The Expendables [Blu-Ray] Sylvester Stallone

The Expendables [Blu-Ray] Sylvester Stallone
I doubt Sylvester Stallone has a particularly strong singing voice, but he still belongs to a very select group of men who I believe could pull off an emotional rendition of "My Way." Just look at him in The Expendables: cartoonishly bulky, with a misshapen head that seems moulded from hair dye, botox, multiple fistfights and good old fashioned aging. His bodybuilder physique has been applied incongruously onto a 64-year-old frame, making him resemble a funhouse mirror version of the muscle-bound he-man of Rambo: First Blood Part II. This is a guy who looks like he's been through a hell of a lot of ups and downs. "Inferno," a 90-minute making-of documentary on the Expendables Blu-Ray, is simply 90 minutes of behind-the-scenes footage with Stallone's stream-of-consciousness narration about his life, career and filmmaking philosophy. Much like the films of Stallone's late period reinvention as B-movie auteur ― first, Rocky Balboa (2006), then Rambo (2008) ― this documentary is earnest and nakedly personal, and that's what I've admired about Stallone's recent work. Take The Expendables: on the one hand, an action no-brainer with a big cast of tough guys and lots of stuff that blows up; on the other, a nostalgic ode to Stallone and company's action films of the '80s, where hard men made hard sacrifices and did hard things, preferably with hard pecs. But The Expendables lacks the momentum of Rocky Balboa and Rambo, becoming cumbersome and episodic under the weight of its dream team cast (Jason Statham, Jet Li, Terry Crews, Steve Austin, Randy Couture, Mickey Rourke and Dolph Lundgren, along with Bruce Willis and a certain California governator in cameos). The film is also curiously unexciting; it is disappointing to see an action veteran like Stallone resort to so much shaky cam confusion. Hey, I'm always up for a Jet Li vs. Dolph Lundgren fight scene ― now hold the camera still so I can see it. Still, disappointing as the whole of The Expendables is, there are plenty of enjoyable parts: Jason Statham beating up a basketball course full of faux-tough guys; Mickey Rourke delivering a heartfelt soliloquy that somehow seems both out-of-place and curiously appropriate at the same time; Eric Robert's enjoyable over-the-top villainy; a really nice bit of badassery involving a plane and a fiery pier; and, of course, the Stallone/Schwarzenegger meet-up, the brevity of which actually increases its impact. And, hey, lord knows I'd still be up for The Expendables II (tentatively scheduled for 2012), particularly if Stallone can find room for anyone with the last names Van Damme, Norris and Seagal. (Alliance)