Nothing Is Invisible

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Posts Tagged ‘The Informant!’

The Good Shepherd – Directed by Robert De Niro, starring Matt Damon & Angelina Jolie

Posted by the editors on Wednesday, 28 December 2011

The Good Shepherd (2006)  Directed by Robert De Niro, starring Matt Damon, Angelina Jolie, William Hurt, Alec Baldwin, Robert De Niro, John Turturro and many excellent others in a large supporting cast.  This very good spy drama, about the origins of the intelligence and counter-intelligence services through to the fiasco of the Bay of Pigs, though rather long, is never dull.  A complex, and even today, secretive story, one moves from the Skull and Bones Society at Yale, through the OSS and British/American intelligence cooperation, to the cold war, double agents and disaster in the years of JFK‘s presidency.  An ambitious slice of spy history, to say the least, De Niro’s directing and sense of cold darkness sets the tone for a fascinating look into the life of one man, Edward Wilson, modeled somewhat on James Jesus Angleton, head of Counter-Intelligence for the CIA from 1954 to 1974, and portrayed, consummately, by Matt Damon, as he treads a virtually soulless and secretive path through a twisted, dangerous, error-prone world.  Of course, with such ambitions, the film has some weaknesses, notably in the writing of the sub-plot involving Wilson’s (Damon) son Edward Jr. and in the actor chosen to portray this character.  Nevertheless, there is so much else to be appreciated, from the fine acting of a vast exemplary supporting cast, to the look and tone and feel of the film, that The Good Shepherd, as a tense, cold look at a complex and often horrible reality is a must-see film. (PR)

See our posts on the films What Just Happened starring Robert De Niro, Syriana, The Informant! and Invictus starring Matt Damon, Vantage Point with William Hurt and The Bone Collector starring Angelina Jolie.

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, Blu-ray Disks, in that order, when available):

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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):

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Syriana – Starring George Clooney & Matt Damon

Posted by the editors on Monday, 28 November 2011

Syriana (2005) (DVD) Written and directed by Stephen Gaghan (as writer, Traffic (2000), Rules of Engagement (2000), The Alamo (2004), starring George Clooney (O Brother, Where Art Thou? (2000), Good Night, and Good Luck (2005), Michael Clayton (2007), Up in the Air (2009), The Ides of March (2011) and many others)Matt Damon (The Talented Mr. Ripley (1999), The Departed (2006), The Informant! (2009), Invictus (2009), True Grit (2010) and many other films)Jeffrey Wright (W. (2008), Quantum of Solace (2008), The Ides of March (2011)) in an ensemble cast including Chris CooperAmanda PeetWilliam HurtChristopher Plummer and others.  An astounding, excellent and truly contemporary global petro-political thriller, Syriana, through multiple parallel story lines and diverse locations, is a thought-provoking, and thoroughly emotionally and intellectually engaging look at devious and dangerous international big oil, mixing politics, terrorism, business, assassination, profit and spies.  The acting is very good (Clooney won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his role as CIA agent Bob Barnes), and Gaghan’s writing and directing are sharp and extremely effective.  Complex and hypnotic, Syriana is a must-see thriller. (PR)

See our posts on Solaris, starring George Clooney, and The Informant! and Invictus, starring Matt Damon.

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

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Posted in Blu-ray Disks, DVDs, film, Film Reviews, General, Movies, Nothing Is Invisible, nothingisinvisible | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments »

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

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

Invictus

Posted by the editors on Wednesday, 24 August 2011

Invictus, directed by Clint Eastwood, theatrical release poster

Invictus (2009)(DVD)  Directed by Clint Eastwood (Unforgiven (1992), Mystic River (2003) Million Dollar Baby (2004), Letters from Iwo Jima (2006)), starring Morgan Freeman, Matt Damon and others.  Invictus, a biographical/sports drama set in post-apartheid South Africa prior to, and during, the 1995 Rugby World Cup, though perhaps moving, and rightly so, and with Eastwood’s characteristic fine attention to detail, not to mention rather good performances, of course, by Morgan Freeman and Matt Damon, nevertheless leaves one a little disappointed.  Perhaps it’s only due to the heavy-handed use of “inspirational” music. (PR)

See our post on the film The Informant! starring Matt Damon.

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

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