Two years ago, Sylvester Stallone parlayed the momentum of his comeback successes of “Rocky Balboa” and “Rambo” into the start of a new franchise, “The Expendables”. Featuring a virtual who’s who of aging action stars, “The Expendables” dealt up a heaping portion of carnage and camaraderie and proved to be surprisingly enjoyable movie. It was also successful enough to warrant a sequel.
For the return engagement, Stallone recruits additional semi-retired movie heroes (Jean-Claude Van Damme and Chuck Norris), and expands the roles of pals Arnold Schwarzenegger and Bruce Willis. But would it be enough to support an already thin concept?
Fear not, “Expendables” fans, “The Expendables 2” more than delivers on its B-movie promise of bullets, blood, and bromance.
Based on a novel by Suzanne Collins, “The Hunger Games” is the first of a planned trilogy of films revolving around a futuristic society that holds a televised annual celebration featuring children pitted against each other in a fight to the death.
Unfamiliar with the source material, and frankly, a little underwhelmed by the promotional campaigns (at least in proportion with the pre-release hype), I went in to “The Hunger Games” with little to no expectations.
I left highly enthused, though.
“The Hunger Games” is a gripping drama that builds a lavishly detailed setting, unfolds a clear and interesting narrative, gets you highly invested the protagonist, and then lets the games begin.