Handsome, unflappable U.S. Congressman Stephen Collins 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.
The political thriller State Of Play is one for the time capsule, a homage to print journalism that is being released at a time when newspapers are gliding into obscurity. It feels like a political thriller on a certain level but superficially it is the murder of a young woman. A rising congressman's mistress that drives the story. Russell Crowe plays Cal McAffrey who represents the last of the old school journalists & also happens to be good friends with the politician in question, Stephen Collins (Ben Affleck). Cal's & the congressman's shady interests are revealed when the police & the Washington Post investigate the killing.
Crowe completely delves into the character, however he & Affleck never feel like a good match for each other. For one the age difference is hard to ignore to believe they're college roomates. Second the chemistry never seems to blend.
An okay political murder drama about a newspaper reporter (Russell Crowe) trying to uncover the truth behind some behind the scenes dealings of his congressman friend.(Ben Affleck) Nothing groundbreaking and a bit slow to the point. As usual,Crowe is great.(Although he's starting to get a little thick around the middle) Affleck is his usual bland self. It's probably time for him to go the reality show circut. All in all a film that you could wait to rent.
Just whoÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Ã¢â‚¬Â playing Ã¢â‚¬Å“ who is part of the fun in State of Play, a dynamic drama dripping with tension from Universal Pictures now heating things up at Tinseltown (on Pender, free parking), Empire Studio 12, Colossus and Famous Players Silver City cites around B.C. Scribes everywhere will be on pins and needles as the fix is in during this complex and invigorating tale that involves corruption, lust and politics. No, weÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re not talking the B.C. election here Ã¢â‚¬â€œ something much more sinister.
A murder here, a murder there is all that an ace Washington reporter has to go on. Cal McAffrey is the bane of law authorities as heÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s always needling the police for information. News of what appears to be a random killing puts his journalistic integrity to the ultimate test in this tricky chase tale thatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s full of puzzling characters and non-clear motives.
Cast as Cal is Russell Crowe (Gladiator) who continues to impress. Long hair suits CroweÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s character as Cal has a special way to get information through his personal traits. Bad news for Cal, however, comes through another paper employee whoÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s more into the sensational aspects of a story. Young Della Frye is all hot to trot but gets quite a comeuppance from seasoned pro McAffrey who wants nothing of her mudslinging ways.
Petty rivalries on the job become secondary when a prominent Washington insider becomes prime fodder for papers across town when a scandal breaks. Smart, young and handsome Congressman Stephen Collins seems to have the world on a string. Unfortunately for the busy Collins a tragedy in his ranks makes his already public life even more prominent as somehow he becomes engulfed in a growing scandal that sparks controversy and bitterness all around.
Smart writing and taut pacing from director Kevin Macdonald (The Last King of Scotland) make State of Play one of the most exciting political thrillers in recent memory. Crowe is in top form as the relentless journalist with Canadian born Rachel McAdams (The Notebook) also highly effective as a cub reporter in way over her head. Other strong actors in this gripping tale of intrigue include Helen Mirren (The Queen) as a restless editor, Jeff Daniels (Speed) and Ben Affleck (Pearl Harbor) who casts politicians in a new light.
118 minutes goes by in a flash in this exciting police tale that meshes politics with scandal in a very tantalizing way.
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