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Karlos

Atomic Blonde (2017)

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This poster for Atomic Blond isn't holding back on the praise for the fight scenes. Never seen Hollywood marketing focus purely on the fight scenes like this before. Cant wait to hear fellow Kung Fu Fandom forum members opinions on this when its out.

 

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The Ry-Man (aka. Kung Fu Bob Jr.) and I went to see ATOMIC BLONDE on Friday, and it far exceeded our already high expectations.

Based on the trailers we were prepared for great action, and it certainly has that. But the big surprise was how accomplished it is in every other aspect. Terrific, smart script, all-around strong performances, the direction, cinematography, wardrobe, special effects, soundtrack... all spot-on! The period setting (in the days leading up to the Berlin Wall coming down) felt 100% authentic, and made for a fascinating backdrop to the story. Charlize Theron is outstanding! Truly a jaw-dropping performance.

I often find myself being distracted from the action in films by characters doing/not doing what they obviously should know in terms of their supposed combat status (for instance: a trained fighter being choked, but instead of gouging his attacker's eyes, he ridiculously grabs his wrists, continuing to gag ... sigh), but found none of that nonsense here. Well thought out, exciting, logic-driven, and properly filmed action is what's being served up here.

Despite being a very serious (and sexy) film, it does have dark humor sprinkled throughout to just the right degree. Never "jokey", but always clever. Did I mention how (finally an apt use of the over-used phrase) visually stunning the whole thing looks? Well, yeah. It does.

A word of warning: The trailer may suggest that the film is non-stop wall-to-wall action, but there's a solid Daniel Craig-era Bond style story being told here, punctuated with explosive action scenes throughout. So just know that it's not constant mindless action, like for instance the OTT but entertaining FATE OF THE FURIOUS. But there's definitely still a whole lot of killer action in ATOMIC BLONDE.

You brothers and sisters got to see it! Absolutely worth seeing in the theater too.

As far as action flicks go, I'd give it a 9.5 out of 10. :nerd:

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Fantastic to hear that you and The Ry-Man loved it so much - this is the highest possible recomendation an action film could get, so I'm now super stoked to see it!

Think this comes out August 9th here in the UK and I will be there opening day, no matter what.

 

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22 hours ago, KUNG FU BOB said:

The Ry-Man (aka. Kung Fu Bob Jr.) and I went to see ATOMIC BLONDE on Friday, and it far exceeded our already high expectations.

Based on the trailers we were prepared for great action, and it certainly has that. But the big surprise was how accomplished it is in every other aspect. Terrific, smart script, all-around strong performances, the direction, cinematography, wardrobe, special effects, soundtrack... all spot-on! The period setting (in the days leading up to the Berlin Wall coming down) felt 100% authentic, and made for a fascinating backdrop to the story. Charlize Theron is outstanding! Truly a jaw-dropping performance.

I often find myself being distracted from the action in films by characters doing/not doing what they obviously should know in terms of their supposed combat status (for instance: a trained fighter being choked, but instead of gouging his attacker's eyes, he ridiculously grabs his wrists, continuing to gag ... sigh), but found none of that nonsense here. Well thought out, exciting, logic-driven, and properly filmed action is what's being served up here.

Despite being a very serious (and sexy) film, it does have dark humor sprinkled throughout to just the right degree. Never "jokey", but always clever. Did I mention how (finally an apt use of the over-used phrase) visually stunning the whole thing looks? Well, yeah. It does.

A word of warning: The trailer may suggest that the film is non-stop wall-to-wall action, but there's a solid Daniel Craig-era Bond style story being told here, punctuated with explosive action scenes throughout. So just know that it's not constant mindless action, like for instance the OTT but entertaining FATE OF THE FURIOUS. But there's definitely still a whole lot of killer action in ATOMIC BLONDE.

You brothers and sisters got to see it! Absolutely worth seeing in the theater too.

As far as action flicks go, I'd give it a 9.5 out of 10. :nerd:

Bold statement. I trust your judgement, but you know you're going to lose some points IF, at the very least, it's not an 8/10. And I'm talking of Lance Armstrong proportions man. Don't put yourself in the "he's a great artist, but he has lousy taste in movies" department. jk ;)

Edited by mpm74

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12 hours ago, Karlos said:

Fantastic to hear that you and The Ry-Man loved it so much - this is the highest possible recomendation an action film could get, so I'm now super stoked to see it!

Think this comes out August 9th here in the UK and I will be there opening day, no matter what.

 

Glad you hold our opinions in such high regard brother. I'm sure you will dig it!

August 9th? Why the holdup releasing for our UK brothers and sisters? Sheesh.

5 hours ago, mpm74 said:

Bold statement. I trust your judgement, but you know you're going to lose some points IF, at the very least, it's not an 8/10. And I'm talking of Lance Armstrong proportions man. Don't put yourself in the "he's a great artist, but he has lousy taste in movies" department. jk ;)

Ahhhhh!!!!!!!! The pressure! :cry: LOL

All I can say is- that's how I feel about the film. Only my opinion (and my son's too). Most of you guys know me well enough to gauge my reaction to this film based on my tastes/preferences for films in general. If a movie presents itself as a serious film, but tries to get away with some out-of-place stupid shit, I may come down on it hard. But if a film is meant to be silly popcorn entertainment, then I'll often embrace it, stupid nonsense and all. Some films that people shit on or ignore- YEAR OF THE DRAGON, 1941, THE NINTH CONFIGURATION- I adore. While some things most people seem to love- the KUNG FU TV series, AZUMI, and BLOOD BROTHERS (I want to think this last one is something special, but I just don't)- I am not a fan of.

All that being said, mpm74, I'd be pretty freaking surprised if you didn't think it rates an 8/10. Definitely curious to hear your thoughts, and I encourage you to see it on the big screen.

P.S. Why are you picking on that poor, lying, honorless little juice boy? Oh wait... I think I just answered my own question. :xd:

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I caught this last week and had a pretty good time with it. Similar to The Villainess, it's carried almost solely by the quality of it's action. The story really isn't much to write home about (the film ends like 3, 4 times? And each of the endings get progressively worse), but the film is absolutely gorgeous to look at and cold war settings for action movies are always fun. But I really didn't care for the story - the parts where characters just sat around talking to each other bored me in pretty much the same way that parts of the first John Wick movie did. Interestingly enough, John Wick Chapter 2 didn't have this problem. So if this is anything to go by, I might make go ahead and make the proclamation that Chad Stahelski is a better director than David Leitch. I really don't know what it is about these slower scenes in Leitch's films that bore me, but if I ever find out, I'll definitely make note of it.

Anyway, the action in Atomic Blonde is phenomenal. There is a faux long take in the third act which is absolutely amazing. It lasts like 15-20 minutes and the camera follows Charlize Theron kicking ass as she progresses through a hotel. And damn does she kick ass in convincing fashion. It isn't slick quick kills like it is with John Wick. Here, it's sloppy, brutal, dirty. You feel every punch as they're thrown. Theron's beautiful face is beaten to a pulp, she's hardly able to walk and it's painful just watching, but the movie sticks with it. Leitch finds the beauty in the grotesque and it just works.

I'm not much for giving scores, but maybe a 7.5 out of 10? It'd be much higher if it wasn't bogged down by a weak story, witless dialogue (it feels like it's kinda trying to ape Tarantino styled dialogue and it doesn't quite work) and progressively sillier endings (and endings are the parts we all remember making it that much more important), but hey, 10/10 for the action.

Edited by Writ

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I don't have much to add to what's already been said here. Needless to say, I very much enjoyed the film. It's a bit flabby around the edges but, otherwise, it's a cool little spy thriller with stellar action sequences. Charlize Theron (and her double) put in WORK here. I love how busted up she gets as the film goes along. The realism is definitely a welcome change of pace from traditional Hollywood action fare.
James McAvoy doesn't get enough credit for this film, sadly. He's really good in it. both funny and sheisty. The supporting cast is great too. Oh...and Sofia Boutella is always welcome in my eyes. Oof!

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This one is something special. I loved it. Everything about it hit me like a glorious, gorgeous slug to the chest.

everyone on here needs to check this one out on the big screen where a goddess like Theron should be rightfully worshipped.

wonderful.

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38 minutes ago, Karlos said:

This one is something special. I loved it. Everything about it hit me like a glorious, gorgeous slug to the chest.

everyone on here needs to check this one out on the big screen where a goddess like Theron should be rightfully worshipped.

wonderful.

This is how the film hit me too. So glad you feel the same way, brother. :wink:

Good to hear that most everyone is enjoying it a lot. I'd love to see it in the theater again, but doubt I'll get the chance. It's definitely a day-of-release purchase for me though. Hopefully the Blu-ray will include some juicy extras/BTS footage.

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16 minutes ago, KUNG FU BOB said:

This is how the film hit me too. So glad you feel the same way, brother. :wink:

Good to hear that most everyone is enjoying it a lot. I'd love to see it in the theater again, but doubt I'll get the chance. It's definitely a day-of-release purchase for me though. Hopefully the Blu-ray will include some juicy extras/BTS footage.

Hopefully, stuff like this...

 

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Yes! That's exactly the stuff I want to see. And not cut together with such rapid-paced editing that I have to rewind everything to see what's going on and read text on the screen. The new-ish trend of producing BTS features like that is disappointing and aggravating.

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Well I saw this yesterday and can only concur with everybody, if this isn't the best all out action film of the year then I'd be surprised. The plot is nothing to write home about but my goodness seeing action of that quality on the big screen is very refreshing, I'd heard about the 'stairwell scene' but had no idea what to expect otherwise. Good grief! I'm sure there must have been a bit of camera trickery bit it doesn't matter, those have got to be the best ten minutes I've seen inside a cinema since the end fight of The Raid 2!

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19 hours ago, KUNG FU BOB said:

This is how the film hit me too. So glad you feel the same way, brother. :wink:

Good to hear that most everyone is enjoying it a lot. I'd love to see it in the theater again, but doubt I'll get the chance. It's definitely a day-of-release purchase for me though. Hopefully the Blu-ray will include some juicy extras/BTS footage.

It doesn't get the seal of approval until Kung Fu Bob lays down the stamp!!! I'm buying this on blu baby!!

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4 hours ago, OpiumKungFuCracker said:

It doesn't get the seal of approval until Kung Fu Bob lays down the stamp!!! I'm buying this on blu baby!!

I'm flattered!

Hope you love it as much as I do.

7 hours ago, SamSeed said:

Well I saw this yesterday and can only concur with everybody, if this isn't the best all out action film of the year then I'd be surprised. The plot is nothing to write home about but my goodness seeing action of that quality on the big screen is very refreshing, I'd heard about the 'stairwell scene' but had no idea what to expect otherwise. Good grief! I'm sure there must have been a bit of camera trickery bit it doesn't matter, those have got to be the best ten minutes I've seen inside a cinema since the end fight of The Raid 2!

Right on!

As far as "long takes" go, yes, I admire the skills and work put into them by everyone involved. But the reason for them shouldn't be "look what we can do", it should be just another tool to tell the story in the best way possible. An old saying among special effects artists is "The best effects are the ones the audience doesn't even know they saw." Obviously this doesn't work with stuff like spaceship attacks, but for instance, if we are led to believe that characters are in the Amazon jungle when they were in fact filmed solely within a studio would be a good example. I remember how my friends and I had all heard about the "all in one take" stairway sequence fight in TOM YUM GONG (aka. THE PROTECTOR), and we watched in amazement. But after ATOMIC BLONDE when my son and I were discussing the film and he asked what I thought about the stairway scene (just realized both examples I'm writing about take place on stairways), I told him I thought it was ferocious, vicious combat, and incredibly exciting. That Theron and the other performers had obviously put in a ton of work to make it look and play like that, and that I was already anxious to see it again. He said "Yes, for sure. But I meant- what did you think of that all being in one take?" I replied in surprise "It was?!" He said that it was most likely multiple pieces/takes that were cleverly put together seamlessly via digital FX, but that it certainly looked like a single shot. He'd read about the scene and had been looking forward to it with great anticipation. He explained where it appeared to begin, and the action that transpired until the next obvious edit. I just laughed and said "I didn't even notice the filming technique as I was so caught up in what was happening on-screen to the characters." So I think the technique was used to terrific effect, obviously giving me a "you are there" feel, and an enhanced feeling of danger and immediacy, as opposed to the filmmakers just "showing off". Same can be said of John Woo's incredible "Hospital shootout sequence" in HARD BOILED (which actually has one hidden cut in it); it was there to make the whole audience get swept up in the action. Anyway, I'll get to appreciate the ATOMIC BLONDE sequence for it's technical merits next time I see it.

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Okay, the movie was really fun action-wise. Just some stellar stuntwork and fantastic choreography. Theron is always captivating on screen and McAvoy is solid as always. Some the deadpan delivery of dialogue gets a little trite at times. The plot was serviceable though I pegged aspects of it early. Love the contrast of Theron always dressed in some black & white ensemble against the bleary drabness of Berlin or the color spectrum of certain scenes. As good as this movie was, I don't really see it getting a sequel (doesn't really need one), but this is one I'll be revisiting over and over. Oh, and John Goodman looks like he's shed a few pounds. Good for him.

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