Sunday, August 15, 2010

“'The Expendables' - like a good old action film (IANS Movie Review) - Mynews India” plus 3 more

“'The Expendables' - like a good old action film (IANS Movie Review) - Mynews India” plus 3 more


'The Expendables' - like a good old action film (IANS Movie Review) - Mynews India

Posted: 15 Aug 2010 02:34 AM PDT

Movie Review: 'The Expendables' - like a good old action film

Film: 'The Expendables'; Cast: Sylvester Stallone, Jason Statham, Jet Li, Dolph Lundgren, Eric Roberts, Giselle Itie, Steve Austin; Director: Sylvester Stallone; Rating: *** and 1/2

Action movies once upon a time were all about simple emotions like love and brotherhood. 'The Expendables', acted and directed by a veteran action superstar Sylvester Stallone, is one such feel-good, simple film.

'The Expendables' are a group of mercenaries who may not have a heart of gold, but are good humans nonetheless. After being hired to overthrow the dictator of a small island, the leader Barney (Stallone) and Lee (Jason Stratham) on a reconnaissance mission run into Sandra (Giselle Itie) a beautiful woman who cares for her people.

After an attempt is made on their lives by a team member gone rouge, Barney decides to go back to the island on a simple mission, saving his own soul by helping someone without any expectation of a payment i.e. as a gift.

There are the expected explosions, car chases, hand-to-hand combat, muscles, knives, guns, grenades, goons and a never say die attitude. What more can an action fan ask for?

A veteran in both the actor and direction chair, Stallone knows how to pack his film to be the perfect action film. He manages a casting coup of sorts with his main cast. Yet, the most awe-inspiring moment for any action buff worldwide, is the scene where Stallone's arch-enemies for the action hero's seat for decades, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Bruce Wills make a guest appearance.

Seeing the three superstars in one frame, would have brought tears to many fans worldwide. It is a dream come true, albeit a little late. But as it's said - better late than never.

This scene is rife with tension, as the three stars' careers were, with each threatening the other. When Arnold refuses a job and Wills wonders why, Stallone cheekily replies, 'He wants to be president.' The obvious pun would not have been missed by many.

Yet, the perfect dream of an action fan can be completed only if Stallone manages another coup, but somehow bringing in one frame two other action stars of his time - Steven Segal and Jean Claude Van Damme. Damn, that would be something.

There is obviously a sequel. And Mickey Rourke, who plays a small, but extremely well acted and significant part, would obviously have a greater role.

'The Expendables' maybe seen as a last ditch attempt of a yesteryears action superstar who gave such lovable movie franchisee like 'Rocky' and 'Rambo' to kick-start another. And going by the looks of it, he has succeeded.

Besides, Stallone in his career has overshadowed every other action star in the simple fact that unlike them, he also donned the directors hat, with an equal share of acclaim some failure. He dared to venture where few action stars had gone before.

Yet, the strain shows on Stallone. If you watch closely in every scene where he has to run, you'll notice that it is no longer the straight, confident run of Rocky pulsating to 'Gonna Fly Now', but it is the run of a man way past his prime.

Yet, with this film, Stallone proves once again that like the character he made and that made him 'Rocky' he is not gonna give up without a good old, clean fight. He shows, that he maybe old, but he is far from being expendable. And that's what action stars are all about.

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Disney to Keep Pushing Movie Release Windows - Forbes (blog)

Posted: 10 Aug 2010 03:18 PM PDT

Aug. 10 2010 - 2:45 pm | 339 views | 0 recommendations |

By DOROTHY POMERANTZ

Logo for The Walt Disney Company

Image via Wikipedia

Despite the down economy Disney profits soared 40% in the third quarter to $1.3 billion on $10 billion in revenue.

A significant portion of that growth came from Disney's film division which posted a 30% gain in revenue to $1.6 billion thanks to films like Alice in Wonderland and Toy Story 3. For the nine months ended July 3rd, revenue at the studio was up 10% to $5 billion and operating income jumped to $590 million from $188 million for the same period a year ago.

Disney executives reiterated that they would like to use the power of those movies to try and collapse the current film windowing system. As it works now DVDs usually go on sale three to six months after a film hits theaters. The movies then show up on video on demand no more than 45 days later. After that they head to pay stations like HBO and, in Disney's case, Starz.

That system has been falling apart as some studios put their movies on demand the same day they hit video stores. Then there's Netflix's Internet streaming service which is offering more films sooner as shown by the recent deal between Epix and Netflix that will allow films from Paramount, Lionsgate and MGM to stream over the Internet three months after they are first shown on Epix's cable channel.

Disney would like to offer movies on demand closer to when they hit theaters at a premium price. Right now movies cost around $5 on demand. Executives wouldn't say what they would like to charge for newer films but it would likely be much more.

The plan worries theater owners who flew into a collective rage earlier this year when Disney announced it would release Alice in Wonderland on DVD just three months after the 3-D film hit theaters.

There could be a similar outcry if Disney follows through on plans to do the same thing with on demand. Executives on an investor call would not give any specifics on plans to start shrinking film windows but said they are "looking at more aggressive windowing and pricing."


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3D Animated Terminator movie coming - Hollywood News

Posted: 14 Aug 2010 12:26 AM PDT

We held off posting this yesterday for reasons that you will read about in just a second. It seems that Hannover House and Red Bear Entertainment are joining forces to develop Terminator 3000, a whopping $70 million 3D animated feature based on the characters and storyline of the popular franchise.

There is no word on how the story will form, or how it will follow on from Terminator Salvation, if it does at all. What we do know is that the film is targeting a January start and a PG-13 rating, so expect the violence to be toned down quite a bit.

In an update, which made us hold off on the story late yesterday is that the company that holds the rights to the franchise, have sent a cease and desist letter to Hannover House following the announcement. Deadline has the story. More at the end of the link above.

Hannover House's Eric Parkinson said that he just got his cease and desist letter, and then told Pacificor's attorneys of his proprietary rights position, and the fact that he's got backers in place to make a movie and deliver a big rights fee to Pacificor. "We've arranged a meeting, we'll show them our money and if the rational brain prevails, they'll take the deal. If not, I can't do it without them."

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Movie review: 'Other Guys' suits Ferrell - San Francisco Gate

Posted: 05 Aug 2010 04:57 PM PDT

The Other Guys

ALERT VIEWER Comedy. Directed by Adam McKay. Starring Will Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg. (PG-13. 107 minutes. At Bay Area theaters.)

Will Ferrell's character gets a little warmth from his partner in "The Other Guys."

The words come straight out of Will Ferrell's mouth, so there's no denying it. "Hey, I got a weird sense of humor. I'm a sick puppy," admits the hapless cop he plays in "The Other Guys," a Ferrellized spoof of the buddy-cop action genre.

Ferrell is one of the stranger figures currently making movies and one of the stranger figures in the history of American film. What makes him particularly strange is his enthusiastic embrace by the mainstream despite exercising a form of protracted comic absurdity that tests the boundaries of weirdness. Especially in his collaborations with director Adam McKay, Ferrell draws out his gags beyond the usual punch line toward the outer limits of man-boy eccentricity.

"The Other Guys" is a typical vehicle for Ferrell's atypical humor: Ferrell plays an idiot, in this case New York Detective Allen Gamble, who has a partner, the combustible Detective Terry Hoitz (Mark Wahlberg), best known for accidentally shooting Derek Jeter during the World Series. Allen and Terry rarely leave their desks and earn frequent abuse from their colleagues on the force, including Samuel L. Jackson and Dwayne Johnson as a pair of destructively cocky hotshots.

Then the hotshots suddenly exit the picture - in a hysterically outré scene that classifies as the steepest dive into surrealism ever attempted by either actor. From there, the screenplay (by McKay and Chris Henchy, a writer on Ferrell's altogether Dadaist "Land of the Lost") turns to the usual business for summer cop flicks: bad guys, shootouts, chase scenes.

Cameos follow, as do many jokes about Allen's hot wife, a hubba-hubba emergency room physician in the form of Eva Mendes. There are flashbacks to Allen's earlier career running a campus prostitution ring, sparking a duet, "Pimps Don't Cry."

The plot is confusingly edited and entirely beside the point, except as an excuse for long Ferrellian riffs on disparate subjects. Wahlberg pops off when required of him, and he offers a few blank stares of incomprehension that nicely exploit his gift for blandness.

Through it all, Ferrell is as Ferrell does. He's a non sequitur with frizz. In "The Other Guys" his shtick takes on an abstracted meta quality, asking us if he's funny while he's trying to make us laugh. Sit through the end credits, and you'll find one more scene posing one more iteration of the question: Does he have a sense of humor? Well, yeah. But as Allen says, he is one sick puppy.

-- Advisory: Crude and sexual content, language, violence and some drug material.

This article appeared on page E - 1 of the San Francisco Chronicle

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