Crossing Over (2009)
Crossing Over is a Wayne Kramer written and directed movie that fell through the cracks. Kramer is known for Running Scared (2006), The Cooler (2003), and most recently Pawn Shop Chronicles (2013). Running Scared was excellent and The Cooler and Pawn Shop Chronicles were both very solid films. Crossing Over did not appear to me like it would be any good. I wanted to give it a try however, because Kramer usually makes quality movies and the noteworthy cast includes Harrison Ford, Ray Liotta, Ashley Judd, Jim Sturgess, Cliff Curtis, Alice Eve, Alice Braga, Mahershala Ali, Josh Gad, Michael Cudlitz, and Marshall Manesh.
Crossing Over is about multiple stories of immigration to the United States. It follows multiple immigrants from all over the world who are trying to become legal citizens in Los Angeles. Some go through the proper process of trying to become legal citizens, while others try to do so illegally or skip the process altogether. Sometimes their stories intertwine and other times they do not. The film also follows the lives of the people who are trying to help these immigrants to become legal and also the ones who are trying to deport them. It deals with how sometimes mixing different cultures together can clash and how sometimes it can bring people closer together. It is all different perspectives on immigration in America.
The movie jumps all over the place from story to story. There is not a lot of character development because the movie is trying to tell too many stories instead of concentrating on one. As a result, it is hard to feel anything for the characters and it turns into a jumbled mess.
Ford gave a standout performance in the film. He was not given a lot to work with, but he managed to be likable anyway. He single-handedly tried to hold the broken pieces of the movie together, but there is only so much that one actor can do.
Overall the movie was hard to enjoy because it jumped around way too much. It was a waste of a quality cast and it was a waste of time. This is by far Wayne Kramer’s worst movie.
I rate this movie a 4 on a scale of 1-10.
Buy, rent, or run? Run.
Note: Michael Cudlitz has been in 3 Wayne Kramer movies: Running Scared, Crossing Over and Pawn Shop Chronicles.
Jim Sturgess and Josh Gad were both in the film 21 (2008) together.
It’s always interesting to me to find different movie connections.
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.
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.
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.
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).
Olympus Has Fallen (2013) (click on the title to read my full review)
Antoine Fuqua has a tendency to make very gritty, powerful films. Having directed such films as Training Day (2001), Shooter (2007), Tears of the Sun (2003), and Brooklyn’s Finest (2009), this film appears like it is going to follow in the footsteps of its predecessors. With a cast that includes Gerard Butler, Aaron Eckhart, Morgan Freeman, Dylan McDermott, Melissa Leo, Ashley Judd, Angela Bassett, and Fuqua directing, it would be hard for the movie to be bad. It definitely looks promising.
The film is set to release on 3/22/13 and I will most likely be in the theatre shortly after that.