Movie – The Expendables

The story so far

The story line did not have a bearing in my decision to watch this film.

This is what did;

Stallone, Schwarzenegger and Willis.

Rourke is a bonus.

When I unintentionally see the trailer, I realise what I thought would be a throwaway film full of one liners and in-jokes is in fact a fairly serious action film

The basic story is that Sly Stallone leads a group of what appear to be mainly ex-army men who hire themselves out for various jobs. This time, they are hired by – let’s call him, Mr Church, to depose an army general of faraway land.

Stallone goes with his right man, played by Jason Statham in his usual role to check out the job and inevitably go back to do the job. Many many many people die, there are tons of explosions, a few car crashes and all the expected action scenes but spectacularly shot.

What I love is that none of the usual bad cliques are in the film, but all the good ones are. Of course the best moment is the 60 seconds that the mighty Schwarzenegger, Willis & Stallone are in the same scene. It’s completely thrilling and all I want from the film.

Of course it would be great if there were more scenes like this and I’m surprised there isn’t a bigger role for Willis seeing as he’s still an action actor.

Mickey Rourke does have a larger part although not in action mode, more in Mickey Rourke mode. Now in retirement, he’s a tattooist and a central point for the guys to meet and add to their body collection. I’m really pleased he’s in the film and Terry Crews is a fantastic addition to the action gang.

I’ve never been a fan and I’m stunned that Stallone is a talented film maker. This is how all action movies should be made.

Sequel? I hope so perhaps next time with larger roles for the action movie trio.

8½/10    Smile factor 10/10

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The Expendables

I am beside myself with excitement to have the action hero trio Bruce Willis, Sylvester Stallone and Arnold Schwarzenegger together. Yes really! I never thought I’d see the day for the Guvernator to be back in films

So yes I’m excited but:

1 Where’s the all time action hero, Steven Seagal. I mean that’s the only type of film he has made; he’s been loyal to the genre. Is he too busy being a real cop? Is that for real?

2 Jean Claude Van Damme. He’d have some moves to share but we have Jet Li instead.

3 For some reason we have Jason Statham. He’s a gangster, not an action hero. Wrong genre.

Mickey Rourke was never an action hero, but after one of the best films of recent years, The Wrestler, we’ll allow him into every film he wants, even Iron Man 2.

The action heroes that are appearing include: Willis, Stallone, Schwarzenegger, Lundgren, Jet Li plus Statham and Terry Crews (of Everybody Hates Chris, amongst other good things).

I’m looking forward to seeing The Expendables. I have no care what the story is about or indeed if there is a story. I’m sold.

Glasgow May 28-31st 2010 (Part Two)

Light Rain

Breakfast is included and although I’m not one for early eating, I’m not one than can resist food either. I feel a little self-conscious walking into breakfast with a kilt-like skirt, probably not the best choice for an English girl in Glasgow. I’m a little irked that the waitress assumed I did not want haggis but it’s a pleasant enough experience and demonstrates even better value for money. Scottish breakfast minus haggis apparently equals Irish breakfast, complete with potato scone. Or bread as I know it.

Light rain is projected and I find myself pulling on my in case it’s really cold, roll neck sweater. The strange this is last night I was cold coming back from the coffee shop but I knew I would be. Glaswegians were walking around like it was summer without coats. Curious.

The rain is mightily strange; there’s one drop every six seconds and it feels like walking under a shop canopy and drops fall of the end so hardly worth bothering with.

I’m too full for more coffee so a walk is called for, past Bean Scene, clocking potential coffee shops in the West End, specifically in area called Partick although of course I thought it was Patrick for first 20 minutes.

With the rain coming I settle for Big Mouth Coffee Co and finally get cracking on the book before discovering a bit more of the West End. I lunch at Off Shore by Glasgow University.  More book is written accompanied by lovely sweet potato, coconut and something soup and big chunks of brown bread. It was just what I needed both the meal and discovering this area. Glasgow is looking up and when I get back, I have a new attic room, twice the size with a decent bathroom. Although it’s another floor up, I have a bath.

I stroll the shops and grab a cinema ticket for later. After 2 weeks without a film to watch, I’m left with CopOut with Bruce Willis which is actually very funny and a thoroughly enjoyable couple of hours.

I head back to pick up recharged laptop and head out for night cap and heading towards my word target at the local Bean Scene.

Cup

Sunday is a gorgeous day and I set off after a lovely bath and light breakfast to another Bean Scene in the Hillside area of the West End. Glasgow doesn’t seem to have many road signs and my map had a big subway line going over all the main road names. I didn’t even realise there was a subway until I saw an entrance this morning. Eventually I get there; it’s hidden away in a lane. Another thing that Glasgow has lots of and explains where people walking in front of me disappear into.

Pea & Mint Soup

Pea & Mint Soup & Cheese Scones

I love this neighbourhood. There is a Marks & Spencer Simply Foods and a Waitrose which I went in just for the fun of it. They have St Georges flag cakes just randomly placed in bakery. Un-sold I may add. Even though there is a Waitrose a couple of miles from my home and another 20 minutes drive away, I don’t have a car so it’s the novelty value. I saw someone carry a Waitrose bag the other day and assumed then there must be one in the city centre John Lewis. Disappointedly not but I found this when I took a wrong turn this morning. That’s pretty much how I discover most things; walking onwards even when I’m not where I thought I was going to be, what’s to lose?

That’s how I finally realised the steeple of the church like building I have been looking at from afar was indeed part of glamorous Glasgow university. Actually the rest of it composed of horrid 1970s tower blocks and more pleasant modern buildings but it is the size of a small village.

Hillhead also has a delightful place called Cup which offered afternoon tea but it’s a little early for that so I have soup; pea & mint with cheese scones. I’m able to sit upstairs which I note is quieter and thought it was as good as place as any to carry on writing so ordered a long cold drink to sip on. An hour later, it got much busier for late lunchers and it was time for me to get to the cinema for the only other film that I want to watch, the Bad Lieutenant with Nicholas Cage. Bad indeed. That’s 2 hours I’ll never get back.

I needed cheering up after that. I could have stayed in a gorgeous part of Glasgow, enjoying both the sun and the scenery whilst cracking on with the writing. I catch the last rays whilst walking back and get to the local Bean Scene again.

Sun with no rain

On the last, the warmest day I skip breakfast and have a bagel at one of the two final Bean Scenes. I just love this place and it has made my trips to Scotland all the more worthwhile. I found it strange that both wide doors at Bean Scene were open and they felt the need to put a fan on too. It’s 9 in the morning and barely 10c!!

Glasgow had emptied the ATMs on Saturday night at I had to visit three to get some cash, which it only dispensed in £20 denominations.

Still, I love this area. It reminds me of New York in that the houses are similar, with stoops and basements but then we have that in London. There’s a big social culture in NYC but the Scottish version involves drinking. Best of all, the decent coffee shops (the now famous on this blog, Bean Scene) open till late but not till midnight as they do in NYC. Just like one of my early visits to Starbucks (I know, gahhh!) in 2000 on Broadway that featured live music. This was my first solo visit to NYC so it was nice to hang out till way past 10pm and feel both safe and entertained. I was unfortunate not to experience such melodic pleasure in Bean Scenes either here in Glasgow or previously in Edinburgh.

I notice a fair few recycling points in Glasgow and it feels like there is one for glass on every corner. I‘m surprised they are not next to every regular trash bin given the amount of merry people in the streets each night. I have to say, it’s the drinking that made me slightly uncomfortable in Edinburgh and more so here.

Given the number of friendly Glaswegians I have met, heard, listened to and ready about over the years, I didn’t get the warmth I’d expected from the local people.

I imagine I will one day, but at the moment, I’m not sure when I may be back.

Cup