I’ll admit, I didn’t like Joe Carnahan‘s Smokin Aces as much as I was hoping to. Disappointed is probably the appropriate word. That’s not to say there isn’t things to like about the film… it just wasn’t the balls out action film that many were expecting. And the direct-to-dvd sequel, Smokin’ Aces 2: Assassin’s Ball, isn’t likely to be any better. In fact, it will probably be a lot worse, especially considering that Lost Boys: The Tribe director P.J. Pesce is at the helm.
The press release advertises that the film “features a sexy cast, whip-smart script and hyper-kinetic visuals.” The big selling point is that Lazlo Soot and the Tremor Brothers from the original theatrical film make their return. Here is the short plot synopsis (plot? do we really need a plot in a Smokin Aces direct-to-video sequel?):
Federal agents once again match wits with a cadre of creative killers in the high-octane feature-length film Smokin’ Aces 2: Assassins’ Ball. Walter Weed (Tom Berenger) is an unassuming desk jockey at the FBI when the Bureau uncovers a plot to assassinate him. A team of degenerate, psychotic assassins dispatched by mystery man Hal Leuco to win a huge bounty includes a resourceful beauty who has a unique method of killing her prey (Martha Higareda), a power-tool wielding psychopath (Vinnie Jones) and a deadly master of disguise (Tommy Flanagan). Also in the hunt is the fan-favorite Tremor family from the original film, featuring nymphomaniacal gun-nut (Autumn Reeser) and her lethal kinfolk (Maury Sterling, Michael Parks and C. Ernst Harth). Baker (Clayne Crawford), the agent in charge of the operation, puts himself and his team in the line of fire to defend Weed, but it’s not until the smoke clears on the film’s explosive climax that the surprising identity of the plot’s mastermind is revealed.
Still with me? You can watch the trailer embedded after the jump.
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If Warner Bros asked us for a pull quote for the DVD to Lost Boys: The Tribe, it would say, “Corey Feldman can’t be felled, man. -/Film.” The most prominent Corey, in this sequel and IRL, manages to endearingly synopsize and upstage this laughable production in a single scene. Feldman cracks open a raw egg into a glass, a la Rocky Balboa, filled with garlic and holy water and swallows it. Then he wipes his mouth and the camera lingers on his face, this still youthful lake of resilience, resourcefulness and 1980s radicalness. Feldman’s character, Edgar Frog, labels his novelty cocktail “Frog Juice,” but in my sore eyes, Feldman just took one for the team. This sequel is an all-out war for Corey’s soul, and the souls of all Eighties Babies.
Not only is Feldman stuffed far in the background on the DVD’s terrible box art—he’s trapped under the bodies of OC star Autumn Reeser, Kiefer Sutherland’s half-brother and Stifler’s lil’ bro—but if you move the box ever so slightly, he’s wiped out by a fucking hologram! The film itself is a similar travesty. Feldman is barely in it. Replace the plebe-luring hologram with the most atrocious half-vampire-on-skateboard climax imaginable. This “highly complex” action centerpiece plays as if one of the Lost Boys from Steven Spielberg’s Hook gave a slo-mo pill to Gleaming the Cube‘s Christian Slater and together they made a subpar contribution for YouTube. On the special features, the producers (going to hell, for sure) boast that the film gets at the core of “real extreme sports” in 2008. One of them excitedly says, “these vampires ride bikes, they skate, they skateboard!” But none of the countless vampbrahs here rollerskate. The producer is a fucking liar. And then there’s director P.J. Pesce. This visionary/hack chomps on a cigar with an elated, nutty look on his face. Watch your back, Patton.
And how about the hilarious scene in which a Dianne Wiest-knockoff holds up a DVD of The Goonies and makes a “hip fuss” about it to the kids for a few minutes? Okay. So, rather than allot more time to a stoked Corey Feldman stabbing bloodsuckers (ones that resemble rejects from Sega Genesis’s Altered Beast, but whatevs), I’m watching a Jason Patric-knockoff (a first?) named Tad Hilgenbrinck eyeball an old Feldman flick as I stopwatch his face for a nervous twitch to register as poor acting ability? Later, as Hilgenbrinck and Feldman drive to an underground lair and Feldman explains the workings of a garlic bola, Hilgenbrinck looks higher than Saul Silver’s kite. Feldman finally gives up on the guy and stares down in defeat at his wooden, carbon and metal stakes. Something tells me this was improvised.
After more than 20 years, it’s really cool that the filmmakers called up Jamison Newlander to reprise his role as Alan Frog. Too bad he was cut from the film. LoL. I suspect he was called (his involvement was well publicized) just to get fans interested. But it makes complete sense that Corey Haim wouldn’t show up until after the end credits, after we’ve observed Feldman endure this softcore Cinemax/X-Games raping of their horror comedy classic. I imagine Haim utilized his patented Corey Haim Logic to voluntarily choose this post-credits shortcut—as an allegory, it’s the VH1 equivalent of the tortoise and the hare. Not only is the lone scene between the Coreys—which feels like a one-take deal at that—the best scene in the movie, it’s more satisfying than Freddy vs Jason (which was pretty good). Maybe this is due to Corey Feldman and Corey Haim surviving horrors together in real life (and reality TV). Maybe it’s because, in their lone scene, Feldman sounds like Christian Bale’s Dark Knight and Haim, Heath Ledger’s Joker. Maybe it’s because the DVD contains two more amazing alternate “they’re back!” endings. Maybe it’s because Coreys never say die.
3/10 (yes, the 3 is for the Coreys’ Lost Boys 3 aka Lost Boys 2: No Skateboards)
Discuss: What did you think of Lost Boys: The Tribe. Should a third film be made focusing on the original crew?
We here at Slashfilm have been pressing Warner Bros. to release The Lost Boys 2: The Tribe theatrically for some time. Tonight, the first image of a vampire from the film has surfaced at STYD, and I’m a little iffed. While the images of Corey Feldman‘s return as Edgar Frog show promise, as did the recent announcement that Corey Haim will definitely be in the film, this image screams direct-to-DVD to me. Compare the shot below of Kiefer Sutherland’s vampire, David, from the 1987 classic to this steakhead vampire above.
Now, the vampires in the sequels are reportedly surfers, which might explain the rather cheesy subtitle. This reminds me, hey studio people: simplify it to The Lost Boys 2. The original title’s inspiration is the Lost Boys in Peter Pan, who were already a tribe of sorts. Adding “The Tribe” is just a bad sign for America, really. And as we all know, surfers go two ways: steakhead jock idiots and “divine princes of decadence” like Bunker Spreckels. And then there’s Bodhi from Point Break who mixed them together and pulled it off, which is as hard to do as looking cool in a pair of crocs while working at Wal-Mart.
The necklace on this vampire is beyond cheesy. When The Lost Boys came out, the biker vampires in that flick reached highs of coked-out ’80s overindulgence and super-cool matched only by Axl Rose. Back to this new image: there’s also the tiki torch in the back, which connotes “steakhead surfer stereotype” and teen shows like The O.C. And is the vampire wearing a punk-studded bracelet? I can’t tell. If so, stupes. He’s also bald, which is Kelly Slater-ish, but also reminds me of Neil Strauss in The Game and that’s always a sign to stay away from something. Surfers have rock star hair, it’s a fact, why not utilize that, while paying a lil’ homage to the Aqua Net-junkie ’80s originals?
The fangs are a little too pronounced. The blood can go either way. This photo was released to satisfy the gore hounds. The girl’s bikini/dress is kind of stupid, generic and unhot, and The Lost Boys is about sex, drugs, rock ‘n’ roll and staying young forever, maybe in that order. I’m not giving up on the film, but after all of the “we get it” and the “original is a classic, we won’t screw this up” promises from screenwriter Hans Rodionoff and director P.J. Pesce, this image is disconcerting because it doesn’t get it. You can still make this sequel with a modest budget and have it be awesome, there is no excuse. If this turns out to be The Lost Boys with Seth Cohen and it does go to theaters after fans fought ferociously for it to, prepare for a battle comparable to, I dunno, Axl Rose vs. Tommy Hilfiger.
Discuss: Does the new vampire image impact whether you’ll see The Lost Boys 2: The Tribe, one way or the other?
“Man-Thing No. 2, got it.”
Some of you are no doubt slumming it in the gutter of your manse’s bowling alley this weekend nursing a fifth of vodka and eternal questions, but right now the Monkees’ “Now I’m a Believer” is ringing in my ears like percussive cheese because: Corey Haim is filming his scenes for The Lost Boys 2! He’s in it to win it. Break out the peach trench coat and bring back the Giant Bedroom Swatch Watch! The photo above is happening again, and right now some dude is getting the image tattooed across his shoulders as a M.U.S.C.L.E. Man squeals on the sax on the beach. What happened to : The Tribe, you ask? It’s dead to me. The well-lit ’70s-era marquee in my head is a trend setter.
STYD reports that Haim has returned to his best character, Sam Emerson, and is now filming scenes for the film that were originally in the script. Director P.J. Pesce is filming the additional scenes, and co-star Corey Feldman is said to be involved, which means that the duo’s ongoing tension is not botching the reunion. Can you imagine a film where both Coreys appear but don’t share a scene like Bruce Willis and Uma Thurman? The world knows no such lows.
Corey Feldman dropped some foreshadowing, ruby-colored chum in the deep waters on his meta-blog, The Feldman Journal, a few days ago saying…
“I did my ADR for the film a couple of days ago and it looks really good all cut together. Rumor is circulating that we may be doing some additional photography for the film, assuming pick ups or scenes from the script that we didn’t initially get around to. Which to me is a very good sign, because the studio usually doesn’t bother if they don’t really likea film. So it seems your positive energy is working. I also got a chance to see some of the treatments for the comic book series and I can promise you it will help fill the gaps between films in a very cool wayâ€¦..you will not be disappointed!!”
He additionally implied that The Lost Boys 2 is headed theatrical…
“I want to say that I have been shocked and overwhelmed with the movement that you all have created on behalf of LB2 going theatricalâ€¦.it’s amazing how dedicated you guy’s are to the cause. Apparently there are several on-line petitions going on created by you the fans and they are really gathering momentum. I would like to thank each and every one of you who has taken the initiative to do this. It has been so overwhelming that last week we received phone calls from the studio asking if I was behind this.”
He went on to not mention Slash Film’s (Hunter’s) deep undercover involvement in this campaign. I’m giving it all I can, Captain. And filming for the second season of The Two Coreys is ongoing, which, in my opinion, is an amusing, genuine, and amazing marketing stunt for The Lost Boys 2, but don’t quote me in Blog Court.
Why does this film matter? Let me say this: After watching Rambo (10/10) and a few days later watching There Will Be Blood (10/10, um, I’m trying to review it) incredibly stoned, I want theatrical Nirvana in my lifetime. I want to sit on clouds and bask in colorful ’80s pulp dug up from amazingly confident dirt and given neon injections + I want to shiver in the glory of only-in-’07/’08 There Will Be Blood life-slap bug-outs. During my first visit to the DMV, I remember the smells, the instructors, the videos. I remember looking at my friend who passed when I didn’t (due to “negative attitude”), and I remember thinking W.W.C.H.D. I am able to drive an Audi because of Corey Haim. I want to watch him smile again with his mouth half-agape, eyebrows raised and the sound of a “Ahh, Ahh, aHah.” That sound/(emotion?) got me many a hot girl when I was too young. Warner Bros. better release this in theaters. That is nearly a threat.