Jul 15, 2012


Gone, 2007
Director: Ringan Ledwidge
Cast: Shaun Evans, Scott Mechlowitz, Yvonne Strahovski

Stage: Home TV selection, a Saturday night

Gone in short:A contemporary psychological thriller in which a young British couple travelling through the Australian outback become involved with a mysterious and charismatic American whose motive for imposing his friendship upon them becomes increasingly suspect and sinister.

Preps: Well, I have nothing better to do, hence I try to see what's on the TV menu for tonight. Let's check this out..

Reality: I am highly dissappointed. The description is thriller, even a psychological one? They must be kidding. I have never seen such a dissappointing piece, I mean at least in a long time. The story doesn't interact with me, I am not at all into the piece. I am waiting for my meal to get cooked in the mean time. I get myself a beer to easily pass by.. and nothing happens.
The two that are travelling are naive and stupid. Are all australian people so stupid? If not, this movie is making a terrible commercial for them. It depicts them more stupid as most of the living creatures. Plus, being naive isn't so stupid as being unintelligent and make crazy shit. Like these people. Therefore I presume this is a piece by someone that had more time and money in the world than normal, maybe a desire to shoot a piece and then made fool of himself making this one and driving it into the world.
I despise it, don't want to see it anymore.. it is driving me crazy.. so .. delete.
Don't waste your time. It doesn't have anything inside. Really.

My personal rating: 0 (bljah. Can't believe I really lasted almost 45 minutes.

Gone on IMDB

Doubt, 2008

Doubt, 2008
Director: John Patrick Shanley
Cast: Meryl Streep, Phillip Seymour Hoffman, Amy Adams

Stage: Home theatre, late Saturday TV selection

Doubt in short: It's 1964, St. Nicholas in the Bronx. A charismatic priest, Father Flynn, is trying to upend the schools' strict customs, which have long been fiercely guarded by Sister Aloysius Beauvier, the iron-gloved Principal who believes in the power of fear and discipline. The winds of political change are sweeping through the community, and indeed, the school has just accepted its first black student, Donald Miller. But when Sister James, a hopeful innocent, shares with Sister Aloysius her guilt-inducing suspicion that Father Flynn is paying too much personal attention to Donald, Sister Aloysius sets off on a personal crusade to unearth the truth and to expunge Flynn from the school. Now, without a shard of proof besides her moral certainty, Sister Aloysius locks into a battle of wills with Father Flynn which threatens to tear apart the community with irrevocable consequences.

Preps: I have seen this piece at the movies. Very controversial. and once Maryl Streep has a negative role. I am ready to see it again, as I accidently caught it on TV...

Reality: Well, the movie speaks about thing noone feels the need to discuss in public. Meryl Streep in role of sister Aloysius, the devil and the god in one person, the one that knows all the rules by heart and is ready to follow them no matter the cost. And victims that come alongside. 
This piece is a true shifter in mindset. It tells exactly the story that gossip can lead to. This harsh sister is mislead by a younger nun, who claims seeing the new Father in their saint institution, being in a wrong role towards a young student. Now, she doesn't have any proof, however the hunch and feeling she has when overhearing and overseeing something are so strong, she claims a strong position and tells it to the peace and order maker in the church.
Sister Aloysius is as strict as she grew up in the old ages. She does the best she can to chase Father Flynn out of the convint and community. The tools she uses are not a subject to question. She needs them in order to get the right thing in front of God. And she needs Father Flynn to resent his sins.
Obviously the movie doesn't serve with the fact (did he do it or didn't he do it), but you are left to your own conclusion. Now, the more intense the story gets, when the rasist differences try to appear in front of the viewer. The boy is black which makes the whole thing a bit more controversial. Believer or not, you get yourself into thinking about all the sins that are really happening in the church, being lead by the great church leaders, never proven, never having them in front of a real judge to face the consequences.
In this case, the "doubt" remains. Is he guilty or not. Does this really matter? Or is this a game to face the winner of the community, in this case a fight between men and women? The movie poses several directions the viewer can look up to and neither one comes to a conclusion.
I love Streep in a bit negative role, Seymour is brilliant too. He looks as if he was a gay priest, looking his way into a new, progressive church. In my mind, the whole movie, as I watch it, he is the innocent guy. This much I admire the strong push Streep is giving here. You will love the drama, caused by the two, and the negative energy that makes them brilliant in this piece. And for sure, you won't want to step into a holy institution for at least some time.

My personal rating: 7,0 (a solid holy spectacle, trying to be a serious drama.)

Doubt on IMDB

Wag the dog

Wag the Dog, 1997
Director: Barry Levinson
Cast: Dustin Hoffman, Robert De Niro, Anne Heche, Woody Harrelson

Stage: Home theatre, lovely Saturday evening

Wag in short: After being caught in a scandalous situation days before the election, the president does not seem to have much of a chance of being re-elected. One of his advisers contacts a top Hollywood producer in order to manufacture a war in Albania that the president can heroically end, all through mass media.

Preps: It is a recommendation from a side I really appreciate. I have never seen a bad movie with such recommendation. Plus, a claim that every person that works in mkt should see this. Hence.. am anxious with expectation.

Reality: Well, it's always good to see and hear what the president team has in their sleeve. In this case, I am just bursting with laughter. First, do you get caught with a scout days before the election? (you don't). Still, this is the case here and the team needs to wrap it up before the years of preps go rotten.
In any case, I seriously doubt now (after seeing this) in every war, every little thing the media produces, every announcement ever made by government. I see in this movie, how rotten it might be, behind the scenes, on a place we don't see or hear about. Even the closest to the president in this case don't know bits of scenario that is driven to the masses.
For a person living in the balcan region, it's highly amusing, how other countries (us in perticular) abuse the names of foreign yugoslaw republics and use it as a "terrorist" country. May it be Bosnia or Serbia, Croatia, Slovenia or in this case, even a southern country, Albania. What did Albania do to us, the chieftain asks.. What it didn't do to us, is the real question, De Niro answers. And creates a stunt war, made in studio. Was the Gulf War really directed in studio? Maybe not, but it made me question every bit of information I received about the event.
The power of marketing, if driven with intelligence and style, is amazing. The movie depicts real drama you can setup with mere imagination. At the end, how convenient, the director gets shot/killed for trying to speak up. How american!
This piece is one of the brightest I have seen lately. Even though it doesn't have the scenes, the photography, the music, or anything really obvious, it has a strong story and a direction. How convenient it is to have Hoffman in the role of the producer, fighting for his rights :) I could just burst in laughter again. His imagination inside the piece and intercapturing the role he's playing is spectacular. President wants a white kitten? We will give him the white kitten.
Last, but not least. Bringing in the fallen hero (making a mistake and afterwards, having him killed and watch the whole US cheering for his fallen return, with a super dog behind, wagging his tail).. it reminds me of some scenes I really admire in Monty Phython. If you are a fan, you will love this piece. If you are more average, romantic comedy type of movie fan, you won't really get all the fun parts there are here. Because some of them are just beneath the average skin.

My personal rating: 9,0 (absolutely brilliant. I loved it and laughed long afterwards)

Wag the Dog on IMDB