May 5, 2009

All the review that's fit to print: State of Play

Writing this on the first day since Friday that I haven't had a migraine...

Saturday, I went to the show to catch State of Play, in which an ace newspaper reporter played by Russell Crowe investigates the connection between the death of a congressional intern and the power brokers on the Hill.

Let me skip to the end - or past the end, actually. When the end credits roll, they're accompanied by a series of lovely, un-narrated scenes showing the production of a newspaper, from film to metal plates to newsprint to the final product, as stacks of newspapers are loaded onto a delivery truck.

Coming at the end of this movie, those images sure felt like a requiem for newspapers. (Well, that, and the fact that in real life, every newspaper seems to be shutting down.) And for a few minutes, that was somewhat depressing. But then I got to thinking: Most newspapers suck, and they use up an awful lot of paper, which must kill a lot of trees, and I get all of my news online anyway, so never mind, I guess.

In any case, the newspaper for which Crowe's character writes, the fictitious Washington Globe - including its web site, reporters, editors, lawyers and all - plays a significant supporting role in the movie, and watching those credits, I couldn't help but think: This could end up being the last great newspaper movie ever made.

A few other quick thoughts about the movie before you get your world-famous six-word review:
1) I don't know anything about acting (well, other than what I learned in the audition scene from Waiting for Guffman), but it seems to me that no movie actor is having more fun right now - and in a good way - than Jason Bateman, who plays a sleazy, drugged-up Washington p.r. guy (which might be redundant), and makes him very entertaining to watch.

2) I still don't know anything about acting, but I do know that a lot of moviegoers pick on Ben Affleck. I also know that "picking up regional dialects" isn't exactly the first requirement for an Oscar, but the guy did a kick-ass job with his Philadelphia accent. It was very subtle, but it was consistently right on. And it really made me want to eat a cheese steak.

3) The movie featured this dude in a supporting role, which I like because he was in a few episodes of my current favorite TV show, House, M.D., and one of my favorite movies, Garden State. (In the latter, he's the young traffic cop who pulls over Andrew Largeman for speeding and then, realizing it's an old friend, asks if he seemed cop-y enough.) So I guess he sticks to movies with the word "State" in the title.

4) That same dude I mentioned in #3 wore an Orioles cap in most of his scenes, which I also like because it's probably about as well as the Orioles will do this year.

5) There were a few shaky plot points (the way that Crowe's character comes by photographs of the murdered intern was pretty ludicrous) and one that seemed tacked-on at the last minute (which I won't give away), but if you can do that suspension of disbelief stuff, they shouldn't derail the movie for you.

And now, after a long hiatus, it's the return of the Six-word Movie Review! (Wow, seriously? I think I just heard someone cheer outside my window.)
The film: State of Play
The six-word review: Implausible plot; a solid thriller anyway

Not related to any of that, here's your song of the day, guaranteed to make you smile. Unless you have a problem with all that is right and good in the world. And I know you don't because you're reading this goofy blog.


bugs said...

1) sounds fabulous to me! at least the sleazy drugged up part
2) oscar for a philadelphia accent - great idea - not really
3) ok
4) #3 & the orioles? connection? orioles will win 3 more games? they'll finish in 3rd to last? they suck. no chance they'll be in 3rd place.
thanks for the song - like it!
still won't see the movie.

JBhumitra said...

ive been dying to see this movie. some trivia for you:

1) brad pitt was originally cast in ben afflek's character but he dropped out.

2) the movie is based on a popular UK tv series - in my netflix queue right now.

drugged up sleazy washington pr guy - redundant indeed!

have you seen the soloist yet? im going to see it (and hopefully state of play too) this weekend.

GlutenGirl said...

I love Jason Bateman!! Seriously, when he was in D.C. filming State of Play I used to do laps around the parking lot where his makeup trailer was parked in hopes of seeing him. Love him. And yes, I know that makes me a stalker.

Your escalator operator said...

B - glad you like the song

J - good behind-the-scenes info. No, I haven't seen The Soloist, and not planning on it

GG - yes, kind of stalkerish. did you get to see him?