Sunday, January 15, 2006

Syriana (2005)

"Jeez, another damn Pinto goes up and they call this place civilized..."

Drama Thriller

Starring: George Clooney (Good Night, And Good Luck.; Three Kings), Matt Damon (The Bourne Identity; Gerry)

Directed By: Stephen Gaghan

Overview: The political tale of a Texas Oil company, a burgeoning new Emir, and a sinister CIA plot.

Acting: Matt Damon, George Clooney, off to a good start. I keep telling people: any film where a man hurts himself in a stunt so bad that spinal fluid comes out of his nose (Clooney), then it's bound to be a good movie. The acting in this is intense while still being professionally subdued. It's not overly dramatic, it's honest, with amazing direction.
Rating: 9

Cinematography: The intensity of the board room meetings or the high-noon politicking in the dunes is terrific. Palacial settings contrasted with underground terror torture rooms. There's lots for the eye in this, and even a couple of explosions for you action fans, not to mention torture and death. It's quite the visual spectacle.
Rating: 8

Script: Is it too complex? Perhaps to some. Is this one of those political thrillers you have to watch a couple times to get? Probably, and certainly if you're interested in all the subtle nuances. Does that make it a badly written movie? Certainly not. It's just really intelligent, and really deep.
Rating: 9

Plot: The story is all too real, frighteningly important in this day and age, and I really wonder how long Clooney we be a welcome actor / director in the land that he's dumped on twice this year (Good Night, and Good Luck.). This is a multi-layered story, with lots of important things going on all the time. Like Traffik, be in the mood for something thought-provoking.
Rating: 9

Mood: The mood didn't captivate me as much as I had hoped, but it's definitely intense without being too melodramatic, honest without any suspension of disbelief. Is it scary that we all know that oil and corruption go hand in hand? Yes. Very much.
Rating: 8

"Yeah but can it get me a beer?"

Overall Rating: 86% (Serious Politics)

Aftertaste: I think I wasn't in the mood for this one when I saw it in theaters, but I'd definitely see it again. My favorite side of things was the Matt Damon side, the business end, the "Fix your country and stop letting us dictate your behaviour" lessons. Man, this movie makes you think of bleak things to come. USA sucks...