Thursday, January 30, 2014

Quick Shots 27

Title: Olympus Has Fallen.

Starring: Gerard Butler, Aaron Eckhart, Dylan McDermott, Rick Yune, Morgan Freeman, Angela Bassett, Melissa Leo, Cole Hauser, Finley Jacobsen, Ashley Judd.

Brief Synopsis: Mike Banning (Butler) is a member of the secret service, and close friend to President Benjamin Asher (Eckhart). He also gets along very well with the president's son, Connor (Jacobsen). On an icy night to give a speech, the president's limo is hit by a falling branch and teeters off a bridge - unable to get the first lady (Judd) out of the car, Banning makes the difficult decision of pulling the president out and the first lady fell to her death. Having to blame someone - Asher fires Banning. But, when the White House is under attack by North Korea - it's Banning that becomes the lone hope to stop the attack. 

Opinion: Pretty decent action-packed film. Butler I think is more of an action star than a romantic comedy actor - so he is in his element here. A lot of this was pretty predictable, but even though most of it was seen coming, the trip was still pretty enjoyable.


Title: R.I.P.D.

Starring: Jeff Bridges, Ryan Reynolds, Kevin Bacon, Mary-Louise Parker, Stephanie Szostak, James Hong, Marisa Miller.

Brief Synopsis: Nick (Reynolds) is a police officer in Boston. After taking stolen items from a drug bust with his partner Hayes (Bacon), Nick has a change of heart and wants to turn it in - but says he won't turn Hayes in. During a raid at a warehouse, Hayes tracks down Nick and shoots him dead to cover up the theft. Heading to heaven, Nick takes a diversion into limbo - and is told to work in the Rest in Peace Department, a department that captures 'deados', or spirits that have managed to stay on earth despite being dead. His partner is Roy Pulsipher (Bridges), a marshal from the 1800s. On Earth, 'deado's are rounding up pieces of a machine that when put together would put an end to the dead going to the after life. 

Opinion: Sort of a poor man's Men in Black, but I didn't hate the film as much as everyone else seemed to have. Both Reynolds and Bridges were fun to watch together, and Bacon always plays a great villain. Sure, it could have been way better - and the CGI could have looked much better, but for what it was it kept me entertained.


Title: The Other Dream Team.

Starring: Arvydas Sabonis, Sarunas Marciulonis, Rimas Kurtinaitis, Arturas Karnisovas, Donnie Nelson, Jonas Valanciunas.

Brief Synopsis: This is a documentary about the bronze-medal winning Lithuanian basketball team at the 1992 Olympic games in Barcelona, Spain. Lithuania for years, had been forced to compete with the Soviet Union and this team was the culmination in the struggle to become a free nation again. As a side story, we also follow the path of 2011 NBA draft pick Valanciunas on his journey to being selected into the NBA - showing how far the country had come over the years. 

Opinion: As most know, I am not a fan of subtitles, but I love sports - especially basketball. I remember this team so fondly, 1992 was really when I started falling in love with basketball, thanks to our Dream Team. And, I remember seeing the little known Lithuanian team in their Grateful Dead outfits. Now, I know the whole story - and I am glad I do.


Title: Planes.

Starring: Dane Cook, Stacy Keach, Brad Garrett, Teri Hatcher, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Priyanka Chopra, Carlos Alazraqui, Roger Craig Smith.

Brief Synopsis: Dusty Crophopper (Cook) is a cropduster who dreams of being a racer in the Wings Across the World race. Though he is just a cropduster, he comes in sixth in the qualifying race, and misses out on the opportunity - but the fifth-place finisher used an illegal fuel enhancement and he has been disqualified - giving Dusty the chance to compete. He asks former Jolly Wrench, Skipper (Keach) to help him - and it is soon revealed that Dusty has a fear of heights. At the race, Dusty is well liked by many of the participants, but is loathed by three-time champion Ripslinger (Smith), who believes if he does well - all types of planes will soon try to join the ranks . 

Opinion: If you liked Cars at all, you will probably enjoy this. But, it wasn't as good as Cars. In fact, a lot of it felt recycled from Cars itself - the grouchy, old mentor, the weird best friend, the mean racer - seems pretty familiar. But, it was still an okay watch.


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