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Wednesday, September 02, 2015

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Gun Fights & Film

Gun Fights & Film

Tales of Revenge

Stories of revenge have been a favored plot line in cinema for quite some time. There are many many films in this genre but I wanted to look at my 3 favorites of the last 20 years. Each story features amazingly talented male leads who go out and kick ass at all costs. Weather it's revenge for the death of a dog, the kidnapping of your daughter or coming back from the grave to avenge your death and that of your beloved fiancee - each of these movies is filled with moments that will tug at your heartstrings and have you sitting on the edge of your seat. The cinematography in these films is dark and gritty, after all - revenge is a dish best served cold. Let's take a look at some of the weapons used in these films, shall we?

#1 John Wick

Released in 2014, this film is an action thriller starring Keanu Reeves as the title character. He plays  a retired hitman who seeks vengeance against a mobster's son and his cronies for stealing his car and killing his puppy. The dog was a final gift from his recently deceased wife. The film was directed by Chad Stahelski and David Leitch (both were veteran stunt and action coordinators in the film business prior to their feature film directing debut here, although Leitch is uncredited.

John Wick  crashes an SUV into a wall. He staggers on out of the vehicle, bloody and wounded. He puts pressure on a stab wound in his gut. As he crawls to the side, he takes out his phone and watches a video of his wife Helen on the beach. John slumps over and shuts his eyes.

We cut to a scene from several days earlier....

John wakes up to a cloudy day. He goes through a series of  flashbacks to him being with Helen, up until recently when she collapsed in his arms. She had an illness that eventually claimed her life. It is the day of her funeral. After the service, John's old friend Marcus approaches him to offer his condolences.

That night, a delivery arrives for John. It's a small beagle. John finds a note from Helen. She wrote to him that she has made peace with her death, and now she wants John to find his. John weeps. He takes the dog out and looks at its collar, which has a flower on it, leading John to figure out Helen named the dog Daisy. He struggles to be at peace with his wife's death and the addition of this new furry life he is responsible. The dog symbolizes his wife's love, her untimely death as well as hope for his future despite the heartache he's facing. The dog was meant to comfort John through this difficult time.

Daisy follows John on his day as he takes his Mustang out. He stops to get gas at the same time as three Russian mobsters, including Iosef Tarasov, son of mob boss Viggo Tarasov. Iosef comes up to John's car and compliments it, and then asks how much he wants for it. John says it's not for sale. Iosef then goes over to Daisy, but John makes it clear he wants Iosef to go away. One of Iosef's buddies peeks his head into the car and wishes John a good day.

As John is getting into bed, Daisy needs to use the bathroom. When they get downstairs, there are two men in shadows standing before John, while a third takes a bat and whacks John in the head. He starts beating on John while Daisy whines. One of the men goes over to the dog and breaks her neck. The man pulls off his mask to reveal Iosef, who knocks John out. John later wakes up and goes over to Daisy, stroking her head. With the death of Daisy all of the "normal' life that John had been clinging to is gone. Without his wife, without Daisy, John has no choice to avenge them both by picking up the old life he had left.

Iosef takes John's car to a shop run by Aurelio. Aurelio immediately recognizes the car and demands to know where Iosef got it. Iosef brags about who he stole the car from and that he killed this person's dog. Aurelio slugs Iosef in the face. Later, John comes by the shop and asks if Iosef came by, and Aurelio gives John his name to confirm that's who took his car and killed his dog. Even later that night, Viggo calls Aurelio to ask why he struck Iosef. Aurelio says because he stole John Wick's car and killed his dog. Viggo replies in a very simple manner, "Oh."

We cut to scenes where we see  John take a sledgehammer into the basement and begins smashing the floor open. He uncovers a stash of weapons and gold coins. Everything he needs to begin and complete his mission.

Viggo meets with Iosef in his home to discuss the situation. He hits his son twice in the solar plexus to reprimand him, reminding him who he just committed a crime against. Viggo tells Iosef that John Wick was associated with him once, until he met Helen and decided to leave. John had a reputation as "The Boogeyman", or rather, the guy they called to kill the Boogeyman. Viggo knows that his son will have to pay a price for the wrong he committed. In an attempt to save his son's life and make peace, Viggo calls John up to try and resolve the matter, but John gives him a clear answer when he simply hangs up on him.

Viggo sends a team of 12 hitmen to John's home later that night to kill him. Viggo knows he's doing this in vain but hopes he's wrong.  John kills all of them with relative ease, fighting with the last few before stabbing the last guy through the heart. A police officer knocks on the front door. John greets him by name and asks him if there's been a noise complaint, and the cop says yes. He asks if John is back in the business, referring to the bodies visible behind John. John says he's just sorting some things out. The cop wishes him well and leaves. This leads us to believe John Wick has more power than anyone may really know.

John summons a clean-up crew that he is done business with in the past to clean up the scene and dispose of the bodies. The gold coins are already being put to use. The company arrives promptly and efficiently do their jobs. They have done business with John before and they know it won't be the last.

Viggo knows that by attempting to kill John that he has now added a new dimension to their feud. He meets with Wick's friend Marcus hoping to persuade him to kill Wick, offering a contract worth $2 million. He also instructs his assistant Avi  to call for others to take the job. An official bounty is put on John Wick's head.

John arrives at the Continental Hotel where he stays while he conducts business. It's a hotel that caters to your typical crime world superstars like mercenaries, mafia, you name it. As long as you have money, the Continental will cater to your needs. John meets another old friend, Winston- the manager and owner of the Continental. John asks and Winston reveals that Iosef is at a club called Red Circle.

John goes into the club where Iosef and his buddies are. As soon as they spot John, he begins shooting at them while Iosef runs away. John kills every hitman in his path, but he loses Iosef as he flees in a getaway car. This club scene is amazingly choreographed. Skill, precision and sheer badassery with a gun is spotlighted in this whole sequence.

We watch as  Marcus gets to the roof of the building across the street and sets his sights on John. Wick is trying to recover from the fight and relax  in his bed. From the mirror, Marcus sees someone entering. He fires a shot near John's head to warn him. It's Perkins, she starts shooting at John while he dodges her. She informs him that Viggo has doubled the contract to $4 million if she breaks the strict rules of the hotel and kills him. He fights Perkins with difficulty until he gets her in a headlock and offers her mercy for information. She tells John that Viggo keeps most of his assets in the basement of a church. John knocks Perkins out and leaves her with Harry, a business acquaintance. He leaves the hotel in search of the church.

John goes to the church where Viggo keeps his secret stash of money, blackmail evidence and other important documents. After shooting the other guards in the church, John forces the priest to guide him to where the money is. John sets fire to the lot of it, leaving Viggo in a very actionable position.

Viggo learns of the fire moments before he is caught in a hail of gunfire courtesy of John. Although he kills most of Viggo's men, he is knocked out when an SUV rams into another, knocking John to the ground. Viggo captures him and wonders why he's gone to such great lengths for revenge over a car and a dog.

John informs him that the dog was a gift from his dying wife, and that Iosef took that from him. Viggo leaves him with his henchmen for them to suffocate him with a plastic bag. However, Marcus is watching from the next building, and he shoots one hitman in the head to let John take out the other. John gets his gun and shoots at Viggo's getaway car, leaving only him alive. Viggo is forced to tell John that Iosef is hiding in a safe house in Brooklyn.The safe house is guarded by armed men, but none of that stops John from killing them and storming the place. Iosef once again tries to make a run for it, but John catches him and finishes him off.

In retaliation for Iosef's death, Viggo has his goons find Marcus at his home. There, they beat him until Viggo and Perkins shoot him to death. Viggo calls John to tell him this, just before leaving for a helicopter to get out of the city.

While waiting for John to come to Marcus's home, Perkins is called to a meeting with Winston, the owner of the Continental Hotel. She is met by Winston and four men. Winston tells her she's broken the rules of the Continental and her membership has been terminated. The four men then efficiently execute her.

John finds Marcus's body and sets off to take down Viggo. He finds the villains heading to the chopper and tries ramming into them with his car. Viggo makes Avi go out and kill John, only for John to ram into him with his car. Viggo tries to push John's car over the edge, but John manages to  get out safely. The two then fight hand-to-hand in the rain. Viggo tries to stab John, but John pushes the blade into himself (to gain leverage to break Viggo's arm) before grabbing the knife (from his stomach) and sticking it in Viggo's neck. He then leaves him there to die.

At this point, we go back to the first scene where John is still bleeding. After watching the video with Helen, he is inspired to keep on going. He goes into a dog shelter and tends to his stab wound. He then takes a pit bull puppy with him, and they go home together.

I love, love, love this movie. It's filled with so much action, minimalist dialogues, brilliant cinematography and the plot line is rich and delicious. Now then, let's take a look at some weapons.

John Wick uses a Heckler & Koch P30L fitted with a custom compensator as his primary firearm through the film.

                                                   Heckler & Koch P30L - 9x19mm Parabellum

                           Two Heckler & Koch P30L pistols are seen in John's hidden arsenal.

                                            John fires his P30L at the Red Circle night club.

                                     Wick fires his sidearm at Avi at the docks near the end of the film.

Viggo Tarasov, his son Iosef Tarasov and Viggo's henchman Kirill all use Salient Arms International Glock 17 Tier 1 pistols throughout the film. Viggo later hands his SAI Glock 17 to his underboss Avi  to use against Wick near the end of the film.

                             Salient Arms International Glock 17 Tier 1 Model - 9x19 Parabellum

                          Iosef wields his SAI Glock at the night club, as he runs from Wick.

                               Kirill reloads his SAI Glock during the firefight at the church.

A couple of Viggo's men use Kel-Tec KSG shotguns fitted with an EOTech sights in the film. John Wick  later commanders one for himself.

                         Kel-Tec KSG with EOTech sight and angled foregrip - 12 Gauge

                                                         John Wick fires the shotgun.

Take a look at some great scenes:

To watch the Baba Yaga scene you can watch here:

To watch the scene in John Wick's home you can watch here:

To watch the scene in the club you can watch here:

To view the kill count in this film you can do so here:

To see a list of the weapons used in this film you can go here:

#2 Taken

2008 thriller starring Liam Neeson as Bryan Mills, a former CIA operative who discovers that his daughter has been kidnapped in Paris and must find her before she disappears into the sex trafficking trade. The film was directed by Pierre Morel (From Paris with Love) from a screenplay by Luc Besson and Robert Mark Kamen. Neeson would return as Mills in two sequels: 2012's Taken 2 and 2015's Taken 3. Although I enjoy covering trilogies together, the first film in the Taken franchise is my personal favorite.

Bryan  is a retired Government Agent. He is at an electronics store and is carefully choosing a karaoke device for his 17-year-old daughter Kim's birthday. As Bryan arrives at a luxury mansion, Kim's mother Lenore is frigid towards him, criticizing his choice of a gift and that he has even showed up in the first place. The daughter is extremely pleased with her gift; however, she is soon distracted by her wealthy stepfather Stuart's gift of a large horse. Later, Bryan is alone in his small modest apartment. Three friends, all also retired agents, drop by for poker, steaks and beer. One of them, Sam  invites Bryan to make some quick cash working security with them by escorting a female pop star to her nearby concert. After her vocal warm-up Bryan asks the pop star, Sheerah for advice to give his daughter who also wishes to be a singer. Sheerah answers, "Tell her to pick another career." Bryan gets a phone call from Kim inviting him to lunch. At the concert, things get anxious for a moment when security is distracted by a mob of fans breaking through. Bryan escorts Sheerah away from the crowd, but is confronted with a knife-wielding assailant which Bryan quickly takes down. As a way to show her gratitude  Sheerah offers to help Bryan's daughter with a vocal coach and a manager if she has any natural talent.

It's time for the lunch that Bryan had been invited to. He is excited and plans to let Kim know about Sheerah's offer but soon sees that  Lenore comes to the lunch also.  It quickly  becomes clear he was only  invited to sign the parental-consent form Kim needs to take a vacation to Paris with her friend Amanda. Bryan is reluctant to agree, knowing the dangers of the wrong parts of Paris and feeling Kim is too young, but Kim explains she'll be staying with Amanda's cousin's and spend most of her time in museums. Bryan says he will consider the matter, but Kim takes it as a "no" and becomes very upset. Lenore tears into Bryan for  being too cautious and not being more casual about what is to them, a simple request. The next day Bryan is feeling riddled with guilt over being an estranged father in his father's early years decides to show up at Stuart's mansion with the signed consent, a  international cell phone, and some conditions: 1) Bryan must take Kim to the airport; 2) Kim must call Bryan when she lands in Paris; and 3) Kim must call Bryan every night to tell him the address and phone number of any new place at which she will be sleeping. At the airport, as Bryan is retrieving Kim's luggage from the car, he sees a map of Europe with several cities circled in a pocket of Kim's luggage. He confronts Lenore who admits that the girls are actually going to follow the rock band U2 on their European tour, not just stay in Paris. Bryan is angry, but it is too late to do anything about it.

In Paris, while standing in the line for a taxi at the airport, the two girls meet a friendly, handsome young Parisian named Peter. He suggests they all share a taxi for the expensive ride downtown. Amanda immediately accepts and Kim reluctantly agrees. While they wait, they have Peter take their picture with Kim's phone. Chivalrous Peter has the taxi drop the girls off first. He invites them to a party that very night and Amanda eagerly accepts. As the taxi pulls away, Peter makes a quick phone call--he simply says "Two girls, about 18" and the address of the apartment. Upstairs, Kim inquires where the cousins are at. Amanda breezily announces the cousins are on vacation in Spain and giggly announces as she jumps on the couch.

Back in the US, a concerned Bryan checks the arrival information and learns that Kim's plane has landed. Bryan attempts to call Kim's phone; however, Amanda has cranked the music in the apartment to such a volume that neither girl hears Kim's phone ring. Finally, Bryan gets hold of Kim. Kim walks around to the other side of the loft to get away from the loud music. While they talk, Kim can see Amanda through the windows across the courtyard. As she talks to her dad, she sees two men grab Amanda and carry her away from view while Amanda kicks and fights. Panicked, Kim tells Bryan what she just saw. Bryan immediately takes control and orders her to go into the nearest bedroom and hide under the bed. Guiding her with a careful series of questions, he learns that Kim and Amanda shared a cab with a man named Peter. Kim thinks she saw three or four man take Amanda. "Now," he tells her, "the next part is very important ... they are going to take you." Bryan tells her that she must leave her phone on, and she will have five to ten seconds to scream out any description of them she can. Bryan hooks up a tape recorder to his phone. Two men enter the bedroom and are puzzled they haven't found the second girl. They converse in a strange foreign language. Bryan tells Kim to hold the phone towards the men so he can hear their conversation. The two men appear to have left the room and Kim is relieved and tells her dad they left, when suddenly Kim is snatched from under the bed. Following Bryan's instructions, she screams out, "Beard! Six Feet! Tattoo, right hand, moon and star!" Bryan hears her scream for a few more seconds, then, after a moment of quiet, Bryan hears heavy breathing. Bryan tells the kidnapper, "I don't know who you are. I don't know what you want. If you are looking for ransom, I can tell you I don't have money. But what I do have are a very particular set of skills; skills I have acquired over a very long career. Skills that make me a nightmare for people like you. If you let my daughter go now, that'll be the end of it. I will not look for you, I will not pursue you. But if you don't, I will look for you, I will find you, and I will kill you.". . . the kidnapper responds with a thick accent, "Good luck,". This scene has become absolutely iconic in our pop culture.

Bryan sends the taped conversation to Sam, his ex-agency friend from the concert. Bryan then storms over to Stuart's, his wife's second husband, and confronts him about possible business enemies of Stuart arranging Kim's kidnapping. Stuart and Lenore are surprised about how much of Stuart's business Bryan knows. Bryan is satisfied that Stuart's business affairs are not the source of the problem, and he tells Stuart he needs a private jet to Paris. Meanwhile, he is on speaker phone with Sam so Lenore can hear. Sam provides a detailed report that identifies the language as Albanian and he even narrows the accent down to a specific town in Albania. Their leader's name is Marko and he is a very powerful figure. Sam tells him that the Albanians kidnap girls for prostitution and Bryan has, at most, 96 hours before Kim will disappear forever.

On the private jet, Bryan plays the recording of Kim's abduction over and over again, committing every sound to memory. In Paris, Bryan first gains access to the girl's apartment. He visualizes the abduction from the clues left behind at the scene and finds and recovers the memory card from Kim's smashed cellphone which is adjacent to the bed under which Kim tried to hide. At a do-it-yourself photo kiosk, Bryan finds the picture Peter took at the airport and zooms in on a reflection of Peter in the photo. At the airport, Peter is using the same "share a taxi" line with a Swedish blonde. Bryan assaults Peter to find out about the girls from yesterday; however a large man, Peter's accomplice, tries to stop Bryan. As Bryan fights off the large man, Peter runs away. Bryan disposes of Peter's accomplice and gives chase stealing the taxi cab. Peter runs into traffic and Bryan jumps out of the taxi and chases Peter on foot. Peter then jumps over the overpass and seemingly lands safely when a truck hits and kills him.

Bryan then meets with an old acquaintance named Jean-Claude, who is with French Intelligence, to ask for help. The Frenchman tells Bryan where the Albanian-pimped hookers are located, but warns Bryan to stay out of it and to not cause any problems. As Bryan leaves, Jean-Claude sets up a tail to follow him. After getting a rental car, Bryan meets with an Albanian interpreter whom he's hired at the hooker area, first telling him to wait in the car. Bryan then deliberately wastes a prostitute's time so her pimp will come over to rough up the mild-mannered Bryan and demand some money. Bryan then slyly plants a listening device on the pimp. Back in the car, Bryan has the interpreter listen to the audio feed from the bug and translate the Albanian conversation. They talk about having trouble with some new merchandise at a nearby construction site. Bryan excuses the interpreter, but not before getting the Albanian-English dictionary he had asked him to bring.

At the construction site, there is a long line of men waiting to get into a trailer. Bryan acts like a customer and joins the line. When Bryan reaches the head of the line, he hands the "doorman" his money and receives a scrap of paper with a single digit on it. Inside the trailer ropes have been strung with blankets draped over them to form makeshift tented rooms on either side of a center aisle. As Bryan walks down the aisle, he looks into curtained areas.  Bryan enters one 'room' and finds a cot with a drugged woman lying on it. She isn't Kim. She beckons him to come to her, but, instead, he starts pulling more blankets aside to check the other 'rooms.' Since each room has a customer, this invasion of privacy starts a ruckus. Bryan has to deal with a few bouncers as he makes his way along the length of the trailer. In the last room, Bryan sees his daughter's jacket and a drugged woman with hair like Kim's. Rushing in, he finds it isn't Kim. Bryan tries to question this woman, but she is so drugged she can't talk. So Bryan carries her to a nearby Jeep, hot-wires the ignition, and, after an amazing car chase, makes his escape from a swarm of angry Albanians. He drives to a quiet out-of-the-way hotel and rents two rooms from the owner. In one of the hotel rooms, Bryan rigs up an IV drip and injects the girl with a solution, beginning an ultra-rapid detox of her system.

Later, Jean-Claude demands a meeting with Bryan out in the open by the river. When Jean-Claude arrives, his cell phone rings. It is Bryan saying he doesn't trust meeting Jean-Claude. Jean-Claude says his boss hit the roof over the construction site violence. While the boss wanted Bryan arrested, Jean-Claude has convinced him to authorize instead a ticket to send Bryan back to America, "for previous services." Bryan flat out refuses. Meanwhile, Jean-Claude's men have been triangulating the source of Bryan's phone call and a squad of men burst onto a nearby rooftop. There they find a cell phone rigged with a walkie-talkie. Bryan is actually on another roof nearby. Bryan is able to easily walk away.

The girl finally comes back to consciousness and tells Bryan she got the jacket from another girl. All she can remember is it was at a house with red doors on the rue Paradis. Bryan finds the house with the red doors, walks in bold and confident, and presents Jean-Claude's business card as his own. Bryan is led past several thugs to a dirty kitchen. Four Albanians are seated around a table. Bryan tries to ascertain who is the leader, but they all claim to be Marko and all from the town that Bryan's language expert had identified. Bryan tells them that their former police contact, Mr. Macon, had been transferred and now he (Bryan as Jean-Claude) will be collecting the bribes, the rate for which has just gone up. After some hard bargaining, a deal is struck and Bryan thinks he has identified the figure from Kim's phone. But, before he leaves, Bryan stops and says a friend gave him a note in Albanian. He hands it to the apparent leader and asks him to translate it. The leader (the real Marko) responds "Good Luck." Bryan recognizes Marko's voice immediately and says to him, "You don't remember me do you? ... I told you I was going to find you," and, suddenly Bryan is shooting and fighting the house full of armed men. When the smoke clears, Bryan has killed all of them but Marko. Bryan searches for Kim in all the upper bedrooms of the building. He finds several women handcuffed to beds and Amanda's dead body (apparently dead due to a drug overdose). Bryan tortures Marko with electricity. After trying to tough it out, Marko tells Bryan that Kim was sold to a man named Saint Clair. Bryan then turns the power back on and leaves Marko screaming in agony. This sequence of scenes just solidifies Liam's role as a badass.

Jean-Claude comes home for supper to discover Bryan is visiting like any old friend. Jean-Claude's wife, Isabelle, tells Jean-Claude to put the two kids to bed. As he does, he recovers a pistol from the lavatory and tucks it into the back of his waistband. At the dining room table, Bryan casually speaks about moving to Paris and drops the address of the Albanian pimp-house and Macon's name. Isabelle naively says that she herself knows Macon. Bryan then confronts Jean-Claude on selling protection and anonymity to the Albanians and demands to know who Saint Clair is. Jean-Claude pulls out his pistol and aims it at Bryan, angrily detailing the gap between his pay and his expenses. Bryan then tosses a handful of bullets onto the dining room table and tells Jean-Claude that he has been behind a desk too long if he can't tell the difference in weight between a loaded gun and an unloaded one. Bryan pulls his own pistol and shoots Isabelle in the arm, saying, it's a flesh wound but that his next shot will kill her unless Jean-Claude provides him with information on Saint Clair. Jean-Claude then goes into his office and uses his computer to access police files that identify and locate Saint Clair. Bryan then tells Jean-Claude to tell his wife he is sorry for shooting her and he then pistol whips the Frenchman to the floor.

Again posing as Jean-Claude, Bryan gains access to a party that Saint Clair is hosting. Bryan discovers Saint Clair is hosting a much darker gathering on a lower level. Bryan assumes the guise of a waiter to gain access to a darkened room facing a wall of glass, one of a series of the same types of rooms that encircle an open stage. On the stage is a young, drugged, scantily clad woman and a handler. In each darkened cubicle, a bidder presses a red button when they wish to bid on the girl being presented. The auction ends and the girl is led away. The auctioneer announces the last and best woman of the evening's auction. An American, pure virgin and Bryan recognizes that it's his daughter. Bryan pulls a gun on the buyer in this darkened room and forces him to outbid the others to purchase her. The bidding goes to 500,000, but, upon leaving the room with the buyer still at gunpoint, Bryan is knocked unconscious from behind. He awakens suspended from a pipe just below the ceiling. He admits to the Englishman, Saint Clair, that he is the last girl's father. Saint Clair says, "too bad. It's business and she is sold already." He then orders his henchmen to execute Bryan quietly and leaves the room. Despite being shackled to the overhead pipe, Bryan manages to break the pipe loose and escape while killing the guards. You just can't keep a good man down. Bryan meets the surprised Saint Clair standing at the elevator. Saint Clair pleads unsuccessfully for his life by saying it was all just business dealings  and telling him that Kim will be at a pier. Bryan shoots him dead and sends the elevator up to the party. Bryan races to the the river, but misses the large yacht onto which Kim and other veiled women have been hustled as it cruises down the river. Bryan drives a stolen car against one-way traffic to gain position on a bridge, then jumps onto the ship as it passes underneath. On board, an Arab sheikh lies on a bed in a robe as a group of women in veils are led in. Bryan fights his way through the sheikh's guards and enters the bedroom, the sheikh has a curved knife held to Kim's throat. Bryan takes aim and shoots the man in the head.

Back in the US, Kim is reunited with her mother. Lenore even musters up a  hug for  Bryan in thanks. Later, Bryan mysteriously collects Kim and takes her to a very nice home. After he knocks, he takes a step back. Pop star Sheerah opens the door and, over her shoulder, someone sits at a piano. Sheerah takes Kim by the arm while saying she had heard Kim wants to be a singer. It is a pleasant ending to a movie that is based on the fear of every parent.

The best way to watch the Taken trilogy is to grab snacks and hunker down for the night. The other two films are stemmed from this one but the first films are almost always the best ones. Let's take a look at some of the weapons used in Taken.

When Bryan later confronts the slaver he "spoke" with on the phone, he kills several of his men and takes one of their factory black Beretta 92FS pistols, which he uses for a good duration of the film.

                                                                       Beretta 92FS - 9x19mm.

                                     Bryan Mills (Liam Neeson) fires the Beretta at the slavers.

Bryan Mills holds his Beretta 92FS on Ali when forcing him to buy his daughter in an auction

Ali carries a stainless Taurus Millennium Pro PT145 while on the boat, which is taken by Bryan, who uses it during the climax.

                                                            Taurus Millennium Pro PT145 - .45 ACP.

                                                     Ali fires his Taurus PT145 at Bryan.

                                                Bryan aims the PT145 at Sheik Raman.

Bryan Mills takes a factory two-tone SIG-Sauer P226 off of a guard on the boat and uses it until it runs dry.

                                      SIG-Sauer two-tone P226 - 9x19mm.

                                                  Bryan fires the P226 at a guard.

Take a look at some great scenes-

To see the iconic "Good Luck" scene you can watch here:

To see the killcount in Taken you can watch here:

To watch the scene where Bryan confronts Marco (in French) you can watch that here:

Grab some friends, make some European themed food & drinks and make the most of a Taken marathon.

To find out more about the weapons used in this film go to:

#3 The Crow

Released in 1994 The Crow is a violent and eerie tale of  a man brutally murdered that comes back to life as an undead avenger of his and his fiancée's murder. This was also Brandon Lee's final film and his death has always left a certain haunting aspect to the film. I have always liked this movie, although popular in the 90's it is now considered a cult classic.

"People once believed that when someone dies, a crow carries their soul to the land of the dead. But sometimes, something so bad happens that a terrible sadness is carried with it and the soul can't rest. Then sometimes, just sometimes, the crow can bring that soul back to put the wrong things right."

October 30, Devil's Night, in Detroit. Sergeant Albrecht is at the scene of a crime where Shelly Webster  has been beaten and raped and her fiancé, local musician and guitarist Eric Draven, has been murdered, having been stabbed, shot, and thrown out of their apartment window to the streets below. The couple had been planning their wedding for the next day which was Halloween.

As he prepares to leave for the hospital with Shelly, Albrecht meets a young girl with a skateboard named Sarah who says she is a friend of Eric and Shelly and that they took care of her. Albrecht tells her that unfortunately Shelly probably won't make it through the night.

One year later, a crow flies over the dark and rainy landscape of Detroit and lands on the headstone of Eric Draven. It taps at the stone with its beak, awakening Eric from the grave. He climbs out of the ground, trembling and wracked with convulsions. He is confused but seems to know to stay close to the crow as he walks to his abandoned apartment, finding it in shambles. Memories of the night of his death come back to him as the gang responsible runs through the city, setting fire to it. The faces of the attackers stick in his mind and, bent on vengeance, he changes his clothes and paints his face white in parody of a porcelain harlequin mask he had given Shelly as a gift. He then draws black liner around his eyes and down his cheeks like tears and paints his lips black with glasgow lines reaching out from the corners. Guided by the crow and sharing the crow's high perspective on the city, Eric sets out to avenge his murder and Shelly's death.

The first person he is able to  locate is Tin Tin, a thug obsessed with knives. Eric engages in one on one combat, discovering in the process that he is immune to harm. He wins the fight by catching a knife and pinning Tin Tin to the wall with it. Eric confronts him about the murders the previous year and Tin Tin laughs in his face, mocking Shelly. Eric finishes him off by stabbing him in each vital organ with his own knives and takes his trench coat, leaving a crow-shaped bloodstain on the wall of the alley. Using Tin Tin's memories, he goes to the pawn shop where Tin Tin sold Shelly's engagement ring. Eric forces the owner, Gideon, to show him where the ring is located and finds it mixed in a box with dozens of other rings. He lets Gideon live so that he can deliver a message of death to the rest of the gang before he breaks a gas pipe, loads a shotgun with other rings of other destroyed lives, and ignites the shop in a massive explosion.

Eric locates the next thug on his list, Funboy, while he is getting high in an apartment with Sarah's drug-addicted mother, Darla. Funboy shoots Eric in his hand and Eric mocks him by pretending to scream in pain before showing the hole in his palm that heals right  before his eyes. Now feeling genuine fear,Funboy is easily disarmed by Eric and is shot in the thigh before being injected with an overdose of morphine. Eric then confronts Darla but merely says that morphine is bad for her, taking the drug out of her arm seemingly by magic, and tells her that she should return to her daughter who is waiting for her on the streets.

Albrecht, meanwhile, has been following the deaths of the thugs around town. He doesn't share the rest of the department's view on the killings, thinking of them as more of a blessing than a curse. He even goes so far as to rescue Eric as he flees from choppers after his latest killing, though Eric is quick to disappear afterwards. Upon meeting again later on, Eric explains what he's doing and offers his best reason as to why he's come back. Albrecht tells him what he knows of Shelly's death and reveals that he stayed with her as she suffered through thirty hours of agony before dying. Eric touches Albrecht and receives from him all the pain felt by Shelly during that time.

Gideon goes to Top Dollar, the leader of all gangs in Detroit, and warns him about Eric. Top Dollar responds by stabbing Gideon through the throat with a sword, sinking it to the hilt, as his lover/half sister/soothsayer, Myca, looks on with glee.

Two other members of the gang, T-Bird and Skank, stop at a convenience store for supplies. Eric sneaks into the car and kidnaps T-Bird while Skank is in the store. Skank runs into the street, gets hit by a car & steals it to follow the pair; he watches as Eric ties T-Bird to the driver's seat of a car with explosives strapped to him & lets the car drive off the pier where it explodes midair and sinks into the harbor. When the police arrive, they discover a fiery symbol in the tell tale shape of a crow at the crime scene.

Meanwhile, Darla tries to reconcile with Sarah by making her breakfast; though Sarah is skeptical at first of her mother's sudden change of heart, she accepts the effort and hugs her. Albrecht's "superior" reams him out just because he can & tells him he's suspended for misconduct.

Sarah goes to Eric's apartment and speaks out to the shadows, feeling that he must be nearby. She tells him that she misses him and Shelly but, when no one responds, goes to leave and says that she figured he wouldn't care anymore. Eric speaks to her, appearing in the window, and tells her that, although they cannot be friends anymore, he still cares about her.

Skank retreats to the gang hideout, rambling wildly about Eric; Sarah & Albrecht bond over their mutual experiences w/ Eric & discuss how he came back. At the gang hideout, Top Dollar, hardly concerned for T-Bird's fate, is discussing plans for criminal activity on Devil's Night with other associates. Eric crashes the meeting looking for Skank, and proceeds to make fun of everyone in the room. A massive gunfight ensues, while Top Dollar escapes with Myca and his lieutenant, Grange. Eric easily kills everyone in the room by gun, fists & swords, saving Skank for last, throwing him out the window. The police arrive to find Eric the last man standing and  he is able to  escape with  Albrecht's help.

Top Dollar, Grange, and Myca discuss Eric and his unique abilities. Myca reveals that Eric is invulnerable to harm, but only if his link to the real world, the crow, remains untouched. Realizing that if they kill the crow, they kill Eric, the three of them begin to hatch a plan.

Having killed the last of the four who had murdered him and Shelly, Eric returns to the cemetery and visits Shelly's grave. Sarah meets him there to say goodbye and he gives her Shelly's engagement ring as a necklace. Sarah leaves the cemetery only to be abducted by Grange and taken to a local church where Top Dollar and Myca are hiding out. Through the crow, Eric sees that Sarah is in danger and goes to rescue her. The crow flies inside ahead of him but is sniped by Grange. Eric, not realizing what wounding the crow has done for his own immunity, he accosts Top Dollar, saying he'll let him leave if he gives Sarah to Eric. Top Dollar shoots Eric, now no longer invincible, then smacks him around; Sarah is taken to the upper levels of the church. Albrecht, having gone to the church to pay his respects, realizes what's happening and comes in shooting. He finds Eric on the floor and helps him towards the spiral staircase in the back. The wounded crow is picked up by Myca, who hopes to harness its mystical powers. Albrecht manages to shoot and kill Grange, but not before being wounded. He stays below as Eric ascends the stairs. Myca meets him halfway up, holding the crow at knifepoint, but the crow lunges up and pecks her eyes out, causing her to fall from the stairs to her death.

Eric makes it to the roof where Top Dollar is holding Sarah. He pushes her off the roof though she manages to hold onto some scaffolding as Top Dollar and Eric fight. Distracted for a moment by Sarah's cries for help, Eric is stabbed through the back by Top Dollar who admits to having everything to do with Eric and Shelly's deaths, claiming that nothing goes on in their town without his permission or direction. He tell Eric that he's enjoyed their sparring & that he'll miss him, but before he can kill him, Eric grabs him and bestows his gratitude for Top Dollar's crimes: all of the thirty hours of pain Shelly had to endure at once. In agonizing pain, Top Dollar falls off the roof and is impaled on a gargoyle.

Eric rescues Sarah and brings her to Albrecht who is soon taken to an ambulance. Eric then disappears from sight and crawls to Shelly's grave before passing out. Her spirit comes to him, sans face paint, and they are finally reunited.

Later, Sarah visits Eric's grave, which has closed up once again. The crow stands on his headstone, holding Shelly's ring that Sarah lost during her abduction. The crow drops it in Sarah's hand. As it flies off into the night, Sarah narrates that, though buildings burn and people die, real love is forever.

Amazing dark, gritty cinematography and sharp dialogue are some of the things that make this film great. Let's take a look at the weapons that were used.

Many characters throughout the film use Taurus PT92 pistols, most notably T-Bird (David Patrick Kelly), the leader of the gang that kills Eric Draven (Brandon Lee) and his fiancee. Eric himself later wields T-Bird's PT92 in a shootout at Top Dollar's (Michael Wincott's) club. Some of the gangsters in the club also use them, and Eric uses several other discarded PT92s (sometimes akimbo) in the course of the shootout.

                                                  Taurus PT92AF (blued) 9mm

T-Bird prepares to shoot Eric Draven with his Taurus PT92 during the execution scene which leads to Eric's resurrection.

                      A discarded PT92 on the floor just before Eric grabs it and uses it to kill other thugs.

               T-Bird points his Taurus PT92 at Funboy when the gang is drunk and playing around in a                                                                         bar on Devil's Night.

Funboy (Michael Massee) uses a Smith & Wesson Model 629 .44 Magnum revolver as his weapon throughout the film, which he uses to kill Eric Draven in his apartment. After Eric kills Funboy, he takes the 629 for himself, and is seen using it in several scenes (most notably the shootout in the club, where he wields this gun "akimbo" with T-Bird's Taurus PT92). This is most likely the gun that killed actor Brandon Lee in real life.

                                 Smith & Wesson Model 629 (with Hogue Grips) - .44 Magnum.

                                           Eric holds his palm on the barrel of Funboy's 629.

                                       Eric holds Funboy's 629 on a startled T-Bird in his car.

Eric firing T-Bird's PT92 and Funboy's S&W 629 at gangsters in the board room of Top Dollar's club.

To watch the scene in the pawn shop you can go here:

To watch the scene with Brandon Lee & Top Dollar at the headquarters, you can watch here:

The Crow is a great movie to watch in the Winter or on gloomy days. I also love to watch it on Halloween, which is just around the corner. Grab a beer and turn the lights out and enjoy The Crow.

To see what weapons were used in this film you can go to :

Which one of these films are your favorite???

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Shawn in the Korengal Valley, Kunar Province, Afghanistan.

For more info on these and other weapons
Technical specs compiled from:

"The appearance of U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) visual information does not imply or constitute DoD endorsement."


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