By Derek Sante - Review Nation
A lawyer known simply as "Counselor" (Michael Fassbender) to his clients; is on a downward spiral. Not because his clientele are murders, kingpins, and drug lords, but because this man of the law has decided to do something unlawful. With little apprehension, this Counselor decides to dip his toe into the drug trafficking trade.
From that point on, he soon realizes the true weight of what he has undertook. Especially when things go awry and the finger of blame falls upon him, his drug lord friend (Javier Bardem) and his middle-man acquaintance (Brad Pitt). The hard truth that cartels do not take apologies and care little about facts comes to light as they and their loved ones are hunted. In this world built of fear, keeping up appearances means everything.
From the same writer that brought you No Country for Old Men comes another story of life, choices and the violence that people live with. Personally, I wanted to really like this film, yet their was something off about it. The characters were all interesting, but it felt stretched thin when it came to rounding them out. I understand the story and how it revolved around many facets based on wants and needs; I just wish the needs included more than a snake in the grass that startled the herd. In my opinion, go and see No Country for Old Men again, perfectly cast and directed the film will leave you thinking. Unfortunately, The Counselor only left me questioning the story, cast and direction.
MPAA Rating: R
Running time: 1hr 51mins.
Movie Trailer - The Counselor
By Derek Sante - Review Nation
A Hollywood movie, based on the people searching for the truth, most of which don’t think this movie should see the light of day. The Fifth Estate is the first major release to tackle the once powerful website and news organization Wikileaks, an entity built on truth that brought governments to their knees.
The story follows not the white-manned figurehead Julian Assange (Benedict Cumberpatch), but the secondary man holding the metaphorical pillar of justice Daniel Domscheit-Berg (Daniel Bruhl). An early supporter of the informational site, we follow Daniel as he chases Assange down the rabbit hole.
Wikileaks, which was built by Assange, was a revolutionary website platform with one main goal and promise, all whistleblowers would be anonymous and the full truth would be revealed. A large vendetta for such a small start-up enterprise that hit the big time when the truth about banks, regimes and governments saw the light of day. At every podium was Assange, around every corner was conspiracy, and so the inevitable conclusion was foretold. Telling secrets is a double-edged sword, it hurts those keeping the lies, but it also harms those who uncover and any who cross the line of truth, no matter the reason or end result.
Told in an artistic fashion and delivered with true talent, The Fifth Estate is a top-notch movie, even if basis characters like Julian Assange refer to the script as being based on the most "Toxic" book available about the events that unfolded. Benedict Cumberpatch delivers yet another great performance, but even more enthralling was Daniel Bruhl. An actor that once again took the place of a real person in hopes of delivering a truth that is not necessarily agreed upon, but is accomplished with art and talent. (Those who recently saw Ron Howard's Rush will remember him as German race car driver Niki Lauda.)
If you enjoyed the way the supposed truth about Facebook hit the screen in The Social Network, then there is more than a whisper of a chance that you'll enjoy The Fifth Estate.
MPAA Rating: R
Running time: 2hr 8mins.
Movie Trailer - The Fifth Estate
If Pulitzer prize winning author Cormac McCarthy wrote it, you know it’s bleak. His apocalyptic “The Road” was so utterly depressing , many walked out. They couldn’t take it, costing Viggo Mortensen an Oscar nomination. Then there was the Oscar winning “No Country For Old Men”, scoring an Academy award for Javier Bardem , as the psychopathic killer. “The Counselor” reunites McCarthy with Bardem, who adds to the list of his bad-hair flicks. This time it’s all spiked out. In “Skyfall” it was garishly blonde and the worst of all was the ‘do in his Oscar-winning role.
The amazing Michael Fassbender gives his second award-worthy role in as many weeks, following the limited release of the must-see and already Gotham Indie award-nominated “12 Years A Slave”. This week, he’s a nameless lawyer who looks to make a quick blowload (excuse the pun) of money through the drug trade, despite warnings from high-fashioned Bardem and Brad Pitt. You know from the get-go, this can’t end well. Which is an understatement.
The movie begins with the counselor in bed , pleasuring Penelope Cruz (who is Bardem’s real-life wife”. This is one of the few films where Fassbender doesn’t flaunt his manhood.
While director Ridley Scott (“Alien”, “Gladiator” and “Blackhawk Down) doesn’t flinch from the drug trade brutality (this is an uberly violent film), he throws in some comic relief, mostly thanks to the bad-haired but again very stylized and gold-toothed Cameron Diaz, who looks like a younger version of Ellen Barkin. She plays the Cruella DeVille of drug dealers. I promise, you will never ever hear the word “catfish” again without immediately flashing back to her doing a commando split , humping a car windshield with Bardem’s mouth open in amazed horror. Miley Cyrus could take lessons from Diaz!!!!
The cast includes , in tiny roles, a much-missed Rosie Perez, an equally missed Rueben Blades, Goran Visnjic and John Leguizamo.
This is one downer of a film. You know early on how it ends. You just don’t know how. It’s not a movie you “enjoy”. It’s more a “trip”. A bad trip. It’s major flaw, besides a total lack of character development: it’s too too long at just under 2 hours.
I counsel an after-movie drink for “The Counselor”.