Screen Junkies » Action Movies Movie Reviews & TV Show Reviews Wed, 06 Aug 2014 00:58:01 +0000 en hourly 1 Why Adapting “The Last of Us” Into a Movie Is a Bad Idea Mon, 28 Jul 2014 21:41:09 +0000 DustinSeibert I wish I could get excited about this one, but a movie adaptation of TLoU will most likely turn a complex and unique story into just another generic survival horror flick.

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I wish I could get excited about this one.

A big-screen adaptation of last year’s PlayStation 3 survival horror game “The Last of Us” is on its way, which should be exciting for fans of The Walking Dead, survival horror and anything George Romero ever touched or influenced.

I’ll bet a lot of die-hard fans of the game itself have a somewhat subdued sense of excitement, though, as concerns that no full-length feature film could properly capture the game’s story are valid. Full disclosure: “The Last of Us” was the last game I played on my PS3 before I sold the system and made room for the PlayStation 4. Between having a life, playing the game on “hard” difficulty and the Yellow Light of Death felling my aging system twice before I could finish it, I lived the story of Joel and Ellie for months, so I got pretty invested in the storyline.

Even if you blaze through the game quickly, it’ll still take you about 20 hours to give it an honest play-through, and if the movie hews faithfully to the game, we’re looking at a number of character development threads that can’t be captured well in a movie. The beauty of “The Last of Us” is its reliance on a slow-burn method of getting us acclimated to characters hours at a time, only to lose them in many cases. Since a film version would be two-and-a-half-hours or so on the long end, I can’t see how the movie wouldn’t come off as a hack job.

The only promising news I’ve read about the movie is the possibility that Game of Thrones ass-kicker Maisie Williams could get the role of Ellie, which means that Sony is at least taking casting seriously. But would the screenwriters have the balls to put Ellie in a somewhat ambiguous same-sex relationship, like the game’s “Left Behind” downloadable content did? Also, keeping the game’s excellent controversial ending intact would be nice, but would filmmakers shy away from it since it doesn’t fit into the tidy Hollywood aesthetic?

We’re all kinda going through zombie fatigue right now, much like the vampire fatigue that preceded it. If “The Last of Us” film winds up being just another zombie chase with little gleams of soul here and there, it’ll justifiably leave theaters just as soon as it gets there and wind up in Best Buy’s bargain bin. But it wouldn’t dilute the awesomeness of the game itself, as there have been a plethora of shitty movie adaptations of great video games that people still love.

Sure, it makes sense for Sony to turn “The Last of Us” into a film that would likely bring in a nice opening weekend haul from fans of the game alone. But I sure hope I’m wrong about the final product…lets just say my breath is not exactly bated.

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The 10 Most Badass Survival Films Ever Mon, 07 Jul 2014 12:45:42 +0000 bgoldstein By the ScreenJunkies Staff Survival movies are inherently badass. When you’re faced with zombies, angry mobs, and the cruel forces of nature, you can either lie down and accept your...

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By the ScreenJunkies Staff

Survival movies are inherently badass. When you’re faced with zombies, angry mobs, and the cruel forces of nature, you can either lie down and accept your fate, or look Death in the eyes and say “Not today, buddy.” And so, in honor of The Purge: Anarchy (which hits theaters on July 18th) here are our ten all-time favorite survival flicks, in which ordinary men and women go to heroic lengths to save the most important life of all: their own.

Road Warrior — Mel Gibson reprises his role in this sequel to Mad Max, as the lone former cop tries to survive in a post-apocalyptic world, where gasoline is worth killing and dying over. There was a time when Gibson was one of the coolest movie stars out there and this movie — and it’s legendary climactic chase scene — is one of the reasons why.

Black Hawk Down — Ridley Scott directed an unflinching account of a real-life U.S. Army helicopter mission that turned into a disaster and a fight for survival in war-torn Somalia. Our advice: Don’t get too attached to the characters.

Deliverance It’s too bad the “squeal like a pig” scene is all most people remember about this movie (that and the “Dueling Banjos” scene), because it really is a tense and gripping movie about survival. Burt Reynolds was fantastic in this movie, and so were Jon Voight, Ned Beatty and Ronny Cox, as city boys who take a canoe trip in the Georgia wilderness, and aren’t exactly welcomed by the locals.

127 Hours — Danny Boyle’s 2010 classic is the true story of Aron Ralston (played by James Franco), who becomes trapped in a canyon while adventuring in Utah. When help doesn’t arrive, an increasingly delirious Ralston is forced to cut his own arm off — with a damn pocketknife — to save his own life. A grim but exhilarating tribute to the power of the human spirit.

Dawn of the DeadSurvivors of a zombie apocalypse are holed up in a shopping mall, using whatever they can find to survive. On one hand, it’s a subtle and surprisingly funny critique of unchecked consumerism. On the other hand, that helicopter blade scene is friggin’ sweet.

Warriors This cult-classic from the Seventies follows the efforts of the Warriors crew — wrongly framed for a gang leader’s murder — to get back to Staten Island by daybreak, while fending off attacks from other rival gangs, who all have their own unique visual aesthetics. It’s a guilty pleasure, for sure.

Cast Away Robert Zemeckis directed Tom Hanks in this story of a FedEx executive who lives by the clock and winds up spending years alone on a tiny island in the Pacific Ocean. It’s funny, tense, and will bring you to tears over a lost volleyball.

The Edge As if surviving a plane crash in the Alaskan wilderness weren’t bad enough, Charles Morse (Anthony Hopkins) and Bob Green (Alec Baldwin) are forced to fight a big damn Kodiak bear — and eventually each other. Gruesome maulings ensue. Filled with breathless expanses of the Alaskan wild and two incredible performances by Hopkins and Baldwin, the film is one of the most unforgettable wilderness survival movies ever.

AliveA rugby team crashes in the Andes and does the unthinkable to survive. Like 127 Hours, it’s an incredible true story of human beings who went to almost super-human lengths to stay, well, alive. As John Malkovich puts it in the opening scene, “Many people come up to me and say that had they been there they surely would have died. But it makes no sense, because until you’re in a situation like that, you have no idea how you’ll behave.”

Predator An elite team of commandos, composed of Hollywood hulks like Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jessie Ventura, and Carl Weathers, is stalked in the jungles of Guatemala by a demented alien with the ability to turn invisible and who, apparently, has a jones for skinning people alive and hanging them upside down. As with almost every action movie starring the muscle-bound Schwarzenegger, the Governator is the only one left standing.

Did we leave out any of your favorite survival movies? Let us know on twitter @ScreenJunkies.

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The 7 Greatest Films That Took Place Entirely on Trains Wed, 25 Jun 2014 17:04:17 +0000 Jared Jones By Jared Jones After a year-long creative dispute with Miramax co-founder Harvey Weinstein — the man Gary Oldman would likely refer to as Hollywood’s H.J.I.C (Head Jew in Charge) —...

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By Jared Jones

After a year-long creative dispute with Miramax co-founder Harvey Weinstein — the man Gary Oldman would likely refer to as Hollywood’s H.J.I.C (Head Jew in Charge) Bong Joon-Ho’s Snowpiercer is finally set to receive a limited theatrical release here in the States this weekend. This should come as thrilling news to fans of Ho’s previous films, 2006’s epic monster flick The Host and 2009’s similarly excellent Mother, as well as the rapidly increasing number of Americans with train fetishes. As someone who lies firmly in both camps (emphasis on firmly), I quite literally could not be more aroused excited.

Snowpiercer is essentially the story of the Montgomery Bus Boycott reimagined in the ice-age dystopia of 2031, only swap the Cleveland Avenue bus for a train carrying the Earth’s only remaining inhabitants and Rosa Parks for the Flame On guy. If that didn’t sell you on this movie, I don’t know what you’re even doing here. In any case, Snowpiercer got me thinking long and hard (also, firm) about other train-based movies, which can only mean that I am about to rank the ones I can remember in descending order for you because Internet.

#7 – Unstoppable

Denzel Washington stars as a know-it-all, smooth-as-jazz train engineer paired with, get this, a fresh-faced white dude on the first day of his new job. Ropes are shown, wise is cracked. Not before long, ol’ Denzel and his newbee partner are forced to partake in a suicide mission to catch a runaway train carrying more deadly chemicals than George W. Bush could dream up as an excuse to invade a Middle Eastern country (topical). Hijinks and ‘splosions ensue.

#6 – Night Train

Leelee Sobieski might be the worst actress in the history of the world, but she has really nice boobs and this movie was actually kind of decent. Lovecraft-ian, even. Three strangers find a dead body on a train that happens to be in possession of a butt load of diamonds, or maybe they’re emeralds, it’s not really important. Anyway, they all agree to do the logical thing and chop said dead guy into pieces while killing off anyone who dares question them. Co-starring Steve Zahn and the incomparable Danny Glover.

#5  The Taking of Pelham One Two Three

Fun fact: The guy who directed this movie went on to direct Jaws 4: The Revenge, which is quite possibly the stupidest film ever made.  

#4 – The Lady Vanishes

Yesterday I witnessed a shirtless teenager sporting no less than five teardrop tattoos walk into a convenience store and attempt to steal a bag of Cheetos by smuggling them in his ass. I know this because, for whatever reason, the kid’s pants were belted around his lower thighs in what I can only assume was an act of defiance against both the societal norms of dress code and the concept of gravity. Anyways, the kid tried to make a run for it when he saw that the owner had also taken exception to him, and literally tripped over his own pants before being tackled by the owner.

What I’m saying is that I wish we could go back to the days when everyone dressed as classy as the people in Alfred Hitchcock movies. Even homeless dudes had an evening suit back then. It was a simpler, better time, and somewhere out there, there is a 15-year-old picking cheese crumbles out of his ass hair that agrees with me.

#3 – Snakes on a Train

Full disclosure: I have not seen this movie. I have, however, read the film’s plot synopsis on its Wikipedia page, which I will now repeat to you verbatim:

“Although taking the same basic idea from Snakes on a Plane (lots of deadly snakes loose on a claustrophobic, high speed means of transport), the background story of how the snakes end up on the train is completely different.

In the movie, writer Eric Forsberg created a woman who has been put under a Mayan curse which causes snake eggs to hatch inside her belly and eat their way out. In order to recover the “lost pieces” of herself (the snakes), she must travel to Los Angeles where a powerful Mayan shaman can lift the curse. She takes the snakes along with her in small jars. While on the train, bandits attack her, allowing the snakes to escape and endanger the rest of the passengers.

Eventually, and inexplicably, she herself transforms into a gigantic snake and swallows the moving train whole.

Six passengers managed to escape unharmed and one of them performs magic to make her vanish. However one girl is shown to have been unknowingly bitten, suggesting the curse will remain.”

To recap: Mayan shamans, magic, and snakes eating trains. WHERE YOU AT NOW, HITCHCOCK?!

#2 – Under Siege 2: Dark Territory

By far the easiest selection of this list, Under Siege 2: Dark Territory sees Steven Seagal return as Navy cook-turned killing machine Casey Ryback and take on a group of international terrorists who hijack the train he happens to be traveling on with his niece. You know, kind of like how a group of terrorists hijacked the submarine he happened to be serving on in the first film. In any case, Dark Territory is the sort of gritty, powerful action flick that actually dares ask the tough questions, like “Why would a group of highly-skilled terrorists not check the manifesto of the train they were about to hijack to ensure that a counter-terrorism specialist was not on board?” But that’s just for the film scholars to decide when dissecting this masterpiece in 2025.

I love how they refer to Segal’s character as “the cook from Under Siege” in this trailer, as if to say, “This character was so unmemorable in the first incarnation that using his name to hype the second would accomplish nothing.” You gotta appreciate that kind of honesty.

But seriously, this movie is awesome. The only reason I didn’t rank it #1 was due to the fact that it features Kurtwood Smith yet a distinct lack of foots in asses.

#1 – Source Code

Believe it or not, there aren’t that many great films which take place entirely on a train. I blame texting (also, airplanes). Hidden beneath the smoke of such dumpster fires as Atomic Train, Death Train, and the band Train, however, is Source Code, a solid little sci-fi thriller directed by Moon’s Duncan Jones and starring Jake Gyllenhaal.

The plot of Source Code is incredibly similar to this year’s Edge of Tomorrow, in that Gyllenhaal plays an army soldier (pilot) forced to relive the same scenario over and over until he stops some terrorists from blowing up a train with their Tesseract or what the f*ck ever. While some critics have claimed that the film veers toward the overly sentimental with its conclusion, most agree that Source Code is ultimately a great popcorn flick that manages to be entertaining *and* thought-provoking. Movie-going audiences obviously agreed, as the film grossed nearly $150 million worldwide on a $32 million budget. HEAR THAT, MICHAEL BAY?! WE CAN HANDLE THE BEST OF BOTH WORLDS, YOU WALKING CAN OF AXE BODY SPRAY.

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Best & Worst Video Game Movies Thu, 13 Mar 2014 17:00:45 +0000 Lyndsey Saul Need for Speed is just the latest video game to be turned into a movie. We assembled a panel to single out the rare successful video game movies and figure out why most of them are just plain terrible.

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Need for Speed is just the latest video game to be turned into a movie. We assembled a panel to single out the rare successful video game movies and figure out why most of them are just plain terrible.

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Honest Trailers – 300 Tue, 25 Feb 2014 19:00:55 +0000 Lyndsey Saul THIS IS...HONEST TRAILERS!

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It’s our 50th Honest Trailer!! To celebrate, we revisit Zack Snyder’s “300,” the shoutiest movie about ancient Greece ever!

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Marvel Characters That Need Their Own Movies Thu, 14 Jul 2011 21:13:29 +0000 Breakstudios Any Comic-Con nerd will tell you for every Wolverine and Captain America there's an underrated sidekick or zombie Spider-Man (seriously) waiting in the proverbial wings for their big screen debut.

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If you think every superhero movie has been done (to death) think again—there are still a few lesser-know, but equally awesome Marvel characters that need their own movies. Any Comic-Con nerd will tell you for every Wolverine and Captain America there’s an underrated sidekick or zombie Spider-Man (seriously) waiting in the proverbial wings for their big screen debut. And that the fan boys would come out in droves to see such a thing. Check out our picks of the coolest Marvel heroes you’ve never heard of; we’d love to see these boys make it big on the silver screen.


Iron Fist

Iron Fist harnessing his chi

First up is the enigmatic “Iron Fist”. Although a feature film was supposed to be in the works, it seems to have become lost in development hell since nothing concrete has ever materialized. A pity because Iron Fist is definitely one of the more interesting characters in comic books. A formidable martial-arts fighter, Iron Fist trained under the venerable master, Lei Kung. Through his training he learned deadly fighting techniques and developed the ability to focus his chi to augment his already impressive physical attributes. As a result, Iron Fist has enhanced strength, speed, reflexes, agility and durability. At one point, he even battled the powerfu Iron Man to a near standstill. How’s that for cinema worthy?


Captain Marvel

Captain Marvel shooting fire blasts

Not to be mistaken for Shazam, the DC Comics character with the lightning bolt motif on his chest and a host of powers similar to Superman‘s (though their super suits are so similar you’d be hard-pressed to distinguish the two), Captain Marvel is Marvel Comics‘ version of, well, Superman. But Captain Marvel is his own man—a superhero secretly sent by an alien race to spy on humanity, while living with the people of Earth, he fought alongside this planet’s heroes defending the populace from evildoers. Slowly, Captain Marvel began to understand us and empathize with us. When his superiors learn about his apparent betrayal, he is branded a traitor for his transgressions. Captain Marvel has the ability to fly and fire energy blasts. He’ll also kick anyone’s ass in a fight.


Winter Soldier

Marvel Comics' Winter Soldier

Comic aficionados know that Captain America once had a dependable sidekick. The young James “Bucky” Barnes bravely fought and stood by Captain America against the Nazis during World War II. Unfortunately, he suffered a terrible plane accident and was thought lost over the raging seas. Miraculously, his cold-preserved but badly battered body was then found by the Russians who saved him from certain doom. Unfortunately though, the hero was also brainwashed. He then was given cyborg appendages and became an elite assassin for the Soviets. Sounds like an intriguing Manchurian Candidate-esque concept ripe for a 3D viewing to us.


Machine Man

Machine Man

This obscure character started off his existence as a robot but was eventually granted the gift of sentience. An unlikely hero, he often wonders what it would be like to be human. He initially had a hokey, mechanized look but eventually made himself look more like a real person. Machine Man has a variety of weapons and has telescopic arms and legs which he uses for a variety of attacks. He also has superhuman strength as well as enhanced stamina and speed. Neo Terminator, anyone?


Zombie Spider-Man

Zombie Spider-Man attacking a fellow ghoul

The Marvel Zombie Universe is an alternate Marvel reality where most of the world’s super-powered individuals and regular folk have been devoured or turned into flesh-eating zombies. Unfortunately for us, the great Spider-Man has been zombified and teams up with most of the former heroes who have also been turned into to a rampaging horde of ravenous creatures. With their powers and abilities still intact, thi unstoppable army of the undead have the upper hand and systematically pick off the planet’s remaining survivors. The Marvel Zombie Universe effectively combines super-heroics with the time-tested zombie genre for some slam-bang action and intense terror. While the Spider-Man movies were great, a Zombie Spider-Man would indubitably be even better.

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Inspirational Sports Movies For Guys Fri, 08 Jul 2011 01:42:19 +0000 Breakstudios If you're a real man, then grab a few beers, sit back and root for the underdog.

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If you woke up today and lost your job as a taxi driver, came home to find your car repoed and learned your girlfriend was moving out, you could either join the army or unwind with some inspirational sports movies.  Women might have The Joy Luck Club, Breakfast at Tiffany’s and a host of other feel-good movies, but guys get to choose between war movies, gangster flicks, porn and inspirational sports movies when they feel like they need a good cry.  So if you’re a real man who just had a bad day, then grab a few beers, sit back and root for the underdog.



Rudy, shorter than the whole Notre Dame football team

Most believe that Sean Astin’s career highlight was when he played the part of Samwise Gamgee in the Lord of the Rings trilogy. While it may have been a cinematic masterpiece, who would want to be remembered for being a bungling barefoot hobbit? If he was Frodo Baggins perhaps but that coveted part went to Elijah Wood. No, Rudy is clearly the superior project for Sean Astin. True, it was a very similar role. Astin was small dude who experienced incredible trials and adversities, overcame great odds and came out victorious. The main difference is, instead of helping defeat the evil Dark Lord Sauron and preserving all of Middle-Earth, he gained admission into the prestigious University of Notre Dame, became a practice player, and managed to play a home game as a member of the regular Notre Dame football team. After achieving all of that and earning a college degree, the saving the Middle-Earth deal doesn’t seem too important, does it?

Kate Bosworth getting some pipeline

Blue Crush

Yes, girls kick ass at making inspirational sports movies also, and Kate Bosworth as surfer chick Anne Marie is pretty hot in a bikini.  There is some plot stuff  in Blue Crush about a woman gaining status in society by marrying a wealthy man that draws on Edith Wharton novels, but we suggest you focus your attention on the ferocious waves of the North Shore Pipeline.  Without spoiling the end, the inspirational part of this movie comes from Anne Marie finding the confidence within herself to beat the demon’s of her past, and that is what makes someone a winner.


The Karate Kid

Ralph Macchio punching Pat Morita in catcher's gear in Karate Kid

Don’t even bother with the rehashed 2010 version. Although The Karate Kid of 1984 may have used the same Rocky formula where the underdog finds it within himself to achieve the unachievable, the film is unique in its own right and featured characters moviegoers loved and cared about. Who wouldn’t want to train under the venerable Mr. Miyagi? Who didn’t cheer for Daniel Larusso as he crane kicked the tar out of his bully adversary? And what warm-blooded guy didn’t think Elizabeth Shue was incredibly hot 27 years ago? That in itself is enough to earn this old gem a slot.



Gene Hackman huddling in Hoosiers

Set in rural Indiana, Hoosiers tells of an unlikely small-tow high school basketball squad that beats the odds and that makes the state finals in the 1950s. Gene Hackman is clearly in his element as the fiery, school head coach while Dennis Hopper lends his considerable talents playing the part of Shooter Hackman’s drunkard assistant coach. This film isn’t just inspirational, it is a true David versus Goliath tale. Do yourself a favor and purchase a copy to keep in your collection of manly, guy stuff.



Michael Caine, Pele and some other guy beat the Nazi's

Allied POWs agree to play soccer against the vaunted German National Team in wartime Paris. As the Allied players train for the exhibition match, the local resistance work with British officers to help the team escape.  With the score tied at halftime, the ragtag team gets the chance to flee, but instead opts to play the entire match against the Nazi scum. Sportsmanship!  A little dated if you ask me but it certainly deserving to be included in this inspirational sports movies for guys list. The movie even boasts a true all-star cast with film and soccer greats alike working hand-in-hand to make Victory a success.



Rocky beating his meat

Forget Rocky II through Rocky V. You can even forget about the relatively recent Rocky Balboa. If you want the best among inspirational sports movies, pick up the original Rocky. You have a small-time pugilist who gets a crack at a world title thanks to his monicker. To prepare for the fight, The Italian Stallion trains with an old-school gym owner who gets him into tip-top shape. He enters the ring and much to everyone’s surprise, goes the distance against the champion and loses only by a close, split decision. The ending is simply perfect. As the results are being read, Rocky and the love of his life embrace and profess their love for each other, not caring about the outcome of the fight.  Rocky shows us success in life is not so much about winning, but in having the confidence to take a shot at life and give it all you have.


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]]> 1 sean_astin_rudy Rudy, shorter than the whole Notre Dame football team blue crush Kate Bosworth getting some pipeline karate_Kid_Ralph_Macchio_punches_Pat_Morita Ralph Macchio punching Pat Morita in catcher's gear in Karate Kid Hoosiers Gene Hackman huddling in Hoosiers victory soccer movie Michael Caine, Pele and some other guy beat the Nazi's rocky_punching_meat Rocky beating his meat
Classic Spy Movies From The 1960′s Fri, 01 Jul 2011 18:27:39 +0000 Breakstudios Wits become the most respected weapons in these classic spy movies from the 1960's.

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Wits become the most respected weapons in these classic spy movies from the 1960′s. As long as you’re not allergic to velour, offended by the objectification of women or opposed to Vodka  for breakfast, then a good spy story can conquer the ravages of time. Pour yourself a martini, examine your smirk in the mirror and start practicing your dead drops before the next version of the Cold War kicks off.


The Manchurian Candidate

Nothing is as American as moms and apple pies, especially a mother that gives the one in Psycho a run for the parent of the year award. With the insidiousness of mind control running rampant through The Manchurian Candidate this classic spy movie by Hitchcock delves into the double agent world as it picks apart who truly stands for America and who got the breakfast special of scrambled brains down at the Communist Chinese deli. With political intrigue and the dark horror of crushing Shaw’s will this film created a new place to fear invasion: the brain.


Dr. No

Sean Connery and Ursula Andress in her famous white bikini

The Sean Connery version of James Bond makes you feel dirty in the best of ways and that’s why Dr. No is a classic spy movie. Ahh the 1960s where innuendo was as natural and necessary as breathing. Bond is as needed to the spy genre as a bespoke suit is to your work wardrobe and he is at his best when he’s off protecting the world and scantily clad women from the clutches of evil. A good spy movie has a villain and a great spy movie has a super villain like Dr. Julius No who plays the foil with brilliance.  Appreciate this silky love letter to the 1960s that is this film.


Where the Spies Are

Francoise Dorleac with jazz records on the floor

David Niven is watchable in every thing he does and Where the Spies Are is no exception. Playing a man recruited by his country to serve as a spy, Niven is past the days of youth but still manages to find enough in him to succeed where others of his age might fail. A classic spy movie that is equal parts amusement and a time piece as you’ll get to see the colonial British viewpoint of other countries, and therefore people, as satellites of the homeland, this film is a genuinely fun love note to the spy film genre.



Woman in a purple gown in Hitchcock's Topaz

A constant feeling of an ever-tightening noose built from tension fuels Topaz from start to finish. With spycraft being practiced everywhere, Cuba becomes the target and prize of the brutal power play between America and Russia. With a mercy killing as one of the tender moments, the sacrifice of the killer and the victim translates in any language as an act of love. A truly classic spy movie that brings the reality of the closeness of Communist controlled Cuba to the present day audience and makes it feel as threatening as if it was a current event.


Torn Curtain

Julie Andrews in a plaid scarf and Paul Newman in a black suit

The Cold War is zooming along just fine as the Russians and Americans square off with a few of their pawns in Torn Curtain. With an emphasis on outwitting versus outgunning, this classic spy movie makes the most of brains while still creating many terse moments from the environment of communism that the protagonist and his girlfriend find themselves surrounded by. The spark that should reside between Newman and Andrews seems to misfire with occasional moments of heat but luckily the intrigue holds the heat and is skillfully carried off throughout the film.

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Underrated Action Movies From the ’80s Fri, 01 Jul 2011 18:17:51 +0000 Breakstudios The big punches/hair and scary stunts get dusted off and get put back out on display with these underrated action movies from the '80s.

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The big punches and scary stunts get dusted off and get put back out on display with these underrated action movies from the ’80s. The stardom in some movies meant others were relegated to the less watched or completely ignored piles and that could be viewed as a secret shame for this great nation. With clippers in hand to make your own tribute Mohawk to the grand time that was ’80s cinema, let your voice cry out in celebration of the past.


Remo Williams:  The Adventure Begins

Cranky and curmudgeonly meets the immovable object in Remo Williams: The Adventure Begins and greatness is born. Not many movies made past the concept of equality would think to cast a Caucasian actor for the role of Asian martial arts master but this film embraces the hell out of that idea. Joel Grey gets hit with the makeup stick and then proceeds to hit Remo Williams with every imaginable stick in order to get him into super agent shape. An underrated ’80s action movie that makes the most out of the anti-hero role and pulls out enough fun to make this movie something to be appreciated and even loved.

Next of Kin

Long after the Earth’s curtain call, there will still be a satellite somewhere transmitting Road House, the cousin film of Next of Kin, on fifty channels. This explains why an excellent movie on country boy vengeance got overlooked as it was buried under a swarm of kids running to the hardware store to figure out how to put knife tips in their boots. The action has the best part of violence for the audience in that it in justified classic revenge and that makes it easy to rationalize why you’re rooting for Patrick Swayze to mete out punishment. A human take on the country mouse in the city tale with plenty of violence and enough arrows to make any Dukes of Hazzard fan happy, Next of Kin should hold a spot of honor in the hearts of action films everywhere.


Gleaming the Cube

Not content with inspiring the audience to take up skateboarding, Gleaming the Cube also showed that family isn’t limited to a certain color and that’s both beautiful and cheesy goodness that should be voraciously consumed. With a plethora of visually fun stunts that range from the simple to the complex and a nice goofy mystery, this is clearly one of the underrated action movies of the ’80s. This film has Christian Slater, which gives it enough ’80s street cred to deal with any minor plot bumps all while doing a front side power slide into cinematic history.


Young Sherlock Holmes

Outside of the privacy of your own home, you want to be careful when throwing around the word “romp” as the Victorian era police might beat you senseless with their nightsticks. Luckily here in the safe, warm blanket of anonymity that the internet provides it is fine to say that this movie is an insane romp that doesn’t ignore the core of the Sherlock Holmes mythos while still adding enough of its own accoutrement to make the story its own. Equal parts mystery and character study, Young Sherlock Holmes is a thinking man’s action movie that deserves much more recognition so it can leave the realm of the underrated ’80s action movie and move on to a career in middle management, possibly in accounting.



There are times when a movie sets itself up to be underrated and that is evident in Supergirl as the actress playing the titular role gets second billing. With this film you get a double shot of powerful females in the roles of the heroine and the villain.  Both actresses give this dichotomy their full attention with excellent performances that bring life to the eternal dance of good versus evil and spandex versus evening wear. The male performances are the picture perfect equivalent of their female counterparts in male-centric action movies of this time period as the guys in Supergirl are now the ditzes and subordinates. This role reversal proves both touching and hilarious; as turnabout isn’t just fair play it’s also satisfying to the audience.

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The Worst Bad Movie Police Chases Wed, 29 Jun 2011 21:48:57 +0000 Breakstudios Bad movies made worse with ridiculous 5-0 encounters behind the wheel.

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Bad movie police chases are a necessary evil. After all, without bad movie police chases, how would we be able to appreciate the good ones?  Of course the eternal questions is can you actually outrun the fuzz, but funding that answer could cost you a couple of years in the pokey.  With that in mind here are a few of our favorites,  and remember NOBODY makes Sheriff Buford T. Justice look like a possum’s pecker.


Code Name Zebra

In the field of grammatical ambiguity in the phrase “bad movie police chases,” there’s the distinction between police chases in bad movies, and bad movies with police chases in them. By most accounts, Code Name Zebra falls into the latter category. The central police chase is typical low budget nonsense, but take a look at this premise—a band of Vietnam veterans pose as African Americans in order to fight crime. That’s it. They’re like superheroes, but instead of superpowers they’re just really racist. Any police chase in this movie would qualify as a bad movie police chase.


Hero and the Terror

At the risk of breaking the internet, we’re including at Chuck Norris movie in this list of bad movie police chases. “I thought Chuck Norris specialized in bad movie karate fights,” you’re thinking. Well, Hero and the Terror was The Chuck’s attempt to break out of his martial arts pigeonhole and into something … edgier. The plot is about chasing a serial killer known as The Terror, and the car chases in the movie are as inept as you might be imagining.


Street Knight

Any study of bad movie police chases wouldn’t be complete without Cannon Films, which has produced more than one of the movies on this list. Street Knight is part of the illustrious career of one Jeff Speakman, who knows a thing or two about bad movie police chases. As an added bonus, he knows karate as well. We don’t know if he ever had a showdown with Chuck Norris, but he definitely holds his own in the field of bad movie police chases.



The crown jewel in the crown of Jimmy Fallon/Queen Latifah collaborations, Taxi is probably the least obscure movie on this list of bad movies police chases. You probably remember seeing the trailer, although chances are you never saw the movie. It was a “bomb” in industry jargon, and it has a lot of slick, anonymous car chases in it. Who has time to construct a good chase scene when you need to save precious film for Jimmy Fallon?


Polk County Pot Plane

Sometimes all it takes is a good title to stand out for a list of bad movie police chases. And if Polk County Pot Plane isn’t a good title, we don’t know what is. The bad movie police chases in this one are sub-Dukes of Hazzard, with a lot of shakey inside-the-car shots and footage of cars being flipped and crashed into one another. But with a title like that, we feel bad including it in a list of bad movie police chases.


Sometimes it seems like the art of bad movie police chases is lost in today’s modern times. But then, remember that one of the movies on this list is less than ten years old—Taxi. It seems like there will always be a market for bad movie police chases. And hopefully we’ll always be here to chronicle them.


Police Chase Crazy Ending - Watch more Funny Videos



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Fast & Bald Tue, 28 Jun 2011 19:03:42 +0000 Breakstudios The Fast and Furious cars are pretty much the primary reason to see any of the Fast and Furious movies, unless you're a big fan of Vin Diesel's gleaming bald head.

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Th Fast and Furious cars are pretty much the primary reason to see any of the Fast and Furious movies, unless you’re big fan of Vin Diesel’s gleaming bald head. OK, so the Fast and Furious cars are the second reason to see the movies. Whatever your pleasure, here are some of the fastest and the furious-est cars from across its many sequels, in all their piston-firing glory. Plus, they look cool being driven by Vin Diesel, but then again, what doesn’t?


Ferrari F355

This fine automobile is one of the only Fast and Furious cars to appear in both The Fast and the Furious, and its sequel, 2 Fast 2 Furious. Driven by Neal Moritz, the Ferrari F355 has a top speed of 183 miles per hour, which definitely earns it the title of “fast,” if not “furious.” And the F355 if almost tailor-made for the street-racing depicted in the movie, since it has a “F1-style gearbox management system, taken directly from Formula 1 racing.


Mazda RX-7

The Mazda RX-7 is the other Fast and Furious car to appear in the first and second movies. And unlike the F-355, it was actually used in a race scene in both movies, albeit with a different color scheme in the sequel. If you’re interested in such things, the RX-7 was listed on Car and Driver magazine’s Ten Best list a total of five times, which is probably more than can be said with whatever you’re driving to work.


Dodge Charger

Probably the most famous Fast and Furious car, the Dodge Charger has been in a lot of movies besides the Fast and Furious series. Most famously, it appeared in perhaps the definitive “car movie,” Bullitt, starring Steve McQueen. (The bad guys drove it.)  But the Dodge Charger in The Fast and the Furious might also seem familiar to fans of The Dukes of Hazzard, since the model in the movie is the same as the infamous “General Lee.” How are them Fast and Furious boys gonna get out of this one?


Nissan Skyline GTR

This Fast and Furious car makes an appearance in the most recent entry in the series Fast Five. Inspired by the Nissa Skyline range, it’s nicknamed “Godzilla,” presumably because of the ease in which it can be made to rampage through downtown Tokyo. When the Fast & Furious was first released the Skyline was not legally available for import into the USA, which only added to the cool factor.


Nissan GTR R35

This is the latest automobile to earn the GTR badge (although the first legally available in the USA), and it’s also one of the latest Fast and Furious cars, also appearing in Fast Five. And unlike some of the other Fast and Furious cars, this is a new model. It might make a good birthday present for someone special—or if it’s out of your price range, maybe a couple Fast and Furious DVDs.

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The Evolution of Boxing in Film Tue, 21 Jun 2011 20:00:23 +0000 Breakstudios Over the years the depiction of Boxing in film has changed in many ways.

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Boxing scenes are an essential part of American film, but over the years the depiction of boxing within American movies has changed significantly. From parodies showing the silliness of two men swinging at each other to attempts at capturing the gruesome violence with hyper realism, directors over the years have tried to put their unique “spin” on the sweet science. Here are a few standout takes–from funny to frightening–one the old one-two. Now, I want a fair fight, touch gloves, FIGHT!


City Lights

Charlie Chaplin‘s City Lights may not be a “boxing movie” per se, but it does have at least one fantastic boxing scene, which takes place in the movie after Charlie’s Little Tramp wanders into a boxing venue after losing his job. And it might not be “realistic” per se, but it’s just as if not more entertaining than most more realistic boxing scenes in other movies. The Tramp uses some unorthodox methods in the ring, including hiding behind the referee. And the resulting scene is not only one of the funniest boxing scenes of all time, but one of the funniest comic set pieces of any kind ever filmed! The next time some guy at a party says boxing is just two idiots hitting each other, show him this boxing scene.


The Set-Up

One of the first movies to really depict the brutality of the sport in its boxing scenes–something we modern movie goers take for granted nowadays–and the fact this film was made in the 1940s definitely makes it worth checking out today. The boxing scenes in The Set-Up show punches landing and blood flowing in a way that was never seen outside of a real boxing ring. And that brutality isn’t just in the ring–the way director Robert Wise depicts the bloodthirsty members of the crowd is what really hits home. The boxing scenes may be violent, but they’re never violent enough for the people in the stands.



Boxing ScenesSylvester Stallone‘s breakout role, Rocky Balboa, is probably what most people think of when they hear “boxing movie.” Somewhat surprisingly, the slick and sometimes fake-looking boxing scenes in the Rocky movies aren’t exactly the best in the business–it’s arguable that most people are more responsive to Rocky’s quasi-triumph over adversity and his actual-triumph over his own weaknesses outside the ring. Still, no study of boxing scenes would be complete without Rocky, since they’ve been hugely influential on boxing scenes in movies and on TV in the years since then. And to all who say the boxing scenes “look fake”: We hope you never run into Stallone’s fists. 


Raging Bull

Boxing ScenesMartin Scorsese’s Raging Bull famously only has about ten minutes of boxing scenes in it, but the pitch-perfect performances from Robert De Niro along with the just-as-perfect cinematography still qualifies it as perhaps the best boxing movie ever made. Scratch that — one of the best movies ever made, period. And the boxing scenes in it do not disappoint; each of Jake LaMotta’s matches have a strong visceral impact that makes the viewer feel like he’s in the ring — either sharing the glory of victory, or being pounded into a pulp. These boxing scenes have an expressionistic impact that’s never really been duplicated. Remember when Jake’s opponent gets his nose punched to the other side of his face? Scorsese shows no mercy at the sight of the blood spraying from his head. Or how about the torrent of blood that sprays all the way into the stands?! Hyperstyled? Sure, but name one realistic boxing scene that’s more powerful than the ones in Raging Bull? That’s what I thought. 


The Fighter

As previously mentioned, different filmmakers who attempt to put their marks on boxing scenes try different approaches. In the case of David O. Russell, director of The Fighter, authenticity was the name of the game. The boxing scenes therein are designed to look as much like the original HBO broadcasts of the fights as possible, right down to using similar cameras to film the fights. Sometimes, Russell steps out of this TV-style in order to bring the viewer into the ring — particularly memorably for a super-slow-motion shot of a punch — but even then, realism and authenticity are the chief objectives. That and nailing those Boston accents, of course.


So there you have it. Luckily for any boxing scene fan, there are literally dozens more boxing movies to explore, and almost all of them have at least one boxing scene. And there are more coming out all the time. Just remember, kids, don’t try this at home.

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Women Superheroes Mon, 20 Jun 2011 02:18:54 +0000 Joseph Gibson One of cinema's most underrepresented minorities, women superheroes make up a big part of the superhero community. However, women superheroes are still a rarity on the big screen.

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One of cinema’s most underrepresented minorities, women superheroes make up a big part of the superhero community. However, women superheroes are still a rarity on the big screen, even now in enlightened 2011. The following is a list of women superheroes, that we can all look to for inspiration.

Wonder Woman

Wonder Woman is pretty much the first character anyone thinks of when the subject of “women superheroes” is brought up (and honestly, has a day gone by when this subject hasn’t entered your conversation at least once?). This isn’t because she was the first female superhero, or even the best. But for whatever reason, she shook out as being the most famous, and why not? She’s got a nice patriotic thing going with her costume, and she’s also got a healthy dose of S&M with that truth lasso. Her most famous screen iteration is the ’70s TV series starring Linda Carter, but that could change if the upcoming TV … yeah, that’s probably not gonna change.


Women superheroes are often burdened by being mere reflections of their male counterparts. In this instance, Spider-Woman is obviously intended as a female Spider-Man, and there’s no point in even trying to get around it. Unlike many women superheroes, however, Spider-Woman has managed to be her own gal for quite a while, even getting her own motion comic “Spider-Woman: Agent of S.W.O.R.D.” And no, there’s no relation between her and Kiss of the Spider-Woman. That’s a different Spider-Woman.

All The Female X-Men

The X-Men series has brought possibly the most women superheroes to the screen. Jean Grey, Storm and Rogue are the most famous, but there have been several others in the series, which includes the recen X-Men: First Class. Not only do these women superheroes have to deal with the pressure of being mutants, protecting those that hate and fear them, they also have to deal with the pressures of being women! Would it be an exaggeration to say that watching the X-Men movies makes you a brave feminist crusader? No, no it would not.

The Tiger Woman

Unlike the other women superheroes on this list, it’s very possible that you’ve never even heard of The Tiger Woman. That’s probably because instead of originating in comics or on TV, The Tiger Woman comes from the lost art of the adventure serial. In a 12-chapter serial in the 1940s called The Tiger Woman, The Tiger Woman thrilled adventure-loving kids all over the country with her costume cat ears and she-Tarzan style. The Tiger Woman is not only one of the more obscure women superheroes, but she also might make a cool Halloween costume idea for your girlfriend. Run it by her, see what happens.


Some women superheroes are proud, upstanding symbols of female empowerment. Then again, some women superheroes are played by Alicia Silverstone in universally despised Joel Schumacher Batman movies. Batgirl was never a particularly interesting character, being basically Robin with boobs, but she is a female who wears a cape and fights crime, so she makes the list. Holy affirmative action, Batman!

Now you have at least some idea of the women superheroes that have made it to the big screen. Could all of these women superheroes hold their own against Batman, Superman, or Spider-Man? We don’t know, but we wouldn’t advise you bet against them. They’ve made it this far, after all.

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