The Company Men

I have recently seen an excellent corporate drama – “The Company Men“.  It’s not your average office romance or Wall Street con action.  It is a film about people.  People, who find themselves in the middle of crashing economy, like we experience now.  And even though people in this film are a bit richer than average, they are still deeply affected.

In the beginning, I was a bit skeptical.  I thought, it’s the poor people who suffer the most and who deserve the most attention.  But soon I discovered that I was wrong.  Not wrong maybe, but inaccurate.  It is true that poor people are affected the most.  But if you think about it for a moment – each and every one of us has a certain level of life, certain things that he values, certain wants and needs, certain little things.  And when outside circumstances make you lose those things that you enjoy and value so much, you do feel depressed, disoriented, confused, and sometimes angry.  And it doesn’t matter what those little things are – an extra pint of beer with friends, furniture in your house, or private jet flights.

One other important topic this film brings up is mutual respect and kindness.  Certain types of connections are well exposed and explained.  Support for local workforce, ethical business practices, corporate goals beyond pure financial benefits, are just some of the topics of this film.

What I particularly enjoyed, was how light the film felt despite all seriousness.  I think a lot of it was due to brilliant cast and good acting.  Ben Affleck, Chris Cooper, Tommy Lee Jones, Kevin Costner – all make this movie so much better.

Overall, while this film doesn’t necessarily fit into my definition of masterpiece, I really enjoyed it and catch myself thinking a lot about it.  That, in my book, is worth a 5 out of 5 rating.  Strongly recommended.

The Town

I went to see “The Town” in the movies on weekend.  Too bad my experience was spoiled by the total failure of surround sound in the cinema and by a power cut due to the thunderstorm, two minutes before the end of the movie.  But I still liked the movie so much that I downloaded a copy and watched it in the comfort of my own home (really, are there any other options left?).

Before I say anything else, I have to do a disclosure.  I am biased here.  Crime is one of my favorite movie genres in general, and bank robberies, con artists, and heist schemes are among my top interests in movies.

With that, I am now free to say how awesome this movie was.  First of all, it’s a great story with great characters.  Not particularly original, but still great.  It got a slightly screwed up ending, but by now we should be probably get used to them anyway.  Still.  There is plenty to see – action, acting, drama, tough guys, car chases, gun fights, hot girls, Boston accent, and more.

Overall, I’ll give it a 5 out of 5.  But you still remember, that I’m biased, right?

State of Play

State of Play

Went to see “State of Play” in the cinema.  I am a fan of conspiracy movies, and the trailer was good too.  And I wasn’t disappointed at all.  In fact, the film was even better than I expected.

While there was some action and some special effects, the core of the film is the dramatic story.  And the story is about people, friendship, ethics, and passion.

When I was watching the trailer, I though that it would be nice to see Ben Affleck and Russel Crowe in the same movie.  However, that wasn’t so nice.  Because there’s way too much contrast.  Ben Affleck, even though a popular actor, has very few things to offer except to his charm.  Russle Crowe on the other hand is an actor.  Who has the charm also.  Putting them next to each other highlights in a very brutal way the huge difference in their acting potential.

Anyhow, I really enjoyed the movie and even now, a few days later, I keep playing back some scenes of it in my mind.  4 stars.

Smokin’ Aces

I just watched a criminal action with a bit of drama – “Smokin’ Aces“.  And I liked it.  There were some really good things about.  The photography was creative, fresh, and interesting.  Costume design as a part of character development was outstanding.  Especially those Nazi punks … they looked and behaved like they were no less than “Rammstein” band.  Bloody scenes were as bloody as they should be in such a movie, and the humor had a nice black scent to it.

One other thing that well was the cast.  There are a lot of characters in this movie, and there is not much time to develop them or to go into depth with each.  But it wasn’t a problem – everyone performed really well.  Sometimes it felt like the good old “Lock, stock, and two smoking barrels“.  It wasn’t that good though.

Overall, a very decent movie for the fans of the genre.  7 out of 10.

Gone Baby Gone

I just came back from the cinema, where I watched “Gone Baby Gone“, a movie about kidnapping, directed by Ben Affleck and starring his brother Casey Affleck, together with such well known names as Morgan Freeman and Ed Harris.

I was a bit worried that this film will be too dramatic with a lot of gory details of a kidnapping.  Kidnapping in this case is not just of any person, but of a kid, as in a little girl.  The film was indeed dramatic, but the kidnapping wasn’t the main part of the drama.  It was more about right and wrong, and how difficult sometimes it is to see the right choice, not to mention, to pick it.  A couple of times it was reaching so far that I had to ask myself which choice was the right one, and even then I had a few moments of hesitation.  Finally though I have to agree with the choices made and reasoned for by Casey Affleck’s character.

The directing of this film is interesting, it being Ben Affleck’s debut (he did some directing before, but two movies didn’t make it to the big screen, while the other one was a short movie).  I’d say he did pretty good.  He needs more practice and all, but it was better than many of those seasoned directors I’ve seen.  Two things were sticking out a tiny bit.  First, the lack of experience in drama.  There were a few places in the film which could have been done more dramatic.  Heavier.  Stronger.  If you know what I man.  Secondly, the film is based on a novel (read: book), and it is too obvious.  The book seems to be good, but it wasn’t processed enough to make a movie out of it.  This area needs a bit more work.  But as I said, overall it was pretty good.

As a whole, I enjoyed the film, and it gave me a few things to think about.  For that, I’ll give it a solid 7 out of 10.