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LIONSGATE

MOVIE INFO

Director:
Ric Roman Waugh
Cast:
Gerard Butler, Morgan Freeman, Nick Nolte
Writing Credits:
Ric Roman Waugh, Robert Mark Kamen, Matt Cook

Synopsis:
Mike Banning is framed for the attempted assassination of the President and must evade his own agency and the FBI as he tries to uncover the real threat.

Box Office:
Budget
$40 Million.
Opening Weekend
$21,380,987 on 3286 Screens.
Domestic Gross
$69,030,436.

MPAA:
Rated R.

DISC DETAILS
Presentation:
Aspect Ratio: 2.39:1
Audio:
English Dolby Atmos
English Dolby 2.0
Spanish Dolby 5.1
English Descriptive Audio
Subtitles:
English
Spanish
Closed-captioned
Supplements Subtitles:
None

Runtime: 121 min.
Price: $39.99
Release Date: 11/26/2019

Bonus:
• “Even Heroes Fall” Featurette
• “Someone to Watch Over Me” Featurette
• “Calling All Angels” Featurette
• “True Faith” Featurette
• “Fight For You” Featurette
• “Earth Angel” Featurette
• “Angel Declassified” Scene Breakdowns
• Previews


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RELATED REVIEWS


Angel Has Fallen [Blu-Ray] (2019)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (November 13, 2019)

In the real world, credible attempts to assassinate the American president rarely happen. For instance, no one has really threatened a president since John Hinckley shot Ronald Reagan back in 1981.

In the movie universe that started with 2013’s Olympus Has Fallen, however, a president can’t eat a burrito without danger from would-be assassins. US presidents endured assaults in Olympus and 2016’s London Has Fallen, and now violent extremists pop up again for 2019’s Angel Has Fallen.

The common denominator for all three? Secret Service Agent Mike Banning (Gerald Butler).

In Angel, Mike suffers from migraines and other debilitating post-concussion symptoms. Due to these, he considers the need to take a desk job – and a promotion – when he finds himself eligible to become the head of the Secret Service.

Before this can occur, Mike and dozens of other personnel accompany President Allan Trumbull (Morgan Freeman) on a fishing trip. In this midst of this, a slew of drones attack.

Only quick-thinking saves Mike and President Trumbull. Because he gets them underwater, the two become the only survivors of this violent assault.

However, Mike immediately becomes the suspected mastermind of the assassination attempt, as an unknown party frames him. When Mike escapes custody, he engages on a crusade to find the real culprit and clear this name.

If that sounds a lot like 1993’s The Fugitive, there’s a good reason, as Angel borrows liberally from the Harrison Ford classic. While it doesn’t act as a clear remake, the similarities become difficult to ignore.

If Angel offered even one-tenth the entertainment value of Fugitive, I wouldn’t mind the plagiarism. Unfortunately, it remains me much more of Olympus and London, as it becomes yet another loud, absurd, and not very interesting action movie.

Actually, I find it stunning that studios continue to fund the Fallen movies. As I mention pretty much anytime I review one of his films, Butler doesn’t seem like much of a bankable talent. His list of truly successful live-action movies begins and ends with his breakout, 2007’s 300, as he’s been unable to generate much excitement since then.

The original Olympus eked out a profit due to overseas grosses, but it fell a little under $100 million here, clearly much less than the studio hoped for a big action flick. London did much worse in the US, but international sales and a lower budget allowed it to make a little money.

Which must be why we have a third chapter for a series that hasn’t really sold a lot of tickets. Bizarrely, each movie has come from a different US distributor, and that doesn’t seem like a sign studios have much confidence in the franchise.

Still, each one produces passable profits. With a budget of $40 million and a worldwide gross of $133 million, Angel likely made just enough money for someone to produce a fourth flick.

I don’t know what’s dumber: Angel or me because I continue to watch these bad movies. Perhaps this is a “hope springs eternal” situation, as I do love action flicks, so the Fallen films should work for me.

But they don’t, and Angel does nothing to alter the situation. Every aspect of the movie follows a trite, easily predictable path, with nary a surprise on display.

If you’re over the age of four, you’ll figure out the villains very easily. Heck, the movie makes their identities so obvious that it barely bothers with the usual “big reveal” – we get confirmation that comes with only a lackluster attempt to make this information seem revelatory.

Everything about the movie seems absurd. Even if I ignore the disconnect between real-world assassination attempts and those in the Fallen world, the film makes next to zero stabs at logic.

Instead, it tosses one loud, bloody action flick after another at the viewer, few of which excite or thrill. They all seem so stale and perfunctory that they lack the ability to dazzle.

Butler trots out the same vaguely Noo Yawk accent he sports for all his American roles, and he seems beaten down by life. Maybe this makes sense due to Mike’s physical problems, but instead, it just feels more like real-life Butler has let himself go.

Butler must be the oldest-looking 49-year-old in Hollywood. The handsome, fit Butler of 300 is long gone, as Angel’s Butler looks paunchy, worn and craggy in a way one doesn’t expect of an actor his age.

Angel pairs him with maybe the only other former hunk who aged worse than Butler: 1992’s People Magazine Sexiest Man Alive, Nick Nolte. Nolte looks like he’s 78 going on 200, so maybe the producers cast him to create the illusion that Butler still qualifies as a hottie.

At least Nolte brings some life to the proceedings. Nolte doesn’t get a lot to do here, but he adds some crusty charm and personality, more than I can say for any of the other actors.

Though who can blame them? Angel offers such a ridiculous, incoherent crapfest that it doesn’t deserve invested actors.

Shame on the filmmakers for shoveling such crap at the audience. And shame on me for continuing to watch these terrible movies.


The Disc Grades: Picture B+/ Audio A-/ Bonus C+

Angel Has Fallen appears in an aspect ratio of 2.39:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. The movie offered a solid presentation.

Sharpness worked fine, as the film seemed accurate and well-defined. Only a little softness entered into the occasional wide shot. I saw no signs of jaggies or moiré effects, and the film lacked edge haloes or print flaws.

If you suspected Angel would come with the modern standard teal and orange palette, you’ll get what you expected, and these became heavy tints. I’d like to see action flicks dispense with those conceits, but given their restraints, they looked fine here.

Blacks came across nicely, as dark tones were deep and rich, without any muddiness or problems. In addition, low-light shots gave us smooth, clear visuals. All in all, this became a positive transfer.

I also felt happy with the solid Dolby Atmos soundtrack of Angel. Downconverted to Dolby TrueHD 7.1, the mix offered plenty of opportunities for lively auditory information, and it took good advantage of these.

From the opening combat scene to road chases to gunfire to explosions to other action elements, the mix filled the speakers on a frequent basis. The track placed information in logical spots and blended all the channels in a smooth, compelling manner.

Audio quality was also positive. Music sounded lively and full, while effects delivered accurate material. Those elements showed nice clarity and kick, with tight low-end.

Speech was always distinctive and concise, too. This mix worked well for the film.

Six featurettes accompany the film, and Even Heroes Fall fills eight minutes, 35 seconds. It brings comments from co-writer/director Ric Roman Waugh, producer Les Weldon, executive producer David Bernardi, and actors Gerard Butler, Nick Nolte and Morgan Freeman.

The show looks at the move to a third chapter and story/characters, and influences. “Heroes” offers a passable overview.

With Someone to Watch Over Me, we find a 13-minute, two-second reel that includes notes from Waugh, Butler, Weldon, Nolte, and actors Danny Huston, Jada Pinkett Smith and Piper Perabo.

“Watch” examines the choice of Waugh to direct as well as his impact on the production. Too much praise emerges, but we get some decent notes about the film.

Calling All Angels spans 18 minutes, 13 seconds and involves Waugh, Butler, Smith, Weldon, Huston, Nolte, and Perabo. They get into cast and performances through this decent but fairly fluffy clip.

Next comes True Faith, a 12-minute, 47-second program that offers info from Waugh, Smith, Bernardi, Butler, Freeman, production designer Russell De Rozario, costume designer Stephanie Collie, director of photography Jules O’Loughlin and actor Tim Blake Nelson.

“Faith” digs into research, production design, locations, costumes, and cinematography. The program comes with some of the usual praise but it digs into technical areas reasonably well.

Fight For You occupies nine minutes, 39 seconds and presents remarks from Waugh, Butler, Freeman, Weldon, 2nd unit director Vic Armstrong and stunt coordinator Greg Powell.

As implied by the title, “Fight” covers action and stunts. It becomes a moderately good take on the subject matter despite the standard happy talk.

Finally, Earth Angel spans six minutes, 25 seconds and features Waugh, Butler, O’Loughlin, Weldon, and Perabo. “Earth” views shooting foreign locales for DC. It delivers another acceptable discussion of the subject matter.

Under Angel Declassified, we see three “scene breakdowns” with commentary from Waugh. They fill a total of eight minutes, 38 seconds.

Calling these “scene breakdowns” seems like a stretch, as it implies we’ll view sequences at various stages of completion. We don’t, as instead, we watch the finished segments.

That means “Declassified” really provides eight minutes of audio commentary. I don’t know why Waugh didn’t just record a full-length track to cover the whole film, but he adds some good details here.

The disc opens with ads for Rambo: Last Blood, Midway (2019), Hunter/Killer, Anna and John Wick Chapter 3: Parabellum. No trailer for Angel appears here.

Three films into the franchise and Angel Has Fallen delivers the same braindead action found in the first two. Despite a strong cast and potential thrills, the movie seems too stupid to entertain. The Blu-ray comes with very good picture and audio as well as a decent set of supplements. If you liked the prior movies, you’ll probably enjoy Angel, but I can’t find anything to endorse beyond that.

Viewer Film Ratings: 1 Stars Number of Votes: 2
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Review Archive:  # | A-C | D-F | G-I | J-L | M-O | P-R | S-U | V-Z | Viewer Ratings | Main