Sunday, October 17, 2010

Vantage Point

Pete Travis, 2008 (8.2*)

Getting it's inspiration from Kurosawa's Rashomon, this action thriller involves the President, William Hurt, being shot in the beginning of the film while appearing in public to address the crowd at an international summit in Spain. We are then shown the same event in small flashbacks from the points of view of various characters each with a different perspective and role in the crime.

We see the events unfold live at first from a CNN-type media command center, led by Sigourney Weaver as the director of the live tv newsfeed. Dennis Quaid plays the lead secret service agent on the site (Matthew Fox his assistant agent), and we begin with his viewpiont of the crime from eyewitness level. Before we are done, this gripping story is unfolded from the points of view of 8 characters, including the perpetrators and ground-level crowd eyewitness Forest Whittaker. We are eventually brought up to the present again, and the action continues forward from there.

Don't expect anything cerebral here, this film is about action, violence, stunts, and politics - as a book it would be called a 'classic page-turner'. The fact that it modernizes and politicizes Rashomon makes it worth seeing for classic film buffs, and it should also please the action-adventure crowd that enjoyed such films as The Kingdom, The Parallax View, and The Manchurian Candidate.


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These are the individual film reviews of what I'm considering the best 1000 dvds available, whether they are films, miniseries, or live concerts. Rather than rush out all 1000 at once, I'm doing them over time to allow inclusion of new releases - in fact, 2008 has the most of any year so far, 30 titles in all; that was a very good year for films, one of the best ever.

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