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Posts Tagged ‘Mark Strong’

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 Instant Video, DVDs and Blu-ray Disks, in that order, where available):

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Sherlock Holmes – Starring Robert Downey Jr. & Jude Law, Directed by Guy Ritchie

Posted by the editors on Friday, 16 December 2011

Sherlock Holmes (2009) Directed by Guy Ritchie (Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels (1998), Snatch (2000), RocknRolla (2008)), starring Robert Downey Jr. (Chaplin (1992), Zodiac (2007), Iron Man (2008)), Jude Law (Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil (1997), A.I. Artificial Intelligence (2001), Sleuth (2007)), Rachel McAdams, and Mark Strong.  This action-mystery film, Sherlock Holmes, is an unabashedly entertaining take on the Holmes myth, mixing, as it does, some of Arthur Conan Doyle‘s Holmes with a contemporary somewhat irreverent, action-oriented take on things.  Though a bit overdone on the villain side, perhaps typically Victorian in its tone,  it’s rather sad, however, that the, equally Victorian, edgy intellectual side of Holmes, that is to say his cocaine addiction and marvelous deductive reasoning, have for all intents and purposes been left out.  On the other hand, it’s a pleasure to see Watson as something other than the rather clumsy, bumbling sort he was portrayed as in many of the earlier films, though, it’s true that, aside from looking quite the sharp dresser and being rather more active, Jude Law, true to himself, brings little more than a superficiality to the role.  Robert Downey Jr.’s  portrayal of Holmes is certainly an update as well with respect to Basil Rathbone‘s rather tight portrayals.  Downey’s Holmes though, aside from lacking the intensity of Conan Doyle’s cocaine-addicted sleuth, perhaps camps it all up a bit too much.  Nevertheless, Guy Ritchie’s Sherlock Holmes isn’t trying to be Conan Doyle’s Sherlock.  Here, the myth of Sherlock Holmes is used to create an exciting, quick-paced contemporary entertainment, which Ritchie, Downey and Law succeed in doing quite well, in fact.  Though not a must-see, in the sense of profound or important, the mix of Victoriana and contemporary makes Sherlock Holmes something you really are very likely to enjoy. (PR) (Note: The sequel, Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadowsis scheduled to be released today, 16 December 2011.)

See our previous posts on the films RocknRolla, directed by Guy Ritchie, with Mark Strong, Eros, with Robert Downey Jr., and the films Repo Men and Closer, with Jude Law.

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

For links to Repo Men, starring Jude Law, see here.

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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

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

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