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The Manchurian Candidate
Movie Stats & Links

Starring: Denzel Washington, Meryl Streep, Liev Schreiber, Jon Voight, Buzz Kilman
MPAA Rated: R
Released By: Paramount Pictures
Kiddie Movie: Definitely not.
Date Movie: Good for couples.
Gratuitous Sex: Sadly, no.
Gratuitous Violence: Happily, yes.
Action: People get chased.
Laughs: A couple of lines.
Memorable Scene: The suspense-filled ending when you wonder who will get shot.
Memorable Quote: Nothing in particular.
Directed By: Jonathan Demme
Produced By: Tina Sinatra, Scott Rudin, Jonathan Demme, Ilona Herzberg

The Manchurian Candidate
A Movie Review

MPAA Rated - R

It's 2:10 Long

A Review by
The Dude on the Right
Jonathan Demme did one of the few and only things that would make me give my movie-going dollars to him by seeing "The Manchurian Candidate", rather than seeing "Harold & Kumar Go To White Castle." What is that, you ask? He once again put newsman, bluesman Buzz Kilman into his film. More on that later, letís get to the bulk of the movie.

You probably know by now that "The Manchurian Candidate" is a remake of the critically acclaimed 60ís classic, updated to be set in modern times. Pretty much this story goes that a business conglomerate is trying to get a mind-controlled candidate to be President of the United States, for of course their own good. How would you do that? Well, you would take a group of army commandos, including your guy you want in the White House because he is the son of a Senator who is in cahoots with you, divert their group to a secret lab, implant some mind control devices, brainwash them into some kind of Desert Storm attack, and eventually get him running for office. Sounds simple enough, except Ben Marco (Denzel Washington), the army commander, is having nightmares about lab experiments, corroborated when another member of his group comes to him with a detailed book of his nightmares. Now Ben is trying to get in touch with Raymond (Liev Schreiber), the dude running for office, to see if he has nightmares, too. The problem is Raymondís conniving and seemingly incestuous (this really creeped me out) mother, Eleanor, fantastically played by Meryl Streep, keeps getting in the way. Now lots of action and suspense ensue.

"The Manchurian Candidate," for me, is just a solid political thriller based on a premise that is a little scary, but no more than knowing people already are in political office and donít need to have a mind-control device in their head to do what their political and corporate buddies want them to do. They just need a little extra cash or a favor or two. But enough political mumbo-jumbo. Well acted with a story that doesnít give you a break to go to the bathroom, this movie will do well to fill your need for a good thriller.

"Alright, Dude, you open this review, give us a short and worthless synopsis because we already knew all of this because of the trailer, but who the hell is this Buzz Kilman guy and why did that make you see this movie instead of the stoner flick we really want to read about" you might be asking yourself right now. Well, Iíll tell you.

Buzz Kilman is a radio dude here in Chicago, mostly responsible for the news, but also adding some fabulous insight into the world, now on the air with Steve Dahl, previously having his own air shift, previously working with Jonathan Brandmeier, previously working with Steve Dahl, and just pretty much somehow finding a way to keep himself on the air in Chicago for the last 20+ years. Me, Iíve been a big fan of Mr. Kilman for over 15 years now, love his commentary, and without him I wouldnít have gotten a kick out of the documentary "Blobus Festivus" nor hear the fantastic Piranha Man with his CD "Blowing Goats." But I digress. Anyway, if you look at his film bio on the Internet Movie Database, after you get past the "Doubting Riley" listing, you find that he pretty much sticks with Jonathan Demme films. You saw him get eaten in "The Silence of the Lambs," wondered who the dude was in the elevator in "Philadelphia," and if youíre watching "The Manchurian Candidate" you might wonder why, when the feds are watching the video monitor as people go through the metal detectors, they spotlight on "The Man in the Shades" rather than Captain Ben Marco who is clearly going through the other lane. They even zoom in on the man, only to quickly dismiss him. That "Man in the Shades" is Buzz. I know, it sounds crazy, but seeing him there brought a smile to my face.

Enough of that. "The Manchurian Candidate" is a great film. Go see it. 4 Ĺ Stars out of 5.

Thatís it for this one! Iím The Dude on the Right!! L8R!!!

 

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