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|Index||33 reviews in total|
I generally agree with other reviews of this film in terms of weak
writing and lugubrious direction. I am rating it higher primarily
because it actually has real actors in the cast, hence you can watch it
without having a gag-reflex. Also, the cinematography was better than
average in this genre.
While there was nothing original in the plot structure, the moral ambiguity expressed through several key characters was somewhat refreshing...though, not fully resolved.
Sadly, the fine actor, Andy Garcia, is not properly exploited in this film. He comes across less than fully dimensional. The director went to a gold mine and barely got silver.
In the end, not a waste of the viewer's time, but more an appetizer than an entrée.
This is the first I've seen of movies on the particular subject of what
major international corporations such as Bectel are doing to
underdeveloped countries as regards their water. Well done treatment,
great cast, excellent acting. No hamming or sensationalism, no
gratuitous violence (not that there isn't enough to tell the story).
Perhaps other reviewers don't consider water as exciting as blood
diamonds or oil or uranium. Perhaps it's not. But it's certainly more
important. This fictional presentation of the issue is a good start
toward expanding popular awareness of one of the biggest problems
facing us in this new century.
Not water shortages, critical though they are. Rather, soulless, nationless corporate greed. Seven out of ten.
A Dark Truth (2012)
* 1/2 (out of 4)
A real misfire of a film about a South American town where a large group of people become sick after sewage gets in their drinking water. To cover up the crime the military executes the survivors but a couple (Forest Whitaker, Eva Longoria) survive and soon an ex-CIA agent (Andy Garcia) is trying to rescue them and get their story out. A DARK TRUTH is a really bad movie in several ways but a lot of the blame has to go to writer-director Damian Lee who just doesn't come up with a very interesting story or a good way to tell it. There are so many problems with the story itself that you have to wonder why he elected to go with a fake story instead of getting something real. This is basically just a message picture where once again greed turns people into evil monsters over a natural resource. The problem is that the film just wants to preach its message without giving us a story or characters to really care about. The film bounces around from the jungles to the high-top people trying to cover up the crime and also gives us flashbacks to the CIA agent working as a radio host giving off various speeches. None of this comes together in any way, shape or form and in the end this movie just ends up dragging to the point where the viewer will be wanting to hit the stop button. It doesn't help that there are some pretty boring directorial choices and especially when it comes to the editing. Just check out the scenes between Garcia and his wife were the edits back and forth between them are so annoying that you just want to scream. I will say that the performances are better than average but then again we've got a group of professionals here. With that said, their work can't come close to saving this turkey.
On the surface, this contemporary assault on corporate maleficence is
enough to make its point. But the subject matter is a complicated
affair that is lacking in this movie that feels rushed.
Messing about in third world countries and designing destinies built on precious resources and manipulating the environment is a heavy undertaking and the suffering of the population by these all too insensitive entities is a problem that is beginning to take shape and needs to be addressed.
It is attempted here as an action film with scruples and it does have its heart in the right place. But the very low budget and the glossy attempt to intertwine multi-national business interest and investigative journalism is a bit too much to maintain in this noble but shallow effort.
The name Actors are probably here for their moral support and do add a level of authenticity to the cause, but there just isn't enough depth pursued or motivations on either side to justify the broad concept that it is at hand here.
It plays like a short story or a magazine article. Enough to tantalize an interest in the matter but not enough to be at all convincing. It does open up the subject and allows some light if not insight into this very disturbing situation.
There are some decent high profile actors in this turkey. Do they
really need the money that badly? Are they doing a favor for a friend -
"Hey, my kid is directing this movie, would you be in it for me? I'll
do one for your next year . . . . " Maybe the whole project looks
different before the cameras actually start rolling.
The direction in this is terrible. The pace is ridiculously show and the look is very stagey. "You two stand over there and take turns reading these sentences."
It is filled with self-important, self-righteous, overwrought people who have all been horribly wronged by an evil corporation and a corrupt government. Woah. That's original. Really hard hitting stuff. Corporations are evil. We would be so much better off in the world without them.
Too bad. I was looking forward in particular to see Kim Coates outside of his Sons of Anarchy role, Andy Garcia is a good actor, and I am a huge fan of Forest Whitaker. But this thing was dumb, dumb, dumb. Poorly written, poorly directed. Decent production values. It looks professional. That's the only reason I gave it the three stars.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
POSSIBLE SPOILER ALERT: Okay, so I just watched this movie. I was
pleasantly surprised. From the horrible reviews, I thought it would be
the worst movie I've ever seen. Actually, I didn't think it was that
bad. Was it the best movie I've ever seen? No, but it wasn't the worst,
Let's get the negative out of the way first. The family subplot for Begosian added nothing. I think it would have been better if they had spent the time exploring the relationship between Bruce and Morgan Swinton (Deborah Unger and Kim Coates). Were there plausibility issues. Sure, but isn't that a problem with all films. Another "dark truth" is that reality can be boring, especially with heavy topics like this. The acting was universally excellent.
Finally,(and this is the reason I give it a high score) I was CLUELESS about this topic before I saw this, and I'm convinced this is a large reason it was created, to publicize the issue. On this they were successful.
And oh yeah, I never saw the end coming.
The only problem I have is also warning to parents. This is very violent film. Much more violent than I thought it would be. .
This is one of those films that was obviously a labor of love for many
of the folks involved. There are some incredible performances, and a
great and believable story here. It's the kind of story that deserves
to be a cherished bedtime story of the modern age - one of knights in
tarnished armor who do what is within their power to resist the
relentless pull of greed, selfishness, and fear - and surprisingly live
to tell the tale, on a broadcast network no less! One only prays the
hope conveyed here is realistic.
I am amazed that reviews of under 10 lines are not accepted. It seems that IMDb has decreed that brevity is not the soul of wit, and only when we drone on and on and on about our particular spin can we be deemed worthy of immortalization in their hallowed database. Thus having achieved immortality, I bid thee, "Adieu".
"When you can't affect change from within, I mean positive change, you have an obligation if you're at all conscious to get out and try other things." Jack Begosian (Garcia) is a former CIA operative who is now a talk show host talking about important issues. Bruce Swinton (Coates) is the head of a large corporation who has just found out about a huge problem with his company and a local African community. When his sister wants him to tell the truth he fights her and she hires Jack to go in and expose what is going on in the country. This is a very important movie that should be seen by more people then will actually see it. Very engrossing and informative and worth seeing. The only real problem I have is that it plays almost more like a Dateline or 60 Minutes type story then a movie. I'm not saying that that is a bad thing but that's what I was reminded of. The acting is great and I recommend this but be ready for this type of movie. Overall, a very important movie that may have the possibility to change things. I give it a B+.
A Dark Truth (2012)
An ambitious movie, intending more than it achieves. At stake is a critique of the corporate cornering of water rights in the Third World. This is a real problem, and deserves better than this by Hollywood, if a big movie is the way to go about it. (A far better attempt, and a far better movie, is "También la lluvia", or "Even the Rain," set in Bolivia and starring Gael García Bernal.)
The really great actor here is Forest Whitaker, who has a fairly small role as a South American rebel leader with a true conscience. The lead actor is the ever-struggling (if sincere) Andy Garcia, who is a retired South American CIA man with a quasi-political radio talk show to keep him and his troubled wife and child alive and very well.
You can smell the connection that has to be made here, between Whitaker's jungle world of righteous rebellion and Garcia's safely withdrawn world of buried political misdeeds. The third world (narratively) is the big water purification company itself, with a slightly evil corporate head and his slow-to-wake sister who finally realizes the corporation their father started is corrupt and murderous. This third leg of the triangle is complex, and a bit unconvincing with its too-easy array of killers and corporate spies and Ecuadorian accomplices all a cell phone call away.
I might make clear here the movie is not a dud but it's very troubled, both formally (editing and writing issues, mostly) and in terms of its purported content. That is, ultra-violent scenes of mass murder are used over and over again to press home how ruthless and bloody the corporate heads are, safe in their glassed offices in Toronto. (Yes, the corporation is Canadian, which I guess is a nice novelty since Canadians are so famously nice.) The actual problem of water use and clean water supplies for the villages shown is never explored. Instead we have people running and getting gunned down with weirdly nonsensical abandon. A lot.
The more you dwell on this the more you realize the movie makers are as evil as the corporate bosses they are portraying. They use this horrifying cinematic mayhem to draw you in and make you (in theory) sympathize with the rebels, and with the ordinary people who just want to live and have clean water. Well, of course! So then we get back to Garcia drawn to the jungle to single-handedly (with a revolver) save these rebels from the advancing army troops. (Yes, Andy Garcia plays the Matt Damon character here, which is really quite funny at times, and not on purpose.)
So eventually you see through all the seriousness to a pretty poorly cobbled together movie with lots of overlapping plots and some very very fast solutions to messy problems (like getting the wanted rebel leader out of Ecuador on an airplane without a blink). I'd skip this mess for lots of reasons. And go see "Even the Rain" with its much gentler flaws.
The casting of the movie is incredible. Which is always the case when a
message is being delivered. It's not too much on the nose here or at
least it is incorporated into the story quite good. The actors you know
do what they can. Eva Longoria might have the least to do (especially
considering her name/weight). It's nice seeing some old familiar faces
in a movie, where they try to build character.
There is quite a bit of cliché in this, but you wouldn't/couldn't expect otherwise. Kevin Durand has a great little role in it and he makes his decision, no matter how small or big they are, actually work. Apart from that it's mostly the Andy Garcia show, with some added drama by Kara Unger and Forrest Whitacker. A nice little drama, with a lot of action in it.
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