Now With More Than 3600 Reviews! Go Nuts - Read 'Em All!!

WELCOME! Use the search engines on this site (or your own off-site engine of choice) to gain easy access to the complete MAKSQUIBS Archive; over 3600 posts and counting. (New posts added every day or so.)

You can check on all our titles by typing the Title, Director, Actor or 'Keyword' of your choice in the Search Engine of your choice (include the phrase MAKSQUIBS) or just use the BLOGGER Search Box at the top left corner of the page.

Feel free to place comments directly on any of the film posts and to test your film knowledge with the CONTESTS scattered here & there. (Hey! No Googling allowed. They're pretty easy.)

Send E-mails to . (Let us know if the TRANSLATE WIDGET works!) Or use the Profile Page or Comments link for contact.

Thanks for stopping by.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012


Everything about this L.A. based legal thriller feels intentionally retro, as if PRIMAL FEAR/’96 and JAGGED EDGE/’85 were the hot new films, and Hollywood was all abuzz for the latest Scott Turow. Well, why not? Roman Polanski showed how those old plot hooks could be repurposed by changing professions for THE GHOST WRITER/’10; with a template so familiar it shares a climactic ‘reveal’ with this film. But unless you fall for the characters or discover new angles in the familiar terrain, the plot twists can all be seen tailing you in the rear-view mirror. Sophomore megger Brad Furman knows it and tries playing the old L.A. noir games in sun-drenched locales, but he smooths off too many edges, wastes energy on fussy visual transitions and winds up dulling much of the threat. We jog along pleasantly enough, wasting time with a host of over-qualified actors looking for character hooks to play. (At times, everyone seems to be auditioning for some putative Elmore Leonard pic.) It would matter less if Matthew McConaughey, as a slick lawyer who doesn’t know he’s playing out of his league, could make good on the Paul Newman shtick. But keeping your shirt on and letting the camera highlight a few lines on a pretty face only helps the cause if you’ve got something new to show once the polish is removed.

WATCH THIS, NOT THAT: Paul Newman most famously played the ‘smart’ guy who doesn’t know he’s getting ‘played’ as the rising pool shark in THE HUSTLER/’61 and as a fading lawyer in THE VERDICT/’82. But he’s even better at the game as the smoothie businessman in the less acclaimed ABSENCE OF MALICE/’81.

No comments: