There is something particularly moving about seeing your hometown portrayed on the big screen. When your backyard is Washington DC, you tend to see familiar streets and buildings quite often – from the movie theater to the evening news. I’ll be honest…I don’t love every portrayal of DC life.
My experience getting from my home down to the theater in Georgetown for the Premiere with the stars of White House Down – Channing Tatum, Jamie Foxx, Maggie Gyllenhaal and the adorable Joey King – was classic. I left with plenty of time, ran into a ton of DC’s infamous traffic, encountered road closures and unmarked detours, and missed our pre-movie mixer. Luckily, I was in plenty of time to grab a seat near the front…close enough to capture lots of photos of Channing Tatum and the rest of the crew before the show started.
About White House Down: Capitol Policeman John Cale (Channing Tatum) has just been denied his dream job with the Secret Service of protecting President James Sawyer (Jamie Foxx). Not wanting to let down his little girl (Joey King) with the news, he takes her on a tour of the White House, when the complex is overtaken by a heavily armed paramilitary group. Now, with the nation’s government falling into chaos and time running out, it’s up to Cale to save the president, his daughter, and the country.
What I loved about White House Down:
Channing Tatum and Jamie Foxx have a surprisingly fantastic chemistry together. Although White House Down is really an action movie versus a comedy, I found that the dialogue was often witty; I laughed a lot. I’ve enjoyed Joey King in earlier movies (recently, I loved her portrayal of China Girl in Oz the Great and Powerful) but I particularly fell in love with her character, Emily Cale. She is brave and smart – definitely a young girl to look up to.
The main characters – John and Emily Cale, President Sawyer, and Special Agent Carol Finnerty – are believable and likable. The antagonists, a gun-toting paramilitary group (can we call them the bad guys?) are sufficiently evil and boo-worthy. I was able to predict an early plot-turn but was completely surprised by a later one, something I love in a movie.
While the plot is not very realistic (I’m sure we’d all like to think that it’s a little harder than they make it look to take over the White House) I was able to easily over-look the flaws and enjoy the movie for what it was – an exciting, action-packed summer movie.
Is White House Down appropriate for kids? I’d vote for no. Some PG-13 movies are mild enough for older kids. I’d recommend White House Down as a fun summer date night movie. Leave the kids home for this one. Officially, White House Down is rated PG-13 for prolonged sequences of action and violence including intense gunfire and explosions and some language.
Channing Tatum and Jamie Foxx talk about being fathers
Before the movie began, the stars of the film joined our theater to discuss the movie, how enjoyable it was to work on the production together, and how Channing has adjusted to being a first-time dad.
Channing Tatum played a father to a young girl in White House Down, and it was during the filming of the movie that he and his wife conceived and later had their first baby, a little girl. When asked about the best parenting advice he has received so far, Channing answered, “Happy wife/happy mommy is a happy life. Keep them good and you’ll be good.” He also added that he appreciated the advice to never wake a sleeping baby.
Channing mentioned that he had always imagined being a dad, but “I never imagined the baby, baby part. I don’t get to do that much – she’s so relying on the mom. I’ve never been so happy to change…when the little thing poos. I get to get in the game! I get to be a part.” I’m sure most of us in the theater that night never imagined visualizing Channing Tatum changing baby diapers.
Jamie Foxx is a veteran dad, and his advice was directed to fathers of teenagers. He advised dads to avoid talking to their kids only as the father. “I talk to my 19 year old daughter as the homie AND as the father. Because what I’ve learned is that when you talk to them only as the father, it makes them feel like ‘I can’t come to you.’ So when you have girls, you gotta be able to open the door.”
Channing Tatum was a natural dad in White House Down – certainly a fun role for him to play, especially as he became a father for the first time.
White House Down opens in theaters on Friday, June 28, 2013. Check out the White House Down website for more photos, videos and details about the movie, and be sure to follow @WHD on twitter and on their official Facebook page.
About the author: A stay-at-home mom turned full-time writer, Lolli Franklin is a mother of five in the Washington D.C. area. Lolli’s daily life consists of a little bit of everything: kids, food, photography, travel, books, music…and very little sleep. When she isn’t blogging at Better in Bulk, she’s probably away from the computer planning her next post. Connect with Lolli on twitter @1momof5 or on her Facebook page.
Read Lolli’s White House Down Top 10 at Better in Bulk.