The Expendables (2010)
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An immensely enjoyable action movie. Every aspect of the movie is superbly crafted: The lighting, the colors, the sets, the costumes. Care and attention has been lavished on the selection of firearms, motorcycles, automobiles, aircraft, knives, watches and cigars. The script is well written and allows plenty of character development. There are some really outstanding lines. Depth of character and drama are organized in specific scenes, such as the one where Micky Rourke is painting the guitar, which is the pivotal scene in the movie. The scene with the guitar should be shown in movie making masterclasses. The extensive action scenes never lack realism.
The only improvements I would make would be minor: I would use real sound for the motorcycles and not Foleyed sound. Same for Barney Ross's Ford F-100 pickup truck. Listening to the sound track with my eyes shut it sounds like the sound has been recorded in the cockpit of a NASCAR racecar, or at least a racecar with straight-cut gears. This is a great sound to use but it is out of synch with the movement of the pickup-truck. Again with the Grumman Albatross the sound is Foleyed on. I would have used real sound if I could and the shots of the aircraft would match the the point in the aircrafts flight where the Expendables were being portrayed, climbing, descending, a tight turn.copyright www.mitteleuropa.x10.mx https://twitter.com/verlagmeyer
There are omissions in the action sequences but they are the same omissions in all actions movies. In real life you shoot-move-reload. If you are not shooting you should be reloading, if you are not reloading you should be moving. In a movie you are telling a dramatic tale using dramatic narrative. It is not a documentary. Anything which does not take the dramatic narrative forward is unnecessary at best. Thus the reload-move part of shoot-move-reload would be omitted. In real life most people cannot shoot and have no idea what to do in a gunfight. Just like in most movies. That means that most movies reflect reality pretty accurately. More than one police department I have seen seem to use re-runs of Starsky and Hutch as training videos. In real life, the kind of missions the Expendables are on, they would be paying close attention to their ammo state. Or they would if they were well-trained. But perhaps they are not ? In reality, the problem is the script and screen-writing, in that there is not time to add detail such as this to the narrative.
In this respect, the realism of The Expendables (2010) is very high. They refer to ammo state several times and Barney Ross is seen reloading his 1911s several times during the thick of the action. In fact in this movie, they do refer to ammo state far more frequently than all other action movies put together. The Expendables (2010) is highly realistic in this respect. In addition to shoot-reload-move you should loot corpses of ammo and useable firearms before moving on. In World War II corpse looting was a common pastime, right down to carrying pliers to remove gold teeth. Again, there is not really time to show all this in a movie, or it would be a four hour epic.
In The Expendables (2010) the action sequence in the tunnels on the island of Vilena is one of the best action sequences of all time, if not the best ensemble action sequence of all time, along with the Gypsy Camp shoot-out in From Russia with Love (1963). It's choreography, camera-work, editing and realism were all magnificent. Note that just as in real life, the combatants improvise weapons, improvise moves, and use whatever weapons they can to kill the antagonists. The editing was superb, in that there was never quite enough time to see exactly what was happening, never quite enough time to predict how the next blow was going to be struck, giving the effect of chaotic violence, which is exactly what a big closely-run fight feels like. The editor should have been given a medal for his work here.copyright www.mitteleuropa.x10.mx https://twitter.com/verlagmeyer
The attention to detail when selecting equipment was considerable: The motorcycles were by Brigitte Bourget and her builders at G.Smith Motorsports-Bourget Bike Works. Lee Christmas rode a Ducati Desmosedici RR one of only 1500 made and one of only 500 imported into the US The cigars smoked by Barney Ross were Opus X by Arturo Fuente cigars. Barney Ross's wristwatch was a Panerai Luminor 1950 Regatta Rattrapante PAM 332. The knives were all designed by Gil Hibben, who has designed knives for all of Sylvester Stallone's movies. Hale Caesar has a cut throat razor which he favors as a weapon and indeed uses as a throwing knife at 01:29:24
At 01:32:19 Barney boards the Albatross and hangs both his holster rigs up before he seats himself in the cockpit. This gives us a chance to see them but also is an unintentional touch of realism in that being seated is uncomfortable if you are wearing duty rigs which are not designed for that purpose. Tank crews have holsters specifically designed to allow them to sit comfortably in their vehicles. Holsters have to mounted across the spare space on the chest or further down on the thigh. Barney's Colt SAA is mounted in a position of concealment further around behind his back. This allows him to use the gun as a secondary should he be forced to give up his primary pistol. But the position of such a holster would be very uncomfortable in the cockpit. It is not surprising that gun leather is a minor religion and as an important a choice as the pistol. Like custom artifacts such as knives and chopper motor-cycles, custom makers of gun leather are almost invariably one-man workshops whose physical output of their artistry dies with them, but whose reputation lives on long after them.
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01:25:12 Barney Ross displays the ultimate in pistol-action realism by using a Colt 1911 in .45 Auto (the connoisseur's choice) to engage a lot of targets and use the kind of fast reload of magazine that some one who had received proper training would perform. He reloads at least three times. Bravo Sir ! He even shoots fast enough that the muzzle reports sound like slow automatic fire, which is just possible with a 1911.
Discussions concerning which pistol is the best to use and which caliber of cartridge is the best to use are usually very long even among those who know their subject, so I will give me personal opinion as to the optimum choice and layout for self-defense. I would choose a pair of Colt 1911 in .45ACP. One pistol would be mounted on the right hand side of my belt in a position, angle and configuration which gave the fastest possible draw and the second 1911 on the left hand side mounted in reverse in order to allow my to draw the second pistol in the case of a stoppage on the first pistol.
Two pistols is a normal load-out in the same way you have a main parachute and a reserve parachute. If you have a stoppage on your first pistol, you have no idea if it is going to be a simple stoppage which can be cleared with a tap-rack-bang or whether it is a very rare stoppage caused by a broken component in the pistol. If you are in a gunfight that delay will get you killed and you need to return fire immediately. Hence you draw the second pistol and get back into the fight. It is referred to colloquially as the "New York Reload".copyright www.mitteleuropa.x10.mx https://twitter.com/verlagmeyer
There are rigs which have a shoulder strap coming up from the belt where the second pistol attaches which allows a series of magazines to be mounted in a row, giving access to a considerable supply of ammunition. Mounting for the speed of draw is the opposite of mounting for retention or protection of the pistol. If you take a somersault you do not want the gun to spill all over the floor. If you break into a run, you do not want the gun to jump out of the holster. In environments where there is thick brush or falling water, a military holster with a cap which closes over the top of the gun best protects the pistol but gives the slowest draw. Fast draw holsters are usually mounted low and have a forward cant, together with little to hold the pistol in the holster. There is a risk that the gun will jump out of the holster if you have to jump or tumble.
There are some superb one-liners in the movie:
HALE CAESER to BARNEY ROSS:"Hell we'll die for ya. Just don't ask us to do it twice."
GUNNER JENSEN to CIA HENCHMAN: "Don't talk to me, cockroach."
Arnold Schwarzenegger's cameo:
Mr Church to Barney Ross "What's the matter with him ?"
Barney "He wants to be president."
Lee Christmas to Barney Ross : "Have you ever been rejected?"
Barney Ross replies: "You're really pushing the boundaries of our relationship, you know that?"
Another good line was "the man who best gets along with women is the man who can get along without them".
© Cigar Inspector - The Opus "X" as smoked by Sylvester Stallone both on and off the set of the The Expendables (2010)
© Cigar Inspector
Cigars Artruro Fuente Opus size guide
Somali pirates all look like Somalis, which is thin and stringy with small round faces. These pirates all look like Nigerians, which is large and muscular. In fact both the leader of the pirates, played superbly by Amin Joseph , and the pirate who takes over after the leader is shot, Senvo Amoaku , are Americans. Amin Joseph delivers his lines in a superb sort-of patois that adds much to realism, even though I have no clue what a Somali accent sounds like in English. The primary requirement is for a black actor who can act and portray a scary character. Large ferocious-looking pirates are better than pirates which actually look like Somalis, even though it matters little if one of them is prying off your toenails with a machete..
Lasers make a superb dramatic tool in this scene. They are rarely used in real life. Some units have attempted to use them in small unit action such as hostage rescue, in order to attempt to determine who is covering which target. In reality, lasers and the reflected spot are difficult to see even when the situation is static and next to impossible to follow during violent movement. The good news is that you can add lasers to the gun and still use your regular sighting system and all it costs is the extra weight it adds to the gun.
Using two guns at once is mainly in situations where you need to keep the enemy's heads down by spraying them with fire. The brain cannot process two sight pictures at once.
Luminor 1950 Regatta Rattrapante PAM 332
Officine Panerai PAM 332 rattrapante
Jason Statham's throwing knives, which are made by Kunai
The symbol of the Expendables is Scrimshawed into the handle of the Gil Hibben knife carried by Dolph Lundgrun.
Mickey Rourke as Tool arrives at the tattoo shop on his motorcycle.
Jason Statham as Lee Christmas opens his switchblade or "automatic". These knives are generic and mostly German made although you can also buy them in France.
Far left: Tools knife is a Cold Steel Espada
1955 Ford F100 from West Coast Customs at First Presbyterian Church of Hollywood on North Gower Street 1760, Hollywood, Los Angeles, California, USA . The engine the Ford F100 is visible briefly during the chase and assassination attempt on Barney by Gunner..
The Grumman Albatross of the Expendables.
On location in Brazil
The 'Dan Paine' character plays my favorite game of 'rub-shoulder' with the largest evil henchman. Stone Cold Steve Austin gives a magnificent performance as Dan Paine. His fight scene with Sylvester Stallone in the tunnels is one of the best fight scenes of all time. Steve Austin is very able as an actor, not just physically. You can see in his performance in Recoil (2011) that his stage presence starts to carry the movie.
This is how real men's control panels look: Black crackle finish and switch gear.
Panerai Luminor 1950 Regatta Rattrapante PAM 332
Ooops no oil pressure. This is could be a studio mock-up. The tachometer moves and temperature is OK but oil pressure and fuel pressure are low. Obviously some one pointed this out to them because in The Expendables 2 (2012) at 00:14:26 Barney and Lee are doing some cockpit checks and Barney asks Lee what the oil pressure is. Lee replies "Faulty".
Barney Ross attempts a very difficult jump. The surface that Barney's stunt double must hang onto is vertical and yet he will be dropping past it and will not be held in the correct orientation by the slip stream until the aircraft is well under way.
The Land-Rover of the the CIA man's henchmen. I hope these new Land-Rovers are more reliable than some of my British-Leyland Land-Rover produced models were.
Barney Ross pilots the Albatross in the munitions delivery they call a "Fry and Die" where the Albatross vents fuel over the target which is ignited with a flare pistol. There is a load-out used on Vietnam era F-4's called "Shake and Bake" which consists of half napalm and half 500lb iron bombs. It is perhaps from this name that the term "Fry and Die" was derived.
Dolph Lundgrun wields his shotgun, a Serbu Super Shorty
Dolph Lundgrun as Gunner Jensen performs as superb piece of fieldcraft in this scene.
Gunner Jensen is covering one target with his shotgun, which he wields as a pistol. The second henchman already has him covered with his pistol. Jensen would be in a difficult situation in real life. In the movie, he manages to keep his body and head facing the first target and get the shotgun aligned on the second with a movement of his arm. This has the effect of making the second henchman think that Jensen is still focused on the first henchman and before he realizes it he is being covered by Jensen. During a hostage situation some years ago, a cop was negotiating with a kidnapper who was holding a child in front of him. The cop began shouting a sentence at the kidnapper but while he continued to shout his sentence he turned from behind cover and shot the kidnapper in the head while continuing to talk. The kidnapper's brain assumed that the cop would continue to the end of the sentence before taking a subsequent action. This solution is taught as doctrine in some training schools such as Gunsite and Yavapai Firearms Academy. A high ranking IPSC competitor was caught in a hold-up robbery at a store once. He was already being held at gunpoint by the robber when he decided to draw and fire. He never made it, since it is almost impossible to outdraw the squeeze of a trigger without first blocking the response of the robber using one of the distraction techniques discussed above.
Jason Statham as Lee Christmas rides a Ducati Desmosedici RR
The Expendables lucky ring
Hale Caesar's cut-throat razor
Barney Ross's Panerai Luminor 1950 Regatta Rattrapante PAM 332.
This movement has two chronographs and is meant to be an aid in counting down to the start of a yacht race. The more civilized yacht and dingy races start with the boats bobbing up and down not far from the start line with their sheets empty of wind. As the start gun goes they set the sails and move off. More competitive competitors, especially in strong winds will tack to and fro behind the start line and attempt to time their final tack to coincide with the starting gun so that they cross the line already moving at speed.
A Gil Hibben Arkansas toothpick
Sylvester Stallone's vest is a Blackhawk S.T.R.I.K.E 'Elite' vest .
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Muscle and Fitness magazine 2010 October featuring Sylvester Stallone and the Expendables
+ SEE ALSO
- The Expendables 2 (2012)
- The Expendables 3 (2014)
- The Expendables 4 (0000), script only
- Predator (1987)
- Watches for Action
- Watches for Sport
+ EXTERNAL LINKS
- The Expendables (2010) at the Internet Movie Firearms Database
- The Expendables (2010) at Watches in Movies
- Wristwatch Photo on the watches in The Expendables (2010)
- Raymond Jewelers on the watches in The Expendables (2010)
- Movieweapon Wikia
- Hibben Knives
- The Expendables Wiki
- The Stallonezone Blog
- http://www.youtube.com/ - Behind the scenes in The Expendables (2010)
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