Escape to the Movies: Musclepocalypse

MovieBob

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Musclepocalypse

MovieBob explains where our action heroes have gone.

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Scorpid

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Bob did you mix up your Escape to the movies review with Big Picture discussion videos again?
I agree with you though I never personally got what people liked about big muscly action stars and being an MMA guy I can tell you that that level muscle growth is actually a problem to real fighting. I think that people have gotten more saavy to what fighting looks like so having a guy that looks like HeMan is just cartoonish to them.
 

CWestfall

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Seems like it could've been an episode of The Big Picture instead, but hey, I'm not complaining. Neither "Identity Thief" nor "Side Effects" seem that interesting, if their Wikipedia plot summaries are to be believed (My backup source of movie advice).
 

JarinArenos

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I think this comes across as a Big Picture episode because the movie itself is so boring as to have almost nothing to talk about.
 

Chebs

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Arnold and Jamie Lee Curtis need to get on a True Lies sequel. If Morgan Freeman, Bruce Willis and Helen Mirren can do RED, by golly those two can do a True Lies 2 (Tr2 Lies?).
 

Chessrook44

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Wait, what was that Zelda-ish picture with JJ Abrams and the Companion Cube at the end about?
 

Trucken

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You have a point Bob, but I'm not sure that I agree with you entirely. You're right about action-movies changing, instead of big muscular guys brawling we instead get smaller guys who fight with a heck of a lot more finesse (see The Raid: Redemption). But people still like and want to see movies like The Running Man and Demolition Man, even though the latest Arnold and Stallone movies bombed. My guess is that they bombed because people were scared that they would suck. I was one of those guys that were desperately hoping that The Expendables would be good since I missed the kind of action-movies that we got in the 80's and early 90's. But since Expendables was a major disappointment (to me) it kinda killed my hopes that any attempt at making a movie like that today would be any good.
 

Marter

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Chebs said:
Arnold and Jamie Lee Curtis need to get on a True Lies sequel. If Morgan Freeman, Bruce Willis and Helen Mirren can do RED, by golly those two can do a True Lies 2 (Tr2 Lies?).
2 True 2 Lies. That's gotta be it, right? =D

OT: If Die Hard 5 bombs, that will really be a surprise. R-rated action isn't drawing right now, but with an established franchise, it's different.
 

Shinsei-J

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I think Bob sent in the wrong tape.
At the end I was still waiting for "I'm Bob and that's the big picture".

Guess it all just shows how unsubstantial the movie was.
 

MovieBob

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I guess you could say their going out of style was just an unfortunate Side Effect of over saturation.
JJ Abrams just can't get enough of SPAAAAAAAAAAAAACE.
 

Ickabod

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Pardon me for being captain obvious, but the fact those actions movies were hits and not now, might have to do with the fact the formula is 25 to 30 years old at this point. That would be like watching a movie from the late 50's in 1980, it's just a different era.

And honestly, I don't have a problem with JJ Abrams handling Portal. Think about it, JJ likes his big mysteries, Portal is a pretty good mystery since you're in the dark for most of the game. It could work. Keeping an open mind.
 

MowDownJoe

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Chessrook44 said:
Wait, what was that Zelda-ish picture with JJ Abrams and the Companion Cube at the end about?
Valve has given JJ Abrams their blessing to make Half-Life and Portal movies.

...Yeah. Why always JJ Abrams? There are other great directors out there. Hell, Valve lent del Toro the voice of GLaDoS!
 

Smokescreen

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I always felt that Die Hard and Lethal Weapon were the movies that shifted the focus away from the kind of action films that Stallone and Arnold made. It's touched on briefly in the video but seriously: everything was just absurd explosions starring guys who generally didn't have much acting talent in stories that didn't have much going for them.

Whereas in Die Hard and Lethal Weapon, there are character arcs impressed on compact, narrowly-scoped stories, brought to life by people who actually DO have some acting talent. Once audiences got ahold of that and liked it, it set the stage for...well, a whole lot of really, really shitty imitators. However, there was always the occasional odd duck that borrowed from that tradition, and certainly the dumbed down films of the 80's had to branch out a bit in the 90s, at least until Michael Bay brought Baysplosions. Even then, the idea couldn't be killed-Jason Bourne films were smartly done, even James Bond got tweaked into a more interesting character. But, you know. Transformers.

Which ruled the roost until...the Avengers. Which leads us back to movies with heroes that have actual character arcs again (even if the scope of the film is much bigger now.) And so it goes.
 

Scars Unseen

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So did we decide to use this week to escape from the movies, Bob? Oh well. I guess I can't complain about a Big Picture double feature too much.

Anyway... I definitely think that we are past the point where anyone's going to gain stardom based purely on muscle mass. I'm thinking that the old action icons would do best either sticking to their old iconic franchises or going for something that doesn't make their physique/manliness the focus of their acting.
 

Aiddon_v1legacy

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the thing is that idea of "masculinity" was only ever found in the 80s and 90s. If you look before, after, and even DURING that era you still had the typical Clint Eastwood, John Wayne, Charles Bronson, Steve McQueen, James Dean, Paul Newman, etc archetypes in cinema because THAT was closer to ideal masculinity (which, oddly enough, is actually closer to Japanese masculinity). The 80s basically turned the brute archetype into the hero, but unfortunately also became an archetype known for ego, arrogance, and insecurity (a.k.a., for DOUCHEBAGS). It was more of a power fantasy than anything and it quickly ran its course, bringing us back to the REAL way action heroes should be done. Stallone's efforts to try and keep his 80s lunkhead stuff alive only goes to show just how irrelevant it's become and how insignificant it was even when it was around. Stuff like Die hard and Lethal Weapon just hell up BETTER due to having actual ACTORS in them.
 

Alakaizer

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Chessrook44 said:
Wait, what was that Zelda-ish picture with JJ Abrams and the Companion Cube at the end about?
That... was about this...
http://www.escapistmagazine.com/news/view/121946-D-I-C-E-2013-J-J-Abrams-and-Gabe-Newell-Tease-Portal-Movie

OT: Did we see a pic of Arnold giving the "Heil Hitler" salute?
 

daibakuha

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This is an interesting little video. Positing that special effects killed the action movie star.

I see his point, why bother going to Arnold or Stallone for the superhuman feats of baddass when we have a guy like Iron Man or Batman doing it technology and skill. They're more interesting to boot, they have flaws and feel like people. When you look at it this way it's inevitable that this would happen.
 

Scars Unseen

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Ickabod said:
Pardon me for being captain obvious, but the fact those actions movies were hits and not now, might have to do with the fact the formula is 25 to 30 years old at this point. That would be like watching a movie from the late 50's in 1980, it's just a different era.

And honestly, I don't have a problem with JJ Abrams handling Portal. Think about it, JJ likes his big mysteries, Portal is a pretty good mystery since you're in the dark for most of the game. It could work. Keeping an open mind.
He can't like his big mysteries that much since he keeps abandoning them for other projects (Lost, Fringe).
 

Daaaah Whoosh

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Since I only recently saw the first Die Hard, I can completely agree with this. I don't really want to see people who're so well-built and powerful that I can't relate to them. That's why I usually don't like anime.