New Movies For The Month Of April.

1. 2 Guns still

Mark Wahlberg and Denzel Washington have joined forces in the crime action thriller 2 Guns and the film’s first trailer has premiered, fresh off the first 2 Guns still.

2 Guns Trailer

2 Guns Trailer

Wahlberg (most recently seen in Ted) and Washington’s roles are kind of a mystery, but from what we can discern, Wahlberg is Special Forces and Washington is DEA. The only thing is, each believes the other is a criminal and they are undercover to set up the other.

There is just one problem, the people they ripped off to ensnarl the other… are the CIA.

2 Guns features an all-star cast including Paula Patton (Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol), Bill Paxton, Fred Ward, James Marsden and Edward James Olmos. The film lands August 2 and is based on the Boom! Studios graphic novels.

2. Olympus Has Fallen Review: Die Hard in the White House

Olympus Has Fallen Star Gerard Butler

Olympus Has Fallen is the story of Butler’s Secret Service agent Mike Banning. We meet him and the first couple (Aaron Eckhart and Ashley Judd) at Camp David as they ready the president to leave the compound and head to a fundraiser. It is Christmas time and the snow is falling. It’s no secret, given what is shown in the Olympus Has Fallen trailer, that a horrible accident occurs and Banning must make a choice as the presidential limo teeters off a bridge.

He saves the Commander in Chief and the First Lady falls to the icy river below in the crashing limo. Haunted by the tragedy, Butler excuses himself from White House detail and takes a gig working with the Treasury Department.

The story picks up 18 months later and Eckhart’s President Asher is now a single father trying to run a country. He is doing his best and on this day that is central to the entire Olympus Has Fallen plot, he is welcoming the Prime Minister of South Korea. Tensions are high with North Korea (in a case of art imitating life) and the two leaders are attempting to meet and resolve the issue.

Terrorists hit the White House hard and director Antoine Fuqua (Training Day) has orchestrated an assault on “America’s House” that is as believable as it can be… it’s downright frightening.

Aaron Eckhart Stars in Olympus Has Fallen

The president is rushed to the underground bunker, hundreds of feet below ground, with the Secretary of Defense (a stellar Melissa Leo), the Vice President and his South Korean guests. It is there, and you’ll get no details here, that the president is taken hostage and demands are made that will change the geopolitical landscape forever.

Butler is blocks away at the Treasury Department building and swiftly heads into action. His Secret Service agent fights his way into 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue and a certain classic film immediately comes to mind… and that is not a bad thing.

Sure, check out this Olympus Has Fallen clipUnder Siege — and it is clear that this film is “Die Hard in the White House.” Many films have taken that winning formula in the past. Yet, few have been worthy of sharing that action flick’s classic title. Fuqua’s flick warrants the moniker.

It is a worthy inheritor of the subgenre of action film and that is largely due to the performance of Butler, the witty writing of Creighton Rothenberger and Katrin Benedikt, and Fuqua’s impeccable command of his story.

And the supporting cast must sense the surprisingly entertaining nature of this fictional assault on the White House story as they each raise their game to meet the bar set by Fuqua. Morgan Freeman is his usual stellar self as the Speaker of the House who constitutionally takes the reins of government in the situation room alongside Angela Bassett’s Secret Service Director.

Olympus Has Fallen Gerard Butler Stars

Leo is almost unrecognizable in the role of Secretary of Defense, and she plays her as someone who would rather die than negotiate with terrorists. Although the president is a major puzzle piece in this story, Eckhart knows that his character is merely a supporting player in the Butler action bonanza. His leader of the free world is a family man, who also is quite adept in the boxing ring (hint, hint).

And then there is Butler. The Scottish actor is right at home anchoring the story and our Olympus Has Fallen review can firmly state that he is the action star we’ve been waiting to find since the crew of Bruce Willis, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sylvester Stallone have gone past their cinematic due date.

Might we suggest that Butler stay away from romantic comedies for a while and make nothing but action flicks? If they’re half as good as Olympus Has Fallen, Hollywood can safely say they’ve found their action star of the foreseeable future.

3.The Place Beyond the Pines Review: Ryan Gosling & Bradley Cooper Clash.

Ryan Gosling Eva Mendes Star in The Place Beyond the Pines

As shown in The Place Beyond the Pines trailer, the film stars Ryan Gosling, Eva Mendes and Bradley Cooper. Their lives will explosively intertwine in ways that will result in hearts broken, lives altered forever and legacies left that not one soul in the audience could have seen coming.

Gosling is a motorcycle daredevil who works in a traveling circus. As the film commences, he’s in a town that we learn he knows well. After finishing his act one evening, he heads over to a former flame’s (Mendes) house. Soon after, he learns that a previous rendezvous with her resulted in a child. Immediately he quits the daredevil business and seeks to settle into this pine tree-laden upstate New York hamlet.

Not qualified for much, Gosling’s Luke feels he has no choice but to use his skills on a motorcycle to knock off local banks. Things seem to be going swimmingly until he encounters Cooper’s rookie cop. It is at that moment that Cianfrance takes what was Gosling’s film and immediately we are off on a Cooper-centric story.

As told to us in our Derek Cianfrance interview, he was inspired by Psycho and Alfred Hitchcock’s storytelling tool in that film where he took Janet Leigh’s movie and at a certain point, it was all Anthony Perkins.

For Cianfrance, the mode of telling his tale works in such unforeseen powerful ways. Where one could think it would feel disjointed, it is in fact seamlessly sensational. Each character’s worlds are more deeply examined by having the focus shift between the two stories.

And caught in the middle, almost serving as the connection that holds the two worlds together is Mendes. It is the performance of her career. She dazzles as a woman torn between what is right and what is wrong, and then what is best for her child.

The Place Beyond the Pines Bradley Cooper

Cooper and Gosling serve as the film’s brilliant bookends. Gosling goes deep as a man that audiences would not normally cheer for, yet in his hands and with his searing charisma, Luke is someone who we collectively want to succeed.

Meanwhile, Cooper’s Avery is not a one note character, thanks to Cianfrance’s script and Cooper’s performance. He is as conflicted as Luke in so many ways. There are familial, community and personal expectations and they do not all jive. Through Cooper, we see that this is a character that is uncomfortable with fate, yet still manages to wrap himself in it.

Our The Place Beyond the Pines review can easily call this film a must-see. It is almost unfortunate that it is being released in limited release March 29 before going nationwide April 12. This is a film that firmly belongs in the midst of the Oscar season later in the year. But then again, having something this good in the early months of the year is something for which to be grateful.

 

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