Action films have seen a lot of changes since the genre's debut …
When I was a kid I would load VHS tapes when we met blockbusters. I was obsessed with Jackie Chan and had to watch all of his high octane adventures. Eventually I switched to Van Damme, Stallone, Schwarzenegger and Jet Li. Never was a Seagal guy.
As I got older, the action movies changed. I think part of this was due to the popularity of Tom Clancy-style military realism. There was also a shift in Hollywood towards intellectual property, and while there were books that had more action, I thought there were more elegant, more informed attitudes to what was out there.
But you don't want to hear me poetic about the action genre. Instead, listen to comedian Bill Burr and let's talk more after the jump.
Legendary comedian Bill Burr breaks off action film development
Tropics come and go in Hollywood, but the genre more or less stays the same. The way it changes depends on the tastes of the audience and popular culture. Action films began with pirate adventures, war epics, gangster films, and of course, westerns, but they also evolved after the heavy Japanese influence of filmmakers like Akira Kurosawa.
But the 80s felt like the real making of modern action film. You've seen the biggest names get into the mix, the guys I mentioned earlier, as well as crossover guys like Hulk Hogan and even Dennis Rodman who took their places as action stars in the '90s.
And don't forget, Bruce Willis was in a sitcom before he became John McClane.
One thing I loved about the video was when Burr talked about the jokes and zingers that died when the '80s action films came out. Those jokes were definitely from that time, and I wonder if they're actually prepared for a comeback now?
Is there a writer who can take the realism we're used to today and pick up the jokes again?
That could be a good prediction of where the genre is going.
To expand on that, I don't have to agree with him when it comes to women kicking ass. If you've decided on the madness and tone of an action movie, I'm not sure if the size of the people kicking their asses or their gender actually changes my beliefs about what's going on on screen.
When you watch an action movie, you sign up for a certain level of "No way".
However, if you want to keep the ridges at bay, you should write or stage your scenes with plausibility in mind. Should your hero hit them with a tire iron or do a karate move that uses their height and weight against them. Or are you maybe making it a joke that they have to outsmart them?
Keep this in mind when writing a fight scene.
And maybe there is a joke there, "The bigger you are, the harder you are".
Did you like the video? Do you have a disagreement with Burr? Let us know in the comments.