Expendables 3 (2014)
Sylvester Stallone is at it again. He has gathered his Expendables for another go-round. The Expendables (2010) was good, The Expendables 2 (2012) was even better. Will this third time be the charm? The teaser trailer doesn’t reveal enough of anything, except for the fact that the boys are back and hopefully better than ever.
The movie was directed by Patrick Hughes and the noteworthy cast includes Sylvester Stallone, Jason Statham, Jet Li, Mel Gibson, Antonio Banderas, Wesley Snipes, Dolph Lundgren, Harrison Ford, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Terry Crews, Kelsey Grammer, Randy Couture, and Robert Davi.
I especially like the addition of Gibson and Ford.
I think viewers will be in for an overload of blood, guts, and bullets.
The film is set to release on 08/15/14.
Escape Plan (2013)
During the 80s and 90s, Sylvester Stallone and Arnold Schwarzenegger were action movie kings. However, up until recent years, they had never made a movie together.
I watched Stallone being interviewed by David Letterman the other day, and Stallone revealed that he and Schwarzenegger used to absolutely hate each other. They would always have to one-up each other. Now, I’m thinking, wouldn’t it have been great if at some point when the two actors were enemies, they actually played enemies on screen. People definitely would have paid to see that. I know I would have.
Something must have helped Stallone and Schwarzenegger resolve their differences because Escape Plan is the third movie that they have made together in the last three years, and the fourth one is on the way in 2014.
Escape Plan is about a prison escape artist (Sylvester Stallone) who has made a career breaking out of maximum security prisons all over the US. One day, he gets a job offer that he cannot refuse that lands him in a prison that was built using a book that he had written as a guide to building escape-proof prisons.
The film was directed by Mikael Hafstrom and the rest of the noteworthy cast includes Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jim Caviezel, Amy Ryan, Vincent D’Onofrio, Vinnie Jones, Matt Gerald, Faran Tahir, Sam Neill, Caitriona Balfe, and 50 Cent.
Earlier this year, Stallone and Schwarzenegger both proved that they can still be action heroes, even in their upper 60s. Stallone did it in Bullet to the Head (2012) and Schwarzenegger did it in The Last Stand (2013). Escape Plan was better than each of those movies. Each actor looked better physically, and they both carried themselves very well. Maybe it was because they were both in the film together and they continued to try to outdo each other again. Whatever it was, it worked.
Escape Plan exceeded my expectations. The movie was a welcome, unpredictable surprise. It had a lot of original ideas mixed with a few classics, for old time sake.
Caviezel and Jones had very fun supporting roles. 50 Cent somehow manages to keep weaseling his way into films, and I swear that he is always trying to ruin them. He was terrible, as usual.
It was delightful to see Sly and Ahnuld cracking skulls in the same movie. If you were ever a fan of their movies in the past, you won’t be able to help but like this movie.
I rate this movie an 8.5 on a scale of 1-10.
Buy, rent, or run? Buy.
Cop Land (1997)
Cop Land is the first movie that I remember hearing about where an actor or actress severely changed their weight for a part in a film. Sylvester Stallone gained 40 lbs. for his role in the movie. I remember thinking how crazy he was for doing that. 40 lbs. is a lot of weight to gain, and it is a lot more to have to lose again. Now, 16 years later, I realize that it was just Stallone’s awesome dedication to doing what he loves that allowed him to do what was necessary for his role in Cop Land.
The film is about an army of corrupt New York City cops with ties to the mob who buy themselves a chunk of New Jersey. They are virtually untouchable until the sheriff of their little “Cop Land” (Sylvester Stallone) becomes wise to their ways.
The movie was written and directed by James Mangold and the rest of the noteworthy cast includes Harvey Keitel, Robert De Niro, Ray Liotta, Robert Patrick, Peter Berg, Michael Rapaport, Annabella Sciorra, Janeane Garofalo, Noah Emmerich, Cathy Moriarty, Frank Vincent, John Spencer, Arthur J. Nascarella, Edie Falco, John Ventimiglia, Robert John Burke, Michael Gaston, Bruce Altman, Tony Sirico, Frank Pellegrino, Vincent Laresca, Victor Williams, Paul Calderon, and Malik Yoba.
They brought in all of the big guns to make this film. The cast list is so staggering that I am sure that I left someone out. You couldn’t ask for a better cast in a movie.
Because of the type of movie Cop Land is, and especially because of the cast, you can expect a lot of violence and language, but mostly, powerful performances.
Cop dramas don’t get a whole lot better than this one. Cop Land is one of those movies that gets better every time that I watch it.
It is interesting because a number of actors in the film were cast against type. Guys who usually play bad guys are now playing cops. But, it works out because some of them are corrupt. So, I guess they are just bad guys with a badge.
It is no surprise that the movie has a bit of a Goodfellas (1990) and The Sopranos feel to it, because a number of the cast members were in those shows. A couple of them were also in the film Beautiful Girls (1996).
With so many great actors in the movie, none of them really stood out over another because they were all acting on the same level.
Overall, Cop Land is a unique, underrated cop drama that packs a big bang. Like a fine wine, it gets better with age.
I rate this movie an 8 on a scale of 1-10.
Buy, rent, or run? Buy.
Grudge Match (2013)
This Christmas Sylvester Stallone will be boxing Robert De Niro in the film Grudge Match. It’s The Italian Stallion vs. The Raging Bull. That promises to be a Christmas present worth waiting for. My money is on Rocky.
The movie is about two retired boxers who come out of retirement for one final grudge match 30 years after the only time they ever fought.
The film looks basically like another Rocky film. I just want to see if the fight ends by knockout or heart attack.
The movie releases on 12/25/13.
Bullet to the Head (2012)
This is another movie that I skipped seeing in the theatre because I was uncertain that the aging main character could make the movie worth watching.
The senior action movie stars keep making movies and I think that audiences are beginning to question whether or not these old guys are just too old for the parts that they are playing. In this case, Sylvester Stallone is the main character.
I respect my elders, and these guys rule! However, if they keep making action films, I will probably keep waiting until those movies are released on DVD before I watch them. (Bruce Willis is the younger of the mentioned bunch, but can still be questionable.) There are always exceptions, but right off the bat, their old age is not working in their favor.
Stallone has had the right idea by bringing all of the old geezers together for his Expendables movies, but in this day and age, if there is one old headliner then it better be in the right movie.
All 3 movies mentioned lost a lot of money:
The Last Stand (2013) lost 18 million dollars.
A Good Day to Die Hard (2013) lost 25 million dollars.
Bullet to the Head (2012) lost 46 million dollars.
Bullet to the Head is about a ruthless hit man (Sylvester Stallone) who goes on a rampage tracking down the men responsible for the murder of his partner in crime. He is a one-man wrecking ball out for revenge. Along the way, he teams up with a cop who happens to be tracking the same people.
The film was directed by Walter Hill and the rest of the noteworthy cast includes Sung Kang, Jason Momoa, Christian Slater, Jon Seda, Sarah Shahi, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, Holt McCallany, and Brian Van Holt.
Like the title suggests, Bullet to the Head brutally gets to the point early on and the graphic violence continues throughout.
The film is fast-paced and loaded with tons of great and for the most part, believable action.
The movie very much deserves the R-rating as there is a lot of language, nudity, and very realistic blood and guts. There are in fact, many people that end up taking a bullet to the head and or the rest of their body.
As with most action movies, not all of the characters get fully developed, but the action and witty dialogue make up for what is missing.
The film accomplished what it set out to do and that was to be explosive.
Even at his age, Stallone carries himself well in perhaps his most gruesome role yet. He is a stone cold, no nonsense, sarcastically funny killer. It’s almost like he flipped a switch and became somebody else. The rest of the cast is likable, but Stallone takes over and makes it a one-man show.
Compared to The Last Stand and A Good Day to Die Hard, in my opinion, Bullet to the Head is the better film. Ironically it lost a lot more money than the other movies and it was probably the most underrated of the bunch. Stallone also gave a better performance than Bruce Willis and Arnold Schwarzenegger.
If you enjoy rooting for the bad guy, then this film is for you.
I rate this movie an 8 on a scale of 1-10.
Buy, rent or run? Buy.
Happy Birthday to Arnold Schwarzenegger!
Ahnuld turns 66 years old today.
The duo will also return for another go-round in the movie The Expendables 3 (2014).
Earlier this year Ahnuld was in The Last Stand (2013).
He will be back in Terminator 5 (2015).
Click on any of the links below to read my Arnold Schwarzenegger movie reviews:
When I think of Sylvester Stallone, I think of his characters Rocky Balboa and John Rambo. Balboa is from his 5 Rocky films, beginning with Rocky (1976) and Rambo is from his 4 Rambo movies, beginning with First Blood (1982).
In more recent years, Stallone has gathered together his fellow aging action heroes. They have all banded together to form The Expendables trilogy. The Expendables (2010) started it all. The Expendables 3 is planned to release in the summer of 2014.
It appears as if old age is not going to slow down Sylvester. He is 67 and he continues to make action films. This October he will be trying to break out of prison with Arnold Schwarzenegger in the movie Escape Plan (2013). This Christmas Stallone will be boxing Robert De Niro in the film Grudge Match (2013). The Italian Stallion vs. The Raging Bull. That promises to be a Christmas present worth waiting for. My money is on Rocky.
Click on the links below to read my Sylvester Stallone Movie Reviews:
Escape Plan (2013) (click on the title for my full review.)
Grandpa Stallone and Grandpa Schwarzenegger are both at it again. This time Sylvester plays a prison escape artist. After finding a way to break out of a number of prisons, he designed a new prison where escaping is near impossible. Of course, eventually he finds himself framed and locked up in the very prison that he created. Arnold is on the inside with him. Now Stallone must breakout in order to track down the party responsible for getting him locked up.
The movie reminds me a bit of Face/Off (1997) simply because in that film John Travolta‘s character (with Nicolas Cage‘s face) agrees to go under cover and be locked up in a high-tech prison. Eventually the only people that know he is undercover find themselves dead and he is forced to try to escape if he wants to get back to his real life.
How does 50 Cent keep getting parts in movies?
Although Stallone and Schwarzenegger are both maybe a little too ancient to be making this type of movie, I think that somehow they will pull it off. Either way, I will be there to give you my take on it.
The film is set to release on 10/18/13.
Was this perhaps the real reason why Sylvester Stallone wanted Chuck Norris to join his cast of tough guys in The Expendables 2 (2012)? Maybe he didn’t feel comfortable asking him this question unless they were on the set of a movie together.
Enter Chuck Norris joke here. Who has the best Chuck Norris joke out there? There are tons of them. Can you top this one?