Friday should be declared a holiday for action fans with the arrival of The Expendables 2. Not only is Sylvester Stallone back, along with Jason Statham, Jet Li, Dolph Lundgren, Randy Couture and Terry Crews, but we will also see the triumphant return of Arnold Schwarzenegger to the big screen in an expanded role.
Bruce Willis also gets a lot more screen time and the addition of Chuck Norris and Jean-Claude Van Damme to the cast makes this action even more epic.
As well, young up-and-comer Liam Hemsworth (The Hunger Games) gets to play with the veterans.
The story is secondary to the cast, but in case you are curious: The band of old-school mercenaries is reunited for a seemingly easy payday, but things go wrong when one is viciously killed.
In the middle of hostile territory, the Expendables’ once easy mission becomes one of revenge.
Unlike the first movie which was written and directed by Stallone, this one is directed by Simon West who is a veteran of action movies himself having helmed Con Air, The General’s Daughter and Lara Croft: Tomb Raider.
He also directed Statham in The Mechanic last year.
Early reviews are stronger than for the original but, ultimately, negative reviews do not matter as, like the original, the filmmakers are very aware of the absurdity of this kind of over-the-top action movie and play it up. This is definitely a movie you have to check out in the Xtreme auditorium at the Landmark Cinemas 8 in West Kelowna.
From the makers of the wonderfully imaginative Coraline comes ParaNorman, a stop motion animated adventure that might be scary for younger children, but will be a visual delight for older kids (and the young at heart).
It is the story of Norman, a misunderstood local boy who is able to speak to the dead. When the small town he lives in comes under siege by zombies, only he has the ability to prevent the destruction of his town by a centuries-old witch’s curse.
And zombies aren’t his only problem: He will also have to take on ghosts, witches and, worst of all, grown-ups which will push his paranormal powers to their limits. It is co-directed by Sam Fell (Flushed Away, The Tale of Despereaux) and features the voices of Casey Affleck, Leslie Mann, John Goodman and Tempest Bledsoe. Again, it may be scary for the younger children but for the ones who loved either A Nightmare Before Christmas or Coraline, this is a definite must-see.
Paramount Theatre is opening two acclaimed movies this week. Safety Not Guaranteed is a quirky comedy about three magazine employees who head out on an assignment to interview a guy who placed a classified ad seeking a companion for time travel.
The Intouchables is a French language film about an aristocratic risk-taker who becomes quadriplegic from a paragliding accident and hires a young man from the projects to be his caretaker.