Nothing Is Invisible

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Posts Tagged ‘State of Play’

The Company Men – Starring Ben Affleck, Tommy Lee Jones, Chris Cooper & Kevin Costner

Posted by the editors on Thursday, 5 January 2012

The Company Men (2010) Starring Ben Affleck, Tommy Lee Jones, Chris Cooper and Kevin Costner, written and directed by John Wells.  Given the title and the cast, one could think that The Company Men was sharp, gritty film about the CIA and its operatives.  And one would be wrong.  In fact The Company Men is a drama about upper echelon corporate American men, of various ages, all from the same global firm, and how they deal with losing their jobs.  Of course, The Company Men could have been about that same subject and been sharp and gritty as well, and it is not, and it’s unfortunate that, with such a cast, the opportunity was missed.  Tommy Lee Jones, Chris Cooper and Kevin Costner do well with the poor script, especially Jones.  Ben Affleck’s portrayal, on the other hand, leaves very much to be desired.  However, with such poor writing and banal directing, let’s not judge the cast too severely. (PR)

See our posts on the films The Town and State of Play, starring Ben Affleck, and the films The Fugitive, In the Valley of Elah, The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada and No Country for Old Men, starring Tommy Lee Jones.

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):

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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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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):

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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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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 amazon.com:

top image: Wikipedia

nothingisinvisible@live.fr

Posted in Blu-ray Disks, DVDs, film, Film Reviews, General, Movies, Nothing Is Invisible, nothingisinvisible | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments »

 
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