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Posts Tagged ‘ George Clooney ’

News in Brief – Shatter Resigns As Kenny Morphs Into Putin

shatter

Before we kick off can you all take a minute to imagine the theme to The Apprentice . . . got it? OK now we can start.

Alan Shatter has left the building. While the Indo asked ‘who trapped the rat in Leinster House?’ The answer became obvious, it was Enda and he was clutching him by his whiskery tail.

So Shatter has resigned and the future of the justice system is restored, well not exactly, but it’s bound to be a bit better right? RIGHT?! Former social worker Frances Fitzgerald has stepped up to the plate so hopefully she has a better idea of right and wrong. That’s beside the point though what NIB would like to draw everyone’s attention to is that Kenny has taken over Defence. Put a crown on him and call him Putin. Surely putting our dear leader in charge of the country’s defence policy is like appointing him leader of all things. Maybe NIB is exaggerating but you just wait, when the words ‘5-year-plans’ slip out you’ll know we warned you! Continue reading

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Gravity – The Best Movie Of 2013

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The first thing that crossed my mind as the credits rolled for Gravity was “That was the best movie that has come out in 2013”. There are a good number of films that I either have not seen or have not come out yet which I feel will be better, specifically 12 Years A Slave and The Wolf Of Wall Street, however until then Gravity has top honours for me. Sitting in the theatre I couldn’t help but feel I was witnessing a landmark in film as a craft. As a fan of film making as a process I cannot even comprehend how Alfonso Cuarón managed to pull this film off but he did and he did it spectacularly.  Continue reading

The Descendants

The problem with The Descendants is a lack of direction. From the workaholic father (Clooney) to the unruly teenage daughter (Woodley) and her younger, cuter counterpart (Miller), we’ve got a paint-by-numbers American family with a twist.

The twist is that mommy is in a coma. Sometime before film start she smashed her pretty head in a boating accident, so she spends the 115 minute running time a mute totem through which the active characters discover important stuff about themselves. And the truth about mommy.

Clooney plays Matt King, heir to an enormous and colossally undeserved fortune – 25,000 acres of prime Hawaiian real estate. He is the Descendant (get it?) of a line of Hawaiian aristocrats and the sole trustee of the family trust that controls the land. He’s got a large cluster of extended family waiting for him to decide what to do with it as, due to the rule of perpetuity, the trust is set to expire soon – meaning if they don’t sell the acres now, the land defaults back to the government and the family gets nothing.

Now maybe I’m an idiot, but I have No idea why that subplot was in there. Ostensibly this story is about Comamom and the effect of her pre-coma shenanigans on the King family. Clooney discovers things about her that he might never have wanted to know, he and the unruly daughter team up in the face of adversity and intrigue, and as they unravel the secrets of their near-departed mom they both grow up and cop on a bit.

However, this does eventually tie (loosely) into said monkeyshines when we discover that Mrs King had a special friend that Mr King didn’t know about, and said special friend also happens to stand to gain a hefty ransom should Mr King choose to sell his piece of Kauai to one buyer in particular. See: That buyer happens to be the brother-in-law of special friend. Special friend is played by Matthew Lillard.

But special friend wasn’t doing it for the money – in fact, he was risking everything by having his special friendship with Mrs King, since Mr King holds the sole voting right to the sale. On top of that, he wasn’t even really Into Mrs King, he’s just a horny douchebag. So right when the movie came very close to tying itself all together it turns out naw, they was just fucking around.

It’s a good movie. The little daughter is cute and incorrectly funny; the big daughter is a bitch teenager but played very well by Woodley. The family incurs a tagalong, ‘Sid’, the airhead savant friend of big daughter who helps them through it all by being woefully inappropriate and never shutting up. Robert Forster (Heroes’ Arthur Petrelli) plays Comamom’s dad, an unapologetic sexist who walks away to cry.

There’s a Wes Anderson feel to some of the scenes – Clooney breaking from his characteristic stoicism to freak out a little, big daughter crying underwater in a leaf strewn swimming pool, any scene with Sid – and these give the film a little, albeit depressing, character. But though director Alexander Payne has long had it in for contemporary America, offering up dark satires about modern desperation like About Schmidt, Election and Sideways, this is probably his most hopeful film so far.

The Ides of March

The Ides of March

This latest directorial outing from George Clooney follows events that take place in the state of Ohio during the race to become the Democratic Party’s candidate for the U.S. Presidential election.

George Clooney is Governor Mike Morris, the frontrunner in the race and a candidate seen by many as a serious contender for the White House. The remaining all-star cast features Ryan Gosling as press secretary on the Morris campaign, the always excellent Philip Seymour Hoffman as Morris’ campaign manager, plus supporting roles for Paul Giamatti as campaign manager for the opposition and Marisa Tomei as a cutthroat political reporter.

Clooney wisely plays a character that doesn’t feature too heavily with regards to screen time, leaving himself ample time to concentrate on directing. The majority of the time he does spend as Morris would not have been too taxing either as the Governor’s easy charm and demeanour are essentially Clooney’s, as a viewing of most of his interviews will prove.

Gosling plays a character that is a very intelligent and politically savvy young man coveted by the opposition. Gosling’s character makes an error of judgement which leads to him being kicked off the team but not before he stumbles upon a dirty little secret that could bring down the entire campaign.

I would like say that it is at this point that the movie picks up pace but that’s not exactly correct. The plot progresses, certainly, but the pace is never fast, certainly not to the levels of a Grisham style thriller. The direction by Clooney in the movie is excellent so it can be assumed this was a conscious choice by the director, perhaps forgoing fast-paced set pieces for more cerebral calmer paced scenes to keep the movie more grounded in the realism of day-to-day political campaigning.

There are other beautiful shots in the movie such as a clandestine meeting in an empty restaurant and a fine ending scene which shows the transformation of one of the characters and a real hammering home of the disingenuousness and morality (or lack thereof) of politicians and politics as an industry.

You do also get the feeling that the movie is a sort of sounding board for some of Clooney’s own political views, with he himself being quite outspoken politically. Indeed comments by his character on the Iraq war are quite close to comments he himself has made.

In fact to watch this film, and certainly the opening half hour or so, one would want to be fairly knowledgable of the American Political system and specifically elections. The movie is well shot, well acted by an excellent cast and is kept pretty simple and realistic. It’s a statement about U.S. politics, both Republican and Democratic, and at this moment of time would leave Irish viewers even more cynical of politicians in general.

A very good movie, an interesting watch but not a classic. However,if politics is your thing then this is a must see.

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