COMIC-CON: ‘The Expendables’ injects some testosterone into the geek Mecca

Posted by · 10:02 am · July 23rd, 2010

We’re only a day in, but the star of Comic-Con so far, if it isn’t Scott Pilgrim, has to be Sylvester Stallone.  The muscle-bound action star hit Hall H yesterday with a few scenes from his new film “The Expendables” in tow and couldn’t have had more swagger and charisma.

Ain’t It Cool News poobah Harry Knowles moderated a panel consisting of stars Terry Crews, Steve Austin, Dolph Lundgren, Randy Couture and Sly himself.  Bruce Willis, who was on hand earlier in the day for a “RED” panel, stopped by for a few moments as well.  Early on, Knowles caught himself in the moment: “Can I just say something?  HOW F**KING COOL IS THIS??”

It wasn’t really a hyperbolic statement. It WAS pretty damn cool to see that much testosterone on stage.  And it was the right crowd for this kind of film, echoed by one of the Q&A questioners later on: “I just wanted to say that you guys are responsible for my upbringing, more so than my parents.”

I pretty much gave up trying to write down any quotes and just sat back watching Stallone holding court.  Looking dapper and confident as ever, he seemed perfectly at ease and fully in control, just a few years after his career was spiraling into the Wal-Mart bargain bin.

He mentioned that, actually.  Stallone said he still wakes up some mornings just in awe of the legacy he has left in the “Rocky” franchise and how much he owes this character he thought would never be more than a second feature on a drive-in bill.  He decided a few years ago that, if nothing else, he owed it to the character to close it out with class.  “I screwed up ‘Rocky V,’” he admitted with candor.  That thought process yielded 2006’s “Rocky Balboa,” and not that anyone cares, but this viewer happens to think he succeeded.

And it’s worth mentioning, when Stallone hit the stage, the 6,500-plus crowd lit up with a chant of, “Rocky, Rocky, Rocky!”

Anyway, a final stab at “Rambo” and Sly said he felt invigorated, back in the game.  And now we get “The Expendables,” a film Crews called “a love letter to every single action movie fan.”  Two clips were shown, one in particular revealing the film to be a hyper-violent, bone-crunching endeavor.  And that bone crunching translated to real life, as Couture apparently scared the hell out of stunt men, Steve Austin broke Stallone’s neck during a fight scene and himself was nearly blown off the face of the planet during a pyro mishap.

All Stallone (and most of the panel) could do was just giggle with glee at the stories.  The whole crew clearly had a blast making the film (which may or may not be utter trash — we’ll know on August 13).  But it’s safe to say Stallone was king geek for the day in San Diego yesterday.  Of the panels I saw, none had nearly that level of energy.

By the way, quote of the panel (from Sly): “I talked to guys like Van Damme, Steven Seagal and Chuck Norris about being in the movie.  But there’s things like schedules and…insanity…that keep that from happening.”

Today will probably be a bit more quiet.  Nothing on the schedule has piqued my interest.  I’ll probably write something up on the sensory-overloading, viscerally assaulting “Scott Pilgrim vs. the World” (which I saw last night) later today, maybe toss up some pics, but other than that, not much to report.

→ 11 Comments Tags: , , , , , , , | Filed in: Daily

11 responses so far

  • 1 7-23-2010 at 10:45 am

    Josh said...

    Yikes, that picture is something. I’ve got no interest in the movie, but Stallone looks very….rubbery; I know he has for a while, but still, always odd to look at.

  • 2 7-23-2010 at 10:57 am

    Mark Kratina said...

    Seeing Sly sit next to Dolph brings back Rocky IV memories.

    “Has the fight date been set yet?”

    “December 25th.”


    “It’s in Russia”

    Paulie: “Are you nuts?”

    Two things: Kris, was the insanity jab by Stallone supposed to refer to one of those guys? I’m not as familiar with what they’ve been doing.

    Second, I’m in the very small minority that loved Rocky V. I mean, like, loved it. I realize “Rocky Balboa” had more heart and was the appropriate way to close the story, but I dug the flashbacks with Mickey and Rocky’s going home and teaching his son.

  • 3 7-23-2010 at 10:59 am

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    I think he was referring to Van Damn and Seagal, actually.

  • 4 7-23-2010 at 11:21 am

    Mark Kratina said...

    Was he just being facetious or am I missing something?

    I know Van Damme’s got an ego the size of Texas, maybe Seagal does too. Perhaps that was what he was referring to- maybe their asking prices were too high?

  • 5 7-23-2010 at 12:25 pm

    V said...

    I’ve been looking forward to this movie since I hear Mickey was going to be in it, so I caught Stallone on Letterman the other night to see what he had to say. Swagger and charisma is spot on. He looked good (the tinted glasses helped!) and was pretty charming.

  • 6 7-23-2010 at 1:59 pm

    Mike_M said...

    I bet Seagal’s ego isnt that big since he seems to have a pretty small part in Machete, you would think The Expendables would have more draw for him. I think its going to be a fun time in the theaters so I will check it out for sure. Also cant wait to hear your thoughts on Scott Pilgrim, Kris.

  • 7 7-23-2010 at 3:43 pm

    Hans said...

    Did you have any troubles today with the Westboro loonies, Kris?

  • 8 7-23-2010 at 11:58 pm

    Robert Hamer said...

    I remember in an interview with Latino Review (I think) that Jean-Claude Van Damme didn’t take the part because Stallone couldn’t – or wouldn’t – describe the character he would play in any meaningful way. Which *kind of* makes sense, except Van Damme makes straight-to-DVD action flicks, so how important could that really be to him? Maybe he thought that JCVD would give him some sort of rebirth as a legitimate actor, but then again, Mickey Rourke did something like that to greater effect and The Expendables was good enough for him.

    Steven Seagal apparently wouldn’t sign on because of a long-running grudge with Avi Lerner, one of the film’s producers. Not a big loss, in my opinion.

    Don’t know why Chuck Norris isn’t in this film though. I’m guessing he decided that leading the Tea Parties against the Nazi Socialist Soviet Terrorist Baby-Killing Death Panel Obama Administration was more important, but that’s pure speculation on my part.

    I’m sure you already knew all this, Kris, I was just explaining it to those who didn’t. Actually, that reminds me…

    Does anyone know about any other potentials who didn’t make the cut, and why? Is there a specific reason why we won’t see Vin Diesel, Hulk Hogan, Vinnie Jones, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Ron Perlman or Mr. T in The Expendables? Also, did Sly ever respond to Danny Trejo’s accusations of being led to believe he would be in the film before being inexplicably dropped at the last minute?

  • 9 7-24-2010 at 3:54 pm

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    All news to me, actually, Robert.

  • 10 7-24-2010 at 3:55 pm

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    Oh, and nothing, re: Trejo.

  • 11 7-25-2010 at 6:24 pm

    Derek 8-Track said...

    plus, supposedly Seagal wont play any character that has flaws or the potential of being weak. Just something I’ve read. I’m not very familiar with his work though.