Action films have certainly seen better days. Once the great rulers of the summer boxoffice they have now been replaced with queasy-cam-shot-by-coke-addict-with-tourettes "thrillers," mind-numbing CGI vomit (probably in 3D) or pretentious superhero films made for preteens. We here at Light Within Light are saddened and dismayed by this turn of events, being great champions of the action movie genre. Yet things are looking up this coming summer with some potentially old-school action movies hitting cinemas. The trailers and ads for these films indicate that some shots might actually be longer than 3 seconds (!) and that there might be some actual fights, stuntworks and explosions (as opposed to cartoonish, gravity-denying bullshit shot on greenscreen and motion-captured by an army of ADD graphic designers hopped up on Red Bull).
Here are three films all of which have some interesting trailers available for your perusal.
We're definitely not holding our breath for this one to be any good but there are some indications that there might be hope to salvage the franchise after the horrible debacle that was the Aliens versus Predator films. First of all, the film is being produced by Robert Rodriguez, and from what I've seen it seems more influenced by old-school Desperado/El Mariachi Rodriguez rather than the Spy Kids Rodriguez (that first Spy Kids film was actually pretty good... but still, you know what I'm saying). Second, the cast looks interesting, to say the least. The first Predator film has rightfully earned its place in the annals of bad ass cinema due to its awesome cast, which included Jesse "The Body" Ventura, Bill Duke, Apollo Creed, Shane Black (yeah... thatShane Black) and, of course, Arnold. In this one we have what is supposed to be (or so I gather) a team of mercenaries and murderers all put on an alien planet to be hunted by predators. And the team in question? Adrien Brody, Topher Grace, Laurence Fishburne and Danny Trejo. OK, Danny Trejo makes sense, he would even have stood his own in the team from the first film, but Adrien Brody and Topher Grace? I think I could hunt them down and I weight a 135 with bubble gum and a backpack so the Predator shouldn't have too much trouble. Still, the casting has me intrigued, if not downright confused. Some of the shots from the trailer look pretty darn good, especially that last one with Brody looking scared out of his mind as about thirty of those three-dot laser bullseyes start popping up all over his body (you know the one; the one that means that someone's going to get their arm shot off - a la the Creed in Predator I).
Just saw this trailer today and I must say I am more than a little intrigued. Red is based on a comic book written by Warren Ellis. I am a great aficionado of comics but I can't say I've ever been a huge fan of Ellis. First of all, he has the same name as the all time nr.1 sleazeball in film history. Second, he tends to write rather pretentious, over the top, ultra-violent nonsense that is, for one reason or another, supposed to be hip. But it looks like they're primarily going for a humorous take in the film, rather than the angsty "grittiness" Ellis is known for, so it might be completely different from his work. The film seems to revolve around a team of expert assassins who have all gotten old and retired but who get so bored they end up getting back to together and fighting some shady government people. The cast is really what sells this one: Helen Mirren, Morgan Freeman, John Malkovich and last but not least, my man Bruce Willis. Just that one shot from the trailer of Helen Mirren shooting from a gattling gun that makes Jessie Ventura's cannon from the first Predator look like a Red Rider BB gun makes me want to see this thing real bad. And Bruce Willis. But that goes without saying. The shot of Malkovich, strapped with explosives, bug-eyed like all hell, running after those dudes and screaming at the top of his lungs also looks like a potential classic.
3) The Expendables
The trailer has been out for a while but today we learned that the film is indeed rated R and a hard R at that. Which means that its actually made for people old enough to drink. How about that! The cast basically indicates that this is either going to be awesomely bad or awesomely good. In either case it will be better than most films coming out this year. If this film is just Ron Howard-esque Timberwolves* I'll eat my hat.
Note: I refuse to embed or link to the trailer for this film because its a piece of garbage with horrible early 2000's Nu-Metal (wasn't Nu-Metal supposed to be dead by now?). Anyway, this film is going to be awesome, in one form or another, trailer or no trailer. Keep the faith!
*"Timberwolves" is a technical term used by professional film-theorists such as ourselves indicating the absolute mediocrity of a work of art. A Timberwolves film may be technically well made, high-budget and well produced but lacks any and all passion, pizzaz and general coolness. Timberwolves films are among the most boring and uninteresting of films since they are basically just a Hollywood product that in no way attempts to experiment with or transcend cookie-cutter form, theme and content. The term is an homage to the wonderfully mediocre NBA team Minnesota Timberwolves. The evil, baseball-cap-wearing mastermind Ron Howard is the all-time reigning champion of the Timberwolves film.