Wednesday, May 20, 2009

When The Cat's Away, Movies Will Play

My partner in life is out of town this week to see her parents and I'm finding myself astonished and very pleased by the quiet. Zoe will bark now and again, of course, but the TV isn't blaring with "Pretty Woman" or "Meet the Parents" for the millionth time, either. Her trip coincides with some much-needed time off work. I'm able to sleep in to my heart's content, to watch the foreign films that I recently Netflixed; "Tell No One" and "Timecrimes" (she doesn't generally like subtitled films). It feels like I'm taking a timeout from life, an opportunity to slow my thoughts to a crawl.

Yesterday, I persuaded an out-of-town friend to come out to Rochester for dinner and a movie. He wanted to see "Wolverine", but I was up for something that wouldn't kill brain me crazy. He agreed to accompany me to "State of Play", a film starring Russell Crowe, Ben Affleck, and Rachel McAdams.

We went to the late show at the movie theatre closest to my residence. It was like a graveyard there (only 2 others were at our screening). I fear they might not be open too much longer. Course, that's somewhat my fault as I rarely go there. The sole reason I was there yesterday is because it was the only place in town showing the movie. It's always nice going to a film when there's hardly anyone else in attendance, though for comedies, I prefer a bigger crowd as the laughter from others can be contagious.

Here's a plot synopsis of "Play" (and for those who don't like reading, the trailer):

"Handsome, unflappable U.S. Congressman Stephen Collins (Ben Affleck) is the future of his political party: an honorable appointee who serves as the chairman of a committee overseeing defense spending. All eyes are upon the rising star to be his party's contender for the upcoming presidential race. Until his research assistant/mistress is brutally murdered and buried secrets come tumbling out.

D.C. reporter Cal McCaffrey (Russell Crowe) has the dubious fortune of an old friendship with Collins. As he and partner Della (Rachel McAdams) try to uncover the killer's identity, McCaffrey steps into a cover-up that threatens to shake the nation's power structures. And in a town of spin-doctors and wealthy politicos, he will discover one truth: when billions are at stake, no one's integrity, love or life is ever safe."

It had been several years since I'd seen a Russell Crowe movie and this was a welcome return. Affleck was excellent as the somewhat-compromised Congressman. At first, I thought the film took place in the early 90's as Crowe drove a '90 Saab and his work computer did not have Windows on it (just a black screen with white letters when he typed on it). References to You Tube and the fact that his colleague was a blogger pointed to a present-day setting. Comments on mercenary organizations such as Blackwater and the demise of the modern newspaper made the movie seem even more of-the-moment. All those up for an intelligent thriller, check it out.


Rocketstar said...

I am sooooo jealous of your time ALONE, enjoy my friend.

Timothy Smith said...

My wife took the kid back home for 10 days. It is a nice a break. I spent the first day cleaning the house and since I was alone it stayed clean the entire time.

It was like being single again for a short time and made me appreciate my wife and kids more when they returned.

Enjoy it!

disestablishingpuritanism said...

I'm glad you were able to convince your friend to defer to "Play." From the synopsis you provided and blurbs I've heard, I know this is one I've gotta' see. The seasoned journalist, played by Crowe, was said to have compromised his ethics quite a bit. Naturally, based on powerful lobbying and special interest influence that has persistently taken place in D.C., I'm sure he's not the only one.