Nothing Is Invisible

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Posts Tagged ‘The Good Shepherd’

15 Minutes – Starring Robert De Niro & Edward Burns

Posted by the editors on Monday, 16 January 2012

15 Minutes (2001)  Directed by John Herzfeld, starring Robert De Niro (The Deer Hunter (1978), Awakenings (1990), Cape Fear (1991) and many other excellent films) and Edward Burns (Saving Private Ryan (1998), Man on a Ledge (2012)).  This crime thriller, a well-merited condemnation of tabloid, sensationalist journalism features a solid Robert De Niro as a sharp, but sentimental, media-star New York City police detective, a correct Edward Burns as a somewhat naive investigative New York City fire marshal and two media- and money-hungry, brutally violent, frankly insane “eastern European” villains; there is no other word for them.  Perhaps simplistic in premise, 15 Minutes, obviously a reference to Andy Warhol‘s famous sound-bite “In the future, everyone will be famous for 15 minutes“, is energetically well-meaning with distinctly fast-paced directing by John Herzfeld, good, strong and subtle acting on the part of De Niro, and ridiculous, yet frighteningly plausible villains portrayed with charm and violent insanity by Karel Roden and Oleg Taktarov.  The best of intentions, however, do not necessarily make for the best of films, unfortunately, and 15 Minutes falls short of its possibilities:  some shallow writing, stereotypical characters, disappointing ending and perhaps an insufficient mastery of the attempted elevated pace of the film, could be its short-comings.  Nevertheless, there are some wonderfully filmed sequences, some interesting premises, and characters, and an always valid denunciation of the motivations and methods of sensationalist journalism. (PR)

See our previous posts on the films Guilty by Suspicion, starring Robert De Niro, and The Good Shepherd, directed by, and with, Robert De Niro.

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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A History of Violence – Directed by David Cronenberg, starring Viggo Mortensen

Posted by the editors on Sunday, 15 January 2012

A History of Violence (2005)  Directed by David Cronenberg (M. Butterfly (1993), Spider (2002), A Dangerous Method (2011)), starring Viggo Mortensen (Eastern Promises (2007), The Road (2009), A Dangerous Method (2011)), Ed Harris (Pollock (2000), The Hours (2002), Gone Baby Gone (2007)), Maria Bello (Assault on Precinct 13 (2005), The Jane Austen Book Club (2007)), with William Hurt (Kiss of the Spider Woman (1985), Syriana (2005), Into the Wild (2007)).  Though the highly effective plot is that of a successful, taut thriller, A History of Violence is, even more, a study of character and especially the often hidden, or undiscovered, capacity for violence, present, to one degree or another, in one form or another, in all the significant characters in the film, and, perhaps, in ourselves as well.  From Tom/Joey with his secret mob past, to his son Jack, and his discovery of his own violent capacities, to the capacity for violent carnal passion discovered by Tom/Joey and his wife Edie, A History of Violence takes a consummate look at not only the potential for violence, but also, perhaps, its necessity in the fight for survival on any number of levels.  Viggo Mortensen is very, very good in his portrayal of both the small town, humble family man Tom and the secret, ominously effective killer Tony; Maria Bello is perfect as the small town wife and mother, and as the sharp-eyed lawyer; Ed Harris is perfect, as well, as a cold, hard, disfigured mobster out for vengence, and William Hurt is superlative as a viciously twisted, violent mob underboss.  With a screenplay written by Josh Olson, based loosely on the graphic novel of the same name by John Wagner and Vince Locke, A History of Violence, is anything but simple; a subtly complex, thoroughly Cronenbergian, and very effective thriller, it is certainly a must-see film. (PR)

See our posts on the film Spider directed by David Cronenberg, the films The Indian Runner and Good starring Viggo Mortensen, and the films Sunshine, The Good Shepherd, Vantage Point and Syriana with William Hurt.

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):

A History of Violence (New Line Platinum Series)

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Sunshine – Starring Ralph Fiennes & Rachel Weisz

Posted by the editors on Thursday, 12 January 2012

Sunshine (1999) Directed by István Szabó, starring Ralph Fiennes (The English Patient (1996), The Constant Gardener (2005))Rachel Weisz (The Constant Gardener (2005), The Bourne Legacy (2012, filming))Jennifer Ehle (The King’s Speech (2010), Contagion (2011), The Ides of March (2011))Rosemary Harris (Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead (2007)), with William Hurt (see partial filmography below) and others.  This vast historical drama is set in Hungary beginning at the very end of the 19th century and then continuing through two world wars, the end of the monarchy, the 1936 Nazi Germany-held Olympics, Communist take-over, failed revolution, and more, through the story of three generations of one family.  An ambitious undertaking somewhat reminiscent of Luchino Visconti’s The Leopard.  Sunshine has its weaknesses, especially in the beginning, but evolves into a seriously good film after that.  With very good cinematography, and excellent acting, by Ralph Fiennes, especially, but also by Weisz, Ehle, Rosemary Harris and William Hurt, Sunshine poses some very good questions and suggests some interesting possible responses.  A long film, almost three hours, but a very interesting story developing through a complex historical context, Sunshine is certainly worthwhile viewing. (PR)

See our posts on the film Pride and Prejudice, starring Jennifer Ehle and Colin Firth, and the films The Good Shepherd, Vantage Point and Syriana with William Hurt.

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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Mean Streets – Directed by Martin Scorsese, starring Robert De Niro & Harvey Keitel

Posted by the editors on Saturday, 31 December 2011

Mean Streets (1973) Directed by Martin Scorsese (Taxi Driver (1976), Raging Bull (1980), Goodfellas (1990), and many other excellent films), starring Robert De Niro (The Untouchables (1987), Cape Fear (1991), Meet the Parents (2000) and, of course, many other excellent filmsand Harvey Keitel (Bad Lieutenant (1992), The Piano (1993), U-571 (2000) and many others).  This truly outstanding film, at the time of its release and still today, follows Charlie, portrayed with endearing clarity by Harvey Keitel, a young, up and coming mafioso, confused by the failure of his Catholic religious morality to have credibility in the mean streets ruled by the hard cruelty of gangsters large and small, who, at significant risk to himself, is in love with a young woman ostracised for her epilepsy, and is, as well, and at even greater risk to himself, the grand protector of her cousin, Johnny Boy, portrayed by an inspired Robert De Niro,  a maniacally self-destructive young man in deeper and deeper trouble with loan sharks.  Mean Streets is a gripping and truly original tour-de-force of film-making, shot in New York’s Little Italy, there is a vibrant, fresh, honest immediacy, to the film.  The writing (co-written by Scorsese and Mardik Martin), the light, the color, the grainy quality of the images, the captivating camera movement and excellent editing and, of course, the superlative acting, all unite to put you with the characters, in their actions, in their world; there is no explaining, there is no need, you are there.  Bursting with a physical, visual, cinematic sensuality, Mean Streets, is a masterpiece and not only worth watching, and re-watching, but a film that you simply must have in your own film library. (PR)

See our posts on the films Guilty by Suspicion and What Just Happened, starring Robert De Niro, The Good Shepherd, directed by De Niro, and City of Industry starring Harvey Keitel.

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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Guilty by Suspicion – Starring Robert De Niro & Annette Bening

Posted by the editors on Thursday, 29 December 2011

Guilty by Suspicion (1991)  Written and directed by Irwin Winkler (The Net (1995), Home of the Brave (2006)), starring Robert De Niro (Analyze This (1999), The Good Shepherd (2006), Limitless (2011) and many others), Annette Bening (American Beauty (1999), The Kids Are All Right (2010)) and others.  Robert De Niro is superb in this drama about a successful Hollywood film director, David Merrill, portrayed with great humanism by De Niro, in the midst of the Hollywood Blacklist and the U.S. Congress‘s House Un-American Activities Committee‘s witch-hunt for Communists in the film and television industry in the 1950s.  Merrill (De Niro) goes from high-flying, Hollywood insider to joblessness, tracked incessantly by the FBI, as are many of his friends and colleagues in the film industry, as we watch the devastating effects on individuals and families, and the anguish of their impossible moral dilemmas, brought about by the government in its fanatical pursuit of Communists, real or imagined.  The atmosphere of the film, and the detailed care given to its creation, is highly effective, the writing is almost always excellent, and the acting really very good; De Niro as Merrill is outstanding, naturally enough, but Annette Bening as Ruth Merrill, his estranged wife, is also, frankly, close to perfect.  Guilty by Suspicion is a must-see film, not simply for the atmosphere and the acting, but also as a relatively unsentimental look at a horrific chapter in American history. (PR)

See our posts on the films The Good Shepherd, directed by Robert De Niro, Limitless, starring Bradley Cooper with Robert De Niro, and What Just Happened starring Robert De Niro, Sean Penn and Bruce Willis.

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):

top image: Wikipedia

nothingisinvisible@live.fr

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

 
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