The Three Musketeers (2011)

Well, I could’ve sworn it was a little more recent than this, but Paul World Series Anderson’s THREE MUSKETEERS came out in 2011 – two RESIDENT EVIL chapters ago, plus a POMPEII and a MONSTER HUNTER. I don’t remember if I just didn’t get to it or if I was immune to the charms of the Andersonography at that moment in time, but whatever the reason, I fuckin blew it. I can imagine the warm feeling I would’ve had watching an early afternoon show in a huge, mostly empty theater at Pacific Place. And I bet the 3D would’ve been amazing.

But at home on 2D blu-ray ten years later was good too. Maybe I should be thankful I saved it for a time when this specific type of escapism is more precious. Like that 2001 movie THE MUSKETEER that I reviewed recently, it’s loosely based on the Dumas novel and completely unembarrassed to pimp it out with modern cinematic trends and PWSA fixations, including but not limited to speed-ramping, acrobatic fight choreography and cool steam-punk weapons and vehicles. It takes the silliness much further than THE MUSKETEER, and has a much bigger budget – the climax involves two armed blimps engaged in a pirate ship battle in the sky – and I thought it was a whole lot of fun.

Correction: Wikipedia says this contains “clock-punk elements” rather than “steam-punk.” I don’t know what that is, but I’ll go with it.

When it comes down to it there are two types of people in the world: people who scoff at a director like Guy Ritchie or Paul Weird Science Anderson taking a classic tale and crassly modernizing it with a bunch of silly bullshit, and people who love that type of thing. You pretty much know if you’re gonna love this or not in the opening, when it introduces its Cool 2011Action Hero version of the Three Musketeers trying to steal Leonardo da Vinci’s airship blueprints from a vault in Vienna. I believe it’s Athos (Matthew Macfadyen, Sheriff of Nottingham in the Ridley Scott version of ROBIN HOOD) who emerges from the canal wearing some mix of medieval armor and proto-scuba gear, then pulls out what look like nunchakas for a second, but then they spring open into… something?

And then fire projectiles? Like a human action figure.

And then Aramis (Luke Evans, NO ONE LIVES) is a mysterious hooded figure (in priest disguise) sitting on a gargoyle overlooking the city like Batman before he jumps down and beats up a boatman whose passenger smiles at him so he stops to have public pre-caper boat sex with her. (Is that in the book?)

They meet up with big ol’ lovable lug Porthos (Ray Stevenson in the same year he starred in KILL THE IRISHMAN and didn’t get enough to do in THOR) and fancy-dressed Milady (Milla Jovovich, HE GOT GAME), who seems like she’s been added to the team in this version to break up the sausage party, until (opening scene spoiler) she betrays them. But only after a lovingly shot and adorably ridiculous sequence where she sets off some booby traps – a long hallway lined with muskets that we see self-firing in cross-section – then smiles and runs through it anyway, expertly dodging and limbo sliding under the barrage that’s fired at her.

In this one Logan Lerman (3:10 TO YUMA, GAMER, NOAH, FURY) plays d’Artagnan. I always thought he looked like Michael Cera in a Halloween wig on the cover, and I have found most of his long string of lead performances to be unmemorable, but he’s fine here, as the cocky young wannabe who comes to town to become a musketeer like his father, finds those three washed up has-beens, and inspires them to relive their glory as, like, elite sword guys or whatever. “Only a few men can prevent the coming apocalypse,” according to the opening text, so we’ll take however many musketeers we’re offered.

Going into this thing without remembering who is in the cast is pretty amazing, because they just keep coming. Like I forgot Cardinal Richeliu was gonna be Christoph Waltz (ALITA: BATTLE ANGEL) – do you think at any point during his decades of acting in Austrian movies he ever thought, “I should try out for a Tarantino movie – maybe then I could move to Hollywood, win two Oscars and be an enemy to the Green Hornet, the Three Musketeers, Tarzan and James Bond”? If so, good call! It worked!

And you got Mads Mikkelsen (VALHALLA RISING) as Rochefort, James Corden (CATS) as Planchet (comic relief – he gets shit on by a bird and gets seasick and pukes and dumps out a bedpan on a guy and stuff like that), and smaller roles for Til Schweiger (LARA CROFT: TOMB RAIDER: THE CRADLE OF LIFE) and Dexter Fletcher (director of ROCKETMAN). Gabrielle Wilde (Sue Snell from the 2013 remake of CARRIE) plays the love interest for d’Artagnan and Freddie Fox (not the rapper Freddie Foxx, but the actor who was in VICTOR FRANKENSTEIN and KING ARTHUR: THE LEGEND OF THE SWORD) plays King Louis (not the orangutan from THE JUNGLE BOOK, but the human king), who’s a pawn in a whole scheme involving fake love letters and Queen Anne (Juno Temple, MALEFICENT) and a diamond necklace and the future of England.

They go on daring missions, play clever tricks, swash buckles and musket teers left and right, and it’s a jolly time, but a big part of the fun of the movie falls on Milla as Milady. I don’t know if Paul Women’s Studies Anderson is too close to see it objectively, having already been married to Jovovich for a few years by that point, but together I think they discovered her unique place in movies as a larger than life icon in a certain type of modern mid-budget FX-driven genre movies. Though she’s proven herself capable of a certain amount of transformation, such as speaking a made-up alien language in THE FIFTH ELEMENT, in a way she’s sort of like Arnold Schwarzenegger. You can take that red hair, those piercing model eyes and that accent, and you can put her into any fantastical role, and we will accept that she not only fits there, but that the whole world revolves around her. And these are video game/cartoon/fantasy worlds, where her size and delicate features do not mean weakness; her affinity for spinning and flipping allows her to fight anybody, or anything.

This is her gift to the world, shared primarily in the long-running RESIDENT EVIL series, but also ULTRAVIOLET and the new Paul Wii Sports Anderson joint MONSTER HUNTER. But THE THREE MUSKETEERS is important as the one that establishes how fun it can be to see her come in and be wicked to the good guys and have us kind of like her anyway. She repeated the trick as the Blood Queen in the non-Del-Toro HELLBOY (2019), which I think is more fun than you may have heard, in part because of her contributions.

Jovovich can easily pull off the normal villainy of wearing giant frilly period dresses and manipulating things behind the scenes in conversations with the evil Cardinal and the comically arrogant, pompadoured Duke of Buckingham (Orlando Bloom between completing the first LORD OF THE RINGS and PIRATES trilogies and stopping by THE HOBBIT and DEAD MEN TELL NO TALES to make awkward small talk). But Anderson knows to also give her a ninja mission where she sneaks onto a rooftop and has a sword fight with slo-mo spinning wirework leaps and times firing a musket to the chime of a clock and tears off her dress to reveal equipment she uses to wire herself and dive from the roof and use the lock-picking equipment hidden in her hairclip for a break-in.

(Fight choreographer/stunt coordinator/second unit director: Nick Powell [THE BOURNE IDENTITY, RESIDENT EVIL: RETRIBUTION, director of the Nic Cage movies OUTCAST and PRIMAL].)

He also knows that she can betray the heroes and aid an evil conspiracy but if she implies she has some remorse and/or genuine feelings for Athos we’ll forgive her and hope that she’ll survive her plummet from great heights. Because she’s Milla, and she was just being Milla.

As I mentioned in the THE MUSKETEER review I’m really not familiar with the Dumas story, so one thing that surprised me is how many little things that I assumed were just made up for THE MUSKETEER have variations in this version too. For example, d’Artagnan getting in a stranger’s face demanding an apology for his horse, or a part where someone pulls an arrogant “Do you know who I am!?” on him and he asks if they know who he is. That probly means they come from the book, or from things that were added in older movie versions and became associated with the story, but I’d prefer to believe this one was mainly adapted from THE MUSKETEER.

The screenplay is credited to Alex Litvak (PREDATORS) and Andrew Davies (BRIDGET JONES’S DIARY). I wonder if Litvak just wrote a bunch of cool action shit and left it to Davies to British it up with royals and shit?

Ask yourself: do you feel lucky, clock-punk? Well you’ll feel luckier if you watch THE THREE MUSKETEERS because aren’t we lucky that we as clock-punks live in a world where we are provided with a clock-punk version of The Three Musketeers? Bless you, Paul Wyld Stallions Anderson.

This entry was posted on Monday, February 15th, 2021 at 10:54 am and is filed under Action, Fantasy/Swords, Reviews. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

46 Responses to “The Three Musketeers (2011)”

  1. Never saw this, but my mother saw it on TV once and greatly enjoyed it, although she isn’t the most reliable movie critic.

    RE Christoph Waltz’s career: Don’t know what his plan was, but I remember watching BIG EYES with my sister and her reaction when I told her that this was the guy who played Roy Black* back in the 90s, her reaction was a shocked: “Oh, fuck that guy, how did he end up in Hollywood?!”

    *A German crooner who got his own made-for-TV biopic shortly after his dead in the early 90s, which was the first big role for Waltz. That said, while his performance was praised, his casting also got under fire before the movie even aired, because he was simply considered “too ugly” to play Black.

  2. Have you checked out the one /two of ‘The three musketeers’ & ‘The four musketeers’ shot back to back by Richard Lester some time in the 70’s I believe? They’ve probably aged terribly but I used to adore them as a kid and the cast is blinding.
    I’ve not seen this version in its entirety yet but I have a soft spot both for Paul Wild Stallion Anderson and Milla so I shall rectify this toot sweet! As always Vern, your review was a delight!

  3. Oddly enough, or maybe not since this has happened several times with your sight, I just rewatched this for the first time since it first hit DVD, just last night.

    Curious how many people picked up on direct lines of dialogue taken from The Princess Bride (which was fresh in my head after rewatching it for the first time in ages just a few days ago) which was clearly intentional. Though now I can’t remember what a single one was (Valentines drinking with my girl whilst watching last night- I’ll try to look it up)

    Also although his physicality in this was impressive, I’ve found Lerman pretty bland in most things, with the HUGE EXCEPTION of “The Perks Of Being A Wallflower” … a sadly under seen but fantastic coming of age movie… that is beyond phenomenal leading (with no bad wig) with a charm and vulnerability and sadness and joy that just kills me.

  4. I watched this fairly recently on Hulu, and yeah, it’s fun, but it’s brought down by Anderson plagiarizing several moments from older movies. I guess if you were in a forgiving mood, you could count them as homages, but I guess–with Anderson already having the framework of a classic novel to hang his steampunk craziness on–that further supplementing that with undigested chunks of The Man With No Name just feels lazy.

  5. Vern, regarding the similarities you noticed between this and THE MUSKETEER, those moments are also in the 1948 version which I happened to watch recently. I believe that’s supposed to be one of the more faithful adaptations so there’s a good chance that those are indeed straight out of the book!

  6. The hair-splitting distinction between the retrofuturistic genres “steampunk” and “clock-punk” is that steampunk means a modernized throwback to the 19th century, when steam engines had been invented. If it’s a throwback to something before that like the 1700s then it’s “clock-punk”.

    Similarly, if it’s a throwback to sci-fi of the 1930s (like THE ROCKETEER or SKY CAPTAIN) then it’s “dieselpunk”. And if you’re emulating sci-fi of the 1970s then you’re a “cassette futurist”.

  7. Saw MONSTER HUNTER recently. Had a real good time with it.

  8. I remember enjoying this very much. I believe it made Tarantino’s list of his favourite films that year.

    When INGLORIOUS BASTARDS came out, I remember a German poster on a forum I was on saying that Waltz had been doing the same schtick on German TV for years, and he couldn’t believe Americans (and others) were “falling for it”. At the time I thought “yeah, whatever buddy” because I was as into that performance as everybody, but I’ve thought of that post often since because I’ve never really liked any of his performances since. When he’s not doing the same schtick watered down, I think he’s either kind of awful (GREEN HORNET, BIG EYES) or not quite there (ALITA: BATTLE ANGLE). I know I’m still in a minority so I guess I don’t get it, or only got it once.

  9. This is some kind of Mandela Effect — how did this movie come out in 2011? I could have sworn I saw it marketed in, like, 2017. Anyway, sounds kind of enjoyable, even though Paul Wanda Sykes Anderson produces more misses than hits, and his hits aren’t all that great anyway.

  10. Vern, your suggestions for what W.S. stands for are classic!

  11. I never got around to this one despite the stacked cast primarily because I never got into Paul WS Anderson movies, but also I have such an affinity for the early 90s version of the Three Musketeers with Kieffer, Charlie Sheen and Oliver Platt as the title characters. I rewatched that one recently and it still mostly holds up in that Mask of Zorro classic swashbuckling adventure kind of way. I hope you continue with these Musketeer reviews and do that one and the Three/Four Musketeers duology from the 70s starring Oliver Reed and Charlton Heston.

  12. When is Milla going to get the credit she deserves as The Biggest Female Action Star Of All Time Full Stop? Not taking a single thing away from awesome ladies like Cynthia Rothrock and Michelle Yeoh, who I’ve no doubt would snap Milady in half like a yardstick in a real bout, but she’s been consistently playing at a level higher than most male action stars for more than 20 years now. We really need to stop taking her for granted. A man had her track record, he’d be a fucking god.

    Anyway, this one is great. Just a lot of big dumb fun while also probably being the most successful story Ol’ Weird Science Anderson over here has ever told. The only lame part is D’Artangan but that seems to be a given with these things.

  13. Everything I said on The Musketeer comment thread…applies here..in multiples.

    I’ll probably catch MONSTER HUNTER for Jaa, but apart from EVENT HORIZON, I maintain Paul WS Anderson’s biggest accomplishment was nailing Jovovich.


  15. Question for those who saw that MONSTER HUNTER movie: Does it have a scene of those little cat people preparing food? If not, I have no reason to watch it.

  16. Yes. One Cat Person. Fixes a drink for Ron Perlman as well.

  17. I think I enjoyed MORTAL KOMBAT and until I rewatch it, will need to convince myself that any residual ill will I have is solely due to the dreadful sequel MORTAL KOMBAT ANNIHILATION and not the original.

    My main issue with Paul WASTE of SPACE Anderson is that he strives for the journeyman genre-hopping efficiency of Roger Donaldson, Peter Hyams, John Badham and Antoine Fuqua but never comes close to their filmic exuberance or style.

    Let’s take the Resident Evil franchise which bear the largest imprints of old Paul’s grubby handprints. Shot for shot, the 3rd entry RESIDENT EVIL: ANNIHILATION directed by Russell Mulcahy, a truly talented journeyman film-maker with a great visual eye, leaves the Anderson-directed Parts 1,4,5 & 6 eating it’s dust.

    John Hyams and Jesse V Johnson languish in DTV-land while this mediocre film-maker without an iota of style, whose entire filmic oeuvre, once again excluding EVENT HORIZON, has never once raised my pulse rate, has his latest open in theatres even in the midst of a global pandemic.

    Paraphrasing Woody Allen, I would however love to be his fingertips.

  18. Now I’m torn between my enjoyment of Milla Jovovich movies (which started waaaay back with DAZED & CONFUSED) and my disdain for the seemingly ever-inferior retreads of THE THREE MUSKETEERS. Richard Lester really knocked the ’70s version out of the park (although it, too, differed from the novel), and since then it seems like more & more extraneous crap has been added into them in order to get the butts in the seats.

    Although I’m not sure that works, as the adaptations since then haven’t exactly set the box office on fire.

    Maybe they should jettison the asinine clockpunk elements, modern-day inspired fight choreography and tacked-on plot elements and go back to the original source material. What a concept!

    Keep Milla though, because she rocks. And squeeze in Til Schweiger again, too.

  19. The first I look for in a new Musketeers movie is who plays Rochefort. You can tell a lot by the casting of Richelieu’s right hand man. And after Lee, Roth and Wincott I think Michelsen did a great job.

  20. I think EVENT HORIZON is pretty bad and don’t really understand it’s status as Anderson’s “exception”. Over the years I’ve somehow met quite a few people who like it, even people who aren’t big film fans, so there must be something there, but I don’t see it. The production values and cast are obviously above those of most of Anderson’s other films, but it has no internal logic so things just sort of happen and they don’t really have any kind of impact, and it’s full of cheesy touches that aren’t very effective and don’t make a tremendous amount of sense (e.g lightning flashes in space). Famously about 30-45 minutes were cut from the film, and if they ever came out with a version restoring that footage I’d give it a look, because there’s potential there, but I don’t think it’s even close to being realised in the finished film.

    SHOPPING, his debut film, is quite good, or at least it’s easy to see how he got a Hollywood career soon afterwards; his strengths (great style) and weaknesses (not much substance) are clearly on display from the start.

  21. Paul Why Soserious Anderson is always fascinating to me, as he’s never as bad as everyone makes him ou to be, he always gives his movies 110% and makes them the best he can, and they’re usually damn fun.

    (Soldier is the exception, and I don’t fault him AvP because its clear he had budget limits and lots of creative suggestions from corporate.)

    He’s also one of the few directors who actually shoot 3D well. I remember reading he sought out Cameron’s consul for shooting the 3D stuff Resident Evil 4, and hes been excelling at it ever since. I only see Wall Street’s movies in IMAX 3D because they’re literally the best. (Even better than the Interstellar guy) and I am pissed I didnt get to Monster Hunter in the format

    I only saw this the one time, but I feel its bonkers enough to garner another viewing while i wait for monster hunter

  22. In spite of studio interference and butchery, EVENT HORIZON still manages to intrigue and unsettle you throughout and for that I give it props.

    The below is from IMDB. The scene that suffered the most cuts was the “orgy” scene in Event Horizon as it’s possessed crew indulge in some batshit bonkers brutality which would have been something to behold in a Paul WS Anderson flick, but basically “Tuesday, Scene 2, Take 5” on an early Paul Verhoeven set.

    “The infamous “bloody orgy” video was also longer. Parts which are still in the scene, like one of the crew members sticking his fingers deep into other one’s eyes, and a female crew member sodomizing male crew member with iron pipe, were even more violent in original version of the scene. There were also lot more shots of Event Horizon crew naked and covered in blood having violent sex and raping and eating each other, more graphic version of the scene where man pulls his intestines out of his mouth, one crew member is held and stabbed in back of the head with spike and part of his mouth and teeth drops out, other crew member is crawling on floor while others are hitting his legs with steel bars smashing them to pieces as he screams and is crawling away leaving pieces of his legs behind, one girl has screws drilled into her teeth, other girl is held while her arm is broken with hunk of metal, one more girl has her breasts mauled and then ripped off by another crew member, some other parts of the scene were also cut. The reason why this scene disturbed the test audience was because the filmmakers, in order to make the scene look more realistic and therefore a lot more violent, hired real-life amputees for special effects scenes where Event Horizon crew members had their body parts damaged in many ways, and porn actors were hired to make the sex and rape scenes more graphic. According to producer Jeremy Bolt and director Paul W.S. Anderson, during the screening of a rough cut of the movie, some audience members started fainting while watching this scene”

  23. Vern, you are consistently awesome and funny. Also, Paul Water Slide Anderson.

  24. The problem with Anderson is that there’s two of him. There Paul Walkin’ Steady Anderson, who is an adorably old-fashioned Wachowski clone who shoots clean, ridiculous, wires-and-CGI-enabled action scenes that make up in clarity and chutzpah what they lack in genuine danger. This Anderson’s finest achievement is RESIDENT EVIL 5. Then there’s Paul Workin’ Shaky Anderson, who more or less invented the Avid Fart and prefers to capture action by strapping a camera to the side of a terrified water buffalo and hoping for the best. His low mark is RESIDENT EVIL 6, a movie clearly financed by Dramamine. You never know which one you’re gonna get, and neither one is a guarantee of the film’s ultimate quality. For example, DEATH RACE is probably better than the first RESIDENT EVIL, despite the former being a step-by-step guide on exactly how not to film a motion picture and the latter featuring several classically composed shots of Milla Jovovich with no pants on. You just can’t tell which way it’s going to pan out with the work of Paul Wacky Schrodinger Anderson until you open the box.

  25. I actually am so impressed and feel a sense of community pride from that that nobody is making stupid and dumb name jokes, and instead are trying to be as good of an abstract and original WS jokesmith as the grand champ, Vern. However, I must play the name game because I thought of a funny one: Paul Wally Sparks Anderson.

    Milla rules, one of the best there is at movies and someone deserving of great respect. I hope people start giving her weirder and more abstract things to do in the movies, even if (especially if) it is in her stellar tradition of elevating genre work. There is all kinds of zany genre shit goin on these days and she is hilarious, get it together Hollywood, keep making all these great Milla movies but also let’s see some more of them please, and odder ones where she gets to show her amazing personality all the time, and there are also plenty of weird ones out there but let’s keep progressing everyone. I love Arnold but Milla is like a 1940s character actor or actually good performance artist something, one of the oddest ducks ever to build a career on stoic badassery.

    Mega Acting is good and important but I am all about recognizing the singularity of Milla Acting. I am happy to be in agreement with everyone in the world with good taste in entertainers and artists. Also I hope she plays some concerts after Covid, her album is a good one. Also a weird musical starring her would be good, preferably if she wrote the songs herself. Paul We’ll See Anderson better get working on the ultimate Covid-era green screen collab, even an extended music video would be good, and it would be popular online also, good for everyone. Thank you Hollywood and world cinema and the music biz, sincerely A.L.F.

  26. Okaaaaaaay……..I’ll begrudgingly admit I kinda liked Paul Will Suck Anderson’s take on DEATH RACE, as the straight up action treatment worked in it’s favor compared to the goofy Roger Corman original, which copious nudity aside, was unintentionally hilarious most of the time.

    The Stath (another soft spot for me) was ripped AF and the film had the balls to put this immortal line in Joan Allen’s mouth “Okay cocksucker. Fuck with me, and we’ll see who shits on the sidewalk”

  27. What makes you think the original DEATH RACE was *unintentionally* hilarious? It’s a Paul Bartel movie. He made nothing but comedies in his entire career. He was definitely aware of what movie he was making.

  28. Ha! See, I knew fuck all about the original. It played years ago in my hometown at a particular cinema known for it’s skeezy soft porn fare. I went with a friend of mine knowing exactly 3 things about it:

    1. Stallone was in it (it was a year or 2 after Rambo 2 and Rocky 4 and we were huge fans)
    2. It would have gleefully gory scenes of vehicular carnage
    3. It would have naked women

    Point 3 was the clincher for both of us, being at that stage of horny adolescence where we’d sit through a film with BROWN BUNNY levels of tedium if it had the slightest chance of a woman taking her top off.

    So seeing the movie and discovering that:

    1. Stallone wasn’t the hero but the heavy and a pretty bad one at that
    2. Yes, there was a lot of vehicular mayhem but cheaply shot and staged

    was the source of much unintended mirth for both of us.

    Thank goodness for Point 3 exceeding our expectations. We came for boobs and maybe an ass shot and got honest to goodness full-frontals. I remember not a single line from the movie but my companion’s incredulous aside to me lingers: “Dude! Saw that? BUSH!”

  29. Yeah gotta press the like button or whatever with words for what the great, wise, distilled and intelligent Mr. M said, Corman “pictures” all know they are funny, particularly the ones involving hilarious people, Paul Bartel, Vincent Price, Jack Nicholson, Clint Howard, Howard Hesseman from TV’s Head of the Class, etc. There are funny-ass people in basically all of them, and Corman himself is also hilarious in a very dry Bob-Newhart-but-more-showbiz kinda way. You gotta give people total entertainment including jokes and funny ideas, there is no more advanced form of humor than the love of funny ideas that is all over Corman’s cheap ass oeuvre. The origin of New Hollywood is Roger Corman showed a bunch of try-hards that you can have weird ideas in your movies because who gives a shit, get it in under budget and you’ll make a few bucks, it’ll be a good picture. You know how Puffy used to be all we invented the remix, well R.C. Cola’s crew’s “we” sure invented a lot of things, unlike Puff with his bragging about having a production credit on a Jodeci record a million years into the history of remixes. Rog rules.

    Thinking about Milla being hilarious put me in a good mood so I was like well I will enjoy this cup of coffee and watch an interview with her and the #1 George Wallace fan, Craig Ferguson, I was happy to see it in my beloved format of blurry early YouTube upload, the kind where you look at the video’s info and it’s like “191,647 views • Dec 7 1073”. All Milla is good if you ask me, for instance during the interview when she started talking about Mikhail Bulgakov and Gabriel García Márquez and Magical Realism, and the commonalities between Russian and Spanish literature, like they were American Ninja and Antoine Doinel or something. My list of unfilmable novels just got a lot of new “*unless it’s Milla”s. I’d bet PWSA is way into A Hero of Our Time and shit and is always having excellent pretending-to-be-dumb laughs on the world.

    At the end of the interview she started talking about how she didn’t curtsy when she met Prince Charles in a hilarious and disrespectful way where she was like “Nah” (like, seconds after having visibly moved reverence in her eyes for the very thing of Eastern European architecture) and then after her total dis started happily joking about how she “threw up gang signs” when she met him. Then she did some of her continuous laughter, and started funnily calling him “PC” in kind of a tough voice while throwing up gibberish hand gestures, even though Craig Ferguson was audibly trying to go to commercial break.

    I hadn’t thought of it until that moment, but Milla is so funny, so she must have funnier and more abstract “WS” jokes than any of us ever could dream of. There are probably thousands, to say the least, and they probably have a hilarious logic of their own, from Milla’s close familiarity with his true WSness.

    Maybe the reason why Milla plays so many traditional badasses is because she disrupts the comedy process by laughing too much!

  30. A.L.F.: Hell yeah. You won’t find a bigger Corman fan than me (he is one of only two people I have ever stood in line to meet), and I cosign everything you just said. The best thing you can say about a Corman movie is that it knows exactly what it is but doesn’t use that as an excuse to not strive for excellence, even if excellence is rarely achievable. If I had a time machine, I’d go back to the early 70s and get a job at New World. Any job. For me, it’d be like getting an internship at the Justice League or something.

  31. I raise my glass to the Paul Wally Sparks Anderson!

    Bravo, sir!

  32. Mr. Majestyk – though I do not base my appreciation for outlawvern-dot-commenters on agreement about the movies that we enjoy, it is always nice to be in solidarity with yourself. Your cultural outlook is always so interesting. 

    This is kinda getting off-topic but you know I thought was funny, #ReleaseTheSassoneCut only has TWO TWEETS. Fifty billion people thinking about comic books and their movies all damn day and only two people have thought of that one? Weird. The guy’s name even starts with the same letter, that of S!

    If I may ask, what was the other line that you had stood in? I wish I had your level of personal cool – shit, I have stood in line to meet a guy dressed as Wolverine at the mall!

    The Winchester – thank you very much, you are very kind and I appreciate it. You are funny, too!

  33. Thanks, A.L.F. Nice to know I still got fans on Melmac.

    The Corman thing happened when he showed up to J&R (sadly long-defunct electronics superstore in lower Manhattan) to promote Touchstone’s then-new line of Corman Classics DVDS when I was working just a few blocks away. On my lunch break, I bought a copy of BIG BAD MAMA just to have something for him to sign. He was as genteel and down-to-Earth as you could possibly hope. He seemed genuinely touched that new generations were discovering his movies.

    The other person I stood in line to meet was Joe Bob Briggs. (It was around 2010 and it was a very short line.) The hypothetical third would be Stephen King if I got the chance. There is no fourth.

  34. A. L. F., as a Milla fan i suggest you check out this interview. I am a big fan of hers as well.

    Milla Jovovich is in the action movie pantheon now

    The Monster Hunter star reflects on her cinematic evolution

  35. Millia is in the action movie pantheon NOW? See, this is what I’m talking about. Statham was in the pantheon by like TRANSPORTER 2. Meanwhile, it takes a woman two straight decades of kicking faces off heads to get recognized.

  36. Scott Adkins interviews Iko Uwais

    The Art of Action - Iko Uwais - Episode 28

    In episode 28, Scott is joined by one of the top martial arts actors in the world Iko Uwais. Srat of The Raid movies, Mile 22, Netflix Wu Assassins, Triple T...

  37. Mr. Majestyk – Oh, that is such an awesome place to meet Corman, great store, I am a fan, wow.

    You better believe that the various New York retailers which employed me were all very popular with the amazing portion of humanity that were “J&R Guys”. My most recent New York stint was two years ago, and even that far into the future I would sometimes be at work or Book-Off or the movies or whatever and see a lone guy walking around toting their day’s supply of garbage and trash in a dirty, crinkly and old-ass J&R bag, it was almost like a mirage or something. There are few things I enjoy more than a guy who shows up to another store yelling about J&R without prompting and I love that they are still identifiably roaming around and repping for their nest, although I miss the less-demonstrative J&R Guys who would would nervously tell you who had the best prices on every item that they obtained that week, politely apologizing for their sensible, comparative shopping as a part of their overall enjoyment of telling you in list format about all the stores that they’d frequent, which was usually just a flimsy excuse to tell you about how into J&R they were. I can’t blame them! I miss New York and I miss stores.

    You know what would be good would be if somebody made a documentary called J&R GUYS, kinda like a mix between CINEMANIA, TREKKIES and that Other Music movie that I’ve yet to see. Maybe they should just make a movie called CRINKLY BAGS.

    If you ever want to see beautiful street photography of of old, dreamlike New York and more recent stock photos of Chaka Khan, Carol Alt, Bow Wow, Keith Sweat, Minnie Driver, Faith Evans, Y2J, J. Cole and a weirdly tolerable-seeming J. Bieber with very happy looks on their faces while signing autographs I’d sure recommend giving J&R Music World a Google Image Search. Though he is ineffectively always trying to act tough or scary or whatever and though he has been terribly inconsistent in recent years, I hope that Johnny Rotten was really excited about J&R having the same initials as him when Public Image Limited had a signing there. “That’s ME initials, J and R!”. The world is a nice place sometimes.

    Felix – Thank you for sharing that great article, I hadn’t read it. Wow, this part was really interesting: “…doing these extraordinary stunts [and] feeling like one of the characters in the sci-fi books that I had read my whole life”. I hope to eventually learn which ones she was talking about. No matter if it was Le Guin or, like, HEIR TO THE EMPIRE or whatever, dang, Milla rules so much. I’ve got to listen to those Resident Evil commentaries one of these days.

    Also she talks about martial arts several times during that Ferguson interview, and talks about how guns suck.

  38. A.L.F.: I was at J&R pretty much every lunch hour anyway so it was pretty convenient. Like he was visiting my favorite bar or something. (The best I had on that front was Jimmy Fallon and Frank Miller, and even then I always missed them.) One of those days where it feels like the universe has arranged something special just for me.

  39. That is the best, those few times when life just brings the best situations and most valuable, impactful people possible right to you and you can’t believe that you could be so happy about something. Those are such precious moments, even when you appreciate them at the time there’s always this amazing feeling of “Wait, how did that even actually happen?” when looking back. Absurdly convenient significance is really something. I’d bet Corman was happy to have met you.

    Even though his work is so bar-oriented, I’d imagine Frank Miller preferring to get fucked up on some frosty orange Nuke. One time I saw Neil Gaiman standing in front of the Irish-style bar that used to be next to Kim’s and I gave him a big smile of nerd recognition, but really I wanted to be all “SAM KIETH, THOUGH!!!!!”, or “What….was….the best part….of….writing….The Constantine.”

    See all you nice folks in the MONSTER HUNTER thread real soon for relevant Monster Hunting discussions.

    P.S. Lynn Varley, Bill Sienkiewicz, Geoff Darrow and Klaus Janson, though!

  40. I totally understand the outpouring of Milla love here, I like her myself, but just the facts boys:

    Entry into the Hallowed Pantheon of Action Gods first and foremost demands a consistent output of on screen ass-kickery. The comparisons to The Stath are so off, as since THE TRANSPORTER, the man has crank(NO PUN INTENDED) -ed out a steady stream of explosive screen carnage. He’s headlined 3 franchises (TRANSPORTER, CRANK, MECHANIC) lent his able support to 2 more (EXPENDABLES, FAST AND FURIOUS) and scored his own F&F spin off in between the stand-alones. Even his off beat fare like HUMMINGBIRD/REDEMPTION and WILDCARD still had a couple of awesome fight scenes.

    I will admit, it’s a lot harder for women to make numbers like that. Outside of HK, I can’t think of any movie industry where female stars can consistently only work in action movies.

    So let’s take Madame Jovovich: Outside of the Resident Evil franchise, action wise she’s done ULTRAVIOLET (she’s hot, the movie’s not), THE THREE MUSKETEERS (I’ve said all I need to say about this dreck), the current MONSTER HUNTER which I’ve not seen and…and ….well the rest is pretty varied stuff. Supporting roles in the Zoolander flicks, some dramas with Sam Jackson and De Niro, a vacation thriller with a pre-Thor Hemsworth and a baddie role in the latest HELLBOY which I actually enjoyed.

    I’d class Jovovich alongside Jolie,Theron and Beckinsale i.e any action movie hugely benefits from her presence, they need her but she doesn’t necessarily need them.

    So I have no issues with nor do I lament any late acknowledgement of her On Screen Bad-Assery. She’s an A-Lister married to a popular director of action adventure films who will continue to cast her as long as they don’t do a Len Wiseman/Kate Beckinsale.

    I’ll save my lament for a true Action Goddess, a little blonde dynamo who can out-punch, out-kick, out-jump, out-flip and out-weapon handle any man, who matched the grueling, demanding choreography of HK films every step of the way, earned the respect of masters like Woo Ping and Sammo and yet was hamstrung for years owing to the miniscule budgets of her American DTV outputs and outside the circle of action movie aficionados, is sadly little known. (Hell, I have a dozen female cousins who refuse to watch action movies and recognize Jovovich by name and look). And as the recent Adkins podcast shows, she’s a genuine, down to earth and self-deprecating sweetie to boot.

    In a just world, Cynthia Rothrock should have a TOMB RAIDER,RESIDENT EVIL,SALT or ATOMIC BLONDE in her filmography.

    That’s an effing tragedy

  41. I find Milla charming in FIFTH ELEMENT and fine otherwise, but while she is attractive of course she just is not my type. The real tragedy is that Paul Will Smith Anderson didn’t marry Lucy Liu, or Jessica Biel, or Emily Blunt. Or Jennifer Love Hewitt! Oh well at least we have all those Kate Beckinsale movies.

  42. Yeah I forgot THE FIFTH ELEMENT. Jovovich was easily the best thing about that weird and weirdly fascinating film. Where marrying action directors go, she traded down from Besson to Anderson, but given the recent allegations, most likely traded up with respect to good hubby and father material.

  43. THE FIFTH ELEMENT may be one of my favorite films ever. Evan as a kid, i enjoyed the hell out of it.

  44. Of the new adaptions I think the BBC series THE MUSKETEERS gets the tone and the characterisations more right than most. Especially the difficult role of D’Artagnan. And since Dumas came from a mixed marriage, I think the casting of English-Jamaican Howard Charles as Porthos is most apt. The actors are quite good fencers too.

  45. Thanks for the recommendation pegsman. As a Musketeer purist, I am honor bound to seek it out.

    Fuck air-ships!

  46. Just remember that the browser history shows that our views on TV shows sometimes differ.

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