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A good movie

Posted : 4 years, 9 months ago on 8 March 2014 09:58

Oh dear, I find it somewhat difficult to judge this flick. Indeed, even though I gave it a positive rating, I can’t help thinking that I’m being actually too generous. The point is that even though it was definitely an improvement on ‘Leatherheads’, George Clooney’s previous directing effort, it was still not of the same caliber of his previous work (‘Good Night, and Good Luck.’, ‘Confessions of a Dangerous Mind’). Personally, I always thought that politics are fascinating so I’m always eager to check movies about this subject and I had some high expectations for this movie. Unfortunately, the whole thing doesn’t tell or show you anything you haven't seen before so that was rather a let-down. Furthermore, there were some scenes which didn’t really work for me or maybe I missed something. Why did Ryan Gosling got fired? Because he talked to Giamatti? Wasn’t it a little bit harsh? To go to a bar, to listen to what the guy had say and finally refusing his offer without making it a secret to Philip Seymour Hoffman hardly seemed a betrayal to me. Also, why did Evan Rachel Wood killed herself? I can understand that she was quite shaken up by the abortion but to commit suicide seemed a little bit drastic. Still, I somewhat enjoyed the damned thing thanks to the stellar cast (Ryan Gosling, George Clooney, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Paul Giamatti, Evan Rachel Wood, Marisa Tomei, Jeffrey Wright). Above all, Ryan Gosling was once again pretty impressive, even if the motivations of his character were rather murky but that was more a problem with the script than with his performance. To conclude, it is a good movie which could have been great but I still think it is worth a look, especially if you are interested by the subject.

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The Ides of March review

Posted : 5 years, 10 months ago on 2 February 2013 01:30

i watched this movie twice. the sixteen year old troubled and pessimist Leland P. Fitzgerald (Ryan Gosling) is sent to a juvenile detention. His teacher and aspirant writer Pearl Madison

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The Ides of March

Posted : 6 years, 1 month ago on 15 November 2012 08:54

Have you ever watched a movie and wanted it to continue on, to entrance you in its world and characters for just a tiny bit longer? I felt that way as the end credits begin to roll for The Ides of March. I felt like much the true dramatic possibilities and action were just now being brought to a boil as it ended. I felt like there was even more places to go with this storyline, and like it could have taken me on a grander journey. It’s very good, but it could have been great.

Not to join in on the massive throngs of people sucking George Clooney’s dick, but I have always liked him as an actor and as a carrier of megaton charisma and movie star weight. I have tremendous respect for him ever since he decided to put his enormous clout behind projects like this, Good Night, and Good Luck (another movie that could have been even longer and I wouldn’t have minded), The Descendants, Up in the Air and Michael Clayton. That’s a resume filled with risks and grand ambitions of artistry in film. And he’s one hell of an actor in the “Golden Age” tradition – he takes an archetype that is very “George Clooney” on the outside, and twists it around and inside out to reveal unique and interesting things about the character in a very subtle way.

His crooked politician here is no different. Beneath that all-American silver fox exterior lies a cold, calculating and domineering personality that doesn’t care who get slaughtered on his road to victory. His midnight showdown with Ryan Gosling is riveting stuff, watching two actors perform a masterful give-and-take with minimal vocal and emotive inflections. Of course, when you have a powerhouse cast of actors like this, to say the acting is of the highest caliber seems like a “No shit, Sherlock” phrase. The true revelation is Evan Rachel Wood, normally cast as the rebellious, free-spirited girl and is excellent in that role, as a naïve intern who gets crushed and tossed aside by the callous system and those ensuring that it runs smoothly.

Though economically told, it doesn’t present anything particularly new or exciting about the American political system that many of us don’t already know, or at least suspect. It concerns itself more with attitudes of loyalty within the system, and those pundits and writers on the periphery who help spin quotes and stories out however they see fit depending on who will give them the best favors. The real charms and glories in the film come from the precise way in which the drama is slowly delivered out, and the top-notch group of actors assembled. I just wish it had actually been another hour longer, because it ends right as the all of the dramatic elements seems to be reaching a unique climax and emotional fallout. It could have gone to a darker, more dramatically rich place.

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The Ides of March review

Posted : 6 years, 9 months ago on 22 March 2012 06:53

The Ides of March is the fourth feature directed by George Clooney (after Confessions of a Dangerous Mind, Good Night, and Good Luck, and Leatherheads), and it's his best one yet. Actors who become directors tend to focus on performance at the expense of everything else. Clooney certainly brings out the best in his actors, but his driving trait as a filmmaker is that he knows what plays — he has an uncanny sense of how to uncork a scene and let it bubble and flow.

The movie is a grippingly dark and cynical drama of insider politics, set during the days leading up to an Ohio Democratic presidential primary. Ryan Gosling, proving that he can flirt with sleaze and still make you like him, stars as Stephen Meyers, the idealistic but also shrewdly opportunistic press secretary to Gov. Mike Morris (played by Clooney), a soulful and articulate Obama-in-2008-esque candidate who is promising a new kind of politics. Morris and his team are out to win the endorsement of a senator (Jeffrey Wright) whose rival delegates could clinch Morris the nomination. The movie, adapted from Beau Willimon's play Farragut North (the screenplay was co-written by Clooney, Grant Heslov, and Willimon), offers a densely shuffled version of actual headline campaign news: not just Obama but the Clinton scandals, Howard Dean, and a nod to Mike Dukakis, all knitted together with cameos by Charlie Rose, Rachel Maddow, and Chris Matthews that (for once) don't feel like stunt reality gimmicks but are woven into the movie's texture.

Early on, there's a moment that really makes you take notice: Marisa Tomei, as a New York Times reporter, tells Stephen and the governor's campaign manager (a brilliantly addled Philip Seymour Hoffman) that there's no way candidate Morris, with his hope-and-change rhetoric, could turn out to be anything but a disappointment. Hmmmm, we wonder...is this going to be the liberal Clooney's comment on the disenchantment so many Obama supporters feel about the president they once thought of as a savior? Well, sort of. Except that since The Ides of March is about a single primary fight, the movie, while stuffed with political talk-show gabble, isn't really about policy. It's about backstabbing, media manipulation, and what campaign managers do when they're not hatching plans in the war room.

It's also about an office intern, played with luscious dazzle by Evan Rachel Wood, who gets into the middle of everything. Yes, the movie turns on a potential sex scandal, which makes it sound like another one of Hollywood's overheated prestige tabloid melodramas. But it's not. Clooney, as a filmmaker, packs the events in so tightly, and smartly, that the little ''aha'' parallels between the characters and actual politicians aren't the film's true hook. They're just the audience bait. What Clooney is really out to capture, and does, is the acrid, murderously toxic atmosphere of contemporary politics — the double-dealing, magnified by the media, that turns policy into a corrupt game even when it's being played by ''idealists.'' The Ides of March has true storytelling verve, but it also plays like a rite of exorcism. It pulses along like an update of The Candidate fused with a political Sweet Smell of Success — it's got that kind of noirish fizz.

Gosling gives a solid and sympathetic performance, even though I couldn't shake the feeling that he's a bit miscast. He doesn't have the brainiac Ivy League glibness of a young political hustler. Hoffman, on the other hand, seems to have been ripped right out of the Beltway, and Paul Giamatti, as a rival campaign manager, acts with a snakish low cunning. As for Clooney, he's perfect playing an all-too-compelling fiction: an Obama with a sinister side.

The Ides of March serves up everything we've come to know about the dirty business of how campaigns are really run in this country. That may sound like boilerplate cynicism, but what's new is that Clooney exposes how in our era the thorny process of politics has become the content, blotting out the meaning of policy the way an eclipse blots out the sun. The movie suggests that that's what occurred in the Obama administration. But it also says a spirit of venomous aggression has entered our politics, one that (the film implies) Obama would do well to embrace more than he has. The Ides of March isn't profound, but it sure is provocative. It's a fable of moral urgency, a savvy lament, and a thriller of ideas that goes like a shot.

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The Ides of March review

Posted : 6 years, 11 months ago on 25 December 2011 05:42

The knight of the story is Steven played by Ryan Gosling. He is a clever campaign manager who works tirelessly for Mike Morris (played by George Clooney) because he naively believes in the candidate and his message. Steve is soon discarded like pawn. He discovers that beliefs don't matter. Integrity doesn't matter. Loyalty does not matter. Winning matters. What you see is NOT what you get, for politics is nothing but a shell game. In the end, the game destroys his integrity, loyalty, and beliefs and he realizes that the only way to win is to play dirty like the "elephants." Politics is life and he plays to win.

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The Ides of March review

Posted : 6 years, 12 months ago on 22 December 2011 03:03

Como esse filme pode ser considerado um erro do Globo de Ouro?! O filme é fantástico, rápido e direto, além de ser muito inteligente. As atuações são impecáveis, todo elenco está perfeito, Evan Rachel é uma das coisas mais lindas que já surgiram na telona e o Ryan Gosling mais uma vez sensacional, não sei qual atuação me impressionou mais, a desse filme ou de Drive. Recomendo fácil.

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The Ides of March review

Posted : 6 years, 12 months ago on 19 December 2011 04:47

I really enjoyed this movie, kept me at the end of my seat, and it was hard for me to predict the out come of many scenes which is always good. I also think that the ending of the film fit well.

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Admittedly flawed, but worthy of attention

Posted : 7 years ago on 13 December 2011 02:44

"You end up being a jaded, cynical asshole, just like me."

The Ides of March represents George Clooney's entry in the 2011 Oscar race. For his third directorial outing, Clooney has adapted Beau Willimon's play Farragut North, recruiting frequent collaborator Grant Heslov and even Willimon himself to help construct this somewhat derivative examination of the today's political zeitgeist. An old-fashioned type of thriller, The Ides of March ostensibly appears to be just another flick about innocence lost in the tumultuous world of politics, but at its heart this is a multilayered exploration of honour and integrity in the face of a career which demands dishonesty. Such messages are nothing new, but Clooney has delivered the material with genuine passion and style, incorporating strong performances and intuitive filmmaking to make this admittedly flawed picture worthy of your attention.

In Ohio, a heated political battle is unfolding to determine who will be the presidential nominee for the Democratic Party. Favoured candidate Mike Morris (Clooney) is being guided in his campaign by seasoned pro Paul Zara (Hoffman) and idealistic young hotshot Stephen Meyers (Gosling). As Paul scrambles to secure local support, Stephen is invited to a lunch meeting with Tom Duffy (Giamatti), the campaign manager for Morris' rival. Intrigued, Stephen attends the meeting only to be offered a job in Duffy's crew. Stephen declines due to his established allegiances, but word of the meeting soon reaches New York Times reporter Ida Horowicz (Tomei) who threatens to release the story. Stephen's paranoia begins going into overdrive, and the situation soon becomes exacerbated by his affair with 20-year-old intern Molly Stearns (Wood) who holds secrets that could potentially bring down Morris' campaign.

The first act of The Ides of March is static and talky, with the reams of complicated political jargon rendering it rather uninvolving. The dry dialogue may be true to the way these people talk behind-the-scenes, but it leaves the rest of us on the outside looking in. It's not that writers Clooney, Heslov and Willimon should've dumbed everything down to Twitter speak - it's that they expected too much of viewers, who are given so many intricate, vaguely-explained political machinations to process and not enough time for them to sink in. Thus, the pace is quick but the film is often unengaging. However, things thankfully heat up once Molly's conundrum is revealed. From there, the proceedings are enthralling and easier to follow. Once the finish line enters the flick's sights, though, The Ides of March falters. The narrative is such a rich tapestry of subplots and intrigue, stacking the deck against the writers who were saddled with the responsibility of resolving everything without senselessly dragging things out. To their credit, they conceived of a neat resolution and the final shot is sublime, but the specifics are too hazy.

Throughout his motion picture career as a director, actor and producer, George Clooney has been part of the creative school who yearn for a comeback of patient, pre-blockbuster cinema. Thus, Clooney enjoys participating in visually sophisticated films more concerned with storytelling and challenging ideas than explosions for maximum box office. Thus, The Ides of March is technically handsome, and was clearly created by consummate professionals from top to bottom. Clooney's direction is also astute. His efforts are especially commendable during the picture's final shot which studies Stephen's eyes as his integrity and soul becomes permanently replaced by dishonesty and rugged political ambition.

2011 is truly a banner year for Ryan Gosling, with The Ides of March marking his third sublime performance in a matter of months. With Crazy, Stupid, Love. and Drive now under his belt, the actor is becoming richer and more exciting, and his performance as Stephen Meyers here is truly superb. His dialogue may be occasionally dry, but Gosling's focus is unbreakable and riveting. Alongside Gosling is an equally impressive supporting cast. As the in-over-her-head Molly, Evan Rachel Wood truly shines in a performance that's both vivacious and affecting. She's a strong companion for Gosling; they share great chemistry, and their exchanges are often a highlight. Meanwhile, both Paul Giamatti and Phillip Seymour Hoffman shine as the campaign managers of the rival parties, and George Clooney is spot-on as Governor Morris. This is not a case of a director filling a part for the sake of his ego; Clooney is genuinely perfect in the role. Rounding out the cast is Marisa Tomei and Jeffrey Wright, both of whom sparkle. Indeed, it's doubtful you will see a more finely-tuned acting machine this year.

The Ides of March does not tell us anything innovative about politicians, and its story is nothing new. Instead of a shocking revelation about modern politics, it concerns itself with the same type of sex scandal plot we've seen done before. Still, this type of stuff does actually happen (Bill Clinton, anyone?), so maybe such criticisms are just nitpicking. The Ides of March is indeed flawed from a script perspective and you'll be left with a very bleak feeling once it ends, but this is the type of movie that you appreciate the more you ponder it.


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The Ides of March review

Posted : 7 years ago on 11 December 2011 04:51

The Ides of March, I personally feel is definetely an OSCAR contender.

Stephen (Ryan Gosling) is a young but experienced political staffer who is the number 2 at Governor Mike Morris (George Clooney) campaign for the Democratic nomination for President. The story of Passion, Loyalty, Deception, Integerity, Honesty and Infidelety.

George Clooney is the writer, director, producer and actor of The Ides of March and he manages to juggle all the balls to pull off an entertaining and successful film. This isn't his first foray - he has produced a number of films which have a political or ideological bent.

If one likes drama, especially a political drama, a mature film with a bit of edge, check out The Ides of March.

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The Ides of March

Posted : 7 years, 1 month ago on 14 November 2011 10:00

It's common knowledge that the game of politics is as dirty as a sewer. In the current climate of economic strife and uncertainty, you'd be excused if you felt even angrier than usual upon hearing about the backroom wheeling and dealing that occurs between those in charge of creating, executing and tweaking the laws that govern us. The Ides of March is a reflection of that anger. There isn't anything new to the film's comments about political corruption. We know that this sort of thing happens. The film is more of a reminder than a piece of insight. Films like that can still be effective as long as they're compelling and entertaining, which can be said for most of the film. The first half is a brisk, brilliantly accurate portrayal of the dynamics of life on the Hill - as someone who spent a college semester working at a congressional office in D.C., I can tell you that all the details are captured perfectly. The second half of the film, while equally as entertaining as the first, consists more of contrived, trashy drama - it's never boring, but it does make the film lose points in the respectability department, considering that this is supposed to be a serious political film, rather than a potboiler.

All you need to know about the plot is that Mike Morris (George Clooney) is running in the Democratic primary for U.S. president, and that the following guys (in order of importance) are the ones in charge of handling his campaign: Paul (Phillip Seymour Hoffman), Stephen (Ryan Gosling) and Ben (Max Minghella). But that order of importance in which I listed them may or may not stay that way throughout the rest of the film, as The Ides of March is very much interested in capturing the jockeying for positions that characterizes the political arena. The story focuses mainly on Stephen, who's young and obviously very intelligent, perhaps good enough to run for office on his own some day. Things get complicated once his relationship with intern Molly (Evan Rachel Wood) goes beyond the professional realm, and once Stephen is approached by the opponent's campaign manager, Tom (Paul Giamatti), who apparently thinks that it'd be a great idea if Stephen jumped ship and joined them. A lot of temptations, some of which may even be practical and beneficial. What to do?

The dynamics of Washington office life are portrayed with spot-on accuracy here, particularly in the sense of who's assigned to do what, who interacts with whom, who receives orders from whom, who is ignored by whom, etc. The fact that these details are captured so perfectly yet the film never loses its way as far as providing entertainment to those who either don't care or don't know much about the inner workings of the political realm is a great credit to the film. The fact that The Ides of March was released more than a year before the U.S. election is also a good sign that this film isn't at all meant to be an influential statement or commentary, but rather, that it just wants to entertain and perhaps inflame a bit as well. It's too bad that, in the final act, it all devolves into entertainment of the shameless variety, which will literally make it impossible for me to ever consider The Ides of March a serious political film, as much as that may be the intention. It wouldn't be far-fetched to at least say "bordering on ludicrous" when describing the stream of betrayals and last-minute decisions and changes that take place as the film starts tying everything up.

If that were it, I think I'd still be a little bit more generous to the film, but the problem is that there's something else - something truly unforgivable - that happens during one of the film's most pivotal scenes in the climax. I'll give you an idea without spoiling it for you, because it's only right that you're as outraged as I was when I experienced it. The film wants to point out the irony in terms of how there are certain acts that political leaders have been cruficied for, whereas there are other (clearly more heinous) acts, for which other political leaders haven't been held accountable. Yes, the insight is great. The film is absolutely correct. But holy fuck, it doesn't even try to be subtle in its delivery of that point. It doesn't even make the slightest of attempts at concealing its evident references to Clinton and Bush. When I heard that line, I was flabbergasted by how it was even possible that no one read the script and thought it stuck out like a sore thumb in terms of how obvious it's making its point. The fact that the line is delivered by an actor of the caliber of Ryan Gosling simply makes it even more off-putting. I've said this a million times in other reviews, but I have no problem repeating it: the fact that I agree with what a film has to say is of no importance. It's all about HOW it says what it says. If I agree with a film's point, but it delivers said point to us as if we were 5-year-olds who need everything spoon-fed to us, then the point is absolutely worthless. And that's because, when you try super hard to jam a point down someone's throat, it's never effective, because you lose any sense of credibility. I'm sorry to say it, but as much as I recognize The Ides of March for being an engrossing way to spend 2 hours in a movie theater, it's a film that had the potential to be much more than that, and it isn't.

Give credit to George Clooney for playing someone who's closer to a villain than a hero. As was the case with Good Night and Good Luck, though, it was obvious that he preferred to have a more supporting role here, in order to give himself more time to dedicate to his directing duties. The true lead of the film is Ryan Gosling, who's predictably very good at displaying all the swagger, stress and emotionally conflicted persona that would characterize a young talent on the Hill who may still have a thing or two to learn about the truly filthy nature of all the double-crossing that takes place in that world. That said, he has no business getting an Oscar nomination for this performance, and if that's indeed what happens, it'll be obvious as hell that the Academy simply chose to nominate him for the "safer" movie, despite the fact that his hypnotic performance in Drive is on an entirely different level. Evan Rachel Wood, whose performances I usually absolutely adore, is unfortunately stuck playing the character who's saddled with the most contrivances and hard-to-believe emotional shifts in the final act. The true standouts in The Ides of March are the serpentine Phillip Seymour Hoffman and Paul Giamatti, both of whom are magnificent at spewing the quick-witted bile that comes from men who've been on the Hill long enough to know all the tricks and to know that you can go up as easily as you can go down. Hoffman and Giamatti are perfect at playing the "I screwed you over, but it's obviously nothing personal" part. Oh, and someone apparently watched The Social Network and liked Max Minghella's rendition of a preppy douchebag well enough to ask him to show up on the set of The Ides of March and play the same character, and even wear the same suit. I guess there's no need to fix what isn't broken.

The Ides of March doesn't contain any new insight on politics or on the campaign process, but then again, one may argue that there isn't much more to say about it. It's all about bullshit and connections. For that reason, the film doesn't even offer up solutions on how to deal with political corruption: it just reminds you that it exists, and that you need to deal with it, and if you're one of those who simply doesn't care about the subject, that's perfectly fine (since you're under no obligation to like it), but don't forget that these people are severely affecting your life, and that some day, when something actually happens to you, you really might care. The film still had the potential to achieve greatness thanks to its authentic portrayal of the dynamics on the Hill and to its entertainment value, but in its latter half, it degrades itself too much for me to consider it anything more than a time-passing diversion.

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