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Eye in the Sky

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Andrew Kimery
Eye in the Sky
on Mar 23, 2016 at 6:49:39 pm

See it. Some of the drama is laid on a bit thick at times but see it. Mirren, Rickman, Paul (all the cast) nail it so you should go see it. I don't know why it's flying so far under the radar but you should go see it. The step take a bit (lots of locations to establish) but that's no reason not to see it.


http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/eye_in_the_sky/


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Tim Wilson
Re: Eye in the Sky
on Mar 24, 2016 at 12:30:42 am

I saw this at the Palm Springs International Film Festival in January, definitely one of the highlights of the week. Alan Rickman was still among us at the time, but he and Mirren are both fantastic as military officers trying to wrestle with concepts like what constitutes an innocent bystander and the meaning of ethics outside traditional warfare.

What I found especially intriguing is that all of the characters were idealized, almost like the best possible versions of what a general, a drone pilot, the father of a young girl in the heart of an ISIS-like-occupied territory, and a politician could possibly be. All of them are committed to doing the right thing as they understood it, none of them wanted to cut corners, and the ones engaged in the heart of the conflict manage to balance their passionate positions with the well-reasoned and articulately stated arguments by people who held very different positions with equal passion.

It's a stark contrast to the exhausted cynicism of not just fictions like Homeland, but also the exhausted cynicism of global citizenships in the real world, who have a very hard time believing that "good faith" applied to "government" or "the military" isn't an oxymoron.

It left me feeling hopeful that there exists an alternate reality where everybody is in fact operating in good faith....and who knows? maybe this one...but it also works as a movie with a razor-sharp script, truly remarkable pacing, and a pair of outstanding performances from two of the best in the game. (Aaron Paul right behind them, actually.)

Highly recommended indeed.







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Andrew Kimery
Re: Eye in the Sky
on Mar 24, 2016 at 2:02:51 am

[Tim Wilson] "What I found especially intriguing is that all of the characters were idealized, almost like the best possible versions of what a general, a drone pilot, the father of a young girl in the heart of an ISIS-like-occupied territory, and a politician could possibly be. All of them are committed to doing the right thing as they understood it, none of them wanted to cut corners, and the ones engaged in the heart of the conflict manage to balance their passionate positions with the well-reasoned and articulately stated arguments by people who held very different positions with equal passion."

Very well said, Tim. This wasn't like, say, Apocalypse Now or Dr. Strangelove where lunatics were in command. I think that's where a lot of the drama comes from. Everyone is trying to do the right thing but no matter who prevails something bad could happen. There is no 'right' answer. In contrast to the British leadership that was struggling with the weight of the decisions, the depiction of the American political leadership was of a group that was much more cavalier to the whole ordeal.


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Tim Wilson
Re: Eye in the Sky
on Mar 24, 2016 at 10:36:20 am

[Andrew Kimery] "...the depiction of the American political leadership was of a group that was much more cavalier to the whole ordeal."

A little, but Aaron Paul very persuasively stood as the last line of ethical fortitude in the face of political expediency. HE's the one that they ultimately had to convince that all the bases were covered. I was really struck by that nuance, and by the contrast with Homeland, 24, and other high-tension, high stakes explorations of similar issues.

(I enjoyed those two in particular quite a bit along the way. As much as I enjoyed the catharsis, though, I eventually wearied of their jaundiced views of humanity and its institutions. YMMV of course.)

Not that politicians in Eye in the Sky weren't shown as wanting to cover their own asses, but an encouraging amount of it was CYA in the context of accountability. I'm okay with that. :-)

I'm really glad you're bringing this up, Andrew. I definitely meant to when I saw it, but life, work, wah wah wah. LOL I completely agree with you that it deserves an audience, not least of which is because, "issues" aside, it's entertaining as all get out.


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Andrew Kimery
Re: Eye in the Sky
on Mar 24, 2016 at 3:41:56 pm

[Tim Wilson] "A little, but Aaron Paul very persuasively stood as the last line of ethical fortitude in the face of political expediency. "

Agreed about Paul and the other American military members feeling the weight of their actions.


***MINOR SPOILERS AHEAD*****



















I was referring to the two times we see higher-ups in the American government. I think the first time is the Secretary of State(?) playing ping-pong in China and he basically says "Yeah, blow them up. Duh." and then seems annoyed by the needless interruption as he gets back to his ping-pong game. The second time was a woman (maybe the US Attorney General?) and she starts describing a point system the US uses and how this situation only ranks as like a zero or a one so they should go ahead and blow them up. All the Brits are like "We aren't going to use a damn point system!" and politely hang up on her.


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Tim Wilson
Re: Eye in the Sky
on Mar 25, 2016 at 11:18:46 pm

Replying to your minor spoiler:



















[Andrew Kimery] " think the first time is the Secretary of State(?) playing ping-pong in China and he basically says "Yeah, blow them up. Duh." and then seems annoyed by the needless interruption as he gets back to his ping-pong game. "

Yeah, you're right, that was weak. LOL It's like, "Why are you bothering me with life and death stuff? I'm too busy with nonsense to be wasting my time on anything important."

You know, it kind of reminded me of the president in Buckaroo Banzai. LOL But that's a tale for another day.

Thanks again for bringing this up. I'll add again that anybody who liked 24, Homeland, and similar shows should be all over this -- as well as the people who found them overwrought and caricatured. I really think that Eye in the Sky struck a tone for a political thriller I'd like to see much more often.


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Andrew Kimery
Re: Eye in the Sky
on Mar 25, 2016 at 11:48:31 pm

[Tim Wilson] "I really think that Eye in the Sky struck a tone for a political thriller I'd like to see much more often."

Agreed. Hopefully it picks up some word of mouth steam and does well on VOD/streaming 'cause the theatrical run seems to just be for award qualifications (I think the theater I saw it in only had like 60 seats and there were 10 of us there on a Sunday evening).


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