Action Movies

The Prestige Movie

The best movie culture writing from around the internet-o-sphere. There will be a quiz later. Just leave a tab open for us, will ya?

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Cate Blanchett in Blue Jasmine

The best movie culture writing from around the internet-o-sphere. There will be a quiz later. Just leave a tab open for us, will ya?

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Jodorowsky Dune

The best movie culture writing from around the internet-o-sphere. Just leave a tab open for us, will ya?

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Ryan Gosling - Place Beyond the Pines

Facial tattoos and boredom-induced improvisation! Jack brings us an interview with Place Beyond the Pines star Ryan Gosling who discusses the consequences and magic of making mistakes. Plus, Screen Rant‘s Ben Kendrick joins us to discuss a few favorite movie pranks, we explore a personalized horror short story prank from author Jason Arnopp, and then celebrate the pure majesty of the too-often-maligned dumb action genre. Body massage machine go! For more from us on a daily basis, follow Ben (@benkendrick), Jason (@jasonarnopp), Jack (@jackgi), the show (@brokenprojector), Geoff (@drgmlatulippe) and Scott (@scottmbeggs) on the Twitter. And, as always, we welcome your feedback. Download Episode #12 Directly Or subscribe Through iTunes

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The Last Stand Arnold Schwarzenegger

In the summer of 2002, an action film was released that declared itself a new kind of spy movie. It said goodbye to the archaic days of Pierce Brosnan’s tired, nostalgia-mining James Bond in favor of something more 21st century. And in 2002, that meant a lot of nu-metal and X-Games stunts. That film was the absurd xXx, which turned out to be a minor hit before Vin Diesel’s action star career went into near-permanent stall mode for the better part of that decade. However, it was a much less arrogant film that ended up changing the spy genre. Doug Liman’s The Bourne Identity made Matt Damon into the unlikeliest of action heroes. He proved that American action stars didn’t need to look and talk like professional wrestlers. Damon’s lean, agile, reserved, and intelligent character didn’t require obvious quips, unquestioning jingoism, or a money shot of him walking away from a sea of explosions to be a threatening bad ass. As the first three Bourne films were released to an exponentially bigger cult of admirers, the brute action stars of old faded into obsolescence. Arnold was a politician, Sly was nowhere to be seen, and a post-Shyamalan Bruce Willis took seemingly every part he could get his hands on, good or bad, only briefly returning to his action movie roots with a PG-13 muzzle. Then, at the end of the decade, with the release of The Expendables, the brute action hero nostalgia machine kicked into high gear. And promptly went […]

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G.I. Joe: Retaliation

When the first trailer for G.I. Joe: Retaliation hit about a year ago, expectations for the sequel were pretty low. That was due to the first film, G.I. Joe: The Rise of  COBRA, pretty much sucking. But a funny thing happened after everyone saw that trailer for Retaliation : suddenly people were talking about G.I. Joe again. This one didn’t look like a random, terrible action movie that just happened to be called G.I. Joe, it actually looked like an adaptation of the beloved property. That’s a real Cobra Commander mask! And the whole thing looked pretty epic and exciting, too. Mountain-climbing ninja action! There are conflicting reports as to why exactly the film’s release date was pushed back from last summer to this upcoming March 29, 2013. Some say they wanted to add a 3D element to the film, some say that they wanted to add more scenes featuring Channing Tatum – seeing as he became a bigger star almost immediately after this movie stopped filming. Whatever the case may be, Retaliation got pushed back, it is now going to be released as a 3D movie, and this new trailer certainly features more Channing Tatum than the first one (which seemed to be trying to wash him right out of the franchise). Check it out after the break!

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Welcome to the Punch Trailer

Over the last half-decade or so James McAvoy (Atonement, X-Men: First Class) has proven himself to be one of the most relatable young lead actors currently making a name in the film world. Conversely, Mark Strong (The Guard, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy) has spent his time playing a steady stream of dastardly villains. What would happen if you took the positive and negative forces of these two guys’ careers? It turns out you’d get a trailer for an action movie called Welcome to the Punch, and, honestly, the results look to be pretty generic. Sure, this movie seems to be full of enough gun fights and explosions to keep your attention, and there’s a mystery about some scribblings on a hand to add some extra intrigue, but other than that Welcome to the Punch seems to be the same urban crime drama with tough cops and slick robbers scowling at each other—all presented in an icy blue color palate—that you’ve seen a thousand times before.

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Now You See Me

Seeing as it’s a Louis Leterrier movie, of course the first trailer for Now You See Me is high energy and loud. Jesse Eisenberg is yelling into a microphone, people are disappearing with flashes of electricity, Isla Fisher’s smile is blinding you, and the contents of a bank’s vault are raining down on a jacked up theater audience. And this is all before the action starts. Then you gets showdowns and chase scenes, Morgan Freeman and Michael Caine trading dialogue about grizzled old man doom and gloom, and Mark Ruffalo looking like he’s right in his wheelhouse playing a frazzled and out of sorts police inspector trying to keep up with a team of ultra-competent, bank robbing magicians. Sounds like this movie has something for everyone, no? Check it out after the break, and let us know what you think.

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A Good Day to Die Hard Teaser

Though the atrocities committed by Len Wiseman’s installment in the Die Hard franchise, Live Free or Die Hard, were myriad, perhaps none was more grievous than its pussification of John McClane’s catch phrase, “Yippee ki-yay, motherfucker,” to the coy and no less offensive, “Yippee ki-yay, *gunshot noise*,” so that what should have been a hard R-rated action movie could get a PG-13 rating and play to an audience of teenyboppers who probably don’t even know what a Die Hard is. The first trailer for this fifth installment in the Die Hard franchise, director John Moore’s A Good Day to Die Hard, didn’t give us any indication as to whether or not the real version of McClane’s catch phrase would be reinstated in this film—instead it was just an adrenaline pumping mishmash of guns shooting, things exploding, and women undressing; which is fine and all, but doesn’t give us much to go by when judging how this film is going to differ from its predecessors. This international trailer for the film, along with a poster that was debuted by Entertainment Weekly, give us a little bit more of an idea of what to expect, however, and not all of it is good. This trailer gives us a little bit more plot (it becomes clear that McClane has traveled to Moscow to get his son out of some kind of trouble), it gives us a little bit more McClane dialogue (it turns out he’s still gruff and put upon), and it even […]

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Wahlberg and Bay

Though Michael Bay was initially reticent to commit to making a fourth installment of his hugely successful Transformers franchise, the money in these things is just too good, so it was really only a matter of time before he relented and agreed to sign on for a fourth. And though the news of another Bay-directed Transformers movie is going to be enough to earn groans from a lot of film fans, there have been some promising indications that a fourth film could be the best yet, even with the same director in place. From the very beginning, Transformers 4 has been thought of as a retooling of the franchise. Gone would be the north of $200m budgets and focus on Shia LaBeouf’s goofy Sam character and his ridiculously annoying family, and in their place would be a more traditional action plot starring a more traditional action actor. Heck, at one point it was even rumored that the studio was going after Jason Statham to star. Say that Bay made a Transformers movie without a focus on all of that family-friendly humor, with a budget that forced him to rely a little less on technical wizardry and a little more on his ingenuity…that could result in a watchable movie, right? The final battle of Transformers 3 was a lot of fun to watch, what if that were the whole movie?

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Parker Trailer Jason Statham

Jason Statham has made so many movies where he plays a gun-shooting, high-kicking criminal who lives by a strict moral code that the Jason Statham Movie has become a genre unto itself. Generally all of these movies have forgettable one word titles, like Crank, Safe, or Blitz, but that doesn’t end up mattering much, because you can just tell people that you’re going to see the new Jason Statham Movie, and they’ll know what you’re talking about. Jason Statham Movies generally have another thing in common, as well. They feature Jason Statham’s gruff charisma and high-impact fight scenes as their star, and offer up little else. Things like storytelling or supporting talent don’t really matter when you know that you can trot Statham out a couple times a year, have him go through the motions, and still turn a profit. Parker looks like it’s going to be a Jason Statham Movie with a couple more tricks up its sleeve, though. Instead of relying on the star power of Statham alone, director Taylor Hackford’s new film teams him up with big names like Jennifer Lopez, Michael Chiklis, and Nick Nolte (and Bunk from The Wire!). The results are impressive at first glance, with Statham obviously having immediate chemistry with Lopez especially.

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Looper

Rian Johnson‘s upcoming Looper is clearly filled with thought-provoking elements, but certainly one of its more interesting aspects has to be the way in which Bruce Willis and Joseph Gordon-Levitt are playing the same character, but at different ages. Much ado has been made about the effects work used to make Gordon-Levitt more lantern-jawed and Willis-looking, but not a whole lot has yet been said about how Gordon-Levitt approached his performance. How exactly does one go about trying to play a younger version of a star whose screen presence is as well-defined as Bruce Willis’? i09 caught up with the actor and his director and got some answers on this subject, as well as a few others. When talking about his preparation for the role, Gordon-Levitt said, “I studied him [Willis], and watched his movies, and ripped the audio off of his movies, so I could listen to them on repeat. He even recorded some of my voice-over monologues [from Looper] and sent me that recording, so I could hear what it would sound like in his voice.” That sounds like a good way of studying Willis’ cadence and perfecting the way that he talks, but does that mean Gordon-Levitt’s performance is going to simply be a glorified impersonation?

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Miami Connection Trailer

Just a couple of weeks ago, what is arguably the best-loved movie from the ’80s, Raiders of the Lost Ark, enjoyed a good deal of success getting re-released into IMAX theaters. Seeing that the market is hot for 8’0s revivals, Drafthouse Films, the distributing arm of the Alamo Drafthouse, has decided to take it upon themselves to ready what is probably the second biggest movie of the ’80s, Miami Connection, for a theatrical run of its own. What is Miami Connection? How fortunate that you should ask now, because Hobo With a Shotgun director Jason Eisener has just cut together a new trailer for the film that will answer all of your questions. To put it simply, Miami Connection is probably the best realized interpretation of the war between Miami’s motorcycle ninja drug gangs and its martial arts vigilante rock band, Dragon Sound, that’s ever been put on film.

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Dredd 3D

“Judge Dredd” started as a comic book series in 1977 and eventually became so long-lived and popular that it spawned a really bad film adaptation in 1995. Get that movie out of your head now – pretend like it never happened – because Dredd 3D is a completely new take on the character; one the values hard-hitting action over comic book camp, one that has no interest in wacky side kicks or studio mandated love interests. The story is simple: in the far future, humanity has started living in gigantic city-states the size of small countries that are densely populated and densely developed. What with so many people being piled on top of one another, poverty has run rampant, crime is ubiquitous, and street gangs rule the day. The only line of defense between innocent people and complete chaos are the Street Judges, a group of dangerous and highly trained operatives who prowl the streets on their big motorcycles while carrying their big guns, acting as judge, jury, and executioner all in one. Our story centers on a Judge who goes by the name of Dredd; he’s pretty much the most badass one.

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Though his recent action-heavy output hasn’t really been blowing anybody’s hair back, Jackie Chan is undeniably a legend of action cinema, and there are quite a few reasons why his next release, Chinese Zodiac, should be greatly anticipated by fans of his classic work. Perhaps most importantly, this one should get your attention because Chan has spent the better part of the last decade putting the project – which he wrote, directed, and stars in – together, and he’s considering it his retirement from action movies. But, perhaps most obviously, Chinese Zodiac should be anticipated by adrenaline junkies because its the third and final time Chan is going to play his thief character, Asian Hawk, who he made famous in classic Chan joints Armour of God and Operation Condor. That’s not the end of this hard sell either. The latest trailer for the film reveals yet another reason action fans should put Chinese Zodiac on their radar. We already got one look at this film back in May, but that trailer was more concerned with detailing the beats of the plot (Asian Hawk needs to steal some statues, yada yada) and showcasing Chan’s trademarked fight scenes (which seem to still be pretty on point for a 58-year-old, but a bit more reliant on special effects than stunt work).

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The Boys Comic Book

Director Adam McKay (Anchorman, Eastbound & Down) might not be the first person you would expect to be pushing to get an adaptation of an ultra-violent Garth Ennis comic up on the big screen, but nonetheless the comedy veteran has been involved in putting together a film version of the creator’s anti-superhero yarn “The Boys” for quite a while now. For the longest time the director was set to put the project together for Columbia Pictures, but those plans hit a snag in February when the studio suddenly dropped it. Nonetheless, the director assured us that the film was not necessarily dead, and that he had multiple studios chomping at the bit to come on board and see that development of the property continued. Though, in the process of kicking the project around from place to place, it had unfortunately gone from being a faithfully hard-R recreation of Ennis’ work, to one that would have to be PG-13. Or, as McKay put it, “It’s now PG-13. But I found cool ways to keep it edgy. Nolan does so much with that rating. I want this movie to have the conceptual floor of MIB: the police for the superheroes, with the bad ass action groove of The Matrix or Oldboy.”

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Arnold Schwarzenegger Commando

If you’re a real action movie fan, you know the biggest super group team-up movie of the summer isn’t The Avengers, but The Expendables 2. Because who wants to see a bunch of heroes come together to wear tights, yellow armor, or purple pants, when they can see the mass team-up of 80s and 90s beefcake action heroes whose combined machismo could instantly mature a twelve-year-old boy into a beer-drinking, cigar-smoking, bicep-bulging, five-o-clock-shadowed manly thirty-something? If the question is “Are we not men?” then the combined manliness of The Expendables 2 cast reminds us that the answer is “Yes, but obviously only because action stars taught us to be.” Each of these men (well, okay, 25% of them) and their action movies could teach a master class on being the epitome of man, but amongst them there is only one Albert Einstein of Macho, one Dalai Lama of Masculinity, one Aristotle of Testosterone: Arnold Schwarzenegger.  Since he appeared in Conan the Barbarian in 1982, Ahnuld’s action films over the decades have woven together the definitive guide to being a Y-chromosome carrier. So, if you happen to need a refresher, or are new to this whole “being a manly dude” thing, here are 10 essential rules on how to be a real man – according to Arnold Schwarzenegger action movies.

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The Expendables 3 Cast?

Seeing as The Expendables 2 has yet to hit theaters, it’s hard to imagine that there’s anything concrete yet nailed down for The Expendables 3. That doesn’t mean Sylvester Stallone and his crew don’t have some ideas about what tricks they want to pull out of their sleeves for the eventual trilogy capper though. And, in a chat with Total Film, Expendables producer Avi Lerner found himself spilling the beans about which big name actors that haven’t yet been involved in the franchise they want to sign up for part 3. According to Lerner, “We’ve approached Clint Eastwood to be one of the guys, we’ve got a character in mind for him. We’re talking to Harrison Ford. [And we want] Wesley Snipes when he comes back from prison. I’ll give you one more name, we’ve got Nicolas Cage to play [one of the characters].” Of course, wanting and approaching doesn’t exactly equal having, so these names should be taken with a huge grain of salt. Two of these guys don’t really do much acting anymore, and one is still in prison, so Lerner could be pinning his hopes on long shots.

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Despite the fact that we’re no longer in a cold war that’s creating easily exploitable cold war paranoia, Hollywood has decided to reboot one of the greatest cold war paranoia films of all time, Red Dawn. Sure, the story of a foreign menace invading U.S. soil isn’t likely to resonate with audiences as much in 2012 as it did in 1984 (especially seeing as film audiences are now more global), but at least it gives us a chance to watch things blow up real good. And, if the first trailer for the reboot assures us of anything, it’s that this new Red Dawn is going to have lots of explosions. If you’re noticing that the film’s stars, like Chris Hemsworth and Josh Hutcherson, are looking a little younger than they did the last time you saw them play Thor and Peeta, that’s because Red Dawn has been sitting on the shelf for a little while due to the MGM bankruptcy and some nasty business where the bad guys were digitally changed from being Chinese to North Korean (once again, global audience). What the delay of the release doesn’t explain though, is why the action of the trailer is set to a Filter song, as this thing has only been shelved for a couple of years, not since the late ’90s.

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When you take all of the distaste for remakes and reboots that’s out there and add it with the love that people have for Paul Verhoeven’s 1987 film RoboCop, it adds up to a situation where not very many people are looking forward to José Padilha’s upcoming re-do of the material. And yet, with every casting announcement that this new RoboCop makes, it’s becoming harder and harder to not be at least a little excited about its possibilities. First off, Padilha cast an on-the-rise young actor who’s done nothing but impress so far named Joel Kinnaman in the title role. Then he systematically surrounded his star with supporting names that everyone loves, like Gary Oldman, Samuel L. Jackson, Hugh Laurie, Abbie Cornish, Jay Baruchel, and Jackie Earle Haley. It would be hard to sneeze at that cast no matter what they were being assembled for, but get them all together for a post-apocalyptic tale of robot cops versus violent street gangs and evil corporations, and it’s not too difficult to start forgetting how much you dislike all of the remakes going on in Hollywood. I don’t know how they get ya, but that’s how they get ya.

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published: 04.19.2014
A-
published: 04.19.2014
B+
published: 04.18.2014
C-
published: 04.18.2014
C

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