A lot of analysis has been done on the increasing number of ensemble films on the marketplace. Movies like The Expendables, Valentine's Day and the upcoming Red stack the deck with stars, either to optimize NetFlix recommendations or simply to draw in the widest audience possible. The latter might be what Bruce Campbell is going for, as he plans to make a horror movie with "so many horror movie stars that people can't possibly not see the movie." Somehow, we think that people will be able to resist the siren song of Kane Hodder and Robert Englund in a sequel to My Name is Bruce, especially since it seems like most horror movies nowadays are simply there to employ washed-up horror stars (i.e. Behind the Mask, Hatchet). But the idea of applying that team-of-all-stars premise to other genres seems like it might have legs. Here are some genre-fied Expendables movies that would put butts in seats.
Is there something like the SPCA, only for action stars that maybe aren't quite as youthful as they once were? I can't help but think someone, somewhere needed to step in where The Spy Next Door is concerned and get Jackie Chan out of there. As some former knock-'em-out stars start heading toward their fifties and beyond, they try to transition into more mainstream roles. This isn't always easy, and some missteps will be made. In Chan's case, the missteps are becoming full-fledged leaps, as news come down the wire that Billy Ray Cyrus and George Lopez have just been cast to co-star with him in the comedy about mistaken identities. The two latest additions play CIA agents. The lineup, the premise... the whole thing has a "direct-to-DVD" sort of feel to it.
It's hard to believe that a few years ago, Sylvester Stallone was pretty much off the radar, playing a villain in a Spy Kids movie with his glory days largely behind him. Now, after making another Rocky movie and another Rambo movie, all of a sudden everyone wants to work with him. (Let this be a lesson to all those actors out there who don't want to be in franchises.) As previously reported, Sly has written a new action movie for himself to direct and star in, and the cast he's assembled so far -- combined with the actors he's still going after -- is mind-bogglingly awesome.
For a production company who has not made a single movie that I have seen, Nu Image/Millennium Films has managed to put together a movie that I would actually break out of prison to see. And, yes, it's Lindsey Lohan's Labor Pains. How did you guess?! Okay, it's not. What did actually hook me is the fact that the production house has managed to put together the Holy Trinity of Ass-Kicking, bringing together Sylvester Stallone, Jet Li and Jason Statham in one shiny package. The three actors will star in The Expendables, as a team of mercenaries who are sent to infiltrate a South American country and overthrow its ruthless dictator in order to liberate the population. Their team is hired to do jobs that no one else can or will. Duh-duh-DUH! The best part? The script was written by Stallone, who will also direct. I don't care how good or bad it is, I'm in.
The reign of manliness continued this week as The Expendables once again conquered the box-office, likely due to the fact that five completely different, narrowly focused movies came out this weekend, dividing up new ticket sales between them. The Switch targeted the rom-com crowd, Lottery Ticket catered to mostly urban audiences, Piranha 3D went after old-school gore-hounds, Nanny McPhee Returns took care of the kids (at least, those not scared to death of Emma Thompson's make-up) and Vampires Suck went for the jugular of teens who love Twilight, teens who hate Twilight and people who like to be hit over the head with their "comedy."
"It's a man's world, but it don't mean nothing without a woman or a nerd." I'm paraphrasing James Brown, but the men were certainly on top this weekend as approximately 500 biceps rippled across theater screens to the tune of $35 million, putting The Expendables at the top of the box-office, over Julia Roberts' return to form Eat Pray Love and Edgar Wright's hardcore geekfest Scott Pilgrim vs. the World. Looks like that call to arms worked, huh? This means there will now almost definitely be an Expendables 2, which director/star Sylvester Stallone wants to shake up the cast for. (If Mr. Stallone is looking for some casting ideas, we've raided our VHS libraries to come up with a few suggestions.)
Every man wants to be Bruce Willis, but do they all want to smell like Bruce Willis? Most of his films end with him covered with sweat, grime and blood (his and others'), and we have to imagine he has a bit of a funk to him, as well. But that's probably when Willis most needs a strong cologne, so it actually kind of makes sense that he would get his own brand. The uncreatively named "Bruce Willis" supposedly smells like grapefruit and pepper, and it's gotten us thinking about what other action stars would want their colognes to smell like. Since Willis will appear alongside pretty much every action star alive today in next month's The Expendables, we thought we'd start there. With any luck, you'll be able to buy a gift set of all nine by Christmas.
It's almost impossible not be disappointed by the experience of actually watching The Expendables. It just promises too much! It's the Snakes on a Plane of South American dictators' castles being blown to hell by everybody's childhood favorites and six tons of C-4, you know? But I still enjoyed it, even if didn't melt my face off in exactly the ways I wanted it to.