Listen in on the latest episode of Media Rewind as Dustin and I discuss the testosterone infused action fest that is ‘The Expendables’!
Hollywood has long been accent confused; the mere hint of an accent is meant to suffice for any nationality on Earth. Britons generally serve as the universal go to voice for any global race, as Britons have systematically portrayed German Nazis (Valkyrie, The Eagle Has Landed), Vikings (The 13th Warrior), and most recently North Africans/Egyptians (Exodus: God and Kings). We are forced and made to believe that any accent is better than no accent at all, an absurdly pervasive premise that is shoved down our movie going throats on a regular basis. It hearkens back to the days of ingorance when Laurence Olivier and Constantin Stanislavski portrayed the Moorish character Othello, and the screen was full of white men and women masquerading as Asians and Native Americans (such as Stephen Macht as Heavy Eagle in The Mountain Men), and every other non white ethnicity on the planet. Only in the very recent modern times have ethnicities been able to…shocker…portray themselves.
A classic example of accent forgiveness is Kevin Costner in Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves, Costner’s 1991 take on the legendary English tale. As is commonly known, Robin Hood was the fabled English outlaw of Sherwood Forest who challenged the evil authority of the Sheriff of Nottingham, robbing from the rich and winning the hearts of the poor on his way to literary glory. It would be assumed that, portraying such a well known figure of English lore, either an Englishman would assume the role, or someone that was adequately capable of producing the necessary English-ness that would make believers out of even the most discerning viewers. Instead, we got Kevin in his most typical All-American self, with zero (and I mean zero) hint of credibility that he is the famous English longbowman who made the forest of Sherwood his bitch. We got Robin of Cincinnati, who sticks out like a sore thumb as the only one sounding like he’s from Akron, Ohio while being surrounded by a largely British cast. Even Morgan Freeman got his Moor on, while Christian Slater and Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio sufficiently mustered thinly veiled European impressions. I remember seeing this film in the theater as a kid, and even then thinking “what the hell”. Behold, Robin of Montana in all his American splendor.
Wisely, they kept the original trailer dialogue free, which deftly concealed his distinct American-ness. This wordless 2 minutes of trailer quite effectively duped the public.
Ten bucks certainly can’t buy much these days; a measly movie ticket, maybe a six pack, a mess of cheap tacos, or a beer at a ball game. Oddly enough, ten dollars can sometimes finance your movie. Ok, maybe this film cost twelve bucks to make. Want to be a filmmaker? Grab your beefiest best friend, a ratty blonde weave, some fur covered fruit of the looms, a few dwarves for a little “Lord of the Rings” flavor, and get to filming. That’s exactly what the makers of The Quest for the Mighty Sword did. Vomit inducing dialog? Check. Cookie cutter, fifth grade school play quality, 80’s porn-esque backdrops? Check. Absolutely, incredibly, mindbendingly ridiculous storyline? You know it. A dude with a sword that fights robots? All i can say is wow. I truly don’t think anyone ever successfully pulled off a Conan meets Battlestar Galactica mix. This flick takes you down a dark alley that you’d normally avoid at all costs, lest you get stabbed unmercifully. The film follows a guy named Ator on his journey to free his people from a magically evil dwarf troll (like you really care what this movie is about), while battling mythical creatures along the way. That pretty much sums it up; the key to watching a flick like this is keeping an open mind, and trying really hard not to take it seriously. Surprisingly, director Joe d’Amato did. All jokes aside, it’s a hilariously fun ride, and props to d’Amato for crafting a truly memorable piece of work. Also, much respect to Eric Allan Kramer, who is one hell of a talented actor, and was just the man to connect the dots and hold this thing together. Needless to say, as a true film fan, this flick is a must watch purely for the sake of an hour and a half of utter fun and a good deal of belly laughs.
Check it out!
Note – this movie scored a whopping 2/10 rating on IMDB.com.
Do you feel the monotony? Can you hear the annoying scrape of my feet dragging themselves to the bathroom? The stabbing numbness of my slowly adjusting eyes as I try in vain to shield them from the blinding solar glare of the bathroom light? Or how about the pungently aromatic stale air produced by 8 hours of backed up bowels? I stood at the toilet, graciously releasing at least four hours-worth of slightly yellow urine, and let out a long bear growl of relief. One of the few breaths of relief that I get to look forward to over the coming day. Feel that monotony as I clamber into the shower, only to realize that I forgot to buy soap and toothpaste? Ever wash a tired body with dish soap? Feel the monotony.
The sky that day was a deep overcast grey, with thick, overfed clouds spewing their liquid lunch all over the city, making for a slow and sloppy morning commute. I arrived at my gig thirty minutes late (not giving half a shit), and slowly crept into a parking space. It was a lonely, bleak, deserted lot, strewn with unattractively enterprising weeds tangoing out of deep cracks that resembled California fault lines, and year old garbage bleached bone white by a harsh sun. I carelessly swerved into a parking space, which I created myself due to the fading of the yellow dividing lines. It’s a sight you would have expected to see in the former Soviet Union, not twenty first century USA; an aged, crudely built exterior, its walls cleverly stained brown by the rust that rained down from the aluminum roof. It reminded me of coffee stained dentures, or a distasteful hotel room watercolor.