The Manchurian Candidate

Went to see this last night in Ster Century after dinner in daVinci’s in Leixlip. Have to say that I was slightly underwhelmed by it. By all accounts its a good, solid political thriller with all the required elements and some genuine moments of tension. Denzel Washington played the part well and was complemented by a superb performance from Meryl Streep as the politically headstrong mother. However, I felt there was something missing that I just couldn’t put my finger on. 😕 Definitely a good movie but not a masterpiece.

Tony’s Verdict: 7/10

Plot Synopsis: When his army unit was ambushed during the first Gulf War, Sergeant Raymond Shaw saved his fellow soldiers just as his commanding officer, Major Ben Marco, was knocked unconscious. Brokering the incident for political capital, Shaw eventually becomes a vice-presidential nominee, while Marco is haunted by dreams of what happened — or didn’t happen — in Iraq. As Marco investigates, the story begins to unravel, to the point where he questions if it happened at all. Is it possible the entire unit was kidnapped and brainwashed to believe Shaw is a war hero as part of a plot to seize the White House? Some very powerful people at Manchurian Global corporation appear desperate to stop him from finding out.

Spiderman 2

Well I’ve seen Spiderman 2 twice now, once on Thursday with Mark and then again last night with my dad. Have to say that it is superb and goes beyond the achievements of the first film. I’ll begin to explain my opinion so….the character arcs are better developed in this film especially the love story between Peter Parker and Mary Jane Watson. Dunst and Maguire do a solid job in the acting department and are complemented by a great performance from Alfred Molina as “Doc Oc”. There are some slow moments in the film but the last 45 minutes is pretty much non-stop acceleration.
Spider-Man (3-Disc Deluxe Edition)
A special mention has to go to the CGI guys on this film as the blending of real and CG elements is handled much better than the first one. It’s now harder to distinguish between the two and the fact that they fool you 90% of the time is a tribute to SFX wizards. They also managed to inject characterisation into “Doc Oc”s metal arms and they are genuinely scary in most of the scenes. Things I think they could have improved on/changed:

  • I would have devoted less time to the “Peters life is crap at the moment” vibe. They made the point and it should have been left at that.
  • There was no reason given on why he periodically lost his powers. Its hinted that this was because of his state of mind but it isn’t fully explained.

They’re the only two things I can think of changing and overall it was a superb movie.

Tony’s Rating: 9/10

Plot Synopsis: Peter Parker (Tobey McGuire) can’t seem to catch any kind of break. Being Spiderman has brought him nothing but problems as far as his personal life is concerned. Not only that, Mary Jane Watson (Kirsten Dunst) is engaged to astronaut John Jameson, and Peter may lose her forever. Things are so bad for him that he is pushed past his breaking point, so he decides that he doesn’t want to be Spiderman anymore, until a freak accident transforms Dr. Otto Octavius into Dr. Octopus, a super-villian with four metal tentacles coming out of him. Peter realizes that only Spiderman can stop him, but of course, problems arise. Mary Jane gets caught in the middle, and Harry Osborn, who still blames Spiderman for the death of his father, Norman Osborn, also the Green Goblin, wants him dead. Spiderman will have to push himself past his limits if he’s going to survive.

Fahrenheit 9/11

Most people are now aware of how Michael Moore feels about the Bush administration and current American foreign policy. His latest film, Fahrenheit 9/11, focuses on Bush and the “War on Terror” illustrating in graphic detail the ineptitude that the American president has shown over his four years in the Oval Office. Indeed, Moore doesn’t need to try that hard to make Bush look stupid as there is a library of TV footage to pull from. The real power of this film is that, while one-sided, it collects together facts and events which the ordinary person on the street may not have been aware of. The links between the Bush family, the Saudis and american business interests are particularly striking. Moore tends to take a backseat as narrator and this works well, lending more credibility to the film due to its focus on input from political figures and particularly members of the public. There are problems with the film in that it is biased but that is probably inevitable and it can also become a personal attack on Bush in places. This is a well crafted documentary though and its power will, hopefully, be felt in November. America is now in a position to punish Bush for his poor leadership and decision making. Lets hope they take it.

Rating: 4/5