- Vancouver, British Columbia - There are few action films that remain as memorable in cinematic history as Die Hard. While I would never go so far as to say that it belongs in a discussion about truly great films like Psycho, Citizen Kane, or The Godfather, it is an action film that is entertaining even upon multiple re-viewings, which is quite something special for its genre, as sadly most don't possess such potential. In 2007, the Die Hard franchise was revived after an extended hiatus with Live Free or Die Hard and without glossing it over, it wasn't very good, but neither was it terrible. The same cannot be said for this year's installment in the franchise, A Good Day to Die Hard; it's on the verge of being fantastically terrible.
Film Reviews and Commentary
Entries in action (44)
- Vancouver, British Columbia - As Governor of the State of California, Arnold Schwarzenegger had placed his acting career on the backburner, reducing the extent of his thespian work to cameo roles, such as in The Expendables. Thankfully for those Arnold fans out there, the State of California has maximum caps on how long an individual can be Governor, thus Arnold finds himself back in the acting business. The Last Stand is his first film lead since returning to full-time acting work, and while I was never really much of an Arnold fan in the past, I have recently come to appreciate Arnold films as a self-indulgence, realizing that they are nowhere near cinematic masterpieces, but simply an amusing escape. The one liners are often terribly cheesy, but far too quotable. The physics are grossly exaggerated, as is a human's ability to withstand pain and violence. Nevertheless, the films can actually be quite entertaining once you simply accept that the film isn't meant to be taking seriously or as a representation of reality. If anything, I see a lot of resemblance between Arnold films and early comic books. They are simple escapism.
- Vancouver, British Columbia - One day, when I was in film school, I remember lamenting about some bad blockbuster movies and one that came up was Mission: Impossible II, which I think is a horrible action film with a paper thin plot and cartoony action sequences. But one of my peers jumped to the defence of John Woo, the Chinese director of the film who came to America to make some Hollywood films. He told me of a Chinese action film by Woo called Hard Boiled that he thought was really good. And I was willing to give Mr. Woo a chance, after all, I did enjoy Face/Off, ridiculous as it was. He is able to deliver in the action department. And Hard Boiled was his last Chinese film before moving to work in Hollywood, so at this point he is a seasoned director, having been making films since the 1970s.
- Vancouver, British Columbia - At this point in the franchise, there are high expectations for the pre-title sequence, and since we had possibly the best part of the movie in the last film, logically it makes sense that the filmmakers were looking to do something just as riveting. What we get certainly whets our appetite. Bond heads to recover some stolen money from a bank, but is far more interested in who was behind the theft. The bankers refuse to cooperate, and action hijinks ensue. From there, we see Bond at MI6 returning the stolen money to its rightful owner, Sir Robert King, who is a friend of M’s. While being debriefed by M, Bond suddenly realizes that the money must be chemically booby trapped, and tries to stop King from reaching it. He’s moments too late however, and an explosion rips through MI6. Through the wreckage, Bond sees an assassin from earlier on the Thames, and pursues her. After a very long but entertaining chase sequence, Bond catches up with the woman on a hot air balloon. Realizing she’s cornered, she turns the gun on the air tanks, and Bond falls from the balloon rather than sticking around to be blown up. He lands sharply on his shoulder, and the title sequence starts.
- Vancouver, British Columbia - I remember when I first heard of Rian Johnson. There was a special advanced screening of his debut movie Brick back in 2005 and I didn't know anything about it. I unfortunately couldn't make the screening, but some of my co-workers did and they raved about the film. Luckily, I caught the film when it was in theatres in limited distribution and I walked away genuinely impressed. It was one of the most unique films I had seen at that point and would remain a favourite of mine for years to come. But, I'm not here to review Brick, though I suppose I should eventually. Rather, I am really impressed with how far Rian Johnson's career has progressed in the past few years as Looper makes his third feature film and it's a huge step from his last films.