Movie Review: White House Down

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This review also appears on Movie Blogbuster.

White House Down is a typical American ‘Die Hard’-esque action film; it’s a story about an ex-army guy, John Cale (Channing Tatum), who went into private security but his dream is to be part of the Secret Service. He’s also divorced, and has a daughter who hates him but obsessed with politics. So to win his daughter over, John manages to get two tickets to the White House tour and takes her along. Then the terrorist attack strikes and, well, I think you know how it goes from there…

Don’t get me wrong, I liked every Die Hard film so I enjoyed this film too, but like I wrote earlier it’s your typical sequence of events- the Bad Guys, the President, the One Guy At The Wrong Time And Wrong Place But Right Background Who Saves Everyone And Looks Good The Whole Time, and Lots of Explosions. The dialogues between Jamie Foxx (the President) and Channing Tatum were giggle-worthy, but the storyline and characters were very flat so you can’t really take the political angle seriously. Still, it’s an entertaining film to watch.

Rating: I give it 3 Oi’s out of 5.

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Movie Review: Side Effects

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This review also appears on Movie Blogbuster.

Anything by Steven Soderbergh is a treat for me, and this movie did not disappoint. It’s one of those great movies that somehow end up flying under the mainstream radar.

Side Effects is about a clinically depressed woman, Emily (Rooney Mara), who is started on new medication prescribed to her by her therapist, Jonathan (Jude Law). After an incident, it’s discovered that the medication has a sleepwalking side effect. One day, her husband Martin (Channing Tatum) comes home and she kills him while sleep-cooking (bizarre, I know). When she wakes up, she discovers his body- she’s not aware that this was her doing just yet- and remembers nothing of the incident. As a result of the inquisition, Jonathan’s career goes downhill, while Emily goes to a psych ward for treatment.

The story gets really interesting from there as Jonathan works on uncovering the many layers of Emily to understand how this could have happened, in a desperate attempt to absolve himself of any wrongdoing.

Rooney Mara and Jude Law are absolutely superb in Side Effects, and Catherine Zeta Jones’ makes an impact in her small yet very significant role in the plot. There are a few unexpected twists and turns in the story, and it’s been a really long time since I’ve seen a film this good. But then again, I wouldn’t expect anything less from Soderbergh.

Many girls would probably go see this flick for Channing Tatum, in which case they’re going to be disappointed because his role is actually pretty small. But if you’re into suspense and mystery, you will thoroughly enjoy this film.

Rating: While you might not be able to catch it in theatres now, it’s worth getting on DVD or catching it on VOD. I give it 5 Oi’s out of 5.

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