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Weekend Picks: ‘The Expendables 2,’ The Odd Life of Timothy Green,’ ‘ParaNorman’ & ‘Sparkle’

Adam Pockross
Movie Talk
August 16, 2012

Welcome to Weekend Picks, your weekly movie preview.

"The Bourne Legacy" conspired to win last weekend's box office title, but it will be hard-pressed to repeat, what with four new films opening wide this week.

"The Expendables 2," "The Odd Life of Timothy Green," "ParaNorman," and "Sparkle," are all coming to a theater near you. And for those lucky folks who live near an art house, there are also some intriguing films opening in limited release.

[Get local showtimes and tickets]

The Expendables 2

What's the Story?

573 years of high octane action experience explodes on the big screen when Sylvester Stallone leads a team of savvy veteran mercenaries bulging with some of the burliest brutes to ever utter a one-liner, including Arnold Schwarzenegger, Bruce Willis, Chuck Norris, and Jason Statham, to name but a few. The team of tough-guys must come together to thwart maniacal bad guy Jean Claude van Damme's evil efforts to blow up the world.

Who Will Dig It?

If you're into really old school shoot-em-up, blow-em-up action flicks, then this is the summer movie event you've been waiting for.

Fun Fact:

According to producer Avi Lerner, Clint Eastwood, Harrison Ford, Wesley Snipes (who's in jail), and Nicolas Cage have all been approached to appear in "The Expendables 3".

[Get local showtimes and tickets for 'The Expendables 2']

The Odd Life of Timothy Green

What's the Story?

Jennifer Garner and Joel Edgerton play a happily married couple missing just one thing in their life: children. Instead of moping about it though, they spend a night imagining their perfect child, writing down wishes in a box, and burying it in the backyard. Miraculously, Timothy, a young boy with leaves that grow from his ankles, arrives at the couple's home. Timothy changes not only the lives of his "parents", but also the lives of everyone he touches.

Who Will Dig It?

If you like magical films from Disney, the folks who invented magical films, then you'll love this family friendly flick full of possibility and wonder.

Fun Fact:

Writer/Director Peter Hedges earned his first screen credit for writing "What's Eating Gilbert Grape" (1993), based upon his novel.

[Get local showtimes and tickets for 'The Odd Life of Timothy Green']

ParaNorman

What's the Story?

From the makers of the highly acclaimed "Coraline" (2009) comes an even more ambitious stop-motion animated film. Norman, a small-town loner, can communicate with ghosts, one of whom informs him that a witch is about to raise the dead and unleash terror on his town. Norman must rely on his supernatural gifts, as well as a team of tenacious young gumshoes, to bury the zombie uprising.

Who Will Dig It?

Finally, a zombie movie for kids! Of for anyone who loves craftsman-like filmmaking and imaginative storytelling. Plus, fans of the classic adventure comedy "The Goonies" (1985) should find similar enjoyment from this one.

Fun Fact:

Kodi Smit-McPhee, who plays Norman, began hitting puberty and having his voice change half way through filming, and he can no longer replicate the voice of Norman.

[Get local showtimes and tickets for 'ParaNorman']

Sparkle

What's the Story?

In her swan song performance, Whitney Houston plays Emma, a deeply religious mother of three and a former soul singer whose dreams fell short. Despite Emma's misgivings, her daughters try to make it in the cutthroat 1960's Detroit music scene. Leading the talented girl group is Sparkle, played by the aptly named "American Idol" winner Jordin Sparks, making her big screen debut.

Who Will Dig It?

Fans of Motown-era musicals, against-all-odds success stories, period pieces, "American Idol," "The Voice" (judge Cee-Lo Green also stars in the film), and talented ensemble casts should all find their groove.

Fun Fact:

Sparkle is a remake of the 1976 musical starring Philip Michael Thomas of "Miami Vice" fame (1984), Irene Cara of "Fame" (1980) fame, and featuring original music by Curtis Mayfield and Aretha Franklin.

[Get showtimes and tickets for 'Sparkle']

Limited Releases

In limited release this week, Robert Pattinson plays a billionaire on a weird limo ride around Manhattan in David Cronenberg's "Cosmopolis"; set in 1921 London, skeptic Rebecca Hall becomes a ghost believer in "The Awakening"; in 1958 Teheran, a renowned musician discoverers the beautiful secret of his life from the depths of loss in "Chicken with Plums"; Frank Langella finds his new talking robot to be a fine criminal conspirator in "Robot & Frank"; Keanu Reeves interviews many of today's biggest directors about digital filmmaking in "Side By Side"; and Melissa Leo and Jessie Eisenberg play a rehab-bound mother and her piano prodigy son, who must team up with her drug dealer Tracey Morgan in "Why Stop Now".

Those are the Weekend Picks. Let us know what you plan to see below, and remember, you can check showtimes and buy your tickets, right here at Yahoo! Movies.

[Related: 'The Expendables 2' Daily Instant Winner Sweepstakes]

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