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Review: Gerard Butler And ‘London Has Fallen’ On Fast Track To RedBox

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Disaster film in need of its own rescue?

London Has Fallen, the new Gerard Butler thriller, is a disaster movie plain and simple. It’s a movie with US president on the run, hundreds of stereotyped terrorists and little to no interesting dialogue – but who needs dialogue? Didn’t we just say it’s a disaster movie? Isn’t that what RedBox is for? I mean, why pay $14 to see London Has Falling in the theater when you can rent it on Redbox for a couple of bucks, right?

The film is the latest in the Olympus Has Fallen series that started with a story of Korean terrorists who brazenly take over the White House and show no remorse beating up White House staff or destroying national treasures in the process.

The film makers, as in the first installment, are attempting to cash in on a little rah-rah patriotism, hoping that will carry the day and make up the difference given the lack of character development or interest in the script. This is a disaster film that is in need of its own rescue team.

London Has Fallen starts with a drone bombing a Pakistani compound owned by a sell-to-the-highest-bidding-crackpot arms dealer, while his daughter is getting married. Intel says the arms dealer is there, but fails to make mention of innocent bystanders. Who survives, but the now vengeful arms dealer and his ruthless sons. The daughter, we find out later, was killed on her wedding day.

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Of course, there’s nothing like a high-priced arsenal in the spare room when you need it. The family strikes back two years later strike by murdering the prime minister of Britain and attacking all the world leaders – from Japan, Italy, Germany, France and Canada, specifically – as they gather in London for the funeral. The only world leader to survive is Benjamin Asher, the U.S. president played by Aaron Eckhart, who escapes with only his No. 1 Secret Service body guard Mike Banning (Butler). This gives them the flexibility to dash around town on foot or in borrowed vehicles when a chase scene is called for.

But it doesn’t help much that Butler’s lines are invariably just another way for him to throw a punch. When found, a small platoon is up against 100 well fortified terrorists holed up in a building in London, and told that his odds of survival are thin, Banning barks defiantly, “Well, they should have brought more men.” When he ruthlessly kills a terrorist with a knife-twisting in front of the president – with the dying man on the phone so his fellow terrorists could hear his agony — President Asher asks, “Was that really necessary?” Banning gives him a one word answer and a smile and a shrug. “No,” he says.


But it isn’t the non-stop debacle that dilutes the impact of every punch and unimpressive comment from Banning, it’s the lack of emotional ties to the carnage that’s confronting the audience. The opening, of course, right after the Pakistani compound is bombed, is a view of the president and Banning jovially jogging alongside shiny, black SUVs in Washington, trading little jokes as favorite Secret Service agents always do with U.S. presidents.

These three jokes have to serve as character background and must carry their emotional portent through the rest of the movie. In other words, that’s about it when it comes to warm and fuzzy. These guys are pals – how nice for them. Now, right on time, the script tosses in the point that Banning’s wife is pregnant, which prompts him to write a two-sentence resignation letter. He is, needless to say, halfway through typing that up when the British Prime Minister dies, forcing him to go on one last mission.

Movie review survey Web site Rotten Tomatoes noted that London Has Fallen has received 28 percent positive reviews, which should put it on a fast track toward Red Box, where it should be avoided by all but the most desperate movie fans who have already seen the rest of he offerings first.

[author title=”About The Author” image=”http://popstermedia.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/JabbaTheHutt.jpg”] Movie guy Anthony Hall is an enigma. He’s never been photographed and only works late at night after everyone has left the office. Each morning he leaves us with new articles for MovieSpoon so we don’t question the creative process of our most mysterious writer.[/author]

Izzy

Movie Magic: The De-Aging Technique of The Irishman

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Have you read Izzy yet? If so, you know that Izzy makes the apples that give the Gods their youth and immortality. It also seems Robert De Niro discovered one of Izzy’s apples too… In Martin Scorsese’s upcoming biographical film, he stars as Frank “The Irishman” Sheeran, a labor union leader and alleged hitman for the Bufalino crime family. The trailer for the movie, which will premieres NEXT WEEK (!), also features a “de-aged” De Niro. “We’re so used to watching them as the older faces,” Scorsese said in an interview on the A24 podcast. “Does it change the eyes at all? …If that’s the case, what was in the eyes that I liked? Was it intensity? Was it gravitas? Was it threat?…How do we get that? I don’t know.” Some might consider this magic and I for one can’t wait to see the impact of Izzy’s apples on screen for myself. 😉

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“Captain Marvel” Retains Top Slot at the Box Office

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It’s no surprise that in its second weekend, the first Marvel Cinematic Universe of 2019 is still riding high. Captain Marvel, the latest in the MCU with Brie Larson starring as the lead, generated another $69 million over the weekend, placing its domestic total at $266 million. Tallying up the international box office, the film’s global total to date is $760 million. Despite the online controversy, the film is looking to be another strong box office smash for Disney and Marvel.

As for the premieres for the weekend, and there were plenty, they were all over the map. Just below Captain Marvel was the animated adventure Wonder Park, bringing in $16 million, another film with controversy when the director’s name was removed from the picture after sexual harassment charges. Five Feet Apart, the dying teen drama about a romance amid cystic fibrosis, only came in at #3 with a weekend gross of $13 million. And debuting the lowest in the top 10 for debuts was Captive State, a sci-fi dystopian tale, only making $3 million. The film debuted so low the little film No Manches Frida 2 was able to sneak about it at #6 with a gross of $3.8 million.

Drops were fairly low all around for the returning films, mostly because Captain Marvel was dominating the previous weekend. The only milestone worth noting is that The LEGO Movie 2, after six weeks at the box office, finally cracked $100 million. And the sun is now setting on Green Book’s post-Oscar run by coming in at #10 for the final weekend of its top 10 run over the past few weeks.

View the full top ten weekend box office results below:

Captain Marvel ($69,318,000)

Wonder Park ($16,000,000)

Five Feet Apart ($13,150,000)

How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World ($9,345,000)

Tyler Perry’s A Madea Family Funeral ($8,085,000)

No Manches Frida 2 ($3,894,000)

Captive State ($3,163,000)

The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part ($2,135,000)

Alita: Battle Angel ($1,900,000)

Green Book ($1,277,000)

Next weekend, Captain Marvel may very well have some competition when Jordan Peele’s new horror film Us hits over 3,600 theaters.

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“Dragon” Continues To Soar, “Funeral” Close Behind, “Green Book” Back

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With little competition for the weekend, How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World, the third in the animated fantasy saga, was able to secure the box office once more. In its second weekend, the animated epic made $30 million to push its domestic total to $97 million. So far the film has done about the same as the previous film and is on track to stay in the top 10 for a few more weeks in March.

Debuts this weekend were small with one big exception. Tyler Perry’s latest Madea film, A Madea Family Funeral, naturally made a relatively big splash with its dedicated audience. Starting at #2, the film made $27 million for its first weekend. No word on the budget yet but it’s most likely on a budget as most Tyler Perry productions are, so it’s safe to call this a success, especially for debuting with a box office so close to Dragon.

The rest of the premieres were not as strong at all. Greta, the new thriller starring Chloe Moretz, debuted all the way down at #8 with $4.5 million box office. To be fair, however, the film was in a constant battle for its spot as three other films also reported earnings around $4 million for the weekend. Of note, Green Book, fresh off winning the Academy Award for Best Picture one weekend ago, splashed back into more theaters to arise even higher in the top 10 with its domestic total now sitting at $73 million. Don’t count on it remaining there long as bigger blockbusters will be swooping as we plow through the last remnants of winter movies.

Check out the full listing of the top 10 box office weekend results below:

How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World ($30,046,000)

Tyler Perry’s A Madea Family Funeral ($27,050,000)

Alita: Battle Angel ($7,000,000)

The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part ($6,615,000)

Green Book ($4,711,000)

Fighting With My Family ($4,691,284)

Isn’t it Romantic ($4,645,000)

Greta ($4,585,000)

What Men Want ($2,700,000)

Happy Death Day 2U ($2,516,000)

Next weekend is once again all about Marvel as their latest superhero solo film, Captain Marvel, will be appearing in 4,100 theaters.

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