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Aug 1, 2007

Boo Movie Classification System...Hooray Beer!

(Editor's note: This post will most likely be deemed rambling and incoherent at times. If, at any point, you are wondering what the overall theme is, or if there is one, then I have done my job. Or vice versa. )

Recently, while perusing the normally-overpriced DVD section at my neighborhood Costco, I came across one of a series of collections that Fox Video is putting out. The collections are comprised of three movies featuring a given star. The quality varies from collection to collection. George Clooney's features One Fine Day, Solaris, and The Thin Red Line. I'm ashamed to say that the only one of those three that I've seen is the first, but in my defense, the others haven't exactly received stellar reviews, either. Michael Douglas's features War of the Roses, Wall Street and Don't Say a Word. As Meat Loaf would say, two out of three ain't bad. Denzel Washington's? Man on Fire, Courage Under Fire and The Siege. Nic Cage? Trapped in Paradise, Kiss of Death, and Raising Arizona. Even I'd say that Cage has made better films than those first two (though Kiss of Death wasn't his fault - he was actually quite good in that. But I digress.).

You get the point. The collections are all a part of a series called "The Celebrity Pack." (No, I didn't realize Martin Lawrence was still a celebrity, either.) Anyway, the one that I picked up, for $8.99, was Arnold Schwarzenegger's. It's made up of Commando, True Lies, and Predator. A strong collection by any measure, and probably the best in overall quality of any of the collections (Douglas's could make an argument as well). Commando's pretty good, and True Lies isn't the greatest movie that Arnold or Cameron has made, but it definitely has its moments.

However - Predator? That's one of the best action movies of all time. I would have bought that for $8.99 alone, if not more. So, um...sure, I'll take the other two movies for "free."

Having not watched Predator from start to finish (and uninterrupted by commercials) for at least a decade, I couldn't wait to watch it again. Which I promptly did. And though my purpose here today isn't to give a review, I'll give you some thoughts:

* It holds up exceptionally well. This film is timeless and does not look or feel like a 20-year old film.

* I don't know if I had ever seen the opening credits, or if I had, I completely lost the memory of the alien ship "dropping off" the Predator to earth. It's a little corny, but was nice to see nonetheless.

Anyway, after watching it, I wanted to consult with the Bible (IMDb) to read more about it. First off, I was shocked that its rating stands at just 7.6/10. Blasphemy. I promptly rated it a 9, and I wanted to see what "Action" movies were rated higher. The Top 10 stands as follows:
  1. The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

  2. Seven Samurai

  3. The Empire Strikes Back

  4. LOTR: The Return of the King

  5. Star Wars
  6. Once Upon a Time in the West

  7. Raiders of the Lost Ark

  8. LOTR: The Fellowship of the Ring

  9. LOTR: The Two Towers

  10. Fight Club
Granted, there are surely flaws in the IMDb rating system - namely, the demographics of internet surfers comes into play (I'd guess that the largest group is males from 16-25). However, outside of Seven Samurai (which, admittedly, I have not seen), I don't see an action movie on that list - and that's supposed to be the Top 10! Numbers 1 and 6 are Westerns; numbers 3 and 5 are Sci-Fi; 4, 8, and 9 are Fantasy; 7 is Adventure, and 10 is hard to classify, but I would call it a Drama more than anything else.

I'm sure that my classification for films is just as wrong as anyone else's. Music and movies are often multi-dimensional and shouldn't be forced into one of six neat little genres. That said, I can't be the only one that sees something wrong with the above list. Just because something has "action" in it does not necessarily make it an action film. Would that qualify Schindler's List as an action movie? I hope not. The Action genre should be filled with films that are a) not Sci-Fi, b) not Fantasy and c) not Adventure. I realize that's a terrible definition, but it's almost easier to define it by what it's not than by what it is, and if a film is one of those things, it shouldn't be classified as Action.

Then again, Predator has an alien in it, and is probably defined by some as Sci-Fi. Told you I had no point.

Anyway, here are five of my "favored" Action flicks, using my definition of Action (which I never really defined):

* Predator (simple, concise, awesome)
* Die Hard (a standard bearer and original. Simplicity a strength as well.)
* Ronin (I'm not a big fan of car chases, but these blow me away. Bonus points for the stellar cast.)
* Top Gun (yeah, I said it!)
* Point Break (Vastly underrated due to the public's issues with its stars. Bullsh*t. It doesn't get much better than this.)

7 people have chosen wisely: on "Boo Movie Classification System...Hooray Beer!"

WampaOne said...

Since I am not a big fan of action movies, I would not classify a masterpiece like Predator as action. It´s sci-fi all the way. Just my opinion though. Predator II kicks ass too, as that Alien vs Predator movie, lots of great references to the original franchises.

I wonder if one day GLuca$ would allow someone (maybe Kevin Smith) to make a Star Wars spin-off with either the predators or aliens franchises. The possibilities are endless, for instance, think about licensing aliens and predators action figures with the Star Wars logo on them.

Derrich said...

I don't know about all of this rambling (hey, you said it) :P but I love Red Stripe...and car chases.

james said...

i totally agree on point break. any movie with anthony kiedis from the rhcp is o.k.

do you think i like these clothes or this hair?

Ms. Go said...

I agree with your assessment of Predator. Indeed that film has the best teamwork/unintentionally gay-sexual-foreplay scenes ever, in the trap-making montage. :)

Predator rules my world.

Daisy said...

I liked Point Break, too. We got Seven Samurai from Netflix and I have to admit that it sat here for about 3 months before we finally took the time to watch it.

Dunk said...

Where would such classics of foreign cinema (in addition to Seven Samurai) fall? Such as Battle Royale, Kung Fu Hustle, Ichi The Killer, and Shaolin Soccer?

Matt said...

If it makes you feel any better, I saw One Fine Day as well. I'm just comfortable with my masculinity that way.