Posts Tagged ‘Total Recall’

On episode 5 of the Film Don’t Hurt podcast Kai and Dylan talk about a list devised on The Vulture of the best 25 action movies since die hard. You can see what they came up with HERE. While I don’t disagree with any of there list (except Suppercop that I haven’t seen) I have my own ideas so thought I would come up with my own list. Die Hard is probably my favourite action movie. I have stated many times that it reinvented the genre. While this is largely true, if you look at it from a different point of view, it also killed the genre. Through the 70’s and 80’s action meant big men like Stallone, Schwarzenegger or Lundgren. With Die Hard Bruce Willis made it possible for the everyman to be an action hero. Then through the 90’s things changed with the rise of comic book movies and directors like Michael Bay and Roland Emmerich who just want to blow shit up. I like comic book movies but am a board of blowing shit up movies as reflected in my list. It was surprisingly difficult, there are at least another fifteen movies I would have liked to have included. I couldn’t decide on the order for the list. The best movies or the ones that represent the genre best. I decided to go for a chronological list, firstly for simplicity but I also think it gives an interesting overview of the changes in the genre. I used the same three simple rules:

Not every movie with action in it is an action movie. (it had to be a film that wouldn’t make any sense if you took all the action scenes out)

Only one film per franchise.

No animation.

Nikita (1990)nikita
Total Recall (1990)Total Recall
Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991)Terminator 2 Judgment Day
Point Break (1991)Point-Break Utah and Bodhi
Hard Boiled (1992)hard boiled
Speed (1994)Speed
The Crow (1994)The Crow
Desperado (1995)Desperado
Run Lola Run (1998)Run Lola Run
Taxi (1998)taxi
The Matrix (1999)The Matrix
Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (2000)Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon
Gladiator (2000)Gladiator
Battle Royale (2000)Battle Royale
Blade II (2002)Blade 2
The Bourne Identity (2002)The Bourne Identity
Kill Bill Vol. 1 (2003)uma thurman kill bill
District 13 (2004)District 13
Serenity (2005)river
Batman Begins (2005) (I prefer The Dark Knight but Batman Begins is more of an action film)Batman Begins
Casino Royale (2006)Casino Royale
Apocalypto (2006)Apocalypto
300 (2006)300
Doomsday (2008)Rhona Mitra Doomsday
Avengers Assemble (2012)Marvel Avengers Assemble

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This time last year I reported a slow start to August following the idiots that decided to riot and loot in Birmingham. What a difference a year makes, I didn’t see a movie for the first two weeks of the month but for a positive reason, the spirit of the nation has been on a high following the Olympics. I made up for lost time with six movies in the second half on the month.

The Bourne Legacy: After doing a great job with the screenplays for the original Bourne trilogy and a impressive directorial debut with Michael Clayton, Tony Gilroy was an obvious choice to direct the new film. Jeremy Renner, Rachel Weisz and Edward Norton are all well cast but are sadly and surprisingly let down by a week script and poor direction. Ultimately the movie is little more than an attempt to cash in of the success of the Bourne trilogy. Ultimately it lacks both the heart and the intelligence of Paul Greengrass and Doug Liman’s movies.

Ted: When you take out the concept of the living teddy bear this is nothing more than a slacker comedy and not a very original one, it is however funny enough to get away with it. Worth watching for some great cameos and a perfect deadpan opening narration by Patrick Stewart.

The Expendables 2: The Hollywood rulebook says the sequel to an action movie has to be bigger, louder and dumber than the original. All those things are true of The Expendables 2 and it is all the better for it. Chuck Norris and Jean-Claude Van Damme join the cast and we get more of Bruce Willis and Arnold Schwarzenegger, but this is at the expense of and underused Jet Li.

Brave: I can’t get excited about animation so tend not to bother with them, I’m happy to report Brave wasn’t bad, a little lightweight but not bad. It lacks the charm and humour of Toy Story and is let down by Emma Thompson’s annoying attempt Scottish accent. The Pixar short La Luna shown before the film was brilliant.

Shadow Dancer: A spy drama unlike what we have come to expect of the genre. Everything is bubbling under the surface giving a realistic feel to the story. The big name stars Clive Owen and Gillian Anderson play supporting roles leaving Andrea Riseborough to shine. A really good film, but it lacks the tension that would make it great.

Total Recall: A remake of a minor Sci-Fi classic. Well cast and with some great action scenes, it lacks the humour of the original but this isn’t really a problem. Colin Farrell is a likeable hero, Jessica Biel looks great but her character is bland and isn’t given enough to do and is overshadowed by Kate Beckinsale whose part is extended from the one played by Sharon Stone in the original, it pays to be married to the director. Ultimately it is little more than a routine action movie but entertaining enough.

Movie of the month goes to the loudest and dumbest, but most fun movie of the month:

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