Here's hoping Summer leave quickly.
I do reserve the right to ask for it to come back when I'm freezing my butt off this winter.
I, like many other action movie fans, have been looking forward to this since early trailers first hit the web and word spread. I grew up watching Arnie, and Sly and the rest on screen. I'm old enough to remember asking "The Guy from 'Moonlighting' is making an action flick?" My dad would take my brother and me to see a lot of these flicks, so it was pretty fitting that the three of us along with my uncle went.
The big question is: in the age of Avatar and Inception can a movie like this still hold its own and be entertaining? I've grown up a lot since the big action movie heyday. Story is important. I like cool twists to things. I enjoy particularly nuanced performances. I have a hard time switching my brain off to just go with things. So could I enjoy a movie that's a subtle as a fix to the jaw?
Oh hell yes.
Stuff blowing up. Insane fight scenes. Car chases. Bad jokes. Guns that can level buildings. Gimme gimme gimme! I've scene action movies degernerate. I've seen actors with velcro'd on muscles. I've scene fight scenes in live action flicks that were done entirely in CGI. I think its about damn time someone came out of the old school and showed folks how to do it up again.
Onto the movie itself. Its very straight forward. A team of mercenaries get a job to take down a nasty dictatorship. After learning more about the mission they realize the entire job stinks to high heaven. However, the team's leader can't walk away from it after meeting their contact in the island country would is fighting for her people. They're heading back in to kick serious ass. They've also got to deal with one of their own team having gone over to the other side. You can pretty much pick all that up from the trailers, which I like because its keeping things simple and not trying to dress this movie up as something it is not.
As for the cast, when the least intimidating looking guy in the movie is Jet Li you know something insane is going to happen. The movie stays centered around Stallone and Statham, which is fine. Stallone may only be a year away from getting a Social Security check but he can still deliver. He sells the punches just like he always has. Statham is one of the younger guys in the cast. For those who just know him as Turkish from SNATCH you may not know that this guy is a physical beast with a ton of martial arts training. You don't really get a chance to know the rest of the cast that well, but that doesn't really matter as their actions speak for them. An interesting turn was Randy Couture as Toll Road. He was funny for his character not intending to be funny. He had some of the weirdest lines as a mercenary who regularly visits a shrink. Mickey Rourke turned in the only dramatic role in the film with a monologue about the death of his soul which was pretty much the only slow part in the film. It wasn't a bad bit, but it was kind of the cue to the audience to refill their popcorn and/or go empty their bladders.
This movie was all about action, and that's what it delivered. Stallone threw big punches. Li and Statham took guys apart. Couture threw grown men around like it was nothing. All of them unloaded a ridiculous amount of ammunition. We got to see Couture take on Steve Austin in a pro-wrestle versus MMA guy fight. Jet Li and Dolph Lundgren beat the snot out of each other. The only CGI that was worked in was the blood splatters, which has taken the places of the old squibs the FX guys used to use, but it worked just fine. The quick cut method of editing fight scenes to give the feeling of the chaos that goes on in a fight (see the Jason Borne movies) was dropped. We wanted to see the moves and we got to see the moves.
The only thing I wanted to see and didn't was an extended fight scene between Li and Gary Daniels. Daniels is a guy who is not a huge name to the mainstream movie watcher, but those of us who watched a lot a "B" martial arts flicks, we know him well. This guy has some serious moves and seeing him and Li going for it would have been a real treat. They did mix it up a bit, but that was the only thing that left me wanting more.
Stallone delivered as an actor, a director, and a writer on this. He won't be getting any Oscar nominations for it, but no one is going to care. This flick was a treat.
Liberal groups are boycotting Target due to the company giving a campaign contribution to a candidate that opposes gay marriage. Because this obviously means that Target hates the gays. This couldn't have anything at all to do with the candidates positions on taxes or his attitudes about business. Nope, it must mean that Target hates gays, so its time to protest.
I'm all for people voting with their wallets. If they don't like certain businesses then they shouldn't patronize them. So, if people are upset with Target for backing a particular candidate for public office to the point that they feel they cannot support Target with their business any longer then that's fine. I fully understand.
But this is a really stupid reason.
Let's be sane for a second. Target does not hate gays. They are a very large company. If they donated money to a candidate then the reasons were obviously business related. The protesters are demanding that target make a contribution to an opposing candidate who support gay marriage. That's idiotic. Target absolutely should not make a campaign contribution to any candidate they they don't want to. Especially over an issue that has nothing to do with their business.
Unfortunately the groups involved in the protest are also extremely self involved. Despite there efforts at social justice they fail to realize that not everything in the world is affected by their pet cause du jour. They can't grasp that Target's donation could possibly have nothing to do with the issue of gay marriage. They're not stupid, but they have their blinders on.
So I'm going to Target, and I'm planning on having an abtholutely thuper time.
There's a guy down in Mexico with a blog covering the narcotics trade and the cartel fights. He's got a ton of cover on him so no one knows who he really is, but people send him information and he posts it. A lot of it is disturbing, but its the truth. Mexico is so messed up right now. Its no wonder so many people are running across the border to America illegally. Word doesn't get out about this from Mexico's media because if its reported on them there's a damn good chance the the reporter could end up dead.
But one guy on the internet is getting the word out. He takes every bit of info he can find or people send him and he posts it. Some of it comes from citizens. Some even comes from the cartels. Some of it is very disturbing stuff, so I'm not recommending going on over there to have a look around. But what's important is that he's getting the truth out.
People have used the blog to find out what streets to not go down. Its provided some tips to law enforcement. Its doing its job as media to inform. Still, it has its critics. Some clown from the Committee to Protect Journalists out of New York said he's not doing the blog from a "journalistic perspective" and without "ethical considerations". Obviously that douchebag is interested in protecting journalists from people doing their job for them. New York isn't Mexico City. They typically don't kidnap you for writing articles in New York.
One guy with a blog getting the truth out from under a media blackout. If that's not an argument for net neutrality I don't know what it.
Viva el Blog del Narco.
Back in the day, the X would broadcast out of Mexico without having to deal with federal restrictions. Wolfman Jack in Mexico with a gun because it was rough down there back then too, and his voice on a signal that on a clear day would make it all the way to Virginia.
That's a wrap people. See y'all Wednesday.