Olympus Has Fallen

Mark Webber in 13 Sins

In almost every set of “dueling” movies, whether they’re competing biopics or similar-premise disaster flicks out within months of each other, there’s a right one and a wrong one as far as which you’re supposed to prefer. It’s okay to enjoy Michael Bay’s Armageddon, but you should recognize Mimi Leder’s Deep Impact as the better movie. Capote over Infamous. Observe and Report over Paul Blart: Mall Cop. Top Gun over Iron Eagle. Dantes Peak over Volcano. Tombstone over Wyatt Earp. 1492: Conquest of Paradise over Christopher Columbus: The Discovery. The Prestige over The Illusionist. Mission to Mars over Red Planet. Chasing Liberty over First Daughter. Leviathan over DeepStar Six, and The Abyss over both of them. Some pairs are nearly a draw as far as neither actually being worth a preference, such as Lambada and The Forbidden Dance. Here’s a more recent one: Cheap Thrills over 13 Sins. The former came out first (in March), which is often a plus financially but can also be in a movie’s favor with critics. It sure seems that way given the distance between their Rotten Tomatoes rating (88% to 58%). The latter opened in April and now is available on DVD and VOD as of last week, and it hasn’t been receiving nearly as much love. Well, maybe it’s because I actually saw it first, but I like 13 Sins better. They’re not really easily comparable outside their likeminded concept, both involving a desperate guy performing rising-stakes dares for rising sums of money. 13 Sins is richer (and sometimes […]

read more...

Shanghai Knights and Big Ben

We heard way back in October 2013 that an Olympus Has Fallen sequel was going to be called London Has Fallen and would clearly be set in London. Now we hear word that this action follow-up will be released on October 2, 2015. Focus Features, which used to be an art house arm for Universal Studios, is distributing the definitely not an art house movie, and this is what it’ll be about: The UK Prime Minister has mysteriously did and now all the western world’s leaders are in town for the funeral — which is a perfect way to kill them all, unless the President of the United States (Aaron Eckhart) has brought along his favorite Secret Service agent, played by Gerard Butler. Having that plot synopsis so early is good, because now Roland Emmerich can make a sequel to White House Down with the same plot. Or at least just set a follow-up in England, which wouldn’t seem as much like a copycat given all the other sequels that have made the same jump over the pond for a jolly good change of scenery. If you’re not sure what I mean, just check out the following second outings that brought their franchises across the Atlantic.

read more...

2013review_action

I’ve always been far more partial to action accomplished via choreography than with CGI shenanigans. There’s a place for both, obviously, but I’m more impressed by the agile movement of bodies than I am by the placement of pixels. Unfortunately, fight scenes unassisted by CGI or wire-work are becoming a bit of a rarity these days. That said, there’s still plenty of fun to be had with action scenes, big or small, that are created with the aid of technology or that eschew fisticuffs all together for exciting gunplay or vehicular hijinks. This year’s best action films are a mix of all of the above and include both domestic and international movies. What’s not included? Movies featuring superheroes. It wasn’t an intentional slight, believe me, but when it came time to rank which films offered up the most legitimately exciting and visceral thrills the thirteen below beat out the likes of Iron Man 3, Man of Steel, and others. Remember, this isn’t a ranking of movies but of the action in the movies, meaning while these aren’t all necessarily great films they do represent the best action to have hit screens this year. To that end, keep reading for a look at our choices for the Best Action Movies of 2013.

read more...

goodfellastable

This week’s list of movies to watch is not inspired by a single new release, because there isn’t anything big enough out this weekend to warrant such a focus. Instead, I’ve got a year-end feature for you inspired by the entirety of 2013 in film. I can’t sum up every title released this year with only ten recommendations, but the movies I’ve selected are, I believe, the best representatives of the more notable titles and trends seen in the past dozen months. Most of the selections are familiar. Chances are you’ve seen more than a few. But obviously this edition has to involve more popular fare because they have to be influential movies to have informed so much of this year’s crop, even if unintentionally. Just take it as a call to watch them again, along with whatever you haven’t seen before, as a special sort of year in review of the most important movies of 2013 released before 2013.

read more...

whitehousetruth-1

If there’s anything that people can take from the films of 2013 – aside from the potential danger of living in big cities prone to being crushed by aliens, super villains, the undead, and whatnot – it’s that it’s hella easy to storm the White House and take the President hostage. After all, this happened not once (as seen in Olympus Has Fallen), but twice (as seen by fewer people in White House Down) at the multiplex. While White House Down (which had a decent run at the international box office) was a bit of a flop here in the states, Olympus Has Fallen was seen as a springtime hit. Now, Hollywood is already prepping a sequel, recently announced as London Has Fallen (which makes little sense, but I suppose 10 Downing Street Has Fallen just doesn’t have the same ring to it). This got us thinking: Could terrorists really take over the White House like they did in these movies?

read more...

news london has fallen

When it comes to sequels, bigger is usually better, but one of this year’s “White House gets partially exploded” films is getting a sequel that appears to have skipped over this golden rule when it comes to its title. The follow-up to Olympus Has Fallen will be called London Has Fallen. Now, London might be far smaller and less majestically-Greek than Olympus, but the sequel’s title does come with a distinct advantage. The words “Olympus Has Fallen“ have a tenuous connection at best with the idea of terrorists placing bombs in the White House and cackling maniacally whereas London Has Fallen is probably a far better description of what will happen in the actual film. But it seems so much vague titling didn’t stop Olympus Has Fallen from raking in heaps of cash at the box office, enough to both greenlight a sequel and bring all the same stars on board for round two. Gerard Butler, Aaron Eckhart, Morgan Freeman, Angela Bassett, and Radha Mitchell have all been confirmed (by ScreenDaily) to return, but director Antoine Fuqua will apparently be passing the head-shot baton to an as-of-yet undeclared replacement. The story will see Messrs. Butler, Eckhart, and Freeman attending the funeral of the British Prime Minister when a band of terrorists begin running amok in London, forcing the trio to spring into action and and perform daring acts of bad guy-shooting. London Has Fallen will begin filming in London on May 5, 2014.

read more...

discs header what maisie knew

Welcome back to This Week In Discs! As always, if you see something you like, click on the image to buy it. What Maisie Knew Maisie (Onata Aprile) is stuck in an all too familiar place as her parents, Susanna (Julianne Moore) and Beale (Steve Coogan), fight their way through a bitter divorce and custody battle. She’s shuttled between the two, often left in the care of her mom’s boyfriend (Alexander Skarsgard) or dad’s girlfriend (Joanna Vanderham), but when she does get time with her parents it’s too frequently as a prop or tool in their ongoing fight. The future does not look bright from Maisie’s knee-high perspective. There’s a beautiful simplicity in Scott McGehee and David Siegel‘s fifth feature that sneaks in unobtrusively between the bouts of yelling, laughter, small victories and near-constant disappointment, and the result is a movie that compels you to watch and root for the little girl at the center of a terrible situation well outside her control. Viewers are privy only to what Maisie knows, we never see what happens behind closed doors or in lawyers’ offices, and while this forced perspective could have easily turned into a gimmick, it instead feels perfectly natural and necessary here. Acting is fantastic across the board, with newcomer Aprile being a true standout, and you really shouldn’t let the fact that Rex Reed is quoted on both the front and back of the Blu/DVD turn you away from this amazing little movie. [Blu-ray/DVD extras: Deleted scenes, commentary]

read more...

Sound City Movie

July marks the middle of summer, but it also marks the half way point of each year which means half the movies you were looking forward to seeing this year have already hit theater screens! With so many major studio releases out each weekend (plus a healthy offering of indie fare) it can be overwhelming to try and remember what you’ve seen, what you wanted to see, and any unexpected titles that may have caught your eye, but you never got a chance to actually sit down and check out. At the beginning of the year we posted a list of the 52 Most Anticipated Movies to come out in 2013 and with half the year already gone, it seemed like a good time to look back on the films that have already come out and highlight those with fantastic music you might have missed. Summer is the perfect time to play catch up on entertainment with most television shows on hiatus and long summer nights to fill so if you are looking for a list of movies from this year that featured noteworthy tunes, you have come to the right place. Some of these films are still out in theaters, some are already available on DVD, and some may need to be added to your Netflix queue to ensure you don’t miss them a second time, but all ten of these soundtracks should have you humming along well into December.

read more...

Screen Shot 2013-03-20 at 12.35.52 AM

Unlike a lot of actors, Aaron Eckhart maintains a great balance of starring in indies and blockbusters – muse to Neil LaBute, he appeared in his films In the Company of Men and Your Friends and Neighbors as well as starring as Harvey “Two Face” Dent in Christopher Nolan’s blockbuster The Dark Knight. He also has a chin dimple that rivals Cary Grant’s, which can never be a bad thing. For his latest film, Olympus Has Fallen (directed by Antoine Fuqua), Eckhart gets back into blockbuster mode as the recently widowed President Asher, who is held hostage in the White House by a terrorist group. While his former Secret Service Agent/boxing buddy Mike (Gerard Butler) infiltrates the White House in hopes of saving the day, the President never backs down, even while being held hostage. Eckhart talked with us about his everyman approach to playing the President, the fallout of his character in The Dark Knight, potential upcoming collaborations with LaBute, and a possible name for his autobiography.

read more...

Screen Shot 2013-03-20 at 12.32.36 AM

Gerard Butler has rocked out to Andrew Lloyd Weber jams in The Phantom of the Opera. He had movie audiences screaming “This is Sparta!” And he’s also played his fair share of romantic comedy leads. Though Butler tests his boundaries in his latest film Olympus Has Fallen, both producing the film and starring as Mike Banning, a former Secret Service Agent who pretty much single-handedly takes on a group of terrorists who have hijacked the White House. Directed by Antoine Fuqua (Training Day), Olympus Has Fallen chronicles Mike’s journey as he makes the choice of saving the President of the United States (Aaron Eckhart) instead of the First Lady (Ashley Judd) when they get into a car crash one snowy evening. Six months later, Mike is no longer in the Secret Service, but he finds himself back in action when the White House is taken over, and he seems to be the only man to take care of business. Butler sat down with us to chat about the extensive research that he put into the film, as well as whether or not he would try his hand at starring in another musical, and what it was like to tackle Shakespeare in Coriolanus.

read more...

review olympus has fallen

What if I told you that the new Gerard Butler film is like ‘Die Hard in the White House’ in more than just a generic ‘Die Hard in/on/at a…’ kind of way? Or that it features the highest, bloodiest, most ridiculous onscreen body count in an action film since Sylvester Stallone’s Rambo? Or that it’s the most purely entertaining film of Butler’s career? Or that the damn thing is a ton of fun? It’s all true… but none of it means there aren’t some incredibly unfortunate elements in Olympus Has Fallen too. Mike Banning (Butler) is head of the president’s (Aaron Eckhart) secret service protection detail, but an accident resulting in lost lives sees him reassigned to a desk job down the street at the U.S. Treasury building. When dozens of well-armed and highly organized North Korean terrorists attack the White House 18 months later the formerly disgraced agent becomes the president’s, and America’s, greatest hope. (Good thing they don’t know he’s actually Scottish.)

read more...

score olympus has fallen2

A composer known for his otherworldly scores for films such as Immortals and period scores for television programs such as The Borgias, The Tudors, and The Pillars of the Earth may seem like an odd choice for a film about a very real place (the White House) falling victim to a fictional (albeit extreme) situation. However with a title like Olympus Has Fallen, composer Trevor Morris‘ past pedigree seems to make him the perfect fit to tell a story that is in fact as grand, and moving, as his past work. A fan of action movies himself, Morris worked closely with Olympus‘ director Antoine Fuqua to not only bring the story of the White House being taken over to life, but do so by getting audiences’ adrenaline and emotions racing.

read more...

Aaron Eckhart as President Benjamin Asher in OLYMPUS HAS FALLEN. Photo credit: Phillip V. Caruso

It’s quite serious. That’s the one thing that FilmDistrict seems to want you to know based on these new images from Olympus Has Fallen, released exclusively to Film School Rejects this morning. It’s true, there are plenty of reasons to be optimistic about this one. Among them: Antoine Fuqua is a director who has dealt in more quality than anything else, as evidence by his gritty turns with Brooklyn’s Finest, Shooter, Training Day and Tears of the Sun; Aaron Eckhart‘s jaw structure, as seen in The Dark Knight, was clearly made to exist about a foot and a half above the Presidential podium; Gerard Butler plays a good redemption story, always delivers with a gun in his hands; and it’s got Morgan Freeman. On top of all that, it’s a movie about a siege of the White House, in which one man is the key to saving POTUS from some Asian-based threat. It’s also quite bloody and full of what the kids might call “mean mugging,” also known as serious people looking very serious.

read more...

Olympus Has Fallen

Although Olympus Has Fallen foolishly begins with Aaron Eckhart playing the president, it eventually rights this wrong by replacing him with Morgan Freeman, the true ruler of this great nation. All it takes is a terrorist takeover of the White House. Luckily, we have Gerard Butler on the inside and presidential succession on the outside to ensure that the bad guys won’t win. This one from Antoine Fuqua is the first of two “White House being taken over while a secret service agent is the only hope” movies we’ll see this year. It hits in March, and Roland Emmerich’s version, White House Down, hits in June. Hopefully we’ll get a trailer for that soon so we can compare, but check out the aggressively average look at Olympus for now:

read more...

White House

Tough day to be Roland Emmerich. Since news first hit the wire that we’d be getting two White-House-taken-over-by-terrorists films in 2013 (one from Emmerich, one from Antoine Fuqua), the heat has been on and the question has remained: which one will we see first? According to Deadline Hollywood, that would be Fuqua’s Olympus Has Fallen, which FilmDistrict will release on April 5, 2013. Emmerich’s White House Down will trail behind it nearly three months later, arriving on June 28, 2013. Just to clarify, Olympus is the film that stars Gerard Butler, Aaron Eckhart, Morgan Freeman, and Angela Bassett. It centers on Butler’s character, a Secret Service agent, who attempts to stop a hostile takeover of the White House. White House Down stars Channing Tatum, Jamie Foxx, Maggie Gyllenhaal, and James Woods. That film centers on Tatum’s character, a Secret Service agent, who attempts to stop a hostile takeover of the White House. You read that right.

read more...

On one side, we have Roland Emmerich, Channing Tatum, and Jamie Foxx. On the other, we have Antoine Fuqua, Gerard Butler, and Aaron Eckhart. In the middle? Similarly themed and plotted films that have (apparently) both been deemed “Die Hard in the White House.” Choose a side now or…choose one later when the films are actually made? Variety reports that Eckhart has now joined the cast of Fuqua’s film, Olympus Has Fallen in the role of President of the United States (that’s the Jamie Foxx role, for those of you still trying to keep track). Eckhart’s good locks and lantern jaw seem pretty classically presidential, which is fair enough, because Emmerich’s White House Down is obviously going for awesome, ass-kicking points with Foxx.

read more...

Just last week, we were hit with the cataclysmic news that Roland Emmerich was likely to return to one of his favorite cinematic pastimes – blowing the White House the eff up – in the new, amusingly titled film White House Down. Turns out, that wasn’t the only script with a vendetta against 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. bouncing around Hollywood, and Emmerich, scribe Jamie Vanderbilt, and Columbia are just going to have to man up and deal with some similar competition. THR reports that director Antoine Fuqua currently has an offer to direct Nu Image/Millennium’s Olympus Has Fallen, an action thriller that the outlet is billing as “Die Hard in the White House.” Make this film now. The film’s script was penned by newbie scribes Creighton Rothenberger and Katrin Benedikt, who sold it to Millennium about a month ago. The film centers on “an unlikely Secret Service agent” (aren’t they always) who is the only man standing in the way of terrorists who have seized the Presidential residence and workspace. White House Down also centers on a White House takeover, but which film will emerge victorious?

read more...
Some movie websites serve the consumer. Some serve the industry. At Film School Rejects, we serve at the pleasure of the connoisseur. We provide the best reviews, interviews and features to millions of dedicated movie fans who know what they love and love what they know. Because we, like you, simply love the art of the moving picture.
Fantastic Fest 2014
6 Filmmaking Tips: James Gunn
Got a Tip? Send it here:
editors@filmschoolrejects.com
Publisher:
Neil Miller
Managing Editor:
Scott Beggs
Associate Editors:
Rob Hunter
Kate Erbland
Christopher Campbell
All Rights Reserved © 2006-2014 Reject Media, LLC | Privacy Policy | Design & Development by Face3