Andrew Hauptman

Andrew Hauptman

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State Of Play Review


Good
Big government getting in bed with corrupt private conglomerates. The fresh-faced Congressman hell-bent on bringing said scandal to light. The uncovered infidelity which threatens his power base, and the crumpled investigative journalist who must resolve his personal interest in the story with the legitimate needs of the press and his own corporate bosses. This should be the basis for a crackerjack thriller -- and it actually was when BBC scribe Paul Abbott crafted the six-episode series State of Play back in 2003. As with most successful foreign exports, Hollywood came calling, and now we have the big screen version starring Russell Crowe, Ben Affleck, and Helen Mirren. Instead of expanding the suspense, however, this ragtag, routine experience is effective, if perfunctory.

When the research assistant to brash young House member Stephen Collins (Affleck) dies in a mysterious accident, the press has a field day with the politician's possible adultery. Naturally, the Washington Globe and its crack staff, including reporter Cal McCaffrey (Crowe), blogger Della Frye (Rachel McAdams), and editor Cameron Lynne (Mirren), are exploring every angle. But there's a catch. You see, McCaffrey and Collins were college roommates, and they've maintained a strong friendship ever since. They've even shared the affections of the Congressman's current wife Anne (Robin Wright Penn).

Continue reading: State Of Play Review

Lions For Lambs Review


Weak
Lions for Lambs is an op-ed piece masquerading as a motion picture, a candid and cynical lecture series that indicts any institution remotely connected to the ongoing Iraqi conflict. The sentiments expressed should trigger discussions, but they don't add up to an interesting movie.

Earlier this year, screenwriter Matthew Michael Carnahan pressed similar buttons with his Middle East muscle thriller The Kingdom. He uses his current pulpit to chastise the Bush administration for blindly leading America into a winless war; the national media for blindly following our leaders in the weeks, months, and years following September 11; and Generation Y for retreating to its PlayStation consoles as opposed to penning protest letters to local politicians.

Continue reading: Lions For Lambs Review

Safe Men Review


Very Good
See what Sam Rockwell and Steve Zahn looked like before they both let their hair go insane. This very little-known (and just plain little) indie comedy is extremely witty and often perverse. Even without the humor, the film is worth seeking out to see all the other roles by up-and-comers (at least at the time), including Paul Giamatti and Mark Ruffalo. The nutty premise involves two wannabe singers (Rockwell and Zahn) who are mistaken for safecrackers and threatened into doing a series of safecracking jobs. Not a single serious moment ensues. Excellent.

Millions Review


Excellent
You're a preteen growing up in the United Kingdom, and you just stumbled upon the loot from a bank robbery. What do you do? Tell your father? Keep it a secret? Contact the police? Give it to charity? Go shopping? Well, whatever you're going to do -- be fast, because in less than a week, the UK is switching to the euro, which will render the money useless.

Welcome to the dilemma in which Damien (Alexander Nathan Etel) and Anthony (Lewis Owen McGibbon) find themselves after moving to a developing British subdivision with their father (James Nesbitt) shortly after their mother passes away. Damien discovers the loot one afternoon as he watches trains pass while inside his homemade cardboard box hut. A spiritual young lad obsessed with famous saints, Damien believes the money is a gift from God; therefore, he wants to give it to charities and poor people. When Anthony finds out about the money, however, he has other ideas for the money...

Continue reading: Millions Review

Safe Men Review


Very Good
See what Sam Rockwell and Steve Zahn looked like before they both let their hair go insane. This very little-known (and just plain little) indie comedy is extremely witty and often perverse. Even without the humor, the film is worth seeking out to see all the other roles by up-and-comers (at least at the time), including Paul Giamatti and Mark Ruffalo. The nutty premise involves two wannabe singers (Rockwell and Zahn) who are mistaken for safecrackers and threatened into doing a series of safecracking jobs. Not a single serious moment ensues. Excellent.
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Andrew Hauptman Movies

Lions for Lambs Movie Review

Lions for Lambs Movie Review

Lions for Lambs is an op-ed piece masquerading as a motion picture, a candid and...

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Millions Movie Review

Millions Movie Review

You're a preteen growing up in the United Kingdom, and you just stumbled upon the...

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