Thursday, 2 February 2012


With George Clooney looking to finally win over the Academy and receive his first 'Best Actor Oscar' with his career performance in 'The Descendants' released last week, this weeks 'DVD RACK' looks at his greatest hits.

OCEANS ELEVEN: With the worlds best entourage not named Sammy, Frank and Dino; Clooney enrols leading men Matt Damon and Brad Pitt as they get their Rat Pack on. Taking on the ever king of cool Andy Garcia-and the royalty of casino's like 007-Casey Affleck, the late, legendary, laugh-out-loud Bernie Mac (R.I.P. you are truly missed), Elliott Gould and many more star-studded players put their hands in. Sure casino players may not really look like this but this movie is as cool as the hell in Sin City and Vegas has never looked better, being taken back to it's cinematic qualities of the 50's. The best of the rest, this film is big, with a pack all playing their cards right. Confident like Sinatra, charismatic like Dean Martin and cool like Sammy Davis, Clooney and this picture make a smart classic. If there's nothing on the tube tonight, it's time to channel the greats.

MICHAEL CLAYTON: Clooney's politically poignant film is amongst the first of his greatest works. Adding some of the best takes to his, Tom Wilkinson, Tilda Swinton and Sydney Pollack's filmography this is a modern great of dramatic and thrilling proportions. Who needs gun's and bullets to really scare someone? This taught, edgy and terrifying tense thriller is clinical to the core. Sure this film's business is about the world of law, but with mental breakdowns and corruption on the cards there are some unjust deals in a film that plays the strongest hand of director Tony Gilroy's career. The scene with the horses is a subtle but beautiful stampede into classic cinematic territory. This is more than a melodrama, it's the personal effects of the lives of those in power bared to all.

UP IN THE AIR: Another classic character study into human nature and emotional baggage. This film really takes off. Our leading man plays a character who travels around America to tell employees of firms that they're getting the sack (hey, someone has to do it if the bosses don't have the balls). He also moonlights as a man who gives motivational how ironic is that. Exactly! This film is a humbling, honest but poignant look at the contradictions and conflicting nature of everyday life. With great performances from Vera Farmiga and Anna Kendrick on board this is more than an in-flight movie, it's an Oscar worthy picture that had Academy nominations but didn't strike gold. It still hit the sky however furthering Clooney's flight plan as one of the greatest filmmakers in the world.

THE AMERICAN:As George Clooney adds more stamps to his passport 'The American' on the outside looks like an excuse for the housewives favourite sexiest man alive to get his Chevy Chase on and take a European vacation between work. Still, however if you take a look inside this picture you'll see that it is in fact another great Clooney film to add to the collection as the leading man furthers his legend. In this modern day George Clooney may be the closest thing we have to Cary Grant. The similarities to the classic star and the modern day hero are apparent. Even the score and the poster of 'The American' is a throwback to vintage cinema art and promotion. While the black and white image of a running Clooney on the billboard is almost has shades of 'North By Northwest'. Quite fitting for a man who might play Robert Vaughan's (a man who looked like the next Cary Grant) role in an upcoming 'The Man From U.N.C.L.E' film.

THE IDES OF MARCH: Politics is a dirty game and Ryan Gosling, Paul Giamatti, Phillip Seymour Hoffman, Marisa Tomei, Evan Rachel Wood and Jeffrey Wright all campaign for this in George Clooney's political thriller based on the book 'Farragut North' by Beau Willimon. If you loved 'Michael Clayton' than be aware of 'The Ides Of March' perfectly placed last November, a year before the big election month. This movie was just the ticket coming in last fall to hit the ballot for best movie of 2011. It's got our vote. Clooney is formidable even if his character takes the background. Still, this is his picture in front of and behind the lens. It's Gosling who's in the forefront however even though his character works behind Clooney's scenes. You can even see from the innovative and impressive 'Time' Magazine film poster that the faces are changing. Hollywood may still be Clooney's world, but over the next four years people will be chanting Ryan Gosling's name more. Soon this elect will enter the elite of presidential leading men. Right now the polls are his and this is just the primary. Just wait for his election day.

See Also:

THE PERFECT STORM: Mark Wahlberg and a whole crew of famous faces join the boy George on an expedition of an epic movie. These fisherman come across some high seas and as they become natures bait what we are offered is a movingly tragic tale of friendship, companionship and camaraderie.

O BROTHER, WHERE ART THOU? A perfectly peculiar, period piece set in sleepy ole Mississippi. Clooney and his cohorts get into all sort of tight spots, but the Dapper Dan lead and his film remain slick throughout.

GOOD NIGHT & GOOD LUCK: Sublimely shot in beautiful black and white. This journalistic look of America in the 1950's is a poignant portrayal, directed and acted perfectly by Clooney. Like his other noir hit 'The Good German' it's visually cinematic, but it's lead anchor David Strathairn that makes this movie stunning.


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