Weekly Update: This month Hawk Ripjaw and I are doing “Shituary”, in which we watch themed bad movies each week. Week 3’s topic consists of 5 movies from Action Heroes after their career had peaked; many are direct to video/dvd/streaming and all are thoroughly embarrassing.
Curious what else I’ve seen this year? -Click here to read the full list of movies viewed year to date-
32. Silence (2016)
Andrew Garfield plays a Jesuit Missionary who along with a partner (Adam Driver) head to Japan in the 1600s to find any trace of their mentor (Liam Neeson) who reportedly had renounced his religion and is living as a Japanese. Silence is Martin Scorsese’s exploration of the meaning of faith, a passion project that he’d been trying to make for many years. Japan at the time the film is set was purging itself of Catholics, with anyone known to be practicing anything other than Buddhism being brutally tortured and killed. Garfield gives a performance of a lifetime as a devoted priest who struggles through his many torments to retain his faith.
33. Shark Lake (2009)
The first movie of Hawk Ripjaw and my “Aging Action hero” week. Starring Dolph Lundgren, this movie is a jaws ripoff set in Nevada, in which a resort town is disrupted by the appearance of a deadly bull shark in fresh water. This movie is cheaper looking than an Asylum film, and despite some awesomely bad moments is ultimately too boring to recommend for ironic viewing enthusiasts.
34. Skiptrace (2016)
The 2nd movie of Hawk Ripjaw and my “Aging Action hero” week. Skiptrace didn’t even get a major release in the United States, but made $130,000,000 internationally. It is a vehicle for Jackie Chan and former Jackass star Johnny Knoxville. The movie is loosely a remake of Midnight Run, with Chan playing a Chinese special agent who flies to Russia to capture Knoxville, a fugitive who stole a fortune from a Macau casino, and has evidence that could expose a major Terrorist. The rest of the film is an action scene-filled road trip through Mongolia and rural China. The fight scenes are (as always for Jackie Chan films) the highlight, and are well choreographed. The story is mostly very predictable, but nobody watches a Jackie Chan movie for story.
35. Nocturnal Animals (2016)
There’s a really good movie inside of Nocturnal Animals, and none of it has to do with the Amy Adams-led wrap around sequences in which she plays an art gallery curator who becomes obsessed with a book written by her Ex. The meat of the movie is the book, which plays as a movie within the movie; a revenge story that is truly bleak and compelling. This story is about a man whose family is brutally tormented and raped/murdered by a group of rednecks in West Texas. Michael Shannon plays a police officer who helps the man hunt down those responsible. My advice: fast forward through anything Amy Adams is in; these sequences are dull and lacking any satisfactory purpose.
36. Code of Honor (2016)
Steven Seagal plays Col. Robert Sikes, an ex-special forces man who goes on a one-man rampage through Salt Lake City, murdering gangsters, pimps, drug dealers, and anyone he considers evil. Meanwhile the police investigate, aided by William Porter (Craig Sheffer), who once fought alongside Sikes.
Code of Honor is true bad movie material, a blatant ripoff of elements from Death Wish, Rambo, John Wick, and other major revenge films. Seagal is his usual terrible acting self, and barely seen doing anything physical. The director and editor Michael Winnick seems completely in love with CGI blood hits and green screen. The editing is so laughably bad that the movie has more akin to The Room than any action movie it is trying to ape.
37. Kickboxer: Vengeance (2016)
Rebooting the Kickboxer franchise, Kickboxer: Vengeance casts stuntman Alain Moussi in the role popularized by Jean Claude Van Damme in the 1989 film, with Van Damme returning as the Trainer character. Loosely a remake of the Cannon classic, it sadly feels very much like a re-tread of familiar material. Kickboxer: Vengeance is not particularly good viewing even for fight movie fans.
38. Forest Warrior (1996)
As the week of Aging Action Heroes reaches its climax, Hawk Ripjaw and I concluded that we needed to go out with something truly embarrassing. Hence this 1996 career-diminishing film starring Chuck Norris was chosen. Forest Warrior tells the story of a group of children who go out into the woods for a camping weekend at a treehouse that has been used by their respective families for generations. When an evil lumber company decides the smart thing to do is dynamite the treehouse, the kids seek the help of the Forest Warrior (Chuck Norris) a shape-shifting spirit of a long dead mountain man. The Forest Warrior can change into a wolf, a bear, a hawk, and as you may see pictured above; the shape of a Chuck Norris wearing the most laughably bad costume in movie history.
39. Life, Animated (2016)
40. O.J. Made in America (2016)
This epic feature-length documentary sprawls out over more than 7 hours. The primary story is of the tragic murder of Nichole Brown Simpson & Ronald Goldman and the ensuing trial of Nichole’s ex-husband, the former football star, celebrity entrepreneur, and actor O.J. Simpson. The film expands on this ambition, however, to also cover the story of race relations in Los Angeles, and how the fires of discontent amongst the city’s African Americans against the Police Department changed the way the trial was perceived. While lengthy, the film is easily accessible as a VOD rental and split helpfully into sections that make viewing a less daunting experience. In some ways it is strange this film even qualifies as a single “movie” rather than a documentary series, but the film’s initial release took place theatrically as a single piece, thereby qualifying it for Academy Awards consideration.