Now With More Than 3000 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 2500 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 MAKSQUIBS@yahoo.com . (Let us know if the TRANSLATE WIDGET works!) Or use the Profile Page or Comments link for contact.

Thanks for stopping by.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

THE FIFTH ESTATE (2013)

The saga of WikiLeaks, the hotly debated internet disclosure portal for government secrets, went from news-(back)story-of-the-decade to who-cares indifference by the time this Bill Condon film came out. What the heck happened? Old news? Lack of star power? Or did we never notice it was gone . . . or ever been around? A more likely answer is that Condon gussies up his material with so much obfuscating visual style and sotto voce dialogue mumbling, it’s all but impossible to follow the action; so worried about losing his audience with a dry run-thru of events, he overcompensates with technical dazzle when he should be clarifying action, characters & general import. As WikiLeaks head Julian Asssange, Benedict Cumberbatch comes off as such a self-regarding arrogant creep, you can’t imagine him gaining anyone’s trust, let alone a cult following. While his erstwhile partner, Daniel Brühl, makes no impression at all, a blob. (For a giddy moment or two, you think Laura Linney just might be playing Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Alas, she’s just a career State Department sort. Sigh.) Midway into the third act, the story focus narrows to follow the huge cache of US military info WikiLeaks got from Pvt. Bradley Manning and Condon figures he can drop the Attention Deficit direction without losing our interest. He’s right, the personalities & drama suddenly take hold. But it’s too little, too late.

WATCH THIS, NOT THAT: In the ‘70s, paranoid political thrillers were a genre unto themselves. Richard Condon (no relation to Bill) wrote the screwiest, never more so than his JFK Conspiracy slapstick-thriller WINTER KILLS/’79.

No comments: