Sometimes in a man’s life a man’s gotta post brief snippets about different movie news stories so we can discuss them here.
Well, it was fun looking forward to it while it lasted
My buddy who told me this news looked like he was about to tell me somebody had died. Turns out everybody’s okay, but they hired Simon West to direct EXPENDABLES 2. The guy who broke it to me had actually predicted this back when I was talking up John Hyams and those guys.
This would be worse news if I hadn’t thought THE MECHANIC was okay. But I think the action scenes in THE EXPENDABLES are universally hated, so it seems like they would want to hire someone who was not largely responsible for that worthless style that has virtually killed the American theatrical action movie, non-super hero division. Personally I trace the “don’t plan it out, just shoot a bunch of shit and make it worse in the editing room because nobody cares anymore” approach back to ARMAGEDDON and its special needs baby brother CON AIR. Those were the first two movies that ever made me conscious of quick editing and closeups that made it impossible for me to understand what in fuck’s name was supposed to be going on. So I always thought of him as the Basket Case lump twin of Michael Bay.
Some of you are already praising CON AIR in the comments. I will watch it again some day as part of my Cage studies, and I’m sure it probly seems tame now compared to some of the bullshit they make now. But can you seriously tell me Simon West has ever been a good action director? I don’t think you can.
THE MECHANIC is more competent, but the action scenes are no good, the same thrill-free post-action junk in every other movie these days. I think 15 years on the big screen is long enough that we can assume he’s not gonna suddenly learn how to do it for the first time. So it’s safe to assume EXPENDABLES 2 won’t improve on the action from part 1, and unless Stallone strongarms him I doubt it’ll have the kind of personality and passion that leaked through in scenes like Mickey Rourke’s war monologue. It’s a damn shame. Should’ve just let Dolph direct it maybe.
January could be good though
On the positive side, looks like they finally have a release date for HAYWIRE, the Steven Soderbergh action movie starring “the face of women’s MMA” Gina Carano. Supposedly it’s January 20th of next year. I was hoping for sooner, but that’s not that far off.
This thing has been delayed and delayed, it has changed distributors even after being test screened. To some that might seem like the stink of death, but I still think it’s gonna be good. Let’s see a damn trailer, though.
Some other potential badass director news
Ben Affleck (I liked THE TOWN) is signed on to direct a new version of that French movie TELL NO ONE, which I guess is based on a novel. But he’s about to start filming one called ARGO based on a true story about the CIA pretending to make a movie as a cover for rescuing embassy staff during the Iran Hostage Crisis.
James Mangold (3:10 TO YUMA) is apparently at the top of the list to direct THE WOLVERINE, since Darren Aranofsky left. I don’t know, the guy’s okay but never really knocks me on my ass. And going from visionary director to okay one can be bad (see THE WOLFMAN. Or don’t). For now they’re saying it’s still a script by Christopher McQuarrie (THE USUAL SUSPECTS, WAY OF THE GUN, VALKYRIE), and I don’t understand why they don’t just hire him to direct it. You could have the guy who wrote it or you could have somebody trying to fit into an Aranofsky shaped hole.
Speaking of McQuarrie, looks like he’ll be writing and directing something called ONE SHOT, based on a book by a guy named Lee Child, which is apparently part of a series about this character “Jack Reacher.” Only trouble is they’re in talks with Tom Cruise to star, but apparently the character in the books is a 6’5″ ex-military smashing machine. So that could be an issue.
Anyway I’ll have to check out one of these books, they sound like my type of thing.
David O. Russell (THREE KINGS) might be doing an “action-drama” called THE MISSION, based on a true story about the rescue of three Americans captured by Colombian guerillas. Of course he recently left another action-adventure type movie (some video game thing) and has like 3 other non-badass pictures in the works. And he no longer seems to be mentioning the DIRTY HARRY type movie he wanted to do with Ice Cube. That’s the one I’d want to see most.
DJANGO UNCHAINED rumors will never stop
I’m predicting that Warren Beatty, regretting backing out of KILL BILL, will end up playing the title character in the new Tarantino picture, which is coming out next Christmas. But the latest reports say Jamie Foxx is the frontrunner. Before that the story was that they were looking at him, Idris Elba and Chris Tucker. If you missed me bragging about it in one of the comment threads I was real proud because when Tarantino programmed a screening of FRIDAY among dozens of other things at his theater in L.A. I was theorizing that he wanted Tucker, Cube or Tiny Zeus Lister in the movie. That would blow some minds if ol’ Rhuby Rhod got the role. And of course Idris Elba would be good, he’s ready for a breakout badass role.
But I feel like Tarantino knows what he’s doing when it comes to casting. Whoever he chooses I’m pretty sure will do great. Just like Tucker did in JACKIE BROWN. You know you want to hire him again, Tarantino.
Did you know Michael Jai White is in a Stone Cold Steve Austin DTV movie that comes out in August? It’s called TACTICAL FORCE, and UGO has the trailer. Doesn’t necessarily look great (and the bad guy plot is weirdly similar to HUNT TO KILL), but you know I’ll see it immediately.
Also, this can’t be serious, can it?
John Hyams stuff
The facebook teen socializing network (like in the movie) has a page for the upcoming John Hyams UNIVERSAL SOLDIER movie. Whoever does it updates with all the behind the scenes photos and little messages that Scott Adkins writes on twitter and shit like that. Apparently Van Damme gets painted white at some point. I bet he gets real sick and dies and comes back like E.T.
In other Hyams news, he has another movie coming out (I don’t know when) called DRAGON EYES, starring MMA star Cung Le (FIGHTING, TRUE LEGEND). I discovered this video on youtube that combines a Cung Le interview with scenes from that JCVD reality show with some behind the scenes stuff. Turns out Van Damme has an appearance (cameo?) as a guy that trains Cung Le to fight in prison.
I couldn’t find the trailer referred to in the interview, I think the guy just made it up.
What the fuck happened to that Wesley Snipes movie GALLOW WALKER?
What the fuck happened to that Wesley Snipes movie GALLOW WALKER?