George Harris

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Layer Cake Review


Excellent
Matthew Vaughan, producer behind the entire Guy Ritchie oeuvre (Lock, Stock, & Two Smoking Barrels, Snatch, and... er... Swept Away), makes his directorial debut with Layer Cake, another tale from the British criminal underworld that thankfully avoids any association with aging pop icons. Instead, Vaughan opts to take some of the elements of Ritchie's earlier work - colorful deviants, dark humor, Seinfeld-esque coincidence - and give them his own, slightly more somber spin. The result is an engaging 104 minutes that stakes its own claim on the genre.

Daniel Craig is credited as "XXXX" (oh, if only he were the new "XXX"), a "businessman," as he puts it, whose name we never learn. His business just happens to be cocaine. He plays by a strict set of rules - pay connections on time; keep a low profile, etc. And, like every other lowlife with whom we're supposed to sympathize in a gangster film, he's just about to retire. Until his boss, Jimmy Price (Kenneth Cranham) throws him two curveballs that shoot his plans all to hell.

Continue reading: Layer Cake Review

The Interpreter Review


OK
Layers of riveting intrigue build toward a finale weigheddown with logistical loopholes in "The Interpreter," a politicalthriller about an assassination plot overheard by a translator (NicoleKidman) at the United Nations.

The circumstances of her accidental eavesdropping are alittle suspect as well -- she just happened to be in a sound booth lateat night, where a microphone inexplicably left on just happened to pickup a conspiratorial conversation in a regional dialect she and only a handfulof others speak outside of the fictional African country of her birth.

Couple this with a covered-up past of rebel activity aimedat the dictator she claims will be targeted during an controversial upcomingaddress on the floor of the U.N., and it's no surprise that the SecretService agent assigned to investigate (Sean Penn) finds her revelationto be dubious at best.

Although the milieu is unusual, "The Interpreter"is largely a variation on a standard Hollywood template about a broodingcop assigned to protect a pretty witness. With a less talented cast anda less interesting director than Sydney Pollack ("Havana," "TheFirm"), it could have easily been dumbed down into an action moviecocktail with a romantic chaser.

Continue reading: The Interpreter Review

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George Harris Movies

Layer Cake Movie Review

Layer Cake Movie Review

Matthew Vaughan, producer behind the entire Guy Ritchie oeuvre (Lock, Stock, & Two Smoking Barrels,...

The Interpreter Movie Review

The Interpreter Movie Review

Layers of riveting intrigue build toward a finale weigheddown with logistical loopholes in "The Interpreter,"...

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