Friday, May 15, 2009

Fridat Night Blog Double Feature Pt. 1: Old School. New School. One Master Class... The Expendables!

For better or for worse, 80's cinema gave us the Action Hero Genre, to which the rise of major A list players (Sylvester Stallone, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Bruce Willis), to the B-movie champions (JCVD, Steven Seagal), and even the grindhouse legends
( Chuck Norris, Olivier Grunner, Dolph Lundgren...). The age of the "Biggest Bang for your buck" blockbuster dominated the cinemas until the advent of the 90's when CGI, 'standardized formula fare productions', and Hollywood's mining of foreign material left many of our Old School Heroes making room for the New School Upstarts waiting in the wings.

After a full decade of ups and downs in 21st century Hollywood, the founding fathers of the genre they helped establish are coming back one more time to remind us of what that genre truly is.

THE EXPENDABLES... a massive action film which revolves around a crew of freelance mercenaries who venture to South America on a do or die mission to take out a vicious dictator...
Simple premise ( a staple of the genre ), but once you see the cast list, simple flies right out the window!
Sylvester Stallone, Arnold Scharzenegger, Dolph Lundgren, Eric Roberts, Brittany Murphy, 'Stone Cold' Steve Austin, Jason Statham, Jet Li, Mickey Rourke, Danny Trejo and soon-to-be- announced surprises ( Stallone has campagined Van Damme AND Steven Seagal to be part of the show, but as of this writing, their was no confirmed words...) are currently shooting in and around Malayasia, and have recently dominated the Cannes Film Festival with more one sheet posters and banners than any other film production in Marseilles heralding their coming. Of course, for some the stars, this will be their last foray into the rock'em sock'em action genre ( writer/director Stallone looks pretty damn good at 62 years old! ), making this movie a bittersweet love letter to the genre they founded!

With a tentative release date of April 2010 (but don't be surprised if it comes gift wrapped for christmas), this movie will definitely make history--- either as the biggest action hit of the year, or the biggest disaster since Ishtar---
Nonetheless, I have firm plans to sit on the front row!


samax said...

even with all the potential for magnificent failure, i'm all OVER this! at the very least, it will be entertaining (if only entertainingly bad)

i don't think van dame's gonna do it (mark!), but i bet segal will get on board. he seems to be a good sport.

Rodbuddah said...

I think that's kind of the whole point of this: Doing a fun setpiece and being a good sport about the whole thing. I'm actually stoked for this one--- An action version of the Towering Inferno---

John Aston said...

Maybe it's just hitting the mid-30s but, Stallone's recent Rocky and Rambo films have lured me into watching (even purchasing) piquing my interest in older characters.

Of course, maybe its just that today's action stars such as Shia LaBeouf are still the goofy-ass kid on some Disney show preventing me seeing their testosterone driven action movie performances.

No, there's a lack of testosterone in action flicks these days.

Long live Stallone.

Rodbuddah said...

I admit, I didn't think Rocky Balboa nor Rambo stood a chance at first (Probably because of sequel-itis), but I could really appreciate the idea of long-remembered characters saying goodbye. Besides, Rambo turned out to be more brutal than I thought possible!

And you are correct, the lack of testosterone is depressing--- except for 300, which epitomizes the term 'Foot to Ass. Stomp. Repeat.'