In the midst of all of it, the craziness, the new classes, the new schedule, the getting up at 5:30 am in the morning again, to the going to bed at midnight, to the projects, the football practice and homework times 3, I found time to watch of all movies, The Expendables 3.
Let’s go back to the beginning though. When we left Seattle, we left a lot of dumb things behind. The trees, the traffic, the weather, the roads, the taxpayers that like to vote for every new tax increase, bills, etc. But we left behind two very important, very hard to stomach things behind. 1) Our amazing 60 inch marvel of HD wonder. The TV that we created so many memories with. From the first shot of 1080P pixels showing Doc Rivers talking about the Celtics road victory to the final shot of some random Olympic event before Skynet came back to claim it so they could destroy the world (either that or the people we sold it to), this television weaved every pixel inside my bitter heart.
The second thing I clung to until the final hour was the cable service. Though the bill was really good at following inflation and good at rising at the same rate as my paycheck declined, I miss the sheer vastness and endless options of entertainment the old Xfinity or Comcast or whatever you want to call the greatest show on earth. It even had a remote that would listen to you. It listened to me more in the few months we had it than my kids have ever listened to me. It was heartbreaking to leave the TV/Cable combo behind. Way more than any so-called “friends” I had, Facebook or face to face, or otherwise.
Anyways, now that we are here, we don’t have my best friend Cable. We have a TV, but not nearly the machine that old friend 60 was. And Roku and Apple TV are okay, but since we only have Amazon Prime, the television options are limited. Don’t even get me started on the 4 channels (2 in English and 2 in Espanol).
So back to present. I was trying to find something that wasn’t black and white colored or a 10 year old indy film on Amazon Prime, when out of nowhere, Expendables 3 appeared on the screen. I like action movies, and this one pretty much promised that, so I bit. A little too late in the evening, and I hadn’t seen Expendables 1 or 2, but I started it and thought I would just catch the beginning.
What started as a just a desperate attempt to find anything to lift the bitter weighty weight on my shoulders, turned into an obsession. How was it that so many people that I remember from the 80’s and 90’s could appear in one movie? How was it that we could have so many inside jokes, for instance, the names like Stallone’s name being Barney(Rubble? The Dinosaur?), Statham’s name being Christmas(how many lame jokes came from that one), or Dolph Lundgren’s name being Gunner Jensen(was his middle name Magnum?). Or when Wesley Snipe’s character was asked what he did to get himself in jail and he reply’s to the camera sarcastically, “Tax evasion.” (for those of you that don’t know, Wesley Snipes has tax evasion problems in real life). Or Arnold Swarzenegger continually telling people to, “Get to the Choppa”.
The best part of the whole movie was the dialogue. Not that action movies need compelling dialogue, but this one really didn’t need it. Because even if you had the volume up to 50 and you had it on Surround Sound 7.1, you couldn’t understand a word these guys said. Statham’s UK accent, Arnold with Austrian-California Governer accent, Dolph Lundgren with his Swedish-Russian accent, Jet Li with his Chinese accent, but worst of all Sylvester Stallone with his New York-Philadelphian Rocky accent. I haven’t understood a word of his since he was born.
Yet I couldn’t take my eyes off this movie. Possibly because I love unrealistic action, maybe because I couldn’t believe Mel Gibson as a bad guy(cough, cough) or because I would have understood a foreign film without subtitles better than I could understand any of the dialogue. But isn’t that what we all love about movies? They way they challenge us to be better at something (even if it is trying to understand what the heck people are saying?)
Bitter Expendable Bendable