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[img]http://www.hometheatershack.com/gallery/file.php?n=12469[/img]

Title: Olympus Has Fallen

Movie: :3.5stars:
Video: :3.5stars:
Audio: :4.5stars:
Extras: :3stars:

HTS Overall Score:76




[img]http://www.hometheatershack.com/gallery/file.php?n=12470[/img]
Summary
Gerard Butler is back, once again playing John McClane……errrr …. Scratch that. Gerard Butler is back, once again “In the line of fire”……..errrr, oops, wrong movie again. As you can tell, “Olympus has Fallen” is not going to shock audiences with an original storyline and is basically another “Die Hard” clone. That’s not a bad thing per se, since the last two “Die Hard” movies have been real stinkers (the last one in particular left such a bad taste in my mouth that I was gargling mouthwash for about a week after leaving the theaters). The method is tried and true. A lone man is struggling against insurmountable odds in order to hold his own in an impossible situation. What really makes this action genre work is the likeability of the characters and the sheer adrenaline rush of the action. You create a hero that’s unlikeable or make the action scenes boring and the movie falls apart. You create a character that spouts one liners that make the audience cheer and can kick bad guys through a stone wall and you got a winner. “Olympus” isn’t a perfect movie by any stretch of the imagination, but it has Gerard Butler in an amped up role as the macho tough guy, wielding signature one liners and more ammunition in a clip than most third world countries have in their entire stockpile, with Morgan Freeman… end of story.

Mike Banning (Gerard Butler) is one of the most trusted Secret Service agents to the President of the United States (Aaron Ekhart) and almost a godfather to the President’s son, Connor. In one blink of an eye that’s all taken away when Banning has to save the President’s life, but in order to do so he must let the First Lady die. Even though he did the right thing in saving the President’s life, he’s banished from the Secret Service as a constant reminder to the President of what he’s lost. Working at the Treasury department, Mike craves to get back into the world of the Secret Service, bored spitless in his rather mundane life pushing papers. Fatefully, it looks like Mike is going to get what he wants. During a meeting with the North Korean leaders Olympus (the White House) falls under attack by a multi-pronged terrorist attack and the President along with most of his staff is taken hostage by a lunatic. Mike is just happens to be there on the front lines and gets into the White House before the gates are sealed. Alone and out manned he’s got to single handedly solve the situation.

Speaker of the House Trumball (Morgan Freeman) is the only one on the outside of the leadership staff and must take the reins of leadership during this time of crisis. It seems that the terrorists want the activation codes for Cerberus, a top secret nuclear failsafe that allows the self-destruct mechanisms of America’s nuclear warheads to be activated. Within the right hands it’s a great failsafe, but in the wrong hands, it would mean nuclear devastation for the United States if those missiles were destroyed while still in ground. To make matters worse all 3 parts of the code are captive inside the White House and it’s only a matter of time till the men and women holding those codes secret are broken. Now Mike has to get to the President through 40 gun toting terrorists, rescue the President’s son, Connor, and Take out the launch codes if they’ve already been activated. All in a day’s work for a Secret Service agent.

[img]http://www.hometheatershack.com/gallery/file.php?n=12471[/img]

“Olympus has Fallen” is a big, dumb, action movie; but it’s a big, dumb, action movies that’s a LOT of fun, and a lot better than the last two “Die Hard” movies put together. Gerard Butler is chewing the scenery up, spitting out one liner after one liner doing what he SHOULD be doing instead of cheesy drama’s and Rom-Com’s. Antoine Fuqua has always had a good handle on action scenes and here’s he’s doing it again. The action is quick and frenetic without being riddled with excessive shaky cam. The first thing I noticed during the action scenes was that I could actually SEE the action, instead of being told that an action scene was going on because of the music and a blur of motion along with 10 million cuts per second. Gerard Butler is right at home playing the beleaguered agent under pressure and in my opinion does it quite well. Looking energetic and ticked off (unlike the sleepwalking mode that Bruce Willis has been doing) he rips through bad guy after bad guy with bone crunching enthusiasm. Aaran Ekhart is fantastic as the POTUS and comes across as a very likeable man, and an endearing relationship with his motherless son. That alone elevates the film so much more in light of the situation that is taking place and for events to come in the movie.

The story is definitely predictable, and definitely unoriginal, but it’s got such heart and does a great job of portraying what happens to a nation when it’s most precious and previously thought unbreachable fortress gets snatched right from under them, leaving the nation in shock and scrabbling to maintain order under such stress. Morgan Freeman is fantastic as the Speaker, turned Commander in Chief, portraying the man as one would guess, frightened, unsure of how to properly execute commands that he wasn’t’ trained for, and ultimately, having to make the hard decisions that no one wants to make. While some of the action scenes and premise are a bit far-fetched (It’s kind of hard to believe that a group could actually capture Olympus the way it’s portrayed with the INSANE amounts of security the capital actually has), but it’s a fun and wild ride, lean back, grab a bag of popcorn and watch things blow up on a summer evening.



Rating:

Rated R for strong violence and language throughout



Video :3.5stars:
[img]http://www.hometheatershack.com/gallery/file.php?n=12472[/img]
Hmmmmmmmmmmm, I usually have to say “It’s a Sony encode. How can it get any better”? For once I can’t actually say that. Sony has given us a pretty solid encode today that is heavily marred by two things. Some excessive softness and some SERIOUSLY bad black levels. The black levels are really the major weak point in the film. Detail is normally quite good and there’s some SERIOUS pop in the outdoor scenes, but during the indoor scenes there’s some soft sections that look unnatural for the situation. Being that the film is shot in the dark and darkish scenes most of the time, the bad black levels tend to suck the life out of the picture. The blacks leaned towards being greyish most of the time and created a sort of “haze” over the 35mm film and a significant amount of black crush is present too, absorbing most of the detail in said dark scenes. Those two flaws aside there’s actually a decent amount of good in the picture. The 35 mm film stock (which is a rarity these days) creates a nice gritty looking picture with a nice layer of natural film grain and the colors are beautiful. Greens and reds just pop in those stunning out door scenes and contrast levels are great to boot. Fine detail is great in those same scenes, but unfortunately masked inside where the excessive dark levels obscures it from our view. A mixed bag that I really wished was a bit less mixed “Olympus has Fallen” is one of those pictures that just falls in the middle as being “meh”.








Audio :4.5stars:
[img]http://www.hometheatershack.com/gallery/file.php?n=12473[/img]
My goodness, I love action tracks. Sony has given us a powerhouse to enjoy today. “Olympus has Fallen” is just about as good a track as I’ve heard in a long time. Dialogue is crisp and clear without any constant cranking up and down to distinguish dialogue amount the sound effects and Dynamic range is powerful, yet within range. The surrounds are used VERY intensely during the action scenes and even the quiet scenes they utilize a lot of ambient sounds to keep themselves busy. Gun shots are loud and powerful and explosions are in your face. My only only complaint with the LFE channel. While it’s there, and there in spades, something just feels “missing”. The low end gunfire and explosions had a lot of power to them, but there felt like there was something gone with the low end, as if there was some subsonic filtering as there was with “The Hobbit”. Just some low end punch that should have been there that wasn’t. Overall a great, immersive track with just a slightly disappointing LFE track.



[img]http://www.hometheatershack.com/gallery/file.php?n=12474[/img]
Extras :3stars:
• Bloopers
• The Epic Ensemble
• Under Surveillance: The Making of "Olympus Has Fallen"
• Deconstructing the Black Hawk Sequence
• Ground Combat: Fighting the Terrorists
• Creating the Action: VFX and Design
• Previews









Overall: :4stars:

Antoine Fuqua has done some great action films in his day, and some great war-time action shots as well. “Olympus has Fallen” may not be his best work, but he still knows how to create a gripping movie. Full of over the top action, cheesy one liners and more bullets than the Vietnam and Iraq wars rolled into one. The video encode was a tad disappointing and the extras are just kind of “meh”, but the film itself is a blast of a time and is definitely on my purchase list and I recommend it for at least a watch for all of you action loving fans out there.



Additional Information:

Starring: Aaran Ekhart, Gerard Butler, Morgan Freeman, Ashley Judd
Directed by: Antoine Fuqua
Written by: Creighton Rothenberger, Katrin Benedikt
Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1 AVC
Audio: English: DTS-HD MA 5.1
Studio: Sony Pictures
Rated: R
Runtime: 120 minutes
Blu-Ray Release Date: August 13th, 2013



Buy Olympus Has Fallen Blu-ray on Amazon


Recommendation: Watch It




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Ive held off seeing this movie as I keep reading that the bad language is really over the top on this one. I dont mind some language but when you read in reviews that in some parts is every other word almost consistent I tend to not be very interested in seeing it.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
it's no worse than the original Die Hard really. nothing like Hansel and Gretel etc... just your standard action dialogue. if you've seen Die Hard or the Lethal Weapon's it's about the same. nothing too wild
 

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Thanks for the review. I put in the other review.. Will add here.. Doesn't this movie seem to be cliche in the sense like those Jean-Claude Van Damme and Steven Seagal movies?? Like Hollywood has to just rehash these movies with newer actors with a slight change in the story line.. :)
 

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Thanks for the review. I put in the other review.. Will add here.. Doesn't this movie seem to be cliche in the sense like those Jean-Claude Van Damme and Steven Seagal movies?? Like Hollywood has to just rehash these movies with newer actors with a slight change in the story line.. :)
oh yeah, these action movies are usually clones of each other. right here (along with White House Down) we have 2 almost direct Die Hard clones for the year
 

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Thanks for the review Mike. I thoroughly enjoyed this one but it was very reminiscent of Die Hard. I found the audio to be outstanding and the surround activity was active indeed. I personally found the LFE to be quite impressive and didn't feel anything was filtered.
 

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Thanks for the review Mike. I thoroughly enjoyed this one but it was very reminiscent of Die Hard. I found the audio to be outstanding and the surround activity was active indeed. I personally found the LFE to be quite impressive and didn't feel anything was filtered.
yeah, it wasn't anything wild, it just like it was missing some "ooomph" on the low end for the explosions and gunshots. very well could have been the mix
 

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I do too, and I'd REALLY like him to do more action roles. He seems right at home in that type of role and he does too little for my tastes :(
 

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Thanks for the review Mike. I have nothing but good things to say about this movie after comparing it to that other "White House Down" movie. It was a definite buy for me.
 

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Thanks for the review Mike. I have nothing but good things to say about this movie after comparing it to that other "White House Down" movie. It was a definite buy for me.
lol, the funny thing is that I like BOTH movies. White house down was a bit different but still a cheesy blast.
 

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Thanks for the review. I put in the other review.. Will add here.. Doesn't this movie seem to be cliche in the sense like those Jean-Claude Van Damme and Steven Seagal movies?? Like Hollywood has to just rehash these movies with newer actors with a slight change in the story line.. :)
The 80's style action star movies? Similar to Expendables? Just cast the action and create a plot line to go with it? I hope not. I'm hoping there is some more content to it than that. I love that style of action movie where it's all action and very little actual plot, but it does get old.

Seems like a decent movie, but lackluster in the LFE and video (mainly black) department. Probably start with a rental... Just seems mediocre.
 

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So, so movie, but it really shined in the bass department. Bottomed out my subs a few times.

Spoiler**
I know it is a movie, but I was rolling the eyes a bit when one C130 was able to reek as much havoc as it did. I mean C'mon, only 2 F16's and they both get taken out :rolleyesno:
 

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Thanks for the review Mike! :T

As I like both Butler and Freeman, this is a probably a blind buy for me, but I will temper my expectations on the quality of the picture. :)

And, is it just me, or does it seem like Morgan Freeman is in EVERYTHING?! :bigsmile:
I think he's padding for retirement. :)
 

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Watched this last night. A few times the bass was great, but there were some points where I was expecting it to, and it didn't have the 'punch'. Not saying I've been in many explosions, but typically in movies there is a bit more 'boom' and rumble with it.

Excellent movie, though.

Oddly enough, I watched 2 Morgan Freeman movies (also Oblivion) last night, just by chance. He has been in a lot of things lately. Not that I mind, he's a good actor!
 

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I watched it last night and the soundtrack was stellar as was teh picture quality. Story line was very weak.
 

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Just watched it. Well it has action I guess but has so many glaring and painful plot-holes that I won't bother again!

I mean seriously, a self destruct on a nuke to prevent its use that can simply not be overridden? and that makes them vulnerable to a nuclear attack? Um icbms dont PREVENT an attack. And im sure in a matter of minutes the system could be removed from stored icbms before launch. Not to mention I doubt such a stupidly easy to figure out system would have 1 unchangeable code that couldn't be stopped. Weak. And would that somehow affect all nuke subs etc too? Whatabout nuke payload cruise missiles? Weak plot line.

And having a self destruct would not I repeat not actually detonate a nuclear warhead. It would no doubt just detonate the fuel etc at worst spreading nuclear material in and around the silo. The us would have to be pretty dumb to make a universal code that could obliterate their own country lol.

And I thought the us govt dont negotiate with terrorists? Wouldnt they just level the whitehouse to prevent nuclear attack? Or is the president apparently worth more than the other 250million people...

Also im glad I dont live in america, it seems everyone has machine guns and EVERYTHING explodes...

And whats with movies lately, seem to often be duplicate movies being released like this and white house down? I smell a mole haha!
 

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Uh... I don't think I would watch a movie and come to the conclusion that what happened in the movie really happens in real life, especially when the movie is fiction. I definitely would not say the movie is representative of anything that has happened in the U.S. True... I do see the plot holes, but I see those in lots of movies, especially fictional movies.

That does not mean that I would not consider moving to Australia at some point, especially if our leadership continues in the direction is seems to be headed... not to provoke any political arguments, just my opinion.
 

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Just watched it. Well it has action I guess but has so many glaring and painful plot-holes that I won't bother again!

I mean seriously, a self destruct on a nuke to prevent its use that can simply not be overridden? and that makes them vulnerable to a nuclear attack? Um icbms dont PREVENT an attack. And im sure in a matter of minutes the system could be removed from stored icbms before launch. Not to mention I doubt such a stupidly easy to figure out system would have 1 unchangeable code that couldn't be stopped. Weak. And would that somehow affect all nuke subs etc too? Whatabout nuke payload cruise missiles? Weak plot line.

And having a self destruct would not I repeat not actually detonate a nuclear warhead. It would no doubt just detonate the fuel etc at worst spreading nuclear material in and around the silo. The us would have to be pretty dumb to make a universal code that could obliterate their own country lol.

And I thought the us govt dont negotiate with terrorists? Wouldnt they just level the whitehouse to prevent nuclear attack? Or is the president apparently worth more than the other 250million people...

Also im glad I dont live in america, it seems everyone has machine guns and EVERYTHING explodes...

And whats with movies lately, seem to often be duplicate movies being released like this and white house down? I smell a mole haha!
I think with movies like this it's better to not constantly analyze throughout. Just grab your popcorn, drink of choice, and enjoy the mayhem. Oh and by the way here in America we like machine guns and blowing stuff up. :)
 
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