Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Good Night, and Good Luck

The title of this film comes from the words uttered so stoically from the famous journalist and impeccable news man Edward R. Murrow at the end of each news cast. Actually, I don't know if that last part is true but I'm too lazy to look it up. I'm sitting in my boxers right now on my living room sofa. Its half past ten in the am. Anyway, when I saw the previews for this film and the famous quote uttered by actor David Strathairn I immediately thought we had an instant epic on our hands. One of those films that "has the people talking." To my dismay I was sadly mistaken, this film is anything but epic.

Of course, when referring to epic in the context of this review I do not have in mind films such as Gladiator or Braveheart or more underrated epics like Porky's Revenge, W@BII (Weekend at Bernie's II), or Happy Days the Movie: Happier, and Lovin' It! I had only in mind the power of an epic in the form of a Historical/Biopic.

My ass is gettn' cold so I'm going to get to the point. Where this movie fails is in delivering the power of the period and the individuals involved in the events that are portrayed in the film. The plot (so to speak) and drama of the film felt thin and written through too quickly. A just the facts ma'am approach seemed to be the style in which this film was written and directed. The development of the fear of McCarthy and Communism that gripped the nation seemed to be lacking. How powerful this fear was I don't know because these events were before my time but the writer and director felt it was important enough to make a film about it over fifty years later. McCarthy's presence needed to be felt in the film.

Besides being a balls of steel and highly principled journalist as the filmmakers want us to presume, who was E.R.M.? (I can abbreviate his name 'cause we cool.) What shaped ERM's integrity? I have enough imagination to run images through my head of what takes place inside the sixty minutes studio. I don't need an entire film showing me a bunch of dudes running around with papers in their hands yelling about the latest information on the story.
I want to say they were trying to make a film about the story itself, sticking to a style that ERM would have appreciated but that's fuckn' boring. Also, I hope to learn more about the people behind the history when I watch these films, with a little bit of a slant from the filmmakers. What is the point of retelling a story already told?

The film felt like a fast food stop while driving across Kansas, "Howdy folks, here's all you need neatly labeled and placed in order just like you've seen it before". I guess the film was as boring to me as I imagine a newsroom in the 30's to be not to mention when the film ended it left me with the same feeling I had after I jerked off this morning: That's it?

P.S. Maybe some of you will feel the same way after this review.



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