Answer: Not much, but my mother and I are huge fans of both guys, anyway.
Ever since I was a kid, I remember the house being practically over-crowded with Stephen King books. King’s “Eyes of the Dragon” was my first grown-up book.
As far as Stallone is concerned, we’ve spent whole Saturdays watching the Rocky movies, and I saw Rambo at way too tender an age. Don’t even get me started on Rhinestone or Over The Top.
Mom and I had both read Carrie, and when we saw that a remake was premiering in October, we both re-read the book, as well as re-watched the original film. We had the beginnings of a date night. We invited Beth, of course, but she’s not a very big fan of King, so it was just the two of us. When we realized that Sly’s latest offering, Escape Plan, was also premiering on Oct 18th, we knew we had something special.
I only had to put in a half day’s work on Friday, and Mom got out a little early, which was integral in our Double Feature Plus Dinner plan. It was perfect. We were going to have time for everything, and still be home and in bed before 11:00. We started our evening off with Escape Plan at 4:00.
Escape Plan was just that, escapist fun. I’ll be surprised if there are any Oscars awarded to this flick, but it was entertaining. Schwarzenegger even got to act! He cried, showed emotion, and shouted in Austrian (or German, who can tell?). Stallone got to be dark and broody, which is his new persona. He’s really settling into Gruff Older Guy pretty well. Again, he’ll never be Eastwood, but I don’t think he wants to be, either. There was a plot twist, some action, some witty one-liners. After being punched square in the jaw by Stallone, Schwarzy says, “You hit like a vegetarian.” Not Shakespeare, but hey – who cares? Spoiler alert: Sly’s 67 years old, Arnold’s 66.
I gave it a B.
After Escape Plan, we hopped over to Chili’s. Mom was excited to try some Crack Sauce, which we’ve discussed in an earlier post. It’s the salsa/ranch dip that you can order with the Chips and Salsa appetizer. Fantastic stuff. We even saw my favorite Chili’s employee, Gail, behind the bar. She was training, and looked like she was concentrating hard, so we didn’t bother her. We grabbed a couple of burgers (strange for a Tex-Mex restaurant, I know), and made it back to the theater in time for Carrie.
After having just seen the 1976 version, my hopes were high. I’m sorry to say that I was just a little disappointed. There were the obvious modernizations of the movie. In 1976, Carrie gets so worked up after the shower scene that she knocks the principal’s ashtray from his desk with her mind. Obviously, that wasn’t going to happen in a 2013 principal’s office. She broke a water cooler instead. During the shower scene, someone pulls out an iPhone and shoots a video. Again, something that wouldn’t have happened in 1976. Other than that, the new movie held pretty true to the old movie, which is to say, fairly close to the book. My complaint with film adaptations of King’s books is that they fail to capture the key essence of a King story. His works almost always center around a character’s inner thoughts, they’re internal struggle, their own personal demons – and that simply does not translate well onto film.
I’ll give this a B as well.
An unexpected treat of the evening, besides getting some one-on-one time with my Mom, was the trailer for Grudge Match. It pits Stallone vs. DeNiro in a boxing match. The dialogue seems campy, the actors don’t look like they’re taking themselves too seriously, and it honestly looks pretty funny.
End of the day, we had a fantastic time, and thanks to Sly and Bob DeNiro, we’ve got our next date night already planned.