This week we have an attack on the White House, a cave family learning to deal with each other as they struggle for survival and a dram-rom-com. As a side note, we are almost out of March. Soon we will get the first run of Summer movies.
Olympus Has Fallen
Movies have a strange habit of coming out in 2’s. Remember Deep Impact and Armageddon? Truman Show and EdTV? Volcano and Dante’s Peak? Illusionist and Prestige? Land Before Time XIV and Ice Age 8? Okay, you get the point here. Well this terribly titled movie is the first of siege on the White House movies. In June, we will see White House Down. That movie will have Channing Tatum as the secret service agent protecting Jamie Foxx, as the President. It is guaranteed to make tons of money and be absolutely terrible.
Olympus stars Gerard Butler as former secret service agent Mike Banning. As the President (Aaron Eckhart) is meeting with South Korean diplomats, the White House is attacked from the air and by ground militia troops. Apparently, the North Koreans have infiltrated the diplomatic group and have a calculated plan to cause massive panic and bloodshed on 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. The terrorists have managed to kill every single secret service agent in the house and have taken the upper echelon of the government into an impenetrable bunker. Banning manages to get into the White House and is the only hope to rescue the President and stop the terrorists from gaining nuclear codes. (These codes do not give you 30 extra lives).
I went into this movie expecting to hate it. After being severely disappointed with A Good Day to Die Hard, I didn’t think I had the stomach for brainless action-ridden plot devices. But a funny thing happened on the way to the Oval Office. This movie started suckering me in scene by scene, with a few laughs scattered in as well.
I don’t typically consider myself the target market for this kind of movie, even though I am literally in the target demographic (18-34 Male). I was watching Olympus Has Fallen and could think of several people who would absolutely love every second. This is the movie Die Hard 5 wanted to be. If John McClane were saving the President instead of Mike Banning, this would be everyone’s 2nd favorite Die Hard movie.
At the same time, it’s pretty shameful they didn’t call up Kiefer Sutherland and just call this movie 24. It kind of feels like a wasted opportunity there. 24 would have been a much better title than the clunky Olympus Has Fallen.
For a B-movie that is everything it’s supposed to be, I can strongly recommend this to hardcore action fans. It deserves a C grade, which normally means a rental. If you don’t care for big dumb fun, this is not your cup of tea. But if you are big, dumb and fun then you’ll gladly drink this down.
Have I mentioned how much I don’t like Dreamworks cartoons? I don’t even like Pixar all that much. I swear I still have an inner child, it’s just that he’s been corrupted and is only awakened by fantasy films.
The Croods are a prehistoric family that have outlived most of their cave-neighbors. Their survival is due, in large part, because of their overprotective father Grug (Nicholas Cage). But life gets pretty complicated when the oldest daughter, Eep (Emma Stone) gets restless and wants to be a free spirit. The situation gets out of Grug’s control when a modern caveman named Guy (Ryan Reynolds) gets semi-involved with Eep and involuntarily ends up joining the Croods on their quest to find a new place to live. Apparently this movie takes place at the same time of Ice Age 4 Continental Drift. I love crossover movies… (sarcasm, any association with Ice Age is a bad thing).
The animation is stunning in this movie. The character designs were original and the world they lived in became more and more colorful as their adventure went on. The voice cast makes this movie what it is. Nicholas Cage may have found his niche as the overprotective dad. Emma Stone is great as a smothering love-struck girl who doesn’t know her own upper-arm strength. Ryan Reynolds is thankfully understated in the role of Guy.
This movie is great for the younglings. It doesn’t talk down to them or go for easy laughs with fart and burp jokes. There isn’t a single remixed pop songs sung by the cast either. Such a relief. This movie relies on physical comedy, which normally gets on my nerves, but it was refreshing in a Dreamworks animated movie.
Normally I hate most CG animated movies, because they’re just made for the bottom dollar. Though, this movie is predictable with Grug and Eep learning important lessons about compromise, it’s still an enjoyable family film that values the importance of family. See it.
What happens when you put two clever and subtle actors together in a romantic comedy? Apparently nothing. I don’t know how this movie wasted Paul Rudd and Tina Fey, but it manages to somehow.
Tina Fey plays an uptight admissions officer for Princeton and she’s on the fast track career-wise, but not in her love life or lack thereof. Nor does she have a good relationship with her mother (Lily Tomlin). As she travels to interview students trying to get into Princeton she runs into an old college friend (Paul Rudd) and he drops a bombshell on her. He tells her that he may have found her son that she gave up for adoption 17 years earlier. Her life then becomes a hectic mess where she essentially messes everything up.
I really wanted to smile through this movie, and at time the smiles do come. Some scenes are so full of charm that it gets a little smothering. But your patience will truly be tested if you’re looking for laughs. There. Are. None.
I can see why there has been little to no marketing for this movie. It will make for a good movie night at the nursing home, but if you tried to give this movie a rental, you’d fall asleep in the 2nd act, then forget to return it because it’s so forgettable and then you’ll end up purchasing it on accident. So don’t see it in the theater, don’t rent it.
Bonus Review – Spring Breakers
I just got back from watching Spring Breakers and I’m gonna keep this short. This movie was girls gone wild meets skrillex meets honey boo boo child.
I hated this movie so much. I guarantee you, this will not only be my worst movie of the year, but it’s one of the worst movies I have ever seen.
Selena Gomez and Vanessa Hudgens try to shed their innocent image with this movie. If there is anything they have shed, it is their movie careers. Every single line in this movie is torture. People gave Zero Dark Thirty a hard time for its scenes of torture. I’m willing to say this movie does far more to punish and torture the audience than anything I have ever seen.
And James Franco??? Critics are raving about his unrecognizable performance! He is so so so entirely bad. But he is James Franco and everyone knows he’ll take any role, so he’ll continue to work. Seriously, every ten minutes you heard his voice over saying, “Spring Break. Spring Break. Spring Break Forever.”
I can’t even describe how much I hated this movie. It wasn’t even “so bad it’s good.” Yes, a bunch of us watching it couldn’t help but laugh out loud. It was the only thing we could do to restore our sanity. There is a total of 10 minutes of content. This 90 minute movie keeps replaying scenes over and over and over again. And then once more, for good measure. Worst dialogue, worst acting, worst directing, worst cinematography.
Worst Movie Ever. Spring Break Forever!