Archive for the ‘Action’ Category

Incredibles 2 – *(*)

Posted: May 25, 2020 in 2018, Action, Animation, USA, X1/2

Didn’t like this sequel. Didn’t particularly like the first installment either. Not sure why. The action is over the top. It’s fast paced and a bit too much. The humor isn’t that funny. The dialogues are boring. The social commentary is given by the antagonist. It’s predictable and there are too many non-essential characters. The idea of a superhero family that wants to live a regular life without explaining what they do in their regular life is a bit weird. The idea of superheroes being banned from doing superhero stuff isn’t original. The idea of raising children with (or without) superpowers is boring. Yeah. No. This is an animation movie to skip.

But apparently this was a big box office hit. So what do I know?

www.imdb.com/title/tt3606756/

As a massive fan of Jaws, Chief Brody has always been my hero! And so was Roy Scheider of course, who immortalized the part. At one point in my life as a young cinefile I wanted to see all the movies he was in. But most were difficult to digest. Apart from Blue Thunder and The French Connection. 

Marathon Man was another memorable one. It has one of the coolest non-Jaws Roy Scheider scenes, in which he fights and kills an attacker in a Paris hotel room after doing push-ups on the ledge of the bed. And the movie has other classic scenes like the one where Dustin Hofman gets tortured by an ex nazi dentist who drills a hole in his perfectly healthy teeth.

Re-watching this classic seventies suspense thriller as an adult was interesting. Sure, the above mentioned scenes are classics, but what was the movie about again? Ah! When word gets out that his brother is killed in a car accident, a former nazi criminal leaves his hiding place in Uruguay to reclaim items he has hidden in a safe in New York. For years, he could finance his hideout via a network of couriers, but he wants to be sure there is still stuff in the safe. This synopsis isn’t immediately clear as the story is told from the perspective of a student, whose brother is one of the couriers and ends up dead in his apartment. Now, the network assumes he knows more and haunts him.

The movie has quite a lot of odd action scenes that are instant classics, like the opening car chase between an old nazi and an old jew, ending in a deadly accident. It sounds like something from a bad sketch show, but it’s not. The seventies spirit is great. There’s something about that decade that resonates best in movies. The acting is over the top, especially the death scenes. And there are a lot. So that’s a bit of a disappointment. But it’s suspenseful and entertaining.

But come to think of it. Apart from Jaws, Jaws II, The French Connection, Marathon Man, The Sorcerer and All That Jazz most Roy Scheider movies are not worth recommending. It feels sacrilegious to write this, but the man has starred in so many bad movies. Too bad Quentin Tarantino didn’t give him a second career boost in the nineties. He ended up making straight to video C-movies for the last two decades of his career. So sad!

Movies with Roy Scheider I want to re-watch again: Klute (**), The French Connection (****), The Seven-Ups (**1/2), The Sorcerer (**1/2)  

Movies with Roy Scheider that I do not need to rewatch at all: Assignment Munich, Sheila Levine Is Dead And Living In New York (*1/2), Last Embrace (**), All That Jazz (**), Still Of The Night (**), Blue Thunder (**), Tiger Town (**), 2010: The Year We Made Contact, 52 Pick Up, Cohen And Tate, Listen To Me, Night Game, The Fourth War, The Russia House (**), Naked Lunch, Romeo Is Bleeding, Executive Target

Movies with Roy Scheider I’ve never seen and would like to watch one day: The Outside Man, Jacobo Timerman, The Myth Of Fingerprints, RKO 281 

Movies with Roy Scheider I can’t be bothered with: all the rest.

www.imdb.com/title/tt0074860

Assassin’s Creed

Posted: April 8, 2020 in 2016, Action, Science Fiction, USA

An action movie set in late 15th Century Spain ! Great!

Oh no, wait. it’s based on a video game and it’s about a fictitious eternal fight between the Templars and the Assassins. It’s a science fiction movie where a scientist has created a device that teleports a person from current times into the past to retrieve the apple from Paradise that will end violence! But to get it, a lot of people have to die.

Why did I even bother? This is utter crap.

https://www.imdb.com/title/tt2094766/

White House Down – *(*)

Posted: April 3, 2020 in 2013, Action, Terrorist, USA, X1/2

On tv and great pulp entertainment during corona times.

The acting is terrible. The plot is even worse. The special effects aren’t that spectacular.

But before you know it, the movie is over and you’re ready to head to bed not thinking about the world right now.

A security agent wants to work in the white house and be a bodyguard for the president. On the day of his application he brings along his daughter, but a terrorist attack takes places and they are trapped. This is thé day to prove that he can be a hero to his kid and  a hero to the president.

Yeah. It’s that silly.

www.imdb.com/title/tt2334879

As entertaining as the first time around, but still flawed.

With Episode IX coming up, this is a must-see. Because, hey, what the hell was episode VIII all about again?

It’s remarkable though how so little of the story lingers. A New Hope this is not.

Basically, Rey finds Luke on a desolate island and tries to convince him to come back. She also has a weird connection with Kylo Ren. Love? Yin Yang? The Force? Finn is trying to find a guy who can hack into the First Order fleet that is attacking the rebels. Poe is trying to get the rebel fleet away. Oh, Prinses Leia is still leading the rebels even though she hovers in space for a bit. There’s tons of new creatures (furry pinguin like chickens that interfere with Chewbacca, crystal foxes that disappear in rocks, huge race camels with weird spouts) and characters that come and go without ever really being introduced (and performed by big names like Laura Dern and Benicio Del Toro).

Oh well. Let’s see what episode IX brings.

www.imdb.com/title/tt2527336/

 

The Hitman’s Bodyguard – **

Posted: November 24, 2019 in 2017, Action, Comedy, USA, XX

“You haven’t seen Hollywood’s chase scene in Amsterdam yet?”

Several Dutch friends, acquaintances and colleagues have recommended me this scene, but no. I hadn’t. Until now.

The famous scene takes place about an hour into the movie though and only lasts 6 minutes or so. It’s a fun scene, nothing all that special, but just cool to see it take place in a city that you know really well. It’s like the Paris car chase in Lucy. That was also fun to watch.

The entire movie is actually not all that bad. It’s an action comedy with an unlikely duo. One is a hitman, who’s imprisoned in the UK and needs to testify against a Belarus tyrant in The Hague. The other is a special bodyguard who needs to protect him against possible assassination attempts. The hitman is Samuel – motherfucking – L. Jackson and the bodyguard is Ryan Reynolds. Their chemistry is good. The action scenes are well choreographed. It’s fast paced, brains on hold, pulp entertainment with a massive body count and Selma Hayek in the funniest scene.

www.imdb.com/title/tt195956

 

As a Tarantino fan, I always wondered why I hated Kill Bill: Volume 1 so much and why I never bothered watching Kill Bill: Volume 2. 

15 years later it’s clear why: these are just pretentious, badly edited, poorly acted, faux-hommage action flicks with hardly any humor and – more surprisingly – hardly any cool fight scenes! At least those should have been wel choreographed, but no.

At least, I finished Volume 2 this time. Which is an achievement on its own.

www.imdb.com/title/tt0266697

www.imdb.com/title/tt0378194

 

 

According to the ten year old son of a good friend, this is the BEST. MOVIE. EVER.

When I was ten, E.T. was the best movie ever.

That said. Hobbs & Shaw is quite a fun movie. It’s action packed. There are funny dialogues. Main leads Dwayne Johnson and Jason Statham have good chemistry. Idris Elba is great as the bad guy. (he should always be the bad guy). Princess Margaret from The Crown is kicking ass and strangling people in a more efficient way than Sylvester Stallone has ever done. Or Schwarzenegger. Or Van Damme. Or Seagal. Cliff Curtis is in it! And Helen Mirren! Oh, and unfortunately Kevin Hart as well. There are chase scenes in London and battle scenes in Samoa!

Not sure why I’ve never watched any of the previous episodes in this Fast & Furious Franchise, but this is a great introduction.

Not sure why it’s not a bigger box office success. Is it too British? Is it too different form the other movies? It’s the story, some say.

Ehm. Who needs a story in these kind of movies? Here’s the story: a secret agency wants a dangerous virus, created to help humankind, but re-programmable into a very deadly genocide wipeout virus. A woman on the run has injected the virus into her body and both the CIA and MI6 are sending their best asset to stop the woman/virus getting into the wrong hands. Yes. The story makes NO sense at all. But it’s fun!!!!

www.imdb.com/title/tt6806448

Disappointing.

In November 2008, Mumbai experienced a series of terrorist attacks, amongst which one at the famous Taj hotel. This Australian production tells that story.

Somehow it just doesn’t work. If this were fictitious it would be a lousy action thriller. But it’s based on true events, so it’s even worse. It’s really bizarre, because it feels like an action thriller. The kind with Sylvester Stallone or JC Van Damme. Not the kind with Bruce Willis.

There’s a lot of shooting and – spoiler alert – almost everyone dies. So, knowing this, it’s kind of sad to realize that you don’t have time to care about any of these victims. Either the victims are nameless extras. Or they are stereotypical characters like the nasty Russian or the ignorant American. The director decided to create more empathy for the terrorists than for the people stuck in the hotel! How bizarre is that? There’s this one scene where one of the terrorists calls home, hurt because he is shot in the leg and crying. He asks his dad if the leaders of his organization have already donated the money. So, wait a minute, you want us, audience, to feel like money was the reason for the kid to do these horrific killings and we should feel his regret and doubt because he is crying? Ehm. No.

This movie didn’t do well at the box office and wasn’t released in India (yet). Let’s keep it that way.

www.imdb.com/title/tt5461944

This is quite the surprising indie-action thriller !

Mel Gibson and Vince Vaughan are detectives who get suspended after one of them was filmed using an unorthodox technique during a drug bust. They are in financial need – at least Mel Gibson’s character is – and decide to steal money from a criminal. Little do they know that they will get caught up in a horrifying heist.

It’s a very entertaining movie. The acting is solid. Mel Gibson gets rave reviews for this part and with reason. Vince Vaughn and Tory Kittles are excellent too. But the directing is excellent. It’s a slow movie and the scenes are long, but that’s sooo important right now. There’s a whole new generation who will find this incredibly boring, because of its pace and superfluous scenes, but it’s quite nice to see a new movie that shows scenes and not one second fragments. That one scene in the car during the stakeout where Vince Vaughan enjoys eating a sandwich and Mel Gibson then says, after 4 minutes or so, that ‘a single ant could have eaten it faster’… Well that scene is typical for the movie.

There’s also a scene in which a guy tries to swallow an important key to hide it from others. What happens next is predictable, but also done in a very detailed way. It’s pure gore, but clever and detailed and just totally fucked up. But hey, that’s what cinema should be.

Yup. Recommending this. Even though most viewers will find it pretentious.

www.imdb.com/title/tt6491178/