Nothing But the Truth: after outing a covert CIA agent, a journalist is given the choice to either reveal her source or do time in jail. The film is completely hinged on the decision to put either free speech or national security first; presenting both sides of the argument in great detail, and very fairly – however the film makes you think about it, and decide for yourself. The story is topped off with a fantastic ending that wraps up the film neatly and explains certain decisions and convictions held throughout the movie. It’s also got quite the cast: Kate Beckinsale lures you in for the duration, Matt Dillon is great as the prosecuting hot-shot, Vera Varmiga is very believable… but everyone is outshone by Alan Alda who acts his socks off in what few scenes he has – he’s truly captivating. There’s no frills, no fancy tricks, no cheesy direction, no mood music, which make it all seem very realistic, especially coupled with the solid characters and fine acting. Like Season 5 of The Wire / State of Play there’s a nice insight into the grind of a journalist, and some of the loopholes / technicalities they need to watch out for. Nothing But the Truth presents you with a sensitive political dilemna, and lets you deal with it – a very effective, intelligent ‘thought-provoking’ political drama.
“A man can live a good life, be honorable, give to charity, but in the end, the number of people who come to his funeral is generally dependent on the weather.”
Olympus Has Fallen: international terrorists have seized a building of importance, are holding the resident workers hostage, and issuing fake demands – meanwhile a wise-cracking, off-duty, security guy is taking them out one-by-one, communicating to a black guy outside. Wait, is that not identical to Die Hard?! Yes! Yes it is – there’s even a scene where a villain meets the hero and pretends to be a good guy – come awn Hollywood. Must. Try. Harder. The initial hostile takeover of the White House is a 15 minute onslaught of bullets, blood, brains, explosions, headshots, slumping bodies, flying limbs, and shaky-cam R-rated mayhem. It feels like an intense level of any FPS war game. Most of the remaining fights/deaths are gory enough to be from a Tarantino flick. The film is also ridiculously patriotic: deliberately baiting the audience by reveling in the Korean’s destruction of the Washington monument, white house, the stars and stripes, and more generally ‘freedom’. Could have saved time by simply having the Koreans piss on a M*A*S*H DVD box set. Most scenes feel like green-screen / GCI, especially when cheap-ass looking gun turrets, helicopters, explosions and the bullet-ridden american flag appear. Despite all of these downfalls the action is big, loud and above average. Butler is entertaining and there’s a lot more laughs than your typical disaster film. Given that the real North Korea are kicking up a fuss at the moment, it’s also far more relevant than the Ruskies / Chinese standard baddies. Overall, Olympus has Fallen is a fairly entertaining Red-invasion B-Movie with A-budget and A-cast, however it also happens to be wrought with scenes, characters and twists you’ve seen a hundred times before.