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All the King's Men (2006) [Blu-ray]

Anthony Hopkins , James Gandolfini , Steve Zaillian    Blu-ray
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
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0 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Anthony Hopkins as usual May 26 2013
Format:Blu-ray|Verified Purchase
Really I saw many movies for Anthony Hopkins during the last 3 months and did not before have an idea about him , for sure he is a great actor and to some or most they do not know that he is a conductor as well and have a great musical works , but I do not think this move is one of his best , other movie named The edge as an example is much better than this one , but all in all his movies are great
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Amazon.com: 3.3 out of 5 stars  111 reviews
12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Good Rendition of the Book; the Criticism is Unwarranted Feb. 5 2007
By J. Reynolds - Published on Amazon.com
If you read the magnificent novel upon which this film is based, then you see that the movie does a pretty good job of bringing the story to the screen. Also, I am familiar with hicks in Louisiana, and a lot of them DO have the same accent Sean Penn assumed in his role.

The only improvement I could suggest would have been more frequent use of Robert Penn Warren's own dialogue. For instance, when Burden criticized Stark for boring his listeners, for showing them pie graphs and talking statistics and finances, he was brief and low-key. In the book, Burden railed at Stark -- "Make 'em laugh, make 'em cry, pinch them in a soft spot, but for God's sake don't try to improve their minds." Several other instances occurred where the author's exact wording would have worked better.

Also, two interesting book story points were omitted: Stark's boy, the football player, toward the end was injured during a play and paralyzed from the neck down; Lucy resigned the rest of her life to caring for him. Also, in the end, Jack Burden and Anne Stanton finally married, fulfilling their destiny from youth. It made a good wrap-up.
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars "If you don't vote--you don't matter" March 30 2008
By R. Kyle - Published on Amazon.com
"All the King's Men" is based on the Pulitzer Prize winning novel written by Robert Penn Warren. Warren, who shifted from poetry to prose to write this novel, got his inspiration from the Populist Louisiana politician, Huey Long.

The film, based on a screenplay by Steve Zaillian, is also based in Louisiana. The politician, Willie Stark (Penn), runs a parallel course to Long's illustrious career. He started out meaning well and his interest was always in the common man, 'hicks' like him. The story is narrated by newspaper reporter, Jack Burden (Law) who works for Sparks.

There's a lot of strong messages in "All the King's Men." You can watch it from the perspective of a soap opera, a parallel to contemporary politics (the discussion of the oil companies' influence, for example) or an Ivory Tower comparison to Machiavelli.

This film could have been great, had they decided a few aspects differently. To quote the film itself: "You only get a couple of moments that determine your life. Sometimes only one. And then it's gone. Forever." Probably the worst decision the directors made was changing the timeframe the film is set in. If you ignore that the film's set twenty years past Long's time, it works a lot better. I don't agree with the decision that the 50's are interchangeable historically with the 30's.
14 of 18 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars What happened to the finished movie? Jan. 2 2007
By M. Dog - Published on Amazon.com
This film had something very special going for it with its central casting of Sean Penn as Huey Long, the Kingfisher, the everyman governor of depression-era Louisiana (Willie Stark in the film). If ever there was a role designed for Penn's heated and emotive style of acting, this was it. True to that promise, Penn delivers a few (too few) wonderful scenes with Willie Stark delivering fire and brimstone from the campaign stump.

Other than these scenes, the film is an unformed washout. Willie Stark's transformation from righteous, wife loving common man to manipulative, self-serving adulterous political schemer is . . . . well there really is no transformation. It simply happens between scenes off camera, rendering a potentially fascinating character, rich with comment about the fallibility of human nature, into a black and white, boring nothing.

The film sort of meanders around with the character of reporter Jack Burden (played by the desperately miscast Jude Law)and his exceptionally average family story, which somehow includes lover Anne Stanton (played by the desperately miscast Kate Winslet) and her brother Adam Stanton, played by Mark Ruffalo (who was at least well cast but left hanging in limbo by some very lazy scriptwriting). On board also is the very talanted James Gandolfini, who must have owed someone a very big favor. I challenge anyone to explain to me what he was doing in this bumbling, mumbling role, so far beneath his station. All in all, I was left wondering how any of the principals managed to convince themselves the product was release-ready when watching the final edit.

Final note to Hollywood: let's strike a deal with England: From this day forth, no cross-accenting. Americans shall not play Brits; Brits shall not play Americans (particularly southerners). I think this simple piece of legislation would do wonders in maintaining good relations with that isle across the pond. Lord have mercy it was painful watching Mr. Law and Ms. Winslet giving it their best. All British actors use the exact same accent for anyone "southern"; a kind of a generic mish mash of drawl: all at once from everywhere and nowhere.

One finally final note: is it just me or does Jude Law seem a little less like the real thing with each role?

Not even slightly recommended.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars "King's Men" loses potential punch in lots of ways April 7 2008
By KerrLines - Published on Amazon.com
Ehh!....that's how I feel about "All the King's Men"....ehh! Based on the exploits of the real-life Gov. Huey Long of Louisiana in the person of Willie Stark as "interpreted" by Sean Penn and written AND directed by Steve Zaillian (and that is where I see the problem in this film; Zaillian who wrote Schindler's List (Widescreen Edition), Awakenings and Gangs of New York (Two-Disc Collector's Edition) maybe should have stepped away!!!)

A great cast of actors, very miscast, a wandering screenplay, uneven direction, a film badly in need of a dialogue coach...what else? This film seemed as if it aspired to greatness, but alas I was left ultimately flat after 128 minutes. Sean Penn was overbaked and Winslet and Ruffalo undercooked. Clarkson-spot-on as she always is, but not much of a part! Hopkins as a Louisiana Judge????????

Set designer, Patrizia Brandenstein (Amadeus - Director's Cut (Two-Disc Special Edition)), does expert work, only to have it choked out by ton's of closeups. What a waste!

Even the extras on the DVD did nothing to really spark my enthusiasm any more than the film tried to do. Filmed on location? Big deal when you hardly see any of it! Truly, a film with lots of rhetoric with no real punch. Hmmm....just like politicians!

James Horner soundtrack was better than this film was.
7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Emperor Has No Clothes Jan. 20 2008
By jimmy_rants@yahoo - Published on Amazon.com
What do Sean Penn,Jude Law and James Gandolfini have in common? Answer:they are all decent actors who to a man could not effect a Southern accent to save their lives (or this film).

ATKM is based on the much better, much older film of the same name that told a fictionalized account of a Louisiana politician based on Governor and later U.S Senator Huey Long. Long was an interesting figure, and while many still disagree on whether his poliices were salvation or destruction, his short career was undeniably very interesting. Long's corrruption is not disputed however, and ATKM follows Long ("Willie Stark" here) as he rises to power, abuses power and ultimately falls.

James Carville, who is a decent speaker, co-produced this mess. He would have been so better suited himself for the title role, because to listen to Sean Penn painfully abuse the Southern dialect, or Gandolfini who most of us still relate to as a Soprano lean forward and confide in an Amos and Andy patois, it's absolutely unwatchable. I don't know why it'd be so hard to recruit say Billy Bob Thornton, Tommy Lee Jones or any other player who could have been natural in this role instead of so obviously out of place as the cast of ATKM.The casting here is comparable to putting Jackie Chan in the Don Corleone role of "The Godfather".

Huey Long was, absent his faults, a great orator and a very charismatic personality. Even with the help of a bombastic soundtrack, Sean Penn sounds like- well an actor. Like DeNiro and many other great performers, Penn cannot in deliver a speech effectively in public out of role and brings no inspiration here. Penns speeches lack charm and radiate nothing but anger as if he has projected his own beliefs of what the working class wants into his role.

THis film really deserves 1 star because of how bad it fails, and I'd send anyone looking into the story toward the original. It's a great tale that could use repeating in this time of "promise-the-world" phony populists like Hugo Chavez (curiously a Penn ally) as well as a few presidential candidates stateside I won't name here. Though we are certainly not in the Great Depression, the notion of politician as "man-of-the-people" who is an economic saviour is still a popular theme that consistently leads to more gov't and as always with more gov't- more corruption and LESS FREEDOM.

Find a youtube video of Huey Long or see the original.
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