Nothing Is Invisible

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Posts Tagged ‘Steven Soderbergh’

Traffic – Directed by Steven Soderbergh, Starring Benicio del Toro, Michael Douglas (Oscars for Best Director, Best Supporting Actor and more)

Posted by the editors on Tuesday, 27 December 2011

Traffic (2000)   Directed by Steven Soderbergh (Erin Brockovich (2000), Solaris (2002), The Informant! (2009) and many others), starring Benicio del Toro, Michael Douglas, Don Cheadle, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Dennis Quaid, and others.  Traffic, a multi-Oscar-winning crime drama about the drug trade in Mexico and the U.S. in which multiple interconnected story lines are woven together is a tension-filled tour de force characterised by the excellent directing of Soderbergh, some excellent writing, by Stephen Gaghan, and superb, understated acting on the part of Benicio del Toro.  The four stories which make up the film consist of 1)in Tijuana, Mexico, the struggle between the corrupt army, the federal police and two important drug cartels, in which del Toro excels; 2)in Washington, D.C. and elsewhere, the story of a newly-nominated U.S. “Drug Czar” with a 16-year old addict daughter; 3)in San Diego, California, the efforts of the DEA (U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration) to arrest and prosecute a major drug trafficker and protect a key witness in his drug trial and, 4)also in San Diego, the efforts on the part of the wife of the arrested trafficker to maintain their business.  The ensemble of the cast is really quite good: Michael Douglas and Amy Irving in the Washington “Drug Czar” story-line; Don Cheadle and Luis Guzmán in the DEA story-line; Catherine Zeta-Jones and Dennis Quaid in the San Diego drug trafficker story-line, and, of course Benicio del Toro in the Mexican story-line.  Soderbergh not only directed the film, but also shot it, with distinctive color-based atmospheres for each story-line.  The end result is an excellent, unsentimental drama, full of tension, that is a must-see. (PR)

Traffic won the following Academy AwardsBest DirectorBest Supporting Actor (del Toro), Best Film Editing (Stephen Mirrione), and Best Adapted Screenplay; it was also nominated for Best Picture, but lost to Gladiator, by Ridley Scott.  Traffic, and Benicio del Toro won numerous other awards, as well.

See our posts on the films Syriana, The Informant! and Solaris, directed by Steven Soderbergh, and also the films, The Pledge, with Benicio del Toro, Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps and The Game, starring Michael Douglas, and Vantage Point, starring Dennis Quaid.

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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The Informant! – Steven Soderbergh with Matt Damon

Posted by the editors on Sunday, 20 November 2011

The Informant! (2009)(DVD)   Directed by Steven Soderbergh (Sex, Lies, and Videotape (1989), King of the Hill (1993), Erin Brockovich (2000), Solaris (2002), Che (2008) and of course, Ocean’s Eleven (2001), Ocean’s Twelve (2004), Ocean’s Thirteen (2007) and others), starrring Matt Damon (Good Will Hunting (1997), Saving Private Ryan (1998), the Ocean’s trilogy, the Bourne seriesSyriana (2005), Invictus (2009)), and others.  Watching this satirical comedy, based on a true story, about international industrial price-fixing and a whistle-blower with bipolar disorder played by Matt Damon (who is, as one would expect, really quite good), one can’t help but laugh.  However, as The Informant! progresses Damon’s character, Mark Whitacre, due to his illness, sinks deeper and deeper into self-destructive desperation, and the comedy becomes increasingly difficult to accept.  No doubt this was the intention as neither the crime of price-fixing nor bipolar disorder are really laughing matters.  In the end, one feels uncomfortable with one’s initial, laughing, reactions and, due to the intimacy of the portrayal of Whitacre/Damon’s illness and its far-reaching and disastrous consequences, touched and saddened by his, and his family’s, circumstances.  A more complex film than one would, at first, think, given the marketing and comedic elements, The Informant! is a very interesting film indeed. (PR)

See our posts on the films Invictus and Solaris.

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: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments »

Solaris

Posted by the editors on Friday, 11 February 2011

Theatrical Release Poster

Solaris, (DVD), 2003, directed by Steven Soderbergh (Traffic, Ocean’s Eleven), with George Clooney (Ocean’s Eleven and others), Natascha McElhone, Jeremy Davies, Viola Davis. The planet Solaris holds some surprises, as the psychologist Dr. Chris Kelvin, played by George Clooney, finds on his arrival to the spacecraft orbiting this mysterious globe. Dreams, wishful thinking, faulty memories, resurrection, murder, hope, fear and very nice special effects move this lightly futurist thriller along at a nice pace. Clooney is great, Natascha McElhone attractively confused, Davies unnervingly twitchy, Viola Davis solid, scientific and unsympathetic. Is Solaris a lightly veiled religious allegory or just fun? You decide. The original story was written by the speculative fiction (SF, science fiction, to some even sci-fi) great, Stanislaw Lem, in 1961. (PR)

See our post on the film The Informant!, also directed by Steven Soderbergh.

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

top image: Wikipedia

nothingisinvisible@live.fr

Posted in film, Film Reviews, Movies, Nothing Is Invisible | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments »

 
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