Top 10 Expendables Expansions

This article was published on the original Sorry I’m on 04/08/2010.

Luke Miksa's: The Negative Space Bar

The ExpendablesWith the imminent release of Sylvester Stallone’s The Expendables mere weeks away, one has to only look at the cast to notice that it is a veritable who’s who of testosterone drippers from yesterday and today (mainly yesterday):

The Expendables
Sylvester Stallone, Dolph Lundgren, Terry Crews, Mickey Rourke, Jet Li, Jason Statham, Bruce Willis, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Eric Roberts, ‘Stone Cold’ Steve Austin, and Randy Couture.

Now, that’s a heck of a line-up! Stallone has done well in casting this throwback-epic of 80’s action nostalgia, and although it would be impossible to do so, imagine if the budget was expanded to add additional ammo (i.e. more pecs and biceps). Robert Rodriguez’s similarly themed Danny Trejo vehicle Machete picks up a few leftovers, and in turn creates a cast that is of a calibre to be just as bragadocious:

Danny Trejo, Robert DeNiro, Don Johnson, Steven Seagal, Jeff Fahey, Tom Savini, and Michelle Rodriguez.

Most impressive, though there are still a few names that spring to mind that I feel are left out. Although a couple of these names were indeed linked to this project at one point or another, here is Sorry I’m’s Top 10 Expendables Expansions:

Honourable Mentions: Bruce Campbell, Nicolas Cage, Jon Voight, Benicio Del Toro, Peter Stormare, Antonio Banderas


Wesley Snipes

Wesley Snipes

Bursting on the scene as Willie Mays Hayes in 1989’s Major League, Snipes made a career throughout the 90’s in a string of fairly successful action/action-comedies, which showcased his martial arts skills as well as his on screen insanity and occasional comic turns. In the past decade, the master of intense method-acting has only had the intermittently decent Blade franchise as his only significant line of work. With all his legal trouble and jail time, nobody knows if he can make a big-screen comeback, all I know is that he has the nicest mug-shot ever taken…

Snipes Mug Shot


Retro Review: Legend (1985)

This article was published on the original Sorry I’m on 30/08/09.


Legend is director Ridley Scott’s attempt at 80’s style fantasy, starring Ferris Bueller’s Mia Sara as Princess Lili and as her love interest a pre-Top Gun Tom Cruise as forest dweller Jack. In a convoluted series of events, Jack takes Lili to see some sacred unicorns – which he shouldn’t for some reason – and then she proceeds to touch one – which she shouldn’t for some reason. This turn of events leads minions of the Lord of Darkness (Tim Curry, in top form) to chop off the stallion’s horn – an item of coveted power – and kidnap Princess Lili, both to be brought before Darkness in a master plan to bring eternal night to the world. Now the ‘heroic‘ Jack, aided by his misfit band of elves and dwarves, must rescue the princess and save the world from its inevitable pitch-black doom.

The massive problem with this movie, and there are copious issues, is the fact that it takes so much pleasure in being so damn dark that there’s minimal fun to be had – a crucial element of fantasy. Take similar genre films from the time – Labyrinth had the music, Willow and Princess Bride had charm and characterisation, and the one thing that they all shared was a sense of wonder. Legend is too dark and scary for children yet the plot and pacing is too juvenile for adults.


Retro Review: John Carpenter’s They Live (1988)

This article was published on the original Sorry I’m on 22/07/09.

They Live

An unemployed drifter on the move, George Nada (Piper) finds work labouring in an LA construction site as well as discovering some lodging at a local shantytown. Soon Nada discovers that a nearby church is a front for a mysterious rebel group which possess motives of unknown nature. When the shantytown and the rebel front is bombarded and destroyed by police, Nada finds something that the insurgent group was stockpiling – rad 80’s sunglasses. These sunglasses, however, hold much darker secrets – they allow the wearer the see the world as it truly is – full of subliminal advertising aimed at controlling humans, and all at the hand of aliens living among us! A paranoid Nada is now on an unstoppable path for answers: he’s here to kick ass and chew bubblegum, and unfortunately for the ghoul-like aliens, he’s all out of bubblegum.

No-one does 80’s style B-movie classics quite like John Carpenter. A Sorry I’m favourite, Carpenter here, as always, has a message to deliver – this one about corruption, commercialism and 80’s style excess. His throwbacks to 1950’s paranoia themed movies, such as Invasion of the Body Snatchers, are evident – even down to the out-and-out cheesy special effects (Go, flying saucer, go!). Sublimely slow paced and low-key, They Live is probably Carpenter’s most intelligently written observation of the times (still relevant, perhaps?), but don’t let that fool you – this movie has enough silly B-movie shenanigans to make a truly entertaining feature. What may said shenanigans be, you ask? Well…

– One liner’s? Hell yeah.

– Killer, low budget action set pieces? Umm, yup.

– Piper giving the finger to the aliens in one final act of defiance? It’s right here.

– And the final coup de grace of awesome, when Nada’s only ally (perennial bad-ass Keith David) won’t wear the sunglasses, what happens? A five and a half minute fistfight, that’s what. Awesome. Definitely a moment of filmic significance, even parodied on South Park’s Cripple Fight episode, blow for blow.


MIFF 2010 in Review

 This article was published on the original Sorry I’m on 11/08/10.

Luke Miksa's: The Negative Space Bar

What an amazing, hectic and crazy few weeks it has been attending this year’s Melbourne International Film Festival. I’ll admit that I played it relatively safe in my choices; I mainly chose sessions consisting of classics or upcoming theatrical releases, but it was still an exhausting and time consuming undertaking – Now my house looks the Sedgwick Hotel after a visit from the Ghostbusters.

MIFF brings a veritable bounty of films from all regions of the globe, causing mass headaches for the film fan in terms of picking films whilst under budget and time-related constraints – such is why the few movies I chose to attend are all in English and of the fairly well-known variety.

Here is a wrap-up of my MIFF adventures, brought to you in the form of Review-Mini:

With the power of Guillermo Del Toro producing, Vincenzo Natali (Cube) directing and an idea which promised something between The Fly and Species; on paper Splice is an absolute winner. Too bad that the execution for the most part is fairly uninspired and an initially encouraging – if lacklustre – first half is blown into ridiculousness come the third act.

Seriously, the film is destroyed by the ludicrous decisions and hilarious dialogue from its main characters (Adrien Brody and Sarah Polley), and the story turns to a place that it never recovers from. Or maybe I’m not quite ready for adulterous, bestiality incest.

You read that right.

At least Brody didn’t whip out the Christian Bale Batman voice ala Predators5/10


There Can Be Only One (Again)

This article was published on the original Sorry I’m on 24/09/09.

Luke Miksa's: The Negative Space Bar

Today in Hollywood, the terms remake, or even worse reimagining, are cause for derision from movie aficionado’s such as me. Nothing spoils a classic film or a childhood favourite more than a half-assed reboot. In spite of occasional box office successes, most of these dreaded reimagining’s are, for the most part, massive lumps of shit – despite the introduction of today’s superior CG effects and quite possibly larger budgets, they are missing depth – a certain charm – something which has made them such fondly remember pieces of celluloid to begin with.

Some future reimagining’s (I even hate typing that word) that are being talked about as future projects include such treasures as Gremlins, Robocop and it has even got to a point where director’s are digging up their own work – such as David Cronenberg with The Fly. But with all that being said, there is one reboot on the horizon that I cannot contend with. A cult classic from the 80’s, highly prized and definitely a personal favourite of mine – 1986’s urban sci-fi swashbuckler Highlander.

Before you get all up in my grill accusing me of blasphemy, first read what I have to say. As I said, Highlander is a personal favourite and a classic, no doubt. But there are just so many elements in the film, and the franchise as a whole, that starting from scratch could benefit from.


Tribute: William Atherton

This article was published on the original Sorry I’m on 11/08/09.

Luke Miksa's: The Negative Space Bar

Welcome readers to the very first Sorry I’m Tribute. The tribute section was intended to pay some respect to actors, filmmakers and characters that – from my perspective – don’t really get the attention they deserve. With that, let us begin the inaugural edition of the Sorry I’m Late Tribute!

William Atherton

William Atherton is the epitome of the corporate 80’s douche, based on his two most well remembered roles of EPA agent Walter Peck from Ghostbusters and arrogant reporter Richard ‘Dick’ Thornberg from the first two Die Hard films.

A quintessential working actor, Atherton was had steady work for over thirty-five years – mainly making appearances in television series’ such as Desperate HousewivesLaw & Order and the 80’s version of The Twilight Zone, as well as the late 70’s ensemble mini-series Centennial.

What a Peck!

But he made his name as the snarky Peck from 1984’s Ghostbusters. He had everything you would want to hate in an antagonist – he’s condescending, he doesn’t believe in ghosts, he wears a suit, he has a beard – what’s to like? Played so well, in fact, that we do not only dislike him – we LIKE to dislike him. The interactions between Peck and Bill Murray’s Venkman are legendary – Atherton’s straight-laced portrayal was a perfect comic foil to Murray’s comedy style.


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