New in Theaters: 'Expendable 2', 'ParaNorman', 'Sparkle', 'Odd Life of Timothy Green'

Posted 5:03 PM August 17th, 2012 by Binh Ngo

Sylvester Stallone, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Bruce Willis, Jean-Claude Van Damme, Chuck Norris, Dolph Lundgren and many other in The Expendables 2 were the top action stars of yesteryears until the movie producers stuck a finger in their face and told them they're no good. Instead of looking for something to blame, they got together and make the kind of movies that made them famous.

So in The Expendables 2, we find Jean-Claude Van Damme starring as the film's main villain who is trying to get his hands on some weapons grade plutonium. He has a whole army at his command, so this group of mercenaries, led by Stallone's Barney Ross, must go through them before facing Van Damme's Vilain (yes, that's his character's name). Guns will be fired, things will blow up, and, in the end, there will be an one-on-one confrontation with big, bad boss. Just the way it was meant to be.

With a Tomatometer of 65%, The Expendables 2 is better reviewed than the first movie (41%). Turning the directing duties over to Con Air's Simon West probably has something to do with it.

As the $275 million the first movie made at the box office worldwide proves, there's still an audience for these kind of movies. For the sequel, it is projected to make somewhere in the $37-$42 million range this weekend, which is probably good enough to get the third movie greenlit.

In Focus Features' stop-motion animation ParaNorman, a boy named Norman can see dead people and other creatures of the night. When the town he lives in is cast under an ancient curse, he has lead the charge to save it.

With a Tomatometer of 86%, ParaNorman is the best-reviewed animated movie this year, topping Pixar's Brave (77%) and Madagascar 3 (75%). However, it won't make near the box office of the other two. ParaNorman is projected to make somewhere in the $13-$24 million range this weekend for a total of around $50-$60 million after its domestic run.

A remake of the 1976 movie of the same name, Sparkle is going to be remembered as Whitney Houston's final movie. She passed away in February this year.

Houston plays the mother of the title character Sparkle (Jordin Sparks) who, along with her two sisters Dolores and Sister, forms an all-girl singing group.

Since the 1976 movie was inspired by Diana Ross and The Supremes, and 2006's Dreamgirls deals with the same subject, Sparkle is going to cause some deja vu with viewers, which is why it has a Tomatometer of 55%. Critics say the movie is overly familiar and a bit too hokey, but it is pepped up by the musical numbers.

Sparkle is projected to make somewhere in the $13-$14 million range this weekend.

Released Wednesday, The Odd Life of Timothy Green stars Jennifer Garner and Joel Edgerton as a couple who can't conceive. On a whim, they wrote down their wish for a child and buried it in a box. The next morning, a 10-year-old boy with leaves growing out of his legs shows up.

Critics say the movie is sentimental to a fault and too heavy-handed in its attempt to tug at the heart strings. The Odd Life of Timothy Green has a Tomatometer of 41% and is expected to make about $10 million at the box office this weekend.

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