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A movie for manly men who are male: “The Expendables”

Rob Bricken of Topless Robot (over)shares that this gave him an “action movie boner.” Not one to be outdone, AICN’s Merrick promises a “Mangasm.”

Whats making geek bloggers make with the Freudian/homoerotic badinage?

Well, apparently working on the logic that big male stars, including action stars, aren’t necessarily driving huge numbers into the movie theaters, Lionsgate is taking a safety-in-numbers approach. Which established and once-established super macho-stars, both super- and not-so-super, appear in “The Expendables”? It might be easier to list who doesn’t — though the bald guy and the wildly unpopular governor are cameos, I think. What weapons and forms of fighting, do they use and how many people will they kill? I didn’t see any boomerangs or gymkata in the trailer, and I’m still alive, but other than that, it’s hard to be sure. Just take a look.

I’m thinking Detective Batista from “Dexter” is going to learn he chose the wrong day to go into the power-mad Latin American dictator business.

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What Else Ya Got? “Toy Story” & “Toy Story 2″

Conveniently timed Blu-ray reissues bring out the cynic in us, especially when it comes to a title that has already received the Special Edition treatment in the previous format of choice. But we must give credit where credit is due: the Blu-ray releases of “Toy Story” and “Toy Story 2″ are so well worth the upgrade that we kind of hate them for it. Fine, damn it, take our money. Again.

The best thing about these Blu-ray/DVD combo sets is a small thing, but an important one: All of the new bonus features appear on both types of media. Some studios only give the goods to the Blu-ray converts, but Disney clearly realizes that for many families, buying the latest technology is not their top priority, so good for them for making all of the new extras available on both formats.

And man, are those extras fun. There are two new features created for these sets. “Paths to Pixar” highlights the efforts of people on the technical side and what it was that led them to doing what they do for a living, but the “Studio Stories” bits are the crown jewels. Various Pixar staffers tell stories about the studio’s early days (our favorite is the one involving the scooter races), put to simple but highly amusing black & white animation. Each movie also has its own sneak peek into the upcoming “Toy Story 3,” though the feature on the “Toy Story 2″ set which highlights the new characters is the superior of the two.

Both sets feature newly recorded audio commentaries. The commentary for “Toy Story” features the Pixar All-Stars, namely John Lasseter, Andrew Stanton, and Pete Docter (Oscar winners all). The commentary for “Toy Story 2″ includes Lasseter, Stanton and Lee Unkrich, who makes his directorial debut with “Toy Story 3.” There is a heartbreaking piece dedicated to Joe Ranft, who passed away during the production of “Cars” in 2005, but the one extra that will have people buzzing is the Black Friday piece, where Lasseter introduces the rough version of “Toy Story” that nearly killed Pixar. It’s fascinating to watch because, well, there’s no other way of saying it: it’s mean.

Lastly, the Blu-ray editions include all of the DVD extras from the 2005 reissue of the “Toy Story” movies, so anyone who bought those versions does not need to keep them. These sets were thoughtfully considered and well done, but that’s what one would expect from the best movie studio in Hollywood.

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The Biggest Loser: curveballs flying just in time for baseball season

“The Biggest Loser” has a history and a tendency to throw curveballs at us. But last night they took things to extremes. First, host Allison Sweeney started off live by telling us there would be a weigh in at the end of the episode, but not of a current contestant. Instead, it would be a viewer of the show who has been inspired to lose a lot of weight. Then, the nine contestants were ushered into the gym, where they would be congratulated for getting this far, and given their individual colors back since there would be no more blue team vs. black team.

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American Idol: finalists realize what’s on the line

Ladies and gentlemen, I give to you, a competition. Last night was the first time that the “American Idol” finalists actually sang like they gave a damn. As if there was a prize attached to them performing well. Imagine that. Of course, the show was still two hours long despite now only having ten performers, meaning, lots of fluff and filler. The guest mentor this week was Usher, as it was R&B/soul week, and let’s just say the guy was much more credible than Miley Cyrus. Here is the recap as we saw it….

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Lost 6.10 – The Package

I know that I’ve been a little overly critical with my weekly analyses recently, so let me just begin by saying that tonight’s episode was nothing short of amazing. There was about two shows’ worth of information crammed into a single hour, and although the writers introduced some interesting subplots along the way, they weren’t nearly as good as the complementing stories featuring Jin and Sun. I love these two so much, and yet they seem perpetually stuck as secondary characters who only get their time in the limelight once a season. Nevertheless, their Earth-2 storyline has been one of the best so far, particularly because it marks the first time that one character’s alternate reality overlaps with another. I speak, of course, of Sayid’s discovery of Jin (bound to a chair and locked in Keamy’s walk-in fridge) at the end of “Sundown.”

The events that led to Jin’s rescue, however, weren’t exactly unforeseen. While the reveal that Jin and Sun weren’t married was a bit of a surprise, you’d be crazy to think they weren’t still romantically involved. The playful nod to the button during Sun’s seduction scene was a great callback to the first season, and though Sun wants Jin to run away with her using a secret bank account that she set up in her name (much like she originally planned to do on her own on Earth-1), Jin is worried that her father will disapprove of their “forbidden” affair. As it turns out, he was right, because the confiscated $25,000 that was stashed away in Jin’s luggage was actually payment for his assassination. Luckily for him, Sayid took out Keamy and his right-hand man before they could carry out the death sentence, although that didn’t stop Sun from still taking a bullet to the chest, courtesy of Keamy’s translator, Mikhail, who quite unluckily becomes the One-Eyed Russian in this reality as well after Jin shoots him in self-defense.

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Of course, when it comes to bad luck, no one has had it worse than Jin. He’s been kidnapped by the Tailies, nearly blown to pieces in a freighter explosion, shot by Crazy Claire, and then kidnapped again in two different realities. On Earth-1, it’s Widmore’s crew who has done the abducting, presumably to use Jin’s desperation as a tool against Smokey. They know he’s a potential candidate and only interested in being reunited with his wife and child, so if they can convince him to join their team, they’ll have a major leg up in the impending war. How they plan to use Jin, however, is still unclear, but it obviously has something to do with some maps he drew while working for Dharma that details the electromagnetic areas of the island. And for anyone who thought that Richard’s scene with his wife at the end of last week’s episode was a tear-jerker, then you must have been positively balling over Jin’s emotional reaction to seeing his daughter for the first time. Talk about tugging at the heart strings.

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