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I guess I just like liking things

One uses a GUN, the other uses a PHONE - together they're PARTNERS

One uses a GUN, the other uses a PHONE – together they’re PARTNERS

There are some actors that compel me to see their movies just by being in them. None of them ever call me up and say “Hey, you better see my movie or I’ll kidnap your cats,” but they might as well for as compelled as I feel. Sylvester Stallone is pretty high up on that list, and that’s even with a history of films that includes Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot and Eye See You (neither of which I’ve actually seen, ironically enough).

Why is that?  Why do people give so much leeway to certain actors?  Most people have an actor or two that they respond to similarly – they might not go to the movie opening weekend, but they’ll make a mental “ooh, I should see that some time” note. My list includes Stallone, Schwarzenegger, Winona Ryder, Kevin Costner, Bruce Willis, and apparently my list is made up of people who started making movies a long time ago.  It’s not that I don’t enjoy newer actors, it’s just that they don’t spring immediately to mind.

The point is, I go into these movies with bonus points already applied to the Like column. I’m predisposed to liking the actor, so I’m ready to give the movie a chance, even if I’ve seen the trailer and should know better. Let’s face it: if you’ve seen the trailer you can get a good sense of the movie. If you’ve seen more than one trailer, you sometimes don’t even need to see the movie, except maybe to pick up that one insignificant plot twist they didn’t reveal in the trailers.

So I knew going in to Bullet in the Head what I was getting into, for the most part. Sly’s an aging assassin who has to work with a cop to figure out what’s going on. Shooting ensues and there are several bullets to several heads, and Bobby Cobb shows up but doesn’t play any Penny Can, and then there’s an axe fight with nuConan, making this the second movie in Stallone’s oeuvre after Cobra to feature axes – third if you count Cliffhanger.

Even knowing all that going in, I still ended up disappointed. For the same reason I look forward to movies by people on this list I keep, I want good things to happen to those people. I know that doesn’t make any sense – these people have already had a pretty blessed life for the most part. I dunno, it’s probably a little selfish. I want them to have good movies happen to them so I can enjoy the good movies, maybe?

Regardless, this movie isn’t very good and I’m sad about it. The tone was weird, the dialog wasn’t very good, and some of the acting was just strange. I’m not a guy who can sit here and tell you exactly why something doesn’t work, but I sure can sense when it doesn’t. For a guy like me who goes into something wanting to like it, sometimes it’s more difficult when something ends up being not good.

But, in keeping with the idea of this site, let’s see if I can’t find some Good Things in this particular Bad Stuff:

  • The title of the movie is very Snakesonaplaneian, delivering exactly what it tells you it will.
  • Jason Momoa has the potential to be a pretty good bad guy.
  • The car at the end of the movie is pretty sweet.
  • Even though he didn’t end up being in the movie, the idea that Thomas Jane was supposed to be makes you imagine what that movie might have been like, and it seems like that would have been pretty neat.

I’ve already decided that next week’s Tuesday 10 is going to be Stallone movies, so feel free to catch up on all the ones you’ve missed in the next five days.

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