wonder woman

(Welcome to The Best Movies You’ve Never Seen, a series that takes a look at slightly more obscure, under-the-radar, or simply under-appreciated movies. In this edition: the best lead female action stars in movies you may have missed!)

Wonder Woman hits the big screen this week, and I’m happy to report that it’s quite good. It’s also the first modern solo effort for a female superhero, and while that’s fantastic news – albeit long overdue – it’s far from the first female-led action picture. Women have been kicking butts onscreen for decades, and they’ve headlined plenty of terrific action movies along the way including Aliens, Kill Bill, and The Long Kiss Goodnight just to name a few. There’s always room for more though, which is why it’s so damn great when a Rita Vrataski, Imperator Furiosa, or Wonder Woman comes along.

For every well-known female performer who lands a role as a strong, action-capable character in a big-budget blockbuster-to-be, there are a typically a few who slip under the radar in smaller, lower profile films. They get less attention, but truth be told, these lesser-known action stars (female or male) in lower-budgeted movies have to work harder to be noticed and often deliver far more memorable action sequences as a result. The trick is getting people to see them… and that’s where this week’s column comes in. Keep reading for a look at six bone-crunching action movies with female leads (doing the bone crunching) that you’ve probably missed.

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Our Favorite Action Scenes

favorite action scenes

In honor of John Wick: Chapter 2, which hits theaters this week, we are taking a look at our favorite action scenes from movies and television history. But this isn’t just about us, it’s also about you. What did we get right? What did we get wrong? What is your favorite action scene? Leave your picks in the comments below!

/Answers is a weekly feature where all of the /Film writers and podcasters attempt to answer a pop culture related question. Last week, in honor of the Super Bowl, we answered: “What is your favorite sports movie?”

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Haywire - Gina Carano

Another Stephen Soderbergh film may make its way to the small-screen. The 2011 action movie Haywire was a very modest box-office hit, and proved that MMA fighter Gina Carano has real screen presence, given the right circumstances, of course. Will she return to play Mallory Kane in the television series? Little is known about the project at this point, but it’s an exciting prospect, to say the least. Read more about the potential Haywire show after the jump.

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Who Are the Top 15 Best Movie Spies?

Best Movie Spies

This weekend Melissa McCarthy enters secret agent territory as the unlikely hero Susan Cooper in the action comedy Spy. And while the trailers seem to indicate that she’s probably not the best woman for the job, she did get us thinking about the best spies in the business.

There have been plenty of spies on the big screen, from James Bond to Jason Bourne, and I decided to count down the Top 15 Best Movie Spies that we’ve seen throughout the years. However, you won’t find the likes of real-life spies whose life stories have been adapted for film. Instead, this is a collection of fictional spies from the movies. So with that out of the way, let’s count down the Top 15 Movies spies after the jump. Read More »

slashfilmcast550

This week, Dave, Devindra, and Adam argue about the quality of Gavin O’Connor’s Warrior, offer praise for this season’s Justified (check out the new JustifiedCast here!) and wonder what the hell the MPAA is doing these days. Special guest Joanna Robinson joins us from Pajiba.

You can always e-mail us at slashfilmcast(AT)gmail(DOT)com, or call and leave a voicemail at 781-583-1993. Join us at Slashfilm’s Live page on Sunday (1/29) as we discuss The Grey.

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When we ran the first five minutes of Steven Soderbergh‘s Haywire, starring Gina Carano, a few people mentioned something interesting in the comments. Those who’ve followed Carano’s MMA career said that her voice, as heard in the clip from the film, didn’t sound much at all like Carano.

Turns out there’s a reason. We know that Steven Soderbergh was taken enough with Carano’s physical presence to build a film around her. Some of that appeal may have been that she’s an unknown quantity on film. And it seems that Soderbergh wanted to emphasize every possible difference between Gina Carano and the character she plays on screen, so with Carano’s participation he did some work to alter her voice for the film. Read More »

Sadly, this one is for US residents only, because it uses a Hulu embed. Eventually I imagine this will end up on YouTube, but for now everyone outside the States will have to be patient.

One of Steven Soderbergh‘s last films (he’s planning to retire after shooting two more, The Side Effects and Behind the Candelabra), Haywire features MMA star Gina Carano and opens on January 20. You can see the first five minutes of the movie below.

The scene is one that you’ll see in much shorter form in various trailers for the film, but this full presentation of a confrontation between Gina Carano and Channing Tatum should really give you a good idea of what sort of fight scenes Haywire has to offer. This fight is serious. Read More »

The release of Steven Soderbergh‘s Haywire, the action film he and writer Lem Dobbs (Kafka, The Limey) built around MMA star Gina Carano, is almost upon us. The film has played the AFI festival and will open on January 20. To make one final promo push before that opening date, Relativity has released a final, slightly extended trailer for the film, which you can see below. Read More »

Relativity Media unveiled Steven Soderbergh‘s action movie Haywire this past weekend at the AFI Fest, to mixed/positive reviews. The idea behind the movie is that Soderberg saw MMA fighter Gina Carano in action, and wanted to build a movie around her. He and screenwriter Lem Dobbs (The Limey) came up with a story about a betrayed covert ops specialist out for revenge, dropped Carano in the middle and surrounded her with actors like Channing Tatum, Ewan McGregor, Antonio Banderas, Bill Paxton, Michael Douglas and Michael Fassbender.

The trailers we’ve seen so far tried to balance action, dialogue, tension and character, but this new trailer basically goes all out for action. Consequently it looks great. Read More »

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Odds are when you first saw the trailer for Haywire, Steven Soderbergh‘s action film starring MMA fighter Gina Carano, you thought, “Why is a Steven Soderbergh movie starring Michael Fassbender, Ewan McGregor, Michael Douglas, Channing Tatum and Antonio Banderas coming out in January?” January is an odd movie month as it’s generally a place studios can release films they’re unsure about. It doesn’t necessarily mean they’re bad, just without obvious award or blockbuster potential and such is the case with Haywire. It’s an understated, down-the-middle action/spy film elevated by Soderbergh’s direction.  Haywire basically comes off as an exercise to watch an attractive woman beat the crap out of a bunch of famous guys.

The film had its world premiere in Grauman’s Chinese Theater Sunday night as part of the 25th annual AFI Fest Presented by Audi. Read some thoughts after the jump. Read More »