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The Fifth Estate
BLU-RAY disk
02.13.2014 By: Mathew Plale
The Fifth Estate order download
Director:
Bill Condon

Actors:
Benedict Cumberbatch
Daniel Brühl
Anthony Mackie

Rating:
Movie:
Extras:
Overall:

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WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
The as-yet-unfinished story of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange (Cumberbatch).
IS IT A GOOD MOVIE?
One of the most controversial figures of the century so far has been Julian Assange, the founder of WikiLeaks, the not-for-profit website that, according to its About Us page, “publish[es] original source material…so readers and historians alike can see evidence of the truth.” And so it was really only a matter of time before a biopic emerged.

Assange was in the news every week for his and his site’s actions and decisions, such as publishing the Afghan War Logs and leaking thousands of American diplomatic cables to the public. And while The Fifth Estate (or, for whatever reason, The 5ifth Estate) covers these and more, it never gets around to offering any sort of textured look at Assange (Benedict Cumberbatch, Sherlock) that viewers may have expected.

Despite being based on two texts—Daniel Domscheit-Burg’s (who is portrayed by Rush’s Daniel Brühl) “Inside WikiLeaks: My Time with Julian Assange and the World’s Most Dangerous Website” and David Leigh and Luke Harding’s “WikiLeaks: Inside Julian Assange’s War on Secrecy”—The Fifth Estate never goes deep and doesn’t show Assange as anything more than an egomaniac who likes to party, walk around his “submission platform” and spew out any bumper sticker quote that he feels will make him look good in front of others. There is just no dimension or drama to be found in the entire two-plus hours of The Fifth Estate.

One of the biggest problems with the movie is that the story isn’t nearly finished. Just because Assange is “trapped” in London at the Ecuador embassy doesn’t mean that’s where the story ends. Director Bill Condon previously explored filmmaker James Whale in 1998’s Gods and Monsters and sexologist Alfred Kinsey in 2004’s Kinsey and turned out commendable movies, but he jumped the gun this time in his desire to be the one to get the big name onscreen and so has a thin product as a result.

THE EXTRAS
The Submission Platform: Visual Effects (10:25): Director Bill Condon, production designer Mark Tildesley and more dissect the visual effects of Assange’s “submission platform.”

In-Camera Graphics (6:25): This brief featurette looks at the way some of the text-based visuals were used.

Scoring Secrets (9:11) takes a look at composer Carter Burwell’s score.

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FINAL DIAGNOSIS
The Fifth Estate is a bit premature and doesn’t have enough story or dimension to offer the kind of drama viewers should expect. Special features include a look at the special effects, a featurette on the score and more.
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2:05PM on 02/13/2014
Being Dutch i always giggle hearing the name Domscheit....which basicly means Dumbshit... seriously...!
Being Dutch i always giggle hearing the name Domscheit....which basicly means Dumbshit... seriously...!
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9:13AM on 02/13/2014
While I agree that the film had some problems, I thoroughly enjoyed it and thought the cinematography and performances were top notch.
While I agree that the film had some problems, I thoroughly enjoyed it and thought the cinematography and performances were top notch.
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