At The Movies-Olympus Has Fallen

A superior action film

At the Movies

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The action heroes of yesteryear have had their innings already in 2013, now a younger hero has arrived. Gerald Butler stars in Olympus Has Fallen and he really kicks, punches, stabs and shoots his way through this superior actioner. Butler is young enough to pull off the whole tough guy thing that we want.

Two first-time writers, Katrin Benedikt and Creighton Rothenberger, have combined with the skilled director that gave us Training Day to award us with the first great action flick of the year.

Antoine Fugua has directed one fabulous and other mediocre films and Olympus Has Fallen is very near the top of his efforts.

The three pull off a master’s trick right in the first few minutes of the movie by getting us to bond with the characters. There is a scene that introduces the President of the U.S. (Aaron Eckhart) and his wife (Ashley Judd) to us in a way that makes them real, accessible people. Similarly we meet hero secret service agent Gerald Butler and his nurse wife Radha Mitchell in a few moments at the breakfast table, which brings them to life. Fugua managed to allow the actors to do this in a few quick strokes. It is very well done indeed and very rare.

But then the shooting starts. A gang of pro North Korea terrorists attack the White House (Olympus) and holds the President as ransom for a U.S. pull out of the Korean peninsula.  They hope a new Korean War will be the result. Butler is working across town at the Treasury and makes his way to the White House when things get violent. A man on the inside makes all the difference.

Butler is backed up by a cast of real stars — Dylan McDermott is a renegade agent, a true bad guy; Morgan Freeman plays the Speaker of the House, third in line for the Presidency and he takes charge with a brilliantly written couple of lines of dialogue — about coffee of all things. Melissa Leo as the Secretary of Defense has a terrifyingly intense scene where she heroically withstands a savage beating and Angela Bassett gives a strong role the Secret Service boss.

This four saw blade film is just about at the top of the action pile, never mind a plot absurdity here and there. It is exactly two hours long and should return its $70 million cost with interest. It is rated a strong R for plenty of realistic violence. There is a large body count — properly executed — with no tongue in cheek extravagant excesses like Django Unchained.

This film looks great on the new screens and sounds great with the new sound system at the Saw Mill. Soon we will have 3-D.

The Incredible Burt Wonderstone

No reason to be amazed

Anthony Tantimonaco

Teen reviewer

The Incredible Burt Wonderstone follows the story of Burt and his long-time friend Anton, from when they were children to Vegas, where they have their own magic show. Things go wrong when a street magician threatens their show — and friendship. Now to me that sounds like a plot to a good movie, however “Burt Wonderstone” was terrible.

In this movie were many great actors such as Jim Carrey, Steve Carell and Olivia Wilde — all great actors. But this movie does not help their careers at all. The acting done in this movie was as good as a freshman taking his first acting class — translation: it was mediocre.

Jim Carrey plays Steve Grey, aka “Brain Rapist,” the street “Magician” who proves a threat to Burt and Anton’s show. I put magician in quotations because he is not your typical magician. The tricks Jim Carrey performs in this movie will make you sick to your stomach and force your eyes away from the screen.

Burt Wonderstone also features Alan Arkin, the man from Get Smart and, most recently, Argo. I don’t know why Alan Arkin would go from a role in an Academy Award winning film to such a second-rate role as Rance Holloway in Burt Wonderstone, however his acting was the best in this film, and even that’s not saying much.

I could go on, but in total the acting was bad, and it wasn’t as funny as the trailer makes it out to be.

Yes it did have its moments, but the only funny moments are what you see in the trailers. All in all, I would not recommend this movie.

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