The Interpreter, a review by addicted2dvd
Nicole Kidman as Silvia Broome
Sean Penn as Tobin Keller
Catherine Keener as Dot Woods
Jesper Christensen as Nils Lud
Yvan Attal as Philippe
Earl Cameron as Zuwanie
Academy Award® winners* Nicole Kidman and Sean Penn star in the action-packed thriller, The Interpreter. In one of the hidden corridors of power at United Nations headquarters, translator Silvia Broome (Kidman) overhears a potentially explosive secret about a planned assassination attempt. But when federal agent Tobin Keller (Penn) investigates her claim and digs deeper into Silvia's dangerous past, he begins to question whether she is a victim – or a suspect. From Oscar®-winning† director Sydney Pollack comes the riveting, edge-of-your-seat story of international intrigue that Ebert & Roeper give "Two thumbs up!"
*2002 Best Actress, The Hours. 2003 Best Actor, Mystic River.
†1985 Best Picture and Best Director, Out of Africa.
My Thoughts:This one I enjoyed quite a bit. It is a little on the slow side for my normal taste... but it worked for this one. The story kept my attention through-out. Even if it could have been a little shorter. I am not very good when it comes to accents... but something seemed a little off with Nicole Kidman's accent in this one. Otherwise I thought she did a terrific job. Sean Penn is usually pretty hit or miss with me. In this one I thought he did a very good job. Over-all I found it to be a very good movie. One I feel more then comfortable recommending. Though it is also one I can't see myself watching too often.
Out of a Possible 5
(From Alphabet Marathon: The Unwatched Version on September 17th, 2011)
Eastern Promises, a review by Jon
3 out of 5
David Cronenberg used to be a bit too surreal for my tastes, but then he teamed up with Viggo Mortensen and adapted John Wagner's graphic novel, A History of Violence. It was quite brilliant. The story suited Cronenberg's regular plot themes of family, as well as his visceral style that make all his movies so memorable. The result was as sharp as it was grimy. And so I've been looking forward to Eastern Promises for a very long time. It's wrong to expect Another History of Violence, but still, this was a crashing disappointment.
The story concerns the Russian Mafia in London and their sex trafficking activities resulting in an raped girl dying as she gives birth. A nurse (Naomi Watts) wishing to protect this child, crosses paths with the imposing Russian gangsters and in particular, a driver (Mortensen).
It's a very noble story and a neglected element in movies (aside from Boris the Blade in Snatch!), but writer Steven Knight seems to treat it a little too noble and it comes off like a TV movie, or even a Newsnight investigation. There's plenty of intrigue, but it all comes to nothing. It's predictable and worst of all, there's no peril. Watts is great as the nurse, but there's little for her to do other than grimace bravely and I never felt like anything was going to happen to her. Going into it, I had the impression that Viggo may provide the threat, but sadly, he like everything else in the movie is full of hot air.
(click to show/hide)
In fact, the twist for his character puts paid to any repeat viewings as it proves he was protecting her and her family to the point nothing could happen!
Not to take anything away from him. He is incredible; a commanding presence covered in tattoos and attitude. I also can't blame Cronenberg, because he simply had nothing to work with, apart from one saving grace: a naked Mortensen in a viscous bloody sauna fight. It's a fantastic scene, bravely played by the actor and vintage Cronenberg. It's amongst the best scenes of the year and earned the film a whole extra star for my money. So sad most of the audience will be asleep by the time it comes around.
But for that scene, this movie belonged on TV. Sunday night, probably. Thinking about it, Kinight's previous film (Dirty Pretty Things) is very similar, but it at least had a sense of surrealism to lift it out of the doldrums.
Big missed opportunity. Cronenberg and those characters could have had something to match A History of Violence. Instead we got a Crimewatch reconstruction; very real, but in the movies, you need a bit of exaggeration to keep the attention.
The DVD is light on extras, but Viggo's interview is interesting as he talks about his intricate tattoos and the explicit meanings in the Russian crime world and prisons.
(From Eastern Promises on June 25th, 2008)
Tom's TV Pilots marathon, a review by Tom
Monty's Python's chief weapon is surprise. And silliness. Their two weapons are surprise and silliness. And men in drag. Their three weapons are surprise, silliness and men in drag. And bizarre animation. Their FOUR chief weapons... Oh, bloody hell.
As young men, Graham Chapman, John Cleese, Terry Gilliam, Eric Idle, Terry Jones and Michael Palin showed tremendous promise as gifted comic artists. Then they created Monty Python's Flying Circus - very possibly the most tragic waste of Oxbridge education ever broadcast. If your television ever produces the sight or sound of rich drama or accomplished acting, there is most assuredly something drastically wrong with your set.
But it is clear: no programme in the history of television has brought such enlightenment to the common man. Monty Python's Flying Circus provides a veritable university education in cultural literacy - tailored, of course, to suit those not quite done with evolution.
The world will never forget Monthy Python's Flying Circus. But perhaps, someday, we'll forgive.
Monty Python's Flying Circus
1.01 Whither Canada (1969-10-05)
Writer: Graham Chapman (Writer), John Cleese (Writer), Eric Idle (Writer), Terry Jones (Writer), Michael Palin (Writer)
Director: Ian McNaughton
Cast: Graham Chapman), John Cleese), Eric Idle), Terry Jones), Michael Palin), Carol Cleveland), Terry Gilliam)
A classic. Especially great during the first two series. My favorite Python is John Cleese.
(From Tom's TV Pilots marathon on June 9th, 2012)