What can you say about a movie like The Expendables? It’s a movie that would have been so amazing to see about seven or ten years ago when this great ensemble of action stars where kicking ass and taking names in their prime. As it is watching the movie feels like watching nostalgia and that’s not necessarily a bad thing: just different than what it could have been. I mean every action fan has had the question who would kick whose butt Bruce Willis or Stallone or if Jet Li went Chop Sokki of Dolph would little Li survive the encounter? The Expendables is everything a fan of old school 80s action films would want. Stallone has put together a great cast featuring action stars from different eras and everyone seemed to love being part of this.
If possible Sylvester Stallone has gotten cooler in his old age. After hitting a rough patch and not being able to get a movie made, he seems energized and have a new appreciation for the movies that he does get off the ground. That new found love of what he’s doing really shows in the last few movies he’s made. Again The Expendables really isn’t a movie, it’s kind of a love letter to the movies that Stallone used to make. It’s tongue, firmly in it’s cheek and includes all the cliches that we love in those old movies, we get to see Jet Li and Dolph Lundgren go at. The “new” boys Steve Austin and Jason Statham go a few rounds and get a weird moment with the three Action icons Stallone, Willis, and Arnold on screen together?
Who cares about the plot when you have all of this going on? With this amount of muscle you know the acting is going to be secondary. The one thing this movie does not do as well as I’d have liked is have great, innovative action scenes. However, the fight scenes had a cool blend of the old and new mixing wrestling, mixed martial arts, knife fighting and old school fisticuffs. It played to each actor’s strengths. Instead it’s all old school. Movie Grade A-
I’m almost to the point where I feel like talking about Blu-ray picture quality is becoming pretty pointless. With a few rare exceptions, the studios seem to have figured out the format and it’s extremely rare to get a Blu-ray that doesn’t feature a superb picture. This movie has a lot of night shots so it doesn’t really pop off the screen, but it’s sharp and clear. There’s nothing to complain about with regards to the audio – it’s nicely textured and the explosions and other sound effects are flawless. Grade A
This Blu-ray disc is jammed pack with features it includes a full-length audio commentary with Stallone, a BonusView Picture n Picture Mode with Stallone narrating and discussing various aspects of the production, the full 45 minute Comic Con 2010 panel with the entire cast – very cool – have to give Aint It Cool’s Harry Knowles props for doing a great job moderating this panel. There is also a 30 minute look at the making of the movie, another 30 minute feature on the Post Production process and some deleted scenes. Features Grade A
I rented this disc from Blockbuster.com so I can’t really comment on the packaging. The menu navigation is exactly what I like. There are no flashy transition screens; it’s simple, clean and easy to use. The fonts are big and sharp so the text is easy to read. Grade A
This movie isn’t for everyone, Stallone knows his audience – it does not try to push the envelope, doesn’t use cgi tricks – this movie is strictly for fans of old school action movies. The Blu-ray package doesn’t disappoint it has a strong mix of features and the video and audio quality is top notch.
- Movie Grade – A-
- Picture/Audio – A
- Features – A
- Navigation/Presentation – A
Final Overall Grade A
EM Review by
Originally posted 12.24.2010