Monday, September 1, 2014

[Movie] A Most Wanted Man

Short: "This money isn't clean.  I don't want it."

Medium: A special intelligence unit watches a 'wanted' chechnyan declared a terrorist by Russians after torture while fending off Americans and the German police who want to snatch him up instead of playing the longer game.

Verbose: This is an american action flick with a European ending.


I would give this movie the rating that it has on Rotten Tomatoes (which is high) but include the ending is depressing and typical of a european film.  The first half of the film follows the perspective of a washed up german intelligence agent leading a tiny intelligence unit that keeps an eye on the local islamic population using extra legal informanents.  He is after a possible financier of terrorism that he can turn into an intelligence asset.

The heir to a russian war criminal comes seeking money left to him by his father in a german shadow bank.  To do so, he enlists the help of an attractive human rights lawyer who wants to help him with his legal status.  The german intelligence unit buys time to set up a sting on the Islamic financier, and succeeds but at the last minute the bloodthirsty americans crash in and steal the financier and the innocent heir to the russian war criminal, likely spiriting them to Guantanamo.

But the intelligence official does nothing.  No appeal.  No going to the media, etc.  Nevertheless, the acting on this film is absolutely superb for almost every single performance.

[Con] Dragon Con 2014 - Sunday

Couldn't go to the con this year, but I had a lot of fun.

Pros: As far as the con itself was concerned, little changes they have made to the building arrangements has made traffic flow much more smoothly.  Lines were well maintained.  Technical problems were minimal.  Most of the tracks in the program seemed relevant (ie a much needed consolidation had occurred).  All of the events I went to had enough space, and even in events where they had to turn the audience away, tiny events were in tiny rooms and well attended events were in larger rooms. 

I went to the puppetry slam for the first time this year and HOLY @##@$@#$.  This has now replaced the masquerade for me as the must see event of the year.  It is FANTASTIC.  The other panels were informative and I enjoyed them quite a bit.

And a shout out to the absolutely amazing Dragon Con volunteers who tirelessly and mostly invisibly make the whole thing work well.

Cons: Only a few.  The Masquerade was in SORE need of troopers to move some morons off the stage.  If I can afford it, next year we're likely just buying the video so we can still see it but just fast forward past the crap.  And the dealers room is AWFUL.  Last year I heard all kinds of complaints about how crowded it was.  I never got that far. The entire entrance to the place is crowded and having to get into a ten minute line to GET INTO THE DEALERS ROOM is insane.  I understand the lack of space downtown.  Here's the thing.  They would literally be better off taking one of the hotel parking lots and having the dealer's room be in THAT instead of the God Awful Americas Mart.