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Steven Seagal

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Biography
Filmography
Photos
VHS Covers



Biography:  Steven Seagal debuted strong, real strong, with this first movie "Above the Law" in 1988 and became truly the first white legend of martial arts.  He had a hot streak with movies like "Hard to Kill", "Marked For Death", and "Out for Justice" through 1991.  "Marked For Death" is still one of the oddest and most violent of Seagal's movies to date, although it's still quite good.  In that movie, Seagal fought Jamaican drug dealers who practiced voodoo.

    1992 was a landmark year for the action star, with the first "Under Siege" film; still his biggest hit.  1994 began a new phase of Seagal films, and one of which he has been most heavily criticized.  That year's film, "On Deadly Ground", was the first of Seagal's eco-friendly action films where he killed enemies of the environment.  He never did make that many environmentally-aware films, but "On Deadly Ground" and "Fire Down Below" became so popular that the masses developed the belief this was all he was doing.  In a slight way, even "The Patriot" was an eco film, where Seagal's character battled a deadly airborne virus.

    1996 was when Seagal's ship started to sink.  For the first time in a feature he received second billing.  The movie was "Executive Decision" and starred Kurt Russell.  Audiences all over were stunned when Seagal's character was killed roughly 20 minutes into the film.  Since then, Seagal lost his invincibility factor with a lot of fans.

    Seagal redeemed himself later that year with "The Glimmer Man", co-headlining with Keenan Ivory Wayans.  This was one of Seagal's best, and a different premise than most of his films up to this point.  In this movie, we didn't know all about Seagal's character.  And for the very first time, with Wayans, this Seagal film was as much comedy as it was action.

    1997 gave us probably the best film in Seagal's catalog, "Fire Down Below".  Set in the South, this movie was a lighter-hearted action-adventure with a feel-good premise.  And NO ONE got cut up with blades.  I think that's always a plus.  People got shot up and bones were broken, but there was little visible bloodshed.  I think young kids could see this movie with parents.

    1998 was an odd year for Seagal, and clearly the start of his decline in popularity.  For the first time, one of his movies was given almost no press.  "The Patriot" was actually a very good movie, and the first time we see Seagal as something else besides a cop or government agent.  Here he played a doctor who was fighting a white supremicist group led by the excellent Gailard Sartain.  This group of madmen also spread a deadly virus, for which Seagal's character had to cure.

    There was a pretty long break (3 years) before Seagal released another movie.  2001 introduced the dark, quirky, and super-violent Seagal films that persist to this day.  "Exit Wounds" and other theatrical releases are great movies.  The straight-to-video movies are mostly junk.  For his B-movies, Seagal has refused to overdub a lot of his scenes in the post-production, which is necessary for eliminating unwanted background noise.  Sadly, poor matches for Seagal's cool voice are used to overdub.  This, coupled with the fact that some of them just aren't Seagal-quality movies, makes the 2000s a pretty bleak decade for Seagal.

    Fans of Steven Seagal AND action movies (like myself) all anticipate his return to greatness with outstanding feature films.  I hope that happens...we could use another "Under Siege"!

Filmography:  Those marked with * are absolute must-see movies!

Above the Law (1988) *
Hard to Kill (1990) *
Marked For Death (1990) *
Out For Justice (1991) *
Under Siege (1992) *
On Deadly Ground (1994) *
Under Siege 2: Dark Territory (1995) * [I like this even better than the original!]
Executive Decision (1996) * [Great movie otherwise, but bad business decision for Seagal. I still don't think he's recovered from this.]
The Glimmer Man (1996) *
Fire Down Below (1997) *
The Patriot (1998) *
Exit Wounds (2001) *
Ticker (2001)
Half Past Dead (2002) *
The Foreigner (2003)
Out for a Kill (2003) * [Seagal versus Chinese Triads.  Cool!]
Belly of the Beast (2003) * [Intense, and one of his better B-efforts.]
Clementine (2004)
Out of Reach (2004) [This one sucked all the way through. Fake voice and just plain weird direction.]
Into the Sun (2005) * [Seagal versus the Japanese Yakuza.  Cool!  Along the same order as "Out for a Kill".]
Submerged (2005)
Today You Die (2005) * [A great Seagal movie!  I love seeing Kevin Tighe's villains getting killed!]
Black Dawn (2005)
Mercenary For Justice (2006) * [Jacqueline Lord is awesome!]
Shadow Man (2006)
Attack Force (2006)
Flight of Fury (2007)
Urban Justice (2007)
Pistol Whipped (2008)
The Onion Movie (2008)
Kill Switch (2008)
Steven Seagal Lawman (2009 TV Series)
Against the Dark (2009)


Photos:

VHS Covers:  VHS, you remember, those clunky old things we used to play movies on?  I present to you, for nostalgic value, these classic VHS sleeves!

Hard to Kill (1990)
Steven Seagal

Marked For Death (1990)
Steven Seagal

On Deadly Ground (1994)
Steven Seagal

Under Siege 2: Dark Territory (1995)
Steven Seagal