Tag: Ben Affleck


Argo

October 12th, 2012 — 7:47am

****

Argo-sp

If you are old enough to remember the Iran hostage crisis of the late 1970s or are a student of history of such events , this movie will remind you of those turbulent times in vivid detail. On the other hand you just have to recall the horrific details of a short a time ago when our embassy in Libya was stormed and the US ambassador was murdered, to get into the mind set to appreciate this movie. In fact, even if you knew nothing about recent or past history you could very easily get caught up in this exciting, suspenseful, thrilling, heart pounding movie. When the movie audience cheers and claps for joy at certain parts of the film you realize that they are feeling tension that is  is being built up and released. This film stars Ben Affleck as Tony Mendez a CIA agent, who actually in real life was was awarded a secret medal by that agency (everything is a secret in the CIA) for what he did which was depicted in this movie. The task he took on was to try to sneak out of revolutionary Iran,  6 Americans who had fled to the Canadian embassy and were hiding there,  when the Iranians had stormed  their embassy and made hostages of the other Americans . The plan revolved around the making a fake movie which was to be produced and directed by Hollywood mogul types  played respectively by John Goodman and Alan Arkin. This gave the movie a comic relief and a little spoof of Hollywood. This real movie Argo which had the same name as the fake movie, was directed by the star of it, Ben Affleck who also co-produced it with George Clooney and Grant Heslov.  Well deserved credit for this movie should also go to the screen writer Chris Terrio and award winniing editor William Goldenbery, Director of Photography Rodrigo Prieto and music by Alexandre Desplat. The realism that was achieved with this reenactment of those dramatic days was shown at the end of the film as  part of the credits. Photographs torn from the newspapers of that time were put side by side on the screen with still images from  this film and many were nearly identical. This included  a photo of people climbing over the fence and into the embassy grounds, a man being hanged in the street as well as the real faces on the passports of many of the characters. This film may not surprise you but you will come with a away  with a reminder of how easy it can be to become swept away with a thrilling Hollywood  movie.(2012)

Comment » | 4 Stars, Drama, History

The Company Men

January 30th, 2011 — 7:21am

***

The Company Men   rm -  This movie puts a face on the wide spread and often tragic unemployment that has been occurring in the US during the past few years. It mainly follows three men who unexpectedly lose their jobs because of the economy downturn and because their shipbuilding company is no longer producing many ships. However, these guys are not your assembly line grunts. Writer/Director John Wells who is known for his involvement in the politically oriented West Wing TV series has chosen to show us how the upper middle class and above are impacted by unemployment. Bobby Walker ( Ben Affleck) drives a sporty convertible and lives in a lovely house in the suburbs before he loses his job. He is the lowest end of  the food chain of the three newly unemployed guys  which includes characters played by Chris Cooper and Tommy Lee Jones . The latter plays a man with millions of dollars in stock options who was long time buddy of the owner and founder (Craig Nelson) of the entire company. The owner fired him while he himself receives a gigantic salary, options and even sells the company. Those formerly under him are scraping to make ends meet while they hang around for months and months in an office of an outplacement company. This situation alone, might stir you up as it did us since we have been railing for awhile why there isn’t a law preventing CEOs from getting outrageous salaries and payoffs without stockholders approval while their company goes down the tubes (see my article in the Huffington Post). This film captures the personal travail that in this case a few men go through as well as how it affects their wives and children. It can even drive a person to suicide. Kevin Costner has a relatively small role in the movie as the one person who works with his hands as a carpenter, home- fixer up guy who is able to barely keep working in contrast to brother in law realistically played by Affleck. The movie doesn’t have any real big surprises. Everyone knows the stories and even the poignant moments are more or less expected and maybe even a little stereotyped. Everyone is glum and down in the dumps and it is contagious watching it for 104 minutes but the movie did tell it like it is and will stand as a fictional documentary of the hard times for many people.(2011)

Comment » | 3 Stars, Drama

The Town

September 27th, 2010 — 6:45am

****

The Town rm- The Boston Police Department is not going to like this movie. Ben Affleck obviously dove head first into this film, being director, lead actor and co-writer. His character Doug MacRay is a home grown product of Charlestown section of Boston where there have been more bank robbers per capita than any other place in the U.S.A. He and his buddy James Coughlin played by Jeremy Renner and a bunch of other guys blast open the movie pulling off one of those heists. There is plenty of action in this movie including one of best car chase scenes that we have seen since Gene Hackman in The French Connection quite a while ago. You really get to know and understand MacRay and can’t help caring about him and rooting for his relationship with Claire Keesy (Rebecca Hall) the bank manager of the opening robbery who end up being sympathetic bed fellows. Casting Jon Hamm    (of tv Mad Man fame) was a great choice as the opposing FBI agent along with Titus Welliver (the “bad” DA in The Good Wife tv series) who is his trusty assistant. The entire cast of characters is quite believable which is a tribute to their great acting, fast pace and the outstanding directing by Affleck who kept us on the edge of our seats. There also is a sensitive insight into how in some communities and families, young people get drawn into a life of crime from which it is very hard to extract themselves. The question is whether you can suspend reality and swallow the story line when the band of thieves faces down the entire Boston PD including  their SWAT teams and our hero ultimately attempts to do a payback to his beloved town.(2010)

Comment » | 4 Stars, Action, Crime, Drama, Romance

He’s Just Not That In To You

November 7th, 2009 — 2:22am

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He’s Just Not That In To You
– rm – We decided to watch this movie on a recent NY-LA flight. We thought that this film with Jenifer Anisten, Ben Afflick, Drew Barrymore, Scarlet Johannson and Kevin Conolly (from Entourage) might be a light movie that would fit the bill. After seeing it, we didn’t quite agree on how to score it so we averaged or our ratings. Susan thought it was a fluffy but enjoyable movie which depicted well contemporary dating relationships of young people but in a humorous fashion, Michael thought it was a unimaginative film which wasn’t worth the time even on a boring plane trip (He should have stayed with his book). It did demonstrate how cell phone, texting, email, Facebook and MySpace (they seem to have left out Twitter) all are a crucial part of the singles scene. Maybe, Michael took it a little too seriously, but he also thought it was demeaning to women. We hope this analysis doesn’t peak your curiosity to see it. 2009

Comment » | 2 Stars, Comedy, Drama, Romance

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