Posted by the editors on Tuesday, 3 January 2012
The Indian Runner (1991) Written and directed by Sean Penn (Dead Man Walking (1995), Sweet and Lowdown (1999), I Am Sam (2001), Mystic River (2003), Milk (2008), and, as director The Pledge (2001), Into the Wild (2007)), starring Viggo Mortensen (A History of Violence (2005), Good, (2008), The Road (2009)), and David Morse (The Crossing Guard (1995), The Hurt Locker (2009)), with Valeria Golino, Patricia Arquette, Charles Bronson, Dennis Hopper, Benicio del Toro and Sandy Dennis. Based on the Bruce Springsteen song, Highway Patrolman, The Indian Runner, a drama of family, brothers and their two different ways of being in the world, is Sean Penn’s first film as a director, and though not perfect, it is a moving, successful first effort. David Morse is very good as Joe, the older brother, solid, kind, sadly yearning for days gone by, his childhood and the family farm lost in foreclosure, and Viggo Mortensen, as Frankie, a Vietnam veteran, and in trouble all his life, a psychologically troubled bad-boy, capable of explosions of violence, and equally menacing calm, a sort of lost outlaw, is honestly excellent. The rest of the impressive cast, quite a feat for a relatively low-budget first film and a testimony to the seriously talented Penn, is, if somewhat unexpected, also very good: an exceptional and subtle Charles Bronson and Sandy Dennis in her last cinema appearance, are Joe and Frankie’s parents, dazed and adrift, sad and beaten by life; Dennis Hopper, as a trashy, edgy bar-tender is spot on; Benicio del Toro is great in a very brief cameo as a charming, funny, even silly Mexican who supplies Joe’s wife, played by an amusing and energetic Valeria Golino, with marijuana; and Patricia Arquette, as Frankie’s love interest, is annoyingly, sadly, childlike with her pale skin and short blond hair, and an ideal foil to Mortensen’s dark and menacing Frankie. The Indian Runner is a thoughtful, atypical film, with complex characters, a fascinating examination of two very different, but loving, brothers, and despite a few weaker moments, the very fine acting, inspired writing and directing, and any number of very strong scenes make it a film to be viewed, and viewed again. (PR)
See our posts on the film Good, starring Viggo Mortensen and the films The Pledge, directed by Sean Penn, starring Jack Nicholson, The Game, starring Michael Douglas and Sean Pen and What Just Happened, starring Robert De Niro, with Sean Penn and Bruce Willis, and the film Traffic starring Benicio del Toro.
We recommend that you buy your DVDs and Blu-ray Disks. Have a great personal film library.. Here are links to amazon.com (Amazon Instant Video, DVDs, and Blu-ray Disks, in that order, where available):
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Posted in Blu-ray Disks, DVDs, film, Film Reviews, General, Movies, music, Nothing Is Invisible, nothingisinvisible | Tagged: 1991, A History of Violence, amazon instant video, amazon.com, Benicio de Toro, Blu-ray Disks, Bruce Springsteen, Charles Bukowski, David Morse, Dead Man Walking, Dennis Hopper, DVDs, film, Film Reviews, Good, Highway Patrolman, I Am Sam, Into the Wild, Milk, movies, MUST SEE, Mystic River, Nothing Is Invisible, nothingisinvisible, Patricia Arquette, PR, Sandy Dennis, Sean Penn, Sweet and Lowdown, The Crossing Guard, The Game, The Hurt Locker, The Indian Runner, The Pledge, The Road, Traffic, Valeria Golino, Viggo Mortensen, What Just Happened, Wikipedia | 1 Comment »
Posted by the editors on Tuesday, 27 December 2011
Traffic (2000) Directed by Steven Soderbergh (Erin Brockovich (2000), Solaris (2002), The Informant! (2009) and many others), starring Benicio del Toro, Michael Douglas, Don Cheadle, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Dennis Quaid, and others. Traffic, a multi-Oscar-winning crime drama about the drug trade in Mexico and the U.S. in which multiple interconnected story lines are woven together is a tension-filled tour de force characterised by the excellent directing of Soderbergh, some excellent writing, by Stephen Gaghan, and superb, understated acting on the part of Benicio del Toro. The four stories which make up the film consist of 1)in Tijuana, Mexico, the struggle between the corrupt army, the federal police and two important drug cartels, in which del Toro excels; 2)in Washington, D.C. and elsewhere, the story of a newly-nominated U.S. “Drug Czar” with a 16-year old addict daughter; 3)in San Diego, California, the efforts of the DEA (U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration) to arrest and prosecute a major drug trafficker and protect a key witness in his drug trial and, 4)also in San Diego, the efforts on the part of the wife of the arrested trafficker to maintain their business. The ensemble of the cast is really quite good: Michael Douglas and Amy Irving in the Washington “Drug Czar” story-line; Don Cheadle and Luis Guzmán in the DEA story-line; Catherine Zeta-Jones and Dennis Quaid in the San Diego drug trafficker story-line, and, of course Benicio del Toro in the Mexican story-line. Soderbergh not only directed the film, but also shot it, with distinctive color-based atmospheres for each story-line. The end result is an excellent, unsentimental drama, full of tension, that is a must-see. (PR)
Traffic won the following Academy Awards: Best Director, Best Supporting Actor (del Toro), Best Film Editing (Stephen Mirrione), and Best Adapted Screenplay; it was also nominated for Best Picture, but lost to Gladiator, by Ridley Scott. Traffic, and Benicio del Toro won numerous other awards, as well.
See our posts on the films Syriana, The Informant! and Solaris, directed by Steven Soderbergh, and also the films, The Pledge, with Benicio del Toro, Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps and The Game, starring Michael Douglas, and Vantage Point, starring Dennis Quaid.
We recommend that you buy your DVDs and Blu-ray Disks. Have a great personal film library… Here are links to amazon.com (Amazon Instant Video, DVDs and Blu-ray Disks, in that order, when available):
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Posted in General | Tagged: Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay, Academy Awards, amazon instant video, amazon.com, Amy Irving, Benicio del Toro, Best Director, Best Film Editing, Best Picture, Best Supporting Actor, Blu-ray Disks, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Crime Dramas, DEA, Dennis Quaid, Don Cheadle, Drug Czar, Drug Enforcement Administration, Drug Smuggling, DVDs, Erin Brockovich, film, Film Reviews, Gladiator, Luis Guzman, Michael Douglas, movies, MUST SEE, Nothing Is Invisible, nothingisinvisible, PR, Ridley Scott, San Diego California, Solaris, Stephen Gaghan, Steven Soderbergh, Syriana, The Game, The Informant!, The Pledge, Tijuana Mexico, Traffic (2000 film), Vantage Point, Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps, Wikipedia | 2 Comments »
Posted by the editors on Thursday, 1 December 2011
The Pledge (2001)(DVD) Directed by Sean Penn, starring Jack Nicholson, with Robin Wright Penn, Benicio del Toro, Mickey Rourke, Sam Shepard, Patricia Clarkson, Vanessa Redgrave, Helen Mirren, Harry Dean Stanton, Aaron Eckhart and others. The Pledge, on the surface a good crime drama, is, in fact, an excellent portrayal of one man’s descent into obsession and marginalization. That man, Jerry Black, is played by a superb Jack Nicholson, full of finesse, and few of his iconic grimaces and is captivating. The cast, clearly, is a who’s who of wonderful, accomplished actors, and Sean Penn’s directing is strong, evocative, and inspired. Benicio del Toro, though almost unrecognizable, as a retarded Native American, is magnificent, as are, in small, but pivotal roles, Mickey Rourke, Sam Shepard, Patricia Clarkson, Vanessa Redgrave, and Helen Mirren. Robin Wright Penn as a down-and-out, single-mother, rural barmaid is exceptionally good. The Pledge is not an easy film, it must be admitted, with its focus on serial child murder, and a number of gruesome scenes. Nevertheless, it is an excellent, atypical, powerful and engrossing film and, honestly, a must-see. (PR) (See below for filmographies)
See our posts on As Good As It Gets, with Jack Nicholson, What Just Happened, with Sean Penn and Robin Wright Penn, State of Play, with Robin Wright Penn and Helen Mirren, Whatever Works, with Patricia Clarkson, The Game, with Sean Penn and Straight Time, with Harry Dean Stanton.
We recommend that you buy your DVDs and Blu-ray Disks. Have a great personal film library.. Here are links to amazon.com:
Sean Penn: As director: The Indian Runner (1991), The Crossing Guard (1995), Into the Wild (2007); as actor: I Am Sam (2001), Mystic River (2003), 21 Grams (2003), Milk (2008).
Jack Nicholson: One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (1975), Prizzi’s Honor (1985), A Few Good Men (1992), As Good as It Gets (1997), The Bucket List (2007), and many other excellent films.
Robin Wright Penn: Forrest Gump (1994), A Home at the End of the World (2004), What Just Happened (2008), The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (2011, in post production)
Benicio del Toro: The Usual Suspects (1995), Traffic (2000), Snatch (2000), 21 Grams (2003), Che (2008)
Mickey Rourke: 9½ Weeks (1986), Buffalo ’66 (1998), Sin City (2005), The Wrestler (2008)
Sam Shepard: The Right Stuff (1983), The Pelican Brief (1993), Don’t Come Knocking (2005), The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford (2007)
Patricia Clarkson: Pieces of April (2003), Good Night, and Good Luck. (2005), Whatever Works (2009), Shutter Island (2010)
Vanessa Redgrave: Isadora (1968), Julia (1977), Howards End (1992), Atonement (2007)
Helen Mirren: The Mosquito Coast (1986), Gosford Park (2001), State of Play (2009)
Harry Dean Stanton: Straight Time (1978), Paris, Texas (1984), Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas (1998), Inland Empire (2006)
Aaron Eckhart: Erin Brockovich (2000), The Black Dahlia (2006), The Dark Knight (2008)
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Posted in Blu-ray Disks, DVDs, film, Film Reviews, General, Movies, Nothing Is Invisible, nothingisinvisible | Tagged: 21 Grams, 9 1/2 Weeks, A Few Good Men, A Home at the End of the World, Aaron Eckhart, amazon.com, As Good as It Gets, Atonement, Benicio del Toro, Buffalo '66, Che, Crime Dramas, Don't Come Knocking, Erin Brockovich, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, film, Film Reviews, Forrest Gump, Good Night and Good Luck, Gosford Park, Harry Dean Stanton, Helen Mirren, Howards End, I Am Sam, Inland Empire, Into the Wild, Isadora, Jack Nicholson, Julia, Mickey Rourke, Milk, movies, Mystic River, Nothing Is Invisible, nothingisinvisible, One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, Paris Texas, Patricia Clarkson, Pieces of April, PR, Prizzi's Honor, Robin Wright Penn, Sam Shepard, Sean Penn, Shutter Island, Sin City, Snatch, State of Play, Straight Time, The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford, The Black Dahlia, The Bucket List, The Crossing Guard, The Dark Knight, The Game, The Girl with the Dragon Tatoo, The Indian Runner, The Mosquito Coast, The Pelican Brief, The Pledge, The Right Stuff, The Usual Suspects, The Wrestler, Traffic, Vanessa Redgrave, What Just Happened, Whatever Works, Wikipedia | 4 Comments »
Posted by the editors on Sunday, 9 October 2011
Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps (2010)(DVD) Directed by Oliver Stone (Platoon (1986), Natural Born Killers (1994), W. (2008)), starring Michael Douglas (The China Syndrome (1979), Wall Street (1987), King of California (2007)), Shia LaBeouf (Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen (2010), Transformers: Dark of the Moon (2011)), Josh Brolin (No Country for Old Men (2007), W. (2008), True Grit (2010)), Carey Mulligan (An Education (2009), Never Let Me Go (2010)) and others. Whatever else may be said about Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps, the sequel, 23 years later of the award-winning Wall Street (for which Michael Douglas won the Oscar for Best Actor), it must first be said that Michael Douglas, as a post-prison Gordon Gekko, is really very good. Of course, having said that, there is not a great deal more to be said for the film, except that, given the 2008 crisis (and its never-ending implications) it treats a subject that must be treated.
Oliver Stone’s direction, however, lacks consistent punch, Shia LaBeouf, as Jacob Moore, is flat, at best, Carey Mulligan, as his fiancee, Winnie Gekko, is rather ridiculous, Josh Brolin, as the evil Bretton James, is passable, though the story, as a whole, and in many of its parts, is poorly written, regarding motivation, character development, and dialogue.
After all that, is it worth watching? Yes, for Douglas’s acting, and to remind oneself, if necessary, of the ill beast that Wall Street and banking have come to be. (PR)
See our posts on The Game (starring Michael Douglas), No Country for Old Men (starring Josh Brolin) and An Education (with Carey Mulligan).
We recommend that you buy your DVDs and Blu-ray disks. Have a wonderful personal film library..
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Posted in Blu-ray Disks, DVDs, film, Film Reviews, Movies, Nothing Is Invisible, nothingisinvisible | Tagged: 2010, An Education, Carey Mulligan, Gordon Gekko, Josh Brolin, King of California, Michael Douglas, Movie Sequels, movies, Natural Born Killers, Never Let Me Go, No Country for Old Men, Oliver Stone, Oscar for Best Actor, Platoon, Shia LaBeouf, The China Syndrome, The Game, Transformers: Dark of the Moon, Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, True Grit, W., Wall Street | 3 Comments »