Friday, August 20, 2010


It's official dumping ground season in Hollywood! Which means no trips to the theater this weekend.

Vampires Suck! The Switch! Lottery Ticket! Piranha 3-D! Nanny McPhee Returns (OK, this might be cute for kids). All of these look weak to piss-poor.

From Netflix is Roman Polanski's acclaimed drama The Ghost Writer, which was released to great reviews but tepid box-office earlier this year.

I saw and loved The Expendables earlier this week. I am fully aware how silly and ridiculous the film was but that didn't stop me from having a bloody blast with it. Sly Stallone basically made a new fangled Golan-Globus movie, so for peole who grew up on a steady diet of cheesy 80's actioners, this movie is like the ultimate homage to that specific genre. I'll have more comments on The Expendables in my summer movie round-up.


Joel said...

I sadly saw "Vampires Suck" on Wednesday (just out of morbid curiosity). One of the worst movies ever made, bar none. I like the "Twilight" series, but it's no secret that it's prime for some great ribbing. It did not deserve "Vampires Suck." The less said, the better. Plus, I've kind of forgotten about it intentionally.

Personally, I can't wait to see "Piranha" and am doing so tomorrow at 12:35. Looks like a bloody fucking good time.

"The Switch" looks solid, not overwhelming. Similar to "The Back-Up Plan" from last April, but the trailers aren't nearly as hideous. I plan to see it either Sunday or Monday.

I'll give "Nanny McPhee Returns" the benefit of the doubt and see it...but not for a LONG time. I never saw the first one, so somewhere way down the line I'll watch both of them.

"Lottery Ticket" couldn't look less generic. No plans to see it.

Figured you'd love "The Expendables." I did not. I found it all rather forgettable. Don't get me wrong, it had its moments. But Stallone could have made a movie that at least made sense. And he could've included Mickey Rourke, Bruce Willis and Arnold Schwarzenegger in the movie and, you know, given them ROLES, rather than include them for roughly five minutes each. None of them had anything to do with anything. A great cast only goes so far when that cast has something to do. Oh...but I did love Lundgren. Anyway. Giant disappointment, even if it wasn't actively terrible.

Joel said...

Oh and I watched about half of "Repo Men" on Wednesday, then proceeded to be rather busy from that point on. I plan on finishing it.

But not out of obligation. Simply put, I've absolutely 100% LOVED the FUCK out of what I've seen. Stylish directing chops. Top-notch acting. Some of my favorite cinematography of the year. God, why did I not see this thing in theaters? It's also batshit insane, and if your description of how it all turns in the BluRay round-up is indeed true, then I can't wait to continue it. I may do that tonight. It's one I plan to watch again ASAP, and I say that even as I haven't seen the whole thing.

Actionman said...

Glad you're loving Repo Men...I am obsessed for the most part...

Are you familiar with the Cannon Films/Golan-Globus label? I am thinking you were in diapers when I was glued to HBO in my parent's basement watching all sorts of Stallone/Schwarzenneger madness from the mid to late 80's :)

Actionman said...

Also, I sort of feel that it's instrumental to have seen some of the following titles in order to fully appreciate what Sly was doing with The Expendables:

Over the Top
American Ninja
Delta Force
Death Wish
Missing in Action
Tango & Cash

Now...some of those aren't films from the Golan-Globus imprint, but what I really think Sly was trying to do (especially by hiring Jeff Kimball as his DoP) was re-create the glory years of the cheesy, block-headed action film. The dialogue in The Expendables was so mediocre that it was borderline brilliant in a way...they all HAD to have known how cheesy of a movie they were all making. Also, you state that the movie didn't make any sense...what exactly didn't make sense? I thought it made total sense, even though there was barely any plot/motivation to speak of. I totally understood the story and all the beats, so I am surprised that you felt it didn't make any sense.

Yes, I agree, it would've been nice to see Bruce and Ahnuld fighting with the rest of the guys, but I still appreciated seeing all of them in the same shot, even for just a few minutes.

Also, I should note, I had EXTREMELY LOW EXPECTATIONS walking into the theater, so that might be why I had so much fun.

Joel said...

Yeah, I've seen a LOT of the Cannon films, even though I didn't know to call them that, lol. When they'd replay on TNT or Spike (when the latter was still known as TNN), my brother and I would eat them up. I pretty much loved most of them. There were those that didn't do anything for me, but I've seen "Cobra" and "Delta Force" and "Commando." All very cool action flicks.

I didn't feel that from "The Expendables." All through the film, it felt to me like Stallone actually tried to make a piece of Important Art, rather than a dumb-as-rocks action flick. The grim, dark darkness of it all sucked any sort of fun right outta the movie.

I agree that the cast was really, really, really cool, and the movie gets points for including all of them. And yeah, the corny dialogue was kinda neat. But as a movie in and of itself, with its own merits, it wasn't as successful as it could have been. It IS a movie, after all, and must work as one. The idea of resurrecting the kind of flicks made in the 80s and 90s is well-and-good, but it's just an idea. In a 21st-century medium where execution is everything, "The Expendables" just doesn't cut it. There MUST be a sense of idiocy about the entire thing, but Stallone actually attempted an Important Message plot involving the plight of a Third-World country. That just doesn't do it.

And the story beats made sense, yeah, but the motivation for the entire second half was questionable and selfish and loony. In that respect, it made no sense.

Actionman said...

I don't know buddy, it's possible that you might be reading too much into the film. Or maybe I'm not reading enough into it. Either way, sad to hear it didn't work for you. I really think that Stallone set out to make a Cannon actioner (with a significantly larger budget of course). Also, the explosions during the last 30 mins will make Mike Bay weep.

S. Hans said...

I saw Piranha 3D it was, literally, a "bloody fucking good time." I don't think the movie really catered to my gender, but it was cheesy in the right way and was over in a flash. The cameos by Richard Dreyfuss, Christopher Lloyd and Eli Roth were worth the inflated 3D ticket price.

Actionman said...

Going to see Piranha 3-D today...