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Tag Archives: Peter Berg

Collateral Tom Cruise, Jamie Foxx, Jada Pinkett Smith, Mark Ruffalo, Peter Berg, Bruce McGill, Irma P. Hall, Barry Shabaka Henley, Javier BardemCollateral: an LA cab driver becomes involved in several murders when fate makes his next fare a contract killer. The casting in the film is great: Jason Statham makes a brief appearance (was disappointed he didn’t resurface), Javier Bardem as a sleazy crooked nightclub owner, and Mark Ruffalo is unrecognisable as a cop (“No way, that dude sounds just like Ruffalo”). There are moments of truly great acting from both leads: Jamie Foxx as a bumbling, almost special / OCD cabbie and Tom Cruise as a stone-cold, experienced, remorseless killer. The entire film’s shot at night, and set over one evening, which gives it a creepy atmosphere and haunting vibe; quiet streets, empty buildings, dark alleys… the lighting, photography, and locations (empty LA is as much a character as anyone else) are all out of this world – although because it’s shot at night, on digital, with such a high ISO it looks very grainy. It all feels quite grounded and immediate during the movie, keeping a steady pace and having a lot of suspenseful moments, but the end leans towards a generic (albeit tense) action movie finale. My only major issue was that loads of things were hinted at, but never explained, particularly with Cruise’s character – is there any point in creating decades of backstory if all you get is a slight glance at the end of a murder? Collateral is a film every bit as polished, planned, sleek and exciting as you’d expect from Michael Mann, and pulls of the thankless task of being a character-driven action film with great ease.

Score: 7/10

Collateral Taxi Tom Cruise, Jamie Foxx, Jada Pinkett Smith, Mark Ruffalo, Peter Berg, Bruce McGill, Irma P. Hall, Barry Shabaka Henley, Javier Bardemjpg

POM Wonderful Presents: The Greatest Movie Ever Sold: A documentary about the end-to-end process of product placement (co-promotions) in films; entirely funded from and advertised through said co-promotion. It’s an interesting topic for documentary, particularly for cineastes. The biggest pitfall is that this ends up (rightly so) having too much focus on promoting the brands that paid to be featured, and not enough real-world examples from directors, producers, writers or industry stories, scenes and techniques that would help the viewer spot when they’re being advertised too. There are a few moments where Spurlock brings you behind the scenes to see sponsors influence the film, and his creative process. There’s also a load of random agencies, lawyers, friends and ‘moguls’ getting free publicity/exposure too – which surely goes against the central idea? Bottom line; I wish the film had been bigger in scope and had attracted larger – more serious – sponsors, just to see the full wrath of contracts, obligations and the influence of cash. It’s a very interesting premise, with a couple of eye openers, but the potential’s not maximised enough to keep you interested for the full 90 minutes.

Score: 5.5/10