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New in Theaters – 8/17/12

16 Aug

The Expendables 2

The Expendables are back and this time it’s personal… Barney Ross (Sylvester Stallone), Lee Christmas (Jason Statham), Yin Yang (Jet Li), Gunnar Jensen (Dolph Lundgren),Toll Road (Randy Couture) and Hale Caesar (Terry Crews) — with newest members Billy the Kid (Liam Hemsworth) and Maggie (Yu Nan) aboard — are reunited when Mr. Church (Bruce Willis) enlists the Expendables to take on a seemingly simple job. The task looks like an easy paycheck for Barney and his band of old-school mercenaries. But when things go wrong and one of their own is viciously killed, the Expendables are compelled to seek revenge in hostile territory where the odds are stacked against them. — (C) Lionsgate

Scott’s Take

Before I saw The Expendables, I hoped for a true throwback to 80’s Stallone/Willis/Schwartzenegger action.  When I walked out of The Expendables I felt like I just had my brain pounded with a sledgehammer.  I hated The Expendables.  I hate the look of The Expendables 2. I hate that you are making me go see this Friday night.  Did I just say that out loud.  I’m getting ready for some trashy one liners and a slew of Chuck Norris jokes.

Steve’s Take

I remember seeing The Expendables before there were a few people who told me it was worth a look. Turns out I wasted a dollar at the Red Box machines. I won’t be fooled again. No, thank you.

ParaNorman

The new 3D stop-motion comedy thriller from animation company LAIKA, reteaming the company with Focus Features after the groundbreaking Academy Award-nominated Coraline. ParaNorman is, following Coraline, the company’s second stop-motion animated feature to be made in 3D. In ParaNorman, a small town comes under siege by zombies. Who can it call? Only misunderstood local boy Norman (Kodi Smit-McPhee), who is able to speak with the dead. In addition to the zombies, he’ll have to take on ghosts, witches and, worst, of all, grown-ups, to save his town from a centuries-old curse. But this young ghoul whisperer may find his paranormal activities pushed to their otherworldly limits. — (C) Focus

Scott’s Take

I’m seeing ParaNorman Thursday evening.  As usual, I will give you a semi-spoiler free review on Friday.  I can say that out of all the films releasing today, ParaNorman is the one I’m most looking forward to seeing.  I don’t know if that says much.

Steve’s Take

I’ve never been a big zombie guy, but I think I’m starting to come around. While I won’t be seeing this movie this weekend, it is a harmless movie that will provide a scare or two for the kids.

The Odd Life of Timothy Green

Director/writer Peter Hedges brings enchantment to the screen with The Odd Life of Timothy Green, an inspiring, magical story about a happily married couple, Cindy and Jim Green (Jennifer Garner and Joel Edgerton), who can’t wait to start a family but can only dream about what their child would be like. When young Timothy (CJ Adams) shows up on their doorstep one stormy night, Cindy and Jim — and their small town of Stanleyville — learn that sometimes the unexpected can bring some of life’s greatest gifts. — (C) Disney

Scott’s Take

The Odd Life of Timothy Green plan to draw you in with its Simon Birch/Benjamin Button title.  Odds are that the movie about a boy sprouting from a couple’s garden won’t reinvent the wheel, but will leave you feeling good about yourself…at least for a day or two.  These days you can’t ask for much more.  I’m half in on Tim Green. Even though I feel it’s going to paint-by-numbers, I will go out on a limb. No pun intended.

Steve’s Take

Hmm…0 for 3 so far for me. Although I won’t be seeing this movie either, I will likely be going to pick it up when it comes out on Blu-ray for my son. He should get a kick out of it by then. By all means, if you have a child that you already take to the movies, go for it! What’s the harm?

Sparkle

Musical prodigy, Sparkle (Jordin Sparks) struggles to become a star while overcoming issues that are tearing her family apart. From an affluent Detroit area and daughter to a single mother (Whitney Houston), she tries to balance a new romance with music manager, Stix (Derek Luke) while dealing with the unexpected challenges her new life will bring as she and her two sisters (Carmen Ejogo and Tika Sumpter) strive to become a dynamic singing group during the Motown-era. — (C) Sony

Scott’s Take

Sparkle looks to be a star making vehicle for Jordan Sparks. It’s probably going to be a movie that will be remembered for the late,great Whitney Houston and the movie that launched Ms. Sparks in to the conversation of young talent you can’t take your eyes off. Once again, haven’t we seen this movie countless times.

Steve’s Take

No, thank you! Hollywood – please make it stop!!

The Awakening

Set in London in 1921, Florence Cathcart (Rebecca Hall), author of the popular book “Seeing Through Ghosts,” has devoted her career to exposing claims of the supernatural as nothing but hoaxes. Haunted by the recent death of her fiancé, she is approached by Robert Mallory (Dominic West) to investigate the recent death of a student at the all-boys boarding school where he teaches. When students at the school report sightings of the young boy’s ghost, she decides to take on the case. Initially, the mystery surrounding the ghost appears nothing more than a schoolboy prank, but as Florence continues to investigate events at the school, she begins to believe that her reliance on science may not be enough to explain the strange phenomenon going on around her. — (C) Cohen Media Group

Scott’s Take

The Awakening looks like your standard fare ghost story along the lines of The Orphanage and The Woman in Black.  I will be checking it out this weekend because I am intrigued by Rebecca Hall.  I loved her in Ben Affleck’s The Town, and there is a major shortage of decent horror movies. I can’t remember the last time I saw a GREAT horror film.  Not that I think The Awakening will be great, but maybe it will hold us over until we get something great. I’m talking to you Paranormal Activity 4.   Sigh…..Yeah we are all screwed.

Steve’s Take

I don’t have a problem with this one, but my wife will. Scott, can I tag along??

Next Week

There you have it.  The last of the Summer Movie hopefuls.  Next week we start to roll out the movies studios want to dumb because they weren’t good enough to occupy a slot in the summer, and with films with big dreams of Oscar gold in sight, it’s time to cut the dead weight.  We have the awful looking Hit and Run with Bradley Cooper, Joseph Gordon Levitt as a bike messenger in the energy drink sounding Premium Rush, and last and definitely least, the low-budget horror film The Apparition.  Enjoy your weekend and get ready for those school zones come Monday morning!

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