Action

Colin Farrell in Total Recall

When it first got announced that they were going to remake Paul Verhoeven’s action/sci-fi classic Total Recall, the collective groans of film fans could be heard the world over. If there was ever an action movie full of iconic imagery and quotable lines that didn’t need to be sullied, it was that Arnold Schwarzenegger-starring original. This remake was going to star a pipsqueak like Colin Farrell instead of a mountain of muscle like Arnie, nobody was going to be getting their asses to Mars, and there wasn’t even any confirmation that it would include a three-boobed hooker. Who needed it? Well, after watching the first full-length trailer, I’d say that anybody who’s ever been a fan of adrenaline pumping action, jaw dropping special effects, sprawling future cities, the feminine wiles of Kate Beckinsale or Jessica Biel, Bryan Cranston acting grizzled, guns, explosions, or Stormtroopers needs this movie. Check out the trailer and be blown away:

read more...

As someone who lives and breathes for the genre, I think it’s fair to say that action movies have gone soft. Well, that is, American, big studio action films have gone soft. The fight sequences are mostly shot in tight close-up with a volley of cuts that dilute all semblance of impact. Thankfully, foreign filmmakers are still bloodying their knuckles and breaking their backs to bring us action films that leave us as bruised and fighting for air as the sundry characters lying demolished on the floor by the time credits roll. One such actionteur is Welsh director Gareth Evans. That’s right, one of the burgeoning authorities on martial arts action films is from Wales. In 2009, Evans brought us Merantau, the heroic tale of a young man on a journey of self-discovery…who kicks plenty o’ ass along the way. Filmed in Indonesia, with a local cast, the film utilizes the fighting style Silat, indigenous to the island nation. But if we thought we’d seen the full extent of Evans’ talent with Merantau, we were so very, very wrong. This week, Evans will unleash his latest film The Raid upon unsuspecting audiences nationwide. I when I say it will be unleashed, I mean that the intensity and relentless pacing of its violent fight sequences will have you reevaluating the value of human life. The Raid, after garnering huge buzz during Toronto and Sundance, has now been picked up by Sony for both theatrical distribution and remake rights. It’s also been […]

read more...

If you’ve been rocking back and forth with anticipation for The Raid: Redemption, your wait is almost over. It hits theaters this weekend (alongside another certain highly-anticipated movie), and to whet your appetite, we talk with writer/director Gareth Evans who dissects an action scene for us. Plus, Kate Erbland and Rob Hunter join us for the Movie News Pop Quiz and to share their favorites from SXSW that will be coming to your neck of the woods. Download Episode #126

read more...

Over at Sylvester Stallone Fan site StalloneZone (a website that totally, actually exists), Craig Zablo reportedly received confirmation from Stallone that the forthcoming Expendables 2 would be rated R – directly contradicting his earlier explanation that the movie would be both PG-13 and “large.” It was a short but direct statement from Stallone: “After taking in all the odd rumors and hearsay, EXPENDABLES II is an R”(his emphasis). And there are 3 ways to take that. They were shooting for PG-13 (possibly because of Chuck Norris‘s weird sense of prudishness) but the outcry has made them rethink it. Stallone was playing an odd game of misdirection with his earlier comment in an attempt to lower the bar/piss off potential fans. A fan site is fanning flames with a false comment. The first makes the most sense. At any rate, something has made them rethink making a mature action movie fit firmly into a ratings box reserved for adults. The second option seems absurd given that his original statement not only claims the PG-13 rating but tries to explain it with the knowledge that fans would be up in arms. The third could be true, but StalloneZone has actually proven itself to be fairly well connected to the actor/writer/director/bench presser. So, who knows. And who cares? Anyone who sees nothing wrong with a bunch of dudes fighting and blowing shit up being able to say “Fuck” or show some blood doing it. That’s who.  

read more...

Look, Battleship will probably end up proving that it has at least a few original ideas in its head. Someone out there has to have shoved in one or two scenes that don’t look exactly like other movies, but the trailers certainly aren’t out to prove that. Nevertheless, it’s time to stop ragging on this flick for being a moronic idea and time to start ragging on it as a clear patchwork of other movies. Somehow, Universal has bypassed the need to do Hollywood math by simply copying and pasting directly from other films that have been successful. Why make something like Iron Man or like Transformers when you can go ahead and just make them again under a different name. Watch this new trailer and try to say with a straight face that the alien design isn’t Iron Man with a paint job. Watch the giant building collapse and try not to think up 5 other movies within the past 2 years where it’s happened (and try extra hard not to imagine the exact same scene in Dark of the Moon). No one says much of anything. Probably a good thing. But, whew, the action sure does look eye-popping.

read more...

Culture Warrior

Editor’s Note: With Landon still celebrating Marcel Pagnol’s birthday, Cole was left to write this week’s entry. Please don’t riot. Every so often, The History Channel will play The Planet of the Apes, and it freaks me out. In recent years, the station has lost the meaning of its name completely, but a few years ago, I genuinely worried that someone would stumble upon the movie in progress, see the logo at the bottom, and be convinced that there was a time in Earth’s history that we were ruled by simians. There’s no proof, but considering that people have tried to rob banks with permanent marker all over their faces as a “disguise,” it seems possible that at least one person would be confused by a non-fiction station about our past playing a fictional movie where Moses pounded his fist into the sand in horror. Maybe there’s no real danger of that, but it still displays a certain power that movies have. They, like all stories, are how we share with each other. From person to person, from culture to culture, movies provide a certain shared sentience. A great story, told well, can transport and give insight into What It’s Like, especially in a world where photography and audio recording are relatively new technologies. The hitch is that there are still limitations to the art. The camera always lies, so even as we grasp toward understanding, it’s easy to be misled when it comes to experiences we have no personal […]

read more...

Why Watch? Holy shit. This short film from Benjamin Howdeshell is the kind of thing that launches careers. It’s fantastic. The first sequence sells the entire film with a stark, violent visual and a killer sound design to inflate its impact. Then, even when the story flat, it’s because a twist or cool idea is about to slap you in the face. It’s first rate work all around. Yes, zombies have been done to death, but this flick injects the action of a hostage thriller into the mix to create something that focuses on the men in dark suits responsible for the outbreak and less on brain-hungry hordes. That doesn’t mean there’s no neck biting though. There’s definitely some of that, and it’s work that breathes new life into an old corpse. This is a stellar film featuring effects done by the same team that did Wanted, and it boasts a strong new directing talent making one hell of a bloody mark in the movie world. What will it cost? Only 9 minutes. Skip Work. You’ve Got Time For More Short Films.

read more...

In 2009, Steven Soderbergh took Sasha Grey, a non-actress (unless you consider receiving a load to be emotional construction), and turned her into an indie darling for a brief moment. She’s since turned the opportunity into several other film roles including one in the upcoming and all-too-appropriate Inferno: A Linda Lovelace Story. In 2012, Soderbergh pulled the same trick by casting MMA fighter Gina Carano in Haywire. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the actress is positioning herself for even more action by signing on for John Stockwell‘s In The Blood. Essentially, the movie is Taken with a female lead whose husband is kidnapped and much ass needs to be kicked to bring him back safely. However, it’ll be startling to see the husband dancing in a metal bikini for potential Arab buyers. Let’s hope she saves him before it gets to that. Stockwell’s previous work includes Into the Blue and Blue Crush so it’s nice to see him not working blue here, but in all seriousness, Carano needs to take a full course in acting lessons before launching herself into more projects. Getting away with blandness in action is one thing, but it won’t help if the only thing she’s good for is slamming her foot into people’s faces.

read more...

On the eve of the Berlinale, Swedish director Daniel Espinosa joins us to talk about waterboarding Denzel Washington and the mind games of Safe House. Plus, we look forward to a few films to catch in Berlin, and it’s Matt Singer versus Alison Willmore in a Filmspotting: SVU showdown of Movie News Quizzing. Download This Episode

read more...

The upcoming Relativity Media release Act of Valor looks like it could be a pretty balls-out fun time in terms of action film, but I’m sure everyone has some hesitation about one of the film’s biggest selling points: it uses active duty Navy SEALs as the cast. While that sounds badass because it is, it also sounds like a risky gamble since these guys are warriors and not necessarily actors. That fear may be allayed however, the more we get to see of the film, which looks like it’s going to be a non-stop ass kicking ride of guys killing people and blowing stuff up. When there isn’t much call for acting, only action, can you do any better than hiring real soldiers? Showing just how vital the use of actual SEALs is to the product, we were sent this featurette which illustrates something very few movies are willing to partake in: the use of live ammunition. On almost any other set, this would be an insurance and logistics nightmare, but when you’re dealing with real Navy SEALs who train with live ammunition and actually blow things up for real, rather than using flashy smoke bombs, all you have to do is point the camera in the right spot and remember to put your flak jacket on. Check out the footage and see for yourself how awesome practical bullets look on screen.

read more...

Like a pit bull that gets his testicles removed right out of the womb, The Expendables 2 is aiming for a PG-13 rating, even though the first film was a smash success despite being stamped with an R. According to an email to Aint It Cool, Sylvester Stallone is confirming that they’re headed for that rating, saying that “The PG-13 rumor is true, but before your readers pass judgment, trust me when I say this film is LARGE in every way and delivers on every level. This movie touches on many emotions which we want to share with the broadest audience possible, BUT, fear not, this Barbeque of Grand scale Ass Bashing will not leave anyone hungry…Sly” The problem is that there just aren’t many great action movies of this kind with a PG-13 rating. You’ve got to see some blood in order to give a damn, and it’s hard to take Stallone at his word that everything will be bigger except for the stuff that makes an action movie an action movie. The bottom line? This is a movie for adults that’s just been shoved into a Happy Meal box. Is it Chuck Norris‘s fault? Who knows. What’s probably happening is an increase in budget to cover the new additions and the new “bigness,” and with great money comes a greater need to hedge bets. “Many emotions which we want to share with the broadest audience possible”? Really? Now there’s no cursing, not much blood, and we have to […]

read more...

No, this isn’t a joint obituary. According to Aint It Cool, international star of stage and screen Arnold Schwarzenegger is going to join Sylvester Stallone for action flick The Tomb. Some people have golf. Some people have bingo. These two have action movies. But as old as they are (65 for Stallone, 64 for Schwarzenegger), it’s still awesome to see the two working together because it’s the culmination of every 1980s action dream out there. It’s Commando and Rambo! It’s Rocky and Conan! It’s Cash and The Terminator! It’s the kind of pairing that should make everyone want to pick up a ventilation shaft and throw it through the nearest kidnapper. The movie itself will feature a security officer (Stallone) who creates top-grade systems for jails that want to keep their prisoners in cells. When he’s framed and lands in one of those prisons, he has to use his knowledge to escape and seek retribution. Hopefully he also has to use his buddy with the grenade launcher and gubernatorial experience. As Harry Knowles points out, Bruce Willis was once going to star, then Schwarzenegger himself was going to take the lead, and now Stallone is doing it. So after turning the movie down to do The Last Stand, Schwarzenegger has decided he just wanted another role. If Willis signs back on, it’ll be the movie casting equivalent of square dancing (another thing retired people enjoy). It will also be awesome. Now the thing just needs a director…is Mark Lester still […]

read more...

Not-so-fun fact: The Oscars have never nominated a film from Korea for their award for Best Foreign Language Film. Despite a significant film heritage and movies like The Old Jar Craftsman and Mother being put forward by the country, no Korean flick has ever made the short list. This year, the Korean Film Council is seeking to change that with Jang Hun‘s The Front Line. The action film takes place during The Korean War, specifically during the 1953 ceasefire, but even during negotiations for peace, the fighting confusingly continues with a small outcropping of hills changing hands back and forth between North and South. The movie stars Shin Ha-kyun, who has done significant work with Chan Wook-park since JSA as well as dozens of other films. It’s unclear whether this film will succeed where others have failed, but there’s definitely a keener interest in Korean currently, propelled not least of all by the death of North Korean dictator/mass murderer Kim Jong Il. Plus, this trailer looks like it was delivered inside a powder keg. Check it out for yourself:

read more...

Why Watch? A short that cuts to the chase. Some keen camera work is on display here – showing how a flurry of images can induce a heavy heart rate and some sweating. It’s art with a sweatband on. What does it cost? Just 4 minutes of your time. Check out Snap for yourself:

read more...

Why Watch? Breath-stealing animation that draws from comic books and video games in equal measure. Animator Jesús Orellana definitely knows his stuff. With this short (which feels huge), he’s created an entire universe right down to the last dust fiber. It tells the story of a cyborg deployed in a wasteland of a future to restore Earth’s eco-system. As you might guess, she’s not the only one out there, and things get ugly. What it lacks in story, it makes up for in style, action and ambition. What does it cost? Just 8 minutes of your time. Check out Rosa for yourself:

read more...

Why Watch? A thrilling WWII dogfight on a low budget. Writer/Director Nick Ryan‘s glorious short film is proof that with the right artistic eye, some effects equipment and a hell of a lot of time, you can create something truly jaw-dropping for a price that will drop that jaw even lower. And you can even do it with a great story and rock solid acting. Starring Toby Kebbell (RockNRolla), this short tells the story of a fighter pilot who chases down a Nazi ace who shot down his friend. Part revenge story, part morality play, it’s beauty injected with adrenaline and Spitfire fuel. Eat your heart out, Howard Hughes. Nick Ryan has a promising career waiting for him. What does it cost? Just 10 minutes of your time. Check out The German for yourself:

read more...

Junkfood Cinema

Welcome back to Junkfood Cinema; now get off our lawn. This is the weekly internet bad movie column that gets winded as you scroll up and down the page. Every Friday I assault your senses with whatever terrible movie I happen to being using a coaster that week. I will pummel and pistol whip the movie with its own flaws–and a pistol apparently–until it can barely stand, but then I will congratulate the movie on its acceptance into the gang and lavish it with praise. I will then buy a beer and a disgustingly awesome snack food for the film as we stand as friends at the bar singing our gang’s…theme song (?). This week’s punk: Never Too Young to Die

read more...

There is definitely something going on in France. The last decade or so has seen an incredible surge in genre film from the land of Vincent Cassel, with films like Inside, Martyrs, Frontiers and more all making there way to our shores. While Calibre 9 is much more goofy and playful than those more extreme horror films, it’s hard to imagine this film getting made if those films hadn’t come before to pave the way. Calibre 9 is a film about a city planner who finds a gun which is possessed by the soul of a dead hooker. Yes, that’s really what it’s about. Sarah (Nathalie Hauwelle) is the hooker in question, a pretty girl who fell into the life and has been struggling for years to pull herself out. She’s scheduled one last job with an eccentric but high-paying customer, after which she’ll have enough money to leave her pimp, Frank. But when Frank shows up unexpectedly with the customer getting ready in the next room, Sarah’s plans start to circle the drain. A misunderstanding escalates, Frank pulls a gun, and they both end up dead. When the mysterious customer discovers the scene, he gives Sarah the second chance she so badly wanted.

read more...

The Hollywood Reporter has an interesting piece on Tom Cruise, attempting to prove that he’s once again viable as a ground-moving A-list star. It’s an interesting opinion editorial that leaves out the larger points that 1) even when Cruise bombs, the movie usually makes over $200m and 2) it’s the entire idea of commercially block busting actors that’s diminishing. However, one thing that’s for sure is that Cruise himself isn’t. He’s got a few projects in the hopper, and at least one is a return to the world of science fiction. According to THR, there may be a second – the Doug Liman project We Mortals Are (which used to be called All You Need Is Kill and is still missing a predicate). The story focuses on a space soldier who, through science-y fiction, keeps living to fight on the day before he dies. After 158 wonderful deaths, he sees something different – a female entity known as The Bitch of War. It’s based off of the Hiroshi Sakurazaka manga, and, as it turns out, there’s something appropriate about placing Cruise in a movie about death and rebirth.

read more...

We packed the truck that would travel to location in Palenque, Mexico a few days before we traveled via airplane. The set crew: Steve Wang, Matt Rose, Shane Mahan, Brian Simpson, Richard Landon and me. Stan Winston would be with us, supervising the set work, understanding that we would only be gone for two weeks. At least that is what our work visas indicated. Palenque, Mexico was not a location easily reached. It required one flight from Los Angeles to Mexico City, another to Villa Hermosa, and finally a long ride in a Volkswagen bus through miles of rough country until we reached our hotel that was, from what we were told, the best in the area. It sat in a large clearing, surrounded by trees; two wings of rooms branched out from a central building that housed a restaurant/bar. Later, we discovered that Arnold Schwarzenegger had taken over the entire upper conference room and had turned it into a gymnasium that was open to anyone on the crew. As we settled into our rooms we were told that there would be screening of the film the next day for the cast and crew. My understanding was that this was for the benefit of the new crew members to get a chance to catch up and understand the shots needed to complete the film. A screen and projectors were set up in Arnold’s gym.

read more...
  PREVIOUS PAGE
NEXT PAGE  
Twitter button
Facebook button
Google+ button
RSS feed

published: 04.20.2014
B
published: 04.20.2014
B+
published: 04.20.2014
B-
published: 04.20.2014
B+

Listen to Junkfood Cinema
Some movie websites serve the consumer. Some serve the industry. At Film School Rejects, we serve at the pleasure of the connoisseur. We provide the best reviews, interviews and features to millions of dedicated movie fans who know what they love and love what they know. Because we, like you, simply love the art of the moving picture.
SXSW 2014
Game of Thrones reviews
Got a Tip? Send it here:
editors@filmschoolrejects.com
Publisher:
Neil Miller
Managing Editor:
Scott Beggs
Associate Editors:
Rob Hunter
Kate Erbland
Christopher Campbell
All Rights Reserved © 2006-2014 Reject Media, LLC | Privacy Policy | Design & Development by Face3