Weekend Roundup – LAMMYs and Michael Clayton review

Happy Monday, everybody! You are now viewing FlixChatter’s 600th post! 😀

Hope y’all had a smashing weekend. It’s certainly a hectic but fun one for me — my hubby and I did the Kids Against Hunger’s Fill Their Plate 10K & 5K Run early Saturday morning and went to the Stone Arch Festival for some live music Sunday afternoon. We made the most of Minnesota’s short Summer days even when the sun was quite elusive throughout the weekend.

Oh, I also want to say a quick THANK YOU to those who voted for me at this year’s LAMMY Awards that I talked about in this post. Well, I made it to runner-up spot for BEST NEW LAMB! Sooo exciting! I never thought I’d even be nominated so this is very humbling indeed! CONGRATS to Stevee Taylor at CINEMATIC PARADOX for winning first place!!

Did anybody see Green Lantern at the movies? It reigns number one at the box office with $52.7 million, not bad considering the dismal reviews (25% on RottenTomatoes, yikes!). Looks like my friend Scarlet Sp1der agrees with the critics (read his review), but two of Anomalous Material’s staff like it a bit more. Regardless of the critical reception, I had no interest in seeing from the moment I saw the trailer, it’s a rental at best for me. I like Ryan Reynolds but not enough to see a film solely just for him, and the look of the movie nor the characters did nothing to entice me. Raghav from Ticker Film Talks begs to differ though, as he actually listed 12 reasons for why you should go and watch the movie.

We skipped the cinema but did manage to watch a really good movie Michael Clayton. We’ve been curious about it for ages, but when Ted put Tilda Swinton’s character as his top ten movie villains, I immediately bumped it up in my Netflix queue. Here’s my quick review:

Michael Clayton (2007)

This movie wasn’t in my radar much when it came out, even when it was nominated for several major awards I was sort of blase about it. But I’m glad I finally got around to seeing it as it’s certainly is a first-rate legal drama, much akin to The Insider which was perhaps the best Russell Crowe’s role to date. The difference is The Insider is inspired by a real life story of Jeffrey Wigand, whilst this one is written by Tony Gilroy specifically for a feature film.

What’s even more impressive is that this is also Tony Gilroy’s directorial debut. George Clooney plays the title role, a high-priced ‘janitor’ as he refers to his profession, a corporate lawyer who specializes on cleaning up other people’s messes. This time it’s a big one where several billion dollars are at stake as U-North, an agriculture products conglomerate is involved in a being sued in a class action case over the effects of toxic agrochemicals.

The film opens with a rambling narration (which sounds like a voice mail message) from Clayton’s colleague Arthur Eden which at first doesn’t seem to be making much sense but we later learns that he’s having a crisis of conscience in regards to his job. Arthur is the chief lawyer assigned by his firm to ‘clean up’ U-North’s big mess, but given that he’s suffering from bipolar disorder, his change of heart is easily dismissed by people (including Clayton) as simply a mental breakdown.

It’s apparent that Clayton is disillusioned with his profession, yet he’s caught in a major predicament given his financial setback in regards to his failed restaurant/bar business he hoped would be the key to getting out of being a lawyer. This subplot is running in parallel with the main storyline in a way that’s a bit tough to follow at times, but once it all clicks, we’re on for quite a thrill ride. Those who are expecting this to be a full-on action thriller will be disappointed though, but I actually love this kind of thriller. The suspense isn’t in the car chase or full-throttle shoot-out, but it’s in finding out just what is at stake for the characters involved and the kind of decisions they take that make you go ‘whoa!’

The strength of this film is in the well-crafted script and stellar acting… all of which are deservedly nominated for Oscar. Gilroy nabbed two nominations for writing and directing, and all THREE major actors (Clooney, Tom Wilkinson and Tilda Swinton) receive acting nominations but only Swinton went home with the Oscar for Best Supporting Actress. I’m not Clooney’s biggest fan (which explains why this film eluded me) but he’s excellent here and it’s one of his most nuanced performances of his career (no annoying smirk in sight). But to me, the real stars of this picture are the Brits playing Americans, Swinton and Wilkinson. They’re both so tremendous in this that whenever they’re on screen, they practically ‘dwarf’ whoever else is on screen with them (yes, including Clooney).

Swinton as U-North’s general counsel is the picture of corporate villainy where blinding ambition steers someone towards utter wickedness. It’s ironic that her profession by definition is responsible for trying to assure that the company is acting within the law, clearly that’s so not the case in this movie. It is deeply unsettling to watch her in her panic attacks or as she nervously prepares for key speeches she has to deliver the next day… a lost soul with nothing but her drive to move up the corporate ladder to keep her going.

I can’t recommend this film enough for those looking for an intelligent and thought-provoking thriller. It also boasts a satisfying ending that makes you want to clap and cheer!

4.5 out of 5 reels

So what did you end up seeing this weekend? Have you seen ‘Michael Clayton’? Do share your thoughts on it in the comments!

51 thoughts on “Weekend Roundup – LAMMYs and Michael Clayton review

  1. I saw Michael Clayton a while ago. I’m surprised to see you compliment CLooneys performance, but i like that you can give props to a actor that your not a major fan of.

    As for me, i saw True Grit and Houndog. I loved True Grit, even though i’m not a big on Western movies. I really liked the interaction between the main 3 characters. Houndog is a mostly unknown movie, but i wanted to see it because it has Dakota Fanning in the lead role and Isabelle Furhman in a minor role. Not sure i liked the movie as a whole, but Dakota was amazing in it. I still think her performance in the Runaways is her best yet tho.

    And also, Dakota is going to be in a movie with Forest Whitaker, Mickey Rourke, and Robert Duvall. I’m kind of looking forward to that one mainly because of the cast

    I will probably end up seeing Green Lantern on dvd. Btw i don’t know if you saw it or not but i did a new blog post

    1. Well I try to be fair in my reviews and set my personal feelings aside 😀 I think Clooney is a good actor, I just think there are BETTER actors out there, and even in this one, he’s easily upstaged by the two supporting actors.

      Oh glad you saw True Grit, it’s one of my picks of best films of last year. I adore Hailey in this movie but yes, the interaction between the 3 leads are great.

      Never heard of Houndog but I can see why you want to see it if you like Dakota. The Fanning girls are certainly very talented!

      Yep, I’ve already commented on your post 😀

  2. Jack Deth

    Hi, Ruth and company:

    Excellent thread so far!

    I caught ‘Green Lantern’ this weekend. Not for Ryan Reynold’s Hal Jordan, but to see if Jordan’s trainer, Killiwog and other Lanterns met or exceeded my expectations. Killiwog was great and the rest of the Lantern Corps on their home planet, Oa lived up to my expectations of smugness and condescension. While Earth-side, Angela Bassett shines as future Justice League Hunter/Gatherer, Dr. Amanda Waller.

    The rest of the film is a muddled mess of quick-cut, overdone CGI. With too many forgettable secondary players (Especially Mark Stong’s ‘Sinestro’ ) circling a far too self-centered, obnoxious Jordan before doing battle with an incredibly lame and laughable, though well voiced (Clancy Brown) Cthulu/Dust Bunny-like monster named ‘Parallax’ in the final reel.

    I am also with Ruth on not being a fan of George Clooney. Didn’t care for him in ‘ER’ and haven’t understood his popularity since. Though I did kind of like George’s handling of a guy stuck in the middle of a slowly boiling pressure of a film opposite cold blooded, manipulative Tilda Swinton.

    1. Hi Jack, ah so you did see Green Lantern. Well at least it met some of your expectation, but the overdone CGI stuff seem to echo a lot of people about this one. The world of GL just doesn’t appeal to me at all, I like Mark Strong but not enough to see this movie.

      Yay, someone else who doesn’t get Clooney’s appeal! It’s mind boggling to me why he’s regarded to be the biggest movie star on the planet as his name alone won’t entice me to see his movie. Tilda is nothing short of brilliant, that Oscar is well-deserved.

  3. Ted S.

    Only 400 more till you hit 1000 Ruth, I’m sure it will go by quick.

    I love Michael Clayton, I kind of wish they named the film different. For a film with so many talented people involved, couldn’t someone at least came up with a better title?

    I don’t care to see Green Lantern, for a film that cost well over $200mil to produce, the effects somehow looks like it’s from the early 2000s. Maybe when I’m bored I’ll Netflix it.

    I finally saw The Fighter over the weekend, good film, it’s basically Rocky meets the Jerry Springer show. I don’t see why Melissa Leo won as Oscar for her role, anyone with average acting talent could’ve done that role. As for Bale, I guess he deserves the statue although I thought he’s better in other films. Maybe the Oscar voters just wanted him to stop loosing weight for these kind of roles so they gave the Oscar to him.

    1. Ahah, well with your help I hope it does, Ted 😀

      Hey, I was thinking the same thing. After seeing the movie, it’s probably just as well to call it U-North.

      Green Lantern doesn’t even look appealing to rent. I feel bad for DC though as they’re sooo lagging behind Marvel.

      Oh, The Fighter is good, but I watched it mostly for Bale. You’re right though, he’s done more compelling roles before, but as you know The Academy often gets it wrong. I really think Russell Crowe ought to have won for The Insider, instead they gave him the Oscar a year later for Gladiator (which is great but I think he’s much better in The Insider).

  4. PrairieGirl

    Everything about Michael Clayton is great, I loved it. But what ever you do, DON’T go see The American… a totally pointless film in every respect.

    1. Oh yeah, I’ve heard about how boring The American is. Don’t worry Becky, I don’t think I’m compelled to see Clooney being all brooding and moody for 2 hrs straight! If it were GB now that’s a different story, he..he..

      1. PrairieGirl

        And not only boring, the story didn’t make any sense either. Oh, for sure if it was GB it would have been far more interesting.

  5. Funk

    HI ya, and it sounds like you had a fun filled weekend.
    Watched two movies this weekend both WWII stories, one so so, and the other most outstanding.
    First was “The Age of Heroes” with Sean Bean, tells the tale of a British Commando unit jumping into Norway to get their hands on the latest Radar gear the Germans have come up with. Good movie to watch on a Saturday afternoon thats for sure.

    The next was movie was “Flame and Citron”, a Danish film (subtitled) starring Mads Mikkelsen, this is a story of a Danish Resistance group which Flame and Citron are a part of, like most of movies of this nature, it has some high drama and tense moments, traitors, double agents and of course the Gestapo breathing down their necks. Mads is most outstanding as Citron, especially his scene’s of hs torn loyalty to his family, plus it’s great to hear him speak his native language for once. Highly, highly recommended.

    1. Hello Dave! Yeah, the weekend was hectic but certainly fun.

      Oh, I like Sean Bean but I think he’s kinda typecast playing these types of soldier roles, doesn’t he? As for Flame & Citron, my friend Paula reviewed it here a while ago (https://flixchatter.wordpress.com/2011/05/07/everyones-a-critic-flame-citron-faster-review/) Yes it sounds spectacular! I’ve added it to my Netflix queue, still waiting to see it. I’m more curious about it now after reading your high praise.

      Glad to hear from you, sir, as always!

      1. Funk

        Thats where I got the notion that F&C is a movie I just got to see..
        Ya your right a Sean Bean though on some of these type movies, but my gosh does he shine in the HBO series, “Game of Thrones”.

  6. Dave W

    I loved Michael Clayton. It harkens back to the 70’s great dramas. I came to Michael Clayton via The Jason Bourne trilogy which Gilroy wrote all three screenplays. Tom Wilkenson is one of my favorite actors. Has he ever had a bad performance? Check out Wilkerson in Todd Field’s In The Bedroom if you haven’t seen it yet. Sissy Spacek, the underrated Marisa Tomei, and Nick Staal all shine in it.

    You should check out the movie Syriana if you’re on the fence about Clooney. Clooney deservedly picked up his oscar on that one. Artfully directed and a great script written by Stephen Gaghan who wrote Soderbergh’s Traffic. Some of the best movie speeches this side of Paddy Chayefsky’s “Network”. Speaking of Soderbergh, check out Out Of Sight. It was based on a Leonard Elmore novel. The chemistry is great between Jennifer Lopez and ole George. Really. Best thing she’s ever done. Also what a freakin’ cast. It has Cathrine Keener, Luis Guzman, Albert Brooks, Don Cheadle being a bad ass, a hilarious Steve Zahn, Ving Rhames, Dennis Farina and a small cameo by Michael Keaton.

    As far as The Green Lantern. Boo. Bring on Joss Whedon’s “The Avengers”. That will be a movie to be reckoned with.

    1. Funk

      Dave, your dead on about Syriana, and it’s my favorite Clooney movie. Glad you mentioned it, I’ll be watching it again this weekend…

            1. Dave W

              Just so you know going in that Syriana is serious as a heart attack, fiercely intelligent, and very political. It jumps around like a good novel. It has a script worthy of Paddy Chayefsky’s monologues w/o the sardonic overtones. It WILL make you think. It’s cinema for adults… finally. It runs at 128 mins. although a good movie is never too long in my book ie. Lawrence of Arabia, Fanny and Alexander, The Best Of Youth. This has a really nice cast: Matt Damon, Alexander Siddig (IMHO, who was oscar worthy in his role as Prince Nasir), Amanda Peet (her best role yet), Tim Blake Nelson, Christopher Plummer, Chris Cooper and a cameo by William Hurt. I also own the wonderful, understated score by Alexandre Desplat. He just scored Terrence Malik’s “The Tree of Life” which I highly recommend. Still haven’t seen that movie yet though. Doh! Add top notch locations, direction and cinematography and this one’s a winner. I left the theater feeling a little ‘dirty’ in regards to our government and I mean that as a compliment.

              Recommended if you liked The Constant Gardener, Michael Clayton, Babel or Three Kings (way underrated in my book).

              1. Funk

                Most excellent write up on Syriana, Jeffrey Wright was in it as well, another movie I liked Wright in is Ang Lee’s, “Ride With The Devil”.

    2. Hi Dave! I agree, Wilkinson seems to never give a bad performance, even in Batman Begins he’s amazing. I haven’t seen In The Bedroom but I should check that out.

      I did see Out of Sight, yes clearly it’s J Lo’s best role ever. Her chemistry w/ Clooney is scorching. I forgot Luis Guzman is in it, he’s just awesome in everything, LOVE him in The Count of Monte Cristo.

      Ahah, another boo for Green Lantern, poor DC. I’m really curious about The Avengers, just how in the world does Whedon bring all of those characters together and not make it look silly.

      1. Dave W

        As far as the Avengers goes… think about Whedon’s past history. Rosanne, Buffy, Angel, Firefly, Dollhouse… basically they were dysfunctional families with very different characters who all pulled together to support one another. Who better to write a multiple character, superhero movie? Plus for the first time in movie history they got someone who ACTUALLY READS COMICS to write and direct a superhero movie. What a novel idea. Really I only liked Nolan’s, Favreau’s, Singer ‘s(sans Superman Retuns), and Matthew Vaughn’s (Kick Ass) adaptations. Sadly Nolan’s movies make even Burton’s movies look pale in comparison now. Zack Snyder’s Watchman was pretty good for a story that was about as unfilmable as Crash or Naked Lunch and he let it have a hard R-rating which I give him bonus points for.

        Fun fact… Did you know that a faithful adaptation of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles comics would actually be a hard R due to violence and gritty realism? This is from last year. Check out the picture: http://www.filmschoolrejects.com/news/what-kind-of-teenage-mutant-ninja-turtles-movie-will-platinum-dunes-make.php

  7. Totally agree re: Michael Clayton. I am not a Clooney fan either, but he generally does a good job. I loooove Tom Wilkinson, and Swinton was indeed excellent. I was surprised by the movie, and enjoyed it more than I expected.

    We rewatched The Care Bears Movie (trying to ease into the kid’s movies, I guess?) and The Quick and the Dead. I do so enjoy being reminded of why I adore Russell Crowe so much. 🙂

    1. I think I went in w/ high expectation because of what people have said and the film still manage to wow me. The script is brilliant but the acting is just top notch.

      Oh The Quick & The Dead…or I’d say the one w/ Crowe as the dashing cowboy 😀 He’s sooooo dreamy in this one, even more so than in Gladiator. LOVE his disheveled look and gorgeous hair… I remember being sooo jealous of Sharon Stone for her sexy scenes w/ him. Would you believe it I actually saw it for Leo (it was post Titanic, ahah) but I easily fell for Crowe.

      1. Ha! You know, this time around, I could see what all the fuss about Leo was, even though he didn’t do anything for me back then. Crowe, on the other hand … that is his ideal haircut. He is drop-dead in that movie. Phew.

        1. I kind of think Leo’s lost his ‘edge’ now for whatever reason. I don’t dislike him but I no longer pay attention to what he’s doing. But Crowe just keeps getting better and better, he may not be as svelte as before but his sexiness goes beyond his physique.

          1. Dave W

            Ruth,

            I agree with you about Leo. He was brilliant early on in Gilbert Grape, This Boys Life, Marvin’s Room and The Basketball Diaries. Kate Winslet and the phenomenal special effects made Titanic for me. Once he did The Beach he lost it for me. One of Danny Boyle’s missteps. It’s a much better novel BTW. Even in The Departed he was overshadowed by Damon, Wahlberg and of course Jack.

            Crowe’s boorish behavior ruined him for me. I first saw him in Romper Stomper and knew he was one to watch. I absolutely loved The Insider and L.A. Confidential but his affair with Meg Ryan on Proof of Life and the whole telephone throwing thing at the bellhop was just too much. Plus he’s become know for being one of the worst celebreties to meet in person. Ed Norton is in that category too. Kinda hard to root for those guys as brilliant as they are. I can give Christian Bale a pass because it was on a movie set, it was a one time thing and even Ron Howard and Darren Aronofsky stuck up for him saying the DP breached protocol of walking around on the set during a take. He did seem contrite and even said that he “acted like a punk”. Plus he took the viral song, made out of his rant, in good humor. He even went on the radio station that aired it.

            1. I hear ya about Crowe, but I don’t see him as a jerk like a lot of people do. I just think he just needs to control his temper. Plus, with the whole phone thing, it was because he really wanted to talk to his wife. I’m not saying I excuse his behavior but I kind of have to see the circumstance before making a judgment about something (such as what happen w/ Bale with the DP). I think the whole Meg Ryan affair cost Meg her career, but what happened is typical Hollywood though with the whole ‘love on location’ thing. In any case, there are lots of things I disagree with in regards to what Hollywood people do, so I try to separate their work from their personal life (to a certain extent).

  8. Well done to you for getting runner up!

    I should probably watch Michael Clayton one day. I’m not the biggest fan of George Clooney (seriously, The American was boring, but it was also very beautiful), but it’s always intrigued me.

    1. Thanks Stevee, honored to be nominated along w/ you 😀

      I’d recommend Michael Clayton just to see the supporting cast. I forgot to mention the late Sydney Pollack who’s also great as Clayton’s boss.

  9. Michael Clayton is one of my fave movies (recently picked up the Blu-ray Disc to replace the DVD in my library). What a cast, script, and direction. Clooney won me over as an actor with his performance as Jack Foley in Out of Sight years ago. He’s rarely disappointed me every since. I also recommend The American — it’s too bad some don’t have the patience for it.

    I did take in Green Lantern and found it somewhat lacking. Although, to be honest, it’s not as bad as some claim. Reynolds as Hal Jordan and Mark Strong as Sinestro remain a highlight. I do agree with Darren that the issue is the script. I wish they’d have filmed the story from DC’s 2009 animated disc release of the Green Lantern original story, First Flight.

    Fine review, rtm. Thanks.

    1. Yay Michael! It’s really worth buying I think. As for The American, I guess I don’t mind slow movies, but my trepidation is in regards to how pointless it is. I might give it a watch one day and see if I like it.

      Seems like GL has a lot of issues, but for me I just can’t get into the look of the film itself, it just looks unappealing.

  10. Glad you enjoyed Michael Clayton, I knew you were going to appreciate Wilkinson’s and Swinton’s performances. Props for also liking Clooney in this 😉

    This past weekend, I saw The Company Men which was much better than I thought it would be. Another point for the Ben Affleck resurrection.

    1. Hi Castor, I think Gilroy’s got the perfect cast for this movie. I’m curious for The Company Men… it’s funny, when I saw the trailer I was intrigued but then the reviews weren’t so kind. But I keep thinking that the movie probably isn’t that bad… glad you confirmed that for me. I’ll add that to my queue.

  11. you know what, i must admit, i was pretty blasé about Michael Clayton myself but now i think i’ll give it a shot.

    Didn’t see Green Lantern, did see Bridesmaids. It’s been a while since i saw something so funny and yet so raw and true to real life that it was almost difficult to watch. I always knew Kristen Wiig was talented and hilarious on SNL and in Extract, but she is one awesome writer as well.

    1. You should rent it, Paula, it’ll be well worth your time. I’m gonna give Syriana a try now after all the recommendations.

      Kristen Wiig is hilarious in Extract, she’s really one of the brightest SNL stars these days.

  12. HEYYYYYY RUTHHHHHH!!!!!!!!

    Can you hear me? cool!! Then I shall carry on

    I really have no intention of seeing the Green Lantern. I like Reynolds in most of the stuff he does, Blade Trinity he was very funny, plus I am sure you would agree he is easy on the eye!!

    But this looks shocking! way too much CGI and , well, er, GREEN!! it just doesn’t go with my complexion

    Michael Clayton hey? Gotta love FRC Icon Tom Wilkinson in that one hey??

    Loving your work

    C

    1. Hey Custaaaaaaaaard! Yes I can hear you even across the pond, he..he..

      I never saw Blade Trinity but I like the first Blade film, Wesley Snipes was da bomb! Too bad he’s got all those tax issues. Y’know, it’s funny but I never find Ryan Reynolds attractive (I know, it’s crazy right?). I think he’s got a nice body and all but for whatever reason I don’t find him as sexy, maybe he’s just too perfect.

      Yes, Tom Wilkinson is a perfect choice for an icon indeed. He’s just great in everything he’s in.

  13. Ruth,
    congrats on your nomination! exciting! and thanks for sharing the kids against hunger event. Glad you got to participate in that.

    Thanks for the link love. It is always appreciated.

    I am super glad that you liked Michael Clayton. I bought it, but it still remains unopened in my dvd shelf. Now I want to see it even more. George Clooney has always been an “on or off” actor for me.

    Great review my friend!

    1. Thank you T.

      Ha..ha.. I have a few dvds that haven’t been opened, too. I think we’ve got Casino Royale BD that’s waiting to be watched still sitting on the counter.

  14. Richard

    Congratulations on the runner-up spot, Ruth! You deserve it. 😀

    I loved Michael Clayton, by the way. It’s rare to see bi-polar disorder handled so accurately and starkly and Tom Wilkinson was fantastic, as always. I’m a big fan of Clooney and he always seems to pick just the right projects.

    1. Thank you Richard.

      A big fan of Clooney, eh? I hope you don’t mind me saying he was outshone by Wilkinson and Swinton 🙂 I think he’s a good actor, I just don’t think he’s all that as the media seems to put him in such a high pedestal.

  15. PrairieGirl

    If you liked The Insider (and I know you LOVE it ;-)) and also like Michael Clayton, I strongly suggest Good Night and Good Luck over Syriana. Clooney wrote and directed it, but has a supporting role against David Strathairn’s excellent lead role as the famous 1950s journalist Edward R. Murrow. It’s, of course, based on the true story of how CBS exposed Senator Joseph McCarthy and condemned him for his fear-mongering and over-zealous communist witch hunt.

    The film was nominated for a gazillion awards, and won a few, not sure why it didn’t earn more, but then again, I don’t know what other films it was up against at the time. Robert Downy Jr. and Jeff Daniels are also in it. I’m betting you’ll like it just as much as TI and MC. It’s an incredible story, and being in black and white really helps capture the period.
    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0433383/

      1. Dave W

        PrairieGirl

        The reason I suggested Syriana over GNAGL was that this was the one for which he took home the Oscar. Looking less than glamorous by putting on 35 lbs and looking disheveled with his salt and pepper beard most of the movie showed a lot of character. He wasn’t ‘Mr. Smooth’ for a change and he brought a real emotional weight to the picture. GNAGL shows off his overall talent better but Syriana is his finest, pure acting moment. A top notch pick with GNAGL though. Loved the black and white cinematography. BTW 2005 was the year Million Dollar Baby and The Avaitor cleaned up all the awards.

        Fun fact… Clooney wrote GNAGL with actor Grant Heslov. You’d probably know him as Arnold’s Arab-looking, comic sidekick, along with Tom Arnold, in James Cameron’s “True Lies”.

        Love Strathairn. I miss his and John Sayles colaborations. Return Of The Secaucus 7, Matewan, Eight Men Out, The Brother From Another Planet, City Of Hope, Passion Fish, Limbo. WOW. Quite a run. Chris Cooper has taken his place now being in at least 4 of Sayles’ most recent pics. He’s not too shabby either and coincidentally is in Syriana.

        1. PrairieGirl

          Hi Dave, I guess I’ll have to see Syriana at some point too. I was thinking that GNAGL is more like The Insider because they are both based on a true story, and I know how much Flixy likes TI, with good reason, so do I. And S sounds more violent, or action-oriented, which isn’t bad, just less like the serious, but not violent, tone of TI and GNAGL.

          And leave it to a guy to like George with an extra 35 lbs. and scruffy! I’ll take my George just like the one in Up in the Air (grin).

          1. Dave W

            Hey PrairieGirl,

            I always thought that if Tom Hanks is the Jimmy Stewart of our day then George Clooney would be the Cary Grant… wouldn’t you agree?

            Yeah, Syriana is violent in places. I guess to me there’s good and bad violence. Syriana has the good kind. Let me explain. Syriana has the realistic violence like that of Scorsese, Peckinpah or war movies (Saving Private Ryan, Platoon, Glory). It depicts it like it really is. It’s painful, hard to watch and doesn’t shy away from being shown in all its ugly glory. Scorsese said the reason he shows the violence is because the mob guys aren’t likeable guys like Tony Soprano… they’re psychopaths like Tommy DeVito from Goodfellas. To not show it does the viewer a diservice. His violence isn’t meant to “entertain” per se. Unlike some directors… *cough*Michael Bay *cough*Tony Scott… LOL. It’s meant to inform the story. To show that this is an everyday way of life for these wiseguys or soldiers. Of course industry insiders say this realistic violence cost him the Oscar’s for Taxi Driver, Raging Bull, and Goodfellas. They finally had to give him the Oscar for the equally violent The Depatred because they practically had no choice at that point because as it just looked silly when he didn’t win. Sad to think that Welles, Hitchcock, Kurosawa, Kubrick, Malick and up ’til a few years ago Scorsese had never won an Oscar for directing. Yet Mel Gibson, Kevin Costner, and Robert Redford have Oscars. The Academy does love their own.

  16. PrairieGirl

    Oh, hi banana – you replied to my comment so fast you scared me! Glad I have another vote for GNAGL. What I meant to say in my first sentence was that I would put GNAGL ABOVE Syriana in your Neflix queue, NOT to not include it. SCUUUUUSE ME!

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