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Movie Review: Redbelt

Alternate Title: The Con is On

Story: In the delicious, dark world of writer and director David Mamet the con is everywhere. I am a big fan of Mamet and appreciate his Mamet-Speak. What is Mamet Speak you say? It - is - a - halting - clipped - cryptic - conversation. There are usually unanswered questions and red flags dropped everywhere.

This time out Mamet tackles the special honor code world of the martial arts. Mamet himself, studied jujitsu for five years. His man character, Mike Terry, is a Gulf War veteran who operates a failing LA martial arts studio. Terry is surrounded by corruption, intrigue, gangsters and otherwise unsavory characters. How does Terry manage to stay true to his code of honor when he is drowning in a sea of scum? I assure you - he is a better man than most.

The violence that we see on the screen is periodic but the attack on the soul is constant. This is a modern day High Noon, with better acting, cinematography and writing. Some of the scenarios are hard to believe but when there is so much going on in a film that is right, who cares?

Check out the trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QFrHNaq-6qE

Acting: Chiwetel Ejiofor can do no wrong. His previous roles include the films American Gangster, Children of Men, Kinky Boots and Dirty Pretty Things. He is earnest, believable and riveting on the big screen. Tim Allen as the bloated movie actor was almost unrecognizable since his Tool Man days. Alice Braga as the wife did a fine job. Emily Mortimer was the strangest of the Mamet characters. Joe Mantegna, David Paymer, Ricky Jay and real life wife, Rebecca Pidgeon are regulars in the Mamet stable and are always good.

Predilection: I like David Mamet

Critters: None

Sex Spectrum: No time for sex when the con is on.

Soundtrack: Original songs by Rebecca Pidgeon.

Visual Art: Cinematographer Robert Elswit (There will be Blood and Michael Clayton) knows how to create a mood.

Theater Audience: About 30 men of all ages and ethnicity and me. A few of them stood up and applauded at the end.

Sappy Factor: 0

Quirky Meter: 0

Squirm Scale: 0

Drift Factor: Drifting is not allowed in a Mamet work. If you drift you might miss an important part of the con.

Predictability Level: High

Tissue Usage: 0

Oscar Worthy: No

Big Screen or Rental: Rental would probably be okay for this film. How about a Mamet festival in your own home with some of these favorites: Heist, State and Main , The Winslow Boy, Wag the Dog, The Spanish Prisoner,
American Buffalo, Oleanna , Glengarry Glen Ross, House of Games, and The Verdict

Length: Under two hours