The Expendables 2: Welcome to Con Air 2.0

by Ethan Alter August 17, 2012 6:00 am
<I>The Expendables 2</i>: Welcome to <i>Con Air</i> 2.0

Let's be honest: once you got past the vicarious thrill of seeing all of the major action icons from your '80s and early '90s childhood sharing the screen, The Expendables was a lousy movie. A passion project for writer/director/star Sylvester Stallone -- who threw his body, soul and bank account into the film, even severely injuring himself in the line of duty (check out the pretty good feature-length making-of documentary Inferno, available on Netflix Instant, for the full story) -- the finished film turned out to be monotonous, poorly choreographed and self-serious to the point of parody. Still, the tug of nostalgia proved too strong for most moviegoers and The Expendables became a legitimate late-summer hit, making a sequel inevitable if not exactly demanded. So here comes The Expendables 2, which, if you're judging a movie by its plot, characterizations and internal logic (you know, the little things), is also pretty lousy. Unlike its predecessor though, this one recognizes its inherent stupidity and goes all-in on being the loudest, dumbest and most comically preposterous action movie of the summer. It's even more of a cartoon than that mid-'80s Rambo animated series... and that's not necessarily a bad thing.

Indie Snapshot: Take This Waltz

by Ethan Alter July 13, 2012 6:00 am
Indie Snapshot: <i>Take This Waltz</i>

A slow weekend at the multiplex gives you time to catch up with some of the indie features -- like Sarah Polley's Take This Waltz -- currently playing at an art house or video on demand service near you.

I Want My DVD: Tuesday, May 15, 2012

by Ethan Alter May 15, 2012 6:00 am
I Want My DVD: Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Have superpowers, will travel

Two Very Different Film Competitions

by Tippi Blevins April 28, 2008 10:41 am
Two Very Different Film Competitions

The Festival de Cannes announced most of its 2008 lineup this week. In a Moviefile entry last week, I mentioned that Hollywood expected to have a meager showing in the competitive portion of the Festival. One article said that Charlie Kaufman's Synecdoche, New York might be the only entry, unless Steven Soderbergh could complete his mondo four-hour Che Guevara biopic under the wire. Soderbergh appears to have accomplished this feat, as Che is listed in the Festival's recently released press kit.

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