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Posts tagged “action

The Punisher (1989) – Damn, This Was Kick Ass

I meant to see this movie in the theatre when it came out. Then I meant to rent this movie on VHS when it came out on home video. Then I meant to watch this movie on DVD when it was finally released that way. Well I didn’t. I finally watched it this morning, though, and I am glad I did.

The Punisher is a movie based on a comic of the same name. It’s the story of a Police Officer that lost his family to criminals and was assumed dead him self. HE has taken up the persona of The Punisher and does just that: punish the criminals that slip through the cracks of the Justice system.

Starring Dolph Lundgren as Frank Castle, a.k.a. The Punisher, and Lou Gossett Jr. as Jake Berkrowitz, the Police officer that believes Frank is still alive and actually is the Punisher, though no one else seems to share this belief. In the movie, the traditional Mob crime syndicate is being squeezed by the Japanese Yakuza criminal organization. They are looking to take over the criminal trade and make the mob work for them. The Yakuza taking 75% of the profits, leaving the Mob a measly 25%. Knowing the Mob would not be receptive to this, the Yakuza has kidnapped the children of the Mob family heads as bargaining chips. The Punisher has made it his job to rescue the children while making both sides pay for their indiscretions. 

There’s a lot of action in this movie and while no awards winner, it is definitely entertaining if you go into the testosterone fueled ass kicking, gun shooting style movie – and why would you not. I have to say that I am glad that I have finally seen this movie and I do not hesitate to recommend it. Check it out if you haven’t yet.

Here’s the trailer:


The Man With The Iron Fists (2012) – Not Perfect But Still Fun

The Man With the Iron Fists is a 2012 American Martial Arts film, set in 19th Century China (in a town called “Jungle Town”), and stars RZA, Russell Crowe, Lucy Liu, David Bautista among many others.

This film is very stylish and tells the story of a man getting vengence on the murder of his father, the leader of the Lion Clan, by his adopted son, Silver Lion. To do the movie a little more justice, here is the first paragraph of the Wikipedia plot summary:

In nineteenth century China, Jungle Village is home to several warring clans. The village Blacksmith creates deadly weapons for the clans, intending to use his payments to purchase the freedom of his lover Lady Silk, and leave the village. The region’s governor tasks the Lion Clan’s leader Gold Lion with protecting a large shipment of gold that must pass through the village. Gold is betrayed by his lieutenants Silver Lion and Bronze Lion, who plan to steal the gold. They use the chaos of a fight with the Hyena Clan to allow their co-conspirator Poison Dagger (the governor’s aide) to assassinate Gold; Silver becomes the Lions’ leader. Gold’s son Zen-Yi learns of his father’s murder and sets off to the village to seek revenge.

Man – this is a stylish Kung Fu fest like I’ve rarely seen. Lots of flying around, and silly amazing moves. If you’ve seen Hidden Dragon Crouching tiger (or whatever it’s called), then you know the style of martial arts in this movie. Now, while a Kung Fu movie, RZA throws in a generous amount of Steam Punk (something I enjoy a lot).

While not perfect (or even close), I found this movie quite enjoyable. In certain ways, it reminded me of something Quentin Tarantino might create. I say watch this movie.

Here’s the trailer:


Act of Valor (2012) – Wow – Way Better Than I Expected

Act of Valor (2012) was a movie that got a bit more press than it might have normaly got due to the fact that the movie used real Navy Seals. This is a good action film – not a great film, but a good action movie.

So, the Seals are used to extract a kidnapped female operative that had been posing as a doctor, helping poor kids in Mexico. Add to this the fact that the kidnappers are working with a Georgian (in Russia, not the Southern U.S.) Terrorist who plans on having 16 suicide bombers detonate themselves in 16 different locations in the U.S., using high tech, undetectable suicide vests, thereby plunging the U.S. economy into chaos.

Well filmed, and action packed, I really enjoyed this film. THere are no award winning performances, and there wasn’t any particular character that I liked or particularly hated – but this film didn’t need that. It had a good balance of explosions and gunshots and plotting. Sure, it’s a bit of U.S. flag waving (and I am not an Amaerica), but that said, this is a great “guy’s movie.”

So, in short, if you want to watch a good, military action film, check out Act of Valor.

Check out the trailer here:


Swamp Thing (1982) – 80`s Comic Book Cheeziness – But I Love It

I watched 1982’s Swamp Thing back when it was new (and I was young) and I loved it then just as I love it now.

Starring Adrienne Barbeau and Louis Jourdan, this Wes Craven movie is primarily about a scientist that develops some plant/animal hybrid formula that allows super fast regeneration of cells. An evil, bad mad scientist wants the formula and, with his henchmen, heads to the doctor’s laboratory in the swamp to take it. An accident leaves the good guy on fire when the formula gets splashed all over him – he’s assumed killed. The bad guys take the research notes (minus one book that Adrienne hides while feigning unconsciousness.

The good guy scientist, instead of being killed by the formula/fire, is actually transformed into the Swamp Thing: a giant, plant/man hybrid with enormous strength and rapid healing powers.

The rest of the film has Adrienne being captured, saved, captured, escaped…Swamp Thing captured/escaping. It’s really all very silly and low budget… But I just don’t care. This film has charm and is fun… and I got to see Adrienne Barbeau’s boobs when I was a kid and that’s something!

Hey, this is a comic book movie, so realism can be thrown to the wind. Leave your sense of credulity at the door and enjoy this silly film.

Here is the trailer:


Exit Wounds (2001) – Exit Steven Seagal’s Movie Career

I watched 2001’s Steven Seagal action Schlockfest for one reason and one reason only: It was filmed in Calgary, Alberta Canada – the city that I call home.

Shortly after I moved to Calgary, there was a bit of a buzz about the Steven Seagal movie being filmed here, mostly due to a scene that was to be filmed an a bridge that is a local historical bridge. There was going to be explosions and stuff… typical action movie stuff.

It’s funny to watch a movie that is supposed to take place in Detroit and being able to recognize almost every single landmark as part of the Canadian city you live in…

Okay, now about the movie: You know that action movie you watched with that actor and he’s a cop, and he’s surrounded by bad cops, and the bad guy really isn’t the bad guy? This is that movie with Steven Seagal and DMX. I think that’s enough. No worse than most of Seagal’s movies and better than some. If you like these movies then you’ll do okay with this one and if you don’t like these movies then stay away. As far as I can tell, this is one of the last Steven Seagal movies to get a major theatrical release

Here’s the trailer:


Gremlins (1984) – I Forgot How Much I liked This Film

I had not seen Gremlins since it was in the theatre back in 1984. I remember loving this film at the time, and I also remember being surprised, thinking that this was going to be a funny, silly Christmas movie and being surprised by the darkness in this film.

In a nutshell, a loving inventor-family man (played by Country Music Legend Hoyt Axton) finds himself in a run down curio shop in China Town, in the hopes of finding a unique Christmas gift for his son. After some cajoling, he leaves with a cute, little creature called Mogwai (later named Gizmo),with three, simple but important rules: No Water, No food after midnight, and no bright light (Sunlight would actually kill the creature).

Of course, all rules are broken shortly after the arrival of Gizmo. An accidental water spill on Gizmo’s back (by a young Corey Feldman), creates a bunch more Mogwais – the new ones being more troublesome and led by the more belligerent one named Stripe after his mohawk like hair. Soon the jerk Strip tricks the son into feeding him and his brood after midnight (by chewing through the clock cord and making it look like it wasn’t after midnight yet). This causes Stripe and his crew to transform from the cute Mogwais into evil, ugly Gremlins that proceed to destroy the whole freakin’ town in short order – right during the whole Christmas season. It’s unusual to see death and destruction in a Christmas movie. Now, death and destruction in a Christmas movie that ends up being funny? That is an art form.

I gotta say, this movie hold up very well. Speaking to a lot of people that saw this movie years ago, I find that many have forgotten that this is actually a horror movie. Most people just remember the cute little Mogwai and think it’s a fun little Christmas movie. I think they’d be surprised watching it again.

Watch this movie – watch it again if it’s been a long time since you’ve seen it. It’s good… real good.

Here is the Trailer:



Hooper (1978) – Truly Cool

I have a confession to make: when this movie came out, I snuck into it with my buddy Craig by climbing under the fence of the local drive in. We were nine years old and his parents thought we were hanging out in the basement watching TV… good time.

That aside, I have always thought that this was a fun movie about a cool, ageing stuntman, Sonny Hooper (played by Burt Reynolds), on the set of a blockbuster movie. The movie is about his coming to grips with ageing and competition from younger, up and coming stuntmen, his relationship with Gwen (played by Sally Fields) and being potentially paralysed by doing and incredible jump over a gorge  in a rocket car as well as dealing with a prick of a director, played by Robert Klein.

Look, Burt Reynolds is cool and this is a cool movie. Many movies that I liked as a kid seem crappy when I watch them now, but this is not one of them. I find the characters fun and compelling and generally a fun movie with the right amount of action to dialogue. The supporting cast is just strong enough with actors like Brian Keith, Jan-Michael Vincent and James Best (Rosco from The Dukes of Hazzard).

I would say that if you’re looking for a fun, action paced movie then go for it – Hooper is a fun romp.

Here is the trailer:


The Last Chase (1981) – Lee Majors Takes Chris Makepeace on a Ride He’ll Never Forget (But Probably Should)

I watched this movie as a kid on TV back in the day – possibly 1981 or 1982 and freakin’ loved it. I mean, come on: it starred Lee Majors (you know, the Six Million Dollar Man – just the coolest guy ever), and Chris Makepeace (the then up and coming Canadian actor and co-star of the awesome Bill Murray film, Meatballs), and they were driving a freakin’ race car across a post plague stricken United States while the governed send out  Burgess Meredith  in a 1950s era F-86 Sabre fighter jet to kill him.

Lee Major’s plays an ex racecar driver, Franklyn Hart who has had trouble fitting into the new post plague U.S. with it’s overbearing governement and new no cars policy. In an effort to fight back, he plans on driving himself in his Porsche race car across the States to Free California.

Before he has a chance, he’s joined by genius mis-fit Chris Makepeace, who has been hacking government computers, and being a jerk. He forces himself along for the ride (of course) and along the way, the two become friends.

The Government wants to do anything they can to prevent Hart from reaching California and possible becoming a folk hero, and bring Air Force pilot Captain J.G. Williams (Burgess Meredith) out of retirement and plop him into an out dated jet with instructions to stop Hart. One problem: Williams is more into this for the fun, and actually sympathizes with Hart. Despite a few brushes with him, Williams takes it easy on him, and eventually end up saving Hart by sacrificing himself.


Ok… This movie has not aged well, and is once again proof that somethings are best left as great memories. Still, I am glad I re-watched it. Sure, it`s terrible but I had fun. I don`t think I could really recommend it, but I will anyway.

Here is the trailer:



Bad Ass (2012) – A Movie Based on a 3 Minute Youtube Clip That Danny Trejo Manages to Pull Off

Anyone remember that clip that Youtube a year or so ago where the old guy kicks the ass of an asshole on a bus, leaving the asshole asking for an “Amberlamps”? This movie is loosely (very loosely) based on that. Still, Danny Trejo makes it worth watching.

Trejo’s character, a seven year Vietnam veteran that was never able to fully transition back in to society, has passed the years in relative obscurity, working his hotdog stand for years while life passed him by. That all changed one day when he reluctantly kicks the ass of a couple of skin heads on a bus that are picking on an elderly black gentleman. Trejo’s act is caught on cellphone video and uploaded to the net where he becomes an instant Internet star when the video goes viral. A few more similar incidents like this manages to cement his reputation as “Bad Ass”

When Trejo’s buddy gets killed and the police don’t seem to be putting any effort into finding the killer, Trejo take the cause into his own hands. His investigation leads to a lot of bad guys getting their asses kicked (or worse), and right to the corrupt mayor.

This is a cheezy, low budget movie with a very tenuous plot…but I freakin’ loved it. A real grindhouse feel (without the fake dirty film effect), I have to recommend this movie if you came to the site because you like low budget wonders.

I say watch it.

Here’s the trailer:

And here’s a link to the original clip that inspired it:


Harry’s War (1981) – A Must Watch Lost Classic from the Depths of the 80s

Harry’s War is one of those movies I have often thought about since seeing it back in the 80s, but was unable to ever find a copy to watch. I think this is one of the truly underrated movies of all time.

Harry’s War is a movie about the injustice of unfair taxation and the fact that the Internal Revenue Service (I.R.S.) is seemingly above the law and able to trump the rights guaranteed to the U.S. population in the Constitution (by the way, I am not an American, so I look at this from the outside). It’s about one man that has exhausted all legal avenues and is forced to take action… to declare war on the I.R.S.

Starring one of those “That Guy” actors as the title character, Edward Herrmann is Harry Johnson – lowley, meek postman that inherits his adopted  ’Aunt’ Beverly Payne’s (played by Geraldine Page) soup kitchen/Antique/military surplus when she dies in tax court fighting the I.R.S. Running a charitable service, providing food ans comfort to those less off than her, she has come under the scrutiny of the I.R.S. and particularly that of Ernie Scelera, IRS District Director (David Ogden Stiers of M,A,S,H. fame), who believes that she ia actually running a political organization ans shirking her tax obligation. Scelera make it his mission to bring down Payne, saddling her with a $150,000+ tax bill, and no fair way to contest it. 

Asking Harry to come and help, he does just that, and shortly after arriving, is asked to take over the operation, as Payne just doesn’t have the strength anymore to keep going AND battle the I.R.S. Harry picks up the torch and beging the fight. Soon, court Aunt Patne passes away and Harry must take both burdens – which he does. After not gainig any traction with the I.R.S. by following their rules, he declsres war on the I.R.S. publicly by driving through the wall of a local news station and publicly declaring his intenet in the middle of an interview with Director Scelera.

The rest of the story is the physical and willful battle between the little guy and the Big Government Juggernaut. Attempts to isolate Harry from the press are foiled and he gains a grass roots following. Even when the army is brought in, they aren’t exactly sure they’re on the right side of the battle.

This is a feel good story with a serious message that still manages to stay funny – not an easy thing to do. A good cast, and good writing manages to overcome an obviously low budget. 

This movie has been traditionally very hard to find, as it only aired on TV once since it left the theatres it was released once on VHS, and then in 2005 saw the same VHS copy slapped onto a DVD. Both are long out of print. I was surprised this morning when it popped up on Netflix as a suggestion for me – I of course watched it immediately.

Available on Netflix, I have also found a copy on Youtube, though it is missing the first 5 or so minutes, I will link to it, as enough of the film is there that you should have no issue following the story – the only thing you miss is a bunch of people enjoying a meal provided by “Aunt” Payne and a little political diatribe – and you see the guy with the beard start a tape recorder recording. If you don’t have Netflix, then I say watch the Youtube copy – It’s better than not watching at all.

Just watch this movie – it’s awesome.

Here’s a little over nine and a half minutes of the film, to get a feeling for it:

And Here’s the whole movie, minus 5 minutes or so:




Remo Williams: The Adventure Begins (1985) – This Movie Deserved to Be Part of Series

Well, we watched the 1985 action film Remo Williams, the Adventure Begins, last night and like a number of these films I’ve watched over the last few months, I find myself asking the question: why have I not seen this movie earlier.

Based on the paper back book series, The Destroyer, the film is a bout a police officer, Sam Makin (played by Fred Ward that has his death faked (without his knowledge), and is forces/recruited into a secret organization named Cure that gets justice against big shots that appear to be above the law. Sort of like an Equalizer against guys like Bernie Madoff. 

Our Hero, Police Officer Sam Makin, is given a new name, Remo Williams (I laughed so hard during the scene where he gets his new name) and is sent to live with Korean martial arts master Chiun who is to teach Remo on how to be a martial arts killing machine. Chiun is a lean, mean bullet dodging machine who seams slightly racist against non Koreans. This Chiun is a great character. Remo learns the ways of Sinanju” despite a rushed training and is set out to take care of the antagonist George Grove, president of an arms company ripping off the Government and producing weapons that are almost as dangerous to the soldier using it. Throw in an inquisitive Major Rayner Flemming (played by Kate Mulgrew) and some bad-guy 

lackeys and you have a fun film. That and a pretty cool scene that takes place on and in the Statue of Liberty.

One of the coolest things about this film is the fact that the good guy, Remo doesn’t use a gun – he uses his new found prowess in martial arts to defeat opponents that are armed.
 This is something that you don’t see too often outside of Jet-Li films nowadays. There’s some star power (kind of) in the fact that Wilford Brimley as Harold Smith, leader of Cure

I say watch this film if you like action adventure films, as it really does seem fresh compared to most. I don’t think you’ll be disappointed.

Check out the trailer here:



Spun (2002) Left Me Spinning

Watched the 2002 Drug (Meth) film, Spun last nigh and Iit lived up to it’s nhame and left me spinning.

The story of an increasingly out of control Meth-Head, Ross (played by Jason Schwartzman) that ends up working as a driver for for a Meth cooker (known simply as “The Cook” and played by Mickey Rourke ) and his girl friend Nikki (played by Brittany Murphy). The movie takes place over three or four days and it is a crazy mixed up adventure. Also staring John Leguizamo and Mena Suvari (as the Dealer “Spider” and his girlfriend “Cookie”.

I am not going to bother explaining what happens in this film, but I will note that it is a dark, drug ac tion-adventure (slight) comedy mind-F@3k. If you think you can handle something like that, the I definitely recommend this film, but if it doesn’t sound like your cup of tea, then it really isn’t for you. Hell, in my opinion Mickey Rourke’s performance is reason enough to justify watching.

Check out the trailer here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1kxDvTaP-SU


Tonight’s Movie: Thou Shalt Not Kill… Except

Thou Shalt Not Kill, ExceptNot necessarily a bad movie, but definitely not a good movie, tonight’s faire is a flick from the producers of The Evil Dead and starring Sam Raimi (director of the Evil Dead), called Thou Shalt not Kill… Except (a.k.a. “Stryker’s War). It’s a film about Jack Stryker, a Vietnam vet just back from the war who’s girl friend and her Grandfather and pretty much the whole town are victimized by a murderous Messianic Hippy leader (played by Sam Raimi), and his cult. It’s a story about revenge… Stryker’s revenge. Stryker gets his ‘Nam buddies back together to deliver a whole crap load of revenge. They turn there little bit of America in to a warzone. Some cheezy acting and some fun action with just enough gore. Sam Raimi does a good job playing the evil hippy cult leader who believes himself to be Jesus Christ and everybody’s favourite star, Bruce Campbell (Evil Dead anyone? Hello?) has a writing credit. 

Oh… and the cabin from the Evil Dead movies is in it!

Not a classic, but a fun watch. 

Check out the trailer here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WeW3gSozGeU

Tomorrow night looks like it might be Cannibal Holocaust.