Wednesday, June 26, 2013

White House Down (PG-13/131 Min.)

white house down photo: White House Down (2013) l_2334879_48c8f4da_zps80e9cca1.jpg

Olympus Has Fallen…again. Or so I thought. If you agree, I ask that you go ahead and drop that thought at the door and give White House Down a chance. Yes, there are several similarities but so many more differences that if you let the first movie go you might enjoy this one. I have to admit that I didn’t expect much from WHD other than an entertaining couple of hours. It was definitely entertaining but wait…there’s more!

White House Down is about John Cale, a Capitol policeman who dreams of joining the Secret Service and is forced to fulfill those duties while on a tour at the White House with his daughter.

I will try not to compare this too much to OHF but I have to at least say this. I questioned some of the military judgment/decisions in OHF and I did the same for WHD. Why on earth would the powers that be not change any and every method of logging in to the country’s weapons program if the President is found to be incapacitated or believed to be dead? And I would really like to know if a pilot would, in real life, do what the pilot in the movie did. It’s probably hard to answer that question because it would very likely depend on the person. They would have to decide which they would be more able to live with; obeying orders no matter what or going with their conscience. I can’t even begin to know what my decision would be.

For those of you who may think that I went to see this just because Channing Tatum is in it, I’d like to say you’re wrong. There were other reasons too. But, since we’re already talking about him, Channing is John Cale, ex-soldier, ex-husband, not-so-reliable (but trying) dad and Secret Service wannabe. I know he doesn’t sound promising but he gets his right place at the right time moment or twenty. He’s most definitely an action hero in WHD but he’s also a dad who loves his daughter and dang if he didn’t make me sniffle a time or two because of it. I really liked him in this movie. He hit several parts of the spectrum with his acting. Okay, so he didn’t quote Shakespeare but it wasn’t that kind of movie.

Joey King is John’s daughter, Emily. She was almost perfect for this role. We first see Emily as the sullen tween and then as a know-it-all. Pretty soon though we get to see her bravery in the face of many MANY dangers and finally not only how smart she truly is but that she’s also self-sacrificing. And she is one tough cookie! Every one of her emotions come across on the screen and I’m hard-pressed to be able to think of anyone who could have done it better. Something that happened to her reminded me why I get so fed up with the media nowadays. Is it really necessary to put people in harm’s way just to scoop the story? I can tell you right now that hope I will never want/need information so badly that I don’t mind that people are hurt because others are determined to report it. In the movie, Emily has a video blog on youtube. While doing a little extra research this evening I came across a link to the vlog. Click here to check it out.

I’m going to wrap up the actor/character descriptions with Jamie Foxx. He would be another reason I wanted to see WHD. I just really like him. In this film he gets to be the President of the United States. Nice! What I love about this role is that he’s not infallible. We see that he’s got a few quirks and we laugh and love him for them and then move on. He even comes across as a tad nerdy a couple of times. Sadly, he played a big role in my least favorite scene. He had to make a horrible decision and look a much-loved (by the audience) person in the eye while he did it. Once again, I don’t know what my decision would have been so I can’t judge his.

For those of you craving lots of action and explosions you should be satisfied with WHD. It’s almost realistic too. Channing’s face does, in fact, get a little bloody but not as much as it would have if this had been real. But who, in their right mind, is going to mess up Channing’s face? I mean, come on! Also, for those of you who are wondering if they snuck some romance in on us the answer is a resounding NO! If you’re expecting even a little mush then this is not the movie for you.

What else can you expect from this movie? Let’s see:

Sex/Nudity – Not really. We saw a thermal image of a couple engaging in intimate relations but that’s it. Channing does keep most of his clothes on. Sorry ladies. You’re going to have to just enjoy the fact that he strips down to just a white tank top. Okay, so he’s wearing pants and shoes too but you get my point.

Drinking/Drugs/Smoking – Here’s where I should have paid better attention. I don’t recall seeing any of that.

Cussing/Swearing – Yup. It’s not as bad as I thought it would be though. I only recall one F-bomb and a couple GDs. The favored word was synonymous with poo. Sorry folks. Still trying to keep my posts at least PG.

Violence – Well, yeah. Of course. People die from gun shots and explosions but there wasn’t any gore. The director didn’t sensationalize the blood and wounds and I was very okay with that. Once again, national landmarks are damaged but I think we’ve gotten to where we expect that. It’s just not an action movie until either New York, California or Washington DC get blown up in some way, shape or form.

If you’re a Channing Tatum fan, you’ll like this movie. If you’re a Jamie Foxx fan, you’ll like this movie. If you like all action all the time, chances are pretty good you’ll like this movie. I plan on going to see it again after its release. Unless you’ve got a big screen TV this is definitely best enjoyed at the theater.

Finally, I only have one thing I’d change about the ending. Someone should have called his/her spouse to let them know that he/she was okay. But I’ll let it slide this time.

Friday, June 7, 2013

This Is the End (R/107 Min.)

This Is the End photo ThisIstheEnd_zpscd26a1f3.jpg

Wow! This Is the End was not good. Well, for me anyway. I avoided the trailers and went solely based on who was in the movie. Bad decision on my part. I knew just looking at the poster that it would be stupid humor but this went above and beyond. This is what I imagine went in to the writing of this film:

“Okay, I have an idea. Let’s make a movie about the end of the world and we’ll play ourselves. No, not WITH ourselves [giggle, snort]. Play us. Since everyone thinks that all celebrities do in their off time is drink and do drugs we’ll do a LOT of that. And then a bunch of people will disappear and then we’ll hole up in Franco’s house because it’s, like, built of concrete so it’s super fortified. Of course, we’ll have to talk about body parts and poop and pee and other fluids…a LOT. And wouldn’t it be hilarious if we totally bagged on Christianity? And we’ve got to get a lot of celebrities to be in it. Oh! I wonder what we could talk Channing in to doing!”

It couldn’t have taken too much more thought than that. At no point was “intellectual” humor included in the plot. It was straight up gutter/toilet humor. If you happen to like that then you’ll love This Is the End. I will admit that I laughed a few times but most of it was caused by the sheer stupidity and awkwardness of some of the jokes. But some of it was just gross. I took Mac with me again and we both almost hurled during one scene. I don’t know how many times I leaned over and said, “I’m so glad we didn’t pay for this.” Well, not with cash anyway. I want that 107 minutes back.

I would be surprised if there was much of a script for this movie. I think they all just got together, received a basic scene description then were told to run with it. I won’t waste time on talking about each actor because there wasn’t much acting in this. It was just one cheap joke after another.

The break-down for this is relatively simple. Was there cussing? Absolutely. Was there nudity? Definitely. It’s weird, over-the-top nudity too. And it’s not women. Was there drinking and drugs? Oh crap yeah. Was there sex? It was grossly implied. Did I like anything about this movie? Yes. Yes, I did. I liked the group cameo that showed up at the very end. Was it worth it to be able to see them? No. No, it wasn’t.

To say “Don’t take your children to see this movie” is sorely understating it. I beg you not to take yourselves. I have a feeling this is going to do well at the box office and that’s very sad. In case you’re wondering whether or not I even have a sense of humor, I do. Ask anyone. Ask them. ASK THEM! Ahem. I just, apparently, don’t have the sense of humor needed to enjoy this movie.

I just knew that there would be a teaser after the credits but there was nothing. I may have to watch another movie before I go to sleep tonight just so I don’t dream of this one.