Question of the Week: What’s your favorite White House movie scene?

OlympusHasFallenPosterI’m set for an advanced screening of the white house actioner Olympus Has Fallen tomorrow. Surely you’ve seen the pretty aggressive promos of that one all over the place. Interestingly enough, the marketing for the movie has been putting the White House itself as the main STAR of the film. I mean there are some posters that feature the actors, but the white house is always featured prominently on there, as if we’d forget what that iconic POTUS house actually looks like! Now, that’s perhaps saying something about the lead actor of the movie, don’t you think?

Anyway, early reviews I’ve read so far have been surprisingly decent. Of course we shall see come Thursday what the actual RT score would be, but right now it’s sitting at 67%. WOW! Though this movie was on my radar, I didn’t even put this one on my most-anticipated list, as you know how I feel about Gerry Butler these days. It’s amusing that many reviewers are saying that it’s the best Die Hard movie of the year, ahah, take that Bruce Willis! I’m not expecting much, but I can’t imagine this one would be worse than A Good Day to Die Hard, besides I think Antoine Fuqua is a pretty decent director.

Anyway, it made me think of memorable movie scenes set in the White House (regardless of whether it’s actually shot on location or on a made-up set). Then I’ll turn it over to you folks to give me YOUR pick of memorable White House scene. It doesn’t have to be action-related, in fact the idea here is to give and take movie recommendations to fellow cinephiles.

So here are three that came to mind right away:

Pardon the quality of the video, but this is an awesome intro scene in X-Men 2, my favorite of the whole X-Men saga.

Terrence Stamp and one of his most iconic Superman lines, “Kneel Before Zod!” I’m curious how Michael Shannon would fare in that role in Man of Steel!

Of course who could forget this one. I’d say it’s perhaps the most iconic scene involving the White House to date, and ID4 is what Roland Emmerich will always be remembered for.

Now, not all of memorable scenes are about an attack of the White House of course. In fact, I always remember this scene from Clear and Present Danger where Jack Ryan (Harrison Ford) confronted the President. Too bad the clip cuts out the part when Jack defiantly said, “I’m sorry Mr. President. I don’t dance!”

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Now your turn folks. Give us your favorite movie(s) and/or movie scenes set in the White House.

Musings on the latest Man of Steel Casting: Michael Shannon as General ZOD

Big news for superhero movie fans everywhere! As you know, I’ve been following the development of the Superman reboot for a while now. Well, after Superman’s been cast, we’ve not got Supes’ love interest with Amy Adams as Lois Lane, then Kevin Costner and Diane Lane as ma and pa Kent. The biggest question hanging since had been, who’ll be the villain??

Well, the speculation is over with the press release out today from Warner Bros and Legendary Pictures. Those hoping to hear the iconic phrase “Kneel before Zod!!” will likely hear it uttered from the mouth of Michael Shannon.

The Wrap article has the full release, but this is what Zack Snyder said about the casting decision:

Zod is not only one of Superman’s most formidable enemies, but one of the most significant because he has insights into Superman that others don’t. Michael is a powerful actor who can project both the intelligence and the malice of the character, making him perfect for the role.

So who’s this Michael Shannon?? He might not be a household name yet, but he’s been in various movie and tv series for nearly two decades. You might have seen him in Vanilla Sky, Revolutionary Road (which he received a Best Supporting Actor Oscar nod), My Son, My Son, What Have Ye Done, The Runaways, and most recently the HBO gangster series Boardwalk Empire as Agent Nelson. I’ve actually just heard about the Kentucky-born actor when he was cast in the upcoming inspirational biopic Machine Gun Preacher as Gerry Butler’s best friend. To be honest, I’m not familiar much with his work, though from some of the clips I’ve seen, he strikes me as a performer who tend to disappear into his roles, which is always a great talent to have for any actor. In any case, Shannon went from an actor I barely knew to having two of his upcoming movies at the top of my highly-anticipated list!

Stamp as the indelible Gen. Zod

As far as the Man of Steel movie, I’m definitely glad they chose to go with General Zod instead of Lex Luthor. Out of the five Superman feature films so far, the pompous and power-hungry Zod is the most compelling one to me. As a fellow Kryptonian, he not only has the history with Kal-El’s that no other enemy has, he’s also the only one who matches Superman’s caliber in both intelligence and physical strength, making him a formidable nemesis to watch going toe-to-toe with the superhero. So to hear Zack utter the words intelligence + malice to describe Shannon is definitely what I wanted to hear. Thanks to Terrence Stamp’s icy elegant performance, the character portrayed in the movie has become so iconic. The English actor has done more than six dozen movies/tv work but he’ll forever be known as Zod, which is a pop-culture phenomenon himself, he even has his own Obama-style campaign poster!

I have high hopes for Mr. Shannon that he will do the role justice, he’s also got a deep voice that’d certainly help in creating a commanding presence. Oh by the way, the 36-year-old actor is apparently a couple of inches taller than Henry Cavill, standing at 6’3″, so this Zod doesn’t necessarily need to have Supes to kneel before him to feel, y’know, physically superior 🙂


So what do you think of this casting choice folks? What are your thoughts on Michael Shannon in general?