Tag Archives: Simon West

What We Know About ‘Red 2’

After the critical and box office smash that was 2010’s Red, fans of the original film are getting excited about the upcoming 2013 sequel, Red 2. Bringing back most of the original cast plus some excellent additions, the Red series is turning out to be a geriatric version of The Expendables, which is pretty geriatric on its own.

The sequel was announced in January of 2011, with the entire original cast settling negotiations by later that year. Since then, numerous actors have been signed on to the project including Catherine Zeta-Jones, Lee Byung-hun, David Thewlis (Professor Lupin from the Harry Potter movies), and even Anthony Hopkins. Dean Parisot, who directed the brilliant Galaxy Quest but the so-so Fun With Dick and Jane, signed on to direct, which both increased and decreased the film’s potential simultaneously. If science proves to be true, that means absolutely no change was made to the film’s potential. Moving on.

As of right now, not much is known about the film except that the gang reunites to face new enemies in Europe. With that being said, I doubt the setting and plot of the film will play much of a factor into its level of adrenaline-fueled fun. I’ll admit, I was one of the people who was initially disappointed by Red when I first saw it in theaters back in 2010. Maybe the humongous age gap between me and the central characters played a part in it, but I can honestly say I walked out before Helen Mirren made it on-screen.

But after re-watching it, Red proved to be quality action cinema. The Expendables with a little more brain and about 50 collective years of age added to its cast. Red is a fun flick that will hopefully spawn a halfway decent sequel. I’m a huge Dean Parisot fan and I’m sure that, unlike Simon West’s directorial contribution to The Expendables 2, he’ll find a great way to either improve or reinvent the material of the original film, which rested mostly in the surprise that came from Helen Mirren shooting a .50 cal, among other things.

Sadly, Ernest Borgnine’s passing will prevent him from participating in the film, but I’m interested to see how the recent additions to the cast will play against the original members of the group. One thing that really relieved me was how the casting focused on talent as opposed to the biggest names in Hollywood. Ladies, I’m sorry to say that one of the Hemsworth bros will, in fact, not be participating in Red 2. As talented as they both are, Liam felt really out-of-place in Expendables 2, and he successfully out acted everyone in the cast except for Jason Statham.

Getting back on track, Red 2 is probably going to be a cool flick. Though somewhere deep down I hoped to see Richard Jenkins attached to this somehow. Anything that guy touches turns to old, I mean, gold. Thinking about it, wouldn’t it be funny if the cast of Red and the cast of The Expendables 2 teamed up for one giant movie. It’d be almost too much for one screen to handle. Then again, Bruce Willis would literally have to play Frank Moses and Mr. Church in the same movie. Double the Willis, double the disdain for humanity. I can see it now.

Check out the first Red 2 poster below:

Dr. Kronner’s Joy: THE EXPENDABLES 2

I was born in 1983, which means that by the time I was old enough to watch and actually understand what was happening in movies, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sylvester Stallone were the 2 biggest names in Hollywood. Those two were churning out some of the greatest action movies of all time, stuff like Predator, Conan, Terminator, the Rambo series, and the Rocky movies. However, they were also rolling out crap like Cobra and Red Heat too. As young as I was, I couldn’t really tell which ones were destined to be remembered as classics and which were fated to be forgotten (Raw Deal? Lock Up?) but I loved all of them. I was just a kid, but I can remember many an evening spent on the couch with the old man watching Rocky IV or The Running Man and through that, I grew attached to the genre and its stars. The action movies of the era were totally over the top (get it?) and I couldn’t get enough.

the expendables 2Here is Stallone, Schwarzenegger, and Willis back when Bruce was still wearing hats everywhere to hide his hairline. This particular one he probably got from the ‘Hudson Hawk’ set…

As the ’80s came to a close, a third action icon would emerge – Bruce Willis. His breakthrough role in Die Hard, still arguably the greatest action movie in existence, placed him rightfully in the conversation with Arnold and Sly, and for years, that was the hierarchy. But, as with every hero, age took its toll. Stallone did Cliffhanger in ’93 and Arnold had True Lies in ’94, but after that they both turned out a series of near unwatchable garbage – The Specialist, Assassins, Daylight, End of Days, Collateral Damage, The 6th Day – the list goes on and on. While Willis would find success in a few more Die Hard movies, even he started to shy away from the genre for a while. That is until 2006 when Stallone, desperate for a hit, went back to the role that made him with Rocky Balboa. At 60 years old, he proved he could still draw audiences and he repeated the feat 2 years later with a 4th Rambo movie. Suddenly, the gears started turning and the movie I had prayed for 20 years earlier began to take shape…

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In 2010, Stallone started recruiting his aging contemporaries to make a star-studded action movie that revolved around the idea that they could all still fire guns and blow shit up, and it was great. Ok, so maybe not ‘great’, but it was entertaining as hell and pure nostalgia was often enough to power you through the weak dialogue and thin plot. Then on Thursday night, August 16th, at about 11:55 pm, I loaded myself into a theater seat and got ready for the sequel to begin. I was not disappointed.

the expendables 2

This time around, we were given not only Stallone (66) and Jason Statham (45) again, as well as much larger roles for Willis (57) and Schwarzenegger (65), but we also get the return of Jet Li (49), Dolph Lundgren (55), Randy Couture (49), and Terry Crews (44). Not to mention the inclusion of Chuck Norris (72 years old!), Thor’s little brother (22), and a 52 year old JCVD! It was awesome. Norris told a ‘Chuck Norris’ joke while going by the moniker ‘Lone Wolf’ (like Lone Wolf McQuade), Van Damme did multiple roundhouse kicks as the villain named ‘Vilain’, and Dolph Lundgren’s backstory was that of his real life – a chemical engineering degree from MIT…it’s like Stallone was writing the script while watching an action marathon on SpikeTV and reading Wikipedia.

the expendables 2

The movie also featured Nan Yu, who’s mostly Chinese resume I’m unfamiliar with. While she wasn’t bad, I would’ve gone with Maggie Q instead. With her resume already boasting adrenaline fueled flicks like Live Free or Die Hard, Mission Impossible: III, and the action-packed TV show Nikita, it just felt like a missed opportunity to grab the biggest cast they could. However, Nan Yu probably has more global pull and that could be why the decision was made. That being said, Yu did kick some ass in here.

the expendables 2

This was a movie that didn’t take itself too serious and delivered on the action. There were a few parts that might have come off as cheesy dialogue-wise, and it’s doubtful many people under the age of 18 could really appreciate most of the references, but for me, at the wise age of 29 – I was thrilled. The Expendables 2 delivered exactly what was promised and didn’t try to be something it wasn’t. The ‘R’ rating is barely warranted as the language wasn’t super harsh, there were zero female chesticles exposed (as Aaron pointed out), and much of the violence was so stylized it wasn’t intensely gory.

There is also something I want to give them credit for – something that seems to be a lost art form in most newer action movies – HOLDING THE GODDAMN CAMERA STILL!  Ever since Spielberg wow’d everyone in ’98 with the opening scene of Saving Private Ryan, directors have been shaking the camera around so much you can’t tell what is happening. Perfect example would be ALL of the Bourne sequels. This time around the camera stayed stationary long enough for us to actually see the action happen – so thank you Simon West (Con Air, The Mechanic).

Overall, while the plot was a little thin and, quite often, the characters just seem to appear out of nowhere for the purpose of delivering a one-liner, this movie was a fun ride, and I think trumped the first movie easily. I give it 4/5 Grizzlies for delivering on its intended purpose and staying fun.

 

Despite the movie only being out a day in its spread its seed of unabashed 80s magnificence, there are already rumors that for the 3rd movie Harrison Ford, Clint Eastwood, and Nic Cage are all wanted.

the expendables 2As sweet as Eric Roberts and JCVD were in the first 2 movies, Nic Cage could be the greatest villain since Hans Gruber if written correctly (Editor’s Note: Honestly, he’d be the best villain ever if written incorrectly, which is what I’m rooting for.-C Tan)PUT HIM IN A BEAR SUIT!!!

Personally, I’d like to maybe see Linda Hamilton or Sigourney Weaver pop up as they were the baddest ass action heroines around when I was a kid. You could also see if Uma is busy, let her do some more sword play as it will have been over a decade since Kill Bill

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And, it may just be my movie-riddled mind drawing connections where there are none – but I spotted references to all the following movies – did anyone catch one that I missed?

– Good Guys Wear Black (1978)
– Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)
– Conan the Barbarian (1982)
– First Blood (1982)
– Lone Wolf McQuade (1983)
– The Terminator (1984)
– Die Hard (1989)
– Total Recall (1990)

I’m sure there are more, I just have to go see it again…

The Expendables 2 Is Going To Be PG-13…Because of Chuck Norris

The news that every action fan in the world did not want to hear has been officially announced. Chuck Norris is ruining yet another action movie. The much-anticipated action flick, The Expendables 2, which was announced sometime last year, is getting the kiss of death in the form of a PG-13 rating. The reason? The film’s addition of Chuck Norris, of course. He commented, saying, “In ‘Expendables 2,’ there was a lot of vulgar dialogue in the screenplay. For this reason, many young people wouldn’t be able to watch this. But I don’t play in movies like this,” Norris explained. “Due to that I said I won’t be a part of that if the hardcore language is not erased. Producers accepted my conditions and the movie will be classified in the category of PG-13.”

Excuse my harsh language, but this is just a steaming pile of bullshit. First off, The Expendables wasn’t rated R just for its language. It was rated R for the bloody violence that we’d come to expect with an action cast of that caliber, no pun intended. To prove my point, The Expendables‘ MPAA rating says: Rated R for strong action and bloody violence throughout, and for some language. Please take note of the italicized words and what follows. Strong and bloody are both followed by action and violence, whereas language is preceded by some, a term used when said classification isn’t used excessively.

Now, correct me if I’m wrong here, but didn’t The Expendables make about $267 million dollars worldwide? Oh, that’s right, it did! And the comment about young people not being able to see it, erroneous! The small minority of young kids who are honest in their movie watching and want to see this movie without stealing it or sneaking into it can just continue being honest and rent it when it comes out on DVD, which they will. And I mean, if we’re being honest here, should young kids even be watching hardcore action fare like The Expendables?

Norris’ comments are bogus, as is his career. He’s famous for being the butt of a couple of good jokes, and even in the prime of his acting career, he was nothing special. He’s going to end up being the Billy Mays of action movies; we’ll remember him fondly, but in actuality he didn’t really do anything of significance. Stallone wrote a letter to Ain’t It Cool News’ founder, Harry Knowles, stating, “Harry, the film is fantastic with Van Damme turning in an inspired performance… Our final battle is one for the ages. The PG13 rumor is true, but before your readers pass judgement, trust me when I say this film is LARGE in every way and delivers on every level. This movie touches on many emotions which we want to share with the broadest audience possible, BUT, fear not, this barbeque of Grand scale Ass Bashing will not leave anyone hungry…Sly” But with Stallone stepping down as director and instead taking on the screenplay alone, there’s a chance that The Expendables 2 may hold on to one shred of lonely, lonely dignity, but I doubt it. Of course, all of the original cast will be returning, with Simon West in the director’s chair. The Expendables 2 is set to release on August 17th of this year.

The Expendables 2: Schwarzenegger and Willis Returning

For all of you Expendables fans out there who can’t get enough of Hollywood action stars shooting and killing bad guys then here’s some excellent news: Arnold Schwarzenegger and Bruce Willis are returning….

But don’t worry, it won’t be as lame as their little bit of face time in the first movie, according to Worst Previews, these roles are “substantial”:

Millennium Films recently revealed that Arnold Schwarzenegger and Bruce Willis will return for “The Expendables” sequel, but now comes word that the two actors have officially closed their deals for “substantial” roles in the film.

Sylvester Stallone, Jason Statham, Dolph Lundgren, Terry Crews and Randy Couture are also all returning. And they will be joined by Chuck Norris, Scott Adkins and Jean-Claude Van Damme.

Now, by substantial roles I hope that means Arnold gets a nice little Commando-esque scene where he destroys about thirty guys on his own. Seriously that’s the only way to go! With the film reportedly losing Jet Li, they are a couple of guys that I think more than make up for his absence: Chuck Norris and Jean Claude Van-Damme. And with Simon West, director of Con Air at the helm, you know this movie is more than likely going to be the most retarded thing ever… but in a good way. I watched Con Air over fifty times in the summer of its video release and many of you may not know that it is indeed an Academy Award winner nominee. (Original Music and Sound) So buckle up for 2012 my friends because the world IS ending once the Schwarz-Damme-Allone wave hits ya!