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The InstantWatchables…..a Journey of Pain and Glory

2010/07/27

I think I’ve touched base before on the fact that this summer’s movie fare hosts something a little special in it’s womb…..and by ‘something special’, I naturally am referring to what I believe may be regarded as ‘the greatest goddamn idea of all-time ever’.  That’s right, it’s time to start getting excited for The Expendables.

You know how important this movie is going to be?  Let me spell this out:  I made a man date for it.  With three other dudes that miss gigantic blow-things-all-to-shit, punch-a-Russian-in-the-head-cause-the-Cold-War-ain’t-really-over, bad-one-liner-cracking, we-make-our-own-rules-cause-the-world-needs-saving action movies.  In case you hadn’t noticed, with the exception of Live Free or Die Hard they stopped making those about fifteen years ago, and I miss them fiercely.

The spearhead of this probable masterpiece is Sylvester Stallone, who god bless him, has kept trying to keep the genre alive with little success the whole time.  Did you see Rambo (IV)?   That’s okay, neither did anybody else, but it was pretty damn good.  So Sly went back to the war chest and pulled out this jim-dandy of an idea.

What I know it’s not:  An All-Star Game.  First off, if they really wanted to make the mother of all insanely-beautiful-in-casting action films, Kurt Russell would have been the first guy called.  Jean-Claude Van Damme isn’t going to be there either, and Steven Seagal must have been too busy boring graffiti artists to death with Eastern wisdom in the French Quarter to make the flight. There’s not even a Wesley Snipes cameo. 

That’s okay.  That’s why sequels were invented.  Hell, Stallone himself is almost singularly responsible for just slapping 2’s and 3’s and 5’s on the end of anything….patience.  And don’t be fooled by the marketing that throws ‘Willis’ and ‘Schwarzenegger’ at you in glorious three-dimensional typeface – that’s just a ruse.  They’re both in one scene together, and I’m pretty sure nothing blows up in it.  Again, that’s okay.  Just getting the three of them together for a five-minute smirking and ball-busting contest is good enough for now.

What I do expect it to be:  Big.  Stupid.  Completely fun.  And hopefully, a kicking down of the door that was installed that blurred ‘CGI’ with the word ‘action’.  Those are two different things.  I love The Matrix to this day, but Keanu Reeves is not an action star.

You know who is though?  Dwayne Johnson.  But because we as a society stopped seeing action pics before he came around, he’s stuck doing family films.  Let’s free the Rock to do what he was born to do.  And what he was born to do, in case you haven’t been following, is remake Tango and Cash with Stone Cold Steve Austin already.

So in anticipation of August 13th, a day that will usher in the rebirth of a classic and decidedly American film genre, I’m going to take on a noble goal, in order to re-acquaint both myself and you with the genre.  I’m going to use the weapon God gave me for good.  I’m going Expendables Extravaganza all up in Netflix’s grill.  I’m going to spend the next two and a half weeks watching movies starring each one of the stars of the pic, and bringing the results to you….because when it comes to half-to-mostly-forgotten action stars, there’s no more glorious home than Instant Watch.

A couple of exceptions:  Charisma Carpenter is in Expendables.  However, she is not in a lot of other movies.  None, on Instant Watch, to be exact.  However, I have been watching Buffy The Vampire Slayer from the very beginning on through for the last three months, so I will say this:  if you’ve never watched that series, as I hadn’t, get on the stick.  It’s phenomenal, and Charisma, after a suck season one, is a highlight of seasons two and three.  Then she moves onto Angel, which I haven’t gotten to yet.  Regardless, she’s pretty and she’s funny.  Enjoy her.

Second – I’m not watching anything by Willis or Schwarzenegger.  Because I already have, many times over, and their quick appearance in the new movie doesn’t warrant the research time.  Guess what?  Willis is great in all the Die Hards, even the two that kinda blow, and he’s best in Unbreakable, which is kinda an action movie.  Arnie was The Terminator, but for my money Total Recall and The Running Man were way more enjoyable…though T3 was much better than it had any right to be.

Third – There’s a guy named ‘Frank Zayas’ in this – I guess he’s on Dexter.  What he hasn’t been on is ‘my radar from any awesome action flicks’ so fuck talking about him.  In his picture, he looks a lot like Powers Boothe.  I will take that as all I need to know to say ‘he’s the head bad guy, and he will be murdered by Stallone twice in a row: once by a horribly written pun, immediately followed by a broken whiskey bottle or possibly a coat rack’.  I’m guessing they thought they were hiring Powers Boothe, since nobody’s seen him in twenty years  and this guy looks now like what Boothe did then.  Too bad for Robert Davi, who I’m sure was their second choice.

I spent last night sifting through the silt that lines the murky bottom of the Netflix Instant ocean, and I’ve made my selections.  It should be noted that whenever possible, I chose ‘films’ that I hadn’t seen, or didn’t remember seeing because of those six years I was drunk all the time.  For your previewing pleasure:

‘Stone Cold’ Steve Austin – Outside of The Rock, nobody’s destiny has been stifled more than The Texas Rattlesnake’s has.  Steve is good at one thing:  being a bad-ass.  Hell, he nearly single-handedly carried the WWE on his shoulders for two years until Dwayne got into the action, and it’s because of this trait.  Unfortunately, his lack of Dwayne’s range has hurt his Hollywood career, and I think I want The Expendables to succeed insanely mostly so Austin gets a few high-budget gigs before he’s all done, and he’s perfect for that kind of part.  His first effort, The Condemned, was pretty decent – albeit not as good as Ice-T’s Surviving The Game, which was pretty much the same movie made ten years earlier.  Unfortunate:  Steve has three major film credits, none on Instant Watch.  Fortunate:  I used traditional Netflix to get The Stranger, his direct-to-DVD release from a couple of months ago.  Already watched it tonight.  This will be our first step….

Sylvester Stallone – there’s a lot of Stallone on Instant Watch, and while part of me wanted to validate my ‘he never stopped trying’ theory with a re-watch of Eye See You (also called D-Tox – and really, how could they choose between the two?) from 2002, I choose instead to go with one I never watched: Get Carter from 2000.  I could count this as two, since Rourke is also in it, but that would be cheating.  Plus, Rourke should be in everything anyway.

Jet Li – Incomprehensibly, there is very little Jet Li currently available on Instant Watch.  I’m sure that will change in a month, it always does, but there’s exactly ONE Jet Li movie currently available, and he’s not even the star….no, instead of Fist of Legend or Black Mask or even Cradle 2 the Grave, I’m stuck with Lethal Weapon 4.  That’s okay though, I don’t think I ever watched that.  Probably for good reason, but nobody said this was going to be easy.

Randy Couture – is an MMA guy, which I’m not big on.  Doesn’t matter.  If I want The Rock and Stone Cold to be action stars, we’re going to need some second tier guys, and there’s no reason Couture can’t be the new generation’s Michael Dudikoff.  Surprisingly, he is on IW in one of his three feature films, The Scorpion King II:  Rise of a Warrior.  Maybe this whole thing isn’t such a great idea…

Mickey Rourke – There’s a LOT of Mickey Rourke on this boat, but considering I’ll likely need a palate cleanser after Couture, I’m going way back.  Motorcycle Boy….I’m going with Rumble Fish for the first time in twenty years, easily.

Dolph Lundgren – Apparently, somebody financed an action movie in 200-freaking-7 for Lundgren to star in.  There’s no way that didn’t win.  Hello, Diamond Dogs!

Jason Statham – As recently as a month ago, two of the Transporter movies and one of the Cranks were available – alas, ’tis the brutality of Netflix, for they are now passed on.  Very little Statham this month…but the one that is there makes up for the lack of selection.  Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels it is!

Terry Crews – Crews is not so much a former action star as he is ‘someone I’m happy to see in anything’.  He’s kind of like a modern-day Carl Weathers – if he’s there, I feel a little better (I’m not entirely positive that whatever role Crews plays in Expendables wasn’t originally named ‘The Part for Carl Weathers’ in the first place, btw, but then someone realized that Action Jackson is 63, and Sly’s gonna be the only 60 year old beating some ass in this one, thank you.  Except for Dolph.  And Rourke). I was kind of hoping for Terry’s turn as a former-pro-wrestler-turned-President-of-the-United-States in Idiocracy, but no dice.  Instead, it’s going to be something I never heard of until yesterday, a little flick called How to Rob a Bank, starring Nick Stahl and Gavin Rossdale, the former lead singer of Bush.  Yes, I know I just typed that.  In fact, I’d think this is the one I’m most looking forward to. I mean I would think that if it weren’t for….

Eric Roberts – Eric Roberts is the king of every range.  He can be in the shittiest TV movie to The Dark Knight to…well, The Pope of Greenwich Village back in the day with Rourke, and he’s always awesome.  In fact, I would go so far to say that if Rourke can’t be in every movie, then Roberts should get to be in all the ones Mickey isn’t, and we’d have a better world.  There are a phenomenal amount of ER selections on the Netflix Instant, it was actually hard to choose.  93’s Best of the Best 2?  Modern classic.  But I’ve seen it  a bunch of times, so it’s out.  The 2010 (yep, already streaming!) political thriller Enemies Among Us? Eh, Billy Zane also stars, and watching him makes me uncomfortable because he usually looks and acts like a probable child molester. IntoxicatingOne Way? There’s just too many choic- AH!  Here it is. 2008’s Deadly Honeymoon – a touching story about a couple on a honeymoon where everyone around them starts to die.  Co-starring Roy Scheider, Daryl Hannah and Tia Carrere.  Perfect.

Wish me luck.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. Relish Rickles permalink
    2010/08/08 10:29 am

    Wings Hauser? Rutger Hauer?

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