Thursday, February 11, 2010

On Sly and Ain't it Cool News

I'm generally a Sylvester Stallone fan. I was a boy growing up in the 80's, how could I not be? Plus, anyone responsible for the creation of such a wonderful and indelible character as Rocky Balboa deserves respect.

Doesn't mean I'm always in his corner. I loved Rocky Balboa, because it got to the heart of that character, and made you believe in what was happening. The latest Rambo...I couldn't get over the fact I felt Stallone had made something akin to violence porn, and then attempted to justify it by "exposing the violence in Burma."

First Blood was relatively realistic, and had something to say about Vietnam vets. After that the Rambo films got all kinds of cartoony. That was fine, the politics were as cartoony as the violence, and I roll with them as pure entertainment. With Rambo, I felt like he tried to have his cake and eat it too, and the whole thing felt...wrong.

Anyway...Stallone is making a film right now called The Expendables, with an all-star cast of action stars, Jet Li, Jason Statham, Dolph Lundgren, etc...Governor Arnie and Bruce Willis even show up in cameos. As a kid of the 80's, I can't help but see this as something that will be fun to watch...

But "good?" Jury's out.

The film was recently test-screened, and, as they are wont to do, Aint It Cool News posted some reviews of this screening...

You can find the first two of these reviews HERE.

My take on these two reviews? "The Recruiter" may have expected a bit too much from the film, especially at this early stage, but their review is very fair and balanced. A list of likes and dislikes by someone who can put together coherent thoughts.

"D?" Well, simply reverse everything I just said about "The Recruiter." "D" strikes me as everything wrong with these fan-reviews. It's dazzled by the pure excitement of seeing a movie so early, and wrapped up in a lot of hero-worship. It's not a review, it's an orgasm.

Well, Stallone apparently was unhappy with "The Recruiter's" take on his film. Read HERE.

OK, Stallone...You allowed people to see your film. You've opened yourself up for them to have opinions. You may have been "a tad annoyed" that someone didn't like it, but that review was in no way calling the film a "disaster." Top that off with the line about the "girl with braces?" It sounds like you're just upset that your "buddies" over at AICN would post something that wasn't glowing.

The real annoyance, for me, is Harry (Knowles) reaction. I mean, for God's sake...I'm fully aware that AICN has become pretty beholden to the Hollywood teat, and that Harry LOVES being "friends" with people like Stallone...he's falling over himself to try to convince his readers of...what? That Stallone is a big movie star and we ought to all kiss his feet for deigning to talk with, well...Harry?

I mean that "Perfect movie for 1985" defense he mounts? It's idiotic. It's really, really stupid, and it makes him look like a mouth-breathing sycophant. The Expendables is not going to be To Live and Die in L.A., or Runaway Train, or Silverado. Those films are legitimate classics, and true works of art on top of being pretty kick-ass.

He's not doing The Expendables any favors making that sort of comparison. I, really, have no doubt I'll see this movie and enjoy it. However, that's a long way from being something I'll remember in 25 years.

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