First of all, Brandi and I saw The Expendables 2 last week. Enjoyed the hell out of it. The “meta” humor gets laid on a little too thick in the final reel, but otherwise, it’s pretty much exactly what I wanted it to be. Big, loud, dumb fun, with all my go-to 80s and 90s action guys standing shoulder-to-shoulder blazing away with ludicrously large firearms. Objectively, it’s not a “good” movie – the story (such as it is) is poorly structured, characters pop in inexplicably to save our main heroes and then disappear again, character development is minimal (to say the least), and some of the action scenes are – again – poorly shot. But I still loved it, and look forward to owning it on Blu-ray.
I was explaining to a friend of mine who loves classic horror films (which, you know, I do too) that the appeal of The Expendables flicks to me was the same as one of those horror flicks where you’d get old Bela Lugosi, Tor Johnson & Lon Chaney Jr. together (The Black Sleep) or Christopher Lee, Peter Cushing, Vincent Price, & John Carradine all in the same movie (House Of Long Shadows), or a Universal monster mash like 1944’s House of Frankenstein (which is almost as badly-structured as EX2). It doesn’t really matter whether or not the movie is “good” or not, the joy comes from seeing favorite genre icons sharing the screen.
Plus, you know, explosions.
While still in that action flick mood, I thought I’d order the new DVD release of the 1981 South African martial arts movie, Kill And Kill Again, starring James Ryan. I saw this decidedly goofy actioner at the drive-in when I was in High School, paired with its predecessor, Kill Or Be Killed (not available on DVD, unfortunately), and haven’t seen it since. And, while I was at Amazon anyway, I succumbed to my weakness for Don “The Dragon” Wilson kickboxer movies, and ordered Blackbelt, which is apparently Don’s version of The Bodyguard. With luck, those discs will be here by the weekend.