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|Index||39 reviews in total|
This is no James bond.This has nothing to do with superheroes and supervillans(except the part with GOOD USA vs. EVIL SOVIET UNION).Its a gripping spy drama for the masses and the same time for the history buffs.The performances are very good on the behalf of Alfred Molina,Chris ODonnel and Rory Cochrane.Alessandro Nivola seems a bit out of pace.The real treat comes from Michael Keaton who goes stainless in his role.The action sequences and special effects are some of the best quality and i rate it just after band of brothers in the series branch.The show has a plus for the moments where the language of certain nationals is respected(the Russians speak Russian ,the Hungarians speak the Hungarian and the mobsters are so Sicilians).The big budget of the series is put to good use and the places you see in the movies are the ones where the things actually happened.There are little flaws for an epic of such proportions.I sense no TV feel in the image,sets,performances etc. so i must give this show a 10!job well done!
Having read the book, I feel that the screenwriter did a magnificent job in conveying the story & characters. Almost 900 pages of a very complex novel were captured in a clear, understandable way. Michael Keaton's performance in particular, was as my husband said, "Awesome". This is no surprise to us because he has always been so versatile. I noticed that although some of the scenes in the book could have been shown as they were written, very graphic & difficult to watch, they instead played to our imagination, which for me, is enough, & pointed out the Class of this presentation. Too many stories on TV are played for sensationalism, without regard for the viewers' sensibilities. I can see Emmys in this series' future.
Where to begin. The performances in the show are quite good the action is established and the historical aspect of the show is right on in most respects. The cast includes a few veteran actors and a few younger actors. Rory Cochrane from CSI Miami, and Chris O'Donnell from the Batman* movies and the Bachelor are cast in very good roles. Followed by Alfred Molina and Michael Keaton taking on the leading roles, who I might add fit there roles perfectly. Having only seen the first of the three episodes and watching the preview for the next two I see that the show will go on only to get better with the addition of even more actors and cameo's from some of my personal favorites the outlook is good. In my opinion espionage has never looked so good.
Michael Keaton's performance is spellbinding, astounding. I couldn't believe what I was watching. When he's on screen, he lifts the piece onto a wholly different level. Unreservedly worth watching for his screen time alone. The unnerving atmosphere he creates happily offsets the unfortunate mawkishness that marrs parts of the Berlin and Budapest stories. Alfred Molina also deserves praise for a strong, gutsy performance as a permanently booze-fueled, no nonsense old time field commander. Production values are pretty high for a television series - Ridley Scott's production presence no doubt helped on that front - and the post-war look and atmosphere of the Berlin sequences is particularly well realised. But this is unmistakably Keaton's tour-de-force.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
What I like especially about THE COMPANY is, that the three episodes
are very well paced and that each reflects a different movie genre.
The first episode is a romantic thriller in which the main character falls in love with a German ballet dancer that provides the CIA with information. However, as often in spy movies, this love can't last and will haunt the protagonist until the end of his life. The second part is again involving romantic relationships, however this time the story is much more action dominated - this part I would say is an action thriller. I was fascinated by the way the filmmakers narrated the Hungarian Revolution and also how they were able to capture the emotions of the people involved in Cuba in such a short time. The third part then again is a first class espionage thriller that concentrates on deception amongst trusted allies and how betrayal can make a man loose trust in his own instincts.
I loved every second of the preview I was lucky to attend!
I thought that The Company was brilliant!! I enjoyed all 6 hours of the mini series!! When was the last time a movie(series) revolved around such an event as The Bay Of Pigs?? I know I haven't, and it's probably because it was a huge flop as a tactic and made the U.S and JFK look foolish. Plus the series doesn't just focus on one aspect of U.S. and world history, it focuses on the CIA's involvement in The Cold War from just after WWII, until the early 1990's, which entails a huge portion of 20th century history. The Company involved so many important world events that it in my opinion, it far surpassed any other movie/series of its kind. These days all of the movies are about much more physical wars such as Pearl Harbor, Letters From Iwo Jima, Saving Private Ryan, etc. It's just really refreshing to see a movie/series that is not just so unique in it's composure, but also shows the opinions of the "war" from both sides.
There is a book by the name of "The Sword and The Shield," which
details all the historical gaps that this movie may leave out. I
haven't read the book titled "The Company," which this film is based
on. However, this book (The Company) and the likewise named mini-series
will probably be the best telling of the historical account in video
format. For any Cold War buff and espionage fanatic who is familiar
with the true workings of the NKVD to the KGB, they will be pleased.
This film is no James Bond type cold war thriller. After all, could you really detail the exploits of 50 some years of history in a 2 hour spy film? The main plot and character's names of this mini-series are on par with the facts that history reveals to us. To anyone who is intimately familiar with the Cold War and the espionage struggles between the Soviet Union and the USA, you will find this mini-series extremely accurate. But more so, you will find this mini-series entertaining.
The bottom line is that, this is an entertaining production that holds true to a majority of the facts. If the Cold War and real spy stories are entertaining to you, then it's suggested that you view this mini-series. Not only will the "uninformed" viewer enjoy this mini-series, but the historian will also enjoy how this mini-series doesn't vary far from the truth. This is definitely a recommended mini-series on the real spy games of the Cold War!
The miniseries went out of fashion when the networks started
economizing, so it's nice to see this one from TNT. "The Company,"
which refers to the CIA, stars Chris O'Donnell, Alfred Molina, Michael
Keaton, Rory Cochrane, Alessandro Nivola, and Natascha McElhone, along
with a huge international cast.
The series purports to tell of some of the big events in which the CIA was involved throughout its history, woven in with the search for an elusive double agent, an American version of Kim Philby (who is also a character in the film, portrayed by Tom Hollander). The period covered is 40 years, from the start of the Cold War to the fall of the Soviet Union and focuses on the experiences of three fictional Yale grads, class of '54: Jack McCauliffe (O'Donnell), Leo Kritzky (Alessandro Nivola), and Yevgeny Tsipin (Rory Cochrane).
This is a very absorbing miniseries with some great, good, and blah acting, in my opinion. Though it's understood that Alfred Molina is an excellent actor, for me, his portrayal of Harvey, Jack's boss, was a little too stagy. Chris O'Donnell was okay, coming off as a lesser Leonardo di Caprio or Matt Damon. For me the two great portrayals were those of Michael Keaton as James Angleton, the real-life chief of the CIA's counterintelligence unit, and Alessandro Nivola, who is an accomplished stage actor and gives a strong performance.
Not surprisingly, this film came on the heels of the feature "The Good Shepherd," also about the CIA and starring Matt Damon. Because it has the luxury of being a miniseries, it's more detailed. Recommended.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
The Company is a pretty decent mini-series about the CIA and the Cold
War; I found it informative and well put together, even though a number
of crucial CIA moments were absent. The cast was uniformly good, and
even though no amount of make-up and prosthetics can make Chris
o'Donnell look older than 22, I thought he was OK.
Make no mistake, this is not John Le Carre stuff: it is not drenched in nihilism, pointlessness and failure, even though it does not seem to be James Bond Universe either. More than anything, one is left with the impression that all little treasons and nonsense aside, there is some sort of idealization and nostalgia for the Cold War, when you knew who threatened you and why and why you had to fight ( even thought both CIA and KGB pictured themselves as the good guys and protectors of the common folk). Molina's character near the end summarizes a view of the cold war that seems to be prevalent these days, that the side who screwed up less won and that the USSR looked pretty good on paper but was really flawed.
If you consider that it's only been 17 years since the demise of the Soviet Union, this detachment is pretty impressive. But then it goes to show how different the world has become today.
This is a wonderful performance piece, for Cold-War, Tom Clancy/John Le
Carré lovers alike. Spying was a dangerous, heart-breaking and lonely
game, and the principle characters on both sides gave up much in the
way of personal life - this slowly tumbles out as the story unfolds
over 4 decades.
I credit the Director with NOT revealing too much the first time you view it - I found myself wondering at certain points if the Script contained gaps -- not so. An example is the involvement of the notorious Kim Philby, a clever KGB double-agent. Everyone who has read 'Man Called Intrepid' knows who Philby is - if he breezed into this story as KIM PHILBY, we'd know what to expect. Cleverly, the character is not identified until the story is well-under way. By that time, you are as fooled as was his friend, the famous CIA counterespionage guru, James Angleton, played here with craft by Michael Keaton.
Other performers shine, and the action scenes for Hungary, and the Bay of Pigs are startling. Part 3 packed a real punch as, again, we get treated to what the counterintelligence fellas had to go through to nail suspected double-agents.
The second time through, I connected all the dots--so, the mini-series DVD has been well worth the investment. (Glad I missed it on TV with commercials).
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