Posted by: reformedmusings | September 27, 2008

Eagle Eye and Burn After Reading

I’ve seen a couple of movies in the last few weeks, so I thought that I’d jot down some thoughts.

The best is Eagle Eye, which I saw yesterday. It combines almost non-stop action, complexity of threads, and a few classic plot lines in a compelling way. The adrenaline rush doesn’t stop until almost the very end. I’m hard-pressed to say more because for about the first half of the movie, you can see what’s happening but not why or who’s behind it. You are basically in the dark as much as those in the movie. There are clues, though…The plot combines three good movie plots into one story, but if I named all of those movies you’d know more than I want to tell. One that won’t give it away but lends some plot elements is the excellent Enemy of the State. And even when you find out the why and who, you spend the rest of the movie wondering with the characters how you can stop the seeming inevitable outcome. There are no loose ends or wasted scenes. Very well done.

The quality of the acting keeps up with the quality of the action sequences. The characters are critical to the plot itself, and their development comes naturally in that context. I believe they succeed in playing “every man” and so naturally draw you into the plot. What if it were you? Very engaging. There are some political comments/inferences occasionally (negative on the Patriot Act, which has been instrumental in keeping more Americans from being massacred by terrorists, to name one), but I just glossed right past them. They were but momentary distractions, superfluous to the story. Overall, Eagle Eye is probably one of the better movies of the summer, a go-see on the big screen.

I saw Burn After Reading last week. This one wasn’t true to its trailers in my opinion. Althought the movie could be classified as a comedy, it comes in as a very dark one. There are few straight-forward laugh lines. The dark comedic element derives from overall plot and its intertwined “coincidences”. Although it sports a number of big names, the characters all come across as wooden. The only one with 1/2 of a brain is the CIA supervisor who only appears twice in the movie but finishes the movie with probably the best lines in it. It’s simple a tale of personal greed, narcisism, and blame-shifting. There are no real “good guys”, but there is one relative innocent character who makes a big mistake. If this movie conveyed any message to me, it was to pick my friends and spouse carefully. You can wait to rent the DVD if you really want to see this one.



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