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C'mon Hollywood #221

Sep. 15, 2009by: J.A. Hamilton

...The Expendables VS Machete!
by J.A. Hamilton

I’ve always been a prominent action fan. Nine times out of ten, if there’s an adrenaline fueled feature in town, my ass is in a theater seat. I wasn’t allowed to watch violent flicks when I was a kid (which was pretty rough considering we’re talking late eighties early nineties here), so I’d sneak off to my grandparent’s house where I watched stuff like RAMBO, COBRA, THE RUNNING MAN and so many others. Times have changed, forcing films to change and sadly, epic action flicks just aren’t as abundant as they used to be. And unfortunately, a choice amount of this genre’s flicks are a tad rough around the edges (to say the least), which is why stuff like THE EXPENDABLES and MACHETE up my pulse quicker than a Redbull. So this week, I’m dedicating this column to all the action junkies out there, with a debate over which you (and I) think will be better and/are more excited for: THE EXPENDABLES or MACHETE.

This poster gives me goosebumps

CAST: In regards to casting, it’s only fair to embrace the cold, hard truth of the matter, being that there’s a fair amount of nostalgia involved here (for me anyway). Stallone gets props for a couple reasons, one, springing a “royal flush” of action stars on us (both old and new) fulfills a violent dream that’s been lying dormant within all action fans for quite some time. And two, well, of these two candidates, Sly was also first to hit us with the “ensemble cast” scenario. Not to say Rodriguez hasn’t created a similar testosterone induced vision in MACHETE. I’m totally digging the Danny Trejo love (dude is the man), and I’m exceedingly curious to see Steven Seagal in something noteworthy and un-turdlike. But when it comes right down to it, Sly, Jet Li, Statham, Lundgren, Crews, the Governator and possibly Willis? I’m sorry, but as surprised as I am to hear Don Johnson’s still alive, I have to give this round to THE EXPENDABLES.


Together at last, let's hope it was worth the wait

STORY/PLOT: One of the tag lines for THE EXPENDABLES is, “a group of mercenaries head to South America to overthrow a dictator.” Not the most awe-inspiring thing I’ve ever heard. However, the idea of Lundgren’s character having it out with Sly and then turning villain IS pretty cool (not to mention the dictator’s being played by DEXTER’s David Zayas, also cool). MACHETE (which sported a couple groovy trailers via GRINDHOUSE and the movie promo) isn’t delving too highly into new territory either, finding Trejo’s character (a renegade former Mexican Federale), who’s hired to take out a corrupt Senator, but gets double crossed and is then out for blood. The synopsis is like DESPERADO in some ways (no complaints here), which is fitting considering Rodriguez directed it and the MACHETE character was born of it. Hell, action flicks don’t always need clever stories, so I’m gonna have to call this round a TIE.


There's no end to how insanely cool this character looks

RATING: Here’s the difference maker for me. For all the hype THE EXPENDABLES has been pushing (it’s been worse than crack), all it took was one little announcement to derail my enthusiasm. When producer Avi Lerner was asked about violence, he answered by saying they’re shooting two versions of the film, PG-13 and R rated, and plan to go with whichever one “tests better.” Sounds to me like another PG-13 theatrical release (to make the most money), followed by an unrated/director’s cut on DVD/BLU RAY. Rodriguez, on the other hand, is a man who loves his R rated films, no smoke and mirrors there. MACHETE promises to be EVERYTHING a great action flick should be (I’d expect nothing less from Rodriguez), and though a PG-13 EXPENDABLES isn’t written in stone, I’m still gonna have to side with MACHETE here. At least with Rodriguez I KNOW what I’m getting.


Four more reasons why I love Rodriguez (five if you count Trejo)

Make no mistake, I’m pumped as hell for BOTH these films. Guys like Gerard Butler, Jason Statham, Liam Neeson, Christian Bale, Daniel Craig and even Hugh Jackman have ALL been providing some great action titles these past few years, but like I said earlier, things have changed. And when I see a couple films sporting the lineups that Sly and Rodriguez have put together, it takes me back to the late eighties/early nineties when action was “King” and adrenaline seemed to rule Hollywood. Times change, and I can live with that, but I won’t deny the “butterflies in my stomach” feeling I get when rare gems like 300, GLADIATOR and SIN CITY come knocking. I can only hope that MACHETE and THE EXPENDABLES pack even half the punch those films did, and provide us with a couple more additions to our favorite action libraries. So of the two, which are YOU more excited for?

Extra Tidbit: I was also a HUGE Van Damme fan growing up, and was unimaginably upset when I heard he turned Sly down. Other than him, I couldn’t help but wonder why Chuck Norris didn’t get a call, or even Wesley Snipes.
Source: JoBlo.com
Tags: Hollywood

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8:30AM on 09/15/2009

Extra Tidbit

Same here. I was regularly checking Joblo to see the announcement that Van Damme was cast. He's a fool for turning it down, but then his career has a long pattern of self-destruction and bad choices that would merit an article all of its own!
Same here. I was regularly checking Joblo to see the announcement that Van Damme was cast. He's a fool for turning it down, but then his career has a long pattern of self-destruction and bad choices that would merit an article all of its own!
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8:42AM on 09/15/2009
Yeah, I was very disappointed that Van Damme wasn't in The Expendables. Otherwise, that movie will have the greatest action stars ensemble.
Yeah, I was very disappointed that Van Damme wasn't in The Expendables. Otherwise, that movie will have the greatest action stars ensemble.
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9:54AM on 09/15/2009
that poster's lousy and i have very low expectations for expendables. more excited about machete myself.
that poster's lousy and i have very low expectations for expendables. more excited about machete myself.
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11:54AM on 09/15/2009
Expendables will be the best of the two if it's done right and rated R. The bootleg trailer looks pretty good so far, but it's still too early to tell.
Expendables will be the best of the two if it's done right and rated R. The bootleg trailer looks pretty good so far, but it's still too early to tell.
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12:01PM on 09/15/2009
Expendables will be the best of the two if it's done right and rated R. The bootleg trailer looks pretty good so far, but it's still too early to tell.
Expendables will be the best of the two if it's done right and rated R. The bootleg trailer looks pretty good so far, but it's still too early to tell.
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12:03PM on 09/15/2009
"Steven Seagal in something noteworthy and un-turdlike"
LOL.. Un-turdlike... I love it... couldn't use a better descriptive word for Seagal than "Turdlike" Haha! Either way, they both look great, I'll be seeing both, the only difference is that with MACHETE, I know what I'm getting, and won't be dissapointed, since, honestly, I don't have very high expectations.. I'm mean its Rodriguez, you get what you get, on the other hand, the hype train has me so pumped for Expendables (even though I
"Steven Seagal in something noteworthy and un-turdlike"
LOL.. Un-turdlike... I love it... couldn't use a better descriptive word for Seagal than "Turdlike" Haha! Either way, they both look great, I'll be seeing both, the only difference is that with MACHETE, I know what I'm getting, and won't be dissapointed, since, honestly, I don't have very high expectations.. I'm mean its Rodriguez, you get what you get, on the other hand, the hype train has me so pumped for Expendables (even though I tryed not to let it, but with that cast...)that I'm worried I might be a bit dissapointed when the credits roll. Meh, ya win some, ya lose some.. I have my fingers crossed.
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12:09PM on 09/15/2009

Machete

Machete all the way! Danny Trejo and a shit load of knives can't miss. I still think some of the cast on both sides are questionable. Lindsay Lohan? But at least there's some good action films to look forward to next summer.
Machete all the way! Danny Trejo and a shit load of knives can't miss. I still think some of the cast on both sides are questionable. Lindsay Lohan? But at least there's some good action films to look forward to next summer.
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12:26PM on 09/15/2009
I'm on board for Expendables but I'm worried that there's too many great actors involved and that they may not get enough screentime. The only other ensemble cast movies I've seen are stuff like the Mortal Kombat movies and the original Streetfighter. And we all know how those movies worked out.
I'm on board for Expendables but I'm worried that there's too many great actors involved and that they may not get enough screentime. The only other ensemble cast movies I've seen are stuff like the Mortal Kombat movies and the original Streetfighter. And we all know how those movies worked out.
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1:32PM on 09/15/2009
I couldn't agree more on this article! I too grew up diverting my parents' restrictions to watch those awesome 80s/90s action flicks. Nice to have Sly & Rodriguez giving the audience what it wants!
I couldn't agree more on this article! I too grew up diverting my parents' restrictions to watch those awesome 80s/90s action flicks. Nice to have Sly & Rodriguez giving the audience what it wants!
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2:29PM on 09/15/2009

Oh Yes

I miss the action movies of the 80s and 90s too. Oh times have indeed changed. I wasn't aware of the potential PG-13 rating for The Expendables. That sucks.

I think Rodriguez might end up winnig this showdown. I just think he is the better action director. Desperado is one of my favorite action films of all time.

The action films that I grew with and LOVE are all hard R rated action flicks. Letheal Weapon! Die Hard! Tango and Cash! Hard to Kill! Timecop! Hard Boiled! The Killer!
I miss the action movies of the 80s and 90s too. Oh times have indeed changed. I wasn't aware of the potential PG-13 rating for The Expendables. That sucks.

I think Rodriguez might end up winnig this showdown. I just think he is the better action director. Desperado is one of my favorite action films of all time.

The action films that I grew with and LOVE are all hard R rated action flicks. Letheal Weapon! Die Hard! Tango and Cash! Hard to Kill! Timecop! Hard Boiled! The Killer! FACE/OFF! Hard Target! The Long Kiss Goodnight! Action Jackson! Predator! True Lies! Commando! Marked for Death! Under Siege! Aliens! Terminator 2! The Last Boy Scout! Demolition Man! Police Story! Desperado! Assassins! Robocop! Big Trouble in Little China!

There are so many, many more. I think I'm going to watch Lethal Weapon 2 right now.

I too am surprised Snipes didn't get in on this. He REALLY could have used this movie. But I've never been a Chuck Norris Fan. I can't look at him without thinking of the MASSIVE beatdown that Bruce Lee gave him in Return of the Dragon.
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2:34PM on 09/15/2009
Well, I think The Expendables will be the smarter film. I just hope the ensemble cast can pull it off. I can tell you firsthand that there's been some crazy sh*t goin on at the Machete set, so you're gonna get the usual outrageous, Rodriguez treatment with this film.
Well, I think The Expendables will be the smarter film. I just hope the ensemble cast can pull it off. I can tell you firsthand that there's been some crazy sh*t goin on at the Machete set, so you're gonna get the usual outrageous, Rodriguez treatment with this film.
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3:00PM on 09/15/2009
I'm looking forward to Expendables more than Machete right now, because I keep hearing more about it. Machete has yet to start the hype machine.

Also, thanks for the spoiler about Lundgren's character in The Expendables. I'm not usually one to bitch about spoilers, but you said it like everyone should already know about it. Nice Move.
I'm looking forward to Expendables more than Machete right now, because I keep hearing more about it. Machete has yet to start the hype machine.

Also, thanks for the spoiler about Lundgren's character in The Expendables. I'm not usually one to bitch about spoilers, but you said it like everyone should already know about it. Nice Move.
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9:37PM on 09/15/2009
Cool. My bad. I guess I just missed all of that. Still though, it would have been much cooler to save it for the movie. However, I understand that people might have a hard time accepting Lundgren as a "good" guy, even more so in a Stalone film.
Cool. My bad. I guess I just missed all of that. Still though, it would have been much cooler to save it for the movie. However, I understand that people might have a hard time accepting Lundgren as a "good" guy, even more so in a Stalone film.
9:01PM on 09/15/2009
Yeah, I also read the Lundgren thing, he mentioned it in an interview for one of latest dvd movies. I'm pretty sure that part of the plot is common knowledge by now.
Yeah, I also read the Lundgren thing, he mentioned it in an interview for one of latest dvd movies. I'm pretty sure that part of the plot is common knowledge by now.
6:39PM on 09/15/2009
Just an FYI, the lundgren news is widely known, I knew that and I've only remotely been following the expendables hype. Look up any interview with Stallone or Dolph and you'll see they both share that "spoiler."
Just an FYI, the lundgren news is widely known, I knew that and I've only remotely been following the expendables hype. Look up any interview with Stallone or Dolph and you'll see they both share that "spoiler."
+3
6:38PM on 09/15/2009
The expendables looks good so far, but Hunter was right, the machete hype train hasn't even left the station yet, with the exception of the trailers JA mentioned. It's gonna be a close call, but the winner will be the one that's rated R.
The expendables looks good so far, but Hunter was right, the machete hype train hasn't even left the station yet, with the exception of the trailers JA mentioned. It's gonna be a close call, but the winner will be the one that's rated R.
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6:51PM on 09/18/2009
Give me both, they look set to fucking rock hard man!
Give me both, they look set to fucking rock hard man!
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+0
4:32PM on 09/29/2009

Expendables

I LOVE Danny Trejo! He has to be the hardest working actor in hollywood and probably beats Gene Hackman and Dan Ackroyd's record for movies made in a year! Both will be seen and good. BUT, c'mon, casting alone will make the choice. You'll see Mr. Trejo in many an flick in the future, but the cast of Expendables? COULD BE A ONCE IN A LIFETIME EVENT, unless someone tries the goofy trilogy route! Now if someone had thought to get Danny Trejo AND Steven Seagal in it, WOW! Hmmmm. maybe the sequel
I LOVE Danny Trejo! He has to be the hardest working actor in hollywood and probably beats Gene Hackman and Dan Ackroyd's record for movies made in a year! Both will be seen and good. BUT, c'mon, casting alone will make the choice. You'll see Mr. Trejo in many an flick in the future, but the cast of Expendables? COULD BE A ONCE IN A LIFETIME EVENT, unless someone tries the goofy trilogy route! Now if someone had thought to get Danny Trejo AND Steven Seagal in it, WOW! Hmmmm. maybe the sequel or trilogy thing might have merits? PG-13 or R rated, EXPENDABLES all the way, 'NUFF SAID!
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+0
4:38PM on 09/29/2009

how do I put this....

Uh, '80's action movie heroes? How do I put this gently? F**K Van Damme, where the HELL is CHUCK NORRIS in this cast? HELLLOOOO!?
Uh, '80's action movie heroes? How do I put this gently? F**K Van Damme, where the HELL is CHUCK NORRIS in this cast? HELLLOOOO!?
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