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The Expendables 2 Viewers' Guide
What to watch before (and after) the explosive action sequel

Alongside newcomer Jean-Claude Van Damme, Bruce Willis and Arnold Schwarzenegger are back with a vengeance in The Expendables, increasing the '80s/'90s action heroes involved in Sly Stallone's sequel to approximately… loads. To celebrate all these muscle-bound masters of their art, Empire has trawled their back catalogue for this very special viewers' guide. Be warned, however: excessive viewing of these films may cause testosterone poisoning, pregnancy or a nigh-on unendurable sense of one's own lack of muscle mass.
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Sylvester Stallone Arnold Schwarzenegger Dolph Lundgren Jean-Claude Van Damme Jason Statham Terry Crews Chuck Norris Bruce Willis Jet Li

Before its sequels turned novelist David Morrell's character into a walking bicep with a machine gun attachment, the 1982 debut of the Rambo franchise was a far more intellectually stimulating affair. Essentially a US-set Vietnam confessional, it mixes the action you'd expect with the complicated character development that you wouldn't, Stallone rarely speaking at length until his final breakdown. A first-rate, taught action thriller that still doesn't quite get the respect it deserves.

Though regarded by some as meaningless feel-good schmaltz, 1976's Stallone-scripted triumph would be the greatest boxing movie ever if De Niro and Scorsese delivered the KO to Mr. Balboa four years later. Whether it deserved Best Picture over Network is still a matter of debate, but there's no doubt that Stallone delivers his finest dramatic work as the terrapin-petting, kind-hearted lug who loves his girl and just wants to be a contender – even if he doesn't necessarily always win.

In a world where alcohol, caffeine, contact sports, meat, swearing, sex and guns are disallowed, Stallone and Snipes heap a couple of portions of satire on their usual healthy dose of action. Stallone sends himself up like never before, Snipes behaves like The Fifth Element's Ruby Rhod with a machine gun (and a seriously bad attitude) and Bullock enjoys one of the gruntiest, creepiest, funniest 'sex' scenes in cinematic history. What's more, it contains some of the best Schwarzenegger / Stallone banter out there, with the alarmingly prophetic – perhaps? – reference to the Schwarzenegger Presidential Library...

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1 NOBODYS FOOL is a masterpiece
forget 12 monkeys and pulp fiction the best work on screen he ever did was this really beauty full dramedy with paul newman in 1994 called NOBODYS FOOL watch it please trust me it will make you fall in love with cinema all over again Read More

Posted on Saturday August 18, 2012, 04:39 by bill the butcher

2 "Dark Angel" aka "I Come In Peace" (US Title)
For the record, Dark Angel with Dolph Lundgren has my favourite movie line of all-time. After Dolph and his partner arrest the alien villain, he promptly self-destructs on the back seat of their cop car. "Did you see that?" Dolph says to partner Brian Benben. "Did I see it?" Benben replies, "it nearly blew my fucking face off!" Read More

Posted on Friday August 17, 2012, 21:27 by BenTramer

3 Stallone's Demolition Man is the funniest film he's ever made, far funnier than his alleged comedies like Stop Or My Mom Will Shoot or Oscar. As for First Blood, I totally agree with Empire that it's "a first-rate, taught action thriller that still doesn't quite get the respect it deserves." First Blood was tainted by unproven association with Hungerford spree killer Michael Ryan. The book of First Blood is even better with many things left out that should have been in the movie and would have improved things even more (but DON'T remake it, please!) Read More

Posted on Friday August 17, 2012, 21:12 by BenTramer


Posted on Friday August 17, 2012, 14:45 by colinnaraine

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