Written September 11, 2009
Thursday 9/10/09 - This first movie preview of this evening that I attended almost put me to sleep in its opening 15 minutes - as director Steven Soderberg tried hard to stamp his caper-style onto a non-caper movie. It was akin to trying to fit a square peg into a round hole. Thus, the B-minus grade.
While I have enjoyed Soderberg's 'Ocean' movies, I found The Informant!(based on Kurt Eichenwald's novel) to be lacking in terms of pacing, fluidity, and continuity. Nevertheless, the cast did a remarkable job! Yes, Matt Damon did put on 30 pounds for this role and he wore a hair-piece and his moustache looked awful - but he was remarkably compelling in the role - successfully channeling the characters compulsive lying, delusions, and bi-polar disorder - and ultimately, the meltdown.
Set design, props, costumes, and production values were excellent - while directing and editing were choppy.
The Informant! never really sucked me in. I felt detached.
Written September 18, 2009
I havent seen the actual movie yet but I lived this while I was working in that small town for that CROOKED and CORRUPT corporation. I know most of the players and TRUST ME on this one, if they made this out to be a comedy they did it at ADM's urgings. The film makers were paid off to make Mr Whitacre look horrible and ADM look like saints. Since when does a serious issue such as price fixing become a huge joke?
I will be at the earliest showing today for this movie and I am sure I will be trying hard not to jump out of my seat and scream BULLSH** over and over again.
If they merely wanted to make a comedy they should have done so with another subject. ADM is as CROOKED at they come TRUST ME! One of their main attorneys is known in town as "If you are guilty as hell go to Fombelle" (Norman Fombelle) The heads of ADM had ties to Watergate for gods sake. PLEASE read the other book involved with this - the one that is called Rats in the Grain - it is truer then this is
Written September 30, 2009
Soderburg and Eichenwald's movie is neither fact nor fiction, and therefore both fishy and foul. Using real names from the ADM price-fixing scandal creates a pseudo factuality, in spite of the disclaimer at the beginning--"some characters are composites, the writers have taken dramatic license...so there." A quick poke in the eye, the author wants to blind us to the truth. Matt Damon played the title role as a disturbed and morally ambiguous character, and naively claimed he did not need to study the living person he defamed. If this was a post-modern deconstruction of the whistleblower scenario, why use actual names? The give-away of the movie's real agenda was placing the words of convicted ADM heir apparent, Mike Andreas, in Whitacre's mouth--"The customer is our enemy and the competitor is our friend." The movie's message is simple--Whitacre's a bad whacko, ****happens, shut up. Follow the money trail and you'll likely find Andreas backing, just like he did Watergate. Revenge!
Written October 19, 2009
What a waste of talent and time. I would have resented getting this on Netflix, but at least could have turned it off. We got the point and wow was it dull! This movie does not deserve the so-so rating. It's a fact that if you check the movies on NetFlix it is almost impossible to find a movie that makes it much higher than a 3.0. Those who produce movies seemed to lack cutting edge creativity, but survive financially by spurting out drivel.
Written September 23, 2009
How did this movie get sold to the studio, exactly? "Yeah, we're gonna fatten up Matt Damon, a franchise action star... but if you like jokes about dextrose and lycene, boy have we got a film for you!"
While the aforementioned Damon (or the doppleganger who apparently ATE Matt Damon) is exceptionally good in the film - good enough that I'd consider him a longshot for an Oscar nom, although a win seems like a stretch - the problem is the script he's been surrounded with. It's billed as a comedy... which clearly indicates that advertising has even less regulation than the corn industry the movie is based on. Seriously, they could have sold me a $10 ticket to see the trailer and I would have gotten the same jokes. Ultimately, the film can't overcome the fact that the script never truly decides whether Damon's character is our protagonist or our antagonist - which prevents the audience from ever actually sypmathizing with him.
Wait for the DVD - maybe it'll come with free corn. :)