Amazon Holiday

Friday, April 24, 2009

State of Play

(Guest Review by Jack)

Q: What’s the movie about?

A: After the brutal murder of the assistant/mistress of a junior U.S. Congressman (Ben Affleck), who serves as the chairman of a committee overseeing defense spending– an obvious Blackwater stand in--, buried secrets come tumbling out, inciting a reporter (Russell Crowe) and a political blogger (Rachel McAdams) to begin their quest for the truth.

Q: Who’s in the movie?

A: Russell Crowe, Ben Affleck, Rachel McAdams, Helen Mirren, Robin Wright Penn, Jason Bateman, Jeff Daniels, Viola Davis, Michael Weston, Harry Lennix

Q: Is this movie worth the price of admission?

A: PhotobucketGo! This is a movie genre that they just aren’t making enough of anymore – adult thrillers. Psychological thrillers are hard to sell in a trailer, because they can't instantly knock your socks off without giving everything away, but ultimately, this is two hours of solid entertainment.

Q: Will this movie make me laugh?

A: Ben Affleck's attempt at acting might. But that's not special, since the same could be said for any Ben Affleck movie.

Q: Will this movie make me cry?

A: Only when you think about what this movie could have been with a real actor instead of Ben Affleck.

Q: Will this movie be up for any awards?

A: Two words as to why it won't: Ben Affleck.

Q: How is the Acting?

A: Have I mentioned Ben Affleck? Oh, I have? Then let's move on... Russell Crowe is always good and this is no exception. Rachel McAdams starts out well as the doe-eyed starter reporter, but kind of drops the ball in the one emotional scene she has.

Q: How is the Directing?

A: Outside of some casting issues (I know I said we'd move on, but you have to admit, Ben Affleck is in the movie), Kevin MacDonald does a good job at keeping what could have been a tirelessly meandering plot within the confines of a tightly knit thriller.

Q: How is the story/script?

A: Based on a UK miniseries, it wants to be today’s All the President’s Men. But because it is not a true story, it starts out at a disadvantage. The entire movie takes place over maybe three days, not the multiple-months of Watergate, so the investigation is not quite as buried at ATPM, but there are a few twists and turns that should keep you guessing ‘til the end. And the basic “Blackwater” conspiracy is eerily plausible. Also keep an eye out for a great scene in a parking garage.

Q: Is there anything else worth mentioning about the movie?

A: An interesting thru-line concerns the state of newspapers in this country. The digital age has not been kind to them, but you have to admit that there is something about seeing a newspaper headline that makes an event more real than seeing a computer browser headline. Maybe that is my age talking (and the fact that I am one of the dwindling numbers of daily newspaper readers), but I think that the makers of State of Play are as curious as I am to see what investigative journalism looks like in 10 years. I do not think it will be the same if it is exclusively online…

Q: Where can I see the trailer?


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Monique Elisabeth said...

Somebody does not like Ben Affleck!

Farzan said...

I thought the movie was great and gave it a solid B in my review. I didn't think Ben Affleck was THAT bad in the movie. I liked his performance here compared to some of his previous films.