Matthew P's Profile - Rotten Tomatoes

Want-to-See Movies

This user has no Want to See movie selections yet.

Want-to-See TV

This user has no Want to See TV selections yet.

Rating History

Les Misérables
3 years ago via Rotten Tomatoes
½

Ever since "The Sound of Music" or "Singin' in the Rain," sweeping, soaring epic photography and numbers have been essentials for the common film musical. I can tell you that I prefer the clean-cut and "stabilized" shots instead of handheld ones. I understand that this type of style is supposed to emulate a grittier, sourer atmosphere. In a post-modern age, we strive to innovate or at least, resurface different and interesting film techniques, such as the versatile green screen or the breathtaking IMAX. But for things as complex as 3D or as straightforward as the "shaky cam," I can't really reason with my headaches or my dizziness.

This all changes (or at least, I have found my one, rare exclusion) with Tom Hooper's "Les Misèrables." This film adaptation takes advantage of the quick and frenzy Dutch shots, handheld shootings, and the furious close-ups. Honest to God, Hooper has reinvented the musical genre, which has been sugarcoated since "Moulin Rouge" and dead since 2007's "Hairspray." We can't connect with lip-synching or random breakouts of songs, anymore. That was yesteryear, and Hooper realizes this. So, any viewer can comprehend this "Les Miz" remake as a crossover between the YouTube generation and the Golden Age of cinema: the film, even its flaws, are both seriously personal and breathtakingly epic.

"Les Miz" begins with Jean Valjean's (Hugh Jackman) quest not for revenge against the obsessive Inspector Javert (Russell Crowe), but for moral redemption. A good-hearted father figure, Valjean decides to adopt Cosette (an older Cosette, played by Amanda Seyfried), from the disgustingly funny Thénardiers (Sacha Baren Cohen and Helena Bonham Carter). What makes the story so classic is the cast of characters, familiar to the theatre geeks and overwhelming to the average moviegoer.

We are immediately captivated by the struggles many of these characters endure mainly because we are forced to watch their emotions. Sometimes it epically works, and sometimes it epically fails. For instance, the Thènardiers' "Master of the House," even though the film needed comic relief, felt out of place, and almost anachronistic. "Les Miz" felt awkward at places, and such musical numbers with the Thénardiers had to have better flow. There was yin and yang, and for the theatre it worked, but for film, it can't.

Hooper's radical take on "Les Miz" also carries some questionable baggage. Live singing certainly makes the experience so much more real, but for me, it was not Crowe's or Seyfried's singing that made my head tilt. It was Jackmans'. Even though I could count the number of sweat drops his forehead had, his voice drowned underneath other more powerful voices.

But these flaws do not outweigh the highlights of "Les Miz." Anne Hathaway as Fantine has a show stopping number ("I Dreamed a Dream") that could haunt you throughout the entire film. She isn't in it much, but during those 15 to 20 minutes, Hathaway's bawling and crying are just asking for an Oscar win, and she deserves it. Other enormously emotional performances include Samantha Barks ("On My Own") and Eddie Redmayne ("Empty Seats, Empty Chairs"). These three songs, including Hathaways', proves that the grimy close-ups and down-to-earth live singing can actually work on a visceral and cinematic level.

"Les Miz" starts strongly with Fantine and ends strongly with Èponine and Marius, and then there's this lagging middle. The French Revolution scenes felt extremely claustrophobic and the close-ups never end. So does the singing. It feels tedious and grandiose and overlong during that hour, but for some reason, everything feels right. This type of filming ensures a tedious and grandiose and overlong experience. And for that reason, I respect Hooper and the few talents who define this film.

3.5/5

The Social Network
6 years ago via Rotten Tomatoes

Friend Fame
Languid techno formulas, obnoxious troubleshooting ideas, and revolutionary Friendster cheats flood Mark Zuckerberg?s busy head. Stern looking and strinkingly skinny, Mark has the talent of a mini-Einstein, a ruler of geekdom at Harvard University. Many do not recognize the Rebook-wearing, pajama-stealing and bum-looking student at such prestigious grounds, but many do recognize his creation of the savvy Facebook. In David Fincher?s gloomy and grainy The Social Network, a young billionaire is scrutinzed with an extreme social-based enivorment where outcasts growl for pretty girls and school campuses drool for swashbuckling parties. Socially awkward Mark and his interpretation of power is taint because of his definitions of acceptance, motivation, and sacerfise.

Oastracized and isolated, troubled Mark tries his best to be accepted by programming a virtual network. Ironically, his perception of interacting with others is equivalent to a profile pic and a realtionship status on screen. Beneath an Ivy-leauge and fancy foundation, Harvard dives deeper into the college definition of fitting in. Mark swears himself to be invited in exclusive disco nights and the secretive Pheonix Club. Insufficed with his own idea of interaction, Mark realizes that the only way to open new doors and VIPs is the invention of a revoltuionary idea. Hacking into the school?s system and outlining Facebook?s fate, Mark finds himself into more distance because of his latest creation; still running his mouth about geek-things and robotics, Mark cannot find the answer to the never-ending formula of how to socialize with others. He drives the idea of builidng an empire towards a deadend since the naïve dream of ?distinct and cool and fun and hot invitations?? is much too eager and silly. While he encodes a drainy equation when updating a site about socializing, Mark cannot apply ?liking? and ?tagging? into his own personal wall.

For Mark, the dangerous seedling of motivation grows chatoically. While his Facebook creation goes viral and wild, buisness deals, advertising ideas, and more contracts contribute to his obsessed and claustrophobic nature. Mark is ?in a word, paranoid and blind like a workaholic gone wrong?? because of his feeling to be recognized. His appearance is bright and cunning, but inside, a dissatistication abrupts his success on making the second-most-visited site. The feelings of having to tweak and fix Facebook?s glitches overflows his own social life; soon, his eagerness to become the next popular Bill Gates is struck down because of his monster creation. Throughout his expierences, Mark consistently ignores his mawkish colleagues, meticulous schoolwork and fellow students to dedicate Facebook?s evolutionary process. Absurdity and ridicule suck the film?s style simply because of Mark?s counterpointed beliefs of interacting via web versus via face-to-face.

Once his obsessive rubber band snaps in the cold, Mark narrows his choices of spreading Facebook?s name with selfish sacerfises. His one and only friend, Eduardo constantly massages Mark?s stressful neck with his new ideas of buisness, CEO deals, and programming filters. Though, once Mark encounters womanizer and tycoon Sean Parker, the pathway to a sin-free and happily-ever-after Genesus explodes. Stressed about his co-workers? liability, unsurprisingly Mark pulls a nasty prank on his best bud just to expand Facebook?s global empire. Sean?s swindle skills implant inside Mark?s narrowed mind that simply screams for more smart buisness deals and formal meetings. Inside his love life, Erica dumps Mark because of his inconsistent measures of knowing the line between selfishness and self-image. Just for Facebook?s popularity, Mark costs Eduardo?s CFO position for dirty Sean and loses a clingy crush for ?thinking all for yourself?You?re a nerd, yes, but you?re mostly hated because you?re an asshole.?

Friending someone, tagging one?s photo, and writing on a celeb?s wall is not the universal framework Fincher tries to assay. Inciting and interlocking, Facebook?s creation is part of Mark?s damaged background during the painful process of trying to pull popularity?s strings, being engulfed by an idea that contrasts his own personal life and losing everlasting friends just to replenish a will-be-epheremel phenomanon. Mark may win the big fat lottery, but empires eventually destruct and destroy. For the youngest billionaire, gaining power is merely realized by biased and blashemy components that only revolves around them. But there is always a point of sanity and settlement even for a tangled and egocentric CEO like Mark.

The Savages
The Savages (2007)
6 years ago via Rotten Tomatoes
½

Sorry to say, but family matters added up with media doesn?t smell too yummy. All you gotta do to impress the niche marketing boys is pack up some funny ol? catchphrase (anything that streches the iPhone band or parents stalking their 12 year-old?s best bad friend on Facebook) or trip the siblings into some misleading mischief, in which the mom would jokingly whine about that she?d have a miscarriage. Faster than the comeback an emo kid would applaud to, the children would hug each other, smooch BS kisses on the cheeks, and then, God forbid, there comes the croony awww. Background cues just attempt to smolder on our dandruffs, don?t they? Like that?s how real households act. They?d fire their chimneys, fix their lamps, accidently crash their vases into four shards, and then forgive each other the next minute a tween recieves some text message.

So much for the matter part. Businesses can only be so, oh very predictable with the market crashes and the dungy goers. Hollywood?s pow-wows stood near with the Will Smiths, instead of the nicer olden Cosbys. Hell, even that was more tangible than a faaabulous reniun with a Modern Family network. Really, not everything has to be a go-go type of dinner. Kids don?t always dive that shallow with trouble?s syndrome. Parents aren?t that kewl as Jay Leno?s. With the genre?s feeble-minded backpack, sometimes a woman just gotta slap the man in the face when they?re dealing with touchy papers. Fox Searchlight earned +5 points with the encouragement of a sad family who grew sadder, then +10 for the other little smash hits, all molded into depressing bummers Mayans would?ve teetered. Some peeps have the courage to finger puke the chocoloate chips and leave the bitter biscut as their little boy?s snack.

It quickly bubbled. With indie flicks boiling from healthy, calorie-free broil, to fried underwater carp, the serious shennigans are poked fun by the smart industry. Sideways mothballed happy jokes and the funny woman stomping their feet down on the lazy, incompetent males (PC term for the dumb wangs); Juno started the entire revalation about teen mom?s awesome parents and MTV reality shows. Next up, 27 Dresses with freaking Katherine Heigl as a brided Anne Hathaway, except not a sad Rachel, but uhm, we can only guess, a younger Julia Robert?s corny com? Sundance sure can soften up like mush Jell-O, or it can rock hard, act bad-ass and real crybaby vid, not Miley Cyrus acting as if she ain?t a cash girl or something in one of her floozy dramedies. Loner pictures can either ride high as screwball inteligentes. They can also catch hemorrhoids, anuses flying all over the gross-looking offspring.

The rest is bearable. The whole black comedy idea mustered with the sibling?s album juts home improvement and might work its way up to a TV troupe, one for the kids. Mid-life crisis is another average thing that acts as a smelly curse, a lemon a screenwriter might utilize sour-good for a dying indie playground. Sad weepies can go on for a while, but at least the ones with a couple of wry gags, dry lines and lying secret, squeeze Searchlight?s brim for the festivals. One 45-year-old-something It girl is Tamara Jenkins, not a family name, and far away from marrying crippled Gary Marshall. She writes and directs a fiery funny and hungry hypercarnal docudrama. A gutbucket?s scary relationship sticks up their rude middle fingers, like how real human issues act via face-to-face, not with Skype.

Jenkins surprisingly does get away with her Nia Vardalos? poofy hair and an all too ?90?s ta and cheap attire. Her films ? OK, it?s hard to count with like one hand ? sit at the end of a social latter, way deep and too shallow. Her early ?90?s wonky sunnyside-up Fugitive Love isn?t exactly like Clueless or Say Anything? More parties! More one-liners! More break-ups! She?s great with awesome forgettables like the chicks in The Slums of Beverly Hills, rom com meets a cracked sausage. We can only guess she?s the housewife Palin always wanted to be, the community college graduate cocky soccer mom, or the middle school teacher around the kid?s block. Filming those kinds of fluffy, lean flicks surely won?t let you drive anywhere. Fresh from the lawn drinking her cool lemonade while her husband?s mowing, Jenkins is the unknown gal who?ll stay with alibi. Sadly, she isn?t some Diablo Cody or something. But this time, she cracks down low and pulls down her pants so the whole crowd can see the cheeks. The Savages marks her pooh-pooh territory. If she plops dysentary, it?ll be one for the team.

Here?s her little back up plan. Forget the bigwig?s nametag, listen to the characters; elimante the platitude OMFG moments, and get them to cry like it?s some (melo) graveyard moment with Joel Osteen. Aaaand she wants to make you think. The Savages is advertised as the lone family crop, minus the kids, the pets, the plastic peeves. If that?s modern at all. Cold smirks and burnt cocktails are centerfolds for these major lewds. We meet two siblings who can?t think of ways to set up the dinner table, who keep fighting about who?s the better egghead, who wonder why their lives just freaking stink up the entire apartment. They?re adults. They?re middle-aged. These siblings look like bourgeoisie dead ends. Will be single forever and emo, these American adults will make kids think that the funeral will be there in a quarter till four, while the grannies, well, just wish them luck.

?DO DIET, SO SINGLE
This spreads lots like wildfire with dentures. Philip Seymour Hoffman gults his way down with ten Twinkies and a milkshake, pudgy and sometimes grumpy, Jon Savage, the mellow fellow whoe smart and wicked with words, slow with the whole marriage thing. Vilified research is his stressball; Polish women are karma. His too-normal-looking sister, Wendy (bravo Laura Linney) is almost 40, winding the clocks as an ankle-deep emotional lady with playwriting toppled aloof and med bottles equivalent to the Great Depression. Jon should have had his boy by now, someone that?ll relieve his cholesterol attacks. Wendy should be a mommy by now. (Too bad she?s massaging affiar?s love handle with a 52 year-old-grandpa.) They?re two clumsy armchairs, kids arrested if they acted like mature, bright adults. But they do like to write. He?s the smart professor lecturing until eggs cook by microwave; she?s the freelance writer, trapped in some flimsy cubicle cell.

He and she hear some bad news about their pa. Lenny (dry Philip Barco) is either telling Jesus that he has had enough of white aprons and obnoxious nurses, or he has some serious mental trauma. (For older generations, we can only call it dementia.) He writes crazy stuff on bleached walls, clean cut by the lovely caretakers, with his shit. When Lenny isn?t the dellusional mixed old guy, he?s the crazy mad grandaddy. Jon and Wendy are asked to give some siblings-parent time before he croaks dead. (When his girlfriend went farewell, it?s only fate for him to escape from those damn hopitals.) His wonderful son and daughter both hate their father to the guts mostly because the wonderful fatehr hates them. Ouch. Convos like, ?My boy isn?t a doctor?!? or ?Who?d pay me for you to be so annoying?? hurts sweetie Wendy, and drives Jon to a facepalm. Why, their lives, so cheery.

The chub doesn?t gurgle much attention; Wendy is the swelling mess. Because of a shot self-esteem by bazooka, her yen is craved all the way like it?s locked in a period symptom. Wen ignores the fact that she sips lies like daily coffee, has no running time, and well, it?s sorta gloomy to see such young old woman already wishing to sleep in a red-medicine-smelling death bed. And, ah yes: she?s backstabbing a husband?s wife by sleeping with their precious hubby. Wendy steals medicine from an old patient. She lies through her teeth about work. She?ll do anything to gnaw Jon?s plushy shoulders about who?s the better writer. When she cheats, all her face can do is look stoned while he?s humping away. Lying Wendy! Dying Wendy! Don?t we all. As she woes like her father has never been mad at her, she reminds herself that a wrinkly whore should only deserve zippo. Wendy whipsaws doses as a middle-class nonsense runnerback, a confused woman who thinks she enjoys womanizers, a daughter who thinks the father is like a babysitting chore.

Funeral music doesn?t rerun on their radio. (Although, this does have its winsome share of twinkling depressing cellos.) The bros and sis kinship is yet to be solved until the final death wish. But aren?t all troubled girls and boys stay static? No time for Kleenex weeping, and then, it turns out to be freindship braceles, but soon another foolish fight wrecks it. Jon punches bags like word brawls; Wendy sneaks in the very lying truth. (?Are you having a heartattack??) The two can?t even wash their own pillow cases, so why not throw mad dad at some eldery, sunny, marvelous house?, i.e. a squirt?s worst nightmare, closer to an insane asylum than a POW headquater. Which one: Valley View or Green Meadows ? they all smell the same, and embody toilet seats with the miffing nursery rhymes. Jon bobbles his head and finds the most brutal rehabilitation mall, while his cuckoo sister cusses hysterically. As her brother spits a reminder that all elderly houses encourage grosteque murder, she uses a lie as bait. Jon eats. Wendy cries. Adults when they?re related.

Lenny?s eyebrows would cringe soon enough. But yeah, everything moists up pretty sadly. He?s er, well, less than a nicer grandpa, a bald ?do that would scare a 4 year-old?s toy truck. Taciturn answers means he?s at least content. Or lazy? We can only tell. Something like ?Not bad? or ?Mhmm? gives ease for the Savages like breast cancer was just cured. Then, in the next second, a new epidemic wipes all the buffoons. Daddy shouts at the top of his lungs, curses the freak outta a nursery room, slaps Jon at the back of his free willy neck. You could say he?s quite bipolar. When sunset crawls down to night, rituals, make the guy so ticked off, evil step-fathers would end up as swallowed black widows. His kids have their quirky grabbags like affiar rings, moobs and men. A moving truck full of bon bons left behind, they shouldn?t be complaining. Of course, a wee edginess burns at the side of Lenny?s sketch. He?s the saggy Scrooge, but for Jon and Wendy?s humility, they can only frown.

The family hug is quite ? oh, well, teary. This isn?t exactly a fluffy soap opera whipped cream. You can?t wank off during the crybaby montages. Jokes come and go, Jon gets the fat boy sweetness out of him, Wendy has that doomed voice surely browbeaten and shameful. As huangdog?s lives aren?t so sorely funny, this isn?t a laughing fiasco. Here?s something that?s sit and cry then titter, as you?re half-tickled. Their father sure is cranky, but at least the sideways siblings make some ?do time and figure up their banged-up roads and cut-short abjects. Mad squirts are so in; pricky yuppies live outside with Biden and the rest. (After all, not every adult tends to be moola-making after school.) Family just can?t be Christmas carols anymore. True life tends to be the bitter victim. You have middle-aged losers who can?t marry anyone, gain more weight as book?s mouths fly open, practice more sex while their partner?s wife is on the line, take meds like quick Tic-Tacs, hate fathers, accept mothers as sperm donors. Take a whiff.

B, 70%

The Ghost Writer
6 years ago via Rotten Tomatoes

First, there was a drink. Then the drugs came. Lastly, the performance started. Unless if you?re a crying BP executive, everybody knows Roman Polanksi, possibly one of our versatlie filmmakers in modern day suck-up reels. But even a guy like that can get such scath. Rewinding all the way back to 1977, Roman disgustingly picked up a young girl ? late in her doll years, early in pre-teen duds and certainly not a prostitute ? drugged, raped and performed a nasty conclusion of oral sex on her. The case pitterpattered all over the place, puke and yeuk. What?s sickening is that Roman pleaded not guilty on banging that tortured kid. Slammed by a psychological mess-up syndrom, he?s begging others that he isn?t a crook, while others are just banging on him. She was just a little girl with a daisy on top of her head. She was 13.

Guilts also have their talents. Aside from being a child molestor and a wanted man in the US, Roman?s had his side of the bang. Embarking from great neo-noir genres to juicy gumpacks full of salty black humor and weirdo rapists, this lad?s been with us for more than 40 years. After Monroe and way before nifty laptops, there were Knife in the Water?s, Break up the Dance?s, The Lamp?s, A Taste for Women?s and other destined-for-Criterion progidies. In the late ?60?s, early ?70?s, he finally stamped his signature in Chinatown ? about a badass Jack Nicholson and some rape case gone mad. (Hmmm, sound familiar?) Earlier, later works include the darker, devilish sprawl in Rosemary?s Baby, infamous for a satanic rape scene, another zipper that should?ve flied right open that something?s a bit messed up about brilliant Roman.

The rest is history. After a wazoo full of five Oscar noms with a couple of wins (modernized kids and gadget freakazoids finally had the chance to meet the crazy gamble in 2001?s Best Director win for The Pianist), an older Roman has his share of trusting no one. You have to get sorta irked out when most of his films document surreal rape fights, warped horny fathers who want to beat up their daughters, and well, incest-titive barf bags who like to take over poor little girls. Sure, he knows how to creep up behind us ominously and use subtle tricks to scrap up a handsome piece of work into an ugly, horrific message. But a freak of nature is inside his FB life: personal but public; sweaty and controversial; zero friends, but a celeb. Yes, Roman can be in for the books and all. Thing is, when you have the ad and the advocate, you have some serious ad-lib amock.

Geniuses are naturally messed-up in minds. (Yeah, this is a lame excuse for Roman.) Long story short: he had his share with a checkered past, some edgy footwear, nasty cologne, dirty duvet sheets. Head over heels, this filmmaker trumps every other on pulling a Bate victim, mama?s boy and dangerous director, if there?s any such trend on Twitter. With glamorous medals on his chest, his left and right are soaked with then-wife Sharon Tate and her grosteque murder in ?69, before her husband?s disgusting crime. Killed by infamous bad guy, Charles Manson, the obligatory interrogation with Roman was cut short suspiciously. His films now range from bitter sad mess, yelling freaks or maybe a middling tsk-tsking of ? sigh, again rape and their bad influence. Shakling off forenic files and the how-to-win obvious court case, Roman woes as low as he can go.

Back gets broken agian. Back in the day, when Roman was at his fullest melancholy stress attacks, claustrophobia was an A for effort obsession. ?68?s Repulsion and other works shot in nippy B&W was that trademark horror he sprawled up in wet dreams. After moving to France to hide from US officials, Hollywood?d scripts and a $650,000+ fine he?s mostly been, er, under the weather. A bit too all-that for his age, he retrieved a lifetime award in Switzerland. He went over his tounge in front of Swiss police. Things like that would only happen to an ironic tragedy-of-the-week dung ? the other stuff arrests the zillionaire criminals who hang out with the behemoths near snail menus. Strings of his earlier works come about as Stone Age juice, but surprisingly, chase back his spine like psyhic?s oujia boards.

Humble is still here. Based on Robert Harris? bestselling scary politico tale, Polanski?s The Ghost Writer shows how mad a runaway?s nutjob really is. During his pricky plight in hiding, US extradiction, jail time, bigwig?s cash and yet still, a lingering ghost of Sharon, Roman powes an efect, leaves it for a take-5 hiatus, then fast-forwards a couple of tell-all 5 secs, and then resumes stealthy. So we don?t understand where we?re going. All the complicated chess masters around the corner get connected: who?s who, why the guy over there was fishy, why she?s suspicious and why those group of men were actually the good guys, etc. We can only guess what eerie plot holes can still be struck twice by the same ol? Roman. But, hey, doesn?t that title just remind you of sad men who have to impassivley pass mad spirits? Seeing the undead remind us a ton of cringy Romanesque sleaze.

Seriously, there?s nothing too happy about his ghost. Grainy and even wetter, this political shocker has every trace of a poor little innocent. Infamous and accused of bent war crimes, Ex-Prime Minister Adam Lang (Pierce Broson) has that pizzazz and the ba-boom of a good-looking leader with slick coiff, thick eyebrows, and subtle eyes. Mad yuppies, happy voters, and angry soccer moms climb up his shoulders telling him that they hate (or love) his leadership. Like any other cocky dude, Lang wants to ?write? his own autobio about his wonderful, awesome historical journey that?s just too important and awesome and cool ? yeah, whatever. Of course, how could a guy who gets five calls per minute telling him he?s a murderer and have riots eating the guts outta his lims, write all that crap? He calls in The Ghost (Ewan McGregor), a wiser geek who can actually, uhm, write, instead of reciting buffoony one-liners.

LIE ANOTHER DAY
Things get fishier. A wee older than a 20-something, The Ghost, a tweeb who can?t even snap a No. 2 pencil while drafting, discovers he?s a cheechako of a swallowing dirty buisness. He?s stuck in a haunted Minster?s yacht ? polluted shorelines come crashing in while winds go 90 mph against strong glass windows. Reports go flying berserk, helicopter secetaries (one like Kim Cattrall?s Amelia Bly) hover state after state. The Prime Minister?s murky mansion is like the White House gone hemlock. Lang?s leadership fries away from that ?crime? that took place ? no blackmaling crap anymore. This really did happen by the CIA; some mean bogy is under the political prank. And as if something really needed to get even less misty, his earlier Ghost, Mike McAra, was found washed up on shore by booze-driven doom. Drunk, drown, bye-bye. Or so they say. Ruth Lang (Olivia Williams) is sickened to the gut by her husband?s lady tramps, gov?t excuses, bitter and haterish. Seriously, the writer has more important duties than jotting down memories about Lang, his college years, his girlfreinds, etc. The poor writer gets mugged. A car quietly chases him down to a ferry. Someone tries to kill him. What?s a ghost writer suppoused to do?!

A gapped-tooth dork turned 007?d whodunit Holmes isn?t part of Roman?s hobgoblin. The clincher here is that while things go bleep off a bit on the wrong side, emergiencies are wayy too calm and murder guts come off slick and suavee as collar undershirts and white collars. It?s quiet near a pouring Birt?s place. The Ghost shelters in shady motels (only to be caught by some creeper who despises Lang), sleeps with cougar Ruth (only to find out that sneaky Amelia does more jobs than listed for Lang)? et al. There comes a mushy point where this unlucky writer could care freaking less about whistleblowing a politican?s second girlfreind or the grade they got on a big test and the rest of his stupid smart life. All he wants to find out is who murdered McAra, how Lang found himself in a dirty deck, and if he?ll end up in a beer-smellin? shoreline, unconscience or plain dead.

The Ghost needs to hide. Lang?s candid hiding spot in America is probably like Roman?s quaint France: haunted, fancy, huge and way too obvious that something is, ay, curropted. Not only is there a woed lost Ruth (Sharon anyone?!), and eager publishers who receive suspicious slaps in the face, even suspects lock the too naïve citizens, something that a Brit leader wouldn?t chew on. Professor Paul Emmett (Tom Wilkinson, the old guy whose always the suspect) slyly sneaks into every Lang photgraph, a creepy dude who?s on The Ghost?s wanted list, 24/7. ?Take a left, and you get back to the ferry. Take a right,? Emmett slows down, ?and you?ll get lost in the woods, and maybe, nowhere to be found.? Is Emmett behind all this whatever mess? Or is someone else teaming with the naughty CIA? Yikes. You haven?t seen the rest of the sketch bunch.

It?s classic mud. Sure, this Roman can make you sweat bullets with borin-looking convos about Prime Minsters and writers who document Cambridge years and college perfume. But it?s watersheding that chap dare-to-look feel: a dectective who rides on top of wet reflections, curbs that are too soily to ever recognize, things that go running behind him on a very rainy afternoon. While all Jakes and Humphreys are farewell, stuck in TCM attenas, Ewan brings in a classier adroit at guys who look like nobodys, but really are the hot playas. You see something on TV about cops, you get the yesteryear sugar and spice chemistry, the laughs and then right after, a censored sucker punch, and finally, some dinner sequence with flying Fettuchini and grounded gernades. Oh, please. 9/11 terriosm is the main entrée here, not who-hated-who. Conspiracies go afloat in a murky Sunday. Uptight nerds with brown wear vs. the old men with big glasses and gel hairdos, deft gazillion masterminds. Instead of toppling a loaded truck, snapping the evil sidekick?s fingers, or masterin? disguises in a blink, looking sexxxy is the last thng The Ghost wants to do. Yeah, he rides. But with a bike. Not even a motorcycle. Madoff?s skills are quick to microwave and effective: bank numbers, buisness with eggheads, blah blah meetings with the fantod VIPs. The Ethan Hunt flair gets old that quick.

That?s the blam and bullets, right there. With the surrender of a filmmaker who just doesn?t want to go to jail like a man, Lang can?t return to the UK. If he does take that retarded chance of being shot by some religio-kitsh, a memoir floats the boat, and conspiracies touch the chandelier. It?s a pity that some unknown writer has to do all the hard work, solving the drunk jigsaws, jinxed just and then the mayor won?t know a thing about the tweeb. ?Goddamn politics? can go up someone?s butt. But when you have a courtroom that?s too small for a serious no-no from a leader of dampy England, walls go all the way up to streets and you?re in trouble. You have the sense that Roman?s shouting, ?I?m not a crook!? all day long, throughout Lang?s white teeth. When the Ghost gets his ride on, he swaps his notepad and No. 2 pencil, and faces the men in suits and hefty Sperrys, tellin? them that he?s the ninja, and they?re the evil superspies. Less roided out military studs are the Wall Street saviors, and more intelligent gentlemen populate than the gruf guidos in a grainy Brit Friday night. In contrast, all Lang does is snap his fingers twice and a private jet comes all the way from the other side. That?s fine. Act like a good ol? chap as if nothing?s fucked up in your life.

B, 80%