Top 5 Action Films Of 2015

In a sort of counterpoint to my colleague’s argument that 2015 was a terrible year (he seemed almost speechless about it), I’m of the mind it was one of the best of the modern age of cinema.  I’ll admit, for Action films it was a a bit light.  But in a year which saw the likes of Creed, The Martian, Ex Machina, and The Hateful Eight, I can honestly say things were pretty damn good.  As for the Action genre, yeah.  But there were still some good ones in there.  So without further ado, here’s my list of the top five movies of the genre.

5. Run All Night

Run All Night

Liam Neeson continues his reign as king of the Ass-kickers Over 50 Club, this time in a low-stakes action thriller disguised as a crime drama.  Replete with excellent performances from all the major cast (including William Hurt as another weathered old warhorse), it’s still Neeson’s show all the way through.  Like Liam’s first Taken film, Run All Night allows the big Irishman a chance to do both great acting work and also kill as many people onscreen as possible.  If you found A Walk Among The Tombstones to be yawn-worthy, you’ll be pleasantly surprised by how tense this one can get.

4. Furious 7

Furious 7

2015 brought us things I never even thought to hope for: Dwayne Johnson vs. Jason Statham, Ronda Rousey versus Michelle Rodriguez, and Jason Statham versus Vin Diesel.  And we got all of these within the same movie.  Sure, it was a bloated, cobbled-together mess of a movie stitched together after the sad and unfortunate death of Paul Walker, but it was still fun.  It’s clear this was supposed to be a revenge/chase film, but all that changed to pay tribute to the late PWIII.  But you can’t argue too much against fun.

3. Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation

MIRN

There may come a day when movies no longer contain competent leading men, great stuntwork, and exciting premises.  But it is not this day.  Tom Cruise still rules.

2. Star Wars – Episode VII: The Force Awakens

Star Wars

I have never been one to claim Star Wars as a huge favorite.  And while I thought the new film was something of a retread of A New Hope, I would have to be pretty damn cynical to not have fun during the exhilarating dogfights, laser sword battles, actor chemistry, and Harrison Ford coming back to life for the first time in years.  While I don’t see any cinematic reason for this to be one of the top grossing films of all time, it was still a good reason to plant my ass in a seat for a couple hours and enjoy some goofy science fiction fantasy.

1. Mad Max: Fury Road

Mad Max

Was it going to be anything else?  Mad Max has always been a great series (hey, don’t you dare bash Thunderdome.  It’s as memorable as it is quotable), but this absolutely solidifies it as classic.  Tom Hardy might not be Mel Gibson, but he’s still got the goods.  Surprisingly, it’s Charlize Theron who ends up stealing away the movie and carrying it across the finish line.  But let’s give credit where credit is due: to 70 year old director George Miller, showing up even the Fast & Furious films in terms of sheer vehicular lunacy and giving a first class lesson in practical stuntwork for the ages.

I don’t know what 2016 will bring, but it’s got quite the bar to jump over.

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Top Ten Turkeys Of 2015

Top Ten Turkeys Of 2015

by

H83tr3d

Well folks, it’s that wonderful time of the year when we look back at a shitpile that is 2015 that will make you shudder in disgust.
Lo and behold these wretched transgressions against celluloid art that will surely scar you as an angry cat that hasn’t seen fresh air regularly.

Dishonorable Mention/Meh

SPECTRE

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It feels as if though the James Bond franchise is a see saw/coin toss conundrum in terms of quality in this day and age, as demonstrated in this lame misadventure for London’s Tuxedo Crusader. Were it not for the magnificent Craig to keep me mildly amused for this nearly 3 hour long shlock, I’d probably put it right here in the top 4 category. Egads, was the venerable Waltz horrible as not-Blofeld. The trailers pretty much axed what little surprise there could be and Sam Smith’s likely-to-steal-oscar performance was nothing more than a half-assed ear bleeding cry fest. Craig has already killed off the possibility of returning, and with it, any interest for me to have at potential follow up to the 007 series. Shame, shame.

#10 TAK3N

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Weeeee! It had to be a trilogy, right? As if the previous two were any better to begin with. This movie could have been a breaking point, a chance for Neeson and crew to redeem themselves for the perpetual circle jerk of toned down, watered-down action. But no. We got MORE! More vomit inducing editing, hapless dialogue, uninteresting characters and zero-ass plot. They say it’s over now, but the fact that this shill snagged a lot of money tells me otherwise.

#9 GUNMAN

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Oh, Pierre Morel, how low you’ve fallen. I thought we were through with the he’s-over-fifthy-but-can-still-pull-punches shtick. Sean Penn would have fared better in a shoe shine commercial. Elba and Bardem are terrible and were clearly there just for the paycheck. Naturally, as the film is shit, it earned a potato bowl, so the sequel is pronto.

#8 SURVIVOR

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Now, it has been well known I have much disdain for Mrs. Anderson and her inability to cocktail ride in a humanly decent star vehicle in between godawful Resident Evil installments. But when you pair that up with Pierce “Frown” Brosnan and bare bones of a plot, you got yourself treated to nauseating, pathetic phone-in that was so bad it barely lasted a month in theaters. Cancer-infected with the PG 13 plague, depraved of common sense and Bronco parodying his career highlight, this garbage will put you to sleep faster than Nyquil.

#7 JUPITER ASCENDING

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The Wachovski bro… The Wachovski’s have previously tested my patience, first with the huge ‘fuck you’ ending of The Matrix Revolutions, then with unbearable Speed Racer followed by a total confusion that is Atlas Cloud. Sad to say, this is the stroke that broke the camel’s back. I genuinely lost count at how many times I fell asleep trying to watch it, trying to decide who was worse, Tatum or Kunis, occasionally chuckling at Eddie Redmayne’s tragic parody of the Merovingian (a cartoon of it’s own). I see no possible comeback for the great duo that once was, let alone this living up to be a franchise.

#6 MORTDECAI

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There is no God. If God existed, this movie wouldn’t. There are no excuses for Depp here (Black Mass doesn’t bail you out, fucker). Johno’s on-set primadona debauchery was mostly kept away from the eyes of mortals, but it’s rather obvious at this point how much of a flying fuck Depp gives for a ridiculously overpriced role he takes. Being so uninterested in what’s happening, he has to LITERALLY BE CARRIED AROUND!!! People can shit about how Brando was just as poignant in the later years, that mofo could still out-act anyone on his worst day. Clearly unwanted in Hollywood anymore, Depp predictably ran back to his sugar daddy Burton, and he’d better stay there forever.

#5 TERMINATOR: GENISYS

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You had to go there, Hollywood, didn’t you? Nothing is holly about you if you ask me. You just had to piss, shit, douse in gasoline and burn it. Fucking degenerates, the lot of you. How am I going to look at the cover of Cameron’s masterpiece seriously ever again? What possibly could have convince you people wanted anything to do with Terminator after the bland, soul crushingly boring and outright revolting letdown that was Salvation? Watering it down once again for juvenile demographics, this shameful installment features yet another scene where a Terminator is ended by a bullet. Fucking bullet. And on top of that, they casted up and coming cardboard cutouts as lead characters. Arnie was so old for this one that I could swear I saw him almost stumble. Cameron, get a hold of this property, lock it up for 1000 years and NEVER make another one.

#4 HITMAN: AGENT 47

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I really, really wish they would just give up on video game movies. I know that comic book movies struggled in the early years but this particular market is a stillborn, if you ask me. And even comic book movies are getting old fast nowadays. What moron thought casting a total unknown in the role of famed bold assassin, discount Jessica Alba and Zachary-I-need-this-till-new-Star-Trek-comes-out-Quinto was going to be a selling point? An uneventful borefest in another year. This year, just the borefest of the month. Not even Quinto’s eyebrows could save this film from disaster. Warcraft and Assassin’s Creed are gonna be turkeys of 2016, just you wait.

#3 OUTCAST

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OK, I’m done. I’m fucking done. I give up on Nico. There is no coming back to reality for Cage. Just pass him a shot of scotch and a gun. It’s a lot quicker and less painful than watching him ruin himself over and over again. Basically, The Last Samurai jerk-off knock-off plus Christensen minus brain. Minus valet. Minus brain.

Yes, I know this is technically a 2014 film, but Cage didn’t do so well then either, remember?

#2 VICE

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Blargh! Another year, another generic Willis phone-in. And once again teaming up with that asshole that jerked out The Prince (is this Groundhog Day?). And now he drags Thomas Jane down with him. The lack of passion, as evident by the fact that poster makers didn’t even bother to align names right, is downright criminal. People should be locked the fuck up for enabling this kind of bullshit! Bruce, fucking fuck off with this shit already.

#1 FANT4STIC

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BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAAA!!!
Oh, man, did I know this horseshit was gonna blow up in their faces or what. Clearly learning nothing from Sony’s mistakes of yesteryear (and by that I don’t mean them laying off scores of people instead of paying them), 21st Century Weasels decided to shove their dicks into the meat grinder yet again with comic book characters that by this point even Marvel hates. And was that a castration clusterfuck to behold:
– Director/studio relay biathlon that exacerbated with the destruction of a house by the hands of the Trank machine
– Constant re-shoots that were done poorly and with zero oversight
– Trank booted from Star Wars Anthology
– Kate Mara’s epic hair incident w/ shitty wig that makes that Samurai Cop “intervention” look fucking seamless by comparison

To me the train wreck that is F4 looks like a really shitty TV pilot split in two and glued back together with a bigger budget. This is the breaking point of comic book movies that many have feared but didn’t want to admit it. The fact that there are 20 plus of those damn things coming in mere years from now makes me cringe harder that watching Reed’s face unfold back into normal.

Just fucking give up, Hollywood!

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Braveheart killcount

Braveheart (1995)

braveheart

Starring Mel Gibson

Watch video:

Gibson kills 63

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Braveheart rights held by Twentieth Century Fox.

R.I.P. Rowdy Roddy Piper – He’s AllOuttaBubbleGum

they-live

1954 – 2015

It is my sad duty to report on the sudden passing of famed professional wrestler and cult film icon Roddy Piper.  As one of the two men responsible for the phrase I used when making this site, he will be deeply missed.

Long ago, Rant and I worked many hours on a joint video for what we would call The AOBG Show. Our pilot episode was to be about the John Carpenter masterpiece, They Live. Here, for the first time, is a snippet from that unpublished video, about the late great Roddy Piper.

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Kain’s Quest: A Better Tomorrow (1986)

Steele’s Law killcount

Steele’s Law (1991)

Steele's Law

Starring Fred Williamson

Watch video:

Williamson kills 11

Discuss

Steele’s Law rights held by MTI and Po’ Boy Productions.

For Y’ur Height Only killcount

For Y’ur Height Only (1981)

For Y'ur Height Only

Starring Weng Weng


Watch video:

Weng kills81

Discuss

For Y’ur Height Only rights held by Liliw Films International.

Crisis killcount

Crisis (1997)

crisis

Starring David Bradley


Watch video:

Bradley kills 11

Discuss

Crisis rights held by Film One, Tri-Media Saskatoon, and Film One Productions.

Dracula Untold killcount

Dracula Untold (2014)

dracula-untold 2014

Starring Luke Evans


Watch video:

Evans kills 5419

Discuss

Dracula Untold rights held by Universal Pictures, Legendary Pictures, and Michael De Luca Productions.

Thank you, Christopher Lee

1922 – 2015

I don’t usually go in for the memorial articles, but today’s death of the great and mighty Sir Christopher Lee hit me surprisingly hard.  He had been a mainstay for GENERATIONS of filmgoers, and a standout in everything from a James Bond movie to Star Wars to The Lord Of The Rings.  And while many will always remember him as Dracula, I first saw Mr. Lee in a small fantasy film called Mio In The Land Of Faraway.

Lee!

The movie’s not much to talk about, being a trite and sometimes terrible little flick about a boy escaping to a fantasy land, but aside from the fact it can boast being Christian Bale’s first feature film it also has a rather enjoyable performance from Christopher Lee as the primary antagonist.  Lee takes what is basically nothing on the page (a sword and sorcery-style Darth Vader type at best) and wrings out all the evil he can muster, while bringing in a sense of tragedy.  In a movie with Timothy Bottoms as the great king of a far away land, invisibility cloaks, and bread that can satisfy all hunger, only Christopher Lee really seems to give a damn.  He sold me on the whole stupid movie when I was a kid.  I love him for this.

Lee also serves a very prominent role in my favorite horror film of all time, The Wicker Man.  I know it’s a bit cliché to use such terms, but Lee was all these things: iconic, commanding, spellbinding, entrancing, charismatic, and powerful.  His is a presence that will be greatly missed, but fortunately his work will live on forever.  I leave you with the following, a rendition of Paul Anka ‘s My Way, performed by Christopher Lee himself in a metal band he joined when he was only 84 years old: