You gotta admit that the American courtroom is now a familiar element of cinema’s vocabulary. Even as a non-US citizen I still know what Exhibit A-Z refers to, that it sucks to have your objection overruled, and that there’s always a surprise witness. 12 Angry Men, A Few Good Men, numerous episodes of Star Trek. You’ve probably seen it all too. But have you seen a defendant claim the judge takes it up the ass? Probably not unless you’ve seen Law Abiding Citizen.
It’s gonna be Biblical…
If James (assistant director on the Matrix Trilogy) McTeigue’s 2009 Germo/Yankee film is anything to go by, the life of a Ninja Assassin is pretty tough. It isn’t all shuriken-throwing and disappearing-into-shadows badass glamour. They have all kinds of shit to worry about like rival ninja’s trying to kill them while they’re doing laundry or grocery shopping. And the pay is really poor– they’re still getting paid the same rate from 600 years ago. Inflation, it’s revealed, is not part of the ninja code.
It’s no wonder that ninja Raizo goes rogue.
Ninjas oh my!
I know your pain. It’s Valentines Day and you know that you’re going to have to endure some crap like Sweet Home Alabama to get a whiff of action. She’s not fallen for the fake Deadpool poster, and she insists that Rocky is a boxing movie and not a love story. You’re screwed.
But I have a solution. Let’s find out why The Bodyguard might solve all of your problems.
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You know, twenty years ago if you’d asked me “yo, Movie Bastard, just who is the best French action movie director around”, I would have laughed, “Luc Besson, you idiot” and then slapped you across your ignorant face. Around the mid-90’s mark he was killing it with Fifth Element and Leon and other things. But since then he’s been making all kinds of weird shit like the Arthur movies. But what of him in the mid 2010’s? Has his student, Pierre Morel (Taken, The Gunman) become the master?
Or will Lucy, Besson’s 2014 return to action, reignite his creative shoot-em-up skills? Lets find the feck out.
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Being an older, Oscar-winning actor and coming out of retirement to kick ass in lower budget action movies is the vogue at the moment. Liam Neeson wrote the blueprint with Taken, and has completely reinvented his late career. Now other high end middler-agers are coming out to take a piece of the bloody pie (Denzel, Guy Pearce etc).
Now it’s Sean Penn’s turn as The Gunman. Is he going to be the new Studio Canal Golden Boy? Or is this just another example of an elder statesman desperately trying to stay relevant?
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A quick re-watch of Expendables 2 the other day reminded me of Jean-Claude Van Damme’s turn as the maniacal Jean Vilain. We’ve spoken about many of cinema’s greatest badasses on this website – Schwarzenegger, Stallone, Statham, Norris and so forth, but never JCVD. I figured it was about time to revisit one of Van Damme’s greatest triumphs. Let’s talk about Hard Target.
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