So, I had watched the Soviet "western", White Sun of the Desert, a while back. It was an action film set in the 1920s. Made in 1969. The bonus material on the DVD included interviews with the two writers who wrote the script. One of them noted that the movie was hugely popular with the Soviet public, but not with people in the film industry who noted that the action scenes were all done through montage rather than stunts and continuous action.
I was just reading an article on cracked.com discussing how action movies had changed. One of the changes was that now movie violence is done this way, cut into short takes. They contrasted fight scenes from Jackie Chan movies and wondered why Matt Damon had to learn all that karate for that spy movie he did when it was all faked through the editing anyway.
Also kind of interesting was the reason all the movie stars now look like body builders. It turns out that they're just moderately muscular like they used to be, but now they lose all their body fat to make them more sinewy. Anybody can have visible stomach muscles. I had friends who were painfully thin in high school and they had visible stomach muscles. All you need is no body fat. You can do all the sit-ups you want and nobody's going to see your stomach muscles unless you're dangerously fat free.