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“Who ARE all these people?”

That was what I muttered to myself as I entered the first screening of “Angel Has Fallen” at my local cinema. It was just after 1 p.m. on a sunny Friday afternoon in late summer, the sort of stretch for which people bail on work to go for a hike or to the beach or something, but … this? The third movie in an increasingly-ludicrous series in which talking mayonnaise wad Gerard Butler has to save the day despite overwhelming odds against him? This is how you’re going to spend your day? Me, I have to be here – what’s your excuse?

Who ARE all these people?

Whoever they are, they got to see a movie that, while far from good, did manage to at least improve upon its execrable (and kind of racist) “London Has Fallen,” the follow-up to “Olympus Has Fallen,” best known as the “Deep Impact” to the “Armageddon” of the Channing Tatum/Jamie Foxx team-up “White House Down.”

“Angel Has Fallen” is happy to lean into the assorted tropes and clichés of the genre, featuring a convoluted narrative packed with inexplicable decision-making, totally telegraphed betrayals and meaningless technobabble jargon to go along with loads of grim grimaces and steely glares. It’s not good – never good – but it’s better. A low bar, but there you have it.

Published in Movies

As the end of the year approaches, moviegoers can look forward to a deluge of quality films gracing screens as studios jockey for position in the coming awards season. There are a spate of great films looming just over the horizon.

But as the new submarine action thriller “Hunter Killer” aptly illustrates – we’re not quite there yet.

Published in Movies
Tuesday, 23 January 2018 17:42

‘Den of Thieves’ a humdrum heist

There’s a joy to watching heist movies that is tough to find in any other cinematic subgenre. They’re propulsive by nature, with an inherent structure that allows for a steady build to an elaborate and satisfying climax.

Well … hopefully satisfying, anyway.

See, while there’s a lot to love about good heist movies (and even bad ones, really), there are few things worse than a forgettable heist movie, a film that cobbles together a threadbare collection of influences from superior offerings into something that simply … is.

Published in Movies
Wednesday, 25 October 2017 09:54

‘Geostorm’ rains on its own parade

Sci-fi action flick entertainingly terrible

Published in Movies
Wednesday, 27 March 2013 13:37

Die Hard' in D.C. - Olympus Has Fallen'

Action movie shoots up the White House

There was a stretch of time when Hollywood was struggling to figure out who the bad guys were going to be. Since the Cold War ended, our conflicts with foreign powers have been seen as standing on murky moral ground. 

However, recent years have granted studios another go-to foreign bad guy to antagonize the red, white and blue. North Korea has been making increasingly frequent appearances as the generic 'country that tries to fight with us.'

Published in Movies
Thursday, 13 December 2012 12:09

Playing For Keeps' deserves a red card

Rehashed rom-com has little to offer

While the genre is largely disparaged with labels like 'chick flick,' there's no disputing that romantic comedy can make for an enjoyable moviegoing experience. When a rom-com is well made, it manages to strike a balance between romance and comedy, providing love and laughs in equal measure.

And when it isn't well made? It manages to become 'Playing For Keeps.'

Published in Movies

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