Rian Johnson’s juiced-up genre blast stars Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Bruce Willis as different versions of the same assassin hunting himself.
The name’s Bobby Funke. I write for the paper.” At least that’s how this picked-on sophomore imagines himself in Assassination of a High School President (2008): the loner who walks a straight line through the crooked halls of his corrupt Catholic high school. Funke (who is inevitably called “Funky” by his schoolmates) narrates his tale […]
Sylvester Stallone gambled that there was an audience for old action heroes doing their thing on the big screen and brought a handful of them together for The Expendables in 2010. That was also pretty much the plot of the film — a crew of aging mercenaries go on a mission. For insurance, Stallone brought […]
Sylvester Stallone has a spotty track record as a writer/director: passably effective at best, painfully misguided and lost in blind alleys of melodramatic kitsch as worst (Driven). He’s best at serving his own screen image (especially if already established by a previous filmmaker, as in the Rocky and Rambo sequels). With The Expendables (2010), he […]
In Sin City (2005), Robert Rodriguez pulls out all stylistic stops to translate the most graphic of graphic novels—Frank Miller’s Sin City tales, all hard-boiled tributes to pulp fiction and film noir—from two-dimensional pages to free-floating big screen action, and he drafted Miller to help master not just the look, but whole hard-boiled extremism. Men […]
In 16 Blocks (2016), Bruce Willis is an NYPD burn-out assigned to get the “nothing job” of escorting a small-time loser (Mos Def) turned star witness in a Grand Jury indictment against a corrupt cop from lock-up to courthouse. It’s from Lethal Weapon series director Richard Donner and he and wisecracking action movie icon Willis […]