My Favorite Movie Experiences Of 2019 – Quick Hits Part 2

Yesterday I knocked out eight or so quick hits of movies I enjoyed in 2019. I should have mentioned in that first post that I’m talking about movies I watched in that year, not necesarily movies that came out in said year. If that were the case, I probably wouldn’t have much to write about as someone who mainly gets their entertainment from Netflix (digital AND disc, like an O.G.), Amazon Video, the library and Hulu! Let’s get back to it!

Continue reading My Favorite Movie Experiences Of 2019 – Quick Hits Part 2

Machete Kills Ramps Up With Clips & Posters Before Debut

After this week we probably won’t hear too much more about Machete Kills because the film debuts this Friday. Before we can start lining up for our tickets, though, director Robert Rodriguez and company have a number of new trailers, clips and posters for us to check out. 

Above you’ve got a nice little Sofia Vergara-specific mini-trailer, while below you’ll find an incredibly NSFW clip of her talking to her loyal army of prostitutes. 

Michelle Rodriguez and Lady Gaga also got in on the short trailer action:

If you prefer your looks at ladies a little more static, then feast your eyes on the latest character poster, this one featuring Alexa Vega’s Killjoy. machete-kills-poster-alexa-vega

And finally, here’s Robert Rodriguez and the cast talking about the network of actors he’s amassed throughout his career. 

If you’re still not interested in Machete Kills, which opens this Friday, you’re pretty much a lost cause. 

More Machete Kills Reveals For Your Weekend Enjoyment

Of course, just as soon as we posted about the most recent clips from Machete Kills yesterday we did some more looking around and found even more clips and some brand new images. But, since we don’t want to overload you with Robert Rodriguez and Danny Trejo craziness, we figured saving some specialness for the weekend would make sense. Above you can see Amber Heard playing Q to Machete’s James Bond as she sets him up with an arsenal of weapons. Meanwhile, below, check out 10 new images from the film featuring Trejo, Heard, Michelle Rodriguez, Antonio Banderas, Alexa Vega, Sofia Vergara and more, many of which look like shots from scenes we’ve already seen in various forms.

Machete Kills opens October 11th.

The Expendables 3 Official Synopsis Goes Old & New School

expendables 2 stallon crews stathamWanna know what’s really up with The Expendables 3? Check out the official press release from LionsGate and Millennium Films:

LIONSGATE AND MILLENNIUM FILMS COMMENCE

PRINCIPAL PHOTOGRAPHY ON ‘THE EXPENDABLES 3

Lionsgate Will Distribute Action Thriller on August 15, 2014 in North America and the UK

SANTA MONICA, CA (August 19, 2013) – Lionsgate (NYSE: LGF) and Millennium Films will begin principal photography today on THE EXPENDABLES 3, the third installment of THE EXPENDABLES action-thriller franchise, with production shooting on location in Bulgaria and at Nu Boyana Studios in Sofia.

THE EXPENDABLES 3 will feature Sylvester Stallone, Jason Statham, Jet Li, Dolph Lundgren, Randy Couture, Terry Crews and Arnold Schwarzenegger returning to their roles in the first two films with Wesley Snipes, Antonio Banderas, Mel Gibson and Harrison Ford joining the all-star cast along with Kellan Lutz, MMA star Ronda Rousey, welterweight boxing champion Victor Ortiz and Glen Powell.

Patrick Hughes (RED HILL) will direct the film, with veteran Dan Bradley (The BOURNE franchise; MISSION IMPOSSIBLE: GHOST PROTOCOL, QUANTUM OF SOLACE) directing the second unit.  THE EXPENDABLES 3 is written by Creighton Rothenberger & Katrin Benedikt, who previously teamed on OLYMPUS HAS FALLEN, and Sylvester Stallone. Avi Lerner, Kevin King-Templeton, Danny Lerner and Les Weldon are producing THE EXPENDABLES 3.  Trevor Short, Boaz Davidson and John Thompson are executive producing. Lionsgate will release THE EXPENDABLES 3 in North America and the UK on August 15, 2014.

In THE EXPENDABLES 3, Barney (Stallone), Christmas (Statham) and the rest of the team comes face-to-face with Conrad Stonebanks (Gibson), who years ago co-founded The Expendables with Barney. Stonebanks subsequently became a ruthless arms trader and someone who Barney was forced to kill… or so he thought. Stonebanks, who eluded death once before, now is making it his mission to end The Expendables — but Barney has other plans. Barney decides that he has to fight old blood with new blood, and brings in a new era of Expendables team members, recruiting individuals who are younger, faster and more tech-savvy. The latest mission becomes a clash of classic old-school style versus high-tech expertise in the Expendables’ most personal battle yet.

The production will be overseen by Lionsgate’s Jason Constantine and Eda Kowan.

The first two installments of THE EXPENDABLES have grossed nearly $600 million in combined global box office.

It’s cool to finally have a story for the second sequel in the franchise. Note that a few names have been left out of the release like Jackie Chan, Nic Cage, Milla Jovovich and Mickey Rourke. It’s possible those roles just couldn’t be worked out or that they’re being held in reserve for a later announcement.

[via Collider]

The Expendables 3 Enlists Antonio Banderas & Mel Gibson

After months and months of speculation about The Expendables 3 casting, we’re finally getting some more concrete names attached to the action star jamboree that’s supposed to shoot this fall.  Earlier this week we wrote about Expendables creator Sylvester Stallone heading to Twitter to announce that Harrison Ford would be replacing Bruce Willis in the third installment, a decision that apparently had to do with Willis wanting an extra million to film for four days.

Stallone has been radio silent on Twitter since supposedly calling Willis greedy and lazy, but his people did talk to TheWrap, confirming one long-rumored player and announcing another. The site reported that Mel Gibson has officially signed on to play opposite Stallone and also noted that Antonio Banderas — Sly’s Assassins co-star and one of Robert Rodriguez’s go-to guys — will be joining in on the festivities.

The core Expendables team of Stallone, Jason Statham, Jet Li, Dolph Lundgren, Terry Crews and Randy Couture are expected to return as is Arnold Schwarzenegger who has appeared in both films. Mickey Rourke’s Tool is also rumored to come back after not appearing in the second film. Jackie Chan, Milla Jovovich, Wesley Snipes and Steven Seagal have all been talked about as have real life fighters Ronda Rousey and Victor Ortiz. Co-written by Stallone and directed by Red Hill‘s Patrick Houghes, Expendables 3 is schedule to hit theaters on August 15, 2014.

Kurtzman and Orci’s The Legend of Zorro (2005)

Leave it to fate to present me with one of the few movies written by Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci that I haven’t seen after writing a post about them.

Usually I don’t like to watch movies I haven’t seen before on TV, but I’m guessing there weren’t a lot of scenes cut out of The Legend of Zorror for TBS on Saturday. I did have to suffer through two hosts who annoyed the crap out of me. Why do networks find it necesarry to put people like this on as hosts of a movie? Even if the movie is sponsored by someone specific (in this case San Diego’s Sea World), just show a bunch of extra commercials or videos of Shamoo launching people through the air. If they’re not going to add anything to the movie (like Dave Holmes does), then skip it.

Anyway, rant aside, I remember liking the original 1998 Mask of Zorro quite a bit, especially the legacy aspect of the hero (I’m a sucker for that). The funny thing is that I don’t even remember this movie coming out. Ah well. We catch up with Zorro who’s been married to Catherine Zeta-Jones for 10 years and they have a kid, so he gave up being Zorro (or maybe just for a short time, I’m not completely clear on that as I missed the first 10-15 minutes). Anyway, he gets pushed to far and finally gets to Zorro some dudes and it’s awesome.

The sword fights are cool, there’s explosions and fireworks, Antonio Banderas is awesome as always, Catherine Zeta-Jones is super pretty and also kicks some ass, the kid is pretty good at kicking ass himself AND Michael Emerson (that’s right, Ben from Lost), is in it. This is the only thing I know that I’ve seen him in after seeing him on Lost and he’s good in this too. The movie’s directed by Marin Campbell who also did Goldeneye and Casino Royale and is, as of now, slated to direct the Green Lantern movie I am really looking forward to. Like Rush Hour 3, it’s a great popcorn movie and I will make a point of watching it again if I stumble across it on TV again. Once again, well done Kurtzman and Orci, your record remains untarnished (I should really give Mission Impossible III another watch, it’s just so hard buying Phillip Seymour Hoffman as a villain!).

Weekend Roundup

2008-11-10
5:12:26 pm

Wow, what a weekend. It was kind of busy with a wedding and both my football teams losing, but I was also able to squeeze in far more movies than I should have.

On Friday, Em went to bed early, so I ran up to Blockbuster and did a trade in for a double feature of Robert Rodriguez’s El Mariachi (1992) and Desperado (1995). I’d seen Desperado and Once Upon a Time in Mexico before, but had never seen the original piece of the Mexico Trilogy, plus I’m a sucked for a 2-for1 and traded it in. I did not know that Mariachi is completely in Spanish and it seems as though the version I had rented didn’t have an English dub, but it did have an awesome commentary by Rodriguez. So I listened to that and put subtitles on and enjoyed the heck out of myself. Turns out he made the movie for $7,000 and most of that cost went towards film. He worked with mostly no crew and local people who’d never acted before. And while I can’t understand what they’re saying on screen, they really seemed natural. Rodriguez gives a play by play of how he did everything on screen which is super informative and then, in the special features, offers up a segment called “10 Minute Film School” showcasing how he did some of the more complex stunts and basic stuff like shooting scenes with editing in mind. I’ve never been to film school, but I feel like I got a heck of an education from just listening to the commentary. It was worth the rental for the feeling of “heck, I can do this too.” Who wants to make a movie with me?

So, I was pretty hyped up after Mariachi and put Desperado on immediately after. It definitely looks and feels like a different animal with it’s slicker look, bigger actors and crazier action sequences, but Rodriguez maintains the feel of the original which is impressive. This time Antonio Banderas plays El Mariachi and Salma Hayek plays his love interest. You’ve also got Quentin Tarantino, Cheech Marin, Steve Buscemi and Danny Trejo (my personal favorite interviewee so far). What stuck in my head from my previous viewing of Desperado was how bad ass it was. And that still holds up as Banderas leaps around shooting dudes from all kinds of awesome camera angles. I also love how cool the guitar case full of weapons is. It’s like Rodney Dangerfield’s golf bag from Caddyshack 2! Anyway, I also really dug the final scene where Mariachi calls in his boys who also have guitar cases concealing weapons (machine guns and a rocket launcher!). It’s an awesome revenge story with tons of action and plenty of bad ass characters walking around looking bad ass, but none as bad ass as Mariachi. BAM!

After that I was pretty exhausted (it was 3AM), so I went to bed. The next day Em took a nap in the afternoon and I started tinkering with my VCR and actually got the dumb thing to start working again which meant I could watch some of the tapes I’ve picked up at work and garage sales lately. So I popped Don’t Answer the Phone (1980) on. It wasn’t very good. The story follows a serial killer as he calls in to a radio psychologist and taunts her. The video tape quality added to the atmosphere of the film, but it was overall just kind of uncomfortable and I didn’t even both finishing it. What I did find interesting was the fact that we as the audience spent a good deal of time with the killer even when he wasn’t killing. We see him walking along the street and calling into the radio show. I’ve often thought it would be interesting to see a slasher movie done like this, where you really get to see things from the killer’s perspective. If Don’t Answer the Phone is any indicator, maybe it’s not such a good idea.

After giving up on that flick, I still had a little more time, so I popped in F/X2 (1991), which is a tape I grabbed from Em’s parents when they were cleaning out all the tapes. They used to own a video store back in the day, so I can only assume it’s a leftover from those days (how I wish I was around when they were getting rid of their boxes and boxes of movies!). I actually thought F/X2 was a horror movie, so I was confused when I couldn’t find it in my Creature Features book. It turns out that it’s more of an action thriller than a horror movie, though. Bryan Brown (Cocktail!) stars as a Hollywood effects man who gave up the game after the events of the first movie (which I haven’t seen). This time, the woman he’s dating’s ex husband asks him to help out with a case (making him look like a woman), but it turns out that the ex gets killed and Bryan stumbles upon a much bigger plot involving cops killing cops, mobsters and the Vatican. Bryan calls in his buddy from the previous flick Brian Dennehy and now they’re on the case. It’s a fairly standard plot from here, but what I really liked about the movie is how Brown uses his crazy special effects talents to go after the bad guys. At one point, a dude breaks into his house to kill him, but Brown’s able to slip into this motion control suit that coincides with a robot clown, so anything Brown does, the clown does. Then there’s this amazingly hilarious fight scene with Brown and the clown vs. the assassin. There’s also all kinds of craziness at the end. Definitely worth checking out if you want to see the kind of movie that will never get made nowadays, one with a sense of humor about itself, but also takes itself seriously.

The aforementioned wedding interrupted my movie watching (it’s okay, I forgive them). On Sunday, I caught part of Bad Boys II (2003) on TV and you know what? That movie’s awesome. I think Michael Bay gets a bad rap. I don’t know much about the guy aside from what he puts on the screen, but I definitely appreciate his love of big crazy movies with lots of action and explosions. Some people call him a hack for that, but I don’t buy it. I’ve liked Armageddon, The Rock, Bad Boys I and II (though definitely II better) and Transformers. I haven’t seen The Island yet and I didn’t really like Pearl Harbor at the time, but would definitely give it another shot. I didn’t get to see the entirety of BBII (I’ve seen it before though) and man, there are some awesome scenes in there. The 360 degree scene of Will Smith on one side of a room and dudes with machine guns on the other. The chase scene where the bad guys throw cars at them. You can’t beat that kind of stuff. And, I didn’t get to see it this time, but the absolute disregard for human life while driving through Cuban homes! This is what movies used to be like back in the 70s and 80s and it’s awesome to see that again. (NOTE: I in no way support the ACTUAL disregard of human life in Cuba, just in the movies!) Also, I forgot how cool Will Smith can be when he wants to (and when the camera angels make him look so). There were a lot of fun similarities between how Rodriguez shot Banderas and how Bay shot Smith. Fun stuff.

Finally, I ended my weekend movie watching with the original When A Stranger Calls (1979). I’ve got a bit of a history with the remake. My first year here in New York, before I got married, I didn’t really have a lot going on, so on my birthday Rickey, Ben and I (sorry if I forgot anyone else, my memory’s fuzzy at best) I thought it would be awesome to go see a horror movie (Em was still in New Hampshire). WASC had just come out and Rickey and I had just seen the main girl, Camilla Belle, in Chumscrubber and had school boy crushes on her so it seemed like a great idea. It was not and I still get reminded of how bad of a movie it was. Soon after, I looked the original up in Creature Features to find out that the original actually split it’s time between the babysitter getting terrorized story and then a seven years later story when the killer breaks out of an asylum. No wonder it felt like it was way too drawn out.

So, last night I finally watched the original and was even more surprised to find out that the babysitter portion only takes up about 15 minutes of screen time! Oh remake people, you’re so crazy. Anyway, it’s a pretty effective movie, the babysitter stuff in the beginning is definitely creepy and spawned the line “The call is coming from inside the house.” You’ve also got a pretty creepy killer, he killed the kids she was babysitting in their bedrooms with his bare hands while she was downstairs. After the 7 year jump we end up splitting our time between the escaped killer as he wanders around New York trying to hit on (or kill?) some woman and the private detective who’s on his trail. Here’s another movie where we get to see things from the killer’s perspective for a significant part of the movie. I’m not sure if we’re supposed to feel sorry for him or what, which adds to my not loving this movie, but eventually he finds the babysitter, who now has two kids and a husband and starts screwing with her again. There are some creepy moments and the killer definitely walks the line between total creep and somewhat not-hateable. It’s not a great movie, but definitely not as bad as the remake, though this kind of makes me want to watch it again. Somebody stop me…