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Movie Review: Silver City

Alternate Title: Rotten to the Core

Story: This season has brought us a spate of political documentary films (I believe I have seen them all). This latest film by director, writer and editor John Sayles is NOT a documentary, but the underlying themes of political corruption, puppet candidates, anti-environmental Governmental policy, media rollover, the public be damned and anything else that might make your blood boil seems very familiar and might as well be a documentary.

However - at its core, this is really a detective story. A down on his luck, do-gooder reporter, who is now a private investigator, is hired by a political operative (think Karl Rove) to find out who might be behind the dead body that our puppet candidate (think George W. Bush) fishes out of a lake while filming a political campaign commercial.

What our reporter uncovers smells as rotten as the dead body and leads us to interesting subplot characters, side stories and more corruption.

The truths that are uncovered are grim, depressing and reflective of our times.

Acting: A terrific cast starting with Danny Huston (from the movie family of grandfather Walter, director/father John and sister Angelica) as our do-gooder reporter. He is a breath of fresh air and gives the appearance of Mister Anyman fighting the good fight. Chris Cooper as the candidate gives a right on the money performance as the uninformed politician. Kris Kristofferson, as the money behind the corruption is righteously evil. Richard Dreyfuss, as the political operative is terrifically slimy. Billy Zane gave me the creeps as the bad politico. Daryl Hannah as the candidate's bad sister looked like she was having a good time in this juicy role and Maria Bello gives another fine performance as the reporter's former girlfriend. The amusing thing to me was that almost every one of the performers is a known Hollywood liberal and all were playing roles against type.

Predilection: I am a long time John Sayles fan.

Critters: A dog and some birds.

Food: Burritos and some fancy schmancy Mexican fare.

Opening Titles: A mournful tune with white superimposed type.

Theater Audience: About a dozen fans, us and one creepy man who kept laughing at inappropriate times.

Sappy Factor: A little sap would have been welcome.

Squirm Scale: Politics can make anyone squirm.

Oscar Worthy: No.

Nit Picking: It needed to be about twenty minutes shorter.

Big Screen or Rental: Not Sayles' best work but if you are a fan of his it is worth your bug screen time. For some of his other films try renting: Sunshine State, Limbo, Men With Guns, Lone Star, The Secret of Roan Irish, Passion Fish, City of Hope, Eight Men Out, Matewan and Return of the Secaucus 7.

Length: Two hours and ten minutes.