Posts Tagged ‘action movies’

mm@C4logo2ajclogo2by @anarchyroll
10/26/2014

Is it a prequel or not? I mean, it’s kinda the same movie. They’re kinda hinting at it. The names are different but it’s the same premise with the same character archetypes.

Wait, isn’t that the…?

Am I writing about Prometheus or The Equalizer?

Exactly

One of my personal favorite action movies is Man on Fire from 2004 also starring Denzel Washington as essentially the same character he plays in The Equalizer. The only difference is the drinking.

Does this sound like a critical review? Well if I liked Man on Fire then I certainly liked The Equalizer. The only reason a person wouldn’t be required to turn their brain off, kick back, and have a good time watching the gory action scenes is to wonder if this movie is in some way connected to Man on Fire.

The ex-CIA expert assassin is a character type that Denzel Washington has come to love playing in the twilight of his career. And he plays them well. Let’s be honest, Denzel Washington plays most if not every type of character well. He is one of the better American actors of the last quarter century.

The Equalizer, like Man on Fire is not rushed, there is an abundance of character development, dialogue, and build up before the explosion of action that comes at the climax. The end of the movie gets wrapped up in such a neat, bow wrapped package, there is no reason that Denzel’s character can’t go into the sunlight, get burned out on some new mission, and end up in Mexico City seeking work as a bodyguard.

The Equalizer is less about explosions and more about gory killings from both the antagonist and protagonist.

The supporting cast is a little weaker in Equalizer compared to Fire but neither movie is about the supporting cast. It is about Denzel’s acting and the innovation of the execution scenes, scenes plural, both films have a lot of gruesome executions.

Check out The Equalizer if you’re a fan of Denzel, films that don’t require thinking, or gory deaths.

MM@C4Logo1ajclogo2by @anarchyroll
4/25/2014

Arnold Schwarzenegger in a ‘R’ rated action movie, if that doesn’t sell you on Sabotage then it’s not the movie for you.

If you remember Arnold’s prime and know what renting VHS tapes means, then you want to see this movie whether you will admit it or not.

If you are younger and first discovered Arnold as Mr. Freeze or as the Governor of California, then what may sell you on this movie is that it is easily the goriest action movie I have ever seen. Not just bullets, knives, and explosions but horror movie gore. Horror movies have exploded into a super genre in the past fifteen years, Sabotage is the action movie for the young horror film fan generation.

I was honestly surprised how much this movie didn’t phone it in. I was expecting formulaic characters, scenarios, and action scenes with a few mods here and there or the movie equivalent of the Call of Duty or Madden video game franchises. Sabotage had it’s share of formula, but for each example of formula there was at least one if not two deliberate twists in character development and plot to keep me interested.

The movie did drag in the middle on it’s way to the climax and conflict resolutions but the beginning and ending packed more than a punch to move this movie out of Average-ville. There was even a good shooter scene to stop the drag in the middle from stretching too long. I certainly didn’t see the last twist before the final scene coming, mainly because the action scene that preceded it was high octane enough to pull my mind away from guessing what was coming next, and fully into the craziness I was seeing in front of my eyes at the moment.

There is a nice mix of camera tricks, color saturation, extreme close ups, wide shots, one liners, explosions, gun fights, and a clear effort by cast and crew to get themselves and this project over. The movie appeared to me to have had a limited budget. In an past era of lower production value, this would have been a straight to video release. But there is just enough of everything that matters to warrant a nationwide theater release. There is more than enough of action and attempted innovation to warrant a recommendation to see Sabotage in my opinion.

In the era of Netflix and Redbox I certainly recommend this movie for the price one will have to pay for it as part of a bulk streaming service plan. It isn’t too long and will make for good popcorn fodder. Any fan of Arnold or of gory horror films will appreciate Sabotage. It’s not gonna change minds or change the world, it’s not meant to, it’s an AHHHNALD action movie. If it’s not a crazy epic comic book movie, then I wouldn’t want my action movie any other way.

MM@C4Logo1ajclogo2

by @anarchyroll
2/19/2014

The 2014 reboot of the RoboCop franchise has drawn a lot of ire since it came out. Surprise surprise, science fiction fans taking entertainment more seriously than their own life’s purpose. I read so many negative reviews on Twitter and in various news publications I went to see it expecting the worst. Though it was hard to imagine that a cast of Samuel Jackson, Michael Keaton, and Gary Oldman could be in a steaming pile of shit.

It’s funny, since studying film formally I have come to be less rigid about what I deem a good or bad film as opposed to more snobby or wannabe elitist. RoboCop is not War and Peace on film, it shouldn’t be confused with Gone with the Wind. It’s a fantasy movie about a cop who becomes a half man, half robot law enforcement machine. So check the rigid criteria for modern cinema masterpiece at the door and have some fun.

I have seen the original RoboCop, probably more times than I should have. Both incarnations satirize modern culture, both attempt to have heart, both development characters, both have all you can eat buffets of gunfire. One can dislike both or prefer one over the other, but I have a hard time seeing why a person would like the 80s version and not the 2014 version.

The movie feels slightly rushed as most movies made in the last twenty years do. But there is no shortage of time spent establishing why you as an audience member should care about the plight of Detective Alex Murphy. I could have used less mushy character development, but I appreciated it being there. There was a good balance between series acting time and lets fire off a ton of bullets time. I will say that this version is less bloody/gory than in the 80s version.

There are several obvious and subtle nods to the original film. My personal favorite was one of the villains saying “I wouldn’t buy that for a dollar.” I was surprised to see Murphy’s partner Lewis go from a white woman to a black man but whatever, as a second or third tier character it wasn’t a big deal and didn’t add nor subtract anything of substance to/from the film.

I enjoyed Sam Jackson’s parody of a Fox News anchor and the satire of drone based war drum beating. Abbie Cornish is forgettable as she usually is. Gary Oldman is Gary Oldman. Michael Keaton making a rare appearance this side of 1994 plays a far less menacing villain of Omnicorp than Ronnie Cox.  I can see that being a problem for some folks. Shout out to Jay Baruchel for doing his comedic thing in a supporting role to lighten the mood.

I thought Joel Kinnaman acted his ass off for a action sci-fi film. Peter Weller left big shoes to fill as Alex Murphy. If one sees this film and doesn’t like it, Kinnaman’s acting surely won’ t be a reason why.

RoboCop is worth checking out in the theater as action movies lend themselves better to the theater experience by nature. Check it on Netflix when it makes it there if you like the original and compare the two yourself. The door is left open for sequels, and I would LOVE to see RoboCop 2 get a remake. Taking a serial killer and putting him in a bigger, better machine. I think director José Padilha could do some good work with that idea. Plus it would be hard to do worse than the RoboCop sequels and shitty SyFy channel min series’ that no one who dislikes this movie cares to remember.