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Enemy of the State (1998)

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Fast-paced surveillance-oriented action...
Wednesday, June 17, 2020

Fast-paced surveillance-oriented action/thriller with Will Smith, Gene Hackman and Jon Voight RELEASED IN 1998 and directed by Tony Scott, "Enemy of the State” is an action/crime/thriller starring Will Smith as a DC lawyer who unknowingly apprehends evidence of a serious crime involving a formidable politician (Jon Voight) and is subsequently targeted by his NSA goons (Jack Black, Seth Green, etc.) and heavies (Scott Caan, Jake Busey, etc.). He ultimately partners with an ex-NSA surveillance curmudgeon (Gene Hackman). The quick-editing is akin to other popular action flicks of the era, like “Armageddon” (1998), but it’s done expertly and there are enough lulls in the relentless action and character-developing moments to prevent it from being overkill. The surveillance element and Hackman bring to mind Coppola’s “The Conversation” (1974), but the story moves way faster, has more thrills and the characters are more interesting. Lisa Bonet (Jason Momoa’s babe) is stunning as...

Poor Jason Lee ("Zavitz") has...
Saturday, July 9, 2022

Poor Jason Lee ("Zavitz") has only the smallest of parts in this film, yet in the few minutes he is on screen (before he is squished in a road accident) he manages to dump unsuspecting lawyer "Dean" (Will Smith) into an whole world of pain. Why? Well we already know what happened regarding the mysterious death of "Congressman Hammersley" (Jason Robards) but unfortunately for the killers, a video camera used for monitoring bird life caught them in the act. "Zavitz" managed to pass the tape to "Dean" and soon the considerable resources of the NSA are shutting down his credits cards, testing his already precariously balanced marriage and setting him up for a fall as they desperately try to retrieve this incriminating evidence. Luckily, though, he alights on maverick "Lyle" (Gene Hackman) and they start to come up with a strategy to fight back and trap their nemesis "Reynolds" (Jon Voight). There are a few sub-plots - but essentially this...

The government's been in...
Friday, July 24, 2020

The government's been in bed with the entire telecommunications industry since the forties. They've infected everything. Enemy of the State is directed by Tony Scott and written by David Marconi. It stars Will Smith, Gene Hackman, Jon Voight, Regina King and Lisa Bonet. Music is by Harry Gregson-Williams and Trevor Rabin, and cinematography by Dan Mindel. A lawyer becomes targeted by a corrupt politician and his N.S.A. goons when he accidentally receives key evidence to a politically motivated murder. Superb action thriller, we find Tony Scott on fine story telling form, backed up by Smith (how great to see the actor and not the star) and the always awesome Hackman adding his character driven gravitas to the stew. We are frighteningly drawn into a very real hi-tech world, which in turns becomes thought provoking and intriguing. Scott knows how to work an action scene and edge of the seat sequences, and he doesn't...

What was just a movie...
Wednesday, June 17, 2020

What was just a movie then is quickly becoming reality now. With the erosion of our rights and privacy online, this movie should have served as a harbinger of a world we do not want to live in. We are introduced to the same arguments politicians, the wealthy and the agencies brought forth after the terror attacks we endured. The exact same rhetoric is used in this film ("if you have nothing to hide..."). At times, it looks like the real world emulates fiction or worse, this film was a blue print. From a protagonist unaware or unwilling to see the state of affairs, who's unwittingly caught in the path of bad guys, to what might then have been a tinfoil hat wearing, paranoid conspiracy theorist, but would now (post Snowden) be a a very concerned citizen, this film has what it needs to tell a good story. What's great too is the ending, which is bittersweet. It...

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