In the ’80s, there was no shortage of Hollywood he-men, guys who regularly toppled small armies and rescued whoever seemed worthy of rescuing. Stallone. Schwarzenegger. Seagal. Their names were synonymous with action, but not necessarily acting.
Times have changed. The musclebound enforcers of yesteryear have given way to caped crusaders and masked mutants, and the actors who play the new breed of superheroes are not reformed bodybuilders but plausible Oscar hopefuls: Robert Downey Jr, Edward Norton and the like. Yet here, as if to prove there’s still room for an old-fashioned big-screen brawler, stands Jason Statham.
A Rotten Tomatoes reader described The Expendables thusly: “Its purpose is to be violent.” Mission accomplished. Sylvester Stallone’s long-rumored convening of the Lat Pack – a motley crew of action stars past and present, including Jason Statham, Dolph Lundgren and, in his first dramatic role since 2004’s Around the World in 80 Days, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger – is a love letter to bloody excess.
Late-breaking news: Midnites for Maniacs programmer Jesse Hawthorne Ficks will be hosting a must-see '80s marathon all day Saturday at the Castro Theatre, featuring Sylvester Stallone's criminally overlooked Nighthawks, Jean-Claude Van Damme kicking ass in Bloodsport, a pair of John Carpenter gems (a newly restored print of Big Trouble in Little China, followed by They Live), and a "secret midnite film" rumored to be none other than Hulk Hogan's No Holds Barred.
It is the dawn of a new decade, a time for reflection and self-improvement. In that spirit, I humbly submit my list of movie-related resolutions, complete with links. If you'd like to suggest any New Year's resolutions for me, yourself or anyone else, feel free to drop me a line.
Sometimes you're in a movie theater and you make one too many snarky remarks to your movie companion and the humorless person in front of you whips her head around to glare at you or shush you. Which is totally unfair because sometimes you have something way too witty to say to wait till after the movie, and sometimes you need your companion to know that you already know what's about to happen. The worse the movie is, the harder it is to restrain yourself.
Despite the movie’s early mixed reviews, the NFL is rolling out the red carpet for Denzel Washington’s latest thriller, The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3.
Here in the Bay Area, San Francisco 49ers stars Alex Smith and All-Pro linebacker Patrick Willis will be joined by Nnamdi Asomugha, Darrius Hayward-Bey and Michael Huff of the Oakland Raiders to host a special Wednesday night screening of the film at the Great Mall in Milpitas. The players will arrive to walk the carpet at 6:30 p.m., with the movie, a remake of Joseph Sargent’s 1974 subway heist, to follow.
Ben Stiller is no stranger to sequels.
Fresh off the dual successes of Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa and Tropic Thunder, his decade-in-the-making passion project about a group of coddled actors lost in the jungles of Laos, he was already set to reprise his starring role in Night at the Museum, with a sequel due in May 2009. And though Stiller has confirmed plans for a third installment of his Meet the Parents saga – no surprise there, given its sustained success at the box office – he recently admitted that he’d like to bring back a character whose appeal proved more elusive the first time around: Derek Zoolander, the titular hero of his 2001 satire about the witless world of male models.