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PLEASE NOTE: Michael D's is currently in READ ONLY MODE. Anything submitted will simply not be written to the database.
Lots of stuff is still broken, but at least reviews can now be looked up and read.
The Expendables 3 (Extended Cut) (2014)

The Expendables 3 (Extended Cut) (2014)

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Released 28-Dec-2012

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Action Featurette-Making Of-The Making of Expendables 3
Rating Rated M
Year Of Production 2014
Running Time 126:06
RSDL / Flipper Dual Layered Cast & Crew
Start Up Ads Then Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By Patrick Hughes

Roadshow Home Entertainment
Starring Sylvester Stallone
Mel Gibson
Jason Statham
Randy Couture
Antonio Banderas
Glen Powell
Jet Li
Ronda Rousey
Dolph Lundgren
Arnold Schwarzenegger
Harrison Ford
Case ?
RPI ? Music Brian Tyler

Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
English Descriptive Audio Dolby Digital 2.0 (224Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 2.40:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 2.35:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English for the Hearing Impaired Smoking Yes
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

     In an exciting pre-credits sequence Barney Ross (Sylvester Stallone), Lee Christmas (Jason Statham), Gunnar (Dolph Lundgren) and Toll Road (Randy Couture) attack a prison train by helicopter , in a welter of gunfire, stunts and explosions and rescue Surgeon (Welsey Snipes), one of the original Expendables who has been imprisoned for eight years. They then join Hale Caesar (Terry Crews) for a job in Mogadishu which goes badly wrong as they are surprised by Stonebanks (Mel Gibson), an old friend of Ross who has gone rogue. The group are defeated and barely escape with their lives, while Caesar is badly wounded.

     Back in the US, Ross meets his new contact Drummer (Harrison Ford) who wants him to go after Stonebanks. Ross agrees but is determined that no more of his old friends will die, so he disbands the Expendables and recruits a new team for the job; Thorn (Glen Powell), Smilee (Kellan Lutz), Luna (Ronda Rousey) and Mars (Victor Ortiz). Initially their plans succeed, but Stonebanks turns the tables and captures the four young recruits. Ross is not prepared to let them die and he is joined by his old team who will not let Ross go into action alone. Aided along the way by Drummer, Trench (Arnold Schwarzenegger), Yin Yang (Jet Li) and Galgo (Antonio Banderas), The Expendables attack Stonebanks’ headquarters. Mayhem ensues.

     For this third Expendables there is another new director. After Stallone and Simon West helmed the first two in the franchise, Australian Patrick Hughes, whose only previous feature was Red Hill (2008), is at the helm; apparently Mel Gibson was offered the job to direct the film as well as act, but he declined. This is certainly a big step up for Hughes and he mostly succeeds, helped no doubt by having the experienced Dan Bradley as 2nd Unit director to cover the action. At 126 minutes, The Expendables 3 is over half an hour longer than The Expendables 2, I guess because more exposition is needed with the recruitment of the new team members. The first couple of action sequences are well staged, spectacular, varied and exciting and it is only the final sequence which feels overlong; with over a dozen principal actors involved, trying to give them all something to do results in a number of chaotic gun, tank, helicopter and hand to hand fights that become repetitive. By this time one just wants to get to the climax and the inevitable fight between Stallone and Gibson!

     Fans of the franchise know what they are going to get in The Expendables 3; action stars from the 1980s strutting their stuff. While the younger actors are OK, and mixed martial artist Ronda Rousey has some great moves, the standouts among those new to the cast are the veterans Antonio Banderas and Mel Gibson who steal every scene they are in. As well, the aging stars seem to be having a great time; most of the banter is funny and the film avoids being too self-referential.

     The Expendables 3 is loud and action packed, with extras being mown down in record numbers. It is also funny, with Stallone and Jason Statham being a great double act. That the newcomers find it hard to get noticed in this company is not surprising as most of the aging stars have been doing their thing, and entertaining us, for decades.

Don't wish to see plot synopses in the future? Change your configuration.

Transfer Quality


     The Expendables 3 is presented in an aspect ratio of 2.40:1, the original ratio being 2.35:1, and is 16x9 enhanced.

     The print is generally very sharp, with good definition of faces in close-up, although some backgrounds can be indistinct. Colours have been manipulated and in some scenes have a glossy, yet washed out look, other times they appear rosy. Blacks and shadow detail are excellent, brightness and contrast does vary, some scenes looking glary, while skin tones are natural.

     The print is without marks as should be expected from a recent film, although there is some minor aliasing.

     English subtitles for the hearing impaired are available.

    The layer change at 44:27 resulted in a slight pause during a scene change.

Video Ratings Summary
Shadow Detail
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts


     Audio is an English Dolby Digital 5.1 track at 448 Kbps. There is also an English descriptive audio for the vision impaired, Dolby Digital 2.0 at 224 Kbps.

     Dialogue is mostly clear although some of the stars mumble. This is a very loud, enveloping audio track, with music, helicopter and tank engines, gunshots, ricochets and crashing debris constantly in the surrounds. Directional and panning effects are frequent and the sub-woofer boomed to support the engines, explosions, the destruction of the building and the music.

     The original music by Brian Tyler is reused from earlier films: it was bombastic and martial, perfectly suiting the film. It was augmented by songs from a range of artists including Steven van Zandt, The Kongos, Linkin Park and Neil Young.

     Lip synchronisation is fine.

     The audio was loud and enveloping, suiting the film.

Audio Ratings Summary
Audio Sync
Surround Channel Use


The Making of Expendables 3 (49:48)

     This featurette is quite varied. It starts out as a “puff piece”; within the first four minutes thirteen different individuals, including four producers and eight cast members, said how great the film was going to be. But then the featurette settled down and topics covered included the director, shooting in Bulgaria, working with Sly, the characters, the new young expendables, the old expendables and scheduling issues. The featurette also includes footage of the cast at Cannes in 2014. There is some on-set footage which is interesting and by the end of the running time comments had come from a total of twenty seven cast and crew; clearly everyone had a blast.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

     All reviews I can find are of the Blu-ray of The Expendables 3. Both US and UK Blu-rays have the Making of we have but add two other minor featurettes, a gag reel, deleted scene and two versions of the film. Our own Region B Blu-ray also is advertised as having these plus a couple of extra featurettes. The only thing I can see about the US Region 1 DVD is that it is the theatrical cut of the film, not the extended cut we have.

     Due to lack of information, perhaps stick to Region 4 for now.


     The Expendables 3 features action sequences that are well staged, loud, spectacular, varied and exciting as well as the usual banter. The film adds a batch of younger actors to the mix but the standouts are still the veterans, including Sylvester Stallone, Jason Statham, Antonio Banderas and Mel Gibson.

     The video is fine, the audio is very good. The extra is worthwhile.

Ratings (out of 5)


© Ray Nyland (the bio is the thing)
Wednesday, January 07, 2015
Review Equipment
DVDSony BDP-S580, using HDMI output
DisplayLG 55inch HD LCD. This display device has not been calibrated. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 1080p.
Audio DecoderNAD T737. This audio decoder/receiver has not been calibrated.
AmplificationNAD T737
SpeakersStudio Acoustics 5.1

Other Reviews NONE