Media Update 7/21/2016


London Has Fallen

I remember seeing Olympus Has Fallen in theaters and I enjoyed it but I felt I had seen all of the adventures of Gerard Butler, Secret Service that I needed to see. The original was nothing special except that it was brutally violent and had quite a bit of uncomfortable torture. The torture or the violence were not out of place but there was noticeably a lot of both. The movie was dark and it was interesting and it was enough. However, my mom brought the DVD for London Has Fallen home and it is not often that my mother goes for that kind of movie. I was intrigued and I rarely pass up watching anything new if I have time for it. The movie stars the loveably grim Gerard Butler who basically plays the same character in different time periods in every movie he is in. He plays Mike, who is basically the Winter Soldier without all of the brainwashing. The President is played by Aaron Eckhart who is always welcome and the Vice-President is played by Morgan Freeman. The movie is mostly Mike’s rampage through London, killing terrorists to protect or save the President. Morgan Freeman watches from a command center and makes excellent commentary. There were a lot of cool stunts and not a lot of story to get in the way of the action. Watch it if you like a good stunt show with a lot of darkness but a good sense of humor about itself.


Sin City: A Dame to Kill For

I remember watching the original Sin City at the behest of a co-worker up in Sussex, New Jersey. She thought the movie was awesome and I really had no frame of reference to know either way because I had not yet read much Frank Miller. The first movie was interesting and was mostly driven by Mickey Rourke basically playing himself with decent performances from Bruce Willis and Clive Owen. In this one, they pushed Mickey Rourke even harder and I think they ended up with too much Mickey Rourke which can be a bad thing. The best performances came from Powers Boothe and Joseph Gordon-Levitt. Josh Brolin was alright but he deserves better roles (and he got one if you read last week’s edition). Notice that I have not yet mentioned a single actress because Frank Miller hates women. Rosario Dawson and Jessica Alba might as well have been very beautiful mannequins with speakers attached. In Sin City, women are fetish superheroines and run around in impractical prostitute clothes and kill men. Yet, they have zero personality and not much motivation. In fact, pretty much none of the characters have any motivation to do any of what they do. In short, Frank Miller is a bad writer and should feel bad. The movie also has so much CGI manipulation that is basically an animated film and it looks pretty awful. Just stay away from this and watch one of the dozens of good comic book movies.


47 Ronin

Keanu Reeves gets a bad rap, I think. He is a really good actor (“Whoa” aside) and is apparently overwhelmingly intelligent in real life. He has been in the business for decades now which has allowed him to pick up a lot of what the business is. The problem is that he has picked too many bad scripts or bad directors to hitch his wagon to which devalues his worth in everyone’s eyes. This movie felt like it was very ambitious but it fell short of what it could have been. Apparently, there was a lot of studio meddling during filming which led to several script changes as they had different ideas about the film from the director. As a result, the movie is one part fantasy and one part historical action/drama. While the movie incorporates some interesting Japanese folklore, all of that stuff seems tacked on. I love magic and fantasy but only if it is fully integrated into the story. The movie is beautifully shot and there were a lot of interesting ideas and emotional scenes. As usual, Keanu is a great actor but there were a lot of excellent performances from some great Japanese actors. Everything is perfectly arranged just so and the CGI is artfully done so it looks like it belongs for the most part. The movie was not advertised correctly as it should have been advertised more as a Seven Samurai meets The Gladiator kind of movie instead of The Matrix meets The Last Samurai. It is worth a look but only if you are committed to a long movie mostly about Japanese history and folklore.

Music of the Week:
MullyMan – I Go Harder
Stitched Up Heart – Finally Free
The Bouncing Souls – True Believers
The Chubbies – Living in Hell
Tokyo Police Club – Argentina (Parts I, II, III)

Weekly Update:
– I am almost done with Season 3 of Person of Interest
– The WWE Draft was a very fun and interesting night
– I kind of want to see Bad Moms and I’m worried about that
– Yet more Seven Deadly Sins was awesome
– I’ve started screening things for Halloween
– The IT Crowd continues to get better
– I will finally see Zootopia soon
– I kind of want to see Ghostbusters now. I mean whatever.
– This week’s theme is “Mindless Entertainment”

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