Friday, November 04, 2005

Lord of War (2005) *Hidden Gem*

Ahhh, how nice, AKs riding off into the sunset...

Genre: Action Crime Drama Thriller (USA, France)

Starring: Nicholas Cage (Adaptation.; Matchstick Men), Bridget Moynahan (I, Robot; The Recruit)

Directed By: Andrew Niccol (Gattaca)

Overview: We follow an arms trader, from his humble beginnings in Brooklyn to the International circuit including Post-Cold War Ukraine and war-torn Sierra Leone.

Acting: The issue with Nicholas Cage is that he isn't for everyone. In this role he isn't hyper-himself, so even the rest of you people who don't like him (and I have no idea why), this is still going to have it's appeal. I mean Jared Leto, do I have to go on? The roles are well portrayed, the direction is great. Stop me when you've heard enough.
Rating: 8

Cinematography: At this juncture allow me to iterate the beauty and cinematographic genius of this production. Never had I expected such perfection from such a film. The opening credits scene is "the life of a bullet", the whole introduction to 'present day' is like looking through some photographer's portfolio, and it's half the movie. It would have gotten a 10 if it had gone like this for the entirely of the film, but some scenes just couldn't be so perfect.
Rating: 9

Script: "When arms traders go to war, there's never lack of ammunition."

The script astounded me just as equally as the look of the thing. This is not one of those tales brilliantly written for it's deep genius. Moreso it's the constant wit and quick-thinking style of the character's dialogue. When a movie makes me spark up at the words 10 times or so in 2 hours, I notice. Brilliantly written, from beginning to end.
Rating: 9

Plot: The story would not have been as good if half of it was not the tale of his rise. It's fast-paced, witty, entertaining, and the deep dilemmas don't truly rear their heads until well into the second half. It's like we're shown the wonderful world of arms trading, then a jolt of realization that this is not the glorious land of opportunity it seems to be (or is it?). Not too deep, but with a really, really poignant ending. Not to be missed.
Rating: 9

Mood: The music was very noticeable. As the times changed so did the music and the outfits. I did not miss the little historical references, and the fact that they name names rather than invent nations like in The Interpreter, we have a solid understanding that this is THIS world that these social and legal issues are truly ones that exist NOW. A nice touch of history with some light moments developing into the writer's final coup de grace.
Rating: 8

"Hey Bob? Think we can hang the Iron Curtain back up with this thing?"

Overall Rating: 86% (Oh My Lord!)

Aftertaste: There comes a time when the movie buff like me thinks to himself, "You know I can't watch every movie out there, but I'm willing to see more than the next guy to find those gems." Then sometimes you watch 'good' movies endlessly, and a few bad ones and you wonder if you're just losing interest in film. Am I becoming blasé, or am I just getting interested in other things? Then you see this kind of thing, the underrated, little known this-is-why-you-dig film. Why the best movies have the lowest fanfare? Lowest common denominator, I guess. It's stuff like this that reminds me why I do this.