In many ways Bullet to the Head is as ludicrous as you would expect. A heavily tattooed Sylvester Stallone and Conan beefcake Jason Momoa arm themselves with axes for a fight. Christian Slater's sleazy lawyer character hosts a giant sexy party in his Garden District mansion complete with nude ladies doing the tango and Slater himself wearing a fox mask that's a little too on the nose. There's a corrupt real estate baron from Africa played by Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje who uses not one but two canes and plans to demolish the "ghetto housing projects" in New Orleans to build sweet new condos or whatever.
And all of the women that appear in the film — all of them that have any lines and plenty that don't say a word — show their breasts at one time or another evenSarah Shahi playing Stallone's daughter Lisa. Stallone's character is nicknamed Jimmy Bobo and he brings his own bottle of bourbon with him when he goes to bars — Bulleit of course.
However unlike more recent action films like Jack Reacher or Stallone's endless Expendables Bullet to the Head is a pleasing solid genre flick. Part of the appeal along with the impressive fight scenes and laughably elaborate set-ups is that the film knows when it's being silly. "What are we f**king Vikings?" Stallone bellows right before he and Momoa come to blows. Slater is a perfectly ratty little lawyer who when tied to a chair and being threatened with bodily harm sneers "There's nothing you can do to men that I haven't done to myself for fun!"
Stallone gets the best lines usually tossed-off phrases like suggesting someone's bullet wounds could be fixed up with "a band-aid and a blow pop " but he's also saddled with some of the worst. His interactions with his reluctant partner a handsome cop named Taylor Kwon (Sung Kang) slow the movie down to a glacier's pace. One might imagine that director Walter Hill is trying to recall the dicey racial tension in the 48 Hrs. movies between Eddie Murphy and Nick Nolte but it doesn't translate here at all. Jimmy Bobo's ribbing of Taylor isn't just unfunny it's boring. There's nothing particularly clever about any of the written jokes about tea leaves Confucius samurai and so forth; while Kang's character is supposed to be annoyed by this "banter " it looks like Kang himself isn't all that thrilled.
Bullet to the Head is no masterpiece let's be clear. Plunking down Stallone et al. in New Orleans creates a cognitive dissonance that's laughable at best. Momoa who plays a vicious mercenary looks hilariously out of place in the redneck bar we first see him in; he's really born to play characters like Khal Drago in Game of Thrones where he just has to ride a horse and look like a dangerous-but-sexy warrior. People seem impossible to kill; often it takes you know a bullet to the head to finally keep 'em down. And that daughter of Jimmy's Sarah? She is a tattoo artist with one year of medical school under her belt so she's pretty swell when it comes to basic medical procedures. Like bullet removal.
But let's go back to all those boobies. This is an R-rated movie with plenty of violence and drugs and nudity and that is fine by me. I do not mind looking at good-looking naked people not in the least. When the first character we meet is a prostitute who is merely referred to as a hooker for a good chunk of the movie and that's really one of the only female characters we meet that's a problem. When Lisa's mom is referred to as a dead hooker junky that's a trend.
And when Lisa is lounging in the bathtub and Taylor breaks into her house for well whatever reason he and Jimmy came up with and she runs into him in her living room when she's wearing nothing but a towel and we can see her butt and breasts it makes me scratch my head a little.
Look this is an action movie and one based on a comic book to boot so I'm not expecting Tennessee Williams here but give me a break.
There were probably some women at the Garden District party who were clothed but the great majority of women in the movie are naked and/or referred to as totally disposable which is a frankly sickening trend in an otherwise enjoyable movie. It would have been better to leave all of the female characters on the cutting room floor and be done with it than treat them with such matter-of-fact contempt.
Sadly this gross undercurrent knocks my original star rating down a half.
Bullet to the Head is not a summer blockbuster but it's better than the typical January dregs. Spring can't come soon enough.
When someone brings up Walter Hill, immediately images of Alien, Brewster's Millions and The Warriors fill my cranium. The filmmaker has an incredibly impressive body of work and action icon Sylvester Stallone seems to think so as well, so much so that he's taking meetings with the aging auteur about his new film Headshot, which he hopes Hill will helm. "I completely respect Walter's incredible body of work and hopefully this legendary director will become attached to the project," said Stallone, who hopes to shoot this new film over the summer.
For those unaware, Headshot is based on a graphic novel by Alexis Nolent which focuses on a hitman and a cop who team up after their respective partners are killed to hunt down their mutual enemy. Oscar nominee Alessandro Camon (The Messenger) adapted the comics into a script that's not as dark and violent as the film that previously-set director Wayne Kramer (Running Scared) was going to make and thus, after "creative differences" with Stallone, the filmmaker decided to leave the project.
Now, the intended dark comedy could gain the expertise of Hill, who has made films with that tone including 48 Hours and its sequel. It's a logical but no less inspired choice, given the depths of the criminal underworld that Hill has explored in the past. It'll also be nice to see a new Walter Hill picture, as the last one we've seen was 2002's under-performing Undisputed. Hopefully he'll sign up soon so the film can release in 2012 as originally intended.
Well, it looks like Sylvester Stallone is once again sticking to what he does best. And what he does best is pretend it's 1985 and he’s an action star again.
Anyway, he’s been cast in Headshot, the new film from The Cooler’s Wayne Kramer. The script was written by Alessandro Camon (he of The Messenger fame) and follows Stallone as a New Orleans hitman that teams with a young NYPD cop. They go up against some powerful adversaries as their revenge-filled adventure takes them from The Big Easy all the way to Capitol Hill. Fluff it out for me Hollywood Reporter, “The unlikely duo, brought together by two vicious murders, take on all who stand in their way, and are willing to sacrifice everything to exact revenge.” With that in mind, the trailer will definitely feature gun shots, explosions and heavy guitar music that is about eight months past its prime.
The film starts shooting in May around the same time as new pictures of Stallone’s veiny arms will start appearing.
Source: Hollywood Reporter
The Hurt Locker's Jeremy Renner is up for the Best Actor in a Leading Role Oscar, competing against George Clooney (Up In The Air), Morgan Freeman (Invictus), Jeff Bridges (Crazy Heart) and Colin Firth (A Single Man).
In the Best Director category, Bigelow will fight it out with her ex-husband Cameron, along with Quentin Tarantino (Inglourious Basterds), Lee Daniels (Precious: Based On The Novel Push By Sapphire) and Jason Reitman (Up In The Air).
The Hurt Locker and Avatar will lead the Best Picture category - the films are among 10 nominees for the prestigious accolade, including Up In The Air, The Blind Side and Precious: Based On The Novel Push By Sapphire.
Avatar, which smashed box office records by grossing more than $2 billion this weekend (30-31Jan10) to become the best-selling international release of all time, is also nominated for a slew of technical awards, such as Best Art Direction, Best Editing and Best Cinematography.
Meanwhile, Sandra Bullock has landed her first Oscar nomination for The Blind Side - the star will go up against Meryl Streep (Julie & Julia), Helen Mirren (The Last Station), Carey Mulligan (An Education) and Gabourey Sidibe (Precious: Based On The Novel Push By Sapphire) for the title of Best Actress in a Leading Role.
Matt Damon (Invictus), Woody Harrelson (The Messenger) and Christoph Waltz (Inglourious Basterds) are among the nominees for the Best Actor in a Supporting Role Oscar, while Penelope Cruz (Nine), Mo'Nique (Precious: Based On The Novel Push By Sapphire), Maggie Gyllenhaal (Crazy Horse) and Up In The Air's Vera Farmiga and Anna Kendrick will battle for the Best Actress in a Supporting Role prize.
The nominees for 10 of the 24 categories were unveiled by Anne Hathaway and Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences President Tom Sherak at an early morning news conference on Tuesday (02Feb10) at the Academy's Samuel Goldwyn Theater in Beverly Hills.
The Oscars, presented by Alec Baldwin and Steve Martin, will be handed out on 7 March (10) at the Kodak Theatre in Hollywood.
The nominees for the 10 main categories are as follows:
Best Actor in a Leading Role:
Jeff Bridges - Crazy Heart
George Clooney - Up In The Air
Colin Firth - A Single Man
Morgan Freeman - Invictus
Jeremy Renner - The Hurt Locker
Best Actress in a Leading Role:
Sandra Bullock - The Blind Side
Helen Mirren - The Last Station
Carey Mulligan - An Education
Gabourey Sidibe - Precious: Based On The Novel Push By Sapphire
Meryl Streep - Julie & Julia
Best Actor in a Supporting Role:
Matt Damon - Invictus
Woody Harrelson - The Messenger
Christopher Plummer - The Last Station
Stanley Tucci - The Lovely Bones
Christoph Waltz - Inglourious Basterds
Best Actress in a Supporting Role:
Penelope Cruz - Nine
Vera Farmiga - Up In The Air
Maggie Gyllenhaal - Crazy Horse
Anna Kendrick - Up In The Air
Mo'Nique - Precious: Based On The Novel Push By Sapphire
James Cameron - Avatar
Kathryn Bigelow - The Hurt Locker
Quentin Tarantino - Inglourious Basterds
Lee Daniels - Precious: Based On The Novel Push By Sapphire
Jason Reitman - Up In The Air
The Blind Side
The Hurt Locker
Precious: Based On The Novel Push By Sapphire
A Serious Man
Up In The Air
Best Original Screenplay:
Mark Boal - The Hurt Locker
Alessandro Camon & Oren Moverman - The Messenger
Joel Coen & Ethan Coen - A Serious Man
Pete Docter, Bob Peterson & Tom McCarthy - Up
Quentin Tarantino - Inglourious Basterds
Best Adapted Screenplay:
Jesse Armstrong, Simon Blackwell, Armando Iannucci & Tony Roche - In the Loop
Neill Blomkamp & Terri Tatchell - District 9
Geoffrey Fletcher - Precious: Based On The Novel Push By Sapphire
Nick Hornby - An Education
Jason Reitman & Sheldon Turner - Up In The Air
Best Animated Film:
Fantastic Mr. Fox
The Princess and the Frog
The Secret of Kells
Best Foreign Language Film:
El Secreto de Sus Ojos (Argentina)
Un Prophete (France)
The White Ribbon (Germany)
The Milk of Sorrow (Peru).