Customer Reviews: The Expendables [Blu-ray + DVD + Digital Copy]
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on December 15, 2011
The 114 minute extended director's cut of Sylvester Stallone's 2010 action extravaganza "The Expendables" is a more deep, well rounded and satisfying version of the film that was already a great deal of fun in its original 103 minute theatrical cut. I'm usually wary of so called "extended" or "unrated" cuts of modern movies as they usually just involve shoehorning back in deleted scenes that were cut out for a reason.

The director's cut of The Expendables isn't that at all. As Sly himself states in a great introduction to the new blu-ray of his film, he basically started from scratch and re-edited the movie from the ground up to what his original vision and intention of the film was from the outset. He says that he liked the theatrical cut but that he loves the director's cut. I completely agree with him!

One thing that really stuck out to me is that the theatrical cut was edited in such a way that the majority of the film seemed to be focused much more on Sly and Jason Statham's characters. That is completely understandable since they were really the box office draw (in addition to the Bruce Willis and Schwarzenegger cameos). One of the criticisms of the theatrical cut that a lot of people had was that the other members of the Expendables team weren't given as much room to breathe and seemed kind of short changed in terms of getting to know who they all were better.

This has been completely rectified in the extended director's cut as all of the other characters get nice additional moments that really brings a sense of how they work as a team better than the theatrical cut did at times. The director's cut seems to have a lot more heart and soul now than it did in the theatrical cut. While I still prefer the theatrical cut of his 2008 film "Rambo" to the extended director's cut as I didn't agree with a lot of the additions that he put back in, I completely agree with his decisions on this new director's cut of The Expendables. So if you're a big fan of the film as I was, it's worth it picking it up as most places only have it for 15 dollars right now. None of the additions slow down the pacing of the film in my opinion and instead greatly enrich it. There's also more humor in this cut too that doesn't seem forced and makes the characters even more likeable.

The one thing that I need to mention is that the excellent Stallone commentary track wasn't carried over to this release which makes sense as he did that one for the theatrical cut. He didn't though record a new commentary track for the director's cut as he's knee deep in making the sequel at the moment. The exhaustive Inferno documentary has been carried over but all of the other extras from the theatrical cut blu-ray like the post production featurette and the hilarious 2010 Comic-Con panel are missing in action. I particularly liked on the director's cut blu ray the 20 minute interview with Sly going over his career particularly as a director. I would just switch out the extended cut blu-ray with the pointless digital copy disc in the original 3 disc release and make your own sort of deluxe edition of The Expendables. If you haven't seen the film yet and are wanting to check it out, I recommend the director's cut over the theatrical cut as it is a better version of the film. I view this new release as much moreso complementing the original release rather than replacing it.

Highly recommended and I can't wait for The Expendables 2 in August 2012! BRING ON THE EXPLOSIONS!!!
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on October 30, 2010
Oh man was this a fun movie!

At one point I leaned over to one of my buddies and said, "Best. Movie. Ever." Really. Actually, it probably isn't the best movie ever. But it was a nice throwback to the good old days of 80's movies that I grew up watching with the cheesy Schwarzenegger one-liners and over the top violence where the good guy wins and the bad guy meets his maker in some ridiculous way.

There are some over the top visuals that make it worth seeing and hearing; the sound was pretty amazing. And by amazing, I mean loud. Explosions you can feel in your bowels and that's not just the beef and bean burrito from lunch talkin' either. Better than they could do in the Eighties.

They missed out on a rematch w/ Lundgren and Stallone. I kept waiting for Lundgren to say, "I will break you" to someone but it never happened. The Schwarzenegger cameo was cool, but he should have thrown someone out of a window or something. Not happening these days. Same w/ Willis; he really has no part in this and didn't seem too menacing to me which was also disappointing. However, the rest of the cast delivered cases of canned butt-whoopin' as if they were FedEx.

Here's a typical scene. Statham kicks the tar out of a bunch of knuckleheads: in front of his ex-girlfriend who is dating one of said knuckleheads who, predictably, smacks her around. Too bad for Knucklehead that her ex has more than a passing interest in her and happens to be in a bad mood when he learns of the abuse. Bam. Pow. Smack. Insert one-liner, get the girl back, ride off unharmed w/ hottie on the motorcycle. I think people actually cheered at the fight choreography. I mean, the whole movie is like this. It's brilliant.

There are some good comic bits but really, it is simply a throwback movie done with bigger, badder explosions and a lot of your favorite tough guys from the era when action actors were immensely rugged dudes. Muscles ruled, brains, not so much.

5 stars because I can't imagine that they could have recaptured the fun from the Eighties in a better way than they did here. Don't take it seriously and enjoy it for what it is.
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on December 25, 2011
Sometimes Director's Cuts don't make that much of a difference ............
But in this case, the Director's Cut takes EXPENDABLES to a much higher level !!

Now I can like EXPENDABLES much better and never watch the theatrical version again.

Improvements -------

1) More character development

2) better choice of backing music

3) different bad guys in opening ship scene

4) got rid of the choppy edited fight scenes and returned a more complete natural action to the fight scenes so that you can now actually follow what is going on.
Much longer and complete fight scenes

5) More interplay between characters .. more comradarie

It is almost like a totally different movie

Seeing this Director's Cut, I can't understand why they ever released the original Theatrical Version like it was.

By comparison the original version looks like what happens when they put a movie on TV and edit the heck out of it to avoid ratings problems.

Without question .......... EXPENDABLES Director's Cut is 100% better !

I was not a big fan of the original release as I found it kind of shallow and nothing more than boom and pow.

But this Director's Cut really makes it a better movie
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on December 1, 2010
I wanted to like this movie, I really do. For me, like for most posters on this board, this movie provides a dose of 80's nostalgia and a chance to watch our favorite actions heroes strut their stuff one more time. Sly Stallone, despite his once iconic status, has not really been a heavy hitter for quite some time. So the prospect of seeing him stage a possible comeback is another incentive to see this movie.

The result, however, is quite disappointing. Despite a strong cast and not-quite-so-shabby performances, the movie never provided me with the adrenaline rush I was expecting from a movie of this type. That is due to both the lackluster storyline and the poorly-edited action sequences. There are some nice moments between Stallone and Jason Statham that recalls some of the best buddy movies, and the explosions are louder than ever. But for the most part,the action sequences are less satisfying than they could have been because Stallone chose to employ the quick cuts that are so popular in the action genre noawadays, but which only made the action scenes that much more confusing to figure out. A lot of times I would have to wait until the dust have settled after a big fight to figure out what has just happened and who is left standing at the end of it. Also, the under-use of Jet Li in this movie is just criminal. This movie really belongs to Stallone and Statham; and for many of Li's big scenes either Stallone and Statham would be called upon to save him at the end. The sole purpose of Li's participation only seems to be to provide the movie with its third big name star. But what is the point of using someone like Jet Li if you're not going to give him a chance to do what he does best?

So in conclusion, while this movie could have been a lot worse, it could also have been a lot better. Word is that a sequel is already in the works. Here's hoping that the 2nd movie is a lot more satisfying than the first one.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon September 3, 2010
The Expendables is good old-fashioned dumb fun in the style of 80's invincible, one-man-army action movies-- you know the kind: impossible odds, endless streams of bullets, useless enemy soldiers who can't shoot the broad side of a barn, and tons of stuff blowing up, whether it needs to or not. If you're here, you came to see the action sequences and the ensemble cast of your favorite action film veterans, not for the spaghetti-thin plot. Once again, the good guys have to rescue the girl. The names are forgettable and the story of a corrupt South/Central-American dictator is pretty much just an excuse for the great fight sequences, absurd shootouts, car chase, and other ridiculously over-the-top stunts and shenanigans. In one scene, for example, the bad guys get strafed from above by the Expendables' seaplane by Lee Christmas (Jason Statham) sitting in a exposed nose turret, then doused with gasoline and the entire dock gets set ablaze with a flare gun, accompanied by a requisite explosion.

The cast includes some of today's hottest action stars (and some nearly forgotten ones of yesteryear), including Jason Statham (Crank, the Transporter), Jet Li, MMA fighter Randy Couture, WWF superstar Steve Austin, Mickey Rourke, as well as a cameo from Bruce Willis and Arnold. As a result of all this star power, character development suffers and most of the characters are not fleshed out. We get some back-story about knife-expert Christmas and retired Expendables tattooman Tool (Rourke), but most of the other characters get nothing to work with. I even had trouble remembering some of their names after the movie was over. There are also some very unfunny short jokes aimed at Jet Li's character, Yin Yang.

Former NFL player Terry Crews (Everybody Hates Chris: The Complete Series,White Chicks), one of my favorite character actors, is always a pleasure to watch. Here, he is the AA-12 automatic shotgun wielding terror. He brings a shot of energy and comic presence to the film, even if it's for a very short moment: "You know, the enemy will always be terrified of noise. Especially shotguns. With this big boy spittin' out 250 rounds a minute, you tell me who's tolerating that." Even with so few lines, he manages to bring a smile to my face. This is the exception, however. Most of the dialog in this film is corny, forced, and delivered with awkward timing and the finesse of a sledgehammer. Dolf Lundgren and Sly Stallone are as unintelligible as ever, if not more. They haven't aged a day, thanks to the miracle of plastic surgery. Some of their dialog, I really had to strain to understand what they were trying to say, not that what they say matters because it's all terribly unimportant. The scene where Willis, Arnold and Stallone meet in a church is brutally stiff. I've seen better delivery from my pizza man. It really was painful to watch the clumsy exchange. Stone Cold Steve Austen is stone cold dead in this film, being nothing more than a big goon who beats people up. He has zero stage presence.

This is mindless summer fun that's inconsequential and requires absolutely no expenditure of brain cells. I do take issue with the way many of the fight sequences are shot and edited, making it difficult to see the action. Jerky camera and fast cuts make it hard to follow what's going on, leaving me a bit disoriented. Other than that and the already mentioned lack of character depth, this movie was entertaining for what it is. It doesn't pretend it's something more than a guns-blazing summer action flick. As I often say for movies like this, leave your brain at the door and enjoy!
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on December 4, 2011
Hello everyone. I am so happy to say, that I was able to watch the Director's Cut version of THE EXPENDABLES before it even made it to Blu Ray. And all I can say is that it is REALLY GOOD. I loved this version more than the theatrical version. The opening credits is totally different from the original theatrical version and it really was very cool and it really sets the mode for the film. I felt that this version gave the movie a lot of heart and more depth. Sylvester Stallone is truly one of a kind. He wrote, directed and starred in this film. He is the man that was able to put all these action people together in one film. I totally recommend those of you who enjoyed THE EXPENDABLES, to check out the Director's Cut version. I guarantee you it will not disappoint you :) The sequel for The Expendables is being filmed now as we speak and I think it will be BIGGER, BETTER, and more BAD @$$ :)
Thank you Mr. Stallone for all it is that you do.
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on May 23, 2011
Every once in a while I like to relax with a beer and real "guy" movie. You know, something like Lethal Weapon or Die Hard. So when the expendables came out I thought, "Now, THIS looks like the mother of all guy movies. And it is...if by guy movie you mean a badly written, poorly editied, nonsensical mishmash of action sequences where you don't care if everyone (heroes included) dies in the next ridiculous explosion.

I wanted desperately to like this movie. With so many top names in action you'd think it would be great. There is even a brief cameo by Schwarzenegger as Stallone's long lost rival. I enjoyed the way those two played off of each other and hinted at a few of their other movies in the dialogue but it wasn't enough to really make me smile. Most of the time I felt as though the movie was saying, "Look! We got all these cool actions stars! Isn't that neat?!" as if that was enough to make me forget how awful the movie was.

Movies like this seem to forget that we need to care about the characters first and then they can take us on a ride. We as audiences can forgive an awful lot if we care about the characters. For instance I wanted to care when Statham's character was so distraught over his girlfriend dumping him that he can't throw his trademark knives straight but honestly all I could think was "who are these people?!". These are set pieces, not characters. They are defined by their weapons and visual traits. You've got the "Big Black Guy with a Big Gun", the "Asian Guy who knows kung-fu" the "Giant Guy", the "Knife Guy", the "Tattoo Guy". For villains you've got the "Evil White Guy in a Suit", the "Generic Hispanic Dictator/General". There is even a "Damsel in Distress" who we never really feel is in distress but rather, patiently waiting for the end of her scenes.

A word on editing styles. I know it has become popular to mimic the "shaky cam" action sequences in the "Bourne" movies but it must be done well to succeed. In "Bourne" the camera may have been shaky but we still had a sense of timing and flow. We felt every hit, cringed at every injury. In Expendables what you get is so many cuts to so many different angles in such rapid succession that your eyes get tired and your mind wanders. You start thinking random thoughts like, "I wonder what my cholesterol is?" "I should be doing laundry today" "I wonder if Guinea pigs make good pets?"

Now the CG. If you can tell, instantly, that every knife that one character throws is CG, then you need to re-animate those scenes. There was not one believable piece of Cg in this entire movie. To give an idea of quality think made for SyFy network Sunday afternoon monster movie.

In all, this was a disappointing sleepwalk through nonsense and clichés. Between this and the latest Rambo movie I think Stallone should hang up his spurs.
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on May 19, 2015
Yeah, I knew this was terrible going into it. I was hoping for guns and explosions. I was hoping for just BROaction. I didn't get very much of any of it. It wanted to be an 80's action film but was more of a "me too", "I'm in this too and made action movies too!" film. Don't waste your time on this film. Go watch Predator or Commando.
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HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICEon November 16, 2010
Those going into The Expendables should know what they're getting beforehand: a knock-down, over the top 80s throwback action blast that represents some of the best qualities of the 80s action flicks that star/director Sylvester Stallone made famous. Stallone stars as Barney, leader of a team of mercenaries (which also includes Jason Statham, Jet Li, Terry Crews, Randy Couture, and Dolph Lundgren) that gets way in over their heads when employed to overthrow a South American dictator (Dexter's David Zayas) and the beyond bad crew (Eric Roberts and Steve Austin) pulling the strings behind the scenes. Story and dialogue take second place to the action sequences, which are wonderfully orchestrated and filmed, yet nowhere near as graphic or gut-churning as what Stallone managed to pump out with 2008s Rambo. Not to mention the fact that there are more than a few moments where the film takes itself too seriously, which does detract from the overall notion that this is a bona-fide guilty pleasure kind of action movie that boasts the best throwback action cast, well, maybe ever. Like I said, if the aforementioned cast members aren't enough for you, how about Mickey Rourke, Gary Daniels, and unbilled cameos from Bruce Willis and Arnold Schwarzenegger? Or ample eye-candy in the form of Giselle Itie and Charisma Carpenter? There's just so many feel-good aspects about The Expendables that it soon becomes easy to overlook its flaws, and that in itself is nothing less than an achievement. All in all, if you don't get any amount of enjoyment out of The Expendables, you should check your pulse at the very least.
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on January 13, 2015
Worst movie ever...and not in a good way.
Once a month we have friends over and pick out a 'best-worst movie'. Past results have included such epic failures as Troll 2, Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters, Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal...whatever, and any movie ever made by M. Night Shyamalan. All GREAT-BAD movies! so much.
In short: This movie sucks, even if you are looking for a movie that sucks...
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