Syriana

“In this town, you’re innocent until you’re investigated."

It’s game time, folks! This current series consists of four films that for all intents and purposes are not related, except for one connection they all have. And that’s the game — guess the connection. We won’t be announcing the films ahead of time — you’ll have to wait until they’re released to see what the films are. And when the podcast about the fourth film in our series is released on Friday, March 13th, the first person to post the correct connection on Facebook or Twitter will win a Next Reel T-shirt! Think you’ve got what it takes? Then tune in for clues and play along! First up, “Syriana."

After Stephen Gaghan wrote “Traffic” for Steven Soderbergh, Soderbergh introduced him to Robert Baer’s book “See No Evil,” and Gaghan knew the next complex multi-story film he wanted to write. After years of researching around the world, he brought “Syriana” to the world and, while well received, both critics and audiences alike found it very complicated and confusing. Join us — Pete Wright and Andy Nelson — as we begin our Mystery series with Gaghan’s 2005 film “Syriana.” We talk about why Andy likes it so much — loves it in fact — and what he gets out of it, as well as why Pete finds it to be 20 minutes of a brilliant ending preceded by tedium. We chat about the countless famous faces gracing the screen in this film and how they each do, particularly Matt Damon, George Clooney, Jeffrey Wright and Alexander Siddig. We discuss the roles each of them play and how their stories connect, as well as the fascinating element of fathers and sons in the story. We discuss the politics within the film as well as the terrorism and the corporate greed. And we cover some of the technical elements, like the editing, the camera work and the score. It’s a film that even we find divisive but one that is definitely saying something. Tune in!

Film Sundries

Trailers of the Week

Andy’s Trailer: Faults — “Leland Orser is a hard actor to get out of my head because of his roles in Se7en and Alien Resurrection. Seeing him as the lead for a change really excites me, particularly when it’s a film that looks as crazy as this one does. I’m totally in."

Pete's Trailer: The Man from U.N.C.L.E — "Looks gritty, suave, and Henry Cavill looks so much more interesting in this role to me than he does as Superman. Fingers crossed."