Action Film Autopsy #4 Supple Mental

RicJenMike PRAFA 4

Woooo. Still wiping off the blood, and dog slobber, after that one. So here’s some corrections and clarifications.

We mention mo-cap at one point, which is short for motion capture, the new-ish technique where computer animators use an actor’s performance as the core. It’s similar to the decades old technique of roto-scoping, but far more sophisticated.


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The new-ish Tarzan television series Mike referenced premiered in 2003, starring Travis Fimmel as a modern day Manhattan king of the urban jungle, with Jane being a NYPD cop played by Sarah Wayne Callies. It’s little wonder that I missed it. It was canceled after only eight episodes.


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Speaking of television, I referenced how great TV comedies are right now, but failed to mention any specifics. So for the record, here are just a few of my favorites at the moment. The Big Bang Theory, Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Rick and Morty, South Park, Portlandia, Documentary Now, Transparent, The Middle, The Goldbergs, Speechless, Black-ish, Bob’s Burgers, Younger, Teachers, Those Who Can’t, It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, You’re the Worst, Bojack Horseman, Veep, Silicon Valley, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, Adventure Time, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, Master of None, Drunk History, Fresh Off the Boat, and that’s just off the top of my head.

rick and morty

I mention a quote by a science fiction author to the effect of “writing is choosing words, but science fiction gives you many more to choose from.” Still can’t remember exactly who said it, but I’m guessing it was probably either Isaac Asimov, Samuel R. Delaney, or Harlan Ellison – all of whom I’ve had the pleasure of working, talking, or dining with … and all of whom are worth reading.

For the record, the Jason Bourne movies are: The Bourne Identity (2002), The Bourne Supremacy (2004), The Bourne Ultimatum (2007), The Bourne Legacy (2012, sans Matt Damon), and Jason Bourne (2016). What? They didn’t want to name it The Bourne Extension, or The Bourne Beating-A-Dead-Horse?


Btw, if you want my full Jason Bourne review, go here

I also stated that the Batman fight against Lex Luthor’s minions in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice was my favorite Batman screen fight. I’m surprised/ashamed of myself for not mentioning that it was actually an exceptional bookend for my other favorite Batman screen fight, which came in the first Tim Burton/Michael Keaton Batman (1989).

Batman Keaton

I loved the idea of a Bruce Wayne who didn’t grow up to be a six-foot five-inch muscle bound linebacker, so, in order to accomplish his war on crime, had to compensate by being smart. Also, I really loved that, because the Batman suit made for the movie didn’t allow Keaton to turn his neck, it forced Batman to use elevated, open hand, kung fu in his alley fight with the Joker’s minions.

Like Rorschach in the Watchmen movie, he only moved as much as he had to, and used the villains’ own aggression against them. And speaking of Zack Snyder (who directed the Watchmen movie), we get to Suicide Squad (which he didn’t direct, but probably infected). One of the many things I didn’t make clear in our rushed autopsy of it is that, in addition to at least three character introductions, it also had at least a half dozen flashback within flashbacks and dream sequences (or were those all in BvS?).


No matter. In Tinsel Town, most fine filmmakers think of dream sequences and multiple flashbacks as cinematic crutches or scotch tape. Use them more than once and you’ve got a hobbling film that falls apart. But, of course, that was just one of Suicide Squad’s issues. The other, which we referenced, was the barely introduced character who is killed as quickly and seemingly awkwardly as they could figure out. That would be “Slipknot,” played by Adam Beach, a Native American actor who serves as the film’s minority sacrifice.

SS Slipknot

I’m also annoyed that I couldn’t immediately remember most of John Woo’s awesome “gun-fu” movies, which should have taught the makers of Suicide Squad a thing or three about how to create a blood-poundingly good “Deadshot” sequence. They are A Better Tomorrow (1986), A Better Tomorrow II (1987), The Killer (1989), Bullet in the Head (1990), and Hard Boiled (1992). See them with all speed (as well as Full Contact, a 1992 Woo-ish gun-fu thriller directed by Ringo Lam).

Woo directing

Now, as promised, here’s some info on the director of Mechanic Resurrection, Dennis Gansel.

Finally, the movie I thought Jason Statham saved, especially via his fights with Scott Adkins, was The Expendables 2  (2012) – aided by fight choreographer Allan Poppleton.

Adkins Statham

All right, that should do it for now. Hope to hear that you’re hearing me again in two weeks when I’ll have a special guest talk about his life and love of action films.

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