Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Top 5 Tuesdays (T5T) Loves It Some Action

I saw Wanted last night. Hmmmm, more on that later.

Wanted is an action movie. It's got car chases, foot chases, explosions and lots gun play. Everything a good action movie should have. But it doesn't sniff my top 5 best action movies. Not even close. Here they are in no particular order.

1. Die Hard I said in no particular order, but this would be my number one anyways.

2. Lethal Weapon 2 The first Lethal Weapon is more of a thinking man's action movie. And the second is for the dumb step-brother who is simple and just likes a lot of killing and really, really good bad guys. I want to hang with that dude.

3. Roadhouse I've said it before and I'll say it again. Sam Elliot in a ponytail with a bad knee, gratuitous nudity, rags to riches story, a boot knife and a fantastic scene where a guy gets his throat ripped out. What more could you ask for.

4. Escape From New York I feel weird including this movie here, but it's got good action. And as far as action heroes go, Snake is right up there with the best of them.

5. Raiders Of The Lost Ark A lot of action movies fail because they try too hard to be action movies. They get caught up in the spectacle of it and forget that a good story has to go along with it. This one doesn't miss a trick.


Fletch said...

You've got some excellent taste, my friend. I'll go in no particular order also:

Point Break: yeah, you heard right. This is one of the best straight-up action movies ever, featuring THE best on-foot chase. No, I'm not being ironical.

Ronin: Stellar cast. Not one but two insanely awesome car chases (and I don't get easily thrilled over car chases). Awesome locations. Liman's Bourne owes it a debt of gratitude...

Predator: If it bleeds, we can kill it. Might be my favorite Arnold flick, with Recall and T2 close behind.

Raiders: uh, yeah.

Die Hard: gotta go with it. Though the 4th is a horrendous blemish of society that should not be so forgiven by everyone. Wait, it sounds like I'm talking about Indy IV there, doesn't it?

Garrett said...

Cobra (this is my Roadhouse)
Top Gun
Die Hard
Kill Bill (V1)

I still cant believe how big a bad ass James Dalton is in Roadhouse-
"Take the biggest guy in the world, shatter his knee and he'll drop like a stone"

J.D. said...

Nice picks! Some others that I love besides many of the others listed (RAIDERS, EFNY, PREDATOR)...

HARD-BOILED: I know, a lot of people prefer THE KILLER over this one but shear audacious body count and cinematic chutzpah, you can't much better than this one... I mean, c'mon, Chow Yun-Fat sliding down a banister while blowing away bad guys?

BROTHERHOOD OF THE WOLF: A funky hybrid of genres but with some truly kick-ass action moments that are truly incredible to watch.

The BOURNE films: All of 'em. Altho, the last two are amazing!

THE PROFESSIONAL: Easily the best thing Luc Besson has ever done. Not only are there some truly great action sequences (esp. the finale when Leon takes on all the cops) but there is also a poignant relationship thing going on between Matilda and Leon.

DRUNKEN MASTER II: Hands down, Jackie Chan's best film to date. The fight sequences and their choreography is astounding. It just doesn't get much better than this.

ALIENS: A great mix of horror film, war film and action film.

THE LAST BOY SCOUT: A guilty pleasure to be sure but does it get any more surreal than Bruce Willis' character waking up in a car with a dead squirrel? Some great one liners in this one too.

DESPERADO: Love this Robert Rodriguez film and one of the best homages to John Woo's action films.

Piper said...


Good call with Point Break. Still like that movie and the foot chase is excellent.


Kill Bill Vol 1. is good stuff.


If the Last Boy Scout comes on TV, I cannot pass it up. I will drop everything to watch. Not sure why, I just like it.

Burbanked said...

Hm. No Michael Bay love here. And that's why I keep coming back.

DIE HARD (it can't possibly be mentioned too many times)

There's a crapload more, but I got a thing.

Annie Ha said...

Another reason Tuesdays are better than Mondays: Top 5 Tuesdays!

1. Raiders - check.
2. Die Hard - check.
3. Aliens - check.
4. The Empire Strikes Back (don't tell me this isn't action)
5. Butch Cassidy & the Sundance Kid. Again, don't tell me this isn't action. You've got cops & robbers, chases, gun fights, a damsel who might not be in distress but definitely is distressed, the hint of a love triangle, and the bad guys (good guys?? who are those guys?!) die at the end.

Jason Soto said...

My picks probably aren't that original but...

Die Hard
Kill Bill
The Transporter
Bourne Flicks
Shoot Em Up

Piper said...

annie ha,

Good call with Butch Cassidy. Never crossed my mind, but when you mentioned it, it makes sense.


Man Shoot 'em Up is some kind of crazy weird. It's definitely an action flick.

J.D. said...


Yeah, I have the same weird fascination with THE LAST BOY SCOUT as well. It is such a bizarro action flick that really shouldn't work but somehow does.

Nice to see a lot of love for POINT BREAK. That's another one of those films that if it's playing on TV, I have to watch the rest of it play out. I also love how HOT FUZZ gave a nice shout out to it.

Kramer said...

Piper, love the road house addition, as if all great action has to be serious anyway. But you forgot a very important part of what made that movie. 3 Words: Monster. Truck. Tires.

elgringo said...

Damn, that's fun Saturday line-up. Throw in The Warriors or Assault on Precinct 13 and I'm a happy man.


Damian said...

Great choices, Piper. :-)

Here would be my personal picks for the 5 greatest action movies (in no particular order):

-Die Hard: As the years have gone on and I keep revisiting this action classic, one of the things I become more and more aware of is it's not really treated as a conventional action movie. It's almost more of a drama in which the characters simply have to take decisive "action" in order to accomplish their ends. Thus, the characters are not cartoonish cardboard cut-outs (well, okay, maybe a few) but flawed, thinking, feeling human beings who react to the situation in realistic, beleivable ways. One of the few action films that not only packs visceral wallop but an emotional wallop one (I still Willis telling Al what to say to his wife is one of the best of its kind).

-Raiders of the Lost Ark: What is there to be said about Raiders that hasn't already been said? A brilliantly conceived and flawlessly executed piece of adventure cinema that set the standard for every action film which followed it.

-First Blood: re-watching this film recently I was struck not only by how exciting it still is, but by how deep. First Blood is probably most known for introducing one of the most iconic action heroes in American cinema (before he became a joke) and yet it also demonstrated that a piece of Hollywood "fluff" could also have underlying socio-political ideas (in this case the cultural isolation felt by Vietnam vets) that gives it substance and keeps it from being merely a mindless piece of escapism.

-The Matrix: While probably categorized more as a sci-fi film I doubt anyone with a modicum of appreciation for action can deny the excellence of the sequences from this highly influential pop culture phenomenon.

-The Bond films: I know I'm not completely following the rules here by choosing an entire franchise for my last one, but picking a single Bond film out of the entire canon to highlight as one of the greatest actions films ever is a virtually impossible task and I happen to think that any discussion on "action cinema" MUST include Bond, because without his movies we simply would not have action films as we knoW them today.

Piper said...


Good call on First Blood and the Bond films.

As you've stated, it's hard for me to pinpoint one that stands out. A lot of people mention Thunderball or Goldfinger. I myself would say that Casino Royale ranks right up there with some good action. But then I'm a sucker for the sky diving chase in Moonraker.

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