Gerald Early was born and raised in South Philadelphia's Southwark neighborhood. It was the setting for the story of Rocky Balboa. The movie was fiction but the area was a very real place, and Early is one of its real-life over-comers.
To get you in the mood for this Sunday's 86th Annual Academy Awards, we have LN's longtime movie critic, Debbie Baldwin, comparing notes with Brandon LaMew, who's been ranked No. 15 among Netflix's top film reviewers worldwide.
If all you really wanted for Christmas was a movie you could go to without contemplating asking for your money back, Hollywood may be able to help…finally. Here’s what coming in December:
OK. So it’s no secret that Hollywood is a shining example of environmentalism. I mean, when it comes to reuse and recycle, the film industry is unrivaled. If a movie’s a hit, they make it another hit and then another. Let’s see if we can hit a 10-figure, worldwide box-office gross without burning a single creative calorie. The film industry will squeeze every dollar out of a good movie down to the last action figure. It’s the soul-less version of using all the parts of the buffalo.
Nearly every review of this film describes it as a rehashing of '80s action movies. Frankly, that is precisely what sent me running to the box office. After the abysmal summer of blockbusters, maybe Hollywood needs a refresher course. If anything isn’t reinventing the wheel, it’s this genre. I’m easy to please. Give me a respectable plot, some good explosions and a clever quip and I’m happy. Well, if there is a school for action movies, Stallone and Schwarzenegger should teach the master class.
With the early horses out of the gate and a smattering of expected disappointments out of the way, it’s time to get serious--awards-show serious. Here’s what to look forward to in October.
There’s no doubt that this has been one of the worst summers for Hollywood in recent memory. Correction: Hollywood actually did pretty well. We were the ones who had to suffer. And every time a big-budget movie faltered this summer, it didn't simply disappoint, it went down in flames. You can almost hear Will Smith and Johnny Depp laughing over single malts at Teddy’s:
I was chided mercilessly for giving the first Expendables installment a 7. Granted, when I saw it, I was on vacation and may or may not have had a drink with an umbrella in it. When I rewatched it, I realized that I may have been generous—I mean, between Schwarzenegger and Stallone, it’s a wonder you can even understand what they’re saying. This time, however, I’m sticking to my guns, literally. This is an action movie, a good action movie—nothing more, nothing less. If you’re looking for Oscar nods, go somewhere else. If you want to see some stuff blow up, this is your film.
I like to imagine the inception of this movie. Sylvester Stallone is sitting at his favorite little hole-in-the-wall bar sharing beers with Mickey Rourke and Dolph Lundgren and reminiscing about their favorite on-camera shootouts, or lamenting some regrettable plastic surgery decisions. All of a sudden Arnold Schwarzenneger and Bruce Willis pop in and challenge them to a game of darts. As they laugh and party the night away, one of them comments, This is great, isn’t it guys? Wouldn’t it be great if we could shoot a movie like this, all the hugely successful and important action heroes of the last 20 years together on one screen? They all realize it would finance a new beach house for each of them, and Stallone agrees to write, produce, direct and star…because as big and important as everyone is, he is bigger…and importanter.
It’s the last hurrah for summer movies. So get to the megaplex and watch some car chases and explosions because awards season is just around the corner. Here’s what’s in store.