Well, you gotta post an EXPENDABLES teaser I guess

I guess I got a little Charlie Brown in me. I’m gonna keep trying to kick that football. I mean, I do have fun with these movies, I just want one some day that meets or exceeds my hopes for it.

Either way this is a pretty good teaser. A nice return to the abstract, non-movie-footage type of early trailer, and I like the increasingly ludicrous skull logos for these movies.

I can’t really make out everybody in the picture. Is Kelsey Grammer really in there somewhere? That still makes me laugh that he’s playing a badass mercenary. But maybe he’ll pull it off. And I’m pretty sure Gibson will be an excellent villain. The description under the trailer on Youtube reveals that they’re crediting it as “with GIBSON with FORD and SCHWARZENEGGER.” So the “also” credit was a Van Damme exclusive. Good job Van Damme.

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121 Responses to “Well, you gotta post an EXPENDABLES teaser I guess”

  1. I like that they used the song from THE BRIDGE OVER THE RIVER KWAI. A nice throwback to the old ensamble war-movies of the past.

  2. I was also going to comment on the whistling from The Bridge Over the River Kwai, but Shoot McKay beat me to it. It’s an Expendables movie, so it has a hell of a cast, but I still wonder how they will fit all of these characters into a two hour film. Also, was Harrison Ford wearing an aviator jumpsuit?

  3. I was also going to comment that Shoot McKay beat me to mentioning the whistling from The Bridge Over the River Kwai, but RBatty024 beat me to it.

    I’m seeing this opening weekend. But I see all movies opening weekend, so this is a normal reaction from me.

  4. Random observation: Look at those big-ass knives in Snipes’ hands. I think I know what his speciality will be.

  5. According to IMDB Mr. Snipes will be playing a character named “Surgeon”, which both supports CJ’s assumption and is a pretty good name by Expendable standards. He could have been called Moustapha Sharpe, or possibly Larry Razor.

  6. I don’t understand the need for younger characters.

    It should just be all grandpas (and the missing grandmas).

  7. BR, I think because they are expendable, they probably need fresh blood every once in a while. Even if it’s just as cannon (or van Damme) fodder like in part 2.

  8. I swore after the pandering mess that was EXPENDABLES 2 that Sly wouldn’t get me in the theater for another of these. But I’ll probably end up giving in, if I’m being honest with myself. Expectations will be low, though.

    I did laugh when I saw Grammer’s name floating in there.

  9. The Undefeated Gaul

    December 19th, 2013 at 1:45 pm

    I can’t help but get a kick out of this. I hope Stallone is finally going to start killing off some characters, make this last one (it has to be, right?) a bit more apocalyptic. The cast sure is big enough for there to be a victim or two among our heroes.

  10. The Undefeated Gaul

    December 19th, 2013 at 1:45 pm

    Also I’m hoping he’s finally learned his lesson and they shot this with an R rating in mind. Otherwise we’ll get another A-Team episode with added CGI blood splashes like the last one.

  11. Did a head-count. 16 names, 15 characters in the group shot. Grammer is the one missing.

  12. the bad buzz over EXPENDABLES 2 made me skip that one, hopefully this one will be better

  13. does anyone else wish Millennium would make a live action BLACK LAGOON movie?

  14. Eh, this series is way more watchable than a lot of people give it credit for. The opening 20 min of Expendables 2 is incredibly fun, and I think generally the series hits the 80s action movie target a lot better that people seem to want to admit. Neither are great, which I guess is disappointing given the cast, but both have plenty of fun moments and good action beats.

  15. I wonder if the River Kwai nod is an indication that some characters will actually become Expendablized in the end.

  16. A lot of people seemed to like EXPENDABLES 2 more because it “didn’t take itself so seriously”, but I don’t want it to continue any further down that path. I wouldn’t have a problem with the EXPENDABLESES turning into a comedy except that it’s really, really bad at it. The movie references are desperate and unfunny and most of the one-liners read like Sly scribbled them on a napkin the day before the shoot. I liked Arnold’s delivery of “I have shoes bigger than this car”. I also thought the action scenes were much improved over the first film, but I saw the second one at home on TV where I have an easier time deciphering post-action.

  17. I actually find this teaser makes me want to see it even less. I can’t explain it.

  18. All that teaser trailer did was declare “Check it out, y’all; we are the cool guys. Gaze upon our manlitude”. I think the first two movies drove home that point quite emphatically. Plus it should have lingered a bit longer toward the end, so you have time to read ALL the names. Or maybe that was done purposely, so you’ll watch it twice.

    I like the fact that over the past 8-10 years Sly has more or less given in to the fact that playing a badass or an action hero is his strong suit. Plus he’s no slouch at comedy when the material is tailored to his acting persona; I am ever so tempted to check out Grudge Match just to see him & DeNiro bounce off each other.

    Alas, he still hasn’t gotten that dramatic role monkey off his back; a quick IMDb check reveals a drama he’s in slated for 2014 release titled Reach Me, which is about “… a group of people who all have a connection to a self-help book authored by a reclusive former football coach”. The Ghost Of Vince Lombardi meets Dr. Phil. I feel a great disturbance in the Stallone Force, as if millions of moviegoers yawned in disinterest, and suddenly chose to see a different movie.

    Still, I gotta admire the way he’s kept himself up to fit the profile of action hero/badass. He’s more buffed out at 67 than most guys can or do achieve at 27. Plus he’s still got that attitude that you should roll with him first, and ask questions later. He’s not the doddering grandpa who bores the shit out of all concerned at the family Christmas dinner with the same old lameass stories… he’s the cool grandpa who tells his daughter with utmost sincerity on Christmas Eve that he’s taking the family men to go out caroling, and a half-hour later they’re all knocking back Boilermakers at the local titty bar.

  19. I’ll be seeing it opening day. I don’t expect it to be the greatest movie ever made, but I expect it to be entertaining like the prior 2(and even in part 1, I managed to decipher the action decently and I only have 1 eye, I to this day can’t figure out the people who say they can’t tell what’s happening. Would I have liked it to be less shaky cam? Fuck yes. Is it indecipherable and impossible to tell what’s happening like some people seem to argue? No.)

  20. I dig this franchise. Won’t miss this for anything, but yeah, I do hope they finally live up to the name and start expendalizing. At least half the team should die glorious and violent deaths. Sly needs to watch 13 Assassins.

    Then, once this series is over, I wanna see Stallone’s World War 2 movie.

  21. Man, what is wrong with Chuck Norris’s beard in that video. It looks like one of those joke beards attached to a beanie.

  22. A pretty crappy imitation from Chuck. Van Damme did the splits between the trucks for real. No amount of CGI is going to up the ante from that.

  23. The first movie was skippable, but #2 was actually kinda decent fun.

    C’mon folks, that scene of Arnold/Sly/Willis shooting the bad guys and trading barbs? Millions of childhood fantasizes finally realized all these years later? That moment alone made the movie worth seeing, but the rest of it was watchable enough beyond that nerdgasm.

  24. Completely unrelated-

    A bunch of movies in my Netflix Instant queue are expiring on 1/1. So I have 10 days to knock out a few of them. Any of these that need to be bumped to ‘immediately watch this’ status?

    Revenge of the Ninja
    The Border (Nicholson/Keitel)
    The Beguiled
    Shakedown (Weller/Elliot)
    Remo Williams
    The Gambler (Caan)
    True Confessions (de Niro/Duvall)

  25. If this movies could exist solely as a series of awesome trailers, I’d be a much happier man.

    RRA: The scene with Bruce and Arnold trading quips is inarguably the nadir of action cinema.

  26. Yeah it´s great isn´t it?

  27. Both movies so far have had strengths and weaknesses. Part 1 had some real bad dialogue, and some sloppy action in places, but it also had some pretty damn good action scenes too, and Mickey Rourke on his A game. Part 2 has better action, generally better comedic interplay between characters, but has the terrible chuck norris stuff, almost all of Arnie’s dialogue sucks, and the Van Damme fight isn’t as good as it should be. Hopefully for Part 3 they take the best of both previous movies and make something really special. That and hire a decent cinematographer, I don’t know what it is with Millenium but it seems like no matter how much money they throw at a movie the aesthetic and lighting still look like a crappy DTV movie.

  28. TJ – Revenge of the Ninja and Remo Williams would be my two picks, but that’s just me. The Beguiled is an interesting watch as well – to think Clint played that role at the height of his popularity is crazy – nobody would do that today. There’s a Netflix topic in the forum if you want to discuss any of those movies there.

    As for the Chuck Norris parody – someone told me that he looks weird because unlike Van Damme’s stunt, THE WHOLE THING is digital, and on second look, it totally does look like there’s some Final Fantasy/Polar Express stuff going on with his face (but then again, I think his face has looked weird for a while so I wouldn’t know).

    Re: The Expendables teaser, I kinda like that there’s SO MANY freaking people that you don’t have time to read the names or even make out who’s who without pausing. It’s ridiculous. I’ve probably said this before – The Expendables movies are the equivalent of seeing a hair metal band now or a late-era Ric Flair match. You know now they’re not going to be classics on par with Predator or Rocky, and the best we can hope for is a bunch of greatest hits-style fan-pandering done in a competent manner. Which the first one totally forgot about and the second one did a little bit better, but they’re still not quite there yet.

  29. What I would like (and I am a very silly man for even daring to dream) is for each of these guys to be given a moment to shine, for them to be featured in well structured action beats that showcase their individual strengths, for them each to have some small character arc that adds to the overall tapestry of the film, for the story to feel like it comes with some personal cost to these characters, and for every last trace of the glibness and in-joking of the last one to be excised. What made us love these guys was the seriousness they brought to the ridiculous stories they found themselves in. Dozens of shirtless musclemen have picked up M-60s and mowed down battalions of stuntmen, but Rambo is still the gold standard because of the sincerity Sly brought to that role. It all feels so empty when everybody is trying to be the comic relief.

  30. And as others have pointed out, it’s not like a little humor is unwelcome, so long as it’s actually funny. I remember the scene in 2 where everyone’s hold up for the night in some abandoned house/bar, and they’re just shooting the shit. It’s been a while since I’ve watched the movie, but I remember this section as funny without being forced. It also helped build the characters somewhat. We need more of that and less rehashing old glories.

    I obviously knew most of the Chuck Norris clip was CGI, but if the entire thing is computer generated, then that would explain how creepy the man looks. At least creepier than normal.

  31. Today I learned that “black don’t crack” has an exception for long jail stints.

    At least Wesley hasnt done the extreme facelift thing which on black folks has the unfortunate effect of making them look like their 1990’s self airbrished onto the surface of a football.

    *cough* aresenio *cough*

    So respect to Wesley for geting craggy. It will invite a differnt flavout of badass for the next phase of his career.

  32. Mr. Majestyk— It is my belief that you couldn’t be a silly man if it meant the firing squad. It just seems not what you’re about. IMO, greatness can be achieved through perseverance, manly fortitude, and a nudge from the Gods Of Good Fortune. Silliness, however, is an innate critter. It must be present at the get-go, and it gives not a good fuck about public opinion, personal hygiene, or The Meat Inspection Act Of 1906. Plus it’s elusive and moves around in scattershot fashion.

    Basically, silliness is the behavioral equivalent of a rabid ferret having a DAMN good time.

    (Having said all that)… I kinda wish Sly had pulled all of his costars aside before principal photography, and gone all Master Po up & down their asses. Just lay down the law, with no straying:

    1.) Hit the reset button. Purge the first two Expendables movies from your collective memory.
    2.) Forget everything you’ve ever accomplished as badasses/action heroes. Imagine this is your first chance to make a solid footprint on the landscape of this kind of movie.
    3.) Not ONE fucking hint of that self-referential nudge/wink nonsense. Any humor injected need only pertain to a particular moment in THIS movie.
    4.) Now DROP and give me twenty!

    No shit; that’s the only way we’re gonna get the Expendables movie we truly want. Sly got it done, and WELL, with Rambo (2008). No reason why he can’t do it again in this context.

  33. Who am I kidding, I’m going to see this whatever. I just hope Stallone learned some lessons from the kicking Part 2 got, and has dialled down the self referential quipping this time. I actually like Part 1 the best – I think Part 2 lost me when all it did with Scott effing Adkins was let him do a couple of kicks before (SPOILER) unceremoniously chucking him into some helicopter rotor blades. Travesty.

  34. These movies are never gonna be very good outside “hey remember all these old guys from the 80s/90s action movies you liked”. I think we should all come to terms with that and embrace the vastly superior Fast and the Furious franchise. Its got Kurt Russell and Tony Jaa now, son.

  35. I think the durpa durpa factor here just got cranked up a couple notches.

    REALLY? And to think the Class of 2009 used to find me lame.

  36. What’s wrong with “hey remember all these old guys from the 80s/90s action movies you liked”. Back then these guys did all the stuff that FATF and other so called action movies of today rips off.

  37. Yeah, and now they’re acting like former high school quarterbacks who can’t stop telling the same story about the winning touchdown they threw in 1989. The problem with this is that I know damn well they’re all capable of better. They each have something to offer right now, here in the present day, that builds on past glories without reliving them. Sly brought real stature and feeling to RAMBO and ROCKY BALBOA. Arnold proved himself both a credible lead and a surprisingly deft comic relief in THE LAST STAND and ESCAPE PLAN, respectively. Jet Li continues to be one of cinema’s great screen martial artists. Dolph is a triple-threat action icon, character actor, and journeyman director whose credibility can survive the most ridiculous role. Terry Crews is a one-of-a-kind mix of action hero physique and go-for-broke comedy chops. Couture has a surprising sensitivity that belies his ferocious fighting skills. Statham…well, Statham does what he always does and skates across the surface of these films unscathed. There is a fucking all-time goddamn classic to be assembled from these moving parts, if only someone involved in this franchise could knuckle down and, Justin Lin-style, not accept anything less than greatness from everyone involved. These men didn’t get where they are today by slacking. If they can’t be bothered to strive for excellence, who will?

  38. As always there is room for improvement of course and the in-jokes did obviously not please everyone. They were mindnumbingly stupid, but that´s why I found them higghly enjoyable and hilarious in their awkwardness. Stallone said in the interviews on THE EXPENDABLES 2 disc that they might have gone a little overboard on the jokes and perhaps EX3 will have less of that. To be honest it might be a good idea. Playing the same joke twice can get tiresome and perhaps we will get our generations THE DIRTY DOZEN this franchise always had the potential for.

  39. The Original... Paul

    December 21st, 2013 at 12:13 pm

    Majestyk – I won’t even comment on the “Expendables 3” trailer, which now makes the franchise look more like a “joke movie” than ever before (sort of the polar opposite of that one on YouTube where there were thirty characters, all played by Edward Norton). But as regards this:

    “What I would like (and I am a very silly man for even daring to dream) is for each of these guys to be given a moment to shine, for them to be featured in well structured action beats that showcase their individual strengths, for them each to have some small character arc that adds to the overall tapestry of the film, for the story to feel like it comes with some personal cost to these characters, and for every last trace of the glibness and in-joking of the last one to be excised. What made us love these guys was the seriousness they brought to the ridiculous stories they found themselves in. Dozens of shirtless musclemen have picked up M-60s and mowed down battalions of stuntmen, but Rambo is still the gold standard because of the sincerity Sly brought to that role. It all feels so empty when everybody is trying to be the comic relief.”

    You have just stated everything I ever wanted from an “Expendables” movie. Although to be honest, if it were everything you say, I doubt it would even BE an “Expendables” movie.

  40. I will say that this new director has a chance to be the shot in the arm the franchise needs. RED HILL wasn’t great, but it had a respect for character motivation, for dramatic build-up, and for violent climax, all things a great popcorn film about macho men of honor needs to be more than the CANNONBALL RUN 2 of action cinema. My optimism remains locked up in an impregnable bunker that not even the ostensibly greatest mercenaries in the world could break into, but nothing would make me happier than to be forced to admit that I was wrong.

    It can be done. It took four FAST & FURIOUS movies to get me on board. Maybe EXPENDABLES can do it in three.

  41. Shame we didn’t get any sequels to THE A-TEAM or THE LOSERS, because then we’d at least have an alternative besides just FATF.

  42. The entire series is too self-aware. Instead of trying to just be another 80s action movie, it’s always nudge-nudge wink-wink “hey remember those 80s action movies huh? Remember when Arnold said “I’ll be back”? Remember that thing with Van Damne and the snake from Hard Target? Remember that whole ironic Chuck Norris thing thats totally still funny today? Huh, huh do you remember when were in good movies?”

    Its so focused on being a jokey poorly-edited montage of better movies, it forgets to have an identity of its own outside “ooh look Bruce Willis and Arnold are on the same screen!” That’s just not enough, goddamnit.

  43. Majestyk: “RRA: The scene with Bruce and Arnold trading quips is inarguably the nadir of action cinema.”

    It can’t be, when the scene with Chuck Norris and Sly trading quips is in the same movie. I wanted to peel the skin off my face during that scene.

    You’re right though that the worst thing about these movies is that every dude in them has individually proven that he can still do good, even great, work. EXPENDABLES 2 isn’t the best we should hope for from them.

    Though I guess a corollary to that is a lot of this good work they’ve done recently has gone mostly unnoticed by audiences, while the EXPENDABLES movies have raked in hundreds of millions. From Sly’s point of view there’s probably no reason to mess with the formula at all, not when the BULLET TO THE HEADs of the world do so poorly. Even Statham’s recent vehicles have been doing worse and worse.

  44. Good point, Dikembe. The difference being that I never liked Chuck Norris all that much to begin with, so it was less painful to watch him sell himself out than Arnold and Bruce.

  45. Well, I think you guys are blowing this out of proportions. To me they were just minor moments in the film. They did not fill up half the running time or anything.

  46. THE HUNGER GAMES and MAN OF STEEL got about 500 ass kissing entries here, and THE EXPENDABLES get this shit? If I live to be a hundred (and according to Shoot that’s not far away)…

  47. It’s almost like making your franchise a blatant panderfest utterly lacking in both substance and craftsmanship isn’t a good way to foment discussion.

  48. The Original... Paul

    December 21st, 2013 at 5:19 pm


    “It can be done. It took four FAST & FURIOUS movies to get me on board. Maybe EXPENDABLES can do it in three.”

    The difference being that, as much as I disliked F&Fs 1 and 3, I always thought they had the potential to be good movies, so it didn’t shock me when the franchise suddenly got good. I don’t think “The Expendables” had that potential. Of course I haven’t seen #2 (and have no plans to) but from the comments and Vern’s review it didn’t exactly sound like they’d done anything revolutionary with the characters.

    This is what I meant by the Edward Norton joke… instead of making a parody where one famous guy plays thirty characters, “The Expendables” is rapidly turning into the series where thirty famous guys play no characters at all. I mean, look at that trailer again. Does it tell you anything about the movie, other than who’s in it? The first, and from its reputation the second, “Expendables” movie completely coasted on who’s in it, without doing anything whatsoever to make use of them in a way that appealed to me. Only Dolph and Steve Austin really came out of that noisy badly-edited mess with any dignity whatsoever. It’s all very well to make a big deal of the strength of your cast, but I want them to DO something with those people. Other than have them spout annoying self-referential quips.

    Y’know, I hope that the complete lack of detail about the characters means they have decided to wipe out the first two “Expendables” movies and just given everybody brand new identities and stuff. They’ll never do it, more’s the pity. It’s the only way I can see this thing succeeding.

  49. Paul, They do what they have always done; they shoot, kick and hit people. Isn’t that enough?

  50. “I mean, look at that trailer again. Does it tell you anything about the movie, other than who’s in it?”
    To be fair, it is a teaser trailer. And the basic foundation of the selling of it is “look at all the guys!”, even if I do agree that this many is going to pretty much lead to almost everyone being shortchanged.

  51. Traditionally Teaser trailers exist to let the masses know (or those who don’t live on the Internet and see trailers right when they drop) that yeah “this is coming!”

    Subsequent trailers/ads elaborate more on the basic pitch, plot, all that.

  52. So, we all voting for the Young Guns II ending on this one?

  53. At least pegsman and I are on the same page. .

  54. The Original... Paul

    December 22nd, 2013 at 3:31 am

    RRA, Stu and Pegsman – fair comments. It obviously isn’t a full trailer. I get that this is meant to introduce the cast, my cynicism comes in because the first movie and (from the comments again) I gather the second also basically traded entirely on star power without having anything to back it up. I will try and hold in my cynicism for now.

    That said, it will take all of you guys saying this is the triumphant rebirth of action cinema for it to get my hard-earned cinema cash.

  55. Paul, don’t believe everything you read. A lot of the scenes in EXP 2 would have been cool even with unknown actors. The negative commenters are too hung up on the two scenes with Norris and the banter between Schwarzenegger and Willis. But that’s just a small part of the movie. There are some really good action scenes in it – especially if you’re into movies like THE WILD GEESE, COMMANDO LEOPARD and MEN OF WAR – and it’s entertaining as hell.

  56. Paul, these guys are right that EXP2 is not wall-to-wall in-jokery. That’s only about 10% of the movie. The other 90% is still terrible, though. I probably would have forgiven some of the lameness if the action wasn’t so bad. It’s not really post-action, it’s just lame. There are about two minutes of vehicular combat at the very beginning that might get your hopes up, but they’ll start being dashed pretty soon. The Statham/Adkins fight is decent, but it’s like two seconds long. Li has one decent fight where the camera cuts off his feet and the top of his head and then he parachutes out of the movie like he was being evacuated from a disaster area. The Van Damme/Stallone fight is just a few back-and-forth blows in a generic warehouse location without even a spectacular villain death. The computer-generated plane crash looks straight out of AIR FORCE ONE. Every single bullet hit is a really obvious CGI headshot that was obviously added in post after they read all the complaints about the PG-13 rating they’d initially shot for. And the big climactic shootout is one of the least imaginative action finales I’ve ever seen. It consists of one group of gunmen standing on one side of a badly art directed airport terminal shooting at another group on the other side of a badly art directed airport terminal. One side (the ostensible heroes) never stops making horrible references to each other’s movies while hitting everything they shoot at, and the other side (the ostensible bad guys) are generic cannon fodder with no personality and no ability to hit the enormous gentlemen standing right out in the open 20 feet from them. It’s made even worse by the fact that there’s no shakycam to obscure how little thought went into any of it.

    I can understand how somebody could shut their brain off and enjoy it for the loud, dumb piece of crap it is. But that’s not you, Paul. Take it from me: If you hated the first one, the second one will be one of the worst movies you’ve ever seen.

  57. And for the record, I still kind of like the first one. It’s an underachiever, sure, but it has a certain charm.

  58. Dear Mr Majestyk, don’t you think every movie in the world would sound bad if you reviewed it in that tone? Even DIE HARD would sound like shit if you just listed everything that could have been more to your liking. But hey, we’ve been through this before and I guess there’s no need to do it again.

  59. Everytime there is EXPENDABLES talk it turns into a broken record that we all have heard before. And that is my final word on this. (probably not,though.)

  60. I have another tone that makes everything sound amazing. That’s the way I write, and I’m not going to apologize for it. I’m not trying to be fair and balanced. I’m just offering my opinion, which is pretty harsh in this particular case. I really do feel that EXPENDABLES 2 is one of (if not the) worst action movies I’ve ever seen, lacking both the gormless amateurism of a low-budget production and the slick competence of studio product. I find it soulless, cynical hackwork that’s all the worse for wasting so much potential. If you can offer a counter argument, I’d love to hear it. So far, nobody has made any kind of case for the movie. Its defenders have just complained about its detractors. You’ve said far more about us than you have about the film itself. I truly believe that you enjoyed it, but why? What were the good scenes? Who were the cool characters? Which elements of the filmatism were most successful? What was the most impressive action moment? Did you actually laugh at those jokes? This discussion would be a lot more fruitful if you could back up your points with examples the way I have. If all you’ve got is “I liked it cuz it’s awesome and you should shut up” then you’re right, there’s not much to talk about. But if you’ve got some points to make, even if it’s just to refute the examples I brought up, I would be interested in hearing them.

  61. *sigh* I guess i took the bait. I have already made my statement regarding the jokes and why I liked them, so i am not repeating that. Well here goes. at least threee points on my mind.

    1)The cinematography while not astonishing it has better composition and lighting than the first ones murkier uglier tone which is an improvement. That scene where JCVD and his goons comes through the mist is great and as such is a much more pleasant movie to look at than the first one. I loved how the final fight looked, the blue lighting reminds me of earlier 90´s action movies, especially those made in HK.

    2)The action sequences are much clearer than being credited for in both movies. They were pretty great in the first one. I actually liked the editing in the first one and that scene where Stallone shots a guy POV and the camera spins is great. Sly gunning down while infinitely reloading his guns towards the end is great. I don´t find the editing too fast or whatever and they still have the visceral impact i am looking for in an action-movie. The complaint about Jet Li´s fight being shot from the waist up i see absolutely no validity to that, since it is mostly upperbodymovements. If only his feet were visible, that would ahve been a composition problem,yes. I think a lot of the complaints are arbitrary. They are fun and packs a helluva punch.

    Mr Majestyk said:”And the big climactic shootout is one of the least imaginative action finales I’ve ever seen. It consists of one group of gunmen standing on one side of a badly art directed airport terminal shooting at another group on the other side of a badly art directed airport terminal.”

    The final shootout at the airport is a bit of a letdown, yes.Occasionally someone flies through a window or something ,but it is pretty stiff and it could have benefitted from some more creative staging,yes.. Fortunatley Willis and Arnie comes equipped with some terrific lines to lighten the scene!

    Also said by Majestyk :”It’s made even worse by the fact that there’s no shakycam to obscure how little thought went into any of it.”

    Now you are complaining about less shaky-cam? After all those complaints and flack they got from the first movie, the crew was afraid of losing the tripod in this one so now they get criticized for that? Some people are impossible to please.

    3) I find the characters likeable because they have their flaws. In the first movie; Jet Li´s inferior height complex, Toll Roads and Gunnars psychological issues ( although Toll Roads are less prevelant, but at least he sees a shrink) In the second, Gunnars awkwardness around women among other things. Statham won´t take up Sly´s challenge that perhaps the new guy is better than him. “I´m busy” is his excuse which I thought was funny. The macho rivalry in them I found enjoyable as well, both the knife vs revolver one and the dart throwing contest. It is all part of the Expendable Tapestry of Insecurity Issues.

    Arnies and Norris´ roles are admittedly just thrown in and not real characters but I don´t give a flying fuck.

    I may have more to say after all. We will see.

  62. I’m not complaining about the lack of shakycam. I’m saying that if they’d used shakycam in that final battle, it might have obscured the fact that nothing interesting or exciting happens. It still would have sucked, but I’d have blamed it on the camerawork and not the overall lack of elbow grease put into the scene. Compare this to the first film, in which lots of awesome things happened but the shakycam prevented you from getting a good look at them. I’d prefer the best of both worlds (good action, shot well) but I guess I’ll take good action shot poorly over bad action shot clearly.

    The actual photography did look better, I’ll give you that. The scene with the mist was one of the few good ones. It had some atmosphere. It helped that it was the only scene with any kind of emotional investment, at least for me. It seems that others were actually able to form some kind of attachment to these indistinct character sketches. I can see how that would raise it up a couple of notches.

    I assumed everyone thought the jokes were crimes against humanity, but some people were able to look past them. If you actually think the movie is funny, that’s a different story. You can’t argue with a sense of humor. A laugh is a laugh.

  63. I thought ex2 had a much better villain, not just b/c van damme is a marquee 90s action star, but b/c its a delightfully bizarre scenery chewing performance. He’s like the Walken from Brussels. Adkins as his number 2 is an inspired choice.I found Arnie lovable in this. He’s a lot of fun. I enjoyed the scenes at the old cold war training city. I really liked the liberation of that village. The initial Norris reveal was fun, and I typically can’t stand Norris.

    I don’t think its a great film, and think most of MM’s critiques hold. He is right that the ratio of potential to realization is pretty embarrassing. Still, I think the film succeeds largely on stunt casting and unselfconsciously stupid zaniness. And Van Dammage. Also, the first one was such a photo-dark, bland yawn, that the addition of van damme, some decent sets, and a more gonzo sensibility was enough to make this one a pleasant surprise.

    In the end, I think it has a lot to do with expectations.

  64. I’ve said this before, but I just don’t understand how anyone could expect a film starring a dozen action icons to be better than the sum of its parts. If anything, having that many personalities and expectations in a single film doesn’t do it any favours.

    Also, again, I get that every single one of these action stars brings with him a major reputation and, therefore, a host of expectations (much like a comic book movie), so it’s no surprise that Stallone simply decided to just have fun with the concept (which is a jokey one in the first place).

    Nah, I’m more than happy just seeing these guys have a laugh together (especially when something as inspired as Van Damme’s villainous performance spawns from it). I almost feel like saying that wanting anything else is pretty much the same as hating a movie for not being what you want it to be, even though I know that’s not exactly fair, given the aforementioned reputations.

    Either way, that’s the route they decided to take with this franchise, and so far I’m enjoying the ride.

  65. I’m with ya Knox.

  66. You guys are getting dangerously close to the logical fallacy Vern exposed in his landmark TRANSFORMERS review. To wit: “If you feel that [a movie with the specific premise under discussion] is destined to be a horrible piece of crap that insults your intelligence, then why are you interested in seeing [a movie with the specific premise under discussion] in the first place?” Really, all you thought you could reasonably expect out this concept was the chance to gawk at some old meatheads and new fireballs, served up in the most perfunctory fashion possible? I’m sorry, but I think that’s kinda sad. At least I once had hope for something better.

    Me, when I heard that Sly, fresh off of RAM-motherfucking-BO, was making an action movie with this amazing cast of action icons, I was hoping for nothing less than the most badass motion picture ever made. Not just a film that WAS badass, but a film ABOUT badass. It had that much potential. To say I was disappointed in the finished product is an exercise in grotesque understatement, but I never let go of that dream, as much as it has pained me. It might be all about expectations, and maybe mine were too high to start with, but right now all I want is a competently told story about characters I give half a shit about who each do at least one (1) reasonably awesome thing. I don’t see how anyone can ask for any less than that.

  67. The Original... Paul

    December 22nd, 2013 at 7:18 pm

    “I can understand how somebody could shut their brain off and enjoy it for the loud, dumb piece of crap it is. But that’s not you, Paul.”

    See, I absolutely can do that (I’ve just written virtual love-letters to “Thor 2” and “The Last Stand” in the forums after all) but only if I enjoy spending time with the film’s characters. Based on “Expendables 1” and what everybody’s said about #2 so far, I very much doubt that would be the case. In any case, it’s a moot point; I’ve got no plans to see #2 OR #2 unless #3 gets some seriously awesome reviews.

  68. Majestyk,
    I enjoyed ex2. Enjoyment is neither logical nor illogical, it just is.
    I agree that its not a great film. I wouldn’t even try to argue that its a good film. I enjoyed it. I agree that it trades on our goodwill and nostalgia, and I agree that it could be way better. But I would rather have ex2 exist than not exist.

  69. That’s perfectly reasonable. I’m not in any way trying to talk anybody out of their enjoyment. I’m just trying to understand it. I’m usually more than willing to enjoy a piece of crap for what it is, but not in this case. Apologies to Franchise Fred, but I’d rather we lived in a world with no EXPENDABLES series at all than one that can produce a film as noxious as EXP2. It wouldn’t be so bad except that these films are supposed to be the standard-bearers for what actions fans want. If that’s true, maybe we are as vapid and easily amused as everyone has always said.

    That’s a lot to put on a movie with a character named “Yin Yang” in it, but they took that on themselves when they assembled this cast. With great power, etc.

    But yeah, Van Damme was pretty good. That’s what effort looks like, fellas.

  70. Well, shit. I wish I had the time to continue this discussion, but since a certain holiday is coming up I am not gonna be able to post anything until after New Year.

    So Merry fucking Christmas and a Happy New Year!

  71. I was seriously disappointed with the first film. It felt so empty after the strength and substance of Rocky Balboa and John Rambo (still one of my favourite action films of the new millennium, right up there with A Bittersweet Life, Miami Vice and 13 Assassins).

    But I found myself watching it more and more at home, and eventually realised that I enjoy watching it more than thinking about the great things they could have done (especially with a title that promises a Dirty Dozen ending). The more I watch it, the more it feels like the most expensive and excessive DTV movie ever made. I’m starting to think a lot of its “flaws” (the cheesiness, the bromance, the absence of a true emotional core) were intentional. Probably not, but I am convinced that, after putting a final stamp on his most iconic characters, Stallone just wanted to kick some ass and not worry too much about the heavy stuff when he made The Expendables.

    I genuinely enjoy it now. Still prefer The Losers, though.

  72. In movie court, just like in the real world, the burden of proof lies on the accuser, but I’ll play. I watch a lot of movies from the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s. Westerns, thrillers, war movies. Films that tend to be a bit formulaic. But I’m a simple man, and I get a lot of enjoyment out of seeing what can be made out of a pretty standard set up. One of my favorite genres is mercenary movies. DARK OF THE SUN, THE WILD GEESE, CODENAME WILDGEESE, DOGS OF WAR etc, etc. By definition mercenaries are bad people. They kill for money and tend to do stuff that’s usually reserved for the bad guys in other genres. And that’s why film makers have come up with a few tricks to make them more “sympathetic”. They usually get screwed by their employers and/or get left behind enemy lines and so on. Stallone obviously knew all about this when he started working on the EXPENDABLES movies, and like Andrew V. McLaglen and Antonio Margerithi before him, he came up with a few twists. Forget about the casting of well known faces from the world of action. To quote Shania Twain; “That don’t impress me much”. THE WILD GEESE had Roger Moore, Richard Burton, Richard Harris AND Hardy Kruger! But it does mean that every member of the group has an interesting face, and that’s a huge improvement over most of the movies in this genre, where you usually have one charismatic star as the lead and a bunch of ugly stuntmen to make up the rest. Stallone has also given them all really cool outfits to wear, both “uniforms” and undercover clothes, signature guns and knives, personality traits and knicks and knacks. Making both, but especially EXP 2, a photogenic and stylish affair. First point. In most mercenary movies the enemy is an invisible threat existing only as gunfire from the hillside. But Sly does one better. We actually get to meet the bad guys, and they’re also a really cool, well dressed bunch. Second point. And in addition to the double crossing and dumping behind enemy lines one of the good guys get killed in front of his mentor – it’s personal! More points. When it comes to the action, there’s a nicely filmed introduction where the guys arrive in armored vehicles a la MAD MAX, and from both the dialog and the way the individual members behave we immedeately get the feeling that this is a team that’s been working together for a long time. Little things like that. I’m not going to list every action scene in the movie (Shoot did that earlier), but like my Swedish friend I can’t see much wrong with any of action scenes. And the much talked about humour doesn’t bother me either. THE EXPENDABLES 2 isn’t as good as DARK OF THE SUN perhaps, but it’s better than COMMANDO LEOPARD. And that’s enough for me.

  73. Majestyk: When Bruce Willis recently articulated his boredom with action films, coupled with his salary demands for the third EXPENDABLES, did it seem to you that he was implicitly agreeing with your description of these films as sell-outs? Also, did you respect him a bit more afterwards?

    For the record, these films only exist as trailers for me because I can’t be arsed to sit through them. Even in 30 second increments they look terrible. When the first one was released I had a choice to see it or the Joan Rivers documentary. I still think that I experienced the better old badass by choosing the latter.

  74. Jareth: Maybe a little? I don’t agree with his policy of phoning in his performance when he’s not totally enthused about the project, as that seems really uncool when compared to total pros like Kevin Bacon or Ethan Hawke who fully commit to every role, no matter what terrible movie they’re in. But I respect him for admitting that, despite the line of bull about honor and brotherhood and the warrior’s code that Sly’s been shoveling for years, the EXPENDABLES franchise is a mercenary endeavor designed to use name recognition to get audiences to pony up for inferior product. If they want to use the Willis brand name to further their ends, they’d better pony up and stop expecting to get him at a family discount when this is clearly all about business. I wish Bruce took more joy in his work, but at least he’s honest about it. He’s not trying to sell you on the idea that the piece of crap he agreed to make only because it was the highest paying gig available at the time is some kind of masterpiece. It’s the Jay Z approach to selling out.

  75. pegs: That all sounds lime good stuff. I’m glad it worked for you. For me, there’s just something wrong with the world of these movies. I just don’t buy that this is how mercenaries would operate. When CHUCK has a more nuanced and believable view of black ops work, there’s a problem.

    Okay, fine, this was just an excuse to bring up CHUCK, which I recently discovered has the best guest stars of any show ever. We’re talking Linda Hamilton, Dolph Lundgren, Steve Austin, Eric Roberts, Robert Patrick, Scott Bacula, Tony Todd, Robert Englund, Kane Hodder (non-speaking role, but I spotted him all the same), Lou Ferigno, Scott Bacula, Timothy Dalton, Dave Bautista, Gary Cole, Jordana Brewster, Fred Willard, Summer Glau, Brandon Routh, John Larroquette, Armand Assante, Bruce Boxleitner, Arnold Vosloo, Chevy Chase… This is a show that does the stunt casting thing right.

    By the way. Linda Hamilton? Still totally badass.

  76. Scott Bacula was on the show more than once which is why I listed him twice in my opinion.

  77. Majestyk: The Jay Z approach to selling out: phrases seldom come more apt than that. Maybe we should be grateful that Willis hasn’t reached supervillain levels of selling out by building stadiums that destroy the fabric of entire neighborhoods. At least this whole EXPENDABLES fiasco produced a modicum of amusement when Stallone decided that a performance from Harrison Ford would provide a useful corrective to Willis’ lack of investment.

    Hey, I just read that today is Festivus. I didn’t know that it had an actual date assigned to it. For the Feats of Strength I want to see a deathmatch between Griff and Stalker Griff. Hopefully Azimov will lead us in the Airing of Grievances.

  78. Was there something wrong with Scott Bacula’s first appearance on the show that forced Ziggy to send him back a second time until he got it right? Also, did the second appearance qualify as a comebacula?

  79. Mr Majestyk, please don’t mention Chuck Norris and nuanced and believable in the same sentence again. Ever. On the other hand I’ve recently found out that there’s actually 5 Chuck Norris movies that hold up pretty well today. But the TV show sucked then and suck now. No matter what guest stars it boasts.

  80. I didn’t mention Chuck Norris. I mentioned the TV show CHUCK, which ran for five seasons on NBC and was very silly and enjoyable.

  81. It’s Bakula, dammit! With a K!

  82. Also you forgot to mention that CHUCK takes place in the same universe as DIE HARD, since Reginald VelJohnson reprised his role as Al Powell in one episode. (Or…maybe he played another cop named Al Powell. Who knows?)

  83. I enjoyed chuck for the first three seasons, but it seemed to reach its expiration date once —spoiler— chuck got married.

  84. Yeah, I admit that CHUCK wasn’t equally entertaining all through its 5 season run, but I still think they found a good way to have the story evolve. (And I applaud them for letting their light hearted action comedy show end on a bittersweet note.)

  85. I’m on the fourth season now, and it’s definitely lost a step. But I defy you to name one TV show that doesn’t suffer a drop in quality in Season 4. I’m expecting it to pick up again for the last season.

  86. Which means no spoilers, please, CJ.

  87. Mr majestyk….there’s like 3 paragraphs on deadline about you right now.

  88. mm, that’s a though one, since my ADHD tends to kick in by or before the forth season. I thought 30 Rock was still pretty good. Breaking Bad is the obvious one. Parks and rec is still pretty good as of last seas

    The final season is when I gave up. There is a point where the tension between fidelity to the core premise and need for some novelty becomes so great that only something really creative can navigate it successfully. I’ll borrow cj’s gob segway…

    As for ex2, with so many marquee names and collective pop cultural baggage, it would be extremely difficult to play it straight, but then Stallone’s comedic instincts are so bad, that its hard to play it broad. That’s the context in which I view it. I think a Tarantino could have struck the balance in such way as to achieved something truly great, but that is pretty much a generic truism.

  89. Though maybe I should thank you. I’m not usually a shipper (or the kind of guy who says things like “shipper”) but I’m pretty invested in Chuck and Sarah at this point. Just knowing the ending is bittersweet will give me time to prepare myself.

    Look, I’m not made of stone, okay?

  90. Holy shit! That is NOT me. I resent the implication that I’m the kind of person who would involve himself in something like the promotion of ANCHORMAN 2. I’ve been a thief, a drug dealer, and a pornographer, but I have my standards.

  91. Sorry about that, Majestyk. Too much beer, I suppose. Yeah, I like CHUCK too. Have a nice Yule tide.

  92. Majestyk: THE SHIELD.

    I assume you mean dramas or I’d drop THE SIMPSONS, SEINFELD and SOUTH PARK.

    Season four was actually an improvement for 24.

  93. I don’t watch all that many straight dramas, but yeah, that’s more or less what I meant. Comedies can gain gravitas and thus become funnier as the characters and situations are given room to breathe, but dramatic TV tends to expend its potential earlier. Season Four seems to be when most shows have exhausted the basic situations suggested by their premise and must reconfigure themselves to explore new options. (I submit Buffy’s college years as the preeminent example.) If they make it through the growing pains of this transition, they have every chance of having a fruitful second act. (Example: Buffy’s depressive but rewarding final two-and-a-half seasons.) Season 4 of CHUCK is definitely a show caught between eras, and I’m hoping it pulls through for a solid final run of episodes.

  94. Season 4 of The Wire was brilliant, but then everything about The Wire is brilliant. Still have the last season to watch, but it’s damn tough to find here in SA.

    Hey, whatever happened to that idea of turning The Expendables into a TV show? I don’t see it lasting more than a season, to be honest. Even if they get TV badasses like, I dunno, Lorenzo Lamas or Adam Baldwin or that dude who played TV Blade.

  95. Mr. T, Richard Dean Anderson, Kevin Sorbo, David Rasche (yeah, remember him?), even Hulk Hogan would work. Could they get Hasselhoff? I think you’re onto something, Knox.

  96. Other than how terrible they were, I don’t remember a thing about the 1st 2 Expendaetc except the “Goddamn Dracula black” monologue classing up the joint out of nowhere and the “You throw this explosive shell thataway, and I’ll shoot it in midair to blow up that helicopter or something” finale
    (which I learned on the behind-the-scenes doc was an idea on set they improvised & implemented just minutes before shooting — fuck a script, fuck a storyboard!).

    Okay and also Terry Crews’s firearm.
    And Gary Daniels’s poor neck.
    And “Jean” Claude “Vilain” Damme’s triceps.

    You know what’s really sad about this franchise? They couldn’t get Michael Bay to sign on to direct if they wanted to; he’d be too demanding of the cast’s time, forcing them to actually show up for long hours and work in concert with the f/x and set crews to get the shots he wants. Also there would be a sequence partly set in a Victoria’s Secret lingerie show for some reason.

    I get the feeling half the cast is like, “Nah, I’m getting my million dollars and a cut of the worldwide gross, but I’m not spending more than a few weeks on this shit.”

    These EXPENDABLESes *are* expendable. They drew first blood, but they’re the disease and I’m the cure, Murdock I’m coming for you, do we get to win this time or my mom will shoot, yo Adrian I’ll bring you a war you won’t believe I am the law, how the hell do you use the three seashells, live for nothing or die for killing is as easy as breathing.

    Long live Rambo. Long live pre-EXPENDA-Sly.

  97. BTW guys, since it has been mentioned. THE WIRE had popped up in its full length on one of “my” VOD portals, so I’m finally gonna check this motherfucker out.

  98. The Undefeated Gaul

    December 24th, 2013 at 4:36 am

    I wonder if The Wire is one of those shows were you had to be there at the time to truly appreciate it. It’s like when you try to watch the first season of 24 now, you will be bored out of your m

  99. The Undefeated Gaul

    December 24th, 2013 at 4:42 am

    Typing on iphone is not the best way for posting…

    Anyway, 24 back then felt like high tension ultra quick drama, now you would be bored by it. Recently I have started The Wire but I’m three eps in and it feels slow, each ep working up to “shocking” revelations that don’t seem that shocking anymore in this day and age. So far it hasn’t grabbed me and I’m having a hard time to work up the enthusiasm to watch the rest.

    Guess I should stick with it for at least a season to give it a proper chance though.

  100. Majestyk: To respond to your challenge: I like the fourth season of Buffy more than the previous three without any qualifiers, and so far I like the fifth season best of all, though I’m not finished it yet. I also like the fourth season of the X-Files a lot. Oh yeah, and a little show called THE WIRE; that fourth season wasn’t too shabby.

    Best of all, the fourth season of Millennium was tremendous; you’ll have to take my word on that because it only aired in my imagination.

  101. The Original... Paul

    December 24th, 2013 at 11:56 am

    Somebody mentioned “Die Hard”, so I consider this on topic.

    It’s now less than two days before my ritual re-watching of the little-known Bruce Willis / Alan Rickman indie romantic comedy. I invite any of you who happen to be available to spiritually join me, at 9:00pm GMT on Boxing Day, to foster a sense of togetherness and Christmas spirit.

    And on the other side of the coin…

    “Season four was actually an improvement for 24.”

    Sacrelige! Season 3 was my favorite of the lot (apart from the first half of season 1).

  102. Gaul, The Wire isn’t a cliffhanger kinda show like Dexter or 24. It’s much more like The Soprano’s or Mad Men, although those shows are probably a bit more character-driven.

    Actually, I don’t remember any shocking revelations in the first episodes. It’s a procedural, I guess, but in the best and most unique kind of way.

    Hell, I don’t know how the heck they did what they did with that show. It’s like this incredibly insightful collection of slice-of-life moments, or rather daily routines, about some of the most interesting (yet very human) characters, in an all-too-real crime drama world.

    I remember watching the first few episodes and also thinking “what’s the big deal?”, but stick with it. It really, REALLY grows on you.

  103. The Undefeated Gaul

    December 24th, 2013 at 5:18 pm

    Knox, an example of a “shocking revelation” was when the cops are trying to act tough and establish their presence, then abuse some guy that wasn’t even a threat, and it turns out they blinded him in one eye. This reveal comes at the end of an episode so it felt like they wanted it to have that typical “holy shit, that’s messed up” type of impact that lots of shows use for endings nowadays. Only it didn’t have any impact for me, because I’ve watched lots of episodes of shows in recent years that threw out stuff like this in the opening minutes and ended on way worse.

    I’m not saying I need shock impact to be entertained, but it just felt like they were trying for it. Hence my comment of it feeling dated, like stuff that felt edgy back then but you see everywhere these days.

    Thanks for the comment in any case, I’ll give it a few more episodes. Some of my all time favorite shows didn’t start clicking for me until halfway through the first seasons (Spartacus, GoT) so I’m determined to give it an honest chance.

  104. The Original... Paul

    December 26th, 2013 at 3:48 pm

    Ok, IS ANYBODY DIE-HARDING IT WITH ME TONIGHT? Alan Rickman’s about to get dropped out of the window!

  105. The Original... Paul

    December 26th, 2013 at 3:49 pm

    …Should I have put “spoiler” tags in that last comment? Surely not…

  106. Paul— No worries, my liege. I’m pretty sure we’ve all seen it.

    The only thing that annoys me about the original Die Hard is: how THE FUCK does Karl, who’s hanging from a chain ’round his neck, clearly unconscious when McClane is done with him, and bearing the full brunt of his own body weight (let’s call it 90-100 kilos)… suddenly pop back to life at the end? I’m pretty sure the movie could’ve ended just as satisfactorily without this improbable twist, designed solely to give Sergeant Al Powell a chance to nut up.

    Reginald VelTwinkieman, you lucked out bigtime.

  107. I’m still thinking about how Theo is still alive. Argyle only knocked him out. I sure hope the police arrested him, but even so he’d be getting out around now.

  108. Al Pacino wanted to portray John McClane, but only if he did his own stunts which Fox smartly would not allow.

  109. It’s funny how often you can see Bruce’s stunt double in DIE HARD and it works because that means a professional is executing the important stuff and it cuts together well. Not like now where the actor “really” does it on a green screen or they just shake the camera.

  110. That’s a common problem with action movies from the 80’s. You seldom see the problem in movies from the 60’s and 70’s. Either the directors didn’t give a shit or stuntmen who actually looked like the actor they were doubling for were scarce. If only Roger Moore and Bruce Willis had gotten themselves someone like Clint Eastwood and Harrison Ford had (Buddy Van Horn and Vic Armstrong), we wouldn’t have been taken out of the story ever time that slimmer guy with the bad wig turned up.

  111. Fred— When Live Free Or Die Hard was being put together, they (the creative “they”; producers, casting director, somebody) toyed with the idea of bringing Theo back since the 4th movie was hackercentric, plus it would’ve subtly harkened back to the glory of the first movie.

    I doubt he would’ve replaced Timothy Olyphant’s character, but there were enough computer sub-geek roles that I’m sure they could’ve worked him into the mix. A missed opportunity.

  112. Huge missed opportunity!

  113. He probably would have been the guy, played by that dude from that quickly cancelled Shatner sitcom from a few years ago.

  114. Correctamundo, CJ. That role would’ve been perfect for Theo… the geek behind the geek. Plus they could’ve augmented that part when Olyphant’s character reprimanded him with “Don’t ever hesitate like that again”, and Theo could’ve replied “Dude, you don’t scare me; I used to work for Hans Gruber”.

    BTW, the guy’s name is Jonathan Sadowski.

  115. Plus, it would have been great if, instead of just googling McClane’s exploits, Theo could have given the “Just how badass is this guy?” speech when he explained that he spent 15 years in the joint because of this one barefoot motherfucker who took down an entire team of international terrorists.

    It would have been even better if he just up and quit right then and there.

  116. There’s a New EXP3 trailer out. And I would be lying if I said it doesn’t look promising.

  117. I’m actually looking forward to EXP3 coming out just so I never have to see these fucking trailers again. I must have seen the one with the deplorable Billy Squier cover a dozen times and I still don’t know what it’s trying to sell me. There’s no inkling of plot or even basic scenario, and nary a money shot to be seen. The only thing I get from the trailer is “All these guys are in this movie and they all have scarves on for some reason.”

    Also, do you think the marketing department knows that “The Stroke” isn’t actually about a handjob? It’s about a sleazy record exec getting a promising rock star to sign away his soul. Then again, perhaps it represents some recognition of the tactics Stallone and Co. employed to secure the services of this monstrously overqualified cast.

    Eh. I’ll catch a matinee out of morbid curiosity. It can’t be worse than the second one. Nothing can.

  118. Monsigneur Majestyk, the things we do out of morbid curiosity often turn out to be among our fondest memories.

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