Indochine's Top Shelf

Oct 2011
Aug 2011
Jul 2011
Jun 2011
Mar 2011
Feb 2011
Jan 2011
Dec 2010
Nov 2010
Oct 2010
Aug 2010
Jul 2010
May 2010
Apr 2010
Mar 2010
Jan 2010
Dec 2009
Nov 2009
Oct 2009
Sep 2009
Jul 2009
May 2009
Apr 2009
Nov 2008
Oct 2008
Oct 2011

Ides of March - Entertaining Politcal Thriller

When did everyone get so cynical? Repeatedly in reviews of this movie, you see critics say something like, "Not a bad movie, but tell us something we didn't already know about American politics." If this is what we already know - if it really is this down and dirty - then we might as well just all give up and stop voting now. Personally, I found The Ides of March highly entertaining and unpredictable. George Clooney is especially appealing as an all-the-right-answers presidential candidate, as is Evan Rachel Woods as the sexy intern at his headquarters. (Woods really steals the show.) Ryan Gosling continues to be underwhelming to me in movies (see "Drive"), but it was particularly unwise to put his brand of blandness right there beside the blinding star wattage of Clooney. Not a good move at all. Oh, and while Philip Seymour Hoffman does that thing he always does in movies where he's really emphatic and his hair flops around during his colloquies, this movie just affirms he's one of the best actors in the business (same goes for Paul Giamatti).

There are a number of smart, good beats in The Ides of March (pay attention to the cell phone snafu between Woods and Gosling in the hotel room), so it's almost certain you will walk out of the theater with a feeling of satisfaction in having chosen something intelligent. The only thing I didn't care for was the last couple scenes where Clooney attempts to drive home the tragic unraveling of Gosling's moral center. It felt too heavy handed, like Clooney was screaming at us "This is an important movie!" which, of course, has the opposite effect.

Bookmark and Share

Why I Like "Moneyball" (Despite Not Being a Baseball Fan)


In addition to having a great soundtrack by Mychael Danna...

And a nice performance by Brad Pitt...

And an even better performance by Jonah Hill...

The movie is about a guy who failed (relative to his potential) for a decent portion of his life and somehow managed to turn it all around. In that way, Moneyball reminded me of "Jerry McGuire" in that you have a big-name actor like Brad Pitt playing someone who is essentially a loser pretty convincingly, which is entertaining in and of itself.

Billy Beane was considered by many to be one the most promising players to baseball when he was recruited out of high school in the 80s. But in his professional career he languished and never lived up to the hype. Adding insult to injury, he had turned down a scholarship to Stanford for a big paycheck. Then, right there on center stage, Beane failed for nearly 10 years before retiring from pro baseball to become a GM. And even as a GM for the Oakland As, victory eluded him. That is, until he hooked up with Jonah Hill's (fictional) character and started employing sabermetric principles which value players based on a complex mathematical formula rather than for their stadium appeal and good looks.

This movie was re-written by Aaron "The Social Network" Sorkin, and it has the same feel as the Facebook film. You will definitely leave the theater inspired. I may even check it out again this weekend. Happy Thumbs way up.

Bookmark and Share