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Syriana
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Myth
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Syriana

I'm very surprised to not see a thread about this movie already.

I have to say I was greatly disappointed. It wasn't bad, but I just expected a lot more and it was way slower than I expected (and I have pretty good patients during movies too). The movie jumped around way too much and way too often. If you want a movie that jumps around a bit from character to character, I suggest Crash. Its also a very intellectual movie dealing with the politics of oil companies. I gathered a group of my friends from high school since I'm on break. All of my friends who did not move on to college left early so if you don't like to think much about intellectual crap and all you like is adventure and action, then avoid this movie. As I said, it is well made and I like it, but I was just sort of disappointed. I also wished Clooney was in it more. He did great along with that other guy from ER. Probably the worst acting came from Matt Damon but its not necessarily as if he did bad though.

6/10


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Old Post Dec 17th, 2005 10:34 AM
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Rapscallion
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I was also very disappointed. I didn't really get what was going on. The different story lines really weren't that connected other than they both had to do with oil. The characters were mundane and it was overloaded with jargon som it took me a few seconds to process what they were saying in some scenes. It was fairly well-made, but at the end of it all, I just didn't care.


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Old Post Dec 17th, 2005 11:45 AM
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Ya Krunk'd Floo
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Re: Syriana

quote: (post)
Originally posted by Myth
I'm very surprised to not see a thread about this movie already.

I have to say I was greatly disappointed. It wasn't bad, but I just expected a lot more and it was way slower than I expected (and I have pretty good patients during movies too).


Is this because you have an exceptional bed-side manner?


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Old Post Dec 17th, 2005 11:57 AM
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Solo
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On my "must-see" list.

Old Post Dec 17th, 2005 09:08 PM
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saltyjesus
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syriana

I would really reccomend this movie but, like what has alread been said, you really have to pay attention and it's not for those who can't (or just don't like to) think. Hard.

I put a short review of this on my site.


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Old Post Dec 22nd, 2005 08:08 PM
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SleaterKinney32
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I still have to see it. I don't really expect it to be phenomenal.. but I feel it's a must-see.

Do you think if I go in without high expectations I'll enjoy it just fine? From what has already been said, it seems so.

Besides, do you think it might've been disappointing because some of you had high expectations? Or was something ...just off, and it didn't really effect you the way you felt it should have? I remember getting that feeling with Big Fish.

Last edited by SleaterKinney32 on Dec 23rd, 2005 at 01:52 AM

Old Post Dec 23rd, 2005 01:48 AM
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Solo
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Heard it's like Crash in Iraq.

Old Post Dec 23rd, 2005 02:06 AM
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Myth
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quote: (post)
Originally posted by SleaterKinney32

Besides, do you think it might've been disappointing because some of you had high expectations? Or was something ...just off, and it didn't really effect you the way you felt it should have? I remember getting that feeling with Big Fish.


I'll admit that I was disappointed but it wasn't because it was worse than what I was hoping for, it just wasn't what I expected. However, in this case I don't think it is effecting my final judgement of the movie. I was for the most part dull, it was about a boring subject (oil), and I find it a little irritating when I'm trying to follow a movie and they are talking about another character but the movie jumps around so much that you can't figure out names so you don't really know which character they are talking about until something else happens and you say, "Oh, thats who they were talking about." Its not like they were trying to hide something from us, its just that with so many characters (Persion names) its hard to figure out what name matches which faces. But the movie was smart and the acting was great and things all come together at the end (even though I never learned any of their names).


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Old Post Dec 23rd, 2005 10:53 AM
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Murray
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Question (and i want to know the truth): Did Matt Damon die in this movie?

My brother, who is studying film in college, says he was disappointed that it could've been better, but the movie itself was still good.


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Old Post Dec 23rd, 2005 07:40 PM
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SleaterKinney32
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quote: (post)
Originally posted by Myth
I'll admit that I was disappointed but it wasn't because it was worse than what I was hoping for, it just wasn't what I expected. However, in this case I don't think it is effecting my final judgement of the movie. I was for the most part dull, it was about a boring subject (oil), and I find it a little irritating when I'm trying to follow a movie and they are talking about another character but the movie jumps around so much that you can't figure out names so you don't really know which character they are talking about until something else happens and you say, "Oh, thats who they were talking about." Its not like they were trying to hide something from us, its just that with so many characters (Persion names) its hard to figure out what name matches which faces. But the movie was smart and the acting was great and things all come together at the end (even though I never learned any of their names).


Alright, cool. Thanks. I'll have to go check it out then for sure.

Old Post Dec 23rd, 2005 09:38 PM
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MC Mike
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Saw this last night.

Very drawn out, as stated, and somewhat confusing. And yet I was left with the feeling that it was somehow a very well done movie.

Definetly lacking in action, but I didn't really go in asking for much.

74%


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Old Post Dec 23rd, 2005 09:58 PM
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Myth
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quote: (post)
Originally posted by Murray
Question (and i want to know the truth): Did Matt Damon die in this movie?

My brother, who is studying film in college, says he was disappointed that it could've been better, but the movie itself was still good.


Answer: [SPOILER - highlight to read]: Matt Damon does not die.


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Old Post Dec 24th, 2005 04:52 AM
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forumcrew
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this is from one of the only online review sites i trust, comingsoon.net

I thought it was pretty good

Syriana
Reviewed by: Edward Douglas
Rating: 8.5 out of 10
Movie Details: View here


Cast:
George Clooney as Robert Barnes
Matt Damon as Bryan Woodman
Jeffrey Wright as Bennett Holiday
Alexander Siddig as Prince Nasir
Amanda Peet as Julie Woodman
Chris Cooper as Jimmy Pope
Max Minghella as Robby Baer
Christopher Plummer as Dean Whiting
Tim Blake Nelson as Danny Dalton
Jamey Sheridan as Terry George
Tom McCarthy as Fred Franks
William Hurt as Stan Goff
Viola Davis as Marilyn Richards
William Charles Mitchell as Bennett Holiday, Sr.
Mazhar Munir as Wasim Ahmed Khan
Shahid Ahmed as Saleem Ahmed Khan
Sonnell Dadral as Farooq

Summary:
As important now as "Three Days of the Condor" or "The Manchurian Candidate" were in their time, "Syriana" does for the oil industry what "Traffic" did for the drug trade.

Story:
The workings of an intricate international oil deal involving billions of dollars and thousands of players is seen through the eyes of a few individuals, including rogue CIA operative Robert Barnes (George Clooney), an energy analyst who recently lost a son (Matt Damon), a lawyer involved in the merger of two huge oil companies (Jeffrey Wright), and a young immigrant oil worker (Mazhar Munir) who lost his job due to the merger.

Analysis:
After writing Steven Soderbergh's award-winning "Traffic," Stephen Gaghan would probably like everyone to forget about his directorial debut, the Katie Holmes thriller "Abandon." "Syriana" might be just what the doctor ordered, since it returns Gaghan to the intelligent, socially conscious writing that got him that Oscar five years ago.

On the other hand, it may be too intelligent for its own good, because only those who keep up with world economics, the oil industry and the situation in the Mideast might be able to keep up with the film's set-up that introduces dozens of players in what is essentially four separate related stories. (You know you're in trouble when the production notes include a scorecard listing all of the actors, the characters they play and their relationships; I feel sorry for anyone who has to figure all of this out without that extra help.)

Most of the story involves the oil drilling rights in a country neighboring Iran called Kazakhstan. In D.C., two enormous oil companies are about to merge to share those rights, and lawyer Bennett Holiday (Wright) has to insure things go smoothly despite encountering corruption involving an organization called the Committee to Liberate Iran that seems to be at cross purposes to what he's been hired to do. The American government has assigned the CIA to take care of some potential "problems" in the deal, which they turn over to their weathered field agent Bob Barnes (Clooney) who has a reputation for getting his hands dirty. In Geneva, Bryan Woodman, an idealistic energy analyst who is married with two children, has become the economic advisor to Prince Nasir (Alexander Siddig), the son of the emir of Kazakhstan, both unaware of the skullduggery going on back in Washington. At the bottom of the oil industry totem pole is Mazhar Munir and his father, immigrant oil workers from Pakistan who have lost their jobs due to the merger, so Munir suddenly finds himself finding faith among a group of Muslim fundamentalists.

Unless you already know a lot about the government's dealings in the Mideast in terms of oil and leadership of countries, you might stare blankly at the screen as a lot of politicians and corporate heads babble to each other in code, but if you pay close attention, things will be that much more interesting when the stories start to collide. Of course, with all the talk of the Bush family and their relationships in Saudi Arabia, Haliburton and all the other catch phrases mentioned on CNN, it's hard not to pay attention, because it really seems like you're watching real life events unfold. It makes for an interesting counterpoint to "Jarhead," showing a lot of the behind-the-scenes of a major oil deal, which we rarely get a chance to see.

Obviously, the most interesting story is that of Bob Barnes, a character loosely based on real-life CIA agent Robert Baer, whose novel inspired Gaghan's film. Although his storyline is like something right out of the "Bourne" movies, it's far more grounded in real life, as George Clooney plays down his looks with a rough and unkempt appearance more becoming a field agent. As much as Barnes is an enormous asset for the CIA, the organization tries to keep him at an arm's distance so his actions don't come back to haunt them. In one scene, he is tortured so violently that it makes the Van Gogh scene in "Reservoir Dogs" seem tame by comparison; it's excruciating to watch, but quite effective.

The next most interesting story is that of the young Pakistanis who end up getting involved in the terrorist activities of a Muslim faction, a storyline that follows a similar path as "Paradise Now," though a lot subtler in its approach.

Besides Clooney and Damon, who are always great, there are a lot of strong actors, particularly Geoffrey Wright, who once again changes everything about himself to play Bennett, and there are also some nice smaller roles for William Hurt, Chris Cooper, Christopher Plummer and even Tim Blake Nelson in a non-comedic role. The lesser known Arab actors bring a sense of realism to their storyline, but the true standout performance belongs to Alexander Siddig, last seen in Ridley Scott's "Kingdom of Heaven", who brings his strength as an actor to the role of Prince Nasir, a man with many strong ideas to save his country, most of them that involve turning their back on the United States.

As confused as you may be by the abundance of characters and concurrent storylines, they do start coming together and things start to make sense as it builds to an amazing final act that's just one climax after another. Once you've figured out what is going on, you're likely to be kept on the edge of your seat, much like you might while watching a Jack Ryan or Jason Bourne film. The thing is that Gaghan has done such a good job setting this story in a setting as close to reality as possible, that it makes all of it that much scarier.

The Bottom Line:
Stephen Gaghan has written another complex, intelligent thriller so relevant to what's going on in the world today that it's hard not to sit up and pay attention despite how long it might take the non-Mensa members to figure out what's happening.

Syriana opens in New York and Los Angeles on Wednesday, and nationwide on December 9.


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Old Post Dec 24th, 2005 06:10 AM
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Old Post Dec 26th, 2005 02:23 PM
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vinnycaz
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Syriana

Syriana,

Watched this movie and for the first hour I was lost, trying to follow and size up the characters and which countries they were from. Slow moving at first, but do not let this motivate you to leave, this movie could have been done better, yet gets its point across solidly, like in real life you do not really get to know your cia agents nor do you get to know the characters of this film, yet, the film leads you into a disturbing reality of oil and the counties of the U.S and China and what companies from these nations will do for this oil, and what the politicians do behind the scenes are more disturbing, granted some of this is blown out of proportion, but only to a small degree, if you have been in the middle east, and dealt with the government on oil, you will know what I am talking about, if not, this movie asks its viewers to take off your american blinders, and get your head out of the sand, and see whats going on, not the humanitarian stuff you come to believe, When you walk out of this movie, you should feel like I did and most people whom understood it, concerned, and deeply disturbed, asking questions to yourself, which is what this film was originally intended to do, not throw out accusations, because then we wouldnt be watching syriana, because no one would have risked financing it because of some of the anti-american sentiment which I have read about syriana from others saying that this movie had tones of it, granted it does, but, we fail ad a free people and a free country if we bury our heads and do not ask these questions. So for me it was a very good movie, would have liked to see more clooney and matt damon character building,but its powerful and dramatic, I would recommend this to anyone whom is into politics, and is open minded, and can follow a movie thats on a relatively slow pace, Not for kids at all, 4.7 out of 5, this may be one of the better ones of the year... thanx, this is only my opinion....

Old Post Jan 30th, 2006 08:48 PM
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Myth
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Old Post Jan 30th, 2006 09:02 PM
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Eis
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I'm dying to see this, anyone knows when it's coming out on DVD?


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Old Post Jan 30th, 2006 09:09 PM
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Ya Krunk'd Floo
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'Syriana'...Wow! It's an amazing movie. So pertinent for our times, but also a fascinating thriller.

One of the best movies I've seen this year.


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Full fathom five thy father lies;
Of his bones are coral made;
Those are pearls that were his eyes:
Nothing of him that doth fade
But doth suffer a sea-change
Into something rich and strange.

Old Post Aug 4th, 2006 04:56 PM
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Solo
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I loved it too.

Old Post Aug 4th, 2006 05:43 PM
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