Wednesday, April 06, 2005

Interesting article on the downfall of action movies...

The Chicago Tribune today featured an article on what's wrong with the modern action film, as typified by the recent Bruce Willis vehicle Hostage. Although the piece ultimately could have been stronger, I liked the idea that there's a calculas to how many stupid things an audience is willing to ignore in a film like this, and that the problem is that they go well beyond that number.

The author notes that '70s action films were much smaller in scale, and thus generally less stupid and/or ridiculous. This has been a subject I've been harping on for several years, especially since the release of John Singleton's Shaft remake, a film I liked a lot particularly in that the action and violence was small-scaled.

I think there is a real market for this sort of thing, as indicated by the success of the rather marvelous Bourne films.

I do, however, find his suggested '70s action film list problematic. Hickey & Boggs is worth a look, but just is not that good a movie. Juggernaut as well is really not that great. For myself, I'd suggest giving a look to The Taking of Pelham One-Two-Three, Dirty Harry (I know, a little obvious, but still) and The French Connection. Three Day of the Condor is another great little movie, and of course there are several great Blaxploitation films.


At 5:19 PM, Blogger Henry Brennan said...

I agree with "Three Days of the Condor" which I just saw again, recently (it seems eerily prophetic, now). I read the book ("Six Days of the Condor") many years ago and thought highly of it. With that kind of source material available, there's room for additional visualization of the main concept and character development.


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