Here we go, another two reviews of previously unseen films. The theme today is...I don't know what the theme is. Umm...wait...how about...no, that wont do...Hmm. Well, I really don't have any reason these two are grouped together other than the pure fact that I watched them both in the same span of time because outside of that, these two films have nothing in common.
Frankenweenie is Tim Burton at his absolute best. He has absolute control over everything shown on screen, and due to the fact that it follows a preplanned out story (the classic tale of Frankenstein), it doesn't get bogged down by a senseless Burton-esque script. No, this is him paying homage to both his past self, the original film that this was based on, and the story of Frankenstein as a whole.
I regret not being able to see this in theaters for the pure fact that, in a year filled with blockbusters, it would have been nice to see a film with some heart on the big screen. It could just be that animated movies have a way certain way with me (you shut up, Lion King is a heart-wrenching tragedy) but there are so many moments in this film that hit an emotional peak, it proves the point that it can still be done in a Pixar world.
The Expendables 2 on the other hand is loads better than the first and that's all I'm really willing to say in terms of positive thoughts. Seriously, this movie was terrible. They added some random characters with no real rhyme or reason. Hell, the inclusion of Liam Hemsworth character was literally to establish and give time to this one person, and then kill him off. That's right, rather than just killing off one of the old characters, they take the time to establish someone then kill him off halfway through. Don't get me wrong, I certainly appreciate them killing off Liam. I agree with that choice in all movies. But here it just comes off as cheap and a way to get the girls to go (judging by the box-office receipts, they didn't).
Of course, the Arnold bit role is great but it's shot so oddly. Both he, Willis and Norris are treated the same way in any scene they are in: "hey look who it is, watch them do something badass then seemingly leave the picture." Only no, they don't leave. They pop up again and again. Thus making the whole stylistic choice surrounding their scenes pointless. Quit treating it like this is the first time we've seen Arnold, this is the third. The audience isn't stupid, quit treating them that way. Hell, with Norris' character the story even revolved around the fact that it was a one-off appearance then he's back in the end! It makes no sense.
The best part is when they scream "I'M OUT!" referring to their ammo. You know, screaming that way anyone within shouting distance can hear that they are out of things to shoot. Kind of like those guys that are shooting AT them. I think you may have just set yourself up for failure there, Mr. Statham.
Statham: "Dammit, they have some kind of telepath. Somehow they keep figuring out when I no longer have bullets!"
Sure, there are some enjoyable set pieces and Van Damme makes for one awesome bad guy, but the good never can quite outshine the bad no matter what. The dialogue is stale, with attempts at further developing these characters coming off as awful banter that a senile Stallone came up with in between workouts.
What I'm trying to say is avoid Expendables 2 no matter what. You thought the original was fun albeit stupid? So did I. This movies just sucks. Just go to youtube, look up all the extended cameos and save yourself some time. Frankenweenie, on the other hand: seek it out. It will be well worth your time, even if you're not a Burton fan. He goes back to the basics and does so with splendid results.