Wednesday, January 15, 2014

"Sorry about the house, sir."

So what sort of a man am I?  I'm the sort that has two donuts.  Except today, because having two would have meant someone else going without.  And after the first one there were only powdered sugar left anyway.

#3 had his first game of the season last night.  Very exciting ball.  I should write about a basketball movie, since it's Wednesday, but I never saw “Hoosiers.”  In fact, the only basketball movie I've seen is "High School Musical" and that hardly counts.  Wait a minute, I think that other Zach E. movie with Matthew Perry – “17 Again”? -- had basketball in it.  So did "Teen Wolf".

But I've already decided to compare and contrast "Olympus Has Fallen" with "White House Down."  You could write the same logline for both of them, but they are different movies.  Watching either one you would be reminded that Die Hard created its own genre, but much like the duel release of "Deep Impact" and "Armageddon," these two side-by-side summer action films are quite different.  And in this case, I'm going against Morgan Freeman.  Nothing personal, he played his part very well in OHF, but it was a vastly inferior movie that he couldn't save.

Not that OHF was all bad -- it completely and totally delivered on its promise to be mindless, pointless, and filled with exciting action sequences that trashed the White House.  You may get up to buy more popcorn or use the restroom without missing anything of consequence.

WHD, on the other hand, actually delivered on a lot of what we complained about from OHF.  There were problems with it, and it was very long, but there was a story with characters we cared about and if you went for snacks at the wrong time the rest of the movie didn't make any sense.

I do have a beef with both of these films though.  Maybe I'm biased because it's a film cliche and so far from real life, but why is the hero always "a former special forces" operator?  That tells me he's going to scavenge weapons and be a crack shot, likely able to defuse nuclear bombs and fly airplanes even though now he's "only" a secret service agent, or local cop, or cook.  Deus ex Machina anyone?

Remember the original "Die Hard?"  John McClane was really a cop.  He did (for the first two acts) cop things.  More to the point, he did creative things.  Sort of the reverse of a horror movie's monster – this time it was the protagonist picking everyone off one at a time.  I didn't see that cleverness in either of these films.

Actually, did anyone else think they were watching a remake of Die Hard during OHF?  I mean it was about as close to a beat by beat reproduction as you could get -- right down to the high-tech vault busting.  Just missing the story and dialogue...

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