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Posts Tagged ‘What Just Happened’

The Indian Runner – Directed by Sean Penn, starring Viggo Mortensen & David Morse

Posted by the editors on Tuesday, 3 January 2012

The Indian Runner (1991)  Written and directed by Sean Penn (Dead Man Walking (1995), Sweet and Lowdown (1999), I Am Sam (2001), Mystic River (2003), Milk (2008), and, as director The Pledge (2001), Into the Wild (2007)), starring Viggo Mortensen (A History of Violence (2005), Good, (2008), The Road (2009)), and David Morse (The Crossing Guard (1995), The Hurt Locker (2009)), with Valeria Golino, Patricia Arquette, Charles Bronson, Dennis Hopper, Benicio del Toro and Sandy Dennis.   Based on the Bruce Springsteen song, Highway Patrolman, The Indian Runner, a drama of family, brothers and their two different ways of being in the world, is Sean Penn’s first film as a director, and though not perfect, it is a moving, successful first effort.  David Morse  is very good as Joe, the older brother, solid, kind, sadly yearning for days gone by, his childhood and the family farm lost in foreclosure, and Viggo Mortensen, as Frankie, a Vietnam veteran, and in trouble all his life, a psychologically troubled bad-boy, capable of explosions of violence, and equally menacing calm, a sort of  lost outlaw, is honestly excellent.  The rest of the impressive cast, quite a feat for a relatively low-budget first film and a testimony to the seriously talented Penn, is, if somewhat unexpected, also very good: an exceptional and subtle Charles Bronson and Sandy Dennis in her last cinema appearance, are Joe and Frankie’s parents, dazed and adrift, sad and beaten by life; Dennis Hopper, as a trashy, edgy bar-tender is spot on; Benicio del Toro is great in a very brief cameo as a charming, funny, even silly Mexican who supplies Joe’s wife, played by an amusing and energetic Valeria Golino, with marijuana; and Patricia Arquette, as Frankie’s love interest, is annoyingly, sadly, childlike with her pale skin and short blond hair, and an ideal foil to Mortensen’s dark and menacing Frankie.  The Indian Runner is a thoughtful, atypical film, with complex characters, a fascinating examination of two very different, but loving, brothers, and despite a few weaker moments, the very fine acting, inspired writing and directing, and any number of very strong scenes make it a film to be viewed, and viewed again. (PR)

See our posts on the film Good, starring Viggo Mortensen and the films The Pledge, directed by Sean Penn, starring Jack Nicholson, The Game, starring Michael Douglas and Sean Pen and What Just Happened, starring Robert De Niro, with Sean Penn and Bruce Willis, and the film Traffic starring Benicio del Toro.

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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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):

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

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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Posted in Blu-ray Disks, DVDs, film, Film Reviews, General, Movies, Nothing Is Invisible, nothingisinvisible | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments »

Tears of the Sun – Starring Bruce Willis

Posted by the editors on Sunday, 25 December 2011

Tears of the Sun (2003)  Directed by Antoine Fuqua (Training Day (2001), Brooklyn’s Finest (2010)), starring Bruce Willis (Pulp Fiction (1994), Unbreakable (2000), Sin City (2005), and many others), Monica Bellucci and others.  Tears of the Sun, a war film, follows a squad of U.S. Navy SEALs, led by the grimly charismatic Bruce Willis as Lieutenant Waters, in their attempt to rescue an American doctor, played by Monica Bellucci, and three missionaries in civil war-torn Nigeria, amidst the horrors of ethnic cleansing.  Short on dialogue, and character development, Tears of the Sun is full of atmosphere: shadows, ceaseless rain, lush vegetation, mud.  Willis’ Lt. Waters is a seasoned, determined military professional who, faced with the massacre of innocent civilians in this genocidal west African civil war, is moved to disobey orders, with inevitable dire consequences for many, including his dedicated squad of hard, but emotionally vulnerable men.  As good as Willis is, and however strong the cinematography, the weak screenplay and predictable events, especially toward the end, as well as the poor acting by the apparently talentless Monica Bellucci, drag the film down enormously.  Nevertheless, for the atmosphere, and the fans of the talented, squint-eyed, stubble-bearded Bruce Willis, Tears of the Sun may be worth watching.  It’s a shame its potential for a dark, brooding, emotional drama were not more fully realised. (PR)

See our posts on the film Training Day, directed by Antoine Fuqua, and on the films What Just Happened and Surrogates, starring 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 when available):

top image: Wikipedia

nothingisinvisible@live.fr

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