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Old 06-20-06, 10:08 AM   #1
JimKF
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DVD Talk review of 'Syriana'

I read Preston Jones's DVD review of Syriana at http://www.dvdtalk.com/reviews/read.php?ID=21986 and... I wouldn't compare it to Traffic. At least Traffic had a plot and characters you could follow. I saw Syriana in a theatre and noticed people in the audience scratching their heads trying to understand what was going on. I'm a screenwriter and I couldn't follow the plot. I was told there is no plot because the characters don't know what the plot is. This makes it a great movie? Clooney was excellent as the only character you could follow and understand, but the movie itself is highly overrated. Rent it before you buy it.
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Old 06-20-06, 10:13 AM   #2
soonercineaste
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I wouldn't compare it to Traffic either - what I wrote was that doing so was a glib comparison and one that other critics had made at the time of its theatrical release. Structurally, the films have a lot in common and it's impossible to ignore that with Gaghan's involvement in both films, there's bound to be a few similarities.
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Old 06-20-06, 10:25 AM   #3
DonnachaOne
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I, too, write screenplays. I, too, could follow the plot. I, too, compare the film to Traffic.

Is it edited to within an inch of its life? Sure. Gaghan takes the whole Goldman "start the scene as late as you can, leave as early as you can" thing a bit far - it doesn't seem like anyone has time to breath - but the tight structuring, character development through action and pace can't be ignored.

One of my faves for 2005.
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Old 06-20-06, 04:28 PM   #4
Willh51
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If you get it at Best Buy it comes with a bonus disc that is packaged inside, ala two disc releases. Essentially my Syriana is a two disc edition, which is nice.
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Old 06-20-06, 09:29 PM   #5
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Quote:
Suggesting that our country's near-drunken dependence upon foreign oil has led to such pervasive corruption and greed (not to mention being mired in a war with no real justification and no end in sight) isn't what makes Syriana compelling, it's the stark clarity of Gaghan's righteous fury.
Preston Jones has been drinking the same water as George Clooney, Michael Moore, and Al "The Sky Is Falling" Gore. Our country isn't dependent on foreign oil out of choice -- we're forced to depend on it because the Democratic Party hamstrings any alternative. Dig on our own land? Nuclear energy? No and hell no, respectively. I growned audibly when I read Jones' line about Gaghan's righteous fury! Bah! Righteous fury would be a film narrated by an ordinary American who is fed up with the liberal's proudest achievment -- the systematic fork-in-head ritual on America's unborn children.

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Our need for gasoline outweighs our concerns about the global impact it has consider this film a very timely (and yes, slightly biased) reminder.
I for one am very concerned about the global impact, but Gaghan misses the point. The scary global reality is that we put ourselves at the mercy of regimes who can't wait to take a turn flying planes into buildings on our soil. I may finally swear off any and all George "The Clown" Clooney films... except O BROTHER, WHERE ART THOU... no one can take that away from me.
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Old 06-20-06, 10:04 PM   #6
Wick
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My friend works at a video store, so he was able to rent this last night. We watched it and both liked it. It's a good movie and it's definitely worth watching. I've actually never seen Traffic (although I blind-bought the Criterion, I've yet to watch it. I need to.) So, I can't compare.
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Old 06-21-06, 12:54 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DonnachaOne
Is it edited to within an inch of its life? Sure. Gaghan takes the whole Goldman "start the scene as late as you can, leave as early as you can" thing a bit far - it doesn't seem like anyone has time to breath - but the tight structuring, character development through action and pace can't be ignored.
I am going to (once again) agree with your statement! You make a great point

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Old 06-26-06, 03:59 PM   #8
Shack
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Willh51
If you get it at Best Buy it comes with a bonus disc that is packaged inside, ala two disc releases. Essentially my Syriana is a two disc edition, which is nice.
I saw this today at BB but didn't get it. Can you tell me what's on the bonus disc? Thanks.
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Old 06-26-06, 04:35 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Windbreaker
And on another note...




I didn't get the "anger" that Mr. Jones referenced in his review. Certainly, Syriana deals with an important subject, but I don't see it as biased. The movie is not about oil as much as it is about oil in the Middle East, a very important distinction. Sure, Gaghan could've had a Traffic-like scene where a bunch of Beltway talking heads give out their opinion during a cocktail party (a masterful touch, I thought), but it's a pity to repeat the same cinematic trick.

Syriana offers no resolution or advice on the problems we have. Even during press junkets Mr. Clooney said something to the effect of, "This movie is about oil and how we don't have a solution to the problems it creates. We know two things: it's going to run out, and it's going to make people a lot of money. We just don't know when or how much."

If Syriana is angry, it is angry internally, which is mirrored in Alexandre Desplat's masterful score, essentially a single ticking bass line that pulses throughout the entire film.

I thought it was better than Traffic myself.
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Old 06-26-06, 04:42 PM   #10
purplechoe
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This "lefty" movie was much better than "The Constant Gardner", but still a dissapointment, a poor man's "Traffic" wannabe. It was a good rental, but the film was too all over the place, in a way that just did not worlk very well for this movie. And how in the hell did Clooney get an Oscar for this? Did he fuck most of the guys and ladies in the academy? Jesus Christ Almighty!!! His performance was so mediocre and forgetable as was the film, even though it's not terrible.

Is there anyone working in Hollywood that has "wisdom"? I know these people are pretty smart and all, but they are lacking one thing: WISDOM, especially when they are making the so called "smart political" films.

This political message was brought to you by an intelectually honest democrat.
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Old 06-26-06, 05:45 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by purplechoe
And how in the hell did Clooney get an Oscar for this?
I like Clooney, but I agree this wasn't his best.

In a world where Crash wins best picture, all bets are off.
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Old 06-26-06, 05:55 PM   #12
Windbreaker
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It was a good rental, but the film was too all over the place, in a way that just did not work very well for this movie.
I've heard this SO many times. THE INSIDER is very good social/political flick, even though I heartily disagree with the message that we should be out to get the cig companies for killing us off. Liberals can earn a living too, but I wish there'd be some more intellectually honest films to watch.

Clooney is such a nut that I don't trust any of his movies anymore. He's on a whining rampage. I now have to re-name my Zero-To-Tom Cruise scale after GC.
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