Friday, November 19, 2010

“5-minute movie reviews: ‘Fair Game,’ ‘Tamara Drewe, ‘Ready, Set, Bag’ - Salt Lake Tribune” plus 1 more

“5-minute movie reviews: ‘Fair Game,’ ‘Tamara Drewe, ‘Ready, Set, Bag’ - Salt Lake Tribune” plus 1 more


5-minute movie reviews: ‘Fair Game,’ ‘Tamara Drewe, ‘Ready, Set, Bag’ - Salt Lake Tribune

Posted: 18 Nov 2010 05:27 PM PST

HH

Fair Game

Opens today at the Broadway Centre Cinemas; rated PG-13 for some language; 108 minutes.

When Valerie Plame was revealed to be a CIA operative — in a move that jeopardized national security, set back efforts to track down WMDs and probably got some people killed — the thing everybody wanted to know wasn't: "How did this affect Valerie's marriage?" But that's the topic that fills up too much of this drama, which follows Plame (Naomi Watts) and her husband, ex-ambassador Joseph Wilson (Sean Penn), as they deal with death threats, job losses and other indignities whipped up in the Bush administration's march to war. Watts offers a strong performance as Plame, who is depicted as a hard-workingspy who sought to lie low when the public uproar began. Director Doug Liman ("The Bourne Identity") nails the details of official intrigue, but flounders in the melodramatic handling of the Wilsons' marital squabbles.

HHH

Tamara Drewe

Opens today at the Broadway Centre Cinemas; rated R for language and some sexuality; 111 minutes.

British reserve melts before the gorgeous (and rhinoplastied) face of Tamara Drewe (Bond girl Gemma Arterton), the title heroine of this robust romantic comedy adapted from Posy Simmonds' graphic novel. Tamara's return to her sleepy English hometown stirs up a lot of trouble, first with her old flame Andy (Luke Evans), then with the denizens of a nearby writers retreat. That's while her romance with a rock drummer (Dominic Cooper) stirs the passions of Jody (Jessica Barden), a lovestruck 15-year-old who idolizes the drummer. Meanwhile, among the writers, the philandering of mystery writer Nicholas (Roger Allam) finally incenses his wife, Beth (Tamsin Greig), who befriends Glen (Bill Camp), a sad-sack academic writing a biography of Thomas Hardy (a gentle reference to Simmonds' inspiration, Hardy's Far From the Madding Crowd ). Director Stephen Frears ("The Queen") merrily digs out the sexual tension under Simmonds' bucolic setting, while Moira Buffini's script is laced with shrewd humor.

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Ready, Set, Bag

Opens today at the Tower Theatre; not rated, but probably PG for mild language; 80 minutes (plus a 10-minute animated short, "Leonardo").

Just because it's a competition doesn't mean the drama rises to the level of an NFL Films rendition of the Super Bowl. Not in the world of competitive grocery bagging, in which supermarket employees from 23 states gather in Las Vegas to see who can fill their bags fastest, most efficiently and without the heavy stuff crushing the bread. One of the competitors is Brian Bay, a bagger for the Macey's in Sandy. Filmmakers Justine Jacob and Alex D. da Silva follow eight of the Vegas-bound baggers, including local boy Bay, who range from high-school kids to 50-somethings with kids of their own. The subjects are nice, charming people, but their stories sometimes blur together — and as a group they don't make a particularly compelling topic for a feature-length documentary. movies@sltrib.com

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Eliot Spitzer's Favorite Hooker Wasn't Ashley Dupre, New Movie Says - FOX News

Posted: 10 Nov 2010 08:04 AM PST

Ashley Dupre may be Eliot Spitzer's most famous hooker, but she wasn't his favorite.

That is just one of the revelations in Oscar-winning filmmaker Alex Gibney's new documentary "Client Nine: The Rise & Fall of Eliot Spitzer," which explores the events surrounding his scandalous hookups with prostitutes and subsequent resignation from the New York governorship.

According to the film, Ashley Dupre's highly publicized "relationship" with Eliot Spitzer was actually nothing more than a two-hour rendezvous in a D.C hotel room.

His real "connection," if you will, was with another escort who calls herself "Angelina," who Spitzer saw repeatedly. Angelina agreed to talk to Gibney for her documentary provided he did not disclose her real identity. So Gibney hired an actress to tell her story direct from interview transcripts.

"Angelina is very proud of what she does. She thinks it's a calling, and but at the same time there are people in her life that don't know what she does and so she wants to keep it under that radar," Gibney told Pop Tarts. "I found her to be a very engaging, intriguing character, she was very smart and funny, very self assured."

"Client Nine" also features extensive interviews with Spitzer himself, who talks candidly about his political success and reputation as the "Sheriff of Wall Street," and a little less candidly about his infidelity and his straying ways.

"I spent a lot of time having to ask him difficult questions and a lot of questions he was only too delighted to answer, stuff about the political economy, and how a citizen is being cheated by being in more powerful forces. Over time you see different sides of somebody," Gibney said. "But his eyes betray a certain amount of emotion, you can see his eyes tear at certain times and you can see his eyes narrow and get vicious and angry. At the end he is finally saying ''Look, I brought myself down, shame on me.' I give him a lot of credit for sitting there and taking it and wrestling with his discomfort, and I think his remorse is sincere."

At the heart of Gibney's film is the idea that Eliot Spitzer was a do-gooder genius who worked tirelessly as New York's Attorney General to bring down Wall Street criminals, only to be brought down by personal failings and powerful enemies. 

"I was intrigued by the rather vicious irony of the scandal, the 'Dudley Do-right' having done wrong. And I was intrigued by the timing; everything going down just as Wall Street was collapsing," Gibney said. "Audiences have been surprised about how different the story was than how they thought it had been. They are surprised sometimes about how they feel some sympathy for Eliot, but they are also so critical of him."

"Client Nine" features extensive interviews with the likes of Home Depot co-founder and former Director of the NY Stock exchange Kenneth Langone, former Chairman and CEO of AIG Hank Greenberg, and long-standing Republican Majority Leader of the New York Senate Joseph Bruno, who became Spitzer's political rival.

"(Many of them) were dancing on his grave," Gibney said. "The degree of anger and animosity toward him was so extreme that they wanted to let it out."

The media screening room audience certainly seemed engrossed in Spitzer's tumultuous journey, with many cheering at the end as the film displayed the recent criminal convictions and financial ruin that impacted Spitzer's enemies – the ones that were portrayed as having possibly conspired to "get him."

However, it seems the rest of America may not be so willing to forgive the "Love Gov."

Spitzer debuted his CNN show "Parker Spitzer" last month to a viewership of 454,000, and last week drew only 381,000. In comparison, Campbell Brown (who Spitzer and Parker replaced) drew in 1.3 million viewers on her premiere two years ago. Brown parted ways with the CNN program earlier this year with the complaint that her ratings were not sufficient.

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