Is That An Update?

I am currently working on this shit, guys

Ok, guys.  In short, the site up but I am very busy.  I plan on working on things for the site, but at the very moment, there is nothing.  When will videos finally make their glorious return?  I don’t know.  When will articles resume appearing on the front page?  Much sooner.

Thanks for sticking it out.

~Kain

Spider-Cents and PG-13 Pains

I recently wrote a piece on some Action movie related things for a friend of mine’s blog.  I am reprinting the whole thing in its entirety here:

I was watching the new Spider-Man incarnation, The Amazing Spider-Man, the other day and I realized I have a difficult time getting into contemporary American cinema.  Maybe I’m getting old, but I can’t relate to the characters (who are, admittedly, younger than myself a lot of the time) or get into the drama of these stories.  I think it might be because the stories and characters take turns because they are expected, rather than earned.


I’ve come to notice a particular trend towards zero consequence in modern movies, and perhaps even more frequently in a lot of these Super Hero films.  Characters behave without recourse, and it ends up making these adventures ring false, and the deeds hollow.


The Peter Parker of The Amazing Spider-Man (not to be confused with the Peter Parker of the comic books of the same name) is the latest descendant of the Harry Potter-type. A your-parents-were-awesome-so-you-were-born-to-be-special wish fulfillment disguised as a character.  If it sounds like I don’t care for this modern iteration of a “hero”, it’s because I don’t.  He’s a whiny, needy, nothing and everything who is continually rewarded for his idiotic decisions and non-decisions alike.

Just your average (super good-looking, muscular, athletic, skateboarding, popular) nerd

He attacks police officers, afflicted scientists, and gets people he knows hurt and killed with such stunning frequency, you think he’d start to notice and straighten up.  But is he blamed or punished for this?  Not really.  The sole person who considers this emotionally unbalanced teen masquerading as a hero a true menace is treated as a villain.  No wonder kids want to be super heroes.


Notions of choice and accountability are rare in American cinema today.  I mean, the Ridley Scott-directed The Counselor was heavily about consequence, but it was also a convoluted mess almost no one saw.  Are audiences so desperate for escapism they’ll only watch movies with miniature drama, whose heroes all seem to represent the fulfillment of vague “chosen one” prophecies or children of greatness who can do no wrong?


Films seem to have long-since dropped the “will-they-or-won’t-they-survive” sort of drama, especially in today’s franchise-building efforts.  Was there anyone seriously concerned they would kill off Iron Man at the end of The Avengers?  No.  They had to invent an entirely original character, because they won’t even allow the movie’s antagonist a just demise.

“We’ll let you go if you promise not to do it again.”

I’ll give The Avengers credit in that you actually see people on the streets reacting to the carnage occurring around them.  Sure, it’s basically just a couple dozen or so people, but at least it doesn’t give the impression this is some vacated cityscape as in Man Of Steel.


Why are these movies so afraid of collateral damage?  It’s of thematic importance our heroes have something to fight for, and yet we rarely see it.  Without showing us the danger these scenarios ring completely hollow.  Do studios think we’re too squeamish to imagine our heroes might fail and our world will be dominated by these aliens?  Or do they think such thinking will eliminate the “fun factor” if we know innocent civilians are out amongst the chaos?


I once watched a film where a demigod opened up an interdimensional portal over New York, let loose a colossal monster which then began stomping cars and crushing buildings, and only a small mismatched band of heroes could hope to save everyone.

It also had a decent run time

It was called Ghostbusters, and I would argue not too many people  would accuse it of being a dour or unfun movie.  In fact, not only is Ghostbusters widely considered  a classic genre film, it does so entirely without avoiding the subjects of consequence and collateral damage.  One could even say some of the movie’s best bits are derived  from these very themes.


I’ve noticed modern films have a surprising lack of violence, or rather, the lack of consequence to the violence.  When I was a child, we had G.I. Joe and the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.  These shows, respectively, were about a paramilitary force loaded to the teeth with the most advanced weaponry, and set of bipedal reptiles trained in the ancient and deadly art of ninjistu, the martial art of ninja assassins.


These are shows whose very concepts are unavoidably linked to violence.  But each one found a way around using what, in most circumstances, would be lethal force to defeat their adversaries (always bent on world domination).  The favorite fix-it for these shows was the change from weapons utilizing bullets to those of lasers.

To be fair, the whole show is incredibly weird

The change in weaponry has a dual effect: firstly in that the weapon can pretty much magically change its use and level of damage and effect; and secondly that impressionable children may feel less apt to dig out their father’s laser gun and unwittingly zap someone to death.  Mostly, it’s for the latter.  In accordance with our culture’s strange rules, violence must be, in all its forms, shielded from the eyes of the youth.  This is why these television shows, and the many that preceded them and those that followed, used the same device to bring violent concepts safely into the hearts and minds of the youth.

Yeah, this is real

And how a comic book about lethal mutant ninja monsters who kill people

became a kid’s t-shirt and a catchphrase.


How does this relate to consequence?  I’m getting there.  See, the other thing shows about violent confrontation need is some level of of consequence.  Having heroes who can perform all manner of martial art gymnastics is good and well, but they’ll probably need to hit something if you want to keep kids watching.  But if our heroes are beating people mercilessly, won’t that encourage violent behavior in children? Enter the robots.


A robot feels nothing.  You can chop it apart, beat it, shoot it (with lasers), blow it up, mangle its innards, and it can still be shown on Saturday morning television to kids of all ages.  Loop hole granted.


When we’re talking about live-action films, we’re in the same boat.  But here, we’re also talking about a lot more money at stake.  Films are more commerce than art anymore, and anyone who disagrees can look at the sudden prevalence of PG-13 action films for proof.


Movies rarely receive the PG-13 rating by chance.  Much planning, editing, and giving up of artistic ground takes place before finally being granted this rating instead of a dreaded R rating.  Film studios recognize that kids under 17 will be turned away from R-rated films, and thus pressure filmmakers into making PG-13 movies and even frequently take finished films away from said filmmakers and edit them down.


Take the new RoboCop, a remake of one of the most famously violent movies ever made.  Iconic sequences from the original mostly involve vast amounts of blood and gore as the titled protagonist blasts round after round into corporate and streets scum, shredding their flesh apart in an amazing and also disgusting display of red violence.

Probably not lasers doing that

In one particular sequence, a corporate upstart is horrifically killed when a test of one of the corporation’s new products goes wrong.  The big machine pumps hundreds of rounds into the poor man’s already dead and mutilated body, implicating not only the companies shocked executives as spectators, but also us, the audience at home.  We’re meant to be completely taken aback by what we’ve witnessed, similar to the titular character’s human demise early in the film.

Not quite the same, ahem, impact

The remake completely sanitizes these moments by removing the gore, changing RoboCop’s “death” to a blocked out but colorful CGI explosion, and removing the violence of the original film’s lethal bullets by giving our hero a taser gun and making his enemies robots instead of humans.  Seeing a human body torn to shreds by an array of bullets is affecting.  Seeing non-blinking cyborgs with sparks bouncing off of them is quite a bit less so.  It may open the movie up to a broader audience, but it’s also a loss for the film’s integrity.  But worse, while we might suddenly be treated to a litany of ways to dispatch robots, and thus technically more violence, we are not shown or feeling the consequences of such violence.  We, the audience, are not asked to think about these acts, which may have a far more damnable effect.


If there is no consequence to violence, than what’s to stop an impressionable mind from committing it on another?  If all of the adversaries of one’s heroes are unfeeling combatants, why not begin assuming everyone who stands against you is equally unfeeling and undeserving of remorse?


Continuing on, the lack of consequence in choice in these more modern films may also have a damning effect in itself.  I return to the character of Peter Parker.  He causes his uncle to die.  He reveals his secret identity to his love interest. He reveals his secret identity to his love interest’s father.  He basically gets that guy killed.  What recourse does he suffer for these acts? Nothing.  He ends the film on good terms with his love interest, who’s father he had promised he’d leave her alone in a last dying wish scenario.  His bad behavior is rewarded throughout the entire film, while his primary antagonist, Dr. Connors (Lizard) is a man trying desperately to save lives and his own career but is treated as a vile enemy.  Something is off here.

Yet he still gets the girl

I feel like I’m not being particularly constructive here.  I really could go on and on about other movies which deal with choice, consequence, and violence incredibly well.  But let me try and end this on a more conciliatory note.  I believe this new iteration can be turned around.  They can make it all built toward something so character-shaping and interesting it would make for a very good turnaround.  Something even Sam Raimi’s much better Spider-Man movies messed up.


Fans of the comics know exactly what I’m talking about.

The AOBG Action 100 For 2013

Here’s Our New List Of The Top 100 Action Films…As Voted By The Following Members of AllOuttaBubbleGum.com:
Eggiman – The Hestinator – Jawsunleashed – Bonehead_XL – luvmetender009 – BrettWasean – satanclause – Rutledal – orphen20 – Bananajuice – dude – Supernitpicker

NOTE:
- Out of 12, a film needed 5 votes to make the list.
- The top 10 has, next to its final grade, the total score and the number of votes, to show how close everything got at the top.

http://i.imgur.com/WE8yN.png
105-100 [7.8]:
‘A’ Gai Wak [AKA: Project A] (Hong Kong, 1983) (dir: Jackie Chan)
Death Wish 4: The Crackdown (USA, 1987) (dir: J. Lee Thompson)
Foo Gwai Lit Che [AKA: Shanghai Express] (Hong Kong, 1986) (dir: Sammo Hung Kam-Bo)
Kozure Ôkami: Ko Wo Kashi Ude Kashi Tsukamatsuru [AKA: Lone Wolf And Cub: Sword Of Vengeance] (Japan, 1972) (dir: Kenji Misumi)
Kozure Ôkami: Sanzu No Kawa No Ubaguruma [AKA: Lone Wolf And Cub: Baby Cart At The River Styx] (Japan, 1972) (dir: Kenji Misumi)
Speed (USA, 1994) (dir: Jan De Bont)

99 [7.818182]:
Kick-Ass (UK/USA, 2010) (dir: Matthew Vaughn)

98-97 [7.833333]:
Akira (Japan, 1988) (dir: Katsuhiro Otomo)
Blood And Bone (USA, 2009) (dir: Ben Ramsey)

96 [7.857143]:
The Getaway (USA, 1972) (dir: Sam Peckinpah)

95 [7.875]:
Huo Yuanjia [AKA: Fearless] (China/Hong Kong/USA, 2006) (dir: Ronny Yu)

94 [7.888889]:
Quel Maledetto Treno Blindato [AKA: The Inglorious Bastards] (Italy/USA, 1978) (dir: Enzo G. Castellari)

93 [7.9]:
On Her Majesty’s Secret Service (UK, 1969) (dir: Peter R. Hunt)

92-91 [7.909091]:
Blade (USA, 1998) (dir: Stephen Norrington)
Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope (USA, 1977) (dir: George Lucas)

http://media68.podbean.com/pb/a81bb7d6f190ef3b5b715c8c2230a89f/52c97d66/data1/blogs32/243688/uploads/rambo-iii-00-800-75.jpg
90-80 [8.0]
The Blues Brothers (USA, 1980) (dir: John Landis)
Bonnie And Clyde (USA, 1967) (dir: Arthur Penn)
Die Hard 2 (USA, 1990) (dir: Renny Harlin)
Kickboxer (USA, 1989) (dir: Mark DiSalle & David Worth)
Licence To Kill (UK/USA, 1989) (dir: John Glen)
The Long Kiss Goodnight (USA, 1996) (dir: Renny Harlin)
The Magnificent Seven (USA, 1960) (dir: John Sturges)
Rambo III (USA, 1988) (dir: Peter MacDonald)
Revenge Of The Ninja (USA, 1983) (dir: Sam Firstenberg)
Safe (USA, 2012) (dir: Boaz Yakin)

http://images.amcnetworks.com/ifc.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/050412-the-avengers.jpg
79-78 [8.083333]
The Avengers (USA, 2012) (dir: Joss Whedon)
Casino Royale (UK/Czech Rpublic/USA/Germany/Bahamas, 2006) (dir: Martin Campbell)

77-75 [8.090909]
Heat (USA, 1995) (dir: Michael Mann)
Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back (USA, 1980) (Irvin Kershner)
Taken (France/USA/UK, 2008) (dir: Pierre Morel)

74-73 [8.125]
The Fugitive (USA, 1993) (dir: Andrew Davis)
Ging Chat Goo Si [AKA: Police Story] (Hong Kong, 1985) (dir: Jackie Chan)

http://collider.com/wp-content/uploads/tom-cruise-mission-impossible-ghost-protocol-movie-image.jpg
72-68 [8.142857]
Django Unchained (USA, 2012) (dir: Quentin Tarantino)
Ging Chat Goo Si 3: Chiu Kup Ging Chat [AKA: Police Story 3, AKA: Supercop] (Hong Kong, 1992) (dir: Stanley Tong)
Le Pacte Des Loups [AKA: Brotherhood Of The Wolf] (France, 2001) (dir: Christophe Gans)
Meng Long Guo Jiang [AKA: The Way Of The Dragon] (Hong Kong, 1972) (dir: Bruce Lee)
Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol (USA/United Arab Emirates/Czech Republic, 2011) (dir: Brad Bird)

67-62 [8.166667]
Army Of Darkness (USA, 1992) (dir: Sam Raimi)
Dirty Harry (USA, 1971) (dir: Don Siegel)
GoldenEye (UK/USA, 1995) (dir: Martin Campbell)
Indiana Jones And The Temple Of Doom (USA, 1984) (dir: Steven Spielberg)
Starship Troopers (USA, 1997) (dir: Paul Verhoeven)
Universal Soldier: Day Of Reckoning (USA, 2012) (dir: John Hyams)

http://www.imfdb.org/images/thumb/8/8d/M37TheyLive6.jpg/600px-M37TheyLive6.jpg
61-59 [8.2]
Demolition Man (USA, 1993) (dir: Marco Brambilla)
Giù La Testa [AKA: A Fistful Of Dynamite, AKA: Duck, You Sucker] (Italy, 1971) (dir: Sergio Leone)
They Live (USA, 1988) (dir: John Carpenter)

58-55 [8.25]
Bloodsport (USA, 1988) (dir: Newt Arnold)
Django (Italy/Spain, 1966) (dir: Sergio Corbucci)
Hard Target (USA, 1993) (dir: John Woo)
Kill Bill: Vol. 1 (USA, 2003) (dir: Quentin Tarantino)

54-51 [8.272727]
Black Dynamite (USA, 2009) (dir: Scott Sanders)
Dip Huet Seung Hung [AKA: The Killer] (Hong Kong, 1989) (dir: John Woo)
Jurassic Park (USA, 1993) (dir: Steven Spielberg)
Ying Hun Boon Sik [AKA: A Better Tomorrow] (Hong Kong, 1986) (dir: John Woo)

http://www.katanasycolegialas.es/wp-content/uploads/2012/06/2009_chocolate_006.jpg
50-49 [8.285714]
Chocolate (Thailand, 2008) (dir: Prachya Pinkaew)
The Great Escape (USA, 1963) (dir: John Sturges)

48-42 [8.333333]
Dredd (UK/USA/India/South Africa, 2012) (dir: Pete Travis)
Dung Fong Tuk Ying [AKA: Eastern Condors] (Hong Kong, 1987) (dir: Sammo Hung Kam-Bo)
Face/Off (USA, 1997) (dir: John Woo)
The Incredibles (USA, 2004) (dir: Brad Bird)
Olympus Has Fallen (USA, 2013) (dir: Antoine Fuqua)
Rambo: First Blood Part II (USA, 1985) (dir: George P. Cosmatos)
True Lies (USA, 1994) (dir: James Cameron)

http://www.craigskinnerfilm.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/02/The-Wild-Bunch.jpg`
41-37 [8.363636]
Blade II (USA/Germany, 2002) (dir: Guillermo Del Toro)
Sin City (USA, 2005) (dir: Robert Rodriguez & Frank Miller)
Skyfall (UK/USA, 2012) (dir: Sam Mendes)
The Lord Of The Rings: The Fellowship Of The Ring (New Zealand/USA, 2001) (dir: Peter Jackson)
The Wild Bunch (USA, 1969) (dir: Sam Peckinpah)

36 [8.375]
Joheunnom Nabbeunnom Isanghannom [AKA: The Good, The Bad, The Weird] (South Korea, 2008) (dir: Kim Jee-Woon)

35 [8.4]
The Crow (USA, 1994) (dir: Alex Proyas)

34-30 [8.416667]
Conan The Barbarian (USA, 1982) (dir: John Milius)
First Blood (USA, 1982) (dir: Ted Kotcheff)
Léon [AKA: The Professional] (France, 1994) (dir: Luc Besson)
Lethal Weapon 2 (USA, 1989) (dir: Richard Donner)

http://nl.ign.com/pictures/articles/1658/87696.jpg
29-28 [8.454545]
Per Qualche Dollaro In Più [AKA: For A Few Dollars More] (Italy/Spain/West Germany, 1965) (dir: Sergio Leone)
Serbuan Maut [AKA: The Raid: Redemption] (Indonesia, 2011) (dir: Gareth Evans)

27-22 [8.5]
Die Hard: With A Vengeance (USA, 1995) (dir: John McTiernan)
The Expendables 2 (USA, 2012) (dir: Simon West)
Jui Kuen II [AKA: The Legend Of The Drunken Master] (Hong Kong, 1994) (dir: Chia-Liang Liu)
The Last Boy Scout (USA, 1991) (dir: Tony Scott)
No Retreat, No Surrender 2: Raging Thunder (Hong Kong/USA, 1987) (dir: Corey Yuen)
Per Un Pugno Di Dollari [AKA: Fistful Of Dollars] (Italy/Spain/West Germany, 1964) (dir: Sergio Leone)

21 [8.571429]
Dip Huet Gaai Tau [AKA: Bullet In The Head] (Hong Kong, 1990) (dir: John Woo)

http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-BgaAqcsuahU/UIycSXORl2I/AAAAAAAAWyw/vdt80xw53ow/s1600/Vamos+A+Matar,+Companeros!+-+01.jpg
20 [8.6]
Vamos A Matar, Compañeros [AKA: Companeros] (Italy/West Germany/Spain, 1970) (dir: Sergio Corbucci)

19-18 [8.636364]
Hot Fuzz (UK/France/USA, 2007) (dir: Edgar Wright)
Mad Max 2 [AKA: The Road Warrior] (Australia, 1981) (dir: George Miller)

17 [8.714286]
Highlander (UK, 1986) (dir: Russell Mulcahy)

16 [8.8]
Gekitotsu! Satsujin Ken [AKA: The Street Fighter] (Japan, 1974) (dir: Shigehiro Ozawa)

15 [8.833333]
Lethal Weapon (USA, 1987) (dir: Richard Donner)

14-11 [8.916667]
Aliens (USA/UK, 1986) (dir: James Cameron)
Predator (USA, 1987) (dir: John McTiernan)
Rambo (USA/Germany, 2008) (dir: Sylvester Stallone)
The Terminator (UK/USA, 1984) (dir: James Cameron)

http://www.chud.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/05/death-wish-3-original-1024×576.jpg
10 [9][90/10]
Death Wish 3 (USA, 1985) (dir: Michael Winner)

9 [9.090909][100/11]
Il Buono, Il Brutto, Il Cattivo. [AKA: The Good, The Bad And The Ugly] (Italy/Spain/West Germany, 1966) (dir: Sergio Leone)

8-7 [9.25][111/12]
Commando (USA, 1985) (dir: Mark L. Lester)
Indiana Jones And The Last Crusade (USA, 1989) (dir: Steven Spielberg)

6-5 [9.333333][112/12]
Die Hard (USA, 1988) (dir: John McTiernan)
Total Recall (USA, 1990) (dir: Paul Verhoeven)

https://d2nh4f9cbhlobh.cloudfront.net/_uploads/galleries/35318/raiders-of-the-lost-ark-shoot-out.jpg
4 [9.5][114/12]
Indiana Jones And The Raiders Of The Lost Ark (USA, 1981) (dir: Steven Spielberg)

3-2 [9.545455][105/11]
Lat Sau San Taam [AKA: Hard Boiled] (Hong Kong, 1992) (dir: John Woo)
RoboCop (USA, 1987) (dir: Paul Verhoeven)

http://cdn3.whatculture.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/2-Terminator-2.jpg
1 [9.583333][115/12]
Terminator 2: Judgment Day (USA/France, 1991) (dir: James Cameron)

Grindhouse killcount

Grindhouse (2007)

Grindhouse_Poster

Starring Kurt Russell, Bruce Willis, Rose McGowan, Danny Trejo

and Michael Biehn, Freddy Rodriguez, Jeff Fahey

Watch video:

Music, film and photography on Clowdy.com

McGowan kill 75

Rodriguez kills 57

Biehn kills 15

Fahey kills 10

Trejo kills 6

Russell kills 5

Willis kills 2

Discuss

Grindhouse rights held by Miramax.

Fury Of The King Boxer killcount

Fury Of The King Boxer (1972) a.k.a. Jing tian dong di a.k.a. Chow Ken

Fury of the King Boxer poster

Starring Jimmy Wang Yu

and Kuo Shu Chuan

and Jiang Ming

Watch video:


Fury of the King Boxer killcount by AllOuttaBubbleGum

Wang Yu kills 96

Chuan kills 108

Ming kills 81

Discuss

Fury Of The King Boxer rights held by First Film Production Company.

Am I Right?

RoboCopy

Legend Of The Red Dragon killcount

Legend Of The Red Dragon (1994) a.k.a. The New Legend Of Shaolin

LegendOfTheRedDragon-JetLi

Starring Jet Li

Watch video:


Legend of the Red Dragon killcount by AllOuttaBubbleGum

Li kills 86

Discuss

Legend Of The Red Dragon rights held by Eastern Productions.

Attack Force Z killcount

Attack Force Z (1982)

Attack FOrce Z

Starring Mel Gibson

Watch video:


Attack Force Z killcount by AllOuttaBubbleGum

Gibson kills 13

Discuss

Attack Force Z rights held by The Australian Film Commission, Central Motion Pictures Corporation, and Fauna Productions.

Kain’s Lists

Top 12 Best Westerns

12 – 9

The AOBG Action 100 For 2012

AOBG Action 100

So here we finally are; the AOBG ACTION 100 for 2012. It’s only roughly 7 months behind schedule so I feel it would only be right with a little explanation. Basically what happened was, let us call it a ‘change in management’, as the guy who usually is in charge of doing this list decided to step down and with the rest of us being sort of, well, there is no nice word for lazy is there? Someone was supposed to do the numbers, it sort of didn’t happen; we kind of struggled to give a toss, and you know how these things work. Luckily some awesome people from the interwebs showed up at out forums one day and said “You know that list thing? We did the math on it, here are the results”. How awesome is that? (Hint: very awesome)

[Editor's note: a special shout out to Enrico Mrena and his friend Tímea for not only completing this monstrous project for us, but also delivering to us this list.  Thank you, we love you.]

A staggering 31 new additions have made it on to this year’s list leaving off popular titles such like On Her Majesty’s Secret Service and Enter the Dragon, and striking particularly close to my own heart, the first two entries of Sergio Leone’s ‘dollar trilogy’. The most surprising omission to me would be the aforementioned Dragon (although maybe we have finally bust the myth of it being Lee’s best film?), James Bond reboot Casino Royale, and The Expendables. The latter mystifies me more because of how well the sequel made it on this year’s list, but more on that later. I also find it fascinating that Battle Royale, a mere two years after being #1 on the 2010 list is now completely gone. But these statistics are probably more interesting to me than most others so let us move along to the actual list, huh?

Here’s Our New List Of The Top 100 Action Films…As Voted By The Following Members of AllOuttaBubbleGum.com:

- ActionMovieFreak – Bananajuice – BaronBlitzkrieg BrettWasean – Chance Boudreaux – Dr. Judas – Dude – DynamiteKid – Eggimann – Jawsunleashed – Kersey475 LuvMeTender009 – PhilFightMaster – Rorshach94 – Rutledal – Satanclause Supernitpicker3 The Hestinator – Verdugo – Xenomorph - and AOBG founders: Kain424 & Rantbo.

100. Die Hard 2 (8,05)
99. Speed (8,0588)
98. Universal Soldier: Regeneration (8,0625)
97. Heat (8,0667)
96. The Blues Brothers (8,0714)
95. The Good, The Bad, The Weird (8,0769)
94. The Getaway (8,0909)
93. Blade (8,1111)
92. Demolition Man (8,125)
91. Drive (8,125)

Image

Let me start by saying how happy I am to finally see Speed join the ranks after having fought for its inclusion for 3 years. UniSol: Regen, Blade, and Demolition Man also join the list as first timers. The last one I have to admit is one of the (perhaps too) many films on this year’s list that I have not seen. (Isn’t that what the time until the next list is for?) For the rest of these films this is their weakest showing, especially Heat which drops over 60 spots, but how about I keep those stats to myself and instead talk about how awesome these films are?

90. Licence to Kill (8,125)
89. Lone Wolf & Cub: Baby Cart at The River Styx (8,125)
88. Project A (8,125)
87. The Two Towers (8,125)
86. Tombstone (8,1429)
85. The Hidden (8,1429)
84. Dilinger (8,1429)
83. Black Dynamite (8,1429)
82. First Blood (8,1579)
81. Rambo 2 (8,1579)

Image

May I drop another stat for you while we are here? Licence to Kill which has been the only film to consistently place with the 100-91 (92 in 2010, 95 in 2011) has finally broken the spell and placed as #90. Good on you. Project A and Baby Cart at The River Styx are another pair that has escaped my eyes so far. They are both in my DVD collection and I probably should have watched them by now as they are third timers, meaning they have placed on all three editions of the Action 100. Other than that I am very happy to see Tombstone join the ranks this year and quite surprised to see The Hidden make it. It will be exciting to see if the attention a spot this year could give it would help or damage its chances for next year with potentially more voters having seen it.

80. Marked for Death (8,1667)
79. Sin City (8,1667)
78. Platoon (8,1818)
77. Police Story 3 (8,1818)
76. The Princess Bride (8,1818)
75. Yip Man (8,1875)
74. Troy (8,2)
73. From Russia With Love (8,2143)
72. The Incredibles (8,2143)
71. Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol (8,2143)

Image

Here we find the real big surprise for me this year: Troy. This, I must admit, was not a film I ever imagined seeing on here. I think this section also best shows the spectrum of action films represented on this year’s list with Platoon and The Princess Bride which are pretty much at the opposite ends of the spectrum. We also have, I think, the first ever animated inductee with The Incredibles, we also see James Bond represented once more and Steven Seagal arrives at the scene too, leaving Arnie as the only major 80s/90s player to not yet represent.

70. Blade 2 (8,2222)
69. Dragons Forever (8,2222)
68. The Return of The Jedi (8,2353)
67. The Adventures of Tintin (8,25)
66. Death Wish 4 (8,25)
65. Die Hard with A Vengeance (8,25)
64. The Fugitive (8,25)
63. Out For Justice (8,25)
62. Sanjuro (8,25)
61. The Empire Strikes Back (8,2778)

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I take my hats off to you because we have done it. Death Wish 4: The Crackdown has made it on to the list. The film itself has such a right wing anti-drugs agenda that you can’t help but think Ronald Reagan rubbed one out to it. At #62 the only black & white film amongst the hundred can be found, and like last year it is Sanjuro, meaning Kurosawa and Mifune are still the only ones to get a b&w film onto the list. We also have no less than two Star Wars films here, for Return of the Jedi it’s a bit of a comeback this year climbing almost 20 spots. While for Empire Strikes Back placing 61st must be said to be a slap across the face after back-to-back spots within the top 10 it has dropped out of the top 60, ouch.

60. Starship Troopers (8,2778)
59. The Guns of Navarone (8,2857)
58. Police Story (8,2857)
57. Desperado (8,2941)
56. The Good, The Bad, The Ugly (8,2941)
55. They Live (8,2941)
54. Lone Wolf & Cub: The Sword of Vengeance (8,3)
53. No Retreat, No Surrender 2: Raging Thunder (8,3)
52. The Way Of the Dragon (8,3)
51. Django (8, 3077)

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47 spots! Way to go No Retreat, No Surrender 2! If you aren’t one of our forum dwellers you might not know this, but I am the vice chairman and treasurer of the No Retreat, No Surrender 2 fan club so to see it make the jump from 100th to 53rd was better than witnessing the birth of my first child, or so I assume as I don’t have children. Throw in They Live, the film that gave the site its name, and two spaghetti westerns with Django and The Good, The Bad, The Ugly, and Bruce Lee’s best film Way of the Dragon this might just be my favourite bit of the whole list.

50. The Matrix (8,3158)
49. Fist of Legend (8,3333)
48. The Great Escape (8,3333)
47. Conan – The Barbarian (8,3529)
46. A Better Tomorrow 2 (8,3571)
45. The Dark Knight (8,3684)
44. The Crow (8,375)
43. Hot Fuzz (8,375)
42. Kill Bill vol.1 (8,3889)
41. Star Wars (8,3889)

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The Austrian Oak has arrived on the scene with his breakthrough performance in the first Conan film, usually the most frequently represented actor on these lists you should hardly be surprised to see him again. There is also one of my favourite films of last decade; both hilarious and awesome, Hot Fuzz is one of the few action comedies to grace the list. We also cap off the original Star Wars trilogy in what, must be allowed to repeat, has been a poor year for the space saga. Also found here is the movie that if you speak ill of is most likely to get you called “FAGGOT!” on the internet; The Dark Knight.

40. Bullet in the Head (8,4)
39. Once Upon A Time in The West (8,4)
38. Braveheart (8,4375)
37. Goldeneye (8,4375)
36. Hard Target (8,4444)
35. Face/Off (8,4737)
34. The 36th Chambler of the Shaolin (8,5)
33. A Bittersweet Life (8,5)
32. Dirty Harry (8,5)
31. The Fellowship of the Ring (8,5294)

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At 39th we find Once Upon A Time in The West, my favourite film of all time, which I sadly have to admit, is seeing a steady decline over the years. But I still have Kain beat by 8 spots. Suck it! Bond hits the list again with GoldenEye, which makes it three films and three “Bonds” represented so far. John Woo is also strongly represented here with 3 films, with 2 of his American films; the world record holder for ‘most splits in a film’ Hard Target, and the showcase in overacting Face/Off. Plus his Vietnam epic, Bullet in the Head. Also worthy of a note is Dirty Harry which is this year’s biggest climber, jumping 68 spots!

30. Death Wish 3 (8,5333)
29. The Wild Bunch (8,5556)
28. The Raid (8,5882)
27. True Lies (8,6316)
26. Looper (8,6923)
25. Shanghai Express (8,7143)
24. Django Unchained (8,7143)
23. A Better Tomorrow (8,75)
22. Skyfall (8,7647)
21. Mad Max 2 (8,7647)

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“I like the way you die boy!”

Without question my favourite film of last year, Django Unchained, makes a strong debut at 24th, and must admit that it is without my own vote as I was unable to catch it until February. Two more of last year’s finest are found here with Bruce Willis in the time traveling assassin film Looper and some more of the steel-livered intelligence officer James Bond with his latest outing Skyfall, setting its mark as the 2nd highest ranked first timer this year. Bronson returns to as Death Wish 3 completes a rather unlikely double appearance for the world’s deadliest architect Paul Kersey on the list. We also find genre-defining classics like A Better Tomorrow and Mad Max 2. And with them placing outside the top 20 you better be sure that the remaining entries are so balls to the wall that I would recommend you watch them in an open field for safety.

20. A Fistful of Dynamite (8,7778)
19. Eastern Condors (8,7857)
18. John Rambo (8,7859)
17. Lethal Weapon 2 (8,8421)
16. Léon, The Professional (8,8421)
15. The Expendables 2 (8,8947)
14. Lethal Weapon (8,9474)
13. Commando (8,95)
12. The Terminator (9)
11. The Legend of Drunken Master (9)

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Almost there we have the two greatest buddy cop films of all time; Lethal Weapon 1 and 2, because when Shane Black did right there was no equal. The legendary trio of Chan, Hung, and Biao are all represented here with Eastern Condors and The Legend of Drunken Master. As previously promised Arnie makes his mark, ranking for the 3rd, 4th and 5th time here, most notably with this year’s highest first timer; The Expendables 2. Making its debut at 15th, Expendables 2 proves that sometimes quantity does triumph quality. I know this might stir some controversy amongst you action fans; the film is not on here because it was great, but because the only thing that has had more 80s icons in it is Brigitte Nielsen’s vagina.

10. Indiana Jones & The Last Crusade (9)

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The first of the five ‘top 10 regulars’ that has kept its spot is Indiana Jones and The Last Crusade, the final entry of the Indiana Jones trilogy, which as we can all recall never had a 4th entry. Crusade sees Jones Jr team up with Jones Sr for what goes down in my book as the greatest father and son movie there is. With a horse chase, a train chase, a boat chase, a motorcycle chase, a plane chase, and even a tank chase it packs so much action that the fact the Nazis get shot to bits all over the place just seems like a sweet topping on a cake already made of awesome. If you’ll pardon the not so masculine pastry analogy. Also, for a final note of statistics; in the top 10 there are only 5 directors represented, all of them with 2 movies each.

09. RoboCop (9,1111)

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“Dead or alive, you’re coming with me!”

Detroit’s #1 son breaks into the top 10 for the first time this year and Paul Verhoeven sublime satirical take on the Reagan area’s “shoot first, ask later” approach is by all means a welcomes addition. While RoboCop may be the film in the top 10 that has aged the poorest in terms of its visuals (I am looking at you, ED-209) it has lost none of its punch in terms of its political commentary. With his clunky movements, no bullshit attitude, marksman aim, and itchy trigger finger RoboCop has been a perfect time capsule for that perfect kind of awesome that only the 80s could do for over 25 years.

08. Aliens (9,1579)

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If there was ever someone who understood how make a great sequel it was James Cameron. Instead of retreading the formula that made the original work we get a full on genre swap. Changing out the nerve-wracking terror of the original with adrenaline pumping action Aliens is an action classic sequel to horror classic original. It also assembles the greatest ensemble of criminally underrated badasses from the 80s; Biehn, Paxton, Henriksen and onwards.

07. Total Recall (9,2632)

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Paul Verhoeven is the first to make his second mark amongst final ten, this time alongside Arnold Schwarzenegger in the most one-liner heavy entry on here. From Arnie’s unorthodox divorce, to his promise to the armless Richter and my personal favourite cinematic “fuck you!” Total Recall hardly has a single line in its script that isn’t a slice of fried gold. Throw in a three titted hooker and near nonstop action, the result is an action classic for the ages.

06. Predator (9,2632)

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More Arnie and aliens, but this time they come to him. The Austrian Oak teaming up with Apollo and Jesse Ventura to level the South American jungle through random gunfire in all directions, oh yes! Predator is so packed to the brim with testosterone that they had to edit Jean-Claude Van Damme out of the film to keep the levels below lethal. Like Total Recall before it Predator too has a dangerous amount of quotable lines that will make you the social outcast at any party if you use them like ice breakers.

05. Raiders of Lost Ark (9,3158)

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Doctor Jones, we meet again. With Raiders of the Lost Ark keeping its 5th spot from last year, the Indiana Jones are the highest ranking original and sequel for the third time running. The dashingly handsome archeology professor that moonlights as a badass treasure hunter extraordinaire. Raiders has everything from date-stealing monkey to Nazi’s getting their faces melted off, what’s not to like? Not a lot apparently seeing as it is #5.

04. The Killer (9,3333)

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It’s the age old tale of an assassin with a heart of gold teaming up with a cop, who feels the system is hindering him getting results to kill everyone they can aim a gun at in this John Woo classic. The Killer features all the visual cues you’ve come to expect from a Woo film; excessive slow-motion, a fetish-like approach to white doves, guns so powerful you’d think they be the head of religion, and so much blood ejaculating across the screen that the film technically qualifies as bukkake film in at least four states.

03. Die Hard (9,35)

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Often seen as the textbook answer to the question “what is the greatest action movie of all time?” it may surprise you to learn that this is the first time Die Hard has place within the top 3. Upon its release it made a household name and action icon out of Bruce Willis, and in the years afterwards it spawned more rip-offs than Elvis. At least one of which features on this year’s list, but none ever came close to the standards of the original. Those were the days; when Bruce Willis had hair and Die Hard films didn’t suck balls. How the times have changed.

02. Hard Boiled (9,4444)

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And how the mighty have fallen. Once again last year’s winner has failed to defend its position at the #1 spot, although in the case of Hard Boiled it has only dropped one spot and not 73 like its predecessor. Having consistently placed within the top 3 I also feel pretty confident in saying that we will be seeing it next year too. Draped in slow-motion, white doves, God-like guns, and Woo’s attempts to channel Jackson Pollock in blood this time around is Inspector Tequila who has had it with these motherfucking triads in motherfucking Hong Kong! So he teams up with an undercover cop and shoots them all.

01. Terminator 2: Judgement Day (9,7368)

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I think I made a point regarding James Cameron and sequels earlier and I must admit that it was not by accident, because unlike lightning Cameron did strike twice. Not only making the jump from taught low budget thriller to full blown action, but also making the villain from the first film the hero of the sequel he proved with Terminator 2: Judgement Day that he truly is the maestro of the sequel curveball. I also have to say that if there was one film that I would deem worthy of taking over the top spot from Hard Boiled it would have to be T2 because while I do think the former might be the better film the latter is after all the reason I am here. By which I don’t mean that my parents conceived me while watching, but rather that it is the film that got me into action cinema. Had my cousin not gotten T2 on DVD for Christmas all those years ago these words you are currently reading would have been written by some other hack while I’d been of elsewhere probably being a right pretentious bastard. So very much a #1 after my own heart this year.

Well that’s it kids, go play outside now and we’ll see you next year.

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