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Posts Tagged ‘American Gangster’

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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The Next Three Days – Starring Russell Crowe

Posted by the editors on Thursday, 22 December 2011

The Next Three Days (2010)  Directed by Paul Haggis (as screenwriterMillion Dollar Baby (2004), Flags of Our FathersLetters from Iwo Jima and Casino Royale (2006), Quantum of Solace (2008), and as screenwriter and director: Crash (2004), In the Valley of Elah (2007)), starring Russell Crowe (Gladiator (2000), A Beautiful Mind (2001), American Gangster (2007), State of Play (2009)) and Elizabeth Banks.  In this thriller, directed by the talented writer-director Paul Haggis, Russell Crowe portrays a junior college English teacher who frees his perhaps erroneously convicted wife from jail.  As good as Crowe can be, however, is just not good enough to redeem The Next Three Days, unfortunately.  The film is slow, at best uneven, with many logical holes, loose ends and poor character development.  The premise of a normal guy pushed to extremes can be very interesting indeed, however, in The Next Three Days, and despite Crowe, Liam Neeson (Schindler’s List (1993), Chloe (2009)) in a very brief scene, as an American ex-con turned author, and a writer-director of Haggis’ caliber, the end result is truly a disappointment. (PR)

See our posts on the films In the Valley of Elah, written and directed by Paul Haggis, and American Gangster and State of Play starring Russell Crowe, as well as our post on the film Chloe, starring Liam Neeson.

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):

top image: Wikipedia

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Training Day – Starring Denzel Washington (Oscar for Best Actor) & Ethan Hawke

Posted by the editors on Wednesday, 21 December 2011

Training Day (2001)  Directed by Antoine Fuqua (Tears of the Sun (2003), Shooter (2007)), starring Denzel Washington (Malcolm X (1992), The Hurricane (1999), Inside Man (2006), American Gangster (2007)) and Ethan Hawke (Assault on Precinct 13 (2005), Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead (2007), Total Recall (2012))with Eva MendesDr. DreSnoop DoggMacy Gray and others.  In Training Day, a brutal, tense police thriller set in the gang-lands of contemporary Los Angeles, Denzel Washington is magnificent in the role of Alonzo Harris, a charming, violent and intensely corrupt undercover narcotics detective, who is eventually victim of his own over-reaching confidence and brutal methods, a portrayal for which he won the Academy Award for Best Actor; Washington’s virtuosity as he teases, threatens, persuades, teaches and abuses almost all at the same time, is impressive indeed.  Ethan Hawke is very good as Jake Hoyt, not exactly the totally naive newcomer, yet in training with the corrupt Harris (Washington), and shocked, disgusted, confused and abused by Harris and eventually, unable to tolerate the lawlessness and physical menace, reacts by reaching back and reconnecting to his own morality.  Training Day has, for the most part, an authentic sounding script with some quite colorful charactisations by a group of well-known musicians and supporting actors, and some fine directing on the part of Antoine Fuqua. Though the final third of the film is perhaps a bit less accomplished, Training Day is a sharp, tense and gritty thriller, well worth watching. (PR)

See our posts on the films American Gangster, and The Bone Collector, both starring 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, DVD, and Blu-ray Disk, in that order, when available for each film):

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

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:

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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