Sometimes it’s not a bad thing to go into a genre film with no expectations and have it turn out to be very entertaining. Such is the case with the current action opus Olympus Has Fallen. “Olympus” is the Secret Service code for the White House, and the plot concerns evildoer terrorists seizing the White House and holding the president and his entire security staff hostage. Naturally, there’s a suffering hero who saves the day and there’s never a moment in which you believe the film will not arrive at its expected outcome.
Documentaries are good because, for the most part, they take us places we’ve never been and/or introduce us to people that we may have known about via sound bites and news stories, but really didn’t know in person. Such is the case with the film Koch, a look at the life and career of Ed Koch, the feisty, in your face, three-term mayor of New York City during a very turbulent period.
It’s time once again to give you the chance to catch up with all the Oscar Nominated Shorts from this past year, both live action and animated. Cincinnati World Cinema is, for the twelfth year, bringing you this eclectic and entertaining compilation of all the nominees. Unlike other showings in the country, CWC also has the good sense to mix them up in two separate programs containing some of the live action, some of the animateds, and some of the bonus shorts. That makes for an all-around more enjoyable viewing experience.
It must be considered an act of serendipity when all the right people get together to make a thoroughly enjoyable movie. Such a case is Quartet. Based on a play by Oscar winning screenwriter Ronald Harwood, Quartet is set in a retirement home for musicians, located in what must be one of the loveliest spots in the English countryside. Most of the musicians are classical, many of them opera singers, and there are a couple of aged vaudevillians in there as well. It’s getting close to the annual fund raising gala which helps fund the facility. The name attraction has had to step down due to ill health, which puts a crimp in their style. But the arrival of a new resident, a grand Diva with worldwide fame, may be their hope for a record-breaking fundraiser, which is dedicated to Opera composer Giuseppe Verdi.
It’s fun to see a film that is a carefully constructed cat-and-mouse game, particularly when the ensuing events play havoc with the plans of either the cat or the mouse or both. Hitchcock was a master of the genre, and other directors have fared well with this premise.