Trailer Time: The Expendables, August 2010?

Hi all…

This falls into the “holy shit” category of casting. I’d not heard of The Expendables until this week and now I have to admit I’m looking forward to it. Even if it stinks, it’s going to be fun to see this cast together.

“Who’s in it?” you might ask…

And if that’s not enough, there also seem to be cameos from Bruce Willis and Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Here’s the trailer:

Basically if you’re looking for a movie filled with testosterone, this movie is it. Written and directed by Stallone, I think this film has the potential to kick some serious butt.

Here’s the synopsis:

Expendable: capable of being sacrificed in order to accomplish a military objective.

THE EXPENDABLES is a hard-hitting action/thriller about a group of mercenaries hired to infiltrate a South American country and overthrow its ruthless dictator. Once the mission begins, the men realize things aren’t quite as they appear, finding themselves caught in a dangerous web of deceit and betrayal. With their mission thwarted and an innocent life in danger, the men struggle with an even tougher challenge – one that threatens to destroy this band of brothers.

Barney Ross (Sylvester Stallone) is a man with nothing to lose. Fearless and void of emotion, he is the leader, the sage and the strategist of this tight-knit band of men who live on the fringe. His only attachment is to his pickup truck, his seaplane and his team of loyal modern-day warriors. His is a true cynic who describes what he does as “removing those hard to get at stains.” The team behind him is made up of Lee Christmas (Jason Statham), former SAS and a savant with anything that has a blade; Yin Yang (Jet Li), a master at close-quarter combat; Hale Caesar (Terry Crews), who has known Barney for ten years and is a long-barrel weapons specialist; Toll Road (Randy Couture), a skilled demolitions expert and considered the intellect of the group; and Gunnar Jensen (Dolph Lundgren), a combat veteran and an expert in precision sniping who struggles with his own demons.

When the mysterious Church offers Barney a job no one else would take, Barney and his team embark on what appears to be a routine mission: overthrow General Gaza (David Zayas), the murderous dictator of the small island country of Vilena and end the years of death and destruction inflicted on its people. On a reconnaissance mission to Vilena, Barney and Christmas meet their contact Sandra (Giselle Itie), a local freedom-fighter with a dark secret. They also come to learn who their true enemy is: rogue ex-CIA operative James Monroe (Eric Roberts) and his henchman Paine (Steve Austin). When things go terribly wrong, Barney and Christmas are forced to leave Sandra behind, essentially giving her a death sentence. Haunted by this failure, Barney convinces the team to return to Vilena to rescue the hostage and finish the job he started. And to perhaps save a soul: his own.

Are you interested yet? I know I am… Look for it sometime in August 2010!

–Fitz

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My Favorite Directors: Luc Besson

Hi all…

While in college I was introduced to the movie La Femme Nikita, a French film with English subtitles about a criminal forced to work for a spy agency. It starred Anne Parillaud as Nikita (Besson’s first wife) and Jean Reno even had a role, as he has had in most of Besson’s films.

La Femme Nikita’s stark world and crisp story brought Luc Besson to my attention in the early 1990s and he held it continuing to produce movies like The Professional (1994), which had Jean Reno in a starring role with Natalie Portman and Gary Oldman. In 1997 there was The Fifth Element, which blew my mind and is still one of my favorite movies. Starring Bruce Willis, Milla Jovovich (who would later become Besson’s second wife), and Gary Oldman. In 1999, there was The Messenger: The Story of Joan of Arc, which starred Milla Jovovich as Joan, Dustin Hoffman, Faye Dunaway, and John Malkovich.

Promotional image for Milla Jovovich and other...

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He not only directs, but also produces and writes behind the scenes. Movies such as The Transporter, which launched Jason Statham‘s career and has spawned two sequels (one of which comes out later this year), District B13, Danny the Dog (also known as Unleashed, starring Jet Li, Morgan Freeman, and Bob Hoskins

Besson has had one heck of a career so far. And though he focuses on action films for the most part, I have to say that he’s also explored some deeper territory with movies like The Messenger and Danny the Dog. These are not your run of the mill action films. They have a heart and a message.

Luc Besson was born in Paris in 1959, son to two scuba instructors traveling and teaching around the world. As a child, he wrote early drafts of a number of stories, including The Fifth Element, while bored at school. His dreams of becoming a marine biologist focused on dolphins was shattered when, at age 17, he had a diving accident and was no longer able to dive.

It was after that he discovered television and movies and learned he could merge his various art interests together to tell stories. After a few years in America, he returned to France and started what was later named Les Films de Dauphins (The Films of Dolphins).

In 2008, Besson has two films coming to the big screen — Taken (starring Liam Neeson) and Transporter 3 (again starring Jason Statham). His career doesn’t seem to be slowing down any after that either, with thirteen more films in production for 2008 – 2011 according to IMDB.

I can only hope that as he hits age 50 in 2009 that he continues on his stride of making fun and intelligent movies!

–Fitz

p.s. If you want to pick up some of Luc Besson’s films, be sure to check out the following at Amazon:

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