The Expendables' New Orleans Premiere


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Some of the new Sylvester Stallone film The Expendables was shot in New Orleans and it's having a local (invitation only) premiere starting with a reception at 6 p.m. Thursday, August 5, at The Theatres at Canal Place. (It opens nationally on August 13.) The invited-but-not-confirmed-to-attend talent from the movie includes former NFL player Terry Crews, MMA fighter Randy Couture, pro wrestler Steve "Stone Cold" Austin and Eric Roberts, who was great in The Pope of Greenwich Village and Runaway Train. The picture's lineup of veteran actors also includes Bruce Willis, Mickey Rourke, Jet Li, Dolph Lundgren and the Governator, Arnold Schwarzenegger, makes a cameo appearance. For the 64-year-old Stallone, it's another Rambo-style mission to go back to Nam or Central America or wherever to finish the job. Sooner or later, he'll be old enough to go back to Cuba and retake San Juan Hill. In this case, his band of aging mercenaries is hired by the CIA to go to a fictitious island nation in the Caribbean and get rid of a dictator. Of course, a la the Rambo/First Blood series, they have been set up to fail, but pride won't allow them to do so. And it's all action/adventure fun with plenty of explosions and gunfire. As a side note, this is barely a fiction, and almost a cliche, as history or popular entertainment. New Orleans is a great place to launch a filibustering mission to take over Nicaragua, like William Walker did in 1856. And the United States has continually intervened in the affairs of Latin America, and is linked to the assassination of President Guzman in Guatemala (1954), and the (officially determined) suicide of Allende in Chile (1973), which happened when putch troops entered his office. The long history of U.S. interventions in the affairs of South American nations is one of the subjects covered in Oliver Stone's documentary South of the Border, which runs at Zeitgeist through Thursday, August 5. It focuses on the Bush administration's demonization of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez before moving on to meet leaders of several other South American nations. It offers interesting perspective from them about dealing with the dominant role the U.S. takes in the hemisphere.


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