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Monday, February 4, 2013

Time to pass the torch

This coming Saturday several small, prepubescent girls are descending on our small apartment for a sleepover party for my 10-year old daughter.  In an effort to escape such torture, my plan was to take Connor to a friend's house, and then Isaac and I were going to catch a double-feature of The Last Stand with Arnie, and Bullet to the Head with Sly.  Well, best laid plans, and all that...

Apparently The Last Stand did so poorly in its opening weekend, that it has been pulled from many theaters, including all of the ones in my area.  I suppose I could expand my search to find somewhere else it is playing, but why should I have to?  Add to that the closer theater to me is only showing Bullet twice a day.  This really pisses me off.

And to rub salt in my Action Fan wounds, the "Oscar-worthy" films that have been out for weeks, even months, are still getting full play.  Fortunately, Parker with the Stath is still playing, so I guess that will have to substitute.

All of this has me thinking, and as much as it makes me want to cry manly tears, I think it may be time for the old warhorses to retire.  Sly and Arnie were IT back in the day.  When Action Cinema was in its heyday, they were the Kings.  Then Arnold went off to be in politics, and Sly shouldered the burden of Action Movies as best as he could.  Then the Bourne hit the fans.

The Bourne movies are great (well, the first two are), but they represent a turning point in Action movies.  Action movies are now the purview of actors who consider themselves Actors first, and do action movies just for kicks, or for a fast buck.  Gone are the days of true Action Heroes; actors who make action movies because that's what they love to do.

Ok, I know I'm starting to sound like a broken record here.  I've been whining about this a lot lately.  But I think I have finally felt that last straw.  Arnold just has no screen-presence anymore.  He doesn't make people want to see him on screen these days.  Everyone has their reasons, and each of them may be slightly different, but the net effect is the same.  He's done.  And while Sly still has some draw, mainly with The Expendables, his day is waning as well.

Personally, while I love Arnold, I am not nearly as invested in him.  Admittedly, I felt a little betrayed when he went off the be Governor.  But, he had to do what he had to do, so I guess that's fine.    He is planning on another Conan film, more or less a sequel to his first one (thankfully ignoring his second), so there is that last glimmer of hope, as it is supposed to be age-appropriate for him.  But, I think after that, he's done (aside from the 2 or 3 he has in the pipe right now).

Stallone, on the other hand, should move behind the camera.  He should focus on writing and directing, and usher in a new era of Action Stars.

Where would I like Action Cinema to go in the future?  Dwayne Johnson, Vin Diesel and Jason Statham should continue to do what they are doing.  They are really my last hope.  All fine actors, but ones who are more interested in Action movies, than other genres.  Meanwhile, Hollywood needs to start paying attention to the DTV market.  There is a gold mine of real Action talent out there.  Scott Adkins is a fine example.  Mainstream audiences got a good taste of him in The Expendables 2 (he fought Jason Statham in the hangar).

Eh, maybe Hollywood should just do what it does best, and feed the masses their CGI-laden thrills, and leave the real Action to people who actually work on their films.  For the foreseeable future, the only films that will get me in the theater are the superhero movies, and maybe a couple of the Sci Fi epics.  I really just have no interest in sitting in a theater for two hours of touchy-feely and overly-dramatic chic flicks.

1 comment:

Charles Gramlich said...

Stallone certainly has proven that he can write so I'd like to see him do more of that as well.