' ' Cinema Romantico: White House Down or Olympus Has Fallen: Grudge Match

Tuesday, April 02, 2013

White House Down or Olympus Has Fallen: Grudge Match

While the legend goes that celebrity deaths come in threes, the legend also goes that questionable action movies come in twos (see: "Armageddon"/"Deep Impact" or "Volcano"/"Dante's Peak"). This has been re-proven here in 2013 with dueling White House invasion movies in the form of "Olympus Has Fallen" (recently released) and "White House Down" (to be released in June). As I pondered this unfortunate phenomenon recently I came to the realization that while I have no desire whatsoever to see "Olympus Has Fallen", I am rather excited for "White House Down." And this gave me pause.

Why, I wondered, am I so eager to see “White House Down” (which I know is going to be bad) when “Olympus Has Fallen” (which I know is going to be bad) does not appeal to me at all despite essentially being the same movie? Thus, I decided to examine this query more closely.



“White House Down” stars Jamie Foxx as President. “Olympus Has Fallen” stars Aaron Eckhart as President. I mean, I like Eckhart and all but who wouldn’t prefer a State of the Union delivered by Foxx? (Pointing at Congress: “All y’all motherf---ers need to get it together and figure s--- out.”)  Advantage, “White House Down.”

The Secret Service Agent that saves the day in “White House Down” is Channing Tatum. The Secret Service Agent that saves the day in “Olympus Has Fallen” is Gerard Butler. Channing Tatum is potentially our next movie star. Gerard Butler recently starred in “Playing For Keeps.” Advantage, “White House Down.” 

The Vice President in “White House Down” is played by Michael Murphy who was Yale in “Manhattan.” The Vice President in “Olympus Has Fallen” is played by Phil Austin who was Dr. Stanovitch in “Curse of Alcatraz.” Advantage, “White House Down.” 

The First Lady in “White House Down” is played by Garcelle Beauvais. The First Lady in “Olympus Has Fallen” is played by Ashley Judd. Advantage, “Olympus Has Fallen”



James Woods is a Secret Service Agent in “White House Down.” Dylan McDermott is a Secret Service Agent in “Olympus Has Fallen.” Advantage, “White House Down.”

The villain in “White House Down” is Jason Clarke who was Jessica Chastain’s right-hand man in “Zero Dark Thirty.” The villain in “Olympus Has Fallen” is Rick Yune who was in “The Fast and The Furious.” Advantage, “White House Down.”

“White House Down” was directed by Roland Emmerich who directed “The Day After Tomorrow.” “Olympus Has Fallen” was directed by Antoine Fuqua who did to the “King Arthur” legend what Ridley Scott did to the “Robin Hood” legend (make it “reeeeeeeeeeeeeal”) YEARS before Ridley Scott did what he did to the “Robin Hood” legend. I want the dude who directed “The Day After Tomorrow” directing my White House Invasion movie, not the dude who tries to make something mythic “reeeeeeeeeeeeeal”. Advantage, “White House Down.”

The screenplay for “Olympus Has Fallen” was co-written by Creighton Rothenberger which is funny because back in the days when I used to write screenplays and send them to screenplay contests which I would inevitably lose I would often see Creighton Rothenberger’s name as either a finalist or a winner of those same contests and would think to myself “I bet that dude writes generic action movies” and guess what?! He does!!! (Translation: Creighton Rothenberger makes more money than I ever will.)  Advantage, “White House Down.”

The screenplay for “White House Down” was written by James Vanderbilt, who wrote the brilliant “Zodiac”, and not Roland Emmerich. This makes no sense. Do you know who I want writing the screenplays for hackneyed Roland Emmerich movies? Roland Emmerich. Disgraceful. Advantage, “Olympus Has Fallen.” 

The Speaker of the House in “White House Down” is Richard Jenkins. The Speaker of the House in “Olympus Has Fallen” is Morgan Freeman. Heaven knows I love Morgan Freeman but he constitutes Obvious Casting. Richard Jenkins constitutes Sneakily Brilliant Casting. Advantage, “White House Down.” 

So, that’s “White House Down” – 8 and “Olympus Has Fallen” – 2. There you have it. I will be waiting until June to fork over my hard-earned money to see a bad White House invasion movie.

4 comments:

Alex Withrow said...

My God, this is brilliant. I too am curiously drawn to White House Down and couldn't care less about Olympus. Much of this is based on my continual confusion that Gerard Butler is paid to star in movies. I can't get my head around that one.

Also: "The villain in “White House Down” is Jason Clarke who was Jessica Chastain’s right-hand man in “Zero Dark Thirty.” The villain in “Olympus Has Fallen” is Rick Yune who was in “The Fast and The Furious.”"

Perfect.

Murtaza Ali said...

Just followed your blog... would be back for more. I crawled over from Shantanu's blog. It's always a pleasure to meet a fellow cinephile. Btw, please take some time out to visit my film blog. Here's the link:

http://www.apotpourriofvestiges.com/

Nick Prigge said...

Alex: Thanks, man. Remember those days when Gerard Butler seemed to have promise? Or am I mis-remembering that?

Murtaza: Thanks for the follow. Will check out your site shortly.

Alex Withrow said...

(sigh) Promise might be fair. Promise in the way that you might say a little league athlete has promise, as long as he "sticks with it."

I enjoyed part of his work in Dear Frankie, but nothing else. Oh well.