REVIEW: THE EXPENDABLES

CAST

Sylvester Stallone (Judge Dredd)
Jason Statham (Safe)
Jet Li (War)
Dolph Lundgren (Universal Soldier)
Eric Roberts (The Dark Knight)
Randy Couture (The Scorpion King 2)
Steve Austin (Damage)
David Zayas (Gotham)
Giselle Itié (On The Road)
Charisma Carpenter (Angel)
Gary Daniels (Bloodfist IV)
Terry Crews (White Chicks)
Mickey Rourke (Sin City)
Bruce Willis (Vice)
Arnold Schwarzenegger (The Terminator)

Eric Roberts and Steve Austin in The Expendables (2010)The Expendables, a group of elite mercenaries based in New Orleans, deploy to the Gulf of Aden to save hostages on a vessel from Somali pirates. The team consists of leader Barney Ross, blades specialist Lee Christmas, martial artist Yin Yang, military veteran Gunner Jensen, weapons specialist Hale Caesar, and demolitions expert Toll Road. Jensen instigates a firefight, causing casualties for the pirates. He then tries to hang a pirate, but Yang stops him when Ross and the team discourage it. Ross reluctantly discharges him from the team. Later, Christmas is upset to discover his girlfriend, Lacy, has left him for another man.Sylvester Stallone and Giselle Itié in The Expendables (2010)Ross and rival Trench Mauser visit “Mr. Church” for a mission. Trench passes the contract to Ross, which is to overthrow dictator General Garza in Vilena, an island in the Gulf of Mexico. Ross and Christmas fly to Vilena for undercover reconnaissance and meet their contact, Sandra, but are discovered. It is revealed that ex-CIA officer James Munroe is keeping Garza in power as a figurehead for his own profiteering operations, while Sandra is revealed to be Garza’s daughter. Ross aborts, but Sandra refuses to leave Vilena. Meanwhile, Jensen approaches Munroe to help and Garza is angered further when Sandra is waterboarded for information by Munroe. Meanwhile, Lacy has been physically abused by her new man, so Christmas beats him and his friends, revealing what he does for a living. Jason Statham in The Expendables (2010)Ross and the group discover that Church is a CIA operative and the real target is Munroe, who has gone rogue and joined forces with Garza to keep the drug money that funds the CIA to himself, but the CIA cannot afford a mission to kill one of their own directly because of bad publicity. Ross meets tattoo expert and friend Tool to express his feelings. Tool makes a confession about letting a woman commit suicide instead of saving her. Ross is then motivated to go back for Sandra alone, but Yang accompanies him. Jensen and hired men pursue them on the road, ending in an abandoned warehouse, where Yang and Jensen fight a second time. Ross shoots Jensen when he attempts to impale Yang on a pipe. Jensen makes amends and gives the layout of Garza’s palace. Ross boards the plane with Yang and finds the rest of the team waiting.Dolph Lundgren, Sylvester Stallone, and Jet Li in The Expendables (2010)They then infiltrate Garza’s compound. Thinking Munroe hired the team to kill him, Garza has his soldiers’ faces painted, preparing them for a fight. The team plants explosives throughout the site but Ross, while saving Sandra, is captured by Munroe’s henchmen. The team saves him and kills the Brit, but is pinned down by Garza’s men as Paine wrestles Ross. Caesar fights back and Paine escapes. Garza finally stands up to Munroe, ordering him out and returning his money. Instead, as Garza rallies his men against the Americans, Munroe kills him and escapes with Paine and Sandra. Garza’s men open fire against the team, who fight their way through, detonating the explosives and destroying the compound. Toll kills Paine by burning him alive while Ross and Caesar manage to destroy the helicopter before Munroe can escape. Ross and Christmas catch up to Munroe, killing him and saving Sandra. Later, Ross gives his mission reward to Sandra to restore Vilena. In the final scene, the team has returned home and are celebrating at Tool’s tattoo parlor with the recovering and now redeemed Jensen. Christmas and Tool play a game of knife throwing, during which Christmas composes a mocking poem about Tool, then throws a bullseye from outside the building.Sylvester Stallone, Jason Statham, and Randy Couture in The Expendables (2010)This was a great film that keeps you glued to your seat, constantly makes you gasp and laugh out loud and leaves you pumping with adrenaline. It was ridiculous and wonderful all at the same time, with more bullets and bombs than Rambo and more fighting than Rocky. This is a must see film for any movie buff or action hero wannabe.

REVIEW: GROWN UPS 2

CAST

Adam Sandler (Jack & Jill)
Kevin James (Paul Blart)
Chris Rock (Rush Hour)
David Spade (8 Simple Rules)
Salma Hayek (Dogma)
Maya Rudolph (Bridesmaids)
Maria Bello (Secret Window)
Nick Swardson (Just Go With It)
Steve Buscemi (Boardwalk Empire)
Tim Meadows (Son of Zorn)
Colin Quinn (Trainwreck)
Jon Lovitz (The Simpsons)
Shaquile O’Neal (Steel)
Oliver Hudson (Scream Queens)
Steve Austin (The Condemned)
Milo Ventimiglia (Heroes)
Cheri Oteri (Scary Movie)
Aly Michalka (Izombie)
Andy Samberg (Brooklyn Nine-Nine)
Taran Kilam (The Heat)
Patrick Schwarzenegger (The Benchwarmers)
David Henrie (How I Met Your Mother)
Will Fortre (MacGruber)
Taylor Lautner (Twilight)

Halston Sage (The Orville)
Alexander Ludwig (Vikings)
Allen Covert (Little Nicky)
Cameron Boyce (Descendants)
China Anne McClain (Black Lightning)
Bobby Moynihan (The Secret Life of Pets)

Three years after the events of the first film, Lenny Feder has relocated his family back to his Connecticut hometown of Stanton where he and his friends grew up. In the film’s opening in the Feder household, Lenny wakes up to find a wild deer standing next to his bed. Lenny tries to get his wife Roxanne to open the window. She wakes up in anger and startles the deer, causing it to urinate all over the bed and on Lenny. The deer runs down the hall and crashes into the bathroom where it runs into Lenny’s eldest son Greg showering scaring him and making the deer urinate on him. It turns out that Lenny’s younger daughter, Becky, left the door open overnight for any animals that wanted to come in. Lenny is able to get the deer out of the house by using Becky’s monkey doll, which rips it apart, devastating her. Greg, Keith, and Becky then go to their last day of school. Roxanne brings up the idea of their family having another baby, but Lenny says their family is perfect as is, upsetting Roxanne.At the Lamonsoff household, Eric Lamonsoff and his wife Sally are at odds with each other over how to raise their children- Sally believes in unwavering support while Eric prefers to be more practical with them, as proven for their son’s bad math skills and daughter’s rambuncious sense in fashion. At the McKenzie household, Kurt surprises his wife Deanne with a thoughtful anniversary present, only to find that she has completely forgotten. Meanwhile, Marcus Higgins is waiting at a train station after receiving a letter from an old girlfriend, who tells him that he has a seventeen-year-old son Braden. Marcus is stunned to see a tattooed, six-foot-tall boy, who turns out to be Braden. Marcus tries to be nice and takes him to school, but Braden shows an immediate dislike toward him, believing that he abandoned him and his mother.After dropping off their kids, Lenny, Eric, Kurt, and Marcus spend the day roaming around town, reminiscing about the amazing summers they used to have when they were kids and Lenny’s childhood bully, Tommy Cavanaugh. Lenny argues that he could take Tommy as a kid and he can still take him. Eventually, the friends go to see Becky’s ballet recital, where Lenny runs into Tommy, whom Lenny is visibly terrified of. Tommy threatens that if Lenny ever lies again about being able to beat him up, he’ll publicly beat Lenny up.Once the kids are out of school, Lenny, Eric, Kurt, and Marcus decide to visit the old quarry, where they used to swim as kids. However, they run into a gang of partying frat boys who force them to jump into the quarry lake naked. Braden, who was partying with the frat boys, witnesses this and goes off to vandalize their frat house. When the frat boys return, they swear to take revenge. Lenny arrives home to help Roxanne set up for a 1980s-themed party for their friends. Meanwhile, Marcus begins to bond with Braden. As all of their friends begin to arrive, Roxanne urges Lenny to consider having another baby. Lenny continues to protest the idea and is left dumbfounded when Roxanne reveals that she is pregnant. Lenny, feeling overwhelmed by this discovery, goes off to drink with his friends. The Feder’s party goes well most of the night until Tommy Cavanaugh shows up and disrespects Lenny in front of everyone, so Lenny challenges Tommy to a fight.In a surprising turn, Tommy decides to take a dive so that Lenny can look tough for his own bullied son, and the two develop a mutual respect. Soon after, the angry frat boys arrive at the house looking for retribution for the damage to their frat house. When they go on to insult the local town residents, Dickie Bailey, Lenny’s old nemesis, points out that Lenny accomplished more in his life than the entire frat put together, inciting a fight. The locals hold their own against the frat boys and eventually send them running away defeated.After all the commotion dies down, the four friends, plus Bailey, have pancakes at Eric’s mom’s house. After sharing an embarrassing photo of him and Bailey in kindergarten (they had been childhood friends before their personal lives drove them apart), Mrs. Lamonsoff reassures Lenny that a new baby is a wonderful thing and eventually he will never be able to imagine life with just three kids (and also mentions that Eric was an accidental baby because she and her husband had sex in the bathroom at a New England Patriots game). Lenny has a change of heart and returns home, telling Roxanne he is sorry and excited about the new baby, and they reconcile.Not as good as the first film but still with some funny moments. Those that enjoyed the first will enjoy this.

 

REVIEW: CHUCK – SEASON 4

 

CAST

Zachary Levi (Heroes Reborn)
Yvonne Strahovski (Batman: Bad Blood)
Adam Baldwin (Firefly)
Joshua Gomez (Invasion)
Sarah Lancaster (Saved By The Bell: The New Class)
Ryan McPartlin (J. Edgar)
Mark Christopher Lawrence (Halloween II)
Scott Krinsky (Transformers 3)
Vik Sahay (eXistenZ)
Bonita Friedericy (Veronica Mars)

RECURRING / NOTABLE GUEST STARS

Mekenna Melvin (Lie To Me)
Linda Hamilton (The Terminator)
Timothy Dalton (Flash Gordon)
Olivia Munn (X-Men: Apocalypse)
Isaiah Mustafa (The Island)
Stacy Keibler (How I Met Your Mother)
Dolph Lundgren (Masters of The Universe)
Summer Glau (Firefly)
Lauren Cohan (The Walking Dead)
Robin Givens (God’s Not Dead 2)
Ray Wise (Robocop)
Richard Chamberlain (Shogun)
Mini Anden (Tropic Thunder)
Larry Cedar (Fear and Loathing In Las Vegas)
Katie Cleary (Tomorrow’s End)
Harry Dean Stanton (Alien)
Mircea Monroe (The Change-Up)
Lou Ferrigno (The Scorpion King 4)
Bronson Pinchot (Lois & Clark)
Karolina Kurkova (G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra)
Nicole Richie (The Simple Life)
Steve Austin (The Expendables)
Armand Assante (Judge Dredd)
Eric Roberts (The Dark Knight)
Dave Bautista (Guardians of The Galaxy)
Joel David Moore (Bones)
Robert Englund (A Nightmare on Elm Street)
Morgan Fairchild (Roswell)
Ana Gasteyer (Mean Girls)
Rob Riggle (21 Jump Street)
James Lew (G.I. Joe: Retaliation)
Monet Mazur (Just Married)
Matthew Willig (Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.)
John Larroquette (The Texas Chainsaw Massacre)
Clare Carey (Hercules: TLJ)
Lesley-Ann Brandt (Lucifer)
Lou Diamond Phillips (Stargate Universe)
Mercedes Mason (The Finder)
Francois Chau (Lost)
David H. Lawrence XVII (Heroes)
Gary Cole (Crusade)
Millicent Martin (Grace and Frankie)

Season three of Chuck found the show getting more serious as it found the main character fully embracing his new life as a spy. Season four continued that streak. When we last left our characters, we were watching the Buy More  going up in flames. Meanwhile, Chuck Bartowski (Zachary Levi) was promising his sister Ellie (Sarah Lancaster) that he would give up the dangerous world of spying.
Chuck
The season four premier picks up several months later. Chuck and his best friend Morgan (Joshua Gomez) are conducting a secret mission of their own. They are attempting to use clues left behind by Chuck’s dad to find Chuck’s mom, a woman who disappeared 20 years ago. When it turns out that Chuck’s former government handers Sarah Walker (Yvonne Strahovski) and John Casey (Adam Baldwin) are on the same hunt, Chuck goes back to work for the CIA. Meanwhile, the CIA rebuilds the Buy More as a continued cover for their Southern California base and giving the old Buy More gang their old jobs back in the process. Morgan begins dating Casey’s daughter. Ellie starts investigating her family history, and she and husband Devon (Ryan McPartlin) announce they are expecting. Plus Chuck and Sarah’s relationship continues to build as they work through various issues.

But that’s nothing compared to what happens when Chuck actually tracks down his mother Mary (recurring guest star Linda Hamilton) who is working for the Russian Alexei Volkoff (recurring guest star Timothy Dalton). Can she be trusted? Or is Chuck about to be hurt worse for having tracked her down? As the season unfolded the twists to the story were interesting, and I spent much of the season wondering exactly which side Mary was really on.

And there are some fun sub-plots to the season. Probably my favorite involves Morgan and Casey. The no-nonsense NSA agent has little patience for Chuck’s bumbling best friend, and the fact that they have to work together on missions is nothing compared to when he realizes that Morgan is dating his daughter. Those moments are priceless. The writers and producers did a good job of developing Chuck and Sarah’s relationship. They have managed to avoid the curse of killing a show when you get the main couple together by developing their relationship and giving them realistic things they need to work on. It’s interesting watching it develop, and I like that.

As always with this show, the acting is top notch. As with last season, the show was originally renewed for 13 episodes and then picked up for a back 11. That means that the first 13 episodes tell their own story with a second story springing off that one in the second half. Even the second half of the season reveals some secrets about the Bartowski family legacy. It also means that this season set includes 24 episodes of the show in original wide screen and full surround. In addition to the gag reel and deleted scenes, there’s a featurette about Zachary Levi stepping behind the camera to direct the Thanksgiving episode as well as a collection of Webisodes featuring Jeff and Lester’s quest for a video game.  The characters are still endearing and the storylines worth watching. If you haven’t caught all of season four, fix that today and prepare for season five.

REVIEW: CHUCK – SEASON 3

CAST
Zachary Levi (Heroes Reborn)
Yvonne Strahovski (Batman: Bad Blood)
Adam Baldwin (Firefly)
Joshua Gomez (Invasion)
Sarah Lancaster (Saved By The Bell: The New Class)
Ryan McPartlin (J. Edgar)
Mark Christopher Lawrence (Halloween II)
Scott Krinsky (Transformers 3)
Vik Sahay (eXistenZ)
RECURRING / NOTABLE GUEST STARS
Bonita Friedericy (Veronica Mars)
Brandon Routh (Legends of Tomorrow)
Scott Holroyd (That 70s Show)
Kristin Kreuk (Smallville)
Scott Bakula (Star Trek: Enterprise)
Mekenna Melvin (Lie To Me)
Mark Sheppard (Supernatural)
Mini Andén (The Proposal)
Julia Ling (Undoing)
Tony Hale (Yoga Hosers)
Vinnie Jones (Arrow)
Armand Assante (NCIS)
Andrew Connolly (Heroes)
Angie Harmon (Law & Order)
Josie Davis (Dirty Teacher)
Steve Austin (The Expendables)
Leslie-Anne Duff (The Vampire Diaries)
Henri Lubatti (Angel)
Swoosie Kurtz (Mike & Molly)
Jim Piddock (The Prestige)
Johnny Messner (Running Scared)
Louis Lombardi (The Usual Suspects)
Diedrich Bader (Bones)
Robert Patrick (Terminator 2)
Clare Carey (Hercules: TLJ)
Roger R. Cross (First Wave)
Fred Willard (Anchorman)
Udo Kier (Blade)
Fahim Anwar (Lie To Me)
Tony Sirico (The Sopranos)
Cedric Yarbrough (The Boss)
Carlos Lacamara (Heroes Reborn)
Jack Guzman (Power Rangers: Wild Force)
Christopher Lloyd (Back To The Future)
Kaliko Kauahi (Superstore)
Peter Jason (They Live)
David Burke (The Tick)

MV5BZTE0MGU3ODItZmVlYi00YTk3LTk5MTAtY2FjMWI2MTVmNjhhXkEyXkFqcGdeQXVyMjYwNDA2MDE@._V1_
The third season actually picks up a few months after the conclusion of season two. Chuck Bartowski (Zachary Levi) has just returned to Burbank after some training that will help him use the enhanced features he got by downloading the intersect 2.0 into his brain. Now, instead of just flashing on information, he can also flash on skills needed like hand to hand fighting or laser avoiding. However, his emotions make these new upgrades glitchy, so his skills can come and go at the most inopportune times. Meanwhile, his CIA handler Sarah Walker (Yvonne Strahovski) is back in town to rejoin the team despite the fact that Chuck broke her heart. NSA handler John Casey (Adam Baldwin) is thrilled that with each new mission, Chuck seems to be becoming a better spy. Sarah, on the other hand, is watching the man she fell in love with slip away behind the new spy Chuck.

And on the home front? Chuck’s best friend Morgan (Joshua Gomez) and Chuck become roommates. Chuck’s sister Ellie (Sarah Lancaster) gets a fellowship she wants while Ellie’s husband Devon, aka Captain Awesome, (Ryan McPartlin) tries to figure out a way to get Ellie out of the dangerous world that Chuck inhabits. The gang at the Buy More is still there to provide some comedy. And we finally learn something that Captain Awesome isn’t awesome at.

Underneath all this is a new group out to get the Intersect and steal all the secrets locked away in Chuck’s mind. Can the group bring them down while keeping Chuck’s true identity a secret?

This show finds the right balance between comedy and drama. The show takes itself seriously enough that we care for the characters and are concerned when they are in danger. But the characters are just as likely to get out of danger by some crazy coincidence as they are by some great bit of action. It’s that unpredictability and humor that keep me loving every minute.
This is such an amazing season well worth watching, if you haven’t seen the first two seasons then I strongly recommend watching them first.