A political satire set in Turaqistan, a country occupied by an American private corporation run by a former US Vice-President. In an effort to monopolize the opportunities the war-torn ...
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Martin Blank is a professional assassin. He is sent on a mission to a small Detroit suburb, Grosse Pointe, and, by coincidence, his ten-year high school reunion party is taking place there at the same time.
When unemployed dockworker Joey Coyle finds $1.2 million that fell off of an armored car, he decides to do the logical thing: take the money and run. After all, he says, finders keepers. He... See full summary »
A disgraced black ops agent is dispatched to a remote CIA broadcast station to protect a code operator. Soon, they find themselves in a life-or-death struggle to stop a deadly plot before it's too late.
Ray Keene (John Cusack), a father who wants to redeem himself in the eyes of his son (Jamie Anderson), is trying to bring Carden (Morgan Freeman), a world-class assassin to justice. All the... See full summary »
Young Danny is following his rich girlfriend's family to the Caribbean. But suddenly he simply must take a chemistry test and cannot go with them. After they have left, he gets a leave from... See full summary »
A political satire set in Turaqistan, a country occupied by an American private corporation run by a former US Vice-President. In an effort to monopolize the opportunities the war-torn nation offers, the corporation's CEO hires a troubled hit man, to kill a Middle East oil minister. Now, struggling with his own growing demons, the assassin must pose as the corporation's Trade Show Producer in order to pull off this latest hit, while maintaining his cover by organizing the high-profile wedding of Yonica Babyyeah an outrageous Middle Eastern pop star, and keeping a sexy left wing reporter in check. Written by
The Middle East Town set built for this film is still standing (as of 2015) at Nu Boyana Studios in Sofia, Bulgaria. The set was built in late-2006. See more »
As Natalie leaves Hauser's office the door is open, presumably to allow the camera to get the shot of her leaving. However, Houser shut it only moments earlier after he asked Marsha to call him. See more »
[upon hearing an explosion outside]
When did they start attacking inside the Emerald City?
I wouldn't call that an attack.
[explosion goes off right outside office]
Technically, that was a bombing. At least it sounded like it was. Not an attack, which would imply something else.
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BeTolerant.com is listed twice in the thanks section of the credits, despite this resulting in an odd number of entries and causing the last entry to have to go against the rest of the layout (centered, vs two-column) to keep things even. See more »
In this satire of the commercialization and 'lightheartedness' of war, John Cusack plays Brand Hauser, an assassin sent to to 'Turaqistan' to take out Omar Sharif, who is doing some oil business that will spell trouble for the former Vice President of the US's own company. In addition to this, Hauser must juggle his fake position as a trade show producer, a wedding for pop princess Yonica (Hillary Duff), and a nosy Liberal journalist, Natalie (Marisa Tomei).
Assessing the technical aspects:
The acting (by the main characters,at least) was good, as was to be
expected. Some of John Cusack's dialogue was quite obviously not written for him as he often seemed uncomfortable saying it. . . maybe unrealistic is more accurate. Joan put forth a great, and often hilarious, performance. Marisa Tomei, while I've never been a big fan of hers, was more than suitable for the role and worked well. Hillary Duff, however, was pretty terrible. They needed an attractive Middle Eastern (or Russian, or whatever that accent was supposed to be) pop-star. Unfortunately, they went 0 for 3 with her.
Like I said above, the writing seemed a little stiff and mismatched
at points, especially John Cusack's dialogue. Not much of it, mind, but some. The story also got a bit ludicrous at points, which is fine for a satire to a point, but it took it to a whole new level here. Luckily, the Cusacks and Tomei keep a relatively cool, calm demeanor throughout, and that makes a nice even mix of the craziness of the film and the levelheadedness of the actors.
Joshua Seftel, who previously had a drought of real credits to his
name, did a fine job with a rather wide-spectrum film. He handled the small ($10 million) budget very well, stretching it to make it appear to be much more. Seftel also managed to nicely blend the humour of the story. . . with the painful and hard-to-watch parts of the real war (including slaughter of civilians, etc.).
As far as the general satire goes, its exaggerated look on the
commercializing of war is very well done, especially the 'Golden Palace Poker' ads on the U.S. tanks. At points, it becomes a little too much, but, in the end, it still accurate portrays what it's going for an a young 'Mel Brooks'-type of style.
Overall, the film is very well made for the meager budget and it's definitely worthy of a look. It won't go down as one of the great satires of cinema, but it's certainly not the worst.
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