Monday, November 8, 2010

“Fair Game movie review -- Fair Game showtimes - Boston Globe” plus 2 more

“Fair Game movie review -- Fair Game showtimes - Boston Globe” plus 2 more


Fair Game movie review -- Fair Game showtimes - Boston Globe

Posted: 04 Nov 2010 06:30 PM PDT

'Fair Game'' takes one of the more shameful sub-chapters in modern US politics — the Bush administration's outing of CIA agent Valerie Plame in retaliation for her ex-diplomat husband Joe Wilson's public comments on the Iraq War — and turns it into a strident, condescending Hollywood melodrama.

It's one of those nobly intended affairs in which Important Stars explain to us how we've been screwed by our elected representatives. Naomi Watts, doing interesting things with her teeth, plays Plame, a harried Washington-area working mom who secretly jets about the globe digging up intel on terrorists. Sean Penn is Joe Wilson, whose profitable consulting business in international affairs can't disguise his frustration with being a DC househusband.

Director Doug Liman works hard to show us the reality of Plame's working life: the deals she cuts with informants in Kuala Lumpur, the way she cajoles Americanized Iraqis into spying on their families back home. It's not glamorous and it's not meant to be. As the Bush White House gears up for war after 9/11, Plame's CIA bosses are pressured for evidence of Iraq's weapons of mass destruction. This is illustrated by one of Dick Cheney's wonks talking about the "nuculer'' threat, an easy shot the filmmakers simply can't resist.

As we now know, neither the evidence nor the weapons existed. The first half of "Fair Game'' plays out as an intriguing struggle between the CIA's smug pragmatism and the White House's rampaging ideology. When Wilson's report on a Nigerian nonconnection is willfully distorted by the administration, he lets fly in the pages of The New York Times. Cheney's man Scooter Libby (David Andrews) vows to "change the story,'' and soon Plame's cover is blown in the Washington Post.

At this point "Fair Game'' falls apart, because it can't decide whether to tell its story from the inside or the outside. The movie's a partisan project and it has to be; what happened to the Plame-Wilsons was, by any measure, wrong. Yet in trying to humanize what for many moviegoers is a knotty news story ill-served by TV soundbites, "Fair Game'' dumbs down its message and performances to the level of a public-service soap opera.

Without her job, Watts's Plame turns into a disconsolate noodle, while Penn's Wilson leaps at the chance to matter once more, appearing on any news show that will have him. The latter, especially, is an interesting development, suggesting that Joe's ego was as much on the line as his wife's career. Yet since complexity of character takes the film off-message, "Fair Game'' backs away from Wilson's self-aggrandizing side, repositioning him as a hero for the home stretch. He was that and he was human, but the movie can't settle on the proportions.

You can feel "Fair Game'' trying to squeeze its events into the confines of a narrative that we'll "get,'' and the effort feels high-handed, to say the least. (Documentaries like Charles Ferguson's "No End in Sight'' do a better job with far less patronizing.) In case you were worried about thinking for yourself, the movie ends with a thundering speech by Wilson about our own responsibilities as citizens and civic watchdogs. He delivers it to a classroom but he's really talking to us, and you sense that Penn took the role for this scene alone. If the sentiments are on-target, the approach is pure boilerplate, soldered on to the story without finesse. Having fought the urge to lecture for 100-odd minutes, "Fair Game'' finally loses.

Ty Burr can be reached at tburr@globe.com.

© Copyright 2010 Globe Newspaper Company.

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Wall Street Movie Review 2010 - Associated Content

Posted: 04 Nov 2010 01:43 PM PDT

The plot thickens when after pulling a few insider corporate tricks, Jake gets the attention of Bretton, who actually offers him a job with his own company (starting @ $300k at that). So now Jake plans on using his
close access to Bretton to find out his exact involvement with Kabel Zeller going under and expose it. He has had less success so far in trying to reconcile the relationship between Winnie & Gordon. Winnie is still very suspicious of Gordon's true intentions, and warns Jake of Gordon's selfish, evil ways which she believes will hurt them. Obviously I don't plan on revealing any spoiler alerts here, so I will let you see the film for yourself to find out how things turned out. But one thing is for certain, it won't be what you expected!

The one thing I really loved and appreciated greatly about Wall Street (M.N.S.) is that for a film that was a sequel to the original made over 20 years, the story and issues in it concerning Wall Street (corporate corruption, financial irresponsibility, fraud, greed, lies, deceit, etc.) are still frighteningly relative & current today! Michael Douglass plays Gekko like a charismatic & savvy veteran of the game (of Finance & Wealth), who is trying to earn his 2nd chance on the road to redemption. But at the same time, you're never really quite sure when or if the old Gekko and his cut throat ways will rear their ugly head to try to stir things up, "corporate takeover" style. LeBeouf is always beloved in the role of the precocious, ambitious everyman, fighting the good fight!

The overall flow and vibe of the film seemed to play like art imitating life, as we all know the after effects the U.S. is still feeling behind the government bailouts for the banks due to the greed and shady practices with foreclosures on homes, interest on loans, etc. It will just be interesting to see now that everyone from the White House to Hollywood has exposed this level of greed and corruption that some of our business, banks and companies may have, will it pay to think and act as if "Greed is still good"? Only time will tell. So on scale of 1-5 1 being the lowest and 5 being the highest I give Wall Street Money Never Sleeps 4 ½ stars. Till next time be safe and stay blessed.

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Movie Review: Rust, a Film by Corbin Bernsen - Associated Content

Posted: 07 Nov 2010 09:37 PM PST

Soon, however, MacDonald found himself with a KISS snow globe. MacDonald had also learned that there was a small town in Saskatchewan, Canada, interested in getting into the movie business as a way to promote commerce. MacDonald recognized an opportunity and went back to Bernsen to see if his movie offer was still good.

It was.

MacDonald traded the KISS snow globe to Bernsen, an avid collector who already owned more than 7,000 snow globes. In return, MacDonald received a part in Donna on Demand, a movie to be produced by Bernsen. MacDonald offered the role to the Town of Kipling. Auditions were held, and Kipling resident Nolan Hubbard won the part. In exchange, MacDonald received the deed to a house at 503 Main Street, Kipling, Saskatchewan, Canada. In 14 transactions, MacDonald had succeeded in trading from one errant red paper clip to a three- bedroom house.

The trades may have been over, but Bernsen's connection with Kipling was just beginning. Bernsen's next movie would be Rust, and he wasn't just giving one part to someone in Kipling. He was partnering with the town. Holding auditions for about 300 people, most of the parts in Rust were cast with residents of Kipling. Bernsen credits the assistance of nearly 500 people in Kipling with helping him to get Rust made.

Brought to life on $250,000 (Canadian), Rust's production values are comparable to movies with budgets many times that amount. Bernsen's eye for imagery and symbolism is meticulous. His close attention to detail is what sets Rust apart from most independent films. Bernsen said he always felt he could take any person and, cast in the right part, he could turn them into an actor. With Rust, he proved his point. Much of Rust's casting can only be described as inspired. Bernsen's direction of these actors, most inexperienced, drew out the realistic emotions and reactions so necessary to low-action dramas like Rust.

Rust is one of those hidden gems that exceeds expectations. I highly recommend Rust for your next family movie night. Be sure to check out the special features on the DVD as well. Bernsen has included exclusive shorts, providing insights into the making and motivation behind Rust.

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