Week 5 Selection: The Manchurian Candidate (2004) directed by Jonathan Demme
I’m not exactly sure how it is that I hadn’t seen this movie until last Thursday night, but I’m glad I changed that. Maybe it’s not underrated to our parents or some older folks, but I had barely heard of it before I watched it. To start off with, let’s look at the cast because it is fucking loaded:
Denzel Washington: if you don’t know him, there’s something wrong with you.
Meryl Streep: see above commentary.
Live Schrieber: Wolverine’s brother in X-Men Origins: Wolverine, Ray Donavan in Ray Donavan
Jeffrey Wright: the dude’s in everything. Just look him up, and you will recognize his face
Pablo Schrieber: Nicky Sobatka from season two of The Wire, also Live Schrieber’s half-brother
Anthony Mackie: Sam Wilson/Falcon in the MCU
John Voight: Patrick Gates (the dad) in National Treasure, George Costanzo “drove his car” in Seinfeld
Ted Levine: Buffalo Bill in The Silence of the Lambs, Captain Stottlemeyer in Monk
Oh and the director, Jonathan Demme: He did The Silence of the Lambs, which is one of the greatest movies of all time. If you haven’t seen that either, go back-to-back. There you go. Two recommendations in one blog. You’re welcome.
If the cast alone doesn’t do it for you, let me break the movie down. First of all, it’s a remake of an old Frank Sinatra movie of the same name, and if you want someone as cool as Frank Sinatra to be in a movie, there isn’t anyone better than Denzel, who plays our main character, Ben Marco. Marco is a vet who recommended Raymond Shaw (Liev Schrieber) for the Congressional Medal of Honor after he saved their unit in the Gulf War. When Shaw gets on the ticket for Vice President, though, Marco starts to realize that the memories he has of what actually happened in the ambush that propelled Shaw to the top upon coming home may not be, well, real.
Brain wash, government cover-ups, a wack-o scientist. This movie is a fucking ride from start to finish, and it’s worth every single second. In terms of the movies I’ve recommended so far, I’d say watching this one would give you the most clout at the next family gathering from the uncle that gets 5 IPAs deep and tells you that kids your age don’t know what real entertainment is anymore.
*Trailers were shitty before 2008, and even this one makes the movie look cool. Watch it.