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Tag: The Raid

Editorials

7 Great Claustrophobic Films

June 29, 2020
Top 7 Great Claustrophobic Films [Source: Taste of Cinema}

Over the past few weeks, we’ve all been feeling a bit claustrophobic with being trapped inside so much. But cinema has proven that even when restricted, creativity can shine through. So today I’m recommending 7 great claustrophobic films, all based in small or restricted settings, from different genres to show how greatness can flourish even with small canvases.

Drama: 12 Angry Men

A jury is tasked with judging if a teenager is guilty of murder. Initially many think he’s guilty but when Juror 8 (Henry Fonda) disagrees it turns into a riveting debate on the values of justice. 12 Angry Men continues to impress as more time passes. The topics of justice, human nature, and doubt remain universal. And as it largely takes place in one room on a hot summer day it makes you feel as frustrated as the characters. It’s currently ranked 5th on IMDb’s top 250 and has a 100% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

The leads of 12 Angry Men [Source: Slant Magazine]

Thriller: Rear Window

While confined to his apartment, wheelchair-bound photographer L. B. Jefferies (James Stewart) witnesses his neighbour possibly committing murder. But how is he going to prove it? Rear Window is today regarded as one of Alfred Hitchcock’s finest films. And it’s certainly impressive. As most of the action is shot inside Jeffries’ apartment, we as viewers are put in the same position as Jefferies. Unable to move too far and confined by circumstances beyond our control. It’s currently ranked 50th on IMDb’s top 250 and has a 99% approval rating on RT.

L. B. Jefferies’ apartment in Rear Window [Source: Spy Culture]

Action: The Raid

A group of police officers head to a high-rise to arrest a prominent crime lord. The officers are quickly ambushed, have their retreat cut-off, and many are killed by the high-rise’s residents. Can the remaining officers get to their target before the residents kill them? The Raid has been referred to as one of the best action movies of the past decade and the limited location of the high-rise works to its advantage. Keeping the story focused instead of meandering and making for some incredibly creative set-pieces. It holds a 7.6 IMDb score and an 86% RT approval rating.

Getting ready for a halway fight in The Raid [Source: Listal]

Biopic: 127 Hours

When Aron Ralston (James Franco) goes climbing in Utah’s Bluejohn Canyon he ends up falling and pinning his arm between a boulder and the wall. Can Aron survive in these dire circumstances? 127 Hours is difficult to watch. It’s based on a real-life incident and like previous entries, it does an amazing job putting you into the protagonist’s position by restricting the setting and Aron’s movement for most of the movie. So, when the climax comes, you’re left wondering if you could do what Aron did? 127 Hours was positively received by audiences and critics. Even being nominated for 2011s Best Picture Oscar.

Caught between a rock and a hard place in 127 Hours [Source: Empire Online]

Horror: The Thing (1982)

An Antarctic research station is invaded by an alien creature that assimilates and imitates other life forms. With communication lines cut and the cold wastes outside providing no hope of rescue how are the station’s researchers going to fight this creature? Especially when anyone they know could be the thing? Initially, critics reviled John Carpenter’s The Thing but it’s now considered a horror masterpiece. Thanks to its slow-building suspense and paranoia. Further amplified by the restricted nature of the research outpost setting. It’s ranked 164th in IMDB’s top 250 and has an 84% approval rating on RT.

Confined in the cold in The Thing (1982) [Source: 3 brothers film]

Surreal: The Exterminating Angel

When upper-class dinner guests are unable to leave their hosts living room for unexplained reasons, slowly all semblance of morality and etiquette between the guests crumbles, revealing only animals beneath. Exterminating Angel is a surreal black comedy that uses its humorous conceit of the guests being unable to leave a party to ridicule the bourgeoise. And while it’s certainly weirder than previous list entries you’re guaranteed to remember it. It was nominated for the Palme d’Or at the 1962 Cannes Film Festival. And currently has an 8.1 rating on IMDb and a 92% on RT.

One hell of a party in The Exterminating Angel [Source: Slant Magazine]

Romance: Time & Again

Former lovers Isabelle (Brigit Forsyth) and Eleanor (Siân Phillips) meet up 60 years after their relationship ended in a nursing home. With the action largely confined to two rooms, this short allows us to feel the isolation of both the main characters who have both lost their partners. And the limited scope emphasizes the great performances which immediately invest us in the couple and leaves us eager to learn about their history and ultimately their future. Time & Again has an 8.5 rating on IMDb and has received awards at several film festivals.

The central couple in Time and Again [Source: DaxiTales Ltd]

So ends our list of great claustrophobic films. Proving that a limited setting can still engage, thrill, excite, inform, terrify, challenge, and move us. But did we miss any out? Then let us know your favorite limited location film in the comments.

Also Read: Five Thought-Provoking Documentaries To Watch On BirdBox

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Editorials

5 More Movies That Don’t Need a Sequel, Reboot or Remake

April 23, 2020
the wild bunch is a classic movie that should not get a remake [Source: Furious Cinema]

Since I listed five movies that didn’t need a sequel, reboot or remake in 2018 a large number of properties have been resumed or updated. With continuations, do-overs and re-interpretations seemingly released/announced every week.

It’s understandable. Many of 2019s highest-grossing movies were remakes or sequels to popular films. And properties like the Marvel Cinematic Universe and 2019s remake of Little Women proved to be critically well-received. Showing that remakes, sequels, and reboots can excel when they want to. But there comes a time when you must put your foot down and say no to certain things. So today I’m going to list five more movies that shouldn’t be touched. Some of these continuations are already on the way, but hopefully, I can convince you why continuing with these properties is an awful idea.

1) Children’s Film: Disney’s Robin Hood

Disney has recently become notable for remaking many of its classic titles. Providing slight updates to their older animated film’s stories and showing off advancing special effects by reimagining them in a live-action style. But while the effects are impressive, and the updates understandable, the changes mostly serve to hamper the simple fairy-tale charm of the stories, and provide us with ugly visuals that pale in comparison to their animated counterparts. So the prospect of seeing Disney’s Robin Hood (a personal favorite of many) remade in this style doesn’t bode well. And in the past decade, we’ve already had two high profile Robin Hood movies that failed to justify their budgets at the box office. It seems audiences aren’t really interested in this material. Do yourselves a favor and stick to Disney’s original. Oo-de-lally what a good day you’ll have.

Foxy Robin Hood relaxing in a basket in Robin Hood
Foxy Robin Hood relaxing in a basket in Robin Hood (1973) [Source: Collider]

2) Horror Film: A Quiet Place

A Quiet Place works best as a self-contained experience. By the end of A Quiet Place, every plot thread was tied. We learned the monster’s weakness and our heroes were ready to take on the threat. That was the perfect ending for the story. Continuing the story seems pointless. The characters know the alien’s weakness and most horror sequels also make the mistake of overexposing their monster. Which diminishes how scary they are to audiences. And a sequel also ruins the unique charm of the first film’s gimmick of having the characters remain mostly silent. Either they stick with the gimmick and repeat it until it becomes boring. Or they abandon it and make the film like every other horror movie. This is one property that should have remained quiet.

John Krasinski should have shushed the possibility of a sequel
John Krasinski should have shushed the possibility of a sequel [Source: Dread Central]

3) Comedy Film: The Naked Gun

Reboots like Vacation and Ghostbusters have shown that reboots of comedy franchises beloved for their original casts don’t go over well with fans. Naked Gun is a franchise that shouldn’t be touched for this reason. Leslie Nielsen (the spoof movie king) was the star of the original franchise since Police Squad, the TV show that spawned the Naked Gun films. His unique deadpan delivery and timing elevated the Naked Gun into being one of the best parody series ever. So, rebooting the series without Nielsen in the lead not only goes against the series’ main selling point but also seems quite disrespectful. Don’t ever let me catch you guys trying to reboot this one.

Lt. Frank Drebin (Nielsen), Police Squad
Lt. Frank Drebin (Nielsen), Police Squad [Source: Netflix]

4) Western Film: The Wild Bunch

This just shouldn’t happen. Firstly, The Wild Bunch is regarded as one of the best westerns ever. Which already makes it impossible to think about how anyone could equal it. Secondly, the original is so synonymous with legendary director Sam Peckinpah and his filmmaking style that remaking it becomes akin to staining someone’s legacy. Finally, a large reason why The Wild Bunch worked was because of when it was made. Released in 1969 the film pushed the boundaries of cinematic violence and how it could be used to tell stories. Today a Wild Bunch remake would simply amount to another violent western; dilute the legacy of the original. So of course, Hollywood has already decided to try and do it. This project should have been shot down immediately.

William Holden shooting down suggestions of a Wild Bunch remake
William Holden shooting down suggestions of a Wild Bunch remake [Source: Britannica]

5) Martial Arts: The Raid

The Raid is one of the best action movies of the 2010s. Featuring incredible choreography, excellent cinematography, great writing and brilliant physical performances from the likes of Iko Uwais and Yayan Ruhian. The idea of remaking it for western audiences seems like an exercise in taking something unique and making it blander for mainstream appeal. And a direct remake is already pointless since the movie Dredd already took elements from the original Raid and made it into a thrilling sci-fi action film. Lightning hardly seems likely to strike twice. So, Hollywood please leave the Raid alone.

One of the best fight scenes of the decade in The Raid (2011) [Source: Rising Tsunday – WordPress.com]

Thus ends our list. Are there any movies or franchises you would hate to see remade, rebooted or sequeled to death? Tell us about them in the comments.

Also Read: 5 Films That Don’t Need A Sequel, Reboot or Remake

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Editorials

The Best Action Films of the Decade (2010 – 2019)

December 14, 2019
The Best Action Films of the Decade

With 2020 approaching many are currently reflecting on all the positive points of the past decade. Today I’m doing the same, as I list the best action movies of each year from 2010-2019.

These films were picked based on their creativity, the impact of the action and how well the story complimented the action. And because there were so man good action films this decade I will be including honourable mentions for you to also watch. Without further ado, let’s begin.


2010: Inception (dir. Christopher Nolan)

With an interesting story about implanting ideas into someone’s mind while having to battle through not only the subject’s mental defences but your own baggage as well as incredibly staged action sequences like the rotating hallway fight and using minimal CGI, Inception is a true sci-fi action masterpiece.

HM: Kick-Ass & 13 Assassins.

The Rotating Hallway fight (Inception)

2011: The Raid (dir. Gareth Evans)

After a swat team is ambushed in an apartment complex the survivors must reach and arrest the kingpin before his henchmen kill them. From this simple premise, The Raid quickly ratchets up the tension as we are never sure who will escape alive. And the action sequences use of flowing choreography, camerawork and editing turn the film into a remarkable ballet of violence.

HM: Captain America: The First Avenger & X-men: First Class.

The Hallway Fight (The Raid)

2012: Dredd (dir. Peter Travis)

Similar to The Raid, Dredd finds two judges (police officers who are judge, jury, and executioner) Dredd (Karl Urban) and Anderson (Olivia Thirlby), trapped in a skyscraper, having to fight their way to the kingpin to escape. However, Dredd keeps The Raid’s tension while also injecting a healthy dose of comic book action. With bloody violence, great world-building, beautiful slow-motion usage and endearing characters, Dredd, packs a punch despite its small stature.

HM: The Avengers, The Dark Knight Rises & Skyfall.

Slow-motion break-in (Dredd)

2013: Snowpiercer (dir. Bong Joon-Ho)

While the premise is far-fetched (the remnants of humanity are trapped on a perpetually running world-spanning train after a climate crisis), Snowpiercer’s story about humanity in microcosm and fight scenes are very affecting. The skirmishes are protracted and merciless, combined with the claustrophobic setting and masterful editing, Snowpiercer will keep you riveted till the end.  

HM: The Worlds End & Elysium.

The train massacre (Snowpiercer)

2014: The Raid 2 (dir. Gareth Evans)

After surviving the first film, Rama (Iko Uwais) must infiltrate the mob and bring them down from inside. From there this sequel improves on everything great about the original. With more impressive choreography, more brutal violence; even more memorable characters, all wrapped around a fantastic story of family and loyalty. The Raid 2 is my favourite action film of the decade.

HM: Captain America: The Winter Soldier & Guardians of the Galaxy.

Rama vs Hammer Girl and Baseball Bat Man (The Raid 2)

2015: Mad Max: Fury Road (dir. George Miller)

Mad Max: Fury Road puts all other 2015 action movies to shame, with an effectively slight story about Max Rockatansky (Tom Hardy) helping a band of women escape an oppressive patriarch; spectacular vehicle stunts. By the movie’s end, you’ll feel exhausted by the relentless action. Impressed by the practical stunts and special effects. And moved by characters like Furiosa (Charlize Theron) and Nux (Nicholas Hoult). High octane action at its finest.

HM: Furious 7, Avengers: Age of Ultron & Sicario.

Driving back to the Citadel (Mad Max: Fury Road)

2016: Captain America: Civil War (dir. Joe Russo)

Civil War is the highlight of the MCU. The story grounds the conflict in each heroes’ hopes and fears, examining them and playing them against each other expertly. Every character is relatable, making the fights more impactful. And each action sequence is creative. From the opening robbery to the final 2 on 1. Marvel has made many good films, but none topped the impact of Civil War.

HM: Deadpool.

Part 1 of the Airport Fight (Captain America: Civil War)

2017: Dunkirk (dir. Christopher Nolan)

Depicting the titular WWII evacuation from three perspectives: the soldiers trapped at Dunkirk waiting for rescue, the civilians coming to evacuate the soldiers and the airmen covering them from above, Dunkirk’s tension becomes almost unbearable as we hope the soldiers escape in time. The use of practical effects, incredible sound editing, and Hans Zimmer’s tense score make the film effective and harrowing.

HM: Baby Driver.

Death from above (Dunkirk (2017))

2018: Spiderman: Into the Spiderverse (dir. Peter Ramsey, Bob Persichetti, Rodney Rothman)

The perfect balance of spectacle, personality, and high personal stakes. Into the Spiderverse is an expertly crafted love letter to comic books. With beautiful visuals that are used inventively in action sequences, all anchored by protagonist Miles Morales. Who allows us to feel his wonder, excitement, and fear better than any other spiderman.

HM: Avengers: Infinity War.

Fight at the Parker house (Spiderman: Into the Spiderverse)

2019: John Wick Chapter 3: Parabellum (dir. Chad Stahelski)

Parabellum marks the culmination of everything great about John Wick. The story is full of unique, intriguing characters, John Wick (Keanu Reeves) is still thoroughly engaging and the grounded, varied, constant action easily beats the overblown spectacle of other films this year.

HM: Avengers: Endgame.

Motorbike Fight (John Wick Chapter 3: Parabellum)

So ends my list of the 2010’s best action movies. Be sure to tell me your favourite action movie of the decade in the comments. There have been some great action films this decade, now let’s see what the 2020s have in store.

Also Read: How to Revive a Franchise After Many Years

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