Sunday, January 21, 2018

The Manchurian Candidate 2004

Spoiler alert

                        No not the 1962 version, I already reviewed it a month or so ago and you can view it at this link if you like.  I’m  talking here about the surprisingly good 2004 remake directed by the late Jonathan Demme. Upgraded in time to the first Gulf war, this Manchurian is not involved with the Korean War, but with a dirty international corporation attempting to take over our country with imbedded well placed  big time help. Some things never change but Demme and his screenwriters Daniel Pyne and Dean Georgaris have some surprises up their sleeves and in their pockets that kept me entertained and spooked through most of its running time. Some things are the same but Demme has added a glossy high tech concept that still  includes the familiar brain washing and assassination, but there are no decks of playing cards or games of solitaire for this candidate. The cast is very good with powerful performances from Denzel Washington, Liev Schreiber and Meryl Streep as the mother from Washington and hell who this time is a senator and not married to one.  There are also plot twists that play to some of the paranoid queries that still come up with regards to the original version on blogs and the IMDB. The film also looks good thanks to the beautiful cinematography by Demme regular the great Tak Fujimoto who gives the film a dizzying kinetic look. Also notable is the good art direction that takes a lot of time with details and the music score by Rachel Portman. And check out the great supporting cast including many Demme regulars along with such suprise casting including Jon Voight as a liberal senator and famous writers and directors in cameos including Walter Mosley, Edwidge Danticat, Roger Corman and Sidney Lumet. Not a great movie, and I’m not going to compare it to the great 1962 version, and nothing compares to Angela Lansbury, not even Meryl, but for a fast thrill ride this is a pretty good pick.     


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