Tuesday, October 28, 2014

A Series of Genres: Action

Sometimes I like to go the movies and watch a mind numbing action flick; take in all the explosions, fight scenes, and car chases. Action films are a good way to get your fill on popcorn and not felt guilty about your weight. 

What makes a good action film? For me the most important aspect of an action film is a good fight choreography. I want a fight in an action film to be believable and fluid. Fight sequences in action movies start to lose my respect, once they start to remind me of the WWE. Don't get me wrong, I liked wrestling as a child, but I don't need that over-the-top fighting style anymore. Secondly I think the cinematography is very important in an action film. Is it necessary for the camera man to join the fight? Adding a shake here or there in the shot can bring out the realism, but going full blown "shaky cam" can be really distracting. Lastly, I want a good story. I like to see characters who have a reason to fight.

My Top Five: 
  1. Bourne Trilogy 
  2. Mission Impossible Franchise 
  3. James Bond Franchise 
  4. The Matrix Trilogy 
  5. Die Hard Franchise 
  • The Bourne Trilogy is a good set of action film that also satisfies my cinematic needs. These films have really good fight choreography. I also like the balance between "shaky cam" and steady cam. Matt Damon acting isn't bad, and that's always a plus in an action movie. 
  • The Mission Impossible films are the fun popcorn action movies I was talking about above. Oddly enough, this is the only film series on my list that hasn't revived an Oscar nomination or win, Mission Impossible actually revived a Razzie nomination for the "Worst Written Film Grossing Over $100 Million" Even with the "bad" reception I really enjoy these films. 
  • James Bond is the most iconic action hero. A film series that spans 21 films over 50 years. I personally like Ethan Hunt more than James Bond, but The Bond films are damn good movies, especially the trilogy starring Daniel Craig. The best part of any Bond film is the music. The Matrix Trilogy is the best set of films on this list, visually.
  • The Matrix and The Wachowski are credited with inventing "bullet-time" The Matrix made break throws in the VFX world of film. I thought the story was quite dumb and riddled with existential BS. 
  • The Die Hard Franchise is the definition of 80's action flick, but it doesn't compare to other franchise on my list. I truly believe that some of the best villains in an action movie, if not ever, comes out of the Die Hard Franchise.

A Series of Genres

My buddy Devon has a daily blog and a weekly podcast at Informal Talks. Last week he posted a list of his favorite film franchises. This list gave me some inspiration to put together my own list. I'm going to showcase my favorite film franchises by separating them into genres. In this series of post I want answers the following questions for the films on my list: How entertaining was the films? Did the films, please me aesthetically? How well did the film do financially? Did the film impact / define our culture or subculture? Did the film change the world of filmmaking? I'm going to try my best to make this series a weekly occurrence, posting sometime mid week. Each week I will tackle a different genre naming my favorite films and movie franchises within said genre. This week I'm going to tackle the action genre.