Masterminded by Rene F. Rangel
Hello ladies and gents! Welcome to another entry in The B-Movie Column!
This week in The B-Action Thread
There was some major news this past week and this week both good and bad. First it was reported that legendary character actor James Gandolfini had passed away at the age of 51. He has had quite the extensive body of work and most will remember him for his role in The Sopranos. I know I will. That show not only showed his serious side, but it also gave him the opportunity to do comedy which he was very good at. We’ll miss you James Gandolfini!
The news of TAK3N (I really hope they use that. That title is what immediately sprang to my mind!) being greenlit caused much joy in the thread as we are all major Liam Neeson fans. He’s reportedly scored a $20 million pay day, and he definitely deserves it. As Erix put it, they should give his team more to do this time! I agree. More Leland Orser, Jon Gries, and D.B. Sweeney is just what the third film needs.
Richard Matheson passed away as well. He was the author of many great novels and tv shows. I Am Legend, Duel (the one directed by Spielberg about the tanker truck stalking Dennis Weaver), and many Twilight Zone scripts. He was a living legend in the Sci-fi field and now he’s no longer with us. Celebrate his life by checking out one of the films he wrote or one of his books!
Gunner referred to The Gangster Squad as an R-rated Dick Tracy.
dude hallenbeck brings us these chilling words: “So, in the past week we’ve lost James Gandolfini, Richard Matheson and Lau Kar Leung, but gained a Kardashian.”
I marathoned Justified: Season3 and here’s my take on it.
Been marathoning Justified: Season 3 most of today. Cool seeing James LeGros and Pruitt Taylor Vince show up. William Mapother as well as a sleazy pimp! William Ragsdale and David Andrews too. Plus there’s a whole episode devoted to my favorite dimwitted numbskull DEWEY CROWE. If you have seen the show then you know who he is. He makes appearances throughout each season and is so hilariously dumb. This episode was almost like a parody of Crank in that he’s told that his kidneys have been removed, and that he’s got 6 hours to get 20 grand to the guy so he can put them back in him. Then he proceeds to rip off various places only coming out with peanuts, and it turns out to be bullshit and he’s still got his kidneys.
Oh yeah, and THE MAIN GUY of the season is played by NEAL McDONOUGH and his name is QUARLES. Mykelti Williamson is another new addition to the show as a butcher/barbecue cook/gangster named LIMEHOUSE.
Continuing Justified right now. MICHAEL IRONSIDE showed up as a hitman from Detroit!
MrSaxon replies to my Michael Ironside name drop with this very true quote: “Is it me or does Michael Ironside make everything better? Even Highlander 2 would be a much worse movie than it already is without a bit of Ironside.”
Then I finish up my Justified: season 3 gushing with this appeal to the masses.
He definitely elevates the stuff he’s in. He’s only in that Justified episode for a few scenes, but it’s cool. Neal McDonough shows his ass also if that gets anyone reading this to see the show. I mean he doesn’t show his ass to Michael Ironside. He just strips and shows his ass.
Gunner mentions that an online critic referred to Olympus Has Fallen as being “almost pornographically violent.” and this was my reply.
“Pornographically violent”? For that, I’d expect a different kind of STABBING to occur during the film.
A White House Down discussion comes about due to some positive early reviews. Most of us are looking forward to it as we’ve become fans of Channing Tatum.
felix brings us news on the latest DTV Steven Seagal film “Force Of Execution” and that it will have lots of fights in it. This is good as Seagal’s last film had some decent fights with him in them, and the same director of that one is directing this one.
The trailer for Escape Plan is released and we all rejoice at the teaming of Sylvester Stallone and Arnold Schwarzenegger. It does look pretty great.
Finally a brief discussion on Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles is brought up as I had bought the two seasons on dvd the other day and it’s turning out to be a pretty good show. Too bad it was canceled just as it was getting good.
Today’s B-Movie is The Wild Geese.
The Wild Geese is a film notable for being one of the last hits in Richard Burton’s career before passed away. It is for all intents and purposes a men on a mission film and plays out like a mixture of The Dirty Dozen and The Magnificent Seven. Richard Burton plays a mercenary named Major Allen Faulkner. He is tasked to liberate a Central African President from a jail so he can take back the Government and help out the businessman who is going to bankroll the whole thing. Sir Edward Matherson.
Major Faulkner makes several stipulations including hiring on two men who without he would not sign on for the mission. Shawn Fynn and Rafer Janders. Played by then current James Bond, Roger Moore, and Richard Harris. Rafer is a reluctant participant as he wants to spend more time with his son, but Major Faulkner appeals to softer side in helping the President be liberated so he can do good in country. Shawn Fynn eagerly signs on as he had recently had a hit put out on him for making a young gangster snort a ton of heroin at gunpoint due to Fynn not knowing he was transporting drugs for the gangster and a young girl overdosing on the Heroin.
They along with another addition an Afrikaner named Pieter Coetzee band together to sign on 50 other men to make the plan succeed. Thus we get to know a few of the soldiers as everyone gets put through training for the mission. This takes some time in the film as we see that not everyone is in peak physical shape, and the Sergeant Major that Major Faulkner hired whips everyone, including him, into good enough shape to complete the mission.
They complete the mission accordingly, but are double crossed as Sir Edward makes a deal with the current President and this deems the President in jail expendable along with the soldiers. So all of the men are left to fend for themselves against the dastardly Simba troops that are hunting them through the African bush.
The Wild Geese is a classic action film in that it’s a men on a mission film, but rather than things going awry later in the film as happens in stuff like The Dirty Dozen, Dark Of The Sun, and Where Eagles Dare, things go awry not long after they rescue the President. Thus leaving the rest of the film with them on the run.
Make no mistake, the film does not play favorites either. Of the 50 men only 12 make it out in the end. This is the only film I can think of where something like that happens. The ending itself is very tragic, but I’ll leave that out as you should certainly check this film out. All the leads are well written and have character development which is something you didn’t see much of in most action films. Roger Moore in particular has fun as the “Anti-James Bond” Shawn Fynn. The way he is in the film is in stark contrast to the playful nature he brought to the Bond films. He’s mostly serious in the film with of course a bit of humor sprinkled in, but that’s only a small bit.
The Wild Geese is certainly a movie any fan of action should see. Once you fly with these Wild Geese, you’ll want to fly with them again.