I'm not trying to be a hero! I'M FIGHTING THE DRAGON!!

Badass Cinema rundown for May 20th, 2011

tn_mjwWe got a couple stories in the news worth discussing over the weekend in my opinion. Feel free to add your own topics in the comments as long as it’s Badass Cinema current events related. No cheating. Please use common sense, Paul.

THEY’RE REMAKING BLOODSPORT

Screen Daily broke the news this week that Phillip Noyce (SALT) is gonna direct a remake of Van Damme’s BLOODSPORT, written by Robert Mark Kamen. They say the story will be about an American (soldier?) who goes to Brazil “to recover from the violence he has experienced in Afghanistan” and then I guess he gets involved in the ol’ Kumite. So it sounds like they won’t be going back to the supposedly true story of Frank Dux that the original was supposed to be based on. I bet they still say “based on a true story” though, like The Rock’s WALKING TALL.

My stance on this one is neutral. I’m all for a bigger budget martial-arts-tournament-to-the-death movie. Doesn’t seem like it should have to be called BLOODSPORT, but I’m not gonna cry about it. Kamen is best known for writing the original KARATE KID and a whole bunch of movies with Luc Besson (THE FIFTH ELEMENT, KISS OF THE DRAGON, THE TRANSPORTER trilogy, BANDIDAS, TAKEN, COLOMBIANA) so he’s not the greatest but knows what he’s doing and is capable of sometimes hitting it. Noyce is at a similar level of trustworthiness. He did DEAD CALM, BLIND FURY, some other stuff I heard was good. My biggest concern with him is that he did SALT and though it was fun it was all post-action. I hope he doesn’t think he can get away with a tournament movie where you can’t see the fights.

I guess we’ll wait and see who they cast as the star. I’m guessing it won’t be a martial artist. If I may make a recommendation: there is only one marquee name today who can compete with these facial expressions from the original:

jeanclaude
You know who I’m talking about, and producer Ed Pressman already worked with him in BAD LIEUTENANT: PORT OF CALL NEW ORLEANS. Have him star, or better yet have him as the Bolo Yeung character:

bolo
Or you could get Jim Carrey I guess.

* * *

RICH LADY BUYS TERMINATOR RIGHTS

You may have read a week or two ago about how Justin Lin (FAST AND FURIOUS 3-5) and Arnold Schwarzenegger were on board for a new Terminator movie. I love what Lin has done with those movies and I’m glad to see it paying off for him, and also I’m really excited about Schwarzenegger coming back to movies. But I kind of think they should leave the Terminator be, and I especially think Arnold should follow the Clint path like he said he was gonna and make movies that take advantage of his age. I’m not sure how that fits in with playing an ageless robot. Er I mean cybernetic organism. I guess the real human flesh ages?

Anyway that’s hit a snag because Schwarzenegger has that personal issue going on right now and decided to put the movie plans on hold again. Which I hope frees up Lin to do FURIOUS SIX. But the interesting part of what’s going on, in my opinion, is that Megan Ellison outbid Lionsgate and got the rights for at least two Terminator movies.

Have you ever had a conversation with your film nerd buddies and they said if they were a billionaire they would give Jodorowsky the money to make whatever he wants, or some shit like that? Well, Megan Ellison is the daughter of a billionaire CEO, and she’s a film buff, and she’s doing something like that. She seems to have good taste. Okay, so her name is on PASSION PLAY, but also TRUE GRIT. When John Hillcoat and Paul Thomas Anderson were having trouble getting any studios to fund THE WETTEST COUNTY IN THE WORLD and THE MASTER she pulled out her wallet. She’s also producing Andrew CHOPPER Dominik’s COGAN’S TRADE, Wong Kar Wai’s Ip Man movie THE GRANDMASTERS and an untitled-so-far Charlie Kaufman/Spike Jonze joint.

So if somebody’s gonna be making new TERMINATOR movies I’m glad this lady is in charge and not the people that shit out a new SAW every year.

* * *

MEANINGLESS UNIVERSAL SOLDIER UPDATE

I think fight choreographer Larnell Stovall is trying to imply that Michael Jai White has a cameo in the new UNIVERSAL SOLDIER by posting this photo of him with a “no comment.”

That would be weird if he was in it at all, since he played the main antagonist in part 4, a chapter that was thankfully ignored in REGENERATION. I think more likely he was just visiting his buddies from the UNDISPUTED series.

Anyway what we do know is Jon Hyams is working from his own script, teaming with Scott Adkins, Stovall (choreographer of UNDISPUTED III), Van Damme and Lundgren, and in 3D… jesus man. Release this in theaters, please.

* * *

HUNGER GAMES UPDATE

I’m gonna go eat lunch now.

VERN has been reviewing movies since 1999 and is the author of the books SEAGALOGY: A STUDY OF THE ASS-KICKING FILMS OF STEVEN SEAGAL, YIPPEE KI-YAY MOVIEGOER!: WRITINGS ON BRUCE WILLIS, BADASS CINEMA AND OTHER IMPORTANT TOPICS and NIKETOWN: A NOVEL. His horror-action novel WORM ON A HOOK will arrive later this year.
This entry was posted on Friday, May 20th, 2011 at 3:21 pm and is filed under Blog Post (short for weblog). You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

107 Responses to “Badass Cinema rundown for May 20th, 2011”

  1. I am all for Nic Cage playing both the hero and the villain of BLOODSPORT: PORT OF CALL FIST CITY. The only problem is that every hack critic would make a “Cage match” joke, and the last thing we want to do is encourage those assholes.

  2. Fuck that Bloodsport remake. Are Hollywood going to remake every single fucking movie made in the 80’s? What’s next? Above The Law? Cobra? Red Heat? Or, worst of all, Die Hard?! When will the madness stop? They better not cast Channing Tatum. He was terrible in the Lionheart rip-off Fighting.

  3. While we’re at it, can we get an AMERICAN NINJA remake with Jason Patric and Terry Crews?

  4. Forget Nic Cage. What we need for this…is Riki Takeuchi:
    http://youtu.be/omS0wE36v44

  5. “I hope he doesn’t think he can get away with a tournament movie where you can’t see the fights.”

    Vern – Oh you know better than that. Of course he thinks he can get away with it.

  6. The thing that strikes me the most about the Arnold scandal is that Maria Shriver ended up with a man who was just as adulterous as all the Kennedy men she grew up with. I guess you really can’t break those old patterns.

    I don’t see why this should affect his movie comeback. I mean, if he is working on his family, then great, I wish them well. If he’s worried that the public won’t see his movies because of that, well, the public’s never been that discerning.

    I’d love to see where a T5 and T6 would go, for the sheer blatancy of explaining it in the story. Skynet could build aging T-800 models to blend in better. They’d probably just CG him. They already did in T3 (he got back in shape, but they touched him up.) I’d love to see Arnold play the man who volunteered to be the model for the T-800, then had to go off the grid when Skynet took over and now he’s an old man hiding out from his robot dopplegangers. That would probably be too creative. Didn’t they already try having Arnold play his human self in a T3 outtake?

    What I’d really like to see is Arnold to have a full on role in Expendables 2 finally teamed up with Stallone. With or without Bruce it would be legendary on sheer magnitude, and maybe Bruce would do it too.

  7. FTopel – Well give Maria credit. Unlike most Kennedy women, she actually sent the hubby packing. Teddy’s old lady never did, and he let some poor girl drown.

  8. They’ve cast the male and female leads for Luc Besson’s 12 part THE TRANSPORTER TV Series.

    Mainly unknown. One of them is Whistler from Prison Break.

    http://www.deadline.com/2011/05/cinemaxs-transporter-series-casts-male-female-lead/

  9. Would the new Universal Soldier be filmed in 3D if they weren’t planning a theatrical release? I wouldn’t think there’s enough 3D TVs floating about to make it worthwhile to go down that road for a DTV release.

  10. isn’t the Hunger Games basically Twilight meets The Running Man? I know almost nothing about it

    well, maybe it’s not as bad, I don’t think I can take another Twilight type franchise going on and on after Twilight itself eventually ends, urrrgggh

  11. Did she, RRA? I think she made a political agreement. She’ll be there through the governorship, so she and the kids will be well taken care of after all the sordid news breaks. Not a bad decision, I’m just more empathetic on a vicious cycle level than I am shocked to find out Arnold was a cheater.

    Funny story from the biography Fantastic. Arnold really was a groper, but the women who accused him of fondling their breasts got it wrong. He was an ass man. So Arnold could say with a straight face, “I would never grope a woman’s breast. That’s not who I am, that’s not something I would ever do.” If only they’d said he grabbed their asses!

  12. I’ve heard a conspiracy theory (I’m sure I’m not alone) that Arnold used to be a Nazi, or at least sympathized with the Nazis

    I would say, how could you be a Nazi and work in Hollywood? but then again we all know Mel Gibson has some hangups when it comes to Jews

  13. FTopel: at first I thought the idea of an aging Terminator muttering “I’m too old for this shit” while dolefully cleaning his gun with the arm of his shades would be a little too much to take. However, in the first three Terminator films (haven’t seen #4), we have:

    – A Terminator responding to a guy’s protests about him robbing his shop with the time-defying missive “Talk to duh HAAAND!”
    – Another Terminator stand on the edge of a precipice, with his doom directly behind him, waggling a finger at his target like my strict old Granny used to do. Instead of, you know, KILLING HIS TARGET. Because Terminators don’t just want to kill people, they want to savour the anticipation.
    – A beautiful female Terminator (can a robot have sex? Erm… I mean, can a robot have gender? I think it has been demonstrated often enough in various films that robots are capable of having sex in many, many different ways. Ok, I’m going to stop this now.) Anyway… a beautiful female Terminator obtaining a weapon by increasing her breast size in order to attract the attention of a police officer with a gun.
    – A Terminator refusing to put on a pair of spangly star-shaped glasses because they’re a little too camp for him. Hey, if Elton John can pull it off…

    And many, many more.

    My point is that an aging Terminator with self-hatred issues wouldn’t be too much of a stretch, given the Terminators in the second and third films.

    Anyway, “Bloodsport” remake. Because the world needs it. Nic Cage? Fuck that, just throw Joe Pesci in there. Now HE’D do Bolo Yeung justice. Even better, Chris Tucker. That guy is scary enough when he DOESN’T mean to be. Imagine what he can manage when he DOES.

    And a new Unisol movie. THIS HAD BETTER LIVE UP TO THE LAST ONE is all I’m saying.

  14. SirVincealotThere

    May 20th, 2011 at 6:57 pm

    Suddenly, that movie of young Schwarzengger being a total peanut-brain in Brazil is an order of magnitude more hilarious . . .

  15. Yeah, I’d be all for a (good) AMERICAN NINJA remake.

    I guess it’s just me but I really hate the cliche of the “guy who the robot was modeled after.” I hope that’s not what Justin Lin is talking about when he says he has “THE idea” for a sequel.

    See, this is why you hold onto your VCRs, people. If you’d seen CARNIVAL IN RIO like I have you’d’ve known he was an ass man. I don’t know, it doesn’t surprise me but it’s too bad. It would be nice if he could’ve kept it in his pants for the good of his family.

    I’m sure they intend to release the new UNISOL in theaters, but you could say the same about other 3D movies including Thomas Jane’s DARK COUNTRY and Joe Dante’s THE HOLE that ultimately went DTV. And UNDISPUTED III apparently was supposed to play theatrically too, the deals don’t always go through. Also it’s possible that it would play theatrically overseas but not here, as has happened with some DTV action (although not 3D ones that I’m aware of).

    Felix, I forgot about the Transporter TV series. I’d give that a shot. (uh oh, here comes The Wire.)

    Honestly I don’t know what the fuck Hunger Games is, I just wanted to tease my internetical colleagues for covering every millimeter of the production because somebody told them it’s what the kids like and will get them hits. I feel like if you’re an adult you shouldn’t have to pay attention to that shit unless you actually read it and liked it, which is not something I’ve heard an adult claim yet. It’s exactly like Twilight or Justin Bieber, if you’re running on a Google based economy you gotta pretend to have an opinion about bullshit that’s got nothing to do with you.

  16. I remember JCVD himself remaking BLOODSPORT three times already so this is kind of redundant. We have KICKBOXER & LIONHEART (which is a much more faithful adaptation of STREET FIGHTER than the movie he played Guile in). Also his directorial debut THE QUEST which I remember even Frank “the phony” Dux being involved with somehow.

  17. AMERICAN NINJA II was always way better than the original to me. Sure it’s an ENTER THE DRAGON rip off but that shit is vintage Dudikoff and Steve James right there and much more entertaining than “army movie meets ninjitsu” in my eyes. It was the one I used to watch the most before AMERICAN NINJA 3 with wack ass David Bradley killed the series for me when it came out. I was hyped for that movie for years and then no Dudikoff it felt like an insult. Then he comes back for part 4 but it’s hopeless cause it sucked even more. So yeah maybe that series is due for a reboot now, true indeed.

  18. I’m with you Vern, I’ve never understood why site like Aint It Cool bother with review romantic comedies and the Twilight movies when none of the readers like that shit

  19. I actually think Hunger Games sounds cool. I only know about it because they’re making a movie, and now I’m not going to bother reading it unless I love the movie and want more. Probably the movie will be just fine. If it’s kids kicking ass, cool. Personally, I’m still waiting for a good Ender’s Game movie.

  20. Alright, I’ll come out and be the one adult who’s read the Hunger Games. It’s basically Battle Royale, with a bunch of kids in a contest to kill each other. There’s some teen angst bullshit to wade through, but the lead character shoots a motherfucker through the neck with an arrow, drops a nest of mutant hornets on a girl’s head (then has to dig through her putrefied body to get her stuff back), some guy gets eaten alive by genetically designed werewolves (for hours), and a 12 year old gets stabbed to death with a spear. Basically, a bunch of motherfuckers die violently, which is always nice. I’m almost positive they will totally fuck it up with the movie, but the book was entertaining.

  21. I was just about to say that from what I’ve heard it sounds like an Americanized Battle Royale

  22. Okay Zeke, you make it sound good.

    Griff – I’m all for them reviewing things their readers aren’t necessarily into, for example I reviewed the Jodorowsky box set on Ain’t It Cool and I’m positive that 99.9999999999999992% of those kids never heard of him, wouldn’t read about him and would not know what was going on if they watched the movies. Also I got shit on all the time for reviewing DTV movies that “no one” cared about. It’s all about sharing your passion I think.

    What I don’t like is when some of these sights review things that I get the feeling that THEY don’t care about, but they feel they’re supposed to cover it because it’s been shoved down their throats by the publicists or (more cynically) because they know that just having those phrases show up on Google they’ll get hits. For example they all reviewed the Justin Bieber movie and explained that it wasn’t that bad, but who cares when they had no reason to see it in the first place?

  23. yeah, I see what you’re saying

    it’s one of the reasons I stopped going to Aint It Cool, I got tired of all the Twlight and shit

    also Vern, I figure now might as well be the time to ask, are still writing for Aint It Cool? as far as I know it’s been a long time since you’ve posted anything there

  24. @Griff: As far as I know, Vern has been on hiatus from AICN since his review of Undisputed III. My guess (and it’s only that) is that he’s distanced himself from Harry & Co. because the site has become, in the last several years, a parody of its former self (AKA entering its “Fat Elvis” phase). As you may have noticed, two more of its better writers Alexandra Dupont and Drew McWeeny (“Moriarty”) are both long gone… perhaps for the same reason.

    Again, I’m merely speculating. Be that as it may, I will be forever indebted to AICN for introducing me to Vern’s masterful insights re. “filmatists” and their endeavors courtesy of THIS particular article:

    http://www.aintitcool.com/node/13561

    I’m not sure if it was his first contribution there, but it was, and remains, funny as hell… and perhaps a warning shot for his eventual first book “Seagalogy”. If you haven’t already done so… read and savor this AICN masterpiece, Griff.

  25. Wow, that sucker HTMLed all by itself (which I was not expecting). Way to go, Vern’s Webmaster!

    With that in mind, and for all devotees of this site who have yet to read it… here is Vern’s AICN magnum opus. It gave birth to The Beast Of All Talkbacks:

    http://www.aintitcool.com/node/24309

  26. If they can sanction a remake of Robocop, they can remake anything! Bloodsport could be good,more of a “re-imagining” as they say. Don’t know about a Transporter TV series though. Jason Statham was part of the draw for me. Still, I do like Nikita with Maggie Q. Could be in the same vain.

  27. oh yes, I’ve definitely read that Chaos review

    anyway I kinda figured Vern cut his ties with AICN, though I doubt he’d ever confirm it himself

    it’s a shame AICN went downhill because it used to be a pretty cool site when I first joined (which was early 2007)

  28. Nah, I’d like to write for them again. I just don’t think I should do it for free anymore, and I never feel up to writing the “hey Harry, here’s an unsolicited review of a shitty Dolph Lundgren movie, but only if you start paying me” email.

    And there’s less incentive now ’cause I’ve grown apart from the talkbackers. There’s a new generation that I think grew up on the most moronic, hateful gibberish available on the internet and thinks that’s what you’re supposed to do. Just today I made the mistake of reading one about Schwarzenegger’s movies being on hold, and got to see the whole gamut of dudes talking about their dicks, picking apart women’s looks, calling each other gay, some dude’s weird obsession with attacking people who like Polanski movies, and (worst of all) more than one nitwit claiming that Arnold never made a good movie before.

    I hope the good people on there stick with it. It seems to me like the handful of pricks that used to ruin the talkbacks are now the majority. They honestly make me nostalgic for the reign of DannyGlover’sDickblood. And at least the horsefucker guy could write complete sentences.

    I should mix it up with those guys sometimes though, to keep my teeth sharp. I’ve been spoiled over here with all the respectful, insightful conversations between people who have good taste and rarely talk about raping unless it’s a review of I SPIT ON YOUR GRAVE or something.

  29. I think all reasonable talkbackers who still refuse to leave AICN are now hanging out at THE ZONE (the little advertised official message board of AICN). The rest just left.

    Also about the TRANSPORTER series, I said it already in the Potpurri³ thread, but what makes me interested in it, is that it’s a co-production of HBO (which means it should have some nice production values and also the possibility of foul language, nudity and violence) and German TV station RTL (which means the show might have some seriously breathtaking, crazy ass stunt work, that might look better than anything in the movies!).

  30. Ace Mac Ashbrook

    May 21st, 2011 at 2:54 am

    I love Arnold Schwarzenegger’s old movies, but I can’t see him being good for anything now. The comparison to Clint Eastwood does not stand up. Clint is an amazing actor and director, Arnold is an out of shape, piss poor actor. Sorry to sound like I’m being down on the big lump.

  31. I do wonder if AICN these days is just stumbling on solely on inertia, with people checking it because of old habits, and not because people actively wanting to read what the site has to say anymore.

    Yes, they used to have really good contributors writing articles who have now pretty much left, like Vern or Dupont, but those were always secondary content.

    The core lifeblood of AICN in its heyday were the scoops. The unauthorized, unsolicited by the studios scoops. The photos and the script reviews and so on. Even as late as 2002, AICN was willing to post his review of a bootleg workprint of Attack of the Clones by Harry, or later that infamous script review of JJ Abrams’ Superman project. A review that managed to scrap the entire production. AICN and sites like Corona’s Coming Attractions were kind of rebels, and they offered far more interesting content, material that no one else had.

    Now, Harry and the site are firmly in the leash of the studios. He gets the press screenings and studio swag like everyone else, and they’re firmly embargoed on authorized release dates on reviews and other stuff. And even if they do somehow manage to post some publicity photo earlier than allowed, you click the article few minutes later and find the standard notice of “Photo removed by the request of the studio”. The site has been hammered, coerced, and/or paid into submission.

    So, if Aint’t It Cool News now is just like any other general movie site in terms of content, why should anyone looking for film news and discussion visit it?

    It certainly isn’t the quality of writing. Yes, there are some good contributors, but if you’re not already a fan from back in the day, I’m betting you’ll find Harry’s unedited gushing, stream of consciousness word vomit really horrible to read.

    And it certainly isn’t the quality of talkback community. For a site that claims to celebrate film, those talkbacks sure are a cesspool of pure hate and vitriol. Everything sucks, all the upcoming films are shit, all the current ones are terrible, and all the directors are child molesters and/or incompetent. And if they’re not flinging shit, then they’re sprouting site catchphrases no one likes (or just screaming “first!” in every talkback). The level of discourse is absolutely terrible.

    And the site’s design is still locked in 1995. That doesn’t help things either.

    I did visit AICN regularly because it was a site that was excited about new films and offered material no one else had. It genuinely felt like a grassroots film fans site with exclusive, insider content. Not anymore. If I want to check out film news, there are certainly ton of great sites out there. Or if I want to discuss films, I participate in communities like this one. Hell, for a site that started out with direct-to-video actioners as its core content, this place has far more interesting things to say about films of any genre than AICN. And talked about by people who have far more intelligence and civility.

    I just don’t see a place in the world for Ain’t It Cool News anymore.

  32. ha, I apologize guys for turning this into an off topic discussion about Aint It Cool, but I really appreciate you clearing up what the status between you and AICN is Vern, I’ve been curious about it for a while

    and HT your post hits the nail perfectly on the head and sums what sucks about AICN, the endless negativity of the talkbackers is what finally turned me off of it, I decided that I wanted to start enjoying movies again

    I think we’ve had a similar discussion before, but negativity prevails with a lot of supposed movie fans on a lot of different websites, I think that’s the primary difference between nerd culture of today and the nerd culture of the past, in the past being a nerd meant that you liked certain things, these days it seems to be about what you DON’T like more than what you do

  33. Thanks for responding about questions re. AICN, Vern. I can understand Harry not forking over for your many & various (and all invaluable) contributions, gratitude not being among his strong suits (if he has any)… but FOR FUCK’S SAKE, I can’t believe he didn’t have the decency to pay for your airfare (to & fro) to Austin for at least ONE Butt-Numb-Athon. For all you’ve done for him, it’s a small price to pay.

    NOW I’m pissed! (must… exercise… restraint).

    OK, I took a moment, and am now properly chilled (see any Steven Seagal movie, at the point where his character reaches a quandary, and YES this does eventually happen).

    You’re spot on, Vern. AICN isn’t what it used to be. Interesting that you should use “Danny_Glovers_Dickblood” as a demarcation point. I believe he, and fellow persons despondent of AICN’s demise bailed, and went and formed http://www.aintitbalenews.com

    They’re not quite up to your level of acumen re. current movie intelligentsia and such, but the spirit of rebellious insight is there, and without corporate hindrance.

  34. I stopped taking Harry seriously as a Reviewer long ago. Anyone here remember his infamous “Blade II” review?

    Vern, i just like to say that i love this blog and the talkbackers here. There’s intelligent discussion and a genuine love for B-Action movies. Truth be told, I enjoy some of these DTV Actioners more than todays Hollywood Blockbusters. I saw “PRIEST” recently and thats $11 i’ve flushed down the toilet.

    I like to invite Vern and all of you to join the CHUD B-Action Thread. We’re a fellowship of long time Action lovers that love to explore every aspect of old and new Action flicks. We daily update each other on the latest scoops and the atmosphere is friendly and intelligent.

    http://www.chud.com/community/forum/thread/86300/the-b-action-movie-thread

  35. Hey Vern,

    Any plans on reviewing Sniper Reloaded? I held out hoping you would especially since Billy Zane returned, but then I folded and watched it. More than a little disappointed, but there is some fun stuff that it seems like you would get a kick out of.

  36. Oh and does anyone have an idea what time the world is supposed to end today? I just want to make sure that I don’t miss it because I’m going to the bathroom or something.

  37. Jareth Cutestory

    May 21st, 2011 at 8:59 am

    I completely agree that Schwartzenegger would be better utilized in an EXPENDABLES sequel than he would be in hashing out TERMINATOR 5: BAD JUDGEMENT DAY.

    The EXPENDABLES series would benefit from Schwartzenegger’s expanded role, and Schwartzenegger would benefit from a role more suited to his, uh, talent. At this point in his life, and with the current level of talent involved, EXPENDABLES seems like a far more sympathetic environment for him to be working in.

  38. Felix – what was the gist of his BLADE II review?

  39. No one can be TOLD what the Blade 2 review was like. You have to read it for yourself…
    http://www.aintitcool.com/node/11793

  40. I have found that in general, any kind of message board (or comment board) that is popular or has a critical mass of people going by it, is going to attract a lot of the crap posters that you are talking about, Vern. And if they have been around for many years, there are going to be a whole bunch of new posters who were quite frankly probably in diapers when the board or site was first started up. It happens. And when it does, I just lose interest in posting since who really cares what response you get from posters who can’t even form a coherent or interesting thought?

    When the standard of discourse is set low, it does not attract more intelligent discourse. It just gets lower.

  41. Vern, as a professional who was assigned to review the Justin Bieber movie, I think he POV was “my editor thought he was going to force me to review this, but it turned out okay.” And I was still mildly negative, but I hope that’s worth something.

    Do you guys think there’s a way we can turn the negativity in the film lover community around? I read a lot about spirituality and certainly the Gandhi example of “be the change you want to see” applies, and even calling out people’s control dramas could work. That’s deep though. I just want to be able to talk about movies with people. I get it on the professional side (colleagues) as well as the talkbackers.

  42. Oh, MDM, I heard 6pm pacific. After that, I’m going to be legend. I called it.

  43. Yeah, I’m gonna take the end of the world easy too. I either go to heaven in 8 hours or will spend the next five months with living the biggest adventure of mankind!
    (Too bad that the internet might be down then. I would love to come here every day and talk with you about how many demons we slayed today.)

  44. I remember the first time I stumbled onto AICN it was an article on the then upcoming JOHN CARPENTER’S VAMPIRES sometime in ’98. The way Harry rambled about his love for the Carpenter filmography made me go “these guys seem to be quite alright” considering what a Carpenter stan I was in those day. From there I was introduced to Vern’s eloquent reviews and also witnessed a lot of the classic meme’s (Ie: GORDON HAS A BEER & CHEETS ON HIS WIFE, ___ HAS A BOMB IN HIS RIBCAGE) at their origin point. I too remember a time when they had such a rebellious streak and went out of their way to get exclusives no matter what it took. I think I remember them being the very first people to tell us Halle Berry was going to play Storm for example and shit like that.

    Then came the mid 00’s and the site just derailed into a complete joke. I think the last time I regularly visited was during that summer where Vern did the PG-13 LFODH “Don’t Be Ellis, FOX!!!” article and Walter B showed up out of nowhere. Since then I’ve gone every now and then and it’s just really depressing to look at now a days. The place that used to outscoop a lot of other sites now relies on other websites to jock scoops from.

    On top of that the talkbacks which I was never much of a participant of but always enjoyed reading as there were lots of educated movie fans there just became as unreadable as IMDb did. It’s just depressing to look at now a days. It has devolved instead of progressed. I think Vern is smart for not giving them any more free lunches. They don’t deserve such quality writing on there anymore when the dudes in charge don’t even bother to post anything of quality on their own anyway. Quint being the only possible exception but I don’t check it out enough anymore to even know.

  45. As for Schwarzenegger, he should definitely drop the Terminator franchise. Let it go, man. It’s absolutely the wrong film series, and the wrong character, for an aging actor to cling on to. Not to mention the whole Terminator universe is so convoluted now it’s pretty much impossible to create any sequel that works within the established framework *and* have Arnold as a main character *and* still be an organically moving, energetic and driven action film.

    Maybe, just maybe, TERMINATOR 5 could work as new film, set in the future war with new characters and a new story. A survival war story type of thing, a movie about humanity facing extermination and fighting back in a desperate time. But no John Connor, time travel, or Arnold. Or if you’d go the lazy route, reboot the whole franchise. But Ellison’s rights to the franchise only cover sequels, no reboots.

    Arnold is now entering his later Bronson phase of his career. He’s perfectly suited to play to a craggy, world weary badass who has seen some Bad Shit in his time. He sort of skirted that type in END OF DAYS but that wasn’t the sort of vehicle to really push the character traits in the forefront. Although I admit I still enjoy that flick, mostly because of Gabriel Byrne.

    What I’m saying is, he would be perfect in a good, old-fashioned old man kicking ass, R-rated revenge flick. No huge budgets, big effects or salaries – just go back to basics. And preferably get Paul Verhoeven to direct.

    Or I don’t know. Maybe if I close my eyes clap my hands together and wish really hard, we’ll get Arnold and John Milius together for a last hurrah with KING CONAN.

  46. I don’t even want to see Arnold in any more movies let alone another TERMINATOR. If he can’t do EXPENDABLES 2 then just stay retired. KING CONAN should’ve happened back when he did END OF DAYS, THE 6th DAY and COLLATERAL DAMAGE. Would’ve been great to have seen that instead of those. It’s too late for that now too especially considering Universal has been lost the Conan rights.

  47. I still want to believe Arnold could get back in shape for KING CONAN. Not certainly into the CONAN THE BARBARIAN era shape, but still fit for his age to play the role.

    But I suppose after his heart surgery, and with the rights to the property indeed moving on, and with John Milius having pretty much retired – not to mention the impossibility of Milius getting the 100+ million dollar funding the project would require – it’s just a pipe dream.

    So I guess we have to bury KING CONAN as one of the great what if’s in Arnold’s career. Next to the could-have-been-awesome Verhoeven directed CRUSADE. Too bad Renny Harlin – and to lesser extent KINGDOM OF HEAVEN – killed that.

  48. I hate to contribute to the derailing of this thread. I would much rather discuss badass cinema, but I have to mention that regardless of all of AICN’s short comings (many of which I agree with you guys on). AICN is responsible for introducing me to writings of Vern & Seagalogy and for that I will always be grateful.

    Vern, I thought that if the latest Universal Soldier installment was shot in 3D it was guaranteed a theatrical release.

  49. RE:BLADE II REVIEW… Uh… Thanks for that guys.

    That has many elements that could sum-up why I don’t read AICN much (well, Harry’s stuff at least)… I don’t generally mind the self-referential stuff, but he just takes it to a really obnoxious level.

  50. I really wanted to see him do that movie with the I SAW THE DEVIL guy, though. I think that’s a director that could both use him well as a screen presence and put him in some great action scenes. Also I’m gonna read this “Cry Macho” book just ’cause the title is so ridiculous.

    FTopel, I like your Gandhi comparison and I think you’re right, I think that’s all we can do and to some extent it’s already working. To use an example from our little world here, I’ve seen people like us spreading the gospel of John Hyams, Isaac Florentine and Scott Adkins all over the web, talking them up that they should be involved in this movie or that. It’s one example of people being passionate about actually LIKING something and trying to share it with other people. Not just “we hate shakycam” but “here is the alternative.”

    Other than that all we can really hope for is that at some point there will be another cultural shift where sincerity and passion become cooler than cynicism and ironic detachment. I think it could happen, but it might take generations.

    I thought we were gonna be talking more about BLOODSPORT but this is kind of deep, I like this.

  51. It’s funny that almost a decade later, that BLADE II review, and other old articles are still a pilgrimage for talkbackers. People still post to them from time to time.

    By the way, AICN is a site that doesn’t get rid of *anything*. So, as a fun time travel nostalgia trip, change the number in the page address (after the /node/) to some really low number. The old articles are an interesting look back to the site, and the film anticipation culture and fandom in general.

    Article #1 is a spy scoop of an upcoming movie called SPECIES 2. Excitement!

  52. Arine needs to stay away from the franchises he is already known for because it will only remind the viewer of how much he has aged and is not the hulking Arnie of old. He should look at Liam Neeson’s recent filmography as a guide on how to make badass films as an aging action star. Arnie could easily carry a picture similar to TAKEN. Arnie’s age could be a real asset, if used correctly. It opens the door for him to explore different roles and themes that he has not touched on in film. For example, Clint could not have made UNFORGIVEN as a young man. An older Arine could also use his body of work and action star persona as a lens to examine and reflect on the themes of his previous films similar to the way Clint did.

  53. Or he could just play an older dude that young guys don’t think will punch them in the head as hard as he will punch them in the head.

  54. What *is* the theme of Arnold’s body of work?

    Because, funny enough considering his current personal life, the only overall encompassing theme I can think of is a man’s relationship with his family and the upbringing of children.

    CONAN THE BARBARIAN, COMMANDO, TERMINATOR 2, KINDERGARTEN COP, JUNIOR, TWINS, END OF DAYS, JINGLE ALL THE WAY, COLLATERAL DAMAGE, TRUE LIES, 6TH DAY, and even BATMAN & ROBIN all have that same theme in common with the characters he plays. I know it’s a pretty loose definition, but still.

  55. HT, Arnold’s films like most action films, and many of the westerns Clint was in have themes of revenge, justice, and masculinity. They also glamorize violence. UNFORGIVEN was so effective because it turned the western genre and these themes on their head. Instead of being portrayed as strong Clint was show as old and broken down. The violence in UNFORGIVEN is not glamorized it is brutal and shocking. The film also challenges a number of the ideas about justice and vengeance that are present in Clint’s body of work. Arnold is at a similar point in his career where he is prime to play a character that has something reflective to say about the themes associated with his film persona. Like what if an older John Matrix found out that a group of rebels he had trained to fight the communist threat of Russia in 80’s ended up being behind a major terrorist attack on US soil. How would he feel about it? Would he feel guilty? Would he want revenge? If he did want revenge, what is the cost he is willing to pay to get it?

  56. Huh . . . is it me or does the latest TRANSFORMERS trailer looks like Michael Bay is post post-action? There are some *terrific* shots in there. I looked out the window and no pigs were flying. Any news from Hell?

  57. Well Michael Bay has stated several times that he had to adapt a new style, because quick pans and even quicker cuts don’t translate well in 3D.

  58. CJ, you right you can not have quick cuts or pans in 3D because it does not give the eye enough time to adjust. I bet Transformers 3 will be a huge steaming pile but it might be one of Bay’s best directed films in years. The only good thing about studios forcing 3D on film makers is that they can not use any post-action technique.

  59. I think it’s just sad, the whole negativity thing. Everybody I know who is totally into movies and good TV and shit got into it because they LOVE that stuff. So that’s what the focus should be on, I think. I mean, yeah, I hate certain stuff too and get riled up about it and that’s my own shortcomings bleeding through but that shouldn’t be the whole damned point of film discussion. I’ve been involved in a serious love affair with flicks since I was six years old and my dad took me to see Raiders of the Lost Ark and it changed my life. I’ve never had an experience just like that again but that’s exactly what I’m chasing down every single time out, and there’s been some seriously great fucking movies that have made me more than happy and I get some of that original feeling back and it’s always fantastic to have it. That’s what the film community is truly about to me — not just the people who make them but the people who write about them and watch them and experience them and all of us here. We’re just as big a part of it and it can be as positive or negative as we want it to be. . .or allow it to be. Which is why it’s great to read comments here and see this kind of connection, cause it’s truly awesome and uplifting and not to talk more out of my ass but it can really be transcendent and remind us what we loved about this in the first place.
    And I read all three Hunger Games books and thought they were actually pretty good. Ultimately it’s about revolution and sometimes the real world makes you live vicariously through that kind of shit (wish they’d been around to read about 2006 or so, I’d have gotten way off on it I bet) even if you don’t wanna see hundreds of thousands die. They ain’t bad at all is what I mean. And Jennifer Lawrence is fine-looking as all hell so I’ll check the flicks out.

  60. Michael Bay is giving up post-action? Now I do believe the world is coming to an end in 30 minutes!

    I wonder if there is still time to find Megan Ellison and woo and marry her…

  61. SirVincealot – I had the exact same reaction to that trailer

    the better shot action scenes and (supposedly) less goofy humor, I don’t know guys, this might be blasphemy, but it kinda makes me want to check it out…

    well we’ll see anyway, I’m definitely not interested in watching the second or re-watching the first

  62. also it’s 6:39 here and no Rapture

  63. I live in Chicago and it’s about time robots or aliens destroyed our city. You can only destroy LA or NY so many times before it gets boring.

  64. Well said A.J.

  65. My wife and I were at the Trader Joe’s at 6PM tonight. Even if the Rapture happened I don’t think we would have noticed with that crowd. Us secular leftists are cool like that.

    I know I’ve been negative in the past. I was never one for posting online, here and a few local clubs for hobbies I participate in are the only places I’ve ever really posted, but I lurk a lot and I have noticed that a reflexive hatred for everything has taken over. It’s really toxic and ugly.

    I think a lot of it comes to the culture of bourgeois white nerds being awful. I’ve seen a tremendous amount of racism, homophobia, and misogyny amongst this group.

    But, yeah, I have been negative in the past. I try to be less so and focus on the things I like (Undisputed, Unforgiven, Unlawerence of Unarabia, etc) but I’m still baffled on some things. Like, I just don’t understand the appeal of Blade Runner, The Dark Knight, or Inception. I try not to be negative about these, and others, but i do bring them up to try to understand what it is that I’m missing.

    Like, Blade Runner has some great visuals but forgot to tell an interesting story. The Dark Knight takes itself so seriously and tries so hard to be realistic that all of the times it becomes stupid and ridiculous it really distracts me. If they had instead went total camp and had fun I probably would have liked it. Instead, they took themselves too seriously and weren’t up to the task of actually being as mature and realistic as they meant to be. They also made a huge error and have the butler guy tell a story that would make for a better movie than what they filmed (seriously, I want to see a young Michael Kane in Burma hunting a guy in the jungles with fires and diamonds, that sounds awesome). Also, they need someone to rewrite the dialogue. I get it, the story is about heroes. Not every sentence needs to have the word hero or knight in it. Batman Begins did this with the word fear. I wonder what the next Batman movie will be? It should be fascism, because that’s what Batman is. I doubt it.

    Inception just bored me. The action was awful. There were no characters and I don’t think anyone had any personality. Maybe squinting and having a fat face is a personality?

    I’m curious, is the above being too negative? Us fat redheaded guys do have a habit of rambling about personal stuff, but I wanted to see what you all thought. Like, I’m not trying to hate. I saw each of these films excited because I heard good things and was just horribly let down. So, am I being overly negative? I’ve been accused of it sometimes. But yeah, I do try to talk up Speed Racer, Children of Men, Once Upon a Time in the West, City of G-d, and other movies instead of focusing on things I don’t like. Even still, I’m trying to understand why those films are so loved.

    I’m sorry for what is becoming a long post.

    As for Arnold, I’m not sold on him. Yeah, I know, he’s been in some great movies but were those movies great because of him? I’m not sold. I think he was a big star in the last period of great action films. I love me some Conan, Terminator, Total Recall, Predator, and Running Man but when taken in context of all the other great films being made at the time (Road Warrior and The Thing come to mind) how much of those films can be attributed to Arnold? Who are our Verhoevens, Carpenters, or Miliusi?

    It might be something wrong with me since that Batman director leaves me cold and annoyed but I don’t see too much in the terms of politically aware science fiction / action nowadays. That might be because we demand too much of directors these days and want them to branch out, I know I’m glad the Coen Brothers are impossible to predict, but can you imagine if Carpenter was still active and popular and how much crap he’d get for ANOTHER politically significant science fiction film?

    But, yeah, I have nothing against Arnold. I like a lot of his movies and think he brought something fun to a lot of his better movies. Hell, I even really dug End of Days. I’m just not sure if he has anything to say. Clint Eastwood has something to say and I’ll see anything he does because of that. I’m less sure about Arnold. At best I think he’d just star in something that I’d rather see the Rock star in. I’m open to being wrong, however, and hope he does have something to say that really is unique.

    I also think part of the problem is the demand for the veneer of seriousness. Undisputed 3 was awesome but whenever I try to tell my friends about the movie it becomes difficult to sell a DTV sequel to a movie no one saw that also involves international prison fighting competitions. That’s a hard sell. I’ll be damned if that, Scott Pilgrim, or The Ghost Writer wasn’t my favorite movie of last year.

    I’m glad I’m not the only person who is optimistic about Transformers 3. I was born in 83 and even as a kid I didn’t like the cartoon. I didn’t like the first movie and really hated the second (it’s okay to hate something for being loud, obnoxious, and racist, right?). The trailer for the third looks like it makes sense. Like, there’s more than just shiny polygons flashing on the screen. I could actually tell what was going on in the action scenes. It looks decent and it’s something I won’t mind being invited to and seeing. I’m open minded to the part 3 of a movie series I’ve hated that was based on a line of toys.

    I’m open to a Bloodsport sequel. Then again, I’m also open to Never Back Down 2 starring Michael Jai White. So, yeah, that’ll be another tough sell.

    Much love, guys, and I apologize for the long post.

    Fight the power!

  66. Couldn’t they do that scrapped TRUE LIES sequel now about the daughter (played by Eliza Dushku) being a spy, with Arnold’s character now her superior, and only really doing any action heavy stuff in a fun scene or two? That’d take advantage of his age, and possibly be the “domestic” angle of a sequel, with her feeling he’s not letting her reach her true potential because he’s keeping her from going on the more dangerous missions because she’s his daughter?

  67. oh, is that what that True Lies sequel would have been about?

  68. All I’d heard about it was that the daughter would be the main character, I just think my idea would be an interesting route to take it.

  69. CaseyF*ckinRyback

    May 21st, 2011 at 5:26 pm

    I was pretty intrigued about Arnie’s comeback (having been a huge fan of his in the past), and felt that his Expendables cameo showed that he could probably cut it on the big screen again.

    But then he announced The Governator. And Cry Macho. Then talk of Terminator 5… Based on these Godawful-sounding choices, I’d wager that he doesn’t have a clue as to how to re-brand his ‘older and wiser’ star persona (unlike Stallone, or Eastwood, even Bronson back in the day) – and he’s in real danger of being laughed off the screen if he doesn’t get it right. Right now, I’m kind of grateful he is taking time out, for whatever reasons – until he can come up with some clear career goals and a target audience in mind – it’s not the early 90’s anymore, the market is virtually unrecognisable since his heyday.

    Personally, I’d love to see the long-gestating With Wings As Eagles finally get made. It’s a great script, plays well off Arnie’s ageing action hero status, introduces some introspection as well as some acting opportunities that play to his level of talent as well as delivering the massive kick-ass action we expect at his scale. It’s probably too much to ask that Verhoeven take the reins of a WWII action blockbuster – but a fan can dream! The script would still work at his current age, possibly moreso, since his foray into politics. It remains to be seen if Arnie can get beyond the role of German Supersoldier and hero, even if he is anti-Nazi and suffers for it before wasting them (well, a couple of Platoon’s worth, at least!) in spectacular, explosive fashion.

    Even wackier, if he needs to sequelize something from his back catalogue – another Predator film. The last installment was pillaged from the second act of Robert Rodriguez’ mammoth early 90’s sequel script, minus the Dutch character, who at that point was poised to return. This time, drop Dutch onto the Predator’s hunting planet, have him team up with Adrien Brody and Alice Braga’s survivors, and turn the third act of the earlier script into the new movie (I won’t spoil it for anyone who has never read it – but suffice to say, it takes the Predator mythology up to a new level)

    As I said, a fan can dream…

  70. Its a pity Arnie didn’t stage his comeback a couple of years ago, coz he’d have been perfect for Taken. Liam Neeson commands all the elderly badass roles for the timebeing.

    I still check in on AICN, but mostly to see if Harry’s been plagiarising any reviews from my site again. (I don’t seriously believe this to be true, but there have been numerous times where he’s written stuff which is awfully similar to what we’d already written).

  71. Then it’s probably for the best: I’d rather watch Liam Neeson in anything than the Inseminator in anything other than KING CONAN. Fuck they should have made that a few klicks back. Hollywood sucks.

  72. Casey (not Casey Fucking Ryback, but previous poster named Casey) – what you’re doing though is explaining why you don’t like some movies that alot of other people do like. That’s not the same as just a toxic negativity toward everything, which usually comes out as just dismissing things with no explanation or one superficial thing. I think the negativity we’re talking about is not just not liking some things, but seeming to spend more time on and be more passionate about the movies you hate than the ones you love.

  73. hey guys, I just got the new issue of Entertainment Weekly in the mail and guess what’s on the cover? The Hunger Games

  74. It’s difficult for me to see Arnold’s career taking the same trajectory as Clint Eastwood. As others have mentioned, Eastwood has proven himself to be a remarkably versatile actor in many ways. Arnold, however, just doesn’t have the same range as Eastwood. I think Arnold has talent and is remarkably charismatic when he wants to be (how else do you think he became governor). After all, he manages to make us root for him when by all rights we should be appalled by the amount of violence he’s dishing out. But I’ve found that only a handful of directors really know how to use Arnold’s skills. As an actor, he really only works when playing a few carefully chosen character types. I couldn’t imagine Arnold in a Bridges of Madison County film, for example. I would love for him to prove me wrong. I think it is admirable for him to start thinking about how to continue acting as he ages. But I remain skeptical.

    As far as the Bloodsport news goes, I just don’t understand it. I thought the point of remakes was that these films had a built in audience and name recognition. I don’t see how remaking a non-classic eighties action film helps in either of those arenas. Strictly from an economic perspective, I just don’t understand remaking a less popular film.

  75. The only way Arnold could do an UNFORGIVEN is as a parody about 80s action hero archetypes rather than cowboys
    “My name’s “Butch” Richter.”
    “The same Butch Richter who killed Cartel Boss Santiago Gomez in his Mexican Villa in ’86, by impaling him on his mexican army cavalry sword and saying “I think he got the point”? The same Butch Richter who set that Hitman’s hair on fire in ’87, later remarking “What a hothead”? The same Butch Richter who fought that guy in a clothes store, strangling him to death with a coathanger while saying “Mind The Gap”?”

  76. whoa, I’m shocked, The Hunger Games actually looks pretty cool and nothing at all like Twilight

  77. I for one would like to see a remake of Bloodsport where a lonely man named Frank Dux stages a not-so-elaborate hoax involving a fake martial arts tournament because his dad didn’t love him. Think “Six Degrees of Separation” meets “Catfish”.

  78. Jareth Cutestory

    May 21st, 2011 at 10:03 pm

    My big worry about Schwartzenegger working with Jee-woon Kim is that he wouldn’t commit to the project the way actors commit to Woody Allen or David Lynch; it would be a career move for him to work with a hot director, not born out of respect for Kim’s work. I can just imagine Schwartzenegger coming up with all sorts of “contributions” to the project, most of which would be serving his own interests as a brand than the artistic integrity of the film.

    I mean, that “I need a vacation” line he snuck into T2 was pretty dire. And I have no proof, but I suspect he came up with Sgt. Candy too.

  79. yeah, I always thought that “I need a vacation” line was really out of place

  80. I’m not saying he could match Clint’s career (nobody could), just that he should follow his example of doing movies that take advantage of the fact that he’s older (like In the Line of Fire or Blood Work, or even Stallone’s Rocky Balboa) instead of the usual action hero thing of trying to hide that they’re aging.

  81. I don’t know, Jareth. I had heard that Arnold helped pay for the truck chase scene in T3 since the studio wouldn’t. That seems like someone who cares about the integrity of the films he is in. Plus you can’t really blame an actor for an ad-libbed line being in the movie. I’m pretty sure Cameron knows how to work an Avid.

  82. Thanks, Vern, and I second your reply to Casey. I think there’s ALWAYS room for a dissenting opinion on popular art. It’s just an alternate perspective. It should just exist.

    To illustrate the problem: Pirates 4 is the third film of the year to be declared the abomination of all studio filmmaking. This after Sucker Punch and Your Highness. Last year there was a crusade against Tron Legacy. Now you can dislike any or all of those films, but come on. Yeah, each of these hyperbolic crusades were probably started by different people, but it’s so strikingly similar that there’s no reason to take any of them seriously.

    I don’t even deal with it so much with talkbackers. As a writer, if I get lots of negative comments, that just means people are reading and engaging. Unfortunately, I have to LIVE it around people who are just bitter and miserable about every movie they see, and CLAIM to love movies.

    I hope what they figure out is that being mean and critical just is not a happy way to live, no matter how smart or clever their latest zinger is. I don’t know what it takes to realize this (to change the essence of a man?), but if you learn to express yourself with compassion, you’re ultimately more secure whether you like this or that movie or not. Also, I think you can get really good at looking for reasons not to like something. Then congratulations, you’ve talked yourself out of enjoying something.

    Full disclosure: I like Transformers 1, not 2, but The Rock is still a favorite. Not so into Inception but love Dark Knight, am into Blade Runner but not as much as Total Recall, could go on…

  83. Kind of reminds me of the hate campaign last year against Skyline, which turned out to be an entertaining B-movie, no better or worse than Battle LA (and with a less Independence Day inspired ending).

  84. I wasn’t aware of this Megan Ellison person. Living in a culture that rewards being spoiled and vapid for kids born with a silver spoon in their mouth, it’s refreshing to hear about.

  85. Earlier this year, as some of you may recall, I suffered a period of intense dissatisfaction with theatrical action and spectacle. It made me bitter and insufferable. I have since found the perfect solution: Don’t see every fucking big movie that comes out. If you’re doubtful about a movie and have a cynical attitude toward it, just don’t see it. It’s your choice. So far this “summer” I’ve skipped THOR and POTC4 and I feel pretty good about it. I plan on skipping FIRST CLASS, GREEN LANTERN, and COWBOYS & ALIENS, too. I’ll see them eventually because they’ll probably be adequate entertainment for a Netflix rental, but going to the movie theater just costs too much in terms of money, hassle, time, expectations, and backlash. I used to see all the big summer movies just so I’d have an opinion, but since the only place on the internet where my opinion is worth expressing is right here, I’ll just let you guys tell me whether or not I should change my mind. It worked for FAST FIVE. By saying no to movies that seem shiny and promising in previews but I know from past experience will likely be underwhelming in practice, I’ve become a happier moviegoer. Maybe if everyone stopped seeing movies they have every intention of hating, the internet will become a less savage place.

  86. Sometimes I wonder if these cynical individuals who have such hatred for so many films are trapped in some Saw-like contraption and are being forced to watch their least favorite movies over and over again. That’s the only way I can explain the vitriol these people have. Sure, there are a handful of films that I despise because I think they provide a dangerous message, but these are few and far between. It’s difficult for me to get too worked up about most big, dumb blockbusters, especially since I’ve been watching fewer and fewer of them as I get older. If a movie doesn’t look good, or it gets bad reviews, then I’ll just watch it on DVD or skip it completely. I was interested the new Pirates until I read some negative reviews. Instead of railing against that film, I’ve decided to just order it on netflix some time in the next year and decide then whether or not it was worth renting.

  87. I liked THOR but also planned on skipping COWBOYS & ALIENS and FIRST CLASS right away. I won’t be seeing SUPER 8 either. I will see CAPTAIN AMERICA and GREEN LANTERN though. Aside from that it will be that Will Ferrell movie with Biggie’s son as a co-star for him & THE TREE OF LIFE for me.

  88. There is some sort of crazy sociological study somewhere on what makes these people seem so bitter. They probably get no poon or drink or smoke with their friends. Chances are they have no friends. I take movies seriously too but if I don’t like something I never watch it again. Just let it go. No need to waste energy on discussing something you’ll never enjoy for so damn long.

  89. I am not sure if the type of hate and “toxic negativity” as Vern put it is a symptom of our modern times as much the internet has provided a platform for people to anonymously spew their venom. As time passes more and more people have access to the internet and for most of us it is part of our daily lives. However, if you went back even a decade or so ago much fewer people had access to the net and even if they did many of them lacked the experience to best navigate the web to the degree that your average Joe can today. As more people have access to the internet and learn how to utilize it the web has become increasingly littered with bitter and hateful people, and the internet provides them with an outlet for them to vent. The haters have always been there, it just that more of them have access to vehicle to voice that hate then ever before.

  90. Thanks, Vern! I’m afraid that my dislike of a movie, especially popular ones, goes too far.

    Senor Majestyk, I am doing something similar to you. I rarely go see anything opening weekend anymore unless it’s something I’m guaranteed to enjoy (Fast Five being one such movie). Instead I just wait for reviews and hear what my friends have to say and go based on that. Sometimes it backfires, such as with Inception which I might have been better able to enjoy had my expectations not been too high, but it’s been working out so far. Like you I used to go see everything that seemed mildly interesting because I enjoy the movie going experience. This just lead to a lot of heartache and the last year or so has been so bad for movies, at least big theatrical releases, that it is easy to get angry about it.

    I do think Thor is worth seeing, though. It’s not the best movie ever made but it’s solid and enjoyable. I don’t think it would lose anything by waiting for DVD, though.

    FTopel, I also love The Rock. Both the actor and the movie. That’s actually one I wouldn’t mind if they remade with the Rock. Come on, Hollywood, these ideas literally write themselves. But, seriously, I enjoy The Rock and Con Air and I find it hard to not watch them when they’re on back to back on some G-d forsaken channel on the weekend. They’re almost as bad as a Rocky marathon.

    I think you’re onto something with the idea that people can sometimes talk themselves out of liking something. This is where movies are purely subjective for me. Fast Five, a movie I greatly appreciate, is something that just works for me. I took a good friend to see it and it was the only F&F movie he saw and he enjoyed it, but later on in the evening he started to nitpick it. All of his criticisms of logic, plot, and dialogue had no bearing on me. He had some valid points and I could see himself thinking less of the film as he delved deeper. To me, his criticisms had no weight because he was criticizing the movie in ways the movie did not care about. The things it set out to do I thought it did well and everything else was secondary. I would enjoy Transformers more if I could tell what was going on because the action is what the film asks its audience to judge it by.

    Vern, I agree that Arnold (and no one, really) is going to have Clint’s career. Even Clint’s bad movies are watchable because of Clint. Even the movies with the orangutan are fun. I don’t think Clint has any Juniors, Jingle All the Way, or anything like that, though. Although Arnold makes Kindergarten Cop watchable. What I’m trying to get at is that I think Clint reached a certain point of freedom and took it to work on things he wanted to work on and with people he wanted to work with. I don’t want to call it integrity or anything, but whatever it is I’m not sure if Arnold has it. Maybe he should team up with someone like Aronofsky and see what he has to say. I think if he put his hands into someone’s hands that was capable and he could trust he could do some really interesting things.

    Maybe this whole scandal was the best thing to happen since it will be difficult for him to just cash in on being a movie star? Like, maybe this knocks him down a few pegs and he’ll have to seriously examine his options and work with someone serious instead of just cashing in on another Terminator movie.

    Speaking of Terminator, I saw most of Salvation this morning. It’s not as bad as I had heard and better than I remember (which isn’t saying much since I couldn’t remember much of anything about it). It’s a solid little action flick with some good scenes. I dislike how everything is shot bright and grey (The Book of Eli did this, too) but it was enjoyable enough. Not worthy of hatred and not something I would consider to have “killed” the Franchise. I think others above had said it but I’d be game for more movies if they worked within the framework of the story but escaped the established characters and events and instead did something new.

    Much love, guys and remember to fight the power!

  91. Ace Mac Ashbrook

    May 22nd, 2011 at 10:14 am

    The people who sit at their computers, shooting bile into the ether, are exactly the same ones who wouldn’t say boo to a goose in a face to face situation. I used to think they were pussies until a friend explained that it actually showed them up for being bigoted, homophobic savages. It is a very ugly side to people, that if they feel that no one can see them, they will say the most horrible of things.

  92. I think Charles is onto something. Anonymity has made it easy to just be hateful.

    I also think part of it is that it’s easier to hate something than it is to love. I’m a very political guy and read a lot of political blogs but one of my favorites, Wonkette, has become stale to me. All they have is snark and venom and it’s oftentimes funny but I’m tired of it. Instead I’d like to read what these people actually believe in, not just what they hate and ridicule.

    I guess as I become older I’m now more interested in the things I want to see, do, and have happen instead of just making up insults for things I deem not worthy. I looked on AICN last night after reading some of the comments here and I looked up peoples responses to Fast Five and Speed Racer and it was obvious many people were just hating on movies they never saw. More than that, they were hating on people who enjoyed these movies even though they themselves never saw them. It was pretty ugly and mean and I do not understand it at all.

  93. A big part of it is the transient, quick-fix nature of the internet. Each generation’s attention span seems to become markedly shorter than the preceding one. Look at youtube – people switch off something longer than five minutes because they don’t have the patience. Long, well-thought arguments are jettisoned in favour of screaming diatribe and abuse, the more inane, the better. Everything becomes polarised at a far faster rate than before; cults of haters/obsessives spring up over days and weeks rather than the months and years it might have taken in the past.

    Hell, handcart, etc.

  94. I have stated a number of times on this site that BLOODSPORT is my favorite Van Damme film of all time, but I am completely indifferent to the idea of them remaking it. It seems like an odd choice for a remake, and I am not really interested in another martial arts tournament film unless it is directed by Isaac Florentine. Also, part of the reason I love the original so much is because of how cheesy it is. I can’t imagine a remake being able to recreate such a lovable balance of cheese and white guy martial arts fantasy. Is the remake going to have an equally silly sound track? Will it feature a chase sequence set in the streets of Brazil that can rival the cheesiness of the sequence from the original where Forest Whitaker and the old white dude chase Van Damme through the streets of HK? Is Donald Gibb going to be in the remake? If the answer to any of these questions in no they shouldn’t bother to remake it. Also, with the rise of MMA and the UFC the novelty of a film about a tournament that features fighters from all over the world with different fighting styles competing against each other has been drastically diminished.

  95. Casey, I agree with you that it’s easier to hate something than it is to love something. The reason being is that to truly love or care for someone or something requires submitting yourself to some form of vulnerability. When you care about someone or thing you are leaving your self vulnerable to criticism, disappointment and/or heartbreak. If all you do is hate you limit your exposure to these things, but you also miss out on the opportunity to experience a lot of joy and reward. I personally do not hate the haters. I feel sorry for the miserable bastards. I imagine they live pretty joyless and unrewarding lives.

  96. @RBatty024- I thought the new Pirates was okay. The other films are irrelevant which is fine with me because two and three are confusing and boring. This one is more economical in storytelling with three disparate groups (Spaniards, Brit Navy led by Barbossa, Pirates) after the same thing (Fountain of Youth) and there’s a mermaid tear needed to complete the ritual, there are betrayals and such but nothing complicated by deep motivations, just the weaselly nature of being a pirate. They don’t go out of their way to set up another sequel, because the reception for this one was pretty cold but every character is still around so if you want a part five or it is economically viable then there will be one. Who knows maybe part five will be solid gold a la Fast Five. This part four, as Fast and Furious showed, was a little more engaging because it tried to go back to giving us the core of what we wanted (Pirate action, fun, no unnecessary detours) it didn’t completely succeed, but it’ll hopefully set the stage for a just fine part five.

    In a sense, I felt the same sort of ‘come on guys, it’s not as bad as the ones before it’ sort of compassion I felt for “Rush Hour 3” it didn’t succeed exactly either but it dialed down a lot of what didn’t work (plot twists, exposition in “Pirates”/ Chris Tucker shtick from “Part 2”) and also wasted a great actor in a villainous role (Hiroyuki Sanada to Pirates’ Ian McShane), but as an aging franchise it was willing to try and dignify itself by being less obnoxious than the one(s) before.

    If I’m doing anything at all, I’m damning the films with faint praise, but the truth is people are smart enough to realize that these film didn’t deserve our patronage after some of the things we had to suffer through and they made them a little better. Sequels might be cynical cash grabs, but at least they don’t completely hate their audience. Although Ehren Kruger’s “Transformers 3” will probably negate all this good will if his rewrites on “Scream 4” haven’t done it already. A fair question: what’s the consensus on four being worse than three?

  97. Anonymity, yes, except there are tons of people who are happy to sign their real names (and paid for) their hateful, vitriolic speech. And circulating with them in person, they have no barriers against spewing it in person too. So I think it’s more cultural than anonymous.

    I think voting with your dollars is smart. If something looks bad, don’t give it your money. Ultimately the paying public will make the decisions about what gets produced. As for people who have to (I say “get to”) see everything for work, keep it in perspective. I used to pay to see everything just in case it may be a surprise. And if it wasn’t, well, cross that off the list.

    By the way, no one’s brought up the conspiracy theory that all these Hollywood blockbusters are keeping real independent filmmaker voices surpressed. Like Hollywood won’t make these great brilliant scripts because they’re not dumb mainstream movies. I’m glad that hasn’t come up, because that’s not true. Nobody’s trying to make bad movies. They may be misguided but they think they’re sharing something creative. And if some really excellent idea is out there, it will get made. The industry is full of stories of talent that got through the system. I’ve never heard of a Christopher Nolan level talent that just got held back and was never “allowed” to make movies. That “allowed” idea is part of wrong thinking too. Most talented people do it themselves, the Spike Lees, Kevin Smiths, and Nolans of the world. They don’t wait for some executive. They make their movies.

    That was off topic but it was on my mind.

  98. FTopel, it is not just anonymity the net provides, the net also grants malcontents with a platform to reach countless people with their hate. I agree that many of them are most likely miserable hateful people in person as well. However, there has always been people like that, we are just more aware of them because of the internet. The web helps to give them a voice, but without the net we would most likely never hear from them.

  99. Charles, I agree, but it’s not just the anonymous forums. We’re also seeing it widespread in the legitimate publishing community, by people with bylines. But I remember seeing that kind of writing in newspapers too. It’s sort of a critics personality, like, “Haha, I’ve got you now!” I guess most people get into criticism from a negative perspective anyway, since it’s a negative word. Now there are just more of them wtih the proliferation and accessibilitiy of websites.

    But what causes that attitude is even less important. I like that we’re talking about how to change it, and it may just be putting a positive alternative out there so that some readers can say, “Hey, that’s available too? I’ll try that. I may even like that better.” I keep trying to think of more proactive approaches though.

  100. I think we’re also seeing the results of film criticism becoming, for lack of a better word, an artform in its own right. I know that I’ve enjoyed many of Vern’s reviews more than the actual films themselves in more than one instance.

    I think this leads to people trying to write zingers and otherwise go for something enjoyable. Sometimes that means people go overly negative in an attempt to be memorable.

    To be fair to Vern, many of his best and most humorous reviews are for films he does like.

  101. It’s also occurred to me that Striving for Excellence involves all of us. Sure, the filmmakers have to strive for excellence to make excellent movies, but we also have to strive for excellence to see the good in them. I think it’s when you stop striving for excellence that you become complacent to just complain about what’s not good enough for you.

    FWIW: Vern criticized Transformers by comparing it to Hamlet. That’s really elevating the conversation.

    Okay, guess it’s time to read about Yuma now. :)

  102. I used to love movies – sometimes I still do. I used to go once or twice a week, every week (I had one of those loyalty cards we get in the UK which made it financially viable). Now though, I don’t miss it. I find it hard to know what movies have soul (I hear Meek’s Cutoff is very good, Vern) because most of the ones shown near me are just noisy fluff. Don’t get me wrong, I love Fast and Furious movies and superhero movies, James Bond and Jason Bourne, but it all seems to be bloody spectacle now and not much besides. I like spectacle and I even loved (loved) Tron Legacy and Die Hard 4.0. But movies are competing with complex, layered TV now (you know the kinds of shows of which I speak) and many of the current glossy movies they will actually show at my local multiplex just don’t hold a candle to something like Deadwood which is actually worth the investment of time.

    Off topic, but there has definitely been a change in movie appreciation for me.

  103. I think you are onto something, Mr Limey. Movies are becoming more about the spectacle and more about the premise and less about the characters, but television has been doing some really great things in the last decade. Band of Brothers, The Shield, The Wire, Deadwood, Rome, Lost, and Breaking Bad have all been excellent dramas that have dealt with some very interesting characters who were all given time to grow.

    Outside of a few movies like The Hurt Locker I can’t think of too many movies that have had as interesting characters, or characters that have been able to grow, like Titus Pullo, Vic Mackey, Locke, or Walter White.

  104. ThomasCrown442

    May 25th, 2011 at 2:34 pm

    I agree with the theory that TV is surpassing movies as far as having 3 dimenstional characters and being much more layered. One of the reasons why is that TV shows have alot more time to stretch its legs and explore each character. The stories are usually deeper as well and with tv shows on cable/dish, you get much more adult stories then in the past. I’ve recently discovered a lot of great tv shows lately. Mad Men, Lost, The Walking dead, etc. I recently watched Firefly and it felt like watching old school sci fi like a crossbreed of Star Trek and Star Wars. Spartacus: Blood and Sand has more violence and sex than anything i’ve seen, and its awesome. And Lost is the single greatest thing I’ve ever seen, TV show or movie.

  105. Spartacus is really something special. It’s trashy, exploitive, ridiculous, and completely over the top. Even still, it manages to have some really great characterization and can be appreciated as a serious drama as much for its gratuitous nudity and violence.

    I’m a big Lost fan. I’m one of those diehard defenders of the show who even really liked the ending. I’ll admit to getting choked up over it. It was very affecting.

    I think we can figure out why television has gotten better by being cynical about it in much the same way we’ve been able to explain why film has been lacking. I think networks and production companies want to sell DVDs and one way to do that is to have long stories that need to be watched in order. I know tons of people who own DVD seasons of The Wire, Mad Men, The Shield, Lost, and lots of others but very few that own seasons of CSI or other shows that are largely standalone.

  106. FTopel

    I`m pretty sure I`ve had some bitter rants about hollywood supressing indiependent movies and overlooking all the new talented directors and their brilliant scripts (like mine…), but I really think it`s kind of true. Yes, almost everybody involved in the buisness wants to make great movies, but very few dares to take any chances, especially with the financial crisis and all that. Nope, they stick to what they know makes money, and the flavour of the month is taking stuff that people are already familiar with, repacking it and hoping that all it takes to get the audience for the opening weekend is a familiar brand. Hence remakes, reboots, comic adaptations and sequels. But it`s gonna change again, some small indiependent-movie is gonna make big bucks and all the producers are gonna conclude that`s what the audience wants. And then we`re hopefully gonna get another wave of young exciting new directors. It might already have started, with Black Swan and Inception. I hope so. I hope that the new flavor will be excellent filmatism.

    Yes, I might be dreaming, but consider this;
    Movies have always been about spectacle, as in things we haven`t seen before. During the early history of cinema, it has been sound, stunts, monsters, exotic locations, moviestars etc. When cinema had to compete with televison in the fifties, they invented color, scope, 3D, massive productions etc. When television caught up, the spectacle was sex and violence, then sfx, and finally cgi.
    Now, you can get all this forms of spectacle in televison. What you CAN`T get, is excellent filmatism. I know a lot of televison-shows are cinematic, even more so than most movies, but most televison is still based on entertaining the audience instead of engaging their imagination. Well, I hope that the new spectacle will be cinematic language as an artform. I know it sounds naive, but all the greatest landmarks in movies have always been what people didn`t expect to enjoy. Why not great cinema? That`s really the only thing you can`t watch on the television.

  107. I am usually to running a blog and i really admire your content material. The write-up has certainly peaks my interest. I am going to bookmark your webpage and maintain checking for new details.

Leave a Reply





XHTML: You can use: <a href="" title=""> <img src=""> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <b> <i> <strike> <em> <strong>