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Top Ten Action Adventure Movies

Dr. Von Zuko's highly subjective and rather opinionated reviews. 
With a critical eye on entertainment value, here are the
Top10 Best Movies Ever Made
 

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Top 10 Best Movies Ever                               Reviews: Action Adventure

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10

High Road to China  (1983)          Reviews by: Dr Von Zuko 2009©

 

 Buy it: HIGH ROAD TO CHINA TOM SELLECK DVD BRAND NEW
 

 

High Road to ChinaThe Film: This is the type of action adventure movie that Hollywood should be making ... but isn't!

A marvelous film with breathtaking, scenic and expansive cinematography, especially the flying sequences. High Road to China has a superb script with some truly clever dialogue. This movie moves along at a brisk pace and keeps the viewer engaged in the story and in a truly good time.

The Soundtrack: High Road to China has an incredibly beautiful, expansive and soaring John Barry soundtrack. Barry has the extraordinary ability to score music, that not only communicates the essence of the action and visuals, but also from the soul of the characters and what they are feeling, wondering and deciding.

Synopsis: A flamboyant, spoiled, and unbearable socialite (Bess Armstrong) hires a ragged, hard drinking aviator (Tom Selleck). He is hired to help her find her father (Wilford Brimley) who has disappeared in Far East Asia. Under an insufferable relationship, which adds comic relief, they must find him within twelve days or the entire family fortune goes to her father's treacherous business partner, who will stop at nothing to prevent them from finding her father.

Out of Production: Apparently the ‘hot shot’ marketing MBA’s at Warner Home Video don’t quite understand what a gem they have here, just sitting in their film vault.  Would be a profitable DVD for them!
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

9

Sahara  (2005)  

 

 Buy it:   Sahara (Widescreen Edition)       Sahara [Blu-ray]
 

  Sahara starring Matthew McConaughey, Steve Zahn, Penelope CruzThe Film: Sahara is a fast paced action adventure based on a great Clive Cussler book. Sahara offers up exciting chase scenes, narrow escapes, suspenseful situations and surprising discoveries. This film is highly entertaining and actually exemplifies a set of high moral values (which is probably why the main stream critics didn’t seem to like it all that much)!

Cinematography: Superb, beautifully shot, with many exotic, and richly colored scenics . . . especially considering the demanding challenges of shooting in the very harsh, typically washed out, brightness of a desert. Action shots are extremely well planned and coordinated with perspectives that put you right in the middle of the action.


Synopsis:
Sahara essentially follows two intriguing plot lines; a group of adventurous treasure hunters search for a lost, American Civil War era, Confederate ironclad ship laden with gold. The ship inexplicably escaped Yankee guns and made it to the eastern costal area of the African continent and sailed up what is now a now dry river channel.

In the course of their quest for gold, they encounter a beautiful doctor (Penelope Cruz) who is trying to track the source of a deadly contaminate that is decimating the people in towns and villages along the way. This ignites a battle with an East African War Lord and a corrupt corporation (of course).

In the end, the War Lord gets his . . . brought down by an explosive civil war relic.  The source of the deadly toxin is destroyed, the evil business man is vanquished, and of course, the good guys (Matthew McConaughey, Steve Zahn) find the old ironclad and get the gold.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

8

Romancing the Stone  (1984)

 

 Buy it: Romancing the Stone (Special Edition) Romancing the Stone [Blu-ray]
 

  Romancing the StoneThe Film: Romancing the Stone is one of those very rare and special films that are just as enjoyable the 50th time you watch it as it was with your very first viewing.

It literally has something for every movie buff. Action, Adventure, Suspense, Comedy, and Romance.  

Soundtrack and Cinematography: A brilliant, stimulating, and evocative soundtrack (nearly impossible to find) that really underscores the essence of the film. I literally see the movie in my minds eye every time I hear it.  The cinematography is nothing short of superb, every scene is beautifully rendered.

Synopsis: A New York City romance novelist Joan Wilder (Kathleen Turner) is sent a mysterious treasure map by her sister’s late husband and finds herself locked in a fantastic adventure in the steamy jungles of Columbia. The map becomes a bargaining chit for her kidnapped sister's life, and of course numerous villains are after the map.

To the rescue; Jack T. Colton (Michael Douglas), a swashbuckling opportunist, rescues Joan on a lonely mountain top pass and reluctantly joins in her amazing and dangerous adventure. Are his intentions really to help her? Or is Jack also after the treasure at the end of the mysterious map? Cutting their way through the jungle, swinging from vines, encountering Columbian drug smugglers, corrupt paramilitary police, and two bumbling antiquities smugglers (Danny DeVito and Zack Norman).

Without question, the mud slide scene where Joan Wilder and Jack T. Colton take a wild ride down the side of a mountain to splash into a pool of mud . . . and Jack stopping face first between Joan's legs and proclaiming "One hell of a morning has turned into a bitch of a day" is a movie classic moment! 

Directed by Robert Zemeckis, Romancing the Stone is a wild and romantic ride.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

7

Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl  (2003)

 

 Buy it: Pirates of the Caribbean Trilogy [Blu-ray]
 

  Pirates of the Caribbean, The Curse of the Black PearlThe Film: A highly entertaining and humorous swashbuckling adventure, and probably the only such movie ever based on a theme park ride (Disney's "Pirates of the Caribbean). 

Initially the film was predicted to be a "flop" at the box office, after all the "pirate genre"  hadn't been popular in years.  The film however, proved the experts wrong and proved to be a tremendous "blockbuster" hit. 

With all due credit to the 'all star' cast and outstanding production values, the success of the film was certainly amplified by Johnny Depp's "humorously  quirky" characterization of Captain Jack Sparrow; a pirate unlike the world has undoubtedly ever known. 

Johnny Depp did win "Best Actor" from the Screen Actors Guild, the MTV Movies Awards, and Empire Awards for his performance as Jack Sparrow. 

Soundtrack and Cinematography: Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl, is a work of exceptional quality and execution.  Every element of the film was outstanding down to the smallest detail including sound, editing,  costumes, makeup, hair, visual effects, set design and . . . well everything!
And of course it was all masterfully presented with brilliant and powerful musical scores and simply amazing cinematography. 

Synopsis: The movie chronicles the adventures of a truly eccentric pirate Captain Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp) and blacksmith Will Turner (Orlando Bloom) as they endeavor to rescue the kidnapped Elizabeth Swann (Keira Knightley) from the cursed crew of the Black Pearl. 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

6

True Lies   (1994)

 

 Buy it: True Lies
 

  True LiesThe film: True Lies brings a delightfully different twist to the action adventure spy thriller realm. Best characterized as an action comedy, the film was a box office winner and was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Visual Effects and won a Golden Globe for Jamie Lee Curtis' portrayal of Helen Tasker. 

True Lies story line works incredibly well largely do to its all star cast of Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jamie Lee Curtis, Tia Carrere, Bill Paxton and Tom Arnold.  Playing Albert "Gib" Gibson, Tom Arnold is at his absolute best and is simply hilarious.  His comedic timing is 'spot on' and this role surely ranks among his best ever.
 
Soundtrack and Cinematography: Outstanding special effects, especially the totally convincing segment where AV-8B Harrier Jets blow up a section of the Seven Mile Bridge in the Florida Keys.  And let's not forget the amazing helicopter rescue of Helen Tasker just seconds before the limo careens off the end of the destroyed bridge.  Super cinematography with great staging, blocking, and lighting!  A perfect (and even) sound track throughout the movie with a great selection of contemporary music. 

Synopsis:  Harry Tasker leads a double life. To his family he's a relatively dull sales representative for a computer company. In reality Harry's a government agent with license to do just about anything required to prevail.  As the story unfolds he and partner 'Gib" (Tom Arnold) are hot on the trail of stolen nuclear weapons, in the hands of fanatic terrorists.

Harry inadvertently finds out that his wife is seeing another man, it seems she's seeking a little adventure. Harry decides to give her that adventure himself.  Soon they are both caught up in a dangerous adventure in pursuit of terrorists, stolen nuclear weapons, and in rescuing their daughter taken hostage by the terrorists.

At times it is challenging to decide if True Lies is a thrilling and dangerous action adventure or a highly entertaining action comedy . . . but then who cares?  This is an outstanding movie that you can watch again and again without growing tired of it. In a word "outstanding."
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

 

   

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Top 10 Best Movies Ever Made:  Reviews at www.zuko.com

 

The Top 10 Best Movies Ever Made by Genre: Top 10 Best Action Adventure Movies: The High Road to China: This is the type of action adventure movie that Hollywood should be making but isn't! High Road to China is a 1983 adventure-comedy film, set in the 1920s, starring Tom Selleck as a hard-drinking biplane pilot hired by society heiress Eve 'Evie' Tozer (Bess Armstrong) to find her missing father (Wilford Brimley). Sahara: Sahara is a fast paced action adventure based on a great Clive Cussler book. Sahara offers up exciting chase scenes, narrow escapes, suspenseful situations and surprising discoveries. Although Sahara was a box office hit running at number 1 for weeks, Sahara is considered one of the biggest financial failures in Hollywood history due to production costs. Sahara stars Penelope Cruz as a beautiful doctor who is trying to track the source of a deadly contaminate that is decimating the people in towns and villages. This ignites a battle with an East African War Lord and a corrupt corporation. The good guys are played by Matthew McConaughey and Steve Zahn who work to find the old ironclad and a treasure in gold. Romancing the Stone: Romancing the Stone is one of those very rare and special films that are just as enjoyable the 50th time you watch it as it was with your very first viewing. Romancing the Stone is a 1984 American action-adventure romantic comedy. Directed by Robert Zemeckis, it stars Michael Douglas, Kathleen Turner and Danny DeVito. Romancing the Stone was a huge box office success. This film also helped launch Kathleen Turner to stardom, reintroduced Michael Douglas to the public as a capable leading man, Pirates of the Caribbean: A highly entertaining and humorous swashbuckling Pirate adventure, and probably the only such movie ever based on a theme park ride, Disney's "Pirates of the Caribbean. The Pirates of the Caribbean, Curse of the Black Pearl storyline follows blacksmith Will Turner (Orlando Bloom) and pirate Captain Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp) as they rescue the kidnapped Elizabeth Swann (Keira Knightley) from the cursed crew of the Black Pearl, captained by Hector Barbossa (Geoffrey Rush). True Lies: True Lies brings a delightfully different twist to the action adventure spy thriller realm. Best characterized as an action comedy, the film was a box office winner and was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Visual Effects and won a Golden Globe for Jamie Lee Curtis' portrayal of Helen Tasker. True Lies is a 1994 action-comedy film directed by James Cameron and starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jamie Lee Curtis, Tom Arnold, Bill Paxton, Tia Carrere, Charlton Heston, and Art Malik. Eliza Dushku also appears in the film in one of her first major film roles. True Lies is an extended remake of the 1991 French film La Totale. True Lies is clearly (in my view) one of the Top Ten best action adventure movies ever made.

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