We realize Sylvester Stallone and Arnold Schwarzenegger teaming up in a movie would cause excitement…if this were twenty years ago. Once upon a time, these two were at the top of the action hero food chain. Now, they have been regulated to smaller projects, each with varying degrees of quality. I walked into Escape Plan with the lowest expectations possible, and you know what? I was pleasantly surprised. Clearly, they are not the same people who starred in Commando (1985) or the Rambo series, and that’s okay. I don’t think anyone is expecting that, but if you’re looking to be entertained, you’ll get your money’s worth. Directed by Mikael Håfström and written by Miles Chapman and Jason Keller, this is an enjoyable action thriller with a cast noticeably having a good time. There’s no getting around it: I liked this one.
Another Top 5 segment from The MacGuffin. This time Allen and Ed share their top 5 movies they came to appreciate upon further review.
If screenings of clips from Star Trek Into Darkness and Fast & Furious 6 weren’t cool enough, we still had two days worth of studio presentations (Disney, Sony, 20th Century Fox, and Lionsgate) at CinemaCon 2013. Generally the presentations went two ways: either the presenters would briefly mention a bunch of projects but not show anything from them and then show more extensive clips from a few select projects, OR they would show brief clips (or trailers) for many different projects.
I keep thinking to myself that Sylvester Stallone is an underrated actor. Remember, he was nominated for an acting Oscar—granted, it was 1977 and he was still up-and-coming when he played the title role in Rocky. The point still stands. If Stallone is inspired, he is capable of giving good performances. First Blood (1982) and Cop Land (1997) are two prime examples. But every good outing comes between a handful of bad ones. His latest work, Bullet to the Head, isn’t helping his case. Mere weeks after Arnold Schwarzenegger came back on the action scene, Stallone takes his turn to tackle the genre yet again. Unfortunately, we are given a lifeless story with a lead performance that barely registers any kind of active participation.
The more I think about it, the more I come to the realization that Arnold Schwarzenegger may be the most charismatic movie star ever. This is a guy who has obvious limitations as an actor, whose dialogue is made up of corny one-liners, and who is known more for his physique than his range. He’s approaching seventy years of age and it shows. But somehow, The Austrian Oak is able to curb all of these problems with the sheer influence of his screen presence. We can’t take our eyes off of him; he fills each role with enthusiasm and energy. This is why he is believable despite the thick accent. He clearly knows his strengths and weaknesses, and exploits both for his own benefit. The Last Stand (2013) once again shows what the man can do best: kick ass and take names.
Spencer is joined by Brian Kirk & Jessica Aceti (MovieCat, FilmWise) and Nick Ahlers (The MacGuffin, The Grapes of Rad).
Segments include: This Day in Film History, Meeting Brian & Jessica, and the News at 5.
News at 5:
1. No Star Wars for JJ Abrams (http://bit.ly/X0YOhg)
2. Rebooting MacGyver (http://bit.ly/RUJcpn)
3. Planning for Anchorman 2 (http://bit.ly/ZmMPst)
4. The Hangover goes to college (http://bit.ly/RTZlNm)
5. Morgan Spurlock’s One Direction? (http://bit.ly/So3Uwk)
It is not often that I’m really pleasantly surprised by a movie. Between receiving too much information from trailers and the fact that most films seem to be retelling the same story, it makes finding something different that much more exciting. Somehow the film Robot & Frank completely missed my radar when it played at SIFF this year, but now it has quickly risen to be one of my favorite films of the year.
In honor of the release of Total Recall, Spencer and Greg discuss Philip K. Dick.
I’m in the minority, but I’m not opposed to remaking of Total Recall. While I enjoy the original film, I don’t think it is perfect, and I was willing to check out the remake to see if they can found something compelling to do with the material. Still, from the trailers, I thought that this was going to be a similar movie, just with more attractive people in it…not exactly what I have in mind as an adequate reason for a remake.