Nothing Is Invisible

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Posts Tagged ‘Shutter Island’

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 Pledge – Directed by Sean Penn, Starring Jack Nicholson

Posted by the editors on Thursday, 1 December 2011

The Pledge (2001)(DVD)  Directed by Sean Penn, starring Jack Nicholson, with Robin Wright Penn, Benicio del Toro, Mickey RourkeSam ShepardPatricia ClarksonVanessa RedgraveHelen Mirren, Harry Dean StantonAaron Eckhart and others.  The Pledge, on the surface a good crime drama, is, in fact, an excellent portrayal of one man’s descent into obsession and marginalization.  That man, Jerry Black, is played by a superb Jack Nicholson, full of finesse, and few of his iconic grimaces and is captivating.  The cast, clearly, is a who’s who of wonderful, accomplished actors, and Sean Penn’s directing is strong, evocative, and inspired.  Benicio del Toro, though almost unrecognizable, as a retarded Native American, is magnificent, as are, in small, but pivotal roles, Mickey Rourke, Sam Shepard, Patricia Clarkson, Vanessa Redgrave, and Helen Mirren.  Robin Wright Penn as a down-and-out, single-mother, rural barmaid is exceptionally good.  The Pledge is not an easy film, it must be admitted, with its focus on serial child murder, and a number of gruesome scenes.  Nevertheless, it is an excellent, atypical, powerful and engrossing film and, honestly, a must-see. (PR) (See below for filmographies)

See our posts on As Good As It Gets, with Jack Nicholson, What Just Happened, with Sean Penn and Robin Wright Penn,  State of Play, with Robin Wright Penn and Helen Mirren, Whatever Works, with Patricia Clarkson, The Game, with Sean Penn and Straight Time, with Harry Dean Stanton.

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

Filmographies (partial):

Sean Penn: As director: The Indian Runner (1991), The Crossing Guard (1995), Into the Wild (2007); as actorI Am Sam (2001), Mystic River (2003), 21 Grams (2003), Milk (2008).

Jack Nicholson: One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (1975), Prizzi’s Honor (1985), A Few Good Men (1992), As Good as It Gets (1997), The Bucket List (2007), and many other excellent films.

Robin Wright Penn: Forrest Gump (1994), A Home at the End of the World (2004), What Just Happened (2008), The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (2011, in post production)

Benicio del ToroThe Usual Suspects (1995), Traffic (2000), Snatch (2000), 21 Grams (2003), Che (2008)

Mickey Rourke9½ Weeks (1986), Buffalo ’66 (1998), Sin City (2005), The Wrestler (2008)

Sam ShepardThe Right Stuff (1983), The Pelican Brief (1993), Don’t Come Knocking (2005), The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford (2007)

Patricia ClarksonPieces of April (2003), Good Night, and Good Luck. (2005), Whatever Works (2009), Shutter Island (2010)

Vanessa RedgraveIsadora (1968), Julia (1977), Howards End (1992), Atonement (2007)

Helen MirrenThe Mosquito Coast (1986), Gosford Park (2001), State of Play (2009)

Harry Dean StantonStraight Time (1978), Paris, Texas (1984), Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas (1998), Inland Empire (2006)

Aaron EckhartErin Brockovich (2000), The Black Dahlia (2006), The Dark Knight (2008)

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Whatever Works

Posted by the editors on Thursday, 10 November 2011

Whatever Works (2009)(DVD)  Directed by Woody Allen (Take the Money and Run (1069), Sleeper (1973), Annie Hall (1977), Radio Days (1987), Everyone Says I Love You (1996), Match Point (2005), Vicky Cristina Barcelona (2008)), starring Larry David, Evan Rachel Wood (King of California (2007), Patricia Clarkson (The Untouchables (1987), The Pledge (2001), Vicky Cristina Barcelona (2008), Shutter Island (2010)) and others.  This comedy could be called “old-school” Woody Allen in that Allen says he wrote it in the 1970s, which one would hardly doubt, and in the very strong impression one has is that the main character, played by Larry David, seems so very autobiographical, which, for some reason, Allen denies; sixty-something year old, Jewish intellectual New Yorker marries a 21-year old, from, shall we say, another culture.  Rachel Evan Wood is quite good, as the 21-year old Melodie, and rather amusing, Patricia Clarkson, as her mother, is also good.  Nevertheless, and perhaps due to it having been written in the ’70s and being a particular product of the era, Whatever Works is rather flat, rather boring and rather formulaic, despite some very funny lines now and again. (PR)

We recommend that you buy your DVDs and Blu-ray disks.  Have a wonderful personal film library..

top image: Wikipedia

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Posted in Blu-ray Disks, DVDs, film, Film Reviews, General, Movies, Nothing Is Invisible, nothingisinvisible | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

 
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