Wednesday, December 25, 2013

The Legend of Hercules Autographed Poster Giveaway

In the epic origin story THE LEGEND OF HERCULES, Kellan Lutz stars as the mythical Greek hero -- the son of Zeus, a half-god, half-man blessed with extraordinary strength. Betrayed by his stepfather, the King, and exiled and sold into slavery because of a forbidden love, Hercules must use his formidable powers to fight his way back to his rightful kingdom. Through harrowing battles and gladiator-arena death matches, Hercules embarks on a legendary odyssey to overthrow the King and restore peace to the land. 
In theaters & 3D nationwide on January 10, 2014. 

We have an Official THE LEGEND OF HERCULES Poster Autographed by Kellan Lutz to award one lucky reader! The film also features, one of our favourites, Scott Adkins!

Each household is only eligible to win ONE Autographed Poster via blog reviews and giveaways. Only one entrant per mailing address per giveaway. If you have won the same prize on another blog, you will not be eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.

Only for contestants living in The United States

Watch the official trailer here:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, November 22, 2013

TOP 20 second tier 80s & 90s Action Stars PART 4

Read PART 1 here
Read PART 2 here
Read PART 3 here
Again, in no particular order...
16. Mark Dacascos 
Mark "Drive" Dacascos the part Filipino, part Spanish, part Chinese, part Irish and part Japanese Hawaiian and former karate kid (for real) started acting in the early 90s, first on TV and then in B-Movie American Ninja rip-off American Samurai.  His first starring role was in Sheldon Lettich's 'Only The Strong' which is a combination of Lettich's own Bloodsport and the popular 'criminal school kids' genre from films like The Principle and Dangerous Minds etc
In his best films, his on screen fighting style is as impressive, if not more so, as any of his 80s and/or 90s contemporaries. He continued through the decade with weird teen, kung-fu adventure stuff like Double Dragon, the Brandon Lee looking Crying Freeman and the highly superior Drive.
His similarity to Lee would get him the role of The Crow in the TV Show and he would continue churning out straight-to-video actioners for the next 20 years. Yes he would yo-yo up and down the cast list and yes, you might have never heard of him but he is on this list because his filmography demands to be revisited. His fighting style, if nothing else, can be incredible in the right film.

Must see: Drive, Crying Freeman
Also Suggest: Double Dragon  
Avoid: No Code Of Conduct, Sabotage 

Check out our commentary for Drive

17. Olivier Gruner
Olivier Gruner was born in Paris in 1960, he hit the action scene with a bang in 1990 with Angel Town. Very much like Van Damme, he was brought in with an accent and an uncanny ability to kick villains butts. He also worked with Albert Pyun just like JCVD on the Cyborg-a-like Nemesis, in our opinion, though, it's a much greater movie.
Although Nemesis spawned 3 sequels, Gruner did not return and instead made a string of similar, straight to video/limited release fare for the rest of the 90s for the same production company, Imperial Entertainment.
Gruner is still kicking ass in front of the camera, as well directing, watch out for the forthcoming Gruner starring and directed SECTOR 4, written by friend of the show Richard Pierce.

Must see: Nemesis
Also suggest: Angel Town, Savate, Automatic, Alien Interceptors
Avoid: The White Pony

18. Vanity
Originally on the list, in this place, was going to be Brigitte Nielsen but after a recent viewing of Never Too Young To Die, I felt compelled to change it to Vanity. The sexy Prince prodigy, who was formerly with the band Vanity 6 (Previously 'Hookers' and Prince wanted to call it Vagina), acted in only a few movies before giving it all up in 1997. Three of those films though The Last Dragon, Never Too Young To Die and Action Jackson were all serious ass kickers and although cast, initially, as the girlfriend, sex object or female foil, by the end of the films, Vanity is rough housing it along with the best of them.

Must See: The Last Dragon, Never Too Young To Die and Action Jackson
Also Suggest: 52 Pick-Up, Neon City

Check out our commentary for Action Jackson
Check The Kick Ass Kid out discussing Never Too Young To Die on Drunk On VHS

19. Jeff Wincott
Jeff Wincott knows Karate, Kung Fu and is a black belt in Tae Kwon Do, he has also been a stand up comedian, a mime, actually trained as an actor, all serious like, with Stella Adler in New York and is, originally, a Canadian. In his films, in which he normally plays an incredibly angry and intense ass whooper, he does a ton of his own stunts and all his own fighting.
He starred in the detective/cop drama Night Heat for 4 years in the 80s and his first, feature length, action role was in Martial Law 2 next to, none-other-than, Cynthia Rothrock. What followed was the predictable and prolific stream of straight-to-video action films that gloriously littered the 90s.
His stand out classic, during this period, is Mission of Justice, which features some fantastically kinetic, stunt and fight heavy action set pieces. Again, like Mark Dacascos, his fighting style and stunts are arguably faster and more enjoyable than a lot of his A-List contemporaries.
We can't urge you enough to check out his filmography.

Must See: Mission of Justice, Martial Outlaw, Last Man Standing
Also Suggest: Martial Law 2, Open Fire

20. Billy Blanks
Yes, at number 20 with several bullets and a series of balletic high kicks it's Mr.Tae Bo himself, Billy Blanks. Starting out in bit-parts and supporting roles in films like Low Blow, Last Boy Scout, Bloodfist, China O'Brien 2 and Jet Li's The Master, among others, Blanks would get his first starring role in the film Talons of the Eagle opposite Beirut's answer to Steven Seagal, Jalal Merhi and the towering, hairy, villainous presence of Matthias Hues. This would lead to more, martial arts heavy, light hearted, B-action films including two side by side with Roddy Piper. He's mainly retired from films now to teach, train in and make videos all about his famous combination of boxing and Tae Kwon Do - Tae Bo
Some of his 90s output is still very much worth checking out though.

Must See: Talons of the Eagle, Back In Action and Tough and Deadly
Also Suggest: TC2000 and Showdown

Honorary Mentions:
Matthias Hues - The giant, big haired, wide shoulder padded, thick accented one is a staple villain throughout 80s and 90s action and has probably worked, at some time or other, with everybody on this list.
Lorenzo Lamas - A jokey cult action icon all of his very own. From the TV show Renegade to straight to video stuff like The Snake Eater series, the muscular, long haired one's filmography is indeed worth dipping in to from time to time.
Brigitte Nielsen - She has been romantically linked to Stallone, Lundgren and Schwarzenegger, which, let's face it, is probably enough action for a life time but she was also Red Sonja, in Rocky 4, Cobra and played memorable villains in Beverley Hills Cop 2 and Mission of Justice.

So there you have it! All 20! How did we do? any changes? anyone we missed? Let us know in the comments below!
- Dr.Action and the Kick Ass Kid

Saturday, October 5, 2013

TOP 20 second tier 80s & 90s Action Stars PART 3

Read PART 1 here
Read PART 2 here
Again, in no particular order...
11. Roddy Piper
When you look at Roddy Piper's life as a tartan draped professional wrestler turned action star, it's hard not to believe that he really was put on this earth to chew bubblegum and kick ass and I hope nobody ever gives him his beloved gum he's spent the last 30 years looking for.
Since playing the mulleted hero in John Carpenter's classic They Live and wrestling the fantastic Keith David for 6 straight minutes, Roddy Piper carved himself out an action film career during the 80s and 90s that included starring opposite such other action legends as Billy Blanks, Sonny Chiba, Don 'The Dragon' Wilson and Robert Davi.

Must see: They Live
Also Suggest: Tough & Deadly
Avoid: The Bad Pack

Check out our commentary for They Live and the commentary that nearly broke us, The Bad Pack

12. Pam Grier
Ok, so, on first glance this looks a little like I'm cheating. Yes, I know, Pam Grier is mainly known for a string of awesome, action packed, grindhouse Blaxploitation classics in the 70s and this is a list about 80s & 90s action stars and I know you probably think I am just trying to crowbar her into this list because, well, she's my first lady of cinema and she once touched my beard but when you look at her career in the 80s and 90s, you might realise, I am still, right on point.
I am going to list some films now and I dare you to say she doesn't belong here:
1988's Above the Law with our favourite, flappy handed, greasy haired legend Steven Seagal
1996's Original Gangstas with other iconic 70s hero and list member Fred Williamson
1997's Jackie Brown
When you add to that The Vindicator, Class of 1999, Escape From LA, No Tomorrow and In To Deep not to mention the fact that she's awesome, she was one of the first ladies of action and, yes, she did touch my beard, she completely belongs on this list.
I love me some Pam Grier.

Must see: Above the Law, Jackie Brown, Original Gangstas
Also Suggest: Class of 1999 and Escape from LA

Check out our commentary for Pam Grier's films:
Ghosts of Mars
Watch The After Movie Diner's coverage of Pam Grier's appearance at the Lincoln Center:

13. Don 'The Dragon' Wilson
Don 'The Dragon' is an 11 time World Kickboxing Champion turned martial arts movie star best known for the, Roger Corman produced, long running, Bloodfist franchise (ludicrous name considering he's a kick boxer but this is a place that calls a sport predominantly played with the hands and upper body, football so...), Ring of Fire 1 - 3 and Cyber Tracker 1 & 2. He was excessively prolific in the 90s especially, churning out 26 of his 38 credits in that decade alone.
The Bloodfist series is not an ongoing plot, he only plays the same character in the first 2, it's just Corman's gift for name recognition marketing that, despite the change of style and character over the 8 films, they all carry the name Bloodfist and a number. You can normally tell from the subtitle what it really should be called.

Must See: Bloodfist 1-3
Also Suggest: Bloodfist 4 & 5, Ring of Fire 1 & 2

14. Christopher Lambert
Best known as MacCleod from The Highlander films, French American actor Lambert spent a lot of the 90s squinting and looking confused through a series of enjoyable action films (this is due to being near-blind without glasses apparently). After Highlander most people would know Fortress and Mortal Kombat, based on the video game of the same name but he was also in Gunmen, The Road Killers, The Hunted, Mean Guns and Albert Pyun's Adrenaline: Fear the rush.

Must See: Highlander and Fortress
Also Suggest: Gunmen and Mean Guns

15. Gary Busey
Known now for being madder than a box full of pickled March hares glazed in jelly, back in the 80s and 90s Gary Busey tore through the action genre with his wild hair, enormous teeth, gravelly voice and unnerving presence. What's more interesting is that he managed it with one of his feet in the Hollywood mainstream, normally in a secondary role or villain and another of his, no doubt, insane, feet starring in a string of 2nd tier actioners.
Amongst his most well known credits are films like Lethal Weapon, Predator 2, Point Break and Under Siege but you might not know his action man status extends to the B Movie likes of Eye of the Tiger, Bulletproof, Chrome Soldiers, South Beach with Fred Williamson, Breaking Point, Drop Zone with Wesley Snipes, Plato's Run with Jeff Speakman, The Rage with Lorenzo Lamas and No Tomorrow with Gary Daniels and Pam Grier.

Must See: Lethal Weapon, Predator 2, Point Break, Under Siege
Also Suggest: Eye of the Tiger, Chrome Soldiers and Plato's Run

Check out our commentary for Lethal Weapon 1

- The Kick Ass Kid 

Friday, September 27, 2013

TOP 20 second tier 80s & 90s Action Stars PART 2

Read PART 1 here
Again, these are not in any order...
6. Michael Dudikoff 
Most famous for Cannon Films' American Ninja series, model turned action star Michael Dudikoff spent most of the 80s and all of the 90s blowing stuff up and kicking ass in straight-to-video fare. Although none of them were stand out classics of the genre, along with the 5 film strong American Ninja series, there was enough of them for his name to be recognisable to the right set of B-Movie action fans. He often starred alongside Steve James, his co-hort in American Ninja and has studied Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.
Has been a name mentioned a lot in conjunction with the Expendables films and he himself expressed a desire, in an interview, to appear in part 3. Sadly, it looks like, that hasn't happened.

Must See: American Ninja and Avenging Force
Also Suggest: The Human Shield and Midnight Ride
Check out our commentary for the following Michael Dudikoff film:
American Ninja

7. Michelle Yeoh 
Ok, so maybe it's pushing it calling her second tier as Michelle Yeoh is, now a superstar when it comes to females in Asian action movies and has been, for western audiences especially, since 2000's Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. However, from the mid 80s onwards she has been a force to be reckoned with. She has been paired with Donnie Yen, Jackie Chan, Chou Yun Fat, and Cynthia Rothrock and she was a kick ass Bond girl in Tomorrow Never Dies (Brosnan's best outting as James Bond, for my money, mainly because of Yeoh's involvement).
She's never studied any martial arts but does a huge amount of her own stunts and has a dance background from which she draws a lot of her moves. No action list, second tier or not, is complete without her on it.

Must See: Yes, Madam!Supercop, Tomorrow Never Dies and Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon
Also Suggest: Dynamite Fighters, Butterfly and Sword and The Heroic Trio

8. Eric Roberts
One of the most prolific actors working today, Eric Roberts has worked in everything from big budget, A list movies, to shot in a back garden for a few coins and some scraps of beef jerky films. In action films he has been mainly known as a villain, like in The Specialist opposite Stallone but back in the 80s and 90s he made Best of the Best, Best of the Best 2, Hitman's Run and others where he had a rare outing as the good guy.

Must See: Best of the Best, Best of the Best 2, The Nature of the Beast and Runaway Train
Also Suggest: By The Sword, Past Perfect, The Hard Truth and The Specialist 

9. Carl Weathers
While not a prolific action star, Carl Weathers has a few choice roles that make his short resume, very impressive. Starting out in small and sometimes villainous roles in Blaxploitation classics like Bucktown and Friday Foster, he would go on to make his mark in film history playing Apollo Creed in Sylvester Stallone's legendary boxing franchise Rocky. He played the role 4 times between 1976 and 1985 and that lead to a secondary role in Predator alongside other 80s action legend, Arnold Schwarzenegger. After which he got his one, single, starring action role in the brilliant, over the top, Action Jackson. Sadly no sequel or franchise followed and Weathers would find the action film roles dry up but for a moment there he was part of 2 of the coolest action franchises around and had been the lead in his own larger than life, cop, action adventure. Can't beat that really, can you?!

Must See: Rocky 1-4, Predator and Action Jackson 
Check out our commentary for the following Carl Weathers' film:
Action Jackson

10. Rutger Hauer
Although, critically acclaimed, Dutch actor Rutger Hauer has been known for a mad variety of film roles in his time, from the release of Wanted: Dead or Alive in 1986 onwards, he had a 12 year run of being something of an action star.
This was not an unfamiliar world to him as he had started the decade as the main villain in the Stallone and Billy Dee Williams starring action, cop, serial-killer film Nighthawks.
His next role after Wanted: DOA would be that of a blind, samurai sword wielding ex-soldier in the excellent 80s, action adventure romp Blind Fury, where he even got to face off with, none other than, Sho Kosugi!
This would be followed up with the Mad Maxian The Salute of The Jugger, the battle-of-the-sexes-on-the-run adventure Wedlock and then, the best of them all, Split Second in which Hauer turns in a cigar chomping, coffee swigging, wise crack spewing, action machine of a performance, the likes of which Kurt Russell himself would've been proud.
Other roles in things like Beyond Justice, Arctic Blue and Surviving The Game would fill up the rest of the decade.

Must See: Split Second and Blind Fury
Also Suggest: Wedlock, Nighthawks and Wanted: Dead or Alive
Avoid: Beyond Justice 
Check out our podcast coverage of Rutger Hauer on The After Movie Diner here:

- The Kick Ass Kid

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

TOP 20 second tier 80s & 90s Action Stars PART 1

It seems like in the 80s and 90s everyone tried their hand at an action film at some time or another. Respected actors like Clint Eastwood, Gene Hackman and Sean Connery, big blockbuster action heroes of the day like Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sylvester Stallone and Bruce Willis, comedians like Jim Belushi and Whoopi Goldberg and even odd character actors like Peter Weller, Gregg Henry and Fred Ward.
There were also those legitimate action stars that, while completely awesome, never quite achieved superstar status. They may have come close to, say, the likes of Jean Claude Van Damme or, our old friend, Steven Seagal but sadly just remained under the mainstream radar, never to become household names. I am talking about regular households of course, every name on this list is a household name where we live and, I dare say, where a lot of you reading this live too.
It also goes without saying that any single one of these, or all of them deserve a role in either a future Expendables movie or if they ever get the B-Team Expendables franchise going (how this hasn't happened yet is beyond us!).
So here we go, Dr.Action and the Kick Ass Kid present their TOP 20 second tier action stars of the 80s  & 90s!
(in no particular order)

1. Jeff Speakman
An expert in the visually exciting and fast martial art of Kempo, Speakman, sadly, only starred in one, proper studio film A Perfect Weapon before appearing in a string of films produced by companies like the soon-to-be-bankrupt Cannon and the fine purveyors of straight-to-video, explosive, nonsense PM Entertainment. For a martial arts actor of his day, he's actually not bad at the acting part, as well as having fantastic fighting skill but a lot of his films are hampered by low production values, clunky scripts, directors who don't understand his awesome fighting ability and, in one case, even the appalling soundtrack. His film career will always be a terrible missed opportunity because, given the right partners, he could've been a force to be reckoned with.

Must See: A Perfect Weapon
Also Suggest: The Expert, Running Red and Land of the Free (just try and ignore the worst soundtrack in film history and focus on the awesome fight stunts and Shatner's villain)
Avoid: Street Knight
Check out our commentaries for the following Jeff Speakman films:
Land of the Free
The Perfect Weapon
Running Red
The Expert
Street Knight

2. Gary Daniels
The original Britkicker, Gary Daniels was a black belt in Taekwondo by the age of 12, a 2nd dan by the age of 16 and, at the age of 27, won the Kick Boxing association's California State Light Heavyweight Championship and, In England, the Karate Association's World Light Heavyweight Championship within the space of a month.
He has also studied and employs a mix of Muay Thai, boxing, ninjutsu, Northern Shaolin kung fu and Siu Lum Wong Gar Kune, his preferred discipline.
So, those are some pretty hefty credentials and make for a fast and exciting fighting style on screen. He is let down, a little by, a somewhat slurry British east-end accent and, in earlier films, a stilted and awkward acting style but the one thing you can always say about Daniels is that he is always trying his damned hardest and when paired with other good actors or a director who knows what he's doing with action, Daniels can really shine.
He has made movies consistently for 25 years now and although mainstream stardom has alluded him, he must've been doing something right as he still stars in his own films, has travelled all round the world making them and was one of the extended action star cast of the first Expendables.

Must See: Bloodmoon, Rage and The Expendables  
Also Suggest: Cold Harvest, Fist of the North Star and Riot
Avoid: Witness To A Kill and Queen's Messenger (sadly Gary's bid to have a Bond-esque franchise did not pan out so well as both films are pretty boring and weak)
Check out our commentaries for the following Gary Daniels films:
Cold Harvest (featuring an interview with co-star Barbara Crampton!)
Hawk's Vengeance
Fist of the North Star
and an INTERVIEW with Co-Star of Bloodmoon, fellow Britkicker, Darren Shahlavi

3. Cynthia Rothrock
Cynthia Rothrock is a machine. An owner of over a handful of black belts in a variety of classical Chinese, modern Chinese and Korean martial arts disciplines and was promoted to 7th degree black belt in Tang Soo Do Moo Duk Kwan as recently as 2011 at the age of 54.
True action is a genre sadly lacking in women. There are a handful of sci-fi/horror action films which have strong female leads - the Alien, Underworld and Resident Evil franchises for example and TV has had kick ass heroines for years! - Xena, Buffy, Alias etc. but apart from a couple of others, which we will get to later in the list, in the 80s and 90s, Cynthia Rothrock was basically it.
Between '85 and '90, Rothrock spent her time between awesome, kick ass Hong Kong actioners and slowly breaking into the American market. Considering her skill, success in the Asian markets, acting ability and, yes ok, looks, it is just baffling a proper studio didn't snap her up and make her a star. She did, though, have a rapid, successful and prolific straight-to-video career in The States throughout the first half of the 90s, with the quality dropping off pretty sharply after '96. She was often paired with Australian martial artist and close friend Richard Norton. With an appearance in Bad Ass Showdown in 2013 and rumours of a female Expendables movie in the works (Get a script written someone please!!) we are still praying for a resurgence of Rothrock as, like so many on this list, she's yet to get the credit she truly deserves.

Must See: Righting Wrongs (AKA Above The Law), Huang jia shi jie (AKA Yes, Madam!) and China O'Brien
Also Suggest: China O'Brien 2 and Martial Law 2
Avoid: The Rage and Honor Series (Rothrock and Norton fail to bring back the charm of China O'Brien) and anything post 1996.
Check out our commentaries for the following Cynthia Rothrock films:
China O'Brien
China O'Brien 2

4. Fred Williamson
Fred "The Hammer" Williamson is a smart, tough man. When, in the mid-to-late 70s, Hollywood was done with the Blaxploitation craze that had, affectively, got it back on its feet, financially, Fred Williamson decided he would, instead, just do it his way.
Doing it his way has given the former footballer turned actor, director, producer and martial artist (Williamson holds black belts in Kenpo, Karate and Tae-Kwon-Do) a long and varied career that continues today. He currently has 8 movies set for release in the next 3 years. At the beginning of the 80s, having made, legendary 70s B-Movie Inglorious Bastards in Italy, Williamson was in Europe starring in, producing and directing a variety of action films, most prominently the Black Cobra series. This would continue into the 90s where he would, eventually, return to America to continue doing the same thing. The most prominent of which was 1996's Original Gangstas in which he teamed up with Pam Grier, Jim Brown, Richard Roundtree, Robert Forster, Charles Napier, Wings Hauser, Paul Winfield and Ron O'Neal to show the world that the old timers have still got it.
He has his famous rules of Hollywood: "You can’t kill me in a movie, I win all my fights in a movie, and I get the girl at the end of the movie, if I want her" and he makes sure, with razor sharp integrity, that he sticks to that. As he is The Hammer, he's doing it his way and it's successful for him then you can't exactly argue and you'll always know what to expect!

Must See: 1990: The Bronx Warriors, Vigilante, Delta Force Commando, From Dusk Till Dawn and Original Gangastas
Also Suggest: Black Cobra, Black Cobra 2 and Black Cobra 3

5. Sho Kosugi
All Japan Karate Champion Sho Kosugi was the go-to ninja during the 1980s. Back then there was an insane ninja craze going on in the second and below tier action world. Godfrey Ho, prolific Chinese director, made no less than 45 films with the word ninja in the title, in the 1980s. You can, however, thank those purveyors of fine bonkers action, Golan and Globus (better know to most as Cannon Films) for giving the west Sho Kosugi. The 1981, Franco Nero starring Enter The Ninja would start Kosugi on an action star career path that would last the next 13 years. Although only making 4 films with the word ninja in the title during this period and none of them directed by Godfrey Ho, weirdly enough, the name Kosugi became synonymous with ninja. So much so, in fact, that when, recently, they tried to reintroduce the genre with Ninja Assassin in 2009 he stepped out of film acting retirement to take his first on screen role in 11 years.

Must See: Enter The Ninja, Revenge of the Ninja and Blind Fury
Also Suggest: Nine Deaths of a Ninja, Ninja 3: The Domination and Pray For Death
Avoid: Black Eagle
Check out our podcast coverage on The After Movie Diner for the following Sho Kosugi films:
9 Deaths of a Ninja
Blind Fury

- The Kick Ass Kid

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Stallone in Zurich 2008

People who want to dismiss Sylvester Stallone or action stars do so at their peril. Anyone who has examined the life of these guys or heard them being interviewed knows that they are far more than a clunk headed bodybuilder with an automatic weapon.
Back in 2008 the Zurich film festival hosted Stallone and sat him down for a chat about his work behind the camera. It's fascinating and entertaining. Take a look.

Sunday, February 17, 2013


So A Good Day to Die Hard has been released and lets be honest, the reviews have been terrible but I loved it, I went in with low expectations and came out getting exactly what I wanted, a Die Hard movie with Bruno, kicking ass and quipping like the badass he is.
Who Farted?

The question is, why do we love Bruce Willis???
What makes him a great action hero???
I mean he’s not built like a Sly or an Arnie, even in the original Die Hard he started out as someone who seemed very unwilling to take on Gruber and his batch of terrorist/robber bastards but he is very much held in the same justified esteem as Sly and Arnie.

Personally speaking, Sly and Arnie are the guys we want to be, huge, tough and with the one liners. Whereas Willis is the everyman we can relate to, not extremely well built, down on his luck at times, some hair thinning but he can stand on his own when he needs to, kick arse and always be ready with a well placed quip. His characters are always different, and he seems to like genre hopping as much as he can, but lets be honest, Willis will be known for being an action legend.

This year Willis will appear at the cinema in 4 action movies, A Good Day To Die Hard, Sin City 2, Red 2 and as the original Action Man himself 'G.I. Joe' in G.I. Joe 2. Its the genre that truly made him who he is, and he keeps returning to keep the genre alive.

Who didn’t have a huge smile on their face when at the end scene of Expendables 2, a great shot of Arnie, Sly and Willis were all there machining gun bad guys??? Personally speaking that was a shot in a movie I thought I would never see, and it shows how much we the audience and, a legend in his own right, Sly, holds Willis in such high regard.
One of the GREATEST moments in movie history EVER. FACT

Nothing quite portrays Willis as the down on his luck, but he can kick your ass while making you laugh, hero than Joe Hallenback. The Last Boy Scout is truly, in my opinion, one of the greatest action movies of the nineties. Willis gets cheated on, beaten up and his daughter mocks him, yet we still want him to win and we all think, I wish I was as cool as him.
I will be reviewing the whole movie at some point, so I won’t gush over it too much but listen to our latest commentary of it, myself and The Kick Ass Kid LOVE this movie.
Wayans, your agent is on the phone, this is the best film you'll ever be in

So Willis isn’t our typical action hero, but in my opinion the most relatable. He is still out there making action and I will never grumble about that. Once I see him on screen, I see the smirk and he shoot the baddies, I will never tire of him as an action hero.
Well its been 25 years now since Die Hard was released, Willis has gone the distance and sir I salute you, keep doing what you’re doing, cut out the comedy stuff if you want, but please keep saving the world.
The Doc and The Kid thinks you’re great and damn, we wish we could be as cool as Bruno!

- The Doc

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Action movies we can't wait for!

A strong premise and a trailer that promises a great looking car chase has us excited for Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson's next starring role.
Out February 22nd
Tom Cruise fights Aliens on a distant planet but all may not be as it seems. The real reason I want to see this though? This image from the trailer...
Out April 19th

KICK ASS 2 - Balls to the Wall
While we don't intend to cover a lot of superhero stuff here on the blog, technically these aren't superheroes and secondly the first film was a joyous celebration of ultra violence, awesome action and fantastic swearing. We hope this continues for the sequel. Obviously the lack of Brit helmer Matthew Vaughn is a little cause for concern but we have our fingers crossed for this entertaining slice of lycra clad ass kicking.
Out June 28th
While Ryan Reynolds isn't exactly a huge selling point for us, how about Kevin Bacon, Jeff "The Dude" Bridges, Robert Knepper from The Transporter 3 and Dr.Action Hall-Of-Famer JAMES mutherfunking HONG! Based on a graphic novel about a bunch of undead policemen, this could be some seriously cool action fun. We hope.
Out July 19th
Say what you like about the first one, the fact that Trejo's machete wielding federale is back is a good thing. It means lots of over-the-top action, shexy ladiesh and tons o'blood letting. What's not to love?
Out September 13th
Outside of The Expendables this will be the first time where the two powerhouses of 80s action will share the screen. Stallone's been to prision before in Tango & Cash and Lock Up and the high concept of this action thriller is as intriguing as it is exciting. Sadly the lackluster and baffling responses to the fantastic The Last Stand and brilliant Bullet to the Head might effect this genius idea at the box office but let's hope not, let's hope people pull their heads out of their arses and realise that Stallone and Schwarzenegger in a movie together like this is a dream come true for all mankind.
Out September 27th

Statham has a busy work sheet at the moment and a good thing too because we need our favourite British action star to keep working! Hummingbird is all about an ex-special forces soldier finding himself homeless. No word yet on how much action there is, I think Statham described it more as a drama but whatever it is we'll be there opening night. Here are a few more pictures from the set:
Originally intended as a Sylvester Stallone starring film, Sly, instead, handed this to his Expendables co-star Statham. The story of a DEA Agent tangling with a local meth druglord in small town America stars, apart from Statham, James Franco, Winona Ryder and Kate Bosworth.
Both films are currently listed as having 2013 release dates although I imagine one will be early next year.
Then there's Expendables 3 news about it starting shooting as soon as this autumn!!
Stay Tuned, mumble and carry a big fucking gun - The Kick Ass Kid!

Saturday, February 2, 2013

What's wrong with critics and action films?

Figures from Rotten Tomatoes:
The Last Stand - 59% Audience 68%
Parker - Critics 38% Audience 63% 
Bullet To The Head - 49% Audience 71%

I just got back from seeing Sylvester Stallone's latest film Bullet To The Head and basically I loved it. Was it flawless? no but was it well acted, well directed, with a great soundtrack and some great violent action? damn right it was! 
I am going to leave the full and official review to the doctor himself but something struck me checking out reviews and the like online after the film, I don't read them before the film I want to go in fresh, and that was when it comes to action, critics and audiences seem to be on opposite sides to each other.
The above scores from that loathsome and divisive website Rotten Tomatoes illustrate my point quite well and that's the only reason they're there.

Why can't critics review action well? maybe it's the same for all genres they arrogantly deem beneath them, maybe horror and comedy fair just as badly, I don't know I haven't done the research, but lately it sure feels like action is taking a beating.

My philosophy is that you review stuff within its genre. If you're a big budget blockbuster then I am going to stack you up against everything from Ghostbusters to The Dark Knight, if you're a quirky indie film then everything from Rushmore to Looking for a Friend at the End of the World is fair game and if you're action, especially a certain type of action, then you are going to be reviewed alongside Cobra, Die Hard and Commando.

Why do critics seemingly just rate everything on the same pointless and impossible scale? 
Why do critics go on about action stars not having depth of character or action films not having intricate plots?
They are seemingly willfully missing the point! 
Did they not see that Jason Statham just fired a flare gun from the nose of a fucking plane onto a gasoline covered pontoon and blew the fucker sky high?! The nose of a plane people!! AWESOME!
They dismiss death defying stunts, often performed for real by mere actors wanting authenticity and, yes, in a safe environment but show me Dustin Hoffman willing to climb down a building, hang off a helicopter or run out of an exploding building, even if offered a harness he'd nasally refuse and toddle off somewhere.
They dismiss the screen presence, the charisma, the athleticism, the enjoyment, the humour, the catharsis, the drama and the great feeling we all get when good triumphs over evil.

I wrote an article on here about Jason Statham and how he has constantly tried to do more, achieve more, work with interesting people, take interesting scripts and push himself. When you hear these guys in interviews they've thought about the character, the director, the great stunts, the chases, they care about their audience and they want to entertain but because they're not Daniel Snore Lewis, who is yet to be in one film I want to see ever, they don't get the time of day!
I just want The Kick Ass kid to like me... *sob*
Also action stars, like Stallone and Statham never get credit for their characterisations why? because they're not playing Mr.Darcy or mumbling pretentious, impenetrable shit in a Paul Thomas Anderson movie?
Yet Stallone is never the same person twice, seriously. Watch Rocky, Rambo, The Expendables, Cobra, Demolition Man, Bullet To The Head, hell watch fucking Over The Top for christ sake and each one is different. He uses different voices, changes his appearance, thinks about the way his character would walk, talk and the different weapons his guy would use to pulverise his next low-rent hood... all important things and all on screen for you to see.

Do you know how I know critics are full of shit? well look at the way they coo and swoon when someone like Stallone does a film like Copland or Bruce Willis does sensitive in Twelve Monkeys, they practically fall over their collective tongues to lick the stars balls! Or what about when they actually get in a room with these icons to interview them and they turn into girly, sycophantic wretches, just seconds away from wetting their draws in excitement. Then they get home to their little rooms and write about how there wasn't enough serious drama or character development in Expendables 2. Morons.
Serious drama just shit itself
The same goes for comedians when they play-it-straight, the critics act all surprised and taken a back that these guys can do a great performance but year after year they have entertained and excited audiences everywhere. That's no easy feet you know and should be acknowledged.

Our beloved action stars are having a rough time in the market place so far in 2013. It's down to a combination of the gun violence debate, bad press, bad marketing and a changed audience, that's clearly now 12 and would rather see glittery vampires, zombies in love, endless remakes and Paranormal Activity 14 (this time it slams a door and turns off a light in night vision! ooooh!) than these icons of cinema perform tremendous acts of physical endurance all wrapped up in an awesome, timeless tale that'll make you forget your rotten existence for 90 minutes!

I can't help but wander, though, that the rough time would be alleviated somewhat if some of these critics lightened the fuck up, pulled the 'worthy' 'earnest' drama stick out of their ass and reviewed some of these films as the damn good time that they are and are clearly meant to be and urged people to go see them. I have even read critics condemn perfectly good action films by getting involved in the gun debate instead of saying "That's reality and these are MOVIES". It's so irritating, unprofessional and down right bad at their job to not critique them within their own wheelhouse. 

Lastly, critics, stop fucking mentioning how old these guys are and how they're 'passed it'. Please call me when you're 64 and lets see if you could make Expendables 1, brake your neck, recover and then get back to work in a manner of days. It's awesome these guys are old and kicking ass, I'd take 1 Schwarzenegger over 50 Sam Worthingtons that's for damn sure! and how come Eastwood gets a pass? oh yeah because occasionally he directs worthwhile dramas about women who can box or war films about a battle from 70 years ago that everyone should really have gotten over by now! 
Get over yourself critics!
You're worthless idiot hacks and if you had any testicles you'd be dangerous.

Love The Kick Ass Kid

Friday, February 1, 2013

New China O'Brien 2 Commentary out today

Over the last couple of weeks Dr.Action and the Kick Ass Kid have covered China O'Brien and China O'Brien 2 as part of a look at women in action films. You can find these and all our other 80s and 90s action movie commentaries right here:
Or by clicking the tab above marked commentaries.

You can also watch THE FULL MOVIES of both China O'Brien's on the website. Where we can we try and provide the film too so you don't need to source it yourself or even leave the comfort of your computer.

If you're watching your action without us you're doing it wrong!

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Statham wants to do an action comedy like Lethal Weapon

Jason Statham said this in a recent interview with Collider

Statham: I’d love to do a comedy. I’d love to do a two-hander like the old Leathal Weapon movies. I love those, like an action comedy with the straight man and the funny man. I’d love to do one of those. I really would. Just got to find one, find a funny man that wants to do one with me. 

First thing that went through my head was 'Why aren't I watching that RIGHT NOW?' and second was 'who would I want to co-star?'
So we're asking you, the Dr.Action and the Kick Ass Kid reader/listener to let us know WHO you'd like to see him partnered with.

I (the Kick Ass Kid) am a big Will Ferrell fan but sadly when he did his action comedy it was more comedy than action and they went with Marky Mark. Still, I could see Ferrell and Statham in a 70s action heist comedy for certain.
I also really dug the only-one-season show The Good Guys that managed, with Bradly Whitford and Colin Hanks, to make a lunatic action comedy movie every episode, plus Whitford was genius in Cabin in the Woods, so I could see Stath and Whitford (as an offbeat choice).
What about Bill Hader, who was the best thing about unfunny dud 'Paul'? He needs a starring role and this could be JUST the thing for him.

But we want to hear from you! what would be your pairing for a Stath action comedy?
Anyone but fuckin' Seth Rogen... got it?
Written by The Kick Ass Kid

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

A Message from the Doc

Welcome Action lovers.

Hello, hello, hello I AM DR.ACTION, and if you are reading this, you will have guessed me and the Kick Ass Kid are venturing into the written word of action. Reviews, news and our thoughts on the greatest movie genre ever. FACT.

I’ve been trying to figure what my first post should be, and really there is no better way to start than telling you why I love this genre so much.
It’s simple right, who doesn’t want to be the lethal highly trained guy, who dispenses with the bad guy’s, say’s a cheesy one liner and saves the day. In the case of The Expendables, is there a better way to do it, than with your mates at your side?

In my eyes thats what action flicks are, a great way for men or women to sit back and cheer on the good guys, and just enjoy yourself. Gunfights, fistfghts, karate chopping and roundhousing kicking onscreen is fun, then afterwards talking about the awesomeness you’ve just witnessed onscreen, or during as our podcast proves.

I seriously love action movies, but I can see the funny side of them, thats why myself and the Kick Ass Kid have such fun recording the podcasts, you should never think we do not fully love and appreciate these gems.
Some have their Rom Coms that bring them closer together and make them aaawwwww.
Well we have action and it brings us together and makes us go YIPPEE-KI-YAY,

So please listen to us, contact us, read our reviews and thoughts, after all, 2013 is the year of action, and if we have anything to do it with, every year after.

from Dr.Action

Finding Your Manself At The Movies

Men (and I am talking about the human gender and not their genitals when I say this) come in all shapes, sizes and types.

I will give some of you a moment for the innuendo fueled snickering to subside, and then I will continue.

Sure the image of us as sports and tits loving, lager beer swilling yahoos with a Neanderthal mentality may seem an easy go-to generalisation sometimes, but really our gender is rich, complex and confused. No, really.

The geeky Brit-com Spaced had three main, but very different, examples of the male psyche and, to quote John Hughes (another master of the subject), in the simplest terms and the most convenient definitions: Tim was a Geek, Brian was an Artist and Mike was a wannabe action man; but the show hypothesized that when you get 2 or more males in a room and start some fake gun-play, they would all join in regardless of race, creed, class, style or hobbies.
Now while I myself would have no problem still as a grown man flailing about like a child engaged in a fictional battle with some of my sillier friends, I know plenty of repressed and/or defiantly ‘adult’ chaps that would look forcibly down their nose and scoff at such a bonding ritual (despite, no doubt, strangling that rambunctious child deep within their soul or maybe smothering it with a cushion so they didn’t have to hear its cries of agony and longing).
So I would make an addendum to Spaced’s previously stated claim, and say that the single element that unites us as a gender is action movies.

Now before I go on, I am not being in any way sexist. Women can love action movies too. My wife, for one, loves them and introduced me to some that would become life-long favorites (I am not above calling myself a little inexperienced on the breadth of action available before I met her); but this article is purely speaking to one half of the population I am afraid, the ones with the funny looking, dangly genitals that we were all snickering about just a few paragraphs earlier.

Action Movies, like men, come in a variety of forms. Sure they might end up in the same place (exploding and/or on fire) but depending on their star or stars and their positioning on the fabled A, B and C Lists of Hollywood, they might take very different journeys, or distribution if you will, to get there.
While there has been action in the movies since their very inception (Inception, too, was, in its own way, a trumped up action movie funnily enough), the era that I am currently splashing around in is the late 80’s / early 90’s golden age of either ‘play on a few screens somewhere in the mid-west’ or straight-to-video action gems. I realise I am late to the party, and I understand that there are people more qualified than me out there to wax rhapsodic about the misunderstood genius of Michael Dudikoff, or folks who can reel off the name of every Cynthia Rothrock movie. I mean, up until 5 years ago my pure action knowledge was restricted mainly, but not exclusively, to the Die Hard and Leathal Weapon Franchises! But firstly, this article isn’t necessarily for the hardcore fans and freaks of this high-kicking kingdom; and secondly I can learn fast.
So watch your back Jack, I am coming through!

I presume, although I have never done the research, that you could stop a gent of any age on a street corner in any part of the globe, and they would know the name of someone like Sylvester Stallone, Bruce Willis or Arnold Schwarzenegger (although they might not be able to pronounce that last one).
I would also say that maybe 1 in 4 would know someone of the level of a Van Damme, a Steven Seagal or a Dolph Lundgren; but how many would know a Jeff Speakman? a Sho Kosugi? or a Leo Fong?
And that’s where this article slowly moves from being about how men love action movies, and how there is a rich seam of action movies to suit all men, to being about movie fanatics and just what kind of man are you anyway, huh?

Like almost any genre, thanks to the VHS revolution of the mid 80’s and distributors popping up everywhere dying to make a quick buck on the back of some barely bearable b-movie, peel back the A List Hollywood layer and you will find a labyrinth of seemingly never ending tunnels (not to mix analogies), each one of them containing film after film, each one more obscure and fascinating than the last. Some may be content to go and see the latest Bourne or Bond flick in the cinema and watch the stunt men of millionaire actors engage in the latest fight/chase trend from ‘the streets’ and that would be fine. I go see those movies and they are fantastic, but if someone asked you to name an action star would your first answer really be Matt Damon or Daniel ‘pouty’ Craig?

Others though are going to want more, or will go to the opposite extreme, to become collectors and completists. They used to spend their days rifling through endless racks of clamshell VHS cases trying to find something they’d never heard of before with a glistening man’s fists on the front and a title featuring the word ‘death’ or ‘ninja’, and now they spend their days searching Amazon, E-Bay or any number of online DVD retailers for films starring people like Don ‘The Dragon’ Wilson or anything that features a mutant killer robot, a villain in a bad 80s shiny suit with a female sidekick that looks like Chewbacca in leather hot pants, or an exploding oil rig (in fact, preferably many exploding oil rigs).

I know of what I speak; with the films of Bruce Campbell I was that guy, and any weird films like Traxx (a 1988 film about a highlighted and feathered mullet sporting ex-soldier dude who just wanted to settle in a small town and bake horrible cookies but keeps getting embroiled in trouble), or something like Dead Heat (another 1988 film that I came across sitting on the shelf in the back of a second hand record store), well so much the better.
Film fans have this strange burning urge inside them to know something more obscure than the other guy; to find something only a tiny community of people know about and treasure it. Which is ironic, when deep down all any of us really wants to do is belong; just not to any group big enough so we cease being the best one in it I guess.
It’s either that, or so-called money-making ‘popular’ movies are such lazy piles of crass horseshit that us folks who want to watch something genuinely different have to hunt a bit. Probably six of one and half a dozen of the other, as my old man used to say.

So anyway, as I had always been a film fan, and had always been a little bit of a jack of all trades where being creative was concerned, I decided to blend the two and I started a blog. Then 8 months later I started a podcast (both called The After Movie Diner), and 8 months after that I started ANOTHER podcast focusing specifically on action movies (Dr.Action and the Kick Ass Kid Commentaries). One of the reasons for telling you all of this (and indeed the name of this article for all those still paying attention) is that doing any internet venture leads you, just in the promoting of it, to meet other people who are normally roughly in the same ballpark. And when you meet this community (because 95% of the people I have met online since the beginning have been incredibly nice and now are practically family!) you realise two things:
 1. You don’t know half as much about movies as you pretend to know to the friends who don’t know any better
 2. Somewhere along the line you had forgotten that there is a wide, rich and varied world in every genre just waiting for you to delve right in.

For me these realisations both humbled me a little and made me hungry for movies again, not in a Steve Seagal way where I went on a gut inflating rampage devouring films like they were chocolate cake, but in a way that I hadn’t been in almost a decade; specifically, and most recently, action films.

So as I step and stumble through this world of films featuring sweaty muscle bound goons with across-the-board bad hair and bad clothing choices who break arms, bounce crims heads off the hoods of cars and make things go BOOOOOM! I come across people on twitter, websites, blogs, podcasts, facebook posts and forums that give me info, new film titles, actors I could look out for and lead me further down the path to…
I don’t know what…
maybe a film where Louis Gosset Jnr, Al Leong and Robert Davi all have to wrestle a giant, genetically-mutated, electronic boa constricter on a runaway train loaded with conflict Diamonds, that is in the process of being hi-jacked by a Lithuanian splinter group hell-bent on using the diamonds to buy a new super weapon being manufactured by a ludicrously pock-marked gentleman who has decided to wear a series of man-boob-exposingly-tight turtle necks. He is the defecting ex-partner of a New York cop, played by Brian Dennehy, who is down on his luck trying to solve his last case when his daughter gets kidnapped by a death metal band and a megalomaniacal robot Orangutan who is secretly a cover for James Hong and Yaphett Koto who are in league with the Lithuanians as they are trying to get their new, highly potent and illegal strain of cocaine fueled fire arms into Eastern Europe… or something…

My point being, I found a part of my manself again. I reconnected with the fan in me through venturing out there reading and listening to things, and I am learning more about my manself with each man-movie I watch.

Will today be the day that you find your manself?

Written by The Kick Ass Kid