Action Film Autopsy #6 – Supple Mental!

Yes, this one was a bit rushed and noisy because of both our location, the Ferguson Library in Stamford CT, and the microphone, which we’re still exploring … and occasionally knocking over.

Our unusual suspects this time were Jen Hurler , Miko Mai , Kai Connolly Raub  and our sacred & profane webmaster general, Mike Raub .

For a calmer, more reasoned explanation of the movie seasons, take a look at this: http://www.craveonline.com/site/197101-free-film-school-67-the-movie-seasons

Now onto the sacrificial lambs.

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The remake/reboot/reimagining of The Magnificent Seven was released September 23rd, directed by Antoine Fuqua (http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0298807/?ref_=tt_ov_dr), written by Richard Wenk (http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0921013/?ref_=ttfc_fc_wr4) and Nic Pizzolatto (http://www.imdb.com/name/nm4446305/?ref_=ttfc_fc_wr5), and stunt coordinated by Jeffrey J. Dashnaw (http://www.brandxstunts.org/members/jdashnaw).

Clint Eastwood’s Unforgiven was released in 1992, and, indeed won the Best Picture Oscar, as well as Best Director (Clint Eastwood), Best Supporting Actor (Gene Hackman), and Best Film Editing (Joel Cox).

I did not find out which reviewer made the comment about knowing where all the bullets went, but it’s still a good barometer of an action film’s quality. Indiscriminate gunplay is the visual equivalent of indiscriminate script profanity – both are usually messy, unthinking, crutches.

Roy Rogers was one of my childhood heroes. Find out all about him here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roy_Rogers.

In the book The Sagebrush Trail: Western Movies and Twentieth Century America, by Richard Aquila, Rogers was quoted as saying, “Over the years I’ve taken some good-natured ribbing about … those six-shooters that never needed reloading…. I can assure you we never kidded ourselves that we were making ‘realistic’ or ‘historically accurate’ pictures. But we did try to get across certain themes: … fair play, justice for all, love of animals, respect for the environment, faith in God and country. And, if you’ll allow my saying so, I think we did a pretty good job.”

For more info on the difference between “A” movies and “B” movies, take a look at this: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/B_movie

To explore the film that started it all, Seven Samurai  (1954), go here: https://www.criterion.com/films/165-seven-samurai

And for the film that continued it all, go here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Magnificent_Seven

As for the director who influenced it all, try http://www.fistful-of-leone.com

For more information on a “Gun Wrangler,” here’s https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Weapons_master

Since I singled out Lee Byung-hun, here you go: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lee_Byung-hun

And while I’m at it, how’s about his stunt double, Ryan Ryusaki? https://vimeo.com/51076168

Then there’s Horst Buchholz: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Horst_Buchholz

And, although 2016’s The Magnificent Seven is not as strong as it could’ve been, I’d be remiss not to praise the overall stunt work. With visual effects taking over, the production seems to take pride in what they did to falling human bodies. As the bone breaking art form continues to diminish, M7 seems to be designed as one of its monuments. It’s worth seeing for that reason alone.

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Storks was directed and written by Nicholas Stoller (http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0831557/?ref_=tt_ov_dr) and co-directed by Doug Sweetland (http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0842339/?ref_=tt_ov_dr).

The Pixar film Presto (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CB1Pukr0nFQ) preceded/was attached to WALL-E (2008).

The Bugs Bunny cartoon that also featured a magician was 1942’s Case of the Missing Hare (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dyQ4EntAyhc).

Although I couldn’t find a clip of the wolf pack turning into a minivan, here’s a clip of the wolf pack turning into a bridge (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fw9r2zVvdog) as well as a cool article about the wolf pack animation (http://www.cartoonbrew.com/vfx/storks-filmmakers-transformed-pack-100-wolves-intoanything-143117.html).

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Luke Cage was produced by two dozen people, directed by a dozen people (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt3322314/fullcredits?ref_=tt_ov_st_sm), but created from the comic book by Archie Goodwin (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Archie_Goodwin_(comics), by Cheo Hodari Coker (http://www.imdb.com/name/nm1854539/?ref_=tt_ov_wr).

James Lew was the stunt coordinator/fight coordinator (http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0506699/?ref_=nv_sr_1), while Anthony Vincent was stunt coordinator for three episodes (http://www.imdb.com/name/nm2479561/?ref_=fn_al_nm_1).

lew

I mentioned on the podcast that the show was well written, and, I suppose, in a way, it was. But it was also very poorly written in that it was unfocused (with the main characters spending hours off-stage, apparently doing nothing), badly structured, and, because, as I also said, it was ultimately a time-wasting circle jerk, annoyingly misconceived.

It was also the conversational equivalent of empty movement: absolutely crammed with empty dialog, with characters repetitiously blabbing about the same things just to fill the thirteen hour-long episodes.

I mentioned it was all just a padded set-up to the upcoming Marvel Netflix series The Defenders, so here’s some info on that. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt4230076/

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Meanwhile, The Accountant was directed by Gavin O’Connor (http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0640334/?ref_=tt_ov_dr), written by Bill Dubuque (http://www.imdb.com/name/nm4057793/?ref_=tt_ov_wr), and stunt coordinated by both Fernando Chien (aka Chien Fu-Nan [http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0157312/?ref_=ttfc_fc_cr130]) and Sam Hargrave http://www.imdb.com/name/nm1092087/?ref_=ttfc_fc_cr141)

I reference the fan(ish) film Black Salt, and now you can too. http://blacksaltfilm.com.

I also spotlighted the Urban Action Showcase, and you can attend to meet all sorts of cool folk (maybe even me). http://www.urbanactionshowcase.com

Although The Accountant  is nonsensical, at least it moves along … except when it gets so convoluted it starts to trip over itself. Then, several times, the characters have to stop the film dead in order to explain to each other what was going on.

Sadly, these scenes only serve to inform the audience how absurd things were getting. It was a crying shame that no one on screen was allowed to react realistically. If so, the main words repeatedly spoken would have been “what the fuck”, “wait a minute,” and “are you kidding?”

Now I am including the Wikipedia page about Asperger Syndrome (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Asperger_syndrome#Motor_and_sensory_perception), and suggest you read the “Characteristics” sections about “Restricted and Repetitive Interests and Behavior” as well as “Motor and Sensory Perception.” Then you can, as I did, come up with all sorts of interesting, involving, and imaginative things the movie could have done to better showcase the leading character’s fight scenes. Instead of what they did do … which was essentially nothing.

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Finally, we can suggest to Jack Reacher “Never Go Back.” The abortive film was directed by Edward Zwick (http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0001880/?ref_=tt_ov_dr), written by Zwick, Marshall Herskovitz (http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0380980/?ref_=ttfc_fc_wr4), and the aforementioned Richard Wenk.

Robert Alonzo was the stunt coordinator (http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0022315/?ref_=fn_al_nm_1), along with Wade Eastwood (http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0004590/?ref_=nv_sr_1). Pretty sure he’s not related to Clint, but I didn’t look very hard.

Wolfgang Stegemann was the fight team and fight trainer (http://www.imdb.com/name/nm1025329/?ref_=nv_sr_3), while Christopher Gordon (http://www.imdb.com/name/nm1341724/?ref_=fn_al_nm_1) was Tom Cruise’s stunt double for the muddy, ill-defined, uninteresting fights.

Patrick Heusinger does indeed play a character named “The Hunter.”

The poor Tom Cruise film that preceded the unjustly ignored Edge of Tomorrow was called Oblivion.

For more info on author Lee Child and his creation, Jack Reacher,  go here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lee_Child

In case you’re not familiar with the phrase “wearing your heart on your sleeve,” here’s some details. http://idioms.thefreedictionary.com/wear+heart+on+sleeve

By the way, Kai is a manager at a major Barnes & Noble store, so she knows her books.

Finally, in case I didn’t clearly answer the question as to whether Never Go Back would be as bad as I thought had I not seen the original Jack Reacher: A bad movie is a bad movie. A better preceding film only makes it worse.

bad-movie

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