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The True Adventures of the World's Greatest Stuntman: My Life as Indiana Jones, James Bond, Superman and Other Movie Heroes Vic Armstrong, Robert Sellers, Steven Spielberg Reviewed By Dr. Wesley Britton of Bookpleasures.com
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Dr. Wesley Britton

Reviewer Dr. Wesley Britton: Dr. Britton is the author of four non-fiction books on espionage in literature and the media. Starting in fall 2015, his new six-book science fiction series, The Beta-Earth Chronicles, debuted via BearManor Media. For seven years, he was co-host of online radio’s Dave White Presents where he contributed interviews with a host of entertainment insiders. Before his retirement in 2016, Dr. Britton taught English at Harrisburg Area Community College. Learn more about Dr. Britton at his WEBSITE

 
By Dr. Wesley Britton
Published on May 20, 2011
 


Authors: Vic Armstrong & Robert Sellers
Publisher:
Titan Books
ISBN-10: 1848568746



 

Click Here To Purchase The True Adventures of the World's Greatest Stuntman: My Life as Indiana Jones, James Bond, Superman and Other Movie Heroes

Authors: Vic Armstrong & Robert Sellers
 
Publisher: Titan Books
ISBN-10: 1848568746
 
Many memoirs promise much in their titles alluding to inflated intimacy with celebrities or overstate the roles of the authors in the entertainment industry. While calling oneself “The World’s Greatest Stuntman” might seem just another such hyperbolic claim, it’s hard to imagine anyone other than Vic Armstrong to take that crown.
 
After all, Armstrong’s career began over 40 years ago working as a stunt man on such pictures as You Only Live Twice and On Her Majesty’s Secret Service. Not a bad start. Gaining experience in action films as a stuntmen, stunt double, then stunt coordinator and ultimately second unit director, Armstrong worked on Superman, Rambo, the Indiana Jones films, Mission: Impossible III, Charlie’s Angels, and three of the Pierce Brosnan James Bond outings. Constantly in demand due to his work ethic, creativity, innovative thinking, and warm relationships with producers, directors, cast and crew, Armstrong has spent the last four decades risking life and limb all over the globe, merging on-screen realism with spectacular effects to entertain us. And he’s still at it—his career most recently includes Salt, Thor, The Green Hornet, and the upcoming SpiderMan reboot.
 
Admittedly, you gotta really love movies to ride along with Armstrong on his roller coaster of an autobiography. The book opens almost cinematically with the author remembering his formative years with a father he adored who taught him, among other things, how to handle, train, and ride horses. Then, once Armstrong begins working in the movies, the story becomes rather hit-and-run as he moves from project to project and some are more anecdote worthy than others. For example, as Armstrong strongly resembles Harrison Ford, the two men shared a special bond when they worked together. Armstrong offers quick character sketches of many other actors and directors he worked with, types of stunts and the preparation involved, the camaraderie and humor of fellow stuntmen, and the changes in the business he has witnessed over time. But, especially after his career kicks into high gear, the stories are often two or three paragraphs about one film or another, hopping on a plane to work on another, and so on. This is most demonstrable in the later chapters when Armstrong is hired to add action scenes to films like The Golden Compass where he worked only a few weeks to add scenes to movies nearing the end of their production.                
 
Along the way, the memoir is spiced with short testimonials and endorsements from folks Armstrong worked with like Christopher Lee, Martin Scorsese, Pierce Brosnan, George Lucas, Arnold Schwarzenegger, and Steven Spielberg.  Armstrong reveals tricks of the trade and his views on when CGI should and shouldn’t be used in films. He discusses what makes for a true professional (calling Will Smith the best of the acting breed) and chronicles all the injuries and fatalities that are part of his trade. Armstrong does comment on the performances and craft of those he worked with, but gratefully there’s little in the way of personal gossip. No doubt, some of the smoothness and flow of the writing must be attributed to co-author Robert Sellers, who has a good resume of his own for books on action films and television.      Whomever is responsible for the book’s style, True Adventures is one for any reader wanting to get behind-the-scenes of moviemaking from someone who’s done it all and seen it all—from nearly every direction and speed possible. If the title intrigues you, the book will deliver on what it promises.
 
 

Click Here To Purchase The True Adventures of the World's Greatest Stuntman: My Life as Indiana Jones, James Bond, Superman and Other Movie Heroes