Nothing Is Invisible

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Posts Tagged ‘2006’

The Guardian – Starring Kevin Costner & Ashton Kutcher

Posted by the editors on Thursday, 26 January 2012

The Guardian (2006)  Directed by Andrew Davis (The Fugitive (1993), Collateral Damage (2002)), starring Kevin Costner (The Untouchables (1987), Dances with Wolves (1990), The Upside of Anger (2005)) and Ashton Kutcher (The Butterfly Effect (2004), Valentine’s Day (2010)).  The Guardian, an action film about U.S. Coast Guard maritime search and rescue teams, with a leathery Kevin Costner as an aging, much-decorated veteran rescue swimmer and Ashton Kutcher as a young recruit, is full of effective, realistic special effects, unchained seas, wind, sinking ships and valiant rescues, as well as a long middle section about the training processes for new recruits.  The film is long, over two hours, the dialogue often a bit clunky and there is an abundance of rather stereotypical characters, yet there are quite a few funny moments, and some harrowing examples of selflessness in the call of duty, and, in the end, despite its shortcomings, one can’t help but come away from The Guardian without a serious impression of the risks taken and dedication required, and a much-merited respect for the Aviation Survival Technicians (rescue swimmers), and all the members of the U.S. Coast Guard teams involved. (PR)

See our posts on the films The Fugitive directed by Andrew Davis, with Harrison Ford and Tommy Lee Jones and The Company Men with Kevin Costner, Tommy Lee Jones, Ben Affleck and others.

We recommend that you buy your DVDs.  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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Babel – Starring Brad Pitt & Cate Blanchett, directed by Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu

Posted by the editors on Monday, 2 January 2012

Babel (2006)  Directed by Alejandro González Inarritu ( Amores perros (2000), 21 Grams (2003), Biutiful (2010)), starring Brad Pitt (12 Monkeys (1995), Burn After Reading (2008), Moneyball (2011)), Cate Blanchett (Elizabeth (1998), The Aviator (2004), The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (2008)), Gael García BernalKoji Yakusho, in an outstanding ensemble cast, written by Guillermo Arriaga (Amores perros (2000), 21 Grams (2004), The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada (2005), The Burning Plain (2009)), with Academy Award-winning music by Gustavo Santaolalla (Brokeback Mountain (2005), Into the Wild (2007), Biutiful (2010)).  This drama, in which a tragic event links multiple interwoven story lines, two in Morocco, one in Japan, and one in California and Mexico, is the poignant story of north, south, east, west, parents, children, love, loss, anguish, trust, hope and tragedy. As befits its title, Babel is about language, of course, and its diversity; among the languages present in the film are English, Spanish, Japanese, Berber and sign language, and the diverse cultural and environmental contexts are wonderfully present through richly visual characterisations, from the vast, natural rugged terrain of Morocco to the dense, man-made mass of urban Japan, and through powerful and evocative sound and music.   The biblical story of Babel is, in a nutshell, that as punishment for trying to build a tower that would reach heaven, the human race was scattered over the face of the earth, dispersed, divided and unable to communicate.  And, in the film, communication is indeed very difficult, not only across languages and cultures but within them, between individuals.  However, through the powerful and sensitive use of close-ups, the exquisite writing and the purity of the acting on the part of virtually the entire cast, it is very much the case that, beyond words, or perhaps beneath them, human emotion is very much something we all share, we can all understand.  Children are extremely important in the film, from a lost child, to the two young Moroccan brothers, to the two young Americans brought to Mexico, to the distraught teenage Japanese girl so powerfully portrayed by Rinko Kikuchi; Inarritu has dedicated the film “To my children…the brightest of lights in the darkest night..”  Babel is not an easy film; it is filled with tragedy and near-tragedy, yet through its inspired writing, outstanding directing, humble and beautiful acting, it is a truly excellent film, contemporary and yet perhaps timeless, and most definitely a must-see.  And if you’ve already seen it, see it again, it is only that much richer an experience. (PR)

See our posts on the films Inglourious Basterds, starring Brad Pitt and The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada, written by Guillermo Arriaga and directed by and starring Tommy Lee Jones.

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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The Good Shepherd – Directed by Robert De Niro, starring Matt Damon & Angelina Jolie

Posted by the editors on Wednesday, 28 December 2011

The Good Shepherd (2006)  Directed by Robert De Niro, starring Matt Damon, Angelina Jolie, William Hurt, Alec Baldwin, Robert De Niro, John Turturro and many excellent others in a large supporting cast.  This very good spy drama, about the origins of the intelligence and counter-intelligence services through to the fiasco of the Bay of Pigs, though rather long, is never dull.  A complex, and even today, secretive story, one moves from the Skull and Bones Society at Yale, through the OSS and British/American intelligence cooperation, to the cold war, double agents and disaster in the years of JFK‘s presidency.  An ambitious slice of spy history, to say the least, De Niro’s directing and sense of cold darkness sets the tone for a fascinating look into the life of one man, Edward Wilson, modeled somewhat on James Jesus Angleton, head of Counter-Intelligence for the CIA from 1954 to 1974, and portrayed, consummately, by Matt Damon, as he treads a virtually soulless and secretive path through a twisted, dangerous, error-prone world.  Of course, with such ambitions, the film has some weaknesses, notably in the writing of the sub-plot involving Wilson’s (Damon) son Edward Jr. and in the actor chosen to portray this character.  Nevertheless, there is so much else to be appreciated, from the fine acting of a vast exemplary supporting cast, to the look and tone and feel of the film, that The Good Shepherd, as a tense, cold look at a complex and often horrible reality is a must-see film. (PR)

See our posts on the films What Just Happened starring Robert De Niro, Syriana, The Informant! and Invictus starring Matt Damon, Vantage Point with William Hurt and The Bone Collector starring Angelina Jolie.

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, Blu-ray Disks, in that order, when available):

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Posted in Blu-ray Disks, DVDs, film, Film Reviews, General, Movies, Nothing Is Invisible, nothingisinvisible | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments »

Everyman, by Philip Roth

Posted by the editors on Friday, 11 November 2011

Everyman dj.jpg

Everyman (2006)(Novel) by Philip Roth (The Ghost Writer (1979), The Human Stain (2000), The Plot Against America (2004), Indignation (2008), and, of course, many other excellent novels)   In this wonderful, prize-winning, profound, deceptively simple, eminently readable novel by the great master, Philip Roth, one is offered an inside line on the overriding humanity of man, an unexceptional, even flawed, painfully forthcoming and sincere man, a man who has lived, as many of us have, a life of joys and errors, love and loneliness, which now comes to its end. (PR)

“‘There’s no remaking reality,’ he says, in words his daughter repeats over his coffin. ‘Just take it as it comes. Hold your ground and take it as it comes. There’s no other way.'”

See our posts: The Humbling, by Philip Roth, and J.M. Coetzee Reviews Philip Roth’s Latest Novel “Nemesis”

We recommend that you buy your books.  Have a wonderful personal library..  Here are links to amazon.com:

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Posted in Book Reviews, Books, culture, Fiction, General, Literature, Nothing Is Invisible, nothingisinvisible | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

The Backwoods (Bosque de Sombras)

Posted by the editors on Tuesday, 8 March 2011

The Backwoods (Bosque de Sombras) theatrical release poster

The Backwoods (2006) (DVD) (Shadow Woods, in Spanish), directed by Koldo Serra, starring Gary Oldman, Virginie Ledoyen, Paddy Considine and others.  A hunting trip in the mountains in Spain turns into a predictable thriller complete with brutal indigenes, birth defects, shotguns and rain.  Paddy Considine is commendable, Oldman passable, Ledoyen flat, most of the others, one would guess, are amateurs.  Nevertheless, it is nicely filmed. (PR) IMDb link here.

We recommend that you buy your DVDs.  Have a wonderful personal film library..

top image: IMDb

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