just couldn’t see how it could possibly work at a serious level when put to film…and Branagh achieved it, much helped by the acting chops of Anthony Hopkins and Tom Hiddleston.

Given the fine groundwork laid in the first one, this stays on that steady bedrock, and has a seriously intense (non-camp) villain, and brings back both Hopkins and Hiddlestone for a reasonably satisfying story. The ending got a little Man Of Steel, but overall, it was a well-put together, darker sequel that delivered.

Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance 3/5

Ghost Rider

Gleefully goofy Ghost Rider movie that’s propped up by Edris Elba as a French special ops monk and Christopher Lambert as a walking walloftext, we have the fiery spirit of vengeance going at it with Eastern European gangsters, arms dealers and Satan’s little helpers with glee. We also get Cage in more full-on crazy mode compared to the tamer Cage from movie 1.

However, it is a bit of a mess of a storyline, and the Crank-treatment doesn’t quite work as well here as the first Crank movie this was made by the guys that made Crank, if you don’t know what I’m going on about), but there are some hilarious odd bits and nice CGI/mad scenes.

Not quite the roasted turkey some reviewers suggested it was.

Ghost Rider 3.5/5

Ghost Rider

watched this at the cinema when it first came out and rather enjoyed it, but wanted to check it again, at it seems to be kicked around a fair bit.

I enjoyed it just as much this time, but to break it down

– the good: the presentation of Ghost Rider is fantastic. The flaming skull the bike, the chain weapon. All great. And Sam Elliott. Good visual direction and sound design during the action.
– the bad: the villains were weak,
far too weedy for GR. The execution of the nonaction elements was poor. satan’s CGI shadow.
– the odd: Cage’s displaced acting and his obsession about monkey videos, jelly beans, and The Carpenters.

Hooper 3/5

Hooper

Easy going, fun, undemanding stuntman comedy with Burt Reynolds, interestingly touching on a man getting to the end of his career, and damaged from it. It has a few laughs and exciting scenes, but my favourite parts are the bar fight and the final jump.

God Bless America – Odd One Out 050

God Bless America

God Bless America – podcast

Beowulf 2/5

Beowulf

This pitches up between real-life cinema and more cartoonish styles, and feels like the worse of both. The nearly-human animation feels unreal by its very nearly-ness, giving the whole thing of watching a cast acting through thick botox-poisoning. In contrast, the animation of Grendell seems oddly dated (it felt that way when it came out), and feels like a prototype cgi-rendering of the first version of Treebeard, or like someone asked the muppet guys to built a large model of a monster for stagework, and then someone converted that to CGI. It’s a very odd feeling. Another odd section is a sub-Austin Powers part where Beowulf fights naked, but his genitals are hidden by strategically placed items/people throughout several parts of a long scene.

It really doesn’t fly, except the final fight with the dragon. But at nearly two hours, this felt a long, unentertaining slog, only lightened by the obvious yarning of Beowulf, and the final fight with the dragon, which was quite enjoyable.

Get the Gringo 3/5

Get the Gringo

Yep, we have Mel Gibson doing what he’s good at, which is excessively violent action genre movies. This one’s quite unusual and not what I expected, as he spends most of the time in a Mexican prison, but it’s fun, it’s cool that this action guy is seen planning and thinking through how to get what he wants, with a touch of the conman thrown in. Fun.

The Man With The Iron Fists 2.5/5

The Man With The Iron Fists

This movie had some real problems, and I was getting bored in the first act. It looked pretty, the action scenes were decent to very good, and you could tell care was taken over the look and feel. However, it really fell short in terms of narrative coherence, and and sort of character building. It felt like a lot of fussy scenes that weren’t building to anything involving characters you really couldn’t care about.

However, it did get better as it went on. In the second act, things started to line up, and there was a better sense of cohesion, and things made sense, which dragged me from apathy to paying better attention.

By the time the final act/finale started rolling, I was fully engaged, really digging the visuals, and whilst the action could have been editing better, I found myself enjoying the ideas, panache and sheer amount of mayhem going on.

Overall, yes I enjoyed it, but I nearly turned off 20 minutes in because it seemed diffuse and more like strung together action scenes rather than a coherent whole, but I’m glad I stuck with it.

It obviously was a homage to 70s martial arts movies, and also a homage to the subgenre of spaghetti Western where gadgets are significant – the most famous example being the Sabata movies, I guess.

Fun, but the first 30 minutes are something to put up with, rather than enjoy. The rest is fine though.

Stone Cold 3.5/5

Stone Cold

Whilst Brian Bosworth has all the acting ability of a tree stump, the charm of this movie is generated by 3 things; the grandiose scene-chewing of Lance Henriksen, delivering lines like ‘This reminds me of my father’s last words: “Don’t son, that gun is loaded!” ‘ and doing a world-class evil laugh; a raging William Forsythe who acts like a cross between a coke-up Harvey Keitel and a grumpy bulldog who has been forced to sleep on a bed of Lego; and the rather fine action set pieces. It’s all 80s through-and-through, which is a shame because it was made in 91, and hitting the tail-end of that particular action era.

Baggy in places, but starts well (with a game of chicken where guys shoot beercans off each other’s heads which quickly escalates to using uzis), and ends really, really well. How the hell did they get permission to do all that mayhem in a great building like that?

The Killer 3.5/5

The Killer

Parts of this film have not aged well. The parts that have aged well are the insanely great action pieces – if there’s gunfire, you’re gold. To some degree if there’s doves, churches, candles, hospitals, or fast cars, you’re also gold. It’s the rest of it that is distinctly shaky. While some of the more thoughtful scenes look and sound great (reminiscent of Sergio Leone and Ennio Moricone), other’s have bad dialogue, endless emo grimacing, and quite terrible synth music.

So it’s 80s, and parts haven’t aged well. But the action stuff and the cool of Jeff (this film is channelling Le Samourai, right?) allows you to forgive the more creaky parts of it.

Also, did the villain have a major share in a white sweatsuit business? Because all the cannon-fodder henchmen looked like that’s were they got their outfits…

X-Men First Class, favourite movie bad guys Episode 003

In this show, the guys review the movie X-Men First Class, pick out their favourite movie bad guys, and discuss manga comics, The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, and assorted movies including Moon and Bride of Frankenstein.

Episode 001 Tron – Legacy, Top 5 Memorable Movie Deaths

In this show, Mark and Sam review the movie Tron – Legacy, pick out their top 5 memorable movie deaths, and discuss such diverse entertainment as Star Trek and alternate universes, Nightmare Revisited (the soundtrack of The Nightmare Before Christmas redone by bands), and Battle Royale.