A Beautiful Mind (2001) – Movie Review

A Beautiful Mind movie poster

Written by: Akiva Goldsman, based on the book by Sylvia Nasar
Directed by: Ron Howard
Starring: Russell Crowe, Jennifer Connelly, Ed Harris, Paul Bettany, Adam Goldberg

My Advice: Wait for Cable.

John Nash (Crowe) is a guy with ambition. Where his classmates, in his opinion at least, seem to keep coasting along and not making any breakthroughs in their respective fields–he wants to do something innovative in his chosen profession of mathematics. Trouble is, he’s not the most orthodox of mathematicians–or students. With only his roomate (Bettany) at Princeton to keep him relatively sane, he has to find that new idea–but with genius comes a terrible, terrible price.

This is a very puzzling movie, for it seems to fail to engage on any level–and I’ve been trying for a day or so now to figure out exactly where the blame lies. It certainly doesn’t fall on Crowe, who is doing such a bang-up job that at no point did I think, “Hey, it’s that guy from Gladiator!” He is one of my favorite chameleons out there, so no, we don’t want to smack him.

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By | 2011-11-08T09:03:47+00:00 December 29th, 2001|Reviews|0 Comments

Gladiator (2000) – Movie Review

Gladiator movie poster

Written by: David H. Franzoni, John Logan & William Nicholson
Directed by: Ridley Scott
Starring: Russell Crowe, Joaquin Phoenix, Oliver Reed, Connie Nielson, Richard Harris

My Advice: Don’t miss it.

Maximus (Crowe) is not an Autobot, he’s in actuality a Roman general, who is running out of non-Roman ass to kick on the European continent. He’s anxious to return to his wife and child and put his military career behind him. However, his emperor, Marcus Aurelius (Harris), calls upon him to undertake an important mission to bring Rome back to greatness–but this task will put Maximus directly at odds with Marcus’ own son, Commodus (Phoenix). And let me tell you, if there’s one thing you did not do in the Roman Empire, it’s get in the way of someone vying for the title of Caesar.

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By | 2011-03-23T15:54:55+00:00 May 6th, 2000|Movie Reviews|0 Comments

The Insider (1999) – Movie Review

The Insider movie poster

Written by: Michael Mann & Eric Roth, based on the Vanity Fair article “The Man Who Knew Too Much”
Directed by: Michael Mann
Starring: Al Pacino, Russell Crowe, Christopher Plummer, Diane Venora, Philip Baker Hall

My Advice: Don’t miss it.

Dr. Jeffrey Wigand (Crowe) has information that the tobacco companies don’t want shared. Lowell Bergman (Pacino) is a 60 Minutes producer who runs across Wigand almost by accident when trying to get some scientific cigarette jargon translated into English. But Wigand is itching to tell somebody what he knows. And Bergman wants it on 60 Minutes. And the tobacco companies want Wigand to shut the hell up. Conflict ensues? You betcha.

It’s refreshing to see a film that shows as heroes people who don’t have noserings, don’t have children with seventeen women, and don’t blow things up. Those things have their place in the cinematic spectrum, but they’re workaday now. It’s just nice to see a movie about real people. And “heroes” is perhaps too strong a word, when you consider that it carries with it connotations of being better than others. The two protagonists of this film aren’t necessarily better than anyone else; they just try to do what they think is the right thing. Even the character of Mike Wallace (a fantastic Christopher Plummer), who some thought would be portrayed in a bad light, is simply portrayed in a realistic light. The flaws are all there, for everyone involved, and to see all of their motivations running rampant over one another makes for an extremely engaging film.

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By | 2009-07-25T06:09:39+00:00 November 6th, 1999|Movies, Reviews|0 Comments