This had all the makings of a superior loop walk, so off I went. The first thing that makes it attractive to the walker is that it is accessible from the Deise Way, the greenway that now runs along the old railway line from Waterford to Dungarvan. The 3km walk from Kilmeaden station was a pleasant introduction. On the right rhododendrons poked out from the woodlands, while on the left the majestic river Suir swept past the ruins of Kilmeaden castle.
A path led from Mount Congreve station to the ticket booth, where a very helpful woman furnished me with a map — at which my heart sank.
This is a garden for all seasons. I was too late for the camellias and the rhododendrons were beginning to go off, but they still looked magnificent. If you are used to looped walks that run mainly through coniferous plantations, you will find this magnificent place an overwhelming assault on your senses.
Autumn will bring its own magic, and I will be back if only to find the iconic temple which I failed to discover after three attempts. The nice woman in the shop offered to show me the way but male pride prevailed, and I made the excuse that I had to continue on the Deise Way. One would imagine that a walk along an old railway line would be a letdown after such exotic profusion, but this was not the case. My reason for walking to Gracedieu junction just outside Waterford was for the pleasure of experiencing the heritage narrow gauge railway journey back to Kilmeaden.
Ambrose, having left his estate in trust to the nation, has ensured that. Start and Finish: The railway station in Old Kilmeaden. Grid Reference: Distance: 16km if you cover all paths in the gardens. Deise Way from Kilmeaden to Gracedieu is 10km. Walk for the Weekend: Mount Congreve, Kilmeaden, Co Waterford If you are used to looped walks through coniferous plantations you will find this magnificent place an overwhelming assault on your senses Wed, Nov 6, , Tony Doherty.
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- The British Tribe Next Door: ‘I have a bad feeling about this’.
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In Dredd , all that was once old and stolid becomes searingly new again. And yet, the dazzling sensory onslaught of aestheticized uber-gore and the meticulously constructed sense of topography, each keenly picking and choosing the strongest aesthetic and narrative qualities of violent video games, are unmistakably products of a new generation. The fusion of old wisdom and irreverent young blood proves an explosive, enticing and deliciously nasty concoction.
Prior to its release in , Edge of Tomorrow seemed like a sure-fire failure. Brazilian favelas are both rich with culture and crime. By alternating between two narratives between the corruption of the police and their connection to the street gangs, Padhilla weaves a tapestry of betrayal and revenge. It also features some of the grittiest and elaborate shootout scenarios that any action film fan can truly appreciate, propelling the film to become a franchise in South America where it spawned two big budget sequels.
Historical action films suffer from a lot of issues. Clunky costumes, lame weapons sorry muskets , and a lack of willingness to really go for it when the time comes to let loose.
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Brotherhood of the Wolf got around this by becoming a sort of French kung fu fairy tale, and 13 Assassins gets around it by really leaning into perhaps the most mythical and cool warrior class that ever existed: the samurai. With swords and arrows and cunning and speed, the samurai, and their public relations-savvy cousins the ninja, are the perfect action stars. This film layers that mythology and iconography over a simple story of revenge and lets rip with an extended sequence of mortal combat that is equal parts muscle and mind. This paints Bond as a more sympathetic hero, one marred by both the demons of his past and his now-aging body.
As the film builds momentum, it exchanges larger scale set-pieces for something much more intimate in its climax. Nearly every frame is gorgeously composed, rendering every action beat with crisp definition and clarity.
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Never count out the necessity of good character building. Jet Li is a man trained as a martial arts attack dog, while Morgan Freeman is the blind piano tuner who finds him and brings him back to humanity, along with his daughter Victoria Kerry Condon. It is, to be frank, a ridiculous story, but the actors sell it and the action delivers. Weirdly affecting and deeply satisfying, Unleashed deserves a lot of reappraisal.
Stripped of all fluff or fat, the film races breathlessly through a crazily dense plot, forcing us to keep up without ever giving the sense that To has lost track of where his movie is going. Chaos this well-orchestrated is a welcome rarity in our age of spastic action-movie filmmaking. The same can be said about Drug War as a whole.
From action virtuoso Zhang Yimou , Hero is a fast-paced epic that represented the peak of the wuxia film stateside, following a film that spoilers! Swirling storytelling meets swirling stunts, cementing this one as a vibrant must-watch. Today, Zack Snyder may be a source of controversy among comic book fans, but with the film that turned him into a household name he was at least put to work on material perfectly suited to his own distinctive wavelength.
Snyder, however, has never since seemed to fully grasp the absurdity of his own work, which makes all the more valuable and eminently watchable as a blessedly unpretentious ode to overkill. At the start of the film, the titular martial artist master Donnie Yen engages in a fight with a challenger in his home. This is China before the Japanese occupation — vibrant, happy, and full of life, and the fighting reflects that state of being.
Then the occupation begins, and all color is sapped. All joy is gone.
And when Ip Man engages in another fight, it is the exact opposite of what has come before. It is vicious and personal. Ip Man does not smile, but battles with a ferocious intensity that reflects the world he has been thrust into. By contrasting the jovial and almost cartoonish tone of the earlier fight, Ip Man allows its genre concerns to stretch over its thematic ones.
This creates deeper meaning for each, solidifying a strong bond between material and genre. This is a confidently paced, wonderfully choreographed piece of martial arts cinema. To be honest, the same sensation swept over me on my first viewing, but on a much more visceral level. By this, I mean that it manages to hit all the satisfying structural beats of a traditional narrative, while still pulling out surprises through its deep-seated knowledge of genre tropes. This makes for a film as fun to watch as it is to dissect. With a lavish color palette, clever editing, and a thumping soundtrack, Wingard and writer Simon Barrett craft a slick action film with a devilishly charming performance from star Dan Stevens.
It slides by like a pair of grenades, exploding with its effortless cool and dark gut. In one sense, SPL 1 and 2 are only nominally part of the same series. No characters from the first installment reappear in the second, though a couple actors do return to play new roles. In another sense, however, the two films are very much of the same blood. Additionally, both films possess the added virtue of having deftly edited, coherently shot action scenes, ones where the relative placement and orientation of the fighters remains discernible even when the camerawork turns frenetic.
The first film, likely resulting in large part from budget constraints, is smaller in scale, with fight scenes occurring in closer quarters and usually between no more than two or three combatants. Its story has a corresponding straightforwardness, structured around a single, primary goal take down the mob boss. This stunning moment evokes what Bilge Ebiri described about the prison fight scene in The Raid 2.
As bodies collide like molecules heated over a raging fire, SPL 2 untethers itself almost entirely from narrative, becoming instead purely about motion and impact i. Skyfall gets all the love these days, but I still consider Casino Royale to be the best of the Daniel Craig -led Bond movies — and, indeed, one of the finest of the entire series. Craig seemed to understand the roots of the Ian Fleming character arguably better than any other actor in the series, and the movie was dark and exciting and thrilling without losing its sense of humor.
The end of the movie when the iconic Bond theme song finally kicks in is still one of my favorite things to have experienced in a movie theater, with the entire audience breaking into applause. Hong Kong auteur Johnnie To has only ever been nominally interested in the usual conventions of the action genre, using grandly orchestrated bullet ballets as a means, but never an end. Kim Ji-woon has always been a director interested in taking a genre and pushing it to the extreme.
From his camera placement in a car getaway scene to an intense weapon disassembly and life-or-death reassembly to a take-no-prisoners finale shoot-out, most Hollywood directors could bit the bullet and learn a great deal about pacing and execution from this South Korean action spectacle. One of the most under-appreciated characteristics that an action protagonist can have is desperation.
Desperation makes people dumb, but it also makes them bold, and it creates an air of immediacy that cannot be matched, even by a ticking clock.
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