Posts Tagged ‘Sylvester Stallone

09
Dec
19

Rambo: Last Blood

As an unabashed fan of action films, I am well-acquainted with Sylvester Stallone’s iconic Rambo. I saw Rambo III as a child in the theater when I was way too young for it, and have since seen parts 4 and 5 in the theater, as well. Rambo: Last Blood promises to be the final film in the franchise. Of course, Stallone promised that Rocky Balboa was the final Rocky film, yet the character showed up in two more films, so it remains to be seen whether or not there will be a sixth Rambo film. Anyway, how did the latest Rambo outing hold up?

Taking place 10 years after the previous film, Rambo is living on his childhood ranch in Arizona. He has a surrogate family which includes a young girl he raised as if she was his own daughter. Rambo has settled into an idyllic life training horses and digging preposterously labyrinthine underground tunnels. Naturally, Rambo isn’t going to live out the rest of his life in peace and harmony. The girl discovers her biological father is living in Mexico, so she crosses the border to reconnect with him. Her plan back-fires, and she ends up the victim of a sex trafficking ring. Rambo springs into action to get her back.

Continue reading ‘Rambo: Last Blood’

17
Sep
16

The Expendables 3, Nightcrawler

The Expendables 3

In many ways, The Expendables 3 is the best and worst entry in this tired franchise. Sylvester Stallone stuffs even more of his buddies in this film than the previous two. It’s mind-boggling to think about how many washed-up actors signed on. There are way too many people, and nobody has any time for character development. That, of course, is something Stallone isn’t interested in. All he wants to do is flash as many old-school action stars on the screen in as short a time as possible, and blow up tons of shit in the process.

This film is the best of the franchise because it tries to have an actual plot. It also tries to give Stallone’s character a backstory. That is far more plot work than the other two films combined. Unfortunately, the backstory is paper thin, and the plot is tired. The only other thing that works for this movie is Mel Gibson as the villain. He’s by far the best actor in this piece of crap, and you can see his trademark charisma on screen. It’s too bad he had to have such a racist meltdown, because he really is a good actor.

This film is the worst of the franchise because of the aforementioned glut of characters and lack of development. Also, the movie is subtly racist. In the beginning of the film, they rescue Wesley Snipes. But then Terry Crews gets shot by Gibson and sits out the rest of the film in the hospital. Apparently, the Expendables team is only allowed to have one black character at a time. What a bunch of horseshit. Finally, there is some atrocious CGI, and Stallone outruns a collapsing building. It’s worse than you can imagine.

Verdict: Shitty

Nightcrawler

Jake Gyllenhaal is racking up a rather diverse filmography. After his weirdo performance in Prisoners, he turned in a giant creeper role in Nightcrawler. This movie has a brilliant concept, one of those things that you wish you thought of so you could have written the film and become a millionaire. The premise is that TV news stations regularly feature footage recorded by freelancers who go to crime scenes or accident sites. They buy the best footage for use on the air.

Gyllenhaal plays a nightcrawler, trolling the seedy L.A. world for crimes or accidents (mostly blood and guts) that he can sell to the highest bidder. At first, he’s low-level, but he has a knack for the work, and quickly does rather well for himself. He manages to get some crazy exclusives, coming upon a murder in progress before the police even know about it. This story thread continues to the end, with Gyllenhaal beginning to manipulate real world events so he can continue to have news stories to sell.

Gyllenhaal plays a fantastic sociopath in this film. He doesn’t care about others, only himself. He manipulates the TV station, he trounces his competition, and he is completely devoid of emotion. His acting was rather amazing, and you completely believe he is this detestable character.

Nightcrawler showcases a world you never knew existed. From now on, whenever you see a news report, you’ll wonder if it was gathered from a real reporter or a freelancer. Gyllenhaal turns in a memorable performance, and the direction is pitch-perfect.

Verdict: Good

07
May
16

Creed and Rocky Are the Same Movie

Apparently, I was supposed to love Creed because of its amazing acting, incredible story, and wonderful direction. Creed was pretty good, I suppose… for a remake.

The problem with Creed is the problem with every fucking movie Hollywood has been churning out lately. It’s a goddamn motherfucking remake. Yeah, that’s right, it’s a remake of the first film in the series: Rocky.

Rocky has long been hailed as one of the finest movies of all time. But it’s 40 years old. That means the current generation is largely unaware of it, and the last generation has probably forgotten most of it. It was an easy trick for the writers of Creed to do a virtual carbon copy of the Rocky screenplay and make it good. Of course it’s good. It was good the first fucking time in Rocky! That’s the reason everyone loved it. They were just watching Rocky again. What a crock of shit!

If you don’t believe that Creed is nearly identical to Rocky, check out this breakdown:

Creed: main character is an underdog no one takes seriously

Rocky: main character is an underdog no one takes seriously

Creed: main character finds an old, down on his luck trainer to teach him to be a better boxer

Rocky: main character finds an old, down on his luck trainer to teach him to be a better boxer

Creed: best fighter in the world sets up a publicity stunt match, giving the underdog a once in a lifetime shot

Rocky: best fighter in the world sets up a publicity stunt match, giving the underdog a once in a lifetime shot

Creed: main character meets a girl and falls in love during his journey

Rocky: main character meets a girl and falls in love during his journey

Creed: the big fight is expected to be an easy win for the champion, but the underdog holds his own

Rocky: the big fight is expected to be an easy win for the champion, but the underdog holds his own

Creed: main character loses by decision

Rocky: main character loses by decision

Creed: the point of the movie is the main character’s journey of self-discovery

Rocky: the point of the movie is the main character’s journey of self-discovery

Continue reading ‘Creed and Rocky Are the Same Movie’

16
Jan
16

Homefront, The Descendants

Homefront

The screenplay for this movie was written by Sylvester Stallone about 10 years ago. He put it on a shelf, and when he finally dusted it off, he realized he was too old to play the part. So, it got handed to Jason Statham who stars in this abysmal failure of a movie.

Statham stars as an ex-Interpol undercover agent or some stupid shit. He infiltrates a biker gang with the worst toupee I’ve seen in a long time. After taking them down in one night, he retires and settles down in the Deep South. Two years later, his badass daughter beats up a bully at school. The bully’s mom gets mad and hires her brother Gator (played with aplomb by James Franco) to get revenge. He, in turn, tells the biker gang where Statham lives so they can get revenge.

The whole movie feels like a setup. It’s like a trailer for a movie that never happens. You keep waiting and waiting for something to happen but it never does. The bikers finally show up when there are only about 15 minutes left. Statham kills them and saves his daughter. That’s it. Everything that came before was all a lead up to that, but there was no sense of dread or suspension or anything else. Nothing happens for the first hour and a half except for two really horrible CGI explosions.

Stallone left the script on the shelf for a reason. He should have realized that he didn’t make it 10 years ago because it sucked. Too bad his poor judgment got the better of him.

Verdict: Shitty

The Descendants

George Clooney plays the head of the King family, a wealthy white family in Hawaii. The rest of the family has squandered their inheritance, and they pressure Clooney to sell their undeveloped land in Kauai to hotel developers so they can continue their lavish lifestyles. Meanwhile, Clooney’s wife winds up in a coma, and he learns that she was having an affair.

The movie is a dramedy with heavy doses of drama and light bits of comedy sprinkled throughout. The story really works and, despite being about rich people, is highly relatable. We all have dysfunctional family members, and we all have faults. This movie portrays real people in a realistic way that makes them into easy touchstones for the viewer.

Clooney expertly maneuvers his way through the chaotic family. His acting skills are in top form as he is able to switch from drama to comedy with ease and not make the changes jarring.

The Descendants is an expertly written and directed movie. The lush Hawaiian setting makes for a nice change of pace, as well. It’s a great dramedy, one of the best examples of the genre. It is definitely worth checking out.

Verdict: Good

22
Aug
15

Escape Plan is the 1980s Most Disappointing Dream Come True

Escape Plan is the movie the 1980s desperately wanted, but, sadly, came about 30 years too late. I’m talking about Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sylvester Stallone finally teaming up. They did briefly team up in The Expendables 2, but that doesn’t count because Arnold’s role was pretty small. Here, though, they share the screen equally, playing off one another, and finally bringing a team up that has been decades in the making.
Unfortunately, if they had been waiting 30 years for “the right script,” this one wasn’t it. Now, don’t get me wrong, Escape Plan isn’t really a bad film, but it isn’t the 1980s wet dream/action star team-up movie we’ve all desperately waited for. No, it’s one of those films that actors do just to pay the bills.
For having the two biggest 1980s action stars as the leads, there is surprisingly little action in this film. The movie is a prison escape film. Generally, those kinds of movies work on building suspense and have very few fights, explosions, shootouts, etc. Right off the bat, this movie is not playing to the strengths of its two lead actors.

Continue reading ‘Escape Plan is the 1980s Most Disappointing Dream Come True’

13
Sep
14

The Expendables 2, Get Carter (1971)

The Expendables 2

We wait decades to see these guys in a movie together, and this is the best they could do?

Sylvester Stallone’s original Expendables film was a complete misfire. Meant to be an homage to 80s action films, it was a pathetic attempt at recapturing the glory days of a bygone era. I couldn’t believe it when I heard there was going to be a sequel. Wasn’t one film enough? Apparently not, because Hollywood doesn’t have any original ideas anyway, so why not make a sequel to a one-off homage film?
The second movie adds a bunch of new characters, none of whom do anything important. The only new actor worth mentioning is Chuck Norris. He shows up, mid-film, like an indestructible god of war who obliterates everything in his path. He even has time to throw in one of those Chuch Norris Internet meme jokes. The most bizarre part wasn’t Norris himself, but the fact they used the theme song from The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly as his character’s musical theme. Umm, last time I checked Norris was never in that film. They probably wrote the part for Clint Eastwood, but Eastwood wouldn’t agree to be in such a shitty film. Since they had already paid licensing fees to get the theme song, they said “Fuck it” and used it with Norris instead.
Bruce Willis and Arnold Schwarzenegger get upgraded from cameos and partake in the action this time around. Even Jean-Claude Van Damme comes out of his cave to deliver a totally one-note villain. There isn’t anything else worth mentioning about this movie. The whole thing is about stunt casting. Stallone wants to get as many old movie “stars” as he can into these films at the expense of a decent story. It’s really quite a shame.
Verdict: Shitty
Get Carter (1971)

An average day in England.

Get Carter is a weird movie. Really weird. I guess since it took place in the early 1970s, everyone involved was as high as fuck while making this movie. The movie begins with a bunch of dudes hanging out, watching a porn slide show. Next, Michael Caine, who plays the titular Carter, learns his brother has died and goes back home for the funeral. He finds his dead brother stuffed into the smallest coffin imaginable, in a bedroom of his house. Um, lolwut? Is that what they do in England, keep dead bodies in the house until the funeral?
Later, Caine spends some time with the corpse, shaving and chatting on the phone. Caine doesn’t believe his brother died in a drunk-driving accident, he suspects foul play, so he begins to investigate. His investigation leads him to chase down bad guys in the cleanest, most-brightly lit nightclub on Earth where he interrogates a dude hiding on a toilet. Caine eventually sleeps with a nasty old bed-and-breakfast owner to prevent her from calling the cops on him for his violent ways. Caine gets into some more trouble, drives around town in a sports car, sleeps with some more women, and ruthlessly murders some other people. Caine plays a complete sociopath, displaying virtually no emotion whatsoever as he leaves mayhem in his wake. The only hint of emotion he shows is satisfaction after clubbing someone to death with the stock of a shotgun.
To say this movie is weird is an understatement. The characters exist in a bizarre waking-dream world that looks like England, but doesn’t actually take place anywhere on planet Earth. It’s also incredibly slow with all the interesting bits comprising about 15 minutes of the 2 hour runtime. It isn’t as boring as The Italian Job but only because it’s so goddamn strange, you somehow can’t stop watching it. Weirder still is the total lack of music except in the beginning and ending of the film. Whatever these guys were smoking when they made this film, it must have been some powerful shit.
Verdict: Bad
08
Mar
14

The Expendables, Argo

The Expendables

They’re all so old and veiny.

Stallone hasn’t given up the mantle yet. He still thinks he can carry a testosterone-fueled homage to 1980s  action films. You know what? He can’t. It’s not even that he’s too old for the role. He played his character just fine, his acting (whether you like it or not) hasn’t gotten any worse over the years. He has charisma, and he is certainly watchable on screen. But he can’t carry such a bloated train wreck of a film. It’s just too terrible a movie, regardless of how likable Stallone may be. I wanted to like this movie, I really did. After all, I love schlocky 80s shoot-em-up movies. I grew up on that shit, and can’t get enough of it. But as I said before, that stuff was a product of its era. It worked then, but it no longer works today. You can’t revisit the past, no matter how hard Stallone wants to. Anyway, The Expendables tried to evoke this bygone era, but it failed miserably. The storyline was paper-thin, the acting was passable at best, the characters were one-dimensional, and the action scenes were a bore. The action scenes should have been the highlight, but they were tired and uninventive. Plus, with copious amounts of CGI blood and knives, it looked fake as hell. There were too many characters, so many that none of them had any personality. Stallone (as writer and director) should have pared down the cast to maybe three main characters in order to flesh them out a bit, to give the audience a chance to care about them. But, no, he was more interested in cramming the cast with as many fading stars as possible to do that. The only way he could have made this film work was to inject it with a lot more comedy, and make it a tongue-in-cheek look back at how crazy the old 80s action movies were. Then it could have been really cool. But he made the film serious and un-self-aware, and it failed as a result.
Verdict: Shitty
Argo

70s fashion deserves to be held hostage in Iran.

Everyone in the movie industry was tripping over themselves to talk about how much they loved this film. But they didn’t just “love” it, they were jizzing all over it. Gushing about the story, the performances, the directing, the bulge in Ben Affleck’s pants, etc. The movie industry couldn’t have been more gay for this film if they tried. And why? Well, Hollywood is always eager to jerk itself off. And what better way than with a film that shows how Hollywood saved lives. Yes, Argo is a movie about how a fake movie saved the lives of hostages. It’s “based on a true story”, whatever that means, and it’s a total wank fest. Affleck stars as a CIA agent who infiltrates Iran under the guise of a film producer scouting locations for a sci-fi movie. He uses his cover to extract the hostages (well, technically they weren’t hostages, they were people in hiding trying to avoid becoming hostages) and get them back to the U.S. The premise, I’ll admit, is pretty cool, and if it hadn’t really happened, you wouldn’t believe it for a second. Affleck does provide some solid directing, giving the film comedy when it needs it, drama when appropriate, and a healthy dose of tension in the climax. The acting is pretty good, but Affleck is the weakest link in the cast. A director with good sense would have hired the best actor available to be the star of the film. But Affleck made himself the star. He didn’t do a bad job, per se, but the movie could have been truly excellent if he had put someone with range in front of the camera. Nevertheless, Argo had thrills and laughs and everything you’d want in a movie. The acting, though, leaves something to be desired, and the story is obviously punched up for the audience. The fact that Hollywood loves itself is never more apparent than watching this film, and then seeing how it won every award possible thereafter.
Verdict: Average
23
Dec
11

Awesome Christmas Movies

Bloggers like to post their top Christmas movies. The problem is their lists are always the same: A Christmas Story, National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation, It’s a Wonderful Life, Home Alone etc etc puke. Well, I thought it was time to give you a list of real Christmas movies. The kind that are festive, and really get you into the holiday spirit. These movies can be enjoyed by family and friends, and should be mandatory viewing annually. Let’s make a new Awesomely Shitty tradition. Watch and love these movies every year, or you can’t be my friend anymore.

12.) RED – Bruce Willis loves the holidays. You can really tell. With RED, as well as two Die Hard movies and The Last Boy Scout, he’s a guy that really embodies the Christmas spirit. This movie in particular tells us it’s never too late to get excited for the holidays. Although the main characters are all retired from their work as assassins, they get together for one last hurrah. Even though you may be an old grouchy Scrooge, you can get festive once again. It’s a positive message like that which makes this such a heartwarming film. A group of old friends reunite to kill people and blow shit up one more time. This movie gives me a warm and fuzzy feeling inside.

11.) Lethal Weapon – Kind of like Bruce Willis, screenwriter Shane Black must really love Christmas. So many of his movies take place during the holidays. This time around we get to see Mel Gibson playing a suicidal cop, as he battles with the villainous Gary Busey, who seems to be playing himself. There is plenty of mayhem as L.A. is ripped to shreds. It ends with a Christmas celebration. I suppose the entire movie (the murders and shootouts and near suicide attempts) is a metaphor for the insanity of the build up to Christmas. This movie is really deep like that.

Continue reading ‘Awesome Christmas Movies’




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