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: