100 movies: The Expendables 2

100 movies of 2012

[yellow_box]Every year I set myself a target, usually of about 100, of films to watch. These are new films. Not new, new films. But films that are new to me. Any time I’ve seen a new one, I post a bit of a brain dump of my thoughts on the film here. Enjoy![/yellow_box]

The Expendables 2The Expendables 2 (17/08/12)

Mr. Church reunites the Expendables for what should be an easy paycheck, but it doesn’t go to plan. Their quest for revenge puts them deep in enemy territory and up against an unexpected threat.

Once upon a time it was okay and perfectly normal for you to be just an action hero. You just starred in action films. There was no amount of weight put on the films you were in. They were pure entertainment. Viewers didn’t care that the plot or dialogue was something that sounded like it was written by a child. All the viewers cared was that the action levels were high and stayed that way.

Somewhere along the lines, this sort of film was lost. Some would say for the better. Not me. When The Expendables hit our screens just a couple of years ago, I welcomed it. Yes, the dialogue was bad. The plot laughable. But it was a return of the action films from the 80s. Those silly, over the top action films that was just plain action and nothing else. What that film also brought back was some of the legends of that era. And you know what? They were all pretty damn good all bundled up into one film.

The Expendables 2 takes the same template as the first one. It feels like a slightly tighter and slicker film. But effectively it’s the same, simple story. Bad guys vs. Good Guys. Good guys win. Though, you could argue that here for the Good Guys there’s a much stronger motivation for them to go after said bad guys, than in the first film.

All the guys are back for a second round. Bruce Willis and Arnold Schwarzeneggar have much larger parts than their previous cameos. Chuck Norris is a welcome addition too. Though it’s not just a bunch of old guys. There’s some new blood in the shape of Liam Hemsworth and he’s definitely a welcome addition. Freshens things up and creates some new relationships within the team.

The film starts as it means to go on. Action. Blood. Bullets. Explosions. Everything skips along at such an incredible pace too. Sure it’s not a hugely long film, clocking in at just about 102 minutes. But it still feels a lot shorter than that.

There’s plenty of humour. Possibly more than the first. The majority of it is silly lines and throwbacks to all of their previous films and stuff they’ve done before. Which did make me laugh. Especially the Chuck Norris moments. It’s good they can poke fun at themselves.

The final showdown between Stallone and Van Damme was totally worth it. Brilliant fight scene. And you know what trailer making people? Unlike with The Bourne Legacy and countless other action based films out this year, all the best bits were NOT in the trailer.

It’s not a highly intelligent film. It never set out to be. It is what it is. A big, dumb action film. And for that, it did good. Oh and those Hemsworth boys? Boy do they have good genes!
Rating: 4/5

Read on to see all the films watched this year…

100 movies: The Hunger Games

100 movies of 2012

Every year I set myself a target, usually of about 100, of films to watch. These are new films. Not new, new films. But films that are new to me. Any time I’ve seen a new one, I post a bit of a brain dump of my thoughts on the film here. Enjoy!

The Hunger GamesThe Hunger Games (23/03/12)

Set in a future where the Capitol selects a boy and girl from the twelve districts to fight to the death on live television, Katniss Everdeen volunteers to take her younger sister’s place for the latest match.

Vague disclaimer: I have not read the books. I know very little about the books other than a load of teenagers fighting to the death with only one winner. Very simplistic. But that’s all I knew going into this film.

Right, onto the film. So we have a future world where things ain’t so great for the every day people. But of course there are the city folk who seem to be doing pretty well with themselves. Oh and they look absolutely fabulous. The government’s got the people under their thumb and are doing a pretty damn good job at controlling the people. And then we’ve got The Hunger Games. The chance for the Districts to proudly watch their teenagers fight for their people. To the death. For entertainment.

The Hunger Games brought a couple of films to mind – Battle Royale and The Running Man. With Battle Royale you’ve got the fighting teens and The Running Man’s got the reality TV aspect. Smoosh them together with a bit of a Tween feeling and you’ve got The Hunger Games. But… it just didn’t work all that well for me. Sure, I enjoyed the film and thought it was good enough. But thought there were a fair few things that didn’t work for me in the film.

The whole thing with these kids killing each other for entertainment is pretty damn dark. There were some fairly brutal scenes. But I didn’t think it went far enough. In The Running Man you’ve got the over the top reality TV aspect which was missing here. It was just a by-the-by kind of thing. It wasn’t capitalised enough upon.

The film began to drag a little bit. It is a fairly long film. I’m not adverse to sitting in the cinema for over two hours, but when it begins to feel like more than two hours I start to get a bit ‘eh’. The pacing was great – really snappy, until the games actually got going. Things got slow and I grew a little bored. Well, bored’s a strong word. Restless moreso.

It was hard for me to connect with the characters. Jennifer Lawrence did a great job, but I thought I could feel more invested in Katniss’ plight. I just didn’t. She was just going through the motions. And me watching along with.

The rest of the supporting cast are great. Just wish there was more time spent on them. Though, I guess, it’s not really their story.

There was one point in the film (SPOILER ALERT) when District 12 have their little uprising after a certain death. I didn’t understand why after 74 Hunger Games, after that many deaths, that’s when they really think about things? Really?

I feel like I’m being really hard on the film. Thought it was good. Not great. The fangirls in the cinema loved it, so it must have done a lot of things right. Heck the guy in his 40s sitting in front of me was cradling his head during the last 20 minutes of the film. Just didn’t quite effect me that much.
Rating: 3/5

Read on to see all the films watched this year…

100 movies: Triangle

100 movies of 2010

Ouch, it’s been a long time since I’ve added anything to this list. Though I did do a few all day/weekend movie marathons. I’ve just taken a little break. To end the break I’ve watched an awesome movie!

Triangle (27/03/10)
This movie looked interesting when it was first released in cinemas. Looked like something I’d enjoy, but never got around to watching it, as it came out in the cinemas as quickly as they took it away. Finally got around to seeing it on the weeked and I loved it! Very clever horror/thriller movie. I don’t jump in horror movies, so I don’t usually use that as a benchmark for how good one is. I think I might have casually jumped at one point in this movie. I just liked how clever it was. I had no clue where it was going and I couldn’t even try and second guess. Well I tried and failed on numerous attempts. Very twisty turny movie with a fantastic and satisfying ending. I was tempted to give this movie full marks, though the supporting cast knock the movie down one peg.
Rating: 4/5

Read more to see the full list of movies I’ve seen so far this year.