White House Down: a group of mercenaries storm the White House leaving an aspiring Secret Serviceman as the President’s – and America’s – only hope. They’ve only gone and made “Die Hard in the White House”, again! It’s easy to confuse this with Olympus has Fallen, but in a duel for the oval office this one wins hands-down, mostly due to the entertainment-factor; it’s the true embodiment of the term ‘action romp’. Everything that can do so, explodes during big set pieces that punctuate the movie, and is generously littered with laughs too – by the end I was even guilty of a few fist-pumps. I’d go as far as saying that it’s the kind of movie that – at least on paper – we should all hate: big, loud, dumb, derivative, but the director seems to know this, and fully embraces it – cheesing everything up to 11. The only real downside is that it’s a tad on the long side (for the kind of film it is). If you want a cheesy 80s/90s big-budget one-man-army taking on waves of despicable henchmen, look no further. Fly this DVD up your flagpoles, ‘MURICA!
After Porn Ends: doc that catches up with some porn superstars of yesteryear and sees what they’re doing having left the industry. This doesn’t feel much like a conventional documentary – there’s no narration, or much of a narrative for that matter, just feels like you’re listening in on people storytelling; which has some merits. The biggest surprise is how smart and pragmatic some pornstars are (one actress is in mensa!), but this feels short-lived as it’s quickly balanced out by the ridiculously vapid bimbo stereotypes that also show up. You have to be a unique person to enter this kind of work, and in a way that’s what keeps this watchable – these people have led quite fascinating, peculiar lives during their porn careers, then as an ex-porn star societal pariah. The most interesting – and telling – part of the film however is seeing what happened after the interviews in the pre-credit titles. In the same way that ‘Side by Side’ was about the transition in cinema, this feels a bit like old-timers reminiscing about the glory days / ‘golden age’ of porn. All in all, After Porn Ends is surprisingly watchable, yet it’s a little unforgivable that someone could stitch together a film this flat and ordinary when it features so many people with remarkable stories (like a world-record breakin’ gangbang featuring 500 men!), working in the world’s most taboo and sensational industry.