Tag Archives: action movies

Movie Review – The Ice Road (2021)

The ice! The road! The Ice Road!

BQB here with a review of Liam Neeson’s latest action flick.

Did you ever wonder what would happen if Ice Road Truckers was turned into a movie? This is it. Ice road trucking finally hits the silver screen.

Liam, who apparently does 100 old man action flicks a year in his sleep now, stars as Mike McCann, an old trucker recently fired after punching out a fellow trucker who was making fun of his brother, Gurty, (Marcus Thomas) a war veteran who suffers from PTSD and aphasia, meaning everyone’s trying to put the poor guy in a home which would be a waste as he can take apart and reassemble a truck engine like nobody’s business.

Long story short, a bunch of miners get trapped in a mine after a gas explosion caves them in. Holt McCallany, the toughest tough guy to ever come out of Netflix, plays the head miner who has to keep the other miners from flipping out while the company assembles a rescue team.

Said team takes the form of Liam’s Mike and brother Gurty, Tantoo, a sassy Native truck driver Tantoo (Amber Midthunder) and Laurence Fishburne as Jim Goldenrod, who must drive a three truck convoy over the icy roads that traverse various bodies of water in the icy depths of Canada. As we are told in great detail, ice road trucking is a dangerous feat, for to drive too fast or too slow or to make any mistake, really, will result in a big rig and its driver plunging into the ice, never to return. One wonders why anyone does it in the first place, though I suppose those who dare are super macho and deserving of much praise.

Ah, but there is danger afoot as evildoers want to stop the convoy from bringing the much needed rescue equipment to the collapsed mine. Much to my surprise, Matt McCoy is the villain of the film, and I haven’t seen that guy in a movie since he played Mahoney’s replacement in the later installments of the Police Academy movie series.

Overall a fun film, though you might have to suspend disbelief and not ask yourself questions like, “Wouldn’t a professional mining company already have life saving equipment on site?” and “Would anyone really want to stop a life saving convoy from reaching its destination?” and “Has Liam Neeson made a deal with the devil that allows him to play the tough guy in every action movie until he turns 100?”

It is pretty cool that Netflix made this movie. Their flicks have been a little lackluster as of late, so this one’s worth a watch.

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Watching Road House is An Exercise in the Suspension of Disbelief

SPOILER ALERT: Please watch Road House on Netflix, suspend your disbelief as you do so, then come here to discuss.

Hey 3.5 readers.

Road House.  It’s the shittiest awesome movie you’ll ever see, and I say that with all due respect to the late Patrick Swayze and make no mistake, he deserves much respect.

I’ve seen it a couple times over the years, but now, watching it as an adult, it’s a whole new experience.

With most movies, you do have to suspend disbelief.  Most movies tell fanciful tales.  That’s why we watch them.  If we wanted realism, every movie would be a guy sitting at a desk for 8 hours, periodically getting up once in awhile to get a sandwich or take a shit.

But you really have to put your brain on hold for this movie.

The plot is that Dalton, that’s his only name, played by Swayze, is the world’s greatest cooler.  A cooler is the head bouncer in a club that employs a squad of bouncers.  I had no idea that bouncing had such a high level of professionalism but that’s neither here nor there.  Bottomline, a businessman who owns a nightclub or road house in a rural Missouri town goes to NYC to recruit Dalton to clean up his joint, the Double Deuce, for it is a den of depravity, full of assholes who constantly murder each other.

Dalton takes the job on the spot, not giving a shit about his current employer, just taking off that night to drive to Missouri.  I mean, what an asshole.  Give the guy 2 weeks notice, am I right?

Anyway, Dalton gets to the Double Deuce and that’s when shit starts to go down.  The club owner agrees to pay Dalton $500 a night plus he’ll cover any medical expenses.  That stands out to me right away.  I mean, this is the shittiest bar in existence and somehow the owner has the dough to hire a cooler for $120,000 a year.

On top of that, there are scenes when the bar staff get together for a meeting about how they’re going to help Dalton clean shit up.  And there’s like, 50 people working there.  Like there’s no way this shitty bar is pulling in enough to cover that much overhead.

Anyway, Dalton gets into some fights with the asshole barflies and sooner or later, he runs across the town bad guy, who employs most of those assholes.  Push comes to shove and before he knows it, Dalton is at war with the town bad guy.

Oh, and Dalton gets stabbed one night and meets the town doctor, a hot blonde.  He literally calls her Doc.  Ironically, the movie is like a modern day western where the lawman comes into town and all the townfolk tell him to give up and just take it up the butt from the town bad guy because the bad guy is too strong.

Moving on, Dalton’s best pal and mentor is Sam Elliot, who is also another great cooler.  It’s cool to see Sam Elliot in his younger days though there is a creepy scene where he dances with Doc and looks like he wants to bone her even though she is his buddy’s girlfriend.

By the way, the cops don’t give a shit about this town.  There is some passing mention that the town bad guy has all the cops under his thumb but still, I mean, every night people are getting murdered and hacked to pieces and robbed and raped and so on at the Double Deuce and if that’s not enough, a local shop owner’s store gets blown the fuck up because he stands with Dalton against the bad guy.  Later, a car dealer stands with Dalton and the bad guy has a henchmen drive a fucking monster truck through his dealership.

All I’m saying is yes, I get it.  The local cops are on the bad guy’s take but holy shit, at some point, you’d think the Governor of Missouri would hear about some of the non-stop, daily bar murders and business explosions and send the National Guard in to fuck the bad guy up.

OK, beyond this I won’t say much more, but you should watch it on Netflix and return here to tell me the discrepancies and brain suspensions you have to do for this movie, which honestly, is awesome, make sense.

Some stupidity I noticed, in no particular order:

#1 – The farmer is a shitty negotiator.  Dalton asks to rent his room.  The farmer says up front well no one wants it because the whole farm smells like horse shit.  Wow.  Way to negotiate.  Maybe little the renter make the first move.  See what he’s willing to pay.  At any rate, the farmer says he’ll rent this super awesome loft bachelor pad complete with a walk out on rooftop porch that he can (and does) bang hot chicks on and he rents it to him for 100 a month which he says is just some bullshit he has to charge him lest the local church here he is giving shit out for free and they come looking for donations.

#2 – I said it before but I’ll say it again, the math behind the Double Deuce’s payroll structure just does not add up.  50 some odd employees, a house band and a pro cooler making 120,000 a year..,at a bar where stabbings happen every five seconds.

#3 – It takes place in Missouri but in the car dealership scene, you can see a sign for LA and Bakersfield in the distance to the right.

#4 – It is kind of awesome that Dalton knows in advance that bar creeps will fuck up his car so he always drives a broken down beater to work instead of his cherished Mercedes.  I’ll actually say that’s one part of this movie that is clever.

#5 – Dalton pulls a knife used to kill his buddy Sam Elliot out of Elliot and uses it to push down the accelerator of his car in an attempt to run the bad guys over.  Sorry, but I don’t think that knife would hold the pedal down.

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It’s Nicolas Cage Day at BQB HQ!

Hey 3.5 readers.

Did you know that Nic Cage, despite coming off as kind of a loon today, was perhaps one of the most bankable action film stars of the 1990s?

Yes.  And as I do some house cleaning here at BQB HQ, I’m letting his hits run in the background.  First, The Rock, which is really a great movie and next Con Air which isn’t as good but is still pretty good.  Face/Off is also great but I actually watched that recently so I probably won’t watch it again anytime soon.

Those are his big three.  He did National Treasure in the 2000s but that’s more of like a family friendly Disney action film whereas his 1990s work is grittier.

You know what movie of his I never saw?  Leaving Las Vegas.  Not an action film but I might check it out sometime.

Anyway, I felt it important to advise you all of my Nic Cage watching activities.

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BQB’s Classic Movie Reviews – Escape from New York (1981)

A big ass scoped revolver!  A silenced Uzi!  Kurt Russell in his prime!

BQB here with a review of the 1980s action thriller, Escape from New York.


I’m surprised I never got around to seeing this one, 3.5 readers.  Made in 1981, it envisions a futuristic 1997, one where crime has risen so dramatically that the entire island of Manhattan has been turned into one giant prison to hold all the riff raff.

While the outskirts of the island are heavily guarded by a security team lead by Warden Hauk (Lee Van Cleef), prisoners on the island are allowed to wander about freely and do whatever they please – killing, maiming, and destroying as much as they want.

Seems like a foolproof plan for ridding America of it’s ne’er-do-wells…until the President’s plane crashes right in the middle of it.

As luck would have it, war hero turned bank robber, the ultra macho, constantly brooding, eye-patch wearing Snake Plissken (Kurt Russell) is about to be deposited on the island as a prisoner when the shit hits the fan.

Hauk and Snake play let’s make a deal.  If Snake saves the President (Donald Pleasance), he’ll go free.

High stakes, huh?  To double the stakes, the President was on the way to a conference with important information in his possession that could stop a nuclear war from breaking out.  Thus, the world will be screwed if Snake fails.

Moreover, to triple the stakes, a device is implanted in Snake’s neck that will blow his head off if he doesn’t return with the president within twenty-two hours.  No pressure.

It’s Snake to the rescue as he fights all sorts of weirdoes, and even makes some allies along the way.  Ernest Borgnine provides comic relief as Cabbie, a molotov cocktail wielding yellow cab driver.  Harry Dean Stanton stars as Snake’s frenemy (friend/enemy), “Brain” while Adrienne Barbeau is eye candy Maggie, although she has sort of an odd hair style that never really made it out of the 1980s.

What’s a movie without a villain?  That role goes to Isaac Hayes, “the Duke of New York,” who holds the president hostage.  He does his best to be menacing, though whenever he speaks, I have a hard time not thinking of Chef from South Park.

Meanwhile, Van Cleef’s Hauk is sort of a good villain, a man who puts the screws to Snake in order to get him to do something good.

Van Cleef, who passed away in 1989, was mostly known for playing villains, especially the roles he played opposite Clint Eastwood in For a Few Dollars More and The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly.

I’ve seen these films, but it took me a minute to recognize him without a cowboy outfit on.

The 1980s is the Golden Age of action cinema.  The special effects were just starting to get good.  Audiences were less turned off by violence.  The country was still getting over Vietnam, so moviegoers were sympathetic to an action hero trapped in a shitty situation by forces bigger than he was.

As a kid, I grew up on a steady diet of Schwarzenegger and Stallone, so I am surprised it took me so long to see this one.  It’s got all the standard action tropes, but for whatever reason, I just don’t recall it being as popular as say, The Terminator, a film that everyone was talking about in those days.

One part that made me sad – the World Trade Center plays a prominent role in the film.  To avoid detection, Snake flies a silent glider into the city and lands it on the roof of one of the towers, with the intention of flying it off the tower later, seeing as how it is the only building tall enough for a glider to take off from.

It made me sad, seeing as how those buildings aren’t there anymore, though I suppose technically, the movie still holds up as they were there in 1997, the year the film is set in.

STATUS:  Shelf-worthy.  There is some cheesiness and the special effects, though not up to modern snuff, were likely the best available at the time.  Also, it was directed by John Carpenter, who gave us the Halloween franchise.  Watch it on Netflix.

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Movie Review: Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation

Dun dun dun da dun dun dun dun…doo da dooo..do da dooo…doo da doooo…da doo doo!

Your mission, should you choose to accept it, 3.5 readers, is to read this review.

This review will self destruct in 5 seconds….


Movieclips Trailers – Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation

I can’t believe this movie franchise has been going strong for so long, 3.5.  I really can’t.

Want to know how old this franchise is?

Ving Rhames took the role as Hunt’s associate Luther Stickell when he was hot off of playing crime boss Marcellus Wallace in Pulp Fiction.

Time, where oh where did you go?

Cruise, well-preserved, likely due to praying to the alien gods of Scientology (it pays to swear fealty to the Mighty Potentate) is as cool as ever in this one.

To Cruise’s credit, he’s a man who’s lived an extraordinary life, has nothing left to prove and yet, for our viewing pleasure, hooked himself up to the side of a flying plane.

Here’s a CNN article about how Cruise pulled this one off.  It involved special contacts to protect his eyes from flying debris (a piece of dirt flying at high speeds could have blinded him), a safety harness, and so on.

Amazingly, there was all sorts of safety precautions taken, yet the final shot looks as though he was just holding on with nothing but his hands.

Would you strap yourself to a flying plane moving at 185 mph?

I would not.  I would tell the writers they need to rewrite that shit.  Those terrorists need to be foiled on the ground.

So kudos to Tom.  You were married to Nicole Kidman, Katie Holmes, and now you’ve literally flown.

So, the setup.  This go around it’s IMF vs. the Syndicate, an evil organization bent on bringing down the world.

To throw a monkey wrench into the works, Hunt has also cheesed off the CIA and MI6.

Fast cars, exotic locales, insane stunts…it’s an action movie that’s got it all.

I don’t know about you, 3.5 readers, but with these types of movies, I just go for the pretty colors and fancy special effects and don’t waste a lot of time getting bogged down by the plot.  There’s so much explanation of how someone is going to break in to some place and blah blah blah, here’s how it’s going to happen and here’s what everyone is going to do.

Perhaps you sit there with your popcorn, trying to parse out all the details, but to me, it’s all just:

ETHAN:  To break in, we’ll need the thing to do the thing and get past the thing.

BENJI:  You’ll need a thing.  But the thing has to be done with the exact thing or the thing will happen to the thing.

LUTHER:  Nope.  No way.  You can’t do that thing with this thing.  You’re going to need that other thing and when that thing happens, you’d better be ready to do that thing.

ETHAN:  So it’s settled.  We’re going to do the thing.

This is a big role for Rebecca Ferguson as Ilsa (not Elsa, no one sang, “Let it Go,”), the British agent who works with Hunt.

Sean Harris is exceptionally creepy as the film’s uber villian Solomon Lane while Jeremy Renner and Alec Baldwin get into a bureaucratic turf war over whether the CIA should absorb the IMF’s functions.

Last but not least, Simon Pegg, a nerd after my own heart, returns as Hunt’s tech savvy sidekick Benji.

It’s worth the price of admission with some awesomeness you have to see on the big screen.

I always look forward to these whenever they’re out.  In this nerd’s opinion, when it comes to spy action movies, MI is second only to 007.

And by the way, there’s a great Spectretrailer before this one.  Can’t wait for it.

Interesting side note:  I noticed this movie was backed by the China Movie Channel and Alibaba Films.  (Alibaba being the Chinese version of Amazon).  Will the Chinese become major players in the American film industry?  Eh, it seems new but then again Asia bridging the gap to Hollywood isn’t all that new.  Japanese backed Sony has been around forever.

STATUS:  Shelf-worthy.

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And Now a Special Message from A Bunch of Hot Action Star Chicks

By:  A Bunch of Hot Action Star Chicks, Special Guest Contributors to the Bookshelf Battle Blog

A Bunch of Hot Chicks With Guns - Special Bookshelf Battle Guest Contributors

A Bunch of Hot Chicks With Guns – Special Bookshelf Battle Guest Contributors

Hello.  We’re a bunch of hot action star chicks.  We can literally say anything right now and you’ll listen, especially if you’re a man, because a) we’re hot and b) we kick ass.  Checking us out allows you to live out your impotent male fantasies of a) being a tough guy and b) getting to hang out with hot chicks.

Since we no doubt have your rapt attention, due to the fact that we’re a bunch of hot action star chicks and you’re a man, we feel the need to take advantage of this opportunity to inform you of the following important issues, which you will totally listen to, because as previously mentioned, we’re a bunch of hot action star chicks, and you’re a drooling man:

1)  Global warming is a dangerous issue and requires more attention from our world leaders.  But action begins at home.  Are you recycling?  Are you shutting off your lights and other electronic appliances when they’re not in use?  Are your making sure to not run the faucet?  Think of all the water that can be saved if you’d just shut the faucet off while you’re brushing your teeth instead of allowing it to run until your done.  A little common sense can go a long way to help Mother Earth.

2)  As a society, we must do more to help our fellow man.  We all talk a big game but honestly, talk is cheap and doing something about it is better.  Contact your local civic organizations today as there are likely many volunteer opportunities that will allow you to give back to your community.  Remember, when you take a shift at your neighborhood soup kitchen, you’re not just passing out a hot bowl of minestrone, you’re also dishing out hope.

3)  Bookshelf Q. Battler and the Meaning of Life is going to drop on this blog like a hot potato on May 15.   Mark your calendars and clear your schedules, because you know you’re going to want to read it.

In conclusion, we, a bunch of hot action star chicks, would like to thank you for taking the time to read to read BQB’s blog.


A Bunch of Hot Action Star Chicks

Bunch of hot action star chicks photo courtesy of a shutterstock.com license.

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Fast and Furious 8 – Yeti Drifters – Part 2

DOM:  We’ve all flown to Toyko, first class.  We’ve rented a warehouse to be our lair.  We’ve purchased ten high end tricked out sports cars to drive and we’ve rigged a state of the art computer system to monitor the entire caper.

LUDACRIS:  Question.

DOM:  Yeah?

LUDACRIS:  If we’ve got so much money that we can easily buy all this shit, why are we running around committing car crimes, driving through buildings and off bridges and getting blasted at by tanks and shit?

DOM:  That’s actually a pretty good question.

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