The Expendables 3 (2014)

Directed by Patrick Hughes, starring Sylvester Stallone, Jason Statham, Harrison Ford, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Mel Gibson, Wesley Snipes, Dolph Lundgren, Randy Couture, Terry Crews, Kelsey Grammer, Glen Powell, Antonio Banderas, Victor Ortiz, Ronda Rousey and Kellan lutz.  Barney must pull a new team together after a mission goes wrong due to an attack from an old Expendable.<!–more–>

The Expendables as a franchise is one that is openly mocked, for both it’s over the top action and its inside jokes,  but also due to its ability to slowly bring every action star from the 80s to the new era.

As a fan of the expendables I acknowledge  that these films can be summed up in one word, entertainment or boarding on. The formula is simple, drag as many legendary 80s action stars into each new film and kill as many people as possible. However with this third instalment this is all changed and we witness the growth of the cast to such massive proportions it’s more a case of which action star is not present.

One member gets hurts, so they recruit some new faces while dropping all the original team and the far more interesting ones then Stallone. So we are given four new faces with more jokes about the decades then is at all necessary. With the new faces we have Kellan Lutz and Glen Powell who were the only ones particularly needed as Victor Ortiz is barley seen or missed and Ronda Rousey who has to endure a number of sexist jokes and being hit on.

This is easily the weakest addition to The Expendables and a majority of it is down to brining in new faces into this old world of 80s heroes which I for one would much rather see.

Mel Gibson is the villain this time and his character is one of the best parts of the film, different and boarding on exciting due to his history with Barney, Gibson brings a certain intelligent maniac element to the film which adds to the entertainment.

Though some have argued for the end of this franchise, I see no reason to not continue as long as the formula returns to the  first two films and stays.

OVERALL ** This is by far the weakest of the films and can only be put down to the young ones trying to take part, this isn’t why we watch The Expendables, as much a guilty pleasure as it is we watch this films for the older actors.

RECOMENDATION – This is that could and should be missed both for fans and everyone else. It is weak with the only new element worth watching being Mell Gibson.

Locke (2013)

Directed by Steven Knight, staring Tom Hardy, Ruth Wilson, Olivia Colman and Andrew Scott. Ivan Locke is a family man driving away from work, his life which is usually organised is set a series of challenges all from the comfort of his car. Read more of this post

Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014)

Directed by the brothers Anthony Russo and Joe Russo staring Chris Evans, Scarlett Johansson,Samuel L. Jackson, Anthony Mackie, Robert Redford, Sebastian Stan, Cobie Smulders and Frank Grillo . After the events of New York, Steve Rogers must find his place in the new world, while handling a new threat.  Read more of this post

Divergent (2014)

Directed by Neil Burger, starring, Shailene Woodley, Theo James, Jai Courtney, Miles Teller, Zoe Kravitz, Kate Winslet and  Maggie Q. A great war has happened and now a community has been divided into different factions. Tris discovers she is in fact a divergent, a rare person but one who does not fit into the new world.

Read more of this post

Robin Williams (1951- 2014)

 

Throughout my life there has always been that one source of absolute humour and kindness, the type that reduces you to tears and aching sides. Read more of this post

The Double (2013)

Directed by Richard Ayoade, staring Jesse Eisenberg and Mia Wasikowska. A government worker finds his boring life has taken a weird twist in the form of a doppelgänger  working in the same office. <!–more–>

The only information I had of this film previously was a short trailer showing a potentially clever film, experimenting with two people with the same identity, who not only appear at the same time but are also aware of each other.

So what could have been an intelligent idea, instead turns to a piece showcasing  boredom, depression and the how unoriginal everything is. What should be the pivotal point of the film is the Jekyll and Hyde, Fight Club type motive that the two characters portray which could be a more artistic view on the traditional story. However nothing about these characters is vaguely original which is as frustrating as it is predictable.

The only other frustrating part is that the vaguely interesting explanation that comes at the end, but by this point you are too bored and depressed to care about the characters nor to any explanation about why this has happened.

After watching this film, I looked at the reviews, wondering if the feeling of dislike was mutual. Only to discover how other critics are raving and praising this film, this is something I do not understand.

For the first thirty minutes of the film we are subjected to boredom, depression and even suicide. There is a certain artistic aspect of the film which could be interesting and lead into something more mysterious, a point we never reach and you are continually bored and confused at some aspects that make little or no sense.

Perhaps I have missed the point of this film, more maybe I have been a tad too harsh, if that is the case then comment below.

OVERALL ** Eisenberg and Wasikowska are excellent, but even they cannot save this depressingly dark film.

RECOMMENDATION-  Simply avoid this and watch something more meaningful and impacting.

Guardians of the Galaxy (2014)

Directed  by James Gunn, Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista, Vin Diesel, Bradley Cooper, Lee Pace, Michael Rooker and Karen Gillian.

Marvel’s first venture into space, and explores the wide universe with its new strange mix of people.<!–more–>

Guardians Marks the first step into space and the last film to be released before Age Of Ultron and the end of phase two. Though we may have witnessed other worlds like Asgard, this really feels like the first massive space adventure from Marvel.

Over a year ago Marvel announced its next big idea, Guardians, to an audience who were some what unaware of the group of five, myself included. However having now read several volumes of the comics, I can see clearly why Marvel choose them and I admit they are now some of my favourite story arcs currently.

The translation to the big screen is seamless, Gunn has proven himself very capable, much like Whedon with the Avengers, of balancing and translating a group of characters instantly over to the big screen.

Indeed he has stayed true to the mythology of the comics incredibly well, achieving more then previous  previous Marvel Films. He has more to work with now as we go deeper into space and are allowed mentions of references to the comics which would not have been possible before, while exploring subjects only merely glimpsed or referenced previously.

Without giving any spoilers away though difficult. For those, like me, who have been watching this interconnected series of film, this is essential viewing as some very large moments happen here that can not be missed.

The casting is perfect, as each character is allowed to be portrayed very accurately from its source . The music is a key point of this film and is utilised perfectly and is a nice change from the music we are used to with Marvel.

Gunn is already confirmed for the sequel and it’s not hard to see why. Unlike The Avengers, Gunn did not have a chance to slowly introduce us into Guardians with a film devoted to each characters before seeing them together. However he managed to introduce each character without over shadowing another.

OVERALL ***** This perfectly balanced group of heroes shows to be one of Marvel’s best films and manages to both entertained and use the source material to its best.

RECOMMENDATION – Essential viewing for those following the expanding Marvel film universe, also excellent entertainment for anyone not familiar with them. However I would not bother staying for the post credits scene.

For those of you who are comic book readers and have yet to pick up and issue of Guardians,  I implore you to do so.

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