Posts Tagged ‘Morgan Freeman


A Look Ahead: Opening 5/31/13


After Earth (2013)  trailer  Official site  IMDB page



Now You See Me (2013)  Trailer     Official site   IMDB page



The Kings of Summer (2013)  Trailer    Official Site   IMDB page



The East (2013)  Trailer  Official site  IMDB page




One look at Tom Cruise’s body of work and you’ll notice he’s done it all. With his latest film, Oblivion, Cruise steps into the science fiction genre.

Oblivion is set in post-apocalyptic USA in the year 2077. In a speedy voice over, we learn humans have won the war against the alien Scavs, machines programmed to destroy, but a select number of humans, Jack Harper (Cruise), had to remain behind to clean up the mess.  As a consequence of the war, all humans were subject to a mandatory memory swipe. Memory swipe and all, Jack keeps seeing visions of walking by a beautiful woman in what appears to be New York City.

Main character, drone technician, Jack Harper (Cruise), spends his days going into what remains of Earth repairing drones so they can continue fighting the Scavs.  Jack only has two more weeks left of duty and can then join the other humans on another planet.  During a routine maintenance outing, Jack discovers a spacecraft falling to the ground.  Upon investigation, Jack discovers the woman he keeps having visions of locked into a protective casing.  Before the Scavs destroy her, Jack is able to drag her to safety, taking her to his house.  After hearing who she is and what she was doing, Jack learns not everything is what it seems.

Oblivion is visually stunning.  There are expansive desert landscapes and magnificent sequences of intergalactic matter. The film’s setting is beautiful and you’ll want to keep your eyes on the screen for that reason alone. This is easily the best aspect of the film.

The acting is decent, nothing cringe worthy. However, early on Cruise is robotic and looks uncomfortable. As the film progresses, he relaxes and delivers an average performance.  Morgan Freeman, who’s underutilized, is good in his small role.

Anyone looking to Oblivion for action will not be disappointed.  Almost from the opening scene, there’s someone running from gunfire and continues to right up until the end credits.

Easily the biggest complaint is the story is so hard to follow.  Once you think you know what’s going on, a twist happens and takes the film in a completely different direction.  This happens on several occasions.  If you’re seeing Oblivion, do not leave your seat until it’s over or you will be lost.


Olympus Has Fallen


What would happen if the residence at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington D.C. was overtaken by terrorists?  How would Americans react if our Commander in Chief was taken hostage?  Those are two scenarios explored in Antoine Fuqua’s new film, Olympus Has Fallen, starring Gerard Butler and Aaron Eckhart.

Olympus Has Fallen is about former secret service agent Mike Banning (Gerard Butler) who works a desk job at the Department of Treasury after a fatal accident.  Banning soon finds himself in the White House after a Presidential meeting with international leaders turns out to be more than expected.  The White House is taken over by terrorists and the President (Eckhart) and cabinet members are taken hostage.  Banning must race against the clock to foil the terrorist’s sinister plot to save the President and the country.

The story is basically a rehashing of every major 90s action film.  Olympus Has Fallen pits an average, ordinary guy who’s recently gone through professional issues against seemingly insurmountable odds as the fate of the world hang in the balance.  Those story lines have produced a number of entertaining films, but Olympus Has Fallen brings nothing new.  The story is incredibly outlandish and unbelievable.  The White House is taken over way too easy and as soon the residence is occupied by foreign combatants, we see swat teams pull up.  The absurdity of the story is maddening and annoying.

Olympus Has Fallen produces some of the dumbest characters and cheesiest lines in recent memory.  For example, at one point the person leading the coup of the White House talks on camera to a room full of high ranking military and governmental officials and no one recognizes him.  Twenty minutes later, we learn he’s one of the most wanted terrorists in the world, but the people responsible for knowing that information had no idea.  Also, we get lines like “America does not negotiate with terrorists” and many more like it.

Olympus Has Fallen badly wants to be the first Die Hard and Mike Banning wants to be John McClane neither comes even close. It’s hard to believe Training Day and Olympus Has Fallen is directed by the same person. One is great and the other not so much.



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