BREAKING MOVIE NEWS
When a movie underperforms at the box office, it's natural for people to start trying to discover the root of what went wrong. Typically fingers can be pointed at a director or the screenplay or the studio, but sometimes it's more specific things. In the case of The Expendables 3, Sylvester Stallone is placing a good amount of blame on the film's rating.
With six features spread out over 30 years, Sylvester Stallone's Rocky Balboa has had plenty of time in the spotlight, so while the franchise is ready to expand once more, it won't be doing so with the Italian Stallion as its lead. Instead, a new spinoff is in the works and will be titled Creed, with starring duties falling to the young, talented Michael B. Jordan.
Unlike its two franchise predecessors, The Expendables 3 entered theaters not with a restrictive R-rating, but instead a much more teen friendly PG-13. While many fans saw this as a big mistake, noting that the series originated as an ode to the hyper-violent and bloody action movies of the 1980s, it's one that Lionsgate will be doing its part to correct when the film arrives on Blu-ray and DVD.
MGM have threatened to sue Rocky IIís biggest fan, even though she has organized a fun-run in honor of Sylvester Stalloneís infamous boxer. Rebecca Shaefer has been handed and cease-and-desist letter from the studio over the name of her Rocky 50K Run, which will re-trace every step that the boxer made in the 1979 sequel as he prepared to face Apollo Creed for the second time.
Hereís the biggest question tied to a final Rambo movie: Why? And I mean that as no disrespect to Stallone or his character, who has been part of two good movies (and two that we didnít need). But the final scene of Rambo was a proper finale for the character.
But the fans just didn't show up to a film that added Wesley Snipes, Mel Gibson and Harrison Ford to the ever-growing roster of characters, three legends with serious box office pedigree. The formula seemed simple at the beginning, but it's clear from audience dissatisfaction that it's not working.
The only reasons Stallone would have to return to this character (other than money and sentimentality) is to provide a more final, conclusive end. There's no poetry without blood in the Rambo universe.
These movies so far have been overstuffed to the point of parody. The latest film tries to find space for two full Expendables teams, reducing Jet Li to a tiny cameo and four spoken lines, and he doesn't even throw any kicks. And Wesley Snipes seems like a selling point for the new movie, but after a major break-in that frees him, he and the rest of the Expendables are (temporarily!) fired and replaced by the new crew.
Stallone's two examples of projects that Schwarzenegger would have done were Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot and Rhinestone. Rhinestone happened in 1984, in the same year Schwarzenegger was doing The Terminator and Conan The Destroyer. Does it really seem like Schwarzenegger would have passed on either of those two movies to do a Dolly Parton musical?
Sylvester Stallone currently is blowing up movie theaters (figuratively) as a member of The Expendables. But one of Slyís most iconic franchises plans to continue with his involvement (to a certain extent). Weíd heard rumbling about an Apollo Creed movie, with Michael B. Jordan playing the pivotal part. Now, we know for sure itís happening, and soon.
We tried to spotlight performers who had a single concentrated peak of their talents, while also addressing those who put a premium on action films over any other genres, even when the films would get disreputable. To be in the Action Hall Of Fame, you need b-movies on your resume as much as you need A-movies.
It's not uncommon that we hear about films that have been stuck in development hell for between five and 10 years, but paperback hero Mack Bolan has been waiting multiple decades for his time on the silver screen. After so many years, the character is finally being pulled off the shelf, and a writer has been hired to pen a new feature based around him, but it's amazing to think back on what could have been.
The idea of an "Expendabelles" movie has been floating around for a while now, but at the London premiere of The Expendables 3, Stallone suggested who he'd like to see star. None too surprisingly, he named Sigourney Weaver. However, how he suggests she'd fit into the franchise is a little less than inspiring.
Whether he likes it or not, Sylvester Stallone is going to get out of the action movie business soon. The Expendables 3 is probably his swan song in that particular franchise, and he might be planning one last Rambo. After that, the smart move may be to transition to character work in stuff like Reach Me, playing older mentor types. But why not throw in a nasty bit of gangster stuff while we're at it?
The fourth film grossed $113 million, twenty years after Rambo III pulled in $189 million (not adjusted for inflation), and was seen, and marketed, as Stallone's final farewell to the character. It even ends in a way that brings closure to the Rambo saga, suggesting a man at peace with his creation.
But let's be real here: Cliffhanger isn't a classic. Few films from the 90's that are getting remade (Stargate?) really are. It's not exactly a decade where you can mine for nuggets of gold, unless you were redoing some of the iconic independent films of that era (and you really, really shouldn't).
If the old-timers have a younger fanbase, made up specifically of guys who were too small to be seeing Commando, Passenger 57, then chances are they are old enough to get into an R-rated movie by now.
It was the Grudge Match trailer that ultimately tipped me off to the fact that this movie wants to be Meet the Parents or The Bucket List more than it wants to be Rocky or Raging Bull Ö films that had something meaningful to say about boxing and the men who compete in the sport.
Escape Plan once went by the cool, recognizable title of The Tomb. Despite the name shift, the filmís still worth your time, particularly if you used to worship at the altar of the types of movies Stallone and Schwarzenegger made in their heyday. The movie opens in theaters on Oct. 18.
Strangely, Gibson's role as an arms dealer sounds very similar to his part in Robert Rodriguez's Machete Kills. Hopefully we can trust Gibson as a performer to give varied performances so that the two roles don't seem too overly similar. Either that or maybe find a way to have The Expendables 3 include Danny Trejo as Machete...
Bruce Willis has been a bona fide blockbuster action star for about 25 years now, and in that time, like most A-list actors, he has been well compensated for his work. Over the course of his career he has signed many multi-million dollar contracts - to the point where you'd think that $1 million wouldn't be that much. Apparently it means everything, though, because it was that sum that ended up stopping the Die Hard star run in the Expendables movies.
Sure, he doesn't name Willis specifically in the tweet, but it's not hard to connect the dots and assume that Willis was demanding more money for less work-- something Stallone was clearly unwilling to give. And given that this is far from the first time that Willis has clashed, very publicly, with one of his former co-stars, it's not even all that surprising. Need a primer on the many feuds of Bruce Willis? Hey, of course you do
Today The Expendables 3 lost one of the veteran action stars it's had from the start of the franchise, but the good news is that it looks as though he's being replaced with an equally great Hollywood legend. Sylvester Stallone has announced via Twitter that Bruce Willis, who starred in the first two Expendables movies as the mysterious Mr. Church, will not be back for the third installment of the franchise, but that Han Solo/Indiana Jones himself Harrison Ford has become the latest addition to the ensemble.
Creed will focus on Michael B. Jordanís yet-to-be-named grandson and his struggles balancing a well-off lifestyle with the instincts to follow in his grandfatherís footsteps to become a boxing heavyweight champion. His family doesnít want him to get into the ring, but his natural athletic gifts are just too strong, so he enlists the initially uninterested Balboa to become his trainer. This isnít exactly the most original story, as you can imagine.
ďIf you don't like this movie, I'm going to personally come up there and beat your brains in.Ē That was Sylvester Stallone greeting a theater filled with action-film geeks at a special advanced screening of Escape Plan, introduced by ďThe Italian StallionĒ and his equally legendary partner in crime, Arnold Schwarzenegger.