Movie Review: Michael Clayton (2007)

Human costs of the corporotocracy 7.5/10

Michael_ClaytonPolitically probing George Clooney’s Michael Clayton arrives on the big screen just in time to greet the winter.  And it has a theme that befits the falling of the leaves and the dimming of the light: a topnotch Mr. Fixit working for a high-powered New York law firm (Kenner, Bach & Ledeen) runs into an assignment that causes him to consider whether the way of life he has chosen is the way his life is meant to be… or the way his particular corporate world is meant to be.

We get a profile of Clayton (Clooney) early as his fast-lane excellence is contrasted with a personal life going down the tubes: divorced, financial troubles, gambling problems, having difficulty relating to the son he adores.  On the fast-lane side, we see how deftly he resolves incidents that can be deeply embarrassing for his big-money corporate clients: traffic accidents, addictions, infidelities, immigration barriers.

But as smooth and polished as Clayton is, the true secret to his success lies in his honesty and realism.  One client complains that Clayton isn’t the miracle worker that Kenner, Bach & Ledeen’s (KBR’s) CEO Marty Bach, a hard-headed, grizzled weasel played perfectly by Sydney Pollack, has represented him to be.  Clayton replies: Continue reading

Movie Review: The Men Who Stare at Goats (2009)

Another fun and clever blow to the MIC __ 8/10

The Men Who Stare at GoatsLarry Hooper: [from trailer] Lieutenant Colonel Django used funds from the project’s black budget to procure prostitutes…
Bill Django: That’s a lie!
Larry Hooper: …and to get drugs for himself and his men.
Bill Django: That… well, the hooker thing is definitely a lie.

… by George Clooney. As with other classic anti-war or anti-system movies that Clooney executive produces and acts in—Syriana, Michael Clayton, Goats exposes generally unknown facts about the government/Wall Street alliance that have a destructive effect on most humans. But Goats, while actually dealing with some of the most insidious antihuman technologies employed by the CIA under cover of war, does a magnificent job of airing out the subject with benevolence and humor. Continue reading

Movie Review: Up in the Air (2009)


Smooth maneuvers __ 8/10

Up in the AirRyan Bingham: How much does your life weigh? Imagine for a second that you’re carrying a backpack. I want you to pack it with all the stuff that you have in your life… you start with the little things. The shelves, the drawers, the knickknacks, then you start adding larger stuff. Clothes, tabletop appliances, lamps, your TV… the backpack should be getting pretty heavy now. You go bigger. Your couch, your car, your home… I want you to stuff it all into that backpack. Now I want you to fill it with people. Start with casual acquaintances, friends of friends, folks around the office… and then you move into the people you trust with your most intimate secrets. Your brothers, your sisters, your children, your parents and finally your husband, your wife, your boyfriend, your girlfriend. You get them into that backpack, feel the weight of that bag. Make no mistake your relationships are the heaviest components in your life. All those negotiations and arguments and secrets, the compromises. The slower we move the faster we die. Make no mistake, moving is living. Some animals were meant to carry each other to live symbiotically over a lifetime. Star crossed lovers, monogamous swans. We are not swans. We are sharks.

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