Doppelgänger Presents White House Down and Olympus Has Fallen!!
By Paul Anthony
I swear if these two movies were real then 2013 would have been a very bad year for The President of the United States of America because in one film you have you favorite people out of North Korea sneaking the white house then you have your vice president turn on you just so he can become president. Thank god that these cases were nothing more than movies!! Welcome back to the second edition of this blog series and from the title you can see we will be talking about two films that were three months apart. Olympus Has fallen was the first to come out and was released on March 22, 2013 and White House Down came out on June 28th of 2013. Olympus Has Fallen was produced on a budget of 70 million and made about 170.3 million and White House Down was produced on a budget of 150 million and only grossed 205 million. Now White House Down had a big studio behind it with Sony, so the budget being bigger made sense but sometimes the bigger budget doesn’t always mean better. Now Olympus has fallen came from a smaller studio with Millennium Films. Both films mostly got same reviews but why are the numbers in the sense of the box office performance so different well let’s look at the plots first and we will start with Olympus has Fallen.
This film had a pretty good cast, you had Gerard Butler, Aaron Eckhart, Morgan Freeman, Rick Yune and Angela Bassett. The story starts with Banning (Butler) trying to save the president (Eckhart) from a a car accident which he does but the first lady couldn’t be saved. which during his grief the president resigns him to another department, as a way to punish him, ( Jerk move right?) Anyway one random day, when the president is having a meeting with the South Korean Prime Minister. A North Korean terrorist group sneaks into the white house which was aided by the prime minister rogue members. The group launches an air attack before their ground attack starts. This is where Banning gets back in action and finds his way into the white house. During attacks we learn the leader of the group is Kang Yeonsak (Yune) who wants America to remove their troops from South Korea which would almost lock up a victory for North Korea but also wants to turn America into a wasteland, he wants revenge for the death of his mother. I am guessing this is more personal than anything. Banning begins his attack one member at a time though he takes a beating himself in the end he saves the president and the country and even gets his old position back.
Now Let’s look at White House Down, this cast has the same amount of talent on it as the other film, here this film stars Channing Tatum, Jamie Foxx, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Jason Clarke, Richard Jenkins, Joey King and James Wood. Basically the plot is the same well 95 percent actually but nevertheless let’s take a look, here we have capital police officer who seems to be too busy to remember what day of the week it is decides to take his daughter on a white house tour, well sadly for them this is the day that a domestic terrorist group plans to kill the president which is played by Jamie Foxx, the plan which starts off well is to blow up the capitol building as a decoy so everyone will be too focus on that however they didn’t plan on a officer being there and kicking their ass one by one until the end. we learn that their are two men running the show to kill the president are none other then his top bodyguard basically and the speaker of the house of representatives, who would assume office because he is third in line just in case the president and vice president were killed. The goal to become the president and change the military plans. ( I guess just making a vote didn’t work) Nevertheless all the bad guys pay the price and the country is saved!!
Now Here is the thing that has been bothering me and that is I don’t know which one is better than the other. Both have the same overall cast. the leads were two average actors but great action stars in Tatum and Butler. The co leads are equal as well. The plots try to be so difficult to figure out adding layers that are suppose to create more suspense only to let us down when the story is fully told. Crazy these films are evenly matched yet one managed to become a franchise, well one fell into the abyss. One had a smaller budget and was in a period of the year where it could gain a little money without anyone noticing where the other was in the summer with a crazy high budget and though it did gross more, the return profit was much lower. In the end the winning movie was the one who had the franchise because the story was simple and not too many layers to complain about. In the end I am giving Olympus Has Fallen a percentage point better than White House Down at 69 percent to 68 percent. The thing that people will mostly remember from these two films was that they both had the white house going down!!
Godzilla VS. Kong
By Paul Anthony
Well folks the wait is finally over and now the entire world gets to watch Godzilla vs. Kong. I have to admit that this series as a whole gave a little of everything to its fanbase and because of that, it become such a fun ride and I love this series. Now When this film was first announced and was going to be released just a year later, I thought that would be the biggest mistake because the hype was real and these two monsters needed the right build up to get us pumped for this film. I am glad this movie was delayed but also sad that this film couldn’t be released in all theaters to see what type of box office draw this film really is. Now with that being said, it still had the highest opening total during this pandemic which it came in at 123 million plus another 9 million in America, now the budget was between 160 and 200 million which sounds like it would be a flop but this is a different times so for now its a hit. The good news is that this film is still killing it in the pandemic box office with a worldwide gross of 285 million, crazy to say this but this film is only 100 million away from the previous film Godzilla: King of the Monsters. Even though the previous film wasn’t a big hit, Fans have been dying for this film and I know I have and of course the question did it live up to expectations of the fan base since you had two fan favorites duking it out.
Now the film takes place five years after the events of Godzilla: King of Monsters and everything seems to be fine, except Godzilla starts to randomly attack cities, though Madison Russel believes there is something going on below the surface. At the same time we learn that Kong who is still on Skull island but it is revealed that he lives in giant dome as Monarch watches over him which is explain to keep himself from Godzilla. Apex Cybernetics CEO Walter Simmons wants to find a new power source which is located in Hollow Earth and he recruits Nathan Lind to lead a team there. Nathan knows that he needs Kong’s help to lead the way because he believes its the titans home and where Kong family or species ruled there, he finally convinces Dr. IIrene Andrews who is basically Kong’s handler that Kong would safe from Godzilla because they would use a path that Godzilla wouldn’t use and then we get round 1 and it was pretty epic basically Godzilla won with a knockout by dragging him deep in the water to drown him and if it wasn’t for the navy Kong would have died but they play dead and Godzilla goes back into the sea so they agree to fly him to the Antarctica where there is a path to hollow earth which they hope Kong can lead them to hollow earth and to this power source which he does but we quickly learn that Apex had other plans with the power source which we learn from Madison and her friends who agree clear Godzilla and learn that Apex has built MechaGodzilla which is telepathically controlled by Ren who is the son of Ishiro who died in the previous film to help Godzilla but in order to control Mecha they way they are doing it, they needed one of King Ghidorah’s head which basically means Mechagodzilla is King Ghidorah second coming. Back In Hollow Earth Kong found his battle axe that his family once used which was a bone and Fin from another Godzilla. Once again the two titans meet up in Hong Kong and for a split second or say round 2 Kong one using the battle axe on Godzilla which absorbed his atomic breath but then Godzilla went into range mode and just had his way with Kong nearly killing him again but didn’t because Kong basically tapped out. However MechaGodzilla kills everyone at Apex and escapes meeting beating both titans until the two work together to defeat him. Afterwards Godzilla approves of Kong and returns to the sea and Kong goes home into Hollow Earth which he now rules and godzilla rules earth as his kingdom making them both kings.
This was a good movie but could have been great, some of the things I really enjoyed was the visual effects and the battle scenes. Seeing Godzilla only felt right but keeping Kong a live was smart move as well. They found the middle ground which was important to do if you wanted to keep both characters alive, though there is no film planned yet. The plot with human side was weak at best with the main characters we had no real back story or good enough details the only two characters we had history is Madison and Mark and Mark was basically reduced to a cameo which was disappointing. in the end I am giving this a hit and a grade of a A or 90 percent and will say its must watch. I loved the rage Godzilla!!
Saturday Sequel presents The Equalizer 2
By Paul Anthony
Here we are still in the first week of black history month and this week I have been doing some work on Denzel Washington this week, honestly it was more than timing then anything because his latest movie was just released called The little things which please check out and Justin’s reviews regarding that, then I did a actor profile o him during our podcast episode, as I was doing my research on him I came across something that I never notice before and that out of all his films, he has never done a sequel for except one film. Out of 49 films that he has been only one had a sequel in it and that film was none other than this film. With that being said you would have to guess that this film had to be a success if Washington only pick this role to come back to. The first film was released in 2014 and 7 months before that release Sony had already greenlighted a sequel. The film had a 73 million dollar budget but than grossed 192 million so Sony made the right choice, this film was released four years after the film. The budget was pretty much just a few more million dollars and basically grossed the same amount as the first film making it another hit under Washington’s belt. Washington wasn’t the only star in this film others return as well such as Melissa Leo and Bill Pullman but than you had the newcomer Pedro Pascal as well, Now did this film live up to the previous film?
The film starts with McCall (Washington) on a train traveling to Istanbul, basically he is on a mission to rescue a girl that was taken from her mother but the guy is her father nevertheless he completes his mission and returns the girl back to her mom though it appears her mom doesn’t realize this. At the same time Susan and McCall’s former partner Dave York investigates a murder. When Susan returns to her hotel she is then attacked and killed, After some time Dave is greeted by McCall who is shocked to see him since McCall faked his own death. McCall shares information to Dave that he has found and soon after that McCall who works as a Lyft Driver is attacked by assassin who pretends to be an passenger and there McCall learns the truth that Dave is the true one that killed Susan and he opens up on why he did it. McCall sees the rest of his former team is at Dave’s house as well and he tells them he is going to kill them all and the only sad thing is that he only gets to do it once. Never the less McCall keeps his word and in a epic battle kills everyone, including Dave and film ends With McCall returning to his old house.
I did enjoy this film and I did ask in the beginning of this blog if it lived up to the first film. I have to say yes it but it didn’t improve anything, we basically got the same thing and doing it twice is very risky. Don’t get me wrong Washington was great and Pedro carried his weight. The action was on par as the first however the story was lacking. The plot tries be something better than what it really was. The movie seemed like it was leading to bigger things but never did. In the end I am giving it a good B plus for a grade.
Saturday Sequel Presents The Crow: City of Angels Review
By Paul Anthony
In some ways this film was hard to watch and review because it makes you wonder the what ifs. I mean I have to ask what if Brandon Lee didn’t die on the set of the first film and could have returned for the sequel if indeed that was the goal for the series, but we may never know at this point. The first film was a success though it had other problems besides Lee’s death, it still was able to become a sleeper hit, which meant that sequel would be on its way. When the sequel got the green light, the studio made it clear that they wanted to this to be much different than the first film, basically it seemed like they wanted everyone to forget what happen with Lee. Now this film unlike the first film had no source material like the first which was based on the comic book series of the same name and we got another lead character which would be a theme throughout the series. In this film the Crow AKA Ashe Corven would be played by Vincent Perez. The film had a budget of 13 million and became a slight hit when it managed to make 25 million which was 25 million less than the first film. Nevertheless it made money but was it better than the first film?
The location of this film now takes place in Los Angeles, unlike the first film which takes place in Detroit, we also know this film takes place years after the first film because the only returning character from the first film is Sarah which she is now adult. In this film a father and son is killed when they witness crime, their bodies are dumped in the river. At this point Sarah gets a visit from a Crow, in which she follows the crow to the river where she gets to sees Ashe’s resurrection and his frantic escape, though she catches up to him and informs him that the power of the crow brought him back to life so he can get his revenge on those who did this to him and son. Slowly but surely Ashe understands and begins to get his revenge killing off the guys who killed him one by one. We learn these people are the henchmen of Judah Earl. Judah is a drug kingpin who when realizes someone is after him seeks out a blind prophetess whose name is Sybil who tells him everything about the crow and Ashe. Judah learns he can kill the crow which stripes Ashe of his powers but Judah also learns he can gain those powers from the blood of the crow and that is his plan. He kidnaps Sarah to draw out Ashe and the crow and he kills the crow and drinks his blood. Ashe and Sarah are forced to fight Judah as regular humans though they still managed to win but at the cost of Sarah dying to her injuries, the film ends with Ashe completing his mission and dying because now he can rest in peace with his son and Sarah.
Okay let’s start with the acting which seemed to be over the top. I don’t know if that was the bad acting or the script itself. The Sarah character was a miss fire because since she is a main character we needed to know why she came to Los Angeles so worth so more character development was needed, I guess you say the same for Ashe as well. The dark tone was just a little too much for my liking, everything seem to be on a more bible level just felt so odd and with no source material it felt that they were just making stuff up as they wrote the film. I believe the only reason why this film made money was because of the success of the first film. In the end I am giving this film a D for a grade, who knows maybe the next film will be better.
Rambo: Last Blood Review
By Paul Anthony
Some actors just don’t know how to let go of an franchise that they made famous and this in this case with this film. Sylvester Stallone, made two big franchises in the late 70’s and all of the 80’s and we have to thank him for that. We know why they made Rocky Balboa which came out in 2006 and the film proved to be a modest success which I guess what made him decide to do the other franchise and that was Rambo with the 2008 filmed titled Rambo. Now once again the film was a modest success like Balboa but more importantly the film gave Rambo an ending, because he finally returned home and you knew there didn’t need to be any other ending. After Rocky Balboa, they took the series in a new direction which worked, it was only natural for them to attempt to bring Rambo back and it truly wasn’t needed. The reviews and ratings were the worse in the series and the gross was the lowest of the series and the story was random and put together, only thing that made movie watchable was just the violence for the gore fans.
The events take place 11 years after John returned home, which he manages the farm with an old friend and her granddaughter. Gabriela one day decides to visit her real father who left them when she was younger. Her friend reveals his whereabout which is in Mexico but after her father tells her harshly he doesn’t care about them, she storms off and hits the club and there she is drugged and kidnapped by the cartels. Rambo gets the word that she is trouble and goes and finds her which after the cartels beats him up and he recovers, he then finds her but she dies of an overdose which she is buried on his farm. Cartels wanting revenge because Rambo killed one of the main brothers the other brother raids Rambo’s ranch but Rambo rigged it and killed every single body that showed and cut the heart out of the other brother and Rambo vows to fight for the greater good.
Here we have only one good thing to say about this movie is the gore which is sad but when you have an very old actor who can’t move like he use to then you have rely on something else and that is the graphics. To me the story felt random, I know we are told that John has a close relationship with these people but we never really sorry it and that is the problem no character development and the movie falls apart from there. I know they maybe want to do a prequel which is fine but nothing besides that or a reboot. In the end I am giving it a C for grade, just an average film.
Saturday Sequel Presents: Ride Along 2
By Paul Anthony
In every generation there are actors that everything they do is gold and they start to show up in everything and boom they still the show for years to come and right now it is Kevin Hart’s time to touch everything and have it turn to gold. That is just one aspect because for a movie to work you need another person and that other person is Ice Cube who can do magic as well at times. Hart has been around but mostly doing stand ups and making cameos then slowing in a supporting role then made his way to being a main star. In 2014 was one of his first true main role in Ride Along which made 154 million from a 25 million dollar budget you knew a sequel was coming and two years later, we got Ride Along 2. The budget was bigger at 40 million but the profit was lower at 124 million nevertheless it made money, when the profit is lower than the first film, you have to wonder why because there are always more than 1 factor in a lot of cases.
Lets talk about the plot, the film picks up sometime after the events of the first film. Ben played by Hart is now a rookie cop but is at home helping to plan for his wedding. James who is played by Ice Cube is working another big case which he must go to Miami to solve the case which by convincing their LT, Ben gets to go with him to prove he is more than a joke, Now being James’ partner he dubs them the Brothers In Law. Which James can’t stand but in Miami they come across an important hacker played by Ken Jeong who has information to help them but they quickly learn this isn’t a easy task because the main bad guy is a high end person with a lot of connections which he uses to slow them down but nevertheless the brothers in law solves the case and Ben gets home in time for the wedding.
There was no doubt that the laughs did come in this film with the three top stars. However they could have used a few more jokes to keep the laughs going but with these buddy cop films there needs to be some seriousness some where which divides the fans up a little. the action was another case where it just needed to be more to help carry the laughs. The biggest highlight has to be their little twist with the high speed car chase in which Ben uses turn signals to make his turns only to use it against the people that are chasing them. Car chases are too common in films and it is nice to see something different in them. I believe the movie didn’t do as well as the first because one it wasn’t that much better then the first film but also Star Wars returned to the big screen and that film took a lot of the market. In the end I am giving it a B for a grade because A lot of magic was there but it just needed so much more!
My Spy Review
By Paul Anthony
Here we are about to talk about a movie that just couldn’t get released. The Movie kept getting pushed back and back. This film was suppose to come out in August of 2019 but then got pushed to January of 2020 then to March then to April but then this virus happened and it seemed like this film was doomed but then Amazon bought the rights to the film so the move goers could see this film and the film got a home release. The question I always have is if this film was released how much would it make? Truth is the budget was a low 18 million for this comedy and it did gross when it could overseas a nice 5.5 million. Comparing this film with Dave Bautista other film Stuber I would ball park around 30 million. Now Stuber was considered a failure with being an summer time film, which could have been the reason why this film was moved out of the summer. So how good was this film? Well the truth be told this film was on par with Stuber, except this was more aimed at families rather than just adults, so if you liked that film than you will like this film as well.
The film revolves around JJ who was a former Special Forces soldier who became a spy for the CIA. It is clear that though he was a great soldier, he not a good spy. We seen this in the opening scenes when he blurs out information that he didn’t receive unless he was a spy. The one thing he can do is fight and blow stuff up which is how he makes it out a live. After returning to the headquarters and it seems like he did a good thing he is told by his boss that though he did good with fighting , he didn’t get any information that was truly needed and is told that maybe being an spy just not for him but is given a easy mission in Chicago with his new partner. His Mission is to watch a family of a criminal they have their eye on, simple enough right? Soon as they get to Chicago he comes across the niece of the Criminal and his cover is blown but she manages to blackmail him as long as he serves a father figure and teach her how to become a spy. The adventures that he does with the girl brings the laughs of course and they even save the day together and when the mission is over, he decides to return to Chicago to live with her and her mother who he began to have feelings for towards the end of the film.
This film had some cheap laughs but you couldn’t figure out who the audience should be because it wasn’t meant for kids but wasn’t meant for adults either. Some things wee just too out of place for me to really like but enjoyed Bautista and glad to see he is growing as an actor. In the end I am giving this film an C for a grade. It felt average to me and honestly can’t say more about it.
Hobbs and Shaw: Actual Movie Review
By Paul Anthony
Okay the title says it all but I am going to recap because it has been a while. For starters let’s go back to last August when the film Fast and Furious Presents Hobbs and Shaw came out. Now I am not the biggest fan of spinoffs because at times they are just not needed, not every character needs a spin off to tell a story. I think we can all agree with that. Anyway, here we are dealing with a spinoff, with two characters who have become popular in a franchise because of who plays them. Still I had no interest in seeing the film, so I did a mock review which I based everything on trailers and word of mouth and I ended up giving the film a D for a grade and said that I wouldn’t give it a higher grade then that. So I finally I had time to watch it because I wondered if I had changed my mind. I will give my grade at the end of the blog like always. The film however proved to be a hit because it grossed 760.0 million off a of a budget of 200 million, once again you wanted the gross to be higher but you will take the victory and this film gave us some good feuds with the cast of the franchise as well. Because of the money that the film made, there will be a sequel down the road.
The plot is pretty much what we came to expect from a Fast and Furious film. Hobbs and Shaw are recruited by the CIA to stop a terrorist group who basically made technology to enhance humans to make them cyborgs of sorts and kill off the weaker humans with a virus, the lead villain who is played by Idris Elba is the first of his kind and proves to be a much bigger threat to Hobbs and Shaw. At this point Shaw’s sister Hattie implants the virus in her to stop if from getting into the bad guys hands. The gang goes a few rounds with the villains until they win with some over the top action and removes the virus from Hattie and gives it to CIA which they put it in lockdown. Hobbs returns home and shows his family his daughter and everyone is reunited because Hobbs at some point had beef with his family.
The biggest problem I had with this film was it is part of the Fast and Furious, they failed to explain why the rest of the team wasn’t around because you know the team always around to save the world. With a spin off comes adding a story to the characters that messes up the backstory that we already know, like Hobbs family history or Shaw’s history and how he’s actually a good guy and everything like that and of course Shaw has a baby sister who we never knew about and as for Owen they barely mention anything about him even in flashback scenes. Here are some of the things that I did like about the film, the comedy and action with The Rock and Jason Statham then add in cameos from Ryan Reynolds and Kevin Hart was a good touch, no doubt having the four of these guys as leads in a film would be a hit. In the end I am giving it a higher grade, It’s going from a D to an C and if you want good laugh with action sure this could be your film to watch.
Tom In Space?
By Paul Anthony
I have to say many people have dreamed about becoming an astronaut and heading into space. In fact that was a dream of mine to be a space traveler one day before I started write and enjoy that as well. It is no doubt very hard to go into space, the training you have to go through is like no other. Most of the people that work for NASA was in some sort of military before they join NASA. Now even after the physical training, the learning process is hard because one false move and that is all it takes. We can look at NASA history in that department and it is not very good. Even one death is way too many to go exploring the galaxy.
Now we get into another field and that is acting, we know that people to get a role or train for a role is no easy task. If you are an action star staying fit and well kept shape is very important, yes even with green screens and such there are times where you got to do something that involves running, lifting and even fighting and that takes a lot of work, I don’t anyone will doubt that. We have seen many good movies about space and even missions that have gone wrong. Some of my favorite realistic space movies include Apollo 13, Gravity and The Martian. Here is the thing though, yes they were about space but those people were never in space but then news broke that Tom Cruise would do a movie in space not in studio about space and even NASA confirms this.
Tom Cruise may not be everyone favorite actors but he is one of the few people in Hollywood that does most if not all his own stunts and that is something you have to respect the guy for doing and I am sure Justin would disagree but look at Hollywood as a whole and you have him Tom that respect at least. Tom has suffered injuries on set before and even suffered an injury well filming Mission Impossible 7. However Space is a little different much different to be honest. As of right now we don’t know what this film is and if he will even start filming it but this film would be the first true film in space!
Now we don’t know if this trip will be one scene or the entire film. More details will come out as soon as life returns to normal of course. I know this will be dangerous and it is a big risk he is taking to make whatever film he wants to make. With this being history in the making I hope that the film will be good and not a flop because no doubt that is movie will cost a pretty penny, heck it could be one of the most expensive films ever made regardless if it is one scene or not. Training will have to start soon because even with astronauts they train for months just to do one mission. If this film is to be made I have to say I am excited to see this film and what happens next!
Saturday Sequel Presents National Treasure: Book of Secrets Review
By Paul Anthony
The things I love besides entertainment is history and science. What if there was a movie that was good but also was about history and it was an adventure movie. Well that is what we got for this weekend edition of Saturday Sequel. Today we are going to be talking about the 2007 hit film National Treasure: Book of Secrets. the has the cast from the first film pretty much intact from the first film. The film stars Nicolas Cage, Justin Bartha, Diane Kruger, Jon Voight and Harvey Keitel. The film takes place a short time after the events of the first film. Once again these films peaked my interest because of how they blend their own history with real history. The film made a good amount of money which is a great sign, the total gross was nearly 458 million dollars compared to the first film which made 348 million. The budget was bigger but only by 30 million, in which the budget was 130 million to the film which was 100 million. You would like the grosses to be a little higher than 500 million but Disney can afford it as long as they make their money back.
Here we are back in the civil war era when the film starts, two men one of which is John Wilkes Booth, they ask Thomas Gates to decode a message in which he does but when he realizes what the message is he decides to burn it, which angers the men and they shoot him in which he tells his son clues to what the message was and of course Booth shoots President Lincoln. They fast forwarded to modern day where Patrick and Ben is giving a speech about that situation. They get interrupted by Mitch who is another treasure hunter, that needs to find the city of gold, decides to convince people in which does that Thomas Gates was apart of the group that planned for Lincoln to be killed. This was a trick to get Ben to search for the city of gold, which he does. He pieces together clues from the White House and London and even France that leads him to Mount Rushmore where that mountain is a cover up of the city of Gold. The problem is Mitch isn’t a good guy here, he’s the bad guy that makes his money in the black Market, so he attacks Ben’s family in every sense to get Ben to work for him in which he does. In the final moments when they find the city which is rigged with traps, Mitch shows his better sign telling Ben he just ruined their family’s name to get his help to find this place and allows them to go by sacrificing his life so the crew can get out alive and return Ben informs the president that Mitch deserves the credit as well as him.
The Movie may have not been the best of it’s kind but it did enough, sure I do believe more action scenes may have helped the film a little more but for a Disney film that reached all families I have to say they did a good job overall I am giving this film a high B. if you find something to knock about go ahead because there is much! Part 3 was finally announced, so I am curious to see what they will do with part three, just sad it took this long to announced it!