2017 Movie #62: Marathon Man (1976)

2017 Movie #62: Marathon Man (1976)

Marathon Man may feature a lot of running, but it’s no sports movie. Over the first hour of John Schlesinger’s Marathon Man, based on a novel by William Goldman, a whole lot of groundwork is laid and it’s really not clear how any of it relates. There’s a ton of stuff happening – half a spy thriller, half a romantic love story – and it’s bewildering to watch, even as Schlesinger masterfully controls the tone of events. Then, out of nowhere, the film shifts into high gear, and things rapidly get out of control.
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2017 Movie #38: Wag the Dog (1997)

2017 Movie #38: Wag the Dog (1997)

This review is part of my Remake Preview series, where I watch the original version (or versions) of a movie that is set to be re-made in the near future. 

Wag the Dog is a harshly cynical film, a film about a political fixer who comes in to cover up a crisis in which the President of the United States has been accused of sexual impropriety. It’s bizarre to watch a film with this basic premise given the events of the 2016 election, though its not hard to draw parallels between the situations. The film is at parts highly implausible, and yet as Stanley Motss (Dustin Hoffman) and Conrad Brean (Robert De Niro) produce a series of events to distract from the real narrative, we follow an utterly contrived story that feels, somehow, simultaneously surreal and improbable to real life, and yet convincing as a satire of real events that occur all the time.

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2017 Movie #21: All the President’s Men (1976)

2017 Movie #21: All the President’s Men (1976)

Watching All the President’s Men is a pretty eerie experience right now, in February of 2017, with our own presidential scandal unfolding in front of us. It’s also a pretty educational experience, as someone unfamiliar with the process of investigative journalism, to see a behind-the-scenes look at the legwork, the self doubt, the paranoia, that goes into the kind of investigations that are unfolding at key journalistic outlets across the country right now.

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