Review: Stuntwomen: The Untold Hollywood Story

Since the dawn of motion pictures, women have been performing stunts to amaze and entertain their audiences. From the silent film era, to the rise of female action stars in the 1970s, to the present day abundance of superhero movies, “Stuntwomen: The Untold Hollywood Story” gives audiences a look into the history of these amazing women and their fight for equal representation and recognition in their field. The film is based on a book of the same name by Mollie Gregory. Both the movie and the book are a must for any fan of film or Hollywood history. Continue reading Review: Stuntwomen: The Untold Hollywood Story

#Womeninaction- Retrospective review: Destroyer

“Destroyer” (2018) isn’t your typical action movie. For one thing, it stars Nicole Kidman who isn’t the first person I think of when I think “action movie.” It’s also directed by a woman who is not Kathryn Bigelow, which is something of an anomaly. Director Karyn Kusama, who you might know as the director of the cult classic Jennifer’s Body, plays with the typical cop drama here. She flips the gendered stereotype on its head and crafts an intense story with Detective Erin Bell (Nicole Kidman) at the center. Continue reading #Womeninaction- Retrospective review: Destroyer

#WomenInAction Month: The 10 Action Heroines Who Shaped My Childhood

Being a kid in the ’90s there really wasn’t a lot of female-led action films like there are today. In a lot of ways I’m kind of jealous that girls (and boys) growing up today have the opportunity to watch female-led action films such as “Wonder Woman”, “Captain Marvel”, “Black Widow” and the new Star Wars trilogy. As a kid, the female action characters were very few and far between, which is probably why I favoured watching action films that weren’t aimed at children such as “The Terminator” and “Alien”. To see characters like Sarah Connor and Ellen Ripley not only be the main characters but also kick-ass and drive the action and narrative forward just blew my mind. Continue reading #WomenInAction Month: The 10 Action Heroines Who Shaped My Childhood

#WomeninAction Retrospective Review: Hanna

Action films aren’t exactly what you think of when you hear director Joe Wright or actress Saoirse Ronan’s names. They probably conjure thoughts of period dramas, like the 2007 “Atonement” that they worked on together. And yet, in 2011, Wright directed Ronan in “Hanna,” an action film that has been compared to the Bourne movies, and did remarkably good job. Continue reading #WomeninAction Retrospective Review: Hanna

#WomenInAction Review: Edge of Tomorrow

I was recommended “Edge of Tomorrow” (2014) specifically for Emily Blunt’s character, Sergeant Rita Vrataski. I adore Emily Blunt, so I was all in for giving this a watch. The premise of this story is a groundhog’s day type of set up–the main characters re-live a single day on a loop. Rita is strong, both physically and emotionally. She is incredibly smart. She makes Cage (Tom Cruise) take a back seat as they attempt to conquer a world where humans are at war with a specific type of alien. Continue reading #WomenInAction Review: Edge of Tomorrow

Women in Action: 5 Fight Scene Tropes That Need To Die

Fight scenes are about visual spectacle, power dynamics, adding thrills and tension. They change the stakes quickly and move a film forward. When women are put in this environment they add something different…  often a touch of unnecessary sexuality and silly recurring tropes.

Thankfully these tropes seem to be fading with the introduction of more well-rounded female action heroes whose power and skill is more important than how their body looks. Continue reading Women in Action: 5 Fight Scene Tropes That Need To Die

Retrospective Review: Mulan: Legendary Warrior

One of the tentpole releases of 2020 is going to be Disney’s live action remake of it’s popular 1998 Animated musical feature “Mulan”, one of the highlights of the Disney Renaissance of the 1990s. Of course COVID-19 has seriously disrupted the schedule, and I’m not going to discuss the merits of it (at the time of writing) being shifted to on online release via the Disney + platform. What I do want to bring your attention to is to the 2009 Chinese live-action version of the story bought to the screen by Hong Kong director Jingle Ma Cho Sing, starring Zhao Wei (aka Vicki Zhao), and along the way tell you a little something about the origins of the character herself. Continue reading Retrospective Review: Mulan: Legendary Warrior

#WomenInAction, Retrospective Review: Kill Bill Vol.1

As has been noted by many others, Quentin Tarantino is not a particularly original film maker. With perhaps the exception of “Once Upon a Time in America” (2019) which is probably his most personal film, he tends to rely on tropes and pastiche, albeit in an entertaining way. He refers to this as paying homage to his favorite genres and it is clear from “Kill Bill Vol.1” that he is a huge fan of Asian martial arts films of the 1970’s. The plot device of an American woman empowered to take revenge on those who killed her family through her skill with a Japanese katana is unique and Uma Thurman’s performance elevates the film to be far better than maybe it should be. Continue reading #WomenInAction, Retrospective Review: Kill Bill Vol.1