Friday, April 17, 2009

Box Office Review - State Of Play

Out of the movies that have been released this year, this is definitely my favourite cast. Russell Crowe, Rachel McAdams, Helen Mirren, Robin Wright Penn, Ben Affleck, Jason Bateman, Jeff Daniels, and even a very small (I assume filmed pre Doubt) role for Viola Davis. That should be enough to make you want to go see the movie. The crew of this movie is also very good. It is directed by Kevin Macdonald who did The Last King of Scotland. The writers who adapted this from the BBC mini-series are Matthew Michael Carnhan (The Kingdom), Tony Gilroy (Director of Michael Clayton), and a personal favourite Billy Ray (directed Shattered Glass, Breach, and wrote VOLCANO!). Having all of these talented people working on the film definitely pays off, and this will be as high of a recommendation I can give without going to golden banana status (more about that later). Everything in this film feels authentic. The political offices, the newspaper, even the Washington streets. The sets have incredible detail. I sometimes found it hard to focus on the actors, because I wanted to look at all the little things that were in the background. I am sure many people were involved in achieving this, but I am going to give the credit to set director Cheryl Carasik (Pirates 2, 3, Lemony Sniket, A Little Princess, as well as many others). These sets and locations must have really helped the actors. The story is very good, and moves along at a good pace. The film gives a great insight into the slowly dying newspaper business, and how the internet is changing things. The credit for this must go to Billy Ray whose film Shattered Glass I thought of often while viewing the film. As much as I enjoyed the script, my main problem with the movie is with the ending. I am not going to spoil anything, so I will not go into any detail. The ending was unnecessary and it felt forced. The film had a natural ending that could have been used, but wasn’t. Do not let this turn you off of the movie, because I am guessing that it will work for a lot of people. I realise that I didn’t elaborate on any of the actor’s performances. That is mostly due to the fact that everyone is great. I am sure that I will be viewing this again, and if you appreciate a good intriguing story, you have no excuse not to go see this.

A Good Banana

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