Mickey Rourke

Rumble Fish Scenes

Francis Ford Coppola‘s Rumble Fish is turning 30 years old this Monday. While its theatrical release was October 21, 1983, the film made its debut at the New York Film Festival earlier in the month, on the 7th. Since then, it has taken on more of a cult status rather than joining the classic ranks of The Godfather and Apocalypse Now. That’s a pity, because it’s arguably as good as Coppola’s most well-respected hits. The teen angst picture stars Matt Dillon as a kid trying to live up to the reputation of his brother, “The Motorcycle Boy” (Mickey Rourke). And it has always been a favorite of mine. In fact, the sole poster framed in my apartment is a one-sheet from the film. It’s just that great. At the time, it was Coppola’s most experimental movie. It’s a bizarre trip into this hellish place where everything is soaked in dread and smoke. The only place a man can find some calm is a diner run by Tom Waits. When you have to find refuge with Tom Waits, then you know you’re in trouble. It’s a rough picture, especially compared to Coppola’s other, more sentimental (and in color, more accessible) S.E. Hinton adaptation about troubled kids from the same year: The Outsiders. Out of the two, the slightly earlier film is the one that garnered more accolades, but in my book Rumble Fish is the superior movie. Narrowing the film down to six scenes was tough, because every scene in the film is enjoyable in its own right. Diane Lane, Chris Penn, Nicolas Cage, Dennis Hopper, […]

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I believe Mickey Rourke to be one of the greatest actors of his generation. Thought to be the second coming of Brando in the 1980s, he turned in incendiary performances in such films as The Pope of Greenwich Village, Diner and Barfly. His career – and physical appearance –  suffered a major setback in the ’90s, forcing him to take roles in lesser movies until his salvation appeared to have come in the form of his Oscar-nominated performance in The Wrestler. His appearance, therefore, in Conor Allyn’s messy Java Heat is especially sad because he did not coast on the success of that performance but rather backslid into roles not meriting his talent. Java Heat is a complete waste of Rourke, as he phones it in as French-accented terrorist, inexplicably named Malik, who is up against American FBI Agent/Marine Jake (Kellan Lutz) and Indonesian cop Hashim (Ario Bayu) in the quest to recover the kidnapped Sultana of Java (Atiquah Hasiholan). While the film has decently directed action sequences and colorful, bustling crowd scenes filmed on location in Indonesia, the plot is extremely silly and predictable and features more than a few tasteless moments. And while Lutz is adequately ripped to front an action film, he does not a leading man make.

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Java Heat

A reckless American bad boy who doesn’t play by the rules? An exotic locale with a quip-delivering partner? Lots of bullets flying with little consequence? Java Heat has it all — including the cherry on top: Mickey Rourke being a crazy bad guy. In the film, a terrorist attack leaves the Sultana of Indonesia dead and his daughter kidnapped. Jake (Kellan Lutz) struggles to produce complete sentences while trying to solve the case alongside Hashim (Ario Bayu) who doesn’t think Jake has enough clever comebacks to be a real policeman. But seriously,  you should watch the trailer just to try to understand why Lutz has trouble saying his lines. It’s baffling:

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Nicolas Cage

What is Casting Couch? It’s your Monday look at all of the great work casting agents and PR people did over the weekend to keep those Hollywood gears turning. UPDATED: We dreamed too soon, kids. It seems like Sylvester Stallone is fully committed to his experiment of figuring out how many big name celebrities have to be packed into an Expendables movie before one of them actually becomes interesting. The latest news regarding his quest (found on Stallone’s Facebook page by JoBlo) is that Nicolas Cage has been confirmed for a role in The Expendables 3, and that Harrison Ford, Wesley Snipes, and Mickey Rourke are the names he intends on recruiting next. You keep on trucking there, Mr. Stallone. With the addition of just five or ten more celebrities, The Expendables 3 is bound to be the one that finally gets out of first gear and actually becomes a decent action movie. We have faith!

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The Expendables 3 Cast?

Seeing as The Expendables 2 has yet to hit theaters, it’s hard to imagine that there’s anything concrete yet nailed down for The Expendables 3. That doesn’t mean Sylvester Stallone and his crew don’t have some ideas about what tricks they want to pull out of their sleeves for the eventual trilogy capper though. And, in a chat with Total Film, Expendables producer Avi Lerner found himself spilling the beans about which big name actors that haven’t yet been involved in the franchise they want to sign up for part 3. According to Lerner, “We’ve approached Clint Eastwood to be one of the guys, we’ve got a character in mind for him. We’re talking to Harrison Ford. [And we want] Wesley Snipes when he comes back from prison. I’ll give you one more name, we’ve got Nicolas Cage to play [one of the characters].” Of course, wanting and approaching doesn’t exactly equal having, so these names should be taken with a huge grain of salt. Two of these guys don’t really do much acting anymore, and one is still in prison, so Lerner could be pinning his hopes on long shots.

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If there were ever a director who resembled Lucy from “Peanuts” (in both spirit and looks), it’s Robert Rodriguez. His explanation for all the talk and no action? “You work on a number of projects, and then everything eventually bottlenecks.” What’s bottlenecking currently is his sequel to Machete and about 10 other projects he’s announced over the years, but none of them comes close to the anticipation that grew, waned, resurfaced, died out, and then blossomed again for Sin City 2. The first was a perfect neo-noir that made brilliant use of Frank Miller‘s raw language and story. Now, according to Lucy himself (via Empire), he’ll finally be shooting it this summer while editing Machete 2. Apparently he’ll be beating the heat by staying indoors with his green screens. Miller has stated before that Jessica Alba‘s character Nancy has a continued story, and since it’s partially based off the graphic novel entry “A Dame To Kill For,” Mickey Rourke‘s Marv should also be in the mix. However, no casting has been announced, so if this thing really does go this time, it’s going to be just how Rodriguez seems to like it: on the fly. The only question is whether we, as fans, should keep our eye on the football this time.

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Drinking Games

Fans of sword-and-sandal action flicks have plenty of options these days. Whether they’re watching Spartacus or Game of Thrones on television or anticipating the upcoming Wrath of the Titans this spring, there’s a lot of CGI bloodshed happening. The latest thing to hit DVD and Blu-ray is Immortals, which was a surprise hit at the box office last November. Telling the story of commoner Theseus who goes up against King Hyperion to earn his people freedom, this film can also be seen as Superman facing off against Whiplash from Iron Man 2. It can also be seen as a big, oily orgy of abs and nipples. And anyone interested in a big, oily orgy of abs and nipples should really have a few drinks during the experience.

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As we all sit here at Reject HQ, gathered around an absurdly long, but incredibly imposing, table discussing what to do with the nuclear missiles we just “creatively appropriated” from a breakaway Russian republic, it occurs to us that 2011 was a great year to be bad. For every boring, dopey, goody-good hero that popped up on the silver screen, there was a brilliant, super cool, woefully misunderstood villain doing everything he/she/it could to thwart the zero hero at every turn. So when Supreme Commander #1, better known to the world (and those pesky Avengers so they’ll stop blasting our lair) as Neil Miller, issued an official order (delivered by a specially-trained, fire-breathing, gun-toting alligator who lives in the moat) to construct a supersonic death ray…that assignment went to Kate “Femme Fatale” Erbland. But then I got asked to do this list of the 20 Best Villains of 2011, a decided promotion from my usual position as sinister cocktail-fetcher and cleaner of the diabolical gutters.

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Immortals Director Tarsem Singh

One of my favorite experiences at Comic-Con this year was interviewing Tarsem. I was never scheduled to speak with the man one-on-one, and was only meant to participate in the roundtables for Immortals. Luckily, after the roundtables were coming to an end, I noticed Tarsem standing alone by himself. He mentioned how most people find The Fall to be the biggest piece of shit or the best thing ever made, and I fall heavily in the latter, so I decided to tell him that. Tarsem was so receptive to a basic compliment, he gave me an interview on the spot. Whenever a publicist tried to drag him away, he’d basically tell them to buzz off since I said I love The Fall. I left that encounter with a big grin on my face, to say the least. This time around, my chat with Tarsem started off on the same fun note as our previous encounter, but ended on a more disappointing note. Last week when we spoke, I had not seen Immortals. That type of interview is never ideal, but I didn’t want to miss the chance to speak with Tarsem again, who I guessed was knee-deep in Mirror, Mirror. Once he found at I hadn’t seen the film, he demanded the publicist to reschedule… which, unfortunately, didn’t happen, for one reason or another. Currently, I’m left with another hundred questions left I wanted to ask Tarsem. Then again, any amount of time with the fast-talking director is more than appreciated. Here’s what Tarsem […]

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This week, Fat Guy Kevin Carr goes to war. He strips down to his muscular awesomeness and shimmies into a codpiece. After applying a solid gold breastplate, he’s too exhausted to actually go to war, so he heads to the local movie cinema to catch Immortals, wondering if Isabel Lucas has ever eaten a carbohydrate in her life. Then he slips into a housedress and sneaks into an early screening of J. Edgar. After a quick nap, he tries to escape the horror that is Jack and Jill, but alas, that did not happen. You can send him care packages now, courtesy of his local mental institution.

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When Sylvester Stallone started casting for the original The Expendables it was said to be an all-star action icon meet up. Anybody who had ever been in an action movie before, and even a lot of dudes who just slept on those guys’ couches for a couple months, were all rumored to be in the film. When all was said and done, however, it mostly just ended up being a Stallone and Jason Statham team-up movie, with a dash of Jet Li, a sprinkle of Mickey Rourke, and a very brief cameo from the other big action icons Bruce Willis and Sylvester Stallone. Not quite the all-star lineup people hoped for. Now that production is underway for a sequel, the rumor mill has once again been churning out hopes and dreams of an all-star action cast. Not only are Willis and Schwarzenegger supposed to have bigger roles this time around, but sources loosely associated with the project have intimated that huge names in the action genre like John Travolta, Chuck Norris, and Jean Claude Van Damme are all going to be in the cast as well.

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David Varod is the CEO of a Bulgaria based film studio called Nu Boyana. This is notable because Sylvester Stallone and his new director pal Simon West are filming scenes for their upcoming sequel to Stallone’s team-up movie The Expendables in Bulgaria. This is newsworthy because Varod is claiming that some big names, not previously confirmed as being in The Expendables 2, are on their way to Bulgaria to film for the movie. When speaking to Novinite, Varod first confirmed that shooting was taking place in September, and then hinted that a lot of Hollywood stars would be moving into the country to do work, “Yes, we are definitely going to do that project. It is going to be a sequel the (sic) The Expendables. The shooting is going to take place the second week of September. The movie is on, definitely. It will be a very good thing for Bulgaria, since there are some very big stars coming.” Big stars, that makes sense. It’s long been assumed that the stars from the original film like Stallone, Jason Statham, and Mickey Rourke would return. There was even some notion that guys like Bruce Willis and Arnold Schwarzenegger, who only made small cameos in the first film, might return in larger roles this time. But when pressed to name off the “big stars” that would be making their way into the country, Varod named a few that could potentially be huge casting announcements.

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“Coming this fall: an action event from the director of The Cell and The Fall.” Yeah, it still sounds odd to me, too. Once it was announced that Tarsem would be tackling a big swords and sandals epic, it elicited a feeling of both excitement and confusion. As for the exciting part — wouldn’t it be interesting to see how such a visionary can put a spin on this genre and what he could do with an action beat? As for the confusion — isn’t this a big studio picture? With epics such as this, directors have countless people to answer to. But Tarsem didn’t seem interested in answering to those people. This a director that couldn’t have a greater distaste for by-the-numbers filmmaking. As he says below, he’s a polarizing filmmaker. Both The Cell and The Fall received both wild appraise and heaps of venom. Can Tarsem still bring that interesting polarization to a sizable fall release? From the sound of it, yes, he can. When I approached Tarsem to discuss The Fall and wish him luck on Immortals, the very funny and honest filmmaker ended up giving me a quick and unplanned 1-on-1 about not dealing with studio suits, his work ethic with actors, and the methods of Mickey Rourke.

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Fans of foul language, incredibly dark humor, and midget violence know that writer/director Martin McDonagh’s brilliant In Bruges is one hell of a movie. Colin Farrell and Brendan Gleason play hitmen hiding out in the beautiful and quiet city of Bruges after a hit goes bad, but while they deal with issues of guilt, friendship, and loyalty they’re also forced to face a very angry Ralph Fiennes. If you haven’t seen it yet go do so now. It’s by turns hilarious, exciting, brutal, sad, and mournful, and Farrell gives probably his best performance to date. Now three long years later McDonagh is finding the time to step off the stage (he writes and produces plays as well) and back behind the camera for his sophomore effort. Per Variety, McDonagh is moving ahead on his completed script for a film called Seven Psychopaths. He already has a stellar cast lined up as well starting with a returning Farrell in the lead role and the likes of Sam Rockwell, Christopher Walken, and Mickey Rourke along for the ride. The synopsis from Variety describes the story as following “a screenwriter (Farrell) struggling for inspiration for his script, “Seven Psychopaths,” who gets drawn into the dog kidnapping schemes of his oddball friends (Rockwell and Walken). Things take a turn for the worse when a gangster’s (Rourke) mutt goes missing.” What’s not to like? Thanks to /film for the heads up.

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Even though The Expendables 2 hasn’t really finished casting, nailed down a director, started shooting, or done much of anything, that doesn’t mean it isn’t too soon to start churning out publicity for it. To that end, they’ve put up some sales posters at Cannes and First Showing has snapped a pic. Despite the fact that I was kind of disappointed by the first Expendables, which wasn’t really the action dream team film that it marketed itself as, but instead more of a Stallone/Statham team-up movie, I’m already kind of excited about the sequel for a couple of reasons. The first is the way the 2 is emphasized in this poster. It feels very much like a throwback to 80s era action sequels. This isn’t The Expendables: Delta Mission Alpha or whatever goofy colon titles that modern sequels get. It’s just straight up The Expendables 2. Something feels right about that. The second reason I’m looking forward to this sequel is the plot synopsis that Cinema Blend directed my attention to on Nu Image’s official site. Check out the poster and synopsis (with spoiler for the first film) below:

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The comparisons to 300 will be inevitable, so let’s just get them out of the way. Yes, the teaser for Immortals makes it look an awful lot like 300 (and the “From the Producers of 300” bit only amplifies it), but it looks like a far more visually dynamic version. Snyder’s movie looked amazing, but Singh has a more varied palette and a bigger paint brush, so everything here seems a bit more vibrant instead of automatically being washed out in sepia tones and blood reds. Those are definitely still there, though. This teaser is intense, and it showcases Singh’s best strengths as a filmmaker: his eye for production design. Check it out for yourself and get your blood flowing:

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Of many preferred professions, I find chefs to be on the right end of the hotness scale. Their passion for food translates into multiple areas of life and it’s hard not to get swept away into a blissful utopia where calories don’t count but your opinion of that chocolate mousse does. As you may have guessed, I have been suckered into this world once or twice, and unlike the obsessions of mine that turned sour, my chef love remains. I had high expectations for the Catherine Zeta-Jones and Aaron Eckhart led kitchen romance No Reservations. Two hot-tempered executive chefs forced together to run one kitchen sounded almost as steamy as angry sex in the Grey’s Anatomy on-call room. The potential for secret glances over chopping boards and mutual arousal from yelling at their sous chef seemed inevitable. However, the movie wasn’t about the sexy times of these two hot chefs. Rather it was more about Zeta-Jones’ Kate and Eckhart’s Nick learning to put aside their ambition and realize what’s important in life. Sex and cooking go hand-in-hand, so thankfully the couple does partake in a few tingly make-out moments and fade-to-black sex scenes. But most of the movie’s heavy petting is left for the dough in the prep oven. Tough lady chefs like Zeta-Jones’ Kate are modeled after real chefs, but that doesn’t mean Hollywood has been quick to allow women to be tough and sexy on screen. On the contrary, many movies featuring female cooks have been just that—cooks.

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Culture Warrior

Famed British filmmaker Mike Leigh recently received his fifth screenwriting nomination for Another Year. Another Oscar nomination for a highly celebrated filmmaker should be surprising to no one except, in this special case, for the fact that precisely zero of Leigh’s nominated films actually use screenplays. Leigh’s films are constructed through a painstaking and long-term process of creating characters and scenarios with his cast and creative team. His films aren’t improvised in the sense of, say, a Christopher Guest film, where a basic framework exists and actors are allowed to ad-lib and play with(in) that paradigm. Leigh’s films are instead created from the outset through an involved collaborative process. Leigh’s regular team of actors bring to each individual film their construction of a character from scratch. Details arise eventually through this collaboration, and the final work projected onscreen is the end result of a long selection of various possibilities. The only reason Leigh’s films even qualify for screenwriting awards is because of the written script that Leigh creates after the end product has been made. The physical screenplay, in this case, is nothing more than a transcription written after the fact, or a record of a much larger event (whose details are largely unknown to the audience). While Leigh is the sole nominee for Another Year, the creation of the script (or, in this case, the transcript) is just as indebted to the creative efforts of other individuals involved. Stars Jim Broadbent and Lesley Manville are, in a sense, just […]

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The Expendables

For many — especially those who love to see things stabbed, shot and ‘sploded with maximum force — all you really need from a legendary badass team-up like The Expendables is the action. There is no need for story or character development, no use for sharp or witty dialog, and no room for romance. It’s all about the loudest and most violent moments that the mind of director Sylvester Stallone can deliver. Nothing else really matters, right? Perhaps. But consider this. The Expendables flick that’s been playing out in your mind since the moment the project was announced is the epitome of a “no holds barred thrill ride,” is it not? A non-stop smattering of violence hung together by a generic, but mostly logical plot. It never lets up, does it? Unlike that movie that’s been playing in your head, the real Expendables film is a mixed bag. Inside this bag is the action that’s been promised from day one, the gigantic men of action making their requisite appearances (if only momentary, in some cases) and plenty of bodies to be piled up at the end of the day. Also in this bag is an unseemly amount of character and plot. Remember that thing you didn’t need in this testosterone-a-thon? Yeah, that’s all there. In just as much bulk as the stuff that you did want.

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You’re looking forward to The Expendables, I’m looking forward to The Expendables, we’re all looking forward to The Expendables. Why? Because based on our most recent reader demographic survey, more than half of the people reading this are males.

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