"We're still at war, Plissken. We need him alive."

"I don't give a fuck about your war... or your president."

Time for Expendables 3 news, I guess

tn_danbradleyI feel like I should post about upcoming EXPENDABLESes, since we’re all fans of several people in the cast, and since we all want to love these movies, though many of us don’t. And though the two so far haven’t in my opinion come anywhere near living up to their potential I have gotten some joy out of them. So I always want them to get it right on the next one. And this has plenty of elements that sound promising.

spoiler: this post is gonna start out optimistic and then end on a bummer

 

Today Lionsgate put out a press release with the official cast and plot summary. Not in the movie despite rumors and Stallone twittering: Steven Seagal, Jackie Chan, Mickey Rourke, Nicolas Cage. Officially in the cast though: Wesley Snipes, Wesley Snipes, Wesley Snipes, Wesley Snipes, Ronda Rousey, The Mariachi, the guy from HOLLYWOOD HOMICIDE, Mel Gibson from MACHETE KILLS, plus the previous EXPENDABLES other than Bruce and Mickey. Even Jet Li, who just up and parachuted the fuck out of part 2, apparently they must’ve caught up with him and dragged him back into part 3.

expendables3the plot sounds kinda cool:

In THE EXPENDABLES 3, Barney (Stallone), Christmas (Statham) and the rest of the team comes face-to-face with Conrad Stonebanks (Gibson), who years ago co-founded The Expendables with Barney. Stonebanks subsequently became a ruthless arms trader and someone who Barney was forced to kill… or so he thought. Stonebanks, who eluded death once before, now is making it his mission to end The Expendables — but Barney has other plans. Barney decides that he has to fight old blood with new blood, and brings in a new era of Expendables team members, recruiting individuals who are younger, faster and more tech-savvy. The latest mission becomes a clash of classic old-school style versus high-tech expertise in the Expendables’ most personal battle yet.

Although honestly it should be that Gibson has already hired the team of young people and then the old Expendables have to show them up. Then it would have that SPACE COWBOYS type appeal. Stallone can’t let go of trying to hook in young people, he doesn’t understand that oldsploitation (THE BUCKET LIST, RED, GRUMPY OLD MEN, GRAN TORINO) can do better than cynical attempts to be the cool uncle.

But still, it does sound like it could be fun, and for a second I was thinking about that story, about director Patrick Hughes and his movie RED HILL, about Stallone being good in BULLET TO THE HEAD. I guess Wesley’s probly a bad guy, because I don’t see how he would be part of the new young team, so I imagine that means we get a Statham vs. Snipes fight, which would be cool.

Here’s the problem, that I haven’t seen other websights picking up on: the press release boasts about Dan Bradley being the second unit director. Bradley is pretty much the inventor of the modern post-action style. He was 2nd unit director for THE BOURNE SUPREMACY, THE BOURNE ULTIMATUM, GREEN ZONE, and QUANTUM OF SOLACE. He also directed the remake of RED DAWN.

I don’t mean to impugn the guy. There have been some people who have done his style way worse than him. He’s also done plenty of things I like, even working on JASON LIVES. He was second unit director for a few recent movies that I consider to have good or pretty good action scenes: KINGDOM OF THE CRYSTAL SKULL, GHOST PROTOCOL, BOURNE LEGACY. But after the terribly shot action that Stallone purposely put into the first EXPENDABLES (not to mention the apparent attempt to appeal to a “younger, faster and more tech-savvy” crowd) I don’t trust hiring the guy who shot the infamous QUANTUM OF SOLACE opening car chase. I am very confident this means the cameras will be shaking worse than even part 1.

So somebody throw water on me when I inevitably get excited for this thing. I mean, I’m gonna see it. It’s Wesley Snipes. I saw BROOKLYN’S FINEST in the theater. But don’t let me get my hopes up.

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70 Responses to “Time for Expendables 3 news, I guess”

  1. The plot sounds good, but as I just posted in the EX 2 thread, I groan a little at the “we’re old, so we don’t understand these newfangled com-pu-tars, even though they’ve been a major factor in warfare for decades” trope. Why can’t Gunnar or Toll be the team’s techie guys? They’ve already been established as learned gentlemen in the other two films.

  2. I wish it was Wesley Snipes as Blade.

  3. Well, on the bright side, Jackie not being in it cuts down on the opportunities for horrible mugging and slapstick by at least 35%, so that’s good. And I mean, shit, the RED DAWN remake actually wasn’t the WORST movie I’ve ever…

    Whoa. Hold up. The fuck I’m talkin’ about?

    Aw hell naw, EXPENDABLES franchise. You almost got me, but I’m too smart for that. You ain’t pulling that Lucy-with-the-football shit with me again. You and I both know that I lack the willpower not to go see this, but you’re out of your mind if you think you’re getting me to maintain even the slightest glimmer of hope that it won’t be an abomination. Not this time. I’ll give you my money, because I am a chump, but I’m doing it with my eyes wide open. If I go in expecting—nay, DEMANDING—the most embarrassing piece of shit ever made, maybe I’ll be able to leave the theater without feeling like I just PayPalled my life’s savings to a Nigerian prince.

  4. nabroleon Dynamite

    August 19th, 2013 at 1:48 pm

    Just when I layed out for a while because things seemed slow, Very gets prolific.

    Time to spark mad izm and catch up on mad shit!!

  5. nabroleon Dynamite

    August 19th, 2013 at 1:49 pm

    And Vern filtered through spellcheck is Very.

  6. To add to the optimism, Red Hill was a great film and this is the same director. Chin up, Vern.

  7. I’ll be there opening weekend. I get a real kick out of these movies. The first one was a disappointment (especially after being in awe of Sly’s epic comeback with Rocky Balboa and John Rambo), but I enjoy it much more now, and the second one was a huge improvement.

    I don’t really expect much from these movies. I guess it’s because I feel like these action icons I grew up with have their best days behind them. Sure, it’s possible for one of them to still deliver some kind of action masterpiece, but if I had to be really honest with myself, I wouldn’t bet on it. So now it’s nice just to see them have some fun and enjoy their well-deserved iconic status in a hokey team dynamic.

    Plus, Expendables 3 has Mel. I’ll watch anything with Mel in it.

  8. As fan service to our friend Mr. Majestyk, I demand hologram Charles Bronson in my EXPENDABLES: {INSERT TOKYO DRIFT PUN HERE}.

    Let’s keep this franchise classy.

  9. Agreed on the WESLEY SNIPES. That’s really the only new thing Sly’s bringing to the table that I’m looking forward to.

  10. I don’t think Blade should go anywhere near The Expendables, seeing as his job is to kill anyone with an unnaturally low wrinkle count

  11. The second unit director is subservient to the whims of the actual director. If the director says, “Keep the damn camera still,” he’ll keep it still. That’s why Bradley has a number of well-shot action films on his resume.

    It comes down to the director.

  12. The original Paul

    August 19th, 2013 at 3:39 pm

    Well I’ve been quiet recently because 1) I haven’t seen any of the 2003 movies Vern’s been doing in his “retrospective” as yet (love the reviews though), and 2) I’ve been purposefully avoiding new films that have had less-than-exemplary reviews, which has been pretty much all of them. I will be seeing “Elysium” next week, so hopefully that goes well.

    I have, however, seen the first “Expendables” movie. I recall my reaction being that there were a few small positives but overall the film was just annoyingly noisy, in every possible way – the scoring, the editing, the camerawork – besides having the worst Stallone performance I’ve ever seen (which is saying something from somebody who’s seen “D-Tox” and “Judge Dredd”.) More than anything else, I was disappointed by the lack of effort put into it. Every actor seemed to be coasting on their “image” instead of really showing what they could do in what’s basically an ensemble film starring a whole bunch of aging A-list action stars from the late eighties and early nineties. There were exceptions – I liked the character twists with the Dolph – which is ironic because if there’s one actor who’s never lived up to his public persona when working as a leading man, it’s him. (Seriously, I would kill somebody for a film in which Dolph played a “ghost” – a tech-savvy stealth guy who’s fiercely intelligent and who can get in and out of locked safe rooms leaving behind only the bodies of the two guards who were supposed to be guarding them. Why has no action director realised that part of the fascination of Dolph is that he’s a qualified engineer with a near-genius IQ, somehow working as an action movie star?)

    So when I heard about the sequel, I wrote a fairly epic rant in one of the Potpourri threads stating, pretty much, that the only way that this film could succeed would be if they gave the actors proper characters to play, and play straight. That was before “Expendables 2”, which I haven’t seen, because pretty much every single thing I’ve read about it – including Vern’s review and remarks from various people in the comments – have convinced me that the makers of the film chose not to take that route. I have zero interest in an “Expendables” movie where the best they can do is make in-jokes about the actors, instead of letting them, y’know, ACT. (I’m not sure who this is more insulting to: the actors themselves, or the audience.)

    That being the case, it seems a little redundant for me to state what my opinions are here, since I’ve already stated them before the last “Expendables” movie came out. I am, however, slightly encouraged by the synopsis. Yes, the situation they describe is a cliche, but that was never the problem with the first “Expendables” movie for me. If they can flesh out the expendables into characters I can care about, give them decent dialogue, and really commit to the premise of the old guard vs the young techies, I think this COULD be good.

    That’s the optimistic view anyway. The trouble with all of that? It’s still an “Expendables” movie. I’ve yet to see any evidence of someone attached to the franchise giving a shit whether or not it is “good”. The first movie was a lazy cash-in of the worst possible kind. I haven’t seen the second one, but it was hardly universally praised either. The depressing thing is that Arnie, Statham and Stallone have all had good films out this year individually, and they’ve all flopped. And now “Expendables 3” might very well end up being yet another lazy cash-in that ends up raking in more cash than the other three guys’ films combined. I hope that’s not the case.

    Yeah, this was another fairly long one. Sorry ’bout that. Anyway I’m done now. Peace.

  13. Maybe the best way to look at it is that THE EXPENDABLES is the cash-cow that allows Stallone and others to make the movies they give half-a-fuck about. It’s the CARS 2 of action films. Or, if you’re feeling less charitable, the PLANES.

  14. JJ – that’s true, but Stallone’s directors are subservient to the whims of Stallone, and he thinks the kids want shake-o-vision, and I think that’s why they brag about getting the 2nd unit director of the BOURNE sequels on the press release. We can hope Hughes treasures clarity and can convince Sly (and the producers at Millennium) that it’s important. But all signs are pointing in the other direction, in my opinion.

  15. I don’t have much to add except to echo what others have more eloquently stated. This franchise is a lost cause, I caught the last one through Redbox and that $1.50 was well spent. I don’t think I ever expected these guys to make a straight-up 80’s action movie and risk real injury doing practical stunts for my entertainment. It’s still no cakewalk and there are definitely serious risks involved in this type of moviemaking, but goodness, have you seen Worldwide FX demo reels? There are stunning levels of CGI work in the last two films, like every frame has been tweaked in some way. And it’s worked out just fine for Nu Image/Millennium Films. Digital stuntmen and CGI pyrotechnics put butts in seats just as well as real stuntmen and practical effects, if not better.

  16. I dunno, they toned the shaky cam down a bit in part 2, supposedly due to fan backlash against it’s use in part 1. I can’t imagine Sly thinking it would be a good idea to go back to that style when his audience already seemingly made it clear they don’t want it. Whatever, I found the first 2 entertaining despite their multiple flaws, and the addition of Snipes and Banderas pleases me to no end.

    On a somewhat related note, did you folks hear that Donnie Yen will be joining the Fast 7 crew as a villain? And while I don’t have a clue about her acting, I find it pretty insane than by doing TWO movies Ronda Rousey will have already worked with Stallone, Arnold, Statham, Snipes, Gibson, Dolph, Couture, Crews, Banderas, Ford, Diesel, Li, Yen, The Rock. Even if you think both the Expendables and Fast & Furious movies all suck, how awesome would it be as an action movie fan to get to say “yeah, I did I couple movies between MMA bouts, and I got to work with these guys”?

  17. The could have hired Florentine and get much better choreographed action for less buck.
    There is no doubt that Stallone is one of the greatest action stars ever. But the artistic choices he made throughout his career are questionable. First of all, You don’t say no to Scorsese, Tarantino and Fincher. Also, He cannot direct as good as Eastwood or Gibson, and since he had an Oscar winning blockbuster at an early stage of his career his ego got too big in order to work for a really good director. This is the reason why he can’t fuck with Arnold’s filmography. No Cameron, McTernian, Verhoeven in his. Even now, when Arnold goes for Kim Jee-woon, Sly goes for Simon West. When he did manage to submit himself to some of the best (John Flynn, Robert Rodriguez, Walter Hill), it was too late and not in their best works. If Sly was really serious in doing it Wild Bunch style he would stop all that tweeting nonsense and hire John Woo. Hell, even Mel could do it. He is already there on the set. but no Simon West. Not that Bourne guy. Hell no.

  18. Did he ever say no to Tarantino? I remember him saying in an interview shortly before ROCKY BALBOA was made, that he always kept waiting for Tarantino to offer him a movie and how frustrated he was when the original plans for INGLORIOUS BASTERDS (The big action movie with him, Arnie, Bruce and…Adam Sandler) turned out to be just hot air.

  19. Tarantino did offer him Death Proof. He did Rocky and Rambo instead. He was also considered for Pulp Fiction but probably wasn’t serious enough.

    http://www.notstarring.com/actors/stallone-sylvester

  20. Yeah, I forgot about PULP FICTION (Although to be fair, Tarantino was just “the guy who made RESERVOIR DOGS” back then and Stallone was still pretty much a star at that time.)

  21. Prince of Nigeria

    August 20th, 2013 at 7:01 am

    Good Sir Majestyk,

    As noted in our previous communication, our transaction must remain our secret due to Security Agency Intervention I’m sure you understand. Note your fund is not in Africa any longer is here in Usa right now,please stop all communication with all offices from Africa or other countries offshore offices contacting you for transfer of fund, they are not capable transferring your funds to you, which the Usa government checking files of our citizens and out side countries pending funds own to clients,we found out the amount of monies our Usa citizens and others loose every day while trying to receive payment,Usa Government via homeland securities have investigated funds, called your fund back to the Usa to enable homeland security office and you conclude this transfer in-house which you must receive your fund within 72hrs once you adhere to our instructions.

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  22. Holy shit, he looks like such a badass. I think my admiration for Mel just reached man-crush levels of worship.

  23. The original Paul

    August 20th, 2013 at 1:29 pm

    Dammit Mr Prince of Nigeria, I read Majestyk’s post again before I read yours, and that pretty much made me spit a fruit juice cocktail all over my keyboard.

  24. It’s a shame they never did a sequel to THE LOSERS, as I read the first two volumes of the comic(the movie does it’s own thing with the plot, but the action set pieces are fairly similar, just with a different context and ordering) and it’s a much better EXPENDABLES story and the second arc had a crazy climax on top of a semi-dormant volcano, dune buggy vs. paratroopers and a point blank duel where both people are using stinger missile launchers as the weapons.

  25. Knox – “I guess it’s because I feel like these action icons I grew up with have their best days behind them.”

    I gotta disagree based on the fact that virtually every guy in these movies, including Sly, has done vastly superior work recently. Why should we settle for lazy, pandering crap like EXP2 when we know Sly had ROCKY BALBOA and RAMBO in him just a few years ago? The old Arnold’s never coming back, but the one we have now can still do something pretty solid like THE LAST STAND. Statham, Bruce, JCVD, Dolph… these guys have all done great movies pretty recently, they don’t need to debase themselves to the extent that they have to do scenes where they pretend Chuck Norris is cool.

  26. I don’t know. I think Sly said everything “important” he had to say with Rocky Balboa and Rambo. With the Expendables movies, he’s just having fun. I don’t get the hate for the Expendables movies at all. When I was a kid, I used to love Sly, Arnie, Bruce, etc. blow shit up and say funny lines afterwards. The EX movies are nothing but Sly and Co. blowing shit up and saying funny lines afterwards. I can’t for the life of me understand why people still mope about that flick. If you went in looking for anything beyond that, I guess maybe you were setting yourself up for disappointment. For me, the thrill of seeing Sly, Arnie, Bruce and Chuck standing side by side by side by side in EX 2 and blowing away the scum of the earth was one that will never be topped. (And since Bruce is out of 3 now, it’s something likely to never be duplicated.)

  27. I guess my problem with it was that the “blowing shit up” wasn’t particularly impressive or well photographed and the “funny lines” weren’t very funny. I guess you could level both of those complaints at a good chunk of the cast’s filmography, but for such a historic film I expected them to put in a little more elbow grease. A lot of the “funny” dialog felt tossed-off and improvised and the self-referential stuff was just embarrassing. The action in the first movie was almost unwatchable due to shaky-cam, but the second movie was an improvement.

  28. Right off the top, the first mistake was not procuring Mel to direct the picture. I realize that would have been a shit storm none of those involved would want to answer for but that guy is a genius behind a camera. Besides, it wouldn’t be me having to sit before a junket and answer questions about him directing the film.

    Second was not acquiring Mickey Rourke to reprise his role as Tool. In my humble opinion, and others I’m sure, his crucial scene where he’s having a discussion with Sly, while painting that guitar, only later to smash it to smithereens is the bright spot of either film.

    When he recounts their time in Bosnia on a job from ages ago. And the depths of depravity were on high alert for all involved on that mission. When he witnesses a Bosnian woman jump off a bridge and he realized he could have attempted to save her but his lethargy was in full effect and his guilt surrounding his professional life was at the breaking point.

    Why have that type of talent at your disposal and not take advantage of it? Thus far in the two previous films, he’s been the bright spot for me. (Unless of course he wants no part of it).

    You know, as I’m thinking about this, I’m not giving Jean-Claude enough praise for his efforts in the second outing, as Vilain. He, like Rourke gave it his all, there just wasn’t enough on the page for him to really shine. That’s unfortunate since he was ready and willing to make the material be the best it could have been.

    Two characters right there who deserved a better script. I just wish Sly would let his ego step aside and let the other expendables shine a bit more. Thus far you got Sly and Jason, then the rest are sort of stragglers. I guess Dolph gets a more fleshed out character but the rest? Forget about it. Everybody else gets short changed in this series.

  29. I agree with you, GQ. I think they tried to get Rourke to be in it (Stallone I believe tweeted that he would return) so he must’ve turned them down. Stallone also tweeted about the idea of Gibson directing, but said it was unlikely. Since they cast him anyway it’s probly not for PR reasons. I think it would be an ego clash because Stallone likes to control his directors and Gibson obviously should just be left alone. But also maybe Gibson just wasn’t interested – he’s never been a director-for-hire before.

    Also that picture of him with the muscles is pretty great. I hope he does the Australian accent for this one.

  30. Abdulkarem Ahmed AL-Surmi

    August 21st, 2013 at 7:09 am

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    I ‘ m Abdulkarem Ahmed AL-Surmi,Brother-in-law to Late Prince of Nigeria Mr. Osaji Prince who was assassinated in suicide bomb attack in the headquarters of the National Security Bureau in the capital planned city of Abuja. Until his death was former husband to Bushra al-Assad,President Bashar’s older sister, a woman of comley virtue not unlike famous Western political figure Xena Princess of Warrior. Perhaps in time the Official Royal Guard will have assembled enough pieces of the recently exploded Mr. Osaji Prince from around the city square that a funeral of sorts may be conducted.

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    Sana’a, Republic of Yemen.

    Email Address: abdulkareem@mail.be

  31. Osaji Prince is DEAD?! Does that mean I get a refund?

  32. Senator Hope Uzodinma

    August 21st, 2013 at 9:05 am

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  33. This has become ridiculous.

  34. I can’t help thinking that a part of the reason why I enjoyed Expendables 2 so much more than some other people did is because I don’t really take this franchise (or the contributions of the people involved in making it) very seriously.

    I call them “victory lap” movies. As if Sly sat down after making Rocky Balboa and John Rambo and thought “Well shit, I can die happy now. I’ve painted my masterpiece. I’ve exorcised my demons, fought my final round, ripped out my last glorious throat with my bare hands… Guess I can just take it easy and have some fun now.”

    I guess it doesn’t bother me that not a lot of personal effort goes into these movies. Actually, that’s probably not even true, since Sly seems very involved and proactive in the making of these films. I think he’s putting a lot of work into them, but because he doesn’t really have anything personal or meaningful to express with them, it obviously can’t compare to his better work.

    I dunno. All I know is that I never expected a movie starring a dozen iconic action heroes to be a significant and historic event in the world of action cinema. I never expected it to be the sum of its parts. I knew it was gonna be a clusterfuck. It just ended up being a clusterfuck that I truly enjoy and appreciate.

  35. Oh, and Stu, I second that vote for a sequel to The Losers. I’ve got such a soft spot for that movie.

  36. I want a Miguel Bain spin-off from ASSASSINS.

  37. Haven’t we said this a hundred times? Rocky Balboa and John Rambo were the perfect farewell to those two legendary characters. Franchise Fred may not agree, but I really think it’s time to leave those characters alone now.

    Hell, that’s another reason why I appreciate The Expendables: it keeps Stallone away from returning to Rocky and Rambo.

    C’mon, Sly, you can do better than a goddamn Rambo TV show. Just because Bullet to the Head wasn’t a box office smash doesn’t mean you should stop trying new things. I’m still waiting for him to create another character as iconic as Rocky and Rambo.

  38. That Mel pic is a big relief. I was afraid it was going to be Sly on HGH vs. Mel and his beer belly. Now they’re on more even ground.

  39. Knox Harrington – “Hell, that’s another reason why I appreciate The Expendables: it keeps Stallone away from returning to Rocky and Rambo.”

    Agreed. Though to be fair to Fred I am curious about that Rocky trains Apollo Creed’s grandson project. But a Rambo TV show? hell no man, just no. We’re lucky we got to see him 3 more times after FIRST BLOOD with mixed results as it is. Let sleeping dogs lie.

  40. Interesting. From the pictures I’d guess Snipes is playing an Expendable, not a villain. So he might live to see a sequel. Also the camera is attached to a crane, which means you’d have to be a fuckin asshole to shake it around.

  41. I don’t know, I’m game for a Rambo show. I like that last shot of Rambo with him walking down the road. It seems like a logical first shot of a TV show. Think The Fugitive or The Incredible Hulk or Highway to Heaven. Rambo wanders around the country and helps people in need who can’t fight for themselves. And have the finale be a cliffhanger to the Rambo vs. Mexican drug cartel movie Sly’s been talking about for ages. But keep it limited. 7-10 episodes. Then the concept would just get redundant.

  42. I would still like to see the Rambo vs Mexican drug cartel movie. Hell, I’d like to see a whole series of movies where he travels around the world, “raising awareness” for various horrific real-life acts of mass-murder by committing his own horrific fictional acts of mass-murder. I’d also like to see a DEATH-WISH-3-style RAMBO movie set in the big city.

  43. Whether hero or villain Vern I’m just glad Wesley will be back on the big screen. It’s just been way too long. Rambo on TV as a mini series I could see work much better than as an ongoing show. Interesting idea with the episode length suggestion there Jack Burton.

  44. Paul Whose Computer Has Packed In

    August 23rd, 2013 at 3:04 am

    Knox: “Sly seems very involved and proactive in the making of these films.”

    Did he?!! I’m guessing you’re getting this from the second film, which I haven’t seen. Because I sure as heck didn’t see any sign of Stallone giving a crap about the first one. I don’t know if this was just because he directed himself, but he gave the worst performance that I’ve ever seen from him. He looked damn-near catatonic. That scene at the end where he says goodbye to the girl… it is quite literally wince-inducing. I feel embarrassed for the guy when watching it. I know Stallone can act, but he didn’t even look like he was trying here (which puts the film below the level like “Judge Dredd” in which he at least tried SOMETHING, even if it didn’t work.)

    And as for the direction… everything in the film seemed to be copied from other, better films, badly. The one thing I don’t see is HIS films in the mix. Where’s the sense of timing or dialogue (well, some of it) of “Demolition Man”, the razor-sharp character-driven tension of “First Blood”, even the epic scope and great villain of “Rocky 4”? And when has Stallone ever been in a film with as bad action work or scoring as “The Expendables”? I disliked the “Rambo” sequels a lot, but at least you could tell what was going on, and you weren’t being deafened by constant awful repetitive generic orchestral music that sounded like it had been lifted straight from a modern military shooter game.

    I can’t judge “Expendables 2” because I haven’t seen it, and I’m glad you enjoyed it. But man, if you think “The Expendables” is Sly being involved and proactive, then either you’re wrong or he needs to take one hell of a step back and look at what he’s doing. I’m not denying that there were some good things in it – I liked Dolph’s character, I thought Steve Austin was great – but it’s difficult to enjoy those things when you’re being blasted by terrible editing and an obnoxious score.

    And I take the point that yes, “Expendables” acts as a feed for some of the actors’ other, better works. It just depresses me that this year alone we’ve had “The Last Stand” and “Hummingbird”, neither of which was entirely successful artistically, but both of which I liked; but both of them tanked at the box-office. It seems that what the masses REALLY want to see are “The Expendables” and “Battleship”.

  45. Paul Whose Computer Has Packed In

    August 23rd, 2013 at 3:11 am

    And as for Wesley, I don’t know about his jail term but I’ve yet to be convinced that “Blade” was anything but a fluke or good direction. I’ve liked him in a lot of films but he’s never really given a performance that stuck with me, other than that one. Say what you like about Arnie / JCVD / Jai-White, even Stallone / Statham; but they know how to put their mark on a film and leave an impression. Snipes has never had that quality for me. Don’t get me wrong: I think the guy’s good. I just don’t think he’s irreplaceable.

  46. The Undefeated Gaul

    August 23rd, 2013 at 4:40 am

    What I’m wondering is if they’re gonna try yet again to first aim for a PG 13 rating before giving up after six months and hastily adding in some CGI blood splashes in post. It would be in keeping with tradition if they tried that shit a third time.

    Then again, I’m seeing bloody faces on those set pics so maybe I don’t have to worry about the rating for once. Fingers crossed.

  47. Paul, nobody wanted to see BATTLESHIP. It was an epic failure. Made about a third of its production budget back. Hopefully this restores a modicum of your faith in audiences.

  48. Paul Whose Computer Has Packed In

    August 23rd, 2013 at 7:01 am

    Majestyk – I forgot that (I think I was confusing it with some other film, maybe “Transformers”). Ah well, like you said, there’s hope for cinemagoing humanity yet.

  49. Paul, as you’ll see in my posts, I’ve called the first Expendables a disappointment and said that it seems as if Stallone doesn’t put a great deal of personal effort into the franchise, meaning that’s it’s probably not as personal to him as Rocky and Rambo.

    My “involved and proactive” line refers to how very busy he is as writer, director, producer and star of this franchise. In other words, I think he does a shitload of work on these movies. In more other words, it refers to the amount of work he does, but not necessarily the quality.

    Thanks for the essay, though.

  50. Paul, I’m not surprised if you haven’t seen Snipes’s excellent performances in KING OF NEW YORK, NEW JACK CITY, MO BETTER BLUES, JUNGLE FEVER, BOILING POINT or BROOKLYN’S FINEST. But what about his previous Stallone movie, DEMOLITION MAN? He didn’t “leave an impression” in that one?

  51. I thought he was also pretty damn good in Mike Figgis’ One Night Stand.

  52. Paul Whose Computer Has Packed In

    August 24th, 2013 at 12:08 am

    Think we’ve had this conversation before Vern, and no, I fully admit to not having seen most of those films. I’ve seen “King of New York” years ago though, and I couldn’t even remember he was in it. I remember Christopher Walken, and his girlfriend, and the taxi, and the ending (that death!) I remember Walken in particular impressing the heck outta me. I don’t remember too much else, but again, it was a long time ago. I can understand if this is one of these Jet Li situations where I haven’t seen an actor’s best work. I can only go on what I’ve seen.

    But to answer your specific point about “Demolition Man”… again, he was good, but as far as mega-acting goes, he’s two or three notches behind Nicholas Cage. If you want a villain who’s an absolute shit and loves it, then I would happily recommend two little-known films, “Enter the Dragon” and “Die Hard”. (Yes, I know it’s kind of a dick move comparing ANY film to these two, but what ya going to do about it?) If on the other hand you’re interested in just pure over-the-top absurdity then the Cage / Travolta combination in “Face Off” would have to be an obvious choice.

    The problem with “Demolition Man” is that if you’re talking about Stallone OR Snipes’ performances, you have to factor in that both of them were completely upstaged by Sandra Bullock. I know she kind of made a career of doing that at the time (she did to Keanu it in the original “Speed”; and as far as ANYTHING was any good in “Speed 2”, she was) but still… “Demolition Man” is not a film that works on the strength of its lead performers like, say, “First Blood” is.

    Knox – sorry. Missed your point, obviously.

  53. I will not like this movie, but I will see it in the theater and then buy the blu ray, just like I did with the other two.

  54. The Fast & Furious series has really started to become what we all wish the Expendables series would be. Also, Tony Jaa just got cast in FF7.

  55. Congratulations to Tony for choosing wisely. I’m sure he was courted by that other franchise and I’m glad that he chose the one that still has some measure or artistic integrity. Not to mention the one that doesn’t use its Asian character as the source of embarrassing racial jokes.

  56. If you watch WHITE MEN CAN’T JUMP and Wesley’s performance doesn’t engage and entertain you in anyway then you probably don’t have a soul.

  57. TBF though Wesley’s role in KING OF NEW YORK was pretty uneventful. Just a generic cop with questionable morals. Nothing that really stands out like Fishburne’s colorful Jimmy Jump.

  58. That’s true about the Fast and Furious series. They obviously don’t have any of the old icons, but they’re building their own, in a way. The moment Dwayne Johnson was cast for Fast 5, history was made. And now they have Statham as a baddie.

    P.S. Am I the only one who was disappointed that Eva Mendes wasn’t in Furious 6? That woman’s been in some damn fine crime-driven movies. Training Day, We Own The Night, The Place Beyond The Pines, Bad Lieutenant (Cage Edition). Not to mention she was in Holy Motors, and she was by far the best thing in Frank Miller’s abomination, The Spirit. I’d love to see her back in the Fast and Furious world.

    P.P.S. Am I the only one who can’t wait for that movie where James Franco plays the bad guy opposite Statham? I’m very curious to see how Franco plays it.

  59. Paul Whose Computer Has Packed In

    August 25th, 2013 at 7:22 am

    Broddie – I saw “White Men Can’t Jump” and thought that Snipes and Harrelson had some good chemistry in it. I thought they were both very good, although Harrelson definitely had more to do. Snipes’ betrayal at the end has some real emotional bite to it. Definitely one of the best performances I’ve seen from him.

  60. Stanley Kubrick was actually a big fan of WHITE MEN CAN’T JUMP.

  61. Paul Whose Computer Has Packed In

    August 25th, 2013 at 9:32 am

    As far as taking a classic morality tale and setting it in the least-classical setting imaginable, I don’t think you can get more perfect an example than WMCJ.

    I will hopefully have my computer back by the middle of next week. I seriously hate having to use a borrowed one, but at least I’m not stuck without the Internet completely.

  62. Stallone’s not playing Rambo in the TV series. How about Ben Affleck?

  63. I am not the type of guy to use emoticons, but if I were I would posted a big sad face. No Cage, Chan, or Seagal is very disappointing news.

  64. Didn’t know where else to post this but since JCVD was a part of this franchise it seemed only right to post it here.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=9_YneSM0ItA

    I need a pair of bongos ASAP.

  65. Man JCVD’s smile in that ad is fucking creepy.

  66. There are some really cool photos from the set both on Stallone’s own facebook page and the official EXP 3 page. There are even some where Harrison Ford smiles!

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