Release Date: August 17, 2012
Studio: Universal
Director: Simon West
Starring: Sylvester Stallone, Jason Statham, Jet Li, Dolph Lundgren, Chuck Norris, Jean-Claude Van Damme, Charisma Carpenter, Terry Crews, Bruce Willis, and Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Plot: The Expendables are reunited when Mr. Church enlists them to take on a seemingly simple job. When things go wrong, the Expendables are compelled to seek revenge in hostile territory, where the odds are stacked against them. Hell-bent on payback, the crew cuts a swath of destruction through opposing forces, wreaking havoc and shutting down an unexpected threat in the nick of time – five tons of weapons-grade plutonium, more than enough to change the balance of power in the world. But that’s nothing compared to the justice they serve against the villainous adversary they seek revenge from.

Thoughts: I feel like I’m in a minority when I say that I’m not a big fan of the first Expendables. To me it was like a lot of the straight to DVD films that most of the cast was starring in before this big nostalgic reunion. It was too violent for its own good with poor acting, poor story telling, and poor directing- even if the cast was having a blast on screen (literally and figuratively).

For me, I do have some raised expectations when it comes to The Expendables 2, with a change in director and writers. But most of all because of the inclusion of some of the more funnier leading action man of yesteryear in Arnie, Bruce Willis, and Jean Claude Van Damme (who also impressed the hell out of me in JCVD). I’m hoping for a film that improves on the first one. The trailers have been pretty cool and I’m hoping this is just a lot more fun then the first film and that it becomes a little more cheesey (on purpose) and a bit little less serious. If director Simon West gets the tone right this time around, I think it will be safe to say that The Expendables is the newest action franchise for a lot of these yesteryearers,. I’m just hoping this one pans out, especially since I’d like to see a few new Chuck Norris movies- it has been far too long, even if he’s spent his break saying things that, well, I don’t necessarily agree with.

Finally Warner Brothers and DC Comics are getting their act together! The behemoth that was The Avengers this summer seems to have lit a fire underneath the suits in Burbank. First Gangster Squad writer Will Beall was given the task of scripting the film that will finally (hopefully) bring all of the big DC comics Titans together on the big screen for the first time. Last week the studio was reportedly eying Ben Affleck to direct with Harry Potter alum David Yates next on their list. Could we be finally seeing this happen? If it does here are some suggestions that I think WB/DC should take into consideration.

Story and Villains
Give the Justice League a full on challenge, not just something like the Injustice Gang plotting to take over the world. Put the whole world in danger and have this be the reason for why they have to team up. Don’t team them up simply because Joker, Luthor, Trickster, and Star Sapphire have joined forces so that means Batman, Superman, Flash and Green Lantern should team up. Throw the team together because Earth is being invaded by Darkseid and his forces from Apokolips. The story from the recent reboot, DC’s “New 52” is perfect for that. Have the Earth be in serious trouble from a real threat. Give us the full fight of the league vs Darkseid. That was my biggest complaint about The Avengers. When you took away all the geek factors and other story parts you essentially had an Alien Invasion movie with no real pay-off at the end. Instead it was a mid credits teaser where the big villain was revealed and now you have to wait presumably until The Avengers 2 to see it. Don’t do that here! Make the league face Darkseid individually and fail then lead up to them fighting together to stop him.

Creative and Personnel
Get the right people involved on the production, Hire Paul Dini and Bruce Timm from every recent memory DC Comics animated series and features to look over scripting and story details. Get Geoff Johns, Grant Morrison, and Dan Jurgens to make sure DC’s interests are kept true to the comic universe. These are key to the process. Warner Brothers need to do what they been doing wrong all these years. Make this a collaborative film, pick the right storylines from the comics to help inspire the story. Now we’ve seen Ben Afflec’sk name come up already in line for the gig though his rep’s reportedly say he has passed (which I don’t believe). My gut tells me he is probably still talking to them. Yes he turned down the Man Of Steel allegedly, but he is obviously impressing people at Warner Brothers with his work. I’m a fan of his directorial work, Gone Baby, Gone and The Town were two of the best crime films I’ve seen in a long time. The guy knows his stuff, but the question remains can he do a big action film. My answer to that would be yes he probably can. He’s worked on those type films as an actor, so he would have had to picked up something along the way (good or bad). He is also a comic book geek so he will know what kind of audience he has to aim the film for as well. I think Affleck’s previous work has earned him a shot. I would also be happy with Warner’s rumored second choice, David Yates. He can make a solid film and has huge spectacle film experience. Some of the action sequences from the Harry Potter films he has directed have been nothing short of excellent. I would hope Warners interviews or talks to a few more directors before anything is made official and I hope we get to hear who they are.

Check out Part 2 of my Justice League Movie Suggestions: Casting the Big Three.

Release Date: August 10, 2012
Studio: Universal
Director: Tony Gilroy
Starring: Jeremy Renner, Edward Norton, Rachel Weisz, Zeljko Ivanek, David Strathairn, Joan Allen, Scott Glenn and Albert Finney.
Plot: Writer/director Tony GIlroy expands the Bourne universe created by Robert Ludlum with an original story that introduces us to a new hero (Jeremy Renner) whose life-or-death stakes have been triggered by the events of the first three films.

Thoughts: Today, Universal looks to keep its very popular Bourne series of action movies alive with The Bourne Legacy. Goodbye Matt Damon and a big welcome to the series to Jeremy Renner, who is the go to guy who was able to stand out next to Tom Cruise in the latest Mission: Impossible and was able to prove that he had the chops to be among Earth’s Mightiest Heroes in Joss Whedon’s The Avengers.

Also gone is director Paul Greengrass, whose shaky/frantic style was seen in The Bourne Supremacy and The Bourne Ultimatum. A lot of people are fans of Greengrass’ style, but personally I hate it and it killed the two sequels to director Doug Liman’s The Bourne Identity, which I thought was a refreshingly good action movie. I look forward to see what Tony Gilroy decides to do with Legacy. He wrote the scripts for all of the Bourne movies, so he knows the characters and story inside out, and his direction in Michael Clayton was award caliber.  He knows how to put an audience on the edge of their seat and keep them there for a thrill ride. Lets hope that he can do the same in The Bourne Legacy. I know that Universal is at the edge of their seats.

With the recent rumors of Ben Affleck sliding into the director’s chair for a big budget Justice League movie (I’ll believe it when I see it), lets take a look at some of the possible villains that the DC Comics heroes might faceoff against.

Starro. We might as well start at the beginning with the first villain that the League faced off against, Starro the Conqueror. Created way back in 1960 in Brave and the Bold #28, Starro has had a very long career of giving the Justice League headaches (literately, he grows little parasite starfish that latch onto their heads and takes control of their bodies). Visually Starro is a little goofy- he is a giant purple and blue starfish with a target logo as an eye and, oh, did I mention he can fly and shoot energy blasts? Yeah, he was born in the silver age of comics where everyone had a smorgasbord of powers. In story terms, Starro could do a lot to help push the Justice League together. Nothing rallies the troops better than an alien that comes to earth and enslaves humans. Even better, Starro can pit the Justice League against each other by taking control of their bodies. He can help fans finally decide who would win in a fight, Superman or Batman? Green Lantern or Flash? Visually, that aspect could be a lot of fun (maybe have the parasites latch onto the heroes backs or go inside their bodies as to not cover their faces).

Black Adam. In terms of power level and personality, Black Adam flies above the pack of possible Justice League villains. Single handed, he could take out each individual League member and could give them a pretty impressive battle all together as well. A team of archaeologists accidentally awaken the ancient Egyptian prince named Teth-Adam, who proceeds to assert his power over the people to declare himself King Black Adam of the world. After taking out each of the Justice League members in their own cities (and countries like Atlantis and Themyscira), the heroes must ban together to distract Black Adam long enough so they can find a way to awaken the legend known as Captain Marvel- the key to which might be a little boy named Billy Batson. Sure it is a Captain Marvel/Shazam origin story, but who is to say that something like that couldn’t tie all of the heroes together and give them purpose. In terms of visuals, Black Atom is a powerful villain and the lightening effects alone while he fights could be a real visual treat (especially in 3D). With people used to DC heroes fighting Lex Luthor, the Joker, and evil clouds (why Green Lantern movie, why?), Black Adam could give the team a villain that is as powerful and charismatic as they are. On the other hand, Black Adam might just be a bit too similar to the Avenger’s Loki with Captain Marvel as his Thor.

Darkseid. Enough is enough with all of the cameos, hints to bigger threads, etc. Do you know who would have been a cooler villain then Loki for The Avengers? Thanos. Instead we got a weaker threat and more set up. With Warner Brothers and DC Comics jumping right into Justice League without a series of solo movies, why don’t they jump right ahead to the biggest thread of the DC Universe, Darkseid and Apokolips. Not only could he take down the Justice League on his own, making him the highest level of threat, but he has a planet of warriors created by comic legend Jack Kirby that could also take down the Justice League. Superman The Animated Series did an awesome multiple episode Darkseid invasion, and now imagine that live action and with the whole Justice League. You have seven heroes standing against an army with super powerful generals (Desaad, Godfrey, Granny Goodness, Mantis, Female Furies to name a few) and a warlord who is one of the most powerful beings in the universe. Don’t use Justice League to hype of future movies, let the s#it hit the fan from the get go and prove why the Earth (and universe) needs the Justice League.

THE BOOK OF ELI
I finally got around to watching this 2010 post-apocalyptic movie, and I wanted to like this one. I really did. Don’t get me wrong, the cinematography was great and the visual appeal was there, the casting was spot on with real talent (Denzel Washington, Gary Oldman, Mila Kunis), but when it is all said and done, this movie just wasn’t very good.

It is a film that tries to build to something great, pulling the audience through clever twists, all the while being a thought provoking idea- only it fails on all levels and I place the blame squarely on the script. This film could have been something so much more and I hate all of the potential that was wasted here. Washington, Oldman, and The Hughes Brothers have done better work. If only they kept rewriting the script to beef up the actual content maybe this film would’ve been good. As it is, it is “meh” at best and I would not recommend it.

Want to watch a post apocalyptic film? Go see something else, anything else, just don’t watch this. Not worth your or anyone else’s time, because time is more valuable then this film.

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You can check out our full crop of Mini-Movie Reviews by heading over to this link. Don’t forget to post below to let us know your thoughts on The Book of Eli!

In the comics right now The Avengers are facing off with the X-Men, but come 2015 they might be facing off with the Justice League as both Marvel Studios and Warner Brothers are gearing up new film versions of the beloved superheroes. Fresh news has broken this past week on both properties.  Lets start with Marvel…

It is official! Joss Whedon will be returning to write and direct The Avengers 2 for Marvel Studios for release in the summer of 2015. In addition to this very large duty, the fan favorite director will also be developing a television series ele Marvel and ABC that takes place in the Marvel movie universe. All of this is part of an exclusive deal that Whedon signed with Marvel that will extend their working relationship through 2015. Deals like this are very common with comic book writers/artists with publishers and used to be the norm in Hollywood, but these days it is very rare. Who might the television series focus on? Could it be the long in development Hulk show? Or how about Cloak and Dagger? Maybe a series that Whedon took a crack at writing in comic form, like The Runaways? Black Panter, Doctor Strange, Heroes for Hire with Luke Cage and Iron Fist… the possibilities are endless. And if they can get a big screen Avenger to appear during sweeps, you better believe record setting ratings will follow.

Rumors are also swirling that Marvel Studios is negotiating with Fox in regards to the rights of Daredevil and Fantastic Four characters. Fox is looking to extend their rights to make another Daredevil movie, and Marvel is willing to play ball as long as Fox reverts the rights to a few cosmic characters from the Fantastic Four, including Galactus and the Silver Surfer (both of which were butchered in Fox’s awful FF: Rise of the Silver Surfer). We’ll have to wait and see if this is legit. Worse case is that it is not, but in the very least it looks like Marvel will be getting the rights to Daredevil back soon enough.

Over at Warner Brothers, with Man of Steel heading into theaters next summer, the studio is trying push forward to a Justice League film sooner rather than later. Hopefully it will tie into Man of Steel and also connect to the Ryan Reynolds Green Lantern. A script has already been written by Will Beall (writer of Gangster Squad and a handful of Castle epsiodes) and Variety reports that the WB is sending it out to Ben Affleck to consider directing and co-starring in it. Deadline Hollywood denies that Affleck has any interest in the project, but this will be a wait and see type of deal. Affleck, who starred in Daredevil and was one of the actors at the top of the list to play Superman for the aborted Tim Burton Superman Lives, could have interest in the genre and Justice League would be the ultimate superhero film. As for which role he’d take? I have no idea…

The 4th, previously unknown, Mortal Kombat DLC character has been revealed and it is a pretty interesting choice, non other than horror icon Freddy Krueger. Yeah, I’m not kidding here, the master of nightmares is now a playable character in Mortal Kombat. He joins previously released DLC characters Rain, Kenshi, and Skarlet, all of which have appeared in past Mortal Kombat games in some form or another. Krueger has gotten ready for a kombat by adding a second glove with finger knives. I just hope he has the power to summon a giant snake demon to devour your opponents or a phone to lick them through. Freddy will set you back $4.99 when he is released on August 9th.

It looks like the long awaited Dumb & Dumber sequel (we don’t count the horrid prequel) might happen afterall. A few weeks ago it looked like it was dead in the water after Jim Carrey walked away from the project, but that might not be so according to Carrey’s co-star from the original, Jeff Daniels. Daniels spoke during the TCA panel for his HBO show, The Newsroom, saying “Jim wants to do it. I want to do it. The Farrelly’s want to do it… The Farrellys wanted more work done on it so they got working on it and I think last week they decided to push the shooting of it to next year, possibly because I wasn’t going to move [shooting for] The Newsroom.” The Farrelly brothers have been very hit of miss the past few years, so I’m totally cool with them taking the time to do this project right.

America’s Got “Drama”? Reality competition judge Sharon Osbourne has abruptly quit NBC’s America’s Got Talent and has accused NBC of discrimination against her son Jack and firing him from the upcoming reality series Stars Earn Stripes due to him revealing he has MS. The NBC chairman, Robert Greenblatt, has fired back, saying “Although we did not ask Jack to participate in the competition, we were able to offer him two substantial alternative roles on the show, both of which he declined. This network does not discriminate on any basis.” He also said that “Stars Earn Stripes that requires dangerous water stunts, strenuous physical activity and uses live ammunition- we required all potential participants to undergo medical vetting to ensure that they could safely participate.” That sounds pretty reasonable and I think Sharon might just be overreacting. Without America’s Got Talent, what reality series will she scurry off to next?

Today is the magic day. After years of rumors and a never fading hope from fans, Arrested Development is back in production today! The whole cast, including Jason Bateman, Jeffrey Tambor, Portia de Rossi, David Cross, Jessica Walter, Will Arnett, Michael Cera, Alia Shawkat and Tony Hale, are all expected to return along with the “voice” of the series, Ron Howard. Mitch Hurwitz will once again be providing the words for the Bluth family. All 10 new episodes will be released only on Netflix at some point in 2013 and I can not wait. A big screen Bluth adventure is expected to follow the new season.

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