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State of Play (Macdonald, 2009): Crowe, Affleck in investigative thriller

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State of Play (Macdonald, 2009): Crowe, Affleck in investigative thriller

Old 12-24-08, 04:07 PM
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State of Play (Macdonald, 2009): Crowe, Affleck in investigative thriller

Plot summary:
Oscar® winner Russell Crowe leads an all-star cast in a blistering thriller about a rising congressman and an investigative journalist embroiled in an case of seemingly unrelated, brutal murders. Crowe plays D.C. reporter Cal McCaffrey, whose street smarts lead him to untangle a mystery of murder and collusion among some of the nation's most promising political and corporate figures in "State of Play," from acclaimed director Kevin Macdonald ("The Last King of Scotland").

Handsome, unflappable U.S. Congressman Stephen Collins (Ben Affleck) is the future of his political party: an honorable appointee who serves as the chairman of a committee overseeing defense spending. All eyes are upon the rising star to be his party's contender for the upcoming presidential race. Until his research assistant/mistress is brutally murdered and buried secrets come tumbling out.

McCaffrey has the dubious fortune of both an old friendship with Collins and a ruthless editor, Cameron (Oscar® winner Helen Mirren), who has assigned him to investigate. As he and partner Della (Rachel McAdams) try to uncover the killer's identity, McCaffrey steps into a cover-up that threatens to shake the nation's power structures. And in a town of spin-doctors and wealthy politicos, he will discover one truth: when billions are at stake, no one's integrity, love or life is ever safe.


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Old 12-25-08, 01:53 PM
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Jeez, they forgot to get Russell Crowe's "good side" for the movie poster.
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Old 12-25-08, 02:21 PM
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I was really hoping the "Affleck" in the title was Casey.
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Old 12-25-08, 02:24 PM
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Originally Posted by PopcornTreeCt View Post
I was really hoping the "Affleck" in the title was Casey.
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Old 12-25-08, 02:26 PM
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Originally Posted by PopcornTreeCt View Post
I was really hoping the "Affleck" in the title was Casey.
Actually, so was I.
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Old 12-25-08, 02:55 PM
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This is the movie Brad Pitt dropped out of and his role went to Ben Affleck?
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Old 12-25-08, 03:24 PM
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No. Brad Pitt dropped out and his role went to Russell Crowe. Edward Norton then also dropped out and his role went to Affleck.
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Old 12-25-08, 04:28 PM
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Shit, it went from being a classic to being another proof of life.....
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Old 12-25-08, 04:34 PM
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I saw the trailer for this before The Day the Earth Stood Still yesterday. It looks good.
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Old 01-29-09, 07:59 PM
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Re: State of Play (Macdonald, 2009): Crowe, Affleck in investigative thriller

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Old 02-04-09, 01:34 AM
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Re: State of Play (Macdonald, 2009): Crowe, Affleck in investigative thriller

Mixed emotions about this one... really liked the BBC series (and highly recommend it for those who can get their hands on it). Just not sure how this will translate into a 2 hour movie without gutting it and "Hollywoodizing" it too much.

I just hope Affleck doesn't go into overacting "the bomb is in play" mode.
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Old 02-04-09, 01:43 AM
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Re: State of Play (Macdonald, 2009): Crowe, Affleck in investigative thriller

I'll see it.

It looks like I'm the only one who is an Affleck fan.
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Old 02-04-09, 02:32 AM
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Re: State of Play (Macdonald, 2009): Crowe, Affleck in investigative thriller

^I like Affleck.

I saw a new trailer tonight before Taken where he actually has more than one line of dialogue. Looks interesting.
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Old 03-11-09, 04:51 PM
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Re: State of Play (Macdonald, 2009): Crowe, Affleck in investigative thriller

International Trailer (scroll down)
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Old 04-15-09, 05:02 PM
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Re: State of Play (Macdonald, 2009): Crowe, Affleck in investigative thriller

Variety review:
Will "State of Play" be the last feature film to commemorate the physical printing and shipping of a big-city daily newspaper (as it does in almost ennobling fashion behind the end credits)? Is this also the last gasp for movies about crusading journalists, a tradition dating back to the early '30s? Whatever the answers, this efficient, admirably coherent thriller about reporters digging down to where politics and murder meet in Washington, D.C., has a wistful air about it as regards the fourth estate at a time when the profession is dangling by a thread. A tangy Russell Crowe performance and an intriguing story look to produce reasonable (box office) in wide release.
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Old 04-18-09, 05:45 PM
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Re: State of Play (Macdonald, 2009): Crowe, Affleck in investigative thriller

Saw this today and it definitely tries to be "All The President's Men". But, all in all, not a bad effort.

I must say that given the cast the overall acting is mediocre at best (especially Afleck). The only standout is Jason Bateman who has way too small a role IMO.
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Old 04-18-09, 10:27 PM
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Re: State of Play (Macdonald, 2009): Crowe, Affleck in investigative thriller

As a throwback to good old fashioned newspaper reporting (i.e., not the current online craze known as blogging), this film pays respect to investigative reporting and the diminishing importance of newspapers, which is becoming a dying artifact of the 21st century as news gets disseminated much faster through TV and the internet, but such speed and efficiencies come with its own set of perils, improper vetting and fact-check.

"State of Play" has a good solid cast, though most of the characterization is invested in Russell Crowe's character, Cal, who is an old school investigative newspaper reporter. Cal's friendship with Congressman Steve Collins (Ben Affleck) is tested when Sonia, a young female researcher on Collins' staff, dies under mysterious circumstances at a subway station, and then it's revealed that Collins was having an affair with the staffer, which threatens to undermine Collins' efforts to go after 3rd party militia-related contractor that profits from war and terror.

Obviously, Cal follows leads, and also has to contend with a staff blogger, Della (Rachel McAdams), in his investigation of Sonia's mysterious death since it involves Congressman Collins and Della dishes the dirt on the Hill on her blog. Through their unlikely pairing, Della comes to understand true gritworthy journalism, while living through some harrowing moments during her somewhat naive investigative efforts. The other strong pairing is Cal and Cameron (Helen Mirren), who is Cal's editor-in-chief for the newspaper, and Cameron just wants to stay viable by getting the scoop out in print, but Cal is always trying to get the story right, and struggles with keeping Cameron's deadlines at bay as the investigation takes quite a few twists and turns on the way to uncover the truth.

The film is a throw-back to potboiler journalistic thrillers of the 1970s, but through the prism of today's decline in newspaper circulation and readership. It's about fighting the good fight to stay relevant in spite of today's technological landscape in information transference to the general population. Be sure to stay through the credits.

I give it 3 stars, or a grade of B.

Last edited by Patman; 04-18-09 at 10:32 PM.
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Old 04-18-09, 11:28 PM
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Re: State of Play (Macdonald, 2009): Crowe, Affleck in investigative thriller

Plot sounds pretty much the same as the 6 year old BBC series with exactly the same name.
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Old 04-19-09, 12:04 AM
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Re: State of Play (Macdonald, 2009): Crowe, Affleck in investigative thriller

Because it was adapted from that BBC series, it said so in the end credits.
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Old 04-19-09, 05:57 PM
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Re: State of Play (Macdonald, 2009): Crowe, Affleck in investigative thriller

Originally Posted by Flave View Post
I must say that given the cast the overall acting is mediocre at best (especially Afleck). The only standout is Jason Bateman who has way too small a role IMO.
Did you have a hate on for Affleck going in to this? I thought everyone did a great job in this movie, including Affleck. Bateman was decent but Crowe and McAdams are running the show. Thought they were terrific, as was the movie. Great score, steady direction and well written script...the final twists don't play as great as they think they do, but other than that, I loved this movie. Really damn good adult thriller.
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Old 09-12-09, 11:01 AM
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Re: State of Play (Macdonald, 2009): Crowe, Affleck in investigative thriller

Just rented this. I wasn't expecting much, but i was overall impressed with this film. I thought Affleck did a decent job here. I think since Hollywoodland, Affleck has been on a nice mini comeback including this and his directing ability. Crowe was very good, even though it was hard for me to picture him as a journalist reporter at first. Adams i could give or take with her by the book role. I give it 3 stars.
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Old 09-12-09, 12:29 PM
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Re: State of Play (Macdonald, 2009): Crowe, Affleck in investigative thriller

Good movie. Nothing extraordinary, but definitely worth a rental. Still doesn't compare to the BBC miniseries in the slightest. Interesting how they used an international security/mercenary company in the film, whereas the BBC miniseries featured oil... perhaps the filmmakers felt oil companies were played out as stock "villains"? Feh.


I would say, if you like the film, DEFINITELY check out the BBC miniseries. Consider it an extended, much improved director's cut.
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Old 09-13-09, 06:00 PM
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Re: State of Play (Macdonald, 2009): Crowe, Affleck in investigative thriller

i heard this was pretty good. i love All the President's Men
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Old 12-13-09, 11:49 PM
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Re: State of Play (Macdonald, 2009): Crowe, Affleck in investigative thriller

Damn good investigative procedural.

Cast was solid, too.
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Old 12-14-09, 01:49 AM
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Re: State of Play (Macdonald, 2009): Crowe, Affleck in investigative thriller

Yeah finally got around to watching this one. A solid movie, nothing outstanding but worth watching a few times. Felt like it could've been longer...
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