Category Archives: Action

Mad Max: Fury Road

Bill C’s Review – 4 out of 5

Of the early summer season action movies (Avengers, Furious 7) this was by far the best.

This had very interesting, non-stop action scenes throughout.  The action is different from your typical action movie today and that made it even better.  While the plot is very basic what was there was interesting as were the characters.

Charlize Theron and Tom Hardy were both great.  Tom Hardy is definitely one of the best actors today with diverse roles in good films.  Some of his most recent have been: this, Locke, The Drop and the Dark Knight Rises.

If you haven’t seen this yet see it while it’s still in theaters.

Bill I’s Review – 3.5 out of 5

I enjoyed it as well, nonstop action, kept me interested. I loved Charlize’s character, and Tom Hardy was perfect. He’s one of the best actors, and I never recognize him for some reason. I would rate this higher if it was a genre I had more interest in.

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Furious 7

Bill C’s Review – 3 out of 5

When you get to the 7th event in a series like this it’s pretty hard to out-do the stunts from the previous films.  Furious 7 gives it it’s best shot and you’ll either  enjoy the effort  and the absurdity of the stunts or hate the movie.  Luckily I was in the mood to go along for the ride.

This was also the farewell to Paul Walker who dies in an automobile accident before the film was finished. The film was delayed as they rewrote the movie to incorporate his departure and to use his brother to shoot his final scenes.  While the film manipulated your expectations with his farewell  they did an ok job here.

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Avengers: Age of Ultron

Bill C’s Review – 3 out of 5

Avengers: Age of Ultron was an ok action/sci fi film but not as good as the original.  While the action was pretty good they got a little carried away with figuring out how many different ways  and with how many of the other Avengers they could utilize Captain America’s shield.  I also found Tony Stark’s stubbornness annoying.  Despite that the movie flew by and overall was an entertaining movie.

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Kingsman: The Secret Service

Bill C’s Review – 3.5 out of 5

Kingsman: The Secret Service is a joyful spoof of Bond genre films and  is directed by Matthew Vaughn.  Vaughn successfully spoofed superhero movies a few years ago with Kick Ass.

The film is very entertaining with good action and lots of laughs.   Like Kick Ass or Kill Bill, there is a ton of violence  which may offend some.  The plot isn’t the most exciting, but fits right in with Bond spoofs. Samuel L. Jackson is the megalomaniac villain (who can’t stomach watching violence).  Colin Firth does a good job as the Bond-type spy and Taron Egerton is very likable as the young spy trainee.  There are no real ‘Bond’ girls, but dancer Sofia Boutella is great as the villain’s deadly hench-person

If you like Bond spoofs, Kick Ass or Kill Bill, check this movie out.

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Guardians of the Galaxy

Bill C’s Review – 4.25 out of 5

Guardians of the Galaxy is joy to watch. It’s a  Marvel based super hero movie with lots of humor, great energy and music and with  good action.

A toned Chris Pratt from Parks and Recreation is the excellent lead of a good cast that includes Zoe Saldana and the voice work of Vin Deisel (‘I am Groot’) and Bradley Cooper.  This is a lesser know Marvel set of unique characters and  it includes a super hero tree and fox but the filmmakers definitely made it work.

I did not see the 3D version so  I don’t know if that adds anything.  As with seemingly all Marvel comics this had an extra scene at the end but there were a lot of credits so you need to decide for yourself whether it’s worth the wait.  After Boyhood this has been my favorite movie this summer.

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Lucy

Bill C’s Review – 2 out of 5

I knew from the previews that the plot of Lucy made little sense, but since the film was directed by Luc Besson, I hoped the action would make up for it.  Unfortunately, it didn’t.

Scarlett Johansson stars as Lucy and does a fine job.  She is happy-go-lucky until drug dealers use her as a drug smuggling mule by implanting a new drug in her stomach. Things go from bad to worse as the bag of drugs break, causing Lucy to utilize 100% of her brain power. (Luckily, Morgan Freeman is giving a lecture so we know humans only use 10%). This turns her into a vengeful superhuman fighting machine. Up to this point, the film had lived up to my expectations of having a dumb plot, but the action did not redeem the movie either. In some ways, this film reminded me of 2001: A Space Odyssey as there were flashbacks to prehistoric monkeys and other animals, but that didn’t make much sense to me either.

The action was never boring, but it didn’t seem that original and when necessary, Besson seemed to just give Lucy a new super  power that didn’t have too much to do with brain power.  Lots of guys coming at you with guns? Give her the power to disarm all of them at once from a distance. No problem!

Besson has written/directed some great action movies, including District B13 (very highly recommended), Taken, La Femme Nikita, and The Transporter.  I’d recommend one of those instead of his latest film.

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Snowpiercer

Bill C’s Review – 4 out of 5

Snowpiercer takes place in a post apocalyptic world after a plan to reverse global warming goes awry and most life on earth is wiped out as the earth is plunged into a deep freeze.    All survivors  have been riding on a super train that needs to keep moving to allow it to sustain life.   All of this is told before the opening credits.e

The class system rules on the train with the lower classes in the back doing all the work and the 1% in front living the good life.  After several years the people in back revolt.  This is an excellent sci-fi movie with excellent, varied action.   The plot is also pretty good with a lot of  surprises/twists revealed along the way.  There’s also a good mix of humor to go along with the action and serious themes.

This is directed by South Korean (this film is in English)  film maker Joon-ho Bong who is most famous for The Host a few years ago.  The cast is excellent with Tilda Swinton (almost unrecognizable) steals the movie as one of the leaders of the upper class trying to control the lower classes.

I think this just had a limited release and might be easier to find on video on demand.  it is worth looking for.

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Edge of Tomorrow

Bill C’s Review – 3 out of 5

The Edge of Tomorrow is a sci-fi Groundhog Day during an Independence Day like war with aliens.

As Tom Cruise goes back in time he needs to keep learning so he can get further and hopefully progress to lead the defeat of the aliens.  He is aided by Emily Blunt who had a similar ability, became a hero  at a key battle but eventually lost the power.

I really liked the first 95% of the movie.  The plot is good, they threw in a lot of good humor and showed the progression towards the goal in a clever way.

Blunt and Cruise were both good although Cruise is probably reaching the point where he should leave this role to younger people (but if Liam Neeson can  do action stuff in his 60s why not? And I see Mission Impossible 5 and a Top Gun sequel are coming up for Cruise!).

The very ending to me seemed like a big cop out.  I don’t want to give it away but would be interested to know if others agreed.  Despite the ending I thought this was a good summer action movie.

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X-Men Days of Future Past

Bill C’s Review – 3.5 out of 5

Things are looking bleak for the X-Men sometime in the future.  They are losing a Terminator like war as humans have come up with these killer machines.  So what are you going to do?   Time to send an X-Men (X-Man?) back in the past to try to unite the X-Men at a pivotal time in history and alter the key event that led to the present situation.

I didn’t think this was the best X-Men movie but I thought it was a pretty good one.  The action was good  and included some humorous action (although the first time travel sequence was sort of confusing to  me until they explained it).

At this point you know the key characters pretty well with Wolverine, Raven/Mystique, Charles and Magneto getting most of the screen time.   Hugh Jackman, Michael Fassbender and Jennifer Lawrence stand out with most of the tension coming from the need to get Magneto to conform.  Jackman has been playing Wolverine for almost 15 years now and you wonder how much longer he can do that role but so far he can still handle it.    While a ton of X-Men are in the movie some just have cameos (Rogue/ Ann Pacquin being  probably on screen for about 5 seconds).   Peter Dinklage handles the evil non mutant role and they find a Richard Nixon impersonator for some of the scenes in the 70s towards  the end of the Vietnam war.

I did not see this in 3D although I heard that was pretty good.  If you’re a fan of the series you should definitely see this one.  If you have an extra 8 minutes stick around for the closing credits  and teaser for the next X-Men movie (and let me know what it means).

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Captain America: The Winter Soldier

Bill C’s Review – 2.5 out of 5

I’m definitely in the minority as I just considered this an ok super hero movie.  Maybe if I was more of a Captain America fan I would have liked this more.

I enjoyed the first half better but the film lost me as more of the character motivations and plot were revealed.  I simultaneously thought some of the plot was too over the top while other parts were too predictable.   Other movies have done a better job of commenting on current events like shrinking freedoms in a dangerous world and disclosures of government secrets.

While the action was ok I also didn’t think that was outstanding.  Maybe the great reviews and my anticipation of the first summer blockbuster (summer keeps coming earlier and earlier! ) set my expectations too high.

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