Now, will they put that on the case of its tenth-anniversary hologram release? Almost avant-garde at times, yet never distanciating, and always breathtaking. Inception is an arthouse movie with blockbuster aspirations. It is the product of a director given free reign by his studio, and a film that challenges its audience as much as it seeks to delight them.
Who can forget the dream-within-a-dream world building, or the visually stunning action sequences such as the one that takes place inside a rotating hallway?
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Dizzying, beautifully scored and edited, and filled with memorable performances including the role that properly introduced Tom Hardy to many American viewers , Inception is without a doubt one of the most influential and respected films to emerge from the genre in recent years.
Rogue Nation is a movie that begins with an epic action set piece and never lets up. Michael Mann has been a master of action cinema for a few decades now, embracing the digitization of moviemaking and utilizing the rapidly-advancing technology to create a new meaning of grit and frenetic energy in each of his works.
With Blackhat , Mann paints his globetrotting adventure with a confident flair, rendering action scenes like no other filmmaker today. When weapons are fired in Blackhat , they sound and feel like someone just pulled the trigger next to your face. Throughout the film, Mann elegantly strings together these set pieces, while weaving in small moments of intimacy and character beats in between. Finally, the beauty of Blackhat a s an action film is that, despite all its larger-scale chases and multi-national travel, culminates in an intimate climax that resolves itself with just a couple men and a few brutal uses of a knife.
Up close, dirty, and personal.
Vulgar, tasteless, and psychotically over-the-top. Chev Chelios may be the character Jason Statham was born to portray. At its core, Crank knows what it is, and fully embraces heedless insanity for the sake of insanity. Even if some of those set pieces, like the one on the train, still rank as some of the best in comic book movie history. Seasoning the buddy cop formula with a slasher film antagonist and an encyclopedically cine-literate style, Wright and company transcend their roots of homage, creating an alternatingly hilarious and pulse-pounding action film.
In many cases, Hot Fuzz is actually more fun than the films it parodies with such affection. To paraphrase The Joker, this movie changed things forever. The fact that Heath Ledger so beautifully captured the essence of The Joker with his Oscar-winning performance, while remaining committed to the tone and the vision that Nolan was aiming for, is just one of the many reasons people will continue talking about The Dark Knight for years to come. But for some odd reason, Apocalypto , his nail-biting epic of survival in Mayan-era Mexico, is left out. This is a shame, because it is an incredibly well-directed, relentless journey packed with such uncompromising energy that its two-plus hours soar by.
Yet the audience feels every minute of tension as protagonist Jaguar Paw — a Mesoamerican tribesman — is put through a series of hellish survival scenarios to save his family. Relying heavily on an economy of well-chosen images, Apocalypto is a brutal and incredibly satisfying piece of filmmaking that deserves more recognition. This doozy of a premise asks us to ponder the ethicality of jailing would-be criminals based on not-yet-perpetrated crimes and, by extension, the question of fate itself.
Is this system flawless or irreparably flawed? Minority Repor t is popcorn cinema bold enough to wax philosophical in these ways even as it pushes ever-forward through visual virtuosity and a pleasingly twisty storyline. It is difficult to understate the sheer intensity with which T he Raid: Redemption hits. Jaw-dropping not in scale but in its frenetic choreography, Gareth Evans crafts an action picture that brought the fighting style of silat to the big screen, and simultaneously put Indonesian action cinema on the map.
Originally slated to make what would become The Raid 2 , Evans had to tighten his narrative lens for budgetary reasons. What emerged is lean, efficiently minimal storytelling that still manages to hint at the larger world expanded upon in the sequel which is also well worth your time, but missed the cut on this list. Evans squeezes out pathos from protagonist Rama Iko Uwais , before events unfold in a high rise in the slums of Indonesia, where the action barely relents for its entire minute runtime.
While I tried to find more academic ways to say it, it really boils down to the fact that The Raid: Redemption is a badass cut of action cinema that will repeatedly punch you in the gut with sledgehammer ferocity. Most nightmares would make great action movies. Collateral plays like the nightmare of a Los Angeles taxi driver come to life, and the story is just the beginning of the simply and brutally efficient quality of this film. Jamie Foxx and a grey-dyed Tom Cruise are an amazingly mismatched pair, and each brings so much depth and consideration to their character that you can almost feel the rest of their lives existing off screen.
Los Angeles has never looked more awful or more beguiling.
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That might explain why it took so very long to be completed, and in some part accounts for the existence of multiple versions. My advice is to stay with the longest, its original Chinese cut, but to take a look at the reconfigured American take. In so many ways, John Wick is the ideal modern action film. First, the setup is simple: a retired gunman loses his wife. Then, a couple thugs with ties to his past steal his car…and kill his dog.
Now, John Wick a pitch-perfect Keanu Reeves must don the suit he swore off to his past for the most personal job of all, revenge.
Within a razor-sharp economy of moments, John Wick offers genuine emotional weight behind all the mayhem. And what slick, beautiful mayhem it is. Lean, mean, and a one-man-wrecking-machine, John Wick is a new action icon we have been sorely missing. The viewer has mere moments to chew over their surroundings before the main course kicks in.
Shot with an unblinking eye, the fight choreography is slick and brutal, standing as an audacious proclamation from Soderbergh of his evolving verve in the current cinematic climate.
What follows is a sleek hour-and-a-half stuffed with A-list stars and a story that is simultaneously breezily told and yet dense in its plotting. The pleasures of watching Bourne run the game at a distance are plentiful, but it is when he gets rough and running that Ultimatum truly hits its stride. Keeping the camera rattling and whip-panning to sustain the frenetic mood, Paul Greengrass nonetheless maintains continuity of motion across myriad shots so that we can still discern the who, what, and where of each scene.
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There may be no more diverse director working in Hollywood today than Ang Lee. The highest-grossing foreign-language film in America by a large margin and multiple Oscar winner earns its reputation with its thrilling grace and stunning beauty. When it comes to popcorn entertainment — a term often used synonymously with action films — Ghotocol proves to the ideal example in the 21st century, and the peak of the Mission: Impossible franchise thus far.
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Like the Birnies, he preyed on hitchhikers, especially foreign tourists — two British women, and three Germans among them. Milat was given a life sentence in He shot and killed Falconio, and assaulted and attempted to kidnap Lees, trussing her up and putting her in the back of his pick-up before she managed to escape. Murdoch was convicted and given a year sentence in Eight bodies were found stored in barrels in a disused bank in Snowtown, a small community to the north of the city.
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A further four were discovered in an Adelaide backyard formerly occupied by John Bunting , an ex-abattoir worker and ringleader of the killers, who was convicted of 11 murders in A second accomplice, Robert Wagner, was found guilty of seven murders, and a third, James Vlassakis, pleaded guilty to four a jury failed to reach a verdict in the murder trial of a fourth man, Mark Ray Haydon, who pleaded guilty to helping the killers dispose of bodies.
Before its release, there was an outcry from family members of the victims, who expressed concerns that Snowtown would be exploitative, or that it might generate empathy for the killers. Though they range in focus from outright horror to grim psychological drama, these films all share a realist sensibility and an unflinching attitude to violence.
They have also been boons to Australian cinema — bringing critical and commercial accolades to the industry, and launching the careers of their directors. Meanwhile positive notices for Hounds of Love at its Venice film festival premiere last year ended up securing US representation for director Ben Young and a deluge of scripts to consider. But questions continue about the wisdom — and ethics — of dramatising, or lifting elements from, real killings in service of a marketable film experience, especially when victims of these crimes are still in the community.
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