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post #1 of 14 Old 11-23-10, 08:01 AM Thread Starter
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The Expendables - Blu-ray Review

Title: The Expendables
Starring: Sylvester Stallone, Terry Crews, Jason Statham, Jet Li, Dolph Lundgren, Randy Couture, Steve Austin, Mickey Rourke,
Directed by: Sylvester Stallone
Written by: Dave Callaham, Sylvester Stallone
Studio: LionsGate
Rated: R
Runtime:103 Minutes
Release Date: 11/23/2010

Movie:
Video:
Audio:
Extras:
Overall:



Synopsis:
Barney Ross (Stallone) is leader of The Expendables, a very close knit team of highly trained and lethal ex-military turned mercenaries. Hired by a powerful covert operator (Willis), the team heads off to a small South American country to overthrow a ruthless dictator being secretly financed by a rogue US government agency. Once there, Ross and company find themselves in the middle of a deadly web of deceit and betrayal that threatens to tear down the very fabric of this South American society through a civil uprising. Now, armed with every weapon under the sun, and up against impossible odds, the team must fight back the only way they know how.


When I first heard about this movie I was a little intrigued. I was a huge fan of Sylvester Stallone growing up and in many ways consider him my generations Clint Eastwood. My only concern was that maybe he is getting too old for this type of role. Then again, I thought the same thing about 2008’s Rambo and to say I was wrong was an understatement. That being said, I do have to point out that after watching the scene involving Arnold, it is easy to see that time has not been nice to “The Governator” at all. That aside, the cast that was assembled for this movie is very impressive and each actor did a great job in their role. Normally stories and motivation get convoluted with a cast as big as this one, but I never felt that anyone got left behind. I started to feel like Terry Crews was forgotten until the end of the movie, “You better remember me at Christmas!!!” You’ll see what I mean when it happens.

I first saw The Expendables with a good friend of mine about a week after it came out and we both had the same reaction, ‘WOW!’. It has everything that we felt makes a great action movie 'great'.
  • Explosions – Check
  • High Body Count – Check
  • Damsel in Distress – Check
  • Great Car Chase – Check
  • Huge Action Stars – Check

The Expendables has easily already become one of my favorite action movies and I was at Wal-Mart at 4:30 AM to pick it up so I could get it out to all of you as soon as possible. Some may have issues with the somewhat simple plot and the manly nature of the “blow everything up” premise, but for me it is exactly refreshing and exactly what I wanted to see and I was grateful for the no holds barred, explosive and non-apologetic spectacle that was unleashed on my senses, and I can’t wait for a sequel! It has been quite some time since I have seen an action movie like The Expendable and it is very much a throwback to the old 80’s ‘High-Octane’ type of over-the-top action movies of yesterday.

I am a little perplexed having read other reviews that knock The Expendables for having "too much action”. Really? Too much action? I didn’t think this was actually possible. I liken this type of statement to those who didn’t like ‘Independence Day’ because it had no plot. I personally didn’t have a problem with 'Independence Day’ because it achieved its goal of showing an alien race destroying our planet. Similarly, I loved The Expendables for capturing as much explosive destruction as possible in the time allotted. My advice is to check your reality hat at the door and enjoy the ride.


Rating:
Rated R for intense and graphic violence and language. This is not one for the kiddos in any sense of the word.

Video:

The Expendables is presented in 1080p/MPEG-4 AVC with an Aspect Ratio 2.40:1 and the results are fairly stunning. There are a few moments of light black crush but not enough to penalize very much. Overall this is a great transfer with excellent shadow delineation, plenty of depth and noticeable gradation emphasis on intricate details. Flesh tones are natural looking from actor to actor and colors are brilliantly reproduced with perfect clarity. Resolution is clear and concise and the level of fine detail that can be seen borders on being overwhelming. There are some jaw dropping visuals of the South American landscapes and the lush, green foliage set against the water that really pops out with amazing clarity and detail.

Having seen the movie in theaters, I can say that this transfer is absolutely in keeping with what the filmmakers had intended. The visual presentation is accurate in every sense of the word and I didn’t see anything that was not a result of the filming process.



Audio:
I’m all in on this DTS-HD Master Audio presentation. Everything is bigger and bolder than I remember from the theater and that is saying something. Explosions reach down deep and shake the foundations. Gunfire is penetrating and different from caliber to caliber. There is plenty of surround activity in the gunfire, car chases and the large plane that the team uses to get to the island. Ambient sounds can be heard throughout the movie giving each scene a life of its own and dialogue is clear and balanced in regards to the action sequences and I never noticed it getting lost in the chaos.

There is also some great music in this movie that really comes alive at the right time in each scene. Stallone’s movies have always had powerhouse music that is very inspirational and motivating and The Expendables is no exception.

Extras:
  • Audio Commentary
  • Inferno: The Making of 'The Expendables'
  • From the Ashes: Postproduction
  • Comic-Con 2010 Panel
  • Deleted Scene
  • Gag Reel
  • Marketing Archive
  • Ultimate Recon: An Interactive Bonus View
  • Digital Copy and DVD of the Movie
Overall:
The Expendables is exactly what the commercials show. An over-the-top action spectacle that will assault your senses with audio nirvana and big, brilliant imagery. Of course, now that I have talked it up so much some of you will be disappointed for one reason or another. As I said earlier though, check your reality at the door and crank it up. Take it for what it is and not what you think it should be and I assure you that you will enjoy yourself. Here's to hoping there will be a follow up some time in the very near future. Until next time campers, have a good day and in case I don't see ya later, a good afternoon, a good evening, and a good night!


Regards,
Dale Rasco




“Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work." -Thomas A. Edison


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Last edited by Dale Rasco; 11-23-10 at 03:01 PM.
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post #2 of 14 Old 11-23-10, 09:08 AM
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Re: The Expendables - Blu-Ray Review

Great review, Dale. I missed the opportunity to see this in the theater, but I'm heading to Walmart to pick this Blu up on my lunch break today!

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post #3 of 14 Old 11-23-10, 10:10 AM
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Re: The Expendables - Blu-Ray Review

I'm willing to give this one a shot. Hope it gives the SVS a workout!
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post #4 of 14 Old 11-23-10, 03:46 PM
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Re: The Expendables - Blu-Ray Review

I just got my copy in from Amazon today... a must watch for tonight.

Thanks for the review Dale... sounds like I will really like this one.

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post #5 of 14 Old 11-23-10, 05:07 PM Thread Starter
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Re: The Expendables - Blu-Ray Review

Quote:
Sonnie wrote: View Post
I just got my copy in from Amazon today... a must watch for tonight.

Thanks for the review Dale... sounds like I will really like this one.
I hope you like it, I have that "The boss is watching" feeling.

Regards,
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post #6 of 14 Old 11-24-10, 12:00 AM
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Re: The Expendables - Blu-Ray Review

Hey... yeah... I watched it tonight and it was definitely a good one. Stallone gathered up a bunch of big names. I was all in... and look forward to a double or triple dose.

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post #7 of 14 Old 11-25-10, 06:01 AM
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Re: The Expendables - Blu-Ray Review

Video: Overall great. Great color, great detail, motly great black detail.
Audio: Holy crud this was great audio. Loads of surround sound and proper bass, very dynamic.
Movie: Not good. Acting not good, dialogue not good, direction not good. The problem with the action isn't that there was too much (I believe you can never have too much action if done correctly), the problem was that it is incoherent.

Last edited by gdstupak; 11-26-10 at 08:06 AM.
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post #8 of 14 Old 11-27-10, 01:16 PM
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Re: The Expendables - Blu-Ray Review

Quote:
gdstupak wrote: View Post
Video: Overall great. Great color, great detail, motly great black detail.
Audio: Holy crud this was great audio. Loads of surround sound and proper bass, very dynamic.
Movie: Not good. Acting not good, dialogue not good, direction not good. The problem with the action isn't that there was too much (I believe you can never have too much action if done correctly), the problem was that it is incoherent.
One thing I've learned well since Home Theater Shack has helped me up my theater game is that as long as explosions sound moderately realistic and the surround is detailed and fluid enough to keep you turning your head without thinking to do so, no action movie will ever be lacking enough to be bromidic; Even a slow action movie like "Appaloosa", which I didn't much care for, has stood apart from most in near memory as a distinguished movie for literally nothing more than that incredible-sounding 8 gauge shotgun you get to hear occasionally throughout. Could just be me though I guess


At any rate, thanks for the great review! With WalMart selling BluRays on the cheap lately, I'll definitely look forward to getting my hands on "The Expendables" now
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post #9 of 14 Old 11-27-10, 01:52 PM
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Re: The Expendables - Blu-Ray Review

Yes, if a movie has great sound and visuals, I can watch it for the first time and say wow that was great (such as this movie, "Wow!"). But if the movie part wasn't good, I won't watch it again.
This movie has alot of action but the direction was too choppy for me to follow. And too unrealistic.
For the 10yrs I've been with my wife, she believed an action movie can't be bad as long as it had alot of action and chases, and stuff blowing up (and she said the same in defense of this movie before seeing it). After this movie, she said "that sucked." I understand we're not supposed to use the 'sucked' word, but it is what she said.
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post #10 of 14 Old 12-13-10, 08:22 AM
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Re: The Expendables - Blu-Ray Review

Quote:
gdstupak wrote: View Post
Video: Overall great. Great color, great detail, motly great black detail.
Audio: Holy crud this was great audio. Loads of surround sound and proper bass, very dynamic.
Movie: Not good. Acting not good, dialogue not good, direction not good. The problem with the action isn't that there was too much (I believe you can never have too much action if done correctly), the problem was that it is incoherent.
I think I agree with most of this. Despite the poor storyline, I actually found my self cheering along with a few friends at some of the more blatant action sequences. (Perhaps it was the drinks before the movie ) It was fun to watch stuff go boom, just not the most cerebral film, lol.
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