“Never judge a book by its movie.” —J.W. Eagan
|Body of Lies (2008)
Did you enjoy watching Bruce Willis bleed in the Die Hard movies? Then you’ll love Leonardo DiCaprio in Body of Lies: he suffers enough to satisfy the most hardened CIA enhanced interrogator. The real hoot is Russell Crowe as a slobby middle-aged CIA bureaucrat. The movie itself? Good but not great. So espionage, like war, is a dirty and amoral business? I’m shocked. Oh, wait a minute, I already knew that from seeing Syriana (which covered the same ground and, IMHO, did it better).
Unlike other Clint Eastwood-directed movies, this one clips right along. Once you get past the distraction of Angelina Jolie’s emaciated space alien body and silicone-injected lips, Changeling is a tense, edge-of-the-seat movie, all the more riveting for being based on actual events. I for one am glad the police no longer railroad innocent bystanders in order to write crimes off the books, or go after people who dare to criticize their methods . . . oh wait . . . well, never mind, I guess, as long as they don’t come after me.
A thinking person’s 24. What do I mean by that? Traitor has all of the tension of 24 but none of the racist bully boy faux-patriot jingoism. I’m very impressed. I watched this movie after hearing an interview with Steve Martin on the radio: he co-wrote the script and was executive producer. Totally worth it. I would watch it again.
|Vicky Christina Barcelona (2008)
Brilliant, unexpected, sexy, witty, happy but bittersweet adult entertainment. This is the Woody Allen film of Woody Allen films, filled with insight into the human heart — it was Woody Allen, after all, who said: “The heart wants what it wants. There’s no logic to those things. You meet someone and you fall in love and that’s that.” Everyone in the film is superb, but Penelope Cruz lights the set on fire. Damn, this is a fine movie!
A fascinating movie about a subject that still stirs a lot of people up, actually quite fearless and open in its depiction of the gay rights movement in San Francisco in the 70s. Everyone involved in this film did a terrific job, but that Sean Penn kid? I swear, he can do just about everything. This one really is a must-see.
|Tell No One (Ne Le Dis a Personne) (2008)
The French make movies? Who knew?
I forgot I was reading subtitles after the first two minutes, was engrossed in five, totally hooked by ten. I stayed that way right to the end.
The plot is based on a series of interrelated crimes that are so complex they seem contrived, but that is my only quibble.
You want action? The scene where Alex Beck runs across a Paris motorway, narrowly avoiding death, made me jump out of my chair. Now that is good stuff.
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