MOVIE: State of Play (2009)

stateofplayOkay, here’s the good news:  I really enjoyed this movie!  But here’s the bad news:  two days before I saw it, my brain shorted out (literally!), and I now can’t remember a damn thing about the plot.  Or, for that matter, about anything that happened last week.  Or yesterday.  Or this morning.

But I’ll tell you what I do remember, and maybe it’ll be enough to encourage you to rent it yourselves.  After you watch it, you should come back here and write your own review in the comments, by the way, because otherwise this whole shebang is going to be pretty useless, all things considered.

Okay, so, here’s what I do know:  this film has something to do with a reporter, played by ex-Boyfriend of the Week Russell Crowe, whose old school chum, a politician played by Ben Affleck, gets accused of having an affair with an aide who then kills herself.

Except now I can’t remember if it turned out that she killed herself or if it turned out that someone killed her.  I think someone killed her.  Wait, yeah, someone killed her.  But I don’t think it was Ben Affleck.  Or wait, maybe it was?  God, this is futile.  Why am I here?

To be honest, what I remember the most about this movie are two completely pointless  thoughts I had in the first twenty minutes.  The first was that it was remarkable just how much Russell Crowe’s character both looked and sounded like my husband (who is also a newspaper reporter).  In so recognizing this fact, I quickly made the resolution to make out with him a lot more often.  (What, we’re married.  Shut up.)

The second is that the Rachel McAdams character in this movie, a rookie reporter who teams up with Crowe’s seasoned muckraker, is a character I do not believe actually exists in real newspapers anymore.   What newspaper is hiring n00bs these days?  If your local rag can go a day without firing someone, it’s a goddamn banner day, believe me.  Newsflash:  they aren’t hiring fresh-faced journalism students to write their blogs and tweet their Twitters — they’re making the old reporters do it.  Or, even better, they’re “letting” members of the public contribute all that copy for no pay whatsoever.   Can you believe that?  Man, what suckers!   I mean, what kind of total loser would agree to write all that stuff online for NO PAY WHATSOEVER?

Wait, don’t answer that.

I forgot what my point here was.  Oh yeah: good movie.  I think?  Hell.  Someone go rent this and then come back and do the job I should’ve done, okay?  And I swear, when I go see Paranormal Activity tonight (yes!) and Zombieland later in the week (yes, again!), I will take notes so this does not happen again.  Yay-sus.

p.s. Please subscribe to (and read!) your local newspaper.   I thank you, and so does Russell Crowe.  The end.

[Netflix me | Buy me]

Genre:  Thriller
Cast:  Russell Crowe, Rachel McAdams, Ben Affleck, Helen Mirren, Robin Wright Penn, Jason Bateman, Jeff Daniels


6 Responses to “MOVIE: State of Play (2009)”

  1. Nemo Says:

    I can’t believe the director was dumb enough to let Crowe ad-lib the line about McAdams’ character having a much newer, more powerful computer: dude, when one person in an office gets a new computer, EVERYONE gets a new computer. Shows what you know about life in Cubeland, Russell. That nit aside, watch the original British miniseries. It’s about a trillion times more intelligent than this Cliff’s Notes version, and Bill Nighy doesn’t turn into a woman. (Not that I don’t love Queen Helen, but still….)

  2. megwood Says:

    Ah, well, that computer thing actually makes perfect sense in the newspaper world (not to mention the library world — I get a new computer every 3-4 years, but my colleague hasn’t had a “new” computer in about 12 years — she gets my hand-me-downs. I do a lot of heavy-duty computer work, she doesn’t. That’s just how it goes).

    My guess is that most reporters haven’t had a new computer in at least four years, if not longer, and that the few new systems that might’ve come into a given paper’s offices have indeed gone straight to whomever it is who works on the web site and online content. They would NOT go to the investigative reporters, that’s for darn sure!

    I did hear the British miniseries was incredibly great. And I LOVE Bill Nighy! So, I’ll definitely see if I can track down a copy this week! Love that — “Cliff’s Notes version” — ha.

  3. Liz Says:

    Wow – that cast sounds awesome! And you know I’m a sucker for a good cast – even if the movie doesn’t turn out to be that good. I’ll probably rent this one before too long. BTW, it’s too bad we can’t have BOTH Helen Mirren AND Bill Nighy – but I guess that would be like having your cake, and eating it, too!! 🙂

  4. deb aussie Says:

    I watched this movie and thought Russell was quite good. I didn’t know Ben was in it until he popped up as the politician whose girlfriend turns up dead (SPOILER ALERT- after he has her followed by an old army buddy of his who goes wacko. So it turns out that the girlfriend didn’t kill herself). Also, Jason Bateman pops up as a questionable friend of the girlfriend and gives a very sleezy performance. I enjoyed the movie and can’t say whether the miniseries is better cos I haven’t seen it. My young 15 year old son pointed out that there was a miniseries with the same title and story starring Bill ( he would know being a movie buff and with hopes of becoming a director like his hero Quenton). Helen Mirren actually plays a very small part in the movie as the newspaper boss but is funny and scary at the same time.
    In regards to working for no pay- I plan to volunteer at my local library with the hope that I will have first dibs at any position that comes up where they pay for your time!!!

  5. Lorraine Says:

    I agree with Nemo. The British miniseries from 2003 with the same name is eons better than this movie. It stars not only Bill Nighy but James McEvoy. John Sims as the reporter is great. But maybe best is David Morrissey as the politican. No offense to Mr. Affleck but Morrissey can act circles around him.

    I watched it on Netflix.

    Oh, but this Crowe/Affleck movie was better than I expected although the plot fell apart along the way.

  6. Leslie Says:

    I agree — miniseries great, watered-down movie better than expected. The actual investigation in the miniseries shows all the footwork and tedium, which I appreciated, but both versions have the journalists writing the story in just a couple of hours. Stop the presses … for the two or three days it would actually take to cull together the complicated article from literally boxes of background material.

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