PICKS OF THE WEEK
“Olympus Has Fallen” (R) — In one coordinated attack, foreign operatives take over the White House, kidnap the president and wipe out the Secret Service. It’s up to Mike Banning (Gerard Butler), a disgraced ex-Secret Service agent, to rescue the president and foil the plot. Fortunately, Banning has the action-hero skills and one-liners to back up his action-hero name.
So the story is nothing new. There’s even a movie out this summer with almost the exact plot, but that slows the movie’s agenda: kicking bad-guy butt without mercy. Director Antoine Fuqua (“Training Day”) gives the fight scenes full-effect, and makes good use of Butler’s tough guy talents to build this new branch onto the “Die Hard” family tree.
“Emperor” (PG-13) — After Japan’s surrender at the end of World War II, the nation was at a crucial tipping point. Gen. Douglas MacArthur (Tommy Lee Jones) had to decide what should be done with Emperor Hirohito. The Japanese were fiercely loyal to their leader, but many Americans wanted to see the emperor punished for war crimes. This historical drama follows Gen. Bonner Fellers (Matthew Fox), the man MacArthur picked to investigate the Emperor and his involvement in Pearl Harbor.
There is a lot of weight woven into the plot, and none of it works. The film tries to examine all sides of the delicate decision, while still having Fellers pursue a romantic interest. Much of the movie is just sheer boredom and frustration, watching Fox worriedly drive around, finding out nothing.
“The Big Wedding” (R) — This is the most depressing wedding movie ever. With an all-star cast of respected comedic and dramatic actors, this dramedy is so boring, unfunny and unwatchable that it may cause feelings of anxiety and confusion in some viewers. When two attractive young folks are about to tie the knot, their wacko parents, who hate each other, have to pretend they are still in love to spite another person they mutually hate. Susan Sarandon is in mom-character autopilot. Robert Di Nero falls in a swimming pool — while wearing nice clothes! Oh, the laughter. Just when you think you think you have a handle on how awful this movie is, you remember that Katherine Heigl is in it, too.
“The Company You Keep” (PG) — Back in the 1960s, Jim Grant (Robert Redford) was in a radical group called the Weather Underground. During a bank robbery conducted by the group, something went wrong and a bank guard was killed. In the present day, Grant is a father living under an assumed name when a young journalist (Shia LeBouf) writes an article that exposes Grants revolutionary past. Grant goes on the move with his daughter and visits characters from his past. Nick Nolte, Susan Sarandon and Julie Christie play aged radicals facing the 21st century.
“The Mindy Project: Season One”
“Girls: The Complete Second Season”
“Southland: The Complete Fifth & Final Season”
“Once Upon A Time: The Complete Second Season”
(c) 2013 King Features Synd., Inc.