Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Fair Game

Fair game is the movie based on the true story of Valerie Plame and her exposure as a CIA operative when her husband Joe Wilson admonishes the Bush Administration for going to war in Iraq under false pretenses. Ambassador Joe Wilson is played by Sean Penn. I swear I watched the entire movie thinking, "Is that Sean Penn?" If he only would have said, "Whoa, Mr. Hand!", then I would have known who it was. Valerie Plame is portrayed by Naomi Watts. The story is well-known, especially if you haven't been living under a rock for the past 10 years. Plame is doing undercover work and communicating with operatives in foreign rogue nations. Joe Wilson is in touch with the international community and knows what's going on. When the Bush Administration says that they know Iraq has weapons of mass destruction and are working on a nuclear bomb, he goes on the record on many talk shows dismissing this false rumor. Scooter Libby, the trusted Bush aide, exposes Plame as a secret operative in retaliation. Through government intimidation (White House and CIA), the family is pushed to the brink of what any family can tolerate. Also starring in the movie are David Andrews as Scooter Libby, Geoffrey Cantor as Ari Fleischer, James Rutledge and Andy Card, and Sam Shepard as Sam Plame. Fair Game is 108 minutes long and is rated PG-13 for some language. I was afraid that this movie would have super strong liberal overtones and be anti-Republican, but they did a good job of presenting the facts as they were and not trying to spin it in any way. The movie was a bit slow, but not too bad. Overall I enjoyed this averagely. I will give it 3 stars.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

The Lost Weekend

I haven't reviewed an old movie in a while. So here you go. The Lost Weekend is the Academy Award-winning movie from 1945 starring Ray Milland and Jane Wyman. For those of you born after 1980, Jane Wyman was the first wife of former President Ronald Reagan. She also holds the distinction of being the only person to win an Oscar and marry a future President. That's quite an honor! Hillary Clinton never won an Oscar!

In this black and white classic, Ray Milland plays Don Birnem, a alcoholic writer who is left alone for the weekend. His girlfriend and brother try to do what they can to help keep him from drinking, but Birnem is a smart drunk. The movie follows him all weekend from buying more rye, going to the bar, reminiscences of the past, and a hospitalization. Birnem discusses taking his own life and mentions a gun he once had that he hocked for more money for alcohol.

The Lost Weekend was directed by the famous Billy Wilder and is an hour and 40 minutes long. The movie also stars lesser known (to me at least) actors such as Phillip Terry, Howard Da Silva, Doris Dowling, and Frank Faylen.

I definitely like classic movies and I have been trying to watch all of the Academy Award winning movies. Unfortunately, I have to say that this will not be on the top of my list of great movies from the era. The subject matter of the movie is serious, but it lacks an element of thematic drama (is that a real thing?) or maybe some subtle humor to keep the audience in tune.

The Lost Weekend wasn't bad, but it certainly wasn't the kind of movie I'll want to watch again. I'll give it just 3 stars.
My Zimbio