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post #1 of 146 Old 11-16-2014, 07:37 AM - Thread Starter
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The Expendables 3 (Blu-ray) Official AVSForum Review



Check out our review of the latest edition of the popular franchise as the new mission becomes a clash of classic old-school style versus high-tech expertise when The Expendables find themselves in their most personal battle yet.



The Review at a Glance:
(max score: 5 )

Film:

Extras:

Audio/Video total rating:
( Max score: 100 )

93



Details:

Studio and Year: LionsGate - 2014
MPAA Rating: PG-13/Unrated
Feature running time: 126/131 minutes
Genre: Action

Disc Format: BD-50
Encoding: AVC
Video Aspect: 2.40:1
Resolution: 1080p/24

Audio Format(s): English Dolby Atmos, Dolby TrueHD 7.1, Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1
Subtitles: English, English SDH, Spanish
Starring: Sylvester Stallone, Jason Statham, Dolph Lundgren, Harrison Ford, Jet Li, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Terry Crews, Randy Couture, Antonio Banderas, Wesley Snipes, Kelsey Grammar, Mel Gibson, Kellan Lutz, Ronda Rousey, Glen Powell, Victor Ortiz, Robert Davi
Directed by: Patrick Hughes
Music by: Brian Tyler
Written by: Sylvester Stallone, Creighton Rothenberger, Katrin Benedikt
Region Code: A

Blu-ray Disc release Date: November 25, 2014


"New team. New attitude. New mission…"


My Take:

Barney (Stallone), Christmas (Statham) and the rest of the team come face-to-face with Conrad Stonebanks (Gibson), who years ago co-founded The Expendables with Barney. Stonebanks subsequently became a ruthless arms trader and someone who Barney was forced to kill... or so he thought. Stonebanks, who eluded death once before, now is making it his mission to end The Expendables -- but Barney has other plans. Barney decides that he has to fight old blood with new blood, and brings in a new era of Expendables team members, recruiting individuals who are younger, faster and more tech-savvy. The latest mission becomes a clash of classic old-school style versus high-tech expertise in the Expendables' most personal battle yet.

The Expendables 3, boasts the biggest ensemble yet and features an all-star cast of iconic action veterans and new recruits including Sylvester Stallone, Jason Statham, Jet Li, Antonio Banderas, Kelsey Grammer, Wesley Snipes, Dolph Lundgren, Randy Couture, Terry Crews, Kellan Lutz (The Legend of Hercules, The Twilight Saga franchise), Ronda Rousey (UFC Champion, Fast & Furious 7), Glen Powell (The Dark Knight Rises), Victor Ortiz (WBC World Welterweight Champion), Robert Davi (Die Hard, The Goonies), with Mel Gibson, Harrison Ford and Arnold “Get to za chopper” Schwarzenegger.

Let’s face it The Expendables 3 like its predecessors isn’t high-brow entertainment, nor is it meant to be. It’s intended to turn the genre on its ear via an overtly formulaic narrative that uses characters played by actors that defined action films back in the day. I think it succeeds and doesn’t necessarily require you to check your brain at the door. The reason is that the script contains well placed references and purposeful banter that if you’re paying attention add an air of wit that makes it all the better. The action is visceral and enhanced by solid production elements and a basic but effective screenplay.

I am most decidedly a fan if these films and thoroughly enjoy the action, satirical spin and assemblage of talent both old school and in this case new. In terms of its narrative The Expendables 3 brings nothing new to the franchise but if you’re fan, who cares? As with previous installments it is part homage, part engine throttling and part statement piece in its formulaically efficient throwback to action “classics” of yesteryear. If you didn’t enjoy The Expendables and The Expendables 2 chances are you won’t like this sequel but as someone who remembers the inception of this genre and its stars in their heyday I had a good time and enjoyed The Expendables 3 as much as its predecessor.

Parental Guide:

The rating is for strong bloody violence throughout.


AUDIO/VIDEO - By The Numbers:
REFERENCE = 92-100/EXCELLENT = 83-91/GOOD = 74-82/AVERAGE = 65-73/BELOW AVERAGE = under 65

**My audio/video ratings are based upon a comparative made against other high definition media/blu-ray disc.**



Audio: 100
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)


  • Dynamics:
  • Low frequency effects:
  • Surround Sound presentation:
  • Clarity/Detail:
  • Dialogue Reproduction:
  • Low frequency extension * (non-rated element):



Video: 86
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)


  • Resolution/Clarity:
  • Black Level/Shadow Detail:
  • Color Reproduction:
  • Fleshtones:
  • Compression:



The Expendables 3 comes to Blu-ray Disc from Lionsgate Home Entertainment featuring 1080p AVC encoded video that has an average bitrate of 22 Mbps and Dolby Atmos sound that includes the 7.1 Dolby TrueHD lossless core which has an average bitrate of 5.5 Mbps.

This is a more or less stylized video presentation that makes use of darker color schemes and grittier textures that provide the look that the filmmakers strive for to drive the story’s components. Its predominantly cooler chromatic aesthetic is broken up by splashes of primary colors, crimson, and warm golden accents. Fleshtones fall in line with the color grading and have a bronzy tonality that can appear a bit unnatural at times but isn’t distracting. Bold use of contrast and rich blacks allow scenes containing mixed content to appear gradationally satisfying with punchy whites and dark dynamic highlights. Shadow delineation is very good which draws out plenty of detail in low lighting and dark backgrounds. Resolution is discerning, particularly in brightly lit sequences, as images are characterized by clearly rendered detail that provides a fair sense of dimension although the image never rises to razor sharpness or seemingly infinite levels of depth. Overall the quality of the video is high and shows no signs of degrading artifacts or extraneous noise.

The Expendables 3 includes a Dolby Atmos soundtrack which is exciting news for enthusiasts that have already updated their home theaters to incorporate the new Dolby Atmos technology for the home environment. Unfortunately my system has not yet been upgraded for Atmos playback although I do plan on doing so soon (I am planning on upgrading to the Marantz AV8802). For now all I can attest to is the lossless Dolby TrueHD 7.1 channel core which played back without a hiccup.

Action films like this depend heavily on their soundtracks to enhance the source material and Lionsgate’s active TrueHD mix gets it right. This is a captivating surround sound mix that features an immersive array of well-placed sound effects that at times prove very involving. Right from the opening sequence it was clear that this was going to be a fun home theater ride. The film essentially has three large action set pieces, the first of which begins with a shot of a train as seen from beneath the tracks as it passes over the camera and through the room from back to front. This is followed by an action sequence that involves a helicopter pursuing the train accompanied by plenty of gunfire and room traversing effects. The middle sequence which is in chapter 4 is a large chase that culminates with a big boom that is sure to get the attention of bassheads. The film’s showpiece occurs in the finale during chapter 14 which is extended assault on a large building. There is lots of small arms fire, tank guns and swirling helicopters.

As I watched I found myself appreciating the attention to detail that went into creating the surround mix as it effectively replicates the environments featured in the film. Near field sounds are accurately placed within the sound field which gives them multi-dimensional perspective that places you right in the middle of the action. The entire room becomes illuminated with an array of sounds that are both directional and ambient in nature. Low frequencies are rich, and room pressurizing as they accentuate the audio’s excellent dynamic range with thunderous impact and occasional sub bass depth. Dialogue intelligibility is never a problem even during the film’s active moments. This is a great surround sound presentation that makes for an entertaining home theater experience.

This sounded terrific on my 9.2 channel system. I eagerly await the opportunity to experience it in Dolby Atmos. I suspect that it will shoot to the top of the favorite’s lists of those currently set up with and enjoying Dolby Atmos in their home theaters.

* Keep an eye out for future coverage from AVS on this DOLBY ATMOS soundtrack.*


Bonus Features:
  • Theatrical and Unrated version of The Expendables 3
  • (HD) The Expendables 3 Documentary – 52 minutes
  • (HD) New Blood: Stacked and Jacked - 16 minute featurette
  • (HD) The Total Action Package – 6 minute featurette
  • (HD) Gag reel – 5 minutes
  • (HD) “Christmas runs the gauntlet” extended scene
  • Bonus DVD
  • Digital HD Copy



Final Thoughts:

The Expendables 3 like its predecessors isn’t high-brow entertainment, but it’s a formulaically efficient and entertaining homage to action “classics” of yesteryear. It comes to Blu-ray Disc from Lionsgate Home Entertainment featuring solid high definition video, room shaking lossless surround sound, and a worthwhile supplemental package. Home theater enthusiasts that have been waiting for Dolby Atmos to makes its debut on Blu-ray can take solace in knowing that the wait is over. Unfortunately I wasn’t able to audition it but if the core Dolby TrueHD 7.1 channel track is any indication we should all be in for a treat.

If you didn’t enjoy The Expendables or The Expendables 2 chances are you won’t like this sequel but as a fan I had a good time and enjoyed The Expendables 3 as much as the last installment in the series. If you’re on the fence give it a rent but for those that are looking for a great way to show off their home theater’s audio chops The Expendables 3 on Blu-ray deserves a place in your collection.






Ralph Potts
AVS Forum Blu-ray Reviews



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post #2 of 146 Old 11-16-2014, 07:45 AM
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Thanks for your review Ralph.

You've always been my numero uno source for BR reviews. I'm eagerly anticipating when it comes time for you be able to start reviewing BR's that have Atmos tracks on them.

I get all my BR's from NF, I have to admit, part of what's holding me back from Atmos is the fear that some studios, in particular, Lionsgate, might omit Atmos from their rentals. Lionsgate is a common culprit!

Hopefully this practice will be ceased and desisted! And will not continue on with Atmos!
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post #3 of 146 Old 11-16-2014, 10:19 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yadfgp View Post
Thanks for your review Ralph.

You've always been my numero uno source for BR reviews. I'm eagerly anticipating when it comes time for you be able to start reviewing BR's that have Atmos tracks on them.

I get all my BR's from NF, I have to admit, part of what's holding me back from Atmos is the fear that some studios, in particular, Lionsgate, might omit Atmos from their rentals. Lionsgate is a common culprit!

Hopefully this practice will be ceased and desisted! And will not continue on with Atmos!
Greetings,

Thanks yadfgp! Fingers crossed on the titles coming from NF..


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post #4 of 146 Old 11-16-2014, 10:31 AM
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Thanks Ralph for affirming that this install of the series is just good action fun or as some of us use to say a good "E ticket" summer movie. I'll have to also hope (re yadfgp's comments) that this has the full HD audio stream and not be castrated like many NF offerings that come from folks like Lionsgate.

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post #5 of 146 Old 11-16-2014, 10:33 AM
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Looking forward to this one! 80's action flicks are one of my all-time favorite genres.
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post #6 of 146 Old 11-16-2014, 10:47 PM
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Definitely will be picking this up Ralph. Thanks for review. And it's good too see another Atmos release

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I have the first two, on Blu. ...Gotta check the sound of that one.
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post #8 of 146 Old 11-17-2014, 08:49 AM
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Day one purchase for me, can't wait
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post #9 of 146 Old 11-17-2014, 10:19 AM
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Definitely in on this one. I like the way they keep expanding the cast.
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post #10 of 146 Old 11-17-2014, 10:24 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yadfgp View Post
Thanks for your review Ralph.

You've always been my numero uno source for BR reviews. I'm eagerly anticipating when it comes time for you be able to start reviewing BR's that have Atmos tracks on them.

I get all my BR's from NF, I have to admit, part of what's holding me back from Atmos is the fear that some studios, in particular, Lionsgate, might omit Atmos from their rentals. Lionsgate is a common culprit!

Hopefully this practice will be ceased and desisted! And will not continue on with Atmos!
Step Up All In retail had DD 5.1 lossy only. I am willing to bet that Expendables 3 rental will be the same.
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post #11 of 146 Old 11-17-2014, 11:58 AM
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Originally Posted by blackssr View Post
Step Up All In retail had DD 5.1 lossy only. I am willing to bet that Expendables 3 rental will be the same.
This makes me not want to support with a purchase. This kind of crap has turned me away from purchases in the past, to the point where I rarely buy movies anymore. But this one is high on my list, now I'm very conflicted. We'll see what happens when it hits the shelves
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post #12 of 146 Old 11-17-2014, 02:22 PM
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Looking forward to this movie on my ATMOS system.

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post #13 of 146 Old 11-17-2014, 06:54 PM
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Great review Ralph, This one goes in my collection too!


EDIT: Just pre-ordered a copy from Amazon This will be a fun one to watch on a c-o-l-d winter's night.


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post #14 of 146 Old 11-18-2014, 03:43 PM
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While I enjoy the Expendables films, I expected more from them. They just don't feel like an homage to the stars' 80s flicks as much as I hoped they would. Still entertaining though! The PG 13 rating of 3 didn't hurt it all that much but the focus on the younger cast did. And Ronda Rousey sure can't act. I can't stand her in the octagon and I guess I can't stand her on screen either. I would like to see less bloat in characters and more of a tighter focus on the ones we know and love. No point getting all these big action stars in a film if they're only there for 5 minutes.


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post #15 of 146 Old 11-19-2014, 09:32 PM
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Quote:
For now all I can attest to is the lossless Dolby TrueHD 7.1 channel core which played back without a hiccup.
The terminology would be "channel bed".
I can't wait to add Atmos to my rig as well, but I'm still waiting on what DTS will bring, for future compatibility reasons.

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The terminology would be "channel bed".
I can't wait to add Atmos to my rig as well, but I'm still waiting on what DTS will bring, for future compatibility reasons.

That's what I'm waiting for as well.

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post #17 of 146 Old 11-22-2014, 11:27 AM
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Really enjoyed this one - 100 rating on audio is warranted
Hugh fan of these flicks and the cast -
the audio / video / action all reference quality
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post #18 of 146 Old 11-22-2014, 12:54 PM
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Thanks Ralph for another great review.


You are mentioning future review for the Atmos audio format.
Would you like to share what you intend to replace the AV8801 with?
I am curious since the AV8801 is so well regarded and this what I also use.


Ray
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post #19 of 146 Old 11-23-2014, 04:39 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks Ralph for another great review.


You are mentioning future review for the Atmos audio format.
Would you like to share what you intend to replace the AV8801 with?
I am curious since the AV8801 is so well regarded and this what I also use.


Ray
Greetings,

Ray, I am planning on upgrading to the Marantz AV8802 (I mentioned that in the review ) when it becomes available.


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post #20 of 146 Old 11-23-2014, 02:54 PM
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Greetings,

Ray, I am planning on upgrading to the Marantz AV8802 (I mentioned that in the review ) when it becomes available.


Regards,

Totally miss that.
I will be looking for your impression once you get it


Ray
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post #21 of 146 Old 11-25-2014, 10:10 AM
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Was Robert Davi in Die Hard?
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post #22 of 146 Old 11-25-2014, 05:44 PM
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Can anyone confirm lossy or lossless on the rental?
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post #23 of 146 Old 11-25-2014, 09:14 PM
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Sound Drops out multiple times, Help?

Has anyone had any issues with the sound dropping out throughout the movie? I have only watched the beginning and throughout it drops and is unwatchable. I have a Denon DBP-1611UD Bluray player with current firmware. My receiver is a Denon AVR-4311CI with current firmware. It down mixes the Dolby Atmos to Dolby TruHD 7.1. I also have top notch HDMI cables and have switched them out and it does the same. My speaker setup is a 7.1 Polk Audio set to Small output. Please Help.
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post #24 of 146 Old 11-25-2014, 10:58 PM
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No Atmos on rental

Quote:
Originally Posted by Toe View Post
Can anyone confirm lossy or lossless on the rental?
They've done it again. The Netflix rental of The Expendables 3 has only a 5.1 soundtrack. This joins Step Up All In as two of three Atmos Blu-ray discs with neutered audio tracks. As far as I know, Transformers is the only rental with Atmos.

Shame on Lionsgate and evidently the tacit approval of Netflix for this disappointing action.
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post #25 of 146 Old 11-26-2014, 12:48 AM
 
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Lol, I'm just about to watch this; from a real Blu-ray disc bought @ a real store. ...Wish me good luck.
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post #26 of 146 Old 11-26-2014, 03:39 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lethean View Post
While I enjoy the Expendables films, I expected more from them. They just don't feel like an homage to the stars' 80s flicks as much as I hoped they would. Still entertaining though! The PG 13 rating of 3 didn't hurt it all that much but the focus on the younger cast did. And Ronda Rousey sure can't act. I can't stand her in the octagon and I guess I can't stand her on screen either. I would like to see less bloat in characters and more of a tighter focus on the ones we know and love. No point getting all these big action stars in a film if they're only there for 5 minutes.

Lethean, you are right on the money. I was very disappointed when I walked out of this movie. Did not see much action at all from the big stars and they went away from what we loved from the first two films. I hope Stallone can put another cast together and just kick some butt in Expendables 4!
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post #27 of 146 Old 11-26-2014, 08:41 AM
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Originally Posted by Salarian View Post
Has anyone had any issues with the sound dropping out throughout the movie? I have only watched the beginning and throughout it drops and is unwatchable. I have a Denon DBP-1611UD Bluray player with current firmware. My receiver is a Denon AVR-4311CI with current firmware. It down mixes the Dolby Atmos to Dolby TruHD 7.1. I also have top notch HDMI cables and have switched them out and it does the same. My speaker setup is a 7.1 Polk Audio set to Small output. Please Help.
Salarian

I also had multiple drop outs.
Oppo BD83 into my Newcastle 972.
Kef 7.1 system.

Steve
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post #28 of 146 Old 11-26-2014, 09:16 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Salarian View Post
Has anyone had any issues with the sound dropping out throughout the movie? I have only watched the beginning and throughout it drops and is unwatchable. I have a Denon DBP-1611UD Bluray player with current firmware. My receiver is a Denon AVR-4311CI with current firmware. It down mixes the Dolby Atmos to Dolby TruHD 7.1. I also have top notch HDMI cables and have switched them out and it does the same. My speaker setup is a 7.1 Polk Audio set to Small output. Please Help.
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Originally Posted by tr4a View Post
Salarian

I also had multiple drop outs.
Oppo BD83 into my Newcastle 972.
Kef 7.1 system.

Steve
Greetings,

Strange. I didn't experience a single hiccup..


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Ralph C. Potts
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post #29 of 146 Old 11-26-2014, 10:30 AM
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I enjoyed it. The body count is dizzying. In that final battle alone they must have set a Guinness record. It was crazy. Banderas cracked me up. The SFX crew saved money on blood packets as there was none. If you enjoyed the first two you'll like this one too.
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post #30 of 146 Old 11-26-2014, 04:07 PM
 
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I did not like it; and it's the worst of the three.

...4 and 5 are next!
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