Michael Cera vs. Stallone No Contest: Alpha Male for the Win

While I enjoy seeing Michael Cera in a Smashing Pumpkins Teeshirt throwing blows (probably because I was once a skinny high school kid who loved Billy Corgan), it can't compare with my affection for Stallone (whose movies actually taught me valuable lessons about character and integrity).

The popular vote is with Sylvester Stallone, but a lot of people are still wondering how The Expendables was able to trump Michael Cera’s Scott Pilgrim vs. The World. First of all, I’d like to say that I thoroughly enjoyed both movies.  But they cater to very different audiences.  Stallone has a track record a mile long for churning out cinematic testosterone. Scores of men look back to their childhood and fondly remember Rocky and Rambo. And those men have wives who they’ll bring to the theater.  And those men have sons that have to be introduced to a man’s man like Stallone.

Michael Cera? A large percentage of his fans think Ellen Page’s insipid ramblings and the Cera/Page duets of yore should springboard them to Stallone status. Wrong.  Scott Pilgrim vs. The World was an interesting experiment in beta-male celluloid tales, in that it tried to give us the touchy-feeling emotional male that Hollywood wishes we all were, coupled with random flashes of Kick Assery. On a personal level, I can’t help but think it’s cool to see Cera in a Smashing Pumpkins teeshirt, throwing blows while old school NES graphics and sounds flash around him. I’ll refrain from talking about Jason Schwartzman, who is also in the movie, because I think the guy is a genius.

Here’s the deal:  Scott Pilgrim didn’t perform as The Expendables did because it had an uphill battle to begin with. It had to compete with a starving Stallone fan base and, quite simply, Universal didn’t market it very well outside the kind of people who are going to make it a cult classic.

With that said, the reason why Stallone satisfies while Cera does not is that his characters clearly stand for something, while the wishy-washy beta males are only sure about what they feel at a given moment. Scott Pilgrim literally dies in the movie because he couldn’t get his feelings straight.  It’s only because he got an “extra life” from his video-game existence that he was able to essentially become a hero.  Stallone’s character, Barney Ross, is crystal clear about where he stands when he walks into a would be suicide mission, and his moral clarity is rewarded.

If you get a chance, see both movies.  They’re both fun.  But one simply has more meat on it (literally and figuratively).  I’d suggest seeing a Stallone/Cera team up, but I’m pretty sure it would rip a hole in the space/time continuum and we’d all die.

Scott Pilgrim has cute, cool asian girls who are good with knives. Stallone has cigar chomping men putting lead through dictators, despots, and their thugish foot soldiers. Sly gets my cash first.

The Expendables: Cool (which means Harry Reid won’t see it).

Do you think Harry "I surrendered in Iraq" Reid lists any Stallone movies in his Top 10 list? Didn't think so.

I saw The Expendables opening night, and no one was going to stop me, short of Sly showing up at my house and snapping my neck Rambo-style from behind.  It looks like John Nolte was operating on the same wavelength:

Satisfying is probably the best way to describe this labor of love conjured up by a superstar who sat in the direct-to-DVD bin for almost a decade waiting for America to come to its collective senses and figure out how much we missed him and his kind of action filmmaking. There’s also a kind of validation that comes with the price of admission, especially for those of us who couldn’t figure out why in the hell anyone would call metro-sexuals angsting over calling evil what it is and apologizing for America an action movie.

“The Expendables” proves us right.

Matt Damon sucks and the eighties freaking ruled.

The Expendables is a solid action movie with some great kill scenes, but the reason why it’s a breath of fresh air is because somewhere along the line Hollywood decided that heroes couldn’t be heroes unless they were self flagellating poster boys for the Blame America First crowd.  I grew up in the 80’s, on a steady diet of Stallone’s movies.  Liberals might dismiss his films as cat nip for meat heads, but it’s hard to deny that some very valuable life lessons have been weaved into his characters throughout the years.  How many kids in the 80’s didn’t get chills down their spines when Rocky finally “cut” Drago?

“You got him hurt bad, now he’s worried. You cut him, you hurt him. You see?! You see?! He’s not a machine! He’s a man!…No Pain!…No Pain!” (Duke)

If you had to bet, would you think that Rocky IV is on Harry Reid’s Top 10 movie list? The same guy who literally surrendered to Iraqi terrorists and Baathists? I don’t think so.

How did Stallone's movies make you feel when you were a kid? What lessons did they teach you? How did you feel when Rocky cut Drago and turned the tide in the final fight? I'm willing to bet you can answer all those questions in seconds.

The kind of grit, determination, and mettle that’s needed for a country to succeed (whether during economic downturns or times of war) is embodied in most of Stallone’s characters. America, although not perfect, is a good country, and confidently identifies evil. The human spirit is capable of overcoming seemingly insurmountable obstacles if we look deep within ourselves to find those hidden reserves of strength and courage our opponents and enemies fail to account for. Loyalty, Duty, Respect, Selfless Service, Honor, Integrity, and Personal Courage are not just moral codes for our military (or those who clearly love our soldiers), but for all men to live by in Stallone’s world. Men love Sly because he taps into something they all know to be true, even if MTV and Oprah and a bevy of beta-male pseudo-stars have told a generation otherwise.

Instead of making train wrecks like An American Carol, conservatives should get behind movies like The Expendables.  You don’t change the culture by making blatantly political cinematic pot shots—you change the culture by making conservatism cool.  And The Expendables is. Period.

Go see it before the weekend is up.

Stallone and YOU Stop Generation: Beta Male Liberal Leg Crossers

Stallone understands that some of us don't want Alan Alda and George Clooney to have Beta-Male babies with genetically superior leg-crossing skills.

I’m really happy to see Big Hollywood write a piece on Stallone. If you’ve read my blog before you know that I’m a huge fan of the elusive Hollywood actor with at least a few strains of conservatism in his DNA. Bruce Willis (who also has a cameo in The Expendables) is another actor I think we should raise our glasses to. Listen to Stallone’s response to a young man who wonders about the dearth of pro-America action flicks over the past few decades:

BRIAN: As I grow older one of the major things I enjoy about the 80’s action films are their high level of optimism about America and its place in the world. Whether it was Rambo 2, Rambo 3, Rocky 4, Red Dawn, etc. they made American’s feel invincible (and a bit cocky) but also proud of whom we are. The unbelievably ripped action heroes were a great physical manifestation of who we were as a nation. Post 9/11 I think many would love to feel that way again as we have transitioned from the great action heroes to action stars such as Matt Damon, Nic Cage, and Tom Cruise. All great actors but I can’t buy them as action heroes. Movies today seem to have the opposite effect and are focused too much on our flaws as nation and our failed foreign policy (Avatar, Green Zone). Do you feel this is simply because of the changing generations in Hollywood, a true reflection of the national temperature, or just an overall loss in optimism following the end of the American century that is reflected in the stories told on screen?

STALLONE: “Brian, Its 100 percent due to a transition into a different political climate than when the aforementioned films were done. That’s why it’s a minor miracle the last RAMBO would even be released, but I took a gamble there would be many people like you, who may not express themselves as clearly but really do desire to see an action film unfold that wreaks [sic] of pride and manly individualism that has unfortunately fallen out of vogue. I believe that everything is a cycle. And once again America will have its cinematic heroes reflect the incredible honor it is to be defending the most extraordinary country the planet has ever known. Just give it time, everything is a cycle.”

I disagree with Sly on one thing: he wasn’t taking a chance. There are a lot of men out there who don’t like that Hollywood wished Alan Alda and George Clooney could have a baby that looked like Matt Damon, but with beta-male genes empowered by gamma radiation. Hollywood’s elite want The Hulk, but instead of getting really angry they want him to cross his legs and purse his lips with incredible strength.

Someone should do a study to find out how many movies were made in the past decade that portray the U.S. government or explicitly the U.S. military as the antagonist, and then compare it to the number of times it was portrayed as a force for good in the world.  I’m guessing that the numbers would be downright scary (unless you’re a jihadi film club member or a socialist from San Francisco with an AMC movie card provided by your neighbor’s tax dollars).

It says something about the American people that despite the best efforts of the media, higher education, and the entertainment industry to force feed them guilt sandwiches on a daily basis, that they resist.  The American people know deep down (even if the education system is woefully failing them) that this is a good country.  And it doesn’t take much for them to understand that it’s also an exceptional country. But we need to keep up the fight. And I think that the kind of yarns Stallone creates should serve as an inspiration.

I’ve heard conservatives who would give up the fight for

Sly starts the spark, and you can provide the oxygen needed to start a conservative wildfire. Write a blog, get on Youtube, volunteer, or find another way to reach out to the next generation. The next conservative icon is waiting to discover his true calling...because of you.

popular culture because of the odds. But when the odds are against you the thing to do is to bear down and move forward. Conservatives need some grit in their spit, and they need to come out swinging a la Rocky Balboa if they’re going to win over the next generation. Shirking into the corner because guys like Ward Churchill and Kanye West populate college campuses and the entertainment industry is insanity. Neglecting young people because there are more Rachel Maddows out there than obvious Rush Limbaugh successors is equally as ridiculous. They’re there. We just need to plant the seeds and cultivate the soil. Guys like Stallone help out with movies that can start sparks of conservatism inside young minds (perhaps strong enough to power a Government Motors Chevy Volt?); it’s up to you and I to fan the flames.

Now get out there and start a blog, sign up for a social networking site, volunteer as a tutor, or get on Youtube. The next conservative icon is waiting to discover his true calling because of you.

Step Up 3D Fail: Ahmadinejad Laughs at updated Kevin Bacon Hip Snaps.

Kevin Bacon uses dance as a weapon against his arch nemesis: Middle America. If you're asking if he gave Cold War era Soviets killer hip snaps...the answer is no.

Every generation has its silly dance movies, whether it’s Flashdance, Footloose, Dirty Dancing, Save the Last Dance, etc.  However, what’s even more depressing than seeing Kevin Bacon use dance as a weapon against those oppressive redneck hicks in Middle America (or Kevin Bacon in cinematic child molester case studies Roger Ebert can’t stop thinking about)…is the liberalism that usually undergirds most of them.  Why was it Kevin could give angry hip thrusts and fist pumps to Middle America, but not to Soviet expansionism in South America or Eastern Europe? I think you know the answer…

The trailer for Step Up is a perfect example of the kind of intellectual liberal pixy stix the entertainment industry feeds us on a daily basis. It’s all sugary good idealism with little to no nutritional value:

“Dance can change things. One move can bring people together. One move can make you believe like you’re something more. One move can set a whole generation free!”

Somehow, I don’t have much confidence that Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is going to watch the gyrations of American FLO Rida fans put on and say, “Dude, this whole nuke obsession and Holocaust denial? I was totally wrong. Instead of calling for the death of all Jews, gays, Americans, Western Civilization, infidels, and most of the women on earth…from now on I’ll just bowl them over with killer dance move lock and pops!”

Sadly, though, we’ve grown into a nation of self-esteem junkies who need

The new "Step Up" features FLO Rida's insane beats while Mahmoud Ahmadinejad threatens to destroy Israel---in 3D!

to be told we’re special from the cradle to the grave.  The same people who think they’re “something more” because of a single dance move were the same kids who got first place ribbons in elementary school field day events despite placing dead last in the 50 yard dash (because we’re all winners).  They’re also the same kids who thought Barack Obama was going to be able to woo the world’s worst dictators into civilized behavior with sweet nothings and “Atta boys!” in their ears. Newsflash: it doesn’t work.  When you try and to do the impossible you end up like Derek Zoolander in the famous “Walk Off” scene (i.e., self-imposed wedgies).

If your middle school kid asks you to see Step Up 3D…drive to your nearest theater to check out The Expendables this summer, where the only twisting and turning guys do will be when they’re breaking off a knife in some dictator or his thug-lackey’s gut.

Dancing with Irrational Holocaust denying thug regimes is a good way to give you a national wedgie that bleeds American.

Stallone, Barack Obama, Marvel Comics and the Very Real Secret War.

Stallone rocks. Why? Because unlike most of Hollywood, he knows the world has some pretty scary characters in it.

Do I write a post about Stallone’s new flick The Expendables, or do I cover the Obama administration’s Secret War tactics in the War on Terror? How about…both!

In the new trailer The Expendables, Stallone’s voiceover begins:

“We are the shadows…and the smoke in your eyes. We are the ghosts…that hide in the night.”

What does this mean? It means that the world is a dangerous place, and sometimes we need people to go in an clean up messes the civilized world would like to pretend don’t exist. Think the BP oil spill is a threat to humanity? Okay. But oily terrorists operating in lawless regions around the world can also cause messy explosions, gushers (of blood) on city streets, and black-charred coatings where beautiful things used to stand…

Sometimes, someone like George Bush comes around and is willing to openly talk

about the world’s scum buckets and dirt bags who’d like nothing better than to make Americans take dirt naps in densely populated urban areas. And people get angry, because if you acknowledge how susceptible free societies are to jihad nuts with a desire to return to the dark ages…it means you have a lot of tough decisions to make.

Even liberal writers like Brian Michael Bendis seem to know (really, really, deep down) that we live in a world where a Secret War or two or three or more…is being waged between competing visions for humanity’s future. The only problem is, when guys like George W. Bush are in office, liberal comic book writers come up with weird Bush-Gitmo allegories that inadvertently make the case for conservatism!

Can someone tell me when Brian Michael Bendis is going to lampoon Barack Obama in the comics for the very real “Secret War” that he’s apparently taken to another level? Don’t hold your breath:

Beneath its commitment to soft-spoken diplomacy and beyond the combat zones of Afghanistan and Iraq, the Obama administration has significantly expanded a largely secret U.S. war against al-Qaeda and other radical groups, according to senior military and administration officials..Obama, one senior military official said, has allowed “things that the previous administration did not.”

How many young voters pulled the lever for Barack Obama under the liberal auspices that we can live in harmony with jihadi head choppers if we just try really hard to “understand” and “reach” them? (My favorite is Richard Gere’s infamous post-9/11 suggestion that guys like Osama Bin Laden just need to be loved.)

It’s all a lie. The world is a dangerous place. Evil exists, despite what the Neal Gabler moral relativist Mole Men tell you. And it’s better to be honest and frank about that, because otherwise you create bizarre realities where “peace activists” (who try to slice through your liver with gigantor-knives when their cargo is about to be inspected) can play the victim-card. You also have scenarios play out where young people say, “Umm…what happened to all that hopeandchange?” (Yes, that’s one word):

The Obama administration has rejected the constitutional executive authority claimed by Bush and has based its lethal operations on the authority Congress gave the president in 2001 to use “all necessary and appropriate force against those nations, organizations, or persons” he determines “planned, authorized, committed, or aided” the Sept. 11 attacks.

Many of those currently being targeted, Bellinger said, “particularly in places outside Afghanistan,” had nothing to do with the 2001 attacks.

Weren’t there a lot of Democrats that voted for that? Hmmm. Nevermind.

The hopeandchange never materialized because it was never there. I bet the kiddies are feeling pretty numb, right now. It’s okay Thunder Kiss, conservatism will welcome you with open arms when the reality hits that it’s a strange, strange world (incompatible with “planned” economies and Youtube Diplomacy).

Now if you’ll excuse me, I have a Stallone trailer to watch.

Hey Bendis, do you mind telling me when you’re going to roast Barack Obama for his Secret War? Want to weigh in, Marvel? Didn’t think so. Hypocrites. Deep down, all of these guys are furious that George W. Bush is going to be largely vindicated.

Jesse James: Bush is jerk. PS: I Cheated on my Wife, Sandra Bullock, with a Dominatrix.

Do you remember when Sandra Bullock’s husband, Jesse James, called George Bush a d*ckhead? I do:

“Everyone in Iraq knows Bush is a d**khead. He’s the boss’ kid. Everybody I know who has a successful business who has a kid – the kid is always a f**khead. Have you ever noticed that?”

Do you know what I’ve noticed, Jesse? The Hollywood and entertainment community-types that have been the most strident with their anti-Bush rhetoric over the years often tend to have interesting personal lives.

Let me guess-Jesse James, the same guy who hooks up with a dominatrix in his garage, while his wife is filming on location, is probably adamant that waterboarding KSM or other al Qaeda terrorists is torture, right?

Normally, I don’t like to get tabloid-y in my blog, but here I can’t resist:

After taking Michelle on a tour of his garage, Jesse brought her into his office and locked the door. “We ended up on the couch,” she says. “He wanted to watch movies, but I asked him, ‘What’s going on with you and Sandra?'” Jesse was evasive. “He said, ‘She doesn’t live here. She has a house in Austin. She is filming, and I can’t talk about it.'” Assuming he and Sandra were separated, Michelle continued talking to Jesse, she says, and then, “We had intimate relations.”

Jesse James is great with choppers, but apparently he has the “game” of a middle schooler. In the garage? On the couch watching movies? I wonder if James popped in a copy of Demolition Man and hooked up with his mistress while Sandra Bullock was doing so (futuristically) with Stallone. Maybe in his mind she cheated on him first!

Speaking of choppers and expendables, have you seen the new trailer for Stallone’s 80’s throwback action movie? Even if it’s bad it’s going to be good. Too bad we can’t say that for Jesse “Bush is a d*ckhead, but my wife is expendable” James.

If my wife is intimate with Stallone in an action flick set in the future, does that let me off the hook for cheating on her in real life with a dominatrix? Just checking.