Sylvester Stallone

August 27, 2018

Tango and Cash

Bloated dialogue that makes your head spin. Tango and Cash is on the edge of it’s so bad it’s good. Unfortunately it doesn’t even make it to that level and leaves on the table too much protential of what could of been.

January 15, 2015

Slaughter Film Presents: Action Movie Time Machine – Cobra

EXTREME

Welcome back to another “Action Movie Time Machine”. As we continue our trek into the realm of action films that have a flair for the more macabre, “Horror Movie Killers”, we will be looking closely at Sylvester Stallone and a Danish model who teach a killer cult how to love again in “Cobra”. All aboard! The “Action Movie Time Machine” is now departing.
The year is 1986. RUN DMC made Aerosmith popular again with “Walk This Way”, everyone learned not to take soap-operas so seriously when “Dallas” had all been a dream and “The REAL Ghostbusters” started kickin’ ass and takin’ names.
THE SKINNY
Cobra” begins with a nameless mad man, armed to the teeth, who has strolled into the local supermarket and begun blowing people away. All in the name of something called “The New World”. The local police call in their special weapon, Marion Cobretti, aka Cobra, Sylvester Stallone. Cobra isn’t one to take it easy on a violent perp. And in moments the mad man is stabbed in the chest and unloaded on. Cobra and his partner are what the police force affectionately call “The Zombie Squad”. They’re the guys who take cases no one else wants. The bottom line.
 
As the crime-scene is being cleaned up and the dead loaded into meat wagons, Cobra is harassed by the media – questioning his often deadly tactics. This is recurring theme of the film. That, and the idea that a revolving door policy keeps criminals on the streets and peaceful citizens in terror.
Aside from this days events, the city has been shaking in it’s boots. There is a serial killer on the lose known as the “Night Slasher”, who has been slashing and stabbing his victims for weeks now. Cobra and his partner Gonzales, Reni Santoni, have been brought in to help find the killer. Maybe their unique brand of gun-slinging detective work are sure to make the case break wide open.

While Cobra and Gonzales hit the streets to rattle some cages, the killer…or killers strike. Late one night as young Ingrid, Brigitte Nielsen, is on her way home from a photo shoot, she witnesses a woman being murdered and gets a clear look at the face of one of the killers. The leader of the group, who is unnamed but we learn is the Night Slasher, Brian Thompson, instructs one of his underlings, who is a cop, to find Ingrid’s identity by using her license plate. This group of killers is a cult, bent on ushering in their order of “The New World”. Whatever the hell that is.
Why is it a cult? Well there are several scenes that show the group of killers in black performing some sort of ceremony held in what looks like a parking garage. They are chanting and clanking axes and other bladed weapons together. It’s no Stone Cutters, but it’ll have to do.
 
Once the Night Slasher and friends learn who Ingrid is they set out to kill her, but she narrowly escapes and reports the attack to the police. This is where Ingrid and Cobra meet, bump uglies and Cobra promises to protect her from the maniac cult.
The Night Stalker uses his police resources to find out who is working on the case and this results in several more attacks on the life of Ingrid, Cobra and Gonzales. One of these attacks involves the Night Slasher going after Ingrid while she’s being looked after at the hospital. A 20 something woman being attacked by a silent stalker with a big knife. Nothing has reminded me more of Halloween 2. Just another reason “Cobra” is getting the “Horror Movie Killers” treatment.
One of these attacks involves the cult converging on our protagonists as a biker gang. This becomes a chase, with Cobra and Ingrid running for their lives. They end up at a near by refinery. After the cult is dispatched, one by one at the hands of Cobra, Cobra and the Night Slasher go head to head. The Night Stalker eggs Cobra on, in typical 80s bad guy fashion and the two throw down in a round of fisticuffs that ends with the Night Stalker being impaled on a giant hook. Cobra operated the hook like a crane and directs the Night Stalker into some sort of industrial furnace until he is no more.
 
The film ends with Cobra and Ingrid riding off into the sunset on one of the cultists motorcycles. The End.
THE VERDICT
“Cobra” is the spiritual successor to films like “Dirty Hairy”. What both “Cobra” and “Dirty Hairy” share is a cop forced to push the envelope in order to do his job. A cop who struggles against the limitations of the bureaucracy he works for, in a city that is getting more violent every day.
But in this case, “Cobra” is more extreme. Instead of Hairy, who kills to protect himself while protecting  citizens, Cobretti kills because his world is kill or be killed and the citizens just get in the way. Instead of a lone killer, there is an entire cult of killers. And the same it true with the underlying social commentary. The police work of Dirty Hairy is handicapped by scrutinizing reporters, policy makers and the city itself who vilify Hairy for not being politically correct, and of course, using excessive force.
“Cobra” paints a world were criminals are so common, even Granny has to shoot two or three hoods on her way home from bingo. The criminals has banded together in some lose organization, or cult, to further spread murder and mayhem without any clear goal. How someone might take notice of crime getting worse year after year by looking at faceless, nameless statistics. Oh, and there is also excessive force.
Over all, “Cobra” isn’t a terrible movie. Stallone is fine. The action is fine. The underlying message is fine, albeit overly sensationalized in a way that only a mid-80s Reagan voter could concoct, but otherwise fine.
I guess my problem with this movie is it’s villain. Who us this cult? Why is it a cult? Other than general mayhem, what do they want? What is their goal? I understand the idea of crime being looked at as a statistic and how it seems to middle America that the boogey man is around every corner, but this wasn’t developed well enough. I like the idea and maybe it was just lost in translation between the Stallone, the writer, and George Cosmatos, the director.
A much better depiction of America being terrified of itself can be found in “The Purge”, or even better yet “The Purge: Anarchy”. Everyone who has the urge to kill is set lose upon the city to do what they will with little or no explanation as to why they are doing the things they are doing. Just danger around every corner for the protagonist. This is the world that “Cobra” lives in.
  As the 80s continued, action films got more and more bleak and this is a fair example of that. I love how the 80s flicks became filled with doom and dread. “Cobra”s dark nature can be entertaining and watching a lesser known Stallone flick is a lot of fun. But for my money “Dirty Hairy” is the cop for me. Next time, we’ll be paying ol’ Chuck Norris another visit as he kicks the ass of a supernatural killer.
I’m Cory Carr and this concludes another trip on the “Action Movie Time Machine”. Until next time, Semper Fi Punk!
For more from Cory, check out his website slaughterfilm.com, where he and his good friend Forest Taylor record weekly podcasts, reviewing the films that are legendary, even in Hell!
August 15, 2014

Slaughter Film Presents: Action Movie Time Machine: Assassins

CYBER-DUMP

All aboard the “Action Movie Time Machine” for one final “Battle of the Tough Guys” review before we all go see “Expendables 3”. This time we get a twofer. Antonia Banderas matches wits with the Italian Stallion. Banderas, the two time mariachi band leader, now joins the Expendables roster, and a fitting addition he is.
The year is 1995, and a terrible year it was. Timothy McVeigh detonated a car bomb outside the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City. Nintendo released the “Virtual Boy” which later proved to be a commercial failure. Dirty hippies everywhere mourned the passing of Jerry Garcia and the Internet becomes privatized and found it’s way into “Assassins“.
THE SKINNY
Our tale begins with Robert Rath, Sylvester Stallone, the worlds most skilled assassin who has recently accepted a contract to kill billionaire Allan Branch. This takes Rath, and us, to the cemetery where Branch is paying his respects to his brother who recently passed away as a result of a car accident.
Branch, whose character is short lived, is interesting because while he is at his brother’s funeral, the swarming media can be overheard reporting on Branch and how he is under investigation for funding para-military right-wing hit squads in South America. The film is littered with these, sort of, left-wing jabs at the right. In another scene an anti-NRA advertisement can be seen on the side of a bus. These things aren’t important but funny to see in a film starring Stallone, who is a diehard Republican. Hmm, “Diehard Republican”, that could be the title of his next movie. Moving on.

Just as Rath is preparing to take the shot, using the old “you can’t see my gun because I‘m wearing a fake cast” trick, a shot rings out and Branch falls dead. Someone has beaten Rath to the punch. In assassin lingo he “retired” Rath’s “mark”.
After a brief fire fight with police, Miguel Bain, Antonio Banderas, is captured and taken into custody. Rath, curious about who this other assassin is and who tipped him off about his contract, follows after Bain and discovers that he, from the backseat of the cop car and handcuffed, managed to cause said cop car to barrel roll and he escaped police custody.
Rath continues to hunt down clues as to who this mystery assassin is, but takes another contract in the meantime. This takes him to some five star hotel where he will be intercepting a deal between an unknown lady hacker and a group of Dutch men. Apparently she has stolen some top secret encrypted data, stored on a 3.5 inch floppy disc no less, and is attempting to sell it. Rath is sent to retrieve the disc, eliminate the Dutch buyers and retire the mark, who we later learn is Electra, Julianne Moore. This is all fine and well, but once again Bain shows up and makes Rath’s plans all the more difficult to carry out. You could say that Bain is the BANE of Rath… These names are stupid.
Rath, now believing that he himself is a mark, escapes with Electra and the disc in an attempt to find out what exactly is going on; who is after him? and what information is on the disc?. A lot of plot happens here. I mean A LOT. So let me try to shorten this as best I can so I don’t turn this review into a book.

Rath and Bain have several uneventful run-ins before he and Electra escape the city. Oh, don’t forget Pearl, Electra’s cat. To make her even more interesting she’s a cat lady. When they do escape, they use the Internet to set up an exchange for the disc and two million dollars from whom they suspected is the CIA. The money is for Rath so he can get outta the killin’ game and finally retire. This however was a double cross and his briefcase full of money explodes. But that’s okay because the disc was a fake anyhow.
At this time we also learn that Rath was once contracted to assassinate Nicolai Tashlinkov, a fellow assassin and friend, fifteen years prior. This was something Rath has always wrestled with. I wonder how this might effect the outcome of this story.
Rath and Electra then use their 1990s laptop and their 1990s dial up Internet connection from the back of Electra’s Mustang — somehow — to arrange yet another exchange. This time for the real disc and now twenty million dollars. The money is wired to a bank account of Rath’s in the Caribbean. All he and Electra have to do is withdraw the cash in person and leave the disc in a safety deposit box for the contractor to collect.

Again this is all fine and well, but the nameless contractor seems to be playing Rath and Bain against each other. Because, again, Bain shows up to foil Rath’s plan. This time Bain stakes out the bank, with Rath inside, waiting for him to show his face. Bain wants to kill

While Bain, the guy who wants to be the greatest killer in the world, waits patiently from his sniper roost, nature starts a-callin’. With his rifle in one hand, he tries to piss in an empty water bottle with the other. Bain thinks he sees Rath leaving the bank, fumbled for his gun and ends up spilling his piss allover himself. Classy!
The Caribbean, as well as this particular bank, is very important to Rath. Fifteen years ago, Rath assassinated Tashlinkov as he was leaving this bank after also retiring from the game. Now Bain plans to do the same. This is some heavy shit people!
Long story short, Rath withdraws the cash before squaring off with Bain one last time. With Bain on his death bed, the true mastermind of this entire scenario makes himself known. Who is it? Tashlinkov! He faked his death and has been playing Rath and Bain against each other in a plot to get Electra within his grasp. Why you ask? Well the short answer is Communism. The long answer is that the information on the disc exposes Tashlinkov’s false death as well as his nefarious activities since then.

Both Rath and Bain realize that they have been played, and simultaneously turn and unload on Tashlinkov. Rath and Bain have some final words before Rath unleashes his WRATHon Bain and he and Electra walk off into the sunset, discussing her cat. The End!
THE VERDICT
Oh my god, this movie! “Assassins” should have been called “The Movie That Wouldn’t Die!” or “Welcome to Purgatory”. It had potential, sticking close to the standard conventions of action movies. But unfortunately it was carried out in such a way that took the wind out of it’s sails before it ever had a chance.
The action scenes fizzle out before they get good. The story is convoluted with much screen time being taken up with events that soon don’t matter. And the subtext is presented, but not around when it is needed.
It’s as if the script was written by blind librarians or something. Nothing personal against the visually impaired or literate. “Assassins” just feels like it’s an action movie made by people who have never seen an action movie. Like they were painting by numbers…with a paint brush stuck in their eyes. I personally blame director Richard Donner, but that is neither here nor there.
There is something that “Assassins” has in common with many films of this vintage. It doesn’t know how computers or the Internet work. This is surprising since it was written by the Wachowski…persons formerly known as brothers. Who, after “Assassins”, went on to make a little known film that goes by the name “The Matrix”. “The Matrix”, which is teeming with tech savvy, though much is fictionalized to better weave the web of fiction, is smart. “Assassins” is not. The Wachowskis have come along way, let me tell you.

The ’90s were funny when it came to computers. I compare it to the early ’60s atomic age of sci-fi,

where nuclear radiation was the cause of every kind of superhero and monstrous mutation conceivable. This was because people didn’t understand what radiation was or how it effects biology. In the ’90s, this type of sci-fi plot was seen as charmingly ridiculous or even laughable. In the ’10s, a time where large portions of our annual GDP is generated from the Internet & we have conversations with folks using our futuristic video phones, watching a film like “Assassins”, where people connect their laptop to some ever present dial-up wi-fi Internet connection from the back seat of their car, is also fucking laughable! Dial-up and wi-fi are somehow the same thing? Well in this movie they are. Computers are magic.
Many of the goofy usages of the Internet or predictable plot turns don’t make this a bad movie. “Assassins” is a bad movie because it isn’t fun to watch. It isn’t interesting or smart. It isn’t very entertaining either. It drones on for a full two hours and thirteen minutes with scene after scene that don’t bother to progress the story forward, nor do they do what action movie should always do. Have action! In the third act of the film we (two friends and myself) counted four instances in which Stallone and Banderas were in the same space-time and weren’t at each others throats. Excuse me, but isn’t this film called “Assassins”? Kill each other already!
For more from Cory, check out his website slaughterfilm.com, where he and his good friend Forest Taylor record weekly podcasts, reviewing the films that are legendary, even in Hell!
July 26, 2014

Early Returns: The Expendables 3

The Expendables 3: Bloated
On one hand The Expendables 3 is a bloated mess that does nothing to earn your money nor time.  We have nothing but a shit ton of yesterday’s great actors thrown into a film where they will not be used accordingly.  The problem with this film is really the fact that it is an Expendables film.  The first one wasn’t great but it was fun.  The second again wasn’t great but it had a lot of action.  The third is just bloated, with editing and script problems beyond fixing.  Scenes going on for far too long and dialogue that’s completely unneeded again bloats this film.  The addition of Ford, Gibson, Banderas and Snipes is why I really wanted to watch this.  However, their characters were extremely underused.  Ford isn’t in the film that much and Wesley’s character is completely useless.  There is a scene in the beginning where he shaves his beard off with a knife.  A giant f&$king knife.  He shaves it so clean, I stopped what I was doing and texted my Simplistic Reviews partner DJ to confirm what I just saw.  Not a great sign starting off. 
Since we are talking about things that were absurdly lazy, lets get into the effects for this thing.  Now the CGI in The Expendables films are typically very bad.  The common thing most point to is the fake CGI blood.  This film doesn’t seem to have CGI blood, thanks to its new PG-13 rating.  But there are still a slew of cheap and horrible looking CGI explosions, muzzle flashes, helicopter chases and one amazingly crappy parachute deployment shot.  It is laugh inducing.  
But back to the bloat.  After an Expendable gets severely injured, Barney Ross goes out to put together a new team out of fear of getting his old team killed.  All of them young, and one of them a woman.  The woman, Ronda Rousey, is the only person I recognized out of all the new recruits.  So now, a film I watch for the nostalgic actors forces me to follow its “plot” with people I’ve never heard of.  A team I couldn’t care less about.  Expendables 2 did this a bit, but it’s much worse here.  The old team eventually comes back after the young guns screw up badly.  At least I think so.  I honestly started to play on my phone at this point.  Stallone’s character Barney Ross is so stupid in this film.  Tactically, emotionally, grammatically stupid.  His motivations make no sense throughout this film and then they switch on a dime for absolutely no reason.  I’m still waiting for someone to explain to me why the leader of a team called THE EXPENDABLES is afraid of his men getting killed.  Kinda undermines the entire premise of your franchise there Sly. 
The acting?  You don’t care about the acting.  You do?  Really?  Fine.  It’s like watching a sleepwalking documentary on Discovery Channel hosted by Ben Stein.   Only one or two of these guys (Banderas and Gibson eventually) show any sign of life in this thing.  This is something I can understand with the old vets, but the new blood is just as lifeless.   Here is a SPOILER filled example of everything wrong with this film combined.  There is a scene where Gibson and the bad guys set the team up in a building with C-4 all around them.  They have around 45 seconds to get out.  One of the new Expendables says he can try and block the signal.  He stupidly explains this plan while Gibson listens via a video camera.  But Gibson stupidly does nothing to capitalize on hearing this plan.  So, the scene culminates with these action icons that I grew up with just haplessly standing there for 45 seconds shouting, “Come on, Come on you can do it” to a guy I don’t care about pushing buttons.  They shout their encouragement with all the enthusiasm of a thirteen year old boy forced to play dress-up with his baby sister.  They all say it and say it horribly.  Rousey delivers the line so badly, it made me cringe.  I’m pretty sure I saw her cringe from it too!
On the other hand, anyone who purposefully goes to see this film already knows what they are going to experience.  Nonsensical action, cheesey writing and actors you loved that have seen better days…months…decades.  The Expendables 3 just like the others.  Nothing new, just a lot of bloat.  Is it worth your $9.45 at the theater?  No, nor is it worth your time.  Wait for it to come onto TV…network TV.
June 20, 2014

Simplistic Sneak Peek Ep. 5

FOR MATURE AUDIENCES ONLY

Simplistic Sneak Peek is back and better than ever.  In this episode the boys take a look at some animated features and some 80s action stars WITH animated features.  Sinbad, The Ultimate Warrior, Dane Cook and a Holocaust amusement park all come up in this irreverent return of Simplistic Sneak Peek.  You can watch this episode’s trailers below then click video above to hear Matt, DJ and Justin’s thoughts on them in real time.

Planes: Fire & Rescue

Penguins Of Madagascar

The Expendables 3

Bonus Trailer

Welcome to the new home of SimplisticReviews.net - We're currently still working on the site. You might notice a few issues, please be patient with us. Thanks! (Store also in testing — no orders shall be fulfilled.)
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