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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.

Danzig-Portlandia-604-web

Face Melting Cameos

The 10 Most Metal Pop Culture Cameos

Glenn Danzig drops by Portlandia tonight at 10P on IFC.

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Glenn Danzig rocks harder than granite. In his 60 years, he’s mastered punk with The Misfits, slayed metal with the eponymous Danzig, and generally melted faces with the force of his voice. And thanks to Fred and Carrie, he’s now stopping by tonight’s brand new Portlandia so we can finally get to see what “Evil Elvis” is like when he hits the beach. To celebrate his appearance, we put together our favorite metal moments from pop culture, from the sublime to the absurd.

10. Cannibal Corpse meets Ace Ventura

Back in the ’90s,  Cannibal Corpse was just a small time band from Upstate New York, plying their death metal wares wherever they could find a crowd, when a call from Jim Carry transformed their lives. Turns out the actor was a fan, and wanted them for a cameo in his new movie, Ace Ventura: Pet Detective. The band had a European tour coming up, and were wary of being made fun of, so they turned it down. Thankfully, the rubber-faced In Living Color vet wouldn’t take no for an answer, proving that you don’t need to have a lot of fans, just the right ones.


9. AC/DC in Private Parts

Howard Stern’s autobiographical film, based on his book of the same name, followed his rise in the world of radio and pop culture. For a man surrounded by naked ladies and adoring fans, it’s hard to track the exact moment he made it. But rocking out with AC/DC in the middle of Central Park, as throngs of fans clamor to get a piece of you, seems like it comes pretty close. You can actually see Stern go from hit host to radio god in this clip, as “You Shook Me All Night Long” blasts in the background.


8. Judas Priest meets The Simpsons

When you want to blast a bunch of peace-loving hippies out on their asses, you’re going to need some death metal. At least, that’s what the folks at The Simpsons thought when they set up this cameo from the metal gods. Unfortunately, thanks to a hearty online backlash, the writers of the classic series were soon informed that Judas Priest, while many things, are not in fact “death metal.” This led to the most Simpson-esque apology ever. Rock on, Bartman. Rock on.


7. Anthrax on Married…With Children

What do you get when Married…with Children spoofs My Dinner With Andre, substituting the erudite playwrights for a band so metal they piss rust? Well, for starters, a lot of headbanging, property destruction and blown eardrums. And much like everything else in life, Al seems to have missed the fun.


6. Motorhead rocks out on The Young Ones

The Young Ones didn’t just premiere on BBC2 in 1982 — it kicked the doors down to a new way of doing comedy. A full-on assault on the staid state of sitcoms, the show brought a punk rock vibe to the tired format, and in the process helped jumpstart a comedy revolution. For instance, where an old sitcom would just cut from one scene to the next, The Young Ones choose to have Lemmy and his crew deliver a raw version of “Ace of Spades.” The general attitude seemed to be, you don’t like this? Well, then F— you!


5. Red and Kitty Meet Kiss on That ’70s Show

Carsey-Werner Productions

Carsey-Werner Productions

Long before they were banished to playing arena football games, Kiss was the hottest ticket in rock. The gang from That ’70s Show got to live out every ’70s teen’s dream when they were set loose backstage at a Kiss concert, taking full advantage of groupies, ganja and hard rock.


4. Ronnie James Dio in Tenacious D in The Pick of Destiny (NSFW, people!)

What does a young boy do when he was born to rock, and the world won’t let him? What tight compadre does he pray to for guidance and some sweet licks? If you’re a young Jables, half of “the world’s most awesome band,” you bow your head to Ronnie James Dio, aka the guy who freaking taught the world how to do the “Metal Horns.” Never before has a rock god been so literal than in this clip that turns it up to eleven.


3. Ozzy Osbourne in Trick or Treat

It’s hard to tell if Ozzy was trying his hardest here, or just didn’t give a flying f–k. What is clear is that, either way, it doesn’t really matter. Ozzy’s approach to acting seems to lean more heavily on Jack Daniels than sense memory, and yet seeing the slurry English rocker play a sex-obsessed televangelist is so ridiculous, he gets a free pass. Taking part in the cult horror Trick or Treat, Ozzy proves that he makes things better just by showing up. Because that’s exactly what he did here. Showed up. And it rocks.


2. Glenn Danzig on Portlandia

Danzig seems to be coming out of a self imposed exile these days. He just signed with a record company, and his appearance on Portlandia is reminding everyone how kick ass he truly is. Who else but “The Other Man in Black” could help Portland’s resident goths figure out what to wear to the beach? Carrie Brownstein called Danzig “amazing,” and he called Fred “a genius,” so this was a rare love fest for the progenitor of horror punk.


1. Alice Cooper in Wayne’s World

It’s surprising, sure, but for a scene that contains no music whatsoever, it’s probably the most famous metal moment in the history of film. When Alice Cooper informed Wayne and Garth that Milwaukee is actually pronounced “Milly-way-kay” back in 1992, he created one of the most famous scenes in comedy history. What’s more metal than that? Much like Wayne and Garth, we truly are not worthy.

“Avatar” attractions coming to Walt Disney World

“Avatar” attractions coming to Walt Disney World (photo)

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If you watched James Cameron‘s “Avatar” and thought to yourself “With the 3-D, virtual reality, and wild rides on the backs of dragons, this kind of feels like a theme park ride” you weren’t alone. You know who else thought that? James Cameron. And he hooked up with the folks at Disney who gave him $400 million to make it a real theme park ride.

Disney announced yesterday that they’re partnering with Cameron for an entire “Avatar”-themed land at their Animal Kingdom theme park at Walt Disney World. Construction is scheduled to begin in 2013 and last approximately 5 years (the deal leaves open the possibility of additional “Avatar” lands at other Disney parks). If the current calendar holds, that would put the opening some time in 2018, roughly three years after Cameron’s third “Avatar” film is currently slated for release. In other words: it’s a long ways off. It will be interesting to see whether “Avatar” is still a massive cultural force in seven years, and whether “Avatar 2″ and “3” (both of which will be directed by Cameron) enhance or diminish its status amongst movie lovers.

Here’s a Cameron quote on the project from Disney’s press release:

“‘Avatar’ created a world which audiences can discover again and again and now, through this incredible partnership with Disney, we’ll be able to bring Pandora to life like never before. With two new ‘Avatar’ films currently in development, we’ll have even more locations, characters and stories to explore,” said James Cameron. “I’m chomping at the bit to start work with Disney’s legendary Imagineers to bring our ‘Avatar’ universe to life. Our goal is to go beyond current boundaries of technical innovation and experiential storytelling, and give park goers the chance to see, hear, and touch the world of ‘Avatar’ with an unprecedented sense of reality.”

And that’s the real question here, right? Just what will park goers find in this “Avatar” land? I don’t know what is technologically feasible, but I know there are a lot of meaty possibilities in that first “Avatar” movie alone. How badass would it be to pilot your own AMP suit? Or fly on your own dragon (banshees in “Avatar”-speak) using some kind of combination of animatronics and 3D filmmaking? Or let’s get really crazy: how about some kind of virtual reality helmet that actually lets you feel like you’ve got your own avatar? You enter some kind of Pandora lab, a pretaped video of Sigourney Weaver gives you some instructions, you strap yourself onto a gurney, and then presto chango, it feels like you’re one of those big blue dudes. Impossible? Absolutely. But fun to imagine.

Cameron has had some success with theme park attractions in the past. He co-directed “T2 3D” for Universal, which is still going strong at their parks after fifteen years. A similar 3D movie would be a no-brainer with “Avatar,” but given that the film itself is a 3D movie, there’s not a whole lot of novelty in going to a theme park just to watch another 3D movie. Actually, the 3D invasion into movie theaters in recent years kind of diminished the novelty of all the 3D movies at theme parks like Disney. That’s why I think whatever attractions that “Avatar” land contains, 3D is just going to be the tip of the iceberg.

Not iceberg. That was “Titanic.” Wrong James Cameron movie. My bad.

What kind of “Avatar” attractions do you want to see at Disney? Tell us in the comments below or on Facebook and Twitter.

Call-In Commentary: Watch the “Killer Elite” trailer with director Gary McKendry

Call-In Commentary: Watch the “Killer Elite” trailer with director Gary McKendry (photo)

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Few videos lately have produced as many gasps in the IFC offices as the raucous trailer for “Killer Elite,” an action flick opening this Friday that features Jason Statham attacking someone with a chair…while he’s sitting on it. It’s Steven Seagal-level shenanigans with Robert De Niro and Clive Owen added for good measure, and it helps make the movie look like a fun little package. The story finds a group of assassins (Statham and De Niro among them) going after a series of British special forces operatives, as one ex-soldier (Owen) feverishly tries to protect his SAS comrades.

To hear the method behind the madness, we recruited director Gary McKendry who agreed to participate in our ongoing Call-In Commentary series, where filmmakers provide narration to their movie trailers. In the video below, hear where the story of “Killer Elite” came from and just how close they tried to stick to their 1980’s motif.

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Will you be checking out Jason Statham’s chair-battling escapades in “Killer Elite”? Let us know below or on Facebook or Twitter.

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