Or more specifically, actors who were fired, replaced or simply cut out of movies, often due to 'creative differences' but…
State of Play
Find The Truth
Handsome, unflappable U.S. Congressman Stephen Collins is the future of his political party: an honorable appointee who serves as the chairman of a committee overseeing defense spending. All eyes are upon the rising star to be his party's contender for the upcoming presidential race. Until his research assistant/mistress is brutally murdered and buried secrets come tumbling out.
There have been plenty of Hollywood adaptations of British television dramas. David Yates's 2003 six-parter brought together a stellar cast of British talent with a complex plot of intrigue and a political conspiracy that showed just how good a writer Paul Abbott was. A BBC drama that had a compelling story-line, is wasn't a surprise that a Hollywood movie based on his work would be forthcoming.
Scottish director Kevin McDonald has made some interesting career decisions. From an Oscar winning documentary to another about a legendary musical icon, he's flirted both with Hollywood and his own more personal interests. His Americanization of Abbott's drama does work a treat though. Moving the story to Washington and tweaking the plot to incorporate…
Although some of the plot is revealed in a very convenient and effortless ways, State of Play is still a solid political thriller packed with good performances but nothing that stands out.
Kevin Mcdonald's remake of the brilliant British tv series has it's flaws but manages to engage at an intellectual level missing from a lot of American remakes.
When a research assistant for a U.S congressman is killed under a sub-way train a labyrinthian conspiracy transpires. Although starring Russell Crowe,Ben Affleck,Rachel Mcadams and Helen (I definitely would) Mirren it has an almost indie feel to it. A great story and some fine acting make this a great film with believable connotations of what can happen when big business tampers with government agendas. Steeped in mystery and suspense this has you guessing right to the last minute as to the true nature of everyone's involvement. Although missing the wit of Bill Nighy from the original series this is a well made well paced thriller with fine performances all around. They even make Robin Wright Penn look respectable for once. Thrilling.
State of Play is a solid political thriller with great performances, some very thrilling scenes, and a great story that was very well thought out and executed. Russell Crowe was simply phenomenal here. Giving a deep and layered performance with passion and emotion, Crowe delivers some of his finest work, which is saying a lot. Ben Affleck is also very good here, although his character could have been developed a bit more. The rest of the star-filled cast includes Helen Mirren, Robin Wright, Rachel McAdams, Jeff Daniels, Jason Bateman, and many more who all turn in solid supporting work. The script here is very well done, with great lines of dialogue that flow nicely. I was intrigued by the story…
Kevin MacDonald's terrific political thriller is based on the Paul Abbott TV series that I haven't seen. I just saved you 30 seconds asking me that!
State Of Play is a film that I enjoyed for two reasons - firstly because I really enjoyed it, and secondly because it reminded me of All The President's Men and Defence Of The Realm. I think any film that does that and makes me want to rewatch both of them (like, right this minute) is alright with me.
It gets a couple of things wrong, for me. I didn't think much of Rachel McAdams here. I couldn't figure out if she was miscast (I don't…
It's a bit of a shame that it all kind of unravels at the end.
Up till then, State of Play is an engrossing, old fashioned, and entertaining thriller. It's a pleasure watching the cast work with the material.
If I could give 3.9999 I would. Great sequences, great performances- just one or two scenes that fall flat. It wouldn't be a problem, except that the scenes in question are crucial. But besides that, top notch shit. Add this to the list of underrated political thrillers of 2009/2010 along with Fair Game.
State of Play, though dark and confusing, is a very smart thriller, with excellent performances from the whole cast. It is a return to form for Affleck and Crowe and features a great lead in McAdams and a naturally amazing performance from Mirren.
State of Play is another example of taking politics and making them interesting. Russell Crowe gave a great performance as the main character, Rachel McAdams continues to shine, Ben Affleck showed her that he can give good performances in movies he is not directing and it was an interesting choice for Helen Mirren to be in this movie.
Corridors of Power
It kind of got me that a character at one point talks about how insulted his employees would be to be called mercenaries. And it's like, "Well, let's see. They are soldiers in the pay of a private organization that is then hired by governments so the country's own military doesn't have to fight. What, exactly, is your definition of 'mercenary' that somehow doesn't encompass that?" I know that, when Americans think of mercenaries, they're usually thinking of grubby men with rusty swords in some medieval epic, or maybe, if they know their history, Hessians during the Revolutionary War. The idea that, no, our government is currently hiring actual mercenaries, and they aren't just lone guys advertising…
A crackling, intense, performance-driven examination of "masters of the universe" who manipulate the public at large for the all mighty dollar under the flag of patriotism, all the while also being a love letter to the bygone era of real investigative news reporting in the wake of its slow death at the hands of the 24 hour news cycle.
Cut from the same cloth but not as nuanced as Michael Mann's stunning THE INSIDER (1999), MacDonald's film is anchored by an intense pace and intense performances from the ever reliable (in my opinion) Russell Crowe, Ben Affleck, and Rachel McAdams. More specially with McAdams in the wake of her unflinching and piercing role on HBO's TRUE DETECTIVE (2015), it is…
This is one of those great political films that nobody talks about yet it still holds up so well now. It has powerhouse performances from everybody involved. The miniseries that aired might have been more timely but it makes the perfect companion piece to the fifth season of the wire. I also think that restaurant in the film might change it's policy on the free food for bill Cosby.
It's never a good sign when the only thing I can think of while watching a film is how much I'd rather be watching a different film. In this case, how I yearned for another political conspiracy thriller: Alan J. Pakula's 1976 classic, All the President's Men. This film is similar tonally, and even features parking garage informants (!) but ultimately lacks gravitas; no, you won't care about who gets their comeuppance in the end. I promise.
But let's examine the film on its own merits. The film pulls us in with an initial spree of murders, including the death of a researcher on Congressman Stephen Collins's (Ben Affleck) staff. We learn that they have been having an affair. Quick…
Weak, mediocre, lazy, and generic.
The only joy here is looking at a talented cast for two hours, even though none of them do anything really worthwhile or memorable.
Ben Affleck is somewhat of an enigma. He's a strong comedic actor and his nascent directorial exploits now lead me to believe that he may have actually been the primary author behind Good Will Hunting, despite the claims of Family Guy. But, good lord, the dude needs to give up serious acting. Yowza.
Anyway, this movie relies too heavily on contrived and manipulative plot twists. And it's not a good sign when a movie's strongest moment is a credits montage.
All the films mentioned by name in Kim Newman's definitive encyclopedia of horror films, Nightmare Movies. Well worth a read.…
One of the things I like most about being on Letterboxd is when someone reviews a movie I remember fondly…