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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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
A Good Rendition of the Book; the Criticism is UnwarrantedFeb. 5 2007
- 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.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
inert dramaApril 18 2007
Roland E. Zwick
- Published on Amazon.com
Even a stellar cast made up of some of the finest talents in the business - Sean Penn, Jude Law, Patricia Clarkson, James Gandolfini, Mark Ruffalo, Kate Winslet and Anthony Hopkins - can't save "All the King's Men" from being a tired, pointless remake of the Best Picture Oscar winner of 1949.
Robert Penn Warren based his original novel on the life and career of the notorious Huey Long, aka "The Kingfish," who served as governor of Louisiana from 1928 to 1932. Like Long, Warren's main character, Willy Stark, is a charismatic leader who offends the powers-that-be with his populist rantings, yet eventually becomes as lowdown, vile and corrupt as the politicians he initially railed against to get himself elected.
This theme of the corrupting influence of power - and the corrosive effect that corruption has on the American political system - may have seemed fresh and insightful in Warren's day, but it is strictly old hat today. Moreover, in Steven Zaillian`s pretentious rehash, Stark transitions from being an idealist to a cynic in such record-setting time that the audience is completely at a loss as to how to read the character. Is he a man genuinely committed to helping his fellow citizens who eventually loses his way, or is he just another snake-oil salesman from the get-go exploiting the gullibility of the masses to get what he wants? The film doesn't seem to know, and the audience, quite frankly, doesn`t really care.
Stunningly, the movie is helped not one whit by its strictly A-list caliber cast. Penn hams it up shamelessly as the over-the-top Stark, spewing spittle and bile, regardless of whether he is whipping a downtrodden audience into an emotional frenzy or plotting the downfall of his manifold political rivals. Law, on the other hand, underplays to the point of catatonia the part of the governor's idealistic assistant (and narrator of the tale) who sells his soul to the devil by doing Stark's dirty work for him, even going so far as to blackmail the very man who raised him, in order to prevent the governor from being impeached by the state senate. Clarkson, Gandolfini, Ruffalo and Winslet do little but stand around in the wings waiting for something dramatic to happen (as do we all), and Hopkins is simply too lazy to go through the trouble of even attempting a Louisiana accent let alone perfecting one. The movie definitely could have used some serious paring down from the original storyline, since it is stuffed to bursting with characters who come and go seemingly at random, and whom we really couldn`t care less about. To add insult to injury, James Horner's original music, with its overemphatic underlining and theater-rattling crescendos, should be studied in film schools as a model of how NOT to score a motion picture.
This movie doesn't hold a candle to such superior political dramas as "The Best Man," "The Candidate," "The Distinguished Gentleman" and, yes, even the original "All the King's Men," which boasted the incomparable Broderick Crawford and Mercedes McCambridge in the lead roles. Despite its coming from a simpler time, there was fire and passion in that version of the tale, two elements that are sorely lacking in this meandering, lethargic and undercooked remake.
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
"If you don't vote--you don't matter"March 30 2008
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"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.
15 of 19 people found the following review helpful
What happened to the finished movie?Jan. 2 2007
- 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.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
...AND ALL THE KING'S MEN COULDN'T PUT THIS MOVIE BACK TOGETHER AGAINApril 3 2007
Guy De Federicis
- Published on Amazon.com
Astonishingly uninteresting. Maybe there's a way to update the 1947 Broderick Crawford political drama based on Robert Penn Warren's Pulitzer Prize winning novel, but this ain't it. A meek attempt to examine totalitarianism when all social and charitable concern is forced under the wing of a governing body, is buried under mounds of verbal mumbo-jumbo that fills in the holes of skittish characters and situations, and sometimes the mumbo-jumbo remains just bewildering; Jude Law, as Penn's right hand man - "When we first met, did you wink?", and Penn's reply, "I don't remember, maybe I just blinked." And maybe the script just stinks. Sean Penn, as a naive turned corrupt southern politician, quickly becomes a parody of the Huey Long-type character he portrays, and strangely, begins to resemble Freddie Krueger from the "Nightmare on Elm Street" series. This film was cold, detached and irrelevant, like skimming a book as opposed to reading one.