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What Makes A Great Action Movie?

 
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What Makes A Great Action Movie? - 15/2/2013 3:41:32 PM   
Cruisecontroller


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Skyfall has been almost universally praised by everyone whereas the latest Die Hard movie has been panned. So where do action movies go wrong and how do you make them great? The Transformers movies to me have great effects, action, are exciting and fun but are not critically popular and respected so what makes action movies work? They need to maybe be intelligent, not overlong, fun and gripping with people you care about not silly. What do you think?

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RE: What Makes A Great Action Movie? - 15/2/2013 3:49:17 PM   
Shifty Bench

 

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Watch the first Die Hard, that's the answer.

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RE: What Makes A Great Action Movie? - 15/2/2013 4:12:22 PM   
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IT HAS TO BE RATED 18 AND FULL OF BLOOD AND GUTS AND PEOPLE SAYING FUCK A LOT OTHERWISE IT'S JUST A BIG PILE OF SHIT THAT FUCKING DOWNRIGHT INSULTS FANS RARRGH ARRGH BLURRGH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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RE: What Makes A Great Action Movie? - 15/2/2013 4:47:50 PM   
musht


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Shifty Bench

Watch the first Die Hard, that's the answer.

This

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RE: What Makes A Great Action Movie? - 15/2/2013 4:55:08 PM   
directorscut


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- Clear stakes. ie, John McClane has to save his and his wife's bacon from terrorists. This can be complicated/twisted of course (Gruber's plan), but the throughline of the film remains clear.

- A hero who is heroic through his skill, bravery and/or perseverance and an entertaining, threatening, clever bad guy (ie, not Die Hard 4)

- Clear, dynamic, exciting cinematography and camerawork that captures the action in its most exciting form ala Spielberg, Cameron, Chan. Paul Greengrass and his cronies can feck off.

- Memorable music with an instantly recognisable theme. ie, Raiders of the Lost Ark, Terminator, Jurassic Park, The Delta Force.

- Real stunts performed by real people. Jackie Chan jumping over a wall is a hundred times more exciting and fun than one fecking CGI robot fighting another fecking CGI robot.

- A lean runtime. Do not insert useless filler that bloats your runtime to two and a half hours. Michael Bay I'm looking directly at you.

- Write better dialogue than [EXPLOSION] "Shiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiitttttt!". Or "F*ck you!" "No f*ck you, McClane!" Compare Die Hard to Die Hard 2, for examples.

- Do not be mean spirited and repugnantly violent. Action films are supposed to be fun. It's hard to have fun when faced with the gratuitous brutality in Rambo IV or the uncut version of Cliffhanger.


< Message edited by directorscut -- 15/2/2013 4:56:08 PM >


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RE: What Makes A Great Action Movie? - 15/2/2013 9:23:24 PM   
Shifty Bench

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: directorscut

- Clear stakes. ie, John McClane has to save his and his wife's bacon from terrorists. This can be complicated/twisted of course (Gruber's plan), but the throughline of the film remains clear.

- A hero who is heroic through his skill, bravery and/or perseverance and an entertaining, threatening, clever bad guy (ie, not Die Hard 4)


Indeed and the best thing about McClane in the first one is the fact that he is practically near death by the end, he is vulnerable.. He is actually willing to give up and die at one point, he almost breaks down while in Die Hard 4 he is a superhero.

quote:

- Clear, dynamic, exciting cinematography and camerawork that captures the action in its most exciting form ala Spielberg, Cameron, Chan. Paul Greengrass and his cronies can feck off.


Yeah, I want to watch the action, not be put in the middle of it.

quote:

- Memorable music with an instantly recognisable theme. ie, Raiders of the Lost Ark, Terminator, Jurassic Park, The Delta Force.


Absolutely. I love The Avengers (best example at the moment) but the score is unmemorable. All the Bruckheimer films have practically the same score as they usually employ people who work for Hans Zimmer all the time.

quote:

- Real stunts performed by real people. Jackie Chan jumping over a wall is a hundred times more exciting and fun than one fecking CGI robot fighting another fecking CGI robot.


Again, I agree. Practical stunt work all the way.

quote:

- A lean runtime. Do not insert useless filler that bloats your runtime to two and a half hours. Michael Bay I'm looking directly at you.

Two hours is fine if you have a story to tell and characters you give a shit about (original Die Hard again) but something like Bad Boys 2 didn't have to be almost 2 and a half hours long. There was nothing in it to warrant that runtime, a couple of decent action scenes surrounded by unfunny banter and far too much Martin Lawrence, topped off with an action scene that is stolen from a Jackie Chan film is a bit much.

quote:

- Do not be mean spirited and repugnantly violent. Action films are supposed to be fun. It's hard to have fun when faced with the gratuitous brutality in Rambo IV or the uncut version of Cliffhanger.


I actually think there is room for both. Something like Shoot Em Up is quite harsh at times but still fun (for some, not all, I admit), same can be said with Crank. Crank 2, however takes it waaaaaaaay too far and is a nasty hate-filled little film.

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RE: What Makes A Great Action Movie? - 15/2/2013 10:18:15 PM   
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RE: What Makes A Great Action Movie? - 15/2/2013 10:43:14 PM   
Shifty Bench

 

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Name five genuinely great action films that currently hold an 18 certificate.

(not arguing, my mind has gone blank, I'm old)

< Message edited by Shifty Bench -- 15/2/2013 10:44:01 PM >


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RE: What Makes A Great Action Movie? - 15/2/2013 11:03:20 PM   
Hood_Man


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The main one for me is that there has to be a reason behind what is happening. The hero and the villain fighting because "Just cos" is tedious. The hero and the villain fighting because the villain is holding the hero's daughter hostage is a cliche, but still effective

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RE: What Makes A Great Action Movie? - 16/2/2013 2:10:33 PM   
clownfoot


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Based on what was on ITV last night The Last Boy Scout is a pretty good example of a great action movie. Great dialogue is a must have. It can't just be f-ing and blinding for the sake of it.

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RE: What Makes A Great Action Movie? - 16/2/2013 5:14:00 PM   
ElephantBoy

 

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Good action setpieces or effects. a charaismatic lead, entertaining villian and well paced story.

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RE: What Makes A Great Action Movie? - 16/2/2013 8:35:33 PM   
From_Hell


Posts: 1571
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From: The foot of the MegaTree

quote:

ORIGINAL: Shifty Bench

Name five genuinely great action films that currently hold an 18 certificate.

(not arguing, my mind has gone blank, I'm old)


Commando
Die Hard
Predator
The Last Boy Scout
Bad Boys

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RE: What Makes A Great Action Movie? - 16/2/2013 8:42:33 PM   
Shifty Bench

 

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Die Hard currently has a 15 certificate and I agree with another three of those

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RE: What Makes A Great Action Movie? - 16/2/2013 8:47:26 PM   
From_Hell


Posts: 1571
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quote:

ORIGINAL: Shifty Bench

Die Hard currently has a 15 certificate and I agree with another three of those

Okay, Man On Fire then!

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RE: What Makes A Great Action Movie? - 16/2/2013 8:50:26 PM   
Shifty Bench

 

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Never seen it but I'll take your word for it.

< Message edited by Shifty Bench -- 16/2/2013 8:55:37 PM >


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RE: What Makes A Great Action Movie? - 17/2/2013 8:50:25 PM   
Cloud Cuckoo


Posts: 408
Joined: 7/2/2013
From: Mind your own

quote:

ORIGINAL: directorscut

- Clear stakes. ie, John McClane has to save his and his wife's bacon from terrorists. This can be complicated/twisted of course (Gruber's plan), but the throughline of the film remains clear.

- A hero who is heroic through his skill, bravery and/or perseverance and an entertaining, threatening, clever bad guy (ie, not Die Hard 4)

- Clear, dynamic, exciting cinematography and camerawork that captures the action in its most exciting form ala Spielberg, Cameron, Chan. Paul Greengrass and his cronies can feck off.

- Memorable music with an instantly recognisable theme. ie, Raiders of the Lost Ark, Terminator, Jurassic Park, The Delta Force.

- Real stunts performed by real people. Jackie Chan jumping over a wall is a hundred times more exciting and fun than one fecking CGI robot fighting another fecking CGI robot.

- A lean runtime. Do not insert useless filler that bloats your runtime to two and a half hours. Michael Bay I'm looking directly at you.

- Write better dialogue than [EXPLOSION] "Shiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiitttttt!". Or "F*ck you!" "No f*ck you, McClane!" Compare Die Hard to Die Hard 2, for examples.

- Do not be mean spirited and repugnantly violent. Action films are supposed to be fun. It's hard to have fun when faced with the gratuitous brutality in Rambo IV or the uncut version of Cliffhanger.



This is absolutely spot-on. Thank you, directorscut, for putting it much more succinctly than I would have!

I just wish studios felt the same.

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RE: What Makes A Great Action Movie? - 17/2/2013 9:02:26 PM   
Cloud Cuckoo


Posts: 408
Joined: 7/2/2013
From: Mind your own

quote:

ORIGINAL: Shifty Bench


quote:

ORIGINAL: directorscut

Do not be mean spirited and repugnantly violent. Action films are supposed to be fun. It's hard to have fun when faced with the gratuitous brutality in Rambo IV or the uncut version of Cliffhanger.


I actually think there is room for both. Something like Shoot Em Up is quite harsh at times but still fun (for some, not all, I admit), same can be said with Crank. Crank 2, however takes it waaaaaaaay too far and is a nasty hate-filled little film.


I am with directorscut here. I love action films and some blood, given the context, is excusable. But pornographic violence and
sadism is, for me, not; take that elsewhere please. The more sensitive amongst us wish to enjoy action films too.

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RE: What Makes A Great Action Movie? - 17/2/2013 9:08:27 PM   
Shifty Bench

 

Posts: 15398
Joined: 30/9/2005
From: Land of the Scots

quote:

ORIGINAL: Cloud Cuckoo


quote:

ORIGINAL: Shifty Bench


quote:

ORIGINAL: directorscut

Do not be mean spirited and repugnantly violent. Action films are supposed to be fun. It's hard to have fun when faced with the gratuitous brutality in Rambo IV or the uncut version of Cliffhanger.


I actually think there is room for both. Something like Shoot Em Up is quite harsh at times but still fun (for some, not all, I admit), same can be said with Crank. Crank 2, however takes it waaaaaaaay too far and is a nasty hate-filled little film.


I am with directorscut here. I love action films and some blood, given the context, is excusable. But pornographic violence and
sadism is, for me, not; take that elsewhere please. The more sensitive amongst us wish to enjoy action films too.


You don't have to watch them though, is the thing. That is why I say there is room for both, neither of us have to watch every single action movie. I like horror movies but I don't watch that 'torture porn' shit even though some people do. Same principle applies here.


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RE: What Makes A Great Action Movie? - 17/2/2013 10:19:02 PM   
Cloud Cuckoo


Posts: 408
Joined: 7/2/2013
From: Mind your own

quote:

ORIGINAL: Shifty Bench


quote:

ORIGINAL: Cloud Cuckoo

I am with directorscut here. I love action films and some blood, given the context, is excusable. But pornographic violence and
sadism is, for me, not; take that elsewhere please. The more sensitive amongst us wish to enjoy action films too.


You don't have to watch them though, is the thing. That is why I say there is room for both, neither of us have to watch every single action movie. I like horror movies but I don't watch that 'torture porn' shit even though some people do. Same principle applies here.



Well, yes - mercifully I don't have to watch them (heaven forfend). But the question was "What makes a great action movie?" and so I gave my answer. I am certainly not alone in disliking graphic grue in action films, and I and those like me should be permitted to voice our opinion.

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RE: What Makes A Great Action Movie? - 17/2/2013 10:27:38 PM   
Shifty Bench

 

Posts: 15398
Joined: 30/9/2005
From: Land of the Scots

quote:

ORIGINAL: Cloud Cuckoo
Well, yes - mercifully I don't have to watch them (heaven forfend). But the question was "What makes a great action movie?" and so I gave my answer. I am certainly not alone in disliking graphic grue in action films, and I and those like me should be permitted to voice our opinion.


Of course you are entitled to your opinion but you directly quoted me as if you were disagreeing with something I said so I replied. I wasn't defending ultra-violent action films, I merely said that they have their fans and that there is room for both.

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RE: What Makes A Great Action Movie? - 17/2/2013 10:36:01 PM   
Hood_Man


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I thought the ultra violence of Rambo 4 was the highlight. When I was a kid I used to burn ants with magnifying lenses, it seems aged 25 I still haven't grown out of that mentality. It's just that these days I let other people do it for me

Hostel made me ill though. It must be the whole drawn out agonising death thing that puts me off. Seeing Stallone turn an enemy soldier into pate is hilarious, but burning people's eyes out with blowtorches just isn't cricket, what what.

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Post #: 21
RE: What Makes A Great Action Movie? - 17/2/2013 10:39:35 PM   
Cloud Cuckoo


Posts: 408
Joined: 7/2/2013
From: Mind your own
quote:

ORIGINAL: Shifty Bench

Of course you are entitled to your opinion but you directly quoted me as if you were disagreeing with something I said so I replied. I wasn't defending ultra-violent action films, I merely said that they have their fans and that there is room for both.


I only quoted you because you were engaged in a forum conversation with directorscut that I was contributing to. It seemed right to reference what had come before.

However I am interested in this:


quote:

ORIGINAL: Shifty Bench

I actually think there is room for both. Something like Shoot Em Up is quite harsh at times but still fun (for some, not all, I admit), same can be said with Crank. Crank 2, however takes it waaaaaaaay too far and is a nasty hate-filled little film.



Now this shows that you have a boundary for what is acceptable in action films. Why is yours different to mine, except that it is more lax?

< Message edited by Cloud Cuckoo -- 17/2/2013 10:41:22 PM >


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RE: What Makes A Great Action Movie? - 17/2/2013 10:42:26 PM   
Shifty Bench

 

Posts: 15398
Joined: 30/9/2005
From: Land of the Scots

quote:

ORIGINAL: Hood_Man

I thought the ultra violence of Rambo 4 was the highlight. When I was a kid I used to burn ants with magnifying lenses, it seems aged 25 I still haven't grown out of that mentality. It's just that these days I let other people do it for me


Oh yeah, I liked that too. Some of it anyway. The 'real life' stuff like throwing kids into fires, I can do without but once Rambo starts with the killing, it gets a bit ridiculous and OTT. It becomes a cartoon like Shoot Em Up and Crank. And like I said earler, in my opinion, Crank 2 is horrible, such a nasty little film that goes too far.

quote:

Hostel made me ill though.


Yeah, I hate it.

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RE: What Makes A Great Action Movie? - 17/2/2013 10:43:42 PM   
Shifty Bench

 

Posts: 15398
Joined: 30/9/2005
From: Land of the Scots

quote:

ORIGINAL: Cloud Cuckoo

quote:

ORIGINAL: Shifty Bench

I actually think there is room for both. Something like Shoot Em Up is quite harsh at times but still fun (for some, not all, I admit), same can be said with Crank. Crank 2, however takes it waaaaaaaay too far and is a nasty hate-filled little film.



Now this shows that you have a boundary for what is acceptable in action films. Why is yours different to mine, except that it is more lax?


I think you are seeing things that aren't there. I said or implied no such thing.


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RE: What Makes A Great Action Movie? - 17/2/2013 10:47:55 PM   
Cloud Cuckoo


Posts: 408
Joined: 7/2/2013
From: Mind your own

quote:

ORIGINAL: Shifty Bench


quote:

ORIGINAL: Hood_Man

Hostel made me ill though.


Yeah, I hate it.


Hostel isn't an action film - how is it relevant?

Horror films and action films have different 'rules', you can't really compare them any more than you can compare a comedy and a thriller.

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RE: What Makes A Great Action Movie? - 17/2/2013 10:55:10 PM   
Cloud Cuckoo


Posts: 408
Joined: 7/2/2013
From: Mind your own

quote:

ORIGINAL: Shifty Bench


quote:

ORIGINAL: Cloud Cuckoo

quote:

ORIGINAL: Shifty Bench

I actually think there is room for both. Something like Shoot Em Up is quite harsh at times but still fun (for some, not all, I admit), same can be said with Crank. Crank 2, however takes it waaaaaaaay too far and is a nasty hate-filled little film.



Now this shows that you have a boundary for what is acceptable in action films. Why is yours different to mine, except that it is more lax?


I think you are seeing things that aren't there. I said or implied no such thing.



You did though Shifty. You stated you consider Shoot Em Up harsh but fun, but that Crank 2 goes too far. So you obviously have an internal boundary of appropriateness that Crank 2 crossed.

All I'm saying is that different people have different levels of sensitivity and different internal boundaries.

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RE: What Makes A Great Action Movie? - 17/2/2013 10:55:24 PM   
Shifty Bench

 

Posts: 15398
Joined: 30/9/2005
From: Land of the Scots

quote:

ORIGINAL: Cloud Cuckoo


quote:

ORIGINAL: Shifty Bench


quote:

ORIGINAL: Hood_Man

Hostel made me ill though.


Yeah, I hate it.


Hostel isn't an action film - how is it relevant?

Horror films and action films have different 'rules', you can't really compare them any more than you can compare a comedy and a thriller.


Earlier I compared horror films and 'torture porn' with action films and the ultra violent kind and how they each have their fans.


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RE: What Makes A Great Action Movie? - 17/2/2013 10:56:29 PM   
Hood_Man


Posts: 12192
Joined: 30/9/2005

quote:

ORIGINAL: Shifty Bench


quote:

ORIGINAL: Hood_Man

I thought the ultra violence of Rambo 4 was the highlight. When I was a kid I used to burn ants with magnifying lenses, it seems aged 25 I still haven't grown out of that mentality. It's just that these days I let other people do it for me


Oh yeah, I liked that too. Some of it anyway. The 'real life' stuff like throwing kids into fires, I can do without but once Rambo starts with the killing, it gets a bit ridiculous and OTT. It becomes a cartoon like Shoot Em Up and Crank. And like I said earler, in my opinion, Crank 2 is horrible, such a nasty little film that goes too far.

I actually forgot about that bit

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Post #: 28
RE: What Makes A Great Action Movie? - 17/2/2013 11:01:04 PM   
Cloud Cuckoo


Posts: 408
Joined: 7/2/2013
From: Mind your own

quote:

ORIGINAL: Shifty Bench


quote:

ORIGINAL: Cloud Cuckoo

Hostel isn't an action film - how is it relevant?

Horror films and action films have different 'rules', you can't really compare them any more than you can compare a comedy and a thriller.


Earlier I compared horror films and 'torture porn' with action films and the ultra violent kind and how they each have their fans.



You also said you wouldn't watch torture porn...

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Post #: 29
RE: What Makes A Great Action Movie? - 17/2/2013 11:02:47 PM   
Shifty Bench

 

Posts: 15398
Joined: 30/9/2005
From: Land of the Scots

quote:

ORIGINAL: Cloud Cuckoo

You did though Shifty. You stated you consider Shoot Em Up harsh but fun, but that Crank 2 goes too far. So you obviously have an internal boundary of appropriateness that Crank 2 crossed.

All I'm saying is that different people have different levels of sensitivity and different internal boundaries.



Yes, but I didn't disagree with that, though, did I? I said that you don't have to watch ultra-violent films, why is that me questioning your sensitivity? None of us have to, I refuse to watch, say, Ichi The Killer because from what I have heard and seen I will not like it.

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