Just got back from seeing The Expendables, one of two major R-rated action movies this year. I don’t know what constitutes as major. Anyways, the movie was very okay, average in too many aspects, especially when compared to the classic 80’s movies of which this is seemingly trying to emulate.

Although The Expendables wasn’t nearly as Commando as I thought it would be, it does continue an ongoing, important renaissance of sorts in action movies here in America. 2007 was the year of the second sequel – threequel, as the cleverer among us will have it. 2008 was the crappiest year, the year of the superhero. Ugh. 2009 was the year of the scifi movie, the antithesis of 2008 in terms of quality. 2010 is undoubtedly the year of the action movie. The Expendables, The Losers, Takers, The A-Team, Predators, Armored, Killers, Knight and Day, Scott Pilgrim vs. The World, and of course, Machete. A whole lot.

Some of these movies have garnered mostly positive reviews. Even if these filmmakers and studios aren’t entirely successful with the critics, they’re doing something pretty cool: moving away from what has become of the independent film “genre” and back to big budget spectacles.

It’s impossible for me to be against indie movies in any way, especially as a wannabe amateur filmmaker, but movies like Juno and Little Miss Sumshine come out and confine studios into making movies that look indie, but aren’t. Quirky, comedy drama crap, typically tackling some taboo subject or something. If it’s not that, it’s Paranormal Activity, the worst, most pointless movie of it’s year. I can appre iate the effort of the moviemaker, but damn some of these are considered good just because “well look at what they did, isn’t that great for what they had?” That’s not how movies should be judged, and that’s not how the creators want them to be judged.

But anyways, big budget spectacle was a type of movie seemingly only carried on by guys like Roland Emmerich and Michael Bay. It’s good that they’ve made a resurgence because that’s entertainment, but not whole entertainment; movies like Star Trek and District 9 are rare, so I’ll take what I can get here.

The Expendables and Machete excite me particularly because they harken back to older, better periods of film. They also seem to be balls out, crazy hilarious movies that make no bones about what they are. I mean, Machete also has things like Michelle Rodriguez with an eyepatch and Steven Seagal with ridiculous sunglasses (respectively totally hot and totally hilarious), but to each his own.

So it’s an exciting time, although I’d much rather another 2009. Still, if Machete is anywhere near as good as the Mexico Trilogy, I’ll be happy and welcome a return to roots for Mr. Rodriguez. No more kids movies, please…

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