Action Movie Club pt 1: Full Throttle

Joined: Aug 2007
Posts: 20355
Am I a bad person for finding King Boxer aka Five Fingers of Death pretty underwhelming? It's not bad (Shaw Brothers productions tend to have a pretty firm baseline of minimum quality/competence), but it's dragged down by a pretty uninteresting story that it invests far too much in. Lieh Lo is wasted as a pretty bland hero (he's much more fun when he's playing villains) and the main fighting style is pretty boring choreography-wise, although there are at least two standout action sequences (the blind fight and the final fight) and some choice gore moments. This material could have been exceptional in the hands of Chang Cheh, who knew how to imbue stakes into really basic premises, punch them up with blood and gore, and execute them nimbly and energetically.
May 19, 2017 3:24 AM
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Joined: Aug 2016
Posts: 2846
I enjoyed the latest F&F movie purely for the completely nuts over the topness of it all. Must have wasted 100s of cars in this behemoth. I don't know if you watch the series MKS but there were some awesome set pieces. It's a bit of a letdown after the last three entries but I'm sure it will pick back up. $1 billion at the box office ($900 million from overseas) ensures more of them.

Now I'm waiting desperately for June 28th. Okja premiers on Netflix. Same with the latest from Noah Baumbach which Netflix also produced.
May 19, 2017 4:32 AM
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Joined: Aug 2007
Posts: 20355
Enjoyed Collateral quite a bit. It doesn't push the digital aesthetic to the limits that Miami Vice does, but it's more satisfying on a narrative level and has a stronger sense of momentum. Also like that Cruise's character wasn't humanized, which kept the sense of menace pretty consistent. On a side note, is this the only time Cruise has played an older character?
May 23, 2017 12:04 AM
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Stu
Joined: Aug 2006
Posts: 66943
While I didn't think Collateral distinguished itself quite enough from other crime thrillers for me to say I loved it the way some do (also wouldn't call it an action movie either, Rocko ), it's still a rather good, taut effort from Mann, and one of the only times where I can remember feeling that Cruise had disappeared inside of a role at all, instead of just playing the millionth version of "Tom Cruise, Famous Movie Star" yet again.
May 23, 2017 2:04 AM
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Joined: Oct 2005
Posts: 59992
Yeah Collateral is solid. Not sure I like the lawyer bit at the end but love the night club scene.
May 23, 2017 3:23 AM
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MKS
Joined: Jul 2006
Posts: 46273
I love Collateral. I think in many ways, it's arguable that the shootout in the nightclub and alleyway shooting are just as good, if not better, than the tremendous shootout of Heat.

Cruise is absolutely compelling and his feeling of artificial control is put to the best use since Magnolia.
May 23, 2017 3:46 AM
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Joined: Aug 2016
Posts: 2846
What the fuck is artificial control? Is it fake control? Does he control himself fakely?

PS - Nevermind I looked it up. It's some stupid critic terminology or some thing for splicing genes.
May 23, 2017 3:51 AM
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Joined: Nov 2003
Posts: 10706
I really like Collateral, and even considering my general and long standing dislike of Tom Cruise, it's one of the few movies I think he puts forward a good performance in. And as a villain no less.
May 23, 2017 3:53 AM
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MKS
Joined: Jul 2006
Posts: 46273
crumbsroomI really like Collateral, and even considering my general and long standing dislike of Tom Cruise, it's one of the few movies I think he puts forward a good performance in. And as a villain no less.

But... He's the Cruise.
May 23, 2017 3:55 AM
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Joined: Aug 2016
Posts: 2846
MKS
crumbsroomI really like Collateral, and even considering my general and long standing dislike of Tom Cruise, it's one of the few movies I think he puts forward a good performance in. And as a villain no less.

But... He's the Cruise.

He's a Scientology representing wank.
May 23, 2017 3:56 AM
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MKS
Joined: Jul 2006
Posts: 46273
RockAm I a bad person for finding King Boxer aka Five Fingers of Death pretty underwhelming? It's not bad (Shaw Brothers productions tend to have a pretty firm baseline of minimum quality/competence), but it's dragged down by a pretty uninteresting story that it invests far too much in. Lieh Lo is wasted as a pretty bland hero (he's much more fun when he's playing villains) and the main fighting style is pretty boring choreography-wise, although there are at least two standout action sequences (the blind fight and the final fight) and some choice gore moments. This material could have been exceptional in the hands of Chang Cheh, who knew how to imbue stakes into really basic premises, punch them up with blood and gore, and execute them nimbly and energetically.

Also, yes.
May 23, 2017 4:46 AM
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Joined: Nov 2003
Posts: 10706
Black Philip
MKS
crumbsroomI really like Collateral, and even considering my general and long standing dislike of Tom Cruise, it's one of the few movies I think he puts forward a good performance in. And as a villain no less.

But... He's the Cruise.

He's a Scientology representing wank.

Tom Cruise is great at being Tom Cruise. He's a charming guy and he's in most ways pretty likeable. As long as your forget about that Scientology stuff. And in movies where he just has to be a charming guy, I can deal with him. I'm completely fine with him in movies like Jerry Maguire and Risky Business and Top Gun. But when he plays a 'serious role' where he needs to be an 'actor' I just don't think he has the chops. He definitely has his moments. I think he's really good in Born on the Fourth of July and Rain Man. He also makes a great villain in Collateral. But most of his more serious work I don't like. And, just in case you think I forgot about Magnolia, I didn't. Love the movie, but Tom Cruise is my least favorite part of it.
May 23, 2017 4:50 AM
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Joined: Feb 2015
Posts: 11881
crumbsroomAnd, just in case you think I forgot about Magnolia, I didn't. Love the movie, but Tom Cruise is my least favorite part of it.

If only he had drop-kicked those fucking dogs.
May 23, 2017 5:00 AM
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Joined: Aug 2016
Posts: 2846
crumbsroom
Black Philip
MKS
crumbsroomI really like Collateral, and even considering my general and long standing dislike of Tom Cruise, it's one of the few movies I think he puts forward a good performance in. And as a villain no less.

But... He's the Cruise.

He's a Scientology representing wank.

Tom Cruise is great at being Tom Cruise. He's a charming guy and he's in most ways pretty likeable.

I like the guy. I've been a fan since Risky Business. He just needs to act his age and start taking on more mature roles sometime soon. He can't save the world forever.
May 23, 2017 5:03 AM
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MKS
Joined: Jul 2006
Posts: 46273
Janson Jinnistan
crumbsroomAnd, just in case you think I forgot about Magnolia, I didn't. Love the movie, but Tom Cruise is my least favorite part of it.

If only he had drop-kicked those fucking dogs.

JJ... You love Cruise in Magnolia, right??? RIGHT?!?!
May 24, 2017 4:07 AM
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Joined: Aug 2007
Posts: 20355
I watched Close Range, a DTV flick with Scott Adkins from the director of Ninja and Ninja: Shadow of a Tear. It's not as good as either of those movies, mostly because it puts more emphasis on plot and character, and there's a reason most of these actors are only in DTV stuff. (There's one actor who tries to do a squinty-eyed Charles Napier impression, and let me tell you, he's no Charles Napier.) There are more gunfights than the other films, and they're pretty forgettable, but the fights are pretty solid and Adkins doesn't embarrass himself when called to act. There are worse ways to kill an hour and a half, but this shouldn't be a priority for anybody.
May 25, 2017 3:17 AM
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Joined: Aug 2016
Posts: 2846
Well I watched John Wick 2 and it was glorious. Can't wait for the next helping. Got Free Fire lined up for tomorrow.
May 25, 2017 3:52 AM
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MKS
Joined: Jul 2006
Posts: 46273
RockI watched Close Range, a DTV flick with Scott Adkins from the director of Ninja and Ninja: Shadow of a Tear. It's not as good as either of those movies, mostly because it puts more emphasis on plot and character, and there's a reason most of these actors are only in DTV stuff. (There's one actor who tries to do a squinty-eyed Charles Napier impression, and let me tell you, he's no Charles Napier.) There are more gunfights than the other films, and they're pretty forgettable, but the fights are pretty solid and Adkins doesn't embarrass himself when called to act. There are worse ways to kill an hour and a half, but this shouldn't be a priority for anybody.

You pretty much described my experience with Hard Target 2.
I don't know why Adkins wasn't touched for Iron Fist. He's a better actor and FAR better martial artist than current Rand. Given the character is supposed to be the greatest martial artist, it would be preferable that he looked like one and not like a chump.
May 25, 2017 4:19 AM
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Joined: Feb 2015
Posts: 11881
MKSJJ... You love Cruise in Magnolia, right??? RIGHT?!?!

It helps to know a little about Tom's similarly poor relationship with his real father. I think that it's a very personal performance in a lot of ways, almost meta.
May 25, 2017 4:25 AM
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MKS
Joined: Jul 2006
Posts: 46273
Janson Jinnistan
MKSJJ... You love Cruise in Magnolia, right??? RIGHT?!?!

It helps to know a little about Tom's similarly poor relationship with his real father. ?I think that it's a very personal performance in a lot of ways, almost meta.

Indeed. Cruise plays with affectations of confidence and masculinity so well then lays bare the reality of the character in a way that's shockingly raw. It's a unique performance by him for exactly that reason. Many of his roles deal with a character's artifice but rarely does he tear down that barrier. Eyes Wide Shut, Collateral, Mission Impossible, Top Gun and even Risky Business all show the ruse but don't pull back the curtain.
If there's a performance that stands alongside Magnolia, I haven't seen it and I consider myself a big fan.
May 25, 2017 4:30 AM
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