London Has Fallen (2016)

London Has Fallen
Director: Babak Najafi
Writer: Creighton Rothenberger, Katrin Benedikt, Christian Gudegast, Chad St. John
Sequel to: Olympus Has Fallen
Cast: Gerard Butler, Aaron Eckhart, Radha Mitchell, Angela Bassett, Morgan Freeman, Jackie Earle Haley, Melissa Leo, Alon Aboutboul
Seen on: 13.3.2016

Plot:
Mike Banning (Gerard Butler) is about to resign from his job in the Secret Service as the bodyguard of President Benjamin Asher (Aaron Eckhart), despite the fact that he and Asher are very close indeed. But Mike’s wife Leah (Radha Mitchell) is expecting and he wants to take it more slowly when the kid arrives. Before that, though, news that the English Prime Minister died reaches Asher. It’s clear that like most of the world’s most prominent politicians, Asher will have to attend the funeral in London and Mike will come with him. But an event like that is the perfect place for an attack – which is just what happens, leaving Mike and Benjamin stranded in London, fighting for survival.

I really hadn’t planned on seeing this. I pretty much hated Olympus Has Fallen (much preferring White House Down) and so putting myself through the sequel seemed like a non-starter. But then puzzledpeaces made puppy eyes at me and I found myself packing a whole lot of alcohol and resigning myself to my fate. It turns out that London Has Fallen is not necessarily a better film than Olympus Has Fallen, but it is more entertaining. Do take that as the very faint praise it is, though.

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Bird People (2014)

Bird People
Director: Pascale Ferran
Writer: Guillaume Bréaud, Pascale Ferran
Cast: Josh CharlesAnaïs DemoustierRoschdy ZemTaklyt VongdaraGeoffrey CantorCamélia JordanaRadha Mitchell
Part of: Viennale, Scope50
[Review by cornholio.]

Plot:
Gary (Josh Charles) comes to Paris for a business meeting and quite suddenly he decides that he won’t be returning home anymore. Audrey (Anaïs Demoustier) works as a chamber maid in the hotel Gary’s staying at. Her interest is piqued by Gary but quickly moves away from him when she finds herself transformed into a sparrow. For both of them, the sudden shift in perspective means a re-ordering of their lives.

Bird People was charming and amusing, but it lacked a sense of direction for me. I would have liked to get a bit more focus, but I didn’t miss it too much.

birdpeople

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Pitch Black (2000)

Pitch Black
Director: David Twohy
Writer: Jim Wheat, Ken Wheat, David Twohy
Cast: Vin Diesel, Radha Mitchell, Cole Hauser, Keith David, Rhiana Griffith

Plot:
A spaceship crashlands on an unknown planet, steered by Carolyn (RadhaMitchell) who takes over from the captain. The ship carried a few passangers, most of them civilians. But among them are also Riddick (Vin Diesel), prisoner of William Johns (Cole Hauser) who is transporting him to a penal colony. While everyone is anxious at first about Riddick, the fact of the matter is that the only thing more dangerous than Riddick himself on this planet are the creatures that inhabit it.

Pitch Black is one of those rather claustrophobic space thrillers and it works rather well. Though the sometimes rather cheap look hurts the film a bit, I did enjoy it.

pitchblack

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Olympus Has Fallen (2013)

Olympus Has Fallen
Director: Antoine Fuqua
Writer: Creighton Rothenberger, Katrin Benedikt
Cast: Gerard Butler, Aaron Eckhart, Finley Jacobsen, Dylan McDermott,
Rick Yune, Morgan Freeman, Angela Bassett, Melissa Leo, Radha Mitchell, Ashley Judd

Plot:
Mike Banning (Gerard Butler) was President Asher’s (Aaron Eckhart) first bodyguard and friend. Until he wasn’t able to safe the life of the First Lady (Ashley Judd). 18 months later he’s working a desk job even though he wants nothing more than to get back at the president’s side. Then the White House is attacked, the president is being held hostage in his own bunker and Mike finds himself in the middle of things, trying his best to save everyone.

I didn’t expect Olympus Has Fallen to be any good. @kathrintha and I went in with a bottle of alcohol and the distinct suspicion that it was going to be awful. We had no idea how awful though and when we ran out of (ready-made) Mojito half-way through, the movie became pretty much unbearable.

olympus_has_fallen

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The Crazies (2010)

The Crazies is the newest movie by Breck Eisner, a remake of the 1973 Romero movie (which I haven’t seen). It stars Timothy Olyphant, Radha Mitchell and Joe Anderson.

Plot:
A small town in the middle of the US. Nothing much ever happens here until one day, a guy stumbles onto the baseball field in the middle of a game, seemingly drunk, brandishing a shotgun. The town sheriff, David (Timothy Olyphant) shoots him. But that’s only the beginning of the craziness that seems to spread around town…

The Crazies is a mixed bag of beans. There are some beautiful shots, which are promptly used ad nauseam; the acting is mediocre, mostly; there are some frankly scary moments but most of the time, I was too busy thinking about the plot holes to be actually scared.

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