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Clipperton
Dec 20, 2011


Grimey Drawer

Happy 74th John Woo

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Megaman's Jockstrap
Jul 16, 2000

What a horrible thread to have a post.


Respect to the master.

Lumbermouth
Mar 6, 2008

Have fun watching wrestling
Because wrestling's fun


Boco_T posted:

Tubi added, apparently, 144 action movies: https://www.justwatch.com/us/provid...vies?genres=act
Bulletproof Monk
American Ninja 1-3
House of Flying Daggers
Ong Bak 3

Tubi now has Way of the Gun, which I still don't know if I enjoy but the action in it is top-notch. You can still see a lot of its DNA in the more recent McQuarrie movies.

ruddiger
Jun 3, 2004

Crook County

Oh hell yeah, Tubi has Cocaine Wars.

Lobok
Jul 13, 2006




That "now on videocassette" line looks like a row out of a word search.

Boco_T
Mar 12, 2003

la calaca tilica y flaca


Mixed bag this week.

The Hunted (2003) - 4/5, Tubi
This is a movie, ostensibly, about Tommy Lee Jones hopping over things. Benicio del Toro gets PTSD from killing people with a knife in Kosovo and starts killing other people with a knife. The only one that can stop him is the man that taught him the knife, Tommy Lee Jones, who must use a knife of his own. It's a knife film.

And it is really very good. William Friedkin makes the fights in this movie look like nothing I've seen before. They don't look like movie fights, but they also don't look like real fights. They exist in some kind of liminal space between the two. And they are broken up by a non-existent plot that manages to include multiple long sequences of Tommy Lee Jones tracking del Toro over hill and dale, hopping and crawling, while a bed of soft suspenseful music plays. It's really something.

Wrong Side of Town (2010) - 1.5/5, Tubi
I don't understand why, if you're making a movie with wrestlers, you don't just let them do wrestling stunts to make the action sequences better. If Rob Van Dam can't do a Van Daminator to a generic thug, then what am I watching for? This movie is all cutting around punches.

This movie has a special charm to it that makes it more watchable than the rating would suggest. The action directing is bad, and the plot is even worse, but there are enough funny moments, unintentional or not, in 80 minutes that I didn't hate myself afterwards. The fight between Dave Bautista and Marrese Crump is actually very good.

Plus you inexplicably get to see Rob Van Dam inject steroids, for no reason whatsoever.

El Gringo (2012) - 2/5, Amazon Prime
This is one that tests what the baseline score is for a movie with great stunts and fights, but almost nothing else to offer. It's 20 minutes too long, it's impossible to figure out why anything is happening, and it keeps doing things stylistically that approach being cool but never actually get there. None of the jokes are funny and there is zero reason for Christian Slater to be here, but you get like half an hour of real good quality Scott Adkins so you don't walk away with nothing.

Snowman_McK
Jan 31, 2010
ASK ME ABOUT MY SELF-PUBLISHED WARHAMMER FANFICTION AND MY KNIFE COLLECTION


Boco_T posted:

Mixed bag this week.

The Hunted (2003) - 4/5, Tubi
This is a movie, ostensibly, about Tommy Lee Jones hopping over things. Benicio del Toro gets PTSD from killing people with a knife in Kosovo and starts killing other people with a knife. The only one that can stop him is the man that taught him the knife, Tommy Lee Jones, who must use a knife of his own. It's a knife film.

And it is really very good. William Friedkin makes the fights in this movie look like nothing I've seen before. They don't look like movie fights, but they also don't look like real fights. They exist in some kind of liminal space between the two. And they are broken up by a non-existent plot that manages to include multiple long sequences of Tommy Lee Jones tracking del Toro

The Hunted loving rules. Seriously. I caught it on TV many, many years ago, and it's become one of my favourite films to throw on. As you say, the plot is thin at best. But there's so much loving style. Also, for a kind of schlubby looking dude, Benicio Del Toro has played two extremely convincing fight men. (I assume you've seen Way of the Gun. If not, get on that)

Inspector 34
Mar 9, 2009
DOES NOT RESPECT THE RUN

BUT THEY WILL



Stupid movie trivia: the guy who owns my company's building also owns a tank. Supposedly he rented it out to The Hunted when they were filming here in Portland. I like to imagine big 'ol jolly Joe driving that thing around a simulated war zone with a big grin on his face, just like when he rides his vintage Schwinn bike around their property every evening.

Disposable Scud
Oct 13, 2012

Live Slow Die Whenever

I love The Hunted. Story is whatever but those stunts are dope.

Snowman_McK
Jan 31, 2010
ASK ME ABOUT MY SELF-PUBLISHED WARHAMMER FANFICTION AND MY KNIFE COLLECTION


I would describe it as narratively thin but thematically rich. It was a good return to form for Friedkin after 'Rules of Engagement' which probably has the weirdest message of any war film i've seen.

GoodyTwoShoes
Oct 26, 2013


Boco_T posted:

El Gringo (2012) - 2/5, Amazon Prime
This is one that tests what the baseline score is for a movie with great stunts and fights, but almost nothing else to offer. It's 20 minutes too long, it's impossible to figure out why anything is happening, and it keeps doing things stylistically that approach being cool but never actually get there. None of the jokes are funny and there is zero reason for Christian Slater to be here, but you get like half an hour of real good quality Scott Adkins so you don't walk away with nothing.

I'm not sure if the "patching up the bleeding hero" scene is a prime example of "Hollywood First Aid" or if it's making fun of "Hollywood first aid" being as bad as "Hollywood CPR," but it was really annoying. Tourniquets instead of bandages, never going to the side the wound is on, never cleaning the area. At least they didn't remove a bullet that didn't need removing.

married but discreet
May 7, 2005




Taco Defender

Watched The Hunted. Intense dad energy, excellent knife fights.

ruddiger
Jun 3, 2004

Crook County

The Hunted owns so loving much, the simplicity is its beauty.

Like, even the title is utilitarian.

Snowman_McK
Jan 31, 2010
ASK ME ABOUT MY SELF-PUBLISHED WARHAMMER FANFICTION AND MY KNIFE COLLECTION


Also, Johnny Cash's opening narration may be one of the best uses of narration in film. I'm not kidding.

ruddiger
Jun 3, 2004

Crook County

And Cash closes it out too.

When I hear him say “god said to Abraham, kill me a son,” it makes me want to wooo like ric flair.

married but discreet
May 7, 2005




Taco Defender

I definitely woo'd when it came up.

Al Cu Ad Solte
Nov 30, 2005
Searching for
a righteous cause


I didn't like The Hunted the first time I saw it and I don't know why. I rewatched it last year with a friend of mine and was enthralled. There's some bizarre choices in direction that I feel create this strange sense of hyperreality of the film, like the fact that the blades don't tumble end over end when they're thrown, they all zip through the air blade first like an arrow. Kind of like how all the gunfire in Terminator 2 sounds utterly bizarre.

Southpaugh
May 26, 2007

Smokey Bacon



Thread watch Guns Akimbo?

Very fun very modern action film with daniel radcliffe and samara weaving with Ned Dennehy as the antagonist. Really enjoyed it.

Since this has been floating around irish twitter again today, and its such an incredible oddity, I present the finest martial arts film Ireland has ever produced.

Fatal Deviation

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IPne3Wh0lqk

I think the youtube version is the only way to see it these days.

The lead James "Jimmy" Bennett thought me karate in my first ever martial arts classes and all I remember about him really is that he was a spectacular shade of crimson and turned to puce as a class went on. He was also very loud but I can ki-ya with the best of them having had his tutelage.

Snowman_McK
Jan 31, 2010
ASK ME ABOUT MY SELF-PUBLISHED WARHAMMER FANFICTION AND MY KNIFE COLLECTION


Southpaugh posted:

Thread watch Guns Akimbo?

Very fun very modern action film with daniel radcliffe and samara weaving with Ned Dennehy as the antagonist. Really enjoyed it.

Since this has been floating around irish twitter again today, and its such an incredible oddity, I present the finest martial arts film Ireland has ever produced.

Fatal Deviation

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IPne3Wh0lqk

I think the youtube version is the only way to see it these days.

The lead James "Jimmy" Bennett thought me karate in my first ever martial arts classes and all I remember about him really is that he was a spectacular shade of crimson and turned to puce as a class went on. He was also very loud but I can ki-ya with the best of them having had his tutelage.

Guns Akimbo was really odd. The director had previously made this small scale and very charming film called 'Deathgasm' about metal heads fighting demons in a small New Zealand town. Guns Akimbo, his first big project, didn't have the problem i expected. He moves the camera really well, it looks like a big movie, so either he's got good instincts or listened to his second unit. Either way, high marks. The physical comedy, and capturing actors moving in the shot, is great. However, the verbal comedy, the part you'd think he'd be more comfortable with, was just kind of off. Every line felt a little too long for the beat it was in.

midge
Mar 15, 2004

World's finest snatch.


Checked out Death Race: Beyond Anarchy this weekend. Awful script, lovely acting, it's a great sequel. There's a lot of boobies and cars too!

Al Cu Ad Solte
Nov 30, 2005
Searching for
a righteous cause


Is it common for second units to shoot most of the action in films? I was reading this interview with Christopher Nolan and he mentioned he doesn't have a second unit, he shoots everything himself. Which made me wonder, I understand that movies are huge and a logistical nightmare, but wowie why would you want to direct an action movie...but not shoot the action yourself? Maybe that's not as common as I think? Some behind the scenes stuff for John Wick 3 showed Chad Stahelski on set and by the camera for just about every sequence.

LesterGroans
Jun 9, 2009

It's funny...

You were so scary at night.


Al Cu Ad Solte posted:

Is it common for second units to shoot most of the action in films? I was reading this interview with Christopher Nolan and he mentioned he doesn't have a second unit, he shoots everything himself. Which made me wonder, I understand that movies are huge and a logistical nightmare, but wowie why would you want to direct an action movie...but not shoot the action yourself? Maybe that's not as common as I think? Some behind the scenes stuff for John Wick 3 showed Chad Stahelski on set and by the camera for just about every sequence.

The Marvel films pretty famously shoot their action as second-unit stuff.

dokmo
Aug 26, 2006

man


Morbid Hound

Al Cu Ad Solte posted:

Is it common for second units to shoot most of the action in films? I was reading this interview with Christopher Nolan and he mentioned he doesn't have a second unit, he shoots everything himself. Which made me wonder, I understand that movies are huge and a logistical nightmare, but wowie why would you want to direct an action movie...but not shoot the action yourself? Maybe that's not as common as I think? Some behind the scenes stuff for John Wick 3 showed Chad Stahelski on set and by the camera for just about every sequence.

many (most?) big budget action movies bring in second unit specialists, guys like Spiro Razatos and Dan Bradley are known for putting together big spectacle sequences. In the past there were guys like Vic Armstrong performing that role. There are also guys you bring in specifically for fight scenes, like Jeff Imada. I don't know anything about superhero movies, i assume there are action specialists working in those as well who get 2nd unit director credits.

ruddiger
Jun 3, 2004

Crook County

Al Cu Ad Solte posted:

Is it common for second units to shoot most of the action in films? I was reading this interview with Christopher Nolan and he mentioned he doesn't have a second unit, he shoots everything himself. Which made me wonder, I understand that movies are huge and a logistical nightmare, but wowie why would you want to direct an action movie...but not shoot the action yourself? Maybe that's not as common as I think? Some behind the scenes stuff for John Wick 3 showed Chad Stahelski on set and by the camera for just about every sequence.

Something 40% of T2 is all second unit, including most of the big stunts like the LA River chase.

Narzack
Sep 15, 2008


I figure a lot of times, it would just be a matter of scheduling. You've got all kinda of spectacle and chaos that you can cut in, that maybe don't involve the main actors, so you let second unit stuff shoot that, like cars exploding or stunt dudes flying through poo poo, and the director works with the more key performance elements.

Lobok
Jul 13, 2006




The Bond franchise used second units for action a lot, too.

PeterCat
Apr 8, 2020



Would the main director have decided all of the shots via storyboard before shooting? Would the 2nd unit just carry out that plan or are they given more autonomy?

Julius CSAR
Oct 3, 2007

Shut up and die like an aviator.

Lumbermouth posted:

Tubi now has Way of the Gun, which I still don't know if I enjoy but the action in it is top-notch. You can still see a lot of its DNA in the more recent McQuarrie movies.

Way of the Gun is one my favorites. The weapons stuff is just top notch. Better than Heat in some instances. When Juliette Lewis starts walking to the police car and Del Toro puts three rounds into the windshield to stop her, you hear the rounds hit the windshield and then the hear the report of the rifle. Amazing sound design the whole movie.

Also James Caan saying “adjudicate”

Lumbermouth
Mar 6, 2008

Have fun watching wrestling
Because wrestling's fun


Julius CSAR posted:

Way of the Gun is one my favorites. The weapons stuff is just top notch. Better than Heat in some instances. When Juliette Lewis starts walking to the police car and Del Toro puts three rounds into the windshield to stop her, you hear the rounds hit the windshield and then the hear the report of the rifle. Amazing sound design the whole movie.

Also James Caan saying “adjudicate”

It's also a movie with a great director's commentary. Like I said above, I'm still not sure if I enjoy the movie as a whole, but I now know McQuarrie's rationale behind every choice he made.

dokmo
Aug 26, 2006

man


Morbid Hound

PeterCat posted:

Would the main director have decided all of the shots via storyboard before shooting? Would the 2nd unit just carry out that plan or are they given more autonomy?

In general big action scenes are very difficult to storyboard, there's just too many cuts, too many changes take place during the shooting. (Fury Road is the big exception to this, almost all the action was storyboarded.) I think a lot of modern action movies pre viz action scenes either on computers or with stuntmen shooting on rudimentary sets in a gym to work out the best shots. I'm sure the director has story beats he wants built into the sequence and maybe some hero shots that he definitely wants, but I believe in most cases the whole sequence is largely in the hands of the 2nd unit director. There's a lot of variation to this. Jackie Chan famously didn't choreograph anything until he got to the location to shoot, as he wanted to build the location into the action as much as possible. On lower budget movies where there is no 2nd unit, the director and stunt/fight coordinator usually work very closely to choreograph the action—in the Raid movies, they extensively prevized everything on cardboard sets, as this time is much cheaper than working stuff out on location while shooting. In big budget action movies they will sometimes bring in a big name 2nd unit guy specifically for coming up with a cool sequence, I'm sure in these cases the 2nd unit director is given a lot of leeway. For example, on Bourne Identity, there was a stunt where a guy jumps off a rooftop and into a window on the next building, it was Dan Bradley who came up with the shot that tracked the jump by giving a stuntman a camera and telling him to jump off the roof following the first stuntman, a truly great shot.

Narzack
Sep 15, 2008


I think John Woo doesn't really choreograph til he's on set, either.

Lobok
Jul 13, 2006




Choreographing before a set seems kind of lovely. Having a fight or action sequence that could be transplanted anywhere else and end up being the same is, well, lame.

Boco_T
Mar 12, 2003

la calaca tilica y flaca


I've watched a movie every day this week so I'm just going to post some of my reviews now instead of waiting until Sunday again.

Ring of Fire III: Lion Strike (1995) - 2/5, Amazon Prime
Johnny is a kickboxing master, an expert marksman, and a DOCTOR. And it doesn't even matter, because Don "The Dragon" Wilson is so charismatic and good at fights that the movie is very charming. It also somehow has an endless budget for explosions, which works strongly in its favor.

The plot of the movie is that this kickboxing champion doctor somehow stumbles into a plot where a mega organized crime alliance of the Russian mob, the mafia, the triads, the yakuza, and the Colombian cartel are teaming up to deal in nuclear weapons and stopping them will take running around in the woods a bunch, and roundhouse kicks.

Keep your eyes peeled for a pre-Spawn Michael Jai White.

Best of the Best 3: No Turning Back (1995) - 1.5/5, Hoopla
This is a movie about Phillip Rhee battling an army of Nazis. The problem is that the movie spends the first 45 minutes doubling, tripling down on how awful the Nazis are, and then they barely suffer any consequences by the end of the movie. Most are dispatched with a single roundhouse kick to the face. I don't need gruesome violence out of every action movie that I see, but these are Nazis!

Rhee directed this and has managed to make his own fights look mostly awful. Classic "camera in too close, cutting around all the punches" style that takes away all of the impact of the action.

The one positive of the film is the 90s action standard of "unlimited explosion budget" means you get a few entertaining stunts to go with the disappointing other parts.

Interrogation (2016) - 1/5, Vudu
It was pretty difficult for me to believe that this was from the same director as 12 Rounds 3: Lockdown. Neither Edge nor this script are on the same level as that one.

Edge somehow manages to have no charisma as a leading man. The few fights do seem closer to "wrestling stunts" than you get in a lot of movies with a wrestler as a lead, so they're not the worst thing in the movie. But all the aspects of his character are truly dumb and add nothing to the story.

The script is pseudo-deep, where it keeps feeling like it is just nibbling around the edge of having an idea of its own but never quite getting there. And the "shocking ending" doesn't get you points if it's this bad.

Another major thing that put me off of this movie was that it looked so routine in its shots. The framing and quality and look all made it feel like an episode of Criminal Minds or something, not a film.

Escape Plan (2013) - 4/5
This movie was even better than I was expecting. The plot is so insane that it loops back around to being awesome, Ray Breslin is a tremendous character, everything looks extremely cool, and the action is good.

It's almost weird for me to see a movie like this with an actual budget where famous actors play the minor characters, because I'm so used to stuff like this where the only names they can afford are the ones on the poster.

I love a prison break, I love a labyrinthine plot with the thinnest of motivations, and I love Stallone and Schwarzenegger. God, Escape Plan ruled. (Yes, I'm going to watch the two DTV sequels where Dave Bautista replaces Arnold.)

Megaman's Jockstrap
Jul 16, 2000

What a horrible thread to have a post.


Yeah, if your villains are Nazis, they gotta die horribly. Chekov's Nazi.

Shrimp or Shrimps
Feb 14, 2012


dokmo posted:

For example, on Bourne Identity, there was a stunt where a guy jumps off a rooftop and into a window on the next building, it was Dan Bradley who came up with the shot that tracked the jump by giving a stuntman a camera and telling him to jump off the roof following the first stuntman, a truly great shot.

That shot is such a memorable shot and I've only watched that Bourne film once (I think it was the third? Ultimatum?) but I can envision that shot instantly. It's actually quicker than you expect, but just really cool.

They try to recreate it somewhat in Extraction, and while it's cool, it just lacks something.

Julius CSAR
Oct 3, 2007

Shut up and die like an aviator.

Watched The Rock the other night.

Goddamn if that isn’t just the absolute pinnacle of high concept action movies. Pairing Nick Cage and Sean Connery is fantastic.

So many great lines “Winners go home and gently caress the prom queen.”

“I getting out of this shithole and going to Orkin to design roach motels. Cool huh?” Just about everything that comes out of Ed Harris’ mouth.

Also one of my favorite car chases ever. There’s a shot that taken from far away with a long focal length of the Ferrari as it blasts away from intersection with like, heat waves coming from a fire between the camera and the car and it just looks so cool with the music. Goddamn that movie kicks rear end

At about 2:20 in this clip
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RA-txZPC1KU

Basebf555
Feb 29, 2008

The greatest sensual pleasure there is is to know the desires of another!



Fun Shoe

Shrimp or Shrimps posted:

That shot is such a memorable shot and I've only watched that Bourne film once (I think it was the third? Ultimatum?) but I can envision that shot instantly. It's actually quicker than you expect, but just really cool.

They try to recreate it somewhat in Extraction, and while it's cool, it just lacks something.

It helps that the shot transitions right into probably the best fight scene of the whole Bourne series.

jojoinnit
Dec 13, 2010

Strength and speed, that's why you're a special agent.


Basebf555 posted:

It helps that the shot transitions right into probably the best fight scene of the whole Bourne series.

Second best. For me that apartment fight in Identity was perfect move for move and at best they only equalled it later.

Boco_T
Mar 12, 2003

la calaca tilica y flaca


I've watched an action movie every day of May so far.

Bad Boys for Life (2020) - 3.5/5
The first hour of this I'm sitting there going "nothing is happening and none of the jokes are funny, is this a dud?" But then the movie kicks into high gear, it seems like even the script starts to click, and you get several all-timer action sequences. The story is whatever and I would have definitely been happier with 30 of the first 60 minutes chopped out, but overall I am very happy that this was made and that I got to watch it.

Wake of Death (2004) - 2/5, Amazon Prime
Jean-Claude Van Damme does a Death Wish and the results are not bad. The stunt work and gun violence are very good, though the hand-to-hand fighting has too much cutting around the action. Which is a shame, because this is a Knife Guy movie so the close combat deserves better.

The other major drawback is that the movie's extremely serious Death Wish plot means that it's missing the ounce of self-awareness necessary to balance against the truly ridiculous plot that.

Also, I barely ever find that the music is a notable part of a film, so it's saying something that I'm going out of my way here to say that the music in this movie is obnoxious and distracting.

The violence, though, the violence is good.

Kickboxer: Vengeance (2016) - 2.5/5, Netflix
A enjoyable but flawed film. The stunts are good, the fight choreography is good, and there is so much star power if you are me, a person who recognizes Fabricio Werdum and Joe Valtellini. There are multiple training montages but they are charming, like the rest of the movie.

The problem is that the fight editing kills all the fights. The combo of shaky cam and too many cuts make it extremely disorienting.

The other negative for me is Alain Moussi as a leading man, unfortunately. He is, at least, in fourth place in terms of charisma in the film behind Van Damme, Bautista, and St-Pierre. I'm not sure if it is possible for him to grow into that.

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Olympic Mathlete
Feb 25, 2011



I haven't seen The Running Man for a loooooooong time so I'm treating myself this evening. Film owns.

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