Escape to the Movies: Musclepocalypse

Rad Party God

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Feb 23, 2010
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So, ETTM turned into The Big Picture again.
Not that I'm complaining, I like Bob's opinions, even if they're a bit flawed most of the time.
 

hermes

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Mar 2, 2009
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Yoshisummons said:
If that's the whole shtick with Bruce Willis how come in the 4th one (and probably in the 5th one) he turned into someone that is unfazed about killing dozens of dudes and effectively "Jason Borne-ing" level of stunts for the movie?
Because, sadly, not every screenwriter is aware that the real charm of John McClane is that he is an ordinary cop put into extraordinary situations. He is fallible and, even when his feats are just unrealistic, they are not free. People relate to Willis when he is bloody and crawling through a floor filled with glass, not when he is cleaning a bruised eye after putting down a jet with his bare hands.

However, screenwriters are tempted to "up the volume" of the stunts for each sequel (the "more is better" philosophy) but are too afraid to mess with the image of the icon, so he became less and less vulnerable (both emotionally and physically) while facing even more ridiculous obstacles.

Also, that is the reason why Die Hard 4 is the less well received of the series.
 

Adam Jensen_v1legacy

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Sep 8, 2011
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This is a great episode. Very insightful. Could have been The Big Picture episode but it doesn't matter. I prefer The Big Picture material anyway.
 

MovieBob

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Yoshisummons said:
If that's the whole shtick with Bruce Willis how come in the 4th one (and probably in the 5th one) he turned into someone that is unfazed about killing dozens of dudes and effectively "Jason Borne-ing" level of stunts for the movie?
So what your satying is after being beaten multiple times, shot often than not and got hurt from many of his very close to death jumps he wouldn't get used to it all by now?
Hell by the 4 movie Rambo got used to it when in the 1st 2 it still haunted him.
It doesn't happen to everyone but it happens.
 

Mr_Terrific

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Oct 29, 2011
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I remember an interview with Stalone where he said his type of action star died when they cast Keaton as Batman. I think he was right. I, personally love that type of action hero and I die a little inside everytime I see one of these Twilight kids and baby faces cast in some roll that should go to more masculine *hehe men.
 

MovieBob

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This is sounding like an episode to skip..my patience for bob getting all up and offended has dwindled away after a couple (coughME3cough) I mean yeah its fun when his got interesting things to say- but the man has become somebody whose soapbox needs to be taken away imo
 

Sergey Sund

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May 20, 2012
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I think it's kind of funny how there is not a single expendable character in The Expendables (1 or 2).
All the main characters are part of Sly's impossibly good army of mercenaries.
All of them are muscle-dudes who use the biggest weapons you can mount on a person.
If you kill only one of them it puts into doubt the whole concept of the muscle-warrior. You also offend at least one fandom who went to the movie to see their favourite jacked-up dude of choice in the first place.
So, you can't really kill any of them. That's why Dolph got "better" at the end of part 1 and that's why the only one allowed to die in part 2 is the nice-faced, not-jacked-up sniper, who uses distance and technology (aka the smart way to fight)to kill instead of going close-in, killing with his bare hands like the rest of them.
All the grim-faced, alpha-male martial arts characters (and I include Jet Li here) survive, a fact that is made the more improbable by the fact that a 12-year-old kid can aim an AK 47 these days.
This is a film that tries to be cool by adopting a gritty, dirty look like other films of this generation (I am looking at you here, new Batman series) but fails to deliver on this promise of insinuated realism by filling it with characters that come from a totally different film era, made for mightier-than-thou action knights who cannot lose.
 

Sergey Sund

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May 20, 2012
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Yeah, a lot of comments say that this feels like an episode of the Big Picture and that Bob's soapbox is becoming increasingly larger than himself (aka the philosophical part is becoming bigger than the criticism part).
To be fair, though, I dare you to make an entertaining/funny/interesting review of any of these 3 films that is longer than 5 minutes. There is just. Nothing. There.
You can't discuss the plot because what plot?. You can't discuss the acting because do we really expect any of these Wrestler-turned-actor dudes to act? Really?
This is just mush material - you can't even pound that shit into the ground properly. And if that is all that has come out in cinemas this week then so be it.
 

RedDeadFred

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May 13, 2009
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Interesting video Bob.

I've honestly never like these kinds of movies so I'm pretty happy they're going away. The stars in these movies just are never relatable for me. They seem almost inhuman and as a result, even thought the movies are filled with action, they bore me.
 

Cpt. Slow

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Dec 9, 2012
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Not to be misogynistic but there are more (young) women around these days who spend their times getting brainwashed with cheap romantic novel material, that 15 years would not even be suited for paper...but now they do and even get the big film treatment. And they don't like (absurd) alpha-males like Arnie or Sly.

Action films are on the latter doomed if this Twillightization keeps on going on. Before you go with the verbal gung-ho with 'you are a misogynist' remarks commence, here is an example of what I mean: while I was standing with a friend of mine in the line at the theatre I heard two young couples talking behind me, discussing which film they wanted to see. Of course the guys wanted to go the Die Hard 4 film but the girls said: 'ewww we want to see Knocked Up'. Well, point in case, the women decided what to watch because guys these days don't have the cojones to stand up to them.
 

MovieBob

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spunkgarglewiwi said:
Well, point in case, the women decided what to watch because guys these days don't have the cojones to stand up to them.
That's because the women have already taken them



Ha cha cha!

(but really, it's not like that...)
 

Doclector

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Aug 22, 2009
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Good video, and just for the record, it's a crying fucking shame that "the last stand" wasn't a hit. It's great fun, Arnie's...well, Arnie, and the effects are awesome.

Can't say much for Stallone's comeback film, I haven't seen it. The trailer looked...okay.

Seriously though, if you can go somewhere that's still showing it, see it. It might be too late to save it, but I hope that one day it gains a cult status on DVD.
 

Barciad

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Apr 23, 2008
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Marter said:
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.
Die Hard worked for exactly the reasons that Bob said it did. It was a big action thriller but grounded in reality. There were diabolical plots, crazy villains, big gun fights and plenty of explosions; like any typical action film. Yet the man that saved the day was a regular Joe. A smart, tough detective to be sure, but he had flaws and was more than aware of them, whether he liked to admit it or not. Plus of course, especially at the beginning, he felt uncertainty, anxiety, even fear. John McLean was not in control of the situation, and he knew it. Yet by his wits and determination he pulled through it. Which is another thing, time and again John McLean came out on top, not through brawn, but by outwitting his adversaries. He was the one action figure that was prepared to stop and think.
I still rate the argument with his wife at the beginning of Die Hard (the original) as a superb scene. It is great in my opinion because it is believable. A rough detective, from a blue collar background finds it hard to accept that his wife can have a career. Seeing as this was 1988 and this was the time that women finally were able to achieve their potential. Three (though to a much lesser extent) and Four also dealt with similar issues.
 

00slash00

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Dec 29, 2009
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can we have one week where you dont complain about j.j. abrams? i get you arent a fan of his but you just did an entire big picture about why you dont like him. i feel like you have complained about him for the past 3 weeks
 

octafish

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Apr 23, 2010
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Henkie36 said:
This does sound more like a Big Picture, but who cares. On Bruce Willis versus Stallone though, I don't entirely agree. See, Stallone was good in Rocky, but that's because he wrote the script, probably with character actions and emotions already in mind. He knew it inside out before the principal shooting. When he is not directly involved in writing the script, he's ok. Willis on the other hand, is a really talented actor, and while Die Hard jettisoned his career as a good action hero, movies like Unbreakable and The Sixth Sense also proved his worth as a really good actor.
Action Hero? Bruce Willis was a TV superstar before Die Hard, as a comic actor. He was also in a couple of half decent Blake Edwards films before his run in at Nakatomi Plaza. Also jettisoned means dumped overboard, I think you meant launched.

Good point about Stallone there Bob, he can act, but you can never tell when acting Sly will turn up. When he does though he is a fine actor. I mean look at Cop Land, a good film not a great one, but he holds his own in a cast of heavy hitters.
 

Danny Ocean

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Jun 28, 2008
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MovieBob said:
Musclepocalypse

MovieBob explains where our action heroes have gone.

Watch Video
Holy crap! Someone actually knows what an anthropologist is and respects what they do enough to defer to their knowledge!
 

Jennacide

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Dec 6, 2007
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I think another reason to factor in is that action movies on the whole haven't been doing all too well lately, and most haven't been too good, except for the ones that are also genre films, like Avengers and Dredd. Honestly, Dredd blew me away partially just because it was more faithful to the comic's themes than the Sly movie was, but also that it was a geniunely well thought out action flick with an art direction and style.

As for Bruce Willis, his action film persona never went away, but it has definitely taken a back seat in the past decade. Sure, he's in stuff like RED, but he's still more remembered for his amazing roles in films like Sixth Sense, Lucky Number Slevin, and Looper.
 

maximara

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Jul 13, 2008
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Aiddon said:
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.
Actually, it could be argued that Stallone and Schwarzenegger harkened back to the pulp "masculinity" of the 1930s and 40s as embodied by Doc Savage, Howard's Conan, and even to some degree Siegel and Shuster's Superman. The living embodiment of the physical part of that ideal was Charles Atlas who supposedly was Schwarzenegger's inspiration.

However unlike Charles Atlas many of these heroes were to put it bluntly jerks.

For example, Superman was originally cast in the Sam Spade mold--"See this iron girder?" Twists it into a knot. "This is what I will do to your neck if you don't tell me what I want to know." Batman was little better, carrying and using a gun for the first few months of his literary existence. So the "douchebagness" was there it just had been supplanted for a more toned version for decades.
 

maximara

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Jul 13, 2008
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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.
Good point. There was a reason the Western which use to be the main staple of movies and later TV is nearly nonexistent today.

Sometimes the formula picture gets a timelessness about itself (Them for example) but most of the time there is this disconnect.