Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Question: Action Jackson. . .

Who is your favorite action hero and why? Is it Papa Smurf and his rough and tumble ways? Maybe it's the Governator, a hero never afraid to show his feminine side. Perhaps you prefer the eloquent types, like Stalone? How about somebody old school like Hercules? Or somebody new school like that dude in that thing?

20 comments:

Joel Farnham said...

Heros in the John Wayne mold. What he said in the Shootist, he said best.

"I won't be wronged, I won't be insulted, and I won't be laid a hand on. I don't do these things to other people and I expect the same from them."

as John Booke, shootist.

ScottDS said...

Man, what a question! I'm in the minority among my film nerd friends in that I don't read comics. (I realize you weren't just talking about comic book heroes.) I'm certainly a part of that target demo but I never got into them, partly because I'd have to go back and read every back issue (stupid OCD).

But when it comes to favorite action heroes (as seen in movies and TV shows), I'd have to go with Batman and Superman (as played by Chris Reeve).

Batman, mostly because he's mortal and self-made. (The car and the gadgets certainly help!)

Superman, because he's someone we should all aspire to be like. I watched the first Superman film a while ago and Supe's innocence and moral clarity (to borrow a phrase that's usually twisted by those who employ it) really hit home, like "I wish I was that good. But I'm just a human with foibles."

And Captain Kirk, of course!

AndrewPrice said...

Joel, Nice quote. That's one thing you had to respect about John Wayne's heros. He lived by a very clear creed. If you were a good guy, then he left you alone. If you misbehaved, then you had trouble.

AndrewPrice said...

Scott, I have a serious problem with comic book hero movies these days -- they’ve become very creepy to me, it’s like watching the nerd version of fetish porn. I’m thinking of doing a post about that at some point.

Superman does have a great sense of moral clarity -- at least, it used to. That really did make it stand out from many of the other heroes.

Kirk! What more can I say? If society was structured on the teachings of James T. Kirk, the world would be a great place (p.s. I'm still chuckling about your "if Star Trek has taught me anything" comment. Awesome!)

I'm partial to a lot of the understated and independent guys too, like Dirty Harry or Clint's man with no name from The Good, The Bad and The Ugly.

LawHawkSF said...

Dumbo. He overcame adversity, was raised without a father, became a clown in a circus. Then he learned to fly--and he's an elephant, for God's sake. His final test came when he discovered in mid-flight that his magic feather was just a prop, and that he could soar with the eagles without a crutch. Now that's a superhero. Oh, and he takes good care of his mom.

AndrewPrice said...

Lawhawk, I hadn't thought about that, but you make a compelling point. Though, it is hard to see Dumbo as an "action hero."

LawHawkSF said...

Andrew: You just don't know the rest of the story (of course, either does anyone else). But any elephant who takes good care of his mother is a superhero in my book. After all, he could have just flown away and left mom to her own devices.

ScottDS said...

I'm not sure how to articulate this so here we go...

I was looking through some old family photos earlier... photos from the early 90s when my brother and I were little (around 7 and 10, respectively).

In many photos, my brother is dressed up: a cowboy, a soldier, Arnold in T2 (with a Super Soaker 50 instead of a Winchester!), Rambo, etc. Now my brother was little; he couldn't have seen more than 30 seconds of T2 during commercials, to say nothing of Rambo. But there obviously was some "strange attractor."

It leads me to believe that there's something primordial about all this, that we're hardwired to believe in superheroes, to desire those qualities, to look up to them, etc. I see kids today dressed up as Batman and Spiderman for Halloween and I smile.

There's even an old photo of my dad when he was little wearing a Batman shirt (featuring the symbol from the old show). There's also a photo of me 25 years later wearing a Batman shirt (with the symbol from the 1989 film). Score one for symmetry.

On the other hand, my brother probably just liked guys with guns and I probably just liked cool shirts! :-)

AndrewPrice said...

Scott, There is definitely a genetic aspect to this, though I don't think it necessarily leads to superheroes.

Modern feminists have discovered this to their horror as they've struggled to turn kids into genderless drones. It turns out that no matter what they try, the boys keep gravitating to the boy toys and the girls to the girl toys. It turns out that genetically, boy and girls simply have different desires.

For boys, these desires today include superheroes. Superheroes are the distilled version of star athletes, soldiers, cowboys, firemen, cops. That's why they are so attractive today. Before the superhero era, little boys looked up to the less distilled version -- cowboys, soldiers, athletes, firemen, cops.

Before that, little boys wanted to be explorers, or knights, or Roman soldiers, or Greek heroes, or (probably) the guy who invented the first weapon.

Thus, there is something innate within us that wants to be a superhero, but it isn't the superhero so much as possessing the traits that the superhero represents.

Anonymous said...

My Favorite Action hero is;
Steve Reichert a USMC Sniper who protecting his own makes a 1 mile kill shot.
If you go to the u tube site below you will see some awsome
footage....

As for the lets pretend crowd i can't waste the time to go see their latest fantasy.
Let alone pay to see it so they can bank the proceeds then expound on what they think you should believe.
All that with a 11th grade education and no common sense.
JB

http://www.youtube.com/watch_popup?v=QRYwMrsaLxs

Monica said...

My favorite is the Die Hard type of guy who does it just because no one else will and it needs done. In real life, I'm very partial to Special Forces guys.

AndrewPrice said...

JB, It certain does make you wonder when you see a guy like Matt Damon play these "heroes" and then he turns out to be such a weasel in real life.

AndrewPrice said...

Monica, Good call on the Die Hard type heroes. Although it's kind of disturbing that we've come to a point that simply doing what needs to be done is now heroic. What does that say about everyone else?

Joel Farnham said...

Andrew,

Doing what needs to be done. Isn't that what WW2 Americans did? Not only at the war front, but also at home?

AndrewPrice said...

Joel, Yep, pretty much.

CrispyRice said...

Scott, that was a nice post! I like that kids believe in superheroes, too. I think we lose something when we realize that no, we're never going to be able to leap over a building in a single bound...

My super hero? I actually have no idea. I am rather fond the Chuck Norris Facts website, though, LOL!

ScottDS said...

Aww... thanks, Crispy!

Chuck Norris, eh? I'm not the biggest Chuck Norris connoisseur but I always laugh at the Norris Facts and I always loved when Conan pulled the Walker Texas Ranger lever - perhaps the only good thing to come out of combining NBC and Universal under one roof.

rlaWTX said...

yeah, John Wayne is awesome!! (Jacob McCandles!!)
and John McClane is pretty cool!
for comic book types, I like the Dark Knight - and have since I borrowed the graphic novel/comic book/whatever back in HS (1989ish).

I also really like Leroy Jethro Gibbs (NCIS)!

and the ThunderCats!

Anonymous said...

I love John Wayne in his westerns. I'm afraid I don't get into the war pictures as much. John McClane kicks some major butt as well. I also really like Boss Spearman and Charley Waite in Open Range - they didn't let anyone push them around.

AndrewPrice said...

Thundercats? LOL. Thundercats are go!



Open Range -- good movie.

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