Posts Tagged ‘Alon Aboutboul’


Screen Shot 2016-03-04 at 2.15.32 PMRichard and CP24 anchor Nneka Elliot have a look at the weekend’s big releases, the Tina Fey dramedy “Whiskey Tango Foxtrot,” the 80s action of “London Has Fallen” and the animated animals of “Zootopia”!

Watch the whole thing HERE!


Screen Shot 2016-03-04 at 10.34.52 AMRichard and “Canada AM” host Beverly Thomson have a look at the weekend’s big releases, the Tina Fey dramedy “Whiskey Tango Foxtrot,” the 80s action of “London Has Fallen” and the animated animals of “Zootopia”!

Watch the whole thing HERE!

Metro In Focus: Why moviegoers love to hate Gerard Butler

Screen Shot 2016-03-02 at 9.08.36 AMBy Richard Crouse – Metro In Focus

Last week as I fought traffic en route to a London Has Fallen screening, I tweeted from the back of a cab, “Out of my way people! I’m running late for a Gerard Butler movie!” It was a silly little joke, a comment to kill time as we idled in the morning rush hour.

The first response came in right away: “said no one, ever,” followed by a torrent of unexpected Butler hate.

One person called him a “bouncer actor,” whatever that means.

Another questioned his ability to effectively disguise his native Scottish accent and many people offered me their condolences.

Why the Butler bashing?

It’s true he is a frustrating movie star. He shares the usual leading man traits that have made Brad Pitt and Leonardo DiCaprio superstars.

He’s handsome, talented and built like an action star but he’s been done in time after time by poor choices.

Pitt makes Fight Club, Butler makes Law Abiding Citizen. Leo stars in The Departed, Gerard does Machine Gun Preacher. Years ago the website Gawker placed Butler on movie star probation, calling him a “professional bad decision maker” alongside notable career fritterers Cuba Gooding Jr. and John Travolta. A look at his IMDB page suggests they were on to something.

He’s a utility player, comfortable switching genres the way most of us change our socks. One minute he’s a romantic comedy star, the next he’s choking out bad guys on screen. He’s flirted with Shakespeare and provided voices for cartoons. He’s done sci-fi flicks, musicals and even a rendering of the Anglo-Saxon epic poem Beowulf.

It’s not like he hasn’t enjoyed some very big hits. In 300 he (and his meticulously crafted six-pack) played King Leonidas, a Spartan who led 300 soldiers against the might of the Persian army. It’s the film equivalent of a heavy metal concert — loud, brutal and completely uncompromising — and it made him an action hero.

People have a soft spot for Dear Frankie, his breakout film and the one that turned him into a heartthrob with serious dramatic chops. The four-hankie U.K. tear-jerker about a single mother who resorts to trickery to keep the memory of her late husband alive in her son’s mind put Butler on the world stage.

Other box office bonanzas include playing a charming mobster in the violent Guy Ritchie flick RocknRolla and voicing Viking Stoick the Vast in How to Train Your Dragon.

It’s the other stuff that seems to rub people the wrong way. As a movie reviewer I can attest there are few English language words more terrifying than “New Gerard Butler Romantic Comedy” and I think it is those films that turned my Twitter followers against him.

He’s a good actor but his track record in the rom-com department is particularly grim. Critics hate these movies, calling the handsome Scottish actor’s attempts at mixing love and comedy, “instantly grating,” and “embarrassingly limited.”

But I come to praise Butler, not to bury him. Let’s give him another chance.

I made it to the London Has Fallen screening and can tell you it’s a pretty good action movie. Perhaps even good enough to erase the memory of The Ugly Truth or Playing for Keeps from our collective memories.

LONDON HAS FALLEN: 3 STARS. “a minefield of tough guy clichés.”

Screen Shot 2016-03-02 at 9.09.27 AMFans of 1980s action will recognize “London Has Fallen’s” set up. A veteran Secret Service agent (Gerard Butler) is about to hang up their holster but gets sucked in for one last, dangerous job. It’s a heady mix of “Lethal Weapon” and “Die Hard” where characters say things right out of the tough guy playbook like “Do me a favour… Stay alive,” and ethnic stereotypes never die.

After saving POTUS from a terrorist attack inside the White House in “Olympus Has Fallen,” Butler is back for a second go round as Mike Banning, secret service agent extraordinaire. He’s about to become a father and wants to leave his old life behind. In fact, he’s typing out a letter of resignation when he gets a call from the Oval Office. The British Prime Minister has died suddenly and President Benjamin Asher (Aaron Eckhart) has to go to England for the state funeral.

With only twenty-four hours to plan the trip Banning is nervous about security but is assured that this will be “the most protected event on earth.” Of course the funeral is not protected enough or the movie would be called “London Has Not Fallen.” A massive terrorist attack kills several world leaders, hundreds of innocent bystanders and decimates most of the landmarks in the British capital. Turns out the man responsible for the attack, an arms dealer named Barkawi (Alon Aboutboul), has a personal grudge against Asher and doesn’t care how many people he has to kill to get his vengeance. Banning is a formidable one-man army—his Spidey senses are always tingling—but will he be able to keep the President safe and prevent the what’s left of London from collapsing into the Thames?

“London Has Fallen” is terror-porn of the highest order, but while half of London is covered in CGI ashes, there is an inherent lack of stakes because you know in your heart that nothing is going to happen to the President. He may be bloodied but by the time the end credits roll it is a guarantee he will be unbowed.

So, with no real tension, what’s left? Plenty of 80s inspired action, that’s what. Like a lost relic from John McClane’s heyday the movie presents a main character who could be a case study in ‘Hero or Psychopath’ 101. He causes carnage with a twinkle in his eye, torturing and killing people in the name of protecting the Prez. It’s all action, all the time, feeling like a throwback to a time when grim faced heroes took on impossible odds—“There’s nearly 100 terrorists in there,” Banning is told before entering a terror hive alone. “They should’ve brought more men,” he grunts.—spouted one liners and the bad guys were anyone with an exotic accent. It’s not particularly enlightened in its world outlook and dismisses the female members of the cast—all of Oscar winner Melissa Leo’s lines could be written on the head of a pin—but if you choose not to think about it much, it’s good, high-octane fun.

Just as dangerous as the bullets and bombs on display is the minefield of tough guy clichés Butler navigates. “I never thought you’d outlive me…” BOOM! “The only person you trust right now is me!” BANG! Like an endlessly looping GIF the banalities never stop. Butler delivers them with gusto, but don’t go to “London Has Fallen” looking for witty or original dialogue. Very little has been done to update the story from its 80s roots. Now the bad guys broadcast on the internet—“It’s on social media!” screams a near hysterical Deputy Chief Mason (Jackie Earle Haley)—but that’s about it for new ideas.

To sum it up: You’ve seen “London Has Fallen” before, but you’ve never seen it quite like this.