Review: Olympus Has Fallen

olympus-has-fallenI know there were two “OMG, the terrorists have the White House” films this year, and I will freely admit one looked stupid and the other looked… well, maybe a little less stupid. That second one is Olympus Has Fallen and it’s got some street cred to go along with the silly premise so I figured it was worth a shot. Antoine Fuqua, who did Training Day, was behind the camera and Gerard Butler, Aaron Eckhart and Morgan Freeman were out in front so at least it would be fun watching them chew up the scenery if nothing else.

And honestly, there was nothing else. Continue reading “Review: Olympus Has Fallen”

Review: The Bucket List

This is the season when realism gets thrown out the window in favor of extended metaphor. In the case of Rob Reiner’s The Bucket List, that metaphor is about living life to the fullest, no matter what’s coming down the pike.

Like a recent rash of films, The Bucket List is more fairy tale than anything else. In it, two old guys, Edward Cole, a billionaire hospital developer (Jack Nicholson) and Carter Chambers, a mechanic (Morgan Freeman) are thrown together in the cancer ward of one of Cole’s hospitals. That these two are in the same room should be a clue that we’re leaving the realm of reality and when they become fast friends, confiding in each other of the woes of their lives, we are firmly in the land of fantasy. But so what? Where is it written that a film about cancer patients has to spend the bulk of its time showing how hard chemotherapy is? Where does it say a movie about a serious subject can’t be humorous and light-hearted and still impart a message? Sure, that might sound more like a made-for-TV style film but the star power here elevates this from mere after school special to full-fledged feature film. Continue reading “Review: The Bucket List”

Review: Gone Baby Gone

Gone baby goneBen Affleck, who won an Oscar as a writer, is once again returning to a spot behind the camera. For Gone Baby Gone, in addition to writing chores which he shares with a former production assistant named Aaron Stockard, he is also picking up the director’s reins and I must say, for this reviewer, I’d rather NOT see him on screen. For me Affleck is better when he’s not seen. Of course this doesn’t mean we go without an Affleck in a leading role, it’s just that this time the job goes to Ben’s younger brother Casey, whom, I suppose, is coming into his own as an actor. Continue reading “Review: Gone Baby Gone”