Daily Archives: April 4, 2013

R.I.P. Roger Ebert

Roger Ebert

RIP Roger Ebert.  June 8th, 1942 – April 4th, 2013.

The famous film critic died today in Chicago due to complications from cancer.  He was 70.

A thumbs up to you sir!


Trailer for White House Down (2013)

White House Down Poster

White House Down (2013) (click on the title for my full review)

It never ceases to amaze me how often very similar movies release in theatres just a few months apart from each other.  White House Down appears to be basically the same story as Olympus Has Fallen (2013).  Is it a coincidence how both movies have titles that are so alike?

White House Down is directed by Roland Emmerich who is known for directing The Day After Tomorrow (2004), The Patriot (2000), and Independence Day (1996).

White House Down stars Channing Tatum, Jamie Foxx, Jason Clarke, Joey King, Maggie Gyllenhaal, James Woods, Richard Jenkins, Rachelle Lefevre, Jimmi Simpson, Lance Reddick, Garcelle Beauvais, Peter Jacobson, and Matt Craven.

The movie does look good.  I will probably have to check it out in the theatre.

The film is set to release on 6/28/13.

Olympus Has Fallen (2013)

Olympus has fallen poster

Olympus Has Fallen (2013)


Olympus Has Fallen fell short slightly of my expectations.  A few events that took place in the film were so unrealistic that is took away from my suspension of disbelief.  Parts of the movie were pretty predictable and other parts were almost laughably over the top.  With all of that being said, it was an action movie and most action movies have at least a couple of scenes that are a bit much and a little hard to believe.  It is all meant to entertain and this movie is filled with enough action that it does just that.

Olympus has fallen terrorists

Antoine Fuqua is known for directing very raw and darkly intense films with good casts and Olympus Has Fallen falls in that category.

After the White House is overrun by terrorists and the President (Aaron Eckhart) is taken hostage, an ex-secret service agent (Gerard Butler) does all that he can to try to get the President back alive and help to retake the White House.

Olympus has fallen Gerard Butler

This is Gerard Butler’s best movie since Law Abiding Citizen (2009).

Aaron Eckhart gives a pretty decent performance as per usual.

Besides The Campaign (2012), I have not seen Dylan McDermott in anything good for a very long time, so his role in this film was pretty refreshing.


I have also not seen Ashley Judd in anything for a long time, so it was nice to see her in this movie.

Morgan Freeman has looked very old for a long time, but in this film he really looks ancient.  He seems so old that his character is almost unrealistic.  I have noticed that he is popping up in everything lately.  It’s almost like he is trying to go out with a bang.

Olympus has fallen Morgan Freeman

Rounding out the rest of the solid cast is Rick Yune, Angela Bassett, Melissa Leo, Radha Mitchell, Cole Hauser, and Robert Forster.

Olympus has fallen Eckhart Judd

Overall, the movie is enjoyable and worth seeing.  If you want to see something that is action-packed throughout, then Olympus Has Fallen will fill the bill.

I rate this movie a 7.5 on a scale of 1-10.

Buy, rent, or run?  Rent.

If you liked Olympus Has Fallen (2013), then you will most likely enjoy White House Down (2013).

Oz the Great and Powerful (2013)

oz the great and powerful poster

Oz the Great and Powerful (2013)

Oz is bursting with great visuals and powerful special effects so stunning that they are beautiful works of art by themselves.  The film is full of crisp, vibrant colors that help to contribute in transporting you to another world; the Land of Oz to be exact.

Oz stunning picture

Upon hearing rumors many months ago that this movie was going into production, I was extremely skeptical.  Why doesn’t Hollywood leave well enough alone?  Why do they insist on fixing something that is not broken?  The original film (The Wizard of Oz (1939) is a timeless classic.  It is one of the most famous and beloved movies ever made.  Even 74 years later, the film could never be made better.  Why try to even compete?

I found out that this new movie was going to be a prequel.  I was still just as skeptical.  I forgot about it for a while until I finally saw a preview for it.  The preview was intriguing enough for me to want to see it.

Oz field sign

Oz the Great and Powerful was very tastefully written and filmed.  It did not try to compete with the original, and it never could.  I was impressed by how the Land of Oz was recreated.  No, it was not the same as the Oz that we all know and love, but it was a nice tribute to that Oz.  The scenes in black and white were reminiscent to the scenes in Kansas that we all grew up watching.  Not the same, but entertaining to watch.

oz wicked witch

The movie was a fun take on what happened in Oz before Dorothy got there.  It tells the tale of how Oz himself ended up there.  You get to see how the wicked witch became wicked and who her sister was long before she gets a house dropped on her.  Glinda the good witch is there and so are the munchkins.

The movie is filled with capable actors like James Franco, Mila Kunis, Rachel Weisz, Michelle Williams, Zach Braff, Bill Cobbs, Tony Cox, Bruce Campbell, and Ted Raimi.  They all give decent, likable performances.  Nobody really stands out, but that’s okay.

Oz mila good

I can’t imagine how much pressure Sam Raimi was under when he directed this movie.  There are big shoes that he could never fill.

The film does not try to intertwine with the original and that is what strongly works in its favor.  It is a whole different story and a whole different movie.  If you don’t expect it to actually be the original, then you might actually enjoy it like I did.

I rate this movie an 8 on a scale of 1-10.

Buy, rent, or run?  Buy.