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Old October 28 2008, 05:48 PM   #1
Captain Craig
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Changeling - Discussion, Grading, Review, Spoilers opens 10/31

My grade: B
Saw this last night at a sneak and I must say I liked the film. It comes in at 2hr20min, something I did not know. Its time wasnít an issue except that I felt the movie was going to end 2 different times during the last 15min of the movie. That is my one jarring issue.

The movie begins in March 1938 and establishes our characters. I really donít want to give a blow-by-blow account. What I want to do is let anyone else going to see it to know that the movie does not end until dateline 1935 is shown at the bottom of the screen. Perhaps youíll not feel the same thing I did just knowing this.

Iíve seen some reviews that use adjectives like somber, flat, unenergetic and insipid to describe not only Angelina Jolieís performance but also the feel of the movie. Iím not sure we saw the same movie. She, John Malkovich and the entire cast give some strong performances in this true story period piece directed, produced and scored by Clint Eastwood. Yes, Clint did the score also because at 78 just directing, producing and acting in his other self-directed movie Gran Torino just wasnít enough to keep him busy. The screenplay was also done by Michael Straczynski (aka comics writer Spiderman and Babylon 5 creator).

Angelina gives us working professional mother, worried mother, angry mother, confused mother and vindictive mother all in this movie. She shows a range of emotions so how some critics can say she and/or the film are flat or unenergetic is boggling to me.
Malkovich as a justice-seeking pastor in the film plays a very righteous man with a cause.
The film has very muted colors I agree. Its not a vibrantly toned film so Iím not sure if this plays into the critics thinking. I feel Clint shot it in this manner to give it a timelier feel. The muted colors make it seem as if its just one step or so away from looking like a sepia colored photograph.

Its another good Clint Eastwood film and a really good dramatic piece from Angelina Jolie. I would hesitate to say great, its just a few shades from that for both imo. However is youíre a fan of cinema beyond just explosions and gore then you should give this film a chance. Itíd be a shame to see this film fall into the same cinema void that befell Miracle at St.Anna.
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