We May Have Found Summer's Sleep with 'In The Loop', America (by macattackanimationproduc)
Political comedy is a hard stunt to pull off. Ever since 1964, it seemed like nothing could top Dr. Strangelove. A lot of movies have tried and a lot have failed, although there were the lucky few that passed the bar Election, Thank You for Smoking but the brilliant thing about In The Loop is that it's so stupidly funny that it's one of the best comedies of the 21st Century! Armando Iannucci, most known for his The Thick of It series in the UK, directs a movie with the a the familiar theme of The Office. That documentary-style of film-making can be hit-or-miss most recently, Public <more>
Enemies, a miss and Iannucci hits it right on. Every scene he graces with a camera comes out picture perfect; nobody could've pegged this movie any better. Iannucci, Jesse Armstrong, Tony Roche and Simon Blackwell's script is something out of picture show heaven and sounds like it must've taken forever to finish, edit, revise, etc. Although these guys, these geniuses, apparently know what they're doing and don't care what anybody else says. That is the heart and soul of movie-making, readers. In The Loop is about a corrupt British government that accidentally gets the country thrown into the middle of a war. Loop stars Peter Capaldi, Gina McKee, James Gandolfini, Chris Addison and there's even a whimsical cameo by Steve Coogan. Capaldi is the absolute best at what he did, spewing swears as coarse as they are a riot "fuck you, you lubricated horse cock!" and freaking out. I can't even put into words just how funny this guy was; he made the movie! But don't forget Addison as Toby. Addison is the British Napoleon Dynamite, that incredibly awkward guy that makes even the audience members turn red. James Gandolfini and Gina McKee round out the rest of the cast greatly, filling In The Loop with the type of sexual tension that you don't want to think about. It's like when a sex scene pops up on a DVD you're watching with your parents. Yeah, that bad.In The Loop is one of the most laugh out loud comedies I've seen in the past decade, that sadly nobody will get a chance to watch. In a world of Transformers and G.I Joe, In The Loop will sadly be ignored. But on an optimistic note, we may have found this summer's sleeper, America.5/5 stars.
It's a long time since I've seen a money this funny... (by davethejackal)
This is not a movie for those looking for the cosy delusional homilies and self congratulatory tributes to politicians of something like Yes Minister, it's vulgar, raw, enticing. An excellent comedy that never lets a moment pass without something to amuse, whilst being painfully poignant at the same time. In the build up to war, the UK government conspires to provide made up intelligence to the US to justify an act of war... sound familiar? Really, really, really funny and those who claim Yes Minister and it's ilk are superior, or more representative of what goes on in the <more>
'corridors of power', aren't living in the real world. Critics who compare this to 'The Thick of It': remember, if this movie includes the same characters it's obviously set before the events of 'in the loop', hence we might expect them to be more energetic, rawer and ... well swear a lot. I'm not sure the pacing of TToI would have worked in movie form and it's nice to see that the writers were able to translate the basic idea to a successful movie, unlike so many TV adaptations which have fallen flat on their faces.
Armando Iannucci's brilliant political satire, 'The Thick Of It', takes obvious cues from real events and personalities in British politics; and cooks these ingredients into a splendidly toxic broth personified by the character of Maclolm Tucker, spin doctor extraordinaire, the man with the most inventive foulmouth on the planet. The other protagonists are slimy, incompetent, self-serving; but part of Iannucci's genius is that even as you hate them, you almost end up feeling sorry for them as well, doomed to play their part in the political machine. It's a brilliant <more>
programme; what's even more unusual is the success of its adaptation to the big screen. To make 'In the Loop', Iannucci has directly addressed one of the biggest recent political stories, the second Gulf War, which also allows him to introduce a range of American archetypes into his drama; as with his British characters, the mixture of exaggeration, subtlety and sheer venality in their portrayals is wonderfully judged. And although wholly fictional, as an account of how certain intelligence dossiers came to be faked, it's also wholly compelling and believable. Less surprisingly, many of the regular cast from the TV series also feature in the film, although Peter Capaldi as Tucker aside in slightly different roles. But there's no denying the basic quality of the humour here; the title of this review, incidentally, is one character's description of opera. A film which makes you laugh or think as much is rare; one which does both is something special indeed.
One of the best political satirical comedies in years! 'In The Loop' is a spin-off kind-of of the fantastic British comedy 'The Thick of It', and follows Simon Foster Tom Hollander , a Cabinet Minister who makes a series of unfortunate slip-ups, the first is when he tells an interviewer that he believes war always referred to as the invasion or the war, but never Iraq or potentially Afghanistan is "unforeseeable" before telling journalists under pressure that you have to conquer a mountain of conflict on the path of peace. These mistakes place him in the middle <more>
of a diplomatic mine-field as both, the anti-war constabulary led by General Miller James Gandolfini and the Assistant Secretary of Diplomacy Karen Clark Mimi Kennedy , and the gung-ho supporter of war Linton Barwick David Rasche - so crazy he keeps a live grenade as a paperweight - want Simon as a transatlantic partner to support their cause. Should he put his conscience or his political career first? Oh, and throw in hilariously vicious Senior British Press Office Malcolm Tucker Peter Capaldi and a bumbling Adviser to the minster Toby played by Chris Addison and you have one of the best political satires to come from Britain in years.What makes the film work so well is the incredibly sharp witty script from a collaboration of writers that keeps the gag-per-minute counter ticking. Every meeting, confrontation political mishap is cradled with joke after joke whether they are subtle references to the cynicism and underhandedness in the current or foregone political climate or simply one of Malcolm Tucker's fantastic rants – "I'm going to tear out your shinbone, split it in two and stab you to f**king death with it" - at ineptitude of everybody around him. Every actor and actress involved give solid performances as the flawed members of the tense political world. While Simon's central story keeps the film on the ground despite a few diplomatic detours that are still hilarious, even though they take up little of the running of time .Armando Iannucci has already proved to the British public that he can create entertainment for the TV-masses and 'In The Loop' proves he also has the skills to replicate this on a wider, international, big-screen scale as well. It's intelligent, it's offensive, and it's bleeding funny. See this film!
This film may one day be for politics what Spinal Tap was for heavy metal. (by MovieAddict2016)
In the Loop is an unusually good and funny film from a usually tepid and rather unfunny genre. After enduring an onslaught of mediocre films centered around the war in Iraq, 2009 seems to have finally brought audiences closer to cinematic resolution: first Kathryn Bigelow's invigorating The Hurt Locker gave us a fresh insight, and now this: a relatively lighter affair, to be sure, but one of such rapid-fire wit that a second viewing is almost required.In stereotypically British fashion, the humour is dry — you probably won't experience many belly laughs — and yet selling it merely <more>
as such seems like something of a disservice to its quality. Best described in one line as a blend of Dr. Strangelove, This Is Spinal Tap and the Ricky Gervais Office series, director Armando Iannucci has parodied the lunacy of political disinformation and thoughtless rhetoric without his film coming across as a laborious broken record or the mouthpiece of an insufferable pacifist. No, you don't have to be a liberal to enjoy this although I can't necessarily picture Bill O'Reilly endorsing it — anyone with an appreciation for intelligent comedy, regardless of personal views, should find something to admire here, and it'll be a shame if the picture isn't at least nominated for Best Screenplay by year's end.The film is a spin-off of Iannucci's UK show The Thick of It, starring a couple of the same characters, and it presumably takes place during the days leading up to the invasion of Iraq although, to be fair, we're never given the precise name of the country being targeted, nor the date for which these events take place .The plot moves fast and some of the characters are hard to get a handle on at first, but it goes something like this: Britain's Minister of International Development, Simon Foster Tom Hollander , has a slip of the tongue while recording a live radio interview, admitting that any instance of war is "unforeseeable" and thereby perhaps even necessary — thus enraging the Prime Minister's Director of Communications, Malcolm Tucker Peter Capaldi in a scathingly brilliant performance . At the behest of the PM, Tucker has Foster and his new assistant, Toby Chris Addison , shipped off to Washington, D.C., where they suffer a game of political discourse with a pro-war State Department official played well by David Rasche . The film also features talented actors in minor roles: James Gandolfini appears in one of the film's most unexpectedly funny scenes, as a four-star general who computes the cost of a hypothetical war using a kids' toy calculator. "At the end of a war, you need some soldiers left, really, or else it looks like you've lost." Steve Coogan, whose wonderful Alan Partridge was co-created by Iannucci, pops up in one of the more silly-minded sequences, as a man with a bit of a wall issue.Though the film has achieved almost unanimous praise amongst critics, there have been some complaints, namely those of the NY Press' Armond White. Usually I don't address the comments of other reviewers, mainly because I typically don't care, but also because everyone is entitled to their own opinion; yet I felt compelled to respond to White's assertion that "Iannucci's sense of place is indistinguishable from The Office or The West Wing." The Office, sure, but The West Wing? Really? Did we watch the same film, Mr. White? That show's relative glamorization of closed door politics could not be at more complete odds with In the Loop, both in style and substance. What's particularly interesting is that UK magazine Time Out did an article on the film last year, and even cited the movie's production design as being the polar opposite of The West Wing's. Journalist Dave Calhoun wrote: "Iannucci tells me that he sees In the Loop as a cousin of The Thick of It. The similarities are everywhere, down to the docu-style, hand-held camera-work evident on the monitors it's the same director of photography and the anti-'West Wing' production design that throws all notions of political glamour out the window." I mention this only because it is worth pointing out the movie's heavy cynicism. Screen International's David D'Arcy noted the film's untimely release: "Its exuberant, boundless cynicism will test the demand for political satire in an Obama-infatuated America." I respectfully disagree — audiences have never shown an inclination towards noting their countries' present failures, which would perhaps best explain why almost every single motion picture focused on the Iraq War since 2003 has been a box office flop. Audiences flock to cinemas for escapism — not reminders. If time heals all wounds, then perhaps this is the opportune time to release In the Loop: at a point when we can begin to take a step back and accept the humour.Regardless: this is a very sharp, decisive comedy, and certainly worth seeking out. The "instant classic" label is vastly overused, but it is perhaps not unforeseeable that this film may one day be for politics what Spinal Tap was for heavy metal.In other words: an instant classic.
Complex, biting, rich with British and American humor (by jesub)
Fast paced blend of close-to-truth political intrigue, satire, clever banter and intensity, with enough simplified and goofy humor to keep American audiences shrieking with laughter. The LA festival audience was blessedly quiet through the more subtle and deeply clever humor, so if you have a pan-Atlantic sensibility you can laugh at the cleverly done but obvious stuff, as well as the richer humor that requires attention.The cast - American, English and Scottish all did an amazing job with high synergy.There is quite a lot of both obvious and subtle political and cultural allegory, homages, <more>
and oblique references.It was great to see it in a packed theater, and get that immersive social experience one does not get with a DVD.
Is it a work of fictional farce or an insightful view of the members of the governmental bureaucracy? Probably in truth, In The Loop is a little bit of both, but more so its a whole lot of fun at the governments expense. There have been numerous films over the years giving us insight into how our government works, at times it sure looks bleak and unjust, but we sure haven't seen it in such a ridiculous view. In The Loop aims at making sure they scrutinize the bureaucratic desk jocks for all their worth. The film follows the Minister of International Development Tom Hollander after he <more>
has put his foot in his mouth, unintentionally announcing that war is unforeseeable. Back tracking and word-smith manipulations prove mute, fortunately for the Minister he's got big fans in the US who would like nothing more then to use the naive Brit in their political posturing. The hawks begin circling and before the Minister knows what game he's playing he's into deep and merely a puppet in the political theater.There is a hint of a serious political thriller in the plot here, but In The Loop knows we've seen all that before so why not have a little fun, actually why not have a whole lot of fun and throw in lots of scalding four letter words and absolute British wit. Tom Hollander as the Minister of I.D. is dumb-foundingly perfect in his role and is well complemented by his bungling assistant Oliver played exceptionally by Chris Addison . As the Director of Communications, Peter Capaldi steals the show with his relentlessly scathing superhuman vulgarity ridden wit. Those with a distaste for such colorful language should look elsewhere as their ears will certainly be on fire if they can last through a third of the film. Personally the language was not a problem for me, I appreciate a master of the finer words, and Capaldi has shown himself to deliver his lines with such craftsmanship that sailors around the world will be put to shame.The Brits are a fantastic mess, but of course what international mess would be complete without the United States Govt.. And so comes the behemoth know as James Gandolifini, the Don Capo hasn't lost any of his on-screen presence. As the ol' war vet Pentagon General, Gandolfini is gruff and verbally abusive in a really mean spirited way, which is glorious. Those with a keen sense of cinema will notice how well the film shifts humor as the Brits come across the pond to the the dry humor of America. Gandolfini makes the most of his screen time, but on the American side the majority of the ridiculousness comes from Mimi Kennedy, as the Assistant Secretary of Diplomacy and her bickering 20 something Capital Hill brown nosing assistants. Director Armando Ianucci's delivers such a cynical sharp witted look at all things politically ridiculous and it works on so many levels. Fans of British humor will love this, its pureness to the form is perfectly meshed into the political platform that moves the comedy along with merely a few small bumps in the road. On the other side of the coin, those who enjoy making fun of those of the diplomatic persuasion will delight in the roasting of our governmental members.
There is something about British comedy that resonates with me. I don't know if it is because we in the States experience so little of it, or maybe because Hollywood rapes and pillages the material for their own water-downed versions, but the humor just seems fresh, uncensored, and hilarious. When I first came across the new political black comedy In the Loop, I will admit to being less than interested. The marketing materials were using the whole Obama silkscreen poster look and I really wasn't interested in a movie about how the US and Britain decided to go into the Middle East. But <more>
then the buzz started. The realization that the film was shot with a penchant for improv, a desire to entertain rather than teach, and a cast of characters looking as though they are in a Christopher Guest movie, soon turned that preconception around. This is a fantastic film that never lets up on the laughs or one-liners. I just hope people go into it knowing that this isn't how it actually happened but then who knows? Sometimes the truth is stranger than fiction.The back and forth dialogue is so quick that I couldn't believe my eyes when I read a quote from the director about it all being about 80-85% scripted. He says that he gave the actors leeway to break course and even do takes without scripts at all, but when culling everything together, most of what stuck actually maintained the verbiage laid out by its five screenwriters. Each of these men, including director Armando Iannucci, has been working with British television and all have collaborated on the show "The Thick of It". I will say now, if I get a chance to check it out, I most certainly will. Political satire is not necessarily my favorite thing in the world—I'll watch the odd "Daily Show" episode—but after viewing this laugh-riot, checking out a spoof on the British political system, of which I know very little, could be a ton of fun. Heck, just the inclusion of Peter Capaldi will get me to stop surfing when I reach the BBC. This guy steals the show without question.Capaldi plays Malcolm Turner, a Brit on the frontline of politics as an aide to the Prime Minister, spinning everything and anything to save face. With no time to spare on his running across the Atlantic to put out fires wherever his compatriots start them, you will have to forgive his abrasive, sarcastic, and just plain mean demeanor. The idea of war is being bandied about on talk shows, behind closed-door governmental meetings, and all over the media machine, and it is up to him to keep a lid on it by walking the party line, neither stating a fight is inevitable or unforeseeable—two terms that the buffoon who is British Secretary of State for International Development Simon Foster, played beautifully by the ever capable Tom Hollander, loves to utter. Foster just has to open his mouth to cause a stir felt around the world, and each time, of course, Malcolm Turner is there to chastise and humiliate his stupidity.The film ultimately revolves around the journey Hollander's Foster takes in trying to enhance exposure for himself. Partaking in talk shows or talking out of turn when enlisted to just be "room meat", some of the Americans begin to see him as someone abroad that shares their sentiment that war is a bad idea. While David Rasche's Linton Barwick—a hardcore proponent of battle, even using a live grenade as a paperweight—forms secret committees to discuss strategies for war, Mimi Kennedy's Karen Clarke and James Gandolfini's Lt. General George Miller are looking for ways to get into that meeting and shut it down. As a result, those two dissenters try to get Foster at every event to awkwardly express his stance of war being unforeseeable, hoping to deter any people on the fence that may be in attendance. So, Malcolm must run back and forth through England and DC spinning things his way and lambasting anyone that gets in his line of fire. Either Foster is too oblivious to care about the verbal assaults thrown his way or he just feels he can blame his Director of Communications Judy, who he makes stay at home while he globe-trots with his new young adviser Toby, Gina McKee and Chris Addison respectively . Toby and Foster are so similar in their awe of America and lack of experience that their adventures make for good cinema, taking camera phone pics out their limo and speaking about getting hookers for the ride.In the Loop is expertly acted and, for the most part, I have to credit that to the intelligent script being utilized. Whether the actors are improvising or not, the original text they are sticking to or springboarding from needed to be strong. By using all the jokes and imbecilic actions we associate with politicians, the writers have crafted a plausible, if not entirely idiotic, account of the days leading up to our countries' joint invasion. Documents are leaked, words are twisted, and supposed partners are stabbed in the back. But through it all we have Capaldi doing his best to keep Britain's stance as noncommittal as possible. And, truthfully, the way in which he does it makes for what has to be the funniest role of the year. Every word out of his mouth is acerbic and full of double meaning. With the f-word spewing at will and demeaning name-callings going left and right, make sure your head is clear if British speech sometimes troubles you in the comprehension realm. Understanding his words definitely pays off, keeping what would otherwise be a slightly bloated and meandering plot grounded in comedic excellence.
Laugh out loud satire on the the US/UK realpolitik over the Iraq war (by joebloggscity)
Political satires! Loads of them on the tele, but few and far between in the cinema. "In the loop" is a combination of both, taking a UK satirical comedy onto the big screen for an international audience. Centres around the decision to go to war, where one faction is fighting against conflict whilst another is trying to pull the strings to get the decision their way.The humour is crude as can be, but there were few if any not laughing in this vicious comedy where no one is left unscathed. The show stealer is Peter Capaldi as the spin doctor-cum-political thug Michael Tucker who <more>
leads the charge for the vote to goto war, pulling whatever strings he can whilst scything down all in his way. Ably supported in the film by Mimi Kennedy, Tom Hollander, David Rasche and James Gondolfini, you have a large cast who just keep cranking up the pressure, tension and humour.Who is this going to appeal to? Well, if you don't like swearing, crude humour or black humour, then you'll switch this off after just a few minutes. As for the rest of us, if you want a very dark humorous political satire then this is for you. There's lots to think about along the way, and it can be a real poke in the eye for modern realpolitik, but there are moments of respite along the way. Recommended.