In the wake of the weak box office returns of their separate action outings earlier this year - Bullet to the Head and The Last Stand – it has now been announced that The Tomb is actually moving up its release date and gaining a new title. Directed by Mikael Håfström (1408), the film is now entitled Escape Plan, which is a little more descriptive of the plot. The original title referred to the high-tech prison designed by Stallone’s character, in which he finds himself incarcerated for a crime he didn’t commit. He meets up with Schwarzenegger behind bars, and the pair attempt to devise a way to escape the inescapable prison.
So, it’s the “thinking man’s” Stallone/Schwarzenegger movie.
Originally scheduled for the end of September, Escape Plan is has now – armed with its new title – been moved up to September 13…which puts it in direct box office combat with sequels Machete Kills and Insidious: Chapter 2.
Something tells me Machete‘s title may prove to be a bit more prophetic.
Though the tough guys felt the box office blues earlier this year, Schwarzenegger’s The Last Stand at least sat well with critics. You can check out Flickchart’s favorable review here.
Sylvester Stallone took to Twitter in the wee hours of this morning to throw out a few updates on the planned The Expendables 3. Even though the first Expendables was out-classed in 2010 by the similarly-plotted The A-Team, and The Expendables 2 – though outfitted with a slightly more aging star-studded cast and featuring bigger roles for Arnold Schwarzenegger and Bruce Willis – did not perform quite as well at the box office, it looks like a third installment is on the way. Stallone naturally has some ideas to spruce things up.
Jason Statham is one of the last true action stars in film. His movies tend to elicit the excitement and adrenaline-fueled rush that Schwarzenegger, Stallone, and Norris were so good at creating back in the 80s. What would Statham’s Flickchart look like? Let’s have a look, shall we?
Before beginning part 3 of my year-in-review opus I’d like to acknowledge how truly great a year we’ve had this year in regards to movies. For as many films and performances that will be nominated for awards, there will be just as many that have a right to feel snubbed. There were so many quality indie, genre, and franchise films that even the stingiest of movie watchers could easily find one movie they really enjoyed. This year was so great that they didn’t even abide by the normal January-February as dumping grounds mentality, releasing movies like Haywire, The Grey, Chronicle, and Wanderlust, which are all vastly superior to the normal dreck that’s usually released at the beginning of the year. Even some of the more disappointing movies of the year were at least interesting to discuss, like Prometheus and The Dark Knight Rises.
Some Romances Are Stronger Than the Bonds of Time
Safety Not Guaranteed received quite a bit of love as the indie darling of the year. So much so that I assumed it would end up being this year’s annual indie movie that makes my top 5. Turns out, I didn’t like it nearly as much as everyone else. A lot of that had to do with my expectations being way too high, but the movie is far from flawless. As much as I like Mark Duplass his character is essentially a male version of a manic pixie dream girl and serves the purpose of being an eccentric person whose love saves the main character, Aubrey Plaza, despite being completely unrealistic to real life relationships. Jake Johnson has his own clichés to fight against as the guy who is a jerk but is funny enough where the audience doesn’t hate him. Then they find out his jerkiness is based around his unhappiness so they start to love him and he goes through a predictable character arc. Despite my complaints I still think the movie is good, just not as good as every other person seems to think.
Looper was writer/director Rian Johnston’s third feature film which starred Hollywood’s newest big man on campus Joseph Gordon-Levitt as a young Bruce Willis, or was Bruce Willis an old Joseph Gordon-Levitt? Time travel being used as a way for mobsters to have people killed with no evidence left behind? Awesomely brilliant idea, especially by having Jeff Daniels as the guy who traveled back in time to run it. Having numerous people have slight telekinetic powers? A little jarring and way more unbelievable than the idea of time travel for some reason. There was also a romantic sub-plot with Emily Blunt which felt a little forced, but since JGL and Blunt are so good, they made it work. That’s how the movie feels as a whole, though. It definitely has its problems and plot holes, but overall it’s so original and well-made/acted that it’s easy to forgive them.
And the Winner Is: Looper - but speaking of time travel let’s go back in time a few decades ourselves.
Resurrected action star Sylvester Stallone did his best to bring together a dream team of action stars in front of the camera for last year’s The Expendables. Now, he’s pulling together an action dream team behind the camera, as he teams with veteran action producer Joel Silver (Demolition Man, the Matrix and Lethal Weapon films) and veteran director Walter Hill (The Warriors, 48 Hrs.). The trio are setting their sights on adapting the graphic novel Bullet to the Head, with production starting later this month in New Orleans.
This officially-untitled adaptation of Bullet to the Head will mark director Walter Hill’s first theatrical feature film since 2002‘s Undisputed. The original graphic novel is itself an homage to ’80s and ’90s action films that Stallone, Silver and Hill used to specialize in, featuring a New Orleans hit man (Stallone) and a New York cop teaming up to bring down the killers of their respective partners. Sung Kang (Fast Five, Ninja Assassin) is set to play “a key supporting role”, but there is no other word on casting yet.