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Narzack
Sep 15, 2008


MrBling posted:


It has been surprisingly bloodless so far, despite Bruce killing three guys with about 10 bullets to each man. The actual gunplay seems a bit flat too, as well the gun sounds. Maybe that just comes with that fake noir style they went with.

That's interestingto me, because I feel the opposite. I've always liked the loudness of the guns and the way dudes fly fifty feet from the impact of a bullet.

Also, "it'll hurt if I do."

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Narzack
Sep 15, 2008


Are there any action directors you guys will watch anytime? I'll watch most anything from John Woo, Jackie Chan, Stanley Tong, Sammo Hung, Neil Marshall, Joe Carnahan, or Martin Campbell.

And making that little list, it seems to me that there aren't too many 'action' directors in the west, apart from the DTV guys.

Why is that, do you think? Horror has genre directors, as does sci fi, and comedy, but it seems like there aren't that many strong action directors.

Narzack
Sep 15, 2008


mobby_6kl posted:

I watched the original Kickboxer yesterday and it was kind of a disappointment. I din't expect miracles obviously but I loved Bloodsport and this felt way weaker, probably because it's a more cliche revenge quest instead of the ridiculous kumite setup, and less runtime is spent on JCVD kicking people in the face in favor of a extended training montages. The fights that were there also didn't feel as good as the ones in Bloodsport, although it's been a while since I watched that.

You're right; Bloodsport is a better movie, but I think Kickboxer has better music. Also Van Damme dancing.Van Damcing? Van Dancing?

LORD OF BOOTY posted:

I feel like a lot of this is that Hollywood action is very star-driven, rather than being auteur-driven. Commando, Terminator 2, and Total Recall are all totally different movies by totally different directors, but they're typically talked about as being of a piece with each other, due to the shared factor of Schwarzenegger. Stallone's movies get similar treatment.

Yeah, you're probably right. I think the 80's action star trend really did a number on Hollywood. Sorta like how Saving Private Ryan and the Matrix ruined action movies from the 2000's till pretty recently.

Although, that reminds me to add John McTiernan to the list, criminal though he is.

Narzack
Sep 15, 2008


Wheat Loaf posted:

I suppose there's always Michael Bay.

Yeah, I just thought of that. And, I know he's pretty easy to hate, but I believe he has his strengths, particularly lighting and composition. And when he's on, he's very good, such as the highway chase in Bad Boys 2. And when he's off, he's pretty terrible, such as most of the Transformers movies.

Narzack
Sep 15, 2008


If this was 2010, then, yeah, I'd add him to the list of action directors I'd watch. But, as with a lot of Hollywood, once he got huge budgets, his movies became pretty soulless and empty. Just loud, chaotic cartoons. I mean, I should have suspected something was up when he shot nearly all of 300 on a green screen with a rock.

I reallydo believe that large budgets hurt the actiongenre. It thrives in the 20-80 million range, ala the Joel Silver and Simpson/Bruckheimer movies. They could also afford to be R-rated. With the budgets now so high, they're all chasing that lovely pg-13 demo.

You say, but Bay has enormous budgets! And, yes he does, but so much of his mayhem is done in-camera, with practical effects and real stuntmen and real pyro.

Basically, we are in need of a mid-budget savior.

Narzack
Sep 15, 2008


From 2 on, they're great fun. I also hated the first movie, but, on a whim, watched the second on cable some ten years ago and became a fan of the world in which all problems can be solved by driving.

Narzack
Sep 15, 2008


MrBling posted:

Finally got around to re-watching The Last Boy Scout.

Reading all the behind scenes stuff about this just makes it even crazier that they managed to string together a pretty decent action movie. The fact that Willis and Wayans supposedly hated each other on set doesn't show at all.

Willis plays like a hypermacho version of John McClane and I'm not really sure if that is him wanting to be a "real" action star or the studio simply wanting more Die Hard.

Also, lol:



I guess they went bigger by not just throwing the bad guy off of a tall thing, but having him get sliced by a helicopter on the way down. And then having the big villain get blown up alongside a big chunk of the neighbourhood, just to really drive home how dead he was.


I haven't seen it in a long time, but I remember thinking it was such a grimy, unpleasant, kinda mean-spirited movie. Those aren't really faults, mind you. Just the world of the movie was one I didn't want to inhabit.

I do love the jig, though.

Narzack
Sep 15, 2008


Yeah, it rules. It was also one of the first R-rated films I actually had permission to watch. Plus, the whole sequence where the terrorists take over the plane is intense as hell.

Narzack
Sep 15, 2008


Yeah, it sucked. Such an easy premise, too.

Narzack
Sep 15, 2008


What do you guys think are some of the most perfect action sequences in western film? I say western, because I’m trying to stay away from martial arts movies, as it’s kinda easy mode. I mean, how can you top the end of Drunken Master 2, or the teahouse shootout from Hardboiled? Jet Li vs the General at the end of Fist of Legend? Also, it feels to me that the western action scene is a carefully crafted beast, more of a showcase of the director and editor, whereas the martial arts scenes are usually showcases of the performers themselves. Which isn’t to say that one is better than the other, though, I think it can be argued that there is a purity and value in seeing just how good some of the performers are.

The movies themselves don’t have to be good, just should have an incredible action scene.

I thought about putting something from Saving Private Ryan or Blackhawk Down, but I feel that war movies shouldn’t really count, as they’re not really meant to be enjoyed.

So, I suppose for the sake of easy parameters, I’ll keep it to western film. If I had to list my top five, I think it’d be:

The Truck chase from Raiders- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F1ZyHNmb1yU&t=444s

The semi chase from Bad Boys 2-
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2mrPXPI9zA8

Opening from Goldeneye-
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bG0ubyDFP_Y

Bloodrave from Blade-
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gHBhKbF2xMA

Lobby shootout from the Matrix-
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iuslUzbJEaw

To me, these are like masterclasses in how to do a compelling action scene, complete with their own structure, goals, and themes. Each one serves a purpose within the film; it’s not just filler.

Honorable mentions include the tank chase from Goldeneye, tanker chase from License to Kill, finale of Rambo 4, 1950s Biff chasing Marty on the kid’s board from Back to the Future, and the street shootout from Heat- though I know I’ll get reamed for not putting it in my top five.

So, yeah, what do you dudes think? Anytime you try to list a top-anything, you’ll definitely forget something that you know belongs, so I know my list is terribly imperfect, but I think it’s a start. Plus, maybe we’ll turn each other on to some hidden gems.

EDIT- As I lay in bed waiting to fall asleep, I've thought of, like, fifteen other scenes I should have listed. Haha, oh well.

Narzack fucked around with this message at 02:55 on Mar 8, 2018

Narzack
Sep 15, 2008


Not only that, but every single shot is pretty much perfection.

Narzack
Sep 15, 2008


Payndz posted:

I think I said it upthread, but I'll reiterate my opinion that the Raiders truck chase is still the single greatest action sequence ever filmed. It's seven minutes long, but it's a mini-movie in its own right: not a shot is wasted, it constantly escalates and continually tops itself, the peril Indy is in keeps rising - and bar one miniature and one matte shot, it was all done for real. The stunts, the camerawork, the sound effects, the editing, the music... it's pretty much perfect.

Hell, I'm going to watch it again right now just because I can.

I think I agree. I can't think of anything that tops it.

Narzack
Sep 15, 2008


A lot of good action movie talk in this thread. One of the frustrating things about action cinema post-Saving Private Ryan and the Matrix is that while movies in the 80s and 90s understood the importance of coherent camera work, movies after SPR and Matrix took the worst elements of both by misunderstanding what made them so great.

For instance, the handheld camera of SPR was pretty revolutionary, at least in the way it was utilized. But, then movies after that took the shakycam and bungled it, not using it to heighten tension, but to disguise poor stuntwork. And the same thing happened with the Matrix. Because Keanu and company had loads of training and choreography Yuen Wu Ping, audiences were treated to stunning action sequences performed by the actors themselves. After that, other movies had their actors doing their own fight scenes, but because they weren't given the adequate training, the filmmakers were forced to hide their shortcomings with close-ups and overactive editing. Which also tied in with their poor use of shakycam.

I mean, the first Bourne was okay, because, though it wasn't great camerawork and editing, enough room was given that Damon could show off the moves he was actually doing. Compare that to Supremacy and Greengrass' spastic camera and editing, where you can't see poo poo. You just have to hope and trust that something cool is happening on screen. Totally frustrating.

Narzack
Sep 15, 2008


Payndz posted:

I disagree here; I find Supremacy and Ultimatum two cases where shakycam is actually used well. The camera is always moving and the cuts are fast, but everything is framed so that the viewer can tell what they're supposed to be looking at in each shot. I never had any trouble following what was happening even on first viewing in the cinema. YMMV, clearly.

Something I find way more obnoxious is shutter-fuckery to give a strobing, no-motion-blur effect, as popularised by Ryan and Gladiator. Thankfully the fad seems to have passed, but there was a period when action sequences all looked like second-rate stop motion. Combine with shakycam and Bay-style choppy editing and you get a recipe for nausea.

This is interesting to me, because I'm pretty much landing on the exact opposite from you. While I found Ultimatum better, I think Supremacy was pretty horrible in that regard. For me, the camera was poorly framed, for the most part it was sort of an MCU, legs cut off, arms flailing out of shot, and the camera shaking wildly without any good reason. SPR was mimicking the war photography of the time, which was basically just a dude in the poo poo who couldn't shoot back. Terribly effective, since we'd never really been given an grunt's-eye view of the terror and horror of war. In most other films, Bourne included, there's no reason for a shakycam, other than to make up for the stunts and actors' shortcomings.

Similarly, I'm okay with the choppy motion of a 45 angle shutter. For me, it kind of makes things a bit more hyperreal, with movement more aggressive and light is harsher.

Narzack
Sep 15, 2008


Coming back to the Yen vs Chan debate, I think one of the things that appeal to me about Chan is his fights are about overcoming his opponents through desperation, luck, and endurance. Whereas Yen's fights tend to just demonstrate his mastery and dominance of opponents.

Narzack
Sep 15, 2008


Fart City posted:

You think Yen’s bad, you oughta look at some of Seagal’s old stuff. It’s absurd how god-tier untouchable he’s made out to be in his fight scenes. I mean he kills Tommy Lee Jones like five times in as many seconds at the end of Under Siege.

That element of give-and-take in a fight scene is really important. Not just in terms of pacing, but in terms of establishing stakes for the protagonist. When they’re not there, it’s very noticeable.

I totally agree. Seagal has always been about abusing his stuntmen in increasingly bloody ways. Yen's fights, even at his most arrogant, are always a marvel to behold.

Narzack
Sep 15, 2008


I'd go Face/Off, MI2, Windtalkers, Broken Arrow, Hard Target, Blackjack, Paycheck.

Narzack
Sep 15, 2008


It's got railguns, too.

Narzack
Sep 15, 2008


I love how chunky sound was in 90s action. Everything was so meaty and thudding.

Narzack
Sep 15, 2008


Basebf555 posted:

The rail guns have this effect almost like if the person was being hit by a giant spear thrown by the Predator. You see the green trail as the bullet goes through them, making it seem kinda like they're being impaled, and they get violently thrown back instead of just dropping like a sack of potatoes. It was a pretty neat effect actually, still holds up imo.

They're kinda like the Farsight gun from Perfect Dark, but with the cool spiral effect and rail sound from Quake 2.

Narzack
Sep 15, 2008


Since it was brought up in the horror movie thread, I want to go on record saying the first Ninja Turtles movie rules.

EDIT- Actually, I like them all a lot. The second movie has Keno, for heaven's sake! And old grizzled dirty feudal Casey Jones is in the third one. And the first cg movie was cool, too. The new live action ones are dumb, though, they do have their personalities pretty on-point.

Narzack fucked around with this message at 20:08 on Mar 25, 2018

Narzack
Sep 15, 2008


Fart City posted:

That first flick rules pretty hard. It's got some legit atmosphere to it, and is weird and grimy in a way that I really dig. The fight choreography ain't bad either, which is impressive considering the costumes the stuntpeople had to work with.

Casey Jones spending his nights hanging out in the trees in Central Park just to beat up rando perverts should be its own movie.

Oh, yeah, for sure. The fights are so good that until a few years ago, I didn't even make the connection that performers were fighting those giant rubber suits. Like, it never really registered.

Narzack fucked around with this message at 01:23 on Mar 26, 2018

Narzack
Sep 15, 2008


Fart City posted:

This jumped up on my list big time right around the kitchen fight scene with the lead getting horrified at the violence his body doles out.

Plus, I was a big fan of The Invitation, so it’s nice to see Logan Marshall-Green getting some attention outside of being asked to sign Tom Hardy’s autograph on the steeet.

Yeah, man, this looks cool. Kinda like Death Sentence, future version. And, yeah, I totally thought this dude was Tom Hardy in Prometheus.

Narzack
Sep 15, 2008


His beard did half the heavy lifting for him in The Invitation

Narzack
Sep 15, 2008


Wheat Loaf posted:

I've got a whole stack of movies to get through before that, though. Some of them I've seen before, others are new to me.

Have to finally watch The Untouchables and see if Connery deserved the Oscar or not.

I like it a lot. Like a lot of his movies, it rules despite having Kevin Costner in it.

Narzack
Sep 15, 2008


I don't really want to be that dickhole pretentious guy who says it, but the Academy Awards are kinda poo poo, anyway. It's really just become a marketing thing. They've been reduced to simply a bullet point to sell future movies. 'FROM THE ACADEMY AWARD WINNER OF. . . .' blah blah blah whatever.

yes, I am still bitter that Shakespeare in Love beat Saving Private Ryan, why do you ask?

Narzack
Sep 15, 2008


Wheat Loaf posted:

Has anyone else seen Lambert's late 90s sci-fi version of Beowulf?

It wasn't as cool as I hoped it would be, way back when I saw it. I think there was a babe wearing some kind of ridiculous net in it, though.

I saw Space Truckers that same night, which ruled.

Narzack
Sep 15, 2008


For some stupid reason, I used to get that movie and Always mixed up.

Narzack
Sep 15, 2008


The way I've always known them has been

Police Story
Police Story 2
Supercop
First Strike
New Police Story
Police Story Lockdown

Narzack
Sep 15, 2008


Wheat Loaf posted:

Because I recently rewatched it, I've thought of another movie that I think gets an almost perfect balance of all those ingredients, and because I mentioned Lethal Weapon I'm surprised it didn't occur to me earlier: Maverick with Mel Gibson, Jodie Foster and James Garner.

Yeah, this is a really fun movie. Did anyone see The Assignment? Worth watching? I like Walter Hill's stuff. Very gruffy and gritty.

Narzack
Sep 15, 2008


Oh, man, Bullet in the Head is a skip, too? Although, I swear I saw that movie, like, ten years ago.

Narzack
Sep 15, 2008


A Better Tommorow 3 isn't even a Woo film, is it?

Narzack
Sep 15, 2008


I talked about it earlier, but I really think it was the success of Saving Private Ryan and The Matrix.

Narzack
Sep 15, 2008


I've always liked it. I like Ernie Hudson a lot, so that may help. It's kind of got a special place in my heart because I saw it with my little brother and it was one of the first times that we sort of bonded. The hippo attack is cool, and it's just generally a fun movie. I remember enjoying the music, too.

Narzack
Sep 15, 2008


Did you know that this man is a big. bag of poo poo?

Narzack
Sep 15, 2008


I don't get it. What are you saying about it?

Narzack
Sep 15, 2008


Huh. The way I saw it was that she knocked his gun barrel, pointing it to the floor as he was getting ready to fire at Affleck. He pulled the trigger and Woo'd himself into the air.

Narzack
Sep 15, 2008


Halloween Jack posted:



What's not clear is why shooting the floor with a shotgun creates a shower of sparks that blasts you straight up into the air.

Radness

Narzack
Sep 15, 2008


I think she's hitting it downward with some kind of pipe. Maybe a flashlight of some kind? I haven't seen the movie since it came out, though. As for Affleck, he's come a long way. I used to hate the poncy faced dweeb, and even when this came out, I wasn't a fan. But he's really matured into a real actor. And, even if I thought it was a terrible movie, I think he actually did a pretty good job as a Dark Knight Returns-esque, old, muscular, angry Batman.

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Narzack
Sep 15, 2008


Wheat Loaf posted:

Has one of those great "pulp cinema" dvd covers too:



Edit: There's a few 90s Bruce Willis action movies I've not seen, actually, which is odd because I like 90s Bruce Willis before he went completely bald and just scowled grumpily at everyone like he was Charles Bronson. What can anyone tell me about Striking Distance, Mercury Rising and Hudson Hawk?

(I automatically assume that The Jackal isn't really going to be worth it if I already like The Day of the Jackal.)

I really liked Last Man Standing. A lot of cool action in it, bullets flying, dudes flying, noir-y voice overs. And I think the crunchy guitar score is pretty cool, too.

The Jackal, I didn't like. Unless you want to see dumb Richard Gere get the best of cool Bruce Willis. But, like someone said, it does have the aforementioned Jack Black arm destruction. I thought Striking Distance was pretty terrible, even though it was shot in Pittsburgh. Mercury Rising is when he started going for the bald look, as I recall. Kinda miss the dude with hair.

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