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What is your favorite action movie?

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Inspired by recent conversations on the board, I thought I'd make this thread to get your opinions as to what your favorite action movie is.

 

My vote goes to Raiders of the Lost Ark. Perfectly cast with an excellent, endlessly quotable script; it's not just one of the best action movies ever, it's one of the best movies of all time, period.

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I can't name an absolute favorite but here are a few that I like:

 

- Kill Bill  Vol.1

 

- The Raid 1 & 2

 

- Terminator 2

 

- The Matrix

 

- The Bourne Identity

 

- 300

 

- Dredd

 

- Sin City

 

- Watchmen

 

- The Wages Of Fear

 

 

Some of them might not be even genuine action movies.

 

 

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Such a broad term; needs specification. I would personally weed out science fiction, fantasy, war films or other genres that certainly have action sequences in them, but that aren't really action movies per se. They have other genre traits that weigh more.

 

So I'd pick movies like THE ROCK, The BOURNE films (especially the first), THE FRENCH CONNECTION and so on. Interestingly, within my definition of 'action movies', John Williams has never scored one in his life, even if he's scored his fair share of action sequences.

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Yeah, when I think "action movie" I don't really think "Raiders of the Lost Ark". That's much more of an adventure film.

 

When I'm thinking "action movie" I'm usually thinking more about Die Hard and its ilk. Maybe it'll also be my movie of choice for "favourite action film" but I'm not quite sure.

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6 hours ago, Chen G. said:

Yeah, when I think "action movie" I don't really think "Raiders of the Lost Ark". That's much more of an adventure film.

 

How typical of you to think friggin’ RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK is not an action movie. :pat:

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7 hours ago, Chen G. said:

Yeah, when I think "action movie" I don't really think "Raiders of the Lost Ark". That's much more of an adventure film.

 

Indeed. I've never considered RAIDERS an 'action movie'.

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1 hour ago, Richard said:

 If you mean "action" as in an awful lot going on ...

 

I thought an action film is a movie where the action is the main attraction. How many haven't said that the reason why Aliens worked so well because James Cameron took a different course and changed the sequel into an action movie? 

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Raiders of the Lost Ark is absolutely an action film. There is more action in Raiders than in Die Hard. 

TOD is full of action. The Least Crusade is full of action. They are all full of adventure too. 

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10 hours ago, Alexcremers said:

I can't name an absolute favorite but here are a few that I like:

 

- Kill Bill  Vol.1

 

- The Raid 1 & 2

 

- Terminator 2

 

- The Matrix

 

- The Bourne Identity

 

- 300

 

- Dredd

 

- Sin City

 

- Watchmen

 

- The Wages Of Fear

 

 

Some of them might not be even genuine action movies.

 

 

 

It's actually very hard to define a film that is purely an action movie. Take 300 for example. It is kinda billed as an action movie. Surprisingly - there is only about 22 minutes of action in the film - a fifth of its length. There is actually a lot more drama and speechifying than people expect. And the first big action scene does not occur until almost 45 minutes into the film.

 

--

 

The only candidate I can think of which kinda qualifies as a pure action movie is Mad Max Fury Road.

 

--

 

I thought of some John Ford (the best director of action scenes ever though not necessarily the best action director ever) and he has some magnificent films like The Searchers and Stagecoach and they have action scenes but I don't know if they qualify as action movies.

 

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1 hour ago, Stefancos said:

I don't consider either an action film.

Yet you consider Total Recall an action film though it has far less action.

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10 hours ago, Thor said:

Such a broad term; needs specification. I would personally weed out science fiction, fantasy, war films or other genres that certainly have action sequences in them, but that aren't really action movies per se. They have other genre traits that weigh more.

 

So I'd pick movies like THE ROCK, The BOURNE films (especially the first), THE FRENCH CONNECTION and so on. Interestingly, within my definition of 'action movies', John Williams has never scored one in his life, even if he's scored his fair share of action sequences.

Minority Report isn’t an action film? The Lost World?

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First Alex calls Watchmen a sci-fi film, now he's calling it an action film?  What's next!?

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I'm not sure the point of just calling a film 'action,' as many of them have several genres mixed in degrees, though perhaps some are more action-based than others. Action-adventure are just two genres mixed right, so action sci-fi has bits of both. Total Recall, Aliens, The Matrix, maybe Bladerunner to a degree.

 

I think we need endless genres, like how last.fm you can look up every song by descriptors or listen to a playlist by keywords, like 'happy' or 'goofy' or 'elephants.'

 

The Departed is a comedy, a crime film, a drama, an action of sorts. The Dark Knight is drama and action.

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1 hour ago, Koray Savas said:

Minority Report isn’t an action film? The Lost World?

 

No, not within the parameters I choose to use. Sci fi and adventure weigh more in those cases, action being a secondary property. And that's the most important thing. You can't measure it by the amount of action sequences, which some seem to do here. There are other, more important elements that propel the narrative.

 

But it's a troublesome genre, probably because it's so wide and so many films include action sequences. People have been writing books on this forever, with all kinds of different parameters and definitions in play. And most films are a combination of genres anyway.

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4 minutes ago, Thor said:

People have been writing books on this forever, with all kinds of different parameters and definitions in play.

 

Wow, give me some of these books. I want to waste my life.

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