Nothing Is Invisible

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Posts Tagged ‘Josh Brolin’

American Gangster – Starring Russell Crowe & Denzel Washington

Posted by the editors on Monday, 28 November 2011

American Gangster (2007)(DVD) Directed by Ridley Scott (Blade Runner (1982), Thelma & Louise (1991), Gladiator (2000), Robin Hood (2010)), starring Russell Crowe (A Beautiful Mind (2001), State of Play (2009)) and Denzel Washington (Glory (1989), Training Day (2001), Inside Man (2006)), with Josh Brolin (In the Valley of Elah (2007), No Country for Old Men (2007), Milk (2008), Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps (2010)), Ruby Dee (A Raisin in the Sun (1961), Do the Right Thing (1989)), John Hawkes (excellent in Winter’s Bone (2009)), Cuba Gooding Jr. (As Good as It Gets (1997), Pearl Harbor (2001)) and others.  A crime drama, based loosely on the life of Frank Lucas, a large-scale Harlem drug dealer in the late 1960s and early 70s.  Aside from questions of historical veracity, after all the film is not a documentary, American Gangster is a consummate work:  The acting is excellent on the part of virtually all the cast, Ridley Scott’s directing is superb, the care taken in the set and context design is close to perfect, the writing is sharp, the music apt.  The screenplay, written by Stephen Zaillian, after many workings over by others, fascinates in its details and in its counterpoint between good, evil, morality, family and isolation, temptation and determination.  American Gangster is an excellent film that merits watching, and owning, and is all the more interesting in repeat viewings. (PR)

See our posts on State of Play, with Russell Crowe, In the Valley of ElahNo Country for Old Men, and Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps with Josh BrolinWinter’s Bone with John Hawkes and As Good as It Gets with Cuba Gooding Jr.

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

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In the Valley of Elah – Starring Tommy Lee Jones, Charlize Theron & Susan Sarandon

Posted by the editors on Wednesday, 23 November 2011

In the Valley of Elah (2007)(DVD)  Written and directed by Paul Haggis (as screenwriterMillion Dollar Baby (2004), Flags of Our Fathers (2006), Letters from Iwo Jima (2006), Casino Royale (2006), Quantum of Solace (2008)), starring Tommy Lee Jones (The Fugitive (1993), The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada (2005), No Country for Old Men (2007) and many others)Charlize Theron (Monster (2003), North Country (2005), Hancock (2008), The Burning Plain (2009), The Road (2009))Susan Sarandon (The Witches of Eastwick (1987), Thelma & Louise (1991), The Lovely Bones (2009), Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps (2010)), Josh Brolin (No Country for Old Men (2007), W. (2008), Milk (2008), True Grit (2010)) and others.  In the Valley of Elah, a somber, complex and powerful film, portrays a veteran and father’s search for the murderers of his soldier son, and deals with issues such as the war in Iraq, post-traumatic stress disorder, racism, misogyny, and violence.  Tommy Lee Jones is excellent, rigid, harsh, cold, determined, Charlize Theron, as a police detective, is equally good, sober, human, perseverant, overwhelmed.  Susan Sarandon, in a smaller role, as the wife of Jones’s character and mother of the murdered soldier is very good, detached, distraught, lost; Josh Brolin, in a very small role as Theron’s character’s police superior, is, if briefly, perfect.  In the Valley of Elah is not an easy film, and includes some graphic, gruesome scenes in its portrait of alienated, morally lost Americans. (PR)

See our posts on the films The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada and No Country for Old Men, with Tommy Lee Jones, and Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps, with Susan Sarandon.

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

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Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps

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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No Country for Old Men

Posted by the editors on Monday, 19 September 2011

No Country for Old Men, by Joel & Ethan Coen, based on the novel by Cormac McCarthy

No Country for Old Men (2007) (DVD) Joel & Ethan Coen (Fargo (1996), O Brother, Where Art Thou? (2000), True Grit (2010)), starring Tommy Lee Jones (The Fugitive (1993), Natural Born Killers (1994), The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada (2005), In the Valley of Elah (2007)), Javier Bardem (The Sea Inside (Mar adentro) (2004), Vicky Cristina Barcelona (2008), Biutiful (2010)), Josh Brolin (W. (2008), Milk (2008), True Grit (2010)) and others.  No Country for Old Men, described by some as a “crime thriller”, is quite simply a superb movie (receiving numerous awards, including Best PictureBest Director (Joel and Ethan Coen), Best Adapted Screenplay and Best Supporting Actor (Javier Bardem as Anton Chigurh) among others) very closely based on the superb novel of the same name, written by Cormac McCarthy in 2005.  One may call it an examination of destiny and circumstance, a “new western”, even “a masterful evocation of time, place, character, moral choices, immoral certainties, human nature and fate” (Roger Ebert) and many other things.  The fact remains that Bardem as Chigurh is an extraordinarily compelling villain, the writing and direction are masterful, and one simply must see it, more than once. (PR)

See our posts on other novels by Cormac McCarthy: Blood Meridian, and Outer Dark.

Also see our post on the film by Paul Thomas Anderson, There Will Be Blood, filmed in the same region as No Country for Old Men.

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Posted in film, Film Reviews, Movies, Nothing Is Invisible, nothingisinvisible | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 11 Comments »

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