Hollywood Gets It Right! 7 Examples of Realistic Gun Movie Scenes

Given enough time and typewriters, a barrel of monkeys could write the script for Dumb and Dumber. I’m guessing it might take three monkeys with a used Smith-Corona Speedline about an hour. Following similar logic, with enough movies, even the folks in Hollywood are bound to get some gun handling scenes right.

It’s probably too much to ask for those folks to get a whole movie right when it comes to guns, so I’ll focus on scenes only here – a few shining examples of where they managed to recreate realistic gun scenes.

Air Force One: Trigger discipline!

Here’s one from a movie that made The Top 9 Worst Hollywood Gun Scenes Ever list a couple of weeks ago.

Air Force Major Caldwell (William H. Macy) displays some actual trigger discipline when the @ss-kicking President (Harrison Ford) hands him an MP5A3. Believe it or not, Caldwell aligns his trigger finger along the receiver as they head off into the plane to kick some terrorist butt.

William Macy in Air Force One


Act of Valor: All of it.

The movie Act of Valor was made by a couple of former Hollywood stunt men with cooperation by the US Navy. In fact, all military personnel in the movie are played by active military personnel. That’s right; there are hardly any real actors in this movie, which explains why the gun handling is so good throughout. It also explains why the acting leaves a little bit to be desired, but that’s OK. As a side note, it took over two years to film the movie because the actors (all US Navy SEALs) had to keep going on deployments overseas.

Not only are the actors actual SEALs, many of the scenes in the movie were filmed using live fire. Rather than mock up everything for a movie, the producers filmed a number of live training exercises.

I’m only identifying scenes in this movie as I promised scenes only at the beginning of this article, but the whole movie is on target so to speak. Here are a couple of my favorites:

Blanks? Who needs blanks? When the SEALS lay down a little bit of covering fire on the bad guys from their boat-mounted General Dynamics GAU-17/As, you’ll see real brass flying, not that crimped nose movie prop stuff. That was one of the live fire scenes, and it sure was impressive.

Real pros use semi-automatic, aimed fire. You’ll see this throughout the movie, along with actual magazine changes. This scene shows a brief example of the good guys aiming at bad guys and using rapid semi-automatic fire for maximum effect.

As you might expect, the gun handling in this movie almost qualifies as an instructional class as opposed to entertainment. In another scene, two of the heroes even manage to execute perfect muzzle discipline while diving away from a terrorist suicide bomber. That’s focus!

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The Contemptibles – Coming Soon To A Theater Near You


Interesting Facts About “Acts of Valor”

Interesting facts learned about the forthcoming movie Act of Valor from the 5.11 Tactical briefing event at SHOT Show:

  • Charlie Sheen is NOT in the movie.
  • The Seals portrayed in the movie are active duty. Most deployed or redeployed at some time during production (or after)
  • Many scenes had to be resumed months later after a character returned from a mid-production deployment.
  • Operations portrayed in the movie were planned by the Seals. Only then was the camera plan developed.
  • The movie is a fictitious portrayal of 5 specific Acts of Valor that have occurred during the past 10 years of combat.
  • Much of the movie was filmed using live fire. Yes, real bullets.
  • The movie took over 4 years to produce.
  • “Studios have a way of wrecking the process.” So the movie was funded and produced outside of traditional Hollywood channels.
  • The producers and actors / seals were average retail customers of 5.11 Tactical prior to the movie.
  • There is “zero policy” in the film – it’s all about the people.

The Guns of Harry Potter

The Weapons of Harry Potter

The Weapons of Harry Potter

Apparently the last wizards-are-for-kids movie, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2, is coming out this Friday. Seems like a great time to reminisce about the first six and a half movies and their rich history of gun use. Here’s the lightning round of plot summaries to catch you up:

Harry Potter and the Sorcerers Stone: Young Harry finds out that his parents were killed by some evil wizard without a nose – mainly because they weren’t carrying guns at the time. You would be irritable too if you didn’t have a nose. Harry survived the attack, most likely because he was in a school zone, and guns aren’t allowed there. Harry learns magic and kills Quirinus Quirrell, an evil professor at his school. Technically speaking, he did not use a gun. However, the pile of ashes left behind hints at possible flamethrower use.

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets: Harry meets some elf that’s more annoying than a joint Rep. Anthony Weiner and Rep. Alan Grayson family reunion. Some old book turns into a dead guy who has a huge pet snake in the basement. While he could have easily used a Ruger Super Redhawk Alaskan revolver in .454 Casull, Harry kills the really big snake with a sword. Mucho macho.

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban: There’s a lot of dementia at Hogwarts with all those Dementor ghosts flying around french kissing folks. Harry learns how to scare them away by farting out a vaporous make-believe stag. He and his friends go back in time to prevent a big rat pigeon from becoming a holiday meal. Some guy who turns into a rat gets sent to the Dementors because Harry won’t let the werewolf and his escaped con godfather shoot him with a mouse gun.

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire: We originally thought this one was about the Gobs of Gunfire, but were mistaken. It’s just a goblet of fire. Death Eaters are everywhere although we’re not exactly sure how they eat death. The school has a big sporting contest where they try to kill the participating students in grisly ways. The irritable wizard without a nose shoots and kills Cedric, a student, with some unknown kind of gun that looks like a magic wand. A Beretta Neos perhaps? Or maybe it was a Ljutic Space Gun.

Ljutic Space Gun Wand (img: nramuseum.com)

Ljutic Space Gun Wand (img: nramuseum.com)

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix: The mainstream media, in this case The Daily Prophet, continues to be a pain in the @ss by picking on Harry. A new professor from the Ministry of Magic shows up. She’s really mean spirited. None of the students are Hot for Teacher. In protest, the Weasley twins launch an artillery barrage inside the school. How this happens is unclear as most schools are an artillery-free zone. A scary looking witch that looks like Rosie O’Donnell kills Harry’s godfather with the mysterious gun that resembles a magic wand.

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince: Building in their previous experience, the Weasley twins open a Magic Artillery and Novelties shop in Diagon Alley. Apparently their FFL has been delayed. The ill-tempered wizard without a nose divides his own soul among seven horcruxes, thereby making himself a Ginger. Draco Malfoy attempts to kill Dumbledore but fails as guns aren’t allowed in schools. Professor Snape does kill Dumbledore as criminals don’t pay attention to gun free zones like schools.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1: Harry, Ron, and Hermione play hooky from school and go on vacation to find some horcruxes. Ron thinks Harry is making the moves on Hermione and runs away instead of capping Harry’s @ss with a wand-gun. Harry jumps in a frozen pond to get a sword and cool down his Hermione-inspired turbocharged hormones. Harry and Draco have a duel. They must have used AirSoft wand-guns as Draco doesn’t die. That disturbing and annoying elf is killed however – apparently by a Ljutic Space Wand Gun. Or something. The irritable noseless wizard grave-robs Dumbledore’s Ljutic Space Wand Gun.

Moral of the story? Guns don’t kill people. Wands kill people.

Guns don’t kill people. Wands kill people.

Guns don't kill people. Wands kill people.

Guns don't kill people. Wands kill people.


Fantasy Guns: One can dream…


Experience the awesomeness!

I’m not quite sure what it is, or what it does, but I can smell pure awesomeness through my computer.

Check out Fantasy Props for more guns, knives, and other weapons of fantastical destruction.

Movie Review: Black Swan

Black Swan Poster

Black Swan - The Tactical Movie

This is a first for us. Movie reviews. But since a movie called Black Swan just had to be about something tactical or military, I agreed with ‘her’ that we would rent it and post a review.

He said She said
When ‘she’ said she wanted to watch Black Swan, I was like, awesome! A movie about the Crni Labudovi? 800 brave Bosnian Special Forces soldiers. Reputation for battlefield bravery. Led by “Kapetan Labud” or Captain Swan “en anglais.” How awesome is my wife, wanting to watch a movie about the special forces unit in the Army of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina? Eat my dust other guys out there. You wish you were me. Admit it – it sucks to be you.
Yeah honey, that’s ‘more or less‘ what its about, so let’s watch it tonight. 

(Ha! He’s so gullible.)

You know, I haven’t seen it yet, but I’m not so sure it’s about the Crni Labudovi. It could be. Ummm, perhaps…

No problem. Got it. I always wanted to know the story of the HMS Black Swan and it’s role in defending Norway in WWII. I’m part Norwegian you know.
Sure. Just watch and let it be a surprise! Doesn’t that sound fun

I’m not positive, but I don’t remember too much about ships in the previews…

Well, it absolutely must be about Team BlackSwan E-TAC (Elite Tactical Assault Company) which, as everyone already knows, is a high-performance paintball team based out of Oshkosh, Wisconsin. It is about them right? Right?
Remember, movies are always better when the plot’s a surprise!
That wasn’t quite what I expected.
The dance choreography beautifully complemented Natalie Portman’s stellar performance. The psychological intrigue and constantly twisting plot were fully realized in a redemptively tragic ending. I was moved. A well deserved Oscar for Natalie!

Honey I’ve got a great chick-flick for our next movie night. It’s called Full Metal Jacket. I think it’s about the newest fashion rage on the Parris runways (and obstacle courses…)

Ummm. I’m not falling for that. Nice try though.

Who in their right mind would think that Black Swan was about psycho-ballerinas? OK, so maybe the concept of a highly-classified anti-terrorist team traveling the world under cover as a ballet company is a little far-fetched. That would make a great movie idea though…


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