Nothing Is Invisible

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Posts Tagged ‘2008’

The Day the Earth Stood Still – Starring Keanu Reeves

Posted by the editors on Wednesday, 25 January 2012

The Day the Earth Stood Still (2008) Directed by Scott Derrickson,  starring Keanu ReevesJennifer Connelly with John Cleese and others.  In this remake of the eponymous science fiction classic of 1951, Keanu Reeves portrays an extra-terrestrial messenger, Klaatu, here to save the earth.  Though the theme of  nuclear warfare in the original film has been replaced by the theme of global environmental disaster in the remake, and the character of Klaatu, the extra-terrestrial, has been humanizingly inverted, The Day the Earth Stood Still, adheres, sadly, to many of the qualities of the original, notably the U.S.-centric perception of the world, and the shallow, stereotypical characters.  Though the film received a decidedly negative critical reception, it went on to be rather successful at the box office, perhaps in view of Reeves’ participation in The Matrix franchise.  Reeves, here, too, clearly demonstrates his talent for appearing emotionless, perhaps appropriate given the circumstances.  John Cleese, of Monty Python fame, in a role reminiscent of that portrayed by Michael Caine in the film Children of Men, is present for a very short scene, as a Nobel Prize-winning scientist.  There are, of course, ample special effects, some of which aren’t bad, but by and large, The Day the Earth Stood Still is likely to appeal to fans of a certain dated school of science-fiction, and those who appreciate Keanu Reeves. (PR)

See our posts on the science fiction films Solaris, starring George Clooney, and Predators, starring Adrien Brody.

We recommend that you buy your DVDs.  Have a great perasonal 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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nothingisinvisible@live.fr

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Body of Lies – Starring Leonardo DiCaprio & Russell Crowe, directed by Ridley Scott

Posted by the editors on Thursday, 5 January 2012

Body of Lies (2008)  Directed by Ridley Scott ( Blade Runner (1982), Thelma & Louise (1991), Gladiator (2000), Black Hawk Down (2001), Kingdom of Heaven (2005), and American Gangster (2007)), starring Leonardo DiCaprio (What’s Eating Gilbert Grape (1993), The Aviator (2004), Blood Diamond (2006), Shutter Island (2010) and many others) and Russell Crowe (The Insider (1999), A Beautiful Mind (2001), The Next Three Days (2010)) with Mark Strong (Syriana (2005), Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day (2008), Sherlock Holmes (2009), Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy (2011)), written by William Monahan, based on the novel of the same name by David Ignatius.  In this spy thriller, set in the Middle East and the war against terrorism, DiCaprio portrays Roger Ferris, a scraggly bearded, Arabic-speaking and rather naive CIA field operative, as best he can; Russel Crowe is his overweight, out-of-touch-yet-convinced-of the-righteousness-of-his-actions, suburban Washington D.C. boss, in charge of Middle East operations.  Body of Lies is replete with terrorist bombings, spy plane footage of deserts and colorful, dangerous Middle Eastern marketplaces and a plot that has far too many weak points.  Ridley Scott’s directing seems old, and though high in cinematic technicity, is not enough, even with DiCaprio and Crowe, to cover over the weaknesses.  Mark Strong, however, as head of the Jordanian intelligence service, is really very good: sharp, smart, suave and even amusing.  See Body of Lies for its film technique, but don’t expect much of an intelligent look at a complex situation.  Stephen Gaghan‘s Syriana starring George Clooney and Matt Damon is a better choice. (PR)

See our posts on the film Syriana, and on The Next Three Days and State of Play, starring Russell Crowe and on the film American Gangster, directed by Ridley Scott and starring Russell Crowe and Denzel Washington.

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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nothingisinvisible@live.fr

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RocknRolla – Directed by Guy Ritchie

Posted by the editors on Monday, 5 December 2011

RocknRolla (2008)  Written and directed by Guy Ritchie (Sherlock Holmes (2009), Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows (2011)), and starring Gerard ButlerTom Wilkinson (In the Bedroom (2001), Michael Clayton (2007))Mark Strong (Syriana (2005), Body of Lies (2008), Sherlock Holmes (2009))Toby Kebbell (Control (2007)),  Tom Hardy (Inception (2010), The Dark Knight Rises (2012, in post-production))Idris Elba (American Gangster (2007)), Karel Roden (The Bourne Supremacy (2004)), and Thandie Newton (Crash (2004), W. (2008)).  This sharp and quite witty crime film, in the mold of Ritchie’s excellent  Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels (1998) and Snatch (2000), is chock full of eccentric Brit gangsters (and the requisite Russians), loud good music, action, violence, humour, sharp dressing, some very good lighting, and, of course, Ritchie’s now patented directorial style.  There’s perhaps nothing new and exciting in RocknRolla, but it’s still a snappy entertainment (though not for the whole family, it should be noted). (PR)

See our posts on the films Syriana starring George Clooney and Matt Damon with Mark Strong, and American Gangster starring Russell Crowe and Denzel Washington with Idris Elba.

We recommend that you buy your DVDs and BLu-ray Disks.  Have a great personal film library…  Here are links to amazon.com:

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nothingisinvisible@live.fr

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Vantage Point – Starring Dennis Quaid, Matthew Fox & Forest Whitaker

Posted by the editors on Saturday, 3 December 2011

Vantage Point (2008)(DVD)   Directed by Pete Travis, starring Dennis Quaid (The Right Stuff (1983), The Big Easy (1987), Far from Heaven (2002))Matthew Fox (Lost (2004-2010, Television series)Forest Whitaker (Bird (1988), Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai (1999), The Last King of Scotland (2006))Sigourney Weaver (the four Alien films (1979-1997), Avatar (2009))William Hurt (Kiss of the Spider Woman (1985), A History of Violence (2005), Syriana (2005), Into the Wild (2007)) and others.  In this relentlessly fast-paced political action thriller, with Quaid and Fox as U.S. Secret Service agents, and William Hurt as the U.S. President and replete with terrorists, bombings, assassinations, kidnappings, spies and a  truly breathless car chase through the narrow streets of Salamanca, Spain*, one is treated to multiple points of view on the same dreadful event.  Through rewinds, changes of perspective and rapid cutting the nature of the event and its participants are exposed and the idea of a single truth revealed.  Many reviewers have spoken of the Rashomon effect, the idea of examining the same event from multiple points of view, used in exemplary fashion in Akira Kurasawa‘s iconic film Rashomon and comparing the use of this technique in Vantage Point rather unfavorably. It should be said, however, that Kurasawa’s premise was that there is no single truth to be found, whereas in Vantage Point, the idea of illuminating a single, clear truth is the entire idea.  Once one accepts this rather reductionist point of view, and accepts that the film is not about intellectually challenging one’s post-modern sense of the world, one can sit back and enjoy its efforts to keep things moving at an entertainingly frenetic pace.  The acting is workable, the dialogue perhaps a bit wanting, and some of the devices admittedly a bit routine, not to mention the questionable and simplistic politics; nevertheless, a bit of breathless, stressful action, with not unreasonable special effects, is at times, just the ticket. (PR) (*: actually shot in Mexico)

See our post on the film Syriana, starring George Clooney and Matt Damon, with William Hurt.

We recommend that you buy your DVDs and Blu-ray Disks.  Have a great personal film library..  Here are links to amazon.com:

top image: Wikipedia

nothingisinvisible@live.fr

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Disgrace, starring John Malkovich

Posted by the editors on Tuesday, 22 November 2011

Disgrace (2008)(DVD) Directed by Steve Jacobs, starring John Malkovich (In the Line of Fire (1993), Mary Reilly (1996), Being John Malkovich (1999), Burn After Reading (2008)), Jessica Haines and others.  A powerful film, with an excellent screenplay based on the superb 1999 Booker Prize-winning novel of the same name by the gifted South African novelist J.M. Coetzee, Disgrace traces the life and humiliations of a university professor who has been dismissed for sleeping with a student.  A poignant reflection on the extraordinary complexities of post-apartheid South Africa, Disgrace offers Malkovich the opportunity to excel as a thoroughly dislikeable yet magnetic intellectual snob and Jessica Haines, a South African actress, as Malkovich’s character’s forward-looking (at all costs) lesbian daughter, the chance to truly impress: Haines is excellent in the role.  Disgrace is most definitely a must-see film, powerful, complex, very well written, acted and filmed. (There is a certain amount of violence, both seen and implied; it is never gratuitous.) (PR)

We recommend that you buy your DVDs and Blu-ray Disks.  Have a wonderful personal film library..  Here is a link to amazon.com:

 

top image: Wikipedia

nothingisinvisible@live.fr

Posted in Blu-ray Disks, DVDs, film, Film Reviews, General, Movies, Nothing Is Invisible, nothingisinvisible | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

 
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