Currently browsing the "Morgan Freeman" tag.

Quickie Review: Angel Has Fallen

This one’s easy: If you saw and liked Olympus Has Fallen and/or London Has Fallen, then there’s absolutely no harm in catching Angel Has Fallen. For the trifecta! The characters, tempo, plot, action, and carnage are predictable and familiar, except this time you get the added bonus of Nick Nolte coming out of the woodwork – or the woods- as the absentee dad of Secret Service Agent extraordinaire Mike Banning (Gerard Butler).

Ben-Hur

Ben-Hur revisited is the best movie for the faith-based crowd since Gods of Egypt, and I say that with tongue firmly in cheek. Both are really weak. Like the 1959 original starring Charlton Heston, the 2016 remake tells the epic story of Judah Ben-Hur, a Jewish prince falsely accused of treason by his adopted brother, Messala Severus, an officer in the Roman army. After years enslaved in the galley of a ship, Judah returns to Jerusalem seeking revenge (and a reunion with his wife), but after an epic 3D chariot race against Messala, Judah finds redemption instead.

Lucy

I generally like Luc Besson movies — The Fifth Element, Leon: The Professional, La Femme Nikita. He writes some pretty interesting female characters who frequently have to fend for themselves in a very violent world. And that is just what the title character in his latest flick Lucy does. Played by Scarlett Johannsen, Lucy is an American student in Taipei who is forced to be a mule for a very interesting new designer drug, and then through a series of unfortunate events, pretty much all hell breaks loose as she turns into superhuman.

Now You See Me

So I had a choice of overlapping screenings: After Earth (a sci-fi adventure with the father-son team of Will and Jaden Smith) or Now You See Me, a heist movie involving a quartet of illusionists. I chose the latter. That was probably a wise choice given the less than stellar buzz I’m hearing about Earth. But Now You See Me isn’t all that great either, despite having a few good tricks up its sleeve. Overall, it’s a decent movie for anyone in the mood for a moderately entertaining mind-bender with a solid cast. Or, if you’re a fan of magic and illusion and need to get The Incredible Burt Wonderstone out of your head. If Wonderstone had gone down a somewhat dark and twisty path, this is where it might have led.

Oblivion

Tom Cruise plays quintessential Tom Cruise (aka a heroic guy named Jack) in this epic post-Armageddon sci-fi fantasy flick about a drone repairman who goes rogue in an effort to save humankind. You go, Jack! There’s more to the plot, of course, but good luck trying to figure it out. Perhaps it should have been called “Oblivious”. The movie is a bit like Top Gun meets Independence Day – set in the future. Cruise plays a pilot, and aliens are out to destroy the Earth. Oblivion is quite loud, with an overabundance of musical crescendos. But it’s also visually impressive, with lots of sweeping vistas of raw devastation and pristine beauty. Put it all together and you’ve got an engaging yet perplexing movie.

Olympus Has Fallen

Olympus has Fallen is the movie that the producers of 24 probably wanted to make, eventually, and that a Die Hard 6 may aspire to be, someday. But Jack Bauer and John McClane may want to pack up and go home, ‘cause there’s a new anti-terrorism badass in town. And his name is Mike Banning (Gerard Butler). Olympus Has Fallen is a superficial but satisfying thriller that I really liked when I wasn’t averting my eyes. So, I guess that means I really liked about two-thirds of the movie. Or maybe it was one-third. I’m not really sure. Seriously, I haven’t looked away from a screen so much – and for so long – since the opening sequence of Saving Private Ryan. The carnage is that intense. But strip away the mass amount of destruction, bodies, bullets, bombs and bloodshed, and you’ve got a good ol’ fashioned entertaining action flick. Maybe even a good date movie! Yup, here’s why:

The Dark Knight Rises

There are movies. And then there are MOVIES. The Dark Knight Rises (a.k.a. the latest, and some say the last, Batman) is most definitely the latter. It has an epic running time of two hours and 44 minutes and is probably best viewed as intended, on one of those giant IMAX screens. That’s where I saw it – on the six-story high IMAX at the Smithsonian’s Museum of Natural History. I guess Batman counts as a natural, historical figure these days. Anyway, what you’re probably wondering most is, did I like it? And the answer is…

Invictus

Two questions come to mind when you watch Clint Eastwood’s new feel good movie Invictus. Did rugby really make that big a difference in race relations in South Africa? And just what in the hell are the rules of rugby?