Friday, March 22, 2013

Olympus Has Fallen

My View:   Olympus Has Fallen  (2013)  R   After a tragic accident, Secret Service agent Mike Banning (Gerard Butler) has been taken off the Presidential Detail and has been given a desk job. Banning finds himself trapped in the White House, just as it is invaded by terrorists and the President captured. Now Banning must use his Special Forces training, along with his Secret Service knowledge to rescue the leader of the free world. While not a perfect film, it is a fast moving, well-paced action film.  Butler is impressive and believable as the Secret Service agent who can take a man down with one karate shot. The film has an all-star cast, with Aaron Eckhart as the President, Morgan Freeman as the Speaker of the House, Melissa Leo as the Secretary of Defense and Angela Bassett as the Director of the Secret Service. The villain in the film is a little one-dimensional and the special effects for a few action sequences are a little cheap looking, but overall the film gives the action film fan a good run for their money.    My Rating:  Bargain Matinee    Olympus has Fallen Website
Family Faire:   The Croods  (2013)  PG  The Croods consist of Grug (Nicolas Cage), his wife Ugga (Catherine Keener), grandmother Gran (Cloris Leachman), son Thunk (Clark Duke) and daughter Eep (Emma Stone) are your ordinary, run-of-the-mill caveman family. Their world is turned upside down when their beloved cave is destroyed and they must find a new place to live. Then, Guy (Ryan Reynolds), a nomadic cave boy who would rather use his brain than his brawn, enters the picture and their lives will never be the same. This is a fantastic film that kids and adults will find amusing and enjoyable. I loved Emma Stone as the headstrong Eep, but the actor that makes this film is Nicolas Cage as the loveable father Grug. Cage is perfect for the ridged but caring Grug. The film is filled with almost Dr. Seuss style animals, which will make it enjoyable for even the youngest of filmgoers. It is worth seeing in 3D, as there are a number of action sequences that utilize the technology to its fullest. This is a fun, funny film that everyone will enjoy.    My Rating:  Full Price    The Croods Website
Indiefest:    Admission  (2013)  PG-13  Portia (Tina Fey) is an admissions officer for Princeton University, who is up for a promotion. She is determined that no stone will go unturned looking for the best and brightest students in the country for her university. When she visits a small alternative school, at the behest of a former classmate (Paul Rudd), she discovers a secret that she had hoped would forever be forgotten. This is one of those films that you really want to love but you end up just sort of liking it. The biggest problem with this film is the lack of chemistry between Fey and Rudd, as you just never quite see the attraction between the two. I also did not like the ending to this film, as Fey’s character does something so wrong that it makes you uncomfortable to witness it. The supporting cast, including Wallace Shawn as Fey’s boss and Lily Tomlin as her ultra-pro woman mom, are fun to watch but overall this film doesn’t quite hit the mark.    My Rating: Bargain Matinee    Admission Website
Indiefest:   The Gatekeepers  (2013)  PG-13  A documentary that for the first time gives you an inside look at the Israeli Shin Bet, the secretive governmental group that is in charge of Israel’s security service. The film combines interviews, archival footage and computer animation to show the role of this government faction that has been around since the Six-Day War. This is a fascinating film that is worthy of its Academy Award nomination. This film gives the filmgoer an insight into the complex puzzle of how Israel has dealt with the Palestinian population since the Six-Day War. The filmmakers interview six former heads of the Shin Bet, something that is utterly unheard of since the organization is highly secretive and usually doesn’t give interviews. This is the type of film that you will learn things about a subject matter that you thought you knew and one that will prompt many discussions afterword.    My Rating:  I Would Pay to See it Again    The Gatekeepers Website
Forgotten Film:   Lucas  (1986)  PG-13  Lucas (Corey Haim) is a shy, nerdy 14-year old boy who has never been popular at school. During the summer, Lucas develops a friendship with Maggie (Kerri Green), a beautiful girl that has just moved to town. Lucas becomes infatuated with Maggie, but when she becomes a cheerleader and becomes interested in a football player (Charlie Sheen), Lucas’s world seems to crash down upon him. This isn’t your typical 80’s teen comedy, but rather a film that has a heart and soul, that treats the main character with compassion and warmth. Haim gives one of the better performances of his career and the rest of the cast, including Sheen as the football player who actually cares about Lucas, does an impressive job of giving us real teenagers, not just charactures of high schoolers.    My Rating:  Full Price   Lucas Info

Weird Credits:  From the credits of Olympus Has Fallen:  Creative Executive for Gerard Butler

Coming Soon to a Theatre Near You:  Frances Ha  (2013)  R  I think Greta Gerwig is one of the best young actresses out there and I can’t wait to see her in this film about a single girl in New York that is trying to chase her dreams.     Frances Ha Website

Until Next Time!

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