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Lions For Lambs
DVD disk
Mar 28, 2008 By: Sturdy
Lions For Lambs order
Director:
Robert Redford

Actors:
Tom Cruise
Robert Redford
Meryl Streep

Rating:
Movie:
Extras:
Overall:

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WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
Three stories tell the story with three separate views on the political state of America. A professor tries to teach his student the importance of realizing his potential while a reporter deciphers her conversation with a powerful congressman.
IS IT A GOOD MOVIE?
Potential. Its a word thats thrown around a lot to describe things or people that should be better than they are. It can be used positively to describe a young kid or negatively to describe a failure that didnt live up to their potential. Ironically, not realizing your potential is one of the three main themes of the film and it happens to be appropriate in describing this film. I liked where they were going and themes within the film, but ultimately it failed to realize its potential.

The first glaring problem with the film is the 88 minute runtime. Its tough to make a three pronged political drama in 88 minutes. Heck, itd be difficult to tell it in 188 minutes, but at least youd have a chance. When youre tackling tough, sensitive and controversial subjects, its important to fully develop the topics and clearly represent yourself. Politics is too dangerous of a subject to give only a partial effort.

I dont need all movies to be wrapped in a pretty bow, but when attempting to interweave three separate stories, they have to tie together nicely. In this case, it was as if we had three short films that were broken up and then randomly spliced together. Although they touched on similar subjects, they didnt really relate. I think they could have made an entire film on one of the stories. One story explored fully is much better than three stories explored poorly.

The highlight of the film was Tom Cruise. Say what you want about his personal life but the guy can act. He was great as the charming Congressman attempting to manipulate the reporter. Conversely, the worst performance of the film was from Meryl Streep, who played the reporter. Its rare to see a bad performance from her, but it happened here. Everyone else played their parts fine.

Im disappointed in Redford for throwing together a hodgepodge of a film. I normally enjoy his directorial efforts, but this one was severely lacking. Hes an extremely talented filmmaker and this is not typical Redford. It almost feels like a studio exec got a hold of it and changed it around, although I dont remember hearing that had happened. However, I just couldnt shake the feeling that this film was thrown together too quickly and by someone that didnt know movies. Being a huge Redford fan, I know that he is one of the all time greats, so I dont understand what went wrong.
THE EXTRAS
Commentary with Robert Redford: I really like Robert Redford and enjoy listening to him talk. I got more from this commentary than I did the actual movie. He sticks to the script and his creative decisions and refrains from going into detail on the movies poor performance. Despite the conservative approach, I thoroughly enjoyed this track.

Making of Lions for Lambs (20:50): This is a pretty typical making-of featurette with interviews from the cast and crew. There are several movie scenes and some behind the scenes footage, but overall this is a normal fluff piece.

Script to Screen (8:25): This could have been tacked on to the above featurette since it dealt a lot with how the script was written and the different issues the script covered. Again, its ok, but nothing special. Despite the claims, I still dont think the script writer did enough research on his source material.

There are also some Previews and a montage of United Artists films
FINAL DIAGNOSIS
This wasnt horrible, but its a poorly thought out film that lacked heart. Tom gives another great performance, but he was drastically underused. I think this one is better left forgotten.
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