Posts Tagged ‘Billy Ray’

Two reporters search for truth in the nation’s capital in the taut 2009 thriller ‘State of Play’

April 18, 2017

By Matthew E. Milliken
MEMwrites.wordpress.com
April 18, 2017

State of Play, the 2009 feature starring Russell Crowe and Rachel McAdams as Washington newspaper reporters, is a well-paced political thriller with some conventional notions about power and some curious notions about journalism.

The movie, co-written by Matthew Michael Carnahan (World War ZDeepwater Horizon), Tony Gilroy (Michael ClaytonDuplicity and Rogue One) and Billy Ray (BreachShattered Glass and Captain Phillips), is based on a 2003 British miniseries of the same name written by Paul Abbott. But it feels thoroughly American, despite having a New Zealander (Crowe) portraying a blue-collar Pittsburgh native and being directed by Kevin Macdonald (The Last King of Scotland), a Scotsman who’s mainly helmed documentaries.

The film opens with a stone-faced man (Michael Berresse) pumping bullets into a teenage junkie (LaDell Preston) who had the misfortune of crossing him and a pizza delivery man (Dan Brown) who had the misfortune of being in the wrong place at the wrong time. Later that morning, as a Washington Globe crime reporter named Cal McAffrey (Crowe) begins investigating why an unknown single shooter has apparently attacked two very disparate targets, a young congressional aide named Sonia Baker (Maria Thayer) dies after being pushed into the path of an oncoming Metro train.

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Spy vs. spy: An aging veteran tangos with a canny but green rookie in understated character study ‘Breach’

February 5, 2014

By Matthew E. Milliken
MEMwrites.wordpress.com
Feb. 5, 2014

In late 2000, veteran FBI agent Robert Hanssen was posted to the bureau’s headquarters and put in charge of a new division, the Information Assurance Section. Hanssen, a devout Catholic, had an abrasive, brook-no-B.S. approach to his job that had won him many enemies. He also had an impressive intellect that had earned him a great deal of respect, however begrudging, from his peers.

Over a two-month period, probationary agent Eric O’Neill would come to know Hanssen intimately. As shown in the 2007 film Breach, which is based on actual events, O’Neill was pulled from surveillance duty and made Hanssen’s assistant. His secret assignment: Win the trust of his crusty, acerbic boss — and figure out how to catch Hanssen in the act of betraying his employer and nation.

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