Well, I'm sitting here listening to Joe and Jerry (3-0, bottom of 3rd - Manny and A-Gon. both going deep) and decided that i'd try to race my dial-up and throw a couple of revised entries of some cool action flicks your way.
The other night I somehow coerced the Megster to sit through "The Rock", which she actually liked. It got me to thinking about action movies in general and tried to come up with some of my favorites. These taht I chose are all here because I think they offer a combination of good, solid ass-kicking (a necessary ingredient of all great action flicks) and sturdy, stylish filmmaking (equally important if far less common). While this is by no means definitive - I may come up with completely different examples if you ask me tomorrow - these were the ones that first came to mind. I think all exemplify the criteria that I mentioned. In no particular order:
The Guns of Navarone (D. J. Lee Thompson, 1961) - Easily the most white-knuckled WWII flick ever made, and possibly the best (along with "Patton"). This nearly three-hour excursion into the complete development of a secret mission to disable a fortress housing a pair of strategically place guns is taut, gripping filmmaking. Riveting from start to finish, this Oscar nominated film boasts an uncommonly good screenplay, excellent special effects, and stellar performances by such luminaries as Gregory Peck, Anthony Quinn, and David Niven. Brisk, fun stuff.
Aliens (D. James Cameron, 1986) - Possibly the most bad-ass action flick ever. Starting with the heroine from the straight sci-fi/horror film "Alien" from 8 years prior, Cameron took the initial concept and amplified it, ratcheting up the tension to an unprecedented level. The first portion of the film establishes the set-up and the new characters (many of whom you will recognize) but once the alien ass-stomping kicks in... hold on. Despite having seen this several times, a recent viewing reminded me what an effective (and exhausting) film this is. Cameron's best work by a mile... and I love "The Terminator".
To be continued...
BTW, Varitek and Youk. have also both tagged dingers. 6-0!