Friday, October 24, 2008

Body of Lies (2008) - Review and my personal opinion

The good:

Certainly interesting and intelligent plot - a real spy game with deceit and tretury, although it’s not hard to follow. Each of the sides seems to make plausible and believable case for their actions.

There’s a lot of suspense in the movie for many reasons. First, spies can’t trust each other. DiCaprio’s character doesn’t trust his own boss, doesn’t trust his Jordanian colleague and vice versa.

Secondly, terrorists have their own counter-intelligence.

Besides, they are so paranoid they don’t trust anyone, which doesn’t make infiltrating their network.

The bad:

The movie is longer then it should have been. At least in the beginning, the CIA agents are cliche. From the start of the movie I could tell DiCaprio would be caught and either beaten or tortured or both.

The scenes where both Crowe and DiCaprio appear together have zero chemistry between them.

The summary:

A well-made spy action/thriller with Iraq war and American foreign policy as a background, which makes it a socially/politically-conscious drama. Flawed but clever and entertaining.

Talking Heads: Stop Making Sense (1984) - My opinion and personal review

The good:

I never heard a live concert of Talking Heads and knew very little about the band. From the first song I was captivated by the staging concept, and I could not take my eyes off the screen till the end of the movie. I always appreciated shows made with simplicity, where band members just sing their hearts out.

Great extras on the DVD. The movie also looks good when streamed from Netflix, but you don’t get DVD extras this way.

The bad:

Almost no shots of the audience. I wish I can see and hear more of the audience’s reaction. No backstage footage.

W - My opinion and personal review

The good:

All actors have been chosen to resemble the looks of actual people, and everybody does an excellent, fantastic job playing these characters. Josh Brolin - I don’t know who could have played Dubya better.

Elizabeth Banks has done well as Laura Bush. Her role is short, but it’s interesting to see an insight into a character like her because I know so little about what kind of person she is.

Technically, this was one of the easiest movies to make: everything is shot in three or four rooms, or superemposed on the archival documentary footage. It only took 46 days to shoot this movie on the budget of less then $30 million.

The bad:

Is based on memoirs of former Bush associates and obviously all the TV footage out there. The movie is well made, but lacks one thing that other Stone’s movies always had - a point of view. He’s just going over the most talked-about incidents in his life. There’s a lack of moral compass.

Jebb Bush is practically not present in the movie. There’s no 9/11 in the movie. If this is a biography, then wouldn’t president’s reaction to the biggest tragedy in recent history be an important factor in describing who he is?

I’m also tired of Cromwell playing The President.

The summary:

Quickly runs through the biography of the living president and portraying him as a dramatic, if not tragic, hero. Many comical and satirical elements in the movie, but the fact that people like him can become ones in charge of a country like ours, and the way the “Bushies” took advantage of 9/11 to go after Iraq and make a joke out of the Constitution is really scary. At the same time I doubt the movie will be controversial.


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