Movies come out on DVD/Blu Ray faster than they ever have on any other media, which is why seeing movies in theaters (unless it’s for a damn good reason) is fading into the dark realm of the obsolete. When I say “good reason,” I mean “good fucking reason.” This would include epic films that would be criminal to miss on an iMAX screen, 3D movies of any kind, and films that you can see on a whim for a reasonable price.
With a Blockbuster rental service (I know, I know…it’s not Netflix, but shut the fuck up) I can freely see any movies I want, whenever I want; and not have to worry about how much they suck.
Fortunately, I tend to be fairly picky about the movies that I watch. Unfortunately, this juvenile finickiness forces me to miss some quality films that I otherwise probably would never have seen. One of such films is, for the purposes of this article: Taken.
Starring Liam Neeson (and briefly, Fanke Janssen), Taken was not the kind of movie that I would have rushed out to see, based on the preview. It’s an action-packed thriller with MacGyver fibes that just didn’t appeal to my movie judgement. But, I seem to be wrong a lot.
Neeson, who did not seem at first like he would be entirely suited for this role, rivals any action star in history…and this film was, in one word: unbe-fucking-lievable.
Unbe-fucking-lievable, in part because of how steadily and strongly it grabs you by the balls and tightens right up until the final moments.
…and unbe-fucking-lievable because everything that happened in the movie was over-the-top and beyond the realms of what can generally be discribed as ridonkulous.
I’m not sure how else to put it, or review it. It was essentially any given episode of 24, minus the drama and 500% more non-stop ass-kicking.
If you haven’t seen this movie, please treat yourself. It’s not the most sophisticated film you’ll see anytime soon, but it is hands-down the Charles Bronson-iest.
Liam Neeson kills fucking everyone; and it’s amazing to watch. It’s like Schindler’s Hit List.
I’ll leave you with one brief spoiler: You know how in every action movie ever, the multi-talented, super-intelligent, street-smart, and savvy hero never gets a scratch on him until he’s in that Final Battle with the main asshole, even if every single asshole before him has had exactly the same skills? Yeah. No change here, but just as satisfying.
Long live the morally ambiguous protagonist!
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Every once in a while, a movie comes along that looks SO bad, you just HAVE to see it (think Snakes on a Plane bad). Now, I wasn’t really crazy about Snakes on a Plane, so here are three movies that, regardless of how bad you thought they were, you should go see today.
UHF- Yes, that’s right. Weird Al really did make a movie. And it’s really weird. It’s strangely watchable, though, with some big names (Fran Drescher, Michael Richards, Emo Phelps and Kevin McCarthy). There’s a strange combination of low-brow kid jokes and semi-sharp dialogue. The story is pretty simple; a loser and his friend are given his rich uncle’s low powered TV station, and have to compete with the local network station. When U62 becomes too popular, the big-budget owner of the network tries to buy them out, with hilarious results. My favorite moment is when Stanly Spudowski (played by Michael Richards) gives this monologue:
This is my new mop. George, my friend, he gave me this mop. This is a pretty good mop. It’s not as good as my first mop. I miss my first mop, but this is still a good mop. Sometimes you just hafta take what life gives ya, ’cause life is like a mop and sometimes life gets full of dirt and crud and bugs and hairballs and stuff… you, you, you gotta clean it out. You, you, you gotta put it in here and rinse it off and start all over again and, and sometimes, sometimes life sticks to the floor so bad you know a mop, a mop, it’s not good enough, it’s not good enough. You, you gotta get down there, like, with a toothbrush, you know, and you gotta, you gotta really scrub ’cause you gotta get it off. You gotta really try to get it off. But if that doesn’t work, that doesn’t work, you can’t give up. You gotta, you gotta stand right up. You, you gotta run to a window and say, “Hey! These floors are dirty as hell, and I’m not gonna take it any more!”
Slackers- Laura Prepon, Jason Segal and everyone’s favorite, JASON SCHWARTZMAN come together in this…weird…movie about cheating your way through college. It’s not really that unlike American Pie, or any of those, I just like it alot better. It’s a little bit less gross-out than many of those type of movies, but still enjoyable to those who like them. This movie was quoted all through our undergrad years, specifically the following dialogue:
Sam: Professor Markoe! Thank God you’re here! I was hit by a truck today.
Professor Markoe: Well you alright?
Head T.A. Philip, Bruna, the Office Manager: He was hit by a truck!
My favorite part is at the end, when Ethan sings his song…. I love you but, I hate you, which brings to mind, how much I love you. We could have worked this out you know, in a little room, in a little locked room. I’m sorry you had to settle for Dave, the one-dimensional man. He’s filed under “Cocksucker” in my little black book. Sweetness can rot your teeth. Bittersweet, cacophony. But you hold the key, you hold the key, to my little locked room. You hold the key, you hold the key, to my little locked whoa-ooh-oh-oh. Please let… me… out soon. I luh you.
The Girl Next Door- The classic story of boy falls for girl, who happens to be a porn star. If I gave out any other details, I think too much of the story would be given away. But it’s hilarious and has a great story. This is one of the more underrated teen movies that I can remember. This one really doesn’t belong on a list of BAD movies, but I think it was advertised as being a teen-gross out. Go see it.
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Toys have come a long way since I was a kid. Well, not really…but technology has advanced quite a bit and toy production has improved. One of the big steps has been Facial Scan technology that has improved how our dolls and action figures look. I remember a day when our toys looked nothing like who they were supposed to be, and we were happy! Well, not really.
Innovations in toys to improve the way they look, feel, sound, and even interact came later into my childhood and signified a new era in play. Whether this progression be primarily in toys, games, or education still remains to be seen, but toys, for the most part, seem to be getting more intriguing. I can’t help but feel a certain uncontrollable jealousy…I loved the toys I had when I was a kid, but now, looking back…they were all pretty shitty.
Why we thought it was cool: As toys advanced, Transformers no longer relied on children imagining that their robotic automobile-shaped hunks of plastic actually resembled the characters they saw in the cartoon. Transformers were cool again because it actually took some skill to assemble them. They looked similar to the characters they were portraying and everyone knew you were well-off if you had the more expensive ones.
Why it’s disappointing: Nobody watched the show because the whole concept was kind of gay. Not that Transformers as a whole wasn’t ridiculous, but swapping out bad-ass trucks, jets, and military vehicles for talking animals is a severe lapse in masculinity. The toys did spark a resurgence in regular Transformer sales…only because cool kids needed to prove to the Beast Wars kids that they weren’t pussies.
Why we thought it was cool: Let’s face it, we were all so deluded into thinking that the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles were cool that some of us still blindly keep the nostalgia in a locked box, refusing to see it for what it was–a shitty kids’ cartoon. There were some undeniably mature elements to the original TMNT source material, but as much as you tell yourself that the NEW Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles sucks, it’s golden compared to the old one.
However, as children, we were stupid enough to look past the terrible animation and ridiculous characters and enjoy it. That, and every-fucking-body had all of these toys…even the obscure ones that no one ever actually played with:
Why it’s disappointing: If the above picture isn’t enough of a reason, let’s go a little deeper. The first step to recovery is to admit you have a problem. Some things are worth being nostalgic over, but Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles should hardly be one of them. We all had a good time with the heroes in a half-shell, but it’s time to let them go.
Despite the realization that the cartoon was 3rd rate, think about the old toys…all of the weapons were still in the fucking plastic molds. We had to work to pull out the monochromatic shards of plastic that only slightly resembled their accessories only to lose them all later that day. And then, the toy series just got…fucking weird:
Why we thought it was cool: The Furby should require no introduction. After the demise of the “Virtual (Keychain) Pet,” this was the next step in giving children responsibility that they shouldn’t have. Every kid thought they wanted a Furby. I think my house gave shelter to three. For the first few days after the initial adoption of these Mogwai rip-offs, kids didn’t just get bored with them…
Why it’s disappointing: …they were annoyed-to-all-hell with them. The Furby‘s concept was simple…a ‘living’ virtual pet that could show pseudo-emotion and (at some point) learn. Furbys didn’t die, and somewhere, I’m almost certain that every discarded one of these fuckers are still in tact and probably forming the building blocks of the most piss-annoying society known to man.
Furbys could communicate with one another, which only served to twist the knife. They would jabber on endlessly and if you managed to keep them alive long enough for them to pick up ENGLISH, they would wake you up at all hours of the night with a soft, creepy, robotic “I’m Hungreeeee…”
Furbys reached their peak when it was discovered that they could “learn” too much. They became a security threat based on the (probably unfounded) theory that they could scan Top Secret information into their data banks. Furbys caused 9-11.
Why we thought it was cool: Before the advent of the lifelike robotic pet, we had “Virtual Pets.” Tamagotchi came first, introducing us to the wide world of interminable beeping keychains that needed constant attention. The beauty of DigiMon (which was a precursor to POKeMON) was that it was presented as a non-gay way for boys to have a Virtual Pet. There was (still is?) a cartoon show that nobody watched, and offered little-to-no competition with POKeMON.
Why it’s disappointing: Once POKeMON came out, virtual pets GTFO’d. “I’m sorry, is your keychain beeping? I just caught 150 virtual monsters on my GameBoy and earned 8 Victory Badges. Suck my balls.”
There wasn’t much improvement in this toy over Tamagotchi except for the ability to link yours with a friends and make your monsters fight (no homo). The only problem here was that none of your friends had the fucking thing, so yours was essentially useless. It was, however, a fine middle-of-the-road between pointless and awesome.
6. Mighty Max
Why we thought it was cool: I’m pretty sure Mighty Max came out around the same time as Polly Pocket, but had significantly less staying power. Pocket playsets for boys was a genius concept that still remains to this day (with minimal improvement needed). Mighty Max was appealing because he was a kid (hey, just like me!) who found himself in all kinds of ridiculous peril with monsters ranging from the Skull Master to…say…a fucking dinosaur.
These toys allowed kids to use their imaginations, because…well…they had to. There wasn’t much there to play with, and that’s where the disappointment comes in.
Why it’s disappointing: Max, along with his gladiator pal Norman and his…wise bird(?) Virgil were captured in the short-lived animated series. I’ll bet you forgot they existed, didn’t you? Well, not me! Mighty Max found a way to exploit every single avenue from massive playsets:
…to McDonald’s toys and watches! They did this without ever once considering improving the model. Everything about Mighty Max was lackluster, from the tiny blobs of dual-colored plastic to the playsets that lose their charm after you’ve played out every possible scenario that the backdrop could offer. I will admit that I got extremely giddy looking at all the Mighty Max sets that I used to own…but then again, I’m retarded.
5. Crash Dummies
Why we thought it was cool: Let’s face it, “we” didn’t. Only a specific audience liked these pieces of shit, and I was amongst that crowd. The brief (ridiculous) animated series made no sense and went absolutely nowhere. This was a tool to learn about automobile safety protocols while appealing to vindictive children who just wanted to watch a human body be blown the fuck apart. Violence in the name of safety only appealed to nerds. Everyone else was playing Mortal Kombat.
Why it’s disappointing: Imagine opening a big box on Christmas morning and finding this. A normal child would be massively disappointed. I was actually excited, because I was insane. Crash Dummies wound up being the toy for children who loved to destroy things. The beauty of this was that when you threw the cars/planes/people up against the wall, shattering them into pieces, they could be snapped back together…or so you thought.
No, these toys were supposed to break apart, but only mildly. If you were too forceful with anything, it would cause irreparable damage; not to mention the fact that once the figures blew apart, their limbs were launched god-knows-where and lost forever. A collection of these toys would, after several weeks, become a bin of missing parts, broken ensembles, and limbless bodies.
4. Creepy Crawlers!
Why we thought it was cool: Creepy Crawlers came out a long time ago, but it has been reissued so many times that I happened to grow up with it as well (as I’m sure you did). I’m not sure if this was ever really considered “cool,” but it allowed for creative boys, who didn’t want to be called “fags” for asking for an Easy Bake Oven for Christmas, the opportunity to use a small plastic oven to cook up some inedible rubber garbage. It was fun because it wasn’t gay.
Why it’s disappointing: While you would think that a frighteningly hot plastic box that existed to heat up metal molds so that boiling plastic goo would turn to rubber would be a little boy’s wildest fantasy, it was not. It was almost as if parents who bought this unapologetic, dangerous monstrosity for their children were saying “You gotta learn someday.”
This was our generation’s “let them learn the stove is hot for themselves” and we’ve got the blisters, scars, and haunting memories to prove it. After a prolonged period of telling ourselves that we weren’t going to burn ourselves “next time,” we Creepy Crawlers enthusaists vowed “No More!” and gave the fucking thing away to the next dopey sap dumb enough to try to cook themselves up some bugs. But hey, at least they didn’t ask us to eat the fucking things, right?
Why we thought it was cool: Unlike the massively disappointing Go-Bots, these colorful little scamps did absolutely nothing but “be collectible.” They, like tiny figurines in their niche (i.e. Muscle Men and Monsters in my Pocket), were dinky hunks of plastic that could be safely concealed in one’s desk during boring classes…and everyone had them, whether or not they would admit it.
Why it’s disappointing: As if I had to go into it, they were miniature action figures that did absolutely nothing. They might as well have come from a vending machine, but we paid all kinds of money to collect them all. While all the cool boys were playing with Transformers and shit, you were stuck with pointy shards of plastic that would get lost all around your house until you unwittingly step on them, barefoot.
Why we thought it was cool: POGs defined the market for collectible gaming…and that market was: just about everyone. Printed with virtually any picture imaginable, POGs were the marbles of our generation. They were insignificant manufacturing mistakes that became an unimaginably popular way to teach kids to gamble.
Why it’s disappointing: When the fad died, you came to the harsh realization that the last several months of your life were thrown away, hoarding round pieces of brightly colored paper. Also, fuck those kids who had metal Slammers.
1. Crazy Bones
Why we thought it was cool: If you’ve never heard of Crazy Bones, I must assure you that they existed and continue to exist to this day (I think). Essentially, they were plastic marbles, molded into various “character” shapes–which gave kids an excuse to try to collect all of them. There were many games you could play with Crazy Bones and schoolyard fun was had by all (except for the kid who got his stolen and/or thrown into the stratosphere).
Why it’s disappointing: Unlike POGs, these collectible game-pieces weren’t something that a lot of people actually cared about. As with any collectible game that requires like-minded friends, the only way to make it worthwhile is if more people have them than just you. I wound up giving all my duplicate Crazy Bones to a friend just so I didn’t die of loneliness.
You know the saying, “you know the type” when it comes to THAT GUY or THAT GIRL you saw…well I’m here today to talk about THAT TYPE. This will likely be a bit different from your school, since we have such a weird ensemble of kids here, and have such an odd way of doing things. But you, Soon To Be College Freshman, when you have your little ID and dorm key worn around your neck, you’ll see that you, too, fit into one of these groups. So let’s dive in, shall we?
Since I started with it, The Freshman- The absolute easiest way to ID the Freshman is, like I said, by the all-purpose lanyard. Usually worn around the neck, it keeps your dorm key and ID card safely out of harms way (until you lose BOTH things at the same time, or lock it in your room, in which case you have to call your creepy roommate and hope he’s around and you don’t have to owe him a favor later on…). This lanyard was probably provided free of charge, and sports the Campus Activities Board (or equivalent) logo in some God awful font and color. The Freshman is usually slow walking, and takes the most indirect way to his class, and may even be sporting a trendy CAMPUS MAP! Oh, also, the Freshman often wears LOTS of school pride gear. Now, I have a few Drexel shirts and all, but they’re in the rotation, not everyday wear. AND, to my credit, I think I’ve paid, at most, 6 bucks for something with the school’s logo on it. Not that 70 bucks they’re charging at the bookstore for a hoodie. I was being sarcastic as I wrote 70 bucks, but looking up that image…that shirt is actually SIXTY FIVE GOD DAMNED DOLLARS! That’s half a third of a textbook! (Which reminds me of how only Freshman actually buy textbooks from the bookstore).
Wow, that’s a lot of rambling on the Freshman…let’s look at his polar opposite, The Senior (not to be confused with The Graduate). The Senior, at least around these parts, is actually a bit of a rare site. Drexel has an exceptionally high drop out rate for a major university. Combine that with the fact that in the few years since I was a freshman, they’ve increased the admission of freshman like threefold, Seniors are quite the minority. You’ll probably only find them in the 400 level classes you share with them (if you are also a Senior, or ambitious/over ambitious/snot nosed/professor’s dick sucking Sophomore/etc), or in 100 level into classes to boost their GPAs and keep them as full time students (how the hell did I only get an A- in Com 150-Principles of Public Speaking?!) The Senior is usually not dressed as extremely as the Freshman, mostly due to growing the fuck up. Many Seniors actually work part time in professional jobs, or are attending class part-time while going back to school. Seniors often dress in Drexel Casual style (which is pretty much the same as business casual). Not me, I’m a t-shirt and jeans kinda guy.
The Douche- What can I say about this one? Too easy. You know em. They wear their high school varsity football jacket and pound Natty Ice. They love their boyfriends so much except when one of the brothers of Sigma Nu happens to be nearby, in which case, all bets are off. SIGMA NU! NU’s RULE! YEA! Often business majors.
The Engineer- I once tried to convince someone that Drexel was a school for railroading, due to our proximity to 30th Street Station and the Northeast Corridor. (Little did I know I would ACTUALLY be working for a firm whose clients included SEPTA, Amtrak, NJ Transit and the Long Island Railroad….).
The engineer will likely be one or more of the following:
-Asian (inc. Indian)
I managed to escape this, sort of, by switching to Engineering Technology. People actually talk to you, and you can actually make friends. It’s weird.
The Art College Kid- pretty much the same as any other art school kid. It’s tough, though…our indiefuck douches think they’re better than everyone else, but Drexel is certainly NOT known for its liberal arts programs. Nor for its political scene. Nor its music scene….
I was going to really go on and rail on a few kids specifically, but then I came across this…
Click it, scroll down. Creepy. And I don’t want them hunting me down, since now they REALLY know what I look like. I look forward to the angry letter I’m undoubtedly going to get from the university’s legal department. Maybe I’ll luck out and they’ll just sick one of their law students on me. Which reminds me of the joke about how convenient it was the Drexel, who opened their School of Law shortly after aquiring their own College of Medicine, now has BOTH ends of the ambulance chaser crowd covered.
Hopefully, I’ll be graduated before it gets to that. And COME ON, Drexel, a FRIDAY class? My SENIOR year? How weak is that?
So, as many of us know…pretty much anything you type into the address bar when you’re trying to get to Google takes you there. gewgle.com, gooogle.com, googel.com and so on…although every once in a while you get one that doesn’t take you there. ANYWAYS, I discovered that apparently, Facebook takes no such protection against such “typosquatting.” I found this out the hard way. And so, to help you, fair readers, from making the same mistakes in the future…a list of totally awesomely inappropriate typo websites.
**MID POST UPDATE**
Okay, so I’m probably going to get blocked from photobucket if I do what I was originally going to do…post screen shots of each of these sites….so I’ll just throw the link up, and you can do with it what you please. If you value your computer, you probably don’t want to click on any of these, I’m sure they’re all filled with spyware and stuff. Just hover your mouse over for a taste, and fulfill your pornographic needs elsewhere.
1) The Facenook – Looks like Mark Zuckerburg got into the wrong business. facenook.com takes you to what looks like a Redtube style site (basically, a YouTube for prOnz). Pretty clever, though…I did it all for the (face)nookie.
2) BJ – This one’s pretty obvious, and I’m surprised that BJ’s Wholesale club was actually able to get bjs.com and not this one. Well its not directly porn, it does have a snappy welcome banner, “BJ.com, What you need, when you need it.”
3) Dicks.com- Shockingly, yet another big box store fails to get the most obvious free redirect ever. Who knows how many free opportunities to get hits from men looking for gay porn were lost by the sporting goods giant…
4) whitehouse.com – Okay, I know that pretty much EVERYONE knows about this one these days, but I just found out that it isn’t porn anymore! It’s now this sort of…political blogging site. I think the porn was a more legitimate business. At least you know what you’re paying for, and you know how much it’s going to cost to get screwed…
5) wiipedia.com – I’ve done this one plenty of times. Sadly, it doesn’t take you to an encyclopedia about Nintendo. Luckily, it also does not take you to an encyclopedia about the penis. It’s just one of those ad portal pages. Totally weak, imo.
6) myspac.com – I was also hoping for something good with this one, but myspac.com (I’m deciding it’s pronounced My-Spack) takes you to a silver jewelry seller.
Unfortunately, I couldn’t really find any more that take you to the super offensive, hard core, cock-in-your-face websites, most just take you to things like wiipedia.com and bj.com, which sort of really disappoints me. Come on, people, be more creative about this! I want to be shocked and offended next time I drunkenly try to settle a bet on wikipedia, or want to buy something from amazonians. (Actually, I just checked this one, and amazonians really IS a site full of naked, tall girls. Who’d have thunk it?)
So please, if you’re looking for a good laugh, grab some variation on superdps.com and let ‘er rip (http://superpsd.com/ is already taken. It’s some sort of Asian online store. Your guess on that one is as good as mine.
Let me know if there are any other great typosquats out there.
Hello, My name is Kevin Siter, I’m a writer/actor working on getting all my ideas in movies and tv shows. You can check out what I’m currently working on, A show called Fighter’s High which is a martial arts comedy at http://www.youtube.com/FightersHigh.
I’ll get to what Fighter’s High is about in a article somewhere down the road but for now let’s get down to business.
I’m a movie geek of the highest order. I live for good cinema and here is a fun list of some of my favorite cult films.
I tried to stay away from the usual stuff and went with some stuff you may not have heard of, which is good because if you’re like me you always want to learn about new films!
10. Django – This a classic spaghettiwestern directed by Sergio Corbucci and starring Frank Nero as Django.
Django is a mysterious gunslinger dragging a coffin which conceals a Gatling gun into a town with two warring factions, The KKK and a gang of Mexican bandits each trying to persuade him to work for there side in finding gold.
Known for it’s over the top violence and brooding anti hero main character, it’s been said that this film influenced Clint Eastwood before he did his Man with No Name series with Sergio Leone.
My favorite director, Takashi Miike just remade this movie last year as Sukiyaki Western Django which is another great cult film as well.
9. A L’Interieur – This one of the best, if not the best, horror movie I’ve seen in a long time.
A pregnant woman is involved is a very grizzly accident which changes her life and sets the tone for this very intense movie. I love horror movies from Europe because their grasp of atmosphere is always incredible.
The gore is some of the best I’ve ever seen and the cat and mousegame played between the main character and the villain is so tense and
just off the chart crazy. I give the top recommendation I can give: This is a groundbreaking horror film that I know a lot of people won’t able to handle for its “I don’t give a damn” attitude.
But that’s why I loved it. Instant Classic!
8. 13 Game of Death – Combine elements of Saw, Falling Down, and Fight Club and you have this amazing Thai film called 13 Game of Death.
A down on his luck office worker named Chit gets the chance to be in this wild game for 100 million dollars doing 13 tasks.
Each one more intense and wild then the last. This movie is a great conversation piece. What would you do in Chit’s place? Would you go through everything he does for the money?
Excellent Film. The Thai movie industry continues to make awesome cinema!!!!
7. Ichi The Killer- This film changed how I look at modern film. This is Takashi Miike’s masterpiece and opened my eyes to him as a director. Tadanobu Asano steals the show as Kakihara.
The thing I worship about Miike as a director is that he makes each film like it is his last chance at making a film…So he goes all out and makes a multi-layered event in each film he makes.
This movie has so many elements: Yakuza power struggles, complicated relationships between every character involved, and fetish upon fetish upon fetish.
This movie screams cult cinema at it’s finest!
6. Wild Zero – ACE! Lock n ROLL! Oh man, This is why the Japanese are the best at making cool movies.
Guns, Zombies, UFOs, Trannys, Katana Guitars, And of course the mighty band Guitar Wolf rocking out!
This movie teaches us two important life lessons: Killing zombies is a fine art and Love has no borders, nationalities or genders! This movie also has the greatest drinking games known to man!
Every time any member of Guitar Wolf combs there hair you do a shot! And Let me tell you, These guys stay combing there hair!!!!
This sets in motion one of the seven gates of hell opening which lets the dead enter the world of the living. Fast forward to modern times as a young women inherits the hotel and plans to reopen it. But this brings the gates of hell open once again.
This film has a very surreal and dream like quality to it, and the iconic imagery and violence is like nothing ever put to film.
4. The Human Tornado – This is one of the funniest films of all time in my opinion; brought to us by the late great Rudy Ray Moore. This serves as a sequel to Dolemite, but if you haven’t seen Dolemite it doesn’t
matter because this movie stands on it’s own with it’s wild characters and crazy sense of humor.
3. Lady Snowblood- This revenge story stars Meiko Kaji as an assassin seeking vengeance against some bandits who raped and murdered her family. This is based off a manga by Kazuo Koike who also made Lone Wolf and Cub!
Quentin Tarantino said in a interview that this movie is what inspired him to make Kill Bill. Watching this movie, that is very easy to see.
2. The Machine Girl – This is my kind of movie. The Machine Girl is about Ami, a Japanese schoolgirl whose life is changed forever when her brother is killed by the insane sonof a power hungry Yakuza clan.
Ami tries to take things into her own hands and seek revenge on them but gets her arm sliced off in her first attempt at getting vengeance for her brother.
So in a move that would only come out of Japanese cinema, she replaces her missing arm with a Gatling gun! Great action scenes, over the top acting, and enough blood is spilled to fill a river!!
1. Old Boy- Director Park Chan-wook brings us the story of Oh Dae-su , a man locked inside a room for 15 years without knowing the reason why. When he does get out, his life doesn’t get any easier He is trapped in a web of secrets and deceit. He seeks revenge on the people who have done this to him and along the way falls in love with a woman he meets a a sushi bar upon his release.
The scene in the sushi bar is famous because Choi Min Sik who
plays Oh Dae-su eats a live squid! This film has a very original fighting scene, done in one continuous take!
That’s it for now, I had fun writing this list and I’ll check back every once in awhile with whatever is grabbing my interest in movies, music and video games.
Thanks for reading!
–Kevin Siter (Honorary Super Dude!)
To discover the possibility that the work one has devoted one’s entire life to is unnecessary or even detrimental to the existence of human society may come as a dreadful shock, but it is an issue that every action filmmaker must face at some point in his or her life. Having been fascinated with action sequences in film and aspiring to replicate them throughout the entire latter portion of my teenage years, the idea that pursuing this craft is bad and perfecting it even worse in the grand scheme of the universe causes me to agonize at long stretches over the significance of the work that I aim to achieve.
With the entire collective genre of the action film shouldering the burden of countless accusations – the promotion and influencing of violence throughout the world and the desensitizing of the world’s youth to violent subject material notwithstanding – one would wonder if it would be better that action movies or movies containing violence in any shape or form were completely erased from the face of the planet.
But certainly, I tell myself, a genre that has generated such overwhelming appeal throughout the history of cinema must be good for something; a convincing argument in our defense seems constantly to be at the tip of my tongue, but it invariably dissolves as I struggle to put it to words. In my pursuit to find a justification for the existence of the action film, I have realized that trying to logically refute many of the common points of concern in regards to the genre is an exercise in futility; the negatives are there, and to ignore or falsely disprove them would be nothing more than to live in a disillusioned fantasy of self-deceit.
However, I believe that the first step towards redemption for the art of the action filmmaker is the acceptance of such commonly associated shortcomings and the understanding that they are not as universally negative as they seem. (cont.)
–Jon Truei (Honorary Super Dude!)
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To discover the possibility that the work one has devoted one’s entire life to is unnecessary or even detrimental to the existence of human society may come as a dreadful shock, but it is an issue that every action filmmaker must face at some point in his or her life. Having been fascinated with action sequences in film and aspiring to replicate them throughout the entire latter portion of my teenage years, the idea that pursuing this craft is bad and perfecting it even worse in the grand scheme of the universe causes me to agonize at long stretches over the significance of the work that I aim to achieve. With the entire collective genre of the action film shouldering the burden of countless accusations – the promotion and influencing of violence throughout the world and the desensitizing of the world’s youth to violent subject material notwithstanding – one would wonder if it would be better that action movies or movies containing violence in any shape or form were completely erased from the face of the planet. But certainly, I tell myself, a genre that has generated such overwhelming appeal throughout the history of cinema must be good for something; a convincing argument in our defense seems constantly to be at the tip of my tongue, but it invariably dissolves as I struggle to put it to words. In my pursuit to find a justification for the existence of the action film, I have realized that trying to logically refute many of the common points of concern in regards to the genre is an exercise in futility; the negatives are there, and to ignore or falsely disprove them would be nothing more than to live in a disillusioned fantasy of self-deceit. However, I believe that the first step towards redemption for the art of the action filmmaker is the acceptance of such commonly associated shortcomings and the understanding that they are not as universally negative as they seem.
Reading Lawrence Weschler’s “Valkyries Over Iraq” was a complete nightmare for me in that it communicated effectively and in relatively few words all of the reasons why people like me should not be making movies. Throughout his essay, Weschler synthesizes interviews from various industry members involved in the production of the war films Apocalypse Now (1979) and Jarhead (2005) in order to voice his primary concern with war films as a whole: regardless of intention, even films with the most adamant anti-war messages end up presenting in their depiction of warfare and chaotic battles an almost pornographic allure from which members of the audience will invariably derive a sense of pleasure and violent inspiration. The existence of the epic battlefield setpiece is especially pivotal to this concern – cited by Weschler as the failure of such supposedly anti-war films as Apocalypse Now, with the enormous spectacle of its infamous “Ride of the Valkyries” helicopter bombing referred to throughout the essay as an ironic, inspirational piece for overzealous, hot-blooded young soldiers – and the ultimate success of the unconventional Jarhead, which chooses to exclude such scenes entirely. In Weschler’s interview with Apocalypse Now director Francis Ford Coppola, Coppola is forced to admit that “to make a film that is truly antiwar, it would not be set anywhere near battlefields or theaters of war, but rather in human situations far from those” (258). The danger in this statement is that it can be extended by association to mean that making movies centered on violence without subconsciously filling onscreen violence with pornographic appeal is not possible if violence is shown in any form.
Faced with such a blindingly logical argument, even I myself, seemingly dismissed in value to the level below that of a pornographer by its words, cannot claim to be capable of completely refuting it. In trying to reconcile myself with the weight of such charges, I bring up in my mind the typical structure of many of the films that I so admire, as in concept form they do not seem to be unhealthy in the slightest. In actuality, a great number of the action films that I study so religiously follow benevolent characters with good intentions faced with situations forced upon them by malevolent circumstances beyond their control; violence resulting is merely incidental. Surely, I tell myself, the depiction of good triumphing over evil through necessary violence is not too terribly unhealthy for the average viewers eyes, but thinking more clearly into the matter, I must admit to myself that such a simple justification is a trap I cannot let myself fall into if I am to be honest with myself – regardless of the underlying themes of righteousness in such films, their highlights remain the violent spectacles that their stories seem to be in opposition to – in fact, believing in such a justification would even further solidify the arguments of Weschler who clearly discusses in his essay the problem of violent appeal in opposition to a film’s message. Taking a film like Michael Mann’s crime thriller Collateral (2004), a film following a hapless cab driver struggling to stop an assassin for hire who is forcing the driver to chauffeur him from hit to hit, into view as my case in point, anyone having seen the film would have a hard time trying to suggest that Michael Mann is trying to persuade people to drive around and commit murders, especially in light of his established reputation throughout his career for trying to represent violence as realistically as possible. However, when the film is brought up amongst its fans, the scenes undergoing the most enthusiastic discussion are almost inevitably the assassin’s calm dispatching of two muggers, or the infamously violent nightclub setpiece in which he must push through a massive crowd of dancers and armed bodyguards in order to reach a target. I, myself, must admit to skipping straight to such scenes whenever I pop the film into my DVD player, and the same could be said of many other movies I own in which cinematic action is present.
Having declared myself beaten in the face of Weschler’s words, many disturbing questions present themselves. Do films containing violent material invariably cause people to take pleasure in and desire violence in their lives? Am I doing the world a disservice by continuing to pursue the work of my passion? Does the collective action filmmaking community lack a significant justification to exist? In wrestling with the burden of such implications of my work, I turn to the advice of my friends in the stunt filmmaking industry, many of whom have already begun devoting their professional careers to the production of action films.
Art appeals to human intuition far more than to reason
–Lucy Van Atta
Amidst the countless heap of ardent opinions thrown at me following my positioning of these questions, I found a particular kinship in the words of Paul Drechsler-Martell. As a professional stunt actor and aspiring action filmmaker, the significance (or lack thereof) of the action film is an integral part of Paul’s life, and, having ruminated himself at great length on the matter in his own personal experiences, he insists that the implications of Weschler’s words are not as fatal as they may seem:
An audience will naturally tend to seek out the highest emotional point in a film; in a war film, or in any action film in general, this is very likely to be the most violent scene in the story. To say that the appeal that one derives from such violent scenes is pornographic may be true in many ways, but in accepting it as truth, one must also be willing to admit that all other emotional peaks in other genres share an almost identical pornographic appeal as well. In the same way I find myself constantly replaying the most violent scenes in certain films, I am incredibly drawn to the happiest, the most tragic, the most horrifying, the funniest, or the most romantic scenes in others. Much in the same way that I view Collateral, as I watch Tim Burton’s Edward Scissorhands (1990), I find myself forwarding to the heart-rending scene in which the misshapen Edward, embracing the woman he loves in his arms, recalls the death of the loving scientist who created him, but this does not suggest in any way that I desire death and sadness in my life, just as my predilection towards the most tense scenes of Collateral has not caused me to tear up local clubs with a gun in hand. We, as filmgoers, enjoy experiencing emotional extremes in films not because these extremes define who want to be or what we want to happen in our lives, but because something about emotional extremes feels more inexplicably human to us than anything else that could be shown on the screens that we so intently study.
Doubtless, there will be a certain number of outliers amongst the public audience who seek to use cinema as a reference point justifying their own irrational behaviors; violent people seeking violent entertainment will find violent movies with which they feel they can relate, just as people who are wishing to wallow excessively in their own depression, prejudices, ideologies, etc. will seek out corresponding fiction in which they can immerse themselves.
The fact that we designate something as art means that it is art for us, but says nothing about what it is in itself for other people.
In reading Terry Tempest Williams’ “A Shark in the Mind of One Contemplating Wilderness,” I discover that Weschler’s argument hits so hard only because he limits himself to the subject of the war film; just as the idea that pornographic appeal extends to all films, the possibility of wildly unconventional interpretations and their resulting influences upon people exists within every genre of film as well. By this rationale, negative influence can be gained from any film or artistic presentation; to be able to account for every last exception would be a battle lost from the beginning. There will always be another person who thinks it is ok to be racist, uncouth, and offensive to others after watching too much Comedy Central or another teenage girl who finds herself molding herself into the image of the superficial high school divas of Mean Girls (2004), but if we are to remove an entire genre of films from the shelves, then who is to say that next week, another genre won’t be subject to extinguishing? If we are to extinguish films entirely, who is to say that music or books will be safe once people begin to blame the emotional problems of the world upon them? To erase our fantasies and our experiences of the emotional extremes that we so love would be to destroy what makes us human. Now, after carefully analyzing this thought and its implications, I find that the answers I was looking for had been waiting for me in the pages of Weschler’s essay all along. Anthony Swofford himself admits that “art should expand rather than constrict people’s moral range,” and to these words, I cannot agree more.
–Jon Truei (Honorary Super Dude!)