Olympus Has Fallen, a Partial Un-Biased Review

I will preface this review by stating that I am a bit biased. Mind you, I am completely aware of the inconvenience I am placing on the very nature and rules of critical assessments, but, as it were, I don’t care. Furthermore, I think a biased review is sometimes entirely necessary. For you see, whether a movie, book, or song proves brilliant or not, certain audience members are going to dislike it; likewise, even if a movie is a steaming pile of wretched poo, certain citizens of society will find great entertainment in it. Thusly, I think it is important to classify some reviews based on audiences. Ergo this review.  Also, I’ve never claimed to be a movie critic.

How’s that for argument?

Olympus Has Fallen opens just as every other movie involving the safety of the President and the first family does: with a charming, heartwarming look into their “real” lives and love of one another.

And then things go wrong.

And then other things go wrong.

And then the whole country is in deep doo doo.

But the president is in really deep doo doo.

And then there’s the hero guy who somehow misses every gun shot and bomb; he knows things that nobody else in the world seems to know; he’s always one step ahead of the bad guy; always in the right place at the right time; and always spewing out the best one-liners.

Of course, there’s also the round table of other major political US players arguing over what to do, chatting with the bad guy via whatever the latest technological advancement in communication may be, and refusing to “negotiate with terrorists.”

So where am I going with this? Well, simply, this is a political action thriller as political action thriller fan’s love them; exciting, fast, explosive, violent, and completely outlandish. But directed by Training Day’s Antione Fuqua, who was less concerned about making a movie to compare to his former classics and more focused on creating a great movie to stand on it’s own,  any action fan could expect nothing but the best in terms of visual suspense.

Additionally, new comer screen writers Creighton Rothenburger and Katrin Benedikt were able to stay alarmingly true to the intricate details of what would enable a terrorist group to take over the White House. So much so that the attack scene reads as a bit of a “how to” book. Or maybe I’m just paranoid. Regardless, for the sake of entertainment, these details make this movie one hell of a ride.

An incredible cast rounds up this movie complete with Gerard Butler, Angela Basset, Aaron Eckhart, Melissa Leo, and of course, Morgan Freeman. Also starring in this film is the immaculate reconstruction of the White House as this movie was shot in Shreveport, Louisiana.

 

If you are confused as to whether or not this is a positive movie review, I assure you, I am too. But mostly it is. For you see, as a die hard action movie fan myself, I was less preoccupied and concerned with the predictable formula of the script and more so captivated and enthralled by the action unfolding on the screen.

And isn’t that what every action lover goes to see an action movie for?

I think so.

  

You can follow us on Twitter @moviebuffs and on Facebook as well.

Related Posts

Hidden Netflix Gems – Red State

Hidden Netflix Gems is a new feature designed to help readers answer that burning question, “What should I watch tonight?” It will be updated every Saturday before the sun goes down.

I am always excited to see my favorite filmmakers stretch beyond what they normally produce and explore other genres. For that reason, I applaud Kevin Smith for stepping away from the talky, visually underwhelming comedies for which he is known with his latest film, Red State, a nasty, tense, visceral thriller that, while satirical and occasionally funny, is miles away from a comedy.

Red State is a cinematic middle finger to the vicious, hateful Fred Phelps and his Westboro Baptist Church, an organization best known for the highly tasteful and respectable practice of protesting funerals in order to garner controversy. Though Phelps is eventually mentioned by name in the film’s narrative, his overt fictional surrogate is one Abin Cooper (Michael Parks), a malevolent, fire-and-brimstone preacher who looks a bit like a more diminutive Kris Kristofferson with eyeglasses. Cooper and his followers regularly hold demonstrations in which they hold up signs offering such charming sentiments as “Anal Penetration = Eternal Damnation.”

As the film begins, it tricks the audience into expecting the kind of lame teen sex comedy that detractors of Smith’s Mallrats or Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back might expect from him. High school students Travis (Michael Angarano), Jarod (Kyle Gallner) and Billy-Ray (Nicholas Braun) receive an invitation for group sex from a mysterious woman Jarod met on a sex chat site. Being the horny teen boys that they are, they borrow a car from Travis’s parents and head out to the trailer home of the woman, whose name just so happens to be Sarah Cooper (Melissa Leo). Of course, Cooper is a common name and the boys are way too horny to think twice about it, nor do they seem disturbed by her insistence that they chug a couple of beers before getting down to the “devil’s business,” so of course they are quickly drugged into unconsciousness and wake up in a world of horror. The boys soon find out the hard way that the Coopers hate not only homosexuals, but any type of “deviant” sexuality or immorality, which includes teen boys curious about group sex with an older woman.

One of the things that works so well about Smith veering so sharply away from the type of film for which he is known is how unpredictable the film quickly becomes. We assume from the start of the film that Travis is the main protagonist, but quickly find that no one is safe in this nasty, uncompromising movie. Likewise, ATF agent Joseph Keenan (John Goodman) doesn’t show up until the beginning of the film’s second act, at which point he becomes the main protagonist. Goodman is excellent in the film, but the true star of the show is undoubtedly Michael Parks as Abin. He manages to be hateful enough to boil the viewer’s blood while simultaneously displaying the kind of natural charisma that makes his followers’ hero-worship all too believable.

Throughout his career, Smith has been criticized for a lack of visual style as a director, and he seems to have taken this particular criticism to heart. In some of his later period films, he seems to have been actively trying to step up to this challenge, but this is the first film I’ve seen from him that really knocks the visual style out of the park. This is easily my favorite Smith film since Chasing Amy, a film that Smith claims he made for his gay brother to make up for a shortage of gay characters in romantic comedies, and that same sympathy for issues of civil rights for homosexuals is at the heart of this one. Part torture-porn, part action movie and part satire, Red State is a very mature work for Smith, a film that shows his tremendous growth as a writer and filmmaker without being pretentious about it.

  

Related Posts

Hidden Netflix Gems – House

Hidden Netflix Gems is a new feature designed to help readers answer that burning question, “What should I watch tonight?” It will be updated every Saturday before the sun goes down.

This is a film for hardcore fans of things like Tales from the Crypt, Stephen King novels, and the more horror-heavy pages of the classic Heavy Metal magazine. In fact, in many ways it is very much like a feature-length Tales from the Crypt episode, one that is especially heavy on the comic relief. Produced by Friday the 13th director Sean S. Cunningham and directed by Steve Miner, who helmed the first two sequels to that film, this is decidedly campy, deliciously cheesy and immensely satisfying B-movie fun.

Not to be confused with the 1977 Japanese cult movie of the same name, the 1986 film House (aka Ding Dong, You’re Dead, its original video release subtitle) stars William Katt as best-selling horror novelist Roger Cobb, a Vietnam vet who has been struggling with writing about his experiences in the war. One of his problems is that no one else seems particularly interested in this story, preferring he write another horror story instead, but more importantly, he is also dealing with the fact that his wife, popular TV actress Sandy Sinclair (Kay Lenz), has recently left him. Even more recently, his beloved Aunt Elizabeth (Susan French), committed suicide by hanging herself in her creepy old Victorian mansion, where Roger and Sandy’s young son Jimmy (played alternately by twins Erik and Mark Silver) disappeared some time ago. Roger inherits the house and decides to try and finish his new book there, in solitude, while also dealing with the demons of his past.

Of course, he doesn’t exactly find the solitude he’s looking for, due to a bumbling but well-intentioned neighbor named Harold Gorton (George Wendt), who provides much of the films comedy, and a series of strange monsters that seem to come from another dimension within the house, who provide the rest. Saying the monsters are more funny than scary is not a criticism of the film, however, as this is clearly intentional most of the time. Though the effects will look dated to viewers in the modern CGI era, they are quite well-done; they are not the nightmare creations of other films of the time like John Carpenter’s The Thing or David Cronenberg’s The Fly, but they stand up nicely alongside more silly films like Ghostbusters or Gremlins.

As it turns out, Roger’s preoccupation with his Vietnam memories is especially relevant to the literal demons he faces in the strange old house, and though the film takes some rather dead-end narrative turns along the way, its central story is pure pulp horror in the most classic sense. House is not a good horror film to watch if you want something genuinely frightening, but if you’re in the mood for tongue-in-cheek fun that only takes itself seriously enough to deliver a few cheap scares, it’s well worth a look.

  

Related Posts

Blu-Ray Round-Up: Imperialists and their Semitic Subjects Embroiled in Deadly Struggle — That’s Entertainment!

Today we’re talking about three deluxe Blu-Ray releases of three highly notable films, each hugely important and influential in their own way. Coincidentally, each film also deals with what happens when European powers decide they’d really like to control a piece of the Islamic and/or Judaic world.

* “Ben Hur”— I finally caught up with this most popular of religious epics many moons ago at the Cinerama Dome in Hollywood, where it was introduced by it’s then elderly but still fairly hale star, Charlton Heston. Heston might have still been in good shape in the late 1990s or early 2000s, but the 35mm print that was shown on the giant screen, theoretically the best then available, was washed out and wan.

That disappointment is now a thing of the past with a restoration made frame-by-frame from the original 65mm negative that was so painstaking this “50th Anniversary” edition of the 1959 film actually arrives 52 years after the original “Ben Hur” release. At last, the spectacle looks as spectacular as a spectacle should, even if it’s now on relatively small home screens. (My 42 incher is by far the biggest TV I’ve ever had, but it’s obviously not the Cinerama Dome.)

Read the rest of this entry »

  

Related Posts

Playing online bingo

If you are looking for fun things to do online then look no further than the online bingo sites.

Playing bingo online is a fun way to spend your spare time.

Have you ever watched the TV game shows and thought to yourself, “that could be me” or “I could do that” then why not give it a go?

There are hundreds of sites out there that offer bingo and other games online so finding the right one could be tricky. Here are a few ideas to find the right one for you.

Do they have a ‘community’?

Some of the sites have their own blogs and also have ‘communities’. These ’communities’ are online forums that have like-minded people in them. By talking to some of the other players you will be able to get a feel for how good the sites are. They will be able to answer your questions and you should take this advice in as you decide which online bingo site is best for you.

What games do they offer?

It is easy just to type in “Online Bingo” to a search engine and click on the first result, but there are other games online too. Many of the bingo sites offer free online slots games. These help to attract people to the site and also to keep people entertained whilst they are on the site. Waiting for games of bingo online could become boring so these games are a great distraction.

Is the site easy to navigate?

This is a given for any website. If the user cannot find what they are looking for then they will just close the window or go somewhere else for the products or services that you are offering. Having a clean site that is not too cluttered with adverts or complicated menus will allow people to use your site better. If you are using the site on a regular basis you could always bookmark your favourite pages.

Free games?

Many sites offer free bingo so you can have the fun without worrying about spending too much money on your game. This is also good as you can use these free games to judge how to play bingo online and get a feel for how each site works. All of the sites will offer the chance to play for money. This will involve a deposit of some amount which is usually doubled by the house. Once you have started the money bingo then you can win insane amounts all whilst having fun.

The most important thing to remember about choosing the right bingo site online is that you have to be comfortable within that environment. If you are not happy with how the game works or how the site looks then you will not want to spend time playing these games.

Image: Salvatore Vuono / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

  

Related Posts