Tag Archives: Action

21 Jump Street: A re-make you’ll thank God for

Whenever we as human beings are privy to something truly extraordinary,  something that ignites an emotional power we usually only get glimmers of, we effusively try to convey the minutiae of that moment to others.  21 Jump Street is just such an occasion. With every new scene, every new cut, something hilariously brilliant and unexpected is lurking around the frame.  Your throat’s going to go raw from cheering and your hands sore from clapping.  This is what re-make dreams are made of.

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Mission Impossible 4: Amazing fun without costing brain cells

Numerous films barely remain lively after their sequels, much less reach their fourth installment without going straight to DVD.  Seeing Tom Cruise, closing in on fifty, return to the screen as super spy Ethan Hunt hardly seems a selling point, but The Incredibles director Brad Bird brings us a film that hearkens back to when action films produced real stunts and real thrills.  In the words of James Lipton, it’s a delight. Continue reading

A sword-slashing trailer arrives for Takashi Miike’s “13 Assassins”

In 2002, Quentin Tarantino helped bring a marital-arts epic to the big screen, Yimou Zhang’s Hero. Starring Jet Li, the film featured a group of assassins desperately attempting to kill a tyrannical lord and in 2010,  Japanese director Takashi Miike (Audition, Ichi the Killer) created a similar themed film, 13 Assassins.

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Rare Exports a Christmas mess

The Finnish film documenting the true, ghastly nature of Santa Clause looked like it could be exploitation horror fun, but instead will leave you with question marks dangling over your head.  The film makes huge leaps in narrative logic, in one case young Pietari deducing from explosions on a mountain, “Santa’s under there!”

What?!

Nothing implies such a statement and Pietari’s proclamation stands in for the film’s inability to expose such a key plot detail in any other fashion.  Which is emblematic for the rest of the film, including the moment Pietari, hitherto a weakling, suddenly becomes Rambo as he organizes helicopter pickups and heroic gestures.  Everything is inexplicable in Finland evidently.

Some of the issues could stem from a terrible subtitle translation, but most of the awful simply stems from bad storytelling.  Cool idea, terrible execution.  Don’t even bother renting.

-Remington Smith

“Unstoppable” an ok episode of Shining Time Station

Denzel Washington and Tony Scott.  You hear those names and you immediately think of Man on Fire: Washington gets to kill bad guys in rectal ways, with Tony Scott providing stylistic verve that underscores his “Ass Kicker” credentials.  Maybe if Washington could brandish a gun at some point in Unstoppable, the film might do more than chug along. Continue reading

Fall(ish) Movie Preview: September

The summer film season is coming to a close, but there is plenty to look forward to. Here is your complete mega movie fall preview.

:author’s note:

I believe that trailers reveal so much information that it can spoil or at least impede the experience of watching a film for the first time. I would recommend avoiding trailers if you know you’re going to see a film. If you’re unsure of a film, however, be my guest.

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The Expendables: Full of action, yes. Worth $10, no.

It’s harder to find straight up action packed cinema these days, with more and more studios walking the PG-13 line for bigger box office figures.  Notably, Bruce Willis couldn’t even say his catch phrase in Live Free or Die Hard because an F-bomb is an R-rated offense.  In contrast, The Expendables is a violent swearing sailor that pisses drunkenly on these sad sods that call themselves “action films” – but that doesn’t make it the best. Continue reading