State of Play (DVD, 2009)
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Most relevant reviews
- cannonclubonlin...Oct 20, 2010by
Pulls together all the Elements of Mystery and Scandal
This film actually works. The thrill in thriller is there and it gets more interesting as it goes along. All the elements that are good in a film are snugly put together and are made believable with plenty of real emotion. Our director Kevin Macdonald, also known for his direction on The Last King of Scotland (2006), works extremely hard not to overblow the characterizations that we sometime see when intensity and stressful situations become present.
Russell Crow plays his part well because he feels comfortable playing an almost spitting image of what he would be in real life if he were actually this character in real life. I'm sure its hard to know how to play himself anyway since he has lived an extremely interesting life through film. How would I say that Crowe fits into this typical self appointed role as a newspaper reporter and pull it off? You know the type; the sloppy dresser, the chili cheese dog and hamburger combo orderer, the messy house, the disorder that normal people's lives revolve around because it appeases their on sense control and comfort.
His characterization takes on a real life meaning to him when Crow sings along with the song "The Night That Paddy Murphy Dies" in the opening scene of the film. The song is by Great Big Sea, a band from Newfoundland, Canada. Alan Doyle, Great Big Sea's lead singer, and Russell Crowe are known to be close friends. In previous years, Crowe has been spotted numerous times visiting the province of Newfoundland.
I was also completely impressed with the level of acting Helen Mirren, who played the Washington Post Managing Editor Cameron Lynne, was able to put on film with only 4 days of working on the set. That was the pinnacle of setting the tone for this film. Her hard nose approach to Cal MaCaffrey was on only upstaged by the fact that his professionalism in getting to the truth was embedded in his character regardless of brash ultimatums and unrealistic deadlines to produce a viable breaking press release.
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Although it was a wonderfully exciting resolution to wrapping up a tense film. Cal walks away from the article as she saws "Aren't you going to send it?" Cal tells Della that she can hit "Send", which insinuates that he wants her to feel good about helping bust the story wide open. However, by ostensibly sending the day's lead story direct to the composition room of a major metropolitan paper without anyone else editing the copy and scanning for misspellings and grammatical errors is totally fantasy. We have to then assume that they must know that Cal is so good at his job that he has never made a mistake such as this ever before, therefore, the assumption makes his character larger than life.
The article basically said, "3 Deaths Tied to Gulf War Army Associate New evidence links Rep. Stephen Collins with the suspect in the killings of three people, including Sonia baker, the congressman's political researcher. When confronted by the Washington Globe with information tying him to suspect Robert Bingham, Collins admitted he had directed his former Army associate to follow Baker after learning that she was secretly on the payroll of military contractor PointCorp. Collins, the chairman of the committee investigating PointCorp's government deals, said he authorized Bingham only "to observe" Baker. "He just did it," Collins said of Bingham. "He seemed more upset about what she was doing than I was."Read full review
- ckcswhffanSep 06, 2009by
Very good film
This is the first 2009 film release I have wanted to buy.
Bought it because I have been a fan of Russell's.
He did a great job with the character. Personal note, character first name is my father name is my fathers name. Wore blue shirts so same favorite color as my father.
Interesting story to follow. Just when you think you have the what is going on figured out it surprises you.
Helen did a good job even though her character basically just did 1 thing, get mad, say the new owners ONLY were interested in making money .
Now, you could see on the screen both Russell & Helen were perfect for their role, A list past Oscar winning actors.
Now, as we go. Affleck. Oscar winner but not for acting. He was ONLY passable IN THE ROLE OF THE Congressman. This role should have been given to another A list actor.
Robin, who starred in 1 of Russell's favorite films The Princess Bride you barely saw her & she could have phoned the role in, she slept walked through it.
It was disappointing this film did not do well at the box office. It should have.
As for the DVD. Nothing special about it. The HBO Making Of special & only 2 deleted scenes.
Yes, I know the film did not do well at the box office but it deserved a better DVD package.Read full review
- 520541619@delet...Oct 05, 2009by
State of Play
When his mistress is found dead, Congressman Stephen Collins played
by Ben Affleck (Dogma, Gone Baby Gone, Paycheck, Jersey Girl, Pearl
Harbor, etc) tries desperately to protect his name and career. As
jornalists Cal played by Russel Crowe (Cinderella Man, Master and
Commander, Gladiator, Body of Lies, etc) and Della (Rachel McAdams)
investigate further, they uncover an intricate web of lies that
stretches to the highest levels of power. Base on a BBC minie-series,
this intriguing polical thriller co-stars Helen Mirren, Robin Wright
Penn and Jason Bateman. The director of this movie is Kevin MacDonald
who has had two recent hits (The LAST KING OF SCOTLAND, TOUCHING the VOID,
etc) and seems to doing his best work as he gains more experience. This
movie continues that trend as he puts together an excellently acted
movie that is shot in best mode. If you like political thrillers and
suspense this is the movie for you. Even some action movie lovers will
enjoy this one. A very good movie that will give most people a very
good evening of entertainment.Read full review
- teppsnSep 16, 2009by
Very good 'who done it' crime drama
Russell Crowe stars as reporter who is working on the story of the deaths of two people. Rachel McAdams stars as an up-and-coming political blogger who is assigned the story of the death of a women linked to a congressman played by Ben Affleck. These two stories appear to be completely unrelated until Cal McCaffrey (Crowe) discovers a link.
This story goes on from there to become a great who done it that is full of action and leaves you guessing what will happen next.
All the actors involved give a great performance and the directing is excellent.
If you are into good crime dramas than this one is a must see.
- cjsrifeJun 05, 2010by
is that legal
MY WIFE AND I WATCHED THIS DVD.IT IS INTENSE.RUSSEL CROWE DOES AN OUTSTANDING JOB IN THE TITLE ROLE.YES BEN AFFLICK IS IN IT BUT HE SEEMS NOT AS OUTSTANDING AS RUSSEL IS.EVERYTHING TIES IN TO THE PUZZLE.YOU EVEN WONDER AFTER IT IS OVER IF CROWE WAS GOING FOR THE TRUTH OR THE STORY.IF YOU LIKE MOVIES DEALING WITH THE BACKHANDED DEALS OF WASHINGTON.IF YOU LIKE TO SEE THAT THE FREEDOM OF THE PRESS CAN BE SUPPRESSED.IF YOU CAN THINK IT ABOUT WASHINGTON THAT THEY WOULD DO ANYTHING FOR A COVER UP THAN THIS IS RIGHT THERE WITH YOUR THINKING.THE MILITARY IS ENVOLVED.TRYING TO EVEN A SCORE WHEN SOMEONES LIFE WAS SAVED.YOU DO NOT SLEEP WITH THE POLITICIAN'S WIFE WHOM YOU ARE WORKING WITH THE HUSBAND TO BRING DOWN CORRUPTION IN POLITICS..IT HAS A FAST PACE.DEADLINES TO MEET.INJUCTIONS TO SUPPRESS A EVIDENCE.YOU SEE THE ARRAGIANCE OF SENATORS ONCE THEY ARE IN POWER.I WOULD GIVE THIS MOVIE A 9.5.I HAVE NOT SEEN A MOVIE WITH RUSSEL CROWE BEFORE BUT HIS PERFORMANCE MAKES YOU WANT TO GO GET ANOTHER CROWE DVD.Read full review