Sean Beaudoin

Enough excellent writing to fill a large tube sock

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Movie Review

State of Play dir. Kevin Macdonald — 4.8

A political thriller that is a remake of an excellent British television series in name only, this convoluted mash is unpredicatable primarily because it makes so little sense. The congressional affair/murder plot is ludicrous, muddled, and lazy. It does not a single thing convincingly except prove two irrefutable truths: 1. Ben Affleck is the least talented big name actor of his generation, who has never met a line of dialog he couldn't find a way to robotically shout, and 2. Jason Batemen is fantastic in small, smarmy roles. Helen Mirren does her usual Prime Suspect routine, respectable but wasted. For me, it's worth it just to look at her face for a couple of hours and remember fondly my 13-year old lust for her in Excalibur. Robin Wright Penn is her usual haggard, aggrieved self, and is also wasted. I'd love just once to see her play someone happy and well-treated. The ending is a total mess. And Russell Crowe looks like he's been eating a gallon of pudding an hour since Gladiator was released. It's disconcerting that procedural films like this are continually made, under the yoke of massive budgets and obligatory star turns, and are rarely anywhere near as good as even the weakest episode of The Wire.
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