Alright, I said I would try to update once a week and I failed last week. But I have a good excuse! I was busy consuming blog worthy media! I saw two movies, went to a friend’s housewarming party (which is not media but did kind of distract me from blogging) and went to a concert. This is a great deal of activity in one week for me. And it has provided a great deal of blog content. This is going to be a long one, you may want to get a drink.
Anyway, first up is The Expendables.
I could just leave it at that, but I’ll elaborate. Aside from the MASSIVE concentration of man-candy in this movie, the acting was also surprisingly good. I mean, I know the cast is mostly comprised of guys who tend to be categorized as good actors so it shouldn’t be surprising; however, given the fact that the previews make it very clear that this is a movie shaped entirely around the concept of getting Stallone, Willis and the Governator all in the same scene, I was kind of surprised that they wrote enough dialogue into it for there to BE good acting.
I was specifically impressed with Mickey Rourke and Dolph Lundgren.
My crush on Rourke developed when I saw Iron Man 2, so I hadn’t really experienced him being a laid back good guy. I remember his character from Once Upon a Time in Mexico, and that was a laid back role, but it wasn’t nearly as… I dunno, friendly? amiable? as his portrayal of Toole in The Expendables. So he did a good job over all, but there was one specific scene that was really just amazing. I won’t ruin it for you, but he has this monologue where the character is waxing philosophical in this awesome tough guy who isn’t used to sharing deep emotions kind of way. It is amazingly well done.
And Lundgren! Before this movie the only other thing I had seen him in was Rocky IV! Before I IMDBed him to make sure I was spelling his name right just now I wasn’t even sure he had been in anything besides The Expendables and Rocky IV! Hence, it was extremely surprising to find that he can indeed act. I mean, you wouldn’t know it from Rocky because all he does is stand there and look mean. He barely says ten words in that entire film. But in The Expendables he has to play this slightly psycho, drug addled, sarcastic merc. He was gritty and slightly disturbing and fantastic! I really want to see him in other things now.
So those two impressed me most I think. I’m not a huge Jet Li fan. He was ok, but nothing spectacular. There’s some UFC guy who plays a mercenary who has a therapist. This would be a fantastic concept if they had elaborated on it a bit, but they didn’t. The black Expendable had absolutely no character development whatsoever, so he was kinda shrug worthy. Stallone was Stallone, enough said. And Statham is just sort of generally spectacular, so there’s not a whole lot to say about him either.
Overall I do think it was cast fairly well, with just one little exception. I am sorry, but David Zayas is NOT A GENERAL. Holy crap, I swear I almost pissed myself laughing when they introduced the oh so sinister General Garza who is supposed to have staged this big coup to take control of this island somewhere in Latin America, feared by the populace and respected by his soldiers… and oh my god it’s Angel Batista from Dexter!! Seriously, Angel Batista is the LEAST INTIMIDATING man that could have possibly been cast for this role. I love David Zayas, but no. He is not a believable general AT ALL.
The plot was pretty much crap, as you might expect. Very simple, lots of action and violence, an attempt at throwing in a twist or two, but overall pretty predictable.
Personally, I enjoyed it a great deal. The acting made up for the crap plot, in my opinion, and there were lots of sexy men running around and hitting each other.
Next I saw Scott Pilgrim vs. The World.
This movie was as far away from The Expendables as is probably possible to get, but in its own way just as awesome. The movie’s plot is pretty much summed up in all of the movie trailers. Scott Pilgrim likes this girl and starts dating her, but then her evil exes start attacking him and he learns that in order to date her he will have to defeat them.
That’s really just about all there is to this movie. There’s a bit of subplot involving the girl Scott is dating at the beginning of the movie before he meets Ramona (the girl with the evil exes) and the girl who broke Scott’s heart before the beginning of the movie, but it’s mostly just boy falls for girl and then boy fights a bunch of people. Strewn throughout this is some awesome music, fun dialogue, 8bit video game and comic references, and some really spectacular characters.
I think my favorite part of the whole movie might be Scott’s gay roommate who he shares a bed with, Wallace.
Wallace might be the only person in the movie who seems realistic, but at the same time he completely fits in with all of the crazy, fantastical, completely NOT realistic people and things that are going on. A be-eyelinered Indian dude flies down from the heavens crashing through the ceiling of a bar and attacks his roommate who was in the middle of playing a set with his band, and Wallace just heckles him like it’s completely normal. Then at a different point in the movie he staggers into the apartment drunk, falls into bed with Scott, has a barely conscious conversation with him and passes out just before Scott gets a call from his sister berating him for something that Wallace has just texted her about, WHILE HE WAS UNCONCIOUS. Wallace is spectacular and hilarious and I wish he were a real person so that I could meet him.
And it is all based on a 6 part series of comics.
The comics are a little different from the movie, as tends to be the case. Some things from the comics were cut out or changed to make it all flow a little easier. I read the comics after seeing the movie, so I suppose I have a slight bias toward the movie, though I do wish they had left in sub-space as a real thing rather than mentioning it and then sort of playing it off as though it was a joke or something. Point is, the comic is definitely worth reading and the movie is definitely worth seeing. And Wallace is equally awesome in both.
Finally, the concert. On Sunday I went to a really cool venue here in Northern Virginia called the Filene Center, which is part of the Wolf Trap Foundation for the Performing Arts. The Filene Center is this huge open air amphitheatre. The stage and the seats are all covered and then the hill behind the seats is uncovered and people can spread out blankets there to watch the show. It is beautiful.
And I was there, with The Keeper, Dungeon Master and his wife to see Great Big Sea.
I haven’t danced so much in ages. It was awesome. We were sitting in about the 5th row, but we were over to the side right in front of the speakers. Very loud, but awesome. And the boys were joking around between (and once during) songs. I could see that Mr. Sean McCann was performing barefoot, which I found quirky and fun. I’d love to know if he does that all the time. And I could see how much fun they were having. The pure, unadulterated joy at performing for all of us. It was incredible.
Here are a couple videos I found on YouTube from Sunday, which for some strange reason I am unable to embed… which vexes me. Oh well, enjoy.
Hit the Ground and Run