Escape Plan (2013)

escapeplan_1Escape Plan (2013)
AKA The Tomb

Starring Sylvester Stallone, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jim Caviezel, Faran Tahir, Amy Ryan, Sam Neill, Vincent D’Onofrio, Vinnie Jones, Matt Gerald, 50 Cent, Caitriona Balfe

Directed by Mikael Håfström

Expectations: Moderate.

threehalfstar


Any time a new film starring Sylvester Stallone or Arnold Schwarzenegger pops up, I’m sure to see it and probably like it more than the average Joe based on my lifelong love of their work. Even considering this, I’ve headed into each one of their modern films with hesitation and tempered expectations. I’ve enjoyed every one so far, but I actively recognize that my unabashed love for the leads plays a large role in the film’s success. In the case of Escape Plan, though, I can honestly say that this is a fantastic prison break movie which also happens to star a couple of my favorite actors. The combination proved to be absolute GOLD; I loved Escape Plan from start to finish.

To tip the film’s hand too much would spoil the fun of the movie and its slow, metered build (which is paced perfectly), so I’m going to forgo my usual plot description. Just know that Stallone and Arnold are in prison together and they hatch an escape plan. But they aren’t in just any ol’ prison. No, they’re in a strange, almost futuristic prison, so breaking out isn’t going to be one of those “tunnel out and scale the wall” sort of gigs.

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Ed (1996)

Starring Matt LeBlanc, Jack Warden, Jayne Brook, Bill Cobbs, Jim Caviezel, Valente Rodriguez

Directed by Bill Couturié

Expectations: Low.

On the general scale:
twostar

On the B-movie scale:
twohalfstar


It’s that time of year when the sluggers and the slingers come out of the dugout to play the great game of baseball. But Ed isn’t so much a celebration of this time of year, instead it pays homage more so to the time-honored traditions of fart jokes and slapstick humor. Not that it does either of those especially well, although I will confess that I chuckled rather heartily when Ed farted so boisterously that he literally launched himself off the couch a good six or so inches. What can I say? The kid inside me lives on.

You might wonder why out of all the many baseball movies under the sun I chose this one. I could go on for a little while explaining the minutia of why, but I’ll cut to the chase: it has a monkey. Going in, I thought it was a real monkey, but I was pleasantly surprised to find out it was a guy in a suit/animatronics. Y’see, a totally fake monkey in the role of Ed allows the filmmakers greater freedom to create wild monkey hijinks on-screen. To be honest, they could’ve done a lot better in this regard, but I can’t deny that the film was entertaining enough and the monkey provided a few good laughs (most notably when he drives a drunk Matt LeBlanc home, all captured in near-psychedelic fast motion as the chimp goes wild in the driver’s seat).

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