A fateful event leads to a job in the film business for top mixed-martial arts instructor Mike Terry. Though he refuses to participate in prize bouts, circumstances conspire to force him to consider entering such a competition.
Gino, an Italian-American shoe-shiner with a remarkable similarity to a certain mafia don, is paid to take the rap for a murder. Jerry, a two-bit gangster on probation, is given a chance ... See full summary »
Early 20th century England: while toasting his daughter Catherine's engagement, Arthur Winslow learns the royal naval academy expelled his 14-year-old son, Ronnie, for stealing five ... See full summary »
Simon Templar has no real family, no real home and Simon Templar isn't even his real name. Yet Simon Templar , also known as the Saint for his use of creating false identities using the ... See full summary »
Maverick Ranger Scott, known for ruthless, unorthodox methods but good results, is called in to help the secret service after Washington big whig's brat daughter is abducted while studying at Harvard. Scott quickly realizes the protection detail's prime suspect, her boyfriend Michael Blake, is innocent and dumped her for being a drug-addicted slut. Next he traces her to a bordello, only to realize the captors didn't realize who she is but simply recruited her for the Middle Eastern white slavery market, and are likely to dispose of her rather than confront her father. But instead of the support expected in such high-profile case, Scott gets orders to work in secret before the press catches on, and even finds his quest sabotaged. Written by
David Mamet incorporated a number of real life experiences from various U.S. special forces members for the production, including Eric L. Haney who had served in highly classified operations during his 20-year military career. Haney's experience included front-line combat units as a combat infantryman, as an Army Ranger, and as a founding operator within the elite Delta Force under Colonel Charlie Beckwith. These experiences helped Haney effectively serve as a technical advisor, weapons expert, and actor's mentor to Val Kilmer, ensuring that Kilmer reflected an accurate depiction of a special forces operative in every capacity. Haney retired as a highly decorated Sergeant Major, and his documented experience also includes security surveys, metro SWAT team arms training, oil company guard force management, executive protection, and the recovery of American children kidnapped and taken overseas. See more »
When Scott tosses the straw dummy to throw off the Sniper in the boat it lands with brown shoes on - when the scene cuts to him sitting behind the boat house he has on brown shoes and the dummy has on black ones. See more »
You had your whole life to prepare for this moment. Why aren't you ready?
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Directed well, some good acting, but certainly not flawless Mamet
David Mamet's Spartan had me leaving the theater thinking 'yeah, it was a good movie, some things I didn't understand'. Perhaps that's Mamet's intention- he's one of the reigning rulers of writers who use calculated, cool twists in storytelling- but I felt the moments in the film where I wasn't surprised so much by the turns taken. Not to say Spartan doesn't have some surprises (a few elements, such as a couple of deaths and a revelation or two which I won't put down here), and as a visual storyteller I got involved in the tension building with Val Kilmer's situation.
Kilmer, playing both mentor to training rangers and "worker-bee" to the United States government's special op's, is put on the case of the kidnapping of the President's daughter. It needs to be solved before the media grabs it, but it may not be that easy. Kilmer's Scott is a little more distant in tone and style sometimes, thinking of things to say to people that could border on a hack's cliche, yet Mamet isn't unforgivable in all the dialog. What dissapointed me were some of his choices in shots - he's not always as subtle as you might've thought in his cut-aways and use of music. While this is different territory in subject matter (dealing with a thriller on a political, topical scale), some of the tricks Mamet was pulling seemed stagey, and more predictable than he's known for.
Should people rush to theatres to see Spartan? Depends- for fans of Kilmer there's a lingering aura of understatement, concern, of a character who has been following rules his whole life, and it's not that bad. Derek Luke is a formidable supporting presence. Ed O'Neill strikes up some dramatic credit amid his post-Married with Children days. William H. Macy could've deserved a little more screen time to emphasize his importance to the story. And Kristen Bell is believable as the torn daughter. The script isn't rapid fire Mamet in delivery and tone, so it is at a pace that will dissapoint those who are looking for non-stop thrills. Maybe my grade is un-fair- the material does seek to be seen again- but I just didn't get that it was top-shelve stuff. B
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