In this week's compilation of random movies worth checking out (from the comfort of your own couch, obviously), I bring you action, action, and nothing but action.
Where to find it: Hulu
The cast: Sylvester Stallone, Julie Benz
The synopsis: "When aid workers are captured by the Burmese army, John Rambo decides to venture alone into the war zone to rescue them."
What I love about John Rambo is that every movie involves some person needing to convince him to get off his duff and go kill massive amounts of dudes. And each time, he's all like, "Naw, I don't kill massive amounts of dudes anymore, I just meditate on mountaintop and whatever." But eventually he's all like, "Well, okay, I guess I can kill massive amounts of dudes just one more time." And then he goes and kills massive amounts of dudes. It's kind of poetic, really.
Rambo is particularly accurate at point-blank range.
Angels & Demons
Where to find it: Netflix DVD
The cast: Tom Hanks, Ewan McGregor, Ayelet Zurer
The synopsis: "Harvard symbologist Robert Langdon works to solve a murder and prevent a terrorist act against the Vatican."
Ron Howard directed this taut nail-biter of a flick. The only thing that could have made it better? Some Ron Howard-style narration à la Arrested Development. An example:
ROBERT LANGDON: We need to reach the third church and stop Cardinal Guidera from being burned to death!
NARRATOR: Theyyyyy didn't.
The angel on the left is all, "Robert, don't eat the chocolate cake -- think of your diet!"
and the demon on the right is all, "Screw the diet, take a big bite!"
Snakes on a Plane
Where to find it: Amazon
The cast: Samuel L. Jackson, Nathan Phillips, Julianna Margulies
The synopsis: "An FBI agent takes on a plane full of poisonous snakes deliberately released to kill a witness being flown to Los Angeles to testify against a mob boss."
I saw this movie the weekend it hit theatres, and I regretted absolutely nothing about that decision. Snakes on a Plane has everything: Sam Jackson. Snakes. A plane. Keenan Thompson for some reason. Heck, even a pre-famous Taylor Kitsch makes an appearance. (And hoo boy, you really don't wanna know what the snake does to him.)
There are a lot of ways this movie could have been done wrong. Some examples: Snakes in Front of a Plane. Snakes Underneath a Plane. Snakes Behind a Plane. Snakes Flying a Plane. Snakes Missing Their Connecting Flight. Fortunately, the powers-that-be opted for Snakes on a Plane, and a classic was born! Once in a while, Hollywood gets it right.
"I'll try, but the serial number's kinda hard to read..."
Where to find it: Netflix DVD
The cast: Jason Statham, Joan Allen, Ian McShane
The synopsis: "Ex-con Jensen Ames is forced by the warden of a notorious prison to compete in our post-industrial world's most popular sport: a car race in which inmates must brutalize and kill one another on the road to victory."
At one point or another, we're all gonna have an evil prison warden force us into a post-industrial car race to the death. That's just basic causality. The question is, what will you do when it's your time to get behind the wheel? Are you gonna phone it in? Or are you gonna be like Jason Statham here, and bring some serious pizzazz and razzle-dazzle? Because this dude is like the Bob Fosse of death races: a total freakin' badass. Statham is never not 100% cool as a cucumber in high-octane, adrenaline-fueled scenarios, which is exactly the kind of temperament needed for death racey-type goings-on. In fact, most people consider him 'the life of the death race,' which you have to admit is a pretty sweet title. Also, for those interested in car care tips, I refer you to the image below: A band-aid on the steering wheel is never the same as a 24-point inspection.
"Hands at ten and two... check. Glance at rearview mirror... check."
Where to find it: Check local listings
The cast: Timothy Olyphant, Dougray Scott, Olga Kurylenko
The synopsis: "A gun-for-hire known only as Agent 47 hired by a group known only as 'The Organization' is ensnared in a political conspiracy, which finds him pursued by both Interpol and the Russian military."
Movies based on video games don't always work. (Super Mario Bros., anyone?) But on occasion, they manage to stumble upon the right formula. Hitman is a great example. In the video game, a bald hitman goes around kicking ass and occasionally taking names. And in the big screen version? You betcha: same thing! Hey, sometimes you just need to step back and let the murders speak for themselves, you know?
Behind the scenes: "Okay Tim, I want you to go hit that man."