Escape to the Movies: The Expendables

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Wow. You know, normally I agree with MovieBob's opinion, but I think he's being way too critical. Is the Expendables going to be movie of the year? Hell no. It was just trying to be dumb fun and it succeeded at that. There were definitely some cool, fist-pumping moments (the airplane attack and auto-shotgun being my favorites), and really, those are the reasons we go see action movies.

Actually, I thought the Expendables was decent because I went into it expecting mindless killing...also, you overhyped Scott Pilgrim waaaaay too much moviebob, sorry.

Wow, MovieBob sounds pretty pathetic here... Does he really think Scott Pilgrim is the most important film of this decade? I saw both the Expendables and Scott Pilgrim, I didnt even make it through half way of Scott Pilgrim before I left the theater in disgust.

Yeah, The Expendables is not a deep movie, doesnt have much of any real story line, but there was explosions, guys getting blown away, and the loudest fucking shotgun Ive ever heard. I want a film that I can enjoy, and the expendables is that film. Scott Pilgrim, I felt embaressed for buying the ticket; I watched MovieBob's review of Scott Pilgrim again, and cant beleave I easted $8.25 on that piece of shit.

Good thing I rarly relie on reviewer's opinions for my entertainment.

*Edit*

Forgot to add, I went into the Expendables with the idea that it was dumb, mindless fun, as thats what I feel entertianment should be, fun. If I have to look and analyse every scene in order to understand what the fuck is happening and why, I loose patients with the movie. I have very simple tastes with movies, I like to use that time to enjoy myself, I spend the rest of my life analysing and using theory and all else, Im tried of doing that...

Jesus MB, you sure pissed off a lot of the herd this week. Good on ya

I saw this yesterday... and yea, I have to agree, it was meh. I mean, I had nothing better to do for 2 hours, hence my going to see it, but I wish Scott Pilgrim had been out in UK cinemas by now instead, I'd have seen that instead.

Jason Statham was easily the best acter in this movie, since he was the only one with any sort of character at all really, but I wish Bruce Willis had been in it more, because out of the entire cast, he's the one I only REALLY like (though Jet Li in Hero was awesome).

Ok, just to cut movie bob some slack, I'm in a similar situation as he is, I work in a cinema, like Bob I'm going to see almost every movie that comes out during the year. When you see enough bad movies you're tolerance for bad movies gets considerably lower. I've only seen about the first ten minutes of this movie in context, the rest was just various scenes that I caught while sticking my head in but because this isn't exactly a movie carried by narrative I doubt I missed much but honestly it looked awful. People kept telling me how great the action was until I pointed out that at the shoot out at the start (well I say shoot out but Statham throws knives because, I don't know maybe it's that he doesn't like accuracy, or maybe it's that because a gun can be reloaded rather just one use then you've lost it it's far more convenient than carrying around shit loads of knives or perhaps it's just that pulling a knife and throwing it takes longer and doesn't have the same acceleration as a bullet) you can't actually see anything cool happen. It's essentially just watching a bunch of guys fall down. Or the bit that followed when Li attacked Dolph from behind because Dolph was going to hang the pirate it was all just dark, close up and shaky cam. People saw the action they wanted to see even though it wasn't really there. This isn't bad because it's an action film. It's bad because it's a bad action film.

Pugiron:
LOL A gay hipster with delusions he is an art critic did not like an action movie? NO WAY!!! Hey, it was stupid, loud fun. For a guy that thinks all movies have to be pretentious, they don't want or need you to like it. They laugh all the way to the bank and audiences cheer. Thats why the movie did so much better than Movie Bob's Love Intrest Vs The World.

Except Bob liked the A-Team so what you just said makes no sense. Hey, ignoring the facts and bigotry, are you a Ted Nugent fan?

The only thing missing from this review was a mention of Kick-ass as an example of an action movie with blood, characters, comedy, drama, and all that old-fashioned stuff no one seems to care about any more. Nonetheless, you have finally redeemed yourself for that Splice review.

Who'd have thought Stallone would still be a movie star in 2010? How fucked up is that?

Wow MovieBob, you've been striking out with me this summer. I think you got confused, as this review is what you should have said about Predators, which was a boring, piece of shit movie that had no action, no gore, and just sucked. But you talked about how much fun and shit it was. That movie was terrible.

Meanwhile, this movie was a lot of fun. Stallone was Stallone, Statham was much better in this than either of the Crank movies. Jet Li was entertaining, Rourke stole the show, and there was tons of shooting and excitement. I enjoyed it immensely. And every criticism you leveled against this movie is what I thought of Predators.

But fine, I'll go see Scott Pilgrim too, even though I didn't like the comics and I think it looks silly.

Wow. He really hates this movie. At least Scott Pilgrim vs. The World is good. Too bad what he said about the top # of movies was true. Scott Pilgrim deserves better than 5th and I don't care about Eat Pray and Love.

I've never been a fan of old-school action films. After all, I'm a child of the 90's, and I grew up with Terminator 2: an action movie that actually meant something and made you think. This translated into films like The Matrix, The Borne films, and the Dark Knight. The closest I could go to a dumb action film was a now forgotten Denzel Washington film called Man on Fire, and it's worth it to see a former CIA assassin who's gazed into the abyss rip into the cartel. I love the 90's because it was a transition period: from the machisimo of the 80's to the engaging and relative intellectualism in today's pop culture.

Let's face it: there's more 80's nostalgics and douchebags out there then fans of comics, anime, and games. If the past decade was the age of the geek, the current decade is a reemergence of the age of the jock. The 80's were dark times for us geeks because this was a time when the nation actively celebrated brawn over brain. The Expendables is just a symptom of the larger problem: the jocks are getting skittish and feeling threatened by the geeks who've dominated pop culture for the past 20 years and they now want to take it back by force. And it's not just pop culture: it's politics as well.

Fellow geeks: we're on the advent of a second age of the jock. This doesn't have to be a bad thing: every decade has an ebb and flow between the two, but this age looks like a particularly aggressive one at that. Enjoy the relative social acceptance while it lasts, because it won't be long 'till our geek hobbies (anime, video games, comics, etc.) will be pushed back into the dark as socially inept hobbies while athleticism and other such activities will be celebrated.

Aw, he's just pissed about Pilgrim getting 5th in the box office and he's taking it out on the Expendables. It's like watching a drunk father come home after losing at the horse tracks and takes his anger out on the kids. Although I will admit Scott Pilgrim was the superior movie. Complain all you want, but with the home entertainments we have these days, going to the movies is only necessary for the big spectacle, the experience that you just can't get when you watch the same movie at home.

First time in a long time i've disagreed w/ you Bob.
At the very least "not a single memorable kill" is a bunch of bullcrap.
Remember(or not) during the palace basement ambush, Li and Statham beat the crap out of the bad guy whos like 3rd in command or something, and they knock him to his knees, then Li does an axe-kick and breaks his neck backwards? Remember that? Do ya? Do ya?

I know the whole theatre did when I saw it. [insert applause here]

Mordwyl:
Face the facts, it's an all-star action movie versus a niche title with a despised actor.

The outcome was never really in doubt.

I agree. I almost went to see Scott Pilgrim, but I cannot stand Michael Cera. He is unfunny and one-note, and it's not a fun note to watch. The Expendables was not particularly good in the sense that it'll be talked about come awards season, but it was entertaining to me. Jet Li is pretty underused, which made my soul cry a little, but overall I came out of the theatre happy with what I saw. People were punched and stuff blew up, and that's what I paid for.

I wasn't going to watch this before now, but now I'm going to just to spite the gigantic heap of butthurt this review was. Maybe it really is that bad, but I haven't a fuck to give.

RatGouf:

Off-Topic & final thought for now.
If any movie should be considered "This Years District 9" so far that would have to go to Daybreakers.

What? Daybreakers came out in the same year as District 9. And it was an awful movie.

Damn a lot of people taking the video rather personally.

/pat

I'm also enjoying the few people actually making specifics on non memorable death scenes not being sure who was killed.

Manicotti:
Best nerdrage I've ever seen, and completely justified IMO. Running movies on the fame of the cast is a money-grubbing suicide mission that works horrifically well, and it doesn't sound like this turned out any different. It's honestly depressing that a genuinely good story like Scott Pilgrim will end up fiscally forgotten because the majority of the audience can't tell the difference between geek culture and geek motif.

I'll probably end up seeing it anyway so I can compare it to A-Team, but at least I know what to look out for.

When was the last time you saw a big budget film without an A-Lister or nothing but A-listers to draw in audiences. would Inception have just as well with an unknown in the lead instead of Dicaprio. A-listers get the roles because they can guarantee box office receipts. I went to see the Expendables because I don't give a damn if they make a movie catering to geek and game culture because I don't give a damn about geek and game culture. Hell, most videoegames revolve around guys with biceps bigger than their heads shooting impoverished minorities while things blow up so Expendables is more like a game world than Scott Pilgrim.

You watch Expendables because you don't go to the movies every week but you want to kill two hours enjoying AC and popcorn and not need a notepad to know what the hell is going on or watch actors you don't like act with imaginary objects that will be put in during post work.

I would have at least hoped Pilgrim would have gone to second or third, not fifth. Even I liked that movie, and I don't like artsy, pretentious movies.

OT: Good review. I would have wanted to see this movie if it was pulled off right (or if it had Reb Drown in it. Anything with Reb Brown in it is going to be so bad it's hilarious), but, sadly, it ends up just being a stupid movie that caters to people who can't believe that the eighties died nearly twenty years ago.

JourneyThroughHell:

Just Craig:
It's a condescending film that sells itself solely by going "Hey look, we've got 'em all! All the stars of the classic action films! That's all you dumb bastards care about anyway! Now buy a ticket!"

How is it condescending if people are genuinely enjoying it and buying tickets? I hate to bring up one of my least favorite movies but if the Expendables is condescending, so is Avatar, the movie that was all about the "pretty pictures".

You'd be surprised at how much condescention flies right over people's heads in real life conversation, nevermind marketing.
And I would agree that Avatar was about pretty pictures. C'mon, look at just the design of the alien race as opposed to, say, District 9. The blue kitten people were specifically designed to be appealing and promote symapthy for them.
Oh yeah, and what about the whole 3-D thing...?

I liked it :(

wildcard9:
I've never been a fan of old-school action films. After all, I'm a child of the 90's, and I grew up with Terminator 2: an action movie that actually meant something and made you think. This translated into films like The Matrix, The Borne films, and the Dark Knight. The closest I could go to a dumb action film was a now forgotten Denzel Washington film called Man on Fire, and it's worth it to see a former CIA assassin who's gazed into the abyss rip into the cartel. I love the 90's because it was a transition period: from the machisimo of the 80's to the engaging and relative intellectualism in today's pop culture.

Let's face it: there's more 80's nostalgics and douchebags out there then fans of comics, anime, and games. If the past decade was the age of the geek, the current decade is a reemergence of the age of the jock. The 80's were dark times for us geeks because this was a time when the nation actively celebrated brawn over brain. The Expendables is just a symptom of the larger problem: the jocks are getting skittish and feeling threatened by the geeks who've dominated pop culture for the past 20 years and they now want to take it back by force. And it's not just pop culture: it's politics as well.

Fellow geeks: we're on the advent of a second age of the jock. This doesn't have to be a bad thing: every decade has an ebb and flow between the two, but this age looks like a particularly aggressive one at that. Enjoy the relative social acceptance while it lasts, because it won't be long 'till our geek hobbies (anime, video games, comics, etc.) will be pushed back into the dark as socially inept hobbies while athleticism and other such activities will be celebrated.

What the fuck are you talking about?

You do realize that the majority of the people that like 80s action films are nerds?

Of course not. You are in that mindset that nerds only like sci-fi and obscurity, and anything that doesn't feature video game references or pseudo-science talk isn't meant for us.

Dragon-Byte:
First time in a long time i've disagreed w/ you Bob.
At the very least "not a single memorable kill" is a bunch of bullcrap.
Remember(or not) during the palace basement ambush, Li and Statham beat the crap out of the bad guy whos like 3rd in command or something, and they knock him to his knees, then Li does an axe-kick and breaks his neck backwards? Remember that? Do ya? Do ya?

I know the whole theatre did when I saw it. [insert applause here]

Or when Crews breaks out the AA-? Fun times.

SamStar42:
Look, Bob. I've defended you more than I need have, you're probably one of my favourite movie critics but please, for the love of God, accept that not every movie has to be this artistic piece, with amazing acting, original set pieces and have an important message behind them. Some movies are just meant to be enjoyable to sit through. Salt was this and you appeared to like that even if there were two reasons attached to Jolie that probably helped your opinion along the way.

And please, stop stating that everyone who likes a movie you don't is worthless. Transformers, Book of Eli, and now Expendables - some people just like to sit through a movie that's brainless. Whilst they're not that good, stating that everyone who likes them is pretty much wrong is just arrogant and pretentious.

Not everyone who likes bad action movies is this douchebag frat boy, who can't tell the difference between an etch-a-sketch and a Da Vinci. Just accept that occasionally people don't see things the way you do, because you're starting to become insufferable.

And Please, will fans of videos on the escapist stop taking Every. Damn. Thing. So seriously?!

Zing:

RatGouf:

Off-Topic & final thought for now.
If any movie should be considered "This Years District 9" so far that would have to go to Daybreakers.

What? Daybreakers came out in the same year as District 9. And it was an awful movie.

Owned.

And another thing, what the fuck is it people don't get about this: They say flawed things like "Omg expendable was fun so wat if it not smart we just like havin fun!!1!" People, if something isn't very good, a critic cannot recommend it, regardless of how easy it was to sit through.

And what is with you people who get all offended at Bob's comments? bob's comments are his own opinion and he can rant all he damn well pleases. Sure, you expect a certain level of quality, but the guy is kind of relying on being a bit of a ranter to get his videos out there. He's done this before in small doses, trashing a film people didn't like, and you lot have gone "yay Bob show 'em where to stick it!" but as soon as he turns round and does this to a film you like that may include you in it's target audience? Oh no, we can't have that, can we?

Even if we completely ignore the hypocrisy, it's just the guy's opinion for christ's sake. If you find yourself getting genuinely worked up, then I can recommend you this medication I heard of, they call 'em chill pills. Let's all take a deep breath and get some perspective, shall we? Lt's all sit back, watch Bob do his job, and see whether or not he comes out with good stuff, because at the end of the day, it's hisvideo series, it's his review, And there's not a damn thing we can do about it.

StoryMode:
Don't listen to MovieBob, this movie is good for what it is. Sure Jason Statham played his typical role, and Jet Li was downplayed, but it wasn't a bad film. For what it is, its actually pretty cool. You didn't have to think much through it, which is ok, its just an action film. You also have to be less harsh on insulting people who liked it. You're making yourself look extremely arrogant. It's obnoxious. You don't have a girlfriend, do you? You have nothing better to do than watch movies, alone, besides your large tub of popcorn, extra butter. Then insult everyone who differs from your opinion to make yourself feel better. Respectable people with respectable opinions learn how to appreciate a movie for what it is and do NOT insult anyone whilst doing so.

This is the kinda thing I mean. "I'll make some excuses for this film, present my opinion as fact and therefore state that MovieBob's opinion is somehow "wrong" and that he is "arrogant" and "insulting" before going right ahead to act all high and mighty, throwing presumptuous comments on his personal life at him without noticing even the tiniest trace of hypocrisy"

Personally? I kinda enjoyed his nerd rage. Sure, as a review for the expendables it's not great, but it was nice to hear that someone else finds the state of the public consciousness a disgrace. A fine, curmudgeonly tirade against the world's lack of desire to try something new. But I do agree with the sensible point people are making - Bob can't just leap out and start mindlessly hurling out stuff like that. At the very least he could have pointed it out as a joke or something. But bob got a hell of a lot better when he stopped this self-righteous nerd rage bullshit, because if he's trying to be funny then it's not working, and if he means it seriously... then holy shit.

Bob, in case you read this, you're the kinda guy who makes much better-received videos with optimism and calm analysis. People like your reviews because you sound like the voice of the common guy, albeit a guywith a lot of knowledge concerning the subject matter and some excellent critical insight. I'm not gonna take away your license to hulk out, I'm just gonna say that you just sound like an asshole when you do. And if I'm honest, it sounded like you just worked yourself into some ridiculous fury over nothing more important than a dumb action movie being more successful than a clever little niche one. C'mon. Petty much? Sure it's annoying, but then again. They're just Movies. I'm not trying to degrade cinema as an artistic medium, but you don't have to equate stupid, poorly-made blockbusters with douchebags and retards. That's a little bit pathetic.

Wow...

...

...

So I guess you didn't enjoy it?

OK, serious time, Bob. I love your reviews. I actually take your personal opinion into consideration when I use The Critics Circle (Mark Kermode, Dave Edwards, Roger Ebert and You) to make a tie-breaker on whether or not to go see a film. You have opened my eyes to some great films (District 9 immediately jumps to mind), and you are right the majority of the time.

So, you didn't like The Expendables. Fair enough, I see your point. It's not a critic's film after all. I respect your opinion. What I don't respect is how your opinion is meant to be better than everyone elses. If people want to see a movie that looks good on paper, then that's fair enough. (For the record, caught the advanced previews: loved it) But this does not make them inferior to absolutely everybody else on the planet. They are not the lowest common denominator. All that they are doing is seeing a movie that they like the look of. That's all. It's basic human instinct. So, do calm the hell down, please.

Though I understand completely your disappointment that people didn't see Scott Pilgrim. I have a defence though! It's not out in the UK yet! But it is out on Wednesday and I've been looking forward to it for months now (seriously, it is my most anticipated Summer movie. Just behind Toy Story 3). I'm gathering a bunch of friends and we are seeing it Day One. No excuses. I'm contributing to The Scott Pilgrim Cause, dammit!

Anyways, to summarise: If people didn't want to see a film you wanted them to see, don't get your knickers in a twist. THAT'S MY JOB!

And whilst you're here, could you turn down the volume of the bleeps? My ears buckle under their volume when I have headphones in. Thanks!

EDIT: I'd just like to take this short time to announce that I fully realise the irony of the majority of my comments and that I wholeheartedly embrace it. Thank you.

Jeesh Bob... a little upset that your favorite movie that appealed to a SMALLER demographic than Eat, Pray, Love got smashed to little bits in the box office? So let's take out all your angst on one of the movies that turned Scott Pilgrim into an also-ran. Not to mention that you then proceed to denigrate anyone who would even possibly consider watching The Expendables. I knew I wasn't going to be seeing Pilgram after watching your review - since you quite nicely included two references that the people who would like Scott Pilgrim would recognize; and neither were familiar to me. But hey, Bob - way to go... You pulled your own Roger Ebert. Ebert states that games can't be art; and you state that this movie and any similar that follow it (sight unseen, mind you) f****** suck. Bravo, Bob.

Hubilub:
snip

Hub, Hub, Hub, Hub, chill out.
I'm pretty disappointed and actually a tad offended, too, and I also don't get what the guy is talking about, but we should keep this civil.

Fuckin hell Bob you got some MAD nerd rage going on there. Still I see your point, the film was pretty boring, and the worst part was...they screwed up the final kill. Seriously. How do you fuck that up? Make it satisfying at the least.

Bob is lashing out against Expendables for crushing his little pet Scott Pilgrim. A-Team was retro, a reboot of an 80's Show. Expendables is just dumb fun. It's dumb, yes, but its fun. Did Bob give it an credit for that? He called GIJoe the same thing, and it was DUMBER than Expendables. Instead, bob lashes out at the show that more people liked than his chosen movie. Obviously, we must all be stupid for likeing the Expendables. I actually planned on seing both, but Bob's reviews changed my mind in the opposite way he wnated.

Sorry Bob, I am partly responsible for the downfall of film entertainment. I could have seen that Scott Pilgrim flick... but I opted for this instead. Hot Fuzz and ShaunOTD are great, but I'm biased towards action movies.

And the murderizing in this movie was mostly satifying to me. Some fisticuffs scenes suffered from close-up shaky-cam annoyance, but the last act is constant explosions, headshots and knifings! Don't get me wrong Rambo 4 was awesomer, with Johnny's ability to spaghetti sauce everyone within 100 metres. But this flick isn't tame, even if some blood effects were tacked on later digitally.

Not to mention that I went to the show with my Dad, so a romantic comedy wasn't in the cards.

Seeems this film is getting ups and downs wehre ever you go. No one can make up there mind, heh

Bob, the only sheep here are the ones who immediately cross a movie off your list because you say it's bad. That's automaton thinking at it's best, and guess what, you're inspiring it just like Hollywood with your fanboy base.

Normally I like your reviews, mainly because you critique the movies and not the people watching them. Sadly in this case you decided to brand label everyone who doesn't see your point of view as stupid, or mindless. I haven't even seen this movie and I was offended.

Ah well, unlike you, I won't stop watching or rage out and tell everyone your reviews are crap just because you branded possibly millions of people with a stereotype. You've made quality reviews in the past, hopefully you'll return to that.

Scott Pilgrim seems just as cynically designed to appeal to the Nerdy demographic as The Expendables is to the mainstream. Yet this is ok because it is aimed at us?

People calling it a small movie as well is pretty funny, a 60 million dollar budget is hardly small.

FargoDog:
And yet I'm still going to see it.

I am going to see it again just to spite Movie Bob!

Don't listen to MovieBob, this movie is good for what it is. Sure Jason Statham played his typical role, and Jet Li was downplayed, but it wasn't a bad film. For what it is, its actually pretty cool. You didn't have to think much through it, which is ok, its just an action film. You also have to be less harsh on insulting people who liked it. You're making yourself look extremely arrogant. It's obnoxious. You don't have a girlfriend, do you? You have nothing better to do than watch movies, alone, besides your large tub of popcorn, extra butter. Then insult everyone who differs from your opinion to make yourself feel better. Respectable people with respectable opinions learn how to appreciate a movie for what it is and do NOT insult anyone whilst doing so.

Why does liking this kind of manly man movie make you "the worst kind of person". I just don't take like that seriously to start rating poeple based on what they find enjoyable. Granted, Expendables may well be a bad film, but there's nothing bad about loving this kind of film. It doesn't have to be tongue in cheek exploitation of exploitation. Didn't movie Bob go off recently about "self hating" superhero flicks? It's kind of ironic if he really is implying that liking those action films which AREN'T self-aware and self hating, is the hallmark of the "worst kind of person".

And in regard to the Scott Pilgrim anguish: Bob essentially just blasted people for not knowing that a movie was going to be good before seeing it. Hmm. Last I checked, clairvoyance was not one of our human abilities. Bob, most poeple do not spend hours of their life scouring the Net for movie news. They go to the movies to chew popcorn and forget about work on monday morning. Expendables looked the ticket and probably was, for those people able to see it for what it was. Once day when silly action films are granted the same retroactive street cred as Grindhouse films and old Sunday serials (ironically, usually by people too young to have ever expereinced them), perhaps a film like expendables could be better received. Instead, it's expected to show some kind of heavy handed self-aware rationale, ala, "we are reinterpreting the genre, blah blah blah, see the digital film grain effects, fake studio logos and oh so purposefully overcooked acting?". Cue Tarantino film collage that the high-brow can watch and pretend that they don't really like "that kind of" film.

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