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Delta Force (1986)

Delta Force (1986)

There they go again, Americans, blowing shit up! Invading foreign countries! Fighting the terrorists!

In a way this movie is ahead of its time, seeing as how the hijacking of planes really took off many years later, but then again I may not be in with the times. Maybe there were streaks of terror even before my time. Apparently this movie is based upon the real-life hijacking of TWA Flight 847 on June 14 1985, and furthermore it's based upon the Delta Force's Operation Eagle Claw mission, which had a similar drama but ended in failure. According to IMDB the producers wanted the real Delta Force founder Colonel Beckwith to star as leader, but he didn't like the idea at all, so they chose Lee instead. Good choice!

This is the third movie (I think) I've watched where Chuck Norris plays a major, and as always he proves how badass he is plenty of times. The motorbike he rides with equipped missiles and machine guns (James Bond style) is pretty cool, and we get a couple of one-on-one fight scenes, and some crazy stunts. Like the one where he rides the bike in through a window or takes out two enemy jeeps from behind just when they're about to shoot down the plane. At one point when he's riding a bike right past the engine of a jet about to take off he swerves into the motor headfirst, the side of the motor mind you. They cut it out before impact but it really seems as if he runs right into the engine. Which shouldn't be very strange since those things pack a ton of suction, he's lucky he didn't swerve into the front of it!

Overall this is a professional action feast. The terrorists are professional enough, the drama realistic, the soldiers heroic. Of course there are inconsistencies when swarms of terrorists are plowed down with just one casualty on the Delta Force side (which they make a big deal out of) and the death of terrorists is retrospectively justified by how irrationally they act at the end, when at the same time the movie attended to their professionalism with great care at the start of the movie. But what do you expect? It's Chuck Norris, as long as a movie has him it doesn't need consistency! :)

The acting may not be the best in the world, but it's enough to let me enjoy the action. Enough with the patriotic music when the troops storm Beirut though, ok? The victory march just doesn't suit the massacre! But all in all, when the dust is settled and the deed is done, it was good action and I hope to see the sequel soon.

Oh btw, this is Lee Marvin's last movie. I only read it after watching, but I did think he looked a bit worn out during the film, even though he goes strong all the way. Turns out he died the year after this movie came out. RIP Lee. Lee isn't really an actor of my generation, but he's been in a great deal of the movies I've been watching lately, like the Dirty Dozen and that other war movie with Clint Eastwood about infiltrating a mountain hide-out. He's performed in over a hundred titles, which is quite a feat!. I think I'll browse through the list sometime and select a few to watch, just to commemorate the memory. Or find some golden oldies that I've undeniably missed. Until then, time for some more Chuck Norris...

 rated 3/5: not bad

Flight (2012)

Flight (2012)

Oh man, why does Denzel keep getting roles in all the movies like this? All the great movies like this, cause this was just... beautiful.

It's the story about a flight, a plane that locks up mid air and a pilot that saves everybody. Well, almost, out of the 102 passengers there are 6 fatalities. Still, it's a feat that no other pilot would have been ever to repeat. He knows, it, and though nobody else knows it, they run tests and they come to the same conclusions. Him saving everyone on board was a miracle. There's just one problem, at the time he was drunk. The night before he was drunk, and the day before that he was drunk, and he was also high on cocaine. He meets a heroine addict at the hospital after the crash. He tries to reunite with his wife. His kid doesn't even recognize him. When it seems like all is failing, he goes sober for 9 days.

I won't spoil the ending for you, so if you feel like reading his final speech (not the last thing he says in the movie, but an inspiring speech it is) do so at your own risk. These are his words, as he sits in a prison chair speaking to a group of inmates (AA meeting maybe?): That was it. I was finished. l was done. lt was as if l had reached my lifelong limit of lies. l could not tell one more lie. And maybe l'm a sucker, 'cause if l had told just one more lie, l could have walked away from all that mess and kept my wings, kept my false sense of pride. And more importantly, l could have avoided being locked up in here with all you nice folks for the last 1 3 months. But l'm here. And l'll be here for at last the next four or five years. And that's fair. l betrayed the public trust. l did. That's how the judge explained it to me. l had betrayed the public trust. The FAA, they took away my pilot's license. And that's fair. My chances of ever flying again are slim to none. And l accept that. l've had a lot of time to think about it, all of it. l've been doing some writing. l wrote letters to each of the families that had lost loved ones. Some of them were able to hear my apology. Some of them never will. l also apologized to all the people that tried to help me along the way, but l couldn't or wouldn't listen. People like my wife, you know. My ex-wife and my son. And again, like l said, you know, some of them will never forgive me. Some of them will. But at least l'm sober. l thank God for that. l'm grateful for that. And this is going to sound real stupid coming from a man who's locked up in prison, but for the first time in my life, l'm free. And then his son pays him a visit. Damn! He just summed up the whole situation in that speech, and inspiring speech it was. I wonder how much of it was Denzel and how much was the script? Cause somehow, it feels like when he's in the movie, the words are always coming from him. I guess it's just the way he speaks them.

Overall this was a great movie. It didn't even have one fight (that's a rare watch for someone like me), but it was still a great movie. Well-filmed, clever and inspiring. If I rated these on scales 1-10 it would get a 9, but I don't, so it's a..

 rated 4/5: fo shizzle

Officer Down (2013)

Officer Down (2013)

The first thing I wonder after watching this story, before the credits roll, when the fates of the different characters are explained, is... is it based upon a real story? Cause if it is, then obviously it's all the more interesting. It's not really interesting as it is. It's a mess. It's like Memento but without the mystery, just a lot of skipping between scenes, between past and present, between the new and the old and the good and the evil.

But it's good. It has emotion, it has drama, it has action. It's a good movie, it's just not a memorable one. It's the story of a yet another troubled police officer. He has a wife and a kid. He has a not so glorious past. He's trying to sober up. His boss is an asshole. It's a grittily clean criminal thriller. A good watch.

 rated 3/5: not bad

Missing In Action (1984)

Missing In Action (1984)

I watched the sequel before this one, and I'm glad I did, because as it turns out this was one was really a lot better! Small details, like the Kevlar raft, the human skulls (supposedly) added to the undercarriage of the helicopter, viewing the landscape from a mounted minigun angle, the climb from balcony to balcony, the RPGs, etc, they all add to the action.

At the start, Norris is always in the line of fire and doesn't get hit all. It turns out it's just a flashback though, from when he was prisoner at a hidden camp in Vietnam, before he escaped. His name is Braddock, and the movie starts with him looking out the window of his apartment in the US, thinking back to his time in Vietnam, suddenly kicking over his TV set (where they're speaking about him) and... well, just watch the movie and you'll see.

The movie is about MIAs, former soldiers missing in action. Braddock was one who went missing, and was thought dead, but actually lived through seven years of torture and imprisonment before escaping, and now the Vietnamese accuse him of war crimes against their people. Of course there are two sides to the story, and of course this is the American side of it, but there's a lot of action, there's a rescue mission, death, life, love (just a little), stealth, open fire, freedom and... well just watch the movie. Everything may not be high budget, but it's good action. And did I mention Chuck Norris is in it? Yeah.

 rated 4/5: fo shizzle

Man With The Iron Fists (2012)

Man With The Iron Fists (2012)

When I heard that the RZA was going to make a martial arts movie, I knew I had to watch it. When I read that Tarantino would be directing it, I knew that I really had to watch it. When I watched the movie, I knew I'd watched it.

So... it turned out to be pretty good! The RZA plays a black blacksmith (Hey!) in some Asian country. You might think that's strange, but wait until they start speaking English instead of Mandarin (or whichever Asian language it is they do speak). Sometimes they mix in a little foreign languages (like French and that Asian language) to keep it real, but most of the actors are actually American. Apart from American Asians there are a bunch of Asians who speak English fluently, and a minority who don't. The minority who don't are probably the ones who really are amazing at martial arts. Actually, most of the major actors in this movie don't know martial arts at all, it just looks like they do because the movie is filmed so damn well.

The action is a bit like Kill Bill. It's Tarantino after all! You'll see the same kinds of transitions, a lot of blood and just.. generally good filmography. Tarantino always manages that, somehow. This is all mixed up with RZAs narrative, soundtrack, and a story about a shipment of gold and a lot of different clans going to war and betraying each other. There's really not as much action as I expected the movie to have, so I guess I had my hopes set a little too high for this one, but there definitely is a lot of action. It's good action. It's gritty and brutal and bloody and RZA can't act for shit, but it has a grindhouse feel combined with traditional martial arts and a little exaggerated Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon flying-all-over-the-place kind of fighting. If you like these kind of movies, if you like Tarantino's movies, if you like action and you like martial arts and Asian culture, you're going to love this. Check it out!

 rated 4/5: fo shizzle

Ice Age - A Mammoth Christmas (2011)

Ice Age - A Mammoth Christmas (2011)

As far as I know, this is the first special episode in this series of movies. It's not really a movie either, it's more like an episode. It's like a spin-off to the third movie, featuring the same characters you've grown to love, as well as Peaches (Manny & Ellie's daughter) all grown up.

It's a fun episode, in which the whole concept of Christmas is really juggled around with. They invent the Christmas tree (and Manny is like "A tree? What's so special about a tree? That'll never get popular!"). They go visit Santa. Sid, as usual, wrecks things by destroying Manny's Christmas Rock... which is the reason he 'invents' the tree anyway, and departs on a journey to fix things. Peach goes on a journey too, and they all end up having one big adventure together! Like I said, it's a fun episode, and it's all in Christmas spirit... so if you're looking for things to watch this Christmas (or any Christmas) this is warmly recommended. A great movie for anyone, single people or whole families. Great watch!

 rated 4/5: fo shizzle

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