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Number of posts : 672
Age : 31
Registration date : 2008-10-11

PostSubject: Film reviews   Sun Oct 12, 2008 1:47 pm

"Broken, Beat & Scarred," Metallica When "Body of Lies" comes out on DVD, some Ridley Scott fanboy is going to make a YouTube highlight reel of the film set to that song. (Let's face it, it'll be me.) I think we can safely say that Leonardo DiCaprio's pretty-boy persona from "Titanic" is dead, dead, dead -- his Roger Ferris spends the entirety of Scott's terrorism thriller broken, beat and scarred, and this on the heels of his gritty turn in "The Departed" and his masterful characterization in "The Aviator."Despite the presence of Scott's favorite actor, Russell Crowe, "Body of Lies" is Leo's movie all the way. He's a CIA operative hunting terrorists amid the Iraq war, and Crowe is his schlubby, Langley-bound handler, a guy who's taking his kids to soccer practice and deciding Ferris' next move at the same time. As usual, Scott populates his film with fabulous character actors, most of which I've never seen before (at least, I don't think I have). Best of these is Mark Strong, an Austrian-Italian actor playing a Jordanian intelligence czar who dresses like he's ready for a Vanity Fair photo shoot. Oh, and he refers to Ferris as "my dear," which is both funny and creepy. Scott also makes a nice discovery in Golshifteh Farahani, an Iranian actress who acquits herself nicely in the rather pointless role of DiCaprio's love interest.And Scott doesn't skimp on the spectacle; this film has touches of the visceral horror of his "Black Hawk Down," but it generally feels more like one of his brother's movies; think "Spy Game" goes to Amman. The script by William Monahan ("Departed" and "Kingdom of Heaven"), working from a David Ignatius novel, plays it safe with thriller conventions, but that's probably a good thing. If audiences are ever going to warm up to movies about Iraq -- "In the Valley of Elah," "Stop-Loss," "Jarhead" and others have all been flops -- they'll probably need to ease into it with relatively "breezy" material. (Or as breezy as you can get in a movie with closeups of a guy's fingers getting smashed with a ball-peen hammer.) I imagine this adherence to convention is the only reason they kept the glaringly unnecessary romantic subplot. Perhaps the film's best virtue is its pacing -- "Body of Lies" flies by, something you wouldn't expect from a large-scale techno thriller from the guy who directed "Kingdom of Heaven" and "American Gangster." Scott's comedic lark, "A Good Year," feels positively torturous compared to this movie. (Pun sadly intended.) I'd like to see Leo and Crowe work together again. They spend most of the film in "24" mode, talking to each other on a cell phone from opposite sides of the world, but their few scenes together offer a glimpse of a potentially awesome tandem. Crowe again crafts a character we don't expect from the description and his appearance, and DiCaprio has clearly earned his stardom -- every movie he's in should be treated as an event. So what's next for Ridley Scott? Industry buzz says "Nottingham, " the long-brewing project in which, yes, Russell Crowe would play the title role in a re-imagining of the Robin Hood story. That doesn't sound like a prestige project for the director who has been settling for merely entertaining us in the years following the acclaimed "Black Hawk Down." And that's just fine by me -- if only all event pictures could be made by someone as skilled as Ridley.


With Leonardo DiCaprio and Russell Crowe as its stars, Body of Lies really should have done better than the $4.4 million it earned on Friday. Reviews were middling and the commercials made the movie out to be a jumbled mess. It's looking at a solid weekend multiplier (especially if Warner Bros. lies about the weekend total) of around 2.9. That would give it $12.7 million for the weekend and put it within spitting distance of Quarantine


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