Jason Statham’s YouTube Greatest Hits

Jason Statham’s YouTube Greatest Hits (photo)

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This is what I love about “Killer Elite.” If you’d never seen a poster or a trailer for this movie, and I came up to you and asked you to guess the movie’s star based on title alone, you would say Jason Statham. Who else could it be? A few years ago, maybe The Rock, but that was before he started working almost exclusively in kiddie pics. These days, Statham is literally Hollywood’s killer elite.

His movies may not be particularly surprising, but they are reliable. We count on him to deliver the action goods, and if you read my “Killer Elite” review earlier today, you know he’s done it again. To honor your favorite balding badass and mine, we’ve compiled a few of his finest moments that have turned up on YouTube. True, we weren’t able an embeddable version of his “Crank 2” Godzilla fight. But he’s Statham; there’s plenty more where that came from.

The Transp-oil-rter
From “The Transporter” (2002)
Directed by Corey Yuen

Almost a decade later, this may still be Jason Statham’s best movie fight. It’s certainly the most clever and the most hilariously homoerotic (although this rumble-slash-striptease from “Transporter 3” comes close on both counts). It’s the Tao of Statham: when life gives you motor oil, make yourself a pair of skates using bike pedals and kick people with them. I’m not entirely sure how the bike pedals actually keep professional transporter Frank Martin from slipping. I just chalk it up to Statham’s near-supernatural powers in action movies. Some dudes can walk on water; Statham can skate on oil.

The Statham Kill Count
From “In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale” (2006)
Directed by Uwe Boll

Remember that scene in “Hot Shots! Part Deux” where the movie starts counting Topper Harley’s dozens of kills? That’s basically the idea behind this YouTube clip, only it’s not a joke — well, I guess the clip is still a joke, but the movie isn’t. All right so the movie — yet another of Uwe Boll’s disastrous video game adaptations — is sort of a joke too, but at least Jason Statham’s performance isn’t. Indeed in the midst of a cinematic disaster that would claim most of his co-stars (poor Ray Liotta!), Statham rose above. 60 murders in 127 minutes! That’s impressive.

“This, lads, is a hurley.”
From “Blitz” (2011)
Directed by Elliott Lester

Statham’s Detective Sergeant Tom Brant is introduced in “Blitz” spotting a carjacking in process from his flat window. He grabs a wooden stick and heads downstairs to break it up. Now I would have assumed the stick he uses to beat up the thieves was a field hockey stick, but Statham clears that misconception up for us. “This, lads,” he says by way of an introduction, “is a hurley, used in the Irish game of hurling. Cross between hockey and murder.” According to the rules, players use their hurleys to hit a ball called a silotar into an opponent’s goal; or, according to Jason Statham, players use their hurley and disable as many carjackers as they can before the opening credits. Either way, I never would have known about hurley without learning it in “Blitz. See that? Jason Statham movies: educational.

Jason Statham Hates Basketball (In German)
From “The Expendables” (2010)
Directed by Sylvester Stallone

More Statham with sports equipment! A meme is forming before our very eyes. In general, Sylvester Stallone’s “The Expendables” did not live up to the hype as the ultimate action movie (it also didn’t live up to its name as a movie about expendable people, but that’s a conversation for another time). The clear highlight amongst the crew was, of course, Statham, who had a memorable moment sniping guys from the nose of a low-flying airplane and this great fight scene on a basketball court, where our man enunciates an emasculating beatdown by metaphorically deflating a woman beater’s balls. I can’t wait to see “The Expendables 2” where Statham completes his sports equipment brawl trilogy by tossing a man through the air with a jai alai xistera. Why include the clip in German? Why not. Does the dialogue even matter?

Topless Pull-ups
From “Death Race” (2008)
Directed by Paul W.S. Anderson

Jason Statham’s back muscles scare me. I’m pretty sure he had a few of them implanted, because I don’t think my body has half those things. They look like a bunch of prehensile tumors, like something out of a David Cronenberg movie. That back could beat any man’s front.

What’s your favorite Jason Statham movie? Tell us in the comments below or on Facebook and Twitter.

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Weird Roles

Anthony Michael Hall’s Most Rotten Movies

Catch Anthony Michael Hall in Weird Science on Friday at 8P on IFC.

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Photo Credit: Universal/Everett Collection

Anthony Michael Hall was the quintessential ’80s nerd. We love him in classics like The Breakfast Club and National Lampoon’s Vacation. But even the brainiest among us has his weak spots. In honor of Weird Science airing this Rotten Friday, we analyze Hall’s worst movies.

Weird Science (1985) 56%

A low point for John Hughes, Weird Science is way too wacky for its own good. Anthony Michael Hall’s Gary and his pal Wyatt (Ilan Mitchell-Smith) create the “perfect woman.” Supernatural chaos ensues. The film costars a young Bill Paxton, floppy disks, and a general disconnect from all reality.

The Caveman’s Valentine (2001) 46%

This ambitious drama starring Samuel L. Jackson couldn’t live up to its rich premise. Jackson plays Romulus, a Juilliard-educated, paranoid schizophrenic who lives in a cave. Hall co-stars as Bob, a rich man, who wants to see Romulus play the piano. The plot centers around Romulus investigating a murder, but with so much going on, the movie never quite finds its rhythm.

All About the Benjamins (2002) 30%

Ice Cube plays a bounty hunter who teams up with Mike Epps’ con man to catch diamond thieves. Hall plays Lil J, a small-time drug dealer. It’s definitely a role we’ve never seen Hall in, but overall the movie isn’t funny or original enough to justify its violence.

Freddy Got Fingered (2001) 11%

This showcase for Tom Green’s goofy gross-out comedy is often hailed as one of the worst films of all time. Green plays Gord, a 20-something slacker, who dreams of having his own animated series. Hall is Dave Davidson, a CEO of an animation studio who eventually helps Gord find success. Too bad Tom Green wasn’t so lucky.

Johnny Be Good (1988) 0%

Hall plays against type as Johnny Walker, a star quarterback. Robert Downey Jr. is his best friend and Uma Thurman plays his devoted girlfriend. Despite the support of a future A-list cast, the movie lacks central conflict and charm. Or, as TV Guide put it, “Johnny be worthless.” Ouch.

Catch the “Too Rotten to Miss” Weird Science this Friday at 8P on IFC.

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Season 6: Episode 1: Pickathon

Binge Fest

Portlandia Season 6 Now Available On DVD

The perfect addition to your locally-sourced, artisanal DVD collection.

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End of summer got you feeling like:

Portlandia Toni Screaming GIF

Ease into fall with Portlandia‘s sixth season. Relive the latest exploits of Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein’s cast of characters, including Doug and Claire’s poignant breakup, Lance’s foray into intellectual society, and the terrifying rampage of a tsukemen Noodle Monster! Plus, guest stars The Flaming Lips, Glenn Danzig, Louis C.K., Kevin Corrigan, Zoë Kravitz, and more stop by to experience what Portlandia is all about.

Pick up a copy of the DVD today, or watch full episodes and series extras now on IFC.com and the IFC app.

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Byrning Down the House

Everything You Need to Know About the Film That Inspired “Final Transmission”

Documentary Now! pays tribute to "Stop Making Sense" this Wednesday at 10P on IFC.

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Photo Credit: Cinecom/courtesy Everett Collection

This week Documentary Now! is with the band. For everyone who’s ever wanted to be a roadie without leaving the couch, “Final Transmission” pulls back the curtain on experimental rock group Test Pattern’s final concert. Before you tune in Wednesday at 10P on IFC, plug your amp into this guide for Stop Making Sense, the acclaimed 1984 Talking Heads concert documentary.

Put on Your Dancing Shoes

Hailed as one of the best concert films ever created, director Jonathan Demme (Silence of the Lambs) captured the energy and eccentricities of a band known for pushing the limits of music and performance.

Make an Entrance

Lead singer David Byrne treats the concert like a story: He enters an empty stage with a boom box and sings the first song on the setlist solo, then welcomes the other members of the group to the stage one song at a time.

Steal the Spotlight

David Byrne Dancing
Cinecom/Everett Collection

Always a physical performer, Byrne infuses the stage and the film with contagious joy — jogging in place, dancing with lamps, and generally carrying the show’s high energy on his shoulders.

Suit Yourself

Byrne makes a splash in his “big suit,” a boxy business suit that grows with each song until he looks like a boy who raided his father’s closet. Don’t overthink it; on the DVD, the singer explains, “Music is very physical, and often the body understands it before the head.”

View from the Front Row

Stop Making Sense Band On Stage
Cinecom/Everett Collection

Demme (who also helmed 1987’s Swimming to Cambodia, the inspiration for this season’s Documentary Now! episode “Parker Gail’s Location is Everything”) films the show by putting viewers in the audience’s shoes. The camera rarely shows the crowd and never cuts to interviews or talking heads — except the ones onstage.

Let’s Get Digital

Tina Weymouth Keyboard
Cinecom/Everett Collection

Stop Making Sense isn’t just a good time — it’s also the first rock movie to be recorded entirely using digital audio techniques. The sound holds up more than 30 years later.

Out of Pocket

Talk about investing in your art: Talking Heads drummer Chris Frantz told Rolling Stone that the members of the band “basically put [their] life savings” into the movie, and they didn’t regret it.

Catch Documentary Now!’s tribute to Stop Making Sense when “Final Transmission” premieres Wednesday, October 12 at 10P on IFC.

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