The Expendables 2 delivers on every single insane promise you can imagine. It is loud, stupid, funny, and filled with lots of over the top action. It lets some of the world’s most famous action actors chew the same pieces of scenery. The first film did some of that, but was mostly just boring, getting caught up in a bland story. In this sequel, directed by Simon West (Con Air), there’s definitely some of that bland story, and the dialogue is much worse than that of the first film. But when that is juxtaposed with gory, boisterous action set pieces that include exploding heads, flying knives, plane crashes, boat crashes and guns of all shapes and sizes, it’s forgivable and fun.

Adding to the success is a cast that’s even better this time around, as Chuck Norris and Jean Claude Van Damme join the already awesome line-up of Sylvester Stallone, Jason Statham, Dolph Lundgren, Terry Crews, Jet Li and Randy Couture. Oh, and Bruce Willis and Arnold Schwarzenegger‘s roles are expanded this time too. West hasn’t reinvented the wheel with The Expendables 2, he’s just shined it up real nice, put spikes and skulls on it and rolled it through the mud. So far, it’s the best action film of the year. Read More »

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Today’s Sequel Bits is full of fighters, whether they be well-meaning brutes, cuddly panda bears, starving teenagers, or ’80s action stars. After the jump:

  • Jennifer Lawrence will make a whole lot of money for Catching Fire
  • Mickey Rourke is in talks to reprise play Marv again for Sin City 2
  • DreamWorks’ Kung Fu Panda 3 will be a Chinese co-production
  • Broken Lizard guy says Super Troopers 2 could shoot this year
  • Expendables 2 brings you a motorcycle crashing into a chopper
  • Frank Marshall still has no plans for more Back to the Future

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After months of high-intensity buzz, casting on The Hunger Games: Catching Fire is finally nearing an end. One of the last remaining roles has just been filled by Sons of Anarchy actor Patrick St. Esprit, who’ll play District 12 Peacekeeper Romulus Thread. St. Esprit joins an impressive class of franchise newcomers that also includes Philip Seymour Hoffman, Amanda Plummer, Jena Malone, Sam Claflin, Tony Shaloub, and Lynn Cohen. Read more after the jump.

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‘The Expendables 2′ Theatrical Trailer

We’ve seen two teaser trailers for Simon West’s sequel to The Expendables — well, one teaser, and one trailer for this trailer. But now we’ve got an actual trailer, with actual footage showing some of what happens when you put Sylvester Stallone, Jason Statham, Jet Li, Dolph Lundgren, Terry Crews, Randy Couture, Jean-Claude Van Damme, Chuck Norris, Liam Hemsworth, Bruce Willis, and Arnold Schwarzenegger in the same movie.

I don’t think there’s anything else I can say here; see the trailer below. (Header image is, sadly, not from the trailer. Consider it a bonus.) Read More »

Setting a director to make The Hunger Games sequel Catching Fire turned out to be a little more complicated for Lionsgate than was originally expected. While Gary Ross was first thought to be fully set to reprise his directorial duties after making the smash first film, he moved on to other jobs. After casting about for follow-up options, Lionsgate made an offer to I Am Legend, Constantine and Water For Elephants director Francis Lawrence.

Today Lawrence has signed to make Catching Fire. The film will start shooting in the fall, and “Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, and Liam Hemsworth will reprise their roles as Katniss, Peeta and Gale, with Lenny Kravitz, Elizabeth Banks, Stanley Tucci, Donald Sutherland, Toby Jones, and Woody Harrelson also returning to their respective roles.” The release date remains November 22, 2013.

Read the full press release below. Read More »

Music, release dates, expanded roles, clips and interviews. It’s all in this edition of Sequel Bits. After the jump read about:

  • Pitbull, not Will Smith, will be doing the theme song to Men in Black III. A nation weeps.
  • Liam Hemsworth talks about how his expanded role in The Hunger Games sequel, Catching Fire, didn’t change this performance plus Expendables 2.
  • A new clip has been released from Wrath of the Titans featuring Liam Neeson and Ralph Fiennes.
  • Kermit the Frog and Walter discuss Jason Segel‘s departure from The Muppets 2.
  • Warner Bros. gives official Summer 2013 release dates to The Hangover Part III and 300: Battle of Artemisia.

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After months — really years — of waiting, The Hunger Games are almost here. And with positive early buzz (including Germain’s glowing review) just adding to the hype, the Lionsgate marketing machine is heading into the final push with yet another Hunger Games clip. Following a previously released scene which saw Peeta (Josh Hutcherson) making his very public move on Katniss (Jennifer Lawrence), the new clip explores the bond between longtime pals Katniss and Gale (Liam Hemsworth) as they say their farewells before she heads into the Games. Watch it after the jump.

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After trying her hand at comedy, horror, romance, family film, and drama, Emma Roberts is now moving into the thriller genre with Dito Montiel‘s Empire State. Based on a real-life heist, Adam Mazer‘s screenplay centers around a pair of longtime pals in Astoria, NY who devise a plan to rob an armored car. Liam Hemsworth is one of the friends; the other has not been cast. Dwayne Johnson is also set to star, as an NYPD detective on the case, while Roberts will play a waitress, the requisite love interest role for Hemsworth.

Roberts, who recently appeared in the Sundance dramedy Celeste and Jesse Forever, is currently shooting the indie comedy Adult World with John Cusack. Empire State will enter production this spring. [Variety]

After the jump, a current Bond girl becomes an influential world leader.

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