Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (2017)

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2
Director: James Gunn
Writer: James Gunn
Based on: Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning‘s comic
Sequel to: Guardians of the Galaxy
Cast: Chris PrattZoe SaldanaDave BautistaVin DieselBradley CooperMichael RookerKaren GillanPom KlementieffSylvester StalloneKurt RussellElizabeth DebickiChris SullivanSean Gunn, Seth Green, Michael Rosenbaum, David HasselhoffVing RhamesMichelle Yeoh, Jeff GoldblumStan Lee
Part of: Marvel movies
Seen on: 3.5.2017

Plot:
Peter (Chris Pratt), Gamora (Zoe Saldana), Drax (Dave Bautista), Rocket (Bradley Cooper) and Baby Groot (Vin Diesel) have made quite a reputation for themselves. People have even started to ask them for help. But it’s not easy to leave your old habits behind and when Rocket not only helps but also steals, one thing leads to another and the group find themselves crashing on a planet where they meet Ego (Kurt Russell) and Mantis (Pom Klementieff). This is not a coincidence: Ego tells Peter that he is his father, throwing him for quite a loop. But trouble has only just begun.

I was not a fan of the first Guardians of the Galaxy movie to begin with, and I thought that Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 was even weaker. At least Baby Groot was cute.

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Creed (2015)

Creed
Director: Ryan Coogler
Writer: Ryan Coogler, Aaron Covington
Sequel to: Rocky, Rocky II, Rocky III, Rocky IV, Rocky V, Rocky Balboa
Cast: Michael B. Jordan, Sylvester Stallone, Tessa Thompson, Phylicia Rashad, Tony Bellew, Graham McTavish, Liev Schreiber (in a voice cameo)
Seen on: 21.1.2016

Plot:
Adonis (Michael B. Jordan) is settled with a big legacy: he is Apollo Creed’s son. He calls himself Donnie and uses his mother’s surname, just to make sure that he isn’t carrying on his father’s legacy but building his own as a boxer, much to the dismay of his foster mother and Apollo’s widow, Mary Anne (Phylicia Rashad), who would rather not see him box at all. But Donnie makes his own plans: he gives up his job in finance, moves to Philadelphia and seeks out Rocky Balboa (Sylverster Stallone) to ask him whether he’d be willing to train him.

I have to admit that I have not seen any of the Rocky films, so I really have no point of reference for the background of this film. But it isn’t actually necessary. Creed was an engaging sports/boxing film that even brings something new to the table.

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The Expendables 3 (2014)

The Expendables 3
Director: Patrick Hughes
Writer: Sylvester Stallone, Creighton Rothenberger, Katrin Benedikt
Sequel to: The Expendables, The Expendables 2
Cast: Sylvester Stallone, Jason Statham, Dolph Lundgren, Terry Crews, Randy Couture, Wesley Snipes, Mel GibsonAntonio Banderas, Jet Li, Kelsey Grammer, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Harrison FordGlen PowellVictor OrtizRonda RouseyKellan Lutz

Plot:
Barney Ross (Sylvester Stallone) and the rest of his crew (Jason Statham, Dolph Lundgren, Terry Crews, Randy Couture, Jet Li) have just freed former Expendable Doc (Wesley Snipes) from prison and are headed to Somalia now to take down an arms dealer. Said arms dealer – Stonebanks (Mel Gibson) – turns out to be another former Expendable, a founding member in fact. The fight quickly turns extremely personal and Barney, worried that they are all too old for the job, decides to find younger fighters to get rid of Stonebanks once and for all.

It might have been the overexposure because of the triple feature (I doubt it) but Expendables 3 didn’t blow me away. It wasn’t as funny as the second one and the host of new characters the throw at you is seriously displaced.

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Re-Watch: The Expendables 2 (2012)

The Expendables 2
Director: Simon West
Writer: Richard Wenk, Sylvester Stallone
Sequel to: The Expendables
Cast: Sylvester Stallone, Jason Statham, Dolph Lundgren, Terry Crews, Randy Couture, Nan Yu, Liam Hemsworth, Jet Li, Jean-Claude Van Damme, Scott Adkins, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Bruce Willis, Chuck Norris, Charisma Carpenter
[Here’s my first review.]

Plot:
Barney Ross (Sylvester Stallone) and the rest of his crew (Jason Statham, Dolph Lundgren, Terry Crews, Randy Couture, Jet Li and Liam Hemsworth) have just saved a Chinese businessman who was kidnapped, when Church (Bruce Willis) calls in a favor: they are supposed to retrieve something from a safe in a crashed plane in the Albanian mountains. To crack that safe, they need to take Maggie (Nan Yu) along (though Yin Yang [Jet Li] stays in China). What should be a very quick and not very eventful mission, goes south when Villain (Jean-Claude Van Damme) appears.

When I saw Expendables 2 for the first time, I finally watched the kind of film I wanted The Expendables (1) to be and it made me happy (I liked it so much I watched the first one again which I shouldn’t have). On second watch it isn’t quite as good anymore, but it is still above and beyond the first film.

The_Expendables_2

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Re-Watch: The Expendables (2010)

The Expendables
Director: Sylvester Stallone
Writer: Dave Callaham, Sylvester Stallone
Cast: Sylvester Stallone, Jason Statham, Jet Li, Dolph Lundgren, Mickey Rourke, Eric Roberts, Charisma Carpenter, Bruce Willis, Arnold Schwarzenegger
[Here’s my first review.]

Plot:
The Expendables are a group of mercenaries, most notably Barney Ross (Sylvester Stallone), Lee Christmas (Jason Statham), Ying Yang (Jet Li) and Gunner Jensen (Dolph Lundgren). They mostly go around blowing up bad guys and getting tattoos from Tool (Mickey Rourke), who always throws some wisdom into the mix. When Barney gets the job to get rid of the General, a tyrant on a small Latin-American Island, he has to face is own humanity. And he has to blow a lot of shit up.

I knew that The Expendables wasn’t a good film. In the spirit of completism and masochism, puzzledpeaces and me decided to take the release of the third one as the perfect opportunity to make it a triple feature. So here we are and I can honestly say that it is even worse than I remembered.

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Homefront (2013)

Homefront
Director: Gary Fleder
Writer: Sylvester Stallone
Based on: Chuck Logan‘s novel
Cast: Jason Statham, James Franco, Izabela Vidovic, Kate Bosworth, Marcus Hester, Clancy Brown, Winona Ryder, Omar Benson Miller, Rachelle Lefevre, Frank Grillo, Austin Craig

Plot:
Phil Broker (Jason Statham) worked undercover with a biker gang for years but after the case was closed – and rather unfortunately – he and his daughter Maddy (Izabela Vidovic) moved to a small town to get away from it all and to disappear. But then he gets into the crosshairs of the local gangster Gator Bodine (James Franco) and his past quickly catches up with him.

Homefront tookt itself very seriously. Way too seriously for the kind of film it is. There are some glimpses at a better film underneath the rubble, but the result is generally rather meh.

homefront

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Escape Plan (2013)

Escape Plan
Director: Mikael Håfström
Writer: Miles Chapman, Jason Keller
Cast: Sylvester Stallone, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jim Caviezel, Faran Tahir, Amy Ryan , Sam Neill, Vincent D’Onofrio, Vinnie Jones, 50 Cent

Plot:
Ray Breslin (Sylvester Stallone) works as a security consultant, basically: it’s his job to test prison security system by getting incarcerated and then breaking out. But his newest assignment doesn’t go as planned. He gets taken differently than agreed on, he finds himself facing the sadistic warden Hobbes (Jim Caviezel) instead of the person who knew about his real identity and the prison seems impossible to break out of. But at least he finds support for his breakout plans in fellow prisoner Emil Rottmayer (Arnold Schwarzenegger).

Escape Plan has all the markings of a craptastic film. And parts of it are as shitmazing as I expected them to be. But unfortunately I found myself pretty bored during most of the film despite that.

escape_plan

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The Expendables 2 (2012)

The Expendables 2
Director: Simon West
Writer: Richard Wenk, Sylvester Stallone
Sequel to: The Expendables
Cast: Sylvester Stallone, Jason Statham, Dolph Lundgren, Terry Crews, Randy Couture, Nan Yu, Liam Hemsworth, Jet Li, Jean-Claude Van Damme, Scott Adkins, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Bruce Willis, Chuck Norris, Charisma Carpenter

Plot:
Barney Ross (Sylvester Stallone) and the rest of his crew (Jason Statham, Dolph Lundgren, Terry Crews, Randy Couture, Jet Li and Liam Hemsworth*) have just saved a Chinese businessman who was kidnapped, when Church (Bruce Willis) calls in a favor: they are supposed to retrieve something from a safe in a crashed plane in the Albanian mountains. To crack that safe, they need to take Maggie (Nan Yu) along (though Yin Yang [Jet Li] stays in China**). What should be a very quick and not very eventful mission, goes south when Villain*** (Jean-Claude Van Damme) appears.

The Expendables 2 is everything The Expendables should have been already, but was too shoddily directed and taking itself way too seriously for. In this one, they just go with the flow and end up with a film that is pretty damn satisfying.

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The Expendables (2010)

The Expendables is Sylvester Stallone‘s vanity project, starring Sylvester Stallone, Jason Statham, Jet Li, Dolph Lundgren, Mickey Rourke, Eric Roberts, Charisma Carpenter, Bruce Willis and Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Plot:
The Expendables are a group of mercenaries, most notably Barney Ross (Sylvester Stallone), Lee Christmas (Jason Statham), Ying Yang (Jet Li) and Gunner Jensen (Dolph Lundgren). They mostly go around blowing up bad guys and getting tattoos from Tool (Mickey Rourke), who always throws some wisdom into the mix. When Barney gets the job to get rid of the General, a tyrant on a small Latin-American Island, he has to face is own humanity. And he has to blow a lot of shit up.

The Expendables should have been great cinema: that cast and a bunch of fights and explosions, whatever could go wrong? The answer is simple: Sylvester Stallone. He should have never directed it, and neither he nor any of the other writers should be allowed to get within 200 meters of a script ever again. Also, everyone in this project should grow a sense of humor (except for Bruce Willis and Arnold Schwarzenegger, who seem to have one already).

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