White House Down (2013)
I expected White House Down to be basically the same movie as Olympus Has Fallen (2013). Besides the actors, almost everything about each film looked very similar. It is very weird to me that two movies that are so much alike would be released the same year and so close to one another. For some reason I got it in my mind that White House Down was going to be the ugly cousin of Olympus Has Fallen.
White House Down follows a former military man (Channing Tatum) who brings his daughter with him to the White House where he managed to get a job interview to try to become a Secret Service Agent. He brings his daughter along with him to the White House because she is a huge fan of the President (Jamie Foxx). While there, they decide to take a tour. During the tour the White House is attacked and the man does what he can to protect his daughter and the President.
The film was directed by Roland Emmerich and the rest of the noteworthy cast includes Maggie Gyllenhaal, James Woods, Jason Clarke, Richard Jenkins, Joey King, Nicolas Wright, Jimmi Simpson, Michael Murphy, Rachelle Lefevre, Lance Reddick, Matt Craven, and Kevin Rankin.
This movie surprised me. It exceeded my expectations. I liked it a little bit better than Olympus Has Fallen. It was not quite as predictable as Olympus Has Fallen and I felt that the actors did a better job. Also, it seemed like White House Down had fewer flaws than Olympus Has Fallen.
The film was intense and exciting. The attack on the White House was eerily realistic. There was a lot of good action. As with most action movies, some of the action was a bit unbelievable at times. But, for the most part, this didn’t take away from the film.
Tatum was likable as he usually is. Foxx was better than I thought he would be as the President. When the two teamed up together, they were both pretty entertaining and even funny at times.
The rest of the actors played their parts well. Besides Tatum and Foxx, Woods and Jenkins stood out above the rest.
Overall, White House Down is a fun ride worth taking.
I rate this movie an 8 on a scale of 1-10.
Buy, rent, or run? Buy.
If you liked White House Down (2013), then you will probably enjoy the following movies:
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.
Due Date (2010)
Due Date engulfed me in laughter. It was one hysterical moment after another. Just when I thought I could not laugh any longer, I giggled and then laughed harder and longer than before.
The film is a sort of new-age Planes, Trains, & Automobiles (1987). Peter (Robert Downey Jr.) is leaving Atlanta and trying to return to his nearly birthing wife (Michelle Monaghan) in Los Angeles. Everything is going smoothly until Peter bumps into Ethan (Zach Galifianakis). Peter ends up stuck traveling across the country with Ethan desperately trying to be in the delivery room when his baby arrives.
The chemistry and timing between Robert Downey Jr. and Zach Galifianakis is hysterical. The way that their personalities play off of each other is brilliant. Robert Downey Jr. brings a slick, suave, seriousness to his character and Galifianakis is everything but. The duo was a perfect casting match. I think that this movie is easily my favorite Robert Downey Jr. movie and could be the best movie that Zach Galifianakis is in.
The humor is clever and raunchy and about everything else in between. But, it is all mostly just well-crafted. The writers: Alan R. Cohen, Alan Freedman, Adam Sztykiel, and Todd Phillips, took a very basic idea for a story and screenplay and let their imaginations run wild.
Due Date is directed by Todd Phillips. He continues his trend of directing and being a part of hilarious movies. I didn’t realize that he also directed The Hangover (2009), The Hangover Part II (2011), The Hangover Part III (2013), School for Scoundrels (2006), Starsky and Hutch (2004), Old School (2003), and Road Trip (2000) among others. That is a heck of a comedy resume! If you liked any of those movies, than you will definitely like Due Date.
If you have not seen this movie, I implore you to do so. It is available to rent on Netflix, or just go out and buy it. It is not currently available at the Redbox. I have probably seen it 5 times now and it was highly amusing every time. You will not be disappointed.
I rate this movie a 9.5 on a scale of 1-10.
Buy, rent, or run? BUY!
If you liked Due Date (2010), then you might enjoy Identity Thief (2013).
Note: I did you a favor by only posting the teaser trailer for this movie. The full-length preview shows way too much.
Django Unchained (2012)
Django Unchained was a bloody masterpiece in film making. Quentin Tarantino did a fantastic job writing and directing the film. He even gave himself a fun cameo appearance in the film as he often likes to do in his movies. He has a tendency to choose the perfect actor for each role in his films. Somehow Tarantino seems to have the power to obtain the best possible performances out of each and every actor in all of the movies that he makes and Django Unchained was no exception.
As with most of Tarantino’s films, Django Unchained was a carefully executed and well scripted exercise in goriness and vulgarity. I think that this excitement and intensity that is shown in previews often will actually turn a person off from seeing the film. They may think that the film looks too violent or too R-rated.
These days there are so many straight-up violent movies filled with so much unnecessary blood, torture, cussing, and pure evil such as Hostel (2005) and its sequels, or Saw (2004) and its almost yearly sequels. It seems like the main intention of those films is to see how far they can push the envelope in gruesomeness. They always have to one-up the previous film of its kind.
When Quentin Tarantino first started making movies it seemed like they were almost strictly for shock value i.e. Reservoir Dogs (1992) or Pulp Fiction (1994). Don’t get me wrong, both of those films were solid movies in their own right, but they lacked meaning and story. They did however, have great characters portrayed by superb actors spouting very colorful dialogue.
In recent years Tarantino has perfected his craft. He has successfully penned films with true meaning and spectacular stories. His best example of this is Inglourious Basterds (2009) and I believe Django Unchained to be his second best film. Although his films continue to be extreme, they are no longer strictly for shock value. They are very edgy, but they will entertain you if you give them a chance.
Christoph Waltz delivers an unquestionable Oscar worthy performance in Django Unchained. The funny thing about that is that I thought his performance in Inglourious Basterds was also without a doubt, valuable enough to receive an Oscar. Waltz did in fact; win back to back Best Supporting Actor Oscars for both Tarantino films. At the rate that he is going, I would not be surprised if Christoph Waltz wins another Oscar in a Tarantino movie in the future.
In Django Unchained Waltz stole the show. Jamie Foxx did a wonderful job as Django, but his performance was overshadowed by Waltz. Leonardo DiCaprio would have won a Best Supporting Oscar for his role in the film if Christoph Waltz wasn’t in it. If Dicaprio had given the same supporting performance in a different movie in any other year besides 2009 or 2012 he would have won the Oscar. Arguably the only performance better than that of Christoph Waltz in Django Unchained was that of Christoph Waltz in Inglourious Basterds.
There were so many excellent actors in this film, that if I tried to list them all, I would certainly miss a few. A few more certainly worth mentioning were Samuel L. Jackson, Don Johnson and James Remar. James Remar (probably most known as Dexter’s adopted father in the television series Dexter.) actually played two different characters in the movie, but nobody seemed to notice. I caught it right away though and I thought that it was a little weird.
Django Unchained is a new-age Spaghetti Western of epic proportions with heart and soul, splattered with lots of blood and violence throughout. It definitely deserves an R-rating, but it also definitely deserves a watch. I have wanted to see the movie for a long time and I almost went to it about a dozen times in the last couple of months. I’m glad that I finally saw the film.
I rate this movie a 10 on a scale of 1-10.
Buy, rent, or run? Buy.