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2 items from 2012

They're back: return of the big-screen meatheads

12 April 2012 6:06 PM, PDT | The Guardian - Film News | See recent The Guardian - Film News news »

The 80s was the golden era of the comically pumped-up action hero. But this summer they are back on the screen, alongside a new generation of beefcakes. Why?

Well, he always promised. Confirmation that Arnold Schwarzenegger would indeed be making a return to cinemas came a few weeks ago with the announcement of a sequel to TwinsTriplets, with Eddie Murphy. And by the time that film reaches us, the man famous for littering his works with smoking bodies and eviscerated vowels will already have starred in action thriller The Last Stand, and done the slo-mo explosion walk in Sylvester Stallone's The Expendables 2. The Governator's in the house.

The first Expendables, in 2010, hinted at it, but this summer will make things clear: the beefcake action star is back. There is a triple-beef sandwich in Marvel Avengers Assemble, starring Captain America, Thor and the Hulk. In July, meat »

- Phil Hoad

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Hail Caesar! What's Good & Bad About the New Sword & Sandal Movies

4 April 2012 7:02 AM, PDT | Moviefone | See recent Moviefone news »

I come to praise Sword & Sandal movies -- not to bury them. But with Wrath of the Titans and the Sword & Sandal/sci-fi mash-up John Carter not exactly setting the world on fire -- along with recent disappointments like Immortals and Conan -- it's getting more difficult by the day to believe that the Sword & Sandal movie can survive the recent fumbling of this otherwise great genre. And that's a shame, because the Sword & Sandal movie -- known for its gladiatorial games, pagan orgies, depraved emperors, and the occasional snarling cyclops -- may represent the most colorful and enduring movie genre of all time. So for the uninitiated, what exactly is a Sword & Sandal movie? Like its cousin the Biblical epic, a Sword & Sandal movie -- or 'peplum,' named after a type of ancient Greek garment -- is typically set in the ancient Mediterranean world, and dramatizes the fight for freedom. »

- Jason Apuzzo

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