Sunday, August 19, 2012

More Like It

What frustrates me most about "The Expendables" franchise (Part 2 is worse than Part 1, incidentally) - and mystifies me about people who're still furious at me for not liking the first one - is that I WANT stuff like that to be good. I'm as big a fan of the bloated 70s/80s action aesthetic as anyone; and I don't understand how this franchise built around the guys who invented that stuff gets it so profoundly wrong while the likes of "Hobo With a Shotgun" or "Machete" can make it work.

Case in point: This trailer for "Bullet In The Head" - Stallone's "other" action movie this year - looks more like what I was hoping for from "Expendables:" Hardcore macho bullshit with a clear sense of it's own genre and an emphasis on pumped-up style. The director is Walter Hill, a living legend of oldschool action ("The Warriors," "48 Hours," "Streets of Fire" and "Hard Times" among others,) and apart from the tiresome "LOL Rambo got OLD!" gags looks pretty choice:

15 comments:

Unknown said...

interesting facts from IMDB:

Wayne Kramer was originally hired to direct in February 2011. After clashing with Stallone over the tone of the film, he left the production and was replaced by Walter Hill on April 11, 2011.

Thomas Jane was brought into the project by original director Wayne Kramer. When Kramer left the project, Jane suggested Sylvester Stallone to hire Walter Hill. After Hill took over directorial duties, Joel Silver came on board the project and fired Jane because he wanted an ethnic guy for the other lead role. Sung Kang was subsequently cast.

Stuart said...

Someone made a movie called "Bullet in the Head" and the Rage against the Machine song "Bullet in the head" isn't in it?! What the hell? http://youtu.be/v5NeyI4-fdI

Anonymous said...

Looks pretty okay. I realize Stallone looks good in this because he sounds like Jonathan Banks.

Anonymous said...

Ax fight looks awesome. The question is will it be as awesome as the sledgehammer fight from Street Of Fire?

Bobby said...

My friends give me shit all the time for loathing "The Expendables" as much as I do; I consider it one of the worst action films in the last decade. I don't get how anyone can enjoy it.

This trailer is ok, but not great.

bingbong said...

bob i think you want to be a geek so much that you're misremembering 80s action movies. double standards bro

Anonymous said...

I like you Bob, but sometimes your biases get really out of hand. I get that this is "your blog" and they are "your shows", but it's simply unprofessional to turn them into soap boxes to trash the things that the people who bullied you liked or whatever, especially when the people who are paying you are probably under the impression that they're getting an unbiased, professional reviewer

BookwormOtaku said...

Bob, I like both Expendables movies since I just find them fun to watch. While it's too bad you don't feel the same way, I don't mind same as when Spoony gave a similar opinion. I will definitely check out Bullet to the Head though as I hadn't about it until now and it looks fun too. Thanks, Bob.

Anonymous said...

@ Above Anonymous

Or maybe he just really fucking hates that movie on its own terms? To repurpose a quote from the other big Escapist:

"If I were to say The Expendables is a genius bit of storytelling with the most heart-jerking tragedy of a daughter rebelling against her tyrannical father and the best choreographed gunfight sequences since John Woo, NOBODY WOULD SAY I'M BIASED OR DON'T GET IT."

Joe said...

I really wanted to like the first Expendables too. I loved those guys' movies and after I watched Stallone's sendoffs to the Rocky and Rambo franchises I went in thinking, "Sly really has his finger on what made these 80s properties tick. I'm sure he'll do great with this master class of 80s and 90s action guys." And instead he produced something more in line with a mid-90s direct-to-video Van Damme film. Biggest disappointment of that year.

patrick.b.healy said...

Is Khal Drogo having an axe battle with Rambo?
Fuckin'
SOLD.

Anonymous said...

Does this mean you're going to review TE2 by Friday or are you going to ignore it and focus on another film?

Anonymous said...

Feel free to correct me and call me a troll if I am wrong. But wasn't the reason why people were hating on Bob for the Expendables was because he called into question the intelligence of anyone who may of actually enjoyed the movie?

Bob is free to hate the movie, but so are people equally as free to like it too.

Capt Derp said...

Bob, your dislike is thus:

There's no snip/wit involved whatsoever in The Expendables. It's so very up front, blunt, and clear about what it is (HAM--not to be confused with that recent rap acronym) and contains no snap, no thought, no originality. It's a by the numbers muscles and explosions and bullets flick made to relive the good ol days, and it does that.

Your Bullet To The Head flick, at a glance, looks like it's written to be tongue-in-cheek, thin-layer of meaning (emphasis on THIN) beneath the HAM, and gives purpose/direction to the theme of good ol' days ("It's fine that Stallone is in it, he's a retired hitman! Totally legit dudes!") and still promises the same amount of bullets, explosions, and muscle (though maybe not the same amount of cheese).

Expendables is what you'd put together as a kid and think is fun and funny. Bullet to the Head looks like the social studies project you did ahead of time and so added some bells and whistles to be funny and show that you've advanced in your craft from the days of only having legos, rubber bands, and GJ Joe figures on-hand to act out your expressive dramas.

That's my theory, anyway.

maninahat said...

I'm actually surprised you didn't like Expendables 2 more than the first, Bob.

Watching it, I got the impression they actually listened to the negative criticism, and gave people what they asked for: A Jet Li fight scene, stronger defined characters, bigger action, more memorable deaths etc.

Will there be a review of part 2 coming up?