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J. Edgar

J. Edgar Hoover (played by Leonardo Di Caprio) has been described as “the most powerful man in the world”  and this movie shows he was certainly one of the most powerful public figures in America. It is a very classy bopic of Hoover’s professional life, which depicts his first love “The Bureau”, his utter determination and passion for his work, his preparedness to do almost anything to achieve justice and his tenacious work to promote the importance and establishment the first forensic investigations and central collections of criminal records (including the significance of fingerprinting). His personal life is also explored – he is an enigma and most fascinating are his significant relationships – primarily with his mother (by Judi Dench) and his two closest associates Clyde Tolson (by Armie Hammer) and his loyal personal assistant Helen Gandy (by Naomi Watts).

Clint Eastwood has done an excellent job with this. He is one great director!  The camerawork is clean, the atmosphere he creates is excellent – he has blended archival footage with movie pieces very well to present a very moody story. I wasn’t a fan of Leonardo DiCaprio for quite some time, but his most recent works have all been very good and this is no exception – his is a superb portrayal of this complex but flawed man. Naomi Watts and Armie Hammer are also very good – my only concern is the “aged” make up – Dench’s has no problems, Di Caprio’s is good, Watts’ is acceptable … but Hammer’s is just not quite right. Is the movie too long?  I’m not sure – but I thought it was a great movie anyway – well done.

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Posted by on February 11, 2012 in Movies

 

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The Social Network

This is about the beginnings of the social networking phenomenon. We meet Mark Zuckerberg (played by Jesse Eisenberg) as a brilliant, but eccentric computer nerd at Harvard University in 2003. In the opening scene (stick with it, it’s chaotic but just try to follow the dialogue) Mark is summarily dumped by his girlfriend. To take revenge on her he creates an internet listing that rates the girls in the Harvard colleges. This is called Facemash and whilst the backlash gets him in a heap of trouble, it also sparks interest by the Winkelvoss twins, Cameron and Tyler (both played by Armie Hammer) who want to create a network of Harvard undergraduates. Zuckerberg agrees but develops his own Harvard network called The Facebook instead. To develop this further Mark teams up with his best friend Eduardo Saverin (by Andrew Garfield) to as an investor for the scheme. The story progresses through the court case mounted by the Winkelvoss twins to sue Zuckerberg, his own huge success with Facebook and the outcomes of each of his original business/personal relationships where friendship, loyalty, envy and competitiveness are played out. A great component of this is provided by Sean Parker (by Justin Timberlake) who is the creator of Napster and was an early supporter of Zuckerberg and Facebook.

Jesse Eisenberg is great in this role – perhaps not always someone you like, but really interesting character. The others are good too, Armie Hammer does the Winkelvoss twins beautifully, Andrew Garfield is great and Justin Timberlake does very well. The film is really interesting too – it’s based on the book ‘The Accidental Billionaires’ by Ben Mezrich.

 
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Posted by on January 16, 2012 in Movies

 

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