White House Down
Roland Emmerich, bless him, is probably the biggest hack working in Hollywood today. His latest effort, White House Down, continues the theme of his previous movies (Independence Day, The Day After Tomorrow, 2012) by blowing massive amounts of stuff up. It stars Jamie Foxx and Channing Tatum as the American president and a wannabe bodyguard respectively, but the story is irrelevant: you’re either a fan of these movies or you’re not. If you are, then White House Down delivers the perfect amount of rocket launchers and terrorists. Otherwise, save your Euros.
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Based on true events, Rush follows the heated drama between James Hunt (Chris Hemsworth) and Niki Lauda (Daniel Brühl), two Formula One drivers competing in the glory days of the 1970’s. Hunt is only in it for the fame and money, while Lauda is more passionate about their craft. Tensions rise and eventually culminate in the legendary 1976 season, where the stakes become a matter of life and death. This is a fairly spectacular sports film that manages to avoid the clichés that usually afflict such movies. Racing fans will lap up the historical context and the references, but the fantastic writing and acting will keep everyone hooked.
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Insidious: Chapter 2
Have you seen the original Insidious? If not, DO NOT check out Insidious: Chapter 2, because it adheres to its name by continuing right where its predecessor left off. Patrick Wilson and Rose Byrne still have a house, and yes it’s still haunted. Following The Conjuring was always going to be a tough gig for director James Wan, but with Insidious: Chapter 2 he’s managed to make a film that’s as short on decent writing as it is on scares. A confusing, derivative and boring “horror” movie that’s almost ‘so bad it’s good’, but unfortunately it’s just plain ol’ bad.
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Ain’t Them Bodies Saints
Ain’t that a mysterious title? Well, it’s a relatively straightforward premise: two young Texans (Casey Affleck and Rooney Mara) are outlaws, deeply in love. Affleck winds up in jail while Mara is forced to raise their baby alone. This movie is gorgeous to look at, which is unsurprising given the awards it’s won for cinematography. But story-wise, it has a really annoying habit of telegraphing what’s coming up. If it starts at point A, you can guess what point B will be, but the movie takes its time getting there. It’s pretty, but an ultimately uninteresting arthouse film.
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Don't forget to check out last week's reviews of Riddick, About Time and more.