Guest Author - Jamise Grace Liddell
What a year in Action Films! We have epics, action-adventures, and shoot’em up good guy versus bad guy stand offs. 2008 produced an array of action films, many which included technology. Let’s look at some of the films that made the action movie cinematic sustenance in 2008.
1. Ironman-no film was more filling or exciting this year! Robert Downey Jr. is Tony Stark, a wealthy businessman and handsome flying hero, who took names and prisoners.
2. The Dark Knight- how could you miss the return of Batman (Christian Bale), the protector of the night? Heath Ledger, as The Joker, steals the show with a creepy, riveting and outstanding final performance.
3. Quantum of Solace-Daniel Craig plays a sulky and heartbroken 007, but that does not deter Bond’s mission. Revenge. James Bond is changing, in Quantum the gadgets and women are few, but this is still an interesting, action packed chapter to the Bond dynasty.
4. Kung Fu Panda-Animated action is most impressive in this story which stars Jack Black as the “the big bear who could”. An all star casts including Dustin Hoffman, Angelina Jolie, Ian McShane, Seth Rogen, Lucy Liu, and Jackie Chan. With plenty of vivid color, characters and a rich storyline, this is one of the best films of 2008.
5. Miracle at St. Ana-Spike Lee directed this World War II saga which depicts many viewpoints, those of the Nazi German Soldiers, Black American Soldiers, Italian Resistance members and the Italian citizens in a small village. Well acted, jarring, war scenes, and a magical child make Miracle St. Ana one of the best films of its kind from an action and historical perspective.
6. Funny Games-in the spirit of the movie “In Cold Blood”, this re-make of the 1997 film of the same name, is full of brutal, heartless, graphic sociopathic torture. Staying true to the original storyline, Director Michael Haneke ensures brilliant, yet tragic, performances.
7. Hancock-Foul language aside, this is one great superhero film. Imagine a superhero without tact and kindness, who doesn’t know how to land? Will Smith is Hancock, a superhero that provides the wrong kind of help to folks in need. Charlize Theron is Mary Embrey, the wife of Hancock’s publicist Ray, played comically by Jason Bateman.
8. Wanted-Okay, I’ll admit it, Sloan (Morgan Freeman) the leader of a bunch of tough folk named Fox ( Angelie Jolie), Gunsmith (Common), and Cross (Thomas Kretschmann) seemed like a cool cat and I was completely on board with the sci-fi/mystery plot of Wanted. When Fox and her fellow warriors learned the identity of their master, a giant loom, my hopefulness about the this film began to wither. On an up note, not since Ben and Willard, have rats provided such a marvelous twist and are the sole great reason for seeing this film.
9. Eagle Eye-Shia LaBeouf takes another stab at action hero (he was a bit awkward in the Indiana Jones film). Jerry Shaw (LaBeouf) and Rachel Holloman (Michelle Monaghan) are being used and abused by a voice on the phone. In keeping with lots of “man against the machine” films, Eagle Eye is exciting and certifies LaBeouf as a strong action figure.
10. Australia- Nicole Kidman is no Uma Thurman, but she holds her own in this long but visually exciting tale of a woman and her land, her cattle and her man. In this epic, sexy Hugh Jackman is overshadowed by a supercute kid.