Friday, August 24, 2012
The ultimate selling point of The Expendables franchise has largely been similar to The Avengers. Certainly they could not be more different in overall tone, and there is no continuity experiment at work. But at their most basic, they are both ensemble films offering the previously unheard of opportunity to see all your favorite childhood heroes teaming up in the same movie. For Avengers it was the comic book characters they grew up reading. For Expendables it's the action stars of the movies of their teens. But there is a reason why Avengers worked and the Expendables films absolutely do not. Comic book superheroes, whether because of their adaptability, their universal themes of teamwork and altruism, or their fantastical detachment from reality that keeps them from being anchored to one setting or time period, have a timeless quality to them. The Avengers was about characters that have been enjoyed by generation after generation of readers. It was a movie that touched that small shred of childhood innocence every jaded adult still has and taught us to cheer and have fun again. The Expendables, by contrast, is anchored unshakably to one long dead era in action filmmaking.
Last night, The Lunatic Fringe officially made it's debut on the website The Agony Booth. You can check it out here. I'm honored to be part of this site, there are so many talented reviewers there. I look forward to working with them.
Saturday, August 18, 2012
So I'm reluctantly sitting down to watch The Expendables 2, when a trailer for ANOTHER generic-looking Sylvester Stallone action movie appears. Between this and Schwarzenegger's The Last Stand, I guess these guys really are pretending their careers aren't over. So I'm watching this trailer, generic set-up, vaguely racist joke, blah blah...and then at about 1:08, with just four words they suddenly have my attention: "From director Walter Hill".
Saturday, August 4, 2012
If there's one question science fiction cinema loves asking over and over to the point that it ceases to mean anything, it's this: "What is reality?" The limitless possibilities of the genre provide plenty of opportunity to explore the unreliability of human senses, creating false worlds and illusionary scenarios within each other to make the audience question their own memory and perception. How can you ever truly be certain that the life you know is real?