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PHOTOGRAPHY

GREEN ZONE (2010)

DVD review by David Blackwell

 

DETAILS:  115 minutes, deleted scenes, audio commentary, two featurettes

VIDEO:  2.40:1 (Anamorphic Widescreen)

AUDIO:  English 5.1, French 5.1, Spanish 5.1 Dolby Digital, English 2.0 DVS

Subtitles:   English SDH, French, Spanish

 

STUDIO:  Universal Pictures/ Relativity media/ Working Title Films/ Studio Canal/  Antena 3 Films

Theatrical RELEASE DATE:  3-12-2010

DVD RELEASE DATE:   6-22-2010

 

STARRING Matt Damon (Miller), Greg Kinnear (Clark Pundstone), Amy Ryan (Lawrie Dayne), Brendan Gleeson (Martin Brown), Yigal Naor (Al Rawi)

WRITTEN by Brain Helgeland, loosely based on the book by Rajiv Chandrasekaran

DIRECTED by Paul Greengrass

 IMDB plot synopsis: Discovering covert and faulty intelligence causes a U.S. Army officer (Chief Warrant Officer Roy Miller) to go rogue as he hunts for Weapons of Mass Destruction in an unstable region.

 

ANALYSIS:   Chief Warrant Officer Roy Miller (Matt Damon) is hunting down WMDs (Weapons of Mass Destruction) in Iraq a few weeks after US forces have taken over Baghdad.   A mysterious source code-named Magellan has been giving bad intel about WMDs and Roy wants to know why.  He tries to bring it up with his superiors, but they don't wnat to listen.  Martin Pundstone (Greg Kinnear) is responsible for getting Magellan as an assist.  Martin Brown of the CIA knows something stinks and he brings in Miller to find General Al Rawi, but Poundstone doesn't want Miller to get Al Rawi.  Thrown in a female reporter from the Wall Street Journal (who is printing stories about WMDs in Iraq), GREEN ZONE makes a great time filler until Damon does the next Bourne film.   The action sequences make the film move quickly and not give the audience much time to breathe during those sequences.

 

Paul Greengrass directs Damon for the third time in another great directing job from Greengrass (who directed two of the Bourne films).   Damon plays Miller as a man who just wants to do his job while Poundstone is all about covering his butt (and not shaking the mission to liberate Iraq apart).  Martin Brown wants to bring stability to Iraq by dealing with the Iraq military while higher-ups like Poundstone think it is better to leave the military out and bring in a puppet to rule Iraq.

 

GREEN ZONE shows how screwed up the aftermath of the liberation of Iraq was.  No one wants to admit the intel about WMDs was bad.  They want to tow the line.  Miller is the ultimate boyscout who will go rogue if it means it gets the job done.  He has no time for missions that bring no results.   He tries to make an Iraq citizen work with him even if the Iraqi doesn't care all about what Miller wants.  They're at odds at what should be done with al Rawi when they catch up with him.  They think their reasons are just even if they don't meet up up.   The Iraqi cares about his country while Miller wants stability to Iraq even if it means making a deal with the Devil (Al Rawi).  Also the film shows the destruction left in the wake of the liberation and the conditions there (The Iraq citizens have it rough while the visiting forces live it up at a hotel).  GREEN ZONE is a fascinating thriller that fills the space between Bourne films that thrusts us into the real world.

 

SPECIAL FEATURES:

Director Paul Greengrass and Actor Matt Damon provide a very chatty audio commentary for the film that gives lots of details on the production of the film and the story of the film.  They also provide audio commentary for the deleted scenes.

 

Four very interesting deleted scenes, which can be played with or without audio commentary (and I still don’t understand why they present the scenes twice without having the option to switch between audio tracks), add to the details of the world of THE GREEN ZONE, but ultimately were cut because they didn’t fit the story director Paul Greengrass was editing together.

 

MATT DAMON: READY FOR ACTION-   Matt Damon talks about working with actual military people and the military guys in the film talk about how it is to work with him during the production

INSIDE THE GREEEN ZONE- a behind-the-scenes featurette that focuses on Paul Greengrass directing the GREEN ZONE and how he likes to use imrpov and real military personnel to make the movie feel more real

 

FINAL ANALYSIS:   GRREN ZONE is tight thriller set in a real world that we know all too well where nothing is as simple as black and white.    Buy if you liked the Bourne films.

 

this DVD review is (c)6-25-2010 David Blackwell (containing the movie review from 3-16-2010) and cannot be reprinted without permission.   Send all comments to lord_pragmagtic@hotmail.com