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The Gratuitous B-Movie Column 9.3.12 Issue #223: The Expendables 2 (2012)
Posted by Bryan Kristopowitz on 09.03.2012



The Gratuitous B-Movie Column Issue #223: The Expendables 2 (2012)


Hello, everyone, and welcome once again to the internets movie review column that has never been attacked by a tree wielding a hatchet, The Gratuitous B-Movie Column, and I am your host Bryan Kristopowitz. In this issue, issue number two hundred and twenty three, I take a look at the badass sequel to the badass 2010 throwback action flick The Expendables, The Expendables 2, directed by Simon West and starring Sylvester Stallone, Jason Statham, Jet Li, Dolph Lundgren, Terry Crews, Randy Couture, Ahnold Schwarzenegger, Bruce Willis, Jean-Claude Van Damme, Scott Adkins, Chuck Norris, Liam Hemsworth, and Nan Yu.

Holy crap that's an awesome cast.


The Expendables 2 (2012)



For this writer, outside of The Avengers, The Expendables 2 was the most anticipated movie of the summer. It's the sequel to the supremely awesome The Expendables, and with the prospect of an even bigger cast of action movie heroes it was shaping up to be, on paper anyway, a potentially great time at the movies. Having Simon West, of Con Air fame and When a Stranger Calls remake infamy, was an interesting choice as director, since Stallone did such a good job with the first movie. Why mess with success and bring in someone who isn't all that beloved by genre nerds? Could West actually make a great movie again?

Yes. Yes he could. Because The Expendables 2 is great. Insanely great. It's fucking awesome.

The movie starts off with Stallone's Barney Ross and the rest of the Expendables team (Statham as Lee Christmas, Jet Li as Yin Yang, Lundgren as Gunner Jensen, Terry Crews as Hale Caesar, Randy Couture as Toll Road, and newcomer Hemsworth as Billy the Kid) kicking ass in Nepal and rescuing a kidnapped Chinese businessman. After a successful mission and running into rival mercenary team leader Trench (Ahnold), the team goes back to the states for some much needed rest and relaxation (except Yin Yang. He parachutes into China with the businessman to make sure he gets where he needs to go. Sadly, Yang doesn't return later in the movie. Perhaps he'll be back in a more substantial way in part 3). If only they could get any. Amidst some attempted heavy drinking, Billy tells Barney that he doesn't want to be a part of the team anymore as he wants to start a life with his girlfriend, and Barney finds out that CIA bastard Church (Willis) needs the Expendables for a sensitive job. Barney isn't too keen on getting involved with Church again, but since Barney essentially owes Church a favor the team is sort of obliged to take the job on. Barney will also have to take along CIA agent Maggie (Nan Yu), something else he doesn't want to do either but, again, he owes Church a favor.

So the team arrives in Albania to pick up the package, an envelope locked in a safe inside a recently downed airplane. Getting the envelope proves to be difficult, but not as difficult as actually leaving Albania. Villain (Van Damme), leader of a pseudo satanic gang of sadistic mercenaries, is in the area and wants the envelope, too. Outgunned and outnumbered, Barney allows Villain and his henchmen, led by Hector (Adkins), to take the envelope (Barney didn't have much choice. Again, he was outgunned and outnumbered by Villain's men). However, because he's such a bastard (his name is Villain for the love of God), Villain kills Billy by kicking a knife into his heart. This act pisses Barney and the team off big time, and what was once a retrieval mission becomes a "seek and destroy" quest. You don't kill a member of the team and get away with it. You just don't.

The movie starts to slow down a bit here as Barney and the team venture further into Albania, running into a village chock full of people Villain has used to dig several mines in the area. We also find out why the heck Villain wants these mines exploited and what the heck was in the envelope. It's all a bit muddled, mostly because there are so many characters that need screen time (Norris shows up here, too, as the one man army Booker) and, unless the movie plans on being three hours, there just isn't enough time to get everything in. Villain's motivation isn't very clear, either. He's the head of what amounts to a mercenary cult and all he wants is money? Does he really plan on selling what he hopes to find, or does he plan on using it for some other purpose? Villain needed at least two more scenes to flesh all that stuff out. The scene on the underground train where he tells Hector that he has people willing to pay big money now for what he has just doesn't cut it. Adkins doesn't get enough time, either. He gets one good rat bastard scene in the mine, and he gets a good death scene, but he's just sort of there in the movie. It's great and cool and everything, but Adkins needs more (maybe he'll get some notice as part of the cast of Kathryn Bigelow's Navy SEAL/Osama bin Laden movie).

Now, the final confrontation at the airport, if it wasn't an insanely cool shootout/massive action scene I'd be annoyed. Villain needs to get to the airport to get the stuff out of the country? Why? If he's such a badass killer and so dang feared by the locals, why wouldn't he have his own airstrip somewhere? I mean, it's cool when Villain and his henchmen sort of nonchalantly take over the airport (there's stuff exploding outside, it's essentially the end of the world, and Villain is walking around like it's no big deal) but, again, why would he have to go through something like that? Are there limits to being a sadistic mercenary cult leader? Apparently so.

The lack of Jet Li after the first ten minutes or so is a big letdown. It would have been great to see him take on Van-Damme, but because Li's Yin Yang has to disappear we never get the chance to see it. Why didn't Yang come in at the end to help with the airport siege? I'd really like to know how he feels about what happens to Billy.

And then there's Trench. Who the heck is this guy? Why haven't we seen him with his team of mercs? Is that what we're going to see in part 3? It just seems odd to me that, two movies in, we haven't seen more of what Trench does and who he does it with. Willis gets more time to act like an asshole here, and he does his usual outstanding job. Will we get to see more from him/about him in a part 3?

Those are my only real complaints about the movie. I am somewhat loathe to call them complaints, though, as the movie, even with these issues, is still a rocking good time. The entire Expendables team is a blast to watch. Stallone and Statham are still the top guys on the team, but we get to see a little more personality for Lundgren's Gunner character (the movie actually works in Lundgren's background as a chemical engineer), and Toll Road and Hail Caesar have great "buddy" chemistry. Couture doesn't get as much time to shine as an individual as he did in the first movie, mostly because he doesn't have a guy like "Stone Cold" Steve Austin to battle at the end. Maybe he'll get a chance to do that kind of thing again in a part 3.

Liam Hemsworth is easily the biggest surprise of the movie. He's the youngest actor in the movie, the youngest guy on the team, and yet he's the one you feel the most for in the end (is that supposed to happen in a movie chock full of older action stars?). And Nan Yu does a great job as the flick's female character. She isn't there to be rescued, she's there to kick ass, and she can hang with Stallone and Statham and the others. That's always cool. Will she end up in the proposed "female Expendables" movie? I wouldn't mind seeing her as a part of it.

And Chuck Norris? One of the greatest character intros in modern action movie history. It's too bad Booker won't be around next time (Norris has apparently said he doesn't want to do another one, that one is enough. Is he looking for more money? Is he looking to have more Jesus in a part 3?). Fans, like me, will want to see him again, even if it's only for a minute. Millennium Pictures needs to get on that.

The Expendables 2 is a great time at the movies, a bonafide classic. If you haven't seen it yet, what the hell are you waiting for? See it now. You'll love it. You will.

See The Expendables 2. See it, see it, fucking see it!


So what do we have here?

Dead bodies: 100+. I can't see how it could be any less than that.

Explosions: 30+. Again, I can't see how it could be any less than that.

Nudity?: None. There probably would have been some if Chuck Norris hadn't been in it. He has a problem with it. The old Chuck wouldn't have, the Chuck from Silent Rage anyway.

Doobage: Hustle and bustle, chair bondage, suped up trucks driving over a hill, a truck with the name "Bad Attitude," major machine gun hooey, exploding bodies, exploding gas station, a battering ram named "Knock Knock," attack helicopter attack, a motorcycle used as a projectile, big gun hooey, kitchen kung fu, empty handgun to the head, zip line hooey, sniper attack, exploding heads, a massive elbow to the face, jet ski hooey, flying over China, a napkin equation, a skull pen, a hot Asian chick, shaving, running, a wrecked plane, an exploding safe, chest cutting, a goat tattoo, a knife kicked into a chest, a sad letter, a quick rock burial, child slavery, chicken throwing, brass knucks, an abandoned Russian military base made to look like a typical American street, a "last meal" discussion, snoring, Chuck Norris, a heavily armed local woman, up close machine gun to the chest, body throwing, double knives to the head, a slow motion team walk, plane into a cave, rock wall breaking, a massive airport attack, serious knife hooey, smart car hooey, decapitation via helicopter propeller, a chain vs. knife fight, some very gross veins, chain around the neck, big ass knife through the chest, a severed fucking head in a bag, and a great ending.

Kim Richards?: Attempted.

Gratuitous: Nepal, chair bondage, Sylvester Stallone, Jason Statham, Jason Statham wearing a beret, Terry Crews, Randy Couture, Jet Li, Dolph Lundgren, Jet Li beating the shitty out of people inside a kitchen, Ahnold Schwarzenegger, Liam Hemsworth, Dolph Lundgren writing an equation on a napkin, Bruce Willis, a hot Asian chick, Albania, exploding safe, Jean-Claude Van Damme, Jean-Claude Van Damme with a goat tattoo on his neck, Scott Adkins, Russian plutonium, an impromptu rock burial, brass knucks, an abandoned Russian military base made to look like a typical American street, Dolph Lundgren snoring, Chuck Norris, Chuck Norris as a one man army, a Chuck Norris rule, Chuck Norris wearing a hat with a wolf's head logo, Randy Couture possibly saying "retards," Stallone flying his plane into a cave, attempted bomb making, a massive airport siege, Stallone, Ahnold, Willis, and Norris taking out the bad guys, Ahnold and Willis riding around in a "smart" car, a dead body going through a luggage screener, Jason Statham vs. Scott Adkins, Stallone fighting Van Damme like it's the end of Cobra, a severed fucking head in a bag, Paris, France, a great ending, and Rare Earth.

Best lines: "Come on you bastards!," "Better duck! Oh shit!," "Watch your head insect!," "Trench? This is embarrassing," "If I don't get this back your ass is terminated. In your dreams," "Now you put on your lucky ring?," "You missed! You're aiming!," "That's real Chinese takeout," "Christmas, my friend, please tell me you're not going through with it," "Hey, do you have anything that doesn't have skulls on it?," "I don't make a very good babysitter. Don't sell yourself short. You'll make for a great babysitter," "Remember when you could do that? Do you?," "What's the plan? Find 'em, track 'em, kill 'em!," "Anybody else tired?," "He's really gigantic. I said that," "Okay, just what I need, fifty year old pizza," "Oh. This tastes like shit," "Oh shit! What? They've got a tank!," "Even you two rejects can get lucky here," "Rest in pieces," "I'm back!," "Who is next? Rambo?," "My shoe is bigger than this car!," "Let's make it more dramatic," "I'm out of bullets! That's your problem," "So what's it going to be? Man or sheep?," and "His name was Billy!"


Rating: 10.0/10.0
***

The Gratuitous B-Movie Column: The Facebook Page!







Please check out The Gratuitous B-Movie Column Facebook page, which can be seen here. There's not much there at the moment, but, as time goes by, expect to see daily questions and musings and other B-movie hooey. And it would be cool if you "liked" it, too.

The Gratuitous B-Movie Column Facebook page! Yeah!


***

Things to Watch Out For This Week: Part 1







- Fringe: The Complete Fourth Season: I still have most of this particular Fringe season sitting on my DVR, just waiting to be watched, so I'm probably not going to pick this set up, at least not yet. But, in an overall sense, it's still worth getting because Fringe is an awesome show. Hopefully I'll be able to watch the fifth and final season before the start of 2014. That's the hope, anyway.

















- Person of Interest: Season One: This great CBS action drama has a high rating but doesn't get much critical love, which is a damn shame. Jim Caviezel, Michael Emerson, and Taraji P. Henson should be in the running for Emmy awards. I personally can't wait for the second season to begin, so this DVD set will have to hold me over until it begins. Awesome show.


















- Safe: This bad ass Jason Statham flick, which I reviewed back when it came out, didn't get much box office love, so now's everyone's chance to push this movie over the top. I mean, if you liked The Expendables 2 there's absolutely no reason why you shouldn't dig this movie, too. And for the love of God, James Hong, David Lo Pan his motherfucking self, is in it. That fact alone is reason enough to check it out.














- Piranha DD: This sequel to the bloody remake didn't get much of a theatrical release (a limited release alongside a Video On Demand run), so now is your chance to see if it's, at least, as good as the remake. I hope it is because I don't want them to stop making these kinds of movies. The more the better.

















- Megaforce: This Hal Needham action fest isn't very good (it's way too slow for one thing) but it's got some cool stunts in it and it does have a goofy charm (I still say that it was a big mistake and that Needham shouldn't have made it, but then that could just be me). This isn't an extras loaded DVD release, so just be aware of that.

















- Grounded for Life: The Complete Series: The first season of this Donal Logue sitcom was brilliant, and the second and third season were pretty dang good, too (season 4 was just okay. Funny, but just okay). I think you can still watch this show on ABC Family during the week, but those episodes are clipped. I believe the DVD release contains the original episodes. I believe that, I'm not exactly sure of it.
















***

Special Commentary: My Thoughts on The Dark Knight Rises







I went into The Dark Knight Rises, the third Christopher Nolan directed Batman movie with only one really hope; that the movie didn't suck. I hated Batman Begins, and while The Dark Knight was, at best, pretty good, I didn't think it was the end be all of comic book superhero movies. I just wanted Nolan's swan song with the Dark Knight to be a good movie. And now, after having seen The Dark Knight Rises, I'm happy to say that not only did the movie not suck, it's the best of the trilogy. Easily. What follows are two lists: what I liked about TDKR and what I didn't like.



What I liked about The Dark Knight Rises





- Bane. Bane was an interesting choice for the third flick's villain, mostly because, in the general movie going public's mind, Bane isn't a top tier Batman villain. He's not a Penguin or Riddler or Joker. He's the big, weird guy hanging out with Poison Ivy in Batman and Robin. Potentially cool, sure, but he's not an A-list bad guy. What the heck was Nolan going to do with him to make him come off as a real threat to Batman?

He was going to have him, at least at the beginning, come off as the leader of a cult of mercenaries that has the ability to thwart a CIA transport plane and rescue him. A gigantic monster with a weird, machine enhanced voice. A guy that you fear as soon as you see him because, well, you're not sure how to take him.

I'm not particularly fond of his motivation for taking out Gotham City, though. I would have preferred to have Bane be his own man, his own thing, as opposed to a member of the League of Shadows. That's just bullshit.





- Gary Oldman. Gary Oldman is the best thing about the trilogy as a whole and gives one of his best supporting performances here as Commissioner Gordon. He makes you feel Gordon's personal conflict over what he did in regards to the whole Harvey Dent thing, and you root for him to succeed when he has to lead what amounts to the rebellion against Bane once Gotham is cut off from the rest of the world. Wouldn't it have been cool to see a movie just about what Gordon had to do to stay away from Bane's henchmen and lead the rebellion? I bet it would have kicked ass.

Good job, Gary. Hopefully, if TDKR ends up getting a bunch of Oscar nominations you get one for Gordon. You deserve it.









- Christian Bale: In an overall sense, Christian Bale has not been a good Batman. In the first two movies he just wasn't all that interesting. However, in TDKR, Bale's Batman/Bruce Wayne comes off as a real human being and someone you can root for. It probably has something to do with the whole "broken down man coming out of retirement to fight the bad guys" thing. Wayne isn't as arrogant in this movie. He even makes that awful scene in the whole in the desert watchable. Who the heck would have thought that would happen? I know I didn't. Good job, Christian.






- Joseph Gordon-Levitt: Gordon-Levitt's Officer Blake was another guy you could root for throughout the movie, mostly because of his honesty and good guyness. You knew as soon as you saw him that he wasn't going to blink, he wasn't going to knuckle under and wimp out and that he was going to stand against Bane when he took over the city. He wasn't going to be like Mathew Modine, who you just knew was going to be a gigantic pussy as soon as you saw him. That's awesome. And how can you root against a guy that risks his life for a bunch of kids on a bus trying to get over a bridge? You just can't.

Now, Warner Bros has said that it plans on rebooting the Batman franchise in the near future because Nolan has said he's done with it. Before the WB does the reboot and the proposed Justice League movie, the studio should figure out a way to make a Nightwing movie with Blake as Nightwing. I mean, he essentially owns the Batcave now. Why not see if audiences would show up for it? What's $100 million?






- William Devane as the President of the United States: It just makes sense.





- The flick's overall comic booky feel: Unlike the first two Nolan movies, The Dark Knight Rises feels more like a comic book, feels more like it's trying to have fun. It isn't as deadly serious and morose as the other two, and to a certain extent doesn't come off as a bunch of pretentious bullshit. A bad guy has literally taken over Gotham City and Batman has to stop him. It doesn't get more comic booky than that. If only the other two movies had the same tone...





And now,



What I didn't like about The Dark Knight Rises:


- The League of Shadows bullshit: Yeah, I know, the whole League thing allows the trilogy to "come full circle" and have Liam Neeson show up for a few brief seconds as Ra's Al Ghul, but I could have done without any of that shit. Why not have Bane as a psycho mercenary with just a general need to destroy Gotham who, at first, works for Daggett, but then decides to go out on his own? That would have made more sense. You could still have Miranda as Bane's, for the lack of a better word, woman, so it's not like the League is necessary like that. The League doesn't kill the movie, but, for me, it would have been best to just leave all that shit in the first movie.





- The hole in the desert that Bruce Wayne has to get out of: This part feels like a completely different movie and, as an idea, probably would have been better as its own thing. Why not have Bane destroy Batman and leave him for dead on the outskirts of Gotham, only to then be rescued by Blake or something like that? Is it in the movie solely because Nolan needs Bane to run Gotham for five months?








- Anne Hathaway as Catwoman: Hathaway tries very hard to be sexy and mean and whatnot, but it just doesn't work. She isn't believable for one second. I laughed out loud when she went all slinky and whatnot inside Wayne manor, kicking Bruce's cane away so she could escape. What the fuck am I watching here?

And what is this "Selena Kyle" bullshit? She's playing fucking Catwoman. She's wearing the Catwoman outfit. She's fucking Catwoman. Jesus Christ.





- The movie is just too long: While TDKR doesn't exactly waste time, at almost three hours it's still way too long. It probably needs to lose about thirty minutes or so, although, at the moment, I'm not quite sure what precisely needs to go. It's just a feeling I have. Am I the only one who thought this?





- Bane deserved a more dramatic death: Bane gets blasted in the chest with the Batcycle gun. He flies back. And that's it. What the fuck? If the movie is going to introduce him via a spectacular skyjacking he needs to go out of the movie with something just as spectacular. Why wasn't he crushed by something or torn apart in a plane propeller? Or run over by one of the Tumblers his gang stole? That would have been pretty cool, right?





Conclusion

I give the movie an 8 out of 10, maybe an 8.5. I liked it quite a bit. As I said, for me, it's the best of the Nolan movies by far.

Now, onto the next Batman franchise, which, I guess, is going to start up after the Justice League movie. What the heck is Batman going to look like next? Another uber serious movie or will we get a somewhat fun comic book movie? I can't wait to find out.




***





"I am Gotham's reckoning."


Why isn't this on a T-shirt? I know it's not an exact quote, but, come on, it would be a cool shirt.


***
The Gratuitous B-Movie Column B-Movie Theme of the Week



Enjoy.





And this one is pretty cool, too.








***

And now, the weekly Fearnet update


Fearnet, the only free all horror/thriller On Demand TV network features uncut, uncensored horror flicks from the past and present 24 hours a day, seven days a week, pretty much any time you freaking want them (as long as you still have power, that is). The channel also has behind-the-scenes stuff, trailers, and other cool hooey for you to check out. Check your local cable listings for availability (According to the Fearnetwebsite more and more Time Warner and Cox Cable areas are getting the channel. Be sure to go here to see if Fearnet is coming to your area).

Fearnet also exists as a regular old TV channel. This Fearnet airs horror movies roughly twenty one hours a day (there is a block of infomercials in the morning, usually from 6-9am est). The movies shown do have "commercial breaks" in them, similar to the breaks that currently appear on IFC, but the movies are uncut (blood and boobs and cursing are all intact).

Fearnet's website, fearnet.com, offers free movies, interviews, news, and other behind-the-scenes horror movie nerd stuff, too. George A. Romero's classic The Crazies was on the site last week. Is it still there? Check and see). You should also look for information regarding a new block of Saturday morning "retro" cartoons the channel plans to air. Sounds pretty cool.





The website also features Post Mortem with Mick Garris, a nifty interview show where big, fat Stephen King's favorite director talks with genre legends like John Carpenter, Wes Craven, Roger Corman, and others. It's definitely worth your time.

If you're a Facebook nerd (and, really, today, who isn't?) you can check out the Fearnet fans Facebook page, which can be seen here. There are plenty of people out there interested in Fearnet. Join them. And, as always, thanks to both Mark Lindsey and Mathew Hirsch for info regarding the Fearnet fan movement.






***

More Things I'm Tired Of

The following is yet another list of Things I'm Tired Of. The things on the list appear in no particular order of importance. It's just a list of Things I'm Tired Of. Enjoy.










- Paul Ryan and P90X: I know that Congressperson and 2012 Republican Vice-Presidential nominee Paul Ryan credits his apparent uber fitness to the P90X exercise program. I mean, how could I not know that? Pretty much every news report about Congressperson Ryan since Romney picked him as his running mate has mentioned it. He's a fit guy. He doesn't eat "junk" food. He loves to work out in the morning before going to work. Who the fuck cares? And why is the media still talking about it? Doesn't a "story" like this warrant, at best, two days of coverage?

And why isn't anyone questioning Representative Ryan's "Americanness" because of this story? We hear constantly about how fat, out of shape, and generally lazy Americans are. Why would "real" Americans want to elect someone who, by his very life story, isn't one of them? If Paul Ryan isn't ready to eat both an entire sausage and pepperoni pizza and a chocolate cake while watching ten straight hours of NCIS reruns, how can I trust him to make decisions in my best interest? How am I supposed to relate to a guy that doesn't do that kind of thing?















- Triple H: I knew it wouldn't happen, but I was really hoping that after Brock Lesnar
"broke" Triple H's arm at Summerslam that Triple H would just disappear. I am so goddamn bored with him and all of his personas that if he never appeared on TV again I'd be okay with it. The man hasn't been interesting in years, and his general smugness is no longer any kind of asset. He's a part of the McMahon inner circle now. He's married to the daughter of the boss and is essentially going to be running the company outright in a few years. He's going to put himself over just about every time because he thinks he's Hulk Hogan. Please, Triple H, your time has passed, you're boring as fuck, just go away. Don't come back.

Am I the only one who thinks this?














- Stores that don't have large genre DVD sections: I've never understood why stores that sell DVDs typically don't have large genre sections. More often than not horror and sci-fi movies are put together in the same section, and that section is barely a quarter of the family movie or comedy sections. Action movies get a little more respect, but even they don't cover much space on the sales floor. The TV-on-DVD section needs another five feet, I guess. What the hell is the deal here? With all of the genre movies out there, big and small, getting released to DVD, you'd think that they'd each get an aisle all to themselves. Isn't choice a big draw to DVD buying? Am I missing something here?

Well, I guess I should be happy I can still buy anything in a store now, what with all of the online buying going on. How long do I have to bitch about this before I have to start bitching about not being able to buy anything in a store? Two years? Three?















- People taking "journeys": Just about everything is a fucking "journey" now. People don't "fight" cancer anymore. They engage in a "cancer fighting journey" or embark on a "journey to recovery." No one studies for a PhD, they have a "higher education journey." And no one seeks justice anymore. They go on a "journey for justice." This "journey" shit has to end. Not everything is a "journey" towards something. If I want to accomplish something, like making a turkey sandwich, I'm not engaging in a fucking "journey towards food." I'm just making a sandwich.

And "quests." People have to stop having "quests," too. Not everything is a major fucking search for something.

What the hell is wrong with the world? What?




***


The Gratuitous B-Movie Column B-Movie Babe of the Week: Rhona Mitra










***

Things to Watch Out For This Week: Part 2



- Re-Animator: This horror classic has several different DVD editions, but this particular one, from the fine folks at Image Entertainment, is a rather cheaply priced(Amazon has it for nine bucks). It does have a few special features, though, including a commentary by director Stuart Gordon, so that's cool. Definitely worth getting if you don't already have it.









- Mother's Day: This is the 1980 Troma movie, not the remake that came out earlier this year. Not sure on what kind of special features this edition will have, but Troma usually puts something cool on its DVDs. Not always but usually.










- Holy Flying Circus: This is a TV movie from the BBC about the controversy surrounding the release of Monty Python's Life of Brian back in 1979. Anyone see this? Is it any good? Is it worth getting (as far as I can tell it's only getting a Blu-ray release)?










- Amsterdam Heavy: This is some sort of low budget revenge action movie about a guy in Amsterdam, well, seeking revenge. The great Michael Madsen is in it, and, according to amazon, some bad ass cage fighters. Sounds and looks cool.









- Attack of the Herbals: This, apparently, is a Scottish zombie comedy of some sort. The trailer is pretty funny, and I like the idea of people drinking tea and becoming zombies, so based on those facts this flick is worth at least a rental.





***
The Gratuitous B-Movie Column Douchebag of the Week






This week, The Gratuitous B-Movie Column Douchebag of the Week goes to Tom Head, Judge of Lubbock County, Texas, for claiming that, if President Obama is reelected, there will be "civil unrest" and that the President will both send in U.N. troops to stop the unrest and "hand over the sovereignty of the United States to the UN." Judge Head never really explains why President Obama would send in UN troops or he would "hand over" US sovereignty to the UN, but then when you're out of your fucking mind I guess you don't have to explain yourself. I'd really like to know why, though, he thinks there will be "civil unrest" if the President is reelected, and what he thinks "civil unrest" means. Would he join in on the unrest or would he try to stop it? Would he ask the governor of Texas to send in the National Guard to stop the UN troops?

And wasn't Bill Clinton going to do this back in the 1990's? Why didn't it happen back then?

I said it last issue, and I'll say it again this issue: the President is a black guy. He was legally elected to office, and there's a chance he might be elected again. Get the fuck over it and get on with your lives. There's no reason to be afraid.

Jesus Christ. How the hell did this Head guy get elected to anything? How?





Up next is NBC affiliate KSL-TV in Salt Lake City, Utah, for declining to air the new fall sitcom The New Normal because of its "inappropriate" subject matter. And what the heck is so "inappropriate" about The New Normal? It's a show about a gay family with kids.

Oh my God! It's the end of the world! Faggots with kids!

The NBC station, owned by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, apparently refused to air The Playboy Club last year, too, so banning shows isn't a new thing for it. And religious institution or not, flagrant homophobia is nothing to be proud of. And banning TV shows is ridiculous.

Disgraceful.




And finally, sadly, there's Hollywood icon Clint Eastwood, for his speech last Thursday night at the Republican National Convention. For whatever reason, Clint rambled on, talking to an empty chair that represented President Obama. The speech didn't make much sense and made it clear that Clint should probably just stick to being a movie actor and director and, if he loves the Republican party so dang much, write a big check every so often and leave the right wing propaganda bullshit to people who don't act like they've been sniffing glue all day. It wasn't funny, it wasn't cute, and it wasn't cool. It was just sad. Very, very sad.
I mean, if Romney and the Republicans were in need of a "big star" why didn't they get that douchebag Donald Trump or Chuck Norris? I bet Chuck would have done a better job. Or why not "Nature Boy" Ric Flair?



Imagine that before Mitt Romney. We'd all be talking about it for ten years at least.

***

Indycar and NASCAR thoughts



Well, the IZOD Indycar Series event on the streets of Baltimore was a wreckfest, with multiple cautions and several moderate sized hits. That last corner right after the chicane was a real hazard, with several cars smashing into it while trying to get onto the front stretch. The driver who could negotiate that section of the track without wrecking would be the winner, and for most of the race it looked like points leader and Team Penske driver Will Power would be that driver. He started on the pole and just dominated the early part of the race. Things got a little hairy for him and everyone else as rain was fast approaching and the teams needed to figure out how and when to put on rain tires. Power remained up front, but guys like Takuma Sato, Simon Pagenaud, Ryan Briscoe, Sebastien Bourdais, and Oriol Servia led laps and looked like threats for the win. In the end, because of the cautions, horrendous restarts, and weird pit strategy, Will Power could only manage a sixth place finish. Ryan Hunter-Reay, who needed to win to stay in the championship hunt, eventually won the race over Power's teammate and last week's winner Ryan Briscoe. Pagenaud was third, and Scott Dixon was fourth.

That second to last restart should have been waved off as Hunter-Reay clearly jumped the start. Briscoe didn't go, and as the leader he leads the field to the green. However, race officials claimed that Hunter-Reay didn't jump and that he followed the rules (some bullshit involving cones or something). After the race Roger Penske was pissed because he thought Hunter-Reay jumped the start and wanted some kind of clarification. It's pretty obvious that absolutely no one understands what the restart rules are, and it's high time that someone figure out what the hell the rules are supposed to be so bullshit like that doesn't happen again. I mean, this is the kind of thing that could cause Penske to start up his own series. Indycar really needs to figure that stuff out.

Dario Franchitti continued his slide towards mediocrity. He started up front but was never really a factor. I have no idea why (the NBC Sports people didn't talk to him after the race). Rubens Barrichello had a good day, finishing fifth. And E.J. Viso, shockingly, finished ninth and wasn't involved in an accident. The same couldn't be said for both Mike Conway and Marco Andretti, fast drivers who just couldn't catch a break. They were both involved in that track blocking wreck that was likely the deciding factor in Hunter-Reay's eventual win. What the heck does Conway have to do to catch a break?

Bruno Junquiera subbed for the injured Josef Newgarden but couldn't do much in the Sarah Fisher ride. And poor Ed Carpenter, who actually had a good run going, hit the wall and ended up last. Carpenter isn't much of a road racer, but he qualified eleventh and was actually able to keep pace with the road course regulars. And then he hit the wall. Hopefully for Carpenter he'll be able to make something happen at Fontana in two weeks.

The California Speedway is up next, the last race of the year, and the championship is down to two guys, Will Power and Ryan Hunter-Reay. Neither guy is much of an oval racer, so it'll be interesting to see who manages to come out on top. I really don't know who it's going to be. Power is due for a championship but, again, he isn't much of an oval racer so California is going to be tough for him. The race is in two weeks, Saturday night, September 15th, and will be on NBC Sports.





Over in NASCAR, I'm writing this as the Sprint Cup race at Atlanta is 200 miles in. Kyle Busch seems to be the guy to beat at the moment.

Tony Stewart apparently won't have Office Depot as a sponsor in 2013. What the heck does that mean for him? Will Mobil 1 pick up the slack, or are there other major companies out there waiting to put their names on the side of his #14?

Matt Kenseth is expected to announce where exactly he'll be racing next year, and it looks like he'll be going to Gibbs, as Gibbs is also expected to announce what it's doing next year on Tuesday. Elliott Sadler won't be driving for Childress in the Nationwide Series in 2013 and could be stepping into a full time Toyota ride for Gibbs. Joey Logano, who is expected to leave Gibbs at the end of the season, could be going to Penske and the #22. That should be an interesting combo (for instance, will Penske convince Logano to try to qualify for the Indy 500? He's young and fast enough to give it a shot). Of course, Gibbs might keep Logano around in a possible fourth car, which would mean maybe Sam Hornish would stay in the #22? Who the heck knows?

Richmond is this Saturday night, the last race before the Chase. Who will make it? Who will be left out? The race will air on ABC starting at, like, 7pm est or so. See you there.


***


Well, I think that'll be about it for this issue. B-movies rule, always remember that.

If there's anything you want to see reviewed here in this column, feel free to offer a comment below or send me an e-mail. I'm always on the lookout for new stuff to watch.

And don't forget to bookmark 411 via the little line below. You'll be glad you did.

The Expendables 2

Sylvester Stallone- Barney Ross
Jason Statham- Lee Christmas
Jet Li- Yin Yang
Dolph Lundgren- Gunner Jensen
Jean-Claude Van Damme- Villain
Chuck Norris- Booker
Bruce Willis- Church
Ahnold Schwarzenegger- Trench
Terry Crews- Hale Caesar
Randy Couture- Toll Road
Liam Hemsworth- Billy
Scott Adkins- Hector
Nan Yu- Maggie

Directed by Simon West
Screenplay by Richard Wenk and Sylvester Stallone, based on a story Ken Kaufman, David Agosto, and Richard Wenk and based on characters created by David Callaham

Distributed by Lionsgate

Rated R for strong bloody violence and some language
Runtime- 103 minutes
Website: http://theexpendables2film.com/










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