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Olympus Has Fallen (2013)

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Olympus Has Fallen (2013)


Gerald Butler
Aaron Eckhart
Dylan McDermott
Morgan Freeman

Directed by Antoine Fuqua

The movie is very very bogus, but that aside I actually liked it. The whole one man army things is one thing that sometimes Hollywood over plays and no movie has been able to get near it like Die Hard 1 (1988) with Bruce Willis being the lone hero and First Blood(1982) with Sylvester Stallone being the lone hero/villain.
I’m not saying Olympus has Fallen is anywhere as good as those two but in its own rights it is an ok film, all you have to do is close your eyes to the height of unrealistic events and you have a good film. The plot itself is centered on a redemption course, as the lead Mike Banning (Gerald Butler) is a secret service agent who under his watch the President’s wife died in an accident (it was a car accident and it wasn’t his fault).

He got re-posted as the President was finding it hard to cope, because seeing Mike made him remember his loss. Then on a faithful day a man named Kang Yeonsak (Rick Yune) a North Korean terrorist, disguises himself as a South Korean ministerial aide and somehow managed to kidnap the President by launching an attack on the white house forcing the President to run into his bunker with the South Korean minister and his aides.

Now, Banning is our lone hero in the white house who must save the president’s son and the president himself.

My main problem is that if it is that easy to take over the White House then I’m really sorry for America.

As far as acting goes, Gerald Butler was not the man that impressed me it was the villain Rick Yune that did the job for me in the movie and as usual Morgan Freeman is just as impressive as ever. Although let me not be hard on Butler he was ok.
The movie didn’t do so well in the general consensus when you view its approval ratings from critics, like half of them didn’t feel it, and you won’t blame them the movie is one that you can only like if you hang all your senses at the door and just decide to just watch a movie and not be expectant.

Aaron Eckhart is still finding it hard in my view to top the performance he gave us in Dark Knight, but notwithstanding if you are game for some unrealistic event towards making an action packed, one man hero movie… then this is a movie you should see, if you are not… maybe you should miss this one.

The Call (2013)

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The Call (2013)


Halle Berry
Abigail Breslin
Morris Chestnut
Michael Eklund

Directed by Brad Anderson

At first The Call seems to be out of place and doesn’t seem to find a link between what you are being shown and what you are to enjoy, then “The Call” comes in and the movie starts, this movie thriller starts to become thrilling especially when the heroine ends up answering the call of the kidnapper the second time.

The movie then moves into a chase to save the girl, a chase that is very thrilling and keeps you at the edge of your sit as you start to wonder how it will all go, this whole excitement meets an anticlimax the moment Halle Berry our protagonist decides to take matters into her own hands. From here the movie starts to look stupid and seemed like a desperate need to make her look more like a true heroine by letting her be the one to take out the bad guy, something that the police should have done.

This almost creepy, almost gruesome 2013 movie features Halle Berry as a 911 operator named Jordan, who attended to a 911 call from a girl who was about to be kidnapped. Jordan out of panic called the girl back after the phone disconnected making it easier for the kidnapper/killer to find the victim easily. This is because the killer was unable to find his victim and he was about to leave thinking she had fled out the window when the call came in exposing where she was hiding.

Seeing her predicament Jordan left the 911 operator sit to be an operator trainer, but lightning struck twice. While coaching, a 911 call about a kidnapping came in and she was around and the new recruit didn’t know what to do, so Jordan took over and a chase to find the kidnapper and the kidnapped started.

Brad Anderson started well with this flick but just crashed it at the end, after waiting almost half an hour for the movie to start rolling in the punches I felt horrible when I realized that the last 20 – 30 minutes was just a waste.

That as it may, has not been a hindrance to the financial success of this film in the box office. Originally conceptualized as a TV series this movie is far from perfect and the last minutes of the film marred the whole build up to it.

I won’t be recommending this movie to my friends and I won’t recommend it to you too.

The Croods (2013)

The Croods (2013)


Starring the voices of
Nicolas Cage
Ryan Reynolds
Emma Stone
Catherine Keener

Directed by Kirk DeMicco and Chris Sanders

The Croods can be said to have come out a little crude, I felt it was too rough around the edges and the Midas touch of Chris Sanders (which showed up in Lilo & Stich (2002) and he is the man behind the Bolt (2008)story before he left Disney and joined Dreamworks to make the masterpiece How To Train Your Dragon (2010), which he will also be involved in the later sequels of it) is losing its touch after all.

It is not that The Croods didn’t have the family fun package because it did and it also had the whole family warmth that I expected from an animation targeted at young audience, but the movie was just too primitive, they went overboard with the whole caveman idea, I actually got tired of the stone age, something The Flintstones have not been able to achieve. The movie has many fast paced scenes, a lot of action (adventure) to make you sit up and not be bored, but at the end, it felt weak in the area of emotional sentiment something Pixar has mastered, which makes the characters memorable. The CGI was ok, but the movie also showed lack in the area of the character development, I actually didn’t see any reason to like anybody I saw on the screen.

The plot is about change and people’s failure to accept it. The Croods are a caveman family that has managed to survive the harsh conditions that they live in, only because they believe that to be curious or to desire change is to desire death.

But things changed when another Stone Age man passes by their cave, he is more advanced than they are and he knows how to make fire. Now The Croods have a problem, this man tells them it is time to move because where they are, is going to be gone soon as climatic changes are affecting the earth’s crust. But The Croods don’t want to move, except for one, she happens to have developed feelings for the young genius and propels the family to follow him.

The Croods is the first animation film from DreamWorks Animation to be distributed by 20th Century Fox, since the end of their distribution deal with Paramount Pictures in 2012 with Rise of the Guardians.

My take on this movie is that, it could have been better but it isn’t. The Croods is a family movie nothing more or spectacular I don’t see this having an Oscar nomination.

The Matrix (1999)

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The Matrix (1999)


Keanu Reeves
Laurence Fishburne
Carrie-Anne Moss
Hugo Weaving

Directed by Andy and Larry Wachowski

The Matrix is a movie made to last the time barrier and always be relevant whenever the Sci-Fi genre is mentioned. The movie is a classic and it is known majorly for its use of the visual effect known as bullet time. It went ahead to win four Academy Awards for its Visual Effect, Editing, Sound Mixing and Sound Editing. The story arc is one that leaves you wondering and its ending is like beginning to many open possibilities.

The Wachowski brothers took the best of the best of the Sci-Fi genre and an idea that never seems to stop plaguing the mind of many that one day computers will be taking over. The movie is directed by the brothers and produced by Joel Silver (who also produced Die Hard 1 & 2, Lethal Weapon 1 – 4, V for Vendetta (2005) and Bullet to the Head (2013)).

The story arc is about a post apocalyptic future where humans were now used as fuel to drive machines. The human race developed “THE A.I.” program, which in turn raged a war between it and its makers. In the end the human race lost and there are being grown for fuel, their brains are feed with ideas of a real life, while their minds live in a world called The Matrix.

There the human race is living their lives like they normally do not knowing that the life they live is not real.
The twist in this tale is, some figured out and the last collection of humans most are those taken out of The Matrix control live in a place called Zion. But there is a prophesy that a certain man will come and save the humans from the machines, and that man has been found by a man named Morpheus (Laurence Fishburne) and his crew which include Trinity (Carrie-Anne Moss). The name of that man is Neo (Keanu Reeves) or as Agent Smith (Hugo Weaving) calls him Mr. Anderson.

The 1982 Disney movie Tron, was to me the main inspiration for the movie, as it features lives in the grid, that is lives in a computer system. Also The Matrix can be said to have drawn ideas from other movies in the 90s like The Truman Show (1998) where Jim Carey’s life was being controlled by an external source and he was not the wiser, also I believe they got inspiration from Alex Proyas Dark City (1998)which like The Truman Show was done a year earlier . Also the fight scenes can be said to have been drawn from Japanese animation (Anime) which the Wachowski brothers took a likening into.

After the huge success of this movie, the Wachowski brothers went ahead to make two sequels (The Matrix Reloaded and The Matrix Revolutions), which were both released four years after in 2003. The Wachowski brothers also further expanded the story with comic books, cartoons and video games.
The Matrix is a good movie; in fact it is a great movie ranking high in any Sci-Fi list, the later Lord of the Rings trilogy and then the Star Wars prequel trilogy, started the whole trilogy phase that is now popular in Hollywood now a day.

So it is best to get the above listed 3 trilogies.

Shanghai Knight (2003)

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Shanghai Knight (2003)


Jackie Chan
Owen Wilson
Donnie Yen
Fann Wong

Directed by David Dobkin

Shanghai Noon (2000) gradually becomes Shanghai Knight, with both actors from the previous movie reprising their role as Chon Wang (Jackie Chan) and Roy (Owen Wilson). The movie is not as good as the first, but it is surprisingly interesting funny and captivating.
This time the makers also went as far as bringing into the plot this time much more familiar themes that we are more used too, we have in the plot this time a boy who winds up being Charlie Chaplin, the detective in the film ended up being Sir Arthur Conan Doyle who goes on to write the Sherlock Holmes mysteries, and according to the movie the name Sherlock Holmes is a made up name by Roy.

The movie plot is about our dynamic duo from the first movie, only this time their adventure takes them to England. The movie starts with the death of Wang’s (Jackie) father who was a guard of the royal diamond seal which was stolen. Wang’s father while dying told his daughter Chon Lin (Fann Wong) to retrieve the stolen seal and also deliver a puzzle box to her brother.

Now Wang her brother had become a Sherriff in Nevada, and when he got the message about his father’s death and the seal stolen away to England, he searched for Roy to get some money to travel to England. Roy on the other hand had lost all their gold that they got in the first film to gambling and daft investments. So now together with Wang’s sister Lin, they have to retrieve the diamond and have it return back to china.

Many more homages were made in this film that I will like to mention:
1.     The name of the villain also was tagged "the finest swordsman in England," which is a tribute to Basil Rathbone, who is known for his swordsmanship and always seem to be better than his counterparts in his movies but always holds back because the hero has to win. Also Rathbone played Sherlock Holmes in the 1930s to the 1940s series.

2.    Also in the movie we get to see Jackie Chan pay homage to the Rush Hour moviewhere Jackie distracts the guards by using Chinese vases.

3.      When knocking on Conan Doyle's door, the clothes that Roy and Wang are wearing are exactly the same dress that Holmes and Watson wore in Conan Doyle's stories.

The movie did fairly in the box office but it was a massive hit in Pakistan, where the movie was dubbed in Punjabi and several millions copies of the movie’s DVD and VCD sales were great, and so making the producers to also make Shanghai Noonalso in Punjabi.

This movie is a nice watch one that you will like seeing, and I enjoin you that you do.