Chris Salvaterra

Chris Salvaterra

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Good Night, And Good Luck Review


Excellent
One doesn't need much more of a reason to go to the movies than this: Edward R. Murrow taking on Senator Joe McCarthy (at the height of his power), crisp black-and-white cinematography, the clink of ice cubes over scotch, voluptuous clouds of cigarette smoke hanging in the air, a nation's conscience dangling in the balance. So it is with George Clooney's Good Night, and Good Luck, a film where the mood - just shy of too cool for its own good - sets the scene for Murrow, the patron saint of journalism, to cajole and castigate the audience in a time of complacency. It also has a great jazz soundtrack.

The story of the witch-hunt has endlessly retold, usually laden with the same self-satisfied 20/20 hindsight that afflicts stories of the civil rights movement, and fortunately Clooney and co-writer Grant Heslov see no need to go through it all again. With admirable precision, they've sliced away most all the accoutrements often used to open up the era for the modern viewer, ala Quiz Show. This is a film that takes place almost entirely inside a CBS studio and newsroom, with occasional trips to hallways, elevators, and a network executive's wood-paneled office. Once, they all go out to a bar. It's best in the studio, because that's where we find Murrow - incarnated with almost indecent accuracy by David Strathairn - looking and sounding like as though Rod Serling had decided to rejoin the human race, his manner clipped and astringent, cigarette cocked in one hand like a talisman warding off evil.

Continue reading: Good Night, And Good Luck Review

Ladder 49 Review


Excellent
Firefighter movies resemble westerns in the singular fact that I can see one decent one every five years or so and be completely satisfied. Ladder 49 happens to be an excellent flame jockey adventure, a stirring audience-pleaser that accurately captures the fear, fearlessness, and physicality associated with entering a burning room and, possibly, not exiting. Relatives of firefighters will embrace it lovingly, while the rest of us will appreciate its unquestionable sincerity.

At the same time, Ladder and its creators make no bones about the fact that the film is pushing our emotional buttons. It manipulates our heart strings and tugs at our tear ducts in its quest for inspirational cinema. Admittedly, it's a bit slick and overdone, but it's difficult to fault a picture that wears its intentions on its soot-stained sleeve and holds the serviceman position of firefighter on such a lofty pedestal.

Continue reading: Ladder 49 Review

Chris Salvaterra

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Chris Salvaterra Movies

Good Night, and Good Luck Movie Review

Good Night, and Good Luck Movie Review

One doesn't need much more of a reason to go to the movies than this:...

Ladder 49 Movie Review

Ladder 49 Movie Review

Firefighter movies resemble westerns in the singular fact that I can see one decent one...

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