Tag Archives: Body Of Lies

A Week In Film #574: Darkening

Body Of Lies title screen
Body Of Lies
Russell Crowe as a stateside-based CIA manager, Leonardo Di Caprio his field agent, on the hunt for a master terrorist in Jordan, Mark Strong the local intelligence chief. Better than it should have been, not as good as it could have been. Directed by Ridley Scott, which says all you need to know. Terrible attempt to depict Manchester in the prologue.

Live By Night title screen
Live By Night
Ben Affleck writes, directs, stars in this period gangster flick based on a Dennis Lehane novel, about a Prohibition-era gangster who relocates from Boston to Florida. Not terrible, but very middle of the road and with nothing to make it bona fide brilliant. With Brendan Gleeson, Chris Cooper, Sienna Miller and Zoe Saldana.

The Image Revolution title screen
The Image Revolution
Patrick Meaney’s pretty fascinating documentary on the creation of the big creator-owned indie comic publisher. Todd McFarlane is predictably angry throughout; Rob Liefeld comes across rather well with more self-reflection that I would have credited him with.

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Fist Fight
Amusing silliness with Charlie Day and Ice Cube as a pair of very different high school teachers who end up in conflict. FGreat support from Tracy Morgan, Jillian Bell, Kumail Nanjiani  and Dean Norris. Directed by Richie Keen, written by Van Robichaux, Evan Susser and Max Greenfield.

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Westerplatte AKA Westerplatte Resists
Polish war film from 1967, depicting fairly accurately the defence of a crucial location in ‘Danzig Free City’ sandwiched between the newly independent Poland and Nazi Germany’s East Prussia as Hitler orders invasion. From Stanisław Różewicz and Jan Józef Szczepanski.

Ghosts Of Sugar Land title screen
Ghosts Of Sugar Land
Short, personal documentary from Bassam Tariq in which he interviews old pals from his hometown suburb of Houston in regard of ‘Mark’, a rare black friend in their predominantly South Asian, Muslim neighbourhood. ‘Mark’ converted to Islam and became radicalised. He may have been an FBI agent.

A Week In Film #033: Looking further afield

Michael Clayton title screen

Michael Clayton
Interesting enough little flick about a low-profile attorney (George Clooney) working for a grubby law firm which specialises in making problems go away for big corporate clients. Written and directed with efficiency and in a Kluteish fashion by Hollywood scriptwriter Tony Gilroy.

Proof Of Life title screen

Proof Of Life
Taylor An Officer And A Gentleman Hackford directs from a Tony Gilroy script, with Russell Crowe as an ex-special forces type now working as a hostage recovery expert in the private sector, tasked with finding Meg Ryan’s engineer husband, who has been kidnapped by South American rebels. Silly, but with some vim.

Classic teen angst/high school satire, with Christian Slater turning his Nicholsons up to eleven, big-eyed Winona Ryder rocking the monocle, croquet, underlined passages of Moby Dick, Big Fun, death by Drano, cowtipping and more.

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Another Tony Gilroy script, here with Jamie Foxx as a high-end, wisecracking thief in some story about a heist gone wrong, etc. Reminded me of Blue Streak and The Last Boy Scout.

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Extreme Measures
And yet more Tony Gilroy silliness: Hugh Grant is an overworked ER doctor in the States who happens upon a gruesome organ harvesting operation. Gene Hackman earned his pay cheque, Michael Crichton’s lawyers clearly fumbled the ball.

Body Of Lies title screen

Body Of Lies
TWAT-themed thriller, with Leonardo di Caprio as a CIA paramilitary chasing down Islamics in order to save the free world, whilst his bosses stymie and obstruct him. Ridley Scott directs with economy (for him), Russell Crowe is restrained as his superior. Doesn’t compare too greatly with the similar Syriana (which shares Mark Strong in a supporting role), but gets the job done.

Madigan title screen

Decent hardboiled Don Siegel policier, which at least has a stab at doing things slightly differently, splitting the story between the perspectives of old school NYC detective Richard Widmark, and his by-the-book, liberal-leaning commissioner Henry Fonda. Of its time.